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Tag Archives: Social Media

How Gerry Dasco Brought Us Together

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Our old alma mater is the only Catholic school in the small and quiet city of Catbalogan (Philippines) of around 90,000 people. Just like me, most of my classmates hail from Catbalogan and other surrounding small towns and barrios. Most of us spent our formative years together— a year in kindergarten, six years in elementary and four years in high school. We knew that our high school graduation was sort of our break-off point. From there, each one of us headed our separate ways, chased separate dreams. I went to Manila, the nation’s capital. It was common for people like us who grew up in the province to move to the big city to study and then work. A few would return home. I attended university at De La Salle University. Some chose to stay in Catbalogan and many of them now work and serve our hometown. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished individually. We are now successful accountants, engineers, doctors, nurses, pilots, educators, judge (youngest in the country), businessmen, politicians (vice mayor of Catbalogan) and many other professionals. 

Our Ultimate Social Media Guy

It is seldom that someone brings together 30 or more friends from 20 years back to reminisce the years spent together. That was what Gerry Dasco managed to accomplish for us, his high school batch mates of ‘93 from Sacred Heart College (now called St. Mary’s College). I see updates from classmates and old friends in Facebook almost everyday.  I am often just browsing and curious about what they do now and how their families are. From time to time I look at their pictures and am amazed at how older and mature we’ve become and how fate have brought us to different journeys. On a few occasions, when I am able to, I greet classmates on their birthdays and congratulate them on their triumphs. It was always limited, sporadic chance encounters and more often without  frills, without conversations… until Gerry brought us together! 

I remember Gerry as being a shy, quiet, simple gentleman in school. He was definitely not the type to gather folks together for a party with the promise of conversations, dancing and beer. Gerry waited for his moment and he did the most amazing thing— something most of us wouldn’t dare do or couldn’t do for many years now.

He orchestrated an event conceived so creatively. How he managed it with simplicity amazes me. First, Gerry posted old scanned pictures from his high school photo album in Facebook. He then tagged everyone, wittingly and knowingly inviting us to look.

That started the flow of conversations, sharing, questions, and remembrance. He didn’t stop there; Gerry made a collage of old photos and new photos (picked from Facebook) put them side by side — kind of showing the before and after photo of each one of us. The collage brought even more friends and classmates into Gerry’s organized (virtual) high school reunion. The beauty of it was that he even got us to take it to the next level… all the way to how we would organization the hosting of the alumni homecoming event in 2017. 

It’s amazing! A lot of us thanked Gerry for what he did; he clearly gets this social media thing that many of us are still just starting to grasp. Gerry is my ultimate social media guy! He understood that the key to successful social-networking and reunion is to be deliberate. 

He understood that the simple concept of  Web 2.0 and social media revolves around the convergence and interconnectivity between links, users, and information. 

He transformed interactions between his batch mates from just sharing meaningless frivolity to being purposeful and it naturally led to real-time conversations. Gerry was focused and thought about how to capture what is important from the network, and organized our interactions accordingly.  Most of all, he created for us our own social space. 

Thanks again, Gerry!

Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence

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“We know what we are, but we know not what we may become”   – Shakespeare

The ancient Chinese curse or saying — “May you live in interesting times.” — is upon us. We are in the midst of a new revolution fueled by advancements in the Internet and technology. Currently, there is an abundance of information and the size of social interaction has reached a colossal scale. Within a span of just one generation, the availability of information and our access to them has changed dramatically from scarcity to surplus. What humans will do or try to do with such powerful surplus of information will be the main topic of this article. First, let’s understand what brought us to this current state. 

Past and Present (Web 1.0 and Web 2.0) 

The best way to explain what Web 2.0 is to compare it to Web 1.0, its earlier version. Web 1.0 is a general reference to the World Wide Web before the developments of advanced Internet collaborative applications. This was the period when the Internet was dominated by companies maintaining heavy and static sites for promotions and marketing. At that time, it was difficult to maintain personal websites.

Afterwards, there was a sudden shift to Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is what many commonly refer to as the Social Web. It is the portion of the Internet that is developed continuously and interactively by participating Internet users. It is commonly associated with web development and web design that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design. Web 2.0 is a catch-all term used to illustrate a variety of developments on the web and a perceived shift in the way the web is utilized. This has been characterized as the evolution of web use from passive consumption of content to more active participation, creation and sharing – to what is sometimes called the read/write web. 

Fast Forward to 10 Years from Now (Web 3.0 and beyond) 

In 10 years, humans and computers will join forces to create “collective intelligence”. Technology will evolve as such that the Internet (and information within it) will be accessible and available to everyone— this will exponentially increase the already massive data we exchange today. How we (and machines) will make sense of as well as analyze and synthesize this collective information, is what will bring us to Web 3.0 and beyond. 

