Blogging at Gartner

I’ve been with Gartner for a few months now as part of the Executive Leadership & Innovation team. My focus is on enterprise innovation and emerging trends and I will increasingly be putting out my thoughts on these topics via the Gartner Blog Network.

This blog will mainly be an outlet for some of my outside interests like surfing, running, cooking, travel and photography.

If you’d like to follow (and respond to) my thoughts on innovation and technology please come on over to my Gartner blog.

I took the photo below at Gartner’s Worldwide Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut in May at the start of the northern hemisphere summer.

Gartner HQ

China Takes Over The United States

I started blogging in 1998. Yes, it was a little different than it is today. We had to do all the backend coding ourselves as there were no blogging platforms.

However, up until today one thing had remained constant. Far and above any other country, the United States had dominated the traffic to my blog posts. In fact, compared to any other country it had been at least a 10x difference.

Today this has changed. Over the last 6 months I’ve noticed more and more traffic coming in from China. And now, today, for the first time in 14 years of putting my thoughts out there, China traffic has pipped the United States.

This reflects the growing reality that China, and the Asia Pacific region in general, is entering a phase of web domination. It will be most interesting to see how this changes the way we interact with the web – will factors like trust, privacy and openness shift on the web, how will such shifts affect offline behavior patterns?

In any event I welcome my friends from China and look forward to interacting more with this region!

Photo credit: Shreyans Banshali

Goal Oriented Curation: The Next Big Thing In Social Media

Elad Gil has an excellent post which maps out the evolution of social media from long-form (blogging) to push-button (short form tweeting, retweeting and news feeds) through to structured curation (interest sets or boards).

As you may know I’ve been a big fan if curation for a number of years (see the 2009 Seggr Report) and the rise of curation sites such as Pinterest, Snip.It and Fab.com are validation that this is a growing area.

I particularly agree with David King’s point (as highlighted by Elad) that structured curation is not only creating a major point of differentiation for Pinterest et al, but is also blocking the big short formers like Facebook from swallowing their curations.

Elad titles his post How Pinterest Will Transform the Web in 2012: Social Content Curation As The Next Big Thing and he may well be right. But I’d like to posit that the really, really interesting area is one step beyond social curation. Social media for social’s sake is fast becoming passé. Social media needs to find a purpose and do so fast. So here is my prediction: goal-oriented curation is the killer app for social media.

In some respects Pinterest is a precursor to goal-oriented curation, but I’d argue that is does not go far enough. Just over the horizon sites like StyleSays are pointing the way.

StyleSays sees itself as “Pinterest for fashion and beauty products”. A user gets to save items into wish lists from any online store and then share those with friends who they trust and ultimately influence, in much the same way they would do when out shopping together in the bricks and mortar retail environment.

But let’s go one step further. I believe a really interesting application of goal-oriented curation awaits within the health and wellness arena. I can see how a well crafted site could both curate and influence positive behavioural change. A “Pinterest for health and wellness” may just be the next big thing!

 

Twitter is on Fire

Sorry folks, I’ve been rather busy over the past few months and unfortunately things I love doing like blogging have taken something of a back seat.

I am finding that Twitter continues to be a good stand in though so if you don’t already follow me on there please do – @metarand.

Speaking of Twitter, I love this office sign:

Radio Silence: Replaced By The Newsfeed, While Silicon Valley Hums Quietly In The Background

First up, to my regular readers my humble apologies for not blogging for a few weeks. I had a busy month – what do they say about living in interesting times – yip, that is how it has been.

When I have found the time to feed the meter, as it were, I’ve turned to the newsfeeds. Mostly I’ve kept up posts on Facebook and to a lesser degree, Twitter.

I think I am not alone in this shift: blogging less, posting more.

I’m heading back to Sydney this evening for a few weeks and will hopefully have a bit of breathing space to do some more considered posts.

Let’s see how that pans out. If you are in Sydney and would like to meet up please ping me – I look forward to getting a grip on how the tech space has progressed downunder.

