November 2007 Archives

Building x-cultural awareness [T-7]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Spain.

(If you are from Spain or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The RTVE is the largest audiovisual group in Spain to broadcast in the Spanish language, and derives its financing both from public funds and advertising. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

He has been on and in many magazines before. It happened again: One face ahead of 24+ others and ahead of the rest of us:

  1. From www.wikipedia.org: "In 1972, Steve Jobs graduated from high school and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, such as one in calligraphy. 'If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts,' he said." And we add: Not a single serious computer interface would have. Why different fonts for a command line interface - I mean for the interface itself? See how it all depends on some coincidences? Watch him perform alongside Bill Gates at D5 in May this year.

[10 additional faces not on Fortune's list this year. Well, #6 actually is.]

Have Fortune!

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Continued from &61.b/. Make sure to read all the valuable thoughts on Read/WriteWeb.

My two cents:

The abscissa is the number of bloggers, one standing next to the other, sorted by their ad revenue, Michael Arrington somewhere upfront, myself completely to the right.

The ordinate is the ad revenue of a single blogger.

Overlapping Curves

Image © www.sethgodin.com

There are a few articles around discussing a potential Microsoft-Yahoo! merger, others dating from May and September come to our minds. Collected & uncommented, non-chronological on purpose:

September 28 - Seth Godin: "The guys in the blue curve, the new guys, would dearly love the assets and reputation that the green curve guys have. They don't have it, though, so they improvise. They lean into the market. They give customers what they want, and embrace technology and new ideas because they have no other choice.

Building x-cultural awareness [T-9]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Italy.

(If you are from Dubai or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

Dubai TV is a channel offered by the Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI). It replaced Emirates Dubai Television in June 2004. Dubai TV broadcasts programmes predominantly in Arabic. The programming caters to family Arab audience specifically in the Persian Gulf region and is available in Asia, Europe and North America.

Watch a stream via JumpTV!.

[For those unfamiliar with the script and language: Try to navigate via the URI mouseovers in the status bar of your browser.]

Nice, now we need lat/long/contour lines as well ;) We especially like the approach to not add the terrain view as an additional feature, but to replace the hybrid view. Google, please keep innovating with this simplicity approach!

Found on lifehacker.org!

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In March 2007 McKinsey published the findings of a global survey, entitled How businesses are using Web 2.0. RSS and Podcasts rank #5 and #6 out of nine Web 2.0 technologies when asked: "Is your company investing in any of the following technologies or tools? - Yes: Using or planning to use." The survey itself was conducted in January.

Unfortunately we have completely missed that report due to the fact that the McKinsey Quarterly itself does NOT offer RSS feeds and we finally unsubscribed ALL email newsletters already a year ago. Which brings us to the interesting question:

How authentic are the top 10 management and technology consulting firms when it comes to Web 2.0 (prestige ranking according to Vault)?

For those living outside of the USA wondering what all this Black Friday and Cyber Monday talk is about; citing www.wikipedia.org:

"Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924. The term 'Black Friday' has been traced back only to the 1970s.

The term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Cyber Monday symbolizes a busy day for online retailers. The premise was that consumers would return to their offices after the Black Friday weekend, making purchases online that they were not able to make in stores. Although that idea has not survived the test of time, Cyber Monday has evolved into a significant marketing event, sponsored by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org division, in which online retailers offer low prices and promotions."

It's TechCrunch time! | Read Seth Godin!

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There is an interesting interview with Don Norman on c|net Newsmaker. Make sure to have a look and consider his books, a new one is available right now: The Design of Future Things.

Brilliant. Question c|net: "Younger people aren't getting it quicker? They just take the time to learn it?" Answer Norman: "That's what I think."

It's evident, you just never think about it ...

"Don Norman lives two lives: theory and applications. As a cognitive scientist, he studies, teaches, and writes about the relationship between technology and people. In his applied life, he helps companies make products that appeal to the emotions as well as to reason.

Building x-cultural awareness [T-11]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Italy. (If you are from Italy or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The Rai - Radiotelevisione Italiana, is the Italian public service broadcaster. It operates three terrestrial television channels and three radio channels, in addition to several satellite and digital terrestrial offerings. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

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Building x-cultural awareness [T-12]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: France. (If you are from France or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

Building x-cultural awareness [T-12]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Switzerland - French-speaking. Browse back to Switzerland - German speaking. (If you are from Switzerland or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The Télévision suisse romande is a TV network with 2 channels: TSR 1 and TSR 2. They are the main French language channels in Switzerland. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

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There are 2 features Microsoft introduced with it's recent Office 2007 (Windows) and Office 2008 (Mac OS) releases that directly aimed at the heart of our interests and business needs, which are of course personal, but representative for 2 classes of user needs in general:

  • Usability of an application with numerous features: Solved by #1 The Ribbon and
  • Reusability and redesignability of logically structured content: Solved by #2 SmartArt Graphics

Building x-cultural awareness [T-13]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Germany. (If you are from Germany or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The ZDF, Second German Television, is a public service German television channel based in Mainz. It is run as an independent non-profit agency established by joint contract between the German federal states. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube.

