Though I'm not on the ground blogging from this year's IBM Information on Demand conference in viva Las Vegas, I'm certainly there in spirit, Flying Elvii and all.
A number of key announcements have already been made in the city of Lost Wages.
You can learn about those and much more here.
The highlights from Monday's Info on Demand include the industry's first universal database cache, new enterprise content management solutions, and enhancements to IBM's InfoSphere to help speed up master data management projects and provide tighter integration with our Cognos business intelligence tools.
Though the forecast for IBM's information management portfolio seems fair to midland, more clouds are moving in from the west, this time from Redmond in the form of Microsoft's "Azure" cloud platform announcement.
I thought I noticed a chill push in here overnight in Austin.
Of course, I'm all about the gadgets these days, for forecasting the weather, cloud movements and otherwise.
So I was most happy see there are some new gadgets that allow a person to view one's Google Calendar and Docs right there on the Gmail screen. That's definitely an idea whose time had already come.
Check it out on the Gmail Blog.
Technorati Tags: cloud computing, gadgets, info on demand, infosphere
It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm watching my Dallas Cowboys fall behind in the first quarter against Tampa Bay, so I decided it was time to do something productive and blog.
I went and voted yesterday. I mentioned on my Facebook profile it was kinda cool to be able to vote at a grocery store so I could also pick up a six pack on the way out.
I have no idea if my vote will count. It was on one of those electronic voting machines...God only knows where my vote ended up. Hopefully where I intended it to.
But in the meantime, I can probably find other like-minded and disgruntled voters through a new service offered by Radar Networks.
Called "Twine," the Web 2.0 startup is positioned as an "interest network."
I've been hearing more and more about the so-called semantic Web, where more and more content is categorized and shared according to a user's interests.
Twine seems to be headed in that direction. I signed up for the beta awhile back and just received my invite.
After entering an initial profile (yeah, that part's getting old, but I suspect the looming recession will start to dramatically decrease the number of new Web 2.0 sites I'll be inclined to register with!), I was offered up a number of "Twines" that had been started centering around the topics I had expressed interest in via my profile.
I liked the low investment required up front, from that perspective.
Then, it was up to me to navigate through them and express which one's I was interested in and wished to subscribe to. That part took a little more work.
Then, once I found those of interest, I could simply subscribe to the Twines I wish to follow either via the Web site or as RSS feeds.
But here's the further dilemma of my information overload: I don't have time to read the feeds I have today. Even with this great service, this thing is simply going to add to the infoburden I'm already unable to consume and don't have nearly enough time for.
So, as soon as someone figures out how to build a Web site that can add a few hours to the day, be sure and create a "Twine" and I'll be the first to subscribe.
Until then, I'll continue to try and take only small sips from the information firehose.
Technorati Tags: semantic web, twine, web 2.0
Anybody out there an opera fan?
And in this particular case, I'm not talking about the browser. I'm talking about real live opera.
If so, you MUST run to your nearest opera (or otherwise) browser and download the new Metropolitan Opera HD video client.
Earlier today, the Met launched its new online HD video offering to help bring opera to those who can't bring themselves to the Met in NYC.
For the first act, the Met is offering a library of 13 HD videos of past opera performances, 37 past TV performances, and 120 radio broadcasts.
I checked out a clip from the April 5 performance of "La Boheme," and both the sound and the video was absolutely brilliant.
Crystal clear, and through my Klipsch THX PC speakers, it was like I was immediately sitting in the middle orchestra of the Met on a Friday night.
The Met Player is currently offering a 7-day free trial, and if you decide you want to subscribe, they have annual, monthly, and per-viewing rentals. All of which I imagine cost less than a single seat at the real thing!
If you've never been to an opera, the new HD player is a fantastic way to introduce yourself. If you are a fan, you're in for a real treat on checking out some of those famous replays.
Learn more here.
To the Met, I say "Bravo, bravo!"
Technorati Tags: arts online, opera, high def, the met
I did some work cleaning up my email in-box this weekend.
It was longgggg overdue.
