Saturday, 17 March 2012

Majority Rules, should it?

"Majority rules" is oftened heard in group discussions on plans of action whether in the business environment or social interactions with friends and family. Unfortunately for the person in the minority they will normally hear something like "sorry for you.." and life goes on.

Now in most cases "majority rules" works simply due to the majority of the group generally wanting the same thing. What if however you are the sole person that knows what you are saying or trying to convince others to do is 100% undeniably correct yet the majority do not see it.

Should the majority really rule in all situations? If you had two experts that had a solution to a unique problem yet the majority want to do something else that may work out in the short term but not for the long term why would people go with the majority and not the sure fix. Surely in some instances it makes more sense to give those in the minority more leverage to change a situation.

Obviously this makes sense if those in the minority are providing sensible solutions and are not in fact part of the problem. If things are also being done properly those in minority should also have had their say in swaying the groups opinion to becoming the majority. But there-in the cycle starts again.

Just something to think about.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

How the Media changes a story

In South Africa there has been furious discussion over the roll of media in the country and the Media Tribunal is just one of many aspects being discussed. The media has and always be a powerful force in the world. Especially has more and more media houses embrace the full potential of social media their power will only get more powerful.

People everywhere in the world are able to sway discussion in any direction and unfortunately the court of public opinion is where you need to win and for media houses winning means more money. It must be a difficult task to present accurate factual news but what I want to discuss is the brilliant advert below. It is by The Guardian a UK based media company.

As brilliant as the advert is, it proves how the media can turn a story into something so far removed from the core story. A case in point is the strike that is happening all over South Africa. Cosatu, the largest trade union in the country has called a strike to protest the Gauteng e-Toll project and the use of labour brokers.

Both points, that the union is striking against are hot topics of discussion and the e-Tolling is one that has earned the fury of just about all Gauteng residents. So you would think that the media would be focussing on the strike and what the strike is about. The e-Toll project has been covered extensively and continues to be.

The media are covering the strike and doing their bit, but like in the above advert, the story they are covering most is the fact that teachers are striking which obviously impacts on the education of children. The education system is now getting a lot of focus and teacher unions are getting involved in radio talks yet the point of the strike has nothing to do with education?

Do not get me wrong education is a massive priority in this country and deserves all the attention it gets but the point is media can and do twist the initial news story into something completely different. Right or wrong or I do not know but I guess that is how news rooms continue to produce news every day, even on slow news days.

What do you think about media and their power to manipulate a story?

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Facebook's Timeline

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Facebook has launched their new timeline visual approach to their user profiles. Initially I was not taken with the new lay-out but I have since begun to like it. It is certainly a big change from the existing profile lay-out. The lay-out of old seems to be so bland and boring now.

A nice feature on the timeline is the cover. This graphic is like the book cover to your profile and is a nice big space to show a picture of whatever you want compared to the small profile picture we have had for so long. It is still good to see the profile picture has remained but does take on a slightly less important role now.

The rest of the page is divided into two main columns by a dividing line, representing the passing of time, hence the timeline look and feel. This allows to include milestones or life events and you can record your life’s history easier than ever before.

All those links you used to have on the left hand side of the page have not disappeared they are just displayed elsewhere. There are now a couple of tabs displayed just under the cover picture. These tabs can be expanded by clicking on the little down arrow on the right hand side. What this means is that only three tabs will be displayed at any given time. This gives a bit more life to your profile as the tabs rotate through.

If you have a post that you wish to make more prominent you can select the post and highlight it. This will make your post appear across the entire page and give it more presence.  Also posts that have more comments / shares get a bigger portion of the page. It is a nice way of seeing at a glance which post got the most action.

The timeline is now available to those who have Facebook pages for their businesses or other reasons. The mandatory cutover date is 30 March 2012 to the timeline for pages. The timeline for pages will affect businesses in a big way.

Business will be able to place more branding images on the page now, think of a big Coca-Cola image on the cover picture and the bottle of Coke as the profile picture. Businesses will be able to make use of the milestones feature by way of promotions, specials, product launches. The will be able to build the brand better and engage with customers.

The ability for a page admin to take a message and turn it into a private messaging session with a customer will allow far deeper communication than ever before. Marketers will need to re-think their strategy on which tabs display above the ‘fold’ as this will be the first thing customers will see when landing on the business page.

It should all make for some interesting changes in the way we see people’s lives and businesses unfold in real time. Let me know what you think of the new Facebook timeline on my facebook page TechNOBLEgyIT.

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