Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

November 16, 2018

Advertising Platforms As A REAL Business Model?

So I read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that 3 major technology companies get over 80% of their revenue from advertising:

These companies and their percentage of advertising revenue are:

Facebook - 98.3%
Twitter -- 86.4%
Alphabet (Google) -- 86%

It's a wonderful thing how advertising pays for the wonderful free Internet services. 

Looking back to when I was a kid, I guess that how we got all those marvelous TV shows without having to pay for a cable subscription. 

But what I always wonder in the back of my mind is whether collecting advertising dollars is a REAL business. 

Yeah, sure these companies are mammoth and have made themselves and their shareholders gazillions of dollars.  

But somewhere I keep telling myself this doesn't quite add up. 

If you make something of value then someone is willing to pay for it. 

If it doesn't have value then you have to give it away for free. 

If facebook or twitter actually charged money for their service, I can't imagine anyone would actually pay squat for it.  

Google is another story, but if they started to charge, you'd just go to a service like Explorer or Safari that doesn't.

So if the only way to provide the service is to shove advertising down your customer's throats, again I have to ask is that really a business. 

If I can't see how a company can sell something based on the VALUE they are providing, honestly it's not something that I can really get myself behind. 

Out of the three companies--Google is perhaps the only one that I can see as a real something. 

As for Facebook and Twitter, despite the Presidential tweets and Russian interference in our elections, I don't see the underlying greatness. 

Maybe I am way wrong, but if you don't want to pay for it then what the heck is it really worth! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 9, 2018

Two Beautiful Hearts

So a very nice elderly lady we know from synagogue took a bad fall and broke her leg really badly...like in half.

She put up on Facebook that she had undergone surgery, had a metal rod and plate inserted in her leg, and was recovering in the hospital--and she wanted visitors. 

My wife saw the message on Facebook, and we ran over to the hospital to see how she was and spend some time with her to try and cheer her up. 

Considering how badly she had been hurt, she was actually in amazingly good spirits. 

A couple of her neighbors were there in the hospital visiting her as well. 

One of them had actually heard her screams from the backyard where she had fallen by her pond and had helped keep her from going into shock, cradled her head in her lap, and called for rescue services.

When I commented how amazing she was and that she was a real hero pointing to the heart--she said it was really nothing, and went on to say"
I have two hearts!

And she pointed to one on the left and one on the right. 

I thought to myself that really we should all have two hearts like that to care and to give to others. 

One heart is us alone. 

Two hearts are when we join with others. 

"Two hearts that beat as one"--one for caring and one for giving. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 5, 2017

Facebook Is Dead!

So folks, here is my absolutely contrarian prediction. 
Facebook Is Dead!
Who in their right mind would say something like that?

Facebook has 2 billions users! 

Well I am one of those users.

But even though I use it. 

I recognize that it is essentially useless and a waste of time. 

Yes, there are cute videos and messages and photos on there. 

But basically if you're honest, it's mostly a lot of garbage and time sink!

Twitter has a newsfeed purpose. 

Instagram has a photo sharing purpose. 

LinkedIn has a professional networking purpose. 

But Facebook is a glorious made-up fad!

I believe that people are getting tired of the:

- Meaningless, mind-numbing posts of what they had for breakfast today (and every other fart, literally). 

- Phony self-branding veneer as if everything is always perfect in their lives (look I'm on another vacation skydiving!)

- Virtual relationships rather than genuine friendships and real connections (I'm fiends with over 3,000 people!)

- The millions of empty slogans, political statements, and impersonal wishes to everyone for every occasion (have a really happy birthday!)

Frankly, I think that people are reaching the point of realization where they want more from the time they spend online.

- More depth of feelings

- More substance of thought

- More reality than superficiality. 

Yes, we all need some downtime too to mellow and just laugh a little, but I am fairly certain that the time people are putting into Facebook is not really meeting their true social networking needs. 

In the end, we will find out that Facebook is the epitome of the greatest fool theory--where everyone dumps their shit from the day, hoping that there is some greater fool who will superficially lopping it all up. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 29, 2017

Things Still Happen

So I know that I'm stating the obvious, but still I can’t help but reflect…

No matter how successful people are, things—bad things—still unfortunately happen.

This weekend, I read about how tragedy struck Uber's founder and CEO—of a $70 billion company--and he lost his mother in a freak boating accident. 

A few years back, Facebook’s, powerful Chief Operating Officer and billionaire lost her husband on a treadmill in a hotel.

