Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brewery Locator

Well Lauren,

I hope you don't mind. When I read this article in the N&O yesterday you were the first person I thought of. It turns out a couple of guys from Raleigh have developed software using mapping technologies to locate breweries. At this point they're working with a database with over 1,500 breweries and 8,000 beers from around the world.

This is totally Web 2.0 in that there is a group of people working on the software and the brewery database allowing the contribution and development to be open source and organic. I wish them nothing but success.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fun Group Project

It looks like we have a plan to work together on a cooking type of project. I'm looking forward to the idea and I feel like I need to research and learn a bit about Top Chef. I haven't watched the program so i need to bring myself up to speed. I'm in it for the fun and the experience.

I thought about something along a similar theme. A group could have a limited number of words per participant and each teammate would tell a portion of a story. Same basic idea using storytelling as the theme as opposed to a song or a cooking activity.

We'll have fun regardless of what we choose.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Project Planning and Brainstorming

1) a simple, fun, individual project. One of my favorites is the "Where the Hell is Matt?" videos.

·         >A photo/brief video montage on a sharing site with a theme like "all the things I love" or "my favorite things".
·        > Maybe something on video with my dog.

2) a whimsical fun group project (google "I want it that way lip synch office youtube" (last time we all did "don't worry be happy") 

·        > Some sort of goofy video project would be fun although I'm not sure what the editing would look like if we were going to splice snippets from various class members together.
·       >  I liked the idea of making something together. Again I'm not sure what the editing would look like if we were going to splice snippets from various class members together.

3) a personal, in-depth project (some sort of thing that demonstrates you know your stuff, and that you can show to others in the future as part of your portfolio. This should take one or more issues and demonstrate or examine things in detail. It could be a white paper, a prototype application, a research document, or even some sort of website. 

·        > I'm really interested in learning more about the origins of the turmoil in the Middle East and the  relationship social media had on the strife in the region. I'd like to research the topic in search of pertinent print and video materials and create a blog dedicated to this topic.

4) An in-depth team project.

>A blog dedicated to a particular subject or learning objective  with a team assigned to contribute             content to the topic. Contributions could/would be research, writing, instruction,  video etc.

Resume Promo Blurb

I'm  a Web 2.0 savvy person prepared to inspire a group of followers to your site and your services. You need someone who never tires of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to promote your efforts. I am fully capable of maintaining a blog and listing comments on other blogs pertinent to this of community and industry. I live to communicate with others and generate buzz for good products and worthwhile initiatives. I have experience working with staff and management that are not on the cutting edge of Web 2.0 while also pressing the envelope to the leading edge of Web 2.0 thought with business leaders. In my previous position I acted as a catalyst to move staff members to employ more Web 2.0 technology (blogging, tweeting, online forums) from a grassroots level.  This approach was endorsed by leadership after recognizing the level of disengaged staff members throughout the company.  Within 9 months engagement survey results were within a successful bracket and rising. I also made recommendations and planned strategies to sustain and maintain the momentum.If your business requires this type of energy and experience please don't hesitate to contact me.

Maybe Online Language Isn't So New After All

I caught an amusing article in the N&O I wanted to share with you guys. I thought terms like LOL, or LMAO were recent products of the internet and text message era. What I saw today indicates that some may be but others may not. An example of OMG (oh my God or on my gosh) was confirmed in use in a letter from 1917. Since these types of written communication were less public in earlier times it is obviously harder to verify these types of synonyms or abbreviation were in use. Another term in use today that did not originate in an online fashion is the term WAG for wives and girlfriends. This one was first used to describe the female partners of the English soccer team in 2002. Today it is used to describe the female partners of male celebrities.

I just found it to be a an amusing read providing some insight into things that are less contemporary that we may believe. I checked the N&O site and the Associated Press and couldn't find a link to the article in either place. You'll have to take my word for it this time.

