Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘japan

Digital Diet

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We’re less than 24 hours away from financial Armageddon.  I’ve been stocking up on water and non-perishables in my garage, just in case.

No no, no tin foil helmet radio for me.  Justttt kiddingg.

I’m confident our politicians are going to reach some fiscal sanity, and my understanding of the process is that the Senate is about to vote on the bill passed last evening by the House, so my fingers are crossed.

But let it be known that the U.S. Congress isn’t the only legislative body that’s busy attending to the peoples’ business.

In Japan, IBM announced yesterday that it’s helping the National Diet Library of Japan, the country’s only national library, to digitize its literary artifacts on a massive scale to make them widely available and searchable online (The Diet is the legislative body in Japan).

The prototype technology enabling the system was built by IBM Research and allows full-text digitization of Japanese literature to be quickly realized through expansive recognition of Japanese characters and enabling users to collaboratively review and correct language characters, script and structure.

The system is also designed to promote future international collaborations and standardization of libraries around the world.

“Nearly two decades ago in his book Digital Library, Dr. Makoto Nagao, the director of the National Diet Library, shared his vision that digitized and structured electronic books will dramatically change the role of libraries and the way knowledge will be shared and reused in our society,” said Dr. Hironobu Takagi, who led the development of the prototype technology at IBM Research – Tokyo.

“Until now, the breadth of the characters and expressions within the Japanese language had posed a series of challenges to massive digitization. In order to enable this transfer of knowledge from print to online, we realized the need for both machine and human intelligence to understand information in every form.”

Compared to other languages, which rely on just a few dozen alphabetical characters, Japanese is extremely diverse in terms of script. In addition to syllabary characters, hiragana and katakana, Japanese includes about 10,000 kanji characters (including old characters, variants and 2,136 commonly used characters), in addition to ruby (a small Japanese syllabary character reading aid printed right next to a kanji) and mixed vertical and horizontal texts.

Aside from ensuring quality recognition of Japanese characters, IBM researchers aimed to optimize the amount of time needed to review and verify the accuracy of the digitized texts. By introducing unique collaborative tools via crowdsourcing, the technology allows many users to quickly pour through the texts and make corrections at a much higher rate of productivity and efficiency.

Written by turbotodd

August 2, 2011 at 3:54 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.

Small Moves, Smartly Made

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For the record, I’m not currently in Japan.

For longtime readers of this blog, of course, the joke being that I’ve been caught in three separate earthquakes while traveling on business, including in one in downtown Tokyo in 2005.

The 8.9 magnitude quake that hit near Sendai overnight in Japan was, of course, no joke.  Reports of damage from both the quake itself and the tsunamis have been devastating, and of course the waves are still traveling across the Pacific towards the U.S. West Coast and South America.

If you’d like to learn more and make a donation, the Red Cross put out this disaster alert overnight.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan, including my IBM colleagues in Tokyo and the surrounding area.  Feel free to respond to this blog post and let us know how you’re doing!

Social Business Summit Debrief

Back here in Austin, we’re preparing for up to 14,000 visitors in town for the start of SXSW Interactive.  I’m still trying to make my way through the insane schedule, but already began some serious networking yesterday at the Dachis Corp. “Social Business Summit.”

There was a wide range of speakers and topics, and Dachis’ Peter Kim served as the emcee du jour.  Salesforce.com chief scientist JP Rangaswami (and Cluetrain contributor) set the day up by asking the question, “Why do we even need a social business summit?”

His answer: To discover what we’ve lost — that is, being social while doing business.  His thesis: That in the mass broadcast market model, relationships got lost in all that hierarchy, and the 1-1 relationship opportunity was subsumed by the “mass.”

The network allows those relationships to scale between businesses, consumers, and other participants in the market, and that “the new generation won’t tolerate business the way we have.”

JP went on to discuss how the concept of work has gone through many iterations, and explained that “there is no such thing as failure,” that such a thing is simply evidence we can store for future proofing.

Tell that to my boss, JP.

Forrester’s Josh Bernoff: Put Down The Credit Card!

Josh Bernoff from Forrester appeared later in the day, always ready and armed with some excellent case studies.  Josh explained how he recently reached out to BestBuy’s Twelpforce to find a cell phone adapter, and after being told precisely the store he needed to buy the item had it in stock, proceeded to walk out with $1,100 worth of merchandise, including a new BlueRay player.

Josh, please, put your credit card away before you allow the Mercedes-Benz folks to steer you to their nearest dealership.

Josh did leave us with some takeaways: 1) Encourage your staff to use new tech 2) Encourage experimentation 3) Commit to collaboration systems 4) Use councils to spread best practices.

Good advice…we’ve followed all of those inside Big Blue, and it’s served us well.

Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things In Motion

Renowned business author John Hagel III was up next, and gave what I thought was one of the more relevant talks to the subject of social business.

Hagel explained to the Austin digitelligentsia that we are now living in a world of diminishing returns, and yet the more participants, the more rapid the returns.

We’re moving from a world of “stocks” to a world of “flows,” and that though business in the past was built around proprietary knowledge that companies prevented access to and extracted value from, the world of social business is a whole different animal.

If you want to create value in this world, you have to refresh your knowledge base to replenish your stock.  That’s where social software can play a key role, because those “flows” depend increasingly on technology platforms.

But Hagel had a word of caution to orgs wishing to dive into the social business realm (and strangely, it mimicked what IBM first said about e-business in 1997: “Start simple, grow fast.”). Hagel explained that “going slow at first may help us go faster at the end of the day.”

Hagel went on to explain that “we must change every aspect of how we do business” to take full advantage of the opportunity social business presents, and that it will require “massive organizational change.” Hagel, importantly, I think, also explained that what’s missing today in these transitions and projects is a systematic link to metrics that matter most: Strategic metrics at the top of the org, operational metrics in the middle, and day-to-day metrics at the bottom.

Our jobs as social change agents are to bolster the champions and neutralize the opponents.

Cool!  Can I have a super duper social business laser gun to take the momentum-dragging —rds out!?

Jesse Thomas from JESS3 built on Hagel’s meme by stating that the goal is transformation, not just putting lipstick on a pig.  Social business strategy and infrastructure create the conditions for businesses to evolve, and they allow for the scaling of distributed leadership, while social networks allow for intimacy and presence at scale.

And, collectively, this presents a unique opportunity for harnessing the power of open data to evolve and learn (social analytics, acting on insight, etc.)

But ultimately, leadership still matters, even in the social organization.  Leaders are the people best placed to “join the dots,” as it is they who have the helicopter view of the city.

It was a thought-provoking day, and at the end of it, my head hurt…and I’m sure that had nothing to do with the margaritas.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to find my way to the Austin Convention Center for day 1 of SXSW 2011.  Let’s hope my head doesn’t explode before SouthBy’s end.

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