E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Podcasting

IBM and the Future of Shopping

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I am sure that you folks will know about it already but, just in case, yesterday evening the third in the series of Podcasts was made available at the IBM Investor Relations web site. Yes, indeed, here we go again with another Podcast, and this time dedicated to the world of shopping. In IBM and the Future of Shopping you will be able to get a very good insight about the world of retail and shopping. I must say that so far this is probably the one of the whole series that I have enjoyed the most. And the main reason being how close I felt with the discussion topics mentioned throughout.

It is funny, but as you go over the podcast itself you will notice all what is mentioned makes sense. Not only from the perspective of everything that has happened so far around the world of retail but also from the perspective of what lies ahead. More and more people have got a tendency to shop online and, somehow, the differences from the traditional way of shopping are there for us to take advantages of it. There may be some disadvantages but certainly while listening through the conversations I just couldn’t help that we have got some exciting times ahead of us in this particular area. For instance, two of the comments that were shared come pretty close to one of my passions: collaboration and process change, i.e. the people.

Indeed, it looks like the main key success factor for the retail industry to survive in this century is not just a matter of providing the best technology, on the contrary, it will very much depend on how we share information in a collaborative way so that we can get the best out of the deal, as far as consumers are concerned but also at the same time that retailers would need to collaborate more with their consumers in order to be able to sell the best products. This is something we have seen over and over and over again in the Blogosphere, where more and more people are coming through and share their experiences on the products they purchase. And that new visibility is what will encourage retailers to go out and listen. Listen to their customers about what they are saying and what they want. Yes, you guessed it right as well, failure to do so will have severe consequences because information travels faster than whatever you could imagine and in most than one case it may get you in trouble. Thus collaboration is going to be key for the success of the retail industry.

On the other hand, I certainly agree with the comments as well regarding that the key success factor will be related to the process change, and not just the technology. Retailers would need to get used to the new shopping habits from the younger generations as they will be the ones that will shape up the retail industry of the near future. So if those processes do not change soon enough, they would become obsolete and consumers will just move on elsewhere. That flexibility of changing processes on the fly is going to become crucial for the survival of the industry. Yes, indeed, exciting times are ahead of us and something tells me that we are bound to go into a wild ride over the next few years. Time will tell, but you can already taste it with the IBM and The Future of Shopping podcast.

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PodProducer – The Tool for the Podcaster

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Not long ago, if you remember, I created a weblog post on a really nice application called Ziepod, created by the Newzie team, that would allow people to manage and play their favourite Podcasts. Seeing the hype behind podcasting as one of the most powerful Knowledge Management tools currently available, specially for the dispersed and remote teams, that would still need to have access to information and intellectual capital, I thought I would go ahead and share with you folks one application that I have discovered recently and which provides a unique experience when creating your own podcasts.

It is called PodProducer and you can download it from here. You can see as well some screen shots over here.. Apart from the fact that it is Freeware it is relatively easy to use and its user interface is rather friendly and intuitive. From all of the different options out there I doubt there would be a better application to achieve the same quality of podcasting with the same ease of use as with PodProducer. Audacity may be another good option, for sure, maybe even better for handling and managing .mp3 files, but PodProducer still offers a whole lot more functionality.

If you are looking for a Podcasting tool that would allow you to enjoy a very friendly user interface plus a whole bunch of additional features, most of which are in most cases available for shareware programmes only, I can certainly recommend you take a look into PodProducer as I am sure you will like both the experience and the end-results.

If you are wondering if I would be doing some podcasts here in my external weblog I am afraid that at this point in time I am not going to be doing them and although I do not discard that possibility for the near future it will not be taking place in the short-term. At the moment, I am quite comfortable with writing my weblog posts and as time goes by if there is a need for me to try it out I can certainly say that PodProducer would be my first choice. Followed probably by Audacity.

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IBM and the Future of the Home

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

This is one of those times, folks, where I am actually really glad that I have finally succumbed to the temptation and got my hands on an iPod. It arrived already a week ago and during that time I have been moving my entire music collection and I have just realised that I still have got lots of space for some other goodies. Like the second IBM podcasting: IBM and the Future of the Home.

Isn’t that perfect timing or what ? Earlier on today, IBM has launched the second Podcast and around the topic of The Future of the Home. Here you have got the excerpt of the podcast itself:

“George Bailey and Kevin Reardon are two IBM experts on the consumer-electronics industry. In this IBM podcast, George and Kevin discuss how an explosion of new consumer-electronics gadgets, smart home appliances and home network technologies promise to combine together to change the way our homes work and how we interact with them. First, however, the companies that plan to sell home integration technology and services need to find the right business model for success.”

I have just finished listening to it in my iPod and it is just fascinating how much things have changed over the last couple of decades as far as the household appliances are concerned. Certainly, it is an interesting and refreshing overview of where we are heading with regards to smart homes, amongst other items that you thought were not that important but they actually were, like services, which will become key, or like applying Open Source while using different pieces of software to make it all work. Indeed, fascinating to say the least, and worth while to listen to it.

And now that I have got the iPod I guess I do not have an excuse any longer, right? Indeed, that is what I thought. Anyway, if you really want to know what is actually going to happen with The Future of the Home I can certainly recommend you listen to the podcast. There may be some items that you may agree with or not, but it surely makes up for an enlightening listening !

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Ziepod – Podcast Receiver and Player

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Despite what lots of people have been saying for some time now, one of my favourite RSS Newsfeed readers is Newzie. Maybe one of these days I will talk about it and share with you folks why I like it so much. However, this weblog post has got another subject. And that is that the same group of developers who are behind Newzie have now created and launched Ziepod, the podcast receiver and player.

