Category Archives: trends

Seven Days with my iPhone 4S

I must confess, I held on to my 3GS for the full 2 years and I just finally got my iPhone 4 back in May. I really have been enjoying it, and by 2:30pm, on the day that iOS5 came out, I had quickly updated my phone, but had no plans to move on to the 4S.

When I was watching the 4S introduction at the Apple event a few days earlier, I remember immediately answering a poll on where they asked “Would you be upgrading to the 4S?” I quickly answered “No” and thought that was the end of it. But I am always interested in in these new devices so I keep a close eye on the technology. I was very intrigued by some of the new features of the iPhone 4S especially the voice control from Siri as well as the expected improved performance and speed.

On October 14, just a week ago, as I was heading home from some errands in the mid morning, I decided just to stop by my local AT&T Store. I noticed some barricades for the line and I noticed there were just two people standing at the front door (a worker and a customer). In fact, I didn’t even realize it was a line and just walked right for the door and was stopped. I had no intent to buy, but thought I would just come by and check out the excitement for the phone. (There wasn’t much, by the way.)

While waiting, I realized I could simply renew a family member’s contract (who was quite happy with her iPhone 3 – she uses it for phone calls!) for another two years and go ahead and get my iPhone 4S. I would just have to transfer it to my account. About an hour later, I walked out with the brand-new iPhone 4S 32GB unit and plans to sell my only five-month-old iPhone 4 on eBay.

So it’s been a week and I have some first impressions. First of all, the performance is indeed great. I ran a few benchmarks on the 4 and the 4S using BrowserMark from RightWare. ( . When I ran it on the iPhone 4 running iOS 4.x, the reading came back 34,253. After the upgrade to iOS 5, that same device scored 53,353. So just by upgrading to iOS5, I saw a 55% increase in the benchmark. I ran the same on the new 4S and got a blazing 85649. That’s 2 ½ times the speed as my former iPhone 4 running iOS 4.x. The iPhone 4S is FAST.

I’ve been experimenting with Siri. In fact, I am dictating this now because Siri, not only is your personal assistant, but also provides a voice input for any application that would normally use the keyboard. I find it works well and gets most of the words right. Siri, on the other hand as a helpful assistant, is a bit temperamental. Yes she can read my calendar, tell me the weather, and do a Google search, but more often than not, when I need her, she cannot understand me and way too often, cannot connect to the Internet. Siri is a cloud-based app that depends on access to Apple servers in order to do anything other than local dictation.

I never really like talking to anything or giving verbal command in general. I enjoy talking to people through my phone but not to my phone, so I’m not sure if it will ever catch on for my normal routine, but it is an interesting feature nonetheless. I’m sure in time it will improve, but for me, Siri as a personal assistant is nothing more than a novelty.

Another nice feature is the introduction of shortcut keys, a little-known feature of iOS5. They have taken the much maligned “autocorrect” feature and allowed you to create your own abbreviations that help you rather than introduce errors. Nice concept! If you go into Settings, General, Keyboard, you will see the ability to create keyboard shortcuts. I created one for my email address because I type it so many times as a login entry.

Another feature of iOS5 that I certainly like is Twitter integration. For me it means being able to tweet directly from a picture. Now, it’s not such a big deal to add a picture in my Echofon client, but tweeting directly from the photo viewer is a nice plus.

The iMessage feature certainly looks good. It is an alternative to text messaging but, like FaceTime, it only works with the with Apple devices. We would be better off if we could get an open standard for this in the future. I’m sure the carriers don’t like this new competitor to their overpriced text-messaging feature.

The camera certainly is an improvement. Pictures are crisp and clear and the video is hi definition. Built in photo editing features also add convenience. Unfortunately you have no standard definition choice for video. So, here we go using up much more storage than we need. Plus, HD adds a lot of time to share your videos on YouTube or other services.

