May 08, 2006

China Sees 60m Bloggers

According to cnet:

China is the world's second-largest Internet market after the United States with more than 110 million users. A survey by Chinese search engine Baidu.com put the current number of blog, or Web log, sites at 36.82 million which are kept by 16 million people, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The number of Chinese bloggers is expected to hit 60 million by the end of this year, Xinhua said, quoting a report on China's media industry by the prestigious Tsinghua University.

April 28, 2006

Participation Power Laws

Ross has a fascinating post on Participation Power Laws - along with an interesting diagram. What Ross is getting at is what so many companies miss in creating blogs. It isn't about the posts and publishing as much as it is about engagement with the community.

When users participate in high enagement activities, connecting with one another, a different kind of value is being created. But my core point isn't just the difference between these forms of group intelligence -- but actually how the co-exist in the best communities.

Congrats to The Southwest Team...

Angela and the crew at Southwest Airlines launched their second blog this week - Nuts About Southwest. It comes close on the heals of the Adopt A Pilot blog which provides a voice for this neat community initiative. Congratulations gang!

The Lark Group provided a helping hand on both projects - but all the credit goes to Angela for having the drive and enthusiasm to get the project off the ground. (And the crew at RD2!)

The blog is getting plenty of attention and feedback. I know Southwest is going to listen to the feedback so keep it coming.

March 31, 2006

Participatory Product Reviews...

One upon a time the only way you could get a product review was through a print rag or through an analyst firm. James pointed me at this review of Sun vs. Dell. This is an end-user giving a pretty technical view of performance and the like.

Reviews like this are all part of the participatory movement - they differ from the conventional recommendation found on Amazon in that they are far more authentic and detailed. In some respects the person doing the review is passing their intellectual property back into the community.

March 29, 2006

MarketingProfs Daily Fix...

MarketingProfs has launched a blog - Daily Fix. Lead story falls into the current story trend of "why not to blog". In this case, some of the reasons not to blog are the very reasons to blog:

10. You can't control every message on a blog. (But message control has always been an illusion.) Right. So might as well blog. At least the loose creative act will result in more authentic messages with real-time feedback.

9. You'll have to decide when to respond and when to ignore comments. Isn't that the whole point? Don't do it if you don't want dialogue. And plenty of blogs simply turn-off comments all together, or, only turn them on for topics that they want feedback on.

8. It's hard to build an audience. It takes time, effort, and skillful promotion to build an audience for a blog. So get started now. Immediately. It's just as hard using any other medium. If the point here is that it isn't as simple as it might seem, I agree. But just because it is hard, doesn't mean you shouldn't take a swing at it.

And... 3. Blogging is addictive. You might not be able to stop. It's also lots of fun. I agree!

March 28, 2006

Countering Conventional Marketing

In the upcoming war for Soccer mindshare, Nike isn't countering Adidas with conventional marketing. Adidas is set to spend upwards of $200m on ads - some of which sound very creative. Rather than match them dollar-for-dollar, Nike has launched a MySpace style network for Soccer nuts:

The site, which launched on Mar. 15, will roll out to 140 countries in 14 languages. Hoping to make Adidas wonder why it spent all that money on mere ads, Nike is making the site a replica of top social network site MySpace.com (NWS ) for soccer-mad fans to commune with each other over their favorite players and teams, download videos, create discussion groups, and the like. - BusinessWeek

Nice move. Both strategies are probably right. Where one zigs, the other zags.

Go Forth & Blog...

OK - that's pretty close to the headline from this morning's GMSV which reports:
The freewheeling days of political blogging will roll on thanks to a Federal Election Commission ruling that grants media exemptions to bloggers and other pundits, allowing them to politick online without fear of federal interference. In a 6-0 decision, the commission left unregulated almost all political activity on the Internet except for paid political advertisements.

March 25, 2006

Blogs Give Employees An External Voice

And there is no better example than this:

People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where's the freakin' accountability?

InformationWeek picks-up on the story and gives it some legs. 350+ comments later.

March 24, 2006

Nev's Got A New Blog...

PR Blogger Neville Hobson has got a new blog. It's lovely.

