Tag Archives: memphis

HIRE RAY GREEN NOW! Award-winning roboticist making sandwiches instead of building apps and robots

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Ray Green , Kevian (7-yearsold) and Jaimyiah Moore (Kevian’s mom) working on their new robot in preparation for the 2019 IEEE SoutheastCon Open Hardware Competition in Rob Fortenberry’s workshop. 

HIRE RAY GREEN NOW! What are you waiting for? He almost single-handedly beat hundreds of other engineering students and graduates from 48 universities, including Georgia Tech and Clemson, to place second in the 2018 IEEE SoutheastCon Open Hardware Competition!

Instead of applying his brilliance building robots, writing code and doing design work, he’s making sandwiches at Panera at night after a long day of studying at Code School.

“The thing about Ray is he’s not just brilliant, but he’s so good!” explained his mentor Robert Fortenberry. And by good he means the sweet kid in the photo, so willing to help others.

“He actually would have won the entire competition as his robot actually got the top score, but when he checked in, he forgot to bring his logo flag  and that was the difference between first and second place.”

Ray and Rob are emblematic of the opportunity that needs to be nurtured in Memphis. Rob has devoted his time and money to helping young people achieve greatness. His own son won the competition at 10-years old and he now coaches multiple teams from Memphis.

Ray is that diamond who doesn’t even realize his own value, winning the competition was barely mentioned on his resume.

“So you participated in the IEEE Hardware Competition? Did you win anything?” I asked after reviewing his resume.

“Actually, I came in second.”

“Was it a high school competition?

“No it was college.”

“How many?”

“Not sure, about 50.”

Piqued, I threw out a few college names, “So did you beat Georgia Tech or Florida State?”

“Uh, yes… Is that a big deal?”

I nearly fell out of my chair. Here’s a brilliant, naïve, hard-working kid from Memphis, @Tech901 graduate and @Code Crew student who beats hundreds of other competitors from top engineering schools in 11 states, and has no idea whether that’s a big deal or not!

Good news for you, is he’s available now for part-time work and is graduating in just a few months, so grab him now. Also, he and Rob’s other Memphis teams need sponsors  for the 2019 competition in April, so hurry and support greatness before someone else beats you to it!

Local News: Everything Fits, So Publish It All

White snow and clear ice coated the ground and trees in Memphis – so I grabbed the family, loaded up the sleds and headed over to the city’s biggest park, Shelby Farms, to take in the fantastic scenery and ice-covered slopes.

To top it off, there was a photographer from the Commercial Appeal snapping photos of us and other families sledding, running, building snowmen, etc… My 12-year-old was certain fame and her picture in the paper were inevitable. Of course, neither happened –but in the process I realized just how badly the Commercial Appeal and other media organizations are missing opportunities to drive engagement, grow their audience and increase revenue.

As anyone who has ever worked in community journalism knows, people want to see themselves, their family and friends.

We’re no different. The next day, we scanned the paper and went to the Web site to see our pictures – and found none. Instead of giving our family (and the hundreds of others people photographed at the park that day) a reason to stay on the site, share links with family and friends, we went away disappointed.

Of the dozens, if not hundreds, of photos taken only a couple were published in print or online. Newspapers were founded on the tradition of scarcity and selectivity, “All the news that fits,” but in the age where space is limitless does that still make sense?

I would have loved to have seen a halfway decent photo of myself and my family sledding. While it may not have been the “best” photo of the day, from my perspective it would have been way better than none – as I have no photo of myself and my kids sledding. And even if I had photos, I can guarantee that the quality of the photos would far surpass the blurry out-of-focus action images from my point-and-shoot camera.

The drive to share pictures and videos of ourselves with friends and family has driven the explosive growth of Youtube, Flickr and other social networking sites, so why not leverage the photographic talent, already deployed resource and the newspaper’s brand to provide people with “published” photos of themselves to share with family and friends.

The cost of publication is minimal. The majority of the cost is already built into the publication of a single picture – so each additional picture should require virtually no incremental expense.

And the upside?

Audience Engagement & differentiation: Local content with local people to drive the engagement and differentiation local news organizations require to retain subscribers. In other words, we would have shared the pictures with family and friends –giving us another reason why we should read and subscribe to the Commercial Appeal.

More Revenue per assignment: Instead of having to support the cost of deployment with the ad dollars driven by just a photo or two, multiple photos should drive more revenue and lower the cost of the assignment.

My family’s fame & fortune: Best of all, my daughters’ would have achieved their desired celebrity and we would forever be etched in the history of Memphis, sledding down the slushy slope. While Flickr & Facebook are great ways to share photos – nothing beats the validation and excitement of appearing in the official media or local “paper of record”.