Education/Learning Applications of ListServs, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and Twitter
Getting More Than We Give

Bob Jensen

Find comparison facts on most any Website ---
http://reviewandjudge.org/HOME.html
For example, enter "www.trinity.edu/rjensen/" without the http:\\

Accountancy News Sites ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/accountingnews.htm

ListServs

Blogs

Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
(including Google's Wave and Orcut for Social Networking)

Research Networks, News, and Working Papers (SSRN)

Video:  The Worst Thing You Can Do in Life is Set Goals
Stephen Fry: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18 --- Click Here  http://www.openculture.com/2010/05/stephen_fry_what_i_wish_i_had_known_when_i_was_18.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Delicious Social Bookmarking

Twitter (and other Microblogs competitors)

Deceptions, Hoaxes, and Fakery

David Pogue's Advice

Giving Stuff Away Free on the Internet

"100 Websites You Should Know and Use (updated!)," by Jessica Gross, Ted Talk, August 3, 2007 ---
http://blog.ted.com/2007/08/03/100_websites_yo/

Note the excellent tutorial course at http://newmediaocw.wordpress.com/

Video:  Learn the new (RSS) way to view the news you are most interested in from your favorite news sites ---  www.commoncraft.com  has a “RSS in Plain English” video
This great link was forwarded by Mary Jo Sanz [MSANZ@BENTLEY.EDU]
Also see Nanoscale --- http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/NR/

Feed Demon 3.0 --- http://www.newsgator.com/ 

So you want to stay up to date with news from the Boston Globe and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and 75 other news outlets as well? Feed Demon 3.0 can make it happen. This recently released edition of the popular RSS news aggregator syncs effectively with Google Reader, and it makes it easy to update your subscriptions and share items with others. Visitors should also note the application's compatibility with Twitter feed reading and tagging features. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.


No Other Encyclopedia Comes Close to Wikipedia
"Understanding collaboration in Wikipedia,"  Royce M. Kimmons, First Monday, December 5, 2011 ---
http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3613

Abstract
Previous attempts at studying collaboration within Wikipedia have focused on simple metrics like rigor (i.e. the number of revisions in an article’s revision history) and diversity (i.e. the number of authors that have voluntarily contributed to a given article) or have made generalizations about collaboration within Wikipedia based upon the content validity of a few select articles. By analyzing the contents of randomly selected Wikipedia articles (n = 1,271) and their revisions (n = 85,563) more closely, this study attempts to understand what collaboration within Wikipedia actually looks like under the surface. Findings suggest that typical Wikipedia articles are not rigorous, in a collaborative sense, and do not reflect much diversity in the construction of content and macro-structural writing, leading to the conclusion that most articles in Wikipedia are not reflective of the collaborative efforts of any community but, rather, represent the work of relatively few contributors.

Wikipedia stands as an undeniable success in online participation and collaboration. By looking more closely at metrics associated with each extant Wikipedia article (N=3,427,236) along with all revisions (N=225,226,370), this study attempts to understand what collaboration within Wikipedia actually looks like under the surface. Findings suggest that typical Wikipedia articles are not rigorous, in a collaborative sense, and do not reflect much diversity in the construction of content and macro–structural writing. Most articles in Wikipedia are not reflective of the collaborative efforts of the community but represent the work of relatively few contributors.

Bob Jensen's search helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm


With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.
Billie Hara

The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.
Billie Hara

"Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status)," by Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/think-before-you-tweet-or-blog-or-update-a-status/30949?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Earlier this week, Miriam Posner, Stewart Varner, and Brian Croxall wroteCreating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics.”  They had some terrific recommendations about how to establish an online presence and how to keep that presence active and positive.  Good stuff!

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written before about the networking wonders and creative collaborations that can happen via online forums.  We meet people from different disciplines in various parts of the world, and we connect because we share interests and goals.  With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.

Today I want to veer off their post just a bit and write about something that might detract from a positive and professional online presence, a presence that we so meticulously create and maintain, comments made online that publicly disparage students and colleagues.  These comments can be intentional—meant to demean or criticize—or they can be random comments made in jest.

Take, for example, the case of Dr. Gloria Gadsden, an associate professor at East Stroudsburg University.  About a year ago, Dr. Gadsden wrote on Facebook that she had a good day at school, and “didn’t want to kill even one student,” adding “Friday was a different story.”  She wrote this comment—surely in jest—in a space that she believed to be private.  However, it wasn’t.  A third party read her comment and notified university authorities.  Dr. Gadsden was suspended, and ultimately reinstated, after the incident, but the hit to her professional reputation is clear.

A few more cautionary tales:

The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.

Continued in article

David Albrecht wrote:

"I don't see anything wrong with Tom's comments.  It is opinion, and Tom's opinion, and Tom's blog.  I think that rumor creation is a valid function for a blog."
David Albrecht


Jensen Comment
If this is what you are going to teach in your CPE session at the AAA annual meetings in Denver then I want no part of that session. That is an absurd statement that might fly in a teen's blog, but rumor mongering should be screamed down by any and all members of the Academy David.

Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.

It's a violation of the code of ethics of professional journalism to create rumors that are not verified (usually by at least two independent sources). I contend that members of our Academy have, at a minimum, a responsibility to adhere to the code of ethics of journalism. In fact I would hope the we even have a higher standard in the Academy to name our sources before spreading rumors, especially rumors about people that can affect their professional futures as well as guide student opinions.

The higher standard in the Academy is that professors, unlike journalists, should be bound to cite their sources or to provide normative logic that adheres to the standards of logic in philosophy and mathematics. That entails defending assumptions upon which deductions are based.

I also disagree that time pressures of the author are justifiable reasons for not investigating facts before shooting off at the hip. Tom had ample opportunity to investigate facts that he simply did not do before letting off a salvo and naming names.



"In Tom's column, he quotes Edith Orenstein as saying that the quantity of comment letters should be a factor.  I believe this is not a good idea.  There are better ways of figuring out the prevalence of a particular view, such as sampling and or a vote." 
David Albrecht


Jensen Comment
I think open lines of communication are essential for standard setters, and I applaud both the FASB and the IASB for issuing exposure drafts before and both inviting comments and publishing comments before finalizing standards. Having said this, the standard setters are not responsible for either the quality of the comments coming in or the strategies (such as cookie cutter comments) of people from around the world who send in comments.


The standard setters are responsible for studying all comments submitted and then deciding themselves what comments add value to the deliberations. For example, if standard setters have overlooked some significant costs of adhering to parts of a standard then the comment letters helped to correct this oversight.


Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.


Anti-Social Media (hate speech, slurs, and lyrics) --- http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/antisocialmedia 

How to define the limits of free speech is a central debate in most modern democracies. This is particularly difficult in relation to hateful, abusive and racist speech. The pattern of hate speech is complex, but there is an increasing focus on the volume and nature of hateful or racist speech taking place online.

This study aims to inform the discussion over free speech and hate speech by examining specifically the way racial, religious and ethnic slurs are employed on Twitter.

The download link for the paper is at
http://www.demos.co.uk/files/DEMOS_Anti-social_Media.pdf?1391774638

Jensen Comment
Hate speech can be directed at any ethnic group (e.g., whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians) religions (e.g., e.g.g Christian, Islamic), and sexual orientations.

The social media is particularly troublesome in this regard because people on the Web will often say things that they would never say aloud in groups of people. Hate speech becomes even more exaggerated when its from anonymous sources such as anonymous comments following an article. Much depends upon the filters on hate speech that are in place such as having a blog writer filter the speech before posting a comment with hate speech.

I think there is also a maturity issue. Young teens will often say things in messages to get attention, things that embarrass them after they graduate form college or otherwise put on enough years to to realize how hateful they sounded back then. Unfortunately there are some offensive people who just never grow up!

Wikipedia makes a concerted effort to filter hate speech, but sites as massive as Wikipedia can be overwhelmed with massive volume of inputs each and every day.

One of the long-standing complications of hate speech arises when the source of a slur is in the same ethnic group being maligned such as the use of "nigga" being commonly used by African American rappers. Jews can say things or make jokes about Jews that others dare not whisper. Gays can make jokes about gays that sound hateful when coming from heterosexuals, etc.

Also there are changing standards over time. I'm sometimes startled when I hear something in an old movie that would be considered much more offensive in this era. Of course there are hateful things in 21st Century movies that would have appalled my parents. Hence, time can work both ways in this regard. For example the N-word, C-word, and the F-word seem much more common in movies today than they did in the 1950s. The language of Bill Mahar would've would've completely appalled my parents, such things as using the C-word to describe Sarah Palin pr other names we hear people say on television about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Late night standup "comedy" on television is appalling.

Erika and I prefer mysteries from BBC, because we're just plain tired of the car chases and repeated use of the F-word that seem to be a necessary condition for mysteries and thrillers produced in Hollywood. BBC seems to have better taste.

Bob Jensen's threads on the social media are a t
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


"Social Media Lure Academics Frustrated by Journals," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Social-Media-Lure-Academics/126426/

Social media have become serious academic tools for many scholars, who use them for collaborative writing, conferencing, sharing images, and other research-related activities. So says a study just posted online called "Social Media and Research Workflow." Among its findings: Social scientists are now more likely to use social-media tools in their research than are their counterparts in the biological sciences. And researchers prefer popular applications like Twitter to those made for academic users.

The survey, conducted late last year, is the work of Ciber, as the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research is known. Ciber is an interdisciplinary research center based in University College London's department of information studies. It takes on research projects for various clients. This one was paid for by the Emerald Publishing Group Ltd. The idea for the survey came from the Charleston Observatory, the research arm of the annual Charleston Conference of librarians, publishers, and vendors.

An online questionnaire went to researchers and editors as well as publishers, administrators, and librarians on cross-disciplinary e-mail lists maintained by five participating publishers—Cambridge University Press; Emerald; Kluwer; Taylor & Francis; and Wiley. Responses came from 2,414 researchers in 215 countries and "every discipline under the sun," according to David Nicholas, one of the lead researchers on the study. He directs the department of information studies at University College London.

Continued in article


October 12, 2010 message from Paul Clikeman

Bob,

I would be very grateful if you would look at my new website http://auditeducation.info . The site contains articles, cases, classroom exercises, videos and academic research related to financial statement auditing. I’d appreciate suggestions for improving the site and publicizing it.

Paul M. Clikeman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Accounting
Robins School of Business
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA 23173

 

October 12, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

I welcome this exciting new site containing resources for auditing and the history of auditing. It selectively links to some of the best articles on an array of auditing topics, including auditing history.
http://auditeducation.info 

I linked your site in various Web documents including
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Professionalism
However, until I get my new computer set up at Trinity University, I may not be able to update these files on the Web server.

I will also announce your site on the AAA Commons.

Hopefully other accounting bloggers will also announce your site.

Good Work

Bob Jensen

Free Open Sharing Tutorials, Videos, and Course Materials

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on free tutorials and videos in various academic disciplines ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Other free online videos and textbooks in various disciplines (including accounting, economics, finance, and statistics) ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks


 

ListServs

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

AECM (Educators) http://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.

 

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

FINANCIAL REPORTING PORTAL
www.financialexecutives.org/blog

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.

The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.

Scott

Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk

 

 


I must thank Professor Albrecht for the honor.
"Prof Albrecht’s Most Influential," by David Albrecht, The Summa, August 28, 2011 ---
http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/profalbrechts-most-influential/


Question
Have we overblown the importance of social media to business?

Only 36% of the surveyed professionals view social business as important. It’s double the percentage from 2011, but it’s still much too low.
Based on MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with Deloitte, survey of 2,545 business professionals in 99 countries on the subject of social business ---
http://blog.hootsuite.com/importance-of-social-business/

Jensen Comment
The term "important" might not have been consistently interpreted by respondents, especially respondents from different industries.

The term "important" might mean a small but necessary factor in performance. For example, having Internet access is a necessary condition to downloading a new eBook, but it is only a small part of understanding that book.

The term "important" might mean an unnecessary condition that in some circumstances might be a convenience or improve performance. For example, having a cell phone is not a necessary condition for most of us, but it can certainly be a convenience and probably improves efficiency when trying to make personal contacts with customers such as when a Sears service driver needs instructions on how to find my home in the boondocks. Also having an annual car towing service (such has carrying an AAA Tow Service Card with an 800 phone number) is not a necessary condition to getting a tow when needed. But along with a cell phone it is a convenience relative to having to search for towing services when you have two flat tires away from home in downtown Detroit.

Also subscribing to LinkedIn is not a necessary condition to finding a new job, but for many subscribers to this social media service it has been a God send.

Companies are just beginning to suspect that releasing financial information to the social media may lower the cost of capital.

The term "important" by be connected with the lower end of a learning curve where the respondent views social media as not being so important at this point in time but having potential of becoming vital to performance in future years. In our Academy publishing articles in refereed journals is currently the most popular way of communicating research discoveries. But each year the the advantages of communicating research discoveries in the social media are becoming increasingly evident. These advantages include timeliness (journal publishing will one day be viewed as horse and buggy) and size of the "audience" such as having audiences of thousands or millions of people, some of which will more critically review the research far better than two burdened journal referees, and the spirit of open-source in general. Knowledge wants to be set free!

Also the respondents in this MIT Sloan Management Review survey probably are unaware of the degree to which social media has been a blessing and a curse at all times and in all circumstances of their companies. The CEO of General Electric really does not know all the instances the R&D staff discovered innovative ideas because of  their social media subscriptions. The CEO of General Electric really does not know of all instances where employees are wasting time in personal conversations in the social media during working hours.


"The Sociology of Academic Networks," by Lincoln Mullen, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/the-sociology-of-academic-networks/34691?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

I’m a historian who is spending a month in the company of sociologists, studying religious congregations and social change. In crossing these disciplinary boundaries, I’ve been fortunate to read a great deal of sociological works that I would otherwise not encounter. Among these is Randall Collins’s theoretical work, Interaction Ritual Chains (2004).

Collins’s describes his work as a “radical microsociology,” meaning that he theorizes about the rituals by which people interact with others, from large groups, to person-to-person relationships, to the imaginary conversations that a person engages in his or her mind. I’m ambivalent about parts of the theory, but I’m intrigued by his central claims: “occasions that combine a high degree of mutual focus of attention … together with a high degree of emotional entrainment … result in feelings of membership that are attached to cognitive symbols; and result also in the emotional energy of individual participants, giving them feelings of confidence, enthusiasm, and desire for action in what they consider a morally proper path” (42). In other words, when people interact their shared attention trains each other to be in a group with a shared purpose.

Though that theory is dense, I find it powerful for explaining many things, not least of which is the way parts of the academy work. If part of the mission of ProfHacker is to make plain the hidden (even unconscious) rules of the academy, then Collins’s explanations of the sociology of academic networks and of academic writing can be helpful.

I’ll take up Collins’s ideas of academic writing in a later post, but first let’s look at his ideas about academic networks.

Collins says that thinking is a social process. (Hint: sociologists think that everything is social.) He observes that important thinkers tend to be the students of important thinkers and to have important thinkers as students themselves. He also notes that the best scholars have personal contacts with the other best thinkers, whether allies or enemies. These groups are “not merely the clubbing together of the already famous, but groups of would-be thinkers who have not yet done the work that will make them famous.” This is not to say that only “important” scholars move on the work of scholarship, but that the social structure focuses on such eminent individuals, who “work extremely long hours, seemingly obsessed with their work.” Perhaps most important, Collins insists on the importance of direct interaction between scholars, especially face-to-face interaction. He writes, “What one picks up from an eminent teacher … is a demonstration of how to operate in the intellectual field of oppositions. Star intellectuals are role models … but in a fashion that cannot be picked up at a distance, and only by seeing them in action.”

Collins’s sociology goes a long way towards explaining the unpleasant side of the academy, such as the emphasis on academic celebrities and the plight of scholars who are never embedded in the academic social network. But it also offers ways of thinking about the academy that can help you hack your own career:

Jensen Comment
The AECM listserve is my main Academic network.
My threads on listservs, social networks, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook (See the Table of Contents above)

Academic networks do not replace refereed journals for communication of research. Rather they enhance refereed journals in many ways, especially in expanding those journals like The Accounting Review that for all practical purposes do not publish replications or even commentaries on research articles they publish.

Academic networks are also important sources of research ideas where a networked message can inspire professors and even students to undertake research projects as well has deepen their scholarship.


I'm active on two accounting ListServs called the AECM and CPA-L, both of which were formed many years ago by Barry Rice. I was asked recently by someone close to Barry to comment on these ListServs. Below is my response including why the medium is much more than the message in the case of a ListServ:

Hi XXXXX,

I did not know Barry Rice when he started up the AECM and CPA-L Listservs. I got to know him better by email and met him quite a few years later. Barry is a world class accounting teacher with administrative skills as well. I now consider him a great friend.

ListServs are much like forums except that a forum usually has an assigned leader or group of leaders with their own agendas. ListServs are totally voluntary and spontaneous communities. Forums often have invited memberships, whereas most ListServs can be freely joined by any person on the world’s Internet. When a message is sent to a forum, the sender generally knows where it is going. When a message is sent to a ListServ, the sender has some idea of a few people who will receive it but no idea about all the people in the world who are lurking for messages. 

Off the top of my head, I would say that a ListServ aids in the following:

A ListServ does not generally do all of the things listed above, although the AECM initiated by Barry comes about as close as possible to doing all those things mentioned above. The CPA-L list that Barry also formed is primarily a Q&A List that does none of the other things listed above. Practitioners on the CPA-L generally raise a question (often a tax question) and others provide answers. There’s almost nothing in the way of daily news, debates, sharing of research/scholarship, entertainment, building of friendships, or building of reputations.

The AECM somehow evolved into a multi-purpose ListServ that accomplishes all of the things mentioned above. Its international success was primarily timing and leadership and luck. Barry offered up this service when there was very little else for accounting educators on the Internet. There were at least three other early competitors, and I honestly cannot say why the AECM emerged as the main ListServ for accounting educators around the world. I do think that time is too valuable for people to join in on very many active ListServs. Hence it’s not likely that all competitors early on would’ve flourished. Why the AECM emerged as the main general-purpose higher education ListServ for accounting educators is indeed a mystery. The American Accounting Association for a time offered another alternative, but I think bad timing and bad luck destroyed its efforts. The AAA was too late on the scene. There was also the stigma, not a fact, that the AAA’s effort was only for members of the AAA.

I have to say that Barry’s leadership in communicating on the AECM was probably not the crucial factor at the germination stage. After a very short time Barry became more of a lurker. It was about a dozen accounting educators who emerged out of nowhere to make the AECM germinate. Then more leaders and lurkers evolved like wild flowers in a worldwide field.

Keep in mind that Barry did not begin the AECM as a general-purpose accounting educator ListServ. In the beginning it was primarily intended for messaging about computers and multimedia technologies that could be used in new ways by teachers of accountancy. In fact the acronym “AECM” stands for “Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia.” Today the AECM ListServ is much more than its title. Why this happened is complicated to answer, but the title is unfortunate today whenever someone is looking for the main accounting education ListServ and naively thinks that the AECM is restricted to messaging about computers and multimedia.

A better name for the AECM as it evolved is the Internet’s “Accounting Education Communications Medium.” And the “medium is the message.” I am forever grateful to Barry for letting the original AECM evolve into what it is today. He could’ve jumped on every message that was not deemed “on topic” in the context of “computers and multimedia.” Instead he let the AECM messaging follow their own serendipitous meanderings. And he forgave us for some of the dumb things we messaged.

In this regard we were lucky. AECM participants had the good sense to avoid some turn-off topics like politics, advertising, religion, and too much humor. But the messaging did follow many serendipitous paths that were not tied to computers and multimedia, including topics of accounting theory, fraud, student cheating, professorial cheating, plagiarism, pedagogy in general, research methodologies, and learning theories. These evolved into topics that AECM subscribers wanted to learn more and more about.

ListServs are fragile things that in general do not work well. Leaders either emerge out of nowhere and keep a ListServ going or it dies from lack of participation. Participants must find rewards or ListServs simply fade away. Most participants in a ListServ are “lurkers” who often “listen in” but rarely if ever contribute to the membership. This puts the burden on “actives” to evolve as leaders. These actives can either be terrific and draw new ListServ members wanting to listen to what the actives have to say or ListServs can become very tedious and/or boring and causing members to resign from the ListServ.

ListServs have interesting behavioral dynamics that emerged with newer technology. This is an interesting topic to study and needs to be studied in much greater depth. The medium is much more than the content of the messages.

ListServs provide wonderful and unique opportunities to make a difference. For example, an accounting educator and world leader who I supremely respect is Dennis Beresford. Denny is a popular Accounting Hall of Fame speaker at academic, business, and accounting profession conferences. But a speech is a speech and is limited to a given audience and a given point in time. Denny’s published a lot of papers, but a paper is a paper that is a bleep at a fixed point in time.

Remember that “the medium is the message” as discovered by Marshall Mcluhan many years ago. AECM messages are bleeps that resurface in new and different ways repeatedly over time on the AECM. Denny has probably had more impact on changing accounting education via the AECM than in all his speeches and all his publications combined. His messaging to the AECM is continuous over time and reacts to concerns of accounting educators around the world. His AECM audience is unlimited in terms of size and scheduled times.

And we learn a lot about Denny just by learning when he messages. Keep in mind that I’m talking about one of the busiest accountants in the world. He teaches at the University of Georgia full time and is an extremely popular consultant and on the boards of directors of several worldwide corporations. He’s even head of the Audit Committee and a Board member for Fannie Mae after this trillion-dollar company hit the rocks. And yet he seemingly keeps his eye on AECM communications 24/7. What impresses me most is when I send messages out to the AECM at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings I have them answered within minutes by Denny Beresford. Hence I learned a whole lot more about the man beyond the content of his excellent messages. I also learned that he’s respectfully a very humble man.

Denny does not want more money or more trophies. What Denny wants is to make a lasting difference for the betterment of the accounting profession and accounting education. And he’s proved this countless times to all of us on the AECM. Those many other accounting leaders and educators who failed to grab this AECM brass ring missed out and continue to miss out of the opportunity to make a continuous and lasting difference.

I’m also a 24/7 AECM active like Denny. And I’m certain that Denny, like me, will say that he tries to make a difference. But the AECM is so rewarding that in the end he, like me, got more than he received. That is why we’re on the AECM.

We get more than we give no matter how much we give. That’s because so many scholars big and small contribute to our learning and loving. The Internet forever changed research and scholarship and learning. ListServs are a lasting part of this process.

Bob Jensen

April 5, 2007 reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]

Bob,

Thanks for your kind comments below.  And thanks to Barry for getting this whole thing started.  AECM is a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I'm just glad that you and many others are willing to share so much knowledge.

Denny


With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.
Billie Hara

The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.
Billie Hara

"Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status)," by Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/think-before-you-tweet-or-blog-or-update-a-status/30949?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Earlier this week, Miriam Posner, Stewart Varner, and Brian Croxall wroteCreating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics.”  They had some terrific recommendations about how to establish an online presence and how to keep that presence active and positive.  Good stuff!

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written before about the networking wonders and creative collaborations that can happen via online forums.  We meet people from different disciplines in various parts of the world, and we connect because we share interests and goals.  With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.

Today I want to veer off their post just a bit and write about something that might detract from a positive and professional online presence, a presence that we so meticulously create and maintain, comments made online that publicly disparage students and colleagues.  These comments can be intentional—meant to demean or criticize—or they can be random comments made in jest.

Take, for example, the case of Dr. Gloria Gadsden, an associate professor at East Stroudsburg University.  About a year ago, Dr. Gadsden wrote on Facebook that she had a good day at school, and “didn’t want to kill even one student,” adding “Friday was a different story.”  She wrote this comment—surely in jest—in a space that she believed to be private.  However, it wasn’t.  A third party read her comment and notified university authorities.  Dr. Gadsden was suspended, and ultimately reinstated, after the incident, but the hit to her professional reputation is clear.

A few more cautionary tales:

The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.

Continued in article

David Albrecht wrote:

"I don't see anything wrong with Tom's comments.  It is opinion, and Tom's opinion, and Tom's blog.  I think that rumor creation is a valid function for a blog."
David Albrecht


Jensen Comment
If this is what you are going to teach in your CPE session at the AAA annual meetings in Denver then I want no part of that session. That is an absurd statement that might fly in a teen's blog, but rumor mongering should be screamed down by any and all members of the Academy David.

Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.

It's a violation of the code of ethics of professional journalism to create rumors that are not verified (usually by at least two independent sources). I contend that members of our Academy have, at a minimum, a responsibility to adhere to the code of ethics of journalism. In fact I would hope the we even have a higher standard in the Academy to name our sources before spreading rumors, especially rumors about people that can affect their professional futures as well as guide student opinions.

The higher standard in the Academy is that professors, unlike journalists, should be bound to cite their sources or to provide normative logic that adheres to the standards of logic in philosophy and mathematics. That entails defending assumptions upon which deductions are based.

I also disagree that time pressures of the author are justifiable reasons for not investigating facts before shooting off at the hip. Tom had ample opportunity to investigate facts that he simply did not do before letting off a salvo and naming names.



"In Tom's column, he quotes Edith Orenstein as saying that the quantity of comment letters should be a factor.  I believe this is not a good idea.  There are better ways of figuring out the prevalence of a particular view, such as sampling and or a vote." 
David Albrecht


Jensen Comment
I think open lines of communication are essential for standard setters, and I applaud both the FASB and the IASB for issuing exposure drafts before and both inviting comments and publishing comments before finalizing standards. Having said this, the standard setters are not responsible for either the quality of the comments coming in or the strategies (such as cookie cutter comments) of people from around the world who send in comments.


The standard setters are responsible for studying all comments submitted and then deciding themselves what comments add value to the deliberations. For example, if standard setters have overlooked some significant costs of adhering to parts of a standard then the comment letters helped to correct this oversight.


Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.


"Immersed In Too Much Information, We Can Sometimes Miss The Big Picture," by Dave Pell, NPR, August 11, 2010 ---
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2010/08/11/129127690/too-much-information-can-sometimes-mean-we-miss-the-big-picture

Even in the era of Facebook, this was not a face I expected to see.

A few weeks ago, I might have argued that it’s almost impossible to shock members of Generation TMI. I would have been wrong. I was shocked by a recent Time cover that featured a photo of Aisha, an 18 year-old Afghan woman who had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban.

My first reaction was to look away from the photo. My second was frustration toward the Time editors who decided to run the image. But after some reflection, I realized that in order to understand and form an opinion about the Taliban and the broader issues in Afghanistan, it was an image I needed to see. As a fellow human being — especially one living in an environment where my iPhone coverage is considered a critical issue — isn’t taking a long, hard look at this photo the very least I owe Aisha?

[Time Cover Picture of an Afghan woman with her nose chopped off]

Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel explained his decision to run the cover shot:

Bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them. In the end, I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban’s treatment of women than ignore it.

While thinking about this issue and its relationship to social media, I reached out to the cadre of folks who often advise and assist me before I press the publish button.

None of them had seen the image.

This is in part a statement on the significance (or lack thereof) of magazine covers in today’s media.

I could imagine folks missing even an image this arresting in the past. But who would've thought we could collectively avert our eyes in an age when random videos can get millions of views and we all know about a Jet Blue flight attendant's creative slide to retirement within a few hours of it happening.

But that these folks — all of them heavily plugged-in —  missed this portrait of Aisha is also a statement on how we can collectively repress data that we don’t want to think about. Even though we are immersed in shared words and images, it’s still pretty easy to miss the big picture.

In his New Yorker piece, Letting Go, Atul Gawande laments the fact that doctors and patients have extremely poor communication when it comes to the difficult topic of end-of-life care.

Two-thirds of the terminal-cancer patients in the Coping with Cancer study reported having had no discussion with their doctors about their goals for end-of-life care, despite being, on average, just four months from death.

Although we find ourselves as travelers in the age of over sharing, it turns out we remain quite adept at avoiding the really tough topics.

Google’s Eric Schmidt recently stated that every two days we create as much information as we did from the beginning of civilization through 2003. Perhaps the sheer bulk of data makes it easier to suppress that information which we find overly unpleasant. Who’s got time for a victim in Afghanistan or end-of-life issues with all these Tweets coming in?

Between reality TV, 24-hour news, and the constant hammering of the stream, I am less likely to tackle seriously uncomfortable topics. I can bury myself in a mountain of incoming information. And if my stream is any indication, I’m not alone. For me, repression used to be a one man show. Now I am part of a broader movement — mass avoidance through social media.

Eric Schmidt followed up his comment about the piles of information being created with this: “I spend most of my time assuming the world is not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening to them soon.”

But in reality, we’re a lot more ready for the technology revolution than we are for Aisha.

Jensen Comment
With 500 million people using just one social network (Facebook) plus the millions of others on other social networks and addicted (like me) to blogs, there is most certainly information overload. In fact, one of the services I provide to accounting educators is to distill a vast amount of news to find accounting tidbits that I think will be on interest to accounting educators. But with so many social networks I cannot begin to cover the waterfront and don't even try on Facebook. I also only cover a microscopic part of Twitter where I have only a few selected sources that mostly are like me --- distilling the ocean of information for accounting tidbits.

What I discovered in the AAA Annual Meetings in San Francisco is that there are top-name accounting educators and researchers who are lurkers on the AECM. At least a dozen of them revealed to me for the first time that they've been lurking for years. We can't seem to motivate them to share their expertise with us on the AECM or the AAA Commons. I suspect that one of the main reasons is that they fear having to take too much time engaging in threads that they either commence or join on the AECM or AAA Commons. They are extremely paranoid about their time commitments.

Perhaps this is part of the overall information overload syndrome. It takes some time to lurk over tidbit nuggets, but it takes an even greater amount of time to engage in conversations about those nuggets.

When you think about it, information overload is probably a job saver for educators. Our students would be totally lost amongst the trees of the forests if educators were not handing out Google-type satellite maps of hidden mazes in each forest. The problem for us is that the forests are becoming so immense in size and so overlapping between disciplines that map construction is becoming more and more difficult.

Roles of ListServs, Blogs, and Social Networks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on data visualization (no chopped off noses) are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm


May 22, 2010 message from Ramesh and Nadee Fernando [mferna073@ROGERS.COM]

Dear Prof. Jensen and list members,

As accounting is very research focused it would be great if all accountants had access to other researchers in accounting. ResearchGate has lot's of various groups from economics to  physics.

I created the Management Accountants group so that there could be access to discussion and research in management accounting. 

http://www.researchgate.net/group/Management_accountants

There is also a financial accounting group on research net

http://www.researchgate.net/group/Financial_Accounting/

Finally there is an Accounting  Information systems group

http://www.researchgate.net/group/Accounting_Information_Systems/

May I suggest to this list's members, if you are interested in research in accounting to please join ResearchGate and become a member of these groups. I might add I owe it to Economist  for finding ResearchGate which mentioned ResearchGate in their  special report on Social Networks.

Regards,
Ramesh
CMA (Canada) Candidate
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


I did not do anything but forward Doug’s request to the AECM. Hence I’m not personally bragging.

But I do want to brag about the efficiency and effectiveness of the AECM listserv. After receiving yet another private response from an AECMer, Doug wrote the following message. What he really means is “thank you AECM.”

My threads on the history of the AECM are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#ListServs

Professor Jensen,

Another response from a colleague.

Your assistance in this matter has been invaluable and the responses most helpful.

I appreciate your assistance more than I can express in words.

Douglas McWard, CPA | Director, Financial Reporting and Compliance
Corporate - Clayton, MO
| Office (314) 573-9383 | Fax (314) 573-9455 | doug.mcward@graybar.com
www.graybar.com - Works to Your Advantage

 

 


An Academic Study of the History of the AECM

"Knowledge Sharing among Accounting Academics in an Electronic Network of Practice," by  Eileen Z. Taylor and Uday S. Murthy, Accounting Horizons 23 (2), 151 (2009);
Electronic edition subscribers can download an copy from
http://aaapubs.aip.org/dbt/dbt.jsp?KEY=ACHXXX&Volume=LASTVOL&Issue=LASTISS
Others might be able to access the article from at their college libraries.

SYNOPSIS:
Using a multi-method approach, we explore accounting academics' knowledge-sharing practices in an Electronic Network of Practice (ENOP)—the Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia (AECM) email list. Established in 1996, the AECM email list serves the global accounting academic community. A review of postings to AECM for the period January–June 2006 indicates that members use this network to post questions, replies, and opinions covering a variety of topics, but focusing on financial accounting practice and education. Sixty-nine AECM members constituting 9.2 percent of the AECM membership base responded to a survey that measured their self-perceptions about altruism, reciprocation, reputation, commitment, and participation in AECM. The results suggest that altruism is a significant predictor of posting frequency, but neither reputation nor commitment significantly relate to posting frequency. These findings imply that designers and administrators of the recently launched AAA Commons platform should seek ways of capitalizing on the altruistic tendencies of accounting academics. The study's limitations include low statistical power and potential inconsistencies in coding the large number of postings. ©2009 American Accounting Association

Jensen Comment
The article above affords an opportunity to comment on the AAA Commons about Barry Rice and the AECM. I have initiated the posting below at http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/b7f123c2be 

If you are an AAA member it is an opportunity to add comments to the above posting. You might mention your own reaction to the Taylor and Murthy research paper on the AECM. Do you agree or disagree with the major findings of Taylor and Murthy?

It is also an opportunity to thank Barry Rice for what he enabled you to learn from the AECM over the years since 1996. It is also fabulous that the AECM archived all this messaging.

The AAA Commons access page is at https://commons.aaahq.org/signin 
It can only be accessed by American Accounting Association members and invited guests (some students).


"What Do Accounting Professors Talk About?," by David Albrecht, The Summa, February 1, 2010 ---
http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/what-do-accounting-professors-talk-about/

… when permitted to leave their offices for unsupervised free time?

Most questioners ask only rhetorically.

In response to my statement, “What is I do? I’m an accounting professor,” I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard __________ (fill in the blank with a much less than flattering comment about either accounting, accountants, or accounting classes in college).

In response to my statement, “I’m on an e-mail listserv with 1,000 other accounting professors,” I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard __________ (fill in blank with a much less than flattering comment about how little there is to talk about, and what we talk about must be exceedingly boring).

So, what did the accounting professors really talk about today?

  1. “In my opinion the Number 1 disgrace in higher education is grade inflation.”  And student evaluations of teaching are identified as the causal factor.
  2. Rankled by Rankings: The problems with the ranking of best accounting programs, best accounting departments, best college, best universities in country, best universities in world.
  3. Stephen Colbert uses an iPad at the 2010 Grammy.
  4. Designing Corporate Governance Systems
  5. Canadian Signs of IFRS Transitions to Come in the United States
  6. The enduring impact of transient emotions on decision making – being predictably irrational. I don’t think anyone believes in EMH (efficient markets hypothesis) anymore, except economists, economists advising President Obama, and corporate PR people.
  7. Could it be that some audit firms take on fewer clients when risks of negligence lawsuits increase?
  8. The major problem in accountics research using statistical inference is the underlying assumption of stationary-state is the real world where probabilities on constantly in transition.
  9. Oh, … and how Dave Albrecht uses retesting to implement mastery learning concepts in his classes. [Hey, I didn’t even bring it up.]

I love the experience.  The discussions are fodder for the educated mind.  It comes  at a cost,though.  Reading all these e-mails takes a significant portion of the three hours I daily devote to e-mail processing.  It can take an hour (or more) to craft a reply.  My reply to item #9 will take many hours and be the next blog post (or 2 or 3) to The Summa

 

 


"Is Stupid Making Us Google?"  By James Bowman, The New Atlantis, no. 21, Summer 2008, pp. 75-80 ---
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/is-stupid-making-us-google

Generally speaking, even those who are most gung-ho about new ways of learning probably tend to cling to a belief that education has, or ought to have, at least something to do with making things lodge in the minds of students--this even though the disparagement of the role of memory in education by professional educators now goes back at least three generations, long before computers were ever thought of as educational tools. That, by the way, should lessen our astonishment, if not our dismay, at the extent to which the educational establishment, instead of viewing these developments with alarm, is adapting its understanding of what education is to the new realities of how the new generation of 'netizens' actually learn (and don't learn) rather than trying to adapt the kids to unchanging standards of scholarship and learning.

Jensen Comment
Yikes! When I'm looking for an answer to most anything I now turn first to Wikipedia and then Google. I guess James Bowman put me in my place. However, being retired I'm no longer corrupting the minds of students (at least not apart from my Website and blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
I would counter Bowman by saying that Stupid is as Stupid does. Stupid "does" the following:  Stupid accepts a single source for an answer. Except when the answer seems self evident, a scholar will seek verification from other references. However, a lot of things are "self evident" to Stupid.

Scholars often forget that Google also has a scholars' search engine --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ScholarySearch
Also see "Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Open Encyclopedia, and YouTube as Knowledge Bases" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#KnowledgeBases

There is a serious issue that sweat accompanied with answer searching aids in the memory of what is learned --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm
But must we sweat to find every answer in life? There is also the maxim that we learn best from our mistakes. Bloggers are constantly being made aware of their mistakes. This is one of the scholarly benefits of blogging.

 


A prominent librarian utters dire warnings about new media

"Mass Culture 2.0," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/06/20/mclemee

This month, Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog is serializing a commentary on the cultural effects of Web 2.0. The author, Michael Gorman, is dean of library services at California State University at Fresno and a former president of the American Library Association.

About two years ago, Gorman published a memorable essay in Library Journal. In it, he referred to “the Blog People,” expressing doubt that they were “in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.” The immediate occasion for this remark was the public reception of one of Gorman’s own complex texts, about which uncomplimentary things had been said by bloggers (some of them, in fact, being his colleagues in the library world). “It is entirely possible,” he continued, “that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs.”

There were other zingers of the same general sort. And so it has not escaped notice, much of it sardonic, that his most recent effort to win friends and influence people is taking place at a blog. His Britannica series consists of three chapters, each in two parts. Something of the flavor of the whole work may be gleaned from the phrases heading up its various segments. So far, “The Sleep of Reason” and “The Siren Song of the Internet” have been published, and may be consulted here. The final portion, “Jabberwiki,” will run next week

. . .

The tone of Gorman’s remedial lecture implies that educators now devote the better part of their day to teaching students to shove pencils up their nose while Googling for pornography. I do not believe this to be the case. (It would be bad, of course, if it were.)

But the idea that new forms of media require training in new kinds of literacy hardly counts as an evasion of the obligation to cultivate critical intelligence. Today the work of acquiring knowledge on a given subject often includes the burden of evaluating digital material. Gorman may pine for the good old days — back when literacy and critical intelligence were capacities to be exercised only upon artifacts made of paper and ink. So be it. But let’s not pretend that such nostalgia is anything but escapism at best.

What really bothers the neo-Luddite quasi-Mandarin is not the rise of digitality, as such. The problem actually comes from “the diminished sacredness of authority,” as Edward Shils once put it, “the reduction in the awe it evokes and in the charisma attributed to it.”

But it’s not that all cultural authority or critical intelligence, as such, are vanishing. Rather, new kinds are taking shape. The resulting situation is difficult and sometimes unpleasant. But it is not exactly new. Such wrenching moments have come repeatedly over the past 500 years, and muddling through the turmoil does not seem to be getting any easier.

Continued in article


Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc
CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM



Blogs/Listservs Versus Scholarly Journals:  Bob Jensen's secrets about blogs and listservs

Recently I encountered criticism that blogs and listservs providing public information that allegedly is not refereed and misleading relative to scholarly journals. First I would like to point out that this is not an either/or choice between blogs/listservs versus journals. Fortunately in this age of technology we can learn from both outlets.

