Post Idea Giveaway 2012


Ideas Notebook By Matthew Allard

Sometimes you find that you’ve got too many ideas.  Ever have that problem?  I do this week, and I swear I’m going to do something about  it. I’ve got blog post ideas going back several years covering things from social media to technology to life topics and so on.  It’s time I liberate these post ideas.  I’m giving them to you to take and run with, just in case you’ve run out of ideas and need some inspiration.  What better way to end the week, right? Alrightly, here we go:

  1. Social Networking & The Impact On Your Personal Brand
  2. Moleskine Notebooks – Going Analog For The Fun of Writing
  3. How To Balance Social Network Participation In The Workplace
  4. 101 Uses for Twitter
  5. Why I Believe The “Smartphone” Isn’t So Smart
  6. Your Blog IS Your Social Network
  7. Online Communities – You Get Out Of Them Only What You Put Into Them
  8. The New Social Economy
  9. Social Media Is About Sociology Not Technology
  10. Never Stop Experimenting To Grow Yourself Or Your Brand
  11. If Words Mean Things
  12. Old Media Using Social Media
  13. Building A Better Branded Blog
  14. Decline Of Technology In America?
  15. Social Media And The IT Professional
  16. Anonymity – Pros & Cons
  17. Can You Connect Up To 6 people?
  18. Linux: Ubuntu Or Fedora Or ?
  19. The Most Powerful Social Media Tool: YOU
  20. Decisions: iOS Or Android
  21. Personal Branding And The IT Professional
  22. 10 Reasons For A Windows Hack To Love The iPhone
  23. Disengage From The Collective That Is Your Corporate Mindset
  24. “Who Am I?”
  25. How Can I Help People?
  26. Linux Software Installers – Why Do They Suck?
  27. Essential Software For The Blogger
  28. The New Intellectual
  29. Is the Theme/Style Of Your Blog Important To Readers?
  30. Social Realities Of A New Generation
  31. What Do I Do?
  32. What Can I Accomplish?
  33. Powerful Writing…
  34. Do I Realize How Lucky I Am?
  35. Social Media In The Enterprise
  36. Negativity In The Workplace
  37. Don’t Talk, Just Do
  38. Social Media Is An Evolutionary Step
  39. Tear Down This Wall (Cubicles That Is)
  40. What Is A “Social Entrepreneur”?
  41. Enterprise/Corporate Culture Clashes
  42. Good Enough
  43. Social Media Shoehorn
  44. Blogging Is A Commitment, Social Networks Are A Fling
  45. Making It Happen
  46. Why My Blogging “Rock Stars” Are From the Z-List
  47. SharePoint Can Be An Internal Enterprise Social Media Tool
  48. Labeling Things And Why It’s Ok
  49. Why Paper Publications Will Never Go Away
  50. A Culture Without Culture
  51. To Meme Or Not
  52. Step Away From The Ledge – It’s Going To Be Ok
  53. Help People
  54. Want To Be A High-Buck Consultant?
  55. Positive Growth Through Negative Feedback
  56. Virtualization: For Technology Only?
  57. Build Your Own Brand Armies
  58. Networking For Fun And Profit
  59. Fostering New Communication In The Enterprise
  60. What Social Media Has Taught A Techie Geek
  61. Afraid To Succeed?
  62. Stodgy Or Stale Brand? 10 Sure-Fire Ways To Freshen It Up
  63. Social Media Does Not Equal Marketing Or PR
  64. Fearing Free (Free Rage Fears?)
  65. The Problem With Technically Excellent Solutions
  66. Be Your Own Editor
  67. Thinkers – The Ones To Watch
  68. Getting Back To Where We Came From
  69. Go Where Your Forefathers Couldn’t
  70. Unsung Heros: Headhunters
  71. The Line In The Sand & When You Step Over It
  72. Landing Pages – Why Bother?
  73. Put It On paper
  74. Gen Y & Why They’re different
  75. Engage HR For Change
  76. Friend Counts Do Mean Something
  77. Anatomy Of Twitter
  78. Lack Of New Examples
  79. The More You Share
  80. The Android Dilemma
  81. Is Your Day Job Your Only Gig?
  82. When Self Promotion Goes Too Far
  83. The Joys Of Building Community
  84. Is Social Media Respected In Corporate Environments?
  85. Lets Not Screw Around
  86. Why The Old Tools Don’t Work
  87. Why The Old Tools STILL Work
  88. Corporate Obsolesce
  89. The changing Face Of Social Media
  90. What’s The Big Deal About 4G?
  91. What’s Next For Social Media
  92. The Dark Side Of Social Media, And Why It Sucks
  93. You Will Live Online
  94. Why Tablet-Haters Loose In The End
  95. 10 Billion Apps
  96. Do What Comes Naturally
  97. The Decline Of Social Media
  98. Social Media Posers
  99. Ongoing Standards Wars
  100. Shortsightedness Of Newspaper Publishers

Well, there’s a handful of the post ideas I’ve got in my notes.  That was just from one page of a OneNote notebook of post ideas! Sometimes, you just run out of time or simply never get back to the ideas you had when you thought of the topic.  Whatever the case, I figure somebody might make use of one or two, or ten of these.  Better to set them free than keep ’em in a dusty digital notebook right?

Photo credit: Ideas Notebook By Matthew Allard. Thank you Matthew the use of your photo!
Blog Header Photo credit: JOH_1994 by star5112.  Thanks for a neat picture of post-it notes that captured my thought!

Happiness CDXIII

Highly portable computing devices since I’m not only a geek, but a nerd as well.

