Beautiful tag clouds: simply cut ‘n paste

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Created by Jonathan Feinberg of IBM’s Cambridge, Massachusetts research facility. One can simple input the text from any doc or web site and Wordle produces an associated tag cloud. I like to show as an example of how knowledge sharing is as much a matter of will as of technology. Many of my customers ask how Web 2.0 techniques can help to capture the knowledge of an aging workforce and to help ‘on-board’ a new generation of technically savvy employees. Wordle can help with those files locked in a hard drive.

Happy Halloween. I’m going to scare my neighbors and dress as a banker.

Web 2.0 & summer: plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

So much is going on in nearly every direction everywhere that it’s hard to get a bearing on what is really going on anywhere: the US  presidential election represents more than the selection of the 44th president; the Beijing Olympics revealed more than quadrennial athletic achievements (now we know that 1/100 of a second can create alot of space); Georgia is now known to Americans as more than the favorite to win a college football league.

A few Web 2.0 notables from the summer:

Mobility: I like my new 3G iPhone.  I am offered over 800 Internet-based applications from the related Web Apps store which range in price from free to $39.99.  Two of my favorite are Remote which allows me to control my home stereo from my iPhone as I stream iTunes music via our wireless network (if I can do it , you can too!) and Netter’s AnatomyFlashcards which offer 900 intricate views of the human body to help doctors advise patients.  I can imagine similar applications on mobile computing devices for nearly everyone of our businesses.

- Mobility II: if the trend of cell phone purchases begun in 2005 continues through 2009, on average, nearly every person on the planet will have bought a cell phone in this period.  Each of our businesses require a mobile strategy as these devices outnumber PCs 3:1.

– Which is why Microsoft purchased Greenfield and Google launched Chrome, it’s open source browser. Microsoft is not conceding the battle for advertising on the mobile device.  Internet Explorer may be the browser of choice on the PC and Chrome is a framework intended to convert the browser to a desktop by enabling us to populate our browsers with applications of our choice (see Web Apps above).  Then such a desktop could easily be shared on our mobile devices which outnumber PCs ……..

Batman with The Joker and Wall-E with Eva were favorite films (insert your own presidential campaign comparison).  It’s worth noting that Wall-E was produced by Pixar and Pixar is owned by Disney and Disney’s largest shareholder is Steve Jobs. Now consider video on the mobile device.

– Closer to home, one son headed to college armed with converter boxes to watch Internet TV and to play his PS3 on his 23″ monitor.  Attending school in Colorado, he researched and transferred his banking, savings and investment accounts from North Carolina to Texas solely via the Web.  In our basement, or command center as we call it, I watched his brother so much enjoy on-line PS3 games (it is almost like being in your own movie) that have I’ve almost given up on the battle over screen-time.  We’ve come a long way from Pong.  


L’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Returned from London on Saturday, an unintended World is Flat tour.  Saw Roger Federer at Wimbledon; learned how Osmosoft uses the Twitter web tool to constantly connect the members of its Open Source innovation team; and observed Belgium banks joining others in Chapter 3 of Web 2.0.

Chapter 1 began for me in mid-2005 when our team spoke about the 10 Emerging Technologies You Should Care About: podcasting, google maps, video over IP etc.  Most considered this George Jetson-like speech to be an entertaining two hours out of the office.  Chapter 2 was written when News Corp., owner of MySpace and Fox News (and now bidding on 2 satellite networks in Europe), made its ultimately successful bid for Dow Jones in the Spring of 07 encouraging managers to conclude that ‘maybe Facebook is not just for kids?!’.  Chapter 3 describes the variety of Web 2.0 projects that are being tested in a wide range of companies, on YouTube or wikis for project collaboration or rudimentary social networking – all in an effort to improve the customer experience.  These enterprises acknowledge that something potentially game-changing occurs and ask how their initial projects compare to what others are doing.  They’re moving beyond the starting line in the pursuit of associated variety and depth.

One my favorite Community Building examples is IKEA.  I learned last week that IKEA now sponsors a series of customer workshops in both Europe and the USA where customers meet to discuss business matters: leadership, sales and financial management.  A professional, social network stemming from furniture purchases. Soon we’ll have version 2 of the iPhone.  For fun on any mobile device, have a look (did I tell you that I just returned from England?!) at 1-800-Goog411 or  Ask either one a specific question and receive a specific answer, Goog by voice and Chacha via text.  These are carefully crafted efforts to control search on the mobile device so that related advertising may be controlled.  These services are easy, entertaining and fun to use so be mindful of how they can influence your own customer relationships.  The brilliance of Roger Federer is his variety, his graceful movement and his courage to succeed.  He trusts the breadth of his talents and is not content to continue only with what is working for the moment.  This is how he stays ahead: purposeful movement in search of an opportune moment to challenge himself.  You could almostconsider this a formula for constant innovation.

