Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 27, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 27, 2012

Jul 30, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
AppFog lets you pick your cloud, (almost) any cloud (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  Are you interested in moving to the cloud but concerned about vendor and platform lock in?  Consider AppFog.  They have built a simple model based on standard Cloud Foundry to interface with the major cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace and HP.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



AppFog lets you pick your cloud, (almost) any cloud


By Barb Darrow


Big Idea: Are you interested in moving to the cloud but concerned about vendor and platform lock in?  Consider AppFog.  They have built a simple model based on standard Cloud Foundry to interface with the major cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace and HP.


GigaOm


July 25, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
The Future Belongs to Cloud-Networked Companies (Wired Cloudline)
Big Idea:  Beyond the total cost of ownership change that cloud systems provide to enterprises, the shift to the cloud is much more.  There is a shift from enterprise applications that were built for isolation to be more networked and connected in a cloud environment.

NextDoor, the social network for neighborhoods, raises $18.6M (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  Ever feel like social networks have actually drawn you further away from your neighbors and what is going on actually around you?  NextDoor is trying to change that by bringing the broader social network to what is going on right next door (no pun intended).  But will there enough interest?

What the mainstream media could learn from BuzzFeed (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  BuzzFeed, founded in 2006, has become the perfect blend of social content, real-time reporting and traditional editorial content selection. And they are growing a tremendous rate.

Pinterest, Tumblr and the Trouble With ‘Curation’ (NY Times)
Big Idea:  A different point of view on curation.  Is it truly a creative process or just the act of collecting content that has deep psychological problems that will lead people to be on the show “Hoarders”?

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending July 20, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending July 20, 2012

Jul 24, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
The Colorado shooting and the crowdsourced future of news (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  Twitter is enabling crowdsourced citizen reporting platforms like Reddit and Storify that provide instantaneous news as it breaks.  The real-time reporting of the Colorado shootings further solidifies Twitter as a media company.  There are of course risks as imposters post fake news, not that traditional media haven’t reported inaccuracies.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



The Colorado shooting and the crowdsourced future of news


By Mathew Ingram


Big Idea: Twitter is enabling crowdsourced citizen reporting platforms like Reddit and Storify that provide instantaneous news as it breaks.  The real-time reporting of the Colorado shootings further solidifies Twitter as a media company.  There are of course risks as imposters post fake news, not that traditional media haven’t reported inaccuracies.


GigaOm


July 20, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Amazon’s Pivot (Fast Company)
Big Idea:  A look at Amazon’s pivot from “selling stuff” to “making stuff” with its move into the eReader market with the Kindle.  Being the first mover, Amazon was able to put a strangle hold on the market while continuing to sell content via the Kindle Amazon market.

littleBits raises $3.65M to become the Legos of a new era (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  As Legos were for my generation, littleBits is trying to be the foundation for science and engineering learning.  By providing 28 different “bits” including sensors and power units, young engineers can satisfy their creative juices.  littleBit’s new funding should help with new distribution channels and new product extensions.

What WORA can tell us about the future of the cloud (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  Write Once, Run Anywhere was the mantra of the 90s with the rise of Java as an enterprise development platform and architecture.  Will Deploy Once, Scale Anywhere become the tagline of Cloud computing?  Standardization is a must for a technology to become ubiquitous.

4 keys to a successful mobile strategy (Gigaom)
Big Idea:  Looking to implement a mobile site for your organization?  Here are 4 tips on how to successfully rollout a mobile site or native application.  Don’t forget about analytics!

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 13, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 13, 2012

Jul 16, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Twitter is building a media business using other people’s content (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  What do you get when you turn data into information and ultimately knowledge?  You become a media company, or at least that is the direction Twitter is heading.  Transitioning from an infrastructure and communication platform will help Twitter monetize those 140 character tweets!

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



Twitter is building a media business using other people’s content


By Mathew Ingram


Big Idea: What do you get when you turn data into information and ultimately knowledge?  You become a media company, or at least that is the direction Twitter is heading.  Transitioning from an infrastructure and communication platform will help Twitter monetize those 140 character tweets!


GigaOm


July 11, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
What Exactly Is GitHub Anyway? (Techcrunch)
Big Idea:  Social coding or a social network for nerds?  GitHub is both.  And with a $100 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz, it has validated that there may be more to GitHub than just source control.  Can GitHub take over social content creation?

Speech recognition anyone? AT&T opens up Watson API (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  AT&T’s move to open up it’s speech recognition via an application programming interface to developers could be the catalyst that makes the mouse and touch screen a thing of the past.  Well maybe not, but it should allow for any software developer to embed speech recognition into their platform without expensive licensing fees.

New York starts turning payphones into free Wi-fi hotspots (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Finally a useful idea on how to replace a public payphone with wi-fi.  But this is just one of many efforts to provide free wi-fi.  I get the feeling that with too many options this will be more of a nuisance without a uniform infrastructure, especially when marketers are fighting for eyeballs.

The Sun Shines on ‘The Cloud’ (WSJ Online)
Big Idea:  100% up time is what we expect as consumers.  But with the recent Amazon cloud service outage that impacted companies like Netflix that is not the case.  So is cloud ready for primetime?  The answer is yes but the industry is still in its infancy and when compared to other utility growth like electricity, it is light years ahead.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 6, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 6, 2012

Jul 9, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Curation: How the Global Brain Evolves (Wired)
Big Idea:  Everything we do in the digital world is some form of curation.  From tweeting, posting to your wall, making a playlist to DVRing.  But retweeters have gotten a bad wrap as being the lowest form of social activity.  But it helps feed our networked lives to filter out the information from the noise.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



Curation: How the Global Brain Evolves  


By Evolve.fm


Big Idea:  Everything we do in the digital world is some form of curation.  From tweeting, posting to your wall, making a playlist to DVRing.  But retweeters have gotten a bad wrap as being the lowest form of social activity.  But it helps feed our networked lives to filter out the information from the noise.


Wired


July 5, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Why the days are numbered for Hadoop as we know it (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Hadoop is synonymous with Big Data and is being built out into the next generation of the enterprise infrastructure.  But just as Google helped spur the Hadoop ecosystem, they have moved on to new tools that work more efficiently process dynamic and changing data sets.

The Chicago Startup That Changed How Orbitz, Gap, And Obama Collect Your Data (Fast Company)
Big Idea:  Startup BrightTag is helping improve the infrastructure for tracking online behavior and analytics and many high profile players are taking notice, including the Barrack Obama campaign.  But will forthcoming privacy changes derail online marketing efforts?

Measuring An Employee’s Worth? Consider Influence (FastCompany)
Big Idea:  Is shifting from hard performance metrics likes number sales to social metrics like influence in our future?  Social software players like Salesforce, Yammer and National Field are all building “influencer” algorithms into their platforms to see which employees are most connected within an organization.  Salesforce has a leg up with the acquisition of performance management software Rypple.

Breaking Down Knowledge Silos with the Social Layer (CMS Wire)
Big Idea:  The idea of a “social layer” that percolates the transactional systems of an enterprise as social objects into a activity stream can help facilitate breaking down organizational silos.  But this paradigm is a shift from social software being a feature to a more integrated function across all systems within an organization.

Clarifying the Enterprise Social Software Market

Clarifying the Enterprise Social Software Market

Jul 3, 2012 | No Comments

Last week’s pick of the week was from David Carr on the topic of social software products and what they really do.  The article was based on a session that Tony Byrne facilitated at the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston.  There were some interesting topics discussed that highlight the current state (and confusion) associated with the enterprise social software space.

