Author Archive for Frank Gilbane

Gilbane Advisor 2-15-17 — Apple and Web Standards, Gen Z, AMP links, Cognitive Overhead

Next-generation 3D Graphics on the Web

Thanks to Benedict Evans for noticing this. From his newsletter:

Apple proposed web standards that give web pages access to the smartphone (or PC) GPU to run ‘general purpose computation’ (i.e. machine learning) as well as graphics. Very surprising – I’d have expected this from Google or Facebook rather than ‘everything should be an app’ Apple…

This is good news for the open web, and I don’t find it surprising at all. The open web is under attack from many directions, but it is not going away even in an all mobile world. The question is its relative share with proprietary channels, and neither Apple, Google, or Facebook knows just how that will evolve. The article is a bit technical. Read More

Marketers note… Gen Z Rising Fast

Millennial entrepreneur Brit Morin…

… lately, I’m beginning to feel like I’m no longer part of the popular crowd at school. The focus has shifted to a new group of kids in town: Generation Z. … Last year, I sat in on an internal strategy discussion at a Fortune 500 beauty brand where the CEO spent 30 minutes discussing this new generation; the term “millennial” seemed to be used in the past tense. … Gen Zers are more diverse than past generations in both psychographics and demographics, and can’t be reached by traditional business tactics.

And to think how far behind so many companies are even providing a good mobile experience! Read More

Google makes it easier to see and share publishers’ real URLs from AMP pages

This is an example of the ongoing tug of war between platforms and publishers for control over content. This is not a war someone wins, but a long sometimes painful rebalancing. This concession addresses a big concern about AMP, but will it be enough to attract a critical mass of publishers? Read More

Cognitive Overhead is Your Product’s Overlord

No one intends to build a product with large cognitive overhead, but it happens if there isn’t forethought and recognition for it. “We saw the value being added with Flock’s predictive abilities — and a small group of users really loved them — but it was a cognitive maze for the rest of the world,” says Lieb. “The moment you assume people understand the value you’re adding — especially when it’s a new concept — you dive into cognitive overhead territory.”

David Lieb has some interesting, perhaps counter-intuitive, ideas for navigating this problem. Read More

Software Startup Markets Raising the Most Capital in 2017

Hopefully some validation rather than a surprise for investors, startups, and of course analysts. Read More

Software investment 2017

Also…

The best kind of case study… A Year of Running a SaaS “Side Business” via Priceonomics

So many big data opportunities… The Greatest Public Datasets for AI via Startupgrind

One example, but what is the future of app stores? Making More Outside The App Store via the Rogue Amoeba Blog

A little geeky but fun… Amazon is eating the software (which is eating the world via Hackernoon

A slightly subversive way to research Technical Leadership Indicators via Winton Technology Blog

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

Gilbane Advisor 1-27-17 — Apple Facebook dance, platform battles

The Great Unbundling

We’ve seen the different ways the internet unbundled print and music. TV is evolving, or at least unbundling, more slowly. Ben Thompson has been tracking this for some time. In his latest look he focuses on TV and how Facebook, Snapchat are contributing to its unbundling. This is not just about commercial TV but video and advertising in general. Read More

Speaking of video, just as Facebook is starting to pushing long form video…

Parse.ly finds users not that engaged with video

Parse.ly examined the performance of four types of posts within its network of 700 sites: long-form, short-form, video, and slideshows. Read More

engagement time performance by content type - via Parse.lySlide by Parse.ly 

The iPhone Unsung Sine Qua Non

Telecommunications companies have historically been masters of control, and their tight grip has often slowed down their own, and other industries’, progress. While Apple has some control issues of their own, their wresting substantial control from the carriers has opened up huge opportunities not just for them, but for everyone. Control, however, is never a permanent state, and shifts are often unforeseen.

