Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Twitter Editorial Director Karen Wickre On Effective Communication In 140 Characters Or Less

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Karen Wickre is Editorial Director at Twitter, where she shapes the way the company communicates publicly. She has worked the editorial side of publishing for 20+ years as an editor, author, columnist and content strategist. Previously, Karen worked at Google, for which she developed the company’s corporate content strategy, and built its blog and Twitter platforms into global channels.

Karen Wickre, currently the editorial director for Twitter, has been on the vanguard of digital and social media communications for over a decade.

During her nine-year stint at Google, she helped found the Google Corporate Blog, which paved the way for Google’s more aggressive embrace of blogging for not only corporate communications, but also knowledge sharing and Google product enablement.

More recently, she’s served as the editorial director for Twitter, helping Twitter employees and customers communicate as widely and engagingly as is possible in 140 characters or less.

During our interview at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando last week, Karen and I chatted about the early days of social media, then worked our way forward to more cutting-edge concerns, including Twitter celebrity, Twitter’s key role in helping share the zeitgeist of live events, Twitter’s increasing international reach, and yes, even the ever-feared “DM Fail.”

Karen’s insights into both the philosophy and reality of effective social media communications can impact organizations everywhere looking to build their own smarter commerce strategies.

You can follow her on Twitter at @kvox.

TurboTech: The Wisconsin Episode

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Every once in a while, developerWorks’ Scott Laningham and I get together via Skype to catch up on the latest in technology.

This week, Scott’s on a remote, cheese-head “workation” somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin.

And despite being surrounded by trees and lakes, he found his way to an Interwebs connection, along with a gasoline generator, so we could do one of our “TurboTech” episodes.

I was afraid one of the rhinos that John Swanson thought he spotted in a separate “This Week on developerWorks” episodes recorded with Scott in the great outdoors might sneak up on Scott while we were mid-recording, but fortunately that didn’t happen.

In this episode, Scott and I opined on social media’s role at the London Olympic games, along with a deep space exploration of the latest Mars rover (“Curiosity”) landing on the Red Planet. We also mentioned several forthcoming IBM events stretching from Orlando to Vegas to Singapore.

Me, I’m just glad Scott’s generator didn’t run out of gas. That would have brought a whole new meaning to the phrase of having another episode “in the can!”

Written by turbotodd

August 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

SXSW Interactive 2012: The Turbo Debrief

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A picture from the SXSW show floor coverage from TechCrunch at SXSW Interactive 2012. Be sure to keep an eye here on Turbotodd.com for more interviews conducted by Turbo and Scott Laningham through the course of this year's event.

Well, SXSW 2012 is finally over… And over 25,000 computer geeks from around the world were probably about ready for it be over, fun as it was.

There was lots to be said about this year’s SXSW, both good and bad, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was the best SXSW interactive ever, and I’ve been to quite a few.

I was there for the Mark Zuckerberg and Sarah Lacy interview debacle several years back… I was there for the yawner Twitter interview with Evan Williams a couple of years back… I was even there when Christopher Locke introduced The Cluetrain Manifesto in 2000, just before the bubble burst, and burst hard.

And despite the insane and torrential rains that we had in Austin, which we had been waiting on for well over a year, in the midst of our atrocious drought, it didn’t surprise me at all that the rain clouds followed the digerati to Austin before the heavens would completely open up.  Geeks bring rain!

There really wasn’t any huge new new thing at this year’s SXSW… It was really a lot of the same old thing with a few new ingredients mixed in. But lingering in the air, there was an optimism and sense of opportunity that transcended the often selfish inclinations of SXSW past, one that was more worldly and altruistic in nature.

A spirit that attempted to bring people closer together in small networks to be able to meet and to get to know one another and to get things done. I ran into Robert Scoble, the renowned tech blogger whom I’ve never before met, and he explained to me on the expo floor that the big deal of the event was “Highlights,” an iOS-based application that helps do just that, bring people together in the most serendipitous of ways based on their location and data from their Facebook graph.

Assuming one can get past the privacy implications of such a tool, it’s actually very cool. And I certainly wish I had had it once upon a time in my virtual dating life.

There was also a lot of almost Beckett-like absurdity, including the registration badge pickup line that seemed to linger all the way into South Austin this year. I spent over an hour waiting in that line for my badge, when it seems to me, it would have been just as easy for SXSW to have mailed it to me well in advance. Ever heard of RFID tags??