The new Newsstand features nice. So far, it is just a nice way to pull together magazines. That’s something I will likely use more on my iPad than on the iPhone

One of the real exciting new promises of iOS5 is the iCloud service that allows immediate synchronization of songs, photos and calendar entries. I found it works well with songs, but have been reluctant to try it with photos and disabled it for calendar entries. Using Google calendar I began to see multiple entries and, in some cases, missing entries so I turned it off. I think iCloud shows great promise but I think it can take some time: 1) for me to learn how to use it and 2) to see how it works with other Cloud services such as various Google services and 3) for all the bug fixes to be deployed.

One thing I did notice was that just by default it asked if I wanted to back up my device to the cloud. I thought that was great idea so I enabled it on my iPad, my iPhone and also my son’s iPod Touch. All began to back up immediately and I got a message saying I had used up all of my storage and I needed to purchase more. So the 5 GB provided by the cloud really is not enough and immediately you are encouraged to buy more.

They say the iPhone is really the same on the outside and totally different on the inside. I certainly won’t argue that but I did notice the silent switch moved down ever so slightly, enough that most cases will have a little trouble. It is the switch on the upper left side just above the volume switch that has moved down about 1/8th of an inch. I might just have to carve out my speck case a little bit with a razor blade to make it work perfectly.

Overall I’m pleased with the iPhone 4S mainly for it’s blazing speed. I’m also equally pleased that I was able to sell my old 16GB iPhone 4 for nearly equal the price that I paid for a new 32 GB 4S. Judging from the HD video, it looks like I will need that extra storage.

So, for this early adopter, I found it a good experience to upgrade. It will just take a little more time than I thought to learn the new features, and sorry but in my experiences regarding iCloud, I can’t say “It Just Works!”

So what do you think? Please add your comments below or on twitter. Are you going to spend the money to get the new 4S or can you wait for the 5? For me I am fortunate to have three AT&T contracts in the house and a family where I am the only one eager to upgrade the devices as soon as they come out. So when the iPhone 5 comes out in June or so, I will probably to get an opportunity to upgrade again.


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Filed under Apple, Early Adopter, Innovation, iPhone, tools, trends, Uncategorized

It’s Not About the Tools, It’s About the People

We are all on Google+ now. It’s great because of who is here.

We were all on Quora at Christmas, because of who was there.

We continue to stay engaged on Twitter because of who is there.

We are bored with FaceBook because of who is there.

We use LinkedIn because of who we can find.

We use SocialCast in the Social Business Council because of who is there.

We use Jive with the Community Backchannel because of who is there.

We use Yammer in our jobs because of who is there.

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the relationship. The great thing about any social network is the socializing that takes place there. Yes, the tools are nice and a bad tool set can certainly squelch the conversation. But it’s not about the tools it’s about the relationships.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many people over the past few months who are not at all engaged in the social web. The line goes something like this….”I don’t have time for all that social media.” What they are really saying is “I don’t value those relationships and what I learn there. I get all I need from other sources.”

That’s fine. When people start to understand what they can get, the relationships they can build, and what an amazingly large diversity of ideas is out there, they decided to connect.

Many stick with email and cocktail hour networking. That’s fine, I do that sometime too, but I find it is not at all efficient as a stand alone activity. It’s good when I want to go deep with someone, but at a typical event, I can only do that with 1 or 2 people. At best, I’ll touch base with 5 or 10. During that same evening, I can touch hundreds or even thousands through online tools.

Through my BlogTwitterGoogle+ and various private communities, I can keep a conversation going with hundreds and my network can jump into overdrive when needed.

If you don’t want to use the social media tools now and think it’s too geeky, that’s fine. We used to say that about CompuServe and then AOL came along to break the ice among the masses. Then came FaceBook and everybody went online.

It is indeed gone widespread. Google+ may not replace FaceBook. Everyone may not get on Twitter, but in the long run, the mega trend is that, more and more, our lives are moving online. What was once called a “virtual” meeting is just a meeting.

Do any of you call your FaceBook friends “virtual” friends? Do you call these virtual conversations? No, it’s a wall post, it’s a message, it’s real interaction.

