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Tesla, the New York Times and the levelling of the media playing field February 16, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Social Media, Trends.
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As Tesla and the NYT go toe to toe, they are using media tools to make their case. This could be a precedent for firms to directly engage a media company in a war of words. I am interested to see how this will play out. Who will the next to ‘battle’ a review it disagrees with?

Ruminations on LinkedIn Milestone February 13, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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In the past week or so, I have seen people share updates about a milestone  that LinkedIn reached in terms of membership. The achievement was in recognition of reaching 200 million members. Definitely a significant achievement and kudos to them.
LinkedIn Member Milestone

Now that I think about it, I have had a LinkedIn (LI) account for quite some time. So today I see an email from LI that indicates I am in the top 5% of accounts viewed.  Out of 200 million. Top 5%, eh? Nice.  That’s a lot of views, no doubt about it. I was flattered a bit by the note and maybe even a bit smug for a half-second.

Other LI members shared the same status with varying amounts (top 1%, top 10%, etc.). Maybe you saw the same status update from people in your network. I have shared this as a LI status as well. Even tweeted about this milestone. The optimist in me says enjoy it. My network is proud of me. I’m sure of it.

The cynic in me would say what else beside an email? Free Premium membership for 90 days? Coupons? Bring it on – I’ll be watching for that email. Talk about personalization!

So, that happened. And, yes, I know – this message does more to promote LI than my membership. I get it. And you know what? It’s OK. I don’t mind. I am active on LI – always have been since like, 2006. I plan to keep my network updated and look forward to them sharing with me.

200 Million is a big number, no doubt about it. But, like health club memberships, there is a difference between the total number and those that are active. I bet that the number of active LI accounts is a lot less. Maybe that’s why mine is in the top 5.

Makes me wonder what the cut-off is for the email notice. Top 10%? 15%?

Did you get the same email? What was your 1st reaction? C’mon – a bit flattered, right? Then? Did you share that as a LI status update? What other types of promotion will LI use this year? I’ll be watching and probably sharing that also.

Ramblings on robots February 3, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Project Management.
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The topic of robots and automating work via machines has gotten a bit of ink lately. In the last month, I have read several articles on how robots will replace humans. Perhaps you’ve seen them also. The premise, or promise, is that machines will replace many of the tasks currently done by humans. A recent issue of Wired has robots as their cover story titled Better Than Human. The question is not if, but more of when, robots will replace people for many of the jobs that exist today. The major assumption is that it will create new jobs for us carbon-based life forms. The impact with machines used instead of people to perform a task is also connected to big data and cloud computing.

robot work force

Robots will replace humans in many jobs.

The concept is not new, of course. It can be argued that machine automation started with the Industrial Revolution as machines performed what humans did previously. Benefits in use of machines include consistent, repeatable actions, improved forecast of turns (i.e. – throughput), working with known capacity, higher quality, less waste and more accurate delivery. Having the machines in place provide humans to focus on other aspects of running a business.

From an economic and budget perspective, we know that the human element is the highest cost in any process. As Moore’s Law still works, the cost to use machines make more budgetary sense. This type of disruptive change will bring uncertainty, fear and confusion initially. At least, to us humans. To the machines it would be a non event and they might just say “meh”.

Any speculation I have at this point would be just that, speculation on how this will play out. However, I do look forward to what new jobs will be created by robots. Having a bot take over what I do now would be great. When that happens, I will then be able to define a process or sequence of operations for one or more bots, aligning those resources to perform that work I have assigned to them. No feedback, no personal issues, no drama, just predicatbel result. I won’t have to schedule meetings, take and distribute notes or ask them for critique of my performance either. Hmm, this could be a really good thing. My future job description may include more think time to improve/define innovation.

When will this happen again? When it does, will you be ready?