I did use that waiting time productively, and met someone from a startup whom I spoke with about the mobile boom for most of our time in line. But I’m sure somebody from IBM’s smarter cities initiative would be more than happy to sit down and discuss with SXSW the opportunity that a smarter queuing solution might present.

There were more companies at SXSW this year than ever before, and by companies I mean enterprise companies, not just startups. I saw attendees from the likes of Oracle and Microsoft and IBM in more numbers than ever, just to mention a few, and so the former digital divide between startups and developers and the enterprise seems to have started to close at this year’s SXSW, which I think is a good thing: We need them, and they need us.

The keynotes from the likes of Ray Kurzweil and Stephen Wolfram seemed to suggest we’re on the brink of breaking through in AI and speech recognition — the former invented core speech recognition technologies being used today in product’s like “Dragon Dictation” (which I used to assist me in writing this blog post), and both mentioned Watson as demonstrating this new direction. I’ll be looking forward to the day soon when I can run most of my computing devices, smartphone and otherwise, through voice and facial recognition.

But we also saw some nods to the past, including on the SXSW expo floor. There was a machine that presses vinyl records (I’m sure most of the attendees had never seen a long-play record!), along with a killer jet black keyboard from “Daskeyboard” that mimics the clickety-clack spring action of the old IBM Model M keyboard.

What’s old is new, even in technology.

Be sure to come back and visit turbotodd.com in the days and weeks ahead, as I’ll continue to post the fascinating interviews that Scott Laningham and I recorded with a garden variety of digital thought leaders in the IBM “Future of Social” lounge.

In the meantime, I’ll be preparing for SXSW Interactive 2013.

Wouldn’t miss it for all the Austin rain in the world!

Match Play

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Things just haven’t been looking up for Tiger Woods. I watched Phil Mickelson pound him last Sunday in the last round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and then Thursday, he loses to Nick Watney in the second round of the Accenture Match Play tournament, 1 down on the 18th where his putter failed him once again with a 5 1/2 foot birdie putt.

I’m still excited about catching more of the Accenture this weekend before I head off on a two-week travel swing (First stop, Toronto, in the Great White North…although I hear it’s not going to be so white!)

In the middle of this trip, you’ll find me in Viva Las Vegas for the IBM Pulse2012 event, being held at the MGM Grand March 4-7.

Let me just say, if you’ve followed the systems management space for any length of time, this is most definitely not your father’s Tivoli. Through acquisitions of the likes of Tririga and Maximo, the IBM Tivoli line has become an instrumental component in the IBM Smarter Planet initiative, with technology that now manages not only your computer systems, but also everything from physical assets to building space.

This year, Pulse will focus on several key areas, including cloud, mobility, smarter physical infrastructure, and security. We’re expecting some 8,000+ atttendees, including your peers focused on fundamentally and cost-effectively changing the economics of IT and speeding the delivery of innovative products and services.

We’ll also have some very special guests in attendance, including Maroon5 to entertain our tired and weary service management masses, along with Steve “Woz” Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

Yours truly, along with my partner-in-crime, Scott Laningham, are going to be in attendance, blogging and broadcasting live (and on demand) from the Pulse showcase floor.

More details as they emerge…which they surely will.

In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday and the Academy Awards broadcast, and don’t forget to follow the Twitter sentiment being tracked by IBM and the Annenberg School via the “Senti-meter.”

Written by turbotodd

February 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The Artist

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I’ve not had time to see all the films nominated for “Best Picture” for this year’s Academy Awards, and will, in fact, be flying up to Toronto next Sunday as this year’s Oscars are set to be awarded.

Will "The Artist" win this year's Oscar for "Best Picture?" Perhaps a more important question, what will companies around the globe do to avoid becoming victims of their own industries' transitional equivalent from silent to talking motion pictures?

Why is it that I’m always on a plane during these big events?  Three weeks ago it was the Super Bowl.  Reminds me of the time that Spain was playing Germany in the UEFA Euro soccer finals in 2008. I was flying back from Madrid to the States, and there were all these poor Spaniards stuck on the plane as Germany played Spain for that once every-four-year title.

The good news was, Spain won (for them…I don’t want to start any internecine football blogging wars here).

I did get out to see one of the nominated films this weekend, Michael Hazanaviciu’s “The Artist,” a mostly silent film focused on the late 1920s and early 1930s which explores the transition from silent to “talky” pictures.

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the movie and plan on doing so, stop reading now!

I mean it…I’m about to spill the beans!

Actually, there aren’t a lot of beans to spill.  The movie plot could just as easily haven been taken out of the radio-to-TV transition, or the broadcast-to-cable transition, or even the search-to-social network transition.

