• Contemplating the If’s #1 – Surviving Progress

    “Writing software for computers is like writing software for life”.

    Take five minutes and watch this video. It’s from the new documentary Surviving Progress.

    via Wired

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  • How to keep a low profile online

    Following yesterday’s post on who’s afraid of losing privacy, we found ourselves asking: is there really no way of keeping totally private if you’re online? Well, it seems the answer is pretty clear: no. As long as you have an e-mail address, a smartphone and you’re using search engines (I’m leaving Social Networking websites out of this because that’s a no brainer), you can rest assured not only there’s information about you out there that’s accessible to other people, but this information will never disappear completely, even if you wanted to delete it some day. Sure, you can deactivate all your online accounts, but the information that you shared will remain shared as long as the online profiles you’ve shared it with still exist.

    Basically, the only way to stop existing online is to travel back in time and refrain yourself from ever touching a computer.

    But that would be no fun, would it?

    Your online presence is a trade-off, as is your existence in the 21st century. It doesn’t matter if you use the Internet for business or pleasure and it doesn’t matter if you use your mobile phone to call your girlfriend or to close a business deal, you sacrifice your privacy in doing so.

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  • The (Social Media) World We Live In…

    …looks like this…

    …and like this:

    (ok, things might have grown a bit in the last 2 months, but still…)

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  • Taking Network CRM into Web 3.0 and beyond

    Whether you work in media, programming, Wall Street or, for that matter, anywhere else, you might have noticed that our collective ability to create information exceeds our ability to manage it. There are trillions of web pages out there and the number is increasing exponentially, with every new tweet, Facebook status update, blog or concept that gets invented. And even though you might have been blessed with a very structured mind, when becoming aware of this huge amount of information, your brain will immediately perceive it’s huge potential, but it will also be left with no tools to manage it.

    Now. If Web 1.0 was all about desktop computing, pre-networks and limited to e-mail, documents, spreadsheets, images and video, then Web 2.0 took things to the next level, delivering networking through websites and applications (social networks with comments, blogs, youtube and instant interactions). And it’s all fine, up until the point where you start realizing that all these two way interactions and all the user generated content essentially translate into huge amounts of data that first of all needs to be stored and then it needs to be accessed.

    Obviously, there is a parallel to be seen here regarding CRM Systems which have developed according to the Web itself. If at first we had desktop CRM systems to deal with, we can now enjoy the benefits of Cloud systems that are far more engaging and user friendly.

    Sadly, the problems and implications regarding the amount of data and the access to information are practically the same in both cases. And looking ahead at Web 3.0 (happening now), Web 4.0 (in about 4-5 years) and beyond is, of course, the only hope for CRM Systems as well…

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  • Rules of Customer Engagement and Social Media as a Tool

    Stumbled upon an interesting blog post the other day on Software Advice.

    After a sit down with Brian Solis, a rather careful consideration of some Razorfish studies and some common sense observations about how the interactions between companies and customers have changed over the years (first of all because of the internet and lately, because of social media & mobile devices), Lauren Carlson points her story  at the 6 Rules of Engagement, or what we can basically call the Solis definition of engagement, as the next level of relationships between companies and customers.

    According to this, consumers in the Egosystem want value, efficiency, trust, consistency, relevancy and control from the companies they interact with. And if this is what the customer wants, then that’s what most socially aware companies will try to give them.

    But that’s only part of the problem, solved. Because after figuring out what the customer wants and what to give him, the next step – equally important, I might add – is to find out the best way to deliver all these things. Most companies that realize the importance of reaching their customers through social media already have the usual channels at their disposal. They will have a Facebook page or a Twitter account in play, only there’s more to Social CRM strategies than business pages on these websites.

    The Satisfaction – Engagement Loop

    In order to properly engage the customers, companies have to consider two things: first of all, the technological side – the platform that actually supports the engagement – and then the cultural climate of the organization itself, which has to be the actual resource of the engagement. As long as the people behind the company understand and relate to the cultural obsession towards the customer, then things are bound to move in the right… engaging direction. The only thing that remains is now to properly close the circle and provide the users inside the organization with the proper technological tools to keep the customers satisfied. But how?