Why to Clean Your Motorcycle

This weeks installment provides a reminder for why it is a good idea to give your bike a good cleaning periodically. Aside from the obvious, when you give your bike a thorough cleaning you have to be close to all areas of the machine and are likely to notice any leaks or damage that may be there that you were unaware of. This could be the difference between an unplanned stop (or worse) and an enjoyable ride. Take the time at least a couple of times a season to give your bike a thorough cleaning. Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Objectives Gaps

Below are my original objectives for the course:
  • Make the most of my exposure to and experience with new IT/Internet experiences this class offers.
  • Develop my own ideas as to how these technologies can be applied to a training/educational setting.
  • Finish all assignments completely and on time.
  • Provide and receive useful feedback to/from my classmates.
To this point I think I've done a pretty good job of getting experience with the tools and sites we have had assignments to interface with. A large portion of what I've worked with this semester I didn't even know existed. Each assignment brought its own set of challenges and frustrations. An example of first experiences includes uploading video to Youtube, Twitter, Second Life, and Classroom 2.0 to name just a few. This is also my first and blogging experience.

I'm currently putting to use some of what I have learned this semester in the form of starting a blog at work to tie in with some of the transformational work we're doing around workplace culture. I'm also interested in applying some of the ideas from this class in the form of Youtube videos to generate a viral type of buzz to help change our culture also. I'm also generating some thoughts about how to use these same types of ideas for more conventional training or education opportunities.

I'm not completely sure I've completed all assignments on time or otherwise. It seems there are so many small assignments week to week in addition to blogging etc I can't guarantee I've done it all. To close that gap I'll pay particular attention for the remainder of the semester and do my best to deliver on time and at par with all remaining assignments.

I hope my feedback and responses to classmates have been both uplifting and useful. I certainly have enjoyed and appreciated all of their support and feedback. I have enjoyed looking at everyone's blog and seeing what people like to do in their spare time.

Are/were these objectives appropriate to Web 2.0? I think they are were based on what I understood that to mean and what I understand that to mean now. Moving forward I'll continue to put myself out there and continue to try things and in turn look for ways to use the tools for educational opportunities.

Moving forward I'm going to focus on my comfort level with how this class works and try to embrace abiguity. I'll continue to look for ways to apply what I'm learning for application in my current job and potential opportunities.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mindsets and Behaviors

I'm working with a cross-functional team at work right now that has the mission to shift the culture in our workplace to a more positive disposition. The team has representation from training, production, maintenance,  quality, and technology. The highest level of management on the team is a couple of front line supervisors. The members were selected for their ability to build consensus and communicate effectively. The team has worked for several days on a diagnostic to assess the conditions and the mood across the site. From the diagnostic we have formed a project plan to work to the end of the year.

The background of the site and current conditions are as follows. There are currently about 700 people at the site with the goal of taking on a new role in the corporate network and dropping to a site of about 350 employees. The site role will change from that of a commercial manufacturer to a scale up site for products in the final stages development. The attributes of employees and managers will need to be different than those of employees at a commercial facility and we need to begin curing some of the negative attitude at the site now. There are a number of current employees and managers who will be needed to stay. The job of this team will be to present a clear picture to the site of the attributes and behaviors of dream colleagues and leaders.

The best part is the approach on the table for endorsement. This movement is to occur in a viral fashion as opposed to a program. Basically the initial approach is to attack the problem one conversation at a time. I can't help but make a direct connection to this class and some of the discussions we've had. I also can't help but think of the power of the movements underway in the Middle East. I'm very hopeful we'll be successful.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Project Planning

I haven't seen a lot of chatter yet about project ideas. I've done a little scouting for a couple of things.
  •  For a simple fun individual project I think I'll do a photo/video montage using Flickr. I've never done anything with Flickr before and I think I could have fun playing around with some photos and short videos. Probably a visual representation of who I am and what gives me joy. 
  • As far as the whimsical group project goes I'm pretty much down for anything. I checked out the lip sync videos and thought they were a riot. If we elect to do something like this I'm sure it will be a hoot for all. I've been trying to think of a good short song that would be good for all of us to work with.
  • For the personal in depth project I think I'll pull together some research and put it out on a website. My current dilemma centers around what exactly the subject of the research should be. 
  • Finally he in depth group project. In short I have no clue what this should be. I have the same attitude that most people have about group projects. Each time I'm involved in a group project it starts with a bit of dread combined with anxious anticipation. In the end it all works out. This time will be no different. Again I'm down for anything. I look forward to working with some of my classmates and embracing the challenge. 
My two cents worth. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Supermoon Tonight 03-19-2011

