This is just a test post with my iPhone.
The thing I find most interesting about the so-called 'Web 2.0' movement is that it is more about people than about technology. There are a lot of great books out there on the subject, but I often find that they are out of context when it comes to large enterprises. Groundswell is an exception. The new book, written by two analysts from Forrester Research, is a useful tool to anyone struggling to understand the impact of the new ways people are using the web on business organizations, large and small. It surpasses my prior favorite book on the subject, Naked Conversations, by miles.
For one thing the authors, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, know what they are talking about. They use lots of examples from corporations and both large and small, to illustrate their points. Groundswell shows what works and what doesn't and gives business readers tools to understand the trends that are beginning to impact all companies and individuals as a result of the web 2.0 way of thinking. I particularly like the way that Forrester segments the users by activity, by age, and by location. The general descriptions of most web 2.0 books leaves most non-techies scratching their heads, but Groundswell breaks the activities of the social web into 6 categories, based on the activity that you do. They refer to this as 'The Social Technographics Ladder'. This categorizes users (or should I say participants?) into Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Sepctators, and Inactives. The book further goes on to list several different categories of each, based on Geography, size of business, or other factors.
I learned a lot by reading the book and the companion website, that was really useful. For instance, I knew blogs were popular in Japan, but did you know that 52% of online consumers in Japan read blogs, compared to 25% in the USA. Koreans don't like discussion forums (only 7% use them) as compared to Americans (18% use them for buying decisions and support). However, Koreans are joiners with 35% of them participating in social networks as compared with 25% of users in the USA, and 20% in Japan. The one gaping hole in the research is the lack of info on China, but I can't blame them. I know from personal experience that China is definitely embracing web 2.0 and other social technologies, especially if you count sites like Xiaonei and communities like Tencent's QQ. I'm sure somebody is working on a book to cover this market. If not, maybe I should write one. ;-)
Besides the case studies, of which there are many, the book also presents a very useful set of tools to develop responses to web 2.0. Li and Bernoff's method is simple, but useful. It sets out a POST - People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology - from which you can design a way for your organization to engage the communities that matter to you in meaningful ways. It also gives good advice about how to get started, presenting five objectives : listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing the community. Interestingly, not all companies employ all five objectives and designing the right mix and the right targets are key. The other thing I like about this book is the wealth of links in the footnotes, which are augmented by the companion website. Very handy if you are getting started and want to bootstrap your social bookmarks.
For the last 3 days I have been at the Australian Institute of Company Directors conference held near Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. It has been a remarkable conference and I have come away with many new friends and lots of insight.
One of the things that impressed me most is how much information there is to know about the various industries that make up Australia's economy and how connected it is to the world. Just like everywhere else, the focus on topics of importance like globalization, climate change, and technology were foremost in people's minds.
I had the chance to moderate a session with Ian Pearson, a well known futurist who was linked in via live video from Ipswitch in the UK. Also I tremendously enjoyed the Richard Scase, another leading futurist from the UK who was there in person. There were other sessions that were just as informative to me on Climate Change, Culture and lots of other topics.
Today I also was on a panel entitled 'Technology Prophecies for the Future' where we discussed and debated a wide variety of topics, which was moderated by Helen Dalley, one of Australia's most respected journalists. It was fun and energizing and I was honored to be part of the whole event.
I also shot some Qik video of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Underwater World, which was near the venue. You can find all the links to things I spoke about on my del.icio.us bookmark named 'AICD' which you can access by clicking here, or by typing the address http://del.icio.us/kwalsh/AICD into your web browser.
Thank you to everyone I met for the warm Aussie welcome, and the tremendous dialog. Definitely this was a first class event and I hope to come again.
I came across this presentation and I just had to share it.
When I was in college in the late 70's, everyone I knew was reading What color is your parachute?, once considered the ultimate career planning guide. I read it too, and it did help me figure out what to do with my life. These days, things have changed somewhat, but a lot of the lessons of my life are still true. One thing is for sure, I do believe that most people start their career looking for the wrong things, for the wrong reasons. Usually they succeed in finding exactly what they were looking for, sad to say. I know lots of miserable people who think they are successful just because they 'made it', whatever that means. But they are still miserable. I guess that's where the term 'miserable failure' comes from. If you fail and stay miserable, whose fault is it?