(btw: I'm totally with him on his comments re: Plaxo. Never send me a Plaxo invite)

March 21, 2006

Brand Over Matter...

In another terrific example of "brand over matter" - the media are pointing to Google's new finance site as a potential competitor to the likes of Yahoo, and in some cases, Bloomberg.

I wonder of any of them actually looked at the site in any detail (that is rhetorical - I know they did, I know...). At best it is Yahoo extra-lite. (IMHO, based on what you can look at today, Yahoo's is infinitely better). It doesn't even come close to what a Bloomberg or Reuters offers. So I'm lost... interactive charts are meant to be really, really exciting news?

And here is an interesting point from the WSJ: "Unlike many other finance sites, Google doesn't have its own editorial staff."

This kind of coverage either points to the power of the Google brand over any kind of matter or substance. OK, now I'm ranting... sorry... but what is right for Google isn't necessarily right or needed by consumers. Maybe they should stick to their own truisims (thanks for the pointer GMSV):

2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.
"Google does search. Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat."

-- "Ten things Google has found to be true," circa June 2004

February 16, 2006

Burson Blogs...

PR legend, Harold Burson is blogging. (via Joel)

Big Bloggers Move To Big Agencies...

Steve is off to Edelman, the second A-list blogger to sign with a big agency. Having spent many years in large agencies I am sure he will enjoy the scale and scope of the work you get to do. Congrats...

February 15, 2006

Why I Don't Care...

That Google acquired Measure Map. Their home page sure looks pretty. But given I haven't/can't use it I don't care - why all the buzz about something so little have experienced?

What I do care about though is integrated communications measurement - for that I'll turn to the likes of Biz360. The ability to correlate performance across mediums, competitors, industries and topics is vital to getting a grip on marketing performance.

If Google imbeds Measure Map into it's new reporting tools, that would be great. And then if they launch those new reporting tools, that will be greater. But if Biz360 can aggregate that reporting, that would be better.

And here is a whine, rather than Google running around making "interesting" acquisitions, I wish they would dramatically improve the utility and interface of their current reporting tools - the stuff in the public domain that the rest of us have to live with.

SLI Systems Blog

My buddies over at SLI Systems have their blog up and running... Welcome! Eurekster is over here.

February 13, 2006

The New York Mag On Blogs

A big story from the New Yorker. Steve has a great summary.

As you read it, you see the continued focus on what makes the A-list tick. I wonder how much bloggers really care about whether they are making the lists or not. I could care less. I'm sure some care lots.

What would be really interesting is a story on what makes bloggers tick - what we care about. For me it's about the creation, exchange and archival of ideas. And, the simple utility of staying in touch with friends and folks with a similar interest that aren't in my daily circle.

February 09, 2006

Olympics Blogs...

With the Olympics a day or so away, take a look at these two blogs. Both are excellent implementations from different directions.

The first, Visa's Journey to Torino blog engages Visa Olympians in the run-up. Rather than purely a branding event, Visa is showing the depth of its work and relationship with the athletes.The other, Coke's, is from the perspective of people attending the games. It's great to see blogs being used by such large marketers as an integral part of their communications efforts.

Southwest also made it's first forray into the blogosphere today - their "Adopt A Pilot" blog supports a great community effort they have underway in which pilots engage actively with students in classrooms. It shows lots of promise.

disclosure: The Lark Group provided counsel to Southwest on this blog at its early stages and we work closely with RD2 - a terrific brand and design agency based in Dallas. And, per my previous posts, The Lark Group worked closely with Visa and their agency, Fleishman-Hillard on The Journey blog.


February 06, 2006

State Of The Blogsphere

David gives a great update on the momentum in the Blogsphere... This says it all:

We track over 75,000 new weblogs created every day, which means that on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day - and 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. In other words, even though there's a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging is growing as a habitual activity.

In October of 2005, when Technorati was only tracking 19 million blogs, about 10.4 million bloggers were still posting 3 months after the creation of their blogs.

January 26, 2006

Attention vs. Search

Om makes a really interesting point: My.Yahoo.Com is no longer a portal page, but instead an "attention page" which can be and should be leveraged to become the aggregator site for complicated digital life.

