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In a classic episode of South Park, the boys encounter a lair of Underpants Gnomes – so named because they run a business collecting underpants. Their business model: step one is collect underpants. Step three is profit. However, they’re all a bit unclear on step two. Spare any underpants? Such is the state of affairs of many – but by no means all – blockchain-based businesses. At this week’s Blockchain Expo in London, both types of companies were on display: companies with real business models as well as wonderfully innovative projects with no clear path to profitability. Gnome Contenders The fundamental challenge: what makes blockchain particularly disruptive is the very characteristic that confounds a business model – that is, a way to make money long-term. Because of blockchain’s inherently distributed nature, many blockchain businesses are leveraging the techno... (more)

Cloud Computing Is Far More Than Just Cutting Enterprise IT Costs

Paul Miller's Blog For too long, the emphasis in Cloud Computing circles has been almost exclusively upon provision of rapidly scalable and ad hoc remote computing on top of cost-effective commodity hardware. The Cloud play from Salesforce, Amazon’s EC2 and the rest has been dominated by the implicit assumption that these Cloud-based resources are an extension of the corporate data center; a way to simply reduce the costs of enterprise computing. There is value in this business, but there are bigger opportunities. Cloud Computing, and the various *aaS movements, have finally brought us to a place where the fiercely guarded and tightly delineated boundaries between the organisation and those outside it may become permeable in ways that should benefit the organisation rather than threaten it. It is a quite remarkable feeling to watch as the pieces fall into place and ... (more)

i-Technology 2008 Predictions: Where's RIAs, AJAX, SOA and Virtualization Headed in 2008?

2007 was undoubtedly the year of Social Networking, but what of 2008? Will '08 be the year of "Unified Communications" or the year when CMS comes to stand for "Community Management System" - or even "Collaboration Management System"? Or will it be the year of a giga-merger, to beat the mere mega-mergers of 2007? As usual at the end of each year, SYS-CON has been informally polling its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors. As always, the range and depth of their answers is fascinating, throwing light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale. Enjoy! RIAs versus AJAX . Ruby on Rails . PHP . Facebook Competitors  TIM BRAY Director of Web Technologies, Sun Tim Bray managed the Oxford English Dictionary projec... (more)

Semantic Technologies, Web 2.x, Cloud Computing, and Open Source

The Rivet Logic Blogs Looking back on 2008, we’ve seen several trends in the web space. The web has transformed from a place to look for information to a place to share information. Social networking tools and applications exploded, with the release of the Facebook Platform and Google’s OpenSocial. Enterprises also saw an increase in the adoption of collaboration and social networking tools such as blogs, wikis, and LinkedIn.  Mobile web usage became increasing mainstream with Apple’s iPhone 3G and Google’s Android. Open source software gained popularity as the economy took a downturn. So what’s in store for 2009? Here are just a few things to watch out for in the coming year… Semantic web - what good is information if it can’t be organized? contextual web utilizing semantic technologies will be huge Web 2.x - in preparation for Web 3.0, the new wave of “intelligent w... (more)

Instant Professionalism Online Despite Yourself...with Ulitzer

Personal Branding on Ulitzer I read an article by an author on Ulitzer.com and was amazed at the professional image it provided him. I immediately researched Ulitzer to see if there was yet hope for me. I am a technology blogger on the subject of mobile computing strategies.  As I was doing research I came across the author Ian Thain, a fellow mobile computing blogger, who had a very professional website on Ulitzer (www.ulitzer.com). Professional envy motivated me to investigate this thing called Ulitzer. Ian's website looked like he had spent a great deal of time and money on it - all things I am short on. I carefully studied Ian's website to see how it was set up.  It looked like an expensive industry portal with colorful graphics, animation and industry news. It had tabs that filtered articles, by most popular, by date, etc.  I have blogged for over 5 years so... (more)

Really Stupid Tech Conference Ideas: Web 3.0 Conference

From Web 3.0 Journal Folks, now this is really really stupid. As the geniuses at O'Reilly and CMP Media struggle to keep the last and what may very well be the final one of their Web 2.0 Expos, another group of brilliant entrepreneurs announced their Web 3.0 Conference, after hearing the news that Web 2.0 is extremely dead now. Web 2.0 was a big scam to start with. The name "Web 2.0" was stolen by Mr. Tim O'Reilly (the prophet) from Imagine Media's brilliant new launch of "Business 2.0 Magazine" during the heyday of the dot-com explosion. The promise of Web 2.0 was that everybody in the software industry would be billionaires just like the folks who introduced MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Of course this never happened. Now it will be amusing to watch these Web 3.0 jokesters doing a Web 3.0 conference. I am waiting for the announcement of the Web 4.0 conference by ... (more)