Other famous people, like superstar icon, Michael Jackson, died at a young age from an overdose. 

Life events can G-d forbid overtake us suddenly and with devastating impact. 

It’s scary, and it just never seems to end (B’AH).

No matter who you are or how rich and powerful, G-d is the most powerful.

While we can control only what we can control, there is no escape from ultimate fate that awaits when it is so decreed by the One Above—it should all be in His ever-bounding mercy. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 12, 2016

Oculus Rift Has My Attention

This picture is an older version of Oculus Rift--larger, heavier, more clunky than the streamlined version coming out this April for $599.

Zuckerberg's Facebook announced the purchase of Oculus virtual reality (VR) in March 2014.

I can't think of another piece of consumer technology that I want to try out more than this. 

Initially for immersive 3-D experiences in all sorts of entertainment, including gaming, movies, television, and more. 

But soon to follow are use cases for virtual meetings, classrooms, doctor's appointments, and anything requiring our interaction and communication. 

Hush-hush is the more intimate use for things like virtual sex. 

Also, there are opportunities for augmented reality where physical reality is supplemented with computer sensory input making your real-experience that much richer and informed.

With the Oculus Rift, I imagine myself immersed on a safari in Africa, flying into the reaches of space, relaxing at the most beautiful beaches, praying at the Western Wall, fighting my way through first person shooter and action adventures, and reliving biblical and other major historical events.

I don't see VR for myself as an escape from reality, so much as being able to experience many more of life's realities and possibilities out there. 

My only fear is that as VR gets better and better, it becomes easier and easier to fall away from our challenges in the real world, and just live inside a mask with a controlled environment where our virtual choices and experiences seem all too convenient and real. ;-) 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Weston High School Library)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 6, 2016

What does 600613 Spell?

As per my previous blogs on the mystical number 613 (corresponding to the G-d's commandments in the Torah), today we have a technological twist.

Recently, Google paid an award to a former employee of $6,006.13.

The amount is special in two ways as you can see:

First of all, Google saw that, if you look closely, this number spells Google. 

Secondly, it has the number mystical number 613 in it. 

613 is a winner and so is Google, which is now the the most valuable company in the U.S. (worth more than Apple) at $554 billion!

If you use simple Gematria, where each letter is a number (A=1, B=2, C=3...Z=26), then Guess what other successful technology companies has the mystical 613 in their names:















(Also, see which amazing technology company has 613 twice in their name!)

In contrast, some ailing technology companies that do not have 613:

- Yahoo

- Twitter

- LinkedIn

613 is a reminder of G-d's benevolence to mankind in that he G-d us the commandments as a roadmap to live by.  613 is a symbol of faith in G-d almighty and in his holy Torah (Bible). 

For those that keep His charge, we believe that Hashem will bless them and keep them. 

Indeed, technology used for the good of mankind is a blessing to us all.  ;-)

(Source Graphics: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 24, 2015

Where's The Value?

So I don't know how I feel about this or maybe I do. 

The Wall Street Journal reports today that from the 10 largest companies by market capitalization:

1) The top 3 are technology companies

- Apple $679B
- Alphabet (Google's Parent) $489B
- Microsoft $422B

2) Moreover, a full 5 (half) of the top 10 are technology companies

That includes the 3 above and the other 2 below:

- Facebook $288B
- Amazon $280B

As a technology person, I am thrilled at the impact that IT has on our society. 

We are no longer the same thanks to our Apple iPhones, Google Search, Microsoft's business tools like Outlook, Office and SharePoint, Facebook's social networking, and Amazon's online shopping. 

But to think that these information capabilities outweigh by value everything else in society that we need as people is somewhat astounding.

For example, the other 5 of the top 10 companies are:

- Exxon Mobil (Oil and Gas) $346B 
- Berkshire Hathaway (Insurance, Utilities, Clothing, Building Products, Retail, Flight Services) $340B
- General Electric (Power and Water, Oil and Gas, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation) $298B
- Wells Fargo (World's Largest Bank) $280B
- Johnson and Johnson (Pharmaceuticals) $278B

So when you add these behemoths up--this is what we have:

The 5 top technology companies are worth $2.158T

Vs.

The top 5 traditional companies from all the other industries combined are worth only $1.542T

Net it out:

The largest representative IT companies are worth $616B or 40% more than the other major companies combined.

