Friday, December 5, 2008

Blog has Moved

I have moved the Blog to

I will put a redirect on this templaye soon but for now please go to


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lotus Foundations

I have a day job, its called Lotus Technical Sales for IBM New Zealand. as part of that day job I get to play around with a stack of software that people can guy and vast truck load of software that you can't - primarily research development.

IBM have released a new product this year called Lotus Foundations which I think is pretty cool in that it is a black boxed solution for Small and Medium businesses (SMBs). Luckily for me 99% of New Zealand has less than 100 employees so I think the product will rock!

At the moment we have a 30 day trial license available where you can download the code. The install code includes an ISO so yo ucan get on with installing the base operating system (Linux) and the capabilities of Email (with an outlook client), security services, backup services and Collaboration (IBM's OpenOffice Symphony). It is super cheap - approx $1500.

If anyoine out there is thinking of doing the download and building a vmware I have added a couple of videos that really helped me. I am also building a presentation to help which I will post on slideshare shortly.

The videos to help build a vm....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Adobe dabbles in video-object manipulation

My buddy sent me a link to this video which I thought was amazing. When you have finished watching it you will never trust video again!!

As I watch this video I was thinking augmented reality as there are some common themes such as creating content that is not real or has been modified to suit the audience.

Interactive Video Object Manipulation from Dan Goldman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rivers Run Red and Immersive Workspace

Following on from the previous blog post where I presented about Virtual worlds there was an exciting announcement around the release of a collaboration platform from Linden Labs and River Run Red.

This is a logical evolution of virtual world technology and this is something we do inside IBM across a number of virtual world technologies. 3D collaboration is in its infancy and the initial release of services will be purely in SaaS mode but over time I would expect on-premise solutions to be the norm.

I am keen to see 3D applications seep into mainstream life. There are examples from IBM Research, Immersive Technologies and 3DInternet that make this more and more likely.

Generation Y and 3D Internet

I have broken my keynote cherry. Last week I delivered the keynote address to the Digital Technologies Professional Learning Symposium here in Auckland. The audience was made up of 150 IT teachers for 11-17 year olds. The conference was orgnaised by Michael King of Cognition Consulting to promote the new Digital Technologies curriculum.

I wanted the pitch to address a generic Generation Y persona, I did this by using a character called Chloe and talking about her likes and dislikes. I then spoke about the employment needs of the OECD economies with a focus on training professionals in the subject of Service, Science, Management and Engineering (SSME). The last section looks at video games, console games, online games and Virtual Worlds as this is a massive growth area for the internet or 3D internet.

Here is the presentation I gave which is on slideshare. The session was recorded so I will upload it to when the organisers send me a copy of the video file.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Movember 2008

Its Movember, the month formally known as November. In Movember the world comes together to raise awareness and money for Men's health specifically Cancer and Depression.

In New Zealand men live 4 years less than women, why? because they think everything will be ok and there is no need to go to the doctor. We need to try and change this and the Movember project aims to do this.

Movember is a project that is run across the globe so you can contribute to your local cancer societies via the website.

Have a look at the presentation below for more information, visit the Movember website, join-in and contribute.

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: movember cancer)

Friday, November 7, 2008

IBM Collaboration is Interesting - honest guv

I have uploaded my first presentation onto a video site, in this case The video is of a presentation I delivered on Wednesday 15th October at the New Zealand Software Association. I have already shared the presentation in a previous blog entry but you are now incredibly lucky to have me in glorious technicolor pontificating about Social Media.

Comments appreciated.

Uploading Video

It was quite a palaver trying to decide which video site to use to upload this piece of video. I started with but the response times to New Zealand seemed really slow. As an impatient person I binned that idea and went onto the next video site Vimeo. Unfortunately Vimeo does not allow commercial type material and because this has some IBM content I had to bin that idea. Next site, Viddler. Viddler seemed like a great option as I have had some really cool feedback about it unfortunately they couldn't accommodate a 168Mb file so they were struck off my list and thrown into the rubbish bin (trash can). Running out of ideas I remembered I had an account with Revver (who owe me 28c), two problems here, a really bad description editor i.e. html is not allowed and they don't accommodate the 168 mb video file size. Guess what? I went back to and started the upload, I guess I will have to live with the slow response. - ho hum.

Blip.TV additional extras

The video has been uploaded and has some cool extras with regards to promoting your video.

1. Share comments across your blog site - like it although not sure how it will look and feel on this blog
2. Add to iTunes - not done this before so will be interested to see what happens!!
3. Facebook - adds an application
4. channel
5. Flickr

No bad eh!?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Which wiki shall I try today?

I was describing my need to use a wiki in a previous blog post. I had some time this afternoon to do a quick Google search to see what was on offer. One of the wiki's that came to light was Tiddlywiki.

"TiddlyWiki is a single html file which has all the characteristics of a wiki - including all of the content, the functionality (including editing, saving, tagging and searching) and the style sheet. Because it's a single file, it's very portable - you can email it, put it on a web server or share it via a USB stick."

