Organisational micro-blogging for all

Having seen more and more articles on the use of micro-blogging tools in educational and corporates settings, I am constantly surprised that one of the most useful options from my point-of-view seems to be constantly overlooked. Micro-blogging is like Twitter, but private to your organisation. It is a great way to capture those more informal internal discussions. It can help distribute useful information (such as links) throughout your organisation or help kick-start conversations.

StatusNet poster

The major advantages of StatusNet as a platform over competing proprietary systems (such as Jammer) are:

  • Ownership of information: you can host StatusNet yourself and StatusNet fully supports DataPortability.org to get your data exported from StatusNet as well.
  • Customisation: since you can host Status.net yourself it is possible to fully customise it to suit your needs.
  • Integration potential: since StatusNet is Open Source software you can easily integrate and build upon it.

To download Status.net head to http://gitorious.org/statusnet/ or try a personal account with Identi.ca. You can also use a cloud-hosted version provided by StatusNet http://status.net/cloud. A Yammer import tool is also available for users looking for a Yammer Alternative.

However being a tool that is private to your organisation does not mean your users will be isolated. There is the ability for your user to connect StatusNet with with their Twitter account should they wish to post messages outside.

Note: this is a cross-posting from my work blog at http://www.brightcookie.com/blog

Using Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate) on Ubuntu

Like it or not (personally I am in the second category) Blackboard Collaborate or Elluminate (as it is still more commonly referred to) is something you have a hard time avoiding if you work in online education.

I discovered that I have audio issues on some Ubuntu Linux machines and found the following to fix the issues.

1) Install alsa-aoss

apt-get install alsa-oss

2) Save the Elluminate Java Webstard (.JNLP) file to a local folder – DO NOT OPEN IN BROWSER
3) Launch Elluminate using this command (in the folder you saved the JNLP)

aoss javaws meeting.jnlp

Thanks go to all people involved in this forum thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1081899

EDIT:

1) This assumes you are already running Sun (Oracle) Java JRE not the default OpenJDK as apparently Blackboard Collaborate does not play nice with the default OpenJDK. I have described the install on 11.10 here.

2) Make sure you have updated the alternatives for javaws (install only sets the java alternatives).

update-alternatives --config javaws