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September 2009

Timeworms

Blue HueSOME OF MY OLDEST notes include some of the coolest doodles. Presently, I want to teach doodling as a way to gain a handle on the visual dimension of knowledge management. Some of my most creative doodles look like hives, others look like timeworms. Unlike straight timelines, timeworms curl back and forth. I think that serendipitous flow of words can teach people about "knowledge management" without focusing on the formal taxonomy of categorising information. In a past job, I used a timeworm to illustrate a complex co-ordinated launch process of a Close Watch airlift mission. Timeworms showed difficult textual relationships in an easy visual manner. Some internet relationships look like timeworms too (Touchgraph can show this effect.).Timeworms borrow from the BRINT Institute's granular depictions of organisational processes "that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings." In Lee Bryant's mind, "smarter, simpler, social" happens with information laid out in a more discoverable fashion.

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Young Scientists Move Up a Notch


Free Xbox 360
Originally uploaded by topgold
BT-Ireland plans to expand its winning formula with the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition by ramping up a new business programme for selected students. The mentored programme could help second level students to develop the business knowledge they need to turn their innovative ideas into commercial opportunities.

In a nutshell, the new BT programme brings 40 students alongside leading executives and professionals from BT, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Bombardier, Bord Gáis Éireann, IP Innovations, UCD, TCD, Engineers Ireland and Bank of Ireland. The students will gain practical business knowledge from the mentors through a series of workshops. These short seminars include subjects such as defining intellectual property, marketing for export, international business issues, stakeholder communications, innovation principles, and business strategy.

From my hands-on work with clever school leavers, I believe this new programme from BT-Ireland also needs to show students how to collaborate and how to accelerate their progress into third level and beyond. It's possible that will unfold for the top performers because the Irish Minister for Education and Science has indicated that summer placements in higher education institutions will be made available for the top six performers in the programme.

Barcamp Cork Secret Handshakes

Barcamp Cork LogoCOUNTING DOWN THE WEEKS until Barcamp Cork III, I'm ruminating over five secret handshakes observed during past events.

1. Don't expect to get a handshake next to the coffee dock. Approaching someone randomly when they're circling the sugar and milk is never a good option for a meet and greet. It's better to face off your prospective friend with cup in your hand. That way you won't be mistaken for a queue jumper.

2. Don't hit up Pat Phelan or Conor O'Neill for a handshake when they're in the middle of a phone call because a horde of people will be upset that your interruption reduced the lunch run to ten dozen soggy plain cheese pizzas.

3. Don't tap someone on the shoulder and expect a handshake when they're intently watching lines of code scroll down on a laptop screen. You could break the concentration of the world's leading spam assassin and that might collapse hundreds of mail servers across the world.

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Irish Government Think-in

Conor, Stephen and Justin Over BarcampI DON'T THINK ANYONE reading my Inside View blog attended last weekend's €300,000 think-in at the lovely Farmleigh House. This three-day photoshoot and chat session assembled some leading lights (Dermot Desmond, Moya Doherty, David McWilliams, Craig Barrett, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Susan Davis, James Hogan, Dermot Boden were a few attending). I doubt the attendees knew that just down the road, 300 entrepreneurs were talking about ways to bootstrap Ireland out of its financial mess. Nor will those Bizcamp Ireland strategies or the tearaways arising from Barcamp Cork (breakout session from Barcamp Southeast at right) figure in the Irish government's master plan. Some ideas have emerged on the pages of the Irish Times that provide a clue about how the movers and shakers were thinking. Here are some of the proposals.

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Switching Off is Good

Weak SignalsAS I WATCHED the Julia make her way down the County Cork coastline and into Cork Harbour, I knew it would be an event I couldn't tweet or text to anyone the moment it was happening because where I was standing (at left), I had no mobile phone signal. I knew that I would be out of range because a map of coverage for O2-Ireland suggested weak mobile signal strength for the area I planned to spend my weekend. And as that weekend unfolded, every adult member of my extended family complained about having "no bars" on their phones. Why is that so important? "Because these days you need to be able to work out your schedules." With whom? I wondered if the people surrounding you at the moment should count more than the people you want to hug in a week's time. I wonder if our 21st century dependency on mobile messaging, tweeting, and web browsing is sucking signal strength out of face-to-face intimacy. I do not believe that cellular connectivity deserves to pre-empt, replace, or distort the value of one's physical presence. But I'm not one to impose my values on people. That said, I'd rather stop to smell the sea breeze, to hear pelicans peck on logs, and watch lazy ships sail.
Photo shot at Trabolgan, County Cork, Ireland. Readers may retweet this post without feeling dirty by being connected.
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1, 2, 2, and 250

Watching Her Birthday DVDSOME IMPORTANT MILESTONES occurred this week, and every one of them affect the new two-year old at right. Facebook now claims to have one million Irish inside its community. I count too, even though I've overstayed my visa and I'm really not Irish. That's because I've declare "Ireland" as my network and that puts me in the crosshairs of Irish-oriented advertising campaigns on Facebook. In our home, Facebook is the photo album preferred by family an ocean away. I'd be surprised to hear that any local authority in Ireland knows how they could open a community information centre for no cost, just by cobbling together a newsroom on Facebook. I'd also be surprised to know that the Irish national broadcaster comprehends that the reach of Facebook is greater than the mass audience achieved during the airing of the Late Late Show. The rough metric puts 500,000 Irish inside Facebook at least three times a week for 12 minutes at a time. On an interesting Friday night, getting a half million eyeballs watching RTE One for a half hour is an assumption that powers the marketing rate card. Facebook is doing that now, without its users having to pay a license fee.

