Online tools outside and inside the firewall

The one thing that really frustrates me about most online tools is that I can’t use them for work – confidentiality and other boring reasons stand in the way of me using twitter to talk about confidential IBM things, Remember The Milk for managing TODO lists (I do anyway but keep any confidential stuff elsewhere), Google Reader for reading internal blogs etc etc. This means we end up creating copies of these tools internally, e.g. BlueTwit (like twitter), Beehive (like Facebook et al), Dogear (like del.icio.us), Spectacular! (like Google Reader)… the list goes on.

Now I understand we need these tools so we can keep certain information out of the public space but it’s frustrating that I have to use two different tools for the same job. A suggestion – why don’t we write the backend stuff to store information privately and a load of Greasemonkey scripts for each of the different apps to integrate both into the same user interface? Just a thought.

Having said all that, maybe it’s a good thing – maybe it keeps me in the right mindset for not disclosing things accidentally. When I’m using an internal tool I know what I can and should say and vice-versa for the external tools.

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