Archive for ‘June, 2011’


I love LinkedIn Group Discussions, but there is quite a bit missing which is holding LinkedIn back from being awesome-er. Here’s my top ten list of suggested improvements:

1.    Allow top level searching on Discussions

You can search discussions within individual groups, but not from the LinkedIn home page any more. It would be nice to use LinkedIn as a reference source, but without a global discussion search this isn’t possible.

2.    Allow up-voting and down-voting of individual comments
There are some comments on LinkedIn discussions which are pure gold and should be highlighted as such. Some of course are dross and equally should be flagged. Most next-gen discussion boards have this feature. LinkedIn has the Like button, but only on entire threads, not on individual comments.

3.    Split, sort or filter comments into for and against
The most popular threads can run into hundreds of comments. There is no way to sift through the arguments. It would be good if the screen was split between pro and con or comments could be flagged one way or the other and then allow the user to filter and easily review the arguments.

4.    Needs more verbs than just “like”
How about agree, disagree and don’t like?

5.    User credibility score and rewards
When reviewing discussions I often will investigate who has made a comment as to their credibility. Before weighing into a conversation it is sometime important to know who you are engaging with. Are they marketing or selling something perhaps? Is their view biased in some way? A credibility score for users could be something as simple as a sum of up-votes. Some discussion boards also add elements of gamification by giving rewards for specific achievements… your first up-vote, your 100th comment, etc. Achieving certain credibility milestones could unlock functions like moderation capability, or the ability to down-vote a comment.

6.    Better sharing options
Currently the sharing option against a discussion allows you to post to your update, post to groups and individuals within LinkedIn and also post to Twitter. Where’s the ability to post to other social networks, email or even embed?

7.    There is no Group SDK or API – UPDATE: now there is
LinkedIn were very late in providing an SDK. They have done well to attract 100 million users without one, but I think the community would be much bigger if they have published their APIs years earlier. There are still no published APIs to the Groups function in LinkedIn. UPDATE: I was interested to read within hours of writing this post. LinkedIn finally annouced an API for Groups. See here for details.

8.    There is no Group function on the iPhone app

The LinkedIn iPhone app is shockingly bad and this is one of its biggest problems.

9.    Add Tags
Allowing tags to be added to discussion threads would help users to sort, categorise and easily find interesting topics.

10.    There is no iPad app
Enough said.

Well, there you go. That’s my starter for ten. Have I missed anything? I never mentioned Search Engine Optimisation; ignore buttons, embedding media and html into comments, or word limits. What would you change about LinkedIn Discussions?

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Author: Paul Saunders

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For those of you who are yet to actually read up on exactly what Google+ is and what Google are trying to achieve here’s my brief take on it:

A social network for people with real life relationships to communicate with each other.  When compared to existing social networks it’s clear to see how the target audience of your “actions” differs: –

There seem to be four main features within Google+ which are Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Huddles.  In short, “Groups of people”, “Group video chats”, “Finds content for you based on interests” and “Group text chat”.

If you head over to the Google+ Project page you’ll no doubt find a lot of rich content on the features and be able to make your mind up whether or not this is going to be the social network for you or not.  I think it’s reasonably safe to suggest that services such as Google Buzz and Google Talk will integrate tightly into this as well as Google’s recently launched +1 service.

Our usual resident blogger Paul Saunders said of Google+

When something as awesome as Google+ is free then *you* are the product, not *it*.  I tend to think it is designed entirely for Google’s needs and not mine.

I have to agree somewhat with Paul in that the business model behind most social networks is to give the populous a service that they find themselves wanting to use and in turn this becomes an advertising platform which generates revenue.  Being as Google already have the advertising platform sewn up it makes you wonder whether the service is to further boost their revenue stream earned from advertising or whether they’re just really nice souls looking to provide cutting edge innovation.

Please leave your comments and thoughts on whether this Invite-Only beta will launch into a well rounded Social Network or fall by the wayside without a sufficient user base to adopt its use.

