Good friends of mine have started a podcast you might be interested in. This also means you might see a upcoming post from me on the subject of podcasts. (a Sir Social post about social media?! For shame!)
This week they discover that Intel is trying to break in to the telecommunications industry, they discuss the impact of crowd-funding on media, try to NOT talk about the Playstation 4 andXbox One (but fail!), chat about EVE Online and enjoy a jar of moonshine!
In the very near future I am going to be a father. I’ve watched my wife’s belly grow and put together the crib and at each stage I seem to say “now it feels real”. I’m wrong and I know I’m wrong. It won’t be real until I hold my son in my arms.
As I sit here and think about my nervousness and my excitement I wonder why I feel this way. I have a theory that I want to share before it leaves my mind. Children are the purist a human can ever be. A new born does not know how to hate or to judge. They know frustration, they know contentment, and very little else. Everything else we seem to have made up. Happiness a form of content and anger born from frustration. We over complicate our lives with words and emotions that we have created or imagined. Couldn’t it be possible that “happiness” doesn’t exist in the way that we try to define it? How many times have you said or heard said “I just wish I could be happy”? But if you took away all of the preconceived notions of happiness, forgot everything you were told it should be would you still recognize it? The only way to be sure would be to ask someone who had never been told such a word existed.
This is why I am excited. This is why I am nervous. Someone with no preconceived notions can not share these truths with me. This is why I stare at babies with wonder. To me it is not the miracle of life which is also so amazing, but the idea that he will contain all the answers to who we are. I have heard any people say that they have so much to teach their children. How amazing could we be if we let them teach us?
When it comes right down to it life and the reality you choose to accept is really all in how you perceive it. That is a topic for a much longer post, however I have a great example today.
Among other hobbies, I enjoy photo and video editing. I hadn’t realized how knowing just a little bit about these skills could change my perspective on works that I see. First I was a little disappointed that a photographer created a Photoshopped image where I could easily tell what he had done. Previously I hadn’t been able to detect the illusion. It was as if someone had told be how the magician did his trick.
(Can you find the line between the 3 images used? Do you know what Photoshop options were used to create it?)
Next I finally saw the episode of Dr Who called BLINK. This is the first time the weeping angels appear in the series. I had always wondered how the equivalent of the ghosts in Mario could be such an interesting creature.
But with the tiny bit of knowledge I have in video editing I knew how I could create a very similar scene. An episode that could have been just another show to watch and forget suddenly became riveting. Ideas on how I could create a video that could easily keep people’s attention as well as this episode was (given the actors, time, money, and equipment of course) were flying through my head.
The point is that the change may be positive or negative but perspective can change everything. So the next time you think life is too boring or not worth the time, look for some new information that could change your perspective.
I had a nice reminder this morning, that we are all really quite the same. On my way back from the water cooler I took a drink and while my head was tilted back I almost ran over a VP. While I swallowed hard and tried to think of an apology, she very nicely said sorry and quickly moved around me.
Wondering where she was going in such a hurry, I noticed she stopped at a colleague’s desk. He wasn’t there, but this season’s Red Sox schedule was tacked to his cube wall. I always find it amazing to remember, that even those we hold in the highest regard, are driven by similar motivations.
Your team has an issue that requires a tool. Your manager puts you in change of finding a solution. You create a new tool or better yet you find a tool that time forgot and start using that. What now?
For too many solutions that is the end of the story. We hope that this solution gets shared with the team but sometimes it just gets posted to a Wiki or a tools repository, waiting patiently to be found. What other ways can this can be shared? How do we socialize this idea?
Team Meetings: Whether you like them or not at some point there will be a team meeting. Ask your manager if you can have a few minutes to explain what you have created or found. Not only does it inform the team but it makes you look good to your boss that you want the team to grow.
Cross teams: Tell people in other groups about what you have done.Most tools can be re-purposed. If you created a log collection tool for your product, the basics will probably work for another product. If nothing else the next guy won’t have to get new images and symbols approved by corporate.
Companywide: Many big companies now have intranets or online tack boards. Find the appropriate space for your idea and start a discussion. Not only about how cool your find is but what else could be done to improve it and make it a company standard.
I manage an intranet page at my company called ACES (Advancing Customer Experience and Satisfaction). The entire point of this page is exactly what I have mentioned. Sharing tips, tricks, tools, and procedures that improve the customer experience. That is not meant to be one sided either. If you know of a tool that makes employee life easier, customers like to deal with happier employees. I love a good win win.
I had a great conversation the other day about the ways we used to socialize before the internet was a thing. Speaking in person is always important and I have yet to find a more rewarding form of socializing than face to face, but we can’t be around each other all the time (I’ve tried. It doesn’t end well). We are also going to ignore the post office and e-mail because those turned on us faster than a younger sibling who promised not to tell. But in my lifetime there was a type of communication that is still used and doesn’t get nearly enough credit. The CB radio.
The citizen band radio (or criminal band as it was affectionately known) was amazing. Depending on the size of your antenna (insert size joke here) and the people in your area, this was the intermediary for the cell phone, the weather channel, the GPS, and even chat rooms. And all of these features came free with the purchase of your radio. I can remember road trips with my dad where he would find someone interesting to talk to and hand me the mic. Dad was a trucker so he knew everybody anyway. Truckers were the best because they used the CB constantly. If you needed to know how to get around traffic or slow down where the cops were ask them. If they didn’t know first hand some had likely told them. Like most cultures you didn’t have to know the jargon to get along but it sure did help. “Breaker Breaker one niner, this is Sir Social. Anyone get the 20 of that bear on Rt 10?” Got you a lot farther than it’s translations. “Excuse me everyone on channel 19, my name is Paul. Does anyone know the location of the cop on Rt 10″
The best was picking your handle. Created after pen names but before screen names, CB handles have more flare than either because you got to say them. Like nick names tho you normally didn’t choose your own. Dad was Bronco because that’s what he drove for a long time. Grampa was Mechanic because he used to be one. But the one that takes the cake was my Nana. She was Happy Bottom because her name was Gladus and if you changed the pronunciation slightly it became Glad Ass. God love’ya Nan. The list went on Sawdust, Shaggy, Spanish Rose, Russian Hammer. These let you act however you wanted on the airwaves and only your friends knew if you were serious or just hamming it up. So the next time you see that awesome screen name that you wish you had thought of, just be glad no one chose a name for you like Bubbles or Skidmarks.