Social is happening, it is happening in different rates for different people, but there is no going back. As my friend Chris Rollyson says, It’s an “and” world, not an “or” world. We keep getting more ways to connect, as a result we are more connected, and finally we can innovate and move faster.

That is just what’s happening. Don’t deny it.

So go ahead, get social. You can start by connecting with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+ and while you are at it, subscribe to my blog.

See you online!

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Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, GooglePlus, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, tools, trends, twitter, web2.0

The Social Mobile Enterprise

Enterprise social mobility is the next big thing.

Yes, I said it. I’m going out on a limb and predicting that the next major wave of enterprise innovation will be a combination of today’s emerging social networking explosion fueled by a move to mobility in mass. It feels like a very stable limb based on all that I have been seeing over the past few years.

Let’s look at it in context. Many have written about mega trends in evolution of enterprise technology. Rawn Shah wrote an excellent piece recently outlining the move from Mainframe, to Departmental Computing, to Personal Computing, to Internet Computing, to today’s Social computing environment. I think the next in line on the same scale may be Mobile Computing.

It’s funny, as I read this list, and the traditional mentions of “Computing”, I realize that term has run its course and it really is time to retire the term “Computing” since it has become irrelevant, something reserved for calculations, tabulations, lists, etc. Ever since the Internet age, it’s really about collaboration and connectivity, not computing.

The Enterprise mobile revolution is happening. A recent Infographic by Zendesk says, of Fortune 500 companies, 80% are deploying or testing iPhones and 65% are deploying or allowing iPads. Over the next few years, every enterprise will have made major headway into allowing BYOD (bring your own device) linking iPhones, Androids, and iPads into the enterprise systems. I am convinced that the convenience and serendipity enabled by Mobility makes all the difference in driving engagement of today’s Social Enterprise systems being deployed (see my post on the Upside Down Enterprise Portal).

Mobile brings a new dimension to communications. For me it started with the Palm Pilot back at the turn of the century (I always wanted to say that) when we began to sync with our calendar and contacts to have this information right in our pocket. I remember the excitement of having my assistant schedule meetings and then watching them “air sync” right to my device, while I was on the road.

Many a corporate road warrior (including me) became completely dependent upon his BlackBerry (or CrackBerry as we called it) in the mid-2000s. The BlackBerry showed the world that it is very useful to have instant access to calendar, contacts, and now email, all in one device. An entire generation of boomers and X-ers became proficient at the thumb typing model on the excellent blackberry keyboard. Soon after getting mine, I remember discovering the browser and beginning to do simple web access activities (checking weather, flight times, simple ecommerce) with the very limited and clumsy early blackberry browser.

Then, my life changed when I moved to an iPhone in 2009. I had just heard a “future of technology” conference speaker refer to this generation of smartphones, not as powerful telephones, but as small / portable computers. The explosion of the Apple app store and those that followed for other platforms (particularly Android) quickly showed the world that these devices could become a major supplement and often a substitute for the laptop computer. I giggle to myself when I see someone walking between meetings awkwardly carrying his open laptop, trying to preserve his connectivity to the corporate wifi while changing rooms. That will be a fleeting “sign of the times”.

As corporations were finally figuring out the power of social networking platforms, they began to exploit SharePoint, Jive, IBM Connections, Socialcast, Yammer and a host of other Enterprise 2.0 Platforms. They found they could use these tools to connect a widely dispersed workforce, create rich employee profiles and online communities to meet and work. The activity stream and microblogging emerged as a way not only to communicate in quick short messages, but to also allow the system itself to inform colleagues of progress being made, milestones being met, and steps taking place along the course of a project.

These platforms are indeed game changing, but as the mobile revolution has been continuing, many of the E20 platform and tool vendors forgot that they were retooling an enterprise based on a 2000 paradigm. Many were designing with the idea that they needed to connect stationary knowledge workers who only log in from their corporate desktop or laptop. Their solution to mobility is to allow a worker to connect to the E20 platform from his / her VPN connected laptop. This severely hampers adoption. Relying only on the normal 8-5, at the desk, environment for social engagement is truly unnatural.

