Gilbane Advisor 3-14-17 — voice, wearable machine learning, chinese CX, blockchain

CX and the age of the appacus

This Economist article about fintech in China is important not just for economists or financial technologists, but for customer experience professionals. China is “far and away the biggest market for digital payments, accounting for nearly half of the global total”. Beyond digital payments, there is Chinese fintech support throughout the ecommerce ecosystem, for investing, consumer lending, and small business last mile distributors, reducing friction and increasing market channel and consumer reach. The arguably superior CX of the ecommerce ecosystem already at scale in China makes lots of western ecommerce experiences look creaky at best.

Many of you are familiar with attempts by Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps to become platforms in the way that WeChat has in China. But success will require going beyond a simple transaction bot to a more complete integration with the full ecosystem. Western ecommerce ecosystems have a different set of challenges, but China is experimenting and learning a lot quickly. Studying the massive scale and rapidly evolving Chinese experience will no doubt provide valuable insight. Read More

economist china and clickaholics

Voice and the uncanny valley of AI

As part of our recurring ‘right tool for the job’ theme, we point you to Benedict Evan’s analysis of the notion of voice as the next platform.

This tends to point to the conclusion that for most companies, for voice to work really well you need a narrow and predictable domain. You need to know what the user might ask and the user needs to know what they can ask… You have to pick a field where it doesn’t matter that you can’t scale. Read More

The blockchain will do to banks and law firms what the internet did to media

Banks and law firms may face the most existential disintermediation threat, but all corporate strategists need to think about the potential impact of blockchain technology. MIT’s Joi Ito, Neha Narula, and Robleh Ali enlighten. Read More

The potential for blockchain to transform electronic health records

Lot’s of potential here. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and MIT Media Lab describe their pilot program. Read More

On-Device machine intelligence

“What if you want machine intelligence to run on your personal phone or smartwatch, or on IoT devices, regardless of whether they are connected to the cloud?” You can… Read More

machine learning on your watch
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Gilbane Digital Content Conference

Mark your calendar! Call for papers coming soon.

Conference: November 28–29, 2017
Workshops: November 30
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston, MA

Also…

A little fun… Metaphysics of the Marketing Hub via Gartner

Helpful how to… Comparison Tables for Products, Services, and Featuresvia Nielsen Norman Group

Want to understand estimates from your developers?… The Software Engineer’s Essential Time Estimation Guide via Hackernoon

It’s not easy… As Messenger’s bots lose steam, Facebook pushes menus over chat via Techcrunch

The case for digital reinvention The effect on revenue and profit and why. via Mckinsey

Solves multiple problems for them… Forbes rebuilt its new mobile website as a Progressive Web App via Nieman Lab

Last but not least… I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it via The Guardian

Frank Gilbane’s Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. See previous issuesSubscribe to email or feed. Contact.

Gilbane Advisor 2-28-17 — digital twin, IoT, wearables, product-market fit, CX

IBM Watson IoT and the digital twin. Industry 4.0.

James Governor pulls together some thoughts and interesting examples of the digital twin model. His post was inspired by an IBM event with large industry customers, but as he suggests, the model has broader relevance. I would say the proliferation of IoT and integration with back-end and front-end applications means the digital twin model may be useful for understanding the digital transformation potential of any physical product — well, at least as a thought experiment.

… “digital twin” – a digital model of the product and service from design to production, service and support. GE has been touting the concept for some time, and it’s a compelling idea. For companies trying to understand the implications of digital transformations, with a heritage of systems modeling, digital twin makes a great deal of sense, and it looks likely to be a key buying concept across a few industries. Read More

Not unrelated…

Rethinking wearable computing

Bob O’Donnell points out that wearables have lost momentum: “I don’t see a big future for the individual products that we currently count as wearables, but I think the idea of several linked components that work together as a wearable computing system could have legs”. I think watches have the potential to succeed on their own as a successful product, and are the best candidate to compete with smartphones as the computing hub we always have with us. As he says, tying all potential wearables together is a ways out, and initially will certainly be limited by proprietary interests. Read More

12 things about product-market fit

There are lots of opinions about how to achieve product-market fit, what do you focus on and in what order, how do you know when you’ve got it, and how do you maintain it. Tren Griffin’s collection is a worthy read for product managers and founders. Read More

Your first 1000 users on mobile

Speaking of product-market fit, Eric Seufert has some advice specifically for mobile app developers…

… a mobile developer should endeavor to onboard a first cohort of 1,000 users that could conceivably look like their first million users — that is, to test the viability of their app using marketing channels that can be scaled up to produce a very large user base in the context of a growth strategy that can support a big business. If the first 1,000 users were onboarded by accident, or by luck, or by the generosity of a YouTube celebrity, the developer knows less about their business than they do about 1,000 random strangers. Read More

CEM success starts with employees

Customer experience management (CEM) is a now focus for companies, but many are missing is the value of beginning their CEM strategy at home, with their employees. Read More

CEM - customer experience management success

Also…

Right strategy for the job… Optimizing for Context in the Omnichannel User Experience via Nielsen Norman Group

Another dimension to CX integration challenges… Bots and Humans Strain to Get Along on Messenger, Twitter via The Information

Hey founders, consider this!… Why we choose profit via Signal v. Noise

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017 with staying power. Not your casual list via Technology Review

All in on AMP?… Google AMP is now half of Swiss publisher Blick’s mobile traffic via DigiDay

Handy resource… Social Media Research Toolkit via Social Media Data Stewardship

 

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

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.

