Percussion Software introduced its Personalization Solution, the latest in its Percussion 2.0 Solution Series. Personalization is one of Percussion’s pre-packaged solutions to help organizations to create a more effective multi-channel web presence. With the Personalization Solution, organizations can create a “personal” messaging experience for their online audiences by tracking visitor behaviors and optimizing site presentation. The new Personalization Solution is meant to help enable organizations to deliver more effective online messaging and a more dynamic Web presence, with the stronger, richer personalization that encourages site visitors to be more engaged online, and more likely to become repeat visitors. Percussion’s approach to Personalization gives business users the ability to rapidly change both content and personalization without IT intervention. http://www.percussion.com
Vignette (NASDAQ: VIGN) announced significant enhancements to its Web Experience Platform foundation. Vignette’s integrated Web Experience Platform foundation is meant to help organizations quickly manage and deliver targeted content and facilitate user interaction and collaboration with the high performance and scalability required to support large-scale deployments. Vignette Content Management lets users streamline the creation and management of Web content and reduce bottlenecks associated with the delivery and publishing of that information. Enhanced features include friendly URLs to increase search engine site rankings, skip level upgrades to reduce the steps necessary to upgrade from older environments and integration with Vignette High-Performance Delivery (HPD). Vignette Portal allows business users to elevate their brand identity and engage in more personalized Web interactions with key audiences. New capabilities include integration with HPD and Vignette’s recently announced Community product line. Vignette Collaboration helps organizations drive productivity, improve knowledge management and more efficiently direct business processes that require interaction across disparate geographic and organizational boundaries. The latest release features new social computing capabilities including ratings, reviews, tagging and usage analysis. Additional enhancements include improved usability and performance and enhanced support for blogs, wikis and discussion forums. Collaboration also supports auditing and retention policies which enable organizations to more actively manage knowledge relative to compliance.
Marketbright, an on-demand emarketing solution with an integrated web content management platform, launched Brightsite, a new product that uses aspects of social networking to create a stronger bond between sales, marketing and the customer. Brightsite creates the equivalent of a B2B shopping cart for enterprise web sites. Brightsite provides a plug-and-play membership management tool for any enterprise website. Brightsite also provides the customer with a member account page with links to all events and offers they have accessed in the past, their account team, and other account-specific information, creating an easy-to-access history for new team members. Customer members also can invite their colleagues into a private, shared collaborative space. The new, interactive and personalized widgets can be easily introduced into existing web sites. Brightsite also allows greater cooperation between sales and marketing teams, allowing a customer’s microsite to become a branding tool with enhanced collaboration opportunities and fresh content. With Brightsite, the marketing team will be able to blast new content, but it will look customized for the sales person’s named accounts. Sales personnel will be able to review beforehand to ensure appropriateness of offers/content, to block the content, or to put a personalized note and pick and choose which items get forwarded on to their customers. http://www.marketbright.com
Amazon’s front page today is announcing that the Kindle is back in stock. They also provide a link to Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to Amazon shareholders, which is dedicated to his thoughts about the Kindle. Nothing earth shattering, though I do think he tries to get to the heart of the question about why someone would buy a Kindle when they already own both a Blackberry and a desktop or notebook computer. After the obligatory reference to Gutenberg, Bezos writes:
Lately, networked tools such as desktop computers, laptops, cell phones and PDAs have changed us too. They’ve shifted us more toward information snacking, and I would argue toward shorter attention spans. I value my BlackBerry–I’m convinced it makes me more productive–but I don’t want to read a three-hundred-page document on it. Nor do I want to read something hundreds of pages long on my desktop computer or my laptop. As I’ve already mentioned in this letter, people do more of what’s convenient and friction-free. If our tools make information snacking easier, we’ll shift more toward information snacking and away from long-form reading. Kindle is purpose-built for long-form reading. We hope Kindle and its successors may gradually and incrementally move us over years into a world with longer spans of attention, providing a counterbalance to the recent proliferation of info-snacking tools.
This is an interesting way to position Kindle or any eBook reader–the competition isn’t the other devices per se but the habits these other devices have accommodated. This is true, I suppose, but I still think that devices will emerge that support both kinds of information consumption–the short form and the long form. What’s missing in Kindle, interestingly, are some features that would make “information snacking” also possible–and useful. As David Guenette pointed out, the Kindle could have readily added MP3 support (“It has the ICs and jacks for playing MP3 files, but no playlist management, nor–absurdly enough, considering that Amazon is set up to sell things like music–any iTunes-like music downloading.”) Plus the idea of paying to read a blog that is otherwise free on the Web is just silly.
So we are still left with, as David calls it, the “additional device conundrum.” I have been using an eBook reader lately, and enjoying it, but there are limitations with that one and what I can read on it. I want to be able to read, at minimum, books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, general web sites, and a wide range of personal content including but not limited to Word, HTML, PDF, and XML formats. I want it to be brain-dead easy to download and access new content. As David points out, I also want multimedia. And I want a level of interactivity to include links, forms, and feedback. I want it to be cheap, powerful, and sturdy, and I want the reading experience to be superior to my notebook computer in terms of size, weight, portability, and readability. In other words, I want something like the Kindle in form factor that behaves much like a really good notebook computer.
Is that too much to ask?