Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer


 I was told about this documentary by my good friend, Jaqui Lane (thanks for sharing, Jaqui!). 

It's about how the six degrees of separation concept is being utilised to address some of the problems of our world. 

It's well worth a watch.

 Comments appreciated.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Online or Offline? Neither - it's 'Inline'


 I'm often asked if online interactions will replace traditional face-to-face ones. They won't - but they will co-exist. Let me tell you how based on some real-life experiences. I had at a conference I attended earlier this week. 

 I was sitting at the conference listening patiently to the presenter when I noticed that a guy I used to work with- Mike from Telstra - was sitting in the row in front of me. I wanted to make sure he knew I was at the event so I had a chance to say hello. I didn't have his mobile number but noticed that he was using Twitter (a messaging tool that allows one to post short messages often referred to as 'microblogging'). I sent him a 'tweet' (a twitter message) from my Blackberry Bold telling him where I was, he turned around to acknowledge me and we caught up briefly during the first session break. 

 As we went to the next session, I got a 'tweet' (a twitter message) from Michelle at IBM who noticed I was at the conference. Michelle is a working Mum and she couldn't get to this particular event. She asked me if I could send her some of the information from a presentation she was particularly interested in. I'll do so as soon as the slides are available in the next few days. 

 Just as we broke for lunch, I was approached by Bryan who introduced himself to me. Bryan is a recruiter who found me on Linkedin (online business network) two months ago. We spoke on the phone but never met face-to-face. He recognised my face from my Linkedin photo and at that moment, we decided to have lunch together. 

 After lunch, I recognised the face of a gent called Jye who posted one of my articles on Online Networking on HIS blog site. During the next break, I introduced myself to him to personally thank him for promoting my article. We'll catch up for a coffee meeting in the next couple of weeks. 

 I guess I could have organised face-to-face or offline meetings with Mike, Michelle, Bryan and Jye which would have taken time and effort. Due to the instantness and complimentary nature of online media, I utilised both to my advantage. In fact, it's what I call "inline", meaning (as the name suggests) an interaction outcome that's 'in line' with how one operates, incorporating online and offline worlds. As usual, would appreciate your thoughts..

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Connection Technology


 In the book I’m writing, I talk about the evolution of communication technologies like the telephone and telegrams to connection technology. I define connection technology as devices and applications that do more than provide communication capability – it provides a connection for people and information to people and information via a range of applications. 

A basic example is the mobile phone that began life as a mobile version of the humble telephone but has transformed into a phone, phone book (contact list), instant message vehicle (text SMS and video MMS), audio message bank (voicemail) and photo capture send and store (camera) to name a few current functions. 

 Today, more sophisticated devices such as the iPhone, Blackberry and PDA provide even more connectivity with built-in calendars, email, internet access and a range of customizable connection applications. This development provides society and business with a new way of connecting – not just communicating – with devices that reside in people's pockets or purses. 

Here’s a really good business example: When you arrive at the Malibu Beach Inn in California in the United States, you’re asked if you own an Apple iPhone or iTouch. If you don’t have one, they provide you one for the duration of your stay. On the device, they provide access to an application called Hotel Evolution, which displays a grid of icons that becomes your portable guest information and services portal. 

 From the menu items, you can access room service menus and place orders (including special requests and dietary preferences), arrange for your dry cleaning to be collected, request additional toiletries, change your do not disturb room status, set-up a wake-up call, receive messages, arrange a rental car and make a booking before you leave. By accessing the virtual concierge, you can view a local attractions map, shopping guide and even the tee-off times for the local golf course. This capability is available NOW. 

In future, I have no doubt that they will program the capability for the device to function as a hotel key for secure physical access to your room during your stay. This is one of many applications these connection technologies will provide society and business now and in the future. Some are being developed now - and some are probably being devised in your heads as you read this. If you know of any connection technologies and applications, please feel free to comment or send me a note. I love to share this stuff.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama Connection - every picture tells a(n online) story

Every picture tells an online story.

In a recent Gallup poll conducted in 70 countries that represents nearly half the world's population, 30% of respondents preferred Senator Obama as president of the United States against 8% for Senator McCain, with 66% of Japanese and Australian respondents preferring Obama to McCain.

Why does he seem to engage people's interests, even outside of mainland USA? 

The research for the book I'm writing gives an interesting perspective. By October 2008, Obama ran one of the world's most astute online engagement campaigns in history. Here are the facts:
  • According to Hitwise, he regularly attracts 68% of all weekly presidential campaign-related web traffic.
  • According to data marketing company Compete, he regularly generates 2.6 million weekly unique visitors to his official website.
  • He has 740,000 MySpace friends.
  • He has over two million Facebook fans.
  • He is ranked the 15th most connected individual on business online network, Linkedin which numbers 26 million users, predominantly US senior business professionals and executives.
  • He has 105,000 followers on online networking platform Twitter.
  • A hip-hop music video set to an Obama “Yes We Can” speech was posted repeatedly on YouTube with the top two postings alone being viewed 10 million times.
  • According to, he had 31,192 subscribers on Youtube compared with 2,844 for his rival, John McCain in February 2008. One of the most popular Senator Obama videos is a clip of him tripping over a roadside kerb while reading a message on his Blackberry device.
  • In the last few weeks leading up to the campaign, reported that the Obama camp launched an iPhone software application called Obama ’08, that provides the user “instant access to Barack’s positions on important issues, as well as local and national campaign news as it happens”. The application promised “comprehensive connection to the heart of Barack Obama and (vice presidential running mate) Joe Biden’s campaign”.

He has also raised tens of millions of dollars in campaign funds over the web, mostly is micro-donations from masses of individual supporters. I think I know who has the mandate of the connected individual.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Business Card Connection


 Jen was sitting in a particularly heavy traffic jam one day, stressing about being late for an important meeting. This was one of those nightmare snarls where you move a metre every twenty minutes. 

A truck driver in the lane next to her - in an attempt at sociability to ease the boredom due to the lack of forward progress - called out to her and asked her what she did for a living. She responded that she coached growing small businesses around the country. He replied, "Really? I know someone who could use some help - do you have a card?". She dived into her glove box and handed him her business card. The ensuing follow-up interactions resulted in a series of business consulting engagements for Jen's business. 

 If you met someone at a business meeting, corporate function - or even in a traffic jam , you could invariably end up giving or receiving a business card. The VALUE of a face-to-face interaction that's consummated with the exchange of business cards is realised with WHAT you do with the information on that small piece of cardboard AFTER you receive it. 

