Green Comes to

Next week is a very special week here at We are going to have a very heavy emphasis on “green” technology and all the major verticals will be contributing in one way or another.

Energy costs are sky high, Bush is badgering Congress to lift the ban on off-shore drilling, and computer manufacturers are bandying around trying to create the most energy efficient server – something I’m very interested in discussing with manufacturers, I might add.

There are plenty of energy alternatives to be had, from solar to nuclear to conventional oil, should the supply permit it. Our cars can be used less by telecommuting. We can all be smarter about the way we live our lives.

Our focus is, obviously, slanted toward technology and so we want to try to find the best ways to use the technology available to save the resources we have, keep costs down and maybe, increase the quality of life for all of us.

Next week, I’ll be making a brief trip to Dearborn, MI to visit Ford and see their next line new technologies for the new line of cars. I’ll be paying close attention to the technologies surrounding Hybrid vehicles, etc. Look for reports here.

What does a Grocery Store scanner have to do with a PC?

I have a good amount of respect for Jeremiah Owyang. He’s an analyst at Forrester who has done some good work on social media.

On the other hand, why he isn’t well-informed enough to avoid asking really, really stupid questions makes me question whether I should take him seriously as an authority on technology, or at least makes me think he should avoid politics. He asks:

  • Is knowing how to use a computer and use the internet a job requirement?
  • Does it impact a leaders ability to manage the country and impact the world?
  • Does it influence your vote, if so, why?
  • What do you expect from your leaders? CEO? President?
  • Can we please stop asking these overused, over-parsed TV talking head questions that avoid the real issue?

    The question should be about whether or not a leader is familiar with how ordinary Americans live. This means more than being able to send an email. It means being able to drive, understand traffic, and fill a gas tank. It’s going shopping for groceries and seeing the prices on the scanner. Remember George H.W. Bush in 1992, when he was so amazed at the barcode reader? That cost him points.

    Both candidates for President are U.S. Senators with highly competent staffs that handle many daily activities that ordinary Americans have to do themselves, simply because of the demands of the job. They don’t have time to do many of the things that we do. Senators are highly micromanaged. Their days are scheduled and organized by campaign staff and office staff. As I have written before, elected officials have two jobs: The job they have, and keeping the job they have (or running for higher office).

    I’m tired of hearing about who is more “authentic.” I want to know what they know about how things happen. You know what would be a great campaign stunt for either Senator? Give your Assistant, Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, etc a few days off. Come in early, get a copy of your schedule, find out what you have to do, and do it. No handlers. The only people who are allowed to work in the office for that week are the ones who you do not receive briefings, assistance or advice from directly.

    How well could you keep up on the issues? What tools would you use? Would you become a wizard with your Outlook calendar? How would you research an issue? How would you get around?

    In other words, how would you live if you were us?

    You cannot solve the problem unless you know and understand the problem.

    (here’s an example of doing this well: Michael Bloomberg takes the subway to work. the man is worth billions, and he’s a straphanger. you think the subway gets the attention it needs? I bet it does.)

    Informalities Can Kill Your Job Search

    The economy is way down and the pain is not only being felt at the pump. It’s being felt in the job market. Unemployment hit an all time high last quarter as more and as more and more people hit the streets looking for meaningful employment, bad habits are accompanying them.

    Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal wrote a story today about the informality used in social media, text messaging and other “typical” lines of communication. Often times, the informalities deep six candidates.

    I’ll admit that I am guilty of being informal in job searches. Needleman indicates that the most egregious mistakes come from entry level candidates just out of school, indicating a generational (and of course, maturity) issue.

    I also tend to use emoticons mostly in IM. This has gotten me in trouble in the past where the text I’ve written in emails was misunderstood because of a lack of a :-) or ;-) to indicate humor. Text as a medium sucks, and that is why ultimate care must be taken in how text is formulated.

    Other things that can kill a candidacy with a company are:

    1. Not understanding the company culture
    2. Eagerness to proactively answer unasked and unrelated questions in an interview
    3. Blanket resumé distribution
    4. Inappropriate attire for an interview (Understand the culture of the company as in point #1, especially in the web space)
    5. Buzzword Bingo on resumés or in interviews
    6. Inability to discern exactly what an interviewer is looking for despite the questions asked
    7. Inappropriate behavior, photos, language as demonstrated in social networks, blogs, etc

    Obviously, not all of these things apply in every situation. Astute candidates get ahead of the curve and understand before sending “Send” what exactly is being communicated.

    As a bonus, my friend, Jen Nedeau, is quoted in the article as well. She demonstrates an appropriate use of these technologies.

    “I definitely text my managers if I am running late,” says Jennifer Nedeau, 23, a project manager at New Media Strategies Inc., a marketing firm in Arlington, Va. “I know I’m not bothering them with a phone call, but they’re still getting the message.”

    I’d add that text messaging a manager comes after you’ve got a good relationship with the manager or if he/she explicitly gives permission. Otherwise, you’re asking to be on a list. ;-)