Posts tagged: collaboration

The e-Learning 2.0 experience

By , August 22, 2008 3:29 am

The blog craze started in 2004, MySpace came out in 2002. From then till now, Web 2.0 has penetrated deeply into our lives.

You may have heard the buzz: it’s all about communications, exchange information and expressing the ego.

Have you thought of utilizing all those things for learning?

Recently I’ve been very aggressive on the net to see how we can use the applications for learning, and here I am with my key findings:

The requirements

Let’s imagine a very familiar study scenario: you’re assigned into a group to do a research on topic X.

Traditionally, the group would rely on emails, phone calls and IM to communicate and collaborate. Have you found these media difficult to classify your information?

This is how I would use Web 2.0 for learning

1. Search for information with Search EngineS

Obviously, information searching starts with search engines.

I have some hints for this:

  1. Don’t just use Google. Try Yahoo! search, Live search, Ask search and other engines. They give different results and thus, relevant information might be found from ones other than Google
  2. Try Google on different region settings. google.com/ncr (international version) yields different results from google.com.vn
  3. Try different keywords and keyword combination. Also, exploit the operators
  4. Also search for images. At least Google, Yahoo! and Live support this. Images are useful for illustrating your ideas and, in some cases, give you additional information.

Watch a slide show on Google services:


2. Ask your questions

Use Q&A service such as LinkedIn Answers to ask questions and receive information from professionals.

Watch a video explaining LinkedIn

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/RXVcq7Xg6JU”][/gv]

3. Make information comes to you with RSS

Normally you go out for information. Think about making information come to you?

Use RSS for this.

Watch a video explaining RSS

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/AwtmOPdrEL8″][/gv]

For example, if I’m looking for “globalization”, I would take these steps

  1. Go to wordpress.com/tags/globalization
  2. Get the RSS of this tag
  3. Subscribe the RSS into a feed reader like Google Reader

Then check with the feed reader everyday to see if relevant information comes in.

You can also use Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate the feeds. Click here to view videos on Yahoo! Pipes

Try exploring different sources of information you can use this trick.

4. Share links with bookmark-sharing sites

If I encounter useful webpages, I would want to share it with my group mates.

Using email would bury the link under heaps of other information. Sharing through IM stands the risk of losing the message when the program lags.

So I would bookmark the site using del.icio.us and use the function “links for friend” to share the link.

Watch a video explaining del.icio.us

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/r9s5hc3MJZo”][/gv]

5. Blog your group’s findings on group-blog powered platform

WordPress supports multiple-author. I would want our group members to blog our research everyday on our blog. This is not superficial. It helps us

  1. Collect information, thoughts, findings, analysis and intermediate conclusions
  2. Track each member’s progress
  3. Present to the lecturer our growth

5b. Share micro details

This is optional though. Some information might be very detailed and we want quick sharing methods. I would connect my mobile phone to Twitter and quickly update my thoughts on the way.

Watch a video explaining Twitter

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ctXq1mKL7tk”][/gv]

6. Schedule activities with Calendars

Schedule activities such as meetings, field trips with Google Calendar

7. Watch and learn

Go to Youtube, not to entertain, but to learn from podcasters on the topic.

For example, this video is useful to understand Web 2.0

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5nN-U0sDZNc”][/gv]

8. Compose Collaboratively

Use Google Docs to compose the documents. This is very convenient in such that

  1. No email chain flying around
  2. Single repository of document
  3. Better version control
  4. Many collaborators do the job concurrently

Watch a video explaining Google Docs

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/eRqUE6IHTEA”][/gv]

9. Build wiki to store develop information knowledge

Wiki is great to understand new concepts and link the information to get the big picture.

Watch a video explaining Wiki

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/hczDZXPfYn8″][/gv]

10. Relationship building

Facebook is good to build relationship with your work mates.

11. Publish your research

Publish your research as presentations on slideshare or documents on scribd to share your knowledge engage in discussion on the topic.

12. Consolidate them all into one page

There are just so much!

How’re you gonna navigate around them all?

Well, one solution is to use a homepage service like netvibes to put all these services together.

Why all these?

Too complicated? Well here are the reasons why I would do it this way

  1. Better organization of information. No email confusion
  2. Exhaustive analysis. You write on the way so no information is missed
  3. Better collaboration
  4. Man, isn’t it fun?

I know it would be much easier for you just to email. But how much time have you spent searching for information later on? I’d rather spend the time to get things organized first, then make it easier later to focus more on creating contents.

