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A Brief History of Life in Technology

Posted on August 21, 2006

By Jeffrey W. Rasco, CMP

Why is it that with an intense interest in technology and early training as a writer, blogging comes so unnaturally to me? I’m hoping by the end of this week I’ll have a much higher comfort level, and be a more active traveler in the blogosphere, but I’m counting on you to respond and contribute to the dialogue as we touch on some technology issues over the next few days.

Some history…

I started trying to apply technology to meetings as a planner for a large cancer facility X number of years ago. Our high tech solution at hand when I started was a fleet of IBM Selectric typewriter. We had two fonts in two sizes, four balls in all, and built-in correction tape! Over the years we grew from those marvels to dedicated word processors, to custom programming on the mainframe, to a Macintosh network, and finally to web-based data systems. Each step was a giant one forward.

Managing that office and the technology growth we were fortunate to enjoy taught me many things. One item of great importance – you don’t implement technology for technology’s sake. Every upgrade has to go through a cost-benefit analysis, and changes are made only if justified. As professionals, we have to cut through the “cool” and see if there is a tool that will move us ahead. I am truly fortunate to be asked to speak and write on meeting and event technology often. My primary message is always hinged on common sense learned as a practitioner, not the “wow factor.”

Another thing I learned, and this is the height of practical, is to actually plan training on new technology. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the people who design tech tools are not like you and me. They are smart enough to build the stuff, and basically think we are too stupid to own computers. So everything is “user-friendly.” We have “intuitive design” and “GUIs.” Well this user becomes decidedly unfriendly and says phooey on your GUI. If you don’t plan intensive training time in an appropriate environment for all staff using the new gear or software, your productivity losses can be staggering. Please don’t ask how I became an expert in this…

Finally, before I bring my first blog to a close, when making important decisions (not limited to technology), call on and trust your peers. That is the real value to me of MIgurus and MIMegasite, MeetingNews, Successful Meetings and the other publications, and of utmost importance our industry associations. If I am doing research, I count on the trade press and the great work that they do. With a couple of clicks, I can find in depth articles based on countless hours of research (that I didn’t have to do!). When it’s time to pull the trigger on a decision, I call my friends in the industry and count on their experience. Why learn from you own mistakes when you can learn from others’?

In the next few days, we’ll write on everything from the business of meetings technology to your responsibilities as guardians of data. Practical? Yes. Boring? We’ll see. Hope we can have some fun, and that you chime in.


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rodman marymor

Blog schmog. Who really has the time or need to sift through the blogosphere? There is barely enough time to get finished with work, play some golf and hang with the family. Where does writing or reading blogs fit in?

Canada Goose Jacket

a lot of editors have started to understand more about alternate options, they will obtained a little cameras, spend some money to hire nearby residents and individuals across the actors within the facilities

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