(In fact, just the top 3 IT companies at $1.56T are worth more than the top 5 other companies at $1.542T.) 

Sure IT growth has been on a tear for the last couple of decades and we love everything futuristic it brings us. 

But isn't it a little scary to think that the companies that meet all our other needs from food, clothing, shelter, medicine, transportation, energy, finance, retail, etc. isn't worth more to us than just the IT alone. 

Perhaps adding it up from a value perspective just doesn't add up in a real life perspective. 

I love technology and want more and more of it, but man does not live by technology alone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 26, 2013

Social Networks--Online and At The Beach

There was a comical editorial in the Wall Street Journal about Social Networks. 

This guy, Farhad Manjoo, is addicted to Twitter. 

He writes: "I check it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and about a billion times in between."

And he admits he doesn't understand his own addiction: "I've never been able to explain what I get out of Twitter, or exactly why I find it so enthralling."

Manjoo is afraid of what an IPO will do to Twitter--will they have to advertise more, become more like Facebook, favor pictures over text, lose it's strength in the area of breaking news--hopefully, he is referring to more than what he ate for breakfast!

People are spending inordinate amounts of time on social media--friending and following people they don't even know!

Perhaps, it's the fantasy--compliments of virtual reality on the Internet--of being associate--"friends" or "connected--with the rich, famous, powerful, and wise or with the kids who would beat us up in the schoolyard only years earlier. 

Online--we're all sort of friends, aren't we? 

Our avatars or online profiles don't differentiate much between those we really like or not--we are free to pretty much follow anyone, anytime--unless they block you because you are annoying!

Virtual reality in social media--perhaps the great equalizer--the freedom fighters in the Middle East can post videos of the Sarin attacks as easily as the President can post his inaugural message. 

The material is there and free for the ingest by everyone.

Social media has a purpose in bringing us together and spreading the word, videos, and pictures of the times--it make the big world smaller for us to get our arms around. 

Then again, a social network of a few close family members or friends on the beach--also good, maybe better for the soul. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 25, 2013

PLS DNT STP


I first saw an advertisement for this music group near George Washington University. 

I was taken by their name: PLS DNT STP (i.e. Please Don't Stop).

Pretty smart!

I checked out one of their music videos online and asked my wife to listen as well. 

As it started, she goes, this is the type of thing that can give people with epilepsy a seizure.

Yes, she was joking, I think. 

But then she said she liked it and to post it to her Facebook, which I dutifully did. 

The music is a little young, but even we can appreciate the high energy and cool factor. 

I wrote on my wife's Facebook wall, "You're Bad!" ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 9, 2013

Tweet On, Dead Or Alive


So recently, I saw the movie Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise who plays a wealthy playboy who has everything, but has a horrible disfiguring accident as a result of a disgruntled girlfriend, and Cruise ends up in despair, overdosing, and ultimately in cryonic suspension--but with the added package of being in a lucid dream while in frozen suspension for 150 years. 

The idea of somehow being placed in suspended animation after death in the hope of eventually being brought back to life with technologies in the future has been an interest of many who naturally seek immortality. 

A company called Alcor Life Extension, not only researches cryonics, but also actually performs it and has over 100 patients preserved and frozen in liquid nitrogen (as well as over 30 pets). 
Understanding the great desire for people to somehow defeat death, I was not completely surprised to read about LivesOn in the New York Times (2, March 2013), which is an algorithm being developed to continue Tweeting even after you are dead!

You can sign up at the website to join their beta trials--no, you don't have to be dead yet!

But LivesOn will start learning what and how you normally Tweet and through artificial intelligence will start to tweet on its own for you and you can give it feedback to refine its performance. 

It's slogan of "When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting," seems more than a little crude. 

Given all the distress about accessing a person's social media account after they die to learn more about them, their friends, perhaps the circumstances of their death, or even to post a closing to account--the legal and policy issues are still being worked out in terms of privacy and the user agreements for the sites. 

With artificial intelligence now being able to, in a sense, take over for you and continue your posts even when you are dead, this practically begs the question of who you are and what makes you distinct from a computer that can mimic you to the world?  

Can a computer or robot one day be able to assume your identity? How difficult would it really be? Would anyone even know the difference?  And would they care?  Are we all just patterns of thoughts and behaviors that can be predicted and mimicked, and if so what are we really? ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Anders Sandberg)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 15, 2013

Challenging The Dunbar 150


Today, Facebook announced it's new search tool called Graph Search for locating information on people, places, interests, photos, music, restaurants, and more. 

