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What to watch in 2011

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!!!

As usual, a massive upload of predictions, ideas, forward-looking statements, but this one I rather say is quite cool!!

I like a lot nr 93 on transmedia, and more.. apps beyond mobile, storytelling applied to products, home energy monitors and, and.. and you go and enjoy!!!

🙂

Personalised experience, news aggregation, a slatePC. It makes sense

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

It is, we said it, the dawn of a new era.. of what?!??

May not be the only concept, but experience personalisation is something we may get interested, aggregation of information, items, stuff, contacts, anything the way we want, where and how we want.. will we pay for it? It fits our own lifestyle (Digital Transmedia!), it fits our pace, it fits us, extraordinarily us, exclusively us, us at the centre of our universe.. massexclusivity, youniverse.. tribes and trends will have a possibility to emerge, digital butlers have a possibility to serve, on little trays now called slatePCs … everyone’s happy..

What a wonderful world!! 🙂

# follow friday, tweets everywhere and my cat got mad!

July 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I got hooked.

I had a Twitter account since ages (this being quite “relative”, I trust..), buth honestly had no intention to tweet about my..my..my whatever.

Then, realising that being curious is a gift not to waste, I got into it..quite shyly at the beginning, and today a little bit more confident. Won’t be the chap with thousands of followers and able to follow masses of people, but in my critical way, I do use Twitter with a bunch of close friends and get info from a rather small circle of “informants”.

Today, one of these friend put me into this #followfriday frenzy!!!

You may know what that is… Anyone is suggesting @friends allover the place, something very much like the Facebook friend recommendation, I have started to follow the hash and got overwhelmed by an hefty flow of tweets, had to turn the PC speaker off, my cat was going absolutely crazy!!!

Now, this is all very nice, but why on earth I have to follow blindly those @godknowswho? I found on another website some sort of recommendation on who to follow, reason why and the like, and got already some nice insights into events, Web advances, comments on social networks, basically it was a good hint!!

But the rest… Is it something like “size matters”?

Or actually the quality of it all will become a factor? But into the social web, numbers are authority. If I have got a huge number of link/followers/readers/whatever, and leveraging the collective intelligence, and the ability of social systems to auto-calibrate for the best, then I do become de facto interesting. Saying what??

I mean, someone with 60K followers in the magic realm of hornpipes won’t really drive me crazy, nor does that person that is retweeting any little hiccup the World produces. So, back to the “if my friend tells me you are good, then you are good”.

Ultimately, then, size does not matter, whilst the power of reference does become a massive factor. Again.

Is then Twitter a way to scope out your real friends, those that really know you, those who really know your interests, the way you think, what is close to your heart? A bit like choosing a little present in a large Saturday market, that very small thing that would perfectly fit into my friend life!

It would be nice, very nice, unfortunately we still have to cope with hornpipes and the likes!!

UNLESS… SERENDIPITY…

Fine, this is all a bit excessive, it may be the heat here in Milan (it will be 35°C in an hour or so), be “twitter happy” and God bless.. 🙂

Have a good weekend you all!!

Invasion of the Android!

July 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Anywhere, anytime, there is always some Apple stuff to remind you who’s running the show.. iPhones, iPods, iPads, whatever. You may really believe there is just ONE company able to put some tech device in the hands and pockets of the global consumers..

But reality is slightly different. Yesterday evening I went to a superb BBQ, with some friends (old and new) and discussion moved wavily from “the Cloud” to “Mobility” and apps, and quite normally these days, most of the devices around where Apple (with a small albeit significant presence of Samsung Omnia II and my old Innov8..). We did actually agree that most of the apps that today a “normal” advanced user may need are well covered by the AppStore, but also via Ovi, and the Android Market, this making the World again a pretty interesting place and not a one-man-band show (boring, boring..).

Now, today this is the confirmation! An article (courtesy of GigaOM) did point out at the stunning performance of Android in supporting HTC sales: +67% in June 2010 vs June last year.

