Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The work doesn't happen at work.

His points on where great ideas come from (incubation time/informal networked environments that foster novel connections) support his suggestions of killing (mundane) meetings in favor of uninterrupted work time.

His research supports that in unaided recall people recount getting work done on the plane, train, during a commute, at home, at the hotel, and other random places that do not integrate well with a shredded calendar made up of broken :15 and :30 spurts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Augie Ray (Forrester) loves social media but he is getting sick of 8 things in particular.

Augie Ray from Forrester loves social media but there are a few things he is getting sick of. I think we all share some of the same frustrations, but I found the 'backlash' items to be most insightful.

Amplify’d from blogs.forrester.com
  • 8. Auto DMs:  I've been down this road in past blog posts, so there's no need to revisit the topic, but the flood of self-serving, generic messages in my Twitter "in box" gets in the way of personalized and valuable messages I receive. I hope more people will heed the results of our recent survey about Auto DMs.  

  • 7. Peer Pressure:  It's inevitable that digital social channels will suffer from the same problems as analog social channels, and peer pressure is one of those problems.  It's uncomfortable to reject people who wish to connect, follow or friend; it's even worse to sever those ties once they're made.  Last year I slimmed down my Facebook friends and was guilted into refriending a person who I've met only twice and have had no contact with in over 12 months.  (Of course, the fact I was guilted into refriending is more my problem than her's.)  I did not participate in Jimmy Kimmel's National UnFriend Day, but I appreciate the serious sentiment underlying the humor: As Kimmel has said, friendship is sacred and Facebook can cheapen it (but only if we let it by friending hundreds of people with whom we have only passing familiarity.) 

  • 6. Narcissism: I've long disdained those doubters who dismiss Social Media as a haven for narcissists, but that doesn't mean narcissism isn't alive and well in social media. There are many different kinds of narcissists in social media: There are Snow White Narcissists who every day sing about the greatness of their lives, the brightness of their futures and their thankfulness for every sunrise, budding flower and drop of rain. There are Stuart Smalley Narcissists who obsessively announce how much others think of them by thanking every new follower or retweeter or announcing when they're added to Twitter lists. And then there are Sméagol/Gollum Narcissists whose bipolar status updates vary wildly—one day it’s party pictures and tales of wonderful friends and places; the next day it’s how much they hate their jobs, the bus driver or their lives. By definition, all narcissists focus on themselves rather than others, which is what makes them so tiresome in social media.

  • 5. Check-Ins:  Someday, check-ins (from Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla and others) will be very valuable information that signal a person has true affinity and is an active customer of a business, but today the flood of one-off check-ins is nothing but meaningless noise in social channels.  While marketers may want customers to blast messages to every friend each time they complete a purchase or visit a location, no one can possibly care when their friends are getting gas, grocery shopping or eating an ice cream cone. A single check-in is generally useless data but 20 check-ins demonstrate true affinity that one's friends may find helpful and worthwhile.  The sooner Facebook and others can turn the stream of check-in data into affinity information, the better.

  • 4. Facebook haters:  I get it:  Facebook is big, has access to a lot of personal info, and monetizes that data.  Now get over it.  We can hold Facebook responsible for ethical and legal behavior and appropriate transparency without bashing its existence and success.  With Facebook accounting for one in four page views in the U.S. and capturing more time than any other web property (including Google, which encompasses that classic timesuck, YouTube), the time has come to stop griping and start advising. Those concerned with privacy must start counseling people on how to protect themselves on Facebook rather than complaining about Facebook, and professionals in the social media or marketing field must engage on the platform adopted by 500 million users rather than hold it at arm’s length. 

  • 3. The search for easy social media answers:  Social media is new, evolving and confusing, so it’s understandable many people and businesses would struggle with its opportunities and challenges, but that should be no excuse for seeking easy answers.  Nothing that matters to long-term success is ever easy, and there are (almost) no universal best practices that may be applied for every product in every category for every audience.  Just as there is no single print strategy, television strategy or web strategy that works in every instance, nor will there be a universal social media strategy.  From audience identification to goal setting to ROI measurement to execution, every organization’s social media strategies will be unique.  By all means, learn from what competitors and others are doing, but recognize that true strategic benefits will only accrue to those who commit to differentiation through learning, experimenting and iterating.

