Monday, May 16, 2005

GNU-Linux and Wal-Mart: The Differenceq

So I watched these two programs and I asked myself, why isn't Wal-Mart behind bars? Then I remembered we live in an arrogant and selfish capitalist society. While GNU and Linux allowed its develors free access and power to contribute, Wal-Mart played the role of the bully with its manufacturers. Wal-Mart could and would drastically cut buying prices in order to raise profit. This forced manufacturers to lower their prices and eventually go bankrupt. The program showed the effects of Wal-Marts refusal to pay adequate sums of money to its manufacturers. Elena's blog explains this idea and how dangerous it could become. GNU-Linux's story is very different. Their whole philosophy is about sharing and the ultimate education of everyone. Jessica brings up a good point about participation. I also admire their "no fear" attitude against larger corporations like Microsoft. I think the most shocking part of the program is the contrast between Bill Gates and the long hair dude who was the founder of GNU. Their attitude and philosophies pretty much says it all.

I Had Fun Man

So the projects are over and so is the class and man did I have fun. I enjoyed the creative process that was put into the projects. I really appreciated the artistic flexbility that the professor gave us and for that reason alone, it was worth it. The experience allowed me to not only work with music and editing but also with people who shared my vision. The final outcome was very rewarding and helpful. Knowing ProTools and really crazy music worked out in the end. Until next time, Later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Longer the Tail The Better

So now we talk about the Long Tail. After many articles and research, I found that the article that most intrigued me was Mr. David Gratton's. I think that the best example to use for the Long Tail is music. I admire the correlation between pop music and the Long Tail. It is true that popular tends to sell more right away as opposed to steady sells. The comparison that really made sense was that of Jazz music. I'm a huge Jazz fan and I understand the popularity of it's genre. If you go to a Tower Records store, you will be bombarded with new pop music stands and flyers. Once you have avoided and managed your way through the chaos, you can find a Jazz and Classical music section. The Tower Records on broadway has a huge selection of vintage Jazz that is safely put away on the third floor. Eventhough Jazz music does not sell as well as say a Britney Spears album, it still has the power to influence and entice careful listeners to appreciate and eventually purchase the album. Britney Spears is a pathetic trend that will die soon but Jazz will be here so long as aliens do not kill off the truly musician.
Megan brings up a good point about the Long Tail and it's use in terms of businesses. If a company like Amazon can find a niche and use it to their advantage, they will be able to get a constant flow of sales for rare valueables. The hardest thing for a small business to do is identifying a small market/niche. If a company can do so and maintain a grasp of it, they can be in business for a while. Jessica brings up an interesting idea about companies who can suffer from the effects of the Long Tail. I say screw it. If small companies can somehow over throw larger companies, great. If a small company has the courage and intelligence to work within a new niche then let them beat the big guy. Long live the working man with new and fresh ideals. Down with conformity and uselessness. Amen

Monday, April 25, 2005

Yet Another Way To Make Our Lives Easier

After messing around with the Internet, I came across a few definitions for Folksonomy. Miss M's definition is very similar to mine, which states that it can be open to interpretation. Having all kinds of information layed out in your own personal way sounds kind of sweet. The interesting thing about such a lay out is the lack of relationship between the content. I found myself confused for a few minutes because of it. I'm so used to having information related to each other with a parent-child relationship that I was thrown off by the new interface. A very interesting feature are the tags. Tags connect similar URL's to one another. This can be extremely useful when looking for odd information on a specific subject. Imagine a time when you are in dire need for inspiration. You would be able to type in a word and get all kinds of crazy links for that particular subject. The beauty of tags is the possibilities one can have of accessing information one never knew existed.
From a business perspective, Folksonomy can be a huge advantage. Businesses are always on the lookout for new niches and segments to expore (exploit). If businesses make too many guesses, they will be prone to losing large amounts of money. Businesses can learn to use their money in a more efficient way by listening to the consumer, and the best way is through programs like Flickr and Del.icio.us. With the use of these programs, businesses can look "into" the mind of the consumer to find out what they really crave. With such personal information, businesses can not only save money by smartly investing in the right products but they can also be upto date with their customers.
Finally, I agree with Chris in that this is just a taste of the future. The ease and proficiency of Folksonomies make it much more appealing for users. It's a known fact that people are lazy and ADD stricken therefore they will have an easier time with simple tasks. I agree that Folksonomies are a glimpse of the future. The future is now.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

