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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

More Thinking About Oracle, Endeca, Unstructured Text and Social Media

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On October 18, 2011, Oracle announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Endeca, a leading provider of unstructured data management, web commerce and business intelligence solutions (see our original blog post here). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of t his year.  Here’s the original press release.

Our Thoughts

Most everyone is familiar with structured data consisting of data that is well organized and comes from ERP systems, custom solutions etc. and generally is organized in a manner which allows that data to be analyzed and reported from.  Lesser known, but of increasing importance, is unstructured data.  Unstructured data consists of social media information from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc. where users or consumers can post commentary using freeform text.  Comments are not necessarily organized.  This unstructured text can extend to consumer commentary on product websites, blogs or emails.   The rise of social media and the real-time web is making unstructured text more and more critical for companies to be able to analyze.

For example, through the various social media mechanisms mentioned, using powerful unstructured text BI tools such as Endeca, companies can quickly evaluate the unstructured text and begin to make business decisions or combine the unstructured text with structured data and have actionable information.  A quick example: if customers comment on a website regarding their experience with a particular product, it normally would take an employee or employees to read the responses and evaluate the consumer sentiment.  It may take a significant amount of time to evaluate the sentiment negating the potential value of that data.  In today’s ever changing, quick-paced social media environment, it’s more important than ever to stay on top and have the ability to react quickly to fixing a negative experience or promoting a positive one.  Understanding whether a consumer had a positive or negative experience proves invaluable for marketing, sales and corrective actions to be made in a very short timeframe.

Take all of this a step farther, when Oracle can combine unstructured data and structured data under the OBIEE platform, companies will have exceptional tools to help make truly informed business decisions based upon quickly changing data.

Fantasy? So far, maybe a bit. In the short term, smart companies will be investing in ways to do exactly this.

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Twitter – Gimmick, Fad or Tool?

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Initially I thought Twitter was some gimmick through which celebrities (insert your own definition of celebrity) fed their own egos by posting snippets of their life.  I didn’t care, so Twitter did not interest me much.  I did not even watch Entertainment Tonight, so following some “celebrity du jour” as they tweeted arcane details of their life in short snippets just did not appeal to me.  I considered it a gimmick that would never catch hold.

Before I knew what happened, Twitter transformed from a gimmick to a fad.  Am I one of the few without a Twitter account?  Maybe.  Virtually everybody who does any public relations has an account, and a group of followers.  That is interesting to me, because somehow I don’t view my life as being interesting enough for someone to want to follow.  Headlines such as “emptying dishwasher” or “running errands”, or even a commentary such as “just helped client solve a major crisis” seem a little trivial, but I’m not LeBron James or Lady Gaga, or some of the other more popular Twitter accounts.  But what do I know, because I might be one of the few not tweeting social updates, commentary on world events, and generally espousing about what’s happening now.

As I ponder the real value of Twitter, the value has to be in the immediacy of the messaging.  My son and I were talking about this recently when he shared a story about how he knew of the horrible bombing is Oslo minutes before it broke on any of the leading news networks.  How did he know?  Somehow, one of his buddies received a tweet from someone on-site announcing the terrible news.  Now most journalists would fret about unverified sources and balancing timing with accuracy, but the reality is that Twitter is proving to be a tool for breaking news at it very roots.  The concept of a “reporter” is literally out the window when the story is relayed by someone who is part of the scene. The individual becomes the channel; there’s no need to wait for a major outlet to break and package the story.

That started me to thinking about some of the ways to use Twitter as a tool.  One that came to mind was up-to the minute traffic reports.  How about a twitter “channel”  for ABC County traffic where people instantly post tweets and re-tweets such as “two car accident at Elm and Main – avoid area”?  Or “one lane traffic on Rt 1 due to construction northbound…traffic jammed”?  It would certainly gain my attention as something I would follow.  Or maybe my favorite theater could tweet “7:20 showing of My Favorite Movie is sold out” to let me know I need to change plans.  Or maybe my project team uses it for instant updates “vendor conversion complete – please start validation process”? When can Twitter effectively replace SMS and email messaging? Can it? To me, in its current state, it needs more signal and less noise.

