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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
A storm has been brewing at The New York Times for a while now. Ever since TimesSelect -- the paid digital version of the Times -- was cancelled back in 2007, the "content wants to be free" crowd has danced around its proverbial grave, singing the equivalent of "ding, dong, paid media is dead."
It's hard to argue against that viewpoint given the reality we're seeing: long-time newspapers closing their print editions entirely (see Seattle Post-Intelligencer), august magazines such as Gourmet shutting their doors, newspaper subscriptions at unprecedented lows, not to mention the power that Google has over the traffic that newspapers and magazines generate. Worse, our consumer surveys show us that 80% of US adults will choose not to pay for online newspaper or magazine content if they can't get it for free (see my colleague Sarah Rotman Epps' post on this for more).
It is amidst this maelstrom that nytimes.com is reportedly considering erecting a new pay wall -- one presumes a shiner, prettier one than the last wall, but a pay wall nonetheless. Read New York mag's take on the situation here. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a bad idea whose time has unfortunately come.
Recently I was asked by Research Magazine to contribute to an article about market research in 2010. The caveat: I was only allowed ONE word to describe what I saw as the most important change, trend or force affecting market research in 2010.
Happy New Year! Okay, a bit late on that. However, I have some exciting news. I’m thrilled to announce the newest addition to Forrester’s Customer Intelligence (CI) team—Senior Analyst, Joe Stanhope. Joe starts on January 25, and he will be our go-to analyst for site optimization strategy, which includes coverage of Web analytics as well as online testing and targeting platforms.
If you have been following this blog, you might remember that I posted this a while back. But with the new year here, I thought it might be good to repeat some of the case studies while adding new ones... just incase you missed them or incase you wanted a refresher as you start down the path of providing a solution to your company social media needs!
Whew. Thankfully there are finally signs that the Great Recession is waning (knock on wood). The metrics used to judge the health of the economy such as unemployment are bad but not as bad. The stock market had a big bounce off lows, Avatar raked in a billion dollars, and Barbara Walters named Lady Gaga one of the 10 most fascinating people of 2009. This does not mean we are out of the woods yet.