30 April 2006

Blognomics 2006

Guido van Nispen invited me again this year to attend his second annual Blognomics symposium. It was part of the TINE ICT Networking Event and MacExpo on everything to do with computing, held at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam on Thursday this past week.

When Guido opened Blognomics 2006, he mentioned that he did not see many laptops in the audience compared to other conferences on social media. I had to chuckle. At conferences in other countries, there is a WiFi connection so that it makes sense to bring your laptop. How can we blog if we’re not connected?

That seemed to be the underlying issue as I listened to the first three speakers broadcasting their reality at us of how they’re experiencing this new business model created by the Internet. The real theme for this year was The Power of New Media. If I were to depend on these three speakers to open my mind about The Power of New Media, I would certainly not have learned much.

In all fairness, I left at the end of the 3rd speaker’s endless slide presentation. I have a torn hamstring, which makes sitting unbearable for any length of time. Had it been more engaging and relevant to creating some value proposition on the learning level, I might have just taken a walk and returned. I just didn’t think my attention span could endure another few hours of the broadcast mode.

The Netherlands is such a transactional culture that even under the guise of The Power of New Media, the Dutch are still busy just trying to make a transaction by treating new media and advertising in the old broadcast way. I heard nothing about interacting with communities, but lots about reaching target groups. The old push and shove sales model is still in place here.

The first speaker was Erik Gerritsen, the Secretary for the City of Amsterdam. Just like most politicians in The Netherlands, he bowed his head and read his speech, bobbing up and down, hardly able to focus on the audience. His gave us the usual historical references to 250 years of citizen journalism here. I could here the younger audience heave a collective sigh.

Paul Molenaar, General Manager of Ilse Media, was next up. Ilse is one of the largest online players in The Netherlands and hosts 260,000 of the 600,000 weblogs in this country. Paul gave us a statistical review of growth this past year, and then reviewed his predictions from Blognomics 2005. He asked the room if anyone was earning a living from their blog. Of course, this is the transactional context question. Many of us have grown our business because of the authority our blogs have afforded us. But, he did not ask the question to that answer.

Then Ralf Hesen, Managing Director of Tribal/DDB, started his slide show on how an advertising and media guy is making money from his consumers in target groups. At this point, I departed to explore the ICT Networking Event and MacExpo.

I could not find anything in the convention center about networking, but I did find lots of stands focused on storage and archiving. That seemed to be the real theme of this event. So, I took advantage of that and bought the new LaCie All Terrain Rugged Hard Drive with a triple interface connection, including Firewire 800. I backed up everything in my PowerBook in minutes with this speedy little gem. It’s a great design, which fits in your hand, and is built for travel. Now, this is a nice accessory to my community of traveling creatives who have to work on the run and back up serious of video and photography MBs.

21 April 2006

Europeans Not Creating Online Content

Ran into an interesting report from Jupiter Research through Robin Hamman's cybersoc.com blog posting "europeans still surfing, not creating online content".

Apparently, three quarters of Europeans on the web do not contribute to content creation. A disproportionately small group of web users in Europe are dominating public conversation and instigating business trends.

This brings two big questions to my mind:
What would happen if they actually did start contributing?
Is this a mirror reflection of their behavior at work as well?

14 April 2006

Vroom-vroom! Go Nano-car!

Great article about Rice scientists attach motor to singlemolecule car. It's powered by light. The molecular frameworks for the motor were developed by a Dutch scientist, Ben L. Feringa, at the University of Groningen, in the north of our country.

'The first nanocar research paper, published the journal Nano Letters last October, was the most-accessed article from all American Chemical Society journals in 2005. That paper was co-authored by Kevin Kelly, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering."

So when do we get to take it for a ride?

GetHuman Advocacy for Customer Service

GetHuman is an online advocacy for high quality customer service.

It is a website run by volunteers, and it services over one million consumers in the USA. It provides a rating system and keeps a data base of customer service experiences.

"The most popular part of the gethuman website is the gethuman database of secret phone numbers and codes to get to a human when calling a company for customer service."

Wow - we could really benefit from having a site like this in The Netherlands.

12 April 2006

Web 2.0 List on the Web2List Site

Wow - a Web2.0 List. Now you don't have to look any further - just pop over there and click away. You can Digg it, comment, and rate the sites.

9 April 2006

The Big Idea: Exploring Innovation as a Culture

Getting ready to present the Big Idea of Exploring Innovation as a Culture. Have been refining the core concept and trying to trim all excess distractions. Inspired by the work that I did with Gil Agnew and Arjan Kamphuis this past week, I used Open Source as inspiration and rationale for the presentation.

I tried to address all the problems and conditioning that we face here in The Netherlands. That's why I thought we needed a powerful Big Idea that would unify everything and really seduce people into a transformation.

We live in a country weighted down by a huge social contract where people feel entitled to their subsidized behavior. Combine this with a transactional based economy and we're ready for an innovation revolution.

Our task becomes: How to replace the syndrome of “entitlement” with the behavior of “performance with a conscience”. We have a real chance to transform ourselves through socio-economic behavior, capturing the need to address the basic health, educaiton and welfare of our society with an innovative and sustainable economy. This means changes from protectionism strategies to open source strategies - and embracing the benefits of diversity, instead of fearing it.

The Strategic Opportunity: Develop a new vision on investment, giving investment a new purpose and a new role for creating value - more than just transactional value - and replacing the existing entitlement practice of subsidizing. If we can convincingly encourage people to engage in new practices that network ideas, people and practices across all diverse areas, we have a path forward to a new economy that has a social conscience.

4 April 2006

Open Source is Driving a Knowledge Revolution

Just returned from a discussion with Arjan Kamphuis and Gil Agnew in my studio about the role of Open Source in our society. Most people do not realize the pivotal role that Open Spurce plays in liberating knowledge for the masses. Gil related it to the relationship between the printing press and the book. The printing press caused a revolution in literacy once books got into the hands of the masses and out of the control of the keepers.

With behemoths like Microsoft taking up the sound-bite space, it's sometimes difficult to give the purpose of Open Source technology the spotlight and attention that it deserves.

Arjan Kamphuis is a crusader for Open Source. In 2002, he authored and lobbied a parliament motion to make open source software core to the Dutch technology strategy. He believes in Open Source with a passion and is busy rounding up other proponents to really take the message into the heart of Dutch culture. His message is that Open Source is driving a knowledge revolution, much like the printing press did.

Talkr Converts Blogs into Podcasts

Blogcasting has been born! Talkr is the new social application of the month. It converts a blog into a podcast. That's the technology side. It also begins to join the long list of brands that host a live listing of what people are posting, or in this case, what people are converting to podcasts.

I'm going to play with this and see how to use it for clients. This could be perfect for people I coach. I can direct them to BlogCasts relevant to issues at hand.

Has anyone else discovered new ways to put this to use?

2 April 2006

Idea Logistics

I’ve been working on the research protocols for IFCCC. While defining parameters, I got to thinking about how to define paths for ideas – idea logistics. We can build algorithms for networks and search and value creation. Why not look for how to define negotiating an idea through a human operational system?

What would we have to address? How do we build in the political dynamics and open paths when an idea hit the old political wall? What are the natural paths that an idea follows. Meme research could illuminate the scenario...and perhaps, also, research on informational cascades.

I love puzzling this out. I’m going to play with this and see if there are some valuable lessons in the discovery process. If anyone else has also been playing with idea logistics, please share your thoughts. Maybe we could collaborate on an human behavior algorithm.