The reality is that when you start to consider the power of Twitter to mass distribute messaging to people sharing a common interest, maybe there is something to this, and maybe there is more to what I initially saw as a gimmick and a fad.  It seems to me that anything or anyone with a “status” could become a candidate for Twitter, but I’m starting to think that’s not the main use case.  It’s probably not fair to say that the future is limitless, but there are some very interesting concepts to ponder as to how you can use Twitter as your own personal news transmitter or receiver.

How do you use Twitter? Aside from hashtags and massively curating my follow list, is there a better way to focus what I absorb on Twitter?

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 7/8/11

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When I tell people I do web/social media marketing work, that basically I’m a full-on web nerd, they look at me funny.  Like, “Oh, how long have you been unemployed?” funny.  After we get past that initial awkwardness, they invariably ask two things: (1) Can social media help my business? And (2) What is your computer hardware/software setup like?

For this Friday post, I will tackle both questions.

For (1): yes.

For (2), I will answer in the format of The Setup’s interviews, because I can read that stuff all day and have found some excellent software from them.  Here goes.

What hardware are you using?

In the office, I use a super-gonzo Dell Precision laptop running Windows 7 Professional connected to three 24″ monitors.  Multiple monitors are the single best thing you can add to your setup next to a jetpack to improve productivity, and I would be far, far slower without them.  If you don’t have multiple monitors but can afford them/are allowed to by your IT team, you’re cheating yourself.

At home, I use a pretty banged-up early 2008 MacBook Pro with 4 GB of RAM that’s connected to a 2002 HP 2335 LCD monitor.  I use Apple’s wired keyboard because I have to have a number pad for data crunching, and I have a filthy — disgusting, really — Logitech wireless mouse whose model number I can’t remember because it was made before the dawn of language.

I have a first-gen iPad that I use for everything except longform content creation.  It’s awesome, if a bit heavy and sharp-edged.  Still, it has replaced a laptop for 90% of my tasks when my son isn’t stealing it to play Dungeon Raid.

Right next to my iPad you’ll almost always find my iPhone 4, which I take with me everywhere.  Literally, everywhere.  Well, except the shower and the gym, but aside from those caveats, everywhere.  I’m not sure if I own it or it owns me.  I suspect the latter.

And what software?

Being a web dork means having a romantic relationship with your browser, and I am an unrepentant Chrome devotee.  It runs on both my work and home laptops.

For longform writing, I get all weird: I will use Ommwriter, WriteRoom, BBEdit, Sublime Text or even the WordPress editor.  It depends on my current propensity to get distracted.  For a pure, clean blogging on the Mac, I couldn’t live without MarsEdit.  On Windows, Windows Live Writer 2011 is pretty solid, if a bit slow (thanks .NET!).

For mail, I am a gigantic Gmail nerd.  Gmail might be the best implementation of email in the world.  And by might I mean is.  At work, I have to tolerate Outlook, which is really starting to feel like something wet, angry and smelly that crawled onto my computer from the late 1990s.  Because it is.

For keeping the soul-crushing silence at bay and the voices in my head arguing amongst themselves instead of with me, I fire up iTunes or Rdio.  Lately, a lot has been Rdio.

For keeping track of stuff, I use Notational Velocity on my Mac and SimpleNote on the web and iPhone/iPad.  I would probably keel over dead within a half hour without Dropbox.  Whenever I have a thought that doesn’t fall apart like a soggy box after a few seconds of critique, it goes into one of these apps for later curation.

For photography, I use a Nikon D90, Canon S90, or my iPhone 4 (don’t laugh — it’s the most popular camera on Flickr).  For post work, I use iPhoto, Photoshop CS5 and occasionally Acorn, which is a terrific OSX application that does, for me, 90% of what I use Photoshop for.  On my iPhone, I am a huge Instagram evangelist, along with Camera+ and Photogene.

