Results tagged “Twitter”

In Search of Book Publishing's Blockbusters

In Search of Book Publishing's Blockbusters

One of the greatest novels of the 20th century almost didn't get published. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, which later became a smash hit in Hollywood, was 'discovered' by a New York book agent sent to America to find the next crop of budding novelists. When he was traveling through Atlanta, he heard about a manuscript about the years leading up to the American Civil War and went to see the young author. Mitchell was extremely reticent to show the agent her manuscript. The story goes that she didn't think it was of high enough quality to be seen by someone from a major publishing house. The agent was unrelenting, and once he had skimmed the chapters he knew he had a potential bestseller on his hands.

Ironically, that publishing world is, well, 'gone with the wind'. No longer do book agents try to 'discover' little known authors and bet the bank that they might become big literary sensations. Instead, book publishing almost resembles the pharmaceutical industry: The players place their bets on a few big, well-known authors that they know they will be able to recoup the costs of printing and marketing. Like Big Pharma, the book publishers prefer to get through each year with a handful of sure-fire blockbusters than risking funds on new names.

Rise (or Descent) of the Bots

Rise (or Descent) of the Bots
Bots are incredibly convenient ways to publicize a brand or organization to people who depend on social media for a lot of their day

Have you ever heard the story of Lajello? We all have our 15 seconds of fame, and for a while, he was one of the most popular characters on the Internet. Why? Because he was a prominent and well respected member in a social media network for book lovers. Very high brow stuff. He was known to recommend books that he had read and for a time became the second-most "liked" person in that online group.

The problem was that Lajello was nothing more than an algorithm. Many book lovers had sustained long online conversations with Lajello and some even shared their innermost thoughts and emotions. Turns out they were speaking to a "bot." There's a startling new study that finds one in five of us accepts "bots" unknowingly into our online worlds. We befriend them, talk with them, and treat them like a member of the family.

Digital Infrastructure Is The Next Frontier

Let's face it: Digital needs are changing. That's why it's imperative for enterprises to adopt new tools and technologies. Did you know, for example, that by next year some 3 billion consumers, or 45 percent of the world's population, will be using the Internet? It's a staggering number. Smart organizations need to be focused on the power of social media as well as the possibilities that come with ultra-connectivity: the Internet of Things.

To best anticipate and leverage these rapid-fire changes, an organization needs to recognize that there's a paradigm shift occurring in the global marketplace. That means redefining the digital needs of present-day consumers. Doing so will take the right infrastructure and the right software. Internet traffic volumes are estimated to reach 1 zettabyte (yes, zettabyte!) by later this year. Digital consumers are already making 500 million tweets a day, and there exists 1.2 billion monthly active Facebook users. Ask yourself: Is your organization's digital infrastructure and software up to the task of meeting this growing consumer demand?

The Story of Streaming



Dish CEO: Sling TV to Complement Dish's Core Business [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRfrejSjgWU]

People under the age of 30 are not big on commitment. I mean, they just don't want to be tied down with anything, be it a music system, a television cable subscription, or even a car. The under-30 crowd prefers paying for those items when they need them - and nothing more. How to explain the rise in popularity of Uber for transportation and Spotify for music?

Now their attention is turning to the media and entertainment industry. You see, affluent, millennial consumers would rather stream shows at their convenience than pay for a subscription that gets them hundreds of channels they know they'll never watch. This is driving a sea change in the entertainment industry, which is slowly moving towards steaming content.

Is The Death Of The Type-In Password Near?



What does Twitter's `Fabric' tool do for apps? [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKmem1RwheI]

Finally! It took years and several high profile, wide-scale corporate security breaches, but American companies are finally being nudged into issuing credit cards with embedded microchip technology. To Europeans, this technology is nothing new. But the legacy technology characterized by the old magnetic strip put up quite a battle for an extended lifespan in America. We're all glad to see that organizations there are putting it to rest in favor of the technologically superior microchip.

