Technology and Culture Influence Each Other

An underlying thread in yesterday’s post on persistent chat rooms is that technology and culture influence each other. We usually tell the story that culture creates a technology, because that explanation seems the most natural way to understand our history and it puts our choices at the forefront, but we also have to consider the ways in which technology either influences or creates culture.

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Episode 26: Owning Your Own Path with Chris Brogan


Highlights of This Episode:

  • How Chris got started as an entrepreneur
  • Why it took him 10 years to become an “overnight success”
  • Why the label “Internet marketer” doesn’t quite fit him — and how he gets around it

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Why Persistent Chat Tools Turn Into Productivity Nightmares

Persistent chat tools – like Google Chat, Hipchat, Campfire, Messages, and the latest darling, Slack – all try to jump into the gulf between the effectiveness of working in real time with people face-to-face and the ineffectiveness of working in real time with people via email. I’ve been using tools like these in our team since 2011, and what we continually have to relearn is that there are a few contexts in which they actually increase our productivity, but the majority of the time, they are a major distraction if we’re not careful.

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The Benefits of Constraints

We are often frustrated by our constraints, but it turns out that constraints can be really good for us.

To begin with, constraints are more effective than discipline because invoking discipline requires willpower that, at any given moment, we may not have. In a situation where discipline is required, a decision is also required because we have to choose between two or more courses of action. Constraints, however, eliminate a multitude of options without our having to do any of the cognitive work or exert our willpower. Given that there are fewer decisions involved when we’re constrained, we’re less prone to decision fatigue.

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Changing How You Create Changes What You Create

Changing how you create changes what you create.

That has been driven home to me this month as I’ve been doing this daily blogging project because the rules of the project have forced me out of my typical writing workflow and, in so doing, have led to my publishing much shorter posts than I would normally publish.

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Can Do vs. Will Do

The statements “I can do that” and “I will do that” differ by only one word, but that one word makes a lot of practical difference.

When we say we can do something, we’re only talking about potentials; when it comes to motivation, “can” is a pretty weak word when it’s spoken in the first person. I’m not downplaying the importance of seeing that you can do something, but when it comes to finishing the stuff that matters, “will” has all of the juice.

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