Introduction to blogging

September 9, 2009

Blog this

Blogs are simply publishing platforms that make it easy for users to create and publish content. Most traditional publishing platforms require a bit of a learning curve, whether for the tool itself or for the markup language used to encode the content. Many ARMA chapters for example have a hard time maintaining their websites because that requires someone to know HTML, probably Javascript, and maybe even a particular tool like Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver.

Blogs eliminate a lot of the complexity of publishing. For most blog platforms, the sequence is literally this easy: click New Post, type the post, and click Publish. That’s it. And adding hyperlinks, images, and even text formatting is almost as simple – most blogs today support WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing similar to Microsoft Word. It’s so simple that according to Technorati, more than 130 million blogs have been created (though to be fair the vast majority of these have also been abandoned).

Posts are generally arranged in reverse chronological order, so the most recent content is at the top of the page. The page will automatically display the most recent posts, and as posts age, they will automatically be removed from the home page and stored at the other end of an “archive” link. Some blogging tools allow the user to create categories for a bit easier navigation; many of them also allow authors to “tag” posts with keywords. Readers of the blog can then click on a particular tag and the blog will display all posts that include that tag.

Blogging today

So how are organizations using blogs today? Any communications or publications that are largely one-way or broadcast in nature can be extended or even replaced with blogs. For example, many organizations have projects underway at any given time. Updates, draft deliverables, and meetings are all set up, negotiated, responded to, and generally worked using way too much email. A number of organizations have started setting up project blogs where the project manager and project leads can post updates, links to draft documents, etc. Meeting requests, draft agendas, and meeting notes can all be published to the blog. And users can subscribe to only those updates that interest them, all of the updates for a particular project, or even all of the updates from all of the projects underway.

Blogs are also used as change logs. It has long been a best practice in IT to note any changes introduced to a server or application including hardware changes, service packs or upgrades, or even hot fixes so that if anything goes wrong the changes can be backed out systematically. This is often done in a spreadsheet or even a paper ledger. Now consider that by replacing the log with a blog, those updates are more readily available to other staff, stakeholders, and even end users. Consider also that if IT is making changes to the email system, the system generally has to be taken down; that means that IT has to figure out a way to blast to everyone once it comes back up or suffer an endless line of users stopping by to ask when it will be back up. Point people to the blog – as long as there is network access users will be able to access it.

And the list goes on. All of the benefits-related updates from HR. Company-wide announcements about the summer picnic or a list of client wins. Posts from people selling their old grill or looking for a carpool buddy. All of these take up lots of time and energy in the email box and quickly get lost in the deluge – and all of them could be published in a blog where users could get to them as they find time and interest.

Managing blogging effectively

By now, some of you will be thinking, “Waitaminnit – I can’t put project plans and HR announcements on a public blog! What are you thinking?!” While most blogs are public, a lot of them are not, and most of the uses I just described are arguably things that should NOT be public.

To answer that need, a number of vendors offer enterprise blogging tools. These tools start by allowing more comprehensive customization of the look & feel of the blog but also offer some very enterprise-friendly tools. For example, the blog can be deployed in a more secure fashion, often hosted from within the organization’s firewall. It can also be integrated into the organization’s Active Directory or other identity infrastructure, meaning that there is always a way to track who is posting what, who is commenting on what, and in some cases even who is reading what. These tools also offer the ability to archive posts and comments in a more robust fashion and can ensure that posts and comments cannot be changed once they have been published. This can be important from a records management perspective.

Another issue many of you will want to consider is what information can be published, particularly on public blogs, and how you can control that. My short answer is, “You can’t”. In other words, since most commercial blog services are free, if you block someone’s blog it is trivially easy for them to start up another one. Some organizations allow or even encourage blogging – but require each post to be cleared by 14 levels of bureaucracy prior to posting. Those posts will not be read by anyone because they will sound like they went through 14 levels of bureaucracy. Blogs that are read are authentic, relevant, and written in the author’s voice; Blogs that are full of happy shiny marketspeak, or bland, boring pabulum, will wither and die quickly.

So the better approach here is simply, “Don’t be stupid”. In other words, tell authors in broad strokes what can and cannot be discussed in public. Some are obvious but bear repeating, like forward-looking financial information or confidential information. Others will be specific to an organization, such as keeping the blog purely business-oriented (or purely industry-oriented and NOT business-specific). My employers have never authorized my blog, though they are aware that I blog – instead, they trust me to “not be stupid” and I don’t give them a reason to regret that trust.