I doing so he says in a much shorter form what I was trying to get at yesterday on why Yahoo is heading in the right direction. Google doesn't hold my attention. Yahoo does.

December 30, 2005

List Of The Fortune 500 Blogging

This site began as a collaboration between Chris Anderson (Wired Magazine) and Ross Mayfield (Socialtext). A post giving the background of the project is here. Original data compiled by Wired Magazine. You can read the list here.

December 29, 2005

Getting to #1 On Google...

Read Harry's post on how he got to be #1 on Google. Lots of SEO wisdom and smarts:

"I'm telling you this so that you will:

  1. Integrate your weblog into a coherent and scalable sales process that tightly conforms to how your ideal prospect actually buys, and ...
  2. Invest in a URL that clearly telegraphs your unique selling proposition to that prospect..."

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Tom On Things Learnt...

Tom has a great list of things learnt in 2005. I especially like his first three:

  1. Blogging is the most honest form of self-promotion bar none because if you can't walk the talk you won't get the clicks.

  2. Content will be king because all those links have to point to something of value--otherwise they are pointless.

  3. Every company is part media company--it is both publisher and publication and tells stories all the time.

Aside from being a pretty good bloke, Tom was one of the first hacks to jump ship and become a fulltime blogger.

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Big Brand Campaings On The Way...

Will be interesting to watch how SBC/ATT and Intel handle their new brand efforts and what, if any, role Participatory Communications will play in that. The WSJ covers how Intel is about to embark on a major transition:


The changes include a new version of the company's blue logo -- without the dropped "e" that has long been a part of Intel's branding -- along with a new tagline "Leap ahead," which emulates such campaigns as "Think different" from Apple Computer Inc. or "Just do it" from Nike Inc.

Intel will no longer use the well-known "Intel Inside" logo but is keeping the related marketing program that provides incentives to companies for using its products. - WSJ


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December 28, 2005

Alaska Air's Near Disaster Unfiltered...

I Hope Jeremy has big bandwidth and a big server because his account of the Alaska incident is scarry - and it's going to attract zillions of eyeballs. Via Jeff Jarvis. Compare his account with news reports- some of which are featuring Jeff's photos.

"Citizen Journalism" in action. Jeremy P makes a really interesting point that one lesson for any PR practioner facing a crisis is that you are going to need to manage transparency. It seems that Alaska employees are going nasty-comment-happy on Jeremy's (the Jeremy on the plane) blog. Assuming he would never know I guess, they commented away. Jeremy simply looked at the originating IP addresses, which were from Alaska. And he was gracious enough to suggest that they might have been hackers using Alaska's IP addresses. Not likely mate!

So, if your communications policy doesn't cover commenting on blogs as an employee - then you might want to make sure it does.. and then make sure employees know it. And, if your crisis communications plan doesn't feature monitoring of and communications with the blogosphere - better get on that as well.

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December 22, 2005

The Other Side of Kryptonite

Slowly but surely the other side of the Kryptonite lock picking story is coming out. OK, some of the bloggers got it wrong - nothing new there.

I still maintain Kryptonite handled his terribly. Any crisis can be mitigated through effective communication. The vacuum of silence will be filled by misrepresentation, drivel and poison (I think Schopenhauer said that).

All the interviews reinforce for me is that as a business they responded well (except it turns out the problem had been flagged years before and they did nothing then). As communicators, they did lousy. If they knew about the commentary, but didn't respond, it's pretty much the same as not knowing and not responding. No response is no response.

And for the record, about that time I bought a neat new mountain bike. I needed a lock. The blog coverage specifically caused me not to buy their product. If they had communicated what they are communicating now, I might have done so.  To answer the question posed by Kryptonite: "here are millions of blogs, but what are the audiences of these blogs?" - it's me, the bike owner. The interview gets worse, reinforcing further cluelessness about the blogosphere: "We know that lots of teens and college students have blogs and, mainly use them to communicate with friends and family. These are our customers, but are they going to corporate blogs? Not so sure about that."

And then, worse still, they correct the misperception that they only found out about the problem in last year when bloggers started getting into it. Oh no, they knew about it in 1992 - and it would appear they did nothing? That's meant to inspire confidence?

