understanding the future since 1983.
How long does it take you to answer the question I ask?

joerobens How long does it take you to answer the question I ask?
benjaminpaton.com

Pretty quick. The Tumblr Ask module sends you a notification when you get a new question.


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Penny and Nan enjoying #coffee and #breakfast #hipsternan (at Foundry FiftyThree)


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Benjamin Paton

The way we consume music keeps changing based on the medium it is delivered to us. Cassette tapes saw sequential play, Compact Discs were sequential with the ability to easily skip the tracks you didn’t like. Napster, MP3’s and early Internet started a single track culture. iPod’s, iTunes and Apple Genius taught us to Shuffle. Bit Torrents saw the return to full albums, but rarely saw them played that way.

Spotify has evolved music listening again, artist back-catalogues are the new track and album.


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Plan a perfect ANYTHING with Asana.

It has been some weeks since I have written for this blog (more like months). I feel bad, as I had such big aspirations for this blog, but maybe it just highlights that blogging everyday, leading a global team, and living your life the way you should is not a sustainable exercise (if only blogging was my full-time job…).

Anyway, with that said. I am back. Despite my hiatus from writing, I have not been absent from the world of technology.

As I get up and running again, I wanted to keep things light, and touch on a couple of the things that have consumed my attention in the past couple of months.

I came across Asana from a recent New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/technology/from-a-facebook-founder-a-social-network-for-the-office.html?pagewanted=all). 

Asana is the brainchild of former Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and a team of successful technologists. The outcome as suggested by the @nytimes; a product of the billionaire and the big egos is a large scale web-based to-do application. Put simply, it is a tool for making digital lists of the things you (and others) have to do. This is not a new concept, task have been in Microsoft Outlook for years, that desolate tab below your calendar. Many of us have not even looked in their. Others have tried and failed, only to find 6 month old tasks the next time we mis-click the guilt riddled tasks tab.

Asana manages to do what Outlook cant, and that is create an engaging task management experience. Fluid task creation, simple assignment and logical management. This is to be expected. Where it goes to the next level is its ability to manage tasks across teams.  Maybe its most powerful feature is the encapsulated back and forth commenting for inpidual tasks, which was first seen in the smaller scale Orchestra (http://www.orchestra.com/).

I have been using the application now for 4 weeks to coordinate task for my global team. I have setup my team and created our current projects and tasks. Tasks are assigned to relevant team members and due dates set. My team and I are able to discuss each task directly in the application to ensure the requirements are understood. A tick to complete lets me know when tasks are complete (it even allows for file uploads for those times where the task is something like delivering a spreadsheet).

General feedback is good. I am pushing it, and the team are responding, but time will tell if the tool is as valuable to inpidual contributors as it is to the managers managing them.

Conceptually it helps trim down your inbox, as many of your task based conversations are held inside Asana, but unfortunately this is only a conceptual gain, as currently email is its only form of notification (feature request has been submitted, lets hope they heed the call for an in-app notification list). 

Asana is available using a Freemium model, offering an increased user base, advanced permissioning and priority support to paid users

The primary web app interface, is a pleasure to use, but the iPhone app and iPad “mobile” version leave a lot to be desired.

All in all its a good application, you can see them spin it their way in the video below

Asana are playing in a highly under represented niche, where I think the key will be ensuring the tool is either integrated enough to fit into people workflow, or functional enough to stand alone as a workflow killer. Time will tell.

Benjamin Paton
@benjaminpaton 


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What is MiFi Accounting 2.0? Find out in 80 seconds. Here is the launch video for a friend and syndication partners forward thinking start-up.

MiFi (My Financial) doesn’t get much clearer than in the video, but if I were to put it simply; MiFi puts a new spin on the old accounting model, offering subscription based services over the conventional time based structure.

Put this together with socially connected team and what do you get.

An accountant you reach via Facebook, who bills you at a flat monthly rate, which includes the mandatory services your business needs. Makes sense to me.

Check it out, then check them out here http://www.mifi.com.au/


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7 Reasons a Social Reader is the Last Thing You Need

If you have tried to read a shared article on Facebook or any other social network lately it is like you have encountered a Social Reader.

You have definitely experienced a Social Reader if that article asked you to install an application before you were able to read it.

Social Reading is a current trend in Social Media that sees content creators distributing there content via an application as opposed to directly via the web.

If you are anything like me this immediately discourages me from wanting to view the content. If we learned anything from Internet 101 it is that when asked if you want to install something you weren’t looking the answer should be unequivocally NO!

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Blogging Everyday in March (#b03) Then and Now

When starting the #b03 project. I didn’t realise the impact it would have on my life. (If you don’t know what #b03 is, you can read about it here) I have realised that the commitment to blog everyday, on topic, and of substance could be easily justifiable as a full time job. Well at least in terms of the time required time commitment.

I set out to blog on topic in the technology space. I aimed for everyday, and managed 30 out of 31. I set myself the goal of writing a minimum of 300-500 words a day, but I quickly learned that this would need to be the maximum.

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How to Blog Like a Full-Time Blogger

After completing a project called #b03, and initiative to blog everyday in March. I have compiled a list of tips for keeping on track and shipping your daily blog out the door.

I found that there are 4 distinct steps to the craft, which need your consideration. Planning, Curating, Creating and Sharing.

With an emphasis on technology, here are my tips and tools for each.

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(Source: xfep.com)


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What is in your laptop bag?

Everyday we are carrying around more and more technology. Technology represents our connection to work, and also to a big extent, our lives.

A laptop bag (or the bag you take to work each day) is essentially our home away from home. Have a look in yours. What Devices, objects, accessories do you carry around everyday. What do they say about you and your habits?

I took inspiration for this blog from @Mashable (http://mashable.com/2012/03/30/photo-challenge-results/). They recently had a competition where readers sent in photos of the contents of their laptop bags.

I wanted to spin it on a local level. I have shared photos of my laptop bag as well as those from leading members of our local online community (@campbellking, @sarfos, @joe_robens)

I encourage you share your own laptop bag photos.

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3 Predictions on the Future of Smart Phones

There is a lot of discussion lately about mobile phones, especially smart phones, and particularly the iPhone (the Apple marketing engine hard at work). Since the release of the iPhone 4S which many expected to be the iPhone 5, there has been a lot of debate as to what the next revision of the Apple wonder box will be.

The recent release of the Samsung Galaxy Note, a phone which in my opinion more closely resembles a surf board than a phone, has started the rumour mill alight with claims about the future of the iPhone. Spotted on Mac Rumours today a Japanese blog site called Macotakara claimed that Apple were preparing a new product for 2013 which would have a 5-inch screen (1.5-inches bigger than the current 3.5-inch screen).

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