Getting started with blogging

The easiest way to start blogging is to start blogging. There are a number of free hosted blogging platforms available including Blogger and WordPress; many of the more popular social networking sites also provide blogging capabilities. You can create your own blog in less than 5 minutes using a hosted provider.

Once you’ve started the blog, start writing! Blog about what interests you and that you are passionate about. Blogs that are written out of a sense that you “should” be blogging, or blogging about a specific topic, will not keep your interest and will wither.

As you start writing, remember to use your own voice. I blog the way I blog – less frequently, generally longer posts, sometimes off-topic and dealing with recipes or my speaking schedule. You should blog the way you should blog – which might be the same but might also be dramatically different

Another key point is that you have to keep at it, particularly if you don’t write a lot in other contexts. If your blog is good, people will find it and read it – as long as you keep posting to it. If you don’t, no matter how good your posts were, people will stop reading it.

Some bloggers get pretty serious about themes, plug-ins, badges, widgets, and all manner of other stuff. And truth be told, my primary blog has some of that there as well. But if the content isn’t there, all of the rest of it will be useless; moreover, a significant majority of users who read blogs don’t read them on the blog website, but through RSS feeds, meaning they won’t see any of the themes or add-ins to begin with. So focus on the writing, both quality and frequency.

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Something wiki this way comes

September 9, 2009

Do you enjoy collaborating via email, with all the versions, changes, comments, and collaborators to keep track of? You say you don’t, but don’t want to spend tons of money on a formal content or document management system that’s much too complex for what you need? Maybe the right solution starts with a lesson in Hawaiian!

What’s a wiki?

Wiki comes from the Hawaiian word “wiki”, meaning “quick”. The first wiki, WikiWikiWeb, was created in 1995; today there are dozens of wiki applications available, including both free and low-cost commercial solutions and enterprise solutions.

At their core, wikis are websites that are easy to update for non-technical users. The wiki application provides users with a simple syntax or WYSIWYG editor and basic rules that streamline the creation of new pages as well as the editing of existing ones.

Wikis generally allow all users access to edit content, including deletion, and track changes as part of the core functionality. This makes it easy to keep content current – if a user sees something that is outdated or flat-out incorrect it’s trivial to fix it. Many wikis also support RSS feeds for changes so users can see recent updates and back them out if necessary.

Perhaps the most well-known wiki is Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org), “the free encyclopedia anyone can edit”. Since its inception in 2001, Wikipedia has become home to more than 3 million articles in English and over 13 million articles total in 264 languages. By comparison, the 32-volume Encyclopedia Brittanica includes approximately 65,000 articles. The Wikimedia Foundation supports a number of other reference-oriented wiki projects, including Wiktionary, Wikibooks, and the WikiMedia Commons, a repository of images and other media files.

Use cases for wikis

Many organizations collaborate today using email to schedule meetings, exchange drafts, and gather feedback. These attempts often fall well short of the mark because users lose important messages in the flood of email they receive everyday. Someone also has to collate all the different versions and comments, determine which ones to keep, and send the revised document out to start the cycle again.

Instead, the author can post a draft document or article to a wiki. By making changes directly to the document in the wiki, other collaborators can eliminate a significant amount of email traffic and ensure that their changes are included. At the same time, editors or managers can review and accept changes or back them out and keep the previous version.

A wiki can also be an effective tool for managing projects. Project plans, schedules and deliverables can be posted to a wiki and updated by the team members doing the work. Nokia, Texas Instruments, Yahoo, and Ziff Davis all use wikis to brainstorm, put together project schedules, and collaborate anywhere users have internet access.

Something wiki this way comes

One of the challenges organizations face in using wikis is that anyone can make changes to articles, including articles for which they have no expertise; where they are flat-out wrong; or where they have an agenda or particular point of view to push.

Moreover, as the wiki gets larger, it becomes difficult to review all the changes all the time. As a result of these issues, Wikipedia now tracks the username or IP address of anyone making changes to an article, and articles that are subject to vandalism get locked down.

There is also a tendency for articles that are heavily edited to start to drift from the original topic. This may not be as much of an issue for a wiki focused on a particular deliverable such as a records retention policy or project schedule.

Wikis benefit tremendously from having someone who takes ownership for the focus of the articles, their readability, etc. – but the benefits may not be readily apparent to those paying for the wiki.

Finally, wikis can stagnate just like any other knowledge-centric endeavor. The wiki should be reviewed periodically for outdated or incorrect articles and those articles either corrected or removed.

