Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas & all the best for 2010

I haven't blogged much lately. I haven't had much time. Catching up with people it seems it has been like this for everyone. Lots of things happening in digital at the end of 2009 can only be good for 2010 but boy do I need the Christmas break and time with family.

See you all in the new year.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Twitter Analytics - by Klout

I learnt something today. I haven't learnt as much as I'd like to recently - too much work going on. So I thought I would share a Twitter analytics tool I've just had a look at.

I don't use Twitter to network and influence in the same way a lot of my peers do. Instead I use it as an easy way to post a message to a number of specific people or update other 2.0 status bars. I do however use it a reasonable amount so when I found out that relatively speaking I am actually a low end user it got me thinking - how much time does everyone else spend on it then? A really scary thought.

I have one good stat to share:

Thought for the week

There is not always much to identify, learn or understand in digital and the really important thing is to start thinking of new things that will solve the problem or just raise the bar even higher. Most of the really innovative companies I know are market leaders and are now showing that they can move into other markets with this ability to innovate as the core competency or strategic asset behind these confident moves. They don't do it alone either and they often recognise the need to surround themsleves with the right people and services. Importantly, they also provide a proportional budget to the activities that are most associated with growth. Is this the key to success in business today or has it always been that way?

"Discovery consists of seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no- one else has thought." Hungarian scientist, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Thought for the week

In my opinion keeping an open mind is the way digital professionals have to be to have a chance at any real success. When I started out 12 years'ish ago the digital / eBusiness community was only populated with open minded people - that's how most of the web was made possible, tech played the smaller part in my opinion. I have to say that now it's not always the case. However, that's human nature, over time we gain experiences and it's natural to refer to them. Certainly in Western thinking we are allowed to challenge and argue the views of others openly, but this can waste time and cause friction. I find it easier to try ways of helping the minds of these people open once more. It helps the mind to work and then the rest follows.

"The mind is like an umbrella - it only works when it is open." Scientist Sir James Jeans (1877-1946)

Monday, 9 November 2009

Book 1: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Firstly, I am not going to write this like a book review. So I'll start with the verdict. Its a good book and it provides a really useful framework for better thinking. It uses a principle of hats to categorise or order the thinking process and also to ensure parallel thinking prevails.

"We try to do too much at once. Emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity all crowd in on us. It is like juggling with too many balls."

So, based partly on the principle of parallel thinking it uses a system and structure to create a rounded and efficient way of thinking through new ideas and making decisions.

Like all techniques its benefit depends hugely on how it is used. Applied correctly and used with people who either understand it or who are open to new ways of thinking it can be very powerful.

In a meeting or workshop environment I think an experienced consultant (such as myself - just showing off again) can use this approach and apply it effectively but not too many other people could. This is just an opinion and not something based on research. It is based on professional experience though and it seems to me that soft skills such as moderating and controlling a number of people with ranging experiences and roles would be needed. This is a skill and not one that is provided by the book.

I would recommend reading the book to almost anyone who realises that 'thinking is a skill and can be improved' (Psychology Today).

Thank you to Jacqui Uitzinger @ Monitor Media for introducing me to the book.

Thought for the week

I'm in the mood to learn a lot at the moment. I've been reading a lot (I am going to post a blog later on some of the books) and generally I've been doing and thinking about some exciting and new things with work. I also feel like everyone else seems to be doing the same thing. There has been a lot of silly things happening during the credit crunch but there has also been some really interesting and clever things happening as well. Smart people look to learn new things and subsequently find new and better ways of doing things. Here's to learning and all it can bring us...

"The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you." 'King of the blues' B B King

Monday, 2 November 2009

Thought for the week

I'm feeling very positive this week. Even when times are hard I'm often referred to as an optimistic character. I just feel that it's the only way to be - what is the alternative? Having said that, I think things are great at the moment so I am double optimistic and probably a bit annoying to be around. Here's my thought for the week:

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The personal touch

A colleague received this package in the post at the same time I received a pair of jeans. Both purchases were made online at the same time and where received at the same time. His was really nice, where as my package left me feeling cold and unloved by comparison.

Notice the hand written envelope and the way it just looks really cool. The pencil (that's right it's just a pencil) has been packaged and even contained a user guide! And that extra touch was added as it included a bit of origami. There was one slight let down and that is the reference to Matt being a 'small package'.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Thought for the week

Every week I post on Twitter, Linked in and Facebook automatically a thought for the week. They are always very short and simple, after all they have to be less than 140 characters.

Interestingly, even when I was previously a blogger, these are the items that seem to generate the most interest and response in my digital community (12+ comments and emails minimum). This could be because they are slightly interesting and everything else I have say is not (it's more than likely). Looking at them though makes me think that it has a lot to do with the fact that they often express a view that people can relate to in their professional life. Some sort of frustration or subject they often come across. I think this is because I have collected these over my 12 year digital career and therefore they are simply quotes that have resonated with me in the same way.

This weeks is an old but still very relevant quote - let me know what you think.

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Digital in retail environments

Digital in retail environments is continuing to grow. More than just enhancing the 'sales' experience it is creating interesting environments that you want to go and explore. Environments that stay in the mind so that when you are in that purchase process you are likely to want to come back or go to the brands website. The following picture and video just highlight a couple that I like the look of.

Some digital stairs in Rome...which are just really cool to look at...

The following changing rooms allow you to take a picture of the new outfit...

The pictures are then sent to the Editing Table – a Microsoft Surface device – for cropping, editing, customizing, etc.

If you like the look of this changing room idea find out who created them by clicking here.