That sounds pretty good especially as its one file.

TiddlyWiki is already being used as:

  • A personal notebook
  • A GTD ("Getting Things Done") productivity tool
  • A collaboration tool
  • For building websites (this site is a TiddlyWiki file!)
  • For rapid prototyping"
I am having a play with it to see if it adds some value to my information gathering activities.

It looks like Tiddlywiki is used quite extensively within British Telecom. I pulled this video from the Open Source arm of BT called ommosoft so they can give you an incite of their usage.

TiddlyWiki in BT from Phil Whitehouse on Vimeo.

The Magic Number

I had a meeting with Peeyoosh Chandra of Ogilvy yesterday to talk about Social Media and Social networking. The most interesting aspect of the conversation to me was the introduction of the magic number.

In Advertising agencies the magic number is 3. For every person we hit with our advertising we would expect that individual to influence and spread the message to 3 other people. Based upon this metric agencies decide which method or channel should be used to reach say 30,000 people.  (I hope I have not lost anything in translation here)

I delivered a presentation to the NZ Software Association entitled "Collaboration and Social Networking" (pretty snazzy title eh!?) a couple of weeks ago and within that presentation I spoke about Measuring the Success of Social Networking implementations which sparked PC and I connecting.  The initial stats show us that if we introduce a new funky feature into our website or social networking site we can dramatically effect the usage of the social networking site. 

Here is the presentation I delivered to the NZSA in full. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Something to ponder: Blogging tips

I consider myself pretty new to blogging. I have created a bunch of posts and slowly made small changes to my blogger theme as time allows. I stumbled upon this video presented by problogger which I found really useful. You have three guys giving some tips about how to write a successful blog. Its a short film 02.30 minutes and worth a view.

Where does that leave me and this blog. Should I still blog about random Social Networking stuff or talk about my experiences.... something to ponder.

Answering Questions

I was having a read of Gia Lyons Jive Social Networking and Collaboration blog this morning and she has an entry called "Why is it so hard to get smart people to share?". While the entry is interesting it was one of the comments that I found of most value.

"...trying as much as possible to answer any and all questions with a URL. Usually if the answer doesn’t exist on the web it is easier for me to document the answer in a wiki, then when the same question comes along all I need to do is resend the URL. Once the information is out there some people will find it (and hopefully expand it), and even better, they won’t even need to ask me in the first place."

It dawned on me that I don't always do this so. I still send Attachments to satisfy customer requests when actually all I need to do it put it up on a wiki or a secure space.

I have two choices in terms of content locations:

1. Lotus Greenhouse
2. A random Wiki

Lotus Greenhouse is a SaaS solution from IBM that allows anyone to have a play with IBM's collaboration tools in a safe environment. There are ample places within the greenhouse to store information and there are multiple methods of sharing this information with colleagues, business partners and customers. The only issue I currently have is it is effectively a closed Beta in that I have to request from the Admin access for my customers which makes instant collaboration slower than I would like.

I think in the short term I will use a wiki and see how I get on....anybody got any suggestions which one to use PBWiki, wikidot, wetpaint etc?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thinking Outside the Inbox

Luis Suarez a Social Networking consultant from IBM talks about his experiences of not using email. He has successfully reduced his email to 30 emails per week, most of which are calendar invites.

He describes email as the following:
  1. locked
  2. private
  3. poor visibility
  4. a political game of cc: and bcc:

He shows how to move away from these points to a model that is;

  1. open
  2. public
  3. transparent

He reflects that he actually has more control over his interactions and it allows him to be more productive.

He talks about the adoption of social networking tools starting with communities. A community shares content around a topic that the members are passionate about.

Luis goes on to say that he used to spend 2-3 hrs a day on email, this time is now spent in Social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. He makes a very interesting statement that the one thing that email does not give you is trust.

I don't want to spoil the video but it is really worth a look.

Visualization and Dashboarding

As usual I came into the office and checked out the latest information nuggets from the twitter world. I wanted to highlight Google virtualization API.

"The Google Visualization API lets you access multiple sources of structured data that you can display, choosing from a large selection of visualizations. Google Visualization API enables you to expose your own data, stored on any data-store that is connected to the web, as a Visualization compliant datasource. Thus you can create reports and dashboards as well as analyze and display your data through the wealth of available visualization applications."

Dashboard technology is usually used by management in a corporate setting. Essentially a senior manager logs onto their intranet home page and dashboard data is personalized and presented to that senior manager based upon their role, responsibility, targets, goals and personal interests. This information may be presented in graphs, pie charts and tables. The senior manager is then able to click on the graphs and tables and drill -down to see how those higher level metrics were calculated. Have a look at this demo and a technical wiki on the subject,

The Google offering deals with the initial dashboarding requirements but it is not yet able to provide a rich drill-down experience. I think its limitations are acknowlwdges in the title of the offering "Google Visualization"

I am a keen advocate of SaaS solutions and believe that these types of tools can assist organisations in deliver something quickly. My personal view is that it would be limited when the requirements for a company would be to be able to drill down through layer after layer of metrics and KPI data.

