Newsletter No.15



I have to say I have mixed feelings about Quora. When I first saw it I found it interesting the way it allowed users to answer questions, edit and rate those questions, and then navigate through all the content in useful ways by topic or person. Then it got really busy and my inbox filled with connection notices. I began to not see the wood for the trees and walked away. However I now feel the need to go back and invest more time and effort in it as  it is clearly doing something interesting and people like Joshua-Michéle Ross whose opinions I rate are seeing value in it that I may have missed.

McKinsey "get" social media

Interesting to see the big consulting firms beginning to catch up with what is happening in terms of the business use of the social web and even more interesting to see McKinsey’s come down so resoundingly in its favour. I thought the article might be of use to some of you making the case for social tools. 

Micro blogging case studies

Elizabeth Lupfer at Social Media Today has pulled together a really useful list of case studies of enterprise use of micro-blogging - i.e. Twitter or Yammer etc.. Many companies find these tools gain traction where blogging or forums don’t and there are some really interesting stories in the collection.

US Army social media handbook

The US Army have published their 2011 Army Social Media Handbook. I have already passed this on to my clients who work in the military but I thought the rest of you might find it interesting too. There is much good stuff in there and if they can do it …..

Productivity tips

The Habit Factor

One of the challenges of having more opportunities than ever before to read, learn and do things through the internet and social tools is that that it can get harder to decide what to do and harder to maintain focus. I am always interested in ways to make the best of the opportunities we have so a couple of recommendations. The first of these is The Habit Factor. This is an app for the iPhone and Android, and now a book. The basic idea is that we are all creatures of habit, that these can either be good or bad habits, and that it is possible to actively cultivate good habits in place of bad. The book explains the thinking with some interesting theory and history and then the app makes easy and rewarding to establish and maintain good habits.  


I am a big fan of Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog and thoroughly enjoyed his first book The Power of Less. Here I am recommending his ebook Focus which has some great ideas about how, and why, to increase your personal signal to noise by deciding what is most important and finding ways to focus on it. 

Current reading

My current reading is Net Delusion by Evgeny Morozov - which I am reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone. I am too early into the book to decide where I stand on some of Morozov’s arguments but basically he is warning against cyber-utopianism and rightly pointing out that technology doesn’t change much in and of itself but relies on being used thoughtfully and wisely. Cory Doctorow has done a full and fascinating review of the book in The Guardian which I would recommend you read before buying the book. Even if I don’t end up agreeing with Morozov he has made me think - a lot! 

Best Blog Post

I am going to slightly cheat on the best blog post for this newsletter and mention three - though they are connected. As I have often said my greatest pleasure is when a blog post has been interesting enough to people to encourage them to comment and the following three posts did that in spades:

Does the web change everything? 

Does the web change everything at work?

Can the web be taught? 

Thanks again for reading and as ever let me know what you think of this newsletter and do recommend it to others if you consider it useful.