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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Help Wanted: Search Specialist

Posted by buddyscalera on December 30, 2008

As we increasingly move to an Internet-centric society, we’re seeing all kinds of new and interesting careers spring up. Soon, we’ll see some interesting career opportunities for smart, adaptable workers.

A few years ago, we saw the rise of professional bloggers and search engine marketing specialists. Right now, we’re seeing professionals developing mobile applications and social media widgets.

In 2009, we’ll see the evolution of the Search Specialist. Now, these people are already out there in niche jobs (and they’ll probably be able to find this blog posting). But coming soon, we’ll probably see headhunters and HR departments looking for knowledge workers who can quickly and effectively mine the Net for super-specific information.

It would be natural to expect this to go to someone with a library sciences degree, but I think Search Specialists will evolve from people who work within specific industries.

I’ll give you an example. I worked as an editor at a small e-marketing agency specializing in pharmaceutical communications directed at healthcare professionals. On my team, I had an editor who was a wizard at uncovering information on the web.

Sure, she was good at Google, but that’s a given. She also knew how to dig deeper and get information in other search engines, like Yahoo, Ask, and MSN (all of which give different results). She also knew how to search blogs, message boards, and news articles to dig up more information.

This is going back a few years before the big YouTube and Twitter explosion. But a Search Specialist will be the kind of person who can quickly and effectively dig up, organize, and present highly focused data sources.

In our case, this editor could dig up information, sort the gems from the junk, and generate an informed position on just about any topic you can imagine. Going forward, and it’s going to be important to access all kinds of information on the public Net, even the stuff that isn’t well tagged and indexed by Google.

Blogs, videos, Flash interfaces, games, e-books, Twitters posts, social networks (including Facebook & MySpace), manuals, databases, closed communities, news archives, software, all contain valuable information. Some of this information is indexed, but most of it is not.

Several industries already leverage search specialists, including patent and other legal businesses. In the future, other industries will seek people out who can mine and measure information from Net sources.

Search Specialists will be needle-in-a-haystack researchers who defy traditional job roles. Some of them will be research specialists or editors or scientists or journalists or work from home entrepreneurs.

In the beginning, they will be underpaid and under appreciated. But one day they will be valued and coveted knowledge workers who can extract stubborn data from nearly any source. In the right organization, they will be highly paid and highly promotable, especially as they research corporate strategies.

If you like to search, discover, and organize, it’s probably a good time to start positioning yourself as a Search Specialist in your current career. Eventually, as the career landscape shifts, you’ll be prepared for a new career as a Search Specialist.

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Posted in blogging, facebook, new media, Search, search specialist, technology, techronyms | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Converging on Convergence

Posted by buddyscalera on November 19, 2008

As interesting new web technologies become available, I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of sites I need to visit….just to keep them fresh. (There are some feeds and whatnot to streamline these services, but that just becomes another site to visit.)

Recently, I’ve been trying to leverage these services by incorporating features into my personal website. As web technologies pendulate toward the middle, I am one step closer to converging on convergence.

My goal is to make my personal website a little more compelling for people who come to check it out.

Examples:

  • This weekend, I added my Twitter feed to my personal website. It’s just a little piece of Flash code that I was able to drop right into my web template. Very easy and elegant. (Note: I tried to use the Javascript code, but it just kept breaking.)
  • I also added a Facebook “badge” to my homepage. It’s really basic, but it looks kind of nice.
  • Then I synched my Facebook with my Twitter. Sort of sounds dirty, doesn’t it? Anyway, now, when I post to Twitter, it automatically feeds into my Facebook “current status.” Nice.

You can check out my handiwork at: http://www.buddyscalera.com. Feel free to look at the code and see how it’s done. Very simple and easy to do, even for an HTML novice.

Eventually this blog will probably migrate over to my website too. I really like blogging here on WordPress, but I get frustrated when I can’t control my widgets or outbound links better. So, we’ll see.

Now, I am off to find new convergence tricks.

Posted in facebook, freeware, fun stuff, new media, technology, twitter, Web Design | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Twitter’s Magical 140

Posted by buddyscalera on October 25, 2008

According to Wired magazine, blogging is dead. Sad that the venerable blog post…which broke down barriers of publishing…may be on the way out.

In some ways, it’s true. Blogging was amazingly democratic. Anyone could be a published author, just by posting a blog. For a little while, media giants reacted to the voices of regular people, some of whom became self-appointed experts.

