AniBlurbs (Column)

Anibal's thoughts on Online Marketing Strategy, Service Design, Tech, Innovation, Business and more…

Your Online Identity Hosted In The Browser?

Weave Identity is a very interesting component from Mozilla Labs (of Firefox fame) and a possible disrupting one for the Facebook Connect’s, OpenID’s and OAuth’s of this world:

“Offering a single sign-in solution for the web is currently a hot topic. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace and countless other sites are all offering to host your identity for you. Many of these key players on the social web are also offering tools to allow third-party sites to let you log in using the identity you have hosted with whoever your provider is – Google through FriendConnect, Facebook through Facebook Connect and Twitter through its recently debuted OAuth-based system. But in the end, who knows how long any of those sites will last? It seems to make more sense to hand these duties off to something more permanent than the hot site of the moment.

That’s where Mozilla’s latest implementation of Weave starts to make sense. You can store your credentials anywhere, including on Mozilla’s servers or your own web server.”

Source: WIRED’s Webmonkey

If the Weave add-on is implemented as a standard feature in the next version of the 2nd largest browser in the world, it stands a reasonable chance of becoming THE default Online Identity Manager/Social Media Passport; allowing you to safely and seamlessly log in to your favourite Social Networks, blogs and communities, across multiple platforms (Windows, Mac OS) and various devices (think Mobile, Netbooks, Thin Clients).

All the while giving you complete and FULL control over your online identity (you can even store your Weave login credentials on your own server!), which positions it directly opposite of the Walled Garden approach that Facebook is fast becoming notorious for.

The ease of use, combined with the fact that your average internet user hasn’t even heard of Google-, Facebook- and Twitter’s Online Identity Management solutions make Firefox Weave a serious threat to the aforementioned parties. After all: Wouldn’t it seem more logical and feel safer for her to let the browser take care of her online identity?

“Something that often goes unsaid in the discussion about online identity is that while most websites right now require usernames and passwords, many people actually use the password manager feature in the browser-effectively turning their browser into a limited identity manager.”

Source: Mozilla Labs

By offering this One-Log-In-To-Rule-Them-AllTM feature as a standard option in the browser, much like Yahoo’s- or Google’s toolbar, a lot of the hassle and security issues associated with web based ID alternatives are removed from the user’s table:

“User experience in general suffers as protocols for federation (e.g. OpenID) involve complex redirects which jump the user from page to page and leave them open to phishing attacks…”

Source: Mozilla Labs

And there’s another major USP that promises a bright future for the Weave project: Firefox is an Open Source initiative, and even though OpenSocial, OpenID & OAuth are Open Source projects as well, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google and Microsoft are commercial parties with a deep interest into becoming your single sign-in partner, so they can monitor the sites you visit and the time frame in which you did: pure data mining for marketing purposes. In a time where privacy issues are within everyone’s crosshairs, this could become Mozilla’s trump card in the battle for your Online Identity.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping Google (note that they have 300 Million accounts!) from implementing such a feature in Chrome -it’s very own browser- using Friend Connect, or Microsoft from doing the same with their Live toolbar/Live Passport and Internet Explorer. The point is that the former hasn’t yet managed to get any serious foot in the browser market. And though the latter is the current incumbent in browser market share (for now), it has failed for almost 10 years to make it’s .NET Passport/Live ID efforts a true cross-web success, even as younger initiatives from the likes of Facebook and twitter have taken off in the past year or so.

All in all, it’ll be very interesting to see how the developments around Identity Hosting continue to evolve…

[Update: Netlog now accepts Google FriendConnect, more on TechCrunch.]

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Service Design and Customer-Centricity (What Every CMO Should Act On. Now)

Alain Thys at Marketing & Strategy Innovation weblog on your TRUE core-business:

“no matter what books or gurus may say, customer-focus is a top-down game. from childhood we have learned to follow the example of those that lead us, and that means that customer-centricity should be mindset of all c-level executives. not in words, but in actions…”

“…of course, no self-respecting CEO will reorganise a business around the customer without a solid business case… …the CMO’s second step on the customer-centricity ladder is therefore to demonstrate the financial benefits of “happy customers” to the organisation…”

“to really focus on the customer, companies will need to… …tear up the detailed customer interaction and scripts. show staff and vendors how to listen and care. not only in the front lines, but at every level of the organisation. every department eventually affects the customer experience…”

He goes on to mention five steps to make your organization truly customer- (and prospect!)-centric:

  • Step 1: start at the top
  • Step 2. show them the money
  • Step 3: start with the people
  • Step 4: help them do the right thing
  • Step 5: make it clear you mean business

Now, the real problem addressed here by Alan, of course, is “isle-thinking” or Department Silo Mentality SyndromeTM -a state of mind inherent to the way we humans are hardwired by evolution/mother nature, as any anthropologist worth his salt could tell you.

When bands of humans grow past the dunbar number, things (read: the consumer) tend to slip out of eye-sight or get dehumanized quickly; this is bad thing for your brand advocacy hopes, so this challenge requires a thorough rethinking of your Service Strategy (Service Design) and maybe even a restructuring of your organization chart…

The above is probably going to require some serious change management (skills) -see point 5 mainly-, effort and lots of lots of passion, training, coaching & patience. Lots. Of. Patience…

Read the whole post over at FUTURELAB: Future Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog.

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Alle Managers Belastingdienst Krijgen ICT-Cursus

The only way is up! Bijna 1500 managers en teamleiders bij de Belastingdienst moeten op ICT-bijscholingscursus! Met de onlangs door staatssecretaris De Jager aangestelde Wim Sijstermans als CIO erbij kan het vanaf nu alleen maar beter gaan met de dienstverlening en innovatie bij de grootste Leuker-kunnen-we-het-niet-maken Club van Nederland.

Tip: koppel het slagen voor de cursus aan baanbehoud; extra fear-of-loss voor het (midden)kader om er ook echt daadwerkelijk voor te gaan!

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Resultaten ICT Barometer e-Commerce 2008 Ernst&Young

“Zeven op de tien managers en professionals zoeken via internet naar informatie over leveranciers. De helft gebruikt internet voor het opvragen van offertes, het plaatsen van orders en het vergelijken van leveranciers.”

Bron: Ernst & Young ICT Barometer (PDF)

70% van de beslissers in B2B: Rendeert jouw website?

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How to: Implementing Social Media in Your Business Strategy

Mashable has a sweet and short hand-out on how to communicate with your customers using social media. As usual don’t overlook the complementing links and tips in the comments.

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