isaac-asimov

Previously Unpublished Isaac Asimov Essay “On Creativity”

Celebrated novelist and thinker, Isaac Assimov is note worthy because his witness of the technological and information sciences evolution was fodder for his sometime prophetic literature.

Celebrated novelist and thinker, Isaac Asimov is note worthy because his witness of the technological and information sciences evolution was fodder for his sometime prophetic literature.

With great interest I recently read in Technology Review online:  About one of Isaac Asimov’s intersections with ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the late 1950’s

An MIT research group was asked to “Think outside the box.” Asimov was recruited to assist the process.  The essay he left in his wake is remarkably fresh, especially now.

“It seems to me then that the purpose of cerebration sessions is not to think up new ideas but to educate the participants in facts and fact-combinations, in theories and vagrant thoughts.” Isaac Asimov. 1959

His coinage of the word “Cerbration” was a bit of an eye-opener.  A willingness to invest with diligent determination in the creative process will benefit the inventor, insists Asimov. The essay is full of very practical advice and pragmatic observation. His keen eye into these matters applies as much now as it did then.

Jo-Hari Diagram helps to focus thinking into useful areas.  Planning should include treatment even of the unknown-unknowns.

Jo-Hari Diagram helps to focus thinking into useful areas. Planning should include treatment even of the unknown-unknowns.

Another way this has been discussed is within the context of a Jo-Hari diagram… Wherein one examines knowns and unknowns — and spends time in the abstract space of unknown-unknowns.  Unk-unks, as we call them.

Anyway our version of it includes a word in each quadrant that we use to “shape” the conversation. Enjoy our “Back of the Napkin” visual…

What is it about your Web Presence that you’d like to more deeply understand?  Where is your business going with it’s on-line effort in the digital revolution?

InterWestIT’s specialty is to hash out the facts and fact-combinations, the theory and peripheral thinking relative to your tech. Take advantage of a free hour with us a “High-tech reality check.”

Anyway, that’s a favorite photo of a favorite author.  Catch the resemblance?  LOL.

Back of the napkin proof: Why Engineers will always earn less than Managers.

Back of the napkin "proof" of why Engineers will always earn less than managers

Back of the napkin “proof” of why Engineers will always earn less than managers

Finally, mathematical proof that highly trained Engineers with knowledge across many disciplinary boundaries — will always earn less than management.

Understanding the proof requires a “pre-calculus’ understanding of basic math. This of course implies that managers, no matter how hard they try can ever actually understand what we’re saying.

And we Engineers, being a fraternity of the under-appreciated, will never, ever tell them. Why? Well, simply because we really actually love what we do. And we’d do it even if they weren’t paying us.  (Shhh!!)

Deal A Story Cards … Product marketing Campaign set to launch.

We’re celebrating an important milestone with RDRPublishers.com.

Deal-A-Story cards by Sue Vidders.  Offered for sale online at RDRPublishers.com new web presence.

Deal-A-Story cards by Sue Vidders. Offered for sale online at RDRPublishers.com new web presence.

Since August the work began with surveying and assessing various assets.  One of the first tangible products of the process was a branded product site www.dealastory.com. This represents a fulcrum for community building around the brand, but also a reflection of the product intended to amplify E-commerce and SEO results.

Following on, we migrated the Online Store with books and other products away from their legacy provider onto services hosted by Shopify.com.  As of October RDRPublishers.com has been operational and a few “organic” orders have come through the system.

While books continue to be added to the new store, owing to readiness and other factors we are now moving forward with online advertising – commencing with Deal A Story cards.

The strategy (and I encourage the reader to fully understand this) is to begin with this single product, and then mirror the process for other offers as time passes.  These plans are “seasonally intelligent.”  For instance, we’ll launch a campaign for the Healthy Relationships Poster sometime prior to St. Valentines day.  And prior to this, we’ll produce a Product Branded site for the poster similar to the on we installed for Deal-A-Story Cards.

Also, the reader should understand that underpinning all of these initiatives lies preparation of the “plumbing” required to analyze and respond to trends.  Namely, the implementation of Google Analytics, Webmaster tools and other features prior to launching the Marketing Effort. My point being; sure you can advertise online, but absent the tools to measure how it’s working, are you spending wisely?

As to costs. The Online Store at Shopify costs less that $30/mo.  Webmaster Tools, Analytics, the Adwords account itself — are all free.  The Dealastory.com website itself? less than $30 / year.

If your sales online aren’t what they should be. Or your spending to accomplish sales online seems out of whack?  I encourage you to imagine what can be accomplished in the “free to extreme low cost” world.

Mobile Phone App

Mobile: Connecting Shoppers to Local Stores

Article worth a look:

New Research Shows How Digital Connects Shoppers to Local Stores

“The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic shift: In-store foot traffic is down, online research is up and smartphones are becoming increasingly important to the consumer’s in-store shopping journey.”

