Archive for the ‘RSS’ Category

My email is out of control. Not in the sense that I receive too much volume (although that can be a problem) but in the sense that tracking projects, archiving important resources, and keeping up with company information is not what email was originally meant for and I’m guessing there are many people feeling the same burden.

Let’s take company communication for example. I’m willing to bet that most people receive some kind of company update on a regular basis whether it’s a sales communication to marketing or an HR communication to the whole company, email is perhaps the worst way to deliver such information. We see these things, say I’ll go back to it later, and then several hundred emails later we remember we wanted to read something but can’t remember what it was or when we received it.

This is where a good company intranet comes in, especially one built on flexible Web 2.0 applications such blogs, wikis, and tagging. Companies need to deliver tools that employees can use to collaborate with online. Whether it’s a sales wiki that archives the latest documents to be shared with marketing or a blog from the VP of Sales talking about the latest trends in the field, using such tools would vastly change communication in a company for the better.

I’m tired of the weekly spam email. Instead, employees should be able to go out and find the information on the intranet that they need and subscribe to the RSS feeds that deliver this information instantaneously. Personally, I’d rather have one place that I go to for this type of company information and free up my email client to track my direct communication with my fellow employees. An RSS client is better suited for tracking this type of information and employees can use it to easily tag, and later find, the information that is important to them.

The benefits of such a system clearly out weighs the “this is how we’ve always done it” system. Just because the current system works, doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient solution. Remember, less than 20 years ago email was in such an underdog position. Now a business wouldn’t even think operating without it.

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This week I started using Google spreadsheets so I can share information at my company without worrying about version control and emailing separate files to everyone. So far, this has worked great. If I’m logged into the spreadsheet at the same time as someone else, we’re able to see updates happen instantaneously which makes it much easier to work together on a project. It’s only a matter of time before this type of collaboration starts happening in many companies for both documents and spreadsheets. I’m not sure why we continue to try to “collaborate” on documents by creating them in our own little silo’s and then passing them around to edit individually. Is this really collaboration? And better yet, working in this way means no more spreadsheet_version_89_final_final.xsl document names 😉

Surprisingly, RSS is missing from this application. I wish there was a way to turn RSS on so I could be notified when updates where made to the spreadsheet. Hopefully, it will be added soon but I can see why it may not be available at the moment. I’m sure it would be difficult to figure out when an RSS update should be sent. I don’t need to receive an update every time someone changes a cell. In a perfect world, I’d be notified when someone was done making updates but this can be difficult to determine since the document is constantly saved. The only event that may occur that would tell the system your done is logging out, and not every one does that, at least not right away.

Now back to my intranet discussion…I really need to start a business around this…anyway…my ideal corporate intranet application would include document and spreadsheet applications similar to Google docs and spreadsheets.

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I love this. Google Reader now provides the latest trends data for my RSS feeds. I’m currently tracking 124 feeds and I’ve read over 7,900 items in the past 30 days. One of my favorite stats is inactive data which has helped me to clean up my unused feeds.

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