Collaboration, innovation, working online gets loud

At work our office is in an open working environment where all the worker bees sit in  these  nice built-in cubicles which are larger than some offices I’ve had in the past.  In the cubicles besides  the web team members there are some other graphic designers,  writers, photographers, videographers from our creative services department. One downside to these cubicles is every couple of weeks I get a message from someone that the web team is being too loud and interfering with others work or that  it looks like the web team just socializes all the time and doesn’t do any work. Unfortunately, I have to explain that working with technology, working online requires collaboration among workers across disciplines to do our best work.  In fact a recent study pointed to collaboration being one of the top six attributes of high-ranking women in technology.

A collaborative work style is perceived as a critical success factor in high-technology by both technical men and women, and is consistent with a culture that values innovation, which cannot be achieved without extensive collaboration. Collaboration is both a critical source of success but also a great source of career satisfaction.

Collaboration = Socializing = Loudness = Innovation =  Satisfaction

What you need to know to flash

Flash content is an important part of the overall mix of web content and has a steeper learning curve than most other kinds of web content creation. Unfortunately, Macromedia and now Adobe have changed the flash creation process/interface so often that if you once learned flash it’s like you’re starting all over again if you pick up a newer version of Adobe Flash.  I first learned flash in 1999-2000 creating some audio slideshows and calculators, but I had to learn it again 2003 for a couple of prjects and after that I just gave up because I didn’t want to go through the process of teaching myself flash again.

Mindy McAdams author of admittedly outdated textbook, Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages, now recommends learning flash using Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Classroom in a Book. In fact she has even created a nice little guide to everything you should know to create great flash content outlining the six things she thinks you need to know (and the chapter’s they’re covered in the Adobe book) and two common misconceptions about flash.

Her six items you need to know are

  1. Buttons
  2. Loading external content
  3. Optimizing images
  4. Loading and controlling audio
  5. Loading and controlling video
  6. Actionscript 3 and XML
  7. Bandwidth profiling

Now, I have to decide if I really want to tackle Flash again.

AT&T Service fails, but Google answers

The visual voicemail on my iPhone quit working about a month ago (I won’t say what caused it), but I called AT&T today to see if they could help me get it working again after missing a couple of voicemails.

Surprisingly, I didn’t have to hold for an operator at all, but the operator I got had me on hold several times as she tried to figure out my phone’s problem. After trying several different network changes on the AT&T side and several changes on my phone over the course of an hour, the support tech finally gave up and suggested I needed to reinstall the Surprisingly, I didn’t have to hold for an operator at all, but the operator I got had me on hold several times as she tried to figure out my phone’s problem. After trying several different network changes on the AT&T side and several changes on my phone over the course of an hour, the support tech finally gave up and suggested I needed to reinstall the iPhone OS and offered to connect me with an Apple support tech to help me out. I declined the Apple help and told her I could handle the reinstall myself. Before I hung up on her I she made an appointment to call me back the next morning to see if my voicemail was working correctly.

After I got off the phone, I turned to my trusty support database, google, and queried, “visual voicemail broken iphone” and on the second page, two minutes into my search, I found my solution– reset the network settings under Settings > General > Reset Network Settings. My phone restarted and I immediately got two visual voicemails– Problem fixed!

I thought I already knew this lesson, but I guess I learned it again– Google your problem before calling for support and more than likely you’ll find the answer your need. Now, I get to to explain to the AT&T tech how easy it was to solve the problem.

Job seekers lack internet skills

A fifth of American’s don’t have Internet access and the demographic profile of those without access — generally older and less educated — match up to those who are the newly unemployed according to an MSNBC article published today.

This digital divide separates not only who qualify for jobs and who does not, but also who can apply for jobs and who cannot as many company’s application systems require you to fill out an online form and submit a resume in an electronic format.  Even what many would consider a simple task such as sending an email with a resume attached confound the newly unemployed. Forget about asking someone to use a computer to manipulate a spreadsheet or create a presentation.

Did these people loose their jobs because of their lack of computer skills? Probably not outright, but being able to complete everyday computer tasks probably would have made them more valuable to their former employers. Maybe a some of these stimulus/recovery funds still floating around should be spent on computer and Internet classes for the newly unemployed.