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Miscellaneous

Dealing with Job Obsolescence

job obsolescence

I remember when I’ve been out of it for a couple of days. I had a cold and lost my appetite. (The only good thing about being sick and not eating is that I am back to my pre-Christmas weight.)

In the midst of my lethargic response to being ill, I watched Wheel of Fortune; which I’ve not viewed an entire episode in years. I noticed that much has changed. Initially, Vanna White was a “letter turner.” Then, with advances in technology, there is nothing left to turn. And although she touched each tile before the letter displays, I suspected that someone else was actually making it happen—after all, if they can make the tiles light up without Vanna’s help, they can likewise make the letters display, sans Vanna.

Sadly, Vanna’s original job had become obsolete and superfluous.  Correspondingly, it was likely, that sometime during our working lifetime, we, too, will be faced with job obsolescence.

There were two ways to deal with such a development. One is to prepare for an alternate career. Vanna has done some acting. However, her leading role foray (Goddess of Love) was not well-received (for the record, I had no objections).

The other strategy of preparing for job obsolescence is to make oneself essential to the organization. This is exactly what happened. Vanna, although was no longer performing a substantive role in the show’s mechanics, has nevertheless become so crucial to its ongoing success as to have been named the show’s co-host. This developed even though we are only allowed to hear Vanna in the closing seconds of each episode (though I am quite sure that her mic used to be on throughout the show, allowing her to cheer for and encourage the contestants.)

So, courtesy of Vanna White we can ascertain some great career strategies: 1) develop other options and 2) make yourself indispensable.  Either way, you’ll be covered.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Why Are TV Channels Packaged?

Television providers have packages for various programming levels: basic, deluxe, and premium or by theme: movies, sports, music, and Spanish. This can be frustrating for consumers who may end up buying an entire package just to watch one channel or perhaps even one show.

Why is this? Why can’t we just buy the channels we want a la carte?

Although there’s a historical reason for this, there’s no longer any technical justification for bundling entertainment channels into packages.

With all service providers, every channel is present on the feed (be it cable, fiber optic, or satellite). When the feed reaches our houses, the items we don’t pay for are blocked.

When cable TV first came on the scene, it was analog and electronic devises were inserted to filter out various parts of the feed people weren’t paying for. These filters were imprecise and couldn’t be finely tuned to individual channels but did work okay for groups of adjacent channels. This resulted in the birth of channel packages.

Now we have digital and individual channels can be turned on and off at each house’s receiver. There’s no longer a technical reason to package channels and sell them as a group.

However, cable and satellite TV providers are used to the revenue provided by selling packages and not anxious to change that. Plus it’s easier to track and bill half a dozen packages for each subscriber, rather than hundreds of individual channels.

If entertainment providers were truly focused on their customers, they would allow for individual channel selection, letting us pick and pay for only the channels we want to watch.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher of Article Weekly. In addition to being a publisher and editor, he is an author and blogger with 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Doritos Consumer Produced Spots on the Super Bowl

I recently blogged that Doritos will be running consumer produced spots during the Super Bowl.  In January, voting took  place to determine which three of the finalists will be aired during the Super Bowl.  I watched all six and ranked them in the following order:

1) “Casket”

2) “Underdog”

3) “House Rules”

4) “Kids These Days”

5) “The Smackout”

6) “Snack Attack Samurai”

Although the Crash the Super Bowl website doesn’t show vote totals, it does show how many times each spot has been viewed.  I suspect there is a direct correlation between views and votes.  Here is how they rank in terms of views:

1) “Casket”

2) “Snack Attack Samurai”

3) “House Rules”

4) “Kids These Days”

5) “Underdog”

6) “The Smackout”

“Casket” was watched almost 20% more often than the second most viewed ad.  Interestingly, this ranking of views is the same now as it was a couple weeks ago.  One might infer that the voting rank also didn’t change over this same span.  Regardless, watch the Super Bowl to see which ads won.

If people agree with me, then it will be “Casket,” “Underdog,” and “House Rules.”

If views equal votes, then it will be “Casket,” “Snack Attack Samurai,” and “House Rules.”  Or it could be something else!

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Miscellaneous

Doritos Ads to “Crash the Super Bowl”

With only four football teams left in contention, the Super Bowl is fast approaching — and with it Super Commercials.

This year, Doritos will again be running consumer produced spots during the Super Bowl.  Their Crash the Super Bowl promotion generated over 4,000 submissions.  The top six were selected as finalists and the voting has begun to pick the top three.  The top three vote getters will be run during the Super Bowl.

I’ve checked them out and all are good, but three are decidedly better.  Here’s how I rank them:

1) “Casket”

2) “Underdog”

3) “House Rules”

4) “Kids These Days”

5) “The Smackout”

6) “Snack Attack Samurai”

I will be watching to see if my top three picks are aired.

Categories
Miscellaneous

The Advance of Digital TV

Over the weekend, the final phase of the United State’s conversion to digital TV was completed — but not without some angst from angry viewers.

For my part, it was a non-issue, since I do my TV viewing via satellite.  Even so, I do have an antenna as backup and bought a converter box so that I could experience digital TV via terrestrial broadcast on my aging analog TV.  My early testing proved that I could receive and decode these new signals, so imagine my surprise on the day of the conversion I could not view one local station.

Based on online comments, many others experienced the same fate.  For me, rescanning the channels did the trick.  Others were not so fortunate, as they lived too far away from the broadcast station, still needed to connect their converters — or hadn’t yet bothered to buy it.

Of course, the media was able to find a few malcontents who claimed ignorance of the whole affair or wanted to blame the government for taking away their TV.  I even heard one person demand that the old signals be re-instated.

A personal side-note is that Friday evening, I lost part of the vertical deflection on my old TV (which is tech talk to say my viewing area shrunk).  Turning the TV off and back on, restored the full display, but it’s happened twice since, which means I will soon be buying a new digital TV — and won’t need the converter box after all.