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So what do I want to get out of Squared On-line? well apart from the obvious (learning the secret indexing algorithm so I can have untold riches, topple governments and become a dictator with a penchant for doughnuts and decent coffee that does not double as paint stripper)  What I mean is there are many reasons for joining squared on-line, each of my virtual squares classmates will have their own evil agenda to take over the world specific reasons  but I have not a clue think I can hope vouch for a anyone majority when I say that a lot of us have just quite simply become overwhelmed with the wave of technological offerings out there (wherever there is) and feel like we should take a chance hit the Square box and hope for a power-up instead of a coin  invest in a new course of action.

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Very few industries  apart from traditional basketry have been unaffected by the technological tidal wave of late and as a result all have experienced the effects of digital disruption at varying degrees to their institutionalised way of doing things.

As a fairly young spectator to this occurrence I cannot help but use the quote:

Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”

H.G Wells – “The War of the Worlds, 1898

A tad dramatic maybe, but not so much when you think about the state of some industries.  The typical UK Highstreet in most small to large towns looks like a ghost town from the wild west post-war re-building exercise with more empty shops than inhabited ones.

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With the remainder being split between a certain famous chain store who is clever about bean counting outsourcing-off-shore outlets, monopolistic  min wage slave supermarkets and local government amenities. There is a few made some money and now I’m a stock broker buy-to-let landlords have-a-go-hero’s snapping up cheap real-estate and providing a handful of jobs here and there but their business models and mindsets are not as forward thinking adopting the cash and carry model and buying everything in from Unscrupulous Global suppliers who are unverified,untested and unsafe and flexible as they would like to think, thus they simply don’t gain any real traction with digitally savvy users refuse to understand why the traditional channels don’t work any-more and end up falling on their swords in  profit-eroding price-wars competing with their own global suppliers just to get a sale. They ultimately end up turning to their years of learning to find a skill-set to fall back on, only to realize they are all but useless in this new hyper-connected data hungry network.  This wave of information overload has now begun to recede like my hair and bank account and is becoming populated with beach combing bots acting as relevance guides filtering out trash and treasure, which is different things to different people. Care-taking curators for our conscious queries.

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Very prestigious academic institutions which taught many eager minds how to do things in a clear and concise certain way, have had their very foundations shook to the core, access to such vast amounts of knowledge and learning is available to anyone with an internet connection and a bank account.   I have many friends who went into specialisms of technology who are fluent experts in languages and processes which are now obsolete and over-run by new iterations or hybrids. Sure you may be an expert in XP Admin help desk but who uses that these days? even Microsoft is shutting it down for support. According to a recent story in the Austin Post, tech recruiters “recommended (that) a 40-year-old still working in COBOL re-evaluate why they’re a coder.” Quite an incisive statement to make but the fact remains, technology continues to move forward with no time spared for sentiment (hence my statement referencing War of the Worlds).

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My background was in media and entertainment and I seen that industry practically dissolve in a matter of months.; DJ’s disappeared into Youtube mash-ups, Night-clubs and entire music scenes evaporated like vampires in the sun light, Magazines became how-to guides or niche titles. The transition to digital was not the promised land as expected… Middle Managers that clung desperately to business models like religious texts that brought in ad revenue offline via high pressure tele-sales shrunk to a tenth on-line.  The media pack metrics updated once a quarter/annually could not compete with real-time analytics and insights and journalistic content had zero clout or editorial influence. Trivial link farms became the bread and butter which devalued the brands core values use soft porn to get hits, clicks and visits in pursuit of income and succumbed to bottom-feeder banner ad networks in an effort to survive which could not support original staff numbers so the blood letting began…

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The migration of media

It’s no longer good to be OK at your role in your industry with a specialism in key areas, which you have invested years of learning and experience to achieve. You now have to be EPIC at everything remotely related to your industry including your specialism (which they can’t outsource for a fiver) and so you manage to make it to another pay-day.

that is when I finally ran out of octane…

Where this leaves me on my journey on the information superhighway is to arrive to the conclusion that I needed to get an intensive, deep dive immersion in digital that was both interactive and stimulating enough to keep me on track (data can be dull sometimes)

My goal is to be able to walk away from completing the course with Google Squared bragging rights certificate a clear understanding on the key values and methods used in memes, top 10 tips and gamification mash-ups of everything modern digital marketing and how they relate to the bottom line of the workings of any size of an organisation.

Time to draw on all four corners of digital.

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