The Cloud Is Here To Stay – Summary From Forrester’s Vendor Strategy TweetJam On Cloud Computing

On September 15th between 11am-12pm EDT Forrester held an interactive TweetJam on the future of cloud computing including Forrester analysts Jennifer Belissent, Mike Cansfield, Pascal Matzke, Stefan Ried, Peter O’Neill , myself and many other experts and interested participants. Using the hashtag #cloudjam (use this tag to search for the results in Twitter), we asked a variety of questions.

We had a great turnout, with more than 400 tweets (at last count) from over 40 unique Tweeter’s. A high level overview of the key words and topics that were mentioned during the TweetJam is visualized in the attached graphic using the ManyEyes data visualization tool.

 

Below you will find a short summary of some key takeaways and quotes from the TweetJam:

1. What really is cloud computing? Let’s get rid of 'cloud washing!'

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Breaking News: Twitter’s New User Interface And What It Means To You

On Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new and improved user interface for its Web site.  Twitter’s new Web functionality is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to Twitter.com, improve Twitterers’ interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies.  The changes will roll out over the next few weeks, and there are implications for users and advertisers.  (For example, if you have one of those elaborate, custom background images that conveys URLs or contact data, I hope you’re not too attached to it.)

At first glance, the new Twitter.com interface seems to be a minor redesign of the current Web site.  The left column containing the tweet stream is largely untouched, but the right column holding Twitter follower counts and trending topics is much wider. The extra width accommodates a new “detail pane” that improves engagement with tweets and discovery of other Twitter users.

Click on a tweet in the left column, and the detail pane permits viewing and interaction with the content of that tweet. What is displayed in the detail pane depends on the nature of the tweet: 

  • Videos: If the tweet contains a link to a video from sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and USTREAM, that video plays in the detail pane.
  • Maps: If the tweet is a check-in via services such as foursquare, the detail pane displays a map.
  • Pictures:  If the tweet includes a link to a picture posted using services such as Flickr, DailyBooth, Twitpic  and DeviantArt, that image appears in the detail pane.
  • Hashtags:  If you click on a hashtag within a tweet, the detail pane conveys up-to-the-moment search results.
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Liveblogging From Twitter HQ For Special Announcement

Tonight (Tuesday, September 14) Twitter is holding a press event to make an announcement. The event is scheduled for 4 pm PDT (7 pm EDT). No details are available yet. I'll be attending the conference along with my peer Melissa Parrish.

If you're interested in getting the Twitter news as it is available, visit this page during the event and refresh often. Or, I'll also be sharing Twitter-sized updates via Twitter: @augieray.

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Live Blog Transcripts:

3:55 pm  The crowd is set and waiting for the Twitter press event to get underway. I'll update this page throughout the event--hit F5 or click the refresh button from time to time if you're following along live.

 4:06 pm  Biz Stone (@biz) and Evan Williams (@ev) are getting us kicked off.  There's an egg on the screen and Biz promises to tell us whats in the egg.

 4:10 pm  Ev says that "Twitter is getting better--and bigger." Twitter mobile users are up 250% this year, thanks to their own branded apps. 16% of new users getting started on mobile.

4:15 pm  Twitter levels the playing field between creators and consumers of content more than any other platform before. In the beginning, they put emphasis on publishing via Twitter, but in order to get started on Twitter, you don't have to tweet any more than you need to create a Web page to use the Web.

4:20 pm 90% of the content on Twitter is public, so helping people find the content relevant to them is the challenge. Twitter gets 90M tweets/day and growth continues quite strongly--chart shows no leveling of tweets/day!

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Join Forrester’s Tweet Jam On Cloud Computing: September 15 At 11 AM EDT

Have questions about cloud computing and the top challenges and opportunities it presents to vendors and users? Then join us for an interactive Tweet Jam on Twitter about the future of cloud computing on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT (17:00 – 18:00 CEST) using the Twitter hashtag #cloudjam. Joining me (@hkisker) will be my analyst colleagues Mike Cansfield (@mikecansfield), Pascal Matzke (@pascalmatzke), Thomas Mendel (@drthomasmendel), and Stefan Ried (@stefanried). We’ll share the results of our recent research on the long term future of cloud computing and discuss how it will change the way tech vendors engage with customers.

 

Looking through the current industry hype around the cloud, Forrester believes cloud computing is a sustainable, long-term IT paradigm. Underpinned by both technology and economic disruptions, we think the cloud will fundamentally change the way technology providers engage with business customers and individual users. However, many customers are suffering from "cloud confusion" as vendors' marketing stretches cloud across a wide variety of capabilities.

To help, we recently developed a new taxonomy of the cloud computing markets (see graphic) to give vendors and customers clear definitions and labels for cloud capabilities. With this segmentation in hand, cloud vendors and users can better discuss the challenges and benefits of cloud computing today and in the future.

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Twitter Not Going Mainstream? Correct, It Already IS Mainstream!

I read Henry Blodget's Business Insider article, "Here's Twitter's Big Problem: It's Not Going Mainstream," and it made me reflect on how we define the word "mainstream," because by any definition I can think of that matters, Twitter is already mainstream.

Henry's article isn't incorrect in its assessment of Twitter's challenges for growth.  The microblog does tend to appeal more to those in tech circles than others, and it has a relatively high barrier to entry because it works best after you've dedicated time to find, follow and list the people you care to track.  But it is the way Henry equates traffic and users to mainstream that makes me think we might need a different yardstick by which to measure mainstream.

According to the article, Twitter has 145 million users worldwide, but Twitter.com only welcomes slightly less than 29 million unique users each month.  On this basis, it might seem to be more niche than mainstream, but if 29 million is not mainstream, then neither is:

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