And I’m pretty sure of one thing: just next year, this entry will be outdated because many new services will come out. Semantic web, mobile apps are just a few to predict.

It’s not a fashionable fad or a time-killer, it’s a shift in the way we can be more effective. Do you want to miss the train trend?

Digital Divide

But you know, all these will never happen if digital divide hasn’t been closed.

Technology proficiency and more importantly, community habit is a big gap. I want my team to do so, but other teams may not, so some of my team members may argue “why do we have to!”

With the internet connection speed in Vietnam, using Google Docs et al is insane.

Today, a world that is flat is till a romantic dream for me.

Resources

I’ve already tried out these services. Kindly see mine as example of how things may end up evolve: taitran.com/blog/resources

Google Knol provides another channel / platform, rather than depresses current ones

By , July 25, 2008 11:50 pm

Google Knol screenshot

The latest content-creating product from Google, Knol, is heating the debates on whether it would directly compete with current content ecologies.

Below is my view toward Knol.

Knol vs. Wikipedia?

Knol is often compared to Wikipedia.

In fact, Knol is more centralized on authorship and authority in content creation, so I believe that Knol employs the top-down model which is closer to Citizendium than to Wikipedia.

However, to repeat, Knol is not wiki. It takes advantage of collaborative-editing.

Knol vs. Blogs?

More interestingly, some bloggers express their concern that Knol would interfere with professional blogs, which also aim at sharing knowledge.

My view is that Knol does not compete with Blogs, but rather offer an alternative to content publishing.

Knol is more on scientific/academic articles and how-to style, while blogs are more for expressing opinions.

For example, this post Tag of mine is more suitable for Knol, while this entry is more for my blog.

So Knol is another channel and platform to share your knowledge with the world, with more focus on authorization.

How will you use Google Knol?

The e-Learning 2.0 experience

By , July 23, 2008 3:29 am

The blog craze started in 2004, MySpace came out in 2002. From then till now, Web 2.0 has penetrated deeply into our lives.

You may have heard the buzz: it’s all about communications, exchange information and expressing the ego.

Have you thought of utilizing all those things for learning?

Recently I’ve been very aggressive on the net to see how we can use the applications for learning, and here I am with my key findings:

The requirements

Let’s imagine a very familiar study scenario: you’re assigned into a group to do a research on topic X.

Traditionally, the group would rely on emails, phone calls and IM to communicate and collaborate. Have you found these media difficult to classify your information?

This is how I would use Web 2.0 for learning

1. Search for information with Search EngineS

Obviously, information searching starts with search engines.

I have some hints for this:

  1. Don’t just use Google. Try Yahoo! search, Live search, Ask search and other engines. They give different results and thus, relevant information might be found from ones other than Google
  2. Try Google on different region settings. google.com/ncr (international version) yields different results from google.com.vn
  3. Try different keywords and keyword combination. Also, exploit the operators
  4. Also search for images. At least Google, Yahoo! and Live support this. Images are useful for illustrating your ideas and, in some cases, give you additional information.

2. Ask your questions

Use Q&A service such as LinkedIn Answers to ask questions and receive information from professionals.

3. Make information comes to you with RSS

You go out for information. Think about making information come to you?

Use RSS for this.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/AwtmOPdrEL8″][/gv]

For example, if I’m looking for “globalization”, I would do this steps

  1. Go to wordpress.com/tags/globalization
  2. Get the RSS of this tag
  3. Subscribe the RSS into a feed reader like Google Reader

Then check with the feed reader everyday to see if relevant information comes in.

You can also use Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate the feeds. Click here to view videos on Yahoo! Pipes

Try exploring different sources of information you can use this trick.

4. Share links with bookmark-sharing sites

If I encounter useful webpages, I would want to share it with my group mates.

Using email would bury the link under heaps of other information. Sharing through IM stands the risk of losing the message when the program lags.

So I would bookmark the site using del.icio.us and use the function “links for friend” to share the link.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/r9s5hc3MJZo”][/gv]

5. Blog your group’s findings on group-blog powered platform

WordPress supports multiple-author. I would want our group members to blog our research everyday on our blog. This is not superficial. It helps us

  1. Collect information, thoughts, findings, analysis and intermediate conclusions
  2. Track each member’s progress
  3. Present to the lecturer our growth

5b. Share micro details

This is optional though. Some information might be very detailed and we want quick sharing methods. I would connect my mobile phone to Twitter and quickly update my thoughts on the way.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ctXq1mKL7tk”][/gv]

6. Schedule activities with Calendars

Schedule activities such as meetings, field trips with Google Calendar

7. Watch and learn

Go to Youtube, not to entertain, but to learn from podcasters on the topic.