It always seems that cyber-crooks are one step ahead of everyone else, so when consumer-focused organizations take the digital security of its patrons very seriously, it's a positive step for global commerce. In that same spirit I heard the news that Twitter will very soon be offering a new tool for developers that could one day spell the end of the traditional type-in password. I think we can all agree that type-in passwords, like magnetic strips on credit cards, are antiquated. They can also be a pain in the neck. How many times have you visited a Web site only to be forced into clicking on the "Forget Your Password?" link?

Sending Money Socially



In France, Transferring Money With Tweets [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPC_J2iqC4]

The power of the proverbial wake-up call. Some of us are lucky to receive them. They keep us nimble and always push ourselves and our organizations to improve. But there are those among us who are unlucky; they're the ones who don't receive wake-up calls. Remember the man who, more than 100 years ago, said the 'horseless carriage' wouldn't catch on because of all the petrol stations that would have to be built to serve them? Then there was the executive in the 1970s - a computer company CEO, no less - who said he could never see people keeping computers in their homes.

Today we received a couple of huge wake-up calls. The question is: who will heed them and who will ignore them? The call involves the fact that a French mega-bank, Groupe BPCE, is teaming up with Twitter to allow customers to transfer money via Tweets. And that's not all. Indian private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) has launched a Facebook-based instant fund transfer service where money can be transferred to users' friends on social media network in real time and for free!

Connecting Digitally: Let Us Count The (New) Ways


Biz Stone: Twitter's Lessons Help Spread Jelly [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OXQXJ_UulE]

Twitter's co-founder Biz Stone is working on a new project - a search engine called Jelly. Part of Stone's reasoning is that the basic way we get answers to our online queries hasn't changed that much in the past 15 years or so. You type something into the search engine, hit return, and view the list of suggested matches. That's an eternity in digital time.

So what will be different about Jelly? Well, Stone says that he's envisioning what the world has become - a very tight conglomeration of digital consumers who are in close contact with each other. Now imagine taking all the 'stuff' from all of your social media networking - the photos and the maps and the messages and the locations - and combining it all to create a mega-social network.


Social Media for the Enterprise - A Business Case [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjX3160MEPQ]

A little known but fascinating part of British history is that during the 18th century, the king forbade colonists in North America from congregating in groups of more than 50 people (excepting, of course, religious gatherings). The king's concern was that when a large number of people got together to air their grievances, revolutionary uprisings could take shape quite rapidly.

What this lesson shows is that we've long known about the social potency of a huge crowd. Enter social media, which allows online "gatherings" of hundreds of millions of people within minutes. As a global community, we're still coming to terms with just how powerful this new tool can be. That's why it's extremely important for organizations of all stripes to make certain they have the right systems and controls in place to make social media work for them - not against them.

The New Value of Information


Its all aboard for Twitter's IPO [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXNqG1YXbuI]

There's an old proverb that says: "May you live in interesting times." For those of us who are alive today - creature of the Information Age - it can't get more interesting.

Take the story of Twitter, for instance. The company recently made headlines all over the world because of its red-hot initial public offering. Essentially it was a Web-based service that offers micro-blogs to hundreds of millions of followers around the world. And when I say micro, I mean it: No tweet can be longer than 140 characters.

Is It Consumer Power That Takes a Quantum Leap?


Complaining About Big Companies On Social Media By Advertisement [Source:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i46jc2zd7h4]

Customer service representatives around the world: Your jobs just got a lot more interesting.

For those of you who haven't heard, a disgruntled man from Chicago might be the first consumer to shell out big money for a so-called "promoted tweet" - essentially a paid ad on Twitter - to gripe about a company. We've all come to appreciate the potency of social media on its own; his buying a $1,000 tweet that would be sent out to the company's 77,000 followers made his rant exponentially more powerful.

Syed Hasan's complaint was about how British Airways lost his dad's luggage during a trip to Europe and, so he claimed, was nonchalant about addressing his requests for help during the ordeal. In the old days, an unsatisfied customer could write a strongly worded latter to corporate headquarters and hope that someone within the vast corporate hierarchy would at least see the complaint. Sometimes a company, depending on its commitment to customer service, would mail the person a mea culpa in the form of a voucher or coupon in the hopes of retaining his business down the line.

