Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are you Bulldozer or Speedbump This Year?

Stayin' Alive

Chaos Paves the Way for Creation - i-Ching

If you stand in front of the Bulldozer of Technology change you are just a Speedbump on the Information Superhighway - Alistair Nicholson, IBM IT Strategy Course, Singapore 1999

Ten years on from "the Internet will change everything", 2009 presents the next version of disruption - disruption in business, technology and personal lifestyle. I just pray that no one will call it 'Disruption 2.0'. The good news is these challenges also create personal and professional opportunities. The opportunities arise because of the combination of economic and technological change -- the sort of "perfect storm" -- that influences our career path for the next decade (at least). Back in 1999 our IT Strategy course was divided into two camps - one (the mainframers) had Amazon driven out of business by the 'bricks and mortar' advantage of Barnes & Noble, the other (early adopters and web developers like me) that thought Amazon would understand the web better, and keep its customer base.

Amazon has survived, and thrived through a serious meltdown by understanding and 'infusing itself with IT' to use Tim O'Reilly's phrase. If I'm to get through this year I'll need a pretty good infusion myself, and I'm sharing where my path is taking me. Feel free to use what you can. Over the next few weeks I'll develop effective personal and professional strategies by assessing the economic cycle, the main technological and business changes, and our business and personal plans. (Enter Bee Gees Stage left singing "stayin' alii--ii- iive").

Let me be clear though - this is a time of great disruption. There is opportunity, but it is deadly opportunity. Wrong moves will end in checkmate, serious removal from the Island. I found an interesting re-analysis of the Chinese character for Crisis:

It is basically true that the modern word for "crisis", wei2-ji1 or wei1-ji1, is analyzed as "danger" + "opportunity"... The main meaning of the xiesheng character ("wood" added to "subtle sign") is "trigger of a crossbow", clearly related to the idea of a subtle but powerful military moment. Derived meanings include "weapon" (in general), "key object or idea", and "turning point" or "crucial moment". ...

One of the most idiomatic modern expressions incorporating this character is shi2-ji1, "time" + "trigger", meaning something like "turning point" or "key moment in time". The concept of seizing the correct moment is of great importance in traditional Chinese thought, military and otherwise.

I know the word 'opportunity' is substituted for 'problem' in corporate speak - but think of this 'opportunity' as a turning point in a battlefield full of violent, armoured, fighting warriors armed to the teeth, with half of them trying to turn you into one of the corpses strewn across the ground... 2009 is THAT sort of opportunity.

There are New Shoots Emerging

The commentators I respect agree on this - imitators will be swept away, but there is venture capital and market share for people that do something real. Peter Rip from Crosslink Capital explains some of the reasons in "The coming Venture Capital Boom".
... I see the today’s carnage as much as everyone else. This year is going to be tough. .. But the forest will begin its renewal because Life Goes On, and with it ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and innovation..... We will see dozens of these opportunities in the coming years, but it requires an investment discipline tethered to public market realities about who are likely buyers, why, and at what valuations.

The second phenomenon to emerge from 2000 was the re-invigoration of the Web. As with every wave of innovation, much of the activity became more imitative than innovative as this matured.... The venture money that went into most of these imitations will soon be written off.
So why am I so sanguine about the prospects for venture capital as everyone seems to sound the alarm about Recession, the lack of capital, and the fear gripping the markets? It is simple:

  1. Venture capital returns are predicated on scarcity of risk capital. It has been all too abundant. That will change.
  2. Many good businesses will be left on the beach as the rest are washed out to sea – the remaining VCs will invest in them and both the entrepreneurs and VCs will get rewarded as the survivors gain market share and become successes in the economic recover[y].
  3. The economic recovery plan of the new Administration will be massive and favor investments in productivity-enhancing growth sectors like information technology and energy technology.
We also need to think through what Depression 2009 would look like to ensure we are looking for new developments in the right place. This will be similar but different to what has gone before.

Social and Cloud are Real, Real, Real

How many cycles have we seen now? They all start with some bright idea. Gradually the ideas change into practical applications. This is the tipping point, but also a difficult time to risk clients or career. The 'sensible' manager will just have to point to promoters of the technology (and a few ever-present disasters) to show how 'unsound' it is. Managers and organisations that behave that way will arrive too late and lack the skill set needed for the new technology.

It is a fundamental strategic planning error "playing the man not the ball", but an easy debating style. The problem is that the tipping point occurs at the very moment the first effective tools enter the market enabling commercially viable implementations.

The story from that moment is the same - whether it is adoption of PC's, Unix midrange servers, NT Servers, web sites, Relational database, online editors, high-level development languages or web-based email - rapid momentum becoming explosive. At the end of the process that same manager expressing that same idea ridiculing the technology is considered incompetent, hopelessly inefficient and a liability to the organisation.

So, this means more change, but we have to deal with it because it's reality - it's part of what IT is about. The Obama campaign changed the view of Social software techniques for managing activity. Once Harvard Business School starts blogging about it, the outcome is foregone. Harvard had several blog articles out the morning after the election. In fact it is such an orthodoxy that Doc Searls is calling social another bubble.

“Social” is a bubble. Trust me on this. I urge all consultants on “social ______” (fill in the blank) to make hay while the sun shines. Even as the current depression deepens, lots of companies are starting to realize that this “social” thing is hot stuff and they need to get hip to Twitter and the rest of it....

Meanwhile, here’s the challenge: make the Net personal. Make relationships personal. Equip individuals with tools of independence and engagement. That’s what VRM is about.

Social is colliding with technology outsourcing to create the new Web 2.0, enterprise 2.0 beasts. Language for opening up the technology options moved from leading edge to hit the mainstream in 2008; Cloud computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), application service provider (ASP), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Are you prepared? Are your people prepared? Are you sure? Look at this:

Robert Scoble (Fastcompany, started the year with a cool product that prompted The story of 2009? Enterprise disruption?. He found a product that has let me finish a Web 2.0 environment for building Business Service Transformation skills for a very low cost. He said:

So, why did this catch my eye? First, they are taking something very expensive, Business Intelligence charting and dashboarding, and making it free. That alone is pretty disruptive. ...

