Off the phone with my ISP. They have "technical issues" with Google. I need a panic Button.
Whenever I try to use the search, iGoogle or many other services I don't get a server not found or a timeout or any error, just a blank page.
Although I have to work on Google I welcome this if it does not last longer than a couple more hours. I need to work on other areas, and this gives me the perfect excuse to get my head off the gadgets and stuff for a little while.
I've neglected this blog. And it shows. Visits are down, Feed subscribers are down, comments are down. I've given no link love lately. I've barely posted. Shame on me. You already know what has kept me busy lately, but I intend to come back on posting full scale from now on.
I have plenty o'stuff to write about, I just need the time to make put it into words other human beings can understand.
So, After reading about it @ uberbin I decided to download Google Talk labs edition. Besides a perked up interface there are some really nice features. If only I were able to move my corporate IT infrastructure out of the corporate IT infrastructure Google Talk and a Browser would be almost everything I'd need up and running for most of my tasks. (Well that and EditPlus and a couple of Notepad instances which I use all the time to write down... notes)
From within Google Talk labs edition you can launch gmail (nothing new in that), Calendar and Orkut (too bad no one outside Brazil seems to use even know Orkut). You can get Calendar updates and alerts as well as notifications from Orkut. You can also set Gmail as the default mail client for the PC. I was tempted, I would give up a limb or two to get rid of Lotus Notes.
I've always been fond to Google Talk, the simplicity of the interface contrasts quite nicely with the information overload that other IM systems seem to have (MSN and Yahoo!, for instance).
A couple of things missing: Voice functionality has been hosed in this edition. Also being able to access Google docs or getting alerts when others start editing shared documents would be nice. Picasa and YouTube integration might be interesting as well. I could picture the ability to embed videos or pictures in a Chat being a very interesting new way of wasting even more time.
Pardon the blurring out of my contact's info on the screenshot, although I'm sure my contacts appreciate it!
If Pink Floyd met The Beach Boys and part of the London Philarmonic Orchestra and they all had a subtle LSD party the result would probably be similar to The Besnard Lakes. Their latest album, The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse (released in 2007) is an impressive moody record, which could use a little more variation, but that has made it into my favorite's list quite quickly. The first two tracks use the same, very effective formula, building a momentum from a very soft start to a full scale strident ending filled with a myriad of different sounds.
I shall say no more and leave you with the music:
A couple of months ago I posted how I started playing and enjoying Squash.
Yesterday, though, misfortune hit me. Well, not really "misfortune" but rather my opponent's racket.
4 stitches on the inside of my upper lip later I only feel a tad uncomfortable, but luckily not much pain. The only bad thing is that eating and brushing my teeth have become time consuming tasks.
2 gross pictures follow to illustrate the damage. You'll see that with my mouth shut I look like I just had a bad collagen lip fill.
[With an old man's voice] Web ain't what it used to be.
The projects I've been involved with in the past months have been quite eye-opening in a lot of different ways. Only 4 or 5 years ago (or less) the usual business model used to revolve around a centralized web experience. The behemoth model relied upon building a sturdy web site that people would come to and look for what they were after.
Nowadays, to have a successful web strategy you can't just rely on having a centralized web page, but you have to split your presence all around through social sites, blogs, advertising, forums, aggregators and all sorts of different deployments and approaches in order to draw traffic, engage in conversations and reach out to customers.
Of course there is nothing novel in what I have stated so far. What could, potentially be a novelty is a model where the main website is little more than a placeholder to save a domain name and provide basic information on where you can do business with the company. We have reached the point where a sale could be quite easily happen on an iGoogle or google-social gadget. The "sensitive" part, of course, would end on a trusted site (such as pay-pal or google checkout... I wonder if there's a good way of integrating gadgets with google checkout over an ssl connection), but all the product searching and configuring could take place on a gadget.
I wonder if that can be the future for (some) on-line advertising. An eye catching banner that then loads products and configuration, and you end up buying on a small ad-box while you read the NYT's latest news.
Commerce is just one of many things that can be decentralized, one I haven't seen quite developed so far. What we've witnessed already migrating is the reach out part of conducing business. Ads are some way of reaching out, but not a very good one, since people are growing numb towards them. Blogs are one good way to reach out more; forums are another, yet they both rely on people going to a site. There are ways to bring those things closer, like RSS and gadgets; but people still have to actively do something to reach the company and not the other way around.
When in Rome do as the Romans do, right? So, a good Marketer needs to do a behavioral study of their prospective customers. Do they lurk around MySpace (or, is your average customer a teenager?), FaceBook, LinkedIn, Orkut? Do they use iGoogle, MyY? Do they use Social Bookmarks? Basically, you need to learn what they do while sitting in front of a browser.
Based on that knowledge disembarking on those social sites is the next logical step. There are several ways that this could be done, depending on the type of business you run. A "support booth" on FaceBook could be a good initiative on FaceBook, for instance. It would act as a low-cost first line of defense, turning people to know solutions for common problems or directing them to phone or email support with some feedback on the case loaded into the systems already.
Pre-sales guidance and tutoring is another aspect that could take serious advantage of the Social Media Marketing approach. Setting up a space on sites such as FaceBook where peers can assess other on their own real-life experience with a brand's products is a proved way to help give credibility to the otherwise vane marketing messaging and, ultimately, help make a conversion.
One of the side advantages of such kind of approach is that the results are more measurable than in traditional mass media advertising. It is still not an excact science, there is a considerable grade of uncertainty, but it still can be trended much more accurately than, say, a TV spot. And don't get me started on the cost and ROI side of things.
I will elaborate more on the decentralization concepts I introduced here on further posts.
I just moved the blog to a new hosting... only 6 months after I hired it...
Still adjusting things and getting used to the new WordPress 2.5 Backend.
Some posts are on the forge, just waiting for this change to happen.