Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Podcasting about Web 2.0

Yesterday I was interviewed over Skype concerning Web 2.0 applications and practices at KK-Net. The audio interview will be published in the coming next days. The story is a part of the preparations for IST 2006 Helsinki and is also related to "CONSEN - CONSEN (EEIG) Euro-Group is a Grouping of European SMEs who have agreed to cooperate as Euro-Cluster in Information Society Technologies projects, tenders and business throughout Europe."

The main objective of the CONSEN (EEIG) is to establish an ongoing and effective dialogue between members focused on Research, Development, Innovation and Business of Open Technological Solutions for Information and Communication at European level. The companies are all experts in Open-Source Software, Contents, Standards, Infrastructures and Information Society Technologies.

Here is a posting that maybe could give some background to what we planned could be covered by the interview.

  1. Collaboration and an open source mindset
  2. Web 2.0 - dynamic, interactive and easy to use
  3. Project management - Basecamp as a tool
  4. Collaboration taking steps to moving into the mobile devices
  5. Contribution and sharing
  6. Innovations can't be investigated, they are made
  7. Where is the next garage pouring out innovations from Europe
  8. What can we do together on an European level?
"Something like this? What do you think?" I wrote to the Danish science and technology journalist Lennart Kiil, calling me from Barcelona, where he works as an independent freelance journalist covering Web 2.0 among others.

KK-Net is an independent consulting company with a dispersed work-force. We've a long experience about what makes good ideas, excellent products and services to succeed or fail in the global market place. Global partnership strategies for faster market penetration is a part of the solutions delivered by us. The world is moving so rapidly and changing so fast that we need an open process of innovation. We are building bridges, roads and channels to new markets.

Web 2.0, rich media, interactivity, cross-border collaboration and cross-cultural open source innovation methods are important parts in our daily work processes. We're used to talk and do business with people from all over the world. Broadband connections and the attitude of sharing and contribution has a central role in our corporate culture. We think that open source and Web 2.0 isn't just about technical platforms. The idea is to take them as tools and methods supporting our daily activities.

Lennart Kiil wanted to know about the differences in Web 2.0 practices and the evolution in US and EU. In my short statement the US leadership was probably underlined too much. Web 2.0 is a booming baby technology in the Silicon Valley, Bay Area, Southeastern US, but the development doesn't include the whole country.

Indiana, meaning the "Land of the Indians," is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. Residents of Indiana are called Hoosiers. Indiana is 15th in population at nearly 6.3 million. The population can be compared with the Nordic countries in Europe. Internet and Web 2.0 doesn't play a central role in the strongholds of steel and car manufacturing. And this is especially true if we take a vertical look at what is happening in the rural areas of US.

There are high-profiled areas in US with loud and visible Web 2.0 presence. We tend to evaluate the US leadership based on that. The booming Web 2.0 applications are covering millions of users both in US and abroad. Google, Yahoo, eBay, blog platform suppliers, MySpace, YouTube and a myriad of other rich media, podcasting, open source and social network tools providers have taken a strong lead in the market place.

But the same technology is available to European companies as well. The EU innovation and development programs might be much more inclusive compared to the ultra capitalistic American model. We've possibilities in the way we can spread the use of Open Source and Skype enabled work models to all the European member states.
  • Skype has its origins in Europe (Denemark, Estonia, Sweden)
  • Open Source and Linux were initiated by the Finnish born Linus Thorwalds
Rich media applications and user generated content can be produced and delivered with the same intensity at this side of the ocean. We have a definitive leadership in the field of Mobile Technology. We could focus on, how to find ways to implement Social Networking and Community building features into the future Smart Phones rolling out in hundreds of millions to users around the globe in the coming years. There will certainly be much more Mobile platforms on the globe than desktop publishers of blogs, podcasts and weblogs.

Here is a list of collaborative tools we use in our daily works at KK-Net:

  • Basecamp - the worlds simplest project management tool
  • Blogs, Wikis and various collaborative betas
  • IM, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, Skype for online audio (VoIP) and instant messaging (chat)
  • Google tools: GoogleTalk, Writely, Spreadsheet etc
  • We use less and less traditional html pages: the home page is static
  • Web based project management have proven to be cost-effective
  • Distance work with people, friends and experts around the globe
  • Mobile tools are getting new shapes, new opportunities waiting
  • What could we do together with Nokia?
  • Collaborative features will be an important part of future mobility

The mobile phone market is changing. We're going towards a smart phone, flat screen future, where mobiles can be used for multiple other things than just calling your friends or sending text messages.

The future of mobile includes micro payments, RFID, several HDTV digital television channels, hamburger content viewing, GPS, email, multimedia, you can blog, photoblog and videoblog with your phones.

More features will be brought to you through the carriers with the evolution of high-speed networks. This means that less of the features need to be in the phone itself. We can see the same thing happening with personal computers.

We never know what is going to be the next killer application. Collaboration and open source attitude seems to embrace the strategical thinking of big companies like IBM and Nokia, Google and Yahoo. The big players are opening up their development platforms and calling in grass roots players. Big companies need the to work with "the next big thing coming from a garage". Even Microsoft is ready to do it.

But there is often a mental barrier also in the garages in Europe and around the globe. SMEs need to have more defined messages when approaching the big players. I just happen to know that Nokia, among others, is more than ready to work together with innovative "GARAGE bands and gangs".

What do we have to offer as a more united and collaborating networking force? I've tried to outline a mission for European SMEs that could be next thing out of the garage in Information Technology. What do you think?

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