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Next Generation Management: 2011/2012 James Dellinger Personal Opportunties for Development Portfolio
DCU BUSINESS SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION
Student Name(s): James Dellinger Student Number(s): 11210889 Programme: Project Title: Module code: Lecturer: MECB1 - MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) NGM Portfolio MT5113 Des McLaughlin
Project Due Date: 25-JUN-2012
DCU BUSINESS SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION
Student Name(s): James Dellinger
Student Number(s): 11210889 Programme: Project Title: Module code: Lecturer: Project Due Date: MECB1 - MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) NGM Portfolio MT5113 Des McLaughlin 25-JUN-2012
Declaration I the undersigned declare that the project material, which I now submit, is my own work. Any assistance received by way of borrowing from the work of others has been cited and acknowledged within the work. I make this declaration in the knowledge that a breach of the rules pertaining to project submission may carry serious consequences. I am aware that the project will not be accepted unless this form has been handed in along with the project.
DCU Business School Assignment Submission..................................................................0 DCU Business School Assignment Submission..................................................................1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................4 Who is James Dellinger?.......................................................................................................6 M. Sc. Electronic Commerce (Business)...........................................................................11 NEXT GENERATION MANAGEMENT ........................................................................14 Personal Development Plan...............................................................................................22 Personal and Career Development ...................................................................................25 Business and Society ...........................................................................................................80 Research ...............................................................................................................................118 Digital Skills, Media and Communications .................................................................154 Prince2 Online Completion ............................................................................................186 DICE: Project Manager’s Report Group 1A ..................................................................187 Appendix A .........................................................................................................................220 Appendix B..........................................................................................................................225 Appendix C .........................................................................................................................227 DICE: Interaction Excerpted diary Appendix...............................................................265
I would like to thank my incredibly patient wife, Kathleen Dellinger, and my supportive family and friends on the other side of the Atlantic, in Washington, Georgia and the Midwest. Without your financial support, generosity, and kind words this journey would not have been possible. I would like to thank every member of the Next Generation Management (NGM) Staff: lecturer Mr Des McLaughlin; Dr John Connolly; Mr Gerry Conyngham; Dr Claire Gubbins, and Dr Theo Lynn, Teaching Assistants: Mr Terry O’Brien; Ms Bettina Wűrdinger; Ms Ciara Elston and the Dublin City University Business School (DCUBS) for their hard work in making our learning experience and outcomes as rewarding as they are. I want to thank all DCUBS and Dublin City University Computer Applications School (DCUCAS) staff, and especially M. Sc. Electronic Commerce (Business) (MECB) program chair Regina Conolly, for their collective efforts to improve our learning environment and the value of the degree programs we are enrolled in. I would also liketo thank the staff of the DCU LINK Research Centre for all their efforts in makng Techspectations such a great part of our NGM experience and to Laura Farrell as our client Digital Marketing Report client. To all of my fellow Next Generation Management classmates, I have learned to appreciate your incredible ambition. To my various NGM and MECB project working groups, thank you for your hard work all year. I would like to thank my employer, Matthew Sheffield, President of Dialog New Media, and my mentor, Bob Benz, President of Content at Hanley Wood, for understand and supporting my journey to Dublin and throughout the Next Generation Management experience. FORWARD I GO! I am dedicating this hard work to my grandfather, Samuel Douglas Guy, who passed away in March 2012. His life, memory, and work ethic will serve as an inspiration to me always. -James Dellinger
The document you are reading is the culmination of two semesters of work from September 2011 to June 2012. As a requirement of the M. Sc. Electronic Commerce (Business) (MECB) degree at the Dublin City University, I was required to take a two-semester twenty-credit module known as Next Generation Management (NGM). As part of the course curriculum, I needed to carry out forty out-ofclassroom learning activities which would develop my skills and future management potential in different ways. I actually did many more but the ones you will hear about made the cut because they fit my Personal Development Plan goals for the near term and future. These activities were known as personal opportunities for development, referred to as PODs. The forty activities were split into four different themes according to the learning outcome underpinning NGM; they consisted of:
Personal Career and Development Business and Society Research Digital Skills, Media and Communication
I carried out these PODs during the nine-plus-months I was in the program, and feel I had a good spread of learning experiences in all four themes. No one event or experience carried out was the same. Each held a unique learning benefit for me in regards to my future goals moving forward into a career in sales and marketing. For some it can be tough to understand why the four themes are grouped together but not for me. The main aim of carrying out the forty outside activities was to give NGM students a deeper understanding of the four themes and to force individual self-motivation. It allowed us to find things we wanted to learn more about and develop lifelong learner skill sets. It is fair to argue that I likely would not have attended some of these activities had the Next Generation Management (MECB) module not made it mandatory to find these unique experiences. However, I would not replace the experiences and time with any others. Historically my formal education has been done in a classroom or in an office project management environment, something quite different from the first handknowledge gained from the NGM POD experience. This cannot be underestimated. Despite being a mature student, I am quite grateful for the
opportunity as this module has taught me how to peruse lifelong learning in new ways. The volume of team driven assignments and activities incorporated into the NGM learning theme has taught us positive team work skills like facilitatation. As such, the completion this portfolio was a real challenge. It’s not that I cannot complete work on my own; it is that I have come to feed off the team driven energy. It drives my own work product beyond where it would be in, no longer in a sequestered bubble. This may not be the case for everyone in our class, but it has been especially true for me. This document is really much more than a reflection of the forty plus learning activities, which I have undertaken for the NGM portfolio, but a reflection of a mature students memories and learning in a strange new land, Dublin, Ireland. He was trying to figure out where he belonged, both there and in the world at large. The wonderfully experimental nature of NGM and the individualistic nature of the POD experiences have helped immensely in fulfilling those Personal Development Goals that I set out in the first weeks of NGM. Thank you for reading. Best, James Dellinger
WHO IS JAMES DELLINGER?
Sometimes in order to find a home in this world, you must embrace a bit of restlessness and have an adventure.
This is exactly what I did, or shall I say we had to do. I am a mature student, and am married to my wonderful wife, Kathleen Dellinger, a graduate student at Trinity College Dublin working toward a M. Sc. Neuroscience. I have been pursuing my postgraduate education at Dublin City University. We made the choice to pursue graduate education together as a family. Washington, DC is a great city but after ten years there we were ready for a change and to accelerate our career prospects. The below email was sent via the PAC application system on 4/19/2011 in an attempt to help earn my acceptance to Dublin City University’s (DCU) MECB program as I had been out of school and had neither a formal business or technology background. I am not sure if anyone read it or not, but it is a great starting point in my Next Generation Management portfolio, showing where I was coming from. I want you to know that coming to DCU in Dublin, Ireland was the smartest move I could have made. Note that some of the links no longer work. I hope you, a future employer reading this, understand that I felt including this was important. I had just been accepted into a different program, at a different University, but wanted to attend DCU. - James Dellinger
Dear Sir or Madam, I thought this brief work portfolio below may be helpful in deciding my acceptance to DC506 or DC821. Honestly, I would be very excited to join either program in the fall. I was recently accepted to an Interactive Digital Media (M.Sc.) at school in a different city. I would rather attend a more commercially focused program in Dublin like your M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce (Business), but now I need to let them know if I am going to accept attendance in the next few weeks.
Assistant Managing Editor, Web Washington Examiner Office: (202) 459-4973
Mobile: (770) 403-5978 email@example.com
My background is as a practitioner of digital media and as a light-to-mid-level designer-developer from an online publishing perspective. For the last two and a half years I have done this at a newspaper group in digital transition. Before that I spent 3 and half years a small NGO that was experiencing dramatic changes due to their new web needs and demands from donors. Before that I spent about two years on a start up technology NGO bring computers and skills classes to a select number of senior centers and coached rowing at American University in Washington, DC. Most recently I worked in small interlocking teams on different projects, depending on what work was needed by my employer, the Examiner Newspaper Group. Arguably, my creativity has been well filtered through the 'will it bring traffic' meme, driving up our revenue or influence on the web in political discourse. This has kept me paid and most of my work has involved efforts big and small toward this one goal. Part editor, part web producer, part site admin, and part developer, I have learned many skills on the fly out of occupational need. Now, I am interested in refining many of those skills and learning new ones regarding the operations of online commerce infrastructure. Here are some examples of what I have been working on: Below are the two blogs I manage after recruiting 80+ contributors: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opinion-zone http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/local-opinion-zone They produce roughly 180 content items a month, some multimedia enriched, that I edit and publish. I manage the web desk from 11am-8pm Monday through Friday and many weekends troubleshooting content, communicating with our 50k-100k a day online audience, and as an admin for the sites, tweak features I am responsible for.
Below is a
beginner search engine optimization and social media power point
presentation entitled, Content Marketing For Activism: "RSS, Social Media, and Search
Engine Optimization." I teach younger American political activists at a program outside Washington DC. I handle all our systems for title, meta, and description tags for our papers. https://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0Af78cB5ICerZGN0cmRtNG1fODM5MmZ0czVkeg&hl=en
About a year ago I implemented Disqus as a third party comment feature on our sites. I still manage and admin its numerous semi-automated moderation features. http://disqus.com
Management of our technorati account. http://technorati.com/blogs/www.washingtonexaminer.com%2F
Below are some specialty pages I have built for the papers. (I hand-built and implemented these pages.) http://washingtonexaminer.com/rss-feeds-directory http://washingtonexaminer.com/twitter A recent marketing campaign page I built for us. http://washingtonexaminer.com/freedom
(I did not build or implement the below app, but have a hand in managing the feeds that keep it fresh) http://washingtonexaminer.com/iphone-app
I also manage our constantcontact.com email system and have been deeply involved in our future move to a more up-market Datatran 'Stormpost' automated email system. We have just begun to implement this.
I manage our Associated Press automated web feeds infrastructure, one that keeps our site fresh with AP news.
Below is a map project we did last during the 'stimulus debate' in Washington circa 2009. http://washingtonexaminer.com/maps/Bogus-jobs-created-or-saved-by-theStimulus.html
Or a Healthcare debate map http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/dirty-deals-pushed-health-care-throughsenate
I have also touched most page elements on every template of viewable content on both sites in some respects. I have implemented many third party multimedia applications in our various Clickability, Wordpress, and Drupal 7 systems we used. http://washingtonexaminer.com http://www.sfexaminer.com (And our old site http://dev.washingtonexaminer.com)
I learned and hand coded in 'Velocity', a dead Apache language, to built RSS feeds and Search and Google News sitemaps. I also built our entire automated and hand curated Twitter and Facebook offsite infrastructure. Two examples: http://twitter.com/dcexaminer http://www.facebook.com/washingtonexaminer I manage our Google Analytics account and produce weekly reports about traffic trends. I advise and implement SEO strategy and have had the opportunity to run SEM campaigns for us. I also manage all our Webmaster tools accounts, Google
Yahoo and Bing. I manage a few relations with some of our third party vendors like United Kingdon based sports web video vendor Perform. Previously I was at the Capital Research Center as an editor and programs manager. I also was our site admin and managed all the development work (again I was an onsite very light-developer at that stage) on the site; this included 3 development rounds of site upgrades and a Wordpress powered blog upgrade. I developed and managed our podcasting programs and the web infrastructure to distribute it. http://www.capitalresearch.org/
If you care to chat with my current boss, the head of our digital department, please do. He is aware of my decision to go back to graduate school and is very supportive. His contact info is below.
Bob Benz, chief digital officer Clarity Media Group firstname.lastname@example.org 202.459.4904 (office) 202.604.6161 (cell)
My goal has been to be able to leverage my experiences in online publishing and shift my career focus sales and marketing with an emphasis on technology. I thought I was coming to Dublin City University wanting to learn a few specific things, but found I learned so much more than that, and even more about myself.
M. SC. ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (BUSINESS)
What was it exactly I was trying to leave and why did I want to come all the way to Dublin to study at Dublin City University Business School? In my previous work roles I experienced, used, and evangelized many digital marketing tools. However, many of this was more in a superficial role than I would like to admit. I was utilized as more of an onsite tech support admin, something other what they told I was hired to do. However, I did get to witness the quiet wrath of our CEO against his Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Technology Officer on more than one occasion. They were both fired for failing to move at the sufficient digital marketing speeds in aiding our organizations transition. Let me give one anecdote from this time period. Our iPhone app was launched when I was away on holiday, with a nice article in print and small marketing blitz. One problem - there was no link or direct way to get to it from our actual website and zero efforts were made in social media to promote it. The daytime operations group, my team, did not even know it was in development. Needless to say I had to play clean up when I returned. This was symptomatic of our corporate problems and culture with respect to coherent digital marketing, and more specifically digital strategy. These were not generally one-off failures, but a consistent number of failures despite stated shifts in corporate policy expectations of digital media and digital publishing operations in our enterprise. It showed me that success, even in the C Suite offices, now demands an in depth knowledge of digital strategy from end to end. The transition to digital has been tough across the whole subscription model publishing industry (O’Reilly Radar 2011). The news business is not really alone in this struggle. Many large organizations are dealing with the dilemmas of this profound change (Court, Elzinga, Mulder, & Vetvik 2009). The business and technology ends of the company were always at each other’s throats with blame and recriminations. I wanted out of publishing. I wanted to be the change. This led to my eventual frustrations and desires to do something different. Then I found it, the M. Sc. in Electronic Commerce (Business) at Dublin City University. I also wanted a new career in sales and marketing, preferably with a technology company. This was the place to start.
The MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) is part of DCU Business School's Next Generation Management initiative. Starting with a weeklong immersion course, this initiative provides students with a unique and flexible learning opportunity to develop the competencies required for successful management careers and to contribute to business success. Particular emphasis is placed on reflective and critical thinking, collaborating with people, creating and sharing knowledge and dealing with complexity. The module is structured around the major personal, organisational and contextual challenges in modern management and focuses on four key themes: personal and career development; leadership, teamwork and corporate accountability; global and societal awareness; and research, media and communication. (Dublin City University, 2012) When I read the above for the first time, I wanted to be among those who endeavoured through this program. I wanted to exorcise my professional demons and be a part of the global vanguard helping business and engineering experts change the world. Of our required coursework has each given me at least one take home lesson from the year:
Web Design & Implementation • CSS styling sheets are not as scary as I thought they were.
OO Programming (Java) • Java is hard but a very important development language to know.
Organisation & management in the Networked Era • Information technology has transformed how management operates
Business Modelling & Process Innovation • Continuous improvement initiatives are difficult to maintain but required in modern enterprise.
Digital Business • Strong business models are required for enterprise success.
Innovation & High-Tech Entrepreneurship • Product and business commercialization is a long and winding road.
Networks & Internet • Internet network security is in a constant change.
Risk, Regulation, & Ethics in eCommerce • Risks to an enterprise come in many shapes and sizes.
eCommerce Infrastructure • Middleware is the glue of the modern internet and every e-commerce enterprise.
Information Access • Information management and retrieval is important in every enterprise not just Google
Then there is Next Generation Management, the glue of the entire MECB program and my business management training experiences at Dublin City University. It is so important it has own entire section for you to comprehend how crucial its role is in the overall masters degree program, and to me personally. It has taught me many lessons; this document is a testament to that fact.
NEXT GENERATION MANAGEMENT
This portfolio gives readers a detailed look into of my personal career interests and considerations for development, through the NGM Personal Opportunities for Development learning structure. It describes the steps I have taken over the past two semesters to improve many aspects of my professional skills, and the positive impact on my life. Personal skills development and career development work hand in hand. Education can only take you so far. Life experience and work experiences enable a person to develop further and change further. I found this to be the case as my work life and school life interacted this year. As an “implementer” as described by Belkin, and an action learner as described by Marquardt in his 2004 book, “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time” and followed up with his work in 2009. There are only so many things I can learn from within a classroom. The way I have found of implementing this information and knowledge is by applying it in the real business world. NGM has allowed me to do this with my personal opportunities for development (PDP) ( Marquardt, 2009). In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and indicative content: to develop interpersonal skills; networking; skill development; leadership, and in alignment with my personal development plan competencies to understand the big picture, networking, and develop my leadership tone, I chose my PODs carefully. It was my way to prepare myself for a future career in sales and marketing. Developing personal skills and inner capacities is not just crucial for your career, it can help you survive the challenging world and possible daily grind of corporate life. I have lived this. But the important and great relationships you make can survive even the most hostile work environments if you know how. They help us bring out those inner resources that enable students to flourish in a career path, not merely a job. Next Generation Management (NGM) is the master master’s module. I have spent the most hours on its work in the pursuit of completing my overall MECB coursework than any other. NGM is a twenty-credit module beast, meaning the weight it carries is four times greater than that of a standard module. It equates to roughly two regular class modules each semester. I came into NGM without the benefits of any proper business education in my background. Because of experiences and activities incorporated into the NGM
module I can confidently say, I do now. As a mature student with six years of publishing industry experience, I would argue that sometimes the work load can be much tougher than some day to day industry work I have personally experienced. However, this is all a part of its plan to make graduates battle hardened, ready and more prepared for the job hunt and professional work culture, as Dr. Lynn explained to us in that in that September’s introduction to Next Generation and its uniqueness to DCUBS. It has been incredibly useful experience when former student seek employment to explain their work ethic and intellectual maturity. Why else decide to complete a Masters degree, if not to improve employability and paid market value in your chosen professional field? In the beginning, back in early September 2011 during our “Intensive Marketing,” Orientation Week, we were introduced to the course module, our fellow students, and the recent graduates of the 2011 NGM class. They expressed to us that Next Generation Management would take over everything we did during certain parts of the year. Yes, they were right, I only now fully understand what they had meant in compiling and editing the document you now read. Then again, Next Generation Management truly is class like no other I have experienced. Let me tell you a bit about it and how it is so related to this portfolio. The modules learning outcomes have been designed to improve us in many different skill areas, but particularly to give us an understanding of the time and teamwork constraints involved in a real days work. Let me share them with you so you can understand the document you are reading and some of the concepts:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Assess a range of personal management competencies to identify strengths and opportunities for development and develop a personal development plan (PDP) and career plan. Engage in and reflect on a range of competence development activities. Evaluate and manage creative processes including forming routine and non- routine solutions. Demonstrate mastery of effective communication including the selection and use of media for specialist and non-specialist audiences. Critically assess and apply a range of research methods. Evaluate the arguments for business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
The last element of Next Generation Management module is the document you are reading. This is worth forty percent of the Next Generation Management module’s grade. The work that has been required in production of this portfolio has been intense. This portfolio is divided up into four key themes. Each of them is designed to broaden our general knowledge and skill sets toward accomplishing the learning outcomes. The four key themes are the following and include their own indicative content areas of learning:
Management and Personal Development • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Self-management CV Preparation Interview Skills Personal Development Planning Career development Interpersonal skills Learning Competence Managing Others Relationship Building Leadership Conflict Management Motivation Teamworking Negotiation Managing Business & Strategy Management Planning Organizing Decision Making Creative Thinking Analysis Strategic Thinking Problem Solving Business Acumen Customer Management and Focus
Digital Skills, Media and Communication • • • • • Digital marketing and e-commerce Mobile marketing and m-commerce Report writing Communication skills Presentation skills
Business & Society • • • Global economics Business in Society Business Ethics
• • • • • •
Cultural Awareness Global Thinking Social Entrepreneurship Corporate social responsibility Regional business system workshops Corporate accountability
Research • • • • • • • • • Library & information management Research ethics Research planning Research proposals Literature Review Qualitative Research Methods Quantitative Research Methods Presenting research Case preparation and analysis
The indicative learning content was not meant by the creators to only be covered in this portfolio, but as part of the entire module; however, they have helped focus the personal opportunities for development (POD) choices I made. You will see them incorporated as you read the documents in the theme areas. Next Generation Management required a lot of work. The main requirements were trying to both our intellect and mental toughness. Class was held two or three times a week. Each class was completely different than the one before and it was governed by our lecturers, Mr. Des McLaughlin, Dr John Connolly, Mr. Gerry Conyngham, Dr. Claire Gubbins, Dr. Theo Lynn who covered the four different themes. Different lecturers have managed each of the NGM themes with specific expertise in one of these areas. We also had a number of excellent outside speakers like professors Geraldine Lavin, Brian Levy, and Simone De Colle. We also had a number of miniconferences throughout the year in part of our Dice project management work in NGM.
11 October (2-6, The Helix) – DICE Briefing Session 25 October (2-6, The Helix) – Get Mobile 18 November (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Social 14 February (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Creative 20 March (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Started 17 April (2 – 6, The Helix) – Poster and Presentation Day
These included some of the most up to date industry players in the fields of marketing, mobile, and computing. You will read more details about Dice toward
the end of the portfolio, in the Dice documentation section and its companion Interaction and Facilitation Appendix. Dice was new this year and had a few bugs to be worked out. However it was a fine concept and module component to get first year students to function at tertiary level thinking quickly. It gave NGM graduate students the experience in managing and facilitating the completion of work projects we could not do ourselves. Dice student teams came from many different University program coursework paths. This is actually also how our NGM team groups were devised, with marketing, business, and e-commerce students represented on each team. Dice related work and activities weighed on our workload heaviest in the first six weeks of semester in our efforts to get four or five first years to turn up and constructively interact with each other. This part was tough and required many emails, Facebook messages and text messages. My excerpted interaction log with my Dice team can be found in the Appendix. This load Dice took on project managers gradually improved to the point where toward the end of second semester the groups (and mine specifically) were able to be fairly self-organizing. Project Managers were relegated to running down information about their course to ensure they did not have things slip through the cracks. My group got to the second round in the presentations of their Windows Phone app. I was very proud of all of them that day. As part of the Dice project the students had to sit for the PRINCE2 project management exam. In order to help them with the system and to manage our groups NGM students were expected to pass the online PRINCE2 prerequisite exam. The image of my online passing of PRINCE2 is also available towards the end of the portfolio after the Digital Skills, Media and Communication section. The volume of team driven assignments and activities incorporated into NGM team group learning and has taught me positive teamwork and facilitation skills. I can still complete work on my own, of course, but I have come to feed off the team energy. It seems to drive my own work product beyond where it would be otherwise due to pride and competition. This may not be the case for everyone in our class, but it has been especially true for me. As a former team athlete who rowed competitively for nearly a decade it was my favourite element of NGM’s teaching style. The team working assignments were definitely my favourite.
Early on Dr. Gubbins lectured us about competences and we were given assignments to find out more about our strengths and weaknesses when it came to them. Most elements of this portfolio were an attempt to understand and improve them. There is no doubt, that the competency assignments have shed new light on the person I actually am, and now I can be less focused on how I or others perceive myself to be. Through NGM I have had to become a well-rounded individual in some specific areas and more learned and specialized in others. The competency assignments were completed mostly in late semester one and early semester two. You can find three and an updated resume included in the Personal and Career Development Sections of this portfolio. These were also often the classes where we learned early on about the process of learning and how our reflections would take shape in this document. Our use of the Gibbs Model and its reflective cycle has been helpful in learning new insights and in thinking harder about what I was learning while participating in or witnessing events (Gibbs, 1988).
The reflections you will read use this Gibbs Reflective Cycle to express my learning. We were also required to develop and refine personal development plan as part of our NGM course work, to guide our POD choices and develop various personal competencies required for modern career success in accordance with our individual needs. You will find it in the next part of this portfolio. With the work of our Persona and Career development theme, I have even come to find an academic framework that explains how I learn best, through actionorientated activities (Marquardt et. al, 2009). During the year we learned a lot about the different competencies that separate leaders from managers (Tubbs, 2006). We also learned a lot about the competencies needed to become a competent manager (Whetten, et al. 2007). We were instructed frequently and forcefully about the value of being the master of our own career destiny in the modern global marketplace (Beeson, 2009). We also learned about the importance of networking in making the “luck” that is professional success. Then there was the research theme, which was the first significant set of focus groups research and intensive need to learn how to be comfortable with using the PASW statistics software package to manipulate data. Dr John Connolly and Mr. Gerry Conyngham worked hard at explaining to us and walking us through some difficult and thought provoking areas of research methods. I learned the most about how to think about research and design in these classes. As part of the research theme we were also required to carry out two separate projects. One was a qualitative focus group and the other was testing our PASW data manipulation skills under the gun of a clock. I had a hard time with some of the parameters of the qualitative research project, but learned a lot from my mistakes. I also enjoyed leading the focus group process and would not have a problem being involved in managing one in a future role. We were given training classes and workshops, by Mr. Gerry Conyngham, on how to use PASW; you will find reflections in the research theme about them. I enjoyed gaining the skills and confidence to manipulate data by learning SPSS in NGM. We also had two marketing projects this year. One was participating in the Google Online Marketing Challenge and creation of a digital marketing report for an assigned client. This project was part of our Digital Skills, Media and Communication theme of Next Generation. The other was a market entry report for
a specific emerging market that the team was unfamiliar with. This project was part of our Business and Society them of NGM. Our’s was the region of Southern India. These took a huge amount of time and effort. What made the Digital Marketing one so important to me was the fact of having client was relying on us. I enjoyed the GOMCHA project the most, as I got to mastermind our Google AdWords strategy for my team. The two reports took many hours to complete. I hope that the GOMCHA and digital reports helped our client Rocknbowl.ie realize the important role a comprehensive digital strategy can play towards their business growth and customer engagement as well as the value proposition Google AdWords provides SMEs like them. I sure learned these facts from these efforts. The market entry project taught me the real difficulties that enterprises face and about the energy required to expand outside of home markets. In our business and society theme, heavy efforts were made at expanding our understanding of the modern world of enterprise and of some of new unique challenges presented to them today like: cultural awareness, ethics, corporate social responsibility, and governance and accountability. The outside lectures we had for this theme were also top notch. As for the documents in this portfolio, I was required to attend events or partake in activities in accordance with the four themes and then reflect, via the Gibbs Model, upon each. These activities were known as personal opportunities for development. Colloquially we just call them PODs. I attempted to carry out a diversity of PODs. They carried a weight of one, two, or three “POD credits”. We needed to get to forty POD credits for this portfolio to be complete. As you read you’ll see the POD diversity is evident throughout this portfolio. The Next Generation Management module and PODs have provided me with an invaluable set of new experiences to go back into the professional work world. I have learned insights into myself, new skills, and built a strong network of professional and personal contacts. I am extremely proud to have completed NGM and theportfolio you are reading. I will include experiences and tales from NGM in job interviews from here on. It has been an extremely meaningful part of my personal and professional growth. I am confident they will help me in landing the sales and marketing career I seek.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
My end goal is to possess the skill sets defined in the link below up to 70% proficiency. More skill areas would be great in both depth and width and will be helpful in a sales and marketing career. Understanding the Big Picture is very important to me especially since I did not previously have a background that included business education. Redeveloping my public leadership voice after 6 years of it being fairly quiet is important to me. Improving the depth and an abilities to network and understand Statistical Research tools are also important. Networking and becoming more empathic toward others is also important to me.
SHORT TERM GOALS Competency to Rationale Develop
Understanding of the Big Picture
Seek out skills, develop opportunities, and put them into real world context and frameworks for use.
Evidence of Completion
PODs NGM MECB
Undertake challenging One Year skills-based learning tasks to learn much more about subjects I currently possess and a superficial knowledge of those I do not.
Seize opportunities for networking growth with both individuals who are technical or business savvy.
Attend widely held events with current and future leaders that make use of or support people and products I need to know to help DC meet Dublin and vice versa.
Unlimited PODs NGM DICE
Communication. Learn to find my Development of a Leadership
unique voice and use it on a wide
Reflect, blog, tweet, update, post, use dormant posting
Unlimited PODs NGM
Voice and Tone
range of topics after having it hidden behind organizations for 6 years.
rights to speak out on things I am knowledgeable about in society and the world at large. Don’t fear the sound.
Research Tools and Analytical Skills
Managing Key Performance Indicators requires data manipulation and understanding of data context.
Don’t fear the data. Participate, aid, and learn skill sets that will aid my present ability to interpret context from data.
Leadership and Change Management
Development of conflict management skills during both segmented change and slow continuous changes Help, advise, and learn from others mistakes regarding the management issues surrounding change. Attend events and meet inspiring leaders. Develop deeper emotional intelligences via engaging in group driven pod projects. Help others as well as myself. Generally through instruction. Unlimited Undetermined in the short term Unlimited Undetermined
Attitudes and Empathy Efficacy
Improve selfawareness of attitudes and empathy within myself, those I work with, and those that I manage or have managed in the
Learn tools and procedures that can aid in developing good career habits.
Create a new resume tailored to different job markets. Participate and seek out people and workshops with staff and mature career focused skills developments and focused projects.
for short Networking term and and kaizanlike long term Work History
PERSONAL AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
This portfolio section theme gives readers a detailed look into of my personal career interests and considerations for personal skills growth and development. It describes the steps I have taken over the past two semesters, to improve many aspects of my life, which had a positive impact on my life. Personal skills development and career development work hand in hand. Education can only take you so far. Life experience and work experiences enable a person to develop further and change. I found this to be the case as my work life and school life interacted this year, both as an implementer, as described by Belkin, and an action learner, as described by Marquardt in his 2004 book “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time.” There are only so many things I can learn from within a classroom. The way I have found of implementing this information and knowledge is by applying it in the real business world. NGM has allowed me to do this with my personal opportunities for development (PDP). ‘Developing management skills is not intended just for individuals who plan to enter managerial positions or who currently manage organizations. It is meant to help you better manage many aspects of your life and relationships…’ (Whetton & Cameron, 2011). In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and indicative content my goals were to develop interpersonal skills, networking, skill development, leadership and align them with my personal development plan competencies. This would help me to understand the big picture and networking, and to develop my leadership tone. I chose my PODs as a way of preparing myself for a future career in sales and marketing. Developing personal skills and inner capacities is not just crucial for your personal career goals, but can help you survive the challenging world in general and the possible daily grind of corporate life in a occupation you do not have control over (Beeson, 2009). I have lived this, but the important and great relationships you make can survive even the most hostile work environments, if you know how. They help us bring out those inner resources that will enable oneself to flourish in a career path, not merely a job (Drucker, 1999). Personal skills growth and development has never been more important due to the competitive nature of our globalized economy. The demand for job slots among exiting students (and actively seeking professionals too) in 2012 is particular tough as employers can demand much more than rote academic knowledge, given the
economic volatility and competitive labour marketplace. Applicants who have a keen knowledge, in other aspects of life and a bit of applied knowledge and interest in life-long learning have a distinct edge (Drucker, 1999). We live in a business culture that is dynamic and changing quickly and the ability to know ones strengths, weaknesses, and desired areas of improvement will rise over other candidates. I learned this from attending and participating in the many PODs and lectures over the last two semesters. Self-awareness of our strong and weak competencies is arguably the most important aspect of career development I have learned in Next Generation Management. This module has allowed me to experience much more than I ever could have imagined last summer before I arrived. I got to develop interpersonal skills by working in groups and networking. I had to seriously think about the future of my career development and create an action plan to direct my future. I experienced strong help in resume preparation and a world of selfrealization about my leadership style and learning competences. The personal and career development aspect of the NGM portfolio has given me the opportunity to carry out activities which have developed me in both the activist learning of skills and personality self-realizations. I hope to continue the progression after I matriculate in the fall. I think the PODs that I have carried out are broad indicator that I am not unwilling to challenge my weakness and make my strengths stronger. They enabled me to gain actionable experiences and competency development. These have been beneficial to me, each one of them unique. The following are the ten PODss you will read about for NGM’s personal and career development theme. I have also included an assessment of my personal competencies before the PODs and an analysis of my social networks afterwards. These were specific personal and career development assignments during the year for inclusion as well as my future biography and current resume, which you will find after: • • • • • • PERSONAL COMPETENCES ASSESSMENTS CODE ACADEMY SCIENCE HACK WEEKEND EPAS PRESENTATION MENTORS AND MENTEES UNILEVER SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE
• • • • •
SELLING IN AMERICA ENGAGED ACTION NETWORKING ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL NETWORK FUTURE BIOGRAPHY OF SELF CURRENT RESUME
This NGM theme section has been beneficial to me. There is no doubt the networking and career management and competency awareness skills help individuals prosper professionally. I am by no means a expert at the described POD entitled subject matters, but this pod has given a great foundation skills and understanding to build upon in accordance with my personal development plan competencies like networking, developing leadership tone, and career management. The POD experiences I have chosen will open future doors. I have a substantially stronger understanding of what networking and inter-personal skills are required for sales and marketing jobs. Thanks to NGM’s personal and careers development theme, I will have much greater confidence in my ability to operate in the marketplace as a professional in sales and marketing. This section has been especially helpful for any mature student attempting a career change or upskilling after a number of years in the workforce.
PERSONAL COMPETENCIES ASSESSMENTS
“Know thyself.” Famous dead Greeks long ago were not wrong. Knowing yourself is one of the most important paths toward true self-improvement no matter the rationale, be they work, family, or peer-social. The classics were not wrong, however, the tools to get one to an improved point have changed. There are many ways to get there from here. This is the point and purpose of doing personality, leadership, and learning style exercises and tests. I am imaginative cynical idealist. This bled through most of the tests we took. Why do them? Because we divide ourselves’ early on in the real work world into those who continuously learn and those who do not. But for many the destination is also important. Where are you going? It is hard to know where you are going and why you are going there if you don’t know what your strengths and weakness are, One has to know what’s within oneself to manage develop or overcome. I think doing these exercises are useful in the attempt to develop a career path but also to reengage those who are mid-career, perhaps trying to redesign the ‘next step in the path.’ Learning styles or knowledge acquisition has been big since the 1980s; I aware of this because I have had the concept beaten in to me since the first grade. How do you best learn? On the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles test I scored strongest with 18 for Activist; 16 for Pragmatist; 12 for Reflector; and 10 for Theorist. This is not a big surprise for me because I have always learned best by doing and have always required a ‘why’ question or 12 regarding whatever subject matter I am not particularly interested. This to me is the most important part of the assessments I did. It confirmed some of what I already learned about myself and the ways in which I learn best. However, I enjoyed Jung’s Personality Assessment and ended up scoring the below ENFP. “ENFP Warmly enthusiastic, high spirited, ingenious and imaginative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Quick for a solution for any difficulty and ready to help anyone
with a problem. Often, rely on their ability to improvise instead of preparing in advance. Can usually find a compelling reasons for whatever they want.” This description is of my personality is correct. That said I am not high energy. In fact I am so not high energy that when I was about seven years old my mother took me to the doctor because I was not high energy like her. I do think this personality assessment it is a double edged sword for me in that the quick creative solution is not always the best or ideal long term, but in a fast paced daily changing work environment it is very much desired and is appreciated as the solutions allow others to get back their day to complete work. This was a typical problem set for me on at least a once a week basis in my last two jobs. This dynamic basically describes my former day-to-day work interactions to the doted I’s and crossed T’s in my last job as an Assistant Managing Editor, Web for a news website in Washington, DC. The one weakness I see in it is my strength to rationalize just about anything. This can be a huge problem if you are not aware, as this also means a person may fool himself by rationalizing the wrong conclusion from a situation and live in an alternate reality from those working around him if the creativity goes to one’s head. I generally try not to believe my own spin, unless I really do and I am a proactive evangelist for it. I don’t know if this is an optimal way to function in professional life, but balancing unrelenting idealism and cynicism is generally what I am known for. Then again, I have always functioned this way, at least as long as I could remember, but have never seen it described so eloquently as in the Jung’s personality test conclusions. The Managerial Grid and Leadership questionnaire was fairly interesting and useful to me as well. I fell into the team leader quadrant 8.4 on the “people” axis and 7.6 on the “task” aspect. I am not surprised, I have been functioning in adhoc daily teams of eight or four competitive team members since first year of secondary school, when I started rowing. When I left rowing, my exit was slow, as it is for many who get involved in the sport. and I coached for two years. In this role, I learned about managing personalities toward joint goals. Not just as it related to my boats, but also my other coaching staff’s boats too. Idealist cynicism is ideal for coaching rowing because they are the laziest hard working athletes around.
Is it useful to take a test and have knowledge about what you already believed about yourself confirmed? Maybe. I would argue it is possible to play to the test and personally, I would rather be judged on my team leader qualities, by how I perform within group work tasks and on how the group performs. I would still argue that the people axis is generally more important to me personally, as most project failures I have been involved with have failed due to poor relations among the team members. Luckily these situations have been rare but useful learning experiences. On the Whetton and Cameron “Locus of Control Scale,” I scored 7 where corporate business executives average 8.29 with a standard deviation of 3.57. This evaluation was somewhat useful to me. Learning and or being able to control yourself and things around you to best you can but not getting too stuck on you if it somehow does fail or you don't really want to own it in the first place us helpful. I try not to be too extreme in this one, because on the one hand you must look inside first if something goes wrong (Drucker, 1999). The other side of this is understanding that in some circumstances no matter what you do something will go wrong. Sometimes things are just entirely out of your control. Complaining can be legitimate, but I prefer it be a cathartic team building exercise, if at all, otherwise you just sound like a whiner. I do have a hard time with whiny people. American’s are fairly big complainers and whiners about everything. Two semesters in an Irish University proved that to me. My Whetton and Cameron “PAMS” test score was 402 against the maximum possible (462) where a score or 304 or above put an individual into the top quartile. This was the test I disliked the most. I feel my scoring is not right. I do feel that way, but am not entirely sure if observed by a third party they would agree. This test, I think, is easier to over rate oneself while not trying to do so on purpose. I did not get much value from the PAMS test. I feel like I knew myself pretty well before doing these various evaluations, primarily through trial and error in different job roles and projects over the last few years. Doing them has allowed me to think back on situations where the various aspects and competencies would have come into play in both the work sphere and personal sphere. I learned the most from the learning styles assessment and the personality test. They confirmed things that make me more comfortable with describing myself.
However the cynical idealism I arrived here in Dublin with is perfect for any towns people that thrive on politics and debate of big ideas like those that happen in Washington, D.C., where folks do it for a living. But it can at times come off as crass and rude or off putting, in other cities (Atlanta or Dublin) where being able to argue three different sides of an issue well, and not really believing any of them too deeply is not the norm. Moving to Dublin has helped me move away from some of this as have exercises forcing me to think deeply about how my personality and various life experiences impact my social and professional communications and the image of me that is being projected. This project has helped me know myself and my competencies strengths and weaknesses much better.
Personal and Career Development PODS CODE ACADEMY
the Orientation Week for NGM. I can’t wait to tell next year’s class about him either and tell them about the other tools me and my fellow NGM students acquiring Pods related to coding skills do next year. I actually create a blog post to allow this information to condense a bit onto one page my http://cantankerousgentlemen.wordpress.com/ blog I began writing.
SCIENCE HACK WEEKEND
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Dublin ScienceHackWeekend TOG and DCU and Redbrick and ETC 3/3/2012 and 4/3/2012 DCU The Hub 2
In accordance with my personal development plan (PDP) actions to, “Attend widely held events with current and future leaders that make use or support people and products to help DC meet Dublin and vice-versa,” and in order to develop my networking competencies I attended the first ever Dublin Science Hack Weekend. I have made a concerted effort to get out of my comfort zone, grow my weak ties and strengthen my strong ties in my professional network. My PDP also “Undertakes challenging skills based learning tasks to learn much more about subjects I currently possess superficial knowledge about,” in order to develop my Understanding the Big Picture Competencies, Networking, and Leadership Voice. In accordance with NGM learning outcomes engaginging in competency developments, I decided to attend the first annual DublinScienceHack to meet people, let my creativity run wild, and develop my leadership voice. We will reflect upon these activities using the Gibbs Model of reflection, I will explain this PODs importance to my year. I am a team oriented leader and action learner as described by Michael J. Marquardt in, “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time.” The DublinScienceHack let me challenge these competencies and grow them. The weekend of March 3 and 4th of 2012 the first Science Hack Weekend was held on Dublin City University’s (DCU) campus in the Hub. This was a 36 hour attempt to bring science and technologists together to come up with creative solutions and use technology and science in a creative fashion, where a person perhaps centers less on outcomes, that are related to new companies being formed and just create. I mention this because the same weekend of the Science Hack, a Startup Bootcamp took place that many of my fellow DCU E-Commerce students attended. Generally speaking, the Bootcamp weekend might normally be more of “my thing” as I like to focus on
the commercial viability of ideas more than just watching where they lead. I am actually a very creative person and have preferred science and history as my favourite subjects and topics from a young age. This is particularly why I was interested in this pod. Where would I fit in with my skill sets? I had no clue. Would I be more useful, more than just another set of hands? Take a look at some of the people working.
(People working at Dublin Science Hack Weekend) This was to be s 36 hour lock-in style event. I did not stay for the entire 36 hours, but I did stay for about 15 hrs the first day and about 5 hrs the second day of the event. I wanted my bed. I was not alone in venturing into this motley crowd that was very different from either the DCU School of Computing or Dublin City University Business School. A good number of my fellow E-Commerce students were with us for the first day, for about 8 hrs, and Patrick Greene stayed as late as I did and came back early on the second day, which was Sunday. The creative juices were flying and flowing and many attendees came prepared with interesting ideas. My background is in content, the promotions of ideas embedded in them and in promoting them to an online audience. My skills were not in creating a visual display of the aura borealis, software to hear the sounds of the stock market during trading, the real iToliet (which was a joke in early NGM lectures thanks to Craig Martin) to put QR codes on every public toilet in Dublin, in or building some
robot out of tearing down 4 or five different kids toys. There was many more ideas, some big some small, some teams were big some were a team of one. One more science orientated attendee crocheted various cells involved in the circulatory system. Even though attendees were friendly our E-Commerce related skill sets were not the most useful here to the event theme.
