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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Learning the web: Lisa Williams’ guide for journos, Parts 1, 2, and 3

For at least a decade, young guys in black shirts and nose rings have been telling managers, "No, the software won't let you do that." And the managers are stopped.

Twelve years ago, I did a presentation, "How To Build Your First Website In Two Hours Or Less" for the Washington Chapter of the The Association of Information Technology Professionals, which resulted in a dozen new sites at the next meeting from managers of IT organizations.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with Tony Byrne of CMSWatch. Best thing he said was, "Don't adopt software that is too complex for you to maintain."

For over a year, I have been saying we are coming to a time when everyone should maintain their own website, for accuracy and timeliness. I remember when executives hired graphic artists to do their slides (which came in a round carousel) until software that allowed self made slides changed that process. We are at that point with websites now.

Now Lisa Williams has three excellent posts for journalists to take control of their web presence. And you don't have to be a journalist to benefit from her recommendations.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Popular Culture vs Internet Culture

Ben Huh has a post on Paid Content that begins defining Popular Culture and Internet Culture.

Popular Culture comes from the media barons who think they should tell the audience what to think, Internet Culture is bottom up, fools like me. As the number of people who stumble into Internet Culture increases, the number of offerings will swamp the top down offerings of the broadcasters and publishers.

As each side spins the quality of "their" offerings, I am reminded of Theodore Sturgeon's Law, "90% of everything is crud."

Last October, Google invited Ben Huh to speak on copyright in Washington, and he was elegant. In defining Popular Culture and Internet Culture so the differences are sharply drawn, Ben is crisp and precise.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dan Pink As You've Never Seen Him Before!

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has a series called Animate using video communication tools to expand message.

Thanks to Zach Yates for finding this video.

Here is Dan Pink on Motivation in a new type of presentation:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Internet Skills

Last week, I heard about another teacher telling students their papers would be discarded if they used Wikipedia.

Dana wrote about the teacher in Texas confiscating open source software CDs since they were “stolen” and “unlicensed.”

Journalists dismiss bloggers for lack of “professionalism.”

People complain about not being able to trust unrecognized sources of information and then complain about the egregious errors of the “real” news sources.

Here’s the deal:

The internet gives us incredible access to a lot more information than we grew up with. The key internet skill is not finding the information, but learning how to tell the good from the bad.

What if that student who is not allowed to use the Wikipedia (that her teacher doesn’t understand) had to build and curate a Wikipedia entry instead of a term paper? She would get feedback from thousands of interested scholars, instead of depending on one lost academic.

What can you share that have you learned about finding the good stuff?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We have too many problem definers, we need solution builders

Quote attributed to Bill Van Dyke.

Once upon a time, I was watching an internet industry thought leader. He had a real skill describing a problem, and then giving it a memorable name. He didn’t seem to care if they were real problems. I hadn’t seen them in the wild. He was building his world.

The next guy up was running a global web operation for a large corporation. He didn’t have any classy names or theoretical problems. He kept saying, “when we ran into this problem, we did this.” And he was logical, believable, and smart as hell.

A questioner was confused that his solutions certainly worked on big operations, but she also thought they would work for her small company. He allowed as how he thought it was the quality of the solution, not the size of the problem that allowed it to scale.

Score One.

Then he was talking about best practices. For the first time, I realized that the trick is having best practices that make so much sense, your people are lining up to implement them.

Score Two.

Most of the best practices I have seen called for an immediate performance decrease and loss of viability. Calling them “Best Practices” was supposed to make them different.

“We have unlimited problem definers, we need solution builders” I think there is something to that.

What can you add to help this along?

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