In retrospect, the ascendency of Smartphone 2.0 and the way it has shaped our culture seems obvious and natural. But the celebration and contemplation overlooks a crucial Sine Qua Non, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition: Unlocking the carriers’ grip on handset specifications, marketing, and content distribution. Read More

​Speaking of control…

The coming war between Apple and Facebook

Facebook has been phenomenally successful in mobile advertising. But they have long chafed at their dependence on the dominance of the only two mobile platforms that matter, Apple and Google. All three companies are jockeying for platform, content, and advertising control. Mobile marketing strategists need to track this, and Eric Seufert provides a rewarding deep dive that focuses on the Apple Facebook dance. Facebook is hoping messaging can replace operating systems as a more level platform battlefield. Read More

Speaking of messaging apps as platforms…

Tencent launches ‘mini programs’ for WeChat

WeChat is still leading the messaging-as-platform push and are who to watch first. Even though they “only” have some 800 million users in China they may lead in engagement time. WeChat ‘mini programs’ compete with Google ‘instant apps’, all app stores, and of course Facebook Messenger and other messaging products. Read More

Blockstack’s Vision to Reinvent the Web for Better Privacy

Based on blockchain technology as you might guess. The approach is one to watch and there are many companies working on it.

…instead of needing to create accounts with each site, as people do with Google or Facebook, users of sites built on Blockstack’s system will control their own digital identity (or identities). To use a site that needs your information, you will grant access to a profile under your control alone. If you want to stop using a service, you can revoke its access to your profile and data and take it elsewhere. Read More

Also…

On Their Tenth Anniversary, Mobile Apps Start Eating Their Own and of course are also threatened by ‘mini programs’, ‘instant apps’ and bots. via Flurry Analytics

On Medium 1: Jessica Lessin… What Everyone Is Missing About Media Business Models via The Information

On Medium 2: Frederic Filloux… A New Model for Medium via Monday Note

Would be fascinating to have comparable survey of U.S citizens… 70% of Europeans Aren’t Willing to Sacrifice Privacy for New Services, Survey Reveals via Tripwire 

I love quiet, but there is a cost. Think about this… Our Silent Future via The Information

Businesses are people too! and deserve a good CX and DX… Measuring B2B’s digital gap via Mckinsey

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

Gilbane Advisor 1-5-17 — Bots, Deep Learning, Mobile Marketing

Happy New year Dear Reader!

We have chosen a small number of the superabundance of end-of-year reviews and predictions to recommend, each focused on rapidly developing areas that are important for you to keep up with, even if at a high level. Topics include bots, deep learning, mobile, marketing technology, software development, and design.

Bot Check-In: A Year of Disappointment

Sam Lessin sums it up and explains.

Despite lots of PR, neither Facebook, Amazon or Google-developed bot platforms this year made it easy for developers to work with. Narrowly focused services can thrive in the near-term but mass-market bots have a way to go. Read More

Deep Learning 2016: The Year in Review

Jan Bussieck provides a really useful, not-too-technical, recap and look forward.

The many revolutionary results we have seen in 2016, be they in medical imaging, self-driving cars or machine translation also point to the fact that moving along the axes of data and compute power will lead to diminishing marginal returns… This means that the greatest yields can be reaped from pushing the third frontier forward, to develop algorithms that can learn from raw unlabelled data such as video or text. Read More

2016’s top programming trends

2016 brought many exciting developments in software and 2017 promises to be even better as containers and functional programming languages grow in adoption and JavaScript moves to become even more central parts of standard development practice. Read More 

Mobile is eating the world – 2016

Benedict Evans’ latest version of his well known presentation is not just about mobile but covers computing and market issues in the context of today’s dominant platform. The link provides access to both his slides and video presentation. Read More

2017 predictions for mobile marketing

In terms of industry headline value, possibly the two most intriguing mobile advertising developments in 2016 were perpetrated by platform operators: Google massively extended its suite of mobile advertising products and Apple introduced in-store search ads…

Eric Seufer provides three predictions for this year. Read More

Who controls the marketing tech stack in 2017: The CIO or CMO?