  • 2. Claims of social media backlash and fatigue:  I’m hearing tales of people tired of social media who are pulling back or opting out completely, but those seem to be exactly that—tales and not fact.  For every rare individual who exits from social media, dozens more enter or deepen their engagement.  While some complex social behaviors are stalling in the U.S., Forrester data demonstrates the number of people maintaining a profile in social networks continues to grow.  Before you buy into any claims that some are tiring of social media, consider two things:  The first is how inherently social humans are, and the second is how much social media has evolved and will continue to change.  Just as the Internet of 2010 is a very different beast than the Internet of 2000, we can expect the same sort of evolution and growth in social media in the years to come. The social tools of 2015 will be easier, more personalized, more useful and more valuable, and people will not be less social in the future than they are today. Look for engagement to increase, not diminish, as tools improve.

  • 1. What's the next big thing?  This is one of the most common questions I’ve been asked since joining Forrester a year ago. We all love new things and want to be on the cutting edge, but focusing on some hypothetical post-Facebook and -Twitter world gets in the way of attending to the very real things that must be done today. Obviously, there will be a “next big thing”—perhaps it will be geolocation, mobile, cloud, the semantic Web, interactive TV, augmented reality, nanotechnology, serendipitous search, or some combination thereof—but let’s walk before we run!  It does a company no good to speculate or bet on the “next big thing” when they haven’t yet cracked the code on listening to customers, responding, engaging and fostering advocacy in today’s most popular social channels.  For the vast majority of organizations and people, the next big thing IS social media and will be for years to come.
Read more at blogs.forrester.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

300 Years of fossil fuel in 300 Seconds

Well done.

Amplify’d from www.youtube.com

300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds
See more at www.youtube.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interesting @forrester 's @mgualtieri on how Java will not survive new biz reqs and a bungled presentation tier.

Mike makes an interesting case here to look for better ways to develop applications - simpler, faster ways to develop against increasingly complex business requirements. The data shows continued growth for Java of course, but Mike counters this saying that 'data can only show us what has happened' and that the combination of emerging tools and BPM play a significant role in how change will come about.

Amplify’d from blogs.forrester.com

Forrester data reveals that Java is still firmly planted in enterprise IT shops for custom-developed applications. (See Figure). But, data always tells us what happened in the past and does not predict the future. Application developers should also not make the mistake that adoption means goodness.

Java is not going away for business applications, just as COBOL is not going away. Java is still a great choice for app dev teams that have developed the architecture and expertise to develop and maintain business applications. It is also an excellent choice (along with C#) for software vendors to develop tools, utilities, and platforms such as BPM, CEP, IaaS, and ECP. Software such as operating systems,  databases, and console games  are still mostly developed in C++.

Java development is too complex for business application development. Enterprise application development teams should plan their escape from Java because:

  • Business requirements have changed. The pace of change has increased
  • Development authoring is limited to programming languages. Even though the Java platform supports additional programming languages such as Groovy and  JRuby, the underlying platform limits innovation to the traditional services provided by Java. You can invent as many new programming languages as you want, but they must all be implementable in the underlying platform.
  • Java bungled the presentation layer. Swing is a nightmare and JavaFX is a failure. JSF was designed for pre-Ajax user interfaces even though some implementations such as ICEfaces incorporate Ajax. There is a steady stream of new UI approaches reflecting Java lack of leadership in in the presentation layer.
  • Java frameworks prove complexity. Hibernate, Spring, Struts, and other frameworks reveal Java’s deficiencies rather than its strengths. A future platform shouldn't need a cacophony of frameworks just to do the basics.
  • Java is a 20 year old language based on C++. Is this really the best way to develop enterprise business applications?
  • Java’s new boss is the same as the old boss. Oracle’s reign is unlikely to transform Java.Oracle’s recent Java announcementswere a disappointment. They are focused on more features, more performance, and more partnerships with other vendors. So far, it appears that Oracle is continuing with Sun’s same failed Java policies.
  •  Java has never been the only game in town. C# is not the alternative. It is little more than Java Microsoft style. But, there are new developer tools such as Microsoft Lightswitch and WaveMaker. And traditional, but updated 4GL tools such as Compuware Unifaceand Progress OpenEdge. And don’t forget about business rules platforms, business process management (BPM), and event processing platforms that enable faster change offer by enterprise software vendors such as IBM, Progress, TIBCO, Software AG.
What It Means: Application Development Teams Must Find A Better Way To Develop Apps

