Nobody Asked Me, But…

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It was the famous journalist Jimmy Cannon who when faced with nothing particular to write about would fill his columns with a random series of opinions on anything he felt like saying. He’d begin every topic with “Nobody asked me, but…” and then go on to observe the world as he saw it. While I am privileged to post blogs about collaboration for The IMCCA, Cisco, InfoComm, LinkedIn and my own site, and to submit the occasional (award winning) travel blog to JoeSentMe, I haven’t had had a place to air my rambling opinions that are too big for Twitter and too brief for a blog. With that in mind I am honored to support my friend David Maldow and his new Lets Do Video site with a recurring (when I feel like it) column of ramblings, rants, snark and musings about the things I know best – technology, AV, collaboration and multimedia (with what I’m sure will be a smattering of opinions on science fiction, travel and popular culture.) I’ll apologize now – just this one time – to anyone who may be offended by any of my comments and opinions. However, in most cases, the worst I’ll be doing is just putting in writing what industry insiders are saying anyway. If it’s not what you wanted to hear, well as I said, nobody asked me…  

Nobody asked me, but as 2014 is coming to an end I’m excited about the future of collaboration. Existing players are tweaking their offerings and preparing new products and services to bring to market. New players have entered the space as they continue to see it as a tremendous opportunity. The most encouraging trend though is that I see the “old ways” dominos at user organizations actually beginning to fall. Some examples include “Director of Collaboration” and similar titles being hired/appointed to consolidate the space, people focused on the user experience instead of the bits and bytes, business leaders getting involved in technology decisions, end users expecting technology to work and not accepting artificial barriers set by their gatekeepers, etc. We are also seeing people becoming much more educated and savvy about the space. The days that a poor product/service would find a niche with slick marketing seem to be fading into the sunset. I can’t wait for 2015…

Nobody asked me, but I’m one of the few people who isn’t taking the current trend of wearable technology too seriously. I clearly see how the “Internet of Everything” will change our lives, and how sensors will play a large part of that – but $20 worth of electronics bundled as a “status band” that sells for hundreds – isn’t quite going to be the thing that leads the change. The current spate of products are just fillers until the next wave of intelligent sensors comes off the drawing board and hits the market. Just look at this article about how Apple is seeking out “fashion conscious” individuals to help portray how “stylish” and “exclusive” the Apple Watch is. Only the in-crowd will be able to see the emperor’s new wearable. It would be wise to relate this entire market sector back to the first Palm Pilots.   They were a fad that took the form of a future needed technology, but they had neither the power nor features that the space would require, and the entire sector died. But when feature-rich tablets and smart phones became available, those became a technology that changed our lives. My advice here is to wait till relevant products that are still in manufacturers’ labs get released before we all go gaga over wearables.

Nobody asked me, but while I would prefer to stand up for controversial films that are meaningful (such as Fahrenheit 9/11 or An Inconvenient Truth) the very definition of Free Speech is that we defend every voice – no matter how ridiculous – from any evil that would see them silenced. That’s why it’s so urgent for everyone to the join the call for Sony Pictures to get the “desperately unfunny” Seth Rogan film The Interview released ASAP.   Pulling the release was unfortunately the ultimate “letting the terrorists win.” I think that as the first film that was ever attacked by cyber-terrorism, The Interview should immediately be added to the US Library of Congress Film Archive and released by them as a public service. Let the hackers take on the US Congress. Either outcome (the US government fights back or the US Congress gets shut down) is extremely acceptable…

Nobody asked me, but I just don’t understand Internet advertising. Does anybody really think the four or five ads, videos and/or pop-up boxes that slow down and get in the way of me reading an on-line news story will actually make me want to buy those products or services – or subscribe to that news service? I frequently visit news aggregation sites like Google news, but if I click on a story to find out more about the topic it is usually an adventure in spam before I can get the story to load (if it ever does) – and I have a super-fast PC and broadband connection. How anyone can think these annoyances will do anything beneficial for their firm is beyond me.

Till next time…

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About Author

David Danto has over three decades of experience providing problem solving leadership and innovation in media and UC technologies for various firms including AT&T, Bloomberg LP, and Morgan Stanley. He is currently the Principal Consultant for collaboration, video, and AV disciplines at Dimension Data, as well as IMCCA’s Director of Emerging Technology. Email David at David.Danto@Dimensiondata.com to learn how he can help your organization solve problems, develop a future-proof collaboration strategy for internal use, or develop user-focused go-to-market strategies for your collaboration product or service. The opinions expressed in David’s commentary are his own, and are not representative of Let’s Do Video.

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