Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Observations

The Price of Attention & How Demand for it has Outpaced Supply

My previous post on the state of marketing doesn’t reflect random interest. Having put myself out there on the Internet as a professional for a few years, I know unsolicited sales pitches from business development and marketing “gurus” come with the territory. I’ve often thought it might be a good idea to take a cue from Richard Herman, call myself a professional quality attention giver, and set a price for my attention and time ($8.00/minute to read supposedly sly let’s-see-if-I-can-convert-this-friend-into-a-client messages, etc. – Hurry! This generous, promotional rate won’t last!). According to Matthew Gentzkow’s figures in Trading Dollars for Dollars: The Price of Attention Online and Offline however, here’s the actual monetary trend for attention across time and media: Read more of this post

Darwin at Work: The State of Marketing & Resistance to Marketers’ Influence

When it comes to organizational cost-cutting, I’ve often heard that the marketing budget is commonly among the first to be cut. Until now, I didn’t know why exactly. However, the preview section of Does Marketing Need Reform? Fresh Perspectives on the Future clarified the factors contributing to the current state of marketing. This book was authored by Jagdish N. Sheth and Rajendra S. Sisodia, and was published in 2006. So, it’s dated but the major themes are still relevant as they are echoed in the 2011 video below.

The following historical facts and figures, as cited by Sheth and Sisodia, put the past and present situation in perspective:

  • “In an age when the mantra of business has been ‘do more with less,’ the marketing function has for too long been ‘doing less with more.’ In most industries today, the marketing function consumes over 50 percent of corporate resources, up from less than 25 percent around 1950. At a macro level, marketing represents a tremendous waste of resources that could be better utilized elsewhere.” (p. 20)

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My Return to Blogging and Resolve to Use Time and Social Media Efficiently

During my hiatus, I reassessed my endeavors. One of the joys of maturing involves reconciling lofty dreams that drive you with life’s realities. Dreams keep life from seeming bleak and boring though awareness of time passing by compels you to estimate your chances of achieving them. For instance, I too wish to discover some way, within my own capabilities, to avoid trading time for money. However, realizing I might be wasting time thinking about this, I settled on hope that perhaps someday I’ll have an epiphany (and then I’d share it with you).

However, there are practical steps I can take to decrease wasted time. I thought about what good, realistically, could come of efforts to present myself as a professional online. Like many issues in life, potential results depend on many variables. Some tips follow. Read more of this post

5 Challenges Users Experience in Online Collaboration [Infographic]

If you haven’t yet read the Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing report, this infographic beautifully illustrates some of the main findings of the pilot study. Read on to learn about other possible implications related to the online collaboration tools of interest as well. Finally, give Flipside Workspace a try by visiting http://www.flipsideworkspace.com/. I look forward to your questions and comments!

View the infographic in full at Duncan-Coleverria, Inc.

Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing: Comparing User Experience of Collaborative Online Platforms [Report]

As promised in my previous post, the Flipside Workspace versus videoconferencing user experience pilot study results are now available. Click here to obtain a copy of the report. As a brief introduction, you will find out how Flipside Workspace measured up against videoconferencing on the following psychological dimensions (Note: #4, identity exploration, only applies to Flipside Workspace): Read more of this post

Thoughts on Running the Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing Study

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I’ll first address the slowdown on my blog. Thankfully, this isn’t about running out of steam but, rather, preoccupation with projects – including the Flipside Workspace user experience study which I mentioned in January 2015. As it is wrapping up, this is a good time to revisit it and provide detailed information. What I left unmentioned previously is that this study contrasts users’ experience meeting in Flipside Workspace with videoconferencing across various psychological dimensions.

For those who’re new to Flipside Workspace, this is an avatar-based,  3-dimensional digital workspace. It’s best described at Flipside Workspace’s site as, “an immersive online business district that takes those perks of real-life office dynamics and brings them into a virtual environment.” To see how elaborately crafted the environment is, watch this video. Read more of this post

Evolution in the Face of Adversity

For those who have an interest in marketing, check out this post for some essential wisdom and strategies for thriving in these volatile times.