But don’t focus on that disruption.

Instead, look at the bigger picture. Here they are using Google spreadsheets to bring you live, collaborative, business intelligence. Watch the second video to see how different this is from most of the “old-school” approaches that haven’t yet built on a platform designed for the web from the start.

See that’s the real disruption: there’s a new platform being built. Right now it’s ugly and incomplete. But every year it gets better and better. Will 2009 be the year when lots of you try out a web-based collaboration suite like the ones from Zoho or Google?

However, we must be careful how this is interpreted. Many will go for the comfort of a 'quick fix' and familiar letters. The point is not that successful organisations use Web 2.0 or SOA or whatever. It is that they are using IT to do their business better - focusing on the Institute of Government Business Mantra of "more effective and efficient business Processes" through technology. Tim O'Reilly puts it this way in the Power of the Real Time Enterprise:

What do Google, WalMart, and have in common, besides their extraordinary success? They are organizations that are infused with IT in such a way that it leads to a qualitative change in their entire business.

I get frustrated when I see people highlighting use of social media--blogging, wikis, twitter, customer feedback systems like Dell IdeaStorm or MyStarbucksIdea--as if they were exemplars of what has come to be called "Enterprise 2.0."

So what can you do to survive? Here are my personal short term action items, yours might be similar:

Action: Make sure YOU understand the emerging technology for Social and Cloud computing.
Action: Make sure you have a plan to use this for your own career.
Action: Make sure your organisation or business has a plan to use Social and Cloud computing, train the staff, create new and adapt existing systems.
Action: Make sure your organisation isn't going to be destroyed by Social and Cloud computing. If so, move now, not soon, now!

Create Something with Meaning

Tim O'Reilly has been through these cycles before. He keeps saying that to get through downturns "do stuff that matters".

  • Work on stuff that matters...
  • Exert visionary leadership in our markets....
  • Be prudent in what we spend money on....

    These are all things we should be doing every day anyway. Sometimes, though, a crisis can provide an unexpected gift, a reminder that nobody promised us tomorrow, so we need to make what we do today count.

Tim O'Reilly is suggesting that although the guy that developed a "Fart" application for the iPhone made $40,000 in two weeks, this superficial 'eyecandy' application is fleeting, and will evaporate in difficult times. We can survive this downturn, if we understand what is changing and what is emerging.

Understand the new social and Cloud implications. Understand the way the economy is reshaping. Plan well. Train yourself. Train your staff. Bon chance.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Business Survival needs good IT People

What a ridiculous proposition. How could embracing web 2.0 and having a good IT strategy be important for business survival in a recession/depression? Or even anywhere near the top of the list. This sounds like spending money.

Well, yes it is spending money, just like wages. One lesson that is common from all our previous experiences is that strategic shortcomings are punished hard in downturns. When we learn lessons from the Great Depression we have to make sure we adjust for a world that really is different (telephones, TV, internet, for example). How could IT and Web 2.0 be important though, for a washing machine manufacturer for example? How can a web site and good IT affect their sales? Surely only Geek-based businesses have to worry.

Our washing machine broke down two days ago and we rang our trusted repair technician. He won't repair that brand any more. I asked him why not? Reply "their website is crap". In what way? "well, to give you an example, of the last 7 orders we put through it for spare parts, 5 were wrong. It wastes our time, which costs us money, and the customers get annoyed because of the delays and blame us, so we don't touch them anymore". His recommended brand? - Bosch or Miele. Our replacement brand - not the one we have now, even though I was happy with it. Sure it can be fixed by the outfit in town that doesn't care what they fix, but the point is that they don't care. People that don't care usually cost a lot more in the end. I'm not going to drill down to the cause - it's probably a poorly implemented parts catalogue. What I am interested in is that I am lost as a customer through a poor website, and the Company won't even know it has happened. It's not the customer-facing part of the site - it is the maintenance person part. There is no obvious way to measure the loss of my custom, nor how many others are lost as well.

What has fundamentally changed is the way customers interact with businesses and each other. There's good news in this because transforming technology gives us future growth. There's bad news in this because managing by, and measuring the wrong things will kill a business stone dead. The toxic effects of bad measurement have been discussed before. It's affecting the new crop of IT people - the very people that will save their organisations - but the organisations don't even know it.

Business (including Government) is still slow to recognise the importance of web 2.0 to future survival, and to identify their own people that can help them. I recently responded to a Twitter stream from a 'thought leader' - an influential networker, who needed to explain what he does in 'value adding' to his own IT management.

Yeah, how can IT or even HR (who should be making the call on productivity) measure the efficiency and quality of work I perform ..
.. that I've leveraged through my professional social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn etc?

YOU are 'peer reviewed' as worth following on a daily basis by 573 people (twitter followers) - the peer review bit is key
HR does not measure quality. So give them stats. has nn unique hits and 17 committed (daily) followers from zero [in just a few days]

So why aren't we asking these questions? These are the very people that will lead our organisations to better efficency and effectiveness. At the very least they will see us through to survival. What do you know of your people -
  • who blogs,
  • how are their blogs rated by peers,
  • who Twitters,
  • how many followers do they have,
  • how many retweets,
  • who is monitoring the twitterspace for mentions of your organisation, service or product?

Right now is the time to update your business and IT strategies for what will be the toughest year we will have ever faced in our working lifetime. Are you ready? Are you measuring the behaviours you need to have a future?

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Management lessons from Obama Campaign.

Well, in my earlier post (8 factors for Web 2.0 Business Success) I said the Obama victory would have an impact on how management theories for Enterprise 2.0 and business agility would be applied. Huffington Posts' Daniel Debow believes that the clear results from the new way of doing business and the ongoing communication with the Obama base will convince business to move and adopt faster. Success is a real convincer.

Daniel Debow: How Fast is Bottom-Up Coming Up? What Does Obama's Internet-Powered Election Mean for How Business is Managed?
This week, I attended Don Tapscott's book launch for Grown Up Digital. Don's latest is a follow-up to his two prior best-sellers, Wikinomics and Growing Up Digital.

Don didn't disappoint. He outlined two key trends that are changing the way businesses are organized: Internet-based, bottom-up collaboration; and demographics. Don focused on the Net Generation's entry into the workforce and their use of the Internet as a communication and self-organization platform.