If a client just wants visualization then here is a piece of emerging technology from IBM's Alphaworks that is not widely known about "Many Eyes". It provides visualization of information similar to Google Virtualization although you need to upload the datasets into the service to produce a visualization. I have included a screen shot of a sample visualization.

Monday, November 3, 2008


While trying to decide whether to start up a corporate blogging service for New Zealand based businesses I stumbled upon LiveWorld's solutions.

"Community Center 2.0 is LiveWorld’s enterprise-scale social network and community platform. It brings together community applications, management tools and systems infrastructure to deliver the best mix of user features, administration, management, reporting and scalability—all flexible enough to tailor to your community requirements. Community Center offers the strongest loyalty marketing, support community and engagement network solution on the market."

Sounds like a load of the usual marketing guff but the list of customers is impressive and the interview with the CEO below sparks interest. The CEO talks about Generation C for Community connected those born after 1978....interesting but it isn't really inclusive enough. The new generation is the Opt-In generation. This is where members of all the generations choose to use the latest tools and methods to communicate and interact. While the usage of these new tools is driven by the younger generations the number of "older" folk using the tools is also growing.

Looking further into the website they list a bunch of capabilities that Liveworlds provides:

"Expressive Profile, Blog, Photo Album, Friends List
Community Showcase Gallery
Community Calendar
Message Forum
Mobile Alerts
Mobile Upload
Moderation Tools and Reporting
User generated content: video, photos, reviews, blogs, polls
Live events"

So I guess that this is a server based solution with a bunch of ways of calling and integrating the function into corporate and social networking sites. However, I am not sure if this is a Web Content Management system to rival Drupal, Joomla, Lotus Web Content Management? Questions of integration with those sorts of systems would be useful to understand.

The Liveworld website seems to be a bit light on detail in terms of the technical information and there isn't a nice video to watch the solution working which is a shame as I am sure that would have cleared up a lot of the basic questions that are twirling around my head.

In summary this looks like a company to watch, I like there business model and they are a serious operator - good luck!

Beached Bro and Viral Marketing

Last night on New Zealand's TV1 a group of young Australian film makers spoke about their animated film entitled "Beached Whale". This short film is funny as the actors speak with a Kiwi (New Zealand) accent and basically poke fun at their friends across the Tasmin Sea.

The last few frames of the short film sparked my interest as the film makers have added a small amount of viral marketing which is a URL to a cafepress where the film makers are selling merchandising.

Great film, great marketing!

Friday, October 31, 2008

University and Web 2.0

I was asked to provide some input to an article for a business magazine in Lithuania. I have included some clarification around my University 2.0

1. What is University 2.0 in general?

University 2.0 is a term that I (and others) have used to describe how the principles of Web 2.0 have or will effect the University / Education industry.

Maybe a quick look at what Web 2.0 is, from my perspective will help.

Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is made up of three areas, Technology, Interaction styles, Solutions.

Technology would include those defined my O'Reilly e.g. RSS, REST, AJAX etc

Interaction Styles: define how a user's interactions with friends, colleagues, data and business processes has been effected through the implementation of the technology.

Solutions: Many web 2.0 solutions have been created that incorporate this new technology and the associated interaction styles e.g. Blogs, wikis, social networking

The sum of Web 2.0 is that is creates change. From an individuals perspective it increases their "participation" with digital media both in consumption (time- we watch a lot less TV these days) and content creation. From a businesses point of view it presents new disruptive business models e.g. social lending, eBay, Amazon, Reference Goldcorp, reference Lego and mindstorms.

Back to University 2.0, Web 2.0 has changed the way in which people want to consume information. All forms of information are now available on the web, this information is getting organised; isn't organised information presented in a manner conducive to learning the same as a University?

However, a Uni is primarily a research establishment. From someone who sits outside of academia it is very hard to easily access the latest research for free. It is also difficult to see what areas are being researched - there may be many people out on the web who can contribute to the latest research but Universities maintain their walls to the outside world...

University 2.0 is a way at looking how Web 2.0 is effecting and will effect academia from a teaching and a research perspective.

2. Is University 2.0 more university or IT business driven initiative? How did it all start?

University 2.0 is driven by people.

Web 2.0 is really about people and how it changes the way people work with data and communicate / collaborate with each other. This has a knock on effect to any industry where there are people working in that organisation, this includes Universities.

Technology is an enabler but you need people to actually use the technology. Using the technology to perform activities in new ways is what is causing the change.

3. Does University 2.0 mean a new technology used for teaching students or a new concept of knowledge management at the universities?

Students are encouraged to learn continuously and build a leaning network (people and resources) that enables them to achieve this. University 2.0 is a way for a university to get back some of the control of its students contributions and participation and to financially benefit from it.

