Posts tagged: information management

A question on Enterprise 2.0

By , April 23, 2009 8:21 pm

Question for Enterprise 2.0 - Communication, Information Sharing, Marketing, Production, Operations, Management, Leadership

Facebook's Profitable Business Architecture

By , April 10, 2009 7:34 pm

I’d suspected that Facebook is moving fast toward monetization.

But Sheryl Sandberg’s confirmation that Facebook has been profitable for 5 consecutive quarters still comes as a nice surprise.

Nevertheless, considering this model, where all the money has been generated is not much a question.

Facebook Business Model Architecture

Where else has Facebook been making money on? Will Social Search come next? Will Facebook do Data Mining behind the scene?

Facebook in Australia – initial stats

By , March 7, 2009 9:54 am

My first fortnight in Sydney passed and the only social media entity I’m surrounded by is neither Google, Yahoo nor Twitter, but Facebook.

My experience with the University of New South Wales confirms my hypothesis on the Viralization of Facebook:

In UNSW we have over 100 clubs and societies. Student activities and career orientation programs here are organized make use of Facebook as a platform for announcements, discussions, networking and to some extent, information storage.

Newly arrived students are inevitably invited to create a Facebook account, connect to others and join many of the student groups.

Influencers are ubiquitous. And they’re not necessarily the tech-savvy; mainly, they have something to share.

Around 2,600,000 Australian are in Australian network, around 12% of the whole population of Australia.

A quick check on Alexa shows that Facebook is ranking 3rd in Australia, only after the two Google’s properties. Considering their popularity and potential to dominate the web further, I’m not surprised if Facebook wants to shift from relationship-centric to content-centric.

RMIT Vietnam Alumni System public version V2

By , February 9, 2009 2:47 pm

Extending Chris Brogan's point of Streams and Stopping Points

By , January 26, 2009 4:00 pm

“Twitter is a stream. Facebook is both a stream and a stopping point (but mostly a stream). Your blog is a stopping point pretending to be a stream.”

Chris Brogan, Of Streams and Stopping Points

Flickr is a stopping point. Tumblr is a stream (Tumblr has become a visual publishing / bookmarking site of some sort (1) ).

Forums are stopping points. “Latest posts” on forum headers are streams.

A news article is a stopping point. Twitter-powered news are streams. Mixx front page is a stream of stopping points.

A Facebook album is a stopping point. Facebook Live Feed is a stream.

A Google search result is a collection of introductions to stopping points. Amazon’s recommendation is a stream.

Future?

Times of the web

Streams of publications

Streams of news information

Streams of connections’ activities

Streams of sales

***

(1) by Duy Doan

How to explain Twitter to your purely-business peers in less than 10 minutes

By , December 14, 2008 11:50 pm

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

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

Problem-Solving Tools Series: Six Thinking Hat

By , July 12, 2008 2:13 am

Introduction

Six Thinking Hats is an important and powerful technique used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives. This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style, and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation. This tool was created by Edward de Bono.

Motivation

Many successful people think from a very rational, positive viewpoint. This is part of the reason that they are successful. Often, though, they may fail to look at a problem from an emotional, intuitive, creative or negative viewpoint. This can mean that they underestimate public resistance to plans, fail to make creative leaps, and do not make essential contingency plans.

Similarly, pessimists may be excessively defensive. Emotional people may fail to look at decisions calmly and rationally.

If you look at a problem with the Six Thinking Hats technique, then you will solve it using
all approaches. Your decisions and plans will mix ambition, skill in execution, public
sensitivity, creativity and good contingency planning.

You can use Six Thinking Hats in meetings or on your own. In meetings, it has the benefit
of blocking the confrontations that happen when people with different thinking styles
discuss the same problem.

Technique

Six thinking hats

Each “Thinking Hat” is a different style of thinking. These are explained below:

White Hat

With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you
have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and
either try to fill them or take account of them.

This is where you analyse past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.

Red Hat

“Wearing” the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and
emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand
the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.

