The 10 Most Wanted

  1. Instant messaging
  2. Web mail
  3. Portable storage devices (flash drives)
  4. PDAs and smartphones
  5. Camera phones
  6. Skype and other consumer VoIP services
  7. Downloadable widgets
  8. Virtual worlds
  9. Wifi hotspots
  10. Laptops (more on that in a later)

The post of the title is "10 most wanted" and just like the FBI’s list of their top 10, there are several meanings depending on your perspective. For law enforcement these are the top 10 most desireable capture opportunities, and for the public the meaning is more subtle in that they are the top 10 most dangerous criminals so approach with caution.

It would appear that in the IT world this is flipped around and, according to ITWorldCanada, the list above represents the most dangerous technologies they deal with from a security standpoint, while for enterprise users this list represents the most desireable technologies available to them, sanctioned or not.

It’s probably obvious where I come down in this debate… fire is pretty dangerous too but it turned out to be a  valuable technology for mankind.

If you follow the link you will notice that ITWorld’s list is not 10 but rather 8… the additional two items came from Vinnie Mirchandani, who pointed me to this originally. Aside from the "top 8 list" totally blowing my post metaphor, the two items that Vinnie adds are noteworthy. In Vinnie’s list his #10 was "stolen laptops" which I truncated to simply "laptops". My point is that if the problem is laptop theft then the root problem is that laptops themselves are steal-able so why not ban laptops altogether? That is the modern IT approach to risk, mitigation not management… right?

Incidentally, being an avid motorcyclist, this is exactly the same problem I have with helmet laws. I wouldn’t ride without one but like a great many of my motorcycling peers I resent the government telling me I have to wear one. Aside from the debate over the statistical results of motorcycle fatalities in states with helmet laws, before and after, which is far from conclusive, if you go to the position that motorcyles are dangerous then why not ban motorcycles altogether?

More on this topic (What's this?)
Ivy Portfolio September Update
Ivy Portfolio August Update
Read more on Hang Lung GRP at Wikinvest

Everyone Building Social Networking…

Yahoo’s weak position in social networking is baffling and has been a source of sharp criticism for the company’s top managers. They have been blamed for being asleep at the wheel while MySpace, initially as a startup, went on a tear in the social-networking space, for launching a weak product and also for being unable or unwilling to buy Facebook or another strong competitor.

The WaPo reports on something Arrington knew months ago… is it any surprise that Yahoo! is looking to buff it’s cred in social networking given that they have missed the mark with Yahoo 360 yet still have 54 million MyYahoo users?

Anyone think that Google isn’t working on something to compete here? It’s easy to forget that Google still has Orkut, easy to forget because after the Brazillians moved in everyone else left but they still manage 35 million unique visitors a day, which is, oh I don’t know, bigger than Facebook (I don’t know FB’s daily stats but they were 25 million uniques a few months ago… so I will acknowledge now that I could very well be wrong about Orkut being bigger than FB but how many times in the last week have you read about Orkut yet it’s still that big?)

Everything will have a social dimension (for you GTA fans… "in the future there will be robots") but while that is initially called social networking ultimately it will consolidate and the market will segment as companies realize that individual consumers aren’t going to manage 10 different social networks on a daily basis.

We’ll see demographic shifts of course, but my bet is that a new industry will emerge that is neither exclusively data nor application service provider, but a combination of the two that serves the social dimension into those applications and services that are not in the upper tier of providers.

Tags: , , ,