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Archive for the tag “Enterprise 2.0”

Useful Resources for Looking at Library 2.0

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into Libraries and their adoption of web 2.0 principles/technologies and also Enterprise 2.0. In my research I have come across some excellent information which I am going to share to those of you who are interested.

These resources all come from the Online Computer Library Centre website in the reports section. I cannot stress how complete, in-depth and useful these resources are. The OCLC team conduct huge environmental scans and collect masses of data on Library usage, social networking, emerging technologies, perceptions of libraries and so on with plenty of statistics and graphs to support their studies.

The website contains the following studies (of which can all be downloaded from the website in PDF format):
(Particularly useful documents to the Library 2.0 assignment for INB students are marked with *’s)

You can visit the reports homepage here.

Hope this helps others completing the Enterprise 2.0 RFP assignment as well as anyone looking for information and data to back up Library 2.0 implementations.

Grassroot Enterprise 2.0 projects lead to success

I’ve previously written about adoption of Wikis in company intranets. What I found quite interesting was that Disney’s wiki started as an unsanctioned effort at speeding up and increasing the productivity of their internal faction. It was later recognised as a valuable tool by the higher ranks and upgraded to fully accommodate for their needs. This kind of Enterprise 2.0 stories are often called grassroots stories. This means that the employers have addressed their needs and then the project has risen up through the ranks and recognised by those in authoritative positions. A recent article in the Social Computing Journal found that:

  1. Underground efforts yield big results – Companies are turning a blind eye to underground social software efforts until they prove their worth, after which they integrate them more thoroughly.
  2. Front line workers are driving the vision – Many senior managers still consider social tools something their teenagers use. Young workers, who do not need to be taught or convinced to use these tools, expect them in the workplace.
  3. The business need is the big driver – Social software is not about the tools, it is about what the tools enable the users to do and about the business problems the tools address.
  4. Communities are self-policing – When left to their own devices, communities within enterprise intranets police themselves. Workers tend to retain their professional identities, leaving little need for the organization to institute controls.
  5. Organizations must cede power – As companies have been learning from using Web 2.0 technologies to communicate with their customers, they can no longer fully control their message. This is true, too, when Web 2.0 tools are used in internal communications.

What many people would consider a rare occurrence is now being realized as commonplace. Employees are demanding social media enters their working lives and are even taking their own steps to ensure it is incorporated into their work. It’s an interesting find and I look forward to sharing any other news on the topic that I find.

Discussion on Failures in Adopting Enterprise 2.0

I’ve been reading lately, a tonne of articles discussing why Enterprise 2.0 projects sometimes fall short and why sometimes what sounded so good at first suddenly fell in a big heap of over-hyped software. In this post, I’m going to discuss 3 reasons why Enterprise 2.0 can fail. Check out: 14 Reasons Why Enterprise 2.0 Projects Fail - for a more indepth discussion. A lot of my ideas for this post came from here and it has some very good links to other articles.

1. The tool isn’t sharp enough

Every company has its own requirements when it comes to Enterprise 2.0. The fact of the matter is Enterprise 2.0 giants such as Microsoft Sharepoint (the most popular E2.0 tool on the market) are made to satisfy the masses and appeal to the largest audience possible. What they don’t provide are solutions to individual companies that quite frequently need something specific to their business domain. More specifically, the tools are there, they just aren’t customised enough making it an eternal struggle for the users to make it fit. If your business requires something different to the masses, it could be worth investing in something with more than just the default settings enabled.

2. Spend some money

Not usually what your CEO would want to hear but a lot of Enterprise 2.0 projects fail because no one knows what they are doing. Spend some money on giving basic training about social media tools and what Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 is. Of course, this varies greatly on the context and employees in your business. Usually there will be a portion of a company’s workforce who are keen forerunners in adopting these tools and will learn themselves. But the older ranks will be skeptic and giving them basic information about how “users add value” will get them interested and using the tools in the right way.

Dion Hinchcliffe puts it well, “Understanding what tags are and how they help users locate content later on, publishing frequently requested information in blogs, teaching that wiki editing is safe and that it’s virtually impossible to harm them are all key learnings that many less-social media literate workers will greatly benefit from and can actively address many upfront barriers to adoption.”

