Chatting Cars and Enterprise Software

do MySpace has a real winner in this leader Lots and lots of other peeps there lost of progress kudos to everyone Me I was the oldest dude in the room And felt proud of that fact Now if I could only get folks to focus on distributed friending or a dashboard standard I guess I ll have to wait on those ideas Date

Today I stumbled upon a brilliant article posted earlier today, by Zoli Erdos, and entitled Chatting Cars and Enterprise Software that I would urge everyone to read! Below are a couple of little extracts in order to whet your appetites!

   I have to get something off my chest first. I admit when Chatter first came out, I did not get it.  Yeah, another activity stream, so what?  I’ve long agreed with Chief Curmudgeon Dennis Howlett that activity streams without business context offer little value in business.  Things started to get interesting when Chatter added the ability to follow documents, opportunities and other business objects.  Aha!  So now we’re getting business context in Chatter!  But why? The trick is to get enterprise data out of the complex, screen oriented business applications cluttered with zillions of field and serve it up to users in simple yet actionable format.  Enterprise software companies have long realized only a fraction of employees of their customers will ever use their systems.


Now, back to cars.  I said the opportunities are endless.  Peter Coffee talks about the Internet of Things.  But I think the Internet of Things isn’t so much about machines interacting with us, but machines interacting amongst themselves.  If my car can be my “friend”, why couldn’t cars befriend each other?  Hey, Google is experimenting with self-driving cars.  Can you see the day when self-driving GooCars Chatter with each other? Now, if you can “friend” … you can certainly “unfriend”.  Which makes me wonder about the day when a bunch of friendly GooCars gang up on an unfriendly   Related articles Posted in Application Software, Featured Posts, Just for fun | Tagged activity stream, cars, chatter, Duet, Goocar, google, Google car, netsuite, salesforce chatter, salesforce.

Now then, reading this article got me thinking so I did a google search for some other posts on the subject and discovered some more gems! e.g. Activity Streams Versus Bureaucracy posted a fortnight ago, by Monica Wilkinson, on a blog called The Future of Work:

First, this company, which was a fairly decent size and very popular with consumers and the press, practiced openness and transparency with their employees and there was a high level of trust. Executives shared very important, sensitive information with employees on a regular basis – the kind of information that reporters would kill for. The level of trust was tremendous considering the company’s high profile and intense public interest. Second, I was extremely impressed with how the company had a tool for everything. From scheduling meetings, creating tasks, or submitting a piece of code for review, having the right tool for the job made work so much more enjoyable. And finally, what I was most impressed with was how the tools we used, and the humans that used them, were in succinct harmony via the internal activity stream.


Engineers were encouraged to work fast and efficiently, but if something would break after it was released, Facebook’s sophisticated monitoring and reporting system would catch it. It then would quickly alert the necessary teams, who were always connected to the company’s nervous system (their activity stream), and they would then act with urgency in a collaborative fashion to address the issue. I have a deep appreciation for the power of Activity Streams as a mechanism to foster collective intelligence and productivity. I believe that a company that has good guidelines, good people, good tools and effective monitoring does not need central approvers. I believe in the power of decentralization.


When I joined Socialcast in August 2010, I came with a specialized focus to help write the next chapter of activity streams. Activity streams are essential to knowledge workers, helping them cut down on the menial tasks like email, finding answers, duplicating work, wasted time in meetings, and on solving problems. They provide information, and I firmly believe that information is power. At Socialcast, we do what we preach: we have all of our business systems tied to our Socialcast activity stream. Production monitors, customer feedback and continuous integration systems are all tied into our activity streams. Even our git extensions are integrated, alerting the necessary engineers when projects are checked in or out. Sales and marketing have integrated their CRM and other systems into our activity stream for lead nurturing, client support, social media monitoring and marketing campaigns.

Another fantastic article came from Luis Suarez over on E L S U A ~ A KM Blog Thinking Outside The Inbox by Luis Suarez posted three weeks ago, entitled 5 Reasons Why Activity Streams Will Save You From … – Elsua which is also definitely worth reading!

Remember “Reply to All” and how much we all like it?… NOT!! Exactly! Much of that unnecessary, unsolicited, spam-ish generation of emails could be stopped by just simply becoming more transparent, trustworthy in what we do for our day to day interactions through those Activity Streams. Without having, of course, to detail every single aspect of what we do, which seems to go in the opposite direction of our overloaded Inboxes when, time and time again, we feel compelled about sending across plenty of emails to our peers AND bosses (Not to mention our boss’ boss!), as a way to justify our workload or cover our a**e. Talking about how critical the role of Activity Streams is in helping generate plenty of social capital and trust amongst yourself and your peers, including your manager(s), to help reduce, eventually, some of that noise. They help you, greatly, be done with the obsession to read AND respond to everything: Eventually, teaching us all how we need to start letting things go. Just like with Twitter (And perhaps both Facebook and LinkedIn as well), pretty much, we have learned over time how we no longer need to read and respond to everything that comes across our way, like we use to do with our Inboxes, as my good friend Peter Kim recently blogged about, quite accurately, a couple of times over at “Why do we care so deeply about the Inbox?” and “Email: option vs. obligation” (Worth while reading both of those articles as well, by the way!).


  Thank you, Twitter, for showing us all how we need to start learning to disembarrass ourselves from that obsession of wanting to read everything and act on everything that comes across our way, when we all know we shouldn’t! We have got better things to do. They facilitate serendipity and Informal Learning: When was the last time that you associated those two crucial concepts to your Inbox and the emails you receive? Probably, not that often, right? Yet, in the world of Activity Streams both serendipitous knowledge discoveries and informal learning, a.k.a. social learning, are fully immersed, rich experiences that one cannot avoid, but fully embrace when bumping into them time and time again. It’s those Activity Streams that help facilitate those accidental knowledge discoveries as well as learning while on the job, as the always insightful Harold Jarche shared across, just recently, under the inspiring heading “Fix the workplace“.

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