On Beginning to Engage

It was a surprise yesterday to see the response of the Australian Federal Government to the report produced by the Government 2.0 Taskforce (released in December 2009). A surprise not because it wasn’t expected but because of the delay in producing it and, for me, the brevity of it’s response.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Minister Tanner said on the new AGIMO blog,

Whilst today is the completion of one phase, it is also very much the beginning of a new one. The task now is to implement these changes, beginning with assisting agencies to make the most of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0.

The response provides signposts to the future of government in Australia, it does not, and is not meant to, be the government’s all encompassing policy in this area. This will be worked out over time (through experimentation and identification of best practice across agencies) and through different legislation (for example the Freedom of Information (Reform) Bill and the Office of the Information Commissioners Bill).

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On Making and Using Screencasts

Screenflow logo

image: Screenflow application

I make a lot of screencasts, both for use in presentations where it is impractical to have a live demo, as an educational tool to introduce new concepts or technologies, and for use on websites as promotional material.

Thankfully, being a Mac user I have some awesome software that helps me do a great job. Rarely just one tool, most often a combination of ScreenFlow, iMovie and Skitch.

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On TED – The Future of Conferences

I attend a lot of conferences.

As a speaker, sometimes as a representative of a vendor out in the exhibition hall, and often as a delegate. In all honesty, I’m over it. Or rather, I’m over the big vendor sponsored, Conference Company organised, “same old, same old” conferences.

TED logoSo what got me out of bed at 6am on a Saturday morning to spend a day at a conference recently which I both thoroughly enjoyed  and came away totally inspired and invigorated by?

TED came to town.

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On Idea Platforms – Now What?

There’s a marvelous scene at the end of the movie Finding Nemo. The fishes in the fishtank at P.Sherman’s dental surgery have, for the whole film, been devising a way to escape into Sydney Harbour and to freedom.

In the final scene, and as a result of the tank filter failing, the fish have been removed from the tank and placed into individual plastic bags, part filled with water. Through some clever movie magic (which we don’t see) the fish manage to maneuver themselves out of the window of the dental surgery (still in their bags), across a couple of lanes of traffic and into the harbour (although quite where along the harbour is anyone’s guess!). Free at last! After many ‘yelps’ and ‘yahoo’s’ the group realise their new predicament. Free in the harbour but still captive in their plastic bags. Bloat, the puffer fish, utters the immortal line (which closes the movie),

“now what?”.

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On Podiums and their (hopefully) impending demise

There is a great post today by David Gurteen proposing the burning of all podiums at conferences. (Check out the picture – there really is someone speaking behind that particular podium!)

Hear, Hear!

I get constantly frustrated when expected to remain in a single position, behind what is effectively a barrier to communication, when presenting. Worse still is that often in this scenario I am expected to use fixed mics limiting not only body movement but head movement as well. Often the podium becomes the focus of the lighting such that if the conference session is being recorded to video then even if I wanted to move from behind the podium I couldnt because it would screw up the video recording.

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On Product Managing Government 2.0 Initiatives

I recently wrote a guest post for the Brainmates Product Management blog looking at the lessons that we as product managers can draw from what has been happening in the world of Government 2.0.

I highlighted in my last post here that I believe we are now entering the trough of disillusionment for Government 2.0, and the more I have thought about these two subject areas, the more I have come to realise that it is during this phase in the lifecycle of any technology initiative that Product Managers become key. Be they established Product Managers in established companies or Entrepreneurs acting as Product Managers for their Big Idea, the principles taught to us at Product Management school are key to emerging from the trough onto the slope, or crossing Geoffry Moore’s Chasm, or surviving the cynic-generated chaos of this critical technology life stage. Continue reading

On the current state of Government 2.0

Since I’ve just stated a brand new blog I thought it would be good to provide a quick recap on Government 2.0, primarily from an Australian perspective, but also, such is the world we live in, with examples and policy from overseas.

For those who are familiar with all things Government 2.0 there will be little new here, it’s more a composite of information available elsewhere – but hey, isn’t that one of the benefits of Government 2.0? Being able to reconstitute and re-interpret information from a variety of sources to provide a unique perspective? Continue reading

On the iPad – the ultimate fridge magnet

iPad Fridge Magnet Perhaps
Once again Apple have played a Product Management master card … perhaps.

Since the launch of the iPad last week, we’ve all listened as the ‘voices that must be heard’ have vacillated between this ‘gorgeous device that I can’t wait to hold’ and this ‘useless over-sized iPod Touch’.

On one hand are the skeptics who would never give up their MacBook Air for one of these, and on the other the enthusiasts who would buy an old tyre if it had an Apple logo on it and was described by Sir Steve as ‘magical and revolutionary‘. Continue reading

On the Top 5 Gadgets of the Presentations Trade

David Eade at Activate 2009
In my job, I do a lot of presentations.

From my early days of training air traffic control supervisors on how to effectively manage their shiny new air traffic control systems; through the years as a technical pre-sales consultant; as a Product Evangelist for one of Australia’s finest home grown software products and now as a speaker at a number of conferences in the APAC region.

I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way (as you’d probably hope I would!). In later posts I will share some of these learnings, but in this I want to focus on what I consider to be the primary gadgets of the trade. The top 5 pieces of hardware that I always carry with me for presentations. Continue reading