Archive for category Tools
Note: Page and File capabilities are no longer supported by Google within Google Groups. I am currently creating a post to compare other tools that provide similar capabilities. If you have a team collaboration tool you would like included in my analysis, please leave a comment with tools name and URL.
I am working with a team of five students chartered with the task of creating a new product for the marketplace. I recommended and have created a private Google Groups site for us to collaborate in. I personally have used this tool in the past for social media experiments, all private, so I am completely aware of the tools limitations and strengths. This seemed to be a perfect fit for the diverse team we find ourselves on. Each person in the team has a demanding schedule and other responsibilities to attend to.
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about Google Groups and how this tool can help groups or communities work together and avoid the need to hold traditional meetings or conference calls.
Google Groups Functionality
This is the main page with provide a summary of activity and the main navigation points to the rest of the stie.
A place where your team can create thought streams which other teammates can reply to, brainstorm, or refine their ideas. If the team can remain disciplined to keep the thought streams together, it becomes a very strong tool in collecting and refining team ideas.
Note: Page and File capabilities are no longer supported by Google within Google Groups. I am currently creating a post to compare other tools that provide similar capabilities.
Comparable to web pages, these are places to store content rich knowledge. It is a collection point of information that would normally be stored in a document or single piece of work. Discussions can be generated from pages.
Files that are externally created can be imported into a common storage area for the entire team to review. Discussions cannot be generated from files.
Tools needed to manage subscriber lists, the site’s look and feel, and pending discussions or posts if moderation is turned on.
You can create/response to discussions via a team email address. The system can notifiy you each time a new message is created. You can set the frequency based on your personal or group requirements. I nice feature I love is “Subject Prefix”. This allows me to have the team set filters in their email clients to help organize and manage team activities.
Several Google Groups Concerns
This is not really an issue of Google Groups but rather the people you invite into your group. This tool only works if people use it. The quality of the work generated in this environment is only as good as the participation of its members. This tool does not completely remove meetings from the project but it does allow a diverse set of teammates to work on their assignments, any hour of the day, request and provide feedback on their work and others, and be productive beyond the normal meeting driven project.
Page – Content Rich
By this, Google means words and pictures. They draw the line with anything the Google Development team deems as a security risk. So trying to embed a JAVA applet of your team Google Calendar is not allowed. I’m sure the Google Calendar integration issue will be resolved at some time in the future. Yet, if your team desires to store examples of dynamic content rich code on your Google Groups site, you will need to find another creative way to do this.
The notification system default is to alert you each time a new message is placed on the site. With very active members or projects, you could return to their desk and find hundreds, if not thousands, of emails in their in-box notifying you of all the changes the team had made.
Poor SMS Support
Considering the SMS support built into other Google Tools, like Calendar, I found this omission a bit strange. It could be they simply expect you to rely on email, but most phones can send SMS to email now. A work around is to use the filter features of your mail client to then forward a copy to your cell phone as a SMS. With a real active group, you could set your phone on vibrate and rent it out as a personal massage device because it’s going to be going off a lot. You might want to change the notification settings to digest or abridged at that point.
The ROI Hunters find this tool to be very productive. We would love to hear how your team has used it. What you believe it’s strengths and weaknesses are. Please leave a comment.
Fist of all, I wish this cuil.com crew nothing but the best. I’m a big fan of competition, and want to see advances in this field of search engines and search marketing. I think it will only happen when pressure is applied by these types of companies, so I support them as best I can. Now, that said ….
OK, bravado is nice. I like the attitude, but biggest?
I did some very basic searches, mostly my name to my company name along with some of the phrases I’m monitoring for my clients and the results were light compared to the legacy search engines. There is no comparison really at this time. Cuil is definitely collecting info from blogs, but even that was light. I’m sure it will continue to grow and I will check on it periodically.
Some of the features they are supporting at this time:
- Drill Down
- Roll-Over Definitions
- Navigation Suggestions
Somewhere I saw a Firefox add on for Cuil, if I find that I’ll add it as well and see if that works as well. (Oddly, I did a search for it on Cuil and couldn’t find anything about it.)
(Strange, I’m getting a lot of hits on this page based on the misspelled name Culi also, but not sure why?)
CIO Insight posted, what I thought was going to be, an interesting article about the new iPhone 3G dangers, security problem rumors, and user problems associated with these security problems.
