David Berlind has picked up on the blog entry I wrote a few days ago about how you share documents, and wouldn’t you be better off if you didn’t send around word processing documents. He asks if the right question wouldn’t be closer to examining closely whether you are using more modern information sharing techniques like blogs, emails, and wikis instead of sending around attachments or providing documents for download from a website.
David, absolutely right.
I’ve been talking about this issue during the last couple of weeks as I’ve travelled around Asia. I’ve been asking people exactly how they use documents and how they should start using them. For example, I state that I use a spreadsheet perhaps one or two times a year, a word processor maybe once a week, and presentation software many times a day. I don’t use a work processor that much because I send a lot of email and blog a fair bit. When you are an enterprise or organization considering a migration to ODF, say, or just examining your information workflow in order to improve it, you have to know about usage patterns before you design a strategy.
You will find that you will have an easier time moving to a new format if you use fewer things that use the older format.
[David: thanks for the pointer to the piece. Should you point to future ones, please use the new blog site. Thanks.]
Update: See Dan Sholler’s blog entry “Bob, Dave and the curse of email”.
Update #2: See Sam Hiser’s blog entry “Our Document & Device Contexts”.