Let’s focus on the resulting element — the “collective intelligence”. Think about it as billions of human brains working using future super computers as a platform. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Srini Devadas described “collective intelligence” as consisting of two pillars: cloud computing and crowd computing. Cloud computing is using the Internet as a platform and making access to information available to everyone. Crowd computing, according to him, involves the analysis of information into “collective intelligence” far beyond what we have today. 

Please refer to the following diagram where I illustrate how man and machines will achieve such an amazing accomplishment. This involves the process of filtering, synthesis, validation and application that will result into “collective intelligence”. 

  • The “Web 2.0 clutter” – the surplus of information – is the raw material for “collective intelligence”.
  • Web 3.0 is essentially the high-quality content resulting from the Web 2.0 mash ups using Web 2.0 technologies as an enabling platform.
  • In the future, more effective “Web 3.0 Filter Services” will allow us to mine billions of gigabytes of information and organize them into sets of knowledge-based containers for synthesis and development.
  • The next filter is the human element- the “facilitators”. This is the cult of experts and gurus. The “future philosophers” in the “future universities”.  I believe they will be highly organized and moderated.
  • They will organize the results (the branch of new thinking) into highly specialized information silos. This output is what I call “new things” or “collective intelligence”.  New Information, New Technologies, New Discoveries, New Knowledge, New Inventions, New Philosophy — New things! 

Obviously this is part thought-experiment and part prophesy. I meant to write this to explain how we got to the present state and where it will lead us in a decade. I am encouraging more conversations about the topic. Feel free to comment and post your ideas.

Understanding IT’s Value in Organizational Transformation

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Do you spend a significant amount of time measuring performance and looking for ways to improve your service? When you delve into that process of evaluating your effectiveness and efficiency of service, you are, in fact, evaluating your value. Typically, big companies invest one percent to four percent of revenue in IT. This investment is usually spent on integrated digitized platform implementations, continuous innovations, and day-to-day IT operations. Businesses must see the value and return of these investments; otherwise, they won’t put their money in it. What are businesses doing with all that hardware and software IT is providing?

Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management. In one of his articles for the Harvard Business Review entitled IT’s Three Key Organizational Transformations, he outlined what he thinks are main organizational transformations that IT provides the businesses. He wrote that companies in all industries are using Information Technology to accomplish three broad and deep transformations: they’re becoming more scientific, more orchestrated, and more self-organizing.

Run Scientific Methods 

Andrew McAfee mentioned the need for making the company more scientific. He meant that companies are able to use advanced scientific methods using new technology. “Computers, of course, are amazing tools for science” he wrote, “they can gather huge amounts of data, conduct sophisticated analyses of it in the blink of an eye, run elaborate simulations, and serve as experimental testbeds.”

I attended the most recent SAPPHIRE conference hosted by the German software giant SAP in Orlando, Florida. SAP presented its newest innovation on In-Memory computing. Co-founder of SAP, Hasso Plattner, declared that by using In-Memory Computing technology, companies can now store data of the whole enterprise in memory. This technology will increase the computing and processing speed of enterprise applications and will give rise to next generation business analytics. You can just imagine the type of scientific analysis companies can run with such high speed databases.

Orchestrating End-to-End Business Processes 

In this article, McAfee defined orchestration as designing how work will be done, and then assuring that it is actually executed as designed. Once re-engineered processes gets embedded in ERP and other enterprise systems it becomes much easier to ensure compliance. He gave an example to illustrate his point saying that applications like— CRM, sales force automation, supply chain management, procurement, and so on have brought tight orchestration to every part of the company, and pushed it down to almost microscopic levels.

One of IT’s major roles in most big firms is to implement and run digitized platforms. It is usually anchored on a major piece of purchased enterprise resource planning software- such as SAP and Oracle. Software companies are moving quickly on innovating applications to keep up with business demands. The unforgiving global economy brokers no excuse. Business expects IT to provide solutions that help them to stay competitive and in position for growth.

Enable Self-Organization 

“Self-organization, the most recent IT-fueled transformation”, McAfee wrote, “is the exact opposite of orchestration. It is employing technology to let people interact as they wish, with few or no workflows, rules, or hierarchy, and then harvesting the good results that emerge.” The paradigm of self organization has exploded in this part of the decade. In some ways, it started outside the confines of enterprises. There are over a billion users of social media sites on the Internet. Between Facebook and Twitter alone there are more than to 500 million unique user accounts. Companies, with the help of IT organization, have stepped up to leverage these new social tools to enable self organization teams in the business with the objective of encouraging more collaboration, information sharing and innovation.

How does your IT contribute to these key organizational transformations in your company? Does the business you serve view you as a value creator and partner? What’s your value proposition?

The New York City and Facebook Analogy

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You can never have enough of New York City! We made our trip to the Big Apple for the second time in less than a year. Last week I spent a grueling — but rewarding — five days there with my wife, Ivy, and her family. We went on several sightseeing tours, bay cruises and museum visits. The tours brought us to a number of boroughs in the city and historic places where great residents have lived (often proudly mentioned by tourist guides). Those great names have, in one way or another, contributed to the major development of the city. New York City, for many decades now, exerts a powerful influence over global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion, research, education, and entertainment. 

