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10 ways big data changes everything May 9, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, E-Commerce, SEO, Trends.
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As 2012 reaches the half way mark, here is a post on one of this years’ hot topics. This is the first of three.

What is big data? How big is big? Think Yottabytes. So much data is now collected that 90% of the online data was created in just the last two years. Simply stated, everything you do on the web is tracked and creates data. It is then stored, sliced, diced and analyzed. The growth in data is due to proliferation of smart phones and tablets, lower storage costs and improved analytical tools. This article reveals 10 ways in which big data will have an impact.


A yottabyte isn’t what happens when the Jedi master starts gnawing on your leg. It’s the information equivalent of one quadrillion gigabytes, and is enough digital data to fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island with a million data centers, according to Backblaze. While the world hasn’t yet seen many yottabytes, industries like Internet search, genomics, climate research, and business analytics are starting to create massive data sets — in the peta- and exabyte range — that are requiring an entirely new set of big data tools to manage.

The emergence of this so-called big data phenomenon is also fundamentally changing everything from the way companies operate, to the way people interact, to how the world deals with outbreaks of infectious diseases. On March 21st and 22nd, GigaOM is throwing an event about the future of this big data ecosystem in New York, Structure:Data, and for…

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Ramblings on 2012 trends December 13, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Among the many trends expected for 2012, I think video consumption will see the biggest change. I base this in part from my own biased observations, anecdotes with my friends and from the video highlights of Mashable’s  recent media summit in November.  The link includes a video where each of these topics are discussed. Here is a summary of the 2012 prognostications as described by Mashable’s own Pete Cashmore.

  1. The interface evolution from CUI to GUI will continue to evolve with Touch. Apple devices started this awhile ago with gestures and magic mouse. Now, Smartphones, tablets and even some basic phones include touch screens. Expect to see new screens and new devices use touch technology.
  2. More choices for Aggregation services. Managing the data stream coming at you from news, weather, sports – whatever the topic of interest, expect to see more apps. Examples include flipboard, pulse and livestand.
  3. Life after the iPad – advances in ereaders and other tablet competitors will drive the market. Expect to deals on these devices along with feature, function improvements and price point changes.
  4. Social gestures – do you share everything? Do you want to? Privacy issues will push what is our commonly accepted practice to share & manage information.
  5. TV Everywhere (my pick for biggest impact). Video consumption from any device will continue. On demand – what we want, when we want and where we want it. Cable companies will continue to explore ways to grab and maintain market share by enabling devices beyond the TV (iPad, smartphone).
  6. The 2nd Screen experience – interactive TV let viewers engage with the shows they are watching. Think polls, audience feedback in real time, viewers multi-tasking, enriching the video experience via Social Media apps.
  7. Speaking of which – more TV & Movie marketing apps. This could lead to a new distribution channel for trailers and teasers.
  8. Social Music – more apps like Rdo, Mog and Spotify. These apps and others will integrate the social gestures mentioned above.

Best of the rest includes advances with HTML5, flexible displays, iTV (that video impact again) and several option in push-based media. Among them location based news and media using near field communications (NFC).

Looks like 2012 will be an interesting year. Video consumption will not only impact cable companies but also content producers. TV shows will fragment into smaller digestible chunks on any device capable of streaming video. Cable companies will need to be able to provide bandwidth on demand. I also hope that we consumers will push for flat-fee services, not usage based.

Flexible display may be a way off for the main consumer but might be one of the hot products at CES this year. Remember, you heard it hear first.


What trends are you going to watch?

Connecting Twitter with SEO March 5, 2010

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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I just came across an interesting vlog that talks about using twitter with Search Engine Optmization (SEO) efforts. It is very timely and the vlog is fairly short. This is what makes working in this space so interesting and fun The vlog talks about using twitter as a research tool for SEO and is included in a series titled ‘White Board Friday’ by the SEOMoz group. As the title implies, each week, there is a video on a specific SEO topic. This week’s entry caught my attention as I use twitter and have been working on organic SEO for some time now. Watch the video here.

