Archive for Web 2.0

Innovative digital collaboration?

Posted in 1 with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by Geir Stene

Being innovative doesn’t mean that you have to invent something totally new. Innovation is being creative and make it happen! Most innovations that works is by connecting some known factors together in a creative way and make use  of it in a new way, and very very few new ideas came frome solitude and a vacum, its almost allways made by groups.

I came across this Blog article at Tech Pulse 360 about collaboration today. Have to say there is very little new in it. The news is that people now start getting it. Collaboration is useful in order to get whatever you do, done!

Cisco have gotten this and are prepared to offer large solutions to large enterprises to a high premium price. Great for Cisco! They have seen what people in the business have seen for a long time. It’s a huge market, and the demand is rising fast. Cisco estimates a 34 billion dollar market, yearly! But they are sticking to “telepresence, and webex conferences, not taking full advantages of collaborative possibilities, both synchrone, and a- synchrone. For most of us, it will be unneededly expensive. Connecting what we see is happening in the “Web 2.0” area, with various collaborative applications can be far more efficient for most of us in all kind of collaborative tasks. The applications are there, security and broadband challenges are solved. The global ressicion is a driver to speed up this developement as well, due to the need to look at cost/benefits and reductions on costs.

Well this is the ‘basics’. Another driver for digital collaboration that becomes innovative is You & I. Yes it is. Open innovation, in collective groups will drive forward a combination of innovation itself, and collaborative solutions as a result motivated by each other. Further reading on this ideas is a great idea. Charles Leadbeater book “We think” is a great start, but if you are as lazy as I am, a link to his blog would maybe be of help? Well just click on his name or the name of the book. In any event thinking alone hasen’t gotten anyone anywhere, action and results are needed in order to get innovation, so what are you waiting for? 

We are all ready, We have the knowledge, the overview of products and services to set up concepts and solutions that are innovative, and we have the fun mix of providing a quick ROI, being quickly adjustable to meet changing needs, easy to produce and most important easy to use. Anyone guessing its not Cisco’s solutions Im thinking of ? It’s more in the line of integrated software/applications, or this clever thing calles SaaS, that enables modern, innovative digital collaboration. All for a cost you earn back fast enough to dare to get started! Not convinsed yet? Well you now have the tools to get independent by large corporations, and can choose between social groups of your choice to get inspired, to get new knowledge and to balance risk between providors of all kinds.

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Why is the web flat?

Posted in 1, IT and communication with tags , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Geir Stene

I’ve been wondering for more than ten years now; why does web sites on internet seems so “flat”? It’s like transferring paper to the screen.

Updated comments below article

When I ask this question to designers, they often get very defensive. Its like we all believe that a web shall have a global menu, sub menus, a logo on top, a lot of informative text and if creative some great images to follow. Isn’t that recipy like a soup in a bag? Just add water…. But do not misinterpret me, there is a lot going on and internet and the web is still only in the early phase of evolving into what we will see in the future. There are a lot of interesting blogs out there discussing and talking (writing?) about this kind of topics, one interesting is this one: 360

Inventions, phenomena’s and ideas tend to keep a pattern we have to accept; they all tend to be loyal to the origin they came from. “The world is flat” we all know this postulate, and it took centuries to evolve from this idea to the one we have now (what ever that is these days..), even after the fact was stated people continued wanting to believe that the world is flat for decades. Web sites (pages!) has a lot of it’s idea created around the idea of print. I always found this interesting, since the computer screen is digital, and factually resembles the TV set more.

Even designers used to defend the fact that designing web pages frequently seems like a “forced electronic paper version” instead of a medium of visual communication with  another fact:  “3D is to expensive in most cases” or “live images can’t get quality due to lack of broadband capacity” This statements are now less true than before, and designers are working hard to evolve the web.

The idea of (and knowledge to) create a perspective in an image was developed during the Renaissance , you don’t need 3D technology to draw diagonal lines to a center point! You need knowledge, and you need a basis for your idea world. Lot’s of interesting things are happening, but far to much of it seems to me to be “experimental”…. And I don’t get it. Experimental?? what is so experimental by implementing what art, cinema and, radio/TV has done for years? What’s so experimental by doing what PR and commercials have been for years? There is less experimenting on the web, than in most new media the last centuries!

Since the “history” of the web is, in my opinion, based upon an “electronic paper”, and the idea has been to provide knowledge and information spread, it’s hard to get out of the thinking patterns that we have to use a lot of text, mainly a form of one way communication, we will still have that as a major direction of how a web page will look, and function. Even web 2.0, social media, interactive solutions keep producing “flat web sites” If one wants’ to get out of this, one will need to take the bull by its horns, and questioning the basic of the idea of what a web site really is, for whom and to do what.