For example, this this video
[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5nN-U0sDZNc”][/gv]

8. Compose Collaboratively

Use Google Docs to compose the documents. This is very convenient in such that

  1. No email chain flying around
  2. Single repository of document
  3. Better version control
  4. Many collaborators do the job concurrently

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/eRqUE6IHTEA”][/gv]

9. Build wiki to store develop information knowledge

Wiki is great to understand new concepts and link the information to get the big picture.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/hczDZXPfYn8″][/gv]

10. Relationship building

Facebook is good to build relationship with your work mates.

11. Publish your research

Publish your research as presentations on slideshare or documents on scribd to share your knowledge engage in discussion on the topic.

12. Consolidate them all into one page

There are just so much!

How’re you gonna navigate around them all?

Well, one solution is to use a homepage service like netvibes to put all these services together.

Why all these?

Too complicated? Well here are the reasons why I would do it this way

  1. Better organization of information. No email confusion
  2. Exhaustive analysis. You write on the way so no information is missed
  3. Better collaboration
  4. Man, isn’t it fun?

I know it would be much easier for you just to email. But how much time have you spent searching for information later on? I’d rather spend the time to get things organized first, then make it easier later to focus more on creating contents.

And I’m pretty sure of one thing: just next year, this entry will be outdated because many new services will come out. Semantic web, mobile apps are just a few to predict.

It’s not a fashionable fad or a time-killer, it’s a shift in the way we can be more effective. Do you want to miss the train trend?

Digital Divide

But you know, all these will never happen if digital divide hasn’t been closed.

Technology proficiency and more importantly, community habit is a big gap. I want my team to do so, but other teams may not, so some of my team members may argue “why do we have to!”

With the internet connection speed in Vietnam, using Google Docs et al is insane.

Today, a world that is flat is till a romantic dream for me.

Resources

I’ve already tried out these services. Kindly see mine as example of how things may end up evolve: taitran.com/blog/resources

VCCorp and expert content composition in Vietnam

By , July 22, 2008 3:57 pm

VCCorp is aggressively penetrating the “expert” content composition in Vietnam with their new products: CafeF, bnok, gocnhin and thenao

1. CafeF

A group-blog service on Finance and Stock developed basing on WordPress

2. bnok.vn

A group-blog service that hosts multiple professional and interest groups.

Currently, bnok is limited:

  • Registration done manually
  • Each blog is associated with only one group
  • Maximum 3 blogs are associated with 1 account

bnok supports import from these platforms

  1. Blogger
  2. Blogware
  3. DotClear
  4. RSS
  5. GreyMatter
  6. WordPress
  7. LiveJournal
  8. Movable Type / Typepad

From this list, it is observable that their development team utilize plugins for WordPress. To penetrate the Vietnamese market, they should have started building a tool to import Yahoo! 360 blog now.

3. gocnhin

A techmeme clone

4. thenao

A Vietnamese wiki platform. I believe that with their financial base, VCCorp will introduce incentives for contributors in the competition with Wikipedia Vietnamese.

The name “thế nào” gives me the impression of “how stuffs work”.

Comments

VCCorp seems like the only player on this field. Will expert content have any potentials for monetization?

Apart from traditional monetization by advertising on web, selling analysis and contents to consumers is also a good idea.

What do you think about these products?

Information R/evolution

By , December 22, 2007 1:50 am

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5nN-U0sDZNc”][/gv]

5 ways to build effective Wikis

By , December 6, 2007 12:15 am

Simply Wiki

Wiki is a platform that allow anyone to quickly edit web pages. Repeat after me: anyone & quick.

I doubt that you don’t know Wikipedia. Yes, it is the most successful Wiki instance today.

To know more of Wiki, please see the following video:

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/awxYqXI3x1A”][/gv]

Potential problems with Wikis

Disorder

The fact that information can be quickly edited by anyone is the primary reason why wikis grow like weeds instead of carefully tended gardens.

Large scale wikis become chaotic and disorganized

Multiple collaboration means no one owns anything — organization comes from someone having a vested interest to organize and maintain.

