Enterprise Social Networks

Don Park paints a picture of blog and wiki convergence in the following quote:

“Imagine posts and comments flowing from blogs to wikis like the way streams feed into lakes. Got the picture yet? Now think of a blog category as a wiki page. The picture changes so that the blog becomes a mountain and categories become the streams running down the side of the mountain in all directions toward wikis into which streams from other mountains also feed into.”

I certainly would enjoy seeing the reality of Don’s picture. However, I would also like to expand on his canvas (and borrow his metaphor too ;-)

In my picture I would like to see the integration of blog and wiki-style features in enterprise software such as Document Management Systems, Content Management Systems, and of course Collaboration and Knowledge Management Systems.

For example, take the new Microsoft Office 2003 System…

Imagine if the Office System supported trackbacks, pingbacks, blogrolls and wiki style page creation that was orchestrated by SharePoint Services or even a scaled-down version of BizTalk Server.

Combine this with a version of Outlook that comes with a built-in aggregator like NewsGator and supports an auto-discovery social networking feature based on FOAF.

Ok, maybe I’m turning Don’s picture into a Jackson Pollock, but I do feel there is great potential in providing a distributed collaboration and social networking aware framework that seamlessly fits into the enterprise and does not take users out of the applications they use on a daily basis.

Remote Shutdown

I was just helping out a friend who was trying to remotely restart a server that was somewhat locked-up and I found this gem on the JSI FAQ, which describes a “feature” of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) on Windows 2000 & XP that will enable you to remotely restart a server.

Q: How can I log off or shutdown a remote Windows 2000 computer? (Quoted from the JSI FAQ)
A: You can do this from your Windows 2000 desktop.

  1. Right-click My Computer and select Manage.
  2. On the Action menu, press Connect to another computer…
  3. Double-click a computer in the list.
  4. Right-click Computer Management (‘server-name’) and press Properties.
  5. On the Advanced tab, press Startup and Recovery.
  6. Press the Shut Down button.
  7. Select an Action:
    • Log off Current User
    • Shut Down
    • Restart
    • Power down (if supported)
  8. Select a Force Apps Closed action and press OK.

Very cool! I didn’t even know that feature existed!!

If that doesn’t work, there’s also a free Remote Shut Down tool from Sysinternals:

You can also get the Kill.exe from the Windows NT Resource Kit.

Oh yea, another cool hack is this one which enables you to remotely install VNC on a server.

Collaboration and Process

Clay Shirky writes the following in his piece about, “Wikis, Grafitti, and Process:”

“A wiki in the hands of a healthy community works. A wiki in the hands of an indifferent community fails. The software makes no attempt to add ‘process’ in order to keep people from doing stupid things. Instead, it provides more flexibility, a crazy amount of flexibility, and intoxicating amount of flexibility, allowing massive amounts of stupidity and intentional damage to be done, at will, by roving and anonymous posters. And it provides rollback.”

Indeed, a healthy community doesn’t need a formalize process or a highly specialized set of tools to successfully collaborate. Like water or electricity, they will find a way through the muck; it may not be the most efficient or elegant, but it will certainly get from point-to-point.

SoBig Blackout Blaster!

Via Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley

“Rumors about SoBig and Blaster are propagating almost as fast as the worms themselves. The latest rumor circulating on Bugtraq: Blaster caused last week’s east coast blackout. Some are speculating that Blaster brought down the monitoring and control systems at a power-plant master terminal. Meanwhile, on the SoBig front, Gartner analysts are estimating that damages incurred by businesses from the e-mail worm could top $50 million.”


HyperText File System

Beau Lebens’ Dented Reality has some interesting projects, like this one…

“HTFS is a complete, database-driven “file-system” on the concept of hyper-text … The basic idea of this system is …[that]… files, emails, notes and links can be stored as unique items – ONCE, managed by a database.” [more]

Hmm, sounds a bit like Ted Nelson’s Xanadu.

I’d love to see some demos of it, maybe sample code too.

Canon EOS Digital SLR Rebel

Lately, I’ve been doing some research into the latest crop of Digital SLR cameras from Canon. Of course, I’d be nowhere without the help from my friend and coworker Les, who needs to get his weblog/photolog online ASAP (but that’s another story).

Anyway, initially I was led to the Canon EOS 10D, by Anders and Les, which is an awesome pro-consumer camera, based on the reviews and sample pictures that that I’ve seen.

Although, at roughly $1,200 – $1,500(US), the price of the 10D is still way more than I want to spend (even with the imaginary money I’m willing to put towards a new digital camera to replace my aging Olympus 2020-Zoom.)

However, Canon just made the move to Digital SLR a bit closer to reality, with the release of the Canon EOS Digital Rebel (aka Canon EOS D300)

It’s not going to be released in the US until September, but it will have a list price of $899 (for the body) or $999 (with the Lens Kit).

I’m still playing with imaginary money, but it’s very tempting given the fact that we can re-use our Canon EF lenses from our older Canon EOS Rebel 35mm film camera as well as the external flash.

Hmmm, maybe an after Christmas gift for the family? And maybe we’ll win the lottery too? :-)

Office 2003 Pricing is Set

Via Microsoft Monitor:

“Office Standard 2003 full version will sell for $399 and the Pro version for $499. Respectively, upgrades will cost $239 and $329.”

However, InfoPath and OneNote will sell for $199 each, which seems a bit steep — especially if they want to get them deep into the enterprise.

I still don’t get MSFT’s strategy with InfoPath. I think they should at least have a stripped down version or “reader” (like Acrobat) that they just give away.

Teoma eclipsed Google?.

The Wall Street Journal covers Google’s closest competitors (except Microsoft [for now]):

“Some search industry gurus even preach heresy: that Google isn’t the field’s technology leader anymore.”

Teoma’s providing more value by providing refinements from the “community”

“Teoma’s software has, in effect, found the “community” associated with your search, and is listing what related topics that community is “discussing.” For “power blackout,” the refinements Friday included “electrical surge” and “cost of downtime.”

“Prof. Kleinberg says Teoma’s technology has lately eclipsed Google’s.”

Although, I’m curious to see what will happen when Google starts to better incorporate “Blog Fodder” with search results as a context refinement.

“How much better than Search Engine X does Search Engine Y need to be to get people to start using it?”

Hmm, good question! In fact, I think it gets even uglier in the enterprise search market.