The term "blog" evolved out the term "Weblog" that is defined more formally at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog
A blog is like a scrapbook of knowledge on a subject that is maintained by an individual or an entire organization. For example, Jim Mahar maintains an excellent finance professor blog at http://www.financeprofessor.com/ .
The University of Illinois Library maintains a great blog at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Listservs are defined at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Listserv
My advocacy of listservs for scholars can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

Some Advantages of Scholarly Journals
Journals have some comparative advantages over blogs/listservs in that journal articles published are carefully crafted and generally subjected to blind reviews by referees that, because they are anonymous, can be quite critical and demanding. Journals articles are generally time tested in that they're not fired off without time to reflect and consider many ramifications before publication.

Some Disadvantages of Scholarly Journals
Probably the biggest myth is that referees are independent reviewers. In my opinion, journal refereeing is often a biased process where all sides of arguments are not given fair tests. Much of the bias centers on allowable research methodologies. For example, leading accounting research journals just do not allow humanities and legal studies research methodologies. Virtually all published articles have to have mathematical analysis and/or rigorous statistical inference testing. One example here is The Accounting Review (TAR), Virtually no Accounting Information Systems  (AIS) papers were published in TAR between 1986 and 2005. The reason is that AIS research methods generally do not entail mathematical modeling. Virtually all TAR referees have required mathematical models for over two decades. Jean Heck and I examined all articles published by TAR 1986-2005 and found less than one percent of the TAR articles that did not have mathematical equations and/or multivariate statistical analyses. Our examination excluded a few articles labeled as book/literature reviews, editorials, and memorials. Thus “…over 99 percent of TAR’s articles contained complex mathematical equations and multivariate statistical analyses…” See  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm

Another problem is that journal editors have only a discrete set of available referees. Expertise needed is a continuum rather than a discrete scale. There is a strong likelihood that for a given submission to a journal, there are no available (known) referees that are as expert on this topic and methodology as perhaps 100 or more experts in the world who are unknown to the journal editor and/or unwilling to take the time and trouble to conduct formal reviews for the journal. Paranoia thereby enters the journal refereeing process. When assigned referees are uncomfortable with their own expertise they are often inclined to be more fault finding and not recommend publication.

Another problem with journal refereeing is that the referees are anonymous and therefore are not held accountable for their decisions. If a referee is superficial or wrong, nobody knows except maybe the unhappy author who receives the rejection notice.

Another problem in some journals, like TAR, is that they do not publish commentaries such that the public in general has no outlet for writing critical, supportive, or expansive comments on a published article. TAR also will not publish replications --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#Replication

Still another problem in some journals is the long delay between when the research was conducted and when the paper is finally published. In accounting this delay can be years. Fortunately some authors provide free working papers or post the papers on something like SSRN where readers can purchase non-refereed working papers for a fee.

Advantages of Blogs and Listservs
The advantages of blogs and listservs is that they can and often do overcome the major disadvantages of the flawed refereeing process and timing delays of scholarly journals. Listservs open to the general public are best in the sense that bias is overcome by allowing anybody to comment on a topic or paper. Blogs are good if the person running the blog will publish comments that are both favorable and unfavorable with respect to the original blog item.

The biggest myth about blogs and listservs is that they published non-refereed items. In fact when an article or tidbit is published on a blog or listserv, the entire world has an opportunity to referee the item. Blogs are deemed the most successful when their items are not ignored by the public.

Disadvantages of Blogs and Listservs
Probably the biggest disadvantage is that there are so many blogs and listservs that it is very time consuming to ride heard on all the ones that touch on topics of interest to you. Secondly, some blogs and listservs post so much material that readers are apt to get information overload from just one blog or listserv.

Another problem is that most readers of a given blog or listserv are "lurkers" who for various reasons are unwilling to submit their own commentaries like the fewer number of "actives" who submit comments, news items, etc. Hence, the world may be open to all persons whereas only a small subset of people are actually willing to share their expertise.

Bob Jensen's Secrets
Since I actively publish what might be termed blogs and actively contribute to some listservs, I will now reveal my secrets for doing so. This is a message that I recently sent out to a listserv called TigerTalk at Trinity University.

Hi XXXXX,

Apology accepted. Now I will let you in on my secrets about blogs.

I find it strange that you’re critical of Tidbits from time to time and, at the same time, brag in public about never reading them. I place more stock in avid readers who weigh them on balance. Of course that’s a biased sample since “avid readers” by definition find them to worthy of the time and effort it takes to read and respond to them. I remind folks once again that my Tidbits are rarely posted to TigerTalk since I retired. Readers must seek them out at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm  or stumble upon them while using search engines.

I might add that I receive many, many replies to Tidbits that I also post in Tidbits when I obtain permission. I might’ve requested to do so in your case had you found errors in the physics of David’s technical explanation. In fact probably more Tidbits are accompanied by replies (critical, supportive, and/or expansive) from readers than the smaller number of Tidbits that elicit no readership response. In fact, one of the real advantages of blogs, listservs, and forums in general is that the whole world can be referees rather than just a few referees that are assigned in scholarly journals. At the time lapse between publishing and critiquing is nearly instantaneous.

Secret One
I’ve always viewed my Tidbits, New Bookmarks, and Fraud Updates "blogs" as my own personal scrapbook archives that I’m willing to share with the world. My first secret about these “blogs” is that they’re invaluable to me when answering the many inquiries I get from students, faculty, and the public in general. When my memory fails, my searching process almost never fails if I’ve posted tidbits about the topic in the past.

Secret Two
Now I will let you in on my second secret about why I really publish my "blogs." My second reason is to learn more about each of the topics. It’s the replies that make the effort really worthwhile. Instead of having to search and struggle to learn more about a tidbit, the world sends value-added information back to me either in public or private communications. For me it’s a great learning experience, especially for technical topics in accountancy, economics, and finance.

Secret Three
My third secret that I will share with you is that I sometimes post a tidbit for purposes of stirring up controversy. My love of academe comes from my love of watching debates by scholars on opposing sides. I often take a side I don’t especially believe just to stir up the pot. And I’m not in general fond of political correctness. PC is dysfunctional to our academic principles and purposes. I miss those “pink pistol” debates between Glen and Harry.

It may sound strange but I’m rather glad that you criticized me on TigerTalk. I’ve long regretted that TigerTalk virtually degenerated to classified advertising and directory requests. When Larry Gindler commenced TigerTalk it was intended to be a listserv where faculty and students actively debated scholarly issues. Sadly there is no longer campus-wide listserv for scholarly debate. There are some specialty listservs, but it’s sad that there’s no longer a listserv for debate that spreads across the entire campus.

David XXXXX who wrote the tidbit that you challenged assumed you were a student Gordon. I subsequently revealed to him that you are a professor. He says he would like to write a more technical rejoinder to your criticisms of his tidbit, but I hope he just lets this one lie.

Having said all this, the May 23 edition of Tidbits (subject to some tweaking) is up and running at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070523.htm
I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that you will not be reading any of these tidbits Gordon.

Bob Jensen
May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]

There is a substantial amount of misleading information in refereed scholarly journals, particularly ours, as well.

Paul

May 23, 2007 reply from Dan Stone, Univ. of Kentucky [dstone@UKY.EDU]

Good insights gentlemen on blogs vs. scholarly journals. A few more thoughts:

1. academic institutions are conservative and increasing in their conservatism. At this point, posting to or creating blogs brings intrinsic, communitarian rewards to the "poster" or "creator". But my Dean (and most others, I suspect) cares only about my publications in a remarkably small number of scholarly journals.

2. given the mission creep (or should this be "mission crap") of most institutions the end-point of academic scholarship seems to be that only publications in a single U.S. journal will have extrinsic (i.e., careerist) value.

3. reforming the creepy, crappy academic scholarship domain requires bold iconoclasts like Bob and Paul who are willing to note that the Emporers are frequently severely underclothed.

Dan Stone
Univ. of Kentucky


"The Role of Blogs In Studying the Discourse and Social Practices of Mathematics Teachers"
by Katerina Makri and Chronis Kynigos, University of Athens
Journal of Educational Technology & Society, vol. 19, no. 1, 2007 ---  http://www.ifets.info/issues.php?show=current.




Added October 10, 2007

There's another level to "Altruism" (of open sharing) in my case that may be somewhat unique relative to actives on the AECM who do not maintain altruistic open sharing Websites.

In my case the higher level altruism is a desire to maintain an open sharing Website with text and multimedia that helps faculty, students, practitioners, and anybody else around the world. I want this open sharing "knowledge base" to be as huge and as accurate as possible.

My biggest reward comes in the form of thank you messages from virtually every nation of the free world. It makes me think I'm helping many people who have, in some cases, almost no other knowledge base to tap into for such thinks as derivative financial instruments, fraud history, etc.

Years ago I decided to try to set an example of an openly shared knowledge base from a professor who, because of the time flexibility given to tenured faculty, can build such an open sharing knowledge base.

In some cases, the altruism of my Website is rather selfishly served by the seeming altruism of my daily AECM postings. What I'm looking for are the many online and private AECM replies that I can then take to my Website to make it more complete and more accurate. Much of my Website is filled with the great modules submitted by others who read and reacted to my postings to the AECM.

This is what I mean when I said "I get more than I receive" from any listserv, and most especially the AECM.

But I don't feel guilty about getting more than I give to the AECM, because I give it back at my Website. I think the people who supply me with such helpful replies don't really mind because they like having me archive their replies in my open sharing knowledge base.

The time sequence of messaging on the AECM is a lot like a general journal. It's very hard to see the forest for the trees (individual entries in a time sequence). My Website is more like a general ledger in which the journal entries have been posted into accounts (categories) that assist in visualizing sections of the forest.

My sadness is that few, if any, accounting educators have followed my lead in forming the "general ledger" knowledge base from the blog entries they read and write. Jim Mahar for a time was doing this in finance, but now he mainly blogs instead of updating his "general ledger" --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

And my knowledge base is filled with my own commentaries that hopefully have value added to the blogged entries themselves.

Probably the most rewarding responses to your survey come from those who almost hate the AECM because reading the messaging takes so much time, but they read the messaging because so many messages are too "interesting," their word, to delete before reading.

There might be value added if you made your paper available to the AECM by posting it at your Website. Then encourage people to give you feedback either in public (on the AECM) or in private where you can share their feedback as coming from anonymous sources.

What would be value added here is the folder on your Website where you post the subjective feedback. Encourage people to give you added thoughts about enhancing reputation, altruism, etc. Encourage people to state what kinds of changes to the AECM would enhance its value.

And lastly, try to find someone who will take over the postings of AECM modules to an open sharing knowledge base. In other words find somebody who will get the monkey of my Website off my back. Have I sufficiently mixed my metaphors here?

I have and still do truly enjoy serving up a knowledge base that has value added. There really is more reward, in aggregate, in giving more than I receive.

Bob Jensen




Blogs


I recall that Tony Catanach was at a loss when he was considering a new blogging platform for The Grumpy Old Accountants blog. Our AECM advice was sort of ad hoc. The following article may have been of more help.

The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today. Which one is for you?
http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/08/16/best-blogging-services/


Do you really want to start your own blog?

A blog that is well done will take almost all your time.

The benefits lie firstly in how much you learn by doing a blog, especially what you learn from other blogs you visit often. You also learn from replies of other people to your blog. For example, today I naively stated that Fusion 3 is great for running the Windows OS on a Mac but that it probably would not run the new Windows 7. In less than an hour my good friend Glenn Kroeger (geology professor at Trinity University and super geek) set me straight that Fusion 3 works great on a high powered Mac.

Secondly, giving something back to a world, a profession, and many friends you meet along the way is a tremendous intrinsic reward. I discuss this under the term listserv at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#ListServs

The problem with blogs is that there are now millions of great blogs in the world and hundreds in the field of accountancy. It's impossible to keep up with all of them.


Years later, here I am, with a Ph.D. and years of experience behind me, writing regularly for three different blogs--one of them a blog of my own. I haven't published a paper in an academic journal yet (for now, the standard currency for academic credibility) . . .
Liana Silva whose blog at Inside Higher Ed is called University of Venus

"So You Want to Blog (Academic Edition), by Liana Silva, Inside Higher Ed, May  12, 2013 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com//blogs/university-venus/so-you-want-blog-academic-edition

When I was a Master's student (almost a decade ago), I started blogging. It was a messy endeavor: a Blogger site with some random posts that didn't amount to much. I worked more on the layout than the content. I didn't get many page views, and I felt no motivation to continue working on it.

Years later, here I am, with a Ph.D. and years of experience behind me, writing regularly for three different blogs--one of them a blog of my own. I haven't published a paper in an academic journal yet (for now, the standard currency for academic credibility), but I believe that my writing chops across genres have improved, my voice comes through my writing, and my awareness of audience is sharper. As a result, I am invested in my online presence as a blogger, and more broadly as a writer. Moreover, I believe that blogs can help writers, especially academic writers, become better communicators.

As an editor for two academic blogs, I thrive off of helping writers hone their ideas, but more importantly helping them get their voices online, as clearly as possible. My years of experience working as an editor and at a University writing center have taught me that writers need not just someone to clean up their prose (which is the more common interpretation of editor) but also someone who can find the idea they are trying to convey. In other words, they need someone who can help make those ideas crystal clear. For academic writers, this can be tough because of the supposed conventions of academic writing (even though most of the scholars I know prefer the kind of writing that is clear, concise, and striking). For better or for worse, we learn how to write in our disciplines mostly through example, and the examples we are presented with are most often found in traditional academic journals.

Academic blogging can coexist with these academic journals and help writers develop their ideas by taking them for a trial run with readers before committing them to a journal article. However, traditional academic writing, with its lengthy paragraphs, heavy footnotes, and discipline-specific jargon, may not translate well to blogging. Here are some suggestions (which solely reflect my experience as a blogger and as an editor for blogs):

You don't have to have an airtight argument. We're taught to think in terms of arguments, of polished prose. But in blogging, you can explore a question, and not answer it. The conversation that arises in the comments section could help you get to an answer. Think about the length. Technically, a blog post can be as long as you want it to be, but be aware of when you drone on and on about a subject. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Consider whether a post is better off broken up into two posts--or several. Moreover, some blogs have word limits: here at U Venus we aim for the 750 word range; at Sounding Out! we tell writers to aim for 1500 words. Reading does not have to always be an endurance test--and length does not testify for the complexity of ideas. Consider language. If you feel comfortable writing in a casual tone, that's alright in a blog post, even if it is an academic topic. That adds to the voice of the piece. However, this also depends on the subject. Ultimately, don't feel like your posts needs to be serious or stuffy because it is an academic topic. Share your research interests. You don't have to give everything away if you don't want to. I know a lot of academics have a fear of being scooped, and their fears are not unfounded: it has happened. Publishing a blog post doesn't have to lead to that. In fact, it could be a teaser of something you're working on that could bring more readers to that finished product. It can also help you make your mark in your field. You don't have to upload your whole dissertation on a website--if you don't want to. Ask for feedback. Unsure about the subject? Unsure about the tone? Ask your editor. Editors are here to help you; some may not have the time to answer. But some may be able to give you more focused feedback. At both of the blogs I work for we give different kinds of feedback, but we make sure to give writers feedback to help them take their writing to the next level. If you're blogging at your own blog, ask your readers. Share the post with people you hope that give you feedback. Don't be afraid to ask.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/so-you-want-blog-academic-edition#ixzz2TGiA8BPP Inside Higher Ed

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on blogs, listservs, and social networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


"6 Tips For Building a High Quality Blog Following," by Shane Snow, Marshable, January 3, 2012 ---
http://ht.ly/8gu3L
Thank you Robert Harris for the heads up.

Jensen Comment
Keys to success for a Website are somewhat different than keys to success for a blogging site. For a Website the key to success is content --- lots of it even if the content is narrowly focused. The reason is that the most hits usually come for users of Web crawlers like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. For blog posts, huge-content files can become wearisome.

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting education blogs are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


Joe Hoyle has a question for you?

"I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, April 27, 2013 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2013/04/i-have-question-for-you.html

Jensen Comment
I would never ask such a question about the entries in my three blogs, because faithful followers would have to sift through over 50,000 postings in my three blogs that are also posted in various places in my massive Website. Joe has only 166 postings to sift through which is a much more manageable task. But sifting through my postings for likes and dislikes is out of the question even for me ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
This is not to imply that my stuff has been better or worse than that of my good friend Joe. It's simply a fact that I'm a more active blogger and Web site manager.

I also have over 31,000 postings to the AECM and nearly 18,000 postings and comments on the AAA Commons. Obviously searching for "favorites" is out of the question. My postings have covered the waterfront for education technology to learning theory to nearly all accounting topics.

I do have some early-on postings that I'm very proud of in the early stages of my blog. I was one of the early writers who tried to dispel the myth that online courses needed to be less interactive and intense with individual students. When done "optimally" the communications between a student and an instructor and other students in an online course are more intense than any onsite course. Of course, online courses are not always conducted with such intensity just as onsite courses vary to a tremendous extent in terms of interactions of students and instructors.

But when it comes down to identify the real game changers arising from my postings I can hardly take credit for most of the game changers since in most of my postings I'm mostly referencing and quoting articles. I have to give others most of the credit for seminal ideas. In most ways I'm more of a scout for new inventions than an inventor. I like to think I've been a pretty good scout.

What I enjoy most are the debates with such writers as Tom Selling, Stever Kachelmeier, Richard Sansing, Paul Williams, Patricia Walters, and many, many others. I've learned immensely from these scholars and hope I returned something of value to them.

Although I'm a bit more active as a blogger after my retirement from teaching in 2006, I want to stress that I was nearly as active since the late 1980s when commenced to blog more and more and then more and more. My point is that bloggers need not be retired just to make blogging contributions just like Joe Hoyle is not yet retired and makes many valuable contributions to our craft.

Reply from Joe Hoyle on April 28, 2013

I bet you'd be surprised -- if you simply asked the question "what have I ever said that you immediately remember," you'd get a lot of interesting comments. People's memory serves as a pretty good filter. Almost invariably when people write to me, they start off with "you once said the following and it has stuck with me." And, it is often something that wasn't all that important to me. But it clearly meant something to them. I find that interesting with my students also -- years after they graduate, they will tell me something that I said to them that impacted their life and I won't even remember having said it.

That's one of the things that makes this teaching job so interesting.

Joe

April 29, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Joe,

Our styles tend to be different and are probably not comparable. Your blog is more like a personal diary that discusses your own feelings and beliefs and philosophy.

My postings are full of commentaries on what other scholars and researchers have written. My style is more like a journal referee commenting on an article at hand --- pointing out the good and the bad aspects of the article.

You also focus mostly on your personal teaching experiences. I cover more of the ball park --- fraud updates, audit professionalism, communications from standard setters, education technology (bright and dark sides), tools and tricks of the trade, learning theory, accounting theory, and on and on and on.

I think we both provide a service to our professions Joe. We just have different styles and scope of coverage.

Keep up the good work Joe. I still wish you would join the AECM even as a lurker.

Keep up the good work Joe,

Bob Jensen

By the way, my answer to Joe Hoyle's question about his posting that I like best is
"How You Test Is How They Will Learn," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, January 31, 2010 --- http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-you-test-is-how-they-will-learn.html 
 

An example of a Website helper page that I take pride in is at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's links to similar Website helper pages ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

My Outstanding Educator Award Speech ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/AAAaward_files/AAAaward02.htm


Blogs: The Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://chronicle.com/section/Blogs/164/

Techmeme Technology News Site from Carnegie Mellon University --- http://www.techmeme.com/
Thank you Rick Lillie for pointing to this site on the AAA Commons

The site is more extensive in terms of computing news than is MIT's Technology Review, but TR is carries more science news. Also TR sends me email summaries.


American Planning Association: Blogs --- http://www.planning.org/multimedia/blogs/


Accountancy, Tax, IFRS, XBRL, and Accounting History News Sites  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

Accounting Professors Who Blog (initial list provided by David Albrecht)

Another Accounting Blogger Calls it Quits (sort of in Adrienne's case)
Adriene Gonzalez appears to be ending here four-year blog entitled Jr, Deputy Accountant, January 5, 2013 ---
http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com/2013/01/over-it-over-it-over-it.html

For those of you who have emailed and commented checking in on me the last few weeks to make sure the black helicopters didn't get me, thanks but I'm fine. I guess.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: I'm over it. A girl can only yell so much before she gives up. I'm putting my energies into
saving cats these days. Why not? Sure beats sitting around waiting for someone to realize how fucked we all are, right?

The can will keep getting kicked down the road. We'll keep pretending like everything is OK. The Fed will keep pumping out the free money indefinitely. Why bother?

Give me a good reason and I'll try. Otherwise, it might be time to move on. Sucks but that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

I'm still here. And maybe I'll feel like yelling some more one of these days but for now, I'm pretty much over it. No one is listening. It gets old after four years, you know.

Just know I miss you all at least twice as much as you miss me.

If you miss me that bad, I still have a daily column
over at Going Concern. Otherwise, I'm not really into much else... what's the point? No one listens anyway.

Jensen Comment
Adrienne intends, as mentioned above, to continue contributing to Going Concern where many of her modules deal with the CPA Exam trends and outcomes. I've never been sure that she herself ever took the exam. That neither matters here nor there. She still reports interesting trends in the CPA Exam along with occasional juicy tidbits on Going Concern.

Adrienne has the distinction of having created the accounting blog filled with the most distasteful four letter words. This has a shock appeal but is just not too promising when addressing an audience of accountants, most of whom are not very colorful or get turned on by gutter talk. However, it's unfair to characterize the Jr. Deputy Accountant's blog as a gutter blog. In the midst of her colorful language were some very good news items and commentaries. I'm happy that she will continue to contribute to Going Concern and save cats.

Adrienne is not the first to give up writing an accounting blog. Larry Tomassini had one of the first accounting blogs called something with the word Coach or Coach's Corner or whatever. I think his coaching "blog" died. This started and ended early on before the terms "Weblog" and "Blog" were invented. Now Larry does run something that he calls a "Newsletter" featuring a very old (high school?) picture ---
http://newsle.com/person/larrytomassini/7067146

Nadine Sabai (Fraud Girl) was one of the first accounting bloggers to fall by the way when she closed her Sleight of Hand Blog ---
http://sleightfraud.blogspot.com/

I suspect there have been other accounting blogs to come and go without my even noticing that they came and went. More often accounting bloggers don't quit entirely but just slow way down of blogging frequency. This seems to be happening with Francine McKenna's re:Auditors blog, although the reason for this might be Francine's increased frequency of writing about audit firms (bad news only) for Forbes.

Recently long-time accounting blogger Ed Ketz at Penn state hung up his "grumpy" blogging shoes, but his grumpy partner Tony Cantanach at Villanova is carrying on with the Grumpy Old Accountant's blog ---
http://grumpyoldaccountants.com/
I liked the Ed and Tony show because their approach to carry on in the financial statement analysis tradition of Abe Brilof when Abe was writing for Barron's  Abe had an almost-impossible act to follow, but Ed and Tony took over this act about as well as anybody else.

An excellent site that was more focused on behavioral economics and finance (but rarely accounting) was Miguel Barbosa's Simoleon Sense blog ---
http://www.simoleonsense.com/
I was very sorry to learn that Miguel stopped maintaining this wonderful blog after losing his job and his significant other.

What I conclude by reading the messages of bloggers who closed down their blogs is that maintaining an active blog just proved to be too time consuming. I'll vouch for that even though I still have my "hands on the throttle and my eyes on the rails."

My Theme Song for Life Slide Show ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AlaskaRailwayRoutes.pps

Bob Jensen's Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

There are many accounting blogs that carry on, including accounting professor blogs ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

 


In spite of the media hype about 9-9-9, I think it's safe to assume there won't be serious tax reform in the near future.

If tax reform swaggered into a Luckenbach, Texas saloon, it would be "all hat and no horse"
The ladies of the night would die laughing at that "itty-bitty thang" that walked in
And it would need a ladder to peek over the top of the spittoon

My point is that you probably should plan your financial future on the present mess we call the Tax Code. In this regard, you might like to learn about one of the best helper sites around.

Tax Helpers
October 22, 2011 message from Scott Bonacker (himself a professional CPA tax expert)

It is hard to prioritize the things that are important to tax preparers, not the least of which are these: keeping up with current developments and improving understanding of the principles of taxation.  Single sourcing is one way we do it, and for that reason the commercial tax services provide
extensive editorial content and regular newsletters and updates.

There is also a considerable amount of information and thought that is available for free on the internet if you know where to find it. So much, that it is difficult sometimes to filter the choices to the ones that can make a valuable contribution.

Email study groups are one way, and blogs are another. One of those is the 21st Century Taxation blog by Professor Nellen.

Professor Nellen is a tax professor and director of the MS Taxation Program at San Jose State University, and her blog is frequently updated with intelligent commentary and links to resources.

Her experience as a teacher shows as Professor Nellen will often point out an event or an article or a circumstance and then describe how she sees it in relation to current events or professional practice. Her blog posts provide analysis and links to allow the reader to look into things in more
 depth, and many times they close with a question - "What do you think?"

A prolific writer, Professor Nellen maintains a personal website -

http://www.21stcenturytaxation.com/

Professor Nellen's academic page at San Jose State University - http://www.cob.sjsu.edu/nellen_a/  is also a large repository of useful information.

Since most of us are in the business of tax planning and preparation we also become involved in explaining and discussing relative advantages and disadvantages of the options that are available now. Then there is also the potential for future alternatives.  Professor Nellen's collection of articles and analysis of tax reform information can be a very important addition to the resources available to a tax professional.

I saw an email tagline that said something about experts knowing where to find answers. First you have to recognize that there may be an issue. What
are your sources of information?

Scott Bonacker CPA
Springfield, MO

Bob Jensen's tax helpers (which are virtually nothing compared to those of Professor Nellen) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation


Big Four Blog --- http://www.big4.com/blog

re:TheAuditors (Francine McKenna) --- http://retheauditors.com/

re:TheBalance (Jim Peterson) --- http://www.jamesrpeterson.com/home/

The Accounting Onion (Tom Selling) --- http://accountingonion.typepad.com/

SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/

Bob Jensen's Threads ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm


"Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information," by Hadas Shema, Judit Bar-Ilan, and Mike Thelwall, Money Science, May 12, 2012 ---
http://www.moneyscience.com/pg/bookmarks/Admin/read/343565/research-blogs-and-the-discussion-of-scholarly-information

Abstract
The research blog has become a popular mechanism for the quick discussion of scholarly information. However, unlike peer-reviewed journals, the characteristics of this form of scientific discourse are not well understood, for example in terms of the spread of blogger levels of education, gender and institutional affiliations. In this paper we fill this gap by analyzing a sample of blog posts discussing science via an aggregator called ResearchBlogging.org (RB). ResearchBlogging.org aggregates posts based on peer-reviewed research and allows bloggers to cite their sources in a scholarly manner. We studied the bloggers, blog posts and referenced journals of bloggers who posted at least 20 items. We found that RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account. The average RB blogger in our sample is male, either a graduate student or has been awarded a PhD and blogs under his own name.

Resiyrce Link --- http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0035869


"Why Do Accounting Academics Blog Less Than Other Academics?" by Tom Selling, The Accounting Onion, October 11, 2011 ---
http://accountingonion.typepad.com/theaccountingonion/2011/10/why-do-accounting-academics-blog-less-than-other-academics.html

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The phrase "blog less" has two meanings. One is that there are fewer accounting professor/student bloggers than in other disciplines. This is largely due to the fact that accounting is a smaller academic discipline than many of our brethren in humanities, mathematics, and science.

Second is that there might be comparable number of academic accounting bloggers who post less frequently than their brethren in humanities and science. At first blush this is a bit surprising to me since accounting is a dynamic discipline with many things taking place globally every day in media fraud articles, news from international and national accounting standard setting bodies, etc. It could be that we, as academic accountants, tend to rely on a small number of commercial blogs such as those of the Big Four, the AICPA, SmartPros, AccountingWeb, GoingConcern, re:TheAuditors, etc. These popular commercial blogs may reduce the need for more accounting professors to blog or to post multiple messages daily.

Many academic accountants have come to rely on blog aggregators and filters. For example, I suspect that the AECM listserv has a larger daily audience reading a larger number of AECM postings than readings of any accounting professor who blogs. Also intense debates on the AECM reveal more intense and enduring debates on issues than the commentaries at accounting professor blogging sites.

The AAA Commons is also becoming increasingly popular among accounting academics. For example, it could be that more people frequent the postings of Rick Lillie via the AAA Commons than frequent his blog. I do not, however, know this for a fact.

We also must consider the fact that social networkings (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) reduce the blogging traffic.

Be that as it may, I think there are quite a few blogging professors who have relatively small audiences. The small audiences tend to discourage new entrants into the blogging arena. For a listing of some of the academic accounting bloggers go to
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm
There are too many for me to monitor even on a weekly basis.


Richard Campbell notes a nice white collar crime blog edited by some law professors --- http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/ 

To date Nadine has eight modules on accounting fraud plus more modules on other types of fraud
A woman known as "Fraud Girl" ran a series of weekly columns in Simoleon Sense. Now Fraud Girl has her own blog called Sleight of Hand ---
 http://sleightfraud.blogspot.com/
Her real name is Nadine Sebai
Now I have two women to stalk in Chicago ---
Francine --- http://retheauditors.com/ 
Nadine  ---  http://sleightfraud.blogspot.com/

Nadine's accounting modules to date --- http://sleightfraud.blogspot.com/search/label/Accounting

Big Four Blog --- http://www.big4.com/blog.html


Musings on Markets (Aswath Damodaran at NYU) --- http://aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com/


Question
Are you sick of reading your student's blogs?

"A Better Blogging Assignment," by Mark Sample, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 3, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/a-better-blogging-assignment/41127?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Update on Lanny Arvan:  From SCALE Experiments to Blogs

Years ago economics professor Lanny Arvan directed the famous in a controlled SCALE experiments comparing resident full-time students at the University of Illinois taking onsite versus online courses from the same instructors using common grade assessment procedures. Thirty courses across multiple disciplines were examined across five years of experimentation ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois
In spite of some technology glitches in those olden days, many students tended to prefer taking the courses online. Typically, many more students moved from B grades to A grades in online courses. However, there tended to not be much difference for D and F students, indicating that lack of motivation and aptitude cuts across online and onsite pedagogies in mostly the same way.

In one of my technology workshops Dan Stone (then from the University of Illinois) gave us an overview that I still serve up his PowerPoint and audio files ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

"Teaching With Blogs, by Lanny Arvan, Inside Higher Ed, July 27, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/07/27/arvan

“It is my impression that no one really likes the new. We are afraid of it. It is not only as Dostoevsky put it that 'taking a new step, uttering a new word is what people fear most.' Even in slight things the experience of the new is rarely without some stirring of foreboding.”
--Eric Hoffer, Between The Devil And The Dragon

I tried the new in fall 2009, teaching with student blogs, (look in sidebar and scroll down) out in the open where anyone who wanted to could see what the students were producing. The blogging wasn’t new for me. I’d been doing that for almost five years. Having students blog was a different matter. I had no experience in getting them to overcome their anxieties, relaxing in writing online, learning to trust one another that way. Normally I believe what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If I could blog comfortably and get something from that, so could they. On reflection, however, I was very gentle with myself when I started to blog. As an experiment to prove to myself whether I could do it, for three full weeks I made at least one post a day, 500 to 600 words, a couple of times 1,100 to 1,200 words. I didn’t tell a soul I was doing this. There was no pressure on me to keep it up. It was out in the open, yet nobody seemed to be watching. After those three weeks I felt ready. In the teaching, however, at best I could ask the students to blog once a week. I gave the students weekly prompts on the readings or to follow up on class discussion. (See the class calendar for fall 2009. The prompts are in the Friday afternoon entries.) If I let them blog quietly to get comfortable as I had done, the entire semester would expire before they were ready to go public. There seemed no alternative but to have them plunge in.

The uncertainty about how best to assist the students once they had taken the plunge created an important symmetry between the students and me; we both were to learn about how to do this well, often by first doing it less well. Though it was an inadvertent consequence, of all my teaching over the past 30 years I believe this course came closest to emulating the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education by Chickering and Gamson. I learned to comment on the student posts, not with some pre-thought-through response based on what I anticipated they’d write, but rather to react to where they appeared to be in their own thinking. (This post provides a typical example. The student introduced time management as a theme. My comment aimed to make her think more about time management.) As natural as that is to do in ordinary conversation, I had never done it before when evaluating student work. Indeed, I didn’t think of these comments as evaluation at all. I thought of them as response. In the normal course of my non-teaching work I respond to colleagues all the time and they respond to me. This form of online interaction in the class made it more like the rest of my interactions at work.

Most of the students were quite awkward in their initial blogging. Good students all, the class was a seminar on "Designing for Effective Change" for the Honors Program, but lacking experience in this sort of approach to instruction, the students wrote to their conception of what I wanted to hear from them. I can’t imagine a more constipated mindset for producing interesting prose. For this class there was a need for them to unlearn much of their approach which had been finely tuned and was quite successful in their other classes. They needed to take more responsibility for their choices. While I gave them a prompt each week on which to write, I also gave them the freedom to choose their own topic so long as they could create a tie to the course themes. Upon reading much of the early writing, I admonished many of them to "please themselves" in the writing. I informed them that they could not possibly please other readers if they didn’t first please themselves. It was a message they were not used to hearing. So it took a while for them to believe it was true. In several instances they tried it out only after being frustrating with the results from their usual approach. This, as Ken Bain teaches us, is how students learn on a fundamental level.

I'm crustier now than I was as a younger faculty member. Nonetheless, I find it difficult to deal with the emotion that underlies giving feedback to students when that feedback is less than entirely complimentary to them. Yet given their awkward early attempts at writing posts that’s exactly what honest response demanded. It’s here where having the postings and the comments out in the open so all can see is so important, before the class has become a community, before the students have made up their minds about what they think about this blogging stuff. Though both the writing and the response are highly subjective, of necessity, it is equally important for the process to be fair. How can a student who receives critical comments judge those comments to be fitting and appropriate, rather than an example of the insensitive instructor picking on the hapless student? Perhaps a very mature student can discern this even-handedly from the comments themselves and a self-critique of the original post. I believe most students benefit by reading the posts of their classmates, making their own judgments about those writings and then seeing the instructor’s comments, finally making a subsequent determination as to whether those comments seem appropriate and helpful for the student in reconsidering the writing.

A positive feedback loop can be created by this process. The commenting, more than any other activity the instructor engages in, demonstrates the instructor’s commitment to the course and to the students. In turn the students, learning to appreciate the value of the comments, start to push themselves in the writing. Their learning is encouraged this way. Further, since the blogging is not a competition between the students and their classmates, those who like getting comments begin to comment on the posts of other students. The elements of the community that the class can become are found in this activity.

Since on a daily basis I use blogs and blog readers in my regular work, one of the original reasons for me taking this approach rather than use the campus learning management system was simply that I thought it would be more convenient for me. Also, given my job as a learning technology administrator, I went into the course with some thought that I might showcase the work afterward. Openness is clearly better for that. However in retrospect neither of these is primary. The main reason to be open is to set a good tone for the class. We want ideas to emerge and not remain concealed.

Yet there remains one troubling element: student privacy. Is open blogging this way consistent with FERPA? As best as I’ve been able to determine, it is as long as students “opt in.” (I did give students the alternatives of writing in the class LMS site or writing in the class wiki site. No student opted for those.) My experience suggests, however, that is not quite sufficient. If most students opt in, peer pressure may drive others to opt in as well. More importantly, however, students choose to opt in when they are largely ignorant of the consequences. Might they feel regret after they better understand what the blogging is all about?

Continued in article


Question
Are you sick of reading your student's blogs?

"A Better Blogging Assignment," by Mark Sample, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 3, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/a-better-blogging-assignment/41127?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Off the Kuff (Trinity alum) --- http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=eephmmmebxdfo&paged=470


Disemboweler Jon Stewart Eviscerates Blogosphere (VIDEO)
The Blogs Must Be Crazy ---
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/05/disemboweler-jon-stewart_n_450715.html


This is an example of how commentaries in blogs often set the record straight.

"When banks voluntarily do principal reductions," by Felix Salmon, Reuters, July 11, 2011 ---
http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/07/11/when-banks-voluntarily-do-principal-reductions/

So, unusually, Felix Salmon is wrong:
"Accounting is destiny," Interfluidity.com --- http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/2039.html

So, unusually, Felix Salmon is wrong:

In order for banks to offer principal reductions, two criteria need to have been met: (a) they came into the mortgages via acquisition, rather than writing them themselves; and (b) they bought the mortgages at a discount… Economically speaking…what the banks are doing here does not make sense. Either writing down option-ARM loans makes sense, from a P&L perspective, or it doesn’t. If it does, then the banks should do so on all their toxic loans, not just the ones they bought at a discount. And if it doesn’t, then they shouldn’t be doing so at all.

It makes perfect sense for banks to reduce principal on loans valued at less than par on their books, and to refuse to do so for other loans.

Let’s suppose we have a loan whose direct value will increase if we offer to reduce the principal owed. That’s not a rare situation. As Salmon writes, “a sensibly modified mortgage is likely to be much more profitable for a bank than forcing a homeowner into a short sale or foreclosure and trying to sell off the home in the current market.” Under these circumstances, one effect of a principal reduction is to increase the expected present value of the cash flows associated with the loan. Ka-ching!

However, there are two offsetting effects. The most widely discussed is moral hazard. Banks worry that borrowers for whom a principal reduction would impair rather than enhance the economic value of the loan will find ways of getting reductions too, by strategic mimicry or due to changing norms and public pressure. That helps to explain why (Salmon again), “principal reductions were being done on many mortgages which were actually current and in good standing, rather than on mortgages which were careening towards foreclosure.” Keeping principal modifications something that is offered only to “our best customers” keeps the practice voluntary. It preserves banks’ freedom to discriminate between profit-making and loss-making modifications.

The second offsetting effect of an otherwise desirable principal reduction is a matter of accounting. If a bank has a loan on its books valued at par, and it offers a principal reduction, it must write down the value of the loan. It takes a hit against its capital position, and experiences an event of nonperformance that even the most sympathetic regulators will have no choice but to tabulate. If a bank has purchased a loan at a discount, however, the loan is on the books at historical cost. The bank can offer a principal reduction down to the discounted value without experiencing any loss of book equity.

Of course this is a matter of mere accounting. Whether or not a bank takes a capital hit has no bearing on whether a principal reduction will increase the realizable cash-flow value of the loan.

But accounting is destiny. The economic value of a bank franchise, both to shareholders and managers, is intimately wound up with its accounting position. A bank whose books are healthy may distribute cash to shareholders and managers, while a bank whose capital position has deteriorated will find itself constrained. A well-capitalized bank is free to take on lucrative, speculative new business, while a troubled bank must remain boringly and unprofitably vanilla. The option to distribute and the option to speculate have extraordinary economic value to bank shareholders and managers.

You cannot understand banking at all unless you understand that banks must be valued as portfolios of options. You can value some businesses by estimating the present value of cash flows from firm assets, and then subtracting liabilities. But banks are more complicated than that. The value of a bank is a function not only of expected cash flows, but of the shape of the probability distribution of those cash flows, and of the diverse arrangements that determine how different cash flow realizations will be split among a bank’s many stakeholders. A hit to a bank’s capital position narrows the distribution of future cash flows (by attracting regulatory scrutiny) and diminishes the degree to which cash flows can be appropriated by shareholders and managers rather than other parties. To say that a bank should only be concerned with maximizing the long-horizon value of its loan book is like arguing that the holder of a call option ought not object if her contract is rewritten at a higher strike price, because, after all, changing the strike price doesn’t reduce the economic value of the underlying. A bank’s accounting situation and regulatory environment define the terms of the options that are the main source of value for big-bank shareholders. Accounting changes imply real transfers of wealth.

