September 2004 Archives

Life in 2020

Lately I have been thinking about the future and serendipitously I found this post about Life in 2020. Several weeks ago I read T.C. Boyles book "A Friend of the Earth" which takes place in the mid 2020's. It is a wonderful book about eco-disaster, life in the future, and looking back on the 1990s. In today's Financial Times (27/09/04) there was a whole section on the future of employment and how we will work in the future. As it asserts in the lead article, I do believe that privacy will no longer be an issue and all of our activities will be monitored. Communications mechanisms will be ubiquitous and unregulated. Much, much more work will be done remotely and coordinated via the web. Machines will communicate more than they do today but will still require direction from humans. In the next 15 years the magnitude of change will be far faster than anything we have ever seen before.

British newspaper The Guardian is running a Guardian special: the world in 2020 series.

Yesterday's It's all for your own good article forecasts how by 2020, no aspect of your life will be safe from prying eyes, or from interfering official nannies: analysis of your urine in your workplace, remote control of your car speed, facial recognition systems, etc.

Technology will be at the service of the government, and its use will increasingly force us to consider the balance between the freedom of the individual and intrusion into our daily lives by the state.

Quite insightful is also the article Only connect which examines the impact of wireless on our lives by 2020, from RFID chips to robots and artificial intelligence, cars, energy, etc.

[Smart Mobs]

Downpatrick Head

Downpatrick Head, originally uploaded by ralph.poole.

This summer we vacationed in Ballina, County Mayo in the Republic of Ireland. We took many wonderul trips to remote and stunningly beautiful places. To the north and west of Ballina stretches the unspoilt north coast of Co. Mayo, wonderfully wild and remote. Not to be missed here is the spectacular view from Downpatrick Head where the Atlantic has gouged a huge bay from the mighty cliffs, their summits scoured of all vegetation except grass by the ceaseless ocean winds. The air is full of wheeling birds: terns, gulls, skuas, razorbills and the rather less active puffins. Look out for the puffing holes that spew out tall columns of sea spray when the weather is rough. The most spectacular of these is called Poulnachantinny. It was created, apparently, when St Patrick was fighting with the Devil. The saint landed such a fearsome blow with his crozier that Old Nick was driven clear through the rock and into the sea beneath. In the course of this mighty scrap they also detached part of the headland. Now known as Doonbristy, this lone stack of rock is crowned by an old ruined fort. On the Head itself, a plaque commemorates those who lost their lives in the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion.

Leonard P. Zakim Bridge

Leonard P. Zakim Bridge, originally uploaded by Martin Hapl.

This bridge is near my house in Charlestown. The two tall pillars resemble the Bunker Hill Monument.

Wine Wiki

I finally found a Wiki application that I can use to start a project that I have envisioned for a while. Wikis are a perfect platform for a collaborative writing project on Wine. I wrote the first page in the Wiki tonight. It is a very simple page which lists wine related blogs. This wiki will be strictly about wine and I hope it will attract other contibutors. If you are passionate about wine, follow the link and add your two cents.

Userplane's best-of-breed applications power more than 300,000 online communities, ranging from small niche sites to large social networks. Every product in our growing application suite is designed to promote interaction, retention and revenue for site owners. No wonder more than 5,000 new publishers join Userplane every week.
The leading social networks rely on Userplane technology for their chat rooms, IM applications and more. In addition, Fortune 500 companies and major brands have tapped into our vast social advertising network for precision-targeted campaigns.
Founded in 2001 by Michael Jones, Nate Thelen and Javier Hall, Userplane is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company became a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL LLC in August 2006.

seedwiki: A wicked Wiki tool

I have been looking for a low investment wiki tool for a while. I want to concentrate on content development, not on the app itself; so seedwiki looks like a good option.

Get your free collaboration tool here.

seedwiki is what you make of it. It can be your family sharing stuff without fear of spam. A collaborative business intranet. Your community planning a new recreation center. A space for friends to talk about your favorite team. A group of professionals doing a project together.

There are no boundaries or restrictions. People all over the world have created thousands of seedwiki sites of every kind. Some have grown to more than a thousand pages; others are just a few pages.

[Smart Mobs]
Thank you, Loic for introducing me to this blog. Wine is my passion and this provides lots of good detail about the process. I am glad the weather is good for the harvest in France.

If you like wine, Beaucastel is one of the most famous wine in France, and they have a new blog to follow the 2004 harvest.

[Loic Le Meur Blog]

All CSS Properties Listed Alphabetically

Here is a usefull reference.
All CSS Properties Listed Alphabetically

[] Smartmobs

There is also an RSS feed for the most recent bookmarks on the site. The RSS feed is

Whenever a media-using habit becomes obsessive-compulsive fun, I know something is happening that might change the way I do everything. I remember the first Macintosh I got my hands on, and the hours that were lost in Macpaint -- almost all of it using Fatbits, an artistic capability that no instrument had provided before. I remember when the first thing I did online every morning was check the NCSA Mosaic site to see what wild, wonderful, and useful websites had been created the night before. Virtual communities. Instant messaging. Blogging. Now I find myself drawn to the home page, just to see what people have bookmarked. Even more fun is checking out what has been added to the smartmobs or cooperation collections of juicy finds. Who ARE these people? And what ELSE are they bookmarking? Social bookmarking, folksonomy -- I even like the jargon people use before any of us really knows what shape this critter will take when it grows up. If you come across any sites that would interest others who are tracking smart mobs or cooperation -- bookmark them to those tags. Some day in the not too distant future, I'll post the best of what turns up.

