Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Buzzwords

The 37 signals blog Signal vs. Noise has a great post on the uselessness of 'Buzzwords'.


"Tech folks often use terms that imply we’re part of some secret club. It’s as if
we’re saying, “We can speak in a code that those other people can’t understand.”
It’s a way to build a wall that separates us from them. It’s a form of exclusion.

You don’t need to build walls or exclude people when you’re confident in your message though. When you’re confident in your message, you want everyone to understand.

When you really have a point, you want to say it sharp so it can penetrate deep."

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2006 conferences wrap-up

The intranet/web conference season is over for myself this year and I have had the opportunity to speak at various events in Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney.

A few highlights:
  • Northland Regional Council - setting up an intranet within a 5 week project that provides a lot of great community functionality for its 130 staff. A great example of focusing your intranet on your users and their needs, and the culture of the organisation they work for.
  • New Zealand local government - Great to see usability and accessibility starting to get taken seriously at a local government level.
  • James Robertson - Providing details of a great approach to developing and setting intranet goals and also for announcing the establishment of an Intranet Leadership Forum for Australasia. Good to see someone keeping the thinking moving forward.
  • Telstra (Australia) - Great robust intranet which for a large and innovative company is something that should be expected
  • Vodafone (NZ) - Great approaches to developing and setting up an intranet team. Including a dedicated person coordinating implemnnation of the intranet 'roadmap'.
    Why can't we all have teams like that?
  • Blogs and wikis - starting to be used sensibly within organisations to add value not just to create more contenbt (This doesn't conflict with my Web 2.0 statement below by the way).

Lowlights

  • Technology - CMS's, portal solutions, vendors, marketing material posing as research. All of it continues to over promise and under deliver. Just give us something that works as it says it does.
  • Web 2.0 for the enterprise - Linked to above. More hyperbole to distract senior management from making real decisions to help intranets and intranet teams. If we can't get users to remember logins, can we expect them to develop social bookmarking for the enterprise? Not all organisations are made up of IT folk or web gurus. Don't get me wrong I like all the Web 2.0 stuff and I think it's really cool. I just haven't seen how it's helping with the problems organisations have or helping the bottom line.


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