Many enterprise application development teams are already using a combination of tools and technologies to overcome the complexity and inflexibility of Java applications. BPM is used to quickly define and change business processes, collaboration suites like Sharepoint and Lotus are used to respond to the increasing demands of long-tail apps. Progress Software’s responsive process management (RPM) combines the best of BPM and business events to help businesses respond to real-time events and change business processes. This is just a small sampling of the next generation tools of business application development tools

Read more at blogs.forrester.com

Customer experience momentum...blog post from @dawnamaclean

I had the opportunity to present alongside Forrester's Megan Burns ( @mbcxp ), Adobe's Sydney Sloan ( @sydsloan ) and Further Ahead leader Derek Featherstone ( @feather ) at this event. Often self-critical when in presentation mode, I am overtly aware of incongruous messaging and differences in the approaches that speakers will take.

In this case though, I tend to agree with Dawna's assessment that the day had a good flow and the audience stayed engaged even when we (I, really ;-) went over the allotted time. I was more concerned initially about overlap in the sessions but in the end the overlaps provided handshakes which is always ideal, even if you didn't really plan it out that way.

Thanks for a great post/review, Dawna.

Amplify’d from dawnamaclean.com

Eyes are opening.  The signs are everywhere, appreciation and awareness of the relevance of customer experience continues to gain momentum.  Last week I had the privilege of attending an Adobe Customer Experience Seminar in Toronto.  It was a diverse audience from differing industries.  While few attendees had extensive previous exposure to this topic, they all came eager to learn.  The day began with Megan Burns, Principal Analyst of Forrester, talking about The State of Customer Experience.  If that sounds familiar, I blogged about her presentation back in September when she spoke at the Adobe Partner Partner Community Day in NYC.  I recommend taking the time to watch it now if you have not already seen it.  I was excited to see that Megan had added emphasis on the the importance of employee experience, in fact this was strongly echoed in the following two presentations.  Customer experience and employee experience are tightly coupled, a sustained positive customer experience requires a positive employee experience so I am pleased to see this start to take center stage in customer experience discussions.

Read more at dawnamaclean.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cut through the cookie madness to stop data leakage.

The pattern implicit in ushering used in a controlled fashion could be key. Either way perhaps some type of tag aggregation and tightly controlled data sharing seems prudent.

Amplify’d from www.mediapost.com

If publishers don't start making the most of the data they collect on user behavior, then someone else already piggy-backing on their site will. As cookies start flying every which way to feed this complex ad-targeting infrastructure online, the big topic for content providers is "data leakage." Who is collecting data on a publisher's users via third-party cookies and without the publisher's knowledge or consent? We have already seen this year some yield optimizers try to service this worry among their publisher partners. A new category of tag/cookie containers has cropped up, promising to give publishers greater control over the tracking pixels and cookies that get planted on their site.

How bad is the problem? While admittedly an interested party, one solution provider in the category, Krux Digital, claims in a new study that an analysis of the top 50 publishers online shows they may be losing between $850 million to $1.2 billion to third parties. The ad network ecosystem is monetizing data that the publishers should be using more effectively rather than sharing indiscriminately. "Publishers are being technologically outmatched on the buy side when it comes to targeting and leveraging their unique assets to their fullest purpose," says Ben Crain, vice president of marketing and corporate development, Krux. Crain says Krux has the data to prove it. In late summer the company started analyzing a sample of URLs across the top 50 sites to see what data collection was being done, whether it was on the page itself, in an iframe, or from an ad call. Krux found 167 different entities participating in data collection on these sites.