(Team NGM working hard: Niall Shanahan, Michael Porter, Niall Hanlon, and Patrick Green at the DublinScienceHack ) However, only one person was handling promotions for the event, Ellen Byrne, who I was glad I got to meet and help out. She was a former DCU M. Sc. Communications student who is Head of Digital Strategy & Events - ESOF 2012 / Dublin City of Science at Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Co-Organiser at Science Hack Day Dublin. Meeting her and helping her promote the event alone made the Dublin Science Hack Weekend worth my effort of attendance. I helped her, as I built out a foursquare location, tweeted, and posted Facebook updates and
photos from the event in real time. I provided live news coverage. Now, that I can do well. I aggressively tweeted and promoted the event and the project on the second day during the awards. Patrick and I promised her we would promote the event with content and created a blog post about our experiences and the people we met. Patrick Greene and I used our media savvy and created a blog post about the event. He wrote it and I edited it (Greene and Dellinger, 2012). I also met other a new friends. I met software developer and NUI Maynooth PhD candidate Ricky Jacobs. Ricky used to work for Google in Hyderabad, but came to Ireland for his PhD. He needed help in testing his project, “GeoWand” app, which added some interesting near-field communications (NFC) related activities to more tradition mobile mapping apps and “check ins” like foursquare. I am by no means technical enough, nor creative enough to be a legit “science hacker,” but this POD gave me a great opportunity to meet other technology industry contacts that are not affiliated with Dublin City University. It felt like a “lock-in” one might do when you were thirteen, except with more pizza and more computers. I enjoyed the freedom of the event, to spend a night not thinking about practical things like business plans financing. I also learned that is the technology environment I function in better, product commercialization, not blue ocean ideation. Due to participating in this event, I would no longer feel unwelcome or uncomfortable attending an event like the ScienceHackWeekend, even if I ended up helping with public relations or product testing.
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Participating in MECB EPAS Certification Process EPAS Certification and MECB Students 21/02/2012 Dublin City University Executive Business Center 1
On February 21, 2012 I was among the small invited group by course Chair Dr. Regina Connolly to help make the student case for the Dublin City University’s Masters in E-Commerce programs (MECB) continued certification by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) board as one of the top management programs in Europe. As a fee paying mature foreign student from America, my opinion or insight would be helpful. As an action based learner, I kearn best by doing, and need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to participate in situations that develop my competencies in accordance with my personal development in leadership and change management. Why in fact did I choose to come so far from home for my graduate education? This would be a key question for me to answer and support my MECB program. But what exactly is the EFMD? And EPAS?
EFMD is an international, not-for-profit, membership organisation, based in Brussels, Belgium. EFMD provides a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development. EFMD – the European Foundation for Management Development – is an international membership organisation, based in Brussels, Belgium. With more than 750 members from academia, business and public sector organisations across 80 countries, EFMD provides a unique forum for informationsharing, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development.(EFMD, 2012)
What exactly is EPAS certification?
The EFMD Programme Accreditation System (EPAS) was introduced in 2005 to complement our other accreditation services. EPAS is a service for EFMD members seeking recognition for excellence and successful internationalization of academic programmes. EPAS is based on the same process as EQUIS and covers the full range of academic programmes from the Bachelor to the doctoral level. EFMD members may apply for stand-alone programmes, programme suites or joint programmes.
The EPAS Standards and Criteria cover all facets of programme provision: (1) the institutional, national and international environment, (2) programme design, (3) programme delivery, (4) programme outcomes, and (5) quality assurance. (EFMD, 2012) They particularly emphasize achievements in the area of academic rigour, practical relevance and internationalization. “The EPAS procedures are designed in such a way as to provide for further development of the whole school, not only of the programme under accreditation. It will make the programmes more attractive for national and international students, lecturers and researchers, as well as future employers of the graduates.” Elena Zoubkova, Vice-Rector, Moscow Business School MIRBIS, Russia. (EFMD, 2012)
We made our way up to the third-floor of the Business School EPAS and waited for first of the other EPAS student meeting to finish. As we entered we were split into two groups and taken to conference rooms. We were talking with a Swedish professor, who was fairly tough on my comments, and a French professor, who was in charge of the business school in London. The latter was very friendly and asked good questions. I generally have a big mouth and like to talk, but the Swedish professor made this hard. I had two main points that I wanted to make, as they harped specifically on the intense student workload of Next Generation Management and PODs specifically. The MECB program deserved the EPAS credit for not being conventional when it comes to a graduate level educational experience. Why? The experimentation and re-invention of course material year over year offers a unique and practical education that prepares students for the real work world. I think my point was taken, but then again, I did come all the way here from the practical practitioners point of view. with skills upgrades and top notch management education on my agenda.
EPAS aims to evaluate the quality of business and management programmes that have an international perspective and, where of an appropriately high quality, to accredit them. The accreditation seeks to make the global market for degree programmes more transparent for employers and students alike. (DCU MECB landing page, 2012)
I learned quite a bit about myself from this experience in that I love to express myself but can have a hard time when I do not feel much feedback from the individual I am having the conversation with (in this case, the Swedish professor.) I liked that I was selected to provide input though and felt like I got my points across despite his scowls. I have never had a problem expressing my opinion, but this POD has made me more confident in putting myself forward in other leadership positions in the future. Putting ones name forward or accepting when asked is 80% of the battle. In modern management, the Steve-Jobs-like leader is rare. Management authority may come
down from on high, but true leadership respect must be earned bottom up. This is probably why my MECB classmates voted me, “most likely to be a politician.” In the future, I plan to continue to put myself forward and volunteer to take the lead on work and projects I feel comfortable with, and even those where I may not feel completely comfortable with. If I am interested in the work or subject matter at hand to be accomplished, I will throw my name in. It is important to support your University and be a team player, especially when its goal is to make the university program you attend more prominent and attract even better students; it is in your self-interest to help raise the perceived value of your degree (Veloutsou, 2004). I am by no means a professional or expert in leadership, but this pod has given a great foundation to build my leadership competencies.
MENTORS AND MENTEES
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Career’s Mentoring Bob Benz and Francesca Chambers 09/01/2012 – 05/15/2012 Email, Twitter Direct Message, VOIP Phone, and Google Chat 2
“Content is King.” Sumner Redstone –Viacom Chairman Working with the content industry was my career path before I came to at Dublin City University (DCU). I am still unsure if this has entirely changed given that even formally mechanical Search Engine Marketing (SEO) are getting more like content marketing after the Panda updates to the Google search algorithm. Networking is an integral part of career development; however, there is also deeper relationship that is also needed: mentoring of people at different career stages (Chao, 1997). As an action based learner I need to continue seeking out opportunities that will allow me to participate in activities that will enhance my understanding of how academic theory can be put into practice. Mentoring is not an exception. The four mentoring phases are Initiation, Cultivation, Separation, and Redefinition (Kram, 1985). I have experienced all of them in this POD. In accordance with my personal development plan competency needs in Networking and Leadership I created this experience for myself. Doing so seemed to be consistent with the Next Generation learning outcomes to engage in activities that develop my competencies and develop solutions for others working in digital media with a specialist audience. This was a career development project I wanted to create during my year at Dublin City University and it was formalized in September, once I arrived into the yearlong Masters in Electronic Commerce program. Formalizing a mentor/mentee relationship with someone in a chosen industry is not always easy. In coming across the pond I was worried I would lose touch with many of my old networks. This has not been the case, but the fears allowed me to formalize mentoring relationships and for this I have DCU to thank (Higgins And Kram, 2001).
My mentor is Bob Benz, who we will learn more about shortly. I went one step further in finding a younger professional to mentor. This happened by a happy accident. She not officially working for my previous employer as young editor yet, but asked for advice through other friends and former work colleagues. Her name is Francesca Chambers. She now runs a website called RedAlert Politics, which is owned and managed by the same people I use to work for at Clarity Media (who own the Washington Examiner). So who are these people and how do they impact me and vice-versa career wise?
Francesca is the Editor of Red Alert Politics - an online publication written by and for young conservatives. Red Alert Politics is a product of Clarity Media Group, the parent company of The Washington Examiner and The Weekly Standard. She is also a contributor to The Examiner's Campaign 2012 coverage and its Beltway Confidential Blog. Francesca is a veteran of several political campaigns -- most recently served as campaign manager for a state senate race in Northern Virginia. She has also worked in new media at The Leadership Institute (where she continues to serve as a new media trainer), at the Republican National Committee, and on Capitol Hill. Francesca graduated from the University of Kansas with BAs in Political Science and Journalism. At KU she was an editor of the University Daily Kansan and an active member of Student Senate.
Francesca needed advice and counsel in regards to dealing with the internal politics in my previous employer. This began in email, but evolved into a long-term ongoing
Twitter direct message (DM) conversation that has lasted from her projects official launch until today. What the primary issue? Going digital. Working for and with a management infrastructure that has been groomed and thought of nothing, but print for a generation of work experience is really tough for younger Net Generation employees. How could a career in print possibly prepare a manager to run web based enterprises and content websites? This is a question being asked throughout the publishing world today as digital revenues are not making up for losses in the advertising spending that previously came from the print versions of their products. However, this POD is about mentorship and I provided counsel and advice in dealing with key leadership personnel, things I developed during my nearly three years of having many of the same email fights and philosophical and territorial disputes that can occur in the content centric industries. Why me? In my former role I was forced to interface with every operation and department in the company except the print and physical distribution of our print operations. I managed key aspects of online content distribution as Assistant Managing Editor, Web and attempted to break many organizational logjams as our mandate from our corporate leaders was, “web first,” web-centric. Conflicts, between the IT and Editorial departments; or between IT and Advertising; or between our corporate parent’s management team were commonplace. Every one of these departments, I failed to explain also claimed to know exactly what was best for the web department to be focusing on as well. It was just a real mess. There was a lack of leadership from day one. This led to my embracing the MECB program in order to help organisations overcome this problem in the future be they in publish or other adapting in the digital transition. However, my institutional influence and gravitas was never strong enough to impose my will so I was merely a facilitator of change for most of my time there. This created a level of frustration, as I was way over my head. I reached a breaking point in the fall of 2010 as I witnessed outright lies from our corporate parents management team to my face. Then I encountered a physical altercation with a direct manager over an email, that was sent to him. It actually turned out I never wrote the email in question, I am not that stupid. It was the work of our Liverpudlian IT director. This was why I chose to pursue a graduate education at Dublin City University and leave Washington, DC.
I had met Francesca a few times in Washington but we were hardly friends. When she joined up with Clarity Media she was given a huge opportunity at twenty-four to be the editor of a youth orientated political website and manage many freelancers and contributors. This was something I had some experience with when I idealistically joined the newspaper division of Clarity Media in 2008 after the Presidential elections at the ripe age of twenty-seven. Francesca and my mentorship is at the early phase of the mentoring relationship as described by (Kram in 1985). Now Francesca and I still have conversations in regards to managing and promoting work in digital media. I also helped her deal with some very rough patches and brutal burnout in the first months of her websites launch in February of 2012 that almost led her to quit her job.
(Digital media executive - Hanley Wood - Washington, D.C. - Bob Benz, 49, is media executive with experience in newspapers, television and interactive.)
Bob Benz was on the other hand was my former boss at Clarity Media, as the Chief Digital Officer for our newspaper and all other of Clarity Media’s other online products and projects. I worked under him for less than seven months, but our personalities clicked very quickly for the creation of quality work product and
desired institutional change. Benz was hired to perform an audit of Clarity Media print properties digital assets. He however was not hired as a employee until January of 2011, by which time I had already decided to move my career in a path that lead to Dublin City University and away from the running the paper’s website. In those short months I was one of Bob’s most loyal lieutenants, as he was the first person in management to be empowered to make cultural changes in the way the newspapers operated. Bob had a number of years in many different roles, but crossed the fence to digital media so early he is now a “web person.” However, there was a bit of a catch as, he physically was not able to carry many of these tasks out. As my former boss and friend who was the Managing Editor of the website departed in that same January 2011 I was in an unusual position. It was my job to be the enforcer and implementer of his policy changes and directives. Since coming to DCU, I have discovering implementation is among my strongest leadership style thanks to Belbin. I was finally getting listened to and getting new resources allocated in a rational way that promoted our online products. My “hedgehoging,” as he called it, through the darker days lifted. Those last 5 months working for Bob were the best ones I had in nearly three years, as a level of web professionalism was allowed to prosper that had previously been squashed by reactionary anti-web elements in our mid-upper management, that always had promoted backsliding on all of corporate managements web-centric projects. Bob ended this within weeks with a very loud and boisterous chat with our papers Editor and Managing Editor. It worked. I was allowed to help tailor strategic Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns, as well as help critique and improve our brand and strategic SEM spend. Why do I bring this up? The hardest day for me came in March of 2011, when I had to tell Bob I would be departing at the end of May and headed to Ireland for graduate school once my application via PAC were finalized. Instead of being angered or upset, he just told me, “That’s great, go get a grad degree and get some management chops. The work will come to you. I am sad to have you go.” After experiencing weak or incompetent management for year, I had a great manager who I actually trusted and trusted me. Who would not ask that person to be your mentor? Especially knowing of an impending life change quickly around the corner.
Bob and I still chat, deeply about once a month and share links and advise, now about staying in Ireland or coming back to America and which career direction to chose in sales and marketing. Bob also had hired Francesca and he appreciated my aiding and mentoring her, in dealing with her supervisors and managers, as he was working on an exit strategy for himself, which led he to becoming President of Hanley Wood one of the largest trade magazine and website publishers in America. I am by no means the best mentor or mentee, but this pod has given a great foundation to build deeper these kind of relationships that make for deeper strong network ties and aid my career development I think I have learned a great deal about why these relationships are important in our expanding careers, especially for mature students (Higgins And Kram, 2001). I have experienced all four mentoring phases described by (Kram, 1985) in this POD. I learned a good bit about the theories that underline why exactly mentorship is good for career progression. The confidence he has in me and the confidence earned in mentoring Francesca has lead me to apply to a management training program, at the Irish Times in June 2012 while writing my NGM portfolio. I will likely apply to more sales and marketing in the future. NGM provided me the opportunity to take an informal professional relationships and make them a proper Mentorship program. It is important to be on both sides of these relationships.
UNILEVER SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Unilever Sustainability Challenge Unilever with John F. Kennedy and Nial Hanlon 08/03/2012 DCU Postgraduate Computer Lab in Computer Applications building 1
As an action based learner, I learn by doing, and must seek out opportunities that will allow me to and participate in situations that will enhance my learning. Consistent with Next Generation Management learning outcomes to develop competencies found in my personal development plan (PDP) and understand the arguments for business ethics and sustainable development I joined a team to enter the Unilever Sustainability Challenge. This was consistent with my PDP and my goals to understand the big picture and develop my leadership voice, understand corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how small our world really is (Friedman, 2007). This pod was an attempt to get graduate students brainstorming on making business more “sustainable” both environmentally and socially. The goal was the write up a 250 word concept to make Unilever operations more sustainable to help the company reduce waste and negative externalities related to the products they sell. Our concept was “healthier is wealthier.” The idea being to start with the companies deep supply chain of farmers and workers that are already connected to Unilever worldwide and help bring up some of their standards of living via clean water and improved hygiene. The results would create a more productive and healthy workforce that in turn would be in a better position both health and economically to purchase Unilever goods. Here is what we came up with in 250 words:
Healthier is wealthier and vice versa, it is also more environmentally sustainable. How do we improve the lives of millions of subsistence farmers and workers and make them new consumers of Unilever products? The first stage of the process would include implementing sources of clean water and improved access to basic hygiene and health care. This would improve productivity for these workers more productive
workers means growing of more sustainable crops, which could be sold to Unilever and other on the market. This would mean extra income, which can be in turned used for new basic Unilever consumer products and education access for their children. As communities get wealthier and healthier they can be more proactive in improving local environmental conditions. As the living conditions improve for them and future generations are better educated they will continue to move up the Unilever product consumption chain as their tastes and wealth evolves and grows. Driving productivity improvements via basic public health and hygiene is more than a challenge it’s a necessity. We can help make the difference and provide this hand up. (Sustainablity Challenge Entry)
Now that I look back on it, the concept was a touch naive. Conceptually the idea worked well in our heads. Since I come from Washington, D.C., I generally think like a wonk and was attempting to create the most cost effective outcome on dollar and not a concept that would make Unilever more money(marketingweek, 2011). My team liked this idea. It seemed very people centric. I was wrong and my team was wrong. As the teams were drawn for the final presentation, we were not selected. No worries, we were glad to see that, NGM was well represented by Aoife Dempsey and Kate Desantis. They had a good idea; as well it was a bit more practical than ours to boot. They noticed a strong priority shift once they talked in person to people associated with Unilever's contest versus their dealings with them in email. The product concept that won had to do with labelling and use of containers in the developing world, as packaging matters much less and less can be priced in for the packaging than it can be in the industrialized world given the earning differential. Now sure, I am more use to American corporate citizen, Greenwashing and Sustainability initiatives, which only differ slightly than the European versions. They are arguably, more people centric and less product centric in my opinion. Real people and their stories make for better public relations materials. My example would be first, Ronald McDonald House and the affiliated charities that help families dealing with longer and more complex childhood diseases and the comfort they offer. This would be against all of what some environmentalists would
argue is that, their “pro-meat,” “pro-beef” organization represents, given toll increased beef consumptions puts on the worlds arable lands an water resources. The second would be the greening and charity of Walmart/Asda. They are seeking ways to cut costs always and everywhere, it is their business model. One has been in regards to redesigning stores to use substantially less electricity since, it is a fluctuating cost of doing business. The other has been their effort to green their delivery and supply chain via less use of fuel or use of cheaper and less polluting fuels. These efforts are occurring arguably, because it has been harder to wring the price cutting out of suppliers than it was of the previous 30 years, as production of many of the items and products have moved to lower cost production markets like Mexico and China. Rural and suburban Americans love Wal-Mart despite the CSR and other moral objections of urban activists given their strong cultural objections the unionism. Why? First they do an amazing job of helping the people and the charities connected to the people, where their store locations are in terms of money and man-hours. I can attest to countless in kind and cash for various charities activities allowed to be done on their premises from car washes to gift-wrapping during the holiday season. I am glad I took part in this project and got to spend some time thinking more deeply how a consumer products company could be more sustainable. However, there is a limit to how far consumers are willing to go to save a few cents. It has been my experience that there are certain everyday use products in my months in Ireland, that are either substantially better or worse than the equivalent in the United States. Some examples: trash bags; aluminium foil; sandwich Baggies; and food packaging. As an American, these products all feel substandard to me, but Irish and UK consumers would consider them just fine. However, some products are superior to what America consumers are willing to put up with including most fresh fruit, fish, and certain alcoholic beverages of cultural significance. Americans will not purchase bread that is not in packaging or eggs that are not refrigerated and Europeans will. Different market preferences and tastes are important and impact how a company may be able to proceed in making their business more sustainable or claim to. Different markets have different concepts of fairness and price to value of products and services. However, many of the end goals are the same and translate across cultural divides. We need to think deeper about how exactly we will function as a
planet, with the billions of people in the developing world wanting and desiring similar lifestyle expectations as the modern American or European has today. This POD forces teams to consider some of the big social and environmental challenges companies face, in our near and further term future that must be dealt with. I am by no means an expert in regards to CSR and sustainable development, but this POD has given a great foundation to understand the scale of the challenges these subjects present to businesses in our economy.
SELLING IN AMERICA
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Selling in America James Dellinger and John Walsh 20/04/2012 WebEx based Webinar 2
I spent weeks thinking about doing some kind of pod that would help bring some element of Business Development skills and help connect my new Irish network with my technologist network in the United States to my Next Generation Management classmates, since networking is so important to develop leadership (Ibarra, 2007). As an activist leader, and an action-based learner, I was only really inspired when I was sadly diverted back to Atlanta, Georgia during our semester two reading in March. My grandfather and personal hero was very ill and likely not to make it much longer. He had come down with double pneumonia and it was taking him from us. I made it home to be there with him before he passed and I am glad I was with my family through the whole week and especially for my mother. However, something struck me, in being away and having to give a eulogy for one of the hardest working salesmen ever born. I was inspired by his legacy to me, to teach his “rules of sales” I found in the autobiography my aunt was helping him complete before he passed and create an event that I could share my some of the key links in my social network as they work primarily in sales in the technology industry. SAM D. GUY’S 10 RULES OF SALES: 1) CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. 2) DO YOUR HOMEWORK; KNOW THEIR BUSINESS. 3) SEEK OUT THEIR CONCERNS AND ADDRESS THEM HEAD ON. DO EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING TO ADDRESS THEIR CONCERNS. 4) GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AS FRIENDS. INQUIRE ABOUT THEIR FAMILIES AND INTERESTS AS WELL AS THEIR BUSINESS NEEDS AND CONCERNS. 5) CARRY SOME FORM OF NOTE TAKING DEVICE AND JOT DOWN PERTINENT INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY AFTER A MEETING WITH A CUSTOMER. 6) ALWAYS PRESENT A TIDY, CLEAN APPEARANCE WITH THE APPROPRIATE DRESS FOR THE OCCASION.
7) WHEN MEETING A NEW CUSTOMER, DO A DRY RUN OF THE TRIP AHEAD OF TIME. 8) BE PROMPT FOR APPOINTMENTS; 5 MINUTES EARLY IS 5 MINUTES LATE. 9) REVIEW INFORMATION IN YOUR NOTEBOOK, OR MOBILE PRIOR TO YOUR MEETING. 10) THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. Below is actually how my event, “Selling in America,” came together. This project was in accordance with my personal development plan to develop networking and leadership skill and the NGM learning outcomes to manage creative processes and create solutions. This was my first webinar and WebEx I had ever produced so this caused some learning difficulties as we were getting the it off the ground. However, getting the Pod produced and managed would not have been possible without the help of fellow MECB classmates John Walsh and Euan Callow. Mr. Walsh was very helpful in connecting the concept of why it is different to Sell to Americans as a nonnative since he had a number of years selling heritage products to American’s in the Armed Forces worldwide. Mr. Callow as very helpful in aiding my understanding and management of the WebEx software and also taped the webinar for future listening to for portfolio review use as well as if people wanted to attend but had poor internet connections at home to join us the day of, which was fairly late on a Friday evening.
Selling in America" - For ONE pod. NOT IN A ROOM, just a WebEx webinar. Topic: Selling in America Date: Friday, April 20, 2012 Time: 1:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) Meeting Number: 730 280 329 Meeting Password: atl2dc ----------------------------------------To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!) ----------------------------------------1.Goto https://freetrial.webex.com/freetrial/j.php?ED=186856427&UID=1073322542&PW=NZGNi M2JlM2Vi&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D 2. If requested, enter your name and email address. 3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: atl2dc 4. Click "Join". To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link:
https://freetrial.webex.com/freetrial/j.php?ED=186856427&UID=1073322542&PW=NZGNiM2JlM 2Vi&ORT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D Hour and half teleconference/ webinar linking NGM students (in person) with technology sales professionals, Selling in America. This will be a pod about Technology Sales and Business Development. James Dellinger - Business Development Manager at Dialog New Media I will be teaching Sales from a modernized and modified version of Norfolk/Southern Railroad corporate sales training. James Dellinger and John Walsh open "Selling in America" 5 minutes open and close on the differences between the hard and soft sell. Relationships vs. churn etc. 12:50 EST James Dellinger and John Walsh open the Webinar 1:05 EST Jason Zamer - Founder and Director of Product Design at SimpleChttp://www.simplec.com/ 1:25 EST David Horrigan Analyst, E-Discovery and Information Governance 451 Research discussing the role of industry analysts in the information technology market and the role of lawyers and start-ups in e-discovery and information governance 1:45 EST Matthew Sheffield President Dialog New Media discussing Startup and Sales of New Media services http://dialognewmedia.com/ 2:05 EST Kelly Demestihas - Account Director at Yahoo!, Discussing client relationship building and sales of digital products, advertising, (and working at Yahoo!) 2:25EST James Dellinger and John Walsh close webinar and leave guest to answer, "Hard sell or Soft sell in tech- why or why not?" based on what is learned in the hour and a half webinar Dial in Web in info has been provided and will be again an hour before webinar. Here through the event page. Work product to be produced after the event would be. Answer the question? Soft sell / hard sell, why or why not? (For reflection and Des pod purposes)
The POD was considered a success not just by me, but by attendees and speakers alike. I will give a few examples. My friend David Horrigan explained some of the finer legal points that many start-ups may need to consider, when it comes to complying with local data laws, be it at the American State and federal lever or the Republic and EU level in Europe. Not exactly sales and marketing, but they can impact sales and he was available to talk when other speakers flaked on me. Kelly Demestihas also stuck out as an attendee favourite, as she explained in detail what it was like to work for Yahoo! And sell advertising space on Bing and work with large customers who make large online advertising purchases.
I learned very much from producing this WebEx webinar. I did not remember how hard it truly is work and coordinate with multiple peoples’ schedule. The time date and speaking order changed many times and working to get them arraigned took up most of my organising time. I have put on panel discussion before and helped others with small events. This was tough. I actually had spoken will nearly 12 people just to get the four that we ended up with. This was the hard part for me getting them organized and happy. However, I am not confident to produce webinars in the future, I will probably limit the number of speakers to no more than two, as managing four individuals schedules for an event is tough. It is like herding cats, as the saying goes. I feel this is a skill I now have confidence in myself to do that, I previously did not have. I feel I accomplished much in creating and sharing this pod with my classmates. My grandfather would be proud of teaching some basic sales fundamentals and start to think about the different way sales works in the real world. Relationship based selling and volume selling. Given that many jobs open for which a number of NGM students will be qualified for will be relationship sales related this experience seemed appropriate (Wolff and Moser, 2009). I think opening my professional to my student network is best for me and for both of them. Networking is more than just meeting new people, but creating opportunities for people who would otherwise not meet to be introduced (Tapscott, 2008). From this creating the pod experience, I learned to have confidence in creating unique Webinar experiences. I think they are becoming and important component to a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for many industries in order to publically showcase and share some of their expertise (Basiel and Howarth, 2011). I have participated and sat in on some before, for example with the hosting company Acquia . I am by no means a professional or expert at creating and managing useful webinars, but creating and managing this POD has given a great foundation to build deeper skills for the future. I have a strong feeling I will be asked to produce webinars in the future thanks to this pod. I was also glad it got classmates thinking about business development seriously, as a career option given the numerous sales jobs to require a technical knowledge set which DCU’s NGM and MECB programs provide well. I am
glad to have provided an opportunity for networking the promotes leadership among my classmates (Ibarra, 2007.)
Event: Engaged Networking Multiple POD Experiences via Google Jobs / Connector
IRL / Land a High Tech Job / Fall Networking / Spring Networking / IMCA / Dublin Beta / Charity Golf Outing / DrupalCamp / Accenture Ops Excellence / NGM Strategy / IP Management and Protection / Facebook Data Team Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Many Various Dublin City University and Others 2
Of the many things I have learned in the year of my Next Generation Management (NGM) module is the importance of actively engaging in networking and seeking out new ties. I have not always been bad at networking, but I did not understand the academic underpinnings as to why it was important as an element for career success (Wolff, Moser, 2009). I have always like to talk, allot and not been afraid to do so with people I have never known before. We could argue and discuss the finer differences of opinion between Robin Dunbar theory about being able to manage one’ ability to manage 150 relationships at one time against Don Tapscott's 75 member strong tie network and 750 weak tie network, but this reflection is about the actions of networking and less about how many relationships can be properly managed (Roberts and Dunbar, 2011) (Tapscott, 2008). “Networking is about giving not getting,” Kinglsey Aikins. In accordance with my personal development plan actions to; “Attend widely held events with current and future leaders that make use or support people and products to help DC meet Dublin and vis-versa,” I have made a concerted effort to get out of my comfort zone and grow my weak ties and strengthen my strong ties in my professional network (Levin, et al. 2011). In accordance with NGM learning outcomes engaging in competency developments, I decided to be a very active networker during the year and learn about networking and reflect upon these activities. In using the Gibbs Model of reflection, I will explain, this required a vigorous social schedule throughout the year as I am in fact an action learner in as
described by Michael J. Marquardt, “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problems and Building Leaders in Real Time.” Many of the PODs I will describe were weighted one pod credit, but I thought it was important to discuss how attendance to all of them aided my opportunities to network. I attended many different events that were approved personal opportunities for development and even a few that were not. In the fall semester, I attended a networking skills 17th of November 2011. Our esteemed lecturer Geraldine Lavin with her role in the Ryan Academy at Dublin City University (DCU) and explained some of the finer points of good networking skills. I learned a few tips I had not previously known. Then I got to use it and have a conversation with an Irish healthcare entrepreneur after the event and had a chat about his new first American office in Atlanta my home and his strong affinity for Georgia Tech college football, which are my family’s home team colours. I had gone with some of my new NGM classmates including John Walsh. I was however, not great about following up with this weak tie I met this night, one lesson I learned in my failing to do so. This was however, just the beginning of my efforts throughout the year, as I build a networking model of going to events with other various other classmates or my wife and then make an effort to meet, at least one or two people I had never known before, to the point of their possible inclusion in my weak ties network. I also made it a point to be supportive of my classmates when they put events and PODs on even if it was not in accordance with my PDP to get to know them better, and have a chance to meet new people I did not have daily modules or projects with. Having patience and a non-“networking jerk,” approach is key. This can be accomplished in many ways, but one I used repeatedly was being willing to be helpful, courteousness, not expecting anything in return, and opening up your own network to others (Wolff, Moser, 2009). I got to test some of my new techniques and skills at one non-POD-able (I got paid for the work) networking, events I attended this year and important to my career occurred in Washington, DC the first week of February. I was paid to, via my role at Dialog New Media to manage a digital media team embedded into the American Conservative Union’s Communications department. I got to meet many interesting digital media and traditional media personalities in my management of our team in the Communications War Room, over those four days. I also was responsible to keep
the Google Politics team and many influential bloggers happy during the conference, among my responsiblities. I was also able to attend Victory Media’s blogger only events like, “BlogBash” and network with three hundred or so political bloggers at Microsoft swank Innovation Center. It was also a great way to reconnect with many people in my Washington, D.C. professional network, which has gotten naturally a bit weaker being a few thousand miles away in Dublin. I ended up making another not scheduled trip back to the states, about 6 weeks later during DCU’s reading week. I actually had planned to write reflections all that week, but ended up at my grandfather Sam’s bedside, as he was on his deathbed. He was a salesmen’s salesman for nearly fifty years and true gentlemen networker. I learned that week, as I met countless people coming to pay their last respects, how deep and wide his genuine sincere network truly was. Be respectful of everyone and be friendly. This was a very personally reflective week for me on his greatness, as I was honoured wrote my eulogy for him. I have tried to apply this genuine heartfelt friendship approach historically, but try to put it to better use, when I returned to Dublin. I attended UNICEF Charity golf outing the NGM marketing students put on. As I attended, played golf (the chosen sport of many business networkers) with some fellow NGM classmates, and helped them with their booth and silent auction in late March of 2012 Friday. I also got to meet many people who were just there for the golf and to support charity. The ConnectorIRL event was another chance to do this. That event was put on in the Helix on April 4th by a number of my fellow NGM students, it featured entrepreneurs Alan Foy, Niall Harbison, Eoghan Jennings, and Ciaran Crean. I helped the team setup, managed the live stream of tweets from the account associated with the event and helped clean up. The room was full and I got to meet and network with many people who were not affiliated with either the University or my NGM class. I even got to network with some American bloggers in the audience. During this time period Google was doing a number of seminars, every Tuesday in the DCUBS in coordination with the Careers Center. I have a number of friends that work at Google in Washington, D.C. and Mountain View and wanted to know more. I got to meet many interesting people that worked for Google including Jane Murphy and one NGM alumni who has little brother is in our class this year Larry McEntee. I also got to meet Denise McMorrow of DCU Career Services, as she was seated next to during the lectures. I introduced myself and began working with her
to improve my resume, which is included right after this reflection. Oddly, one night when I was a bit burnt out on college work and decided to go to a friend of my wife’s, roommate’s birthday party in town and get away from school and technology for an evening. It ended up being exactly the opposite, but I am far from upset about it now. The party attendees were primarily DCU graduates who either worked for Google of in the field of technology. We even had a few mutual friends who are fellow NGM classmates and one even knew some Googlers I know back in the United States. This interaction was not a POD, but it happened, because I was in need of a night away from PODs and class work, therefore was still connected and networking. So I NGM still gets the credit. I also attempted to attend more than the minimum of 40 accredited PODSs throughout the year. The NGM Strategy POD presentation in March with Brian Levy was one of these. I enjoyed his lecture and so stayed afterword, to thank him and ask a few extra questions. We ended up talking for a good twenty plus minutes about many different things, including the origins of DCU’s Masters in Electronic Commerce (Program) and what it offered, that is still not available in the States. Another one was the Accenture Operational Excellence POD on April 17th with Francis Higgins. This POD was unfortunately cut short, only twenty minutes instead of an hour due to poor scheduling, but he was a gentleman and appreciated our interest and knowledge of continuous improvement models. In February, I attended a lecture with fellow NGM students in regards to, “How to Land a Job in High Tech” with Jason Ruane who was graduate of DCU and is co-founder and CRO of cloud based software company Eventovate and Tim McCormick is head of Engineering for Swrve a gaming analytics and services start-up. These guys were very friendly and helpful in advising us about working in a start-up. It was an enjoyable evening of informative background about working in a high tech start-up. The “Thriving in the Networked Age,” organized by NGM’s Marketing students, presented by President of the Ireland Fund Kinglsey Aikins and Dr Edward Kelly on April 12th was another wonderful chance to learn skill sets needed for career survival and m meet new people. I spend a good twenty-five minutes after the lectures had finished with classmate Daragh O’Duffy discussing the with Dr. Edward Kelly the work of the late economist Julian Simon and the finer points of the economists Coase and Malthus.
The IMCA certification class POD also counted me as an attendee. Geraldine Lavin once again, explained to us the benefits and expectations of becoming graduate members of the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers. They also do great association networking events. I have attempted to attend one, but exam studies scrapped my attendance to their spring event at DCU in May, but I will attend future regional events. I also attended the Techspectations webinar by Simon Gray and Naoise Gaffney of Tomkins Intellectual Property. I know webinars are not the best for networking, but they are a new form of interaction. I also attended a number of non-POD webinars by Drupal CMS hosting provider Aquia. These did yield a number of contacts after I attended DrupalCamp Dublin with fellow NGM classmate John Walsh on May 19th and 20th and met a number of people in person who also frequented their webinars. I enjoyed attending an impromptu visit by a few member of Facebook’s on April 12th to the Dublin City University computing students, to discuss careers at Facebook and how they built the timeline feature and presented it as a work case study. We appreciated free swag and contact information that came of this visit. On April 30th I attended Dublin Beta showcasing twelve local start-ups, which NGM classmate John O’Rourke is involved in managing the events with a number of NGM classmates. I networked with a number of the emerging start-ups companies’ staffs that demoed and even a few NGM alumnus. I am by no means a professional or expert networker, but this year’s many POD and non-POD-able networking experiences. I learned you must be out and not always in your comfort zone. I had a chance to practice my techniques and extend my weak ties and strengthen my strong ties has given a great foundation to build the skills and understanding needed networking efforts required for career success (Roberts and Dunbar, 2011). As you will see in my previous “Selling in America” POD I am also willing to share my professional network with friends who do not know each other but may have similar professional interests or goals (Wolff, Moser, 2009). This has given me the confidence I will continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and some of my work has paid off. I have worked on my resume with Denise McMorrow and applied to jobs at Google in Dublin and in the States among others. One of my network contacts has already helped me get some digital media contract work in September as I am applying moving into the next stage in my sales and marketing career. On the next few pages you will find some photos from the events.
(American Conservative Union Communications War Room with Dialog New Media staff present after a long four days of conference digital media work.)
(NGM student Patrick Greene at UNICEF Charity golf tournament.)
(Sign in sheet from Google On Campus Spring Tuesday’s.)
(“Landing a Job in High Tech,” presentation discussions on working for startups.)
(Networking master Sir Kinglsey Aikins is taking to students after his lecture.)
(DrupalCamp Dublin speaker discussing implementations of “tiles” feature on the Washington Examiner, which I use to work on and manage day-to-day operations before enrolled in Dublin City University’s MECB program and took NGM.)
(Eoghan Jennings discussing the finer points about starting companies in cold garages at the NGM Student led ConnectorIRL.)
(Facebook data team engineer speaking at Dublin City University about the rollout of user Timeline changes to user platform.)
SOCIAL NETWORKS ANALYSIS
Many students and adults are uncomfortable about the idea of how networking of social capital will play into their career path. I have on many occasions met individuals and family members that abhor the concept even if in their own way, they are good at it. My grandfather Jim, who claims to never have networked in his life, is actually among the best and it is how he has conducted all his business his whole life. Networking and the conversion ones social capital of “knowing people,” into “doing,” “working” is a tough road to walk. In the concept of jobs that I have had the experience with both in the formal sense of getting jobs through strong ties of friends or weak ties of email lists, conferences, and random chances of dumb luck (Wolff and Moser, 2009). The process of meeting new people and shyness are the two factors, I have found largely discourage the growth of social capital. However, knowing someone is not enough to consider it social capital. Social capital is the process of exchange and give and take (Makela and Suutari, V. 2009). Now my early career and undergraduate years were spent in Washington, DC a city defined largely by ‘what do you do” questions and jockeying to have a meaningful social experience with the “most useful to you” person in the room. Now, I can find this approach false and phony, but I can do it if I must and the room is full of people not genuinely interested in real connections, but superficial networking and Rolodex stuffing. However, these are not real contacts, just acquaintances met at a party or event. The exercising of social capital to be truthful is one of exchange; Information, news, gossip, banter, or random interest of mutual agreement (Katona, et, al. 2011). To me this is merely the mechanics of the social capital game that a person is made aware and comfortable using it is entirely different. I am the son, stepson, and grandson of salesmen. The social capital tools of salesmanship are acquired not entirely born in. Some individuals are born with the so-called ‘gift of the gab,’ and sure they could have great social capital if they learned how to harness it or just getby on their one skill set and not make it honest yet inquisitive.
Social capital is the ability to convert that you know into concrete actions. How do you know them and how can you contact? Email addresses, phone numbers, business cards, conferences, in face meetings, or from afar on Internet social networks are all ways to meet or contact, but will they rely or aid you in what you seek? That is the key difference from being deep in name dropping and being deep in social capital (Makela and Suutari, V. 2009). I have always had to be quietly outgoing, as I am an only child, but have many cousins. I have a very strong peer network that goes all the way back to pre-school, when I was four and five with my best friends. However, between the three of us we have an extended friends group depending on the situation, of a few dozen. This was primarily due to sports and rowing in secondary and college. Boats filled with eight lads a season after season, tends to build strong lasting bonds even when the early mornings pass. I also coached rowing for two and half seasons at American University while running a student NGO project Technology Education and Awareness in a different city with other friends. In six years working in Washington, D.C., at two jobs the Capital Research Center and Washington Examiner newspaper, I ran two different internship programs and dozens of interns through them. Interns can run hot and cold. Some are great and become friends others are “power tripping hell on booze,” just getting by on phone calls from parents, grandparents, and donorship - empty suits or just clueless. I had only one intern burn me in six years. She was my worst journalism intern my last year at the Examiner in Washington. She has used my name as a reference at least three times, without asking to do so once and knowing I thought she did a poor job in the internship and would probably not give her a good reference (Makela and Suutari, V. 2009). This just taught me that not everyone knows the rules of formulating social capital and I have learned to be more forward in teaching the rules, when it’s obvious lessons are needed. My point here is, that I have been lucky to have had quasimentors and mentees in every professional role I have assumed since secondary (Higgins, and Kram, 2001). Socially binding and sociable responsibilities seem to be well taught in team sports and I have never let it go. However, it does not just happen it requires work and sometime requires as my old crew coach from Australia termed it “mateship.” Friendship with shared direction and sometimes outcomes
that requires deeper knowledge of each other (deep ties social networks). This provides a great place of strength and confidence to deepen and broaden out weaker ties in ones work and peer group. Let’s take a quick look at three different visual representations of social networks of mine online. First we have a map of my Facebook connections of my 950 ‘friends.’ It has grown to “1018,” since originally writing this when rexamined during editing. Am I deeply close with all of them? No, but was I somewhat close with most of them at some point or related to them, yes. Don Tapscott author of “Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World” has a theory that the Internet social networks are great at extending the comfortable size of our “working network” of say seventy to seventy-five people you actually are regularly interacting with to a much larger group of seven hundred to seven hundred and fifty weak ties that can re-become strong ties and vice-versa depending of the situation and timing (Tapscott, 2008). Whereas (Roberts, and Dunbar, 2011) disagree and think that the number is much small on both accounts. I tend to agree with this concept in general, whoever is correct. I have gotten both sales and job leads from weak times, but I have gotten jobs and real booked sales from strong formal contacts ties. I have also been burned by weak and strong contacts when trying to help them out as well (Granovetter, 1973). This is however, a risk in engaging in social capital networks at all. There are risks, like being listed as a reference without being asked or an individual not following through on a lead/ job opportunity you extend to them on favour, but the rewards far outweigh the risks. The three deep gray areas in the next LinkedIn inMap photo represent my college network, my secondary school network and my Washington work network in increasing size and density.