For social media stuff, I use Tweetdeck on Windows (still wish it was a web app though) and the official Twitter client on my Mac.  I have an entire monitor devoted to Facebook, blogs and Google+ sessions running in Chrome.

What would be your dream setup?

My MacBook Pro is getting long in the tooth, and the screen does a weird flicker thing against certain gray backgrounds, so I’ve been thinking about a replacement.  I’m torn between two masters: portability and power.  The idea of a new 27″ quad-core iMac is very appealing because of the screen real estate and power, but it’s a desktop and who buys those anymore?  On the other hand, I’m waiting for Apple to stop being so jerky and release the new MacBook Airs with the Sandy Bridge architecture so maybe that will be enough power and I can nerd out in lightweight, sealed, portable style.  (That option might actually steal time from the iPad.)

Oh, and I’d like software that does what I think, no questions asked.  That’d be cool.  Also, Google search box for my brain because, yeah, it’s come to that.

Shut up about your dumb nerd stuff.  Do you have any links?

Yes, yes I do.

This man won $3.4 million — and then went back to work as a janitor.  The world needs more people like this.

Here’s a site that provides the best introductory books for myriad topics.  Tons of browsing pleasure here, folks.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and Facebook.

About this blog.

Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 2/18/11

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I’m going to experiment with a new format for our Friday posts for a while.  Instead of jamming a collection of links into a list to let you sort out, mainly through clicking on them, I’m going to jam a collection of links into a list with section headers because it looks much more impressive.  And maybe, somewhere in this foggy notion I have in my mind right now, it will help you make sense of the links I’m curating.  This idea is shamelessly stolen and modified The Daily What.  Remember, great artists steal!

So here goes.  Watch.

Know This

How black hat SEOs justify their existence.  Great insight into the underbelly (and general science) of search engine optimization.

The impact of satellite television on the Arab world.  Much more interesting than my little blurb there suggests.

Borders to file for bankruptcy. This makes me sad, as just the other day a friend and I were sitting around discussing the autumn of the traditional bookstore and its impact on culture.

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to acting.  How did he announce his comeback?  On Twitter, of course.

Read This

Up for some pretty downright scary bedtime reading?  Reddit once again comes through with a thread entitled What’s the creepiest thing you’ve seen or heard in real life?

Buy an expensive leather bag from the cow you just ate.

The 11 countries at risk of becoming the next Egypt.

Conan (O’Brien) 2.0.

Listen to This

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah.  I think people need to be reminded of this masterpiece once in a while.  I mean it.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

How Clear Is Our Definition of Information Privacy?

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In today tech-heavy, socially-enabled world, each headline seems to cloud the line that defines an invasion of privacy. There are so many cases today where technology blurs our view of what is public information andprivacy what should be private. Facebook has been kicked in the teeth for it repeatedly (as have other web apps), and Twitter recently made the news when it challenged DOJ court papers ordering the social service to quietly hand over a slew user information without the users’ knowledge.

Privacy, it seems, is becoming a topic whose subjectivity is a matter of context – and who holds the information that is considered private.

Running quickly through some current headlines, one example is the recent story about the couple in Pennsylvania that is suing Google over their Street View application, a program that provides eye-level views of locations that you can find via Google Maps.

In this couple’s case, their road is marked as a “Private Road”. So, I ask you, if you lived on a private road, does Google have the right to drive on that road for the purpose of photographing, indexing and publishing photos of your residence? I don’t live on a private road, but if I did, that would probably bother me.

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Report: Google’s Social Efforts Slowed By Infighting

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I’d like to go through Nicholas Carson’s piece for SAI/Business Insider, entitled Google’s Facebook-Killer Slowed By Political Infighting bit-by-bit, because there’s quite a bit of good stuff that I can’t just comment on in blanket format.  Here goes.

It begins:

Google is terrified of Facebook, but it’s having a hard time getting its act together to do anything about it.

You’ve probably read reports that Google is working on a Facebook-killer – some kind of “social layer” that will fit over all its products.  At various points this project has been described in the press as Google Me, +1, and Google Games.  Google acquired SocialDeck and Angstro to bolster its engineering roster in the talent space.

