Tag Archives: technology

I Got a Job!

Despite the pessimistic outlook I expressed in a post a few weeks ago, some opportunities have come my way. I received two job offers last week, which left me with a difficult decision. Accept the safe, steady job with a traditional company, or join the Silicon Valley startup that offers potential for fast advancement, but at much higher risk?

I had less than 48 hours to decide. The decision became easy once I weighed the starting pay against potential for upward mobility. I chose the startup. The traditional company was difficult to turn down because it was a safe bet and an opportunity to learn a new industry, but I couldn’t resist the excitement of joining a great company in its infancy.

Today is my first day as an employee of Keen Systems, a company that is bringing small printing companies into the 21st Century. There are several products in Alpha and Beta stages, so I can’t share much, but our Web-2-Print platform represents an amazing opportunity for small companies in the print industry to take their business online and land new customers in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.

Keen Systems print company

 

I’ll share more about my experiences working for a startup as I learn what I’m allowed to tell you. More to come.

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Who Still Faxes?

The more time I spend in South Korea, the more I realize that the two Koreas aren’t so different deep down. On the surface, they seem like different worlds. South Koreans enjoy a first-world standard of living that includes almost all western amenities (except clothes dryers, damnit). North Korea, on the other hand, is famous for two things – starvation and crazy. But the most recent incident in the ongoing feud between the two nations shows that they are more alike than appearances indicate.

In response to an anti-North Korea demonstration, Pyongyang sent a fax to the South Korean defense ministry on Thursday. The fax warned of, “a merciless retaliation without warning.” I can’t decide what’s more funny, the fact that they sent a fax, or that the fax warned of attack without warning.

Evolution of the Fax Machine

The incident should have ended here. South Korea is far more technologically advanced than North Korea, their GPD is 80 times larger, and they have a sizable chunk of the world’s most powerful military camped out in their front yard. Dignifying such craziness with a response would be akin to arguing with a kid on the internet.

Well, that’s exactly what South Korea’s defense ministry did. Instead of having a good laugh and adding the fax to their “crazy” file, Seoul responded in kind. According to a defense ministry spokesman, South Korea answered with their own fax, “vowing to respond sternly to any provocation.”

Because they look so different on the surface, it’s easy to forget that these two countries haven’t been separated for very long. Despite the south’s rapid evolution, episodes like this serve as a reminder that the two countries aren’t quite as different as they would have us believe.

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I Got A New Job

I got a new part time job a few weeks ago, and I’m excited about it. I am the English-language marketing manager for Yooii Studios (pronounced You-ee). Yooii is a small startup based in Seoul that produces smartphone apps. The studio was founded by Robert Song, an experienced mobile game designer and former director of EA Games Asia.

Yooii Studios Banner

My primary responsibility is handling SNS (Social Network Service) marketing for the United States and Europe. I’ll spend a lot of time spreading the word about Yooii and our apps to all English-speaking markets. I’m excited about getting involved in marketing! I completed an MBA a few years ago, but this is my first chance to put that knowledge to use in a small business environment.

Most of my work is done over the internet, but I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few hours in the Daegu studio with the designers. The programming and design teams are comprised of students and recent graduates from Kyungpook National University. They are all young, but surprisingly talented. There are some great apps in the pipeline and I can’t wait to share them with you as they come out. But don’t worry, this blog won’t become a running advertisement – I am in the process of creating a Yooii Studios blog for that. There’s not much there yet, but feel free to take a look at my opening post.

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , ,

My Nerdy Hobby

Most people don’t know that I have an odd hobby. Although I can’t shut up about it with my closest friends, I’m usually shy when it comes to telling other people about my hobby because it’s pretty nerdy.

I have been fascinated with everything that flies as long as I can remember. I learned to fly airplanes in college, but it was so expensive that I decided to scale it down and learn to fly model airplanes and helicopters. When that got boring, I got started in a hobby known as FPV (First Person View) flying.

This simply means that I put a camera and video transmitter on the plane so that I can beam a live image from the airplane or helicopter to a video screen on the ground. My FPV system happens to be installed on a quad-copter called a Discovery.

TBS Discovery

For the past two months I’ve been building the Discovery. Most of that time has been either trouble-shooting or waiting for parts. Because it’s pretty complex, there are lots of small problems that require special-order parts that can’t be found in a store.

You can see in the picture that there are two cameras. The one on the left (the large one) is an HD camera that records in the air. The other camera is the “flight camera” that I use to see what is happening when the Discovery is far from me.

My goal is to take video of a bunch of the cool places in Korea. Although the video isn’t perfect yet (some vibrations persist and my video editing is pretty awful), I think it’s an interesting point of view from which to see the world.

It will all make more sense when you watch the video I made. All of this video was shot last Saturday within a mile or two of my apartment. I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to set the video to HD in the lower right corner – it’s just not the same in standard definition.

Until next time.

-Taft

P.S. Notice at the very end of the video there is one little kid who comes running toward the camera (and me, behind it) yelling my name. Look closely and you’ll see that it’s my walking buddy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Learning Curve

I realized this morning just how much I don’t understand about blogging.  Actually, I suck at it – especially when it comes to the nuts and bolts of operating a blog.

You suck.

Taken from here.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy blogging.  I love it!  A Southerner Abroad began as an effort to market myself to potential employers, and it has since evolved into a personal journal.  I didn’t expect much more than for my parents and my grandmother to stop by once in a blue moon.  Wow – color me surprised.  Though my readership is minuscule compared to serious bloggers, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that hundreds of people intentionally read my ramblings (thank you!).

This morning, I spent some time looking through my blog statistics – something that I don’t do often.  Almost immediately, I noticed a trend.  I realized that the keywords I use to tag my posts are important.  There is a clear correlation between a post’s tags and the people who “like” the post (click the “like” button).  Food-oriented entries with keywords like “traditional Korean food” and “spicy” are “liked” by people with the words “chef” and “foodie” in their screen names.  I probably should have figured that one out sooner, but I suck at blogging – remember?

I have also noticed that there are some talented writers who visit my blog.  Hell, some of them even subscribe.  For weeks I’ve been reading their blogs.  Some of them are downright amazing.  I think (hope) that my writing is evolving as I learn from them.

These realizations make me want to learn more about blogging.  I want to be a good blogger.  I don’t know what exactly that will entail, but starting today, I’m going to learn.  My first step is to tag this post with keywords designed to attract people who can offer good advice on blogging.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I imagine that some readers want to learn how to improve their blogs as well.  So, how can we improve our blogs and grow our audience?

Until next time.

-Taft

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: