Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

I'm half-way through NaBloPoMo. It's harder than you think to write a blog post every day. It shouldn't be that difficult, but sometimes it just is. Sometimes, the words just don't come very easily. Sometimes you start a post and it's not the right time to publish it or you need more info or time to work on it before publishing. Today is one of those days. I have a couple of posts in draft that need a lot more work than just commenting off the top of my head. So today, I'm going to share some links with you and things I'm thinking about at the moment instead. You'll have to wait for the meatier posts!

Terence Eden's testcard set up for Shambala Festival
Use a Test Slide
Terence Eden, a fellow member of the NaBloPoMo club, has written today with some very simple top tips on presentations with the main point being about using a test card at the beginning of your presentation. It's a genius idea actually on a couple of levels. By using a test card, if you happen to have to test your AV when some or all of the audience is in the room, it's neutral in content and, Terence says 'easily ignorable'.

I would add that for those of us of a certain age, it will bring back lovely nostalgic feelings and may put me in a more receptive frame of mind to hear from that speaker. It also occurs to me that brands and companies that have nifty graphics, could put together a similar type of testcard using their own graphics. You can read more of Terence's presentation tips here and he's made his testcard available on github too.

Free university courses
Quartz magazine has been keeping track here of the 800 or so universities globally that are offering free or partially free online courses. And in the last quarter, 200 universities released 600 more courses to the general public. That's an incredible resource and goes some way to democratising education.

I don't know about you though, but I find online courses really challenging. My attention wanders, I find it hard to be disciplined about it and I miss the collaborate nature of working with other students, or at least having that personal contact. I think there's also something to be said about going to a specific place to do something. There's something intentional about that that helps me, at least, with the learning process.

But with university fees on the rise in the UK and the cost of living increasing, the demand for cheaper ways to get the same level of education has to increase. I'm no fan of university fees or the debt that lumbers the student in for many years to come. There is an emotional burden that comes with that alongside the financial one. So the future for some kind of online learning looks healthy but maybe the format needs to evolve. Or maybe I just need to get my head down and do one of these online courses. If I can do a daily blog post this month, then I can surely manage to complete one of these courses. Maybe that'll be my next challenge...

Digital Disruption
Apparently 50% of companies don't care about digital disruption. And 10% of them don't think this will affect them at all according to this post by friend and fellow mobilist, Monty Munford. He's citing some new research from Dell EMC. This chimes with a conversation I had with a friend a couple of days ago. He's recently left a large oil company and the main reason for his departure was their utter lack of acknowledgement of the digital world in which we live and the changes required to adapt to that. It's not so much about the nuts and bolts of the software requirements, but the culture change within the organisation. The latter point is so important and the one that so many organisations are missing.

There are plenty of businesses that are rely much more on word of mouth and personal contacts than anything else. And that's absolutely fine. And absolutely right for them. Not everyone needs an all singing all dancing website or mobile app. And some industries may not be affected as quickly as others by the ubiquity of digital. However, internal processes, monitoring and management are increasingly digital or algorithmic and, whatever the size of your organisation, you probably need to adapt to changing customer needs and changing ways in which customers want to connect with you or be served by you. And that's going to mean digital in some shape or form.

Global Mobile Awards at Mobile World Congress 2018
If you want to enter one of this year's 38 categories, you need to get in quick. Entries close next week on Wednesday 22 November. More information about the categories, costs and how to enter here.