Category Archives: Life – or something like it

Above the Fold

Honolulu_Star-Bulletin_December_7th_1941.jpg

“Above the fold” is an old concept that can still be used give your emails more punch!

For newspapers, the most important space in the entire paper is the upper half of the front page. Papers are often displayed folded so that only the top half of the front page is visible. Thus, an item that is “above the fold” is one that the publisher believes will entice people to buy the paper.

But why is this important in a world controlled by electronic media?  

Because the concept of being “above the fold” still holds true today, and may even be more important in a world saturated with excessive email traffic.  

When sending an email you need your “call to action” to be at the top.   This goes double if your audience will be reading on a mobile device.

Need someone to approve your budget?  Include that message in the first few lines of your email, and then follow with all of the pertinent information on why the money is necessary.  If you lead with supporting information, it’s likely they will never get to the bit where you need them to take action.

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The same applies to your web pages.  Want action?  Then make sure the call to action appears before the user has to scroll down.

Like it or not today’s world is all about convenience.  So if you want action, don’t make people have to work for it.

 

 

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Filed under Life - or something like it, Education

Solid Foundation Drone Building Class

Is drone building as cool as skateboarding?  Probably not!  But who says you can’t have both?

via Solid Foundation Drone Building Class – Avios Aerial MediaAvios Aerial Media21624008_10155033600844786_804616408_n.jpg

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Filed under Life - or something like it

Equifax’s Instructions Are Confusing. Here’s What to Do Now.

By sitting on information about a massive data leak for two months, Equifax put over half the population of the US at serious risk of fraud. Now it turns out they may even be able to turn this into a money making proposition!

So, yes, your worst suspicions are now confirmed. Equifax may actually make money on this breach. We would expect nothing less from the credit reporting industry, with which few of us would choose to do business but nearly everyone has to sooner or later.

via Equifax’s Instructions Are Confusing. Here’s What to Do Now. – The New York Times

Similar to how it is illegal for criminals to make money from their notoriety, I think it’s time we had something similar for companies.  At the very least, any monies made need to be funneled into a fund to take care of the victims.

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My Father’s Dragon

8 years ago I convinced Greg to record a children’s audio book for a group called Librivox.  Librivox provides thousands of free audiobooks that are in the public domain.

The book was called My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  It’s a fantastic story about how a boy uses his smarts to overcome various obstacles and it is made extra special (IMHO) because it is read by a young child.

Today I stumbled across that old recording on my phone and wanted to see how it was doing.  If I’m reading the site correctly it looks as though it has now been “read” over 70,000 times!

If you have young children I would recommend giving it a shot.  I bet they will love it!

If you would prefer to download it see the page on Librivox here:

https://archive.org/details/my_fathers_dragon_0909_librivox

 

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3D Printing Landscapes and Buildings

One of the uses I’ve been putting my drone to is creating high definition maps of areas. This is a relatively new service offering for Avios Aerial Media and I’m experimenting to find the best combinations of height, speed, picture overlap, and camera settings to achieve consistently good results.

The software I’m currently using is DroneDeploy which recently announced a host of new features.  But the one that really caught my eye is that you can now 3D print your images!

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Think about that for a minute.

Let’s assume you really like that beautiful old church complete with steeple etc.  You can send your drone off to automatically capture images from all around it, upload those to the server and have someone 3D print a little replica of the church in a material of your choice.

Or you are about to start developing an area of land and need to show that to investors. Forget about maps.  Now you can print a 3D landscape of the entire area and drop it on their desk.

How cool is that!!

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Back to the Future!

backtothefuture.jpgAround 2002 I was selected as part of an experimental group to create an internal consulting group.  Something like the “Big Four”, but without the constant loss of institutional knowledge.

This past Monday I re-joined the company as the head of that group!

Honestly, I’m very excited about it.  

The team has such incredibly deep knowledge that it’s somewhat daunting as I’m probably the least intelligent person in the room 99% of the time.  That said I have something most of them don’t.  No, it’s not my amazing good looks, it is my age!

All of the group are younger than me, several by a couple of decades.  I had to explain to one of the more “senior” members on Friday what backup tapes were!  (sic)

But I remember being their age too.  I remember being a cocky sh**, full of piss and vinegar, and wondering why we needed all these “old people”.  My technical expertise was top notch and people wanted me.  Why did I need to be nice to people?

image_cbff354b-879a-4001-beab-9e4e1ad4f78e20170214_110055.jpgOver the years, I have learned many lessons the hard way.  

I learned that emotional intelligence is worth more than technical expertise.

I learned that keeping a secret is worth more than blabbing to show you are in the loop.

I learned that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. And that asking for help is a gift to the helper and the helped.

I learned to give first without expecting something in return.

I learned to say “thank you”, and mean it.

I learned that my word is, and must always be, my bond.

I learned to give credit often and publicly.

I learned that mistakes happen and the only people not making mistakes are the ones not doing anything new, hard or innovative.

I learned that opportunities are often enshrouded with hassle, perceived risk and the need to overcome inertia.

I learned to accept that I don’t have all the answers and that should accept assistance when it is offered.

And so we embark on a new journey together.

The group is in an interesting place today.  It is really a collection of individual contributors rather than a team.  Smart, talented, and energetic individuals for sure.  But I think we can build something truly amazing if we can learn to support each other more.

Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.  If we can recognize that, learn to trust and lean on each other, and learn to ask for help when we need it then the group is destined to be something truly amazing.  I hope I’m up to the task of helping them on that journey.

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Filed under Career, Life - or something like it

After the election…now what?

its-time-to-step-up

[Thanks to John Stepper for putting voice to my feelings so eloquently]

Things did not turn out the way I hoped they would. What should I do next?

I could be angry, and make my anger visible with a nasty comment on social media.

I could search the internet for extreme examples and share those that validate my fears and beliefs, ignoring my confirmation bias.

I could taunt or confront people who have different opinions, mocking them for their obvious lack of principles and education.

I could defriend the few in my network who disagree with me, thereby repairing the small breeches in a social bubble I have carefully cultivated, one that brings me comfort that I’m surrounded by people who think like me.

I have done all of these things in the past, and it has yielded nothing but unhappiness.

I’m done. I am no longer willing to be part of the problem, to feed the escalation of polarizing, dehumanizing behaviors that seems to be the new normal.

It’s time to step up.

If I want more kindness and compassion, I can be kinder and more compassionate, online and in person, throughout my day.

If I see unkind behavior, I can speak up and offer my support.

If I want more opportunities for people faced with systemic bias, I can do something to give them a voice, to help them gain access they might not have otherwise.

If I want to improve how people relate to each other – to replace hate and fear with empathy and generosity – I can continue to develop and spread a practice that does that. I can make that my life’s work.

I am not angry. I am not depressed.

I am committed.

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Filed under Life - or something like it