Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Make Social Networks Your SM Malls

Thinks Malls = Think Crowds!

Ask any successful Filipino business owner for tips about the secret to making it and he'd probably tell you that first, you have to find the best location and doing that, things would probably work smoothly from then on. Ignore it and you'd probably be spending your entire budget on marketing or scraping every inch to get people to come for a visit, much less hoping for a sale. Care to wonder why mall spaces are quite expensive? Think SM, Glorietta and the like ...

Which brings us to the world of social networks. You might ask, 'Why should I care?' Well, it's just that your customers and clients are already at social networks or social media Web sites. You can find them on MySpace, Multiply and Friendster. They're LinkedIn, they have Facebook pages and they use Twitter. Their photos are at Flickr while their movies are in YouTube. You need to go to where your customers are. That my friend is why you should care.

In this social web milieu, the power in the transaction has moved to the customer, who now has many sources of information, and the ability to solicit and form opinions from not only their friends and their friend's friends but massive numbers of people around the world. Obviously, these self-organizing connections will continue to be a powerful influence behind the company and the brands.

Have brands ever really been the property of companies? In truth they never have, brands belong to customers, customer who are now informed and connected to other customers with experience and opinions which they are not at all shy to share. More than any other time, control of messaging has never been more but an exercise in futility.

So what are businesses to do?

Honestly, I don't have the correct answer except to go there listen, contribute and participate. It may seem trivial for it may appear as simple as any Pinoy conversation you've had offline but it's power lies in its ability to connect more people, over a greater distance than ever before (and those web imprints last a lot longer for other people to read).

(Or you jumpstart your foray into it by joining the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference Philippines 2009.)

There are a lot of questions. The rules are still being written. Where does social networking end and sales negotiations begin? Is this the future of the Web, or just another hype? What's in it for the Pinoy Entrepreneur?

As Walter Pike wrote in his excellent piece, "The only thing that seems certain is that people are congregating at these social networking sites at an astounding rate. The landscape is changing, and these sites have become the backyard fences, the coffee shops, and the street corners of the 21st century."

Ignore them at your own risk.

Monday, March 30, 2009

4-Told: 4 Stories 4 The 4th Month

To be as One: If you joined millions who have celebrated Earth Hour roughly 48 hours ago, how significant was it for you?

Me? I'd say it gave me a sense of being 'empowered'.

Could get used to this...

Sides Will Clash: Gen Y or Facebook Generation vs Fortune 500.
Gary Hamel is spot on in his description. Unfortunately for us, everything isn't virtual. Yep, we still need air, the Oxygen-kind.

Three is a crowd - not for the Open Cloud Manifesto. Amazon, Microsoft and CICC, too. So many reasons for not joining yet not one is in disagreement with basic premise that cloud standards should be open. Not bad, thank you.

Final Four. Just had to include this. Villanova makes it in exciting fashion. Spartans are at home. UConn and UNC prove year in and out that they belong. Will just watch than jinx my pick.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baseball Envy

2nd straight championship, consecutive heroics

I must admit that reading about cloud computing and SaaS apps takes a lot of my time because understandably, it's a big part of my job. Without going to boring details, I do love finding out as much information about these topics that even if I'm not supposed to be working, I still feel compelled not to miss any new thing surrounding it.

But it doesn't have to be - for I, too, love stories and life has a lot to offer besides the 'cloud movement'. Oh and I do love reading a lot of sports stories. Who doesn't especially if it involved overcoming great odds in order to triumph?

Missed watching the World Baseball Classic which is unfortunate since I really enjoyed it the last time around. Asian teams have really shown how good they have become. Here's wishing we regain some measure of that competitiveness because history showed that we lorded Asian baseball before so wishing that we'd be eligible to participate in the next classic in 4 years time is entirely possible (so I could also participate in the banter).

Have to be content with PacMan at the meantime and the on-going March Madness. Yes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tech Tools and Social Media

For all that's been said about Social Media being about relationships, it's also about the tools that make it all possible today.

Case in point:

This employee would have been goners, good for him and moreso, the rest of us - there's one less sh*t@$$ who's so full of himself. (Thanks to Jepoy for this!)

See, there's even a petition! It's called bite!

Why We All Benefit from Big Brands in Social Media. Good time to be a consumer (lack of spending money not withstanding)!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Will Big Blue Sun Be Big Enough to Bump Off AWS?

Not a slow news week by any means ...

IBM to acquire Sun: Can't help thinking its either because of the recession or just the race towards cloud computing ...