  • It came to my mind that Itera group uses the term “the world is flat” from the book: “The World Is Flat – The Globalized World in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas L. Friedman
    There are two major points in my opinion on this use of term. First, using such terminology; To me it sounds typical American (excuse me my US friends) to simplify a phenomena by the wording that much so that the complexity disappear, it’s in fact a dangerous rhetoric trick of (amongst others)politicians to do so, and thereby avoid that the public focus is at more troublesome sides of the case.
    Thomas L Friedman’s book, tries to speak of a “flatter” (read less hierarchic world) but argue in fact of new business models, new technologies and how to achieve this – but, in my opinion naively overlook that it’s not very likely that e.g. poor / common people in the world (so called third world) are the one to enable this. Maybe the commercial corporation Itera group didn’t overlook this and see possibilities for profit in this term ?
    I would rather have a far more Holistic world, than a “flatter” one.

Open standards and collaboration

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on August 20, 2008 by Geir Stene

Well, why not apply the “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) model? Microsoft says they are focusing on open standards and pinpoint the great benefits of collaboration and interoperationality. In Digi.no there is an interessting article today.

That’s great news, even though I doubt Microsoft has what it takes to give the market just that. But one never knows. Microsoft has to change, they know it, what remains to see if they are just talking the talk, or walking the walk.

Collaboration is a huge area of business models, concepts, technologies and organizational implementing systems. Intermobility is as well. The offers on the market is large, and not very easy to  have a clear view of. Why not simplify the task at hand, and use the web as the front end? Not Microsoft, not SAP, not Polycom or Tandberg, but simply the web. The web is an open standard; the web is simple and familiar for all users. The web is accessible from where ever. The broadband capacity is increasing as we speak mobile networks as well. So why not? The answer is in the business models created a long time ago. This goes for Microsoft, Tandberg, Telenor and the lot. They are all reluctant to change, that’s one of the main reasons the KISS model aren’t implemented already. They are afraid to loose market shares, and want to lock their customers into their own proprietary hardware/ software. This is old fashioned, and can in the most simple way be described as a mild form of bondage, and who want to be that submissive in business?

But there is hope! There are alternatives for web based solutions that are open for all ( this includes software from e.g. Microsoft, like Sharpeoint) where one can integrate web meeting solutions (like meetcon in scandinavia/ Wiredred in Europe and the US), project management solutions and so forth into a complete, simple web based interface tailor-made for your organization and business. It can easily be scaled for small businesses, and for large cooperatives. Safety is not a topic, it can all be managed. 

For a while yet, the large companies, like the ones mentioned above will keep argue that it’s not true that the web can solve the collaboration and intermobility challenge. At the same time the very same corps. are the already working very hard to try to change, before google snap the market shares in front of their eyes.

PS: Latest news: Speculations on Tandberg being in a a possible buy up situation Read more here (in Norwegian)

Is content “King” or is connecting “King Kong”?

Posted in 1 with tags , on May 13, 2008 by Geir Stene

A big question is always, what to do on my page, what content do I need to have there? And it swings both ways. For me and the web masters; writing, and you visiting a site; reading or involving.

It’s the same in business life, or for organizations, and webmasters who do their very best. Often its just to unclear what the site is there for, or even worse; it’s unclear what the company’s vision really is.

On my site it’s sharing some of my thoughts, and hopefully once in a while I manage to tip some of you of the standard automatic thinking pattern, and from that you get a new idea. If so; you have the opportunity to do something that is more precise and to the point in your work. Not by my doing, but by the ideas you make for yourself while reading my stuff.

For Companies or organizations is being different maybe the reason other people or customers react up on what is done at their site, and not the next one( competitor). Isn’t that what we all want? A reaction? Isn’t that at the core of communication? To be seen, noticed and then get a feedback? (please feel free to comment on anything on my page, any comment or question will make me more happy than total silence *grin* )

Very often management doesn’t realize the importance of having a clear idea of just what the web site is supposed to do for them. And the website, however nice it looks, sucks. “Content is King” is an old statement, that I don’t always agree on. Communicating the core of the business in all you do, and making sure that the quality of the content is superb is of huge importance, and I mean not only the writing – but also the visual text. (semiotics states everything is Text). The new(ish) idea that “Connecting is King Kong” has the same challenge, connecting people is not always enough, you need to let people have an environment where there is a meaning in the connection that you provide for them. For Nokia, the cell phone is reason enough, the concept of calling someone, or being available is enough, maybe not all that easy for your business ? The answer will always be found in the very reason why you are in business, and keep to the core of that; The challenge is in every case to find a smart way to do so.