Out of My Gord

First published January 15, 2009 in Mediapost’s Search Insider

I am an unrepentant Darwinist, which probably doesn’t surprise anyone who reads my columns on a regular basis. The whole topic of evolution and emergent behaviors in complex systems constantly fascinates me. As Steven Johnson pointed out in his recent book, “Emergence,”  the theme of patterns rising from complexity is  ubiquitous and could well define the 21st century.

The World is a Cruel Place – Get Over It!

One of the most interesting things about evolution is that the pace of evolutionary change picks up in the face of adversity. The more hostile the environment, the faster the wheels of evolution roll and the quicker we adapt. Of course, we do so in a pretty ruthless way. The weak get culled faster. There are no consolation prizes in this lottery. Winner takes all. Richard Dawkins didn’t call genes “selfish” for…

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To Live Differently – A Personal Manifesto

Recently, I realized that I’m coming upon 3 years of blogging about modern work-life issues and, particularly, remote work. With regard to the latter, I’ve repeatedly mentioned benefits for the environment, some employers, and some employees. However, I’ve yet to share my personal views and reasons for my insane dedication to this topic.

Some presume that I’m a lofty idealist, envisioning that everyone will be working this way in the future. On the contrary, I’m quite a realist and know that not everyone wants to. For example, some enjoy commuting for the hour or two designated to listening to their favorite podcasts. (Though, as I like to point out, one can still walk around the neighborhood for that amount of time and listen to a podcast before and after working at home or wherever one chooses to work.) Nevertheless, I’ve blogged incessantly to spread awareness of remote work as a real choice while realizing that individual preferences would, to some extent, assert themselves and determine who works remotely and the proportion of time spent doing so. Read more of this post

You Are Here: Thoughts on Working Remotely

ArtLogic

Brett G. Porter is Chief Engineer in Development Practices at Art & Logic, a 100% virtual company. With almost two decades’ worth of experience working remotely, Brett has substantial wisdom to share regarding virtual work arrangements that succeed. In “You Are Here: Thoughts on Working Remotely,” Brett’s article covers issues such as infrastructure requirements, keeping people connected, maintaining boundaries, structuring projects, as well as characteristics and circumstances that enable people to succeed at working remotely. Also, please visit “Office Free: Building the 21st Century Company” to vote for Art & Logic in SXSW Panelpicker Interactive 2016 and watch remote workers describe their experiences in a highly engaging video! (Successful introverted remote workers are represented by the way.)

Originally posted on Art & Logic:

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and discussion lately on the pros and cons of using distributed teams. It’s a topic I’ve given a lot of thought to — I just had my 17 year anniversary working for Art & Logic in a completely distributed environment, and over the years there have been many words written both in favor of it (see Scott Berkun’s recent book The Year Without Pants) and against (maybe most emphatically by Alistair Cockburn, who in his book Agile Software Development (2002) who says that ‘distributed development is becoming more commonplace, but it is not becoming more effective’). I’d certainly take exception to the assertion that it’s not possible to be successful and effective developing software in distributed teams, but that doing so requires that you adopt or reject certain situations, practices, and scenarios:

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The Future of Money [Infographic]

This gorgeous infographic, which was created by Envisioning Technological Research Foundation, traces the history of money (and other previous methods of exchange) and provides speculation on the future evolution of money. Realization of this potential for a more decentralized, distributed system would significantly impact our lives. As explained in the infographic, “People are coalescing and demanding free, real-time access to their transaction information in order to reclaim financial decisions from institutions.”

Envisioning is an independent, virtual research institute based in Brazil. The global team is comprised of academics, designers, and hackers. Their mission is to study technology in order to understand accelerating change and provide technological foresight to policy and decision-makers worldwide.

To see an enlarged image of this infographic or download a PDF copy, click here.

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