Recently, I started some discussions in the LinkedIn LabWare LIMS Professionals group regarding the product, itself. Several people have asked me why I’m bothering with this and I think it’s easier for me to give that answer here in the blog for everyone to see than to individually answer people.
First of all, I’m not the owner nor a moderator of that group – merely a member who has become frustrated that it’s degraded into promotional material. Most recently, there have been a number of posts specific to teaching the group about social media. Growing increasingly frustrated, when I saw a post to help us over our fears of social media, I really started thinking about that – is it really the case that we actively care enough about social media to fear it? Wouldn’t our thoughts on a daily basis be more related to our work? Thus, in a a LabWare LIMS Professionals group, any fears or trepidations would relate more to our project and, then, the LabWare LIMS, itself, since that’s the entire purpose of the LinkedIn group. With that said, I began this post asking people what their greatest fears or annoyances are, with a recognition that “fear” is probably too strong a word for feelings we have about the product (you probably need to be a member of the group to read it): http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=960517&type=member&item=113968956&qid=0b24829e-6e15-4545-a7d4-f11a3b20ec75&trk=group_most_popular-0-b-ttl&goback=%2Egmp_960517
One good reason to discuss the things we don’t like about the product is that there are things in the product that people get frustrated with, especially those who aren’t experts with the system, but some that even try the patience of us experts. By sharing these, we illuminate them so that all can understand how to properly use these items, for one example.
Upon making this post, I felt it only fair to begin another post that talks about the opposite side of things – the parts of the system we really find useful:
By making this type of post, hopefully there will be things that come out of the discussion that some readers might not have known about or not realized were used in certain situations.
Why Have a Public Discussion
Consider this – there are an increasing number of third parties in the world working with the LabWare LIMS. If we went back a few years, I would still doubt I would be have the only third party company that isn’t tied to LabWare and their partnerships. Today, I feel confident there are quite a number of companies such as mine throughout the world. Thus, to create public discussions that include me and that also include all these other companies, these types of discussions require that they are public; i.e., not part of a private network that I’m not a part of. Additionally, I feel strongly that the third parties who now all have their individual ways of sharing information could better serve themselves by sharing product and project knowledge on a larger basis.
So, if I want to start this type of discussion and share my expertise as a larger community, I can only do so via a public venue, such as these LinkeIn groups.
Furthermore, by starting these discussions, they can be shared among LabWare people, their partners, customers, and everyone else as well as the 3rd parties. Basically, it comes down to this – as an expert in the system, I do often share my knowledge with others, whether its LabWare’s own people, customers or other 3rd parties. That’s not unique. Technical people such as myself tend to do that – it’s part of the way in which we get our work done.
By creating both general-purpose discussions as well as a place that everyone can come with their questions, it doesn’t mean we won’t all continue to individually contact each other when we have questions, but it shares that knowledge so that everyone has it. It helps to build better practices among us all, 3rd party or otherwise.