Within two weeks my new startup company will be announced. It is about mobile internet. Why ? Tim O'Reilly shows some reasons in his presentation below. Web 2.0 will extend its life on mobile and will include all mobile sensors. Great presentation with new case studies, passion, drive and enthousiasm.
So what are my own sources of inspiration ? Here goes:
Love (nothing inspires me more than love; opening up all my five (or six ;-)) senses, creating an outlook of infinity and unbounded possibilities, intensifying reality, appreciating the small things/details in life even more and an open, young and optimistic mind to the world at large)
Children (the way they question the world, their innocence, autonomy, authenticity, inner spirit, energy, vulnerability and creativity)
Friends (listening carefully, relaxing dinner evenings, open/personal/honest conversations, doing fun or new stuff)
Water (waterfalls, the sound of seashores, rafting, swimming, showering, wake boarding, rain)
Music (especially indie rock, jazz, classic, dance)
Movies (mostly independent and art house)
People watching/listening in a public space
Smells (boosting associations and living in the moment)
Scuba diving (both the boat journeys as well as diving itself are high impact meditative experiences to me)
Spirituality (meditating, yoga)
Serendipity/coincidences in life (the way life unfolds in funny and interesting ways)
Reading (scanning and reading my blog roll with my favorite bloggers)
Watching terrific videos on TEDTalks, Fora.tv and PopTech
Dancing (physical activity making my head empty and the expression of my inner being)
Spa/sauna/massage/floating (close your eyes, become aware of your body and ideas pop up)
Watching outside of a train while listening to its repetitive sounds (almost mantra like)
Working out (mindfulness and repetition creating Eureka moments)
Paintings (especially Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Chagall, Klimt, Van Gogh, Degas)
TV (even though I don't watch TV anymore since February 2005 due to the rise of my digital lifestyle; I like 'Van Kooten en de Bie', stand up comedy, Twin Peaks, productions from 'Wim Kayzer' as sources for inspiration)
Looking forward to seeing your views on inspiration and your own sources of inspiration !
Some musings from my side on Lifelogging (storing and sharing all your life experiences digitally; all you see, hear, read, share, say etc.). Kevin Kelly and this post from Fast Company inspired me in this respect. People who are interested in reading more on this topic might look at the Metaverse Roadmap Report coming out this week.
My 2 cents why lifelogging will be on the rise:
It is a logical extension of current trends like location based services (Plazes), social networking (MySpace), blogs (Typepad), RSS feeds, co-presence/microblogging (Twitter and Jaiku) and live webcasting (UStream and Justin.tv)
It relates to software-based, bottom-up, automatically text-based, speech-based and video-based indexing solutions like Autonomy, Nuance and Blinkx respectively enabling the value and searchability of lifelogging
Convergence of lifelogging and Augmented Reality applications like Steve Mann/MIT uses
Convergence of lifelogging and virtual worlds like Second Life
Convergence of lifelogging and the increasing importance of Transformation
Convergence of lifelogging with the Semantic Web (Radar Networks and Metaweb). More structured, targeted and relevant RSS feeds will be integrated into our lifestreams
It relates strongly to the key emerging themes Identity, Creativity/Innovation and Authenticity. More in my previous, elaborate post on the interrelationships between these three concepts and how it fits with lifelogging. Lifelogging will only deepen the saliency and importance of these three concepts in the future and these concepts will feed the adoption of lifelogging. It is an interactive , self reinforcing relationship in my view.
In my view lifelogging will have a huge impact on the evolution of eMarketing and digital advertising. Why ? Because this will result on User Owned Data, the User will be the one in controlk permanently of their lifelogging data. This data is the most valuable marketing resource as it is complete, socially networked, actual, behavorial, contextual, personalized and deep. Access to this lifestream of users/customers will be rewarded, both in monetary and non-monetary ways. Attention, permission, trust and collective intelligence will be key themes in eMarketing going forward.
So what do you expect of lifelogging ? Will it become mainstream ? Why (not) ? When ? Do you see other trends merging with the lifelogging trend ? Which ones ? What will be the impact on eMarketing or digital advertising ?
It even applies to the corporate environment...professionals will increasingly be enablers, knowledge integrators and less experts, leveraging their networks of experts and the ideas of the mass. Mass Collaboration by Don Tapscott in terms of the Wiki Workplace.
"At a recent conference in California, Ethan Zuckerman, the Harvard-based co-founder of GlobalVoices was asked whether newspaper and television editors were still relevant in these days of participatory, "citizen" journalism. He offered the best answer I've heard so far on that question:
"Don't speak. Point!" By which he meant: the days of journalists and
editors "speaking on behalf of people" or "speaking to people" are
over. "Point to people and get out of the way," he said.
A pretty radical statement. But Zuckerman didn't mean that the days of
editors and journalists are past. He was rather suggesting that with
facts, information and opinions circulating freely and broadly, their
role is changing into that of facilitator, coach, flow organizer.
The new power of editors and journalists will depend on their ability
to take on new tasks: to animate a group of people; to develop ways to
organize how information is gathered and used, with the participation
of what used to be called "the audience;" and to help people navigate
an information landscape that's increasingly crowded and constantly
The direct implication is that the newspaper and the
television/radio channel are no longer a mere product --and that they
have to relinquish their self-representation as "beacons" or "heralds."
They have to become places. Places where people from the community
converge, stop by, make connections and come back again to build a
common future. Places where most of the social, informational,
entertainment and economic value is created not by the journalists and
publishers, but by the members of the community. Encourage the exploration of ways to connect communities using digital
media. Because, of course, the most powerful content of all, is people
themselves. A key role of the media in the future will be to provide
the places—to become the platform—for people to link what they know
with who they know, and to expand both their knowledge and their
What does all this say about the future of journalism? At least three
things. First, journalists will be around for a long time. Secondly,
they need not fear what's coming because it will be exciting and vastly
expand their possibilities. But, thirdly, they will need to reinvent
themselves as a skilled part of a crowd rather than as lecturers, to
become more tolerant of ambiguity, to become fluent in both the tech
innovations and the shifts in social dynamics that are driving the
development of media."
Below some quotes from Jeremy Wagstaff from Wall Street Journal. More in here. This is an interesting dillemma: productivity (and info discernment; see Linda Stone) versus authenticity.
Using cyber doubles we can interact and scan more efficiently while at the same time we are losing control and our own authenticity, albeit marginally due to the almost perfect online copies of our real personalities. What does it to ones' reputation (both individually as well as corporate) when people or users find out that their conversation with you was fake (and this was not announced by the chatbot before the conversation started) ? In my view the reaction depends on the specific context. On a personal level this might be less acceptable compared to the corporate setting. In my view using chatbots to save time for your personal live is a lack of (emotional) commitment to others while corporate bots can be justified by being (rationally) relevant and efficient.
However, I do believe in Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web enabling personal advisors or agents acting on our behalf, but in my view that is different from the statements below. Those 3.0 agents focus on the individual and not on the conversations with other people.
To me MyCyberTwin is particularly interesting due to the fact that it is a transformative tool (see Joseph Pine II and this link on different other examples of Transformation) to gain self awareness. What is your own communication style ? Which patterns do you use unconsciously ? This tool makes the invisble visible, thereby allowing for personal growth. "Expect a future where we don't interact with other
people. Instead, we'll send our "cyber double" out to interact with
other people's "cyber doubles" until things get interesting. Then, and
only then, will real people take over. This is the vision of Liesl Capper, whose Sydney-based RelevanceNow! last week launched an early version of MyCyberTwin (mycybertwin.com),
a service that allows you to create and hone an online version of
yourself. Your cyber twin will then chat on your behalf on instant
messaging, your blog or your MySpace page. Eventually much of what you
do online will be left to your cyber double, indistinguishable from the
real thing (you). As Ms. Capper puts it: "You can be you, even when
you're not you."
Ms. Capper, armed with a degree in psychology, has
with her business partner John Zakos taken what she says is a different
tack: looking at the human side by measuring personality traits with
psychometric testing, in order to generate a person's likely responses
to questions, so that person's cyber twin can mimic that person better.
This, Ms. Capper says, not only makes the replies more lifelike, it
allows people to quickly generate and personalize their own cyber twins. Which
is pretty much where MyCyberTwin stands now. Answer 80 questions and
the software does a pretty good job of describing your character. Once
that's done, you can tweak your cyber twin's responses further by
feeding it content from your own emails, records of instant-message
chats or blog posts, and it will, Ms. Capper says, sound like you. Some
of these features aren't available yet, but Ms. Capper says that in
initial tests "we're finding that a fairly large population don't know
if they're talking to a real person or a cyber twin." My own tests
suggest she's onto something, but still has some way to go."
Increasingly, we can spot different tools on the Web for polished self expression and presentation. Slide clearly is the market leader in the space of pimping your social network or blog profile. Recently, there is competitor called RockYou. Both provide ways to publish and share slideshows on different social networking sites and blogs. Millions of users adopt these services as to differentiate themselves from other users and to convey status skills.
Some questions pop up: - Will these services dominate resumes in recruitment processes in the future (integrated professionally on LinkedIn or a blog) ? - Will these services be integrated into Web 2.0 PPT sites like SlideShare (one of my favorite sites for research nowadays) ? - How will social networking sites like MySpace, Bebo, YouTube and Flickr react to their success ? Acquisition ? Blocking them ? Competitive offerings ? - From a business perspective, do these services raise the bar for eMarketing / promotional activities using Social Media Optimization ? And will the special FX migrate to traditional means of communication and marketing or the other way around ?
This post by Yme Bosma focusing on the economic valuation of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook touches some important themes like closed versus open systems, the revitalized IPO and M&A markets, the future of social software/social networking sites and Identity 2.0. Below his own vision on this topic which I agree with completely, especially his historic reference to AOL.
