Thursday, 31 March 2011

How to enable the new Google + 1 feature

Google’s +1 search product launched yesterday, its very own version of Facebook’s “Like” button or Twitter’s “Tweet this.” The +1 button will allow you to share search results and adverts on When other users within your Google Chat contacts, people in your “My Contacts” group in Contacts, and people you’re following in Google Buzz and Reader search, the results will be marked similarly to the way they are now with Twitter shares.

Details here on how to enable this feature.

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By now you’ve heard about Google’s new social search feature called +1.The idea is that you’ll end up getting better results when your friends share good results with you. So, by clicking a +1 next to a Google result, you’ll be sharing your preferences as well.

Thanks to Google’s notoriously slow rollout of new features, there’s really no telling as to when you’ll get the +1 feature for yourself. Fortunately, Google is providing an opt-in to at least speed up the process somewhat, via its Google Experiments page.

All you have to do is head to that page, then select the +1 button “Join This Experiment” option. Once you do, you’re presumably added to the list of people who want to take part in the feature, and it should speed up the process for you.

I say speed up the process because a few of us here at TNW have opted in, yet we don’t have the service enabled. So, chances are that Google will be rolling it out to those opt-in persons first. In fact, there’s even a caveat from Google on the page:

Please note, it may take a while before you see the button in search results, and it may occasionally disappear as we make improvements.

Once you do have it, this is what you’ll see:

See more at

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

Bringing statistics alive through visualisation. An awesome display using statistics to explore the differences of health and wealth in the world. 

Posted via email from stephendale's posterous

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Founder of Digg resigns

Kevin Rose, founder of the Digg social media website has resigned. Confirmation if any were needed of the fickle nature of social web users. However, user loyalty was sorely tested by the radical new design of the site which appeared to have been implemented with minimal consultation or collaboration with the users. A case of voting with your feet I guess, and proof that incremental design improvement (as in Facebook) is less risky than evolutionary change.

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It was only a few weeks ago that we reported on social media site Digg and its new look after it went through a redesign in an attempt to rejuvenate interest. When the social news site was founded it quickly gained popularity but it’s no secret that the site has struggled to keep up with the likes of other social media sites and now, only weeks after its revamp, its founder Kevin Rose has resigned.

When the new-look Digg was first unveiled in August many users were unhappy with the changes and stopped using the service and despite the more recent changes, the company has failed to stop its decline. Kevin Rose issued a tweet to confirm the news, which partly read, “I’ll continue advising Digg / on the board of directors and taping Diggnation (as I have been since [Matt Williams] joined).”


Monday, 14 March 2011

Google going in Circles?

More intrigue about Google's supposedly new social networking service "Circles". There was previous speculation that they were working on a 'Facebook killer' social networking service called "Google Me". The same thing? I would imagine they'll want to kill the hype after the raging success of Google Wave. Seems we may have to wait until May to find out more.

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Is Google making another attempt at joining the social networking field? Maybe. Maybe not.

Google said it was not launching anything this week at the high-profile South by Southwest Interactive event in Austin, Texas. Moreover, such a product is not even under development, according to the people supposedly developing it.

A report on Read Write Web said the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk.

They said the service has been developed with extensive participation by Chris Messina, the co-creator of numerous successful social and software phenomena online, from BarCamp to Hashtags.

But Messina had another opinion. He said that he “didn’t know what the story was talking about.”

Google has launched many different social efforts over the years but has remained far behind Facebook and Twitter in its efforts. Reports emerged last June that Google has been working on a secret social project called Google Me. In December a screenshot was leaked to TechCrunch showing a new toolbar item on called "Loop."

According to All Things Digital, Tim O’Reilly, a well-known technology pundit, had seemingly confirmed the existence of Circles by tweeting “I’ve seen google circles, and it looks awesome.”

O’Reilly later deleted the tweet and clarified via email:

“It’s not a product, per se, and it’s not a new social network. Just some research-y thinking about how you could better manage social data. Exactly what Chris said. I got fooled by the RWW story into thinking that they’d turned it into something they were going to announce. There’s no story here. Just some labs stuff.”

After the ReadWriteWeb report came out, Google rebutted its claims: “We’re not launching any products at SXSW.” supports the theory that Google Me is imminent. They reported on Friday they received word that Google was to launch a new social network from Google I/O in May at the company’s annual developer event. With a March roll-out highly unlikely, it suggests that Google Me/Google Circles will indeed launch in the coming months.


Friday, 11 March 2011

The Seven Principles of Knowledge Management

What would we do without serendipity? I was looking for something else on the internet just now and (re)stumbled across this from Dave Snowden. It's from a blog he produced in 2008, but as relevant today as it was then. Worth sharing I thought.