For Jen, it led to a revenue opportunity due to her diligent follow-up discipline. As an active online networker, every business card I collect becomes an invitation to online business network, Linkedin. This way, I can formalise the physical contact with a business prospect via an active and mutually agreeable virtual connection. 

My rationale is that if you've met someone face-to-face albeit briefly, exchanged business cards and then formalised that interaction with an accepted invitation to an online network by the invited, you've established a legitimate business connection. 

 The beauty of an online business connection database is that it's more visible and actionable than a wad of business cards that have piled up over the years. It is more searchable by criteria such as location, expertise and industry. 

Most importantly, it usually updates itself as the onus of keeping data current is with the invited, not the invitee. For me, the real value is that you can download your Linkedin connections into an Excel spreadsheet - at any time - to retain your connections in your own database. 

 I've been on Linked in for 14 months and have accumulated almost 3300 connections to date during that time. To me, they are all potential business connections which I plan to actively utilise at the appropriate time for my business. Having them on an accessible and dynamic database gives me this option. What do you do with business cards from people you meet? Are they relics of past meetings or potential business opportunities?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The 4 P's of Online Networking


I wrote this article for Professional Marketing magazine, October-December 2008 edition. You can download it by placing the pointer on the image, right clicking to show the sub-menu then choosing "Save Picture as.." option to download to your computer.

If this all gets too hard, make a comment or send me an email and I'll send you the pdf file. As usual, all comments and feedback welcome!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Connection Survey Results: When you hear the word “connect” or “connection”, what image or picture comes to mind?


 In September 2008, I conducted a social survey to see if there were any patterns in a person's perception of what "connection" meant to them. I surmised that there was a link between their profile, attitude and behaviour towards connecting. 

 I posed a simple question to a random group of business colleagues, friends and family, aged between 18 to 80 years of age and from different regions globally. The question was: When you hear the word “connect” or “connection”, what image or picture comes to mind?

I asked respondents for a first-thing-that-comes-to-mind answer. I collected responses via a combination of email responses and face-to-face interviews. I received 130 survey responses and here are the results. Although there was a small percentage who suggested a mix, their first response was taken as their answer. 

The responses could be grouped into five broad areas:
There was the CLASSICAL image typified by responses such as nature, love, the universe, Viturvian Man and Michaelangelo’s Creation painting, which depicts the hand of God reaching out via a single finger to the finger of man.

The second category was CONCEPTUAL imagery, with responses such as puzzles, connecting dots and building blocks.

The third category was RELATIONAL depictions, which incorporated responses such as hands touching or hand shakes, people kissing/hugging, attraction, passion and lightning bolts/sparks.

The fourth category was PHYSICAL, with responses such as bridge, chains, links, wires, switches, power points, phone and!

Finally, STRUCTURAL, which has networks, process maps, family trees, DNA structures and organisation charts.

I am now analysing the results based on demographics and degree of connectedness. Those results will be available in the book I'm writing on the evolution of communication to connection and the considerations and challenges for society and business, due for release in February 2009.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Sydney Connection


 The web can be a wonderful tool for connecting people and places - except when you hear stories like this one. 

 According to an ABC News story, Argentine tourist Monique Torres Aguero got the wrong continent when she booked - what she thought was a holiday to Sydney, Australia - on the internet. "She wanted to travel to the city of the bridge and Opera House, but instead ended up in the former coal and steel mill town of Sydney in Nova Scotia." reports the ABC. 

The mistake was realised when she boarded a small propeller plane at an airport in Halifax to take her on the last leg of her journey. Apparently, it's not the first time Canada has welcomed tourists intended for Australia as two Britons also mistakenly landed in Nova Scotia in 2002 (no comment on that one). Sidney, British Columbia has also received wayward visitors from Germany and Czechoslovakia. 

 Would appreciate hearing any similar stories by posting a comment below. Source:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Missing a Connection - Just a Pain or a Costly Loss?


 Over the last few days, there was a media report on airline carrier QANTAS experiencing a computer glitch that caused delays that made passengers miss their connecting flights. 

Just today, the tunnel of a major road artery in and out of Sydney - the M5 - was closed for three hours in the middle of morning peak hour due to a problem with the signalling systems software causing motorists to miss their flight, appointment and school connections for the morning. 

Are these "disconnections" just a pain or are they proving to be costing us? If organisations do not prioritise the mission critical applications that help make airlines and roadways run smoothly, then should they bear the cost of lost productivity and business? 

 Then there's the tale all sales people can relate to. You've finally got hold of that evasive customer on his mobile phone and better yet, you've caught them in a good mood. The only thing that stands between you and that big order you've been waiting for them to place is that one pending query they had that you've prepared the perfect response to, which is sure to seal the deal. After some small talk, they ask the question. You preface your winning response with "I thought you'd ask that". 

Then the unimaginable happens. You confidently belt out that irrefutable, deal-closing answer and .... there's no response from them. At first you think they're so impressed that they're speechless. And then it hits you. "Hello, hello... Are you there?", to which there is still no response. 

You look at your phone screen and there are those dreaded words - "Call Ended". It would be good if there was an instant reconnection when this happens but it doesn't work that way. Both parties try and do the courteous thing by calling each other back, usually getting a busy signal or voicemail. You try again and again, but by now they've probably picked up another call (thinking it was you) or been distracted by their next work item of the day. Just the moment lost or much more? I'd appreciate your comments.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why You Need to be Using Online Networking


 An excellent article in this month's Australian Marketing Institute's Marketing Update newslettter which I thought was worth posting in full as I have exclusive rights and permission from the author! 

Why you need to be using online networking 

 We're all familiar with the old cliché: "It's not what you know, it's who you know". Any business expert will tell you that networking is one of the best ways to better connect with customers, prospects and partners while advancing your career. What's new about networking is that it's just as important how you network as whether you network -- and the technology is now available to facilitate more efficient and effective networking. 

 With the emergence and rapid adoption of online networking sites such as Linkedin, networking has moved to cyberspace with sites now dedicated to bringing business people together via the Internet. What is online networking? It's the ability to identify, develop and manage social and business connections via the web. 

A key benefit of participating in online networking is that you can take advantage of access to millions of people who are just a few clicks away from receiving an electronic message from anyone within the network. Online networks can provide business professionals with an unmatched flexibility to make connections, share information and post inquiries -- at any time, from any place, across the country and across the world. It is an application that allows businesses to get -- and stay -- connected to their prospects, customers and partners. So why online networking for business? 

