Kevin Lynch, Acrobat, clues please, this blog post is mostly speculation

This week there was news about Acrobat DC, DC for document cloud. More cloud aspects to come, more about signatures, easy access through touch screen devices. I have seen the video but have not got much idea of detail.

But it is very interesting. I lost track of Acrobat round about version 9. This was all about Connect, a video conference option through Flash. I still don't understand why this was part of Acrobat. But at the time of the Macromedia purchase everything went Flash. The PDF fans were a captive market for any new product.  Later Connect seems to be a different product. Not much mention of it in the video.

Kevin Lynch became Chief Technology Officer, a post previously held by John Warnock. My impression was that any development on PDF just stopped. The MARS project to rewrite in XML was cancelled. So PDF was not suited to reflow or variable width of screen. So it has fallen away. From the video maybe it will work better on mobile devices but not clear how. It could just be tracking and signing and maybe a comment.

Then Kevin Lynch went to work for Apple, still shown on . I can't find any news items on when he went back to Adobe. Could there be some explanation?

My guess is that he is not very interested in PDF. Also PDF is not very well suited to the situations in the video. He would be much better suited to presenting Adobe options around all their products, mostly those from Macromedia. Meanwhile after a check in the Wikipedia I can confirm that both John Warnock and Charles Geschke are in their mid 70s. Will they continue indefinitely? If Shantanu Narayen changed job maybe there would be a gap. This is obviously speculation but I mention it in a blog post to check out the comments.

It makes more sense than Kevin Lynch sticking with PDF for any length of time. Just my opinion.

But maybe this is way off. I will look carefully at what Acrobat has to offer. Also how it compares with other PDF related software.  Acrobat seems to be aimed mostly at corporate situations. The signature capability will meet some real problems. But the original purpose of PDF was as a screen equivalent for Postscript. Even as Adobe moves into the clouds there is still a mass of content left on the land that is hard copy, from the product sectors long forgotten by the marketing department. The office workers who but Acrobat are rarely reminded that a PDF can include JDF, all the requirements for a print job. This can be packaged in various ways so well worth looking at again. But my guess is that Adobe is no longer interested so it may appear from somewhere else. 

By the way, whatever happened to Freehand?

draft pulse post, Return of the Learning Company

There is a surprise , at least for me, in starting to check out the papers or books that are available online from the first two conferences - Management Theory at Work. I have found some papers from the second and am half way through the schedule for the first one. Mostly there is something related online, some free some hardback only. What I was not expecting was the new work on the Learning Organisation from Anders Ortenblad.

As memory serves the discussion around his paper "How come the idea of a Learning Organization became so popular?" was along the lines of explaining the ideas as rhetoric likely to appeal to working managers but a bit vague when analysed by academics. It seemed to be all over for such studies. The closing keynote on relevance sealed the lid and the second conference was a relaunch around leadership. Just shorthand for my memory, this is just a blog. Other descriptions very welcome. Maybe there are links to other versions.

But there is much recent work when I do a search.

For an intro, this blog

Then there is a hardback book, so expensive you probably need a university library but there is one chapter of introduction that can be downloaded for free. There are contributions from John Burgoyne and others. It is aimed at researchers but may interest managers as well. It shows that there is continuing interest so potential in continuing #mtw3.

Then there is a journal article that connects with universities

Author(s):Anders Örtenblad (University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway)
Riina Koris (Department of Marketing, Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)

Anders Örtenblad Riina Koris , (2014) "Is the learning organization idea relevant to higher educational institutions? A literature review and a “multi-stakeholder contingency approach”", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 28 Iss: 2, pp.173 - 214

I don't know what this covers but at least it suggests that universities are organisations and can change. Maybe there is a blog with the main points.

So this is looking good for working out some continuity from when the first two conferences ended. Involvement with practice still a possibility.  #mtw3 now exchanges tweets with Elgar Business so there can be query about a cheapish paperback.

More next week as a Pulse post for LinkedIn. Meanwhile copy and paste version of links as a Google doc-





Digifest Futurelearn keynote, web/FM still an issue

During March phase of #mtw3 I will link to other events and content that might fit in. Digifest 15 has just finished. So far through Twitter I have found a blog post about the keynote from Simon Nelson of Futurelearn. The whole blog from Nicola Osborne is here.