Working for the wiki

The easiest way to understand wikis is to start a wiki. There are a number of hosted services that can be used to start experimenting with wikis, and many of them are free for limited usage. Do a search for “free wiki” and take a look at the first few offerings.

Wikis are available in both hosted and installed versions. One of the benefits of a hosted solution is that there is no software to install or update and no hardware to commit. When the provider releases updates they are automatically provisioned. On the other hand, organizations may be reluctant to discuss sensitive or confidential topics on a hosted wiki even when security is implemented. In that case it may make more sense to install the wiki software inside the firewall. The same MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia is an open-source application that can be downloaded and installed; there are other providers, and some vendors even offer appliances that can simply be plugged into the network and set up rapidly.

Enterprises that want to implement a wiki should look for a solution that includes more robust security and audit trails, that ties into directory services, that has basic content management capabilities, is full-text searchable, supports multimedia files (images, audio, video), and that makes it as easy as possible for users to edit through templates and WYSIWYG editors. You’ll also want the capability to “publish” specific articles and pages or the entire wiki. The good news is that there are a number of these available and the list continues to grow – search for “enterprise wiki”.

Wikis show great potential to streamline collaborative efforts, particularly for document- and review-intensive processes. But they have to be used and tended periodically.

What are you doing? A gentle introduction to Twitter

August 7, 2009

It’s the latest, greatest buzzword. Every newscast now asks and commentator now asks you to follow them on it. Shaquille O’Neal is there, and so is President Obama; Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore both have real presences, and even the incoming President of ARMA International has joined the party. So what is the big deal about Twitter?

What are you doing?

If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s a Web-based service that invites its users to answer the question, “What are you doing?” The catch is that you only get 140 characters to do this. That may not seem like a lot of space, but it’s based on allowing users to update their status with text messages from their phones. SMS has a 160-character limit, and Twitter keeps 20 characters of that for your username.

Here’s a better definition of Twitter that comes from Ari Herzog. Ari is a social media consultant, writer, and marketer, and when his barber asked what Twitter was, he responded, “It is part text messaging and part blogging, with the ability to update on your cellphone or computer, but constrained to 140 characters.” Note that this definition, without quotation marks, is only 137 characters.

One of the reasons Twitter has grown so rapidly is that it can be updated using your phone’s text messaging capability, through the website itself, through a client on your smartphone, through desktop-based clients, by linking Twitter to other websites like Facebook or your blog, or even by email or IM.

Twitter users can follow other users, but it doesn’t have to be reciprocal; according to FriendorFollow.com, one of many Twitter-enabled service websites, here are my statistics as of this writing. I follow 363 people, while 738 people follow me. Of those, I follow 4 that don’t follow me back, while 285 users follow me that I don’t follow back.

There are any number of reasons for that, which I will explore in a much longer article later in the year, but one of the key aspects of Twitter is this asymmetrical model where you can follow whoever you want and see what they are saying, and anyone else can do the same for your Twitter stream. You can make your updates private, but it’s not nearly as useful that way, and I don’t generally ask to follow accounts set to private unless I really know that person well.

The business case for Twitter

So let’s go back to Ari’s definition of twitter as a mix of texting and blogging. Twitter enjoys the immediacy and simplicity of texting while being a fundamentally public service. In other words, it’s not siloed like texting, or the nearest business equivalent, email. In fact, Adina Levin from SocialText, an enterprise wiki and social media company, describes enterprise microblogging (Twitter) as “more private than public Twitter, and more transparent than email.”

That makes Twitter the perfect application for one-way broadcasting of short, fairly transitory types of information such as announcements of meetings or promotions; quick commentary on a link (along with the link itself); sharing resources via links; breaking news about the organization or the industry; and informal polling (e.g. “What should we have for lunch today?”. This has not been lost on first responders like the Los Angeles Fire Department, who uses Twitter as a sort of reverse-911 system to keep its constituents informed. Granted, not everyone is on Twitter, so it’s not a replacement for more traditional systems, but it is an additional system to reach more people more quickly.

Most of the blog posts about Twitter focus on the fluidity and speed of Twitter as a collaborative tool. A user could make a request for information or assistance, such as “Whenever I open X tool I get Y error message. What gives?” If I know the answer I can respond very quickly; if I don’t, I can always forward to the people that follow me and perhaps one of them will respond. The request can be transmitted to a vast number of users very quickly.

Twitter makes it fairly easy to share links as well, and it is not uncommon for bloggers to link to their latest posts, analysts and vendors to Tweet links to new white papers, and so forth. Good resources get forwarded; bad or excessively sales-y resources don’t.