Google’s “Android One” – Phone for the 2nd & 3rd World Customer

Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes - 10's of millions of units globally.

Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes – 10’s of millions of units globally.

Elsewhere in this blog I’ve noted with interest that some of the biggest companies on the planet are taking aim at supplying emerging markets where extreme growth is due to literally explode in coming years.

Corroborating this mega-trend is Googles’ launch of the “Android One” phone.

Curt Prins, Mobile Strategist, explains some of the deeper and very interesting details in a fascinating post on LinkedIn.com.  Curt notes:

Instead of adapting to price sensitivities within emerging markets, Apple’s iPhone 6 starts at $649 (without contract) and tops out at $949. That’s an impossible purchase when the average household income in India is just US$7,700.

Talk about barriers to market entry!

Google’s Android One launched in India this week for just $105, and carrier subsidies will drive that price down into the $60s. Amazon India’s massive inventory sold out in a matter of hours. Google understands what works in Mountain View might not in Mumbai or Manila.

Notice the order of magnitude difference in price?

Anyway I completely agree with his assessment that data costs outstrip the costs of hardware — and keep users from going with smartphones.  This is why some of what http://www.internet.org is doing is so important. Curt notes:

Google has also eliminated OS access from wireless carriers–like Apple did with AT&T seven years ago. Google took it a step further by understanding the great expense of mobile data for most users within India. They partnered with Airtel to allow Android One users to get free OS updates for the first six months—in time for a critical update to their more energy-efficient Android L OS. These users will also get up to 200MB of free data for app downloads per month.

I still don’t know how this will affect me and my teeny business, but I expect it will.  Noticing that it is happening hopefully prepares me to position myself earlier than some who have become completely enamored with Apple and the iPhone 6 launch here in the US and seem blind that the market of billions of users remains untapped.

Investors that bought Alibaba this week?  Smell the same opportunities.

 

 

URL Redirects – Important links during Web Presence migrations

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management -- and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management — and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

We are in a season of Web Presence upgrades.  For those operating self-hosted sites with WordPress.org, you should be aware of the recent release of the WordPress 4.0 site engine / CSS.

Matt Mullenweg <m@wordpress.org> circulated the following announcement the other day…

Just a few days ago, we released WordPress 4.0 “Benny” which has already been downloaded almost three-and-a-half million times! This release includes major improvements to the plugin directory, a much more pleasant environment to write in, with better embed support and an auto-expanding editor, and finally media has been made more functional and beautiful.

http://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/

The reasons to upgrade are compelling … see those at the link above.

Anyway — if your upgrade means a complete web migration — you’re replacing a legacy site altogether — you’ll have issues with URL’s.  Here are some things to note.

If you have analytics data you should use it to design page titles in your new site.   If you don’t there are some other tools you can use that will help you anticipate the best keywords. (Ask us?)

Designing the page titles is important, but not critical — just realize that you can re-word these things as time passes.

But what about all of the existing SEO results that point to your old pages?  In your new site you should be able to install what are known as URL redirects.  These accept traffic from the old URL and “land” those visitors on the new page.

Be sure you have analytics operating in the new site.  You’ll be able to see which URL’s are being visited, but importantly — you ‘ll also be able to identify old URL’s that you need to provide redirects for.

On preparing ahead … the reality of Hemp industries

Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change.  Is your business positioning itself to benefit?

Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change. Is your business positioning itself to benefit?

Owing to past reflection on the subject of Hemp Business in this blog … it’s perhaps time to assess the process as we watch the required legislative changes taking place.  If you’ve been under a rock the past 24 months, you might not be aware that states (Oregon is one) are moving toward regulation over criminalization.  The ramifications are huge.

Hemp is the Gold Rush of the early 2000’s

In the IT world — we’re not concerned with growing, or refining or distribution or sales / consumption.  But we are excited about the enabling infrastructure and unique high-tech needs the industry will develop.  A few of these:

  • Smart Environmental Controls — being able to adjust lighting, HVAC and other critical components.   These are 24×7 and alerts will flow to Smart Phones where apps will permit tuning the facility on the fly.  These subsystems require everything from cabling and terminations, to Wireless hotspots and monitoring and maintenance, updates and all of the usual “computer” help.
  • Security — Placement of cameras, networks, other sensors and the alerts, responses and documentation that flows from these systems will require servers, storage and cloud services.
  • Marketing — Websites and community forums will emerge, but eventually so also considerable E-Commerce.   We hope Amazon and Ebay get ahead of the curve.

In summary, if your business has a footprint in these areas (and many more) you’re in position to benefit from legislative changes that are on the horizon.   If not, or your politics or “ethics” prevent  your professional consideration of the facts … that legalization is immanent … then that just leaves so much more for the rest of us.

We know that this moves ahead for one simple reason — Government is never without thirst for tax revenue.  If reform is required, politicians will eventually get behind it.

What are your thoughts?  How are you positioning your business to catch some of the wind driving “Sails” in Hemp business?