As a business, success and survival rely on promoting your business, meeting prospects, making contacts, building relationships, generating opportunities, nurturing centres of influence, joining communities of interest and closing sales. Just as prospecting, relationship and brand building, and networking take time in the real world, it's the same online -- only more effective and efficient. There are three basic focus areas within online networking that, if used effectively, give businesses a competitive advantage in managing their network of stakeholders. These areas are people, groups and expertise. 

Linkedin ( boasts 25 million business professionals as members internationally, including 500,000 in Australia. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are represented and, according to Linkedin, 46% are business decision makers. Having the ability to search this dynamic database of business professionals has obvious benefits for sales and marketing professionals. The tool allows you to search contacts by name, company and industry. Once found, you can view their self-compiled profile in their own words. What marketer or sales person would not want that level of profile information available to them in real-time before sending out an offer letter or meeting a customer face-to-face? In addition, once a customer, partner or prospect has accepted an invitation to join your network, you establish a visible online connection with that person. 

This gives you the potential to better relate, communicate and exchange ideas, information and opportunities at a one-on-one level. In the business world, it's just as important to be able to find the right contact as it is to be found. Once you have completed your own public profile, users can find you through specialisation tags and profile searches. This enables others across the network with the ability to track you down to potentially utilise your skills, sell you something you value, establish a new connection or even offer you a job. Focusing on building a network and managing your connections is best summarised by senior recruiters when they advise that successful business professionals network when they have a job, not just when they need one. 

Business networking is defined as the means by which individuals and groups connect for the common purpose of conducting business. An important feature of tools such as Linkedin is the ability to search for, join and even create groups with shared interests. Linkedin contains the most diverse groups of all types. 

There are profession-based ones such as the Sales and Marketing Community, Linked HR, Linked Lawyers and the Top Executives Network (TEN); country-based such as Friends of India, Australia Network and the American Small Business Coalition; and initiative-based such as Online Lead Generation, Think Green, and Women for Women International. 

Recently, the AMI launched its own group on Linkedin. By joining these groups, you can connect virtually to other group members, join discussion sessions, and share information and ideas. The ability to harness the different perspectives, experiences and skill sets of this collective in an instant and cost-effective way must be an essential resource to tap into for any business. 

Establishing a broad network enables you to turn to different experts or groups, depending on your professional challenges. In February 2008, Bill Gates joined Linkedin and, shortly after, posted a question about what could be done to encourage young people to pursue IT and science careers. The question was posted on the site's Answers application, which allows a user on the network to ask a question that can be answered by any other user (potentially 25 million business professionals). 

This is a classic case of the 'wisdom of crowds' application or the global equivalent of TV game show Millionaires Ask the Audience. Within two months, Gates had received 3,566 responses, which his army of staff could now be wading through to find the gold nuggets that can be pushed through various stages of implementation. Compare this with the recent Australian 2020 Summit, which had 1,000 'learned' specialists assemble in Canberra on a weekend to generate ideas for the future of Australia. 

From a cost and efficiency perspective, it's a no contest. A senior IT marketing manager recently told me that she researched and surveyed her target market to develop her strategic marketing plan using Linkedin. In the context of living in an increasingly connected world, online networking platforms are essential to successfully conducting business. It's more than what and who you know -- it's how connected you are to people, groups and experts in the exchange of information, ideas or commercial value.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Astrology and Car Accident Connection


 How is your star sign connected to your propensity to claim car accident insurance? According to Australian insurance group AAMI, a review of over 200,000 claims lodged in 2007 found that if you're an Aquarius or Cancer, you're most likely to have an accident, followed by Capricorn. 

According to an AAMI spokesperson, Aquarians and Cancerians were most likely to lodge a claim, citing their moody and unpredictable natures. It was also noted that Librans have the fewest accidents out of all the signs but most likely to lodge the most expensive claims. 

 AAMI corporate affairs manager Mike Sopinski warned that the survey isn’t to be taken seriously. “We basically just did this analysis as a bit of fun”. Yeah, right. If you're insured with AAMI and are an Aquarian or Cancerian, keep a watchful eye on your Annual Insurance Renewal!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Car Connection

We are connected in so many different ways to people, information and ideas. 

How we are connected varies depending on a direct connection such as family, friend, business, event or online connection. Even our cars are connected to our identities. 

 This dawned on me recently when I realised that I can park my car anywhere in Australia (where I live) and any parking inspector or police officer can track down my vehicle details instantly to process an illegal parking fine. This week, the connection was extended even further with the announcement that in the state of New South Wales, motorists snapped by a speed or red light camera can now go online to check the photographic proof taken at the time of the offence allowing them to verify it was their vehicle. 

 "Viewing the image may assist the owner in nominating the actual driver at the time, to ensure the right person gets the infringement and demerit points" said NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal in a statement. Both a penalty notice and a vehicle registration number is required to access the photos, as well as an automatically-generated random code for added security. The website is:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Better Managing Interruptions (like this one)


 Emails, mobile phones, PDAs, instant messaging, social networks, blogs, Google, voicemail, podcasts and webinars are just some of the technology tools that are supposed to make us all more productive. Really? According to a recent Time magazine article,the writer states that "The Internet, conceived as a research and productivity tool, has become a weapon of mass distraction". 

 A recent productivity study of workers at two high-tech firms in California showed that workers "switched out" or were interrupted from their task EVERY THREE MINUTES on average. Also, a joint study by Microsoft and the University of Illinois found that it takes a person interrupted by email an average of 16 minutes, 33 seconds to get back to what they were doing. The impact? According to Gloria Mark, Professor of Informatics at the University of California Irvine, who is studying the effect of workplace interruptions and multitasking, there is a psychological cost due to the high frustration and higher mental workload of these interruptions on workers. 

 So is there any good news? Mark suggests that there are two ways to minimise interruptions - social and technical. Social in terms of having the discipline to limit time on tools like the internet to stay focused on tasks at hand. I'm sure we've all experienced how creative we get with our To-Do list when the office or home internet is down! 

 The second is technical in which workers are encouraged to BROADCAST WHAT THEY'RE WORKING ON through online networking tools such as Facebook, Linkedin, Plaxo and Twitter. These 'on task' interruptions are found to be beneficial and valuable - as long as they're appropriate and relevant to the topic or task being worked on. The irony that this information is communicated via a disruptive technology like a blog post is not lost on me. 

I hope that you found this 'interruption' useful in better understanding how to manage them. 