Teures Ploppen! | Toll! Nobelpreis! | Deutsch-französische Postverwirrungen! | View the channel!

[Sorry for merely linking, but embedding has been disabled by request.]

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The Gillmor Gang? Those people filled my several-hour car commutes across Europe with Silicon Valley insight and emotion - until it all went silent on Thanksgiving 2006...

Now I hear Michael Arrington shouting: "Steve's back!"

Building x-cultural awareness [T-14]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Sweden. (If you are from Sweden or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The SVT is a national tax-funded television broadcaster based in Sweden. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

Continued from &57/, &60/, &62.a/, and &62.b/: Phase 5.

Building x-cultural awareness [T-15]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Norway. (If you are from Norway or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The NRK is the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, and the leading media company of Norway. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

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Today we seem to wander around so impatiently in an ever-growing sea of information that the navigational elements enabling us to immediately zap away from where we are (because we know by experience that we definitely have not reached our destination yet) have to be the #1 element. What if we just banned the remote control to stay in the basement? And declared our content as #1 upper left? Close button and off-switch disabled.

Christina Laun and Virtual Hosting summarized an eye-tracking study from 2004 into 23 rules last week - and Seth Godin recommends to break some of those rules today - which is always a good starting point for innovation :)

Let me reshuffle the 23 rules again in our listing - this time according to topic (sorry Seth, but an alphabetical sort doesn't make much sense). Because some rules fall into more than one category, we end up with 33 instead of 23 points in our list.

Carefully looking at it: There seem to be quite a few contradictions. But nevertheless, going with Seth's advice - and proceeding to the extreme (breaking all the rules):

Building x-cultural awareness [T-16]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Canada. (If you are from Canada or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

We had Stephen P. Anderson's slideshow asking for Design, Now a week ago. Today it's: Creating the Adaptive Interface.

View the presentation! | Read the PoetPainter!

marketingprocess

Continued from last week's 1-minute article overview on the subject. [T-17] Let us start with 7. Marketing > The Marketing Strategy Process. Credit goes to Steven Silbiger; the process is adapted from the 2nd edition of his book.

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There is not much to add to Jeffrey Zeldman's Understanding Web Design, just read it.

Musing about my personal list of needs/ uses concerning media portability:

  • I need an audio-carrying device, as I fill a 4-hour train commute or a 15-minute walk with MANY snippets of music and spoken-word podcasts (iPod). I need a syncing mechanism with my home-base (iTunes on desktop computer) or with my multi-purpose device I carry around anyhow (iTunes on laptop). I would need an online audio backup service (?).

Building x-cultural awareness [T-18]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: USA. (If you are from the USA or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

Posts that contain Stuart Scott CIO per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Not much has appeared during the last 8 days - still Phase 4 - though one anonymous opinion on CIO.com is quite interesting.

&76/ TV Worldwide: UK

| View Comments | No TrackBacks

Building x-cultural awareness [T-19]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: The United Kingdom. (If you are from the UK or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The BBC is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers and of revenue and was founded in 1922! Watch three recent clips from their worldwide broadcast on YouTube:

Returning Frisby» | Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) Competition» | How's the environment?» | View the channel!

[Sorry for merely linking, but embedding has been disabled by the BBC. For those in the UK: There is an additional channel in YouTube that is blocked for the rest of the world due to local funding and licensing issues. As an alternative, switch on your TV.]

Building x-cultural awareness [T-20]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Switzerland - German-speaking. (If you are from Switzerland or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

The SF is responsible for the official German language radio and television in this small four-language country. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

Grace Hopper Bug

Image © Computer History Museum

Nick Carr posted on complex technological systems yesterday, on their past - and their presence.

"As a complex technological system evolves, it is rarely able to free itself of its past. Hidden inside it are the vestiges of all its former states, a ghostwork of progress."

Building x-cultural awareness [T-21]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: China. (If you are from China or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

Chinese Central Television is the major television broadcaster in Mainland China. Organizationally, it is a sub-ministry of People's Republic of China's central government within the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. Watch three recent clips from the duowei news VLog on YouTube:

Building x-cultural awareness [T-22]: Watch TV, identify cultural stereotypes, accept differences, and develop a foundation to overcome them. Today: Taiwan. (If you are from Taiwan or the region, please feel free to criticize the selection or to point us towards better sources.)

