• Enterprise 2.0 – Building the New Schoolyard for Bullies?


    I have a friend called Jennifer (name and details changed, obviously). At school she was a loner without many friend who, as loners often do, overcome loneliness by bullying smaller kids in the playground. Jennifer managed to gain “friends” by doing this, although they weren’t really friends, rather individuals who were scared that they’d become the target unless they joined in with Jennifer’s shenanigans.

    Well, luckily for her schoolmates, Jennifer grew up, studies and entered the workforce where she was forced, at least to a certain extent, to forego her bullying behavior in the interests of fairness, due process and the common good.

    Until today that is…

    You see the advent of social media in its various guises has given Jennifer the opportunity to once again throw her weight around and make life difficult for others. Involved in a part of an organization that makes extensive use of social media type tools, Jennifer has a wide following in her vocational field and uses this following to bully others the way she used to use her heft to do so all those years ago in the schoolyard.

    Now my enterprise friends will tell me bullying in the work place has always existed but social media and enterprise 2.0 tools have extended the reach an individual can communicative with – this is an unquestionably great thing when it comes to collaborating on specific projects, but it’s also a dangerous thing when used inappropriately.

    I’ve spent long time talking with Enterprise 2.0 practitioners, attending enterprise 2.0 events and hearing about the barriers to adoption. Generally we’re grasping to find either good case study examples of enterprise 2.0 being put to work or fixes for the oft mentioned barriers to adoption – none of however 9at least in public) are prepared to front up and tell the stories of Enterprise 2.0 gone wrong and used for ugly purposes.

    And in this we run a real risk – by burying our heads in the sane and not “outing” the dark side of social media, we play into the hands of those who view the blogosphere, Twitter and social media generally as a complete waste of space. If we don’t tell the stories, and develop ways of avoiding the pitfalls these tools enable, they’ll use the same tales to discount E20 outright.

    So here’s a plaintive call to those using social media generally and Enterprise 2.0 tools more specifically: Don’t hide the use-cases that feel uncomfortable, rather use them as case studies, develop solutions and show that like a community of old, so too can a virtual community stand up and police its own.

    Everyone would be a little happier if we did that…

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  • GoodData – More of the Same, Dressed Up Like New?


    Late last year GoodData gained quite some degree of publicity – due in no small part to the caliber of its investors. Tim O’Reilly is both an investor and board member and Marc Andreesen is also behind the venture. At first blush it would seem that GoodData provides the holy grail – on-demand visualization and analytics of business data. See video below:

    A few minutes spent on their site however gave me cause for concern (emphasis mine):

    GoodData securely hosts your data, enables you to build and manage a multi-dimensional data model from a variety of data sources, provides the tools to analyze data in a collaborative environment, and the means to share the results with others.

    Now I’m not dogmatic that everything should be real-time and on-demand but GoodData strikes me pretty much as a classical BI offering done the traditional way – aimed for organizations with screeds of data and with the ability to both extract data from their SaaS applications, upload it to GoodData’s warehouse and then run BI analytics – sorting, filtering and pivoting.

    What on-demand applications really need, in my opinion, is real time on the fly analysis. That’s why YouCalc (my review here) excited me when I came across them. You see YouCalc provides direct queries on data sources, rather than relying on data warehousing and what must inevitable end up as analysis on obsolete data. TouCalc is the business that should have the big dollars behind it but, as is often the case, style tends to overcome substance, at least in the short term.

    GoodData occupies an uncomfortable space – their tool is really aimed at huge enterprises with terabytes of data, but as we know big enterprise is hardly in the cloud yet and not very likely to upload all their on-premise data to GoodData for analytics purposes since they can perform more advanced BI behind the firewall with on-premise BI tools.

    Don’t get me wrong, the idea of moving some of the data storage and number crunching aspects of bid-data analysis out of onsite data centers and into the clouds resonates with me – I just think that YouCalc don’t go nearly far enough in their approach.


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  • Canterbury Cloud Camp Unconference


    At the recent Auckland CloudCamp, a few of us got talking and thinking about what a tight network of SaaS/Cloud businesses could achieve – kind of a “united we stand, divided we fall” approach. Down here in Canterbury we…

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  • Why Banking is Broken, A BNZ Rant (Part two)


    I posted last week about a banking situation that had me all hot under the collar. In an effort to continue naming and shaming (and hopefully drive improvements in the process), here is part two. This morning I received…

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  • BNZ, Outsourcing Design to Xero


    The Bank of New Zealand is a reasonably significant shareholder in Xero and so many of us expected that they’d be working together on the odd project. What we didn’t expect was that the bank would seemingly outsource their…

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  • Government 2.0 – A Way to Go


    Jim posted the incredible story of the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) proposing a $117 million upgrade of IT infrastructure, a sum that equates, from Jim’s reckoning, to $234k per NZIS process worker. It’s a sorry tale and one…

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  • “Deleveraging” – A New Word for Economic Rape?


    For a long time I’ve been something of a lone voice (I’d like to think somewhat akin to the little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”) crying foul about the economic development direction we seem to take in this…

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  • Another Quiver to the HB bow


    I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for the team over at HB media – this isn’t just because I’ve been involved with them in past and present projects – long before my work with Idealog magazine I…

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  • I Don’t Mean To Be Negative But….


    Computerworld told the story this morning of Wellington Apple premium reseller Bay which, only four months after opening, has closed down. Director Grant Bremner stated that “the business has attracted 80% of required capital, but needs an additional $100,000”.…

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  • A New Learning Resource from LearningSource


    After many months spent in super stealth mode, Another local SaaS product is coming out from under the covers. Training management system vendor LearningSource has gone public with their offering. Learning Source is a fully featured, end-to-end training management…

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