Iqbal Mohammed

What Traffic in Mexico City Can Teach Us about Social Media

[I wrote this piece quite a while ago for a collaborative book on social media, but ultimately chose to go with another piece.]

In ‘Traffic: Why We drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)’, author Tom Vanderbilt explains how a right of way is negotiated in some places:

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The Real "Internet of Things"

Every time I encounter the term "The Internet of Things", I feel a tinge of disappointment which arises from knowing what it means but concurrently hoping it meant something else. Something that is inherently implied in its name, at least to the uninitiated.

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If You're Not Paying for It, You're the Product

"If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold. "


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The Missing Link in Crowdsourcing

From a review of William Rosen's 'The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention':

"The author dismisses the more traditional explanations about why the industrial revolution began in Britain—such as an abundance of coal or the insatiable demands of the Royal Navy—concluding, instead, that it was England’s development of the patent system that was the decisive factor. By aligning the incentives of private

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Chief Not Listening Officer

The obvious - and rightful criticism - to the current fashion for Chief Listening Officers is that everybody in the organisation should be listening, not just one designated person or department.

But as this report suggests, Chief Listening Officers aren't really performing the touchy-feely task enshrined on their business card but instead bringing hard data-analysis skills to the torrent of online chatter about the brand. In fact, Susan Beebe - CLO at Dell - describes her job as building "complex queries."

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Information Osmosis and the Case against Chief Culture Officer

Seen from the point of view of information, a modern company is a fortess - a fortress that's very good at erecting barriers to the natural flow of information from outside in and vice versa.

While these impermeable walls of opacity were (and probably continue to be) essential to being in business, they also raise the cost of doing business - by making it expensive to haul information across the border, both ways.

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The Last Advertising Agency on Earth

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How Advertising Can Help Improve Machine Translation of Languages

Automatic translation of languages by machines has been a standard fixture of science fiction - and like quite a few other sci-fi standards, it has been painfully slow to cross over to reality.

A recent breakthrough called 'statistical machine translation' promises to pluck this fantasy out of its permanent future resident status. Here's a description of how the technique works (from an Economist article in June 2006):

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The Possible Negatives of Clean Energy

In November 2009, Scientific American - with an eye on then upcoming Copenhagen Summit - published a manifesto piece titled "A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030."

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How to Put Together a Corporate Social Media Policy in 5 Minutes

PolicyTool for Social Media is a policy generator that greatly simplifies the task of creating a working social media policy. Answer about a dozen and odd questions and before you can hop across to Facebook, your policy is ready for your to copy paste anywhere.

Based on my answers (and relative lack of paranoia) here's what a policy for my own company (if and when I start one) would look like:

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