Archive for Digital experience

Gilbane Advisor 5-19-17 — e-commerce, meta-platform, summarization and ML, design

E-commerce: What China reveals about the future of shopping

China’s e-commerce market is the world’s largest and fastest growing. It is also more mobile and more integrated with relevant platforms than those in the West, allowing for smoother customer experiences. This goes beyond WeChat e-commerce capability, the envy of western messaging platforms.

China's Digital Ecosystem - source BCG

There are reasons eastern and western e-commerce may continue to evolve differently. But there is a lot to learn from China’s experience. BCG and Alibaba dig in. Read More

Digital assistants drive new meta-platform battle

Bob O’Donnell riffs on the intersection of digital assistants, the voice interface, and platform value. This weeks’ keynotes at Google I/O, and last week’s at Microsoft Build both provide useful context to several of O’Donnell’s points.

… digital assistants … have the potential to completely devalue the underlying platforms on which they run. To put it succinctly, if I can use, say, Alexa across an iPhone, a Windows PC, my smart home components and a future connected car, where does the unique value of iOS or Windows 10 go? Out the door… Read More

Improving summarization with machine learning

That this would happen should be expected, especially after the dramatic improvement to machine translation due to ML. MIT Technology Review’s Will Knight reports on developments at Salesforce following their acquisition of MetaMind, which is what we point you to below. But you might also be interested in the more technical description of how the algorithm works — at least scroll down past the technical paragraphs to see useful sample results. Read More

Mobile First, Desktop Worst

Designing for an optimal user experience is extremely difficult even with a single screen because of the variety of media, layout, and use cases. Multiply the number of screens by n, and it seems like an impossible task. On top of this fiendish complexity, there are compromises to be made between developer objectives and brand directives. No wonder design is often dumbed down to be simply useable across devices rather than optimal. This may not be a solvable problem, though better tools, perhaps informed by machine learning, will certainly help. In the meantime, it pays not to expect too much from simple approaches. Read More

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Call for Speakers Open

Content and digital experience technologies and strategies for marketing, publishing, and the workplace.

Proposal deadline is June 2 9 2017

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

Also…

Know what you’re getting… A marketer’s guide to the tricks and hacks of influencers via Digiday

Have Web Standards on Mobile Caught Up to Phonegap in 2017? A look at some specific recommendations via Telerik developer network

ICYMI, Scott Brinker’s latest… Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2017): Martech 5000 via chiefmartec.com

Not-science-fiction – thinking a bit ahead… Open Water – The Internet of Visible Thought via Edge.org

Frank Gilbane’s Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. More or less twice a month.

Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2017 – Call for Speakers

Content management, marketing, and digital experience

How to submit a speaking proposal

  1. Review the conference and track descriptions below.
  2. Read the Speaker Guidelines. If you have questions not answered in the guidelines email us at speaking@gilbane.com. Don’t worry too much about which track you suggest for your proposal, unless it is for a post-conference workshop.
  3. And…

Submit your speaking proposal

The deadline for proposals is June 2, 2017

Conference Description

The Gilbane Digital Content Conference is focused on content and digital experience technologies and strategies for marketing, publishing, and the workplace. We help marketers, IT, business, and content managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

Track Descriptions

The conference tracks are organized primarily by role/function as described below. We encourage proposals on all relevant topics.

Track C: Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience

Focused on… how to overcome challenges and implement successful strategies and practices to reach, engage, and retain customers with superior content and digital experiences.

Designed for… marketers, marketing technologists, social marketers, content strategists, web content managers, content marketers, content creators and designers, business and technology strategists focused on customer experience and digital marketing.

Track E: Content, Collaboration, and Digital Workplace Experience

Focused on… tools and practices for building agile, information rich, collaborative, and distributed digital workplaces to meet the demands of modern organizations and the changing workforce.

Designed for… content, information, technical, and business managers focused on collaboration, knowledge sharing, intranets, enterprise search, social, and internal, field, and backend content applications.

Track T: Technologies for Content, Marketing, and Digital Experience

Focused on… what you need to know about evolving, and potentially disrupting, content and digital experience technologies for marketing and the workplace.

Designed for… technology strategists and executives focused on near-term and future software for creating, managing, and delivering compelling digital experiences across platforms, channels, and form factors.

Track P: Re-imagining Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media

Focused on… the business and technical challenges facing information, publishing, and media organizations creating, managing, and delivering content across the growing number of competing platforms and channels.

Designed for… publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, strategists, and executives focused on digital transformation, new channels and business models, and managing digital assets.

Post-conference Workshops

These are intensive three hour sessions.

Submit your speaking proposal

Remember! The deadline for proposals is June 2, 2017

Gilbane Digital Content Conference Call for Speakers Deadline is May 6

Gilbane Digital Content Conference

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

Share your expertise and network with peers and digital content leaders…

Tracks include:

Content, Marketing, and Customer Experience

Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, social marketers, content strategists, web content managers, content marketers, content creators and designers, business and technology strategists focused on customer experience and digital marketing.

