Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Online tools to say goodbye to a colleague

I was invited by WASTE to introduce some new web2.0 tools at the occasion of saying farewell to a colleague who had worked there more than 5 years. They had thought of learning to arrange a bouquet of flowers, but decided this might be more interesting. We decided to focus on 3 tools, weblogs, wikis and photo sharing. After a short introduction everyone got to experience how easy it is to become a blogger, wiki-er or photo sharer.

For each tool, I had prepared 3 exercises, the first one was to contribute to a virtual farewell present for the colleague who left the organisation, the second one to set up your own blog, wiki, or photogroup. The last one was to experiment with some additions like images, feeds, or cartoons.

What worked well is the fact that I set up a dummy account for all to use. By setting up one dummy account, you avoid the hassle of helping each one to set up an account. The boring part of the experience in my opinion, and if this would go wrong you get people discouraged by the 'IT stuff' . When I set up the dummy account I discovered that you are now forced to open a google account to use blogger. And to open a yahoo account to use Flickr. That's definitely much less user-friendly then it was in the past.

What also worked well is that in every group there were one or several people who were handy enough to insert images, and play around. I also learned that you might as well upload images directly from your camera, without uploading them first to your computer (as used to be my habit somehow).

One thing that I would do differently is that I had put up personal pages in the wiki to write anecdotes for the colleague who left. I noticed it would be more fun to do that as a group and to write a group story. So next time I would set up pages for groups rather than individual pages.

The brilliant thing about combining the introduction of new tools with a farewell party is that you get people in a mood to play around with tool and see that it can be easy and fun.


marnix said...

When colleagues leave our organisation, I always invite them to keep in touch through linkedin ( ... it works well, the "good" guys always do. This is my prolife (

Joitske said...

This would be a great idea, Marnix, I had not thought about that, as they selected the tools. But you could add a social networking tool so that they learn to stay in touch online.