Monday, 27 November 2006

Putting users in control

Writing in one of the Sunday newspapers this weekend, author and journalist Julietta Jameson provides an overview of the impact of new technology (such as Electronic Program Guides (EPGs), ad skipping PVRs, and Internet video streaming) on television viewing habits and advertising . A couple of points stood out:

  • Quoting a media planner who says "there is plenty of research to say that consumers actually like advertising and appreciate commercial breaks for a chat, cup of tea, loo break"; and
  • Ratings from the US for popular shows such as CSI and Grey's Anatomy have exceeded 20 million viewers, suggesting new technologies are prompting more people to watch TV because "they have more control".

This is interesting enough for the new media space, but if we take these points out of the context of TV then I see a more general message about never assuming that users of information technology are passive - they adopt technologies and bend them to suit their needs, not what we think they need.


Friday, 24 November 2006

IT in bed

Are you guilty of this?

"As electronic devices get smaller, people tote their technology around the house more than ever. And as the number of home wireless networks also grows, laptops along with Treos, BlackBerries and other messaging devices are migrating into the bedroom and onto the bed. The marital bed has survived his-and-her book lights and the sushi-laden bed tray. Can it also survive computers that tether their owners to the office or make the bed the workplace itself?"

Make sure you read the comments.

On the upside I find that a bright mobilephone or PDA display makes a handy torch in the middle of the night...


Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Google OS or Not?

Talking of Google going to head-to-head with Microsoft yesterday, Richard MacManus and Emre Sokullu put forward three possible options of what the Googleplex might do:

  • A web based desktop (i.e. operating system)
  • A full featured Linux distribution
  • A lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS

Richard and Emre conclude that we might see something within the next 6 months... but, not everyone agrees - Robert Scoble thinks they've been drinking something :-) and responds:

"Why would Google want the hell of doing an OS? They are having a much better time just selling ads on top. And they will continue to be successful at doing that, no matter what Bill Gates says."

Thanks, Robert. There really isn't much else to say is there?


Tuesday, 21 November 2006

McAfee 0 Slashdot 1

Andrew McAfee made a big splash with his Enterprise 2.0 article, but the waves created by his more recent article on IT haven't been so "buoyant". Getting slashdotted didn't help either ;-)

Actually I have nothing against mental models that help non-IT people to make better informed decisions, but at the end of the day they are just models. But unfortunately in this case I agree with Nicholas Carr's comments:

"As its title suggests, it's one of those dry scholarly exercises in categorization that spend a lot of time explaining stuff that most managers understand intuitively."

Personally I've found more targeted models of greater use such as:

Richard Susskind's Grid for the legal industry; or

Evaristo and Munkvold's collaborative infrastructure model.

Still, I'm a consultant, so I won't throw out McAfee's ideas just yet...

The wiki is part of the office productivity suite

Yes, its been a while since I last blogged. Since presenting down in Canberra in early October I've barely had time to keep up with reading other people's posts! What I can say is that is that prefer to deal with an overloaded RSS Reader that a bloated inbox. So, in a worst case scenario RSS still helps my personal productivity.

However a couple of things in particular have caught my attention during that time:

Noting that many have observed that Google is lining up the pieces for an Office 2.0 offering that could go head-to-head with Microsoft, I'm also interested to see that either way the wiki is becoming an integrated part of the enterprise office productivity suite.

I'm also pleased in reflection that my enterprise wiki article (PDF, 121KB) for IDM published in May/June 2005 still makes some valid points.