Blog Archives

From friend lists to ads clicked, find out exactly what data Facebook has on you


Wonder what data Facebook has on you? Follow these steps to download and view everything they know about you. I expect you’re going to be surprised. Here’s how:
1. Log in to https://www.facebook.com
2. Click on the settings icon in the top right of the page, then click on Settings in the pop down menu.
facebookSettings1
This will display the General Account Settings.
3. Click on the link “Download a copy of your Facebook data” located below the list of settings and step through the process.
facebookSettings2
facebookSettings3
Be prepared for this to take a long time. You probably have more data there than you realize. Seriously.  (If you have the ability, connect your computer to your router via a network cable rather than wifi and it will go as much as 10x faster.)
4. Once you have downloaded the zip file containing your data, right click on the .zip file and extract the data.
5. Now take a look at the \html\ directory and double-click the files to view them in a browser.
You can see:

  • The ads you have clicked in the ads.htm
  • Your contacts that Facebook has harvested are listed in file.contact_info.htm
  • In the friends.htm  (You can even see all the people you have unfriended.)
  • Every photo you uploaded

Many people are shocked by what they discover.
I still haven’t figured out how to delete all those contacts they have of mine. But when I do, I’ll let you know.

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IBM published list of business partners certified in SmartCloud mail onboarding


IBM has published the list of business partners certified in onboarding to IBM  SmartCloud mail.

Our company, Divergent Solutions LLC, is one of only 10 companies currently listed for the entire U.S. that IBM has entrusted to perform such migrations.  So what exactly does that mean?  Well if you are considering a cloud alternative for your company’s email (whether it is currently on Outlook, gmail, or Notes), Divergent Solutions can handle the process from end to end .  Licensing, planning, environment preparation, project management, execution.

Divergent also licenses SmartCloud for Social Business. Social Business software is most effective when combined with a deployment and adoption strategy.  We help with this too.

Check out the Divergent Solutions website or contact me for more info.

How IBM is raising the stakes with Social Business right in Microsoft’s back yard.


IBM is coming to Seattle to talk about Social Business!
See the event schedule. The event is March 5.

Did I have anything to do with this?  Not that I’m aware of.  But I am glad to see IBM finally recognize the Seattle area market is tired of having no options besides Microsoft to choose from.  Like everywhere else, businesses here like innovation and they like competition.

So from the makers of Watson, the computer that beat the champions on Jeopardy! and the perennial leader in new patents awarded, comes the innovation of Social Business.  This is a game changer in business communications technology much like email, Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing have been.  IBM has the first and only legitimate offering in this new market.  IBM recognizes their leadership in this market and is making it a point to let the world know:
– What is Social Business
– How businesses are using social technologies to drive business value: reduce costs, accelerate communications, increase collaboration inside and outside the organization
– A path for integrating Social Business into your existing systems, regardless of what brand it is and regardless of the size of your company.

Did I mention IBM is doing this in only 3 locations in the United States and one of those places is Seattle, Washington?
If you work with a team or company of more than about 5 people, it is worth your time to see what they are doing.
Read more about what will be presented.
This will also be an opportunity to network with peers and discuss with others how Social Business has transformed their companies.  The ROI comes quickly and the metrics are compelling.  If you can’t attend in person you will miss out on the networking with everyone else, but they also have a session available online.  Be sure to register.

My Project Working at Microsoft is Complete: An update to the Lotus community


In my May 30, 2011 post I explained that I had started a project at Microsoft where I would be working with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) team in Office365 to improve the process for building the BES servers, streamlining the process, reducing the bugs, and clarifying the instructions for the build team.  Well that project has come to completion and the results were fantastic.  We accomplished everything we set out to do and I made some great new friends in the process.

It is rewarding to know my skills can easily port to a different platform and that I could be so successful regardless of the brand of software.  (Let that be a lesson to all techies.)  Technical writing, process improvement, troubleshooting, teamwork were all more important than a detailed knowledge of the software.

I was looking forward to the opportunity to see Microsoft software deployed and used the way its developers intended, using all the best practices and perhaps have my opinion changed by the experience.  To that end, I was both impressed and disappointed.  The infrastructure is very sophisticated and well managed.  Everything you would expect.  Yet I was surprised at how some technology was used.     I often asked myself things like “Why are we having this big reply-to-all email conversation instead of just using a discussion forum or Teamroom?” or “Why are we creating online instructions in Word documents?”  Well at least now I understand the reasoning behind why certain Microsoft software features work the way they do.

I may find myself back there working on another project, perhaps on another team and get a totally different experience.  Actually, I hope so.  It’s a big, diverse company and I expect, like most large companies, different teams work in different ways.  Meanwhile, I am back in the world of IBM and social business and  I will continue to share the knowledge of collaboration and social business here in a region where it is needed most, only now with a deeper understanding of both brands.

W3C Social Business Jam Report Just Released


(If you’re following my Grand Canyon story, the next post is coming soon.  This week is Lotusphere.)

The W3C sponsored an online forum to study opinions on social business. The results of the Jam have been compiled and they published their results yesterday.
The jam focused on 6 aspects of social technology:

– Identity Management for Social
– Mobile and Social
– Information Management
– Business Process Meets Social
– Seamless Integration of Social
– Metrics for Social Business

The jam was hosted by W3C member IBM using IBM’s Collaboration Jam platform.  (Not to be confused with IBM’s Social Business Jam, an entirely different report made by IBM )

Not familiar with who the W3C is?  In their words, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.”   This is the organization that tries to define industry standards that make integrating computer systems possible.  Without them, the world wide web (www.) would not exist.

