It’s a local hotel by the seaside, and they are building a new building and have added even more rooms to the hotel. One of the rooms is a jazz suite, and they were looking for photos from Molde International Jazz Festival.
A photographic colleague of mine was the middle ma..ehh woman, and lo and behold, I sold three photos! I’m very grateful to her!
This is the first photo that was chosen. It’s probably the best photo I took during Molde International Jazz Festival 2009. My favourite concert that year, as well.
This is Otomoyo Yoshohide, Japanese musician who had put together a project for the occasion.
Probably the best photo I took during Molde International Jazz Festival 2009. My favourite concert that year, as well. This is Otomoyo Yoshohide, Japanese musician who had put together a project for the occasion.
When Facebook announced that they were going to introduce hashtags as part of their service, the reactions could be categorised into three groups:
Why, oh dear Lord, why?
Personally I’m in the last category, but I will go through each category here. First of all because I’d like to give people who don’t know what hashtags are, or how they can be used, an introduction. But I also would like to go through the pros and cons of the use of hashtags.
What now?If you don’t know what hashtags are, here is a short intro: Hashtags are keywords that are used to categorise something you’ve posted. It’s heavily used on social sites like Twitter and Instagram, and to a lesser extent on Google+ and LinkedIn.
You create a hashtag simply by putting the #-character in front of a word or phrase. The phrase can’t have any spaces in it. So if you for instance posted a photo of your breakfast on Instagram, an all too frequent occurrence I’m afraid, you could tag this post with the phrases #breakfast #food #morning or something similar.
These hashtags will then become links. If people click on any of them, Instagram will do a search for you and present other photos tagged with the same hashtag.
During big world wide or national events, people tend to agree on specific tags for the event. So during the Eurovision Song Contest people who posted on Twitter about it used the hasthtag #esc.
When a hashtag becomes very popular, it turns into a trending topic, and Twitter often display trending topics for you via the hashtag.
So is this useful for you? Yes, it makes it much easier to know what to search for and to find postings about subjects you care about.
In addition it makes it easier for others to find your own postings. Now, this could make it very tempting to pepper your postings with hashtags, but please don’t. I’m guilty of doing this myself, but if you use too many hashtags, people or services might consider it as spamming.
In the image above, I’ve searched for the hashtag #eiendomsskatt (property tax) on Twitter. I could easily have done this on also Instagram, Google+ or LinkedIn. And now you can do it on Facebook.
Why, oh dear Lord, why? I was a bit surprised to see that people who are using social media sites a lot were completely against hashtags on Facebook. However, I think I know where they are coming from.
Hashtags, especially on Twitter, can sometimes be used in a very bad way. Very often you will find people using a hashtag they have invented, like #mymommaisagreatcook. Naturally, these hashtags don’t lead to any other topics about this, and are therefore just meant to be funny or clever.
Facebook is full enough of junk as it is, and if people start creating hashtags like #ohwhydomydogdothistome just to get a feeling across or to be sarcastic, Facebook certainly isn’t going to get any better any time soon. And I don’t even want to think about all the spammers and the tagging they will start doing on Facebook now…
There are also safety issues. Remember that hashtags are meant for searching and sorting topics. So if you tag a posting on Facebook, will this posting then be visible for everybody who do a search on that tag? Or will is just be visible to you and your friends?
A friend of mine tagged his posting with #molde, which is the name of the town where we live, and I clicked on it. I got a long list of postings tagged with #molde, and I only knew a few of the people who had done these postings. Now, does Facebook also list postings from accounts that are protected from anyone but friends? I don’t know. I choose to think they don’t, but you never know.
On top of this, a lot of people don’t know what their security settings are, so if you start using hashtags, please make sure that you’re settings are set to a level that you feel comfortable with. I’m afraid we are going to see a lot more examples of people finding postings they thought were only presented to a closed circle out in the open.
Finally! Now to my group. I love hashtags! I’ve used them, and I’ve abused them. I frequently do searches via hashtags on most services I’m on. Even on LinkedIn. Just take this blog for example, the tags for my postings here can be thought of as hashtags. Just click on one of them in any of my postings here, and give it a try. Even flickr has had tags since the beginning. They’re not hastags, but the principle is the same.
I’ve therefore often wondered why Facebook haven’t introduced hashtags, since they for years were leading the way for social media. They have fallen a bit behind in recent times, but hashtags are a welcome addition now that they’re finally here.
So, please use hashtags. But use them wisely. Use them so that people easier can find your postings and use them to generate traffic based on how interesting and relevant you can make the tags. But do not use 10-20 tags in a posting.
