22 July, 2007

Online productivity tools

All of us information and knowledge workers use many different tools to increase our productivity. But the days where we only use tools provided to us through the corporate network or the standard operating environment have long gone.

We use an ever increasing number of tools delivered through the Internet. Some of my favourite tools obviously include Google, Technorati and del.icio.us, but there are many more out there that I find extremely useful.

Masahable has published a very comprehensive list of online productivity tools available to everyone on the Internet. I can recommend you spend some time having a closer look at what's available out there. At the very least you'll be amazed by the capabilities on offer and more than likely you'll find a few tools that will boost your own productivity.

17 July, 2007

Social networking in the enterprise

Facebook seems to be sweeping across the globe like a wildfire at the moment. This social networking site is one of the most well-designed ones out there at the moment and is quickly on its way to become the most popular as well.

The recent popularity of Facebook amongst the 25-35 year demographic has proven that it is not only teenagers who find they get value out of social networking sites. Facebook's open platform means that there are now thousands of third-party applications you can plug into this social utility and use it for a myriad of quite useful and practical purposes.

One of the things that Facebook does very well is the way it reports back to you with a dashboard type view of everything that is happening in your social network. You easily get an overview of content recently added by friends, what your friends are up to and any notifications you need to take action on.

It makes me think how amazing it would be if you had this kind of visibility into what is going on within your own organisation. MOSS does offer basic social networking features through the My Site functionality and its colleague tracker, but it is nowhere near the capabilities of Facebook.

Michael Gannotti, who is a senior technology specialist with Microsoft, has just set up a new group on Facebook ("Social Networking in the Enterprise") for interested parties to share ideas around which social networking features and services can have a meaningful impact within the enterprise. Come and join us there if you are interested in this topic.

12 July, 2007

Using FeedBurner with Blogger

FeedBurner is a great utility for publishing and managing your blog feed. It gives you extended subscriber stats and you can easily add extra functionality to your blog posts such as integration with Technorati, del.icio.us and Digg helping the reader to use their favourite tools.

So if you aren't already subscribing to this blog via my FeedBurner url (http://feeds.feedburner.com/kalsing), please update your feed reader to do so. In exchange, I promise some exciting posts in the coming weeks.

I'm using Blogger to host this blog and I've had a few issues with my setup that I finally found some time to address this morning:

  • Directing subscribers to the FeedBurner feed. I've always had a link to my FeedBurner feed on the blog site. However, users might not use this link and instead use the 'autodiscovery' functionality available in IE7 and Firefox. By default, this will point readers to the Blogger generated feed url rather than using the FeedBurner link. But the good news is that you can control what link is provided from the 'autodiscovery' buttons. More details about this here.
  • Wrong dates showing in Outlook 2007. When subscribing to my feed using the new feed reader functionality in Outlook 2007, the posts would not display the correct publication date (all posts had the same date, 1/01/2007) and hence the posts couldn't be sorted chronologially. The problem is that Outlook 2007 doesn't seem to read Atom feeds correctly. To fix this problem, configure your FeedBurner to use the Blogger generated RSS url rather than the Atom url. This url should be http://[YourId].blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss.