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Monthly Archives: January 2012

What is Social Masking?

What is Social Masking?

Well it’s quiet simple, it’s the art of using social media to influence the public’s behaviour towards or understanding of, an organisation or its product(s). This is done through social media comments and reviews where the organisation ( and or it’s PR/advertising agency /paid consultants etc) hide behind masked online identities, who are made to look like an independent expert or independent knowledgeable Joe Public’s. While they are actually paid employees promoting products and services.

How does social masking work, well let’s say that Company A has had a few bad reviews on a website(s).

They enlist an agency to turn that around. The PR agency creates an account on the website and starts spruiking how good the product(s) are and the customer service from the company is etc. They also reply back to bad reviews with comments to discredit the individual that has posted it or suggest they should follow it up further with the company as they have always had a great experience getting issues resolved.

Alternatively they also like to get on the front foot by being the first to review/comment on new products and rave about how good they are and the impact the organisation/products are making in their life.

Now this isnt’ confined to just commercial organisations this also happens with local/state and federal governments.

How do you spot Social Maskers?

Well, they generally use transient accounts on websites, created within the last few days of negative publicity or they are accounts with little to no other comments within the site related to any other organisation or topic. They are generally overtly complimentary and with detailed knowledge of how to get issues resolved within the company, or they seem to have had their issues resolved simply when others have had lots of issues.

Now I understand that most people want to whinge and complain more and more than compliment on the web, and I understand that organisations want to protect their brands, but I believe they should be transparent in their use of social media when dealing with their customers. No one likes to be deceived and if they can’t can’t be honest with their customers they don’t deserve their custom.

On what site do you find the most social maskers?

Who are the worst offenders of using this method of manipulation?

Content Consolidation

What is Content Consolidation? And where is it going?

Let’s start with the two parts.
What is Content? In this instance Content is anything expressed through the digital medium. This could be a document, an email, a video, a song, a photo, or a conversation for example.
What is Consolidation? Well here is the definition out of, to discard the unused or unwanted items of and organize the remaining

Lets look at Content Consolidation?

First let’s just look at an easy example of what is happening today.
With an ever increasing amount of content that is being created in the world today that is being shared via personal distribution, social media or via corporate(internal/external) means. This is putting an ever increasing strain on security of content, storage capacity, costs and accessibility of the information we are after, and it is only going to get worse as people share more content, store it locally and backup content for archive or disaster recover purposes. The amount of data storage being required is increasing at an exponential rate both at a personal level and corporate level. I remember that my first computer with a hard drive had 20Mb of storage, which in those days you could run an operating system, word processor and have numerous games etc on it, but today that wouldn’t even store one high quality digital photo.

Let’s just take for example the most popular Youtube video today which has 692,474,773 views at this point in time. This requires some 14MB of data being downloaded locally to watch it.
This equates to 9,800,000,000 Megabytes or 9570313 GigaBytes or 9346 TerraBytes or 9.2 PetaBytes of data. That’s a lot of data.
Now the average home PC has around 100GB of data storage, it would take around 95,703 pc’s around the world (at $500 each $48 Million dollars) just to store the Justin Bieber music clip. Now that is just one video clip downloaded from YouTube, before any file sharing or local computer copies or backups are taken into account. Wow! That’s a lot of natural resources being used up to have Justin Bieber get a couple of teenage girls excited.

Now we all store a document here, a document there and don’t think too much about it. It could be a document attachment that is extracted off an email and saved locally onto the file system or a network drive. It could be a photo copied from one directory to another. That creates another copy of the same document. Then as we start to edit these documents, how do we know which is the master document that contains all the latest changes. I know at times this becomes an issue for me at home, let alone at work where there could be multiple people working, reading and distributing the “same” document.

Now this isn’t as large a problem individually as most home users don’t edit a lot of documents or have backup strategies. It is for a corporate entity who has personal and network storage locations for all their employees as well as communal work areas and is paying $x.xx for each Mb of bit of data storage and backups each and every day. Let’s just say for example that each user has personal copy of the 5MB organisational chart. The company has 500 employees, 500 x 5MB x $x.xx in data storage and backup costs per day just for the company to store and backup the same document multiple times. By having only one copy of that file it would reduce their backup and data storage costs by nearly 500%

So how do we work on getting control of an every increasing issue.

Now there are numerous Content Management and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Systems out there that try and address the problem, but fundamentally the same problem still exists as it allows users to follow their preconditioned behaviour in creating email attachments, a personal, a project or a departmental copy of the content. This is because many of these ECM like Exchange and SharePoint etc have Personal Spaces and/or Work spaces that contain document libraries that store the same content over and over again.

So what is the answer? Well I’m not saying I have the answer but here is a possible solution.

