The Four R’s: Intro

Posted in technology, work by johnsnavely on August 22, 2008

My work life and “the-opposite-of-work” life as one MS employee put it (ugz) are not very distinct. But I’ve been wary of posting too much of the thoughts I’ve been having about technology to the blog, since now those thoughts are what I get paid for.

I find, however, that blogging is a great way to flesh out poorly formed ideas (and yes, most of my thoughts are poorly formed) into more mature thoughts (although I realize that anyone who reads this suffers through my writing).

So: I want to write a series of technology related posts. Instead talking about new gadgets like multi-gesture devices or new software. the posts will be based on the “Four R’s”. You already know the three R’s: Reading, wRiting, and ‘Rithmetic. I’m going to add seaRch into that basket. There might be one more around conversation or collection, but I’m not sure yet.

So why talk about technology in these basic terms? Well, for starters, I work in the business division, we’re interested in how people get stuff done. And most of what they have to get done falls into one of the R groups. Also, I think talking about technology in terms of how we accomplish tasks is a great way to start understanding underlying desires when we want to do something. Finally, Microsoft pretty much set the bar for two of these R’s with Word and Excel. For anyone who actually deals with words and numbers, however, these two programs have sometimes been the source of much pain and suffering.

The R’s are by no means exhaustive and probably need some revision to include conversation and collection… although I think collection falls into Search and conversation might have a fair amount of overlap with reading/writing, espeically since so much communication these days is asynchronous.

I’ve mentioned before how sad I think bloggy criticism/puditry is, so I’ll try to keep that to a minimum and talk about at least one positive example, suggest new ideas or even (gasp) make something to demonstrate a point.

I’ll start with reading.


2 Responses

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  1. ab said, on August 26, 2008 at 3:54 am

    When I think of R’s and Word, I think of “R”esident memory leaks, background “R”epagination, and “R”ecursive loops leading to c”R”ashes…

    How I get stuff done? “R”ight Now, otherwise I fo”R”get. Typically, though, everything is an eme”R”gency.

  2. […] So T delicioused me this article. It is thought provoking. And since delicious doesn’t allow for multiple comments or conversations, I’ll just have to discuss it here. This is going to continue an earlier post series. […]

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