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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Skillsdevelopment

Unit

Social searchconducted on 29th March

The two social sites used were Boardreader.com and Googleblogs.com.The search terms used were ‘Malaysia plane’ on both sites. Inboardreader, the first page showed ten articles and over ten pages onthat topic. None of the pages that appeared on the first page ofboard reader appeared on the first page of Google blog (see fig. 2)despite similar search terms. The board reader’ trends graph showedthat prior to the disappearance of the plane, blogs using the term‘Malaysia plane’ were minimal (See, Figure 1). However, bloggingincluding these terms peaked immediately after the disappearance buthas been going down gradually as the search for the plane continuesas of 29th Macrh. This was the same case on Google blog.This show that the since the disappearance of the Malayan Airlinesflight MH370, the topic has preoccupied online social mediadiscussions.

Figure1 Boardreader.com search

Figure2 Google blog search results

Problems

There were nomajor problems in the search to report. However, there is possibleconfusion in terms of search results in Goggle blogs. Majority of thepages displayed in this search engine belong to mainstream mediahouses such as CTV News and The Guardian. Actually, the guardian,which is UK-owned, had three links on the first page showing how farit has dominated the topic. This denies independent bloggers muchneed publicity and contribution in the social media. This is becauseblog sites operated by such media houses are strictly controlledwhich denies bloggers and social media users a chance to expressthemselves freely.

Application

As social mediatools, Google Blog and Board Reader are applicable in severalsituations. As a manager, I would use the tools in tracking theinterest that the online public has on certain activities of a firm.For instance, Apple Inc. or Samsung can track social discussions bytheir customers and the public. The discussions can be based on newproducts such as a new version of iPhone or Galaxy phone. Suchinformation provides the firm with insightful feedback over theirproducts and services. Such information can be adapted into theorganization and incorporated in modifying or developing futureproducts. However, managers must visit each of these pages to learnabout the comments by individuals and probably use other software togather data on common themes recurring in the blogs.

Google blog andBoardreader can be used for marketing purposes. As a marketingexecutive or even consultant, I would encourage media firms to createsearch engine optimization content through blogs. These blogs shouldoffer links back to the firm’s website where users can obtainfurther information and help. For online retailing firms, this can bevery helpful. For instance, marketers can run blogs where they offercustomer services such as explaining the use of various products suchas software and programs or even discussing various topics about thefirm and topic. Media broadcasting houses run blogs as forums whereusers can continue online discussion on various topics. Other sitessuch as Twitter and Facebook are most preferred by television andradio stations to market their programs and provide a platform fordiscussing these programs further.

Self-controlwebsites

Themyfitnesspal.com is a website that aims at assisting individuals inlosing weight and tracking their fitness activities. As an option,the website requires individual to register as a group of six andcreate personal profiles. Each individual identifies his/herobjectives and goals in terms of the amount of hours they want toexercise per week and the desired weight in pounds to be lost orgained per week. This requirement to have individuals register asgroups enables them to motivate each other and ensure that theindividuals keep the fitness activities. Studies have shown peoplewho train in groups loose more weight than those who trainindividually.

Problems

Users have toregister to use the tool. I was forced to create a new email address,as I am always very skeptical when it comes to giving my email tothird parties. Further, although it is optional, the requirement tohave six friends as partners in the training program is notpractical. An individual chooses to use an application rather thanattend a local gym with friends beats the purpose of using the tool.This is because people have different needs and it is almostimpossible to have five friends who are seeking to enroll in afitness program at the same time.

Application

Myfitnesspal.comis just of the many digital assistant applications in the market thatcan be used for a wide range of purposes. This tool is applicable forpeople on various professions who find it hard to manage theirfitness program. The tool can be used by various people in variousprofessions such as bank tellers, teachers, and other professions.The tool enables individuals who have busy schedules to maintain agood record of the minutes of workout per week, the amount ofcalories ingested which is compared to the amount of calories neededdepending on the calorie intake determined by one’s profession.Some profession require higher calorie intake than others. Forinstance, a groundsman requires more calorie intake than a bankteller who spends much of the time seated.