I loved the talk, but wondered: "How long will it take for traditional business people to really start changing their organizational structures, social norms, and expectations to account for the reality of the Net Gen?" Will this change occur over the next 12-24 months? Will it take a few years? Or will it take a decade or longer? Will it wait for the Net Gen to take on more senior management roles and force business to redesign around Net Gen models of communication and collaboration?

I don't know for sure, but I think the shift to "bottom-up" is going to happen a whole lot faster than most business people imagine.

When I talk to people about Rypple's goal of re-inventing performance management and professional development as a bottom-up, collaborative, and self-organizing process that integrates work with learning... light-bulbs go off. People get it, which is great.

But, I wonder... how long until the early majority start to get it and change how they do business?

Up until last week, I didn't think the mainstream population took this stuff very seriously. Sure, people heard about Linux software being built in a open source fashion, but... hey, that was just a bunch of tech stuff, right? There have been dozens of stories about corporate wiki-style innovation. But these were just gimmicks and experiments, right? And while everyone (not under a rock) got YouTubes emailed and chatted about (and maybe joined) Facebook, most people were cynical when they heard how things are "different" with this generation.

The Harvard blogs were out the morning after the election. Umair Haque posted Obama's Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators said:

It's a momentous day for America - and the world. Barack Obama is poised to take the reins of the Presidency.

So how did this unlikeliest of candidates do it? How did Obama utilize radically asymmetrical competition to shatter Washington's toxic, bitter 20th century status quo?

The most critical part of the story is the organization Obama built. Though conservatives are still arguing that Obama has little executive experience, nothing could be further from the truth.

Barack Obama is one of the most radical management innovators in the world today. Obama's team built something truly world-changing: a new kind of political organization for the 21st century. It differs from yesterday's political organizations as much as Google and Threadless differ from yesterday's corporations: all are a tiny handful of truly new, 21st century institutions in the world today.

This is just qthe start of the analysis. If you are a manager or a strategist - it is time to get across what just happened and understand why.

Low cost high speed broadband access for rural and regional communities

Low cost high speed broadband access for rural and regional communities - could it be reality?

CNET reports a step closer to delivering phone and broadband services over powerlines with strong backup and service providers. IBM bringing broadband over power line to rural America | Cutting Edge - CNET News
IBM has been hired to help rural Americans get broadband access using power lines.

On Wednesday, Big Blue announced it has signed a $9.6 million contract with International Broadband Electric Communications to bring the technology to rural America where it hopes to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to millions of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to get it. IBM and IBEC, which will build and manage the networks, are working with over a dozen electricity cooperatives in seven states, The Wall Street Journal reported.

For years, people have hoped broadband-over-power line technology, or BPL, would allow power companies to become the third alternative in the broadband market, competing against cable operators and telephone companies. But technical limitations and interference issues with local emergency radios and short-wave ham radios have stood in the way of mass adoption.

In recent years, new modulation techniques supported by other technological advances have helped BPL evolve. Most services today are capable of delivering between 512Kbps and 3Mbps of throughput, which is comparable to most DSL offerings.

In rural areas in particular, BPL technology could finally bring high-speed Internet access to people who otherwise couldn't get it. Traditional phone and cable companies often find it too expensive to deploy new infrastructure to provide service to the far reaches of rural America.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

8 Factors for Web 2.0 Business Success

There is a 'Tipping Point' in how business is conducted - public sector or private - that the Obama campaign has highlighted. American or not, supporter or not, every manager/strategist must recognise that something important has to be learnt from that campaign. Like Senator Obama, Ron Paul reached an audience and retained a presence that would have been impossible 8 years ago. Business is as much about communication as Politics is. The new tools are essential for business too. That's why companies like Oracle so keenly embraced a PR 2.0 (Public Relations 2.0) strategy.

Governments are reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of their service delivery. The Australian Government is running presentations for their Departments on Web 2.0. The Department of Finance website, somewhat ominously, states "The Government and particularly the Minister for Finance, the Hon Lindsay Tanner, has a keen interest in this area and is promoting increased use of Web 2.0 applications to engage with the public and to enhance government information and service delivery."

Let's drill down into what and why a bit more. The article from The Huffington Post The New Organizers, Part 1: What's really behind Obama's ground game is one of the few 'must reads' about the campaign that examines the management structures and the communication tools that were brought together to make the campaign effective. Key activities I can see here are:
  1. Recruiting people that are interested - heavy use of advertising and social media.
  2. Allocation of basic 'test tasks' - note the transfer of empowerment and communication tools for reporting results. Also note that there is a complete set of instructions and a backup person to go to for help - all online.
  3. Assessment - easy to overlook that all advancement is on the basis of assessment.
  4. Allocation of new roles to fit the person's skills - not the 'holes' in the organisation - using the virtualised organisation to get the person's input to where it is needed e.g. a person in one location phone banking in another. Even tasks like door to door canvassing could use people bussed in from elsewhere.
  5. Empowerment and full briefing with support materials and training courses - yes I've mentioned this before but three things are important here - empowerment comes after assessment (again), empowerment is given clear direction through support materials and training and there is constant engagement - not monitoring, but awareness.
  6. Maintaining engagement - whether donor or volunteer the regular news keeps you involved and feeling that you are part of a larger movement - and there is always someone online to help you - quickly. (Have you ever been in a Bank and seen the internal staff having to wait on the same phone queues as we do - it wastes everyone's time and leaves us all feeling secondary to profit - your call is valuable to us - well answer it then). Constant engagement means that all levels of the organisation know what is happening above and below in a collaborative way - not a directive/enforcement way.
  7. Finishing the job of communication - 2 days after the election one of the other major campaign sites was still asking for phone volunteers.
  8. Fundraising - why did I put this last when it grabbed the headlines? Because it was the result - the outcome - of doing the rest right. Ron Paul also used the web effectively to raise funds, although his power brokers did not react to social pressures in the same way. It was about more than funds.
Some these factors translate into business directly. TS14plus is a clothing company for the Woman with Curves. Every day one or other of the management team sends out an email to all staff and shops with news about the TS14plus world. A new shop has opened, there is above target turnover in a store, an opening sale here, an event there and new stock just released. It is upbeat, semi-formal, professional but community - and it helps keep the franchise engaged as a community across Cities and States - and going gangbusters when other clothing stores are feeling a chill wind.

