Tag - future

Cyberpunk NOW: Anonymous & the Playstation Network are showing us the future

I feel like I’m living in a William Gibson novel.

Vast global corporations with deep pockets and global digital systems attacked by amorphous self-organizing digital conglomerations. Virtual worlds virtually attacked, with real-life consequences.

I’m talking, of course, about hacker/cracker group ANONYMOUS and their maybe/maybe not their takedown of Sony’s Playstation Network.

Someone took down the service. Someone (maybe a different set of someones) stole perhaps 100 million credit cards (!!!). Possibly, the data thieves took advantage of a relatively minor distraction caused by Anonymous. Possibly, a group as porous and well, anonymous as Anonymous includes some less-than-savoury characters who use their mad skillz and sometimes doff their white hats for chapeaux noirs.

Who knows? Who can find out? Who would even tell?

We’re stuck in cyberspace – a world William Gibson invented – and it’s cloudy in here, with no chance of meatballs. Traceable footprints and fingerprints are limited and digital and deletable and spoofable in this world. Only experts can trace them, and only if they are granted access to relevant services and servers by multiple major corporations and governments, all with competing agendas. And, just like their meatspace analogues, they disappear over time.

People are employed in digital industries, making virtual goods that have actual value. We’ve known this for years. This is just a corollary … stealing insubstantial data that can be transubstantiated into very real physical and substantial wealth.

Welcome to the future. It’s like the past but different.

Eric Schmidt: How Google Can Help Newspapers – WSJ.com

It’s the year 2015. The compact device in my hand delivers me the world, one news story at a time. I flip through my favorite papers and magazines, the images as crisp as in print, without a maddening wait for each page to load.

Even better, the device knows who I am, what I like, and what I have already read. So while I get all the news and comment, I also see stories tailored for my interests. I zip through a health story in The Wall Street Journal and a piece about Iraq from Egypt’s Al Gomhuria, translated automatically from Arabic to English. I tap my finger on the screen, telling the computer brains underneath it got this suggestion right.

via Eric Schmidt: How Google Can Help Newspapers – WSJ.com.

For The Future Of The Media Industry, Look In The App Store

How to make money in media when copying is easy and digital transmission is essentially free:

If you are a media exec and you look at your product and at the end of the day it’s a digital file that can be copied, then you have a serious problem with your format. Think of your product like a pie chart of the value you are giving the consumer. If 100% of the value is in that file, it is not a sound approach for defending the future of your business. However, if a portion of the experience is derived thorough an integration with a Web component that will yield additional value in functionality or social elements, then it will be more sustainable. There are many such examples emerging in the app store (I am T-Pain, TapTap and many more). Applications that let consumers interact with the media. Create things and share them with their friends. These will not only make the consumer the one who markets your product, but also create an unprecedented level of engagement. That level of engagement will directly map to reduction in piracy as consumers will pay for this experience and wont be able to copy it. Sell access and experiences, not media files.

via For The Future Of The Media Industry, Look In The App Store.

Google's Eric Schmidt on What the Web Will Look Like in 5 Years

From the ReadWriteWeb story:

# Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.

# Today’s teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years – they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.

# Five years is a factor of ten in Moore’s Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.

# Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance – and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away.

# “We’re starting to make signifigant money off of Youtube”, content will move towards more video.

# “Real time information is just as valuable as all the other information, we want it included in our search results.”

# There are many companies beyond Twitter and Facebook doing real time.

# “We can index real-time info now – but how do we rank it?”

# It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank that “is the great challenge of the age.” Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem.

via Google’s Eric Schmidt on What the Web Will Look Like in 5 Years.

What really is the iPhone?

There’s a great column at Strominator that explains exactly what it is:

The iPhone is not a phone, its the first generation of a new type of computing device. One that will change how we view computing. One that will make our lives simpler. We won’t have to learn how to use applications, we’ll just use them. We won’t worry about launching applications, saving files, quitting — just using. Every other smartphone is still based on an archaic, cumbersome, paradigm taken straight from desktop computers. Drop-down/pop-up menus, programs, files — ugh. Look how bad Windows Mobile is, and most of us are used to the real Windows on our desktops. Why should a phone take minutes to just turn on? The alternatives are not much better. Mobile OSX, what runs inside the iPhone however, is a whole new beast. Intuitive, responsive, and an extension of the beautiful hardware that it runs on.

