Monthly Archives: November 2009

Time Wasters

Daydreams distract dutiful deeds,
while the clock ticks on.
Wonder wafts while work waits,
until time has gone.

Paul S Allen 2002

I found this interesting article today:

Pocketsmith is Dunedin start-up that really has it right when it comes to social media. Being a  personal finance and forecasting application they could be dry, boring and rather stale but as you’ll here in the video they’re on-to-it, personable,  engaging and strategically minded with their online social interactions. (Please forgive the background noise, I couldn’t get rid of it).Sam Schuurman,, Nov 2009

You should read the whole article.

IRGO unConference Report

Report on the inaugural Internet Research Group of Otago (IRGO) unConference 23 and 24 November 2009.

The three questions posed in the lead up to this unconference were listed on

Centre for Innovation, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

  1. what might be possible for the future internet of the region?
  2. what will citizens want from the internet in the future (two, five, ten years ahead)?
  3. what potential internet problems or issues will we have to navigate in the immediate future?

These questions were addressed by all of the panel discussions throughout the two days.

This forum was successful in its approach to address these questions but raised more questions than answers, which will require an ongoing collaborative approach to develop new thinking and strategies to address the issues raised.

These are my bullet points from the Internet Research Group of Otago (IRGO) unConference this week.


  • Mobility of work, the Internet is everywhere with, generally, high accessibility.
  • Technology is available to enable an “office anywhere” approach.
  • Issues could include
    • A reduction in the control of the worker and the worker’s environment.
    • Appropriateness of this approach to industry type.
    • Speed and quality of broadband.
    • Productivity may be affected (positively and negatively).
    • Acceptance of this approach is required by business community.
    • Social interactive nature of the work place is potentially missing.
    • Concept of the “digital nomad”


  • Quantity vs quality
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Copyright vs Creative Commons
  • Who has access to content and what rights do users have.
  • Moderation of content vs self-regulation.
  • Is it quality or just share-able

Social Media (reasons for…)

  • Change management discourse.
  • Community generated content.
  • Client feedback
  • Crowd sourcing of publicity/marketing/information
  • Collaboration
  • Brokering services
  • New client/peer interaction model
  • Networking online and face to face

New Revenue Models

  • Traditional sales diminishing online.
  • Value of digital content is “nil” as it can be an unlimited supply.
  • Move to pay for service rather than pay for content model.


  • Freedom of speech vs control of content
  • What is the definition of harm?
  • Posting of anonymous content, including offensive, harmful or untrue content and comments.
  • Who or what jurisdiction has control of what is “allowed” on the Internet.

Issues of Accessibility

  • Quality of broadband in New Zealand is poor.
  • Availability of Wifi or wireless ISP.
  • Business exposure to the Internet.
  • Acceptance of business that there is value in use of Internet.


  • Permanence and durable accessibility of data is an issue in long-term electronic storage.
  • Technology changes will always need to be backwardly compatible. (Floppy disks used to be used as back up but who has a drive to access data now)
  • Usability of back-up systems is vital
  • The need for offsite and multiple storage options required for back up.
  • Standardisation and meaningful file systems required
  • What data is required to be backed up?
  • What is worth keeping?
  • The archivist has a vital role
  • How to back up institutional knowledge.

The Future

  • Much more development in telecommunication and automation using connective technologies.
  • Dependent on quality and reliability of telecommunication networks whether wired/fibre or wireless.
  • Cost to implement is an issue.

In conclusion I would congratulate IRGO in this its first unConference and look forward to the ongoing information that will be developed as a result of this forum.

Please visit for more information.

Paul S Allen aka paulusthebrit

Change Your World

If you want to make a difference be prepared to stand out from the crowd and start to walk alone, only then can you start to change your world.

Small Things Matter

Small Things Matter

“Despise not the day of small beginnings”*

I have said it before that the bigger the vision the more the small details matter. The world’s largest structures are held together by some of the smallest parts. A single missing rivet can and has caused aeroplanes to crash and a simple “O” ring worth about 20 cents, which is faulty can have catastrophic results for space travel.

Small does not ever mean insignificant.

This principle is especially important to the leaders and visionaries of the world today. We may have big plans and goals for a brave new world, but unless we can work out the details of what it is and how it is going to be achieved it will remain just a dream.

The details matter, are the taxes paid, has the mail been posted, have all the rivets on the plane been counted?

It doesn’t mean that the CEO needs to check that the mail is collected, but it does mean they have to get someone to do it.

Team members are vital for the success of any organisation; people are never small and insignificant. Everyone within your organisation represents the whole of your organisation, whether they are the manager, the cleaner, the receptionist or the accounts clerk, every one of them plays a critical part in making sure your goals are achieved.

How much time or effort do you invest not just in saying how good your business is, but in showing just how important your staff are?

Remember the biggest structures in the world are only as strong as the smallest parts that make up the foundations.

Paul S Allen

*Zechariah 4:10 (Old Testament of the Bible)

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