How to get Immunity against e-mail?

I thought I would share another couple of sentences I read in a book have very much liked. The book is another masterpiece, The Tipping Point. In the afterword there is a little chapter, titled "Beware the Rise of Immunity". The following are excerpts from there:

The fact that anyone can e-mail us for free, if they have our address, means that people frequently and persistently e-mail us. But that quickly creates immunity, and simply makes us value face-to-face communications – and the communications of those we already know and trust – all the more.

When people are overwhelmed with information and develop immunity to traditional forms of communication, they turn instead for advice and information to the people in their lives whom they respect, admire and trust. The cure for immunity is finding Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen.

During this period I am seeing many posts around "Resolutions for the New Year" which explicitly state that inbox-zero is one of the priorities. So, we could say that

The proper use of Social Software can actually be the cure for immunity. 

social software for businessAnd Lotus Connections can actually provide a big help in looking for Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen inside your community.

Googlenomiks (or Googlesaurus)

So, I had been late on commenting on other attempts of the big octopus, but I cannot refrain from commenting on this.

Google officially announced a Wikipedia killer: it is called KNOL. Under the seducing title of Encouraging people to contribute knowledge, Google is, actually, directly attacking Wikipedia.

I have never been a big fans of Wikipedia, also. 
I just think Wikipedia is useful and is something that is important in the panorama of the Web; but I still think that I prefer to know who is providing me the information. As I often say, I try to teach my children not to get the free press, because behind the fact that they do not spend money for getting it, some hidden messages can be delivered. And I am using this same argument in my posts against Googlesaurus…

Now, KNOL actually proposes something that I consider interesting and, in principle, more robust and accountable than Wikipedia:

The key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors… We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content…

…We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing.

Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information.

A way in which people will sign what they write; a system where there will be competing opinions. And where people can comment on something that has a signature. I like this!

But:

A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content…

…At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads…

…Once testing is completed, participation in knols will be completely open, and we cannot expect that all of them will be of high quality. Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results. We are quite experienced with ranking web pages, and we feel confident that we will be up to the challenge.

Ok. Once again, behind the seducing sentences of “We are very excited by the potential to substantially increase the dissemination of knowledge” or “Google will not ask for any exclusivity on any of this content and will make that content available to any other search engine“, the Googlesaurus shows its aspect and its intention: Wikipedia is out of its control and is, potentially, an incredible source of revenue! It cannot be left there as it is, like an unexploited goldmine.

And, once again, a Big Brother (Google Search Quality) will rank for you what you better read as your primary source of information.

Sorry. The idea is good, but it will turn to be another arrow that will make Google more powerful and, all of us, less free.

I think that some parts of the Internet will need some control. Leaving control to Google is not good. Leaving control to other may not also.

Let’s say NO TO GOOGLE and to its enormous ego! Internet search is too important to be left in the hands of a private company.

P.S.See the Read/WriteWeb article for more information

The Power User wears Prada

The Devil Wears PradaYesterday I saw the movie “The Devil wears Prada“.

You remember when Miranda asks for the yet-to-be-published copy of Harry Potter?
The way in which Andy manages the situation, by delivering two copies of the book to the twins before they take the train and giving an additional copy to Miranda, anticipating her objection and exceeding her expectation, is so great that I could not resist from immediately thinking to a sentence that I often use in my presentations for Lotus Connections or Web 2.0:

It’s not what work you expect Employee #1234 to accomplish per person-month of work……
It’s the work you never expected would happen, that suddenly creates new business

I hope that no one has to do impossible things in order to really create a new opportunity, but the example was so sharp and sticky !
It really, I think, makes it clear that it is important, today, to be innovative and clever in whichever action we do, in order to apply the passion that is inside us.

Papybook

Yesterday, on my way back from Paris where I got a wonderful long week end with my wife, I was reading these sentences from the book “The Tipping Point“:

In general, people chose friends of similar age and race. But if the friend lived down the hall, then age and race became a lot less important. Proximity overpowered similarity….
We’re friens with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.

I remembered those sentences when, this morning, a colleague sent me an email pointing me to this site: SAGA Zone.
It is a social site for people over 50. Hey, next year I can subscribe to it! There is also an interesting article that explains what the site is for.

Communities are springing everywhere, now that the new synthetic universe is giving the possibility for people to share. The proximity, the possibility to occupy the same space is no more limited by the typical dimensions where we live (space, time). The new universe gives the possibility to “do things together” with people that “live down the hall“…

There is, though, a sad side of this story, in my opinion; it is the sense of loneliness that these initiatives bring together. Apparently, it is more and more difficult to have normal relationships with other humans.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is opening new frontiers that are certainly enhancing our “social attitude”. It should be “enhancing”, though, more than “substituting”. At least, this is what I would think of myself in the 3rd age…

Java on the desktop is already here!