At the moment students are using many different mechanisms for collaborative learning. e.g. Facebook, Wikihow, Notemesh, flickr etc (not sure if you have seen this preso as well

The Universities have no control of these learning mechanisms and they have no control or more importantly ownership over the content that their students are producing.

My understanding is that a University owns all the content a Student produces. If a student creates content for a University class, posts it somewhere and makes financial gain, is that financial gain owned by the university or the student or both? My interpretation of a University is that the university owns the content but they are not in a position to benefit - U2.0 addresses this.

U2.0 delivers a new way of accessing and interacting with Knowledge for the benefit of the Universities and the students.

4. What benefits does a using of Web 2.0 technologies in University environment reap?

It enhances the ability for Students to self-learn and co-create (team) with fellow students. The same apples to research students. The majority of Universities today still use email and attachments as the number 1 method for collaboration. Wikis are gaining ground but tend to be delivered in an ad-hoc manner and usually by a third party (the production environment is not managed by the University). The same applies to blogging and Instant Messaging infrastructures.

While on the surface this may be enough to enable a rich learning and research environment it does not address ownership of content and address ïs this the best way for students and researchers to interact?".

If Universities get better control of content creation and distribution they may be able to achieve financial and productivity gains.

5. You talk about universities paying students for content in your presentations. Does it work already? Are there any real world examples?

I am not aware of there being any live examples where Universities are paying students for content. But there are examples where content created by students is benefiting Universities, Ref iTunes.

This article shows that some Universities understand that the content produced by students is very valuable when they compete in a global market to attract the brightest students and researchers.

6. How Hollywood studio model is related to university in the web 2.0 world?

What does a Hollywood studio do? It creates content e.g. films, TV and then sells it to distributors e.g. Sky TV, satellite carriers who in turn receive revenue from the content consumers in the form of monthly charges for desktop boxes(decoders) and advertising that is mixed in with the content.

A University is essentially the same. It produces content, (i) teaching materials (ii) research and then distributes it to (i) students (ii) Corporations. The manner in which it does this is by using traditional methods of a walled access environment (slide 10).

Web 2.0 has opened up the methods of distribution. If we look at FOX we can see that as a Hollywood studio that produces content they also distribute via their own channels and more recently via the internet. Delivering content via the internet directly competes with those Satellite and cable distributors.

Lets look at Educational Content, there is a growing body of information on the web that allows you to learn for free about a whole range of subjects e.g. learnThat and A point may be reached overtime (we are not there ywt) when we compare the productive learning of a student at a university and a student at a free educational social networking site is the same.

Reference Slide 6.

If universities continue to produce students that do not meet the needs of industry then what value do they deliver and perhaps more importantly, what is the value of a university degree? A degree is little more than a "brand" and proof of a certain level achieved.

As educational social networking sites mature the only thing missing is validation of their students achievement by an independent body. If this hurdle can be addressed then The universities Brand becomes almost irrelevant...although I think the top Universities brands such as Oxford and Harvard will remain.

7. Does it all mean that universities are becoming (or should become) business organizations?

Universities are already businesses. I think they will struggle to maintain their grasp / control on education and research if they continue to follow their existing models.

8. How a traditional research in universities is affected by the new web 2.0 technologies?

As above, (I think!)

9. If universities engage with business model in University 2.0 how are they different from and the like? Or can InnoCentive be called an University 2.0?

InnoCentive is a public arena where people meet to collaborate and solve problems. IBM delivers a solution called innovation jam which looks at key areas across Business and the community to seek answers and ideas from IBM staff and IBM customers and business partners.

I have a vision for what Web 2.0 can deliver to Universities and the world. Web 2.0 has the potential to flatten the world and make the ability to learn and contribute to the solving the problems of the day open to anyone. Ref Goldcorp model

I believe that Universities as we know them have reached the end of the road. In order to evolve to the next level of education and research it will require change in the ways that this is undertaken. As discussed there are free web sites where students can learn and where individuals or teams can solve business problems ref: IBM's innovation Jam but the real challenge is bringing this all together. I believe that universities can lead the way.

The first step would be to deliver all their content both, teaching courses and research in a creative commons license with a mechanism for a single point of contact and webservice access (to enable mashups - see Lotus Mashups). Combine this information with a best of breed collaboration environment such as Innovation Jam we can bring together people who are interested in solving the problems of the day.

Let the focus of learning and research not be about getting access to information but be about innovating because innovation is the highest value return from learning and research.

**to answer your question, the InnoCentive model is part of the picture but behind this InnovationJam model needs to sit a rich pool of supporting information (University Research) that is accessible to all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogosphere and the Virus

I was talking to an IT business partner (BP) this morning about the expansion of their business to include a couple of Microsoft products. We had a really good conversation about why they are doing this and the risks involved.

We also touched on how a small company can make a bigger impact in the marketplace. The BP has an in-house developed solution for managing multiple email signatures which is doing really well globally but there isn't much viral marketing going on, its all direct with resellers. The BP was thinking about creating a few YouTube videos and Slideshare presentations but that was it! I suggested that blogging and twitter might be something they could consider but this suggestion fell on deaf ears.

