This Week on #TalkTech: Microsoft’s Nightmare, Training at Facebook and Google Shortens Attention Spans

Topic 1: How might real life training exercises like Facebook’s “hackathon” be applied to other industries?

Facebook hackathons


October was CyberSecurity awareness week, and Facebook was not pulling any punches. In order to teach employees about the dangers of security breaches, Facebook launched a series of security threats and fake phishing sites to see how employees would respond. Those who reported the threats received fun prizes while those who missed the threats had to complete more training. Facebook’s approach to CyberSecurity training used a real world experience to teach instead of eLearning or instructor-led training. How can this be used in other industries?

Mashable: Facebook Hacks Its Employees to Teach Lessons on Cyber Attacks


Topic 2: How do poor reviews of Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 affect the future of Microsoft?

For many companies, it’s hard to imagine a work world without Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. However, Microsoft’s recent product launches have yielded disappointing results. Windows 8 is getting mixed reviews, and Microsoft recently cut their order for 4 million Surface tablets in half. Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for the tech giant? If so, what will it take for business to lose its dependence on Windows and Microsoft Office?

Business Insider: Steve Ballmer’s Nightmare Is Coming True

Topic 3: How does learning need to change to accomodate shortening attention spans and changing reading preferences?

Is Google Making Us Stupid?


Nicholas Carr wrote a terrific piece in The Atlantic back in 2008 (an eternity in internet time) asking if Google was making us stupid. He noted his own struggles focusing on reading books and lengthy articles in favor of skimming headlines and scanning blog posts for key points. There is no doubt the internet affects the way we consume content. How should learning design change to make the most of our new habits?

The Atlantic: Is Google Making Us Stupid?

If you’re new to Twitter chats, don’t forget about awesome tools such as that automatically save the hashtag and help you focus on the conversation!

Witness to the power of 2.0 tools

This is not your normal business post…only an observation of my personal experience with the power of 2.0 tools.

Like many of you I have been glued to CNN watching the coverage of the devastation in Haiti. While I have a personal interest in the story, as I wait for word from a friend leading a mission trip in Haiti (sidenote: same location of my own mission trip in 3 weeks), I have been moved by the stories coming out of that country and how they’ve been delivered. Many of the first stories and accounts of the devastation came via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and other 2.0 tools. Woa…that’s power.

I wait for news of my friend and constantly monitor Facebook, Twitter, etc. for some piece of news of someone who may have been in the same area. I am hungry for news and information, which is exactly what these 2.0 tools provide…up-to-the-minute information that I want.

Thanks 2.0 tools for keeping me in the loop.

Monday Funny

If you don’t have Facebook, these might not make much sense to you. (Quick, go get Facebook. Really, it’s fun, I promise.) If you do have Facebook, envision using these as your status messages:

NAME thinks that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you’re really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you’re saying: ‘Hope I don’t get chased today.’ ‘Be nice to people in sneakers.’

NAME saw a guy at a party wearing a leather jacket and he thought, ‘That is cool.’ But then he saw another guy wearing a leather vest and he thought, ‘That is not cool’. Then he figured it out: ‘Cool’ is all about leather sleeves.

NAME likes fruit baskets because it gives you the ability to mail someone a piece of fruit without appearing insane. Like, if someone just mailed you an apple you’d be like ‘Huh? What the heck is this?’, but if it’s in a fruit basket you’re like ‘This is nice!’

NAME feels stupid when he writes the word banana. Its like, how many na’s are on this thing? ‘Cause I’m like ‘Bana … keep going. Bananana … damn.

NAME was at his friend’s birthday and he was mad at him, so he sent him a card. It said happy birthday, but he put quotes around the word “Happy”… sarcastic birthday, jerk.

NAME’s  favorite fruit is grapes. Because with grapes, you always get another chance. ‘Cause, you know, if you have a crappy apple or a peach, you’re stuck with that crappy piece of fruit. But if you have a crappy grape, no problem – just move on to the next. ‘Grapes: The Fruit of Hope.’

NAME used to play sports. Then he realized you can buy trophies. Now he’s good at everything.

What’s the best status message or IM away message you’ve ever seen?