Almost a third (31%) of data collection on a page was being done by a third party, and in many cases by yet another party whose tracking tag or cookie was being "ushered" in by the most apparent third party. In fact, over half (55%) of the third parties also brought at least one other data collector with them. The sheer volume of the entities involved across so muchinventory has to cause some concern among publishers about who is sharing with whom. How much knowledge does a content owner have of the embedded partners in a cookie?

Read more at www.mediapost.com

Multitouch Kinect hack...bit o' Minority Report style.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Use case maps: casual scenarios, architectural entities or behaviour patterns?

The basic idea of UCM is very simple and is captured by the phrase causal paths cutting across organizational structures. The realization of this idea produces a lightweight notation that scales up, while at the same time covering all of the foregoing complexity factors in an integrated and manageable fashion. The notation represents causal paths as sets of wiggly lines that enable a person to visualize scenarios threading through a system without the scenarios actually being specified in any detailed way (e.g. with messages). Compositions of wiggly lines (which may be called behavior structures) represent large-scale units of emergent behavior cutting across systems, such as network transactions, as first-class architectural entities that are above the level of details and independent of them (because they can be realized in different detailed ways).

  • Requirements engineering and design of:

    • Real-time systems
    • Object-oriented systems
    • Telecommunication systems
    • Distributed systems
    • Business processes
    • Multimedia systems
    • Agent systems
    • E-health systems
    • Aspected-oriented models

Read more at jucmnav.softwareengineering.ca

Friday, November 12, 2010

Manage development in the cloud - Floruit labs.

Amplify’d from www.readwriteweb.com

Floruit Labs These days you can do pretty much everything in the cloud - why not manage your entire development process there too? Many are already using GitHub or hosted SVN solutions, so the concept isn't radical. Cloud hosting can ease collaboration outside the firewall - whether that's with remote team members or business partners or clients. Floruit aims to give developers and managers a unified view of projects by uniting offering a single Amazon AWS hosted SaaS suite that includes bug tracking, change management, knowledge management, etc.

The tool is built almost entirely on Adobe, using Flex and ColdFusion for the backend and Flash and AIR for the front end. Floruit also has a beta connector for LiveCycle. So for Adobe-centric develops, this suite could make a lot of sense. Adobe-haters might want to run away quickly.
VP Technology Strategy Gwen Pope says most companies that adopt solutions like find that developers end up abandoning it and using their own tools and managing things in an ad-hoc fashion. That's an opportunity for Floruit. The biggest competition Floruit will face will likely be from hosts of Atlassian products like JIRA and Confluence.
Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

Monday, November 08, 2010

Erik Hersman (Interaction 11 keynote speaker) on design in Africa. A Johnny Holland interview.

Johnny Holland posted an interview today with Ushahidi founder Erik Hersman, one of the Interaction11 conference keynote speakers. JH talked with Erik about his hopes and dreams for crowdsourcing, and the role interaction designers can play in fulfilling that dream. Erik also talks about how he wants to touch on some of the constraints and cultural differences impacting design in Africa.

Amplify’d from johnnyholland.org

Recently we got a chance to interview Erik Hersman. He is the co-founder of Ushahidi, a web application created to map the reported incidents of violence happening during the post-election crisis in Kenya.

For those who don’t know you. Could you please introduce yourself?

Certainly. I grew up in Africa, Sudan and Kenya to be exact, and I live here in Nairobi with my family. I’m intrigued by the way technology helps us overcome inefficiencies in the system, of which we have our fair share on the continent. This led me to start blogging at WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget many years ago, and it was the driver for me co-founding Ushahidi and building the iHub this year.

Read more at johnnyholland.org

Thursday, November 04, 2010

UX becomes a genuine layer, not a tarpaulin

This is consistent with the message and direction our teams at Adobe are working on. As Erik Larson, a colleague in product management that is driving a lot of this hints at in the post (after the link) we have already started to deliver solutions and consulting/partner-lead projects that prove out the benefit of a true layer and our architecture is increasingly reflective of this.

Amplify’d from blogs.forrester.com

In the last few years, many teams have learned a new attitude. Instead of treating UX as a tarpaulin, thrown over the application to clumsily hold it all together, UX is as much a part of the system as the technical architecture or the application logic.