There are lots of workable options for collaboration. Dion Hinchcliffe suggests some scenarios. Read More

Also…

Keep up with design… Top 10 UX Articles of 2016 Announced via Nielsen Norman Group

And don’t forget… Content Structure in Tables via Story Needle

When Java shops grow up they become web companies or vice versa? via Redmonk

Speaking of software… Is it a good time to start a software company? via Sam Gerstenzang

What happens when everyone has a camera?… Cameras, ecommerce and machine learning via Benedict Evans

 

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

Gilbane Advisor 11-4-16 – mobile / desktop evolution, enterprise software, attribution

In the spirit of right-tool-for-the-job, our first two articles relate to the evolution of mobile and desktop platforms. There is a lot of, mostly rational, exuberance around the speed with which smartphones are taking over the world. But that is only possible because they are not limited to content in native apps and walled gardens. According to StatCounter, mobile is now responsible for more web page views than desktops. Its share will continue to grow because that is where most of the content will be. This is a metric that has been under-appreciated because of too much attention on usage time — access to all content is surely more valuable than limited content chosen by someone else, even if it is more engaging.

At some point we won’t need both desktops and mobile devices, but in the meantime they each have jobs they are much better at and will be the preferred tool for. Our second article looks at this in terms input devices, the new Macs, and Apple’s strategy.

Mobile leads in page views

… this doesn’t necessarily mean … that people are using their mobile devices more than their computers, it does for certain mean people are viewing more individual webpages on mobile browsers than they are on desktop versions. Read More

mobile / desktop evolution

Wherefore art thou Macintosh?

Horace Dediu explains how the new MacBooks fit into the mobile / desktop evolution and Apple’s strategy around it.

It cannot take on the role of being the future. That belongs to the touch screen devices. It will not morph into a touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by putting on skinny jeans. What it will do is become better at what it is hired to do. … The key to the Mac therefore becomes that which the iPad/iPhone isn’t: an indirect input device. The keyboard and mouse/trackpad are what define the Mac. Read More

Enterprise Software: Death and Transfiguration – What’s The Future?

Once upon a time — and it was a time that lasted some thirty years — there was no better place for VCs to invest in the broad world of tech than enterprise software. This is no longer true, and the enterprise is missing out as a result. What’s an entrepreneur or VC to do? Read More

WeChat’s Next Step Toward a SuperApp

If you haven’t heard of Google “instant apps” you should look into it even though many think that they are a ways off. One reason is that WeChat is working on something similar for their 800 million users.

WeChat’s pitch to software developers is that instead of having to build one version of their app for Android phones and another for the 20% of Chinese who use iPhones, they can just build on WeChat to serve both sets of customers. And the use case will get strengthened as more users find it natural to stay within WeChat to open the easier-to-build mini-apps. That’s an especially attractive proposition as Chinese users are loading fewer and fewer apps. Read More

Analytics CEO makes a passionate case against marketing attribution

Sergio Maldonado has a guest post on Scott Brinkler’s blog and he is looking for debaters.

It all started with a beautiful idea. Cross-channel attribution (or “multi-touch attribution”) became a popular concept at the time when web analytics had just completed its journey from IT to the marketing department (circa 2008). Read More

Gilbane Digital Content Conference

Main conference: November 29 – 30 ● Workshops: December 1, 2016
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

Register today!
and use code F16G for an extra discount

Also…

Soon, Google to divide index, giving mobile users better & fresher content than desktop.  Hmm… “better and fresher” but less content? via Search Engine Land

How the Web Became Unreadable Yes, and continued variability of displays will exacerbate. via Backchannel

“…an update to adjust to the ‘smartphone revolution'”… Google has quietly dropped ban on personally identifiable web tracking via ProPublica

Contrast with WeChat approach… Behind Facebook’s Messenger Missteps via The Information

Take that new Google translation tool! Microsoft researchers announce human parity in conversational speech recognition via Microsoft

 

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

The Economist and Pennwell – Innovating through Transformation

Gilbane Boston 2016

Join us in Boston in November for these featured case studies and our other 32 conference sessions.