‘Fitting over all its products’ is the core problem.  It’s hard enough to build a successful social platform from the ground up (just ask Plaxo), but it’s exponentially harder to try and do it as a tack-on to your core competency, which in this case is search-driven advertising.

The problem, we hear from people close to the company and others who used to work there, is that these various projects do exist – and not as one coherent strategy.

Because the company wasn’t built on social.  It was built on search and ad revenue, and everything Google has done (and is doing) should be looked at through that lens.

Other nibbles of information we’ve heard about what Google is working on point to more confusion.

“They don’t know what they want,” a source close to someone Google tried to hire for its social team tells us.

Google knows what it wants: to beat – or at least compete with — Facebook.  Problem is, they have no idea how to get there.  The infighting comes from current divisions trying to move in a new direction while protecting their organizational capital and turf.  The talking point agenda is one thing; the behavioral is another.

Likewise, a source at a company Google recently tried to buy told us one big reason he turned down Google’s offer is that Google wanted to integrate the startup’s team into its social project, but didn’t know who the people at this acquired startup would be reporting to or how its technology would be used.

Smells like Groupon to me.  Just a guess.  (The social/crowdsourcing aspect of Groupon is its core differentiator.  It’s the reason, in my opinion, Google was interested in them in the first place.)

Finally, another Valley source told us: “It’s called +1.  It sucks.”

Awful name.  The source is correct.

What scares Google about Twitter and Facebook is that people are using them to share links, “like” web pages, and favorite tweets. People are using Twitter and Facebook to say what they think are the most important things on the Internet.

Because Twitter and Facebook are black boxes Google can’t crawl, it no longer has access to anything close to 100% of the best meta-data available for sorting and organizing the Internet.

This gets to the crux of it.  Before Facebook and Twitter, Google used to be able to index and quantify all the metadata about web pages, which it then fed into PageRank, an algorithm that ranks pages higher or lower depending on the number of links directed at a given page.  (Similar to the way academic papers are elevated in status when other papers cite them as an expert source.)  It then offered very strong (even personalized) search results throughout its products.  Search was the way to get around the web.

Now, Facebook and Twitter are driving immense traffic to certain destinations, and Google can’t see the mechanizations of these platforms.  It can’t feed this traffic direction into its current algorithms, and most importantly, it can’t monetize it via advertising.

This is a direct threat to Google’s core operating principle.

Google doesn’t have that data and at from it’s very highest levels on down, the company is worried that its search will slowly become a less important tool for navigating the Internet.

Bingo.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More business posts.

Linkology: Friday Links for 10/8/10

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Did I mention we’re really excited for Workday Rising next week?

I did?  Twice?  Oh, sorry.  Let’s get on with the links, then.

Wait – sorry again.  One quick thing: tomorrow is the Michigan vs. MSU game, which is a bit of a big deal here in Michigan.  I am a Michigan grad and fan, so it goes without saying that I’m pulling for the Wolverines to show they’re for real by beating State.

The problem is we have several folks here at MIPRO who are State fans, and, well, these particular folks are emotionally unbalanced, so if State manages to lose, it’s going to be interesting around here with lots of screaming and yelling and shredding of rubber green-and-white horseheads.  So for the sake of their sanity, please join them in rooting for State so for once in their lives they can claim their alma mater topped the school that turned their admission application down.  Thanks.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: If you, our reader, are a State fan, please know that we consider you to be a balanced, smart, non-rubber horsehead wearing person who is admirable in every way.)

That said, the links:

Bruce Schneier on the Stuxnet worm.  This is utterly fascinating.  Read it.

Tweet Library – absolutely awesome application for curating your own tweets, favorites and retweets for later reference.  Worth ten bucks if you’re an iPad power-user who spends a lot of time with Twitter.

Google acquires BlindType, developers of intuitive and predictive virtual keyboard technology.  Great pickup.  Wonder what this means for future iOS versions?  And who’s going to nab Swype?

Crazy volcano footage.  You won’t get closer to a volcano, ever.

