Back in 2007, Scott Berkun wrote a really interesting essay on Creative Thinking Hacks. In the article he suggested all of us possess everything necessary to be more creative. The problem is we’ve been trained away from our creative instincts by schools, parents, movies, workplaces and now the unerring distraction of the World Wide Web. Read more – ‘Creative Thinking Hacks’.
For some of the online world’s compulsions, we have only ourselves to blame. Think about email: In the past few years, we’ve arrived at an equilibrium point where everyone expects everyone else to be on email all the time. For most people, this isn’t a good thing. One of my friends, the business analytics expert […] Read more – ‘Dan Ariely on How We’re Gaming Ourselves’.
You, like many people, aren’t stupid, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life that you can be fooled. Since the dawn of time, the best salespeople, rightly or wrongly, have been known to exploit vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the human mind to their own gain. Read more – ‘You’re Being Gamed’.
In an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty, the one source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge. When markets shift, technologies proliferate and products become obsolete almost overnight, successful companies are those that consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely throughout the organisation and quickly embody it in new technologies and products. Read more – ‘The Certainties of Knowledge’.
Social media is relationship and conversation media. At its core is the art of building relationships with others, human-to-human. However, you can’t be everywhere conversing with everyone at the same time. You need to pick your battles. Where you "hang out" digitally, just like any outreach and marketing program, should be driven by where your constituency hangs out. Read more – ‘Steps to a Strong Brand’.
In early April, Twitter launched Promoted Tweets, combining paid and organic media. Brands can now advertise promoted tweets on search pages, however the community has power over which Tweets will appear measured by Twitter’s new metric called “resonance”, which factors in behaviours like the retweets, @mentions, #hashtags and avatar clicks. Brands can now purchase CPM based adverts to promote these popular tweets at the top of a Twitter search term — even in categories they aren’t well known in, influencing awareness. Read more – ‘What Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Business Model Means to the Ecosystem’.
Social media marketing has three important aspects. The first revolves around creating buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or blog entries that attract attention, and become viral in nature. Buzz is what makes social media marketing work. It replicates a message through user to user contact, rather than the traditional method of purchasing via an advert or promoting a press release. The message does not necessarily have to be about the product. Many successful viral campaigns have gathered steam through an amusing or compelling message, with the company logo or tagline included incidentally. Read more – ‘Thoughts on a Social Media Marketing Strategy’.
The Cluetrain Manifesto – written in 1999 by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger – is a set of 95 theses organised and put forward as a manifesto, or call to action, for all businesses operating within what was suggested to be a newly-connected marketplace. Read more – ‘The Ninety-Five Theses of Conversation’.
Whether you’re keeping up with family members or growing your company’s brand, social media has become integral to many aspects of our lives. And it’s getting harder to keep up. Here are some ebooks that can get you started on your path towards social media success or help you kick things up a notch if you’re already active on the social Web. Read more – ‘15 Free eBooks about Social Media’.
Customer wooing styles: People often ask the difference between how a public relation expert goes about wooing customers versus an ad agency, a designer, etc. In his top-selling book Zag: The No. 1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands, Marty Neumeier summarizes the differences in this tongue-in-cheek visualisation. Read more – ‘The No. 1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands’.
The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma described in an influential article by that name written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968. The article describes a situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately destroy a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest for this to happen. Read more – ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’.
The September 2009 UK edition of Wired ran an interesting article, carrying the same title as this post, by futurist Peter Schwartz. In the article, Schwartz proposed a 5 step plan to predicting and therefore safe guarding your future. Read more – ‘Plan Your Future in Five Easy Steps’.
The buzz around cloud computing has reached a fever pitch. Some believe it is a disruptive trend representing the next stage in the evolution of the Internet. Others believe it is hype, as it uses long established computing technologies. As with any new trend in the IT world, organizations must figure out the benefits and risks of cloud computing and the best way to use this technology. Read more – ‘The Open Cloud Manifesto’.
One of Google’s mantras is to never settle for the best. The perfect search engine, says Google co-founder Larry Page, would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want. Given the state of search technology today, that’s a far-reaching vision requiring research, development and innovation to realize. Google is committed to blazing that trail. Though acknowledged as the world’s leading search technology company, Google’s goal is to provide a much higher level of service to all those who seek information, whether they’re at a desk in Boston, driving through Bonn, or strolling in Bangkok. Read more – ‘Google's Philosophy – Ten Things’.
Okay, so many of the points below aren’t purely my philosophy, but ideas and principles I have picked up along the way throughout my [development] career. Some relate to the UNIX philosophy, or even the Zen of Python, but wherever they’re from, they can be applied to many other domains. Read more – ‘My Work Philosophy’.
Four resources to consider when embarking on a new project: Precedent (who’s done it already and how?); External data; Internal data and knowledge; and, Educated guesses No. 4 is most valuable. After all, all the research in the world won’t tell you how to design it. (Source: Cameron Moll) Read more – ‘Embarking on a New Project?’.
