Sunday, November 14, 2004

smart & flash mobs

With the rise of mobile communication technologies, organizations are improving their communication. In fact, new organizations are being made just to keep up with the advances in technology. With weblogs, wikis, and text messaging, companies can post information immediately, keeping everyone up to date. Before the internet everything had to be done either by mail or telephone. As Melissa puts it, “with the internet and SMS messages, information can be transmitted by a mere push of the button.”

Smart mobs and flash mobs both use these kinds of technology to communicate. Smart mobs seem to have a lot more significance than flash mobs. Smart mobs are usually a group of intelligent people meeting for a specific purpose. Where as flash mobs are usually a bunch of people that meet at a public place and do something random. I have never experienced a flash mob before in my life but after reading about Sarah’s experience this past weekend, I am sure it is pretty odd. I think I would actually be confused at to what was going on. Sarah explained the flash mob as having their own “communication matrix.” With out the use of these forms of technology flash mobs and smart mobs wouldn’t be able to communicate a place, time, and event that is taking place.

smart & flash mobs

With the rise of mobile communication technologies, organizations are improving their communication. In fact, new organizations are being made just to keep up with the advances in technology. With weblogs, wikis, and text messaging, companies can post information immediately, keeping everyone up to date. Before the internet everything had to be done either by mail or telephone. As Melissa puts it, “with the internet and SMS messages, information can be transmitted by a mere push of the button.”

Smart mobs and flash mobs both use these kinds of technology to communicate. Smart mobs seem to have a lot more significance than flash mobs. Smart mobs are usually a group of intelligent people meeting for a specific purpose. Where as flash mobs are usually a bunch of people that meet at a public place and do something random. I have never experienced a flash mob before in my life but after reading about Sarah’s experience this past weekend, I am sure it is pretty odd. I think I would actually be confused at to what was going on. Sarah explained the flash mob as having their own “communication matrix.” With out the use of these forms of technology flash mobs and smart mobs wouldn’t be able to communicate a place, time, and event that is taking place.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

wikis and such

With wikis, aggregators, and weblogs, organizations have many different sources of ways they can communicate. With the rise in new technology, memoes, emails, and meetings are slowly declining. Problems with emails arise as companies put up restrictions of mass email, kind of like the ones we get in our marymount mailbox. This puts up restrictions. With mass emails, most people don’t actually “receive” the message, deleting it before even opened. “I didn’t get the email.” It’s the easiest excuse in the world(carrie)."These mass emails, or spam, are considered “noise”, not allowing the receiver to receive the important message. Because of mass email, important emails may be over looked.

Right now I am doing an internship at View showroom down in the fashion district. Most of their communication is done through email. They place orders through email, magazines request to take out clothes through email, employees even request days off through emails. I asked my supervisor why why she requests days off through email when her boss is only a desk away from her. She replied, “because everything is so hectic, this gives, Cary the CEO, documentation that I have requested it off, and it gives me conformation when he gives it to me, I save it in my in box.” Makes sense to me, I never thought of it that way. Anytime I was to take a day off I just asked my boss verbally, but then again that was a smaller, privately owned company (also in a different industry).

Blogs allow people to share information. We all share our information about what we learned in class through blogs. We even share our information with people outside of class since it is available to the public. Funny thing happened to me last week, my sister’s ex-boyfriend from highschool emailed me the other day saying that he was bored at work surfing the net after he saw a segment on public broadcast about blogs, and he stumbled across my blog. So that’s where he got my email address and decided to write me. I thought this was neat, so I wrote him back asking him if he used blogs at work? To my surprise he said “NO.” He works at GE and I was shocked that a company so technology advanced doesn’t communicate through blogs. He said that he wasn’t sure why companies would use blogs because “If blogs can be viewed by just anyone with web access, then anything shared is nonproprietary information.” I agree, it allows outsiders to see what is going on in the organization. Although, I think blogs may change the way information is shared in organizations, because you can actually share information more quickly, and converse with numerous amounts of people.


Wikis are something like blogs, but what I got from the class lecture is that they are updated more requently and anyone can edit or post on them. Cyndi describes them as "Wikis are a free-form forum; anyone can add or delete anything to the web page with the click of a button." Courtney leigh kelly describes wikis as "simple web application based hyper-texted page operators that are co-authored."

comand and control

In command and control companies everything is outsourced. An example of this is Dell computers. Today, most companies, including Dell, are no longer self-sufficient. They receive all of their parts from different companies. "Globalization has given us super-corporations such as Dell who have vast networks that span the entire globe (Stephanie)." Most of these companies rely on third world companies where they can get a high amount of production done, for cheap. Even when you call up technical support, you are reaching someone in another country who does not work directly for Dell. After reading the essay, “unmade in America: the true cost of a global assembly line,” I have come to realize just how many companies depend on outsourcing. The author states many problems with our economy relying on other countries. One major problem that the author draws upon is “how are these companies going to keep their production lines running if the supply key component were suddenly cut off?”

If this were to happen would it send our economy on a spiral down? I understand it is hard for companies to keep up with the fast pace of others. They are always trying to out beat each other, to prevent themselves from going under, or being bought out. I am sure it is hard to survive. It seems like a lose-lose situation. Nicole made a good point when she said, “One needs not look further than September 11 to see how one instance of less than 20 minutes could complete shut down an entire means of completing the production of goods.”