So two thoughts came out of the conversation

1. Does the blogosphere correlate to market share?
2. What sort of template would I use to help a small company viral market themselves?


Using Blogpulse I set up a search to compare the number of blog entries which contains Jabber and Lotus Sametime in blog entries over a six month period. The results are shown in the table.

As you can see there is a huge amount of difference between the number of Jabber and Sametime blog entries. There are more people blogging about Jabber than Sametime. I guess this is as you would expect as Jabber can be used by anyone and there are free jabber services at Lotus Sametime has been sold for use by 100 Million employees. Most of these employees reside inside an organisation *1. My assumption is that employees of these companies don't go home and use Lotus Sametime to communicate at home with friends and family.

*1 Lotus Sametime provides extensive security and encryption, performance and high avaialbility for secure instant messaging.

Based on this result from Blogpulse I think it tells us that more people use Jabber at home than they do Lotus Sametime.

So maybe that test is the wrong one to perform using Blogpulse. Perhaps we should only use blogpulse to compare end user products, lets try the chocolate bars Snickers and Twix which are manufactured by Mars.

There was some talk of Snickers advertising being considered homophobic by some bloggers which may account for some additional interest in the brand.

I will go out on a limb and say that Mars globally sells more Snickers than Twix. If anyone from a could let me kow the sales figures that would be great!! I will also say that consumers of Snickers have a greater affiliation and affinity to the brand than Twix consumers. I believe this is the case as there is a greater degree of fluctuation in the number of blog entries. Perhaps Mars, spends more advertising on Snickers which might also explain the difference in blog entries.

Viral Marketing Template

The other question which arose from my discussion this morning was, is there a template I could apply to a small (or large) company to enable them to perform viral marketing? Note that I have not read a book on viral marketing so this is completely "off the cuff"

1. Identify the community
  • happy customers
  • unhappy customers
  • customers friends
  • unknown potential customers
2. Articulate the reasons for engaging with the community
  • How does the community benefit?
  • How does the vendor benefit?
3. Categorize community
  • A/S/L
  • Demographic
  • Internet usage
  • Estimated new media participation
4. Identify Communication solutions
  • Traditional: print, radio, tv, trade shows, telephone etc
  • New Media: txt, email, web page, portal, blog, twitter, wiki, Facebook, instant messaging etc
4a. Identify Advertising Solutions
  • Traditional: print, radio, tv,
  • New Media: web page, portal, blog, twitter,

5. Map Solutions to demographic

6. Create Communication Hub (portal - Web page)
  • All communications track back to the Hub
7. Encourage Feedback
  • "Jams"
8. Measure Feedback
  • Participation
  • Viewing
  • Commenting
  • Blogging
  • Purchasing
  • Portal hits and product conversions (stickieness)
  • Community activity
  • Number new member
  • Number of new connections between members (potential for message re-enforcement)
9. Create a funky little company to advise clients.
  • stickEness
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: stickeness give)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lotus Forms

Here I am in sunny Wellington at our Lotus Forms - Proof of Technology.  We are using the classrooms at the excellent Allfields on Courtenay Place.  The PoT is an opportunity to take existing and future customers through our technology by providing a mix of presentation and lab exercises.

The class was delivered by Johnny Teoh a Lotus Forms specialist for Asia Pacific. Johnny is a very knowledgeable technical consultant with a range of experiences implementing this product at IBM customers. Questions were answered along with interesting discussions around strategy, implementation and deployment.

This was a really informative session and IBM New Zealand will plan to run more Proof Of Technology sessions in the months to come. What should we do next?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why do we want to engage with our customers?

I have a meeting with a local marketing company and a corporate marketing team to discuss how to generate more impact within the marketplace using new media rather than email and print.

There are a bunch of technical solutions to assist and the embedded presentation talks about one of those Twitter. The presentation has some great examples of the effect that twitter is having and does give us some food for thought in this area.

I will certainly be talking to the marketing teams about twitter and other solutions but actually the real question is not how we can penetrate the market better but "why do we want to engage our customers".

If we can answer that question clearly the technical solutions become clear.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Profile 2.0

Profile 2.0 is a definition of an individuals digital profile.

Information about an individual can be categorised in the following five areas:

1. Basic Profile
2. Activity
3. Participation
4. Relationships
5. Data

If this Profile data is aggregated by corporations then this gives those businesses influence over consumers as our electronic activities touch every aspect of our lives. If we look at Retail and Telco industries their ability to understand and influence their customers is a core part of their business model.

The profile 2.0 provides the lowest common denominator for web based / electronic transactions. I can see a time where we have a single client that connects to the "Universal Shop" (amazon?). The Universal shop understands all aspects of our Profile 2.0 and can present information, content and business processes to satisfy our needs.

Another area of interest is ownership of content and data, I believe that I own all the content I produce (e.g. blog) or initiate (e.g. a shop purchase). How we manage the ownership and access to that data is a key component of Profile 2.0, I have included a high level architecture to address this.

