UC and Social Media: Respect the buzzwords?

In a recent article in InformationWeek, David F. Carr asks “Social Media And Unified Communications: Will They Blend?”

I ask: “what are they?”

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Signs of the times

I’m in a bit of a muddle, and it’s all because of signs.

I no longer know what signs I’m meant to read, and which I’m meant to ignore. Which are aimed at me, and which are aimed at “other people”. Indeed which are there by right and which are interlopers meant to mislead.

It all began when the bins along the path near my home acquired new signs. Prior to these appearing, it was quite clear to any passer-by that the black bin which looked like a rubbish bin was, of course, a rubbish bin. The red bin which looked like every other dog poo bin in the world was, equally clearly, for bags of dog poo. Easy.

But then, perhaps in silent agreement that our councils have too much money and too many witless servants of the public, both types of bin acquired these new signs. One reads “Official Notice – this bin is for rubbish only”, the other reads “Official Notice – this bin is for dog mess only”. And yes, they did get it the right way around.

So what’s my problem?

Well, now I’m unsure whether to trust other signs around me. There’s a big pole at the end of our road which says “Bus Stop” at the top. I’d always assumed that it was, indeed, a bus stop. But there’s no indication that it’s official. Could it be that it’s fake? Since then, I’ve noticed many other signs which seem to be similarly unofficial, including all the ones I see while driving.

Perhaps I had better ignore them.

Today, I found further evidence that there are signs which seem to be aimed at me, but aren’t. The toilet at the soft play area I visited (with my children, I’m not completely weird) has signs headed “Customer Notice” which ask me to do things I’d never have considered, such as turning off the tap. But there are other signs telling me which bin to use for nappies – I think I’m meant to ignore these, as they do not come marked as for customers.

Similarly, as a polite person I’ve grown to pay close attention to any sign headed “Polite Notice”, but to feel insulted and disgusted when they are not. I mean… how rude!

All this is evidence that either the world has gone mad, or I have. I’ll keep an eye out for a notice that will help me know for sure.

UC isn’t just about unifying

There’s a school of thought that unification of a communications solution is best done at the edge, in a client. That a single client (or set of clients for mobile and desktop/laptop devices) providing a consistent look and feel, integration of instant and email messaging, voicemail, video and, of course, voice calling is the way to go. It’s not an unreasonable view, and a unified client can provide a great user experience, but it misses the real advantages of unification of different communications streams.

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Joust a bit of fun!

If there was no other reason for heading down to watch the Knights of Royal England at Blenheim Palace over the May Bank Holiday, that bad headline is reason enough. But thankfully, as well as a dodgy tabloid headline I also had a fun day out with my family.

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The un-elected head of State

More than 24 million people in the UK watched the royal wedding – maybe as many as 34 million watched at least a bit of it – according to the BBC. Which is pretty impressive, considering the moaning about it which we’ve endured for weeks. What with newspapers and TV being full of pant-wettingly excited build-up, and the same newspapers and TV also being filled with gloom about the cost, the waste, and the sheer effrontery of royalty in the first place, I for one am pretty glad it’s all over.

But not quite, because I want to revive it all one last time. Because today I want to talk about elections.

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Why I’ll be voting Yes to AV

I don’t recall any popular vote which has been so full of bitching by both sides. It’s quite sickening to watch. But despite some appalling logic from the Yes men, I’m still going to vote Yes to AV in May.


Here are my reasons.

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Your life in Their hands

The world of electronic communication has changed immensely in recent years, and one aspect that has subtly crept up on us is the move from tools we own to tools we don’t. I’m not talking about cloud services, particularly, I’m referring to the shift from open systems to closed systems. Should you be worried? Read on.

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Self-organisation and Social Networking

Today’s missive comes squarely in the “random thoughts” camp, so if the lack of science offends you then now is the time to tune out. For those more tolerant, I want to discuss how the benefits of self-organising teams can be grasped by truly embracing social networking within an organisation. And how truly embracing social networking requires an organisation to evolve towards a structure of self-organisation.

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Is it stupid to do what you believe is right?

Many people will have seen the news that would-be thieves were thwarted by a lady in her 70s. If you haven’t, here’s the scoop on the BBC News website.

Some of you may also have listened to the debate today on the Jeremy Vine show about it. The question: was she stupid to have tried to stop armed robbers?

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The Coming Age of the Agile Workforce

First, an apology. Like all good terms, that of “Agile Workforce” is already used and, I’m sure, already abused. What I’m going to talk about is how the modern environment means that the time is right for a new way of working which is actually a very old one – what might once have been called “jobbing” workers. Read more of this post