E-mail, Mailing Lists and Other Toys

After reading the 3rd chapter from The Cluetrain Manifesto, the use of the chatroom became clear. It's not just for porn and all the other good stuff. It can be used to help others in a business environment as well as communicating with people from around the world. When Julia says that she rejects chat invitations because she thingks it might turn out to be an orgy-fest, I delightfully agree. Chat rooms have such bad reputations that I haven't entered one in many years. Interestingly, the last time I did enter a chat room was for technical support. I was having problems installing a game on my personal computer therefore I had to get assistance. I decided to visit the company's website and instead of writing down a phone number I was sent to a chat room. I was very sure that the second I clicked on the link, I would have a host asking me what I was wearing. I was surprised to find a very useful human being on the other side of the conversation helping me efficiently. There are many companies offering online help today and many interesting reads that people can view and learn from.
Unfortunately, technology can be very annoying too. As with all types of advancements, it can be used for the good of mankind and not. Mailing Lists are the perfect example. I can understand the importance and ease a mailing list can add to someone's daily activities. I mean c'mon, how sweet is it when you can join your favorite bands mailing list and get all their great news on a daily basis? I know I enjoy it. But I had a very annoying experience with it because of Marymount Manhattan College. Toward the end of the summer that passed, I was getting dozens of e-mails in response to some irrelevent subject that students were asking about. I was pissed because I never authorized myself to be included on the mailing list and it took weeks for the school to fix the problem. It will never happen again.Deb brings up a very important discussion about e-mails. The privacy of e-mails is a huge plus for people who like to keep a healthy dose of privacy in their life. With conventional paper mail, anyone sitting around your front door can intercept the object. People from the post office can mishandle your mail and you pay the consequences. With e-mails, you can have a better sense of security which can give people the confidence to write more personal mail. Another important aspect of E-mails was mentioned in the reading. The fact that we can expect a response from mail we sent the same day is revolutionary. With old school mail, it took days, weeks, months for a response to occur. Now that we have electronic mail, people can expect a response in a much shorter period of time. Consumers can get help from their suppliers quickly and suppliers can get feedback from their customers fast also. Everybody in the game becomes a winner. Hooray.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The End of the Individual

How sad is professionalism? When did our society become so obsessed with money that we actually take part of becoming robots for "the man". I agree with the article that our voice is the most important and vital tool that we possess. Our voice is the ultimate gateway to our being. With our voice we can change the world and recieve what we desire. Having someone out there telling me that my voice should be lowered or eliminated would seem a crime to me. In chapter 2 of The Cluetrain Manifesto, we read about the authors view on our voice and it's importance. I can understand Laura's shock when she recieved a customer with the concern of a yellow tie. I worked in a law firm for two years and never wore a tie because of this ridiculous topic. People would actually compare each others tie's and have long, boring conversations over the origins of such eccentric clothing. The best parts of the day were when I would go to the smoke room to have a stoge. The conversations i heard in there were pure gold. The smoke room was the area where all the paralegals and attorneys would go and let out their humanity. The range of conversations were from paintball to relationships and sex. I was shocked. All day long I would walk around observing the miseries of corporate life and then I was treated to this. It was so pathetic it became amusing after a while. Outside of the smoke room, people behaved like zombies, or managed individuals. Even people who knew one another rarely talked in the office area. I would get dirty looks from the lawyers and so did the other workers from the Research Technology team. The longing was there although, and it was apparent when we all went to a our safe place and had wild conversations. The chapter describes such longings and why we need each other.
If we want to see how apparant our need for one anothers attention, we don't have to look much further then My Space. My Space is an addiction. Everyone and their grandparents have an account with my space. It's like this huge public data base with personal homepages as contacts. The amazing aspect of this technology is the amount of time people put into customising their own profiles. It reminds me of the chapter when it talks about the desire to have an uncensored voice. I agree with Joy's comment that the Internet is a voice of our world. Like the author stated, "having a voice doesn't mean being able to sing in the shower. It means presenting oneself to others." The Internet is an important public space for people to communicate in. There are consequences if we are not permitted using it as you can read in this interesting article. Let freedom of speech live.