Now the value of a bank to shareholders and managers is very different from the social value of a bank. If we aggregate the interests of all of a banks’ claimants — shareholders, managers, bondholders, depositors, counterparties, guarantors — there is far less optionality. From a “social perspective”, what we want banks to do is to lend into enterprises whose interest payments reflect real value generation and then maximize the expected value of those cash flows, irrespective of who gets what among bank claimants. If we were serious about that, we would force banks to write down their loan portfolios aggressively, so that going forward shareholders and managers have nothing to lose by offering principal modifications when doing so would maximize the cash flow value of their loans. But if we did force banks to write their loan portfolios down aggressively, the shareholders and managers with nothing to lose would be different people than the current shareholders and managers of large banks, via some resolution process or restructuring. Which is much of why we didn’t do that, when we had the chance, and why bank mismanagement of past loans continues to exert a drag on the real economy as we try and fail to go forward. This very minute, there are homeowners who are nervously hoarding cash, who are leaving factories idle and neighbors unemployed, in order to maximize the option value of the bank franchise to incumbent shareholders, managers, and uninsured creditors.

Also read the excellent comments!

Bob Jensen's threads on the need for more commentaries on accounting research articles ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm


"Reader Poll: Tech Tool You're Most Excited to Take into the Classroom," by Julie Meloni, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Reader-Poll-Tech-Tool-Youre/26127/

I'm not sure I've ever said this out loud, but ReadWriteWeb is my absolute favorite blog in all the blogosphere, and has been since they began covering all things technology-related in 2003 or so—it's the emphasis on critical thinking and analysis rather than knee-jerk "first!" responses to news and events that makes me respect them so.

Recently, my most favorite RWW author (Audrey Watters) asked educators for input via Twitter: what's the tech tool you're most excited to take into the classroom with you this fall?. Audrey is collecting responses for use in an upcoming RWW story, so between now and August 15th feel free to help her out.

However, I'm interested in your answers as well. No, I don't aim to write a similar story as Audrey, but I do wonder about the different answers based on the different audiences. Audrey's readership comes from the already highly-technologically-inclined, often found on Twitter. The ProfHacker audience in the CHE is not necessarily so. In fact, I think it is safe to say that the majority of the ProfHacker readership is not on Twitter and is more technology-curious than technology-embedded (or invested).

So, I'd like to hear from you as well. In the comments, please let us know what's the tech tool you're most excited to take into the classroom with you this fall? (anything hardware or software "counts," and I'll even accept analog technologies as valid answers)

Hopefully, given your responses and Audrey's own article from (predominantly) her own audience, there will be some interesting food for thought on the state of technology in higher ed.

Jensen Comment
“Taking into the classroom” is a rather ambiguous phrase that should probably read “taking into the course.” In the latter case, something Camtasia is still on my list of important priorities for things to add to virtually any course whether onsite or online ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/

Camtasia --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camtasia
Camtasia can be used by students as well as instructors.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Reader-Poll-Tech-Tool-Youre/26127/


Accounting Is a Sewer
If you think we're sometimes critical of the accounting profession and the accounting academy on the AECM, you ain't heard nuthin' until you've heard from the likes of Adrienne  --- http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com/p/about.html
"Accounting Is a Sewer" --- Click Here
http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com/2010/12/accounting-is-sewer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/OVWr+(Jr+Deputy+Accountant)  

You can follow Adrienne's posts at
http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com


Mark Schaefer (Marketing) --- http://www.businessesgrow.com/


From the Scout Report on October 1, 2010

EduBlogs --- http://edublogs.org/ 

Started in 2005, Edublogs has grown to include almost 60,000 blogs started by people all over the world. The Edublogs site can be used by anyone to create blogs with education content, and most school filters will allow their software to run correctly. The site includes a video introduction on how to get started, and teachers will appreciate that Edublogs includes discussion tools, video embedding, and social media options. Visitors can customize their blog by using over 100 different themes to give each one the personal touch. EduBlogs is compatible with all operating systems, and their site also includes a FAQ section and training guides.


"Cooley Law School Sues Bloggers and Lawyers," Inside Higher Ed, July 15, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/07/15/qt#265103

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a freestanding institution in Michigan, on Thursday sued four anonymous individuals who have posted critical comments online and lawyers who have started an investigation into Cooley's job placement rates. The suits charge defamation, interference with business interests and other violations of the law. "With ethics and professionalism at the core of our law school's values, we cannot – and will not – sit back and let anyone circulate defamatory statements about Cooley or the choices our students and alumni made to seek their law degree here," said Brent Danielson, chair of Cooley's board, in an announcement of the suits.

One of the anonymous bloggers being sued runs a site called Thomas M. Cooley Law School Scam "to bring truth and awareness to the students getting suckered in by this despicable excuse for a law school." The blog questions Cooley's academic quality and charges that very few of its graduates find jobs. (Cooley says 76 percent of graduates find jobs, and that the figure was higher before the economic downturn.)

The law firm being sued is Kurzon Strauss, in New York, which ran a notice on the J.D. Underground website stating (according to the complaint) that it was "conducting a broad, wide-ranging investigation of a number of law schools for blatantly manipulating their post-graduate employment data and salary information" to take advantage of "the blithe ignorance of naive, clueless 22-year olds who have absolutely no idea what a terrible investment obtaining a J.D. is." The notice specifically requests information about Thomas Cooley and, according to the law school, suggested that it was "perhaps one of the worst offenders" in manipulating the data. Currently the J.D. Underground website features a posting with some similar language (but not nearly as strong) to that cited in the complaint, and another posting from the law firm retracting some of its earlier statements, suggesting that "certain allegations ... may have been couched as fact."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on for-profit universities operating in the gray zone of fraud are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Graying

 


Jr Deputy Accountant and Going Concern Chosen as Top 50 Fantastic Accounting Blogs ---
http://www.jrdeputyaccountant.com/2011/01/jr-deputy-accountant-and-going-concern.html
Tom Selling also made the list with his Accounting Onion blog.

50 Fantastic Accounting Blogs --- http://www.onlineaccountingdegree.org/best-accounting-blogs

Jensen Comment
I applaud the sites that made the Top 50. However, I question the bias of the OnlineAccountingDegree.com site itself. It's sponsored by For-Profit universities that do not have AACSB accreditation when, in my viewpoint, students should first seek out online accounting degree programs in AACSB-accredited universities. In the case of those state-supported AACSB universities, the cost per credit hour may be much lower and the quality more reliable than accounting programs linked in For-Profit of the online accounting courses at  http://www.onlineaccountingdegree.org/
For example, the accounting programs listed in a search of "accounting programs" does not even list the online accounting degree programs available from AACSB accredited universities.

It should also be noted that Texas will not even allow candidates to sit for the CPA examination unless they've had at least five accounting courses onsite such that graduates of fully online programs cannot even sit for the CPA examination.

My advice to prospective online accounting students is to first look for accounting degree programs in AACSB universities such as flagship state university programs such as those the University of Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc.

My favorite example of what I consider For-Profit university frauds are the For-Profit online accounting doctoral programs listed at http://www.onlineaccountingdegree.org/
If you want to embarrass and online accounting doctoral program, ask who will be advising the dissertations and look carefully to see if the curriculum is at all comparable to an accounting doctoral program at an AACSB accredited university ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#CommercialPrograms
The fact of the matter is that graduates of these non-AACSB online accounting doctoral programs do not face the same academic job market alternatives that are available only to AACSB university accounting graduates.

In my judgment there is no respectable online accounting doctoral program in North America and probably will not be one until an accounting program in an AACSB-accredited university commences to offer an online accounting doctoral program. There are respectable online doctoral programs in other disciplines such as education, but there are none in accounting.

I have respect for the "50 Fantastiuc Accounting Blogs" but I've no respect for the company that chose these winners, OnlineAccountingDegree.com at
 http://www.onlineaccountingdegree.org/ 

Accounting Doctoral Programs

May 3, 2011 message to Barry Rice from Bob Jensen

Hi Barry,

Faculty without doctoral degrees who meet the AACSB PQ standards are still pretty much second class citizens and will find the tenure track hurdles to eventual full professorship very difficult except in colleges that pay poorly at all levels.

There are a number of alternatives for a CPA/CMA looking into AACSB AQ alternatives in in accounting in North American universities:

The best alternative is to enter into a traditional accounting doctoral program at an AACSB university. Virtually all of these in North America are accountics doctoral programs requiring 4-6 years of full time onsite study and research beyond the masters degree. The good news is that these programs generally have free tuition, room, and board allowances. The bad news is that students who have little interest in becoming mathematicians and statisticians and social scientists need not apply --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms 

As a second alternative Central Florida University has an onsite doctoral program that is stronger in the accounting and lighter in the accountics. Kennesaw State University has a three-year executive DBA program that has quant-lite alternatives, but this is only available in accounting to older executives who enter with PQ-accounting qualifications. It also costs nearly $100,000 plus room and board even for Georgia residents. The DBA is also not likely to get the graduate into a R1 research university tenure track.

As a third alternative there are now some online accounting doctoral programs that are quant-lite and only take three years, but these diplomas aren't worth the paper they're written on --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#CommercialPrograms  Cappella University is a very good online university, but its online accounting doctoral program is nothing more than a glorified online MBA degree that has, to my knowledge, no known accounting researchers teaching in the program. Capella will not reveal its doctoral program faculty to prospective students. I don't think the North American academic job market yet recognizes Capella-type and Nova-type doctorates except in universities that would probably accept the graduates as PQ faculty without a doctorate.

As a fourth alternative there are some of the executive accounting doctoral programs in Europe, especially England, that really don't count for much in the North American job market.

As a fifth alternative, a student can get a three-year non-accounting PhD degree from a quality doctoral program such as an economics or computer science PhD from any of the 100+ top flagship state/provincial universities in North America. Then if the student also has PQ credentials to teach in an accounting program, the PhD graduate can enroll in an accounting part-time "Bridge Program" anointed by the AACSB --- http://www.aacsb.edu/conferences_seminars/seminars/bp.asp 

As a sixth alternative, a student can get a three-year law degree in addition to getting PQ credentials in some areas where lawyers often get into accounting program tenure tracks. The most common specialty for lawyers is tax accounting. Some accounting departments also teach business law and ethics using lawyers.

Hope this helps.

Bob Jensen

PS
Case Western has a very respected accounting history track in its PhD program, but I'm not certain how many of the accountics hurdles are relaxed except at the dissertation stage.

Bob Jensen's links to listservs, blogs, and social networks ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting news sites are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

PS
One test of any of the "50 Fantastic Accounting Blogs" is to put them to the test of age, popularity, and Google love (See below):

How do do your favorite Websites rate in terms of age, popularity, and Google love?

May 31, 2011 message from Emily

Good Morning Dr. Jensen,
Hope you had a nice memorial weekend. I wonder whether you receive my email sent to you on the 23rd? Did you have a chance to review our site reviewandjudge.org? Perhaps it is a valuable resource to your visitors in your page www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraudreporting .htm under the section Additional resources?

Please get back to me.
Best Regards,
Emily

Jensen Comment
This is an interesting Website for various things, including consumer frauds:
reviewandjudge --- http://reviewandjudge.org/HOME.htm

I don't know just why, but this site also has a link to having any Website you choose evaluated for age, popularity, and a Google love rating. For example, I keyed in my home page at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/
Note that for some reason you have to delete the http:// part of the above URL to get this to work. Thus to make it work I key in only www.trinity.edu/rjensen
I got 5.0/5.0  stars for age of the Webpage (I've been maintaining this page for over 15 years), 3.5/5.0 stars for popularity, and 3.5/5.0 stars for a Google love rating.

In order to put it to a comparison test, I know that sociology professor Mike Kearl has one of the most popular academic Websites served up by Trinity University. When I keyed in
www.trinity.edu/mkearl
the results were  5.0/5.0  stars for age of Mike's Webpage, 3.5/5.0 stars for popularity, and 3.5/5.0 stars for a Google love rating.

Either Mike and I are running neck and neck or there's something suspicious going on here. So I read in Jim Mahar's popular finance professor blog (after removing http://) at
financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
He is doing much worse than Mike and me, although I think he has, in my viewpoint, one of the best finance blogs on the academic Web.

Next I read in the very popular blog maintained by economics Nobel laureate Gary Becker and famous law professor Richard Posner (after removing http://) at
uchicagolaw.typepad.com/beckerposner/
Becker and Posner also fared worse than Mike and me except that they did get a 3.5/5.0 Google love rating.

Next I typed in Lady Gaga's home page (after removing http://) at
www.ladygaga.com/bornthisway/
the results were   4.0/5.0 stars for popularity, and 3.5/5.0 stars for a Google love rating.
Yikes! Mike and I are doing almost as well with our dull academic sites as the site that links to many photos and videos of Lady Gaga in her underwear.

Next I read in the ABC News home page (after removing http://) at
http://abcnews.go.com/
the results were  5.0/5.0  stars for age of the ABC News page, 5.0/5.0 stars for popularity, and 4.0/5.0 stars for a Google rating.
Guess Mike and I aren't as popular as ABC News, but we're close, and this makes me slightly suspicious.

Next I read in the Stanford University home page at
www.Stanford.edu
the results were  5.0/5.0  stars for age of Stanford's home page, 4.5/5.0 stars for popularity, and 4.5/5.0 stars for a Google rating.

Next I read in the Harvard University home page at
www.Harvard.edu
the results were  5.0/5.0  stars for age of Harvard's home page, 4.5/5.0 stars for popularity, and 4.0/5.0 stars for a Google rating.
The bottom line is that Google loves Harvard a little less than Stanford, but Google's love for Harvard and Lady Gaga are identical.

 

June 2, 2011 explanation of Website ratings were sent by Emily:

The "people" icons represent an estimate of how many people worldwide visit a website.
The chart below provides an approximate estimate of how many US monthly users each of the "International People" represents.

"People"

Estimate monthly US users

0.5

1 to 500

1

501 to 1,500

1.5

1,501 to 5,000

2

5,001 to 20,000

2.5

20,001 to 40,000

3

40,001 to 90,000

3.5

90,001 to 400,000

4

400,000 to 1,000,000

4.5

1,000,001 to 12,000,000

5

12,000,001 to 130,000,000

READ MORE

The "stars" represent the year a domain name has been registered.

"Stars"

Year

0.5

2010

1

2009

1.5

2008

2

2007

2.5

2006

3

2005

3.5

2004

4

2003

4.5

2000/2001/2002

5

1999 & earlier

 

Google's ranking reflects the good standing of the website in the internet community. Even if you use Yahoo! or Bing, you can benefit from Google’s opinion of a certain website.

"Hearts"

Google's "PageRank"

0.5

1

1

2

1.5

3

2

4

2.5

5

3

6

3.5

7

4

8

4.5

9

5

10


January 8, 2010 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

A really, really good blog is CPA Trendlines ( http://cpatrendlines.com). I find it so useful, it is one of four from whom I'm grateful to receive tweets (retheauditors, feiblog, compliance week are the others). BTW, thanks to a hint from Francine, I was made aware of TweetDeck and it is much easier to track tweets.

Anyway, Rick Telberg has published some really useful stats from BLS.
http://cpatrendlines.com/2010/01/08/accounting-loses-2600-jobs-in-december/comment-page-1/#comment-546857 

He summarizes in the article that accounting is down 44,000 jobs from the start of this recession. Ouch! There are numerous stories of how many are needing to make what they perceive as permanent adjustments to their lifestyle. Ouch!

Dave Albrecht

 

Other accountancy, tax, fraud, and related blogs and news sites ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

Canadian accounting blogs done by Golden Practice Inc. president Michelle Golden
http://goldenmarketing.typepad.com/weblog/accountingbloglist.html

Top 50 accounting blogs ---
 
http://onlineaccountingcolleges.com/2009/top-50-blogs-for-accountants/

Other Accounting Blogs
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

Tech Blogs
Tech Crunch --- http://www.techcrunch.com/
PC World's choices for the Top 100 blogs on June 25, 2007 --- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,133119/article.html 

Interesting Blog on Twitter --- http://glinner.posterous.com/the-conversation-23

Top 50 Economics Blogs --- http://bankling.com/2009/top-50-economics-blogs/#more-604

Google Blog Directory --- http://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.html

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


Immigration Law News --- http://www.canadausvisas.com/


Jerry Trites called my attention to the new "Babbage" blog from my favorite magazine The Economist (I read it cover-to-cover every week.)  ---
http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage?fsrc=nlw|pub|03_30_2010|publishers_newsletter

From Trites E-Business Blog on April 1, 2010 (no fooling) --- http://www.zorba.ca/blog.html

Babbage - A New Blog

The Economist Magazine has launched a new blog called Babbage.

Named after Charles Babbage, the father of the computer, our new blog aims to understand the world through the technology that now impacts our lives and reveals so much about us. Recent posts investigate the role of geeks (they are now officially cool, running companies and making millions), mourn the demise of the analog car, and ask just who Apple's iPad is for. Answer: no one knows, not even Apple.

The blog is at this URL. It's worth bookmarking, as the Economist is always on point.


Feminist Philosophers Blog --- http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/ways-women-are-excluded/


From the Scout Report on October 9, 2009

In rules issued this week, the Federal Trade Commission declares that bloggers must disclose the receipt of free products and existing financial interests F.T.C. to Rule Blogs Must Disclose Gifts or Pay for Reviews [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/business/media/06adco.html?hp

Bloggers face disclosure rules --- http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bloggers6-2009oct06,0,4733519.story

 FTC Tells Amateur Bloggers to Disclose Freebies or Be Fined
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/ftc-bloggers/

 FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

 Concurring Opinions: FTC and Blogger Disclosure Rules
http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2009/10/ftc-and-blogger-disclosure-rules.html

 Google Blog Directory --- http://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.html


Why are advertisers paying more money for space on blogs and social networks?
Americans have been devoting 17 percent of all their Internet time to social networks like Facebook and blogging Web sites like Blogger. The percentage for last month is up from 6 percent a year earlier. The report comes from Nielsen Co. and follows its decision to team up with Facebook on a marketing program that helps advertisers measure how well their ads work on the online hangout.Nielsen estimates that ad spending on leading social-network and blogging sites more than doubled year-over-year, to about $108 million for the month. This happened even as several industries decreased their overall ad spending.

MIT's Technology Review, September 25, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/23532/?nlid=2383


A growing number of professors are becoming bloggers

Media studies as a discipline has been quick to embrace the potentials of new-media platforms as channels for sharing our research and scholarship. A growing number of junior and senior faculty members in our field are becoming bloggers. At the same time, media scholars are pooling their efforts to contribute to larger projects, such as the biweekly webzine Flow, which runs pieces on many aspects of contemporary television and digital culture, and In Media Res, which each day offers a short video clip and commentary by a leading media scholar. These same strategies can be and are being adopted across a range of academic disciplines, as scholars make a greater commitment to circulate their findings more broadly and to respond to contemporary issues in a thoughtful and timely manner.
Henry Jenkins, "Public Intellectuals in the New-Media Landscape," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i30/30b01801.htm


David Albrecht Goes Green

"Questions From A Future Blogger," by David Albrecht, The Summa, January 14, 2010 ---
http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/questions-from-a-future-blogger/

Accounting and/or financial blogs are a big deal. As the world evolves and becomes faster paced, long-lived jobs will disappear. We accountants will adapt by piecing together a career from many project-length opportunities. I believe it will be a matter of professional life or death for accountants to get on top of evolving current events and stay there. For there to be life, we all need to make life-long learning a lifestyle.

The ability to think will separate thrivers from survivors and hangers-on. We accountants will need to think critically (buzzword for analyze and understand what is going on), creatively (inventing solutions) and practically (applying cutting edge skills to implement solutions).

How will we get learn to think these ways and grow our thinking? Independent blogs commentaries like The Summa, and re: The Auditors, and TaxGirl. Blogs provide input to fuel critical thinking, seeds for creating thinking, and energy for practical thinking.

So, I want to encourage accounting/financial blogging. Then along came this e-mail. from a Summa reader, asking about my blogging process. Although I don’t reveal his identity, I’m already aware of his writing and his unifying message. He has a lot to contribute, and I think he should blog. So, I wrote this blog piece. His comments/questions are in emphasized green, answers in normal font.

Continued in article


"Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better," by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/free/2008/01/1322n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

What if scholarly books were peer reviewed by anonymous blog comments rather than by traditional, selected peer reviewers?

That's the question being posed by an unusual experiment that begins today. It involves a scholar studying video games, a popular academic blog with the playful name Grand Text Auto, a nonprofit group designing blog tools for scholars, and MIT Press.

The idea took shape when Noah Wardrip-Fruin, an assistant professor of communication at the University of California at San Diego, was talking with his editor at the press about peer reviewers for the book he was finishing, The book, with the not-so-playful title Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies, examines the importance of using both software design and traditional media-studies methods in the study of video games.

One group of reviewers jumped to his mind: "I immediately thought, you know it's the people on Grand Text Auto." The blog, which takes its moniker from the controversial video game Grand Theft Auto, is run by Mr. Wardrip-Fruin and five colleagues. It offers an academic take on interactive fiction and video games.

Inviting More Critics

The blog is read by many of the same scholars he sees at academic conferences, and also attracts readers from the video-game industry and teenagers who are hard-core video-game players. At its peak, the blog has had more than 200,000 visitors per month, he says.

"This is the community whose response I want, not just the small circle of academics," Mr. Wardrip-Fruin says.

So he called up the folks at the Institute for the Future of the Book, who developed CommentPress, a tool for adding digital margin notes to blogs (The Chronicle, September 28, 2007). Would they help out? He wondered if he could post sections of his book on Grand Text Auto and allow readers, using CommentPress, to add critiques right in the margins.

The idea was to tap the wisdom of his crowd. Visitors to the blog might not read the whole manuscript, as traditional reviewers do, but they might weigh in on a section in which they have some expertise.

The institute, an unusual academic center run by the University of Southern California but based in Brooklyn, N.Y., was game. So was Mr. Wardrip-Fruin's editor at MIT Press, Doug Sery, but with one important caveat. He insisted on running the manuscript through the traditional peer-review process as well. "We are a peer-review press—we're always going to want to have an honest peer review," says Mr. Sery, senior editor for new media and game studies. "The reputation of MIT Press, or any good academic press, is based on a peer-review model."

So the experiment will provide a side-by-side comparison of reviewing—old school versus new blog. Mr. Wardrip-Fruin calls the new method "blog-based peer review."

Each day he will post a new chunk of his draft to the blog, and readers will be invited to comment. That should open the floodgates of input, possibly generating thousands of responses by the time all 300-plus pages of the book are posted. "My plan is to respond to everything that seems substantial," says the author.

The institute is modifying its CommentPress software for the project, with the help of a $10,000 grant from San Diego's Academic Senate, to create a version that bloggers can more easily add to their existing academic blogs.

A Cautious Look Forward

Mr. Wardrip-Fruin's friends have warned him that sorting through all those comments will take over his life, or at least take far more time than he expects. "It's been said to me enough times by people who are not just naysayers that it is in the back of my mind," he acknowledges. Still, the book's review process "will pale in comparison to the work of writing it."

He expects the blog-based review to be more helpful than the traditional peer review because of the variety of voices contributing. "I am dead certain it will make the book better," he says.

Mr. Sery isn't so sure. "I don't know how this general peer review is going to help," the editor says, except maybe to catch small errors that have slipped through the cracks. Traditional peer review involves carefully chosen experts in the same subject area, who can point to big-picture issues as well as nitpick details. He bets that the blog reviews might merely spark flame wars or other unhelpful arguments about minor points. "I'm curious to see what kind of comments we get back," he says.

That probably "depends on what you're writing about," says Clifford A. Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, a group that supports the use of technology in scholarly communication. "If, God help you, you're writing about current religious or political issues, you're going to get a lot of people with agendas who aren't interested in having a rational discussion. Some of them are just psychos."

Even without flame wars, Mr. Sery equates the blog review with the kind of informal sharing of drafts that many academics do with close friends. It's useful, but it's still not formal peer review, he argues. Carefully choosing reviewers "really allows for the expression of their ideas on the book," he says. Scholars can say with authority, for instance, that a book just isn't worth publishing.

Ben Vershbow, editorial director at the Institute for the Future of the Book, concedes that comments on blogs are unlikely to fully replace peer review. But he says academic blogging can play a role in the publishing process.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This is one of those experiments that is impossible to extrapolate. Blog comments are totally voluntary and impulsive such that blog comments are going to be highly variable with respect to topics, errors in the original document, and extent of the readership in the blog. Few blog activists are going to give time and attention to reviews that are not going to be widely read.

Peer reviews are likely to be less impulsive since the reviewer generally agrees ahead of time to conduct a review. But they are more variable than blog comments. The reason is that peer reviewers spend less time reviewing manuscripts that are outliers (i.e., those that are so good that there are few recommendations for change or those that are so bad that there's little hope for a future positive recommendation to publish). More time may be spend on manuscripts that need a lot of repair but have high hopes.

The main problem with peer reviews is that there are so few reviewers. Much depends upon which two or three reviewers are assigned to review the manuscript. Three reviewers' garbage may be another three reviewers' treasure. Another problem is that peer reviews are seldom published in the name of the anonymous reviewers. Blog commentators generally do so in their own names and get some reputation enhancement among their blog peers, especially if their are praiseworthy replies on the blog to the blog review. Anonymous reviewers get little incremental reputation enhancement for their unpublished reviews.

Still another problem with peer reviews is that editors and their hand picked reviewers may be a biased subset of a scholarly community. Others in the community may be shut out, which is now a raging problem in academic accountancy --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on oligopoly abuse of scholarly publishing are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals


On Point [iTunes news from poetry to science] http://www.onpointradio.org/

BBC: In Our Time [iTunes] --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/

U.S. Supreme Court Scotus Blog --- http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/

Business Communications from Business Week Magazine --- http://bx.businessweek.com/business-communications/

From Business Week Magazine:  4,500 MBA Blogs
View over 4,500 blogs in our MBA Blogs community today! Share your journey, meet new friends, and expand your network. Connect with MBA students, applicants and alumni from Columbia, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and more!
Quoted from a Business Week email message on June 24, 2009
An MBA blog search engine --- http://jamesyo.mbablogs.businessweek.com/archive/2005/12/08/3vqgp173hxrx
(I was disappointed in the lack of content)
Jensen Comment
Most of these blogs deal with life within a program and/or the dismal job market.
Sadly, some report that MBA programs are more about partying than classes, but I think most those that say this are secretly studying their butts off. Some discuss courses, including accounting courses. But among the course discussions, MBA students are more inclined to discuss finance, policy, and marketing courses. If they only realized how important accounting is to success in either starting at the bottom of a company and working your way to the top or starting at the top in your new entrepreneurship.

Business Week reports that many unemployed MBA graduates are now becoming their own entrepreneurs. Nothing like starting out at the top --- Click Here
The partiers who did not learn much accounting probably will watch their new ventures crash.

It may be surprising to some of you, but actually Business School is almost more about parties than studying. There are different parties every night. You have parties with your study group, your cluster, your year, the cluster from the year above/below you, with other schools at Columbia, with other schools in NY, with your clubs, with ... But don't forget you have professors like Toby Stuart who is expecting you to read 120 pages for Strategy Formulation by tomorrow morning, after you have turned in the spreadsheet and four page writeup for statistics and have handed in the solution to the case and the spreadsheet for corporate finance - and oh did you remember ...
http://wulffen.mbablogs.businessweek.com/archive/2005/09/17/k8goqee8pk7a
Jensen Comment
If they were not achievers these so-called "partying MBAs" would've not gotten into a prestigious MBA program in the first place. Don't associate MBA social interactions with the sad-case first-year undergraduates who pledged a fraternity and boozed their way out of college (and maybe even their own lives) before the end of their first years in college.


From a Brussels' Think Tank
THE FREEDOM NETWORK AUDIO PORTAL
--- http://workforall.net/audio-library-of-economics.html

Audio modules on
Economics,
Money,
Social Security,
Liberty,
Strategy &
Public Policy

From Jim Mahar's Finance Professor Blog on May 31, 2009

Free & Easy Access to worldwide Broadcasts on Economics, Social Security, Policy and Strategy
THE FREEDOM NETWORK AUDIO PORTAL - Free & Easy Access to worldwide Broadcasts on Economics, Social Security, Policy and Strategy: "Podcasts on Economics, Social Security, Strategy, Liberty & Public Policy"

Wow. Amazing stuff. Thanks to Wayne Marr for point it out.


"Is Stupid Making Us Google?"  By James Bowman, The New Atlantis, no. 21, Summer 2008, pp. 75-80 ---
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/is-stupid-making-us-google

Generally speaking, even those who are most gung-ho about new ways of learning probably tend to cling to a belief that education has, or ought to have, at least something to do with making things lodge in the minds of students--this even though the disparagement of the role of memory in education by professional educators now goes back at least three generations, long before computers were ever thought of as educational tools. That, by the way, should lessen our astonishment, if not our dismay, at the extent to which the educational establishment, instead of viewing these developments with alarm, is adapting its understanding of what education is to the new realities of how the new generation of 'netizens' actually learn (and don't learn) rather than trying to adapt the kids to unchanging standards of scholarship and learning.

Jensen Comment
Yikes! When I'm looking for an answer to most anything I now turn first to Wikipedia and then Google. I guess James Bowman put me in my place. However, being retired I'm no longer corrupting the minds of students (at least not apart from my Website and blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
I would counter Bowman by saying that Stupid is as Stupid does. Stupid "does" the following:  Stupid accepts a single source for an answer. Except when the answer seems self evident, a scholar will seek verification from other references. However, a lot of things are "self evident" to Stupid.

Scholars often forget that Google also has a scholars' search engine --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ScholarySearch
Also see "Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Open Encyclopedia, and YouTube as Knowledge Bases" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#KnowledgeBases

There is a serious issue that sweat accompanied with answer searching aids in the memory of what is learned --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm
But must we sweat to find every answer in life? There is also the maxim that we learn best from our mistakes. Bloggers are constantly being made aware of their mistakes. This is one of the scholarly benefits of blogging.


On blogs and Web sites, by e-mail and video, the Iraq war is fought on the Internet
U.S. soldiers return from battle to their rooms or tents, boot up their laptops and log on to let their friends and family know they've made it through another day. If their base is large enough, the Internet service provider offers broadband, and they can make a video call home, watch news reports on the war or post their own versions of life in Iraq to their blogs. ''I blog for the same reasons soldiers wrote letters and diaries during previous wars: to communicate with family and friends, (and) to maintain an honest record of our daily existence,'' wrote 1st Lt. Matt Gallagher, in response to an e-mail about his blog http://kaboomwarjournal.blogspot.com . ''Blogging is simply a 21st century tool for a new generation of soldiers to utilize.''
MIT's Technology Review, March 18, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/20427/?nlid=945


In April 2007 the blog search engine Technorati reported that it was tracking 70 million blogs, with 120,000 new ones arriving every day --- http://technorati.com/weblog/2007/04/328.html
Technorati --- http://technorati.com/

Search for Blogs (Weblogs) ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Blogs

Tech Crunch --- http://www.techcrunch.com/

PC World's choices for the Top 100 blogs on June 25, 2007 --- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,133119/article.html 

Interesting Blog on Twitter --- http://glinner.posterous.com/the-conversation-23

Top 50 Economics Blogs --- http://bankling.com/2009/top-50-economics-blogs/#more-604

Google Blog Directory --- http://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.html

Ace of Spades (irreverent but finds interesting modules) --- http://ace.mu.nu/

Professors Fama and French operate a very informative Q&A Blog in economics and financial markets at
 http://www.dimensional.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?blog_id=1&tag=Research&limit=20

It's Been Ten Years Since the Blog Was Born Out of Something Called a Weblog --- http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog
Google has a blog search tool --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Blogs

I fit into the category of an original NWAL blogger category meaning that I'm a Nerd Without A Life blogger. Now of course there are millions of bloggers who also have a life. I'm still stuck in the NWAL category.

New Blogs (at least new to me near the end of 2007)

Rate Your Students (be prepared for four letter words and worse) --- http://rateyourstudents.blogspot.com/
Perhaps this to counter RateMyProfessor --- http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/index.jsp
There is also a Professors Strike Back (largely video) site at http://www.mtvu.com/professors_strike_back/ 

From the Scout Report on November 21, 2008

Fast Blog Finder 2.50 --- http://www.fastblogfinder.com/ 

As its name indicates, the Fast Blog Finder helps users look for weblog posts that have a particularly high ranking in Google for a given phrase. It can be useful for research purposes, and visitors can also make use of it if they wish to attract more traffic to their own websites. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Most Popular American Bar Association (ABA) Blogs

Bob Jensen's threads on free online law and legal studies tutorials and videos ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

 

Other blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Blogs
Google's blog search tool is at http://blogsearch.google.com/
(For example, search "Student Examination" at the above Google site)
(Accountants may want to search for "Accounting" at the above Google site)
(More serious accountants may want to search "FAS 133" or "IAS 39" at the above Google site.)

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

To celebrate this tenth "blogiversary" on July 14, 2007, The Wall Street Journal on Pages P4-P5 ran a special column by Tunku Varadarajan that highlighted some of the leading blogs ---
http://blogs.wsj.com/onlinetoday/2007/07/14/pursuits-extras-for-saturday-july-14-2/

The WSJ blogiversary highlights the impact of some of selected blogs.

Christopher Cox, Chairman of the SEC, recommends searching for blogs at Google and Blogdigger ---  http://www.blogdigger.com/index.html
He points out that Sun Microsystems CEO Jack Schwartz in his own blog challenged the SEC to consider blogs as a means of corporate sharing of public information.
Jensen Comment
But more recently CEO John Mackey of Whole Foods got in trouble with the SEC for his anonymous blog.
See "Mr. Mackey's Offense," The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2007; Page A12 --- Click Here

Christopher Cox, a strong advocate of XBRL,  gives a high recommendation to the following XBRL blog:
For fast financial reporting, a recommended blog is Hitachi America, Ltd XBRL Business Blog --- http://www.hitachixbrl.com/

One of the great bloggers is one of the all-time great CEOs is Jack Bogle who founded what is probably the most ethical mutual fund businesses in the world called Vanguard. He maintains his own blog (without a ghost blogger) called The Bogle eBlog --- http://johncbogle.com/wordpress/

Nobel laureate (economics) Gary Becker runs a blog with Richard Posner called the Becker-Posner Blog --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

Fama (Chicago) and French (Dartmouth)  have an economics and finance blog --- http://www.dimensional.com/famafrench/
This includes links to their working papers.

Actress and humanitarian Mia Farrow maintains blogs on her visits to troubles pars of the world.
See  http://www.miafarrow.org/
One of her favorite blogs (not one that she runs) is BoingBoing.net --- http://www.boingboing.net/
She is also a heavy user of satellite phones --- http://www.gpsmagazine.com/

James Toranto discusses the powerful impact that blogs have had on politics and government.
He recommends the following political blogs:
KausFiles.com from the liberal/progressive UK media outlet called Slate --- http://www.slate.com/id/2170453/
InstaPundet.com from a liberatarian law professor --- http://www.instapundet.com/
JustOneMinute.typepad.com --- http://www.justoneminute.typepad.com/

Jane Hamsher founded a political blog at http://www.firedoglake.com/
She recommends the following leftest-leaning blogs:
CrooksAndLiars.com --- http://www.crooksandliars.com/
TBogg.blogspot.com --- http://www.tbogg.blogspot.com/
DigbysBlog.blogspot.com --- http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com/

General Kevin Bergner is a spokesman for the Multi-National Force in Iraq and generally gives straight talk a world of distorted and biased media --- http://www.mnf-iraq.com/
Some of his favorite blogs are as follows:
Small Wars Journal --- http://smallwarsjournal.com/index.php
Blackfive --- http://www.blackfive.net/
The Mudville Gazette --- http://www.mudvillegazette.com/

Newt Gingrich recommends the following conservative-politics blogs:
RedState,com --- http://www.redstate.com/
Corner.NationalReview.com --- http://corner.nationalreview.com/
Powerline Blog --- http://www.powerlineblog.com/

Dick Costolo is a Group Product Manager at Google. He likes the following blogs:
The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs by an imposter --- http://www.fakesteve.blogspot.com/
New Media and the Future of Online Publishing --- http://publishing2.com/
Photo Blogs --- http://www.photoblogs.org/

Tom Wolfe (popular novelist) grew "weary of narcisstic shrieks and baseless information."

Xiao Qiang, the founder of Chna Digital Times, recomments the following blogs:
ZonaEuropa for global news with a focus on China --- http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm
Howard Rheingold's tech commentaries on the social revolution at http://www.smartmobs.com/
DoNews from Keso (in Chinese) --- http://blog.donews.com/keso
(Search engines like Google will translate pages into English)

Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist recommends the following blogs:
One of the first tech blogs --- http://slashdot.org/
Metafilter (a wiki community blog that anybody can edit) --- http://www.metafilter.com/
Tech Dirt --- http://www.techdirt.com/

Elizabeth Spiers is the founding editor of the news/gossip blogs called Gawks/Jossip and the financial blog Dealbreaker.. She recommends the following blogs:
The liberatarian Reason Magazine blog --- http://www.reason.com/blog/
MaudNewton blog on literature and culture (and occasional political rants) --- http://maudnewton.com/blog/index.php
Design Observer --- http://www.designobserver.com/

How did they fail to overlook the following NWAL blogs?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's favorite free blogs (other than major newspaper, magazine, and  accountancy blogs that I track):
Aljazeera --- http://english.aljazeera.net
Commentary --- http://www.commentarymagazine.com/
New Republic --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/browse
Inside Higher Ed --- http://www.insidehighered.com/ 
The Finance Professor --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
Financial Rounds --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Consumer Reports Web Watch --- http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/
Issues in Scholarly Communication --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/
Knowledge@Wharton --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/
Multi-National Force --- http://www.mnf-iraq.com/
NPR --- http://www.npr.org/
PC World --- http://www.pcworld.com/columns/
PhysOrg --- http://physorg.com/ (Good coverage of happenings in science and medicine)
WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/
Wired News --- http://www.wired.com/  (not as good as it used to be)
WorldNetDaily --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/  (watch for bias and the mixing of adds with news)
Y-Net News --- http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

I will probably be adding the following blogs on a less regular basis:
The Bogle eBlog --- http://johncbogle.com/wordpress/
Becker-Posner Blog --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/
CrooksAndLiars.com --- http://www.crooksandliars.com/
Small Wars Journal --- http://smallwarsjournal.com/index.php
Blackfive --- http://www.blackfive.net/
The Mudville Gazette --- http://www.mudvillegazette.com/
The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs by an imposter --- http://www.fakesteve.blogspot.com/
New Media and the Future of Online Publishing --- http://publishing2.com/
Photo Blogs --- http://www.photoblogs.org/
Tech Dirt --- http://www.techdirt.com/

For Newspapers and Magazines I highly recommend Drudge Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/DrudgeLinks.htm
In particular I track Reason Magazine, The Nation, The New Yorker, Sydney Morning Herald, Sky, Slate, BBC, Jewish World Review, and The Economist

For financial news I like The Wall Street Journal and the Business sub-section of The New York Times

For Book Reviews I like --- http://www.booksindepth.com/period.html
Also see the blog of the national book critics circle board of directors ---
http://bookcriticscircle.blogspot.com/

Much more of my news and commentaries comes from online newsletters such as MIT's Technology Review, AccountingWeb, SmartPros, Opinion Journal, The Irascible Professor, T.H.E. Journal, and more too numerous to mention.

