Technology is our friend: July 2011
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July 18, 2011

The real question is just WHEN

Anyone who deals with technology and internet comes to the point when predictions have to be made, wether it is asking yourself or being asked by friends or a client. We have 15+ years experience with the world wide web now, and I think there are patterns we can learn from, from Moore's law of exponential growth in technology to accelerating change as we can see in this chart from RWW:

There are more apps downloaded than songs. Nearly unbelievable, but true. This probably has not only to do with the amount of smartphones sold but also with music going to the cloud - streaming instead of downloading on Pandora, Spotify and yes, also Youtube which is used as a Juke Box by many users.

We can learn a lot from music as the first major media area to be digitized:

  1. Every industry that CAN be digitized, WILL be digitized (sooner or later). This goes for television as well as ticketing and cinema and newspapers and books all others. We will not use physical material for non-physical products.
  2. Every industry based on downloads and "owning" files will end up in the cloud. File sharing will be sharing streams. Yes, bluray 3D movies will be in the cloud and streamed with no buffering or timelapse whatsoever.
  3. Device/system independent usage will come. Eventually, even the big platforms like Android and iOS might either work on interoperability or be damaged by HTML5 and similar technologies. On the long run, we will not divide our world in users of this or that operating system, device or access channel (in the early days, Apple tried to close you in on ipods by making the music accessible on their devices only - didn't work). 
  4. Everything will be connected on commonly used standards. Just like with music that is accessible anytime, anywhere by any hardware, we will end up in a smiliar scenario with all sorts of data.
  5. Everything will be social. Services and sites will be built around people and sharing rather than the pure 'objects'.
Just look at this statistic from Cisco, taken from an infographic published today:

We are talking of a development that took place in max. 4 years - 2008 to end 2011. Things go fast in the digital world, but in the end, we are humans and we tend to take things in our direct environment for granted when we have them for a week or so. We don't really recognize how fast things go.

When we ask ourselves about the future, whatever we can think will be built and developed. Whatever digitization can do to an industry will happen. We shouldn't be asking ourselves if people will 'really' be using ebooks or if someone will 'really' stream their TV program and movies. These are not the right questions. The only legitimate question is WHEN, and 'digital strategies' need to focus more on when and how to influence a transition period rather than trying to find ways around inevitable developments.
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July 16, 2011

And now to something completely different: Eye tracking

Very interesting eye tracking study - gender specific. Find the full slideset here.
Apparently, men spend more time looking in the face of half naked women (average: approx. 40% more than women do), while women generally spend more time checking out the body. Not as surprising is the fact that in the end, men don't see much more than the face - in this case, we don't care at all about the shoes .-)



Study has been conducted and published by http://eyetrackshop.com/
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July 12, 2011

July 11, 2011

+1 is not sharing (yet)

Mashable, Business Insider and all the others report that the +1 is more widely spread than the Twitter share button. While I doubt that this really is the case, they all seem to forget that when you click +1, nothing happens unless your friends search for something and see your +1 in their search results (or see your +1 tab in your Google profile). It is far away from being a "sharing" button, at least for now (a more detailed view of this - in German - here).

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Tut mir leid, keine Gyros-Bude zu haben. Not.

