Post Olympics Reviews from Lenovo

When a project ends, good companies do post-mortems to determine what worked, what didn’t to help them improve institutionally, while identifying possible opportunities created, and mitigating any risks exposed. Great companies do this and they do it in a way that the rest of us can benefit as well.  Such is the case of two excellent post Olympics assessments from Lenovo.

Esteban Panzeri
Esteban Panzeri

First off, I’ve got to call attention to Esteban Panzeri’ post “End of Madness Recap” from his blog, “The Challenge”.  Since I spend a lot of time in the trenches shoveling bits and bytes around, I naturally gravitate to the folks that turn the dreams into reality, and on this project, Esteban was apparently the guy.  

He comes up with an excellent list of lessons learned and among them:

  • Ideas will flow like rivers, it is execution that matters
  • One must learn to focus and discard things quickly
  • Anything can be done
  • Outsourced stuff does not always work as it should
  • Distributed content is the future

Ideas will flow like rivers, it is execution that matters” – a line I am printing out in 72 point type to hang in my office.  Yes, indeed, ideas are important and without them, there is no innovation, but too many of us forget that at some point we need to stop talking a start doing.  Only a select few ever truly learn this lesson. Continue reading “Post Olympics Reviews from Lenovo”

The Worm Turns for Big Media

There have been two big events in the media world in the past couple days, and to some extent, I think both have gone largely unnoticed.  The first is that the 2008 Olympics have become a real social media event, such to the extent that it’s been written about almost as much as Misty May’s tattoo or Michael Phelp’s speedo.  From the NY Times (pointer via Churbuck.com) article by David Carr:

“On Friday, NBC spent the day trying to plug online leaks of the splashy opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in order to protect its taped prime-time broadcast 12 hours later. There was a profound change in roles here: a network trying to delay broadcasting a live event, more or less TiVo-ing its own content.”

(Read Churbuck’s commentary on this here…)

It’s true.  I’m running YouTube videos from Beijing on Cycling.com and reading all manner of blogs, tweets, etc. about the festities.  If you want a good look at what Web 2.0 can do for you, look at what Lenovo’s accomplished.  Their SummerGames.Lenovo.com site has 100 athlete bloggers taking us right inside the story.  How cool is it to see video and pics of the opening ceremony *from the inside looking out* or to hear someone like Robert Gesink from Denmark discuss the strategy he employed in the Men’s Road Race (cycling).

Lenovo didn’t stop there, they have a twitter account (Lenovo2008) which has kind of taken the next step from “getting the converstation started” to “keeping the dialogue going” (beware, they do tweet results – and they tend to come 6-10 hours before NBC shows the events).  Then you’ve got their Interactive Podium – which has become my first go to site for Olympics info

So yes, the way that we’re getting our info is changing dramatically – and I’d urge anyone that’s not reading David Churbuck’s blog to do so right now – he’s posting from Beijing and covering the proceedings in a way that is truly unique and utterly motivating.

And meanwhile, back in mainstream media..via Valleywag

That which the newspapermen had been warning us about has finally happened.  Last Friday when the Russia went into Georgia (actually South Ossetia, a mountainous region with around 128,00 70,000 inhabitants – note that Worcester, MA has more than twice as many residents at 175,000) , we were treated to a Google page on the war, with a pin in the map over Georgia.  Savannah, Georgia, in fact.

We’ve been told by mainstream news that if we allow Google to be our newsource, our news is only going to be as good as their algorithm, and in this case, it put Georgia on the opposite side of the world.

The point is that as we push away from the main stream, this is exactly what we lose.  When the story is machine made, rather than vetted by a surly old copy editor, it’s going to get gamed, and it will sometimes be wrong.  In this case, it’s *REALLY* wrong.

On another note, I suggest we all take a look at some foreign news sources today to find out what they think about the Russia/Georgia war – I think we will find their take wholly contrary to that which we are getting from AP which has almost been a single source for US news reporting on the issue.  (Here’s a good bit from Reuters…)

Epic Post – How to Monitor Social Media for Free

Okay, we all know that social networks are out there and that we should be making use of them.  But how do you monitor what’s going on in the vast ecosystem of Twitterverses, MySpaceDoms and FacebookVilles?

David Churbuck has been doing just that for Lenovo for the past two years and he’s sharing the lessons learned in this post: “Try to Detect It” which I consider a must read for any web marketing pro or business owner/senior manager.

Free: yup. It costs nothing to detect the chatter about your company. There are two solid solutions for blog search – perhaps you’ve heard of Google? Thought so. Google Blog search is a good thing. And then there is Technorati, which sort of defined the space. Both are great tools, but you can automate searches of specific keywords and phrases and then syndicate those searches as RSS feeds out into a blog reader such as Bloglines or (in my case) Google Reader. Then you just need to remember to scan the blog reader a couple times every day.

The best part is that it’s true, unlike so many “Free’ claims.  You can measure a lot of this stuff in some very novel ways.  I’ve been doing some of this back channel to detect mentions of some new sites I’ve just launched and it works.  Plus it’s always great to walk into a meeting armed with facts, especially when everyone else is essentially unarmed.

The media landscape has changed, if you hadn’t noticed.  Trade magazines are dinosaurs and if you’re relying on them to tell you what’s going on in your industry, you’re woefully out of touch.  Not only should you be monitoring what’s said on websites, you’ve got to find a way to monitor what’s happening in the social networks like Twitter, when product talk can affect you without your ever knowing it.  If you’re not monitoring, now is the time to start and Churbuck has given you an excellent primer to jump start your efforts.