Don’t Treat LinkedIn Like Facebook

Why are people trying to turn LinkedIn into Facebook?  Why?  Stop it!

Okay, let me back up a little bit.  LinkedIn has grown into a phenomenal tool that I’ve used for many years to connect with customers, coworkers, and other professional acquaintances.  With the growth of its news features and the relevant and quality articles about topics I’m interested in, LinkedIn really has become a necessary daily tool.  Above all, I’ve always liked LinkedIn because everyone has an air of professionalism that you just can’t find on any other social network.

I know many people (myself included) who enjoy using LinkedIn as a platform to promote themselves and their achievements, which when done properly is completely appropriate.  As newcomers who have in the past ignored LinkedIn, begin to see the growth of the user base and all the opportunity it now provides, they’re flocking to the site trying to make some waves in the ocean.

All of a sudden, the LinkedIn I love is being flooded with poorly worded math puzzles, quotes having nothing to do with business or motivation, “eye tests”, and badly cropped photos for profile pictures.  I’m seeing check-ins at retail locations, updates about what kind of cars people are buying, and discussions about dating.  Why?

Let’s talk about Facebook for a moment.  Facebook has become the most useless social network on which I have a profile.  The auto generated madness of game scores, horoscopes, quotes, videos etc. is just silly.  The amount of interesting content I find on Facebook is scarce, which is sad considering that up until the last few weeks, it used to be the social network where most of my time was spent.  That all changed when I finally took a step back from what I was doing and realized that most of the Facebook community was not something that I wanted to be a part of anymore.  But Facebook used to be so cool, what happened?  The same thing which is happening now to LinkedIn I fear.  The temptation for many people to talk about all the minute details of their lives and flood your feed with worthless information and uninformed opinions is slowly taking over.

Don’t get me wrong, you can have some fun on LinkedIn.  There are great times to be had making fun of corporate environments, writing comments about articles, and sometimes actually answering one of those poorly worded math puzzles, but keep an unobtrusive and professional demeanor please.

I think LinkedIn needs to start taking a close look at this trend and find a way to weed out the attention junkies.

Beware Pass-The-Buck Employees

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.  – Colin Powell

Passing The Buck

The more I progress in my career and work with really intelligent people, the ability of professionals to avoid taking responsibility for their action or inaction is astounding.  In my experience, this is usually found from employees who know how to talk the “corporate-speak” like no other.  It’s incredible to speak with friends who work in the corporate world and look at my experience regarding this phenomenon.  A study about how many internal emails employees send which are simply asking someone to take responsibility for an outcome already assigned to them would be interesting to see.  Understanding that I don’t have any hard numbers on this, my guess is there’s a significant amount.  And when you think about it, is holding someone accountable via email a good use of your employees’ time?  The answer: of course not.  But how does one effectively manage and control individuals taking responsibility in a large organization where cross team collaboration is necessary?

My thoughts… it all starts at the top and trickles down to who you hire.  If your CEO has a problem of taking responsibility for the company’s results, it’s going to become company culture pure and simple.  Now, some may argue that you need the right system in place, and yes, a system may help keep track of SLAs and deliverables, but it’s not going to change a culture of passing the buck.  I would rather have a team of players who take responsibility for their mistakes and work hard to better themselves, than a team of more experienced/intelligent lemmings who work at “CYA” more than anything else.

I’ve recently made it my mission to hold people accountable for outcomes and it’s been a bumpy ride so far.  Process has become an excuse for not obtaining desired outcomes.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of situations where process improvement would greatly enhance a company’s customer satisfaction, productivity, and overall profitability, but when you have too many processes for a simple problem, the processes become a scape goat.  It’s the same idea as having too many chiefs and not enough Indians, you need a balanced ratio.  But to address the quote at the beginning of this blog, I’ve found that being responsible and holding others responsible pisses people off.  Specifically those really smart people who hide behind process.  Shame on you.

If you’re an employer, beware pass-the-buck employees.

Microsoft Ends Stack Ranking

I was in the middle of writing a post about this and realized it’s kind of a fishy area as it’s not clear exactly what information is made public by Microsoft, and I am an employee after all.  So to summarize, I’m very pleased and proud of the direction Microsoft is taking.  If you haven’t seen a good article on this yet look here.

Link

CEO Professes His Undying Love For Apple

CEO Professes His Undying Love For Apple

This article is surprisingly ignorant despite the qualifications of its author.  There are so many things which I can rant about, but the following sticks out to me the most: he credits the introduction of the iPod as what “made us realize” we wanted our music in the cloud.  Dude.  Napster.  Ever heard of it?  Not to mention that, oh I don’t know, the original iPod had no connection to the internet whatsoever…

Xbox One Approaches

I’m really excited about the Xbox One’s imminent release on November 22nd.  Some of my friends have asked me why they should purchase an Xbox One over a Wii U or PS4, and some just want to know more about the new Xbox One so I’m going to spend some time chatting about what stands out to me.

Why would you buy a Wii U over an Xbox One?  The only reason you’d do that it because the initial price tag is lower.  Although Nintendo has a few first party titles which provide great gameplay and story, they’re continuing to move forward with a model that is based on niche controllers and accessories.  It actually becomes quite pricey not to mention the space issue it can cause.  I had enough of this on the original Wii.  Microsoft includes the Kinect 2 with Xbox One; it’s immersive and active gaming is great for families while not requiring any additional hardware purchases at all.  But probably the biggest reason to pass on the Wii U, is that lack of support that third party developers are planning in the future for the Wii U

Why would you buy a PS4 over an Xbox One?  If you like playing hardcore games without the need for active gaming or integrated entertainment, the PS4 is a good option as its intro price is $100 less than the Xbox.  However, if you’re looking for those things along with active gaming and integrated entertainment, Xbox is a more favorable option.  Xbox has a lot of know-how integrating the Kinect with the interface and games on the Xbox 360 and the Kinect 2 blows it out of the water.  Check this out.  Additionally, Xbox’s online gaming platform is more reliable and more secure than PS Plus, not to mention the new matchmaking features Microsoft has included.  Xbox Live membership is more expensive than PlayStation Plus, but again you get what you pay for.

Let’s move on to using the Xbox One as a complete entertainment device.  Okay for all you people who still use media for movies, the Xbox One has a Blu Ray player.  Since that’s outta the way let’s talk about things which actually matter.  Cable integration.  The Xbox One greatly enhances your cable experience and utilizes it’s interface including the Kinect 2.  That means you can tell your Xbox to turn on and that you want to watch ESPN.  Forget finding a remote control.  Additionally let’s say that you want to take a look at your NFL fantasy football league while watching the game, just say so and the screen splits to display your info and the game.  Now let’s say you have a friend in a different location and want to trash talk because your team is winning, just tell your Xbox to Skype call him while watching the game.  It’s amazing.  And remember (from the linked presentation of the Kinect 2 referenced earlier) Kinect 2 can differentiate your voice from background noise and even noise coming from the TV so it will have no problems hearing your commands.  Oh right, and I haven’t even began to speak about the TV shows being released exclusively on the Xbox such as the Halo show Executive Produced by a little guy named Steven Spielberg.

Now the only thing I’m waiting to hear more than rumors about are the integration between Windows 8 and Xbox One.  My guess however, is that the integration will be complimentary, and not a direct sync of all your apps.  A full blown living room entertainment system is a different animal than my main computing device.  I don’t see a reason to try and make them directly reflect one another.  Time will tell.

All in all, the Xbox One provides a fantastic hardcore gaming experience, next level active games with Kinect 2, and ground breaking entertainment interface, interaction, and content.