Each of the collaboration platform vendors recognizes the need for a mobile component and they have been working hard to create that capability. Like all transformations in technology it moves in steps. They focus most of their effort on the laptop / desktop worker and then “bolt on” the mobile capability as an afterthought.

The game is changing again. It is time now to create environments that recognize the following facts:

  • Workers are mobile, even in their office
  • Workers collaborate 24×7
  • Firewalls are going away
  • Workers will continue to bring their own devices to work
  • Tablets will not go away
  • Laptops will become much less relevant (like Desktops have)
  • Knowledge work is being distributed to external partners

The next generation Social Mobile Enterprise solutions must be designed to allow:

  • Mobile access to all corporate services and information assets
  • Cloud based storage accessible to all business partners
  • Mobile connectivity among the workforce in the same office and across timezones
  • Mobile / Social stickiness through “Gamification” engagement models
  • Mobile / Social connectivity with equal access for employees, contractors, and business partners

What do you think? Are you also seeing this trend? Can you give some examples of what your enterprise is doing or planning in the comments below?

(By the way, this post was authored on my iPad and edited only iPhone. Only the final upload, graphics and hyperlinks were done with my laptop.)

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Filed under apps, Early Adopter, IPad, mobility, social business, technology, trends

Fully Curated – Tweets from the Month of March

I often hear that people enjoy the articles that I share.  I’ve even been hearing the term “curation” recently.  I know it was a big month for tweets and decided to take a little time to pull together a list of what I curated from my twitter feeds during the month of March.    Here it is in one place…a month full of tweets.

Amazon Locker

  1. Amazon faces backlash over music locker service
  2. The Cloud Will Be Your Hard Drive, Despite The Record Labels’ Greed
  3. HOW TO: Use Amazon Cloud Player With iOS Devices


  1. Rumors: iOS5, iPhone5, iPad3…Cloud-Based iOS 5 This Fall?
  2. Rumor: iOS 5 will be a ‘major revamp,’ won’t debut until fall more heavily cloud-based iOS
  3. Apple Releases iOS 4.3.1
  4. iPhone 5 rumor central (info graphic)
  5. Apple To Let Users Use Cloud Service To Download Songs To Multiple iDevices
  6. good post on post-PCness


  1. Why AT&T Bought T-Mobile
  2. One bad company buying another: AT&T buys TMobile
  3. RWW AT&T Starts Sending Letters to Jailbroken Tetherers, Will Automatically Charge Fee

My Blog Posts

  1. Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998
  2. Here’s my iPad 2 first impressions blog post
  3. My Post illustrating Mobility & Ease of Consumption


  1. The 4 Personas of the Next-Generation #CIO now on #hbr


  1. Great, simple explanation of Dropbox;
  2. Cloud computing: A market for computing power | The Economist:

Enterprise 2.0

  1. Expertise Location: The Killer App for Enterprise Social Computing
  2. List of Enterprise 2.0 CFP winners is now available #e2conf. Congrats to the winners!
  3. good discussion w/ IBM’er on adoption The Psychology of Collaboration
  4. Excellent analogy: email vs. SocNets. :Trains, Sliding Doors and Social Networks
  5. BT Intranet SharePoint 2010 examples
  6. Merck looks to Facebook for employee portal, CSR effort – Medical Marketing and Media
  7. Social Business Begins by Unleashing Your Business Talent By @elsua
  8. The military shows the need for information sharing and local decision making post by @BartSchutte
  9. Challenges of transforming large, rigid org cultures into agile and aware networks: Great post:
  10. Awesome, Socialcast evolves the #hashtag for all people to understand –
  11. If true other teams are running plays on field while MSFT is in locker room deciding uniform colors.
  12. Good advice on social software adoption:
  13. Video: The Conference Call
  14. Social Intranet – The Intersection Diagram by @adowbor


  1. eBay acquires GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion


  1. List of Social Intranet, Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration, Engagement, and HR Technology Experts


