Enterprise 2.0: Jennifer Okimoto and Antipatterns

23 06 2009

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t join the Social Media crowd at the Enterprise 2.0 conference being held in Boston this week. But luckily for those attending, Jennifer Okimoto kindly offered to present the Enterprise 2.0 Antipatterns session, scheduled for this upcoming Thursday. You can take a look at the core slides I used in the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco in SlideShare:

But even if you’ve seen me presenting it before, I highly recommend those attending the E2.0 event to see Jennifer’s take on it. She’s a great story teller, and her director’s cut will likely feel like a new presentation altogether. And if you can’t see her live there, make sure you follow her in Twitter for a daily dose of witty commentary and nuggets of wisdom 2.0.





Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009 Recap: Part 2

15 04 2009

This post is about 2 weeks late, which in this day and age is the web equivalent to yesteryear’s newspaper. On the bright side, most of the real-time info about the expo was already conveyed by the twitterers out there. Just see this entry as my attempt to seed the machine for future searches. In case you are wondering, Part 1 is here.

4. Robin Sloan (Current) and Zach Brand (NPR, Digital Media)
TV & Radio with an API: Stories from Current and NPR
Twitter tag: #w2api

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009

This session was a bit basic from a geek perspective, but very well done. Being able to convey boring or complex concepts in a clear manner is a rare talent, and both Sloan and Brand did well there. You may not know Sloan, but chances are you saw his cool video EPIC 2014.

Most media companies still don’t expose most of their content, so I bet this session was inspiring for many. I couldn’t find the slides available anywhere, but you may like this kind-of-related deck interesting.

Some lessons learned:

  • Use a “brand and release” strategy to increase your relevance
  • APIs allowed NPR to create partnerships that would not exist otherwise
  • A good quote: “API = how i stopped focusing on my own website and learned to love the whole internet” :-)

5. Kate Niederhoffer (Dachis Corporation), Marc Smith (Telligent Systems)
Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation
Twitter tag: #buzzzz

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the first half of this session. You can see the slideshare presentation embedded below, but a presentation is so much more than slides. Seeing what I missed teased my imagination about how much is hidden in social metrics. I would love to have Kate and Marc presenting in an IBM event in the future, as understanding the potential of social metrics is very relevant for us right now. One more item in my ever growing to-do list: check and play with NodeXL!

6. Sören Stamer (CoreMedia)
Darwinism on the Web: Surviving and Thriving in a Web 2.0 World
No Twitter tag, apparently :-(

I couldn’t get in the room for this session, and if you follow this blog you know that this one would be at the top of my list. Next time, I have to make sure I arrive early for sessions with cool titles. As a consolation prize, here’s a nice blog post by a person who was luckier than me and, of course, slideshare:

Considering that I failed miserably in writing part 2 when the info was fresh, I’m not promising Part 3 this time. In case you still have appetite for more Web 2.0 Expo, you can see all the keynotes here.





Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009 Recap: Part 1

8 04 2009

I enjoyed attending the Web 2.0 Expo last week, despite missing several sessions due to work-related commitments. Here’s a high level summary of what I thought was memorable, along with a link to the official expo page, where you can find comments and ratings for the session, and a link to the session-specific Twitter tag, where you can get the just-in-time tweets by attendees. I highly recommend you to also search Twitter for the speaker name or the tag #w2e as not everybody included the session-specific tag in their tweets.

1. Dion Hinchcliffe
Economics 2.0: Highly Effective Strategies for Putting Your Business on a Recession Diet
Twitter tag: #econ2

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009

This is my recollection of something really bold Dion said. It may be more of a misquote than a quote, so just take it with a grain of salt:

The first wave of IT companies was about hardware. The second wave was about software. The next generation of IT companies will be about data. Google may one day become the first trillion dollar company in terms of market cap.

Here are Hinchcliffe’s slides, courtesy of Slideshare:

2. Nancy DuarteTools for Visual Storytelling
Twitter tag: #w2e_story

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009

This was by far the best session I attended among the electives. I bought Nancy’s slide:ology book last year, and found it to be very good but not extraordinary. Having her conducting a workshop in person is a totally different matter. She’s an excellent story teller and brought interesting and relevant examples on how to go from mundane and ineffective slides to compelling and informative ones. Here are some pics from the session:

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009
Designing a presentation as if you are plotting a movie or a play

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009
Combining multiple diagram types in one visually informative combo

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009
Time to go back to the drawing board and redo all those complex slides

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009
Great use of Meebo to brainstorm with the audience in real time


3. Peter Kim, Charlene Li and Jeremiah Owyang
Why Social Media Marketing Fails – and How to Fix It
Twitter tag: #smfail

Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009

I had high expectations for this one, but felt a bit disappointed – maybe because the expectations were unfairly high to start with. I’m a big fan of the Groundswell book, and I follow both Jeremiah and Peter in Twitter, and I know they have a lot to knowledge to share. I’ve been in panels in the past, so I know that they are often hit-or-miss, depending a lot on the chemistry among the participants or the questions from the audience. The major reason for this one not realizing its full potential was that the panel was not diverse enough in terms of opinions. It would probably be good to have panelists with radically different points of view for the discussions to get interesting. Despite all that, I was really pleased with listening to Charlene for the first time and seeing how balanced her positions are toward the business value of Social Media Marketing. Talking to her after the session was great too, as she’s very approachable and addresses all questions very directly.