The first point by Byrne that is excellent to level set is the difference between collaboration software and social software.  Collaboration as Byrne defines is focused on two or more people jointly working on a shared task, document or activity.  SharePoint, love it or hate it, is the classic collaboration platform.  Social software is much more focused on the relationship, making connections and discovering other individuals.  As Byrne says, “this is about humanizing the digital experience”.  To add to that, most social software can help with the general “broadcast” type of communication.  Yammer is a good example of a social software platform.  And in case you have been living under a rock, Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Yammer to potentially add social capabilities to its collaboration platform.

The other interesting point was distinguishing the social platform players versus the more established collaboration software. Clearly the social platforms are younger companies that are considered “startups” by nature.  They also have followed more of the consumer trends and helped bring the capabilities of Facebook and Twitter into the enterprise.  I don’t agree with Byrne’s point of view that the enterprise social platforms are more immature.  Instead I think the way software is released by these startups is more inline with agile concepts that don’t focus on long software cycles and instead start with the minimum viable product (MVP).  Since most of these vendors are cloud-based it also affords them the opportunity to bring new features to the market faster.  No one does this better than Salesforce.com.  The difference for cloud software vendors is changing the face of the software industry.  It reminds me of something that Ellison said back in the 1996 PBS Documentary “Triumph of the Nerds”:

I hate the PC with a passion. Me going down to the store and buying Windows 95, I’ve got to get into my car drive down to a store buy a cardboard box full of bits you know encoded on a piece of plastic CDROM and you bring it home and read a manual install this thing – you must be kidding you know, put the stuff on the net – it’s bits, don’t put bits in cardboard, cardboard in trucks, trucks to stores, me go to the store, you know, pick the stuff out, it’s insane. OK I love the Internet – I want information you know it flows across the wire.

Larry was clearly right and predicted the future of software in a wired world.  Unfortunately it went a little bit further than he may have wanted and forced Oracle, along with the rest of the established enterprise software space, to play catch-up.

Ultimately unwinding the industry is difficult as each platform scrambles to either add collaboration or social capabilities and to what capacity.  Microsoft grabbing Yammer will be interesting to see how they decide to integrate the product, if at all, into their office suite or SharePoint platform.  But they are a perfect example of the blurring lines between collaboration and social.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 29, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 29, 2012

Jul 2, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Six Ways to Lower Your Technology/Application Debt (Big Fat Finance Blog)
Big Idea:  Rationalize your applications; eliminate software sitting on the shelf; virtualize your environment; consider open-source; transition to the cloud; modernize your application architecture.  These are all steps to eliminate your “application debt”.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



 Six Ways to Lower Your Technology/Application Debt  


By Alan Radding


Big Idea:  Rationalize your applications; eliminate software sitting on the shelf; virtualize your environment; consider open-source; transition to the cloud; modernize your application architecture.  These are all steps to eliminate your “application debt”.


Big Fat Finance Blog


June 28, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Classroom Lectures Go Digital (NYTimes)
Big Idea:  The revamping of education continues as digital content starts to dominate online.  There is a balance between accredited institutions and the digital learning platforms like TED-Ed and Khan Academy.  It is also the balance between $50K/year and free!

Do You Have the Digital Leaders You Need? (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea:  Is your company leadership highly digital?  Based on a study completed by Harvard Business Review, it is highly like that you leaders or your company would be what they consider “highly digital”.  How can you change the face of your organization and its digital understanding?

Hadoop pushes, pulls Big Data analytics into mainstream (Part Two) (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea:  Part 2 on Hadoop.  Interesting points related to the macro drivers of next generation BI and analytics.  Also two key drivers from a survey by Aberdeen: New analytic needs not well suited to existing data warehouse and growing number of data sources.

