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What Technology Makes the Must-Have List?

by | Jan 11, 2012 | Industry News & Trends

Working in a technology company means we have a lot of early adopters. It’s a great place for the more reticent among us to shop electronics around and make informed decisions prior to purchase, like our own captive test group. Considering a new phone but not sure if you’re ready for the latest and greatest? We can throw the topic on our employee community and have countless user opinions/reviews. I recently asked this group of experts what technology they couldn’t live without. You may be surpised by their answers.

In no particular order:

This answer will not surprise anyone, at least it shouldn’t. The cell phone. Brands differed but we agreed we’d “die” without our phones. What does that mean for you? Are your members like our staff? Maybe. If they are, you may want to think about your mobile presence and what your audience is seeing when they access your site via their phones.

DVR. So convenient to watch your shows when you want without the time drain of commercials. It makes us more efficient and saves time but what does it mean for your member-centric organization? DVRs are just another example of the the audience’s desire to receive content on their time. Are you making content available to those who can’t attend events or conferences? Can your members log in to your site and watch a speaker they missed? Can they share the video? How are you providing content on their terms? What will it mean for you if you don’t?

Email. Some say it’s dead, not our group. And if our “community” represents a large portion of early adopters and is still using email, you may want to reconsider before you sunset your email marketing.

GPS. Such a handy tool to make sure you go exactly where you intend to.

Velcro. Okay, so we also have some comedians at but velcro is technology in the sense that technology is only a tool for helping you become more efficient. By defining technology in that fashion, it’s easy to classify Velcro (or hook and loop) closures as something pretty great. (Other comic answers include x-ray vision goggles and teleportation shoes. To my knowledge, these concepts are not in our development queue but I will let you know if that changes.)

Dry erase marker. Again, some comic attempts at levity but the dry erase marker (or crayon) is a great way to capture an idea that requires rumination. Having an idea written in bright color in front of you all day keeps it on the forefront of your mind. I use these markers on my white board and all glass surfaces in my office. My white board contains my long-term goals, while the windows to my office are covered in blog and podcast idea graffiti. When I’ve accomplished something, I erase it. If I run out of room, I take a picture and upload it to Evernote. I still use paper for quit-hit tasks but my goal-oriented brainstorming sesssions are all white board.

Software used by our developers was also on the list – items like Firebug and Intellisense.

My personal favorites (outside of our software, of course) are all “fun” software I use for my job (but by no means things I would die without): the above mentioned Evernote (think free file folders in the cloud), Camtasia (recording and editing software), Animoto (I could spend a lot of time playing around here, consider yourself warned) and Twitter (I just can’t help myself. Twitter is an addiction. The constant stream of blog posts and industry information is bliss for a reader like me plus the connection potential allows you to reach out to people you may never have a chance to meet in person).

What technology (app, software, website, gadget, etc.) has “changed” your life? (Take it with a grain of salt, we’re not really changing the world. Or are we?)



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