Additional Articles to support “Twitter is Making Us Brilliant”

03/19/2009
Image representing comScore as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Another article on Twitter‘s stratosperic growth at impressive rates, I’m going to use this to support statistics on how big the phenomenon is.

Maybe it is all the TV news mentions, but Twitter is seeing the growth in U.S visitors to its site accelerating. In February, 4 million people in the U.S. visited the site, up from 2.6 million the month before, according to the latest data from comScore. That represents a 55 percent month-over-month growth rate, compared to 33 percent growth in each of the two months prior. (ComScore has yet to release February figures for worldwide visitors, but for January that number is 6 million).

via Whoa, Twitter Mania.

Here is an article with a list of eBooks that I may or may not be able to make use of, all free, all about some aspect of Twitter, any of which may come in handy:

Approximately 24 hours ago, internet marketing firm HubSpot released its first State of the Twittersphere report for the fourth quarter of 2008, analyzing assorted growth rates, following/follower ratios, and geographic data.

Among the results, we now know about 7,500 people join the Twitter ranks every day; 35% of Twitter users have 10 or less followers; and nine percent follow nobody at all.

Source: 8 Free eBooks on Twitter — AriWriter
from http://ariwriter.com/2008/12/8-free-ebooks-on-twitter/
retrieved on Thu Mar 19 2009 21:56:35 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
Also, here is an article on the idea that social network users can be generally classified into two groups (obviously playing on Theory X Theory Y construct of leadership and motivation, e.g. http://www.12manage.com/methods_mcgregor_theory_X_Y.html) as a way of introducing that I personally am of the Y type (in both theories)

As sites like Twitter and Friendfeed continue to increase in popularity on the web, so does the potential for users to extract value from these communities. However, while there are many people who love to be at the forefront of it all, others are only there because they have to.

I’ve found there are [VERY] generally, two schools of thought on Social Media and it’s future.   There are the skeptics who I call Type X thinkers, and the believers who I call Type Y thinkers.

Source: On Social Media, Are You a Type X or Type Y Thinker? | introspective snapshots from http://www.sheysmith.com/2009/03/17/on-social-media-are-you-a-type-x-or-type-y-thinker/ retrieved on Thu Mar 19 2009 09:12:07 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

Here’s a short indication of how Tweeting can inform in ways that you might not expect, or want, but clearly an indication of collective intelligence (italics are mine)

A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

Source: socialmedian: How to Tweet Your Way Out of a Job from http://www.socialmedian.com/story/3566274/how-to-tweet-your-way-out-of-a-job retrieved on Thu Mar 19 2009 09:26:30 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

And here is another article speaking about Twitter’s astronomical growth:

The latest numbers from Nielsen Online indicate that Twitter grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million unique visitors in the US for the month. Not only is that huge growth in one year, but in one month as well, as in January, Twitter.com clocked in with 4.5 million unique visitors in the US, meaning the service grew by more than 50 percent month-over-month.

Source: Twitter Now Growing at a Staggering 1,382 Percent from http://mashable.com/2009/03/16/twitter-growth-rate-versus-facebook/ retrieved on Thu Mar 19 2009 17:21:50 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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Case Study: Can You Get Fired Because You Are Fat?

03/05/2009
Silhouettes representing healthy, overweight, ...
Image via Wikipedia

Picture this scenario: You’re just returning from your lunch break when your boss walks up to you and tells you to pack your belongings. You’re fired. You stammer for an explanation. Did you mishandle an important project? Were you accused of embezzling company funds?

No. It’s because you’re fat. (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/2958.cfm?sd=247)

Because weight and obesity is not a protected characteristic under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, a person who was fired as a result of being overweight would not likely have a defendable discrimination case.

Only in cases where you were extremely or morbidly obese would you have the opportunity to defend yourself under the protection regarding discrimination against disability, by filing a claim under the Americans with disabilities act.  Even then it would be a very difficult case to win.

There is the idea that obesity, dress, and other physical characteristics are a remaining opportunity for discrimination and prejudice, and this is exemplified by the notion that workers can share fat jokes without a raised eyebrow, but certainly not jokes about blacks or women or older people, because it would quickly bring cases of discrimination. Because people are generally believed to make choices about their physical appearance, but are born with other characteristics (age, race, etc), physical appearance seems to elude the common rules of prejudice.

Employers who look at the data may discriminate against the obese because according to some studies, obese people are more likely to submit worker’s compensation claims, and so to protect the bottom line, employers may take this currently legal action of firing or refusing to hire the obese.

