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Organizations and Sociology

Do you hear yourself?

by on Jan.29, 2014, under Organizations and Sociology, Self & Consciousness

The real “Sky”?
The real “Sky”?

“Do you hear yourself?” in your web site and marketing?

In an article  Content: Guided by Voices, (on Feedblitz’s blog) Bob LeDrew exhorts you to help your organization or yourself find your voice — your legitimate voice. He explores a few ways and examples, including some sketching and visual methods (I use sketching and visuals all the time when I’m exploring ideas!). And arrives at a way of checking your progress. (continue reading…)

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No such thing as a “Quick question”

by on Jan.20, 2014, under Communicating, Frothy Concepts, The Quantified Self

sky-037I like to think I’m open and helpful. Not everyone would agree. But the one thing that really annoys me is the email whose title is “…quick question…”

Of course the question will be quick. But, if it’s a question worth answering, the answer will take an hour.

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Tech and Peace

by on Nov.26, 2013, under Media, Organizations and Sociology, Peace and ethics

2006-05As many as 10 years ago, the term “ICT for Development” or ICT4D came into popular use. It was based on the premise that information and communication [ICT] technologies could be used as a cornerstone in economic and human development.

The efforts have been rangy — from the “One Laptop per Child” project to projects where cellular (phone) technologies would be used to bring health education and services to remote communities. (See also OLPC on Wikipedia.) OLPC is a particularly good example of the ICT4D genre because over the years it has brought a large number of its computers to children, but has not achieved the broad success sought for the project by its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the M.I.T. Media Lab. i’ve written

(continue reading…)

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Do what I want, not what I (don’t) say

by on Jan.25, 2013, under Communicating, Frothy Concepts, Organizations and Sociology, Software and online tools, The Quantified Self

keyboardI have lots of clients who have great ideas, wonderful vision, and yet have a lot of trouble understanding why I keep asking them for more and more specificity before I sit down and write some HTML or code. I’m afraid they sometimes think I’m a dolt because I keep asking for more detail about exactly what they want me to do. They find it hard to understand why I can’t just take an idea and run with it. Why do I need a detailed specification?

I ran into this passage a week ago, written over 10 years ago (but timeless), and the clarity and insight was so right on that I laughed out loud:

“The programmer, who needs clarity, who must talk all day to a machine that demands declarations, hunkers down into a low-grade annoyance. It is here that the stereotype of the programmer, sitting in a dim room, growling from behind Coke cans, has its origins. The disorder of the desk, the floor; the yellow Post-it notes everywhere; the whiteboards covered with scrawl: all this is the outward manifestation of the messiness of human thought. The messiness cannot go into the program; it piles up around the programmer.

Ullman, Ellen (2012-02-28). Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents (Kindle Locations 352-356). Picador. Kindle Edition.

So when the client says, “Make that headline a little more greenish,” I now have something I can point them at so they’ll understand the difficulty of that seemingly simple task. I love it!

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