Foundational and the Future

With so much rapidly changing technology, its hard to know what websites, programs gizmos, etc. are going to be useful in your career.  Everything's happening so rapidly that few of us can keep up with it.  I often get the impression all technical innovation could cease for five years and people would still be catching up with ways to use current technology.

This is becoming more and more of an issue in the career arena for we pro-geeks because our careers often rely on advanced technology, if not involve outright working on it.  We don't want to miss out on the latest innovation, we want to think for the future and be in on whats next.

The problem is we often only see half the problem.

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Let Me Bore You: Spreadsheets

And it's time for another entry in our practical yet boring columns.  This time I'm going to discuss another exceedingly common and boring thing that's worth knowing how to do in your career.

That thing is Spreadsheets.  Yes, spreadsheets.  Excel.  Columns and rows and sums.  Those things.

And as exciting as they are not to many people (personal note: *I* love spreadsheets), they are something you're going to want to know a lot about, and they're something you're going to want to use.

So.  Let's get boring.

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Social Media and Speculation

In watching my habits socializing – and that of others, I've noticed two trends in social media that I think bear analysis – since social media may be an interesting career for people, and people will be using it in their careers.

What I've noticed is that social media can be roughly classified into two areas: the general (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) that provide functionality with no goals beyond socialization, and the specific (, Crunchyroll, etc.) that provide service based around specific goals or media.

I see this as being the future of social media – there is only room for a few big general players who perfect their craft and deliver general social media functionality.  But there is also room for specialist social media built around particular audiences and services – I myself find myself using specialized or semi-specialized social media as much as any other.  In fact, as the generalist social media settles, the major market may be creating specialized communities that can respond to specific needs and leverage specific knowledge.

For those working in social media, this will lead to some hard decisions – do you go general (knowing there are fewer choices), or take changes with a specific community (taking a different set of changes).  Placing your bet will result in some careful evaluations – work with the fewer larger or the less predictable but wider-spread specialists.

For those USING social media intensely, it involves hedging your bets and determining what you can and should use.   I think enough of the major players and some of the specialist and semi-specialist players (gaia,, Crunchyroll, etc.) are defined that you can determine what you want to use and for what goals.  There's enough room out there – and enough potential mergers and changes – that things can shift in at least some markets.

Never a dull moment . . .

– Steven Savage