Monday, October 25, 2004

SNA

“Social network analysis [SNA] is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities.” Stephanie refers to it as the “Kevin Bacon” game. Although I’ve played the game before, I never thought of it like that, but she’s right. Somehow everyone links back to each other. In an SNA a node is the network in which people communicate, a node can be a single person or a group of people. They are the senders/receivers of the message. Nodes are linked by lines when they communicate directly with one another. A line is the channel in which they communicate. In an organization, they use communications audits to help improve their communication.

“The first thing to consider is the positions or locations of each node, this is called the centrality.” Danielle states that this shows the “importance” of the node. An example of this is, in a hierarchical organization with vertical communication, the higher up on the hierarchical scale the more important the person/department. Centrality is measured in three ways, degrees, betweenness, and closeness.

The degree is the more direct connections a node has, the higher the degree. The node with the highest degree is called a “hub.” When I hear this I think of a computer hub, the thing that connects the network.

Betweenness is referred to the node that is in the best location because it is inbetween two important nodes. Without the node inbetween it would be hard for them to communicate. When I think of this I think or someone decoding or translating the message that occurs between two important people…the middleman.

Closeness refers to the nodes that have the most access to other nodes, because they have the quickest paths. They have the ability to monitor the information flow in a network (supervisor).

In my Organizational communication class at SUNY Albany, we were taught that boundary spanners are the people/department that control what flows in and out of the organization, while peripheral players have connections outside the network or organization.

Monday, October 18, 2004

networking

“Meaning is not in words, or in people, its in the network.” Certain words or languages have different meanings depending on which culture they are used in. If you look at language within an organization they have different codes or sub-codes than our normal English language. Like in the mortgage business, a mortgage application is referred to as a 1003. If a random person off the street just walked into the mortgage business they would have no idea what a 1003 was referring to. Like Stephanie says in her blog, “language is always changing,” Because of our evolution it is hard to keep up with the changing languages. There are always new words being added and old ones being replaced. If you look at Shakespeare’s plays they are written in old English. They are still written in English but because of our evolution, it has been replaced and it is difficult for us to decipher. Roman Jacobson took into consideration that language is constantly changing and applied it to Shannon and weaver’s model. That’s where subcodes come in that I mentioned earlier.
With Suassure’s model of signs, you cannot get the sign with out the signifier and the signified. Like in a network, you cannot understand the full meaning of the message with out knowing the context in which it takes place. (Carrie's blog) That’s where the importance of Shannon and Weaver’s theory of the difference between the “source and the brain” come into play. The brain has to decode the message based on the network it takes place.

Monday, October 11, 2004

test post cause my comp sucks

Friday, October 08, 2004

Saussure and Jakobson

Shannon and Weaver’s model is used to describe telecommunications, but it leaves out one very important factor, semantics. Semantics is another word for meaning, what one word may mean to someone, may not mean the same to someone else. Danielle brings up a good point when she refers to the miscommunication that happens between her and her roommates. Because they are from different socio cultures they may not have the same meanings for all English words. One way to describe this is a word that has double meaning. Like the word right, right can mean yes you are right, or right in the form of direction. Another way I think of words that may have multiple meanings is slang. Like the word sick, sick can mean sick as in not well or if something is “sick” it is awesome.

I believe Shannon and Weaver’s model to be too simplified, communication is more complex than their model explains it to be. It leaves out feedback, non-verbal communication, semantics and semiotics.

The two linguists who added to Shannon and Weaver’s model and made it more “humanized,” are Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson. Saussure helped to expand Shannon and Weaver’s model for human communication by making his model, the “sign.” The sign consists of having a signifier and a signified. Jakobson expanded Shannon and Weaver’s model by developing the structure of language, “or meaning developed within a culture.”


Monday, October 04, 2004

Shannon and Weaver

I found Shannon and Weaver’s model of communication to be very interesting. After today’s class, it really makes you look at short hand and slang in another way. Originally if you hear people talking slang, you would think that they are uneducated. But it may be the opposite; maybe you are the one that is uneducated to their “language.” You just don’t understand where they are coming from.

One aspect of the model that I found a little confusing was the info source; I have always been taught that the info source was the sender, but Shannon and Weaver state that the source is all of the possible messages. In the English language words or sayings are often broken down in code. This is so only selective people can receive the message. Think of when you were little and if your parents wanted to swear in front of you with out you knowing, they would say S.O.B. You not knowing what it meant were unable to receive the message. The other day I was working at a fashion trade show called coterie and one of the buyers said that is so BBM, when I asked her what it meant, she said it was “confidential.” I wondered if they had a secret language to communicate if they agreed on a certain outfit or not? A lot of things play a part in setting codes; culture for example, has a huge impact on setting codes. If some one says that is so Fab-5, you know what they are talking about.

With making of new technology on the rise American are constantly finding new ways to send shorter messages. When pagers came out, you could page someone I love you simply by putting 143, for instant messenger it ily. We are even coming out with ways to sound out sounds that aren't even words like pfff, and mwah and the funny thing is when you write it people know what you are talking about.

Shannon and Weaver's model didn't account for feedback, I wondered how do they know if the message was received correctly, if at all? One part we talked about in class that I've never really thought about is redundancy. I thought it was interesting how Gilbert said, "we wouldn't be able to decipher a message if the message was all new. We have to have some familiarity to figure it out." That is probably why it is so hard to learn a new language when you are older, is because there is not familiarity. But as for a child, they aren't familiar with anything yet, so it's easier to teach them.