End of PC Era? I am not so sure.

I saw this Tweet from one my friends today with a link to an article about three reasons why the PC era will end. Here is my retweet:

via @jcfrinak: “Three Reasons the PC Era Is Coming To An End” – http://bit.ly/anVc6g I use iPad but would not trade it for my laptop yet

Let me explain. I love iPad for a few reasons – speed, long battery life ease of reading books and playing a few games. But it is not going to replace my laptop yet. I still create quite a bit  of content in my daily life – write  documents, blog, tweet, code and communicate through chats and Google Wave. iPad would not be my preferred device for any of these activities.

I get the point though. The amount of time I am spending on my laptop is reducing. Now about a third of that time is on other devices – my Android phone, my iPod Touch (music and podcasts when I walking) and iPad (for reading). Also more and more of the apps (more than 50%) I use, are on the Cloud.

It is possible that a future tablet may become my primary device. But for that to happen, I need the following:

  • Ability to download any  app I want from the web
  • Better business apps than what I currently see on mobile devices and iPad
  • A good input device (preferably an integrated keyboard)
  • Ability to run the browser of my choice (currently Firefox)
  • A simpler way to switch apps (a toolbar would be a good start)

LinkLog: Web Scale Computing at Facebook

Facebook is the largest site in the world. Some of the statistics are staggering. Please take a look at this article on Facebook use and customization of open source to scale.

  • Facebook still uses PHP, but it has built a compiler for it so it can be turned into native code on its web servers, thus boosting performance.
  • Facebook uses Linux, but has optimized it for its own purposes (especially in terms of network throughput).
  • Facebook uses MySQL, but primarily as a key-value persistent storage, moving joins and logic onto the web servers since optimizations are easier to perform there (on the “other side” of the Memcached layer).

If you have a bit more time to explore, you may also want to take a look at this presentation filmed during QCon SF 2008.

Aditya Agarwal discusses Facebook’s architecture, more exactly the software stack used, presenting the advantages and disadvantages of its major components: LAMP (PHP, MySQL), Memcache, Thrift, Scribe.

LinkLog: Using Twitter for Events

How To Incorporate Twitter Into Your Event

This is a great post with very useful information on how to use Twitter for your events. The comments show a few  more ideas.

Based on some of the things we did for a few events, here are a few more things you can do.

  1. Host a pre-event (or during the event) tweetup
  2. Create a list  of people who want to tweet
  3. Have a couple of people from the show organization tweet logistics and other details
  4. Have an ask-event twitter address for people to send event related questions
  5. Create hash tags for sessions too (that may help very specific session related tweets)
  6. Include Tweeters and Bloggers in the Credits page for the event (recognition helps a lot)
  7. Have an informal Tweeter’s lunch table or breakfast on the first day of the event or as pre-event.

LinkLog: Some Social Thoughts

From Some Social Thoughts:

Remember that as a source of information, social media should be considered as just another source. Information that you find should be verified and validated, just as you would information from mainstream media. As far as social technologies go, don’t wait to long to embrace them.  Social is rapidly causing a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and share knowledge, and discover and navigate information. The sooner you begin to build your network, and communicate with your customers, the better off you will be positioned as adoption and usage of these technologies and networks continues to explode.

I totally agree. I also think that there is an opportunity for tools and services. How do you verify/validate the information?

  • Check the source (of the original post) – an obvious one
  • Look at their typical biases – pretty easy to do with a simple word/phrase cloud of their posts (more about this in another post)
  • Check the information from an independent source (more difficult when we are living in an echo chamber)

Do you know of any social media tools that can help you do this easily?

LinkLog: Measuring the Story Telling of 10s

From Horace Luke on Design As Story Telling:

I tell my teams to measure a storytelling of 10s. In the first 10 seconds they have the phone, do they understand what they are getting? Then the first 10 minutes: Is it easy to engage with the product, do a simple task? At 10 days, are they frustrated with the product or telling their friends about it? What are they starting to discover? At 10 weeks, what are the powerful features they didn’t use before? Are they putting folders and widgets for their own stuff in the phone? At 10 months, they may be ready for a change. Did your brand fulfill its promise, so they stay with you?

I think we need a model like this for software. Any ideas?

Innovation Trends

It takes a while for technology innovation to start appearing in business. Awareness of  innovation starts with a few fringe users/early adopters. It then starts growing and then moving main stream. The stock market analysts start looking at these innovations when they start showing up in revenue streams.

So following Weak Signals and Micro Trends is a great way to participate. How do you validate these trends? Look for supporting trends (in hiring from large companies, information propagation first through social media and then through print media).

Nice to see that Innovation is back and getting some attention.

Mary Meeker: Innovation is Back http://bit.ly/bFl5Pu #techtrends #innovationtrends

A few thoughts about these Innovation trends.

  1. Will smart phones become the norm for power users and businesses?
  2. Search is the largest mobile application and the king is now Google. We may see others jumping into this space. There is an interesting twist. During iPhone 4.0 launch, while the default search engine was Google, the press demos were all in Bing. Is Microsoft entering the search space  through mobile? Will Apple have their own search?
  3. Will HTML5 based Web applications take market share from App Stores? What are the new tools and opportunities in this space for smaller developers?
  4. Will most of the Mobile Apps require Cloud Support? Who will benefit if this becomes a big trend?
  5. What kind of innovations are happening in Mobile Apps for Enterprise? When will this become a mainstream market?
  6. If you are a product company, would you start dipping your toes in this space? What will be the business models? Can you start generating revenues now?

What Are Your Information Filters?

After I started Tweeting,  my blog activity took a nose dive. Most of my LinkLog entries are now tweets. So here is my first attempt to take some of my tweets and elaborate a bit.

“Social Media and Business Intelligence” Presented by Phil Brittan, CI Manager at Best Buy http://bit.ly/a7mn0o

This is notes from SCIP10 (annual conference on Society for Competitive Intelligence).  If you go to the link you notice that the CI Manager at Best Buy has some advice on why you should follow social media.

A lot of information; you can use free or paid software filters to digest the river of data

Obviously the industry is aware of this problem too. That is why there are so many high paying jobs in social media as you can see below:

Source: Indeed

So here is my question to you. It is easy to be buried under this river of data? How do you make sense of it. What are your Information Filters? How can you find the information that is useful for your business?

I struggle with this all the time. While I devote a couple of hours each day to consume and produce social media information via Blogs, Tweets and LinkedIn, I still do not have a good solution. Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Set up Yahoo Pipes to filter the information stream
  2. Set up Google alerts specifying Twitter as a source (using site: )
  3. Follow a few companies on LinkedIn (you are interested in) using LinkedIn Follow Feature
  4. Build your own filtering tools.

I think the information mining business could be a big one. We are working on some tools but they are very elementary. I would love to hear how you solve this problem.


First of all let me clarify that Competitive Intelligence is Intelligence to make your business competitive (and not just information about your competitors).