Saturday’s alright for isolation. No, not really.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

While I love the gym after it’s over I found myself dragging myself to the gym on Saturday mornings. This morning I stayed in bed way too late, disappointed that I couldn’t go to the gym and get in some circuit training.

Here’s how I spent my Saturday:

  • I published a new post to LinkedIn based on how technical writers can improve their working relationships.
  • I finished up a short post for LinkedIn that I set up in HootSuite to publish later in the week.
  • The bulk of my afternoon was spent writing an upcoming article for TechTarget. I had a slow start but finally hit my stride and got to take my mind off the Coronavirus.
  • I finished watching Season 2 of Ugly Delicious on Netflix.

I also got to speak to a friend who lives outside the DC area and compared what was happening in our local areas.

How did your Saturday in isolation go?

It’s coming up to the end of the year

Photo by tribesh kayastha on Unsplash

Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year. It caught me by surprise. So much so, I’ve been tallying up all the things I hope to get done by December 31, 2018.

Here’s a few of the items I have on my to-do list for the end of the year:

  • Finish up some big projects at work dealing with Cloud Computing
  • Complete some personal writing projects that’ll show up on this blog, Medium, and on my LinkedIn profile
  • Launch a new version of willkelly.com running on Drupal
  • Prepare to move this blog to self-hosted WordPress when my WordPress.com account comes up for renewal
  • Take the week off between Christmas and New Years for a little staycation action including a day where I just read books the whole day long

What personal projects do you have to finish before the end of the year?

Indecision and the evolution of my personal websites

kaitlyn-baker-422999-unsplashYears ago, I thought it was a good idea to publish both a professional website and a personal blog. It was around the time I was able to purchase willkelly.com and willkelly.org. I was a contract technical writer and figured that the sites would help people find me in search results. Then reality set in…

For me at least, the first casualty of billable work is personal publishing. As time went on, I grew less dedicated to my personal blog because of a busy schedule and some life events. Eventually, I took my personal blog offline after the hosting provider didn’t notify me about some backend issues.

Continue reading “Indecision and the evolution of my personal websites”

How Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition will influence the future of collaboration

Image courtesy of the LinkedIn Press Room

I‘ve been reading all the coverage and analysis of Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn, and I fall squarely into the camp of the whole deal being a data play that will help Microsoft build out their Office graph. While the LinkedIn acquisition will have a direct impact on their Dynamics CRM platform but my interest is in how LinkedIn will influence the future of Office 365 and online collaboration.

Collaboration and communications with context

I’m rounding four years working from home more or less and see the need for collaboration with more context. It’s one thing to know things about colleagues in the cubicles around you; it’s another thing to have a level of context about co-workers, contractors, and partners that might be working on the same project.
 
 For example, I just finished up a large contract and while I’ve enjoyed working part-time for the past few weeks I’m also pitching new projects, talking to recruiters, and having calls with prospective clients. I like to do my homework about people I meet with for the first time. I’m using LinkedIn even more than usual to prepare for calls and meetings. Now, if I could do this research within Office 365 or an Office application that would be something very useful to me and a key differentiator for the Office 365 platform. I was a fan of the late great Mynd Calendar because they gave me that level of access prior to meetings.
 
 The LinkedIn acquisition could also give Microsoft an edge on analytics giving Office 365 administrators even more granular insights into how their users collaborate and communicate with each other.
 
 I once wondered if there was ever such a thing as a corporate LinkedIn culture and haven’t thought about it again until I heard news of the Microsoft acquisition.There’s a dark side to all of this integration in my opinion because it’s hard enough to get workers to use a personal space on a collaboration platform and now you are asking them to maintain a robust and up to date LinkedIn profile to get the full benefit from LinkedIn data.

Changes to the document model

I got my start in the word processor and print document world to later transition into online help and PDFs finally to today’s world of wikis and content management systems. Recently, I read an article about Microsoft’s future is in decomposable documents, content based on component parts. Microsoft GigJam is an early example of Microsoft’s work in this emerging area.
 
 Access to the full spigot of LinkedIn data combined with document components could enable a reimagining of documents and collaboration that could lead to another evolution of content. Could we see the next generation of content that’s personalized based on the data from your LinkedIn profile? Such a technology could have implications for online knowledge bases, technical documentation, and a range of other online content. 
 
 The addition of LinkedIn data raises some questions with me about how it may or may not influence document and site metadata if at all.
 
 I also wonder how the Microsoft acquisition will affect the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. I had high hopes for the platform but like a lot of contributors to the platform, my posts seem to come out short in their algorithmic and content dance. While I still publish to the platform, it is more for fun these days. Would the LinkedIn Publishing Platform become more collaborative with Microsoft in charge?

Security and identity management

What nobody is speaking about yet is what influence could LinkedIn data have on the security of Office 365. Could their new found trove of professional data ever find itself as part of a security or identity management feature? Would that prove a challenge to Okta and other identity management solutions?

Final thoughts

Like a lot of you, I have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn since its launch. Looking past that, I’ve watched analytics and big data entering cloud security and project management for the past few years. Microsoft owning and integrating the full spigot of LinkedIn data into Office 365 could mean a richer collaboration experience.
 
 LinkedIn augmenting Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud applications is also going to be a game of execution for Microsoft.


Will Kelly is a technical writer and analyst based in the Washington, DC area. He has worked with commercial, federal, higher education, and publishing clients to develop technical and thought leadership content. His technology articles have been published by TechBeacon, Network World, CNET TechRepublic, Government Computer News, Federal Computer Week, Toolbox.com, ZDNet.com, and others. Follow Will on Twitter:@willkelly.