Friday, May 29, 2009

Wave might become the outlook and exchange killer, portal challenge

Google announced the communication platform wave. According to this article from Cnet, Google will open up the possibility to run servers decentrally. A company could actually run a wave server inside a firewall and connect to the 'wavenet' of google (or not).
(Did I just coin the term 'wavenet'? Will this article be cited in coming centuries?-)

Now let me just run some ideas on this post to imagine what could happen:

This wave might wash the exchange - outlook combination away
With the internal combination wave client and wave server a company or organization could substitute exchange servers and outlook, internal blogging, social media tools and Microsoft office or other office packages. Integrating Gmail, google docs and a social media and microblogging with their performance, ease of use and online and offline integration will give Microsoft a hard time. The integration of docs and sites is nice already, picasa might become part of the set too. What else do you need for 80% of what you are doing? Just some special applications for geeks like me, but they might become integrated too, so it is easier to share.

Microsoft is still just reacting, not acting
IMHO, Microsoft is still lagging years behind with the integration, and although all single tools are much more powerful in many aspects, integration and collaboration are not easy. The two aces Microsoft owns, the power of the applications and that users privacy and copyright seem better protected, are not played in this game or don't weigh enough.

How about financing? Will company waves be part of ad-networks?
I am curious if the internal wave servers will be free for use, if companies agree to be part of the Ad- network. This would be very interesting for B2C, but an even bigger leap for B2B.

Some interesting uses popping up in my head, how about advertising for a restaurant close to the location, car insurance with a price reduction, or - not very nice - job ads at a competitors wave.

Next step - enterprise employee portal software washed away by Google wave
Just combine the wave server with an internal Google search server, add a nice API library to integrate some company specific information easily and wave will become a portal software killer too, at least in companies up to a certain size, which cannot afford the classical tools or their implementation.

And the possible scenarios become even more impressive, when I imagine that a company builds a network of specific waves. Another interesting deveopment would be if a company starts a wave at a higher hierarchy level and builds a network with connected companies like carmaker, parts manufacturer, unions, car dealerships and so on.

Datamining next level with Google wave
How about diving? Diving could be some datamining on waves. Compare posts on various platforms. Depict communicating patterns and locate communicative hubs with 'the magic wheel'. Endless.

And what will people make out of wave?
Messages or viruses riding on the wave? People surfing a wave instead of tweeting? Does dropping a message become a new meaning?

Monday, May 18, 2009

News and media sector likely to shrink and focus

TV, radio, newspapers, all need to go digital to compensate for advertisement revenue losses. And all will try to be a dominant player national, local or in a topic.
Folks, that might get tight in some spots! I see quite some competition, with a lot of downsizing in many areas. I guess TV will loose most as they have the biggest revenues right now and prices are the opposite of online prices.

There is a good side for marketers, falling ad prices. And targeted marketing should become better then ever with a lot of truly specialized platforms.

Now we just need a platform so marketers can easily compare the offers of various platforms for
  • target group
  • reach
  • variety of contact points (aka media types involved)
  • covered topics
  • local targeting
  • advertisement rates
Yes, I know about x-media marketing platforms, but I have not seen the last point - prices of ads - in there. The closest to this from what I have seen comes Google with adsense, but especially the integration of various advertisement networks would be interesting. (If you are going to build this, let me help you market it!-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

User friendly terms of service

There are good terms of service, and I think I can show you a good example. Why not use it as best practice?

Yes, I admit, I regularly take a look at the terms of service, and I have never regretted it. Some of them, like Facebook, are just unbelievable, outrageous.

Take a look at the terms of service for, especially Chapter 3:
"Yuku does not claim any ownership rights in any Content that you post to the Service. After posting your Content to the Service, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such Content, and you continue to have the right to use your Content in any way you choose. By posting any Content on or through the Service, you hereby grant to Yuku a limited license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content solely on and through the Service. Without this license, Yuku would be unable to provide the Service. The license you grant to Yuku is non-exclusive (meaning you are free to license your Content to anyone else in addition to Yuku), fully-paid and royalty-free (meaning that Yuku is not required to pay you for the use on the Service of the Content that you post), sublicensable (so that Yuku is able to use its affiliates and subcontractors such as Internet content delivery networks to provide the Service), and worldwide (because the Internet and the Service are global in reach). This license will terminate at the time you remove your Content from the Service. The license does not grant Yuku the right to sell your Content, nor does the license grant Yuku the right to distribute your Content outside of the Yuku and its sublicensees Services."