Over the last two years, though, the media caught up. Many top blogs are part of the established media network. Professional journalists and media channels are using blogs to attract, well, us. Now, that democratic blog landscape is being claimed by mainstream media, decreasing the ability of regular people to become key opinion leaders.

Part of the problem is that the blog post…usually pretty short…is just too long. Our attention span is waning to the point that a few paragraphs is too much mental lifting. See Me Read Book.

The predicted replacement? Twitter.

So, if I seem a little long winded to you, check out my Twitter account at http://twitter.com/BuddyWeb

Twitter posts (called Tweets) are limited to 140 characters. That’s about the length of one long sentence. For me, that’s usually two punchy, short sentences.

So, if you like someone’s writing, you can subscribe to their Twitter. Their random thoughts can be posted to Twitter. In best cases, Twitter posts are sharp, interesting, or funny observations. In worst, it’s agonizingly dull people sharing their banal lives.

And, as marketers see this shift, they are discovering new and interesting ways of leveraging the Twitter channel. Or at least as much marketing as you can do in 140 characters.

All hail the short attention span. Just do it quickly because we tend to bore easily!

Posted in blogging, entertainment, fun stuff, new media, technology, twitter, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Podcasting Your Brand Message

Posted by buddyscalera on October 5, 2008

Looking for a new way to spread the word about your business or service? Look no further than your iPod.

If you have an iPod (isn’t that a requirement for living in the USA?), you have iTunes.

There’s a button for “Podcasts,” which are audio programs. Like radio shows without the radio.

I download podcasts every time I plug in my iPod. It’s a free and legal service provided by Apple.

One of my favorites is the screenwriting podcast “On The Page,” hosted by Pilar Alessandra. As an educational and motivational resource, On The Page is nearly as good as having your personal writing cheerleader. (Note: If actual cheerleaders would like to cheer for me, please send photos.)

On the podcast, Pilar would talk about her Los Angeles screenwriting classes. These sounded great, but could be a long drive for me, since I live in New Jersey.

Then…she announced a New York class. And with the speed of Mercury and the riches of Midas, I sent her $125.

I sent my money because the podcast actually proved that Pilar knew how to teach screenwriting. Think about it. I sent a total stranger $125 over the Internet. Because I listened to her podcast every week, Pilar was not really a stranger. Her podcast proved that she was what she claimed: A professional who taught the craft and business of screenwriting.

For Pilar Alessandra’s screenwriting classes, podcasting turned out to be an effective marketing tool.

Is something you’re doing worth talking about? Consider speaking about your brand message through a podcast.

Pilar ALESSANDRA & Buddy Scalera in NY

Pilar ALESSANDRA & Buddy Scalera in NY

Posted in Apple, iPod, marketing, new media, podcasting, technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Have a Very, Very Sunny Solar Flight

Posted by buddyscalera on September 4, 2008

Passengers, this is your Captain speaking. You should be proud to flying the Zephyr, the first completely solar aircraft to fly a sustained mission on nothing but light.

And speaking of light, our efficiencies come through the use of space-age materials in a lightweight air frame. The wings are made of solar panels. So, if you need to use the restroom, please go before we leave.

We’ll be flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet for approximately 83 hours, so just sit back, relax and enjoy your in-flight entertainment.

Over the next few days, we’ll be showing endless loops of disaster films, so we fully expect you’ll be gazing out the windows a lot.

And here is a video of the solar plane in flight:

Of course, you will note, this video was shot during the day. Do not let this scare you. At night, we run on rechargeable batteries, similar to the ones that last for nearly an hour in your laptop.

The weather looks in our favor and we predict a sunny flight. In the event of unexpectedly overcast skies, you will be provided with a prayer cards and rosary beads. Note, at this time, we may lighten our load a bit again, so form an orderly line to the restroom.

Again, here on Solar Air, we all wish you a Very, Very Sunny Flight

Posted in Fun, technology | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Which 1,400 search engines do you use?

Posted by buddyscalera on July 30, 2008

Okay, sharpen your keyboards, and get ready to search. Which of the 1,400 top search engines do you use?

What? You only use Google? Pfeh! You mainstream, conformist, follower. (Use Yahoo? Don’t gloat, it’s not exactly “indy.”)

By industry estimates, there’s over 1,400 search engines floating around these days. Really. Here’s the Top 100 Alternative Search Engines.

