Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How Do You Share Valuable Information?

The Internet is to the Information Age what Henry Ford's assembly line was to the Industrial Age. Information at your fingertips has become as much a reality today as affordable automobiles became in Henry Ford's time. But, what do you do with all that wonderful information that you run across? The media pumps out a constant barrage of content every day, every week, every month, every year. Scattered within that deluge of data are occasional nuggets of gold. What do you do with a jewel when you find one?  How do you share it with your colleagues?

For instance, I just read a fascinating article entitled "Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft" published by ZDNet. The article makes the point that "Google's architecture can scale. Using commodity hardware, Google can deploy more capacity at a lower cost and more quickly than a competitor relying on a system built with brand-name hardware." It goes on to say that "Google's move into Web services -- its Desktop Search and Sidebar products, for example -- has prompted Microsoft to reorganize and combine MSN with its platform products group to help the software giant fight off Google's encroachment on its turf."

So, what do you do with this valuable piece of information?  How can you find it again in the future?  How can you share it with your colleagues?

The problem with the media is that everything is temporal. It's published when it's news but then it quickly fades away. Good luck finding this article again in the future using a search engine like Google.

When I encounter a great resource, like the article referenced above, I store it away inside ITscout. That way I, along with others, can easily find this information again in the future.

ITscout is my personal playpen. I'm the only who gets to store any information there. But what if you'd like to become your own IT scout. My company, Flashmap Systems, has just released a $99 per month product called ITguide that allows others to create what amounts to their own implementation of ITscout. It enables an IT professional to keep track of information about IT products and vendors. And, for an additional charge of $495 per month, someone can share their ITguide content just like I share ITscout's content with thousands of people all over the world.

ITguide comes bundled with ITscout's graphical 3-layer, 4-model Technology Architecture framework. Using ITscout's content as a starting point, ITguide is designed to capture and communicate information about:
  • product categories
  • products
  • vendors
  • legend icons

Tools are often a lot like the media. There's so much crap pumped out there, but every now and again you stumble on something really terrific that you want to save for posterity. I know how much I depend on ITscout for capturing and communicating information about IT. ITguide lets others enjoy that same capability.


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