Tag Archives: physical

It’s Movember

Happy Movember!Happy Movember! No, that’s not a typo. We are in the month of Movember.

Ten years ago, the Movember movement was begun to raise awareness of mens’ health issues. Thirty men in Melbourne, Australia shaved on November 1, 2003 and let only their mustaches grow for the rest of the month. The attention generated by the appearance of a new patch of hair under their noses gave these men (Mo Bros in Movember vernacular) an opportunity to start conversations about mens’ health concerns and to raise money to help address them.

This ritual has since spread across the globe and grown to include women (Mo Sistas) who officially register for Movember, support men in their lives who are participating and actively fundraise for the cause. Initially, the Movember movement focused on diseases that are unique to men, such as prostate and testicular cancer. Over the years, the scope has broadened to cover any physical or mental illness that may afflict a man. You can learn more about Movember by checking out the movement’s website.

I have decided to join the Movember movement this year and have a six-day old mustache as proof. I’ll detail the reasons why in forthcoming posts. For now, let it suffice to say that 2013 has seen some bouts with poor health suffered by both me and a family member. If you’d like to follow my adventure, hit my Movember webpage once a week for updates.

I’m asking you, and anyone else who would like to help men improve their health, to make a donation today to the Movember movement. I’ve primed the pump by giving $500. Should you wish to join me, you may make a donation here  It doesn’t need to be large; even $10 or $20 gift helps by showing that you care about the health of one or more of the men in your life. Of course, your donation will be tax deductible, and the Movember movement will send you a receipt for use with your 2013 income tax filing.

Please join me in elevating the conversation about mens’ health and giving money to combat physical and mental diseases that degrade the quality of mens’ lives. I hope you will be as generous as you can. Thank you!

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Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo! Mistake (It’s Not What You Think)

This post has been moved to http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhawes/2013/02/28/marissa-mayers-yahoo-mistake-its-not-what-you-think/

Reuniting Collaboration and Communication

virtual-world-collaborationHats off to Penny Edwards, who posted Are We Really Collaborating?, in which she reminded us that collaboration and communication are not one in the same.  Her post sparked some thinking on my part about the relationship between the two terms and why many equate them.

Let’s begin by defining each term in the context of virtual, online work environments:

Collaboration: The sharing of a virtual space to complete defined tasks, with control passing from one party to another, either asynchronously or in real-time (e.g. wiki, document, desktop, whiteboard)

Communication: The act of relaying information, knowledge, or opinion to one or more individuals through either synchronous or asynchronous virtual messaging channels (e.g. phone, e-mail, blog, IM, microstreaming)

To most of us, collaboration used to mean working together in the same physical place.  Getting work done together required communication, to be sure, but it was an assumed aspect of the collaboration.  We talked to each other as an integrated part of the idea flow and development that was taking place.

Now that more workers are interacting virtually — not face-to-face — both collaboration and communication technologies are necessary to complete a task.  The problem is, that these technologies have not been combined well in a single application; we still need separate applications to successfully collaborate online.  There are application suites that provide both collaboration and communication functionality, but that functionality is experienced as separate, disconnected components.  We have not yet reached a point where virtual collaboration and communication are nearly one in the same, as in a face-to-face working session.

Virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life, Active Worlds) promise to bring these two elements back together.  In a virtual world, users in the same space can communicate synchronously while working together on an object, just as we would in-person in physical space.  From a technical perspective, the technologies for collaboration and communication are still separate, but they are experienced as a single, integrated technology by the user.  Recreating the seamless experience found in physically co-located work sessions is the key to improving virtual collaboration.

Clearly then, virtual worlds are the next frontier for online collaboration and the most promising way to replicate the experience of a face-to-face collaboration in a virtual environment.  We have a long  way to go before enterprise use of virtual worlds becomes mainstream, but I believe adoption will increase as the technology improves and as younger people enter the workforce.  However, now is the time to start thinking about how and where to use virtual worlds in the enterprise (and between organizations) to improve virtual collaboration, so you are ready to pilot and deploy for competitive advantage before the tipping point is reached.