 Sources mentioned: 
* Managing Workplace Interruptions, BNET Useful Commute Podcast: (7 minutes, 30 seconds) 
* The Offline American by Lev Grossman, Time magazine, August 25, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moments of Learning


Creative Leadership Forum Moments of Learning are 2 hour monthly programmes designed as short introductory learning experiences offering managers a taste of new trends, new thinking and new leadership and management styles in the creative leadership, creativity and innovation space.

"Moments are not chalk and talk. They are short low cost high quality learning experiences" said Ralph Kerle, Chief Executive Officer, the Creative Leadership Forum."We have priced a Moment at $110 so rather than managers denying themselves the opportunity for professional development because of uncertainty of value or suitability of content, managers can use a Creative Leadership Forum Moment to quickly gauge whether the content is of practical use and then make a decision later to invest further in professional development either personally or with organisational involvement. Through these moments also, the Creative Leadership Forum gains a better understanding of what managers are seeking in the way of professional development. A win-win situation for everyone!!"

Upcoming Moments of Learning include the Theatre of Marketing, Creativity and Online Networking (Iggy Pintado) and the Experience of Invention.


September 2008's Moment of Learning

The Creative Leadership Forum, BNET Australia and Deloitte present:

The Sound of Leadership - featuring Dr Louise Mahler, Managing Director, Art of Business and Ralph Kerle, CEO, Creative Leadership Forum

Date: Sept 2, 2008
Time: 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Venue: Deloitte, 9th Floor, 225 George Street, Sydney

A 2 hour fun filled participatory workshop led by an international renowned opera singer and theatre director. Make your presence felt through sound. Hear yourself become a leader. Be aware of the sounds others are making when they communicate. Learn to lead through the sense of sound!!

The workshop will offer a powerful leadership development experience in which you will discover your own voice; learn to use it effectively to lead and to experience the application and importance of voice in storytelling, presenting, influencing and being heard.

Book Your Ticket Here!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Connection Chips and Missing People


 Last Sunday, I walked the annual City to Surf fun run in Sydney, Australia. The event encourages people to run or walk the 14 kilometre distance from the heart of Sydney to the famous Bondi beach for fun and to raise money for charity. This year, 70,000 people aged from 8 months to 80 years participated with A$1.1 million donations received. 

For the first time this year, the organisers introduced Timing Chip technology. Each entrant had to attach a plastic chip the size of a 25 US cent coin to their shoes - usually through their shoelaces. After stepping on a rubber mat at the start point that activated the chip and at the finish line that deactivated it, each of the 70,000 participants was monitored to more accurately track their individual progress, location and ultimately, time taken to complete the race. 

 The technology is not new as tracking devices have been used on livestock, pets and prisoners for a number of years. But... What got me thinking was that the week prior was coincidentally, National Missing Persons Week. 

The campaign website states that 35,000 people are reported missing each year in Australia. Although 95% are found within a week, research indicates that young people (around 20,000), the aged and those living with a mental illness are particularly at risk of going missing. 

 The Salvation Army cites studies that show that for every missing person, there is an average of 12 people who are affected by the stress of not knowing where they are, with the anxiety experienced by parents who have a missing child being understandably intense. 

 If double the number of missing persons in Australia per year can be tracked via a simple, non-intrusive device in just a few hours for a fun run, then is it worth considering this connection technology to ease/minimise the stress and anxiety of losing track of loved ones, let alone the cost of conducting expensive searches and tracing programs? 

 I understand that some may think that the pandora's box of privacy and 1984-style big brother syndrome immediately opens. But I wonder that in a world where you can find any information online and track a large mass accurately through inexpensive plastic chips, whether it's time to consider implementing such technology for those directly and indirectly at risk.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Online Networking - Good for Business


 We’re all familiar with the old cliché: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Any business expert will tell you that networking is one of the best ways to advance your career whether you are currently looking or planning to find your next job. Networking is the art of meeting people or joining a group of people who share a common interest or goal. Business networking is defined as the means by which individuals and groups connect for the common purpose of conducting business. 

 What’s new about networking is that it’s just as important how you network as whether you network at all – and the technology is now available to facilitate more efficient and effective ways to network. With the emergence and rapid adoption of online networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Linkedin, networking has moved to cyberspace and online networking sites are now dedicated to connecting people via the internet. 

 So what is Online Networking? I define it as the ability to identify, develop and manage social and business connections via the web. The main benefit of participating in online networking is that you can take advantage of access that is unavailable with traditional networking. Online networking tools include the networks themselves - webs of millions of people who are just a few clicks away from receiving an electronic message from anyone within the network – and the application to assist in maintaining those networks. 

 Online networks for business such as Linkedin, provide business professionals with an unmatched flexibility to enable participants to make connections, share information and post inquiries at any time, from any place, across the country and across the world. It is THE business application that allows businesses to get – and stay – connected to their prospects, customers and partners. 

 Online networking is based on traditional networking in many ways. As a business, you want to promote your business, meet prospects, make contacts, build relationships, generate opportunities and close sales. As an individual, you should get - stay - connected to maintain your business profile, nurture centres of influence and join communities of interest. Just as prospecting, relationship & brand building and networking takes time in the real world, it’s the same online – only more effective and efficient. Outside of job search, it’s also a good support resource for day-to-day job concerns. 

Establishing a broad network enables you to turn to different experts or groups, depending on your professional challenges. You should network when you have a job, not just when you need one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

That's 6.6 Degrees of Separation - according to Microsoft Research


A Microsoft research team has studied 30 billion instant messages sent by 240 million people in June 2006 and found that any two Instant Messenger (IM) users could be linked in 6.6 steps.

The research supports the famous 1969 study by Millgram and Travers that proposed that any two strangers are connected by only six degrees of separation. The theory inspired a play, a film, a game, and the website launched by actor Kevin Bacon.

"We've been able to put our finger on the social pulse of human connectivity - on a planetary scale - and we've confirmed that it's indeed a small world.'' Microsoft researcher Eric Horvitz said. "Over the next few decades, new kinds of computing applications, from smart networks to automated translation systems, will help make the world even smaller, with closer social connections and deeper understanding among people.''

Full Story in,,24130825-5005962,00.html

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Social Networking LIVE - Where the Hell is Matt?


I've come across some great YouTube videos in my time but this one really encompasses what I think the power of social media and social networking is all about. As at this posting, it's been viewed 8.3 millions times.