(Facebook Network interconectivity density)
(Facebook Network locations and by network density) There are a few outliers but not that many and, my DCU Dublin network is not that entirely obvious on this network connectivity chart. It is toward the bottom and still less interconnected than three micro network clusters above my three large ones. I would argue that Facebook is not the best representation of my work network and so I have others to share and comment upon.
(My labelled LinkedIn Network Map (January)
(My labelled LinkedIn Network Map June in Map. Notice network growth)
You can clearly note the levels and depth of interconnectivity of my eight distinct yet intermingling professional networks. The first map represents my 569 professional contacts in January. The second map represents my 706 professional contacts as of June. Notice DCU’s NGM class off to the left in maroon as an American interloper none of my various DC, NYC, and Atlanta networks are connected. However, the opposite is also true as I am a good contact for anyone in our NGM group interested in journalism in Washington, DC. Other networks include Think Tanks in blue (I worked at one) random Digital Communication and Technologists in Washington in Orange; Political activists and former think tank workers in the pink coloured network; Reports not at my old Washington Examiner job in yellow; my home town of Roswell, GA and rowing friends in light blue; and American University and my Technology Education and Awareness NGO in gray. My networks are strongest in metro New York, metro Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Information technology and Marketing and Sales dominate the industries I have the deepest contacts with.
(LinkedIn Network Statistics) Next is my twitter map of my six hundred and twelve followers in January (now six hundred and eighty during editing). 15% of which are clustered in the Washington,
D.C. metro area and represent many people who followed me who were peers in the publish business in Washington. Next in at 11.69% is greater Dublin, which represents my DCU MECB peers most strongly. Then it starts to get a bit more random as my followers spread out across the rest of the States and the world. My network is heavily biased toward the United States with 67% of my followers being American. Again, though twitter is not the best reflection of my social capital. However, the last graphic I wish to share and explain seems to be the best on or offline example I have seen.
(Twitter Network by city)
(Twitter Network by Country) I was away for a conference working back in Washington, D.C. working in the communications department of an eleven-thousand person conference. I made contacts and consolidated them in the weeks after with emails and notes. I probably made twelve weak contacts out of that weekend. My recent growth can be partially a
product of the additional people I knew who previously did not have LinkedIn accounts as well as the numerous new contacts I have made since coming to Dublin City University and engaging in my personal opportunities for development. I am by no means a professional networker, but this year’s many POD and nonPOD-able networking experiences has helped expand my network greatly. I also learned you must be forced out and not always in the comfort zone of familiar faces. Social media allows a very easy way for us to follow up and maintain the connections we make in real life and gives us new ways to meet new people (Raine and Wellman, 2012). I had a chance to practice my techniques and extend my weak ties and strengthen my strong ties has given a great foundation to build the skills and understanding needed networking efforts required for career success (Granovetter, 1973) (Wolff and Moser, 2009). My only point in closing with this is to say genuine networking is a skill that must always be engaged to be effective in the future. However, looking for the payoff too soon can cause big problems and disinterest in engagement.
FUTURE BIOGRAPHY OF SELF
I always wanted to own a mountain, with a lake next to it. I would argue any of the life or career success has been derived from hard work, self-reflection, and making a bit of luck. My background is one of a practitioner of wave riding began many years ago. I was born in a smallish southern suburban town outside Atlanta Georgia. But the beginning, career wise for me when I attend two week, long computer camps once a summer for three years. I was drug there by my friends, but ended fascinated by the way technology could transform the speed, volume, and quality of information. I had always been a child obsessed by information. When I was a young boy my father passed away and my mother moved us closer to my grandparents. Needless to say, I spend many long hours watching the news and chewing the fat, on the events of the day. I learned hard work spending hours training in rowing shell for seven minutes of glory two or three times a year on race day. This was during both my secondary and tertiary education. I also learned I like ad prefer teamwork in those boats and action based learning. I was prodigious reader and already being interested in world affairs and economics. I began reading the Economist, when I was twelve years old. This led me to go to Washington, D.C., as I thought going to University in that city would help me achieve the goal I had at that time, “How do I get one of the cool sounding jobs advertised in here?” I spend the summer of my senior year interning on Capitol Hill, but hated the it’s rat race. I had the opportunity to that fall and founded and was the Executive Director of Technology Education and Awareness, a non-profit that provided technology education services to the aging community in the Mid-Atlantic region I managed a few classes and oversaw the teaching of a few more. In this project, I learned people don’t really care about old people generically, except their own family or if you can attach a government Medicare or insurance billing code to it. Then I got the chance to work for a small think tank, but after a few years growing a few of its departments it got cramped. I moved to work DC based newspaper setting up its internet publishing operations. This was brutal hours, but fascinating work
most of the time. The old media’s long hours took a toll on my family and health and the upside potential was a plateau and the work got stale and I left for more flexible work at Dialog New Media. I luckily left role with a few great mentors. This is also when I discovered Dublin City University in Ireland and the M. Sc in E-Commerce in Dublin a rare program, a bit ahead of its time for the day. They pushed some of my Yankee notions of what E-Commerce should, would, or could become. Luckily, this was the same time I was brought a great opportunity through my old aging services project of my youth. You can’t ever underestimate the importance of your network of friends with a mission to get ahead or break the mould. I got the opportunity to get in on the ground floor doing sales and marketing for email marketing start-up. They had a captive market and I knew whom I was selling to, my friends and other website admins. I got to combine my love or digital communication and politics as campaigns were among the first to adopt our products. I opted for equity instead of cash, as my payment, so when we were purchased I made enough to start investing in other products and services that had similarly captive markets. I found my specialty identifying and selling into captive markets, then getting out of the companies as the product or service turned in to a commodity. Now however, I am semi-retired. I live on a mountain in the rolling hills north Georgia with my lovely wife, kids visiting on Sunday’s, and our pets. I still invest and a bit, but I have slowed down a bit in my old age preferring golf with old friends and weekends on the lake or on the Georgia Golden Isles. But now I have my own mountain, but it was a climb to get here.
JAMES DELLINGER Apt 49 55 Mountjoy Square Dublin 1 Email: email@example.com | Twitter: @jdellinger WORK_EXPERIENCE___________________________________________________ Dialog New Media Business Development Manager • • • Sales Development, Example: ACU’s CPAC Conference 2012 Operate and manage New Media PR contract operations (CPAC 2012, etc) Hire and manage project interns and short term contractors Nov 2008- May 2011 May 2011-Present
Washington Examiner Assistant Managing Editor, Web
• Content Creator and Editor, Website Admin and Front End Web Designer • Manage day to day website operations and online infrastructure • Marketed original web Stories and Blog Posts to web audience via social media • Developed site features for both washingtonexaminer.com and sfexaminer.com • Manage relationships and edited 80+ freelance blog contributors • Hired and managed interns, up to four interns at a time
Capital Research Center Executive Director of GreenWatch and State EnvironmentalWatch
June 2006- Nov 2008
• Researcher, Author, Webmaster, Blogger, and Speech Writer • Managed CRC Federal and State Environmental and Energy policy programs • Developed and marketed web content including Podcasts, Blogs, and AdWords • Maintained CRC websites including the 1100+ activist groups database • Managed many CRC’s day to day external relationships: CPAC; Cooler Heads Coalition; and State Policy Network. • Hired and managed Haller Internship Program up to six interns at a time. • Developed funding proposals for GreenWatch and StateWatch. • Co-host and co-produced CRC’s “Organization Watch,” Internet Radio Show Capital Research Center Dec 2005- June 2006
Research Associate- State Environmental Watch and Education Watch • Researched non-profit groups and foundations that fund political advocacy Technology Education Awareness Director August 2003- Sept 2005 Executive
• Founding member of start-up non-profit committed to bringing computer literacy to the mature adult communities via partnerships with senior centres • Created work-study jobs for college students to teach mature adults computer skills and internet proficiency in a professional intergenerational environment Republican National Committee Financial Telecommunications Staffer • Fundraiser, soliciting hard money donations via telephone from RNC donors INTERNSHIPS__________________________________________________________ Capital Research Center Research Intern- GreenWatch Researched non-profit groups political advocacy campaigns for CRC staff Congressman Phil Gingrey 11-GA, House Office Staff Intern Council on Foundations, Washington, DC Editorial Staff Intern for Foundation News and Commentary • Assisted managing editor in various marketing and advertising projects EDUCATION___________________________________________________________ Dublin City University, Dublin, IE • • • Sept 2011 – Aug 2012 Dec 2002 Feb 2003 Sept-Dec 2005 Haller • June -Aug 2003 Sept -Nov 2001
M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce (Business) Program is EPAS Certified by the EFMD (http://www.efmd.org/) Next Generation Management Module (Coursework: included Ethics, Digital Marketing: Career Development; Research Methods) • Practicum project: Geo-fencing with RFID stickers George Washington University, Washington, DC Aug 1999- May 2003 • BA in History with minors in Political Science and International Affairs • Graduate classes: Business History, German History, & EU Political Economy • Varsity Scholarship Athlete for George Washington University Rowing Team Roswell High School, Atlanta, GA • • Graduated with Honours Junior National Rowing Athlete Aug 1995- May 1999
BUSINESS AND SOCIETY
The Business and Society theme is very important in today’s world considering the huge difficulties nations are confronting due to the global debt crisis and the age of austerity we have shifted to after boom years and our interconnectivity (Friedman, 2007). Not a day goes by, when there is news about the European monetary system’s perilous state and how it is weighing upon business operations by multinational firms seeking certainty and revenue growth, when terms like “Grexit” and “#spanic” leap out of social media, and into the mainstream day to day conversation and into the proper business press. The predicament of massive debt overhang is where we find ourselves. However, Europe is far from alone in dealing with these concerns, my fellow American’s are dealing with every element that is involved in the various root economic causes of the national crises: from unfunded promised liabilities to retirees; to cleaning up real estate asset bubble collapses; to over levered state and local borrowing, in good years and spending it’s proceeds on short-sighted political patronage. Understanding the leverage cycle and the history of money and debt as constructs is very important (Geanakoplos, 2009) (Graeber, 2011). The foundations of prosperity has never seemed more important than now. In the boom times, concepts like: business ethics; global thinking; cultural awareness; corporate social responsibility, and corporate accountability may seem like pro forma rhetoric, but in difficult they become crucial to business and personal financial survival. These are also important parts of my personal development plan competency of “understanding the big picture.” Ethics and the changing social responsibilities of business institutions and the individuals that work for them to stakeholders and shareholders are evolving. I like to draw on historians like German sociologist / historian / politician / former director of the London School of Economics Lord Ralf Darendorf and Fernand Braudel and other political philosophers like Ayn Rand, John Rawls, and George Soros to build intellectually sound frameworks for understanding some of the more complex problems we face today, since many of them are merely repeats of situations in the past with a different cyclical cause. The era of “Too Big to Fail,” crony bailout corporatism and their boom time origins, as regulatory capture and benign neglect cannot be ignored any longer (Wilson,
2011). I have also been deeply interested in examining how shareholders interests’ can align or be made to align more closely with the interests of proper corporate accountability and embracement of corporate social responsibility (CSR). One would hope better frameworks of accountability would improve our chances that the situations many national economies have found themselves never happen again (Bezemer, et, al. 2011) (Maignan and Ferrell, 2004). As a business student interested in moving from a career in public policy and publishing, I tend to see the world in terms of commerce and its related issues. You can ask my wife, who must deal with me watch CNBC every morning, despite the annoying and frankly very dated stock ticket. The business and society theme of NGM allowed me to venture into some subjects, which I may not have been experienced except for Next Generation Management. In my different business and society PODs I have learned about ethics and CSR, the history and operations of finance, the killer apps of a prosperous business climate, and different media cultures. Here is a quick list of the reflections you will find in this theme section. KILLER APPS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION ACCENT OF MONEY AND THE HISTORY OF MONEY INTRODUCTION TO FINANCE THE CORPORATION ETHICS AND ENRON: THE SMARTS GUYS IN THE ROOM RTE’S NOEL CURRAN TALK AT DCU This NGM theme section has been beneficial to me in many ways. I am by no means a professional or expert at the described POD subject matters, but this pod has given a great foundation skills and understanding of the subject matter to build upon in accordance with my personal development plan in my pursuit of a sales and marketing position in the future.
KILLER APPS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: “Civilization: Is the West History?” Niall Ferguson 22/12/2011 Home Computer on TV4OD 2
As an action based learner, I learn by doing, so need to seek opportunities that will allow me witness realistic situational application of theory. This enhances my understanding of a given difficult subject matter. In accordance with my personal development plan goals, to, “understand the big picture,” and as part of our Business and Society theme, in accordance with the indicative learning outcomes to enhance our understanding of global economics, global thinking, and businesses roles in society, I chose to watch a documentary series on channel 4OD by Niall Ferguson. I also happened to be stuck in bed during Christmas break and had just found 4OD while down with a bad case of man flu. The documentary series was based on his March 2011 book entitled, “Civilization: The West and the Rest,” the documentary it was more uniquely entitled “Civilization: Is the West History?” I later watched his twenty-two minute TedTalk entitled “The Six killer Apps of western Civilization” from Sept. 19 2011. I also watched his presentation on ABC to the Center for Independent Studies in Australia entitled, “Empires on the Edge of Chaos.” Needless to say history is a passion of mine with economic, financial, and commercial history is among my favourite subjects. I come from a historical school of thought that shapes the frameworks I use to analyze history and draw conclusions for the present and future. Why? Because for whatever reasons, exist in the human experience history can repeat itself. I am big believer in the work of historians Fernand Braudel and Ralf Dahrendorf. Braudel is probably the most famous member of the, Annales School of historical thought, he looked and long-term economic cycles of specific places, during set time periods. His work on “structures” and how they slowly turned into, culture, laws, attitudes, or a form of organized behaviours of action was influential on me in his work Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Centuries, (1979).
Dahrendorf’s most famous work on looking deeper into the complex conflicts within a given societies. His work, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society, (1959) influenced me greatly as a young history student in undergraduate while surrounded by structural Marxists. So how does this relate to the documentary and talks by Ferguson? If put together in synthesis Dahrendorf and Braudel argue that the primary internal and external conflict societies deal with is confronting the, “Modernity” of their age. The six killer apps and the adoption or not of them is a directly related with how specific political and economic cultures chose to deal with change as it is derived from modernity. Furguson lays out what he considers the six “killer apps” of western civilization. They are: Competition; Science; Property; Medicine; Consumption, and Work. Obviously as a right leaning Scotsman he has been heavily influenced by the Scottish enlightenment and their incredible work negative rights, capitalism and arguably, the path that lead to constitutional democracy. Combined these lead societies in modernity. Why do we “The West,” have them and their benefits and not all others? In his documentary, Ferguson lays out the case for each principle. In his 4OD documentary he made the apps feel a bit too British and bit too Protestant, for my universalistic constitutionalism tastes. This I think is playing to his audience a bit and got me a bit fired up to write about it fairly harshly. However, in his TEDTALK discussion he was much more universalistic as in these are universal values that lead to stable prosperous societies. Now this I am in agreement with The first of the series starts in the 1400s, with China and it as an example of how, arguably the “Competition” rivalry and wars between the nation states of Europe caused a dramatic leap forward technologically. While the Chinese dynasties on the other side of the world, which had technological superiority in the world throughout the “dark ages” into the early middle ages, fell far behind quickly, being unable to convert the early advantages in some technologies yield financial growth and progress for its society as a whole. The second Killer App was Science. He begins with examining the Ottoman Empire at the height of its military power, and its prompt decay as it closed its scholars and academics away from science. This is also the inflection point at which, the slow death of the Islamic Scientific Renaissance in science was effectively dead. As liberal
ijtihad enlightened rationism and openness with free inquiry lead to, cultural and scientific ijima, a more closed minded approach to the, “unknown and the other,” if not revealed in the Koran. The rapid death of science, which had been preserved by the Islamic world in the Islamic world, began with al-Ghazzali in the 11th century, this struggle with, “modernity.” It remains with us today in the form of reactionary Salafism, as Islamic nations struggle with acceptance the changes modernity means their culture and questions it forces people to ask uncomfortable of themeselves, their culture, and faith. The next Killer App examined was “Property.” He looked at the differences in the nations’, which the great liberators of the Americas Bolivar and Washington freed, in that they had many moral economic flaws (slavery, etc) in common, but differed strongly on the concepts of property rights and especially for the individual of unsubstantial means. This app affects modern business every day. Peruvian economist Hernado de Soto has in his many books but specifically in The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else laid out the case for the empowering and enriching the poor with effective secured property rights. Arguably, this concept did actually, originate in Britain. I would go a bit further back as, the Magna Carta that the broke King John signed in 1215 really began this property revolution, that lead to the property and voting rights enfranchisement that have occurred in the UK and other English speaking or institutionally influenced nation states. Why? As Dahrendorf’s would argue in terms of conflict and modernity, this broke the power of the British monarchy to claim the kind of rentier state control (think France under the Sun King or modern Saudi Arabia) over the properties and taxation of its subjects in a way that had yet become legal practice anywhere outside of small micro city states for brief periods of time (Yates, 1996). Meaning that the states live off of “rents” other than the efforts of its citizens to creative economic value from its property and ingenuity and “tax.” Physical property was used by Ferguson; however, Ireland is a great example of understanding of the value of non-physical intrinsic properties, like intellectual property, etc., as this provides a strong incentive for companies that require long and expensive processes and products a legal protection to make the investment create value (and job) like technology and pharma.
“Consumerism” was the next killer app for discussion. Starting in the UK in the mills of the early 1800s with cotton shirts through to today’s Coca Cola drinking, iPhone using, and Nike wearing world consumers. Ferguson looks at the mutual value and local stamps put on the phenomenon and how the global embrace of western style consumerism has swept the globe except in the predominate Arab Islamic world. I call this one out as false. It’s just not exactly true from the volume of Starbucks consumed to the designer clothes women are wearing under their burqas. However, there are extreme differences in the speed of change in these conservative societies in comparison to the West or the East. Saudi women only this year got the right to work selling undergarments to each other THIS YEAR. (New York Magazine, 2012). Again, Dahrendorf’s theories of complex conflict play in here since you are dealing with societies that have effectively banned politics, a way to resolve conflicts that modern change brings. Braudel comes into play here as well since the rules for one state are not the same or enforced in the same way as others. As an American and former Washingtonian, I can attest to the bizarre way Saudi Arabia is really the Arab state version of Texas, in the way it relates to its different neighbouring states. Their unusual friendship (oil, horses, and extreme conservatism) and relations with their neighbours is bizarrely similar. Nor are the expectations of every city the same. Despite being critical, I would agree with Ferguson that Consumerism is definitely a killer app, I will prefer the paradox in automotives of choice, between the humble Trabants or Yugos. Communism never had this killer app. The last killer app according to Ferguson is that of Work, or more precisely Work Ethic. He channels his inner Max Weber, (he famed turn of the century economist/historian) and goes down the road of religious ideals and sectarian identity being aligned with those so-called animal spirits of capitalism. Maybe, maybe not, but for all the religious intensity and Protestantism of America we spend way more than we save, unlike our parents and grandparents generation (depending on your age). The real heirs to Weberian ideals in regard to work ethic today are the Chinese given their work hours and savings rates, he argued and I agree. While, this is true that this occurred in both cases I believe there is more going on that originally useful via this cultural theme. The modern constructs of Work Ethic are still with us here in Europe in this era of austerity as comparisons of the Good Irish and Bad Greeks get tossed around in the press.
I prefer a more climatic theory on work ethic, as an American southerner. Southerners are considered lazy and backward to many in other parts of America. However, it’s a bit more complex. It is also really hot. In warm weather in order to make it through all day in say agricultural work you must work slower than if you were at much more northern latitudes. I would also argue more from an economic incentives and Dahrendorf’s complex conflicts concept that any religio-cultural construct. Incentives matter, the legal frameworks to encourage work or new job skills is key. The policy differences, between the governments’, in the “good years,” Ireland and Greece is easy to spot. Do we invest in education and encourage entrepreneurship and court job creators, or do we hold an over budget expensive Olympics and allow citizens to believe the myth that they are entitled to retire at 50? The North American example, that flies in the face the religio-cultural app is the renowned work ethic of the millions of migrants into the United States from Mexico and other Latin American nations, and they are predominately Catholic and from hot climates. There work ethic is unquestioned. Sorry, but this App is bunk. “Correlation does not imply Causation,” as they say (Tufte, 2006). What have we learned here? If nations implement policies and incentives inherent in the concepts the concepts of the killer apps or at least in most part stable and prosperity may come next. Arguably, the last two business Apps is capital and innovation. Costa Rica is fine example of having all of the killer apps (mostly) and democratic traditions, yet possess little capital or innovation. However, in recent years they have been successful in luring Intel and others from the multinational sector. Many important emerging BRIC nations have some of the killer apps running at full steam and others not so much. These questions will be with us for as business, government, and civil society look for ways to raise the next billion plus people out of poverty, in the drive to eliminate the, “nasty brutish and short,” condition grinding poverty provides for. However, business with be the engine, the oars of the world economic boat, but if the government is not being a good coxswain and steering well, nations land on rocky shores. The last killer app would be politics and democracy. It is the best system to resolve or manage those complex conflicts Dahrendorf’s lays out and keep nations of the
rocky shores that lead to internal or external conflict instead ,when modernity comes knocking on the doors. With this said, I am by no means a professional historian or political scientist, but this POD has given me a great opportunity to understand the foundations upon which sustainable democratic capitalism is based upon. In the future I will continue to learn about the ingredients for a positive capital attracting business environment, it really is more than just taxes or else Dubai at 0% corporate tax would be perfect, it’s the entire Killer Apps framework package. There are some structural concepts for society that the West got right in order for commerce to thrive.
THE ACCENT OF MONEY AND THE HISTORY OF MONEY
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: The Accent of Money Niall Ferguson 12/12/2011 Channel 4 OD 2
“Masters of the Universe,” this is what the lords of high finance get called during boom times and “vampire squid” during crises, but is it true? Do they deserve those big fat bonuses? How do banks get so, “to-big-to-fail” so that sovereign states must, “socialize the losses and privatize the profits?” Niall Ferguson’s “The Accent of Money” six-episode historical-look at how the concept of money has come to be so important in our global economy and what its implications are for the global economies future. As an activist leader, and an action based learner, I believe I need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to participate in situations that will enhance my understanding of the history and the future of the marketplace and be able to act competently in it. In accordance with Next Generation Management learning outcomes and indicative themes of Business and Society section, like learning about global economics, and global thinking this POD experience was for me. It was also compliant with my personal development plan goals of “Understanding the Big Picture,” “Leadership,” and embracing my “Leadership Voice and Tone.” I am very interested in global markets and have been an active investor and interested in the frameworks in which public markets operate. This POD is consistent with what I have learned from the stakeholder frameworks and investor value frameworks, but failed to mention new ethical and accountability issues that have come from the perceived “too big to fail,” corporatism that is indicated in our era of bailouts (Maignan, 2004) (Bezemer, et, al. 2011) (Hughes and Mester, 1993). These are not questions on everyone’s minds, but it on mine and many other people as well who are interested in the foundations of our financial system. I have always been interested in history, commerce, and the history of commerce. Also, how it comes to be reflected in different cultures attitudes toward money and financial
expectations when it comes to our capitalist system. This is actually how I became interested in politics and public policy, which drove my life in Washington, D.C. for almost ten years. If nothing else, I am curious about global commerce and economics and their history. I am also an avid market investor of many years and my stepfather has been in commercial finance since he came into my life at eight years old and had a role in making me interested in finance. One of my favourite books on this subject is Jerry Z. Muller “The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought,” which examines western thoughts on market systems from 1700 onward. I am also a huge intellectual fan of historian and former director London School of Economics Ralf Dahrendorf, as well as economist and political theorist Fredrich Hayek. I respect their work as it respects to policy, economics, and politics. While I was an undergraduate at George Washington University studying History and always writing from a libertarian Dahrendorf-ism framework and perspective something odd happened. I became friends with the structural Marxists, as the primary prospective in common is a shared philosophy that agreed to the primacy of economics in driving history, for good and bad. This is in contrast to those using cultural frameworks like Gramci-ists and their conservative religious inverse foes. The other differences between a Dahrendorf framework and other neo-liberal strains is its acceptance of conflict in society, but arguing that it is much more complex than the Marxist views on property and wealth and is divided into much more flexible “command class,” “obey class,” floating shifting interests and interest groups. Conflicts surrounding modernity and the distributions of winners and losers are among the most important of the permanent conflicts to be dealt with. For our postindustrial pluralistic world where the lower classes are not becoming more homogenous but much more diverse in skills and occupational roles it had always seemed a better fit to look at the world as it is and not how it should be in some idealistic ideologically driven way ( Dahrendorf, 1959). The market crash and the collapse of the credit bubble in 2007-2008 and the ripe crony capitalism that has seemed to follow also had me more interested in the work of arch-Austrian Economist Murray Rothbard, author Ayn Rand. I listened to Atlas Shrugged on audio book the summer before NGM began and their polar opposite George Soros via (Bryant, C. G. A. (2002). This began after reading Nassim Nicholas
Taleb “Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden role of Chance in Life and in the Market,” as well as his better known and more recent book “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.” I was happy to reread some of it during our first week in NGM. I also got his textbook on advanced options trading, but that one is really just written in Greek to me! For this reason, when I discovered Prof. Niall Ferguson’s six part episodes laying out his book of the same name “The Accent of Money,” I was hooked. I was also taken with flu and had nowhere else to go and it was right when I discovered my 4 OD player online. Mind you, this was also when the spasms of credit liquidity problems in the Eurozone banks had begun LTRO process and it was big news. I had also been fascinated by the way credits and debts are distributed and marked here in Ireland vs. say my native southern American state of Georgia. I wanted to intellectually explore the history and how we got to the mess we are now in the entire industrialized world. In episode one, from the origins of “The Merchants of Venice,” loan sharks in his native Scotland and promissory notes in clay from the ancient fertile crescent he takes watchers and readers though the origins of credit and debt. In other words debt and credit have always been with us and reading (Graeber, 2011) has been instructive. In episode two, through showing the role that finance and specifically bonds for kings to finance wars changed the way people would use or thing of finance forever. Episode three showed many of the famous bubbles that have been produced, via credit bubbles and other bouts of speculative mania over the last four to five centuries and how credit bubbles can hide fraud and illegal activities ala-Enron and Anglo-Irish, in our recent past. In episode four and five he examined the modern evolutions of insurance, the welfare state, and housing. How much is enough and how do we go about allocating it? This was where we caught up to the present. It was interesting to see how private and public safety nets evolved at a similar time during booming industrialization. In the final episode he looked at how globalization is really a balancing act and that it can go in reverse, again the opinion of many that I share. This would be the example of how globalized the world economy was before World War One and how
long it to the world to get back to that level of integration since, given decolonialisation, resource nationalism, and the Cold War economic system standoff and the globalization and neo-liberalization that occurred afterward, as even the Chinese Communist Party now have learned the power of capital markets and global commercial competition. In the sixth and final episode he looked at the evolution, “Chimera,” which he coined and is the deep interdependent commercial and financial relation between China and the United States. I don’t have enough digital ink to make since of this one. This series fascinated me from the first minute through the last episode. It also led me to the work of left-leaning anarchist David Graeber’s 2011 book “Debt The First 5000 Years” and the lessons he has for the present time if looking at debt and credit imbalances over five thousand years and debt jubilees that have a long history in the west going back to the ancient Romans and Greeks. Credit and debt systems are a requirement of and reality in modern commerce. Without it store shelves would not be filled and farmers would not have near the flexibility to shift in an out of crops depending on rotations and price expectations for the future. Graeber does make a persuasive case for some forms of “debt Jubilee,” or write-downs by those who are owed payments. He argues, that it was not the debtors’ fault alone to get so over extended, but the creditors for offering the levels of debt and he is talking at a micro level with mortgages and credit cards, and etc., as well as a larger macro level with states dealing with the fall out. His alternatives are grinding depressionary austerity (which actually only makes debts larger and worse in many cases without economic growth) or political violence. I think Ralf Dahrendorf would have agreed with his arguments and this was not really mentioned in “The Accent on Money.” It would have been helpful if there were another chapter about the history of debt and debt forgiveness as read (Geanakoplos, 2009) was very instructive on this point as well in regards to the leverage cycles inherent in credit. I am by no means an expert on the history of commerce, but this POD has given me new insights into how money came to rule our nations and exposed me to new readings. I have found a new appreciation of the American Constitution’s enshrinement of debtor rights, as the consequences of not having adequate debt
forgiveness clearance systems are apparent in the subsequent private debt problems endemic after the European’s real estate bubble and its clearance has extreme economic consequences in today’s Ireland and Spain of 2012.
INTRODUCTION TO FINANCE AND FINANCIAL MARKETS
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Introduction to Financial Markets Susan Hayes 13/02/2012 through 05/03/2012 Webinars and Henry Gratten Building 2
The Introduction to Finance pod with, the “positive economist” Susan Hayes was an excellent way to get more acquainted with concepts of tools of modern Finance and not its history. It consisted of three webinars, three tests, and one final lecture on Monday 5th March 6pm, in C166 in the Henry Gratten building on Dublin City University’s campus and a survey, after we had completed the three weeks of work. As an activist leader, and an action based learner I believe I need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to participate in situations that will enhance my understanding of the marketplace and be able to act competently in it regularly. In accordance with Next Generation Management learning outcomes and indicative themes of Business and Society section, like learning about global economics, and global thinking this POD experience was for me. It was also compliant with my personal development plan goals of “Understanding the Big Picture,” “Leadership,” and embracing my “Leadership Voice and Tone.” I am very interested in global markets and have been an active investor and interested in the frameworks in which public markets operate. This POD is consistent with what I have learned from the stakeholder frameworks and investor value frameworks, but failed to mention new ethical and accountability issues that have come from the perceived “too big to fail,” corporatism that is indicated in our era of bailouts. A bit of background first about what was required of us.
The financial markets have been dominating the news over the past couple of years. The Irish government bond yield has become so powerful, it dictates the amount of tax that you pay. The stock market crash of 2008 ominously foretold of a world economic crisis to come. So what are the financial markets and how do they work?
Webinar 1, Monday 13th February 6pm, A basic explanation of what the financial markets are, why they exist and who invests in them Webinar 2, Monday 20th February 6pm, What a bond is, the different types of bonds that people invest in and why the bond yield is so important Webinar 3, Monday 27th February 6pm, One way that you can use to pick shares, when to sell them and how to buy them We also had three tests: Test 1: POD Week One: Introduction to Financial Markets Test 2: POD Week Two: Introduction to Fixed Income Test 3: POD Week Three: The Dividend Yield
This POD was a great way to get introduced to some of the basic concepts that are in the news every day. These concepts are affecting major world economies as the market crash of 2008 has led to a continuing Eurogroup’s financial crisis still with us today. How did this crisis start? Did banks and their balance sheets play a role? It is tough to answer or understand questions like these if you don’t understand debt instruments link bonds. Not to mention stocks and and investment returns. This was a great POD for young people with little to no finance background, to begin to learn some of the key facts and lingo that get bantered around in the headlines every day. This POD was very basic to me in some respects, but not a waste of time, as Susan Hayes was an excellent presenter and enthusiastic teacher of the subject matter. The slides form the webinars and tests were useful, not to difficult to grasp or to time consuming to learn the material. I wish we had at least covered inflation and “real vs. nominal” returns and earnings, which everyone who participates in the modern economy should learn, as we save for retirement and governments and business attempt to shift more of the burden of retirement to individuals and their investment choices. I learned that, even though I have spent years imbibing financial knowledge as my step-father is a commercial banker, I am an avid investor and have been reading The Economist magazine, since I was very young, thanks to my grandmother, I have a lot more to learn. To be more sophisticated and knowledgeable in regards to the subject of finance required much more and this class was a great start. I enjoyed the POD, as I have become a huge reader of zerohedge.com and seekingalpha.com investment blogs, since the financial crash of 2008. It made me more interested in learning more about the subject matter in the first place. The POD led me to iTunesU open Yale
classes by Intro to Finance with Dr. Robert Shiller (Case/Shiller Index co-creator) , Financial Theory with Dr. John Geanakoplos, and Corporate Finance with HEC’s David Thesmar. Dr. John Geanakoplos scholarship regarding the leverage cycle should be standard reading for anyone interested in finance or some of the financial theory behind the ongoing Eurogroup crisis (Geanakoplos, 2009).
(Bob Shiller iTunes U courses) This was more than take a webinar and think, “Gee I learned something.” It really got me interested to learn more complex issues and concepts of Finance. For example, Why does financial crises follow a normal distribution from equilibrium to instability so very quickly? It did not hurt that, I was also working and learning more details around Statistics with my Teaching Company lectures (see research PODs) and the SPSS test closing in this same March month of 2012. The PODs actually worked well together enforcing concepts and tool sets from a practical (money making) and theoretical framework. I tend to learn much better when learning tools or theoretical knowledge can be linked to either, “How does knowing this help people make money?” “Could understanding this, help me make money in the future?” Again, I was disappointed inflation was not ever mentioned, as it is important to an understanding of basic Finance and considerations regarding investing. The use of debt and discussion of debt clearance from overloaded systems would have been another useful construct in this POD. It could have been taken from a purely business and society learning experience, given that the issues in regarding to how,
individuals, firms, and sovereigns do or don’t discharge debts is still a very hot subject in Europe after the bailouts here in Ireland, Greek bond PSI transfer and recognition that Spanish banks are probably much worse off, than the Irish banks were during the worst point of the banking crisis here. The Spaniards have just hidden and lied about their bad loans way more effectively and longer. But how did they get away with it for so long? A chat most of the MECB students got to have this semester, via a presentation with a regulator from the Central Bank of Ireland in our Risk Management class was all mostly about finance and balance sheets. Interestingly, this was also one of the most animated discussions of the Irish phase of the economic crisis I have experienced in my nine plus months in Dublin and I feel lucky that I was able to learn so much of the deep story and regulatory failures blind spots that a bubble economy can create. I am by no means a expert at in finance or modern market operations, but this POD has given a good basis for me to firmly establish what I didn’t know, what I knew, picked up on from my own learning in the past and what else I am interested in learning in the future. As a result of this POD I have a deeper understanding of what I knew and didn’t know when it came to finance and market operations and what I was interested in perusing on my own time to be a more informed citizen and world investor. I have even started in a new idea based index fund concept called “Motifs,” as many are related to subjects learned in many other NGM course work. As a result of this POD I would have more confidence in applying to some of the sales and marketing roles that the ICE Exchange (big in London, but based in Atlanta oddly) offer that are semi-technical, but require knowledge of the context of modern finance. I am by no means a professional or expert at the many elements in finance or financial markets, but this POD has given a great foundation to build deeper understanding upon for the future. I recommend to NGM manangement that this POD experience to be available again next year in the fall and an addition advanced one in the spring.
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power Des McLaughlin 11/29/2011 DCU Helix 1
This personal opportunity for development was a viewing of “The Corporation” and its implications and thought for corporate governance in the modern stakeholder shareholder value framework, many NGM students stayed late on a chilly November night, to watch and analyze this film on a big screen at the Helix. As an activist leader, and an action based learner, I believe I need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to participate in situations that will enhance my understanding of the marketplace ethically and be able to act socially responsible in it. In accordance with Next Generation Management learning outcomes and indicative themes of Business and Society section, like learning about global economics, corporate social responsibility and business ethics this POD experience was for me. It was also compliant with my personal development plan goals of “Understanding the Big Picture” and “Leadership” I am very interested in the environment and corporate governance. The frameworks in which public markets operate are important to understand offer us a prism to view business decisions through. This POD is consistent with what I have learned from using modern stakeholder frameworks as well as investor value frameworks, but failed to mention new ethical and accountability issues that have come from the perceived “too big to fail,” corporatism that is indicative of our era of massive corporate bailouts (Maignan, 2004) (Bezemer, et, al. 2011) (Hughes, 1993) (Wilson, 2001) (Gouldson, A. (2006) (Warhurst 2005). The 2003 Canadian documentary film was written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. Bakan actually wrote a book based on the research done for the films creation, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.
The primary thesis of the film was to persuade that the “modern corporation” if actions were judged based upon the late 1800s Supreme Court rulings in the United States that corporations for legal purposes, had the same standing in Court a ‘person,’ than this person would be considered a psychopath or at least a sociopath by the DSM IV criterions by a psychiatrist. The film attempted to make this case with ‘evidence’ of this diagnosis. It used interviews and commentary from hard-left critics of the modern global order like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, and Howard Zinn. It also had some unflattering and arguably well over-edited interviews with both free-market luminary Milton Friedman and the head of Canada most prominent libertarian think tank the Fraser Institute. Some of the subjects were merely old left-wing historical straw men from a less modern and educated time, to those that focused on modern myths about genetic modified crops. Monsanto is evil, but for the reasons they describe in the movie. The ones that are arguably more relevant for discussion were some of the discussions around privatization and environmental liability and responsibility in nations that do not have the well developed legal laity systems of the west where politicians can fix corporate problems, for a price. Was I persuaded? Not really. As a trained historian from a more Darendorfian conception of power centres and conflict driven by modernity and our responses to it, I am naturally sceptical of the characterization of the entity know as, “corporation” or “limited liability corporation” being inherently evil sociopaths. However, this is not to say I think corporations are angels either, but made up of flawed humans, attempting to manage a variety of conflicting interests and priorities. I find it odd that those on the political left generally believe in the perfectibility of man and not his entity constructed organically by them. I also can find the inverse believed by the right leaning thought just as absurd. It would be arguable on the other side to say the individuals, who succeed most on the way up the corporate ladder may have some or strong sociopathic tendencies. Allowing their work identity become totalizing in their life, sure I have seen it and forced to live it in publishing. Among the traits most rewarded are returning profit to shareholders. This however, is not evil or sociopathic as these entities sole purpose for existing is to mark profit, but “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” According to Milton Friedman.
I have a few critiques of the film. The concept of political power arbitrage and crony capitalism as a concept is not even ever brought up. (Wilson, 2001) This film has a strong anarcho anti-capitalist anti-profit motive and axe to grind. The most profound work being done on profit plus sustainability is being done by by Whole Foods CEO and libertarian philosopher John Mackey.
I think the hardest thing about my job is the way Whole Foods Market views itself philosophically is that we are a business dedicated to meeting all the various stakeholders of the company's best interests. And by stakeholders we mean customers, team members, stockholders, community, and the environment. Sometimes what is in the best interest of one stakeholder may not be in the best interest of another stakeholder, and as the CEO, I have to balance the various interests of the different constituencies and stakeholders to create win, win, win scenarios, and that can sometimes be very difficult to do. Everybody wants something from the CEO. -John Mackey
I had actually seen this movie once before in the past around 2005 on Netflix, back in the United States at the request of my (now deceased) Grandmother, Gay Petite Dellinger. She was on friendly social terms and shared many of the ecological ideology of my home state Georgia-based Interface carpets CEO Ray Anderson (also now deceased as well). She was an entrepreneurial ecologist and had interactions with Mr. Anderson on the board of the Georgia Nature Conservancy after she had turned her (first in the state of Georgia now it’s a big industry) Split Rail Vineyard into the Petite Environmental Preserve a number of years before she passed. I learned a fair bit from this movie. I first off have generally historically enjoyed mixing it up a bit and watching documentaries and reading books and listening to politically charged music that disagree with my political and historical schools of thought and personal philosophical frameworks. I still prefer to read The Economist and am more persuaded by books turned into films, like David Yergins, “The Commanding Heights,” which is a history of post-Cold War neo-liberalism and globalisation. I am still very sceptical of the ‘workers democracy,” means of production or anything that moves toward bureaucratic or Bolivarian socialism. Apparently the hard-line communists and Maoist hated this movie as well for its critique of their use of authoritarian bureaucracies (MiM 2008). My friends at The Economist argued, this film was ripping historian Max Weber’s assertions about government bureaucracy off and just replaced government with corporations (The Economist, 2008) and therefore intellectually suspect.
Free and democratic societies are free to choose how they spend their society’s resources as they wish, but are all still fighting a large and increasing labour base in the developing world for limited capital investment dollars. This fact is a reality. An example of this would be the Irish development model and consensus economic policy leading later to the Celtic Tiger year boom, to arguably out free-market and structurally “killer app” the Americans, British, or other neighbouring countries in Europe certain ways (corporate tax rates, legal, and patents, etc) to be able to afford certain minimum levels of social welfare and well-being (strong education, social welfare). Why else would so much multi-national money have shifted in the last 20 years to be based in Ireland? Arguably this is not secret and many small countries have done it over the last 30-40 years. Autarky does not work. Arguably, the Irish development model is more fair than the Anglo-Saxon Washington Consensus, but the emotion rush for immediate “economic justice,” dooms the revolutionary path to nothing, but corruption where, “An Aristocracy of Pull” connected to the government replaces tradition power centres (Wilson, 2001). Again, Dahrendorf would likely agree with this assertion of shifting conflict and not utopia (Dahrendorf, 1959. I actually really like Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History,” and Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me,” and all music politically chared music by Thievery Corporation. They are all intellectually honest and heartfelt work. However, I do have a limit. I can’t read Chomsky, unless it is about linguistics, which in regard he is brilliant on the subject. I have a strong despise of Naomi Klein’s work and consider her a low rent left-wing public intellectual. My friends in the, “Toronto neo-liberal mafia” have debated her many times since first year and her level of intellectual game has never moved beyond that level. I would prefer to read high-brow, John Rawls “Theory of Justice” reading Matthew Iglesias, and Ezra Klein and a few other leftwing bloggers and authors who live in my old neighbourhood and I have interacted with socially. That is not to say, I love all authors and public intellectuals and politically connected figures associated with ideas I believe or have worked on behalf in the past. In fact I despise and will not read, The Economist blogs online very often due to my hatred of libertarian authorblogger Will Wilkinson, despite my long love of reading The Economist.
