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Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp in London

As I mentioned in the last post, I seem to be a glutton for punishment.  So, three days after I return from Sydney, I will be jetting off to London to deliver a special version of the Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp.  I have had the great fortune to work with Scott Gavin of Applied Trends and I think we have put together a great day of learning.  If you will be in London on September 30, come join us!

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Heading Down Under Again – Web Directions South

Because I’m a glutton for punishment and it has been nearly 2 months since I was in Australia, I will be heading down under this Friday.  I will be delivering the Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp as a workshop annex to Web Directions South.  And I’m very pleased that Stephen Collins of Acid Labs will be joining me in the delivery.  If you are going to be in Sydney next week, it is still not too late to sign up.  See you there?

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Photo Blogger 2.0

This week I delivered a two-day masterclass on Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 in Singapore.  As always, I had a host of interesting participants, one of which was Reeda Malik, Brunei’s top photo blogger.  Reeda was nice enough to take some shots during the class, both from the first day and from the second day. I’m grateful to Reeda for posting the pictures for me and all the participants to enjoy.
The class went extremely well and I thank all the participants for everything they taght me.  And now it is on to deliver a keynote and workshop at KM Australia 2008.

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The Road to Singapore (and Australia)

Just wanted to post a note that I will be on travel the next two weeks, so the posting here may be even slower than usual.  I will be in Singapore delivering Web 2.0 & Enterprise 2.0 Foundations masterclass July 17-18 and delivering a keynote and masterclass at KM Australia July 21-23.
My keynote at KM Australia is entitled Abandon Your Content Management System: KM in the Age of GooTube.  I hope to get a synopsis of it up here as a post soon.
I’m looking forward to being down-under and I hope they are having a mild winter so I can enjoy some of my short stay.  If you will be in Singapore or Australia, it’s not to late to register (I think).  See you there?

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Steve Ballmer Made Me Wear a Tie

Steve Ballmer at MIX08 in MilanToday I had the great pleasure of presenting a session on Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 at MIX08 Italy in Milan. I was there as a guest of our strategic partner in Italy and Germany, Reply. The day was kicked off with a keynote by Microsofy CEO, Steve Ballmer (see videos here). There are other posts about his comments on Yahoo! So I thought I would just share some of my thoughts on the other parts of his talk (and the follow-up Q&A).
Content + Community + Commerce was the mantra for the talk. This seems to be there way of recognizing that software is not the main driver in IT any longer. Now it is all about getting people what they want (content) in a social experience of their choosing (community) and, of course figuring out how to monetize that (commerce) so you can stay in business. The one thing that struck me from the talk was that the only monetization model he talked about was advertising. While I’m sure they are considering service subscription models as well, he didn’t mention it. During Q&A the theme came up again when he said the reason they were after Yahoo! was that they were a advertising and marketing platform that was already at “critical mass.”
Software + Services is the solutions theme for Microsoft. This is there take on how they will help us serve the C+C+C from above. Despite Ray Ozzie’s release of Live Mesh and some observations that MS finally sees that software is dead, Steve stressed the continued importance of software. He described how software will evolve in an environment that wisely balances desktop, Web, enterprise, and devices. Seems to me the “software vs. services” debate is semantic posturing. In either case we will still need engineers writing code that moves bits.
“Consumer, consumers, consumers.” That quote and his discussion of consumers was the only part Steve’s talk that made me cringe and think they still don’t get it. In this day and age, no business should look at their users/customers as consumers. I agree with Matt Jones’s definition of consumers. The people who use our products are our partners, not mindless consumers. Empowering people to partner with us to make our products better is at the heart of Web 2.0. If Microsoft does not get this, they are going to have a tough row to hoe.
Looking foward five years. Finally, perhaps the most animated and interesting part of his talk were his visions of the future of computing. They really were about services (supported by software) that reflected the pending convergence in media and technology. To paraphrase badly, he told a brief story envisioning a future when he is golf watching “TV” and shouts “Hey Bill, did you see Tiger sink that putt”. His intelligent “TV” would recognize that Steve wanted to say that to Bill Gates and would instantly find if Bill Gates was available for Steve. Bill’s “cell phone” would let Bill (sitting on a beach somewhere) know that there was a message from Steve and play the audio of Steve’s comment as well as the video of Tiger’s putt. Steve would respond, “that was nice – what kind of ball is he using?” Steve would rewind the video, zoom in on the ball, click it and get instant information about it and a link to buy it. He would tell Bill the brand and order two boxes for them. This was just one example of his crystal ball gazing – he also discussed ePaper and projectable surfaces.
Overall, his talk was interesting but didn’t break any new earth. But it did make me wear a tie. I try to avoid wearing a tie like I try to avoid root canal surgery. When I asked my Reply hosts if a tie was required for my presentation, the response was something along the lines of, “we know Americans don’t really wear ties – let’s wait and see what Steve does…” So, I was counting on Steve to go tieless. Wisely, he chose to show respect for the host culture and he wore a tie. So, I followed suite.  The most difficult part of the whole day was remembering how to tie my tie…

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Microsoft MIX08 in Italy – See You There?

