The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 45 - 1 Apr 2011
In This Issue
ACM Conference Map
Enterprise Architecture and IT Management Tools
Understanding of Enterprise 2.0: Elephant and Explorers
Lawyers and Social Media
Seen Recently...
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New ACM Conference Map
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has a new web page with a calendar of future conferences and an interactive map of past ones. The conference titles (or the pins on the map) are linked to the proceedings pages in the ACM Digital Library.

While this site is quite useful, especially given the preeminence and quality of ACM events, we think it would make more sense to display a map of the future conferences, and a list of the past ones, rather than the other way around! Geography is more important in deciding what you can attend in the future than in locating a past event.
EA and IT Management Tools
The market for Business and Enterprise Architecture tools is rapidly expanding, no doubt fueled by the growing popularity of these disciplines and by IT people's love for analyzing and diagramming their work (even when there is a real dialog about the integration of IT into the business, it's usually IT people who document the resulting models, because they are the ones with the skills and the tools to do so). In recent news:
  • Austin, Texas-based Troux Technologies, now one of the clear leaders with 10 complementary products for modeling and managing IT and business alignment, just had their annual conference in their home city.
  • UK-based RoleModellers (the spelling with two l's betrays their side of the Atlantic, but they were smart enough to also buy is advocating the superiority of the Human Interaction Management (HIM) approach over both BPM and Adaptive Case Management. They describe their HumanEdj product as "a reference implementation" of HIM.
  • Berlin-based alfabet offers planningIT, a tool covering various IT planning and management tasks and models, including risk management, workflow design (which does not appear to be BPMN-compliant, unfortunately), portfolio management, SOA planning, roadmaps for application consolidation, etc.
Another Elephant-and-Explorer Problem
In this famous tale, blindfolded explorers touch various parts of an elephant and make wildly diverging guesses as to what's in front of them.
John Brunswick, of Oracle, makes a similar point about the use of social networking in the enterprise in this AIIM blog entry. He says that what people expect of social networking in the enterprise depends not so much on their age, as is often claimed, but on prior experience: "...somehow, most people's ability to understand and interact with tools is based on existing experiences that they can draw reference to, and making a jump to new functionality requires a significant level of effort."
In other words, don't assume that if people "know" what LinkedIn is, they all have a complete grasp of what it can do for them. Some see it as a resume posting tool, some as a business discussion forum, some as a jobs board... few people see it as the whole beast it is.
Lawyers and Social Media
Vince Polley of knowConnect now issues a podcast in addition to his Miscellaneous IT Related Legal News (MIRLN) newsletter. In this 13-minute February 23, 2011 podcast, he discusses the use of social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs, by lawyers. Most interestingly, Vince explains what guidelines he follows himself to decide what medium is best suited for each purpose.
He also discusses the ethical implications, for judges and lawyers, of "friending" or "connecting" to people, or receiving recommendations or comments that may amount to unapproved advertising.
Seen Recently...
"... in probing nature's deepest mysteries, inventors, scientists and philosophers have all been talking about the same thing: information."
-- from TIME Magazine's review of The Information,
a new book by James Gleick that relates in particular how in 1948
Claude Shannon, researcher at Bells Labs, coined the term bit.