It made my day today and hope it makes yours. I think the whole world should see it at least once. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Web 2.0 - Simply Explained


I've been doing some reasearch on the internet for the book I'm writing. I get frustrated when simple concepts aren't explained in language everyone can understand. Take "web 2.0" for example - google it and you'll get a kazillion hits. As for Wikepedia, here's the first line of their huge entry on the subject:

" Web 2.0 is a term describing the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. "

OK - here's my simple explanation (for simple minds like me!).

Web 1.0 - ONE WAY communication. Usually, a static web page that allows you to read content on a web page. Minimal to zero capability to respond.

Web 2.0 - TWO WAY (or more) interaction. The ability to communicate back to other users and systems by searching, sharing, creating, collaborating, messaging, networking, blogging, poking, voting, 'digg'ing, etc. All about interacting with the people, messages and ideas presented.

Voila...and easy to remember too! You heard it here first....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Small Businesses missing out on online business opportunities


 A recent survey by Australian accounting software company MYOB, suggests that Australia’s small businesses may be missing out on online business opportunities. Out of almost 1700 small businesses surveyed, 41% have a website, 55% have yet to register a domain name and 29% use their websites for e-commerce. 

 Only 11% of businesses in the transport and storage industry have a website, the lowest of any sector, ahead of agriculture (27%) and construction (29%). As would be expected, 72% of communications, media and marketing businesses have a web presence, followed by cultural and recreation services (71%) and ICT businesses (63%).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Just when you thought iPhone was it - here comes the Nokia E71


Just as everybody has been queueing up for the new 3G iPhone, here comes Nokia. According to a review, they describe the new Nokia E71 as: "This great white hope from Finland is a smart device that gives the iPhone a run for its money in a lot of different areas ".

Some of the key features include: a trim profile, decent 3.2-megapixel camera, a good range of fun(ctional) features and - it's UNLOCKED.

For businesses, setting up Nokia’s Mail program required minimal IT help. The QuickOffice application allowed the creation, editing and sending of Word/Excel/PowerPoint files on the fly and browsing of PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Reader - all without feeling too “business”.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Businesses prefer Facebook...but do they know how and why?


 According to a recent poll conducted by web company Netregistry, almost 30% of 1200 Australian small and medium sized business respondents use Facebook, while 13% use LinkedIn and 12% use MySpace. 

Other online communication applications are also being used with 13% using blogs, 12% internet forums and 11% YouTube. A Smart Company article notes that "it seems very few are doing so with a business strategy in mind - 72% of people polled said they do not have a social media strategy in place". 

 The real question is: what are they using these online business enablers and applications for? Do they actually know how to identify, develop and manage business relationships and opportunities through the online channel?

Young Republicans, Web 2.0 and a Road Trip


 A group of four college Republicans have set off across the USA in a rented Ford Explorer to remind America that not all young people are Barack Obama supporters. 

The quartet, who call their project "Where is the Red," left from Florida in June, and are currently in Ohio. They plan to end their tour in conservative Orange County, California in late August. As they travel, they're doing volunteer work for the Republican Party and broadcasting the trip in Twitter updates, blog posts and a Google Maps application tied to their GPS. Christie Jackson, 22, one of the four young Republicans says, "We're just trying to draw attention to all the young people who are already excited, and who sometimes get ignored by the media." 

Conservative bloggers have been despairing over the enthusiasm gap between supporters of John McCain and those backing Democratic rival Barack Obama. Polling data shows that 60 percent of Democrats under 30 voted for Barack Obama during the primaries, while only 34 percent of Republicans in the same demographic voted for John McCain. 

Sites like Things Younger Than John McCain poke fun at the presumptive Republican nominee's age, and a torrent of anti-McCain videos are flooding YouTube. The Republican road trip - organized by the College Republican National Committee -- is meant to energize McCain's younger supporters. All four of the traveling quartet are blogging, and one of them, Chris Caraballo, a 24-year-old film student at the University of Southern California, is shooting video. 

Joining Caraballo and Jackson on the road are Kerry Donnelly, a 21-year-old Fordham University graduate, and Jeremy Harrell, 22, a University of Miami at Ohio graduate. "One reason we're using the technology that we're using now is to draw attention to the fact that there are new, interesting, relevant, and extremely efficient ways to get information to people," says Jackson, who just graduated from Clemson University. "That's why we're keeping track of our trip ... through our blog and other Web 2.0 tools."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fortune Brainstorm TECH: The Internet for Business


Left to right: David Kirkpatrick, Michael Dell, Gary Hamel, Mark Benioff, Christiane Zu Salm (Credit: Rafe Needleman/CNET)

From the 21st-23rd July 2008, Fortune held its Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2008 conference in Half-Moon, California, USA. The purpose of the event was for business executives to better understand how technology will be a determining factor in their company's future sustainability.

In the opening session, moderator David Kirkpatrick asks the question, "Is tech making the world a better place?"

Michael Dell and Mark Benioff of, opened with the changes in business, stating that the web gives companies a communications connnection with customers. "We put big ears on," Dell said, referring to customer feedback systems that Dell uses. Benioff added that "Our customers are ganging up on us," and "our product managers have less to do. The Internet is the great accelerator."

Author Gary Hamel strengthened the argument with "The great scandal of management is that, most workers are disengaged. The Internet is great at harnessing customers' imaginations more than employees. It's going to make a lot of traditional executives very uncomfortable." From a society perspective, he also said that the web is "empowering people to create like never before in human history. We are emancipating human imagination."

What's the learning from this? The customer is King - more than ever before - as they become more web-savvy. Businesses need to reconcile their traditional planning and marketing management with the smarter and increasingly connected customer.

Extract from:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cisco Telepresence 'on-stage' holographic video conferencing


The launch of Cisco’s On-Stage TelePresence Experience, created by integrating Musion 3D Holographic Projection technology with Cisco TelePresence, was the result of an incredible effort on the part of 25+ Cisco employees across a half a dozen groups, plus another dozen individuals representing the vendor community. San Jose was jolted by an earthquake, informed De Beer. 'But we are fine, as you can see.' The 250 spectators nodded. 

Cisco's Telepresence has become `cuter', as Chambers put it, with holographic meetings replacing video conferencing in the near future. Cisco and Musion Systems will be marketing this as part of Cisco's Telepresence range of video conferencing products. "This is wonderful. I can even see the sweat on your brow," said Chambers to Chuck. Such holographic meetings can be captured and broadcast over IPTV, so any TV or PC with a broadband (wireless/ wired) connection can tune in. 

