Web 2.0

Benefits of Web 2.0 Technologies Being Reaped by Enterprises

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Research by McKinsey & Company indicates that the time for Web 2.0 technologies to pay off on a corporate level just might be around the corner. New types of companies are now making waves—companies that utilize the power of Web 2.0 technologies to form a network that connects all their employees, whilst creating a new interactive experience for business partners and customers.

McKinsey calls this new company a networked enterprise; an entity, which according to the firm’s analysis and surveys, enjoys a significant improvement in performance thanks to its move to Web 2.0. In fact, McKinsey’s data shows that networked enterprises not only have a higher chance of becoming market leaders and gaining market share, they also gain higher margins compared to other companies that make limited use of the Web.

Ever since Web companies such as YouTube and Facebook burst into the scene with their clever use of social technologies, McKinsey has kept tabs on how enterprises have taken these business models to supplement their adoption of I.T. tools and strategies. Just like the previous wave of I.T. adoptions, the Web 2.0 trend features the same pattern of early adopters utilizing the new technology, with other entities then following suit as they recognize its value.

Web 2.0 technologies might be dismissed by some, but the evidence is clear—social technologies are changing and improving the way companies do business and Enform has been at the forefront of assisting businesses do so.

Source: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Organization/Strategic_Organization/The_rise_of_the_networked_enterprise_Web_20_finds_its_payday_2716

Browser wars and you, Explorer vs Mozilla

By | Blog, tools | One Comment
Typical browser usage

Typical browser usage

I’ve tried to stay out of this battle for the past 3 years but the last few days have seen me enter the fray. The attached screen shot from Google Analytics for a typical web site shows 55% of visitors have Internet Explorer followed by Mozilla Firefox with 32%. Digging deeper we see that Explorer version 8.0 has 44% of its group with 7.0 at 39% so 56% of these visitor are using older Explorer versions than current.

The point of this is that though Internet Explorer is clearly the market leader in use, I have had nothing but problems with it over the last few months. The Mozilla fans around me are used to getting short change from me when pushing their barrow because its a simple question of “what’s in it for me?” I know Explorer, its familiar to me, what can Mozilla do extra that is worth my time to invest in learning to use it etc?  The answer now is simple, just having a working browser that doesn’t crash or freeze multiple times a day.

Despite nourishing it with all its regular updates and keeping it watered with regular system shutdowns, Explorer 7.0 would constantly stumble with Java scripts and Ajax routines (common programs within sites increasingly used to enhance user experience). The dreaded “Not Responding” threat would hang over me like a sword as I waited those extra few minutes hoping Explorer had just stepped out for a quick fag but the truth hung around like a bad smell building from the corner of the room. Finally, forced shut down for Explorer… do I want to report it and tell Microsoft about it AGAIN?. Sure, that will be the 12th time today but….

With some spare time on the weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to version 8.0. Its well out of Beta (pre-release stage) and should be patched up to work properly by now. Install, restart, follow the bouncing ball and all seems to be working fine. Some extra features make it more useable but nothing revolutionary compared with the Mozilla version I’ve been quietly using on the side for special operations secret to Explorer, but a welcome step forward. That is until we crash again…. and again… and again.

Enough is enough, Mozilla is updated, told to take over the front seat with Explorer banished to the cupboard along with the old camping gear that you might need one day. Firefrox seems to positively beam at the opportunity, it flies through updates and refresh compared with Explorer. Any minor hick-ups are dealt with sensibly with warnings and graceful reaction and not one lock-up or freeze in 24 hours of doing largely the same things that would require 10+ Explorer restarts. Sounds like a fairy tale where everyone lived happily ever after…. if only fairy tales were true.

In real life we are forced to deal with compromises and in the last hour I have had to face the reality of this with Mozilla Firefox. A program I use seems to work fine with Mozilla but issues with displayed HTML formatting had me pulling my hair out blaming everyone except my software. As a final desperate measure (and in response to a suggestion from a learned web man) I went back to the cupboard, pulled out Explorer and fired it up with the application. Bingo, no problem and now this specific program looks just like it should.

The moral of this story is that computing and the web will always be about compromise. Expect to make choices about the tools you use and be prepared to have a different shaped hammer in the other draw just in case your day-to-day one doesn’t quite work for something. But as far as your customers go, DON’T run the risk of forcing them to adopt to you and your technology decisions.

  • Always test your site on all common browser platforms (including Google Chrome)
  • Always err on the safe side and make sure it works on older legacy versions, even if it means losing some cutting edge functionality for the moment.
  • If your customer claims they can’t use your site properly there’s a good chance they’re right so investigate it properly.

Google measure web site “bounce rate” as the percentage of visitors leaving within 30 seconds of arrival, make sure your site is not a growing part of that important metric.

Disc Brakes Australia working on new web site

By | Announcements, Automotive | 2 Comments



DBA looks at opportunities in social media through a new and expanded online presence. Here’s what DBA Steve has to say about it.

Hi there,
Its been some time since we spoke and I just wanted to say hello again and let you know what’s been happening at DBA.
The global downturn has affected everyone and most everything, particularly the car industry but our vehicles still need to be serviced. DBA sees this as an important time as people look for value and quality and we’re doing our best to make sure that we continue to deliver. 
Part of the value story is to make it easier for customers to find our product and get it when they need it. To help with that we’ve started working pretty hard on a brand new web site that should hopefully make it easier than ever to find the right DBA product. Another part of the job is making better connections with our customers and so we’re looking at the best possible ways of staying connected and keeping people up to date while still helping out on forums.
The new web site should help here too as we add blogs (yeap, I get to post more stuff), connections to popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and the option to just tune in and see what’s going on. We want to stay connected with the people using our product so I’d like to invite you to start a new connection with DBA as we get closer to the new site release date in August.  A lot of this stuff is also very new to me but I’m told its important (and very current) so here goes….
You can now follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/DBAsteve or using Twitter http://twitter.com/DBASteve/ . Of course the old fashioned email stuff still works using dbasteve@dba.com.au and we’ve still got our Contact page where you can log your details and ask us a question or register here to saty connected via our mail list and member program

http://www.dba.com.au/2006/NEWS/default.asp .

I’m told that on the new site we’ll also have a mail list function where you can subscribe to updates and even join in and comment on what you think of us and what we have to say. Connecting with our customers is a two-way thing and we would like to know to what you think and what we can do for you so please make use of that if you having something to say.
And, one of the important things you might want to say now is that you’d rather we didn’t contact you again and all you need do is click Unsubscribe here to let us know. This should send us an email and we’ll take you off the list. But if you choose to stay with us, we’ll be launching a new feedback program in a week or so leading up to the new web site launch so stay tuned for more details.
In the meantime, make sure you take a look at what’s new from DBA at  http://www.dba.com.au/2006/new_products/new_products.asp and http://www.dba.com.au/2006/EVO/default.asp or feel free to email me directly with any feedback or questions. We very much look forward to staying in touch.
All the best.
DBA Steve

Facebook matures, good and bad

By | Comment, Research | No Comments

Some interesting recent stats on Facebook Everything You Never Knew About Facebook, also summarised below. 

Meanwhile sub 18 year olds are leaving or avoiding Facebook and fragmenting into other sites that are yet to register on business radar. Arguments are starting over kids rejecting parents as “Friends” and the whole thing is starting to migrate toward a more mature mainstream media channel albeit with 2 way connection and classic social media charcteristics (so all you social media cynics shouldnt get too cosy) .

That’s both good and bad news as MySpace revenue has shrunk again and concern is that the core 18-25 and emerging pre-teen demographic is not staying on these channels and will go somewhere else. However, the upside is that a core demographic for many “traditional” brands and those with disposable income are joining up and is the largest growth sector.

Facebook has more than 250 million users, 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day

People 35 years old and older represent the fastest growing demographic.

1 billion social objects (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared each week

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

30 million users currently access Facebook through their mobile devices

 Taken from http://www.conversationalcurrency.com/732/everything-you-never-knew-about-facebook/

Whiteline launches new web site

By | Automotive | No Comments

Whiteline launches its revamped web site with a fresh focus on social media and Web 2.0. Whiteline was one of the pioneers consumer advocacy and an early adopter of web technologies.  With a global focus, the site follows the brand offering global dealer and distributor integration.