Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A couple of good Enterprise 2.0 blogs

Along with Dion Hinchcliffe, another blogger who's been finding his voice recently on web 2.0 for the enterprise is Peter Rip of Leapfrog Ventures, who writes the EarlyStage VC blog. Here's what Peter wrote a couple of posts back:

I subscribe to the thesis of enterprises as a natural user of all this technology and have for a while. Companies are communities. Supply chains are social networks. A customer base is a community, albeit often not interconnected, except by indirect methods like lawyers and analysts. Shareholders are a community, often interconnected the same ways.

Very perceptive - and from this vantage point, absolutely correct.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Do you find out about all those groovy new conferences only after the event?

If so, this handy list of web 2.0/marketing 2.0 conferences through the end of the year may be just the information you need. Now where's my online travel planner?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Worth a read

Dee Rambeau at the Adventures in Business Communications blog pointed me to this interesting and well-written white paper (registration required) on the three ages of marketing: marketing 1.0 (one-to-many push communication of an undifferentiated message to the masses), marketing 1.5 (one-to-one push communication of a personalized message) and marketing 2.0 (many-to-many messy conversations between customers, advocates, critics, companies, the press and so on). The paper was written by Marqui, a marketing consultancy. They've got a pretty good blog, too.

Friday, April 28, 2006

New machinima equal in complexity to first Star Wars movie

I love machinima. Being a Halo addict and all, my favorite is this hilarious series. Now, Boing Boing brings us news of a mightily ambitious machinima series called Bloodspell, that's taken 10,000 man hours of work - 99% of which was donated freely by volunteers. According to BB,
The full film will be about the same scale as the first Star Wars movie in terms of number of sets, characters, and number and complexity of action sequences.
Bloodspell is made using the game Neverwinter Nights (elves, rangers, dragons, orcs etc). Here's a description of the plot:
A young monk named Jered flees the Church when his own Blood Magic is released. Now he must survive the pursuit of the Church, the gladiatorial pits of the Blooded underground, and the hidden truths of the ancient struggle. The choices he makes will tip the balance of the war between Church and Blooded, and change his world forever.

Dominic discovers the economics of podcasting

Over at the Investor Relations blog, Dominic Jones has been putting the boot into podcasting, citing cost and effort vs tiny audiences. (Curiously, Dominic is very upbeat about blogging. I guess it bolsters credibility if you appear more selective about the different flavors of Web 2.0.)

Now, Dominic discovers that earningscasts.com is offering to turn your analyst calls, investor days, broker conferences and annual meetings into mp3 files and burn an RSS feed for you, too - for free.

This kinda underscores my point, Dominic. Podcasting works because of the new economics of narrowcasting: it is an extremely cost-effective (and sometimes free) way for us to target niche content at niche audiences. Keep the costs down, and you can podcast successfully to an audience of 20 or less. I know plenty of people who do exactly that already.

The problem is, most of us continue to labor away as narrowcasters trapped in broadcast minds.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why are public broadcasters so far ahead of private ones in Web 2.0?

As if more evidence were needed, this news from the BBC confirms that it is streets ahead of most private broadcasters, newspapers and other traditional media outlets in adapting itself to the new realities of the read/write web. Mark Thompson, the public broadcaster's boss (or "director general", as the Brits call him) is quoted as saying:
There's a big shock coming.

The second wave of digital will be far more disruptive than the first and the foundations of traditional media will be swept away, taking us beyond broadcasting. The BBC needs a creative response to the amazing, bewildering, exciting and inspiring changes in both technology and expectations.

On-demand changes everything. It means we need to rethink the way we conceive, commission, produce, package and distribute our content. This isn't about new services it's about doing what we already do differently.

Well said, sir. But wait, there's more. Under the heading "active audiences", the Beeb notes that

Increasingly, audiences of all ages not only want the choice of what to watch and listen to when they want, they also expect to take part, debate, create and control. Interactivity and user generated content are increasingly important stimuli for the creative process
So what's the Beeb gonna do about this? Among the announcements: a relaunched website to cater to above-said trends, "easy access points" for audiences via "broadband portals" and learning from the world of video games.

Long-standing Beeb watchers won't be surprised by any of this: it's taken a strident lead in adapting the way it creates and distributes content to the emerging age of the information commons. So, for that matter, has the much smaller and poorer NPR, whose reporters' wholehearted embrace of podcasting has extended to helping amateurs record and distribute their own shows.

Contrast this with the prickly and often downright hostile attitude of newspapers and newspaper reporters to bloggers.

IAOC meeting Brussels June 15-16

My European colleague Philippe Borremans is rounding up the crowds for the first European meeting of the Internationl Association of Online Communicators. You can read my report from the IAOC's inaugural Valley Forge meeting here.

Brussels meeting topics include opportunities and limitations of weblogs, the changing role of the press release, the business case for RSS and managing an online crisis. Keynote speakers: Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, co-hosts of For Immediate Release. The Valley Forge conference was most interesting. The agenda for Brussels looks compelling too. Register here.

Benkler on the Wealth of Networks

I'm most of the way through Yochai Benkler's new 500-page tome, The Wealth of Networks, which is being variously touted as the most important book of the century, the "central text" of the new, information-commons based economy, etc, etc.

I've had mixed reactions. On the one hand, Benkler's robust treatment of the economics of what he calls "nonmarket" based peer production (ie, information goods produced via collaborative, not-for-profit efforts such as the open-source software community, Wikipedia and so on) comes as a welcome antidote to all those vapid Web 2.0 collabowikipodbloglongtail powerpoint presentations doing the rounds these days. He also does a good job teasing out the implications for public policy, from intellectual property law to telecoms regulation.

On the other hand, Benkler's examples in chief - Second Life, Wikipedia, Linux, etc - are all most familiar and much chewed over already. And like a lot of academics, his wordiness often cloaks meaning and hinders understanding. I mean, aren't there friendlier ways of telling us that the "structure of our information environment is constitutive of our autonomy, not only functionally significant to it"? Alas, Benkler's prose is chock full of contextual relevance delivering characteristic alternative postulates that balance institutional imperatives and asymmetrical proprietary incentives which facilitate radically decentralized schema in general and socio-economic distributive functions in particular. Sigh.

Having said that, I do like the stance he takes on technological determinism (Technology does not determine evolution. It is co-determined with culture, etc) and his assumption that the information commons will arise alongside for-profit, market-based production, and not replace it. Regardless of the rightness of this assumption, its practical bent is blessedly free of the ideology that clouds reason on both sides of this most important debate.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Awesome piece of interactive marketing

Thanks to Dee Rambeau for passing on this awesome Landrover site. It's a super-clever deployment of narrowcasting to extend the Landrover brand - tune into "Go Beyond" Landrover TV to celebrate "the spirit of adventure".

It's also an ambitious attempt to build a file-sharing community around a commercial brand. (Believe it or not, the best execution of this I've seen so far is from a dog-food company.) Stay tuned to watch videos of Mom deploying the LR3's advanced all-terrain systems technology to collect the kids from soccer practice.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Handy news music website

Thanks to Kevin Dugan, linking to Seth Godin, for alerting me to this handy news music website, and for planting a seed in my mind about my genealogy.

I love news music. So dramatic. So...Burgundy