I had the privilege of working around some of the best crisis communicators in my agency days. I once asked why there were so few case studies on this type of thing. I got an interesting response - post crisis, all you want the focus to be on is how the business is moving forward - you don't want to get into the mechanics of the crisis, it just casts further light on your problems.  A pretty good idea in my book.  Seems like Kryptonite is determined to teach us what not to do pre, during and post crisis.

December 21, 2005

Dan's Center for Citizen Media

Dan is staring a "non profit Center For Citizen Journalism":

Why do this? We need a thriving media and journalism ecosystem. We need what big institutions do so well, but we also need the bottom-up -- or, more accurately, edge-in -- knowledge and ideas of what I've called the "former audience" that has become a vital part of the system. I'm also anxious to see that it's done honorably and in a way that helps foster a truly informed citizenry. I think I can help.

This is a nonpartisan initative. I aim to help anyone, regardless of political views, who has a constructive project and who is interested in expanding the reach of citizen media in an principled way.

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December 20, 2005

Blogger Destroys Business

A tale of pain for one business - PriceRitePhoto - that incurred the wrathof a blogger after skewering him on a sales call. Having just been through a tragic experience ordering Christmas cards (the expensive kind) I don't feel an ounce of pitty for the business. But more on that later. The blogosphere will favor the honest businesses that meet and deliver on their promises. Those that don't, perish.

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December 16, 2005

Ahhhhhhhhh... Meebo

TypePad has been down - they are slowly republishing posts. I guess this means you will all get new old feeds from Larkey... Sorry.  Stuff happens. Zoundry still not working either - I'm guessing that has something to do with "the TypePad thing". I know the TypePad team is probably working hard to fix this.

I'm remain a big recommender of TypePad - they should have me on commission. Is it that bad? Not really - especially given I can't hold a mobile phone call between the office and home. I can't hold a Windows session for more than a day. And my Sony VAIO is as noisy as the neighbors air conditioning system.

Saying that, basing service level satisfaction on how bad others are is never a good thing. So my message the TypePad is simple - the bar is low, stop letting it hit you in the head. We are with you and love what you enable us to do. But you've got to start leaping over that bar. Otherwise we will become users, not evangelists.

So, to brighten up my day I've been playing with other things and I do like Meebo. This, unlike TypePad, is a beta so it has some quirks (if you close the browser you have to re-enter all the usernames and passwords... + more)... But then TypePad has some quirks now and then. Meebo has a ton of promise.

December 14, 2005

Cool Skype Phones...

One of these for Christmas please... Have been hunting for a Skype phone that supports Mac and these look great.

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The Elements Of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

Worth a read... a classic applied to the Web. Richard describes it as follows:

Robert Bringhurst's book The Elements of Typographic Style is on many a designer's bookshelf and is considered to be a classic in the field. Indeed the renowned typographer Hermann Zapf proclaims the book to be a must for everybody in the graphic arts, and especially for our new friends entering the field.

In order to allay some of the myths surrounding typography on the web, I have structured this website to step through Bringhurst's working principles, explaining how to accomplish each using techniques available in HTML and CSS. The future is considered with coverage of CSS3, and practicality is ever present with workarounds, alternatives and compromises for less able browsers.

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Got Puggle...

Thanks to Stowe for The top ten "buzz words" to be added to the T9 dictionary (a predictive text input dictionary for users to tap into when texting on their mobile phones):

  • Lifehack - a tool or technique that makes some aspect of one's life easier or more efficient

  • Mashup - new information created by combining data from two different sources

  • Placeshift - to redirect a TV signal so the viewer can watch a show on a device other than his or her television

  • Playlistism - judging a person based on what songs are on the playlist of his or her digital music player

  • Podjack - to plug the cord of one's digital music player into the jack of another person's player to hear what the person is listening to

  • Puggle - a dog bred from a pug and a beagle

  • Sideload - to transfer music or other content to a cell phone using the cell phone provider's network

  • Vlog - a blog that contains mostly video content

  • Vodcast - a video podcast

  • Ubersexual - a heterosexual man who is masculine, confident, compassionate and stylish

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December 11, 2005

Blog Tools | Week 2


A week or so ago I wrote about my journey into the world of Blog tools for Windows. Here is where I am at:
  1. Uninstalled Newsgator. Just too complex, too slow and too hard to figure out. While none of the blog clients really fulfill the way I live in the blogosphere - or its hyperconnected nature, Newzcrawler is working well for me. I'm also using Firefox more to grab and read the top ten blogs I follow.
  2. Uninstalled Qumana. I'm loving Zoundry. Nice application and does everything I could want it to and more. Misses on a few fronts - like being able to specify a font size and easily manage cut and paste formatting. And no spellchecker. But it is still good.