Part 2 will come some time soon :-)

Update: Embedded Hinchcliffe’s presentation from Slideshare.





On Wi-Fi access, panels and building on your strengths

29 09 2008

Last week, I joined a panel at the Toronto Tech Week, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with the theme “Online Social Networks Go To Work”. I got there early in the morning to catch Alan Lepofsky, former IBMer and now at SocialText, speaking on the use of wikis for the Enterprise. It was a good session, I enjoyed his casual style, and he mentioned IBM a few times in his session, as he still does in his blog. As the workplace becomes more dynamic, and employee-for-life is becoming a thing of the past, the new HR approach of treating former employees as alumni makes total sense.

Just before Alan’s session, I tried to get a wi-fi connection, so that I could twitter from it live, but this is what I got instead:

No attendee Wi-Fi access, only exhibitor access, and with a steep price tag. I complained last week that the wi-fi access at the Javits Center in New York was spotty, but for a convention facility who claims to be the #1 in Canada, “inviting, inspiring, innovative, incomparable”, they clearly need to do something about Internet connectivity, as one can easily think about 4 “I”s that are not as flattering as those.

I found my own participation in the panel to be quite flat, but in retrospect, I don’t recall any technical panel I attended lately to be memorable. Bernie Michalik, via Twitter, brought my attention to this gem from Dan Lyons (formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs):

Was at the EmTech conference at MIT today and suffered through a panel led by Robert Scoble with four geeks (Facebook, Six Apart, Plaxo, Twine) talking about the future of the Web. No prepared remarks, just totally random conversation. Basically they all just spewed whatever came into their heads, at top speed, interrupting each other and oblivious to the fact that an audience was sitting there, glazing over. A few people got up and asked questions and the geeks did manage to (sort of) address one or two but then they forgot about the questioners and just started rambling again, talking to each other and forgetting about the audience. It was like watching five college kids with ADHD and an eight-ball of coke trying to hold a conversation.

Jeremiah Owyang, from Forrester Research, wrote a comprehensive post on how to moderate conference panels, but I don’t think it’s even a question of better moderation. Asif Khan, a very articulate facilitator, did a fine job on that. What’s really missing in most Web 2.0 panels are two things:

  • Distinct points of view: Frankly, I feel like watching Beavis & Butt-head when I see a panel composed exclusively of evangelists/early adopters/Enterprise 2.0 vendors. Panelist A says “Social Networking/Crowdsourcing/Long Tail/[place your favourite buzz-2.0 jargon here] is the way to the future” and Panelists B, C and D say “cool”. To have a meaningful discussion going you need to have some disagreement there. Put doubters and visionaries/futurists/dreamers face-to-face and then you can uncover real insights.
  • Flattening of the discussion space: Having so-called Subject Matter Experts on stage and an audience attending passively most of the time is the total opposite of the Web 2.0 Architecture of Participation approach. I don’t think anybody can actually claim to be an SME in Web 2.0 or Social Computing. We are all learning, making mistakes and getting it right from time to time. Furthermore, people in the audience may have more interesting things to say than the panelists. But then you have a logistic problem, similar to the fame conundrum described by Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody: it’s not practical to have everyone in an audience having its slice of airtime. Ironically, what seems to be missing is exactly a two-oh-ish type of moderation, the enablement of crowd participation by other channels. Allow panelists to state their position briefly prior to the event, then allow potential attendees to get questions in advance. I’ve seen people using post-it stickers, emails, Twitter, SixGroups and Crowdvine for that, but all are kind of cumbersome to use. Google Moderator looks like a promising tool to serve this need. I’d like to try it out the next time I facilitate or participate of a panel.

As usual, the intent of this post is not to throw cheap shots at the MTCC or the Toronto Tech Week organization. They both play fundamental roles in positioning Toronto as a premier destination for large and relevant events, and there’s definitely much more to praise than to criticize in what they are offering Toronto. I have high hopes that the Toronto Tech Week will grow to be a major global event a few years from now. To have a more balanced view of what people thought of the event, check out this Twitter search.

In any case, I’m considering giving priority to standard speaking engagements rather than panel participation in the near future, as the latter is definitely not my forté.





Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Dan Lyons (Fake Steve Jobs)

25 09 2008

Okay, this is the last of my top keynote videos. This talk didn’t have any real insights, but it was very entertaining, so it is good for a Friday post. See the video:





Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Genevieve Bell (Intel) and the other Internet

25 09 2008

Genevieve Bell is not your typical energized keynote speaker, but she’s got a great message, and a distinct sense of humour. With extensive international experience, she shows that the flat world is overrated. The Internet may not be what you think in other parts of this planet. Enjoy:





Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Gary Vaynerchuk on Building Personal Brand

25 09 2008

Gary is one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever seen. You may not like his message, but you gotta admit he’s got passion. But it’s better to hear directly from him:








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