One of the very popular use cases for Twitter deals with presentations. This takes two related forms. The first is for users to Tweet key points or salient details of a presentation they are attending. Everyone following them can read the points and understand at second hand what the presentation is about, how it’s going, whether it’s a good, content-rich session or a sales pitch, etc. The second serves as a more immediate feedback loop and backchannel. In other words, while the presenter is presenting, users are Twittering instantaneous feedback based on the presentation. Either in real time or later, the presenter can respond to that feedback. Now extend that to a geographically dispersed project team on a conference call, and imagine that the feedback relates to a deliverable under discussion.

Twecords management?

We want to manage records according to their content and context, not according to media. That said, it is difficult to understand what types of records could be created in the space of 140 characters. The LAFD stream I noted above might qualify, but that’s probably the exception rather than the rule.

The first key consideration for Twitter and the RIM program is that it could be discoverable, just as any other type of information. In other words, if it’s relevant and it exists, it might need to be produced. There are a number of ways to do this, ranging from conducting keyword searches on the Twitter stream (public or private) to copying the Tweets from Twitter to e.g. a database or Excel spreadsheet (and there are services to automate this).

The next is to look at the compliance aspects, particularly with regards to data protection, privacy, confidentiality, etc. Just as a financial services firm wouldn’t send out insider trading information via email, or IM, or a postcard, so it shouldn’t do that via Twitter.

There are enterprise versions of Twitter that can be restricted to an organization’s employees or even installed within the firewall. These are not Twitter, per se, but many of them provide similar capabilities with the addition of security, archiving and retention, integration into the identity infrastructure, and better filtering.

Twitter today, Twitter tomorrow!

In order to “get” Twitter, you really have to use it. My experience with Twitter is similar to many peoples’ – I signed up, didn’t follow anyone, didn’t Twitter a bunch of useless inanities, and quit using it. It took 8 months for me to give it another chance; this time, though, I followed about 20 people whose blogs I read regularly and spent some time lurking, just following quietly. Eventually I started to see the different ways in which it could be useful to me personally and professionally, as noted earlier, such that given a choice today between email and Twitter, and losing one of them permanently and irrevocably, I’d choose Twitter.

Twitter’s not the right solution for everyone. It can be a time sink. You cannot follow everyone on Twitter and still do your job. But it can be a helpful resource for most people and I encourage everyone reading this who has not tried Twitter to give it a chance.

About the author

Jesse Wilkins is a Principal Consultant with Access Sciences Corporation, where he focuses on electronic records management, email management, and Web 2.0 strategy, program development, and system selection and implementation. He also teaches the AIIM ERM, ECM, and Email Management Certificate Programs. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessewilkins.