The tool can beused by persons also seeking to gain weight. This is because the toolassesses a person’s calorie needs per day depending on the currentbody weight and profession or activities one is engaged in. This caninclude body builders on even ordinary person who might be interestedin eating healthy and at the same time adding weight. This is becausethe tool offers suggestions on the bet meals that can provide a highcalories levels and be healthy at the same time. Therefore,individuals can avoid eating unhealthy foods fast foods when in needof adding weight.

Figure3 myfitnesspal.com screenshot

Using Googledrive

In this task, aGoogle document (assignment skills dev doc), and a presentation(class assignment-skills dev) were created on the web and saved.Another presentation and two images were uploaded from the computerto the Google drive (See fig. 4). Creating a document on the webusing Google is somehow different to using conventional officeapplications such as Microsoft Office, which I am used to (See fig.5). The presentation on the Google drive on the web is also differentfrom other presentation programs such as MS PowerPoint presentation(see fig. 6). This can be problematic especially in editing becauseit does not have a spell check but it has basic functions such astext alignment and underlining. Uploading directly from the computeris easier and safer when documents need to be carefully edited andformatted.

Figure4 Google drive uploads

Figure5 Google drive documents on the web

Figure6 Google Drive presentation in the web

Problems

The greatestissue in creating documents on the web was the editing and formattingissue. This can be only a problem to students who need to have afunctioning spell checker and grammar checker. However, it is veryappropriate for working on in case something happens to the computeras it saves documents just after a few seconds and can be accessedanywhere there is internet using a Google account. However, theformat for the uploaded documents differs from the conventionalapplications.

Applications

Google driveallows safe storage of huge files of data accessible from variousdevices. As a business traveller, I would use and recommend this toolform other business partners. This is because individuals travellingfor business or other purposes do not have to carry their flash disksor portable hard disks with them. These devices are very unsafe forbusiness travellers because they can be lost and with them the datamight fall in unauthorized hands. Therefore, Google drive allowsvirtual storage of data, which is safe and easily accessible viamultiple devices such as mobile phones, tablets and desktopcomputers.

Google driveallows each account to hold 15 GB space of data. This space candefinitely be expanded for individuals operating more than one Googleaccount. Personally, I would say that I have around 45 GB of dataspace in Google drive courtesy of my three Google emails. Such spaceis very huge for persons who might not have personal devices, harddisks and flash disks but desire to back up their data. This meansthat I can back up my favorite photos, music and e-books on the driveand access them from any internet-enabled device. Furthermore, forthose with devices with small storage spice such as tablets can relyon this tool without the need for deleting some files to make roomfor new data. All in all, the Google drive option is safer than aconventional flash disk or DVD as the drive is indestructible, farfrom the common wear, and tear that can destroy them.

Wikipedia

In this task,first I had to peruse the Wikimedia pages and identify the ones thatcan be edited. Not all pages can be edited. Editable pages are thosethat are accompanied by the edit tab/link that takes users to theediting page. I logged in to Wikipedia and chose the disappearedMalaysian plane MH370 as a recent issue that is open to editing. Ithus searched for the most recent information about the search on theinternet from credible news sources. I targeted mainstream newspapersand media houses. I assessed the information and the compared whatwas missing from Wikipedia. I located an article from the CNN websiteon developments of the search as of Sunday 30th Mach andmade the adjustments. Fig 6 shows the screen capture before theediting in which no information on the search was updated as of 30thMarch. Fig 7 shows the edited section of the page.

Figure7 Wikipedia page screenshot before editing

Figure8 Wikipedia page screenshot after editing

Challenges

The firstchallenge encountered involved searching for an appropriate articleto edit. I realized that most topics on companies and sports werevery current but the MH370 reporting had died down after interest inthe airplane somehow subsided. Afterwards, I located key informationmissing. On editing, I entered the reference, which was a link to aCNN website, but it appeared on the actual text instead of aappearing as a footnote. I thus checked how to reference properlyfrom the site. Finally, I managed to put a footnote and save thechanges. The edited section now appears as shown in figure 8.

