How Do You Start Your Day?

 

How do you start your day?  Do you first open and respond to your e-mail or do you do something else?  If you’re like many people (including me), you start with e-mail, but Karen Blakeman, Director of RBA Info Services, a consulting organization, starts with RSS instead.  In her presentation, “Demystifying the Technologies and Understanding Costs”, she extolled the virtues of RSS as a way of keeping up to date on a myriad of subjects without the necessity of dealing with a flood of spam and keeping more in control of one’s information flow. 

Blakeman took a broad view of Web 2.0 technologies and said that Web 2.0 is a concept, not a product.  It is about working together, sharing information with others, and controlling information coming to you.  We need to avoid getting caught up with the technologies and concentrate on the content and information.  You need to be in charge of this process, not the technology.

Here is a very helpful review of some Web 2.0 technologies that can be very useful in the information gathering process:

  • Twitter:  Often used to communicate brief messages between people, but you can also use it to send one-line messages to yourself as you are at a conference or a meeting, for example.  Then when the conference or meeting is finished, the messages will form a framework for a report, blog posting, etc.
  • iGoogle:  Personalize your Google home page and add feeds to it.
  • Pageflakes:  Create summaries of web pages
  • Blogs:  Publish content chronologically and create an “online diary”.  Most blogging platforms also allow the creation of RSS feeds.
  • Facebook:  Originally limited to students, but now anyone can use it.  One concern is whether the labor of managing a Facebook account is justified; how do Facebook and blog audiences compare?
  • Slideshare:  Share PowerPoint slides.
  • Wikis:  Wikis have become very popular in corporations, but they also have negative connotations. So if you want to install a wiki in your organization, don’t call it a “wiki”; call it a “workspace” or something similar.
  • Google Documents and Spreadsheets:  An easy way to invite people to share documents.  You can share with a wide audience or make them completely private.  A Google account is required.
  • Social bookmarking allows one to share bookmarks with colleagues, and there many Web 2.0 platforms that allow this:  furl, del.icio.us, Connotea, and 2Collab.  Of course, these systems are not limited to bookmarks; they can be used for course lists, bibliographies, training materials, etc.

The cost of using these tools is often not considered.  They take time to set up and manage.  Frequently, data must be manually entered, which is time-consuming.  And they have the potential to have a major impact on how an organization works.  Finally, it is possible to lose the data, so it is important to back it up regularly.

Blakeman recommended reading Top 10 Web2.0 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask by Phil Bradley as a good source for further information.  These technologies are a business must!

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today

One Response to “How Do You Start Your Day?”

  1. odysensupport December 14, 2007 at 7:58 am #

    Another start page available is Odysen. It includes widgets, multiple pages, and some social networking features.

    There is a blog available that includes new website features and page examples at http://odysen.blogspot.com/.