Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘community’ 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.

Impressions From SXSW Interactive 2012: Gartner Fellow Mark McDonald On The Social Organization

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Mark McDonald is a group vice president and head of research in Gartner Executive Programs, and also a Gartner Fellow, and recently co-authored the book The Social Organization, along with his fellow author Anthony Bradley.

During our time together at SXSW Interactive, Mark explained to Scott and I how enterprises are successfully using social media and mass collaboration to achieve new business value, and how many of them are addressing what he called “boundary spanning” issues in order to achieve the greatest success in social business.

Mark is also the co-author with Peter Keen of The eProcess Edge and the author of Architecting Enterprises — Achieving Performance and Flexibility. He has also been interviewed or published in the Wall Street Journal, Computerworld, CIO Magazine, the Financial Times and other publications. He routinely works with senior business and technology executives and is currently working on the issue of innovation in management.

Impressions From SXSW Interactive 2012: Q&A With IBM Social Leaders George Faulkner & Susan Emerick

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One of the best parts of attending SXSW Interactive 2012 these days is to meet other IBMers.

That wasn’t always the case — for many years, it was a lonely IBM vista in March at SXSW Interactive.

But this year, all that changed, and two of my good friends and colleagues in particular, George Faulkner and Susan Emerick, spent some time with Scott and I on the IBM “Future of Social” couch discussing how IBM approaches the social media.

George has been a stalwart in IBM social media — I worked with him way back in the Jurassic Age of the social Web, in 2006, on the IBM ShortCuts podcast series.

And Susan has been a digital leader in and of her own right, most recently helping IBMers who haven’t been as active in the social media to get up on their feet and establish their social media eminence.

This thought-provoking interview opens the kimono a bit on the challenges and opportunities a large organization like IBM faces in opening itself up to the social media, and explains how, in fact, IBM gets 400,000 IBMers on the same page so they can successfully change the corporate social media light bulb.

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Day 3 General Session: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Father Of The Web

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This morning, Lotusphere 2012 had a very special guest, one whose vision and insight changed the world as we know it, but also my own world, helping create a career path that heretofore didn’t exist.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee graces the audience at Lotusphere 2012 with a brief history of the World Wide Web, and some suggestive comments about its imminent future.

I’m talking about none other than Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web.

And how ironic that Sir Berners-Lee was speaking to the Lotusphere faithful about the open, semantic Web on a day when so many are protesting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, as it’s come to be known) as a means towards protecting intellectual property online.

(If you’re interested in learning more, Google has put up a landing page to explain their perspective on the legislation, but in the meantime, properties ranging from Wikipedia to BoingBoing have gone dark and silent in protest.)

As for Berners-Lee message, it was both history lesson and reminder from the past that’s what past is prologue. After Vinton Cerf invented TCP/IP to create the “internetwork” of all those computers, it was Berners-Lee who figured out a way to link all those computers in a more user-friendly (through the HTTP protocol via the WWW).

Now, we’re moving ever closer to the Semantic Web, where not only people, but machines, can understand instructions so we’re eliminating even more friction and sharing that much more information.  Berners-Lee seemed to throw a bit of a dart at the siloing of new unstructured data, like certain social networks who have walled off much of their data, but he seems bullish that the continued need to separate data from applications will differentiate the value of that data.

By way of example, Berners-Lee explained that people should be able to look at the same map, on Google Maps for instance, and the separation of the GPS data from the actual application has been what’s facilitated that.

So things that have previously been in those silos, Berners-Lee suggests, will not enable the same value creation should they stay in those silos, and the new value of social business is having people collaborate with all this information and with one another.

Watson, Come Here!

Next on the stage was Manoj Saxeona, general manager of IBM’s recently created Watson Solutions Software Group.

Hard to believe, it’s been a year since Watson beat the best “Jeopardy!” contestants in the world in a widely televised and celebrated match.  Now, Saxeona explained, it was time for Watson to stop playing and get down to work.

Manoj Saxena, the new general manager of Watson's Software Solutions unit at IBM, explains how Watson is quickly moving from play to work, and may even play a role in helping find a cure for cancer.

As Saxeona explained, currently, businesses are dying of thirst in an ocean of data.

Quick, somebody throw me a POWER7 lifeboat!

What most folks didn’t see behind the scenes during the Watson challenge was all the great technology that made Watson possible.

Watson brings together a set of transformational technologies that cultivate the following:

1. An understanding of natural language and human speech.

2) Generation and evaluation of hypothesis for better outcomes.

3. Adaptation and learning from user selections and responses.

The system is built atop a  massively parallel, probabilitistic evidence-based architecture optimized for IBM’s POWER7 processors, so it can process 200 million pieces of information in three seconds, which was the threshold it needed to perform and win at “Jeopardy!”

But what about in your doctor’s office.  Could Watson help your physician narrow a wide field of diagnoses into a very specific condition?

Absolutely.  In fact, medical information is doubling every 5 years, much of which is unstructured.

So for medical diagnostics, Watson can quickly sift through symptoms presented, along with background information like age and other relative demography, medications the patient is taking, and so forth, and then arrive at a narrower list of possible diagnosis.

It doesn’t replace the doctor.  It helps the doctor make a more informed decision.