Früher, da war alles einfach. Visitenkarte raus – Etatdirektor Werbeagentur, Vice President in einem New Economy-Monster und dann bei der Telekom. Das war noch respektabel. Jetzt, als Freiberufler, macht die Karte natürlich nichts mehr her. Und man würde wahrscheinlich als Geldspielautomaten-Aufsteller, Solarium-Betreiber oder Zuhälter mehr Anerkennung ernten als beim schnöden „Berater“. Und selbst dann, wenn die Leute sich vorstellen, dass man zu den Excel-Schiebern gehört, die das vegetarische Menü von der Kantinen-Speisekarte des Chemiekonzerns streichen, um Geld zu sparen, steht man besser da, als wenn man als Berater irgendwann „Internet“ oder – Gott bewahre – „Social Media“ erwähnt.
Gefühlt jeder vierte der frühen deutschen Posts bei Google+ und jeder 10te Blogpost allgemein macht sich über powerpointende Social Media-Berater lustig, und nachdem ich das heute auch noch von @wilddueck lesen durfte, wurde es mal Zeit für einen kleinen Rant hier. Ihr tut alle so, als wären Berater eine Krätze, die alles befällt, was am Web wahr, gut oder sinnvoll sein könnte. Die allgemeine Kritik mag sich ja gegen die richten, die immer nur sagen, „Social Media ist anders“ und „heute kommunizieren Konsumenten öffentlich“, man müsse „mit Kontrollverlust leben“ und „Beziehungen wirklich leben“, ohne zu sagen, was genau anders ist und wie das alles gehen soll. Gekauft. Wie in jeder Branche gibt es Trottel, Wichtigtuer und  Blender; der einzige Unterschied zu anderen Dienstleistungsbereichen ist, dass man den zertifizierten hier noch weniger trauen sollte als den selbsternannten Experten. Aber das ist kein Grund, jeden, der jemals mit einer Power Point Präsentation in einem Corporate Meeting aufgetaucht ist, als Dummschwätzer darzustellen. Man sollte doch ein wenig Vertrauen in den Markt haben: Wer dauerhaft nur Müll anbietet, wird halt nicht lange Erfolg haben. Aber solange eine Welt Kompakt einen Tag nach der Beta-Öffnung von Google+ auf der Internet-Doppelseite mit der Topstory „Achtung Facebook! Ning kommt.“ aufmacht, wird man selbst die ganz miesen Social Media Berater noch brauchen.
Es war ein "Public" Post, also darf's hier auch "Public" rein

Ich selbst sehe mich ja als Berater, dessen Spezialgebiet die Digitalisierung der Welt ist. Das verändert teilweise ganze Industrien, teilweise Geschäftsmodelle und langfristige Strategien und mehr als teilweise die Art, wie kommuniziert wird. Und da fällt Social Media natürlich auch rein, und zwar seit ein paar Jahren ganz massiv. Auch wenn ich glaube, dass die wenigsten Leute wirklich durchblicken, was Facebook eigentlich alles verändert und bewirkt, so hat – wie bei der Aufstellung der Nationalelf – jeder eine Expertenmeinung, der es schafft, sich einen Account einzurichten. Zwar ist Social Media mit Sicherheit nicht das einzige, womit sich Unternehmen derzeit beschäftigen (müssen), aber ein Bereich, in dem viele Unternehmen Hilfe brauchen. Und nun muss ich es mal loswerden:
Ich habe keinen Bock, mich zu schämen, dass ich diese Hilfe leisten kann.
Ich würde mir zwar nie „Social Media Berater“ auf die Karte und erst Recht kein Buch „Building Successful Social Media Relations“ schreiben – aber nicht, weil alle immer nur darüber lästern, sondern weil es aus meiner persönlichen Sicht, Expertise und Interessenslage zu kurz greift, sich ausschließlich darauf zu konzentrieren. Aber es ist mir auch zu einfach, wenn alle immer auf den Leuten rumhacken, die denen unter den 60 Millionen Deutschen, die eben nicht bei Facebook und erst recht nicht in Google+, dafür aber in dicken Management-Positionen sind, erklären müssen, wie und warum das alles Sinn machen kann. Ich werde euch jedenfalls nicht anlügen und auf einer Party behaupten, eine Gyros-Bude zu betreiben oder Klempner zu sein, nur um bessere Chancen bei den Mädels zu haben. 
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July 8, 2011

July 5, 2011

I just like this one

Copy, modify, re-share for free while naming your source - this should be legal with everything.

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Feels like this at the moment

but maybe i am totally wrong.

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July 4, 2011

Yo Facebook, what have I done to deserve this?