Innovating through Transformation

How are media companies transforming their business from one reliant on content consumption to one in which content mixes with tools and / or community for greater engagement and new revenue? This session’s case studies from The Economist and Pennwell will delve in-depth into their innovation journeys. The changes ripple across every facet of the business; hear first-hand the challenges, solutions and results.

Wednesday, November, 30: 8:30 – 9:30 am

Register today to save your seat!
Use code F16G for an extra discount

Mark Walter | Gilbane

Moderator:
Mark Walter, Principal, Content Technology Strategies

Subrata Mukherjee | Gilbane Conference

Subrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Product Management, Global Head of Business Systems, The Economist

Transformation by Continuous Innovation

jeanette-newton

Jeanette Newton, PW3 Platform Development Manager, Pennwell

Digital Transformation at PennWell: Creating Vertical Destination Hubs

Dan Murphy | Gilbane Conference

Dan Murphy, Lead Solutions Architect, Digital Strategy, Velir

Digital Transformation at PennWell: Creating Vertical Destination Hubs

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Fairmont Copley Place Hotel, Boston, November 29 – 30, 2016

Blockchain to Bots: a Look at Use Cases

Gilbane Boston 2016

Join us in Boston in November for this featured session and our other 32 conference sessions.

Blockchain to Bots:
a Look at Use Cases

New technologies need use cases. First in theory to attract commercial investment, and second in practice to prove their worth. This session includes discussions on the potential of Blockchain for digital asset management, and the use of bots in an intranet application.

Wednesday, November, 30: 11:40 – 12:40 pm

Register today to save your seat
Use code F16G for an extra discount

Nicole Dvorak | Gilbane conference

Moderator:
Nicole Dvorak, MBA Candidate, Class of 2018, MIT Sloan School of Management

Rod Collins | Gilbane Conference

Rod Collins, Director of Innovation, Optimity Advisors

Transforming Digital Assets into Digital Agents: New Media Strategies for Hyper-Connected Markets

Mindy Carner | Gilbane Conference

Mindy Carner, Manager, Information Management, Optimity Advisors

Transforming Digital Assets into Digital Agents: New Media Strategies for Hyper-Connected Markets

Henry Amm | Gilbane Conference

Henry Amm, Digital Strategy Consultant, adenin Technologies

Making Intranets Smart: How AI and Bots Allowed Us to Create a Smart Assistant for the Digital Workplace

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Fairmont Copley Place Hotel, Boston, November 29 – 30, 2016

Bots, Content, and Commerce

Gilbane Boston 2016

Join us in Boston in November for this featured session and our other 32 conference sessions.

Here Come the Bots: How Innovations in Artificial Intelligence Will Shape the Future of Content and Commerce

Today’s online transactions are still largely web-based despite the proliferation of smartphones and mobile apps. And these transactions are often part of a fragmented purchasing experience, where a customer must move from interacting with engaging rich content to completing a series of cumbersome steps for transaction-related information like payment and delivery details.

One solution to this experience breakdown is to enable what is becoming known as conversational commerce, where the transaction part of purchase is integrated seamlessly with the customer’s current online environment. Several tech giants like Facebook and Amazon, as well as a number of start-ups, are investing in enabling chat bots within messaging apps that make it possible for users to make purchases within the platform, rather than having to go to an external web page. This session will explore what the rise of conversational commerce will mean for content management and content and commerce integration.

Wednesday, November, 30: 8:30 – 9:30 am

Register today to save your seat

Jill Finger Gibson Gilbane Conference

Moderator:
Jill Finger Gibson, Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group

Adrien Nussenbaum Gilbane Conference

Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO, Mirakl

Roland Benedetti Gilbane Conference

Roland Benedetti, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, eZ

Sergio Silva Gilbane Conference

Sergio Silva, Director of Partner Success, Kik

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Fairmont Copley Place Hotel, Boston, November 29 – 30, 2016

Gilbane Advisor 10-13-16 – Hive, WeChat, enterprise social, open images, marketing stacks

The Hive is the New Network

This is a fascinating and thought-provoking read. To oversimplify enough to be obvious: The return on network scale is diminishing; future value will come from more purposeful, naturally emerging ecosystems that go beyond connecting and communicating. WeChat and Uber are examples, but there are also others and the details and subtleties are worth careful thought by those looking ahead.