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Author: Ben Moses

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A discussion thread which I started on the LinkedIn Aircraft Lifecycle Wikinomics Group discussion board has been featured in the first issue of Aviation Week’s “Teardown Report“, a weekly blog post which rounds up social media activity in the MRO world.

The discussion was regarding the news that Panasonic were soon to release an Android tablet addition to their Toughbook range which I mentioned in a blog post a couple of weeks back.

It looks like the Teardown Report which is written by Kirsten Majcher will be an interesting regular feature to keep an eye on.

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Author: Paul Saunders

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Since writing my paper titled “What’s Up with Aviation IT?” back in March its been an interesting couple of months. First the paper was published in the first AircraftIT eJournal. This was great because in the hands of a professional publisher it looks superb and has given us great exposure. So far the feedback has been positive and suprisingly I’ve not been flamed by anyone (yet). The AircraftIT website has been doing really well with a number of software vendor webinars already conducted. We’ve had a couple of decent development enquiries purely as a result of that work. I’ve been invited to submit another paper later in the year on the subject of the use of tablet devices in aviation. I’ve also been asked to present a couple of talks at various conferences as well.

I converted the paper to a presentation and gave a talk at the Airline Purchasing and Maintenance Expo last month. The presentation was well received and there was even a CIO from a big US corporation in the audience who congratulated me afterwards. The presentation is continuing to get good hits via Slideshare and has even been downloaded a handful of times.

The AP&M Expo organisers are also featuring my presentation again via their Online Virtual Networking Event which is taking place on the 14th of July. Unfortunately there was some kind of technical problem and my original talk wasn’t recorded, so I am having to record the audio again this evening.

Check out our Presentations Page for a list of forthcoming speaking events and for coverage of previous presentations.

Author: Paul Saunders

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A couple of years ago I was stuck at Changi Airport in Singapore for 24 hours. I missed my connecting flight by about 20 minutes and as I was travelling with an Indian colleague who only had a transit visa we had no choice but to settle in for a long night. A similar thing happened to a couple of film makers at Dallas Fort Worth recently who made best use of the equipment they were carrying and the lax security on duty that night. Here are the results.

I’m amused by the innocence of the situation. This isn’t some kind of investigative journalism into airport security breaches, its just a couple of bored guys having fun with an empty airport and a video camera. Needless to say the media are all over it like a rash.

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I’ve been saying for a while that I think Android is set to be the more significant Tablet Operating System in aviation. One of the main reasons for this was that I predicted that a ruggedised device suitable especially for the MRO and engineering environment will be an Android device.

Well, it has come as no surprise to me that I was right.

Yesterday Panasonic announced that they are set to release an addition to their Toughbook range which fills the market void with an enterprise grade rugged tablet. Details of the Panasonic Tough Tablet are patchy at this moment in time, but the propsed device will feature a 10.1″ XGA multi touch display, will have better outdoor reading properties similar to dedicated eReaders like the Amazon Kindle and will feature a stylus… ideal for all those fiddly, cluttered ERP and MRO applications we are blessed with.

I expect the device will be fully able to survive being dunked in Skydrol and dropped from the wing of an A380.  See here for yesterday’s press release.

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Author: Paul Saunders

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I was intrigued to learn that Samsung are “supplying” 6000 of their Android Honeycomb powered Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets to replace aging in-flight entertainment devices in American Airline’s First Class cabins.

I’ve mentioned before in talks and in blog posts that I expected the likes of Samsung and Motorola to be much more flexible suppliers than Apple when it came to mass discounts and bespoke hardware for their tablet devices, but I didn’t expect to see this kind of flexibility so soon whilst the market is still in rapid growth phase. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is certainly an impressive bit of kit and the third iteration of the Android operating system is a big step forward in closing the gap towards Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. I still feel that long term Android is going to be a more significant platform in the aerospace sector, but the early adoptors of tablets in aviation that we are talking to are all looking at supplying iPads for their solutions.

I feel there are powerful commercial forces at play here. I wonder how much American Airlines have paid for these devices? I think this is a case of smart product placement by Samsung and Android. What do you think?

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Author: Paul Saunders

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