Telepresence is now available in 28 countries, and Cisco says over 150 rooms are now capable of high-definition video conferencing. Five years in the future, telepresence will no longer be about devices. Homes and hotels will use holographic conferencing, said Chambers. And it will get better. Three-dimensional holographic conferencing will first be used at large expositions and conferences, and would later trickle down to enterprises. 

Over time, it might even be used at home. Your grandmother could virtually walk into a living room and talk to you - her image travelling over seas and countries over the Internet. A teacher could face 50 students and give a lecture complete with expressions and body language. The possibilities of this decidedly realistic application are numerous.

Unlike McCain, many seniors depend on the web


With Barack Obama now in the top 20 on business network LinkedIn and with more than a million Facebook friends, Mr. McCain seems to be missing the online boat. 

Republished from From 

NEW YORK (AP) -- If Sen. John McCain is really serious about becoming a Web-savvy citizen, perhaps Kathryn Robinson can help. Robinson is now 106 - that's 35 years older than McCain - and she began using the Internet at 98, at the Barclay Friends home in West Chester, Pa., where she lives. "I started to learn because I wanted to e-mail my family," she says - in an e-mail message, naturally. 

Blogs have been buzzing recently over McCain's admission that when it comes to the Internet, "I'm an illiterate who has to rely on his wife for any assistance he can get." And the 71-year-old presumptive Republican nominee, asked about his Web use last week by the New York Times, said that aides "go on for me. I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself." 

How unusual is it for a 71-year-old American to be unplugged? That depends how you look at the statistics. Only 35 percent of Americans over age 65 are online, according to data from April and May compiled by the Pew Internet Project at the Pew Research Center. 

But when you account for factors like race, wealth and education, the picture changes dramatically. "About three-quarters of white, college-educated men age over 65 use the Internet," says Susannah Fox, director of the project. "John McCain is an outlier when you compare him to his peers," Fox says. "On one hand, a U.S. senator has access to information sources and staff assistance that most people do not. On the other, the Internet has become such a go-to resource that it's a curiosity to hear that someone doesn't rely on it the way most Americans do." 

McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan presented a somewhat updated picture when contacted by The Associated Press on Friday: "He's fully capable of browsing the Internet and checking Web sites," Buchanan said. "He has a Mac and uses it several times a week. He's working on becoming more familiar with the Internet." 

That's a good thing, says Tobey Dichter, CEO of Generations on Line, a group that helps bring seniors - including the 106-year-old Robinson - into the digital age. "He needs the self-empowerment" of going online himself, says Dichter. "There are too many people surrounding John McCain who are willing to print an e-mail for him" -or do a search on his behalf, like the aides who, he says, show him the Drudge Report. "But that cheats him of an opportunity to let his own mind take him to the next link," says Dichter. "If he doesn't know what links are available, he will only get exactly what he's asking for, and nothing more." 

Why do most of us - 73 percent of Americans - use the Internet? The top three reasons are, in order, e-mail, informational searches, and finding a map or driving directions. But there are dozens of other conveniences: Online banking, shopping, travel or restaurant reservations, job searches, real estate listings, and of course, the news (McCain, like many people over 30 or so, prefers his newspapers the old-fashioned way.) "The Internet is the ultimate convenience appliance," says Fox. 

McCain may be in "digital denial," as Dichter calls it, but his family sure isn't: His wife, Cindy, has been seen scrolling away on her Blackberry, and daughter Meghan, one of his seven children, blogs from the campaign trail on McCain Blogette. 

As for McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama is 46, and thus in an age group where fully 85 percent of Americans are plugged in. A CNN clip available on YouTube shows him so engrossed with his Blackberry while crossing a street that he bumps into the curb. McCain's frank admissions of his offline state have led to discussion of whether being wired is a qualification for leading the free world. 

One aide, Mark Soohoo, defended the senator's lack of wiredness at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York in June by assuring the panel: "John McCain is aware of the Internet." One blogger opined last week that all the fuss is silly. McCain, wrote Newsweek's Andrew Romano, hasn't become computer literate because he hasn't needed to. "When aides are responding to your messages and briefing you on every imaginable subject, the incentive to get online sort of disappears," he wrote. 

McCain is hardly the only prominent, wealthy, powerful man in the country to lack an affinity with computers. To take one, Sumner Redstone, the 85-year-old chairman of Viacom, "is not an avid user," says a spokesman, Carl Falto. "He's capable of going on but doesn't do it frequently." On the other hand, famed Broadway director Arthur Laurents, 91, whose "Gypsy" is now a hit on Broadway, is known to respond faster to e-mails than to phone calls. 

Among fellow senators, aides to Sen. Robert Byrd, 90, say he has a computer but prefers to speak directly to his staff and doesn't carry a Blackberry. What keeps some American seniors unwired? Some lack immediate access to a computer, Dichter says. But intimidation, she says, is the greatest problem. "One has to be compassionate with a person who hasn't gotten onto the information highway early, because the cumulative vocabulary is so intimidating," she says. 

Also, many older people "feel they have a perfectly happy life without it. They feel that the world is overrun with electronic devices already." But, Dichter says, such people often change their minds when they realize they can get family pictures via e-mail - not to mention health information, support groups, and local community news. And Fox, of Pew, notes that seniors outpace other age groups in tracing their family's genealogy online (a third of them say they do so, compared to a quarter of all Internet users.) Robinson credits her computer with helping her withstand the effects of a stroke she suffered in 2003. "In my case I had a stroke and as a result could not talk," she says in her e-mail. "The computer has been a lifesaver for me."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The car of the future has an extension cord and a great big laptop battery.


The next evolution of the automobile will be plug-in hybrids that get their juice from a household electrical outlet. They'll start rolling into showrooms within in 18 months. Experts say plug-in hybrids could account for about 20 percent of vehicle sales within a decade -- and half of all sales by 2050.

"It all boils down to the three ways electricity is better than gasoline," says Felix Kramer of Cal Cars, a plug-in advocacy group. "It's cleaner, it's cheaper and it's domestic."

Advocates say plug-in hybrids are the best chance to address global warming and wean the nation from oil. Consumers remain unsure about electric vehicles. Ethanol's a shaky proposition because of the food-for-fuel debate. And it'll be decades before hydrogen is a viable option. That, advocates say, leaves plug-ins as the best option.

"The discussion is no longer one of 'if,' but of 'when' and 'how,'" says Chelsea Sexton, executive director of the advocacy group Plug-In America. "This has moved beyond the grass-roots level into the policy and business arenas."

