Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Always Be Willing to Surf the Next Technology Wave

The New York Times had a wonderful profile of Roger Ebert in the April 8, 2013 edition - - Roger Ebert As a Builder Of an Empire.  The article highlighted Ebert's career and may accomplishments.  Engineers should study his career - - it is a template for how a lone microplayer can become a brand.

Ebert is also important in the context of how technology can shape and structure a career.  Ebert had his start in the age of paper (The Chicago Sun-Times) and ended it in the age of blogging and Twitter.  The old man of newspapers ended his career with over 20,000 blog posts and 840,000 followers.  As technology changed, he changed successfully, reinventing himself time and time again.  From newspaper to PBS to cable to blogging to Twitter - - Ebert fully utilized the changing tools at his disposal.  This is a very wise lesson for the engineering professions.

From the last paragraph in the article:

"For writers and media companies looking for yet more ways to adjust to the digital age, Mr. Ebert demonstrated that it is much easier to surf a wave enthusiastically than to crankily swim against it.  Great writing, constant reinvention and an excitement about what comes next seem to have done the trick for him.  And besides, typing your way off this mortal coil is not a bad way to go."

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