Update (February 10, 2009): See Sync Google Calendar and Gmail Contacts with Your BlackBerry for a recent How To guide to the Google Sync for the BlackBerry solution.
In just over fourteen months, one of my posts has received almost 19% of the views for my entire blog.
- Read-only access – You can’t enter contact information from the GMail client on the BlackBerry. In time, we’ll want this. Like tomorrow!
- Online-access only – You need your contacts when you’re off line? Like when you’re on an airplane? Until this client includes Google Gears functionality or equivalent, you’re out of luck here. I think I can live with that. For now. Because ultimately I would appreciate the ability to compose email when I’m off line. I do that frequently with the BlackBerry’s built-in mail client.
- Contacts in too many places – Fragmenting contacts between your Google ‘verse and enterprise messaging platform (e.g., Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes, etc.) has some disadvantages. However, as I’ve learned directly on the heels of personal experience, there are times when it’s wise to have some separation between our personal and corporate selves …
This gives me a lot of what I was looking for.
- Lifting a heavy prop awkwardly at our annual Mardi Gras event. I felt a twinge of pain, and suspect that this predisposed my back towards injury.
- Attempting to leave a leg-press machine before completely releasing the 220 lbs of weight that I, back included, was still supporting.
- Finished reading Seymour Schulich’s Get Smarter
- Devoured a few Greg Iles novels
- Devoured Rules for Renegades – The free resources at the book’s Web site are terrific, but you’ll definitely want to read the book as well
- Reviewed a book on BES installation and administration
- Am reviewing a book on the GWT
- Started and gave up on (after 50 or so pages) Jack Welch’s Straight From The Gut – I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I suppose it just didn’t resonate with me in my delicate state …
- Started reading Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat – I’m only on page 77, but I’m seriously hooked. More on this soon (I hope).
- Provided feedback on a scientific research manuscript on which I’m a co-author
- Thumbed various magazines
I fretted. About work – not being there, work piling up, etc. And about my exercise routine – that picked me up, and then knocked me down! I communed with my family – when they weren’t making up for my shortfalls – and with our pets (three cats and an obnoxiously vocal husky).
There’s a recent, year-in-review entry by the Google blogging team.Not only does this entry highlight another wonderful year for Google, it also quantitatively places blogging in perspective. If you ever had any doubts as to the legitimacy of blogging, just read this post.Amongst the highlights I found the announcement of the Knol test project to be of interest. Although I’m a huge fan of knowledge representation and management, especially in the context of the Semantic Web, I must confess to being confused by Knol. At the most-basic level, Knol seems to be about knowledge sharing. And more-specifically, providing jumping off points (from search-engine hits) for those seeking to understand some topic.Therefore, I can’t help but ask, is there more to Knol than it’s Google’s competitive answer to Wikipedia?If you happen to drop by my blog, and this post, please feel free to share your take on Knol.What am I missing?
I think I first ran across Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail last Summer while blogging on blogging as a writer’s tool.
I’ve finally gotten around to reading Anderson’s book.
Anderson ends his first chapter with the following paragraph:
When you can dramatically lower the costs of connecting supply and demand, it changes not just the numbers, but the entire nature of the market. This is not just a quantitative change, but a qualitative one, too. Bringing niches within reach reveals latent demand for non-commercial content. Then, as demand shifts towards the niches, the economics of providing them improve further, and so on, creating a positive feedback loop that will transform entire industries – and the culture – for decades to come.
I’m still internalizing this, so I’ll reflect more before adding my $0.02. At this point, I just thought it was a quote worth sharing.
In a recent post, I blogged:
… Jott goes a lot farther than my low-tech solution:
- You call their toll-free number
- You leave a message – your reminder, to-do, idea, etc.
- Jott transcribes your message, and delivers the corresponding text to your phone and email
“Obscenely simple … incredibly clever” (Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech). I couldn’t agree more!
Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.
I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones
Fortunately, there’s great news for us Canucks as DICtabrain is developing a similar solution 🙂
Although I expect to have more to blog about soon, it’s worth noting that DICtabrain:
- Makes an explicit connection to blogging
- Is looking for alpha-trial participants
- Has their own blog
Some may be nonplussed by services like DICtabrain’s or Jott’s.
As DICtabrain’s James Woods blogs:
Some people will never understand the benefits of voice powered writing while others seem to be waiting for it with baited breath.
I think the reason for this disconnect is the creative process itself.
Some people need to internalize their creative process by working things through inside their heads.
Others need to externalize it. And its for the externalizers that frameworks like GTD and solutions like DICtabrain’s make complete and total sense. In DICtabrain’s words: “Good ideas are only valuable if they can be remember[ed] and then actioned.”
With Jott and DICtabrain appearing on the scene with similar solutions within the past 3-4 months, it’s clear that there’s something interesting happening.
Perhaps Jott and DICtabrain have glommed onto a disruptive innovation.
What are they disrupting?
How about the dictaphone + analog/digital voice recorders + voicemail + technology for action management methods.
That’s an impressive disruption, and one of the reasons why companies like DICtabrain and Jott are likely to draw attention from the likes of:
- Traditional dictaphone companies – ??
- Consumer electronics companies – Apple, Sony, etc.
- Telcos/Networking companies – Cisco, Nortel, Skype, etc.
- Software companies – Google, Microsoft, Nuance, etc.
- And others
With unified messaging a key deliverable of enterprise-class traditional PBX and VoIP solutions, injecting the DICtabrain or Jott solution into the mix could be quite interesting. For example when you have robust IP connectivity, you have the networked equivalent of Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking in Skype + (DICtabrain or Jott) … and potentially more!
To re-quote Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech: “Obscenely simple … incredibly clever”.
Let me close (again) with a small dose of realism:
I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me.
Newbie blogger sargon writes:
One of the things I’m working on is generating my .NET business layer from a very basic schema xml file using Ruby, XPath, and erb as the templating language. I have a working prototype and I’ll be posting my results soon to this.
Given my interests, you can understand why I’m looking forward to sargon’s future postings!