In this age of being constantly connected, people have come to expect that the information they are looking for is at their fingertips. This edition of Weekly Reads covers how technology giants are continuing to push the envelope in terms of the amount and type of information that is accessible and where it is accessible. We as users are also raising our expectations around the level of transparency that these giants are providing.
Google announced a slew of new capabilities and integrations for Google Assistant. It will now be able to switch interchangeably between languages and Google is partnering with new third-party smart display and smart speaker companies. There are also a wide range of new connected home devices that will support the assistant such as thermostats, security devices and vacuums. Google is doing this in an effort to continue to increase the advantage that it already has in international markets. Read more after the jump…
A wide shot of the vastness of space. An intimate home video of a child’s first steps. A social media savvy YouTube vlogger with the latest and greatest in makeup techniques. Whatever you may be watching, there should be an essence to the visuals that feels cohesive with the content being portrayed. Certain shots feel right at home in a reality TV drama, while others perfectly capture the epic grandeur of a Hollywood blockbuster. The culprit is often staring at you right through a letterbox (rimshot): aspect ratio. Read more after the jump…
Two CenterTable team members, 5 days, 29 caffeinated beverages and 107,855 combined steps. Jim and Carissa took South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference by storm last week and have plenty to share in its wake.
If you were suffering from a major case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) about SXSWi, you were not alone! That’s why Jim and Carissa made it a priority to chronicle their entire week in Austin – including everything from the best sessions all the way down to the best libations – on the GroundFloor Media & CenterTable blog! Check it out! Read more after the jump…
The impact of Internet on the way we process information
Last week Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains, was in Denver for a reading at the Tattered Cover. I was first introduced to Carr via his Rough Type blog. Before his book tour and high-profile reviews in the New York Times and elsewhere, he would often write about cloud computing, privacy issues and other tech concerns covered in his earlier book, Does IT Matter?
The Shallowsexpands beyond technology services and leadership to discuss the impact of technology, namely the Internet, on the way we think and consume information. Wow! Who knew that all of my Google alerts, Skype calls, eBay messages, Digsby and Outlook updates could be changing the way I think? Actually, I did.
For the past few years, each new application that I added to my computer or iPhone would make me stop (sometimes abruptly) to figure out a new way to manage my online life – resulting in new distractions and also impacting my offline time. Rarely would I have uninterrupted time to dedicate to work or personal projects, unless of course, I committed the desperate move of turning off all of my gadgets.
Why are we so easily distracted by our technology?
Carr addresses this question in The Shallows and begins his discussion back in the 15th Century with the development of the printing press. Carr argues that the rise of the Internet in late-20th Century was equally as significant as the introduction of the printing press. The Internet inundates us with distractions and we are now faced with a barrage of information.
This juggling act provides greater access to information than ever before, but also relegates us to a constant state of short-term information management. We are no longer encouraged to engage in deeper thought or introspection, making it harder for us to commit all of this information to long-term memory and distinguish between trivial vs. important details.
So, how do we get back to a place where we can take the positives of both the book and Internet to create greater balance? Carr suggests personal discipline, but also increasing awareness of the Internet as a tool and not as a way of life. I realize though that not everyone has the option to disconnect – particularly in the PR world where reporters are often on deadline and news is available 24 hours a day. But, if we cherish more offline time, Carr recommended that we back away from our keyboards and practice calmer thinking, while also using the Internet as a ready-reference for information and channel to connect instantly with friends, family and peers.
So, in that vein, I’m writing this blog post while on vacation in Crested Butte. Yes, it would have been nice if I had finished it while still in the office, but baby steps. I’ve now turned off my e-mail alerts, declined all meetings and have a frothy latte in front of me while I reflect on Carr’s comments from last week and share them with you all. Tomorrow, I’ll try not to turn on my computer at all – wish me luck!