Ten steps to take control of your inbox

July 30, 2009
Most organizations don’t manage their email very well – and there are any number of white papers out there about how to archive everything, or how to manage email messages as records, or the value of outsourcing email, etc. But very few of them address the reason why email is so out of control – us! Most of us don’t use email very effectively, whether on an individual message basis or in managing our inboxes. So the focus of this article is on steps you can take to be more effective in how you use email.
1. Close your email client. The vast majority of us keep our email client open all day long, just in case an important message comes in. This leaves us vulnerable to distraction every time a message comes in, whether it’s that important note from the boss, an invitation to a webinar that may or may not be of interest, or an update on next week’s potluck.
2. Turn off alerts. If you can’t close your email client you can minimize it, but it doesn’t help if it pops up an alert every time one of those messages comes in. So turn off the alerts. If you don’t want to turn them off completely because you might miss an important email, set up specific alerts for, say, messages from your boss or the project team you’re working with.
3. Set specific times to check your email. Some argue NOT to check your email first thing in the morning – because you’ll look up and find you’ve already wasted hours on it. Others insist they have to check it first in case something urgent came up overnight. Regardless, by setting up times and adhering to them, you’ll greatly reduce the distraction of email.
4. Reduce colleague spam, both what you send and what you receive. This means paying attention to the CC: and especially BCC: functionality. Consider whether someone really needs to be informed of the contents of the message or if it’s just an exercise in covering yourself. This is especially true when it comes to the “Reply All” button, which is so abused that some organizations have taken the step of configuring their email systems to turn that capability off. If your staff CC:s you on everything, consider whether you actually read those CC:ed messages; if you don’t, maybe they shouldn’t be cluttering up your inbox.
5. Reduce attachment spam. Just as not everyone in the organization needs to receive a copy of a given message, not everyone in the thread needs to receive all the attachments associated with the thread. Attachments can take up a lot of space in the inbox; more importantly, as attachments proliferate it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which one is the most current. One way to address both of these concerns is to send links rather than attachments. This can also ensure that attachments cannot be forwarded to people who shouldn’t see them – the user who clicks on the link can be made to log in in order to access the file.
6. Touch each message only once. This is the hallmark of the email management = time management movement as espoused by David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero, and many others. The point is to act on a message when you get it: file it, respond to it, take action related to it, defer it for a specific response, delete it, etc. The usual caveats about records management apply; the point is that you don’t keep all your email in the inbox until it becomes too overwhelming.
7. Use meaningful subject lines. Blank subject lines often end up in the Junk Mail or Spam folder. But too often the subject line is either very generic, such as “Stuff”, “Friday”, “Our discussion from yesterday”, etc. – or it’s the same subject line from 20 messages ago, even though the focus of the discussion has changed several times in the interim. Almost all email clients can follow threads without keeping the subject line the same. Better subject lines also lead to better responsiveness because the recipient can determine how quickly a response is needed and can be provided. And better subject lines make it easier to locate a message later should it become necessary.
8. Don’t use email as a filing cabinet. Too many of us keep all of our email because that’s where our documents live – as attachments. Some will even email documents to themselves, creating attachments in order to save them in the email system. Email systems are designed to send, route, receive, and store messages for short periods; they are not designed to be the final repository for information. The more email stored, the worse the system performs, which is why email archiving was initially so popular. They are not designed to optimize findability. And it is extraordinarily difficult to use them to manage messages that should be treated as records. Finally, many organizations still have mailbox size limits, and when that limit is reached because of the volume of attachments stored, too many users simply delete by size rather than by value or importance.
9. Reduce the amount of bacn you consume. Bacn is a term coined in 2007 to describe “email you want, but not right now.” It refers to updates from vendors, announcements from your local ARMA or AIIM chapter, the Dilbert cartoon-of-the-day, etc. It’s not spam, but if you can’t get to it, it won’t directly impact your job. I was the poster boy for this and at one time I was receiving more than 400 emails a day. Today I have unsubscribed from almost all of those sources and my inbox is usually good for about 50 messages a day, with more than 90% of them being directly work-related. And I still get the information I need, because I…
10. Use the right tool for the job. Email is a horrible tool for most of the uses we put it to. Consider how users collaborate through email: it’s a flurry of attachment spam, “did you get my email?” messages, “which is the right version?” traffic, etc. Wikis are much better tools for collaboration. Or consider all the broadcast-type announcements you get, whether from vendors, your HR staff, or your friendly neighborhood association chapter. Blogs (and more recently Twitter) are a great way to stay informed about that type of information without having it clutter your inbox. That’s how I get my information. It’s not that email is a bad tool – it’s just that what it’s really good for is one-to-one or one-to-few communication. Use other tools for other uses.

Most organizations don’t manage their email very well – and there are any number of white papers out there about how to archive everything, or how to manage email messages as records, or the value of outsourcing email, etc. But very few of them address the reason why email is so out of control – us! Most of us don’t use email very effectively, whether on an individual message basis or in managing our inboxes. So the focus of this article is on steps you can take to be more effective in how you use email.

1. Close your email client. The vast majority of us keep our email client open all day long, just in case an important message comes in. This leaves us vulnerable to distraction every time a message comes in, whether it’s that important note from the boss, an invitation to a webinar that may or may not be of interest, or an update on next week’s potluck.

2. Turn off alerts. If you can’t close your email client you can minimize it, but it doesn’t help if it pops up an alert every time one of those messages comes in. So turn off the alerts. If you don’t want to turn them off completely because you might miss an important email, set up specific alerts for, say, messages from your boss or the project team you’re working with.

3. Set specific times to check your email. Some argue NOT to check your email first thing in the morning – because you’ll look up and find you’ve already wasted hours on it. Others insist they have to check it first in case something urgent came up overnight. Regardless, by setting up times and adhering to them, you’ll greatly reduce the distraction of email.

4. Reduce colleague spam, both what you send and what you receive. This means paying attention to the CC: and especially BCC: functionality. Consider whether someone really needs to be informed of the contents of the message or if it’s just an exercise in covering yourself. This is especially true when it comes to the “Reply All” button, which is so abused that some organizations have taken the step of configuring their email systems to turn that capability off. If your staff CC:s you on everything, consider whether you actually read those CC:ed messages; if you don’t, maybe they shouldn’t be cluttering up your inbox.

