Thursday, October 17, 2013

Productivity, Scaling Yourself: SxSW 2013

If more is more, how do we keep up? Sooner or later something has to give. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, texts, news, and on and on. Some days it seems a bit too much. When we need a vacation just for an excuse to "unplug" maybe there is a better way.

Scott Hanselman explored the essence of what it means to be truly productive and how to scale your life online.

Hashtags: #scaleyou

Here are my take aways from the session. Each one is simultaneously so easy and so hard.
  • Don't be an "AskHole," someone who always ask for advice, but doesn't take it. 
  • Triage the inbox of your life. What's beyond help? Cut it loose. 
  • What are 3 things you can get done today, week, year, which will make you feel awesome. 
  • Set an appointment to set these goals and review these goals 
  • Being busy is a form of laziness. Being "busy" doesn't mean you are getting things done. 
  • Challenge-Don't check email first thing. Do work first thing 
  • It's not your time that is important, it's your attention.
Suggested Readings:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Perfection, Algorithms to Optimize Human Existence: SxSw 2013

In this Future 15 session, Byron Reese claimed the widespread proliferation of cheap sensors of all kinds will create a vast "collective memory," a record of every cause and effect. This data will be mined for associations that will be turned into algorithms to optimize every decision we make, from where to eat dinner to what job to apply for.

We learn from our previous experiences, but imagine having the life experience of everyone at your immediate recall. In theory you could make the perfect decision every time. We're not talking about ethical perfection, but technical perfection.

We may not always choose to do those things, it will effectively make every person on the planet vastly wiser than the wisest person who has ever lived. It will be wisdom at processor speed.

This session bordered on the creepy. Our presenter argued that with this sort of technology the point we are at now will be the equivalent of drunken sailors on shore leave. But, isn't it kind of fun to be a drunken sailor on leave?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 Tips from Kim Jong-Il About Interactive Docs: SxSW 2013

I was attending everything I could on video this year because the Library had recently launched our video initiative. I had never heard of an interactive documentary, but this one blew me away when I learn about it. 

"The Defector" documents the struggle of those fleeing North Korea. The film is accompanied by an online video game (for lack of a better term) where you are the defector, and you have to make choices to get you and your family across the border. It's a very scary build your own adventure.

For educators who like to bring documentaries into the classroom, this adds a whole new component to to engage audiences (i.e. students) with the content. 

Hashtags: @thedefectormov

Take Aways:

  • Interactive Documentaries add an online interactive component to reinforce the message of the documentary. 
  • Tip #1-Great ideology creates great times: Docs are niche market. Interactive docs broaden that market. 
  • Tip #2 Look at things: What have other people done? 
  • Tip #3-Make Movies by Any Means Possible 
  • Tip #4-A man who dreads trials and difficulties cannot become a revolutionary 
  • Tip #5-Before you launch, test it: Have your project viewed by fresh eyes. Use feedback to adjust what you are doing. Build in the beta time. 
  • Tip #6-Use propaganda: Talk about it early and often. 

Library Applications:

  • With our new video offerings, are there short doc opportunities? Can we think about any of our content in this way? 
  • Are there any interactive documentaries that would be good resources for instruction? What can we do to make those available? 

Suggested Readings:

Suggested Tools:

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Smile Epidemic: SxSW 2013

This was definitely the happiest session at SxSW. The Smile Epidemic session discussed their science-based social sharing tool that increases levels of happiness in individuals and organizations. At first I thought it was going to be a sales pitch. While they do conduct organizational training, the session focused on the research and free services. So, I guess it was actually a really really well-done sales pitch.

The concept: 1. Find something in your day that made you smile. 2. Use the app to take a photo 3. Write down what makes you smile on the digital sticky note 4. Post to the site and share on social media. Although the activity is simple, the impact has a deeper impact; executives claim improved morale, more productivity; students admit they feel more socially supported, and individuals report that they are simply, happier.

Hashtags: #sxswsmiles

Take Aways:

  • We aren't happy when we get rid of problems, we are happy when we do what we are good at. 
  • Lasado line-6:1 positive to neg organizational interactions gets the most done; 13:1 positive to neg interaction is not productive. 
  • Use the negative interactions sparingly and effectively on things that impact organizational success. 
  • Psychological Capital: Hope, Self-efficacy, social/emotion intelligence, signature strengths (hire for strengths your org needs), resiliency (bounce back from disappointment), optimism 

Library Applications:

  • Happy employees has fewer sick days, are more productive (+31%) and creative, and stay with the organization longer. 
  • We have wellness initiatives, how do these incorporate psychological well being? 
  • Add reporting to team meeting: what made you happy, what did you learn. Reporting trains our brain to collect this info. 

Suggested Readings: The Smile Epidemic blog

Friday, October 4, 2013

SxSW 2013 Belated Recap

I am already making plans for SxSw 2014, and it occurs to me I haven't posted any session recaps from this year's festival. In an effort to secure support to attend again, my co-worker and I prepared a report for our Dean about the sessions we attended, what we learned and how it applied to the Library. The final report was 66 pages long. That's a lot of blog posts.

To introduce the upcoming recaps, I thought I'd post a few videos to demonstrate why I keep going back to SxSW, even though it's insanely expensive, overcrowded, and a bit full of its self.

1. Live keynote from amazing speakers you didn't even know you wanted to hear. 

In 2013, I heard Elon Musk (among others). Haven't heard of him? Me either. Evidently, he is the guy Tony Stark (Ironman) is based on. I heard the real life Ironman. Wahh?

2. Demos of the Next Big Thing

What will everyone be talking about in social media/technology this year? Whatever it is, they are probably planning to demo it at SxSw.

3. Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

SxSW is information overload. Between sessions, demos, trade show, events, and chats with random strangers I always come back with so inspiration for things to read, do and especially to think about.

4. Of Course, the Sessions

That's coming up next. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

APR Tuesday Tip: Quota Sample

Many people confuse this for a random sample, but it's not. It may be representative of your total population, but it's not random and can't be projected onto the entire group.

Front: Quota Sample

Back: A nonprobability sample. Ex. In a school, find 10 elementary teachers, 10 middle school teachers, and 10 high school teachers. Any 10 of each kind.