(May 11, 2009, bold for what they offer, and italics for explanation, both just examples of many more, highlighted by me.)

This seems completely just, fair, what they want, and it is even limited to the time you have your content up there. AND they really help understand it. And they add several contacts and even a legal contact on the very same page.

Where is the hook? I did not find one. I am not a lawyer (so please, if you really want to make sure, ask one), but as I read all of them, this is one of the best.

I am not giving away my privacy, my intellectually property or - as it sometimes feels, my life.
They offer to work with me - as a partner. This is how it should be. Thank you so much for a fair treatment. Thank you, and whoever is responsible for this.

(And no, I have no personal interest in yuku or any of its services except as a regular user since today, when I saw this first.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Information on social net and law, hiring

With internet, social net sites like linkedin and facebook, there are many legal things not clear when it comes to using them professionally. I wonder if someone could help me?

HR departments and hiring managers are more and more relying on online sources like facebook, linkedin, twitter and others, I can tell from my personal experience. Lets take a look at some scenarios.

1. Trapping HR.
Imagine, just imagine, someone has not such a superior education and experience as I do and has to make a work history up or modify it to get a job. So someone modifies their profile on linkedin. Do companies check what current or former employees write there? No. Do they send requests for changes? No. Do future employers check the data? Do they compare with the resume they get? I doubt they check details at least. Linkedin space is very limited, so a resume can never have all the details, and people leave out information all the time, so no one will even wonder about that. How much do you pay for a reference? A beer, being a neighbor or just being loveable? Are they any proof you’re really that good? I have my doubts. Is there any legal obligation to stick to the truth? I doubt. Even if it should be in the fine print of these platforms, people would just violate a contract, not a law. As most people are on facebook as private persons, the information they write about their persons would not fall under the regulations requiring non distorted or false information to customers - from companies.

2. Discrimination 101
You want some nice white guy in his early twenties, nice and open for shaping his mind? Easy. Just check facebook, filter out all other races, filter out old people, and the people openly not sharing your religion. Facebook does not show you? Well, search for it and find old yearbooks, look up addresses on maps to check out if they live in a neighborhood according to their income….Where does this go? I understand that the hunger for information of companies is huge. How is the legal situation? You cannot send a picture with an application because of discrimination laws, but HR personnel can check facebook to do the same?

3. False Identity
How do companies make sure they get information about the right person? My online trademark is andreas.wpv and I have reserved that in quite some places and platforms, but far from all. What if someone else uses the same acronym and is into something better not published while looking for a job? Sexual preferences, crimes, online and offline behavior could kick everyone out of an application if it is hefty enough for that job. I read about someone who has a brother whose name starts with the same letter – and has violated some law. Good luck with your jobsearch! Do HR departments use the necessary carefullness to not fall into these traps?

I think there are some scary scenarios - especially for hiring managers and companies. It might be very difficult to prove the discrimination, but there is a chance for lawsuites. And similar, hiring underqualified personnel can be very expensive.

P.S. I wrote this post last night pretty late, and this morning I found this here on twitter (author ecommercejobs) "TRUE OR FALSE: Companies CAN use candidate information gleaned from social networks to influence hiring decisions:". This link is highly interesting. The 'Amegy bank of Texas' nixes the use of social sites for their hiring process, according to this article, and they are thinking about the use of linkedin.

I am curious how this will affect social net sites in the future, lets say after the first lawsuites.

(Just to make sure, I try to be as honest as possible with my online data and prefer to publish as little as possible, because keeping everything up-to-date is already a lot of work and keeping up lies would be even more work - and I prefer to use my time for other things. )
Bookmark and Share