Category Archives: 24924

Innovation and Social Media

“Telephone and email still remain important, just as face-to-face meetings and traditional mail retain their spaces,” he said. “Social media is just that: social. It’s part of the way in which humans have driven technology to enable them to communicate, create, share and collaborate. It reflects our own desire as a species to form communities and to connect with one another.”

Last week I was interviewed via email by Camille Tuutti for an article she was writing for GovCon Executive. You can read a few of the things I said about IBM’s use of social media (including the snippet above) in the piece, which is now posted online.

There, and back again

Things have been quiet as I took nearly a month off(line) over the Christmas and New Year periods. It was well worth getting away from it all.

Christmastime in Hong Kong Volcanic lands
Singapore at dusk Saturday Jan 9th 2010

Hong Kong
was amazing and vibrant. Bali was beautiful, relaxing, varied, and hot (and a hair cut cost less then £2, which was crazy!); we dived and watched manta rays dancing just in front of us, and explored our first wreck. Singapore is probably one of my favourite cities in the world, based on just the one visit. And Britain… Britain… is home, but utterly rubbish at dealing with snow, floods, heatwaves, and indeed more-or-less any weather conditions apart from 15C, slightly damp.

If you want to check out the photos in more detail, click through the images above or explore the sets I’ve linked to. It will take a while to fill them all out.

Travel this year looks set to take me to Canada and the US at a minimum… looking forward to it.

The Social Factor

Social matchesAround this time last year, I was asked to help some colleagues who were contributing to a book by IBM VP Maria Azua about innovation and collaboration in the workplace. In particular I spent some time reviewing a chapter by Laurisa Rodriguez, who I’d been working with for several years and had met up with along with many of the other contributors at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin a month or so earlier.

I was aware that the book was due to be published during 2009 but I’d been so busy with the day job that it had dropped off my radar. Then I noticed a couple of incoming links from others who were writing about it (and found Laurisa’s blog post about it)… and realised that it had hit the shelves. The book, The Social Factor (Amazon link), is published by IBM Press and features contributions from many of the IBMers I’ve come to know through our internal social networks and tools over the past five years. It contains perspectives which reflect many of our experiences adopting tools and techniques such as tagging, blogging, wikis and social bookmarking inside the enterprise. It also discusses something I’ve frequently referred to in my speaking engagements – IBM’s highly successful Technology Adoption Program (TAP), which Maria herself established, and which continues to drive a lot of innovations inside the organisation that feed out into software products and service offerings. There’s a good Redbook about TAP available, of course, but it’s worth reading more in chapter 10 of this book.

It’s always nice to see one’s name in print… despite being a blogger I’m not sure I’ve got an entire book to write, so this may be as much as I get… so for those interested, you’ll find a small quotation from Laurisa’s interview with me – about Twitter, of all things, imagine that! 🙂 – on page 105.

So, if you’re interested in the impact of social media, crowdsourcing and technology on innovation in a large enterprise, check out The Social Factor. I may be biased because I’m mentioned and several of my friends contributed to it, but I purchased my own copy, I’m making nothing from the book myself, and I believe that it is a great read!

WebSphere Message Broker. Seven.

Seems there’s a whole “7” theme going on around here lately… Barcamp London 7, WebSphere Connectivity v7…

I’m very excited that WebSphere Message Broker version 7 has shipped today. I have a huge amount of respect for my colleagues in IBM Hursley and the other labs that made this possible.

How did I find out that the eGA (electronic GA i.e. downloadable media) was available? Guess what, it was via Twitter.


I mentioned the highlights of the release in my recent post about the general WebSphere Connectivity v7 family:

further simplification of components and prerequisites, a much enhanced administration interface, a multitude of new nodes, better integration with WMQ v7 (pubsub and HA), slicker integration with the BPM suite through SCA support… this product just keeps getting more streamlined, refined, and functional.

It also includes support for the new Service Federation Management features that were announced as part of WebSphere Service Registry and Repository version 7 which is due later this year. There are more details about the cool new features in v7 in the What’s New in WebSphere Message Broker v7 page in the Infocenter.

Barcamp. London. Seven.

This past weekend saw a first for IBM South Bank as it played host to Barcamp London 7, the seventh time a the Barcamp unconference had been held in London (I know this, because I asked @thehodge why it was called Barcamp London 7, and he said it was because it was the seventh one… cunning!). South Bank is not often used for events at the weekend, and certainly not for events of 200 excited techies, creative types and those wanting to run their own talks on subjects as diverse as Failure, the TV series Lost, CSS design, niche bands you should be listening to, a photography project involving a rubber duck, life drawing, and Enterprise Software Patterns.

The IBM side of the event organisation was largely the effort of Zoe Slattery, although a host of us volunteered to help support the external organisers, and several IBM folks attended. Attendance at a Barcamp is free and the event is supported and funded by sponsors. It was great to mingle and chat with people I’d met at similar events, friends, and others I was connecting with for the first time.

Don't break my stuffThe scheduleIs THIS Mr Duck?Coffee loungeYepDuckpond

The way that a Barcamp is organised is that there is no set agenda – attendees turn up and volunteer to speak for 20 minutes on a topic of their choice (and these topics can be very diverse). We used something like 12 or 13 rooms and I believe we had nearly 200 available session slots spanning the 2 day period from 10am on Saturday through until 5pm on the Sunday. By the end of Saturday almost the entire session “grid” was filled. It is a Barcamp tradition that first timers are expected to give at least one session… in the end, I gave two.

There’s an event on Slideshare where the decks for those that used slides are being collected, but there was a huge range of different topics and styles (including my own favourite, Ben Fletcher’s Fingerspelling lesson, which had us learning the alphabet in British Sign Language at increasingly higher speeds!)

The overnight stay went well – there were a few party games and many, many discussions on Saturday evening. A good time had by all, judging from the tweets and photos.

The staff at South Bank were exceptional, working the weekend and remaining in great spirits, helped by the sunny dispositions of the Barcamp attendees. All in all it was a great success, and I hope that we’ll be able to get involved in more of these kinds of events!

Zoe and Ben also have some nice write-ups, and the Flickr group of photos is filling out nicely. Thanks to Adewale Oshineye for this cool photo of me!