Engaging staff, volunteers and donors is not easy - it has to be done right - but the path is clear. How do we reach customers and stakeholders? Oracle finds that clients respond to the 'voice of genuine experience'. White papers have a role, the academic framework and list of product features is an essential part of informing clients - but what they really respond to is a real person and a real voice. The pasteurised, neutralised language of the traditional white paper doesn't create enough of the trust relationship - it forms part of the foundation, but not the motivation to act. Oracle took action and created the Oracle Blog Centre where any authorised blogger (note assessment before empowerment) is allowed to blog, and the community rates the blogs up or down. Clients and stakeholders help Oracle identify their MVP's (a basketball term - Most Valuable Player) and they get all the second level information (e.g. what are the hot topics right now, where are ou problems) that social software communities offer.

What else can social software show? This example is from The Network Thinker blog. The article Complete Polarization analyses Amazon book buying data to show the extent of political group polarisation during the lead up to the 2008 US Presidential Election. Using the data to gain behavioural insights can give important strategic direction. This example helps explain why political comments in blogs drew such strong reactions during the immediate lead-up to the election.

An associated blog is Network Weaving. In one article it discusses using twitter (Triangles on Twitter) concluding "Connect on your similarities and profit from your differences".

Imagine the information about us, our organisations and our competitors that a similar analysis of Twitter would reveal.


So where do we start? How do we find out what this means? Glad you asked. PR 2.0 The Social Media Manifesto – Integrating Social Media into Marketing Communications is where I would start


Because you want you or your organisation to live on the web. Doc Searls has written succinctly about the difference. "A question arose: Why are there so few visitors to our websites? Millions use their services, yet few bother with visiting their sites, except every once in awhile.

The answer, I suggested, was that their sites were buildings. They were architected, designed and constructed. They were conceived and built on the real estate model: domains with addresses, places people could visit. They were necessary and sufficient for the old Static Web, but lacked sufficiency for the Live one.

The Web isn’t just real estate. It’s a habitat, an environment, an ever-increasingly-connected place where fecundity rules, vivifying business, culture and everything else that thrives there. It is alive." Read the rest of this Harvard article if you are serious about your web presence.


What is Web 2.0 anyway? Participatative Anthropologist M Wesch probably explains it best from the links in Understanding the Dance - Web 2.0 through Youtube - brilliant videos.


Do it now. A community organiser has shown the World what can be done. Governments are training staff in it. EDS is sponsoring training sites. Leading companies are using it to reach customers in a trusted relationship. The time is now. The wave is here.

New IT Policy for Obama Administration

The new policy for IT in the USA is up. For the full text follow the link:

Technology |
Science, Technology and Innovation for a New Generation

“Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age. Let's set high standards for our schools and give them the resources they need to succeed. Let's recruit a new army of teachers, and give them better pay and more support in exchange for more accountability. Let's make college more affordable, and let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America.”

— Barack Obama Presidential Announcement Speech in Springfield, IL 02/10/07

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Web 2.0 Inspirational Startups

Tim O'Reilly from O'Reilly Media, Inc., Enterprise Radar - yes - THAT publishing empire is talking about how Web 2.0 (c) is changing into something that interacts with the real world - sensors, people, user created content. He addresses the inspirational and vision aspects of startups - going for the big idea. Ordinary ideas and me too are already funded and won't attract more. During the talk Tim refers to several sites - I've put links to some of them here:

  • 23andme - 23andMe's mission is to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information. They offer a high-density, custom genome scan. Data is used for research as well as personal health information.

  • Benetech - Benetech emerged out of the pioneering work for Arkenstone, the world leader in reading machines for the blind. Seeing the value in providing affordable tools that greatly empowered the reading disabled, Jim Fruchterman was inspired to found a business that utilized technology to serve social causes. Benetech was born.

More links to sites below the video ...

  • ClickDiagnostics - ClickDiagnostics, Inc. has a dual mission of bringing quality medical advice at the doorstep of every household in the developing world at an affordable price, and developing cost-effective solutions for gathering critical data needed for planning and executing public health interventions. They utilise mobile phone technology to connect rural patients with remote medical specialists.

  • InSTEDD - InSTEDD is an innovation lab for technologies designed to improve community resilience and save lives through early disease detection and rapid disaster response.

  • Omidyar - Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm that is committed to creating and fostering opportunity for people around the world. It makes both grants and investments, identifying likeminded organizations that they support, scale, and champion to maximize their social impact.

    Omidyar sees philanthropy as more than a type of funding. In its truest sense, philanthropy is about improving the lives of others, independent of the mechanism. Therefore, they use a wide range of tools in their work, embracing market-based systems and open, web-enabled platforms as key means for making the world a better place.

  • PatientsLikeMe - PatientsLikeMe is committed to providing a better, more effective way to capture valuable results and share them with patients, healthcare professionals, and industry organizations that are trying to treat the disease.

  • Prosper - is a peer to peer Bank - an online community for lending and borrowing money, with over 810,000 members and $173,000,000 in loans funded on Prosper. Borrowers enjoy fixed monthly payments, no hidden fees and no pre-payment penalties.

  • Ushahidi - The Ushahidi Engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. The goal is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.

  • WITNESS - WITNESS is an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy campaigns. Beyond providing video cameras and editing equipment, WITNESS is committed to facilitating exposure for their partners' issues on a global scale. They help broker relationships with international media outlets, government officials, policymakers, activists, and the general public so that once a video is made, it can be used as a tool to advocate for change.

Slide show from slideshare:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web2expo sheep)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Understanding the Dance - Web 2.0 through Youtube

An Anthropological view of Youtube and Web 2.0 sounds sterile - but is one of the most fascinating lectures you will see when it's the participative anthropology of M Wesch. Terms like Networked individualism take on a real life. If you want to think more about the social networkig side of Internet, this is a key starting point. Thanks to Tim O'reilly and Dave Weinberger for initially Twittering this.