Best for the July 4th holiday.  Subject line described.

Web 2.0 & summer: 1 day off, 2 ships, 3 thirds

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Memorial Day weekend, like July 4th, means more to me each year as my sons near enrollment in our adult world.

After 5 weeks of Web 2.0 presentations with clients from 3 continents, the nature of these discussions are in a third chapter: ‘We’ve tried a few related projects and want to pick up the pace (aka make investments) where it makes sense.’ Seventeen months ago, chapter 1, clients wanted to know ‘if this Web 2.0 is for real.’ During News Corp’s acquisition of Dow Jones in mid-07, creating a sibling for MySpace, chapter 2 centered on ‘how should we get started?’

As you might expect, enterprise executives are more interested in Web 2.0 as it might enable collaboration to capture the organization’s knowledge and to inspire innovation amongst employees, customers and partners than they are in the tools of Web 2.0 – blogs, podcasts etc, although low-end, low-cost video is compelling.  The thinking is something like, ‘If Wikipedia gets it done with 8 full-time employees, why can’t we do a little better with a lot larger staff?!’

As we talk about the next generation of Internet-savvy employees and customers, I emphasize that regardless which Web 2.0 tools or principles take hold, there will remain the need for two ships: leadership and scholarship.  My eighteen-year-old once suggested to me, “Don’t just yell at me, show me!” which I interpret to be a useful model for both Web 2.0 marketing and management.

My favorite leadership story in tribute to those we honor on Monday:  20+ years ago at a start-up software company, we interviewed a just-graduated engineer from NC State for a technical sales position. He offered capability and charm, but no measurable, related experience – a recipe for rejection. At lunch, one manager noted that the candidate had been fraternity president and asked what management lesson from that experience might be applied to developing our software business?

He replied in an even tone that in such an unorganized, chaotic environment where he had no real authority, he observed that “the mission of the top 1/3 was to keep the middle 1/3 from being like the bottom 1/3.”  Ten seconds of silence ensued; then our General Manager asked him how soon he could start.

Welcome to summer! There’s lots to look forward to.

Web 2.0 lessons-learned this summer

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Welcome to Autumn,

1. Mobile Search with related advertising opportunities remains the investment rage amongst Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.   Apple’s iPhone campaign fueling this fire (stock up 80% since announcement in Feb. 2007).

2. How to get started, not Why is the theme of the customer discussion. A shift from the spring due to notable F500 investments such as News Corp acquisition of Dow Jones (parent of the Wall Street Journal) and Microsoft offering $300mm for just 5% of Facebook.  Agreement that there is something to this notion of Community Building or Social Networking.  Starting inside the enterprise to harness collective wisdom of employees, with a goal of improved innovation, is compelling.  Existing business processes and right mix of staff are inhibitors to taking advantage.  Is the benefit in early adoption or fast-following?!

3. Not much of a wow factor in related tools: blogs, wikis, feeds etc as judged to be the basics but not project justifiers.

4. Positive reception to IBM’s own related experiences: Jams, Think Place, Technology Adoption Program, and quantity of internal blogs, wikis etc.  A concerted offering would be valued by marketplace.

5. Mash-ups of enterprise data could be a big winner; need cohabitation story with portal capabilities.

6. Appear Bigger than You Are via Web 2.0 (YouTube, Community Building) is an attraction to mid-market customers.

7. Mid-sized firms attracted, increasingly so, to hosted apps by likes of Google (e.g. Google Pack, NetBooks)

8. Web 2.0, as the friendly face of service-enabled architectures (SOA), is not yet obvious to customers and to sellers. Remains a tough, internal sell from IT to its business sponsors.

9. Information Security is top of mind, well beyond a traditional IT control point:  ‘If I move outside of enterprise with Web 2.0, how would I handle InfoSec and legal hurdles?’

10. Not much Web 2.0 budget in ’07 and being budgeted for TBD projects in ’08.

Amplifying remarks at your request; comments welcomed.

Christopher Perrien