Meaning, that change is universal and inevitable. And those who choose to protect the business models of the past and to ignore the potential of those of the future are doomed to history’s sidelines.

In “The Artist,” George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the silent movie star of his time, but as he meets up-and-coming but still fledgling actress Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) his movie studio, Kinograph Studios, led by Al Zimmer (John Goodman), Valentin fights the rising tide of “talkies,” and soon finds himself going bankrupt during the Great Depression as silent films go the way of the dinosaur and his own last-ditch attempt at self-financing one last talkie is a failure.

It’s not without some irony that this film is, largely, silent. Yet in its own unique way, it demonstrates the power of visual storytelling, seeming to explain why silent films had their day — that a good story is, in fact, universal, no matter the manner in which is related.

As its viewers experience, it’s not until the very last scene of the film that we finally hear George Valentin speak at all, as he explains with a heavy French accent that he will do yet another take of a scene with his new co-star, Ms. Miller, “with pleasure.”

He’s had his epiphany, his denouement is complete, and Valentin seems set to become a part of the future he once denied, only this time more as dancer than actor.

He has, in short, evolved.

The object lesson in all this?

In some ways, it’s akin to Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, in which the author outlined the opportunity and challenges of disruptive technologies and innovations.

Clayton’s basic thesis suggests that a disruptive technology is “an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network.”

If the introduction of “talking” motion pictures’ and subsequent disruption of the silent film market doesn’t fit this definition, I’m not sure what does.

This transition, of course, didn’t come without some pain, experienced both by the motion picture industry at large, and a variety of its “players.” Actors such as the fictional George Valentin (but also scores of silent motion picture actors ranging from Theda Bara to Mary Pickford to Charlie Chaplin) were impacted by the transition, often when their voices didn’t match their silent film image.

But technical challenges also abounded: New mikes and cameras had to be developed to prevent pick-up of the grinding noise that silent film cameras made as the film moved through the sprockets, and the industry had to find a way to synchronize voices properly, considering the sound head on a projector is about 10 frames away from the projected image.  Even new sound-proof sound stages had to be built, as did squeak-proof dollies.

But, ultimately, the industry and many of its players did adapt, and in the process generated a variety of  new opportunities for newly required vocations (sound editors, boom operators, voice actors, and on and on).  But, many also fell by the wayside.

As for “The Artist” and whether or not a silent movie in the year 2012 can win an Oscar for “Best Picture,” keep an eye out on the evolving social sentiment leading up to Sunday’s awards ceremony, for which IBM has partnered with the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab to bring you the Oscar Senti-Meter where we follow the Twittersphere action day-by-day.

An Epic Game

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Never mind the fact that I’m a Texas Rangers fan.

Never mind that I grew up in north Texas playing the game of baseball, first as a pitcher, then later as an outfielder, a short stop, and finally a catcher.

Never mind that baseball in north Texas was almost a religion, and that for young boys growing up on its plains there was nothing like those lights surrounding the diamond at night.

Also, never mind the fact that for nearly 50 years, the Rangers could never seem to pull it all together at the same time — the hitting, the fielding, and the pitching.

Certainly not the pitching.

Never mind that I lived in and around New York City during the Yankees late 1990s heyday, even attending a World Series game against the Atlanta Braves, a nail biter in and of its own right.

Put all that aside. Last night’s game between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals was simply epic.

It was dramatic, it was heart-stopping, it was nerve-wracking…it was even heart-breaking at times.

But it was also all what baseball in October should be about.

Even though my team came out on the losing side, it’s a game I will never forget.

And apparently, this series is one that the fans won’t forget anytime soon as well.

I mentioned in a post a week or so ago that IBM had partnered with the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab to mine social sentiment for this year’s World Series.

In the last report, which covered games 3 and 4, the number of tweets increased from game 2 to game 3 as fans turned to Twitter to share the baseball experience.  I expect the Tweets in game 6 will be off the charts.

There are some other interesting highlights which you can read in the Smarter Planet blog post here.

I tried to keep an eye on the Twitterstream last night, recognizing that game 6 was something special. But I wasn’t alone, as the Twitterstream moved by so quickly, it was difficult to even read the individual posts.

I expect game 7 will be no different.

I’ll be firmly planted on the edge of my couch for its entirety.

Written by turbotodd

October 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

TurboTech: Netflix/Qwikster, HP rumors, Facebook follies, Twitter ads

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So Scott and I recorded our latest “TurboTech” episode yesterday, and no sooner did we record the bit about Meg Whitman maybe taking over as CEO of HP than it seems like it’s actually gonna be a done deal.