I attended First Tuesday yesterday

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Geir Stene

Web 2.0 and social networks had the focus of the speakers. It’s not just another “buzz word” just as I thought. There is a lot of interesting things happening at the moment and the future looks bright.

I know one of the speakers, Kjetil Manheim, and yesterdays post became a “friendly race” from my side to get my post out before I had heard what he had so say about social networking. 🙂 Lots of people came to network, and to discuss these, and other themes of the Internet business of today. I got to introduce a few new people of the company I own a part of, meetcon, and it just might develop into some interesting collaboration and web conference projects.

First Tuesday is always inspiring, and it’s always interesting to meet up with new people in the business and re- cap with people I know. You can read all about it at First Tuesday if you become a member !

From mass communication to communicaton between the masses.

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2008 by Geir Stene

The paradigm shift from mass communication to communication between the masses is just at its beginning. We have seen some examples of how to make this a profitable business, but I believe that we only have seen the top of an ice berg.

There are so many implications to this that you will find whole book stores trying to cover the subject. The shift within the Internet industry has gone from sending out information, like documents presented as HTML text, toward broader one way communications, like commercials, PR, campaigns and so forth, further on to enabling the options for giving feedback, comments, newsgroups, dating services, chat, web conferencing etc. etc. It’s a wide field with a lot of phenomena working in parallel.

There is confusion, and there is chaos. But as the Zen Buddhists’ say: From chaos comes order. In a business perspective companies have struggled to find business models that fit the demands to interact via the web and via other channels as well. This is now changing rapidly. I think it can be interesting to divide the two way communication area into three main arena; Consumer power solutions, Democracy increasing possibilities and Social networks.

The reason for me not to define this as interactivity is that there is a difference between two way communication and interactivity, (not all two way communication is interactive) which can lead to even more confusion, so let’s stick to the broader definition; two way communication.

Consumer power or it could also be defined as commercial exploration of individuals on the market. This is two sides of the coin. Is all about how the customer want to deal with the seller, how to get products and services easier, faster and cheaper. For the seller, its all about how to get enough knowledge about the customer to streamline the sales process, and enable a larger sale, added sales opportunities, build loyalty. Cross sales, cross channels, mixed business models can be implemented with a great result for both customer, and provider. One the one hand the customer can get more “power” – and so it is also for the provider. Interactive options, in voting, polling, response options, chat, customer web conferencing as support etc. is putting two way communication into real life on the web, TV, mobile phone and in the car. The collection of customer base, the knowledge and behavior patterns all create fundamentally increased possibilities for increased profit.

Democracy increasing possibilities is all about enable us all in stating our opinions on the one hand, and gathers groups that provide and produce content on the other hand. As we see it can be used for non-profit purposes, but also commercially. Blogs, discussion boards, magazines where everyone can publish, net meetings, adding comments of articles are examples of how to work with this kind of two way communication. For individuals this is great opportunities to participate in the public discourse in, or to get tailor made service from the commercial arena.

Social networks meet a fundamental human wish/need – to belong to a group. Via the Internet (or cell phone or other channels for that matter, social networks has a direct appeal for everyone that can find some sort of group they can identify and belong to. For the participants there are a lot of benefits and “things to do” either private “entertainment” or as a professional network building outcome. The value and possibilities at hand when you have such a group, or have made a system where those kinds of “groupings” can happen in a large scale, there are many business models that work. Adds is one, selling services is another, selling behavior patterns of your member base are a third, and there are a lot of options combining models.

What’s happening at the moment is that these ideas and concepts are refined, and gets more advanced as the months goes by. The business models as well as the services provided. There is a lot of creativity, and the best part is that a lot of it is driven by the participants, so there is an effect of a collective product development rarely seen before. The most interesting part of what is happening at the moment is when ideas gets mixed and new concepts arrive. Some of the mix is within the areas I have written about in this posting, and the former post “ About transparency”, even more interesting is the mixes that have started to arise, with other concepts, established long ago for other purposes, that’s when two plus two becomes more than five.

What do you know?

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on May 4, 2008 by Geir Stene

In danger of becoming a part of the blogging phenomen, where everyone is out on the web to communicate, and no one is left to read, I’m joining the club.

The reason for doing this is clear, and unclear at once, just to warn you all. It’s a way to let my network, colleagues, competitors, customers future employees and all other interested get a better understanding of my views on subjects in connection with my work, who I am and so forth. At the same time there is a serious risk that I’ll be twittering, getting into totally other topics as it fits my mood.

I’m to be found at Facebook if you want to know more about me, my profile and network. Since I joined two colleagues a couple of years back and started the company meetcon you will also see some of what I’m specialized in, work wise.