Tag Archive | ipad

BWE10 closing: two observations

Couple of things I noticed after three days of bloggerific seminar sessions.

One, I need an iPad. Yes, I did have one for a couple of weeks before I got the cease-and-desist from work—not cool to invest in productivity tools, it seems. It’s a security risk, they say. But seriously, I’m going to need one. I’ll ask the bosses.

While we, the human race, have gotten along swimmingly for centuries using paper and ink, I have drawn the line in the sand and declared scribbling notes during seminars is no longer adequate. Hear that, nature? Josh says the cool kids on the planet need to move on.

For me, the sexy advantage to an iPad-like device is how one person can simultaneously and easily hop-scotch from listening, browsing and note-taking with just a few flicks of his/her type-y fingers. Hear a mention, look up the website, type out a note, send a tweet. Boom. Done.

I was able to keep up with my notepad, sure, but now I have 40-50 pages of notes to work through. Ugh! With something like an iPad, I could have taken notes on the cloud, parceled out bits for tweets and moved on to cocktail hour. Priorities, people!

The other bitingly sweet feature about iPad is the portability. Macbooks and the MBAir used to be the bizomb. But nowadays, any clamshell is cumbersome. I need something I can ninja flip around in mid conversation once I admit the person talking is worth remembering. I don’t want to have to balance my coffee, disposition and laptop in mid hallway.

The second thing I noticed during BlogWorld was how much I still dislike self promotion. Maybe I should say shameless self promotion. Everybody has to self promote, sure. It’s as basic as birds puffing themselves up for potential mates and all that crap.

What I really dislike, though, is session hijacking. It’s like thread hijacking, but in person. You know…topic is one thing, panel is discussing it…the floor is open for “questions” and people start giving GD soliloquies about their business.

It’s ridiculous. I’ll say to those out there who do this sort of thing what my commanders told me: if you’re not at the adult table, you don’t get to talk. In the service, as a lowly-ranked peon, if I wasn’t spoken to about a specific topic, I shut my mouth. This includes topic shifts…like “Do you have a question?” “No, but let me show you a cool thing I learned in Boy Scouts.”

Yes, no, we’re good. Thanks.

Teaching soldiers that they aren’t the center of the universe is standard practice pretty early on in military careers. Maybe I take that for granted. I’m of the persuasion that people sometimes need a kick in the shins to remind them the whole world doesn’t bend to their will. Things will go on if they don’t scratch that itch, gawk at that passing cute something-something, or indulge in any of the 1,000 impulses that come to them every second. It’s why we military guys stand guard over buckets of water on “fire guard” or do any of the other asinine things that siphon hours of life—the whole of the group is bolstered by each of us denying ourselves now and then for the benefit of others.

This includes shutting mouths when others are talking and NOT hijacking panel discussions.

I have no illusions, I’m not THAT special. If I’m doing something that is astronomically awesome, stuff has a tendency to get noticed as I go about my NORMAL ROUTINES. I call it God’s grace.

But what are those normal routines?:

1) Don’t be a dick.

2) Listen.

3) Encourage others.

The end.


Three parts. Not musical, though.

Part 1: The Absence

Admittedly I had blogs I wrote in my head during these last few weeks. Well, okay, not “written” but had the gist of them hammered out during the work day. I’d get home, often exhausted, and would look at the blank web browser. I’d think, “Should I go to the blog and hack out a few paragraphs?” “Naw,” I’d then think, “I don’t want to get into it.”

“It” being talking about life. “It” being talking about work. There are those from work who read this here blog in ones and twos, to be sure. Not that I had anything bad to say about people—it doesn’t get a person anywhere to bash people outright, especially from under the skirt of the Internet (yes, she’s a lady and she’s sexeh). It’s just the whole conundrum about writing about work. Should I? What else should I write about, then? Work  has kind of been most of my life. I don’t have any exciting hobbies. I can only try to play softball (note to self, write post about softball).

What else is there to write about other than work? Social media theory? Ha! I hardly get any chance to read, let alone comment on that sort of stuff now that I’m in corporate America. There’s too many meetings to go to. And, honestly, when I get home, logging in to Google Reader and seeing the 1,200,000+ unread items is depressing. I’ve heard others talk about that. It’s one of those features I think actually dissuades people from using Google Reader. Maybe I should write a note. Like they could flip the feature around and talk about how the two posts I read today was a full 100 percent more (ZOMG w/ exclamation point) than the previous day’s reading. That sort of thing might get me out of bed in the morning in the hopes of getting around to Google Reader right before I get back into bed.

So all that to say, by the time a few days got between me and blogging, the gap sort of fed itself. It was like seeing how long it took for a flickering candle to eventually sputter out, or a car to run out of gas. Ok I don’t do that. Maybe not that example. Or it was like seeing the sun fully slip under the horizon. Better, yes. I watched it, saw the days compound and sort of just let things go.

Pretty bad of me, right? Well, that’s the thing about the Internets, people are jerks.

Part 2: The iPad

So, as an impulse, I bought an iPad a couple of weeks back. Don’t think I did it to prove I was alive or whatever shopaholics claim is the muse for their condition. I just sort of decided to buy one. For me, the build-up was a two day process. I heard how frikkin’ amazing the damn things were from clergy, coworkers and nature itself (Dreamed about an otter using an iPad. That was my sign. Otters, dude. Yeah.). I arrived at work the next day, decided to get one and bought one that evening.

Didn’t make a big production out of it. I didn’t make an announcement. Didn’t update my Facebook status. Didn’t see the need to really call it out. I guess part of that was my embarrassment at claiming I would not get one—that I already had a Kindle, a laptop and a will to live, so an iPad just didn’t do anything for me. And yet, maybe I needed a new type of will to live. Maybe I needed a media consumption “will to live”. I heard an iPad would reinvigorate my love for interacting with rich content—which itself sounds both intriguing and revolting in a “is this where I am in life?” sort of way.

Now, for my remaining two readers’ (hi Mom, Dad!) benefit, iPads are a pretty big deal where I work. We are a company that is absolutely infatuated with hip buzzwords like “innovation”, “synergy”, “thought leaders”. And our hearts are in the right place, but sometimes it’s a bit much. We develop apps for iPhone and iPad like it’s our job…which it is, but regardless, our company has an almost unhealthy love and indirect endorsement for Apple products. iPhones and iPads are handed out to leadership and select managers/leaders like candy. Scores of directors, VPs, AVPs, SVPs, EMGs, DSKWEs, EWKWOIJGDOSDIs and whatever else walk around the building with their issued iPhones, iPads and wax eloquent on how their lives have morphed into living technological haiku, all because of the tech-kensei status bequeathed to them from the very POSSESSION of such implements of awesomeness. The ‘tic tic tic tic’ of iPad keystrokes is a five point palm exploding heart technique on my soul!

So of course I wanted one! JEEEZ!

And it is pretty cool, except for the part where I may not be allowed to use it at work. We’re reeeeeeeeeally sensitive about keeping all corporate things confidential. Not to be confused with military intelligence classification. I have a government clearance. That’s easy breezy. They just hand those out. Doesn’t count. Our policies are moar hardcorez! Nothing can be trusted!

So I may be asked to not ever bring in my personal iPad to work at some point. Which is a bummer, since all the cool leaders and managers and anyone worth a damn have theirs to get ahead in life. The plebes fail.

Part 3: The End

Of the post. Ah, that was cheap, wasn’t it? Okay, scratch that.

New Part 3: The Beginning

As you may or may not know (again, to my readership…Mom, Dad), I was hired at my current gig to be the chief blogger, senior community manager and corporate conversationalist. Fancy words for “Guy who writes, trains and empowers others to participate in social media.” Dunno if all that will come to pass. There’s an awful lot of day-to-day grind stuff that needs doing. And new stuff shows up every day—all that “life” and “news” stuff that bubbles up. So, there’s no real way to get on top of it.

There is hope, though.

There’s an unfilled position for someone to be the “communities and collaboration” leader…which, to those paying attention, sounded exactly like the job I was hired to do. This one will get paid a lot more money, though, so I’m hoping maybe I’ll be under that person? Or maybe I’ll be reassigned? Regardless, one way or the other, I won’t have to fret about not doing the job, because I’ll either be doing it for the person it charge of it or letting someone else do it. There is a third option, to be revealed by God’s providence, but those are the cards I have at the moment. Pocket threes and someone raised before the river. Jerks.

And, as a parting shot, please don’t take the cynicism for unhappiness. That’s just my shtick. I’m cool with whatev. I’m happy not babysitting troops—not worrying they’ll get swindled at pay-day loan spots, not get tossed in the slammer, not piss hot, not lose accountable equipment. I do miss the manager/leader stuff sometimes, and look forward to the day when I can be a leader in the normal world and not have to counsel someone for being the “phantom pooper.” But for the moment, I’m fine with life sans fecal crises.


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