Interesting macro data on the tech world.
Home Cafe And Market Place, a set on Flickr.
Quite simply the best cafe in Bowling Green. Their sandwiches are wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and try a pizza. The Sunday brunch was excellent as well.
Move over Flipboard, there is new personalized digital magazine in town – Zite. What makes it so different? Well, much like Pandora, Netflix and Amazon, Zite uses your previous actions or viewing habits, as well as social network activity, as an indicator of what you will most likely want to see in the future. And then it brings you that content. You can give a thumbs up or down on specific content to help further refine the content you are delivered. In a world of information overload this could be a huge time saver.
Once you install the app, you can connect it to your Twitter and Google reader account to get things going. This is not a requirement however. After that, you are presented with a taxonomy of information you can select from to further refine the kinds of articles you will have in your personalized magazine. Assuming the system actually learns as I use it, it should be a huge step in the right direction.
Essential Drupal 6 Modules
Top Usability Drupal Modules
Top Marketing Related Drupal Modules
Top Social Modules for Druple
Top Drupal Admin Modules
Arno Ghelfi for Bloomburb Business week published a visualization this week breaking down current U.S. social media internet usage by activity and age. From top to bottom are the more active users to the more passive. Age groups run left to right. I particularly like the categories of social media users not only because it seems to be logical breakdown but because it resonates with me relative to my own internet usage. Though I really think that Boomers and Seniors are more active in social media than this report is giving them credit for. I’d actually like to see the data and review the methodology by which it was collected. Nevertheless it is an excellent visualization.
Productivity and Project Management
You must watch this to the end to get the point.
Below is a example of a website service for data visualization offered by a company called Tableau Public. This particular visualization is from Stephen McDaniel of Freakalytics and demonstrates how to display complex relationships between multiple metrics by looking at the stock market patterns relative to economic conditions from 1901-2008.
A couple years ago I read a great book, from the New York Times Best Seller list, called “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni“. Lencioni uses a fictional setting to discuss very real issues that anybody in Middle and Upper management would immediately recognize assuming they had any degree of perception during a typical staff or team meeting. The issues are not clear cut (again realistic) and can easily favor one function or department over another. The team leader patiently takes them through a team building process.
In this fable Kathryn Petersen has been tapped as the new CEO of DecisionTech, Inc. This start-up company is well funded and well staffed with quality personnel, but for the past two years has been unable to produce meaningful results. Sound familiar? As if that task wasn’t daunting enough, Kathryn has to deal with the complexity of working directly with the former CEO. He is now heading up business development and is an integral member of her team. I’m sure you have similar dynamics going on at your level of management don’t you?
At the core of the book is a model related to creating high functioning teams. The pyramid below summarizes the 5 key areas that you need to address starting at the bottom and over time, working your way up in order to build a high functioning project or management team.
Dysfunction 1: Absence of Trust
These quotes of Kathryn’s, the CEO, seemed to clearly define this dysfunction:
Dysfunction 2: Fear of Conflict
“If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, idealogical conflict.” Failure to do so results in:
Dysfunction 3: Lack of Commitment
Essentially this is failure to buy in to decisions.
Dysfunction 4: Avoidance of Accountability
The pyramid continues to build on itself. There must be commitment before there can be accountability.
Dysfunction 5: Inattention to Results
“Our job is to make the results that we need to achieve so clear to everyone in this room that no one would even consider doing something purely to enhance his or her individual status or ego. Because that would diminish our ability to achieve our collective goals. We would all lose.”
If there is going to be ego, it should be collective ego that is greater than the individual egos. Similarly, people are going to look out for their own interests. However, the team’s interests (results) should be more important than individual interests.
Id’ recommed this book to any senior leader or person responsible for a group of people tasked with meeting a common set of goals. It doesn’t matter if you believe the group is currently dysfunctional or not, it would help you take that group to the next level either way.
In my Leadership MBA class we have been studying many of the issues put forward by the Global Strategy Institute. In particular I liked this visualization or mapping of the future that they presented. Click on any node on the map to read more information about a particular event that the future has in store.
The CSIS Global Strategy Institute is dedicated to promoting long-range thinking about the big global issues that loom before us. To this end, they created a “map of the future” for the years 2008 through 2012. Public and private sector leaders across the country (and the globe) will have to contend with certain inevitable events, unstoppable trends, and predictable developments over the next four to five years. GSIS’s goal is to paint a picture of what the landscape will look like and to identify the major signposts we can anticipate. They have grouped these coming events into seven categories: science and technology; politics; major conferences; forecasts; construction; sporting and culture; and important dates.
