January 2006


The maximum team size for effective working

Your teams are too big: break them up.

Newspapers sometimes run contests to see who can produce the best summary of a epic book in one hundred words or less. Here is my 100-word version of "The maximum team size for effective working" drawing from an excellent article by Christopher Allen entitled The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes.


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Message archiving software: new report

Message archiving software can help organizations and teams achieve regulatory and corporate policy compliance, reduce the cost of eDiscovery, and reduce storage costs through mailbox management. The top message archiving software vendors include Computer Associates, EMC, IBM, Open Text, Symantec and ZANTAZ. Forrester have evaluated their strengths and weaknesses across 74 criteria in a newly published research report: (December 05) Message Archiving Software, Q4 2005


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Open Source economic ecosystem evolving

Businessweek report, October 3, 2005, that Open Source Software (OSS) has evolved to the point where it now has its own specialised economic ecosystem made up of not just the OSS Software Companies but also Specialist Brokers who can ‘marriage make’ between companies and investors, dedicated Venture Capitalists, Service Companies and Infrastructure Players.


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Mobile phone etiquette: Shhh!

A few weeks back I published my Polite Intrusive Technology Etiquette (POLITE). Well it seems like lots of other people think something needs to be done here too including 'The Society for Handheld Hushing' who have published a manifesto, Shhh! in ChangeThis. TSfHH provide a neat library of pre-printed notes you can give rude cell/mobile phone users to get them to turn the volume down like “We know that your ongoing conversation with ... is very important to you but it does not interest us in the least..”



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Social software design tips

I recommend a really insightful article in The Best Software Writing (I) by Clay Shirky entitled A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy (April 2003) which takes good look at the design of social software in its widest sense - in other words any form of virtual community or collaboration system. Clay shares, from practical hard-earned experience, three things we must accept and four things we must design for if we want to create systems which are actually useful.


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Cell phone viruses: deadlier and more infectious

Despite some false alarms cell phone viruses have not yet reached epidemic levels with just 200 viruses compared to some 160,000 computer-based ones. However when they do start to arrive in numbers they may be deadlier and spread even more rapidly due to the way we use these devices. In addition with wireless technologies like Bluetooth these mobile viruses will not only be able to infect by connectivity but also by proximity - just like biological viruses.


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New York transit strike: virtual workaround

David Goldes COO of Basex in A Wake-Up Call For Collaboration comments on the New York City's transit strike which although it only lasted 60 hours is estimated to have cost the city's economy $1 billion even though many were able to continue working virtually.


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The Virtual Lie Detector

New Scientist Magazine reports that the US Department of Defense plans to develop a lie detector that can be used without the subject knowing they are being assessed. In a call for proposals on a DoD website, contractors are being given until 13 January to suggest ways to develop the Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA).


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The philosophy of reputation systems

Digital Reputation and Social Networking Systems are currently very hot but have you ever wondered about their philosophical roots. They are actually embodiments of the two mechanisms by which we humans can know about someone or something according to the Philosopher Bertrand Russell: Acquaintance and Description.


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Thinking together: four essential team roles

In his unique book Dialogue and the art of thinking together William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.


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