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GoPro introduce new backpack and cycle mounts

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how often we’ve used the GoPro Hero cameras that we’ve owned for the past three years, and whilst we’re not that active a family, there’s barely a week that goes by without some opportunity for capturing footage – cycling, hiking, skiing, sailing and the like. There are plans afoot to buy an additional camera or two some time soon in order to offer more options when on the go or during group activities.

As many other GoPro owners have found, there’s an element of addiction involved – the range of GoPro and third-party mounts and attachments available lead the user to think there’s always a better way to capture more compelling shots and viewpoints. Also, as the cameras are often most actively used when already wearing or carrying bulky equipment, new options that make it easier to carry, attach or detach the devices are of interest.

GoPro’s own options tend to be pretty expensive to acquire, but are typically of high quality, and give that reassurance that they’re not going to break whilst in use. There’s no doubt that there is a ‘GoPro tax’ at work (as there is with Apple), but my opinion is that in most cases it is a cost worth paying to acquire equipment offering the most utility and style, with the least risk.

So with that perspective in mind, I’m interested in the announcements that GoPro have made in the past week:

  • The Seeker backpack – a new 16L weather-resistant sportpack, with space for your personal gear plus compartments for up to five GoPro cameras and a pocket that accommodates your own hydration system. Features built-in chest and shoulder mounts which make it easy to attach the GoPro to the pack itself, plus a system of pockets and clips to hold a 3-Way for over-the-shoulder shots.GoPro Seeker backpack
  • The Pro Seat Rail Mount – a new discrete and streamlined mount for rearward-facing cycle shots, with simple one-screen mount for attachment to twin-rail saddles. Great for capturing race footage or for safety purposes on commutes.GoPro Pro Seat Rail mount
  • The new Pro Handlebar / Seatpost / Pole Mount – a super compact (and expensive) aluminum mount designed for serious cyclists and bikers, which rotates 360° and fits 22.2mm to 35mm diameter tubes.GoPro Pro Handlebar/seatpost/pole Mount
  • There is also a new side and rear helmet mount, but I’m personally less-than-keen on any options that compromise helmet safety.

Of the new models, it’s the backpack that tempts me most. Reviews suggest it’s super high-quality, accommodates a 13″ MacBook or iPad Pro, and the mount and hydration options look perfect for the majority of my use cases:

It is $170/£150 so you will be paying a premium for the brand, but the three mount options included are really attractive (plus potentially there is a fourth by attaching a helmet mount to the rear of the pack). Get it from GoPro or from Amazon.

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18 tips for success

  1. Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it.
  2. Be visible – get out there and sell yourself.
  3. Choose your name wisely.
  4. You can’t run a business without taking risks.
  5. The first impression is everything. So is the second.
  6. Perfection is unattainable.
  7. The customer is always right, most of the time.
  8. Define your brand.
  9. Explore uncharted territory – lots of things haven’t yet been discovered.
  10. Beware the “us vs. them” environment.
  11. Build a corporate comfort zone – so people can openly express themselves without rigid confines.
  12. Not everyone is suited to be a CEO.
  13. Seek a second opinion. Seek a third.
  14. Cut ties without burning bridges.
  15. Pick up the phone – don’t text or email when you should be calling.
  16. Change shouldn’t be feared, but it should be managed.
  17. When it comes to making mistakes, bounce back, don’t fall down.
  18. Be a leader, not a boss.

– Richard Branson

I was reminded of this list by a friend just this morning, so noting it here. It’s remarkable how consistently accurate and relevant the advice has proven to be over the years. 

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The ‘first-hour rule’

We all have tough projects we’d like to tackle, but we just can’t. It seems so big, we don’t know where to start. We’re full of fear even when we think about starting.
Making things is one big battle with the Pressfieldian Resistance. However, with a little Motivational Judo, you can lay The Resistance flat on its back. I call this move the First-Hour Rule.

With the First-Hour Rule, you commit to working on that tough project for the first hour of each day. When that hour is up, you stop if you want to. If you really want to keep going, you do.