Behind The Firewall – BYOD


'Toshiba Libretto 50CT' by Jon Callow

Some call it the latest ‘fad’, others point to a long history of people bringing their own technology solutions to the workplace, it’s currently referred to as BYOD.

It’s all the rage right?  After all, the ability to set your own course, control your own computing destiny, and pick the phone of your choice is our right as modern humans.  Besides, IT departments are too overbearing and controlling – they don’t understand our need to get our work done in a timely fashion.

At least, that’s what it may seem like to those hip ‘movers & shakers’ types, and may be those Millennials too. Ok, maybe I’m stereotyping with the Millennials… but experience tells me otherwise.

Costs Of Technology

Therein lies the point of the BYOD movement, too many people think it’s a great cost-saving idea.  The problem with that is the costs are simply shifted from client-side hardware procurement, to the data center.  Actually, it’s likely to increase IT costs rather than cut them.

Like most great ideas, BYOD cuts both ways.  It’s a triumph of corporate workers to have choice!  Bringing flexibility to the main tool most productivity workers use every day.

Why can’t we pick a Mac over a PC? Why wouldn’t IT let me provide my own – I’m willing to pay for the privilege! Many more would start talking about the flexibility of different solutions, like tablets and even their phones. After all, are not all these devices computers of one type or another? I know a great number of people who argue the PC hasn’t been more personal than the devices we carry in our pockets every day!

Back to the costs question though. It’s not a simple answer once you start thinking about it.  Yes, the company isn’t buying a computer, the support contract for it, the license for the operating system, the software licenses for your apps… um, if they don’t who does?

You see, there is the beginning of the complexity of simply bringing your computer to work and trying to use it in place of a company provided one. It’s not to say it can’t or shouldn’t be done, but there’s more to it than we might think. Sure, the hardware, support and client OS licensing might be eliminated. However companies need to protect their data, which means server storage for everything, which means increased storage costs, which bring increased electrical costs for the data center, and environmental systems which add more cost.

What About Software

What about software? That too needs to be maintained in a reliable, secure, and usable form. Sure, we can move lots of apps to the cloud, but lets face it – hard core spreadsheet users over in Accounting or those documentation wizards writing all sorts of material need real tools, not a web-based version of Notepad!  So IT needs to host those applications and stream them to your personal device. This adds flexibility for us as individuals, but it also means the savings on the laptop you would have gotten now goes towards server capacity to host that application. Oh, and we need to think of floor space, and the power/environmental systems again… and more costs.

As an IT Architect, I have this kind of conversation with my peers quite often, and we continue to uncover more pros and cons. Somehow they mostly seem to balance each other out. But the real impact of BYOD, in my opinion, is the third dramatic shift in computing in my IT career. This one bringing a renaissance of choice to IT’s End Users, and expanding the idea of what the IT industry is capable of providing.

Behind The Firewall is an ongoing series where I talk about topics of interest inside corporate cultures. The experiences, ideas, movements, challenges, successes and more that we all experience in corporate environments. From an techy-geek’s point of view – behind the corporate firewall.
Photo credit: Toshiba Libretto 50CT by Jon Callow. A kind thank you to Jon for a great picture of one of the best early, highly-mobile laptops.

An End to the IT ‘End User’

Do everything from my phone!

Courtesy of Dell Inc.

This has bothered me for quite a while, and I thought it about time to mention it.  Hang on though, this may be a bit of a rant, but it bears bringing up.

Why do corporate IT departments continue to call their customers “end users”?

Of course, it’s part of the language of IT, part of the culture as well.  You know the jokes, “if only we could get rid of the users, our support costs would go down”.  Good for a laugh on a stressful day, but what’s really being said there?

Are we that far off the path of providing quality, usable, enjoyable technology solutions for our businesses that all we focus on is the difficulty in doing so?

I think we’re missing an opportunity to re-connect with our co-workers, our customers within the business.  They should not be minimized in the we that they are by IT.  They’re our co-workers and cube neighbors.  They deserve our respect.  They’re out selling, or balancing the company budget, or dreaming up a new product to sell.  They’re not trying to be challenging, they’re simply using the tools we provide to get their job done.

New Perspectives

The issue I see is that most IT staff are too busy trying to solve problems rather than provide solutions.  What it really boils down to is a change in attitude, and revising perspectives.  We’re missing the point if all we’re trying to do is reduce call volume.

Just like the larger goal of the businesses we work for – our focus in IT needs to be on satisfying our customers.  In order for the business to grow and prosper, it needs to focus on the customer.  So too does IT.

New Priorities

No longer is IT about providing a standard computing platform.  Or stressing everyone out about security.  Of course these are important things, but they are but one aspect of the technology landscape within an organization.

The consumerization of IT is greater than supporting the iPhone or Android devices.  It’s an opportunity for IT to join the revolution in our industry.  Corporate standards are great, but as more people make the move to provide their own computing platform, we need to rise to the challenge of providing great user experiences and outstanding support.

Raise the Bar

What we need to do as IT professionals, is to look outside our environment for inspiration.  Look at how other companies are solving the challenges facing them.  Accept the fact that people expect more of IT than we provided just a year ago… heck, more than we’re providing today.

While I’m not an Apple fan, I do admire the user experience all their customers enjoy.  Sure, the phrase “it just works” is over-used, the reality is that it’s true.  This is the new standard that our business customers expect.  This is the new standard we need to meet.  This is the new opportunity we have as an industry.

I hope it’s not too late.

Featured photo on front page: Way too much work at the office today. Argggggghhh! by slworking2 on Flickr

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