  1. Gaming for engagement is trending… using game design in non-gaming contexts
  2. How do you become a futurist? “claim you are and people either believe you or not” says @rossdawson
  3. 1373 Twitter users with “Futurist” in their bios
  4. [VIDEOS] The latest robots are virtually indistinguishable from people
  5. Very cool #future “day in the life” video (Corning) “A Day Made of Glass”
  6. Top 10 Dying Industries: Newspapers, Photo Finishing, Record Shops make the list:


  1. Google copies Facebook’s Like Button
  2. Google Announces New Service for Nonprofits
  3. Half A Billion Blog Posts Later, Google To Give Blogger A Revamp


  1. Groupon moving towards real-time location based coupons. Two buttons: I’m Hungry, I’m Bored.
  2. CHART OF THE DAY: Watch Groupon Go From 0 To $25 Billion In The Blink Of An Eye


  1. How Small Businesses Are Using #SocialMedia [INFOGRAPHIC]
  2. The #SocialMedia World Before Twitter And Facebook [Infographic] –
  3. Infographic of the Day: The Next 25 Years in Emerging Tech | Co.Design
  4. Who’s Really Scanning All Those QR Codes? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  5. #Tablet comparison #infographic –
  6. nice info graphic on the culture aspect
  7. Should you be on LinkedIn? [infographic]
  8. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] –

iPad / Tablets

  1. 18 Million #WordPress Websites Now Available in #iPad Format
  2. iPad to go on sale outside US: Apple Inc to stick to plans to roll out product this week.
  3. BlackBerry Playbook Will Be Available In 20,000 Retailers
  4. RT @MacOutfittersPA: Read our new blog post, iPad 2: First Impressions
  5. 7 Twitter Apps For iPad:
  6. Five ways the iPad 2 works on the buyer’s subconscious:
  7. The Week in iPad Cases: The iPad 2 has landed: All your choices explained
  8. Apple could face iPad 2 component shortages:
  9. This looks like a promising iPad app.
  10. Why the iPad is awesome @TreyRatcliff shows off cool photo processing app 100 cameras
  11. Equal Time…iPad 2: The Skeptic’s Review:
  12. iPad 2: A Gaming Machine?: The iPad 2 is out, but is it a good gaming machine?
  13. Dell and HP: Two computer giants prepare for a world no longer dominated by the PC
  14. Putting iPads To Work — my guide: by @waltmossberg
  15. How To Collaborate With Others Online Using Your iPad
  16. iPad Essentials for the Network Administrator
  17. The 3 Best iPad PDF Markup Apps; –
  18. Interesting: what is in that iPad smart cover:
  19. iPad 2 jailbroken, no ETA on public release
  20. Backordered: Total iPad sellout – 70% new buyers: Fortune Article
  21. So, what’s inside the iPad 2?
  22. IPad2 offers aspiring movie makers the whole package via USA TODAY
  23. My hunt for the elusive iPad 2 delivers some big game <-my story in comments
  24. Mobile Harmony: iPad 2, Android & Windows 7
  25. Maybe… Here’s What’s Coming In The iPad 3 (AAPL)
  26. iPad 2: Thin, Not Picture Perfect My review: #ipad2 by @waltmossberg
  27. How does apple really feel about their new Ipad2? Here is the video:
  28. Want a 3G iPad 2 and Own an iPhone? Here’s How You Save $130
  29. Original iPad Better Than Ever: Here’s why. Price and Apps
  30. Unleashing creativity in many ways… How the iPad revolution has transformed working lives
  31. Did you write a post on how to transfer your data from your first iPad to your new iPad 2? A. Yes
  32. How To Use iPad 2 | A New User Guide [massive post on how to use your new ipad]
  33. It’s Apple’s ‘post-PC’ world — we’re all just living in it.
  34. 10 more top 10 reasons to buy an iPad 2
  35. An iPad Lover’s (Initial) Thoughts On iPad 2
  36. iPad 2 Rollout Leads to Massive Deflation in Secondary Market
  37. Watch the iPad 2 March 2nd Event Keynote – #iPad2
  38. Steve Jobs announces iPad 2 #ipad2
  39. Watching the live blog: for iPad2
  40. It’s iPad day! Faster, slimmer, 2-camera iPad said likely: <-summary of latest rumors Wednesday, March 02, 2011
  41. To take on Apple, new tablets go where iPad won’t –
  42. Check out “The DVD Era Finally Ends – Thanks to the iPad”