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of

While traversing New York City, one thought kept coming back to me. I wondered how it came to be that scores of great people and so many great things came from this city. Why is there so much celebration and life in the Big Apple? 

I listened to the song Empire State of Mind — I heard it everywhere I went, fueling my thoughts even more… 

“New York! Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York!  These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you….”  

Unknowingly, the answer to my question was waiting for me at home. I got the answer when I came across an enlightening article from the New York Times entitled “Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social.”  I will quote the part of the article that struck me and provided response to the questions in my mind. 

“It’s no accident that most of the great scientific and technological innovation over the last millennium has taken place in crowded, distracting urban centers. The printed page itself encouraged those manifold connections, by allowing ideas to be stored and shared and circulated more efficiently.”  

Echoing the author’s sentiment— I think it is no accident that crowded  and buzzing metropolises (like Rome in Italy, Paris in France, Berlin in Germany, New York in the United States, Tokyo in Japan, Mexico City in Mexico and many others) were cradles of human society’s progress. Great minds from all walks of life converged in crowded cities that provided a “natural” environment for mass connections and collaborations. 

Natural Facebook – Using People as Platform

Now, I see big cities like New York, as a “natural Facebook” that seamlessly permits several magnitudes of connections and allows residents a fast-paced and persevering lifestyle. New York provides a unique environment to push innovations and inventions forward by harnessing community forces- using people as platform

In big cities like New York there are so much things going on and so much stuff to do that you can’t possibly concentrate on one thing; therefore, you work on loads of “focused items” by multitasking your way and leveraging people and connections. You build on the “popular highlights” of important things. I think that’s how New Yorkers succeed!

Photo courtesy of Ivy Remoreras Photography.

World Cup and Social Media – Perfect Match

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We were living in Germany when the country hosted the FIFA World Cup four years ago. I still vividly remember the hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world that came to Germany — not to only to watch the games but also to experience this cultural phenomenon. We were just lucky to be there. Although Germany failed to win the World Cup, bowing to Italy in the Semi-Finals game, the tournament was considered a great success.  Before the World Cup, waving the German flag in public was not common.  During the games, Germany experienced a sudden increase in patriotic spirit and paraded their flag on the streets with pride.

The 2010 World Cup is coming up— commencing on June 11 in South Africa. Thirty-two countries will field their teams. They will be closely followed by 3 billion raving fans, all part and parcel of the largest sporting event in the world. Not that anyone needs help getting into the World Cup spirit but the games’ organizers and businesses have turned to Social Media to get to as many fans as possible around the world. 

This is the first World Cup since the amazing rise of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube,  and the unprecedented acceptance of Social Media as part of the business communication arsenal. Social media already existed way before the 2006 World Cup in Germany but the degree of application was fairly small compared to what we have now. I think social media and the World Cup is a potent combination for social interaction never before experienced. The World Cup is arguably the number one participatory sports in the world.  According to statistics, it has been the most widely followed sporting event — even besting the Summer Olympic Games in magnitude. 

All of the World Cup official sponsors like Adidas, Coca Cola, Sony, Visa, Budweiser, McDonalds, Nike, Hyundai (and a host of unofficial ones as well) have released apps that could help them connect to the fans. They are pushing the connection boundaries while leveraging on the strength and reach of the World Cup games. 

Sites, Games and Apps You Need to Follow the 2010 FIFA World Cup 

ESPN 2010 World Cup – ESPN’s World Cup app (ESPN, Free) includes profiles of all 32 countries competing, in addition to breaking soccer news from around the globe. The app also offers tournament schedules and the opportunity to make your own fantasy prediction bracket.  

EA Sports FIFA 2010 – If the World Cup inspires you to play soccer, why not do it on your iPhone? FIFA 10 (EA Sports, $4.99) is a realistic, action-packed soccer game that uses the iPhone’s accelerometer and touchscreen to control the action. 

FIFA Official Website – Traditional online access to news, games, teams, players and information. 

World Cup Blog – Follow live updates about your team and join conversations online through the World Cup blog. 

FIFA World Cup Twitter – You can get up-to-the-minute scores and breaking news from World Cup twitter.

Adidas Fast vs Fast – This is in Facebook. A no-nonsense tactical approach by Adidas, relying on a big budget TV ad  titled Fast vs Fast to sell the new F50 adizero boot and spark social media conversation.

It is clear that a new kind of phenomenon is at work – one that orchestrates interaction beyond previous boundaries. I hope it creates value not only to FIFA, to the sponsoring companies but more importantly also to the fans around the world passionately following the games and supporting their teams. I hope social media will take the World Cup experience to a whole new level.

Photos courtesy of www.worldcupblog.org

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