Collaboration with Technology

Collaboration is a part of everyday life for almost everyone, no matter their occupation. If you’re a doctor, you collaborate with other doctors to figure out the best way to treat a patient, as someone in Business, you collaborate with others to make sure you have the best plan, and the most efficient way to solve a problem. Some people love that collaboration is a part of their day to day life, and some people hate it. In this article, they talk about how collaboration can actually hinder someone’s efficiency because it requires them to constantly be reporting back to a supervisor, or another employee about what they’re getting done.

An article by The Economist makes the point that “Whereas managers may notice the benefits of collaboration, they fail to measure its costs.” They argue that “workers spend 70-85% of their time attending meetings (virtual or face-to-face), dealing with e-mail, talking on the phone or otherwise dealing with an avalanche of requests for input or advice,” this leaves them almost no time to actually get work done. They say that with all of the other stuff going on, it leaves a lot of them with work to bring home, which doesn’t make for a happy employee.

Collaboration can be stressful, especially if you can’t trust all of the people you’re working with. An article I found talked about how important a company’s culture is. When a company’s culture is good, that means you know you can trust everyone to get the job done, and to get it done the right way. One example they gave was the company Airbnb, a quote from their CEO Brian Chesky, “The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial. And if we have a company that is entrepreneurial in spirit, we will be able to take our next “(wo)man on the moon” leap.” If every collaborative project was done by people who could trust each other, collaboration would be a looked higher upon between employees.

To really make sure a company is putting forth its utmost effort, it is important that each employee feels appreciated. According to Lifewire, “Empowerment is a form of approval for individuals and teams to make decisions. Starting with executive collaboration, key leaders of your organization may need to support shared goals for empowering people if they don’t already, through communication and collaboration.” They also talk about how important it is to create value in a collaborative environment, “In Bloomberg Businessweek, Evan Rosen emphasizes every worker contributes knowledge to the business. Using an example at Dow Chemical, he writes, “The day’s sales and inventory numbers are shared with everybody in the company, including the people doing the heaving lifting on the front lines… People will do a better job when they know their actions contribute or detract from business results” If each employee knows that what they are doing is appreciated, and that they’re working together towards a much bigger goal, they’ll be much more motivated to work and to get their jobs done.

To make collaboration easier, a variety of tools for collaboration have been created. Microsoft Corp. launched a workplace collaboration service, dubbed Microsoft Teams, that weaves in various pieces of its Office productivity software franchise to compete with Slack Technologies Inc.” This product will be available in early 2017. There are many features to their new product, including but not limited to, digital chats and Skype videoconferencing. Microsoft is not the first company to release a product like this, as mentioned earlier, one of their biggest competitors will be Slack. Slack is a company that makes communicating between employees simpler, and makes it easier to get in contact with only the people that you need, and not the people that you don’t, which in return means every person will get fewer emails.

Overall I think that technology will greatly improve the collaboration between employees. Instead of sitting in a couple hour long meeting that you need to travel to, you can quickly get ahold of someone and share the project with them and solve the issue much faster. Along with this, the software that is being developed to help with collaboration has so many features that will make life a lot easier for employers, and employees.

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Virtual Reality Could Take Over

Before this class began I knew technology would have a major impact on my career, and my life in the future in general, but after this class, and after going on the virtual reality field trip it sunk in how huge of an impact technology is really going to have, and how major the changes coming in the next couple years are. Virtual Reality is on the rise, it’s a compelling system where you can literally get lost in another world for hours on end. In an article for The Atlantic, Mark Zuckerberg said, “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people” (The Good and Bad). In the article they talked about how it’s basically a race to see who can make the best VR equipment that will make its way into the homes of the general public. Currently Google, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, and Facebook are some of the major players.

Along with the future of VR, other technology is everywhere. Technology is in the workplace, in the schools, and even in the presidential election. President-Elect Donald Trump ran a very abnormal campaign, in the sense that he had almost no traditional advertisements. “An unprecedented feature of Donald Trump’s successful campaign for president was his personal use of Twitter” (Trump’s use of Twitter). Current President, Barack Obama, has a twitter but it usually isn’t run by him, and it isn’t used to be the primary sharer of new political information. “Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July, instead opting for the more controlled setting of interviews and of course Twitter, over which he has total control” (Trump’s use of Twitter). These days control is very important to people, and technology lets them have as much of it as possible.

Along with keeping everyone up to date with everything Donald Trump, Twitter has recently started live streaming major football games, although this is fairly unrelated to the future of Advertising and PR, it is breaking the ground for other live streams in the future. “In the next decade, we will see a growing overlap between the physical and digital worlds” (Twitter is Transforming). I take this as meaning that if you want to be at a certain event, you won’t actually have to be there. This is already some what a reality, you can watch sports on TV, you can live stream events on FaceBook, or other networks, but this article takes it further, they believe that in the near future you will be able to use Virtual Reality to actually feel like you are attending these events. “Virtual reality is one element that social networks and streaming services could use to completely change how fans watch sports” (Twitter is Transforming). But it doesn’t stop at sports, you could experience anything from a concert, a speech, your class, or an important meeting.

