Circumlocutions

Traversing the gap between “blog” and “blawg” since 2008

Something about… Social Redundancy

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Social media seems pretty big, huh? Still kind of shiny and new. Every new bit of functionality is exciting and worth a blog post or tweet.

One thing that still stops me from fully embracing the social media universe is something that goes hand in hand with its novelty. People are still experimenting with different forms of it – which is good – but  it reminds me of the exchange in Something About Mary:

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7… Minute… Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you’re going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin’ there, there’s 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That’s – how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you’re not happy with the first 7 minutes, we’re gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That’s it. That’s our motto. That’s where we’re comin’ from. That’s from “A” to “B”.
Ted: That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you’re in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted: That – good point.

There were blogs, then there were social media sites like Facebook; then there were microblogs like tumblr, and then there was twitter and its ilk. I think there’s a good chance that we’ve reached the critical mass of ‘blogging; most of the new advances will be aggregation services, such as ping.fm and flockr. As we all know, new media spawns alternatives. VHS and Betamax; HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Until “the people” make a choice, we’ll continue to see sites littered with millions of social media badges.

I’m not insinuating that social media has a Highlander-like demand for there to be only one. I’m just pointing out that there’s a lot of redundancy out there. As an example, I was discussing tumblr with Martha Sperry on twitter and we were weighing tumblr’s function and format against a traditional blog and twitter. It finally occurred to me that all the functionality in tumblr exists on Facebook’s wall; and with Facebook you already have the built-in networking functionality.

Discussion Question:

Does an extended quote from a movie count as a “movie reference”? Explain.

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Written by mglickman

2008/12/14 at 12:45 pm

Quick rundown of interesting tidbits of the week…

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I’m in training this week for Scripting and Automating WebSphere Application Server (WAS) v.6.1. I currently script and automate WASv.6.1 but I do it much the way a typical toddler solves differential calculus. Hence, the training.

Betwixt the lectures and labs I’ve been seeing some interesting things I wanted to share (read as tweet) but haven’t been able to (thanks to a bandwidth tight agency around the holidays restricting everything from twitter to gmail):

Well, that’s all for now. Time to head home.

Written by mglickman

2008/12/10 at 4:03 pm

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Practical scholarship

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Supreme Court at night

Supreme Court at night

In the throes of finals preparations, I have been circling an idea that I decided needed to be recorded. I took Federal Jurisdiction this semester with a brilliant professor who was extremely capable of both communicating the intricacies of the material as well as boil it down to what it means to a practicing attorney.

The issue that is gnawing at the back of mind is that the practical use of the class can be cut short to maybe a week of material. Most of it ends with, “…and the Court will end up doing whatever it feels like, so hedge your bets.”

I found the class and material fascinating, but was it necessary? All I needed was for someone to tell me the important cases to cite in certain circumstances and warn me that there’s no telling what will happen… Which, I gather, is the first piece of advice any litigating attorney has to offer.

Written by mglickman

2008/12/07 at 8:30 pm

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Life goes on… and on… and on…

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‘Tis the season! The finals season, as opposed to the holiday season. The two are nearly similar: one is  a time of bitterness, depression and strife; and finals season is even worse.

Allow me to pause while you groan.

Being a non-traditional law student gives me a unique perspective on finals. My day job is extremely flexible and I am able to take days off to study; and my family – my wife, since the kids are too young to have a real say – is also supportive and wonderful, letting me study in (relative) peace while I’m home.

That  being said, life for a non-traditional student does not stop during finals. I can’t study through the night since I have a family to pay some modicum of attention to and work to go to (early) the next morning. I can’t focus my entire brain power solely on the issues of the semester since I have a job that requires the use of my brain. How fondly I recall my days doing construction work! Ok, not so fondly…

Written by mglickman

2008/12/05 at 8:57 am

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Email can be hazardous to you health

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http://davefleet.com/2008/11/how-rich-is-your-communication-conflict/

Interesting article discussing conflict resolution through various media formats. I wanted to share my expeiences with email in particular.

The uselessness of email as a serious communication method cannot be overstated. I have stepped into heated email threads across divisions by walking to one side’s desk and simply stating the same argument that was made by email. The result? Smiles, cooperation.

Have you ever received an email that infuriated you? I have. I must admit that I have sent emails that I knew would frustrate people. One word responses, deliberately not answering the unasked-but-implied question. When I’ve had my coffee, though, I will never reply to an email that gets to me when I receive it. If it’s possible I’ll walk over to discuss the issue with the person; if that’s not possible, I’ll wait until I can write a rational and unemotional response.

Using email without actively thinking about its possible pitfalls will never work for you.

Written by mglickman

2008/11/20 at 9:50 am

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Translate “Troubleshooting” into something resume-friendly

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I work in IT. I’m not a programmer, so I end up doing the odd jobs that no one else has any desire to do nor any idea how to do.  One item on the long list of my de facto responsibilities is troubleshooting. I help troubleshoot code that is still in development; I help the validators troubleshoot while they test the supposedly finished code; I troubleshoot security issues that come up in the field across the country when the official support personnel are out of ideas.

I would like to leverage that experience on my resume – highlighting the dynamic, problem-solving aspect of the job and downplaying the technical knowledge/experience aspect. Take two hypotheticals:

“I have experience troubleshooting software throughout all stages of its development and I support production personnel in troubleshooting end-user issues.”

“I have experience troubleshooting issues that come up across all levels of my team and our clients. I dynamically utilize my problem-solving skills by thinking outside the box to achieve business results.”

The first one is dry and more attuned for an IT job. The second makes me sound like a pretentious jerk with a thesaurus.

How do you translate what you do into resume-speak?

Written by mglickman

2008/11/18 at 11:52 am

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