Posts Tagged ‘squaredpeg

18
Mar
08

Keyword: Ensure Effectiveness

Effectiveness is a word that I have been tossing around my head for some time now. It started with my post a few weeks ago about Using Twitter for Higher Ed. I posted about trying to figure out a way to put Twitter to good use for higher education. It’s an excellent tool to keep up to date on what my friends and co-workers are doing as well as networking with other electronic media professionals, and while I think it would bee a useful tool for students to be able to use, it brings up the question of would they really use it.

Sometime before my post, Matt Herzberger posted on <uwebd> asking “Do You Twitter?” which has since sparked quite a bit of conversation. If you read through the comments (primarily page 3) there is a debate between Patrick Berry, Brad Ward, and myself about why Twitter would/not be good for a university. Hearing what they had to say was very enlightening. As great a tool as Twitter is, I started asking myself, will integrating this service actually be effective? Would the students even use it? Would they understand how to use it? I am in a unique position on my campus to be able to try any and every new social media technology that comes out. I have signed up for so many of them that I have a two page list of logins that I use. Most are the same, but some sites don’t like the syntax of a password, etc, so they are slight variations. Plus there are some that I have signed up for before I became a professional and so on. But if we were to use all of these services, we would never be able to get any work done.

That being said, I thought Twitter had some real promise, and I think it still does. And recently I found out that we will be searching for a new chat service as well as a message board service. And here’s the catch; it has to be free or cheap. In my other post I detail more about how I think we can use it as a chat feature. But I wonder, would the students really take advantage of it? I have no problem monitoring it and can set it up so that I get a text anytime someone posts, but would the students actually go through the process of signing up and posting a question? Would they understand the 140 character limit? So looking at it further tells me that maybe that’s not the best service to use. We may try it out, but I’m still debating whether it’s worth it.

And Twitter is just one example. Is it worth it to have a presence on Facebook or MySpace? Of course! What about posting photos to Flickr or videos to YouTube? There is a definite value here! What about lifecasting through uStream.tv or other video service? I think if you can pull it off well, then yes. But what about del.icio.us, Google Earth (technically not a social networking site – but maybe not a needed feature), SecondLife, etc? These may be some extra features we could do without. It’s good to push the envelope, but when you’re trying to recruit students, evaluating the effectiveness of your methods is extremely important. If you’re doing all this extra work, then you’re not following the rules of “The Four Hour Workweek.

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31
Jan
08

I am getting the bug back!

So as I sit here, bitterly enjoying my Subway sub and looking at lenses for my camera, I am thinking to myself: “I really miss taking photos.” Over the course of the past week or so, I have been able to take a lot of photos of a variety of different things. I’ve been able to hang out with some friends and shoot photos with them, and more importantly, some of my girlfriend! As I thought about it over lunch, I realized the reason I quit enjoying photography was because I was shooting too many things that I wasn’t passionate about. Not only that, but it was usually on a last minute notice thing and more often than not, after hours. And while I enjoy attending events, I wish I had something to show for it. I talked with our creative director the other day, and ever since I started here I’ve been trying to get some new camera equipment. I’ve been begging for a good telephoto to replace the 28-200 G lens that I have now. Performance wise, the lens takes nice photos outdoors. Inside shots with low light, and autofocusing though are awful. I don’t think I’ve ever used a lens that focuses as slow as this one does, and is also not that accurate. Also, the zoom is not very tight (and is backwards from every other Nikon lens I’ve ever used…) and slides out while moving around. Aside from all that, it does take nice photos when the lighting is right. Unfortunately for me, I take a lot of photos in very poorly lit places and in places you’re not supposed to use a flash. In these situations I resort to my trusty 50mm f1.8. Like these photos here, the left one being pretty much my trademark shot:

Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS

Now, my friend Joe, of FJ Gaylor told me yesterday that he had a lens he might be able to sell me which would be amazing! Hook me up! Another reason I have been excited about photography is because the FJ Gaylor was updated to include all their fall 07 shots. Let me just say that they have their act together! If you need photographs of your college, I would highly recommend them! And I’m not the only one.

 

Moving on, last night at the library (I briefly mentioned this earlier) I was helping Jordan find some things. I came across a book titled “Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washington.”

Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washingon

 

Then I looked at the copyright date in the center on the bottom of the page….1852.

Mary and Martha Washington
Martha Washington

Isn’t that amazing?!?  It’s crazy to think that book is actually in my universities library.

Martha Washington

It’s hard to read, but this book was given as a gift on Christmas in 1853.  These photos were taken with my iPhone.  It does a decent job for a camera phone in low lighting.  But so anyway, I was really amazed and I think the artistic aspect of that book really made me enjoy photographing them (even just with my phone).

 

Alright…last thing…I mentioned bitterly enjoying my sandwich.  Last time I got a tuna sub from Subway I got a six inch.  They put three scoops of tuna on my six inches.  Today I was starving and decided to get a foot long.  I watch as he applies the tuna and see him put only four scoops on my sandwich.  Now…it’s been a while since I’ve taken a math course, but if there are three scoops on a six inch, shouldn’t there be six scoops on a twelve inch sub?  The tuna was spread so thin on my sandwich, I would have gotten all bread and veggies.  So I asked him to put another scoop on my sandwich and he said it would be .50 a scoop.  Then I started thinking, I’m paying more for a 12 inch sub with an extra scoop of tuna than I would for two individual six inch subs.  $7.10 later, I leave with my sub and drink (drink was free for being a student!) and return to my office.  I usually spend $3.27 for lunch on a six inch sub.  It probably wouldn’t bother me so much except for the fact that 4 out of the last 5 times and 7 out of 10 times I have gotten “fast food” whether it be from Subway, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s, they have gotten my order incorrect.  I guess they think that when I ask for a hamburger I really want a cheeseburger instead.  Customer service has really gone down hill…




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