Black Hat

Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it
cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important
because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter
them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them. Black Hat thinking helps to
make your plans tougher and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws
and risks before you embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique, as successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance. This leaves them underprepared or difficulties.

Yellow Hat

The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps
you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking
helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

Green Hat

The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative
solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little
criticism of ideas. A whole range of creativity tools (see Module 1) can help you
here.

Blue Hat

The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing
meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may
direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will
ask for Black Hat thinking, etc.

A variant of this technique is to look at problems from the point of view of different professionals (e.g. doctors, architects, sales directors, etc.) or different customers.

Example

The directors of a property company are looking at whether they should construct a new
office building. The economy is doing well, and the amount of vacant office space is
reducing sharply. As part of their decision, they decide to use the 6 Thinking Hats
technique during a planning meeting.

  1. Looking at the problem with the White Hat, they analyze the data they have. They
    examine the trend in vacant office space, which shows a sharp reduction. They anticipate
    that by the time the office block would be completed, there will be a severe shortage of
    office space. Current government projections show steady economic growth for at least
    the construction period.
  2. With Red Hat thinking, some of the directors think the proposed building looks quite ugly.
    While it would be highly cost-effective, they worry that people would not like to work in it.
  3. When they think with the Black Hat, they worry that government projections may be
    wrong. The economy may be about to enter a “cyclical down-turn”, in which case the
    office building may be empty for a long time. If the building is not attractive, then
    companies will choose to work in another better-looking building at the same rent.
  4. With the Yellow Hat, however, if the economy holds up and their projections are correct,
    the company stands to make a great deal of money. If they are lucky, maybe they could sell the building before the next downturn, or rent to tenants on long-term leases that will
    last through any recession.
  5. With Green Hat thinking, they consider whether they should change the design to make
    the building more pleasant. Perhaps they could build prestige offices that people would
    want to rent in any economic climate. Alternatively, maybe they should invest the money
    in the short term to buy up property at a low cost when a recession comes.
  6. The Blue Hat has been used by the meeting’s Chair to move between the different
    thinking styles. He or she may have needed to keep other members of the team from
    switching styles, or from criticizing other peoples’ points.

Key points

Six Thinking Hats is a good technique for looking at the effects of a decision from a
number of different points of view.

It allows necessary emotion and skepticism to be brought into what would otherwise be
purely rational decisions. It opens up the opportunity for creativity within decision-making. The technique also helps, for example, persistently pessimistic people to be positive and
creative.

Plans developed using the 6 Thinking Hats technique will be sounder and more resilient
than would otherwise be the case. It may also help you to avoid public relations mistakes,
and spot good reasons not to follow a course of action before you have committed to it.

Previous volumes of the series

  1. Introduction
  2. Reversal
  3. Appreciation
  4. Drill Down
  5. SWOT Analysis
  6. Risk Analysis

e-Learning should no longer stand alone

By , July 12, 2008 2:07 am

Since its development from 1979, e-learning has increasingly played an important role in training of many organizations.

Traditional classification of e-learning is categorization. Courses are put into common categories such as: business, soft skills, technology, social sciences

From Horizontal to Basket

However, categorization gradually fall shorts in the need of real organizational training. One professional should have a combination of knowledge and skills across various disciplines. For example, a Project Manager should have Project Management skills, Leadership, Technical skills, Interpersonal and Communication skills, Client Management skills, Time Management skill, Coaching skill and so on. All these skills belong to different categories like Management, Soft Skills, Accounting, Technology. Any organization may want to standardize the training “basket” for each position. A basket contains courses/programs/articles that one person should acquire in order to perform a role.

Learning Basket

then moves on to integration

Now, let’s take a look at the system as a whole. Training is one important part of an organization. Because it is important, it needs tracking and measurement. Key Performance Indicators can be used on Training as on any other departments.

Then an idea crossed my mind: the computer can be taught to ‘know’ what the employees need to learn in order to

  • Follow their career plans
  • Satisfy the organization KPI

e-learning should no longer stand alone, it should be integrated into other systems instead.

What technologies are available?

Can Portlet do that? Just a suggestion. I’m leaving this to the experts here.

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