The discussion now is whether the device is driving the customer choice of the underlying application environment (including the OS, which ultimately is a mere butler..), or is the OS holistic environment (speed, capability, multimedia performances, third party applications portfolio et alia) to concentrate customer attention and thus underpin superior hardware sales performances.

What is rather clear to me is the irrelevance of any “match race” business strategy (since players here are most diverse in structure, value ecosystem and tactical ability), whilst seems rather fundamental the ability to search and exploit any end user market “weakness” (meaning anything that would lower the barrier of “do not want to buy that” anyone has got somewhere in the brain..): for someone is design and sense of belonging, for other the “me too” attitude, for another customer tribe (NOTE: tribe, not group…) it may be the willingness to be different, or to highly customise his/her own experience.. since, please do not forget, mobile is personal, ultimately the most personal high tech environment of it all, and someone may be ready and willing to pay for this.

Not too have the same handset as all the other users (almost..) was one of the driver for success for the DoCoMo mobile growth in Japan, and history is always a good teacher, and “globalisation” does not imply “conformity” as a rule. And the market absorbs 160.000 Android-based phones daily. And..

It is nice to be different!

If content was the king, so how about eContents?!??!

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

As we all know, the entire ecosystem of digital interactions, both in terms of user terminals, services, and usage patterns are mutating every single day, or better every single time someone is actually producing and launching a new gizmo.. now is “slate” time.. and war, to come to that (courtesy of UnitechBlog)!!

But, but.. since long we have been witnessing a surge of “contents” as the golden nugget inside any tech advance.. for the PC industry in itself, Internet was all about “contents”, advertising was the same, the hardware market has running the race (storage anyone?), and then new form-factor devices to optimise the experience, and then..and then..

Now, the availability of high speed network connections, Wi-Fi (both devices and massive “hot spot” distribution), and also the rise of social networking have all put “digital contents” back on the radar screen and quite likely transform them into the new battlefield for domination (I personally do not trust all that much all business models based on advertising, despite the fact that Google has made more than a decent living out of it.. there will be evolution in this field, more personalisation, opt in, personal adv engines and eBooth to go and control for the ads I have asked to send me, less bothering whilst browsing around..).

Overall, digital contents, eContents have been on the rise for quite a while, GigaOm analysts estimate an hefty US$36 billion, ramping up from the 2008 US$ 16,7 billion, quite a low-ish figure if compared with the very recent Italian Confindustria (the Industrial Association) eContent research that puts a mark at €5,8 billion for 2010 (do I really have to believe that Italy accounts for more than 19% of total market value – Euro @ 1,23 against US$ as of today exchange rate..), 8,8% rise vs last year.  As I said before, advertising may not be the ultimate revenue booster, since the aforementioned research points out that the adv market grew by 5%, whilst paid digital contents business stream posted a nice 10,2% jump…

Anyway and however.. it seems that this is the area we need to analyse and monitor, the rise of digital contents, also including the digitalisation of paper-based documents, will inject new “information” into the wider Web, let people access a plethora of new contents on line, whilst on the move, anywhere really (purpose-driven content availability matrix: please develop the concept before I do and go back being one of the most interesting brain around..!! ), and revamp other IT-related sectors (storage-in-the-cloud, so to allow massive content distribution and some “decapitalisation” of IT)..

Let alone the latest iPad, is the stuff running on it that makes that conglomerate of plastic an interesting object.. usage, user needs, interests.. is “attention economy” back into the spotlight?!?

Nice..

iPhone, iPad, iEverything and the mobile world.. I may buy one of those “things”!

June 8, 2010 Leave a comment

I was at a Forrester Research event this morning, all geared to define and explain a bit of the current mobile environment and how to engage the user base..

The room was pretty full, different kind of people, from the utter Milanese professionals, some rather geeky-looking folks, a fair segmentation between men and women, let’ say a good sample. Advanced users of complex tech ecosystems, I dare say, the tip of the iceberg.