That’s okay, things move fast in this industry, and it’s kind of like that old joke about how you don’t have to outrun the leopard — you just have to outrun the slowest gazelle.

In this case, I’m not sure if Scott’s the gazelle and I’m the leopard, or if Meg Whitman’s the leopard and Leo Apotheker’s the gazelle, but whatever the case, things change, watch us move your cheese.

We talked about that, the Netflix marketing debacle, and the latest changes on Facebook (which pretty much everyone seems to hate).

Me, I’m off to India tomorrow, and will be hanging in the IT hub of Bangalore for a week.  I hope to take lots of pics and NOT lose my camera there this go around, and am very much looking forward to some of that lovely South and North India Cuisine and to seeing all my IBM India friends.  Put some Kingfishers on ice, gang, I’ll be there momentarily.

Enjoy this episode, and the next dispatch may just be a video one from the streets of Bangalore, where crossing through traffic’s like riding in a sub-contintental rodeo with motor rickshaws and motorbikes!

Yeeee-hawwww, Sahib!

Written by turbotodd

September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Smarter Web Metrics

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The weekend in sports proved to be as about as exciting as I had hoped.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke became the third man from that region to win a golf major in 3 of the last 6, and it was Clarke’s first British Open title.

And as to the U.S. Women’s soccer team, they played a nailbiter of a match, but in the end the team from Japan won on penalty kicks.

My hat goes off to both teams.  I had a whole living room full of soccer fans, and we were all nervous wrecks up to that last penalty kick that gave Japan this year’s World Cup trophy.

Still, it was an awesome game all the way around, and I wish my friends in Japan a very happy celebration.  They could probably stand some good news about now!

Now, on to business.

Later today, IBM will announces its second quarter 2010 earnings.  You can check the Investor Relations site for more details.

On the announcement front, today saw the introduction of a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite intended to help organizations automate online marketing campaigns across their online channels, including web sites, social media networks, and even mobile phones.

The new offering combines the best of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine tune their marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real-time across channels.

More Digital, More Integration

With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical that marketers understand online behavior and refine their marketing activities accordingly.

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite automates and simplifies a company’s ability to design and deliver a tailored online experience and marketing promotions through real-time personalized recommendations, email ad targeting, and more:

  • Enables marketers to perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including off-line data sources
  • Delivers real-time product recommendations for all online channels, including social, mobile, email, and display ads
  • Provides A/B testing capabilities to help search engine marketers compare pairs of search terms to determine the most cost-effective terms and associated ads
  • Incorporates best practice key performance indicators and corresponding industry-specific benchmarks
  • Supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is the most effective.

Using this technology, businesses will be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly.

IBM’s suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine tune digital marketing programs based on what customers are doing offline.

For example, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories.

The benefit to the customer is a consistent, relevant brand experience that reflects all of their online preferences, not just what they did, read or saw on one specific site.

Smarter Web Metrics, Smarter Commerce

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the newest addition to IBM’s family of Smarter Commerce solutions,which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

To learn more about this and other marketing solutions please visit the IBM Enterprise Marketing Management site.

Mumbai

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My heart goes out to the citizens of Mumbai, India.

Once again, they are apparently under attack by terrorists, this time with three bomb blasts in three different locations around Mumbai, including Dadar, the Opera House, and the Zaveri Bazaar areas.

I’ve been attempting to follow the #mumbai and #mumbaiblasts streams on Twitter, but honestly, they’re moving by faster than what I saw with the Egypt protests in January, so it’s difficult to get much info there (at least on TweetDeck).

I’ve been following New Delhi TV (ndtv.com) and also the Times of India (timesofindia.com).  CNN and MSNBC have also finally clued in.

Reports now have the first bomb going off at south Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, near the Mumbadevi temple, and where there are also a number of jewelry stores.

The second was in a taxi in the Dadar area of Central Mumbai, and the third at the Opera House in south Mumbai, just after 7 pm.

The Times of India reports all three are busy commercial and residential areas, and were bustling with people and traffic during Mumbai’s evening peak hours when the explosions occurred.

NDTV is reporting Lashkar -e-Taiba may likely have been involved, as they were in 2008.  AP reporting at least 8 dead and 70 injured.  Sadly, those numbers could likely grow as more reports come in.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the good people of India.

Written by turbotodd

July 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Posted in terrorism, twitter

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