WBF video from SEOmoz

Video on using twitter for SEO Research

The main message is how to use information from twitter such as trending topics to determine the proper timing for your blog posts. The key is to post in the right window -not too soon, not too late. Another takeaway is in leveraging a Google algorithm based on content freshness. By posting within the window, you take advantage of the spike in real time search for a popular topic such that your blog post will be found using their Query Deserves Freshenss (QDF) algorithm. As that content is fresh and trending, your chances for getting indexed are higher and will be found sooner. Brilliant! Part of the same storm lifting all boats, to use an old phrase.

I have used twitter for quite a while and was aware of the trending topics shown on Twitter. Until watching this video, I did not make the connection on how to use this information.

What other tools can we use in combination to gain further insights into web traffic and behavior? Have any favorites you’d care to share?

Water mean bag ice? February 2, 2010

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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In our modern digital age, we have many choices on how to communicate. Saturated with choice, in fact. What if we didn’t have unlimited choice? What if words were rationed? How would that change how we communicate? Which brings me to Anguish Languish. Perhaps you’ve heard the story of ‘Ladle Rat Rotten Hut’ – the most common example.

This is the story of Little Red Riding Hood re-told in the ‘Anguish Languish’ style. It demonstrates how important intonation is in spoken English. It also shows how versatile our language can be. It was written during WWII when many things were rationed to support the war effort. If words were rationed, perhaps, the story of Ladle Rat Rotten Hut would be common.  It is easy to understand how certain words are used in place of the original. Example – reading ‘Water bag noise!’ instead of ‘What a big nose!’ If you don’t want to read the story, you can watch the video.

I had read the story years ago posted in a newsgroup. Thanks to wikipedia, google and other available resources, lots of information on this topic is at our fingertips. Of course, we have no shortage on words.  However, we do use Twitter and SMS text messaging even with their respective limitations. Tweets are confined to 140 characters – we willingly accept that. Both Twitter and text messaging encourages acronyms, abbreviations and, at times, some creative spelling. We accommodate those restrictions to convey our thoughts as succinctly as possible. They are not the most effecient forms of communications but their effectiveness cannot be denied.

We all influence our language. It changes constantly and our ability to communicate will continue to evolve. Looking ahead, I anticipate using audio and visual images as easily as I can manipulate text today – a topic I have addressed previously.

Until then, have fun with words. “Water bag ice! A nervous sausage bag ice!” Say it aloud. Better yet, have someone else say it.  Know water mean?

On Social Media – Who is a expert? June 2, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Everybody’s talkin at me about Social Media (SM). I’ve seen all good people with lots of posts and tweets about SM ‘experts’ lately. Tangents to songs come to mind here and a nod to Neilson and Yes; but I digress.

At first, I thought there are experts, are there? Well, now. Bully for them. Then it occurred to me that no, they aren’t. No one is yet. Perhaps, they are farther along the learning curve than others but not an expert (yet). Don’t be fooled by anyone who labels themselves a SM expert – not there yet.  In the true sense of community, we are all learning together. We glean tips and tricks from each other, help define what is & is not  accepted practice. That’s the fun part about this time, eh? Guiding, shaping and otherwise helping define how we interact and ultimately what are cultural norms. We’re making history. OK, deep breath. Goos-fraba.

I read Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book,  ‘Outliers’,  a while ago. In it, he defines being an expert via the 10K hour rule. The rule states that to achieve the status of expert in any given topic, it is accepted that you spend 10,000 hours working on a particular skill.

Thus far, there are no Social Media experts because of the time constraint. Do the math. Even if someone spends 3000 hours a year on SM, it would take more than 3 years to reach such expert status. 

I’m not an SM expert and neither are you. We may be someday, once we hit 10K hours. In the meantime, we help each other learn, share, agree on many things and dis-agree on others. Willing to listen; happy to discuss.