  1. Japan: whatever happened to the nuclear meltdown? March 23
  2. Catching up on developments in Japan March 19
  3. These images are just sobering. If you need some perspective click here: March 16
  4. I don’t have words big enough to persuade why you should. The pics from Japan tell that story., March 15
  5. Cometh the hour by @jobsworth, March 14
  6. Amazing views of the devastation in Japan March 13
  7. Desperation and panic grip Japan (Reuters) “Like a scene from a disaster movie”March 12
  8. Google is helping to curate info about the Earthquake. March 12

Location Based Services

  1. Neiman Marcus Launches Nationwide SCVNGR Challenge


  1. Introducing LinkedIn Today


  1. Amazingly, MySpace’s Decline Is Accelerating


  1. Want to Engage Senior Executives? Think Mobile.
  2. Nine Powerful Apps That Convert Your iPhone Into A Knowledge Hub
  3. The Judge Group Launches Mobile Website – March 16, 2011 (Phila)
  4. March 28, Phila, Mobile Health Forum
  5. 90% of the world now lives in a place with access to a mobile network
  6. Hmmm..I need to give this a try… How to build location based app in five minutes, with no coding
  7. AT&T Confirms Mobile Hotspot Support for iPhone
  8. The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Mobile:
  9. My fav so far is instagram… 22 Ways To Tweet Photos & Images from your iPhone:
  10. How Mobile Shopping Is Changing The World [Infographic] –
  11. Smartphone use is expected to increase by 50% in 2011


  1. Salesforce buys Radian6 /
  2. buys Radian6, an excellent move! Details

Social Business Summit

  1. RT @joningham: My post on John Hagel session at #SBS2011
  2. All the tweets, pics and posts from Social Business Summit Austin:
  3. Reflections on Social Business Summit 2011 – Syndey and Austin
  4. Social Business Summit 2011 first half round up
  5. 2011 Social Business Summit Review
  6. Social Business is Here: Review of the 2011 Social Business Summit Austin by @andyjankowski
  7. Curated #sbs2011 tweet stream, courtesy of @keepstream.
  8. check out #sbs2011 to see great feedback on Dachis’ first summit in Sydney. Join others near you:

Social Business

  1. Career path of the social business professional – Being Peter Kim
  2. Watching the rise of “Social Business” over Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0.

Sunday Series

  1. Sunday Series: “Absolute Truth” Click the 3/21 message: or direct to mp3: by @greglaurie Sunday, March 27
  2. Sunday Series: “Raising The Dead” Click the 3-13 message: Or direct to mp3: Sunday, March 20
  3. Sunday Series: How Close Are We? Click the 3/06 message: or direct to mp3: @bridgefm Sunday, March 13
  4. Sunday Series: “From Thunder to Love” Click the 2/20 message: Or direct to mp3: Sunday, March 06


  1. 2011 Insights from @bobpearson1845
  2. RT @ShannonPaul Blog post – My Takeaways From SXSW Interactive
  3. SXSW 2011: Great for Networking, But No Technology Breakthroughs
  4. Zappos spreading the #Happiness story w/ new #brand. at #SXSW
  5. At each SXSW a new technology gains early adopter attention, one contender is groupme


  1. Topsy’s “Selinah”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from #TED:
  2. Target’s “Kaleidoscopic”, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED:
  3. Intel’s The Chase, 1 of 10 amazing “Ads Worth Spreading” from TED:
  4. TED Ads Worth Spreading: If You Only Watch 10 Ads This Year Make It These
  5. RT @jordanayan Rode in Google’s new self-driving car at #TED a highlight of the conference
  6. Here is a link to a detailed story on the amazing kidney printing demo at #TED2011 –


  1. No one uses the phone anymore
  2. Entire movies compressed into single barcodes
  3. “Google before you tweet” is the new “think before you speak”
  4. Something to do with those old books  Masterful sculptures made from large books.


