Dec 30, 2011

You don't have to be brain-dead to give advice on the net

In one corner of the web somebody quotes somebody euphorically as giving "4 signs of a culture of innovation" (google that complete phrase and enjoy the list of cut-and-paste-authors that make you call for intelligent filters)
The four signs? We get that dull list of standard soft-skills that no less than every serious company in the civilized world subscribes to - twice!:
1. Development of the employees
2. Concern for employees' progress
3. Respect for everyone's contribution
4. Teamwork and collaboration
That was it. "4 signs of a culture of innovation" - Those four lala-points! To make things worse the list is supplemented by some bullet-points highlighting unmistakeable signs for 'un-innovation'(! snake-oil anybody?):
a. Emphasis on sheer talent
b. Categorizing by ability
c-f. some modes of harassment that no employer, who isn't completely insane would ever subscribe to.
Girls, boys, listen. 1-4 are the most commonly accepted soft-skills. But they alone don't carry any company. We need some hard skills. An accountant who really learned her job would be nice. Some guy with communication skills, that engineer, who actually *makes* something, the PR-person who gets her facts across much faster than anybody - we call it talent and ability. And we categorize by that - because the accountant should do accounting and the PR person should do PR. Nothing bad about all that. Filing it under 'un-innovation' is nothing short of plain stupid (excuse my french).

Dec 23, 2011

Happy holidays

and the best wishes for an exciting, interesting, stimulating new year!
click here for a soundtracklet for today ;)

Dec 15, 2011

3 things you should never forget

These days I checked the net for bloglisting services to break loose from the shackles of blogs I usually read - and find some new ones.
It was scary.
Most of the high-ranking blogs seem to be platforms for advice. Everybody apparently insists on giving me hints how to improve my life in any conceivable aspect. Who needs that? Who believes that? Who wants to know? And who makes THEM the experts to tell ME "How to Negotiate in Three Easy Lessons"?
There is this humunguous number of 'how-to'-advices combined with the 'n steps to become...(a successful rocket-scientist/a top-rated womanizer/jobless)' workings that obviously catches on. If the advice is packed into catchy phrases, numbered, spiced up, then it will inevitably make your blog one of the more clicked ones out there.
Did anybody ask for this flood of advice? Don't I stand a chance to die dumb?
James Altucher will not like it when I say that his site is on the shortlist of those I return to whenever I want my Adrenalin-level to go up. And up it goes - again and again.
Because *he wants it so*. Believe me, it is handycraft. Read (if you care to) the "33 unusual tips to being a better writer" . It is actually quite entertaining (and very good advice in parts!).
But what drives a person to increase the click-rate on his site - at any price. It must be a marketing-thing; something from the flesh and bones of those sales-persons who initially designed and (ab-)used the ill-labeled 'social media'. Only a few years ago it was imperative to collect as many followers or friends as possible within all of those networking-tools. You could actually buy followers by the thousands from companies skilled in that trade. And then you were told that those numbers show your impact - and impact meant importance, of course! Ten thousand followers make you a thought-leader. 50 followers only - you are a dweeb.
At the core it is about 'social branding'. People want to be known for something. They want to be experts on something. Which is ok. But it ends up as a fight for high ranking in google searches. And this is recognition substituted by SEO-skills. It is reminiscent of the misperception of the word 'respect' in the dark and iffy side-streets of american big cities. Those scary folks out there demand 'respect' and substitute it by 'fear'.
The seo-optimizing blog-scene hopes for recognition and substitutes it by page-rank.
This is a smoke-screen. Reality works the other way around: reputation, respect, skill, trust prove themselves again and again to be among the most valuable currency in human interaction, no matter by which medium. This currency buys you an audience, followers - even friends. There is no substitute for the real thing.

And the "3 things you should never forget"? Only you know.

Dec 6, 2011

It was 'free will' - not 'free Willy!'

Almost the day when SmartS got it's remarks on emergence out, the follower-crowd got interspersed by a significant number of psychoanalysts and 'quantum-esoterics' guys.
While we happily welcome every lost sould searching for wisdom also in our utterances, I, personally, get scared.
Not because of the psychoanalysts. I actually might need them. But because of the scientoid babble of the others. The guy who delivers his revolutionary thoughts in 7MB chunks to the mailbox is easily complimented to the door of the spam folder (even though the subject-line is somewhat mouthwatering "polarities cosmic physics are contrary to the physical plan of expression of earth. Cosmic physics in the positive attracts positive and negative attracts the negative"). But some not-so-asked-for wisdom strains the patience of even the most diplomatically trained reader:
In one mail I had to endure some lecturing about the *free will* of photons (!) (yes! PHOTONS!).
Photons *obviously* are endowed with free will as they *decide* whether to behave like a particle or a wave, the author wrote. I don't want to sound rude, but could some rocket-scientists, please!, consider mounting a spam-filter right in their outbox?
(thank you)