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2/13/2009
03:49 PM
Venkatesh Rao
Venkatesh Rao
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GTD Summit, A Parable 2.0 and WikiDashboard

Today is short notes day, here are three interesting bits and pieces for you to ponder. First, there's a quick look at the GTD Global Summit, an opportunity to drink the Kool-Aid of productivity, 2.0 style (I am a panelist and have 3 golden tickets -- 50% off registrations -- to offer, read on to find out how to get one). Second, a thumbnail review of what might be the first "2.0" business parable, Where in the World is my Team? And finally, a pointer to a rather unique dashboard, since we've been on that topic, thanks to Irwin Lazar.Three Golden Tickets for the GTD Global SummitDavid Allen is to 2.0 what Stephen Covey was to 1.0. The personal productivity guru behind "GTD" (Getting Things Done, the book and movement) has sparked a snowballing trend powered by a creative, whole-brained work-life blending approach to everything you need to get done. I have been a practitioner for six years and known David personally for three (here's my GTD story). The movement is now big enough that it deserves a conference, and it is finally getting one. The first GTD Global Summit will be held March 11-13 in San Francisco. I'll be one of the thirty-odd panelists, and the keynote panelists include luminaries such as Guy Kawasaki and Marshall Goldsmith.If you register right now, you can get 25% off. Better still, as a panelist, I am allowed to bring along 3 attendees at 50% (that's $995) off the cover price. So if you want one of the Golden Tickets I am allowed to give away, shoot me an email with your real name/email and something like a LinkedIn profile link (scalper filter), and I'll send the registration code out to three sorta-randomly chosen people from among those who email me in by Feb 17, 5:00 PM.Where in the World is my Team? by Terence BrakeIt had to happen, a business parable about how to go 2.0. Where in the World is my Team tells the story of a big global cast of characters collaborating their way to 2.0 nirvana. The plot involves a gaming company called the "Fun House" with a globally scattered staff, going all organic and 2.0 with the help of a collaboration platform called GOdwzilla.The plot is thin, and just barely enough to hold the weight of the exposition, but then, business parables have never been Hollywood A material. The story certainly beats listening to a dry, purely conceptual presentation on 2.0 strategy by a bored analyst, and manages to elevate the discourse above the techno-porn level. It has a pretty decent discussion of culture and business models. I didn't entirely agree with the underlying thesis, but then the point of 2.0 is to join the debate rather than a particular cult preaching a particular 2.0 gospel. So this is a good introduction for those who learn better through stories.WikiDashboardI said in my review of Tapscott's Grown Up Digital, that one of the things we can learn from the Millenials is a "trust, but verify" attitude of informed but fully-engaged skepticism towards 2.0 content -- crowdsourced, mob-edited, with truth being distilled out in the crucible of online flame wars.This sort of caveat emptor stance towards online content requires tools. WikiDashboard, developed by Ed Chi and Bongwong Suh at PARC, is one such tool to help you understand the social-creation context of what you are consuming (full disclosure -- I work at the Xerox research center in Rochester, a sister organization to PARC, and the researchers behind this are personal colleagues).If you enter a search term into WikiDashboard, you get to the appropriate Wikipedia pages, which are then presented with a useful overlay showing the social history of the article. You can 'read' the social toxicity or friendliness of the creation process, as well as the stability of the (relativist obviously) truth represented, through a graphic like this (this one is for the article on 'United States'). Takes a little getting used to, but if you navigate a few articles using this graphic, you get into a mindset of "what am I reading AND who is saying it, AND how good is the consensus?"

Venkatesh G. Rao writes a blog on business and innovation at www.ribbonfarm.com, and is a Web technology researcher at Xerox. The views expressed in this blog are his personal ones and do not represent the views of his employer.

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