And I also get a great deal of information from various listservs and private messages that people just send to me, many of whom I've never met.

A Blog for Students of Investment Strategies --- http://bonasimm.blogspot.com/

Top 50 Economics Blogs --- http://bankling.com/2009/top-50-economics-blogs/#more-604

Google Blog Directory --- http://www.google.com/press/blogs/directory.html

Ace of Spades (irreverent but finds interesting modules) --- http://ace.mu.nu/

Association of Government Accountants Blog
Inside Government Accounting
--- http://aga.typepad.com/
There's quite a lot here on fraud and forensic accounting

Deloitte's International Accounting Blog --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Thanks to Paul Pacter this is probably the best site in the world for international accounting news

A Very Successful Blog
Stuff White People Like --- http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

"Stuff White People Like," by Evan R. Goldstein, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, April 18, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i32/32b00401.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

What do the Sunday New York Times, Barack Obama, knowing what's best for poor people, having gay friends, and arts degrees have in common? According to Christian Lander, they are all "stuff white people like." A mere three months ago, the 29-year-old Internet copywriter started a blog by that name with a post satirizing white people's affinity for coffee, noting that they are fond of sayings like, "You do NOT want to see me before I get my morning coffee" and are happy to pay a premium for fair-trade coffee because "the extra $2 means they are making a difference."

That item struck a nerve. Stuff White People Like averages around 300,000 hits a day, and its numbered catalog of the cultural, political, and social predilections of highly educated, middle-class, liberal, white people is nearing 100 items. At the end of March, Random House announced that it had signed Lander, who is himself white, to a book deal widely reported to be worth around $300,000.

The blog's emergence as a cultural phenomenon has triggered a wide-ranging discussion about race, humor, and whether Stuff White People Like is a trenchant critique of white cultural mores — or a backhanded celebration of white cultural superiority.

Gary Dauphin, writer and blogger: Stuff White People Like … smells like a classic racial con job. It goes without saying that the specific entries (Oscar parties?) don't really apply to anyone. That makes Lander's overall pose — and the uncritical response to it — the real action. You'd think from the approving hubbub that SWPL had discovered (white) America or something, but white comedians, academics, and artists have been thinking and cracking wise about "white" culture since before Lander was in, well, the short pants he's posted about. Usually even jokey talk about whiteness has a whiff of danger to it, but SWPL is likely the safest, most-affable racial satire ever, a loving high-five between friends passing as critique. (The Root)

Dean Rader, associate professor of English, University of San Francisco: One more reason SWPL has resonated is due to its very smart awareness of what I call "Overculture," which is the subject of my next book. Stuff White People Like is fantastic at mapping the icons of Overculture — those popular texts that indicate a ubiquity in American consumer and popular culture. For example, Starbucks plays music heard on The Wire, which gets written about in Slate, which has an agreement with NPR, which reviews books available in Borders, which sells coffee and expensive sandwiches. Overculture is a new kind of cultural map that circumscribes everything that has hit a tipping point, everything educated people should either consume or be aware of. (The Weekly Rader)

Gregory Rodriguez, senior fellow, New America Foundation: As unusual as Lander's site is, it is also part of a sociological trend among whites who live in increasingly non-Anglo cities and regions: their transformation into a minority group. Whites used to think of themselves as standard-issue American — they had the luxury of not having to grapple with the significance of their own racial background; they were "us" and everyone else was "ethnic." Not anymore. (Los Angeles Times)

Adam Sternbergh, editor at large, New York: Even as an admitted yoga-practicing, public-radio-listening, Wrigley Field-visiting, Wes Anderson-movie-watching, Arrested Development-championing white dude — i.e., someone squarely in the targets of Stuff White People Like — I don't feel even mildly chastened about yoga, NPR, Wes Anderson, or Arrested Development after reading this blog. In fact, all the site's entries, while superficially chiding, can actually be divided into three very comforting categories:

1) Entries that don't reflect your lifestyle choices … and therefore make you feel superior.

2) Entries that do reflect your lifestyle choices … and therefore make you feel like you're in on the joke.

3) Entries that nod to commonly held comic stereotypes … and therefore, because you recognize them, make you feel superior. (The New Republic Online)

David Mills, screenwriter: The No. 1 biggest thing white people like is pretending to poke fun at themselves. … Here are a few things that white people don't like:

1. Black bosses.

2. Mexicans.

3. Being told they're wrong.

4. Panhandlers.

5. Black people on magazine covers.

6. Islam. (Undercover Black Man)

Megan McArdle, associate editor, The Atlantic: All right, let me add myself to the list of white people who don't like Stuff White People Like. Leave aside the arrogance of declaring "white people" to be equal to a rather small group of self-satisfied, overeducated, affluent poverty vultures. And I actively applaud its purpose — my demographic is a rich vein of humor. One that should be strip mined.

Unfortunately, SWPL just isn't very funny. How can you take a target as rich and inviting as people who deliberately buy ugly shoes and produce … a dull thud? (Asymmetrical Information, The Atlantic Online)

Alex Jung, blogger: Its cleverness is getting stale because it hasn't exhibited ways to think differently; one can predict the rest of the posts — white people also like to dress their pets … and watch Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and think about how "real" it is. [Lander] recognizes the dumb things white people do, such as believing they know what's best for poor people, but just as he will still spend 10 bucks on a sandwich, white people will still think buying a Gap T-shirt will end poverty in Africa. It's a critique followed by a shrug. (Race Wire, Colorlines)

I would love to learn about your favorite blogs!

From The Washington Post on July 23, 2007

What was the name of a technique invented in the early 1970s that often used reverse-chronological blog-like ordering?

A. talk.text
B. .plan file
C. net.log
D. .me folder
 


Anita Campbell's Small Business Blog on the AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/blogs/anita_campbell_blog.html

Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness


From the Financial Rounds Blog on April 21, 2008 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

The latest new finance blog note is titled Empirical Finance Research, which is intended to (in the authors' own words):

It's authored by three guys (two of which are currently pursuing Ph.D.s in finance), and focuses on applications of current academic finance research. Good job, gentlemen, and keep up the good work. The world needs more blogs by finance PhDs.

The Empirical Finance Research blog is at http://empiricalfinanceresearch.blogspot.com/


"Favorite Education Blogs of 2008," by Jay Mathews, The Washington Post, April 7, 2008 --- Click Here

Early last year, as an experiment, I published a list of what I and commentator Walt Gardner considered our favorite education blogs. Neither Gardner nor I had much experience with this most modern form of expression. We are WAY older than the Web surfing generation. But the list proved popular with readers, and I promised in that column to make this an annual event.

Bernstein: The name is obviously a takeoff on the foregoing. The author of this one occasionally posts elsewhere as well. This site often provides some incisive and clear explanations of the key aspects of educational policy.

Mathews: I agree, but have a bias here, too. This is an Education Week blog, and I am on the board of trustees of the nonprofit that publishes Ed Week.

My promise was actually more specific: "Next year, through bribery or trickery, I hope to persuade Ken Bernstein, teacher and blogger par excellence, to select his favorite blogs and then let me dump on his choices, or something like that." As I learned long ago, begging works even better than bribery or trickery, and Bernstein succumbed. Below are his choices, with some comments from me, and a few of my favorites.

They are in no particular order of quality or interest. Choosing blogs is a personal matter. Tastes differ widely and often are not in sync with personal views on how schools should be improved. I agree with all of Bernstein's choices, even though we disagree on many of the big issues.

Bernstein is a splendid classroom teacher and a fine writer, with a gift for making astute connections between ill-considered policies and what actually happens to kids in school. He is a social studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George's County and has been certified by the prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He is also a book reviewer and peer reviewer for professional publications and ran panels on education at YearlyKos conventions. He blogs on education, among other topics, at too many sites to list. He describes his choices here as a few blogs he thinks "are worthwhile to visit."

 

· Bridging Differences. blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/

Bernstein: Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch in the past have had their differences on educational issues. They both serve at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University, and this shared blog is as valuable as anything on the Web for the insights the two offer, and for the quality of their dialog.

Mathews: I have a personal bias about this blog. I know Meier and Ravitch well, consider them the best writers among education pundits today and frequently bounce ideas off them.

 

· Eduwonk. www.eduwonk.com/

Bernstein: I often disagree with Andrew J. Rotherham, but his has been an influential voice on education policy for some years, and even now, along with all else he does, he serves on the Virginia Board of Education.

Mathews: I often agree with Rotherham, and my editors sometimes complain that I quote him too much. But the guy is only 37 and is going to be an important influence on public school policy for the rest of my life and long after.

 

· Edwize. www.edwize.org/

Bernstein: The site is maintained by the United Federation of Teachers, the New York affiliate of American Federation of Teachers. They have a number of authors, many active in New York schools, but they occasionally have posts from others. Full disclosure: I have been invited to cross-post things I have written elsewhere.

Mathews: A nice mix of both comment on policy and inside-the-classroom stuff from teachers.

 

· Education Policy Blog. educationpolicyblog.blogspot.com/

Bernstein: The site describes itself as "a multiblog about the ways that educational foundations can inform educational policy and practice! The blog will be written by a group of people who are interested in the state of education today, and who bring to this interest a set of perspectives and tools developed in the disciplines known as the 'foundations' of education: philosophy, history, curriculum theory, sociology, economics and psychology." Most of the participants are university professors. I am a participant from time to time in this blog.

 

     Eduwonkette. blogs.edweek.org/edweek/eduwonkette/ 

Continued in article

 


Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly

Social Media Revolution Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8&feature=player_embedded

What is social networking? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Networking

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook widely used worldwide; MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America;[1] Nexopia (mostly in Canada);[2] Bebo,[3] Hi5, StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), Decayenne, Tagged, XING;[4], Badoo[5] and Skyrock in parts of Europe;[6] Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America;[7] and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

There have been some attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative), but this has led to some concerns about privacy.

Google's May 28-29, 2009 I/O Conference --- http://code.google.com/events/io/

Google Terminated Google Wave in 2010
Google Wave --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Wave

Google Wave is a self-described "personal communication and collaboration tool" announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on May 27, 2009.[1][2] It is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.[3] It has a strong collaborative and real-time[4] focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, spelling/grammar checking, automated translation among 40 languages,[2] and numerous other extensions.[4] Initially released only to developers, a "preview release" of Google Wave was extended to 100,000 users in September 2009, each allowed to invite twenty to thirty additional users. On the 29th of November 2009, Google accepted most requests submitted soon after the extended release of the technical preview in September 2009; these users have around 25 invitations to give.

Social Networking Sites and Our Lives --- http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks.aspx


The social media backlash may be starting.
People in their 30s are quitting Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn is reaching down to students. This could just be the start --- Click Here
http://247wallst.com/media/2013/09/23/is-the-social-media-backlash-taking-hold-facebook-linkedin-twitter-have-to-care/?utm_source=247WallStDailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=SEP242013A&utm_campaign=DailyNewsletter


"Facebook and Twitter Are Converging:  The two largest social networks are becoming more similar, as they borrow each other’s features, and search for profit," by Tim Simonite, MIT's Technology Review, September 13, 2013 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519296/facebook-and-twitter-are-converging/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130916


"Social Media: Ten Things Accountants Should Never Do," by Mark Lee, AccountingWeb, May 23, 2013 --- Click Here
http://www.accountingweb.com/article/social-media-ten-things-accountants-should-never-do/221837?source=technology


Question
Have we overblown the importance of social media to business?

Only 36% of the surveyed professionals view social business as important. It’s double the percentage from 2011, but it’s still much too low.
Based on MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with Deloitte, survey of 2,545 business professionals in 99 countries on the subject of social business ---
http://blog.hootsuite.com/importance-of-social-business/

Jensen Comment
The term "important" might not have been consistently interpreted by respondents, especially respondents from different industries.

The term "important" might mean a small but necessary factor in performance. For example, having Internet access is a necessary condition to downloading a new eBook, but it is only a small part of understanding that book.

The term "important" might mean an unnecessary condition that in some circumstances might be a convenience or improve performance. For example, having a cell phone is not a necessary condition for most of us, but it can certainly be a convenience and probably improves efficiency when trying to make personal contacts with customers such as when a Sears service driver needs instructions on how to find my home in the boondocks. Also having an annual car towing service (such has carrying an AAA Tow Service Card with an 800 phone number) is not a necessary condition to getting a tow when needed. But along with a cell phone it is a convenience relative to having to search for towing services when you have two flat tires away from home in downtown Detroit.

Also subscribing to LinkedIn is not a necessary condition to finding a new job, but for many subscribers to this social media service it has been a God send.

Companies are just beginning to suspect that releasing financial information to the social media may lower the cost of capital.

The term "important" by be connected with the lower end of a learning curve where the respondent views social media as not being so important at this point in time but having potential of becoming vital to performance in future years. In our Academy publishing articles in refereed journals is currently the most popular way of communicating research discoveries. But each year the the advantages of communicating research discoveries in the social media are becoming increasingly evident. These advantages include timeliness (journal publishing will one day be viewed as horse and buggy) and size of the "audience" such as having audiences of thousands or millions of people, some of which will more critically review the research far better than two burdened journal referees, and the spirit of open-source in general. Knowledge wants to be set free!

Also the respondents in this MIT Sloan Management Review survey probably are unaware of the degree to which social media has been a blessing and a curse at all times and in all circumstances of their companies. The CEO of General Electric really does not know all the instances the R&D staff discovered innovative ideas because of  their social media subscriptions. The CEO of General Electric really does not know of all instances where employees are wasting time in personal conversations in the social media during working hours.


Mashable (social media news) --- http://mashable.com/


"How CFOs Can Use Social Software to Add Value in Closing the Books," CFO Journal, January 16, 2013 ---
http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/2013/01/16/how-cfos-can-use-social-software-to-add-value-in-closing-the-books/

Many organizations are using social business software to add value, enhance business performance and strengthen connections with employees, customers and vendors. Social software, however, has yet to be adopted by many finance organizations, as some CFOs appear skeptical of its value. A study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with Deloitte found that only 14% of CFOs surveyed view social tools as important to their organizations, while 28% of CEOs, presidents and managing directors regard them as important.¹ “There’s still a lack of tangible measures of the value of social business and CFOs are bottom line-oriented,” observes Mark White, chief technical officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “They want to know that the money, talent and the time invested in implementing social business are worthwhile.”

Mr. White says that social tools such as microblogs, wikis, internal social networks, instant messaging applications and threaded discussion forums can help CFOs improve finance organization performance. “The financial close-the-books process is an example of how social software can drive improvements in finance’s decision-making and  processes, by making the close more transparent, efficient, repeatable and defensible,” he says.

Closing the books in a timely and accurate manner can be a challenge in itself, but particularly so when exceptions², such as errors or other unanticipated issues, occur.  Anticipated events, such as new regulatory guidelines or integrating an acquired business, can also hamper the financial close. And although the close may eventually reflect an exception or a new event in a correct manner, the process of resolving these exceptions today can be highly inefficient, with lots of wasted time, and the discussions, thinking and decisions that occurred throughout the process may not have been captured.  That could be a critical loss to a finance organization’s institutional memory, notes Mr. White.

An Example of How Social Business Tools Helped Shorten the Close-the-Books Process

To illustrate how CFOs can improve close the books with social software, Matthew Soderberg, a senior manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s M&A Finance practice, points to a technology company that recently utilized social networking tools to help it close the books within three days.

Following the implementation of an enterprise-wide internal social network, the company’s corporate accounting team created a user group for the finance team members involved in the close and consolidation processes.  Instead of using email to notify the applicable groups within the finance function when an event in the close process has taken place to trigger the next step, or when there’s a problem that requires correction, the finance team can post updates about the close process and diagnose, explain and correct errors faster because activities are posted in real time.

Posting updates about the close process has significantly reduced email traffic and corporate accounting’s role as middleman, according to Mr. Soderberg. “This company had been working hard to get to a three-day close. The internal social network facilitated the finance organization’s ability to achieve that goal with fewer iterations, and it has made the finance professionals’ lives easier during the three-day close process,” he says.

Social Software’s Capabilities

Social tools are being effectively deployed by organizations to enhance business performance in operations, innovation and other areas, according to Metrics That Matter: Social Software for Business Performance, a study by the Deloitte Center for the Edge  According to the authors of the Metrics That Matter study, social software provides organizations the capabilities to identify knowledge and experience, communicate across boundaries, preserve institutional memory, harness knowledge that may be distributed across geographies and functions, and discover emerging opportunities.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on blogging and social networking are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


"An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network:  Following the collapse of the social network Friendster, computer scientists have carried out a digital autopsy to find out what went wrong," MIT's Technology Review, February 27, 2013 ---  Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/511846/an-autopsy-of-a-dead-social-network/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130228


A study reveals that many Twitter followers might in fact not be human

From the Scout Report on November 16, 2012

Beware the tweeting crowds
http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/11/social-media-followers

How fake are your Twitter followers?
http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/how-fake-are-your-twitter-followers-8211517.html

Analysis of Twitter followers of leading international companies
http://www.camisanicalzolari.com/MCC-Twitter-ENG.pdf

Status People Fake Follower Check
http://fakers.statuspeople.com/

Twitter Guide Book
http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media
http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/social-media-beginners-guide/

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


"A Sincere Question About LinkedIn," by George Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/a-sincere-question-about-linkedin/44100#disqus_thread

Here's the reply Bob Jensen posted to the Chronicle for this article.

Do you want your college's students to leave campus without knowledge of what is, according to Forbes Magazine, "the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today."

Linked in may not be useful to you if you're not interested in seeking a job in a non-academic career or in seeking professional employees for your business or government agency, but that's no excuse for not letting your graduates and alumni know about this important site.

Bob Jensen
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen...


The Aspen Institute: Multimedia (and social media) --- http://www.aspeninstitute.org/video

New Communication Technologies (including an annotated bibliography) --- http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/NewComm

"Use Social Media With Social Grace - Words Of Wisdom From B-School Deans," Forbes, July 4, 2012 ---
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymonds/2012/07/04/use-social-media-with-social-grace-wisdom-for-the-mba-class-of-2012/


Gamification --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamification

"Why Gamification is Really Powerful," by Karen Lee, Stanford Graduate School of Business, September 2012
http://stanfordbusiness.tumblr.com/post/32317645424/why-gamification-is-really-powerful
Karen Lee is the Social Web Strategist at the Stanford GSB

Last week, Stanford GSB’s Social Web Strategist Karen Lee attended a Week 0 course called “How Neuroscience Influences Human Behavior,” co-taught by Marketing Professor Baba Shiv and Lecturer Nir Eyal. Each post focuses on an interesting insight from class. 

In my last post, I explained how desire is a fundament driver of habits and how companies can leverage Nir Eyal’s “Desire Engine” framework to build engaging, habit-forming products. 

After two days of learning the fundamentals of how our brain functions and influences human behavior, our co-instructors Nir Eyal and Baba Shiv invited Managing Director of Mayfield Fund Tim Chang (Stanford MBA ’01) and Founder of Gamification Co. Gabe Zichermann to provide our class a real-world perspective on the applications and implications of habitual behavior for customers, businesses and future generations. They both addressed gamification, which is defined as the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage users.

Gamification has become somewhat a polarizing topic for people, as its grown from a niche technique used in the gaming industry, popularized largely due to social games like Farmville, to a popularized approach to engage customers across different industries. Tim Chang explained that gamification is largely misunderstood because of the implied meanings in the word “game” itself. People think of gamification in two extremes, either a hardcore competition or something casual, frivolous and shallow. The definition of game is actually much wider in scope. A game is defined by these 3 core elements: 

  1. Goal or objective: system or user defined
  2. Score: usually in real-time, explicit feedback after every action or decision
  3. Rules: to influence score, boundaries for play

Through this lens, there are many goals in life that are like a game. Dating. Landing a job. Hitting a sales goal. Driving a car. Gabe Zichermann shared how the automobile industry has embraced gamification to encourage fuel efficiency and engage drivers in a more meaningful way.

Ford rolled out with a new dashboard for their their 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrid models. The “SmartGauge with EcoGuide” dashboard displays 4 types of data screens based on what you’re interested in, ranging from the basics of fuel level and battery charge status to more complex information like your driving performance and fuel efficiency.

The game objective Ford creates for the driver is driving efficiency. The driver’s score is comprised of several different data points (e.g., hills, air conditioning, braking style) and is presented in the dashboard with multiple displays in real-time . . . .

. . .

The system’s real-time feedback acts as personal driving coach on how to maximize fuel efficiency, so the driver learns overtime how to change the way they drive to improve their score.

In a slightly different but related game objective of achieving long-term fuel efficiency, Ford took gamification a step further by displaying on the right hand side “Efficiency Leaves,” which is a visual representation of the driver’s efficiency in the form of growing or wilting leaves and vines.  The more efficient a driver is, the more lush and beautiful the leaves are. It works the other way as well.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment


"Money from Friends: Finding the Right Revenue Model for Social Media," Knowledge@Wharton , August 29, 2012 ---
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3064

Mark Zuckerberg's honeymoon with Wall Street did not last long. Since Facebook's initial public offering in mid-May, shares have fallen by 58% to $40.8 billion. Last week, its stock dipped below $20 a share with the expiration of a lockout barring the company's initial investors from selling their holdings. Mobile games developer Zynga also has fallen off a cliff since its IPO; the company's market cap has plunged by 81% from its peak as flaws in its business model emerged. Groupon, whose shares have struggled amid questions about its viability, fell even further -- down 85% to $3.1 billion. CEO Andrew Mason might be kicking himself for turning down Google's $6 billion buyout offer.

Investors, it would seem, are giving a collective thumbs' down to social networks. Yet investors across the board also tend to move in tandem, often throwing away the proverbial baby with the bath water. For example, a single piece of bad news about a company can tank shares of competitors in the same industry -- a malady that has afflicted social networks as well. While investors might lump Facebook, Zynga, Groupon and their ilk together, these companies are not replicas of each other. All offer an element of social networking, but only Facebook is a pure social network and, with its nearly one billion users, is a unique entity unto itself. As such, experts suggest caution when making generalizations regarding the plight of social networks based on Facebook alone.

What is a social network? At its most basic, it is a group of individuals wishing to connect to each other digitally in order to socialize. Facebook users want to know what their friends, relatives and acquaintances are doing. The company's main purpose, as Zuckerberg himself has often noted, is to "make the world more open and connected." Zynga is a developer of games that use social networks to connect players. Its main purpose is gaming, not socializing, although that can occur through games. Groupon uses the power of the collective to get bargains. But the purpose of joining Groupon is to purchase products and services, not to socialize. Twitter is more similar to Facebook, although its follower approach makes it a quasi-social network. LinkedIn members use the platform to socialize and network professionally.

Investors might be punishing most of these companies too harshly for not getting their financial ducks in a row as they test different ways to monetize their businesses. Wall Street does hate uncertainty, experts point out. But the decline could be merely a short-term effect, given that the concept of social networks is fairly new, and business models are still being fleshed out. "It's clear Facebook and other social networks haven't figured it out yet," says Wharton management professor Ethan Mollick. "Things are stacked against them in the short term."

The Facebook Model

Typically, the early focus of social networks is to build up a base of users quickly by offering their services for free. But once these networks gain traction, costs to serve the users escalate. The companies then face the dilemma of figuring out how to make money from their many followers without alienating them with too many ads or suddenly charging for basic services. It can be a tricky balancing act. "It's a double-edged sword for these social networks," notes Wharton management professor David Hsu. "Once consumers are used to a revenue model, it's very difficult to change it."

Social networks, Hsu says, should have a monetization path in mind at the beginning for a smoother transition. "It's important to think through how to make money from the start," he adds, pointing to the digital revenue models of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as examples of how tough it is to switch business strategies once readers are used to a certain model. The Times faced a consumer outcry when it decided to charge for online content that used to be free, he says. The Journal, however, has never faced such a backlashbecause readers have always had to pay to access its content on the web.

Facebook is attempting to modify its business model as well. Currently, nearly all its revenue comes from advertising. Can it stay that way? "It can work, but it is always a good idea to supplement that with subscriptions," says Wharton marketing professor Pinar Yildirim. Whether or not the social network will implement some sort of paid subscription plan, it certainly has been busy diversifying its sources of revenue. In 2009, around 98% of total revenue came from ads. But the proportion fell to 95% in 2010 and got whittled even more in 2011, to 85%. Last year, users buying digital or virtual goods on Facebook, along with fees from other services, generated the remaining 15% of revenue, according to Facebook's registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Continued in article


"'Social-Media Blasphemy' Texas researcher adds 'Enemy' feature to Facebook," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/College-20-Social-Media/131300/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Dean Terry has 400 friends on Facebook, but he wants some virtual enemies.

Mr. Terry, who is director of the emerging-media program at the University of Texas at Dallas, says a major flaw of the popular social network is that it's all sunshine and no rain: The service encourages users to press the "like" button, but offers no way to signal which ideas, products, or people they disagree with. And "friend" is about the only kind of connection you can declare.

Real-world relationships are more complicated than that, so social networks should be too, the scholar argues. He's not alone—more than three million people have voted for a "dislike" feature on an online petition on Facebook.

But Mr. Terry has decided to take action, protesting the ethos of Facebook by literally rewiring the service. Or at least, adding the ability to declare "enemies."

"It's social-media blasphemy, in that we're suggesting that you share differences you have with people and share things that you don't like instead of what you do like," he told me last week. "I think social media needs some disruption. It needs its shot of Johnny Rotten."

Here's what he's done. Last month he and a student released a Facebook plug-in called EnemyGraph, which users can install free and name their enemies, which then show up in their profiles. "We're using 'enemy' in the same loose way that Facebook uses 'friends,'" Mr. Terry explained. "It really just means something you have an issue with."

The scholar would have preferred to use "dislike," but the word is literally banned by the service to prevent developers from creating a dislike button. Critics of Facebook say the social network's leaders want to keep the service friendly to advertisers who might object to users publicly scorning their products.

Mr. Terry wondered if Facebook would even allow his plug-in application to pass the company's approval process, and even though it did, he still believes administrators will shut it down if it becomes popular. The day I talked with Mr. Terry, only 300 people were using it, but at that point no national media had picked up the story.

Facebook officials declined to talk about the new app. The only response a spokesperson would give was a one-sentence e-mail addressing the company's position on creating a "dislike" button: "At some point we may consider it, but for the time being, we are working on what we believe are more high-impact features."

Who was Mr. Terry so eager to diss? "One of the first things I put was the band Journey," he said of his enemy list, "just because they annoy me, and I thought it was funny." He has also enemied Deepak Chopra and the color red.

The programming stunt might win Mr. Terry some real enemies among people who think the best thing about Facebook is its relative lack of negativity. After all, many online forums are prone to vicious flame wars that lead reasonable people to steer clear. What's wrong with keeping an online world like Facebook nice?

To Mr. Terry, that's where his role as an educator comes in. "What we all do in the program is help our students think critically about social media," he says, noting that that is the main goal of EnemyGraph. "On Facebook you're the product—it's commoditized expression," he argues, and he wants students and others to recognize that. "I'm not telling students not to use it, I'm just telling them to understand what's happening when they use it."

A graduate research assistant, Bradley Griffith, did the actual coding, and he made an even stronger case for the service than Mr. Terry did. "It's dangerous for us as a society to move in this direction where everything has its worst qualities removed from it," Mr. Griffith told me.

Virtual Dissent

EnemyGraph points to a new form of social protest, one that could only happen in a virtual realm. In the physical world, scholars calling for social change might write up their suggestions, or stage symbolic protests, and hope their arguments prompt leaders to make changes. In online communities, it is possible to promote change by creating a new technical feature or service.

As Mr. Griffith put it, "academics have always had ideas about society, but we could only really talk about it, and now we can do it."

Consider another work of online protest by Mr. Terry and Mr. Griffith. Last fall they built a searchable Web archive of Twitter messages that had been deleted by users. The service was possible because while deleting a Twitter message stops it from being distributed, it can live on, since in some cases it has already been captured by archival services that mine Twitter for information. Called Undetweetable, the service disturbed many observers, some of whom criticized its creators for giving new life to comments that users had chosen to remove.

The goal of Undetweetable was to raise awareness of how persistent anything posted online can be—and how easy it is for outsiders to secretly pluck those messages to analyze them in various ways.

"Someone said, These are the nicest people who will ever steal your data," said Mr. Terry, referring to one of the bloggers who wrote about the service. "Because we're not going to do anything nefarious with it."

Undetweetable did start a conversation. It attracted a stream of users after being mentioned by The Wall Street Journal and popular technology blogs including Gizmodo. It operated for only five days—until Mr. Terry got an e-mail from Twitter asking that he shut down the service because it violated Twitter's rules. He complied.

"This is the way you call attention to certain kinds of things on the Net," he said. "You have to make something that people can use. Some of these things need to be experienced firsthand."

Alex Halavais, an associate professor of communications at Quinnipiac University and president of the Association of Internet Researchers, said he expected to see more of this kind of high-tech intervention by scholars as more researchers in the humanities gain skills in programming and comfort using social media. "Increasingly there are faculty who feel confident doing this," he said.

A Tool for Cyberbullies?

A social critique is one thing. But what if adding an "enemy" button leads to increases in cyberbullying, bringing real harm to users uninterested in the scholars' points?

Mr. Terry believes that the feature will not spark hateful speech. "It's not necessarily going to make us fight, it's just going to make us have a conversation," he argues.

Continued in article


"Social Media Gives, but Also Takes Away:: A large majority of companies are mindful of the potential liabilities associated with using the massively popular platforms," by Caroline McDonald, CFO.com, July 6, 2012 ---
http://www3.cfo.com/article/2012/7/risk-compliance_rims-advisen-facebook-twitter-youtube-social-media-

"Use Social Media With Social Grace - Words Of Wisdom From B-School Deans," Forbes, July 4, 2012 ---
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mattsymonds/2012/07/04/use-social-media-with-social-grace-wisdom-for-the-mba-class-of-2012/

Bob Jensen's threads on social media are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


"52 Cool Facts About Social Media," http://dannybrown.me/2010/07/03/cool-facts-about-social-media/
Thank you David Albrecht for the heads up!


"Four Big Questions (and Predictions) for Social Media in 2013," by Alex Kantrowitz, Forbes, December 28, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkantrowitz/2012/12/28/four-big-social-media-questions-for-2013/?utm_campaign=techtwittersf&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Social media, as we know it today, has not been around for very long. Both Facebook and Twitter came into being less than decade ago and really only gained public consciousness over the past five years. Ditto for newcomers like Instagram, Tumblr and Quora, the oldest of which is just five years old.

The composition of this young social media ecosystem changes every year and 2013 will be no different. Social media companies will inevitably introduce new tweaks and features that will enrage, excite and confuse their users. That’s the nature of this business, things change fast. As we turn the corner into 2013, Voted Up will be monitoring the shifts with a focus not just on the specific platforms themselves, but the industry as a whole. Here are four questions we’ll be keeping our eye on, along with some predictions:

Will Twitter keep growing?

Ever since Twitter became more than just a forum to share updates about everyday life (example: “I’m brushing my teeth”), those following the platform have wondered it if could move beyond its existence as an “insider network” and gain mass adoption. It’s getting there. Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it hit the 200 million monthly active user mark, an important step towards the mainstream but still just one fifth of the active users claimed by Facebook. That leaves Twitter in an odd zone between niche platform and mainstream social media site. In 2013, we’ll find out if Twitter can continue its impressive rate of growth and shed the “inside baseball” label for good, or whether it has hit a ceiling and will remain where it is today.

Prediction: The active user boom continues.

Will social media lose its magic?

On that note, there has been a lot of talk lately about what scale, and the demand for it, have wrought upon the world of social media  (further reading: Anil Dash’s The Web Web Lost). In discussing the problem, GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram pointed to an essay by Digg’s Jake Levine which looks at the “broadcast-ification” of social media. Levine writes that large social networks are focusing on creating experiences more friendly to brands, meaning they’re prioritizing features which enable brands to speak to many as opposed to working on how to better facilitate conversational experiences. The changes will lead to more users and more money, Levine writes, but forsake some core features that brought the platforms to the dance in the first place. Social media remains a place where seemingly anyone can have a voice, but a shift towards broadcast and brands makes you wonder if that “magic” element of it will endure.

Prediction: The magic takes a hit but stays intact.

Will we pay attention to the way social media is affecting our real lives?

After the murder-suicide of his teammate Jovan Belcher, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn took the podium to address the media. “We live in a society of social networks and Twitter pages and Facebook,” he said. “We have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends and it seems like half the time we’re more preoccupied with our phones and other things going on instead of the actual relationships we have in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this.” Not to suggest that social media is responsible for Belcher’s actions, but there is a reason Quinn said what he said.

As we grow more attached to social networks and, indeed, our phones, it’s hard not to see the impact that easy access to social channels is having on our lives. Social media brings us together online but, in some sense, pulls us apart in real life. Try to remember the last time you were in a conversation with someone and found yourself competing with a phone for attention. Chances are, it was probably not too long ago.

With sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter growing easier to peruse and participate in via phone, the temptation to zone out while in the presence of family, friends and co-workers will grow even more difficult to resist in 2013. And today, smartphone usage is surging. Smartphone penetration increased by 24 percent in 2012, according to the research firm eMarketer, and is expected to grow another 18 percent in 2013. That’s a lot more smartphones in circulation ready to interrupt (or cheapen) a lot more conversations. Soon, the effects of this new reality will be hard to ignore, but will it happen in 2013?

Prediction: No. We won’t pay attention in 2013, but this issue is not going away.

Will there be a breakout social media site in 2013?

Continued in article

 


Google Plus --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Plus

"Google+ Comes Up Short," by Joshua Ganz, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 7, 2011 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/google_comes_up_short.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

What problem does Google+ solve for consumers? The answer appears to be: nothing. And, therefore, it solves nothing for Google either.

As with many of these social launches — an exception being the ill-fated Google Buzz — the launch of Google+ was limited. Like Gmail and Google Wave, Google relied on invites to scale initial users and work out issues before a wider launch. I, somehow, managed to score access to Google+ from Day One of its recent launch, and I'm here to report on it. (I should note that opinions vary.)

What I found upon signing up was a routine to search my Google contacts and allocate people to Circles. The idea is that should any of them sign up to Google+ I could neatly organize my friends according to whatever category I thought best fit them. I could also find anyone currently on Google+ and choose to follow them. Ironically, I chose to follow Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook, but I also followed Google's founders. The latter seem to participate regularly and lots of people comment on their activities. The former, unsurprisingly, not so much (although Zuckerberg seems to be the most followed person on the network).

I then spent a little time filling in my profile (you can view it here). You can even follow my Google Buzz feed from there, a legacy of automatic reposting of my tweets and shared Google Reader links.

Having done lots of set-up, I waited to see what happened. The answer to that was: not much. For Google+ to work, it has to be populated. Specifically, it has to be populated with people the user is interested in. As it is early days, that crucial feature isn't there.

This (lack of) network effect could do Google+ in if it can't get a virtuous cycle going. So the question is whether Google+ has the potential to attract a large enough network.

The reasoning why Google itself might desperately want this to work out is clear. Facebook and Twitter are grabbing attention and Google is in the business of getting attention and on-selling it to advertisers. Add to that the fact that the type of attention that comes from users providing content and demonstrating their interest by commenting and subscribing to things, and Google+ (were it to work) could yield important information that helps advertisers target consumers better.

Continued in article

 

"3 Steps Google Plus Must Take to Win Against Facebook," by Zubin Wadia, ReadWriteWeb, June 29, 2011 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/3_steps_google_must_take_to_win_against_facebook.php

Congratulations to the Google Plus team for shipping a superb beta under conditions which could be considered equal parts turmoil and FUD.

I absolutely love it. If it had 750 million users on it right now it would be a superior experience to Facebook.

For starters, it looks more cohesive. This isn't surprising because it is a blank slate product that did not have to deal with the technical debt Facebook has accumulated since 2004. Beyond the interface however, Google Plus will be more engaging emotionally for people because it allows them to be more authentic with one another.

Why? Because Google Plus establishes intuitive clarity for my social graph.


"What Google+ (Google Plus) Should Have Been: Bing's Linked Pages," by Jon Mitchell, ReadWriteWeb, February 28, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/what_google_should_have_been_bings_linked_pages.php

Here's one we missed. Bing launched Bing+ last week, it just skipped all the unnecessary stuff. (It's not really called Bing+.) There's a new feature called Linked Pages that allows Bing users (U.S. only, for now) to connect their various websites and profiles to their Bing identities, using Facebook for authentication. You can also link your Facebook friends to their pages.

Thanks to its relationship with Facebook, Microsoft has the advantage of not needing to build its own identity provider or social network. Everyone's already on Facebook. To build good results for people, Bing will use the same technique Facebook Groups use: get friends to draw their own graph. Just like with Facebook Groups, if a friend connects you to something you don't want, you can remove it permanently. We all thought that feature would suck for Groups, but it worked just fine. Facebook Groups build themselves, and Bing can build identities the same way.

Social Network Overkill

The interesting thing is, this is exactly what Google+ is for, but the product isn't being pitched that way. Google's social layer is all about establishing the Google-presence for people and brands, so they can appear across Google-land, especially in Search, plus Your World. But Google+ is spun as a place for "sharing." It has all these pieces of a social network, but people aren't using them.

It's a shame, because some of these features are absolutely wonderful. What could be more social than Hangouts? Google+ is full of great ideas, but it is struggling to bring them together. The user experience isn't there. And that's all because Google felt the need to build a full-blown social network itself in order to act as an identity service.

Couldn't Hangouts have just been a Gmail feature?

Social Search Is All We Needed

There's no need for a new social network, but there is a reason to put personal identities in search. Searching for people has always been a terrible experience. It's nearly impossible to find the person you're looking for, unless they're famous. Search engines need an identity layer.

Bing is just being honest about that. If you want to control the way you appear in search, you can connect the sites and pages that matter to you via Facebook. Your friends can do it, too. When you use Bing to search for people, now you'll be able to find the content that's related to them. That's what Search, plus Your World does for Google, but Bing does it without requiring this new, extra place to waste time online.

Google could have done that. The Google+ profile works exactly the way Bing's Linked Pages does, allowing users to link their outside sites and pages to themselves. It could have just made a Facebook app, and boom, there are your social search results. But that's not how the business works. Google and Facebook can't cooperate. They have to compete for eyeballs around social content, and Facebook is winning.

Jensen Comment
I've previously written about why I think Bing Maps is superior to Google Maps. Sometimes (horrors) Microsoft really does do a better job when it comes late onto the scene ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Travel

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"Projects Aims to Build Online Hub for Archival Materials," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 13, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Building-a-Digital-Map-of/131846/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

In death, as in life, people don't always leave their papers in order. Letters, manuscripts, and other pieces of evidence wind up scattered among different archives, leading researchers on a paper chase as they try to hunt down what they need for their work.

"It can be hugely frustrating—especially when you make a journey cross-country to an archive, and then discover the piece you really wanted must be somewhere else (or, God forbid, rotting away in a landfill)," says Robert Townsend, deputy director of the American Historical Association, in an e-mail interview. Chasing after distributed historical records is so common that "any historian who has not suffered from that problem can't be working very hard," he wrote.