This could even be used as an advertising tactic. Say you’re working for a hotel in Mexico, and they’ve hired you to try and recruit more customers, with VR you can create a online “reality” of the hotel and the beaches, and use that to try and lure in new customers. Anyone can look at a picture of a beach and wish they were there, but if you put on a pair of goggles and are transported to the beach, you’re going to have a harder time taking them off and going back to reality. “Digital advertising has become a key part of most marketing campaigns” (Social Media Advertising). This would be yet another new aspect of social media advertising.

Since it is so new, VR is constantly improving. Currently they’re working on making it a more physical experience, “Headsets today are doing an excellent job at catering to your visual senses, and a little bit of audio as well, [but] that’s just two of the senses. Once you begin catering to the rest of the senses, like what we feel body-wise, temperature-wise, and smell, the reality factor of virtual reality [becomes] stronger and the virtual piece begins to fade” (3 Things to Know). You can already quickly get lost in the virtual reality world, and adding on the other senses would make it so much easier.

Overall, I think that it is going to be very important to keep up with what is going on in the technological world. Everything is so constantly changing, that according to Social Media Advertising, four years becomes “a lifetime in the digital world.” A lot can happen in a lifetime and you’re going to want to stay on top of it so you don’t miss anything.

Technology at ArtPrize Through the Years

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Technology is everywhere. It’s a part of our education system, it’s making its way into the workplace, so obviously, it has made its way into ArtPrize. ArtPrize is the largest juried art contest in the world and it takes place in Grand Rapids. It generates a massive turn out every year, and everyone has a favorite piece of art that they want to win. When ArtPrize began, there were physical voting sites you would need to visit, and wait in line at, to cast your votes. In 2014 they launched an app that could be used to vote. This really simplified the process, and in return, more people began voting. Every entry had a different code, and with that code you could easily vote for that piece of art in the app. The only way they could really simplify the process is if they added a QR code to each voting block so voters could just scan a code to submit a vote.

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                                                                                   The man who created this piece, made it out of literal garbage, and other recycled items, and lived in it for the entire duration of ArtPrize.

To learn more about the voting process click here.

When they launched the app in 2014, they called it a “Technology Suite” and it truly is. The app that they released had a collection of impressive features. One of the major features they released was a “list” feature. Essentially, visitors could create their own lists of pieces of art. This was used one of two ways. People could either get on the app before they went and create lists of art they wanted to see, or they could make lists as they walked around, for friends or family to view. There were also lists created by ArtPrize jurors that contain pieces that they were excited about, or pieces that are trending in the public vote (Woods 2014). 

Every year since the app came out, they have released an updated version of their app. This year, the app included a “Discover View,” which “delivers ArtPrize blog and event calendar integration — continuously updated with important ArtPrize announcements, special events and on-the-fly happenings” (Woods 2016). Along with this, they updated their map. The map was extremely helpful when walking around Grand Rapids. It made it easier to find the art that you’re looking for, or anything else you may be searching for, the map “help[ed] visitors easily navigate to accessible venues, public restrooms, and public parking options” (Woods 2016).

Along with technology coming from the management of ArtPrize, it is becoming more prominent in the actual art. For the past couple years Honda has been doing a “Design & Drive” competition. Not only is this a good way to advertise their company, but bringing cars into the competition is adding yet another aspect of technology. Although they’re painting on the technology, it is interesting to see how Honda is making ArtPrize a bit more modern each year.

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As the years go on, people are also trying to make more of a statement about the impact of technology on the world. This year one of the pieces that stood out to me was a piece by Douglas Rogge, called Cityscapes Around the Lake. In his piece he used old circuit boards to create a cityscape, and he attached them to a background that he painted to look like a lake. I think it’s interesting how artists are letting technology influence them. Whether they’re making art with technology, or in his case, making art out of technology.unnamed-2.jpg

They have also greatly increased their Internet presence in the past eight years. ArtPrize has a FaceBook, a Twitter, and Instagram, a Tumblr, and various other social media platforms. This year ArtPrize even had a SnapChat filter, or GeoTag. This not only helps them reach out to other audiences, but it extends the ArtPrize magic to places much further than West Michigan. Overall it is clear that ArtPrize has been greatly improving their technologies each year, it’ll be interesting to see what they do next.

References

Design & Drive Art Competition | West Michigan Honda Dealers. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.westmichiganhondadealers.com/design-drive/

How To Vote. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://www.artprize.org/vote

Kaczmarczyk, J. (2014). ArtPrize 2014: New tech tools will change how you experience the sixth event in Grand Rapids. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2014/09/artprize_2014_new_tools_will_change_how_you_experience_the_sixth_event_in_grand_rapids.html

Woods, J. (2014, September 4). ArtPrize Launches 2014 Technology Suite. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://www.artprize.org/blog/2014-technology-suite

Woods, J. (2016, July 26). ArtPrize Launches New Mobile Experience. ArtPrize. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://www.artprize.org/blog/artprize-introduces-new-mobile-experience