And that doesn’t even include http://www.cuil.com, which recently launched.  (It’s pronounced “cool.” Yes, really.)

Some of the others have equally creative names like ChaCha.com, Twerq.com, Twingly.com, Famhoo.com, and Mahalo.com.

So why so many search engines? Well, most engines have highly specialized search parameters. That’s a fancy way of saying that they narrow searches to a specialized audience.

Again, so why so many search engines? Well, if you’re Summarize.com, it’s for profit. Twitter.com bought the Twitter-only search engine Summarize.com for a cool $15M.

Search is big business and it’s getting bigger. Hey, I have a great idea. How about a personal search engine for everyone in the world? I’ll make billions!

What? Oh yeah, they already have that at Rollyo.com.

That’s clever web-speak for “Roll Your Own.” Oh…how cuil.

Posted in Google, new media, Search, technology, Uncategorized, Yahoo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why Newspapers Are Doomed

Posted by buddyscalera on July 2, 2008

Newspapers aren’t dead yet. Despite the steady declines in circulation and ad sales, many newspapers continue to hang on.  And yet, they are inevitably doomed.

Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Local reporting. Many news websites focus on national stories. Big stuff. But the local newspaper give us useful reporting on local issue. Small stuff, like flooding, taxes, and school events.

CNN doesn’t cover your neighborhood unless it’s a major news event, like a catastrophe or a tragedy. Either way, you don’t want to be in the news at that time.

2. Pictures. If you compared today’s paper with one from 10 years ago, you’d notice something important. That is, there are a lot of news wire photos. Lots of celebrities. Lots of people you dont actually know.

Wanna know why? Photographers cost money.

As newspapers rely more on news wire photos — stuff you can see anywhere — they lose a connection with the local community.

3. In Depth Reporting. Like Local Reporting, in depth reporting was the cornerstone of newspaper journalism. TV gave you the headlines, but newspapers gave you the full story. A good newspaper might offer sidebars, editorials, and illustrations.

My local newspaper has won many prestigious awards for investigative journalism. Big exposes about local corruption and news events. Information on a local level. You cant get that from a journalist-blogger conducting an interviews over email.

And yet, local newspapers cede control to online journalists and bloggers every time they run a canned story from the news wire.

About the News Wire. Take a look at your local newspaper again. Check to see who wrote that story. If it says Associated Press or another service, it means your newspaper bought that story (probably through a subscription).

Newswire stories are a cheap way to fill space. But they also cheapen the true value of the newspaper.

A canned story satisfies a short-term goal of making a profit, since it’s cheaper to buy a story than to create one in house. But these are temporary solutions further weaken newspapers.

If newspapers continue along this path, they are surely doomed.

Here’s a Related Story: Why Comic Book Publishing is Doomed

Posted in new media, technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

A blind love affair with the Internet

Posted by buddyscalera on May 14, 2008

I have a quote taped to the edge of my monitor. I saw it in “Computer Currents” magazine, which is now defunct.

Here’s the quote by Clifford Stoll, noted astronomer, author, and computer expert:

“Our problems is a blind love affair with the Internet. Some day soon we’ll wake up and say, “Oh my God. Look at all the time I’ve wasted online.” -Clifford Stoll

Great quote, right? Spot on observation. But here’s the zinger…this quote is from 1997!

Think back to when you first got on the Internet. Most average people weren’t even getting online in 1997.

But somehow this guy Stoll knew that it would be a huge time waster. And blogs and social networks as we know them hadn’t even been invented yet!

I wonder what kind of predictions he’d make today.

Posted in Quotes, technology | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Predicting Digital Music

Posted by buddyscalera on March 16, 2008

Lots has been written about how hard and/or speculative science fiction influenced the generations of scientists, designers, and engineers.

It’s doubtful that the cover to this 50’s science fiction pulp actually inspired scientists to invent digital music. Yet, it has it’s own speculative sci-fi charm.

Astounding Science Fiction June, 1950

Check out the creative musical genius at his super, space age computer. The musical notes swirl through the air, twist, and are broken down into components. The note head, flags, and stems break apart and seem to turn into something that looks a lot like binary code.

At that time, there might have been some awareness of punch cards. This early technology was invented by Herman Hollerith in 1890, which means someone interested in computers would have probably been aware of the visual language.

It’s a totally inconclusive and speculative observation, but fun nonetheless. Sort of like a good science fiction novel.

Posted in scifi, technology | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »