Coming Together to Socially Distance

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Over the years CollabSystem has gained a reputation as a cutting-edge parody website. Our blog articles often taken a seemingly reasonable concept to the extreme, most often with hilarious consequences.

For those of you expecting more of the same, this is not one of those articles.

In the past few months we’ve witnessed a seismic shift in the way we function as a society, the impact of which is yet to be truly understood. COVID-19 has shaken us to the core, and we’re yet to figure this challenge out. These times deserves a different type of blog post. So here goes a CollabSystem attempt at … ‘serious’.

Social Distancing

We’re told that social distancing is the key to collectively overcoming this disease. The obvious problem is that for the last few hundred years, humans have unknowingly come to rely on earch other for survival. The antidote to the disease, staying apart, threatens the elaborate social and economic structures that we’ve put a lot of effort into constructing and now come to take for granted.

There has been much discussion about whether social distancing is effective, or whether we should instead wait for science to conjure up a vaccine. That becomes a moot discussion if your government adopts social distancing as policy.  You may well have no choice.

Technology to the Rescue

This is the make-or-break moment for technology. Are we going to do something useful with this stuff, or is it just going to exacerbate the problem?

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In a typical CollabSystem post we would examine all the ways in whch disinformation could accelerate the impact of the virus, spreading panic or complacency.  Make no mistake, social distancing is going to test the limits of our collective mental health resilience in one way or another. Technology could very easily amplify those impacts. Or technology could whip up hysteria when people use their social media accounts to share timelapse videos of panic buying and handbooks on doomsday prepping.

Or …

We could use technology for good. We could use technology to share information about current infections. We could use technology to pinpoint likely outbreaks and prevent the spread of the disease. We could use technology to track and share scarce resources. We could use technology to overcome the side effects of social isolation. We could use technology to calculate the most cost-effective way to combat this threat (hint: wash your hands).

In short, this virus won’t know what hit it. The virus survives by replicating profusely, hoping that one of its descendants will eventually get coughed onto someone else, maybe even onto many others. Today humans have at our disposal something far more powerful: technology. Information is power in this war, and we have the technology to transmit terrabytes of data across the globe at the speed of light. That’s millions of times faster and further than a cough droplet could ever dream of. If we play our cards right, we may well stand a chance against this disease.

As an aside, we also have blockchain. Bonus points for anyone who cures this pandemic with a distributed ledger.

Enter Wikipedia et al

Just over 100 years ago humanity faced a deadly influenza pandemic. Today we have Wikipedia, a WHO website and a bunch of other truly amazing resources. There are too many to name (and what do all these people do when they’re not solving COVID-19?).

Although the data might be alarming at times, literally billions of people have access to detailed information about this disease from every corner of the globe, in real time. This is the first time this has happened in human history. Knowledge is going to be the building block of any strategic advantage we have in the war against this disease, so let’s no squander the opportunity.

Just what we do with all that information is yet to be seen. Sure, it makes for beautiful animated infographics, but it could literally save lives. We’ve already seen one interesting development where, with enough data, if becomes possible to estimate the true percentage of the population that is infected, even if the local testing and reporting policies are aimed at making the numbers look good.

Flattening the Curve

As we all become experts in flattening various curves, it quickly becomes apparent that big data might actually be useful. Who knew! With increasingly sophisticated algorithms that we’ve developed for all sorts of purposes over the years, now is the time to try and figure out how to minimise the number of deaths, not to mention reduce the wider disruption to society.

Use all that sophisticated artificial intelligence to figure out what we should be doing to fight this thing. Use artificial intelligence to veto dumb ideas that humans will inevitably come up with.

In short, now would be a convenient time for algorithms to prove that they aren’t just a fancy way to generate clickbait ad revenue. Make ‘the cloud’ finally earn its keep.

The Sharing, Caring Economy

Not so long ago, there were a group of people who understood power tools from a Marxist perspective. A belt sander is an expensive piece of kit, which means that it’s scarce. It’s also gathering dust for most of its life. So why not share it? Sounds great in theory, and then we developed a myriad of platforms and two-sided marketplaces to share things that didn’t really suit being shared.