Which is not to say there aren’t issues … as the article also talks discusses.

Virtual worlds, real economy

The world’s first economist studying a virtual world (more accurately: virtual universe) has delivered his first report:

This is the first Econ Dev blog on the economics of EVE. We are heading into unknown territory since there exists no standardized measures on how to describe and analyze an online universe, or if indeed there is a need to have new tools to describe virtual reality. Trade and industrial activities are an important part of EVE and therefore descriptive analysis of trend in quantity traded, price fluctuations and regional differences are always of interest to those participating in that business. In order to fulfill the expectations of pilots we need your comments on this dev blog and which parts are most interesting. Selected sections of this dev blog could be updated on a regular basis if the demand is there.Minerals are the basis of everything in EVE. Most things built in EVE require one or more minerals; some easy to get, others not so much. Minerals provide income for professional miners and newbies alike and no war can be won without having a good supply with which to build and equip an armada. The constant demand for minerals makes the market one of the most effective in the EVE Universe with huge volumes and thousands of trades on a daily basis. That is why examining the mineral market in some depth has been chosen as the topic for the first Econ Dev Blog (EDB).

Good news? Bad news? I don’t know … but it sure is interesting news.

Apple’s Sept. 5 iPod Announcement: iPod, iPhone, iPDA, iComputer, iMobile Computing

Apple’s scheduled a Steptember 5th special event: “the beat goes on.”It’s obviously about iPods. My guess is that Apple’s now ready to take the next step. More to the point, the marketplace is finally ready for Apple to release the next evolution in iPod: mobile computing.You already see it in iPhone. And we know that OS X is underpinning future iPods.iPods have been carrying our calendars and notes for years. But it’s always been the sideshow, the off-off-Broadway down-the-lane-to-the-left non-attraction.I think the new iPods are going to take a huge leap in functionality. iPhone’s seamless reading of PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, and more will be part of the iPod experience.It’ll still be the entertainment hub – music, movies, podcasts – that it is. But it’s going to take the next step to a mobile computing platform that includes some of what we currently think of as “business” functionality and some of what we think of as “consumer” functionality – especially games.It would not shock me if concurrent with this unveiling of the new iPod we have an “iSDK,” a software development kit for iPhone and iPod.You read it hear first.

What information consumes

Was finally reading through Tim Ferris’ Low Information Diet ebook and was struck by this quote from Nobel and Turing prize-winner Herbert Simon:

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.

Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

Walking up and down in the dark

While not straying too far off the beaten track for this blog, I just had to post a great quote.

It’s from Smoke Blanchard, mountaineer, hiker, traveller, guide, climber, trekker, truck driver, and about a thousand other things in between … and appropriately enough, it’s about life and career choices.

Most choices at the crossroads of life are made under weak starlight with a feeble lantern that illuminates poorly the farther stretches of trail.

I’ve just finished his 1984 memoir, Walking Up and Down in the World: Memories of a Mountain Rambler, and had to mention it here because it rings so true.

[tags] career, books, quote, smoke blanchard, john koetsier [/tags]

Seth Godin’s advice for me (and you?)

A couple of weeks ago 37signals mentioned they were having a fireside chat with Seth Godin and Mark Hurst. They asked for questions; I submitted one.

Today I was very happy to learn that mine was one of those chosen – and even happier that Seth gave a great, great answer:

A couple of reader questions:

John Koetsier, 22 Jan 07, for Seth: “I have a million startup ideas (ok, my potential biz list is about 20 ideas long) but limited time. What’s the best strategy: go deep on one idea, or try 3-4 simultaneously? Time is limited, obviously, money is as well. Rifle or shotgun: what would you do?”
I think this is a false dichotomy.
rifle implies all your eggs in one basket.
get it wrong and you go home.
shotgun implies that you throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks
half assed, in other words.
I think there’s a different approach.
what’s that?
We start by understanding that in any industry, there are dues to be paid, things to learn, people to know.
A base of code to be written, or concepts to understand.
If you go shotgun, you’ll resist that. You’ll flutter and flitter.
Always waiting in the supermarket line, switching lines,
never getting to the front.
So, I say, pay your dues. Concentrate your effort.
Good point.
At the same time, understand that you will never be right about fashion.
You’ll never get the story perfect.
And if all your eggs are in one basket, you’ll study too much
you’ll test too much
and you’ll be afraid to go go go
and so, build your platform
and be sure your platform leaves room for many riffs, many shots, many attempts to get it right.
At Yoyodyne, we changed our business plan COMPLETELY every four or five months.
Our core beliefs stayed, our software base stayed, our people stayed
but our business changed.
end of riff
if i can attempt an echo.. be tight on the foundation; be loose on what you build off it
yeah, like that.
i agree that context is so important – content may change, emerge, whatever
Sounds like you need to have a foundation, but one that can float as opposed to being anchored.
it’s the attitude, Matt. If your attitude is, “we built this foundation, we will continue to reinvest in it, AND we will always be willing to radically change our story and our deliverables” then I think you win.

