IBM is Still Newsworthy
by Tony Kontzer
I've learned two important things since last week's second edition of Twit Digest: 1) there may be a groundswell of sentiment out there that we IT media types invest too much copy covering Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter; and 2) it can come as a shock for a Twitterer who's been Twittering in relative obscurity to see him/herself quoted in the IT media.
With these two realizations in mind, I'm switching gears this week. First, I will not name the Twitterers whose posts I cite, as it's quite possible that 348 identical posts preceded theirs.
Second, while it's impossible for me to avoid mentioning Twitter in an excercise built around its service, I will nonetheless turn my attention to a name in technology that's frequently overlooked by today's memory-challenged media: IBM, which has been in the news thanks to its launch last week of LotusLive iNotes, a cloud-style email service for business.
Following the format of filtering a subject of newsworthiness to IT folks through the prism of the Twitter community, here's what the Twitterverse is saying about Big Blue:
-Checking out the link in the first post of interest eventually leads me to a New York Times story I missed about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's suggestion that IBM should get back into the hardware business. Dang! And here I was trying NOT to write about Microsoft!
-A subsequent post proclaims that IBM is helping to boost creativity in children in Vietnam, taking me to a story about IBM rolling out its KidSmart pre-kindergarten program in several rural provinces in Vietnam's mountainous northern regions. Nice thing IBM's been doing the past 10 years, putting learning technologies in the hands of pre-schoolers in remote and economically disadvantaged locations around the world.
-We can't overlook reaction to the LotusLive iNotes announcement. Several identical re-posts (also known as "retweets") chime that iNotes will be cheaper and more reliable. "Watch out Google!" they warn. Dang again! I wasn't supposed to be reporting on Google! (And not to bring up the last of the quartet of news hogs, but doesn't iNotes sound suspiciously like an Apple product name?)
-Amid the string of iNotes-related items is a post that wonders how IBM was able to close its $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS, a maker of predictive analytics software, so quickly, asking "Is it me or was it really fast?" Now that you mention it: Why, yes, I'd have to say that closing an acquisition that size in just over 2 months is a bit speedy, especially given that SPSS resolved a trademark suit as the transaction was being finalized.
-I wrap up my IBM research with a doozy of a post that links me to a story about Big Blue acquiring mortgage firm Wilshire Credit Corp. from Bank of America. Apparently, IBM believes the acquisition will open a door into providing the technology mortgage servicers need to contend with the rising volume of foreclosures. I'd have to categorize this one as thinking outside the box.
All in all, I'd say we found out that there's a lot more going on with IBM these days than meets the eye, eh?