I’m also very happy to let you know that despite reports to the contrary, Silicon Valley is alive and well. One of the companies I am advising has gone from zero to term sheet in less than two weeks. I am keen to see more of the same!

Is Nick Denton Gawked

I’ve always had a lot of time for Nick, ever since the days we crazily grew First Tuesday through the roof. His latest post regarding the web ad market arena seems to make so much sense that I did a double take when I read some of the comments from his staff:

* here

* here , and

* here.

What gives Nick? Have you gawked things up, or left a few vocal chords out in the cold as you shutter up for your incoming nuclear storm?

It’s High Time For Blogging To Embrace Social: Digital Life Aggregation

I totally agree with Om Malik’s prognostication about blogs embracing the social, lifestreaming features of services like Dopplr, Friendfeed and Twitter.

Om was writing in response to Six Apart’s release of Moveable Type Pro:

Six Apart is making the right move, for it is time for blogging to evolve…blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.

He sees your personal blog acting as your digital life aggregator – an aggregation point or hub for all the various lifestreaming services or features you want to utilize wrapped or skinned with your unique identity.

The big question here is around ease of use and mass adoption. MySpace, Facebook and other services have done an incredible job in solving these two points so that anybody can very easily set up a semblance of a personalized digital life aggregator.

Does Moveable Type Pro (and hopefully soon, WordPress) go far enough in extending this metaphor for those who want to increase their independence and assert their unique identity?

In other lifestreaming news, AOL has acquired Socialthing!, which was still in private beta, and will be integrating it into the People Networks division, alongside AIM, Bebo, ICQ and others.

TechCrunch Gets Down To Hard Business

Just as you were thinking the world had righted itself from a tech company like Apple delving into the phone business (and achieving 38% year on year revenue growth), along comes TechCrunch with a bombshell.

This leading tech blogging business has decided to build its own web tablet hardware device. The aim is to create a device that spans the gap between the iPhone and the Macbook Air – the ideal device would be a lightweight small tablet running nothing more than Firefox on a decent screen and with a WiFi connection.

It’s really tough going from being a purely content and connections play into the hardware arena, but here’s why I like it: – the connections side of TechCrunch will be heavily leveraged to create an open source development community and also to bring in the right corporate partners to make sure this succeeds.

Get to it guys and log my order!

Elevator Pitches: Rule 1, Don’t Hang Your Pet By Its Tail, Even On TechCrunch!

TechCrunch has set up a community video project called Elevator Pitches. Limited to 60 seconds these pitches are voted up or down by the community.

It looks like a fun way to get entrepreneurs to hone their pitching skills and get some coverage. Below is the video from Ugobe‘s CEO, Bob Christopher – it’s an interesting take on the whole elevator pitch by a company with a great product and by the sounds of it, great vision.

But Bob – holding the Pleo by the tail until it squeals breaks the first rule of pitching — keep the focus on your venture and its value proposition…

The Future of Media is Salient

I went along to Ross Dawson’s Future of Media Summit yesterday. Kudos to Ross for pulling off what appeared to be a seamless transcontinental event.

My only piece of event-management related feedback is that in keeping with the culture of participation theme running through the media these days it would have been good to have had a roving camera and/or pans so that the audience in Sydney could see and engage with the audience in Mountain View.

To some degree this was achieved in true guerilla-style by the uber presence of Phil Morle’s conference chaser. His chaser approach is to hook up ustream to tangler to create a livestream of an event together with a rich seam of commentary. He did this to great effect at the Sydney MySpace Developer Platform launch a few months back and again yesterday.

Yesterday however, the chaser took a cool twist. Phil was located near the back of the room in Sydney and wasn’t getting good video. So he tapped into the video feed from Stilgherrian, who was seated near the front and mixed this with his audio on ustream.

My biggest take away from the time I spent at the event was captured in a comment by Mark Pesce – “Content requires Salience”. I’ll let you ruminate on that for a while.

Stephen Collins has a great wrap up of the event.