Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Legacy of a Cult of Personality–Steve Jobs

For many, Apple was a cult of personality, and that personality was Steve Jobs.

For years, I knew too many Apple users who were  geekier than thou about the hardware they used, the software it ran and why everything else was not only inferior but encroaching as well. I didn’t understand the mentality, and in truth it turned me off to the product for a very long time.

Over the past week, as I learned more about the life and processes of Steve Jobs, I started to understand where the posture of those Apple users came from. These users not only appreciated the evolving elegance of every product that Jobs produced, but in an exhibition of excellence in branding, they chose to identify with the product line on a very personal level, and perhaps exuded the essence of Jobs’ tenor.

I freely admit that the Mac is now my computer of choice. But, I found it interesting, after reading about this demanding, imposing, ingenious man that it was only after Jobs became somewhat kinder and gentler in his approach to perfection that I became interested with his product at all.

Business Insider published a story recently entitled, People Who Use Macs At Work Are Richer And More Productive.” A few years ago, I may have dismissed such a headline as over-righteous fodder. It very well may be, considering I haven’t seen the science behind the study yet. But I can’t help but think that the 22% of organizations that the report predicts will incorporate the Mac to their operations may do so because they believe that the tool really does make a difference for their best performers.

It could be simply that the best people tend to use the best tools. Or, it could be that Mac computers help many of us work better. Perhaps it is that Steve Jobs’ greatest legacy will be how his machines changed people, how they work and how they approach innovation. And if that is the case, I have to wonder if the cult went mainstream or did it become something else entirely?

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Filed under asides, People, Tools

Tablets add to Newspapers woes

It’s not at all news that newspapers are dieing, a slow agonizing death. I can see that my own local paper is struggling. The rolled pages on my parent’s driveway look anemic compared to just a few years ago.  For those who follow such things, we all know why:  the internet.  And not just the internet, but the ability to get mobile internet.

CNET News reported today that “More than half of all tablet users consume the news on a daily basis but most are still unwilling to pay for it.”

The story sites a Pew Research study that quantifies such users.  Where only 11% of adults currently own a tablet, of those more than half of them consume their daily news via the device.  The report states that such users spend as long as 90 minutes a day finding and consuming news.

Mobile devices have changed how we consume news. We have evolved from the evening paper or evening news to exponential information literally at our fingertips. As tablets quickly become the mobile device of choice, with it’s many aps and ability to let one’s mind wonder with the tap of a finger, how could a tactile and finite medium compete? It’s gotta be hard.

 

 

 

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Filed under Journalism, Tools

What you’re talking about on Facebook

I’ve long said, in the social media world, Facebook is akin to the office water cooler. Its a place to see people you know, to talk and share casually.

But now, Facebook is working to engage you more by paying attention to what you are talking about. An article on AllFacebook.com explains how Facebook (like Google) now analyzes what you are interested in based on your conversations, in order to connect you with others maybe having the same conversation. The new tool labeled trending topics is one way to figure out which chorus your voice is in when using Facebook, and another way to connect you to other people.

Facebook is constantly evolving. It has to. Without something new to take us there, there is no reason for people to continually revisit the site with the same gusto as say 2008.  By focusing on conversations, the social media giant is refocusing on that sense of connection that brought many of us to Facebook in the first place. So for the moment we’ll ignore that overwhelming sense of Big Brother and hope that Mr. Zuckerberg at one time also decided not to be evil.

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Filed under Social Media, Tools