I am however, unique in this respect among my NGM colleagues, because of my connection to media elites in Washington D.C., from my previous role at the Washington Examiner, which houses more than one author and public intellectual I despise personally and professionally. This movie pushed me a bit to think further into the current system which has led to some interesting loop holes in the liability lawsuit based way remediate the world environment from the pursuit of industrialization. The case of Chevron and the cleanup of Texaco’s mess in Ecuador is an interest case where globalization, the responsible and corrupt local, “Aristocracy of Pull“ have created a difficult case, I admit, both morally and financial to solve (Wilson, 2001). I don’t have the answer. Widely acceptable and common sense environmentalism, versus political ecologism is a complex issue of modernity that Dahrendorf would argue we are stuck with (Dahrendorf, 1959). Private property and increasing human welfare and prosperity should not be the enemy it is to many political ecologists. This can lead to “Shoot shovel and shut up,” which many property owners in the forests of the American South practice, due to the strict rules of the Endangered Species Act, which if and endangered critters is found on your property, the government takes all economic productive value of your land away for zero financial remuneration. That is and extremely altruistic and cavalier way to think rational actors will behave, with what is likely someone’s economic livelihood. One day I had lunch with some friends here in Dublin who proclaimed, “We are all environmentalists, we just don’t want to pay for it.” This is true, we don’t. At least democratic capitalism allows us to make the tradeoffs between economic growth that requires some environmental risk and a pristine earth. However, environmentalism is a multi-bladed sword. It is accomplishing amazing things in aiding reasons for real active politics outside the Party in China, for example and this is far from the only example. It allows ordinary citizens to have a reason to keep elites accountable, when other institutions fail. Arguably social media and the Internet are making it easier for people and their needs both environmentally, socially, work, and capital investment wise not to be ignored as easily. Some extremes on the other side have become apparent with the 60 Minutes exposes of the American Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement division harsh and brutal tactics, they are not making many friends.
Life before industrialism began was indeed the Hobbsian, “Nasty brutish and short” not the pristine garden of Eden, our modernity and wealth in the industrialized world allows us to think it is, but this is rarely the case in the developing world. This fear comes up in most discussion of climate change in the United States, but can be expressed throughout most of the industrialized world in a different ways. The film has given me more respect for attempts to integrate the shareholder value framework I am more comfortable with, and the stakeholder frameworks being argued for by many, but not as well as John Mackey in academy. This has been heavily enabled by social media and the Internet. Unhappy stakeholders can end up causing legal and product liability issues, that have very large and consequential tail end risk that will lead negatively affect shareholders long-term value. Arguably, this is the key to a better more ethical and greener future, the alignment of shareholder value, corporate profit and happy stakeholders. Free-markets are just like communism, as a theory the theory seems cleaner and easier than how it works in practice. However, democratic - capitalism at the end of the day has raised more people out of misery and suffering than any other system and allocated capital in growth oriented way. The film, but more so the 2008 economic crash taught me, that markets are inherently unstable systems and as such they will continue to come in many flavours and shapes as we move deeper into the 21st century depending on the cultural needs and expectations of the nation when it comes to growth, ecological concern, and general welfare (Maignan, 2004) (Bezemer, et, al. 2011) (Hughes, 1993) (Wilson, 2001) (Gouldson, A. (2006) (Warhurst 2005). As a result of this POD, I have a deeper understanding of what goes wrong when businesses, do not comprehend their triple bottom like described in stakeholder frameworks or the negative implications for shareholder value when they do not. I came to this film with many comprehensive ideological frameworks to view it through. I was interested in this POD to be a more informed global citizen and understand how corporate social responsibly can be good for improving shareholder value and not just the environment , but it’s workers, suppliers, and customers.
ETHICS AND ENRON: THE SMARTS GUYS IN THE ROOM
Event: Presenter: Date: Ethics in the era of Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room Pods Simone De Colle and Alex Gibeny 3/9-16/2012
Venue: DCUBS and Online Weight : 2
Everyone implicitly understands ethics, but very few people are educated explicitly in ethics as academic way very well. I am glad this POD experience has allowed me to meditate and consider concepts in modern ethics and see them applied and the consequences of them not being applied in Alex Gibeny’s Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room. As an action orientated learner, I learn by doing, so I need to continue seeking out opportunities that will allow me to witness and participate in situations that will enhance my understanding of workplace business ethics and issues in corporate governance. These subjects are consistent with my personal development plans of leadership, understanding the big picture, and empathy for others. These are also associated with Next Generation Management learning outcomes for the business and society theme. This a reflection combining both lectures from Simone De Colle and the movie “Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room” and some outside considerations on the subject of modern ethics. I only attended one of the lectures of Simone De Colle, as I was aiding some of the NGM marketing students with their charity golf tournament for UNICEF, but got a copy of the lecture, which was taped and watched on an airplane, as I was headed back to the United States for a death in the family. Some of my fellow NGM students felt the Simone De Colle lectures and readings were slow and dry. It’s not the lecturers fault, it is just the content is a bit dense so my reflection is a bit of a synthesis, to make sense of what I have learned and connect it to the outside world beyond the gates of Dublin City University, as I explored morality a bit more as a concept and construct. I want to explain a bit, about what I have learned about ethics over the course of the PODs and my looking back upon the importance of ethical considerations in our changing economic and political environment. There are three branches of ethics:
meta-ethics; (understanding the nature of ethics driven properties and judgments) normative ethics; (questions arising from deciding how to act morally) and applied ethics (the examination of issues arising from the interaction of public and private life). Most of what we will discuss in the reflection of these PODs is in relation to applied ethics and their considerations, as we will not be discussing the nature of ethics, or the beliefs about a right or wrong moral judgments. Not enough digital ink to do so. This POD has forced me to consider how small ethical considerations are the building blocks of societal trust and that when ethics and ethical standards are ignored, communities shareholders and societies are materially and emotionally less well off. Well-observed business ethics are an important component of creating sustainable business value (Hart et al 2003). We learned the three concepts of modern ethics are:
Utilitarianism - based on Jeremy Bentham's work on maximizing happiness and minimizing pain Virtue ethics - derivative of concepts from Aristotle and Confucius (which is a bit archaic and feels a bit more like the ethics version of “might makes”) Deontological ethics - are concepts based on agreed or perceived rules (Immanuel Kant and the Categorical imperative)
There is a fourth quasi-school of thought called the Casuistry, which attempt to judge the ethical reason based on the facts or evidence presented at the given time. One use case scenario, often used is in attempting to create end-life care policies. Sounding good in theory so far, but this can be problematic and can develop into develop into a decadent form of moral relativism, example arguably being the state of the rule of law in Argentina (Barbero, 2012) if it becomes socially endemic and undermine trust and institutions.
(Rockwell, “Golden Rule,” show for academic discussion purposes only. Rights Reserved.)
The so-called “Golden Rule,” or ethical reciprocity, as it is more formally know is also a very basic and simple form of ethical system even children understand and use whether or not they know it. Although conceptually formalized in the 1600s by fancy moral philosophers in the west, it has been widely embedding in most religious teaching since our most archaic times of yore. Think also of the famous Norman Rockwell painting of the same name. However, even morality and reciprocity are getting a modern coat of bio-chemical respectably not given to the religious reasons as strongly in our secular age. Dr. Paul Zak often referred to as “Dr. Love,” thinks there is a bio-chemical reason for us being moral and ethical. I found him via TED Talks.
(Dr. Paul Zak at TEDTALKS) He argues strongly that the oxytocin we naturally produce has a strong role in creating trustworthiness, and “trust networks,” and his work remains a bio-chemical basis for morality in 90% of humanity that can experience this bio-chemical effect (Zak 2008). Whereas that 10% of subjects do not respond in a manner our human cultures, would say is moral and ethical. This trustworthiness molecule concept and argument plays strongly toward humans as inherently moral creators. However, with the other 10% unable to have the bio-chemical responses for trust and
trustworthiness this may cause social and societal consequences. Is this the biochemical root of unethical behaviour? Maybe, and it will affect our literature in regards to ethics for years in the future as we learn more about the arguably, sociopathic individuals that inhabit a strong portion of this stated 10%. This would cover unethical acts of an un-rational nature, that are contra to self-interest, but not for those that taken actions that are “rationally unethical” ala Enron and Anglo-Irish. However, for these situations, I am actually have become a fan of the dusty and forgotten, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” by Adam Smith, given that my neo-liberal friends love to cite his other masterpiece and that the work of the now forgotten “sentimentalist school” of thought that Smith subscribed seems spot on to me. This late 1700s school of thought educates me about the ethics and creative sustainable frameworks that open markets now require, for more historical and modern business organizations to function properly. This is especially true in regards to the Enron example for us to examine. This brings up a strong debate between the nature of rights and responsibilities and whether you are operating on more or less on natural rights concepts or social constructs (contracts) where now you get deep into the arguments by the Scottish enlightenment and their hard work on negative rights, (Herman, 2002) that has influenced all constitutional republican political thought since. What exactly is business ethics? It is a form of professional ethics, derived from personal and socio-political ethics, which historically has been associated with human actions, within a company. More generally how others are to be treated and whether or not the actions of individual or group are in some form of way conducted a manner aligned with fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders or owners. This responsibility seems to be growing into duties and responsibilities in regards to actions as to the interests of stakeholders and the larger community (Warhurst, 2005). This is now often termed “corporate social responsibility” (CSR). Ethics are vital to discussing political philosophy. John Rawls and Robert Nozick are among my favourite contributors and the most widely cited intellectuals cited, (George, 1999) among my Washington based breed of young public intellectuals left right and libertarian as morality strongly divides our political ideology as well. As many people get trapped in simplistic “moral matrix” according to Haidt.
(Dr. Jonathan Haidt at TEDTALKS) Famed sceptic Michael Shermer is looking at this concept in depth in a paper in June 2012 issue of Scientific American entitled “The Science of Righteousness.” However, in application of some of the basic frameworks of ethics we really watched a case study on what not do, in the movie Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room play by play on how the Enron scandal came about. It is freely available both on Netflix (in the EU) and Hulu.com (in America). I had seen this documentary more than one time, but did not use it to think about the larger world of ethics or the various conflicts or interests, that can lead individuals to cheat and mislead others on such a grand scale. Those on the political left would argue, based on the California energy vignette in the film, that is an example of failed neo-liberal deregulation. I disagree, and see it as an example of politicians botching the construct of competitive electricity markets. They seem to work fine in the UK. Enron was just playing on the field built by the political class, and doing some shaping of the field as well. However, when they started hiding losses off balance sheet etc…. this was the official: see no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil, turning point of moral failure on every level. What can you really learn about ethics from seeing it mal-practiced in the extreme? Allot actually, it makes one ask question not just about personal ethics or professional, but how they affect modern capitalist and allows individuals and organizations to slide by unnoticed with large frauds and systemically unethical behaviour, if they are connected to the right people and attend the right charity balls.
What do I mean? The Lay and Fastow Enron gang were hugely connected players in Washington, D.C. in the years before I was politically active or in publishing and tossed a ton of money around. The Enron concept was giant Ponzi scheme of political regulatory arbitrage, as Ken Lay began his career as a Washington low-level player and knew how to play the system well. This actually helps hide corporate misbehaviour much longer than it otherwise would, that “Aristocracy of Pull” up to no good once again (Wilson, 2001). Was Enron the only company with illegal accounting practices and unethical management? No, but it was by far the largest, but not the only publically traded corporate accounting scandal, Tyco, WorldCom, and Parmalat in Italy was the EU’s Enron (Businessweek, 2004). Or was it the bad ethics and misaligned interests of the accounting companies working for them? Arguably yes, however, these accounting scandals did change the rules for publicly traded companies, in making CEOs criminally liable and not merely civilly liable for their unethical misbehavior and other with the SARBOX based legal “fixes.” However, the changes in rules did not stop Bernie Maddow or R. Stanford Allen’s massive investor swindles and profiting from unethical behaviour or their European equals. This problem continued on track beyond the early 2000s Enron accounting scandal, into the revelations of deep ethical and financial mismanagement in the 2008 credit freeze, which has led to the Great Recession that we are still dealing with worldwide. “Too big to fail,” corporatism and regulated stop gabs to prevent systemically important organizations to cause a national or world financial contagion still has not been fixed. Some activists on the political right and left have come to symbolize this issue in the concept of, “Privatize profits, socialize losses.” In a similar way Enron symbolized this well as the inverse of, “too big to fail” bailouts is multi-partisan “regulatory capture,” in good times (Wilson, 2001)(Hughes, 1993). Arguably they go hand and hand and ethical bad behaviour is hard to expose and at a much more severe point because of it (Laffont, et al 1991). Now their solutions to the problem are very different, but the general discontent that has lingered well beyond the initial shock of the financial crisis remains. Many in the public at large in the industrialized world feel that the social contract has been broken the rules of the game are different for the elites than for normal people.
The left says, “Nationalize and socialize the profits,” the right says, “don’t subsidize or backstop the individual firms.” Governments though as Paul Krugman loves to instruct us has a mandate for stability and prosperity, so we are stuck with many angry voters worldwide feeling the rules have changed, as they are asked to sacrifice while elites who have an in are set and cared for well. Democracy has been replaced with an, “Aristocracy of Pull,” as Ayn Rand so described it in her philosophical literary polemic “Atlas Shrugged” (Wilson, 2011). Is American football really any different now that the NFL is being sued by former players, accusing them of knowing about the long term physical dangers to players health from repeated concussions (zerohedge, 2012) as the scientific literature now suggests the head injuries lead to Lou Gehrig's disease. Will European soccer clubs be next? There are sticky ethics in sport as well too. Why are business ethics so important to understand? Their malfeasances, of course. If they are not followed nations end up with massively unpopular political-economic quagmires. A crisis of legitimacy for democratic institutions ensues, whether it is in the United States after the unpopular bailout of AIG, General Motors, etc., or in Ireland with the unending financial backstop of Anglo-Irish Bank that managed to take an otherwise fiscally responsible nation to the brink. Why? Because a financial institution can grow so large and cause so much regulatory capture, so it can take down the entire nation’s fiscal house. Ireland and America were not the only nations to deal with cascading financial nightmare, Iceland, Greece, and now Spain and the other Mediterranean nations are following suit. This POD forced me to consider how our ethical decisions add up and create trust and critical social trust networks that are vital and critical in a modern society and enterprise (Lyon, 2000). It has been argued that strong trust networks are among the most important factors in economic development (Messener, 1997). This would mean that a well developed enforceable ethical standard and structure are a key underpinning of what actually works, in many major developed nations that where it lags and is weaker economic and social change will also lag the developed world (Lyon, 2000) (Messener, 1997). Maybe ethics are a biological feature of our humanity, maybe it is just a cultural or religious construct, but it seems all humans need boundaries and taboos no different children and adolescences. Even if some rules may be meant to be broken, it makes us feel better that it is still on the book. However, when it comes to business ethics and trust networks that ethical behaviour
creates could realistically be a sixth “killer app” of human development and prosperity in the Niall Ferguson construct. I am by no means a professional or expert at the moral philosophy of ethics, but this POD has given a great foundation to build upon my knowledge of political theory and how it is so related to personal and professional ethics. I attempt to be an ethical person who can sense the boundaries of right in wrong. I have always seen the selfish values deep inside altruism, but after these PODs I know how and why and not to worry. This is a great revelation for me. To grow my understanding of how ethics connects to the modern business world I have actually been listening to Dr. William Kline at the University of Illinois iTunesU academic lectures entitled, “Radicals for Capitalism,” among others I have downloading on the “Too Big to Fail,” subject matter for further understanding.
(Lectures by Dr. William Kline available on iTunesU)
RTE’S NOEL CURRAN TALK AT DCU
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Media and the Public - 'The Future of Public Service Media in Ireland' DCU Alumni and Director General of RTÉ’s Noel Curran 17/10/2011 Dublin City University Helix 1
As an action learner, I believe it invaluable to seek out opportunities that will allow me to witness situations that will make me think about, “the big picture” and “change management,” in accordance with my personal development plan (PDP) and in compliance with the NGM learning outcomes, in regards to corporate ethics and accountability, and leadership in global markets and civil society. I thought that, an evening listen to Noel Curran and pondering my thoughts about the role of public media and how it is uniquely different and similar to that of my native United States, with my background in online publishing given my interest in an career sales and marketing that may or may not be related to my old industry was a perfect fit. This POD was really a long speech by the Director General of RTÉ’s Noel Curran to hit back at others who had been critical of his leadership in the month’s prior at a friendly-faced forum. My reflection is a combination of notes on his speech and my thoughts and critiques of some of his points. Some background on the evening first:
Noel Curran, the Director General of RTÉ, delivered the inaugural lecture in the 'Media and the Public' series on October 17th in the Helix Theatre. It was in many ways a homecoming for Mr. Curran, as he is a graduate of the School of Communications. His lecture, 'The Future of Public Service Media in Ireland' outlined the strategy for RTÉ not only for broadcast media, but also for all platforms including online content and services. In an at times hard-hitting speech, Mr. Curran said Â that RTÉ was entering a new era where it would be "open to broadcast partnerships and collaborations around key areas of content like sports rights and new digital television". This new era would be symbolised by the "Analogue Switch off" in 2012, a "defining moment in the evolution of Irish media." However, Mr. Curran stated restructuring and pay cuts were inevitable for staff at all levels up to 2013. "Despite these new changes, RTÉ will maintain its Irish identity", he said. "Above all we need a media service that is accountable, not to shareholders, individuals or the government of the day, but to the public. Public trust is the critical measure for public service broadcasters".
Mr. Curran said the six future priority areas for RTÉ would be investigative journalism, arts and culture, science, technology and innovation, children and young people, 24-Hour news on demand, and national events. (Justmultimedia youtube.com, 2011)
Curran’s student thesis we were informed, was entitled “The Crisis in Public media,”at Dublin City University’s predecessor NIHE. Public access to RTE archives is something desired by Irish media scholars according to Curran. This seems arguably useful and telling given the current state of tradition media adapting to the digital media landscape. Public service media models are substantially different from country to country. Expectations from Ireland to America and beyond are frankly very different. Noel Curran outline RTÉ's future plans. The management responsibilities of cultural sovereignty are important public media concepts to keep in mind for disusing Ireland and how it is different from what I am use to in the United States and how it is more like Canada than the model I am familiar with. Is RTE really a public good? RTE has been broadcast since that night in the Gresham hotel in the early sixties. From, “one of the few,” domestic media outlets to “one of the many,“ in a crowded and diversified media market has been hard transition for RTE. Curran briefly mentions, Twitter and Facebook, “When a company name becomes a verb in less than a year, it has made a global impact.” He then stated that page impressions for RTE related web content via mobile grew from 15% to 40% in less than a year. Broadband and the Internet is changing the commercial viability of RTE current model dramatically. But are the really being aggressive enough online? I would argue no, as the printed word is not their specialty and the Internet is still a very text centric medium, however the advertising model online is one that
television and radio executives understand (print executives still really do not in my opinion.) Curran on content: “It’s all going online… the future is in the cloud,” and that, “Traditional broadcast media TV and radio… are soon to be relics.” Or are they? Maybe. What follows is his argument, I have heard many times in the United States and am not entirely persuaded by yet. Consumption of TV in hours is “growing in Ireland,” according to Curran and even among the Irish web savvy youth. Yes, I have heard this too, but it’s up across most of the industrialized world nations that are experiencing above average unemployment or substantial underemployment. Could this be may be, because of the “Great Recession” and of lack employment options for many young people, many early retirements and laynewly redunants, since we are at the end of the bubble years of a good job market. I would argue yes, and this is also probably the case in the entire industrialized world. The economy has been in crisis and labour force participation is down and youth unemployment is way up in all OECD nations since the 2008 financial crisis. Paradoxically, this is actually good for television channels and their advertising and viewership numbers reflect this. Radio, “listening is robust,” according to Curran and in the United States as well largely. This is arguably due a few things. More cars are on the road since the 1990s and people undertaking much longer commutes, to a job much further away than from where they live and may not have done this during the boom years. He argued that, “Live linear formats still work for TV and radio like football matches, various political debates, or Eurovision like extravaganzas” and they were still incredibly strong. He said, 75% of Irish household get some form of multi-channel digital services (SKY and UPC for example) and the figure is over 90% in the United States. The budgetary constraints on Americans are such that they are going without cable in record numbers (Peter Svensson, 2012). Is RTE to big to controlling and to lumbering an entity? Can RTE stay relevant given the technological changes of media as Curran explains, “The pursuit of commercial returns does not always sit comfortably with the wider needs of society.” And he went on to say, “The pursuit of commercial imperative cannot be allowed to determine public policy on public broadcasting.” Why not? This was not well explained.
How is RTE actually accountable to the public? Did the News of the World scandal make the BBC and other public sector media more important and valuable by default? Curran claims yes, but I disagree. Unethical lapses in private media, does not necessarily justify the existence public sector, license supported media right to existence or be relevant. Does trust matter if you can’t pay to keep the lights on of for the relevant content? What is EU thinking about public sector media? America? Others? How dangerous is Berlusconi –ism to modern media and politics? This is the legitimate other side of Currans argument but was oddly not mentioned and could be useful to explore further. Do the obligations of public service broadcasting and media give it perceived unique privileges? Curran stated, “Some argue public funds only provide for programs that otherwise the market would not provide.” This is arguably the general model of America’s public sector media, but more so television than radio. The market-failure rationale that is, as Ken Burns like documentary content and various BBC shows are the two primary watched content during primetime that is heavily watched. Other daytime have kids, science programming, some nightly news and Frontline, PBS’s premium news magazine show. My argument is more philosophical and American, is RTE truly a non-profit if you are forced to by law purchase a TV license to support it? However, arguably RTE seems more commercially orientated than America’s Public Broadcasting System to support its loss generating culturally unique content, with foreign brain candy and advertising. Advertising on PBS is forbidden in our construct of public sector broadcasting, but oddly, “sponsorship is not.” Curran claims Ireland to have one of the lowest licenses few in Europe. While this fact is very true for Western Europe, but there is not great place to find this data and not dig into a massive EU PDF, other Wikipedia, which I am not trusting entirely. However, I ask a question, in our increasing age of austerity, how long would RTE be allowed to run at a loss? Would it be acceptable to the fee-paying public or the politicians if they had a hand out extra tax money to close a yearly funding gap or incur extra license fees or have more advertising during programming? Charitable organizations and supported by donations. A License on the other hand is a “hypothecated tax,” technically like petrol taxes are in the United States being as the revenue is used in a specific way, support public media or for roadwork and repair.
The United Kingdom was the first country to adopt the compulsory public subscription model, long ago, with the license fee money going to the BBC, in 1927 to produce publicly funded programming yet remain as independent from government as possible. However as we are shifting toward the “digital commons” at what point is it no longer ethical for state-subsidized cultural content to dominate against grassroots citizen production? This is the real future of media. In America, with our unique history of federalism, an example substitute for TV licenses has come through cable television franchise fee agreements. This is a fee on cable bills (kind of like the EU countries that bill their TV via electric bills) it is included or added to the cable TV operator's income for their monthly service. It funds public, educational, and government (CSPAN is a very big deal in Washington, D.C.) and local public access television. In exchange the municipality grants the franchise rights for its specific city or region. State and municipal entities also get in on this and do add their own taxes here. Just like they do on rental cars, if you ever wondered why they are so expensive in the United States compared to Ireland. Some charge more than others Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. among them, hence stronger content production from public TV from these three large left leaning urban markets. It is a American political cliché that left-wingers love PBS and public media. This is actually kind of true (Iyengar and Hahn, 2009) if you believe the academic studies. This was also done historically in regards to universal telephone access, via the America’s odd “universal service fee” ( another hypothecated tax, yes we have them too) and another odd little tax that was still partially paying off debts from the Spanish American War, until this last decade. First, with expanded cable access, and now the Internet and with its blogs and YouTube have really changed the terms of what is “public media” now even means. How is YouTube and Vimeo not public media? How well can traditional conceptions of “public media” and for that matter, others claim there legitimacy if anyone can be involved in media in the 21st century, with legions of citizen journalists and want-to-be entertainers, now empowered by new modern distribution powered by networked social media online? I have seen evidence personally that progression any form of procedural news of the past, just does not sell well online in terms of viewership. However, authenticity and authority still matter and count for allot, but not just because that institution has
always had it. The dialoging tools so critical to the evolution of digital marketing world also apply to our older hallowed cultural institutions, even if they do not want to be that accessible. However this brings up another good question. How can public sector media be relevant online in general? Partnerships in the public interest are apparently the future. However, television channels are still doing well on their own America, but viewership in general of the big four networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX are still in serious freefall. This issue today is more of one of total attention and time available vs. the alternative options to live television and radio. Is the future of public sector media what I saw recently in watching Page One: Inside The new York Times, a documentary looking inside how digital media is changing the grey lady’s editorial department. Arguably the New York Times is America’s true public service media, and it is being hit among the hardest by the digital transition from the traditional content distribution models. Many newsrooms and newspapers have shutdown, I would argue do to the intensity and labour costs associated with unionized labour that their companies have historically employed. However, with the many layoffs we have seen the rise of more non-profits, which specialize in the longform investigative journalism that is so timely and expensive to produce. This has seen the rise of ProPublica that partner with other players like the New York Times and Frontline. Many politically active think tanks with an ideological axe to grind have gotten into the mix even at the American state and local level. Arguably, this began years ago, the architect of this new norm was started by my boss current employer Matthew Sheffield of Dialog New Media in the run up to the 2004 Presidential election. Why? Because he along with a dedicated cadre of citizen bloggers caught CBS news anchor Dan Rather and his staff in a serious ethical breach in the use of forged documents pertaining to, then President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service records. When this turned out to be true the cottage industry of media blogging for scalps began in earnest in American media and political culture. Now at the time, Matt was a mere jammy wearing college blogger ranting about the political bias of Dan Rather. Afterwords, Dan Rather was fired for the breach in going on air with false documents (Eberhart,2003). This was a huge scalp to claim by an unknown college blogger. Dialog New Media’s first and most well established soon followed with, newsbusters.org to bring the same type of
hunting political bias to the entire media establishment. Who is to say anyone doing the same thing no matter their political angle is not involved in public sector media? Getting off my high horse now, on the other hand RTE does have a real legitimate mandate to exist, that even I understand, despite my strong American free-market anti-tax neo-liberal streak. They are key in the production and sustainment of genuinely Irish cultural content, not to mention the mandated production and sustainment of the content for the Irish language amazing revival. Why? Given the volume of English language and culturally charged content from others, be they close, (the UK) and far nations (America, Canada, and Australia) RTÉ as and institution and concept does have an obligation to tell uniquely Irish stories. As the country grows and changes in this even newer era of a globalized world in austerity and truly ask, “What does it mean to be truly Irish, today,” and can this concept be properly expressed to the various children of immigrants and refugees that call modern Ireland home or not? Can it begin to tell their stories? I am confident the answer is yes, only because of the deep civic elements involved in the conception of Irish identity. It is different from mine, but I have grown to appreciate it. Frankly, it would just sadden me if movies like, “Once” were just not produced, but I am a bit biased since I live on Mountjoy Square. I am by no means a professional public media theorist or cultural anthropologies, but this POD has given a great foundation to build deeper understanding of the differences in public media considerations in large countries like mine, with large aggressive cultural content that is heavily distributed, verse those with much smaller populations as they seek to maintain a distinct identity. It allowed me to channel my inner Howard Carr (New York Times media critic and journalist) that can only be proper honed in the belly of newsroom. I may be an evil American cultural imperialist many respects, but even I have learned so much from my uniquely Irish experiences since arriving in September of 2011 and can truly say I appreciate them and think they need a touchstone home base. This reflection has been a bit of good craic.
Our world is surrounded in more data every day. Now it’s even covered in metadata (A13, 2010). We are bombarded and swimming in data, but how do we make sense of it? In one word, “quantitative research.” Research in general terms could be defined as: the specific search for knowledge; any investigation with an open mind establishing facts, solving problems or issues, proving new ideas, primarily via the tried and true, scientific method. I know that research does not always involve and I also appreciate the facts that are uncovered in qualitative focus groups and other deep dive longitudinal looks into many questions and perceptions.
“Positivists believe in an observable shared natural reality that can be measured and therefore quantified.” (Bryman)
Research helps us tease out the hidden answers or confirm assumptions, bring meaning to data and just frankly solve questions, about our existence and our various human conditions. When, I was previously employed in publishing I had learned that understanding and managing the data was a useful skill set, as he who controls the data analysis, controls the narrative. Now this may sound a bit arrogant, unethical, or overdone all I am really arguing is that qualitative and quantitative are powerful a source of authority and wisdom for making informed decisions. Especially in our modern day where logic, science and data can rule the day when it comes to researches applications in commerce. From the simple, to the complex and multi-faceted, a question is a form of research kind of, however methodologically based quantitative and qualitative researchers tend to probe much deeper with their tools of inquiry. The NGM research theme explores this in a very helpful and constructive manner to anyone new to the subject matter. This section has been especially helpful for any mature student attempting to upskill after a number of years in the workforce whose college maths skills may have gotten rusty. As research plays an increasingly important role in the decisions we make or the decisions others make that affect our lives every day it is more important than ever to understand the tools of the trade properly. I have always been interested in knowing how this data can be most useful for us as individuals and as groups and whole societies to make better-informed choices and decisions. Trying to answer a certain questions about just anything in life from what soda we
like to who we want to me out next elected leader, research and its methods of inquiry are with us. In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and the theme indicative content, to develop skills in research ethics, research planning, quantitative and qualitative research methods and data management and in full alignment with my personal development plan competencies improvement goals, to understand the big picture, and be familiar with research tools and improve my analytical skills, I chose my PODs in a way to prepare myself for a future career in sales and marketing. Developing research tool and analytical skill sets is no small challenge they take years to hone. They are crucial for a career and anyone seeking positions of leadership and can help one challenge their professional peers worldviews and allow an ambitious enterprising individual a leg up in the typical corporate rat race. Many people fear maths. I was previously one of them. I have lived this truth, but after my learning via educational tasks inside the NGM class room and personal opportunities for development, I have a renewed confidence to not fear the data or the tools modern professionals use to make sense and assess of our world. Even outside NGM I have myself learning more about research tools and theory to unwrap the world of the semantic web and to understand the potential for human improvement found in unlocking our “big data.” To do so one must understand the theories where the meaning comes from and the tools that unlock it. This does not merely help us bring out those inner resources in a class, but potential flourish and stand above our peers on career path, not fearing manipulation of data. Within my study of research topics in this Next Generation Management portfolio theme and in class assignments, I have come to understand differences in research methods that exist between quantitative and qualitative. I have also examined some of the core differences between social science and scientific in terms of research methods. The PODs I selected have encouraged me engage with both quantitative and qualitative research. Upon reflection, I recognize the benefits both of them, in ways I could not have even explained, just one year ago. Qualitative research is usually a strong tool for the exploration and uncovering hidden truths of our uniquely human emotional experience. On the other hand, quantitative research is arguably a bit better for confirming the hypotheses and clarifying or confirming truth from data
within a range of probability. However, they both add powerful insights into how we live, work, consume, think, act, and die. The form of research POD experiences I undertook, varied greatly. In this theme, I took part in lectures, analysis tools workshops, many surveys (performance and marketing), usability research and even examined the difference in research methodology used for scientific and social science research. I enjoyed all of the tasks included in this research theme of NGM conceptually prescribed me to accomplish. However, in true NGM fashion, I got to develop and my own mix of activities. I hope you like them. Gaining familiarity in the use of data analysis tools like SPSS and manipulate data sets like real researchers really captured my attention. I really wish I had the confidence I have gain in these deeper skill sets, when I managed and analyzed data for others, when I was previously employed in publishing. I had slowly learned that understanding, managing, and analyzing the information are useful skills, as he who controls the data analysis does indeed control the narrative, to a certain extend and is granted an endless well of information and insight to add. I really enjoyed my research theme PODs in this year’s NGM module. The research PODs I have participated in this year are:
SUB GROUP A
THE TEACHING COMPANY STATISTICS COURSE
SUB GROUP B
INTRO TO SPSS AND ADVANCED SPSS (PASW) MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCT PLACEMENT MARKET RESEARCH POD PERFORMANCE RESEARCH POD
SUB GROUP C
TALENTIVO EXAMSPEAK USABILITY RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN: SCIENCE VS. SOCIAL SCIENCE
As one can be seen from this list, there is some serious diversity across my themes POD choices. The lessons learned in a few PODs, the SPSS workshops and the lectures by Professor Michael Starbird were very helpful and dovetailed nicely, while preparing for our NGM SPSS based quantitative exam. I will argue both the research classes of Next Generation Management and the carrying out of these POD’s have been incredibly educational and very beneficial to me and my future. There is no doubt that understanding research and it’s methods, tools, and theories of the trade, allow people prosper professionally. I now even understand, why research methods in incorporated into every public policy masters program I have ever heard of. There is just other way to work in public policy if you cannot handle the tools and understand the construction of studies that drive decision making. This holds true for the pursuit of profit in the enterprise sector as well. I am by no means an expert at the described POD entitled subject matters, but these PODs have given me a wonderful foundation and the skills to build upon, in accordance with my personal development plan goals. I think that the POD experiences I have chosen might just open future doors for me that were previously closed. Having the confidence to discover the meaning in data or probing informational inquiries into our actual human experience are important skill sets. I have a substantially stronger understanding of what analytical tools are and may be required in a sales and marketing job. Thanks to NGM’s research theme I will have much greater confidence in my ability to operate in the world swimming in data and the methods and tools to evaluate and present them to others.
SUB GROUP A THE TEACHING COMPANY STATISTICS COURSE
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: The Great Courses: Meaning from Data: Statistics Made Clear Professor Michael Starbird of the University of Texas (Austin) 1/3/2012 -31/3/2012 DVD 2
“There are three kinds of Lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” - Mark Twain paraphrasing Benjamin Disraeli.
How exactly do we extract meaning from data? In the era of the an increasing semantic internet forming from enormous volumes of data streams this is not just some Ivory Tower naval gazing, but a serious concern from the humble gadget user to public policy and business leaders. As an action based learner, I need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to witness and learn things in a way I can connect the theory to real world uses cases. In accordance with my personal development plan, to understand analytical tools and the skill sets to use them and in line with the indicative learning outcome of Next Generation Management’s research theme, to understand quantitative research methods as well as research planning, I created a POD experience enhance my limited understanding how to make data have contextual meaning. I watched, the twenty-four, 30-minute lectures by Professor Michael Starbird of the University of Texas (Austin) in The Great Courses collection, Meaning from Data: Statistics Made Clear, by the Teaching Company. I wanted to better understand some principles and statistical knowledge and application of theory. I wanted to take this POD to build up my confidence in toward the manipulation and comfort with statistical information. Why? Many years ago, I learned most of what I know about statistics today, from learning to read the statically graphs, in The Economist magazine, as a young student. I did not always know what I was looking at, when I was just twelve years old. Yes, I did take a statistics class in my undergraduate years, but it was not very
good, nor was I very good in it. It was not taught in a manner to make student like, statistics in particular or maths in general (Lewis and Smith, 1993,). Maths is so needed and important to higher level thinking it’s important to push through and be a versed as one can. Being good at statistics means you get paid more, especially, when you are in Washington, D.C., period. The second reason I have strong interest is from the practice of political polling and understanding polling data. Since the 1990s every decision and policy are poll tested, since the era of all the Dick Morris in the Clinton White House attic jokes were popular in American politics. Clinton got a fair amount of flack for volume of push-polling some mundane things, but now most politicians and activist groups began doing the same thing, to become more relevant in public policy discussions and make waves and get press ink, on their subject of interest. The wisdoms of the crowds may not always be correct, but they always matter for pollsters in democratic nations (Lanier, 2006). My previous work in both public policy and the media forced me to often, attempt to dig into the weeds regarding the methods the polls and were designed and which data was being utilized. For example, why has Scott Rasmussen been arguably better at calling how American states vote in the Electoral College and district-based elections than other high paid Washington pollster? His use of ‘likely voters‘ and not ‘registered voters,‘ is the reason generally given, but most polls use ‘registered voters,’ and not ‘likely voters (Erikson, et al. 2004). Let me give some examples of some of the things that the lectures discussed, subjects I liked, learned, or raised more question things and what parts I did not like or was less impressed by. Models of Distribution (Bell Curve, etc) Correlation and Regression – Moving Together Confidence Intervals – How Close? How Sure Samples – The Few, The Chosen - The key to good sampling is randomness in the way the Sample is chosen. Simple random sample remains the gold standard in surveys. How the question is phased matter very much or else it causes biased answers. Will people tell the truth? Embarrassing questions or self-incriminating questions. Can you test it in the survey as well? What exactly are these methods? Hypothesis testing is like the justice system. The hypothesis is null until it is proven otherwise. What is the mean, and what are the data spread and the skew of the points? William Gosset and the t distribution that
worked at Guinness, who published under the name of ‘student.’ Hence the “student’s t distribution” named for his nom de plume, which I thought was cool (Moore, 2003). Design of Experiments – Think Ahead Can design an experiment that we can actually infer what we are attempting to tease out? Ronald Fisher and the famous tea party regarding milk in tea. How to test whether the tea was poured or milk was poured into it? Ten pairs of cups of tea each way milk or tea poured first. Is the concept testable? If the tea tested we should know it would be a 50% proposition if you could not know which was which. Meaning she is guessing at 50% odds each of the ten attempts. Doubtfully could she get all ten rights by randomness alone, right? And then there is the null hypothesis that she can’t tell the difference if her results were statistically significant in the other direction. Is there cheating going on or other reasons to be sceptical to the differences here? Coming to conclusions that are not certain but of high confidence. How do we design the experiment to avoid the type 1 and type 2 errors (Salsburg, 2001)? This is important during medical testing, as the placebo effect is so strong. How do you rule out the effects of placebo? The 50 / 50 split between the drug and the placebo. The testers of the drugs are also possibly able to bias the results, which you may call this the interpretation bias and placebo. But there are also ethical concerns in dealing with sick people. What if the drug or therapy works really well? Is it ethical not to give to the other 50% of the placebo poll if you know they are going to just get sicker and die (Salzburg, 2001)? Hence double blind experiments and random patient testing are generally used in medical research. Next this section looked at an evaluation of the Hawthorne Effect, or the “lurking variable problem,” more often known as confounding. I found this one to be among the best (Schlesselman, 1978). Democracy and Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. This section focused on plurality voting (first past the post) two parties not good when you have more than 2 candidates in a contest. Two major states in America do this Louisiana and New York in statewide and district elections vs. say other closed primary and open primary state systems. Does the method have more to do with selecting the winner, than does than actual
the will of the people? After watching and engaging with these lectures I would say, yes. This brought the lectures to the work of Donald Saari and the concept of voting for 2 votes for 3 etc or maybe even the Borda count of each hypothetical voting run and showed how each system could have a different winner in the election example (Saari, 2001). This was not something I had ever thought of before and was entirely new knowledge for me. Well, what about runoff elections? Like the French have. This brought the lectures to explaining Arrow's impossibility theorem: “…. when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), no rank order voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide (complete and transitive) ranking while also meeting a specific set of criteria.”(Arrow's impossibility theorem- Saari, 2001) Misleading, Distorting and Lying It is quite easy to mislead or distort outcomes by committing the correct errors or reports “percent” based increases in say risks analysis. When say the risks are negligible to start with like say .0001 to .0002 is 100% increase but still marginal overall. This could be used to manipulate data regarding profits or other significant matters (Huff, 1993). Greek economic data agencies noncompliance with Eurostat norms comes to mind to me, in our era of austerity. Extrapolation errors and inappropriateness in data use are possible meanings can cause controversy. Why are politicians and political causes so good at massaging data to show they are correct? When does this happen often? Debt and spending projects and project cost projections as forecasting and many econometric models, arguably, often have more than one confounding variables that are not properly accounted for. Social Science- Parsing Personalities How do we go about parsing real personalities and people from surveys in social science? Meyers/Briggs surveys are explained and quite well this was interesting. Are all the input factors independent of each other or not? This can often be an issue and is a real research design issue. How do we create a good factor analysis? Good questions. They take the concepts here to the logic end point. Can statistics parse out authorship of written works? Can statistics make assertions about true/false scenarios (Berry and Lindgren, 1996)? Apparently, yes indeed they can.
