Will Blogs Make a Comeback?

August 22, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Professional Development, Technology Trends | Leave a comment

When I think about all the ways we have to communicate, I’m reminded of several studies I’ve read over the years on the effects of too much choice in our world.  It’s amazing how we make the choices we do, which is a field of study all unto itself.  That said, I read an interesting post today about a couple of guys going back to their “old fashioned” macro-blogs as opposed to their micro-blogging social media sites.  It was really interesting to note the regret they experienced.  I can relate.

I was working with a fellow at a start-up and exploring my company taking an equity position.  He had done his homework on me, as I did on him.  When we met he said, “I read your blog” and it hit me how many things I have NOT taken the time to put in there!  My primary use of facebook is picture sharing with friends and family.  I love seeing their kids’ adventures and vice versa.  I really don’t like it as a micro-blog tool.  I get downright annoyed when I read things like, “Some people just make me so angry.”  Then 20 mindless comments appear like, “I’m so sorry… who made you mad?”  or an equally cryptic response of “he is feeling bad too.”  What a waste of time and it always strikes me as narcissistic beyond measure — like an overt cry for attention.  Oh well… it is what it is.  But all of this did remind me that good-ole blogging still has merit.

why I like facebook

September 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Technology Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Two years ago I couldn’t get my cousin (who was in college) to answer my emails. I sent her a txt msg and she responded in about 48 seconds. When we finally hooked up over that antiquated device called a “phone”, she explained that she only used email for school and she started urging me to try facebook.

First experience: “This is stupid.” Tenth experience: “This is still stupid.” Then, eventually, I got hooked. I gave a lot of thought to why, and beyond technical reasons, there’s one fundamental thing that came to mind. I miss my hometown.

I grew up in a small steel town. We saw folks — the same folks — a lot. School, stores, games, bowling alley, wherever. And you’d always get the scoop on little things that you just really didn’t think you’d ever care about. When I moved away, I missed that. I found over time that facebook was filling that social void that was left when I moved away.  Now it’s like I’m standing in line at the grocery store catching a 30-second conversation with a friend on how his kid did in his baseball game.  Haven’t decided if this is good or bad.  But was just interesting thinking through why it “clicked” with me.

interesting look at web communication

December 12, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | Leave a comment
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I love the way Bob Warfield over at SmoothSpan is thinking about the various web-learning styles and the quadrants he created and populated.  Interesting to think about regarding how we learn, and also how our  customers learn, and what products/methods are out there.  There were several companies/products that I didn’t recognize.

when clouds evaporate your data

October 10, 2008 at 7:31 am | Posted in Technology Trends | 1 Comment
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The surge to the cloud feels like a certainty (as much as anything can be a certainty in technology).  It reminds me of the momentum shifts felt when things were moving to client/server computing, and more recently around virtualization.  I think the media is largely in a frenzy precisely *because* it’s the newest thing we’ve had to talk about of “mass” interest since virtualization.  That frenzy feeds on itself (as evidenced even  by my own posts on the topic).

As such, as with any technology transition, it’s not going to be all rainbows and lollipops.  Here’s an interesting post on what, I’m sure, will be many painful side effects as we move into the world of cloud computing.  Also got some enlightenment from our IT leader at Quest regarding a conference she attended, which I’ll post in a later entry.

Google’s talent lacking experience?

September 26, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Posted in Business, Technology Trends | Leave a comment

My buddy Jackson had a great post about Google that reminded me of some of my musings on a very similar topic of the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

why did I buy a Mac?

September 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 2 Comments
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By almost any measure, the Mac buzz and adoption seems to be rising, thanks in part to people like me who have bought one after years and years of being in the PC world.

The commercials are good, but the commercials have been good for a long, long time.

The iPod and iPhone are good, but that had nothing to do with my decision. (in fact, I LOATHE iTunes)

From a product differential standpoint, I would argue that the Mac has held even greater differentiation in times past than it does now.

I have known all of this for at least 15 years, but I only now bought a Mac. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about why because I believe there is a larger business dynamic involved.

I think I bought a Mac primarily because the personal computer (both Mac and PC) is becoming largely irrelevant to my “personal” (read: at home, non-work) computing, which actually freed me to make a more specialized purchase.

See, when I bought my Mac, I was kinda worried about all of my Windows apps. But then I realized that my work laptop is never more than 4 feet away and when I thought about what I did that was dependent upon Windows that wasn’t work related, it didn’t seem like much.

Turns out I was right.  I didn’t miss hardly any of my Windows apps when I made the switch. In fact, I was downright stunned at how much time I spent in my Flock browser more than anywhere else. I haven’t used a fat-client email program for personal use in years. I am using Google calendar more as of late. When I do need to read a Microsoft Office doc (which is getting less and less frequent in personal use) I just open it in OpenOffice and I get by just fine.

Because I no longer *needed* the personal computer for “personal” home use, I was free to make a purchase based on a specialized need–in my case, making DVDs of the kids. I think equally so, users who have wanted to try and find out what all this Mac stuff was about, are now more free to try it without worrying that they will be cut off from the lifeblood of apps that they use regularly. Facebook, MySpace, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Twitter, OpenOffice, Adobe PDF files, YouTube… none of them care what OS you run.

If I’m representative of a larger market demographic, then this is a shift that is going to continue to have large market and technology implications. More to think about on this one…

browser wars fixin’ to heat up again

September 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 3 Comments
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A while back I posted about some frustrations I had around web technology being useful, but not taking that next step to easy productivity. Along those lines, I really like what I’m seeing here from Mozilla. As I watched the video, I immediately identified with several of those pains. Cool stuff that I think will be a big hit on its own, and then a great framework on which others can build

And after this came an accidental early release of Google’s new browser in the works.

video conferencing

August 27, 2008 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | Leave a comment
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Like most folks nowadays, we’re tightening up our travel expenses at my company, and heck, even in our own family for that matter!  So a week or so ago a few of us started talking about the need for an all-day meeting.  We just had too much to cover for a series of short meetings as we needed to really keep our train of thought going through a variety of related issues.

I currently use Skype for 1-on-1 calls, but today there were 3 of us and that presents a problem for Skype at the moment.  AFter some digging, I stumbled on a product called oovoo. It is free for up to three simultaneous users, then you can pay for up to 6 after that.  They have PC and Mac (beta) versions available.

The only issue we had today was audio feedback, which is more a fault of not using headsets than the application itself. So, we opted to dial into our conference call line for the audio, and just use the video.  Turns out the latency was minimal and it was a fantastic solution.  We had a 6 hour meeting that was far, far more productive than if we were just on the phone and we saved airfare, hotels, etc., in the process.

Oh, one other advantage… today we were all three in remote offices, i.e. not on the corporate network.  I do not think we would get passed firewalls if we were on the corporate network, which I know is a challenging issue for a lot of organizations right now.

now you see it… now you don’t

August 15, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | 1 Comment
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Fascinating technology on the horizon.  Live long, and prosper.

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects.

another good primer on cloud databases

July 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Technology Trends | Leave a comment
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If you’re interested, another good resource, this one by Tony Bain.

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