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After A Few Days On Google+, I realized I Am A Social Astronaut

Article first published as After A Few Days On Google+, I Realized I Am A Social Astronaut on Technorati.
Everyone keeps talking about Google+ - so do I. After a few days on the network, I am as impressed as most people and really like the service. But has it made my life easier yet? No, absolutely not. Besides from adding to my stress level in being the third social stream I think I have to take care of (three tabs for Facebook, Twitter and Google+), a key thing I learned is that on Facebook, I was obviously navigating an astronaut cockpit and performing the most complex tasks without even noticing. I never really thought about it because it was the only way these tasks could be performed, and they seemed to be a little laborious at times, but controllable. Now that Google+ exists, I have to rethink all this: When I post this there, will it be visible to whom exactly? When I click a +1 here, what happens at some other end of the internet? When I upload something there in this way, what is happening here in that way? Sometimes, it is different from Facebook. Sometimes not. Sometimes smarter, sometimes not, but the effect is that now, all of a sudden, there’s not just one but multiple perspectives on sharing and how it should be done.
http://www.noulakaz.net/weblog/2007/01/22/vicks-vs-avinash/ 

I keep seeing test posts from friends saying “who can see this” and “can you reshare that”, “please comment if you see this post”, "do you see my in-stream +1 in your search results" and whatnot. A million questions are raised and everyone tries to figure out the answers. On top of that, I keep thinking I would need a better noise control in my stream and intelligent filters beyond circles; I find myself fantasizing about features that would allow this and prevent that from happening. As unimaginable as it was to me to bring my parents to Facebook, it is just as unimaginable to bring them to Google+.

It is way too early to judge, but from what I see, at the moment, social networking online is still so complex, Google+ can’t be the ultimate answer. Maybe it will turn out to be the best we had up to now. But it just brings us closer to the right questions - not to the answers of how social networking online should really be.
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July 1, 2011

Why does no one compare Google+ to Twitter?

Article first published in an immature, early and wrong version as 2 Things I Need To Understand In Google Plus on Technorati.

I have read many of the initial reactions to Google+ and most of them compare it to Facebook (see my previous post). Different features are compared and everyone has an opinion on how Google+ may become a "Facebook Killer" or not. What I don't really understand is why no one sees how Twitter fits in a world with Google+ and Facebook. After sleeping a night over my first couple hours in Google+, I see a far greater possibility for damage on Twitter than FB. I have published a post on Technorati, and the article was immature and... wrong. I didn't understand why Google+ offered asynchronous adding and why there wouldn't be a fanpage product. Now I understand both things.

A) Asynchronous adding
Unlike Facebook, you can add someone without their permission. This is pretty much like following someone on Twitter - their public posts appear in your stream. But unless they "follow you back", your updates don't get into their stream. As soon as they add you, too, the Twitter-like following feature becomes a Facebook-like friendship relation with mutual posts in streams, depending on which circles you are in. This is a) a great way of getting a network going early on (and have a lively stream from the very beginning) and b) combines Twitter-like publishing with Facebook like media and commenting. I keep thinking this might turn out to be more dangerous to Twitter than it is to Facebook.

B) Fanpage product
Now that I understood their adding mechanics, I see why there is no initial Fanpage product: It is not necessary. Any brand can enter Google+ and be added by users, just like on Twitter, but with more capabilities (media posts, comments). To match Facebook's product, some analytics and insights tools, some targeting tools (for example with regards to language/country) and maybe some profile customization will be necessary, but other than that, everything is right there. Any celebrity can open a Google+ account just like a Twitter account and will get a ton of followers soon.


So in both cases I now see why I didn't understand them from the very beginning: I saw it from a Facebook vs. Google+ perspective. Now I think that we should look at it more from a Twitter vs. Google+ perspective: I don't think Google+ is what Facebook should be, but what Twitter could have been. Google may have deceived us into thinking they are attacking Facebook, but they are smart enough to do so by trying to eliminate others, first. But that might change tomorrow, too. Just my initial thoughts. Part II.


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