Monday, 26 May 2008

IT Director 1.5 meets Web 2.0

This Web 2.0 stuff is starting to get to me. I started with a Facebook account, then started this Blog, opened Flikr and Photobucket accounts, then last week in Barcelona started to Twitter. I've just spent the last hour trying to get my blog posts to appear as tweets, (come on, keep up...). I've wrestled with RSS feeds and discovered Twitterfeeds. I've even got my Facebook status linked to Twitter.

This weekend I was having a pint (or 3) in a very good pub in York, where I mentioned logging-in to Facebook to a couple of friends - "you actually log-in to Facebook?", one of them said, "that's so yesterday". I've now got to sort out Friendfeed to find out what he was talking about. Reminds me of my son who told me over a year ago that he didn't use email because it was so old fashioned.

Why do I do it? Several reasons. One, like garlic bread I believe it's the future - I'm running an IT department where the majority of our users are 20 or under. We HAVE to use this stuff and understand what they're doing and how they communicate. We also have to look at how we could take advantage of these technologies to improve our working - I can see a great use of web 2.0 technologies for collaborating on projects for example. As a non technologist in a technology department, I also love how these things are so easy to use - no horrible user interfaces, no training courses, no manuals required. Everything I've done in the last year I've taught myself - yes, I've used Google a lot and read a loads of help forums - but I haven't been beaten yet. I can sign in to most apps using my OpenID, everything's integrated - (even my dot mac account is getting in on the game and I can post pictures straight from iPhoto to Facebook) and it's all free!

Web 3.0 is on it's way and I'm worried that we haven't got our heads round Web 2.0 yet - we have made some great progress with our Innovative Communications and Student Learning Communities projects, but until we have people actually using this stuff for real we're not going to keep up.


Anonymous said...

... and you ain't started yet! Glad you got Twitterfeed sorted - now I can see when you've blogged. Wouldn't recommend surfacing tweets in Facebook - two different audiences for a start. I know you love your iPhone but you'll find yourself behind the curve on that one until they publish an API that the Web 2.0 can really get hold of. Until then the BlackBerry and it's ability to plugin Java is the one for me - I'm a reluctant convert.

Anyway - glad you didn't have the terrible weather we had. Meant I had loads of time to sort out my Barcelona posts and hunt down some really great YouTube videos that we can use for training Lotus Notes. Do you use this sort of media for training in Sheffield? Do you actually surface YouTube on your portal - would be interested to know.

Have a good week!

Ajay said...

Totally agree - and you're right is it hard work. Almost makes you feel like we ought to have a support group or something! Using this stuff has to be the only way to get your head round it and what will be very interesting is to see at what point out it starts to merge and infiltrate with the tools we use on a day to day basis to get the job done e.g.: to what extent has any of this replaced email as the main means of communication for some of the people you communicate with. Another example: I'm about to try and use a blog instead of the usual emailed department news!

Pete Shaw said...

I came across this site a couple of months ago: which has some iphone support for it's products.
Besides which, if you've not seen it before it's well worth a look!

Ian said...

now your using twitter why not follow @lawsheffield which is linked via twitter feed to our wordpress driven law school news page.

Oh and maybe even @pedalpushers (whoever they are).

So any chance of getting the twhirl client in the next MXP image

Anonymous said...

no training courses, no manuals OR THOUGHT required but still masses of horrible user interfaces

Chris Sexton said...

I disagree - some thought is required. The interfaces might be easy and user friendly (and most of them I've used have been), but there's still some thinking has to go into how you want to set things up. And anyway - whats wrong with systems where the users don't have to think?