Monday, March 23, 2009

Italian Car Envy

I came into the office the other evening and saw a car in our garage that I have never seen before. Turns out it belongs to an executive from a different company who uses some of our office space for his company. I enviously checked out the vehicle and discovered it was a Maserati GranTurismo. Why are these Italian cars so desirable? I have no idea but I know I would absolutely love one. Such a classic sports car look. Reminiscent of the classic E-Type Jag of the 60's (my uncle has a 1962 V12 E-Type that I have drooled over for many years).

The GranTurismo has a price tag of $298,800 Australian Dollars. While this seems good value compared to the Ferrari 599 GTB at $650,000 I can not in all honesty see me driving round in a sparkling Maserati in this lifetime. I can still dream though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Computing Utopia of the Future

This video shows what Microsoft thinks the future will look like. Microsoft's Business Division President, Stephen Elop, recently presented that vision as part of this year's TechFest. In the video below you can get a glimpse of a personal identification device that could replace your wallet, lots of Microsoft Surface action extending from tables to walls. Is this computing utopia?

<a href="" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

I stumbled across this video on the fantastic Engadget site. I highly recommend subscribing to this feed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Nike Principle 'Just Do It'

I have just completed a small modification to the way some of the information on our Intranet is accessed. To ensure that communication and consultation to all business was maintained during the scoping and decision making process, I assembled a group or representative from each business unit and department across the group. Each time a change was proposed, these representatives went back to the business leaders requesting feedback which they would then bring back to the table to be incorporated.

After three months of back and forth communications and consultation the changes were agreed and implemented.

Oh, I forgot to mention, there were a handful of department heads who never provided comment for feedback during the entire process.

Changes go live and guess who were the first to raise issues about how they were not happy with the outcome? Their information is not visible enough or it is not accessed the way they want and they would like to get some changes made.

Now this is not the first time this has happened and I know it wont be the last. I am sure that many reading this post will have had the same or similar experiences.

I am starting to believe that a better way of doing this kind of work might be to 'Just Do It' using best practices, rules of thumb and good intentions and then wait for the valuable feedback and advise to pour in. The process might be way different but the outcomes will be the same.

Do I sound bitter and cynical? I bet some of you project managers and project methodology experts are shaking your heads disapprovingly. Truth be known, I will never make major changes to any navigational or functionality facets of my site without first trying to gain feedback from all interested parties. But jeez louise its frustrating.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dilbert made me Laugh Out Loud

I read Dilbert daily and usually get a little smile at the apathy of staff and ruthlessness of the development and marketing departments but this one did make me LOL.

Rules of Social Media???

I am fascinated by the way Twitter is constantly evolving. Since its beginning in March 2006 this micro blogging service has developed its own etiquette and language all generated by its users. Its direction and how people are using it were never imagined by its original developers. A very interesting New York Times article 'Twitter? It's What You Make It' explains this and is well worth a read.

One thing that strikes me with all new and emerging social media tools is that rules of use evolve which the majority seem to follow. But then someone comes along, breaks the rules, and either makes a fortune or just makes a difference through their nonconformist ways.

The catalyst for this posting came from a blog entry I read this morning on Mashable '5 People Who Broke the Rules of Social Media and Succeeded' again, well worth a read if you are interested in the phenomenon that is social media.

BTW, Mashable is a fantastic source of the latest news, views and ideas in the world of social media. It has an RSS feed available that I highly recommend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bold directions in marketing on social networks

Masterfoods this week released a bold strategy of using social networking sites to become the forefront of their marketing. They first tested the water using Twitter as the homepage of their Skittles brand however did not seem to enjoy the tasteless comments some tweeters found humorous. The homepage of Skittles now sits on a Facebook fan page and time will tell whether users of this media channel will be more restrained.

Bound to cause much discussion, this new direction my be the way of the future where control over brand and comment is left solely to users.