Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reading :: Groundswell

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
By Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

Just a short review tonight. Groundswell is another social media book focused on how corporations, particularly marketers, can stop worrying and love social media. It's not a bad book, and I particularly liked the fact that much of it was based on research performed by the authors and their employer, Forrester, Inc. I also appreciated that the book tried to make sense of social media by deducing and presenting a strategic approach to using it within one's own business.

On the other hand, the book does not have a lot of new insights to offer. If you've read The Cluetrain Manifesto or Wikinomics, or for that matter Scoble's or Jarvis' blogs, there's not a lot of news here beyond some finer-grained work on strategy. And that grain is not that much finer: the book still speaks in very general terms. The book also relies heavily on stories and anecdotes, many of which have the shelf life of lettuce.

If you're interested in what this whole social technologies thing is about, Groundswell is not a bad place to start. But you may get more from reading a broad cross-section of tech blogs.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Are the British really worried about Google Street View?

It's condemned as a "gross invasion of privacy." This is from the country with more surveillance cameras per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Strategy in the Obama Campaign

Although the end of this analysis piece is negative (it's written by Karl Rove, after all), most of it is highly interesting. A master political strategist looks at the Obama campaign's ground game and sees several parallels to the Bush campaigns of 2000 and 2004.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Avatars teleport from SecondLife to OpenSim

IBM and Linden Labs have for the first time managed to teleport SL avatars to another virtual world, OpenSim. The thing that interested me was that both worlds appear identical -- they both look like Santa Barbara, CA. Why not make OpenSim look like someplace more interesting, like Mars or Austin?

Want to reproduce Twitter? Here's a crazy idea.

Just blue-skying here. Here's a crazy idea for replacing Twitter:

Use Google Calendar. Make your calendar public. "Tweet" by adding an event; if you simply text it to GCal, it's put in the calendar at the point you sent it in.

Have your friends do the same thing and share their GCals with you. Show all their calendars in your default view. You'll see your "tweets" and theirs in an ordered time stream. They'll also be auto color-coded, although you'll soon run out of colors.

  • Massive, distributed infrastructure.
  • SMS integration (upstream).
  • Many clients exist for desktop and mobile.
  • Can export to other services and perhaps import from other services.
  • Calendars (streams) will not be easy to scale.
  • No practical SMS integration downstream at present.
  • This is really, really not what GCal is designed to be used for.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Information overload!!!

There's yet another article on information overload, this time in the WSJ online. This one starts out with this sober warning:
Warning: On average, knowledge workers change activities every three minutes, usually because they're distracted by email or a phone call. It then takes almost half an hour to get back to the task once attention is lost. So if you're trying to read this column at the office or within range of your mobile device, what should be a few minutes can take much longer. Consider the rest of this article an 800-word test of your ability to maintain attention.
Okay, I'm having trouble parsing this. The casual reader might think that this means that once you get distracted, it takes 30 minutes to focus again. But if you're changing activities every three minutes, that means that in that 30-minute span you're cycling through ten activities. Right? So what is this business about "the task"? How are tasks defined? Does this string of ten activities represent several steps in a larger activity (like the Communication Event Models that Bill Hart-Davidson creates from studying knowledge workers)? Does it represent touching several different genres in a genre ecology, which collectively coordinate and mediate a larger work activity? Unfortunately we don't get any answers in the loose string of personal anecdotes that make up the bulk of this article.

Android comes to Sprint

Sort of -- enthusiasts have gotten it working on the Touch.