Following on from the previous post I was thinking about how I have accrued a set of technologies around me. This wasn't a deliberate policy - I didn't think "I need to construct a personal working environment. Here are the functions I need..." Rather I have come across them, experimented with some, rejected some and kept others. It was only when considering what tools I couldn't afford to lose that I realised I had 'constructed' something that might loosely be termed a working environment.
I've mapped it out in Compendium, and here is the image (click on it to open up in a new window):
I suspect my set of tools is smaller than a lot of people's. My criteria for inclusion were:
- I use it regularly
- It's outside of my formal work provision (no Outlook, Moodle, FirstClass, etc)
- It is something I have input to, not just a resource e.g. Guardian online (YouTube and Flickr are a bit borderline here).
A few things to note about this:
- The boundaries are blurred - it is simultaneously a work/leisure/learning environment
- The accrual over time is a different approach from setting out with a feature specification, and is much more organic.
- There is little integration between the services.
- Most of the tools are very easy to use - apart from some knowledge base queries in Typepad and the instructions for creating a slidecast I don't think I've had to consult a manual or seek help for any of them.
- Following on from 2) I didn't know I wanted some of these until I saw them. Take Slideshare for instance, I wasn't sitting there thinking 'I wish I could share my Powerpoint files easily', but when it came along I took to it instantly.
- I can't really say why I've taken to some applications and not others. I could rationalise my choice, but ultimately it is a complex mix of personality, emotional response to the interface, perceived need, timing, motivation, etc. This does mean it is a personal collection.
- There is too much Google in my life.
It would be good to find an easy means of sharing these, with clouds so we could see which tools are used regularly. I'm sure someone must have an idea for doing this (Cohere, the soon to be released web 2.0 extension to Compendium might be an idea).