Graph Search is still in beta, so you have to sign up in Facebook to get on the waiting list to use it. 

But Facebook is throwing down the gauntlet to Google by using natural language queries to search by just asking the question in plain language like: "my friends that like Rocky" and up comes those smart ladies and gents. 

But Graph Search is not just a challenge to Google, but to other social media tools and recommendation engines like Yelp and Foursquare, and even LinkedIn, which is now widely used for corporate recruiting. 

Graph Search uses the Bing search engine and it's secret sauce according to CNN is that is culls information from over 1 billion Facebook accounts, 24 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections--so there is an enormous and growing database to pull from. 

So while the average Facebook user has about 190 connections, some people have as many as 5,000 and like the now antiquated business card file or Rolodex, all the people in your social network can provide important opportunities to learn and share. And while in the aggregate six degrees of separation, none of us are too far removed from everyone else anyway, we can still only Graph Search people and content in our network.

Interestingly enough, while Facebook rolls out Graph Search to try to capitalize on its treasure trove personal data and seemingly infinite connections, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10 January 2013) ran an article called "The Dunbar Number" about how the human brain can only handle up to "150 meaningful relationships."

Whether hunter-gather clans, military units, corporate divisions, or an individual's network of family, friends, and colleagues--our brain "has limits" and 150 is it when it comes to substantial real world or virtual relationships--our brains have to process all the facets involved in social interactions from working together against outside "predators" to guarding against "bullies and cheats" from within the network. 

According to Dunbar, digital technologies like the Internet and social media, while enabling people to grow their virtual Rolodex, does not really increase our social relationships in the real meaning of the word. 

So with Graph Search, while you can mine your network for great talent, interesting places to visit, or restaurants to eat at, you are still fundamentally interacting with your core 150 when it comes to sharing the joys and challenges of everyday life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 11, 2012

Montel Williams' EA Wisdom

Amazed to see this posting on Facebook by Montel Williams.

This hits the bulls eye with what enterprise architecture--both organizationally and personally--is all about. 

Love it, and thank you for sharing this Montel! 

(Source Photo: Facebook December 11, 2012)

Share/Save/Bookmark

July 29, 2012

G-d Doesn't Have a Blackberry

I saw this lovely and clever poem on Facebook posted by Yona Lunger, I assume a relative of the 11 year old girl who wrote this.

"Hashem" is the Jewish name for G-d. 

And he is truly the center of our real and virtual worlds.

None of it would exist without him.

G-d keeps us all moving forward technologically.

He is the greatest innovator of them all. 

Thank you G-d!

(Source Poem--Chana Pessy Lunger)

Share/Save/Bookmark

June 8, 2012

Video Chat TMI


This is a new video chat service from Airtime and the music and video make it look pretty good, but I have my sincere reservations. 

Airtime connects as an app from Facebook and according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11-17 June 2012), "users can then talk to their Facebook friends, search for someone with similar interests, or just hit the 'next' button to find a random chat partner."

While, I find the idea of randomly engaging online with someone intriguing, I also more find it more than a little scary not knowing who they really are--there are plenty of fraudsters, charlatans, and perverts out there that you would not want to be talking to. 

The not so funny thing is that the precursor to Airtime called Chatroulette--was truly, as the name implies, a gamble and many times a bad one at that, with some unscrupulous users availing themselves of the video to expose themselves online. 

Frankly, it seems that many people may be using these applications more as swingers to hook up, have a fling, and engage in flirtatious or even sexual behavior than for developing any sort of real meaningful relationships. 

Furthermore with Airtime, based I assume on people's Facebook profiles, "as two users converse, Airtime suggests interests and common friends they may have in common"--with these actually popping up on your screen!

Whatever happened to any sort of privacy and discretion in sharing and letting conversations and relationships evolve naturally and over time between people rather than forced and in your face!

To me even the concept of having to use video when chatting is over-rated! I think most people do not feel all that comfortable in front of the camera and are actually more at ease talking without being viewed every moment through a lens.  

I have seen cameras deployed for desktop computers that were hardly ever used. And even with Apple's Facetime application built right into the iPhone, I rarely ever see anyone actually using this--do you? 

I think this is a clear lesson with technology that just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should. 

We need to take into account people feelings and their comfort zone, especially when it comes to privacy, and not just put them in front of every camera and float their personal interests and friends randomly or regularly. 

