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Amplify PKM

Learning about Amplify

Immediately after today’s #lrnchat, I connected with learnscape architect Paul Simbeck-Hampson who graciously took an hour of his time to orient me to Amplify. I had seen Paul tweet about it earlier in the week but wasn’t too sure how it would integrate with my PKM. After seeing him evangelize about it during #lrnchat, I decided to find out more. Thanks to screen sharing in Skype and my hastily scribbled mindmap notes, here are some of my main take-aways:

  • Amplify hasn’t replaced any SM/PKM tools for Paul, only made it all better with faster response time to conversations with his network
  • Peruse Google Reader as you normally would, then with one simple click email to Amplify and add your comment. With the Autopost functionality you can automatically share with the networks (Twitter etc) that you want. Why do this from Amplify? Sharing the link is one thing, but Amplify has the ability to host the conversation. Learning pros know this (or read The Cluetrain Manifesto if you want to know why that is a good thing for pretty much everyone).
  • If you’re a Google Reader-mobile-reader like me, Ping.fm will use your “Share” feed to autopost to other networks. This will help avoid my Stars Wars collection of posts I need to go back and add to Delicious; it’s fast to click “Share” from the BlackBerry (looks like Ping and Delicious are having an API disagreement at the moment so I’ll have to check back another time to get that working).
  • Did you know folders in Google Reader have their own feed addresses? So other people can follow the folder you’ve curated? Like maybe you have a rocking collection of PKM smarties. Grab the RSS address from that folder’s “show details” and pass along to a colleague worthy of the brain-food. Here’s one of mine I call Big Thinkers: http://www.google.com/reader/atom/user%2F11845447537890569848%2Flabel%2FBig%20Thinkers. Plus there is something nifty called Bundles. Need to learn more about this.
  • If you’re a Twitter user like me, you can still use Twitter or your favourite Twitter client as you normally would.
  • Sit down for this next part… Paul uses Gmail like I’ve never seen. If Amplify is his front-end interface, Gmail is the secret engine running his PKM from the back room. Most of us would just have an “Amplify” folder, but he has folders for @mentions, comments, posts, etc. Look up inbox zero and you’ll see Paul as an example.
  • Why is this so cool? Because Gmail can go with you everywhere (mostly) via your smartphone. You can reply instantly, sometimes having to leave Gmail to go to Twitter etc, but if it’s a message via Amplify you can reply without leaving Gmail. Wow. On my BlackBerry I need to do things as fast as possible with as few clicks as possible so this is awesome.
  • If you’re an iPhone/iPad or Android user there is also an Amplify Mobile to clip and share while you’re on the go. As a BlackBerry user I’ll have to see how I can use Amplify while on the mini-screen. Paul recommended Opera as a mobile browser so I’ll see if that helps.
  • Chrome, meet Amplify. See ya later Delicious bookmarklet. With the clip feature in the Chrome Amplify extension, you can clip clip clip to your heart’s content and post. Not just post the content, but in true PKM fashion add your comment and tags, then choose which networks you’d like to autopost to (including Delicious for me – yippee). Want to do more than just clip? You can also share the URL, write a post or microblog from the same extension.
  • For those SEO keeners out there, using Amplify maintains your presence on all the other sites which Google is indexing. Amplify = google juice. And you connect with your network where they hang out.
  • More fun treats in Amplify: recommend (like a RT), groups (public or private), and listening to conversation so you don’t have to check back for comments on interesting posts.
  • Other nifty gem I’d never heard of that Paul uses is Cooliris (peek at the right side of Paul’s page to see how it works). You can view photos and videos and share them without leaving the page.

My next steps:

  • Set up some major labelling and filtering in Gmail a-la-Paul
  • Download Opera for my BlackBerry
  • Keep checking Ping.fm for the day they get an API peace treaty with Delicious
  • Check back on Amplify to link Google Buzz (currently getting a fatal error)
  • Figure out my new PKM flow: peruse Google Reader and Twitter as I normally would, share using Amplify, Twitter will probably be via a clip and Google Reader from the Chrome extension, and when I need to find things, I’ll still use Delicious
  • Learn how to best integrate visiting Amplify the way I visit my Google Reader feeds and Twitter (Tweetdeck)

Want to learn more about Amplify? Check out these two videos:

Second Life Screencast by Paul Simbeck-Hampson

Amplify Demo

And of course send some love to Paul Simbeck-Hampson for taking the time to share all of this with me!