Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Death & Agony by PowerPoint - DoD's real enemy

We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint

Yes he is! The DOD spends an exhorbitant amount of time building PowerPoint presentations.

Now, I had an entire 4-hour credit course one summer in college to learn this nifty little skill. Except back then it was the "other guy's" product, mPower. But it was all the same. I did not know in my young idealistic days that my military officer salary, paid for by taxpayers at more than $60K a year and that doesn't include benefits and allowances, would really not require more than that 4-hour credit course. I would have happily skipped all the pain of statistics and chemistry lab!

Twitter today had a great tweet by @pricefloyd "Death by PowerPoint. Why is DOD so enamored by this communication tool?

What a spectacular question! My follow up is this: why hasn't the audit agency done a study to see how much time and money is wasted on making these things? My last job had two lieutenant colonels preparing massive briefs - 125 slides with 36 or so versions of the same brief for one general? What is wrong with Gen Mattis' approach? Just get up and talk.

Maybe we should send our officers back to Speech 101 and throw PowerPoint out the window.

I don't have a product

Just finished reading DM Scott's World Wide Rave.

Love the book. Love the ideas. Ready to implement. Two concerns.

1 - I don't have a product.
2 - I work for a company that won't fold, ever.

So, I don't have a product. Maybe that should be my product. I'm just a girl who really likes social media. Sees the value in social media and networking. I mooch off news organizations and I blog about what other folks are saying and doing.

His book didn't talk about blogging and I wish that he did. Sure everyone has an opinion and in this narcissistic society, everyone wants to be heard and be famous. Is that new? I don't think so. I also don't think that is a new concept to psychologists or anthropologists. Maslow might even argue that the need for acceptance is right up there after food. So I'm not sure that narcissism is unique to this generation. We just now have the tools to feed it (hence, the World Wide Rave).

Two, I don't work for a company that will fold, ever. I work for the U.S. government. On page 99 of his book, Scott encourages you to quit and "work for a company that embraces the new world" because "your company won't be around in a few years." That is good advice if I were a corporate weenie but I'm not. I'm a government weenie. And in the hierarchical, dictatorial society of "do it because I've been around a lot longer therefore I know better" - social media is barely cracking the operational security iron curtain of pentagon firewalls, bandwidth and paranoia that I'd like it to.

To be fair, the DoD just put out a blanket policy to open unclassified computers to social media sites and the Air Force is testing it right now. Is that enough to crack the culture? No way but it is at least a start.

So.... if my product is how the DoD can speed up this integration, then maybe I can write an eBook as Scott suggests. or maybe I can make fun of how complicated the DoD has to make everything. Any ideas here are greatly appreciated.

Otherwise, my product will be that I don't have one and I will create a blog, Facebook, Twitter and other accounts with my opinion on the direction of DoD social media integration and conservative US politics. Any takers?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Border Control

So the Arizona governor signed illegal immigration legislation today. That spun everyone up!

The left is screaming that it's racial profiling and violating all sorts of individual civil liberties. The right applauds it as a tough stance in the face of violence and the stoppage of the illegal use of American programs. Others say that Jan Brewer is in a super tough political race this year and it's a political stunt.

However, when you look at the Robert Krentz murder case, a local Arizona rancher who was found dead in his truck last month -- the locals say all evidence points to an illegal smuggler. The day before he and his dog were shot, Robert's brother had called border patrol about a caravan of illegals. They found 280 pounds of marijuana, which makes you wonder if it was a retribution killing.

This is the first murder in 30 years but the foot traffic through the area is so rampant that it looks like a dump from the clothes, food, water bottles, trash dropped by the folks walking across the border every day. It's just proof of the amount of people crossing the border. Pleas of federal assistance have been ignored.

Does one murder constitute a new state law requiring people to carry their immigration papers? No. But drug traffic over the border is uncontrollable. American tax dollars pay for free school lunches, emergency room care, ESL programs, welfare and other programs. Violence is up, especially in places like El Paso, Texas, across from Ciudad Juarez where the drug cartels have been known to kill DEA agents and leave them in open graves. Locals claim that illegals just walk through their land every day. And they do take jobs away from people who are here legally.

And that is the bottom line. It will be an interesting next few days as the pundits debate it. Obama has already said it's "misguided." I'd like to see if it helps or hurts the Arizona governor. They already have that great Sheriff in Joe Arpaio. Looks to me like they are leading the way.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

iPad - thinking about it

98-year-old Virgina Campbell bought her first piece of computer equipment - ever! And it was an iPad. The woman has glaucoma and just sped through 2 books on the iPad. Talk about an advertisement.

From everything I've read, I'm thinking this might be a good buy, next year. I'd like to wait for the second generation because other than being a great eReader and according to one friend, it will change the gaming world, I'm not sure yet about it's ultimate significance.

It isn't a laptop. If you want one of those, get the Macbook. It isn't a phone. If you want one of those, get an iPhone. It doesn't have a camera and won't run multiple apps at once.

I am in the market for an eReader and I was looking at the Kindle, but I love the hype about the iPad. However, this one appears to be more suited for magazines and comics. Still more research to be done. But I'm on the edge...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where do you get your news?

Evidently if you feel the need to pay attention to the news, then most of you get it from at least 4 different sites. That is according to a Pew Research Study that came out last month. I am definitely one of those people - a news junkie.

Some of the most compelling information about the study included:

People still read local newspapers and watch local television news coverage.
TV is how most get their news, with the internet coming in a close second.
Over a third of cell phone users access the news on their phones
Out of all internet users, almost 40% participate in the news
-- creating the news (iReports)
-- commenting on the news
-- forwarding the news via email or social networking (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)

I get my news from at least 6 different sources via Twitter and forward it from Twitter, post it to my Facebook site or email it. I also check news gathering sources like Yahoo News, Google, Drudge, Huffington and Early Bird. Not to mention I switch my office TV between CNN and FoxNews throughout the day.

What I like about this study is that it shows that although newspapers around the country are struggling, people are still more likely to use local sources for their news. That tells me their is still a market for a local source. Tapping that source is important. Utilizing a mobile app or internet site would benefit those trying to project a message. Now, it's a matter of marketing the site.