China Television Co. started in 1969 as a government-owned channel in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and is publicly listed since 1999. Watch clips from their broadcast on YouTube:

World Internet Users

Image © http://www.internetworldstats.com

Do you understand me?

We came across the new Internet Broadband and Usage statistics today and are stunned. Combine the already high usage in Asia with the low penetration in the same region and extrapolate to 10 years from now.

It is no longer "Where do you want to go today?" but "What language do you have to learn tomorrow?"

Read the a-stat-a-day post!
Go directly to the statistics (big picture)!
Go directly to the statistics (users by language)!

"When everybody zigs, zag." The Brand Gap. How to bridge the distance between business strategy and design.

We had Stephen P. Anderson's slideshow explaining the User Experience Team a while ago. Today it's: Business Needs Design, Now. And you know what? There is Herbert Simon on slide 66 again. Coincidence?

View the presentation! | Read the PoetPainter!

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We came across Herbert Simon recently.

According to Wikipedia he was "not only a polymath, but a truly innovative thinker. He was among the founding fathers of several of today's most important scientific domains, including artificial Intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, attention economics, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulation of scientific discovery. He coined the terms bounded rationality and satisficing, and was the first to analyze the architecture of complexity and to propose a preferential attachment mechanism to explain power law distributions."

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Found last week on tompeters!, this week on sethgodin.com: The Long Tail. We are on to something ;)

Seth gives a good summary of the new business world mechanisms enabling to be profitable at the very right end of the curve:

  1. "Online shopping gives the retailer the ability to carry a hundred times the inventory of a typical retail store.
  2. Google means that a user can find something if it's out there.
  3. Permission marketing gives sellers the freedom to find products for their customers, instead of the other way around.
  4. Digital products are easy to store and easy to customize.
  5. Digital technology makes it easy to customize non-digital goods".

Read Seth Godin!

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Michael E. Porter fits into the strategy content discipline of strategic management:

  • Strategy content: What? - Porter
  • Strategy context: Where? - Andrew Pettigrew
  • Strategy process: How, who, and when? - Henry Mintzberg

mba

Starting with this year's winter term class on x-cultural communication, I will be posting 1-minute blog articles providing a basic business background to the x-cultural corporations block of the seminar [T-25]: The MBA for the Rest of Us.

MBA knowledge is typically subdivided into the following disciplines (in an order that makes sense when you look at the image above):

  1. Ethics - right conduct from a corporate perspective. Corporate responsibility and the intersection of business and society.
  2. Quantitative Analysis - the mathematical tool set used in Accounting, Finance, Marketing and Operations.
  3. Economics - the environment and underlying principles for business. Production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Sub-disciplines: Microeconomics (individuals and firms) and macroeconomics (the economy as a whole).
  4. Accounting - numbers. The communication vehicle of a corporation's results to employees, investors, customers, competitors. Sub-disciplines: Book keeping and auditing.
  5. Operations - making products and providing services. Capacity, scheduling, inventory and quality.
  6. Finance - the management and control of money and other assets of a company. Dealing with the numbers from accounting and qualitative analysis.
  7. Marketing - not (only) advertising! Acquisition of new and retention of existing customers via product, price, place and promotion.
  8. Organizational Theory - individuals and their interactions within the corporation.
  9. Strategy - a company's plan to achieve it's goals. Cross-functional. The CEO's and Board of Director's view of the organization.

Summarizing Jakob Nielsen's new article in his own words: "How much information is optimal? Should your website have concise or in-depth content?"

  • "If you want many readers, focus on short and scannable content. This is a good strategy for advertising-driven sites or sites that sell impulse buys.
  • If you want people who really need a solution, focus on comprehensive coverage. This is a good strategy if you sell highly targeted solutions to complicated problems."

"But the very best content strategy is one that mirrors the users' mixed diet. There's no reason to limit yourself to only one content type. It's possible to have short overviews for the majority of users and to supplement them with in-depth coverage and white papers for those few users who need to know more.

Of course, the two user types are often the same person — the one who's usually in a hurry, but is sometimes in thorough-research mode. In fact, our studies of B2B users show that business users often aren't very familiar with the complex products or services they're buying and need simple overviews to orient themselves before they begin more in-depth research."

Read the (unofficial) What if Jakob Nielsen had a blog? introduction!
Read the Alertbox article!

Steven Levitt: "If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers?" A presentation from February 2004, slightly before Freakonomics appeared. [Attention! Inappropriate language ahead.]