Wow. Thanks for that great, great advice, Seth. That’s really, really helpful.

a quote to start the day

Read this today in Wired:

“Somewhere along the line, we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body … but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow! What a ride!”


[tags] quote, motivation, life, john koetsier [/tags]

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all readers and incidental visitors of bizhack. This promised to be an exciting year both for the web as a whole and personally for me.

Interesting, amazing, wonderful (and sometimes ominous) things are happening online. Huge acquisitions and major announcements by the big players are inevitable … as are wonderfully exciting and rapidly growing little things, unnoticed until the doubling effect hits the 29th day and we all stand amazed at the latest startup that went from 0 to 100 in 5 months or less.

Personally, I’ve got 2 irons in the fire: fatboynews and an as-yet-unannounced joint venture with a biz-dev buddy. My hopes are high that those will be blessed and successful (even if not YouTubes!) and that the dawning of 2008 will be even more exciting.

To you and yours: may you have a wonderful, exciting, challenging, beautiful, growth-filled, and prosperous 2007!

[tags] new year, 2007, 2008, 2006, fatboynews, startup, john koetsier [/tags]

100 million and counting: what about you?

Netcraft says there are now more than 100 million websites. (Also at CNN and KLTV.)

There were just 18,000 Web sites when Netcraft, based in Bath, England, began keeping track in August of 1995. It took until May of 2004 to reach the 50 million milestone; then only 30 more months to hit 100 million, late in the month of October 2006.

Look at the curve. Note that there’s a land grab still happening as the number of domains is outpacing the number of actively updated sites:


Interesting, isn’t it?

But the far more relevant question is: where will it be in 2008? And, how are you positioning yourself for the huge growth that is still coming? If you’re online right now, you have a huge advantage. Keep it up, keep getting better, and who knows where you could be in two years.

A very tiny slice of a very, very large pie is very large slice.

[tags] netcraft, internet, sites, stats, size, john koetsier [/tags]

Sloodle: education, meet virtual reality

Imagine the classroom of the future. Does it look something like this?


Learn more at Sloodle – the “3D Learning Management System.” It’s a work in progress, as is most open source software. Here’s the vision:

SLoodle is a project to integrate the VLE platform Moodle with the 3D world of Second Life. Imagine a Moodle course that, if you wanted, could turn into a proper 3D interactive classroom with all your Moodle resources available to your students in the virtual world.

Wow. Wow, I say. I wish this group all the success in the world. This is just way too fabulously cool. All start-ups should dream big.

(I saw a link to this at A Media Circus while researching blogs for my weekly SLOB list).

[tags] social media, education, technology, moodle, second life, virtual reality, web2.0, john koetsier [/tags]

Vancouver Enterprise Forum tonight

science-world-vancouver.jpgIf you’re in the Vancouver area, kick on over to that big silver geodesic dome across from False Creek (yup, this one) for Vancouver Enterprise Forum.

Should be great … the topic is Enterprise 2.0: How Business Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Web.

You’ll hear from international technology expert and writer Dr. Paul Kedrosky on what Enterprise 2.0 is and means for your current or future business, and also from executives of three innovative new B.C. companies focusing their energies on making the web work for business. Our feature entrepreneurs include Anthony Sukow of Victoria’s Terapeak, a young firm that analyzes the emerging masses of data generated by web activity to improve decision-making and profitability. Dr. Kedrosky will also be joined by Andrew Catton of DabbleDB, a firm that has created an easy-to-use, high-quality hosted product for online storage, sharing and manipulation of enterprise data. As an online provider, DabbleDB represents the next generation of enterprise software. Our third business speaker is John Lyotier of Marqui; Marqui provides a web-based software solution that enables marketers to manage and measure their online publicity and promotion campaigns more effectively.