  1. Best practices for the “retweet”
  2. 10 Memorable Tweets From Twitter’s Five Years in Existence:
  3. How do you explain what Twitter is to someone that’s never used it?
  4. YES!!! Finally got my Twiter https option!!! Everyone should enable it!!
  5. Captures reasons why I prefer Twitter to Facebook –
  6. How to do Twitter in 15 minutes a day
  7. is my fav so far… 4 Ways to Read Your #SocialMedia Updates as Newspaper
  8. Very Cool: try VisibleTweets – looks great on a large screen! Eg:

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Filed under Apple iPad Innovation, collaboration, community, content, conversations, curation, enterprise20, IPad, iPad 2, mobility, social business, social web, technology, trends, twitter

Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998

I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

 It was an interesting time, 1998. The early Internet starter kits were beginning to make it out. Netscape had introduced a nice browser. Microsoft was playing catch up with Internet Explorer. Mozilla was still around. The Internet was a wild west.

EBay and Amazon were just starting to get traction. There were a few tools for creating websites, and a few email services, but it was a rough time with people stumbling around in an attempt to reach out and publish information on the web. You needed a webmaster, well versed in HTML page markup or PERL scripts, to do anything worthwhile online.

In the late 1990s, the Internet was not a fun place for the masses. It was difficult to get around, set up an email address, or share files. America Online had just begun carpet bombing the US with millions of free AOL CDROM disks delivered through the US Postal Service in an attempt to snag as many subscriptions as possible.

The appeal was clear. Families in record numbers were buying their first desktop computer, loading up AOL, connecting their modem and beginning to share pictures, email, and news stories with each other. AOL started in the mid 1980s as a private network, but was quickly morphing into a gateway and a guide for the Internet by the mid 1990s. The famous “AOL Keyword” had become a universal locator for web content. Families in the millions jumped onto the internet through the safety of AOL. Soon AOL was flying high, valued large enough to buy the traditional media company, Time Warner. Just about then, the bubble burst and we all came back down to earth, ready for a new wave of innovators on the web.

A few years after the crash, Tim O’Reilly coined the phrase Web 2.0, and a few college students started building The FaceBook to allow students an easier way to connect and share with each other. As AOL was descending and the Time Warner merger began to look like the biggest corporate failure of all time, the social web began to take shape. Twitter, YouTube, Digg,, Myspace, and Facebook began to gain ground with the early adopters. By 2009, Facebook was starting to gain real traction and in 2010, the new platform had a breakout year with Time Magazine granting “Person of the Year” honors to its founder Mark Zuckenberg.

Facebook is nice. It’s teaching us all a new language of “Likes”, comments, status updates, tagging, and general open sharing of our lives. While allowing us to share among close friends, it is also pushing the limits on privacy, and teaching us all to read the fine print as we all become more and more comfortable with expanding the circle of trusted friends that we share our lives with. Messaging on Facebook is so easy, many have abandoned email all together and just “Facebook” each other (that’s sending a note through Facebook). People often don’t know an email address, but find their friends by name and send them a message. Chatting is all the rage as well. Groups connect, share their lives, and expand their friendships online, blurring the lines between virtual and real.

Many people and businesses are using Facebook now as their primary branding website, drawing on the large population online. But at the same time, early adopters and web savvy professionals continue to push the envelope using twitter, flickr, youtube, twitpic, tweetchat,,, foursquare and a host of other “wild west” style social media tools. The social web is fully functional and all functions that are now done in the safety of Facebook are also done in the openness of the social web without the restriction of a closed circle of “friends.”

