Monthly Archives: October 2010

2010 Gartner cycle: Hype or Reality?

It’s interesting to see the hype cycle for 2010 from Gartner and their perception of the industry in 2010.  It’s interesting that blogging has disappeared, Microblogging is well on the way to becoming ubiquitous and the private cloud will be the Next Big Thing…

Thinking about the Rise of Social Commerce conference I attended to the other week, I think that Augmented Reality will come to the fore much quicker than Gartner predict – especially with the anticipated social shopping platforms that will be built in the next couple of years by , innovative partners, more and more social analytics tools will emerge, with more in depth and more holistic views of the conversation relevance and sentiment. I also think that Video search will be available within the next couple of years.

It’s interesting to see the differences between this Hype Cycle and the 2009 graph  So much has moved on, and changed.  So what do you think?  Is this graph more accurate than the 2009 graph?  or have Gartner imagining life as the IT world would with it to be?

Will be interesting to see how these play out…

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How to tell if your boss is lying

Wow, I remember a lot of these verbal cues from my days in the corporate world. 

How many of these can you identify in your own boss?

  • Use more references to general knowledge (“as you know…”), and refer less to shareholder value
  • Use fewer “non-extreme positive emotion words”. Instead of describing something as “good”, they call it “fantastic”.
  • Avoid the word “I”, opting instead for the third person.
  • Use fewer “hesitation words”, such as “um” and “er”, suggesting that they may have been coached in their deception.
  • More frequent use of swear words indicates deception.

Thanks to the Economist for the article…

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I’m guilty of brain sexism as Thomas defines it.  I constantly tease men for not being able to multi task, and sometimes accuse them of ‘being a girl’.   I’ve been convinced for a long time that female and male brains are different but this book by Cordelia Fine smashes those stereotypes.  In her interview on the Salon blog she says:

It’s more comfortable to attribute it to some internal difference between men and women than the idea that there must be something very unjust about our society.

So is it nature or nurture?  I have my own views on the fact..  Based on my unconventional career choices and belief that I could do anything I wanted to, I think it’s nurture.  I think that our brains can get wired at an early age to become something or someone, and that external influences can have a great deal to shape your brain.  As I said the other week, our brains are being influenced by our activities on the Internet, so it stands to reason that they’re going to be flexible enough to be moulded into anything you wish…

Interesting concept though…

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Rise of Social Commerce conference


It’s been a whirlwind few days for me since I arrived in the US.  First to New York to meet up with a business associate and then off to dinner with Darryl and Mary Jo, then off to San Francisco to the Rise of Social Commerce conference organised by Altimeter.

I was surprised that there were only a couple of us who had flown over from Europe to the conference.  Was it the cost of the conference, the costs to get there, or was it the fact that the US is leading the social commerce activities – being trailblazers?  Anyway, I’m glad I came over here…

With 86% of companies being ready for a social commerce strategy and wanting to have a great engagement with the channel it was interesting to hear that most companies are still not willing to release control and empower the customer. After all, it’s easy to buy online – after all that’s just a transactional purchase – but its much harder to shop online.  Very valid points, but a really hard thing to solve.

Relinquishing control – I hear this sort of challenge a lot.  When I talk to clients, they are fixated on the customers experience, but don’t want to free the customer in case it can’t be measured with hard and formal metrics.  Either that, or they are so paranoid, that they block everything from the customer, or hade behind firewalls.  In order to get a really good experience, companies need to redesign the buying experience for the shopper – to turn a buying transaction into a shopping experience.  I was impressed by the leadership shown by Kiddicare in the UK who use customer reviews and tags to define and refine searches for all customers who look for products on the site.  Then, the community decides how products are tagged and categorised.  It’s  such a simple idea, and it’s brilliant – and it extends the shopping experience for all purchasers.

Other challenges for brands are – how do they stand out?  How do brand builders navigate the ‘sea of sameness’ to get their differentiator and justify brand loyalty for the company – and additionally, do they have the ability to step back from their traditional social media marketing approach to work out whether it actually adds value to the end consumer or not. 

I was particularly impressed by one of the sessions.  Manish Mehta from Dell talked about the fact we’re at an inflection point in social commerce and likened it to building a car back in the early 1900s.  Back then, there were no roads, no infrastructure, no governance, no rules.  All of these had to be built.  The same is true of social media and social commerce.  All of these ground rules, infrastructure and network, needs to be built.  Unless companies give up control and allow democratisation, then the experience for the consumer – the customer – will be poorer for it, and the industry might not evolve like the car industry infrastructure did.  A thought provoking session 

Other sessions focused on the voice of the consumer.  Their voice is needed to reflect positively on your brand, to get people passionate about your brand and amplify your message.  That’s a very compelling theme indeed.  In fact, every session I attended was compelling, and presented by people who had been involved in social commerce and social media from its inception.  It was interesting too to hear Manny Anekal from Zynga talk about LinkedIn being a game – with a progress bar and tasks to get completion of your profile – it is

All in all, it was an amazing conference with some thought leaders sharing their view of how our purchasing experience is changing and we’re going to have to change too so that we can stay agile and ahead of our competitors as social commerce moves to a more complete experience for the consumer.  Without that experience, shoppers will move elsewhere – to companies that give them the more flexible experience.  All in all – it was a great conference – I’m really glad I attended it… Smile 

After all – the future of the shopping experience is in the palm of your hand.  Imagine the commerce opportunity do deliver a great experience to everyone with a mobile phone… I’m certainly looking forward to that one…

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Murder, Suicide, or Quantum Suicide?

This sort of stuff blows my mind.  Here’s an article explaining how quantum suicide works.  The universe splitting into more than one universe is hard to get my brain around.  It makes me think of Schrodinger’s cat and the eternal life or death puzzle.  But here’s one of my favourite stories which I heard over 10 years ago.  It was a legal conundrum that police had to deal with in Canada in 1996 and it’s a really good story.


I love this puzzle story – it seems too far fetched to be actually true.  Just like the cat theory and the quantum suicide there are things out there to puzzle and amaze us if we open out minds…

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