I've included the earlier Web 2.0 video he did that is referenced in his lecture. Brilliant, compulsory.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The 6 Most Inspirational Videos You Haven't seen

How do you find inspiration without Anthony Robbins? Don't get me wrong - I love his videos - but we've seen them (I hope you have). We've all seen the dying Professor and the Marathon Dad. What inspiration is there that will make us think differently? Here's my suggestions. Take it away and excel.

Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes

Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success. Watch this several times and study the detail in the slides. It's all there.

Crayfish Attack

I've heard of Sharks going for your legs. Rocks and Freshwater Crayfish eating your legs - well that's different. Somebody has to eat a bit more of this guy to slow him down though.

Malcolm Gladwell and Spaghetti

The reason I love listening to Malcolm Gladwell is that one never knows where the story is going. It starts with spaghetti and ends up providing serious insights - and NLP suggests you get the insight you are looking for. Deft lateral thinker, detective of fads and emerging subcultures, chronicler of jobs-you-never-knew-existed, Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

The Numbers - Time to rethink

We know it's a changing World. The technology, the opportunity, the potential. But do you really understand the numbers? This video implicitly asks you to stop and think about what it means and where the trend is driving.

Shining Eyes- The Inspiration of Benjamin Zander

On the surface, this is something about Classical Music - and that's true, but there is so much more here when one understands what 'one Buttock playing' means. Look for the shining eyes.

The Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address 2005

You've heard of it - but have you actually heard it. Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself-- at Stanford University's 114th Commencement on Sunday in Stanford Stadium.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where is this going - and are we looking ahead

Creativity - is this just a buzzword - a fad? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same respect.... that when the children in school today retire it will be 2065 - yet we don't even know what the World will look like in 4 years.

Mistakes don't mean a person is creative, but if you're not prepared to be wrong you won't come up with anything creative. Our companies and our schools stigmatise mistakes... they are the worst things we can do.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

13 Points on why Startup Web Sites Suck - and 1 that's good

Scoble has visited the startups from Demo - and he doesn't mince his words:

"I visited each website from the list of Demo finalists.

Boy, do they suck. Really, really suck.

Does no one understand how to market themselves?

It’s amazing to me that not a single Demo website has learned from the lessons of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Now THAT is a Website that knows how to market! (Interesting that Gary runs a wine store that sells $50 million a year, yet no one looks at his style as a great way to market your service/product yet)."

So why does this matter? because we need to ensure our web site grabs the visitor straight away on landing, and leads the visitor in. So there is one that works: -

Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Startups: your web site sucks «
Ones that caught my eye?

1. Quantivo. Nice design, gets to the point. Uses video. Makes me want to click into the site.

Um, I visited every single company on the Demo list. Amazingly lame companies. Amazingly lame web sites. Is this it? Am I missing something? How did these companies get $18,000 to go to Demo?

So who were those finalists?

Accordia Group, LLC; New Rochelle, NY;

Adapx, Inc.; Seattle, WA;, Inc.; Bellvue, WA;

Arsenal Interactive, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Asyncast Corp; Campbell, CA;

Awind Inc.; Junghe, Taiwan;

beeTV; Milano, Italy;

Best Buy; Minneapolis, MN;

BizEquity Corp.; Spring House, PA;

Blue Lava Technologies, Inc.; Honolulu, HI;

Cerego; Tokyo, Japan;

Cinergix, Pty Ltd.; Melbourne, Australia;

Clintworld; Boenningstedt, Germany;

CoreTrace Corp.; Austin, TX;

crowdSPRING, LLC; Chicago, IL;

DesignIn, Inc.; Marblehead, MA;

Dial Directions, Inc.; Alameda, CA;


Enterprise Informatics, Inc.; San Diego, CA;

Familybuilder; New York, NY;, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Fortressware, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Fusion-io; Salt Lake City, UT;; Ramallah & Modin, Palestine and Israel;

Green Sherpa; Santa Barbara, CA;

Infovell, Inc.; Menlo Park, CA;

Intelius, Inc.; Bellevue, WA;

Invision TV, LLC; Bethesda, MD;

iWidgets, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Kadoo Inc.; Washington, DC;

Koollage, Inc.; San Jose, CA;

Mapflow, Ltd.; Cork, Ireland;

Maverick Mobile Solutions, Pvt. Ltd.; Maharashtra, India;

MeDeploy; Hamden, CT;

Message Sling; Worcester, MA;

MeWorks, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Microstaq, Inc.; Austin, TX;

MixMatchMusic, Ltd.; Burlingame, CA;

Momindum; Paris, France;; Dallas, TX;

Paidinterviews, LLC; McLean, VA;

Paragent, LLC; Muncie, IN;

Photrade, LLC; Cincinnati, OH;

PlanDone, Inc.; Petaluma, CA;

Plastic Logic, Ltd.; Mountain View, CA;

Qtask, Inc.; Burbank, CA;

Quantivo Corp.; San Mateo, CA;

Radiant Logic, Inc.; Novato, CA;

RealNetworks, Inc.; Seattle, WA;

Rebus Technology, Inc.; Cupertino, CA;

RemoTV, Inc.; New Haven, CT;

Rudder, Inc.; Houston, TX;

Semanti Corp.; Alberta, Canada;

Sim Ops Studios, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

SitScape, Inc.; Vienna, VA;

SkyData Systems, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

SpinSpotter; Seattle, WA;

Telnic, Ltd.; London, England;

TetraBase, LLC; Boothwyn, PA;

The Echo Nest Corp.; Somerville, MA;

tikitag, an Alcatel-Lucent Venture; Antwerp, Belgium;

Toolgether; San Mateo, CA;

TravelMuse, Inc.; Los Altos, CA;

Trinity Convergence, Inc.; Durham, NC;

TurnTo Networks, Inc.; New York, NY;

UbiEst S.p.A.; Treviso, Italy;

UGA Digital, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Unity Solutions, LLC; Clearwater, FL;

Usable Security Systems, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

WebDiet, Inc.; Henderson, NV;

Xumii, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

Zazengo, Inc.; Santa Cruz, CA;

See for yourself how your own site measures up.