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Engagement Takes Time

Twittering TimesFEW PEOPLE WHO USE TWITTER to cultivate with a mass audience actually achieve personalised synchronous engagement with those who follow them. That's not a real issue because of the time zones that separate people who have flocked to Twitter. If you had a global footprint before Twitter, perhaps one that grew as your readers trickled in from around the world, you probably had a blog or an e-zine that recorded a visitor more frequently than once every five minutes. If people following you on Twitter are spread across the same geographic regions, they're tweeting while you're sleeping. So it's not worth losing sleep to converse with them via live tweets.

If your preferred version of Twitter is a big watering hole where you splash side by side your posse, then your use case is Twitter as Intenet Relay Chat or SMS text chat where you can get that special one-to-one feeling.

Both of these modes of use take time out of the day. It's hard to get company directors and civil service supervisors to agree that their staff should be paid to tweet instead of responding to email, answering phone calls or preparing documents that generate cash flow. Unless you have a bottomless workday, you have to sacrifice one mode of communications to make time for another. Where I work, I've tried carve out time for Twitter by trimming back my time inside email and diverting some calls directly into a voice mail holding pattern. After two years, 20,000 tweets, and looking at the results, I cannot honestly say that I've gained an increase in office productivity or a higher wage grade because I've integrated Twitter into my workflow. I know a lot of my results are down to the kind of work I do in front of a classroom (where it's bad form to tweet instead of talk), driving to working meetings (where texting interferes with the normal hands-on driving approach preferred by my passengers), or DIY jobs (hard to see the mobile phone screen when wearing goggles). But brand managers, marketing professionals or sales agents, perhaps Twitter is the kind of engagement worth serious time and energy.


Gareth Dunlop -- "Firms must be customer zealots, not technology zealots" in the Digital Ireland pages inside the Irish Independent, 24 Sep 09.

Shanachie -- "Twitter and me" on the For Nine Pounds blog, 18 Sep 09.

Bernie Goldbach is @topgold.

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Easily Video Widget on Typepad

InsertsA LITTLE RIBBON containing a few more ways to insert items appeared on my Typepad control panel this morning. Actually, the widget might have been there for weeks since I normally upload things to my blog via email and code the pages in the HTML pane when I visit Typepad's dashboard. The ribbon bar includes separate icons for making a link, inserting an image, inserting a video, inserting audio and insterting a file. So on this blog post, I inserted a screenshot of that newly-discovered ribbon bar and I'm going to see what happens if I try to insert a Qik clip that I made today with my Nokia E90. I have no idea if the CODEC of the clip will play from Qik's servers--it should--so if you spot an inline player below, give it a go. If I did this more often, I imagine I'd attract more viewers into my Qik collection.

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Creativity Front and Centre

WITH TWO WEEKS of the fall semester behind me, I asked my newest students to reach into their pockets and record a single word on video for me. Some of those first year students did not have cameraphones. Most used the old Fujifilm S7000 camera that I carry in my Bihn bag. Not all the clips made by students--on their own, recording themselves, were usable but this first cut (above and on Flickr) gives outsiders an idea of the energy and diversity inside the southern campus of Tipperary Institute, a third level institution helping to upskill mature students and provide a multimedia degree qualification to hundreds of other school leavers every year.

Creative


Direct link iPhone Video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/topgold/3949692709/
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Multimedia Project Development Cycle

Ruth Maher Petstop ProjectFROM APPLE comes some important thoughts that prove good multimedia projects don’t happen by accident. There are many steps along the way that help to ensure a quality presentation and an Apple document pulls ideas from Dr. Charles Friesen, Director of Instructional Technology for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has developed the Multimedia Project Development Cycle to provide insight into the interactive process students and teachers engage in while creating multimedia.

Step 1—Define the project. This initial step involves determining the boundaries of the project as well as identifying how the project relates to the overall curriculum. Students should be encouraged to select topics that are neither too broad nor too narrow in focus. It is also important that students learn to focus on the audience that will be receiving the information.

Step 2: Locate resources. In this phase, students and teachers identify traditional and unconventional sources of information about their topic. These may include resource CDs, Web sites, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, video tapes, audio tapes, and books.

Step 3: Organize resources. Once resources have been collected, students will need to spend some time selecting the notes, data, computer files, and Web links they will include in their project. It is important to guide students to select project resources based on the informational value they will add, and not simply because they are glitzy or look cool.

Step 4: Design the project. At this point, students are ready to produce a storyboard or flowchart of their project. They can create an outline, draw a diagram, or use a software program such as Inspiration to organize their ideas.

Step 5: Develop the project/ In this step, students will design their project using digital media tools such as video, sound, graphics, text, and animation.

Step 6: Present the project. This phase of the project is very important, but is often overlooked. Students take great pride in projects they create. Therefore, it is important that they be allowed to present their project to audiences such as their class, their family, or other members of the community.

Step 7: Revise the project. Based on the feedback received from instructors and peers, students will review their project and make changes to improve it. In the process, students will understand how successful they were in communicating with their audience.

Step 8: Publish the project. In this final step, students will save their work to a Web site, CD, videotape, or other resource that can be accessed by others. Building a library of multimedia projects is also very valuable to the instructor as it provides additional resources and examples for future students.


 

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