As far as I could see not many people have been weblogging about this lovely application other than a couple of weblogs here and there. Yet, I have been playing with it for a few days now and just like with Newzie I really enjoyed the experience.

I know it is not like iTunes or the iPod but I must say that what it does, it does it really well. Ziepod is a freeware (Yes, I know a big plus already) application that allows you to receive and play podcasts directly into your computer. And although people may think why you would want to do that I still love the opportunity to be able to listen to podcasts directly from my computer. Why not? If I am going to spend a few hours a day working behind it I might as well enjoy the podcasting experience using Ziepod.

However, what I really like about this new offering is how easy it is to use. In no time you have got it installed and ready to go. You can then start searching for Podcasts using another superb offering from the Newzie Team called Feedzie, that actually allows you to search for text feeds or for audio feeds and add them rather to Newzie or Ziepod, respectively.

Then the user interface is just out of this world. Depending on what you are trying to do while you are busy with your computer you can choose up to four different modes that would take more or less space from your Desktop. Really nice. I love it. I can certainly define how intrusive it would be with what I am currently busy with and that, to me, is a big plus as it would allow me to focus on what I am doing while I am listening to some great podcasts. Excellent stuff. You can download the application from here and if you go into the homepage you will be able to see the Ziepod Rating Charts where Ziepod end-users could share their ratings on their favourite podcasts. This way you would be able to build a great selection of items to listen to and enjoy while you go through the day doing some work in front of your computer(s).

So, certainly, if you are looking for a desktop podcasting tool that would allow you to receive and play podcasts and you do not want any complicated application that can clutter your machine then I strongly suggest you give a try to Ziepod. You will like it. I am sure. Pretty much like ñblog, Brian Benzinger (Solution Match) or myself have been able to experience so far.

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First IBM Podcast Goes Live !

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I am sure that most of you, folks, have read / seen / weblogged about the recent announcement back in May this year where IBM finally jumped into the corporate weblogging wagon and encouraged its employees to engage and participate in the Blogosphere. Although there were probably few hundred people already engaged maintaining their external weblogs, right away it grabbed a really good momentum that we are still enjoying a great deal (Maybe I will add some more into that thought). Well, I think the story is going to repeat itself with IBM launching the first IBM Podcast. Yes, indeed IBM goes Podcasting !

Even though one of my colleagues, Aneel, mentioned another podcasting effort from one of IBM’s divisions, talking about the recent z9 announcements, I think this would be the first major announcement where IBM is embracing podcasting and start producing some content from now on and available in the IBM Investor Relations web site.

I must admit that I am really excited to see all this taking place as I think it would bring lots of visibility to our clients, and everybody in general, about what IBM is doing in a number of different fronts and, certainly, it will help us all engage in a much tighter collaboration. So just in case you may not have seen it yet, here you have a small excerpt about the first IBM podcast:

“IBM Investor Relations presents a unique audio series entitled “IBM and the Future of…” on key business and technology topics. Download MP3 files or subscribe to the podcast feed to learn more about IBM’s thought leaders’ vision for the future.”

The first in the series is titled IBM and the Future of Driving and as you have read above you will be able to subscribe to the RSS feed or download the .mp3 file, where both Jim Ruthven and Dr. Roberto Sicconi will discuss how “voice-recognition technologies, telematics, new user interfaces and sensing technologies are coming together to change the way we design, build, drive, maintain and insure our cars.” Worth while a listen if you are interested in the subject of cars in general or if you are working in that particular area.

Oh, and just in case you may not have noticed, on the same web site IBM has put together some introductory articles that describe both Podcasts and RSS, just in case you may not be familiar with either term. Alternatively, you can also go to Wikipedia and read some more on both subjects, respectively. So go and grab the podcast while it is there and let’s look forward for the next one !

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Can Podcasting and Screencasting Save the Boat for Opera?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I would certainly think so. Way back, from the very beginning, both Podcasting and Screencasting have been two very popular methods of delivering (strong) messages to different audiences on a multitude of different scenarios, products, items, whatever. You name it. And ever since the beginning both methods have been very successful in attracting plenty of folks around whatever the item that has been talked about. You can see very clear examples at Jon Udell’s weblog.

So given that popularity of both methods, wouldn’t you expect that Opera would be benefiting from them if there would be a particular fixed schedule from where people could download podcasts and screencasts about their favourite web browser? Of course you would. Still Opera does not seem to be paying much attention to this particular way of delivering messages. If you go into its homepage and search for rather podcasting or screencasting there are no results returned back to you, however, you do have some kind of screencasts with the magnificent resources that Nontroppo has put together and which I have weblogged about in the past, however, they only have got video and no audio so they are not as beneficial as you would expect.

So when thinking about this the last couple of days, where I have been talking about alternative ways of delivering different messages to wider audiences in a much fancier and appealing format than traditional marketing techniques, I think it would be the perfect time for Opera to dive into this new way of delivering information to its users. Opera needs to get busy podcasting and screencasting if it wants to continue promoting its usage by other end-users who are looking for a fancy tool to try out. Podcasting and screencasting is cool and Opera could certainly make use of their hype and get onboard.

Can you imagine the impact that a podcast by Jon S. von Tetzchner, Opera’s CEO, could have telling folks why their web browser is a good alternative compared to what is out there? I certainly cannot wait for the day where this would take place. For the time being we may need to just go by with Nontroppo’s soundless screencasts, but soon enough the more we have the better it would be. Let’s see how it all shapes up and see what time will tell.

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