The Internet has made the hunt easier, as more archives post finding aids for their collections online. "Scholars have at least gotten to the point where they can search over the Internet for these materials," says Daniel V. Pitti, the associate director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, or IATH, at the University of Virginia. But what he calls "hunting and gathering" persists for document-seekers, who "a priori have to have some idea, some hunch, of where to go, because the access systems are distinct and not integrated any way."

Now imagine a central clearinghouse for those records, an online hub researchers could consult to find archival materials.

That vision drives a project of Mr. Pitti's called the Social Networks and Archival Context Project, or SNAC. It's a collaboration between researchers and developers at IATH, the University of California at Berkeley's School of Information, and the California Digital Library. The project recently finished its pilot stage with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Another grant, from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the project through another two years as it adds millions more records and begins beta testing with researchers.

Some people have already found the prototype, which is up and running although not yet widely promoted. The site allows visitors to search for the names of individuals, corporate entities, or families to find "archival context records" for them.

"So if I'm interested in a particular person," Mr. Pitti says, "I can find where all the records are that would be required to understand them." For instance, a search for Robert Oppenheimer turns up a link to a collection of the physicist's papers housed at the Library of Congress, plus links to other collections in which he is referenced, a biographical timeline, and a list of occupations and subjects related to his life and work.

A researcher can explore a person's social and cultural environment with SNAC's radial-graph feature. It creates a web, which can be manipulated, of a subject's connections as revealed in archival records. The radial graph of Oppenheimer's network, for instance, includes George Kennan, Linus Pauling, Bertrand Russell, and Albert Schweitzer, among many other names represented as nodes on the graph.

Not yet fully developed, the radial-graph feature supports one of the project's main goals: to visualize the social networks within which archival records were created. "What you're trying to do is put together the puzzle, the fabric of someone's life, the people that influenced them and the people they influenced," Mr. Pitti says. "One could certainly, in an analog context, piece this together, but it would take years and years of work. What we're demonstrating is that we can go out there and gather all that information and present it to you, which would liberate scholars." Connecting archival data can reveal patterns of association hidden in disparate collections.

Data Quality Important

To work well, SNAC requires good data. Its first phase drew on thousands of finding aids—encoded with a standard known as Encoded Archival Description, or EAD—from the Library of Congress, the Northwest Digital Archives, the Online Archive of California, and Virginia Heritage. A newer standard for encoding archival information, referred to as EAC-CPF, for Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families, was then applied to those records, making them easier to find and connect.

Archives are idiosyncratic, and it's not always easy to tell whether a name refers to a particular individual or to different people with identical or similar names. One of Mr. Pitti's main collaborators is Ray R. Larson, a professor in the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley. He concentrates on what Mr. Pitti calls the "matching and merging" required to winnow out duplicate names, find variants of the same name, and so on. To do that Mr. Larson has tested several approaches, including machine learning, in which a computer is programmed to recognize, for example, common variations in spelling.

The job is about to get much tougher, though, because SNAC is about to get much bigger. As part of the second phase of the project, supported by the Mellon grant, 13 state and regional archival consortia and more than 35 university and national repositories in the United States, Britain, and France will contribute records. The British Library "is giving me 300,000 names associated with their manuscript collections," going back to before the Christian era, says Mr. Pitti.

The project will also ingest as many as 2 million standardized bibliographic records, in the widely used MARC format, from the online OCLC collaboration in which libraries exchange research and cataloging information. OCLC has its own centralized archival search function, called ArchiveGrid; Mr. Pitti describes it as complementary to SNAC. Unlike SNAC, though, "ArchiveGrid does not foreground the biographical-historical data, nor does it reveal the social networks that interrelate the archival resources," he says.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on archived databases ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

 


"Social Networking Threats to Security," by Jerry Trites, IS Assurance Blog, August 25, 2011 ---
http://uwcisa-assurance.blogspot.com/

This article links to
"Social networking security threats by the numbers," IT World of Canada, August 15, 2011 --- Click Here
http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/social-networking-security-threats-by-the-numbers/143741?sub=1520550&utm_source=1520550&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=TD+

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and networking security ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection


"Thanks to Google Plus, Picasa Gets Unlimited Storage for Photos & Videos, Also Better Tagging," by Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb, July 1, 2011 ---
Click Here
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/thanks_to_google_plus_picasa_gets_unlimited_storage_for_photos_and_videos.php

With the launch of Google Plus, there may be some confusion as to how the photos uploaded to the social network (Google+) integrate with Google's online photo-sharing service (Picasa), especially in terms of storage limits. The answer provides some great news for Google Plus users - nearly everything you upload to Google Plus won't count towards your storage limits on Picasa, with the only exception being videos longer than 15 minutes.

And there's another nifty feature involving photo-tagging, too - your Google+ friends can now tag your Picasa photos.

Thus far I past my photographs on two Web servers at Trinity University:

Server One
Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm

Server Two
More of Bob Jensen's Personal History in Pictures ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


"Beware Social Media's Dark Side, Scholars Warn Companies:  Technology festival features academic gadflies," by Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Beware-Social-Medias/126813/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


The Marriage of SMSS and CMS:  Will you take this partner for better or for worse, in sickness and in health?

"The State and Future of the Social Media Management System Space," ReadWriteWeb, March 18, 2011 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_state_and_future_of_the_social_media_management_system_space.php

This post originally appeared on guest author Jeremiah Owyang's blog. Social Media Management Systems, like CMS systems for websites, help companies manage, maintain, and measure thousands of social media accounts. Although the nascent SMMS space is only one year old, 58% of corporations have adopted at least one of these 28 vendors. Altimeter is conducting a formal research report on the SMMS topic (see research agenda for 2011), However, I wanted to give a year-end state, after coining this category 12 months ago and listing out vendors.

SMMS systems are the next growth market for the social business category. While saturation is at 58% of corporate buyers, the average deal size is a meager $22,000 but will expect to grow to six figure annual deals in coming quarters to meet market demand. This growing space has low barriers to entry, which result in a flood of clones, but expect only a handful to remain after a shakeout to serve enterprise-class buyers.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It will be interesting to see how the marriage of SMSS with CMS software plays out. CMS stands for Course Management Systems which includes everything from 1990s versions of Authorware and ToolBook to present revised versions of Authorware and ToolBook that have been virtually eclipsed by CMS systems such as Blackboard and Moodle. A summary of the history of CMS software can be found at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

SMMS will inevitably become part and parcel to CMS since social media is becoming such a vital part of learning and education and student communications. But CMS itself will remain important for examination management, course record keeping, password-controlled serving up of course materials available to enrolled students but not available to the public in general, chat rooms, instant messaging, etc.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


"Social Media Lure Academics Frustrated by Journals," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Social-Media-Lure-Academics/126426/

Social media have become serious academic tools for many scholars, who use them for collaborative writing, conferencing, sharing images, and other research-related activities. So says a study just posted online called "Social Media and Research Workflow." Among its findings: Social scientists are now more likely to use social-media tools in their research than are their counterparts in the biological sciences. And researchers prefer popular applications like Twitter to those made for academic users.

The survey, conducted late last year, is the work of Ciber, as the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research is known. Ciber is an interdisciplinary research center based in University College London's department of information studies. It takes on research projects for various clients. This one was paid for by the Emerald Publishing Group Ltd. The idea for the survey came from the Charleston Observatory, the research arm of the annual Charleston Conference of librarians, publishers, and vendors.

An online questionnaire went to researchers and editors as well as publishers, administrators, and librarians on cross-disciplinary e-mail lists maintained by five participating publishers—Cambridge University Press; Emerald; Kluwer; Taylor & Francis; and Wiley. Responses came from 2,414 researchers in 215 countries and "every discipline under the sun," according to David Nicholas, one of the lead researchers on the study. He directs the department of information studies at University College London.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


Some things you did not know about the latest technology
Did You Know video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8


While nasty little kids are driving their "fat, ugly, and molesting" teachers to give up the ghost because of networked and often false insults, their older brothers, sisters, parents, and misfits (many of whom are foreign enemies) are bent on overthrowing government regimes. No regime is immune from the instabilities caused by technologies that have great benefits to societies along with emerging costs that we'd not anticipated.

Anarchists have never had it so good!

Is this something George Orwell failed to anticipate or is it something that will ultimately bring on the evils of Big Brother?

Twittering an evil dictator sounds like a great thing until we discover that a nation may forever be thrown into instability and hunger by these little "tweets." Twittering may bring wealth and prosperity to Egypt in this decade, but don't count on it doing so for all the world in the 21st Century.

"Stability's End:  Technologies with goofy names like Twitter and Facebook are replacing political stability with a state of permanent instability," by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704358704576118754214049490.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t 

'Stability" has been the goal of civilized foreign policy since the dawn of the Cold War and arguably since the Congress of Vienna, which posited a framework for international relations in 1815. Stability, whose virtues are many, has had a worthy run. It's done.

Stability is done as we have known it, at least until political leadership evolves a better understanding than they have shown during the events in Egypt of the permanently unstable world they've tumbled into. The man who pitched the curators of national stability into their current shocked state—evident this week in the streets of Cairo and before that in the capital of Tunisia and before that in the U.S.'s November elections—is William Shockley.

Shockley, a physicist, co- invented the transistor. The transistor replaced the vacuum tube as the central component of all electronic devices. The transistor enabled Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, an ocean of apps and the unending storm of information that blows all of us, including politicians, here and there like leaves. Why would anyone think it possible in such a world for a Hosni Mubarak to maintain stability with the methods he's used since 1981?

The point here is not to argue again that information and communication technology (ICT) has caused another colorful "revolution." Nor is it to overstate the power of these technologies to enable democratic reform.

My point is merely to describe what is going on in front of our faces: This new, exponentially expanding world of information technologies is now creating permanent instability inside formerly stable political arrangements.

This stuff disrupts everything it touches. It overturned the entire music industry, and now it is doing the same to established political systems.

Here is how it works. In 2007, Egypt sentenced a blogger named Kareem Amer to four years in prison for insulting the president. Ten years ago, Mr. Amer would have simply disappeared, like all the others. So what if his family and 15 friends grumbled? Stability.

Not now. Instead, Mr. Amer became an icon of regime repression. What changed? Instead of 15 friends whispering over coffee in a café, 15,000 can talk to each other all day and every day via Internet cafés about who's getting tortured. According to the Open Net Initiative's helpful country profiles, some one million Egyptian households have broadband access, often sharing lines.

Think what this means at the crudest level: Huge swaths of any wired population exist in a state of engagement. Instability. Before, stifled populations were mostly sullen. Now, all the time, they're in mental motion.

Even if the Mubarak thugs somehow disperse the people in the street, they'll return some day because there is no effective way to cap their ability to share grievances on a massive scale. Egypt earlier pulled the plug on its entire Internet. So what? No nation will turn it off forever.

The Egyptian government itself has been responsible for expanding ICT, even making cheap computers available. Tunisia's autocrats wired their own nation, with some 1.7 million Internet users in a population of 10.2 million.

Continued in article

February 4, 2011 reply from David Fordham

Bob, what's old is apparently new again.

Either that, or author Henninger is completely ignorant of history.  I agree with Henninger in general.  But it's not new.  The same exact argument he makes about transistorized technology can be leveled against Gutenberg (and just as deservedly) hundreds of years ago.  Anyone who's been to Europe is aware of the instability which devastated that highly-civilized society after the invention of the printing press made it possible for radical new ideas to get into the hands of a wide (and generally unthinking, relatively uneducated, unenlightened, and catastrophically impatient) audience.  Instead of peaceful discussion, conferencing, give-and-take, diplomacy, and other less destructive avenues of change, which admittedly take time and are not as immediately effective, the widespread dispersal of "any man's" ideas -- happening without regard to the origin, merits, or value of those ideas-- resulted in the very instability Henninger is describing.

Riots, mob violence, millions of deaths, wanton destruction of wealth (ruination of the fruit of human labor) on an unprecedented scale, complete destruction of priceless antiquities, disappearance of what we today call "civil rights", nations appearing, nations disappearing, leaders rising and falling, polarization of the population... all of this and more can trace its origins to the widespread dissemination of ideas which upset the status quo -- new concepts being put to an unprepared populace.

Much has also been written about the impact of the printing press on the American independence movement, which the English still call "the uprising" or "the revolt".

I'm sure Shockley would be honored to have the results of his work compared with Gutenberg.  (Alas, Shockley is often demonized because "he called it as he saw it" after extensive research in genetics and human behavior.)    This is why I'm not a big fan of complete democracy in the presence of irresponsible "journalism", whether on paper or on a cell phone screen.  As Scar says in the movie the Lion King,.... (click here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfSea_Q4WXg  ... 15 seconds.)

So I disagree with the use of the word "new" when Henninger says his point is to "describe what is going on... the "new" exponentially-expanding world of information technologies is creating permanent instability ..."   No.  The exponentially expanding world of information technologies dates from the invention of writing, and political instability is not "created by" technology. (tip of the hat and wink to David Coy.)  It is created by people who utilize the technology in a particular way, usually a very ignorant, short-sighted, and often self-serving way, without realizing the long-term effect their action has on the human institutions.  Today's journalists, commentators, "pundits", and yes, even some of us old graybeard denizens of the academy (like yours truly) often spout off ideas which, simply due to the reach of the technology, like Gutenberg's, will cause others to reach conclusions, judgments, opinions, attitudes, etc. which the originator hadn't stopped to think about, and if the originator had, probably would not have promulgated in the first place.

The author of an old book called Ecclesiastes says there is a time (and place) for everything. This implies that there is an inappropriate time and place.  I believe it.

Read some articles about the iconoclasts, the resulting counter-reformation, the inquisitions, and other results of Gutenberg's invention to see what we're in for if our journalists (and social networkers) aren't careful.   Perhaps one might begin to appreciate some of my acidity, rancor, and contempt for so much of today's "news". I've been there and although I haven't "done that", I have seen its effects, and it isn't pretty.

Bottom line:  I agree entirely and completely with Henninger's take on instability, and the widespread dispersal of communication leading to instability.  But this is not new.

David Fordham
JMU

Video:  Scar's surrounded by idiots --- https://mail.google.com/a/trinity.edu/#inbox/12decc30470f9b36


June 5,  2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

ARE LOWER GRADES LINKED TO FACEBOOK USE?

When doctoral student Aryn Karpinski's unpublished study connecting students' heavy Facebook use and lower grades was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association in April it created a "media sensation" both in the press and among academic blogs. Not everyone found her conclusions convincing.

Three researchers attempted to replicate Karpinski's findings using three datasets: (1) a large sample of undergraduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago, (2) a nationally representative cross sectional sample of American 14– to 22–year–olds, and (3) a longitudinal panel of American youth aged 14–23. They report (in "Facebook and Academic Performance: Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data," by Josh Pasek, Eian More, and Eszter Hargittai, FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 5, May 4, 2009) that "[i]n none of the samples do we find a robust negative relationship between Facebook use and grades. Indeed, if anything, Facebook use is more common among individuals with higher grades."

The article is available at
http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2498/2181

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA;
email:
ejv@uic.edu;
Web:
http://firstmonday.org/

 

See also:
"Study Finds Link between Facebook Use, Lower Grades in College"
http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2009/05/facebook.html

Poster of Karpinski's study
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/facebook2009.jpg

Bob Jensen's threads on the pros and cons of education technology, including distance education, can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Education/Learning Applications of ListServs, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and Twitter in education are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


 


On the Dark Side 


For nearly two decades I've updated a Web document called "The Dark Side" in which I post things that worry me about advances in education and communication technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Business Week now has a very long cover story that fits right into "The Dark Side." I don't consider myself a prude or a religious nut. But this trend in networking most certainly discourages me about how technology sometimes eats away at morality and good name of technology. This is yet another dark side tidbit on the evils of technology that goes along with ID theft, malware spreading, Internet frauds, porn, plagiarism, malicious hacking, and the like. I was a bit surprised to find this article in Business Week rather than Newsweek or Time Magazine.
.
The infidelity economy may be "alive, well, and profitable." But so is porn!

Those of you teaching about advances in social networking should also cover the emerging dark sides of social networking.

"Cheating, Incorporated:  At Ashley Madison's website for "dating," the infidelity economy is alive, well, and profitable," by Sheelah Kolhatkar , Business Week, February 10, 2011 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_08/b4216060281516.htm?link_position=link2

Do you want to have an affair?

After hearing an ad on Howard Stern's radio show or seeing a schlocky commercial on late-night TV, you might find yourself on AshleyMadison.com—the premier "dating" website for aspiring adulterers. Type in the URL, and as the page loads a gauzy violet backdrop appears with a fuzzy image of a half-dressed couple going at it beyond a hotel doorway. "Join FREE & change your life today. Guaranteed!"

Setting up a profile costs nothing and takes about 12 seconds. First you check off your availability status: "attached male seeking females," "attached female seeking males," or, even though the concept of the site is that all users are in relationships and therefore equally invested in secrecy, "single female seeking males." Next you're asked for location, date of birth, height and weight, and whether you're looking for something "short term," "long term," "Cyber affair/Erotic Chat," "Whatever Excites Me," and so on. If you're like me, you choose a handle based on the cupcake you most recently ate—"redvelvet2"—and then shave a few years and pounds off your numbers.

Once you provide an e-mail address that your spouse would presumably never have access to, you're thrust into Ashley Madison's low-tech pink and purple interface. And then, if you're a woman, the onslaught begins.

Continued in article

February 12, 2011 reply from Francine McKenna

Bob,
 
Maybe you forgot it was that terrible Ashley Madison.com site, the one that advertises on CNBC and wanted to advertise on the Superbowl that lured the poor Ernst & Young partner into a debauched life of inside trading and illicit love triangles.

 
Bad, bad internets...

 

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/07/insider_trading_as_common_as_f.html

In the fall of 2004, a fortysomething investment banker named Donna Murdoch logged into Ashley Madison, the discreet dating website married people visit "when divorce is not an option," and introduced herself to James Gansman, a partner at Ernst & Young in New York. The two struck up a relationship, meeting occasionally in hotels in Philly, New York, and California, and talking on the phone about their lives: James told Donna about how he was kicking ass at work, Donna told James about how she was struggling with her subprime mortgage.

Eventually the two settled into a comfortable day-to-day routine in their respective offices in New York and Philadelphia, staring at the same Yahoo Finance screen.


Sweet. Bill and Melinda Gates used to do kind of the same thing when they were long-distance dating. They'd see the same movies in different places and then talk about them on the phone. We just though we'd mention that, because that's the kind of information we have trapped inside our brains, and we hope that by releasing it we can make room for other things. Anyway, Donna and James's relationship did not go the way of Bill and Melinda's.

Eventually, their conversations about business grew more specific.

Mr. Gansman led Ms. Murdoch in a guessing game about which deals he was working on, she said. "The game was that I wouldn't be looking and he would give me hints: The market cap of two billion or market cap of 400 billion, and here's what they do, and he'd read it to me, and ultimately make sure I guessed," Ms. Murdoch testified. Before long, the guessing game fell away. Mr. Gansman told her more directly about upcoming deals of Ernst clients, she said.


She made $400, 000 off the deal, and the SEC noticed. He made nothing, and now he's going to jail. The end.

Insider Affair: An SEC Trial of the Heart [WSJ via Business Insider]

Francine McKenna
Managing Editor
@ReTheAuditors on Twitter
312-730-4884

 

February 12, 2011 reply from Jagdish Gangolly

Bob, Steve,

The forensic practices at the Big 4 are WAY ahead of the accounting academia in using the technology to cover the dark side of social networking in e-discovery. We in the accounting academia have been too busy regressing to take note.

I know of at least two who used it extensively in fraud examination as far back as 2008. They demonstrated its use to me while I was designing our fraud examination course.

One commercial product that is popular is attenex. See http://www.jurinnov.com/attenex.asp 

Jagdish

 

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on The Dark Side ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Education Technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"Why Most Facebook Marketing Doesn't Work," ReadWrite Blog, February 17, 2011 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_most_facebook_marketing_doesnt_work.php

For almost four years, since the Facebook Platform was launched, I have been involved in delivering Facebook apps for top brands such as CBS, NBC, Lifetime, Universal Music, Visa and more. Here's what we have learned doesn't work, and more importantly, what does work.

First, deep campaigns don't work. Digital agencies love deep, expensive campaigns on Facebook, with tons of pages, interaction, and art. It fits in with how agencies build microsites and websites, and justifies the $100,000-plus price tag that they like to charge. Examples include lightweight games, prediction contests, treasure hunts where you include friends, and such. Unfortunately for agencies and the brands that drop a lot of cash, Facebook users decidedly don't like deep campaigns.

hey do not like to spend 20 or 30 minutes on a single brand's page, unless they are consuming innovative, funny, or exclusive content. So a travel site looking for a long time spent on a page should not put up a treasure hunt on a world map where you invite your friends and can together find great prizes after exploring cities. Sounds good in a pitch meeting, but it results in abysmally numbers of active users.

Facebook users are very sophisticated, and there is no way a single campaign is going to compete on game mechanics with CityVille. If you want to build CityVille, it might work. But, even Netflix pulled their Facebook app. You're better off putting up a bunch of funny videos from around the world and leave it at that.

Lots of Apps on One Tab Don't Work

It is easy to think of a Facebook tab like a Web page, and throw a bunch of features on it - such as a poll, gifting, and some videos - all on one tab. However, most users do not show up on a Facebook tab like they do on a Web page. They are usually coming in by clicking on a page's newsfeed posting ("What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz!"), a friend's newsfeed posting ("I'm a cranky traveller! What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz?"), or a Facebook ad ("Find out what kind of traveller you are!").

Now, if after clicking on one of these links a user is dropped into a Facebook Page tab with eight different things on it, they are not going to see a quiz immediately and move on. There should only be one engagement feature per tab.

Sweepstakes Don't Work

After an initial onslaught of Facebook sweepstakes promotions, marketers are learning that sweepstakes have very low conversion rates and almost no viral uptake. We're also learning that they attract unengaged users who are there for the prize rather than a relationship with the brand.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm


So Says Dilbert
"How to Tax the Rich:  Try giving them perks and privileges (an extra vote?) in return, says 'Dilbert' creator Scott Adams," The Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576106164123424314.html 

The president was too polite to mention it during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but here's a quick summary of the problem: The U.S. is broke. The hole is too big to plug with cost cutting or economic growth alone. Rich people have money. No one else does. Rich people have enough clout to block higher taxes on themselves, and they will.

Likely outcome: Your next home will be the box that your laser printer came in. I hope that you kept it.

Whenever I feel as if I'm on a path toward certain doom, which happens every time I pay attention to the news, I like to imagine that some lonely genius will come up with a clever solution to save the world. Imagination is a wonderful thing. I don't have much control over the big realities, such as the economy, but I'm an expert at programming my own delusions. I make no apology for that. A well-crafted delusion can be a delicious guilty pleasure. And best of all, it's totally free. As a public service, today I will teach you how to wrap yourself in a warm blanket of imagined solutions for the government's fiscal dilemma.

To begin, assume that as the fiscal meltdown becomes more perilous, everyone will become more flexible and perhaps a bit more open-minded. That seems reasonable enough. A good crisis has a way of changing people. Now imagine that the world needs just one great idea to put things back on the right track. Great ideas have often changed history. It's not hard to imagine it can happen again.

Try to imagine that the idea that saves the country is an entirely new one. It's too much of a stretch to imagine that a stale idea would suddenly become acceptable. In fact, that's the dividing line between imagination and insanity. Only crazy people imagine that bad ideas can suddenly become good if you keep trying them. So let's assume that our imagined solution is a brand new idea. That feels less crazy and more optimistic. Another advantage is that no one has an entrenched view about an idea that has never been heard.

For those of you with healthy egos—and that would be every reader of The Wall Street Journal—you can make this fantasy extra delicious by imagining that you are the person who comes up with the idea that saves the world. I'll show you how to imagine that. I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is.

I spent some time working in the television industry, and I learned a technique that writers use. It's called "the bad version." When you feel that a plot solution exists, but you can't yet imagine it, you describe instead a bad version that has no purpose other than stimulating the other writers to imagine a better version.

Continued in article


MAAW Social Networks Bibliography ---  http://maaw.info/SocialNetworksBib.htm


Cutting-Edge Social Media Approaches to Business Education: Teaching with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and Blogs, by Charles Wankel ---
http://management-education.net/rmed9/

Mark Schaefer (Marketing) --- http://www.businessesgrow.com/


"Facebook Checks In to the World of Locations," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal,August 19, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703649004575437533304450888.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_LEFTTopNews

The 800-pound gorilla of social networks, Facebook, is jumping into the location game.

On Wednesday, it announced a new, optional service for its 500 million members called Places, which allows you to check in to various places you go, and share that information with your Facebook friends, complete with maps and comments and the Facebook thumbs-up "like" feature.

I've been testing the new service, and found it easy to use and reliable, with mostly logical privacy controls, an issue on which Facebook has been bruised in the past.

Companies began to build location-based social networks shortly after smartphones began to include social-networking apps and the ability to pinpoint your location.

These services let you and your network "friends" know if you were in the same area, so you could get together. They also let merchants entice you with coupons or ads.

Walt Mossberg and Geoff Fowler discuss Facebook's new location feature called 'Places,' including details about how it works and Walt's assessment about how it performs. All you had to do was use your smartphone to "check in" an establishment.

These location-based networks, notably Foursquare, have grown fast. Especially in a recession, many users appreciate offers to save money. There also is money to be made by the merchants.

But these networks are controversial. Though most have privacy controls, they are accused of eroding privacy by allowing others to know exactly where you are at any time. They also raise issues about giving such information to merchants.

Fourquare also has turned off some potential users with a big overlay of game-like features, like earning points and badges for visiting places, and even the ability to become the "mayor" of, say, a bar you frequent.

On the Facebook app, you initially can check in to Places only if you have Apple's iPhone, though you can use a site at touch.facebook.com via your browser on other phones and laptops that can track your location and support HTML 5 technology.

In the past week or so, my colleague Katherine Boehret and I have used Facebook Places to check in with iPhones around our home base of Washington, D.C., at stores, bars, restaurants and even our office. I also was able to check in, or "tag," other Facebook members with me, like my visiting son and daughter-in-law. All of these tests went well, but I was surprised by one odd thing: I could check myself into nearby places even if I wasn't there.

At each location, Places lets you see your friends and other Facebook members (even if they're not your friends), who are nearby, a feature called "People Here Now."

Minors are excluded from seeing anyone except their friends. We couldn't test this "Here Now" feature because, in the pre-release stage, there weren't enough people with the new service to be nearby.

These check-ins were posted on our Facebook pages (though, for this test, they could only be seen by the handful of others with pre-release access to the service), and people could comment.

One reason Facebook has launched Places, surely, is to compete with location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla. Those services already can link up with Facebook and tap its huge member base, a potential threat to the larger social network.

Facebook says it is adding Places merely to enrich the social experience it already provides. The company says its users already post status messages that say things like: "at Starbucks in Harvard Square with Susan and Jeff." Now, they can tap a new Places icon in the Facebook app on their iPhones and do this more easily, complete with a map. "We're just building a new way for people to share that information in an engaging way," says one Facebook official.

Facebook says it isn't monetizing the service, at least not at first, but may consider ways for companies to make use of the data "down the line."

Users won't receive ads or offers, at least initially. But if a merchant already has a Facebook page, some will be able to display your check-ins from the start, though visible only to your friends. Facebook says it has no plans to add game-like features to Places, though third-party developers might.

In addition to testing Places around town, I paid close attention to its privacy features, to judge how much control Facebook is offering users over who gets to see where they are. My conclusion is that the controls are decent, but could be a bit better. You can control how public your Places information is on Facebook's privacy settings screen, in the Sharing section. The default for Places is "Friends Only," unless you expressed a preference to share things with everyone. That's a good thing, in my view. You can change this to broaden it to, say, friends of friends, or even everyone. Or, you can limit it, so that, for instance, only certain people can see your location, or certain people can't.

Facebook also allows you to bar others from checking you in, and lets you hide yourself from others' "Here Now" listings, though you can't customize this latter setting by, say, allowing only some people to know you're nearby.

In my tests, these settings worked fine. But I wished a couple of other settings were available. For example, you can't keep check-in notices off your Facebook page, unless you broadly block other kinds of status updates. And you can't block merchants from including your check-ins at their establishments on their Facebook pages. Also, while Places omits some annoying aspects of its competitors, like the game features, it's more stripped down and leaves out some attractive features others include. Foursquare has a feature that lets you leave suggestions about a location. And Gowalla has a "trips" feature that lets users string together places they've been into recommended tours.

Overall, I found Places a good enhancement to Facebook and one that will likely make the booming social network even more attractive to some.


"Frontiers of Collaboration: The Evolution of Social Networking," Knowledge@Wharton, July 7, 2010 ---  
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2536              

Social networking tools such as Twitter and the emerging Google Wave web application are taking individuals and organizations to the frontiers of real-time communication and collaboration. The technology has the potential to make it easier to discover and share information, interact with others, and decide what to buy or do. But the key word is "potential": Social networking's evolution is still in its early stages. What makes the current crop of services more promising than those that came before? What are the obstacles to further progress?

An expert panel debated these questions at the annual Supernova technology strategy conference, produced in partnership with Wharton and held last winter in San Francisco. The 2010 Supernova forum will be held this month in Philadelphia.

The panel at the San Francisco event was chaired by David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Appearing on the panel were: Anna-Christina Douglas, product marketing manager at Google; Laura Fitton, principal of Pistachio Consulting and co-author of Twitter for Dummies; Paul Lippe, founder and CEO of Legal OnRamp; Jason Shellen, founder and CEO of Thing Labs, and Deborah Schultz, a partner with the Altimeter Group. In addition, Google engineers were in the room demonstrating Google Wave by allowing the audience to post to the social networking service during the session; their comments appeared in real time on projection screens near the panelists.

Weinberger began the session by asking panelists what made the introduction of social networking tools different from previous technological endeavors to improve communication and collaboration. One significant issue discussed was how social networking compared with knowledge management (KM). KM systems first appeared on the scene about 20 years ago and once represented the frontier, embodying companies' most innovative ideas for integrating internal access to disparate information in order to improve communication, collaboration and business processes.

KM systems were implemented through technologies such as web portals, e-mail networks, content management systems and business intelligence infrastructure. Web portals, which were probably the most successful type of KM system, allow users to access a range of information -- including reports, diagrams, catalogs and maintenance records -- through one interface, rather than many. The portals also include external information supplied by business partners, government agencies and news sources. The technology automatically pulls information from the sources on demand so that users do not have to search for it manually.

Organizations employ KM systems to increase the value of their "intellectual capital." However, the technology that supports KM systems has traditionally been difficult to develop and deploy. And the systems have not been universally successful at fostering real time collaboration between employees.

According to Shellen -- who was part of the development teams for Google's blogging program and Reader aggregator service -- before social networking tools enabled quick and casual communication, many bloggers in corporate organizations had "some KM tool where you captured the knowledge in the tool's silo and assigned all sorts of tags, folders and so on to it. You would then pass the blog to your manager for him or her to [learn from] what you were writing." Shellen now heads Thing Labs, a San Francisco-based company that builds web-based software for sharing content. Social networking is easing some of the frustration users in many organizations have encountered with traditional KM systems. Through use of Twitter and other tools, more of the intellectual capital that KM systems once guarded is flowing freely, in real time, inside and outside organizations. If an employee needs to find expertise or share information, he or she doesn't have to work within the rigid confines of a KM system, or even the confines of his or her organization. Instead, the employee can use social media to collaborate with others and to find answers more quickly and put relevant advice into practice.

While there are virtues to being able to communicate faster and more easily with social networking tools, panelists agreed that many organizations are struggling to adjust to the spontaneity and loss of control over information that comes with these tools. Concerned that organizations will eventually clamp down, Weinberger asked, "Will all the fun be stripped out of it? Will people become afraid to Tweet about things that are not strictly business-related?" Fitton, whose consulting firm focuses on helping companies to use micro-blogging in a business environment, suggested that companies may find the "messy and random serendipity" of Twitter and other social networks to be more efficient than lumbering KM systems and processes. "It brings an infusion of humanity to business," she noted, who adding that, in her experiences at Pistachio Consulting, she has observed social networking having an impact on organizations by leveling management hierarchies, accelerating team-building across geographical locations, and improving mentoring. She stated that, in some cases, research to find human expertise that used to take many hours can happen much faster when queries are "flung out into the commons" to catch the attention of people who can provide answers more quickly.

Breadth vs. Depth

One of the advantages social networking tools have over KM systems, experts say, is that they simplify the process of obtaining information that would be useful to a business or employee. Tools such as Twitter provide a sort of "KM in the cloud," allowing users to collaborate with each other and send messages to locate expertise without a company having to build and maintain a complex and expensive system to provide these capabilities internally. Social networking tools provide access to a broad population and employ simple, standardized, techniques to link users to information. But while social networking offers "an enormous amount of horizontal power," Lippe said, "most of the hard collaboration problems are [solved] in vertical domains." His firm, Legal OnRamp, is a collaboration platform for lawyers that allows information to be collected and shared virtually. Membership is by invitation only.

Lippe noted that, in the legal field, "there's already a structure of knowledge, and most knowledge repositories and structures of the collaborative web have existed for multiple generations. So, the question is, how do you tap into them?" One core structure is attorney-client privilege, which Lippe said "has long preceded the information confidentiality and security regime that we all have now. It creates the structure of what you can and cannot share." In the legal universe, he added, the messy serendipity of "horizontal" social networking cannot solve the hardest problems. "Lawyers have some questions they will answer for free, and others that they will figure out a way to get paid to answer."

But the legal field's communication sensitivities are "a very specific case," Shellen pointed out. He noted that companies have built private social networks that feature protected blogs and search engines, and that these tools have proven effective in achieving new forms of collaboration while keeping information secure. Organizations are now incorporating use of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and other social media into their daily routines, although they are in need of systems that can integrate and update the information being posted across all of the platforms. Shellen's Thing Labs produces a reader called "Brizzly" that can be used to provide that service.

Lippe agreed that, despite the concerns he noted, large legal firms have an opportunity to use social networking to reestablish an intimacy with clients that they may have lost as the businesses grew larger and adjusted to structural changes in the industry. Lippe wrote recently on his Legal OnRamp blog that social networking tools can be used to save attorneys from "e-mail and attachment overload" and to "share existing knowledge or collaborate on new work [including] high volume work like commercial contracts and high complexity work like major case litigation."

Office culture plays a significant role in what platform is used to share information, according to Schultz, a partner with the San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group, a technology strategy consulting firm. She noted that media companies, for example, may be a better fit for the horizontal nature of social networking. Schultz has been active in social media and networking for many years and has advised organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 50 companies, including Citibank and Procter & Gamble. At P&G, she built the P&G Social Media Lab, a program that enables the company to study the new dynamics of customer relationships in the age of social networking, and to use social media to break the mold of standard marketing measures and approaches that were geared toward older types of media. By encouraging brand managers to pay close attention to what customers were saying on community sites and other social networking places, Schultz said the Lab has helped P&G redefine how it engages, communicates with and uses marketing to influence consumers. "I see the tools making the roles we have more porous," she stated. "As the consumer-driven nature of social networking moves into organizations, the collaboration potential of their use becomes more interesting."

The use of tools like Twitter and Google Wave "definitely make a cultural statement," said Douglas. The Google product marketing manager described how Google Wave has the capabilities for real-time, rolling conversation and collaboration among users that can include messages, links and attachments. Douglas noted that each conversation or "wave" can be modified with different editing and replying privileges so that enterprises can "exercise controls for how people want to lock down content." The Google engineers demonstrated the application on the big screen behind the panelists; they showed how users can comment with links embedded in their messages and also load attachments.

Google Wave could be used effectively for private communication inside the firewall, as well as for working with a diverse community outside an organization, panelists said. Previous KM systems did not easily integrate communication with content management, making it difficult to use existing tools to access and manage information during real time conversations. Google Wave and other social networking tools offer the potential of a much tighter integration between communication and content, meaning conversations can include richer information sharing and easier references to content available across the organization.

To Shellen, the most interesting aspect to how social networking and collaboration tools are used is users' ability to join ongoing conversations. He said his firm is currently building a "data set on top of that engagement, where we ask people to explain trending topics on Twitter." The combination of immediate updates plus access to more in-depth information can enhance knowledge. "Tools like Twitter make me much smarter about you," Schultz noted. "And the 'you' could be an entity or an individual." She said that with the right kind of filtering, people can collaborate and make more effective use of the information available on social networks. "Companies can collaborate in real time with customers on products and even pricing."

But does the 140-character limit for posts to Twitter enable engagement, or is it "a sign of triviality?" asked Weinberger. "Constraints breed invention," replied Shellen. Douglas added that communities using Twitter, Google Wave and other tools are creating their own etiquette. Panelists agreed that both the creation of etiquette for particular conversations and the sheer ability to engage in several discussions at once would be difficult using blogs and older forms of web content sharing programs.

An Open and Vibrant World

Weinberger asked the panelists whether progress toward the real-time collaboration frontier is being driven by new technology or human needs. Speaking to the human needs, Fitton observed that social networking tools such as Twitter "help us overcome human isolation in a way that is not brand new but is happening on a different scale." She said that the collaboration possible on the site is a question of "not just; 'What are you doing?' but, 'What do we have in common?'" Fulfilling that need is what fascinates her about the phenomenon. Shellen added: "There's accountability behind it; we now have modes of identity tied to short bursts of communication that are very much 'you.'"

Continued in article


"Trying Out a Revamped Myspace," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2010 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703581204576033703049174660.html

Thanks to the popularity of Facebook, it's easy to assume that all social networks are designed primarily to connect friends with one another. But many of these networks—think Twitter, Yelp and LinkedIn—aren't focused on that. Instead, they provide information from strangers, business contacts and group postings on a variety of topics. Myspace is now also shifting in this direction after Facebook decisively overtook it as the most popular social network.

Last month, the company rolled out a revamped version of Myspace, which is owned by News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal. I've been testing it to see what has changed and if it's worth using. Its interface is cleaner than the old version of Myspace and I found it easy to navigate. It's also inviting for non-members or people who've long-since given up on Myspace. But I can't definitely say I like it enough to add it to my large list of social networks.

Step one of this site's rehab was a new focus. Myspace (myspace.com) was redesigned to serve as a source of information about entertainment. People who use it can follow five categories—TV, music, movies, celebrities and comedy—that include more than 100,000 topics. News about these topics comes from sites all over the Web and is arranged on users' home pages to show loads of information at a glance. A Discovery tab at the top of the page shows content related to trends on Myspace makes suggestions based on a user's preferences and taste. A spokesman said the Myspace topics can be expanded, but for now, if you're fonder of, say, books, theater or hard news, Myspace won't be a good fit.

. . .

This week, a Myspace mobile app was launched in Apple's App Store, and an Android app is due out next year.

Myspace successfully reinvented itself in a way that could very well get people using it again, but Facebook's more personalized social network may be more valuable than a rich library of entertainment content.



Google terminated Google Wave in 2010
Google Wave
--- http://code.google.com/apis/wave/
Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves.
Developer Preview --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ

Frank Sinatra's Tribute to MySpace --- http://americancomedynetwork.com/animation.html?bit_id=25239

"The Future of Social Networking," Business Week, July 2, 2009 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/special_reports/20070618thefutureo.htm?link_position=link24

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter – Google Wave
http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/05/googles-wave.html

 West Walkabout – Brought Back Google Wave
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

Some Preceding Social Networking References

Social Networking

What is social networking? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Networking

Popular methods now combine many of these, with MySpace and Facebook being the most widely used in North America; Nexopia (mostly in Canada); Bebo, Facebook, Hi5, MySpace, Tagged, Xing; and Skyrock in parts of Europe;[Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America;[ and Friendster, Orkut, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands.