If it wasn’t already obvious, now would be the time to start sharing things that might help us fight this pandemic. Useful items only, please. It may not even require ‘sharing’ in the benevolent sense. It would be helpful even just to understand where critical resources are located, and where they’re urgently needed. If a hospital needs surgical masks in a hurry, who has them? How quickly can they be delivered?  Substitute power tools and cars with medical supplies and equipment, and technology looks like it might well have a role to play here.

Coming together to pool resources has been the way people have survived for millenia. For some unknown reason, the unwavering success of this strategy has been forgotten by those panic-buying toliet paper and pasta. What makes them think they need to be self-sufficient, in the absence of any generosity from others?

Coming together means that we may ask others for help, just as they may ask us. There is strength and comfort to be found in understanding the mutual interdependence. It means that you don’t need to buy your own belt sander, because you know that you can always borrow your neighbour’s. Ditto for the pasta.

Lastly to our mental health, which is perhaps where technology can have the most impact. Social distancing is isolating. Humans are hard-wired for social contact, and countless psychological experiments have shown the horrific consequences of denying people interaction with others. Back in 1918, social distancing would have meant being completely cut off from communication with others.

We now have more chat platforms that you can poke a stick at. Video is becoming the new normal. Now in 2020, social interaction is possible even when practising social distancing. Technology allows us to be social, even as we stop this this disease in its tracks by limiting our physical proximity to others. Wasn’t this why we invented social networking in the first place – to interact with people we couldn’t be together with in person? Which for our sanity, becomes the caring economy.

Stay safe. Wash your hands.

Jerome.

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CollabSystem Viral Conferences

While you might think of CollabSystem as a vapourware technology vendor, we’re never one to miss an MLM opportunity and this requires pivoting into the conference and events space.

When Collaboration Flourishes

Collaboration has always been difficult online. In the tangle of USB cables, you never know which one needs to be plugged in to use your webcam. Mute has always been a foreign concept to some, especially those with noisy pets.

When does it work? When everyone is in the same room. In-person. Old school collaboration with group chat, 1:1 chat, and crumpled business cards. Live events have never been more live (or lively).

Once in a Generation Opportunity

The problem used to be that conferences and events were typically dominated by marketing people. Now that CollabSystem is coming to disrupt the space, they’re all going to be left dead in the water. Literally.

This is your perfect storm  as conferences are being cancelled left, right, and centre. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to put our lives on the line, so that you don’t have to.

The Covid-19 Branding Opportunity

“Why now?” I hear you asking. History tells us this is a marketer’s dream. Clearly nobody in marketing came up with “Covid-19”, formerly known as “Coronavirus“. Which is where we come in.

Here’s your unique opportunity to rebrand Covid-19 to your corporate or even personal brand. Think of the worldwide exposure (no pun intended) as your name is plastered across the news, the stock market, and surgical masks everywhere. You’ll probably even get an entire UN agency talking about you non-stop.

Nobody owns this virus’ brand, and that’s why opportunity awaits.

<Insert Name Here>

How can we make such an overzealous promise? It’s happened before and it’ll happen again. The only difference is that this time, we’ll make a fortune out of you it.

Have you ever heard of Legionnaires Disease? Until 1976 nobody knew what it was called. It never even had a long Latin name. And then, the American Legion decided to hold a conference in Philadelphia. True story. To this day, they own that brand.

Nor was this the first time someone has taken content marketing to the isolation ward. Influenza has been around since the dawn of time, yet in 1918 Spain decided to throw down the fake news gauntlet and admit people actually had the flu. Despite it being largely a disease in other countries, what did we get? Suddenly “H1N1” is now universally know as Spanish Influenza.

This is your time. This is your opportunity. Don’t let the Covid-19 billboard pass you by. Run an event with CollabSystem today and surgically attach your brand to history.

 

 

 

Analytics

Dear Frank,

Thank you once again for purchasing CollabSystem’s analytics product, CollabaLytics. Your eye-watering invoice is attached. Yes, all those zeros are correct.

