Monday, August 31, 2009

Panel Picking Time for SXSWi

Time is running out to vote for the panels and topics you would like to see discussed at next years SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TX.

SXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.

I have a couple of panels up for consideration and if you haven't yet voted, I would appreciate a "thumbs up."

Wikis are Wonderful - or Are They? - Corporate wikis are not wikipedia, but are they of any use? The adoption of wiki technology in companies and organizations of all sizes is growing fast; but is it hype, or are there real benefits? The panel will discuss the use of wikis, when they work, and when they don’t.

Spandex and Software: Can Comics Get You To Read The Manuals? - Google Chrome wasn’t the first product to be accompanied by documentation in the form of a comic book. Sequential art based messaging is everywhere, and has a long history. In today’s more visually literate society is the humble comic book placed to be the next big thing in user docs?

And while you are visiting the panel picker, here's a few more panels that I'd recommend checking out and voting for.

Sarah O' Keefe on "Will User-Generated Content Wipe Out Technical Writers?"

Rahel Anne Bailie on Greening Your Content: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."

Brenda Huettner on "All About Audience: Improving User Experience."

Charlene Kingston on "Designing Projects That Change User Behavior," and "Reach Your Diverse Community With A Persona Strategy."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Warbling About Wikis

"You know you should really do that using a wiki," seems to becoming a regular part of my daily conversations. In recent weeks I know I've used it at:

- a social event related to my wife's work when someone was describing a public outreach program they had recently put on;
- a friend's book-signing where I fell into conversation about the usefulness of social networks and community collaboration;
- a science fiction convention during a conversation with a fellow writer about a research project he is part way through.
- a conversation with the CEO of a niche publishing company about using a wiki to connect his existing community of loyal readers.

It's perhaps only natural as I start to write the first few chapters of my upcoming book on the subject, "WIKI: Grow Your Own For Fun and Profit," that the concepts, technology, and practical application of wikis should be fresh in my mind; but what I am starting to notice is just how far reaching the application of wikis could, and should, be.

Wikis are far more than online encyclopedias, or a new way to deliver documentation.
Wikis can also be:
- Project management tools
- Forums for community conversation
- Knowledge capture tools
and much, much more.

In fact when you think about the ways a wiki can be used they can even replace the two most used corporate software applications - email and word-processors.

In October I'll be taking some of this wiki conversation and discussion on the road when I present a session at the WikiFest portion of WikiSym, the 5th International Symposium on Wikis.

I also have a panel on Wikis up for possible inclusion in next year's SXSW Interactive festival. If you would like to be part of that discussion, please head over to the SXSWi "Panel Picker" and give the proposal a "thumbs up" vote.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is Social Media a Fad? Or Essential to your Business?

Watch this and then decide if you should be spending your marketing budget and hours on SEO optimization of your website and search based ad-word campaigns, or on building a community using Social Networks?