See you there!

[tags] vef, vancouver enterprise forum, vancouver, meetup, john koetsier [/tags]

Of course Google wants to own the business of content

Scott Karp has a riff on Google and the business of content.

Should we be surprised that Google wants to own the monetization of content? Not at all. That’s what this has been about from the beginning – at least from the beginning of AdSense.

What’s clear is that content creators are no longer in control of the content business.

Actually, real content creators – authors, writers, directors, actors – have very seldom been in control of the “content business.” Publishers have been … and publishers are just businesses whose product is content and whose assembly line is made of up creative people with word processors.

(In other words, I define content creators differently than Karp. Just because you own a content business or content industry doesn’t make you a content producer.)

New boss, same as the old boss.

[tags] content, business, google, AdSense, AdWords, publishing, john koetsier [/tags]

Global gunk

Sickening story in the NY Times on hazardous waste disposal in the new millenium:

It came from a Greek-owned tanker flying a Panamanian flag and leased by the London branch of a Swiss trading corporation whose fiscal headquarters are in the Netherlands.

This is getting to be a very complicated world.

[tags] NY times, hazardous waste, globalization, john koetsier [/tags]

CEO pay to average worker pay

Further to my Waging a Living post …

The incomes of the top 20% have grown much faster than earnings of those at the middle or bottom of the income distribution. The income of the top 1% and top 0.1% have grown particularly rapidly.

From 1992 to 2005, the pay of chief executive officers of major companies rose by 186%.

The equivalent figure for median hourly wages was 7.2%, leaving the ratio of CEOs’ pay to that of the average worker at 262.

In the 1960s, the comparable figure was 24.

(From the Beeb)

Are we OK with this as a society? Do we think that some people are worth not 50 times, not 100 times, but 262 times more than the average person? (Which means, of course, perhaps 400 times more than the poor sucker on the lowest end of the totem pole.)

I’m not. What about you?

[tags] waging a living, poverty, ceo pay, john koetsier [/tags]

Google @ school

I hate to say I knew it would happen, but 3-4 months ago I put together this strategy map of where I thought Google was heading.

I focused on education because I work for an education company. But this will happen in the corporate world too.

(click for a larger PDF)

Google will offer an integrated suite of single sign-on private labeled applications in all of these areas, and more:

All roads lead to Rome? All roads lead to Google.

If anyone is still wondering why Microsoft increased their projected R&D spend enormously just a few months ago, you can stop. Now you know.

A-lister conspiracy theories and dreams of easy success

There’s an interesting conversation happening right now about the equity or insularity of the blogosphere.

(Nick Carr, Kent Newsome, Labnotes, and Chip’s Quips are covering it as well. And now, Shel Israel.)

Partly, it’s the perrennial A-lister bitch-session: why am I not in the Technorati Top 100? Partly, it’s the angst of someone who started blogging with great expectations only to find he’s talking to himself in an empty room.

In other words: why aren’t “they” listening to me? Most especially, why aren’t “they” linking to me? (“They” being the top bloggers out “there.”)

Bloggers start blogging full of piss and vinegar, ready to take on the world and win, zoom up the Technorati rankings, get links from everyone, earn $100/day from AdSense, get the (supposedly) cushy panel speaker invitations and keynotes at hotter-than-flame conferences with weird names, receive free stuff from funky companies with missing letters, eventually write the book, make a million (or ten, a million isn’t what it used to be), and ride off into the sunset. Easy, isn’t it?


This is real life
This isn’t the movies. And this isn’t the crazy-stupid-brilliant flash-in-the-pan that you hear about from time to time, and wonder why you didn’t think of.

Anything worth doing is hard. Doing anything well is hard. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes talent. It takes skill.

But sorry, that’s not enough.

The L factor
Here’s the hardest part for any of us to accept: It takes luck.

We’d have it a lot easier if there was a clear-cut algorithm for success. Do X amount of work for Y number of days with Z degree of skill, and you’ll be successful.

Sorry. I wish it was true. But it’s not.

Some weird magic happens in the world.

