I am always going to love an Elvis quote. We don’t see enough of it in the world of business. And we should. After all, he was “The King”.
So this quick guide to unhackable passwords from McAfee and Intel caught my attention straight away.
The guide points out that you need multiple passwords:
- One password for banking
- A different password for email
- Another password for social media
Unfortunately, we all have more than three needs, right? So one idea is to add the account information into your password:
- Facebook: your Facebook password can become my_facebook_password
- Twitter: your Twitter password can become my_twitter_password
Or variations on that theme.
HT Lindy Asimus’ pinterest collection.
I can remember my first bulky personal digital assistant (PDA). It was cumbersome, hard to use and ugly. Very ugly. But I loved it. It felt like a ripple in the fabric of the future.
While at university, I took notes on this PDA, scrambling to jot bullet points into the slim LED screen and save them before we moved onto the next subject. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes I lost whole lectures when the AA batteries failed. But even then I realised that there was serious value in being able to search through lecture notes on-the-fly.
And then along came the Palm Pilot. I thought the handwriting recognition was a breakthrough. As I skimmed my stylus across the plastic screen I really felt that I was experiencing another of those ripples in the fabric of the future. It was the right device at the right time – a bridge between my analog and digital worlds. But it wasn’t just a PDA, it was a phone too. And it was changing the world.
With each new innovation, the barriers between me and my device would evaporate. They became easier to use, smarter, friendlier – and dare I say it – more human. Each iteration would be less about the device and more about the experience. My experience. It was like the technology was disappearing before my eyes.
Recently, when Siri came along, we celebrated as if the world had turned on its side. Apple had somehow, again, not only innovated on top of its already innovative iPhone platform – they trumped themselves and changed our relationship with the technology. Now you didn’t even need to swipe and type, you could speak. You could ask questions.
And we all loved Siri. But, for me, Siri was a constant reminder that I was using a device. A particular device. It called out my own reliance on that device and its manufacturer – for always in the background, there was that awareness that the experience was being delivered only by Apple. In many ways, Siri wasn’t just a ripple in the fabric of the future, it was the rock that caused the splash.
But Google’s Glass project fascinates me – partly because it is literally transparent.
As you can see from this video, it’s freshly intuitive – and that’s saying something considering Google’s usually clunky interfaces. But the thing that excites me most is the way that experience – human experience – is front and centre. For decades, technology has drawn us away from the body and focused our minds on the screen. But here, we are celebrating, not the technology, but the body in action. It’s technology taking a back seat. It’s the always on Kodak moment.
And its the closest we’ve yet seen to the future.
At least until the next ripple.
I have long been a fan of Posterous. It was a platform that was ridiculously easy to use – and was a great introduction to social media for those who were (or remain) cautious of technology and online publishing.
But when Twitter acquired Posterous in 2012, it was only a matter of time before it was made redundant. And now we know that Posterous will be turned off on April 30, 2013. Making the announcement on the official Posterous blog, founder, Sachin Agarwal, thanked the users and supporters of Posterous and explained how to backup and download your site:
- Go to http://posterous.com/#backup.
- Click to request a backup of your Space by clicking “Request Backup” next to your Space name.
- When your backup is ready, you’ll receive an email.
- Return to http://posterous.com/#backup to download a .zip file.
I’ve started the process of moving the various Posterous sites that I have created. I will probably move them to a WordPress site of some kind – when I have the time … but I do so a little sadly.
Posterous’ ease-of-use was a phenomenal wake-up call to the rest of the web world. It will be a shame to see it disappear. Let’s hope the Posterous focus on simplicity impacts the Twitter product roadmap. After all, we don’t need more features, we need a better experience in our use of technology. And for my money, simplicity it the key.
Sneaking a last minute deal in before the holiday break, Oracle announced an $871 million acquisition of marketing automation vendor, Eloqua. Representing a 10x multiple on Eloqua’s annual revenues, it marks the first of what is likely to be a string of consolidations in the marketing technology space over the next 12 months. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.
- A win for Eloqua customers that comes with a catch . This deal looks set to accelerate the Eloqua solution roadmap with Oracle bringing additional focus and resourcing to solution improvements already slated for 2013. That means that existing customers can more readily tap the customer experience functionality that supports front of house operations through Oracle’s existing sales, service, commerce and social foundations as well as the big data and analytics capabilities that are vital to the digital marketer’s credibility. Many Eloqua customers will have made companion investments in Salesforce and will be keen for ongoing reassurance that integration will continue to be supported.