We’ll just have to wait and see as to Watson’s bedside manners!

IBM And Scripps Foundation: Crowdsourcing A Cure For Malaria

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Consider this: In 2006, 247 million people became infected with malaria.

Nearly 1 million deaths are caused by malaria each year and 85 percent of those are children, who die from the disease at a rate of one every 30 seconds.

In fact, malaria is the leading cause of death in Africa for those under age five.

According to the World Health Organization, malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty; survivors are often subject to impaired learning, school absences, lost work and increased economic distress. Where prevalent, the disease can account for 40 percent of all public health costs.  

There is no reliable cure or vaccine for the prevention and treatment of all forms of malaria — particularly the drug-resistant strains caused by Plasmodium falciparum, which kills more people than any other parasite and is of particular interest to the researchers.

Crowdsourcing A Cure For Malaria 

IBM’s Watson computing system broke new ground earlier this year when it defeated two celebrated human competitors on the “Jeopardy!” game show.

Now, The Scripps Research Institute is hoping to do something equally novel but more critical to human health with part of the prize money from that tournament: Find a cure for drug-resistant malaria.

And it’s asking for the public’s help.

Scripps Research and IBM are encouraging anyone in the world with a personal computer to join World Community Grid (WCG), a sort of “supercomputer of the people” that will crunch numbers and perform simulations for “GO Fight Against Malaria”—the project that Scripps Research and IBM have launched. 

World Community Grid is fed by spare computing power from the nearly 2 million PCs that have been volunteered so far by 575,000 people in more than 80 countries. 

Now that’s crowdsourcing!

Breaking It Down Into Wee Bits

WCG gives each PC small computing assignments to perform when the devices aren’t otherwise being used by its owners, then sends the results to scientists seeking a faster way to cure disease, find renewable energy materials, create clean water techniques, or develop healthier food staples.

Or, in this case, perform simulations for the fight against malaria.

Scripps Research, which has already used World Community Grid to discover two promising new inhibitors of HIV to advance the treatment of multi-drug-resistant AIDS, is now taking on the malaria project as well.

By tapping into World Community Grid — which turned seven years old just this past week — Scripps Research scientists hope to compress 100 years of computations normally necessary for the effort into just one year.

The scientists will use this resource to more quickly evaluate millions of compounds that may advance the development of drugs to cure mutant, drug-resistant strains of malaria.

Data from the experiments will then be made available to the public.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Earlier this year, scientists for seven World Community Grid projects received half the $1 million first-place prize from the “Jeopardy!” game show tournament that saw IBM’s Watson computing system compete successfully against two former human champions.

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to overcome a longstanding scientific challenge—building a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.

“Working on malaria started as a hobby that I advanced during nights and weekends for a couple years, when I wasn’t working on FightAIDS@Home,” said Alex L. Perryman, Ph.D., a research associate in Scripps Research Professor Arthur Olson’s lab. “With persistence and a lot of help from IBM and from fellow Scripps Research scientists, we are now ready to launch the largest computational research project ever performed against drug-resistant malaria.”

The team at Scripps Research successfully proposed a project whose design and development would benefit from the winnings.  Perryman, who describes the malaria project in more detail here, explained that “Without the funding provided by some of the money that Watson won on “Jeopardy!,” this Global Online Fight Against Malaria project would not have been possible.”

Background: World Community Grid

World Community Grid is one of IBM’s exciting philanthropic initiatives. Founded in 2004 and running on Berkeley Open Infrastructre for Network Computing (BOINC) software, it provides computational power available to scientists who might not otherwise be able to afford the high speed computing they require for timely research.

To date, 19 research projects have been hosted on World Community Grid, spinning off 30 peer-reviewed papers.

Nine of the projects it has hosted have generated particularly promising results that are being further researched, or followed up with a second phase on World Community Grid.

If it were a physical supercomputer, World Community Grid would be one of the world’s 15 fastest such machines.

Go here to learn more and to participate in this important new research effort and help the global fight against malaria.

Written by turbotodd

November 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

We Be Jammin’ @ The W3C Social Business Jam

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Have you been wanting to get your two cents in on the broad topics that impact and influence the growth and uptake of social business?

Yes?

Well, you now have your opportunity.  IBM has partnered with the World Wide Web Consortium, the international body where member organizations and the public work together to develop Web standards, to host an online conversation among leaders in business, government, and technology about the current state of social business.

The W3C Social Business Jam will explore the future role that social technologies can play in improving the bottom line, and also how social technology should evolve in order to support business objectives.

A primary objective of the jam will be to cooperatively explore key trends and concepts in social business with an eye towards how social standards can facilitate business goals.

There are six core topics being explored in the jam, including the following:

  • Identity Management for Social
  • Mobile and Social
  • Information Management
  • Business Process Meets Social
  • Seamless Integration of Social
  • Metrics for Social Business

The jam will also feature a number of key thought leaders who will be hosting and participating in the online discussions, including Tim Berners-Lee, the W3C director and inventor of the World Wide Web, Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law Professor and author of The Wealth of Networks, Doc Searls, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and numerous others.

The discussions are already underway and will go on around the clock until 8 PM U.S. Eastern time on Thursday, November 10th.

Go here to get started and make your contributions to this important discussion.

Written by turbotodd

November 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm

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