Simple concept, but I find it works well… Tackle that challenge head on, and do battle in the most productive hour of the day.

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Calls come to Slack

Typing is great. We love typing. And while there are many fine ways to communicate via typing — messaging in channels, direct messages, and group DMs — today we’re officially adding calls to the mix for everyone.
Slack call feature
After months of beta testing, all Slack users everywhere can now use our calls feature. Huzzah!

Little explanation required. 1:1 calls now included at no cost for all Slack users, with group calls included in paid plans. Just like that, Slack reduces the need for both Skype and phone conference services for many teams.

(On a personal note – if Slack would just properly enable local recording of calls within the app then this would be a great solution for podcasters too)

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Conference Speaking

Ummo: your personal speech coach

Planning a conference session or work presentation anytime soon? This app might come in handy…

Ummo logoUmmo is your personal speech coach. Whether you are practicing for a presentation or looking to improve your day-to-day communication, use Ummo to track your filler words (“Umms” and “Uhhs”, “like”, “you know”), pace, word power, clarity, and more.

This iPhone app is definitely a version 1.x, and has its flaws, but looks extremely promising in terms of providing machine analysis of presentation and speaking styles.

Install the app, allow access to the microphone, click the mic button, wait for the countdown to complete and then start talking.  The app will capture each work as it is said, looking for pre-defined filler words, any lack of clarity of tone, and any overly-long pauses. Once the recording is complete, it provides quite detailed reports and analysis of the effectiveness of the recorded session:

ummo1 ummo2 ummo3 ummo4

As I mentioned, there are some (um, err) issues – this needs a fast iPhone (it works considerably better on my iPhone 6s+ than it did on the iPhone 5 I tested, and even then, it does sometimes mis-capture the words. However, speech is by its nature imperfect, and I can forgive the app some teething pains.

For my use at least, it gave some good data, and helped me to spot some weaknesses in my speaking style that I hadn’t isolated previously.  The reviews on the UK store are not great at present (1.5 stars! They are much better on the US store…), but this review from MacStories is, I believe, fairer to the developer.  Anyway, it costs just $1.99 (£1.49), so it could be worth your time and hard-earned cash to give it a punt!

Grab Ummo from the App Store.

Beyond Xpages

Beyond Domino development?

Peter Presnell of Red Pill on the future of Domino development ‘Beyond XPages‘:

That made me wonder…. why would IBM suddenly only provide a commitment to fix-packs instead of taking the opportunity to remain committed to a new release, something customers and the community continue to push for? I may be wrong, but I suspect that having already gone three years without a release, should IBM decide to have a 9.0.2 release of Notes/Domino, this could potentially reset the clock for how long IBM would be obligated to support Notes/Domino moving forward. I am sure they will ultimately determine an appropriate length of support once it is clear to customers there are no new releases coming, but they probably want to leave as much wiggle room (legally) as they can. After all, they do employ one or two lawyers!

Back in March I suggested that new ICS GM Inhi Cho Suo was likely to make significant changes to the direction of ICS. The Road Map presented at Engage also was missing any reference to Notes/Domino Next. Perhaps a faster end for Notes, Domino, and XPages is part of that change.

Really insightful thoughts on where XPages and Domino stand as technologies, how far they’ve dropped beyond the latest releases of their supported frameworks, and where enterprise customers should invest their development budget for the future.  No guarantees that Peter’s assumptions are 100% correct, but I do think he’s barking up the right tree…

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Two very interesting new partnerships in the IBM Connections space

Firstly, two extremely well-respected IBM ISVs are forming a strategic alliance:

Infoware-logo-plain-trans-BlackSpecialists from all over the world are preparing themselves for Social Connections 10 – the core event for the IBM Connections community. So did Infoware and panagenda, both sponsors at the event, and formed a strategic alliance to jointly market both parties solutions.

panagenda-Logo_2000x676The solutions Infoware DomainPatrol Social for content and user management and panagenda ConnectionsExpert for monitoring, adoption and analytics complement each other perfectly.