I have been surprised when I read this article: James Gosling (Sun) : « Java sur le poste client n’est pas à la hauteur aujourd’hui ». It is in French, so I translate the title here:

James Gosling (Sun) : « Java is not ready today for the desktop »

Strange, isn’t it ? The “father of Java” who, 15 years after, makes such a big statement!Well, the reality is different, as we all know.
Eclipse is there and it is there since sometime now. Eclipse is no more only an “open development platform”, but has become ‘a platform for building and deploying rich client applications”: it is called Eclipse RCP. Many people are developing rich Java applications for the desktop (and for the mobile market also) based on Eclipse RCP:

And, not least, IBM is building the new generation of its products based on Eclipse RCP!

The Universal Managed Client for SOA, called Lotus Expeditor. A platform for building enterprise applications and enterprise mashups that bring the power of SOA towards the desktop and devices

The new Lotus Notes 8 client, which brings the possibility of building Composite Applications centered around the collaboration tools

Lotus Sametime, which provides a new frontier for Unified Collaboration and Communication

Sun may not be ready. But the world is not waiting in order to make Java evolving! And Java is bigger than a trade symbol.

The Ministry of Truth

Thanks to TonyBlog, and his article How difficult is to be the fastest growing internet company in the world, I discovered a long but very interesting video on Google’s dominance.
I share the video here also for the ones who want to see it from here.

I was hit by several things:

  1. the “Ministry of Truth” thing that happens at the end of the video
  2. the reference to the media monopoly situation that is happening in some parts of Europe (Italy, for instance) and that is scaring lot of people
  3. the fact that the VPs that are interviewed do not show concern about the power they have in their hands.
    They consider that power just from a technology point of view and they came out with statements that look like the following ones (I do not quote exact words…)

    • if we were able to do what we did, everybody can do also.
    • Why would we do something evil?
    • the possibility of beinbg evil is inside every job…

No, I think that we need to come to some action before it is too late. Internet Search is too important to be left in the hands of a private monopoly: Internet Search should be property of no one. The temptation would be too big.

Unavoidability….

Thanks to an IBM internal comment, I discovered the Did you know 2.0 video referenced by Luis in his Reminder of How Much Things Are Changing post.

I have one reaction: frightening. I am scared! I mean, of course the flow of things cannot be reversed, the earth spins from West to East regardless of my opinion (or of the collective opinion thereof…). But there is a difference between acknowledging that something is happening and not doing anything to oppose, right?
I mean, not everything that happens is “a good thing”, in my opinion. We have the right, as human beings, to oppose to things that may not go in the direction we like.

I list here few things I definitely do not like:

  • B.G. : Before Google ????
    Could not believe it!!! There was an era before Google and an era after….
    It is not that I could not believe it. This is a fact. No one can contradict this evidence. But, once spelled in that way, I think it also becomes relevant the question: “if Internet search is SO important and pervasive, could we really afford to leave it in the hands of a single private monopoly?”.
  • Today’s learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
    I am not the person who was born in IBM; I just joined 5 years ago (yeah, I am in one of the other statistics) and have been with other 3 companies before in 25 years of work.
    But 10-14 jobs by the age of 38 means that people may change jobs as frequently as each year or 18 months. Is this what companies expect in terms of loyalty from employees? Isn’t it true that people start being really productive once they know the context and the culture of the company they work for? Does this mean we will all have “contractor jobs“, jobs based on a single task to be executed?
  • Half of what a student in a 4-years course studies will be outdated starting when starting his 3rd year.
    Ehi. Culture is not only technology that gets outdated as new inventions happen.
    I think that children and adolescents have the right to study things that will not be directly part of their CV. It is the only moment in life in which they can learn things “just for thesake of learning”, “just to shape their minds and their hearts”, “just to discover what the history has sedimented in thousands of years”.
    We will always have the time to play with the last innovation… but we will not have so much time to read Shakespeare, to learn how to love poetry, to understand how humankind got here where we are.
    Sedimentation of understanding is an important principle that we need to keep in mind. Reading, remembering… and understanding (in order to have culture permeating our lives) are still different processes in our brain, I think (at least they are in mine).
  • Young people Urgently need new skills to succeed in the global economy“.
    Learning new skills is something that has been true always, I guess. The evolution of mankind just did not start yesterday…
    The accent here, though, is on the urgency. Like “we urgently need to eat”…. Urgently!
    Urgently….
    I commented on the pace of this urgency a couple of days ago…
    And the other accent is on the “global economy”. As a big a Godzilla from which we have to defend ourselves… Or as the climate changes that will subvert the needs pyramid and change the way in which we face day-to-day life.
    Looks really like a science-fiction movie, where it seems we are starting to fear about what we are producing but we are already unable to control it.

I cannot consider that all this is unavoidable. I cannot think that we do not have a mean to adapt the pace to our biological rhythm, to the way in which our minds have been shaped and our heart loves.

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