Black Friday on your iPhone, Blog or Start Page


Had the good fortune to have coffee last week with Shashi Bellamkonda from Network Solutions and Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications when they were out here in the Bay Area.  As part of the conversation, we came up with the idea of seeing if we could pull together a useful tool for customers who were trying to get their holiday deal planning together.  After bouncing around a couple of ideas, we ended up putting together a plan to create an iPhone app and web widget using Cerado Ventana.  Success!  It shows both the deals, as well as the Twitter buzz about Black Friday (click on the "buzz" link to see it).

Dave Jeyes had some nice things to say about the iPhone version here.  (And here’s a link to the iPhone version directly, at

Here’s the widget itself, if you want to use it online as well.


One thing that is super cool is that it’s only two clicks to add this to an iGoogle start page.  Just click on the "Get Widget" link above, then click on the big "G" – super easy.

The Grand Intrusion

On November 6,  Azadeh Ensha wrote in the New York Times:

"Web telemarketers don’t take aim at just your e-mail
account. In order to block pop-up and banner ads when surfing the
Internet, download the Firefox browser from, then download ( Also be sure to enable Firefox’s built-in pop-up blocker (also available on Apple’s Safari browser and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8) to take care of sneakier ads.

if all of the above fails, turn off your TV, shut down your desktop and
pick up a book. Advertisers haven’t cornered that market — yet."

Today, Randall Rothenberg, President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, responded in the Times in kind:

"To the Editor:

Re “Tactics That Tame Intrusive Advertising” (Business Day, Nov. 6):

online banner ads that you recommend blocking with browser add-ons pay
for the free content on the Web — the e-mail accounts, video shorts,
interactive election maps and myriad other new forms that entertain and
inform our citizenry.

Moreover, these ads help companies grow, something everyone ought to be concerned about as we head into a recession.

Randall Rothenberg
President and Chief Executive
Interactive Advertising Bureau
New York, Nov. 6, 2008"

Randall, time to start either (a) working on your business model; or (b) make the things that you put in the "ad" spaces on the web engaging, not intrusive.

Go-Go (CRM) Gadgets!

Continuing further in the direction shown at OpenWorld last month, Oracle has released a number of "gadgets" that allow customers of their CRM products to access information from a multitude of locations.  Currently, five gadgets are available:

  • Top accounts
  • Prospects
  • Top deals
  • My quota / My forecast
  • Custom Search

Check out a few of the gadgets here:



V1_contactgadget      V1_topaccounts

According to Mark Woollen (Oracle’s VP of Social CRM Applications) and Dipock Das (their Sr. Director of CRM Innovation), the gadgets will work with multiple versions of Siebel and OnDemand, and are built on a common code set with REST-style integration.  The gadgets must be installed locally on the user’s machine, and are only available for desktop-deployment (Windows, Mac, Linux) at the current time.

About 20 of Oracle’s customers (e.g. Nokia and Motorola) are beta-testing these gadgets.

While another good step forward, what I’m chomping at the bit to see is connection and convergence with other innovative things that Oracle has been doing like the Body Shop proof-of-concept that was shown at OpenWorld.  Continuance down that path will continue to evolve CRM into something that is much more VRM-like.  That’s where the great stuff lies.



Our friends over at the EcSell Institute are putting together a very interesting summit for individuals on the business side of the customer relationship, focused entirely on the issues and challenges faced by the executive and management level of sales.  The 2009 EcSell Institute Summit will be in Phoenix on February 2-4, 2009.

Here’s the agenda.

Here are the speaker bios.

Here’s the registration link.

We’ve arranged a $500 discount for friends of Cerado; use PROMO CODE EC01 when registering to get the Cerado discount.


Was great to meet Jim McGee at the Social Media Strategies conference last week.  One great thing that came out of Jim’s presentation was a discussion of the Virgina Satir Change Model for organizational change.  The theory in a nutshell:

  • Things are plodding along within an organization or community
  • There is a "foreign object" (e.g. a new thought, or participant, or strategy) introduced into the organization
  • Things get chaotic while the community figures out how to deal with the new
  • There is a transformational thought, a "transforming idea," and a point at which the group "gets it" and starts to gel in the new world
  • Chaos declines, and performance then trends to a new, improved level

A couple of different visual representations:

From Satir Workshops


From Jim’s presentation


Check out the whole thing here on Jim’s blog.

Community Design Patterns

A great presentation on design patterns in communities can be found in the presentation attached below. NOTE: This presentation focuses primarily on the technical patterns (ie. "features") that can be used in creating online communities. It does NOT address the more important issue of the interpersonal and social patterns that emerge.  More on those in a future post.