I’ve been a strong advocate for Infoware‘s Domain Patrol Social product for a number of years,infoware1feeling that it fills a much-needed hole in a Connections community manager’s toolkit – managing communities, profiles and files in a way that the product itself does not allow.

ConnectionsExpert-LogoI have also heard great things about panagenda‘s upcoming ConnectionsExpert product, which is about to be launched at Social Connections 10. This will offer metrics, analytics, realtime monitoring and adoption measurement all in one package. Given Panagenda’s network of partners and their own strong consultancy team (including Femke and Christoph), this is sure to do well.

As the press releases state, these products should prove to be highly complementary, and knowing the two organisations as I do, I think they’ll work tremendously well together.

Secondly, a social collaboration company that I’ve followed for a very long time, nooQ, is now partnering with IBM on adding visualisation features to IBM solutions, including IBM Connections:

nooqlogoWe are excited to announce we have entered into a partnership with IBM.

Since we won product awards at Socialnow we have been speaking to IBM on working together. The next logical step for that was to apply for IBM partnership status, which has been approved.

nooQ will work with IBM their customers using IBM Connections to apply our intelligent, machine learning algorithms and visualisation to sit on top of existing IBM Connections data.

There are a lot of features in the IBM product that are not in nooQ such as blogs and wiki’s but now IBM customers will have the added benefit of an alternative interface to surface personalised content. They will be able to use our volume controls to filter and display visually what is important to them.

We will be focussing on IBM’s next generation Social Business products such as IBM Connections and also excited to see what powerful combinations we can complement and improve including their other next generation social business products with machine learning such as IBM Verse, IBM Watson, and Toscana.

I watched nooQ’s presentation at Social Now and it was fascinating to see the response from the audience in terms of being wowed by the potential of their solution, and could almost hear the cogs whirring in terms of the potential for the visualisation techniques and insight to be layered on top of other collaboration platforms – including Connections and Jive.  It’s impressive to see that IBM and nooQ have moved so quickly, and I look forward to hearing more about the partnership and roadmap.

soccnx_logo_900x250Both alliances will be in action next week at Social Connections 10 in Toronto, so if you have the opportunity to attend, you really should! There are still tickets available so register ASAP!

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CGATE - an easy-to-use front end for IBM Connections

Interesting release from Swedish ISV, EGBS:

CGATE is a delightful and easy to use front end for IBM Connections. It will be customized to your organization and your employees – no need to adapt your processes to the tool, or for your employees to learn a new vocabulary. The users will get started in no time, leveraging the power of collaboration without the need for extensive training or user adoption programs. All content is stored in IBM Connections, so there is no need for an additional system to manage content. You will discover how CGATE will make collaboration a natural part of the work day – powering your intelligent organization.

Look out for more details next week when I get to experience and review the CGate solution in more detail.

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SOCM 2016: Quantifying the Value of Community

State of Community Management 2016 coverThe State of Community Management 2016 provides a snapshot of the progress and changes in community management, based on research of more than 300 communities from organizations large and small, which span a range of use cases, sectors and industries.

Every year we continue to build upon the past research and explore more deeply topics that TheCR Network members highlight as crucial to building a better understanding of the power and impact of community approaches.

Our three key findings, driven by your answers, were:

  • Strategy: defining shared value drives success.
  • Operations: empowering members accelerates engagement.
  • Tactics: measure what you want to see, not what you have.

The full report also dives into the need to measure ROI, offering insights and a formula for communities to capture their ROI based on a simple metric – the answered question.

The State of Community Management report is one of the most important online community research projects that takes place on an annual basis. Lead by Rachel Happe, Jim Storer and their Community Roundtable team, this report summarises responses from managers of 339 different communities worldwide, to provide data that provides an exception set of benchmarks against which your own community can be measures. In addition, clear trends are extracted in terms of the directions that internal and external communities will take in 2016 and beyond, and strategies outline that should be employed to maximise growth and value.

If you only read and digest one piece of industry research this year, it should be SOCM 2016.

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