"Discretion is the better part of valor" and it's time to appreciate technology and social media companies and applications that recognize this and roll out services that are respectful of people privacy, security, and right to have some control over their lives.

Share/Save/Bookmark

May 13, 2012

Facebook IPO--Love It, But Leave It

With the Facebook IPO scheduled for this week, valuing the company at as much as $96 billion, many investors according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11 May 2012) see this as overvalued.

Facebook will be the largest Internet IPO in history, and would be about 4 times as much as Google was valued at its IPO at $23 billion in 2003.

Further, Facebook could be valued at offering at 99 times earnings.

This is more than the price earnings ratio of 99% of companies in the S&P Index, yet even with some estimating sales of $6.1 billion this year, Facebook would only rank about 400 in the S&P 500.

True Facebook has amassed an incredible 900 million users, but the company's revenue growth has slowed for the 3rd year in a row.

Another article in BusinessWeek (10 May 2012) describes a new social networking contender called Diaspora.

Unlike Google+ which is predominantly a Facebook copycat, Diaspora is bringing something new and major to the table--they are addressing the privacy issues that Facebook has not.

Diaspora is a distributed (or federated) social network, unlike Facebook which is centralized--in other words, Diaspora allows you to host your own data wherever you want (even in the cloud).

Each of these independently owned Diaspora instances or "pods" (dispersed like in the Diaspora) make up a true social "network"--interconnected and interoperable computing devices.

With Diaspora, you own your own data and can maintain its privacy (share, delete, and do what you want with your information), unlike with Facebook where you essentially give up rights to your data and it can and is used by Facebook for commercial use--for them to make money off of your personal/private information.

When it comes to personal property, we have a strong sense of ownership in our society and are keen on protecting these ownership rights, but somehow with our personal information and privacy, when it comes to social networking, we have sold ourselves out for a mere user account.

As loss of personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property, identity theft, and other serious computer crimes continues to grow and cost us our money, time, and even our very selves in some respects, alternatives to the Facebook model, like Diaspora, will become more and more appealing.

So with social networks like Facebook--it is a case of love it, but leave it!

Love social networking--especially when privacy is built in--and others don't have rights to what you post.

But leave it--when they are asking for your investment dollar (i.e. IPO) that could be better spent on a product with a business model that is actually sustainable over the long term.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Allan Cleaver)

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 15, 2012

Beating Social Media Isolation

There is a debate called the "Internet Paradox" about whether social media is actually connecting us or making us more feel more isolated.  

I think it is actually a bit of both as we are connected to more people with time and space virtually no impediment any longer; however, those connections are often more shallow and less fulfilling.

There is an important article in The Atlantic (May 2012) called "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" that lends tremendous perspective on information technology, social media and our relationships.
The premise is that "for all this [new] connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier."

The article is very absolute that despite all the technology and communication at our fingertips, we are experiencing unbelievable loneliness that is making people miserable, and the author calls out our almost incessant feelings of unprecedented alienation, an epidemic of loneliness, and social disintegration.

Of course, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that almost everyone can share, but there are also numerous studies supporting this, including: 

1) Study on Confidants (2004)--showed that our average number of confidants shrunk by almost 50% from approximately 3 people in 1985 to 2 people in 2004; moreover, in 1985 only 10% of Americans said they had no one to talk to, but this number jumped 1.5 times to 25% by 2004. 

2) AARP Study (2010)--that showed that the percentage of adults over 45 that were chronically lonely had almost doubled from 20% in 2000 to 35% in 2010.

Some important takeaways from the research:

- Married people are less lonely than singles, if their spouses are confidants.

- "Active believers" in G-d were less lonely, but not for those "with mere belief in G-d."

- People are going to mental professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and counselors) as "replacement confidants." 

- Loneliness is "extremely bad for your health."

- Our appetite for independence, self-reliance, self-determination, and individualism can lead to the very loneliness that can makes people miserable. 

- Using social media, we are compelled to assert our constant happiness and curate our exhibitionism of the self--"we are imprison[ed] in the business of self-presenting."

- Technology tools can lead to more integration or more isolation, depending on what we do with them--do we practice "passive consumption and broadcasting" or do we cultivate deeper personal interactions from our social networks?

Personally, I like social media and find it an important tool to connect, build and maintain relationships, share, and also relax and have fun online. 

But I realize that technology is not a substitute for other forms of human interaction that can go much deeper such as when looking into someone's eyes or holding their hand, sharing life events, laughing and crying together, and confiding in each other.

