What Does $100 Million Buy You? A Semantic Search Engine That Works.

Leslie Owens

The technical folks behind Monster.com invited me to visit last week. I somehow couldn’t convince them to show me any Superbowl ads but they did demo their cool new search engine. It’s based on technology they acquired when they bought Trovix in 2008. What can it do?

  • Understand the meaning of words: The search engine knows the difference between “development” in the fundraising context and “development” in the software context.
  • Appreciate the relationships between words: A custom ontology fortifies the search engine. The ontology rolls up skills like auditing into the larger category of finance. It differentiates between a top ranked school and a lower ranked school. It understands that years spent working as a prosecutor should count towards a candidate’s overall legal experience.
  • Cut text-heavy resumes into nimble content components: Recruiters can use the power resume search to compare candidates side-by-side, because the search mixes and normalizes the information into simple, clean categories like “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills”.
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Infographic: Human Development (from the UN Development Programme)

Reineke Reitsma

Lately, there are so many cool Infographics popping up, with lots of global information. Yesterday I shared a link to an infographic from the World Bank. Today, you'll find a link to a tool from the United Nations Development Programme.

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Our "new" analyst in Europe

Christine Overby

I’m excited welcome Principal Analyst Nate Elliott back to our London offices. Although he’s from New York and spent the last year working in Vancouver, many of our European clients will already be familiar with Nate's analysis: he previously spent 2 years based in London and another 2 in Berlin covering interactive marketing in Europe.

 

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Where in the world is the cloud going?

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

In a recent blog departures_cloudpost and press kit on Building Confidence in Cloud Computing, Microsoft's General Counsel, Brad Smith, calls for government action to "ensure that a robust privacy and security legal framework exists to protect and provide user rights and benefits in the cloud."  Microsoft's statement rightly suggests that in order for the promise of "cloud computing" -- be it applications, software infrastructure for developers or physical computing capacity -- to be realized issues of data protection must be better addressed. The statement appeals to the US government to to update, modernize and strengthen two existing pieces of legislation -- the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  The statement also promotes greater transparency regarding security provided by cloud services providers as well as global collaboration around rules governing access to data for law enforcement purposes. 

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Looking backward and forward, virtually

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Train for Success hosted a panel discussion today in Second Life to both look back to 2009 and forward to 2010 and discuss observations and trends in virtual worlds.  The other panelists — Sam Driver of ThinkBalm and Doug Thompson of Remedy Communications — are really the experts on virtual worlds and all that is developing in and around them.  I spoke primarily about the rise of virtual event platforms, which the other panelists referred to as “pseudo 3D” environments.  Despite the denigrating nature of the label, I accepted that the platforms that I have focused on are less rich, and less interactive than Second Life and other “real” virtual worlds.  However, as my previous blog post indicates, that richness comes with a downside.  The barriers to entry are just too high for the use cases that the “pseudo” virtual environments have specialized in.  When using a virtual platform (of any kind) for marketing purposes, targeting a large and diverse audience, the “real” virtual environments just aren’t there yet.

However, I did want to share some of the observations that I made on the panel.  My comments were really based on adoption and use cases for “pseudo” virtual environment as tools for B2B marketers. Looking back at 2009, what did you see as highlights, lowlights, and trends in the virtual platform enterprise market?

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Infographic: The World Bank Data Visualizer

Reineke Reitsma

By now, most of you know my love for infographics. A colleague recently pointed me to this great tool of the world bank: The World Bank Data Visualizer.

It has it all: data for 209 different countries, trending, and customizable axes. This is a great tool for everyone who's doing global research and wants to know more about the countries researched, and how they relate to each other.

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SMS Donations

Julie Ask

I've been fielding quite a few requests about why donations via text messaging have done so well and why donations to Haiti via SMS have set new all time high's. I am in Cambridge, MA this week. I was walking around Central Square yesterday evening, and I noticed how many promotions there are for donating via SMS. I was surprised.

Why is it doing so well?

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If You Could Ask World Leaders at Davos One Question, What Would It Be?

Wef_logo (1) Next week I will make my annual trek to Davos for the World Economic Forum. I will be tweeting during the week and I will post my findings from the event on this blog -- most likely the week after.

I always go to Davos with a simple survey question that I ask everyone I meet with. Last year the question was: "When will the recession end?" The answers ranged widely, but averaged to April, 2010 (in retrospect, too gloomy). 

For this year I'm considering: "What is your number one priority for the next two years?" But that feels way too vanilla. 

So if you could ask a worldwide group of CEOs, political leaders, artists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, academics, and media leaders one question, what would it be? I'd love to get your ideas.

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IBM's Project Vulcan: A Blueprint For Business Inbox Next

Ted Schadler

I can't deny it. Gmail intrigues me. No, not the idea of Web-based email client. That's old hat. Rather, it's that Gmail gives me a box of tools that taken together are my personal command and control center. Everything I need to be connected, get to appointments, find a friend, stay in touch, locate stuff I need, and remain on task is in one spot.

It's convenient. It's my inbox next. It's my touchstone for personal communications.

But at work, I'm using an email client, an IM client, a calendar client, a task list client, a microblogging client, a browser client, and a bunch of other applications. Just getting from one to another gives me a headache.

So where's my business Gmail?

From where I'm sitting, that's the mission of Project Vulcan. Read Ed Brill's post for the official IBM description of the vision of a hyperlinked, rapidly-evolving, highly tailorable, multi-modal inbox. I've spoken with Alistair Rennie, Lotus's new GM, and Kevin Kavanaugh, VP and head of Notes & Domino, about this project.

My take is that Project Vulcan is nothing less than IBM's blueprint for the future of business messaging and collaboration. In particular, it will:

 

  • Build on Lotus's market and technology foundations.
  • Unify many kinds of communication media and apps into a single frame
  • Provide an anchor point for employees' information work day.
  • Use Web deployment to rapidly experiment and learn what works. (Yes, it's a code fork.)
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Interview on Marketing Voices

Nate Elliott

I was pleased to have the chance recently to speak with Jennifer Jones of the Marketing Voices podcast.

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