I’ve got quite a bit of digital media in my life, I’m converting nearly all my CDs to MP3 hard drives, I use computers to get news, I don’t watch TV, and I don’t read newspapers. I’ve taken thousands of photos and started to create more and more video.
I’m pretty proud that my previous employer Hitachi is now a client of PodTech. Doug Pickford, Product Director at Hitachi Global Storage Technology (HGST) gives his thoughts about how storage is becoming so important in today’s market. A few weeks ago there was quite a few excited discussions through the blogosphere why this breakthrough in technology will help normal people like us be mobile.
Hitachi was innovative as they’re able to fit in more data per surface area, I’m sure you’ve seen this animation with the catchy music “get perpendicular”.
Not to be confused, Hitachi is a massive company, I was with HDS, the Storage Server division, which of course is very much tied to disk drives. Doug talked about semiconductor storage, how flash works with disk storage, and I’m watching the emergence of holographic storage.
My former employer Hitachi breaks a record by announcing the first Terabyte HardDrive, engadget reports. My former CEO Iwata-san of HDS is now at HGST, he proudly states:
“The industry’s first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive’s leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology,” said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “In the 51 st year, Hitachi is leading a new era for hard drives — not only providing large amounts of affordable storage, but also customizing and optimizing hard drives to deliver products that are smarter, more durable and more useful to the consumer.”
There’s quite a few discussions on techmeme as Seagate has announcements too. HGST invited me to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hard Drive, I really learned to appreciate storage (although not as exciting to me as web), without it, the internet would not be possible. See what life would be like without Hard Drives (animation)
When I visited the HGST HQ in San Jose, I was having fun with some interesting artwork. Here’s me ‘Frozen in Carbonite‘
Hu Yoshida (CTO of Hitachi Data Systems) honors me with this tremendous post, over the last year he wondered if I ever slept, as I would be sending him emails, links to important blogosphere and industry happenings. At one point I told him I was a web geek, so we’re always online.
We as a team worked together to reach out to customers using Social Media. Hu Yoshida has humanized a monolithic storage vendor, and reaches out to customers, and partners using his blogs. Unlike some of the other vendor blogs, the comments on the HDS blogs are wide open. As long as they are on topic (much like Scoble and Shel’s family room rules) they will be posted.
Hu writes in his post, “I knew he would be moving on to greater thing” Yes, I may have gently (and sometimes forcefully) changed the course of the communication boat, but that’s because the water on the river completely changed from downstream to upstream. To this day, I worry that I disrupted the culture too much, but when customers leave comments on my blog like this, I knew it was the right thing to do.
We’ve shared quite a few experiences, Hu and I were both at Lunch 2.0 which really told the entire emerging Web Industry that Hitachi Data Systems has storage solutions, many companies said to me “I didn’t know Hitachi sold Data Storage” ya know now bud!
That same night we went to go remember the, 50th Aniv of the HardDrive at the Computer History Museum, I had learned quite a bit about the pioneers that have shaped technology to today.
I had a thank you dinner with Hu and his wife a few weeks ago, he presented me with a thoughful card and gift certificate to Best Buy, where I frequent! Just a few weeks ago, Dave Roberson the CEO of Hitachi Data Systems hosted a dinner with leaders of the emerging web indsutry I saw Hu even after my departure from HDS at a Storage 2.0 Dinner.
Thank you Hu, it was an honor to work with you, now I’m a consultant to help other great companies like Hitachi.
Building better solutions for customers using the web, wow, that’s what it’s all about, that’s Web Strategy.
(Picture: Thomas Hawk, Dave Roberson, and Kris Tate)
One of the things I love about the web is it’s ability to be a platform that lets humans connect and share their lives thoughts and experiences.
Last night, CEO Dave Roberson of Hitachi Data Systems (my recent employer) hosted a fantastic wine pairing in SF with key members from the growing web industry. Folks from Zooomr, Joyent, Bebo, LifeMoxie, ArcScale, Approver, Martin McKeay, Box.net and others. Respected Data Storage Blogger Ben Rockwood got to meet Hu Yoshida, who flew in from his vacation in Southern California just to attend this dinner.
Thomas Hawk, Data Storage “Poster Boy”
It’s rare to meet someone that creates as much data as Thomas Hawk. One of the most memorable conversations to me was web photographer and Zooomr CEO Thomas Hawk describing all of the data he creates over a single day. Every day he takes a few hundred pictures in raw format (12mb per shot) and saves them on his personal hard drive (Which cold likely be the the Seagate drive attached to his new Apple). Thomas then takes his top pictures and processes them in Photoshop, which is followed by uploading to Flickr, and of course Zooomr, his own website.
