Mr. Linkair

Oct. 22, 2020
We need to explore the greater diversity of all subject matter related to our focus
Don’t just talk about Transformation and how it links our past knowns to the uncertainties of our future unknowns. Instead, like the ad says, "Just Do It!" This was a theme we explored in our last chapter, Navigated Never Never.

As social media continues to narrow our focus by presenting more subject matter about our known knowns—those things we already know—we need to explore the greater diversity of all subject matter related to our focus and learn more about known unknowns—things we know we don’t know—and unknown unknowns—things we don’t know, and don’t even know we don’t know.

So how can your author and his pioneering web site (if you don’t mind me tooting my own horn for just a moment) help you navigate this new Never Never?

We chat about it in the latest episode of ControlTalk NOW. From the introduction:

Ken Sinclair, aka Mr. Linkair began his crusade in 1999. Ken’s natural instincts and his selfless desire to collect, link, and share relevant BAS and HVAC information has led to the growth of Automated Building’s unparalleled  on-line readership. Now, during the most disruptive period of the BAS and HVAC evolution, we are grateful that Ken and Automated Buildings continue to hold the torches of transformative change high enough for us to see our way forward.

The medium is always part of the message, and moving your focus from my humble blog to the online ocean of content is part of my personal journey to promote and connect those messages which are important to my people. was started in 1999 before blogging was a thing; back then we called it an online magazine or emagazine. The new evolving model of the site strives to connect and link to the amazing amount of articles and blog bits that folks are publishing. We leave them in place as published and as illustrated, while trying to help them find a wider audience, and a fresh context. Some of this amazing content is well-known in some very niche networks, but deserves a wider view.

As an old guy in the industry, the current model kind of resembles our 1999 roots, when everyone started their own dot com but no one could find what they needed until we started linking them together under the umbrella of a subject matter B2B website. I have always been Mr Linkair—this is just business as usual in an unusually transformed world.

Everyone is now in the online publication industry and many are doing it better than us. But these self-created flaming torches are burning everywhere on various websites and on many social media platforms. There is a need to collect these industry gems and to curate and document industry discussions. We need to explore the interactions of these tossed torches. It's important to find out who is getting lit by the flames of inspiration—and who is getting their fingers burnt.

Some of the best blog sites have been curated by other people. They've taken the time to find online blogs and put them into a list that's easy for anyone to look through.

Here is a fun approach on how to explore, understand, and incorporate our diversities from Toby Ruckert Polymath, Founder/CEO UIB. In this Linkedin post he makes music with his Back to the Roots newsletter and this advice:

I'm starting this newsletter under this motto of "Modern Times" - where new ideas, innovation and technologies are emerging at an unprecedented accelerating pace. Remembering our human values, individual roots and identities will play an important role to help us cope with the speed, uncertainties and the challenges associated with such transformation. The best way to leverage our abilities is to spot the opportunities.

The Young and Restless—my younger connected mentors—are becoming the new Linkairs while introducing us to the new shakers and movers in our industry. I am always applauding those who are leading and carrying the torches of transformation and building on the foundations I’ve had a part in laying down.

I am extremely proud of my younger mentors. Watching them grow and evolve is one of my great pleasures. It is their time and they need to be heard.

Our contributing Editor from Sweden, Nicolas Waern "The Building Whisperer" is no longer whispering, he is now shouting as "The Smart World Architect", with a mission to enable decision-makers to create a better future. Well done Nicolas.

Part of his efforts include the Beyond Buildings Podcast. You can listen to the first 11 episodes here. From his introduction to the first:

Falling in love with Smarter Buildings. In episode one of the series we talked to Tommy Hagenes who came from the building automation side and is working with Smart Technology and is a driving force in the Proptech space. We talked about what he is doing, what the differences were with APIs, BACnet introduction, secure communication to and from the building and that BACnet still has its place. It was a great episode and I remember laughing and learning a lot. It ended with us discussing if building connectivity challenges.

Questions after the episode:

·        Should building automation systems be in the cloud?

·        Should logic reside on the edge?

·        What will 5G and distributed intelligence, small footprint AI-algorithms have to do in a Smart Building setting of the future?

·        What is the ultimate connectivity strategy to create sustainable buildings with a software/hardware layer that can pass the test of time?

·        Do we need a decoupling of hardware and software?

Another of our contributing editors is Sudha Jamthe the CEO of IoTDisruptions. She also teaches AI and AV courses for business professionals online at Stanford Continuing Studies and on Among her key articles is this one, The Humanity of AI Automation. Key quote:

Everything we do is woven by a social fabric across global cultures.  If covid has taught us one thing about humanity, it is that we are social beings irrespective of whether we are deep-thinking-introverts or think-aloud-extroverts. Now as we shelter-in-place in a global pandemic and work remotely, educate our children online, move conferences that were the setting of the B2B sales cycles fully online, have charities host galas online, musicians and talk show hosts entertain us from their homes, sports teams watch on remote boxes of screens, the common missing thread is the social interaction of our everyday lives.

I am very impressed with the efforts of James Dice;  Writer, question-asker, community-builder Denver, Colorado and his Nexus offering. Here’s a short quote from his welcome page:

Why does Nexus exist? My whole career, I’ve been wanting more unbiased, in-depth content on the smart buildings industry. How is the industry changing and where is it going? Which new technology products are hype and which are disruptive? I’ve learned it takes a lot of time to wade through marketing pitches, research papers, and shallow articles to find the signal in the noise. Nexus is my attempt at sharing my evolving lens on the industry with you—without the fluff.

Nexus is a community of engineers, energy managers, technology vendors, building operators, and real estate investors. Like you, we’re trying to bridge the gap between two cultures—that of technology on one end and millions of commercial buildings on the other—to understand where we’re headed as an industry.

Available, linkable, free resources are truly amazing. They are contributing to the critical mass of new ideas that are the fuel for our ongoing Digital Transformation. Here are a few more great resources:

McKinsey & Company visualize the physical, economic and emotional impact of COVID-19 in a whole new way through its interactive data displays.

The CREM's Digital Handbook is a collection of digital tools designed for corporate real estate managers. Faced with so much disruption and unprecedented developments, where do workplace leaders even begin to find their bearings? This handbook is designed as a guide to the transformation coming to the workplace.

Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian from 1995 to 2015, on how to manage perpetual newsroom change. Key quote:

The old economic model was clearly failing—but who could say with any confidence that the new one would work? Journalists who were experts in one medium (words) were being asked to “multitask” (ugh!) in others (video, pictures, blogs, data, audio.) There was an entirely new relationship with the audience. And then there was social media: Use it? Ignore it? Blow it up? As for metrics….

New Software Roles Drive Confusion and Contention is an article from Harbor Research, a growth strategy consulting and venture development firm. Key quote:

While many will point to a specific OEM’s software strategy, lack of marketing investment, or potential technical missteps as the cause of such failures, Harbor believes that many of them can be traced to a broader confusion about roles. Sometimes companies need to ask themselves, “Who are we, and what part should software play in our business and for our customers in the market?” Spectacular failures can occur when players either fail to ask the question or answer it wrong.

Seek diversity, talk to people you disagree with, learn why, explore known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. Whatever your purpose and passion, find new links that will lead to the transformation of the subject matter. 

Yours, Mr. Linkair  

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