Wednesday, March 10, 2010

brandom has moved!

Brandom has now moved to its own domain name!

The new website is under development, so excuse any bald spots it still has. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Generation Y

Max Weber might be a god amongst sociologists, but is he still applicable to us today?

Weber’s theory on Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (henceforth, PWE) is simple, but brilliant, and has changed the science of sociology since its publishing. He claims  that the Calvinist emphasis on the necessity for hard work is proponent of a person's calling and worldly success is a sign of personal salvation. In other words, Protestants work harder then Catholics.

Though Millennials might not believe that amassing a large net worth is necessarily an indicator of God’s favor, might we still view making money in equivalent terms?

Considering that we are the fastest growing section of the workforce, it’s important to know how we view wealth and what motivates us to work. Here are the highlights of how we feel about the workplace.

  • We want to love our work and be good at it – Though this is not an entirely original concept, it is very important. Gen Y is very achievement oriented, and visible, positive results serve as encouragement for further work. Feeling like one is contributing to something is also important. Being a worker on an assembly line, where the final product is never seen, does not make one seem part of a team. The best results are those that are meaningful and whose results can be seen immediately.
  • Money isn’t happiness – Though a high salary is very attractive, balancing work and play is even more important. We have friends and family, and it is important to be able to fit those into your life even when trying to build a career or go to school at the same time. The more flexible the schedule, the more attractive it is.
  • Everybody is different – Not everyone is motivated the same way, and employers need to recognize that. While some people might want fringe benefits, another might need a cash bonus to get him working. Managing is more complex than just handing out paychecks – know what makes us tick, and you’ll get better work out of it.
  • Ongoing learning – We could be described as the ADD generation. Easily bored with repetitive work, throwing a curve into the typical workload can lead to innovation and rejuvenation. We love technology, and are much better at manipulating it then previous generations. Throw me a cool new gadget, and I’ll have it up and running in the matter of a few hours.

In response to my original thesis, it seems Gen Y values teamwork and balance over a fat wallet.

Think I’m wrong about motivation? Share what you think.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Three reasons Chatroulette is not just a fad

Two black boxes sit, one on top the other, next to a large area for text exchanges. The layout is simple, unintimidating. When I visited the first time, I was surprised not to be attacked by popup advertisements. There is, in fact, hardly any advertising at all, except a single text ad at the base of the page.

Chatroulette’s founder, Andrey Ternovskiy, says that he did this on purpose. He has no business plans for his project, and doesn't think it is going to make him rich, In fact, the 17-year old Russian high-schooler admits, he doesn’t even know what Chatroullette is anymore. It started as a way to meet new people, a virtual bar, and has turned into something much larger and more complex.
Turn it on and see for yourself. The face-to-face encounters range from casual small talk to lude performances, with your 20,000 plus new acquaintances streaming live from France, Pakistan, and California. The best part of the site is the diversity of the people you get to talk to.
As you can tell from my praises, the website is more then just a fad. Here are three reasons why I think it is here to stay:
  1. Its potential is endless – Though its advertising content now is minimal, the possibilities are endless. A fledgling site, with traffic numbers growing largely due to word of mouth, that pulls in 20,000 curious visitors a night would look very attractive to advertisers for future growth.
  2. Its actually fun – I’ve been on the website twice already, and it is an awesome time killer with a bunch of bored friends.There is something very appealing about anonymous social encounters.
  3. Real people use it – The site has the danger of being adopted by a certain subculture, or being over run by smut. The encouraging sign I noticed while using it was that it has yet to be, and with careful management, it won't. I ran into an off-duty soldier, some college students in Argentina, and a man from Wisconsin with a big mustache on his lunch break. Sure, there’s the occasional naked dude or exhibitionist couple, but it is only often enough to scare off the prudish visitors. 
For those of you who don’t believe the bizarre encounters, look at these collected  screenshots by awesomer.
Visit the site when you have time and then let me know your opinion. Is it here to stay? Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Interesting Links

I apologize for the lack of posts the last couple days. I have a few articles that will be published soon… to hold you off here is an interesting slideshow made by Slate about breakfast cereal slogans over the past century. Also, Penn Olson collected this interesting assortment of minimalist advertisements that are fun to look at.

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