That river’s flowing…

October 16, 2015
River flowing

No matter what we do, or how focused or mindful we are, the time just keeps passing doesn’t it?

peter-gabrielAs the great Peter Gabriel once sung:

Whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river’s flowing
that river’s flowing

(Linking to the ’94 version with Paula Cole – my personal favourite version of an amazing song…)

Somehow, over 7 months have passed since I joined the team at Jive Software.  

It seems both like my switch happened yesterday, and yet also that I’ve been here forever.

Thos months have been a hugely enjoyable yet immensely challenging period of my life.  New colleagues, new customers, new culture, new technology – it has been a time of intense adjustment.  If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know I’ve been in the collaboration space for the best part of two decades, and have inhabited the world of social since the mid-2000s, yet shifting into the Jive organisation and its community has been massive in terms of change for me personally.  Sure, there’s some similarities with what has gone before and yet in some ways it feels like ‘chalk and cheese’ too.

But ‘it’s just a different technology?’ I hear you ask… However, that’s really just a small part of the picture.

I’ve worked with IBM, Microsoft, Atlassian and many other vendors’ products through my career, and all have their merits and their challenges, their unique features and their omissions.  Jive’s products are no different in that regard – there are always some features that are due ‘in the next version’ or perhaps could be enhanced. Our customers have their lists of suggestions for where we can improve – that’s just natural.

Jive Software logoSo what’s fundamentally different about the Jive product, the company and the community?

There’s a list of elements that I want to explore over my next few posts because i think it’s important to get to the essence of what I believe makes Jive unique.

These posts aren’t intended to sway you in some commercial way – any decision such as investing in a social or collaborative platform has to be based on facts, perceived and proven value, use cases and the like, rather than solely on any emotional or relationship pull, or indeed on purely technical grounds.  And that is part of the point, really. Being at Jive has helped to open my eyes to some differences in the way that vendors in this space approach customer requirements and challenges.

So look out for a series of posts on ‘Why Jive?‘ over the coming weeks.  As I say, I’m not intending to try to market our solutions or even the company as a whole – we have immensely talented folks that can do that just fine. I’ve just lived this shift for real for the past months and I think it’s an interesting one to explore.  As a company and a community, we believe in ‘working out loud’ so I see no better way to do that than on this blog through my own personal lens and perspective.


Stuff that works – Anker USB chargers

October 6, 2015
Anker range

Anker logoFriends and colleagues that have travelled with me in recent times will undoubtedly have noticed that I’m a great fan of Anker electronics components.

Anker is a relatively new brand, at least on these shores, having appeared in the UK about 3-4 years ago. Through a combination of good clean design, comprehensive well thought-out feature sets, high-quality build and competitive prices. I first bought a multi-port USB charger from Anker perhaps 2.5 years ago, and it is still in daily use now, having taken a battering from the teenagers in the meantime!

Since then, I’ve gone on to acquire a really good dual-port 2A charger for the car, an excellent 15000mAh battery pack (now replaced by this 16000mAh version), a 9-port USB3.0 hub and several other USB chargers.  Being a family of seven currently with at least a dozen mobile devices, we need the power!

So why the post? I just spotted this deal advertised on Amazon and thought it worth mentioning.  The latest 6-port 60W USB charger is now available for just £25.99 from Amazon UK, a discount from the RRP of £59.99 – in the US it’s available at an even better $35.99.  Both the black and white variants are available at that price.

Anker 60W 6-port USB Charger (Black)Anker 60W 6-port USB Charger (White)
Whilst I don’t have the 6-port version, we have three of the older 5-port models and really rate them highly.  One of the nice features is that they run off a standard AC power lead, so it’s really easy to grab an cheap alternative lead for international trips, rather than having to carry a converter.

So… Highly recommended, great quality and at a super price right now.

[The small fee earning links above will lead to your local Amazon store…]


Safari 9 Responsive Design Mode

October 6, 2015

Do you host a site or platform that you need to make available to a wide range of desktop and mobile devices, including those Apple iThings running iOS9?

Then you need to check out Safari’s Responsive Design Mode (found in the Develop menu in Safari 9 for the Mac).  Take a look at this (video courtesy of Casey Liss):

Yes, you can test your site in all the new split-screen modes available in iOS9.  This feature is already proving to be useful for testing a number of my own sites, including this one:

Testing this site

I have a feeling it will come in handy for checking customer projects too, not least custom themes and layouts. This session video from WWDC 2015 covers the feature in great detail (and much more besides…)

Social Business

Twitter timeline zero

October 5, 2015

Over the years, my Twitter followed list had become somewhat cluttered… Just over 4,000 accounts – the usual mixture of friends, family, colleagues, partners, thought leaders, brands and celebrities.  I’d had a few occasional cleanups, but put it this way, it was becoming difficult to see the wood for the trees.  The signal to noise ratio had become pretty awful, and most of the value I was seeing from Twitter came through the search terms I used in Tweetdeck columns, rather than from my timeline.  Thankfully, I’d never been a Twitter completionist, as quite frankly there was no way I had a hope of coming close in the past couple of years!