3. Why do we need this?

Starting an Enterprise 2.0 project without having a clear idea of what it is going to be used for and what problems it will address is like an 80 year old buying a high-end computer with quad-core processing to read emails. Don’t get sucked in because everyone is doing it. Have a clear purpose and know what it is you are hoping to achieve. That way employees also know what to use it for. There will always be employees who invent great ways to use a tool however to encourage uptake, market it as a solution to an age-old problem that everyone encounters on a day to day basis. For instance, “Don’t send each other a billion emails a day and spend your whole day reading emails. Instead, use a wiki or update your status to let your colleagues know what you are doing.” Everyone hates a full inbox so the interest will rise.

These are just 3 reasons why Enterprise 2.0 projects fail. Of course every failure has its individual reasons but these ones I found quite interesting and possibly more fitting to a wider number of cases. And finally, slightly off topic but entertaining none the less.. here is a list of the “Nine worst social media fails of 2009…thus far“.

Feel free to add comments :) and let me know of any E2.0 fails you have heard of.

Blogs in the Enterprise

This post is concerned with the use of blogs for business purposes (Enterprise 2.0 – blogging). It is important to note that there are two different kinds of blogging for an enterprise: the internal blogging and the external blogging. In this post I’m going to address both of these types of blogging and give some examples of companies who do it well and why the do it well.

Internal blogging

Firstly, let’s discuss internal blogging. This kind of blogging is used by a business to help their internal workings and knowledge management. The blog is used by employees usually on an intranet the business has set up. Each employee can have a blog or specific people such as managers could use a blog to broadcast announcements to their workers. Either way the primary use of a blog is to communicate with co-workers about anything and everything. Business plans, news, pictures from work functions, project updates, ideas, thank yous, meeting notes, the list goes on. A good summary of uses for an internal blog can be found here – GoBigAlways.com – How we use blogs internally. Blogs also provide the ability for other co-workers to provide feedback via commenting system built-in to most blogging platforms.

More benefits for blogging can be found here: Seven Reasons for your Company to Start an Internal Blog,

So now that we know what they are used for, lets have a quick look at some good examples of businesses using internal blogging with great success. Check out these videos on the internal blogging communications for Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and Dell (One Dell Way).

What are your thoughts about internal blogging via anonymous user accounts and anonymous commenting? Good or a bad thing? It certainly provides employees with the ability to make their opinions heard without backlash.

Does anyone have any more information on Dell’s internal blogs? One Way Drive sounds interesting. Let me know by adding a comment.

External blogging

The second, and perhaps more well-known use for Enterprise 2.0 blogs is communicating with the outside world. Companies use corporate blogs to communicate with their customers and the general public about product updates, news, release dates, their day to day doings,  funny events, successes, failures, reviews, asking for feedback, commenting and communicating with customers.

Blogging also provides companies with the ability to frequently update and renew their website/brand whereas with the old form of a company website, the content was rather static and never new. Perhaps the best link I’ve ever found with regards to case studies on Enterprise 2.0 is here. This site gives tonnes of great case study examples on external blogging successes. It also provides tips from those who have “been there and done that”.

A very good example of a company who uses a blog effectively is Google. Their blog, although a little shakey at the start (see their first post and second post “Is this thing on?“), is great at getting information out about new products/services while keeping it real and story-based. Reading it isn’t just reading a marketing campaign, it’s about reading a story. For instance:

“My cousin is in first grade and sometimes she writes short stories for class. I try to share the stories with her grandparents, but because Japanese is their first language and they don’t speak English very well, it’s been tough. Today we’re releasing a feature for Google Docs to make this kind of multi-lingual sharing easier — you can now automatically translate documents into 42 different languages,” (Google Blog: Translate Documents – Sharing across languages and generations).

Blogging tips (internal and external blogging)

There are a few things I’ve realised from reading vastly about E2.0 blogging. One is thefear employees have of writing something wrong, or incorrect, or damaging on their blog, Facebook page or so on. There is an interesting article here offering tips on what to keep in mind when using social media.

When communicating to customers and clients via an external blog don’t market your product. Don’t use blogging as a way to spam your followers with advertising. Instead, build a relationship with them, offer support and information that is valuable to them. As a side-effectthis will help your business grow and expand. Your company website is for selling your product, the blog is to compliment the product and help customers. It can be used to disclose information about new products as such but should never be trying to sell the new product. Blogging is a way of communicating on a more personal level with internet users and a good blog will help the word of your product spread through the blogosphere and around the Internet.

Post with a point or for a purpose. Don’t post for no reason. And have a sense of humour. A lot of the attraction of reading a blog is in the style and writing ability of the blogger. Keep things interesting, funny, controversial and leading edge.

