Tag Archives: innovation

What Would Life be Like Without Social Networking?

Someone asked me this earlier on Twitter. You would think it would be simple one to answer. After all, social networking is still in its infancy, right? Wrong! Social networks have been around since before the Internet was actually – well – the Internet. Stop thinking that these words only encompass sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Once you do, many of you will realize that you’ve likely never lived a moment of your life without some form of social networking.

As defined: “A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.” Of course, these networks exist offline, as well. For the sake of this post, we’re going to pretend we are only referring to things found on the Web.

Back in the late 70s through the early 90s, you could connect with others online via a BBS. This is nearly FORTY years ago these things started becoming popular, y’all. The service was used to upload and download software or data, read news and bulletins and exchanging messages with other users. Oh, and there were also games to play against yourself and other members. Hm… this sounds an awful lot like an early version of nearly every social site out there today, doesn’t it?

Social networks are evolving, sure. Sites are coming up with new features and better ways to connect. That supposed innovation comes with a price, though… a huge lack of any form of privacy. We have evolved into a generation of people who claim to care about our privacy yet who continue to post nearly every aspect of our lives online for the world to peruse. We check in and tell others where we are every moment of the day. We send out statuses and messages telling them what we’re doing, who we’re talking to and where we may be headed next. We share nearly everything.

To me, this is the main difference between networks of today and the ones from 30+ years ago. It’s not about the difference in platforms. WE have changed. Yup – Facebook looks slick as hell compared to an old BBS. Twitter is faster and simpler to use. But at the very core of each type of service – where are the true differences – the real innovations?

You should stop asking yourselves what life would be like without social networks. They’ve been around for many more years than you thought, and they aren’t going anywhere. What you should ask yourself, instead, is “How am I going to change the way I use these services throughout my life?”

Can Any Technology Last Forever?

Community member Giorgio is thinking about saving files to some type of storage device and not touching them again for thirty years. His question is which type of storage to use. What will stand the test of time? Which types of technology will live forever? The problem I see is that nothing lasts forever, which is definitely both good and bad.

Technology advances at an astounding pace these days. This is a good thing, right? We are creating products to fill a need at breakneck speed. Companies churn out better, faster and more full-featured devices on a seemingly daily basis. Competition is fierce, which lights the fire under businesses to come up with something more outstanding. The “I have to have the best and newest NOW!” mentality of consumers is fueling the tech economy. It’s a beautiful circle and one I love to watch.

The downside of this innovation and creativity is that nothing lasts forever. If Giorgio slaps his files onto a standard hard drive (or even an SSD) tomorrow, will there even be a machine around which is capable of reading it in thirty years? Is he going to have to scour pawn shops and thrift stores hoping to find a “really old and outdated” computer from 2011? It seems as though half of what we purchase today is of no use less than a year in the future.

I remember my early pieces of technology fondly – they are the devices which fostered my passion and allowed me to turn these passions into a career. Heck, I still have several of them lying around my house. How many of you out there can say the same, though? Do you still have super-old and obsolete gadgets and machines sitting in a closet somewhere? Raise your hand if you own something which can read a floppy disc or zip drive. Yeah – that’s what I thought.

The one constant that will always remain is you – the user. Your thirst for more, your hunger for true innovation and your desire for MORE will keep the technology wheels turning.

John Blue

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Molly Stanberry interviewing John Blue at Gnomedex 2007.

John writes on InnovationCreation. What does “innovation” really mean and what can I do to become “more innovative”? I have an idea but what do I do next? How do I find innovative people? How can my company be more innovative?
These questions are being asked everyday by business and education leaders pressured to “be more innovative.” Companies and organizations struggle with the innovation process and how to apply it. And while there‚Äôs no magic bullet for innovation, you can put in place actions, training, and environment that cultivates an innovation mindset and prepares your staff to recognize and act upon new opportunities.
InnovationCreation helps you put in place innovation tools, process, and culture to steer your company to products and services customers really want.

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