I am happy to take you through the presentation if you have a need. My main interests in this area is the Enterprise Architecture and the change that profile 2.0 will have on our society and culture.

I would also like to perform some speaking engagements around this area so give me a shout if this is of interest to you.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This week I am focusing on the Health sector looking at Health 2.0 and e-Health. I thinking about how Primary and secondary health providers interact with each other also, how patients suffering from similar conditions interact with each other and the communities that exist to support these interactions.

I stumbled upon Me-trics.

It is currently in private beta but it looks like an interesting service. Providing an aggregation of your health from manual data entry and automated sources - lots of mobile phone access I assume a.k.a twitter?

If I think about our personal health and how we manage and maintain there is a need to understand where we fit in the scheme of things such as BMI, blood sugar, resting heart rate etc. A site that starts to pull this together has got to be of interest. With Google health in Beta the ability to provide supporting information to your personal health record might appeal to many of us. The challenge remains how much data we are prepared to manually enter into a central repository about our health history and how much data we are prepared to update on a daily basis.

I guess the jury is out and if the Gen Yers want to update and share more personal information it might just have legs.

Personal view is that when devices are more "embedded" in our clothes then this will be huge!

The drivers for these types of sites originate from the rapidly increasing cost of health care across the world. The Boomers are sucking up all the money for their health care and the rest of us in full time employment are being encouraged to not be ill by taking preventative measures.

I hope me-trics delivers some good function beyond the usual health aggregation / social networking sites - which I find bit dull.

Here is the video from the CTO and co-founder of me-trics James Vreeland.

More to come on Health topics....

Friday, October 17, 2008


I was trying to find a creative commons photo I had used in a presentation for a colleague of mine Alexandra Thurel in Italy.  Unfortunately I couldn't find the original so I sent a few links to a few possible alternatives.

Alexandra then sent me through a cool little tool for search tags in flickr called taggalaxy.  I have enclosed a youtube video to give you an example - go check it out, I thought it was pretty good!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Measuring the success of Social Networking

I am engaged with a number of businesses around New Zealand helping them understand, implement and prove the value of Social Networking and collaboration for their organisations.

When we look at providing metrics which prove the value we are limited to a few possible areas:

1. Critical Business Process
2. Collaboration Business Process
3. Measuring Contribution

1. Critical Business Process (ROI)
An identified business process is measurable in terms of time to execute, resources and costs. By implementing social networking tools we are looking to modify the business process to make it execute faster, with less errors, and less cost.

2. Collaboration Business Process (Time and effort)
We identify a business process that is not effective. An example of this would be where a team of 6 remotely dispersed colleagues are working on a document. In this scenario the only collaboration available to them is email. As a team member makes a change on the document it is emailed around the team. Then one of the other colleagues makes a change and the document is again emailed around the team. etc etc The team has to employ the services of an office admin to compile the changes at the end of the day and send the compiled list of changes to the team.

lots of email and lots of wasted time!!

Social Networking and Collaboration tools can address this problem and so improve collaborative business processes.

3. Measuring Contribution (RoC)
measuring Contribution is the focus of a presentation I have shared on slideshare. I have included the show below.
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: value business)
This summarises my three ways of proving the value of Social networking and collaboration tools.

Friday, October 10, 2008

3D Chat - Virtual Worlds

I have an interest in virtual worlds SecondLife, OpenSIM etc and I came across IMVU. Its essentially a 3D Chat environment that has the tag line "Live the lifestyle you have always dreamed of". Like most virtual worlds the avatars are attractive and let you have access to the lifestyle accessories that are often out of reach for the normal person.

I have added a short promo video below showing IMVU.

The usage model is around people meeting and communicating in a cartoon environment and usage is driven through the use of credits that can be earned from chatting and accessing the system. The aim is to get users interested enough to start purchasing credits with real $$. It is quite immersive but not in the same way as SL as it has limitations.

I have included a quick Slideshow of the environment to give you more of a feel for the UI.

3D Chat
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: 3d chat)

Future of the body

I have been looking at e-health of late and I stumbled upon this Discovery program about the future of the body and how we interact with technology in 2057. The Video was made in Jan 2007 but it still as some thought provoking topics.

The video starts looking at devices in clothes and how these devices will be able to monitor every aspect of your life. That in the future we wont have any privacy the only part of us that can't be monitored are our thoughts although the phsiological responses to our thoughts will be monitored.

Its a long video (40+ minutes) but pretty interesting if you have time.


Sunday, August 31, 2008


"Ubiquity" has been blowing round twitter today so I thought I had better check it out.

I think this is great. It is basically a Mozilla mashup solution. While the service requires Mozilla as a client this is a fairly light weight client so I can see that there will be huge uptake.

If I can use Ubiquity from within a browser based email system )Lotus Notes / Exchange then it has the potential to become a standard.

