Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Attack of the Data monsters - Newsgator, Vator Vader

Recently, I was introduced to the nifty concept of plugging for your company by video proxy (vator tv). Just as I had stumbled upon the startling idea of recruiting by facebook not so long ago. I already knew of linkedin with its rather more formal network of connections, infrequent merged info updates, so why the shock?

Recently an Austin company, LifeSize Communications tossed a teaser of an "old hat" conferencing vs. face to face. One interesting comment - "Can following meeting protocol replace the handshake?"

Still stand in a swirling eddy of uncertainties on that one.......wired as I am.
One thing is certain though, there is more to lose if one doesn't jump aboard the bullet train of multi-media social networking. At least dodge into one of the loosely 'compartmentalized' spaces - facebook, twitter, myspace, sharepoint, newsgator - or all of 'em.

The marketing friendly campaign message is already out there, slogan like, animating the webinars and live demos of social computing alligators and widgets with a million teeth sinking into meaty data everywhere via RSSfeeds, facebook profile data, social graphs, and particularly inviting to the data monster - clusters of communities and groups. It is all in the name of "productivity, collaboration, reduced support costs, and building online communities" says the barely masked buzz line, the proverbial red rag to funding-starved, resource-hungry corporations ready to charge headlong, lowered horns and all, into the world of socially collaborative sites for business.

With the sound and fury of discussion boards and the over reaching arm of linked data, positively lascivious in its greed and grasp, the 'antiquated' enterprise faces Hobson's choice on this one. Sink or swim, I say.

In corporate America, the cubicle walls are down much to the consternation of closet workers, silos are in disuse unmasking disconcerted monopolistic knowledge masters, and the floating cloud of bloggy knowledge has made the IT technician less likely to be summoned to succor the infected laptop, defrag the diseased hard drive.

And ah, the economy...any commentary would mention it even by omission. To address it head on, 'Vator' and its matador breed have grabbed the slowing beast by the horns it seems. Enterpreneurship is alive and well - primordial as that instinct is, whether bulls or bears roam the walled streets. In these crumbling times, what better way to sell one's wares with a megaphone than from the Vator platform?

Hit a hundred VCs and bargain hunting investors with one eloquent, eye-catching, attention-grabbing video on the Vator net. Sand hill road remains the sacred signpost of the venture lucre. One notable difference, though. No suited 'toffs' stalk its waiting rooms or prowl its menlo parking lots - Vator lets those aggressive enough to sell their wares in a slump, take a much deserved peek into the offices of the VC without ever leaving the comfort of their home offices.

The intimidation evaporates when the pitch is done via video. It is a level playing field. Gone are the dark oak offices or the glitzy glass of chrome lined conference tables across which sits the nervous enterpreneur, pitching the passion of his/her life to some inscrutable potential investor.

As they communicate via the metaphorical tin can of the Vator vehicle - essentially a strung social network with video capabilities for 'entrepreneurs to showcase and market themselves' - the erstwhile imbalance of power between the source of capital and those who seek it, is redressed. The enterpreneur and investor are not across the table, but behind a camera lens - strangely levelling. Both first among equals. One for adopting the technology, the other for embracing it.

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