Posts Tagged With: thoughts

Thoughts on why i like unconferences

With the upcoming BarCampHelsinki IV this was more on my mind, possibly due to the many recent conversations where i would be explaining about barcamps.

My view is that what happens at unconferences, is more about people communicating as peers together, even when it is a more classic presentation style, rather than the traditional conference format where it is more a single person at the front attempting to distribute their wisdom.

But the killer difference for me is that at BarCamps there are intermediate level people teaching beginners or learning from one another.
At a traditional conference the “guru” will often attempt to please both types of audience (beginner & intermediate), and thus often fail to please both . I find that by teaching people who know less than you, you will often find the gaps in your knowledge & understanding, and thus progress towards mastery faster.

But the reason I keep coming back to these type of events is the sheare randomness of what happens at them.
The core principales of BarCamp type events Seems to cause people with a commaon characteristic of having a willingness and desire to share to come togeather. This in turn, leads to oppertunites to be exposed to new things. Emma Persky touched upon this in a recent post where she points out that not everything happening at a BarCamp is about technology, in fact the most memorable/remarkable sessions are often the ones no-one expects.

Posted by Wordmobi

Categories: interesting conversation | Tags: , | Leave a comment

doing things in threes

With the official announcement of the N900 Nokia now has a 3 pronged OS platform attack:
S40 for the low end
S60 mid & high end (old fashioned?) smart phones
maemo to cover the new emerging market of internet oriented devices i.e. iPhone, Android, Palm pre

Nokia in recent history has been all about segmenting the market and having at least one handset that competes in every segement.

By extending their experiement in the MID platform area to also include GSM capabilities Nokia should be able to get similar benefits to Apple i.e. a very small number of hardware platforms to support.

They can also expose the work they have been doing over the last few years with the Open source community, which is not to be under-estimated.

The other thing Nokia seems to have taken from Apple is to have the device available a month or two after the event it was announced at, rather than a half year (as was the case with the N97)

You can see a marketing type video here, and a more “human” version here
The Hardware specifications are listed on the site, but the really interesting thing is that Nokia seems to have listened to the information around the iPhone and seen it is all about the software, for example see this review over on maemo-guru.

The thing that may get ignored/glossed-over in all of the geekgasms happening all over the place (examples here and here) is Nokia’s moves to provide services targetted at the developing world.
I think at least some of this has to be caused by Nokia employing people like Jan Chipchase who was talking about something similar to Nokia Money over two years ago. It is also a nice complement to Nokia life tools.
These are HUGE markets that California (home of all the Web2.0, Social Media hype engine) currently does not seem to understand or want to work with, and while the margins may be very small, they are there!
Over the past few years Nokia has shown it understands how to work a very high volume, low margin business (at least for hardware) and it will be interesting to see if they can do the same with services.

The Nokia Booklet announcement resembles the begining of the partnership announcements made with Intel and Microsoft. I am guessing that although this product was being worked on before the announcements were made and may have even helped them along.
Of course i can’t find the article now, but I remember reading an article recently that pointed out that Enterprise IT changes very slowly (something like 3-5 years per cycle!) and even then is not keen on the change. As pointed out in this article by Tomi Ahonen, many Enterprises are currently married to the Microsoft stack (essentially Exchange and Active Directory), and for many this has also meant moving to Blackberry.
I see the combination of a stylish netbook alongside a small handset (for example the E52, allowing the modern road warrior to do their job more effectively, than using the compromise device that is the Blackberry (screen is too low resolution, can’t connect to a project, etc). The inclusion of Quickoffice on E-Series devices is potentially yet another string to this bow.

Categories: interesting conversation, mobile | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Social network grouping

With the latest change to the Facebook profile page, one thing became clear to me, Facebook has managed to get something correct – grouping of your social network.

In this latest incarnation of the interface, this grouping functionality is being brought much more upfront (it is there in the left hand column), and it is needed as the front page now has a metric-buttload more content on it, and by using the various groups you can apply filters to this to get a faster overview of what is happening.
If you think about what has happened to the interface, it is that it has effectively promoted what was the “live Feed” tab to be your home page, and now people are struggling with the sheer volume of stuff that is flowing past

Everywhere else I have seen this type of functionality it has relied on predefined groups that the service sets up (looking at Plaxo here!).
Facebook refers them as groups, but I find it easier to think of them as tags.

This is important, as it is only really me who can decide how I define my relationship with any of the “friends” I am connected with on a social network.
For example, I could want to separate family and close-family, local office co-workers and all other office co-workers etc
The point is, as showed us a few years ago, it is nearly impossible to think of all the labels (tags) that people might want to apply to something, so, rather than trying to think of them (and attempt to build an interface around your limited subset of groups), just store whatever label the end user applies to the content (in this case the relationship).

The reason that this is closer to tagging (as i think of it) is that each person can be in multiple groups.

Prior to this change there was no real use for me to group my “friends”.
Now there is, and I think that there are more privacy controls being put in place in the background so that you have more control over exactly who can see what. Easiest place to see this is in your profile page, click the little padlock icon next to something (after clicking on edit) and one of the options will be to limit that information to a group.

This grouping feature/idea will become more and more important as more and more people start to use the various social Media/Network sites out there.
Well, as you attempt to maintain a level of ambient intimacy with more of the people you meet, have known/met and are trying to meet, the names can/will start to blur, and you need all the help you can get in remembering how and why you are trying to stay in contact with this person (especially as we start to pass the Dunbar number).
By applying your own tags to your social network (for example where you first met, a couple of points that made this person stand out etc) should make it easier to track all of this.

Categories: interesting conversation, Social Networking | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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