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Blog Content Theft Answers

Blog content theft was always going to be a big issue. The utility of deploying search advertising only amplifies the problem by enabling plagerists and thieves to remarket content within their own commercial framework. I'm not talking about inserting the odd paragraph or extrapolating content in a different context - I'm talking about making off with a bloggers content in its entirety. So what to do?

I'm not sure but here are some thoughts that need qualifying and more discussion:

  1. Make all content available under Creative Commons and then work to enforce it.
  2. Collectively we lobby Google and Yahoo to protect IP by taking action against those who abuse it. Based on Google's intent to do pretty much the same with books this would appear to be unlikely to work.
  3. Support the evolution new tools like Copyscape into IP-address blocking tools that enable you to start to protect content by stopping those addresses from coming to your site. I know this won't really work now, but we need to spur and encourage technology innovation here.
  4. Collectively harrass the thieves. Lets create a black-list and make people aware of their infringements on our IP.
Part of me also says that the ecosystem depends on sharing - and sharing of content implies a certain amount of recycling of content. But it is wrong when that occurs without any new contextual framing, linking or value add to the orginal content creator. It's worse than plagerism - it is theft.

What these companies are missing is the opportunity to grow the ecosystem and participate. They are parasites. And that's the shame of it. If they had engaged guys like Steve and established a working commercial relationship, they'd probably be able to build wildly successful businesses. Instead they add no value and alienate the marketplace. Reflecting that, probably the best thing we could do is ignore them and let them rot.

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December 09, 2005

Blog + Wiki =?

Interesting conversation on what happens when you cross a blog and a wiki. You get a bliki. Martin has an interesting definition of what a bliki is.

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Techorati Updates Ping Site...

Technorati has updated their ping site so it will give you a little more info on your blog. Stowe has a pretty picture.

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December 08, 2005

Wikilibel

CNet follows through on it's earlier story regarding "editorial" issues at Wikipedia - this time looking at the libel angle. At the end of the day though, Wikipedia appears safe from claims:
Thanks to section 230 of the Federal Communications Decency Act (CDA), which became law in 1996, Wikipedia is most likely safe from legal liability for libel, regardless of how long an inaccurate article stays on the site. That's because it is a service provider as opposed to a publisher such as Salon.com or CNN.com.
This is also the same for a TypePad - but it isn't the same for an individual blogger.

December 07, 2005

Squidoo

The Squidoo Beta is up and running - probably has been for yonks - but I just saw it today. It's pretty cool. Unfiltered, it seems to be like well moderated zones in which a "lensmaster" throws light on a particular topic.
 
This could have a pretty neat application inside large enterprises that are interested in non-heirachical communications. Where, say, an evangelist can drive a dialogue and throw light on a topic.
 
Here are couple of my fave lenses:

December 06, 2005

RSS Readers...

I'm looking at Windows-based RSS readers. Sigh! This has all come about due to incompatibilities between Macs and PCs which has required I start using my little Windows notebook more. It is lighter, noiser, fast and incredibly annoying. (And, this really is another story...)

I tried Newsgator for a week but just couldn't handle the navigation of hundreds of feeds via Outlook. And I simply hated the complexity of adding a feed. NetNewswire really makes this simple on the Mac. It was also pretty expensive and I couldn't see any value in all the web integration.

This week I am on to Feeddemon. I'll write a full review on the different readers given this is one of the most common recommendations I get asked for.

At the end of the day I am with Stowe, none of these really reflect the way we interact with Web 2.0.

October 25, 2005

Wasting Time...

