In defense of the fax machine

We’ve all heard the noise.

That noise, while archaic, doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.

My friend Eric Stoller wrote a blog post this morning about the irrelevance of the dated fax machine. In his post, Eric suggests faxes are silly and a waste of technology. And they are.

Eric is right.

Unfortunately, not everyone else agrees. The majority of businesses around the country do not agree. We can disagree all we want, but we can’t ignore the reality of the situation.

College students have to fax things all of the time: proof of address, health records, insurance forms, student loan information.

And you know what? Fax machines are hard to find. This is a huge burden on a lot of students. It can stress the hell out of them. When students are told to fax a form immediately or be evicted from their apartment, they don’t know where to start. Why should they? WHO THE HELL HAS A FAX MACHINE?

I would counter and say we, as student affairs professionals, can provide a service. Have a fax machine in your Student Life office. Provide a fax service free of charge. Be helpful.

A fax machine may be outdated, but it’s also an opportunity to serve our students and their needs.

#endrant

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In defense of the fax machine

When Robots Attack

#SATechBOS is an experience.
Literally, its an experience… a free-flowing, fly by the edge of your pants experience where if you’re not thinking fast enough, you’ll be left to fend off robots. Yes, Robots.

Let’s backtrack.
For those not familiar, #SATechBOS is a two-day unconference I was lucky enough to attend last week. Topics are vetted by participants and by the end of two days, teams of participants create a working tech-focused project.  If you don’t move fast enough, cylons invade.

So, after a few un-sessions, topics started to emerge… and soon, a tech-focused project was conceived. Our small group talked about it for no more than 30 minutes. We had an idea and liked it… and suddenly, our facilitator (and visionary behind #SATechBOS) Ed Cabellon buys us a domain.

Wait. What? WE’RE NOT READY. 
“Robots,” Ed said. 

We weren’t ready. It wasn’t perfect. But Ed moved fast to avoid the cyber-fishers that would snatch up our domain. You see, we searched for the domain on google… and that’s where robots hide, plotting their evil doings and stealing our medicine (thanks, Hunter).

Many of us were uneasy. I was certainly leery… but there was a beauty to the speed.

If Ed hasn’t forced us to move on it, we probably wouldn’t have moved on it. It would have been another one of those ideas that never came to fruition. We had a unique thought worth sharing… a unique product worth developing. By moving fast, Ed pushed us to create. He believed that each group had a vision worth sharing with the world. There was no turning back.

If nothing else, here’s my takeaway – too many times we don’t move on beautiful ideas because they’re not completely fleshed out. Force yourself to move even if you’re not ready. Don’t let robots stop your ideas from taking root and turning into something amazing.

In the upcoming days, I’ll be sharing some of the ideas created at #SATechBOS, including our own. I hope you follow along, and if you see one worth getting involved in, I hope you find a way to contribute.

Just be careful of the robots.

When Robots Attack