As Lotusphere 2012 is all about Social Business, the timing of this report is appropriate.  The report provides some great insight into the future of social business from the viewpoint of the jam participants.  A few points:

– Only 18% of the participants Social Business is just marketing hype.  I don’t hold much faith in the longevity of their businesses.  But that also means 82% of those surveyed see Social Business as a real part of business today.  That is important if you are in the business of Social Business.  That means opportunity.

– Only 7% of the participants have only one identity on the web. Does that mean we all suffer from dissociative identity disorder?  I hope not.  Does it mean we don’t trust the world enough to let our whole self be seen by everyone?  Perhaps at least to some degree.  For example, many people don’t use the same identity on LinkedIn as they use on Facebook because they don’t want their employer or prospective employer to know about their personal life.  But it may also say something about how people play many roles in their lives and that one identity cannot represent us appropriately.  You see this in twitter profiles all the time: “CIO, whitewater kayaker, father”.  This becomes relevant because it’s the commonalities you share outside of business that make the strongest bonds for doing business.  It’s the fraternity effect, as I call it.  For Social Business to be most effective, it will need to be able to handle our split personalities.

– The report reveals how we treat our constant-connections of mobile phones so differently from all other devices.  Not just that technology must accommodate this in many ways including partial data wipes that remove corporate data while leaving personal data untouched.  The implications go into the usability features of the devices themselves too.  Think “It’s not business, it’s personal.” for a mobile phone, but “it’s not personal, it’s just business” for the desktop.

– The respondents also see value in social technologies in how they can handle exceptions to processes more effectively than structured forms.  This will shine most in a crisis.  If you are familiar with Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, you can see how this could fit in.  Imagine a natural disaster hits the headquarters of a company.  While their computer systems will survive if they properly setup a co-located data center, layers of leadership may not be available.  Social technologies are inherently flat organizationally, allowing people at all levels to communicate directly with the people they need to in the most effective manner.

– An interesting point that will play out in the near future is the response to the survey question “I want social tools integrated with my other applications”.  This is exactly what IBM is doing with IBM Connections and the Social Edition of Lotus Notes coming soon.  65% agree.  I expect those that disagreed probably just couldn’t envision such an integrated world.  They probably don’t realize that they already have that in places like facebook (if they use it.)

If you want an idea of where social software is going, this report is a worthwhile read.

Social Learning: a Critical element of Social Business


There is no doubt that Social Media is quickly moving to the workplace.  This movement is happening so fast that many businesses that would use it as well as those that would provide the technology for it are being caught off guard and unprepared.

I just attended a webinar on Social Learning hosted by Chief Learning Officer magazine and featuring a presentation by Jeanne C. Meister, Founding Partner of Future Workplace.  The information she revealed was very relevant to Social Business.

Three trends were outlined:
– Globalization.  People will need to be able to work compatibly with all cultures of the world.
– Demographics.  By 2020 there will be 5 generations working side-by-side in the workforce.
– Social technologies.  Social media will be an integral part of business and how employees, customers, and partners communicate.

It was discussed how in the future, companies will be requiring employees to be certified in social media competence in the same way they already have ethics training and sensitivity training.  “Social Media Literacy.”

This is a critical part of the success of social business and will differentiate the successful businesses from the failures.  Employees will need to know how to use social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer, blogging and commenting.  Businesses are already beginning to invest in “managing reputation capital on the Internet.”

It was also discussed how Millennials will influence the future of how businesses use technology.  In case you haven’t seen them before, here is a breakdown of the generations:
Group                   Born
Traditionalists      -1946
Baby boomers       1947 – 1964
Gen X                   1965 – 1976
Millennials             1977 – 1997
Gen 2020              1997 –

By 2020 half of the workforce will be Millennials.  Three characteristics mentioned about this age group are:
1.  Their declining use of email.
2.  Their increasing use of Macs.
3.  Their lead on the use of social media.

As such, businesses need to be prepared to meet their demands and expectations of the work environment, but also that they should use this group in what was termed “reverse mentoring”, that is, leverage the millennials’ knowledge of social media in educating the older staff.

I found it most interesting how much Jeanne referenced IBM and Cisco in her presentation given she has no affiliation with those companies.  (She never even mentioned social business.)  IBM has had a program called Corporate Service Corps.  I didn’t fully understand the role of this group within IBM from her explanation.  (Perhaps an IBMer could answer in a comment?)  She also presented results of several surveys including some taken at IBM.  One interesting one (not from IBM) showed a graph indicating how, while email use is up year-over-year among people over age 55, all other age groups have seen a decline in the time spent using web-based email.  This is a strong message for businesses to heed.

Ultimately, the message here is how social media is taking our world by storm and the workplace is no exception.  Businesses that prepare their employees for this new wave first will have a dominating, competitive advantage over their rivals.  Also, companies invested in IBM technologies including Lotus Notes, who have stayed the course and not succumbed to the vocal few misinformed bellwethers among them who have called to switch their technology because it seems out of vogue, will now be in position to gain a clear and definitive advantage over their competition.  Where is Microsoft and Google in this powerful and irreversible trend toward social media in the workplace?  Nowhere.  If this were compared to a horse race, it would be most like the final race of the Triple Crown in the year of Secretariat.  Half the field didn’t bother to show up because they knew they didn’t stand a chance of winning.

There is no doubt in my mind that Social Business is the next big race, both for providers of the technology and for the consumers of it.  The only question is will you be in the race or will you be left in the stable?

(P.S. I’m hoping Jeanne will post the presentation so I can share more of the info with you.)

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