August 6, 2009

The-ColabGone are the days when everyone operated on their own, whether individual persons or corporations. People are finding out more and more that collaboration and interaction is crucial. That’s how humans are made to be – we’re social creatures – and we excel when we work together. This is true in our business and personal lives – look at the family unit and the community unit. Everyone – without exclusion – adds value to the greater whole.

The Internet has placed our networking and collaboration capabilities on an entirely new level. It’s so easy now to work on projects and initiatives with people in distant cities or countries, and even with people that you’ve never physically met before. It’s really exciting to say the least, and the opportunities are endless.

There is a book on this concept which I’ve been advocating for about 2 years, it’s called Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams. The tagline of the book says: “How mass collaboration changes everything” – and it’s so true, everything’s been changed, and continues to change.

The back cover, concisely, states:

“The knowledge, resources and computing power of billions of people are self-organizing into a massive new collective force. Interconnected and orchestrated through blogs, wikis, chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks and personal broadcasting, the internet is being reinvented to provide the first ever global platform for collaboration”

Read that again if you didn’t get it. If you got it, it’s worth reading again anyway!

So what’s The-Colab?

My good friend Nur Ahmad Furlong has been talking about this initiative for several months now. The initiative aims to be a collaborative and collective effort by individuals and entrepreneurs in the Design, Marketing, and Web industries. You can read a bit more about it at the website. I’m very excited that the first real project has kicked off, and I’m very happy to be part of the team. Khalil Aleker, Eshaam Rabaney, and Rafiq Philips are also part of the team for this pilot project.

None of us are totally sure how this initiative will grow and mature, but we are all aware of the possibilities, and we all realize the skill and value of each other. The primary notion I want to leave with you today is that this is the future. Collaboration. People are working together on a huge scale, and increasingly so. I would suggest that you start thinking this way, if you’re not already. Do what you love, work within your passion-parameter – and partner and collaborate with others for the things that are not your passion. We all have different passions, and we can leverage off one another. This is powerful!

Content is still king – but who’s content?

August 5, 2009

[Ok, so I haven't blogged in a while. A tad hypocritical of me since I advocate blogging so strongly in my talks. Each time I get an idea for a blog post (which is usually more than once a day) I shift it aside and make something else priority, I think I need to change that, now!]

Facebook FriendsEver since the start of the Internet, we’ve been saying that “Content is king” – and that’s been very true. A website with more content – be it text or any other type of content – always won over a website with no content. The content surely had to be good, make no mistake. As the Internet has evolved, I think the content paradigm has evolved as well.

I caught an interesting link on Twitter last night, it was a recent TechCrunch article titled: “Facebook Is Now the Fourth Largest Site In The World.” Facebook boasts 340 million unique visitors during June, 2009. This article returned a memory from a few months ago. I was consulting with a client and helping them understand how Facebook could help their business. I was setting up one lady’s Facebook profile, and it looked very strange. There was nothing going on there, there was more white screen than anything else. This was because she had not “connected” to many friends at the time, so there was little information displaying on her profile. I mentioned this to them, explained how “busy” my profile is, and we had a chuckle, but it’s stayed in my memory – perhaps waiting for me to write this post?!

Content is still the most important component of a website – but who’s content is an entirely new question! We visit Facebook every single day, several times a day, from our desktops, laptops, and mobiles. Who’s content are we looking at though? Facebook’s? Very rarely. We’re looking at content that we’ve created ourselves, or content that our friends have created. Twitter? Twitter without user content is an empty shell. When we go to YouTube, are we viewing their content? Nope. Flickr? Wikipedia?

User-generated content is what really drives the Internet today. And it’s going to get bigger, and bigger. Facebook et al will need to continually make it easier for users (that’s you and me) to publish our own content and share others’ content. It’s about the content, still, but there’s been a shift in who publishers that content.