"First Reactions to Blackboard Buying Wimba and Elluminate," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning

Here I'm going on "Gut Feelings" and my "Blink" - an approach I wouldn't necessarily recommend.

I'd definitely read Ray Henderson's blog post about the acquisition - and the letter to clients is also worth your time.

I'm sure my reactions contain thoughts that will piss off everyone …. just remember that I may be wrong.

Gut Reactions:

--This is Very Smart for Blackboard: The future of the LMS involves knitting together various functions. Synchronous meetings, presence awareness, and voice-authoring/collaboration are all essential pieces of the online/hybrid learning experience. The danger for Blackboard is that their core product becomes essentially middleware - performing commodity functions such as enrollment management, gradebook, etc. etc. Tying the higher value-add services directly into the Blackboard product (as will happen over time) makes it more difficult to replace Blackboard with another LMS.

--Elluminate Needs Development: I have utilized Elluminate for Webinars, and I have to say that I find the platform lacking as compared to Adobe Connect Pro. Others will disagree - but whatever your synchronous collaboration tool preference I think you will agree that all the platforms need significant investment. I wonder how much better Elluminate will be than Adobe Connect Pro, particularly when the Adobe product is integrated with Blackboard using the building block. Even though I've never been wild about Elluminate, I think that the tool offers a quantum leap of functionality over the atrocious native Blackboard synchronous tools - and if Blackboard is smart they will quickly fold this Elluminate into their core offering.

--Wimba Voice/Chat Features Are Great: I've never quite understood why it was necessary to buy key voice and chat (presence awareness) tools on top of the LMS - but I think Wimba has been fulfilling an important need. If I were Blackboard I'd also integrate the Wimba features into the core - and make the money with services, integration, etc. etc.

--Bad News for Non-Blackboard Wimba and Elluminate Clients: I can't see how I'd be happy with this news if I'm running Moodle and Wimba or Elluminate. Ray is someone I trust - so his assurances that investments will be made to support and grow the products for non-Blackboard clients do carry a great deal of weight. Still … if I were a Moodle person I'd be reviewing my options about now.

--If You Are Worried About Lock-In, You Should Be: And you should be worried about lock-in, as it will be even more difficult to leave Blackboard once the core tool is also providing synchronous meetings and rich collaboration / student authoring functions. Many campuses will like the pre-baked integration and robust features that the eventual fully integrated products will deliver. Others will (wisely) decide to piece together open-source and consumer tools, leaving themselves with agility and flexibility.

--Kaltura or ShareStream or Ensemble Are Next: The big piece that is missing from Blackboard now is a way to do curricular media management. The Kaltura and ShareStream already offer robust Blackboard integration - wouldn't it make more sense from Blackboard's perspective if they could offer a full vertical solution - one sales cycle, one support model, one source for integration and localization?

--Good News for Blackboard Campuses (I Think): Overall, my gut tells me that this is good news for Blackboard campuses - as synchronous learning and collaboration will improve (I think) with both integration and focused resources. Getting rid of the need to have separate sales teams and back-offices, and combining developer resources, will mean more dollars and time can be spent on improving functionality. I'm also worried about lock-in, but perhaps more excited about the robust and seamless experience.

I'd also say this is good news for our industry. If I were working at Blackboard this is exactly the deal that I would have tried to arrange. This deal puts Blackboard in a very strong position in terms of their long-term relevance in higher ed, and I think addresses much of the risk that open/community source alternatives like Moodle were beginning to pose. I also believe that within 3 years time Blackboard will be acquired by Microsoft or Oracle or maybe even Google - as the education market will only grow. This acquisition will be seen as a smart move along the road to that destination.

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Blackboard.htm


From the Trites E-business Blog (in Canada) --- http://www.zorba.ca/2010/02/has-social-networking-run-its-course.html
 February 22, 2010

Has Social Networking Run Its Course?

A recent poll - unscientific and all - has resulted in some 400 readers of Internet Evolution to call for the elimination of Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. The poll asked the question: "If you could eliminate one Web service, which one would it be?" Biased, for sure, but nevertheless food for thought.

There are plenty of reasons why social networking could run out of steam. It started with teenagers, notorious for social interaction but - - between themselves. Now that it has gone mainstream, it loses its appeal to them. Also, the privacy and security implications of social networking are becoming increasingly evident to everyone. That will turn off many people - as it already has employers and other organizations.

That said, people are inherently social and it could be that social networking is just going through a fine tuning stage. Stay tuned.

For a write-up on the survey, follow this link---
http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=466&doc_id=188181&f_src=internetevolution_section_466

Other recent posts to Jerry's E-business Blog ---
http://www.zorba.ca/blog.html

Jerry's home page is at http://www.zorba.ca/

Jensen Comment
Jerry is not given enough credit for being a blogging pioneer. He was one of the first accounting professors in the world to provide chronological blogs. As I recall he started blogs on E-commerce and XBRL about the same time, and I'm sorry that I've not tracked these blogs more closely in recent years. Like good wine, they've improved with age.


2009 Updates on Social Networking Advantages, Disadvantages, and Sites for Educators and Students

Why are advertisers paying more money for space on blogs and social networks?
Americans have been devoting 17 percent of all their Internet time to social networks like Facebook and blogging Web sites like Blogger. The percentage for last month is up from 6 percent a year earlier. The report comes from Nielsen Co. and follows its decision to team up with Facebook on a marketing program that helps advertisers measure how well their ads work on the online hangout.Nielsen estimates that ad spending on leading social-network and blogging sites more than doubled year-over-year, to about $108 million for the month. This happened even as several industries decreased their overall ad spending.

MIT's Technology Review, September 25, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/wire/23532/?nlid=2383

January 10, 2009 message from Barry Rice [brice@LOYOLA.EDU]

This is from an excellent article on the National Education Web site about how educators are using social networking to build community and collaboration online:
 
"By now, you've heard the buzz about MySpace and Facebook, but you may still be wondering what all the fuss is about. Maybe you're a little mystified by the whole social networking craze, or you're a little wary about venturing into your students' territory. But what if we told you it can actually be good for your career?..."
 
The complete article is available at http://www.nea.org/home/ns/20746.htm.
 
Barry Rice
AECM Founder
 
_________________________
E. Barry Rice, MBA, CPA
Director, Instructional Services
Emeritus Accounting Professor
Loyola College in Maryland
BRice@Loyola.edu
410-617-2478

www.barryrice.com
 
Facebook me! www.facebook.com/p/Barry_Rice/20102311

Are students headed for the Facebook exits?

"Reports of Facebook's Death ... Exaggerated?" by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 28, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Reports-of-Facebooks-Death/7856/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Is the Facebook party breaking up? We still hear that plenty of students and professors are addicted to the social-networking site, but a New York Times Magazine article out today says that even though overall numbers on the site are up, a vocal group is heading for the exits.

"I have noticed the exodus, and I kind of feel like it's kids getting tired of a new toy," one writer told the Times in the very anecdotal account.

An article earlier this month in The Guardian took note of the trend as well, arguing that the "cool cyberkids" are starting to abandon Facebook because too many old fogies have showed up on the social network.

Some professors have been part of the recent group leaving Facebook. Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, left Facebook earlier this year and talked about it on his podcast, Digital Campus.

Will students' interest in Facebook fade this year? Will professors lose interest? Or are reports of the site's demise greatly exaggerted?


Department of Defense Social Media Hub --- http://socialmedia.defense.gov/


I think Twitter stands a better chance of becoming the world's bulletin board for short messages. It will probably endure the test of time. But email address books, listservs and blogs will also endure because of the depth that comes from longer messages, attachments, quotations, pictures, and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Facebook is more like having pen pals. How many pen pals can we tolerate if our former students and total strangers keep asking us to be pen pals? To keep my sanity I've not accepted any invitations to become pen pals with over 200 people (many strangers) who invite me to  MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn (North America); Nexopia (Canada); Bebo, Hi5, StudiVZ (Germany); Decayenne, Tagged, XING, Badoo and Skyrock (Europe); Orkut and Hi5 ( South America and Central America); and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, Xiaonei and Cyworld (Asia and the Pacific Islands). I’ve even been asked to join social networks in languages that I do not understand.

I think we’re seeing some of these problems in the AAA Commons. Much of the research networking depends upon joining each others’ “hives.” You have to be invited to hives for much of the research networking. But you don’t have to join a single hive to find postings in teaching and other announcements available to Commons bees who do not join hives --- https://commons.aaahq.org/signin

The AAA Commons is really worthwhile these days. It contains a lot of messaging from scholars who do not subscribe to the AECM (sigh!). I know the frequency of my messaging on the AECM is sometimes a problem for Commoners not wanting so many of my AECM messages. But given that I find many things daily that I feel will be of interest on the AECM, I do try to reduce the space my messages takes in your email mailboxes. I rarely add pictures and graphics to email messages and instead only link to those things available at my Website.

My quotations in my AECM messages are often quite long, but this is because these quotations, such as those from newspapers and magazines, are often only available for a few days for free. Because there are so many of those quotations, even the ones that I post on my Website are often difficult to find even by me. But there are tons of quotations at my Website that are no longer available anywhere else --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

 I don’t Twitter because I prefer to run at the mouth rather than Tweet.


Blogs, Podcasts and Social Networking Outline (AICPA)
What Social Networking Means to Practicing Accountants --- http://conferences.aicpa.org/tech08/downloads/30 LaFollette.pdf

Howard Rheingold on Collective Action, Social Networks and Smart Mobs ---
http://www.cio.com/article/29804/Howard_Rheingold_onCollective_Action_Social_Networks_and_Smart_Mobs

"Adult education has class in using social networks," The Ridgefield Press, June 23, 2009 --- Click Here
http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30845:adult-education-has-class-in-using-social-networks&catid=46:rfd-local&Itemid=778

Social Networks for CPAs in Maryland --- http://www.cpasuccess.com/maryland_business_and_accounting_expo/

From the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA)
"How to Leverage Social Networking," The Journal of Accountancy, August 2009 --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2009/Aug/20091768.htm 

July 24, 2009 reply from Tom Hood [tom@MACPA.ORG]

  • Bob,

    Thanks for the shout out.

    For those interested in Social Media for CPAs we were also featured in these other Journal of Accountancy articles.

    Video – Making Social Media Work for You http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Multimedia/TomHood.htm 

    Accounting for Second Life http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2008/Jun/AccountingforSecondLife 

    We also have created a free self-guided learning tool (using a blog) for social media- everything from Facebook to LinkedIn, Youtube and Second Life. At http://www.cpalearning2.com for educators and students (although it may be too elementary for them).

    I would be remiss if I did not mention my professor who fueled my interest in technology as a student and later on the MACPA’s technology committee, E. Barry Rice! See my blog post about Barry here http://www.cpasuccess.com/2009/02/back-to-the-future-macpa-technology.html  He greatly influenced me and the Association and we are eternally grateful.

    Hope these are useful

    Warmest regards,

    Tom


    Did Facebook begin as a way to pick up women or billions of dollars?
    The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, famously started the popular social network from his dorm room at Harvard University. Ben Mezrich fills in some juicy details of that story (based on interviews and court documents but with imagined diaglogue) in his new book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Mr. Mezrich argues that the student created the site out of frustration over getting rejected from an exclusive "final club" at Harvard, and that the social-networking site was his attempt to build a new kind of elite club online -- one that he could control. As Mr. Mezrich tells it, the student and his friend, Eduardo Saverin, essentially created the site as a way to pick up girls. Mr. Mezrich's previous work includes Bringing Down the House, the tale of a poker-playing team made up of graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was made into a Hollywood film last year.
    Jeff Young, "Author Explores the Juicy Origins of Facebook, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Author-Explores-the-Juicy/7583/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


    "Online Social Networking for Educators:  Educators build community and collaboration online," by Cindy Long, National Education Association, January 2009 --- http://www.nea.org/home/ns/20746.htm

    "There are lots of negative connotations surrounding social networking," says Steve Hargadon, an educational technology expert and founder of Classroom 2.0, a popular social network for teachers. "But we're showing that it can provide productive professional development opportunities that were previously available only to those lucky enough to attend conferences."

    . . .

    An active community is key, because social networks are only as good as the conversations that take place within them, says Hargadon of Classroom 2.0. "The conversations that used to happen in the hallways or teacher's lounges or at conferences are now happening all the time on the Web, and the more conversations you can have about your work, the more you can develop your specific professional interest," he says. "Putting these tools together in an environment that encourages community and collaboration creates enormous potential for history teachers, or Latin , teachers, or music teachers to build a network of colleagues at their fingertips."

    Hargadon recommends that educators take a look at Ning.com, where you can create your own social network around a specific topic without having to join the larger networks where your students most likely spend their time (see sidebar on MySpace/YourSpace). Ning groups can be as open or exclusive (even invitation-only) as you like.

    Dubbles's Ning network, "Video Games as Learning Tools," is a community of educators exploring the potential of gaming in the classroom. The network has expanded his professional development in ways he never predicted. Through the connections he's made on Ning, he's been invited to write and share curriculum, to speak at major conferences on video gaming in the classroom, and to participate as a source in a Christian Science Monitor article on social networking.

    Continued in article

    Below is a list of several social networks for educators. Share your own ideas in the comments box below.

    The Apple
    Where teachers meet and learn.

    Classroom 2.0
    Steve Hargadon's popular social networking site for educators.

    Classroom Earth
    A social network for environmental education created in partnership between the Weather Channel and the National Environmental Education Foundation, submitted by an NEA Today reader.

    Educate Interactive
    Provides the educational community with opportunities to connect and collaborate in order to share resources, lessons, and best practices.

    English Companion
    A social network for English teachers, submitted by an NEA Today reader.

    NextGen Teachers
    Educators connecting to explore the next generation of teaching and learning.

    Ning in Education
    Using Ning for educational social networks.

    TeachAde
    The Online Community for Teachers

    Teachers Recess
    A social network developed to provide everyday teaching solutions.

    Some Thoughts on Facebook for Parents

    The researcher, BJ Fogg, director of Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab, announced this week a free, noncredit course he plans to teach at the university called “Facebook for Parents.” He has teamed up with his sister, Linda Fogg Phillips, who has eight children of her own, to teach the course. You have to get to the university to take the course because the sessions will not be broadcast online. The instructors have built a Web site with their top five tips for parents concerning Facebook. They also offer an online newsletter that promises future guidance. “With Facebook’s massive growth, parents really need to be on board with it,” said Mr. Fogg in an interview this week. He said the goal of the course is to “help parents understand what Facebook is” so they feel comfortable enough to try it themselves.
    Jeffrey R. Young, "Stanford U. Researcher Teaches Noncredit 'Facebook for Parents' Course," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 30, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3585&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Once again that Website is at http://facebookforparents.org/


    Social Networking:  The New Addiction
    I wonder what would happen if students got extra credit from staying away from porn for three months
    There would probably be more female students earning extra credit

    Extra Credit for Abstaining From Facebook
    Robert Doade, an associate professor of philosophy at Trinity Western University, in British Columbia, is among those academics who believe Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media may be distracting students and causing them anxiety. So Doade challenges students by offering them a 5 percent extra credit bonus if they will abstain from all social and traditional media for the three month semester of his philosophy course, and keep a journal about the experience. Out of a class of around 35 students, only about 12 will try for the extra credit and by the end of the semester only between 4 and 6 are still "media abstinent."
    Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/24/qt#204245

    Are student usages of FaceBook correlated with lower grades?
    Answer:  YES!
    Concerns About Social Networking, Blogging, and Twittering in Education ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm 

    Jensen Comment
    But analysts may be in statistical quicksand by trying to extrapolate correlation to causality on this one. The students who get lower grades are not necessarily going to raise their grades by abstaining from Facebook or even computer vices in general. They are more likely to be "time wasters" who will find most any excuse not to study. If you take their computers away they will spend hours arm wrestling, playing Frisbee, playing cards, necking, etc. In some instances computers and video games are birth control devices.

    Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


    "The Flaws of Facebook," by Alex Golub, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/02/03/golub

    An acquisitions editor of a major university press was nice enough to buy me a cup of coffee and a brioche and listen patiently as I pitched him my book manuscript during a recent meeting of my professional association. Things went well enough until, at the end of our meeting, he surprised me. On our way out of the café, he turned to me and asked “are you on Facebook?” “I am,” I replied, nonplussed, “but I, uh, don’t really check it very often.” “Well I do,” he said, tone heavy in significance, “so friend me.”

    My dislike of Facebook is not based on ignorance or a knee-jerk academic ludism. I understand exactly what Facebook is – it’s an Internet replacement service that combines e-mail, instant messaging, photo sharing, social networking, mailing lists, asynchronous gaming, and personal Web hosting all in one. Crucially, it allows differing degrees of privacy, so you can blog safely about the antics of your adorable cat or the incredible evil of your department chair without either of them finding out unless you add them to your friends list. What bothers me about Facebook — the dilemma highlighted by my encounter with the editor — is the particular problem it presents for academics, whose professional career and personal goings-on are all rolled up together into one big life of the mind.

    Teaching is an intensely public activity in a very simple way: You spend hours and hours having people stare at you. Over time this simple three-shows-a-week schedule blossoms into something infinitely weirder. It does not take long for professors to find themselves walking around a campus filled with half-remembered faces from previous classes — faces worn by people who remember you perfectly well. If you teach at a large state university, like I do, it does not take long before random waiters and pharmacists start mentioning how much they did (or didn’t) enjoy that survey class you taught. There are even apocryphal stories in Papua New Guinea — the country that I study — about a man who more or less taught every social science class at the country’s university during the late 70s. He spent the rest of his life never having to stand in line or fill out a form because he had trained the vast majority of the nation’s civil servants, who all remembered him fondly.

    The public created by your teaching is much larger than just the students in your class. Whether we lament or rejoice in the purportedly poor state of teacher evaluation, it does happen. Those forms our students fill out have strange afterlives and become the source of evaluation by deans and whispering among the senior faculty. The Internet unleashes these evaluations as well, allowing our classroom antics to be shared on Ratemyprofessor.com.

    So is Facebook a dream come true for academics — a private social networking site where professors can finally let down there hair because you control your audience, in the way that the average “I hate the world” anonymous adjunct blog cannot? I would say No. In the physical world professors uneasily navigate the uneasy blurring of their public and private lives, but Facebook doesn’t allow for blurring — you are either friends or not. This extremely “ungranular” system forces you to choose between two roles, private and public, that the actual, uncoded world allows us to leave ambiguous.

    Which of the following people would you friend on Facebook? A friend from graduate school? Probably — Facebook is, for better or worse, a great way to take the Old Boys Club online. A fellow faculty member? If you get along with them, why not? Your graduate students? Hmmm... well I suppose some people have that sort of relationship with their graduate students. Your undergraduates? I’ve drawn a line in the sand and said no to that one.

    I think these cases are actually pretty easy — categories like colleague and student are well-defined, as is the distinction between a “purely” formal relationship and the intimate friendships that grow up around it. I’m sure that many of the people reading this got to be where they were today because a professor in our lives went beyond the call of duty to become a friend and mentor. Facebook makes handling the formal and the informal tricky, but in all of these examples a lot of work has already been done for it because the relationships in question can all be neatly divided into “formal” and “informal” registers.

    What Facebook makes particularly uncomfortable are relationships in which friendship and professionalism are not clear and brightly bounded, but are tied to real political economic stakes. As a young professor on the path to tenure, for instance, acquisitions editors have a certain ominous power over me that compels me to friend them on Facebook (and I did friend him, by the way) and might even include small favors up to and including shining their shoes if the end of the deal includes an advance contract. On the other hand, as someone with a tenure track job, I am also in a position of diffuse power over people like adjuncts and lecturers, who I get along well with in my department, but who do not come to faculty meetings in which we discuss the budget (read: their pay).

    The more widely you friend people on Facebook — and it is a slippery slope — the more and more your Facebook page becomes a professional Web replacement on Friendster’s slick Internet replacement Web site. It becomes less and less a “private” space and more and more a place to show a public face to a very wide audience. In forcing you to craft a public persona, it raises uncomfortable issues of power and inequality and lurk under the surface of our actual world interactions — which is probably a good thing.

    Continued in article

    Videos
    CBS Sixty Minute Module on Facebook --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cEySyEnxvU

    Some Sobering Thoughts --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMWz3G_gPhU

    Learn About Facebook (in a pretty good song) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpaxaxEWMSA

    Facebook Fever --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHi-ZcvFV_0

    Facebook Anthem --- http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Facebook&aq=f

     

    Google Eyed Social Networking
    Google tip-toed into the hot market of online social networks with the quiet launch of Orkut.com 

    "Google spawns social networking service," by Stefanie Olsen, CNET News.com, January 22, 2004 --- http://news.com.com/2100-1026-5146006.html 

    The search company, which is expected to go public this year, is flexing its power with its Internet fans by constantly offering new services, including comparison shopping and news search. Orkut could be the clearest signal that Google's aspirations don't end with search.

    "Orkut is an online trusted community Web site designed for friends. The main goal of our service is to make the social life of yourself and your friends more active and stimulating," according to the Web site, which states that the service is "in affiliation with Google."

    A Google representative said that the site is the independent project of one of its engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for Google. Buyukkokten, a computer science doctoral candidate at Stanford University before joining Google, created Orkut.com in the past several months by working on it about one day a week--an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Buyukkokten, with the help of a few other engineers, developed Orkut out of his passion for social networking services.

    Google spokeswoman Eileen Rodriquez said that despite Orkut's affiliation, the service is not part of Google's product portfolio at this time. "We're always looking at opportunities to expand our search products, but we currently have no plans in the social networking market."

    Still, Google owns the technology developed by its employees, Rodriquez said.

    Orkut is a "trusted" social network, meaning that you must be invited to join. The service sent out thousands of invitations Thursday to welcome individuals, according to Google.

    Google regularly throws out new products and services to see if they stick. Google News, for example, began as the personal project of Google engineer Krishna Bharat in 2002. While Google still runs news search in "beta" form, it is gaining a wide audience on the Internet and is prominently promoted on Google's home page.

    Continued in the article

    CiteULike social networking for scholarly citations
    At first glance, it seems like a nerdier version of Facebook. There’s the profile picture, the list of interests, the space for your Web site. Most of the members have Ph.D.’s, though, and instead of posting party invites or YouTube videos, their “Recent Activity” is full of academic papers and scholarly treatises. Welcome to CiteULike, a social bookmarking tool that allows users to post, share and comment on each other’s links — in this case, citations to journal articles with titles like “Trend detection through temporal link analysis” and “The Social Psychology of Inter- and Intragroup Conflict in Governmental Politics.” It’s a sort ofdel.icio.us for academics,” said Kevin Emamy, a representative for the site’s London-based holding company, Oversity Ltd. It started out as a personal Web project in 2004 and grew organically by word of mouth. Today, it has some 70,000 registered users and a million page views a month, he said.
    "Keeping Citations Straight, and Finding New Ones," by Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, January 31, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/01/31/citeulike

     

    "Social Search:  A new website will offer personalized search results based on the user's social network," by Erica Naone, MIT's Technology Review, February 1, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/20138/?nlid=848 

    People are flocking to online social networks. Facebook, for example, claims an average of 250,000 new registrations per day. But companies are still hunting for ways to make these networks more useful--and profitable. In the past year, Facebook has introduced new services aimed at taking advantage of users' online contacts (see "Building onto Facebook's Platform"), and Yahoo announced plans for an e-mail service that shares data with social-networking sites. (See "Yahoo's Plan for a Smarter In-Box.") Now a company called Delver, which presented at Demo earlier this week, is working on a search engine that uses social-network data to return personalized results from the larger Web.

    Liad Agmon, CEO of Delver, says that the site connects information about a user's social network with Web search results, "so you are searching the Web through the prism of your social graph." He explains that a person begins a search at Delver by typing in her name. Delver then crawls social-networking websites for widely available data about the user--such as a public LinkedIn profile--and builds a network of associated institutions and individuals based on that information. When the user enters a search query, results related to, produced by, or tagged by members of her social network are given priority. Lower down are results from people implicitly connected to the user, such as those relating to friends of friends, or people who attended the same college as the user. Finally, there may be some general results from the Web at the bottom. The consequence, says Agmon, is that each user gets a different set of results from a given query, and a set quite different from those delivered by Google.

    "We have no intention of competing with the Googles of the world, because Google is doing a very good job of indexing the Web and bringing you the Wikipedia page of every search query you're looking for," says Agmon. He says that Delver will free general search queries such as "New York" or "screensaver" from the heavy search-engine optimization that tends to make those kinds of queries return generic, ad-heavy results on Google. "[As a user], you're always thinking, how can I trick Google into bringing me the real results rather than the commercial results?" Agmon says. "With this engine, we don't need to trick it at all. You can go back to these very naive and simple queries because the results come from your network. Your network is not trying to optimize results; they just publish or bookmark pages which they find interesting." As a consequence, the results lean toward user-generated content and items tagged through sites such as del.icio.us.

    Continued in article

    "2008 HORIZON REPORT ON EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES," New Media Consortium, 2008 --- http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf

    The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium (NMC)’s Horizon Project, a five-year qualitative research effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations. The 2008 Horizon Report, the fifth in this annual series, is produced as a collaboration between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.

    The main sections of the report describe six emerging technologies or practices that will likely enter mainstream use in learning-focused organizations within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Also highlighted are a set of challenges and trends that will influence our choices in the same time frames. The project draws on an ongoing primary research effort that has distilled the viewpoints of more than 175 Advisory Board members in the fields of business, industry, and education into the six topics presented here; drawn on an extensive array of published resources, current research, and practice; and made extensive use of the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities. (The precise research methodology is detailed in the final section.) Many of the examples under each area feature the innovative work of NMC and ELI member institutions.

    The format of the Horizon Report reflects the focus of the Horizon Project, which centers on the applications of emerging technologies to teaching, learning, and creative expression. Each topic opens with an overview to introduce the concept or technology involved and follows with a discussion of the particular relevance of the topic to education or creativity. Examples of how the technology is being—or could be—applied to those activities are given. Each description is followed by an annotated list of additional examples and readings which expand on the discussion in the Report, as well as a link to the list of tagged resources collected by the Advisory Board and other interested parties during the process of researching the topic areas.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Key Emerging Technologies

    The technologies featured in the 2008 Horizon Report are placed along three adoption horizons that represent what the Advisory Board considers likely timeframes for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, or creative applications. The first adoption horizon assumes the likelihood of entry within the next year; the second, within two to three years; and the third, within four to five years. The two technologies placed on the first adoption horizon in this edition, grassroots video and collaboration webs, are already in use on many campuses. Examples of these are not difficult to find. Applications of mobile broadband and data mashups, both on the mid-term horizon, are evident in organizations at the leading edge of technology adoption, and are beginning to appear at many institutions. Educational uses of the two topics on the far-term horizon, collective intelligence and social operating systems, are understandably rarer; however, there are examples in the worlds of commerce, industry and entertainment that hint at coming use in academia within four to five years.

    Each profiled technology is described in detail in the body of the report, including a discussion of what it is and why it is relevant to teaching, learning, and creative expression. Specific examples are listed there for each of the six topics, consistent with the level of adoption at the time the report was written (December 2007). Taken as a set, our research indicates that all six of these technologies will significantly impact the choices of learning-focused organizations within the next five years.

    Grassroots Video.
    Virtually anyone can capture, edit, and share short video clips, using inexpensive equipment (such as a cell phone) and free or nearly free software. Video sharin sites continue to grow at some of the most prodigious rates on the Internet; it is very common now to find news clips, tutorials, and informative videos listed alongside the music videos and the
    raft of personal content that dominated these sites when they first appeared. What used to be difficult and expensive, and often required special servers and content distribution networks, now has become something anyone can do easily for almost nothing. Hosting services handle encoding, infrastructure, searching, and more, leaving only the content for the producer to worry about. Custom branding has allowed institutions to even have their own special presence within these networks, and will fuel rapid growth among learning-focused organizations who want their content to be where the viewers are.

    Collaboration Webs.
    Collaboration no longer calls for expensive equipment and specialized expertise. The newest tools for collaborative work are small, flexible, and free, and require no installation. Colleagues simply open their web browsers and they are able to edit group documents, hold online meetings, swap information and data, and collaborate in any number of ways without ever leaving their desks. Open programming interfaces allow users to author tools that they need and easily tailor them to their requirements, then share them with others.

    Mobile Broadband.
    Each year, more than a billion new mobile devices are manufactured1— or a new phone for every six people on the planet. In this market, innovation is unfolding at an unprecedented pace. Capabilities are increasing rapidly, and prices are becoming ever more affordable. Indeed, mobiles are quickly becoming the most affordable portable platform for staying networked on the go. New displays and interfaces make it possible to use mobiles to access almost any Internet content—content that can be delivered over either a broadband cellular network or a local wireless network.

    Data Mashups.
    Mashups—custom applications where combinations of data from different sources are “mashed up” into a single tool— offer new ways to look at and interact with datasets. The availability of large amounts of data (from search patterns, say, or real estate sales or Flickr photo tags) is converging with the development of open programming interfaces for social networking, mapping, and other tools. This in turn is opening the doors to hundreds of data mashups that will transform the way we understand and represent information.

    Collective Intelligence.
    The kind of knowledge and understanding that emerges from large groups of people is collective intelligence. In the coming years, we will see educational applications for both explicit collective intelligence—evidenced in projects like the Wikipedia and in community tagging—and implicit collective intelligence, or data gathered from the repeated activities of numbers of people, including search patterns, cell phone locations over time, geocoded digital photographs, and other data that are passively obtained. Data mashups will tap into information generated by collective intelligence to expand our understanding of ourselves and the technologically-mediated world we inhabit.

    Social Operating Systems.
    The essential ingredient of next generation social networking, social operating systems, is that they will base the organization of the network around people, rather than around content. This simple conceptual shift promises profound implications for the academy, and for the ways in which we think about knowledge and learning. Social operating systems will support whole new categories of applications that weave through the implicit connections and clues we leave everywhere as we go about our lives, and use them to organize our work and our thinking around the people we know. As might be expected when studying emerging phenomena over time, some of these topics are related to, or outgrowths of, ones featured in previous editions of the Horizon Report.

    Grassroots video (2008), for example, reflects the evolution of user-created content (2007); it has been singled out this year because it has emerged as a distinct set of technologies in common use that has broad application to teaching, learning, and creative expression.

    Similarly, we have followed mobile devices with interest for the past several years. In 2006, multimedia capture was the key factor; mobiles became prolific recording devices for video, audio, and still imagery. Personal content storehouses were the focus of mobile in 2007; calendars, contact databases, photo and music collections, and more began to be increasingly and commonly stored on mobile devices over the past year. Now for 2008, we are seeing the effect of new displays and increased access to web content taking these devices by storm. Nonetheless, while there are abundant examples of personal and professional uses for mobiles, educational content delivery via mobile devices is still in the early stages. The expectation is that advances in technology over the next twelve to eighteen months will remove the last barriers to access and bring mobiles truly into the mainstream for education.

    Critical Challenges

    The Horizon Project Advisory Board annually identifies critical challenges facing learning organizations over the five-year time period covered by this report, drawing them from a careful analysis of current events, papers, articles, and similar sources. The challenges ranked as most likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creativity in the coming years appear below, in the order of importance assigned them by the Advisory Board.

    These challenges are a reflection of the impact of new practices and technologies on our lives. They are indicative of the changing nature of the way we communicate, access information, and connect with peers and colleagues. Taken together, they provide a framing perspective with which to consider the potential impacts of the six technologies and practices described in this edition of the Horizon Report.

    Significant Trends

    Each year the Horizon Advisory Board also researches, identifies and ranks key trends affecting the areas of teaching, learning, and creative expression. The Board reviews current articles, interviews, papers, and published research to discover emerging or continuing trends. The trends are ranked according to how significant an impact they are likely to have on education in the next five years.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade in education ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology (the good and the bad)
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


    June 5,  2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

    ARE LOWER GRADES LINKED TO FACEBOOK USE?

    When doctoral student Aryn Karpinski's unpublished study connecting students' heavy Facebook use and lower grades was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association in April it created a "media sensation" both in the press and among academic blogs. Not everyone found her conclusions convincing.

    Three researchers attempted to replicate Karpinski's findings using three datasets: (1) a large sample of undergraduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago, (2) a nationally representative cross sectional sample of American 14– to 22–year–olds, and (3) a longitudinal panel of American youth aged 14–23. They report (in "Facebook and Academic Performance: Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data," by Josh Pasek, Eian More, and Eszter Hargittai, FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 5, May 4, 2009) that "[i]n none of the samples do we find a robust negative relationship between Facebook use and grades. Indeed, if anything, Facebook use is more common among individuals with higher grades."

    The article is available at
    http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2498/2181

    First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA;
    email: ejv@uic.edu;
    Web: http://firstmonday.org/

     See also:
    "Study Finds Link between Facebook Use, Lower Grades in College"
    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2009/05/facebook.html

    Poster of Karpinski's study
    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/facebook2009.jpg

    ......................................................................

     LEARNING IN VIRTUAL WORLDS

     "Virtual worlds as educational spaces--with their three-dimensional landscapes and customizable avatars--seem so similar to video games that educators may assume . . . that students will become as motivated by virtual worlds as they are by video games. However, these same similarities may also lead students to perceive virtual worlds as play spaces rather than as innovative educational environments. If students feel that learning opportunities offered in such spaces are not valid, they are likely to feel that they are not learning."

          -- Catheryn Cheal, "Student Perceptions of a Course Taught in Second Life"

     The June/July 2009 issue of INNOVATE (vol. 5, issue 5) focuses on the theme of virtual worlds and simulations in education. The papers reflect the maturing of the study of virtuality in education that grew out of early discussions and the formation of the League of Worlds, a conference whose mission is to "stimulate and disseminate research, analysis, theory, technical and curricular developments in the creative, educational, training-based and social use of role-playing, simulations and virtual worlds."

     The journal is available http://innovateonline.info/ Registration is required to access articles; registration is free.

     Innovate: Journal of Online Education [ISSN 1552-3233], an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal, is published bimonthly by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University.

    The journal focuses on the creative use of information technology (IT) to enhance educational processes in academic, commercial, and governmental settings. For more information, contact James L. Morrison, Editor-in-Chief;
    email: innovate@nova.edu;
    Web: http://innovateonline.info/

     For more information about the League of Worlds, go to http://www.ubiqlab.org/low/

    ......................................................................

     IP POLICIES AND E-LEARNING

     "When we contrast the face-to-face learning environment with the online

    (e-learning) environment, nearly all assumptions about IP [intellectual property] and copyright are called into question. Virtually all materials that contribute to e-learning are (or can be) digitized, retained, archived, attributed and logged. This single fact raises questions about IP [intellectual property] ownership, responsibility, policies, and procedures that are newly on the table."

    In "Intellectual Property Policies, E-Learning, and Web 2.0:

    Intersections and Open Questions" (ECAR Research Bulletin, vol. 2009, issue 7, April 7, 2009), Veronica Diaz discusses how online learning has necessitated revising IP policies that were created for face-to-face instructional settings. She notes that higher education IP policies need to go beyond the assumption that "e-learning is contained within an institutional system" as Web 2.0 technologies and social networking expand the reach of the learning environment.

     The report is available online to members of ECAR subscribing institutions at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ecar_so/erb/ERB0907.pdf
    To find out if your institution is a subscriber, go to
    http://www.educause.edu/ECARSubscribingOrganizations/957

     ECAR (EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research) "provides timely research and analysis to help higher education leaders make better decisions about information technology. ECAR assembles leading scholars, practitioners, researchers, and analysts to focus on issues of critical importance to higher education, many of which carry increasingly complicated and consequential implications." For more information go to
    http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?SECTION_ID=4

    ......................................................................

     NEW JOURNAL COVERS HIGHER ED INFORMATION LITERACY

     The NORDIC JOURNAL OF INFORMATION LITERACY IN HIGHER EDUCATION, published by the University of Bergen, is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal created to encourage "research-based development of information literacy teaching within the educational programmes of universities and higher education colleges" and to establish "a forum for the investigation and discussion of connections between information literacy and general learning processes within subject-specific contexts."

     Papers in the inaugural issue include:

     "A New Conception of Information Literacy for the Digital Environment in Higher Education" by Sharon Markless  

     To provide an information literacy (IL) framework for a virtual learning environment, the author considered the "relevant principles of learning, the place of student reflection when learning to be information literate, what IL in higher education (HE) should encompass, the importance of context in developing IL, and the influence of the digital environment, especially Web 2.0."

     "Google Scholar compared to Web of Science. A Literature Review" by Susanne Mikki

     According to the author, "Google Scholar is popular among faculty staff and students, but has been met with scepticism by library professionals and therefore not yet established as subject for teaching." In her paper, Mikki makes a case for including Google Scholar as a library resource by comparing it favorably with the more-highly-regarded Web of Science database.

     The journal is available at https://noril.uib.no/index.php/noril

     Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (NORIL) [ISSN 1890-5900] is published biannually by the University of Bergen Library. For more information, contact: Anne Sissel Vedvik Tonning, University of Bergen Library, Psychology, Education and Health Library, PO Box 7808, N-5020 Bergen, Norway; tel: +47 55588621; fax: +47 55884740;
    email: anne.tonning@ub.uib.no;
    Web:  https://noril.uib.no/index.php/noril

    ......................................................................

     NEW JOURNAL ON DIGITAL CULTURE

     DIGITAL CULTURE & EDUCATION is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to analyzing the "impact of digital culture on identity, education, art, society, culture and narrative within social, political, economic, cultural and historical contexts." Readers can interact with the authors by posting online comments on the journal's website. Paper submissions can include scholarly reviews of books, conferences, exhibits, games, software, and hardware. 

    Papers in the first issue include:

     "Revisiting Violent Videogames Research: Game Studies Perspectives onAggression, Violence, Immersion, Interaction, and Textual Analysis" by Kyle Kontour, University of Colorado at Boulder

     "Look at Me! Look at Me! Self-representation and Self-exposure through Online Networks" by Kerry Mallan, Queensland University of Technology

     "Playing at Bullying: The Postmodern Ethic of Bully (Canis Canem Edit) by Clare Bradford, Deakin University

     Digital Culture & Education (DCE) [ISSN 1836-8301] is published as an ongoing journal with content added to the journal's website as papers are accepted. For more information, contact: Christopher Walsh, Editor;
    email: editor@digitalcultureandeducation.com;
    Web: http://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/

    ......................................................................

     HELPING COMPUTER-LITERATE STUDENTS BECOME RESEARCH-LITERATE

     "While college students may be computer-literate, they are not, as a rule, research-literate. And there's a huge difference between the two."

    In "Not Enough Time in the Library" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 14, 2009), Todd Gilman, librarian for literature in English at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, offers faculty suggestions for partnering with their campus library staff to help their students become research-literate learners.

    Some of his tips include:-- have a librarian conduct a session on effective search strategies that help students "avoid frustration and wasted time."

     -- provide an assignment that applies what the students have learned i nthe session, one that will "incorporate a component that challenges students to evaluate the quality of information they find."

     -- schedule library tour that takes students beyond the study areas and into the reference and stack areas

    The article is available at
    http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/05/2009051401c.htm?utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

    (Online access may require a subscription to the Chronicle.)

     The Chronicle of Higher Education [ISSN 0009-5982] is published weekly by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., 1255 Twenty-third Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 USA; tel: 202-466-1000; fax: 202-452-1033;
    Web: http://chronicle.com/

    ......................................................................

