Tag: social networking

Ralf HallerRalf Haller May 17, 2010

What to do when having an event and the airport closes due to ash clouds?

This week a client of us attends the LTE World Summit event in Amsterdam. It is the major LTE conference and also has a vendor exhibition attached to it. The volcano ashes from Iceland came back though and the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam is closed. I just exchanged an e-mail with one of the speakers who can not come anymore and I suppose many others will also not make it.

What a mess for the exhibition organizers, the companies who brought their booths and also the speakers who prepared themselves and all booked flights and hotels and set up business meetings.

I think there is one clear solution now that also will not cost too much:

1. Provide a web presentation event

2. Offer a virtual exhibition event using a social community platform, where the vendors can showcase their products still

This would be totally independent of any airport and flight closures and also would be relatively inexpensive still. The other alternatives would be to cancel the event entirely and reimburse the people. Or reschedule with the risk that it will again not happen and of course I assume that the costs would be way too high as well to make this a viable option.

Update: the event could – fortunately – happen afterall when Schiphol airport reopened on Monday afternoon. Still, virtual events are an alternative, a backup and most importantly extend an event to an all year around meeting place increasing the number of people attending. Real example: VMWorld Virtual Pavilion

Ralf HallerRalf Haller March 29, 2010

Book recommendation: “The Social Factor” shows the success of social computing at IBM

Maria Azura’s new book The Social Factor writes about IBM’s very own experiences using social networking and describes the tremendous success that Wikis, Blogs, and other social tools have. The numbers are mind-boggling and were also for IBM beyond their highest expectations. This lead Maria to ask in her book:

Is there a correlation between the success of IBM and the social tools now used extensively by IBMers?

  • within a year more than 150,000 IBMers were creating, accessing, or updating wikis, this represents about 40% of the total workforce
  • after six months the active blogs topped out at approximately 5,000; the traffic continued to grow, however

Ralf HallerRalf Haller March 18, 2010

NOKIA asks everyone to help design a better phone

When I read this in a Twitter post I thought, “Wow, finally they get it and try to do something good and different to fight back.” Well, big was the disappointment then when I checked out their blog and Design by Community announcement. Very disappointing, very. This community campaign once more lacks any thought and preparation. Simply bad. I can’t believe that a company the size of NOKIA constantly screws things up so badly. They need help urgently but I fear for them that they won’t admit it.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller March 13, 2010

The fear to intro new technologies

Being in high-tech business for nearly two decades I have seen many new ideas come and many more never become mainstream or disappear after only a short amount of time. Also the time it takes – while it seems this is getting shorter and shorter these days – can be relatively long before a new technology becomes used and adopted by the masses.

One reason in high-tech b2b markets why it takes so long to adopt new things is that there is an existing working infrastructure that is good enough and does mostly the job. New things need to be substantially better (10x in price and features) to make a quick impact. Problem here is of course that what is better cannot easily measured and quantified often so it is not even obvious even if companies sales and marketing will find all kinds of use cases showing ROI in a short amount of time.

One other reason are the human beings themselves. Used to do it one way or the other for a long time make them feel comfortable, they enjoy a certain amount of security and the feeling that they can deal with it well. New things are for most people – in particular conservative ones and the older generations – seen more as a threat than an opportunity. Also there is not so much desire to really try out something new, “why change anything?” they ask themselves, “we are doing very well”, so there is no reason really to change anything. We have just seen such thinking with the old boy group at the world soccer organization FIFA (its president Sepp Blattner is 73 and enjoys half the voting rights, whow, how is that possible?) where they ruled out any technical aids such as goal cameras or sensors in soccer balls. This despite the public, practically all coaches and players in favor of using new technologies to reduce the amount of mistakes when it comes to goals and also it is used in other sports (ice hockey, tennis) already. The arguments that the FIFA published are some that could be easily applied to the nay sayers in technology, here an extraction:

Fussball muss, erstens, weltweit nach den gleichen Regeln gespielt werden. Für Teenager in einem kleinen Ort etwa sollen die gleichen Regeln gelten wie für die Profis. Zweitens bringt es nichts, die Verantwortung für einen Entscheid vom Schiedsrichter der Technologie zu übertragen. Selbst Zeitlupen würden keine Klarheit bringen, und zehn Experten hätten zehn Meinungen, wie eine Situation zu beurteilen sei. Drittens kann die Anwendung von Technologie wie zum Beispiel zur Überwachung der Torlinie (mit Kamera oder Chip im Ball) sehr teuer sein. Viertens schliesslich ist Fussball ein dynamisches Spiel und kann zur Überprüfung eines Entscheides nicht einfach unterbrochen werden.

Quite funny some of these arguments. They basically have only one goal: don’t touch our nice world and confront us possibly with challenges that we don’t understand.

Despite this NO, I am convinced that in only a few years, when some of these people are retired (finally) technology will come where it makes sense and where it clearly helps to make better decisions. Grassroot movements and opinions cannot be stopped, only delayed. New ways in discussing opinions in blogs, communities, news portals will help to keep the pressure up. Below an online survey done in the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger. 72% say about the FIFA decision “total nonsense”.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller November 10, 2008

Why is Online PR and Marketing inevitable? Lessons from the Obama campaign

The Obama campaign has shown how the future will look like not only in politics. Do you have a plan like this for 2009?

Traditional way:
use journalists, voter lists, phone banks, direct mail


Obama’s way:
social networking on the Web, can use now an opt-in e-mailing list to bring the message directly to the people, also helps during the transition period see http://change.gov/

This quote in the New York Times sums it up nicely:

“Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to win the presidency, F.D.R. used radio to change the way he governed, J.F.K. was the first president to understand television, and Howard Dean saw the value of the Web for raising money,” said Ranjit Mathoda, a lawyer and money manager who blogs at Mathode.com.

“But Senator Barack Obama understood that you could use the Web to lower the cost of building a political brand, create a sense of connection and engagement, and dispense with the command and control method of governing to allow people to self-organize to do the work.”