I wonder about the use of Ubiquity Vs Portal/Mashup sites. Once I have used a Ubiquity service perhaps I want to share this new mashup-ed up content with my colleagues by posting it to a portal site rather than an email so it would be good if there was a web page construct available as well.

I have not read the doco yet but I thought I would get the message out. Not often you see a v0.1 offering.

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WOW - Instant Messaging

I want to tell you about a situation that happened yesterday with one of my customers that just wow-ed them.

The client is currently performing and upgrade to some software. As part of the upgrade the client needed officially supported templates. While I was on the phone to the customer I searched for right support resource added them to my buddy list and initiated a instant messaging chat (using Sametime). I asked the support guy to send the the templates to the customer and thus satisfied the customer straight away.

The customer was amazed that I could find the right resource (an off-shore resource) and satisfy his request in about 3 minutes when his expectation was that it would take a couple of days - raising a problem record etc. I was really pleased to be able to help so effectively.

Instant messaging is a cool tool for shortening processes involving human interactions and teaming. Go Lotus Sametime!

I guess this is pure product marketing but hey if it helps you do a good job who cares!?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cheesy Trance

I know I am not acting my age or anything but sometimes I like to revisit the past and this track pretty much does it for me. I want a beach, a sunrise and some wonderfully smooth trance. Wonder if they will be playing this stuff when I am retired and go on a "Trance Music revival" - lol

Gatecrasher Classics -

Anglican Church goes Open

A bit of a buzz among the IBM community about the recent article about the Anglican Church in Sydney to use Lotus Symphony over and above MS Office. Have a look at the video below and listen to George Lymbers chat about how he wants to move away from licensed software.

Reading between the lines this chap wants to use Open Source software that doesn't have any license costs but does have a support structure - just in case a problem needs to be fixed. As software and the qualities of service of running software e.g. scalability, resilience, performance etc becomes a commodity then this model looks likely to become more and more popular.

It increases the pressure on software houses to develop more innovative and value added software capabilities while moving chunks of older function into the open source communities but does this only apply to on-premise software?

I would argue no to that point, if soho, google, cloudo can start to deliver higher quality offerings from the cloud then the business model becomes a flat charge for storage, power, bandwidth and maintenance and everything else including the software is free......

Following on from this train of thought why will people develop high quality software - for fun, kudos, because they can? or would it be to drive volume business on cloud computing sites?

The question arises, what will be the next generation of value added services that software vendors can actually charge customers for? Todays innovative products become tomorrows commodity - what's next?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


@gapingvoid shared a link to mixin which does for time what dopplr does for geography. Check out the video.

You can add your activities by time using IM, twitter, email, SMS and say when you'll be available and where you'll be.

The video then takes you through an activity, what are you doing, where will you be and when will you be there and you can invite any of your friends. Each activity is a conversation incorporating images video and audio - very much like a life-stream feed. You can also discover other people - as you might expect.

I like it as a tool but I am too loyal to twitter to move to anything else right now.

mixin presentation from mixin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Widget: Kiwilight

I was looking for a widget to add to this blog site when I stumbled upon Widgetbox. Loads of useful widgets on here that I will use over time. The purpose of this post is to share with you a widget that I created in about 30 seconds called the Kiwi light widget. You can have a widget on your blog or website that shows content from this blog - how much more luckier could you be!?

So take a look, play with it, and then probably throw it on the scrap heap of useless ideas!! Alternatively you may sing my praises to the heavens and embed, embed, embed!!

Cisco Telepresence

Cisco Telepresence 3000 is cool.

I spent a really enjoyable day meeting with Cisco and as part of this seminar we were treated to an overview of the Cisco Telepresence 3000.

You walk into a room which is dominated by three huge plasma screens arranged in a semi circle. Infront of the screens is a table and six chairs with a Cisco IP desktop phone. The room is painted a "poo" brown. - not very nice. When you buy telepresence you buy the room including all the furnishings etc. this means that every telepresence room looks the same so even if you are using telepresence with other companies you still get the feeling that you are around the same table,

You arrange yourself on the very comfortable chairs and the touch screen desk phone has meeting details highlighted on it. You simply touch the meeting details and the three screens come to life and hey-presto you are in a telepresence meeting with Singapore or Tokyo or the Moon.

The quality of the video stream is fantastic. The person in Singapore looks like they are the other side of the desk - there isn't any audio or video lag - quality all the way.

As the presenter in Singapore talked and moved from one side of his room to the other the audio reflects that by changing the way that we hear where the sound is coming from - this is Cisco Intellectual property at work in the speakers.

Behind the screen is a bank of subtle lighting which ensures that the participants faces are always lit up and easy to see. Very important when we realise that a huge amount of our communication is non-verbal.

Integration with all pre-existing video conferencing solutions is available.

It is just a fantastic solution - expensive (US$300k) for sure but worth a look especially if you are an executive who consistently travels long distances.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I am presenting at the Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE) in Sydney in August. I have chosen to talk about Profile 2.0. This is really about a users profile being the common denominator of Web 2.0 because all things seem to eventually get down to who are you, do I know you, do I trust you?

