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Wiki Tool Update: Apple Gets Social!

Our team is working more and more with companies seeking to launch wikis in their businesses (internal and external wikis).  This summer we spent some time with the Socialtext guys in our effort to recommend and support the best products available to our cliens.  Joshua Porter pointed out that Apple might be a direction our team needed to explore.  Boy, was he dead on!
Apple is now making push into social tools such as wikis.  With their new wiki server as described by Apple:

“Leopard Server includes a Wiki Server to make it easy for teams to create and distribute information through their own shared Intranet website. For the first time, all members of a workgroup can easily create or edit content right from their browser. With a few clicks, or by dragging and dropping, they can upload files and images, track changes, assign keywords, hyper-link pages, view and contribute to shared calendars and blogs, and search for content on the group Intranet.”

Of course the wiki server is only one great social tool included in Leopard.  Others include iCal calendar sharing (say goodbye to Exchange?), iChat screen sharing and social iTunes.  Oh, and of course Apple is going to allow “teams” to turn on these features.  Apple explaines:

“Leopard Server includes a Wiki Server to make it easy for teams to create and distribute information through their own shared Intranet website. For the first time, all members of a workgroup can easily create or edit content right from their browser. With a few clicks, or by dragging and dropping, they can upload files and images, track changes, assign keywords, hyper-link pages, view and contribute to shared calendars and blogs, and search for content on the group Intranet.”

Alexander Muse | 6:25 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs , socialtools , wiki , apple , joshuaporter | Bookmark on | Digg It

My Favorite Social Tools: Upcoming

I started with Flickr, clearly “The best way to store, search, sort and share your photos” and now I am ready to show you Upcoming. Both Flickr and Upcoming were bought by Yahoo and are great examples of social tools that work for me.

What: Upcoming is a social event calendar website that uses iCalendar and XML for content syndication. You can compare it to Evite (please stop using that service). What makes Upcoming so important is the ability for users to build connections between each other. For example, one of my contacts was attending an event called STIRR 1.5. I knew this because my friends events are listed on “My Upcoming” page. I clicked to see what Kristie was up to and found out that STIRR 1.5 was, “STIRR Mixers are blend of tech-social mixer and launchpad for new startups in an innovative format (the 60 second spot).” Neat, I should go to that so I clicked “Attend this event.” I was added to the event and then receieved an email from one of my contacts confirming that I would be there so that we could meet. He doesn’t know Kristie Wells, the contact that allowed me to discover the event in the first place, but he does know me. Kristie would have never thought to invite him, but now he will be coming.

Why: You can view events through your contacts or by metros. I have four metros setup on my account: Dallas, Austin, San Francisco and Miami. I can see public events in each metro regardless of whether or not a contact of mine is going. If I see an event that I am interested in I might click “watch event” instead of attend. Often one or more of my contacts will ping me to see if I am going, more often than not I am more interested in going if there are going to be people I know at the event. See how this works?

To Do: Sign up for an Upcoming account and add me as a contact. Check out my events or check out your metro. Start “watching” or “attending” a few events. Have fun!

Alexander Muse | 1:00 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs , socialtools | Bookmark on | Digg It

My Favorite Social Tools: Flickr

More of you need to start using social tools so I decided to start a little series of posts called My Favorite Social Tools. I will start off with Flickr. Wow what a great tool. I have been a paid user since July of 2005 (I only know this because I had to renew my account the other day). At first I did not understand why Flickr was so great, but as the number of people I met from around the world added me as a Flickr contact I understood the value of Flickr. Let me start with the basics:

What: Flickr is a social picture sharing site started in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. The best feature of flickr is the ability to add one or more “tags” to each photograph added to the site. Why is this so powerful? Take me for example: I have more than 8,000 photos on Flickr and finding a specific picture would be impossible if it were not for the tagging function. Each time I added a photo of my son I used the tag ethanmuse, that helps me narrow my search to just photos of him. But I have more than 1,000 photos of my favorite little guy, but good news, I used other tags such as soccer to describe the photos in greater detail. So I use the advanced search feature and search for photos of ethanmuse and soccer and find his soccer photos. You get the idea. Ethan’s Grandmother can search my photos for her tag (bethmuse) and Ethan’s tag to find photos containing both her and my son. Neat huh?

