As I was updating my bio to be um… a bit more up to date and current, I noticed that the last new post was from October 2015. It’s official, I have horribly neglected this blog. The good news is, I have more ideas and content ideas now than I have ever had, so it is likely I’ll be sharing more ideas here in the near future. In the meantime here is a little photo history of what I’ve been up to since 10/2015.
If you’ve ever been around the 3-5 year old crowd at some point you met Thomas the Train. He’s a fussy little train that often gets into trouble because he has the demeanor of his target audience. Parents like Thomas and Friends because there is always a lesson that, in theory, their child can learn. If you are lucky enough your little person(s) will have a favorite episode. This popular episode will have music and quotes that you will hear over and over again. This is why of course, that I immediately thought of the seasons quote when I wanted to share some changes here. I happen to use the same quote around the house whenever something is changing. These changes range from a young persons mood to simply the weather outside.
Changes with my Business Focus and this Blog
I am working on a major update to my business website and most of the content will no longer fit, so I am moving it here to my personal blog. My company Managed Solutions will soon be branded exclusively toward Computer Integrated Manufacturing Solutions. I have no intention of abandoning all of the content I built over there and I am still engaged with a number of great IT Clients. In turn I intend to do a few things here:
- Change the domain to joehackman.com. Done! 🙂
- Offer only Consulting to new IT Clients.
- Actually produce content again.
I also have some other items on my wishlist, but I’ll save those for another day. In the meantime don’t be surprised if some posts related to IT happen to pop up in your subscription. This will be relatively short lived and I expect it to be done in the coming week. Please do stay tuned!
Image compliments of Antijingoist, Creative Commons via Flickr.
What have you been up to in my (long) absence?
As bloggers we’re always looking for ways to make our content more friendly, encourage conversation and encouraging distribution of the content to amplify our voice. I recall seeing the Print Friendly plugin for the first time over at Waxing Unlyrical. I thought it was interesting but didn’t connect the dots until yesterday that is.
Why some of your readers will love this plugin
Think for a moment about your less tech savvy readers, the ones who may not even have a Twitter account or won’t bother to click the LinkedIn share because they rarely log in. Or think about the friends and connections of your tech savvy readers that won’t want content delivered anywhere but the old tried and true – Email. This is where the true power of Print Friendly lies. In this video I demonstrate how the plugin works and describe in more detail why I think it is great for the web 1.0/Email crowd.
Video not showing up? Try this direct link.
You’ve probably heard the term sustainability thrown around a lot recently. It’s for good reason, we see evidence everywhere that businesses, governments, educational systems, laws, and everything else under the sun has to be able to survive the tests of time. There is no such thing as “too big to fail” just look back in history and we’ve seen Empires collapse under their own weight. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great you think you are, if you aren’t prepared to sustain whatever you are doing it won’t last forever. Knowing that we need to be sustainable and actually functioning in a sustainable fashion are totally different things.
Be careful what you ask for
It’s time for every individual, business, political party, interest group, etc. to think long and hard about what they are asking for. If you are thinking today that someone else is going to rescue you, think again. At best they will delay the inevitable.
A society of individuals that aren’t taught to sustain themselves will fail.
Who doesn’t love the idea of a social service? I believe it is part of human nature to want to care for each other. I would even go so far as to argue that life without caring and serving others is probably not life worth living. Sometimes really caring though is asking for the right things, sustainable things, like teaching people that they matter and can stand on their own. Mentoring kids, especially those in difficult situations is one way you can really do this.
Never pass up a chance to tell a young person that they can do anything they set their mind to do.
Why Efficiency is the essential 21st Century Skill
We don’t have the luxury of excessive budgets to pay for inefficiencies and blow money on things that don’t work, the party is over and we just got the bill. Today we all have to emphasize the reality that we have to do more with less. With our debt piling up and our social systems strained to a breaking point there is only one real answer to the crisis – doing more with less while also being mindful of what we ask for.
3 Years ago my company leased an entire rack at a co-location facility to the tune of $900 per month. Today I rely on companies that leverage resources in a much more sustainable and efficient way to provide those services. The co-location facility has to do without my business, and so does the staff that is no longer needed to operate it, but in hindsight it would be pointless to place my business in the precarious and un-competitive position to support that co-location facility and the staff to operate it. This could easily be looked at by many as “killing jobs” but if my company goes under I’ll be out there competing for a new one.