Information is hard to navigate consistently because there is no unifying vision to the structure.

Large scale wikis turn into a flat hierarchy of documents with no hierarchy.

Information transfer

It is hard to import information into a wiki from other sources.

It is hard to export information out of wikis (eg: RSS feeds).

5 ways to build effective Wikis

1. Make it Search-intelligent

Make URLs human-readable permalinks

Navigation clues

2. Manage Version Control

Version control for every change

Rollbacks of edits

Notifications, watch lists and logs

Discussions of changes

3. Enable Information Management

Refactor and maintain information

Document management: attachments (documents, images, media…) should be treated the same as pages when it comes to search and version control.

Provide import/export functionalities to standard-compliant format (XML).

4. Build an Organization that best supports

Wikis are not built to be used in top-down organizational hierarchy. However, all-are-equal model lurks serious problems. Click here to read more of the story…

We shall see if Larry Sanger’s experiment of Citizendium will make it more effective.

5. Develop a Process

Building Wikis is one activity of knowledge management. Knowledge management process should be developed, especially in tightly-organized groups, to support this.

Conclusion

Wikis are effective if built and managed the right way, and let’s.

Microsoft Office Live Online goes Beta

By , October 30, 2007 12:35 am

Microsoft Office Live LogoMicrosoft Office Live Logo

Waiting for my workspace to be setup…

Loading

Gmail Lifecycle

By , October 14, 2007 8:10 pm

Gmail glossy icon

Gmail in real life – a symbolic video of life collaboration.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/qKAInP_tmHk”][/gv]

Source: Official Gmail Blog

Free & Open Source Enterprise Resource Planning Software

By , September 11, 2007 11:29 pm

ERP

ERP is free?

At first, I could believe that a highly complex software like that of ERP can be open or free.

However, it is a truth. Some communities are really committed to engage to this sophistication.

Now here it is: ERP comes open-source!

ERP is really free?

I like the way Adempiere depicts the complexion of costs:

“Information Is Free – U have to Know
People Are Not – U have to Pay
Contributors Are Priceless – U have to Be”

Open-source ERP, like any other open-source project, is not totally intended for larger enterprises seeking highly stable software and business partnership.

Open-source ERP makes it possible for SMEs to go in for Enterprise Resource Planning at a more affordable price. This is a wise step of initiators in that this kind of collaboration would benefit both parties.

  • Users get the software for free, and pay a relatively reasonable amount for supports and customization
  • Some R&D departments from these ‘purchasers’ even involve in developing the software, thus enlarging the community to people inside businesses
  • Some companies such as Compiere offer free packages and products with fee. This gives their customers more options

Personally I don’t think the “sense of open-source” including flexibility, community-knowledge, freedom and such is the most significant factor for enterprises to go for these products. They’re simply looking for a product that works with a more affordable price. Instead of doing separate accounting, financial management, CRM, SCM, HRM etc., they have the option to start doing ERP at an earlier stage.

It’s all about Open-source

People in Open-source community have their manifesto. Communities have gone from developing open Operating Systems to open File-Sharing, from Office to Browsers. There is no reason why they can’t be doing ERP now.

Entrepreneurship & OSS

ERP has “enterprise” in it. Correct! ERP OSS is not software for individuals, but for Organizations. Enterprises. And Enterprises do business.

An ERP, though require a tremendous technology commitment, is far less geeky than any other OSS ever developed. It’s business, which so unfortunately a number of geeks take a distance from afar.

Because ERP is developed to solve the problem of and boost business, ERP OSS requires entrepreneurship and business minds! That’s where the leading heads and consultants are called.

Development Prospects

People talk ERP. People use ERP. People do ERP. Everywhere is ERP.

Some sell ERP. Some give ERP for free.

It’s obvious, Open-source ERP is in a terribly good jumpstart to develop. If they can overcome some difficulties such as commitment, simplification of complexity and harmonization of business and technology, the future is bright for them.

And for SMEs too.

Some Open-source and Free Enterprise Resource Planning Vendors

Compiere http://www.compiere.com

Adempiere http://adempiere.red1.org

JFire https://www.jfire.org

Opentaps http://www.opentaps.org

OpenBlueLab http://www.openbluelab.org

OFBiz http://ofbiz.apache.org

SQL-Ledger http://www.sql-ledger.org

WebERP http://www.weberp.org

GNU Enterprise http://www.gnuenterprise.org

GNU Globe

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