David Kirkpatrick

February 4, 2010

Blogging is now a mature discipline …

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:20 pm

… and it seems to be for, and about, mature people in the age of texting and Twitter. Looks like blogging is too long-form for youthful expression and communication.

Wonder what that says about serious long-form journalism, novels and feature-length cinema? Maybe short-short fiction will become a hot commodity. That’s a format I’ve deeply explored.

From the first link:

A new study has found that young people are losing interest in long-form blogging, as their communication habits have become increasingly brief, and mobile. Tech experts say it doesn’t mean blogging is going away. Rather, it’s gone the way of the telephone and e-mail — still useful, just not sexy.

“Remember when ‘You’ve got mail!’ used to produce a moment of enthusiasm and not dread?” asks Danah Boyd, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Now when it comes to blogs, she says, “people focus on using them for what they’re good for and turning to other channels for more exciting things.”

January 7, 2010

Twitter looks to be settling in for the long haul

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:12 pm

This is a great quote from this NYT article:

“The history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing,” said Steven Johnson, the author and technology observer who wrote a seminal piece about Twitter for Time last June. “Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing, and plumbing is eternal.”

Around a year ago Twitter really started heating up for a solid year of hype and headlines, a make-or-break condition for most emerging technology. And now that it’s 2010? Twitter still looks strong. Still no actual business model to speak of, and no real money aside from venture funds, but the service itself is rolling along very nicely and has found niches all over the cultural and political map.

Here’s another informative excerpt from the link:

At first, Twitter can be overwhelming, but think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while. Much of what I need to know is in that cup: if it looks like Apple is going to demo its new tablet, or Amazon sold more Kindles than actual books at Christmas, or the final vote in the Senate gets locked in on health care, I almost always learn about it first on Twitter.

The expressive limits of a kind of narrative developed from text messages, with less space to digress or explain than this sentence, has significant upsides. The best people on Twitter communicate with economy and precision, with each element — links, hash tags and comments — freighted with meaning. Professional acquaintances whom I find insufferable on every other platform suddenly become interesting within the confines of Twitter.

December 10, 2009

Managing telecommuters

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:03 pm

This article is titled, “Six Strategies for Managing Telecommuters,” but is also pretty good reading for those telecommuters being managed.

From the link, strategy number four:

4. Establish clear performance standards.

Again, every team needs to have performance standards and expectations, but this is particularly vital when the manager is unable to observe behavior directly. The team needs to understand not only what they are going to achieve, but how they will achieve it. When people come from a diverse set of experiences, functions, and possibly even divisional or geographical cultural backgrounds, it should not be assumed that they all share the same perspective about what constitutes quality or excellence. This is an opportunity for the leader to set benchmarks, suggest sharing of best practices, and encourage the team to clearly articulate standards by which their performance will be evaluated.

December 1, 2009

Wikileaks publishing 9/11 pager messages

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:11 pm

This should provide context and raw emotion from a tragic and historic day in US history. I always find this sort of window into people’s lives and thoughts interesting. (The Wednesday referenced in the blockquote is last Wednesday — 11/25/09.)

From the link:

It’s one of more than half a million Sept. 11 pager messages obtained by secret document publisher Wikileaks, all of which are gradually being published on the Internet Wednesday. Wikileaks hopes that they will shed some light on the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, an incident that continues to arouse heated debate in the U.S.

“This is a historic day … and a day that has a lot of historic questions,” said Daniel Schmitt, a Wikileaks spokesman. “So whatever helps to understand what happened on that day is important for everyone.”

“It’s a precise second-by-second record of how the event unfolded,” he said.

Wikileaks began publishing the messages at 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday and will release them in small batches for about 24 hours, Schmitt said. The group hopes that posting them in increments will make the messages easier to analyze.

November 19, 2009

We hardly knew ye …

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:52 pm

CIO.com has a slightly tongue-in-cheek article titled, “Technology We’ll Miss When it’s Gone.”

I’m going to say this particular bit of tech is, for all intent purpose, already gone:

8. Pay Phones

Every horror movie fan knows the drill: When things get dire, there’s no cell phone signal; or if there is, the battery dies within a couple of minutes (hot link: “Cell Phone Battery Explodes in the Night!“). If only Homeland Security could come up with a system of publicly accessible telephones that accepted pocket change and let citizens make calls from any street corner in America. Alas, the telephone companies have largely dismantled the country’s pay-phone system, though you may still find a few phones in an airport or subway station. Worst of all, the remaining pay-phone stations sit idle and ignored. Whatever happened to turning old phone kiosks into Wi-Fi hotspots?

November 25, 2008

Improve your email communications

With tips from this press release. If you’re reading this I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you do some amount of email communications.

The release:

How to improve email communication

Developing strategies to mimic face-to-face interactions

In a new article in the current issue of American Journal of Sociology authors Daniel A. Menchik and Xiaoli Tian (both of the University of Chicago) study how we use emoticons, subject lines, and signatures to define how we want to be interpreted in email. The authors find that “a shift to email interaction requires a new set of interactional skills to be developed.”

Unlike face-to-face conversations, email interactions leave out tone of voice, body-language and context, which can lead to misunderstandings. While these authors agree that there are difficulties, they believe that no way of communicating is actually superior to another.

Menchik and Tian argue that face-to-face and internet-based contexts each require a set of distinct interaction strategies. “People can cultivate ways of communicating in online contexts that are equally as effective as those used offline,” they write. “The degree to which … individuals develop unique conventions in the medium will determine their ability to communicate effectively.”

The research focuses on “the case of a well-known scientific organization that decided to replace occasional meetings of a research panel with ongoing email interaction.” The panel encountered numerous problems conversing via email. But the researchers identified several ways people were able to overcome these barriers.

“People innovate in response to the challenges of a new context for the communication of essential elements of language,” the authors write.

Capital letters, use of quotations, emoticons, exclamation points, punctuation, bullet points, style and even color help the sender communicate the meaning of a word or message. For example, “I feel betrayed” reads differently from “I FEEL SO BETRAYED!! ;)” where the capital letters and winking smiley face indicate sarcasm.

Participants also maintained their conversational flow by cutting and pasting from previous emails and using subject lines that referenced previous discussions. In email listservs these devices help address comments to a certain individual and help the discussion to stay on topic.

Signatures, disclaimers and other information about the person’s state of mind were also commonly used when writing an email. The authors found that subjects felt more comfortable communicating once they knew a little about each other, like the information included in a signature. They also found that indicating the frame of mind as a disclaimer, (i.e. “I wrote this at 5AM” or “on a blackberry while on vacation”) helped prevent the email from being misinterpreted.

Developers have picked up on these cues with the advent of linguistic monitors such as Eudora’s MoodWatch feature. This program tries to indicate to the sender that their email might be considered inflammatory, and to the receiver that they are about to receive such an email.

 

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