Inspirational Video for the day

Tim O'Reilly sent this around with the provocative question - "and what can't YOU do today"?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Music One Note at a Time

The Newcastle Council sponsored this fascinating experiment. Instruments set up in a Church. Anyone can wander in and play a note on any instrument. People were not there together, but their input is edited into a composition - eerie, beautiful and yet human.

How could we apply that to our sites? How can we invoke the human touch?

Backwards Piano - a Bit of Fun

All the 'backwards video' tricks are tried in the background while the piano is played - backwards. I'm curious as to just how hard this is to do. It looks as if he is reading the music backwards to do it. It's here because we all need a break occasionally. Life's too serious otherwise. Thanks! (site possibly NSFW). Enjoy

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Web changes everything - Can you have Version Control and Security?

We developed our ideas of Corporate Network support years ago. Careful release cycles, software tested and the invention of practices such as program testing, integration testing, system testing and deployment testing. Steady, planned and paced. Make no mistake - these practices were developed for real reasons.

Right outside our firewalls today, however, is the raging chaotic storm that is the Internet. New vulnerabilities have attacks emerge in the wild in three to five days. A significant delay to patching a browser can have serious consequences faster than ever. Taking the time to test patches for 3 months before applying and deploying them - prudent practice 8 years ago, is arguably an act of irresponsibility today.

Agility in Operations Management and systems administration separates the protected in-house applications such as Office and desktop from the external facing applications (web services, VPN, Browser), and provides rapid response on the external facing without sacrificing governance. Even desktop applications require regular update now. Open Office issued an urgent 2.3 to 2.4 upgrade. Microsoft have issued critical patches to address vulnerabilities in MS Office.

What liability rests with IT management when an organisation has not applied patches quickly when the patch and the reason are in the public domain? What liability is there when outdated browsers are deployed? In concession to IE6 users, IE6 is still under maintenance by Microsoft, but is your copy really up to date? If it is one patch and 5 days behind, your security may be an illusion.

I hate to say it, but when it comes to external facing software - patch and patch often.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is the Linux picture wrong?

People get roasted in religious wars, and I try to avoid them. I think the existence of linux is really important for the IT industry, and I personally use Linux servers for a couple of sites. However, sometimes the rhetoric overtakes reality. For many ordinary users, Microsoft Windows and the products that run on it are just what they are looking for. It's now emerging that Brazil may sell lots of Linux desktops (the Government is concerned about an economy dependent on windows), but over 90% those machines end up running Windows within a very short time.

Brazil: An emerging market faces challenges - CNET
A big part of this has been a government-backed "PC for all" program that subsidizes the interest rate for some models, though only those with Linux qualify.

"They do not accept Microsoft," Clarke said.

That said, some estimates show as many as 18 or 19 out of every 20 machines sold with Linux ultimately are converted to some form of Windows.

"There was a retailer in one of the countries that sold their systems with Linux," said Gartner analyst Luis Anavitarte. "They made a survey of clients within the first 30 days; 95 percent were already on Windows."

You will find global PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, though the country also has some homegrown brands, most notably Positivo. Among the less well-known brands is Itautec, actually an offshoot of a leading Brazilian bank. According to Wikipedia, it was Itautec that was the first PC maker in Brazil to sell Windows 3.1 preinstalled and localized in Portuguese

Get all your Internet Memes in one Hit

And now for something completely different .........

a fun little parody quickly traversing all the recent internet 'memes' set to a rocking version of 'we didn't start the fire'. I'm not too old for this .. this is what keeps us young!

Technorati Tags: , ,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keep your iPhone secure with 4 clicks

Gizmodo have just described a security hole in the current iPhone system, and what to do about it. Fortunately securing the phone just takes 4 clicks.

Huge Security Flaw In IPhone 2.0.2: Huge iPhone Security Flaw Puts All Private Information at Risk
There's a huge security problem in the latest iPhone 2.0.2: if you have your JesusPhone password protected, using a very simple trick gives anyone full access to your cellphone private information in Mail, SMS, Contacts, and even Safari. The two-step trick is even simpler to the one used in the past to gain access to the phone to install unlocking cards or jailbreak. Fortunately, there's a way to avoid this obvious security breach until Apple fixes it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Importance of Dark humour

A wonderfully reassuring post from Readers Digest for the IT person facing the occasional bit of stress argues that dark humour is a critical tool for coping. The article also discusses the importance of 'self-affirming' jokes versus 'self deprecating' in terms of health and cancer survival.

Every day of my life, I thank God for dark humor. I subscribe
wholeheartedly to this idea, first put forth by Woody Allen: "Life is
full of misery, loneliness, and suffering--and it's all over much too

What is it about humans that makes us want to laugh when logically we
should cry? Well, for one thing, dark humor is a form of bravery.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Using Twitter - Understand Why

This item just poured forth when I saw a cry for help from a person who is new to Twitter, has just developed a Web site and has a really good story to tell -- but doesn't know how to get it "out there". Several friends have asked me exactly the same question. Firstly an introduction.

Twitter was originally envisaged as a simple way for friends and family to keep in touch. Having a nice cup of coffee? Just Twitter it and those who care about you get a little "touch" through the ether and can be with you in spirit. Of course, it quickly became far more than that.

For example, journalists like John Dvorak use Twitter to perform bulk surveys or research from their large user group of followers (the REAL Dvorak at the time of writing has over 27,000 followers). Looking at some of Dvorak's "cranky geek" type comments, some of these responses are useful but those grains of value are hidden in a great bulk of dross. Mr Dvorak also directs followers to significant articles.

Another type of use comes from Tim O'Reilly. Mr O'Reilly has positioned himself as an information provider. A quick read of his tweets will show that he is exposed to a wide range of content from personal meetings, reading and a highly active network of contacts. He then shares what he feels to be the most significant of these items with his group of followers through "reweets".

Yet another "commercial" type of use comes from sites such as Joomla where announcements or special releases can be made simply. If announcements are more complex then a link to the release page is provided.

