Nat’s Nibbles

As my work / life changes, I find myself reading a lot, but not posting as much as I would like … except on our family blog, where the evolution of our amazing kids is documented in nauseating detail.  🙂  So I’ve been trying to think about how to do a better job sharing all the great material I’m coming across online, and I thought I would give this thing (which I’m tentatively calling Nat’s Nibbles) a try.  I’m modeling this type of blog post after a couple of blogs that I follow regularly, that do a really nice job capturing interesting stories and trends:

  • Steve Portigal’s blog called All This ChittahChattah.  From my vantage point, it seems as though Steve been writing consistently for years.  I first got to know him through his newsletter Fresh Meat, later through his contributions to a list that I manage called anthrodesign, and through his blog.  He’s now also working on a book.  If there is someone I could learn from in terms of writing habits, it’s Steve!  He periodically posts ChittahChatttah Quickies like this one, which is one of the inspirations for this new type of post I’m trying today.
  • Dina Mehta has had a couple of different incarnations on her websites and blogs over the years.  Her latest site is called Conversations with Dina.  She frequently posts Reading Bytes like this one which I find interesting and easy to consume.

I’m using these as a model for what I’m trying to do here …  it should be interesting to see how it goes!  So here are some of the highlights from my reading and browsing this week, grouped into a few themes:

Applied anthropologists in the news

Amazon’s eBook strategy

  • An article by Charlie Stross about Amazon and their eBook strategy.  I learned some new vocabulary words in this one!  He says that “the peculiar evil genius of Amazon is that Amazon seems to be trying to simultaneously establish a wholesale monopsony and a retail monopoly in the ebook sector”.

In case you didn’t know what a monopsony is (I didn’t!), Stross defines it as:

a market form in which only one buyer faces many sellers. It is an example of imperfect competition, similar to a monopoly, in which only one seller faces many buyers. As the only or majority purchaser of a good or service, the “monopsonist” may dictate terms to its suppliers in the same manner that a monopolist controls the market for its buyers.

I have been waffling for months now about whether to make my electronic book purchases via the iTunes Store (where I buy all my other media, and prices and selection are good), or Amazon (where I have purchased most of my books for years).  There are pros and cons to the user experience of both the iBook and the Kindle app for my iPad, but the killer feature on the Kindle Reader for me is unequivocably the ability to read books both on my iPad and in a browser.  There are a few heated threads on this topic in the Apple forums, which Apple continues to ignore.  But I know they are listening, because I posted to the thread and my post content was edited!  Anyhow, I’m still experimenting with both, so this perspective on the Amazon as retailer was of interest.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work trend

In 2008, Forrester encouraged IT departments to eschew supporting Apple products.  So it’s even more compelling that they are now making the connection between the employees they call HEROs (Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives) and the need to support a more flexible approach to enterprise IT. A quote from the report via the CNN article:

“Most of the Macs today,” writes Johnson, “are being freewheeled into the office by executives, top sales reps, and other workaholics. Forrester believes this is the same demographic that we’re now calling the “power laptop user,” and according to the latest Workforce Technology And Engagement Survey, power laptop users make 44% more money, use more collaboration apps, and carry an average of three devices wherever they go.”

And Forrester goes even further to suggest that enterprise IT will see a 50% uptick in spending on Apple products this year.

In closing

Ok, well, that was more like a seven course meal than a nibble!  But hopefully that will not be the case once I’ve cleared some of the backlog.  I’ve read lots of other great stuff in the past few weeks, which I hope to share them in upcoming posts.  In the meantime, I’d be interested to know what you think of this first attempt to deliver Nat’s Nibbles!

7 Comments on “Nat’s Nibbles”

  1. Emotional laden? I know you liked the post, but my cro-mang-male, recoiles at the notion of emotional laden. I prefer to think of it as, um, clear eyed and without, um…stuff. Yea, that’s it… Stuff.

    • Mark … yeah, I liked it! And I appreciated the candor. I mean, you admitted that you cried at one point, right?! Good for you. More of the people considering PhDs should read your perspective before committing 8-10 years to something that won’t necessarily make them happy.

  2. You’re jerking me out of my inertia with blogs – not sure how long its been since I dropped in on a blog and left a comment! Twitter is crazy! Thanks for the mention …and *GULP* i just feel terrible that I’ve almost stopped blogging a couple of years ago. The Reading Bytes are sparse too – and you inspire me to do more of that at least. And with more of “me” in there too as I’ve simply become lazy!!

    Funny, just this morning, I blogged about a presentation i had recently made, with the comment that although I’ve tweeted and facebooked it, this is my space – my lifestream, my first love.

    Love the links … and the format … 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind feedback, Dina! Yes, reading and responding to blogs is a pleasure for me (and maybe even a luxury) compared to skimming Twitter. Especially when I can enjoy the blog directly and not through an RSS reader. It’s always funny to me to see how perceptions differ – your inertia is probably my high speed at this point! 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Thanks, Natalie. I’m so honored by your kind words. Writing is so hard (today is book day for me and it’s almost 2 pm and I’ve done everything but) and so I am all for finding little formats that make sense. If you progress with the nibbles, you may find yourself doing what I do – keep a draft “Quickies” post around and copy-paste that to a new post which then gets bits and pieces dropped in as I find them. Well, that’s not the entire workflow but the point is to break it down into some manageable chunks. Finding stuff, throwing it into the blogging software, and then WRITING are all separate and if I can break them apart then it relieves some of my burden. But “gee that would make a cool post” far far outweighs my follow through. Anyway, congrats and thanks again.

    • Thanks Steve! 🙂 I am definitely collecting and grouping stuff into themes. Coherent, focused writing and tying those ideas together is always the hard part, isn’t it?

  4. Pingback: Nat’s Nibbles – Forget Normal | Natalie Hanson, PhD

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