But I digress.
Garr Reynolds did a wonderful job to summarize Daniel Pink's new book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Need. Basically, Reynold's summary of Pink's thesis (my emphasis added) is :
I could not agree more. Great work, Garth and Daniel. You left an imprint on me for sure.
I wish someone had introduced me to Johnny Bunko 30 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of time in learning the best lessons of my (working) life. Now, where did i put my magic chopsticks?
I had a great session today with students from NUS-NOC (National University of Singapore - NUS Overseas College) entreprenur's association. My friend Murali Murgan also came along and gave a great talk about Agile.
I'm getting ready for my next trip, so I don't have time to write a lot here but I have give a Big THANKS! to Murali for taking his time and to the NUSEA folks who were there.
Jackson, did a QIK video of all of us at the end. Thanks Jackson!
I look forward to doing another meetup when I am in Singapore sometime around the week of the 19th May.
This week I have been at w2e and I have been doing more moblogging and twittering than ever. In the past I had used my other handsets which lacked a keyboard and found that it was just too hard to post anything longer than an sms. I guess thats why twitter is so successful. People in asia have been doing that for years, it is just harder to do group sms.
For twitter i used my E90 most of the time with cellity tweeter. I cound have used sms too, but once i got started i got used to tweeter and just stuck with it. It's probably not the best s60 3rd client out there though. I'd be interested in knowing what others are using.
I also tried to tweet from my N800 which runs maemo linux. It worked of course but lacks a client for twitter as far as i know. I had pidgin on it but need to configure it again after the upgrade to OS2008, which I havent had time to do. The other problem is the touch screen. I love touch for browsing and using stuff with big buttons. But when it comes to text entry it is tedious at best. It also does not pass my so-called "taxi test". Ever try to use a touch screen to enter a paragraph of text while riding in the back of a swerving taxi? It is frustrating at best and in some asian or sfo taxis it is impossible. Iphone addicts will soon discover this. Worst case scenario i could imagine would be to try and tweet/blog while riding an Ambassador with no shock absorbers while orbiting one of New Delhi's many roundabouts.
What is working pretty well is the mobile typepad blogging client I am using now. The guys at SixApart did a great job with this. I t beats Nokia's annoying lifeblog software by miles. So i am going to start using it more often.
That way I can keep my mind off the fact that the crazy taxi driver in the front of me seems to consider driving a cab to be a form of first person shooter game with me as part of the bullet.
It has been a super-busy week, but one that I have enjoyed tremendously despite several pressures and setbacks. My little mishap with my neck last week is getting better and best of all, the distraction of going to the web 2.0 Expo kept my mind off of it.
The best part of the week though, was meeting so many positive-energy people. I spoke with dozens of people who are all jazzed about what they are doing. The thing they all had in common was that they all have that 'change the world' look vibe and indisputable energy. They look like they are having fun. The thing that was different about this conference to me was how open people were. I talked to people about all sorts of things and came away energized too.
The presentations were mostly good to great, though there were some snoozers. Some of the panel discussions were lacking in content, but others were interesting. It was a great place to sample lots of different visual styles of telling stories without turning people into powerpoint zombies. I took lots of pictures, I twittered, I blogged, and I did a bunch of back channel stuff during the talks with friends old and new.
I learned so much that my head is spinning. But it is spinning in a good direction. I need to do th is kind of conference more often.
I also got lots of homework to do (besides my work work). For one thing, I met Clay Shirkey and am half way through 'Here Comes Everybody' . Then I ran into Charlene Li who did some great panel discussions and was kind enough to autograph a copy of 'Groundswell' for me.
And I turned 50 this week, and got more birthday greetings and wonderful wishes from everybody on FB, which really felt so nice. Thanks to everybody for that, I really feel humbled by your gestures.
And Best of all, I got some great birthday presents : 1) Good Health, 2) Great Friends old and new, and 3) a sense of purpose and growing energy in my life which I never felt as strongly nor valued as much as I do right now. I'm happy.