Archive November 2008
In this weeks weekly radio segment Denis and Morris discuss social networking, what it is, visit some of the popular sites and discuss safety on line
In his first regular segment Morris and Denis discuss what a futurist is, what one does and what lies ahead.
I’m sitting here in 2020 reminiscing over how difficult it was to convince businesses to get a fax machine in the mid 80’s, a mobile phone in the late 80’s, a website and email in the 90’s, and a social networking community in the late 00’s.
My urging was usually met by “ach, what do I need it for?” and then a few years later with “I’m glad I got it, I don’t know how I ever lived without”
Even quoting 2008 reports like Gartner that showed that 60% of the top 1000 US companies would have on line communities around them by the year 2010 (that’s just 13 months away); and research from AT&T who surveyed 2,500 people across 5 European countries to finds that 65% of all respondents claimed that social networking made them more efficient and that 46% said it sparked their creativity.
Even research from RazorFish who looked at the roles of brands in social networks and concluded that 40% of online consumers have made a decision based on an advertisement they saw on social media sites and that 75% welcome brand advertising in these spaces.
I can hear you laughing at this, but let me tell you with the advantage of hindsight that being in 2020 gives me, your wrong.
Social networking is a phenomenon you can’t ignore, just like you now can’t ignore mobile phones, faxes and email addresses – love it or loathe it, it’s here to stay.
Social networks or social media goes way beyond websites, search engine optimisation, shopping carts, blogs and FaceBook; these are just the tip of the iceberg compared with what is starting to be done to drive business on and off line.
Imagine a world where the old rules, models and theories of business, management, marketing, staff and stakeholder engagement and customer interactions are changed forever.
Imagine your own online virtual business staffed 24 hours a day by 3D virtual employees who know enough about your business to be able to engage others in conversations and sales.
Imagine your own online real world dedicated community innovating and driving your business, brand and product forward for you.
Imagine customers taking the initiative and tracking you down to tell you exactly what and how they want from you.
Imagine being able to tap into their collective wisdom to find the answers to questions you’re grappling with, or even better championing you and recommending you to their community.
Imagine an on line world that is independent of you, self sufficient, always on and always ready to do business.
These are some of the realities that business takes for granted in 2020.
In 2008 this phenomenon is just beginning to snowball.
I look back and see I had identified 22 distinct on line strategies and a set of tools that I used then to move businesses into the forefront of social media.
These were tools based on sound strategies and strict ROI principles that have stood the test of time.
For instance I remember a client in 2008 that had the issue of having to induct staff regularly around Australia; the same old information every time, important absolutely, repetitive and expensive definitely.
The solution we came up with was to video record the training once and show it on line on going.
To support this we also set up a wiki to store company information that was readily accessible and started a blog where new and existing staff could discuss and share ideas and hints on working for the company.
We of course included the human touch with the establishment of a buddy / mentoring system for each new inductee.
The induction program has been a great success. We have saved time, money and effort, ensured consistency in our training, opened up an internal community that shares and cares for each other and the company remains cutting edge, all on a modest budget that paid for itself in a few months.
In the next few postcards I want to share with you some of the other 22 strategies and tools I’ve used and explain how they might be used in 2008 to move you and your business forward.
Of course if you can’t wait till then I’d be happy to fill you in before.
I’ll send you another Postcard from the Future soon, but until then take care and remember your future hasn’t been written yet and how it will look and what successes you will have, are entirely up to you.
Your friend in the future.
this is part of Morris’s regular Postcards from the Future series – subscribe for Free at www.MorrisYourEyeOnTheFuture.com
Google may have only been around for 10 years, but in that time it has gone from being merely a company name to being the universal word we use to describe the action of conducting an on line search.
Google news reader –totally personalised news, blogs and information – you choose what you want to read about.
Google alerts –email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
Google trends – Reflects what keywords people are searching for on a daily basis.
Google energy saving calculator – calculate how much energy you’re currently using
Google petrol price phecker – find the cheapest petrol price nearest to you.
Google scholar – Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles
Google knol – aims to include user-written articles on a range of topics to provide first point of reference knowledge – similar to Wikipedia
Google ride finder – search for taxis, limousines and shuttles and make better decisions by seeing the exact location of vehicles in your area (still only American based).
Google transit Get step-by-step transit directions. Find transit stops in your area. View station information and schedules (still only American based).
