May 8, 2009

Free ebook: ‘Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing’


JD LasicaIt surprises me how many people don’t know about the fabulous work being done by the Aspen Institute, the 59-year-old international nonprofit organization that works on environmental and economic concerns. It’s a sort of constantly evolving think tank perfectly suited for the new economy: The Aspen Institute convenes roundtables — in Aspen, Colo., Washington, DC, India, Israel, all around the globe — and generally gathers 25 to 30 experts and thought leaders to tackle important public policy issues. During my last two trips to Aspen I met and spoke with Al Gore and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

I’ve been lucky enough to participate in three such roundtables and to write the following reports, which the institute turns into print books (available for purchase) and makes available as free ebook downloads in the PDF format:

The Mobile Generation: Global Transformations at the Cellular Level, 72 pages, February 2007: a look at the profound changes ahead as a result of the convergence of wireless technologies and the Internet, with an emphasis on how youths use mobile technology (download ebook as PDF).

Civic Engagement on the Move: How Mobile Media Can Serve the Public Good, 110 pages, July 2008: a look at the startling growth in the use of cell phones and other mobile devices and the ways mobile technology can be used to advance the social good (download ebook as PDF).

• And now the just-released Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction (image above), 110 pages, May 2009: a look at the next-generation Internet and how it will impact all facets of society.

Download the free ebook (as a PDF). Or see the landing page. (If you came here from Twitter and are interested in the subject, my ID is @jdlasica.)

Aspen Reports now using Creative Commons licenses

I’m happy to report that Charlie Firestone, executive director of the institute’s Communications and Society Program, took up my suggestion and has agreed to release the new report under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license, the same license I’ve been using for all of my blog posts for years. That means anyone is free to republish excerpts of the report, or the report in its entirely, for noncommercial purposes. (See excerpt below.)

Not only that, but Charlie has agreed:

• to retroactively release my still-timely two earlier reports, Civic Engagement on the Move and The Mobile Generation, under the same CC BY NC license.

• to publish all upcoming Roundtable on Information Technology reports with the CC BY NC license.

• to recommend that all of the institute’s Communications and Society Program publications be published the same way. “I will take it up with the Aspen Director of Communications, and perhaps other reports at the Institute could be published with that license as well,” he tells me.

This, to my mind, is a coup for Creative Commons, given the world-class scholarship and policy proposals that the Aspen Institute is now making freely available for redistribution and remixing.

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April 29, 2009

Web 2.0 investment strategy

Outperform rivals by using Adoption Cycle

Christopher S. RollysonIn the Web 2.0 Adoption Curve, I asserted that executives had a career-defining opportunity to leapfrog competitors by using risk management to manage through the Web 2.0 adoption cycle. The cycle will also feature a backlash against—and investment gap in—Web 2.0 beginning next year.

Here I’ll discuss in more detail how to avoid the downdraft and outperform competitors over the next several years. Web 2.0 will transform organizations and society because it changes how people discover, build and maintain relationships. All organizations need to understand these dynamics, so they can become stronger and more relevant.

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April 18, 2009

Web 2.0 Adoption Curve, 2009-2015

A blueprint for social networking investments

Christopher S. RollysonWeb 2.0 and social networks have gained perceptible mindshare during the first quarter of 2009, and conversations with clients, fellow speakers at conferences and online conversations are clearly showing the reappearance of a familiar adoption curve. Here I’ll discuss the Adoption Curve for Web 2.0 and Social Networks and provide rough milestones, so you can use it to gauge your investments in Web 2.0. You can avoid some of the extremes that the majority of the market will experience.

In addition, I will also show how Web 2.0 provides a rare opportunity to develop competitive advantage ahead of the market.

Having been on the front lines of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting’s E-Business Strategy practice during Web 1.0 (the Internet bubble), I am not surprised to see the familiar bubble pattern developing, so this is a rare opportunity to recognize it and produce tremendous value by avoiding some of the mistakes most companies make when adopting disruptive technology.