Focused on how to overcome challenges and implement successful strategies and practices to reach, engage, and retain customers with superior content and digital experiences.

Content, Collaboration, and Digital Workplace Experience

Designed for content, information, technical, and business managers focused on intranets, enterprise search, social, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and internal, field, and backend content applications.

Focused on tools and practices for building agile, information rich, collaborative, and distributed digital workplaces to meet the demands of modern organizations and the changing workforce.

Technologies for Content, Marketing, and Digital Experience

Designed for technology strategists and executives focused on near-term and future software for creating, managing, and delivering compelling digital experiences across platforms, channels, and form factors.

Focused on what you need to know about evolving, and potentially disrupting, content and digital experience technologies for marketing and the workplace.

Re-imagining Digital Strategies for Publishing and Media

Designed for publishing and information product managers, marketers, technologists, strategists, and executives focused on digital transformation, new channels and business models, and managing digital assets.

Focused on the business and technical challenges facing information, publishing, and media organizations creating, managing, and delivering content across the growing number of competing platforms and channels.

About

The Gilbane Conference on Content Management, Marketing, and Digital Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior digital experiences for all stakeholders.

The convergence of web and mobile design

The actual title of the article I am referring to above is 7 future web design trends, by Jowita Ziobro. The trends are on target and the examples are clear. Worth a read.

But what struck me is that the post is a reminder that the way to look at planning and development of web and mobile applications is to focus on the ‘and’. Too much of the discussion is about the limitations of web or mobile or which should come first – a sometimes necessary short term choice but not a strategy. Jowita’s larger point is that from a design point of view web and mobile are converging. The post also suggests functional convergence.

Design convergence

Jowita’s first trend, “Gestures are the new clicks”, provides one example:

We forget how hard scrolling webpages used to be. Most users would painstakingly move their mouse to the right edge of the screen, to use something ancient called a ‘scrollbar’…

In 2015 it’s far easier to scroll than it is to click. On mobile, you can scroll wildly with your thumb. To click on a precise target is actually more difficult — the complete opposite of what we’re used to on the desktop.

As a result, we should expect more and more websites to be built around scrolling first, and clicking second. And of course, that’s exactly what we’ve seen everywhere…

There’s every reason to expect this trend to continue as mobile takes over more of the market. Modern sites have fewer things to click, and much more scrolling. We’ll see fewer links, more buttons, bigger ‘clickable’ areas, and taller pages that expect to be scrolled.

So mobile is changing web design for the better, and not only because of the consistency of the UX but because it is offers improvements.

Functional convergence

Mobile is also learning from the web. Mobile apps are either constrained by limited access to their own data and content, need custom deep linking to code to access other apps data, or need to exit to the web via a web browser. Whether the app uses a lightweight custom browser built for the app or one of the mainstream browsers the UX often suffers. The limited linking of mobile apps is a significant functional constraint, especially for enterprise apps.

Apple and Google are each interested in the health of both the web and their own mobile ecosystems and are both advancing deep linking to address data and content access. This will be a little wild-westy for awhile but the direction is clear.

Jowita’s sixth trend, “Components are the new frameworks” is relevant to design and function:

Web technology continues to get more complicated, and less semantic. Designers must embed messy code onto their pages for simple tasks, like including Google Analytics or a Facebook Like button. It would be a lot easier if we could just write something like this instead:

<google-analytics key=”UA-12345–678″>

And we can with Web Components, which aren’t quite ready to be used by most designers yet. 2015 is looking like their year.

Google’s Material design is here, and it may just be what gets this movement started. Powered by Polymer, and supported by all modern browsers, it provides the rich animation and interaction components from Android apps, with simple tags…

Apple’s newly announced Safari View Controller for iOS 9 ups the ante for mobile browsers by providing developers access to Safari code making it much easier to access the web from mobile apps. Developers can still build their own for specific design or functional reasons if they need to. See iOS 9 and Safari View Controller: The Future of Web Views.

Jowita ends with:

Right now you see the best of mobile app design appearing in web design. With enough time, the difference between an app and a website might almost entirely disappear.

Optimistic perhaps, but there is a trend to root for here. And a perspective to be embraced for a superior UX.

Harvard Business Review and WGBH transforming digital engagement

Engaging customers and online audiences requires the right mix of technology, content, and tools, orchestrated in a way that leverages deep customer knowledge to deliver the right content at the right time in the right fashion. That’s a tall order, yet it is a “do or die” imperative for organizations that use content to make a living. In this session, you’ll learn how to transform and optimize customer digital engagement from presentations by two leading-edge organizations that are paving the way to the future using a blend of customer-centric design, dynamic and targeted content, big data and analytics, agile technologies and processes, and a vision for the future. These presentations will inspire you to kick-start your own digital engagement transformation initiatives!

Update: The new HBR.org site launched a couple of weeks ago. Check it out and meet the HBR.org development team; Daigo Fujiwara, Kevin Davis, Matt Wagner, Fred Lalande, and Ismail Ozyigit will join Kevin Newman at this session.