Cirro makes big data manageable with smart set of tools (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Making Big Data easily consumable is a big problem.  Cirro is trying to fix that by providing easy to use tools for non-technical users who are comfortable with Excel and break the reliance of IT.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 22, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 22, 2012

Jun 25, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Sorting Out What Social Software Products Really Do (the Brainyard)
Big Idea:  Collaboration and social networking are two different types of activities yet are typically joined at the hip.  The lack of distinction can create some confusion when evaluating the vendor landscape.  The best piece of advice is to take it slowly and perform experiments with different products until the right fit is found.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



 Sorting Out What Social Software Products Really Do  


By David Carr


Big Idea: Collaboration and social networking are two different types of activities yet are typically joined at the hip.  The lack of distinction can create some confusion when evaluating the vendor landscape.  The best piece of advice is to take it slowly and perform experiments with different products until the right fit is found.


the Brainyard


June 18, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
The future of news: Mobile, video, data — & crowdsourced (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Crowdsourcing, mobile, video and social are all helping change the way we get news and are challenging the traditional news outlets.   The Knights Foundation is funding the Knight News Challenge is helping identify these future content platforms.  Checkout the winners of the first round focused on platforms that leverage networks to aggregate and curate media.

Mid-sized Businesses Suffer a Social Media Gap (Inc.)
Big Idea:  The mid-sized business has not embraced social media the way small business and larger enterprises have.  Small businesses are forced to use social media to get their message out in an inexpensive method.  Large enterprises can take risks with social media and traditional advertising outlets.  But medium businesses are stuck in the area between and suffer for it.

Statistics Unmask Phony Online Reviews (MIT Technology Review)
Big Idea:  Have you ever been suspicious of reviews posted on sites like Amazon, Apples App Store or TripAdvisor?  Researchers have come up with a method to identify those reviews and ratings that are outside the typical distribution of scores.

Is Zaarly a good way to sell your services? (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Technology has been the great equalizer and has helped bring down transaction costs for areas like movie rentals, grocery shopping and online shopping.  Zaarly is attempting to the same for the process of procuring services.  See how buyers and sellers are engaging on Zaarly after only 3 months since their launch.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 15, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 15, 2012

Jun 19, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Social curation is much more than just a market (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Is digital curation here to stay or a bubble? Based on our love of creating and collecting, one would think the Internet is a perfect ecosystem to support curation.  Startups like Pinterest, with a $1 billion valuation, have exhibited curation is a much needed capability in a sea of digital content.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



 Social curation is more than just a market 


By Oliver Starr


Big Idea: Is digital curation here to stay or a bubble? Based on our love of creating and collecting, one would think the Internet is a perfect ecosystem to support curation.  Startups like Pinterest, with a $1 billion valuation, have exhibited curation is a much needed capability in a sea of digital content.


GigaOm


June 9, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
InfoArmy mobilizes the crowd to build business intelligence reports (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Crowdsourcing continues to find opportunities to create new businesses.  Jim Fowler, who created the crowdsourced contact database company Jigsaw, is now trying to do the same with business information and an army of distributed researchers.

Drilling Down: Does the ‘Freemium’ Model Really Work? (NY Times)
Big Idea:  Is “Free” really a business model?  Dmitri Leonov, from email inbox priority software company Sanebox, doesn’t think so.  Free can certainly grow your user base rapidly, but they are also a drag on a company since there is still an expected level of support.

Microsoft Gives Windows Azure Amazonian Facelift (Wired)
Big Idea:  Microsoft’s cloud service Azure is trying to catch up to market leaders like Amazon Web Service.  Azure has gotten a major facelift as Microsoft tries to provide more capabilities and recruit software developers to their platform.  And it’s not all about Microsoft tools as they try to woo open source software developers.

Can Software Drive Innovation? (Innovation Excellence)
Big Idea:  Can innovation be taught?  The answer is most likely no.  But organizations can introduce cultural and process changes that will help support innovation.  By giving employees the freedom of choosing their own “tools” like collaboration software, innovation can be ignited.

Privacy, Security and Anonymity

Privacy, Security and Anonymity

Jun 16, 2012 | No Comments

My pick of the week focuses on a potential new trend to move to more private 1 on 1 interaction and away from the open kimono of social media.  The idea of staying connected with individuals is really how platforms like Facebook were built around and so successful.  The number of people that I have reconnected with from my past because of FB is incredible.  But yet I always pause before sharing something since it is in a public forum (sometimes).