AdAge reports that reading blogs is costing US businesses. Here are some of the highlights:

  • U.S. workers in 2005 will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs.
  • Currently, the time employees spend reading non-work blogs is the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.
  • About 35 million workers -- one in four people in the labor force -- visit blogs and on average spend 3.5 hours, or 9%, of the work week engaged with them, according to Advertising Age’s analysis.
  • Time spent in the office on non-work blogs this year will take up the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs. Forget lunch breaks -- blog readers essentially take a daily 40-minute blog break.
  • There is strong evidence of workday blogging. Server traffic for Blogads, a network of sites that take ads, spikes during business hours, reflecting page views on about 900 blogs. FeedBurner, a blog technology company, also sees a jump in work-time hits.

Blog breaks? What a great idea! The assumption of course is that reading non-work related blogs makes you unproductive. Sometimes unproductive acts - like taking a break - are the very acts that make us most productive and give us new insight.

I do think a huge amount of time gets wasted on the web every day - whether blogs or just mooching about. There are a great number of blogs that can help workers use their time better and become more mindful of what will make them more productive or not - even if that means taking a blog break.

What AdAge doesn't touch on is for more training of workers on how to get the most out of the web and blogs. There are all kinds of techniques for catching yourself zoning on digital content and surfing about. Simple tools like a good RSS reader make the blogsphere a very productive place to be.

Ok, stop wasting time and get back to work.

August 26, 2005

Steve don't eat it...

Hillarious... I actually did think about trying a Beggin strip. They look like bacon (kind of), they really smell like bacon (really), and Gabby (the dog) goes wild for them. But, I'm going to listen to Steve and back off until another day when we've totally run out of food... just joking.

August 08, 2005

Stunning...

Making my way back to the US this evening I was lucky enough to fly on Air New Zealand’s revamped 747s. It is simply stunning what they have achieved in business class. British Airways similar product upgrade pales in the face of this brilliant combination of design and branding.

The upper deck – once reserved for business class only is now a combo of business class and premium economy - with more business class downstairs. Premium economy looks great – lots of leg room with three-up on one side and two on the other. Business class seats face into the plane on an angle. They are so stunning I’m stumped as to why they even call it business class. It warrants another label. Superb Class maybe. They should have taken a feather out of Virgin’s cap – when redefining air travel, change what you call it.

Many things distinguish this from traditional business class, one of which is a second small seat in front of the main which doubles as a foot rest and guest seat should they want to join you for dinner. Word is that they had Recaro – the makers of premium auto seats – make the brown leather seats. They are amazingly comfortable. Each seat is cocooned with a polished white laminate wall which gives off a brilliant glow when the overhead light is on. This not only provides real privacy but really cuts down the noise. And when its time for bed, they lay flat, really flat. Better still, the flight attendants make your bed, laying a mattress cover over the seat along with duvet.

A generous flat panel entertainment system sits snugly into the wall. Wasn’t thrilled to see a Windows CE boot screen for ten minutes or so – or with the warning from the pilot that we shouldn’t push the buttons too much or else a crash might result warranting another ten minute reboot. But hey, no worries, they had people on board to help. Can’t imagine that will last too long and thankfully this is all Windows CE runs on the plane. Hopefully they’ll get the bugs worked out over time. Saying that, the system worked fine for me and provided a modest selection of movies.

About all the plane was missing on the technology front was WiFi – reading Ross’ recent entry that would have been incredible – but hey, there is only so much you can do mid Pacific anyway.

Air New Zealand has always provided superb food and wine. Arguably the best in the air. Now it’s even better. They continue to deliver uniquely New Zealand flavors that marks them as one of the few airlines that it’s worth waiting for the meal.

It’s rare for me to rave about any travel experience but this is just superb. Every hotel proprietor in NZ should take flight with Air New Zealand and then head home with ideas on how to implement what they have done in the air. I just spent a few days at the Stamford Plaza, Auckland and once inside the hotel could have been in any US chain. Once on Air New Zealand there is no question where you are – in the best business class in the air.

April 12, 2005

A Defining Issue

Based on a review in the NYTimes this morning it looks like No Place to Hide - Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Chatter, Dispatches From the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping, Patrick Radden Keefe, will be worth a read. Digital privacy is quickly becoming a defining issue - if not the defining issue - of the decade. So who does have your information and what are they doing with it?

