Category Archives: Networking

Review: The iPad, Good For Business?

The iPad seems to be a great tool but is it a business tool that could be used as a shared device with others?

This is not a review of the features, as good as they are, but about the function for the purpose of business.

Primarily, I can see the iPad being used as a social media tool/diary/email/note taking device. As it is linked to an iTunes account it is ideally useful as a one-person-per-iPad device. Is it a useful business tool? Absolutely, I can see the day where most people in an office or other workplace would have one of their own as it could speed up efficiencies in meetings with appointments being made and synced with desktop or shared calendars.

All notes related to the meeting would also be at the fingertips so that no paper is wasted or lost. With apps like voice recognition software it could be used for dictation. Voice recording and video would be excellent tools for conferences and meetings. Creating reports on the fly would mean that there would be more accuracy when recording and reporting events.

The questions are…

1. Wi-fi only or wi-fi/3G?

If a person is traveling slot then I could see that the 3G version would be very useful. If a person is mainly based around the office then the wi-fi only would be just fine.

2. If you issue an iPad to an individual, can they use it for their own purposes as well as for the business?

This would be the same policy for both personal issue of laptops as well as tablet computers.

As the iPad is a great social media tool, policies related to the use of social media should apply to the use of the iPad as well.

The use of social media should be encouraged where there is a positive benefit to the organization.

Tweeting and face booking from events should be encouraged as it is a good way to interact with a wider audience. It should been done in such a way that people would rather be at the event than just reading about it online. It is a teasing tool to encourage participation.

Would I like one? Again the answer is absolutely, the benefits of this piece of equipment are large and would help in many areas of business life.

Paul S Allen

Taieri River

Taieri River, Middlemarch, Otago, New Zealand

 

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Social Networking and Business

As micro-blogging and social networking sites increase in popularity and normality, the business community needs to make best use of these new media to promote and sell their services and products.

Language needs to be precise and concise so that the message given is clearly understood leading to the desired response from the intended market. This needs to be achieved in as few characters as possible.

Social media is no longer the domain of teenagers, students and geeks; it is rapidly becoming a normal part of life for a wide demographic of users including businesses.

For businesses to reach these new marketplaces a new approach is required… active participation in conversation with people via on-line networks.Building to the Sky

Regardless of the channel used, be it facebook, twitter, etc, the call is interaction. Online networking should be a natural extension of off-line connection. There are no more limitations around time zones or boarders or even language barriers, businesses of any size now have the potential to have a truly global reach.

So what is stopping this expansion into new media?

Office policy where tight restrictions are placed on access to these sites can be detrimental to new ways of communication. I am not suggesting to allow free and unbridled use of facebook to chat with friends or to play one of the many annoying games; but rather allowing it to be used to communicate, research and collaborate with people and businesses to achieve the goals of the organisation.

We take telephones in the workplace today as normal now where once they were very restricted, why not social media?

If you own or run a business let me encourage you to take time to investigate how these new media could benefit your organisation.

Paul S Allen

Get Involved In Your Local Community

With a move to larger and larger cities there is a disconnection with the people who live the closest to us.  This dislocation of the individual from the local area is to the detriment of society as a whole. The place that I live becomes just a place to eat and sleep, do I care what is happening next door or across the road? Do I even know their names? Yet if we, as a community, reached beyond the boundaries of our own private properties we could find a richness of friends and support networks lost in our busy world.

I am not suggesting that we live in the pockets of our neighbours, but rather make a genuine effort to get to know who they are, caring enough to say hello, smile, notice them. There have been numerous stories about people who have died and not been discovered for weeks or even months. This should never happen in any society, and wouldn’t if we were involved in our local community.

Support your local business

What are the benefits of this?

  • Local businesses employing local people
  • Environmental issues i.e. less of a need to drive
  • Familiarity of the client to the business
  • focused on community needs

(Check out the New Rules Project for more reasons to support local business.)

Support your local community groups and churches. These locally focused groups have a wealth of knowledge and understanding  of what is happening in the area you live, but are often under-resourced due to an all to common focus on the city by organisations, funding agencies and local/national government.

If you support your local community, and other people support there local communities then we will see a more caring city.

Things to be aware of or do…

  • Do not become so focused that new people can not come in or feel like they are intruding
  • Welcome strangers
  • Be open to new cultures
  • Avoid gossip at all cost
  • Don’t become a member of a group just to be nosey
  • Get involved
  • Take personal responsibility for getting to know your neighbours
  • Everyone has something to contribute (old and young)

What do you want your community to be like? What are you going to do to see that it can happen?

Get involved in your local community, if you need to start an interest group, go to a local church,  simply say hello to a neighbour.

Paul S Allen

Social Networking the Next Stage

For about a year or so, every time you watch the news you hear something about the effect that twitter is having on the world or how facebook is being used to break stories. This is great but what will happen next?

Already I have heard of people getting tired and bored with social networking.

This is how it should be, through history new inventions, ways of communication, and technologies have come and seemingly disappeared. Much of it, however, still exists, but because it is entrenched in every day familiarity we fail to notice it.

How many of us still marvel at the copper wire technology that carries our voice to a another person using a simple telephone? Yet how would we survive without this truly remarkable innovation. We take it for granted.

The next stage for social networking is normalization and integration into everyday lives and situations, whether at work, home, or wherever.

No longer will it be an organisation having a single twitter or facebook account (or whatever the next incarnation is). When years ago, organisations used to have a single telephone in the building  and now have at least one on every desk (I have three on my desk at work plus my personal mobile phone); so, I believe, the next step will be each member of staff should be using these networks as communication tools just the same as the copper wire telephone we now have.

Should it be mundane?… Yes

Invisable and unremarkable?… Yes

Even routine?… Again YES absolutely.

It is only when innovation, including social networking, becomes so routine and integrated in our business systems so we don’t notice we are using it that it will be of full benefit.

Never stop innovating, but don’t just gloat in the glory of the newest “shiny thing” work to make it part of ordinary everyday lives where we will say “how did we ever live without it?”.

The moment an innovative product becomes so routine it is not noticed or acknowledged is the moment it is truly successful.

Paul S Allen

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 http://irgo.otago.ac.nz/

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.

Work

  • 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”

Content

  • 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.

Ethics

  • 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.

Archiving

  • 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 http://irgo.otago.ac.nz/ for more information.

Paul S Allen aka paulusthebrit

http://twitter.com/paulusthebrit
http://thewaterside.tumblr.com

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