Enhancing the Enterprise 2.0 community

Introduction

Firstly, I’d like to start by introducing the QUT’s Enterprise 2.0 hub DigitalOrgs.net. Its our community hub for anything web 2.0 including blogs, useful links, wikis, RSS feeds and so on so feel free to come and have a look. The site is new and under construction but is slowly getting there.

Enhancing our community

I’ve been giving some thought into how we can enhance the sharing, collaboration and learning experience within our community of Enterprise 2.0 professionals, academics, novices and those interested. I’ve looked at the DigitalOrgs.net wiki and thought I’d give my slant on some of the ideas and also review some of the web 2.0 tools at the same time.

1. Delicious bookmarking

Delicious is a social bookmarking tool that puts the fun in bookmarking (or so it claims). Embrace the “tastiest bookmarks on the web” by joining the world of social bookmarking. Simply sign up and you can start bookmarking and tagging your favourite links. You can also install the Delicious browser Add-in to make access to your bookmarks and tags even easier.

So what does delicious offer? Delicious gives you the power to tag and bookmark your favourite links from any computer with your online account whether you own that computer or not. Found an interesting link? Send it to your friends via Delicious. Subscribe to tags and users you find most interesting. Furthermore, check out the most popular links on the Web. But best of all, you can organise your links via tags and categories to suit your needs all in your toolbar or via delicious.com.

How can Delicious enhance our community? Easy. By signing up to Delicious, communities of people with similar interests can be formed. Within this community bookmarks to the best of the best in Enterprise 2.0 content can be shared easily amongst one another helping us all learn together.You can follow my Delicious account at: http://delicious.com/benmccallum/

2. LinkedIn

For those of you who haven’t heard of LinkedIn here is a video to show you what its all about. Its a great network for connecting with business partners, colleagues and potential business associates. So why not give it a shot? It could get you that dream job. Add my LinkedIn account here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-mccallum/15/62/a95

So how can LinkedIn help us? You can create communities via LinkedIn wiht people that share your common interests. So by creating an E2.0 community on LinkedIn we can meet and share information with people that share our passion for Enterprise 2.0. DigitalOrgs.net has created a LinkedIn community for Enterprise 2.0 here.

Hopefully these web 2.0 tools can help us to create a larger Enterprise 2.0 community to enhance our learning and share our thoughts and opinions with a wider audience.

What do Pixar, Google, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, P&G and Best Buy have in common? E2.0

Continuing on from my last few posts, I’ve found an interesting study conducted by McKinsey Quarterly titled, “Six ways to make Web 2.0 work“. The article is 100% focused on the internal aspects of Web 2.0 in businesses (or Enterprise 2.0) and discusses topics such as:

  • The new tools available to business in comparison to older style tools. Ie. Automatic transactions vs. enabling participation and collaboration.
  • The gains to be harvested from unlocking this participation
  • 6 ways to unlock participation amongst employees and make web 2.0 work.
  • and what’s next?

Particularly of interest to me were the numerous case studies they reported. I’ve just taken huge chunks of block quotes here to demonstrate my point but you should definitely read the whole article for more clarification and meaning.

At Lockheed Martin, for instance, a direct report to the CIO championed the use of blogs and wikis when they were introduced. The executive evangelized the benefits of Web 2.0 technologies to other senior leaders and acted as a role model by establishing his own blog. He set goals for adoption across the organization, as well as for the volume of contributions. The result was widespread acceptance and collaboration across the company’s divisions.

[...]

At AT&T, it was frontline staffers who found the best use for a participatory technology—in this case, using Web 2.0 for collaborative project management. Rather than dictating the use, management broadened participation by supporting an awareness campaign to seed further experimentation. Over a 12-month period, the use of the technology rose to 95 percent of employees, from 65 percent.

[...]

Google is an instructive case to the contrary. It has modified the way work is typically done and has made Web tools relevant to how employees actually do their jobs. The company’s engineers use blogs and wikis as core tools for reporting on the progress of their work. Managers stay abreast of their progress and provide direction by using tools that make it easy to mine data on workflows. Engineers are better able to coordinate work with one another and can request or provide backup help when needed. The easily accessible project data allows senior managers to allocate resources to the most important and time-sensitive projects.

Pixar moved in a similar direction when it upgraded a Web 2.0 tool that didn’t quite mesh with the way animators did their jobs. The company started with basic text-based wikis to share information about films in production and to document meeting notes. That was unsatisfactory, since collaborative problem solving at the studio works best when animators, software engineers, managers, and directors analyze and discuss real clips and frames from a movie. Once Pixar built video into the wikis, their quality improved as critiques became more relevant. The efficiency of the project groups increased as well.

