Massimo enjoys Wine Tasting at iOS bootcamp, photo by Michiel Berger

Sometimes it is important to dig deeper into how things work.  As children we disassemble things or dissect them for better understanding of what we are really dealing with.  Last week I chose to immerse myself in such an experience provided by the Big Nerd Ranch’s Europe campus at Kloster Eberbach.  Okay, so the name speaks for itself, and the class was iOS programming (iPhone/iPad Apps). Having become a true adopter of both devices, my curiosity got the best of me. I re-discovered my inner geek, and renewed my respect for programming, after 15 years of strategy.

You may wonder what this has to do with social strategy.  A lot, is my answer, and here is why.  Social has to do with people, how they communicate, the tools they use, what results from their interaction, and impact from engagement. Quite rapidly the device of choice for communication is becoming the mobile handset.  Executives who were previously computer shy are now carrying around tablets and entering the world of electronic communication that way.  We teach using these devices as tools for sharing, for exploring, for deepening knowledge and for innovating.  It is important to understand what it takes to make these tools effective and how. Understanding the opportunities they present and barriers to entry from both creation and adoption of these tools is critical for strategic usage. Who are we trying to reach, how do they use the tools and what can we expect in the future are all critical questions to ask. (more…)

The Xmedia Lab in Malmö on Friday with a focus on Location Based we were treated to some great speakers with relevant insight.  Here are some of my take away reflections put in the social context.  Thank you to all of the great speakers for sharing your insight.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Johan P Bang, MD Future Position X emphasized that without the continual build out of infrastructure the effectivity of location based tools will remain confined to highly developed areas.  It location based tracking must be integrated into all new projects – from city planning to building construction and telecommunications.  Gigi Wang, Chair Emeritus Stanford/MIT Venture Lab, reminded us to also consider in densely populated cities with high rises, the importance of the Z component to improve indoor tracking and height. (more…)

I admit, I have always been a little impatient with technology.  Somehow I was born with the “when” gene not the “if”.  It has served me well in deciding where to live, what path to choose and the methodology to get there.  As one friend so aptly told me, “you are one of those people that has to swim across the river with the rope to determine where the bridge will be placed.”  I admit, there were times, when the current was too strong and I swam back to safety in order to survive. I realize I have had the luxury of a safe shore to return to.  For the most part, my tenacity (others might call me “stubborn”) eventually got me to the other side.  What it takes most of the time is neither the tenacity/stubborness nor the strength, but rather the belief in the path and the result.  Often this takes a leap of faith, but that is part of the process of acceptance of the result. I have always been determined to conquer my “what if’s.”

So enough of metaphorically speaking, as there is much to be said there, but may risk being “fluffy.”  After a nice off-line break in which I had the opportunity to catch up on much overdue reading and sleep, I found myself excited for many things in 2011.  This is what I wish to share with you.  You can call them predictions, you can call them wishes, you can call them dreams.  I will do whatever I can in my power to help them come to fruition. (more…)

I have been immersed in social media policy design for the last two weeks. The key seems to be more in finding clarity in both the definition and implications of social rather than the policy itself. After all strategically, we are not simply referring to playing with the latest technology and connecting for the social feel-good factor. Social is not just about communicating about the brand and products, but it is about the people that are part of the idea, the process, the product, the consumption and the profit of it. Before we can effectively implement policies we need to explain the “why.” The arguments for it are no different than the arguments for better business practices (but here are just a few): (more…)