As a student this section was of interest as arguably statistical concepts and models Starbird explained in this lecture are what gets embedded in software logic to derive statistical inferences in “Turnitin” use to identify academic dishonesty (Barnett, 1999). Quack Medicine, Good Hospitals, and Dieting Economics as a tool to find and uncover fraud was well explained. Baskets of goods models are very complex tools, I knew this but had never seen the theory behind it before this lecture. Prof. Starbird gave good explanation of the Consumer price index (CPI) as an example and explained how “baselines” are extremely important in choosing or can skew resulting output of data. Understanding skewl was the point of this section. Science – Mendel’s Too-Good Peas Keppler started the use of data in science using statistics to find elliptical orbits and such and then much later, Newton used the Keppler statistical likelihood and probability to find a more fundamental physical law embedded in the original data. The explanation of the use of statistics to find Hubble’s Red Shift to figure out that the universe is still expanding was amazing and how the expectations based on theories of the day were so different from the numbers he found using statistical models or inference (Jaynes and Bretthorst, 2003). The discussion of Mendel, which every biology student has, was not good, it was confusing and I could not tell you what it was about, it was my least favourite lecture and that is why I bring it up. This was not as well done as the other ones I enjoyed so much. Given my interest in understand in the differences between research as it is applied in science and in social science I was disappointed. I wanted to take this POD to build up my confidence in the underlining reasons and theory used in the manipulation and comfort my with statistical information and some of the different theories that underpins its practical use. I am by no means a professional or expert at the finer points of statistics and finding meaning from them using any one of the theoretical frameworks. This POD experience has given me a foundation to build deeper understanding of basic statistics how to find meaning in data of any set size or subject matter. The lesson learned in this pod was very helpful in getting prepared for our NGM SPSS Statistics exam and other POD experiences done after this one. My confidence in and knowledge of some of the basic intellectual tools in statistics is much greater now. I am sure I will be using some of them in the future no matter my job role. I am now less fearful of learning more about statistics in the future.
SUB GROUP B INTRO TO SPSS AND ADVANCED SPSS (PASW)
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: SPSS (PAWS) Introduction and Advanced Workshops Terry O’Brien and Gerry Conyngham 07/03/2012 and – 04/04/2012 DCUBS Computer Labs
These on campus based PODs were very useful in developing and improving my analytical skills in accordance with my personal development plan. It also helped me tremendously in thinking about deriving meaning from data and how it can be displayed, for others that may not have as strong a since of where the numbers may take them. Data manipulation is an important skill set. I actually learned SPSS (PASW) before but on MSDOS in 1999, in my first year undergraduate learning, but forgot it all by graduation in 2003. I am not so sure the NGM Quantitative Research exam is passable without taking these two PODS. It was hard given even with the workshops under my belt. Learning the practical tools of basic data analysis via SPSS is very helpful, as it is a powerful tool and if I was asked to evaluate data in future jobs or asked to say learn SAS or other packages I may have some confidence to agree and learn. As an action learner and an activist leader, I appreciate the power of need to continue seeking out opportunities that will allow me to witness and participate, in situations that will enhance my understanding of the analytical tools associated with quantitative research. This is also consistent with the learning outcomes of the research theme of NGM as will as the indicative content including research information management and presentation of research data. My first class was a bit different than many other students sessions, as I was in an overflow room with a few other classmates and Mr. Conyngham was in the primary room. However, I started the assignment an Introduction to PASW data files and did the Data coding exercises with ease. I did have some problems with the third part of the first class, which was manipulating the data sets via PASW, with Descriptive Statistics. For Example: Frequency Distributions; Crosstabs; Correlation; and Mean.
I was struggling and getting a bit lost in some of the wording of the instructions; however, I decided to explore and test the software a bit regarding what I remembered from the Statistics class I had taken in my past. NGM super teaching Assistant Terry O’Brien came in and assisted the four of us who were lost of a few of the exercises and helped us find the path back. He also took the time to personally make sure we understood what we were actually doing to the data and that we understood the resulting graphs and data analysis. It took a few times of tweaking the data to see alternative outcomes but then, like a light bulb going off I got it. So ended the first day’s lessons of the SPSS (PASW) software suite. For the second, Advanced SPSS instructions class I made sure to be very early and have a good seat so that I could hear Mr. Conyngham and was prepared to take copious notes. I am very glad I did as we approached exam day. We spend most of the hour looking at a Quantitative Case Study and doing various Data Analysis to it via evaluation of: Descriptive Statistics; Sample Errors; Statistical Significance testing; Factor Analysis; and Multivariate Analysis. I have found use of PASW much easier than Excel for deeper data analysis. We also spend an amount of time exploring the Method of assessments to learn how to decide, what appropriate statistical techniques to apply and analyze the resulting data, as it would come to our NGM Quantitative Research Lab Exam. Now interpretation is a bit harder deeper level thinking here were some of the important things we learned to consider from the lesson:
What types of questions asked: How is the validity & reliability of the data? What types of variable data was use: Nominal, Ordinal, or Ranking? Was a goal present for comparing & contrasting the data? Were there any drawbacks and limitations in building g the sample pool? What does this data infer to us? Are their benefits to you or your organization and its stated goals?
I was not, however not content or confident enough in my news skills to end my understanding of the SPSS here, before a big lab exam. I did some hunting on iTunesU via the University of Minnesota in 2009 by Ross Macmillan Art, video tutorials. YouTube was also quite helpful in that I found some excellent SPSS
(PAWS) tutorials to use via how2stats and the easy to use content at the RStatsInstitute at Missouri State University (how2stats, 2012).
(RstatsInstitute SPSS Tutotials))
(University of Minnesota in 2009 by Ross Macmillan Art SPSS tutorials) These were very helpful to consider and review as our Quantitative Research Exam approached. This NGM Quantitative Research Exam was very tough. It would have been impossible, without the skills learned in these two PODs and outside study, even though the test had an allotted time of 2 hours, it felt like a very short time period for the work product being desired us to produce. Not too hard, just not enough time to, critically think through both the tools and do thorough analysis of what the data meant for the organization we had been assigned to answer questions
about, when only given data sets and SPSS and the PASW to answer with, plus notes and our brains. I am by no means a skilled at PASW, but this pod has given a great foundation to want to learn more skills and not fear the math, the analysis tools or the data involved. I in fact, love all the statistics data theory and am glad to see how it can be applied. This was a great outcome for me.
MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Music Videos and Brand Placement Research Gerry Conyngham 02/12/2012 DCUBs Computer Labs and at home later 2
This pod was widely attended by many NGM students. It was an attempt to ascertain consumer opinions regarding product placement in the medium of a “music video,” in this case specifically on YouTube. As an action learner, I retain more information by doing will enhance my understanding of research methods and how brand marketing works in accordance with this NGM theme and its learning outcome goals. It was also consistent with my personal development plan to understand research tools and improve my analytical skills. This specific video was by the Black Eyed Peas entitled, ‘I gotta feeling’ and viewed on YouTube. This process was recorded with the Morae Recorder for analysis of our survey taking a activities during the survey, long after we had completed the tasks. After viewing the video we had to fill out a fairly very long online survey. The survey asked very detailed questions about what we had seen product wise in the videos and how they made us feel, in terms of emotional responses to the brand and likelihood of a future purchase. The survey used stand 1-5 Likert ranking variables and a few ordinals to establish basic metrics about the survey taker (male/female) age range etc (Albaum, 1997). It also contained some control elements to establish the survey takers feelings about the rap group, “Black Eyed Peas.” This would allow a research to tease out the response to product placement, the specific products, and the endorsing agent, which in this case was the rap group, “Black Eyed Peas.” However, even the old standard bearer Likert Scale may have cultural biases baked into its use (Lee, et, al. 2002). I am glad it contained this, because although I did not mind the products or its placement in the video itself. I confirmed the reality that I do not like the music or
culture the Black Eyed Peas promote. However, I also learned how little I pay attention to branded products marketing agencies place into modern media. With the decline of watching commercials, since the advances in Tivo a few years back to the ubiquity of DVRs on modern cable boxes, marketers have been much more aggressive in placing products into the actual content and context of television, music, music videos, and movies. This matters even more today, in this construct of this survey, as I had heard this specific song too many times to count, but I had never actually seen the video beforehand. That being said the youtube.com of the video has more than 119 million views, which is quite substantial. I do not have any problem with this. It is an economic reality and economic necessity. However, I have noticed the volume of commercials displayed at me via traditional mediums of TV and radio are substantially less in Ireland than in the United States. I hypothesize that Americans are more immune to subliminal-ish, product placement, and traditional advertising, due to the sheer volume of commercials we are raised on as young people and view day after day. This was the first time I used Morae Recorder and it too was a learning experience. I also learned a bit about, how I thought about how marketers reach me as a consumer. I also learned I did not really mind taking surveys, even if they were a bit long and felt a bit tedious. This POD made me think about what I thought about a growing phenomenon in exposuire to product marketing in the context of cultural content and the process by which they decide whether or not their efforts are really worth the money and effort in doing them. I am by no means a professional or expert at understanding quantitative research design or brand awareness research, but this POD has given a great foundation to be interested in it and continue to learn about its practical applications to improve marketing and business sales performance.
MARKET RESEARCH POD
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Europinions, Disqus SEOMOZ, Quantitative Surveys DCU and LINK via SurveyMonkey October 2011 through April 2011 Email and Twitter 2
I must admit have an odd relationship with market research surveys. I spend half a summer in 2001 attempting to do paid online market research surveys to supplement my student funds from my parents while living in Washington, D.C. I partook in these research personal opportunities to improve my understanding of the quantitative research process, as fulfilment of my mandated Next Generation Management (NGM) learning outcomes in understanding Quantitative Research Methods as well as research planning. Given my interest in: public policy; business; marketing, and scientific quantitative research are used to make business decisions and develop this was a useful POD for me. These were pure market research surveys. The surveys I took primarily asked questions in regards to products and professional and commercial use of them. The usefulness and ease of each product was assessed along with future use or new purchases of product and up sold services. The other questions measured professional or consumer perceptions of the brands and products in question. Most questions were measured on a standard five point Likert scale (Albaum, 1997). However, a decent number of questions allowed for “other” answers in order to gather addition product context in its given marketplace, as to how it related to its competitors. The SEOMOZ industry survey had many much more advanced assessment response features, including many multi-response answer questions. These surveys were all “selective samples.” A graduate student in Amsterdam approached me to partake in her Disqus survey of website admins in October of 2011. She found me via twitter and noticed I was tweeting about the popular third party comment management software and had interaction with members of the company.
My implementation of their software on the newspaper websites I managed was very early and I had helped the Disqus team make a few major bug fixes to their product before it had become as widely used on the Internet as it is today. This was only the second professional survey I had participated in. In a previous job as a think tank researcher I participated in energy industry, “thought leader” surveys quarterly. This was my first technology survey and my first survey I was ever selected to take via Twitter for an academic research project. This was also the first time I was a respondent in an academic survey, long before the music video brand recognition POD done for Next Generation Management. I thought that twitter was an interesting way to find a “selective sample” so I joined her survey(Carroll, 2010). It was very detailed in its questions and if I had not spent about a month studying comment systems for websites before implementing one, I would not have been qualified to answer most of the questions. I could sense not bias or leading question in it, but the level of specification and detail would have made it tough to do if the participant pool was not very selective. I also participated in many europinions.ie surveys. These are paid surveys, that is, if you fit their selective sample criterion. I found this process very interesting. I was also surprised by the fact that every survey pool I got into was in regards to market research involving products for automobiles. I only completed about three of them. One involved auto insurance and my needs and likelihood to change my provider in the near future. Another survey was about being in the market for purchase an automobile. The other one involved my preferences in the purchase of motor oil. Many of the surveys promptly and politely declined my participation once my participant segment data was entered. This process, to build a very niche selective sample pool was my most interesting part of these surveys. I eventually assumed that nominal variables (sex, age, income, etc.) were being used as a filter for various survey projects so if my age or sex was different I would have qualified to take other surveys and not the ones I participated in.
(Europinions surveys I have taken or tried to) The last survey in this POD set was a long in depth professional survey from SEOMOZ. They are a search engine optimization (SEO) tools and services company and among the industry leaders. I first learned about SEOMOZ in semester one of NGM via the SEO project in a Digital Media and Communication POD. After the POD project was completed, I decided to stay on the email list of SEOMOZ and follow their Facebook page. This is where I found their annual industry survey. I took it in April of 2012. I was quite surprised about, how much I actually knew about this industry. The volume of detail asked of me, as a respondent and my assessment of both, of the SEO industry and the products and services in question that are used or may grow in acceptance was almost too in-depth. It took nearly and hour and half to fill out. My Wi-Fi access actually timed out on me and I had to start over. However, it taught me allot about how designing an industry annual survey is much more detailed than surveys that are product specific.
(SEOMOZ Industry Survey Question) After finished these personal opportunities for development I have learned quite a bit about the design differences in building and designing effective questions for market research surveys and industry assessments and trends data. This was a different survey experience from the open-ended survey questions done in the PostGraduate, LINK Jobs, and Super Tuesday Politics surveys I did in the next POD about Performance Research. One similar feature to both was some of the positive and negative design features that web-based surveys impose on survey designers that I have learned from these experiences. I have learned that the advantages of Internet-based surveys include:
Low cost Speed of completion Survey designers ability to use complex questions Possible anonymity of respondents can improve honesty in answers to tough topics A Respondent’s abilities to give better responses to open-ended questioning
Cloud-based survey systems simplify data compilation Speed at which analysis of data can begin Ease to measure and standardize Validity and Reliability Some of the problems and disadvantages of web surveys include: Responses are not reflective of larger populations Respondent completion performance may be poor on long questionnaires Self-selected respondent pools may dominate if the questionnaire is publicly available on a website (knowledge-base.supersurvey.com, 2005)
I am by no means a professional or expert at designing quantitative market research surveys, but this POD has given a great foundation to build deeper skills and understanding to build upon for the future. I enjoyed this POD its lessons to me and would be comfortable participating in market research surveys in the future.
PERFORMANCE RESEARCH POD
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Post-Grad Student Survey, LINK Survey, and Politics Survey PODs DCU and LINK via SurveyMonkey 05/03/2012 - 03/05/2012 Email and Twitter 2
In March, April, and early May I undertook three longer web surveys. One was in regards to my perceptions and feelings about the outcomes of the Super Tuesday Republican primary, the post-graduate education experience at Dublin City University(DCU), and the last one was in regards to job prospects in digital media and internet technology careers from the University’s LINK Centre. I partook in these research personal opportunities for development to improve my understanding of the quantitative research process as fulfilment of my mandated Next Generation Management learning outcomes in these areas. Given my interest in the way of: public policy; business; marketing, and scientific quantitative research are used to make business decisions and develop this was another great POD for me. I grouped these three surveys together as they were all again, selective sample surveys, but these were performance research not marketing research. They each had many more open-ended questions attempting to elicit feedback that was a bit more personal and opinionated than the previous series of purely market research surveys I did for Disqus, Europinions, and SEOMOZ or even the brand identification research found in the music video research POD. These were hybrid performance market research opinions polling, but much more so performance research polls. First, in this series, I was invited to take the to take part in a selective sampling survey of digital media, political activists, and media members at to the perceived feelings toward candidates and issues at stake in the most important day of primary voting every March during the Presidential primary season, Super Tuesday. I think they picked their pool of individuals based on some my tweets and participants had to have a minimum number of followers on the social network. This is however, just my educated guess that they wanted, “influence makers” to take the poll. The
argument here being that their survey was the first time I had been asked to participate in a political survey in a number of years (I was asked not to, when I was employed by The Examiner Newspaper Group) and only the second one that had asked me to be a participant via twitter.
Super Tuesday Twitter Entrance Poll We are conducting the first ever Twitter entrance poll for the Super Tuesday primaries. In addition to a national poll of potential voters, we are also conducting one specifically for Ohio. Information for Participants Participation is by invitation only. If you received an invitation by @message on Twitter and would like to participate, please follow the account that messaged you for details. Once you follow the polling account, you will receive a confirmation message via DM. Between 3/3 and 3/5, we will send each participant a link to the poll via DM. When the results are released, no personally identifiable information will be used.
I enjoyed this survey and the questions were very clear and did not include doublebarrelled or negativity in the question items they had constructed. I felt happy to participate in the surveys, since I was far away here in Dublin and could not actually vote.
(Research 140 Survey projects) The two other surveys were a bit closer to home, with the respondent pool being a very specific kind of selective sample, being made up of primarily either graduate students in the case of the year end survey or individuals with ties to DCU as a previous student or industry point of contact associated with DCU LINK Research
Centre. In late April I took part in the end of year postgraduate University survey. I particularly like the adaption of the line of questioning that was constructed based upon your course enrolment. This allows for more accurate information and more informative survey data, than the ones I have taken in past end of year surveys during my undergraduate years. In early May, I took part in a DCU LINK Research Centre survey regarding job interests, confidences, and the marketplace for my skill sets and knowledge of tools. This was not the first LINK survey I participated in during the year, but it was the only one that had significant performance research elements to it and felt much less the down the line market research survey I had taken for them in the past. These questions were open and present asking about opinions about my personal interactions with DCU LINK Research Centre and its staff.
(DCU Postgraduate End of Year Experience Survey) All three of these were a performance and market surveys. They were performance surveys in the sense that, each ask quite a few questions in regards to how each institution performed during the year and level and confidence one would recommend their services to others in the future. The other issue was measuring student and professional perceptions in regards to the near future. Most of these questions were measured on a standard five point Likert scale of ordinal data. However, a decent number of questions allowed for the lengthy, open and “other explain,” type of answers in order to gather added context. These were the surveys, that I enjoyed most during the year.
The research140 poll was the first time during the political season where I felt my opinion was actually helping someone. The post graduate survey was also the first time I felt like, I had a moment to reflect a bit on my year in the M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce (Business) program at DCU and really think about and then DCU LINK Research Centre helped me contemplate where I would like my near-term career to go after the Practicum. Surveys do judge emotional interest in the subject matter and survey taking, not just the question it contained on the surveys. After a long year sometimes you would need a bit longer than a 200 characters survey box to fully express ones deep opinion. However, I can see bloviating being a problem there, if the sample group was giving more space to write answers. Being a respondent in these surveys showed me I prefer this kind of design structure and the data that comes from it. I have learned from these experience that the advantages of Internet-based surveys include:
Low cost Speed of completion Survey designers ability to use complex questions Possible anonymity of respondents can improve honesty in answers to tough topics A Respondent’s abilities to give better responses to open-ended questioning Cloud-based survey systems simplify data compilation Speed at which analysis of data can begin Ease to measure and standardize Validity and Reliability Some of the problems and disadvantages of web surveys include: Responses are not reflective of larger populations Respondent completion performance may be poor on long questionnaires Self-selected respondent pools may dominate if the questionnaire is publicly available on a website ((knowledge-base.supersurvey.com, 2005)
I am by no means a professional or expert at designing quantitative performance research surveys, but this POD has given a wonderful foundation to build deeper skills and understanding upon in the future. I really learned how the format can be put to use best in these three different case scenarios. I will be participating in performance research surveys likely for the rest of my life after this experience.
SUB GROUP C TALENTIVO EXAMSPEAK USABILITY RESEARCH
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Usability Testing: Examspeak and Talentivo Cloud Software LINK and Cloud Technology Research Centre via Laura Farrell 07/03/2012 and12/05/2012 DCUBS Computer Lab and at Home 2
I decided to do more than one usability testing experience personal opportunity for development (POD), because I enjoy doing them and learn new things from each one I have done. My first paid job when I was fourteen was at a friend’s father’s software company, beta testing and debugging a certain segment of a new version of their software. When I was operating Technology Education and Awareness, I was involved in testing SimpleC, a reminiscence therapy product for the aging. I have also been involved numerous website usability redesigns and reconfigurations as a webmaster and newspaper web editor in the publishing industry. I have since also aided a rising company CodeGuard in the spring of 2011 regarding the usability of their product and its suitability for bloggers. Since being enrolled in Next Generation Management (NGM), I became interested in a bit of the more important questions in usability design. If I ended up working with a firm selling or marketing products having a good grasp of products usability and the validity of its testing outcomes would be helpful. Frankly, I think usibility testing is interesting and fun. We were first introduced to some of the core concepts of usability and interface design principles in Web Design in semester one and build upon this in semester two’s mandatory Information Access module in for MECB students. I find usability testing and heuristic evaluation to interesting and in important design element that too often get rushed in attempts to be first to market with a new product or interface. An interface or products affordance is important to overall success. It is core concept in usability testing and or andy user interface (UX) design process. Usability requirements must to be defined beforehand. If the results of the product or interface
(Talentevo website, 2012) Resources (HR) management, think of it as, Salesfore like solution for HR staffs to manage aspects of their interactions within the company and externally. The second testing experience was a bit different, as I was at home and on my wife’s PC fighting to get the Morae Recorder and the software to hear me for a long while, before I could even begin. Likely, they may have rushed there usability testing. The setup for the software was the same as I was prompted by the Morae Recorder to perform many tasks as an average user would perform. The cloud based software is called, Examspeak and is a virtual reality based tool for learning English primarily
directed at the near Eurasian market. There were some issues with the Examspeak not noticing if my audio input was working even after the Morae Player did. It was a similar situation as the other usability study with a few five point scaled questions and many more asking specifics about my thoughts and feelings on the process and possible improvements or specific points in the course of task completion that was challenging to me.
(Examspeak website, 2012) First off, I would to say, I like usability testing and being as opinionated and bountiful with comments on task questions in the questions and during the task. I like that in general all comments are encouraged, as I have a big honest mouth. My only critique of both of these usability testing scenarios was the fact that I am not sure using users who are not in the target audience is the best idea (Bastien, 2010). It may serious skew the data, to make a product seem more effective and well designed, than if a user testing the software had much less experience with computers and less of a web design industry background than I do. Human resources staffers are not know to be the most technical bunch. I was definitely not in their target user base (Bastien, 2010). This does not even take into account specifically in the Examspeak case, that I was testing an English language learning software, in English and likely, written by developers and laid out by designers who speak English natively and are use to operating left to right. Arabic and other language versions in their target user market
operate from right to left. Secondly, I think that the speed at which users adapt to a new interface and are comfortable with it varies strongly. I for example can adapt quickly to most web based interfaces, with a few hours of use under my belt in them, but even with many hours using Adobe Creative Suite 4’s Photoshop, I am still extremely intimidated by the software interface let alone its detailed functionality. I can’t really be alone in these thoughts. I learned much about how designers of the usability testing scenarios must construct their questions differently than quantitative performance or marketing surveys. How the skill sets of the usability tester may not always be appropriate if out of the primary user base. Yes, there are many different testing methods for usability testing on the books: Hallway; Remote; Expert, and automated (Bastien, 2010). We learned a bit about this with professors Lee and Gurran in Web Design and how eyeball tracking is useful in frontside website user interface design. The data observed via a Morae Player recorded may not always square with the question responses. Most interesting me is the evolved industry standards in regard to the size of the testing subjects. Why? Because unlike quantitative surveys, usability testing results and value is does not yield better data with a larger sample pool. However, there is an interesting catch, while it seems better test with no more the five subjects in usability testing according to usability expert Jakob Nielson, who wrote most of the literature on the subject in the early 1990s, (Nielson, 1994) maybe seven or eight subjects may be needed if two of them flake, become ill, and dropout of the user pool, and have null useable data. Imagine that, the number of participants for each usability test I did was exactly eight participants. However, here is the other catch, for this to work best they must test the product many more times and at a much deeper interactivity level to get the best data and information to make design choices based upon the testing Nielson, 1994). Some have argued, like (Virizi, 1992), that five participants may not be perfect number either unlike Nielson. However, Nielson’s five plus spares are still considered a good enough, cost effective, standard approach in designing utility testing (Bastien, 2010). I also learned allot about the Morae Recorder and its usefulness as a way that the researchers compiling the testing data in the study can have a wealth of additional information in regards to not just how the user testing respond and answer, but how they actually act and the time it takes to complete tasks and if the responses differed from their actions. I would definitely use Morae
in future situations, where I was working to do usability testing from website changes to new product tests. I wish I had know about it in the past, I would have used it and the model described by Nielson for the best results, at various price points. This is very helpful information for and usibilty testing project in my future. I have used this knowledge since I participated in these POD activities and have since participated with Dub Labs in a test their Circleback apps for both iOS5, BBX6, and BBX7 after befriending the Virginia based companies CTO earlier this year. I have also helped test websites for MiraPost and AskYourUsers.com, which is a new website to help, firms doing usability testing fight specific selective and expert test pools for UX and app testing. In fact AskYouUser.com is a site that will pay both well established UX testers and less established ones (in theory) like me to do future usability testing. I am planning to join when it is out of beta and released. I do not feel as though I am an expert in designing usability studies, but have a new respect for them. Now I have a strong foundation to build upon, if I was required to build one in the future or be a participant.
METHODS AND DESIGN: SCIENCE VS. SOCIAL SCIENCE
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Methods and Design TMS Science vs. Social Science Research Anne Rudolph and Kathleen Dellinger 05/04/2012 – 15/05/2012 Trinity College Dublin Lloyd Institute 1
As an action orientated learner, I learn by doing, and need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to witness and or participate in situations to grow my understanding. This personal opportunity for development (POD) accomplishes this goal and an was experiments run by Trinity college department of neuroscience graduate students. One is in fact my wife, Kathleen Dellinger, and the other is her best friend and lab partner, German, Anne Rudolph. I actually was the one who recruited Next Generation Management (NGM) students for their research. I thought it would be an excellent chance for graduate students, to help out fellow graduate students, with research. It also fulfilled our NGM research theme’s indicative goals of learning about research ethics, planning, and how statistics is used differently in science research than social science. The research project is actually Anne Rudolph’s my wifes is only being run as this document gets edited, but she has been very helpful to myself and Anne in the process her research and my look into it from the methods perspective. What led me to this POD was less its’ connection to my wife and friend more curiosity of answering a research question I have had for a long time. What are the unique differences in this kind of research? I wanted to know more because of friends and the likelihood of working for a technology company that is connected to medical industry in some way. If so you must understand the statistics that are different when you are attempting to get products and services approved by governments and insurance carriers to show its effect. Given the chosen subject matter of my Practicum group, geo fencing services that aim to dramatically reduce the wandering of dementia and Alzheimer suffers and aid caregivers at home and in care facilities. Also, I have a much clearer understanding of social science research
given all my other NGM research theme PODs and the academic tasks throughout the year. Some scientific quantitative research seems to be intersecting in ways that are consistent to many different themes of NGM. Consider this, according to the research work of Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell of Harvard’s Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, publishing last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, use of social media gives users a way to increase their “selfdisclosure.” That increase, the act of posting, ‘liking,’ and sharing via social media services leads to a noted spike in the amount of dopamine produced in the human brain. This is basic pleasure or anticipation reward system. This response happens as a result of a social-media post being viewed or perception that it will be soon. So use of social media gives us a nature high. If true, this is important information to be able to understand in sales and marketing. Hence my strong interest in this subject area. The interaction is this nexus of research and its relevance to businesses arguable, will only grow in the near future leading to new theories and ways marketing can evolve to get us to engage and purchase products as neuromarketing emerges as a field of study and provides insight not previously available to enterprise decision makers (Lee, et al. 2007) . Frankly, statistics have been at the forfront of the scientific revolution of the last century (Salsburg, 2001). However, in our case, the factor elements that come into play, that remain different, when it comes to research design and methods, between science statistics for research and social science research became quickly apparent to me as I was ruled out for doing the physical experiment on day one. Take a look at Appendix A for her complete project reseach methods as they were very helpful to me in understanding the differences. This had not happened in any market or performance survey, or usability-testing POD. Why this happened to me, made the statistics that much more interesting to me, in my opinion, for me to study within the POD construct, since all my NGM friends got to physical experiment and I could not! The research pool for Anne Rudolph’s participant pool had disqualification criterions: 18 to 30 years old; no left-handed; and history of never having a seizure. I was disqualified on all three accounts, as a mature student, left-hander, and having
once had a narcoleptic-seizure when working odd hours and having poor sleep hygiene. I got the seizure disqualification, liability risks, as in one TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) research situation a person with a long history of seizure, had one with TMS as a possible trigger or he just had one because of the underlying condition. Interesting note on this fact as a fellow NGM student who is a friend and did not mind sharing his experience that with a history of stuttering (a phyiscal neurological condition) could not complete the experiment as it gave him a headache and he passed out. I get it some us are literally wired differently. I could see how this risk could be a serious ethical issue as well (Farah 2002). I did not fully understand the no left-handed participants and age ones. Eventually it was explained that both were controls often used to make neuroscience research results more uniform and lefties are wired in the opposite way from those who are righthanded. Data inconsistency forces them out of a selective pool. Again, left handed individuals pathways are wired differntly as well. The project tested the hypothesis that performance improvement in one arm or leg could improve the performance in the opposite leg or arm. Although evidence exists for the “performance transfer,” from one limb to its opposite pairing, the underlying neural motor /chemical / electrical mechanism of this kind of transfer occurrence is still not well research or known. Anne research project draws on the two primary theoretical frameworks that are available on it today. The first one argues, that the transfer actually might be caused by a visual stimulus that is available. This could be why Ramachandran mirror aid is so helpful in relief of phantom limb pain in many (Armel, 2003).
The second of the theories is that the performance retooling is caused by fairly deeper neurological rationale. The major consideration the theories are being put to the test is that limb retraining could have a very positive benefit in rehabilitation. People that have been involved in a severe auto accident and conflict zone injuries might benefit. If an individual’s arm or leg has been mangled in a crash, but the other one is fine, it may now be possible to rehabilitate the injured arm using a performance based therapy regiment using the uninjured limb. The ultimate aim of Anna’s work is to increase the scientific understanding of the mechanisms that exist when a person is only using one limb for the express intent on training the other. The statistics and its data purity are important to accomplish this. The experiment itself was has many stages. First thing are the pre-qualification screenings, which I failed, then a health and demographic questionnaire is given out, to the selected participant group, if you pass the first stage . If you pass the first two stages, you will have electrodes connected to both arms. They administered a little shock, in order to get the muscle fibers to contract. The reason this has to be done is to test the inherent reaction time of the muscles in both arms, before the experiment can begin. The process is carried out using both EMG (electromyography) and TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation). After both procedures are carried out, the
participant make is asked to make a distinct wrist motion in response to a sound. The wrist’s movements conducted by the research subject by pressing against a handle that has been affixed to the chair. The movements involve the application of force one hunderd and fifty times. This is done two blocks, using a left arm and then the right. The motions get limited to twenty-five times in two block sets. It is at this point that Anna can tell test subjects that the actions of the right are merely a control for the experiment being undertaking on the actions of the left. In research on the brain of this nature researchers tend to be weary of telling the test subjects information that might potentially alter the data outcomes, just by them knowing certain facts about the experiment. This is an unusual truth in certain kinds of medical research and especially neuroscience, but arguably it applies to some quantum physics research as well with those pesky quarks. These are unique problems and do not occur in social science statistic data gathering. However, the closest thing might be the different answers a subject may give in the entrance survey depending on the format of the data ask. All experiments of this nature must be carried out in a uniform fashion without variations. This is the only way for the TMS experiment data to be valid. This is very different from the 95 percent threshold used in social science for testing. In regards to research methods in social sciences there is much more varying conditions allowed for. For example, if one was to follow guidelines for a focus group there is only a limited quantity of rigidity that can be used in the examination and qualitative process as no single subject pool could be the same in form and function or outcomes. If one sample pool has out-going extrovert participants, the researchers may not have to ask as many questions or as probing or deep, they may even run out the clock. Whereas if you take a different focus group pool and it has extremely introverted subjects, the line of questioning will need to be quite different as the mandate on researchers to gather as much information as they realistically can. Focus groups are used because they are convenient and also cheaper than many other forms of research. Quantitative surveys fall into this category as well. Although it is possible to take the focus group discussion or survey approach when conducting research in the social sciences, I would argue that neither should be taken in most clinical or scientific research. Specifics methods must be tailored, toward the experiment aims in order for the validity and reliability of the data and work product to be sound.
You could argue that, science researcher does not have many of the open tools of using the convenient sample or other cost effective shortcuts when conducting research. However, their friends in social science research often do, and hence why the speed and complexity of completing science and specifically medical research is slower than social science research. Arguably, the closest the two worlds collide is among the epidemiology and actuarial sciences where both science and social science data points are required to draw causality and conclusions to various hypotheses. The last way statisics are an interesting component of this kind of brain research is the various data quality issue in the data sets that the computer is getting from the participants brain at identified by (Kass et. al, 2005) given the new nature of the tool sets the researchers are using in the field and the evolving underlining theories the computer programs are using to register and analyze the data as it is being collected. How does a research make sure you do not have a, “Garbage in, garbage out,” situation as those in the software development world would say. In this POD I got to experience the denial of participation in Medical research. Then, I got to understand and pick the brains (no pun intended) of some young researchers and participants about the experiences in their studies. The reason I promoted this POD to my fellow NGM classmates and interviewed the young brain researchers was to expand my personal insights of the similarities and differences between research methods scientific and medical research versus social science research. As I have taken part in many different forms of research primarily using social science based research methodology, I feel that it was a benefit to my learning to see a different form of research in action. Why? As our world grows older, the interaction between technology and health sciences is intersecting more each week. If I would like to be a competent sales and marketing associate in sector a firm background in understanding of the data methods involved can be nothing but helpful. In my PDP, I mentioned that I wanted to improve my analytical skills throughout the year and through the PODs that I chose. I feel that this POD has enabled me to improve my analytical skill sets by exploring the differences and issues that evolving in different forms of statistical research. I am by no means an expert at understanding either, research methods involved in science research or how it
differs from what I am more familiar with in social science research. However, the POD has given a great foundation to probe some basic question I had about research methods. I will continue to probe this question and learn more in the near future when they analyze their data and study.
DIGITAL SKILLS, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
Digital media technologies have dramatically changed the way we live our lives. This change has dramatically altered the manner in which businesses operate and reach consumers with engagement and brand messaging. It is not just the advent of the Internet or digital media, but even simplest SMS enabled mobile phone has dramatically changed the way even the poorest live and earn a living. These dramatic changes in our use of communication technology are not lost on the business leaders. They can now sell or promote products or services to just about anyone if they are web-enabled and quickly and for a marginal cost and Web 2.0 social media. Many in the industrialized world now has access to this amazing tool we call the Internet isleading deeper changes at value creation in online operation as (Wirtz et. al, 2010) explains. It’s not just the industrialized world now either, how many Arab revolutions have been tweeted, Facebooked, and blogged, and not televised? From politics to agriculture digital media is changing how we interact and dialog with each other no matter: where you are; who you are; or how old you are. The M. Sc. Electic Comerce (Business) (MECB) degree program helps teach us to harness this power, and is more specifically based around the concept of getting engineering and business students working in the evolving digital marketplace to understand the challenges and skills sets each side brings to the table. Why? The consequences for not bridging the cultural divide between engineering and businesses departments can lead to conflicts that can sink a modern electronic based enterprise during any product creation or system integration situation meant to add value to an enterpise internally or externally (Feld and Stoddard, 2004) The consequences are really even more extreme in a start-up or SME setting. The digital theme of NGM is a great and important complement to this truth behind the logical existence of the MECB module work. In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and it’s indicative content to develop digital marketing and e-commerce skill sets, and also in alignment with my personal development plan competencies to understand the big picture, network, and develop my leadership voice and tone I chose my PODS in a way to prepare myself for a future career in sales and marketing and avoid some of these IT conflicts pitfalls.
Dr. Theo Lynn (generally in the business school canteen or after MiniConferences) has always explained to us the opportunities in existence for our generation to use technology to solve problems or provide solutions to problems, that we may not have know we even have had. His personal stories in regards how fast the marketplace can change on an entrepreneur. We have also learned how personally rewarding it can be to help other align their digital marketing operations with their businesses goals as we were required to do in NGM’s Digital Marketing Strategy project. I know in order to be a success, I will have to adopt and adapt to all the digital media and communications tools which are available to me. I have made a concerted effort throughout the year with attendance to many events not even listed and reflected upon below to develop my comfort at swimming in ever expanding digital ocean be they the Irish Presidential debate on Dublin City University’s campus or the spring cloud computing conference. Most of these I would have used as used as POD experiences as well, but other work always seemed in the way of getting into the depths of some of the harder projects when other module work piled up. This is not to say I have not taken advantage as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn in new ways this year as they have rapidly been expanding and are global names for the 21st centuries Web 2.0 gold rush. As (Gupta et, al. 2011) implored social media immersion for corporate executives to usderstand how digital engagement can improve their bottom line I have dramatically increased the size and scope of my digital footprint. Facebook was created under ten years ago and I remember coaching rowing and my students demand that I join. It has come far and even went public this May 2012 in a massive multi-billion dollar IPO. Nearing now a billion platform users, Facebook has become a great example and inspiration to many young entrepreneurs to think and dream big from that dorm room or graduate school lecture hall and that it is still possible to go big. It has dramatically altered the way enterprises large and small dialog, engage, and market their products to potential customers from news to soda (Dorf, 2011). NGM would not have been possible to complete this year without its groups feature, to manage the many ongoing project working groups conversations, that both NGM and MECB required of me this year.
Google arguably did similar things when it was in a more rapid growth phase as I remember when AdWords PPC clicks could be purchased for pennies and dimes as I used its power to attack GoldmanSachs with a research paper on some of it questionable charitble giving. Today with Search Engine Return Page ranks is as important a modern business card Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make or break a business and its ability for customers to know the even exist as Google crossed the threshold to become a verb (Kittikasemsawat, 2012). Microsoft did the same thing many years ago with its own, “killer apps” as Microsoft Office is an indispensible product. Modern business is still run on relationships and emails. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are the quiet workhorse of the day to day operations of sales and marketing professionals worldwide. Microsoft also quietly has among the largest advertising networks online despite the digital ink on others. With their recent purchases of Skype and most recently Yammer this will only continue to grow worldwide as their software products integration grow. In the near future CRM will only get more social. The Digital, Skills, Media and Communications theme of NGM and the many LINK Centre Techspections workshops has without doubt opened up my eyes to so many opportunities for me to learn and discover new things. The aspects of technology included in them will be crucial to my future career in sales and marketing. The availability of the internet to almost everyone has ensured that a company has access to an emerging global market. This has means hypothetically that a company which is originally only a MECB Practicum project of SME could become a global success story over night. The emergence of cloud solutions is making this scaling easier and more quickly. I am grateful to have been exposed to the learning opportunites this theme of NGM has opened to me. For Next Generation Management’s digital theme I had to carry out ten POD’s which help me to gain a stronger grasp of what digital and communication means to me. I feel I have achieved my NGM learning outcomes and have a good spread of personal opportunities for development incorporated in the digital communication theme. The POD’s I chose reflect my desired work future in accordance with my PDP: INTRO TO DIGITAL MARKETING SEO AND LINK BUILDING WEBINAR
FACEBOOK COMMERCE AND MARKETING MICROSOFT ADVERTISING MICROSOFT DYNAMIC CRM / SALESFORCE CRM WEBINAR These POD’s are diverse in their nature, from: thinking deeply about what digital market is and is not; implementation and theories behind SEO commerce; marketing opportunities inherent in Facebook; the unique capabilities of a brand advertising across Microsoft large digital ecosystem, and the use and theories behind Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products. Each POD has allowed my exploration of the digital and communication theme in a manner fit for my perceived future needs. This NGM theme section has been very beneficial to me the experiences helped me be prepare other NGM coursework like the Google Online Marketing Challenge and Digital Marketing Report. There is no doubt the digital media and communications is an exciting and developing industry any modern professional needs to understand. I am by no means a professional or expert at the described POD entitled subject matters, but thE POD mix has given a great foundation of skills and understanding to build upon, in accordance with my personal development plan competencies like: understanding the big picture; networking, and developing my leadership voice online. The POD’s experiences I have chose will open future doors for me. I have a substantially stronger understanding of what technologies are required for a modern, sales and marketing job and thanks to NGM’s digital media and communications theme. I will have much greater confidence in my ability to operate in the marketplace as a professional in sales and marketing.
