Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
SMARTMOBS AND FLASHMOBS
As Sarah said in her post technologies have been adapting, enhancing, and empowering organizations for the past decade. Organizations are allowed to collaborate at a faster pace because of mobile technologies such as blackberries, PDA’s, cellphones, etc. These technologies have helped form groups such as Flashmobs and Smartmobs. These “Mobs”, as Melissa says, are able to thrive due to the widespread transmission of information through the Internet and text messages.
flash mob are groups of people who meet after sending a text message (for example) saying what to do and where. They do what they have to do and then disperse as quickly as possible. This may work well for non-profit organizations such as PETA who constantly do out of the blue protest. They may send a message to each other through text messaging, instead of having a meeting, about a fashion show, which is displaying new fur coats. Their idea may be to get on stage, spray paint a coat on a model then run.
Smart mobson the other hand behave intelligently or efficiently because of increasing network links. For example the street protest organized by the Anti-Globalization movement don’t only occur here but in other parts of the country as well.
Smartmobs can be created in hierarchical organizations too. Teams that are set up for short-term projects can connect to other groups from the same company in another area. Info can be exchanged with the push of a single button.
New age technologies can really help a group of people send their messages to the masses regardless if they have a purpose or not.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
As I read UNMADE IN AMERICA by barry Lynn I started to think about my past job at Queens Mall in a clothing store named Rampage. I can remember coming into work at 8:00 am to display clothes and accesories which were delivered the night before. All of these nice clothes and colorful accesories were here for American girls to enjoy. No one really thinks about where they actually come from. Out of impulse I decided to check where these nice things were made and to no surprise it was made in China. As melissa said in her post, it is crazy to see how many of our items not only clothes but technology and appliances as well, are made in other countries. It can be a difficult task to find products made in America.
Barry Lynn said it best when he said Globalization spreads everything that is good in America such as McDonald's and globalization also spreads everything that is bad in America such as McDonald's. America has come up with this idea that our way of living is the best way possible. Honestly does India really need a McDonald's?
Outsourcing has made it cheaper for big companies such as Dell to get their products made. but what they don't realize is that it does come at a high price. Outsouring has given jobs to "poor countries" (in America's eyes) which can eb a goog thing but it has also taken away the jobs in our homeland making our citizens as poor as the people working for the big name company. As Lyneve argues, no one in our society seems to mind. Our country runs on a constant consuming bases. Make the little money that you get from your "McDonald's job" and spend, spend, spend.
A few moths ago I had seen a very interesting documentary on MTV about outsourcing and it's affect on one particular American citizen. This guy (sorry i don't remember his name) worked for Dell's customer survice. This job was his only soucre of income for his family of three. He was suddenly laid of because Dell found a place that will charge them cheaper for customer service. This place was in Hyderdad, India. Many Indian men and women were hired to assist America's on their troubles with their stupid modem. The crazy thing was that these people had to take english classes in order to disguise their accents. Their names were also changed to make it more American friendly. In the end Dell ends up saving alot of money. With he cost to hire one american you can hire about 13 people in India. It's that amazing?
As said in Barry Lynn's article outsoucring leads to dependency. Earthquakes and Terrorist attacks stop productioon for these companies but only for about two days. They don't even seem to question if they should reconsider this process. The question I ask is in the COMMAND AND CONTROL model who is in control, really? As Suzanne said how dependent are these companies what alternative will they create for themselves and will they ever do one?
Sunday, November 07, 2004
WEBLOGS, WIKIS and AGGREGATORS
Weblogs, Wikis, and Aggregators are digtial tools that organizations are starting to use in order to enhance the communication within their networks. Several large companies have begun to allow their employees to setup these tools for public and private company use. After finding the limitations in e-mails: flurries of e-mails creating redundancy making it hard to distinguish signal from noise, and increasing the likelihood that important messages will be obscurred: companies have found that these new technologies wll allow them to collaborate with the public and employees in a way that it could have never been done before.
These new technologies have been known to help business with marketing, customer attraction, knowledge management and team and customercommunication. Weblogs , which is one of the most popular ways to do this, is a very personal medium that collects information in a diary like form. Links list can be created as a sidebar so the reader can be aware of other blogs that contain important information. It automatically archives old postiings and gives you the ability to post a picture with a brief bio of yourself allowing companies, as Courtney-Leigh says, to learn more about who you are. An author's information can be placed in a place for everyone to see without any redundancy occuring. In a company archived entries can help a new employee understand what the company is going thorugh and when it comes to team work blogs, unlike e-mails, have become the new office. Employees can sit at their desk in their home with a cup of coffee in hand and have a discussion about the latest project. They can announce important issues and post links to other important sites.
Another benefit of blogs is the constant exposure from search engines which can help companies gain more customers. Search engines put high importance to blogs because they are updated frequently and focus on a main topic. A company's blog can reach a braoder audience because of search engines like Google.