The old way was not sustainable, the new way is and in the future it is my responsibility to ensure that it stays that way.
Opportunity is everywhere
Human beings have adapted to survive some incredibly challenging environments. We’ve launched successful business ventures during economic crisis’s including the Great Depression. We’ve huddled together to survive unimaginable natural disasters and hardships including horrific wars and genocides. Today you don’t have to look too far to see an incredible amount of energy being exerted, people are angry, they are fed up, many appear desperate and I think many of us are yearning for something I know that I am. What am I yearning for?
I yearn most for people to seize the opportunity to work together to solve the problems we face, instead of blaming others for them.
What do you yearn most for?
Are you familiar with Empire Avenue? I met with co-founder and CEO Dups (aka Duleepa Wijawardhana) for coffee this past Wednesday in San Mateo, CA. Dups is one of a team of 5 that built and operate the Social Stock Market Empire Avenue. In all the pictures I’ve seen of Dups he is always smiling and he is no different in person, though he does blame his persistent smile on his 3 hours of sleep per night that has become typical for him. After chatting for about an hour with Dups, I had a much better grasp on what Empire Avenue is really about and felt grateful for time well spent.
(Please note all quotes in this post are paraphrased, I was not recording or taking notes, Dups if I got something wrong let me know.)
Value is relative and Virtual Currency.
While discussing virtual currency and the possibilities it represents, Dups was quick to point out to me that value is a very relative thing. We all see value in different things, it’s not always cash in hand. Sometimes it is virtual currency or even a Castle upgrade for your personal empire on Empire Avenue. The fact is people will trade resources for almost anything, and if I understood Dups bullish position on virtual currency it seems he has a strong belief that virtual currency can in fact drive profits and opportunity for a tech start up.
Good questions make good conversations.
You’ve probably heard that you can learn a lot about someone by the questions they ask.
Dups: “What do you hate most about Empire Avenue?”
Me: “I can’t really think of anything.”
Dups: “What would you change if you could change one thing?”
The follow up prompted a long explanation about how I was not a heavy user of the site and eventually I did come up with the fact that I had asked fellow EAV member Laurie DesAutels a few questions about how some things worked.
Dups: “Yes, you need more information about how the site works. We know that, we can do better there.”
Putting the Social in Social Media
One of the topics we covered in our discussion was social interaction. When I was queried about why I had reached out and invited Dups to connect while he was in town it led us to discuss the “in person” versus “online” connections. It’s definitely clear that you can establish meaningful relationships online. The best example I know of this is Shonali Burke, she met her husband online and he flew half way around the world to marry her without ever meeting in person. Online relationships and friendships are great but at some point human beings will want to communicate directly with each other. We need and crave this connection.
Many people have observed that as EAV supports a broader range of services than Klout. EAV also does activity based scoring and one’s share price may be an alternative to a Klout score. Dups did not think that Klout considered them competition and he indicated also that EAV does not consider Klout competition. He was very clear though that he does not believe you can fashion an algorithm to truly analyze influence. In fact he went so far as to say:
Dups – “Show me any algorithm designed to measure influence, and I will show you where it is flawed.”
The most convincing supporting argument that Dups mentioned was the fact that different cultures measure influence differently. Think about that for a minute and you will see why any algorithm designed to measure influence is flawed. There are simply too many variables that cannot be included that will prevent the results from being accurate.
Robert Scoble vs Joe Hackman (Influence Part 2)
One interesting point that Dups brought forth to further his position on influence was when he asked me:
Dups – “How many Twitter followers do you have?”
Me – “Just under 3,000”
Dups – “Ok, well you may have under 3,000 followers and Robert Scoble might have a whole lot more but I’ve met you and you have the same influence over me as Scoble.”
What a great explanation. So I’ve long been planning a podcast about measuring online influence and now I have a must be present candidate in mind. Clearly Dups has put a lot of thought into the subject.
Check out EAV
So I am going to give Empire Avenue a little plug here. I think they have some pretty interesting things going on, it wouldn’t hurt you to create a profile and link up your social networks. You may not have time to “play” the stock trading game but consider it a hedge against some kind of explosive growth in the future. If Dups is right about virtual currency you might just find some value that you might be missing out on.