I wondered if any of you guys caught the news about a supermoon this weekend. It was especially interesting to me since we all demonstrated how much we know about planetary movements etc. If you get an opportunity go outside tonight and maybe you'll get a glimpse of it. We know there will be higher than normal tides as a result of the moon being abnormally close to us. Some say there may be pending natural disasters pending as a result. What do you think? I say get out and take a look.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PPM Trainer Certification

Three of my colleagues and I finished the last leg of our PPM author training qualification last week. PPM's are a document format designed to prevent human errors and make these types of documents useful. The PPM software and methodology is the intellectual property of Talsico.

PPM's are part of a multi part strategy to prevent human errors. Our site will convert the majority of our operating procedures over to PPM format over the next two years. The goal of the project is to make the documents easier to use and remove physical and cognitive barriers. Click here to take a look at a sample PPM at the Talsico web site.

Couch Surfing

Well I got signed up with couch surfing. I had heard about the site but I had never looked at it until I got the assignment. Quite honestly I'm not sure I'm (my wife) is down with the idea of having someone we don't know as a guest at our house. Need a little time with that one. Same situation with staying at a strange person's house also. I know the majority of people are good wholesome people etc. I'm just old school and kind of old too.

I did join the South East USA Motorcycle Riders group and met a guy named David from Jackson Tennessee. Maybe sometime we'll run into each other and have the good fortune to ride together some. That would be cool. Here's a link to my CS profile.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Happens to Our Digital Selves When We're Gone?

I have to admit I haven't considered what will happen to any e-mail accounts, Twitter accounts etc when I'm gone. It seems obvious that these need to be shut down when we die. Do you have instructions written up for the executor of your estate yet? Me either. I read an article in the N&O this weekend about just this subject. The link below takes you to a site for a company called the Digital Beyond set up to help deal with these issues. As we continue to get older and more socially active online we all need to consider what we leave behind. Interesting dilemma that didn't exist 25 years ago.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Moon Phases and Seasons

Well I guess I blew that one pretty badly. The original questions are listed below. Never mind my answers.

What causes the seasons/temperature differences on earth through the year?

What causes the phases of the moon from new moon to full moon?

I guess in some ways this reinforces all we've been hearing about our education system not teaching the sciences or mathematics very well. I did find it interesting that a person could be educated in East Tennessee and North Carolina (me) or in an Ivy League school and be equally incompetent. What a proud moment! I hope I don't actually need to apply this knowledge.

Is this the type of material for an online learning module? Would that work any better? You might assume the face to face method has not yielded stellar results. This activity showed me how little I know about this area of science. I hope the people I need to know this are good at it. I wonder if the moon is out tonight?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daylight Saving Time

So I guess we'll be one more hour sleep deprived this week since we've switched back to daylight saving time. Don't get the wrong idea, I like having more daylight. I pulled together a short video speaking about daylight saving time and some stuff I learned reading an op/ed piece in the paper recently.Some interesting trivia regarding the US getting on a uniform time standard. The link to the article is here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Glad to See Some Rain Finally

We finally got some appreciable rain today. The entire state is in some form of drought or excessively dry condition. After I filmed this video clip I saw on the weather that we got about 3/4 of an inch today. I honestly cannot remember the last time we had some decent rain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Human Error Reduction Training

I attended some training earlier this week on human error reduction. The class was put on by a colleague from another site as part of a certification process to train these materials. The materials are the intellectual property of a company called Talsico a recognized authority on the subject of human error reduction and studies. I've attended some overview type classes and I'm in the final stages of being certified to train Process Picture Map (PPM) authors. Our site has hundreds of procedures and job aids that we will be converting to the PPM format over the next couple of years. The science and research behind it that I've seen so far makes so much sense.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Application From a Raleigh Startup

Take a look at this article I looked at yesterday in the N&O. This is startup in Raleigh named Earthmark putting together an app that combines social networking, geo-location, photos, and YouTube clips. It seems sort of early for these guys but it sounds promising for them. A big part of innovation in the world isn't always a new invention so much as a new way to apply existing technologies. Pretty cool stuff.