The industry needs an open standards solution that addresses identity. From this point we can then deal with the problems of ownership of data and portability of data.

As part of my research which I am doing today I have been looking at dataportability, OpenID and OpenSocial. I wanted to share with you the YouTube video from the launch of OpenSocial. It takes you through a few examples of where OpenSocial has been used. Essentially OpenSocial is SOA for Social Networks. It provides a common framework and APIs that allow developers to write code once and use multiple times. The pre-req is that the social network that you wish to write an application for supports OpenSocial. Initial assessment would indicate that all the big players such as Google, Facebook, myspace, Ning, LinkedIn etc support it so it may well become the standard.

Enjoy the Video, its long!

Gimp 2.4 - Image Manipulation

I shared the Enterprise Mashups presentation to a few of my work colleagues the other day. On one of the slides I have a picture of a cheetah's tail and a graph of the long-tail as shown here.

One of my colleagues Chris Eaton pointed out that it would be better if I could flip the picture horizontally. I thought that was a great idea but commented back that I didn't have a copy of Adobe. Chris then kindly slapped me around the face and sent me the link to gimp.

Using this free tool I managed to flip the picture so that the tail lines up more-or-less with the graph of the long tail. All about the details?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DIGG recommendation engine

Digg has finally released its recommendation engine. As users have incresed digg-ing news item to digg the vast number has made it difficult to know what to look at. The Digg engine matches your digg entries with other digg users to try and suggest or recommend content that is being digged by those users.

Digg Recommendation Engine from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

Lotus Connections has a similar notion. When I look at My bookmarks within Lotus Connections Dogear (tagging) component the system correlates the tags I am interested in with other IBM employees irrespective of their location or business unit. This allows me to make contact with colleagues who have similar interests to me which is useful when you are trying to develop your knowledge network. This group of people may share other interests with you as well so a really cool feature.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The future of the Content

I just found this video researching on techcrunch what a prosumer is and how we qualify that definition. 

Welcome to the Web 2.0 Revolution!!

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Enterprise Mash-ups

Mashups are getting a lot more focus at the present time. I believe that the reason for this is that mashups can deliver to the 3Rs

* Return value quickly
* Rapid deployment
* Reuse of existing capabilities

As part of my understanding in this area a pulled together a slide show on the evolution of mashups.

The next steps from this slide show are to better understand the value a corporation receives from exposing their data as an API to the public. One way of doing this would be to understand the actions/interactions that a business partner or customer performs with the corporation, from here we can identity chunks of function that should be considered for exposure.

We always have to understand the hard dollar return of any investment and it is unclear how that value will be realized. There is a sentiment umoung the Social Media community that people just need to "get it" but this doesn't help a financial case.

Once we can justify exposing internal APIs then I believe that the corporation will enjoy additional benefits. However, there are only a few examples where this is documented e.g. NBA web site opening a store which relies totally on Amazon. Amazon didn't even know that the NBA were doing this as they were using Amazon's APIs.

I think we can say that "innovation" will happen when APIs are exposed to the public but it is still unclear how to quantify these additional benefits.

Initially we will be looking at customer retention and customer loyalty as the by products of delivering a Web 2.0 experience that better serves the customers needs. There ain't anything new about ensuring that the customer is satisfied!

Here is an Enterprise Mashups slideshow please have a flick through. If you enjoy it please share with your friends and colleagues.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Damn Channel

I have been a close observer of the Media Industry and in particular broadcasters and professional media producers such as Fox and MGM.

2007 and 2008 have been interesting in terms of media distribution with YouTube in dominance but a bunch of other web sites offering video such as Current TV, Revver and now The Damn Channel.

I am a real fan of new media content producers and broadcasters as the methods they employee show us the future of content creation. Basically a blurring between the amateur, pro-sumer and professional content creators. The advantage to us is that the audience (should) get(s) a great experience and a huge amount of choice.

There are challenges with approach which relate to the quality of the output. In order for these new media channels to work in the long term the quality has to be of a good standard. If The Damn Channel lives up to its billing of a good quality media site then is will have a prosperous future.

Here is interview by Sarah Austin with Rob Barnett of The Damn Channel.

You have to check out "You suck at Photoshop".
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Friday, June 20, 2008

My Tag cloud

Wordle is a cool little tool for building your tag cloud from (thanks to wonderwebby for blogging on this). I thought I would give it a go and see what mine would look like and here it is!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Augmented Reality

Yesterday at IBM Auckland I attended the a Retail industry session.  The keynote speaker was Myron Flickner the Global Industry leader for Disruptive technologies.

One of the most interesting developments for me was Augmented Reality.  This is where virtual world constucts, web sites and video technology meet.  It allows us to take a real life image and in real-time paint additional information over the top.  Below are some examples of the technology from YouTube.

This shows a path for enhancing our experience wherever we interact with a physical object - wow!

Augmented Reality via a mobile phone

Augmented Reality via Glasses

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