The topic of privacy, security and anonymity is a fascinating one.  As Quentin Hardy points out in his article “Rethinking Privacy in an Era of Big Data” these are 3 distinct areas that as consumers we should be concerned with and fully understand what we are giving up within the context of an online interaction.  The fact is that each of us are leaving our digital contrails everywhere from activities as simple as search to posting to Facebook to updating your profile on LinkedIn.  One of the use cases for Big Data is to start to piece these digital pieces together to better profile, advertise and sell to us as individuals.  This analytic capability is a marketer’s dream and a company’s gold mine.

One of the interesting areas to consider is how do website and application developers think about privacy as they build the next Twitter or Angry Birds.  Do you think Mark Zuckerberg wrote a privacy policy during the initial development of Facebook?  Do you think the thought even crossed his mind?  The fact is that startups don’t set out from day one considering the privacy implications of what they are doing within the context of “It”.  But as CEO of TRUSTe Chris Babel points out there are some things that startups can consider in the area of privacy when building websites and applications.  The challenge is technology is moving at a faster pace than privacy considerations.  That may all change as more government regulations are put in place.  The question will be can government keep up.

One hot area that will need to be addressed is children.  Today there are laws in place that protect children under the age of 13 in the U.S.  In the minds of some, this is an untapped treasure trove of “value”.  As Facebook starts to plateau on its potential number of adult users, children under the age of 13 represent a whole group of new users that could push them over the 1 billion mark.  In the last month Zuck has introduced this idea and believes it would be good for children to experience social media at a younger age.

It will be interesting to see how the topics of privacy, security and anonymity will evolve.  In the past 10 years we as individuals have let our personal guards down to participate in the social media universe.  As this has happened, companies have looked for and found ways to leverage this to their advantage.  Part of it is to improve their personalization and customization capabilities to us as consumers.  But they are also looking for ways to monetize our digital bird droppings.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 8, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 8, 2012

Jun 11, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Privacy, Please: This Is Only for the Two of Us (NYTimes)
Big Idea:  Privacy is the new social.  With the rise of openness and transparency in our every day lives, one on one interactions have become a thing of the past.  But for privacy concerns and the need for more direct interactions, apps like Pair are starting to gain in popularity.  It is also forcing already established platforms to rethink their privacy policies.

Article of the Week

Emerging Technology



 Privacy, Please: This Is Only for the Two of Us  


By Jenna Wortham


Big Idea: Privacy is the new social.  With the rise of openness and transparency in our every day lives, one on one interactions have become a thing of the past.  But for privacy concerns and the need for more direct interactions, apps like Pair are starting to gain in popularity.  It is also forcing already established platforms to rethink their privacy policies.


NYTimes


June 2, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
An App to Automate Life’s Little Tasks (Technology Review)
Big Idea:  What looks like an automation tool for Siri, Microsoft has created a task management app on{X} that allows users to build customized every day rules to help manage the chaos.  With the ubiquity of smart phones that collect activity data, Microsoft is trying to create value to the consumer that can make our lives easier.

10 ways companies are using Hadoop (for more than ads) (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  As Hadoop continues to become a household name (at least In nerd circles), it is important to understand the use cases of how the distributed computing platform is being used.  According to Cloudera their Hadoop distribution is being utilized across multiple industries including online travel, mobile, energy and fraud detection.

Fanning & Parker to launch Airtime: Here’s what we know (GigaOm)
Big Idea:  Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, the co-founders of Napster, have launched a new venture centered on social video chat.  Airtime will allow friends and random people connect via video.  The application is tightly integrated with Facebook .  The launch of Airtime was a random mixed bag and who’s who of celebrities.

Hurd Sells Oracle’s Cloud in the Oracle Style (NYTimes)
Big Idea:  Oracle announced this week that the company is moving aggressively into cloud computing.  Starting from a position of weakness in comparison to the already established players, Oracle has significant ground to cover.  Don’t count Oracle out as they continue to invest heavily to catch up.