Today’s leaders function in an environment marked by rapid change, ever higher levels of complexity, and ever shorter decision time frames. This map is the CSIS Global Strategy Institute’s modest attempt to help us all elevate our thinking beyond today’s headlines and to anticipate the competing obstacles and opportunities we can expect to navigate in the future. As we retreat to higher ground, the hope that we gain clarity and a sense of direction for the years ahead.
Central Desktop 2.0 adds great new features like:
To see all the new features go here:
Rumor is that Apple will be releasing the iTablet perhaps in March – announcement should be in late January and that they will start around $1000 price point according to Techcrunch. I can hardly wait to see it. Below is a video that shows one of the things Apple could do with such a device besides making the Kindle and Nook look like a pager by comparison. Given Apple’s roots in education and their recent foray with higher ed. podcasts, I’d say textbooks on the iTablet will be a VERY real possibility.
And here I thought the macbook air was the only computer capable of fitting into an envelope. Behold an alternative for those so stuck in the MS World they could not think of making the switch . . . . Continue reading »
Feedburner just announced the ability to integrate Google AdSense into your Feedburner blog emails, RSS, etc . . . you just login and go to the “monitize” tab.
Chad can you test this out with our blog and make sure we know how to do it. We definitely need this on the rv.net bog.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
The #1 thing you can do to help ensure that you get more done is to put your goals on paper. Seriously, only 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. When you compare these folks to their equally educated peers they accomplish 5 to 10 times more. Do you know what your goals are? Figure them out and try and get as much clarity around them as you can. Write them down, share them with others, etc . . .
I belong to a group in Nashville called Vistage and they have a “Probability of Completing a Goal” model they share with people to help them understand how important it is to write down your goals, share them and meet with someone to review them on an ongoing basis.
Brian Tracy, in “Eat that Frog” suggests the following seven steps for dramatically increasing the likelihood of achieving your goals.
Step 1 – Decide exactly what you want. If you use this for work goals, discuss with your boss. What exactly is expected of you and in what order?
Step 2 – Write it Down on Paper. As indicated above, something happens when we write our goals down on paper. It’s as close to magic as you will find at work. Writing it down, will help make it more real. If you want to take it a step further, share you goals with others. That will further increase your likelihood of achieving them.
Step 3 – Set a deadline (or sub-deadlines). This is a key part of having S.M.A.R.T. goals. Set a deadline and hold your self accountable for the date. Without this, your goals and tasks will lack urgency.
Step 4 – Make a list of everything you can think of you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. Keep adding stuff to the list until it is complete. It is a living list that grows and shrinks as the project/goal moves forward.
Step 5 – Organize the list into a plan by priority and sequence.
Step 6 – Take action on your plan immediately. An average plan executed vigorously is far better than a brilliant plan that lacks action. Or as Guy Kawasaki said, “Don’t worry, be crappy!”.
Step 7 – Resolve to do something everyday that moves you toward you goal.
Clearly written goals have a stunning effect on your thinking, they motivate you, create energy, release creativity and stimulate action. What are your goals, both professional and personal? Who do you talk to about them? Do you discuss them regularly?
Here are a some additional plug-ins I think we should be considering for the future blog of rv.net.
Anybody want to step up to chase these down?
Everybody needs their own personal mission statement. Fortunately there are resources available on the internet to assist us in creating one without having to actually think about it. 🙂 Mission Statement Generator by Dilbert
Sample mission examples:
Our challenge is to seamlessly provide access to emerging opportunities while maintaining the highest standards
We interactively leverage other’s parallel paradigms and assertively maintain high-payoff benefits to stay competitive in tomorrow’s world
It is our business to professionally enhance prospective products and services so that we may quickly create timely deliverables to exceed customer expectations
It is our mission to interactively create high standards in intellectual capital as well as to competently disseminate virtual deliverables
It’s addictive, seriously, go create your own. Enjoy, David
This is a very interesting study PEW just released on Internet Video viewing.
“Online video now reaches a mainstream audience; 57% of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day. The growing adoption of broadband combined with a dramatic push by content providers to promote online video has helped to pave the way for mainstream audiences to embrace online video viewing. The majority of adult internet users in the U.S. (57%) reportwatching or downloading some type of online video content and 19% do so on a typical day.”