Wednesday 25 January 2012

2012 Big Bloggers Dander for Dosh - Invitation!

He ho gentle readers!

Christmas is over and the new year brings a whole new horizon of wonderful exciting things to stick 2012 after (or before). So since the "Extraordinary Elsmores" have set the dates for UKLUG 2012 to be 3-4 September, it seemed like a good idea to arrange the 2nd Big Blogger Dander for Dosh around the same time - currently we are looking at the 25th August or the 1st September.

Now the 2011 Dander for Dosh raised over £3000.00 for the Famine In East Africa - which was great and we want to raise even more this year! So we are making this years effort an open invitation to everyone and anyone mad enough to do it.

You don't have to be a geek, a blogger or even have any interest in clipboards to join in. Come along and join Eileen Fitzgerald and myself on a 26 mile dander in the Irish Countryside followed by a slap up meal and drinkies. You will need to be is reasonably fit (I am doing it so you do not have to be "that" fit) have a good pair of socks, walking boots (not shoes!), a good waterproof jacket and a sense of humour (as Eileen will tell you my jokes deteriorate from 5 miles onward) oh and if you have one a Kilt.

This year's charity has yet to be decided but regardless of what that is you do not have to raise money whatever we settle on. You can raise cash for your own favourite charity at home or abroad. All we ask is that you raise money, lots and lots of money and have a really good time doing it!

The other reason we are putting this out there amongst you now is because it does take time to build up to a 26 mile dander. It is not as tough as running a marathon but it is 10+ hours of walking, there may be blisters and sweat rashes in awkward places! We are telling you this in January because you will have 7 months to prepare which is loads of time!

Eileen is out recceing suitable routes in the West of Ireland right now and we will announce the route as soon as we know -be assured it will be beautiful and not just because I will be there in my Dandering Kilt.

We realise that things are a bit vapoury at the minute but we plan to have things firmed up in the next few weeks and we would like to have a rough guess as to the number of people that are interested in joining us. You don't have to make a firm commitment right now but if you are interested in giving the Big Blogger Dander For Dosh 2012 a go it would be great if you could drop me a comment on this blog post or an Email to mcdonaghs [at] utvinternet[dot]com and we can keep you up to date with developments.

Challenge yourself in 2012 come and join us on the Big Blogger Dander For Dosh 2012 !

Look forward to hearing from you :-)

Steve and Eileen

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Social Software and the information event horizon

I have been following the goings on at Lotusphere with the usual envious interest of the non-attendee and once again I find myself deeply irritated by the prefix "Social" that is plugged onto things that really do not need "Social" added to them. However that is just me being grumpy and a general detestation for marketing hyperbole.

That aside I have been thinking of late of what I call the IEH (Information Event Horizon). Social networks only work when those in the networks feel obligated to participate within that network. This obligation generates the "gravity" drawing in the members of that network to spend time and resource making that network work.  The more data that is fed in the greater the gravity it generates and this leads to more people joining the network and so on.

There comes a point where this exponential growth in "obligation gravity" is so great that the people in the network pass the IEH and the time taken for the participants to consume the data exceeds the time available for the worker(s) to adequately process it.  Recently the IEH has shifted backwards somewhat by the enabling mobile connections to the networks so that the user can now participate in the data longer and enable the network to stay on the good side of the IEH. Which to a certain extent is what I am seeing in the announcements at LS12. We are enabling better ways to get at the data we are asked to participate in. I have the gravest reservation that all that is happening is a postponement of the inevitable descent into the chaos of the data black hole.

This is not to say Social Software (Euuuu hate that term) is a bad thing, it isn't. IBM Connections, Domino, Quickr, Sharepoint and ... dare I say it .. the Google tool set etc etc all have great worth to the enterprise and they are all maturing into tool sets that should enable disparate people in business to communicate in an effective and efficient manner.

So what's to be done to prevent the IEH being passed in our own organisations? I don't think there is a software fix for this, it all boils down to the aforementioned social obligation the users feel when presented with information that is passed to them. Therefore I think we have to look very closely at why we form business social networks and the way we use them to best advantage.

There are significant challenges in that last sentence, do we :

(a) know what an efficient professional social network is?
(b) know how best to form that network?

(c) know what metrics to use to measure the worth of that network?
(d) know what tools we need to enable maximum benefit

I don't think that we are meeting these challenges particularly well. We have great software to enable us to interact socially but do we have the expertise and knowledge to manage them?

I do not know so I will leave that question hanging for now ...

Disqus for Domi-No-Yes-Maybe