Steve BallmerJust a quick note:  If you will be in Milan on March 23, drop by the Crowne Plaza Hotel for MIX08 Italy.  Steve Ballmer and his Microsoft crew will be giving the Microsoft spin on what is hot in Internet development in the morning.  I will be joining a host of colleagues from our Italian partner company, Reply, for additional presentations on delivering Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 solutions in Italy in the afternoon.  So, if you decide that Milan sounds like more fun than another year of Web 2.0 Expo in San Fran, drop on by!

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The Future of Enterprise Computing – UVA School of Commerce

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of presenting at a great day of learning on The Future of Enterprise Computing at University of Virginia. The seminar was put together by Professor Ryan Nelson, the director of the Center for the Management of Information Technology (CMIT) in UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce. Ryan pulled together a great panel of speakers:

  • Andrew McAfee, Harvard Business School, the person who coined the term “Enterprise 2.0”
  • Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s Chief Technology Architect
  • Jeff Kelly (yours truly) representing Web 2.0 University(tm)
  • Lewis Shepherd, CTO at Microsoft’s Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments

The audience consisted of about 70 graduate students in UVa’s MS MIT program and about 30 members of UVa’s Center for the Management of Information Technology. We were fortunate to be one of the first groups to present in the newly remodeled, state-of-the-art facilities in Rouss-Robertson Halls. I’ll give a brief recounting of each presentation, but I’m hoping that soon I will be able to edit this post to add links to videos of the presentations (3/17 update: it turns out the videos can’t be released – sorry about that).
Andrew McAfee at UVAAndrew McAfee led off with a great 60-minute summary of Enterprise 2.0 and it’s implication for enterprise technologists. I’ll briefly mention two points he made that I thought were intriguing. The first was his discussion of the underlying trends of E2.0 which included “lack of up-front structure” and “mechanisms to let structure emerge”. Those two trends align with the “freeform” and “emergence” concepts that Dion Hinchcliffe added in his FLATNESSES checklist – which is an extension of Andrew’s original SLATES checklist. We discussed it briefly over lunch, and the E2.0 trends that Andrew is encountering are congruent with what we have been seeing. The other interesting idea Andrew introduced centered around the value of weak ties in a social network. He mentioned Mark Granovetter’s The Strength of Weak Ties from 35 years ago and the Web as platform for social network is reproving how accurate Marks isights continue to be. He postulated – and I agree – that the people with whom we have weak social ties may be more valuable than the people with whom we have strong ties. That idea supports the research I have been doing about the importance of diverse and inclusive groups as the greatest driver of innovation.
Paul Dugherty at UVAPaul Daugherty was the second presenter and he provided very rich insight on the future of technology and what it means for the enterprise. Accenture has surpassed IBM as the world’s largest systems integrator, so Paul certainly has a keen perspective from which to predict future trends. His presentation was full of rich insight. While there was too much great content to review here, I will share his list of the eight power shift trends that will impact enterprise technology:

  1. Cloud Computing & SaaS
  2. Systems Integration – Regular & Light
  3. Enterprise Intelligence at Scale
  4. Continuous Access to People and Content
  5. Social Computing
  6. Explosion of User-Generated Content
  7. Gradual Industrialization of Software Development
  8. Green Computing

Jeff Kelly at UVAJeff Kelly – I designed my talk to give the audience of technologists insight into the requests they might see coming from the business line. I based it on the platforms and strategies that resonate the most with the audiences we have at our Web 2.0 University ™ learning events. I provided a very brief summary of our two most popular learning events and then the topics that resonate the most with the business leaders who attend. You can see that list on slides 13 and 18 in the presentation deck linked here:

UVA Presentation Slides

uva_shepherd.jpgLewis Shepherd gave a great capstone presentation that illustrated the practical application of the ideals and theories covered earlier in the day. His perspective was that of someone who came to DC from Silicon Valley after 9/11 to help devise ways for the US intelligence community to better gather, share and collaborate on various intelligence sources. So, much of his presentation focused on implementing Enterprise 2.0 platforms in a ultra-secure environment. His insights were excellent and provide great fodder for countering security-veiled resistance to E2.0. (It gives us the ability to say, “well I’m sure the information sharing your employees will do does require the most robust security available – let me tell you how the US intelligence community uses to wikis to share top-secret information…”). Lewis walked us through the evolution and success of Intellipedia as well as covering some other federal E2.0 projects. He also pointed out that my alma mater, EPA, is doing some great Web 2.0 work at epa.wik.is. I encourage you to read the EPA Web 2.0 Whitepaper – grand kudos to Brand Niemann and everyone else who is finally getting EPA to the level of public data exchange the Myles Morse and I (and many others) were hoping for 14 years ago when we worked on Enviro$en$e.
The day wrapped up with a panel moderated by Stefano Grazioli where Lewis, Paul, and I (Andrew had an early flight) fielded questions. The entire day was a great learning opportunity and I look forward to delving deeper into the wealth of information that was presented.
Thanks much to Brian Weston for posting pictures from the event!

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