I’m a fan of most things Web2.0, not just for personal use but as business tools. Over the last four years or so I’ve enthusiastically embraced Wikis, IM (Google Talk), RSS Readers et al. I could see the benefit and attraction of social network sites such as Facebook even if I’ve not partaken as such. Heck, I’ve even joined the ranks of “those who blog”.
This morning two things I read brought home to me the benefits of this technology, particularly in a business environment; the penny had dropped!
The first was this post “Ambient Awareness – The Cloud Killer-App” where this caught my attention …
To me, this is the essences of situational awareness. An ability to sense and understand your environment and the actions of others in that environment. Clive goes on to explain that sociologists have found that “weak ties”, such as those created by twittering, greatly expands an individual’s ability to solve problems.
Then I read that the winner of the top prize at TechCrunch50 is Yammer, yet another Twitter look a like, but this time with a difference; it’s designed to allow communication only between those within the same organisation.
Now that could be very useful, especially for organisations with a dispersed workforce or comprised mainly of teleworkers. Such a tool could act not just as a means of keeping people in touch and aware of the general happenings with a company but could also be used a “lite command and control” tool where messages are used as a replacement for time-sheets and progress/activity reports.
As email was (and still is) the “internet as a wide-area-network” killer-app, micro-blogging may very well be the killer-app of the “always-connected internet”.
And in the spirit of sharing that is Web2.0, here’s some other things I discovered this week…
- OutWit, a very useful Firefox extension if you need to automate the “harvesting ” of data (tables lists, photos,mp3s) from the web.
- xlUnit – a unit testing framework for Excel VBA, now that’s something I could do with, OK it’s not quite there yet, but you can follow this Grumpy Old Programmer as he rolls it out.
- Reverse Snowflake Joins Online, if you have a nasty bit of SQL that you need to visualise in a graphical format, then this online version of Alexandru Toth’s open source Python tool may be just what you need.
- Quantivo, customer behaviour analytics in the cloud. If you’ve lots of sales data, but no in-house datawarehouse.
- And if you’ve no sales data because you’ve no sales, then check-out Sales 101.