We had meant to present to your executive team about their use of enterprise social, but we no longer believe that to be necessary.

Below is your CEO’s network map. We don’t need to remind you that this is a pretty dismal performance in a network of 87,000 employees.

As you can see, explaining the diagram won’t take long. But we do have some questions about how he ended up following you. That connection was made with Firefox for Linux, and as far as we’re aware, your CEO struggles at the best of times to use his Windows PC or iPhone. Coincidentally, you post exclusively using that same version of Firefox for Linux.

So where did the money go?

A very good question. 98% of the number-crunching for your network, which you are paying for in this bill, was spent analyzing Grant from Accounts. He is by far your most prolific social networker. As an accounts payable trainee, we think it’s truly admirable that you’ve spent SO much money mapping Grant’s cat photo posts. Carbon neutral, of course.

We do have reservations about turning Grant’s experience into a case study. While privacy is absolutely our number one priority, running Grant’s messages through our sentiment analysis tool wasn’t pretty. You may wish to have a quiet chat to him about his opinions about his manager’s rampant favoritism, but you didn’t hear that from us.

If you can’t afford to pay the invoice, please call your Customer Success Manager to organize a payment plan.

Thanks,

Jerome.

 

 

 

 

HandBaskets

Despite recent research proving beyond doubt social media’s calming effect on geopolitical and racial tensions, CollabSystem is not convinced and is launching a campaign to equip as many people as we can with HandBaskets.

Helena Basquette, CollabSystem’s head of wicker weaving, described the move as a reaction to the non-eventful world of social media:

It used to be that Twitter was a place of bullying and outrage, a wild west of bots and hate speech. People have wised up to that and now simply ignore it. All I see these days are random acts of kindness towards minorities and the underprivileged. There’s so much compassion, it’s enough to make you feel ill.

HandBaskets will be distributed at yoga studios across the country, starting tomorrow.

What’s a HandBasket?

A HandBasket is a basket, typically made from a sustainable crop, which can be used to transport groceries and other items. It was first invented as an alternative to the single use plastic bag, which has effectively been eradicated worldwide.

CollabSystem’s HandBasket takes the functional and turns it into a powerful weapon against progress. Unlike regular handbaskets, Helena has incorporated hidden compartments for mace and tinfoil hats to protect against assault and mind control. What looks like an unassuming effort to save the planet from plastic waste is actually a self-contained defense arsenal. HandBaskets sold in Montana also have a compartment for an open carry firearm (batteries sold separately).

Each HandBasket comes complete with two tinfoil hats, one for you and one for a friend. Random HandBaskets also come equipped with tiny hats, suitable for infants and children. Please fit your own hat before assisting others.

Each HandBasket also comes supplied with your own PPH (personal portable hell) in the form of an inbuilt wireless speaker with an eternal subscription to satellite talk radio.

A Return to Doomsday

It is hoped that the widespread use of HandBaskets, particularly by comfortable middle-class citizens of wealthy countries, will bring about a return to the traditional polarizing effect of social media on the world. Not longer can people support altruistic and humanitarian causes without being shamed by their neighbors. Not to mention, they’ll probably be on the receiving end of some HandBasket pepper spray.

Once CollabSystem injects some hate speech on social media through HandBaskets, nothing can stop this snowballing out of control and bringing about a return to untruth, deception, schadenfreude and bigotry that Twitter was originally designed for.

If not, we’ll have wasted a lot of money buying baskets from sweatshops in developing countries.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Data Doomsday Clock

For those who can’t afford a CollabSystem Vault, we recognize you’re between a rock and a very hard steel door. While some companies that invented universally beneficial technology have given it away for free, our private equity backers have vetoed any further giveaways. With that in mind, we’ve taken the dubious moral middle ground and created a second-best alternative for the cheapskates.