  • Some wacked-out left-field idea like Snakes on a Plane just comes out of nowhere and hits a home run.
  • Some odd idea like getting people to write secrets on postcards and send them to you so you can post them on a website results in a top ten blog and a successful book.
  • Some 18-year-old kid creates a piece of software that others start contributing to that turns out to be really good and amazingly popular.
  • Some slightly-shady entrepreneurs take an old idea and a lousy site and sell it for over half a billion.
  • Some crazy geniuses create the best hardware/software combination the market has ever seen and spend decades struggling to get to 5% market share.
  • Some other crazy geniuses with duct-taped glasses buy a piece of junk software, land a distribution deal with a clueless giant, and become the most profitable company in the world.

The point
It doesn’t always make sense. In fact, it usually doesn’t. Success or failure in any venture, blogging, business, or personal, is a combination of so many factors that predicting it is virtually impossible. Ask stockbrokers.

This doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck. It doesn’t mean hard work doesn’t pay off. It doesn’t mean that skill and intelligence and tenacity don’t make you more likely to succeed.

It just means that shit happens.

Ecclesiastes says it best:

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

A-lister conspiracy theories
It’s hard, sometimes. I know. You don’t get the link you think you should – the one you think you deserve. I’ve had it myself.

The reality is, the blogosphere is a big place. Lots happens. Conversations abound. Blogs proliferate. Attention is limited. Blogs shoot up, blogs tumble down. Enough churn occurs to make me believe that success is still possible.

But you are already more successful than you know. Think about it: there are now 52 million blogs. 52 million!

Let’s say your blog is ranked 39,756 (coincidentally, just like the one you’re reading right now.) How lucky are you?

Let’s break it down:

  • If you’re in the top 5 million, you’re 1 out of 10
  • If in the top 500,000, you’re 1 out of 100
  • In the top 50,000, you’re 1 out of 1000
  • just for fun, let’s continue …
  • Top 5000? 1 out of 10,000
  • Top 500? 1 out of 100,000
  • And top 50? 1 out of 1,000,000

See the point? Even being in the top 100,000 is an accomplishment! (Of course, for all of us who are serious about this blogging journey, it may not be enough. It may not satisfy.)

We have to have a sense of realism. If everyone was a star, there’d be no fans. Not all of us, as Russell Crow said in Master and Commander, become the man (blogger, woman, person) we once hoped we’d be.

Maturity is the ability to see that fact without becoming bitter.

Genius is the ability to see that fact without becoming bitter – and to continue to hope, and continue to fight against the odds – and perhaps, eventually, through blood and sweat and tears, succeed.

It’s magic. Just don’t quit the day job.

Blogs & Podcasts: MSM farm club

The discussion about Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail has been absolutely fascinating.

The book makes the claim that in markets where physical inventory is not an issue and transaction costs are minimal, goods that are not top-sellers can be a very significant portion of sales, when taken in aggregate. So, for instance, the bottom half of songs on iTunes in popularity will make up a significant portion of sales … sales that simply would not occur in a bricks-and-mortar industry where carrying costs and inventory are very, very real concerns.

In other words, some markets are moving away from being completely hit-based – only popular stuff makes money, relatively unpopular stuff disappears – towards being more craft-based – more sellers of more stuff, each in small quantity individually but in aggregate forming a large market.

The Wall Street Journal’ Lee Gomes has essentially attempted to quash the meme, saying that the Pareto Principal and the hit machine that modern consumer culture has built are both alive and well in new media.

It would be wonderful if the world as Mr. Anderson describes it were true: one where “healthy niche products” and even “outright misses” collectively could stand their ground with the culture’s increasingly soulless “hits.”

But while every singer-songwriter dreams from his bedroom of making a living off iTunes, few actually do, mostly because so many others have the very same idea. And to the extent that Apple is making money off iTunes, thanks go to Nelly Furtado and other hitmakers. Indeed, you can make the case that the Internet is amplifying the role of hits, even in relation to misses, not diminishing them.

In turn, Chris Anderson has written a rebuttal, which asserts that, unfortunately, Lee Gomes doesn’t know math.

I have no doubt that there are many parts of my analysis and data that could be improved. Unfortunately, Gomes, in his haste to find them, stumbles over statistics and more, and in the end simply makes a muddle of what might have been an interesting debate over the magnitude of the Long Tail effect.