For Networking: I live in Dallas, Texas, but I have met lots of people on the West coast that I want to keep in touch with. It is hard to stay in touch with people you don’t see more than once or twice a year. More often than not I don’t have anything to say, certainly not anything worthy of an email or an IM, but I want to stay connected. Each day when I log into Flickr I am presented with the most recent picture added by each of my contacts. Usually five or six of my contacts has added a new picture each time I log in, so I open each photo in a browser tab. If the photo is comment worthly I might just make a note. Why? Why do you say hi in the hall when you walk by someone? It is a good way to say, “hey I am interested in you and your life, thanks for sharing it with me.” I know I love it when someone comments on one of my photos. Earlier this year I went to India and met almost 200 programmers and business people, many of whom have Flickr accounts. I have been able to stay connected to them from across the globe with pictures.

For Business: Back in April I wrote a posted titled, “Flickr as PR Tool…EyeFi” and wrote, “Got a great new product? Want to get a lot of people to see it? Get a power user on Flickr to take a picture of it. Scott Beale, also known as Laughing Squid, is a well know photographer. In fact, he may be the second most ‘internet famous’ photographer (Thomas Hawk is perhaps the most famous). So if you are going to create a product for photographers call up Scott and get him to take a picture of it. That is exactly what the Yuval Koren, the guy behind Eye-Fi, did. What is Eye-Fi? An SD memory card that will turn your camera into a wi-fi camera - no more USB cable. This is going to be huge! And Yuval, by simply showing it to one of the best know ‘internet famous’ photographer is getting his product in front of thousands of people who WILL buy the Eye-Fi. Very smart. More on Gizmodo here.” Check out Scott’s eyefi flickr pics.

To Do: Okay get a Flickr account right away. Add me as a contact, add a photo, tag it with a couple of tags (be specific) and lets start being social. You can setup your phone to send photos directly to Flickr (lots of people do it). You can use your photos to make books, prints, calenders and so on. Have fun!

Alexander Muse | 8:18 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs , flickr , socialtools | Bookmark on | Digg It

One year later: weblogs work, but . . .

Weblogs Work is now part of Big in Japan! It took us a year to determined that weblogs do in fact work, but they are simply one social media tool a business or agency should consider. As a result we have decided to consolidate the Big in Japan and Weblogs Work brand into one with a renewed focus on helping businesses and agencies build turnkey social media programs by providing a broad spectrum of social tools including weblogs, wikis, podcasts, forums and feeds. Don’t worry, the Weblogs Work weblog won’t go away, it will continue to provide a place for the Big in Japan team to blog about social media. Can you believe it has been a year?

On April 12, 2022 I wrote the first Weblogs Work post titled, “Business Blogs the next big thing (that is already here)!” In July we began offering ‘blog consulting’ services to small companies. We also started having our programmers build various tools for our consultancy to effectively host shared and dedicated, single and multi-user blogs. Soon our clients got larger and our projects more complicated. Our programmers started building even more customized tools like elfURL, PodServe, FrankenFeed, InstantFeed and SocialMail. We even created a brand for our social tool effort called Big in Japan.

Almost ninety days ago it became obvious we had a choice to make. We could build an agency and expand our social media consulting practice or we could change our focus to exploit what we were already uniquely positioned to provide. Weblogs Work and Big in Japan are both brands owned by Spur (the holding company I manage). Spur also owns an IT support brand called Architel. Weblogs Work and Big in Japan had been stealing resources (data center space, servers, programmers and engineers) from the very start and it became clear we were very good at building, customizing, managing and supporting various social tools. Very few companies had the experience and resources to do what we were doing on a daily basis.

Just before the 4th of July we bit the bullet and decided to refocus our offering to provide agencies and brand managers enterprise class social tools complete with hosting, management and day-to-day support. Here is an example of our most popular offerings:

  • Social Media 101 – A two-day fire starting event for your company. Our trainers will show you how social media tools will change your business through a hands-on training event for up-to 20 employees per event. Includes 12 months of hosted/managed/supported weblog, wiki and podcast services.
  • Managed WordPress – Offering a multi-server WordPress implementation allowing for separation of presentation and database functionality. Supporting up-to 512 unique weblogs on two servers. Nightly backups and statistics included.
  • Managed PmWiki – Offering a highly secure wiki implementation allowing for up-to 256 unique wikis on a single server. Nightly backups and statistics included.
  • White Label PodServe – Offering a unique integrated podcast and telephony tool for your business.

Want to learn more? You can reach me directly at 1+214.550.2003 or just send me an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alexander Muse | 8:31 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , socialmedia , podcast , biginjapan , weblogswork , blog , socialtools | Bookmark on | Digg It