Google chrome – a browser (think Explorer or Firefox) that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier
Google calculator to use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box and press enter, for a cheat sheet of how to use the calculator best click here
Google currency convertor To use the built-in currency converter, enter the conversion you’d like done into the Google search box and hit “Enter”
Google finance – offers a broad range of information about stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies, great finance related videos and stock watch options.
Google book search – Search and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide using Google Book Search
Google froogle – Presents photographs of products and links to the stores that sell them online
Google earth – this download program offers maps and satellite images of anywhere on earth
Google moon – A photographic map of the moon with pan and zoom capability, showing locations of the Apollo landings
Google mars View some of the most detailed maps of Mars created by NASA scientists
Google sky – Whether you’re an astronomer or stargazer, Sky brings millions of stars to your desktop
Google maps – Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions
Google calendar – a free web-based calendar which you can use for your own personal activities or to share with others.
IGoogle your personalized Google page. Add news, photos, weather, and stuff from across the web to your page.
Google translate – Google’s free online language translation service instantly translates text and web pages.
Lively – hang out and chat in 3D.
Google phone Google’s own mobile phone and operating system (android)
Google image search – Picasa is a software download from Google that helps you organize, edit, and share your photos.
Google health – puts you in charge of your health information. It’s safe, secure, and free. Organise your health information all in one place
Notebook – Web clipping application for saving online research. The tool permits users to clip text, images, and links from pages while browsing, save them online, access them from any computer, and share them with others.
Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages
YouTube – popular free video sharing Web site which lets users upload, view, and share video clips
Google web history – view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news, it’s a history of where you’ve been on line.
Google labs – Google’s technology playground. Google labs showcases a few of our favourite ideas that aren’t quite ready for prime time
Google Audio indexing – search what people are saying inside You Tube
Google Suggest as you type your search, Google offers keyword suggestions in real time
Google Docs & Spreadsheets Create, store and share documents and spreadsheets on the web
Google Video search TV programs and videos
To get the local time anywhere in the world, in the search bar type: what time is it in Melbourne
To track a flights arrival and departure time, type the airline and flight number: Qantas QF1
To convert currency, metrics, bytes and more, type in what you want to convert and into what: seconds in a year, or perhaps: teaspoons in a quarter cup, or: 5 USD in Euro, or even: 154679 bytes in kilobytes
To get the local weather type in weather and the postcode: weather 4217.
To define a term, type in “define: your word: define: futurist.
To find out the movie session time for your local cinema type in the movie and your postcode: gone with the wind 6008
The list just goes on, so add your favourite Google ninja tools and applications to this list by leaving a comment below.
In the past week there has been a major announcement by Shai Aggassi of Better Place regarding the set up of a network of “charging spots” and “battery exchange stations” for power electric vehicles throughout Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and set to roll out in 2011, with the first cars produced jointly with Renault and Nilsen to be rolled out in 2012.
The car refuelling posts will most likely work on a payment scheme similar to our current mobile phones plans where you choose a provider and a fee plan and then use that service anywhere it’s available up to the value of your plan.
The real question is, will there be enough interest to turn this into a commercial reality.
There are currently between 25 – 40 electric cars in some form of pre production (depending on who’s list you believe), but as yet we have no clear front runner car manufacturer.
The Tesla is definitely a crowd favourite and has some serious backing behind it, including $37 million from the founder of PayPal, and if you haven’t seen it before take a look at this video:
The debate is still raging over whether electric cars will be take over from the internal combustion engine, but my guess is that it is won’t and that in the short term, 5 -10 years, we are likely to see a hybrid car, much like the current Toyota Prius, take the reigns.
Firstly, the infrastructure required to make a complete change is still years away from being perfect, despite Better Place’s announcement.
Secondly we are still working with what we know and fuels we currently have – where’s the real innovation? and
Thirdly with many of these alternate fuels it seems that although they may lessen our reliance on oil, they still cause environmental issues and concerns in the manufacturing, sourcing and destruction processes.
Let’s think broader than just the vehicle and the fuel to why we need the vehicle in the first place.
When trying to solve this issue let’s also include tackling civic infrastructure (public transport, housing estates etc) doing this well will lessen our medium to long term need for private transport.
Let’s re examine why we travel and find alternate means to achieve the same ends (instead of driving to meetings meet by webcams or in virtual offices, instead of one distant city based office have home offices and decentralised shared work hubs spread around the suburbs).
Cars are a perfect example of where we need more haste less speed, let’s over respond to the underlying issues and innovate a solution that works long term to satsfy all of our needs.