Previously I had got the impression that the MOOC was not that well accepted by UK universities. Maybe Digifest is a special audience. But Futurelearn seems to be doing ok. Simon Nelson announced new partners from Europe, Columbia and Korea and is quoted in a press release - 

"Social learning is proving to be one of the most effective means of delivering online courses at scale, and I am proud to welcome this roll call of prestigious universities from around the world."

Online a global connection is effective so it may not matter if UK support is a bit patchy. The claims about social learning are supported-

"Close to 40% of learners are behaving socially, engaging in conversations around the course content and making comments which themselves become a rich source of learning material for others."

So I feel ok about linking to YouTube when the link appears to be limited and also suggesting books to people not on the course. I sometimes get support from people I work with on Phonic FM. All sorts of theory might relate, brands for example, an excellent Futurelearn course. So I can't help noticing what Simon Nelson said about radio. Apparently when he joined the BBC in 1997 "there was much discussion of whether the web would mean the end of radio." This may have seemed unlikely several time since but look around now. Many people listen to streaming rather than FM. On Phonic we are gradually putting more energy into various sites where shows can be uploaded. Also short clips for YouTube etc. Maybe there is a twenty year gap between a transition appearing as a possibility and turning up on a significant scale.

In his book about Styles of Organising , Gibson Burrell writes about Radio One and the mistaken decision to get rid of Dave Lee Travis and others. The recent case study is that Zane Lowe decided to leave. So what would be interesting is policy at the BBC and Apple over time. By the way I think the book is still hardback only, not sure if there will be many changes before a paperback. 

Back on Digifest I can only find a timelapse video so far on YouTube when searching for Digifest 15 . I hope more turns up soon. 

Update on critique , relevance, design science

This turns out to be a link back to other parts of this Squarespace site. I am currently working on #mtw3, an online version of Management Theory at Work. This started as a conference at Lancaster a while ago so obviously some of the content is repeated or tried out again. I think I am still on topic but also getting further back into my own stuff.

This month is intended as an online only version of #mtw3. Week 1 started with YouTube clips edited from a talk by John Burgoyne ( search on Burgoyne and #mtw3 should find this ) . This week starts with a YouTube playlist on Design Science, possibly a theory to link work on teaching and management. I have started to tweet about this and asked for some link suggestions to the "dark side" of design science. Maybe too cryptic for a tweet. I find that usually there is a critique for every topic, a claim about the dark side. So what is the current view on this sort of thing?

For example at the first Management Theory at Work conference there was a closing keynote by Chris Grey. Maybe the "dark side of relevance" could be shorthand for this. This can be expanded later.

Design Science might be a way to describe management and relevance. There were articles in an issue of the British Journal of Management. Hugh Wilmott wrote about what I will summarise as "design science the dark side" , hey this is only a blog . I have been looking for ways to update this. I cannot find anything about management theory in general that has followed on from the design science discussion then.

Now looking through my own links I have found my blog from a couple of years ago. The Posterous site closed down but it was copied to Squarespace as at hello spiders. So there is a lot of stuff there to go through again. Much was prepared for a meeting of the Deming SIG at the CQI. I still think that Deming ideas can compare with Design Science. But he main thing now is that there is some summary of the discussion on a critique of design science.

Nothing very clear at the moment. But I will try to check out the links again during the week. 

Start here maybe or the whole blog from that time

Suggestions welcome on more recent links. There is some sort of critique of relevance. Conferences connecting theory and practice are rare for some reason.


Sourcing China and gadgetFM

This is another short post just to explain a tweet or two. I am thinking about #mtw3 , an online version of a management conference, and also about the Wild Show tomorrow. We try to integrate mobile devices with an FM studio. Works ok but mostly improvised by each set of people. We are going to Gadget Show Live next month and had thought about a raffle to fund a demo studio. But now the Gadget show has announced a sort of competition for a future gadget. We could do a spec on just one box, not a crate load of all sorts. It just accepts sound from phones etc, sorts out the levels and offers an app for mixing on any screen in the studio. More tomorrow between 10 and 12 UK time. 106.8 in Exeter or

Quite possibly such a box already exists or there could be several versions. Something chunky for the studio to convince tech support. Quite small if just uploading a podcast.

Sourcing China responded to a tweet about #mtw3 videos. Look for "Burgoyne #mtw3"