Required for Every Job

Picking up a prescription yesterday I was reminded that communication is required for every job.  The ability to communicate well with others is a must (or at least an asset) in almost every job I imagine.  After I had purchased the medication, the very friendly sales person told me that the pharmacist would ‘consult’ with me momentarily.  My friendly, happy-customer interaction went down the tube from there.  The pharmacist did not speak English well, he looked at the bottle and mumbled to me incomprehensibly.  I attempted to ask a question, but found it was futile.  He may be a really good pharmacist in terms of knowing medications and dispensing them properly, but he was a very poor communicator.  If part of his job is to ‘consult’ with patients, them he needs to learn to speak in an articulate manner.  Just another reminder for me that communication is so important.

Students 2 Students

Check out the recently launched website, Unigo.
The site’s purpose is for college students to share the low-down on their university with other students.
Students directly communicating with other students.  According to an article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, the Unigo editors let pretty much anything fly.  Students post thoughts, pictures, video — both good and bad.  I checked the site out — it is very buggy and you can’t use it for long without crashing.  That said, it is a great idea.  Who knows more about a college than the students actually attending the school?  I think the site also represents the shift in communication power caused by social media.  Now the power to communicate is in the hands of the students, not the college adminstrators.

Remorse Communicated

From PEHub today:
“There’s a WSJ report this morning that Bob Willumstad has rejected a $22 million severance package from AIG, where he served as CEO for the past few months. If accurate, this is an exceptional decision, in multiple senses. My hat’s off to the man, although it would be further off had he managed to execute AIG’s restructuring plan.”
Now that is a good example of communicating remorse.  There is nothing like action to speak louder than words and turning down $22 million is ACTION.
I couldn’t find the WSJ report on — I think they forgot to update the search engine when they reconfigured the website because that is the third article I’ve tried to find with no avail.
Anyway, good to see Willumstad is being responsible and turning down severance.

Hey, you’re ok

Here is what we all need to hear.  Song to remind us to chill out.
If only this could play continuously in our minds then we would all feel better and communicate more kindly to one another.

Surfaces More Content Faster

That is the claim to fame for the new website of the Wall Street Journal.  You can reach more items from the home page to get what you want faster.  That is such a reflection of our current media consumption culture.  The Internet gives it to us faster and easier and then we want it faster and easier.  Not to say that I don’t appreciate the surfacing of more content faster on the Wall Street Journal, because I do.  I tended to only use the search function when I went to the site, now I find it more appealing.  I also find the new Journal Women section appealing and the greater access to more video. Check it out yourself.

Talking About Going Green

Bill Green, partner at Vantage Point Venture Partners interviewed Mayor Reed about how San Jose is leading the charge to go green. S.J. Mayor Chuck Reed has created a Clean Green Roadmap
See his talk at AlwaysOn Going Green conference.
Though his body language is still and formal, Reed speaks articulately and gives concrete examples about his ideas.  For example, changing street lights to LEDs with sensors.
Bill Green does a good job of asking some easy questions and some challenging ones.

Wearables as Nonverbal Communication

A wearable is a clothing garment that has a technology element to it — like conductive thread or an LED.  Since I love the intersection of technology and communication I think this is the ultimate in cool.  Talk about nonverbal communication through what you wear.  One of these clothing items can light up and really say something about your personality.  Forbes just covered the story of one woman who is a maverick in this space.

Imitate Steve Jobs’ Presentations

The month’s MacLife magazine has an article by David Biedny on using Keynote to build killer presentations (  While the article has some interesting examples of using Keynote features, my favorite part is the side bar on imitating Steve Jobs.  The words “minimalism”, “multimedia stage”, and the phrase “clear, intelligible sequence of ideas” are what really struck me as on target.  If  presenters emulated the simplicity and multimedia artistic flare of Jobs’ presentations, we would all stay much more engaged.

Communication from the Hospital

When someone you love is sick and in the hospital you want to know how they’re doing every single minute.  But that’s impossible.  The immediate family by the sick person’s side is really busy and doesn’t have time to make a million calls.  I just experienced a technology that helps this entire process.  It is called Caring Bridge.

My N.Y. cousin was going through surgery and her husband was able to keep us all up to date using Caring Bridge.  Plus, everyone could post notes on the site and then he could read the to my cousin to boost her spirits.  Care Bridge is a wonderful example of technology helping communication.