Whether your company hasn’t got the time to read our PCI-DSS compliance statement, or you just can’t afford the eye-watering cost of CollabSystem Vault, the new Data Doomsday Clock is for you. Specifically designed for companies with an advanced understanding of risk management and mitigation strategies (yes, surprisingly that’s you!), the Data Doomsday Clock gives a precise estimate of the date and time when your precious customer data is next going to be sold on the dark web.

After all, risk management isn’t just about eliminating risk. In business we know we have to take calculated risks. When you introduce a new product, you’re taking risk. The product might sell, it might not. Just ask the Pinto team at Ford, they were the masters of risk management. If your company has the sophisticated understanding of risk management that we think you do, your primary response to any sort of catastrophe will be “our Twitter account was compromised, we’re on hold with tech support and our call is very important to them”.

As we all know, data breaches are not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Traditionally it has been difficult to pinpoint the exact circumstances when your impenetrable security measures will fail. With all the will in the world, some idiot stuffs up the whole system with something like the Heartbleed Vulnerability. It wasn’t your fault, and you can’t even blame your most trusted technology partner for those.

Data Doomsday Clock eliminates 98% of that vulnerability by providing you with an alarm clock which is precisely tuned to the exact time when your system will be compromised. This takes all of the unknown unknowns from the equation. Rather than sitting at your desk waiting for that day to come, you can relax on a Caribbean Island safe in the knowledge that your next data breach won’t occur for another 15 days, 6 hours, 47 minutes and 23 seconds. Or 21 seconds by the time you read this.

As a foundation customer, you will be exempt from a barrage of “special offers” to upgrade to CollabSystem Vault, the frequency of which only increases as the clock nears zero (as does the price). In fact, as one of the first 10 customers of Data Doomsday Clock, CollabSystem will even guarantee that your systems will be compromised at the specified time. Trust us.

Collaboration Bingo Button

In response to overwhelming demand for Collaboration Bingo, CollabSystem have launched a ready-to-use pack to make it easier to play than every before.

The pack includes:

  • 13,843 x Collaboration Bingo Cards (printed on 10gsm pre-curled baking paper)
  • 1 x Announcer Microphone (compatible with most emergency evacuation systems)
  • 1 x Bingo Button

The Bingo Button is an engaging way to alert everyone in your organisation that they’ve failed in their attempt to administer CPR to your otherwise lifeless collaboration agenda. The person who pressed the button is clearly the only person who has the mandate to use the word “innovation” in their job title, at least until the next major restructure.

We only include one button because we assume you’ve pre-arranged the winner of Collaboration Bingo. If you haven’t rigged the game, then to create the illusion of fairness we can temporarily supply you with an additional 13,842 Bingo Buttons to place strategically next to each Bingo Card. Take it from us, it’s much easier just to pick the winner in advance.

Along with Collaboration Bingo, we also offer Collaboration Battleship, where your CTO and CMO fight it out to torpedo the SS Disruption in a sea of otherwise hopeless initiatives.

 

 

 

Cards Against Collaboration

Sick of those personality cards handed out at every leadership seminar? Modern workplace tarot was always going to end in disaster. We always knew Trevor in accounts was an introvert. Surely?

Now you too can own your very own set of Cards Against Collaboration, the game sweeping conferences and other ridiculously-priced-sponsorship-opportunity-events around the nation.

The person who most recently reset their password to their payroll system goes first.

Then someone takes a beige collaboration card and places it in the middle of the table.

Each person then completes the sentence with a fuchsia-coloured panacea card. The colour combination is guaranteed to make anyone’s eyes bleed.

Hilarity then ensues. Amusing combinations such as:

Collaboration is … when we stop pushing the revolving door and a change champion runs headfirst into the glass with a full tray of coffees.

Innovation happens when … Felix, an otherwise well-trained dachshund, answers nature’s call on the fake grass in the innovation lab.

The winner of each round is the person who’s combination convinces the CEO to launch a new initiative.

Cards Against Collaboration is available in-store and online from all good innovation labs.

 

 

 

 

Tangible Products – The Wall

One of the most annoying aspects to being a technology consultancy is that a lot of what we do is ‘fluffy’. We freely admit that most of what we do isn’t tangible. Today that’s all about to change, as we launch the CollabSystem Wall. The CollabSystem Wall® is a complete structural solution for your future workspace. It’s not some half-baked virtual technology construct.

