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Preview: Closing the CRM Gap: Using IT to Get Closer to Customers

Closing the CRM Gap: Using IT to Get Closer to Customers

Follow the CEO of a CRM services provider as he offers unique insight into emerging technologies and capabilities in the areas of Sales & Marketing, Enterprise Social Networking, and CRM Systems that are changing the face of business and helping to bridge

Published: Sat, 24 Mar 2018 16:05:05 +0000


The Radical Insidiousness Of Desktop Search

Thu, 16 Dec 2004 17:03:34 GMT


This week's desktop search frenzy is much bigger than the desktop. It actually signals the beginning of a fundamental shift in the way we will interact with information. The Legacy Of...The Folder Many of us want to keep things "organized." We want to put the right files in the right folders so we'll be able to find them later. We want to organize our vacation photos. We want to organize our music (sometimes autobiographically). We want to put our desktop things on our Desktop, and our documents in the Documents folder. The folder itself provides the metadata that, in theory, helps us to effectively locate what we're looking for when we need it later. We think this way because the tools that we were given to store and locate information were based on the metaphor of a set of hierarchical folders. It's the script we've been given. Distributed creation of content, however, broke this. When millions of people are creating content (whether in the form of web pages, blogs, or what have you), only a miniscule fraction of those people will go through the laborious step of explicitly stating how that information should be organized. The DMOZ, for example, states categorization of approximately four million web sites -- while Google lists over eight billion pages (yes, one is counting "sites," the other is counting "pages," but there's still a three-order-of-magnitude difference with me). Organizing things is a pain. Let's not forget that Yahoo! started out as a directory which, although it still exists, has been depreciated and now only fills a minor role in the Y! universe. When things got too massive, messy, and organic for the folder approach, search stepped in to fill the gap. The Nearest Node Until the desktop search tools started showing up, there was always an implicit distinction between things that were "local" and things that were "on the web," one primary difference being in how you located those things when you needed them. That difference has effectively vanished. And with that change, I would contend the Folder's days are numbered. It is only a matter of time before the "flatness" of the web becomes mirrored in how people use their local systems, and maybe even in how those systems are organized. With a solid desktop search engine, why should I bother to put things in folders anymore? I can put everything in one place, and the search engine will find it for me. My job just got easier. I no longer think of my machine as a separate entity from the Internet. It just happens to be the nearest node. Next Steps Of course, this only works well for things that are easily indexable. The images that are fairly flying from camera phones will still need to be indexed, as will the podcasts and the videos and all the other "rich media" out there. That is, until someone figures out a cost-effective way to automatically extract and index metadata from these types or artifacts*. (Hey Virage, are you listening?) I suppose in a way, Google's Is A Flying Monkey With Lasers On Its Friggin' Head A Good Value For The Experience It Offers?

Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:28:41 GMT


"Lovemarks." Dios mio, what a load of swill. Saatchi & Saatchi's latest foray into the absurd starts out strong: "Brands have run out of juice." Ok, I can agree with that statement. However, that's where the agreement ends. Let's examine some tidbits from advertising's finest, shall we?
"A Lovemark's high Love is infused with these three intangible, yet very real, ingredients: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy...Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don't just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That's why you never want to let go."
Um, yeah. In other words, "how can we use advertising to manipulate consumers into 'loving' something that doesn't actually exist?" Sorry, folks. Those days are done. No longer are consumers willing to be spoonfed, spun, and manipulated at your whim. Apple is held up as an example of a "Lovemark," yet the instant that it was learned that the iPod had a significantly battery flaw, customers were talking about it and doing something about it.
"It is considered a bit bizarre to have a meaningful relationship with an inanimate object." - Tree Stories
That being said, the Lovemarks site does have a bright side: the "Lovemarks Profiler." Through the Lovemarks Profiler, you can perform a self-assessment to determine your personal level of brainwashitude with respect to a particular product. I'm guessing that S&S assumed that people would use this capability to figure out how they felt about their brand of soap or something. However, one can take a slightly different approach. ( Letter To PeopleSoft Employees

Mon, 13 Dec 2004 18:43:59 GMT


Oracle finally bags PeopleSoft for US$10.3 billion. The letter that PeopleSoft CEO Dave Duffield sent to employees (from Employees To EA: We've Got Your MADDEN 2005 Right Here, Pal

Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:21:25 GMT


As originally noted here and here, there have been accusations of workers being run into the ground at Electronic Arts. Today, NPR is reporting that three heroes of the revolution employees (Jamie Kirschenbaum, Mark West and Eric Kearns) have filed a class action suit against EA for failing to pay overtime compensation. The lawsuit alleges, among other things:
"In failing to properly compensate Plaintiffs and the Class for overtime hours worked, Defendants acted maliciously, oppressively, and/or fraudulently, and such despicable conduct designed to maximize the Defendants' economic gain was carried out with the wrongful intention of causing injury to Plaintiffs and the Class, in willful and conscious disregard of the rights of Plaintiffs.."
A quick scan seems to say that anyone who worked for EA in a similar role as Kirchenbaum, West and Kearns between July 29, 2

The Real Redux

Mon, 06 Dec 2004 16:09:12 GMT


(this post had originally started out as a response to Jay Rosen's comment here, but then one thing led to another and, well, you know how these things happen...) Google search: "I hate RealNetworks": 92 results Google search: "I love RealNetworks":

Seth Godin Called On The Carpet By His Customers

Fri, 03 Dec 2004 17:24:36 GMT

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Ubermarketingguruguy Seth Godin has sold a gazillion copies of his books, and has had his e-books downloaded ten gazillion times. The trouble is, according to Jeff Jarvis and Doc Searls, that they (his readers and customers) hate the...( Microsoft Launches Blogger-Killer

Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:56:54 GMT

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On Thursday, Microsoft will launch MSN Spaces, Redmond's entry into the crowded market of blog publishing. There are already a bunch of folks kicking the tires on it, and it will be interesting to see...( Blogosphere Crucifies Target Stores Just A Little Too Quickly

Mon, 29 Nov 2004 03:13:17 GMT

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Ok, so the picture does look, shall we say, a little incongruous:


(and yes, Target is apparently selling Social Networking Spam. Or Not. Sort Of.

Wed, 24 Nov 2004 23:56:59 GMT

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Just tripped across an interesting column about social networking spam or, perhaps more accurately, how one can use social networking systems more effectively without spamming everyone whose email address has ever crossed your transom. The salient bit: The first thing you have to do is get the right frame of mind about why you're using technology to help you manage your relationships. It is not so you can pretend to a larger number of people that you care about them when you really don't. It's so you can treat more people who you really do care about as you would like to treat them, if only your brain were capable. ObReferences to Customers Take Their Conversations Online

Mon, 22 Nov 2004 19:41:27 GMT

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Rita Jenkins (or should we say "Jill"?) tells the world about a Best Buy rebate experience gone awry.  And then a Knowledgeswarming

Fri, 19 Nov 2004 12:51:39 GMT

(image) (new) So, the whole "bloggers vs. journalists" debate was getting a little tired from my point of view, and I just figured out why. It was getting tired because that debate doesn't matter. It is trivial in comparison to a more fundamental change that is taking place.
  • The cost of publishing has effectively dropped to zero for any individual.
  • The cost of aggregating information that has been published by others has effectively dropped to zero for any individual.
  • For any information topic of interest, there are people who are passionate about it, who will share their passion and knowledge for free.

Now put those three things together and make a picture. Stand back and look at it. The picture I see is the following: if you are in any role where the only thing you provide is information that is available from publicly available sources, your industry is about to experience a tectonic shift. The only reason this came out first in journalism is because journalists have the barrels of ink.

This "knowledgeswarming" has been taking place for years in areas where there are a large number of individuals who are passionate about a topic. Usenet and other online forums are great examples of this. The twin problems, however, were the barriers to both publishing and accessing the information in these areas, since some level of technical acumen and knowledge of technical arcana were required to participate. No longer. Now, anyone can publish anything with two clicks, and anyone can aggregate information on their myYahoo page.

An industry that is about to be swept up in this maelstrom is the "analyst" community on both on the finanical/Wall Street side of things, as well as the high-tech industry analysts. In both cases, the attack will come from the low-end, a la Christensen, and the entrenched players will be left wondering "what happened?" if they don't get out in front.

Tearing Down The Walls In Spokane

Thu, 18 Nov 2004 12:24:54 GMT

(image) (new) (via Ed Cone, Dave Winer) Kudos to the Spokane Spokesman-Review for grabbing the clue by the horns and adding "citizen-journalists" to their team to fill in and add depth to their news coverage. These bloggers are covering nearly two dozen different beats that the Spokesman-Review would certainly not have the time or budget to cover themselves. That's awesome, and a great way for the S-R to put a toe in the water. Now for the really cool stuff. What's not been pointed out anywhere else is that the editorial board of the S-R has set up a blog to interact directly with readers and defend a number of their editorial decisions. How's that for "transparency?" Just one example...good stuff here:
Part of The Social Customer Manifesto

'Today, the audience is firmly in charge.'

Tue, 16 Nov 2004 01:14:04 GMT

(image) (new) Electronic Arts runs worker into ground.  Worker's spouse gets fed up, tells the world.  Story hits resonance frequency, 2,

Lexmark Printer Bonus: Alleged Spyware

Sat, 13 Nov 2004 13:27:21 GMT

(image) (new) Engadget is noting that Lexmark may be installing spyware along with their printers.  ZDNet UK is I Wonder How Jill, Buzz, Ray, and Barry Feel About That

Thu, 11 Nov 2004 10:46:20 GMT

(image) (new) Best Buy is revamping all of their stores to be more "customer centric." However, here's what they mean by this: The company came up with