Social media's real ace – experience

August 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I was at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane a couple of months ago with the primary aim of seeing Ron Mueck’s works on display. Before we hit the Mueck exhibition, we walked around the main gallery, where there were an assortment of works on display, from old furniture to paintings from all genres. As I went through I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied, and I sent this out:

My beef isn’t just with galleries. I dislike museums, zoos, exhibitions – anything where one is expected to just walk through a space and observe an artefact. Look and move on.

I want to experience these objects. Personally, the sense I struggle to control the most is touch. I practically have to restrain my hands in order to curb the urge to feel the texture of a carved wooden chair, or the feel of an oil painting. (Don’t tell anyone, but some times I touch the edges of a painting’s frame just to somehow connect with a work)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. I’m well aware of the preservation issues facing curators. But as I thought about it, I realised that we can extend the ‘observe’ model to traditional media – print, broadcast, film. All of a sudden the ~insert country of choice~ Idol phenomenon made complete sense. It allowed the audience to break the ‘sit and observe’ model and actively participate in the program. The more one votes, the more one feels they have a say in the outcome of a series. That the creators of the show recognised and monetised that is just genius. (I will now reduce my scorn towards reality shows like Idol)

This is where social media’s real ace is. It allows us to experience events, instead of just being observers. Q&A is a great example of that. The panel and the things they say usually annoy me, yet I watch it because there is very engaging discussion around it on Twitter. The same thing happened with other tv shows, like Iron Chef, sports events, and even events unfolding (I will NEVER forget the day we waited for Pres Obama to be declared the winner. Nor the day the Mumbai attacks were in progress.)

This is what I’m now gonna say to people who question my use of social media, or who tell me they don’t get it – I ceased to be an observer through social media. Involvement leads to engagement and all of it lends to an experience. It is what I’m gonna say to businesses that ask me why they should bother with social media. The Old Spice campaign was a great example of engagement on a large scale, but I do believe every business can apply the ‘experience’ model on a small, everyday scale.

So, back to the spaces I started off this discussion with. Dear museums, zoos, galleries, ya know how you have programs for kids where they get to be hands on and have fun? I want that. For adults aren’t all that different from kids. Have a Picasso on display? Have a spot where I can have a go at painting in his style. I would treasure that experience, link the memory to your display, and certainly return for more.

Failure is always an option

July 16th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

I was recently watching an episode of Mythbusters where the team presented their Top 25 moments. There’s one bit that stood out for me which I think everyone should watch which starts at around the 2 min mark:


Failure is always an option.

I love how Adam explains it. That’s been something I’ve believed in since my own epic failure about 10 years ago. I went from being a good student to getting suspended from uni. *grin* Mind you, I wasn’t grinning much when it happened, but as life went on and I reflected on what had happened, what I done, where it led me, I became increasingly convinced that it was the best thing that had to happen. I stopped regretting and started putting the data it produced to use. A lot of where and what I am now comes directly from that failure. (Not that there haven’t been others :P)

One thing I’ve realised about failure – a lot of how one reacts to it and how much one learns from it depends a lot on how people around you react to your failure. For example, my parents don’t quite share my enthusiasm about my failure. They get upset when I say it was a good thing. My dad insists I wasted those years of my life. I claim it’s not a waste if you learn. I’ve also learnt that a sure way to get him mad, but I digress….

What I hear from them is fear. They are concerned about me, but they also think that I shouldn’t be taking any risks because I’ve already messed up badly once. I shouldn’t be wasting time and resources on something which might not work in my favour.
That kind of reaction to failure can be very debilitating, especially when it comes from the more prominent people in one’s social circle. And so the other lesson I’ve learnt is to focus on the lessons when someone shares their failure with me.

I’m grateful that many of the people I know in the tech startup scene are great when dealing with failure. But I think it can be better, especially in the Aussie context. (I know this because I’ve experienced reactions to failure here – not very pleasant to say the least.) I think it is our duty to create an environment where failure is treated as a good thing, not something to be brushed under the rug or looked upon with pity. If we support one another, we’ll all learn. We’ll all grow. And we’ll all be free to start succeeding.

“Any experiment that yields data is a viable experiment. Information is key, not what you expected the outcome to be. Therefore, any kind of failure of what we perceive might happen, is an option”

Startup lesson from the World Cup: Beware of Rock Stars

June 22nd, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

So I’ve been watching the World Cup, as I do every four years, and have been mainly supporting the underdogs. My exceptions – France, Brazil and occasionally Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I’d be supporting Brazil this year – they crashed and burnt 4 years ago, and my heart hasn’t recovered. And then France, the runners up last World Cup, go and lose their first game and draw the second. *sighs*
And then there’s England – they draw with USA, their fans go into shock then rage, and I wonder why anyone is surprised at all. I mean really, that *is* their pattern… *ducks*

Now the reason I mention these teams is that they’re full of rock star players. Guys who make millions doing what they do really well between World Cups. Guys who win Player of the Year awards and are household names. These teams’ player lists read like the fantasy football teams we build.

And yet, the teams are crap.

And so, musing on this in a sleep-deprived haze, it suddenly hits me – Many Rock Stars does not a Team make.

As you know, I’ve been job hunting the past few months. One thing most startup job listings have in common? Using words like “Rock Star” in their role descriptions. And I’ve come to realise that they aren’t using the term just to look cool and funky, as startups tend to do. That’s what they’re actually looking (waiting) for. And so, those of us like me, those who are really really good at what they do but don’t have a rock star reputation preceding their job application don’t even get a look in.

There ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to hire a rock star mind you. All I’m pointing out is that filling a team with too many rock stars isn’t the best thing for a startup. Every startup needs ‘generalists’. People who can fill in the voids between the specialist rock stars. I do believe there is enough anecdotal evidence out there as well, from following the startup scene via blogs, as well as listening to ‘insider’ stories of failed or troubled startups.

Oh, and feel free to forward this post to the English manager. 😛

The iPad is the real iPhone killer

May 31st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

So many people I know who were married to their iPhones are now considering jumping to the Android for various reasons. Because now they have an iPad.

The best of both worlds I say – a device that does apps seamlessly, and one that’ll actually do phone calls 😛


Posted via web from dekrazee1’s posterous

Blogging is about confidence

November 23rd, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

So there’s still something holding me back from picking this up full time. It’s not a lack of time. Not content either. Writer’s block I can deal with, no worries. What then?

I’ve been giving this A LOT of thought over the past few weeks, digging into the reasons I’ve been holding back. It hit me that I had the same issue when I first started Tangling, when I first started Tweeting, when I first started blogging for Tangler, heck, when I first started sharing on Google Reader! It’s about confidence. And the only way to get that is to apply oneself to the task one isn’t confident about. (‘Cept to tackle the task, one needs to deal with the confidence thing…. you see where this is going…)

Side note: How come no one told me this before?! Eh??

Well then, since the issue has been pinpointed, it can be resolved. First blog post written. Next one is already in draft. Vicious cycle begone!

</evil laugh>

In the meantime, any tips for this n00b? 🙂

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