Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Media -- You Are What You Write?

Content is King said Bill Gates some 12 years ago and I concur. And true enough content is much more urgent in the new media now than ever with the flooding of smart phones, tablets and digital devices the world over. A friend of mine bought a Playbook and couldn’t stop cursing it for the lack of contents; she ended up using the Playbook as a digital photo frame placed in the bedroom. The demand for interesting apps grew spectacularly when the iPad and Galaxy Tab were introduced into the market. Google and Wiki has become common terms to mean looking for information in the Internet. Though not all information gathered via Google is reliable, it provides vast amount of information from various sources. 

When Steve Jobs passed away, the news hit the world like a storm, everybody tweeted the about it, Facebook walls were filled with condolences, blogs started talking about the great man he was, news portals filled with stories about him. Contents about Steve Jobs were churned and dug swiftly to satisfy the audience who were waiting to read more about the man who gave more meaning to the letter ‘i’ . The world literally stopped to announce his passing and I’m pretty sure “Steve Jobs” was the top Google search word the next couple of weeks following the news. 

Probably the most searched and displayed photo for the past two weeks

Nowadays, news is not lagged anymore. It’s all realtime. I was so shocked to read the tweet that Guiliana Rancic, my favorite E! News newscaster, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer when she was going for fertility treatment. And I received the news the same time the Americans did. The news drove people to search for information about breast cancer and its possible treatments. 

When news is literally at your fingertips, you are indeed what you write. People tend to believe what’s being written out there. As celebrities, it’s impossible to shy away from all the publicity irrespective of the truth but as a brand of a product, you can create and recreate your brand’s image away. 

Audiences relate through actual experience, real participation. Renowned brands like Adidas and Nike promote healthy lifestyles by organizing marathons and sports related events, inviting interested groups to talk about in the social media and the new media. Cosmetics like Elizabeth Arden highlight cancer awareness by printing the logo on the product packaging. Timberland, an active outdoor sports brand stresses on the importance of recycling with the introduction of their Earthkeepers line that use recycled materials for shoes.

What’s your brand’s cause? What does your brand stand up for? Apart from placing importance on the products, people relate better with causes and real participations. And while you are at that, write away and improve that brand’s image simultaneously.

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everybody Needs To Do A Noodle Dance!

Anybody who has kids that watch Disney channel would know what is a Noodle Dance. When PB & J otter stumble upon a problem, they would do a Noodle Dance to find the answer, and all the cute little kids around the world would dance with them to find the solution. And at the end of the dance, they would find the answer and everybody will end up being happy. The dance was created to promote rational thinking in kids.

But, what about us, adults? If one thinking process is equivalent to one Noodle dance, how many times do we Noodle dance a day?

Technology has made our life simpler but it shouldn’t make our society dimmer. One fine day and this is a true story, I asked a fellow colleague a ‘tricky’ question. What is the sum of 3x3+3? She thought for a while before grabbing her calculator and giving me the answer very slowly like she was second guessing herself. What have we become? A simple equation like 5+5 also requires an iPhone 4’s calculator to answer. We rely too much on Wikipedia, we chat with too much nonsense and short forms on social media and in the process of all these, we refuse to think.

We can’t separate thinking from our lives. Ideas make the world interesting and ideas, no matter how small, is never trivial. Thinking process and rational thinking are very important in building a healthy society and a healthy company. Physical exercise is always emphasized on these days, but what about mental excersize?

At FingerTec, we even have a channel for employees to submit any new ideas in return for a monetary reward.  We want to create a culture where thinking processes is not only relevant to the top management; it should be relevant to all levels. The questions include how to make our work better and contribute more to the progress of the company and the brand we are working for.  A logistic staff could contribute ideas concerning the packaging process, to reduce the time taken to prepare all items and to reduce the transportation costs for our clients. Work process could be made simpler and better when thinking processes take place.

Whenever a question is thrown at you, the worst answer you could give is “I don’t know” This shows the level of commitment you have into something you do and how you refuse to use your brain in the process.

When we were younger, our parents did their best to make sure that we have the best brain in the world. Sadly, as we grow up, we tend to forget to use this very capable organ to better our lives.

So, what say you if we do the Noodle dance whenever you are stuck with a problem? 

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