On many photo sharing sites, the image is then processed into different sizes, and the original saved, it’s then replicated into different storage backups for safety. If the photo is printed from an online service, the data may be moved yet again to a printer, causing even more replication. One photo can easily be 10X the data of the initial raw image, and will spread over the web.
As Web as the Platform, Mobile devices will capture
While in Japan last month, I was checking out the mobile phones, some which have real time video conferencing. Apple is rumored to deliver the iPhone with iTunes, which will continue to add more digital media on one’s belt, in most cases, this data will be stored or retrieved from the web storage cloud. Jeff McManus whipped out his mobile and show us how folks connect on Dodgeball. Flickr reports that there are over 1000 pictures just uploaded by the Nokia N70 yesterday, that’s just one phone model on one day.
Consumers will create mass data, load and share on web
Normal consumers can easily capture pictures, video, on mobile devices, sometimes uploading real time to the web. Dave and I talked about the young generations living much of their life online, through social sites and instant messaging. My little cousin told me that ‘email is for old people’, they primarily use real time texting. This digital generation is capturing and sharing their lives online.
On one of Joseph Jaffe’s podcasts, he indicated that by 2010, half of all media will be created by consumers. Using the web amateurs are now creating images, video, media, and reporting the news and it’s scaring the professionals.
With Sun gunning for the startup web market, and Online Data Storage companies entering the market such as Amazon, Box, Omindrive, it’s good to see Hitachi Data Systems reach out to this growing community, the web is empowering common people to capture, share, and store their lives online.
Thanks Dave and other HDS folks for the wonderful evening, of wine, food, and sharing.
Update: Clarification (Dec 8th)
A lot of people have a hard time understanding the difference between large divisions in a company, this should provide some clarification:
Hitachi Data Systems (my former employer) and Seagate (a client of my employer Podtech) have different products. Hitachi Data Systems sells Data Storage solutions, most commonly found in Data Centers. This is not to be confused with another division at Hitachi that focuses on Disk Drives. Seagate is known for having consumer and disk storage devices, such as the one Thomas mentions below in the comments. While as an employee at HDS, I helped organize the event, and supported it after my leave.
Lastly, as of last week, I now work at Podtech.net, which makes for an interesting intersection. I’m very much involved in the technology industry, as I have relationships that reach into many sectors of the same family.
Just wanted to be VERY clear as folks as people get these two companies companies confused frequently, and to make sure there is no conflict of interest.
Oh and Thomas Hawk and Kris Tate are friends.
Thank you Hitachi Colleagues!
(Right: Send off Lunch for Jeremiah)
I wanted to thank all those that have wished me farewell from Hitachi Data Systems, HGST, and Hitachi America. This also includes, vendors, and former colleagues. I was honored that Lisa, my teammate for 3 years organized a lunch, the tab picked up by CTO blogger Hu Yoshida at Faultline brewery.
Three years at HDS felt fast and furious, while sometimes the pace of things felt slow. There was always so much to do. I’ll have to admit, I made a lot of mistakes, pushed to hard, or just annoyed the F out of people, and for that, I hope all is water under the bridge.
I sometimes wonder if trying to open a culture up was a good idea. In the end, I hope more good came out of the changes we did, opening up the communications, reaching to customers, and building community.
When Podtech has some parties in our upcoming larger new office in Palo Alto. I’ll be sure to invite folks over for some wine and beer!
Thank you dinner with CTO Hu Yoshida, Data Storage A-Lister.
(Left: Mr and Mrs Yoshida, Mr and Mrs Owyang)
Hu Yoshida is the CTO Blogger at Hitachi Data Systems. We worked as a team for him to achieve A-lister status within the Data Storage Industry. (That’s right, there are A-listers in every industry) . It’s easy to tell who’s read frequently in niche industries, look at blog rolls, quotes, and comments.
Last week, Hu Yoshida and his lovely wife took Shirley and I out to dinner at Sato’s Japanese Restaurant, I found it be very authentic, having returned from Japan just a few weeks ago. It was really good to have some quality conversations, and say our thanks. Hu always wondered what type of woman would have the energy to put up with me, he was pleased to meet Shirley, heh!