The hive is a smarter, evolved network that is bigger than the sum of its parts. … While networks like Instagram and Twitter are beginning to wear thin, messaging apps like WeChat are frenetic hives of activity that build economic empowerment. Like honeybee scouts, messaging apps decrease the friction of centralized nodes in the 1:1 communication between individual nodes and allow for emergent behaviors. … WeChat began five years ago as a messaging service. Today, you can use it to pre-order dumplings from a street-vendor, call a taxi, read the news, and even buy a house. Read More

WeChat: China’s Integrated Internet User Experience

Speaking of WeChat, it’s success is not just because of the chatting. Nielsen Norman Group did some research to determine whether the hype around  “conversational user interfaces” was warranted.

Much of this hype stems from angst generated by the success of the Chinese WeChat service, which had 700 million users as of April 2016. WeChat has been touted as the poster child for conversational user interfaces. In this article, we report on user research we did in China with WeChat users. The study aimed to uncover practices in which WeChat users engaged, as well as why and in which cases its users preferred to use WeChat instead of regular mobile websites and apps. … UX research finds that tightly integrated services with a wide-ranging set of convenient features, accessed through a simple and unified design, are the reason Chinese users use WeChat so much. People mainly use traditional GUI interactions, not a “conversational user interface,” despite the hype. Read More

Facebook Workplace for enterprise social networking?

Hard to imagine enterprises jumping on to this, or Facebook counting on it. For the moment there is no rush to abandon Slack, Yammer, or whatever other social networking tools you are using. But of course you have to pay attention to it in case they’re determined – they are starting out with competitive pricing and, presumably the UI will be familiar. Read More

Introducing the Open Images dataset

Nice of Google, in order to advance “equality of opportunity in machine learning”, to release…

Open Images, a dataset consisting of ~9 million URLs to images that have been annotated with labels spanning over 6000 categories. We tried to make the dataset as practical as possible: the labels cover more real-life entities than the 1000 ImageNet classes, there are enough images to train a deep neural network from scratch and the images are listed as having a Creative Commons Attribution license. Read More

Odds are your marketing stack is way bigger than you think it is

Many of you may already be familiar with Ghostery. Well, in the spirit of Terence Kawaja’s and Scott Brinker’s marketing technology landscapes, we now have “GhostyScape”. Scott describes it…

Ghostery is used by companies to optimize the performance of their sites and identify security holes. After all, those software services being triggered on your web pages have computational overhead that can potentially drag down client-side experiences — or potentially pass along data to an unexpected network of third parties to third parties. (Fourth party data?)… But here, they serve a more modest purpose: to illustrate just how large marketing stacks really are in practice. These Ghostery maps only show a slice of a company’s marketing stack — the slice that’s visible from scanning client-facing web pages. There’s more happening backstage, for sure. I guarantee you, more than you expect. Read More

Also…

One can only imagine how much of this is already going on. There’s a growing problem of bots fighting each other online via Technology Review

It’s not just the ads, it’s the tracking… New Ad Coalition Won’t Dent Ad Blockers – And They Know It via Digital Clarity Group

Not ready for prime time but something to keep an eye on… Startups Bet on Workplace Use of VR via The Information

This is remarkable… Google says its new AI-powered translation tool scores nearly identically to human translators via Quartz

“The dynamic between mobile web’s critical role in expanding audience reach and the app’s role in high user engagement” and more in The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report via Comscore

Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016 logo

Main conference: November 29 – 30
Workshops: December 1, 2016
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.