Sunday, June 9, 2019

Are you famous or something?

The author and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky had a lot to live up to after being tagged "The Great One" at the age of 10.

Wayne Gretzky holds 61 National Hockey League records: 40 for the regular season, 15 for the Stanley Cup playoffs, and 6 for the NHL All-Star Game. He is a 4x Stanley Cup champion, a 3x Canada Cup champion, and has earned dozens of awards and honors ranging from MVPs to Player of the Decade/Century to a Hockey Hall of Fame induction in 1999. His iconic jersey number 99 has been retired league-wide by the NHL. 

And Wayne is waiting for you in your conference room, ready to talk to your team about leadership, sports, or whatever topic YOU ask him. Live.

That is the power of Geniecast - the marketplace for experts, thought leaders, and speakers - otherwise known as Genies. Delivered live, interactive virtual experiences. Genies provide solutions for organizations all around the world via virtual "Casts" on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to employee engagement & retention, financial stability in a changing economy, sales growth, and so much more.

NYDLA.org (pronounced "NYED-LA") is all about distance learning > DIGITAL learning > DIGITAL LIVING

Ever watch a Netflix documentary? How about a TED Talk? 

Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. He discovered remarkable patterns about how the greatest leaders and organizations think, act and communicate. Simon might be best know for popularizing the concept of WHY in his first TED talk in 2009 (the third most popular TED Talk of all time). 

When the Kolkata, India chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) needed a speaker that would truly amaze and teach members at their annual conference, Geniecast helped them to fight the barriers of time, distance and expense. With a busy schedule and what would have been 30+ hours of travel away from New York, a speaker of Simon's stature would normally have been out of reach.

Geniecast created an interactive discussion between the augmented presence of a world-class speaker and a live audience on the other side of the world. Imagine face-to-face, real-time engagement with a lifelike representation of an expert, speaker, or thought leader standing thousands of miles away. 

World-Class Speakers, Teachers and Thought Leaders. Delivered in stunning real-time via augmented reality. Members of NYDLA.org now have special, VIP access to the Geniecast marketplace. Just as Uber and Airbnb are able to utilize idle drive time in a car or vacant time in an apartment, Geniecast offers the same "gig economy" style options to their speaker network. 

Zoom is the official Videoconferencing platform of the NYDLA, and Geniecast works great on Zoom, but it works on other popular videoconferencing networks as well. 

The days of dry corporate meetings with convenient speakers may be coming to an end. By using interactive online technology and curating the experience, Geniecast is giving smaller businesses access to speakers they otherwise could not afford. Geniecast eliminates the need to fly in speakers, put them up in hotels, and pay them a substantial fee for their time. 

Wayne Gretzky. Simon Sinek. How about you? Are you ready to be a Genie? 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Is It Live or Is It Memorex?

If you were born in the 60's like me, you will remember the commercials for Memorex. The hook was to see if a person could tell the difference between a live performance, and the recorded performance. In one of the better commercials it showed Ella Fitzgerald singing a note live - and it would shatter a wine glass. Then, the recorded voice on Memorex was so good that it too, would shatter the glass. A pretty cool visual, I still remember those ads vividly.

This takes me down the rabbit hole of live vs. recorded. Asynchronous communications vs. synchronous communications. Technology that allows us to do "live" meetings from around the world, rather than buying a plane ticket.

If you ever had the experience of seeing a Broadway play "live" today's blog will resonate with you. Live, in real-time, is always amazing. It is unfolding right there in front of you. There is the chance for an error. There will "always" be something that is just slightly different than a previous performance. Being there live, you are part of the performance.

Ever see a famous comedian live? And then see the same comedian on a recorded HBO special? Not the same thing. Both events could be amazing, and both can be very entertaining. But there is something about a LIVE performance, in-person, that is recorded differently in our brains.

When we have a "live" experience, whether it be a concert, a sporting event, or even attending a business meeting, something very different happens when you are physically present, rather than attending "live" via technology. This is why even though they can be expensive, corporations frequently host off-sites and events LIVE for their staff and teams. Streaming media is amazing, but LIVE is always better.

I noticed that if I meet someone LIVE, in person, any future interactions with that person (Zoom meetings, phone calls, email or texts) seem more real. If I first meet someone virtually, and then meet them LIVE at a trade show, or at a corporate event in the future, it is not the same result. LIVE sets the anchor. LIVE forces us to take in the entire sensory experience including visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and olfactory.

I will probably never visit Mount Everest LIVE. I would however, enjoy a deep, immersive virtual trip to the summit via technology. But only because going LIVE is really not going to happen. Same goes for me walking on Mars. But I MIGHT visit the Louvre Museum, and I HAVE BEEN to MoMA. If technology allows me to experience an adventure the only way possible (virtually) then wonderful. But whenever possible, we should use technology to first attempt to make things happen LIVE, then if not live at least try for synchronous communications. And if not synchronous, then shoot for the highest quality of asynchronous communications possible.

TED.com talks are amazing. But it would be even more amazing to be in the audience, LIVE.

If technology allow us to do something restorative, visit a national park, exercise, talk to a real human being, listen to music, spend time LIVE with our family, fantastic. Our brains need to experience things LIVE, and we humans don't seem to get that benefit of restoration from living in our virtual worlds.

Use technology to increase the quality and frequency of your LIVE experiences. Use technology to travel better, to have more LIVE quality time at your destination. Watch your kid's school play LIVE, as the obvious choice. Experience more things live. Have more synchronous conversations. Keep your smartphone in your pocket a little longer. Post less videos on social media - let the high fidelity recording last in your brain just a little longer before you share it online.

Make having LIVE experiences and memories be your #1 priority at home and at work. Use your technology to maximize and amplify your LIVE experiences within the real world, not to replace them.