    TWO VIEWS OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION

     "The Excellent Inevitability of Online Courses" by Margaret Brooks

    THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION May 29, 2009 http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i38/38a06401.htm?utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

     "Within our lifetimes, technology has fundamentally changed the way we get the news, make purchases, and communicate with others. The Internet provides a platform for learning about and interacting with the world.

    It should be no surprise that students line up for courses that make the best use of technologies that are so integral to their lives. It's not just the economy. It's not just the convenience. It's the integration of technology within society that's driving the development of online courses."

     "I'll Never Do It Again" By Elayne Clift
    THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 29, 2009
    http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i38/38a03302.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

     "I trained for it, I tried it, and I'll never do it again. While online teaching may be the wave of the future (although I desperately hope not), it is not for me. Perhaps I'm the old dog that resists new tricks. Maybe I am a technophobe. It might be that I'm plain old-fashioned. This much I can say with certainty: I have years of experience successfully teaching in collegiate classrooms, and online teaching doesn't compare."

    ......................................................................

     RECOMMENDED READING

     "Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

    "How People are using Twitter during Conferences"

    By Wolfgang Reinhardt, et al.
    http://lamp.tu-graz.ac.at/~i203/ebner/publication/09_edumedia.pdf

     (Draft version. Originally published in: CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION COMPETENCIES ON THE WEB, Hornung-Prahauser, V., and M. Luckmann, (Ed.), pp. 145-56.

    No Cheers for Pornography and Gambling Sites and Addictive Social Networking

    This may seem a bit off topic, but it may be one of the most valuable links you can forward to students and others. Besides being a social disgrace, pornography sites are one of the most dangerous sources of malware that infects computers along with gambling sites and sites offering malware protection just after they've infected your computer. In the case of pornography and gambling users are being infected in multiple ways.

    These sites want your money, your I.D., and your mind.

    "Pornography and You," by Rebecca Hagelin, Townhall, September 22, 2009 ---
    http://townhall.com/columnists/RebeccaHagelin/2009/09/22/pornography_and_you 

    According to Dr. Manning, the type of porn viewed today, by both adults and children, is "deviant, vile and graphic. Young people are witnessing rape, torture, and all kinds of degrading material." Why would anyone gravitate to such horrible inhumane depictions? Dr. Reisman has carefully studied and documented the effects that exposure to pornography has on the brain – it acts like a drug and can easily capture the “casual observer” and result in serious addiction, causing the user to crave greater quantities of ever more perverse images.

    If you suspect someone in your family has a porn problem, arm yourself with truth. This column is much to short to delve into all you need to know in order to protect your family. Visit www.SalvoMag.com where you can order the "Silent Bondage" issue and equip yourself to combat pornography's stranglehold head-on.

    If you have a pornography addiction, please get help. At www.VictimsofPornography.org you can connect with counseling resources and hear the victory stories of others who have overcome their bondage. It’s critical to understand that consuming porn is never just “harmless entertainment.” Your use warps your view of women and of common decency. It breeds selfishness and unfaithfulness. You might as well be having an affair with every woman you gawk at in the glow of the computer or while privately viewing that hotel room porn flick.

    Your wife may be silent about your usage, but she’s probably dying a little each day inside. I’ll never forget the heart-wrenching words of a wife whose husband regularly viewed porn: “It was like my husband had a mistress in our home.”

    If you use pornography, you use people. You have a problem. Get help.

    "QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF COMPULSIVE GAMBLING AND THE G.A. RECOVERY PROGRAM," Gamblers Anonymous --- http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/qna.html

    "How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous," by Emily Yoffe, Slate Magazine, August 12, 2009 --- http://www.slate.com/id/2224932
    Link forwarded by Jim Mahar

    Seeking. You can't stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information. We are so insatiably curious that we gather data even if it gets us in trouble. Google searches are becoming a cause of mistrials as jurors, after hearing testimony, ignore judges' instructions and go look up facts for themselves. We search for information we don't even care about. Nina Shen Rastogi confessed in Double X, "My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me if I keep whipping out my iPhone to look up random facts about celebrities when we're out to dinner." We reach the point that we wonder about our sanity. Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times said she became so obsessed with Twitter posts about the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest that she spent days "refreshing my search like a drugged monkey."

    We actually resemble nothing so much as those legendary lab rats that endlessly pressed a lever to give themselves a little electrical jolt to the brain. While we tap, tap away at our search engines, it appears we are stimulating the same system in our brains that scientists accidentally discovered more than 50 years ago when probing rat skulls.

    In 1954, psychologist James Olds and his team were working in a laboratory at McGill University, studying how rats learned. They would stick an electrode in a rat's brain and, whenever the rat went to a particular corner of its cage, would give it a small shock and note the reaction. One day they unknowingly inserted the probe in the wrong place, and when Olds tested the rat, it kept returning over and over to the corner where it received the shock. He eventually discovered that if the probe was put in the brain's lateral hypothalamus and the rats were allowed to press a lever and stimulate their own electrodes, they would press until they collapsed.

    Olds, and everyone else, assumed he'd found the brain's pleasure center (some scientists still think so). Later experiments done on humans confirmed that people will neglect almost everything—their personal hygiene, their family commitments—in order to keep getting that buzz.

    But to Washington State University neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp, this supposed pleasure center didn't look very much like it was producing pleasure. Those self-stimulating rats, and later those humans, did not exhibit the euphoric satisfaction of creatures eating Double Stuf Oreos or repeatedly having orgasms. The animals, he writes in Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, were "excessively excited, even crazed." The rats were in a constant state of sniffing and foraging. Some of the human subjects described feeling sexually aroused but didn't experience climax. Mammals stimulating the lateral hypothalamus seem to be caught in a loop, Panksepp writes, "where each stimulation evoked a reinvigorated search strategy" (and Panksepp wasn't referring to Bing).

    It is an emotional state Panksepp tried many names for: curiosity, interest, foraging, anticipation, craving, expectancy. He finally settled on seeking. Panksepp has spent decades mapping the emotional systems of the brain he believes are shared by all mammals, and he says, "Seeking is the granddaddy of the systems." It is the mammalian motivational engine that each day gets us out of the bed, or den, or hole to venture forth into the world. It's why, as animal scientist Temple Grandin writes in Animals Make Us Human, experiments show that animals in captivity would prefer to have to search for their food than to have it delivered to them.

    For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.

    The juice that fuels the seeking system is the neurotransmitter dopamine. The dopamine circuits "promote states of eagerness and directed purpose," Panksepp writes. It's a state humans love to be in. So good does it feel that we seek out activities, or substances, that keep this system aroused—cocaine and amphetamines, drugs of stimulation, are particularly effective at stirring it.

    Ever find yourself sitting down at the computer just for a second to find out what other movie you saw that actress in, only to look up and realize the search has led to an hour of Googling? Thank dopamine. Our internal sense of time is believed to be controlled by the dopamine system. People with hyperactivity disorder have a shortage of dopamine in their brains, which a recent study suggests may be at the root of the problem. For them even small stretches of time seem to drag. An article by Nicholas Carr in the Atlantic last year, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" speculates that our constant Internet scrolling is remodeling our brains to make it nearly impossible for us to give sustained attention to a long piece of writing. Like the lab rats, we keep hitting "enter" to get our next fix.

     

    Bob Jensen's bookmarks on social science tutorials ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social


    Research, News, and Working Paper Databases (SSRN)

    Social Science Research Network (SSRN) --- http://www.ssrn.com/


    Tech News

    TechCrunch --- http://techcrunch.com/

    Techmeme --- http://www.techmeme.com/

    ReadWriteWeb --- http://readhttp://readwrite.com/


    "How CFOs Can Use Social Software to Add Value in Closing the Books," CFO Journal, January 16, 2013 ---
    http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/2013/01/16/how-cfos-can-use-social-software-to-add-value-in-closing-the-books/

    Many organizations are using social business software to add value, enhance business performance and strengthen connections with employees, customers and vendors. Social software, however, has yet to be adopted by many finance organizations, as some CFOs appear skeptical of its value. A study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with Deloitte found that only 14% of CFOs surveyed view social tools as important to their organizations, while 28% of CEOs, presidents and managing directors regard them as important.¹ “There’s still a lack of tangible measures of the value of social business and CFOs are bottom line-oriented,” observes Mark White, chief technical officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “They want to know that the money, talent and the time invested in implementing social business are worthwhile.”

    Mr. White says that social tools such as microblogs, wikis, internal social networks, instant messaging applications and threaded discussion forums can help CFOs improve finance organization performance. “The financial close-the-books process is an example of how social software can drive improvements in finance’s decision-making and  processes, by making the close more transparent, efficient, repeatable and defensible,” he says.

    Closing the books in a timely and accurate manner can be a challenge in itself, but particularly so when exceptions², such as errors or other unanticipated issues, occur.  Anticipated events, such as new regulatory guidelines or integrating an acquired business, can also hamper the financial close. And although the close may eventually reflect an exception or a new event in a correct manner, the process of resolving these exceptions today can be highly inefficient, with lots of wasted time, and the discussions, thinking and decisions that occurred throughout the process may not have been captured.  That could be a critical loss to a finance organization’s institutional memory, notes Mr. White.

    An Example of How Social Business Tools Helped Shorten the Close-the-Books Process

    To illustrate how CFOs can improve close the books with social software, Matthew Soderberg, a senior manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s M&A Finance practice, points to a technology company that recently utilized social networking tools to help it close the books within three days.

    Following the implementation of an enterprise-wide internal social network, the company’s corporate accounting team created a user group for the finance team members involved in the close and consolidation processes.  Instead of using email to notify the applicable groups within the finance function when an event in the close process has taken place to trigger the next step, or when there’s a problem that requires correction, the finance team can post updates about the close process and diagnose, explain and correct errors faster because activities are posted in real time.

    Posting updates about the close process has significantly reduced email traffic and corporate accounting’s role as middleman, according to Mr. Soderberg. “This company had been working hard to get to a three-day close. The internal social network facilitated the finance organization’s ability to achieve that goal with fewer iterations, and it has made the finance professionals’ lives easier during the three-day close process,” he says.

    Social Software’s Capabilities

    Social tools are being effectively deployed by organizations to enhance business performance in operations, innovation and other areas, according to Metrics That Matter: Social Software for Business Performance, a study by the Deloitte Center for the Edge  According to the authors of the Metrics That Matter study, social software provides organizations the capabilities to identify knowledge and experience, communicate across boundaries, preserve institutional memory, harness knowledge that may be distributed across geographies and functions, and discover emerging opportunities.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on blogging and social networking are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


    SSRN's Accounting Research Network (ARN) Directed by Ross Watts --- http://www.ssrn.com/arn/index.html

    Jensen Comment
    Many accounting professors still think of SSRN as simply a database of working papers, many of which are now free --- although they may not be the latest versions that were eventually published by journals that are not free.

    However, there are some other services now available that we don't often think of as being available at SSRN. For example, the ARN subsidiary of the SSRN posts academic accounting job openings ---
    http://www.ssrn.com/update/arn/arnjob/arn_job.html
    These are more focused on R1 research universities and, as such, do not cast quite as wide a net as the job postings at the American Accounting Association site.

    The SSRN also posts announcements with the primary focus being on forthcoming conferences. Here the net is wider than the conference postings of the American Accounting Association.

    There are various other free and fee-based ARN services listed at http://www.ssrn.com/arn/index.html

    Even more importantly there are similar subsidiaries of SSRN available in other business, law, organization behavior, philosophy, and social science disciplines ---
    http://www.ssrn.com/
    Note the column on the far left.

    Bob Jensen's links to accounting news sites ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

    Bob Jensen's links to accounting blogs, listservs, and social/professional networking sites ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

     

     


    Delicious Social Bookmarking

    AIS Professor Julie Smith David at Arizona State is the moving force behind the AAA Commons. She recently posted an enthusiastic tidbit about software called Delicious --- http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/b5382ec151

    There are so many great tools available that it's incredibly hard to keep up with them... So I (Julie) thought I'd share one of my favorites with you - and ask for your insights into the ones that you find most helpful.

    Here's my problem: I find a lot of great web sites as I'm browsing, but remembering that great site might be more difficult when I actually need it. I used to try and track sites using my bookmarks, but then they got LONG, and I'd forget what folder I had stored a site in. Does that sound like you? If so, the solution I like is delicious, and just click here to learn more  http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/b5382ec151

    Jensen Comment
    Since many of you do not have access to the Commons, I will take you to directly to "Delicious Social Bookmarking." I should note that I've not yet tried this software myself --- http://delicious.com/
    In the top blue rectangle click on the link that reads "Learn more." That will take you to the following page:
    http://delicious.com/help/learn

    I suggest that you first go to YouTube and enter the term "Social Bookmarking" --- http://www.youtube.com/
    Watch several videos until you get the idea.
    Don't necessarily watch the bookmarks starting with the first video.
    I suggest that you only consider the five-star videos in this case, because they do a better job of explaining Delicious.
    For example, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGXElviSRXM

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on social networking are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

    What is social networking? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Networking

    The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook widely used worldwide; MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America;[1] Nexopia (mostly in Canada);[2] Bebo,[3] Hi5, StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), Decayenne, Tagged, XING;[4], Badoo[5] and Skyrock in parts of Europe;[ Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America;[7] and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

    There have been some attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative), but this has led to some concerns about privacy.

    Google Wave --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Wave (now defunct)

    Google Wave is a self-described "personal communication and collaboration tool" announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on May 27, 2009. It is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.[3] It has a strong collaborative and real-time[4] focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, spelling/grammar checking, automated translation among 40 languages, and numerous other extensions. Initially released only to developers, a "preview release" of Google Wave was extended to 100,000 users in September 2009, each allowed to invite twenty to thirty additional users. On the 29th of November 2009, Google accepted most requests submitted soon after the extended release of the technical preview in September 2009; these users have around 25 invitations to give.

    "3 Steps Google Plus Must Take to Win Against Facebook," by Zubin Wadia, ReadWriteWeb, June 29, 2011 ---
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/3_steps_google_must_take_to_win_against_facebook.php

    Congratulations to the Google Plus team for shipping a superb beta under conditions which could be considered equal parts turmoil and FUD.

    I absolutely love it. If it had 750 million users on it right now it would be a superior experience to Facebook.

    For starters, it looks more cohesive. This isn't surprising because it is a blank slate product that did not have to deal with the technical debt Facebook has accumulated since 2004. Beyond the interface however, Google Plus will be more engaging emotionally for people because it allows them to be more authentic with one another.

    Why? Because Google Plus establishes intuitive clarity for my social graph.

     

    Jensen Comment
    It may surprise you that I'm really not into professional or social networking yet. After getting over 700 requests from former students and friends to join their professional networks (like LinkedIn) and social networks (like Facebook)  I decided that I just do not have enough time in the day to do what I do now plus join in on so many social and professional networks. And I don't Tweet. What I like best is sticking with the listservs like the AECM for accounting educators that I've contributed to actively for years. And I add messages daily to the AAA Commons and put out my newsletters on a regular basis:

    Bob Jensen's Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
     

    But I am seriously considering Delicious Social Bookmarking.
    Julie is really an exceptional AIS professional educator, and I highly respect her opinions.

     

    The Whole World is Tweetable:  Updates on Twitter and Stocktwits Microblogs
    Twitter --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

    March 10, 2009 message from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

    Gerry Trites asked about Investor Relations on Twitter. I follow his countryman, Dominic Jones (http://twitter.com/irwebreport and http://www.irwebreport.com/) closely. He points to much going onTwitter. See, for example, http://preview.tinyurl.com/amw98y on “eBay’s lawyers are wrong to delete earnings call information” and http://preview.tinyurl.com/avv4yl on “SEC disclaimers in the age of Twitter”.

    BTW, if you want to see your portfolio bump around rock bottom in real time, you can get stocktwits at http://stocktwits.com/ ..

    Of course, you can also follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debreceny and see very important, indeed earth shattering, information such as “OMG I fractured my big toe and can’t ride my bike for a month” and “Yeah, my toe is OK and I can ride again!” <Bg>

    Regards
    Roger

    "CPAs are Aflutter About Twitter," by Kristin Gentry, SmartPros, August 10, 2009 ---
    http://accounting.smartpros.com/x67355.xml

    "CPAs Embrace Twitter Brief messages leave powerful impressions," by Megan Pinkston, The Journal of Accountancy, August 2009 --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2009/Aug/20091828.htm 

    149 Interesting People to Follow on Twitter (but I don't have time to follow them) ---
    http://ow.ly/1sj5q

    "50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom" Online Colleges, June 6, 2009
     http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2009/06/08/50-ways-to-use-twitter-in-the-college-classroom/

    "How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To)," by Ryan Cordell, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 11, 2010 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogPost/How-to-Start-Tweeting-and-Why/26065/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Social Media and Political Engagement --- http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Political-Engagement.aspx

    Top Ten Tweets to Date in Academe
    Keep in mind that none of these hold a candle to such globally popular twitterers such as Britney Spears
    "10 High Fliers on Twitter:  On the microblogging service, professors and administrators find work tips and new ways to monitor the world ," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i31/31a01001.htm?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

    1. Sarah Evans, director of public relations at Elgin Community College. Tweet: "Looking for a job in PR? Follow @PRSAjobcenter and turn on your mobile alerts. Good stuff."

    http://twitter.com/PRsarahevans
    Followers: 18,762. Posts: 10,509.

    Many college public-relations offices have set up Twitter accounts, and communication leaders have been enthusiastic tweeters. Ms. Evans set up a feed for Elgin Community College where she posts news about the institution, but she also runs a popular personal feed where she shares her thoughts about the use of social media in public relations. She told me that she regularly pitches stories to journalists via Twitter, and she believes that watching the feeds of journalists helps her build personal relationships with them.

    Microblogging can be a way to connect with students as well. "At the beginning of the school year, we had a student who tweeted to our Elgin account worried about her uniform coming in for her culinary class, and I was able to help get it to her," she said. Ms. Evans speaks frequently at public-relations conferences about the use of Facebook and Twitter in her job, and she is a guest blogger for the popular technology blog Mashable, which focuses on social media.


    2. Jay Rosen, associate professor of journalism at New York University. Tweet: "'I had thought of Twitter as a broadcast tool, but it's become far more valuable to me as a listening device.' http://is.gd/pGV2 Exactly."

    http://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu
    Followers: 13,054. Posts: 6,265.

    Mr. Rosen posts about 25 times a day, mostly musing on the future of journalism and on how Twitter and other technologies are changing the profession. "It's journalism education for anyone who wants to sign up," he told me in a telephone interview. But the real value of Twitter, he says, is what he learns by watching the other messages coming in — from college students, venture capitalists, journalists, and others he follows. "The fact that they're watching the news for me, scouting the Web for me, and editing the Web in real time — that's the value of it," he said. He started using the service more than a year ago after he was encouraged to do so by his friend, the journalism blogger Jeff Jarvis. Mr. Rosen says it complements his own blog, PressThink, letting him reach new audiences and interact with more people.


    3. Howard Rheingold, a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley teaching virtual communities and social media. Tweet: "http://www.stickam.com/ multiple live video chat windows looks interesting, may try with my classes"

    http://twitter.com/hrheingold
    Followers: 8,644. Posts: 6,189.

    Mr. Rheingold has been a pioneer in online communities since the 1980s (before most people knew there was such a thing), and he remains on the forefront of social media and networks. He spent most of his career as a writer (his latest book is called Smart Mobs), but he started teaching at colleges a couple of years ago. He was an early user of Twitter, and he says he often turns to it for teaching advice. "As a relatively new teacher, Twitter is really my main connection to other educators who are using Web technologies in their teaching," he told me. "I use it to find suggestions of things to do, and to bounce things off people." He also uses it to have a public conversation about trends in social media. He argues that Twitter isn't for everyone — and that users have to post regularly so that people will be reading you when you want to turn back to seek advice. "I'm not selling it — you have to see whether it works for you," he said. "If you want to share information in small bites with a group of people who share your interest, that's what it's for."


    4. Amanda French, an assistant research scholar and digital-curriculum specialist at NYU. Tweet: "I'm planning to Twitter my dissertation, did I tell you? 453,546 characters including spaces & notes=only 3240 tweets."

    http://twitter.com/amandafrench
    Followers: 1,336. Posts: 3,937.

    Ms. French starts each day by reading her Twitter account at the breakfast table from her cellphone, in search of what's new with the 200 people she follows. "It has really replaced the newspaper for me, I have to say," she said. She says she developed a large following on the service somewhat by accident. She called in a question to a popular technology podcast in 2007 and mentioned her Twitter name, and suddenly hundreds of people started tracking her. "It's a bit like academia — someone who's prestigious or well read cites you in their book, and that's going to increase the attention to what you've done." She mixes clever comments about her daily life with observations about technology and digital archives, and several people I talked to recommended her feed as one that is useful but also fun.


    5. David Parry, an assistant professor of emerging media and communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. Tweet: "Someone just told me to look in the Sunday newspaper ... uh what's that? can I get that on my iPhone?"

    http://twitter.com/academicdave
    Followers: 1,701. Posts: 3,891.

    Mr. Parry was one of the first to try Twitter as a teaching tool — we wrote about his experiments last year (The Chronicle, February 29, 2008). He has gained many followers of his Twitter feed, where he shares his experiences using technology for teaching and research.

    He led a panel about microblogging at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association in December, which he organized via Twitter. "Rather than giving the standard 15or 20-minute papers, we actually limited each speaker's paper to like five to seven minutes and had respondents in the audience ask questions, but we didn't let them ask long-winded questions that sometimes happen at conferences," he said. "The idea of Twitter is there are very strict limits, so you naturally have to converse instead of monologue."


    6. Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Tweet: "It's good to finally see some interest in digital humanities at Yale: http://is.gd/pooB"

    http://twitter.com/dancohen
    Followers: 849. Posts 1,484.

    When I called Mr. Cohen in his office the other day, he was reading through the printed conference proceedings from an event held by the Smithsonian Institution about the impact of the Web on museums. He said he felt like he got a better record of what went on at the event by reading Twitter messages posted by people who attended. "You get conversation among the attendees and questions from people outside the conference," he said. Twitter is becoming more popular at academic conferences, where if you are sitting in a boring session, you can look at Twitter and see if anyone is raving about another session that they are in. "You can get up and leave the boring panel where someone is just reading off their paper, and go to that interesting one," he said. "A killer application of Twitter is conferences and conference reporting."


    7. Paul Levinson, a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University. Tweet: "My avatar's interview in Second Life--about the evolution of social media--full video http://blip.tv/file/475397"

    http://twitter.com/paullev
    Followers: 822. Posts: 1,477.

    Mr. Levinson not only studies social media, he lives the digital lifestyle he studies. "I have four podcasts and three blogs and who knows what else going," he told me, adding that he has about 2,000 friends on Facebook. Oh yeah, and he's writing a book about Twitter and other social media. "I am fascinated by the evolution of media and how media in my view has been evolving for a long time into greater human expression," he said. "What Twitter does is it humanizes our existence by keeping us in touch with people who we're interested in."


    8. Scott McLeod, an associate professor at Iowa State University and director of the university's Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. Tweet: "College students are online more AND reading more? http://snipurl.com/eko4k"

    http://twitter.com/mcleod
    Followers: 1,307. Posts: 1,190.

    Mr. McLeod argues that professors have been too slow to adopt Twitter. Academic discussions online often take place on closed e-mail lists, he says, when they should be happening in public forums like Twitter, so that a diverse group of outsiders can join in. "I think academics are actually missing a lot by not being involved in more of these social tools," he told me. "There are a lot of academics who think, 'If it's not coming from some other academic it's not worth a damn,' and that's not right."

    He admits that some of the messages on Twitter are banal, such as people describing what they had for lunch that day, but he said such notes are part of what makes Twitter such a powerful way to feel connected to far-flung colleagues. "It's like those daily interactions you have with your neighbor — sometimes they're highbrow and sometimes they're lowbrow, but after a while you really get to know the person."


    9. Michael L. Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. Tweet: "CBS Sunday Morning setting up shop in my office for an interview about YouTube"

    http://twitter.com/mwesch
    Followers: 2,958. Posts: 257.

    Several people told me I should follow Michael Wesch, who has become something of a rock star in the world of academic technology. He's best known for his creative YouTube videos. One of them, "The Machine Is Us/ing Us," has been viewed on YouTube nearly a million times, stylishly showing the promise of social networking. Mr. Wesch won a Wired magazine Rave Award in 2007, and he was recently named a professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. On Twitter, he often highlights his favorite multimedia and points to other interesting posts he has seen on the service. "I don't use it for broadcasting my daily life, but for sharing interesting links, knowledge, and ideas," he wrote me via e-mail. "This is great for studying or following events as they unfold, but it is also useful for more traditional research if you can form or tap into a good network."


    10. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University. Tweet: "Preparing for commencement tomorrow. Our graduates are full of promise and ingenuity, and we are launching them into the world just in time."

    http://twitter.com/presidentgee
    Followers: 528. Posts: 25.

    The only college president we could find on Twitter was Mr. Gee, one of the nation's best-known (and best-paid) college administrators. He has only been posting for a couple of weeks, but he said he is enjoying it so far. I caught up with him by cellphone this month — he was posting a message to Twitter while on a layover at the airport. He said he joined Twitter hoping that it would help him demystify the job of college president by sharing details from his daily life. "It shows that you're not just living in a big house and begging" for money, he quipped. "You do get out and work."

    He has posted about alumni events he has attended, about being eager to hear students' spring-break stories, about the university's recent commencement, and of course, cheers and best wishes for the university's basketball teams as they played in the NCAA tournament. He said he's not worried that posting about his comings and goings and thoughts will invade his privacy. "When you're president of a large university, you have no privacy anyway, so why not?" He has signed up to follow the Twitter feeds of Lance Armstrong, whom he knows personally, and some of his favorite writers, including Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas L. Friedman.

    "How Twitter Could Bring Search Up to Speed:  Some say that Twitter may be as important to real-time search as YouTube is to video," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, March 11, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/web/22272/?nlid=1848&a=f 

    When Twitter was introduced in late 2006, asking users to post a 140-word answer to the question "What are you doing?," many criticized the results as nothing more than a collection of trivial thoughts and inane ramblings. Fast-forward three years, and the number of Twitter users has grown to millions, while the content of the many posts--better known as "tweets"--has shifted from banal to informative.

    Twitter users now cover breaking news, posting links to reports, blog posts, and images. Twitter's search box also reveals what people think of the latest new gadget or movie, letting visitors eavesdrop on often spirited conversations and some insightful opinions.

    Earlier this week, on The Charlie Rose Show, Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, was asked directly whether Google might be interested in acquiring Twitter. He responded, somewhat coyly, that his company was "unlikely to buy anything right now."

    Nonetheless, as Twitter grows in size and substance, it's becoming clear that it offers a unique feed of real-time conversation and sentiment. Danny Sullivan, editor of the blog Search Engine Land, compares this to the unique real-time feed of new video content offered by YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006, and says that Twitter could help improve real-time search. Notably, says Sullivan, this is something that Google isn't particularly good at. Even by scouring news sites, Google simply can't match the speed and relevancy of social sites like Digg and Twitter, he says.

    Twitter's ability to capture the latest fad is evident from its "trends" feature, which reveals the most talked about topics among Twitterers. At the time this article was written, Twitter users were discussing topics including National Napping Day, DST (daylight savings time), and the new movie Watchmen. A quick search also reveals that five people within the past half hour have posted tweets about last weekend's Saturday Night Live skit called "The Rock Obama." The most recent tweet includes a link to the video and was posted just three minutes ago.

    Bruce Croft, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, says that Twitter search could perhaps help make news alerts more relevant. "If you could search or track large numbers of conversations, then there would be the possibility of developing alerts when something starts happening," he says. "And, of course, it's yet another opportunity to do massive data mining on people's activities to learn even more about what they are doing and when they are doing it."

    Continued in article

    March 12, 2009 reply from Steven Hornik

    I use Twitter in my Financial Accounting class.  I have an account set up just for that course: http://twitter.com/acg2021  I use it for sending out extra credit questions randomly throughout the week so that they receive about 1 tweet per chapter.  Here is an example of the latest tweet I sent out:

    In a period of rising inventory costs, Gross Profit will be __ (higher/lower) under LIFO because COGS are __ (H/L) than under FIFO.

    In the tweet I tell the students when they must get the answer to me and I award extra points for the first n responses.  I find the students really enjoy this and it forces them to keep up the material or bring their textbooks with them wherever they go!  The concept behind it is to have students thinking about accounting all the time!

    Hope this is helpful,

    Steven

    PS I also have a regular twitter account:
    http://twitter.com/shornik if you wish to follow me.  I'm not sure my tweets will be as exciting as Roger's broken and now healed toe but feel free to follow.

    _____________________________
    Dr. Steven Hornik
    University of Central Florida
    Dixon School of Accounting
    407-823-5739
    Second Life: Robins Hermano

    http://mydebitcredit.com
    yahoo ID: shornik
     

    August 18, 2009 reply from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

    I recently created a wikipage for the CTLA workshop I did at the AAA in NYC. Its short and sweet (I think) so if anyone is looking for more info about twitter (terminology, links to applications, a few use cases) feel free to check it out at:

    http://reallyengagingaccounting.wikispaces.com/Twitter 

    Dr. Steven Hornik University of Central Florida Dixon School of Accounting 407-823-5739 Second Life: Robins Hermano
    http://mydebitcredit.com 
    Yahoo ID: shornik

    Interesting Blog on Twitter --- http://glinner.posterous.com/the-conversation-23


    "Four Big Questions (and Predictions) for Social Media in 2013," by Alex Kantrowitz, Forbes, December 28, 2012 --- Click Here
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkantrowitz/2012/12/28/four-big-social-media-questions-for-2013/?utm_campaign=techtwittersf&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

    Social media, as we know it today, has not been around for very long. Both Facebook and Twitter came into being less than decade ago and really only gained public consciousness over the past five years. Ditto for newcomers like Instagram, Tumblr and Quora, the oldest of which is just five years old.

    The composition of this young social media ecosystem changes every year and 2013 will be no different. Social media companies will inevitably introduce new tweaks and features that will enrage, excite and confuse their users. That’s the nature of this business, things change fast. As we turn the corner into 2013, Voted Up will be monitoring the shifts with a focus not just on the specific platforms themselves, but the industry as a whole. Here are four questions we’ll be keeping our eye on, along with some predictions:

    Will Twitter keep growing?

    Ever since Twitter became more than just a forum to share updates about everyday life (example: “I’m brushing my teeth”), those following the platform have wondered it if could move beyond its existence as an “insider network” and gain mass adoption. It’s getting there. Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it hit the 200 million monthly active user mark, an important step towards the mainstream but still just one fifth of the active users claimed by Facebook. That leaves Twitter in an odd zone between niche platform and mainstream social media site. In 2013, we’ll find out if Twitter can continue its impressive rate of growth and shed the “inside baseball” label for good, or whether it has hit a ceiling and will remain where it is today.

    Prediction: The active user boom continues.

    Will social media lose its magic?

    On that note, there has been a lot of talk lately about what scale, and the demand for it, have wrought upon the world of social media  (further reading: Anil Dash’s The Web Web Lost). In discussing the problem, GigaOM’s Mathew Ingram pointed to an essay by Digg’s Jake Levine which looks at the “broadcast-ification” of social media. Levine writes that large social networks are focusing on creating experiences more friendly to brands, meaning they’re prioritizing features which enable brands to speak to many as opposed to working on how to better facilitate conversational experiences. The changes will lead to more users and more money, Levine writes, but forsake some core features that brought the platforms to the dance in the first place. Social media remains a place where seemingly anyone can have a voice, but a shift towards broadcast and brands makes you wonder if that “magic” element of it will endure.

    Prediction: The magic takes a hit but stays intact.

    Will we pay attention to the way social media is affecting our real lives?

    After the murder-suicide of his teammate Jovan Belcher, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn took the podium to address the media. “We live in a society of social networks and Twitter pages and Facebook,” he said. “We have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends and it seems like half the time we’re more preoccupied with our phones and other things going on instead of the actual relationships we have in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this.” Not to suggest that social media is responsible for Belcher’s actions, but there is a reason Quinn said what he said.

    As we grow more attached to social networks and, indeed, our phones, it’s hard not to see the impact that easy access to social channels is having on our lives. Social media brings us together online but, in some sense, pulls us apart in real life. Try to remember the last time you were in a conversation with someone and found yourself competing with a phone for attention. Chances are, it was probably not too long ago.

    With sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter growing easier to peruse and participate in via phone, the temptation to zone out while in the presence of family, friends and co-workers will grow even more difficult to resist in 2013. And today, smartphone usage is surging. Smartphone penetration increased by 24 percent in 2012, according to the research firm eMarketer, and is expected to grow another 18 percent in 2013. That’s a lot more smartphones in circulation ready to interrupt (or cheapen) a lot more conversations. Soon, the effects of this new reality will be hard to ignore, but will it happen in 2013?

    Prediction: No. We won’t pay attention in 2013, but this issue is not going away.

    Will there be a breakout social media site in 2013?

    Continued in article


    Please Don't Shoot the Messenger This Time (I'm not forwarding this tidbit for political debate or to make a political statement)
    With all due respect to my good friend and poet Neal Hannon, the Harvard Business Review published an item from a somewhat condescending  Haavud media "expert" who does not think so much of AskObama
    I don't think Haque's criticisms have anything to do with liberalism versus conservatism in this particular instance since Haque's Harvard Media Lab most likely is more liberal than conservative or it would be driven out of that side of the Charles River. Haque calls this Twitter stunt "digital dumbification.."

    "AskObama Is a Meaningless Marketing Stunt," Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 6, 2011 --- Click Here
    http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2011/07/askobama_is_a_meaningless_mark.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

    So, what are you asking President Obama? Why not more stimulus? Why did he choose to bail out the banks? What about the deficit, China, the euro, youth unemployment, and the future? All worthy themes for today's Twitter Townhall.

    But perhaps you should reconsider. Me? I'm asking him nothing. Consider it a tiny one man protest. Maybe, just maybe, AskObama is less 21st century transparency — and more like a tiny dose of digital dumbification.

    I find the exercise cynical at worst, and at best, even if nobly well-intentioned, a tiny symbol of exactly how and why the 20th century's stopping the 21st from being born. I'd say that the Obama team, a little bit panicked with the growing sense of disappointment, disenchantment, and just plain outrage amongst the general populace, that decision-makers decided to mortgage the future of pretty much everyone worth less than $5 million not for, for example, tomorrow's moonshots, great achievements, or grand public works, but to save the skins of zombie fatcats and vampire investment bankers (sorry, did I say "save the skins of"? I mean "bestow fortune upon", because the super-rich have actually, while most people have gotten poorer, gotten richer during this great crisis) — headed off to hurriedly, nervously confer with their skinny-jeaned, sunglass-wearing, spiky-haired marketing droids. Who smoothly said something like: "Duuudes. Chillax! If you want loyalty, you need engagement. You know what's a killer move to build engagement with 'the digital consumer' (we've got that poor sucker's brain in a jar in our lab, and we've already scanned it into our MacBooks)? You know what really builds marketing synergies, and drives brand equity? Social media!! We've got it--let's let people ask President Obama questions!! On Twitter!! Look: think about it: it'll only take a day, and you'll be seen as a hero. It's perception over reality — and that's what it's always been about."

    I hate to rudely interrupt this pulsing brainwave of an amazing epiphany with a hard dose of duh, but, well, I'm really sorry. You can't buy my "engagement" for a few bucks, you certainly can't have my "loyalty" (because though I might be a mutt, I'm not a pet). And you sure can't win my respect with lowest-common-denominator marketing "stunts" that makes the predictably tedious not-so-creative output of Madison Avenue's glorifiers of toxic, dispiriting, self-destructive, mass-made junk look like John Lennon met Michelangelo in the fifth dimension and they had offspring.

    Why not? Because (welcome to the 21st century) you've got to earn it.

    Now, it could be that my telling of the tale's totally, completely wrong. Maybe Obama dreamt the whole thing up himself, or maybe the Dalai Lama or David Hasselhoff did. Who knows? My point is that without a working, viable, lasting, participatory link to the who, what, when, where, and how of policy-making, the event is just that: a one-off marketing stunt, with little enduring significance or meaning.

    Nearly every aspect of our democracy is in danger of being broken. Voters are apathetic, the judiciary seems toothless, the press rarely uses its much-vaunted freedom, checks and balances don't seem to check or balance much, the two parties that exert iron-clad control over Washington have about as much meaningful difference between them as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, our fiscal situation is blowing a hole in our future, and we fail, over and over again, to invest in stuff that matters most.

    It's marketing over substance, hype over reality, spin over reform — as usual. The dismal truth is that pretty much all of yesterday's institutions — from banks, to "the corporation," to credit ratings, to schools — are just as broken as our political institutions are. And I'd say using the very, very awesome Twitter to solicit "questions" from citizens in this environment is a little bit like earnestly running a focus group about the best color for your next pair of $2000 loafers — while your boardroom's on fire.

    Yet, all is far from lost. Here's the good news. While our democracy might be in disrepair, we're also the pioneers of a set of radically disruptive tools that have the power not merely to repair or restore it — but to reimagine and reinvent it.
    It's not that we don't have the tools to reinvent democracy. If you can trade stocks from Kathmandu on your iPhone, my guess is we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible for 21st century democracy. Given today's panoply of powerfully disruptive social technologies, it's within the realm of the possible to create polities that slash coordination costs, erase information gaps, achieve a thicker consensus, build shared values, amplify audience costs, forge more imaginative policies, and heal yesterday's festering wounds. Sure, it's not going to be easy, straightforward, or automatic. It will take focus, effort, investment, and time. But perhaps for the first time in human history, it's possible to envision something like a real-time, organic, decentralized, sophisticated, multiparty, multipolar democracy — instead of the lumbering, plodding, top-heavy, simplistic, monolithic monster that's chasing us straight into a Great Stagnation.

    The promise of social technologies is to fundamentally reimagine and reboot yesterday's crumbling institutions
    (and disempower the bumbling beancounters who run them). In political terms? They should be used — right now, right here, right this very second — to build a deeper democracy, one where via deliberation, citizens have a bottom-up impact on policy-making, which as it stands today is totally disconnected from and unresponsive to the general populace and unable to do much of anything about anything. They should be used to help ignite an authentic prosperity, by redrawing the boundaries of political freedom for the underprivileged and the powerless — and to blow apart a polity that protects and props up the privileged and the powerful.

    What we don't need is more of this: "People tuning out? Great — instead of actually improving stuff, hit 'em with some marketing!!"

    Sorry, Mr President: you've got the pundits, talking heads, and powers that be right where you want them (judging from the response you've gotten so far), but little old me? I'm not buying into your latest "campaign." I'm not a "target." I'm a citizen of a generation whose future is going up in smoke faster than you can say "credit default swaps." And what you're really telling me is this: in some parts of the world, social tools can fuel the revolutions that topple dictators. Here, in the nation that invented them? They're used for marketing stunts.

    Continued in article

    \


    With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.
    Billie Hara

    The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.
    Billie Hara

    "Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status)," by Billie Hara, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2011 ---
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/think-before-you-tweet-or-blog-or-update-a-status/30949?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Earlier this week, Miriam Posner, Stewart Varner, and Brian Croxall wroteCreating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics.”  They had some terrific recommendations about how to establish an online presence and how to keep that presence active and positive.  Good stuff!

    Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written before about the networking wonders and creative collaborations that can happen via online forums.  We meet people from different disciplines in various parts of the world, and we connect because we share interests and goals.  With all the good, though, there are some negative aspects to online presences.  It’s important to recognize that whatever we write online is for public consumption, that we are not simply chatting with friends and family when we post.