Phase 4: Time for outlook and analysis.

  • InformationWeek Blogs - Jon Foley's article on Friday bringing back the same ideas we published on Wednesday: "There are myriad ways for IT execs to get into trouble and just as many ways for them to exit." and "In his recent book Seduced By Success, Bob Herbold - ironically, Microsoft's former chief operating officer and a one-time CIO himself - writes that CIOs get sacked when they fail to guide IT strategy with a firm hand."

We will be wrapping up in two weeks or a month from now, depending on the shape of things to come. In the meantime, make sure to subscribe to Google News Search and Google Blog Search with your preferred RSS Reader ...

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Steve Yastrow wants to be part of the fragmented, interesting marketplace described in The Long Tail.

Steve, you already are part of that marketplace - and a Wal-Mart/ Sam's Club-only Billboard #1 does no longer challenge the new business world we live in!

I have to admit that Chris Anderson's volume is with the growing pile of 'I already had a short look, but definitely want to read it cover to cover as soon as I have time' books on my living room floor - so please correct me if I'm wrong:

My understanding of the curve was always: Products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters. Collectively.

The y-axis depicts some sort of sales or offer volume. Many products combined in the tail, i.e. the area between the curve and the x-axis can compete with a small number of bestsellers - a much narrower area in the front part of the curve. Nevertheless there will always be the high-volume record, the bestselling one movie, or the hyped author.

But: The new business world allows a low-volume/ -budget/ non-major product to start at the very right end and move to the front, e.g. by viral or seed marketing: Technology-supported global word-of-mouth.

That's good news. Don't be scared.

Read the AL.X. tompeters!! | Follow Steve Yastrow!

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Continued from Why do CEO/ CIO Employments End? The dust settles. Enter the commentators, editors, opinion, leaders...

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In our opinion it is more a science than an art: Hyperlinking. Jeff Atwood provides 11 rules:

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Timothy Ferris (face #5 you should know) explains how to learn any language in one hour:

  • Deconstruct the language.

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There are many reasons to resign/ to be resigned:

  • Stuart Scott, CIO Microsoft, November 2007: Violated company policies
  • Charles Prince, CEO Citigroup, November 2007: Failed to disintegrate Citigroup's universal bank model
  • Adam Bosworth, VP Product Management Google, October 2007, Shifted focus away from Google
  • Stan O'Neill, CEO Merril Lynch, October 2007: Mishandled the asset-backed business

A must read in UXmatters concerning the core competencies of experience design:

  1. Information architecture
  2. Interaction design
  3. Usability engineering
  4. Visual design
  5. Implementation/ prototyping

Read the article!

UXmatters reports on customer support in combination with digital (online, Web) self-service: "If you can provide an easy ways for customers to serve themselves via the Web, Customer Support can focus on handling more complex inquiries over the phone or even use some of their time to sell products."

Read the article!

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Seth Godin cited his 2005 article on DST (summer time or British summer time in Europe) on Sunday when most of the US switched back to winter.

"History goes in cycles, over and over, to the point where it's sort of boring. One of the cycles is the way governments and long-lived organizations unite to fight change."

Now that approximately 70 countries worldwide are united in switching back and forth their clocks twice a year: Is it time for a change again?

Researchers from the University in Munich recently revealed that daylight saving time disrupts humans' natural circadian rhythm. This is only one study but others debate the assumptions and simulations behind the energy, economic, and health effects of DST and it's extension as well - compare this Wikipedia article.

We need more studies! Remember Popeye and the underlying assumption on spinach's iron content?

Read Seth Godin (Sunday)! | Read Seth Godin (2005)!

iawireframes

The whole blogosphere is discussing the Google OpenSocial move as an answer to the Facebook/ Microsoft alliance. TechCrunch, Mashable, O'Reilly, Wired, c|net, the NYT et al.

We are not joining that discussion - instead of looking at social networking on an open platform in general we want to focus on collaboration on a closed platform in particular: Top 10 rules for collaborating on a Microsoft PowerPoint-based set of information architecture wireframes (or any other type of content).

In 2005, Jakob Nielsen published the following short list of minimum requirements for ensuring that international/ x-cultural users can use a Web Site:

  1. Internationalize name and address form fields
  2. Internationalize measurements and dates
  3. Communicate regional product standards

Read the (unofficial) What if Jakob Nielsen had a blog? introduction! | Read the Alertbox article!

Steve Yastrow commences on tompeters!: "A customer relationship is an ongoing conversation with your customer ..."

We carry on: ... implemented as a sequence of touchpoints meandering between off- and online/ internal and external/ coincidence and marketing, such as (from the customer's perspective):

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