Computer Troubles

Is it possible that computers are just too hard. That they are just so complicated that it requires a degree to understand them. Yes.

Is it also possible that we have been turned off by computers. They prevent us being outside and experiencing things. They make things harder instead of easier. They are just not that important to our lives. Yes.

Those are the two most important problems I see in our culture. We are afraid of computers and turned off by them. It goes deeper than that though. They challenge our basic beliefs about the value of things like books, one on one encounters, and more.

Most believe its just not possible be into computers and have a healthy lifestyle with a balanced family and outdoor activities. In our minds computers and technology have ceased to make things easier and become a burden on us.

Most of us take a half-n-half approach. We will invest some time in computers to get our jobs done and then go home and stay away from them. Yeah we know email, but when we get home email is business and we want to play. News is easy to get on the internet but we still like the paper. We want to have keep a sense of nostalgia and intimacy with our world that computers just can’t provide.

Its too bad really. We can have the best of both. It is possible to be completely invested in computers and have the life we want. The trouble is that no one’s really doing it. Not that it can’t be done, just no one’s doing it.

It takes a new approach to our thinking and our methods. It takes change. Not dramatic, deep change like a political campaign would spout off. Just tweaking of your lifestyle. Subtle tips that can make it happen for you and even bring you back to the simple lost traits of our culture:

  • Community – technology is now social and you should look to friends and family for new tools, tips, and uses. Ask friends what they like and don’t like. Share with them what you have learned.
  • Fresh Perspective – not every new tool is amazing and a good dose of skepticism is good, but that can quickly cloud your judgment. In today’s rapidly evolving market new and amazing tools that can make your life better are constantly coming out. Your skepticism could prevent you from finding them or being open to the ways they could improve your life.
  • Research – research is one of the basic fundamentals of learning in our lives. Learn how to do research on the internet. Start with search engines like Google. They are so advanced at this point that your query can simply be your question. Then take some time to browse the answers/results. Learn how to differentiate quality from conjecture. After a certain point you will notice patterns and can develop routines that allow your research to be fast and effective (and on any topic you want).

Finally, its all about fun and making our lives better. I recommend that everyone look to their future and notice our impending alliance with technology and computers. They will be a part of our lives, forever.

The best thing you can do is enjoy it. Watch a cute video on YouTube, laugh at silly photos of cats, form a “fan of Indiana Jones” club on Facebook, or just post pictures of your Halloween adventures.

Thanks for reading and please share any subtle tips you have found.

Enterprise 2.0 Conference – Boston

Well…here I am sitting in a grungy boston-style hostel, getting all excited for the Enterprise 2.0 conference. With sessions like the ones listed below, I have high hopes.

  • Social = me first
  • Collective Intelligence: Monkeys or Memes?
  • Social Project Management: Everything Big Is Small Again
  • Leveraging Your Community as a Competitive Weapon

With attendees like Andrew McAfee, Ross Mayfield, Don Tapscott it is sure setting up to be interesting. I hope to hear their innovative insights into the Enterprise 2.0 world. Some pertinent questions I hope to get answered:

  1. What exactly is Enterprise 2.0?
  2. What tools does it utilize?
  3. Which companies are leading this innovation?
  4. How much of this is open and transparent to the public (i.e. will the rest of us benefit from it)?
  5. Philosophical – what is this doing to the corporate structure?

Stay tuned and I will post the answers I get throughout the conference. As well as more blog posts about some of the conference’s interesting points.

Anyway, some other thoughts about the conference…I am worried that the conference planners will focus too much on introducing these tools to a fresh audience, rather than delving into some of the growth and middle to post maturity questions that arise when implementing Ent 2.0 tools. We’ll see…the track I am interested in attending Social Tools for the Enterprise.

Finally, let me send off with a mention to my new reading interest:

The book was recommended to me by a colleague, one of those “you need to read this right now” statements. You know where the conversation gets very serious and you take it like gospel. Well I picked it up and it is a compelling read so far. In fact, I can’t help but think that Web 2.0 is a natural progression to the singularity. I mean the information that is coming out of wikipedia, digg, delicious, the blogosphere is putting so much information and knowledge at our fingertips. The next logical step is to design software to cogitate it all.

So far that is what the book is about and especially how that software will eventually be able to “cogitate” it 100 times better than our brains can. Then the singularity has come and past and robots are officially here…Roy (the author) is predicting this to happen by 2050. I think Web 2.0 will make that date come sooner. A recommended read definitely.

Thanks for the read and happy wiki days to you.

Steve