Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Invest in Twitter

7. November 2013

Date: 07-11-2013
Source: The Wall Street Journal

TwitterTwitter’s rise is a remarkable story but that doesn’t mean you should invest in its’ much-hyped IPO, High Definition columnist Farhad Manjoo says on digits.

Twitter Inc.’s rise has been a remarkable story. Both because it was beset by chaos (see Nick Bilton’s new book for the operatic details) and because, despite the chaos, Twitter has somehow managed to become a legitimate, even straitlaced business, its IPO is a good time to congratulate the firm on its unlikely success.

But it isn’t a good time to invest in Twitter when it starts trading Thursday. Here are three reasons to sit this one out:

Don’t invest in individual stocks. Especially don’t invest in tech IPOs. This isn’t tech advice, just widely accepted financial wisdom for normal, non-professional, non-gambling investors: Buy index funds and forget about picking. And, really, it’s the first and the last reason for you to stay away from TWTR. If you’re no expert, don’t pit yourself against the experts.

Right now, there are hundreds of stock analysts, market researchers, advertising gurus and other people who are being paid vast sums to determine whether and how much to invest in Twitter. Going up against them is a loser’s game, and you shouldn’t play. Read the rest of this entry »


Can Big Data Save Lives?

26. June 2012

Date: 26-06-2012
Source: Businessworld: Nayan Chanda

Companies lure customers online and collect loads of data – storing information about purchases, habits, likes, beliefs, travels and more to plan and target future advertising, sell to other firms or project trends. “Big Data is proving an amazingly valuable tool to manage a complex consumerist planet, but it is also creating a sinister world of Orwellian ‘big brothers,’” argues Nayan Chanda, YaleGlobal editor in his column for Businessworld. Companies like Twitter, by highlighting trending topics, make no secret of the massive data trolling. Of course, online data banks contribute to quick awareness of trends, for example, allowing the Securities and Exchange Board of India to prevent fraud; police departments to target crime patterns; and Google to beat governments in identifying flu outbreaks by two weeks. Millions around globe unwittingly release sensitive data online every day. Governments must catch up in reviewing and possibly regulating the many implications; individuals should consider every online click and post, and proceed with caution. – YaleGlobal

There’s a reason why governments and companies hold personalized data; unless checks are instituted, Big Data to Big Brother may be short step away Read the rest of this entry »


Brevity: Twtr

30. March 2012

 Date: 30-03-2012
Source: The Economist

Which tongues work best for microblogs?

THIS 78-character tweet in English would be only 24 characters long in Chinese:
That makes Chinese ideal for micro-blogs, which typically restrict messages to 140 symbols. Though Twitter, with 140m active users the world’s best-known microblogging service, is blocked in China, Sina Weibo, a local variant, has over 250m users. Chinese is so succinct that most messages never reach that limit, says Shuo Tang, who studies social media at the University of Indiana.

Japanese is concise too: fans of haiku, poems in 17 syllables, can tweet them readily. Though Korean and Arabic require a little more space, tweeters routinely omit syllables in Korean words; written Arabic routinely omits vowels anyway. Arabic tweets mushroomed last year, though thanks to the uprisings across the Middle East rather than any linguistic features. It is now the eighth most-used language on Twitter with over 2m public tweets every day, according to Semiocast, a Paris-based company that analyses social-media trends.

Romance tongues, among others, generally tend to be more verbose (see chart). So Spanish and Portuguese, the two most frequent European languages in the Twitterverse after English, have tricks to reduce the number of characters. Brazilians use “abs” for abraços (hugs) and “bjs” for beijos (kisses); Spanish speakers need never use personal pronouns (“I go” is denoted by the verb alone: voy). But informal English is even handier. It allows personal pronouns to be dropped, has no fiddly accents and enjoys a well developed culture of abbreviation. “English is unmatched in its acronyms, such as DoD for department of defence,” says Mohammed al-Basha, a spokesman for the Yemeni government, who tweets in English and Arabic. Read the rest of this entry »


Reverse Mentoring Cracks Workplace

29. November 2011

Date: 28-11-2011
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Top Managers Get Advice on Social Media, Workplace Issues From Young Workers

Workplace mentors used to be older and higher up the ranks than their mentees. Not anymore.

In an effort to school senior executives in technology, social media and the latest workplace trends, many businesses are pairing upper management with younger employees in a practice known as reverse mentoring. The trend is taking off at a range of companies, from tech to advertising.

Mentors are teaching their mentees about Facebook and Twitter.

The idea is that managers can learn a thing or two about life outside the corner office. But companies say another outcome is reduced turnover among younger employees, who not only gain a sense of purpose but also a rare glimpse into the world of management and access to top-level brass.

Reverse mentoring was championed by Jack Welch when he was chief executive of General Electric Co. He ordered 500 top-level executives to reach out to people below them to learn how to use the Internet. Mr. Welch himself was matched with an employee in her 20s who taught him how to surf the Web. The younger mentors “got visibility,” he says.

Fast forward a decade and mentors are teaching their mentees about Facebook and Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »


One country, two revolutions

24. October 2011

Tom Friedman, NYT. 23-10.

The latest phase in the I.T. revolution is being driven by the convergence of social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga — with the proliferation of cheap wireless connectivity and Web-enabled smartphones and “the cloud” — those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) by users on their smartphones, making them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.

Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce.com, a cloud-based software provider, describes this phase of the I.T. revolution with the acronym SOCIAL. S, he says, is for speed — everything is now happening faster. O, he says, stands for open. If you don’t have an open environment inside your company or country, these new tools will blow you wide open. C is for collaboration because this revolution enables people to organize themselves within companies and societies into loosely coupled teams to take on any kind of challenges — from designing a new product to taking down a government. I is for individuals, who are able to reach around the globe to start something or collaborate on something farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before — as individuals. A is for alignment. “There has never been a more important time to have all your ships sailing in the same direction,” said Benioff. “The power of social media is that it is easier than ever to both articulate, and reinforce, the vision and values that create and inspire alignment.” And L is for the leadership that does that. Leadership in a SOCIAL world has to be a mix of bottom-up and top-down. Leaders need to inspire, enable and empower everything coming up from below in a company or a social movement and then edit and sculpt it with a vision from above into a final product.

Read the whole article: http://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/one-country-two-revolutions/


Why We Don’t Care About Information Overload

11. February 2010

From the Blog of Tom Davenport:

I gave a presentation this week on decision-making, and someone in the audience asked me if I thought information overload was an impediment to effective decision-making. “Information overload…yes, I remember that concept. But no one cares about it anymore,” I replied. In fact, nobody ever did.

But why not? We’ve been reading articles in the press about information overload being the bane of productivity for almost twenty years. (Here’s a link to a fairly recent article in Harvard Business Review on the topic called “Death by Information Overload” and a related blog.) And there is no doubt that the information load has only increased — day after day, year after year. Spam filters have helped a bit, but we all still get a lot of stuff we don’t want. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, text messages, email ads — everything we do only adds to the pile.

So if information overload is such a problem, why don’t we do something about it? We could if we wanted to. How many of us bother to tune our spam filters? How many of us turn off the little evanescent window in Outlook that tells us we have a new email? Who signs off of social media because there’s just too much junk? Who turns off their BlackBerry or iPhone in meetings to ensure no distractions? Nobody, that’s who — or very few souls anyway.

Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s Tweet About Something Important!

8. February 2010

Freitag, 05. Februar 2010, 21:15:30 | Tom Davenport

Almost 50 years ago, FCC Commissioner Newton Minow suggested that the then-new medium of television was becoming a “vast wasteland.” One could argue that the same fate is befalling social media. It’s been a few months since I last fulminated on this issue. So it’s time for another curmudgeonly post.

A couple of recent studies suggest that the content of social media is trivial at best. An analysis of over 100 million tweets thus far in 2010 conducted by Sysomos found one bit of good news and lots of bad (from my perspective, anyway). The good news is that Barack Obama was the most common person tweeted about. The bad news is that he was followed (in order) by Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Pat Robertson (because of his comment on Haiti’s supposed pact with the devil), Miley Cyrus, and Nick Jonas. All others in the top 15 were popular musicians, disgraced sports figures, and the celebrity politician Sarah Palin. (What, no Scott Brown?)

Read the rest of this entry »