The Need For One Another

After reading the first chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, I had a mixed opinion on the reading. I noticed that many other students had a negative outlook of the reading. Anthony had a funny perspective about it. I enjoyed the beginning of the chapter because of it's clever commentary on modern life and it's traditions. The hook that really got to me was the second paragraph, "life is too short". Think about it, life isn't too short. If you talk to a person who has fulfilled his or her's life expecatation and dreams, life is just right. If someone has worked 9 to 5 for decades, ofcourse life is too short, you have sacrificed your happiness for green paper. The fact that Christopher Locke brought up the lie that life is too short was very interesting. It's quite depressing to also read about how humans will not only put up with the torture, but actually live with it. This idea of conformity reminds me of the hilarious cartoon Dilbert. Dilbert was a great cartoon series because it portrayed characters that hated their jobs, friends, and lives yet they didn't kill themselves. The characters founds ways of entertaining themselves and keeping sane in such a horrible, tedious, corporate environment.
The fear of well informed workers is another interesting topic. In Brenna's blog, she mentions the Henry Ford philosophy and how its irrelevent nowadays. Back in the good old days (before i was even planned) people had less options to choose from. The whole idea that the customers could buy any color car as long as it was black can prove to be disastrous today. The Internet has enabled us as the consumer to choose precisely what we desire. If we like a commercial, we might buy the product. If not, we won't think twice about it. If company's have websites that do not cater to our needs, we will move right along. A good example would be Dell's site. I recently bought a desktop from Dell using their website and I was amazed. Not only was it easy, but i also recieved e-mails notifying me of the delivery status. All of these small details gave me the impression of accuracy and efficiency.
To conclude the rambling I would like to touch upon a psychological aspect of it all. The need to improve, where does it come from? Why are we so dissatisfied with ourselves, where does it come from? I was very amused with the authors commentary on the topic which brought the imagery of a blonde draped over the hood of a car. Why is it that when we open a car, bike, video game magazines we always see extremely attractive women beside the product? The need to replace the nagging, bitchy wife with a hot blonde shows me a sense of exploitation. I call it male exploitation. We as men have been bombarded which such imagery which has brainwashed us to respond to certain symbols. Like Al Bundy once said "Pretty girls make us buy beer and ugly girls make us drink beer". It's a sad time for us men.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Command and Control?

After reading "Unmade In America: The True Cost of a Global Assembly Line" I was left pondering the effects a "Command and Control" technique would have on other individuals. I fully agree with Joy's opening statement because I too feel that responsibility will be sacrificed. In order to be an efficient manager, you must be able to motivate, lay down clear objectives, and hold a party responsible for it's actions (good or bad). In a hierarchical structure, responsibility is clearly defined and correcting errors are made possible. Outsourcing brings up many serious problems and one of them would be the inability to progress. With a lack of communication because of distance, how can workers inform one another of new techniques or innovations? There is definitely a lack of flexibility as you can read in this article which would delay any form of efficiency to take place.
Now for the fun part. Whatever happened to fearing mother nature? Past civilizations gave our mother much attention because, hey without her support we can't do anything. If there's a hurricane, I really doubt you'll be able to go to your neighborhood bar and have a couple of pints let alone go to work. We need to understand that the earth is very unstable and we can't rely on forecasts to help us. Kelly has a good point when she writes about natural disasters. The chances of a natural disaster affecting a company is greatly increased when using outsourcing because of common sense. If you have multiple factories around the world, you have a higher possibility of getting affected because of the ratio. If you have just one company, the disaster would have to occur in only one area. Offshoring Digest has a good article on it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

These Links are the Shizzle

Check out Joy's blog for some cool and interesting links. After months of Americans not caring about the NHL and it's forgotten season, it was refreshing to see a blog like Chris which pretty much sums up my view. Finally, I would like to mention Anthony's blog because he is also from Queens and loves the Metal too. R.I.P. ODB