It all starts in 2010. General Motors promises to have the Chevrolet Volt rolling into showrooms by then. Toyota says it will roll out a small fleet of plug-in Prius hybrids to see how they do. Volkswagen has similar plans for its plug-in Golf. And Fisker hopes to have a few dozen pricey Karma sedans in driveways within 18 months. Ford and others are moving more slowly, aiming for 2012 and beyond.

Automakers know plug-in hybrids are their best shot at meeting tightening federal fuel-economy regulations. They're also responding to a seismic change in the market as record-high gas prices have consumers, fed-up with paying through the nose for gasoline, joining environmentalists to demand fuel-efficient cars.

The Department of Energy has handed out more than $60 million since 2006 to advance hybrid and battery technology and hopes to disburse another $62.3 million by the end of next year.
Both Barack Obama and John McCain have hailed plug-in hybrids in general -- and the Volt in particular -- in recent weeks and promised to spur development of such cars if elected.

"We have the plug," he says. "The cars are coming. All we need is the cord."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ledger's Joker the most exciting movie villain of the decade


Just went to see the new Batman movie The Dark Knight earlier this week. The review that sums up the role of Heath Ledger for me is from Wired Blog Underwire.

The review states that "Ledger inhabits the clown prince of crime, embracing Joker's hard-R American accent, smeary makeup, puppet-master body language, freakish facial tics and brilliantly perverted logic with a ferocity that electrifies every scene he's in. Twitching with menace, Ledger generates a nearly unbearable tension in his encounters, tossing off nihilistic one-liners fast on their way to becoming pop-culture catch phrases: "Why so serious?" "Let's put a smile on that face." "And here we go." "I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve."

And "At one point, the Joker declaims: "I am the engine of chaos." In what would be his final fully realized performance, Ledger made that engine purr, sputter and roar with heartbreaking vitality".

If Heath Ledger doesn't receive an Oscar for this performance, the Academy Awards are a joke (pardon the pun). Great movie but made possible by an outstanding characterisation by Ledger. He left us with his best for last.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Talent as a Competitive Differentiator in Business


 I was once asked a question about whether talent is the biggest competitive differentiator in the business world. I think talent is definitely a key competitive differentiator but to have sustainable competitive advantage, you need a very important ingredient - it is talent PLUS passion. 

 Talent plus the passion to succeed in personal or business endeavours - or frankly anything one puts their mind to - is the ultimate competitive advantage. I've seen this when reviewing two candidates who have almost identical talent profiles. The one who gets the job in my book is the one who wants it more. In my twenty-two years of management experience, this person almost always turns out to be the highest performing and highest achieving. 

 Best example? Basketball legend Michael Jordan. Above average talent playing in an average team. In the early days, he excelled personally but his team couldn't quite keep up and deliver. He then directed his passion for the game from a focus on himself to what he could achieve as part of the team. The six NBA titles speak for themselves as much as the numerous MVP awards. 

 That's talent plus passion.

Social Networking: Party On Dudes


 I like analogies and for me, although the word "communities" is used to describe social networking tools, I sometimes think they are more like "Parties" i.e. events. Stay with me on this. I have been and go to a number of business parties such as business functions, corporate event after-parties, corporate hosting, etc. 

I also attend personal and family social functions like kid's birthday parties, weddings, christenings, etc. At these parties, I meet various people - some of which I "connect" and/or "introduce myself" with either commercially or socially, and some of which I don't. 

 The analogy for me is that social networking tools - mySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Xing, Plaxo, Spock, etc. - are all huge online parties. I tend to 'attend' LinkedIn and Facebook parties more often as there are more people I connect to there than others. It doesn't mean I don't 'drop-in' to the other parties from time to time to see what's going on. Party on!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Personalised Web Services Online


 While the launch of the 3G iPhone is the flavour of the month of July due to the attention on the uptake of mobile applications and services, there is a greater trend of the adoption of personalised web services. 

The health care industry is one leading example. Hitwise data indicates that visits to the Health & Medical – Information category in Australia was at the highest point ever over a 3-year time period in June 2008. There was a 27.4% increase in visits to Health & Medical – Information websites year-on-year comparing June 07 and June 08. 

Virtual Medical Centre, an Australian website that provides health information written by medical professionals, was one of the fastest growing websites contributing to the growth in this category. Traffic to Virtual Medical Centre gathered momentum in August last year, and since then has increased by 322.7% amongst all websites. 

 Two other websites of note are the genetic web-based service, 23andMe and Google Health, which allows users to organise their own health information. The author notes that there are many trust, privacy and regulatory issues that need to be nutted out before these types of websites will flourish.  

Facebook Experiment - Telstra Fan Page April 2008


When I was working for Telstra, I conducted a social networking experiment on Facebook. A Telstra Fan Page had previously been set up on Facebook with 34 fans. Commencing on Saturday, 19th April 2008, the experiment tested if I could increase the number of fans in seven days just by utilising my friends network, which numbered 200. 

The theory was that based on a recommendation (invitation), I could get my network to sign-up as 'fans'. The goal was to get to 100 fans in seven days by simply inviting contacts. By midnight on Friday, 25th April, there were 116 fans registered - an increase of 341% during the test period. The numbers doubled by Monday 21st April (69 fans) and tripled by Thursday, 24th April (102). 

 What did I conclude from this? Two things - (a) don't underestimate the power of your personal network for something they may support based on a recommendation and (b) the Facebook friends network is a good way to rally for a cause quickly and efficiently. My thanks to all those who particpated.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Internet responsible for rise in sexual disease?


 Internet dating and Viagra are among the suspected causes of a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in people over the age of 45, according to research coming out of the UK. New statistics from West Midland health protection authorities show that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, and not just in young adults, but also in the more mature. 

Previous sexual health campaigns and awareness programs have concentrated primarily on the under-25s, but this latest research demonstrates that sexual risk-taking is also a trend in the over-45s. "Increased international travel, Internet dating, new drugs to counter erectile dysfunction and overlapping sexual networks may also be factors," he says.  

Japanese developing 3D display in your hand


 Japanese researchers are developing a gadget that could enable a person to hold a three-dimensional image of someone in the palm of their hand. They hope the gCubik, which is still at the prototype stage, will be developed to move in real time and appear to speak. "The ultimate image we have in mind is having a small person in your palm," said Shunsuke Yoshida, a researchers involved in the study at Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. 