And hey, all you people out there Twittercating about how you have a "zero" inbox. I want you to look at me as I hold up that big "L" over my forehead.
You see the "L?" Right there over my forehead? You see it?? You getting the message?
Actually, I'm just jealous.
I haven't seen a Zero inbox since sometime back in 1999.
I fantasize about hitting "Select all" and then blowing up the whole frickin' thing, but I never do it.
Yeah, I know. I'm holding the "L" up over my own forehead.
I'm also guilty of the whole obsessive/compulsive email thing, especially now that my corporate inbox comes right to my Blackberry.
Apparently I'm not alone.
If you're a knowledge worker, recent research data from RescueTime would suggest you check your email 50 times a day.
Oh, it gets better. You check your instant messaging 77 times.
And you visit an average of 40 Web sites.
When the heck does anybody get any work done around here, anyhow?
Okay, so I'm from headquarters and I'm here to help.
The first thing is this: You gotta admit you have a problem. That's always the first step.
Then, you need to read this new Web feature and listen to this podcast.
It includes an overview of the Information Overload Research Group, of which IBM Research's John Tang is a member.
I know, I know, now we have yet another group we have to follow, piling on the information overload. But somebody has to go out and figure out how to get info unloaded, right?
Finally, once you've gotten the 50,000 foot view, we at IBM are prepared to offer you up some actionable strategies, both at the personal and the enterprise level.
Crafted by leading Web thinker and information usability guru Jakob Nielsen, we pass along some recommended coping strategies that will hopefully provide some things to do to keep the overload from overcoming your mental levees.
If you don't do anything else today, read these recommended coping strategies.
You can also learn how to take a more social computing oriented approach to collaboration using IBM's Lotus Connections. When everybody shares, the overload can evolve into organizational insight.
As for me...well, my inbox just rang...and....well...I don't know how to say no.
I know...I know...go ahead....say it....
Technorati Tags: email clutter, information overload, lotus connections
Those of us in the Internet marketing space eagerly awaited Google's 3Q earnings announcement yesterday.
Would Google continue to show strong growth and be able to continue to position itself as the capital "R" Recession play, or would it, too, begin to show some anemia from the market meltdown???
As it turned out, the announcement seemed to show that the rest of us have continued to vote with our mice, with Google's clicks climbing 18 percent, while it's net income rose 26 percent.
By most all accounts, Google's earnings beat what the Street was looking for, and after hours action last night sent Google stock up some 10 percent.
Which is a good thing, considering Google may need to spend some of that extra capital on their Gmail infrastructure.
Because also yesterday, the giant Google Gmail in-box in the sky experienced a prolonged outage, and Computerworld is reporting that some Google Apps administrators were "pulling their hair out" after their end users complained loudly about their inactive in-boxes.
I guess bidness is bidness and it has to get done, but sometimes I wish somebody or something would clog up my in-box -- with something other than nasty little spam bots, that is.
Perhaps the Google should hire the guys just arrested in Chicago who were running an international spam network -- they didn't seem to have any problem in getting emails out of their in-box!
In fact, quite the opposite.
This network, operating from the U.S., New Zealand, and China, specialized in sending out billions of e-mails for everything from "male enhancement" to weight-loss pills.
According to the AP, servers in China hosted the sites, the drugs were shipped from India, and the credit cards were processed in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Now that's globalization!
Technorati Tags: cybercrime, earnings, globalization, google, spam
I went to the ATT store the other day to buy some new protective rubber sheathes for my trusty Blackberry Pearl.
I decided to get really obnoxious and go with the radioactive yellow, blue, and pink colors this time around. There'll be no losing this Blackberry!
Anyhoo, while I was there, I chatted up the sales rep and asked what they had going on in the way of new Blackberries, and also whether or not I could transfer all my data from one Blackberry to another.
In terms of what they had going on with Blackberries, she explained that the Bold was holding its own but that everyone was waiting on the Storm.
As to my question about transferring data from one Blackberry to another, she told me that she could exchange my phone and contact data, but not transfer my applications for Notes email, Calendar, etc.
In other words, if and when I get a new Blackberry, it's on me to spend 24-48 hours (or longer) to set the thing up from scratch. Again.
Sometimes I wonder whether RIM and other companies give much consideration to such "switching costs" involved in moving from one device to another.
There's plenty about my Blackberry Pearl I like, and there's a lot I don't (No wi-fi, slow and ugly Web browsing). But when it comes time to make a decision about upgrading, believe you me, the time (an unknowable) involved in trying to get the new device (Bold? Storm? The "flip" Berry?") is going to be a central issue for me.
When I bought the Pearl, it only cost me $99, but I'm sure I spent a few hundred dollars of IBM's time getting it up and running.
As much as I'd like to have all those new features of the Storm 9500, which look really cool in this video, I'm not sure I'll be able to accommodate the expense -- and turbulence -- of acquiring a new device.
Technorati Tags: blackberry, mobile computing, lifecycle management, switching costs
It's been about one month exactly since I wrote my post entitled "Show Me the Money...Really."
You know, the one in which I joked about wondering if my money was safer in my Sleep Number mattress or invested in South Florida condominiums, among other things.
It turns out, the answer was "Yes, absolutely."
I'm starting to pine for the good ol' first days of the meltdown, when it was still possible to shift some money around in one's 401K or investment portfolio and be able to have some impact.
Now, most are just plain in the tank.
But as I ran around Austin's Town Lake early this morning -- I'm being sure to exercise regularly to help keep in good physical health, so that I don't become my own personal drag on American's fiscal health -- I contemplated the lemonade side of things.
Apparently, so is Gartner.
ZDNet's "Between the Lines" blog reports from the Gartner Symposium in Orlando that the IT consultancy has revised its 2009 IT budget prognostications, and though everything's not coming up roses, things could be a lot worse.
Analyst Peter Sondergaard explained that most IT folks have been through this before (2001 to 2003), and know how to tighten the belt without completely stalling innovation and technology progress.
With that in mind, Gartner is projecting at least a 1 percentage point drop in IT budget growth next year, from 3.3 to 2.3 percent, with the worst case scenario being a flattening (0 percent growth).
Sondergaard's counsel: Tech execs should focus on disruptive technologies that can help cut costs.
Check out ZDNet's blog post to see what the top 10 disruptive technologies are, but it was noteworthy to me that the list included "social networking," "cloud computing," "Web mashups," "user interface," and "semantics," areas involved in creating efficiencies --rganizationally, infrastructurally, and experientially.
"Social networking," by the way, was listed at number three.
This suggests to me there's a very real and growing understanding that building out inter- and intra-enterprise social networks can be a game changer in terms of information sharing, skills identification, talent hiring and retention, and plain just working to optimize what individuals and the organization at large knows so that it can better act on that collective knowledge.
And finally, remember this: Much innovation can come from a market trough. Many of the groundbreaking Web 2.0 tools and technologies we enjoy today were borne out of such a trough in 2001-2003.
However, a lessening overall IT budget spend means the need is greater than ever to put those dollars in the areas that can bring the most return in the shortest time horizon.
To learn how to maximize those dollars and to learn more about IBM's efforts in the social software space, check out our software services and the IBM Center for Social Software.
Technorati Tags: 2009 it spend, gartner, innovation, lotus, social software, zdnet
What was that old adage about advertising?
I know that half my advertising is working for me...I just don't know which half?
Well, Gartner analyst Adam Sarner has a report out that indicates over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with Web sites have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations, but that 50 percent of those will ultimately be classified as failures.
Why would that be?
Well, the Second Life land rush is one good example. Many brands jumped headlong into the virtual world because...well, they thought they had to...without necessarily having first clearly outlined their core marketing and communications objectives.
What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? What actions do you want for them to take as a result of your communication?
I had this conversation...when I could stop someone about their enthusiasm of getting their first avatar long enough to listen to me...many a time with IBMers during the Second Life bubble.
Not to say I was a virtual worlds naysayer myself. I thought Second Life was so cool I went in and bought my avatar some nice threads so I didn't give myself away as a newbie.