So what does this all mean, and how do you do use it to build followers and traffic? To start with, have a clear picture as to what your Twitter channel is for (Remember you can have more than one Twitter identity). For Example, a company that did tours and provided transport around fishing and tourist areas might focus on upcoming events, what the fishing conditions are today, and post a short link to the last wine area tour. Clear links to the Twitter feed(s) Together with a description of the feed should be placed on the site and handouts given to every person that participates in a tour or goes fishing in the area ( local fishing clubs, fishing shops, small ads in the paper).

Secondly, try and build a community or network of information providers. For example, drivers should have a mobile phone where they could report weather, traffic conditions, accidents, roadworks and possibly even police patrols. Retweeting this information to a transport Twitter feed would be really useful for any drivers in the region. Update it early enough and it would be mandatory reading for any commuter before leaving the house in the morning. Ideas like this should build immediate and relevant traffic - if it is the audience you want. Is it the audience you want? That's the question you need to answer first.

Generalising around these examples to try and extract strategic principles we might say;

Twitter is useful if you think you can build an interested, relevant group of followers;
  • this means that you have to have something to say to them that they will be interested in on a regular basis;
  • and it must be useful enough that they will deal with irritating computer type thingies like twitter;
  • so it must be content that they will be obsessed about (for example fisherfolk and fishing conditions), have a personal aspect (they want to know when and where the photos of their individual trip to the wine country are posted) or have enough links to their general interest (they want to relive their holiday of a lifetime by proxy through other recent trips so they follow the feed).

Restating this in a slightly different way, Twitter is all about information provision. People like Dvorak and O'Reilly who really "get this" have enormous feeds - It's their business. What the rest of us need to know is who we want to communicate with and what we want to tell them. In business, if you are not sure why you're doing it and what the benefit will be, there's probably a better use of your time and resources. For the right purposes though, Twitter can be a really fun way to reach out and truly communicate with people who could turn out to be quite pleasant.

There is one small cautionary corollary I must mention. There is a really capable and professional consultant that I follow. Beautiful photo, white shirt, tie and a nice smile. His twitter feed, however, can include language and political comments that are at odds with his daytime professional image. It doesn't worry me, I'm happy to follow him -- but remember, when you communicate on the Web it is all too easy to communicate far more than you intend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aggregating Directory Information

A recent project has been aggregating directory information from a variety of organisations supporting General Medical Practitioners (Family Doctors). The Primary Health Care worker needs access to current, accurate information regarding health service providers. The project is based on Open Source Infrastructure. We have created a set of video introductions to the Health Services Provider Directory that talk about the design isdsues and show some of the user interface. We thought they might be of inteest. These are links to YouTube. If they do not play correctly, please check that your network administrator allows YouTube.

Directory Introduction
Health Services Directory Part 1 - Introduction

Everyday Usage
Health Services Directory Part 2 - the User View

Administrative Issues
Health Services Directory Part 3 - Updates

The Administrator UI
Health Services Directory Part 4 - Administering Data

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How does Google Manage Mac desktops

Redmonk has published an interview on how Google manages Mac desktops. Later in the interview it mentions that Linux desktops will be managed through the same tool.

People Over Process » Puppet at Google - RedMonk Radio Episode 48
Nigel has been using Puppet to manage “many, many thousands” of Mac desktops used at Google by developers and others. He tells us how he got involved in using Puppet last year during WWDC last year and quickly applied its use to managing Google Mac desktops.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Open and Transparent vs Setting Limits

I've been on both sides of the negotiation. The need to keep Government acquisition open, and yet how do we reward organisations that come up with new approaches that may provide a better solution if we just take their good ideas, and then go to the market with them.

Risking Another Frontline Disaster | ZDNet Government |
The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that FCC chair Kevin Martin is about to screw things up again on the public wireless Internet front. The first time around Martin tried to rig the D block auction to hand 700MHz spectrum over to Frontline Wireless, formed by former commissioner Reed Hunt. No private party wanted to play with Frontline under the restrictions the FCC put in place, the Journal says, and the auction crashed and burned.

Now its time for a new auction and this time the FCC wants to require the winner to offer free wireless Internet that filters out porn. Apparently the Journal wants these auctions to happen with no regulations, continuing the lack of public Internet infrastructure, but they do have a point on the question of whether Martin is rigging this auction for another favored player.

It just so happens that Mr. Martin’s proposed auction seems tailor-made for the business plan put forward by M2Z, another politically connected Silicon Valley start-up looking to enter the wireless broadband telecom market.

M2Z is backed by the venture capital outfits Kleiner Perkins, Redpoint Ventures and Charles River Ventures. It’s also backed by Democratic Representatives Anna Eshoo of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who’ve introduced legislation that would require the FCC to auction this spectrum to a company with a business plan that looks a lot like . . . M2Z’s. Ms. Eshoo’s district is home to Kleiner Perkins and Redpoint; Mr. Markey’s is home to Charles River.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

IM Improves Office Efficiency

Science Daily has published research showing that Instant Messaging (IM) actually reduces interruptions and improves efficiency in office environments. The security team won't be pleased though.

Instant Messaging Proves Useful In Reducing Workplace Interruption
Employers seeking to decrease interruptions may want to have their workers use instant messaging software, a new study suggests. A recent study by researchers at Ohio State University and University of California, Irvine found that workers who used instant messaging on the job reported less interruption than colleagues who did not.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How secure is YOUR System - really?

Revision 3 is a well-funded, reputable operation. They know what they are doing. Yet Media Defender (MD) managed to find (or place possibly) illegal copyright material on their website. When the material disappeared, this may have triggered a ferocious Denial of Server attack by MD. Bit torrent files have become essential to the Health sector and open source communities (the only way we could download the last version of Fedora successfully was to revert to using a Bit Torrent client). This article explores what happened and it's important for management as well as techies to understand our exposure to potential problems like this. The core belief underlying ITIL today is that our business (Government or Private) absolutely relies on our systems. For Rev 3 the costs will be added up, and this will be a case study worth following.

Inside the Attack that Crippled Revision3

on May 29th, 2008 at 07:49 am by Jim Louderback in Polemics

As many of you know, Revision3’s servers were brought down over the Memorial Day weekend by a denial of service attack. It’s an all too common occurrence these days. But this one wasn’t your normal cybercrime – there’s a chilling twist at the end. Here’s what happened, and why we’re even more concerned today, after it’s over, than we were on Saturday when it started.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why should I Deal with You?