Business Collaborations That Are The Kat's Meow


Android KITKAT 4.4 -- The future of confectionery [Source:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKOrkLxOBoY]

Arsenal, one of the world's best soccer teams, outfits its players with shirts that boldly urge us to "Fly Emirates." Some of the leading drivers in America's biggest sport, stock car racing, are emblazoned with the logos of brands seemingly unrelated to super-fast automobiles such as chewing gum and laundry detergents. Indeed, sports teams have long had a symbiotic relationship with companies in entirely unrelated sectors when it comes to getting their messages out.

Perhaps the most noteworthy of all marketing collaborations is the recent KitKat candy bar by Nestlé that comes wrapped and ready to eat in the shape of an Android. This cross-marketing effort is the result of Google wanting to make a splash during its 15th anniversary year. Although consumers are eating up the campaign, Google claims very little money changed hands between it and the Swiss food giant. The collaboration was more about making a statement and having fun, they said. It was about the unexpected.

Television, Socially Speaking


Mobile Phone-TV Convergence at CES Brings Web to Sets [Source:BeetTV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vd0f_Sg3t8]

It turns out that the passive beings who once sat in front of television sets have evolved into a new species. It's a group that has become very social and proactive. So much so that "what" they're doing while watching TV is on the verge of influencing programming in real time.

Credit the smart phones and tablets for this convergence of digital activity. Television sets might be getting larger, but smart devices are all about convenience, especially when someone is sitting and watching the larger TV screen. Viewers can text friends and use social media to discuss the minutia surrounding the latest contestant to be voted off a reality show.

The Mother of Invention

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Mater artium necessitas. Or in English: Necessity is the mother of invention. We, in the technology world, certainly owe a lot to necessity. You can look at necessity a number of ways:, such as drive or ambition or determination. These qualities are all part of the culture of a great technology-based organization. But while we're analyzing old phrases, what's also noteworthy about the one I've just shared is that it links invention (or innovation, if you'd like) to a mother. Because the U.S and urban India celebrated Mother's Day this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to look at what influence our moms have had on the world of technology and human progress in general.

I came across a wonderful essay in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week from a technologist who likens her experience with raising her four children to creating a more efficient organization. At first she admits that she knows she might offend some readers with her premise - how "arrogant" she might come across for recommending that a good leader parents her employees. Instead, what she is saying is that her parenting helped her understand the different styles and personalities of people around her. And, more importantly, how to motivate and challenge them against the background of a technology company.

Balancing Compliance and Conversation

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Here's a mashup of findings from two separate studies on the social media behavior of banks. According to the first, which looked at the Twitter performance of over 300 U.S. retail banks, almost 22% of the accounts were either dormant or deactivated. About 50% tweeted less than once every 3 days and 1 in 10 managed fewer than 20 tweets over 12 months. The second, a study of 50 leading private banks found that one-third did not even have an active Facebook profile and only half of the remaining two-thirds responded to a test request. 


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Tune in to the audio post here*

* This is a recording, by professional voice talent, for your listening convenience.

I spend lots of time in the New York metro region and have many friends and colleagues living in the area hit hard by hurricane Sandy several weeks ago.  Millions were impacted directly by the storm with entire neighborhoods devastated, massive power outages and mile long queues for gasoline.  Whether the storm was a result of global warming may be open to debate but it's clear that rising sea levels and changing weather patterns are likely to create similar destructive storms in the future.

Think again: Influential consumer ahead!


My family, I think, is fairly typical. The wife. Two kids. Four iPads. And, zippy Internet that keeps us all happy and well. That's why, when a friend told me about this new lightning-fast Internet provider, he had my attention instantly.  So, imagine my disappointment when the service provider for the Internet connection told me, that given the terrain where my home is anchored, it wasn't feasible to draw the cable up to my doorstep. But a few days later, I found that a neighbor, two doors away, was using the very same service. A couple of calls and a second evaluation later, the verdict was still the same. No go.
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