    Today I want to veer off their post just a bit and write about something that might detract from a positive and professional online presence, a presence that we so meticulously create and maintain, comments made online that publicly disparage students and colleagues.  These comments can be intentional—meant to demean or criticize—or they can be random comments made in jest.

    Take, for example, the case of Dr. Gloria Gadsden, an associate professor at East Stroudsburg University.  About a year ago, Dr. Gadsden wrote on Facebook that she had a good day at school, and “didn’t want to kill even one student,” adding “Friday was a different story.”  She wrote this comment—surely in jest—in a space that she believed to be private.  However, it wasn’t.  A third party read her comment and notified university authorities.  Dr. Gadsden was suspended, and ultimately reinstated, after the incident, but the hit to her professional reputation is clear.

    A few more cautionary tales:

    The kind of vocalizations that caused the above-named individuals to be fired are common in high stress professions, as they can defuse anger or frustration.  Speaking these words can be a way to commiserate with colleagues, or they can become “in jokes” among friends.  These exchanges can be OK when we are face-to-face with others, as we have body language and voice inflections to help us understand the meaning and context behind the statements.  Online is a different situation, however.

    Continued in article

    David Albrecht wrote:

    "I don't see anything wrong with Tom's comments.  It is opinion, and Tom's opinion, and Tom's blog.  I think that rumor creation is a valid function for a blog."
    David Albrecht


    Jensen Comment
    If this is what you are going to teach in your CPE session at the AAA annual meetings in Denver then I want no part of that session. That is an absurd statement that might fly in a teen's blog, but rumor mongering should be screamed down by any and all members of the Academy David.

    Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.

    It's a violation of the code of ethics of professional journalism to create rumors that are not verified (usually by at least two independent sources). I contend that members of our Academy have, at a minimum, a responsibility to adhere to the code of ethics of journalism. In fact I would hope the we even have a higher standard in the Academy to name our sources before spreading rumors, especially rumors about people that can affect their professional futures as well as guide student opinions.

    The higher standard in the Academy is that professors, unlike journalists, should be bound to cite their sources or to provide normative logic that adheres to the standards of logic in philosophy and mathematics. That entails defending assumptions upon which deductions are based.

    I also disagree that time pressures of the author are justifiable reasons for not investigating facts before shooting off at the hip. Tom had ample opportunity to investigate facts that he simply did not do before letting off a salvo and naming names.



    "In Tom's column, he quotes Edith Orenstein as saying that the quantity of comment letters should be a factor.  I believe this is not a good idea.  There are better ways of figuring out the prevalence of a particular view, such as sampling and or a vote." 
    David Albrecht


    Jensen Comment
    I think open lines of communication are essential for standard setters, and I applaud both the FASB and the IASB for issuing exposure drafts before and both inviting comments and publishing comments before finalizing standards. Having said this, the standard setters are not responsible for either the quality of the comments coming in or the strategies (such as cookie cutter comments) of people from around the world who send in comments.


    The standard setters are responsible for studying all comments submitted and then deciding themselves what comments add value to the deliberations. For example, if standard setters have overlooked some significant costs of adhering to parts of a standard then the comment letters helped to correct this oversight.


    Blogging is now part and parcel to freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibility, especially in the Academy.


    "Checkout Our “The Best Of “Twitter Lists – Love Your DM or RT," The Big Four Blog, November 9, 2009 ---
    http://www.bigfouralumni.blogspot.com/

    Twitter just released its latest exciting functionality - Twitter Lists, and we think it’s awesome and very timely.

    It allows us to curate who we think are the most appropriate Tweeters to follow in our niche space of The Big Four Firms, accounting, finance, tax, jobs and related topics.

    We have already created some list, which we are calling “The Best Of”. We rather like this name, but we’ll evolve as lists get more ingrained, and may change.

    For example after our search, all the Twitterers we think are most relevant to follow for Deloitte happenings in the Twitter universe, we have added to our “The Best of Deloitte” list.

    This is our subjective selection, and we think it's a pretty good one. That’s not to say that we have completely covered all the bases, so if there is someone that just needs to be on or off any of these lists, please DM or shout out to us @big4alum. Thanks in advance.

    Also, we’ll continue to refine and add/subtract to this list over time, but our intent is to keep them highly relevant and focused. We see that some of our list already have some followers and no doubt this will pick up as Twitter Lists get more ingrained and Twitter itself allows tweets and Twitter Lists to be retweeted.

    So, here are our lists – follow us or follow the lists, and keep that feedback going!!

    All The Lists --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/lists

    Best of Accenture --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-

    Best of Capgemini *** http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-capgemini 

    Best of Deloitte --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-deloitte

    Best of Ernst & Young --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-ernst-young

    Best of KPMG http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-kpmg

    Best of PricewaterhouseCoopers --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-pwc 

    Best of Accounting --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-accounting 

    Best of Finance --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-finance 

    Best of Tax --- http://twitter.com/big4alum/best-of-tax 

    Bob Jensen's threads on Twitter --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#Twitter

    Stocktwits --- http://stocktwits.com/

    Roger Debreceny Tweets --- www.twitter.com/debreceny a

    "CPAs are Aflutter About Twitter," by Kristin Gentry, SmartPros, August 10, 2009 ---
    http://accounting.smartpros.com/x67355.xml

    "CPAs Embrace Twitter Brief messages leave powerful impressions," by Megan Pinkston, The Journal of Accountancy, August 2009 --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2009/Aug/20091828.htm 

    "50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom" Online Colleges, June 6, 2009
     http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2009/06/08/50-ways-to-use-twitter-in-the-college-classroom/

    Top Ten Tweets to Date in Academe
    Keep in mind that none of these hold a candle to such globally popular twitterers such as Britney Spears
    "10 High Fliers on Twitter:  On the microblogging service, professors and administrators find work tips and new ways to monitor the world ," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i31/31a01001.htm?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en
  •  

    "How Twitter Could Bring Search Up to Speed:  Some say that Twitter may be as important to real-time search as YouTube is to video," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, March 11, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/web/22272/?nlid=1848&a=f 

  • Bob Jensen's threads on blogs and listservs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

    Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm


    Google Buzz --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Buzz
    Yahoo Buzz --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo!_Buzz

    "Why Google Pushed Buzz Out The Door Before It Was Ready," by Erick Schonfeld,  TechCrunch.com via The Washington Post, February 29, 2010 ---
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/01/AR2010030100008.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

    When  Google Buzz launched three weeks ago, the product wasn't ready. There were basic privacy issues that still needed to be hammered out (and were quickly addressed by Google), but beyond that Google Buzz simply did not work smoothly enough to force feed it to 175 million Gmail users without any warning. (MG covered some of the usability issues last week).So why was Google Buzz pushed out the door too soon? I have three interrelated theories:Google still wants to buy  Twitter, and putting Buzz into Gmail might be enough of a threat to bring Twitter back to the table. Buzz did not launch in some Google Labs backwater. It is placed front and center in Gmail. Buzz is Google's strongest effort yet to enter the stream. If Buzz can gain traction it would certainly help Google's negotiating position with Twitter.Independent of any pressure it may place on Twitter, Google needs to have its own realtime micro-messaging communications system. The micro-message bus is just a more efficient way to communicate than email for many types of messages so it makes sense to add it as a layer to Gmail: broadcast your public messages via Buzz, and keep private ones on email or chat, all from the same place.The other reason Google needed to establish its own social stream pronto is that links passed through social sharing are beginning to rival search as a primary driver of traffic for many sites. Part of Google's prowess stems from the fact that it is the largest referrer of traffic to many other Websites. It doesn't want to lose that status to social sharing streams such as Facebook or Twitter. Already, Buzz is helping to boost sharing through Google Reader. While Google doesn't benefit directly from that traffic (yet), simply knowing what links people are sharing and clicking on is valuable data which can help it improve its search results.Google needed to get into this game as fast as it could, even if there were bumps along the way. The question now is whether Buzz can keep building.Photo credit: Flickr/ChelseagirlCrunchBase InformationGoogle BuzzTwitterInformation provided by CrunchBase


    "Firms Take to The Tweetable Business Model," by Kim Hart, The Washington Post, March 9, 2009 --- Click Here

    Twitter, that microblogging tool that caught on with teens and twentysomethings using it to tell loyal followers what they're doing at any given time -- in 140 characters or less -- is now becoming part of the business strategy for a wide range of brands, from Skittles to Fairfax County.

    As exciting as it may be to hear about what your friends, or total strangers for that matter, ate for breakfast, some companies are realizing that a more effective use of Twitter is to mine it for clients, recruit employees and answer customer service questions.

    To that end, some businesses are starting to host Twitter tutorials for employees.

    Network Solutions, a Web-hosting and online marketing company based in Herndon, held a brown-bag lunch session last week to teach staffers how to sign up for a Twitter account, how to send messages to individuals and how to search for people who may be talking about the company in messages, or "tweets."

    Twitter is an easy way to create buzz for a new product launch or to alert customers to a service outage. Earlier this week, the Skittles Web site directed visitors to a Twitter search for the term "skittle" to see what people were saying about the candy. Attendees at conferences and other business-related gatherings already use the service to relate details on an unusually interesting session or to share news announcements.

    For example, at a conference focused on global health last month, philanthropist Bill Gates released a jarful of mosquitoes into a room to make a point about the spread of malaria.

    "And people found out about that first on Twitter," said Steven Fisher, community and social media manager at Network Solutions.

    Shashi Bellamkonda, Network Solutions' social media swami (yes, that's his real title), organized the tutorial, attended by about 30 people. He's a more prolific Twitterer than most, posting anywhere from five to 15 tweets per day about anything from his daily routine to the news. Big companies such as Dell are active in the Twitterverse addressing customer service issues, he said.

    Fairfax County government is also experimenting with Twitter, sending out announcements about snow-induced school closings and county board meetings.

    Companies are now accustomed to monitoring blogs and other consumer-generated content for mentions of brands -- in fact, companies such as Arlington-based New Media Strategies have made a profitable business out of it. Similarly, Bellamkonda wants Network Solutions employees to take notice of any questions, complaints or other mentions of the company that pop up on Twitter.

    W. Roy Dunbar, the firm's chief executive, said it is even more important to communicate with customers during an economic downturn. He said he gives his social media team free rein to experiment with new tools.

    "Next time, we'll conduct the meeting entirely in tweets," Bellamkonda said.

    It may be a short meeting.

    Rediscovering the Internet

    The crusade for government transparency and open data -- two of the biggest buzzwords in Washington since President Obama put them on his agenda -- has gained momentum over the past week.

    Vivek Kundra, the District's chief technology officer, was officially named as the federal chief information officer Thursday, ending months of speculation about what the brand-new job entails and what it means for how government agencies use technology.

    While the answers to those questions are still unclear, the announcement prompted a collective cheer from some local developers. As an example of what Kundra may do with federal technology projects, many of them point to the contest he held last year called Apps for Democracy, which challenged independent Web developers to come up with interesting ways to use government data.

    District-based Development Seed, a Web consulting group, mashed together government data and other online resources to create DC Bikes, a site with information about bike thefts, popular bike trails and other information for local bike enthusiasts.

    Continued in article


    I doubled up laughing at this headline. I don't know whether it was intentional or not.

    DePaul U. J-Schoolers Study Breaking Tweets
    The university is offering what is apparently the first college journalism class devoted entirely to the Twitter windbreaking  platform.

    http://chronicle.com/blogPost/J-Schoolers-at-DePaul-U-Study/7904/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

    Bob Jensen's threads (down wind) on breaking Tweets --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

     

     


    Deceptions, Hoaxes, and Fakery

    "Open-Access Publisher Appears to Have Accepted Fake Paper From Bogus Center," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2009 --- Click Here

    The medical-research industry is under growing pressure to improve its ethical standards. Similar pressure has extended to peer-reviewed medical journals, after Elsevier, a publishing leader, admitted to publishing at least nine fake journals from 2000 to 2005.

    In other words, it’s an especially bad time for a medical journal to be duped by an author who, say, submits a fake computer-generated research paper from a fake institution he named the Center for Research in Applied Phrenology — or CRAP.

    And yet that’s exactly what appears to have happened.

    The deception was the work of Philip M. Davis, a doctoral student in communication at Cornell University who serves as executive editor of the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s Scholarly Kitchen blog.

    Mr. Davis said he had concocted the plan after receiving numerous “aggressive” unsolicited e-mail messages from Bentham Publishing, which finances its line of 200 open-access scientific journals by charging authors a publication fee.

    Mr. Davis and the blog’s editor in chief, Kent R. Anderson, submitted two research papers that were created by a computer program at MIT called SCIgen that describes itself as generating random text intended to “maximize amusement, rather than coherence.”

    One of the papers was rejected by Bentham, and the other — a nonsensical five-page report with footnotes and graphical charts that purported to describe an Internet process called the “Trifling Thamyn” — was accepted after the publisher said it had been peer-reviewed. Mr. Davis reported that an invoice for $800 had been issued by Bentham, without any evidence that the article was actually peer-reviewed.

    The publications director at Bentham, Mahmood Alam, told The Chronicle by e-mail that, “to the best of our knowledge, we have not published any article from the Center for Research in Applied Phrenology in any of our journals.” Mr. Davis said he had written to Bentham to withdraw the paper after its publication was approved.

    Bentham’s subscription manager, Pradeep Menon, reached by telephone at the company’s headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, said he was aware of the accusation but had no further details and could not offer any other company official to comment.

    “It’s the first of its kind because we never had such an insinuation charged against us,” Mr. Menon said. “All of our journals are peer-reviewed — that is 100 percent sure.”

    Similar scammers have had success in the past, most notably the hoax published in the journal Social Text in 1996 by Alan D. Sokal, a physicist at New York University.

    The “popular conception” that open-access publishers rely on publication fees, meanwhile, may not even be true, according to Stuart M. Shieber, a professor of computer science at Harvard University. Mr. Shieber, in his blog, The Occasional Pamphlet, said he had devised a program to pull data out of computerized medical-journal listings and concluded that only about 23 percent of open-access journals charge publication fees.

    Jensen Comment
    Various hoax papers have been discovered in leading magazines and journals. It would seem that perpetrators of hoaxes are liable to the extent that damages can be proved by the publisher or the readers. Hoaxes are especially dangerous in medical journals.

    Another problem is faked portions of articles, books, and documentary movies where the author neglects to separate fact from fiction in the writing itself. For example, Al Gore used fictional scenes in his movie "Inconvenient Truth" --- http://www.zimbio.com/Global+Warming+Hoax/articles/22/Al+Gore+Used+Fictional+Scenes+Inconvenient

    Whether or not a journal is open access is mostly irrelevant to this particular issue of a faked publication. It is only slightly relevant in that open access journals that are not printed in hard copy can be created more cheaply and, accordingly, might have less oversight by people (such as dues-paying academic association members) who put up the money for the journal.

    I always remember, while still a doctoral student, when Les Livingstone came into my office and pointed out that The Accounting Review had just published an article that was entirely (meaning word-for-word) plagiarized from Management Science. The article itself was not a hoax, but this illustrates that reputable journals with reputable referees can be deceived.

    You can read about some hoaxes at http://www.articlesbase.com/article-tags/hoax

    Both Snopes and Wikipedia have search categories for "suspect items" that have a higher likelihood of being hoax items but reviewers are not certain about whether or not each item is a hoax --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Suspected_hoax_articles
    Wikipedia depends heavily upon readers to detect hoaxes. This is why articles on very obscure entries that have almost no readers are more likely to be misleading than popular readership items. Some companies pay staff to search Wikipedia for entries containing false or misleading items about their companies. World governments also pay workers to check Wikipedia entries.

    Note that according to Snopes "Urban Legends" may differ from "pure fiction" ---
    http://www.snopes.com/info/faq.asp
    Also see the Glossary at http://www.snopes.com/info/glossary.asp

    I have repeatedly warned Internet searchers to beware of items published by individuals and organizations that may not be reputable. This is a special problem with blogs. I seldom pass along a module from unknown individuals and organizations. It is a bit more of a problem when a generally trustworthy source links to an unknown individual or organization. Here I must use judgment. If a reporter for a major newspaper or magazine links to an article by an unknown source, I tend to trust that the reporter checked out authenticity. I'm less trustworthy of blog entries even if I know the blogger. There are of course exceptions such as when I trust the WebMD blogs or the Chronicle of Higher Education blogs.

     


    David Pogue is one of my technology heroes --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Pogue
    Vidya Ananthanarayanan called my attention to his recent keynote speech at the
    Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference
    "Five ways to improve technology in education," by Todd Ritter, DownloadSquad, February 12, 2008 --- Click Here

    Stay informed
    Use Really Simple Syndication (RSS) to keep up with technology news and events. To use RSS you'll need an RSS reader like
    Google Reader, NetNewsWire (Mac), or FeedDemon (Windows) to read RSS feeds. An RSS feed is basically a dynamic link that updates your RSS reader when new content is posted to a website (click the "RSS Feeds" button under our search bar to see examples).

    You can also subscribe to technology newsletters, and talk to students about websites and web services they use on their own. A majority of teachers do not know what
    Stickam or Meebo are, yet these sites are used daily by many of their students.

    Focus on the learning process, not the end product
    When little Susie uses iMovie to create a video of her class field trip to Cape Canaveral, she should be evaluated on what she's learned through the creative process, not how many wipes and sound effects she used in her final movie file. The quality and relativity of the still pictures she took by learning how to use a digital camera, or video footage from a well-designed storyboard are better barometers of a successful project.

    Work with IT professionals who understand education
    I work on the IT side of education daily, and I know it's important to unfetter technology at a school to stimulate the learning process. IT staff must be willing to bend on certain security measures and trust students with equipment so that they can be creative and not boxed in. We let students take laptops home to work on approved projects, which ultimately motivates their peers to do the same. We also have a dedicated instructional adviser who helps teachers integrate technology into their lesson plans. This often helps ease the teachers' modification of antiquated lessons.

    Become a user
    Make a
    Facebook account so you can understand the allure of social-networking sites. Add some information about yourself. Locate former school pals. Join some groups. This will let you see sites like Faceook from a student's perspective.

    To collaborate and share course materials, you can create a
    Moodle site for your class, or start a class blog. Students benefit more from teachers who collaborate and less from teachers who force-feed lectures. Also, it's much easier to teach about something that you've actually used in depth. It's time to break the stigma of "those that can, do; those that can't, teach."

    Don't be afraid of change
    Some teachers think that upgrading from Office 2003 to 2007 is using the latest technology. However, a Word document is still words and formatting meant for someone to read. Instead of being satisfied with word processing in a new version of software, why not let students create a school "newspaper" on something like
    Joomla. The news could be updated in seconds, it could be interactive (comments, updates, etc.), and it could be include user-submitted media. Google Earth could be used to give an elementary student global perspective by flying in from a world view down to the roof of his home.
     

    Jensen Comment
    There are other things that I would recommend. I think joining listserv of other educators is important, especially educators in your discipline --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

    It is exceedingly important to know what knowledge is being freely shared by professors and universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
    I hope that you will one day share your own knowledge with us.

    I think becoming a user of important technologies is important, especially video recording using Camtasia --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm
    Also see the 50Camtasia.ppt file at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/EdTech/PowerPoint/

    Following the tools of technology in education in general is important --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

     


    Giving Stuff Away Free on the Internet

    A Special Tribute to My Open Sharing Friend Will Yancey ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Yancey.htm


    "Thanks to Google Plus, Picasa Gets Unlimited Storage for Photos & Videos, Also Better Tagging," by Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb, July 1, 2011 ---
    Click Here
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/thanks_to_google_plus_picasa_gets_unlimited_storage_for_photos_and_videos.php

    With the launch of Google Plus, there may be some confusion as to how the photos uploaded to the social network (Google+) integrate with Google's online photo-sharing service (Picasa), especially in terms of storage limits. The answer provides some great news for Google Plus users - nearly everything you upload to Google Plus won't count towards your storage limits on Picasa, with the only exception being videos longer than 15 minutes.

    And there's another nifty feature involving photo-tagging, too - your Google+ friends can now tag your Picasa photos.

    Thus far I past my photographs on two Web servers at Trinity University:

    Server One
    Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm

    Server Two
    More of Bob Jensen's Personal History in Pictures ---
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


    Question
    Why does Bob Jensen devote so much time to messaging on a listservs and blogs and the AAA Commons?

    Answer
    In truth there is a lot of altruism as found in the research of AECM subscribers by Taylor and Murthy:
    "Knowledge Sharing among Accounting Academics in an Electronic Network of Practice," by  Eileen Z. Taylor and Uday S. Murthy, Accounting Horizons 23 (2), 151 (2009) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#ListServs

    But it's common in altruism of all kinds that the giver strangely gets more than he/she gives when the final scorer comes to write against our names.

    I admit that when I give a lot to others on listservs and blogs that, besides feeling good about helping others to learn, I probably receive more than I give in return. First there is the learning that I receive searching for answers to questions raised by others. They inspired be to do the search, and I'm more knowledgeable for having tried to answer their queries.

    Second, there are others on a listserv like the AECM who may also search and share their answers, thus advancing my knowledge with almost no effort on my part.

    Third there are those who privately expand my knowledge even though they prefer that I not share their messages with others. I had such a message yesterday from a former executive partner in a Big Four firm who told me things about his firm that I never knew before, but he asked that I not broadcast what he confided. He would never have communicated with me if I had not pursued a particular path in my public messaging on the AECM.

    Fourth it is possible to greatly enhance a professional reputation by being a blogger and a listserv messenger. I would never have known about Steve Hornik (Professor Second Life), Rick Lillie (Professor Learning Tech), and Francine Mckenna (with her stiletto heels in the backs of the Big Four) if these AECM subscribers did not send out messages to the AECM. Since I'm retired and my resume is too long for anybody to ever want to read, I'm not reputation building. Denny Beresford and I are more interested in changing the world than in building up our reputations and resumes.. But I don't want to play down the fact that it's possible for younger folks to greatly enhance their reputations by open sharing their scholarship.
    Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

    Fifth it's wonderful to watch David Albrecht's scholarship mature in his blog and messaging to the AECM. At one time David used to put himself down quite often in messaging to the AECM. After he commenced to blog, I sense a renewal of his scholarship, leadership, confidence, and enthusiasm. He's risen above being a follower to becoming that of a leader in this academy. I also admire David because, like Paul Williams and David Fordham and Richard Sansing, he's willing to yell out that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

    Don't forget that David Albrecht had some advice for a future blogger ---
    http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/questions-from-a-future-blogger/

    I have a lot more to say about advantages and disadvantages of being a blogger and an active contributor to a listserv at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm#ListServs

    I think Scott Rosenberg and Joshua Kim found what I found --- we would probably blog if we only blogged to our dogs
    "Online Education and Blogging," by Joshua Kim. Inside Higher Ed, January 25, 2010 ---
    http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology_and_learning 

    A book that has a big impact on my thinking is Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters, by Scott Rosenberg. Have you read it? One of Rosenberg's main arguments is that a blog mostly benefits its author. People who are able to blog consistently do so for internal motivational reasons, rather than for extrinsic rewards. Writing a daily blog helps me sort through all the information around learning technology that crosses my screens. Any discussion that takes off around a particular blog post is a wonderful bonus, I always learn more about the issue from reading comments and other blogs, but the discussion is not the prime motivator. I'd blog if my only audience was my dog.

    Which brings me back to online learning and blogging. My hypothesis is that people who enjoy online teaching and online learning may also enjoy blogging. Teaching and learning in an online format may be good preparation for blogging, or at least for practicing the art of brief persuasive writing. On-ground and hybrid classes can also take advantage of the collaborative LMS tools such as discussion boards and blogs to provide students with opportunities to practice, and receive feedback on, short persuasive writing. The advantages teaching online should not be restricted only to online courses.

    I don't want to pretend that there are not costs as well as benefits to blogging and broadcasting on a listserv. I read fewer books from cover to cover because of tradeoffs that I choose in terms of time devoted to deep scholarship. I now spend a lot more time speed reading than deep reading. I'm a mile wide and an inch deep on a lot of issues that I just don't have time to pursue in deep scholarship.

    Thirty years ago I spent a lot of time wandering the stacks of huge university libraries. Now I take shortcuts to, gasp, Wikipedia and Google and Bing and Simoleon Sense.

    I also have some advantages over young bucks in this game. After over 40 years in some of my specialties where I used to teach (financial accounting, statistics, and operations research) and 20 years in newer specialties (education technology and learning), I can often recall things that the young bucks never knew about the past. They weren't even born yet and never met people face-to-face like Abe Briloff, David Solomons, Bill Cooper, and on and on.

    I just want to thank all of you who contribute so much to me in private and in public over the years, including but not limited to Paul Pacter, Denny Beresford, Paul Williams, Jagdish Gangolly, Scott Bonacker, Amy Dunbar, Richard Sansing, Pat Walters, David Albrecht, Will Yancey, Ed Scribner, and on and on.

    And lately I want to thank Steve Kachelmeier who has taken time out his very busy schedule to let me in on some things I did not know before. I often do not agree with Steve but, unlike most current accountics researchers actively publishing in TAR, JAR, JAE, and CAR, he's willing to go round and round with me in private messaging (most of which he will not allow me to quote for you because he wants to more carefully word craft his public messaging).

    Which leads me up to my last point in this message. Word crafting probably does more bad than good in terms of scholarship. Our journal editors and referees are absolutely paranoid about word crafting. The main reason I don't write articles to submit is that there's just not enough years left in my life to be wasted on how to word craft my ideas. When I have something I think I would like to say, I just write it down as a first draft and hit the send button. To hell with spending another two hours or two days or two months trying to fancify it.

    It 's very easy to revise Web documents time and time again long after they were released to the public domain at my Web site. For example, at least 20 times in the past 10 days I've revised the document at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
    Some changes were requested by  Steve Kachelmeier and some things were added because I myself found new things to add.

    If I wrote the above article to submit to The Accounting Review, it would take me months to perfect it to where it might have a ghost of a chance of being published. And if it was published it would be frozen in time. By having the above paper at my Website, I can maybe add to and revise it 6,373 times before I die. It's a living document rather than a dead fish in published in a journal.

    I plan to stick around for quite a few more years --- sorry Steve!

    And I apologize to all of you for the many times I've written their when I meant there, to when I meant too, etc. It probably comes as no surprise that I despise proof reading.

    January 26, 2010 reply from Francine McKenna [retheauditors@GMAIL.COM]

    What a great testament this is to the power of the written word, to sharing, and to how our lives have changed in the past year, five years, ten years, twenty years due to technology.

    I was just telling a brother a few minutes ago that three years ago, 2007, when I went to my first Compliance Week Annual conference as "media", no one there admitted to knowing what a blogger was, except the very supportive publisher Scott Cohen.  This past June, I shared the front row with dedicated bloggers and Tweeters from the Compliance week publication as well as some others that I had met along the way on line and was glad to finally meet in person.  What a difference even a few years has made.

    I am grateful for the invitation to share with this group and to learn from you.

    One of my favorite poems sums up how I feel when I dwell too much on this subject.

    And Bob...No one wants you to start writing you thank you notes for a good life just yet... :)

    I Have Started to Say
    by Phillip Larkin

    I have started to say

    “A quarter of a century”

    Or “thirty years back”

    About my own life.

    It makes me breathless

    It’s like falling and recovering

    In huge gesturing loops

    Through an empty sky.

    All that’s left to happen

    Is some deaths (my own included).

    Their order, and their manner,

    Remain to be learnt.

     

     

    My Outstanding Educator Award Speech ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/AAAaward_files/AAAaward02.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm


    From the Author of "Dilbert"
    "Giving Stuff Away on the Internet," by Scott Adams, The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2007; Page A19 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119388143439778613.html

    I spend about a third of my workday blogging. Thanks to the miracle of online advertising, that increases my income by 1%. I balance that by hoping no one asks me why I do it.

    As with most of my life decisions, my impulse to blog was a puzzling little soup of miscellaneous causes that bubbled and simmered until one day I noticed I was doing something. I figured I needed a rationalization in case anyone asked. My rationalization for blogging was especially hard to concoct. I was giving away my product for free and hoping something good came of it.

    I did have a few "artist" reasons for blogging. After 18 years of writing "Dilbert" comics, I was itching to slip the leash and just once write "turd" without getting an email from my editor. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but when you aren't allowed to write in the way you talk, it's like using the wrong end of the shovel to pick up, for example, a turd.

    Over time, I noticed something unexpected and wonderful was happening with the blog. I had an army of volunteer editors, and they never slept. The readers were changing the course of my writing in real time. I would post my thoughts on a topic, and the masses told me what they thought of the day's offering without holding anything back. Often they'd correct my grammar or facts and I'd fix it in minutes. They were in turns brutal and encouraging. They wanted more posts on some topics and less of others. It was like the old marketing saying, "Your customers tell you what business you're in."

    At some point I realized we were collectively writing a book, or at least the guts of one. I compiled the most popular (mostly the funniest) posts and pitched it to a publisher. I got a six-figure advance, and picked a title indirectly suggested by my legion of accidental collaborators: "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey-Brain!"

    As part of the book deal, my publisher asked me to delete the parts of my blog archive that would be included in the book. The archives didn't get much traffic, so I didn't think much about deleting them. This turned out to be a major blunder in the "how people think" category.

    A surprising number of my readers were personally offended that I would remove material from the Internet that had once been free, even after they read it. It was as if I had broken into their homes and ripped the books off their shelves. They felt violated. And boy, I heard about it.

    Some left negative reviews on Amazon.com to protest my crass commercialization. While no one has given the book a bad review for its content, a full half of the people who comment trash it for having once been free, as if that somehow mattered to the people who only read books on paper. In the end, the bad feeling I caused by not giving away my material for free forever will have a negative impact on book sales.

    I've had mixed results with giving away content on the Internet. I was the first syndicated cartoonist to offer a comic on the Internet without charge (www.dilbert.com). That gave a huge boost to the newspaper sales and licensing. The ad income was good too. Giving away the "Dilbert" comic for free continues to work well, although it cannibalizes my reprint book sales to some extent, and a fast-growing percentage of readers bypass the online ads with widgets, unauthorized RSS feeds and other workarounds.

    A few years ago I tried an experiment where I put the entire text of my book, "God's Debris," on the Internet for free, after sales of the hard copy and its sequel, "The Religion War" slowed. My hope was that the people who liked the free e-book would buy the sequel. According to my fan mail, people loved the free book. I know they loved it because they emailed to ask when the sequel would also be available for free. For readers of my non-Dilbert books, I inadvertently set the market value for my work at zero. Oops.

    So I've been watching with great interest as the band "Radiohead" pursues its experiment with pay-what-you-want downloads on the Internet. In the near term, the goodwill has inspired lots of people to pay. But I suspect many of them are placing a bet that paying a few bucks now will inspire all of their favorite bands to offer similar deals. That's when the market value of music will approach zero.

    That's my guess. Free is more complicated than you'd think.

    Mr. Adams is the creator of "Dilbert" and author of "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey-Brain!" (Portfolio, 2007).

    I'm active on two accounting ListServs called the AECM and CPA-L, both of which were formed many years ago by Barry Rice. I was asked recently by someone close to Barry to comment on these ListServs. Below is my response including why the medium is much more than the message in the case of a ListServ:

    Hi XXXXX,

    I did not know Barry Rice when he started up the AECM and CPA-L Listservs. I got to know him better by email and met him quite a few years later. Barry is a world class accounting teacher with administrative skills as well. I now consider him a great friend.

    ListServs are much like forums except that a forum usually has an assigned leader or group of leaders with their own agendas. ListServs are totally voluntary and spontaneous communities. Forums often have invited memberships, whereas most ListServs can be freely joined by any person on the world’s Internet. When a message is sent to a forum, the sender generally knows where it is going. When a message is sent to a ListServ, the sender has some idea of a few people who will receive it but no idea about all the people in the world who are lurking for messages. 

    Off the top of my head, I would say that a ListServ aids in the following:

    A ListServ does not generally do all of the things listed above, although the AECM initiated by Barry comes about as close as possible to doing all those things mentioned above. The CPA-L list that Barry also formed is primarily a Q&A List that does none of the other things listed above. Practitioners on the CPA-L generally raise a question (often a tax question) and others provide answers. There’s almost nothing in the way of daily news, debates, sharing of research/scholarship, entertainment, building of friendships, or building of reputations.

    The AECM somehow evolved into a multi-purpose ListServ that accomplishes all of the things mentioned above. Its international success was primarily timing and leadership and luck. Barry offered up this service when there was very little else for accounting educators on the Internet. There were at least three other early competitors, and I honestly cannot say why the AECM emerged as the main ListServ for accounting educators around the world. I do think that time is too valuable for people to join in on very many active ListServs. Hence it’s not likely that all competitors early on would’ve flourished. Why the AECM emerged as the main general-purpose higher education ListServ for accounting educators is indeed a mystery. The American Accounting Association for a time offered another alternative, but I think bad timing and bad luck destroyed its efforts. The AAA was too late on the scene. There was also the stigma, not a fact, that the AAA’s effort was only for members of the AAA.

    I have to say that Barry’s leadership in communicating on the AECM was probably not the crucial factor at the germination stage. After a very short time Barry became more of a lurker. It was about a dozen accounting educators who emerged out of nowhere to make the AECM germinate. Then more leaders and lurkers evolved like wild flowers in a worldwide field.

    Keep in mind that Barry did not begin the AECM as a general-purpose accounting educator ListServ. In the beginning it was primarily intended for messaging about computers and multimedia technologies that could be used in new ways by teachers of accountancy. In fact the acronym “AECM” stands for “Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia.” Today the AECM ListServ is much more than its title. Why this happened is complicated to answer, but the title is unfortunate today whenever someone is looking for the main accounting education ListServ and naively thinks that the AECM is restricted to messaging about computers and multimedia.

    A better name for the AECM as it evolved is the Internet’s “Accounting Education Communications Medium.” And the “medium is the message.” I am forever grateful to Barry for letting the original AECM evolve into what it is today. He could’ve jumped on every message that was not deemed “on topic” in the context of “computers and multimedia.” Instead he let the AECM messaging follow their own serendipitous meanderings. And he forgave us for some of the dumb things we messaged.

    In this regard we were lucky. AECM participants had the good sense to avoid some turn-off topics like politics, advertising, religion, and too much humor. But the messaging did follow many serendipitous paths that were not tied to computers and multimedia, including topics of accounting theory, fraud, student cheating, professorial cheating, plagiarism, pedagogy in general, research methodologies, and learning theories. These evolved into topics that AECM subscribers wanted to learn more and more about.

    ListServs are fragile things that in general do not work well. Leaders either emerge out of nowhere and keep a ListServ going or it dies from lack of participation. Participants must find rewards or ListServs simply fade away. Most participants in a ListServ are “lurkers” who often “listen in” but rarely if ever contribute to the membership. This puts the burden on “actives” to evolve as leaders. These actives can either be terrific and draw new ListServ members wanting to listen to what the actives have to say or ListServs can become very tedious and/or boring and causing members to resign from the ListServ.

    ListServs have interesting behavioral dynamics that emerged with newer technology. This is an interesting topic to study and needs to be studied in much greater depth. The medium is much more than the content of the messages.

    ListServs provide wonderful and unique opportunities to make a difference. For example, an accounting educator and world leader who I supremely respect is Dennis Beresford. Denny is a popular Accounting Hall of Fame speaker at academic, business, and accounting profession conferences. But a speech is a speech and is limited to a given audience and a given point in time. Denny’s published a lot of papers, but a paper is a paper that is a bleep at a fixed point in time.

    Remember that “the medium is the message” as discovered by Marshall Mcluhan many years ago. AECM messages are bleeps that resurface in new and different ways repeatedly over time on the AECM. Denny has probably had more impact on changing accounting education via the AECM than in all his speeches and all his publications combined. His messaging to the AECM is continuous over time and reacts to concerns of accounting educators around the world. His AECM audience is unlimited in terms of size and scheduled times.

    And we learn a lot about Denny just by learning when he messages. Keep in mind that I’m talking about one of the busiest accountants in the world. He teaches at the University of Georgia full time and is an extremely popular consultant and on the boards of directors of several worldwide corporations. He’s even head of the Audit Committee and a Board member for Fannie Mae after this trillion-dollar company hit the rocks. And yet he seemingly keeps his eye on AECM communications 24/7. What impresses me most is when I send messages out to the AECM at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings I have them answered within minutes by Denny Beresford. Hence I learned a whole lot more about the man beyond the content of his excellent messages. I also learned that he’s respectfully a very humble man.

    Denny does not want more money or more trophies. What Denny wants is to make a lasting difference for the betterment of the accounting profession and accounting education. And he’s proved this countless times to all of us on the AECM. Those many other accounting leaders and educators who failed to grab this AECM brass ring missed out and continue to miss out of the opportunity to make a continuous and lasting difference.

    I’m also a 24/7 AECM active like Denny. And I’m certain that Denny, like me, will say that he tries to make a difference. But the AECM is so rewarding that in the end he, like me, got more than he received. That is why we’re on the AECM.

    We get more than we give no matter how much we give. That’s because so many scholars big and small contribute to our learning and loving. The Internet forever changed research and scholarship and learning. ListServs are a lasting part of this process.

    Bob Jensen

    April 5, 2007 reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]

    Bob,

    Thanks for your kind comments below.  And thanks to Barry for getting this whole thing started.  AECM is a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I'm just glad that you and many others are willing to share so much knowledge.

    Denny

    An Academic Study of the History of the AECM

    "Knowledge Sharing among Accounting Academics in an Electronic Network of Practice," by  Eileen Z. Taylor and Uday S. Murthy, Accounting Horizons 23 (2), 151 (2009);
    Electronic edition subscribers can download an copy from
    http://aaapubs.aip.org/dbt/dbt.jsp?KEY=ACHXXX&Volume=LASTVOL&Issue=LASTISS
    Others might be able to access the article from at their college libraries.

    SYNOPSIS:
    Using a multi-method approach, we explore accounting academics' knowledge-sharing practices in an Electronic Network of Practice (ENOP)—the Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia (AECM) email list. Established in 1996, the AECM email list serves the global accounting academic community. A review of postings to AECM for the period January–June 2006 indicates that members use this network to post questions, replies, and opinions covering a variety of topics, but focusing on financial accounting practice and education. Sixty-nine AECM members constituting 9.2 percent of the AECM membership base responded to a survey that measured their self-perceptions about altruism, reciprocation, reputation, commitment, and participation in AECM. The results suggest that altruism is a significant predictor of posting frequency, but neither reputation nor commitment significantly relate to posting frequency. These findings imply that designers and administrators of the recently launched AAA Commons platform should seek ways of capitalizing on the altruistic tendencies of accounting academics. The study's limitations include low statistical power and potential inconsistencies in coding the large number of postings. ©2009 American Accounting Association

    Jensen Comment
    The article above affords an opportunity to comment on the AAA Commons about Barry Rice and the AECM. I have initiated the posting below at http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/b7f123c2be 

    If you are an AAA member it is an opportunity to add comments to the above posting. You might mention your own reaction to the Taylor and Murthy research paper on the AECM. Do you agree or disagree with the major findings of Taylor and Murthy?

    It is also an opportunity to thank Barry Rice for what he enabled you to learn from the AECM over the years since 1996. It is also fabulous that the AECM archived all this messaging.

    The AAA Commons access page is at https://commons.aaahq.org/signin 
    It can only be accessed by American Accounting Association members and invited guests (some students).

     

    Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing and open courseware ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

     


    Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
    Emeritus Accountancy Professor from Trinity University
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482 
    Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu