A few short links

I’m backlogging again. So here are a few things you might want to check out, without my usual go-behind-the-news amplification.

Following up my post on Apple’s iPhone stats, here’s George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, on why the BlackBerry might give way to the iPhone in the corporate environment. Yes I know this is an old post: but I only tagged it in Google Sharing when I found it, and it’s worth a read.

Here’s a note from Amazon Web Services, where Jeff Barr (who I met at Barcamp Brighton last year) relays a neat case study about a particular use of the AWS SimpleDB – and reminds readers that you can use it for free

And here’s Google, trumpeting their own green credentials with a lot of physical infrastructure which has, presumably, been put in place since I visited the campus in 2005 and 2006. They can do it at Mountain View; California has sunshine!

And going back a bit, here’s a link to some  notes and a deeper briefing about the differences between the various browsers. Apparently among an admittedly small sample, many more people knew which car they drive than which browser they use, despite spending far more time surfing than driving. Don’t forget, though, that Google has an interest in this one (called Chrome).

And for those of us who use the connected Web: LinkedIn has reached a milestone: 50 million users. That’s a fair growth rate since I was there, crammed into a startup meeting room with twenty colleagues, three LinkedIn guys, and the coke machine, in 2005.

I think that’s enough to be going on with! I’m beginning to develop a profile in Google Share, so you’ll see more there and less in del.icio.us from now on. Save this link:

The ambulance down in the valley

Basex is a tech research and reporting company whose regular newsfeeds I scan and, from time to time, report from. They track and report on information management and particularly on solutions to “information overload”.

Jonathan Spira’s TechWatch newsletters focus often on an issue which afflicts most of us – too much incoming information. The list is long: not just email but blog updates, tweets, personal network posts, messages through other applications, and more. These days, it’s not just the inbox although we can choose to flow a fair amount of it that way or to keep it out.

Well … There’s an old story about a road along a dangerous cliff, with a regular series of accidents due to people walking or driving off the road. The local people decided something needed to be done, so they clubbed together and supported the provision of an ambulance to be permanently stationed down below in the valley. Till someone else pointed out it would be much better and, probably, cheaper to put a guard rail at the side of the road at the top.

That’s where we’re at with incoming overload; except that every attempt to erect a guard rail is frustrated one way or another. The volume just grows, and things fall off the cliff because they get overlooked. So the ambulance helps handle the results; and Basex recently profiled two ambulances.

One is Gist, which just launched (Google-style) a public beta service of an app which is web based, and which reads your email and all those other feeds, prioritises the content, and delivers you the top stuff. There’s a video on the Gist website which of course talks up the service.

The other, Liaise, is an add-on for Outlook that scans your incoming messages specifically for action items, and creates a to-do list. It’s not entirely automated; from the video, it looks as if the message originator has to select sending via Liaise to capture the key points (that’s not exactly how it appears from the Basex description; but Jonathan may have seen the actual product, and I haven’t). It does appear, once messages are set up in Liaise, to have significant capability for team, task and action management. Sounds brilliant, but I can foresee spammers figuring out how to craft emails that get actions into people’s lists.

And it just seems to me that if the number of similar tools grows (as Basex seem to think it will) then we’ll need a tool to manage the output from the tools …

• In the Briefing Room: Gist, Basex 17 Sep 2009
• In the Briefing Room: Liaise, Basex 24 Sep 2009
• Gist (you might want to go to the Blog, and page down for the initial launch announcement and video)
• Liaise