David Foster Wallace’s final novel, The Pale King, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

A short documentary about the desks of creative people.  Worth your time.

Have a great weekend everyone!  GO BLUE!

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

John Battelle: On Google Buying Twitter

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Last week, there was a fair amount of talk that Google should buy Twitter,google-twitter sourced largely off the NYTimes DealBook.  John Battelle, journalist, professor and author of The Search, says otherwise:

Here’s my simple reasoning for why Google won’t buy Twitter: Twitter won’t sell.

I think it’s hard for many people to understand what motivates someone who’s in the position of Twitter’s founders.  Automatically, we think it’s money because money is such a conventional reward for work done well and creating something literally world-changing.  But is it?

They’ve got a tiger by the tail, the chance to build an independent, lasting legacy that will cement each one of them forever into the immortal tablets of business history. It’s really, really hard to pass that chance up, especially if you’ve already gotten a score or two under your belt. Why not swing for the fences if you’re already batting over 300?

In short, they’re not in it for the money. They’re in it for the immortality. And that’s a much, much bigger deal.

And with that, let the many bar conversations begin about how Evan and Jack and Biz are stupid and shortsighted.  Behind it all, remember that Mark Zuckerberg turned down a $1B offer for Facebook, largely because it’s not money that drives a guy like that.  Today, Facebook is valued at $34B and rumored to have the potential to become bigger than Google itself.

Stay true to your vision and passion and the money will follow.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Live Tweets from Oracle OpenWorld

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I’ll do a ‘best of’ Oracle OpenWorld tweets after the show is over, but for now, if you want to stay abreast of the news, comments and analysis of what’s going down at OpenWorld, here’s an RSS feed for a Twitter search query based off the #oow10 hashtag.  This feed is updating quickly – another sign that Twitter is a bona fide news source for breaking news if you know how to find the data.  Some really smart insight in this stream.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 9/17/10

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The other night, my cats were diagnosed with a parasite, which is a fancy way of saying ‘worms.’  To remedy this, the vet gave me pills to administer to the cats.  These pills aren’t cat-sized, nor are they flavored to be appealing to cats.  They’re human-sized and -designed antibiotic pills.  If you know anything about cats, they don’t take well to having things shoved in their mouths while wrapped in a towel and squeezed by a sweating human.  In fact, feeding these pills to a fully-clawed cat is like trying to shove a bucket of rocks into a running lawnmower — it doesn’t end well, and there’s a strong probability of bloodshed.

It took me 30 minutes to get these cats tired enough so that I could cram the pills in their mouths and get them to swallow them.  In the end, I was sweating, covered with enough fur to win a Wookie costume competition and the cats skulked away angrily, checking their calendars to for their next available time to eat my face.

In a word, epic fail.

We have a global interconnected network of computers.  We can take high-res photos of distant galaxies.  We can simulate human intelligence to a scary degree.  But we apparently cannot create a pill that a cat won’t reject and spit back onto the floor in a beige loam.

I tell you this story as a precursor to the links I share below.  Why?  I have no idea.  It makes as much sense as trying to feed a cat a human-sized pill.

So, links.  Here you go.

Twitter has redesigned its web interface in a more complex way than might meet the eye.  Techcrunch’s MG Sieger has a great rundown of the subtleties of the new design.

iPhone drops to 24% smartphone share; Android jumps to 17%.  Again: Apple needs the iPhone on other domestic carriers, stat.

Afraid of heights?  Then don’t watch this video.  I got sweaty palms about halfway through and I tolerate heights reasonably well. (Update: original YouTube video pulled; what you see here is an abridged version.)

Chase Jarvis field tests the new Nikon D7000.  This is on the want list.

Everything Is a Remix, part one in a four-part series by Kirby Ferguson.  This will be the best thing you watch all day.

The New Yorker’s Jose Antonio Vargas as a long, detailed personal profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  Worth the read whether you’re a Facebook user or not.

And that’s it.  Have a good weekend, everyone.  I’m going dog shopping.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More Linkology posts.

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