Monday, July 30, 2007


I've been doing a little research on widgets. Yes, you read that right. Widgets are the little pieces of code that can be easily shared among various social media sites, networks, blogs, etc. A widget can be merely a bit of static content, a functionality, a dynamically generated feed, or practically anything else you can think of. Apparently, the widgitized web is going to be the future of the online experience.

So, like I said, I've been doing a little research and a little experimentation. I've added two widgets to this blog on the left hand side: one neatly allows my dear readers to send me a complimentary text message to my cell phone, the other is a non-standard, but Google based search box that allows me dear readers to search for their favorite content on the site. I found both of these widgets at WidgetBox.

Of course, my fear is that too many widgets will lead to too much clutter. I've always been a believer that the key to an enjoyable web experience is a clean, uncluttered, easy to read screen. Mmmmm. So what are your thoughts? Too many widgets, just the right amount, or not enough?

(Next: Jeff Twitters!)

Measuring Influence

I found this post by Roy Young on MarketingProfs (How Many Are You Reaching and Who Are They?) that I found interesting. I talk with a lot of marketing professionals about public relations. Often, the subject of measurement or benchmarks arises. Most often, the discussion revolves around traditional PR output like releases, case studies, placements and analyst reports. However, I always tie a proposed PR campaign to a company's sales goals, profitability target or overall valuation.

To me, whether or not you achieve the business case is the only true measurement of the effectiveness of a public relations campaign. Anything else smacks of insider navel gazing.

Now, marketers have spent a lot of time quantifying paid media for good reason. It's much easier to generate good data for a media buy or a direct mail campaign. It's easier to make a direct connection between one's actions and the movement of the needle. Certainly, one of driving forces behind the massive investment in online advertising over the past few years, has been the huge reams of data it generates.

However, as the online advertising machine bumps up against user generated communities, it becomes harder to draw a cause-effect relationship. As Roy says,

...for emerging media, you may have to be satisfied with qualitative measures of impact. At least for now. After all, if you have two readers of your blog, and those two readers have the first name of Steve (Balmer and Jobs), your blog may be far more influential than another blog on technology with thousands of readers.
Food for thought on a Monday morning!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Changing Landscape: Enterprise

I've been busy over the last few weeks developing a series of events in partnership with the Software and Information Industry Association ( that will take a look at the transformations occurring right now in three critical areas. Each of these areas (enterprise, mobile and security) are wrestling with dramatic change that is raising technology, regulatory, and cultural issues while generating tremendous business opportunities and creating real value for customers. Each of these events will feature insight from panelists with differing perspectives on all of these issues as well as peek into what the future might look like given today’s trends.

The first panel discussion (scheduled for next Tuesday morning) will cover the issues and trends in the changing landscape of enterprise software. Such issues include SaaS, outsourcing, integration complexity, Oracle's acquisition spree, Google's new SaaS app package, etc. A special focus will also be on the impact of change among government enterprises.

If you are going to be around the DC area, please click on the link below and register!

The SIIA Changing Landscape Series: Enterprise

Panelists: Tony DeSomma, Vice President, Oracle Public Sector Practice, BearingPoint

Tom Mazur, VP Government Sales, Lagan

Gary Golding, Edison Venture Fund

Moderator: Jeff Majka, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Strategic Communications Group

Date: July 31, 2007

Time: 8am to 10am

Location: SIIA DC office, 1090 Vermont Avenue, 6th Floor, Washington DC

Attendees: 50 people

Registration Fee: SIIA members $20/non-members $40

Please register here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Enterprise Amnesia? Jeff Jones wrote about an interesting concept about the short comings of today's model of the enterprise back in June. The title of this post was "Why Faster Systems Can Make Organizations Dumber Faster."Apparently, despite all the many, many software and hardware products designed to make enterprises smarter, there is a gap between what a company knows and what it can act on.

As Jeff says,
"This problem – an inability to locate and act upon what one knows – is getting worse because faster systems are producing information substantially faster than traditional sensemaking algorithms (using these same fast systems) can keep up."
He futher explains what will be needed to close the gap,
"And, if you have been following my blog, this will come as no surprise. Enterprise intelligence is going to have everything to do with such things as semantic reconciliation, persistent context, discoverability, perpetual analytics and incremental learning. All in real time, of course."
Compare this forward thinking problem solving with the news out last Friday in Government Executive:

"Pentagon Still Burdened With Multiple Back-Office Systems"

Right out of the Tofflers' book "Revolutionary Wealth": the speed gap between society and government is going to be a drag on the development of both.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Facebook vs. LinkedIn?

It's amazing how much press, blog posts and chatter Facebook has generated over the last few months. I remember reading an article about Facebook a couple of years ago, but the site seemed like a myspace knock off. It always goes to show the value of clean, usable web design and a well thought out business plan.

But now Facebook has leaped out of the tweeny and college crowd and into the business world. Most business contacts I have use LinkedIn, as I do. Back in May, both Robert Scoble and ValleyWag have sniffed out a coming battle between Facebook and LinkedIn over business networking.

For my money, however, since both companies have opened up their networks to third party API's, it makes waaaay more sense to connect then that way, rather than one company buy the other. Of course, Google and a $5B check might make "the best thing to do" irrelevant.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Three Little Blogs: A Cautionary Tale is a great post by Michele Cepeda at I highly recommend it if you are getting into blogging, as I am. I always like my constructive criticism to come in the form of humor.

Which blog am I? Jeez, I'm not even off Blogspot yet! And I'm still building up to a two-times a week post pace...

Friday, July 13, 2007

I hope you all had a wonderful July Fourth week last week. I spent the big day at the Washington Nationals game. The Nats won 6-0 over the Cubs. As a childhood White Sox fan, and now Nats fan, this result made me very, very happy.

Another thing that has been making me happy recently is the explosion of interest in Facebook. It's been increasingly clear that MySpace just isn't going to the networking platform of the future. Too much spam for one thing. Facebook has its limitations too, but now that they have opened their platform to outside developers and VC money is flowing to find small app ideas, I foresee a lot of these limitations being addressed.

In the end, though, someone needs to combine all these different networking platforms into one meta, uber service. I'd like to get my Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn networks to work with each other which preserving the "separateness" of each part of life and each group of contacts.

Here is an interesting article in Time written by a 35+ old like me who has mixed feelings about social media and networking sites.