The alternative is to not copy the actual document but to provide an experience to the user that allows them to create a virtual link in their environment to the actual content. This is managed by the operating system and a software intermediary solution as well as a content storage solution. Now the end user usually doesn’t care where the content is stored, just that they can access it from wherever and whenever they want to. This would be similar to book marking a web page on the Internet.

But this is only the first step as there are lots of issues relating around digital rights management, distribution of the content both internally and externally, create, read write, delete permissions etc.

So to help solve this there must be one location within the corporate environment that manages all the content and is the controlling mechanism for streaming, access permissions, versioning and content comparison.

When adding content, the software behind the scene must also be able to determine if the content already exists in the content storage location and if so, then pass back a virtual link to the already existing content in the content storage location. Thus saving an additional copy or as I like to say consolidating content.

Determining if the content already exists could be done by something like a HASH MD5 check or something more specific with a look up against the content storage location to determine if it is containing existing content. If there is a match the link is passed back rather than the document added to the storage location. If the document doesn’t exist the document is added to the system and the location is passed back to the CMS for future reference. The creator of the content will be able to assign permissions to the content.  Whether that be for internal use only, read only, editable by people within specific AD groups, visible to the public etc  if not already predetermined by the save location.

If the document is modified by an authorised editor then the delta is stored rather than another copy until it is ready to be published by the author. Multiples of these delta’s can be stored but only one published content is available to the end user.

The content can then be streamed to the user and security and controls maintained around the content in a centralised area. Content can be restricted from being emailed externally as all that is provided is the link to the content storage location. Users never get access to the content unless they are given permissions by the author/delegator.

The system would work best with both an internal and external solution for managing users access as well as content access. This would allow external users to be managed independently and additional checks and balances put in place.

End benefits,
Single source of truth, Storage reduction, content is consolidated with a master content model, increased security, reduced hardware costs, reduced backup costs, reduced DR costs, reduced manangement costs, increased CMS and network performance.


 Content Consolidation

The Ton Wrap Up

A wrap up of the Ton Beer challenge.

Well a year down and we need a run down of the end results. Yes the 100 beers were drunk during the year.
Congrats to Knappstein Reserve Lager for taking out the title with a score of 96. While there was 5 different types of beer in the top 5 with an overall average score of 74.

What that says is that there is a lot of great beers out there no matter what type is your favourite.

There are beers from 27 different countries. The breakdown of the beers and the countries are below.