Staying with the theme of motivating the workforce and keeping your company in business ....

Why Should I Do Business with You? - Harvard Business Online's Bill Taylor
This consultant, whose firm has conducted thousands of “mystery shops” and interviews with front-line employees at retail banks, told the gathering that during their visits, his researchers always ask bank employees a simple question: “As a customer, why should I choose your bank over the competition?” And two-thirds of the time, he said, front-line employees have no answer to that question—they simply “make something up on the fly.”

How can any business expect to outperform the competition when its own employees can’t explain—simply and convincingly— what makes them different from the competition? This question isn’t just for bankers. Gary Hamel, the influential strategy guru at the London Business School, makes the case that most companies, in most industries, suffer from a kind of tunnel vision: They chase the same opportunities that everyone else chases; they miss the same opportunities that everyone else misses.

Seriously Different - Offer New Employees a bonus to Quit

Game changing practices. True insights are rare but Bill Taylor has gone on a rave -

I spend a lot of time visiting with companies and figuring out what
ideas they represent and what lessons we can learn from them. I usually
leave these visits underwhelmed. There are plenty of companies with a
hot product, a hip style, or a fast-rising stock price that are,
essentially, one-trick ponies—they deliver great short-term results,
but they don’t stand for anything big or important for the long-term.

Every so often, though, I spend time with a company that is so

original in its strategy, so determined in its execution, and so
transparent in its thinking, that it makes my head spin. Zappos is one of those companies. Two weeks ago, I paid a visit to Zappos headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas, and spent time with CEO Tony Hsieh
and his colleagues. I could write a whole series of posts (and just
might) about what I learned from this incredible operation. But I want
to focus this post on one small practice that offers big lessons for
leaders who are serious about changing the game in their field—and
filling their organization with people who are just as committed as
they are.

Bill Taylor has been around - his resume includes:

agenda-setting thinker, writer, and entrepreneur. His new book, Mavericks at Work, has been a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller. As cofounder of Fast Company,
he launched a magazine that earned a passionate following among
executives and entrepreneurs. He is an adjunct professor at Babson
College and a former associate editor of Harvard Business Review.

Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit—And You Should Too - Harvard Business Online's Bill Taylor
So the value proposition is a winner. But it’s the emotional connection that seals the deal. This company is fanatical about great service—not just satisfying customers, but amazing them. The company promises free, four-day delivery. That’s pretty good. But most of the time it delivers next-day service, a surprise that leaves a lasting impression on customers: “You said four days, but I got them the next morning.”

Zappos has also mastered the art of telephone service—a black hole for most Internet retailers. Zappos publishes its 1-800 number on every single page of the site—and its smart and entertaining call-center employees are free to do whatever it takes to make you happy. There are no scripts, no time limits on calls, no robotic behavior, and plenty of legendary stories about Zappos and its customers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Agile techniques - Why User Stories

Extending the discussion of Consulting Techniques and adapting Agile, approaches, this article by Mike Cohn is still relevant today. I've included a snippet from his discussion with a meaningful example. The bottom line is that a clear story line is critical to ensuring a report is effective.

Mountain Goat Software - Advantages of User Stories for Requirements
IEEE 830–style requirements have sent many projects astray because they focus attention on a checklist of requirements rather than on the user᾿s goals. And lists of requirements don't give the reader the same overall understanding of a product that stories do. It's very difficult to read a list of requirements without automatically considering solutions in your head as you read. Carroll, for example, suggests that designers “may produce a solution for only the first few requirements they encounter.”6 For example, consider the following requirements:7

3.4) The product shall have a gasoline-powered engine.

3.5) The product shall have four wheels.

3.5.1) The product shall have a rubber tire mounted to each wheel.

3.6) The product shall have a steering wheel.

3.7) The product shall have a steel body.

By this point, I suppose images of an automobile are floating around your head. Of course, an automobile satisfies all of the requirements listed above. The one in your head may be a bright red convertible, while I might envision a blue pickup. Presumably the differences between your convertible and my pickup are covered in additional requirements statements.

But suppose that instead of writing an IEEE 830–style requirements specification, the customer told us her goals for the product:

* The product makes it easy and fast for me to mow my lawn.
* I am comfortable while using the product.

By looking at goals, we get a completely different view of the product: the customer really wants a riding lawnmower, not an automobile. These goals are not user stories, but where IEEE 830 documents are a list of requirements, stories describe a user’s goals. By focusing on the user’s goals for the new product, rather than a list of attributes of the new product, we can design a better solution to the user’s needs.

Consulting Tricks - Finding Subheadings

An old consulting trick is to work out what you want to say in a series of phrases, and then expand the content under each phrase with the evidence and detail. This creates a coherent structure for the report. Mike Cohn has a template he uses (more detail on the link) to collect requirements. Add some templates for higher level stakeholders - e.g. Executives, shareholders, Government, that may not be able to participate directly, and you can use this across the management spectrum.

Advantages of the "As a user, I want" user story template | Mike Cohn's Blog - Succeeding With Agile™
Advantages of the “As a user, I want” user story template

In my user stories book and in all my training and conference sessions on user stories I advocate writing user stories in the form of “As a , I want so that .” While I consider the so-that clause optional, I really like this template.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How the Web will change with Gen Y

A thoughtful overview of changes. The unknown, though is how the financial meltdown will change those who have never experienced a serious recession if it becomes prolonged.

Why Gen Y Is Going to Change the Web - ReadWriteWeb
Gen Y is taking over. The generation of young adults that's composed of the children of Boomers, Generation Jones, and even some Gen X'ers, is the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers and three times the size of Gen X. As the Boomers fade into retirement and Gen Y takes root in the workplace, we're going to see some big changes ahead, not just at work, but on the web as a whole.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wii strikes again - Hack an electronic whiteboard

Code from This video is a great demo of how to create an electronic whiteboard on any surface where an image can be projected. It uses the Wiimote control and software from Mr Lee's site. Now this is impressive! I'm not sure what the IP situation is regarding the multi-touch aspects though. The demands of technological innovation are outstripping the IP system. Watch and enjoy.