Monthly Archives: April 2006

Community Server Editor

I've added the community server Telligent's FreeTextBoxWraper replacement assembly for CS v2.0 addin into the sandbox some months ago and was impressed by it. I haven't loaded into the production CS until this week because of time.

I noticed two side effects, both of which appeared in the sandbox, but I hadn't noticed or associated to the change in editor.

  1. The Preview tab when posting a new blog shows the loading message and animation, but never showed the preview.
  2. The RSS Available feed when doing a search broke.

I was able to recreate both in the sandbox by removing the Editor and putting it back.

I took the opportunity to rebuild the production CS, but making a fresh copy of the Web folders, copying in the Windows Authentication files and taking the web.config, siteurl.config and communityserver.config files from the previous build (after editing out the changes made to install the editor). It was nice to see that I could still build the CS with such little fuss.


Community Server 2.1

Community Server developers have finally broken their silence with a roadmap announcement for 2.1. I look forward to the bug fixes (especially trackbacks working with Windows Authentication) and the Tagging as I find the categories inflexible. The Tag Cloud should be fantastic for the community. It's a shame it looks like we'll be launching before the release, but I can't wait.

Advertising the blogosphere

I'm about to advertise the blogosphere to groups of IT folk to see if I can get them blogging and see if they can get some sort of intelligent and useful conversation going.

I had a conversation with someone from the US firm regarding overall strategy for blogs/wikis/RSS and we got talking about how the culture of an organisation can cause blogs to fail. I half suspect that our organisation has the wrong culture, certainly in the UK. I don't think we are open enough, too worried about saying the 'wrong thing', worried about what others will think and want to prove that we are the big shot know-it-all.

Time will tell. I wonder what others think about what the right/wrong culture is for blogging. (I'm talking, of course, about internal blogging only here.)

I stumbled across this wonderful tool for creating flash demo's from screen recordings. It does what I've seen with Camtasia before – although outputting flash, and you can pop text onto the frames and put audio over it. Best of all it's free.

Marching on

It's the fifth of April already, time to review what I accomplished in March as far as introducing RSS and blogging into my organisation.

I have become increasingly sceptical about the benefits of blogging externally for an organisation like mine, where reputation is so utterly critical. Anything that puts that at risk will have no traction whatsoever. I was interested to see the debate following on from Scoble's trip to Amazon (I blogged about it here). One subject that did get my attention was the recruitment angle to blogging.

We get a lot of university graduates into the firm at the end of the (Northern Hemisphere) summer. I wonder if it would be possible to get them blogging. They'll be young and enthusiastic and some of them may have blogs already. Now the real question will be, internal only, or external blogs. I will try to spark this debate in my organisation and see where it leads.

Wiki's, too, have taken a bit of a back seat. We have a wiki that we are for a new team advising on technology. We are trying to pull information from all sorts of people across IT and the wiki is ideal for that. The group is not yet officially launched, so we've been keeping it low key. That will change next month as the remit for the groups work has now been agreed.

So my main attention has been on RSS and evangelising its use. I did my presentation to a group from marketing today and it went very well. However, the way things work in our organisation means that I (being from IT) was telling them about something I thought they should be asking IT to enable them to use – kind of recurses in on itself and is a lot frustrating. Still, there is no doubt that RSS should be used. I had a similar reception to RSS from internal communications.

I've been blogging daily to my internal blogs, expressing my opinion on matters IT. However, most of the others who have blogged have given up. On the other hand our feed reader has been tested and passed by our QA lab. I demonstrated our community server site to the IT Director who was very pleased and I'm to push its use out wider within the IT department. However, I want to write a quick reference guide for RSS Bandit and other commitments have gotten in the way.

So in short, things are ready to launch on the blog front; and I am just holding it up. Everyone is persuaded by the potential of RSS, but no one seems willing to make it happen.