This tip of the iceberg was almost entirely, no, let’s put the mark at 80%, devoted to Apple! iPhones everywhere, therefore most for business usage (it was, after all, a business meeting!!), and to top it up a fair amount of coveted iPad(s)!! The chap next to me had a WiFi-only model, someone in the back of the room was pontificating about the marvels of the new object, how the screen resolution was finally making odd videos looking fab…

Thing is, as it comes out from Forrester data, iPhone users almost double (something like..) the “normal smartphone users” in surfing the mobile web, in using the device to do all sort of things better and to a larger extent than any other mobile phone addict!

I did sort of agree with the analyst (kudoos to you, Thomas, nice job!) that we were discussing about a “pre-iPhone” era and a “post-iPhone”, since all usage paradigms are and will be completely changed. For good.

So, yesterday came in the news about the iPhone 4, a nice attempt to close the gap (am I mad??? Apple has got a gap to fill in the mobile market??) in terms of “lateral features” such as a rather more decent (finally…) camera (at least on paper..5Mpx and a led-flash), a less bulky chassis (yes, iPhone is bulky, so what?), some HD recording features, the infamous video-call back into action thanks to Face Time (do I really want to see/be seen by everyone..ok, opt in/out but say it to your girlfriend/office boss/whoever..)..

More importantly, a new OS (to contribute to the mobile OS war..) that features a bunch of advances such as …Multitasking!!! few, finally.. and a better eMail handling (considering that 75% of iPhone users do actually email – European users data from Forrester), and iAD, the mobile advertising platform..

Stop here, you will be overwhelmed with infos on the new toy but, you know what, this time around I may get convinced and buy one of those “things”!!!At least for the REAL camera that seems to have been put into the iPhone now… I am so happy with the shots I can manage with my Samsung Innov8 Touch.. but using mobile internet quite heavily is not exactly comfortable, albeit there is no problems whatsoever with the website rendering, the touch keyboard or anything else.. it is simply “tiring”… (ok, YouTube on this smartphone doesn’t put me into a blissful state..)

I have to read a bit better about tech specs and so forth, and make my mind around the fact that “being an Apple user” does define you as driving an Honda or a Ducati, going to all-inclusive holiday resorts or DIY your holiday in rural China…

Actually, are we heading towards an all-inclusive mobile resort with the Apple environment? Still, sometimes should be nice to sit down, relax and play away on your mobile without a worry in the entire World!!!

Do we really like it or we have to, since this is the only direction to go?!?!? I don’t know, there is something here that I don’t quite like, something off-tune..

Unless…

iPhone with x-ray vision???

September 12, 2008 Leave a comment

There we are again… I promise (not that you were dying for this..) that I will try and keep this blog space kind of alive from the darkness again!!

So, to start with something interesting, here we are… as you all know, Japan is potentially the most interesting country in terms of mobile usage. I am talking about the actual mobile lifestyle that is alive and kicking in the streets of, say, Tokyo, and the amount of attention the mobile world absorb.

Since the early days of DoCoMo and its venture into the territory of the revenue sharing models, Japan has witnessed a plethora of interesting, useful and appealing services flourishing and landing over the mobile handsets Japanese provide not to have farthest than a meter from their hands… mobile in Japan is not simply technology, but a prosthesis..

Having said all of the above, a company called Tonchidot (team of six…) has created what they called Sekai Camera. A “camera” function that, geotagging your location whilst you literally walk around, provides your iPhone with information about the object/item/monument/whatever you are bashing into it at a given moment…

Fine.. at TechCrunch 50 the audience went off the roof, seemingly..

What sounds slightly complex is the geotagging capability, GPS based, into a supermarket.. still, impressive how six people, highly focused and with a vision, are able to stirr attention this way!!
Lovely, back to the garage?!??!???!

There is always hope…