But I think the best perspective on the whole affair is Robert Scoble’s. And, in fact, he’s pretty well positioned to have it … due to previously being in the really, really short (but fat) part of the tail at Microsoft, and now being at the very, very, very long end of the tail at Podtech.

Scoble does a great analysis and then synthesis on the debate and comes up with this: the long tail can be viewed as an enormous farm club for mainstream media.

(That’s obviously not ALL it is – I’m 100% certain that Robert would say that as well. It’s first and foremost a means of self-expression and communication for millions and millions of people.)

But the point he makes is valid: a talented podcaster can make it on radio – terrestrial or satellite. A talented videoblogger can make it on TV – cable, satellite, or terrestrial. The same goes for a talented blogger.

That’s not to say that MSM has figured everything out – far from it. And it’s not to say that radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines aren’t in big, big trouble unless they can find models that make sense in the networked, digital world.

But it is to say that talent will rise to the top, and that revenue will come to those who want it, and are good enough to warrant it.

Which is about the smartest thing I’ve heard on the long tail in a while.

[tags] robert scoble, long tail, chris anderson, WSJ, daniel gomes, MSM, media, blogging, podcasting, videocasting, radio, newspapers, magazines, Sirius, john koetsier [/tags]

Business and social media: building a case

I’m working on a social media (blogs, podcasts, and wikis) presentation for a business. While I’m still in the initial stages, here are some links, quotes, and perspectives that have been helpful so far.

Let me know if there’s something else I should be looking at as well …

A Cymfony study on business blogging:

  • The majority of companies surveyed (76 percent) indicated that they have noticed an increase in media attention and/or website traffic as a result of their blog(s)
  • 75 percent of respondents reported that the initial goals of their blogs have been met
  • Three-fifths of corporations have guidelines in place which outline the company’s responsibility for posting and maintaining their blogs, yet nearly two-thirds do not review content prior to posting
  • 42 percent of respondents said that specific blog posts have affected the company or a brand and in the vast majority of cases it has had a positive affect

And a Forrester study:

  • companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists
  • Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies

Quotable quotes

  • Entrepreneur (on blogs)
    – they also can be used as a unique, informal way to establish a company or individual’s reputation or brand
    – They improve branding by presenting a more authentic and distinctive voice for a business than canned PR or MarCom messaging.
    – “for many companies, blogs have become a business staple”

  • CNN
    – “A blog is the perfect platform for someone who really is trying to establish themselves as a thought leader,” said Web analyst Rick Bruner.
    – “The blog provides a very human side to the corporate face beyond press releases, or a Web page or a corporate brochure,” said Tom Murphy of CapeClear Software.

  • Inc.
    – “Blogs are a way for you to tell your story over and over again, and do it in a personable way. If you are blogging and your competitor down the street is not, then it can be a competitive advantage,”
    – they can be an excellent tool to build relationships and create brand equity as more Internet users see them as viable sources of information.

  • BusinessWeek
    – Companies over the past few centuries have gotten used to shaping their message. Now they’re losing control of it.
    – Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Our advice: Catch up…or catch you later

  • Also BusinessWeek
    – Customers can be your best evangelists
    – Viewers, listeners, and readers are smart— often smarter than your own employees—so let them improve your products and services.

  • And BusinessWeek again, this time on Nike
    – A strong relationship is created when someone joins a Nike community or invites Nike into their community.” Which is the point of brand marketing, isn’t it?
    – Last fall, Nike started feeding video clips that spotlight Nike-sponsored soccer players onto popular video sharing sites, including YouTube and Google. It created JogaTV, a virtual soccer TV station, where it releases a new video clip every few days and fans can upload their own clips.

  • eMarketer
    – “A year ago eMarketer looked at the business of blogging and said that blogs were a one-to-few medium, and they were not practical for most businesses,” says James Belcher, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, The Business of Blogging: A Review. “But over the past year many things have changed, including our opinion.”

  • Web Ink Now (on something you can put on your blog: e-books)
    E-books directly contribute to an organization’s positive reputation by showing thought leadership in the marketplace of ideas. This form of content brands a company, a consultant, or a non-profit as an expert and as a trusted resource to turn to again and again.

Corporate bloggers, sites I check frequently

Business blogs

There’s more, but that’s all I have time for tonight …

(And yes, the presentation is all about trying to persuade this company that social media is a very, very good thing to invest in – right now. After all, marketing is about ideas, and there has never been a more powerful way to spread ideas than the internet, and the most powerful idea-spreading forces on the internet right now are social media.)

