But Once You're Gone, You Don't Come Back

Here’s the question of the day. If your name is mentioned in some kind of conversation, whether on the internet or offline, how do people identify you? Are you the founder of a company that does something? Are you a blogger? Photographer?

When they hear your name, do they associate you with a movement? Are you an expert in something? Does your reputation put you in a position of leadership or authority? Are you, like the guy I met a few weeks ago, an I.T. Project Manager?

Does your job identify you? Do you find your value – heck, do others find your value – in what you do or what you are associated with?

If the answer to any of these questions are “Yes”, you have failed. The good news is, that’s not the end of the story. More after the jump
Continue reading But Once You're Gone, You Don't Come Back

Tax Day Open Thread

Today is April 15th, one of the worst days of the year for Americans. It’s the day that the tax man comes calling. If you’re lucky, you’re getting a refund. If not, you owe the government. The problem, of course, is the tax code. Taking up over 57,000 pages, the taxcode is altered yearly. Pieced together and never built with a cohesive, all-encompassing forethought, it is filled with complications and confusion.

Clearly, the tax system in this country needs to be rebuilt. Ground up. Simplified. I, for one, support the idea of a flat tax, but I understand that some call that regressive, so I’m open to ideas. Something needs to happen though.

In the comments below, sound off on your feelings on the tax system in the U.S. Comments will only be moderated if things get too personal or hateful, but otherwise, I’m staying out. This is your time to be heard, and I guarantee, this post is being watched by politicians, and media organizations. Around the nation, today, the Taxpayer Teaparty movement is also occurring. While, I share some of the concerns and motives of the Teaparty movement, this action is not to be construed as associated with that movement.

With that said, the mic is now open.

Crossing Over Technology With Government

In recent months, I’ve made a small fuss over the so called Government 2.0 experts descending on Washington expecting to change the way of life in government. Of course, I’ve been also called out for not providing actual solutions. Probably rightly so, but understand that I don’t work in the government space. I am simply an outside observer who approaches problems with some degree of sobriety and realism.

Today, I figure I’ll offer some ideas that can move the conversation forward in some kind of constructive way. Wired’s Noah Shachtman covered a white paper released from the National Defense University that approaches Government 2.0 from the perspective of information sharing. While that is indeed a portion of the solution to the greater problem, the military in particular, probably needs to look at broader solutions (and more specific, less 50,000 foot view), as a more effective technology complement to their Mission.

For instance, while simple communication across the various branches of the service is useful for any enterprise, it would pay to address the core war-fighting mission of the military. For instance, a less than 50,000 foot view that suggests “information sharing”, might propose use of mobile devices that utilize GPS information for tactical war-theatre decision making.

Real-time use of video and photography immediately makes data available to analysts requiring split second decisions (such as the split second decision making by the Navy Captain responsible for ordering the sniper takedown of the Somali pirates this weekend).

It is not useful to simply put out generic information about “information sharing” and suggest blogs, wikis and the like are the solution to the problem. While I understand whitepapers are intended to provide a skeletal framework for further action, it is condescending to organizations who already value and understand the need for “information sharing”. What they are looking for is the “hows” and “whats” to achieve their mission.

As stated in previous articles, this is where the “experts” should be focusing. Realistically, those activities will be classified and not published for public consumption. That’s probably the way it should be. The real experts are working internally, inside their organizations, with their constituency – not in the public forum where context and value are lost.