INTRO TO DIGITAL MARKETING
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Introduction Week to NGM and Getting Started in Digital Marketing Dr. Theo Lynn 28/09/2011 Dublin City University Business School 2
Techspectations night one, “Getting Started in Digital Marketing,” presented by Dr. Theo Lynn at the Dublin City University Business School starting at 6pm on September 28th, 2011. This was also the beginning point of semester one modules and everyone was excited to get started. This personal opportunity for development (POD) was a two hour plus recap, in full lecture mode, of what the 2012 Next Generation Management module class were required to do in its “Intensive Marketing” introduction orientation week, with a much keener focus on the role that, online marketing can and should play for small and medium sized businesses (SME). I do understand this difference given the local business men and women in audience. I tried to sit further in the back to let the people who had not seen this lecture before get in close so they would be in a better position to ask their questions. The SME context is actually better suited for me to learn. As an action based learner, I lean by doing. I need to seek out opportunities that will allow me to participate in situations that will enhance my skills for a practical setting. Without practical contexts, I can struggle with pure theory or learning tools without, knowing, why and where they are put to use. I prefer to get my hands dirty. This lecture based POD was focused heavy on web marketing and specifically social media angles of web marketing sectors of digital media. It was split in half where the first half was devoted to the changes that have been occurring to marketing theory and the second half about some of the tools, which are leading this change. To be fair, how deep into the nitty-gritty can you really get in two and half hours? I means the subject matter is expansive. If you were new to the online environment it may have felt fairly advanced, but if you already had a Twitter or Facebook account or worked in some even margin capacity online, the evening would have felt quick, but basic. I thought of it as the first steps into a very long deep pool that will be my year
in the M Sc. Electronic Commerce (business) (MECB). I did not want to miss anything. I came to Dublin and Dublin City University to learn from the best in the industry. I attend this first Techspectations POD as it was in accordance with NGM learning outcomes in regards to learning skill sets and familiarity with digital marketing, mobile marketing, and the e-commerce associated with them. This experience was also in accordance to my PDP in terms of “Understanding the Big Picture,” and “Leadership.” It also was my underlying interest in the MECB program. The same reasons brought me to Dublin City University (DCU), to learn as much as I can, and spend as much time possible using, learning, and thinking deeply about the business use of digital marketing tools for customer engagement and sales growth. During that first week when we learned about Techspectations, I signed up for all of the fall lectures I thought I could attend. My eyes were much bigger than my stomach as the module coursework began to build up. I would not however, have traded it for anything now, looking back upon that first semester. This first POD was more than just one nights workshop with a few questions to answer. It was the just the tip of a long deep dive into e-commerce and digital marketing that NGM created a great professional learning environment to do. I came to DCU from a self-taught practitioners work environment in publishing and its content marketing needs. Day to day, in and outs of digital and social media is changing my former profession of tradition of publishing. My work as an Associate Managing Editor, Web for a newspaper (washingtonexaminer.com) was entirely web focused. However, the transition into the digital frontier is going slowly or difficult for many managers and authors coming from the ‘dead tree’ traditions (O’Reilly Radar 2011) and from TV and radio news backgrounds as well are struggling with the change. I am arguably among the digital natives of that generation between X and Y. However, just because you are raised speaking English that does not mean you don’t learn from English class, right? Just like English class, there is always something new
to learn about social media it is just evolving too fast not to be always a few steps behind. The two questions asked of attendees in regards to the reflection were: 1. What is digital marketing? 2. Is digital marketing an academic discipline? If so, why? If not, why not? So what exactly is digital marketing? Digital marketing interestingly does not have a definition on either BusinessDictionary.com or Dictionary.com 2012 to day strangely enough; However, one guy who claims to be one (Digital Marketing Engineer 2010) does have a decent one. I am generally most comfortable with digital marketing being considered another specific channel of marketing, as described by (Chaffey & Smith, 2008) in seen through the SOSTAC model in Appendix B Two good ways to look at it:
Situation analysis, asks what the current state of the business is. Objectives, helps list an overview of goals for the business. Strategy helps provide a “big picture” plan to achieve the goals Tactics breaks down the “big picture” strategy into smaller details Action helps assign responsibility and deadlines for certain tasks Control offers an easy way to track the progress of the plan Core questions to ask: Situation: Where are we now? Objectives: Where do we want to get to? Strategy: How are we going to get there? – The Big Picture Tactics: How are we going to get there? – The Detail Actions: Who is going to do what and when? Control :How can we control, measure and develop the process? (http://corporateskills.co.uk/, 2008)
Digital Marketing merely is the next evolution in marketing and is a new subdiscipline underneath Marketing. It is the promoting of brands using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach consumers. This now includes, television, DVR,
Radio, Internet, mobile, social media marketing and any other form of digital media. One day this it could include our fridge if those promoting the, “Internet of things,” gets their way. However, I did not know of the greatness of SOSTAC model for viewing digital marketing through, until our Major Digital Marketing Project within NGM in semester two. However, what is new is the level and depth brands can engage with customers and potential customers. Not to mention the real threats to the brand reputation in the networked era if companies and individuals are not aggressive in the digital channel (Gupta, et. al, 2011). While digital marketing does include many of the techniques and practices contained within the category of so-called, “Internet based Marketing,” it in fact extends well beyond this. Other channels are required to be included that reach individuals that do not require the use of the computer based internet. As a result of this non-reliance on the computer based medium, the field of digital marketing includes a whole bunch of of other channels like mobile phones, sms/mms, and even digital outdoor advertising. However, mobile is quickly becoming the forefront of the digital experience and marketers are following. Techspectations night one taught me one early lesson that did not really sink in upon first examination in NGM Intensive Marketing Week; “If marketing has one goal it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.” (Court, Elzinga, Mulder, & Vetvik 2009) Not because it was the second slide of the presentation, but because I have never really been exposed formerly to any marketing theory or business education in my past. I have really only in implementation and execution of channels for others. Any marketing efforts, via the “new media” channels qualifies as “digital marketing;” however, it must be targeted at reaching sales and conversion goals or its not really marketing, just engagement and brand managment. It would be an arguable critique of Techspectation night one, leaned overly heavily on showcasing the value of ‘social media’ tools over the other forms of digital marketing. Why? The shift from a “broadcast” to engagement and dialog conversation model is a huge transition. Many industry veterans still do not fully comprehend how it should change the way they do business. New tools become available and are adapted, but new concepts of consumer expectations are a much more rare phenomenon. These must be digested by business culture slower. Some still see digital marketing as merely tool sets to use and not the shift in strategy it truly is in the model change.
The marketing process is strongly moving further toward a dialoged engagement concept. This would be away from “broadcast mode” as the primary relationship between a brand and consumers. Social media is now effecting how people respond or don’t at all to tradition marketing. Our expectations have changed. In our era of instantaneous social outreach, even if some digital channels could count as broadcast for example: AdWords; display ads; pre-video ads, and etc. Brand management and customer community engagement is becoming more of a primary goal in keeping customers coming back and having positive long lasting relationships to brand. Marking is not alone, social media has effectively made ‘mass culture,’ ‘mass politics,’or mass anything, for that matter, a much harder sell (Tapscott 2008). This new era demands engagement with a new class of brand activists. Many have always existed, but companies and brands never know them or spend the time engaging them. Now how can this more seemingly circuitous way to position a brand be correct? Did I not just tell you above that, “reaching consumers at the moment of influence” is most important? Whether or not a company or brand engages in a digital strategy including digital marketing, their consumers already have and it is not all particularly positive or based on correct information or assumptions. Some even argue Facebook really is the future (Simply Zesty, 2012). Many companies remain fearful of dialoged engagement. I understand the time constrains and steepness of the learning curve a typical CEO would undergo with the “whole-hog” social media “immersion” approach described by Gupta in “Social Media” (Gupta, et. al, 2011). However, in this day in age non-engagement appears to consumers that the company is not proud or confident in their products or brands (Gupta, Armstrong, Clayton, 2011). This means possibly losing customers and loss in the public confidence of a brand, which may result by not embracing this shift in models from broadcast to engagement marketing. At the risk of losing some brand control companies and brands get in return a much more intensely loyal customer and possible brand evangelist (OneNineNinety, 2011). ComScore has reportedly seen evidence of this, in the way that Facebook “likes” can yield real sales growth (BloombergNews, 2012). Deeper engaging relationships, with customers and intense brand
loyalists/evangelists may result as a possible and desired outcomes from shifting marketing strategies to a digital and engaged footing. The loss of some brand control is just a fact of our era claims (Gupta, et. al, 2011) and I think they make the case
well. The brand loyalists are worth the effort to cultivate and arguable may be cheaper to maintain, than massive broadcast marketing campaigns over the long run (Gupta, et. al, 2011) for one. This does not even account for the expectation of younger, “Grown Up Digital” generations that a brand be digitally engaged (Tapscott, 2008) or not exist. If you asked me in 2004 whether or not digital marketing was an academic discipline, I would have said, “I do not know, but I assume yes and its emerging.” But what is an academic discipline, really? Well it depends if you agree with (Pierce, 1991) that the boundaries are needed between fields of study, even if imperfect and sometimes a bit messy or you agree with (Foucault, 1977) that the artificial sense of any hierarchy is bad, especially for education and individual educational growth or research. I would agree with both, but primarily, (Dahrendorf, 1959) theories of complex conflicts, those that can never be resolved, but the sametensions are required to better human condition. The tension between freedom of action and hierarchy are in conceptualising and academic discipline unresolvable, but a necessary evil. Digital Marketing is a new subdiscipline of traditional Marketing. Most things that start as only ‘fun,’ ‘cool, or’ advancing the speed of information flow, eventually find a way to be well, indispensible and commercialized into our lives and legit topics of endless academic review and conversation in peer reviewed literature. I can remember learning to type with Instant Message when AOL was still “cool” and when Google Search did not have ads and now these are matured concepts with large volumes of academic literature on the subjects. Any hesitation would stem generally from the availability of quality metrics available at the time to really measure the levels of this new engagement, to show the real return on investment (ROI), in order to justify the real staff time required to create dialogued engaging online experiences. I have learned and been persuaded from the extended Techspectations night when doing outside readings that this is no longer entirely the case according to (Hoffman, Fodor 2010). Historically digital marketing has been a hard thing for me to sell at my last two jobs. For me to devote more staff time and resources to approaching digital marketing correctly, primarily due to proving this ROI to a much older manager. Also, I have seen a tendency in the NGO sector regarding digital media to, “just give it to an intern.” I thought it was a bad idea. Now, I fully comprehend the extent of this misjudgement of handing that much brand control to the least established member of a team. I was aware it felt
like they were being “penny wise and pound foolish,” but now, I know it from reading horror stories included in (Edelman, 2010) paper. Between 2006 and 2011, 37.2k scholarly items returned in Google Scholar when searching for “social media” in quotes and 60k if you pull it as far back as 2004. Not to mention, 3.6k scholarly listings since 2004 with “digital marketing” in quotes. These are skewed heavier to the most recent years. I chose both, as a metric, since it has seemed that much of the most cutting edge advancement so far in “digital marketing” has come from primarily on the social media frontier. Digital marketing has become a way to engage on other levels, while growing the deeper brand awareness can also lead to improved market research, and information that a day to day brand management previously would have found unthinkable (Mangolda and Fauld 2009). Arguably, I was sold that new media and digital marketing was an official academic discipline, when I read, “The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy,” as even back in before Web 2.0 was really coined in 2004, but I only got a hold of it in late 2006 as people in Washington, DC generally only read marketing materials as it relates to politics. Many were arguing during this period that the Democratic Party takeover of the House and the Senate was based on the changing political views of this same group of networked, ‘Influentials.” I was persuaded by the book, but also for its broader implications the changing of society and culture in general. Every day I have been at DCU I have been forced to reconsider what I had previously thought I knew about various subjects, whether they are theoretical or technical. The use of digital marketing tools, even from an intro prospective and adding theory and metric based framework for their use is no exception. This was an incredibly useful POD for me personally. I am by no means any expert at digital marketing, but this POD has gave me a foundation to build upon and put into use all year in NGM. I agreed with both the general theories presented about marketing, and the role of social media in marketing. I learned about many tools within social media and digital marketing I had not previously known, and more deeply about Twitter, Facebook, and etc. Compared to our “Intensive Marketing,” orientation week, I felt more comfortable to have my computer open and sign in to many of them and give
them a test drive. Competition and rank are real motivators after Dr. Lynn ranked our social media use in lists on klout.com and peerindex.com that first week. I had a fair amount of what I thought I knew, about digital marketing and social media confirmed, but I have found myself much more persuaded to taking my own prescriptions to others, instead of just handing them out. The section of the lecture regarding reputation management seemed very useful for beginners and those not use to living in a city of a million lawyers like D.C., as reputation management is the baptism by fire many older professionals there first get exposed to digital media. I was very aware of it and it was not as helpful to me personally. However, these new tools were the spark and the competition to be the best in class ranked by Klout and Peerindex really reopened my leader’s voice competencies to begin to find to say something meaningful online through these evolving channels.
(Behind Dr. Lynn, but in ahead of the NGM 2012 class on peerindex.com influence tracker) I will continue to use these tools for as long as we are working if my career in sales and marketing works out according to my PDP. I have redoubled my efforts with all
the tools mentioned in this POD ant the others I attended throughout the year. I read http://alltop.com/ daily to keep me up to date with the changes in the social media environment. This Pod was just the beginning of my long road; learning new skills, meeting new people, and find things within myself to improve my day to day management and strategic leadership.
(Dr. Lynn and many Next Generation Management students pictured in a first of techspectations nights in the fall of 2011 is my evidence of attendance.)
SEO AND LINK BUILDING WEBINAR
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Search Engine Optimization and Link Building Dr. Theo Lynn and Evan Fishkin 5/10/2011- 16/4/2012 Dublin City University Business School 2
Of the many things I have learned in the year of my Next Generation Management (NGM) module is the importance of actively engaging my action based learning. The “Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation,” (SEO) Techspectations DCU LINK digital marketing lecture took place at Dublin City University on 5/10/2011. It was presented by Dr. Theo Lynn and the project has been a SEO review report of urdreamhome.ie in Appendix C of this portfolio is a great example of this. The lecture was long, really long, almost three plus hours long maybe longer, but I really enjoyed it. The volume of slides and information buried some of the attendees. I definitely had to re-read them three times for the volume of information to sink in. The lecture confirmed about 30% of things I already had know about SEO and blew my mind away with the other 70%. This POD has been incredibly helpful to me. I like SEO work quite a bit. The enthusiasm for the POD started strong, but always seemed hard to finish. I also attended a webinar presented by techspections and LINK moderated by Sean Donnelly entitled “Link Building,” presented by Slingshot SEO’s Evan Fischkin. This was a great additional learning experience about a specific aspect of SEO regarding increasing a websites search engine visibility via increased inlinks, outlinks and internal links via different, “building strategies.” He also in an easy to undertand manner explained the fine line between SEO strategies that work and the ones that get websites penalized by the spyders. The practical application of these workshops content in the projcet was where I learned the most. The project associated with this POD found in NGM portfolio Appendix B took me about 21 total hours of work over six weeks about 6 hrs for research and 14 hrs for writing, 1hr for second-guessing, and editing. This POD
helped me develop my competencies according to my personal development plan. These workshops were consistent with my personal development plan goals to both understand the big picture of digital technology and develop my authentic leadership voice around subjects of interest to me. I came to DCUBS wanting to improve my SEO knowledge and skills this project has forced that learning to occur. I would love to do SEO reports for pay and help others in the future and this was part of my career interests in taking up this seminar and project. I wanted to go to these PODS and do the project work associated, because over the past years working with Capital Research Center, Clarity Media’s Examiner properties washingtonexaminer.com and sfexaminer.com, as well as Dialog New Media clients, I have had to implement and maintain the SEO strategy and footings many times. That 30% number I use above took way more than 21 hours to learn, so the lessons and skill gained by doing this project were well worth it to me. I see the value. I will use seomoz.org in a professional setting in the future. Their emails, blog updates, and professional services offered to website operators and SEO service providers are second to none. I have also began reading SearchEngineLand on a regular basis among my industry reading customized via my Google News Reader by the subject. I was the on-site SEO guy for our papers, but our very pricey, but not well researched quarterly SEO reports from our outside consultants would judge my work. However, I have never had to do a full write up of anyone else’s website, nor have I really examined SEO outside of a news daily’s or small NGOs needs. To be honest, after seeing the work of Blue Moon Works (and SEO company) for nearly three years, and some others who I consider outright charlatans, of the “SEO black box,” I wanted to know if I could do any better. I never thought they did that great of work, nor did they ever seem to stay on top of the evolution of changes to the algorithms. Learning how to use the seomoz.org service and how much great industry research they do was very helpful to me. Exploring a modern living and architecture magazine site found in Appendix C was interesting. I enjoy modern design and I enjoy online publishing. Not really expected
in this projects work hours was the interest fellow classmates had in my opinion about SEO and desiring my help with their SEO projects. This interest helped my develop my leadership tone and voice to help facilitate them, but not give them the answer if I knew it. It also allowed me to deeply explore and research questions, I did not have clue how to answer or did not come up during the workshop. It was odd really, because most just did not know, that sometimes you get a site that has lots of information and you can say allot and sometimes you get one with very little detail and data and you SEO specialist have to just do your best with what is there. All I really did for my fellow NGM students was to define a few terms, refer them back to the ‘Dr. Lynn triad,’ and ask them if they had their accounts seomoz.org setup and explored. Evaluating the existence of a coherent digital strategy came first in this project. If yes than, evaluating, if the client actually had a website delivering fresh and relevant content was second. If yes to this, and only then, dig into the website’s SEO evaluation criterions via SEOmoz and other free web-based tools. I was honestly not expecting the reaction, but I was confident enough I could complete the project. I think maybe other students picked up on confidence, more than my inherent knowledge of the subject. This assignment was far from easy for me, however. I struggled at times just to keep the volume of information tidy and organize, what I wanted to say, and to give it real meaning. I think I have learned that having “completion confidence,” can sometimes be interpreted as ‘I know what I am doing.’ This makes me think about lowering my normal level publically broadcasted completion confidence a notch or two until I am actually finished with any project in the future. However, I wanted to be helpful to others. Evident in that was my later MECB class superlative voting for “Most likely to be a politician.” I knew there would be material and projects I did in the course of completing all the required forty POD credits where, I needed terms defined and learn based upon someone else’s completion confidence. From a PDP perspective, I think this project not only gave me insights to what I know and don’t know about search engine optimization, but also the limits of my ability to aid others under my own workload. Not to mention, the positive effects, on growing my long term goals of strong empathy for others I
am working on and managing effective change management in my competency improments for my PDP. This was a great personal opportunity to develop for me, but a tough one. I found myself switching between Java tutorials and adding a few more lines of SEO reporting for a few weeks, as I insisted in tweaking it instead of just finishing it. I am by no means a expert at search engine optimization, but this POD has given a great foundation to build skills and understanding that came in handy through the year of assignment in many different module work. For example, Information Access and NGM core work projects like our major digital marketing report assignment. I even used insights from this POD in paid work capacity in February 2012 in aiding the American Conservative Union’s CPAC Conference’s search engine visibility. I have applied the learning I gained from this POD both in the technical skills and mental organization skills in completion of the NGM program, but will also be reward for these efforts my future professional life. I hope. The project led me to the second techspectations POD webinar presented by techspections and LINK moderated by Sean Donnelly entitled “Link Building,” presented by Slingshot SEO’s Evan Fischkin where I learned even more of the background needed to learn how SEO is growing and changing and the power of the PageRank system Google used to produce Search Engine Returns. I would consider this and “SEO 2.0,” POD conversation and have promoted the webinar replay friends in digital media, in Ireland and abroad. Evan was a complete gentleman and answered questions during his presentation that had built up in the course of doing the SEO project in Appendix 3. I have since found more products, tools, industry news sites, experience. Since it was semester two and we were taking Information Access, I found it dovetailed strongly and reinforced Alan Smeaton’s classroom lessons about the theories and practices of search engines, ranking systems, and information retrieval. This was helpful as we were discussing the most recent “Panda,” updates to Google’s PageRank. Not to mention how content marketing and curation were becoming new integral parts of well established SEO practices (SEOMOZ, 2012) as well as how entrepreneurs like former RTE journalist Mark Little are taking and (Conductor, 2012) SEO white papers, because of this second
advantage of the shift in the marketplace with his company Storyful (Irish Times, 2012) to help clients in the publishing industry tell better stories. When I have sung the praises of Dublin City University business School, the MECB program and the NGM module to friends and family back in the United States, it is always out of the fact of how much individually tailored learning experiences are required and available. If you are motivated learner, “the world is your oyster.” My only critique is that the webinar did not cover new content tools that aid SEO that, have only been available since after the October seminar or was unrelated to link building. This is however, not Techspection or LINK’s fault as major changes can occur on a monthly or even weekly basis, that effect business plans and revenue models in this changing online segment. The Techspectation’s autumn workshop series and the spring Link Building webinar have provided me with one in accordance to both stated indicative NGM learning goal outcomes and my personal PDP, for this theme. This project required me to test and re-consider what I already knew on a daily basis. During the editing of this portfolio, I got the opportunity to use these skills as a sub-contractor for a digital media firm’s client who needed some reputation management services as the organisations chief marketing executive had a few news reports from a number of years back from an arrest for solicitation. I would not have had the skills or confidence to assist, without the experiences provided to me via NGM and the digital theme of the POD experience. I still use the SEOMOZ tools to this day and listen to and read much more on the subject of search engines and content, and brand marketing ,via McKinsey & Co Podcasts and other industry thought leaders blogs via iTunes and iTunesU.
(James Dellinger at techspectations seminar with Dr. Lynn in background on Oct. 5th 2011 is my evidence of attendance and sign in log of webinar)
FACEBOOK COMMERCE MARKETING
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Facebook Commerce and Marketing Alan Harrison and Kevin O’Brien 26/10/2011 Dublin City University Business School 2
The learning materials for this POD were created by Alan Harrison, Laura Farrell Kevin O’Brien for presentation on the 26th October 2011 techpectations. The three hour workshop seminar was presented by LINK staffers Alan Harrison and Kevin O’Brien. This POD was related to the number four learning outcomes for Next Generation Management (NGM), “Demonstrate mastery of effective communication including the selection and use of media for specialist and non-specialist audiences.” It was also in accordance with my personal development plan. Since I learn the most by doing activities, I believed seeking out this opportunities for personal development would allow me to learn skills participate in situations that will enhance my understanding and since this POD about the Facebook platform and ecosystem and how it can be useful for product brand engagement, marketing and of products online, the POD was perfectly fit for me. Because this POD taught the basics of Facebook Commerce (F-Commerce) and marketing and gave practical skills in the performance of a project task, which was a Facebook page audit for, an assigned by Dr. Lynn LINK client company. This POD specifically related to the digital theme within NGM, because it was meant to teach the concepts and some basic skills required to create a Facebook presence, and the work of audit others on the digital social media platform as they are a segment with digital marketing and e-commerce. The goal, which was to learn in depth, the use Facebook and its platforms and its “pages” feature to drive product sales, marketing, and brand engagement with customers and the general public. This was a POD really for me. I have managed Facebook pages in the past and given interests in future work in sales and marketing. In selling, managing, or auditing of
digital marketing campaigns, a well developed Facebook presence and strategy is a must. Given that it is an enormous, and still gowing platform of nearly one billion people. The LINK workshop taught this well, however a few members of the audience, who were not NGM students seemed to have a larger learning curve to manage when it came to Facebook and struggled a bit, as Alan and Kevin moved pretty fast. I wanted to do this POD, because each segment of the digital sales and marketing environment is in a constant motion of change. It allowed me to get up to date in this area, which my knowledge and skill sets had fallen way behind. When I was employed and working harder on other areas of digital media, I had not ever had a chance to learn or use the platforms many tools in a manner in a capcity, other than to drive engagement. I agreed strongly with the presentation, except in one way, which was the presumed strong value and utility in doing commercial sales activity over Facebook’s platform as opposed to customer brand engagement, via contests and giveaways. This could have been helpful and was better expressed and explained by Dr. Lynn in other settings and presentations first during our NGM Intensive Marketing orientation week and other by other lecturers and workshops throughout the year. A few months later in February, it appeared as if F-Commerce was slowly dying on the vine, before it even really took off, with large retailers like Nordstroms, JCPenney, GAP, and GAP closing their F-Commerce sites (BloombergNews, 2012) (AllFacebook, 2012). However, with the evolution of Facebook credit transactions changing over into real local currencies for Applications, products, and services this may be reversed in the near future (Inc, 2012). The project for this POD, which can be found on Appendix C, helped me learn a specific element to Facebook Commerce, which is what it can and cannot do for financial institutions like banks. My given client was the local arm of Belgium financial conglomerate KBC. It allowed me to explore many different strategies that the world of banking is using at customer engagement, recruiting, and sales via Facebook pages. Wells Fargo and JP MorganChase had among the best models for a full service retail bank on Facebook. However, my client is not a full service retail bank in Ireland; they only have a few branches even if they sell current accounts and household mortgages. They are primarily a commercial bank working with businesses selling credit products and the use of Facebook to sell these products is tougher, given the relationships sales model traditionally used in that industry. That
is not to say they cannot do it, as I also discovered that their corporate parent and affiliates in Belgium use Facebook much better than their Irish affiliate. The purpose of the project activity was to audit the Facebook presence of the LINK client and suggest improvements to the company with the goals of sales and engagement being paramount. The Facebook audit project helped me dig deeper into what would work for one commercial industry may not function at all for another. It also allowed me to explore the best in breed Facebook presence of other banks vs. my subject KBC Bank of Ireland. The project strongly reinforced many of the lessons learned from the presentation. We have also seen Facebook become a publically traded company with its IPO in May of 2012. There were also some failures on the NASDAQ side of the listing that have yet to be entirely resolved. Also during their “blackout period,” General Motors implied marketing via Facebook was not worth the expense and yanked their $10 million dollar ad spend (Businessweek, 2012). Facebook was unable legally to respond or defend themselves against the negative news during this period. As one of the largest buyers of advertising in the world this was seen as a black spot on Facebook’s future in the forefront of internet marketing and commerce. However, it seems that that the GM team does not entirely understand the full customer engagement value of Facebook. This would not be the end of the conversation once The Wall Street Journal reported that Ford Motors and Coca Cola strongly disagreed and were increasing their sales, marketing, and advertising presence on the social media platform. This occurred around the time news broke that ComScore was reporting much stronger sales from companies with robust Facebook sales and marketing presences as part of their online engagement mix (BloombergNews, 2012). This has to renewed interest in the platform and commerce on it, if “likes” indeed lead to sales as the ComScore report argued. This is great news for consumer fronted retail brands, but less so for business to business to business clients like my KBC Bank project. The future of Facebook enabling business to business sales seems a bit more up in the air, and down the road. I am by no means a professional strategist for Facebook marketing and engagement, but this POD and its project work as demonstrated in Appendix C have been important learning experiences for me. I learned you must seek out and audit the
strategies and presence of those who are using a digital platform well. I also had a chance to practice and learn new skills. This allowed for deeper understanding needed for future PODs, I have done throughout the year of NGM and I plan to apply these skills any future work environment. My only critique of this POD is in an attempt to find up to date academic readings and case studies relevant beyond just social media marketing in general. I am not saying that readings like (Gupta, et al., 2011) do not have an important role in understanding some of the frameworks surround sales and marketing via digital channels. I am merely suggesting, that the delta of platform change in the evolving medium of digital sales and marketing is so fast, that even being a year old the available literature feels dated. I am suggesting that blogs like those provided by Harvard Business Review including (Dorf, 2011) consulting groups and platform specific blogs like Allfacebook.com are generally more relevant and timely with being well informed on what the evolutions in the platform meas for a business. Facebook is still in the forefront of our networked interactions and plans to stay there for a long time to come (http://www.simplyzesty.com, 2012).
(Photo of James Dellinger
Techspectations Facebook Marketing and Commerce night
http://yfrog.com/h323cfdj and sign in sheet is my evidence of attendance)
Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight:
Microsoft Advertising Christian Jago-Byrne 18/4/2012 Dublin City University Business School 2
One of our few Internet advertising PODs over the course of the year in Next Generation Management (NGM) was with Microsoft Advertising on April 18th of 2012 in the Dublin City University Business School with Microsoft’s Christian JagoByrne. Just like the CRM POD (the last one in the theme) I had attended the week before with a Microsoft staffer he was excellent and told us the story of why large brands want to work with Microsoft Advertising in Ireland and beyond to reach customers with engaging unique brand experiences. He had an excellent command and authority of the room and a long experience in the advertising business. I was interested in this POD, as I thought it would my communications competencies in accordance with my personal development plans as well as linking in well with NGM’s core learning outcomes in regards to gaining understanding of digital communications and marketing technologies in this case associated with online advertising. Learning a bit about logic of ads and the placement within Microsoft’s online properties seemed to relate strongly to my interests in preparing for a career in sales and marketing, which could be in online advertising. I have many friends in Internet advertising sales and operations careers in the United States. One in Atlanta actually sells ads against Bing for Yahoo!, who we met in my “Selling in America” POD in the Personal and Careers Development section of this portfolio. In my former role as Assistant Managing Editor, Web I also had many opportunities to be in the middle of discussion of the tensions needs of balances content and revenue in an online context. These facts were my personal connection to this POD experience. I also had a strong curiosity to see behind the curtain a bit and know more about Microsoft’s Advertising. Mr. Jago-Bryne brought the audience up to speed about some of the trends in digital advertising, which has been experiencing strong growth over the last ten plus years and was one of the only advertising segments largely uninterrupted during the
financial crisis of 2008 that hit all other advertising segments very hard. This is due to general secular trends of broadband penetration and the volume of media consumption, he explained, the whole industry is shifting online be it mobile or computer based faster than many in the industry expected. He gave us a strong presentation about the different kinds of ads and sponsorships Microsoft can offer up to potential customers and branding campaigns. The discussion he led in regards to measuring clicks vs. other user responses to brand messaging was an interesting one that I had not heard before. It seemed to be the antidote to the tired saw I use to hear at my old newspaper job, “trading print dollars for digital dimes.” Microsoft it seems has a few interesting ideas about how to treat advertisers in a way that makes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising seems cheap and ineffective by comparison. By selling against unduplicated cost per thousand impressions. I was not expecting this conversation, but should have given the advertising beast that Google, Yahoo, and AOL are also in this space as well. We had good discussion about the common Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) compliant advertisement sizes. For example, the standard 250x 300 boxes and the 728x90 skyboxes were among those discussed. We also learned about targeting and contextual option they offer. We also learned that, rich media advertisements or those that have some kind of game-like component have much higher levels of interaction and brand engagement than other flat display or text ads. I knew this implicitly already from the rates we charged for different types of advertising on my old newspaper website, but this was the first time I had seen large aggregate data that confirmed what I had suspected on the engagement side. I was interested in learning that MSN.ie had two million users creating tons of impressions everyday and that this did not include Skype and Xbox live. He also explained the interesting ways they were integrating advertising into MS Messenger. Only issue with this I could think of is that, I don’t know a single person who uses MS Messenger. These are slowly growing as advertising platforms for Microsoft, where as Skype and Xbox Live are becoming more vital for sales growth. I am a bit sceptical about the conversation interruption ads they are planning for Skype, that have been announced a number of weeks after this POD in May. The NGM crowd was very excited by some of the innovative ways Microsoft is using Xbox live and games to sell brands and products in a manner that is not distracting or disruptive (ArsTechnica, 2012). Skype use is still growing like gangbusters and
this was why Microsoft purchased it as users spend ton of time spend on it when used and he informed us click through rates were very strong. I particularly enjoyed his discussion in regards to the use of browser cookies and third party sites data to help increase conversion rates, via better understanding of user interests and habits. I know this has been around for years but it seems that the technology to do so is becoming better and less invasive. As the POD began to wrap up, I asked some questions in regards to Bing. It’s lack of support by Microsoft in non-North America English speaking markets, for example Ireland and the UK or its inclusion in his Techspectations talk with us about Microsoft Advertising was the subject matter. This made him feel a bit awkward, which was not my intent. Rumours since have surfaced of an attempt to sell Bing to Facebook. I was informed, “It is coming soon.” I had actually known this, as my friend at Yahoo! had informed me that it was one of the multi- position role Yahoo! was actually hiring for here in Dublin, in the next few months as they also will sell against Bing in partnership with Microsft, as they do in the United States. I enjoyed this POD experience very much. It got me more interested in the field of advertising in general and Internet advertising specifically and wanting to learn more about these subjects, so I downloaded a number of iTunes lectures from the University of Arizona. This POD has helped me feel confident in my knowledge of Internet advertising as it relates to online publishing, but has reinforced the amount I still need to learn about its application in other spaces that I have not been exposed to in publishing. I am by no means an expert buyer or seller of online advertising, but this POD experience gives me the confidence to possibly apply to Internet advertising sales and marketing jobs in the future.
(Euan Callow and James Dellinger at Microsoft Advertising POD with Mr. Jago-Byne talking to NGM students in background)
MICROSOFT DYNAMIC CRM / SALESFORCE CRM WEBINAR Event: Presenter: Date: Venue: Weight: Microsoft Dynamic CRM and Salesfore CRM Webinar Richard Bevan of Microsoft and Salesforce Sales Representative 17/2/2012 11/04/2012 Dublin City University / Link WebEx Webinar 2
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an important and powerful tool used by sales teams and companies worldwide to manage the contact details of the large quantity of people they interact with on a business basis. CRM has led to the slow death of the old fashion Rolodex. Many private client/server or locally installed based software solutions to the CRM space have been around since the 1980s, however; most were expensive or just cumbersome to use and required many hours of data input. Why am I interested in CRM? I want to be involved in sales and marketing and have many memories in my youth of helping my stepfather who would spend hours update his various older CRM packages with his new contact data. He would always tell me, that it would be one thing to be a good networker, but in order to close deals, you would need your contact information updated regularly. Maybe this is less so in our newer digital world, but people change jobs and email addresses and phone numbers in unbelievable numbers. PittneyBowes Group 1 researched this a few years back and said the churn rate for cell phone servirce was approaching 40% in the UK and rising, a few year back according to MobileMarketing, 2008). Now, not all of them are changing numbers, but from either a mobile marketing or person CRM perspective the number must be fairly high. This technology still being a key sales and marketing tool used by firms worldwide, led me to take part in two CRM PODs in semester two of Next Generation Management (NGM). This was also a software segment that began moving to a cloud-based model faster than others and as such I was interested in seeing what direction they saw CRM solutions moving in the future as a bellweather for the, “got cloud now what?” question. I also needed to implement a solution in my current role in a small business sales role and needed to get a feel for the marketplace.
I felt that attending and learning about the current state of the CRM market and the two driving products in the industry would be a great place to start and fulfil key NGM learning outcomes by improving my confidence and familiarity in use of digital communication tools and improve my employability, with knowledge of how and why modern businesses use CRM and the role they play in modern organizations. It would also improve my personal development plan in building competencies related to my helping to improve my capacities for networking and understanding the big picture in regards to day to day operations of internet enabled relationship based sales and marketing. The first one I attended was “Introduction to Salesforce CRM,” on Friday February 17th 2012 beginning at noon and lasted about and hour and half. Link’s Sean Donnelly moderated the techspectations webinar. My interest in this POD was based on Salesforce leadership role providing cloud driven CRM solutions. 75% of CRM users I know all use Salesforce. However, their market share is only 9.5% as they operate I in a fragmented marketplace (ZDNet, 2012). I guess I am still too young and un-corporate enough, to know people who use CRM solutions from Oracle, SAP, and I am not sure if the “Others” are older local software installs.
(Image of CRM Marketshare from:IDC via ZDNet, 2012)
Although I was very impressed with the product I saw in the demonstration, it was so poorly presented, as it was billed as a look into CRM as a concept more so than what it turned out to be, just a sales pitch for the purchase of Salesforce CRM. This seemed awkward, given he was speaking with a group of students on a webinar that had no need for CRM solutions yet. I especially liked the development of their internal social tools, which reminded me strongly of Facebook in their form and function. The webinar is not even available on the techspections.org website for a second review, I think it was just that bad. I did not even wish to ask a question as other question coming his way showed he lacked the background on the CRM industry in general to even answer. This was very disappointing, but it did not diminish my interest in the subject matter, nor will I hold this experience against Saleforce’s products, since I generally like Marc Benioff and his presence in social media or Techspections. since I only wished he had been more knowledgeable about his industry as his talk only confirmed what others had teasingly said to me, “CRM is just so boring man.” It does not have to be, and it really is vital communication and sales process platform. My general interest in learning about CRM led me to also attend an in person Techspections talk on April 11th from 6- 9pm, at the Dublin City University Business School delivered by Richard Bevan and Mark Gullick Microsoft Ireland with Dave Muldoon iSite Solutions. This was the CRM POD experience I had desired in February. It rocked. The Microsoft guys were sharp and knowledgable about their industry. These guys were just great. I learned in detail how MS Dynamic fit into the suite of tool so vital to organizations that already use MS Outlook (front side mail client) and/or MS Exchange Server (backside mail systems), as well as the larger ERP implementation ecosystem. These were guys were helpful in explaining how customer facing CRM solutions can speed up the business development process. They gave some specific use case applications and scenarios. This was exactly what I wanted to know. They gave us detailed examples of clients and how their product is deeply integrated with their other commonly utilized products as well as described a bit where things were going, with new WindowsPhone 7 and 8 integrations and “other platforms” as they had described in a admittance of the role IOS5 has played in the tablet and phone market. Maybe its integration with Microsoft Surface tablet will set it apart, from the crowd for the business crowd.
They did an excellent job in explaining the intellectual underpinning of CRM solutions, improvements in the sales process and effectiveness for those that implement it well. They walked us through Microsoft Outlook and the changes that adding Dynamic CRM to a product suite allows for and how easy it is to move contact information from say a private Outlook client into your companies Dynamic CRM implementation, for easy development tracking and flagging of key milestones in the process from lead to close. They also taught me about how important CRM is on the customer care and extended care side. I could see this being very helpful for many large organizations so a customer service representative would have much better detailed information about who they are talking with and their interactions with their company. The presenters answered audience question and made themselves available for private conversation. I had forgotten about this as a component use of leveraged CRM solutions, but it made perfect sense. This POD also has showed me really how far Microsoft has come in product evangelism and I enjoyed the evening, really it is not just Josh Holmes. I am not sure how the presentation could have been done better. Although I currently do not need or could expansive CRM package, I want to be prepared for when I will be thrown right into it in a prospective job. I was inspired by the POD to tryout BaseCRM, which is a free cloud CRM product that integrates well with Gmail and Zimbra. This is now how we organize information about leads at Dialog New Media, where I currently am a contract Business Development Manager. Next year I think a project that is associated with this kind of POD may be helpful for some. Less dedicated NGM may not take the experience to go find and implement a CRM solution for their small business, which did take a fair bit of time, but now that it is setup, it has given us a much better way to share information than digging through thousands of emails or sending an email chain between busy people just looking to find a single email address or phone number. I hope that doing this POD will help me develop my skill sets to be a more productive sales and marketing associate in the long term . The future of CRM seems to be getting more social with the recent announcements of Salesforce’s acquisition of Buddy Media and Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer not to many weeks after. I am by no means an expert in the use of or implementation of CRM sofutions, but
this POD has given me a good foundation to build upon, as I know I will be required to operate in an CRM environment in any sales or marketing position.
(My photo of Richard Bevan of Microsoft speaking to Techspectation about CRM and sign in attendance sheet are my evidence of attendance)
PRINCE2 ONLINE COMPLETION
DICE: PROJECT MANAGER’S REPORT GROUP 1A
Presenter: Date: Roisin Lyons and Dr. Theo Lynn Both Semesters
Venue: DCUBS and related campus facilities
Project Initiation Documentation
Project Name: Date: Author: Group 1A 2011/2012 Year of DICE Activities 31/10/2011 James Dellinger Release: Final
DICE Directorate Program Board
The purpose of this Project Initiation Documentation is to define the Digital Innovation Creativity and Enterprise project, in order to form the basis for its day to day management and an assessment of success. The Project Initiation Documentation gives the direction and scope of the project. The three primary uses of the Project Initiation Documentation are to: • • • Ensure that the project has a sound basis before asking the Project Board to make any major commitment to the project Act as a base document against which the DICE Board and Project Manager can assess progress, issues and ongoing viability questions Provide a single source of reference about the project so that people joining the ‘temporary organization’ can quickly and easily find out what the project is about, and how it is being managed.
The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to the concepts, processes and methods relating to innovation, creativity and enterprise to first year students. They are expected to attend both seminars and group meetings throughout the semester and will reflect on knowledge gained through an online Wordpress blog. In this module, students will develop knowledge and skills pertaining to project management. The first year students will engage with online learning and a group project facilitated by a Next Generation Management postgraduate student acting as Project Manager, mentor, and group cooperative facilitator. In interacting with an online simulation game, students will evaluate how separate decisions taken in areas such as marketing, finance or production planning impact on the overall business. Expected Learning a) Discuss the main theoretical perspectives principles, concepts, and techniques relating to innovation, creativity and enterprise. b) Explain and apply different tools and techniques for generating and conceptualising product ideas. c) Demonstrate and evaluate how separate decisions taken in areas such as marketing, finance or production planning impact on the overall business. d) Explain and apply different tools and techniques for project management. Project objectives for Student Team members Project Management Project organisation; Starting up a project; Initiating a project; Making a Business case; Directing a project; Project plans; Product based planning; Quality in a project environment; Risk management; Quality Review; Controls; Controlling a project stage; Managing product delivery. Cityone Simulation Game
Decision making; Intelligent instrumentation; Interconnectivity; Service reuse; Business process management; Cloud computing; Local insight; Collaboration and knowledge share; Vision; Agility; Transparency; Intrapreneurship; Responsiveness. Creativity Innovation; Brainstorming; Critical thinking; Social Media marketing; Digital innovation in business; Mobile business; E-commerce, M-commerce; Blogging. Creativity in Communication Blog writing; Poster design; Communication skills; Team working; Managing others; Conflict management; Managing business and strategy; Decision making; Creative thinking. Entrepreneurship Starting a new venture; Project management; Generating new business ideas.
