Facebook: Did You Know?

Did you know that:

  • 62 % of marketers said social media became more important to their marketing campaigns in the last 6 months
  • 72% of marketers handle social media inhouse.
  • Small businesses spend 18% of their budgets on social media, the most out of all marketing channels
  • 70% of Facebook consumers follow links posted by family and friends.

You can get these and 43 other stats from 47 Handy Facebook stats and charts from Hubspot . Hubspot  also has a Twitter Marketing Kit and one on LinkedIn titled Learn LinkedIn from the Experts. So if you are part of 72% marketers who handled social media in house, you can get some help from these guides and Hubspot marketing kit.

One thing nice about Hubspot. They practice what they preach. And they do it really well.

The Hacker Attitude

From the  Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty David talks about The Hacker Attitude:

I don’t mean computer geeks who break into networks and steal passwords. I don’t even necessarily mean software developers. I mean the renegade group of entrepreneurially minded people who are transforming the way we live, work and interact.

Though the term hacker originated at MIT in the 1960s and was used to refer to a particular group of computer and software enthusiasts, to many the term has a broader meaning. An article by Eric S Raymond titled “How to become a hacker” presents five tenets of hacker attitude.

  1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved
  2. No problem should ever be solved twice
  3. Boredom and drudgery are evil
  4. Freedom is good
  5. Attitude is no substitute for competence

In short, a hacker values knowledge and learns whatever he needs to learn to achieve his vision. In today’s world, that often means learning at least a little coding, but the hacker attitude can be applied to problem solving of all kinds.

People who live by the hacker attitude are curious. They do whatever it takes to achieve their visions. They are entrepreneurial. They value skills and knowledge over titles and experience.

If people understand that this is what it is, then “Hacker” is a badge of honor. Eric Raymond talks about Hacker Nerd/Geek connection in his book.

The Hacker/Nerd Connection
Contrary to popular myth, you don’t have to be a nerd to be a hacker. It does help, however, and many hackers are in fact nerds. Being something of a social outcast helps you stay concentrated on the really important things, like thinking and hacking. For this reason, many hackers have adopted the label ‘geek’ as a badge of honor.

Meta:

I hope David doe not mind my copying so much of text from one chapter. I hope it gets him a few followers on Twitter and some orders for this excellent book.

Current Topics In Competitive Intelligence

One of the sources of finding information about Competitive Intelligence is to look at the call for papers in conferences. Here are some from Competitive Intelligence in the Online World.

1. Data Analytics – Harvesting Insights from Large Data Pools

2. Strategic Analytics as a Value Creator into Products

3. Organization of Competitive Intelligence

4. The Economics of Intelligence

5. Double Loop Learning with Online Websites and Apps

6. The Impact of Human Bias in Competitive Intelligence

7. Using Competitive Intelligence for Innovation

8. Competitive Intelligence and Market Communication

Will be doing some independent research on these topics.

Meta:

This is a re-post from my other blog at an upcoming iMorph site.

LinkLog: Data Visualization Success Hinges on Solid Storytelling Skills

This blog, btw, was not written by me (except this para). I wanted to see what happens when you rescoop an article to your blog. Now I know. It is a story worth reading. So to do a successful visualization you need the combination of two skills  one to visualize the data and the other to tell a powerful story about it. There are several sources that do this well. Economist is one. Newyork Times is another. Pew Research Center is my favorite. They combine the visualization with a few compelling stories. It is the new trend in journalism, aptly named “Data Journalism”.

See on Scoop.it

Learn more about the value of data visualisation. Tableau’s Jock Mackinlay explains why data is inert and worthless without the twin practices of visualisation and storytelling.

See on searchdatamanagement.techtarget.co.uk

Analyzing Unstructured Content

I am reading the UIMA overview document.  It is a fascinating description of an architecture for analyzing unstructured documents. In analyzing unstructured content, UIMA based  applications make use of a variety of analysis technologies including:

• Statistical and rule-based Natural Language Processing (NLP)
• Information Retrieval (IR)
• Machine learning
• Ontologies
• Automated reasoning and
• Knowledge Sources (e.g., CYC, WordNet, FrameNet, etc.)

As the amount of unstructured information increases, it becomes important to make sense of it. The type of analysis is normally domain and application specific. You can take a collection of related documents and come up with various analysis views. Depending on the type of analysis you can use different analysis engines.

Let us take a current topic – Apple vs Samsung. If we gather a set of news items from the time the case started, you can analyze it in different ways.

  • An analysis of innovations which include levels of innovation and what is an innovation and what is not
  • An analysis of patents which may be useful to other vendors of smart phones and tablets
  • An analysis of human interest stories from both companies (and the style of product management)
  • An analysis of product development processes

Same documents, different views based on your interest levels. This is a fascinating area.

UIMA document provides an overview of how to develop simple and aggregated analysis engines. I found this document gripping (which is not a term you normally associate with technical documents). It not only explains the conceptual thinking behind UIMA, but also triggers several ideas and thoughts for further reading.

 

Five of My Favorites from 21 Golden Rules of Entrepreneurship

Morning read –  21 Golden Rules for Entreprenurs from Udemy.  Here are five of my favorite quotes from this course.

Exceptional people, no matter what the endeavor is, believe it first, and then they see it. This just means that they’re able to see in their mind’s eye, with great detail, what they want a future experience to be like.

The only thing you control is your work ethic.

What’s driving you? What’s your “why” for doing this? If  you don’t have a big “why” constantly pushing you forward, you’re always going to use the “what” and the “how” as an excuse for not following through.

If  you don’t have money, experience or a product,  what do you have to trade? You have no currency, all you can sell is ether. It means you can paint a future experience for somebody in such specific detail, with such substantial intricacies that it feels tangible.

I’ve seen what I thought were great ideas fall apart. Ideas do not make a difference; execution does.

I started out with writing some comments for each one of these quotes. Then, I thought better of it and deleted them all. I did not want to distract you. If you want to read why do I like these 5 over all the others, read on.

1. I have experienced these in my own startup journeys and know them to be true. I can give several examples for each one of them.

2. Our ideas come from several sources. Some times you see a connection between a persistent problem and a new way to solve it. Some times you keep asking yourself ‘why?’ several times and suddenly come up with a possible answer. Sometimes you have the strong urge to improve the way things are done. It does not matter how you get your ideas. You need to visualize them, think deeply about them, able to explain it to others and paint a picture. Then only you can take the next step. This course does a great job of telling you why and how.

3. They provide a nice blend of philosophy and practice.

If  I had to pick only one of these 5, it would be the ‘big why?’ since it is the engine that powers your journey.

Because it is Beautiful

This is going to be a bit of a ramble. There! I warned you!

Here is  a quote, I came across today:

The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful.

Henri Poincaré

Some times, I feel that I should have studied Mathematics instead of Engineering. It was a subject I loved and was reasonably good at. Instead, I went to take Physics because my dad wanted me to. I got bored with the college and switched to Engineering. Engineering was good to me.   It was kind of effortless (we did not have many tests in my time) and I made some really good friends. I even married the sister of one my classmates. Engineering degree got me into computers and that was good too. So overall, I have no complaints.

Back to the beauty part. I think when you get down deep into a subject you like, you do see a kind of beauty. It is difficult to describe, because it is a feeling that is very special to you. There is no language to share it. You need to invent a new vocabulary.  Some times you find beauty in other things – like ideas and some times, it is just the interactions you have.

I think happiness in life is a very simple thing. Find enough things in which you can experience that beauty and get involved in them.