I have known Eric for a couple of years, and his capacity for hard work (both professional and personal) is awe-inspiring. It's an honour, and a slightly scary one at that, to have someone as accomplished as Eric give serious time to a new tool. You'd think that if you were already performing at peak level, the only way is down. But Eric is looking beyond the technology at the cultural implications of a visually-based system, and I am looking forward to learning a lot from his approaches to the project and to collaborative working. One of his objectives is to assess where this technology is appropriate and effective. There is no assumption that it is a universally wonderful solution. That's experience talking.
We recorded the first Podcast earlier today, which Eric will post to his Blog. He asked many good questions, including "What is best practice for sharing maps with other people in organisations?" The answer is that best practice means being flexible and responsive to the expectations and needs of your audience, depending on how you are working with them. Sometimes a printed executive map that they can glance at while listening is enough. A different group may be willing to roll up their sleeves and interact with a dynamic map projected on the wall. If you swapped those two extremes over, then their expectations in each case could lead to frustration and confusion.
The route we will take over the first week or so will not be a technical one, diving right into the software. That can come later, after the foundations are built. It's important to set the objectives and create the "Action Learning" framework first. Listen to the podcast to find out the slightly strange-sounding first assignment we agreed on - but there is method in the madness. I will try to keep the left channel of our stereo blogging going over the coming weeks, although I've never won any prizes for prolific blogging before now.