Desired Work Product Skills Outcomes
The DICE program is designed to get you thinking about enterprise in many different ways. This is a new course developed to get students active and engaged in their own learning. Conditions are always changing so companies must be prepared to spot potential, move with current trends and make tough decisions. In DICE there will many tasks give you. You will get to work in teams, work on your own, learn by hearing from role models, learn by hearing from peers, learn through online lectures, and learn through traditional lectures. The DICE project is designed to enable students to: · Do online tutorials on project management · Develop an idea for a mobile app · Design a research poster · Play an online business simulation game · Create a blog and post articles to it · Learn from successful role models · Learn from Next Generation Management postgraduate facilitators · Work in teams, both small FYIT, and larger FYFG groups
· Work on your own · Use digital media platforms and tools such as blogs · Learn about new trends in Business, creativity, and digital technology, such as social media mobile applications and product and idea innovation. This module there is a heavy emphasis on teamwork so there are a number of ground fundamental rules to ensure everything goes smoothly. Project Work Product Scope Poster Presentation: 20% Description: Each group is to produce and display a poster detailing the design of a mobile app for the education market; the thinking process that went into its conceptualisation, how it will function and how the market will be targeted. Each group must present their idea and poster in a 5min presentation for the class. Digital production: 20% Description: Student teams must create a weblog documenting their learning from each of the seminars. Students will be assessed on the content created and knowledge of the themes outlined in the seminars. Computerised PRINCE2 Exam: 30% Students must complete 8 online learning units of Prince2 project management and are assessed by online test. Other: 30% Cityone - students must submit a decision every week and are assessed on participation and rank in the simulation. Workload Breakout: Online Learning – Prince 2 tutorials + test - 20hours Online Learning – Cityone decisions – 30hrs Seminars - 25hrs Meetings with mentors - 10hrs Online activities – blog writing - 15hrs Independent study - 30hrs
(DICE Project Flow)
Constraints and assumptions
Included assumptions are that first year students are comfortable and confident team oriented works. Schedules from the registrar that do not conflict and everyone conversant in the same language with the same level of ease.
The Team and Other Interested Parties
DICE Program Board DICE Directorate Roisin Lyons FYFG Project Managers Assembly Project Manager James Dellinger DICE Group Team 1A Hannah Cooney Marcus Allen
Fergus Murtagh Matt Ambroziak Ediale Olayinka
Physical Communication Interfaces
DCU email Google Chat Facebook Groups and messages SMS Messaging Mobile and Smartphones
Attack and Conquer
Business Goal of the Project
Interactive action learning of innovation and its process by doing assignments listening to business leaders and comprehension of the technological changes taking place around do to digital communication tools WINDOWS PHONE APP DESIGN PROJECT To conceptualise innovative educational apps that could be used by faculty or other academic and support staff or students in their daily university life. Project Success Metric Criteria The project should meet the criteria below: · Useful and engaging to the target audience · An appropriate fit with the Microsoft Windows Phone · New, innovative and unique · Suitable for app format
The team is expected to be able to demonstrate that you: · understand your target audience and segment’s needs
· learn and apply idea generation techniques, · elaborate what problem your app solves and why it is unique, · discuss any IP, legal, health, safety, regulatory or legal issues,
Project Management Team Structure
DICE PROGRAM BOARD -> DICE DIRECTORATE -> GROUP A FYFG PROJECT MANAGERS ASSEMBLY -> NGM PROGRAM MANAGER GROUP 1A -> DICE FYIT GROUP
(DICE Management Flow Chart)
Project Manager and Activity Facilitator - James Dellinger Group 1A Hannah Cooney - Team Organiser / Team Secretary Marcus Allen - Team Salesmen and Public Speaker Fergus Murtagh – Team Manager
Matt Ambroziak - Team Software and Computer Applications Manager Ediale Olayinka - Mature Voice Wisdom - Leader Through Action
Quality Management Strategy Rules
Attendance at the mini-conferences is compulsory. Notes should be taken at all times to aid students in developing their blog content. Attendance sheets and evaluation reports will be given out to students and collected during the conference. In the case of illness students may be asked to produce a medical cert and will be given additional assignments. · DICE students should sit with their project managers at conferences. · Students will be attending each conference with external guests from around the world – we expect students to be on time, wearing decent attire, paying attention and adhering to all codes of conduct. Poor behaviour will not be tolerated and may result in a team disqualification from submitting a blog for that specific conference. · For the purpose of this module, teams are required to write a minimum of four blog posts (600wds each approx.) detailing the seminars attended. These should draw on content discussed in the seminar together with outside reading. · The design and appearance of the Wordpress site will be considered when grading the project. Video, images etc. may all be included in the blog. · The team will not receive a grade if they have not completed the four blog posts. · The entire blogsite must be finalized by the end of week 10 in semester 2. · Picked a time on your timetable each week where you will have a meeting and stuck to it. · Well taken notes in mini conferences. · Viewed different blog sites and how material can be presented on them. · On time arrivals and respect for other team member’s time and other responsibilities. · Completion of the evaluation forms and attendance sheets at each conference, event, and turned in to Project Manager James Dellinger.
Configuration Management Strategy
The project work product will be done by the by the FYIT team. The Project Manager will facilitate positive teamwork and interpersonal communications.
The FYFG Project Mangers will aid the discussion of subjects the work product is on and aid questions. They will facilitate the creation of a group signatory code. They will also assess attendance to all team meetings and related events (conferences etc). Project Managers will report mal-attendance and poor group work performances to the Dice Directorate.
Risk Management Strategy
Group will have a code of conduct entailing times and expectations of team members build into signatory code. Project attainment goals will be regularly assessed at checkpoints.
Communication Management Strategy
The group will communicate as needed to each other via Facebook Group DICE 1A, email, SMS, and phone calls. Regular notifications of schedule changes or conflicts is desired 24k before each event or meeting. These rules also will apply to Project Manager and to FYFG Facebook group discussions and meetings. Correspondence with the Dice Directorate will be done via email and as question or specific needs are that are beyond the facilitation scope of the Group 1A project manager or beyond the knowledge of the FYFG Project Managers Assembly.
(Facebook Group of DICE Team 1A)
(Facebook Group of FYFG A)
First Project Set Conferences and Blogs: Semester One and Two Conferences Dates and Themes: 11 October (2-6, The Helix) – DICE Briefing Session 25 October (2-6, The Helix) – Get Mobile 18 November (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Social 14 February (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Creative 20 March (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Started 17 April (2 – 6, The Helix) – Poster and Presentation Day Attendance at the mini-conferences is compulsory. Notes will be taken at all times to aid students in developing their blog content. Attendance sheets and evaluation reports will be given out to students and collected during the conference. DICE Group 1A students should sit with their project managers at conferences.
For the purpose of this module, teams are required to write a minimum of four blog posts (600wds each approx.) detailing the seminars attended. These should draw on content discussed in the seminar together with outside reading. The design and appearance of our Wordpress site will be crucial when grading the project. Video, images etc. may all be included in the blog. Creativity is important. Dice team 1A will not receive a grade if they have not completed the four blog posts on http://dcudice1a.wordpress.com. The entire blog project must be finalized by the end of week 10 in semester 2 1. Group Meeting Reports Each week students should complete a group meeting report documenting the decisions made and outcome of each meeting. Both team members and project managers should fill out this form; however there are differing forms for the two groups – see workbook for DICE group meeting reports. If there are problems within a team the course co-ordinator will ask to see these as evidence of work done by each individual. 2. Individual Discussion Reports If a problem occurs where a team member feels the need to discuss it outside of the meetings, they can arrange an individual discussion with the project manager. This can be held by phone, email or in person. The project manager must attempt to resolve the problem and then fill out an „individual discussion report‟ which will be submitted to the course coordinator. DICE students do not need to fill this out but should be aware of its presence 3. Cityone Justification Reports Each week, the team are asked to make a decision in the Cityone simulation game. These decisions must be carefully made, using all the resources and articles supplied by the game. Students must fill out a justification form each week explaining the reasoning behind their decision. This form is to be signed and dated by the student. The project manager will sign and date these documents at the next team meeting. Students who do not fill in this form will not receive marks for that week. 4. Group 1A Project Manager Evaluation Reports
At the end of the semester, the team will be asked to evaluate the project manager. This will be done individually by the students and without the help of the project manager. The mark received will be aggregated for the NGM group. Neither DICE nor NGM students will view the evaluation criteria for the duration of the semester. 5. Conference Evaluation Reports At each conference students will be asked to fill out feedback sheets. These will be used as evidence of attendance as well as feedback on the events. Semester One and Two PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based method for effective project management. It is a framework used by the private sector, both in Ireland and internationally. In semester 1 you will be asked to participate in 7 online tutorials about project management. These can be done in your own time during the week but all must be completed by the end of week 10 in semester one. In week 11 (time and date to be confirmed) you will take part in the online exam simulator where you will be asked a number of multiple choice questions about the tutorials. The exam simulator can be attempted as many times as you want before the exam but it is the result on the day that will be counted. This exam is worth 30% of your overall grade for DICE. Semester One and Two CityOne offers players the opportunity to optimize banking, retail, energy and water solutions via an online, sim-style game in which the player is tasked with guiding industries within a city through a series of missions. Players will make decisions to improve the city by attaining revenue and profit goals, increasing customers‟ and citizens‟ satisfaction, and making the environment greener with a limited budget. In parallel, players will learn how the components of business process management, service reuse, cloud and collaborative technologies make organizations in the city system more agile.
What will the Dice team 1A be doing each week?
In your teams you will be playing the game! Every week over the two semesters you will meet your group, log on to the game, read what the problem is and some information on it, discuss the situation with your teammates and make a decision. When you have done this you tell us why you made that decision (via the Cityone Justification Report on Moodle). This aspect is worth 30% of the overall module. Each team is playing against each other. The leading team in semester 2 will receive a prize sponsored by IBM. Some Rules for Cityone work: · The Cityone Justification Reports have to be filled out every week by every team and submitted to Moodle. These will be checked at random by the course co-ordinator, and will also be checked by your project manager. If they are not done you will not receive the marks for that week. · If the Cityone Justification Reports are not completed to an adequate standard your project manager or co-ordinator can decide not to count them. This will result in the student losing that week’s marks. · Marks? For each week – the justification report and decision will count for 1%. (so that means 21 weeks = 21 decisions = 21%, the remaining 9% is allocated depending on your teams position in the class as determined by a leaderboard). · The team which is ranked the highest on week 11 of Semester 2 will be named the winners and will receive the prize. · Each time the group log in they will be restarting the game – IT IS ESSENTIAL they repeat the decisions they made previously before as IBM is obviously not a video games designer and a save feature was to difficult to add to a learning tool. This part of the project merges two things together 1) reflecting on the seminars you will attend 2) developing your online skills. DICE students will attend 4 mini-conferences during the year where successful business men and women will share their ideas, insights and experiences on a range of topics. DICE teams will take notes on these, find out more about the topics and write a piece about them. They will then put these up on a blog* site and design the site as they please. The blogsite is worth 20% and will be graded on its content, creativity and presentation.
WINDOWS PHONE APP DESIGN PROJECT The DICE Group 1A project should meet the criteria below: · Useful and engaging to the target audience · An appropriate fit with the Microsoft Windows Phone · New, innovative and unique · Suitable for app format The DICE team 1A is expected to be able to demonstrate that you: · understand your target audience and segment’s needs · learn and apply idea generation techniques, · elaborate what problem your app solves and why it is unique, · discuss any IP, legal, health, safety, regulatory or legal issues, and conceptualise your app by means of a storyboard. What to submit? Assessments on due an A0 poster to be presented on 17 April 2011. The group will be expected to present on their project for 5 minutes.
Project Controls: Teams Signatory Code
Signatory Code Details This is a team generated governance device which outlines the conditions by which all members are scale) to statements of deliverables (e.g., each member must produce two reports used in preparation of the final product). NOTE: you may include a referral to the Module Coordinator as an outcome instead of forthright exclusion of the member from signing the submission. NOTE: Signing the Signatory Code indicates that its contents were understood and that the conditions and possible consequences put forth will be abided by. For Codex of Team 1A Signatory Code’s Planned Situational Scenarios. Any team member who does not appear on the final product/project may not be given credit. The team and their leader must agree on a team signatory code and sign it. Signatory Codes vary widely, from simple voting procedures (e.g., a majority
of team members must approve) to peer evaluations (e.g., each member must receive at least an average of 7 on a 10-point, multi-item). In some instances teams may have some problems while working together. If at all possible these issues should be resolved by the team. In the event this will not suffice, here are some guidelines on how you should act. Team will not get in contact – Each team signatory code should have a clause dealing with this issue. If this situation persists the student should contact their project manager providing evidence (emails or otherwise) of this lack of participation. The project manager will fill out an issue report and submit it to the course co-ordinator. The postgraduate project manager is the first point of contact in dealing with the situation and should try to solve the problem accordingly. If the situation persists project manager may meet with the course co-ordinator at an arranged time. If a Dice team 1A member has dropped out – The projects outlined are feasible for 4 to 5 members and can operate effectively with either number. If a If the Dice team 1A is left with 3 or less members then the project manager can contact the course co-ordinator and the students will be re-allocated. If a Dice team 1A member is not pulling his/her weight (not contributing, standard of work is very poor) – The team signatory code should have a clause dealing with this issue. If the situation persists the student should highlight this issue with their project manager. It is important to note that project managers will have a record of work done by each individual. If it is deemed necessary by the project manager, he/she will fill out an issue report and submit it to the course co-ordinator. The project manager is the first point of contact in dealing with the situation and should try to solve the problem accordingly. If the situation persists the project manager may meet with the course co-ordinator at an arranged time. If Dice team 1A member is experiencing personal problems The student should arrange an individual discussion with the project manager James Dellinger. If the student is not comfortable they can arrange to meet with the course co-ordinator. Dice team 1A Project Manager or FYFG PM Assembly is not participating fully
Teams will be asked to evaluate their project managers at the end of the semester which will contribute towards the leaders overall grade. If a team feels that a project manager is not contributing to an appropriate standard, they can contact one of the other project manager members in that team who will attempt to solve the problem. Alternately they can contact the course coordinator who will attempt to rectify the situation Dice team 1A Teams must participate in all aspects of the module Dice team 1A must act professionally and respectfully with each other, staff and all contacts relating to the module Dice team 1A will keep a record of team meetings in their DICE workbooks. If there are problems within a team the course co-ordinator will ask to see these as evidence of work done by each individual.
End Project Documentation
Project Name: Date: Author: Group 1A 2011/2012 Year of DICE Activities 31/10/2011 James Dellinger Release: Final
DICE Directorate Program Board
Project Manager’s Report
DICE group 1A core project objectives and learning outcomes were met. Projects work was completed see http://dcudice1a.wordpress.com. See Dice interaction facilitation excerpts in DICE Appendix for details of conversation and dates of project manager group facilitations outside of events and bi-weekly meeting attendance.
Review of the Business Case
The purpose of the DICE module is to provide an introduction to the concepts, processes and methods relating to innovation, creativity and enterprise to first year students. They are expected to attend both seminars and group meetings throughout the semester and will reflect on knowledge gained through an online Wordpress blog. In this module, students will develop knowledge and skills pertaining to project management.
The first year students will engage with online learning and a group project facilitated by a Next Generation Management postgraduate student acting as Project Manager, mentor, and group cooperative facilitator. In interacting with an online simulation game, students will evaluate how separate decisions taken in areas such as marketing, finance or production planning impact on an overall business.
Benefits Accomplishments and Skills Achieved
Project Management Project organisation; Starting up a project; Initiating a project; Making a Business case; Directing a project; Project plans; Product based planning; Quality in a project environment; Risk management; Quality Review; Controls; Controlling a project stage; Managing product delivery. Simulation Game Decision making; Intelligent instrumentation; Interconnectivity; Service reuse; Business process management; Cloud computing; Local insight; Collaboration and knowledge share; Vision; Agility; Transparency; Intrapreneurship; Responsiveness. Creativity Innovation; Brainstorming; Critical thinking; Social Media marketing; Digital innovation in business; Mobile business; E-commerce, M-commerce; Blogging. Creativity in Communication Blog writing; Poster design; Communication skills; Team working; Managing others; Conflict management; Managing business and strategy; Decision making; Creative thinking. Entrepreneurship Starting a new venture; Project management; Generating new business ideas.
Desired Work Product Skills Outcomes
The DICE module program is designed to get you thinking about enterprise in many different ways. This is a new course developed to get students active and engaged in their own learning. Conditions are always changing so companies must be prepared to spot potential, move with current trends and make tough decisions. In DICE we will give you a taste of this and lots, lots more. You will get to work in teams, work on your own, learn by hearing from role models, learn by hearing from peers, learn through online lectures, and learn through traditional lectures. The DICE module is designed to enable students to: · Do online tutorials on project management · Develop an idea for a mobile app · Design a research poster · Play an online business simulation game · Create a blog and post articles to it · Learn from successful role models · Learn from Next Generation Management postgraduate facilitators · Work in teams, both small FYIT, and larger FYFG groups · Work on your own · Use digital media platforms and tools such as blogs · Learn about new trends in Business, creativity, and digital technology, such as social media mobile applications and product and idea innovation. This module there is a heavy emphasis on teamwork so there are a number of ground fundamental rules to ensure everything goes smoothly. Project Work Product Scope Poster Presentation: 20% Description: Each group is to produce and display a poster detailing the design of a mobile app for the education market; the thinking process that went into its conceptualisation, how it will function and how the market will be targeted. Each group must present their idea and poster in a 5min presentation for the class. Digital production: 20%
Description: Student teams must create a weblog documenting their learning from each of the seminars. Students will be assessed on the content created and knowledge of the themes outlined in the seminars.
(DICE Team 1A Blog http://dcudice1a.wordpress.com/) Computerised test/exam: 30% Students must complete 8 online learning units of Prince2 project management and are assessed by online test. Other: 30% Online simulation game - students must submit a decision every week and are assessed on participation and rank in the simulation. Workload: Online Learning – Prince 2 tutorials + test - 20hours Online Learning – Cityone decisions – 30hrs Seminars - 25hrs Meetings with mentors - 25hrs
Online activities – blog writing - 15hrs Independent study - 30hrs
Residual Benefits Expected
a) Discuss the main theoretical perspectives principles, concepts, and techniques relating to innovation, creativity and enterprise. b) Explain and apply different tools and techniques for generating and conceptualising product ideas. c) Demonstrate and evaluate how separate decisions taken in areas such as marketing, finance or production planning impact on the overall business. d) Explain and apply different tools and techniques for project management. e) Teamwork skills and manage f) Leadership
Expected net benefits
Long-term skills and development growth for Dublin City University first year Dice participants in the future entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Project Management Skills Creativity Expansion Entrepreneurship Process and Tools Use of Digital Communication Tools Conversation Management and Follow Up
Deviations from the approved Business Case
We lost one team member, Matt Ambroziak due to dropping out of college midway through semester two. The group was then down to 4 members and they solved most of their small problems of the coursework on their own without incident.
Review of Project Objectives
This project performed well against the standard for which Team 1A was being judged against. • • • • • Signatory code was designed and established. FYIT meetings were attended FYFY meetings were attended Group Meeting Reports were filed. Princee2 Test was taken
• • •
Cityone tasks and Justification Reports were preformed on time and with the required level of group participation. Windows Phone Application Poster was delivered on time Poster Presentation was made
Conferences were attended: • • • • • • 11 October (2-6, The Helix) – DICE Briefing Session 25 October (2-6, The Helix) – Get Mobile 18 November (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Social 14 February (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Creative 20 March (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Started 17 April (2 – 6, The Helix) – Poster and Presentation Day
Conference Evaluation Reports were filed on blog NGM Project manager Evaluation Report were filed
Review of Team Performance
I would like to provide recognition for the good overall performance to Dice team 1A. They were attentive and respectful of each other and their project manager. Despite a few sporadic attendance and interaction with the team problems Marcus Allen and the associated problem reports filed with the Dice Directorate, even Marcus performed extremely, well with two solid App Poster sales presentations and his ideation in regards to the groups’ windows phone application. I would like to single out Hannah Cooney as the team’s MVP organizer and motivator as she worked tirelessly throughout the year to make the work come together. She also acted as a primary point of contact for the project manager to have a good grasp of ongoing group progress during weeks of attendance unavailability or away on business. Fergus Murtagh gets the most improved player award. Furgus was the most sceptical of the Dice project in the first weeks of semester one to being one of its biggest boosters throughout semester two. He would make an excellent Dice evangelist. Ediale Olayinka will get the team spirit award as her consistent communication and punctual attendance was noted by all, with many event and meeting attendance and needing to be dismissed by the Program Manager due to illness. As a mature student she brought a unique perspective to the team, which created benefits to the work product produced.
Matt Ambroziak sadly did not make it though the entire second semester. We were sad to see Matt go as he was our bright Computer Applications student and he was extremely helpful in the first half of semester one. He drifted away from the team and college until he informed us of his withdrawal from DCU reading week of semester two after some non-attendance and non-responsive communication.
Work and tasks were excellent the unresolved problems with Cityone save feature leaves replacement of this part of the module desirable. In theory the module is suppose to give student valuable team building experience working with complete strangers of non-choice. The same goes for the project managers gaining managerial experience of others they do not know personally. Just like the real world, in theory. However in practice, project managers do not have authority over the team and the little options were available for problem resolution. There was really only one real issue was a consistent theme throughout the year of the Dice project. It is a consequence free learning environment. In the real work world there are consequences for non-performance. The “I will report you to the Dice Directorate,” rings hollow, when it is widely circulated that no one will fail and there are not disciplinary or sanctions available to remedy poor behaviour or performance. This creates a situation where there is no authority or remedy for project manager to aid group performance with misbehaviour when the rest of the group looks to them for sanctioning efforts of the non-compliment team member.
Summary of Follow-on Action Recommendations
The Project Board is advised to build out strong learning consequences into the module rules of conduct with consequence actions known transparently upfront. There are many things we can learn from consequences being acted upon. Maybe it is the violence of America and the UK, or the personal financial consequences of screwing up that sharpens the maturity levels of their first year pupils to a much higher degree than their Irish peers. Entrepreneurial success require more than trying in a “consequence free learning environment,” it requires comprehension and often experiences of failure.
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2.0 Methods The aim of the current experiment was to assess the impact of the BDNF genotype on the amount of cross-education from the trained (left) to the untrained (right) arm. This is an extension of the study by Carson & Ruddy (2012) which clarified the influence of varying types of visual feedback on the amount of cross-education. Ethics approval was obtained from the School of Psychology Research Ethics Committee, Trinity College Dublin, in accordance with the Meta-Code of Ethics of the European Federation of Professional Psychologists' Associations (1995). 2.1 Sample X right-handed participants (of which X female) underwent the experimental procedure. Mean age was X (Range from X to X). The vast majority of participants were students and were compensated by credit points from their home university. 2.2 Forms and questionnaires used In the following section, the instruments and questionnaires used in the current experiment are described and their implementation explained. A copy of each of the forms and questionnaires is attached in the appendix. 2.2.1 Medical History Questionnaire A Medical History Questionnaire for volunteers participating in studies involving transcranial magnetic or transcutaneous stimulation was employed to rule out any potential risk for the
participants. Subjects with pacemakers, implants made of paramagnetic material, a history of brain surgery and a history of epilepsy in the family were excluded, among others. 2.2.2 IPAQ The English, long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ, 2002) was employed to assess the participants' health-related physical activity. Since physical activity can influence BDNF expression, this questionnaire was included to test for possible moderating effects of physical excercise on the amount of cross-education, apart from the BDNF genopype. 2.2.3 Edinburgh Handedness Inventory The Edinburgh Handedness Inventory was utilized to assess the degree of right-handedness in every participant. The reason for this is that handedness can be approached not as a bipolar but rather a dimensional concept. Since only self-reported right-handed subjects were included in the study and the amount of cross-education from the left arm to the dominant right arm was assessed, the degree of right-handedness might provide additional explained variance in investigating the amount of crosseducation. 2.2.4 Debriefing and information documents A short (one page) and a long (six pages) information document was handed to the participant to provide information about the background of the study and about the safety and risk associated with TMS. Also, a debriefing document (two pages) was provided to put the current experiment into context and to explain the underlying aim, namely to provide a scientific basis of interventions that may be used to harness brain plasticity during periods of limb immobilisation, with the aim of maintaining functional capacity in older persons, e.g. after a fall or stroke. 2.2.5 Informed consent forms Each participant was asked to read and sign a research participation consent form and a consent form to provide a DNA sample for genetic analysis, namely the assessment of the individual's BDNF genotype. 2.3 Instruments used In the following section, a brief overview of the instruments used in the current experiment is provided. 2.3.1 Electromyography (EMG) To record both the muscle contraction during the motor task and the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) during TMS application, EMG was recorded throughout the whole experiment via surface electrodes. The muscles of which the activity was recorded comprised of the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and the
extensor carpi radialis (ECR) bilaterally. A ground electrode was attached to the skin on top of the elbow bone. Clip electrodes were used to minimize noise caused by the movement of the electrodes, and to further prevent noise, the electrodes were taped to the skin. 2.3.2 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) As a diagnostic measure of synaptic plasticity, the individual's resting motor threshold was assessed bilaterally prior to the experiment. The resting motor threshold was defined as the TMS pulse intensity at which an MEP with a peak-to-peak amplitude of about 50 mV was evoked in three out of five trials. A change in the threshold over the course of the motor task – i.e. a change in the intensity of MEPs evoked by TMS pulses of a given frequency – is taken as an indicator for changes on the cortical level, i.e. for synaptic plasticity. A Magstim 200 stimulator with a 55 mm mid-diameter figure of eight coil was used throughout the experiment. 2.3.4 Experimental chair In accordance with the previous experiment reported by Carson & Ruddy (2012), the same experimental chair designed for the previous experiment was used. For each participant, both forearms were supported and stabilized in a neutral position with the elbows semiflexed (100-120°). The angle between the upper arm and the torso was about 15-20°. The hands were secured at midpalm in manipulanda, which were instrumented to induce angular displacement. The position of the manipulanda was adjusted for each participant individually to match the length of the forearm and the distance between the wrist and midpalm. The manipulanda were mounted coaxially with the flexion-extension axes of rotation of the wrist. A contact switch was acticated upon flexion of the wrist from a neutral position, which was opposed by a stiffness load. Also, a voltmeter was attached to the bottom of the manipulanda which recorded the amount of displacement. To displace the manipulanda, the FCR but not the ECR had to be contracted, since the rebounce into the original position was supported. Hence, the ECR served as a control muscle not directly involved in the motor task. 2.3.5 Drape Equivalent to the experimental procedure described in Carson & Ruddy (2012), a mirror on wheels could be alligned with the participant's saggital plane. Since it was incompletely silvered, it could be positioned so that the reflection of the left limb was superimposed on the right limb, which was visible through the mirror. This was done to keep the experimental setting as comparable as possible over the individual participants, and comparable to the previous experiment. A black drape was then placed in front of the mirror. A white fixation cross was attached to the drape, approximately at that position where the reflection of the own limb had been visible in the mirror. The participants were asked to fixate this cross during all the motor task movements, both for the left and right arm. The reason for this procedure was that participants had no visual feedback for either their left or right arm
movements. Since participants had to tilt their head to look at the cross, a neck brace was used to stabilize their posture. 2.4. Preparation of each session After having filled out all the questionnaires, read the forms and signed the informed consent forms, the participant's head was measured with a measuring tape to find the centre of the head. The centre was being defined as the middle point between the nasion and the inion and the middle point between the earlobes. A stencil was used to mark the approximate position of the motor cortex controlling the forearm muscles bilaterally, which lies about 1 cm anterior and 5 cm lateral of the centre of the head. Next, the participant was asked to sit in the chair designed for the experiment and the manipulanda were adjusted individually. Surface electrodes were attached to the skin above the muscle belly of the FCR and ECR bilaterally after the skin had been abraded and cleaned with alcoholic swabs. The ground electrode was placed on the skin above the left elbow muscle. To further prevent noise in the recordings, the electrodes were affixed firmly to the forearm using tape. To support a relaxed position of the forearm and avoid noise in the EMG recording, both arms were placed in a vacpack forming a mould in which the forearms could rest comfortably. The air was sucked out of the vacpacks to maintain a stable support. EMG recordings were amplified and bandpass filtered (30 Hz to 1 kHz). At this point, EMG recordings could be observed in real time on an oscilloscope monitor placed visibly for the experimenter, but not the participant. This visual information was required to find the person's "hot spot", i.e. the position for the TMS coil on the participant's scalp on which a TMS pulse evoked a muscle twitch in the ECR and FCR, which was made visible via the electrodes and the monitor. For finding the hot spot, TMS pulses of about 50% of the maximal strength were applied to the pre-defined spot on the scalp and the surrounding area, until MEPs could reliably be induced. The coil was placed so that the axis of intersection between the two loops was oriented at about 45° to the sagittal plane, to induce posterior-to-anterior current flow across the motor strip. Once the hot spot was established, the exact position of the TMS coil was marked on the participant's scalp with a marker. The pulse intensity was then varied to define the individual resting motor threshold (RMT) for each hemisphere and for the ECR and FCR separately. The stimulation intensity at which MEPs with peak-to-peak amplitude of approximately 50 mV were evoked in three out of five consecutive trials was taken as the RMT. 2.5 Timeline of the experimental procedure The actual experiment was divided into several components, each of which will be further described. An overview of the timeline of the testing procedure is depicted in Figure X. Before the experiment, the task was described to the participant and a test trial was performed with the left hand to get accustomed to the auditory cue (500 Hz sin wave) and feedback.
2.5.1 TMS recruitment curve Based on the individual's threshold for the FCR of each hemisphere, a series of 62 TMS pulses were delivered to the participant's hot spot and the MEPs recorded. Both the delivery and strenght of the pulses and the recording of the responses was accomplished through a programme written in MatLab. Of the TMS pulses, 6 were of 90% of the individuals threshold, 12 of 100%, 6 of 110, 120, 130% and 140%, respectively. Since the threshold for the ECR is usually slightly lower than for the FCR, MEPs were also evoked and recorded in the ECR, but were neglected in the data analysis. The order of the hemispheres was randomized over the participants. During TMS pulse delivery, participants were asked to fixate a fixation cross painted on a board in front of them. The recruitment curve was collected prior to the left hand training (subsequently called pre-training curve), between the two left hand training blocks (mid-training curve) and following the second training block (post-training curve). Based on the MEP responses, changes in the excitability of the hemisphere can be observed, which serves as an indicator for synaptic plasticity. 2.5.2 Right hand assessment Following each TMS recruitment curve, the mirror and drape were positioned and the neck brace adjusted and fixated. The person was asked to perform the angular displacement movement with the manipulanda "as fast as they possibly can" each time an auditory cue was heard. The presentation of the cue was performed using a programme written in MatLab, as was the recording of the forearm EMG, switch input and voltmeter to indicate angular displacement of the manipulanda. Each right hand assessment comprised of 10 movements. There were three right hand assessments: Prior to the first and the second left hand training and following the third TMS recruitment curve. These sections will subsequently be referred to as pre- mid- and post-assessment. 2.5.3 Left hand training Following the pre- and the mid-assessment for the right hand, the left hand training was performed while the mirror and drape and the neck brace were in use. Again, stimulus presentation and response recording was done using a programme written in MatLab. Each training block consisted of 15 trials with 10 movements each. Participants were asked to perform an angular displacement movement with their left hand "as fast as they possibly can" each time they heard an auditory cue. Auditory feedback indicated whether the current movement was performed slower or faster than the average of the two previous movements. Hence, freedback was provided from the third movement on and participants had been informed about that beforehand. Between each trial, a 30 sec break was taken to avoid excessive muscle fatique. 2.6 Comparison to Carson & Ruddy (2012)
As already outlined, the current experiment is an extension of the experiment described by Carson & Ruddy (2012). In their experiment, three different visual feedback conditions were provided. In the current experiment, the experimental setup was comparable to the "no feedback" condition in which the black drape prevented observation of the moving limb. A major difference to the original experiment performed by Carson & Ruddy (2012) was that here, TMS was only applied at rest. In the original paper, TMS pulses were delivered during limb movement. 2.7 Data analysis
The SOSTAC planning framework applied to digital Internet marketing strategy development (Chaffey and Smith, 2008 (cited in Chaffey et al. 2009, pp.211))
Chaffey and Smith’s (2008) six categories of e-communications tools or media channels that can used in digital Internet marketing (cited in Chaffey et al. 2009, pp.29)
Search Engine Optimisation Report for “Ur Dream Home’s” urdreamhome.ie
Executive Summary Search Engine Optimization (SEO) reports are often done on at least a quarterly or monthly basis for Internet based sites and publishers. The current status quo of your website will throws the seriousness of your brand and product into doubt. Sell your readers the modern living lifestyle online. Normally, one does not dive into the big question ‘digital strategy’ in an SEO report. They are a generally bit more of a look at the mechanics of traffic delivery via search engines, but in examining urdreamhome.ie it is quite clear there is currently no coherent digital strategy for the digital presentation of ‘UR Dream Home Magazine,’ content. This is a double-edged sword of a good and a bad thing. The good news is your site is doing very little things wrong, incorrectly or poorly, but the bad news is that it really is not doing anything at all interesting online or well. This SEO report may feel a bit ‘bulldogged,’ because of the sheer lack of data that would normally be
analyzed. There is only so much SEO can bring to a website that both a coherent digital strategy standing behind it and basic design features to court readers interest and time on site. This is a fix that must occur first. The content is not the problem, it is fantastic. However, it is hidden and inaccessible for the average reader. Hiding good content in search engine inaccessible PDF’s does not count as online publishing. There are many excellent things that can be done with PDF’s so their content can be enjoyed, but current none of these are being deployed on urdreamhome.ie. The use of mymagonline.com’s pdf viewer must go. This site is so poorly executed a reader can’t even sign themselves up to receive a paid print edition of the magazine or give an email for updates about new issues. This is a fairly easy fix with deployment of both scribd.com and Pagesuite’s pdf services. Your magazine has staff members that blog, but not for your publication and possibly even on work time. Staffers and freelancers have links to their personal sites on the urdreamhome.ie staff page, but none of them link to their employer’s website urdreamhome.ie. Generally, when I have seen this in the past it is because they have never been asked to link to their work site and they would or they are not proud of their employers website, but fearful of reprisal for saying so. Your employees must like and want to interact on the urdreamhome.ie website about their content, they produce for the magazine and build relationships with their readers. This is a harder fix as it means changes to the current responsibilities of staff. Having worked with publishers in the past I understand the difficultly in deciding the path of a coherent digital strategy for those coming from traditional publishing. Your contents success online is not competing with your print version they are for different people. The continued erosion of the advertising and subscription model month after month does not help; however, I am confident that there are many readership and financial growth opportunities for this brand. I will be explaining in detail further in this report as to how to get there. The risks in maintaining the status quo are much worse. The year 2012 is upon us at this stage being online with a 90s web 1.0 website alone is no longer the bare minimum. Trying to do digital well is now the bare minimum. Not everyone is succeeding at this, but making a good faith effort are respected and noticed by readers online as audiences build and return
feedback. The new Facebook and twitter page are a start, but the lack of real interactivity with the audience makes its value to your online strategy unleveraged and feel just tossed on the wall. It’s time to decide what the point and purpose future of urdreamhome.ie is and what the strategy to accomplish the goals will be. It’s time to decide if this brand wants to compete within its own geographic space online and its chosen subject matter verticals. Currently, it does neither, based on my research and analysis. After your digital strategy is addressed and you know where you want to go, secondly web design and digital content deployment and content freshness must be addressed. Some aspects of this issue will be addressed in this SEO report, but again, doing this correctly is a precursor to making SEO of use to your site and improve traffic and audience interactions. For this report we have used a variety of SEO tools, which are defined in the appendices. Detailed Report I have chosen three other websites in the similar market space of contemporary homes and the lifestyles and furnishings associated with it. I chose ‘dwell.com,’ ‘freshome.com,’ and ‘homeanddesign.com.’ I chose these primarily American websites for one simple reason, they are dominating your readership vertical subject matter online even in your i.e. based search versions of Google Yahoo! and Bing and if you happen to be a reader of these sites in Ireland you may also be interested in urdreamhome.ie, which is more locally focused. I also chose them, because they each have a different unique digital strategy, which should be studied and contrasted when formulating urdreamhome.ie’s new strategy. Freshome.com is purely a digital operation and site is designed with subject matter vertical within the space in mind. However, Dwell and Home and Design are both glossy traditional magazines, which show what can be accomplished well in the digital space while still producing a high-end tradition glossy magazine. You will see the pro.SEOmoz.org domain analysis at the top of the next page. An attachment document in the appendix is available for much larger and easier reading.
We are not going to delve to deep right now on the technical factors they are using to come to the scores and check marks. Focus first on the primary top line domain scores, which are out of a total possible 100. Modern Dream Homes is well of the mark at 9. This is very poor, but again it’s not that urdreamhome.ie is doing many things incorrectly, but because urdreamhome.ie is not really in the game on the Internet yet. What it comes down to is that no one on the entire internet links to your website and by, no one I really mean two links from (your local chamber) www.clifdenchamber.ie/ and that is the extent of your inbound links. Inbound links from other sites was the primary basis for Google PageRank, where more links is better than less, and ‘better links’ from a ‘variety of sites’ are desired over many links for one or two other sites or many links from a disreputable website often called, ‘link farms.’
Search engine optimization tool SEOmoz.org gives urdreamhome.ie a 1/100 for Page Authority, which is the bare minimum for having a live page an owned domain and domain authority of 9/100, which basically means your site is who it says it is and not mismatched content to the home domain. Here is your primary local competition on keywords of interest in your subject matter vertical. They are an estate rental site and not really subject matter content competition but return higher that your site on all the choose 26 keywords except one, “ur dream home’ and the home website is so poorly executed that it comes in second in the (SERPs) to http://www.facebook.com/urdreamhome, which is the magazines Facebook page.
What this means is that if a search user knows of your brand name and searches for it he or she will find your site if they are looking based on the content you write about they do not know you. On the internet this is bare minimum, the internet is organized by subject matter and interest NOT provider or source of content, when a user is searching for content based on words associated with your content they will never find your website based on your current digital strategy and current web design. Currently an estate rental company is your most competent local keywords competitor. Elegant.ie is not really a content competitor at all in the conventional sense, it is an estate rental site for tourists, but it is a keyword competitor since it is a stronger site.
In fact of the 26 search keywords selected (could have chosen more but results would have been the same) your website did not show up in the first 50 search engine return pages (SERP) (first 5 pages of search returns) in Google, Bing or Yahoo! .ie version. If your content performs this poorly in the .ie version, remember that it is performing even more poorly in every other English language search engine version on the planet. This is tens of thousands of potential readers not enjoying and consuming your content. See all keywords used that your urdreamhome.ie content should appear with when searched, the addition of a coherent digital strategy and web design infrastructure would go far to improving this problem.
The simple truth is you barely show up in the Internet search. By this I mean your brand does, but not any of your content you are paying to produce, the subjects of interest you are paying people to write about, nor are the personalities associated with your publication highlighted and leveraged for readership in a meaningful way. However, seomoz.org was hardly the only search optimization tool to show a harsh reality about urdreamhome.ie current presence on the Internet in the .ie domain or in general. The Chrome browser’s SEO plug-in made by Sean Banister at MarketingAbuse.com also shows this reality as well and a diversity of metrics given the unavailability of other metrics for this site on the Internet. Some numbers between the two tools may vary, but the themes and conclusions we can draw are similar. There is just not enough searchable content on this site for any search engine to notice it, nor is there any inbound, outbound, or onsite interactive to be ranked well.
Notice the very few number of pages indexed by the search engines this includes none of your bi-monthly pdf’s of your magazine or the articles inside them. This is bad. This is due to a genuine lack of content on your site. There is very little linkable content on your site and as I have said before pdf’s are not search engine friendly unless explicitly made so and none of them are currently even hosted on your domain and website. Pdf’s are bad enough, not even having them hosted on your site is much worse.
Notice also the lack of registered backlinks in this tool that are registering for your site. There is a relationship here as pdfs and not traditionally considered search engine friendly. Links to your site from others is the basis of early search ranking formulas. Your site is not doing the bare minimum for the earliest ways to rank search to even notice you. The use of mymagonline.com’s pdf viewer currently in use, must go. It is a relic of 1995 Internet thinking and it adds no brand value for you on the Internet, as it keeps your best content unavailable to be found by nearly 99% of potential readers who do not know you exist but may be interested in your content and subject area. I am generally against the use of pdfs by digital publishers who are serious about a competent digital strategy. However, it is still done and if you must go with a form of pdf-based presentation the implementation of both http://www.scribd.com/ pronounced (Scrib dee or Scribed) and PageSuite http://www.pagesuite.com/ is far superior from an SEO prospective and every user perspective available. Both present superior options to leverage your current content into the viewing of more readers with minimal transition cost. Scribd is an archival social database of pdf’s, which makes the content inside the pdf’s search engine accessible. Think of it as the ‘Google of pdfs.’ Pdfs loaded into scribd.com are search engine friendly. PageSuite on the other hand offers a similar ‘e-reader’ feature like the one you currently attempted to implement on your current site, but offer a wide range of other features to complement it and get your content read. They also have integrated solutions for publishers interested in doing as little as possible with their PDF based content but are interested into turning them into viewable apps for online subscription models through iTunes based iBooks, Android chrome store, and
Amazon.com e-readers. But Pagesuites online pdf e-reader is also not search engine friendly, but works much better than mymagonline.com. I was also pleasantly surprised to find both a robot.txt (but the page does not work correctly) and a Simemap.xml available for the search robots, but the search accessible content is completely lacking. Site-wide Optimisation Pleasant design and fresh and diverse content is completely lacking on this urdreamhome.ie currently, when the subject matter of modern homes and design definitely allows for it. For example freshome.com does this very well.
