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broadstuff"broadstuff" - 5 new articles

  1. Social Business – Europe vs UK
  2. Ello, Ello - what's going on 'ere
  3. Predicting iPhone development via Moore's Law
  4. Apple invents watch to watch you
  5. Big Internet, Small Returns, Warm Data and Cold Water
  6. More Recent Articles
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  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Social Business – Europe vs UK

I wrote a post on the Agile Elephant blog about some observations on UK/US vs European use og Social technologies, this is the first few paragraphs:

We attended the IoM conference in Cologne last week, at the same time London Social Media Week was happening. (David gave a keynote talk, the slides are over here). It was interesting to juxtapose the core themes of these 2 events (incidentally, it was our Patchwork Elephant Conference held during last year's Social Media Week London that persuaded us to set up Agile Elephant).

In a nutshell, I noted the following large differences in themes on my twtstreams:

  • In Europe, a large amount of the case studies are based around improving operations, all over the business.

  • In the UK, most of the focus is on customer attraction - marketing, lead generation and sales.

  • Where the UK is looking at operation improvement, it tends to be around customer facing operations, typically serving existing customers.

Now to be fair, IoM is about "social business" whereas "Social Media Week" has a wider remit, but it's interesting to note that even "Social Business" conferences in the UK are often focussed much more heavily on the sales/marketing arena. (Which is why we are running a more operations & customer related conference in November - see last paragraph of this post)

When we were kicking around the "why" this might be so, we came to the following hypotheses:

  • The UK has a more mercantile industry structure, but Europe has retained a lot more of its manufacturing industry - so by definition there are more European companies interested in operations improvement.

  • It is very likely that the CXO power base area is different - UK companies tend more often to be run by ex salesmen or accountants, European by ex operations people - the path to the CEO office usually tells you where the major power in the organisation lies, so its more likely that new projects in these areas are seen as priorities.

  • It may be cultural as well - in the UK my observation over many years' consulting is the culture is more "sell it first, we'll work out how to deliver it then" than European comapnies. As one delegate at IoM told us, to not have its operational side ticking along like a well made clock is painful for for a Germanic or Nordic company.

Whetever the reasoning, it leads to an interesting conclusion - best practice on customer attraction areas is in our observation coming from the UK and US, best practice in operational areas from Europe. Customer service examples seem to be coming from everywhere (it was after all a Swede who invented the concept of Moments of Truth in the customer value chain).

I'm not quite sure of the "form" for a blog in 2 places - reporoduce in entirety, or "skip after the break" - anyway, I've gone for the latter so here is the link to the rest of the article

Ello, Ello - what's going on 'ere

From Valleywag:

Ello is a bright and clean new social network that promises, in its manifesto, to stay free of ads, never sell your data, and not make anyone use real names. People are paying attention to Ello because other people are paying attention to Ello. It is invitation only.

Invite only, so only the In crowd get in - Google approach redux. If only one could rely on the no datascraping promises - it's like promising not to be Evil.

But, once it has several hundred million users, and a large infusion of funding, and needs to "monetise" before shooting for an IPO - I wonder what conclusions it will reach about user data and advertising. I'd suspect the words on the barn door will subtly change

Remember people, if you ain't paying, you ain't the customer.

Still, its a few years before those pressures will really come in so it's probably a better 'ole vs. those that are now under the cosh to monetise.

Predicting iPhone development via Moore's Law

iPhone 6 launched today, apparently the "Biggest Advancement" in iPhone history. In 2010 we made some predictions about iPhone 6 specs based on a Moore's Law progression (see chart above, written in 2010 - as a commentator notes, 2010 "Hot PC's" had gone up a few notches too by 2014), we thought it would be interesting to go back to that - we were estimating it would:

- Launch in 2014 (got that right)
- 4Ghz processor (actual apparently 25% faster than the 1 GHz processor in the iPhone 5)
- 2 Gb RAM (not yet known but unlikely to be 4Ghz)
- 256 GB Memory (currently only 128, same as iPhone 5)
- 1.2 kppi (currently at iPhone 4 levels, at c 330 ppi, but has a slightly bigger screen)

Now it could be that an "iPhone 6s" will come along with more oomph, we shall see, but right now its an iPhone 5+

It is a bit thinner, so chalk a semi-win for Moore there as its also longer so little change in actual volume, and the battery lasts c 20% longer than an iPhone 5 playing music - but its probably a bigger jump in reality as the iPhone 6 is feeding a bigger engine and doing more internal "added value" tasks.

Pricing is always a hard one to track with mobile phone deals, by our rough estimate its about 2/3 that of the initial IPhone 5 launch price, so maybe we shouldn't be too harsh about capability - you don't get a halving of the price AND a doubling of your capability every 2 years - but its mainly Android competition pushing the price down rather than a Moore's effect we reckon, that was much less a concern in 2012.