Most of my ideas and support came from the source of the case: http://www.diversityinc.com/public/2958.cfm?sd=247

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Why Deloitte & Touche made Diversity Inc’s Top 50 list.

03/04/2009
Deloitte Office Building in Downtown Chicago
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Deloitte and Touche has a CEO in Barry Salzberg that values and models diversity internally and externally (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He chairs and manages an internal diversity council (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He is connected with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and other diversity oriented nonprofits (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He supports diversity in his executives by tying compensation to the promotion of diversity (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). He is quoted here:

“Building and sustaining an inclusive culture has been critical to Deloitte’s growth and will play an important role in our continued success. Clients expect it, new recruits want it and our people demand it. Most importantly, our culture of inclusion has a direct impact on the organization’s ability to set the standard of excellence in the marketplace.” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

They hire a diverse worker body, and support diverse employee resource groups, such as LGBT groups and employees with disabilities (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm). “Thirty-two percent of its work force and 41 percent of its new hires were Black, Asian, Latino or Native American” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

This company respects its employees. They promote a work/life balance, have strong metrics to support productivity and goals, and provides support (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm).

They have a mentoring program in which 75% of managers participate (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm).

They also have a Chief Diversity Officer, Allen Thomas, who is quoted here:

Diversity and inclusion is tightly woven into Deloitte’s fabric. We’ve accomplished this by setting a clear and decisive tone at the top and demonstrating leadership’s unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive culture that provides opportunities for all of our professionals to succeed. In addition, our active support of Deloitte’s Business Resource Groups and their members across the country is a daily display of our commitment to the diversity of our people. (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3294.cfm)

DiversityInc devises it’s top 50 most diverse companies “by metrics obtained in a detailed survey of more than 200 questions” (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

Any company with over 1,000 U.S. employees can request and recieve the free survey (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

Some more details on the methodology of choosing the top 50:

four areas the survey measures: CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications, and Supplier Diversity. Companies are assessed within the context of their industries, geography and employee skill sets. Any company that does not offer domestic-partner health benefits is automatically excluded from the Top 50 and the 11 specialty lists (http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3273.cfm).

I think that Deloitte and Touche is regarded as a top company in terms of diversity because the structure of the leadership (e.g. a Chief Diversity Officer) as well as a CEO who supports and models diversity encourage that behavior. If the leadership provides the path, the carrot, and the stick, intrinsic valence of the idea in employees is probably not far behind, especially if it helps people, helps the company, and helps the world.

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Open letter to Obama: Uncle Sam should go open source – Ars Technica

02/11/2009
Logo Open Source Initiative
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It’s interesting to think that Open Source software vendors are lobbying President Obama because of the parallels they see between their model of software development and Obama’s promise of openness, hope, and change. Cool stuff, and pertinent to our discussion on collective intelligence, since Open Source software is open to all developers, and therefore benefits from all of those fixes, as opposed to proprietary software which limits development to in-house staff.

“Mr. President, we believe the open-source industry is changing the world of software development in many of the ways you have promised to change American politics,” the letter declares. “The values of open-source mirror those you promoted in your campaign: hope, change, and openness. We, the undersigned, sincerely hope that you will make the use of open-source software a key component of every new technology initiative the United States government enters into during your presidency.”

via Open letter to Obama: Uncle Sam should go open source – Ars Technica.

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Artist Files Lawsuit Against The Associated Press Over Image of Obama – NYTimes.com

02/10/2009
sourcehope
Image by gunthert via Flickr

In a pre-emptive strike, the street artist Shepard Fairey filed a lawsuit on Monday against The Associated Press, asking a federal judge to declare that he is protected from copyright infringement claims in his use of a news photograph as the basis for a now ubiquitous campaign poster image of President Obama.

via Artist Files Lawsuit Against The Associated Press Over Image of Obama – NYTimes.com.

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Obama’s Latest Pick for DOJ is RIAA Lawyer Who Killed Grokster and Sued Jammie Thomas – ReadWriteWeb

02/06/2009
Some Rights Reserved
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This is an interesting story considering the copyright issues that are being brought into the spotlight by bottom-up creators and convergence in general. I’m an avid supporter of creative commons licensed media, and so I don’t really see the threat of this affecting me directly as a content producer, but I can certainly see those who want to abuse or abuse copyrighted material being potentially upset by this. In the middle, though, there are the people who want to simply make a copy of a DVD they bought as a backup, which many of these legal representatives might have a big problem with, and that does concern me. Moreover, freeing media is definitely something I’m for as a consumer.