Beer Country Rating Size Alcohol Percent
Knappstein Reserve Lager Australia 96 330ml 5.6
Redback Wheat beer Australia 92 330ml 4.7
Little Creatures Pale Ale Australia 90 500ml 5.2
Flensburger Pilsener Germany 89 500ml 4.8
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel Germany 85 500ml 5.3
My Wifes Bitter Australia 84 330ml 4.8
Alpha pale ale Australia 84 330ml 5.2
Coopers Pale Ale Australia 84 375ml 4.5
Little Creatures Bright Ale Australia 84 330ml 4.5
PepperJack Saltram Australia 83 330ml 4.7
Sleeping Giant Indian Pale Ale Australia 83 330ml 5.4
Okocim Porter Poland 83 500ml 8.3
Redoak Opera Bar Blonde Australia 83 330ml 4.5
James Squire Pilsener Australia 83 330ml 5
Boston Mill Australia 82 330ml 4.9
Heineken Lager Holland 82 330ml 5
Maisel’s Weisse Kristall Germany 82 500ml 5.2
James Squire Amber Ale Australia 82 330ml 5
Zamkowe 1321 Poland 81 500ml 5.5
Tiger Singapore 81 330ml 5
Red Angus Pilsener Australia 81 330ml 4.8
Wicked Elf Pale Ale Australia 80 330ml 5.4
Murrays Whale Ale Australia 80 330ml 4.5
Ambar 1900 Spain 80 330ml 4.8
Peroni Gran Riserva Italy 80 330ml 6.6
The Chancer Golden Ale James Squire Australia 80 330ml 5
Cascade Premium Lager Australia 80 375ml 5
Super Bock Portugal 79 330ml 5.2
Weihenstephaner Hefe weissbier Germany 79 500ml 5.4
James Squires Four Wives Australia 79 345ml 5
St Arnou Pilsner Australia 79 330ml 4.5
James Squires Stow Away IPA. Australia 79 330ml 5.6
Becks Germany 79 330ml 5
James Boags Premium Lager Australia 79 375ml 5
Gosser Austria 78 330ml 5.2
Birra Morett Italy 78 330ml 4.6
Asahi Dry Japan 78 330ml 5
Murray’s Angry Man Australia 77 330ml 5
Steinlager New Zealand 77 330ml 5
Chang Thailand 77 330ml 5
Singha Thailand 77 330ml 5
Grolsch Netherlands 77 500ml 5
Blue Tongue Premium Lager Australia 77 330ml 4.9
Wicked Elf Witbier Australia 76 330ml 5
Stella Artois Belgium 76 330ml 5
Weihenstephaner Original Germany 76 500ml 5.1
Carlsberg Elephant Denmark 76 330ml 7.2
Old Speckled Hen England 76 375ml 5.2
Monteiths Pilsner New Zealand 76 330ml 5
Crown Lager Australia 76 375ml 4.9
Wells Banana Bread Beer England 75 500ml 5.2
Peroni Nastro Azzurro Italy 75 330ml 5.1
Coopers 62 Pilsner Australia 75 355ml 5
Guinness Extra Stout Ireland 74 330ml 6
Palma Louca Brazil 74 355ml 4.5
Three Sheets Pale Ale Australia 74 375ml 4.9
Pure Blonde Australia 74 355ml 4.6
Three kings dry larger Australia 74 330ml 4.6
White Rabbit Pale Ale Australia 74 330ml 4.8
James Boags Draught Australia 74 375ml 4.6
Trumer Pils Austria 73 330ml 4.9
Organic Ale Australia 73 330ml 5.3
Cintra Pilsener Portugal 73 330ml 4.8
Perla Export Poland 73 500ml 5.6
Broo Premium Larger Australia 73 330ml 4.6
Henninger lager Germany 73 330ml 4.8
Sagres Portugal 72 330ml 5
Phoenix beer Mauritius 72 330ml 5
Kingfisher Lager India 72 330ml 4.8
Efes Pilsenser Turkey 72 330ml 5
Oettinger Pils Germany 72 330ml 4.7
Corona Extra Mexican 72 330ml 4.6
Hammer ‘n’ Tongs Vietnam 71 330ml 4
Pikes oakbank pilsener Australia 71 330ml 4.5
Southview Australia 71 330ml 5
Tooheys Extra Dry Australia 71 330ml 5
Carlsberg Denmark 71 330ml 5
Great Northern Brewing Australia 70 330ml 4.2
O.K. Beer Okocim Poland 70 330ml 5.6
Bee Sting Honey Wheat Beer Australia 70 330ml 5
Carlton Draught Australia 70 375ml 4.6
NT Draught Australia 69 2Ltr 4.9
Almaza Pilsener Lebannon 68 330ml 4.1
Sapporo Japan 68 330ml 5
Tooheys Old Australia 68 375ml 4.4
Monteiths Summer Ale New Zealand 67 330ml 5
Viking Pilsener Iceland 67 330ml 4.7
Classe Royale Germany 66 330ml 4.3
Peroni Leggera Italy 66 330ml 3.5
Mythos Lager Greece 66 330ml 4.7
Stone & Wood Australia 66 330ml 4.4
Hofbrau Original Germany 66 330ml 5.2
Carlton Dry Australia 63 330ml 4.5
Amsterdam Premium Lager Netherlands 63 330ml 4.8
James Squire Sundown Lager Australia 63 330ml 4.4
BigHead No Carb Australia 62 330ml 4.2
Tooheys New Australia 62 375ml 4.6
Zlaty Bazant Slovakian 55 500ml 5
Cruiser Hummingbird Australia 50 330ml 4
Estrella Damm Spain 20 330ml 5.4

The Country Count.

Australia 48
Germany 10
Poland 4
Italy 4
Portugal 3
New Zealand 3
Thailand 2
Netherlands 2
Japan 2
England 2
Denmark 2
Austria 2
Vietnam 1
Turkey 1
Spain 2
Singapore 1
Mexican 1
Mauritius 1
Lebannon 1
Ireland 1
India 1
Iceland 1
Holland 1
Greece 1
Brazil 1
Belgium 1
Slovakian 1

The Ton 100 – NT Draught – Darwin Stubbie

 Darwin Stubbie NT Draught NT Draught “Darwin Stubbie”  Northern Territory 2litres 4.9%

Well the 100th beer in the Ton Challenge has to have something to mark the occasion,  is it the most expensive beer in the world, the most obscure ingredients, the hightest alcohol percentage or could it be size, well thanks to Chicka who sourced me a Darwin  Stubbie it was the latter with a 2 litre bottle.The beer it self is not much to write home about, it’s a mild draught that doesn’t offer a great deal other than that you can share it with mates.

Rating 69/100

The Ton 99 – Murray’s Angry Man

 Murray's Angry Man Murray’s Angry Man Pale Ale , Port Stephens 330ml 5%

The penultimate beer in the challenge, and it’s another beer from the folks up at Port Stephens’ Murray’s Craft Brewing Co, it’s not the best pale ale on the market, but it’s pleasant with a a slight caramelization and your traditional citrusy pale ale flavour. Well suited ice cold with fresh prawns on a hot summers day.

Rating 77/100

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