I wanted to publish my blogroll on Community Server (running version 2.0) and found that there's no import for an OPML file. Each link must be entered independently! No way – useless. Then I found Keyvin Neyyeri's Blogroll Converter. No brainer, if this works it will go on my site. I won't get time to load it on until the week after next at the earliest though.
I had my follow up meeting with my CIO (previous meeting) after she promised to continue reading the experimental internal blog site. I had challenged her, saying that if she didn't revisit it, it was because she didn't have a feed reader. Nearly two weeks since that first meeting and she hadn't gone back once! Actually, I was surprised – I had thought she might get back there once or twice – but it showed how this stuff doesn't work without a reader.
I installed the RSS Bandit on her machine and subscribed her to a couple of feeds, internal and external. She's copied me in on a couple of emails in which she has been singing the praises of the feed reader. I will be checking back with her in another week or so to see how she has gotten on, but early indications are that it's really working. Having the reader alert you to new content so completely revolutionises the way you interact with the web.
One lesson: this has to be experienced. If at all possible get the stakeholders to experience RSS, there's only so much an explanation can achieve.
I got myself an MP3 player last week, partly to listen to podcasts. RSS Bandit does support podcasts, in that it will show the enclosed MP3 file, but it doesn't download it. So I found Juice, which will download the podcast enclosures to a folder. Specify Media Player 10 to monitor that folder (Tools | Options… then Library tab) and set the sychronisation up. Now as soon as I plug in my T20, any new podcasts are automatically loaded onto it.
As to the T20 itself, it a great player, nice and small. I wanted to avoid Apple and Sony players because of the vendor lockin. The only thing I don't like, is the fast forward. It works fine to skip forward in a song, but on a 30 min podcast… when you just want the last 5 mins…
I have been pushing the use blogs, wikis and RSS as a communication tool and have been experimenting with them myself. I have always had in mind that my target audience are other people within IT – in other words my colleagues. What I haven’t done is consider the use of these tools to communicate with our customers – in other words, the business we aim to enable through the IT services we provide.
We’ve talked, in our company, about co-developing solutions, but often these conversations are quite stilted, and most certainly are not open. Could we, should we, consider using social media to crack this nut right open? Mmmm, perhaps another guerrilla tactic.