    Integrating Companies with Social Media. Or the other way around.

    Now, after understanding the Satisfaction – Engagement Loop, there’s two ways companies handle the social appeal to customers. There are those who look at their business and then start acting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube or LinkedIn, and there are those who first of all develop a Social CRM and then try to connect with the customer through social media platforms.

    What we have found out developing the Clintelica Network CRM application though, is that Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Youtube or LinkedIn are all amazing in themselves, but they are also distinct communities where not only the the way of engagement differs, but also the response of the customer (if any) is different.

    So, in order to properly engage an organization with it’s customers (especially when we’re talking about 100+ employees, hundreds or thousands of customers and suppliers), you need to have a powerful CRM system that works in a perfect, traditional way,  offers features that enable you to manage & understand huge amounts of information (Newsfeed), and then gives you the the opportunity to use Social Media to reach the connected customer, keeping him satisfied through Networking and understanding his Feedback instantly.

    OK, boundaries are changing every minute, mobile gadgets are becoming socially acceptable in Theaters and probably tomorrow reading Zite stories on your iPad in a face-to-face meeting will not be considered rude anymore. But in order for the customer engagement to be meaningful, it’s becoming more and more clear that social media platforms should be the tool and not the purpose.

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  • Trending: Smartphone Usage

    People have been on & on about the addiction to gadgets and social media ever since… well, gadgets and social media were invented.

    Aside from the dozens of theories on how this destroys not only your efficiency at work, but also your mind set, making you more and more dependent on small bits of superficial information rather than keeping you focused on a longer logical meaning, it seems there’s no stopping the trend. While talking about what’s right and wrong concerning smartphone usage, for example, the boundaries change by the minute. Whereas a while back texting made students alienate from social activities, being a teenager and sending an SMS while interacting face to face with other people is not that big of a deal anymore.

    The same way, it seems, sending social vibes online from theaters is becoming more and more interesting. In a new report from USA Today, we’ve just learned that several Theater Halls in the US now have special seats for those who wish to live-tweet performances.

    Of course, there are those that still maintain that tweeting while watching artists performing on stage is not properly enjoying the show, but as long as crowds that gather into theaters diminish more and more, it seems only natural to stop fighting the phenomenon and try to adapt to it.

    In the end, we have to admit, we’re all hooked to socializing, networking and using our smartphones.

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  • Basic Instinct in Social Networks

    You might have heard by now, there’s a new very successful app out there.

    It’s called Post Secret and, like most successful ideas, it’s mindbogglingly simple. It’s so simple, in fact, it makes you laugh. Basically, what you do after downloading the app is you anonymously post secrets, share them with the world, discover secrets from other people and interact with them. Why didn’t you think of that?

    But, more importantly, what makes a social network idea successful? What’s the thing that separates the winners from the losers in this ocean of chatter about Social Media, Social Networks and all apps that get born, grow or die each and every day?

    Some say it’s all a matter of luck. Others say it’s all about having a bright idea at the right moment and amongst the right people. But aside from all this, I think Social Networking ideas that really make it are those that tap into basic human emotions.

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  • Your Brain Feeds on Internet

    It’s true.

    It’s happening.

    And it seems the best thing you can do is delay the moment when it will consume you.

    Basically, if you’re to believe what scientists say, we’re living a time when it’s both good and bad to be an “early adopter” concerning new technologies & internet. It’s good because you can fit in more easily, find a job or manage to hold one, but it’s bad because internet & new technologies addictions can take you out of your real life, one inch at a time.

    I remember reading a while back a study in The New York Times about kids nowadays. They have trouble reading a book from cover to cover because their brains are now used to sipping essential information from 10 internet windows at a time in 30 seconds, after which they get bored and move on to the next activity. Basically, the attention span of kids used to internet browsing is so small, they find it boring to follow & read the same trail of thought in a book for several minutes, so they just give up and move on.

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