Sunday, September 06, 2009

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud! IBM Explains Cloud Computing

Last year, I was watching the US Open and IBM had commercials touting the pragmatic virtues of green business.  This year, it's cloud computing.  I've been following webware and cloud computing for a while now.  I've posed the question to my students::  What will matter more in the future:: Your operating system or your browser?

As for the ad, it's trying to popularize the term and explain what they're doing, while giving IBM the brand image of being an innovator.  I've used IBM's Many Eyes online data visualization tool for over two years::

The coloured bubble chart was summarizing features on a sample of websites, creating results that were less "fussy" than using Excel.  If I were Microsoft, I'd be very worried about this.

Many Eyes, which tries to "democratize" the use of data by laypeople, is an interesting example of how cloud computing can be plugged into a "freemium" model.  The basic technology is free, but more advanced features are more.  Martin Wattenberg, a manager of the IBM Visual Communication Lab has several interesting projects hosted here, including Fleshmap, which visually explores human desire.

In the past, I've thought of IBM as "big brother" and a company falling prey to letting investor relations fuel financial sleight-of-hand tactics.    Over the years, I've learned to like IBM.  In 2005, I saw a presentation on their nanotechnology research in San Francisco and another symposium on social network applications in Hawthorne, NY.  I wonder if they ever think of using this Paul Rand design {Rand created the current and the one below was only used internally at IBM}, on of my favourites, to bring an air of innovative whimsy to the brand.

Twitterversion:: Watching #USOpen& seeing #IBM ads on #CloudComputing. Musing on cloud tech, how I don't dislike IBM,& old #PaulRand logo. @Prof_K

Song:: Äppelöga - Anna Järvinen from Man Var Bland Molnen (“One Was Among the Clouds”)

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