Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Become a Digital Native

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Much has been made of the Millennials, or digital natives, about to descend on the workforce. These are the next generation of workers, typically those born after 1985, who have grown up in a connected world.  Numbering some 78 million in the US alone – more than the 73 million baby boomers – this group will have a profound impact on the world of work and entertainment as it ascends to prominence, much as the baby boomers have had.

One of the big concerns is that this generation will kick the daylights out of previous generations because of their inherent proficiency with technology.  This group, so the story goes, is more social and connected and just better with technology then the boomers. This will give the up-and-comers a big advantage over the rest of us.

There’s no doubt that advanced ways of communicating and collaborating like Facebook, texting, video chats, etc. trump snail mail and email. But the social tools aren’t that hard to use. It’s more the set-in-my-ways mindset that distrusts technology and blocks meaningful collaboration. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I would submit that anyone can become a digital native.  I know that in my case I’ve been using digital tools – some very primitive – since the 1970s. As every new generation of technology came along, I immersed myself in the tools and embraced the new way of working.  Email was a radical shift from the world of paper memos, and certainly just as significant as going from email to social collaboration.


My message to everyone 35+, go get yourself an Android or iPhone,  set up Facebook,  set up a Twitter feed, or collaborate on a Wiki page.  And open up. Speaking of which, I just upgraded from a BlackBerry to an Android.  While I still need a laptop and email, the real-time always-connected, always-located nature of the latest devices is a revelation.  Go ahead. Become a digital native.

The author of this post downloading social media apps for his new Android.

We Need More People & Companies to Ask the Question…Why Not?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

It’s Monday morning and I’m in my usual work routine…check the headlines from business and tech publications to see what’s going on in the world. A good PR person never wants to be caught off-guard and have a client call to discuss news that is relevant to them and the industry without being prepared, but that’s just my humble opinion.

I just read what I consider to be a fascinating article by Daniel Terdiman from c/net titled “At IBM Research, a constant quest for the bleeding edge“. The article discusses a handful of projects that are being worked on at the nine IBM research centers around the world. One project with a biology slant involves two researchers who are coming up with a procedure in which they drilled a tiny hole into a microprocessor in order to allow a strand of DNA to go through and impact its nanocircuitry. Another project, called “Lab on a Chip,” is trying to create an inexpensive and quick way for medical facilities to test blood samples. And yet a third project could help municipalities offer residents cutting edge traffic and public transportation system predictions that are far better than anything available today.

What we’re seeing here is an emphasis on researching and developing new technologies that can help people in ways never thought possible before. As Terdiman stated:

“Throughout my visit to IBM Research, nearly everyone I spoke with brought up Smarter Planet, IBM’s corporate innovation program that aims to gather data from a wide variety of sources and use analysis of that data to solve new problems for customers and clients alike.”

So why am I going on and on in praise of IBM, a $97 billion company? Aside from the fact that my father worked for IBM for 30 years, which gave me a natural bias towards Big Blue, it reminded me of why I got into this business. I cannot design a microchip, am not qualified to do biological research and can’t describe how a CPU works. None of that interests me nor has it ever. And yet my world, both professionally and personally, revolves around technology.

What I have always loved about technology is how it impacts our world on a daily basis. Is my T-Mobile G1 phone with the Android O/S saving the world? No, but it has kept me from getting lost thanks to its Map application, allowed me to take a picture while boating in the middle of Lake Pend O’Reille in Idaho and posting it to Facebook in real-time, and let me instant message with my kids during carpools.

It’s these types of advances that give me hope that people and companies will continue to create new technologies that not only help support corporate growth, but allow young minds to be creative and ask the question…why not?

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