A web community is a web site (or group of web sites) that is a virtual community. Web communities in recent times commonly take the form of a social network service, such as Facebook, Upcoming and Last.fm, an Internet forum, a group of blogs such as WordPress.com and Blogger, or another kind of social software web application. Read more – ‘The Four C's of Community’.
In the first part of this series I talked about setting yourself up in business. The next step is to publicise yourself and your skills. At this point, it is helpful to know exactly what line of work you want to be focusing on, since you will need to target your efforts. Read more – ‘Launching Yourself as a Freelancer – Publicity’.
You're an experienced designer or developer with aspirations to become a freelancer. Shrugging off the corporate cloak —"It's cosy! It fits well! You've had it for years!" — is becoming more and more common. Read more – ‘Launching Yourself as a Freelancer’.
Adobe has progressively been developing an online presence with Buzzword, Share, Brio and Photoshop Express. But the online presence falls short of important spreadsheet and presentation applications.
So who could the contenders be? Here are two extremely promising applications built on the Flash platform Read more – ‘Are these Contenders for Acquisition by Adobe?’.
Adobe is slowly but surely increasing its online presence with the addition of four web-based tools; Buzzword, Share, Photoshop Express and Brio. Although these four applications currently function independently from each other, they have very similar user interfaces and with a small amount of work, these tools could be tied together, offering a new and unique online suite worth noticing. Read more – ‘Adobe's Expanding Online Empire’.
Social network portability is one of several user-interface ideas and suggestions in the area of data-portability. As users, our identity, photos, videos and other forms of personal data should be discoverable by, and shared between our chosen (and trusted) tools or vendors. When you join a new site, you should be able to import or preferably subscribe to your profile information and your social network from any existing profile of yours. We need a DHCP for Identity. A distributed File System for data. The technologies already exist, we simply need a complete reference design to put the pieces together. This problem is solved by a number existing technologies and initiatives: Microformats, OpenID, OAuth, RDF, RSS, OPML and APML. Read more – ‘Data Portability for Social Networks’.
In the late 1990s, a large multi-national technology corporation, hoping to become a major force in online advertising, bought a small start-up in a sector that was believed to be the "next big thing". That corporation was Microsoft and the start-up was Hotmail. Hotmail and Microsoft established web-based email as a must-have application for personal use. The addition of Hotmail to the Microsoft inventory promised to increase the companies online revenues that were being dominated by Yahoo!, Google and AOL amongst a host of others. Read more – ‘Online Social Networks: Everywhere, Yet Nowhere’.
On the Web, a walled garden is an environment that controls the user's access to Web content and services. In effect, the walled garden directs the user's navigation within particular areas, to allow access to a selection of material, or prevent access to other material. Read more – ‘Open Standards: Break Down Those Walls’.
I’m not a big fan of the BBC’s recent website redesign! While I believe that a few structural and hierarchical elements could have been addressed better, the overall result of this redesign is too “Facebook” and Web 2.0 for my liking; exactly what an online news site does not need. Who are the BBC trying to appeal to? They have gone from being content centric to design and technology centric. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t understand the BBCs motivation for doing so. Read more – ‘BBC Appealing to the Facebook Generation’.
New Atlanta is announcing today, at CFUnited Europe - a ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) technology conference in London, U.K.- that they will be creating and distributing a free open-source Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) version of BlueDragon, their ColdFusion-compatible web application server. Read more – ‘New Atlanta Open-Sources BlueDragon’.
Adverse selection, anti-selection, or negative selection is a term used in economics, insurance, statistics, and risk management. On the most abstract level, it refers to a market process in which bad results occur due to information asymmetries between buyers and sellers: the "bad" products or customers are more likely to be selected. Read more – ‘The Principle of Adverse Selection’.
The Law of Demeter (LoD), or Principle of Least Knowledge, is a design guideline for developing software applications, particularly object-oriented programs. The guideline can be succinctly summarised as "Only talk to your immediate friends." The fundamental notion is that a given object should assume as little as possible about the structure or properties of anything else, including its sub-components. Read more – ‘The Law of Demeter’.
Unintended consequences are situations where an action results in an outcome that is not (or not only) that which was intended. The unintended results may be foreseen or unforeseen, but they should are the logical or likely results of the action. Read more – ‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’.
Rich Internet Applications are just the beginning. A key trend taking place throughout the Web industry is the urgency to integrate disparate systems and software tools to reduce costs, increase developer productivity, reduce the need for manual processing and intervention in transactions, and decrease time to market. To achieve these objectives, organisations have endorsed the adoption of standards-based systems combined with the migration to Web Services and Service Orientated Architecture. This has led to a requirement to create a consistent and intuitive interface to applications, data and services. The immediate goal of these efforts is to provide simpler, quicker and more efficient access and processing of information. Read more – ‘Future Directions for Rich Internet Applications’.
While Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) apply across a broad spectrum of industries and uses, one of their well-established merits is to allow a company to reduce the complexity that stands between where they are today with their traditional Web applications and where they want to be in the short to medium term. RIAs are consistently bringing companies closer to their vision of their application, closer to their customers, and closer to the business impact they believed the Web could actually have on their overall business model. This is expressed most clearly in what RIAs have allowed or enabled companies to do, namely provide Software as a Service (SaaS) as part and parcel of a Service Orientated Architecture (SOA). Read more – ‘Why You Should Consider Rich Internet Applications’.
The development of the internet and the web, and of search engines, has led to users doing their own searching. In the Web 2.0 environment users are now also doing their own content creation and information management. Because folksonomies develop in Internet-mediated social environments, users can discover who created a given folksonomy tag, and see the other tags that this person created. In this way, folksonomy users often discover the tag sets of another user who tends to interpret and tag content in a way that makes sense to them. The result is often an immediate and rewarding gain in the user's capacity to find related content. Read more – ‘Taxonomy of Folksonomies’.
The day of the emasculated Web 1.0 where the client-side was functionally poor, where the user interface was akin to the days of the mainframe computer, is rapidly diminishing and the new era of the Web 2.0 has yielded a new way of thinking. The demand for web applications, particularly in the business arena, is increasing at an exponential rate as the benefits of new technologies and paradigms are comprehended by the CTOs, CIOs and decision makers. Web interfaces have significantly restricted the interactive user experiences possible on the Web, and the ability of those Web applications to present increasingly complex information to the user, to date. Read more – ‘The Principles of Rich Internet Applications’.
The Internet has emerged from obscurity to become a dominant platform for application development and is integral to the idea of Software as a Service (SaaS). Unfortunately the demand to build applications of increasing complexity has continued to outpace the ability of traditional Web applications to represent that complexity and expectation. Utilisation of AJAX technologies attempts to reconcile some of the issues, but frequently the result is a frustrating, confusing or disengaging user experience resulting in unhappy customers, lost sales, and increased costs. Read more – ‘The Future of the Rich Internet’.
Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) combine the best user interface functionality of desktop software applications with the broad reach and low-cost deployment of Web applications and the best of interactive, multimedia communication. The end result is an application which provides a more intuitive, responsive, and effective user experience. Read more – ‘Rich Internet Applications – A Background’.
60,000 years ago people began to speak. 5,000 years ago people began to write. 600 years ago people began to publish. 47 years ago people began networking computers together. 15 years ago Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. Its all pure, clear, free, unregulated information. No middleman, you produce, you distribute it. However, net neutrality and the internet as we know it is under threat from the big corporates. It happened with the press, it happened with radio and now its happening with the internet. "You know who won't be able to pay, it is the little guys and you'll be crushing the future of inovation..." This video is a look at the history of the communication and where it's going next. Read more – ‘Humanity Lobotomy – Save the Internet’.
A while ago a colleague of mine asked me the question "Do you consider your self to be a leader or a manager?". Initially I responded that I thought myself to be a manager as an important aspect of my role is managing expectations, ideas and developments of an internal CRM system. However, a debate ensued as my colleague believed me to be more a leader than a manager and now I am not so sure which one I am! Read more – ‘Leader or Manager?’.
A new breed of Web-based data integration applications is emerging across the Internet. Colloquially known as mashups, their popularity stems from the emphasis on interactive user participation and the manner in which they aggregate third-party data. A mashup is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience. Mashups are an exciting genre of interactive Web applications that are characterised by, and draw upon, content and functionality retrieved from external data sources to create entirely new and innovative services. They are a hallmark of the second generation of Web applications widely known as Web 2.0. Read more – ‘Wise Up to Mashups’.
During the 1990s business leaders and venture capitalists grappled with how they would make money from the web. This was tipified by the two VCs, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital, investing $25 million in Google in the late 1990s; they new the search engine created by Sergey Brin and Larry Page was a winning formula, even though the pair had not yet monetised search. Bricks and mortar compaines were deemed "old hat" as the dotcom bubble was expanding. Companies such as eBay, Amazon and Yahoo! were at the forefront of every investors' chequebook. Every company needed a 21st Century "Blue Sky" web strategy; every company needed to do e-commerce. However, the bubble burst and everyone was brought down with a bang. Boo.com is a classic example of the fallout from the over speculation. Read more – ‘Drive Business Change with Web 2.0’.
Occam's Razor (also spelled Ockham's razor) is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae (law of succinctness). Read more – ‘Occam's Razor’.
Not quite Alex Tew's dollar-per-pixel advertising page that raised over a million dollars in just a few months, the Million Dollar Homepage, but Beggr brings internet money making scams to a new level! Read more – ‘Scrounging Web 2.0 Stylee’.