Don’t "like" this post

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
A few days ago, I was talking to my Robotics students about the posts made in our Facebook group. I didn't want to come across as the old guy bashing social media, but I told them I was surprised at how little discussion was actually taking place online. Students would post, but usually others would only respond by "liking."

If my students were only posting cat videos, I wouldn't have a problem with people clicking "like" as cat videos lend themselves to that behavior. On the other hand, because most of the posts were intended to start a discussion or get feedback clicking "Like" is less useful, in fact it's often meaningless.  

Before Facebook and Twitter, if you wanted to engage with somebody's post, the only way (on nearly all platforms) was to make a comment. Writing and posting a comment takes at least a little thought and effort.

I'm not saying that "Liking" is bad and everyone should stop it. What I am saying is this: think about what your "like" means.

Continue Reading "Don't "like" this post" »

I try to keep up with developments in personal and organizational productivity. Here's a development in the area of randomized productivity management you should know about. It's from Alan Lepofsky, who is once again at the forefront of enterprise collaboration software with the instroduction of the new Socialtext Enterprise Chatroulette, or SECR.

SECR removes the hassle of having to manually locate subject matter experts, by allowing you to interact with any available colleague.

Facebook Manners and You - everything you need to know for happy, healthy relationships on FaceBook

Via: Six Pixels of Separation

Really Simple Syndication (Transcript)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
Transcript of Eric Mack's eProductivity.NET video segment on Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

Video may be viewed here.

Over the next two years, probably sooner, many Web sites will see a decline in regular (repeat) web visitors, and a dramatic increase in syndicated viewership. Here's what you need to know ...

Web syndication is changing the surfing habits of people, and it is no longer just for people who are technically inclined. Web syndication is not really anything new, and yet it is. In the early days of the Web, I used to use PointCast, which had a network of syndicated channels to which I could subscribe using a proprietary news reader. Avantgo has been doing this with their channels for a long time. While not quite the same, Usenet Newsgroups have been around for ages in the technical communities.

In each of these scenarios, content was published from a handful of sources to a small, but focused audience. Now, thanks to something called, Really Simple Syndication, or "RSS," for short, anyone can publish a syndicated feed from their Web site, and thanks to this same technology, anyone using software, called an RSS Reader or aggregator, may "subscribe" to those "feeds." Now, I can keep watch on the latest news and information from all of my favorite Web sites without lifting a finger. The content comes to me.

This has the potential to turn the Web world upside down and to change the way that Web marketing works
. For Web sites, it can increase the number of return visitors and provide an additional  avenue for content distribution services. For Web visitors, it will reduce the necessity to check favorite Web sites on a regular basis, just to see if anything new has been posted.  In the future, "Smart" RSS readers, which will probably become a part of your favorite desktop application, will no doubt offer to further filter the content based upon individual interests. (The larger implications of all of this are even greater than I have described, and I plan to cover them in a future eProductivity.NET segment.)

All of this is already changing how and when I surf the Web.

At one glance, I can now quickly scan through the sites on my watch list.  Why should I have to repeatedly visit my favorite Web sites, in order to find out if anything is new? Once I have determined that I like a particular Web site, I will subscribe to the syndicated feed from that site, so that I will be notified of new information and posts, automatically.

Web site owners should see this as a wake-up call, as it re-emphasizes the importance of having current content of real value -- not just flashy presentation.  As far as I'm concerned, if I click away from a Web site, that's their fault for not keeping me engaged. Only when I want to see more of a particular story, will I click-through, to interact with the site live.

I have no expectation that the Web will go away, and I am not planning to uninstall my Web browser anytime soon; however, I do think that people who adapt to this paradigm of communication -- both for publishing and for reading -- will benefit greatly.

For me, the time that I spend surfing the Web, will be greatly reduced, which makes syndication a powerful productivity tool. Many business and professional Web sites are already picking up on this trend, providing news, tips, specials, alerts, and summary information in the RSS format. I will be offering an RSS feed for my eProductivity.NET Web site, and you can already subscribe to the RSS Feed for this site. [and I hope that you do!]

Will content syndication become the next killer Web application?
Quite possibly.

The writing is certainly on the Web.