The future IS gaming


I recently finished reading the techno-thriller Daemon by Daniel Suarez. It is certainly not literature, but it is a fast-paced thriller that I found hard to put down. It posits a world in which a genius who creates online games builds a systems that makes the entire world into what is effectively a game, with an augmented reality interface, and in which individuals earn points for tasks that give them higher ranking.

I have long thought it is inevitable that much of our work and play will take place in what are effectively game environments.

In Jesse Schell‘s presentation at DICE (hattip: Kevin Kelly/The Technium) he gives an array of fantastic ideas about the intersection of reality and gaming. After covering how many games such as Wii, Guitar Hero and Webkinz are bring the real world into games, he goes off (from around 18:00) on a rapid-fire string of suggestions about how every aspect of the world can be made into a game.

It is intriguing that mobile social networking, which I have written about since its early days in 2002, has only taken off when Foursquare made it into a game. As people become more familiar with gaming environments and concepts, it seems natural to bring in gaming aspects to more parts of our life. Dangerous things that way lie, but it is inevitable that games and what we think of as reality will be merged to an extraordinary degree.

[UPDATE:] Tom Foremski says why he thinks this is a scary future.

Keynote on Web 2.0 in the enterprise at IBM Collective Intelligence


IBM’s annual Lotusphere conference is held each January, bringing together customers of IBM’s enterprise collaboration suite. While many associate Lotus with its long-established product Notes, since the launch of Lotus Connections in 2007 Lotus is centered on Web 2.0 tools such as social networks, mash-ups and micro-blogging. After Lotussphere local events are run in countries around the world, usually dubbed Lotusphere Comes To You.

This year IBM Australia is calling its enterprise collaboration conference Collective Intelligence, running this in 9 cities around the country. In Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra they are dividing the program into technology and business streams. I will be doing the opening keynote for the BusinessSphere stream as below in Sydney and Melbourne, though I will be in Asia at the time of the Canberra event next week.

The event is free to attend for “IBM customers and prospects” – you can register at the website. Maybe see you there!

The evolution and future of Social Networking and Web 2.0 technologies

Web and social technologies, having already had a massive social impact, are now being applied extensively in business and government. Many of the most successful organisations globally are implementing social software and web tools to increase productivity, tap expertise, improve staff engagement and streamline processes.

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Australia is becoming a global hub for crowdsourcing platforms:, 99designs, DesignCrowd


Crowdsourcing in the broadest sense will be one of the fundamental platforms of the emerging network economy. As such it’s pleasing to see that Australia is becoming a hub for a number of the most significant crowdsourcing platforms globally.

I caught up with Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd yesterday for an interesting conversation about the crowdsourcing space and thought it was worth giving a quick pointer to the three main platforms run out of Australia (though all are global in scope)., was founded in Sweden as in 2004. I first wrote about it in 2005 in an overview of the space. For many years it was the dominant online services exchange in Europe, and one of the top three globally. In May 2009 it was bought by Australian company Ignition Networks, which also acquired the domain The company is run by veteran tech entrepreneur Matt Barrie, who most recently founded and ran specialty processor firm Sensory Networks Inc.

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The promise of distributed power: the Bloom Box and more


At Future Exploration Network, one of our roles is to help clients understand the technologies that have the potential to dramatically disrupt existing industries and structures.

Distributed technologies which bring power and manufacturing to the local level, or even the home, definitely fall into that category. Modern economies are largely based on centralized power generation on an enormous scale, combined with power distribution networks taking that to the home.

For decades people have looked at the possibilities of fuel cells which allow homes or neighborhoods to generate their own power. Fuel cell manufacturer Bloom Energy , despite being largely in stealth mode, was named in the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2010 list. Last night CBS News ran a 13 minute segment (embedded below) devoted to Bloom Energy, suggesting it has the potential to transform how we use energy.

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8 Guiding Principles for Pilot Programs: A Key for Enterprise 2.0


In my Implementing Enterprise 2.0 report I put Iterate and Refine at the center of the Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Framework.


One of the most critical elements of this principle is the ability to establish and run effective pilot programs.

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 17 of Implementing Enterprise 2.0 on Pilots, which describes 8 guiding principles for pilot programs.


While there are no hard and fast rules for establishing successful pilots, eight guiding principles that should be kept in mind are:

“It is reasonably cheap and easy to get a pilot up and running to evaluate how successful a new Technology will be. Fail fast, fail cheap. Set things up as pilots and pick up the lessons.”

CIO, large property developer

1. Select fertile ground.

Pilots often establish the tone for how broader initiatives are received across the organization. Stories – both positive and negative – about the success of pilots often filter out very widely. A successful pilot can easily take a life of its own as others hear about the benefits and actively want to apply them in their own work. Failures can often be referred to across the organization as reasons why related initiatives will not succeed. While you can never expect all pilots to be successful, maximize chances of success by selecting the most promising projects and the best team, and make it easy for them to identify value.

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Media2010: Notes from Frédéric Filloux and Russ Fradin


Continuing my notes from the Media 2010 conference on the presentations by Jack Matthews, Richard Titus and Marc Frons, here are the notes I took from the presentations by Frederic Filloux and Russ Fradin.

I will be digesting what I’ve heard today and pulling into some upcoming content on the future of media.


1. Failure of ad model

– CPM lower than ever

– Clickthrough rate never took off

– endless inventories pushing prices down – ad networks are bottom feeders

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The polarization of film budgets


When I walked out from seeing Avatar 3D in December, I tweeted: “$300 million very well spent!”

Movie theaters can create extraordinary experiences, but the cost of production is ever greater.

On the other hand, movies can be made for extremely low cost, using HD cameras, digital editing, and volunteer labor.

At Media 2010 Suzanne Stefanac pointed to Escape to City 17, a machinima movie that had been made with a budget of less than $500, mainly for the costumes. It looks pretty good considering how little was spent.

Expect both increasing film budgets at the top end, and lowering film budgets at the bottom end.

Media2010: Notes from Jack Matthews, Richard Titus, Mark Frons


I am at the Media 2010 conference in Sydney, where there is an extraordinary line-up of speakers through the day. I am here to get my head back into gear on future of media strategy, which will be a major theme for me through this year.

Below are my notes taken on-the-fly from the first few speakers. Hopefully I will get hold of some laptop power to be able to continue after this.


We are at the point of singularity – beyond which we cannot see.

Highly recommend Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks.

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Interactive scenarios for 2030: provocation for long-term strategy


Last year I kicked off a strategy session of a major infrastructure company with a presentation to the executive team on the world in 2030. This used a set of four scenarios to provoke new thinking about the world moving forward.

I wrote about these in The World in 2030: Four scenarios for long-term planning and strategy, providing some of the background to the scenarios and presentation.

We’ve now created a flash piece to make it easier to navigate and interact with the scenarios. Please play with the interactive piece.

The battlefield for mobile platforms and mobile applications becomes clear: fragmentation, innovation, and dead-ends


I was just interviewed on Sky Business this morning about the news coming out from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

In the plethora of announcements, what stands out for me is the increasing clarity of the emerging platforms battle, which is happening on two levels: mobile operating system and applications.

Mobile operating system

The launch of the iPhone 3G redefined how people thought about mobile devices. Now we are finally getting a range of serious and comparable alternatives.

The most visible of these is of course Android. Eric Schmidt said yesterday that there now 60,000 Android phones sold every day, and there appear to be new mobile models launched almost daily.

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