Notice they topic areas across the navigation bar large photo with new blog post, email and other hot web standardized features in the upper right of the sidebar. Now contrast this to the current top half homepage for urdreamhome.ie
The ad block is empty as my flash and ad blocker is turned on. The top half of the homepage is not very desirable from a user perspective nor does it give many interesting options to be transported to ‘my dream home.’ When I come to this site, I want to get transported to a reality where I can live in a cool modern home not stare at ‘white space and tiny links. This design in contrast provide little fresh and interesting content nor is it displayed in a way to make it user friendly and get your content circulated and linked back to from all over the Internet. Way to much white space is being wasted in the upper left of the page. Next in site basics is the robot.txt as it claims to exist, but is not a proper real robots.txt it is just a redirect to the homepage as ‘robot.txt.’ This does not instruct a search bot to do anything for good or bad, but the pages at least have a <meta name="robots" content="index, follow" call in the header with a <meta name="revisit-after" content="31 days"/> monthly revisit in the head tags. This is just a much older way to instruct the robots.txt It was difficult to assess the pros, cons, and quality of urdreamhome.ie URL structures because it only has eight pages nine pages if you include the Sitemap.xml. The structure is a start, but since the site is lacking fresh content the evaluation of this as an element to good SEO is an empty set.
For the internal link structures I can assess this site as having poorly executed internal link architecture as it has a redundant “Main Menu” and “Quick Link Menu” no vertical menu links in a vertical navigation bar or indexed in a global footer. This site has a Sitemap.xml however it is fairly limited in what value it adds given there are only 8 html pages on the entire site. It is not clear whether this Sitemap.xml would dynamically add entries if new pages were added. This appears to be a manually created sitemap. However, at least one exists and they are considered to be a basic element of good site SEO. There is very little on this website to attract user engagement. Even the ability to sign up to get a physical magazine is cumbersome to non-existent. You can’t even pay to get the physical magazine if you wanted it. Only submit an email for someone to be in touch. This is not scalable in any fashion. A self-administered web store to at minimum get the physical print magazine is bare minimum for engagement if your goal is to sell magazines. Even this is arguably a relic of 1996 web 1.0 think of what this site could or should be. There is no mention of any social media accounts anywhere on the site, even though this urdreamhome.ie currently also operations a Facebook page and Twitter account. Threading the needle of social dialog with anyone remotely interested in this brand of subject matter is nearly impossible your site must encourage readers to like and follow your brand on Facebook and twitter. Urdreamhome.ie does render well on all common PC based web browsers and on the standard mobile browsers. There is no mobile version, however; this site is so sparse and light the only object of concern loading is the ill conceived unstandardized ad block built into the top right side of the site’s eight pages. However, this does bring us to a disjointed user experience as the site renders very different in safari browsers (OSX, Windows& and IOS4) in comparison to Firefox, Chrome, Explorer and Opera. Since arguably Mac and iPhone Safari users may be more incline to be interested in ‘contemporary living’ and contemporary design’ adjustments must be made as this could at some point be a core audience and should be specifically targeted. A bad browsing experience will turn them off from your brand, be Safari friendly.
There appears to be no effort in monetizing this site, its content or brand, not to mention any really old content long out of print. There is to little traffic on this website to show up in site quantcast.com, compete.com, or Google AdPlanner without direct submission by your company, I recommend doing so if you are interested in connecting with advertisers you do not currently know. It is time to have ads on urdreamhome.ie. The advertisement slot for urdreamhome.ie is in a terrible location and only running as a very blockable <ul id="banner_slideshow"> object made of hard links with zero tracking codes built in to know if the links are being clicked. In Safari browsers you must scroll over to the right to even see it. The Ads are not of any web standard size I am aware of and there are zero dynamic residual ad slots, and zero text ads, therefore urdreamhome.ie is leaving a fair amount of money on the table by not being in any online advertising networks. I recommend complying with IAB http://www.iab.net/about_the_iab standards, norms, and practices (IAB Ireland http://iabireland.ie/) and join an online advertising network AdSense being the easiest or even Google Display, not the most premium, but something always beats nothing. I could not even locate the size ratio in the page source code. There is no place on the site to even request to advertise on the site, or the magazine that navigation assisted. but I found a “request a link” page directly from Google search and not from anywhere navigable on the site.
Example of Urdreamhome.ie ad
Here is an example of what IAB standard ad slots on websites conform to dimensions wise.
Here is dwell.com common right sidebar with ads, flash is where the ad goes and right below, 300x250 pix.
Urdreamhome.ie is entirely inaccessible to non-English speakers. I was also surprised to find an ".ie" without any available Gaeilge language services. Arguably, should be a minimum standard for .ie sites, but given the language diversity of the European Union and the brought appeal of ‘modern design’ going beyond language barriers more language options should be available for readers. Implementing Google Translate is the imperfect but free and bare min option for doing this. Off-site Optimisation and Social media Social Media execution is very poor for urdreamhome.ie. This is primarily because it appears to have been slapped together and not been done in the same professional
manner as each bi-monthly magazine. Please refer to all the zeros in each area of ‘Social’ below. We will move into social and offsite optimization before we talk about on-site SEO tweaks, because more effort has been placed by the company in this area recently so there is more information to make judgments based upon.
seomoz.org’s opensiteexplorer.org look at social media and urdreamhome.ie
In the course of my exploring and watching urdreamehome.ie, I have been happy to see a twitter account http://twitter.com/urdreamhome and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/urdreamhome arise. When in the course of exploring your present Internet infrastructure for the first few times, I was exploring in October 2011 these either did not exist or were so poorly executed they were unlocatable in every form of search I investigating your website used, meaning, they were worthless if they are meant to attract anyone to have conversations about the subject urdreamhome.ie writes about. However, currently both accounts are operated via the ‘broadcast’ model and not ‘dialogue’ model of relationship to readers. Refer to the screen shots below and the long periods of inactivity and not interactivity with current brand fans and followers. This is mistake many publishers make when approaching social media, they think of it as merely another channel to broadcast their message or product, when in fact, these tools value are only realized when use for dialog with the readers on the other side of the message. Without creating two way dialogue with readers with these account they are adding little value other than to exist and deny a competitor or hostile your online name space in the social media services. Secondly it is impossible to even know your magazine has a twitter or Facebook page from looking at every page on your website. The needle must be threaded you must encourage site visitors to follow your magazine on twitter or like it on Facebook. At this point with zero dialogue I see no compelling reason for them to do so. On twiter.com the tweets are irregular broadcast bursts.
Urdreamhome.ie On Facebook.com (that back issues share is not intuitive and requires use of pdf viewer)
Staff writers and magazine personalities are inaccessible in any capacity that has to do with work for the magazine.
Except for staff writer Michael Rice ‘Bioarchitect,’ who is the only staff member I can actually find with an active Twitter account, Facebook, and YouTube page. More interestingly he has a few of his articles from the UR Dream Home Magazine ripped out whole hog on his site searchable text, but he does not even link to the urdreamhome.ie website once anywhere on the site or in the content.
Does these seem right to you? Other staffers even have links to their personal sites on the urdreamhome.ie staff page, but none of them link to their employer/ bylines given by Magazines own website. Generally, when I have seen this in the past it is because they have never been asked if they would or they are not proud of their employers website. If a brand does not care about their web presence their staff will care even less how they represent that brand online or in general. Your employees must like and want to interact on your website about their content they produce for you with their readers. They would not write about modern architecture design and living if they did not. There are not RSS feeds on the website to subscribe to nor is there any content for the many readers use RSS to read a diverse selection of content on the web to read and distribute. There are no links on the main site to the social urdreamhome.ie Facebook and twitter accounts. No email newsletters
exist for a user to sign up for, since email is the granddaddy of online social media urdreamhome.ie needs to begin at least a weekly or monthly newsletter; as currently there is not even passive attempt to contact information reader information, only ‘enquiries’ and a lame ‘email a friend,’ but email them what exactly, when there is no content articles to read or include in a txt only let alone to email a friend. The implementation of the ‘AddThis’ box is in an awkward spot and again no content is worthy of adding or sharing because it is either too old or stuck in an unsocial pdf reader. I guarantee if you check the ‘AddThis’ share stats no one uses it. They are meant for article content pages. Overall, social media interaction off of the primary website is very poor, bare minimum effort, with less than that as a return in value. Executing ‘social media’ correctly at the business level is becoming the new SEO as traditional SEO becomes less important. The recent changes made to search engines (including Google’s Panda project) in the last 18 months have emphasized the role and interactions between websites, their content, and its interaction on social media sites and the quality of the content. Because of this, I highly recommend adding a Google+ page for the magazine. Google has a strong incentive to rank these new pages high (they don’t want to see Google+ fail) so they are being generous in SEO terms to those who use this new social media option well. Expect future changes to the search engines to keep moving in the direction of social interactivity scoring gaining in the scoring methodology over tradition SEO being discussed on the next page. On-page Optimisation Discussing on page Optimisation with the current website is almost pointless, because most of the errors would be sorted out quickly once a digital strategy and new socially media publishing centric web approach was taken with an author friendly content management system in place. Titles tags are currently a net negative SEO issue for this current site as every page of the 17 pages has the same title “UR Dream Home.” Not only are they not descriptive
about the subject matter it says nothing about the content or subject matter of the site. The large blue “Ur Dream Home” below is the title tags. Title tags are the most important tags. They need to say much more observe two different examples from Dwell. This can easily be fixed in a new CMS or with a few manual html coding hours.
The ‘metas description’ (darker text starting with http://) are the second most important <head> tag element and they are a complete mess. Seomoz.org tools shows us that the description is the same as the title which is a big SEO net negative and “no no,” as the search bot ignores the duplicate text and finds something else on that specific page to use instead, giving us the above ugly html code and extra URL showing, unfriendly and not click worth mess above. The URL of “urdreamhome.ie” structure would be fine if any page that was search discoverable on the website mentioned, ‘modern living,’ ‘modern homes,’ etc. Since it does not a general reader has no idea what it means. The H1 tags are identical the title tags, meta keywords tags, and meta description tags. This is highly un- SEO friendly and will add negative marks to a sites overall
scoring in a search engine rankings. Each tag needs unique content tailored to getting users to you site I suggest subject area of interest. Also, I do not ever really think putting company logo images with alt- text (meant for blind users of the internet) under the H1 heading at any given time, but that is a personal preference from working inside <head> tags in the past. Some people have tried using this area to ‘goose’ their SEO ‘Google juice’ via having more words in the <head> tag, but I have not really seen it work out for the long run, the bots adjusted to the abuses of this ability to stuff more words in the header. Thankfully, this convention is followed on the site, but it is a minor positive for the negative SEO penalties having the same text in so many different tags incurs upon your website. All for should be different. I will skip over some of the lesser important tag configurations because at this point from an SEO perspective your website is failing to rank. I have included the on page elements for competitor freshhome.com for comparison of this site not having the same information in 4 different tags. Seomoz.org On Page Elements for urdreamhome.ie
Seomoz.org On Page Elements for Freshome.com
Seomoz.org Error warnings for urdreamhome.ie (Duplicate content and page titles, and meta descriptions as described above)
Hosting issue found with SEOMozBar
How a site is hosted is not always a consideration for some organizations rushing a website out the door. However, in the case of being an Irish ‘.ie’ being hosted in the UK can cost you in the .ie versions of Google, Yahoo, and Bing search. I am aware it may be cheaper to host in the UK or elsewhere, but it does come at a cost in terms of SEO. In the header there is a specific geo-location call for the site in its proper location in Ireland. <meta name="geo.placename" content="Bothair na Minne, Ballybane, Galway, Republic of Ireland"/> A geo tag is very nice step, but search bots are generally programmed to compare the geo coded tag to the host location and when they do not match this is a net negative mark from an SEO perspective and search ranking penalties apply.
The one directory that comes to mind the urdreamhome.ie should get listed on is the design section of world-newspapers.com/design.html which lists a huge mix of English language design magazines of the world. Currently “Ur Dream Home” is not listed. There are more directories out there, but this one seems to have a nice blend of content many sites worldwide listed and has first page search engine returns for many keywords. Can we learn anything else from your competitors’ websites that could come in handy when thinking about digital strategy? Let us take a look at what other subjects of interests those readers have and what other website they enjoy.
What other sites do Freshhome.com readers enjoy and what subject areas?
What other sites do dwell.com readers enjoy and what subject areas?
Website Recommendations for a future Urdreamhome.ie Go big with your goals and fight for a share of the world’s interest in modern living. Why could this not be done from Ireland? Millions of English speakers worldwide love modern design, architecture and the furnishings that go with this lifestyle. Become the go to website for your nation on this topic, but go bigger make my friends all over the world who love apartmenttherapy.com jealous want to come to Ireland, but don’t take my word for it. (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/real-estate/georgian-townhouse-indublin-ireland-the-new-york-times-121708-072485) Sell the modern living lifestyle Quit hiding the good stuff inside pdfs. To get there a full reboot of urdreamhome.ie content strategy is required before anything else can move forward. Then a digital strategy of how much paid or free content for the web etc must be decided the status quo is not an option. “How do we make the most money online and grow readership and brand awareness?” I cannot answer these, they must come from management. Then build your digital garden and decide what tools you want to use to achieve your desired digital goals. A defined digital strategy including a good content system and digital marketing will generally take care of the many major and minor SEO issues your site currently has and H tag here or there being imperfect is not that important, but this requires fresh great content on nearly a daily basis. Glossy magazines do give a level of prestige that some web only sites just do not have. Period. Often it has been argued to me that being in print makes you exist for
the older generation of readers for whom the web is not their primary information vehicle (the over 50 crowd) and I tend to agree. However, the inverse of this is true, if you are not proactively engaged online your brand does not really carry as much weight to younger readers. I am one of them. The content of the ‘Ur Dream Home,’ is excellent. Getting the content part correct is now the hardest part for many on the web who do everything else on the website building, SEO correctly since there are so many sites only everything else being equal if the content is bad no one will read or share it. Your content must be accessible to readers and you must start blogging about the subjects your brand cares about. Good content is the starting place for digital publishers. This is good news for urdreamhome.ie, is that freshome.com, dwell, and ‘fresh home & design,’ offer three models or paths that could be examined in a creating a fresh digital strategy. From the pure digital only play, through print as ‘best of web,’ and all of the advertising and subscription model options in between. One alone may not be the right one for you, but combinations of the elements that other design magazines are doing may work best for you. I suggest web lead your new strategy and the magazine be a ‘best of web’ product with some exclusives still for print and others just online. Why go digital at all? Currently urdreamhome.ie is leaving a bunch of money on the table by not having a comprehensive digital strategy and not even actively promoting the purchase of its glossy magazine online. This must end and digital needs to add revenue to the bottom line and allow for deeper relationships with your readers. Ditch the dinosaur. It is time to build a new web site and to ditch your current web 1.0 1995 era site. I would recommend going with a Wordpress.com content management system hosted in Ireland. Wordpress is favoured by bloggers and less technically equipped internet authors. Hire and contract out with a real firm, the neighbours kid brother will not cut it and retain someone for basic website and CMS maintenance and minor upgrades and changes. No one likes to see information on a site that has not been updated for years or months. If this is to cost prohibitive I would recommend free use of the photo centric tumblr.com as your CMS do to its
ease and customization features offered to those on the ‘do it yourself’ web operations budget. Have comments. Comment systems create user communities. I Highly recommend talking with and using disqus.com as they are free and have a very easy setup to get comments integrated into any website. This would be a great started. I recommend organizing the content. More specifically by subject area similar to the way freshhome.com has done since this is how people read and organize content of interest online. The web is build around subjects of interest not brands or sources. You need more content. Staff should be highly encouraged and paid for new content produced as web only. Fresh in internet terms means daily new blogs weekend posts are optional, but can be helpful for an emerging site. I recommend pursuing all new digital streams of revenue via mobile and tablet apps for as many platforms as you could afford, but start with iOS5 for iPhones and iPads first, Pagesuite would be a good vendor. I have a feeling those IOS/ Mac users will be most inclined to want to read about modern design given Apple and Steve Jobs role in integrating modern design into society changing technology products. The Internet is going mobile and your content should be available for reading there and currently it is no. I would also recommend the use of scribd.com the search engine friendly pdf archiving and sharing system and Pagesuite if you want to get maximal readership value of your the pdf versions of your magazine, but be warned most people on the internet do not prefer reading pdfs online they like interactive web pages. Blogging must be part of his or her content creation jobs and if it's not, someone needs to be hired to do it. At this point following internet SEO norms and guidelines to the letter, most shared in this report will add much value to a website that has done the above correctly. I highly recommend adding a Google+ page for the magazine and integrating the use of social media into your daily content cycle. Meaning at least one link per day for Twitter, Facebook and G+ and interacting with other publishers and writer’s content and readers in each social eco-system. This would be the minimum effort given to
expect any positive feedback return. Authors and staff should also be encouraged to become content and brand evangelists for your magazine. Lastly, I would recommend use of purchased search engine, display ads, text ads, and Facebook social ads targeting known readers interested topics. This should only be done as the new digital strategy is rolled out over a new website, that has its content open and accessible for readers to enjoy and interact and share. I would target readers of the three competitors we mentioned and those apartmenttherapy.com readers from Ireland so that readers of these sites know that your magazine will show them great design and modern living not to far away from where they actually live and not just in San Francisco New York or London but right here in Ireland.
KBC Bank Ireland plc Facebook Commerce Evaluation
KBC Bank Ireland plc is a bank in Ireland with offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast. It is a wholly owned by its corporate parent KBC Bank of Belgium. Its primary address is in the Dublin IFSC district. KBC Bank Ireland plc Sandwith Street, Dublin 2 Their primary products are banking. This includes services and products like, mortgages, savings accounts business credit, Capital Market, and loan syndication. KBC Bank Ireland primary address is http://www.kbc.ie/ No link to its Facebook page is available from it, however a link to fairly active LinkedIn presence is on the footer of each page. KBC Bank Facebook urls https://www.facebook.com/pages/KBC-Bank-Ireland/103102646396034 Ireland https://www.facebook.com/pages/KBC-Bank-NV/111918285493923 Belgium https://www.facebook.com/pages/KBC-Bank/105496269487867 https://www.facebook.com/KBCBankEnVerzekering?sk=info Facebook Presence Evaluation All the above KBC Bank Facebook pages seem to be placeholder signpost pages with zero content updates no dialog and minimal engagement with its very few ‘likes’
except for one KBC Bank & Verzekering. There are only 31 likes for the KBC Bank Ireland page and the author of this is one of them.
Market Analysis No bank in Ireland is currently leveraging Facebook well for business purposes. No “official” corporate Bank of Ireland page even exists on Facebook, but a few noncorporate branch level pages do exist. Allied Irish Bank has about the same presence as KBC as does National Irish Bank. This is not entirely an Irish phenomenon as research unveiled HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and Sun Trust Banks all have similar signpost Facebook presences like KBC. Later we will look at a few bank pages that utilize Facebook well. This means whoever is the first mover will get some good digital earned media for doing so if done creatively. This is a bigger challenge for a primarily Commercial Bank more so than a retail consumer bank. However, if KBC Ireland chose to become more aggressive as an online retail bank and in person commercial bank Facebook would become an important place to target consumers online. 25% of all online ad impressions for the top fifty American firms spending online was via Facebook. (WSJ, 2011) Green Crest Capital also has some longer-term projects and the spending direction is way up in percentage and absolute terms. (Green Crest Capital, 2011) Sept. 2011 Add impressions online and Facebook ads as a percentage. (WSJ.com 2011)
Projected Facebook ad spending growth (eMarketer data via WSJ.com 2011)
Why mention these facts? Advertising is a key component in the early days of a newly active dialoguing (not a flat un-interactive web 1.0 signpost page) page in order to bring the audience of likes up high enough for a critical mass to begin some form of conversation. Banks can do Facebook well and there are very negative consequences for not doing it all, because customers if angered will be. Observe, “I hate TD Bank.” Since Facebook is a strong domain this is in search engine returns for a good time to come. When they should have offered some customer support via Facebook to resolve issues of irate customers. Otherwise consumers are free to use social media against your company. (Torres, 2011)
Current Facebook marketing KBC Bank does not use its Facebook pages for sales development, customer service, and contests in any capacity. No evidence could be found in regards to use of Facebook ads to market either its pages or its services. The bank’s Facebook page strength is that it has an open canvas to explore ways to create new interaction with potential customers, brand promotion, and job recruits. The primary weakness of KBC Bank’s Facebook page is the lack of interactivity. Secondly the information on it is from Wikipedia and not official bank information.
For example it says it is a “non-retail bank,” which is primarily true as it does not have many branches in Ireland like say Allied Irish Bank or Bank of Ireland, but it does offer some consumer products like savings and mortgages, which are not even mentioned on the Facebook page. KBC Banks Facebook page is visibility on web via Google search and other search engines but only on the second page of search engine results or via Facebook search. Proposed Future KBC Bank Facebook Strategy New Facebook page design find a leader’s page doing well and adapt it your companies culture
Study Wells Fargo. They have an active Facebook community. They have a well establish corporate online tone of voice. It’s not the biggest bank page in terms of likes, but it’s arguably among the most genuine. It’s not just about push marketing, asking consumers and potential employees or business that might have a future relationship with your important questions is key. Create conversation around your products. Have different sections that you are proud of about your company and of course have a section for jobs. Potential employees can apply for a job via Wells
Fargo’s Facebook page. I would also suggest JPMorgan and Citibank as representing excellent leveraged Facebook marketing operations for retail banks. These two have also been in the top twenty-five companies spending advertising dollars on Facebook so some of their strength comes from this large spend. A link and button to your Facebook from the Bank homepage next to the LinkedIn button is a must. It will confer much legitimacy to your Facebook page and allow access to the virtuous circle of backlinks. Further and lastly links to all product pages must be made from your Facebook page. Study the KBC Bank & Verzekering page that is doing some interesting integrated marketing campaigns with Facebook 4 (traders, 2011). Equipped with fourteen thousand liking fans and heavy interaction. Contact them and talk with them adapting their app for business accounts with KBC Bank Ireland and the Facebook. No need to reinvent the source code.
- Unleash the power of social ads. Create a Facebook advertising campaign use Geotargeting and other Facebook social Targeting parameters target a very specific audience. Don’t forget to have a marketing budget for your new conversation tool. The fact that these social adverts allow you the ability to target specific groups of real people and not just topics or websites like with Google AdWords or Display ads is a key reason advertising
dollars are moving into Facebook quickly. Facebook advertisements do not have the mass of Adwords or Display campaigns but they have a higher targeting quality. (Edelman 2010) The advertisements show up in the right sidebar in every inside page (there is no homepage advertising.) Running three different simultaneous campaigns would really boost the numbers of likes and interaction measurable on your page, but make sure it is directed at residents of Ireland and Northern Ireland or if you want to get fancy geo-target a specific number of miles from the 4 cities your offices are located. Example of Facebook advertising targeting:
The first campaign would be targeted at other financial professionals, business owners based on the users self described interests and work as well and others who may be in leadership or near leadership in SMEs in need of your commercial services and products. This is primarily a branding campaign that may lead to sales leads. The second campaign would be targeting more retail buyers of mortgages and savings accounts. This campaign would have a bit wider net going after those looking for mortgages and savers. Leverage this spot to capture customers. (Dorf, 2011) This is a conversion campaign and may require enticements. The third campaign would be targeting prospective employees and directing them to the new “opportunities for employment” sub-page on Facebook. This is primarily a recruiting portal, but will really also aid in getting the page ‘likes’ up to a level that can sustain dialog and conversation and give HR more resumes to filter through. Finally, be wary of doing competitions or contests earl going, as there are allot of new terms of services rules in running contests. They should, however be a part of a phase two use of your new page to draw in new savers and mortgages. I am sure
financial rules apply here is a well that must be address upfront. This would also be when you explore third party apps integration that can aid your campaigns and grow your community. But remember your new Facebook campaigning needs to be integrated into your overall marketing strategy and structure. - Define and measure your success and test for success Use industry driven metrics systems to provide data and corporate desired to define goals before you begin. Your campaign will fail if you are to ambitious of what Using Facebook Insights for campaigning staffers to get a feel what works best and test often and early and use weekly updates for explaining the campaign developments to those who need to know how it is proceeding, but not daily details.
Example of Facebook weekly emailed metrics for a personality page (same setup as business or brand pages) I am still and admin for.
Some metrics you could use to measure successful campaigns and Return On Investment beyond what interactions and demographics Facebook Insights can measure on your Facebook page (Hoffman 2010). Coded inlinks via url shorteners and trackers from Facebook to landing pages Total traffic driven to your website from your Facebook page Views of videos or downloads of apps or materials Total Like count growth
Then we have the trickier ones to measure but are still import. Brand awareness within desired targeted segments
There are challenges to using Facebook for a commercial bank given the business – to-business core business model, however the benefits will outweigh the risks if sustained effort and interest is applied. Bibliography Dorf, D. 2011. Using Facebook to Capture Customers. HSR Blog Network 28 February. Available from: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/using_facebook_to_capture_cust.html [Online] [Accessed 11 December 2011] Edelman, D. 2010. Branding in the Digital Age You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places Harvard Business Review. Green Crest Capital, 2011. Facebook’s Future: F-Commerce [Online] Available from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55851774/Green-Crest-Capital-Facebook-Executive-[Accessed 11 December 2011]
Hoffman, D. Marek Fodor, M. 2010. Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing?" MIT Sloan Management Review Vol. 52 No.1 Steel, E., Fowler, G. 2011. Big Brands Like Facebook, But They Don't Like to Pay. The Wall Street Journal. [Online] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204294504576613232804554362.html [Accessed 11 December 2011] Steel, E., Fowler, G. 2011. Big Brands Like Facebook, But They Don't Like to Pay. The Wall Street Journal. [Online] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204294504576613232804554362.html#pro ject%3DLIKE20111024 [Accessed 11 December 2011]
4traders, 2011. KBC : launches a new generation Mobile Banking app [Online] Available from: http://www.4-traders.com/KBC-5967/news/KBC-launches-a-new-generation-MobileBanking-app-13802460/ [Accessed 11 December 2011] Torres, J. 2011. Social media crisis training mandatory. Social Media Banking 31 October. [Online] Available from: http://socialmediabanking.blogspot.com/2011/10/social-mediacrisis-training-mandatory.html [Accessed 11 December 2011] Facebook, 2011. I Hate TD Bank [Online] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Hate-TD-Bank/241426749656 [Accessed 11 December 2011]
DICE: INTERACTION EXCERPTED DIARY APPENDIX
James Dellinger Rumour going around. Yall get to Dice again next year as a 'second year' module... diff goals different course work. 28 April James Dellinger I didn't know. Had no clue, shitty org and comm. Good work though. 17 April James Dellinger Excellent work.. Shortlisted. Killed it. Jd is proud. 17 April James Dellinger Anyone here with the poster the other pg's are grading your poster. No one here to explain it. 17 April
James Dellinger Leave it to yank to confuse ya. It means Good luck. See yall at 3... 17 April James Dellinger Good luck yall see you in the afternoon on the other side! 17 April James Dellinger looks sharp. Marcus Allen ready to present? 16 April James Dellinger poster looks good!... 16 April James Dellinger Are yall going with an A0 ? 16 April
James Dellinger What's yalls group email? 13 April James Dellinger Yall got 40 mins on that poster Hannah Cooney Marcus Allen Ediale Olayinka Fergus Murtagh right? 13 April James Dellinger So I hear…. 12 April James Dellinger Missed all yall I was just in there 20 mins ago. Poster is due at 5PM tomo.. 12 April James Dellinger Yall may want to inquire as to the exact due time and see if extensions until Tuesday am are possible. Give a few more hours of breathing room. I know allot of the groups are under the gun for the poster finish. 12 April James Dellinger I think Friday afternoon. Presentation is next Tuesday. 11 April James Dellinger Hannah Cooney Marcus Allen Fergus Murtagh Ediale Olayinka check when the poster is due... its quite soon... aka this week. 11 April James Dellinger The presentation of the poster is on Tuesday next week. 11 April James Dellinger Yea lads poster is apparently due Friday.... 11 April James Dellinger Good luck yall? When is it due again? 7 April James Dellinger See yall today for the last FYFG....I highly recommend attending... Fergus Murtagh absence will be excused after I had a chat with him yesterday. 5 April James Dellinger Let me know if I need to edit it.... before yall send it off for grading and review.... 3 April James Dellinger cafe... about to leave tho' its almost 9pm 2 April James Dellinger I will be in class. But just let me know who attends since I have to take it for all meetings this semester. Please attend everything you can if you are in need of participation credits in the module. It is HIGHLY advised. 2 April James Dellinger I believe QG22 is good again for our FYFG meeting, so look forward to seeing you there on Thursday at 5pm. LAST ONE please attend. We will be discussing what is left for completion of the module. Did anyone have any feedback for me regarding ... 2 April James Dellinger You are a go for a poster and presentation. I signed yall up... no youtubes here.. 30 March
James Dellinger Warning yall we will likely have our FINAL FYFG large group meeting next week. 29 March James Dellinger We will see... 22 March James Dellinger All submitted. Cheers yall I will ask Roisin if she has them all. 22 March James Dellinger I need to know if you were at the Conference yesterday? Ediale Olayinka Marcus Allen Matt Ambroziak ???? If not I need to know why for my attendance record. Honesty is the best policy I could not attend as I was still in route back from ATL. ... 22 March James Dellinger Which one? 22 March James Dellinger Comp lab may be a better bet. I am in the canteen and there is some staff mixer in half of the canteen… 22 March James Dellinger Marcus Allen Ediale Olayinka Matt Ambroziak ???? Are yall going to be there too? 22 March James Dellinger I am on campus if yall would like me to attend. I am here but in class and meetings until 4. 22 March James Dellinger Sorry yall. I was still in Atlanta, Georgia at my grandfathers funeral. Let me know about the conference and who was in attendance. We will have one final FYFG meeting at some point. I will find out, the Group 1 PMs have yet to have a chat on ... 22 March James Dellinger The "Get Started" miniconference on March 20th is just around the corner and anyone not yet registered we highly recommend doing so now. There is also some fantastic scheduled workshops and webinars still left this month, which we hope ... 13 March James Dellinger I have to go home to ATL on Weds... I will not be able to help yall much. My grandfather is in the hospital and not getting much better. Be good.... Dicers.... 12 March James Dellinger Fyi it is due this week yall... 12 March James Dellinger 11. much? Jk great start! cheers... have a great reading week... Just start think poster... Marcus Allen I know you are a showman soo expect to be the one to get up in front of everyone and sell your idea!. 8 March
James Dellinger Dud we missed you text or call the crew Hannah Cooney and Fergus Murtagh and Ediale Olayinka are in the biz school comp lab I think working on Dice. 8 March James Dellinger 11. much? Jk great start! cheers... have a great reading week... Just start think poster... Marcus Allen I know you are a showman soo expect to be the one to get up in front of everyone and sell your idea!. 8 March James Dellinger Tuesday, 20 March, 14:00 to 18:00, in The Helix. 8 March James Dellinger CHANGES_TO_DICE_FOR_UPCOMING_SEMESTER.docx NGM students Hope the exams went well. This semester DICE and NGM will be continuing their team interactions. There have been a number of changes made to the structure of the project which we hope ... 8 March James Dellinger Please be there... I will be there for the begining but then leaving... on of the mecb lads hooked us up with some nice meal some place... must go eat fancy grub. 8 March James Dellinger I am hearing rumors about dice i need to share... they are good but I am holding out on you to tell you in person. 7 March James Dellinger Hope so... 7 March James Dellinger See all of you on Thursday at 5pm in the Biz school canteen (2nd floor) for your Dice meeting. Hannah Cooney Fergus Murtagh Marcus Allen Matt Ambroziak Ediale Olayinka Cool? CityONE and semester 2 schedule review and work to be completed. 4 March James Dellinger No worries we need them for a few mins before yall can Dice up. 1 March James Dellinger Yup good food expensive water . 1 March James Dellinger Yes at 5. 1 March James Dellinger Er... the others can start if they like.... 27 February James Dellinger Fergus Murtagh and Hannah Cooney we will see yall on Thursday at 5pm in the canteen for tea and biscs and a chat about social media. 27 February James Dellinger Ask Marcus Allen and Edaile what they did it at FYFG. The second half of what those who attended FYFG last week don't have to participate in. But if yall would also like to turn it into your group meeting. I don’t think that a problem. ... 27 February James Dellinger My project you are helping us with is dif than your cityone but we can meet you then if you like. 27 February
James Dellinger This is separate from your Group 1A meeting Ediale Olayinka. This is help for us (dice PMs) for Dice students missing their FYFG. You are fine Ediale and so is Marcus Allen. Start a new post thread in regards to setting up a group meeting. As ... 27 February James Dellinger Not sure yet yall between 4-6 on Tuesday... Depends when we get the room 19 February James Dellinger Hi yall: Note from the Group A team leaders Collective.... Best of luck with your exam results. We will be having another FYFG meeting on Tuesday, room TBC. We will update on seminar and requirements going ahead. We will be having two FYFG ... 16 February James Dellinger call or txt me @ 0867324631 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any issues getting to the conference today. 14 February James Dellinger Lets just meet inside the conference room. We usually sit toward the front on the left side of the stage. Sounds fine to me... It’s too hard to meet up before..I do have some info about DICE semester 2 to share.... So it’s IMPORTANT to attend. 14 February James Dellinger How did Prince2 go? Welcome back! I have been on biz on the States last week but I have heard we have another Get conference on Tuesday 2-6pm. Semester 2 your project will be due in April it’s time to get serious and start working together. I ... 12 February James Dellinger Thanks Ediale Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. 15 December 2011 James Dellinger Missed yall this mooring. Fergus did the last two submits. I am disappointed at this am meeting turnout, but I do understand it is week twelve. Make sure you stay on top of your Prince2 the exam for it is a substantial part of your module and ... 14 December 2011 James Dellinger big test next door. Very serious people in there. 14 December 2011 James Dellinger One last meeting tomorrow morning... Merry Christmas hope you aren't as buried in projects and work as we are. 13 December 2011 James Dellinger I think you can knock out two choices next weds... 9 December 2011 James Dellinger I think you need to have a total of 12 for semester 1. Btw... I will be at your meeting next week. To discuss semester 2 work. 9 December 2011 James Dellinger By the way the third conference on your schedule for Dec you do not have to attend. But they will have some other fun for you to attend. 28 November 2011
James Dellinger Q157 4pm tomorrow. See you then. 28 November 2011 James Dellinger Don't forget FYFG meeting tomorrow at 4pm. I'll confirm room number later. It will be in the business school. 28 November 2011 James Dellinger Sorry about any confusion yesterday. It was moving too fast for things to get sorted properly. We are required to do these post conference meetings... No room quite yet. But this means the turn around for the blog post is quite a bit faster. ... 22 November 2011 James Dellinger NO FYFG tomo. Just not happening. But we will meet and discuss your second blog post about the second "Get Social" conference next Tuesday tent at 4pm room location in the biz school to come. 21 November 2011 James Dellinger NO FYFG tomo. Just not happening. But we will meet and discuss your second blog post about the second "Get Social" conference next Tuesday tent at 4pm room location in the biz school to come. 21 November 2011 James Dellinger I am not grabbing the room... (not open yet for us to book) I will let you know when I know... I assume at some point between 4-6 tomo.... 21 November 2011 James Dellinger We will be meeting again tomo just like out last big group meeting. Once the room is booked later this afternoon. Just like after the last big conference 21 November 2011 James Dellinger I found it! Thanks! You can edit if you like thru Sunday. Not sure it will be looked at till next week for marks. 17 November 2011 James Dellinger Can you send me the link as well? 16 November 2011 James Dellinger I forgot to ask. Yall should submit your blog post link via moodle and email it to email@example.com.. with your group name and subject in the email subject line. 16 November 2011 James Dellinger Sorry to hear that man. Hope she is doing resting comfortably now. 16 November 2011 James Dellinger Heads up! About tomo 11am group meeting... I am about 75% sure we will get hit with a spot check by Roisin or one of the other TA. They are doing meeting check ups this week. 15 November 2011 James Dellinger I will see yall on weds at 11am at your meeting my lecture makeup is NEXT weds not this week. Hope to see some serious progress since its due at 4pm and your meeting is at 11am. 14 November 2011
James Dellinger Ladies and gents yall have exactly one week to turn in a blog post link to moodle that each of you work and participate on about the first conference... If yall would like my editing services then have a draft to me by Friday at 4pm this week... ... 9 November 2011 James Dellinger Yea its 4pm am I am wondering where the blog post draft is? 4 November 2011 James Dellinger Yea its 4pm am I am wondering where the blog post draft is? 4 November 2011 James Dellinger Hope yall had a good meeting today. Let me know if everything went ok... 2 November 2011 James Dellinger Ediale, you need to request to join Dice FYFG Group 1 I can't add you directly. 26 October 2011 James Dellinger Btw Give Matt a shout for surviving a car wreck yesterday and being ok. But dealing with a totalled car and insurance in never fun. Please bring him up to speed. 26 October 2011 James Dellinger Great setting up the blog today! More details on that for our Weds meeting next week. Ok yall it is looking like the meeting time is going to get scheduled a 45min block between 4-6 pm next Tuesday for you to meet the other groups. This time ... 26 October 2011 James Dellinger Missing next week 'big meeting' will count against you similarly to missing the mini-conferences. Be warned we may have to do it remotely. NGN group A will be discussing today the best way for all 20 of you to interact regarding the ... 26 October 2011 James Dellinger Thanks for letting us know. There will be more than enough work for you next week. I think we the volunteer to write you blog post due next week. 26 October 2011 James Dellinger Time to build your wordpress blog. Hope yall knock out your cityONE choice. I just got our marching orders for next week. 26 October 2011 James Dellinger See yall in five mins I'm cruising up drumcondra on 3 hours of sleep and 4 bags of green tea. 26 October 2011 James Dellinger I am suppose to sit with yall? Are you at the helix? 25 October 2011 James Dellinger Not for yall. The conference will still run from 2pm - 6pm and is compulsory. The speakers have all confirmed their attendance. We are monitoring the weather situation and will contact you if this decision changes. Students have 3 hours to ... 25 October 2011
James Dellinger Thanks Marcus! 24 October 2011 James Dellinger Be warned I think we have 'big group' meeting tomo during or after this intensity tomo.... 24 October 2011 James Dellinger Congrats on having your Signatory code accepted unlike a few of the other teams. See yall tomo at the Helix at 2pm... I highly encourage yall to sit together. I am almost positive we have team work do during the session and it’s not just a lecture ... 24 October 2011 James Dellinger ... weekend. -James... 21 October 2011 James Dellinger On my way. My bus is a bit more inconsistent this time of the am, but I'm on my way. If Marcus shows up be welcoming please. 19 October 2011 James Dellinger Any luck on feedback from Marcus? 18 October 2011 James Dellinger Lets meet at the helix first... I will have some ideas for better wifi... 18 October 2011 James Dellinger Yall each have to sign it.... Hannah bring it to the Weds meeting... 16 October 2011 James Dellinger Yall got it in before 4 right? 14 October 2011 James Dellinger btw you must answer the questions on the decision/justification sheet... Those are the question for each decision... Let me know yall got it in... by 4 one way or the other... 14 October 2011 James Dellinger Trust me yall will have more than one project a week moving forward... So yall need to figure out a way to stream line cityone and make it a very short element of your weekly meetings... 14 October 2011 James Dellinger CityOne choice one is due today by 4pm. 14 October 2011 James Dellinger Signatory code is due next Friday... Don’t worry about it until weds... Knock it out then. 14 October 2011 James Dellinger Can anyone else other than Matt access or not access their moodle? If yes... please volunteer to submit today's assignment... If not.... harass registry and ISS to get it fixed by Weds 80% of your lectures will use it heavily and you will ... 14 October 2011 James Dellinger Things will move fast next week... So I want yall to knock out a choice... Even if imperfect this week. Yall have done everything well this week. But the choice you
make yall are stuck with for the rest of the game.... So give you more credits ... 14 October 2011 James Dellinger Can everyone else try to log in? Your four options are water, power, retail, and banking? Which one do you want to start with first and why... 14 October 2011
James Dellinger Great work everyone... No exam and Dice is in the books.. 17 April James Dellinger Have not.... heard anything of the test. 16 April James Dellinger ... interest. -James Dellinger... .12 April James Dellinger Should be public now yall. 11 April James Dellinger Yes 5pm on Thursday it is then. 2 April James Dellinger Bear with us ... we are working on resolving this issue tomo.... 19 February James Dellinger Time will be at some point Tuesday between 4-6pm. room TBD. 19 February James Dellinger NO FYFG tomo. Just not happening. But we will meet and discuss your second blog post about the second "Get Social" conference next Tuesday tent at 4pm room location in the biz school to come. 21 November 2011 James Dellinger We will be meeting again tomo just like out last big group meeting. Once the room is booked later this afternoon. 21 November 2011 James Dellinger Group 1A is here .16 November 2011 James Dellinger Any links to draft blog posts available for FYFG PMs? It’s after 4 pm on Friday. They are due. 4 November 2011 James Dellinger Thanks to you who attended yesterday. here is the
http://techspectations.org/ link for you we mentioned that has the speaker profiles. best... See all of you in big group FYFG same time but probably a different room in week 9 after our week8 ... 2 November 2011 James Dellinger Just a reminder of our meeting today. If members of your group are not getting these messages please remind them about today. Or add them. 1 November 2011 James Dellinger This is your big Dice Group for all Team 1's. We are scheduled to meet at 4pm on Tuesday on campus. Location to be determined tomo. If anyone from your small
group is missing please add them. Hope y'all took notes about the conference ... 26 October 2011
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