[...]

To select users who will help drive a self-sustaining effort (often enthusiastic early technology adopters who have rich personal networks and will thus share knowledge and exchange ideas), a thoughtful approach is required. When P&G introduced wikis and blogs to foster collaboration among its workgroups, the company targeted technology-savvy and respected opinion leaders within the organization. Some of these people ranked high in the corporate hierarchy, while others were influential scientists or employees to whom other colleagues would turn for advice or other assistance.

When Best Buy experimented with internal information markets, the goal was to ensure that participation helped to create value. In these markets, employees place bets on business outcomes, such as sales forecasts.6 To improve the chances of success, Best Buy cast its net widely, going beyond in-house forecasting experts; it also sought out participants with a more diverse base of operational knowledge who could apply independent judgment to the prediction markets. The resulting forecasts were more accurate than those produced by the company’s experts.

Source: McKinsey Quarterly. (2009). Six ways to make Web 2.0 work. Retrieved August 21, 2009, from, http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Six_ways_to_make_Web_20_work_2294#SubmitLetter

Enterprise 2.0 in action

After my last post I have decided to take another angle at businesses using enterprise 2.0. In this post I’m going to discuss only one company who has used enterprise 2.0 in their business internally. Why only one? Because there’s a lot to talk about and you don’ t want to be reading this all day.

A company I found that has dived head first into adopting enterprise 2.0 is that of Accenture, a global consulting firm, (Buckler, 2007). The CTO of Accenture, Donald Rippert, sees the future of technology in the enterprise merging with technology in the realm of web 2.0. In 2007, Accenture went live with “a new global employee network that looks much like Facebook,” (Buckler, 2007). After discovering how easy it was to find content on Youtube, no matter how novice or unheard of the content creator, Rippert wondered why finding information on their corporate database and archives was next to impossible. The key to solving the mystery lay in the way social media and web 2.0 applications use and promote tagging of content. So in a similar manner that delicious enables tagging, the idea of users adding value and assisting searches via tags was conceived.

After introducing the online global network within Accenture, the company then introduced several other web 2.0 tools that they transformed/reinvented into their own enterprise 2.0 tools. These include a wiki called Accenturepedia and a video-based knowledge sharing system called AccentureTube (borrowing its name from web 2.0 site YouTube). Accenturepedia runs much like any other wikis allowing employees access to centralised data to which they can contribute themselves. AccentureTube acts as one large internal video database which users can upload work-related content, tag it and share amongst colleagues. The idea was to keep the system familiar (by borrowing ideas from YouTube), to enhance and promote its use, (Neal, 2008).

In terms of the Wikinomics business models (Peering, Being Open, Sharing and Acting Globally), Accenture has been able to achieve all of these goals internally. The company was already global so by offering the enterprise 2.0 tools without pressure they fostered and promoted global interactions amongst their employees. This in turn lead to peering, in that the different facets of the company could collaborate, find each other and communicate ideas easily. Although I have not discussed how Accenture reaches out to its community, they are miles ahead in terms of sharing their innovations, reasearch and experiences across a broad range of fields including their adoption of enterprise 2.0 via their website. They are actively being open and sharing their information to the wider community via blogs, podcasts and downloadable documents.

Accenture’s enterprise 2.0 ventures can also be compared to the SLATES paradigm as proposed by Andrew McAfee. Firstly, searching was made easier by the ability for employees to tag media with keywords. Secondly, linking was acceleratd by giving the masses the ability to edit wikis, tag media and so forth hence creating a dense link structure in their intranet. Thirdly, employees were given the ability to author. They can edit, create and contribute to the Accenturepedia wikis. This also steams from the inherent nature of web 2.0 being about collaboration, the network effect and users adding value (some patterns identified by Tim O’Reilly as being at the heart of web 2.0). Tagging was delivered by Accenture as discussed earlier to categorise and give relevance to content so that user could find and gain information more quickly. Extensions come of course with tagging, the AccentureTube if similar to YouTube, would use tags to offer relevant and similar types of video content to the user in a side pane, extending extra content to them. Signalling would be intergrated into their enterprise 2.0 tools to enable users to quickly view what has changed and what content has been added. This could come in the form of RSS feeds or email updates to changes in a wiki they are monitoring.

