From our friends at Grist.
Mike Egan’s piece from April 1stgives me pause. First, of course, it’s hard not to think it was an April Fool’s joke: “Why Netbooks Will Run Cell Phone Software” indeed. I was expecting something rather silly. However, it’s actually insightful and right. The cell OS has the potential to truly change the make-up of the web. I don’t think many of the current web heavies (like myself) would rush out for one of these devices. Someone who can afford a laptop and supplement it with a Blackberry will hardly be compelled to drop even a few dollars for a netbook. There are a good many people still priced out of the web experience, though. These are the people that would benefit from such devices. And, especially if they were integrated with a sim card, those in the global south would be given a better connection to the net. Allow it to swap the card with my phone? Wow! Perhaps the Palm Foleo wasn’t such a turkey afterall. It’s becoming clear to me that the thing was actually quite revolutionary.
I spent a good chunk of my day, yesterday, on a skills inventory for a temp firm. Now, some would hate this. I, however, actually enjoy this. These give me some great insights into the job market’s software needs and expectations. Also, as someone who tries hard to be cutting, if not bleeding edge, I always tend to be well ahead of the curve. There were only a few areas I didn’t know strongly, particularly with the Office suite. Of course, I hold myself to a high standard here. Not knowing how to code a macro in Word 2007 bugs me. I know how to get to that screen, but it’s different enough from 2003 (where I haven’t coded a macro in years) that I was puzzled how to actually code the thing.
Interesting how the other side of the business equation can also be burned by the web. These folks made a huge mistake. Kids find the strangest things funny, however in some jurisdictions this is a crime. So, they may have lost more than just their jobs. And, to add to the fun, Domino’s certainly has a civil case against them, too.
The Associated Press just found itself with its collective foot in the bucket. Last week, they launched a gaff at WTNQ (LaFollette, TN). In essence, an AP executive wanted the station to de-link to some content posted on YouTube. Perhaps you find no issue with that? However, the challenge here comes from the fact that AP itself posted that content. Additionally, WTNQ holds an AP license. Thus, this issue packed a charge with the station’s staff. Then a brief Tweet stated the issue for the blogosphere’s review. Thus, in short order, this became an “issue” for the AP to manage. Techcrunch posted a nice summary of the event, and I direct you there for more info. I feel like elaborating, though, on the process itself. And, perhaps, how the AP might avoid the toxic sentiments of the blogging world.
Some folks have called for the head of the originating exec. I find that hasty. Many find it incredulous that an AP exec was ignorant of the YouTube AP site. Me? Well, after many years of working for large companies, for one member of a megalith to be ignorant of another element makes perfect sense. So, I am not so shocked by the ignorance. Rather, the tone of the exec towards the station. The threatening tone set the stage for a conflict, especially considering the later mitigating circumstances. So, clearly the exec needed to use a non-threatening tone. Additionally, they needed to research deeper before penning the email. Simply viewing the offending content would have shown their source, and eliminated some embarrassment. Lastly, as the site they were reaching out to was a media site, they should have checked on their status as an affiliate. Perhaps this is the start of a larger campaign. If so, they should have spent more time planning and exploring these sorts of possibilities. Even little mistakes can derail a larger engagement.
This shows how powerful social media has become. There was significant backlash. 190 comments were posted at the Techcrunch piece, and there were at least 111 blog reactions to this piece alone. All of this a result of a Tweet. The blogosphere responds with speed and venom, perhaps like a cobra. Professional, deliberate and well thought out actions are the best way to ensure you don’t end up stepping in the same pile of guano.