Fostering Innovation in Media and Publishing

The election is over—it’s time to look forward. In that spirit, I wanted to invite you to participate in a forum running right after Thanksgiving at the Gilbane Digital Content Conference this year—a town hall focused on innovation. Send suggestions via Twitter using #gilbane.

Driven to change

It’s no secret that publishers have been grappling with a rapidly changing digital media landscape for two decades, but as the pace of change has accelerated and channels have proliferated, managing content has become exponentially complex.

Consider just a few of the trends:

  • The rise of social networks as channels in their own right—not just marketing outlets for promoting content on web sites
  • The inexorable trend toward content embedded into activities
  • The on-going tug-of-war between structuring content for omnichannel (just author once in XML!) and tailoring content for audience and media (because it yields better engagement!)
  • Rising demand for video and packaging of video with narrative and slide shows
  • Devaluing of long-form narrative, with news unfolding first on social media rather than in conventional stories
  • Increasing use of analytics driving editorial decisions
  • Rising legitimacy of outtakes—what was once left on the cutting room floor now becomes a value-add because of its uniqueness

Relentless change is the new normal facing those developing content and technology strategies. Scrums used to be just for software development; now they’re used for content development as well.

Fostering a culture of continuous innovation will fuel growth in digital for publishers, but how does an organization optimize for change? How are others coping? Where does your organization sit relative to your peers?

Hearing from others

The Digital Strategies for Media & Publishing track at this year’s conference brings together diverse perspectives on innovation and change.

John Eckman will demystify what it takes to efficiently publish via Facebook Instant Articles or Apple news. WBUR and Urban Airship will share their case study in podcasts delivered through digital wallets.

We’ll go behind the scenes to see how others are managing their content—how MIT Press manages diverse content in multiple system on a tight budget, and what’s behind the new MarkLogic implementation at America’s Test Kitchen

Analytics are increasingly driving editorial and product decisions. Erin Martin and Michelle Bellettiere from NPR will share their approach and discuss their plans for 2017.

Meeting and learning together

Part of what makes a conference special is the opportunity to meet face to face with others on similar journeys at other organizations, even other industries. As Subrata Mukherjee, VP of product management at The Economist, noted

Media companies have much to learn from the innovations in content marketing and digital supply chains in other industries. But when I go to a conference, I not only want to hear their stories, I want to meet with them to ask my questions.

That’s why this year we’re going to follow case studies in transformational innovation by Subrata and Jeanette Newton from Pennwell with an open town hall, where the audience can drive the conversation, and we can as a community share insights and potential approaches to tackling challenging issues.

We’ll be looking at innovation from multiple angles—

  • vision and strategy
  • people and skills
  • products and market disruption
  • tools and technology

Because, ultimately, organizations that are successful at innovating in publishing will address all of those facets.

If, like me, you share a passion for making content technology work amidst all this upheaval, make plans to join us. And you don’t need to wait to start the conversation. Share your topics and questions in advance via Twitter using #gilbane.

gilbane16-logo-teal_outline_white

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

Register today!
and use code F16G for an extra discount

Gilbane Conference featured speakers

We are thrilled to have over 100 expert speakers for you to learn from and network with. Join us and your content and digital experience professional peers in Boston in three weeks. Below is a sample of who you’ll meet. Look forward to seeing you.

Register today to save your seat – use code F16G for a discount.

marissa-jarratt-cropped-sharp60Marissa Jarratt, PepsiCo tania-yuki-cropped60Tania Yuki, Shareablee jon-marks-for-siteJon Marks, Kaldor

subrata-mukherjeeSubrata Mukherjee, The Economist

alice-carpenterAlice Carpenter, America’s Test Kitchen

arjen-van-den-akkerArjen van den Akker, SDL

camille-wellardCamille Wellard, Intermountain Healthcare

tim-goughTim Gough, Verve Mobile

jacqueline-lagrattaJacqueline Lagratta, Campbell Soup

maureen-thormannMaureen Thormann, National Instruments

adrien-nussenbaumAdrien Nussenbaum, Mirakl

erin-martinErin Martin, NPR

 mel-tingeyMel Tingey, LDS Church

 kristen-holgersonKristen Holgerson, WBUR

 jeanette-newtonJeanette Newton, Pennwell

 nancy-andersonNancy Anderson, Dell EMC

 tim-lewisTim Lewis, Continuum

 tara-bartleyTara Bartley, Akamai Technologies

mindy-carnerMindy Carner, Optimity Advisors

niki-vecseiNiki Vecsei, Transamerica

sergio-silvaSergio Silva, Kik

 melissa-websterMelissa Webster, IDC

 bill-trippeBill Trippe, MIT Press

 scott-brinkerScott Brinker, chiefmartec.com

 mark-walterMark Walter, Content Technology Strategies

 tony-byrneTony Byrne, Real Story Group

 deanna-lauferDeanna Laufer, Forrester Research

scott-liewehrScott Liewehr, Digital Clarity Group

gerry-murrayGerry Murray, IDC

 sara-redinSara Redin, Redin Consult

Register today to save your seat! – use code F16G for a discount.

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.