Friday, December 12, 2008
"How often do you try to chat with somebody and they don't respond because they just walked away from their computer? Or maybe you're in the middle of chatting with them just as they need to leave. But you still need to tell them something -- something really important like you've moved where you're meeting...or ice cream! We need ice cream! This is why we built a way to chat with your friends even when they're away from their computers. Now you can keep the conversations going with a new Labs feature that lets you send SMS text messages right from Gmail. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from the comfort of your computer, and your friends can peck out replies on their little keyboards."
"As was reported yesterday, Google’s browser Chrome is coming out of beta — a mere 100 days after it was introduced. When I commented to Sundar Pichai, Product VP, that this had to be one of the fastest exits from beta for Google in recent memory he explained that “Google has a very traditional approach to our client software products,” meaning it accelerates the process of getting them to a general release."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
. . .
While the economic effects of recession can be dire, in the long term the effect on work and working habits can be positive."
. . .
So what impact will the current recession have on work over the next decade?
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First, while the focus is still on shoring up finance and the economy, in time we will begin to question the prevailing norms of leadership and decision-making. The dominant “command and control” leadership style that allows a chief executive such as Richard Fuld at Lehman Brothers unilaterally to make decisions about the whole company will increasingly come under scrutiny. If the crowd is indeed wise, why do we put our faith in the decisions and knowledge of a tiny fraction of people?
. . .
Next, past recessions have often served to accelerate the development of practices and processes that had limited popularity pre-recession. Before the 1990s recession, for example, off-shoring was seen to be too complex and difficult an option. It was only with the cost imperatives of the recession that off-shoring was initially pushed and then eventually became a norm, later to be broadened and deepened into its current application. The same is true of group-ware technologies, which have had limited uptake as people said they would prefer to meet face to face. Now, however, those who last year would have jumped on a plane to attend meetings have had their travel budgets slashed. They are being forced to use video conferencing and webcasts. . . . . Others, however, will have fundamentally changed their habits and begun to build working communities that are virtual.
Finally, the 2008-2009 recession will profoundly change the way occupations are seen. Each previous recession has had some impact on perceptions. The 1990s recession slowed the rush to technology and start-ups. The current one may well have the same impact on banking, which has been a huge magnet for talent. The upside would be that our most talented youngsters might look to more than just investment banking for a career.
Recessions are a time of destruction of the old order, a time when assumptions are questioned and nascent practices and ideas are given space to flourish. That is little cheer for now but, in the longer term, an enormous stimulus for change.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
"The big TV networks haven’t given up on their own sites, but in 2008, some networks have started to embrace YouTube. CBS, in a very resourceful move, recently announced a partnership with YouTube to stream full length episodes of popular shows like “MacGyver.” MGM has also reached an agreement to post movies on YouTube. Between funny skateboarding accidents and full-length episodes of MacGyver, I don’t think I’ll ever leave YouTube."
"YouTube rolls out a new ad-model. Recently, YouTube internal search results have started to look a little more like Google.com results. Google has used AdWords functionality to allow advertisers to bid on YouTube search terms that trigger ads to appear in the “sponsored video” section of the YouTube search results. For example, an advertiser selling first aid products might benefit from bidding on the “funny skateboarding accidents” phrase. Unlike Google.com, clicking on the ad keeps the user on the YouTube domain, where they see a featured video from the advertiser. This channel could be particularly effective for studios promoting movie trailers, companies bringing a new product to market, and brand advertisers like car manufacturers wanting to showcase products. 2009 will tell if sponsored video becomes the effective YouTube ad model that advertisers have been craving."