[Smart Mobs]

Global Knowledge Review

David Gurteen is a must read if you want to understand knowledge management. Ton Zijlstra blogs about Gurteen's new magazine.
David Gurteen has started a new magazine, Global Knowledge Review. As I have a large amount of respect for David as a person, and his Knowledge Conferences (although I've never been able to attend one), I am sure that this this magazine will be valuable as well. The introduction issue is free for download, and there are reduced price subscriptions until Oct. 1st. A handful of topics from the first issue: Everyday miracles, learning and the human condition What do Knowledge Workers want? A wake up call for HR Lilia Efimova, Dina Mehta, Denham Grey and Mick Cope are among the (coming) contributors to the magazine. Can we make the flow go? Trees versus webs Go have a look.

[Ton's Interdependent Thoughts]

Google Browser Coming

Robin Good propose a compelling argument for a Google Browser with lots of supporting posts and articles.
As long anticipated in this very column, and as early as being discounted as "naive", I had humbly indicated my feeling that Google may had been working around the release of its own browser. Please review my own original posts...

[Robin Good's Latest News]
This is an excellent sharepoint resource!
This presentation will show you guidelines for a optimized Infrastructure Implementation on Sharepoint Portal Server 2003.

[Last 20 SharePoint Portal Server Uploads on]

My Netflix Que


I drove my son to school in Michigan last weekend. During the drive, which took 3 days, non stop, I listened to four audio books:

A Friend of the Earth. New York: Viking, 2000 T C Boyle
Little Scarlet, Walter Mosley
Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward
American Soldier, Tommy Franks

All extremely powerful books and highly recommended!

The Bad Plus Weblog

One of my favorite bands, The Bad Plus, has a weblog that I discovered when I went to their web site. They play comtemporary jazz.


Robin Good is a great example of the principle of amplification. I get a lot of insight into collaboration and publishing from his site. This link is a good example.
"in the [attention based economy] of blogs, credit for discovering and filtering information is potent currency. Many blogs when posting links, will also include a link to the site that lead them to the link. This practice, bordering on a...

[Robin Good's Latest News]

Classification schemes:Facets on the web

This is a good study of how to organize content and the navigation architecture to enable users to precisely find what they are looking for.

Kathryn La Barre has published the preliminary results of a study into the use of facets on the web. To quote:

This is the project homepage for the preliminary study: Adventures in faceted classification: A brave new world or a world of confusion? presented July, 2004 at ISKO in London, England. This work continues as my dissertation topic as described in my qualifying paper, Faceted Maps of Knowledge and Domains: "Peeling the onion of an idea," an examination of the use of Facet Analysis in website design.

[Thanks to InfoDesign.]

[Column Two]

Matthew Clapp in CMS Watch talks about the timing between collaboration and knowledge management activities in companies in Collaboration First, Then Knowledge Management. He stresses the importance of setting up good collaboration, so that people within an team or group can share information with one another. After this works, only then think about sharing that information outside the group.

In my opinion, this order is significant. The goals of collaboration should first be to allow knowledge workers to labor together to complete projects and only then to collect that knowledge to be leveraged for the rest of the enterprise. Too many collaboration technology implementations are led by a knowledge management team that may have reversed the order of those two priorities. This can contribute to an over-engineered, failed project because the process for contributing and classifying content is so cumbersome that workers bypass the million dollar solution for another, simpler one that works.

I am seeing this happening with a client and within my own thinking. I have to be careful about focusing on the immediate problems of getting the first group of people working together - focus on their knowledge-sharing and knowledge-using needs. It is so tempting to expand my thinking to how we will share this information with the rest of the company. This is important, since we need to consider these things as we develop our initial strategies. But if it is too obvious that we are losing focus, then people won't bother with what we are doing and continue finding their own ways to share and distribute that information and knowledge. One mantra I have been using is "Make it work so well they don't have to create other processes."

[Knowledge Jolt with Jack]

My thirteenth month as a Typepad user

I noticed today as I looked at my blog's front page that I switched from Radio Userland to Typepad on August 2, 2003. I am now starting my thirteenth month as a typepad user. Before typepad, I blogged for a year at "Ralph Poole'sWeblog" which is still being hosted, for some reason, by Radio Userland. My last post on RU was on August 5th, 2003 explaining that I had changed vendors.

I started blogging after I got laid off from Capgemini, at the end of October 2002. I suspect that the downturn in technology employment had a lot to do with the rapid adoption of blogs. Originally, I thought that I would keep a log of my job search and its frustrations, and my first several months of posts reflect that. In fact, finding a job was too frustrating!. Because of the economy, I did not find a job, so logging my search only exacerbated my feelings of inadequacy. So I switched,I started my own business. For my blog, I decided to follow my interests and write primarily about technology and business, but include some personal detail and posts that reflect a bit more about myself. For example, we visited Northwest Ireland,County Mayo, in July which is recorded in the photoblog. (I still have more pictures to add)

I don't write long essays, but I am very intrigued with some of the blogs I have been reading on story-telling in business. I agree that it can be a powerful mechanism to share knowledge and insight. I am considering using the technique more in my own blog, so stay tuned.

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