Finally, how does Accenture’s E2.0 infrastucture address Dion Hinchcliffe’s extension to the SLATES paradigm? Hinchcliffe sights social, emergent, freeform and network-oriented elements as an important part of enterprise 2.0. In my opinion the Accenture infrastucture covers the social, emergent and freeform nature of E2.0 and its fully web-based nature allows information to be addressable and reusable.

For anyone interested, I’ve found a video interview with the director of Fast Innovation and director of innovation, technology and learning at Accenture that might be of interest here. In particular, she briefly mentions how she tried to convince management to get an “avatar”.

Thank you for reading my post. I’ll keep up updated if I find any more interesting news articles on Accenture.

References
Accenture. (2009). Accenture GLobal Research and Insights. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, https://www.accenture.com/Global/Research_and_Insights/default.htm
Buckler, G. (2007). Accenture CTO gets his Web 2.0 on. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=43006
Dawsom, R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0 – Sample Chapter. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from, http://implementingenterprise2.com/IE2_Sample_Chapter_2.pdf
Koser, M. (2009). Accenture gets into Intranet 2.0. Retrieved, August 19, 2009, from,  http://www.frogpond.de/index.php/archive/accenture-gets-into-intranet-20/
Neal, D. (2008). Innovation comes as a standard. Retrieved, August 19, from, http://www.computing.co.uk/itweek/analysis/2215255/innovation-comes-standard
Ross, J. (2009). FASTforward’09 Interview: Kirsti Kierulf, Director, The Fast Innovation Center and Director, Innovation, Technology, and Learning, Accenture. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from, http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2009/02/10/fastforward09-interview-kirsti-kierulf-director-the-fast-innovation-center-and-director-innovation-technology-and-learning-accenture/

Enterprise 2.0 to become a multi-billion dollar industry

I’ve just come across this link which says that by 2013, Enterprise 2.0 will be $4.6 Billion by 2013 according to Forrester Research. Of course I can’t access the .pdf document because it is US $1500 to purchase but you can read the blog written about the article here.

Interestingly, the article depicts that web 2.0 tools such as: Blogger, Facebook, NetVibes and Twitter were not Enterprise 2.0 because they had ads and were not design for an enterprise environment. I would argue that this is incorrect; 1. because Twitter doesn’t have any “overly noticeable” ads but also because these tools can still be used by companies if only as a start up tool before they have to purchase an expensive E2.0 tool to better manage the interactions.

The article also discusses that the biggest challenge facing E2.0 in the future is getting past the “IT gatekeepers” of the businesses. That is, trying to convince the older generation to shift their investments into new technology. This is very well said in the article and a very important point. The quicker businesses change their view on social media the faster they can learn and begin to gain the benefits from using it.

Futhermore, some interesting patterns are identified. External marketing is predicted to outweigh the expediture of enterprise 2.0 tools for the business internally this year. Currently the predominant age of social media users is 12-17, but by 2011, the users of web will match the users of web 2.0 tools (overall).

Feel free to read more about the article at the following link: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/enterprise_20_to_become_a_46_billion_industry.php

Businesses and Web 2.0 tools

Recently I was asked to elaborate on my post “Increasing productivity with Web 2.0” by giving examples of some enterprises using web 2.0 tools in their business. So I’ve done some research and here’s what I’ve found:

In McKinsey Quarterly Magazine (2007), there was an article about how businesses are using web 2.0 technologies. There survey results determined the following,

“More than half of the executives surveyed say they are pleased with the results of their investments in Internet technologies over the past five years, and nearly three-quarters say that their companies plan to maintain or increase investments in Web 2.0 technologies in coming years. (A mere 13 percent say they are disappointed with previous investments.) Companies that acted quickly in the previous wave of investment are more satisfied than late movers. Less than a fifth of all those surveyed say they are very satisfied with their returns. Of those who rate themselves as very satisfied, 46 percent are “early adopters” and 44 percent “fast followers””

Furthermore,

“Asked what might have been done differently to make the previous investments in Internet technologies more effective, only 18 percent say they would not have acted differently. Forty-two percent say they would have strengthened their companies’ internal capabilities to make the most of the market opportunity at hand. Among the 24 percent who say they would have moved faster, many describe their companies as fast followers or early adopters—a strategy consistent with the view that speed is of the essence in technology investments.”

Although these findings are now a bit outdated, it is clear that companies that are acting quickly, investing in new web 2.0 technologies are gaining significant financial benefits within their businesses. So what are the technologies that businesses are investing in?

