top of page

Your High-Tech Journey To A Linked-In World

Written by: David L. Lantz, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor David L. Lantz

Back in the late 1980s, I bought my first computer (a Tandy 1000 SX with two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives) and began to write a government affairs newsletter called Indiana Issues. I had about 150 paid subscribers. As the technology advanced, I bought a newer computer with a hard drive and Microsoft Word 3.0. This allowed me to format my newsletter better, placing text in columns with different font sizes.

Person hand using tablet

I wrote the newsletter for four years, and sought to expand my writing experience as I began to write my first book, Bill Clinton: You’re No John F. Kennedy, in Microsoft Word 3.0. Saving it to a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, I sent it off to a self-publishing book company called McNaughton & Gunn and ordered 5,000 copies to be printed. I self-published my book in 1993. Two years later, someone offered to create a website for it. You see, a brand new tool called the Internet was just getting started.


And it promised to change everything.


Demographic and technological change


These two experiences convinced me that I needed to teach myself about what was happening in this information revolution. As I began my High Tech Journey to a Linked In World, I relied heavily on a book that became a sort of roadmap to the future. Alvin Toffler had written his famous book Future Shock, in 1970. But it was his 1980 book, Third Wave, that introduced me to the Information Age. In Chapter One, Toffler wrote:


The Third Wave (challenges) all the old power relationships, the privileges and prerogatives of the endangered elites of today, and provides the backdrop against which the key power struggles of tomorrow will be fought… The Third Wave brings with it a genuinely new way of life based on diversified, renewable energy sources; on methods of production that make most factory assembly lines obsolete; on new non-nuclear families; on a novel institution that might be called the “electronic cottage; and on radically changed schools and corporations of the future. (emphasis added).


I began to give talks on this topic, and how it would impact business and society. Toffler’s predictions began to come true, as a new service called America Online (AOL) began to provide Internet access to millions of Americans with dial-up modems. Computer technology was also accelerating. Microsoft introduced Windows 95 and the ability to format text in different colors via Microsoft Word 6.0.


This allowed me to begin writing my novel, The Brotherhood of the Scroll, in 1997. I began by writing a 36 page outline, creating four different subplots that I would weave together into a climax at the end. I quickly decided that I needed to write each “scene” from the viewpoint of the main character in each of these four subplots. (I did not realize this at the time, but later read Orson Scott Card’s book, “Elements of Fiction Writing – Characters and Viewpoint,” and learned that I had stumbled into a great way to write fiction.) As I wrote the outline of these different scenes, I experimented with putting them in different color fonts to more easily keep track of the viewpoint of the scene. In this way, I did not have to print the document to keep track of the viewpoint of the characters.


I realize that telling you this in 2023 may be seen as being “No Big Deal,” but for me in 1997, it was HUGE! By the time I was done, the novel was 366 pages long. The printing costs, however, were far too high to print 5,000 copies as I had done with my first book. I had only sold 2,000 copies of Bill Clinton, You’re No John F. Kennedy, and so did not wish to get stuck with an inventory I might never sell, let alone be able to store.


By the year 2000 when I was ready to publish the book, a brand new technology was revolutionizing the “vanity press” world – print on demand. I decided to self-publish my novel with a new company, Xlibris. To sell copies of the book, I would need to send people to their website where they could make a purchase.


But to do that, I would need my own website. I bought a book titled HTML In 24 Hours and determined to teach myself how to build my own website. Since that time, I’ve expanded the list of “tech tools” that I’ve taught myself to use. I’ve gone on to learn video technology and other technologies to be able to create online courses for sale. And I’ve created a blog series in which I talk about my various “Journey Steps.”


I had begun with the simple desire to write a book. Without realizing it, however, I had embarked on a high-tech journey to a linked-in world. At the age of 67, I can honestly say that the time invested to teach this “old dog new tricks” has been worth it. But technology, as great as it can be, is not the most important thing.


Creating an ownership mentality


The technology that brings you instant communication with people on the other side of the planet also affects the way you earn a living. Because of trends that have been building since the dawn of the new millennium, it is more important than ever that you adopt an ownership mentality, instead of an employee mentality.


The question is: Can you? Will you?


We’re not just talking about becoming more technology savvy. It will require greater mental flexibility, becoming self-motivated instead of waiting for someone else to give us instructions. And, it will require a higher degree of psychological flexibility.


Answering the question about what type of person you are – someone who makes things happen, watches things happen or says “what happened” – is up to you. But don’t take too long to decide, else the changing global economy may make your choices for you.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

David L. Lantz Brainz Magazine
 

David L Lantz, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David Lantz is a leader in the field of online instruction. He was awarded a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs in 1981 and served as their Alumni President from 1990-1991. In 2005, he was named Faculty of the Year by the first graduating class of the University of Phoenix’s Indianapolis, Indiana campus. Having taught both face-to-face and online classes since 2003, he received the distinction of Advanced Online Instructor/Facilitator from the University of Phoenix in 2012. Since 2011, he has been creating online courses in the fields of entrepreneurship and online instruction. A self-published author, he has authored both fiction and non-fiction books, which can be found on Amazon.com. His mission can be summarized in the proverb: “The wise man makes knowledge acceptable.” To learn more about David, visit his website at www.wisejargon.com.

Comentários


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page