I learned a few more things about Hu: although he doesn’t speak of it, he was an American Marine war Hero in Vietnam. He lead a rifle team with heavy casualty rates for days on end in the field. Now I understand how he is able to maintain such self-control, humbleness, and never faltering leadership. He told me that blogging helped him expand his ability to reach and talk to customers. One example is that when he speaks at conferences, events, or shows, the rooms near capacity, that’s great!
Thank you Hu for becoming the face of the company, opening up to customers by blogging and speaking, and treating me (and my wife) with such appreciation. I’m still subscribed and wiil see you around the blogosphere!
I’m rather proud of this high production video series that Hitachi has put together, it really shows how technology is being used in a human way to solve real flesh and blood problems.
Two of the five shows are already live, the first one is focused on how fiber has connected a community in Oregon. The second show, focused on how technology is used in crime sleuthing has some neat angle shots. This kind of reminds me of the BMW films used a few years ago, pretty interesting.
Even though I’m going to Podtech in a few weeks, I’m still going to be a Hitachi fan, it’s a good people that are reaching out to tell their story.
Blogs are great for a fast transmission of content, podcasts are a great for mobile and ambient mediums, but nothing conveys emotion and the human experience better than video.
This is a bittersweet post, it’s also a bit awkward as I’m traveling on vacation right now through Asia. I’m currently in Hong Kong but have some important news to share…
Deployed Social Media
Over the last year, I’ve been very thankful to have the opportunity to deploy social media at Hitachi Data Systems, (which I called the Community Marketing program). we’ve launched thought leader blogs, user forums, and other tools that reach to customers for an open dialogue that will help us to listen to customers and build better products and services. My title is Online Community Marketing Manager, most see this role called Community Manager evolving at many, many companies.
A Corporate Response is Community Marketing
This new medium is called Social Media and it’s about people. The corporate response is called “Community Marketing”, a term I attempted to define in late 2005, (a rehash of a practice that has existed in practice for thousands of years). The biggest change and challenge is the power shift to the participants that yield these tools.
There’s been MANY folks that have helped out with the program, so in no way am I trying to take credit for everything that happened, in fact, a community manager should line-up the right people at a company with the right prospects and customers to make a community marketing program happen –more on this later.
A conversation with John Furrier
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with John Furrier (Podtech CEO and Business Podcasting early adopter) about how it was interesting the direction that Podtech was headed being a place where news is breaking.
Within a few days, we had some discussions and I came in to chat with the team, I feel that not only I but the team and I see a great fit here and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.
With great pride, I’m happy to announce that later this month, I’ll be starting a new role at Podtech as Director of Corporate Media Strategy.
Evolving the conversation and preparing for practice
I’m hoping I can be a community resource to companies that want not only to understand “What” and “Why” to use social media but to help answer “HOW” to deploy. At many of the conference, speeches, and workshops folks talk about why blogging is great, what happens if you’re not listening or if you’re unauthentic –the conversation has progressed beyond that, and now we must answer the “How” as community managers enter this new era of practice.
Community Managers and folks that deploy need to have in depth understanding of the tools, how to facilitate internal conversations and naysayers, and how to measure success. Although I’ve not mapped out my official program charter or 30/60/90 day plan, A few of my goals are to:
- Continue to be a Community resource to companies deploying social media.
- Help corporate folks who are deploying social media with strategic and tactical deployment plans.
- Help out with the podtech.net site as it continues to evolve.
- Build partnerships with many of my friends and peers who deploy social media.
- Assist in understanding new tools, hunting for the elusive metrics, and real user profile.
- Learn from the greats such as John Furrier, Jennifer Jones of Marketing Voices, Irina Slutsky, Maryam Scoble, and Robert Scoble.
- Meet as many movers and shakers in the industry, stay close to the hub of the action.
- Always be flexible and have fun, learn, and be human.
Staying Close to Hitachi Data Systems
I’m very grateful to the folks at Hitachi Data Systems, our own CTO Blogger Hu Yoshida has offered to take me and my wife out to dinner. This goes to show that not only does a community marketing professional need to know the medium, but they need to work closely and support the thought leaders in an organization to adopt social media.
I have to admit, I was very fortunate to have such a committed executive (and other thought leaders in the blogs and forums) that were willing to have an open and Naked Conversation with customers. Thanks Hitachi, It was a great three years!
(picture of Maryam Scoble and I at a Podtech Breakfast workshop on corporate podcasting and blogging)