Dec 21, 2007

Modern holyday: too wired

Weekend getaways and romantic dinners used to be sweet escapes from the daily grind. Nowadays, they are often interrupted by a buzzing Blackberry or the ding of an instant message on the wireless laptop.

That's not news to modern workers, many of whom may just be getting back from a long winter break during which they worked more than in years past.

An AP poll this year found that one-fifth of Americans tote a laptop on vacation. Countless more carry cell phones, many of which can be used to check company e-mail. And why not? With wireless coverage extending, staying connected is simple.

A nine-year study of more than 12,000 middle-aged men at high risk of heart disease showed that participants who vacationed more had a lower risk of dying than the vacation-deprived... Read more...

Dec 10, 2007

Cultural impact of the technology wave

It was clear that the combination of digitization and a worldwide network of communications networks would change culture radically, but even a decade ago the scope and scale of change were unknown.

Who could have foreseen the iPod revolution, or the fact that selling pop tunes to signify when you have an incoming cell phone call would be a $600 million a year business in the U.S. alone?

The last 20 years have seen developments in digital, computing, and communication technologies that have been absolutely unprecedented in their rate and intensity, which has made the broader impact of these developments extremely difficult to anticipate or predict.

But you don't have to be a technological determinist to observe that this sea change in technology has brought about similarly profound social and cultural changes.

When considering the impacts of digital technology on art and culture, the early focus was on pragmatic and logistical matters like copyright and delivery systems. But the major impacts of technology have been in areas like the intersection among artist, institution and audience, and the ability of non-artists to interact with objects that were once, only a short time ago, beyond their reach.

Read more from Carleton University Magazine Online.

Dec 6, 2007

Taken care of the use of "cc" field

When sending an e-mail, try not to use the "cc:" field unless the recipient in this field knows why they are receiving a copy of the message.

Using the "cc:" field can be confusing for the recipients. They might not know who is supposed to act on the message or what is their role with that e-mail.

Also, when responding to a "cc:" message, should you include the other recipient in the cc: field as well?

This will depend on the situation. In general, do not include the person in the "cc:" field unless you have a relevant reason for wanting this person to see your response.

If a copy must be sent to others, it is useful and gives a good impression, to explain why the e-mail is also being sent to others.

Remember that what is “obvious” to you as a sender, almost never is to your recipients, as mentioned in their frequent complaints about ineffective e-mails.

More recommendations for senders in my book Email at the workplace.