- Oracle secure a beach head beyond the IT line of business.The acquisition significantly bolsters Oracle’s marketing credentials – adding mature, cloud based marketing automation capabilities to their Customer Experience Cloud offering. Eloqua’s strength has been its strong connection with the marketing departments at its 1200 customer locations, and this provides Oracle’s sales team with a vital beach head beyond the IT line of business. And with the projected shift of technology budget from the CIO to CMO over the next two years, this will be essential to the longer term success of the Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud and the previous Market2Lead and Vitrue acquisitions.
Why marketers should care
Marketers have fallen behind in the technology stakes – suffering under the weight of outmoded marketing models and outflanked by their fast moving, tech savvy, connected customers. This announcement brings yet another level of change and signals a new wave of consolidation and innovation that will challenge marketers in the year ahead.
On the positive side, the investment in thought leadership and focus on marketing technology coming from the likes of Adobe, IBM and Salesforce is helping to educate and mature the market. This will not only assist CMOs to formulate business cases and justify technology and skills investment through 2015, it also provides fertile opportunity for the marketing automation vendors like Act-On, Hubspot, Marketo and Neolane.
Oracle has thrown down the gauntlet to the other enterprise software vendors. Who will blink first?
The acquisition has revealed a gap in the Salesforce marketing offering. SAP is nowhere to be seen. And Adobe and IBM can no longer afford to sit on their hands. Oracle’s bold move may have brought Christmas early to the team at Eloqua, but does it usher in the Mayan Apocalypse for enterprise marketers or represent a new dawn? 2013 is just around the corner.
I have worked in technology marketing for many years – but I also worked in FMCG and QSR marketing – and the same holds true for any initiative. You have always got to veer away from telling the story of HOW.
The story of HOW is attractive for marketers because “how” is often the greatest business investment. In technology companies, the “how” is your sunk costs – investment in the development process, the computer hardware and the partnerships that you needed to create your new product. And because the bill can reach many millions – or even billions – very quickly, there is much riding on it.
But the story of HOW is an internal story – at least at first. And in the sales/marketing process, it’s a “convincer” – most effective during the consideration or conversion phase of the marketing funnel.
But people – and by people, I mean “your customers” – don’t buy HOW. They buy WHY. If you are not focusing on the WHY story, then you are not inviting your customers into the conversation (and by conversation I don’t mean a hashtag) – it’s the vital first step. Just watch Simon Sinek’s riveting video on the subject.
That’s why I love the way Google have been positioning Google Fiber – a different kind of internet (100 times faster than today’s average broadband). It’s only available in Kansas at present, but if you click your heels three times, you may well find it appears in your city too. Of course, here in Australia, we are patiently waiting for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.
Make no mistake, I am a fan of the NBN. It is vital infrastructure that will allow Australia to compete with global, connected markets well into the future. And no, no matter how beefy your antennae are, wireless WILL NOT cut it. But so far, when it comes to the NBN, we’re getting an awful lot of HOW and WHAT but almost no WHY. It’s like the marketing is stuck in 2nd gear – watch the first half of the Google Fiber video clip below.
Until NBNCo changes gear, they will find it slow going.
I can remember the day I switched over to Google for my internet searches. Before that I had a number of favourite search engines – each with its own specialty. One I would use for searching forums, another I would use for question and answer content. Still another would be used for web page and blog searching.
I quite liked the feeling of control that I experienced in those old days. I knew which tool to use and when. I could find things that other people couldn’t. This made me valuable.
But this process was time consuming. Sometimes I would need to work through many variations of my search terms using two or three different search engines before I found what I needed. And all the while, the clock was ticking.
Eventually I began turning more regularly to Google. It started with a blog search here or there. A boolean search from time to time. But it wasn’t just the results that made me switch. It was the relevance. And it was the speed.
Google’s search far outstripped all the others for speed. The clean, white page offered by Google smashed the slow loading, ad heavy portal offered by Yahoo! It was easier to read than Alta Vista … and it was just more relevant than Ask Jeeves.
But how does Google actually find and return such powerful results so quickly? This infographic explains nicely. And you may just be surprised to know that since 2003 Google has answered 450 billion unique queries that it has never seen before. And only a small percentage are mine!