Posts Tagged video

Green Networking – Make a Difference

Being green in the age of IT seems to focus on two poles of the equation:

1. Using tech to avoid travel to reduce fuel usage.   Susan Harkins talked about that a couple of days ago, and

2. Improving efficiencies in the endpoints and data center, as in this CIO magazine article, to reduce energy consumption.

However, nobody ever seems to talk about the elephant in the parlor – the high energy costs of networking itself.  Although the folks at Cisco seem to be on the right track.

Last year at TED 2008 in Monterey, TED librarian Jay Walker pointed out an interesting fact. (At about 6:10 in THIS video.)  Moving bits around the Net takes energy, and lots of it. On average, sending 1MB of data uses energy equivalent to that in a lump of coal; sending 200MB of data – not even a decent-sized movie – over the Internet uses as much energy as burning an entire bag of charcoal.

So how can you help with Green IT? Use bandwidth wisely. There’s no need to get silly about it, but a few simple rules will help reduce your footprint.

  • Send shorter emails. Besides using less energy to transmit, research indicates that shorter emails that get to the point quickly generate faster and more effective results. Email also uses a lot less bandwidth than voice or video, and is often more convenient.
  • Use shared files to collaborate. There’s nothing more wasteful than sending large attachments to a distribution list. If your team is working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation, use a shared file to store the data and let the team access it as needed.
  • Choose the appropriate communication technology. High definition video conferencing is getting a lot of attention lately for its ability to make people feel better about not traveling, but is it really the most effective way to get your point across given its relatively high energy costs? And how many hours a week do you spend on useless conference calls?

Be smart.  Communicate wisely.  Determine the method of communication that’s most effective at getting the job done and use it appropriately.  And don’t just cut back on travel, feel good about saying no to an occasional wasteful, gratuitous, bandwidth-hogging e-meeting.

Roger Farnsworth

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Finding the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

We are seeing an explosion of social networking tools that are designed to bring people together — tools that make it possible for people to connect more easily. James Surowiecki describes the opportunity that comes from capturing the wisdom of crowds; but what if you have a need to capture the wisdom of an individual?

How do you unlock the specialised knowledge that exists in your organisation? There is an amazing wealth of experience and opinion out there, but in many cases it’s trapped in the minds of the individuals. Individuals who, for whatever reason, might be reluctant to advertise their unique value.

Gia Lyons talked about this a while back:

Why is it so hard to get your smart people to share? Because human beings typically share their precious knowledge only with people they trust. Not a software application.

Ah yes. Trust.

Gia goes on to talk about how the spoken word is more effective than the written word in both transmitting knowledge and increasing trust in a relationship. I think that’s very true.

Taking it one step further, I think that direct communication that contains elements of visual connectedness includes an additional emotional component that can expedite the formation of trust.

Combining social networking tools that help manage the complexities and details of large numbers of relationships with advanced communication tools that can increase the effectiveness and depth of a conversation is the best of both worlds.

Roger Farnsworth

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