Join us Tuesday, December, 2: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more.

P1. Track Keynote: Hear how Harvard Business Review and WGBH have Transformed Digital Engagement

Moderator:
Marc Strohlein, Principal, Agile Business Logic and Principal, Agile Business Logic

Speakers:
Kevin Newman, Director of Technology, Harvard Business Publishing
Rebranding and Rebuilding Harvard Business Review

Cate Twohill, Director, Technical Product Development, WGBH Educational Foundation, and George Corugedo, CTO and Co-founder, RedPoint Global Inc.
Big Data & Customer Engagement Lessons from a U.S. Media Powerhouse

See the complete conference schedule.

Gilbane Conference speaker proposals – update

Thank you all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals. We received a record number again this year. We are now busy evaluating, organizing, and mapping proposals to the topic areas our audience needs to hear the most about.

If you have submitted a proposal you can expect to hear from us over the next 6-7 weeks. With over 300 submissions we’ll have to make some difficult choices and we will be contacting many of you for further discussion.

Miss the deadline?

For all of you who missed the deadline to submit proposals for this year’s conference, our policy is that we always accept proposals – in fact we accept them all year long if you use our submission form – however, proposals received after the deadline for each conference miss the first review by the program committee and some of the early decisions. If we have two good proposals on the same topic the on-time proposal gets preference. Also, decisions are largely made on a rolling basis once the deadline passes, so if you have missed the deadline it is still a good idea to submit as soon as possible.

If there is a particular topic we need more proposals for we will post about it on this blog, so stay tuned.

A New Brand of Marketing – a must read for executives

A New Brand of Marketing
Those of you who appreciated Scott Brinker’s Gilbane Conference keynote What is a Marketing Technologist?, and even more importantly those who missed it, should check out Scott’s short new book, A New Brand of Marketing – The 7 Meta-Trends of Modern Marketing as a Technology-Powered DisciplineThe book is free to download and share and doesn’t require registration.

A New Brand of Marketing “… frames the epic collaboration underway between marketers and technologists…” – note the use of ‘collaboration’ rather than ‘battle’. Scott is not only a supreme example of a marketing technologist who knows the details, but may be the most facile communicator (and diplomat, in the most positive sense) of the marketing technology big picture.

A New Brand of Marketing is a must read for CMOs and CIOs, but all senior executives should read it to understand the dramatic changes underway in marketing or to get some pointers on how to communicate the changes to colleagues.

Just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

Fact: everything digital is powered by software.

Companies don’t just compete for who can provide the most helpful content. They compete for who can provide the most helpful services.

When you’re skydiving, you should know how to pull your parachute.

Multichannel content management

Meg Walsh at Gilbane 2013In Marketing technology landscape explosion and CMS evolution we looked at two of the major themes of December’s Gilbane Conference. The third major theme that we asked speakers to respond to in our spotlight series was the challenge of multichannel delivery:

What is the best overall strategy for delivering content to web, multiple mobile, and upcoming digital channels? What is the biggest challenge? Development and maintenance cost? Content control? Brand management? Technology expertise?

The best overall strategy and the biggest challenge are the same: creating and managing content that can be optimized for each channel and device including those not anticipated. In short, true Multichannel Content Management, or MCM if we can deal with yet another acronym (Yaa!). Of course the “multichannel” is only necessary for emphasis because “web” content management has been dominant for a few years, and “enterprise” content management was hijacked by the document management interests early on. Perhaps soon, “multichannel” will be redundant and just plain old “content management” will suffice.

Multichannel content management is really hard. Organizations have been implementing such “single source publishing” or “create once, publish everywhere” systems for many years, but the difficulty and cost prevented most from taking it on and forced others to give up even knowing it was the right thing to do.

Multichannel content management is still hard, but it was one thing to hesitate when there was only one extra channel – now there are n+1 channels, the cost equation has changed, and you can’t build a sustainable digital experience without solving this problem.

Organizations who successfully built multichannel content management systems in the past were largely those with direct access to technologists, for example technical documentation, product support, engineering, and R&D. Marketing organizations, aside from a few with large global presences and big brand asset management problems, mostly stayed away – technology and cost were fearsome, and organizational structures and agency dependencies also created barriers. Staying away is no longer an option. Reaching today’s consumers requires an n+1 distribution strategy.

In her keynote presentation, Marriott’s Meg Walsh inspired the audience with her discussion of their distribution and scale challenges and the necessity for a strategy based on adaptive content that is device agnostic – in other words, a multichannel content management capability. She shared a wonderful quote from Jonathan Perelman, VP, Agency Strategy @Buzzfeed, “Content is King, but Distribution is Queen, and She wears the pants.”

Note that Meg’s role is very much that of a marketing technologist. She ran the content management practice in Marriott’s sales and marketing group before moving to Marriott’s IT organization to take responsibility for technology platforms to support the sales and marketing activity.

We’ll be covering much more of what one attendee called “Real multichannel content management and publishing” at this year’s conference, and would love to hear from more marketing organizations that are making the Distribution Queen happy.