Archive for November, 2007

Digital Future Summit

Some quotes from the Digital Future Summit:
(in quotes rather when they’re direct quotes, otherwise just notes)

Pamela Minett

Five years ago for teenagers, sitting in your room would be considered antisocial. For teenagers now, not being at your computer, not responding to Facebook messages is antisocial. ‘Facebook time’ rather than face time.

‘Word of mouse’ rather than word of mouth. Connecting to competencies rather than just having them is what counts.

Areti Metuamate

Enabling young people to participate is great, but did the decision makers actually hear and act?

Pete Hodgson

Economic transformation as the heart of our thinking. Necessary for us to achieve the things we wanted to do in education, health and the environment.

“No matter where we’ve gotten to now, it ain’t yet good enough by any means”

Now see ICT as a prerequisite for economic transformation.

Urging you to think of ways that we as NZ Inc can further accelerate the uptake of digital technologies. Let us please now demonstrate that.

Paul Reynolds said that fast broadband is necessary, essential. Finding ways to work together at the infrastructure layer.Rod Drury – “building billion dollar businesses from the beach”

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired and author “The Long Tail”

The long tail of beer – Beer used to be very bad in the US, because to appeal to mass audiences it had to be very bland. Microbreweries are now enabling good beer in the US, even a gluten free beer. More is different. Zapos sells 750,000 different kinds of shoes. You can now get vegetarian shoes.

Is the world spiky? In terms of concentrations/critical mass of money, culture and opportunity. The long tail however, the Internet is the great leveller. It enables talent to be discovered, it’s easy to find talent in a global market.

Sam Morgan – Trade Me

“People send money to people they have never met for goods they have never seen”. This requires inherent trust within citizens in a country, something we have in NZ, but doesn’t exist in a lot of countries.

“Securing digital trade routes”

Andy Lark

“How do we build a better x to be digital by design?”

Power supply is going to be a big issue. Green IT is essential for success for NZ. We have to find a way to make computing green, otherwise we’ll come up against enormous issues of power consumption.

We’re not training engineers and scientists fast enough to hit our ICT economic transformation goals.

4 rules for exponential enterprises:

  1. Start upstairs – it’s s 3lb problem (your brain)
  2. Timeshift (and placeshift) – it’s a 24/7 business world
  3. Focus – If digital trade routes are the future, SEO automates navigation
  4. Converse – figure out how to engage in conversations online. Figure out how to give people a way to talk about you.

Darryn Melrose, CEO Aim Proximity

“Wake up or die” how the age of connectedness is altering the way business markets, promotes and sells

Lawrence Millar

Narrow casting – niche information at zero marginal cost.

Police Act Review – ran a public consultation process, interacted with 1,200 people. They used a wiki over 8 days and had 5,000 people involved.

Next step is igovt – secure, authenticated, identity management

“There’ll be no transformation without authentication”

Greg Carlyon, Horizons District Council – The Green Rig

The real truth – NZ 45% pure…

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not”

Digital Fabric

I was recently involved in a Digital Strategy refresh consultation meeting with a small group of people from agencies in the conservation and environment sector. During the discussions on the vision the term ‘fabric’ came up. It got me thinking about what a ‘digital fabric’ for New Zealand might mean.

The term fabric has been used in computing for a few years now, in the context of ‘storage fabric’ for virtualisation and storage area networks (SANs). That involves weaving together a number of storage resources into a single flexible layer or fabric that many systems can use.

Gartner has listed computing fabric as one or their top 10 trends for 2008 – “computing fabric involves treating memory, processors and I/O cards as a pooled resource instead of a fixed arrangement”. Again, it’s something flexible, dynamic, and shared.

It was the question of social fabric that really got me thinking though. Social fabric is a lot more than just the physical/financial infrastructure in society. It is enabled by that, but it’s more about the web of trust and human relationships that make a society strong. What does that mean in the digital world? Does it mean that the social fabric becomes more digitally mediated? Proponents of txt, Facebook, Bebo seem likely to think so. Does it mean the social fabric becomes less compartmentalized, less class or ethnically based? Does it mean the social fabric becomes more flexible, less rigid? Advocates of the long tail, e-democracy, and Second Life might agree.

What does this mean for the Digital Strategy 2.0? For me it means thinking about the strategy’s impact not just on having digitally skilled people accessing/contributing content over fast broadband, but also on the way that digital technologies will build relationships, will strengthen the social fabric. This applies equally across communities, business and government. E-government, e-commerce, business alliances are all about relationships. When a nation’s social fabric is strong, anything is possible. How might we benefit from a strong digital fabric, and what would it take to create it?

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.
Thomas Jefferson