Now to be fair, we reset this prediction once iPhone 5 came out, but even applying Moore's Law to iPhone 5 would have predicted better than these iPhone 6 specs. But it is still interesting to look at rate of development by Moore's Law vs actual nonetheless over a number of cycles to see the rate of development. By our 2010 Moore's Law predictions, the new iPhone6 is actually more an iPhone 5 with "added value" lateral functionality rather than a new product cycle in capability. Certainly not the "biggest advancement" ever.

There is an iPhone 6Plus (bigger screen device) but it too is no further on than the 2012 Androd Nexus 4*

Whether the development cycle has slowed mainly due to a falling off of Moore's Law, or more due to price point pressure, is an interesting thought for the next 4 years.....

* Hat Tip James Cridland for that link

Apple invents watch to watch you

Today Apple unveiled the next iPhone (v 6), which pretty much follows our Moore's Law iPredictions, and a watch - Grauniad.

The Apple Watch will monitor health and fitness, tracking the wear’s movement, heart rate and activity with built-in sensors, feeding the information into Apple’s Health app for the iPhone and iPad, allowing review and analysis of the data.


Apple’s new contactless mobile wallet, Apple Pay, will also be available on the Apple Watch to enable users to pay for goods and services in the US using the smartwatch like a contactless credit card.

Most people stopped wearing watches when mobile phones became ubiquitous. But this is no ordinary watch though, it watches you - and sends the data on to Big Apple.

This is called progress, in the same way as the choice of U2 as the promo band..... perhaps the Police would have been better?

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Big Internet, Small Returns, Warm Data and Cold Water

There is a new trend emerging, perhaps - these 2 posts from Nick Carr & Awedience blog's Chris Arnold are thought provoking.

Nick Carr:

We talk about Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Ag. Maybe it’s time we started talking about Big Internet. That thought crossed my mind after reading a couple of recent posts. One was Scott Rosenberg’s piece about a renaissance in the ancient art of blogging. I hadn’t even realized that blogs were a thing again, but Rosenberg delivers the evidence. Jason Kottke, too, says that blogging is once again the geist in our zeit. Welcome back, world.

The other piece was Alan Jacobs’s goodbye to Twitter. Jacobs writes of a growing sense of disillusionment and disappointment with the ubiquitous microblogging platform:

“Big Twitter was great — for a while,” says Jacobs. “But now it’s over, and it’s time to move on.”

In essence, Nick argues the that the big, imepersonal, autobotted and analysed social mediascape is becoming counterproductive:

These trends, if they are actually trends, seem related. I sense that they both stem from a sense of exhaustion with what I’m calling Big Internet. By Big Internet, I mean the platform- and plantation-based internet, the one centered around giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Apple. Maybe these companies were insurgents at one point, but now they’re fat and bland and obsessed with expanding or defending their empires. They’ve become the Henry VIIIs of the web. And it’s starting to feel a little gross to be in their presence.

So, yeah, I’m down with this retro movement. Bring back personal blogs. Bring back RSS. Bring back the fun. Screw Big Internet.

Now Nick is a fairly reliable curmudgeon, but much of his scepticism is based on hard analysis so this is an interesting observation. Nick is pretty good at setting current trends into historical aptterns, one cann imagine that big data driven SM may well go the way of pop-up Ads. (there is already a movement gaining momentum to limit how much user data can be picked up)

Map to that an interesting observation by Chris Brogan, who I've always seen as a "everything's rosy" kind of fellow, but note this piece from Awedience on the idea of Warm Data:

Have you ever seen that whole “we’ve got mountains of data on our customers” experience play out? In lots and lots of cases, most organizes aren’t really equipped to actually do anything with the data. And “big” data just means that there are mountains of information points that, in the right hands, can make interesting things happen.

I think what lots of us need is “warm” data. What “warm” means to me is “data that matters and can help the customer.” Christopher Lynn, who runs a lot of things at the Colonnade hotel in Boston knew Jacqueline and I were going to a Black Keys concert while staying there one night. We came back to our room to a CD of their music and a nice note. He used warm data to make my perception of the hotel and Chris’s dedication to guests that mattered to him very very high indeed.

If I were to pour cold water on this (as if...) I'd say this is just Personalised Data, reheated - and this message about the medium is a year or so old....but it's been striking a chord again recently and sort of fits in with Nick Carr''s observations. Awedience makes another interesting point, quoting Rob Hatch:

There’s a big counter-trend going on where people are pushing harder and harder to automate and dehumanize their use of communications tools like social media and email and the rest of the digital channel. Go ahead. Do that.

I’m going to work on using the best tools I can to build very human-minded communication and nurturing flows that promote very human interactions with prospective customers and other community members. I think that smart businesses will focus a lot more on understanding how these tools they can use can empower their opportunity to build stronger relationships with the people they serve.

Now, 2 tropes do not a trend make, but seems to me the Social Media market is starting to recognise a distinction between mass produced commodity SM and high value SM as a value proposition, not an interesting theoretical concept. The limits to "big" social media automation benefits may be approaching, perhaps. Which stands to raeson - any market eventually shakes out into a commodity type offering. midrange offerings, and more added value/one off offerings so its clear SM will too (and faster than we think, perhaps)....

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