Aggregators such as in Bloglines alert the reader of the newest updated blogs he or she has subscribed to. Unlike e-mails, it gives you a brief summary on the author's post showing you if the author has answered your question or not. Alot of time can be saved if this is used.
A question which has been asked is how an organization should represent itself to the outside world? How chould they form lines of communication with the larger environment including its suppliers and customers?
The answer is with Wikis. As Cyndi says it is a free forum.It's a site where a group of people can not only add material but edit it as well. One famous Wiki site is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that provides both featured articles and a random page button so you can browse. The benefit of this is not only group collaboration but the ability to erase any edits done to the page. If a company does not like what was posted all they have to do is click on the previous version of the page in just a few minutes. They can control any noise which can disturb the image of the company.
It is no surprise as Nicole says to see that organizations comunication strategies are evolving.
These technologies have given companies the ability to show who they really are without any help from management. It is also proven that the public trust employee bloggers and Wiki sites to give it to them straight. It has made the line between bosses, employees and customers really thin.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Social Network Analysis
Posted on Orgnet.com is a very detailed description on Social Network. Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people,groups,organizations, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities. SNA provides both a visual and a mathematical analysis of human relationships. It is also called Organizational Network Analysis by Management consultants who use this idea with their business clients.
In Stephanie C's blog she mentions the game 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, which is really 6 degrees of separation . It is the belief that everyone, somehow, is linked to each other with at least 6 people in between them. We may only know that person by name but we are still linked to them by association. This makes me think how much information can I possibly receive through a network when I'm not directly linked to the main person,or central person, of the network. If we look at the chart on the text we can see that Jane is only linked to the network because she works with Ike. Her only source of information of the network is through Ike. If she takes two steps further her knowlegde of the network becomes fuzzy. She no longer knowsas much as she thought she did in the beginning.
The link between Jane and Ike has created a small world. Knowledge is spread more efficiently in this small world rather than in the degree world the netwrok has created. This brings the idea of how important an individual is to a network. Brynn brings the idea of how important is the individual in the network. If a boss's wife is put in the network does it make her more important or more knowledgable of the organization? No, but in our world we've created this idea of It's not what you know, But who you know. Association has given many people the biggest room in the office while the most knowledgeable plays the secretary. This is why techonology has been brought into the work place. Company websites and group projects (teamwork) have sort of helped brigde the gap between people. Hey, just look at our class and how we are linked to the online class.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
So... Meaning is in the Network.
Just like CourtneyI believed that the meaning was in people and in their words. I guess I was looking at it from a psychological point of view. While studiing more about Saussure and Jackobson I realized that the brain can actually be a closed minded figure. It does not have the capability to store as much information as lets say a dictionary. The brain stores different signs in our memory. It then becomes categorized in our mind by subject or by likeness. For example the word education can be stored in our minds with other words like teacher,school, tuition, or textbook. Another way to store it can be by words that end in -tion ( relation,association, probation). These are called Associative groups, words that are stored by being linked to others. This can become a problem when one is communicating with another. IT can pigeonhole our ideas. When certain words are put together, and one word is pulled out, all the other things that are linked to it come tumbling out with it.
Value is also important to the development of this model. The value of a sign can not be determined or fixed by an individual unless that one person creates his or her own language but then no one else will understand it so you would have to get at least two or three people to agree on what signifiers go with what signifieds. Saussure doesn't worry about how it's done but how it works. In his words the value of a sign is determined not by a signifiers signified but rather by the whole system of signs used within a community. IN similar words of Sarah Doolin the value is the product of a system or structure, not by the result of individual signifier-signified relations. Just like the example of a rook. It has no meaning to it unless it is used in it's community which is chess. When it is placed on a chess board with other pieces it has its rules on how it is used.When it is out of the game it's just a piece of a game board.
Roman Jakobson helped clarify the overlapping of signs with his theory of subcodes. Each lanuguage has similar things linked to each other but htere are many words that are different which we do need to take into account.
The model's flaws can be better understood now that we can see that the meaning is in the network not in the words or people.
Friday, October 08, 2004
Shannon and Weaver 2
The biggest question that Shannon and Weaver never acknowledge was that will the receiver be able to understand the message that was sent. They just saw it as a big math project rather than taking interpersonal communication to consideration. Ferdinand de Saussure gave this model the kick that it needed. His theory on semiotics put mush more understanding into the model. As Suzanne Hudak said, what Saussure considered to be a signifer was considered to be a symbol for Shannon and Weaver. Saussure's theory tries to make the model more less about codes and more about human communication and understanding about what the other person is saying.
Without forgetting Roman Jakobson, his theory focused on a languages' structure and how it served it's basic functions to communicate information between speakers. He focused on overlapping systems of meanings and the need for subcodes. His theory takes different dialects and culture into consideration. For example English spoken in New York is way different than the English spoken inTexas or in Britain as Sarah Doolin said.
Semanitc noise has become a very problem for this model. The receiver will misunderstand messages becausae of this. But another big problem, that if it were considered could possibly solve alot of problems, is having the ability of the getting the receiver's feedback on the message.