So what to do?


Put quite simply, it was time to start again.

So as of this morning, I’ve unfollowed every single account that I was was following:


How did I do that?  Well here’s the trick.  Open up your following list in Google Chrome, and scroll all the way to the bottom.  It currently loads 12 accounts at a time, so in my case I had to keep scrolling for a long time.  Then open the Chrome Javascript Console, and enter the following jQuery command:


Leave it to run for a few seconds, and you’ll see that every single ‘following’ button gets toggled back to ‘follow’.  Of course, if you wanted to just unfollow a sub-section of accounts, you could search for them and then run the command.

So what now?

My plan is to follow Luis Suarez’s example, and to start using lists in a big way to manage my Twitter use, and to allocate each to a column in my Tweetdeck dashboard.  I know this isn’t exactly revolutionary, but do think it will force me to be more selective over whom I let enhance/pollute my timeline, and thus my attention.  At the same time, I’ve opened up my DM preferences to allow anyone to direct message me even though I’m not following them…

I’ll let you know how it goes!


Jive Software named as #2 best company to work for in the UK

September 4, 2015

There were few companies in the world that could have tempted me back into permanent employment, and I was really happy to join Jive Software almost 6 months ago. I’ve loved my experience of the organisation so far – the culture and workstyle mixes damn hard work with fun, humour, camaraderie and great support from the leadership.

Therefore it’s satisfying to see that others feel the same way. Glassdoor have just published their 2015 list of the best organisations in the UK to work for:

The Glassdoor Q2 2015 UK Employment Confidence Survey revealed that two thirds of employees (66%) don’t believe or don’t know if they will receive a pay rise in the next year. But with pay and benefits a big piece of the equation for any job seeker when deciding where to work, where are UK employees most satisfied with their pay and benefits packages? To help, Glassdoor put together its annual report identifying the Top 25 UK Companies for Compensation & Benefits in 2015.

The top 10 is dominated by tech, business consulting and IT firms, with the highest rated based in London – Facebook (#1, 4.7 rating), Jive Software in Reading (#2, 4.7) and MediaMath (#3, 4.6), also London.

Whilst Facebook being number 1 has dominated the media coverage of the Glassdoor report, actually Jive Software was incredibly close to being top in the stats. For sure, we’re hugely proud to be ahead of so many awesome and well-regarded organisations!

Here’s the full list:

Glassdoor Top 25 UK 2015

To give you a clue as to why Jive’s staff rate it so highly, this video gives you a feel for the company’s appreciation of our very different workstyles:

I certainly feel at home here. The company’s focus on kick-ass products and service, with a strongly-held belief in recruiting A-grade staff, allowing them to work flexibly and dynamically, all the while ‘working out loud’ through what is possibly the most vibrant and engaged ESN platform in the world suits me down to the ground.

Jive has a good number of positions open right now, so if you’d like to come to work at a company that truly believes in employee satisfaction, feel free to get in touch for more details and to hear it from someone with first hand experience!

Future of Work, Quotes

The old culture has to die

July 23, 2015
Robert Paterson - old culture has to die

Most organizations remain bound by the old rules. The power systems all use the old models. Only a handful of organizations have made the move. To make this kind of change, the old culture in the organization has to die. – Robert Paterson

It’s so refreshing when I engage with an organisation that views collaboration, productivity and efficiency through this lens. Tools alone cannot change an organisation or its employees’ work styles. Technological improvements must always be accompanied (or indeed, lead) by cultural change.


Just a glance…

July 23, 2015
It can wait

Such a powerful message from AT&T.

(I’m starting to think that it might need to be illegal to have a mobile phone in view on your dash – so easy to have a phone there for calls or navigation but to be distracted by a notification. Either that or the smartphone OSs need to have a semi-automatic option to disable notifications from appearing in that situation?)


Inspiring others

July 14, 2015
Harvey Mackay

A mediocre person tells.
A good person explains.
A superior person demonstrates.
A great person inspires others to see for themselves.
– Harvey Mackay

Thinking of this quote a lot at present when delivering strategy workshops and training sessions. There’s really no excuse for failing to always attempt to lift one’s own performance up the next level, no matter how tough that can sometimes be.


What if we offered you stock options?

June 29, 2015
Silicon Valley

I worked one job and when I finally quit, they had the VP bring me in to ask why. I said, “Well, if you want me to be honest, I come in here on Monday and I’m completely miserable. I have no rapport with anybody. By the end of the day I want to shoot myself.” He looked at me and he said, “What if we offered you stock options?”

Awesome quote from Mike Judge (creator and executive producer of Silicon Valley)… If you haven’t caught the show yet, definitely recommended!


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