What does a game like Minecraft have to do with project management?
A lot more than you might think. Although on the surface it might look like little more than a digital re-imagining of Lego, it’s a game with a surprising amount of depth and scope. It’s a powerful platform for expressing one’s creativity, an environment where what you can build is limited only by your imagination (and how much spare time you’ve got on your hands).
Around the world, millions of smart devices are manufactured every day. Each has a low-powered processor, one or more sensors, wired or wireless network hardware, and the capacity to store data. They are cameras, locks, fridges, drones, phones, watches, clothes, and furniture. They are in our buildings, vehicles, transport and utility infrastructure, garbage cans, and shipping containers.
Consumer group Which? made a troubling discovery earlier this month. Two large Facebook groups dedicated solely to posting misleading five-star reviews on products. Together, they may have nearly 87,000 members, all engaged in trying to trick people into buying products they’ve never actually used.
Today, I’d like to focus on something a little different from our usual fare. It might not be the kind of thing you’re used to reading from me, but it’s nevertheless a topic that impacts everyone – including IT professionals. I’m talking, of course, about social media.
Managing a server is not as complicated as you might think, but there are a few gotchas that often catch out neophyte server hosting clients. You shouldn’t feel bad about making mistakes: most of the old hands who frown at you from the pages of Serverfault made the same mistakes and learned from the experience.
We all understand that faster websites and more responsive web applications are better for users and for conversions, but it’s not clear exactly what we mean by fast. High-performance server hosting provides the foundation of a fast site, but there’s a lot more to building a great user experience.
A site may load its main content quickly, but force the user to wait 30 seconds to scroll. A web application may load quickly, but offer painfully slow interactions. Or it may load content quickly and react snappily to user interactions, but spend a minute or more rearranging content on the page as advertising loads.
Video games have come a long way from the days of the Atari. Today, gamers can play with people from all over the world as easily as if they were on the same couch. And that’s awesome.
It creates a sense of community, inspires friendships that transcend borders, and generally makes for a great experience for everyone involved. But maybe that sense of camaraderie isn’t enough. Maybe you want to run your own server, and create your own community.
Most startups are hungry for the oxygen of publicity. The penetration of social media, and especially of Facebook and Twitter, has reduced the reliance of business on traditional news media and bloggers, but a positive write-up on a popular site or blog can turn a trickle of social media referrals into an avalanche of new users.
The media still matters, which is why businesses should make it as easy as possible for writers to find the information they need to build a story.
We’re living in an era where collaboration reigns supreme. Thanks to technologies like mobile, the cloud, and the Internet, it’s easier for dispersed teams to work together than ever before. And that simple fact has changed the face of business.
Those businesses that have kept pace with the change, whether large or small, have experienced noticeable gains. A 2014 Aberdeen Group study found that organizations identifying social collaboration as a top business goal saw a 16% increase in performance over those that didn’t. In other words, online collaboration platforms can be some of the most powerful tools in your organizational arsenal. There’s a caveat, though – you need to put the purpose they serve front and center.