Not enough that you have a SaaS product (Thanks to Michael Dunham)

A SaaS Video Worth Watching

CRM 2.0 or Social CRM: Now CRM is beginning to get it and goes into 'social'

*Adding Customer Insight
*CRM Integration with Social Platforms: Which is hitching on to which? Does it matter? Depends on ease of use - just an assumption..
*CRM via iPhone 3: Does that answer your doubt as to the value of CRM?
*SRM (Social Relationship Management): Same concept albeit different name

Social Media up as economy going down: Increased spending is proof that it must be working but still a small outlay
If not then you're company is slowly dying
Social Media proof from a Forrester experiment: Got to have a 'cause'

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meat the Tweet

Add to the charisma by showing some skin

It's bound to be scrutinized even back when people adopted the term micro-blogging to differentiate the short post from the regular blog posts. It wasn't such a force then but it's different now!

Brian Solis writes about it and it and the stats for me do make sense. And now I have a good excuse for slacking off the posts. :)

Anyway, I finally have the nerve to marry my tweets into the posts directly for the first time as long as I feel there's something I'd like to add - like meat to the bone (or forever hold my breath).

A Macbook Air replica for cheapskates like me :)

Recession innovations? This one sure is simple (and tugs at the heart). Beth Israel finds a team solution.

Haven't written much or showcased Ruby on Rails for some time but good to find our team in this honor list! 50+ Ruby-related Blogs to Read

Buddhist enlightenment? Throw some tweets my way cause I do love to meditate - cause I'm way too stressed!

Under the Radar looks really interesting for companies that are sort of similar to our own - Cloud Computing, PaaS and SaaS mostly. Hope we can participate, too.

And a Plug for ApacheCon 2009 Europe via my colleagues post on our very own Carlos Sanchez!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The World's Largest Datacenter (Twit-ductivity in Real Time)

RT: @friarminor Now it's everyone, anywhere & real time!

For about a while now (okay, much longer), Google had been quite the useful and resourceful friend that helps point you to the information you need. It also introduced the importance of using keywords that allow you to dig up and refine whatever it is the results that you are looking for. You know that something has 'arrived' when a proper noun is being used as a verb.

Yet, for all it's search brilliance and vastness of information under its disposal, there exists albeit for a few, a belief that there's room for improvement (though I was not one of them). The use of wikis provided us with a glimpse of what crowd-sourcing can do yet pooling all the resource within a specific time frame seemed a task that appeared insurmountable.

Yet, if there was value in crowd wisdom, it seemed that it was taken for granted and left to the wikis. Consider if each person was a resource, then social networks would sensibly hold the largest information and computational infrastructure aided by the ubiquity of web access. However, networks stopped short of this realization and instead focused and rejoiced on the value of being 'social'.

And like great discoveries of the past, we now have accidentally tripped, err twipped, over this great feature made valuable by social networks. Designed initially as a simple (almost) real-time communication app, it has now transcended it's original purpose and has continued to do so. (Thank you Open API!)

In what way, you might ask that it delivers something that Google algorithmically tries to do - provide real time responses and results - which would prove the difference between exact pertinent information vs timely pertinent information. Think Twitter Search, MicroPlaza and Twitterfall. Try them and be amazed in real time!

10 Twitter Tools to Help You Work Smarter

The Top 21 Twitter Apps (according to Compete)
The *Real* Top 20 Twitter Apps

Friday, March 6, 2009

Being Amazon In A Seemingly Google Web World

Oh, to be Amazon is to be the most Innovative - without the web necessarily putting your face in the front cover all the time. (Mapping innovation across the globe) But being Google isn't too bad, not a bit - except when you have a need to build social sites. (Likaholix and the ex-Googlers angle to building social networks)

Possibly Related:
Hot off SXSW is MobyPicture. Phone pics to all sites, err almost all. Plus the great list of Web Awards finalist here. Still not finished checking each one

Again, Tracking Twitter by Topic. Useful. Check out Omniture, Twitter Analytics that raise the bar (Article from Mashable)

LaidOffCamp: Getting laid-off workers a reason to smile about

WebWork 101: A Summary of Apps You Need
& Starter Web Apps for Small Business, too.

Google Health is about sharing online records (instead of clamming up and giving the privacy argument)

Both photos from Liam Hodgeon's A Lot of Effort is Put in Making Things Look Effortless courtesy of that hell of a site called Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Twitter Takes Social and Info-Crave to New Heights

It's happening .... And like some alien find, it will be examined, re-examined, poked, made fun off, ignored, left on its own, celebrated, worshiped and ta dun, subjected to metrics and analytics cause we're really smart, you know and we do care about our precious time ...

Watch:Twitter Frenzy - Old Man Stewart

Related and some that are possibly, too:
* Tom Foremski on 140 characters ...
* ReTweetability Index. Here comes the analytics... and extracting a bit more info about the tweets and re-tweets from MicroPlaza
* Skittles New Site - What it tells the rest of us about being online and social.
* Too much social? Escaping crowd mentality by thinking. Real individual thinking.
* Yes, there's Summize but this one feels 'geekier'. Real-time Twitter Search results on Google

Just received an email that this will be part of an upcoming 'special spread' on Businessweek. Says something about cloud computing and business, eh. Cloud Slam 09