Let’s make a deal. From now on, I will from now on only use three hastags for every posting I do, and you will do the same. Deal?
Sometimes you just got to have some fun with your work tools. I like to pimp my Notes client with the help of Panagenda’s Marvel Client: Skinning Edition. This makes it possible for me set my company’s logo as the background for my workspace in my Notes client, as well as changing the database icons. You can download the files and instructions here, but be warned, this might be overwritten by your administrator. It depends on how your setup is.
In addition, I’ve installed the Eclipse plugin called Themes for Lotus Notes. Just follow the instructions, and you will be able to do like me, change the color of your Client, depending on the season. And since it’s summer now, at least according to the calendar, my Notes client these days is green.
I was glad I went to bed early after Day 1. I think I was more ready for this day than certain other people I talked to… On to the sessions:
An Introduction to Working With the Activity Stream
This was one of my favorite sessions. It was presented by Mikkel Flindt Heisterberg from Intravision. However tired we are of the expression “social,” there’s no doubt that people these days expect to have the same social possibilities at work that they have on their computers, mobiles and pads.
We are moving away from emails to activity streams. The latter won’t replace email, but a lot of the unnecessary emails you receive can be replaced with activity streams. However, it’s important to note that the activity stream is not an inbox. As things are pushed down in the stream, they will eventually disappear.
Mikkel talked about how you can use the http protocol and REST APIs to interact with the activity stream in IBM Connections. Http is so much more than people think. You have several components in a URL stream, like POST, GET, PUT and so on.
The session was very technical and while I certainly understand the principles behind this, I will need to start testing this for myself, to see how we can use it in my workplace.
However, it should be used with caution. Spamming people’s news and activity streams is not the way to go. The challenges are therefore not just technical, they are also organizational and ethical.
Planning and Designing For Your First Connections Install
Gabriella Davis from the Turtle Partnership went through all the steps for an installation of IBM Connections. This included planning on how to use IBM Connections within your infrastructure, what servers and software you need to download, where to get the software, what kind of hardware do you need, how do you get it up and running and also how you should prepare and train your users.
For me this was a useful session, because I finally learned exactly what components that makes up an IBM Connections installation. Our site was installed and set up by IBM, and I really had no clue to what the components of the product really were. Now I do.
Gabriella also said that she discouraged installing a subset of Connections. Install everything, and then decide what you want to use. This because quite a lot of the applications depended on each other.
Also: Clean up your LDAP data before you export them into Connections. And make sure that you have all systems that should have single signon on the same domain. This is something that we learned the hard way at my company…
Mastering Eclipse in IBM Notes the Easy Way
Another lecture by Panagenda. The jury is still out on whether it was a good idea to integrate Eclipse into Notes, after all, the Notes client is now more than bloated, consisting of over 20 00 files, spread out over 4000 sub directories.
What the Eclipse platform does, though, is giving you the opportunity to create and distribute plugins. This can be done manually, or via policies on the Domino server. This is however a pain in the ass so Panagenda has developed a tool for making the distribution of such plugins easier and more foolproof.
Effective Flow of Information with IBM Connections and CMS
Another highlight for me. In my company, we are constantly trying to reduce the number of systems we are running, and preferably we want to run as much as possible from within IBM Connections.
This is what Alere, a producer of medical laboratory equipment, does with their content management system for their extranet. By combining they’re Enonic CMS with IBM Connections, they can, with the help of predefined tags, publish files and information straight out onto their extranet, which over 300 distributors are using.
This makes it much easier to publish new information about their products, since the persons responsible for the products can post this directly, without having to go through a workflow involving the web staff.
With the help of Blogs in IBM Connections, Alere could also answer questions, suggestions and feedback from their distributors in a much more effective way than via email. In addition, other distributors could also take part in the discussion, something that wouldn’t be possible if Alere only used email for this.
I was personally very interested in this solution and I’ve requested a demo.
Status for IBM Collaboration in Norway
Morten Meier, Nordic Chief for Partners and Sales, gave us a status about IBM’s results, focus areas and successes within Social Business in Norway.
IBM has 49 000 social business customers globally, and the number of partners and certifications are increasing. IBM is, according to Gartner, the leading social business software house. In addition, over 2000 customers have returned to the IBM Notes/Domino platform.
The reviews for IBM Notes 9 Social Edition have been great, and the media publicity have been very positive. In short: The sun is shining.
When Morten was finished I had to grab my bags and make a run for it, because he was my ride to Oslo.