Wolfram Alpha: Clever Algorithms and Heuristics

"It's certainly the most complex project I've ever undertaken," wrote Stephen Wolfram, of Wolfram Alpha fame, recently. Wolfram Alpha involved "far more kinds of expertise - and more moving parts - than I've ever had to assemble before," Wolfram continued; "And - like Mathematica, or NKS - the project will never be finished," he added. The "it" in question, Wolfram Alpha, due to go live this month, is "a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation," according to Wolfram. "I think it’s going to be pretty exciting," wrote Wolfram on his blog two months ago. "A new paradigm for using computers and the web." But who better to explain Wolfram Alpha than its creator. Here's his somewhat roundabout explanation: "Fifty years ago, when computers were young, people assumed that they’d quickly be able to handle all these ... (more)

Extranets Allow Start-Ups to Bill More Hours

Hey did you know that the term “Start up” isn’t exclusive to technology companies?  I was shocked earlier this week when a few accountants wanted to have coffee and discuss their start up.  Immediately my brain started to think about the types of software they must be creating.  As I entered the local coffee shop and met the duo I quickly realized they were starting up an accounting practice. It was amazing.  Two guys with a skill set outside of technology that were creating a new practice from the ground up.  They called it a start up.  After I got over my initial shock and awe, I settled into the discussion and quickly saw where they were going. The pair was ready to leave their corporate jobs and continue their practice full time.  They already had a dozen clients and had dozens more ready to jump when the time was right. The reason they pulled me into a meeting:... (more)

Marketing Your Way Out of The Recession

It's anyone's guess when the recession bottoms out and we get back to growth.  Rather than remain in a "state" of denial - like California did for too long - or adopt a hunker down mentality - "let's just ride this one out" - as many companies have, there's a middle path of taking proactive measures steps now, so that when growth reappears, your company is better positioned to gain an unfair share of the increased customer demand that will be there to harvest.  Here are a few considerations to come out will your guns ablazing. Get back to basics.  One of my colleagues recently said to me, "since when did marketing strategy become an oxymoron?"  What he meant by this remarks is that the recession is causing many marketers to start changing strategies on the fly and resort to strategy-de-jour or reactive tactics at the expense of strategy.  Doing so runs the risk tha... (more)

Ulitzer News: Search vs New Media

New Media on Ulitzer Online ad network Chitika this week broke down over 123 million impressions across their 60,000+ publisher network and determined that the overwhelming dominance of search engines is facing little, if any, threat from social networks. Despite predictions that social media will replace search engines as Internet users' primary method of finding information online, a breakdown of the numbers shows that isn't the case. Google, Search Engines Leading the Way Chitika broke down the top 65 referral sites across their network for seven days in September, and compared the results to the same data from seven days in July. Unsurprisingly, in September Google leads the world with 76.13% of all referrals, followed by Yahoo! (7.34%), Bing (5.20%), AOL (1.24%) and Ask (0.84%) in that order. As a genre, search engines as a whole encompassed 97.82% of all refer... (more)

Ulitzer Named "New Media" Partner of Greatly Anticipated iStrategy Event in Berlin

John Funnell on Ulitzer SYS-CON-owned Ulitzer has been touted as the ‘Wikipedia Killer' with now over 7,000 authors online sharing news, views and industry trends on the sites' innovative blogging system. Magazines are managed and created on Ulitzer by visionaries of the digital media space, some of which brought the sites attention to the organizers of what is now the most anticipated New Media event to happen next year - The iStrategy 2010 in Berlin. For more information click here. The iStrategy program is famed for educating the corporate elite in the relatively infant innovation of Social Media. Such visionaries as Michael Donnelly Group Director Worldwide Interactive Marketing at Coca-Cola, Michael Buck, Global Head , SMB Online Dell and Ralf Ahamer CMO, XING are sharing their successes at the conference in February next year, looking at; ever changing media ... (more)