The World City Network

Mon, 2006-01-02 20:07.

"The rise of transnational interactions has produced a new economic globalization in which cities and their regions are the prime nodes"

This is quintessentially summarizing the subject of a study, that is focussing on the economical impact of global connectivity for regions and cities:

"As cities aim to position themselves better economically, they must remember that they operate in a global marketplace. Cities able to grow and attract globally-connected, high-value service firms can access, and benefit from, a worldwide array of customers, workers, and contracted services, ultimately boosting quality growth at home."

 
Link
Download PDF (944kb)

Creativity, Design and Business Performance

Mon, 2006-01-02 20:10.

Richard Florida, Charles Landry and Jane Jacobs would probably like to hear that the concept of creativity as a driving force of innovation and urban development is finally taking off.

Especially in the UK the idea is gaining ground with the release of two studies, that underpin the importance of creativity and design innovation as a competitive advantage and critical success factor especially for small and medium enterprises.

1. Cox Review of Creativity in Business: Study by the Chairman of the British Design Council

2. DTI Economics paper: Creativity, Design and Business Performance (PDF)

3. Creative London: The strategic agency for London's creative industries.

The Location of Innovation

Mon, 2006-01-02 20:12.

Further extending the discussion around the role of cities in the global competitive economy there are two influential positions taken by Thomas L. Friedman and Richard Florida. Friedman proposes in his latest Book "The World is Flat" that due to the egalitarian and open nature of the Internet, modern communications and travel, innovation need not be concentrated in historic urban centers.  Richard Florida, avid promotor of the "Creative Class" concept, on the other hand suggests in his article "The World is Spiky" (PDF) that these same forces actually increase the gravitation toward acknowledged centers of innovation.

As always, John Hagels take on that discussion is very much on the spot:

The greatest insight will come from understanding the paradox that the flattening of the world is creating opportunities for even greater spikiness.

Paris plans DSL for free

Fri, 2006-01-06 22:55.
This announcement could potentially have a huge impact on various levels within the community of Paris and the example further proofs, that fast internet access will be more and more publicly commoditized as competitive advantage among international urban regions.

Brand Eins: Schwerpunkt Komplexität

Sat, 2006-01-07 13:42.

...Das Wort "kompliziert" stammt vom lateinischen complicare, das bedeutet: verwickelt, verflochten, undurchsichtig. Das Komplizierte ist ein Knäuel, in dem kein Zusammenhang erkennbar ist. "Komplexität" kommt hingegen von complexus. Es steht für die Begriffe "umfassen" und "flechten". Komplexität ist also das Ganze, der Zusammenhang...
Zum Artikel

brand eins, issue 01, January 2006
Schwerpunkt Komplexität

Get to the point: Boston Hyperlocal WiFi

Sun, 2006-01-08 14:21.

Wireless Pulse Points Offer an Inside Look at Local Communities

The Boston Globe is sponsoring a new initiative in Boston—WiFi Pulse Points. Pulse Points are wireless access sites that offer an inside look at locations around Boston. The sites focus on the local community, offering visitors interesting information about landmarks, people, and businesses that make up the immediate community.

The first two Pulse Points, which launched on September 27, are hosted by Barbara’s Booksellers in South Station and by the Trident Booksellers and Café on Upper Newbury Street, a local bookstore with a long-standing reputation as a wireless hotspot.

The Pulse Points are the brainchild of Globe technology editor DC Denison and WiFi innovator Michael Oh; they are designed to create interactive destinations in specific locations within the city.

"We created these sites as a way to share the stories that create a community," said Denison. "Every individual and location has a story to tell. As you pass through South Station or browse at the Trident, these sites offer an annotation to the location—an opportunity to learn a little more about the people and places that make up our community."

"To my knowledge, these Pulse Points are the first time a media company has used WiFi technology as a means of offering content, not simply as an access point," Denison continued.

The Pulse Points are accessible to anyone with a WiFi-enabled laptop. They allow individuals to connect to a network, but not to the Internet or e-mail. Rather, these Pulse Points connect individuals to their location—and each other. They create a "situational community" of people who are connected simply because they are in the same place at the same time.

Each site features information on the history, the people, local businesses, and landmarks that make up the pulse of an immediate community. The sites are designed to be interactive—visitors can explore the area, play games, and add their own content to the site through discussion forums. Content on the site is updated regularly.

"No one understands the events and news of Boston better than The Globe,” said Richard Gilman, publisher of The Boston Globe. “The new WiFi Pulse Points take that understanding one step further—capturing a moment in time, a spotlight on a location where you are spending a few minutes. The Pulse Points offer a glimpse into a very local community. Our sponsorship of this initiative is one more way we can continue to deliver the pulse of Boston to the people who live here—through a variety of different channels."

Boston Globe
Local Onliner
Rocketboom

Related:
Neighbornode

We Media 2.0

Wed, 2006-01-18 10:17.

Although we see the term "hyperlocal" more as describing a fundamental paradigm shift rather than just narrowing it down to a definition of Citizen Journalism, the media sector still remains an important part of the global picture in this context.

One of the most influential publications in that area was the research report We Media: How audiences are shaping the future of news and information, commissioned by The Media Center and The American Press Institute in 2003.

Since then Participatory Media gained huge traction with emerging tools and establishing platforms. Consequently the authors Chris Willis and Shayne Bowman decided, it´s time for an update on the state of the news industry in 2006. The article "The future is here, but do News Media companies see it?" has a good overview on that topic.

Additionally the authors announced an updated version of the report We Media 2.0 to be published in January.

Buy fax machine - get Global Manifesto for free!

Sun, 2006-01-29 20:53.
OKI While searching for a new fax/printer we stumbled across a webshop presenting the product with a slightly different description (in German) - strange times indeed.

42 Signals

Sun, 2006-01-29 20:59.

Talking about Manifestos: Isn´t it an interesting coincidence that some concepts which have gained momentum lately follow quite similar patterns:

Bruce Mau Design: An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

37 Signals - How to make big things happen with small teams (pdf)
Less people, more power
Less money, more value
Less resources, better use
Less time, better time

Manifesto for Agile Software Development
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

The Cluetrain Manifesto
Markets are Conversations

 

"Are you enjoying globalization yet?"

Sun, 2006-01-29 22:51.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Vice President for Technical Strategy and Innovation at IBM comments on an interesting article (pdf) published by Mercer Management Consulting:

"Globalization is changing the nature of competition and value creation in ways more subtle and fundamental than simply cost. By incubating scores of new business models that can unseat established companies, globalization is creating opportunities for new value creation and highly profitable growth at the two ends of the value chain––new customer connections at one end and new models of innovation at the other."

"Globalization makes strong business designs stronger, and weak business designs weaker. That’s true in part because new competitors from all corners of the globe are combining low cost and high technology to build market share very quickly."

In a world where customers have more and more choices from a vast array of increasingly commoditized products and services, highly personalized customer connections are a company's best opportunity for differentiation. Products and services might be commodities, but you never, ever want your customers to feel like they too are just commodities. A successful business will make each of its clients feel special by understanding and addressing their unique requirements.

This presents a seeming paradox: the more global and commoditized the economy, the more local and personal the customer relationship must become to ward off competition. This is not easy. It requires a deeper knowledge and more specific management of distinct customer types and segments, "a new game - call it the Cambrian explosion of new segments - with new rules" the article says. A business has to be very good at market segmentation and at serving those markets as efficiently as possible.

While multinational firms will have to learn again to "think local" for global competitive reasons it also gives great opportunities for flexible regional companies, that are really closer to their markets to find a sustainable niche for their products and services or to integrate into specialized innovation networks.