Posts Tagged ‘tools’

  • Have a spam day! Making communication tools fun.

    Have a spam day! Making communication tools fun.

    Nov 8, 10 • In Practices

    Picking a new team communication tool is one thing. Getting everyone to use it is another. Here’s a fun technique for easing adoption of a new tool. So you’ve evaluated the options and picked a chat tool for your distributed team. Or a presence app. Or maybe you’ve decided to use video mail. Now you have another challenge ahead of you: getting everyone to use it. Some people are natural early adopters. I’ll try any tool out if it’s new and interesting, and keep using it if I find it helpful. Others are slower to change. One way to get over that initial resistance to a new tool is to make a game of it. One one of the teams I work with, the engineering leadership decided to roll out Yammer for status updates and

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  • Avoid meeting hiccups with a dress rehearsal

    Avoid meeting hiccups with a dress rehearsal

    Oct 26, 10 • In Practices

    Coordinating a large remote meeting can seem like putting on a major stage production. Make sure your meetings go off without a hitch by practicing first. Picture this: it’s time for the very first whole-company monthly meeting since adding remote team members to the team. The presentation slides are all ready, everyone is at their desk, the clock is ticking – and half the company can’t connect to the videoconferencing server. You start a frantic troubleshooting session. People are tapping their fingers. Your manager starts wondering if building a dispersed team was such a great idea. This scenario is all too common in distributed teams. The fact is, remote workers are dependent on technology in order to make collaboration possible, and that technology doesn’t always perform as expected – often going down at the worst

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  • Screenshare-palooza

    Screenshare-palooza

    Sep 16, 10 • In Toolkit

    The ability to share your screen with a remote team member is an essential piece of the remote collaboration toolkit. When it comes to screensharing software, there is a dazzling, sometimes baffling array of options. Here are a few I know of. Skype has built-in screensharing. It is currently display-only, but it works across all platforms. They appear to be using the same video compression technology for it as they do for their video chat, which means that while the picture can be a bit blurry, it copes well with temporary network slowdowns. Good old VNC is still one of the most robust and cross-platform solutions for sharing desktop control. There are multiple VNC clients and servers for every OS, both free and paid. DimDim, Yugma, YuuGuu are all launchable from the web, all have names that

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  • Wide Teams Podcast Episode 9: Interview with Michael Bleigh

    Wide Teams Podcast Episode 9: Interview with Michael Bleigh

    Aug 9, 10 • In Interviews, Podcast

    In this episode: some thoughts on the Google Wave shutdown announcement, and talking to Michael Bleugh of Intridea about being part of a 50-person geographically distributed company

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  • Screencast: Flowdock Test Drive

    Screencast: Flowdock Test Drive

    Jul 22, 10 • In Toolkit

    Flowdock is a web-based hosted text chat application, along same lines as Campfire or Talker. Flowdock has some unique features which set it apart from those tools, which I demonstrate in this video

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  • The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide, Part 4: Virtual Presence

    The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide, Part 4: Virtual Presence

    Jul 14, 10 • In Basics

    You have your mail hub, your video/audio chat solution, and your text chat service set up. What other communications tools does your distributed team need? To augment Campfire or IRC, I recommend setting up a team status/presence tool.  The two most popular tools occupying this space are Presently and Yammer. With the exception of some downtime issues, I’ve had good luck with Present.ly in several organizations. In a nutshell, these apps are like Twitter for private groups.They enable team members to post short messages about their status, what they are thinking about, or problems they are experiencing. You may be wondering: is such an app really necessary when you already have a chat application?  Don’t they overlap? It’s true, either a chat room or a presence app can be used to simulate the other.  But ideally, they handle two

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  • Wide Teams Podcast Episode 4: Interview with Mike Zazaian, Part 2

    Wide Teams Podcast Episode 4: Interview with Mike Zazaian, Part 2

    Jul 5, 10 • In Interviews, Podcast

    In this episode of the podcast, listen to the conclusion of my interview with Mike Zazaian at RailsConf 2010. In it we talk about the importance of getting to know your remote team members as people, and we discuss the state of remote collaboration tools, among other topics

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  • The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide: Part 2

    The Wide Teams Bootstrap Guide: Part 2

    Jul 1, 10 • In Basics

    In part 2 of this series, I talk about why face time is essential; the two types of realtime communication tool which should form the backbone of your day to day interactions as a dispersed team; and why instant messaging can do more harm than good. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you may want to go back and read it. Face Time A little face-to-face communication goes a long way with remote work. A day spent working with a teammate in person can change the whole character of your subsequent online interactions. Before, they were a screen name and an avatar. After working with them in person, with every instant message or email they send you’ll have a mental picture of their tone and mannerisms to go with it. People become more

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  • Open Thread – What’s your biggest dispersed team frustration?

    Open Thread – What’s your biggest dispersed team frustration?

    Jun 30, 10 • In Discussion

    No article today. Instead, since this is a community site instead I though it might be fun to get a conversation started. Topic: what is your biggest frustration with working in a dispersed team

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  • The Remote Toolkit: Google Drawings (screencast)

    The Remote Toolkit: Google Drawings (screencast)

    Jun 24, 10 • In Toolkit

    A quick walkthrough of the basic features of the new Google Drawing app, with a focus on remote collaboration features. Photo credit: Fran Pregernik

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