Thursday, 20 May 2010

Leveraging The Web

When I was at school, I remember a specific class about learning and revision; it finally sank in that we all learn in different ways. Some of us learn stuff by heart, others have to visualise information, for me I have to break it down to its most simple and then build it back up again. I hope that is how I present as well.

When I revise I make lots of notes, and then reduce them to bullet points and then repeatably write them out until I remember them. When I took my Company Direction Diploma a few years back for my IOD Chartered Director, I had a whole year's work down to 4 sides of A4 paper, albeit typed and small font, but those two laminated pages where what got me through the exams.

Today's students, and we are all students of something, have many ways to take in information. The web has opened up a whole new world. I love the podcast although I don't use it as much as I should. I once was told I was recording a podcast on AIA for Oracle, and knew very little about it, so I downloaded two podcasts on the subject and listened to them for an entire 3 hour flight to Redwood, only to find when I got there I was recording on upgrading Oracle E Business Suite, something I knew a little more about.

In UKOUG our magazine Oracle Scene is available in both printed and electronic media. There have been moves to make it electronic only but I continue to fight that. Only one thing makes me prouder than to see the magazine in an Oracle Office Customer or Training Centre, and that is to see someone flicking through the pages.

We have too much email today, but for some it is how they get information. If you are a UKOUG member make sure your profile matches what you are so you only get targeted information, and for a great summary of what we have to offer, sign up for our e Bulletin. One email every other week.

I love Facebook, possibly too much, and had to invest in an iPhone so I could have a sneak preview at lunchtime or at coffee. Perhaps Facebook has seen its peak, to be replaced by twitter. Only today a friend tweeted 'Bang bang you're dead #facebook account'. I love twitter, especially the way you create a 'buzz' at an event and have even learnt thanks to wise advice from Cary Millsap to ensure I only update Facebook with non Oracle tweets, if I want to keep non Oracle friends.

I like LinkedIn and do use their forums. It appears I do it all, I have an OracleCommunity Account and Oracle Mix. Obviously I also blog. The reason my 'elevator' incident ranked so high in the Oracle Open World review for 2008 was because it showcased all the elements of 'Web 2.0'.

As an aside, how do I decide who to accept as 'friends'? A friend on Facebook once said, 'if you would have someone home for dinner', that is my bar. Sometimes I meet someone just for an hour, and it may be in a workplace setting, but if they intrigue me and I want to know more about them, share things with them, then I want them to be friends on Facebook.

We see many, many more webcasts nowadays and I like them for adding extra content for an existing community, I don't think they replace face to face meetings like our Special Interest Groups or conferences.

One medium I love is the video, and it is a great way to get a quick message across. I like the idea of it being used to advertise events, or to tell a quick story. The Miracle Channel concept is not unique but by far the most mature use of video in the Oracle world.

You see I want to reach a wide audience and everyone has their own way of learning. So when you want to get your message across remember the people you want to reach may use a different media than you. Personally I use what ever 'google' returns first. The web is only limited by our imagination.

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