  • Knowledge can only be volunteered it cannot be conscripted. You can’t make someone share their knowledge, because you can never measure if they have. You can measure information transfer or process compliance, but you can’t determine if a senior partner has truly passed on all their experience or knowledge of a case.
  • We only know what we know when we need to know it. Human knowledge is deeply contextual and requires stimulus for recall. Unlike computers we do not have a list-all function. Small verbal or nonverbal clues can provide those ah-ha moments when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled, in context to enable us to act. When we sleep on things we are engaged in a complex organic form of knowledge recall and creation; in contrast a computer would need to be rebooted.
  • In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge. A genuine request for help is not often refused unless there is literally no time or a previous history of distrust. On the other hand ask people to codify all that they know in advance of a contextual enquiry and it will be refused (in practice its impossible anyway). Linking and connecting people is more important than storing their artifacts.
  • Everything is fragmented. We evolved to handle unstructured fragmented fine granularity information objects, not highly structured documents. People will spend hours on the internet, or in casual conversation without any incentive or pressure. However creating and using structured documents requires considerably more effort and time. Our brains evolved to handle fragmented patterns not information.
  • Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success. When my young son burnt his finger on a match he learnt more about the dangers of fire than any amount of parental instruction cold provide. All human cultures have developed forms that allow stories of failure to spread without attribution of blame. Avoidance of failure has greater evolutionary advantage than imitation of success. It follows that attempting to impose best practice systems is flying in the face of over a hundred thousand years of evolution that says it is a bad thing.
  • The way we know things is not the way we report we know things. There is an increasing body of research data which indicates that in the practice of knowledge people use heuristics, past pattern matching and extrapolation to make decisions, coupled with complex blending of ideas and experiences that takes place in nanoseconds. Asked to describe how they made a decision after the event they will tend to provide a more structured process oriented approach which does not match reality. This has major consequences for knowledge management practice.
  • We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down. This is probably the most important. The process of taking things from our heads, to our mouths (speaking it) to our hands (writing it down) involves loss of content and context. It is always less than it could have been as it is increasingly codified.

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Thursday, 10 March 2011

Clay Shirky on managing net generation workers

Clay Shirky, author and professor of new media at New York University discussese the unique challeng of managing millenial employees. 
Note: the "net generation" is the demographice cohort following generation X, with birth dates ragning from early 1980's to 2000. This group is also commonly referred to as "generation Y", or "millennials".



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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A gentle introduction to Twitter

A gentle introduction to Twitter.

Thanks to @carlhaggerty for spotting this, and to @nancywhite for a great double act!


Nancy & Suzy_INTRO TO TWITTER from CommunityMatters on Vimeo.

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Mozilla launches 'open' app store.

Web applications are simply Web sites with an accompanying configuration file. This file contains extra information necessary to install the Web app, which in some instances may make it available when there’s no network connection.

Google’s Web app specification makes a distinction between installable Web apps and hosted Web apps. The former rely on Google Chrome Extension APIs and only run in the Chrome browser. The latter are simply what we know today as Web sites and they can be accessed by typing the appropriate URL into one’s Web browser.

Mozilla’s scheme differentiates between published applications and bookmarked applications. The former rely on Open Web App APIs. The latter are just Web sites, what Google calls hosted apps.

These two approaches are not quite compatible, though efforts are being made to make them more so. Google Chrome Web apps are only available from the Chrome Web Store and can only be installed in the Chrome browser. Mozilla Open Web apps will be available from anyone who bothers to set up a Web store using Mozilla’s specifications and can be installed in any compatible browser.

And as we all know, Apple apps will only work on Apple devices.

This could be a shrewd move by Mozilla, and will please the advocates of open standards.

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Firefox daddy Mozllla has released early code in its campaign to create a completely open alternative not only to Apple's app stores but also Google's fledging Chrome web store.

Mozilla's Labs has delivered the first developer release of its Web Application project. The goal is to serve up web-based apps for any device and any browser.

The first build includes a spec to describe a web application, a set of new browser APIs that includes the ability for a website to "install" itself in a browser, and documentation on how to build what Mozilla calls a free or paid "directory of applications".

In coming weeks, Mozilla plans to follow up with more browser- and device-friendly developments.

This will include "a deeply integrated 'in browser' experience" with find, install, launch use, and manage flow; synchronization of web apps to your mobile device; support for native browser controls, and integration with the operating system; and support for widgets and notifications.

Mozilla's project is a strike back at the notion that mobile and web apps should be based on APIs that are device or platform specific and served up from walled shops.

It's a philosophy lamented by web-daddy Tim Berners-Lee, who called out Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster for helping kill the ubiquitous web by using this model to lock-up data behind their walls.

Supposed bastion of web openness Google recently jumped on the train by rolling out a web app store that only works with its Chrome browser.

It's Apple, though, that has really caused problems, popularizing – among hardware companies, service providers, and business and consumer startups – the whole notion of an online store that serves up paid applications to a particular device.

Mozilla's Web Applications model takes development in a different direction. The open sourcers state a Web App store built using its architecture should exclusively host applications built on HTML5, CSS, Javascript, and other "widely implemented open standards in modern browsers - to avoid interoperability, portability and lock-in issues."

The idea is to be able to things like launch a Web Application with a single click or share your contacts with Web Applications using any device or browser.

Jay Sullivan, Mozilla vice president of mobile, announcing the project in May 2010, singled out the Apple model as being opposed to what Mozilla has in mind. Developers want app ubiquity for their software, he said.

"Web developers are expressing interest in an app store model for the Web that would enable them to get paid for their efforts without having to abandon Web development in exchange for proprietary silos, each with their own programming language and SDK, variable and sometimes opaque review processes, and limited reach," Sullivan said. ®