But my point to my internal clients was pretty simple: If you wanted to use the online media for marketing, at the time there were over 1 billion people using the Internet, and a handful million or two in Second Life.
Where would you place your bets?
So, as you and yours come down with Web 2.0 and social media fever, though there are admittedly some unique and relevant capabilities that can't be found just about anywhere else, remember not to throw the 1.0 marketing baby out with the bathwater.
That is to say, basic rules of fundamental marketing and communcations still apply.
One part basic marketing objectives combined with one part social media marketing tactic can help eliminate 50 percent waste in the overall capital "M" Marketing equation.
Now, has anybody seen my avatar? I've outgrown my once new virtual suit and need to find myself a digital tailor to have it taken out a couple of inches.
Technorati Tags: marketing, gartner, second life, social media, virtual worlds
So I arrived back in the great state of Texas last night just in time to start participating in IBM's InnovationJam 2008.
This year's IBM Jam is an Internet-based "conversation" based on results from our most recent Global CEO Study, in which 1,100 CEOs from every region and industry disclosed their deepest aspirations.
As of last night, thousands of leaders, thinkers, and influencers from around the globe began gathering online to explore the ways that leading organizations are responding to growing pressures to change.
In light of the current macroeconomic conditions, there are ample challenges to take on and new ideas to explore. I encourage all my fellow IBMers, and those customers who have been enlisted to participate, to check out the Jam and contribute as you can.
We started yesterday with 72 hours in the hour-glass, and the sand is ticking away!
Listen to IBM senior vice president, Jon Iwata, explain in this video exactly "What is a jam?"
Meanwhile, back at the social media ranch, mi amigo and colleague George Faulkner was interviewed recently by social media guru Shel Israel for his Social Media Global Report.
As Israel observes in his blog post lead about IBM and social media, "this is a company of nearly 400,000 employees residing in over 200 countries. One-third of them telecommute and social media has made it closer, more efficient, and more agile."
So agile, in fact, that I have to stop blogging and get back to telecommuting and social networking with my colleagues.
Happy Monday, Happy Jamming!
Technorati Tags: innovation jam 2008, global ceo study, social media
I arrived in San Francisco late last night, just in time to discover that the fate of Oakland-based Internet radio pioneer Pandora was not headed in the general direction of south.
So far, no earthquakes. But I just got to town, give it time.
Fortunately, it seems that our U.S. Congress wasn't completely preoccupied with the peoples' business of bailing us out of this financial mess.
They also were heads down, headphones on, passing the bipartisan "Webcaster Settlement Act."
Sounds like something out of a John Steinbeck novel, no? I'm certainly in the right part of the country for it.
Except, of course, updated for the O aughts.
This new law will allow Internet radio outlets such as Pandora to negotiate lower, binding royalty payments with music providers.
Whew! I was gonna be Jonesing without my Pandora. The last time I listened to a real radio station was in my car -- and that's because I don't have the Internets (ergo, Pandora) in my car.
Well, here's hoping President George W. Bush is a fan of Internet radio -- it still requires his signature to become law.
While Internet radio lobbyists were buzzing around Washington, IBM security experts have been buzzing away trying to build the better Internet mousetrap for midsize companies.
They've come up with a grand new solution, the IBM Rational AppScan Express Edition.
I'm not an Internet security expert, nor do I play one on TV. But this new product has been getting a lot of buzz inside IBM (I was hearing lots about it during my recent travels in Europe).
Essentially, it's designed to help companies address both external and internal Web security threats before they impact the business, and to do so in a regulation friendly manner.
This Express Edition of Rational AppScan is an automated security testing solution that allows users to test for Web application security vulnerabilities and then provide streamlined advice on how to fix them.f
IBM launched some related security products and services for midsized businesses, which you can read about in full here.
You can also check out the IBM Express Advantage Facebook group here, where you can meet some of my fellow IBMers and learn more about IBM's solutions for midsized businesses.
Technorati Tags: internet radio, pandora, rational appscan, san francisco