Some of the most common web 2.0 technologies being used by businesses include: wikis, blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds and P2P networking tools (McKinsey, 2007). It appears that collaboration and communication tools are the most used tools by business for use within the organisation or to communicate with customers. These technologies were cited as achieving the most visible, immediate and least costly benefit to the business (McKinsey, 2007).

Blogging within businesses
Some of the most known business using blogs for internal, external and in management purposes include: Google, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Time Warner, Nike, Pepsi, Mitsubishi and McGraw-Hill says Jeremy Wright on his blog “How Many Fortune’s 500′s Blogging“. I’ve included a wide range of companies (not just technologically-based ones) in this list on purpose to show how widespread blogging is.

Wikis within organisations
Wikis are also a common tool used internally for employees to communicate. Last night I was talking to my girlfriend’s family about their social interactions for another assignment I’m doing and discovered that they both use wikis at work to communicate amongst teachers at their respective schools. Both are Principals at state schools in Queensland and are using wikis every day to communicate with their co-workers. Many organisations and businesses use wikis as a tool for collaborating or communicating with one another.

Podcasts and RSS feeds within businesses
Podcasting can be used by management to update employees on issues and the latest news, but perhaps more interesting is the way podcasts are used to update the public and their customers on the latest news and information. This is very common in the Interactive Entertainment industry where game developers use syndicating and podcasts (as well as blogs) to update their devoted fans with interviews and such. Examples can be found at Blizzcast: http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcast/
Well I hope this gives you more insight into how businesses are using web 2.0 tools in their business. I could talk about this forever but I think this post is already long enough. Feel free to add any comments about businesses you know are using other web 2.0 tools. For example: Basecamp is used by companies to organise team projects.

References

McKinsey&Company. (2007). How Businesses are Using Web 2.0: A Global Survey. Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/How_businesses_are_using_Web_20_A_McKinsey_Global_Survey_1913

Wright, J. (2005). How Many Fortune 500′s Blogging? Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://www.ensight.org/2005/03/07/how-many-fortune-500s-blogging/

Blizzard. (2009). Blizzcast – The Blizzard Entertainment Podcast. Retrieved, August 15, 2009, from http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcast/

Increase your productivity with web 2.0

The rise of web 2.0 is perhaps more famous for its social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, but underneath the hype of social media websites there are a myriad of tools made simply to make our lives easier. This blog post is designed to give you guys some links to great web 2.0 tools to increase your productivity in everyday life.

Collaboration is at the very heart of web 2.0 and as such these tools can bring a new meaning to sharing and collaboration. Almost every tool in this blog post gives users the ability to share their findings with the world. The network effect is a term used to describe the added value a user gives to an application. The greater the number of users of an application the greater value that application will have for its users.

Tools for the workplace or study environment

  • Take Google Docs for instance. Signing up allows you to create and share online documents and invite people to view or edit them AT THE SAME TIME as you are. Check out the video here.
  • Need to create a mind map for an upcoming project? Why not do it online at Thinkature.com. This site makes mind mapping easy, and editable. Plus you can share it with co-workers to work on collaboratively.
  • Many people find it hard to update and manage their personal and work calendars. Get rid of the old paperback calendar and upgrade to Google Calendar. This tool allows you to manage your calendar online from any computer or internet-capable mobile device so you can take it wherever you go. It also allows you share your schedule with family or co-workers. And if you really don’t have time to check the calendar, why not let it remind you via an email or sms reminder?
  • Need a job? Or looking to increase your network to increase job opportunities? Why not check out LinkedIn.com, the tool that lets you link with networks of people and collaborate on business ideas or share your expertise.

Tools for more personal use

  • Bookmarking used to be a personal, home computer sort of thing. But with sites like delicious, you can take your bookmarks with you anywhere. Furthermore, delicious organises and allows you to share these bookmarks with the world so everyone can have the best links to the best information.
  • YouTube.com is an extremely popular website for viewing videos. Anything you’ ever need is one there, and if its not, upload a video yourself. YouTube is also a hugely popular advertising tool for viral ads, company ads or personal advertising.
  • Amazon.com lets you find books for personal or study use in their huge range of products. Its your one-stop-shop for books, DVDs and CDs.
  • Flickr.com – Upload your pictures for friends and the world to view. Customise the  privacy settings and invite friends to view your pictures all for free.

I hope you have found many of these links useful for increasing your productivity in the workplace or at home.

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