DSLReports notes that Obama’s own ethics rules would prohibit these appointees from directly working on copyright issues, as they previously represented the entertainment industry in these cases, but it is somewhat disconcerting that the Obama administration would pick so many industry insiders for these positions. We would have hoped that the administration had chosen a set of appointees with a more progressive attitude towards copyright.

via Obama’s Latest Pick for DOJ is RIAA Lawyer Who Killed Grokster and Sued Jammie Thomas – ReadWriteWeb.

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Case Study and Presentation

06/12/2008

Final Case Study:

lemasney-case-study-natural-birth-revised (updated to reflect appropriate suggestions, thanks, Kathy!)

Final Case Study Presentation:

http://docs.google.com/Presentation?id=dckfm9fw_334gzztnmg6


Journal Entry: Mediation Chapter 2

06/03/2008

In this chapter, Mediation as a process is described and introduced, much in the same way we do in a very abridged way in the beginning of a mediation session. The ideal role of the mediator as facilitator, empowerer, and face manager (not judge) is described. The benefits of mediation, including convenience, effectiveness, preventative nature, relationship preservation and redefinition, and confidentiality are discussed, if in a somewhat biased way. The types of mediation are also discussed. At the end of the chapter there is an interesting exercise which asks us the look at one definition of mediation, and to dismantle it in order to see what aspects of the process are lost when those definitive elements are removed.

Domenici, K., Domenici-Littlejohn, & Littlejohn, S. W. (2001). Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management, Second Edition. (2nd), 198. Waveland Press.

Personal experiential influence:

Mediation: A confidential, voluntary process where a neutral third party facilitates negotiation between two or more parties with mutually acceptable agreement as one possible outcome (Domenici, et al., 1991, p. 43).

Without confidentiality, mediation could be embarrassing, fear generating, or hurtful to disputants.
Without being voluntary, mediation generated agreements might be less likely to hold.
Without neutrality, the mediator could have a powerful influence on outcomes they themselves want.
Without facilitation, mediation could degrade into chaotic name calling.
Without all parties present, mediation could reinforce barriers between disputants.
Without mutually acceptable agreements, they will be less likely to be actually agreed to by all parties.
With mandated agreements, disputants might be unwilling to accept outcomes.


Journal Entry: Mediation Chapter 4

05/24/2008

This chapter focused on the basic skills and structure required for mediation. It talked about the flexibility and overlap of the phases of mediation, and specifically about 4 likely phases of mediation. It progresses along a sometimes meandering path between introduction, storytelling, problem solving, and resolution phases (pp. 63-64).

During introduction, an agenda is set, people are introduced, mediation is defined, and hopefully, trust is established (pp. 69-71).

In storytelling, information and individual points of view are offered as a way of establishing a starting point of understanding of the issues at the present. Active listening is performed by disputants as part of the process (pp. 71-82). It is important during storytelling for the mediator to give regular feedback to disputants to ensure that the message being delivered is accurate, which is done by rephrasing, summarizing, asking questions, reframing, reflecting, and acknowledging. This must be done in a non-authoritative, nonthreatening manner, and it must not be perceived as judgmental or attacking. These tools can be used to increase clarity, improve transparency, diffuse tensions, identify commonality, and create empathy (p. 78).

In problem solving (p. 82), we take what we learned in storytelling, and we begin to sift out resolvable issues. This is done through a process of careful structuring of clarified issues, separation of issues from people, and the differentiation of goals from actions. An agenda may be built in order to allow each issue to be defined, clarified, and seen as solvable in and of itself. Much of this process can be guided using Fisher and Ury’s principled negotiation, so that ideologically, we can begin to see the actual solvable issues, away and apart from their chaotic context (pp. 82-95). Many options are generated as possibilities for solutions to issues. It is important for the disputants to be the primary source for solutions and be in clear agreement about how the issues can be resolved.

In the Resolution stage, we begin to record in the agreement what we have learned in terms of how to resolve the issues. It is at this stage that the physical agreement is filled out, signed, and agreed to.

Domenici, K., Domenici-Littlejohn, & Littlejohn, S. W. (2001). Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management, Second Edition (2nd ed., p. 198). Waveland Press.

Personal Experiential Influence:

I found the task of building your own mediation instruction very useful, and I’ve revised it once or twice in order to make it more realistic. When I first created my introduction using cards, it was very bullet-point oriented, and was hard in practice for me to actually remember all that I wanted to say. After I made it into more of a narrative script, I found it easier to really touch on all of the points that I wanted to. You can see both my original introduction solution on this blog as well as my latest revision. I plan on doing a recording of it on YouTube before the semester is over.