Applications

Wikipedia is oneof the most widely visited websites. Organizations can create theirprofiles on Wikipedia in which they update key information such asannual reports new products launched, new strategies adapted, changein senior management and such relevant information. A search for anumber of organizations such as Samsung, apple, Toyota, Ford and Tatashowed that the organizations have very current and updatedinformation about the organizations and their operations. Althoughsome information can be edited, these organizations can always ensurethat they reflect true information about their operations. In somecases, some rogues users have edited Wikipedia for sabotage purposesby presenting misleading information.

Another way thatWikipedia can be utilized is when public figures desire to promotethemselves by creating public profiles on the site. These profilesserve as resumes that can be accessed by the public over theinternet. For instance, I noted that the uprising Hollywood startsand musicians have created profiles on Wikipedia to marketthemselves. Other individuals such as writers and publishers can usethe platform to market their services. Movie producers, directors andmodeling agencies can access these profiles for perusal and gatheringknowledge without necessarily contacting these individuals.

Surveys

The online surveyusing Google Forms and SurveyMonkey I formulated a short survey offive multiple answer questions on TV viewership that did not targetany specific group but the public that I chose among many. I used thesame set of questions on a different tool, SurveyMonkey. I had optedfor survey gizmo but the website was taking longer to create anaccount. For goggle forms, it was easier to use because I already hada Google drive account as opposed to the case of survey monkey as Ihad to register first. Figure 9 captures some of the questions. Iformulated the questions by editing a multiple answers template.

Figure9 Google Form screen shot

Figure10 Survey Monkey screen shot

Problems

I did notencounter any major issues in making the surveys. However, whenformulating the survey topic and questions, I had chosen on adifferent topic on attitudes towards exams. After carefulconsiderations, I realized that such a topic would collectdescriptive data, which would be hard to analyze and even fit in wellin a survey. I thus settled on a topic and questions with multipleanswers are easier to analyze as opposed to open-ended question wheredescriptive data is collected. I had to keep the questions few tokeep the respondents interested. However, despite this, only oneperson among those I emailed the survey had filled out the survey intime of writing this report, which made data analysis and comparisonimpossible.

Applications

The two different tools among other online survey tools can be usedfor market research. As a researcher I would recommend this option toscholars, and marketers to issue these surveys to various studysubjects. The tools are convenient in that the surveys can beaccessed by the participants at their convenience as opposed toconventional questionnaires written on paper or those issued inperson similar to interviews. They therefore save time for both theresearchers and the participant. From personal experience, I haveviewers conventional surveys as very interruptive and inconvenientfor both the researcher and the participants. To avert such issues,online surveys using Surveymonkey and Google forms among others ismore user-friendly.

The tools can be used to administer simple tests such as IQ tests orgrammar proficiency tests where applicable. This is because the testscan be sent to specific persons or offered in a website. As a managerin marketing or filed research, I would use this tool frequently tocollect data from the market as opposed to using traditional writtensurveys. One thing about them that I like is that online surveys saveon use of paper and can help organizations to be green in theirprocesses. The other way that I find the surveys applicable asopposed to the traditional survey is that these online surveysprovide data in a digital manner which is semi-analyzed that can beeasily analyzed further using various software. In contrast,traditional surveys would require data first to be converted intodigital form to carry out any meaningful data analysis. Despite theconvince of these online surveys and their adaption for taking tests,they cannot be used for academic purposes as they do not address theissue of students searching for answers from elsewhere as is requiredof most exams and tests.

References

Almasy, S. &amp Kwon, K. (2014). MH370: New object sightings fuelhopes, but families demand

`truth` CNN.Retrieved online on 30th March from,

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/30/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Olson, D. &ampCole, M. (2013). Technology, literacy, and the evolution ofsociety. New York:

PsychologyPress.

Wikipedia, MH370.Retrieved online on 30th March from,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370