We went to “What’s Next in Tech: Exploring the Growth Opportunities of 2009 and Beyond” held at Boston University’s School of Management on Thursday, June 26th where we shot these videos for a Bostonist story on the evening.
The event was hosted by the Boston Globe’s Scott Kirsner (who kindly linked to our footage at his InnoEco blog) the evening was composed of two panels, a panel of venture capitalists (in the above video), and a panel of area entrepreneurs (in the below video). We found the most remarkable moment was in the unofficial vote of the panelists and audience members in the above video that showed a nearly unanimous feeling of optimism for technology ventures in the Boston area.
Check out the videos and let us know what you think.
Above is the video I shot at the 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) in New York City yesterday. Recording artist Wyclef Jean has only been using Twitter for about 3 months but has received tremendous value from it – not just because of the PR he can immediately generate but also because he is using feedback from his followers to help write songs as well as launch his non-profit, Yele Haiti.
He is also using Twitter to make a spiritual connection (see the “Sunday Twittering” segment) as well as provide comedy relief (see the very off-color “Hector Story” segment). While it’s absolutely true that Wyclef Jean already has a huge following in the non-Twitter world, thus making it fairly easy to develop a large list of followers on Twitter, he’s using the tool in ways that are beyond self-promotion and that’s the most important thing to remember about Twitter: it’s not really a separate world, news source, or social environment that you have to adapt your life around – Twitter is a tool for you to leverage for your own life, your own business. Don’t be intimidated by it, commit only what you want to, but get involved.
Last month I had the opportunity to interview actor, broadcaster, and comedian Janeane Garofalo. Garofalo is an avowed Luddite but that never interfered with her desire to become a writer, act in television and film, and to start a radio network from scratch. A lot of people write about Garofalo on the internet but she doesn’t spend much time there. What she does do is make sure that she is a real and genuine human being when interacting with other people. I observed her interact with many different kinds of people at the AltCom Festival – managers, comedians, fans, and press, and she was guileless and direct in all her communications. People will be repeating their experiences with her for a long time to come.
We are undergoing some changes here at Needlemine as we move from being “just a blog” to a full consultancy.
We will have new content in this space soon and we’re fine tuning our home page among other things.
If you need to reach us, feel free to write us: info _at_ needlemine.com
Another great WebInno Group meetup that I covered for Bostonist. I was a bit alarmed that the next one isn’t until summer as these are getting even farther apart. I would suggest that they put a limit on reservations and enforce them. Get my full story at Bostonist.
Fans, active users, and those who aspire to use Google Analytics should be very excited about some new features that will be made available over the next several weeks as revealed on the Official Google Analytics Blog.
For a while I had checked out the desktop-based analytics machine, Tableau, which is very capable, highly technical, and most likely overkill for my needs and the needs of most marketing managers who are interested in new views of their Google Analytics data. Google is now releasing customized report making and custom segmenation capabilities that are very similar to what Tableau provides but now you don’t have to export your data to Tableau and massage it there. I’m not saying that GA is now as powerful as Tableau, I’m saying that GA has dumbed-down enough reports that are available in Tableau so that I don’t have to purchase and learn how to use that system (yet).
Let’s be clear though and remember that other than some online tutorials, your experience with GA is essentially on-your-own whereas Tableau has entire support teams, guided coursework, and other resources available to you. If you have questions, you can actually call someone up and get help – this is a huge advantage and it very much keeps Tableau in the game and at the top of my list if/when I can get the budget and time to invest in that system. In the meantime, I very excited to try out what Google has to offer in this latest round of upgrades.
These rounds of layoffs are perfectly summed up by the excellent Jessica Hagy:
Companies that layoff hordes of staff and who cut back on marketing during economic contractions take a lot longer to recover (if they survive) than companies who figure out how to retain staff and expanding marketing efforts during contractions.
Paul Holstein at “Web Analytics Demystified” also riffs on the layoffs = management failure topic.
There is a power to search that as a marketer we leverage to bring our organization interest, traffic, etc. but that doesn’t mean it’s always being leveraged in the name of “good” or fair competition. Tonight (Eastern time), Wednesday, November 26th, there is a major terrorist attack happening in Mumbai, India, with scores of people dead and perhaps over 150 people still being held hostage.
On Twitter, there is already a #Mumbai search page with the vast majority of tweets reflecting people’s concernes about the citizens of Mumbai. Then there are tweets from people attempting to relate news of developments in the situation as well as acutal citizens of Mumbai twittering whatever facts that they know about. There are also those people who are expressing alarm over the fact that terrorists or their supporters are following the #Mumbai search page in order to gather intelligence and thereby create more mayhem. It’s entirely possible that there are terrorists using Twitter if there are people in Mumbai liveblogging events going on there.
Concerned twitterers have requested that Twitter pull down the search page in order to achieve a level of “radio silence” until the event is resolved. One might wonder how actual actionable logistics would make it through the media to Twitter but it’s possible as well, considering that India is third world country (despite its “emerging” status) and it lacks a lot of basic government controls and procedures.
We are fortunate to live in a world where we have such ready access to such amazing communication technology, but there’s a level of common sense that should be employed when dealing with such subjects. One’s “freedom to tweet” shouldn’t endanger others but also, it’s ironic that extremists could use a system to achieve their goals yet they would forbid such a system if they ever came to power. Power is the keyword here because that’s what extremists are looking to destroy or control.
I love the kind of evangelism that Dharmesh Shah, of HubSpot fame, broadcasts in his OnStartups blog. His post today is a classic one, “Wimps Wait, Revolutionaries Release Early”. His exhortation is to pump out your software as soon as you can, and that waiting until it is “perfect” is a mistake. I completely agree with that opinion when it is applied to web-based software where you are in direct control of the web server where the application is deployed.
Sure, there’s the fact that the end users might be inconvenienced by performance issues and they will have to deal with you rolling out features that are not ready for prime time, but you will be getting users and that’s what Dharmesh is talking about. But what kind of end users are we talking about? If the kind of software we’re talking about is desktop based and if it’s meant for business users, you are not involving just that end user anymore – there’s an entire IT infrastructure that will be getting involved either to prevent potential end users from downloading your software in the first place, to castigating your end users if your software causes them enough problems to have ot call up the IT staff. IT folks don’t want anything coming into their, wait for it, ecosystem that results in more calls to the IT desk.
Let’s say your target users are actual IT staff – ok, this is where you really have to be careful. No IT administrator is going to put your software into their live environment if it isn’t vetted. They should have staging servers to test out anything they are considering pushing into production. This can work out well for you even if your software is still in beta but has “good bones”. But the basics have to be there: your download process, licensing, and installation have to be solid because they know that’s what they will be dealing with when your software is ready. Let’s be realistic though, who knows of an IT department out there that isn’t underwater with service desk requests and an ongoing upgrade schedule. Your product had better be pretty good, and as revolutionary as Dharmesh suggests it should be. Then you’ll a much better chance of getting those covetted early users.