In January 2011, CNBC ran a special called "The Facebook Obsession," the name of which represents the almost 1 billion people globally that use it. To me though, the real Facebook obsession is how preoccupied people get with it, practically forgetting that virtual reality, online, is not the same as physical, emotional, and spiritual reality that we experience offline.

At times, offline, real-world relationships can be particularly tough--challenging and painful to work out our differences--but also where we find some of the deepest meaning of anything we can do in this life. 

Facebook and other social media's biggest challenge is to break the trend of isolation that people are feeling and make the experience one that is truly satisfying and can be taken to many different levels online and off--so that we do not end up a society of social media zombies dying of loneliness. 

Social media companies can do this not just for altruistic reasons, but because if they offer a more integrated solution for relationships, they will also be more profitable in the end. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to h.koppdelaney)

Share/Save/Bookmark

February 3, 2012

Online Presence, Your Calling Card

In the age when Facebook has surpassed 800 million users, I still often hear people say that they don't like to join social networks or put any information about themselves on the Internet. 

Whether or not their apprehensions about their privacy being compromised is justified or whether they feel that "it's simply a waste of time" or that they "just don't get it," the impetus for us to all establish and nurture our online presence is getting more important than ever. 

In the competition for the best jobs, schools, even mates, and other opportunities, our online credentials are becoming key.

We've heard previously about jobs checking candidates backgrounds on the Internet and even bypassing candidates or even firing employees for their activities online.  

Numerous examples of people badmouthing their companies or bosses have been profiled in the media and even some politicians have been forced out of office--remember "Weinergate" not too long ago?

Now, not only can negative activities online get you in trouble, but positive presence and contributions can get you ahead.

The Wall Street Journal (24 January 2012) reports in an article titled No More Resumes, Say Some Firms that companies are not only checking up on people online, but they are actually asking "applicants to send links representing their web presence" in lieu of resumes altogether. 

What are they looking for:

- Twitter Accounts
- Blogs
- Short Videos
- Online Surveys/Challenges


The idea is that you can learn a lot more about someone--how they think and what they are like--from their history online, then from a resume snapshot.

Of course, many companies still rely on the resume to screen applicants, but even then LinkedIn with over 135 million members is sometimes the first stop for recruiters looking for applicants.

Is everything you do and say online appropriate or "fair game" for people screening or is this going over some sacred line that says that we all have professional lives and personal lives and what we do "when we're off the clock" (as long as your not breaking any laws or doing something unethical) is no one's darn business.  

The problem is that when you post something online--publicly--for the world to see, can you really blame someone for looking?  

In the end, we have to be responsible for what we disclose about ourselves and demonstrate prudence, maturity, respect, and diplomacy, perhaps that itself is a valid area for others to take into account when they are making judgments about us. 

When it comes to children--parents-beware; the Internet has a long memory and Facebook now has a "timeline", so don't assume everyone will be as understanding or forgiving for "letting kids be kids."

One last thought, even if we are responsible online, what happens when others such as hackers, identity thieves, slanderers, those with grudges, and others--mess with your online identity--can you ever really be secure? 

Being online is no longer an option, but it is certainly a double-edged sword. 

(Source Photo: here; Image credit to L Hollis Photography)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 28, 2012

Hello From Moon Colony

What can be more thrilling than the promise of space exploration and the virtually limitless possibilities that it holds. 

Since the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, the first manned mission to land on the moon, we have dreamed of the next step in terms of an actual colony of humans living there. 

In 1975, the science fiction TV show Space: 1999, that many of you may still remember, envisioned what this space colony could look like (until a nuclear mishap sends the colony hurling through space). 

From 1984, you can see attached, a NASA's artist rendering of a colonized moon along with astronauts and lunar rover.

Now in 2012, with the presidential campaigning in full swing, we are hearing the promise of such a manned lunar colony once again and it is still just as exciting as ever.

One candidate, called for the lunar colony to be bustling with commercial activity by 2020--wouldn't that be amazing!

While it was funny when this candidate said that once the colony reached 13,000 American inhabitants, they can petition to become a state, it also somehow brought it into a new perspective and made it so real--like could this really happen one day? 

The idea of expanding beyond our limits here on Earth, making new discoveries, tapping into potential new resources, and harnessing ever greater innovation from such exploration can bring hope of a better, brighter tomorrow to all. 

