Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, the increasing amount of publishing and scrutiny of (previously) private communications (from both major candidates and their parties) should be interesting. It’s not isolated to politics either; we’ve seen similar situations unfold with celebrities and movie studios. And there are lessons here for managers and for tech-savvy individuals in general which are worth examining.
There’s been significant analysis and condemnation about the wording of the emails between various DNC officials, whether it relates to bad-mouthing Bernie Sanders or unflattering characterizations of vast numbers of the voting public. The same held true during the aftermath of the Sony Pictures hack. There’s been remarkably little condemnation of the repurposing of these private communications for public analysis, though. Everyone seems to believe that the greater good (or just the greater curiosity) outweighs respecting the privacy of these communications.
This is a valuable insight into the reality of 21st century communication.
I happen to have been born at a time when I was able to get on the Internet almost as soon as there was an Internet to get on. I was in college in 1992, and so I remember the gradual shift from Gopher and FTP sites to browsers and web sites. I say this not to brag, but to note that I’ve witnessed a lot of changes in the web and that I understand it never sits still.
Within the past few months, though, I’ve felt behind the curve a couple times.
Google is well known for starting up experimental services (Buzz, anyone?) and shutting them down. After watching this cycle several times, you’d think the surprise would wear off, but I was genuinely shocked and disappointed when they finally pulled the plug on Google Reader earlier this summer.
I’ve recently been doing a lot of interviewing — both of engineers and managers — to fill a couple open positions in our organization. Let’s get this out of the way … if I’m interviewing you, I’m checking LinkedIn to see if we’re connected. If you have a blog, I’m reading a couple posts in it. I’m probably not bothering to do a full search on your name, but I’m definitely not going to go into our interview with just your resume as a start. I fully expect you to do the same to me.
As I started this blog, I set up some mental rules.
One of them was something I learned from Steve Todd, way back in the day — always excel at your day job before you do anything else at work. Doing a great job in your primary responsibilities is what gives you the freedom to explore secondary responsibilities.
I’ve been eyeball-deep in work on EMC’s next offering for Storage Resource Management (what you may have heard referred to as “SRM7”). Never mind my days, it’s consumed my nights as well! So I’ve let this blog get a bit rusty.
There are some other rules I’ve set for myself, and it’s cool to see that the “social” folks at EMC have codified some of those rules into a little video that people here actually get training credit for watching. It’s short and sweet, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I sat today in a team meeting, where we talked about our long-term goal of delighting our customers. It’s an easy thing to talk about, but it’s very hard to achieve. There’s a reason people always come up with the same holy grails of customer delight (say, the iPad) … there aren’t that many of them!
I ended up speaking some with our senior director about a recent set of experiences I had with Charter Communications. I recently upgraded my services with them, and have had several small nagging issues that I never thought to call them about. Just little things that kept me from being delighted.
If you’re at all active online, you’ve probably seen the recent hubbub about Facebook and privacy. Every time Facebook changes its privacy settings, the articles start floating around, but this time it’s more serious. The NY Times has dedicated space to the story, and Facebook itself has called a meeting of all its employees to discuss the issue. At least one colleague of mine is deactivating his account, and I’ve decided to take an audit on my use of the service and rethink my assumptions around it.
My first thoughts on Buzz are that it fails at solving a problem I don’t really even have.
It connects me to people I send GMail to, which is great. My GMail network is a subset of both my personal and professional networks, basically people I trust enough to give my personal address to. So it’s a great selection of people for me to start connecting with. Success.
Then it lets them talk to me/eachother/the world in the same way facebook/twitter does. And frankly if those individuals want to do that, they are doing it already with facebook/twitter. Failure.
Then it lets them aggregate stuff they post in other areas, which is cool. I can see what my GMail network is reading in their Reader accounts (except if I wanted to, I could already follow them in Reader, as I do with many of my friends) and what they are posting to their Flickr and Picasa albums (cool). But…
Then it gets worse. People can bring in their twitter updates. So for the subset of my Gmail Network who are twitter-enabled, I see their stuff twice, once in my twitter client of choice, and once in Buzz. And as people comment on those twitter updates, they do so in a fragmented way, some in Twitter and some in Buzz. So if I want to see the whole conversation I have to monitor my friends twice and spend twice as much time dealing with their twitter updates. Failure.
So for twitter, it’s made my life harder, not easier, and I can’t afford that. It’s why I stopped using FriendFeed.
That’s just my first impression after a few hours with it. Maybe I’ll see more as it grows.
When I saw the emails start floating by about EMC’s ON Magazine’s special issue about 20 years of the web, I flagged them for later attention and promptly moved on. That may have been a mistake. Recently, I cracked open the PDF and paged through it. Something on every page caught my attention. Except for a few times, I forgot I was reading something written by people at EMC. I guiltily asked myself, “are we really this cool?”
So here, as requested by Natalie, is my version of the web at 20…
I often hear people talk about not “getting” some aspect of social media, or worse, talking about it like it’s a waste of time, an indulgence, or even a joke. The other day I was struck by how much the rules have changed in terms of communication, and why if you aren’t listening, you’re losing opportunity.
I have been with Dell EMC since 1996, developing the guts of various SRM products in both development and management capacities. My main focus is on thriving in today's workplace in the context of my experiences at Dell EMC, but I'll also write about other topics at times.
This is my personal blog, and the opinions expressed here are my own, not Dell EMC's. My posts are not read in advance or approved by Dell EMC. Though I am employed by Dell EMC and Dell EMC is aware of this blog, I am not compensated by Dell EMC for my blog posts, and all costs associated with this blog are paid by me, not Dell EMC.