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Collaborative communication Archives
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Apr29
Cocomment Firefox Extension: It's Aliiiiiiiiive!
Cocomment Logo.gifJust a quick update and some gushing praises related to the new cocomment Firefox extension.  I've emailed a few of you to vent some of my excitement.

Install the new cocomment Firefox extension!  It streamlines cocomment so you don't have to use a bookmarklet every time you make a comment at a blog.  It works very well - few are the pages where I haven't been able to get it work (and that's what this del.icio.us page is for) - and you can even tag your comments so they are better organized at your cocomment page.

My cocomment page shows all the recent comments I've left using cocomment.

I was conversing with David Brazeal about this when the light flickered on in my mind.  If you get the cocomment extension and comment at that page, it will tell you within a few minutes when another cocomment user posts a follow-up comment!

Here's where you can let your imagination run wild.  What if you could see what a blogger is saying not only at his or her blog, but ALL OVER the blogosphere?  And what if you could grab that as a feed?

Well, you can! See: Comments by Easton
Also: All cocomment comments left on conversations I've joined

This changes the way I blog.  I comment more and respond more quickly to others' comments.  I have a record of where I've commented so I can review those links regularly.  I get notified instantly when another cocomment user responds to me at any of those pages.

Yes, I wish cocomment would index EVERY blog comment (not just ones submitted by cocomment users).  And I wish it offered a comment search engine and slice-and-dice feed creation capability a la Topix.net.  Or a cocommenter directory, organized by tags so you could tag people according to the kinds of comments they made.  And I wouldn't mind if it put ads here or there throughout or charged a subscription fee for extra toys, because I want this idea (or something like it) to succeed.

In a way, your cocomment page and feed become like another personal blog.  It enhances the connectedness of the blogosphere in my mind and makes it easier for people to have conversations.

What ideas do you have for using cocomment?  What do you think cocomment should do to improve?

Apr28
Cocomment Releases New Firefox Extension
I am super excited about this one!  My favorite comment tracking tool, cocomment, has released a new cocomment Firefox extension.  I'll play with it and let you know what I think.  In the meantime, I highly recommend that you try cocomment out.  It can make keeping track of your conversations a breeze.  (See my cocomment page.)

In fact, cocomment has helped me do a lot MORE commenting around the Web, since I'm no longer so worried that I'll forget where I've talked or what I've said.  GREAT tool.
Apr27
Announcement: May 1, 2006 Will Be Blogtipping Day
Cow.jpgCalling all sentient bloggers: Monday, May 1, 2006 will be Blogtipping Day.  (Perhaps the first Monday of each month can be Blogtipping Day - let me know what you think.)

What's blogtipping?  It's where you forget yourself for a few minutes and think about another blogger.  It's a win-win.  All you do is this: Say three nice things and offer one simple tip.

Still confused?  Here's an example: "Hey Johnny, I like your shoes, your hair and your teeth - maybe you could also put on some deodorant!"  See, you've already done this sort of thing your whole life.  Why should your blog stay so stiff and serious that you can't go blogtipping once in a while?

So, on Monday, May 1st, please choose three of your favorite bloggers - really, anyone you want to encourage - and give each one a good blogtipping.  Please tag the post with the "blogtipping" tag so Mama Technorati can keep a growing record of our collective forays into blogtipping..

I went blogtipping yesterday and Liz Strauss, Jeremiah Owyang, Trevor Cook, Mike Sigers and Mike Sansone all liked the idea.  It's much safer than cowtipping, by the way, and you won't get in trouble for doing it publicly.  Shouldn't, anyway.

Remember: From small things come great things.

P.S. There are no prizes for blogtipping and no penalties for not blogtipping - only sweet satisfaction for the willing and dark remorse for the recalcitrant.  (I couldn't resist.)

P.P.S.  Be careful - you just might get blogtipped!

Apr21
The Prague Post On The Impact Of Business Blogging
The Prague Post has a fine article by Katya Zapletnyuk on April 19 called "Blogs are Changing Corporate Communication."

The article mentions the blogging success of Ivo Lukačovič, founder of the Czech search engine Seznam.  Zapletnyuk correctly opines that a major part of corporate blogging's success comes from business bloggers adopting a less stiff, more open (and even sometimes downright informal) tone.

I don't know if I would say a good corporate blog has to be "gossipy," but certainly it should encourage multi-directional communication - between the blogger(s) and readers, and among the readers themselves.  That's where the beauty of collaborative communication really emerges.
Mar29
Stewart Mader: Wiki vs. Blog
Note by Easton: Thanks again to Stewart Mader for guest posting here. He also posted on wikis yesterday. This special guest post is part of the Know More Media Guest Blogger Week effort.

In my last post, I made a comparison between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - not so much to be critical, but to illustrate a point about the online world. "Today" is central to the growth of technology because the tools and services you can use today are the ones that will have the greatest immediate impact on your work. They'll also better prepare you to be agile and adopt the newer, better services available in the future. After my post yesterday, Easton commented to me that, "there's an important connection between blogs and wikis - both offer incredibly easy publishing capabilities. Smart businesses and smart educators will know how to use both to enhance their offerings." This is the perfect segue to today's post, which looks at the distinction between blogs and wikis.

As web communication and collaboration tools evolve, the distinction between them has become subtle at the outset, and greater as the use deepens, like a fork in the road. Blogs and wikis might not seem that different on first glance, because they both enable communication of information by a person or group of people, and provide a platform for feedback. Blogs do it in the form of comments, while wikis do it by letting users directly edit the contents of a given page. This is where the distinction becomes more apparent. For example, businesses are increasingly using wikis to allow users of their products to write documentation, and the result is better, more comprehensive documentation than a product manager or engineer could write. Here are examples from Merlin Systems and Mozilla. A blog wouldn't work as well for this, because direct editing of pages is necessary for users to alter the same text when correcting errors, improving clarity and flow, and adding new information. A blog would be useful for announcing a new product, and the comments feature would allow people to react to the announcement by posting questions, asking for further details, etc. A wiki wouldn't work so well here, because the text of the announcement needs to stay stable in order to communicate accurate information to as many people as possible. The same general principle applies to education - blogs are a better communication tool when you want to get information out to people, and want to enable feedback, but keep the original text intact. Wikis are better when you want information to be touched - and enhanced - by as many hands as possible. Attached to my blog is a wiki documenting uses of wiki in education - see if you're inspired by the ideas already there (many of which apply equally to business), edit them if you like, or contribute new ideas - that's what technology today is all about!

by Stewart Mader

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