 "Suppose you have a picture of your girlfriend smiling on your desk. She could be smiling as a 3D image in a cube," he told AFP at a recent gathering of imaging researchers in Tokyo. Grandparents could use the device, which comes in a 10cm cube, to see a 3D image of a distant grandchild, while business people could view prototypes from afar and school teachers could use it in science classes, he said. 

 At the moment the device has a still image but efforts are underway to make it move in real time, Yoshida said. The panels have many tiny lenses on liquid crystal displays. Unlike conventional 3D displays, which are viewed only from the front, the gCubik can be seen from three sides, giving different images from various angles. And, unlike conventional 3D, users will not need glasses to see the benefit. 
Yoshida said the team hopes to put the technology to practical use within about three years by improving picture quality, getting rid of cords now attached to the cube and allowing viewing from all six sides of the box. The team also wants to give vocal sounds to the 3D image in the future, making it appear as if the person in the cube is speaking.   

Net could be 100 times faster: Sydney Uni Scientists


 According to ninemesn, University of Sydney scientists say they have developed a new technology that could speed up the internet - and not cost users an extra cent. 

Described as "a small scratch on a piece of glass", the university's photonic integrated circuit boosts the performance of traditional optic fibres, Professor Ben Eggleton said. "This circuit uses the 'scratch' as a guide or a switching a path for information - kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another - except this switch takes one picosecond to change tracks," Prof Eggleton said of the technology developed over the past four years. "This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times." "Currently we use electronics for our switching and that has been OK, but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant web gratification." 

 Prof Eggleton said initial testing of the technology showed it was possible to achieve internet speeds 60 times faster than the current Telstra network. But if developed further, the circuit could reach speeds 100 times faster, he said. "This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there," Prof Eggleton said. "We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more."  

iPhone 3G Launch: One Million Sold in 3 Days


According to, despite activation and configuration problems which frustrated users, Apple sold more than one million iPhone 3G mobile phones on the launch weekend from Friday, 10th to Sunday 13th July, 2008, according to the company.

The phone went on sale in 21 countries - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the US - on Friday 10th July and will go on sale in France on Thursday 17th July.

"iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive. "It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world."

Glitches caused when an Apple server designed to let users activate their gadgets
crashed under the load of existing iPhone owners trying to upgrade to new software that was released at the launch of the iPhone 3G. Most of the glitches appeared to have been solved by Monday morning, but the problem was a severe embarrassment for Apple that prides itself on maximising ease of use for its customers.

The new iPhone 3G updates the previous iPhone with much faster connection speeds and built-in GPS, but many analysts believe the most significant update is the new software that allows users access to thousands of applications developed by third parties and available through Apple's online store.

Microsoft, Netflix and Social Networking

ABOUT DEVICE AND SOCIAL NETWORKING CONVERGENCE: Another step was taken today in device and social networking convergence when Microsoft announced that their Xbox 360 game console would stream movies from Netflix. According to, Microsoft announced details about updates to its Xbox 360 gaming console, including a partnership that will allow instant streaming from Netflix - including social network integration with the Live Party System. "We are creating a completely new social entertainment experience, and Xbox 360 will be the only video game system where you can access your library of instantly streamable movies from Netflix and turn any room into a virtual movie theater," John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, software and services business at Microsoft, said in a statement. "For Netflix, it represents an important step forward in making instantly streaming movies on the TV more broadly available to our members," said Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix. On the social networking front, the Netflix partnership will also enable users to watch movies together through the Live Party System. Gamers can create "parties" of up to eight friends who can chat in the dashboard, follow one another from game to game, share slideshows of personal photos, or watch movies from the Netflix library. The console will also include Xbox Live Primetime, live gaming events broadcast simultaneously to the gamers' systems and the consoles of their friends. 

Monday, July 14, 2008

World's oldest blogger has made her final post - aged 108.


And they say the older generation can't use technology...

The Australian woman renowned as the world's oldest internet blogger has made her final post, aged 108. Olive Riley, of Woy Woy on NSW's central coast, died in a nursing home just after 6am (AEST) on Saturday. She will be mourned by family and an international readership in the thousands.

"It was mind blowing to her," her great grandson Darren Stone, of Brisbane, told AAP on Sunday night. She had people communicating with her from as far away as Russia and America on a continual basis, not just once in a while."

Olive had posted more than 70 entries on her blog - or as she jokingly labelled it, her "blob" - since February last year.

The ardent Sydney Swans AFL fan shared her day-to-day musings and her life's experiences raising three children on her own, living through two world wars and the Depression, her work as a station cook in rural Queensland and as an egg sorter and barmaid in Sydney.

In her final post, dated June 26, an increasingly frail Olive noted she couldn't "shake off that bad cough". She also: "... read a whole swag of email messages and comments from my internet friends today, and I was so pleased to hear from you. Thank you, one and all."
Olive's musing live on at and more recently at

She was born in 1899, and would have turned 109 on October 20, 2009. "She enjoyed the notoriety - it kept her mind fresh," Mr Stone said. "What kept her going was the memories she had, and being able to recall those memories so strongly." Olive's funeral will be held at Palmdale Cemetery, on the NSW Central Coast, late this week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WYD08: Am I Invited or Not?


I was walking along Sydney's Hyde Park last week and couldn't resist taking a photo of this Event tent for World Youth Day commencing the 15th July.

I felt welcome when I read the top banner but when I got nearer to the doors.... #noentry

About Iggy Pintado in 2008

ABOUT ME IN 2008: 
I'm an accomplished and experienced business leader, executive, coach and mentor. Over the last 22 years, I've held professional, management and executive positions in marketing, sales, channels, operations and online management at both technology giant IBM Australia (1986-2006) and until recently, at telecommunications specialists, Telstra. 

 I'm a ‘super-connected’ networker and am in the Top 30 most connected business networkers in Australia on Linkedin with currently over 3300 direct connections and 12.5 million secondary connections. In April 2008, I co-founded a business networking consulting, marketing, coaching and mentoring business called ConnectGen, where I am CEO and CNO (Chief Networking Officer). This business is under development so watch this space! 

 I'm passionate about passing on my knowledge, learnings and insights to large and small organisations alike. I'm regularly invited to present at business conferences, tertiary institutions and leadership seminars. I'm also a sought-after mentor as I am held in high regard by people I've managed and worked with during my corporate career. I actively mentor senior managers, top talent professionals and graduates at companies he has worked with. 

 In summary, I'm a passionate, motivated and experienced leader - and people-person - who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge into the 21st century business online world. I'm ready, willing and able to provide this acquired expertise to any organisation, group or audience - and to my newly established blog!