Check out this blog…

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to take this opportunity to share a link to my friend’s blog.
This is lb’s blog and it’s about busines, cloud computing and Google Apps (among many more things). He’s got some cool stuff on his blog so make sure you check it out 🙂

http://thebrandtheman.blogspot.com/

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CIA Uses a Wiki for Collaboration

The United States Intelligence Community has created it’s own private wiki called Intellipedia. They have officially used Intellipedia for collaboration of data sharing since 2006. In this post I aim to discuss some of the most significant advantages and risks that would apply in this particular case.

On the plus side of things, Intellipedia has allowed the Intelligence Community to better share information and tacit knowledge, form virtual teams and make quicker assessments. One CIA agent speaking about it (in the video below) described an example where he would call his imagery specialist for some details on a particular site, who would explain it over the phone. The problem with this situation, is that the imagery specialist would receive this same call from a number of people, and have to repeat himself to each person. With Intellipedia in place, the images and information can be placed in a central place where everyone involved can access it. Easier and time saving! Another advantage that users have is that they know who has written what, which is helpful for knowing who a document has been approved by.

Obviously for the US Intelligence Community (which includes organisations such as the CIA) security is REALLY important. The approach they have taken is to give everyone within the community (not public community, the IC community) access to the central area, and from that place, there are many links to more specific areas, if a specific security level (e.g. Top Secret) is designated to one of these areas, Intellipedia will inform the user on what they must do to access it.

Most obvious risks to mention would be security breaches or sharing of information to the wrong parties, an obvious example of this is the recent US Army wiki leak, where “more than 90,000 documents cover the period from January 2004 through December 2009“. While Intellipedia hasn’t experienced a security breach of this scale yet, there’s no 100% that it can’t, because people will always be the weakest link.

Despite these risks, according to Michael Wertheimer (Assistant Deputy Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for Analysis), it’s worth the risk and that “the key is risk management, not risk avoidance.”

Personally, I think it’s so cool that the United States Intelligence Agency has implemented this wiki into what they do, if I worked there I think it would really help me do my job. A couple questions that remains on my mind is, how secure is the system? And where is it stored? After all, you can access the login page here.

Check out this video of an interview of a couple guys inside, working on the project:

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Enterprise 2.0.. what is that?!

Enterprise 2.0 is ‘the use of Web 2.0 by companies to collaborate and connect people together’, as written by Jason Watson. But to be more ambiguous, Enterprise 2.0 is a very broad term and can mean a lot of different things.

A popular method for analysing Enterprise 2.0 is to follow the SLATES Paradigm, from the book ‘Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration’ (mmm.. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard it’s good!) by Andrew McAfee. Slates describes a list of tools and technologies are a good guide for using Web 2.0 tools in the business, these include Search, Links, Authorship, Tags, Extensions and Signals.

To give an example, I’ve been reading up on the Royal Dutch Shell company. Shell has undergone projects with Moreover Technologies, and to put it as short as I can, as a result of these projects Shell’s employees have access to real-time news and blogs directly from their intranet, they can search for news, retrieve saved feeds, and read feeds (RSS) setup by the central office. There’s more on these projects at the Moreover website.

Shell is also now using wikis for all of it’s official documentation (pretty major considering the size of the company), RSS feeds for employees and for the public, and Twitter (which I’d expect of any large company now).

There’s another book, Wikinomics’ (no I haven’t read it either… as yet) written by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, about how the use of mass collaboration and use of open source technologies can be used to continue to grow (or create) a successful business. There are a few concepts in the book I want to touch on, and have a look at how people have applied them. These concepts include peering, being open, sharing and acting globally, plus a few more.

Another cool use of Enterprise 2.0 would be by Dell, who setup a site called IdeaStorm specifically for anyone (customers generally) to write down their ideas for new products, or to improve existing products. and also vote on other people’s ideas. I guess this is a really good example of a company Being Open (referring to Wikinomics) by allowing it’s customers to have their say on their services and products. Pretty cool! Check it out here. Also, there’s a short YouTube video below (an ad for it).

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Blogs and Web 2.0

My Uninformative Intro to Blogs – I believe blogs are useful – but how useful? I suppose it depends on things like, the purpose of the blog and whether it’s for personal or business use.. Obviously there are many digital social outlets available for use today, so where does blogging make it on the scale of usefulness? What is.. ‘useful’ ?

As a beginner blogger I haven’t had the opportunity to discover how useful blogging can be to me personally, but hopefully I will.

One notable use of blogs is that done by Sacha Chua, using her blog to share with others her ‘weekly review’, where she writes about all the things she had planned for the previous week and how much of that list she completed. This is an interesting use of a blog, and I guess the purpose is to share, and keep others informed of her day to day life.

Blogs and Web 2.0 – I believe many people have been using web 2.0 technologies for a long time without even knowing it, that’s probably because most people don’t know what web 2.0 means.

Blogs are a great example of a web 2.0 technology and potentially enterprise 2.0 when used for the purpose of a business.

Sacha’s blog talks a fair bit about Enterprise 2.0 and how it can and should be used as a communicator and connector for companies and people. One of her posts that stood out to me is ‘Process: How to ask communities for help’, this post talks about how to make a request to a community for assistance, as finding help within a person’s personal network often won’t get them the assistance they need (or not fast enough).

Here’s some links to other blogs (or sites about blogs) of interest:

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hello world

Hi readers,
Welcome to the wonderful (we’ll get there) world of my blog, keep an eye or two on this space.

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