Friday, September 26, 2008

Augmented Reality

I was at a business function earlier this week and Second Life came up in our conversation.  We all were shaking our heads and questioning in our time-starved lives, do we really have time to live multiple lives? 

A co-worker changed the direction of the dialogue quickly by bringing up how virtual reality can actually save time.  She was talking about augmented reality.  And, Mark Logan has an excellent post highlighting it's relevance and giving a few examples to boot:

Simply put, Augmented Reality is the blending of computer data or images with real, physical spaces. Think of the heads-up display in a military jet, where computer data is projected onto a view of real-world images in real time.Mark Logan, Mostly Marketing, Sep 2008

You should read the whole article.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Mom was my Twitter hook

Mom turned 71 today. Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's a miracle she is with us. Last year my mom was having brain surgery on her birthday to remove a cancerous tumor which had mastitized from her stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer that she battled 6 years prior.

My mom is the reason I got hooked on Twitter. So Mom had a huge brain tumor that was growing quickly. My siblings, father, aunt and uncle huddled around my mom for over a week at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. We needed to get the constantly changing news out to all our family, friends and co-workers on our mom's hourly, daily status change.

I asked everyone that knew Mom and could get on the web to follow me on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, I kept everyone in the know about what the doctors were saying, tests that were being ran and next steps. It was simple, instantaneous and a hell of a lot easier and far less stressful than a phone tree!

And here's the interesting thing with Twitter and my "mom-cancer-status" tweets, strangers started following me. People that had worked on drugs my mom was taking, doctors, nurses, techs - cancer survivors, brain cancer survivors even - and lots of well wishers. It was profound. We were blown away! All the followers brought us unexpected emotional lift and became a much needed sounding board for us during this endeavor.

So, thank you, Mom, for really showing me the power of twitter. And wow, I have no words for how wonderful it is to see you and Dad dancing on your birthday! Thanks for the video, seeing you two waltzing about just like you did last year in your hospital room before you went into surgery - ah, I'm getting teary just typing about it - how blessed we are to have you in our lives, Mom! You are an amazing woman and I'm so proud to call you my mom!

And thank you, Twitter friends for helping us through our time of need.

Sorry, I can't share Mom's vid or a pic with everyone...Mom likes her privacy.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Professional Networking Sites

I asked the following question to my connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter:

What's your favorite professional networking site/app and why?

Here's a smattering of responses:

"Personally, it's LinkedIn. Easy to use and very robust. Next would be Facebook, due to it's extensive reach."Jay Waddell, via LinkedIn

"LinkedIn seems to be the most useful site from a professional standpoint. I like it because (so far) it doesn't have many distractions from establishing a real-life network. Then again, I think I've met more people in my field via Twitter lately than I ever met via other social media apps. Twitter does a great job of helping you expand your network and it facilitates face-to-face meetings better than any other medium." Celeste Lindell, via Facebook

"I see Twitter as my social/conversational platform, and keep Facebook exclusively for business." Rick Murray, via Twitter

"I prefer Twitter because through micro conversation I find that it is a terrific relationship building tool. And, after all, what is networking if it is not relationship building." Kim Dushinski, via LinkedIn

"My favorite professional app is LinkedIn. I have connected with those who are in the industry I want to be someday: social media" Mark V via Twitter

"Although it's intended purpose is not professional networking, Twitter has been, by far, my favorite and most effective site. Twitter is one of the only social networking site that I use professionally, or in any capacity for that matter, that consistently drives online relationships to offline ones and elevates those professional relationships I already have..."
Ben Grossman, via LinkedIn

"...However, I think I might give another perspective here, my blog is my favorite professional networking site. Although the blog is my personal business blog, and is not connected through a social networking system. Though I do have mybloglog. I think my blog has built and maintained more professional relationships than any other networking site. The biggest reason is that I put more effort into my blog than most of the other networking sites I'm a member of. So I'd suggest that the best networking sites for people are often those where you spend the most time and effort." John Cass, via LinkedIn

"i use only linkedin; more of a least disliked than a favorite..." Pete Thomas via Twitter

"I use Plaxo and LinkedIn and I've also signed up for Naymz. LinkedIn is still my favorite because more people seem to use it. I like thinking about this in terms of Metcalf's law - a value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users on the system. Professional networking sites have utility because they enable you to connect with others and thus far, more people get in touch with me via linkedin than any other professional network I use..." Simon Kuo, via LinkedIn

"I'd say linkedin is my fav @zenaweist. I've both made contacts and reconnected with a lot of long lost ones." Jon Hand, via Twitter

"My favourite professional networking site is the Ask Liz Ryan Group, an online networking group with 25,000+ members, run by HR guru Liz Ryan. The group, is an amazing resource that provides a forum for both personal and professional support. No matter what the question -- health issues, career development, travel advice, negotiation skills -- the Ask Liz Ryan community is there to respond." Amrita Chandra, via LinkedIn

"LinkedIn for professional relationships; facebook for combination of fun, friends and some business; twitter real time interactn" Bill Miller, via Twitter

"Personally, I use all three (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). Twitter is great for establishing and growing relationships, is fast, and extremely easy to use yet is somewhat limited by its 140 characters. LinkedIn provides depth and background information, and Facebook acts as a great rolodex since it contains contact info and other "CRM" type data. Roll them all together and you have a great system." Warren Sukernek, LinkedIn

See all answers that came in through LinkedIn, here.

Here's a few articles/posts that provide basic tips on social and professional networks:

Write Your LinkedIn Profile For Your Future, Chris Brogan
The Social Network as a Career Safety Net, New York Times
Top Professional Network Comparison, Be Networked
Why You Should Join, CIO
Tips on Using Networking Sites, Washington Post
Top Ten Ways To Use LinkedIn, Guy Kawasaki

Thanks to everyone for responding so quickly! Please keep the discussion going via comments through twitter, linkedin or facebook.

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Ambient Awareness

I found this fascinating quote on Twittermaven today:

As you'd expect, the world of Twitter has been abuzz.  For the last two days, the conversation about the article has been robust as it seemed that everyone had something to say about ambient awareness. And of course, there were some great pieces written about the article.  Alan Wolk wrote an amazing piece, Social Media's Defining Moment, identifying the importance of the article "because it's outside the usual geekosphere bubble and has the imprimatur of social science. The placement in the Times means that it should be getting a lot of traction since it's the first place many non-tech journos will go for insight into "that whole Twitter thing."Warren, Twittermaven, Sep 2008

You should read the whole post.

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