AOL put fences around the Internet in the late 1990s and allowed families and newbies a safe way to navigate, read news, follow “New Kids on the Block.” The public could share with each other online and join along out loud whenever a new message was delivered: “You’ve got mail!”

Just like AOL back then, Facebook today puts fences around the social web allowing an easy way for families and newbies to share photos, status updates, “likes”, and news of Justin Bieber in the safety and security of a protected social web environment. The real social web continues to thrive and innovate. I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

I wonder if, in a few years, Facebook will grow to enormous market value, purchase one of the Web 1.0 or traditional media companies and then go through a similar self-destruction as the openness of the full social web takes over. History does have a way of repeating itself. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or online (on Twitter).


Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, social web, tools, trends, web2.0

My Personal Technology Hype Cycle

This week, I’m looking at Tumblr, Ubuntu Desktop, SCVNGR and a few other technologies. Over these first few weeks of 2011, I’ve checked out Quora, Instagram, and Hot Pursuit (from EA) just to name a few. Some people say I’m tech savvy, others say I spend too much time with the “magic box” (iPhone), others say simply “I don’t know how you find the time for that”. Most just don’t care.

That’s fine with me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am curious and I don’t mind taking a few risks with my time in order to discover useful innovations. Like all innovative people or organizations, success requires a bit of risk taking. We see it with the most innovative companies, they spend millions and sometimes billions on risky endeavors. They know that many of them will fail and turn into a waste of time and money. They try to ensure efforts are focused, but failure is simply a cost of innovation. You will make mistakes often, but the payoff is great. As a entrepreneurial friend once told me 1 in 10 startups hit it big, so he keeps doing them, sometimes several at a time. Eventually he expects to hit it big.

The same goes with innovation and personal productivity. If one is willing to invest the time (that’s my case, because I don’t have millions or billions of dollars), some of those investments will pay off.  Others will be a waste of some time.

As I was thinking it through today, I was taken by the simplicity of Gartner’s Hype Cycle curve. Gartner is famous at posting these hype cycles for various topics such as Social Software, Emerging Technologies, or Consumer Mobile Applications. They are so famous, there is even room for a Hype Cycle Parody piece by CIO columnist, Thomas Wailgum. His work from last summer was definitely tweet worthy.

So I thought, maybe I should paint a similar picture for my particular interest in technology. This is a fast moving cycle and will be quite different in 6 months. It also will not match your personal hype cycle since we are all drawn to different technologies for different reasons and priorities.

Anyway, I think you might find this interesting. You will find some items where you relate, but I expect more often you will find differences. That’s fine. That’s how we learn. I look forward to hearing what is on your personal hype cycle and where it falls on the curve.

So here is the first ever Jim Worth Personal Technology Hype Cycle, January, 2011 edition:

Technology Trigger:, MacBook Air, iPad 2, iPhone 5, Ubuntu Linux, Tumblr, SCVNGR

Peak of Inflated Expectations: Instagram, Quora, Pandora, Pulse, Posterous, WordPress

Slipping down the slope: EA’s Hot Pursuit, Win 7, Google Reader, Eventbrite, Barcamp

Trough of Disillusionment: Yammer, Foursquare, Gowalla, Angry Birds, Ustream

Slope of Enlightenment: Instapaper,, Kindle, Newsgator,

Plateau of Productivity: iPad, Twitter, iPhone 3gs, PBworks, Google Analytics, Blogger, Socialcast, Google Groups, MyWi hotspot


Filed under productivity, technology, tools, trends

Enterprise 2.0 Conference Recaps

>One thing I learned at the recent E2.0 Conference in Boston was the power of a simple wiki. I started by trying to compile a list of interesting blog posts and tweeters from the conference. I started with a short list and decided to try the wiki engine. I posted a skeleton list and then tweeted it. With in 5 days it had grown to become a very compressive list that still grows. Please visit and contribute more. Thanks to the power of the crowd for creating such a great list!

Link here

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Filed under community, enterprise20, Innovation, social business, social CRM, social media, social web, trends, web2.0