Ed Taekema - Road Warrior Collaboration 2004/9

September 2004
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A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.

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Lots People Dumping Palms... for paper?

There is an interesting thread over at the David Allen Getting Things Done Discussion Board.  It seems I am not anywhere near the only one who struggles to turn a palm pilot into an organization tool.

Here are some interesting quotes.  Jac says:

 I printed out my Next Action lists from Outlook (by context) and off I went. The thing is, I noticed a very significant increase in my productivity - somehow it was much quicker crossing off NAs as I achieved them and writing down the next NA in the appropriate context as opposed to wrestling with the Software ... Also everything seemed much clearer in my own mind - it was almost like some part of my pyche had been freed up allowing me to be more focussed on what the Next Action was...

awebber goes on to say:

I am continuing to move away from the electronic and more towards the paper. I have found that with a bit of planning in the morning, not only am I more effective, I schlep less stuff around with me. As a case in point, I don't need all of my project information with me all of the time, so why carry the extra stuff in the Palm? I am looking at moving my calendar and contacs off electronic also, but am still toying with what works best...

Finally GeorgeG says,

I'm going to flat leave my PDA at home. I have two Moleskine Notebooks (1 large Journal Format and the slimer "notebook size ") that I began implementing about a month ago as a "traditional" back up. Funny thing happened.....I found it easier to enter NA's in the small notebook and Journal and Meeting notes in the large one than my Palm.  I get to use my favorite pens (ala David Allen) and it is faster.  I am a ten year every software/Palm user, but I got to come clean, there is something liberating about the small eloquent books, a nice rollerball/ fountain pen, and no open loops...

I don't feel so weird anymore.  Paper & pen .... the ultimate wireless system!

posted at 17:45:36    #

Looking for a Really Light Weight Java Wiki

I am looking for a light weight java servlet based wiki that I can use to "embed" in an existing web application.  My basic requirements are:

  • Servlet based but not 2.3 servlet... I have to run it on an older version of Jetty which isn't up to the latest and greatest servlet api.
  • No JSP stuff .. see above
  • No database behind it .. .just simple filesystem (versioning would be nice ...)
  • No Hibernate, Spring, Struts, etc.  See above...
  • Nice to have would be customization via Jython ... or to have it written in Jython .. even better

Just a simple java servlet that implements basic wiki features.  I'm coming up empty so far.

posted at 09:58:24    #

What's a wiki? It's all about sharing

Anick Jesdanun from Associated has put together a good article on wikis.  As usual,  Wikipedia gets pretty good play.  Its a good article though with an an emphasis on the business potential for wikis. 

Wikis have the power to change how we live and work, replacing e-mail as a tool of collaboration and spanning hierarchies.

He goes on to say:

Where Wikis can truly take off are in corporate and organizational settings... Technically, a Wiki's attraction is in its efficiency. Unlike e-mail and discussion boards, which tend to involve back-and-forth exchanges and lots of attachments, Wikis permit changes directly to the main document.

I agree with his assessment of the barriers to wiki's.  The main issue is that organizations have to let go of the hierarchy.  One of the central benefits to a wiki is that it is a foundation for collaboration between layers in an organization that might not usually work together.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is cultural. Corporations are accustomed to hierarchy and control. "For any company or professional organization that has to worry about things like legal liability, brand protection, reputation, those can be scary things," said Bobowicz, who had to get special approval from his bosses at Sun Microsystems. Gary Boone, research manager at Accenture Technology Labs, said employees typically bring Wikis into the workplace informally, with central infotech managers taking longer to recognize their value. Because of their openness, Wikis face unique challenges.

posted at 01:45:36    #

Blogging and the business world

Links worth exploring on blogging and the business world. Blogs are now being seen less as a personal vanity tool...and more as a practical tool for learning, creating a portfolio, political activism, marketing, etc...taking on many of the same characteristics as more traditional media.

posted at 11:25:52    #

TWiki has a new look!

The folks over at Twiki.org have implemented some much needed changes to the default skin for their industrial strength wiki software. Here is a quick screen shot.

Nice work guys!

posted at 10:11:12    #
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