Guest Post by Amy Mack

Today I tried installing the WildFire application for Lotus Notes by ISW.  I had hoped to be able to use this as a productivity tool to save me the time of updating and managing each individual social networking site I use.

WildFire is a Lotus Notes application for your sidebar that allows you to update your status in one place and let the software do the rest.  WildFire will take that status and update all of your various social networking accounts - without your ever having to log in. WildFire is a free download from the OpenNTF web site and you can watch a video over here.

What I thought would be a quick and easy installation, however, turned into a major four hour project as I ran into many problems with both the installation process and with using WildFire itself.  For example:  in the installation instructions, they told me to go to Lotus Notes and go to "File-> Application -> Install."  In my Lotus Notes, however, I was unable to find the "Install" option.  After about an hour of frustrated searching, my sister and my dad called  Bruce Elgort who directed us to this site. (Apparently I wasn't the first person to be baffled by the process of installing composite applications in Notes. I wonder if they could have made it any harder?)

To enable the "Install" option, follow these steps:  
1. Close you Lotus Notes client
2. Browse to the plugin_customization.ini in the notes application folder\framework\rcp
3. Add com.ibm.notes.branding/enable.update.ui=true
4. Save and close file and restart Lotus Notes

You can now find the Eclipse update manager under File > Application > Application Management.

Install option once steps have been completed

The installation process seemed to run more smoothly after that (although some of the instructions had to be completed through trial and error due to unclear directions), but using WildFire itself was a different matter entirely.

It was a bit confusing at first as to how to link WildFire to my private accounts, but after some hunting (and trial and error) I was able to successfully connect.  Unfortunately, I was not able to be able to make WildFire display my feeds.  Also, when I tried making a test post in WildFire, I was unable to see it when I logged into any of my social networking sites. Then, Notes crashed. Finally, in frustration, I restarted Lotus Notes to see if that would fix the problems.  When Notes was fully logged in again, I found that all of my connections had been erased.

I was initially very excited by what this product promised and I do hope to give it another try someday, but after nearly four hours of trying to make it work I've run out of time and patience.  

I have read that Wildfire is popular Notes application, so there must be a way to make it work. Hopefully, for people that want to try, this post and the link above will be a help.

Guest post by Wendy Mack

Tungle.me LogoToday, I decided to install Tungle to make my scheduling much easier.  This free application eliminates much of the unnecessary time, emails, and mistakes that accompany scheduling events.  Synchronizing with your calendars, Tungle.me posts your available meeting times to the web and helps you manage your schedule without sharing private information.

The registration process of Tungle.me is very self-explanatory.  You can register for Tungle.me here.  Simply fill out your information and follow the instructions provided!

Instructions for enabling the Tungle widget with Lotus Notes.  (Found under the Calendars & Contacts tab)The only problem I encountered during setup was when I was trying to install the widget to allow Tungle to sync with my Lotus Notes calendar.  It appears that the widget feature does not work when Lotus Notes is running in Basic mode.  It is important to make sure that Notes is running in Standard Mode, before following the directions provided under the Calendars & Contacts link.  After that, I found the integration process with my Notes calendar to be extremely easy.  The only thing the widget does. however, is integrate your Notes calendar with Tungle.  As far as I can tell, you cannot use Tungle offline with Notes.  After the initial setup, your entire calendar must be managed on the Tungle site.

Screen shot of the main Tungle calendar view.  You can hover over a meeting to see its details.With Tungle, I am now able to share my availability with others so that it takes me less time to try to organize meetings and find a time when everyone else can meet.  I simply send a link to people to view my available times, and/or when I create an event I am able to select several preferred times that I can meet.  Tungle handles the rest!  My associates can respond with the time that works best for them and Tungle updates my calendars for me.  It also sends me an email notification that the meeting has been scheduled for me.

I am very pleased with what I have seen so far and I look forward to becoming more productive with this application!

Update: For a good overview of other meeting scheduling applications here's a good summary I found on Mashable,

This isn't related to BlackBerry or Lotus Notes but it will certainly boost your productivity if you use Facebook...

Volker Weber just blogged about thee things you can do to protect your privacy on facebook

1. Edit your Facebook Privacy Settings and uncheck "Instant Personalization"
2. Disable everything on this page to prevent others and applications from accessing and sharing your information
3. Volker also recommends blocking the following three applications: Microsoft Docs.com, Pandora and Yelp

Now, if I could just get rid of Farmville and Mafia wars forever.....

Source: Volker Weber

Enterprises invest a great deal of time and money protecting their information, be it intellectual property, user information or customer information, and for good reason. In fact, security is one of the many key reasons that many enterprises choose to deploy Lotus Notes. Like the RIM BlackBerry, Notes allows information to be secured and encrypted end-to-end so that the only time the information is not encrypted is when it is being viewed by the authorized user. Lotus Notes gives me a great sense of security.
No matter how secure our software may be, that security can be undermined, however, when Social Software applications outside the enterprise offer to "connect" you to your friends or people you may want to know.

What many people may not realize is that to do their "magic" and connect us with others, these social networking applications must scan your personal and company address books as well as your calendar and related information and upload it to a server where it can be indexed and cross referenced. That's the power of LinkedIn, Plaxo and similar "Social Networking" services and we are seeing more and more of these applications are showing up on the desktop, the web, and even in our mobile devices.

I consider myself a very security conscious individual and yet, today, I installed an application that forced me to reevaluate my own responsibilities toward the information on my system and what I choose to share externally. As soon as I installed the application, I noticed the CPU and network activity spike as I realized that my personal information in my encrypoted Notes databases was being scanned and that some of it was being sent outside my firewall to the service. Apparently, I had consented to this automatic upload when I installed the software, so shame on me. I had misunderstood the privacy agreement, which I did read. I thought that I would get to choose which information would be uploaded and when before the upload would happen. I was wrong. My bad. Fortunately, the company had a method in place to allow me to quickly delete my information from their service. It was a good wake-up call.

This does not mean that I will never use that software again. In fact, from a productivity and knowledge management perspective, I'm actually very intrigued by this class of software. I plan to do a more structured review of this and other similar applications in the near future because I think the productive potential is significant. At the same time, I am concerned that the relative ease of deploying Web 2.0 applications that so easily allow anyone to bypass the corporate firewall may create an environment where people do not consider, do not understand, or perhaps are simply unaware of the implications of what they are doing. Web 2.0 allows anyone to be their own IT manager; that's great but with that freedcom comes the need to take personal responsibility for the tools we use as well as how we use them.

Continue Reading "When Social Software does an end-run around information security" »

If Twitter is becoming a part of your daily social networking activities, then there is much that you can do to tweet productively.

Shimon Sander offers these 8 tips:
  • Centralized Dashboard
  • Automate
  • Interaction
  • Retweet
  • Seek & Follow
  • Share Original Thoughts
  • Quotes from other people
  • Answer Questions:

The full article is on Shimon Sandler's blog