You might expect us to have created a hyped-up, bandwagon analogy of a time-honoured architectural tradition, but instead we aim to delight our customers with their very own brick wall. Each CollabSystem Wall© even comes complete with real mortar! Wall construction has been a staple in establishing human civilisation – China, Mexico, Berlin, Jerusalem, Hadrian, Pisa, and Wodonga all putting their best plumb foot forward throughout the ages.

When you purchase a CollabSystem Wall (pat. pending), a skilled team of bricklayers will come to your office. In the case of remote workers or distributed teams, our team will even come to your employee’s home. Our bricklayers will quickly and efficiently construct a freestanding solid brick wall with a minimum of fuss. They will then clean up, and leave you with an almost-indestructible reminder of just how far we’ve come as a society since 7500BC when the first bricks were created.

The CollabSystem Wall℠ comes with a myriad of uses, echoing the multipurpose nature of the construction methodology.  For starters there are literally a million ways you could decorate the wall. Apply plasterboard, cement render, plaster, paint, wallpaper, tile, faux fur, or any combination of those. Try your own combination of cornice, skirting board, architrave, and shadow line. Literally, the choices are endless. If you’ve empowered your workforce with Choice℠, employees can even request a different finish on each side of their Wall. We suggest you locate CollabSystem Walls so that their owners have to crane their neck awkwardly to see their wall. This encourages obsessively checking one’s own Wall, constantly aiming to be better than other Walls.  This also maximises the amount of expensive real estate taken up by the excessively heavy Walls.

You’re then free to customise the CollabSystem Wall to drive business value. Add whiteboards, blackboards, shelving, hooks, plumbing, electrical, insulation – basically anything that your business needs to make the CollabSystem Wall your own. Anything but your corporate branding, which requires our prior written consent before applying. The beauty of the CollabSystem Wall® is that we don’t quite know what you want, which is why we have to come to your boardroom and deliver a well-rehearsed PowerPoint presentation on why all the effort you’ve invested in open plan offices, standing desks, and pentagonal meeting cubicles is about to be rendered* obsolete with the construction of many, many walls.

To achieve a truly Future of Work office, you’ll have to give everyone their own wall. Anyone on a talent program will require at least two patented CollabSystem Walls, letting everyone who passes by know how special they are. Important managers will want at least four CollabSystem Walls© arranged in a quadrilateral pattern to give a retro 1950s office feel. Those who sometimes work from home will be relieved to now find a permanent masonry reminder of their workplace in their bathroom, meaning no end to the nightmare of work. For permanently distributed teams, all CollabSystem Walls are finished in an identical military green camouflage pattern, uniting the team towards a common enemy as they gaze horrifically at a newly-built brick wall from their kitchen.

The CollabSystem Wall is expected to be the first in a long line of construction-related products. Not content with just bricks and mortar, expect to hear rumours of CollabSystem stockpiling large amounts of steel to construct real-life silos to separate business units later this year. Once silos have been rolled out, CollabSystem will attempt to train a team of pandas to lay bricks, creating the world’s very first CollabSystem Chinese Wall©.

 

* “Rendered” (as a double entendre) is used under licence from MySpace Inc.

Brand Guidelines Were Released

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Branding guidelines are taken very seriously at CollabSystem.

Our relentless pursuit of using the passive voice means we aren’t going to be stopped by anything,

Everything must be written in the passive voice, according to our brand guidelines.

Active voice is being used by all our competitors, which is why a stand needs to be taken by us.

What we meant was still understood by you, even though passive voice was used by the author.

So what’s all the fuss about?

-ends-

We Are Not Consultants

We Are Not

We are not consultants.

We are not life coaches.

We don’t use frameworks.

We don’t run workshops.

We don’t present slide decks.

We Are

We’re there to show you the beauty of sunrise.

We guide you to the potential of each day.

We’re in your corner.

You Are

You are equipped to fulfil your potential.