In the past five years, what most of us only recently thought of as ''nobody's business'' has become the big business of everybody's business. Perhaps you are one of the 30 million Americans who pay for what you think is an unlisted telephone number to protect your privacy. But when you order an item using an 800 number, your own number may become fair game for any retailer who subscribes to one of the booming corporate data-collection services. In turn, those services may be -- and some have been -- penetrated by identity thieves. - William Safire

I'm buying and will let you know what I think. Thanks to Diana for the pointer.

March 13, 2005

Blink: Xintiandi

If you are heading to Shanghai, be sure to pay a visit to Xintiandi. Shanghai is dominated by stunning architecture - normally big and tall. Xintiandi is a rework on the outdoor shopping mall popping up all over the US. But with stunning restaurants and  food.

January 06, 2005

Moving On

Today I announced that I’m moving on from what has been an incredible three years at Sun. When I joined the Company I was handed a huge challenge and together with the team we stepped up to it. All of them - from media and analyst relations through events, marcomm and Diana on the web - can take a lot of credit for helping all those connected to Sun understand that the turnaround is afoot and that Sun is back.

I want to thank all my team – Sun-side and agency-side - for all your support and friendship over the past three years (about ten years in the real world :-). Your kind words over the past day mean a huge amount to me. I am immensely proud of all we’ve done together and the perceptual change we’ve been able to drive in the market. The real story will be told by you as you shine a light on Sun’s successes – and what the new Sun stands for. We’ve built an amazing foundation on which that story can now be told. You are an immensely talented group and I'm certain you will continue to build on our successes and momentum. Take care of each other – I’m proud to have been able to work with you all.

This wasn’t a decision I made lightly. I have huge respect for Scott (and all of Sun's leadership team) and believe Sun is back on offense, so the time is right for me to make my next move.

This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times to be a communicator. A confluence of technologies – from blogs and podcasting to wikis and digital media - are radically changing marketing, supply chains and how buyers/consumers make decisions. The web is a platform that is changing forever the way communications occurs (citizens as journalists, commentators and pundits is the earliest sign of this change). New communities of influence are emerging.

It's also a huge time of personal change for me as Kristen and I look forward to the arrival of a baby girl in April.

So now you’ve got a hint as to where my head is heading... Keep an eye on my blog for announcements.

I’ll also pen a longer note in the coming weeks on my time at Sun and some of the things I learnt. It’s an incredible company staffed and led by some of the brightest minds on earth. It’s a company with the right strategy, and the right leadership - all at the right time. Ok – so not everyone gets this but as the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Kia Kaha!

September 23, 2004

Network Computing Vision Is Very Real...

We often talk about our vision at Sun of everything and everyone connected to the network. Or, in a word, Network Computing
 - actually, that's two words but whatever...  Fortune's Peter Lewis captures this brilliantly in the latest issue. Hung Song, vice president of business development at Samsung, is quoted in the story ... broadband goes where he goes ...

"On the drive home from work at 9 or 10 p.m., says Song, a tall, thin in-line-skating enthusiast, he uses the phone to check traffic. Because phone carriers can track the location of his third-generation (3G) phone to within a few meters, he has access to a location-based service that monitors real-time road reports and displays alternative routes around traffic jams. (The system also lets him call up a map showing the location of his children, who carry location-based mobile phones too.) If Song gets stuck in traffic anyway, he can always use the handset to watch television news, or go over his next day's appointments, or download music (Koreans spend more on downloaded music than they do on audio CDs). More likely, though, he'll do his banking or log on to his computer at the office to check e-mail. As Song drives his Renault Samsung sedan across the Yeongdong bridge, over the broad Hangang River that bisects Seoul, his phone buzzes as nearby restaurants automatically send text messages offering discounts to tempt him to dinner. Some restaurants even let him pay his tab by beaming a code from his handset to a scanner and punching in a PIN number. "My life has changed" because of broadband, says Song, especially because of his mobile handset. "It's essential to my daily business and my personal life. Even in the office I have instant access to almost any information or service without having to sit at my desk. I don't have a checkbook anymore because I don't need one. I can pay bills with my mobile phone."
Ok - so that's what Network Computing is all about....