Note to self: must haves for a lunar colony--aside from a place of worship, a great fitness center and some nice restaurants, we'll need the Internet, iPhone, Netflix, and Xbox (and Facebook would be a plus) ;-)

(Source Photo: here)


Share/Save/Bookmark

August 4, 2011

Google+ And A History of Social Media

Ten_commandments

Bloomberg Business (25-31 July 2011) tells in biblical terms the history of social media leading up to the recent release of Google+:

"In the beginning, there was Friendster; which captivated the web'ites before it was smitten by slow servers and exiled to the Far East. And then a man called Hoffman begat LinkedIn, saying "This name shall comfort professionals who want to post their resumes online," and Wall Street did idolize it. And then Myspace lived for two thousand and five hundred days and worshipped flashy ads and was subsumed by News Corp., which the L-rd hath cursed. And Facebook emerged from the land of Harvard and forsook the flashy ads for smaller ones and welcomes vast multitudes of the peoples of the world. And it was good."

With the "genesis" of Google+, there is now a new contender in virtual land with a way to share posts, pictures, videos, etc. with limited groups--or circles of friends--and an advance in privacy features has been made.

According to the article, even Mark Zuckerberg and some 60 other Facebook employees have signed up for Google+.

With all this confusion brewing in social media land, one wonders exactly why Randi Zuckerberg (Mark's sister) recently headed for the exits--a better offer from Google? :-)

Google+ has many nice features, especially in terms of integration with everything else Google. On one hand, this is a plus in terms of potential simplicity and user-centricity, but on the other hand it can be more than a little obtrusive and scary as it can \link and share everything from from your profile, contacts, pictures (Picasa), videos (YouTube), voice calls (Google Voice), geolocation (Google Maps), Internet searches, and more.

Google owns a lot of Internet properties and this enables them to bundle solutions for the end-user. The question to me is will something as basic as Circles for grouping friends really help keep what's private, private.

It seems like we are putting a lot of information eggs in the Google basket, and while they seem to have been a force for good so far, we need to ensure that remains the case and that our privacy is held sacred.

(Source Photo, With All Due Respect To G-d: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark

July 31, 2011

Technology Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is famous for their program to help people attain and maintain sobriety.
With the latest addiction being everything technology, there is now a movement toward "technology detox" or the AA equivalent, Technology Anonymous.
I remember reading months ago about people so addicted to the Internet and online video games that they literally had to be institutionalized to get them to eat, sleep, and return to some sort of normal life again.
Apparently, technology taken to the extreme can be no less an addiction than smoking, drinking, of fooling around.
And there is even a Facebook page for Internet and Technology Addiction Anonymous (ITAA).
I've recently even heard of challenges for people to turn off their technology for even 24 hours; apparently this is a tough thing even for just that one day--wonder if you can do it?
The Wall Street Journal (5 July 2011) reported on someone who "signed up for a special [vacation] package called "digital detox," [that] promised a 15% discount if you agree to leave your digital devices behind or surrender them at check in."
The message is clear that people "need a push to take a break from their screens."
Here are brief some statistics from the WSJ on technology addiction even while on vacation:
- 79% expect to remain connected for all or some of the time on their next vacation.
- 68% (up from 58% in 2010) say they will check email while on vacation--daily or more frequently--for work.
- 33% admitted to hiding from friends and family to check email on vacation.
- Also, 33% check email on vacation while engaged in fast-paced activities such as skiing, biking, and horseback riding.
For people routinely checking email as many as 50-100 times a day, going on vacation and leaving technology behind can be a real shock to our social computing systems. Should I even mention the possibility of not logging unto Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flikr, etc. I see people convulsing and going into withdrawal just at the thought.
So what is this technology addiction we are all on? There's no nicotine or alcohol or testosterone involved (except in some extreme video games, maybe).
Incredibly, for many technology is the first thing we check in the morning and last before we close our eyes at night.
It even lays on the night table right next to us--our spouse on one side and our smartphone on the other. Which do you cuddle with more?
It's scary--technology is an addiction that is not physical, but rather emotional.
It is the thrill of who is calling, emailing, texting, friending, or following us and what opportunities will it bring.
Like Vegas or a lottery ticket...technology holds for us the possibility of love, friendships, sexual encounters, new job opportunities, fame, fortune, travel, and so on.
There is no limit, because technology is global and unbridled and so is our ambition, desires, hopes, and even some greed.
(Source Photo: here)

Share/Save/Bookmark