Latest Publications

Alea iacta est!

Today I have handed in my resignation! After 11 interesting and stimulating years at the Telematica Instituut (now also known as Novay) I have decided to move to GriDD Consultancy. And not only because it reduces my travel time with about 20 seconds. More importantly, this move allows me to grow professionally in new directions, deepen my consulting skills and be in even more close contact with customers. I’m very excited about this step and looking forward to working with my new colleagues.

Still, telling the news at work was difficult: in 11 years these colleagues have become like family (one very literally) and I really enjoy working in the Future Workspaces team. Therefore, I would like to thank all colleagues for the many inspiring conversations we had over the years and the institute, for offering me a chance to combine my PhD with project work. Fortunately, I will still be able to wave to you from the TriMM/GriDD building.

I will be around until the end of December to properly finish my Future Workspaces activities and tie up the loose ends.

To Wave or not to Wave

Google-WaveAfter days of anticipation and checking my e-mail, the Google Wave invite finally arrived. Hurray! Of course I watched the video’s before and read Robert Scoble’s comment that Wave is overhyped, but I wanted to testdrive it myself… My first impression is actually not that good: I have recently compared a series of tools for online collaboration, and Google Wave does not seem to be best-of-class.

A few remarks:

  • Sure, I used a tool of the devil, but Wave seems to have a problem with .docx files.
  • Can I define groups of contacts? It would be nice to be able to start a Wave with my team, without having to select all individual members.
  • No standard support for action points: this is something I use a lot in online collaboration.
  • Wave has folders again… You can actually assign tags to waves (check the tiny button on the bottom), but these tags are not shown in the navigation pane.
  • Sure, the auto translation is cool! Goodbye babelfish…

I have to give it to Google that the way they organized the Wave invites helps to build a hype: are you one of the lucky few? Did you get no invite yet? Could you please invite me too? And then after you activated Google Wave, you notice that your Google profile is outdated, so you also visit your profile page to update your picture and personal information.

What are your first impressions of Wave?

I gave a presentation at work on my first experiences with Wave:

Comparing tools for cross-organizational collaboration

Since one of our customers would like to experiment with close collaboration across organizational boundaries (discussing information), I am currently comparing a series of tools. The table below represents my findings from testing the different alternatives. The information in the row “User friendliness” is subjective: it indicates how easy I could find my way around the tool. If you see information in the table that you consider to be not correct, please let me know or post a comment. (more…)

Is all okay? Changing to a new hosting provider

healthLast night, my domain was transferred to my new local hosting provider. And even though the “install WordPress with one click” CGI script of the new provider did not work properly (I sure hope this is not a sign of things to come…), I managed to have my WordPress up-and-running pretty fast. The import of my old posts went smooth. And after I remembered I backup up my uploads direcory, the images in posts were also showing. Still, I am checking all kinds of settings, fixing the widgets and all kind of small things, but all in all I’m not unhappy.

Since Wordpess is not very cooperative on a temporary hosting account, it is pretty difficult to run the old version and the new version in parallel. So, the new version needs to be set up while the old version is no longer reachable. That does not leave much space for error…

My lessons learned:
Before the transfer of the domain to the new provider takes place:

  • Export your wordpress MySQL databases to your local machine (just in case). Tricky process.
  • Use the “Tools -> Export” function in WordPress to get an XML file with all your posts and sore this file locally.
  • FTP your website and copy your theme, plugins and uploads directory to your local machine

After the transfer:

  • Set up a clean version of WordPress
  • Create the appropriate user accounts
  • FTP your theme, plug-ins and uploads back to the new WordPress install
  • Activate your plug-ins
  • Import your posts from the local export file
  • Check and double-check everything

What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later

Espresso did it again!
Funny and informative slides I like to use to explain marketing and business development people that social software is not a novel way to broadcast your message – it is about engaging in conversations and actually listening.

Changing the hosting of my website

hostingMy hosting provider is trying to get me out of my current cheap plan, which is a continuation of a plan by one of the companies they acquired. Since they now even do not keep my PHP version up-to-date anymore, it gets pretty inconvenient. So I decided to take my business somewhere else and even found a local hosting provider.

The coming time, after our holidays, I will be moving my website to the new provider, so please bear with me if at some point in the process things break. I know I have a master’s degree in these things, but that does not guarantee I actually master the process 😉

Social media products

connecting-professionalsBased on our experiences with doing workshops to discuss the social media landscape and facilitating experiments to gain hands-on experience with these tools inside organizations, we are now developing three concrete FWS products around social media:

Business Twitter 101

twitterIn her blogpost Twitter for Business FAQ, Meryl Evans discusses a range of questions people might have when starting with Twitter for business purposes. Unlike our focus on Twitter inside organizations, she focusses on using microblogging for communication with customers. Nevertheless, we see some similar questions pop up. For instance the question “Do you recommend having separate Twitter accounts for business and for personal use?” was raised in our experiment as well. And we provided a similarly ambivalent answer: in general, it seems better to use only one Twitter account to avoid fragmentation of conversations over multiple accounts and to increase the number of messages per account. However, when you are also microblogging on politics, religion, sports or other emotionally charged topics, it may be smart to separate that from your business account.

(cross-posted on the Future Workspaces teamblog)

Connecting Professionals with Social Media – Presentation

connecting-professionalsThe Dutch architecture forum held a symposium on Web2.0 in the Enterprise. As part of the programme, I talked about our experiments with using Twitter to increase cohesion in business teams. Although we performed only two proper experiments, the evaluation questionaire and workshop yielded some interesting outcomes:


Quick mock-ups with Balsamiq

After a demo by Jay Simons, I am taking Balsamiq Mockups for a test drive – and I like what I’ve seen so far! The tool helps you to quickly draw mock-ups of web, windows or iPhone applications. The tool addresses the issue I feel with some other means of making mock-ups in that the result looks too real. The cool thing about Balsamiq Mockups is that the result looks like a good drawing: this gives your audience the right feeling about the state of the design.