What I want to draw your attention to is not the disruptive technology itself, but rather the market’s perception of the technology. The Web 1.0 bubble was caused by distorted perceptions of the technology, what it could do, and when it could produce value. Companies’ perceptions of the value it could deliver were unrealistic. However, the Internet has produced fantastic value; it just took longer than most people thought. Therefore, a rare opportunity presents itself: What if executives could understand the Web 2.0 Adoption Curve and make more realistic investments?

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March 19, 2009

Netvibes: The widget factory

JD LasicaHere’s a recent interview I did with Netvibes CEO Freddy Mini in the company’s San Francisco offices. Widgets (little pieces of code that bring in real-time data) are becoming increasingly important in the Web 2.0 world — to individuals, companies and organizations — and Netvibes has been an early pioneer in the field.

Netvibes provides widgets and personalized start pages to 2.5 million active users. You can access 146,970 different widgets — all free — in the Netvibes Ecosystem section. Many widgets have only a small, tightly focused readership, but others have broader appeal. For example, the Technology Review widget, featuring headlines and images that accompany recent articles, has had 657,077 installs. (If you’re logged into Netvibes, you can install it here.)

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January 24, 2009

How to Web 2.0-enable your live event

David SparkProducing and attending corporate events, like conferences and trade shows, is not cheap. But people still ‘attend in’ and ‘pay by’ the thousands for the unforeseen value to be had in education and new business relations.

Whatever reputation develops from your event, everyone can benefit from layering social tools (some call it Web 2.0 technology) to enhance the connectedness and interactivity among all interested parties. Event-based social media is in line with the goals of attendees and event producers: to improve physical logistics, distribute information, connect people, and enhance face-to-face conversations.

If you’re producing an event, begin by asking yourself what services, often free, can I take advantage of to extend the event’s social value for those people attending, those who can’t attend, and everyone who wants to look back after the fact. You should look towards Web 2.0 tools, those that behave like socialized desktop applications, to be the catalyst to spread the knowledge and enhanced interaction among all interested parties, whether they’re physically present or not. An event’s information and conversation can be distributed via a variety of means: bulletin boards, photos, video sharing, recorded discussions, news reports, live wikis, quick updates, opinions of event goers, Q&A, group chat, reminders, recommendations, how-to advice, maps, and directions to the next event.

Historically, social networks and like-minded Web 2.0 tools empower users to keep in touch with the thousands of people they’ve collected in their contact database. Without applications like social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, photo sharing, podcasts, video blogs, and of course email it would be impossible for anyone to stay in touch with so many people.

When you meet someone at an event, follow through takes effort, a lot of effort. The communication drop-off rate following a conference is huge. You start with good intentions, trade business cards with the promise of following up. But if you don’t make a note of your meeting and send a message immediately after the conference, the moment is long forgotten. Luckily, Web 2.0 tools offer platforms for attendees and producers to take advantage of communications before, during, and after an event.

Read the full article

I offer my full article “How to Web 2.0-enable your live event.” Read online or download and print the PDF. The article offers advice for producers on how to extend the functionality of a live event by socializing a content network with Web 2.0 tools and enabling conversation around it. Plus it includes a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

January 12, 2009

’49 amazing social media, Web 2.0 and Internet stats’

Adam Singer at The Future Buzz: 49 Amazing Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats. Excerpt:

1 trillion: approximate number of unique URLs in Google’s index.


2,695,205 – the number of articles in English on Wikipedia

684,000,000 – the number of visitors to Wikipedia in the last year

75,000 – the number of active contributors to Wikipedia


70,000,000 – number of total videos on YouTube  (March 2008)

200,000 – number of video publishers on YouTube (March 2008)

100,000,000 – number of YouTube videos viewed per day


133,000,000 – number of blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002

346,000,000 – number of people globally who read blogs (comScore March 2008)

900,000 – average number of blog posts in a 24 hour period

77% – percentage of active Internet users who read blogs


1,111,991,000 – number of Tweets to date (see an up to the minute count here)

3,000,000 – number of Tweets/day


150,000,000 – number of active users

170 – number of countries/territories that use Facebook

2,600,000,000 – number of minutes global users in aggregate spend on Facebook daily

100 – number of friends the average user has

700,000,000 – number of photos added to Facebook monthly

52,000 – number of applications currently available on Facebook