But instead, what we get is academia’s dementia about openness in technology. You wonder how long it would take for these guys to starve to death if they had to live by their own advice? I wonder if any of them ever had to run their own business?
I would be very interested in your thoughts?
Jott Thought: Posting to Twitter is as easy as making a phone call and there’s no internet connection required. listen
Powered by Jott
Expanded: Jott’s ability to transcribe voice to text and publish it to a service like Twitter opens the door to posting with your phone that would otherwise be very dangerous. With a speed dial to Jott, you could easily tweet that you’re stuck in traffic, while never having to fumble with a numeric keypad or micro keyboard of your blackberry or iPhone.
I’ve been reading some interesting posts on Twitter tweets with the tag marketing and I have been trying to understand the relationship between the two. Mind you, I loved the posts, just not sure about how some people tag their work. No biggy really, but I wanted to see if I could come up with some examples of how Twitter could be used to create a brand, (personal or corporate), and if not, just have some fun with it.
Fun Stuff – BOSS Tweet
This idea, I originally, came up in the 90’s as “BOSS Cam” in which you place a wireless video camera on your boss’ forehead and can see where he is all the time on a PC window. I’ve adapted this concept to Twitter Tweets, but it does require a RFID implementation of sensors throughout your campus and RFID markers in your security cards used to gain access to buildings and rooms.
With this implementation you will get BOSS Tweets when the following happens:
- Parking Lot Entry – The Boss has arrived – you have about 15 minutes to look busy.
- Building Entry – You now have about 7 minutes to make your office look like you’re really busy.
- On the floor – Have your boss’ cup of copy ready in hand and ready to give
- Movement Tweet – he’s moving about the building and you know where.
- Mining Tweet Alarm – uncomfortable levels of methane are in his office, STAY AWAY! (methane monitoring equipment sold separately)
- BOSS BOSS Tweet – your boss just met with his boss, HIDE – WORK IS COMING YOUR WAY!
- Note: use Movement Tweets to evade your boss for the entire day if necessary.
- Parking Lot Egress – time to stop hiding from your boss and get some work done real quick and go home.
OK, another example of American ingenuity and exceptionalism in the can!
Branding Exercise – Project Tweet
In this example, your team has landed a new client. You want to impress on them how great your company is, and especially how great they are at projects like the one the just won. You explain to your new client that you will be using Twitter to keep them updated as the project progresses through the different stages of project management.
Some things they can expect to see in the Project Tweet:
- Meeting Titles – and who attended
- Meeting action items – post meeting
- Key milestones or meeting action items delivered
- Gratuitous comments from the team stating how smart the client was for picking them!
- Documents updated on the shared project library
- Lots of positive statements with the client’s staff names included so they are all sitting around waiting for their names to show up on a tweet.
- “Hey check this out” messages asking them to head to the team web site and review something
I know some of the themes of twitter BLOG posts have been about ‘too much’ tweets, but in this scenario, the more tweets focused on the project, the better you look.
This is going to be a slightly different post then normal. We usually talk about Internet Marketing, but on this occasion we want to sing the praises of a new tool we have come across. This tool will increase the productivity of your organization, especially if mobile. I wish I could remember where I heard this tool first, because I want to thank them for bringing this to our attention.
Jott™ Beta – Get Simple Back™
This is a voice to text service that we have been using for several months now. We travel a lot, visiting customers or in general to soccer matches or other family events. I can’t count how many times I text messaged my client’s or family’s phones while driving without every having to find a key on my phone keypad. It is easy and safe, and so much more.
Things you can do!
Remember, this is using your cell phone to talk to Jott and they convert it to text and send it to where you wanted it to go:
- send emails and text messages by voice
- to yourself
- to someone else
- to a group of pepole
- set reminders by voice
- create to-do items by voice
- post to web services with their voice
Now they call it Jott Links. I call it exponential productivity. With Jott Links you can use Jott to send items into other web services. I, for instance, use it to update my different Google Calendars, Remember-the-Milk To-Do Lists, and soon my Jott Thoughts here on this WordPress Blog.
Here is a page which shows the current Jott Links you can set up: Jott Links
It Is FREE!
(Updated 8/21/08 – Jott out of BETA – it’s still free but some features cost!)