The seminar was well worth the trip, and it was really nice to meet partners that I’ve only communicated with via email or phone. I will definitely make it to the next one, I might even do a presentation…
I attended the ISBG (IBM samhandling brukergruppe), formerly known as the Norwegian Lotus user group, at Farris bad (a spa and hotel) in Larvik on Wednesday and Thursday. This was the first time I attended the group’s meeting, even if my previous employers have been members.
I didn’t get to see much of Larvik, but the hotel, Farris bad, was a really nice place. My room was directly above the sea, and I fell asleep, and woke up to the sound of waves crashing onto the shore and beach.
From Lotus Notes to IBM’s Platform for Social Busniess – the journey continues
Michael Wuerdemann from IBM started his presentation by showing a commercial from IBM about their commitment to social business. When the video ended, the Lotus logo appeared. This took quite a few people by surprise, but that’s when the ball was dropped: The commercial was ten years old.
Michael did this to show that IBM’s commitment to social is not something new, they’ve been focusing on this for a long time. He then showed IBM’s newest commercial. It’s not half as catchy as Microsoft ‘s commercial for Windows 8, but the point is that IBM is thinking social solutions, and not technology and platforms.
He pointed out that users are used to social tools in their private life, and that they expect this at their workplace as well. The problem, he said, is that workers are often ahead of their companies, and they start sharing business sensitive information on Facebook, Yammer and other social networks. IBM’s solutions can meet this problem.
Of course he also mentioned IBM’s cloud business, which also has a center in the EU now. IBM gives you the possibility to either run your own private cloud on your premises, or normal cloud computing.
He then moved on to comparisons between Notes/Domino vs Micosofts’s solutions. IBM has finally coughed up the Domino Migration tool for migrating from Exchange to Domino, but I haven’t heard non biased information about this tool yet. It will also be possible to use REST to access Notes databases. Maybe I misunderstood him on this, and it’s already possible. I haven’t tried it, but if true, it’s certainly a huge leap forward.
Before the break he talked about how Quickr had been an attempt to meet the bad feedback Files got in IBM Connections, something I myself have complained about (look for a future blog posting about this). This had been a mistake, according to Michael, and now that Quickr is shut down, Content Manager for Connections is what IBM will offer Quickr customers.
A Day in the Life of an IBM-er
After the break he showed us how an IBM-er works with Connections, and how Social Mail makes it easy to integrate Notes with Connections. I saw to my great satisfaction that everything he showed us are tools and methods we use at Brunvoll every day.
Arshad Khalid of Teamstudio showed us some very impressive mobile solutions for Notes databases. This is where I want Brunvoll to go. The possibility for working offline, and then synchronize any changes back into production, is something that we are in severe need of. Especially since our offline replication has become very complicated.
As Easy as Lego – Put it All Together Using a Widget Framework on Domino
Henrik Winkel from Opus Neo demonstrated the Neo dashboard, and how you can utilize and construct Widgets from sources like Notes applications, RSS feeds, blogs, video and IBM Connection. This is stuff I know quite a lot about, but it was nice to get a demo of the dashboard product.
Back to the Future: Understand and Optimize Your IBM Notes and Domino Infrastructure
I like Panagenda and their products, and I’m planning to test the Marvel Client in for pushing out Notes clients and policies.
The presentation was solid and about how you should go through your current infrastructure before planning for the future.
ISBG CSI4.0: What now? – Info and Team Activity for Everyone
First we were treated to a slightly confusing horror film about who killed Lotus, something that would have gone well together with my “RIP Lotus” badge. I’m not quite sure what the movie had to do with the assignments we were given.
The assignments were fun, though, and one member of my team surprised me with the facial recognition app on his Iphone. It recognized a young Freddie Mercury based on not much more than Mercury’s right eye. Impressive.
Spa & Relax
We now had two hours where we could enjoy the spa, something I didn’t. I went to the gym and lifted weigts before dinner. Maybe next time.
We were treated to a three course dinner that was delicious. The prizes from the competition was handed out, and I just don’t understand how the points were calculated, considering that my team had answered more questions than the three teams that won. I think I’ll have to check the bank statements of that jury…
After several hours of magic tricks, good food and nice company, I threw in the towel around one o’clock. I fell asleep to, and woke up to, the waves hitting the beach. Wonderful.
Welcome as I start a new chapter in my blog life. I’ve decided to start blogging the personal stuff and various opinions that I’ve got (and I’ve got plenty) in Norwegian. I will do this in my Norwegian blog. My old blog is now archived but is open for all to read.