In fact, the newly-discovered appreciation for UX has proceeded far enough that it's time to start treating UX as its own application layer. That's what Erik Larson of Adobe argued at a discussion between Adobe and industry analysts about a month ago. Larson's basic point was that UX is an intrinsic part of the application, not an extrinsic afterthought. It not only defines the face of the application that the user sees, but it also may include the sensors that detect and record how that person uses the application. (That actually sounds like two layers, not one, but there's no need to split hairs just yet.)

Traditionally, measuring usage was something that IT departments did – and not as frequently as they should– to gauge the return on their technology investment. Now, with the advent of SaaS, actual usage is a powerful business imperative for both customers and vendors. Customers still want to measure the return on their investment, measured in number of active licenses and other obvious statistics. Vendors, too, want to calculate the value of their investments, measured by the number of users who have accessed new features or the percentage of trial users who become paying customers.

Read more at blogs.forrester.com

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Impure: A data visualization programming language for non-programmers (still in Alpha)

Love the term Visualizators to describe the 'component' that recieves external data sources, visualizes them, and returns emitters that can in turn be used as input to another module.

This looks very promising and Bestiario certainly is already one of the leaders in this space. Waiting for alpha approval at which point I will return actionable insight from the experience consumed.

Amplify’d from infosthetics.com


Impure [impure.com] is a new visual programming language aimed to gather, process and visualize information. Developed by Bestiario, a Spanish information design start-up, Impure aims to bridge the link between 'non-programmers' and data visualization by linking information to programmatic operators, controls and visualization methods through a new visual and modular interface.

Impure allows the acquisition of information from different sources, ranging from user-specific data to popular online feeds, such as from social media, real-time financial information, news or search queries. This data can then be combined in meaningful ways using built-in interactive visualizations for exploration and analysis.

Based on an event-based development structure, the software consists of 5 different modules.

1. Data Structures, which hold data coming from a data source (e.g., Number, String, List, etc.).

2. Operators, which have 1 or more receptors that enable the system to perform a specific operation (e.g., addition or subtraction).

3. Controls, which act as dynamic filters (e.g., interval selectors).

4. Visualizators, which receive data structures from operators or controls and visualize it. They usually return emitters on selected visual objects that can be used as input into another module.

5. APIs that allow real-time communication with various data sources such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Delicious, Ebay, etc.

Read more at infosthetics.com

Remove 1 data field. Increase profit by $12M. tx @monkchips

Amplify’d from www.silicon.com

Online travel firm Expedia has found that data analytics can deliver a multi-million dollar kick to a company's bottom line.

The company used analytics to identify a single change to a web page that generated an overnight surge in sales, Expedia's VP of global analytics and optimisation Joe Megibow told the Premier Business Leadership Series conference in Las Vegas last week.

Expedia analysts realised the site needed to be changed after investigating why many customers who clicked the 'Buy Now' button on the company's site did not complete the transaction.

After putting in their bank name, these customers then went on to enter the address of their bank, rather than their home address, in the address field.

"When it came to address verification to process the credit card, it failed because it was not the address of credit card holder," Megibow said.

"After we realised that we just went onto the site and deleted that field - overnight there was a step function [change], resulting in $12m of profit a year, simply by deleting a field.

"We have found 50 or 60 of these kinds of things by using analytics and paying attention to the customer."

Are we seeing things through and making sure that what we are doing is worth something?Read more at www.silicon.com

Top 10 signs of deprecated geek-dom.

11. Not re-posting or linking to this article.

Amplify’d from www.zdnet.com
10. Admitting that you like iTunes
9. Not knowing the difference between binary and hexadecimal
8. Not knowing what MMORPG stands for
7. Loving your cable or telecom company
6. Not knowing the name of the book that Blade Runner was based on
5. Confusing Star Wars and Star Trek
4. Believing the “free” in open source refers to price
3. Defending Facebook for its privacy transgressions
2. Taking something into Geek Squad to get fixed
1. Buying a paper computer book at Barnes & NobleRead more at www.zdnet.com

Who is responsible for collaboration?

