Google Calendar

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Hello! It’s been a while since my last entry as I’ve been vacation in Singapore and Australia, attending/participating in a relative’s wedding and then, on my return, I promptly attended the Podcast Academy @ Boston University (which I will blog about shortly). To top it all off, I came down with something and I’m still recovering from it. So, to say the least, things have been a bit overwhelming of late.

Anyway, lots of exciting things have happened over the last few weeks while I was away and the one that I think scores the highest on my hype-count was the official launch of Google Calendar on April 13th, followed quickly by the release of the Google Caledar API about 1 week later.

I first heard about the then-codenamed “CL2” application on Episode 1 of TalkCrunch (the podcast for TechCrunch) in an interesting discussion of how Google Calendar (gCal) compares with similar products like Zvents and 30boxes. In fact, I believe there were rumors that Yahoo acquired in OCT’2005 because they were anticipating the launch of gCal at the Web 2.0 conference last year. Now, that podcast was released on March 15th and just as I was beginning to wonder if there was any truth to it, Google launches the app as soon as I leave the country for vaca!

Anyway, Google says that the Calendar is “…a tool that simplifies keeping track of events, special occasions, and appointments—whether they’re on your own agenda or on the calendars of contacts who opt to share their schedules with you.” Here are some of the highlights of the app:

- Quickly and easily add events
- Integration with Gmail (e.g. one click adding of events from email messages)
- Share-able calendars (with public or specified users)
- Search and compare tool (e.g. for comparing two different calendars)
- Built-in invitations via email (think “eVite”)
- Event reminders via email or text messaging (cool!)
- Support for Outlook and iCal, so you can synchronize your calendars

I think this will be a great product for people who travel a lot. I like the idea of being able to check your work calendar and compare it with your personal calendar while on the road, especially since it can be a real pain (and real s-l-o-w) to have to VPN-in just to look at your Outlook calendar.

Otherwise, you can simply keep calendars for every segment of your life and have them accessible and searchable everywhere you go! In fact, Google OS and Google Blogoscoped have some interesting public calendars that you can add to your own account for reference and here’s an innovative idea for using gCal in a medical practice. I’ve personally signed up for an account and will experiment with it over the coming weeks—it seems pretty nifty so far.

For more insight/info, visit some of the following gCal reviews or take a tour and sign up for your own calendar account:

- A great round-up by 23rd World as well as Gmail integration info
- Review by Michael Arrington from TechCrunch
- CNET review by Elinor Mills
- Another good overview by Solution Watch, with lots of images
- A good discussion on gCal application and comparison with other products
- Great tips from Stopdesign for using gCal
- Nice source of gCal updates from Lifehacker

UPDATE: 5/14/2006
- Check out this great review/use-case by
Giles Turnbull
on the Vitamin site

Enterprise Blogging, Wikis, Search, and CMS

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For those of you interested in Enterprise Blogging (“blogging for business“), Rod Boothby, of the Innovation Creators blog and fellow memeber of the Otter Group advisory board, will be presenting a talk on this issue at the Glibane Conference in San Francisco.

The conference, which mainly focuses on (enterprise) content management technologies, runs from April 24-26, 2006 and here are some of the highlights that are planned:

Yahoo = Web 2.0 ?

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OK, I'm not sure how seriously to take this article as it was publshed on April 1st, but apparently, Yahoo is now trying to become the Costco of Web 2.0.

It seems that Yahoo is making an effort to be “synonymous with Web 2.0.” Perhaps this is a bid to challenge Google's efforts to organize the world's information?

Here's what they said in their blog post, titled “All Your Web 2.0 Belongs To Us“:

“So after some long discussions with Tim O'Reilly, Michael Arrington, and other Web 2.0 experts, we've decided to just buy Web 2.0…All of it. . All the people, the round cornered boxes, crazy business ideas, and pastel colors.”

All I can say is now's probably a good time to get in the Web 2.0 business!

Everyone start getting ruby on those rails and AJAX-ing away.

BTW, that “all of it” link to Sacred Cowdung (what a name!?!) is great!

Gettin' ETech Support

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Before we even start talking about ETech and Trends (ET&T), I thought it might be worth thinking a bit about the “barriers to entry,” particularly for those of us who work in organizations that don’t exactly “embrace” the latest and greatest.

I mean, how many times have you come up with a great new ET&T idea, but end up getting beaten down by upper management, saying “It’s too risky” or “It’s not a proven model” etc, etc. Then, nine months down the road, these same folks come up to you and ask “Why aren’t we doing what Acme Inc. is doing?” or even worse, someone in marketing pitches the idea as “the new hot thing” and suddenly everyone laps it up and rushes to implement it. Grrr…so much for creativity and innovation!

In one of my favorite blogs—Creating Passionate Users—Kathy Sierra recently wrote about “Death by Creative Aversion,” where she says:

“Risk-aversion is the single biggest innovation killer, and of course it's not just Microsoft that's been infected. Taking risks is… risky. But if not taking risks is even riskier, then WTF?”

Well, isn’t that the truth! And in that spirit, here are a few interesting resources that may help with “getting internal buy-in” for ET&T ideas:

An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Enterprise
- by Suw Charman

Opening Remarks from SxSW (MP3): “The Curious Shall Inherit the Earth
- by Jim Coudal and Jason Fried
- Scroll to bottom of the page

Andrew Hunt: “Leave Room for Emergence”
- On the 37signals blog

Organizing for Innovation (book excerpt)
- by Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein, and Robert Shelton

A few other useful resources:
(UPDATE: 6/06/2006)

- Tim O'Reilly's recent talk at “Startup School”
Tim O'Reilly's guide to “What is Web 2.0

- “How to start a good business blog” by Rod Boothby
- “How to bake innovation into your organization’s DNA” by Rod Boothby
- Rod Boothby's “Intro to Web Office” white paper (PDF)
- Rod Boothby's “Turing Knowledge Managers into Innovation Creators” white paper (PDF)

- “The Trends Underlying Enterprise 2.0” by Prof. Andrew McAfee
- Prof. McAfee's growing list of Enterprise 2.0 articles

- Dion
Hinchcliffe’s Five
Techniques for Using Web 2.0 to Reinvent the Customer Relationship

- “Preparing for Intranet 2.0: how to integrate new communication technology into your intranet” by Kathleen Gilroy and Bill Ives

I’ll keep updating these, so please leave me links to good resources in the comments. Thanks! 

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