[tags] womma, TED, business, social media, blogging, podcasts, guy kawasaki, seth godin, tara hunt, Hugh Macleod, john koetsier [/tags]

So-called porfolio diversification

In case you didn’t realize it, having to work two jobs in order to pay the rent is now referred to as “portfolio diversification:”

Firefighters who want to live in high-priced cities can work two jobs, said W. Michael Cox, chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “I think it’s great,� he said. “It gives you portfolio diversification in your income.� Pay for essential workers like plumbers and cabdrivers will tend to go up, he said.

… from an article in the NY Times about the declining availability of affordable middle class homes in large US cities. Canadian cities are no different.

One more soundbite:

But middle-class city dwellers across the country are being squeezed.

This time, they are being squeezed out by the rich as much, or more so, as by the poor — a casualty of high housing costs and the thinning out of the country’s once broad economic middle. The percentage of middle-income neighborhoods in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington has dropped since 1970, according to a recent Brookings Institution report.

The percentage of higher-income neighborhoods in many places has gone up. In New York, the supply of apartments considered affordable to households with incomes like those earned by starting firefighters or police officers plunged by a whopping 205,000 in just three years, between 2002 and 2005.

Personally, I think we’re losing something if families can’t afford to live in cities any more. Am I the only one who feels that something is missing in neighborhoods without children? Can you really call it a community if it’s all 20-30-40-something married-to-their-career types?

[tags] city, children, housing, affordability, middle class, NY Times, john koetsier [/tags]

Inspiration for the month: TED

Some of the greatest speakers in the world keynote at TED, an uber-expensive invite-only conference in Monterey, California.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but the conference is about any and all important ideas and trends. Attendance is limited to 1000 people and costs $4000, but now us plebes can benefit from the great speakers.

Check out the speakers here. Apparently more will be released soon. Note: I found that the best bet was to download the videos, then watch them. Otherwise I was getting a lot of re-buffering nonsense that really interrupted the videos.

Here’s the ones that I’ve watched and really enjoyed:

I’m sure a lot of the others are good too (besides Tony Robbins, who I thought was horrible). I just haven’t seen them yet.

[tags] TED, videos, motivation, inspiration, john koetsier [/tags]

Sir Ken Robinson on creativity

If you have any interest in creativity, or kids, or education, you must, must, must watch this presentation by Sir Ken Robinson at TED, a extremely high-priced conference on Technology, Entertainment, and Design, among other things. He’s the author of Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative.

Some quotes from him talk that I thought were memorably enough to write down:

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

All kids have tremendous talents and we squander them ruthlessly.

We are educating children out of their creativity.

Intelligence is
– diverse
– dynamic
– distinct

Check it out – you’ll be glad you did.

(By the way, I recommend you download the presentation rather than watch the streaming version. The streaming version paused numerous times for re-buffering … which does not lend itself to improved viewing enjoyment!)

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Credit: I saw the link to the presentation here on We Break Stuff.

[tags] ted, ken robinson, creativity, education, kids, intelligence, IQ, john koetsier [/tags]

Eight ideas that will really revolutionize the 21st Century

Ben Hammersley had a presentation at Les Blogs recently titled “Eight ideas that will really revolutionize the 21st century (and why blogging isn’t one of them).”

I tried to watch the video, but a combination of poor quality and Ben’s hard-on-a-Canadian’s-ear English accent made it virtually impossible. (To say nothing of the pain, the pain I say, of trying to watch Windows Media files.)

Fortunately, a Dutch blogger has posted some of the main ideas. With apologies to my ancestors, I can’t read Dutch, but here’s the key bit in English.

Looks like 8 dichotomies or continuums of ideas:

– information wants to be free —- copyright
– zero distance — borders
– mass amateurisation — censorship
– more much more — network blocking
– true names — identity cards and databases
– viral behaviour — more network blocking
– everything is personal — everything is trackable
– ubiquitous computing — no privacy

Sounds very cool – I still want a complete transcript. Someone – anyone?

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I’ve downloaded the MP3 audio – hopefully it’s better than the video.

[tags] ben hammersley, les blogs, ideas, revolution, blogging, john koetsier [/tags]