A few weeks ago, Mitch Joel zinged me [not directly, but indirectly] with a relatively innocuous statement he made on his blog…
It’s hard to believe, but some brands have a Blog simply to appear higher up in the search engines. Can you imagine creating content for the sole purpose of trying to game the search engines? If the content isn’t authentic, what’s the point?
Seems simple enough, right? It cut me to the core! For several years I have been a self-styled ‘King of Curation‘ and it has helped propel my blog to the top of the Alexa rankings. It hasn’t, however, gotten me more of what I want; share of mind and share of market…
This, therefore, is the start of a new direction at http://e1evation.com. I’m going to work at getting more ‘authentic’ and ‘enchanting‘. I will be ‘curating’ less content and ‘creating’ more original content, primarily on the topic of tools for small business owners, traditional marketers and thought leaders. Since the foundation of ‘thought leadership‘ marketing is the ability to publish one’s thoughts in a way that they are searchable, findable, knowable, usable and sharable, I’m going to start at a fundamental level with cloud computing and the hardware that I use. Along the way, I’m going to try to re-express some opinions I have expressed before on this blog in a fresh way in hopes that I’ll be able to communicate more clearly this time and we can start a convo around this topic. Ready? Let’s roll!
The ‘cloud’ is the new operating system
Here’s a fun explanatory video that I think might help…
The Wikipedia defines it thusly:
Cloud computing provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, wherein end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.
For that reason, even though I’m a former Apple account exec, I don’t care what kind of computer you use. The tools I choose and recommend are all free or freemium and platform independent right down to the smartphone. I think the best investment one can make is in the best and fastest internet connection one can afford. I think this approach has two advantages; first, it allows you to take advantage of many inexpensive cloud based applications on the internet and second, it reduces computing to more of a utility with a monthly cost.
‘Context based computing’
Cloud computing creates a new model for users. Your data [email, blog, etc.] are now in the cloud and you can get access to them equally well from a desktop computer, a notebook, a netbook and a smartphone [or a Wii or an Xbox for that matter -- almost any internet connected device will do!]. I think it’s important to remember, though, that you don’t need to be able to do everything from everywhere. Do you need to be able to edit Photoshop layers on your smartphone? No. But do you really need a notebook? Maybe not. The more powerful your portability, the more expensive it is…
Here’s a list of the hardware that I use:
- HP dual monitor desktop running 64 bit Windows 7
- HP dual monitor notebook running 64 bit Windows 7
- Asus Chromebook running the ChromeOS
- Google Nexus S Smartphone running AndroidOS 2.3
Because I’m using cloud computing as an information systems strategy — and in specific, a Google oriented approach [more about that in a later post] — I can get access to my data almost equally well from each of these devices with no synchronization whatsoever. It makes sense when you think about it — there’s really nothing to synchronize because these devices are just ‘windows’ into my data.
What hardware to use?
Well, if devices are now just windows into my data, then does it really make difference which computer I use? No and yes. Sorry, Apple fanboys and girls but I don’t believe the Mac offers a distinct advantage in this area like it did a few decades ago. You can fight the ‘Holy War’ if you insist, but Mac, Windows and Ubuntu for that matter are all equally fast at accessing the internet and the same major browsers — Safari, Firefox and Chrome — are available on all three but Internet Explorer is not available on Ubuntu to my knowledge.
So what’s the yes? It does make a difference from a cost perspective. According to the Apple Store, the cost of a new MacBook Air is $1,599.00 — for that price, I can own a dual monitor HP desktop, a Chromebook and a Google Nexus S giving me the ability to compute effectively from any context. Yes, Apple makes ‘insanely great’ products but most people don’t need them to be effective in day to day computing…
Did you find this helpful? What have been your experiences in selecting cloud based services? Hardware? Did I miss anything?
- Cloud Computing: Some Context and Players (mycloudshapes.wordpress.com)
- How US Government Defines Cloud Computing (techie-buzz.com)
- Cloud computing is now ‘mainstream’ (ontrackindiablog.wordpress.com)
- Why Chrome OS Is More Important to Google’s Future than Android (techland.time.com)
- How does the cloud computing differs from on-premises solutions (wiki.answers.com)