Beyond Search, which is a a 10-year-old publication that focuses on enterprise search and content processing, is changing its focus to cover products and services related to voice-centric information access by introducing a new blog, Beyond Alexa. Stephen E. Arnold writes: “The idea is that Alexa has become an interesting product niche, but the impact of voice-related information access is now changing rapidly. Frankly it is more dynamic than the decades old keyword search business.” I couldn’t agree more. He also states: “Since early 2008, we have tracked the keyword centric approach to finding and making sense of information. Our changing focus reflects the fact that I wrote about years ago in Searcher Magazine. Keyword search linked to a keyboard, if not dead, was headed for marginalization…We think there’s more ‘beyond’ Alexa. We want to explore the new world of ubiquitous and Teflon-slick information access.” For a related post, please see Voice Search is Growing and is Different Than Keywords in a Search Box.
The 16th edition of strategy+business Best Business Books has been made available. Every year strategy+business (s+b) publishes an authoritative, carefully selected list of high quality business books across key business categories. This year’s list covers: Technology, Talent & Leadership, Narratives, Management, Marketing, Strategy, and Economy. It’s hard to make time to read and learn about the best business books available and this list is a source that helps tremendously. Here is s+b’s Top Shelf list, which are their picks for the best business books of 2016 in seven categories.
Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds, by Greg Milner
Talent and Leadership
Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Famous Nathan: A Family Saga of Coney Island, the American Dream, and the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog , by Lloyd Handwerker and Gil Reavill
Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, by Robert Cialdini
Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, by Martin Lindstrom
The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected, by Yossi Sheffi
American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson
strategy+business (s+b) is published by PwC Strategy& LLC.
Search Engine Land featured an article in June, written by Wesley Young, entitled The Voice Search Explosion and How It Will Change Local Search. Included are fascinating tidbits of information for those who follow and are interested in the world of search and retrieval. Here are two key takeaways:
- There is explosive growth – “At LSA [Local Search Association] 16, [Timothy]Tuttle shared that within one year (last year), the use of voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search volume…Yet more recent numbers show that growth accelerating — Google announced at I/O that 20 percent of all searches have voice intent, while [Mary] Meeker’s charts show that in May 2016, 25 percent of searches on Windows 10 taskbar are voice searches.”
- Voice search is different than keywords in a search box – “Because search queries are more conversational in natural language, they tend to be longer, more nuanced and reveal greater intent…It’s also easy to see how queries may no longer be ‘search-oriented’ in the way we define it today but rather jump over search straight into a request for action. For example, instead of searching for pizza restaurants near me, you can now request Alexa (Echo) to order you a Large Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza with mushrooms and extra sauce and have it delivered to your house via the Domino’s Pizza skill.”
Just the beginning? I think yes.
NPR’s Guide to 2015’s Great Reads is not only informative, but is also visually a delight. The Guide is produced by Nicole Cohen, Rose Friedman, Petra Mayer and Beth Novey. When landing on the site, you can scroll to look at all 260 titles via their book covers. Filters can be used to explore the 260 titles that “NPR staff and critics loved this year.” (You can also combine filters!) These filters represent 29 categories. Hovering over the cover shows a quote from the recommender and a link to the full recommendation. Here are a few interesting business/technology related titles not seen (as much) on other lists:
“Only a world-class iconoclast would take on media’s biggest slab of conventional wisdom: that television will soon be killed by digital platforms.” – recommended by Eric Deggans, critic, Arts Desk
“The Dark Net is a meticulously researched and reported look at the hidden world of cryptocurrency, anonymous Web browsing and online subcultures.” – recommended by David Eads, Visuals staff
“Randall Monroe — the former NASA roboticist behind the beloved xkcd webcomic — breaks down complex stuff into simple terms … really simple terms.” – recommended by Beth Novey, Arts Desk staff
“Laura Vanderkam is a best-selling productivity author with four children, and her book is a bracingly practical corrective to the hand-wringers about women, success and having it all.” -recommended by Anya Kamenetz, blogger, NPR Ed
Financial Times has announced the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. The winner is The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment, by Martin Ford.
In the announcement, Dominic Barton,editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, is quoted, “While no one can be certain how the future will unfold, this year’s winner delivers an important message: Companies and governments are racing into a world where both work and the work force will need to be radically redesigned.”
There are many reasons why business professionals take advantage of listening, as opposed to reading, audio books. It is easy to listen to titles while commuting, on a flight, working out, or jogging around the neighborhood. Listening to someone read out loud is often times soothing, can help reduce stress, and allows the eyes to rest. Here are business-related titles that have made two “best of” lists.
Best Audiobooks 2014, chosen by Library Journals’s reviewers
The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World, by Russell Gold. Read by Patrick Lawlor. Brilliance Audio,
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by Michael Lewis. Read by Dylan Baker. Simon & Schuster Audio
2015 Best Audiobooks – Audie Awards Finalists, published by Booklist Reader
#GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso. Read by Sara Jes Austell. Penguin Random House Audio.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. Read by Peter Altschuler. Penguin Random House Audio.
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, by Warren Berger. Read by Michael Quinlan. Audible, Inc. **2015 Audie Award winner**
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin. Read by L.J. Ganser. Audible, Inc.
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, by Carmine Gallo. Read by Carmine Gallo. Macmillan Audio.
Science & Technology category:
The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities, by Caleb Scharf. Read by Caleb Scharf. Macmillan Audio.
The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, by Walter Mischel. Read by Alan Alda. Brilliance Publishing.
A Primate’s Memoir, by Robert M. Sapolsky. Read by Mike Chamberlain. Tantor Media.
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Read by Jeff Cummings. Brilliance Publishing. **2015 Audie Award winner**
When Google Met Wikileaks, by Julian Assange. Read by Tom Pile. Audible, Inc.
Non-Fiction category (business-related only titles, this is not the entire list):
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by Michael Lewis. Read by Dylan Baker. Simon & Schuster Audio
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson. Read by Dennis Boutsikaris. Simon & Schuster Audio
Futurist Thomas Frey (DaVinci Institute, August 6) writes in an interesting article entitled, “The Future of Libraries: Beginning the Great Transformation”:
We have transitioned from a time where information was scarce and precious to today where information is vast and readily available, and in many cases, free…People who in the past visited libraries to find specific pieces of information are now able to find that information online. The vast majority of people with specific information needs no longer visit libraries. However, others who read for pleasure as example, still regularly patronize their local library.
The Institute has put together ten trends “that are affecting the development of the next generation library,” and also “give clear insight into the rapidly changing technologies and equally fast changing mindset of library patrons.” Here are the trends (directly quoted). Click here to read more detail about each trend.
Trend #1 – Communication systems are continually changing the way people access information
Trend #2 – All technology ends. All technologies commonly used today will be replaced by something new.
Trend #3 – We haven’t yet reached the ultimate small particle for storage. But soon.
Trend #4 – Search Technology will become increasingly more complicated
Trend #5 – Time compression is changing the lifestyle of library patrons
Trend #6 – Over time we will be transitioning to a verbal society
Trend #7 – The demand for global information is growing exponentially
Trend #8 – The Stage is being set for a new era of Global Systems
Trend #9 – We are transitioning from a product-based economy to an experience based economy
Trend #10 – Libraries will transition from a center of information to a center of culture