I might as well extend it a little further. My thesis is that social networking functionality has the most value when specifically linked to a certain offline or online event. In effect, this means the (diminished) role of central social networking sites will migrate to discovering and sharing more general stuff. Furthermore, we will see goods, services and experiences in which the social value will be more important than the product or experience itself. Think Starbucks. Think Tripmates.com. Just like on the web itself right now as Web 2.0 is about connecting people, about the social web in which content (photos, videos, books, music) is an enabler for communicating and sharing. The content is key for generating traffic to these sites but the essence and emotional value is in the sharing/connecting. On a more abstract level, this relates strongly to the vision of Gerd Gerken - a German marketing writer in the nineties - in which branding is not so much about positioning a message in a top-down, one-to-many manner but more about creating offline and online environments and events in which consumers and prospects relate to one and other. The cultivation of relationships between the customers is the most important process in this respect that embody the values of an advertiser or company in a indirect, honest, non-controllable and non-intrusive way. This is branding in a bottom-up, many-to-many way that resonates with the thoughts of Michael Moon (more here on Michael, speaking 26th of October in Amsterdam, highly recommended). In sum, in my view the decentralisation of social networking functionality in the online world will increasingly extend to the offline world and facilitate the implementation of modern branding and positioning thoughts.
"People will increasingly be part of multiple online networks that will be attached to other things. Sports, school, work, hobby, etc. To put it differently, there won't be just one network doing everything for everybody. Of course you can start a new network on Facebook for your basketball team, school, work and hobby. But it is more likely that these different networks will be connected behind the scenes so that it will be easier to become a member of one without having to create yet antother username, password, profile and friends list. So it's not one-size-fits-all, but it's a vision that's more in line with what Marc Canter is trying to achieve with his PeopleAggregator. Large social networks like MySpace and Bebo won't disappear (something Metrick is afraid of), but they will be facilitating this future because these were the first online networks people joined. And if they don't do this they will end up like AOL when they were trying to hang on to their walled-garden approach in a different era. Facebook made a serious first step in the right direction, Yahoo! too, and also some of the work around OpenID is interesting in that context. However, this all means that a lot of the advertising value will shift towards more niche oriented social networks. And therefore a $15 billion valuation for MySpace is nonsense. There won't be a winner-takes-all situation and that's a exactly what this valuation is based on."
Another old school hype related the internet relaunces: social e-commerce. But in a new form due to the advent of blog sites showcasing and highlighting wanted (non-digital) goods. That is the way it is different from recommendation engines in websites like Amazon.com, Last.fm and Pandora.com. I strongly believe in the increasing importance and relevance of all kinds of different social filters like recommendation engines, ratings, reviews, top10s/most popular pictures/videos, search, Wikipedia etc. All probabilistic systems with the wisdom of the crowds and collective intelligence embedded as an emerging property. The below article from the New York Times on different social commerce sites gives us all more detail. Just another way to deepen the relevance of The Long Tail. Interestingly, e-commerce is mostly about focused and quick online purchasing while social shopping is more about product discovery, fun and social acceptance. Still, I believe a social shopping site like Yub has more potential than the below examples due to more elaborate features like viral, two-way, cash-back marketing features. And it seems the Group Buying trend within the internet space of the late 1990s will be revitalized like never before.
"Late last month, an online shopper posted a photo of one of Amenity Home’s $400 duvet covers on ThisNext.com, one of a new breed of Web sites that promises to connect independent-minded shoppers with hard-to-find products. Other shoppers copied the photo to their own blog pages, bringing the company some much-welcome attention, said Kristina de Corpo, an Amenity Home founder. We’re a young business furiously trying to keep our heads above water, so this is really exciting,” she said. “We’ve gotten tons of hits from it.” Sites like ThisNext and a handful of services like Kaboodle.com, Wists.com and StyleHive.com are spearheading a new category of e-commerce called “social shopping,” that tries to combine two favorite online activities: shopping and social networking. These sites are hoping to ride the MySpace wave by gathering people in one place to swap shopping ideas. And like MySpace, the sites are designed for both browsing and blogging, with some shopping-related technology twists included."
Mosaic, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox and now.....Flock? Seems like a home run to me ;-)
"Flock advertises itself as a "social browser," meaning that the application plays nicely with popular web services like Flickr, Technorati and del.icio.us.
Flock also features widely compliant WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop blogging
tools. The browser even promises to detect and authenticate all those
user accounts automatically. It's a clear attempt to be the browser of
choice for the Web 2.0 user. "The browser has not evolved all that much," Decrem says. "The basic
concept or vision has not changed." He says the web was until recently
conceptually conceived as a big library, a collection of documents to
search and consume. Browsers were all about navigation. Now, he notes,
"Web 2.0 is a stream of events, people and connections." A better
browser is one that will understand this new user environment."