Everyone should be responsible for effective collaboration and proper use of social media in the enterprise but the policy and corporate commitment has to come from somewhere. Increasingly it seems to be less about share of voice and more about share of mind or share of wallet, and this has an impact on where we see leadership thriving.

Amplify’d from www.zdnet.com

For many businesses, having a leader responsible for that oh-so-critical business activity: teamwork, seems like a smart one given the low levels of cross-functional teamwork that actually takes place in many organizations. In the end, good collaboration needs conscious effort and encouragement.

Where can Enterprise 2.0 Leadership Be Found? CIO, COO, CFO or HR, Corporate Communications, Strategy or Project Leads and Change Champions?

In reality however, lack of broader interdepartmental cooperation and teamwork is felt to be endemic to many workplaces. As I’ve covered in the past about the challenges of implementing Enterprise 2.0 and fostering collaboration in organizations that don’t do it naturally, there are often many reasons why collaboration is hard to do or not happening enough.

Read more at www.zdnet.com

Content, meet Apps. Apps - Content.

Watching the #dayignite stream flare up on Twitter this morning reminded me of some coverage on our track at Max, specifically Craig Randall's ( http://twitter.com/craigsmusings ) talk around next generation experiences with Day and Adobe LiveCycle. CMSWire was at the session and did a great job of summarizing some of the key takeaways. More details after the jump:

Amplify’d from www.cmswire.com

CEM Is All Around

As I said before, if you’re wondering about how Adobe and Day will fit together, one thing you need to keep in mind is Adobe’s focus on customer experience. (And, probably, also warm up to the CEM acronym).

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is a complex term and includes how organizations engage with customers, how customer experience is delivered. It’s even about internal to the organization customer experience management.

A CEM platform aims to address every touch point – from physical branches, points of sales, web apps, statements to call centers, mobile apps, social media. It is well beyond WCM and has a lot more apps, content and interaction points.

Adobe has a slew of products. Day has several as well. And the landscape looks like this:

adobe and day customer experience.jpg
From the “When Content Meets Applications” session at Day Ignite

The premise of the conversation was around a significant gap between content and applications.

Even though stakeholders may not (yet) realize this, the gap is there, but they need to be able to deliver consistent compressed brand moments to all facets of experience.

Currently, such challenges as non-intuitive experiences, inconsistency across channels, lack of contextuality all lead to low conversion rates and lost revenues.

Read more at www.cmswire.com

Monday, November 01, 2010

Co-design virtually. Energise the groundswell.

Interesting post from Nathanael Boehm at http://purecaffeine.com around using social collaboration tools as part of the co-design process. I think we take virtual tools for granted if we use them a lot and design processes could suffer if not built from the ground up to be executed socially.

Amplify’d from www.purecaffeine.com

The use of consultation approaches that involve social interaction between participants requires careful consideration of the desired, probable and possible social outcomes of bringing together a group of people regardless of whether it’s in-person or online. You can’t take a focus group model and shove it onto a web forum with the assumption it will work the same way.

Social media — blogs, forums, wikis, social multimedia, social voting etc — isn’t alone in suffering from the problems of ‘distance’ between researchers and participants. Traditional tools such as surveys, suggestion forms etc also have this problem but it’s less visible than in social media where participants can share their opinions with others and influence perceptions.

The benefit of running a consultation through social media is that people can build tribes and rally support behind their ideas and for you, making your job easier and saving you from the failure of misinterpreting how to prioritise people’s requests. Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li refer to this as ‘energising the groundswell’ in Groundswell. If you screw it up, those same community leaders will work against you. Establishing a community can also create barriers to entry for new participants … if they can’t see where they can jump into the conversation they won’t contribute at all – something you could have avoided with a traditional consultation.

One idea I do have is to establish mock customer co-design workshops using staff masquerading as customers in a role-playing exercise. It provides a safe environment to determine potential customer response to presenting certain ideas or in this case provides a safe environment for inexperienced staff to go through the motions without the risk of affecting the agency’s and Government’s reputation with customers.

Read more at www.purecaffeine.com