5. Reduce attachment spam. Just as not everyone in the organization needs to receive a copy of a given message, not everyone in the thread needs to receive all the attachments associated with the thread. Attachments can take up a lot of space in the inbox; more importantly, as attachments proliferate it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which one is the most current. One way to address both of these concerns is to send links rather than attachments. This can also ensure that attachments cannot be forwarded to people who shouldn’t see them – the user who clicks on the link can be made to log in in order to access the file.

6. Touch each message only once. This is the hallmark of the email management = time management movement as espoused by David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero, and many others. The point is to act on a message when you get it: file it, respond to it, take action related to it, defer it for a specific response, delete it, etc. The usual caveats about records management apply; the point is that you don’t keep all your email in the inbox until it becomes too overwhelming.

7. Use meaningful subject lines. Blank subject lines often end up in the Junk Mail or Spam folder. But too often the subject line is either very generic, such as “Stuff”, “Friday”, “Our discussion from yesterday”, etc. – or it’s the same subject line from 20 messages ago, even though the focus of the discussion has changed several times in the interim. Almost all email clients can follow threads without keeping the subject line the same. Better subject lines also lead to better responsiveness because the recipient can determine how quickly a response is needed and can be provided. And better subject lines make it easier to locate a message later should it become necessary.

8. Don’t use email as a filing cabinet. Too many of us keep all of our email because that’s where our documents live – as attachments. Some will even email documents to themselves, creating attachments in order to save them in the email system. Email systems are designed to send, route, receive, and store messages for short periods; they are not designed to be the final repository for information. The more email stored, the worse the system performs, which is why email archiving was initially so popular. They are not designed to optimize findability. And it is extraordinarily difficult to use them to manage messages that should be treated as records. Finally, many organizations still have mailbox size limits, and when that limit is reached because of the volume of attachments stored, too many users simply delete by size rather than by value or importance.

9. Reduce the amount of bacn you consume. Bacn is a term coined in 2007 to describe “email you want, but not right now.” It refers to updates from vendors, announcements from your local ARMA or AIIM chapter, the Dilbert cartoon-of-the-day, etc. It’s not spam, but if you can’t get to it, it won’t directly impact your job. I was the poster boy for this and at one time I was receiving more than 400 emails a day. Today I have unsubscribed from almost all of those sources and my inbox is usually good for about 50 messages a day, with more than 90% of them being directly work-related. And I still get the information I need, because I…

10. Use the right tool for the job. Email is a horrible tool for most of the uses we put it to. Consider how users collaborate through email: it’s a flurry of attachment spam, “did you get my email?” messages, “which is the right version?” traffic, etc. Wikis are much better tools for collaboration. Or consider all the broadcast-type announcements you get, whether from vendors, your HR staff, or your friendly neighborhood association chapter. Blogs (and more recently Twitter) are a great way to stay informed about that type of information without having it clutter your inbox. That’s how I get my information. It’s not that email is a bad tool – it’s just that what it’s really good for is one-to-one or one-to-few communication. Use other tools for other uses.

Tagline: Jesse Wilkins is a Principal Consultant with Access Sciences. For more information about email, electronic records management, or Twitter, contact him at jwilkins@accesssciences.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessewilkins.

The purpose of this blog.

July 28, 2009

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. The one of most importance to anyone reading it is that I will use this to publish articles of interest to the broader information management community and make them available for syndication. What that means is that anything I publish here can be re-used for chapter newsletters, websites, blogs, etc. subject to a couple of minor caveats:

  1. If you use it, you attribute it back to me. You don’t have to link back to this blog, though that’d be nice, but I don’t like people stealing. If I find my articles on another blog without attribution, I will ask nicely that you attribute it, then I will ask nicely that you delete it, then I will open up.
  2. Sometimes things on here are reworkings of things I have published elsewhere – and vice versa. So I may publish something for, say, Infonomics or Information Management that is very similar to something here. I will generally note that in the post someplace.

Couple of other reasons I started this. First, lots of folks start blogs on Blogger and then move to WP because of its flexibility. I, too, want more flexibility than I think Blogger currently provides, and this is my sandbox to see if I might also want to move Informata here. In addition, I sometimes help others with setting up blogs and so I need to get more familiar with WP.

Anyway, that’s the idea. Questions? Comments? Email me.

Hello, world!

July 28, 2009

First post from new WordPress blog. w00t!