Monday, April 16, 2012


This class has stretched and pulled on me more than anything else I have experienced in college. I need to be very careful with that statement because other classes have been very difficult and have required a lot of time. The difference is that I had assignments and knew what to do with my time. Although Digital Civilization had a basic idea and direction for the whole semester, much more liberty accompanied each student in their choosing what to do with their time. MUCH has been learned that revolves around that kind of thing, but the following paragraphs will focus precisely on the learning outcomes of the class and how I have reached them.

1. History

With history, I was very focused on learning all I could with the knowledge that I had -- the knowledge to research via digital medium. I met with Ariel early in the semester to talk about topics worth considering and to find the best way to go about my "self-directed" learning. I also me with Dr. Burton to try and improve my ability to sort information and quickly find what I'm looking for. Before this class, I had never heard of Google Reader or any other type of RSS feeds. It was a whole new world and I was scrambling to figure it out. Much improvement happened and I was pleased. It is funny to look back at some of the very first few posts that I did and see how my content improved as the weeks went by because I was working through the learning curve. Ultimately, I was interested in Business. I was counseled by Ariel and Dr. Burton to find anything in history to connect with my interests; therefore, you will find that most of the people or events I learned about usually are connected with some aspect of business. I, particularly, loved learning about attributes in individuals' lives that made them successful at whatever they did.

I was assigned to the 16th Century. Here is a documentation of my learning of the 16th Century:
16th Century: Fiddle like Ferdinand
16th Century: The Power of Freedom
Religious reformation: 16th century
New Major for Business Students??? Renaissance Parallel

Other History (Self-Directed)
Atomic Age in the 20th Century
How old is old?
How to Change the World: From James Watt to Steve Jobs
18th Century: "Dare to Know"

2. Core Concepts

The core concepts were so completely abstract to me that I had no idea where to start. I had never heard about any of the concepts before this class--ever! I started reading my novel that I was assigned, Utopia, and did what little I could with the small amount of knowledge I had. One truth about learning that I have learned recently in my life--even before this class--is that the more you already know about a certain topic, the more you will be able to learn about that particular topic. This proved true as I attempted to do self-directed learning about the core concepts.

One of the concepts that I could understand the most was "information." Particularly, the aspect of disruptive innovation. As part of our "Business" group, we came up with a lot of content about disruptive innovation and technology in business. I was very involved with the editing and compiling of the content and read through that content multiple times. From that reading and learning from all the thoughts of our group members, along with my own research, I learned a lot about disruptive technology and how it affects the world today. Read the business chapter--that is essentially the documentation of that learning!

Another concept I could understand a little more was "participation." I loved all of the conversation had on Google+ about gamification. I was taught all through my life, by my dad, to make tasks FUN. While doing any type of work (yard work is what my dad and I did a lot), I would focus on making it more fun. I loved this principle of participation and could relate well with it.

"Openness" and "control" were much more difficult for me. I didn't, particularly, have much interest in those concepts at all. We were constantly told in class to self direct our learning about things we are interested in and so it was hard for me to dive into those concepts. Nevertheless, I was very involved in the conversation about those topics on Google+ and read any articles I came across that had to do with those concepts to try and get a grasp. In the end, I posted a few thoughts about my learning of, specifically, "control," as that was the topic I was assigned to and payed more attention to:
Hunger Games

3. Digital Literacy

CONSUME: As mentioned before in this post, I really struggle at first in being able to work through information and spend meaningful, productive time to help me learn the things I wanted or needed to learn. I decided early on that I was going to keep at it, no matter how many hours I put in. I knew, that despite my ability to get the information quickly and posted/documented, that I would benefit from learning through personal experience--trial and error--and grow through the process. And that, certainly, did happen. I used Google; I used the list of websites and other sources suggested by Dr. Burton; I used Google Reader; and, I even used the Library! Haha--Yes, I searched through scholarly articles through online data bases from the Library and Google Scholar.

CREATE: What a new idea this was for me! I tackled it head on; the reason it was so hard is because of my innate perfectionism. My first few blog posts were very painful for me because I was not used to it--had never used "blogger" and had to spend time searching and asking others how to make a word a different color that, if clicked on, would link you immediately to another web page! As evident in THIS post, I figured it out! :) I improved my ability to use different sources to create posts and also presentations (was introduced to and learned Prezi for the first time). I feel a lot more confident now in my ability to create any type of content or presentation. I also felt like the skills learned throughout the course assisted me in being able to take all of the content from our Business group and edit, cut, crop, and do all sorts of things to create a more professional-looking chapter.

CONNECT: I became a Google+ mad man. I checked every day, multiple times, and made a goal to comment as much as I could on every class mate's posts and read and form opinions on as much as I could as time would allow. Social proofing was a new idea to me. I learned to love it. My eyes were opened to the possibilities from being able to connect with professionals in what ever field of interest you might have. And that is what I did. I had a neat experience with professionals in the field of e-commerce and business, such as Marsha Collier. I also worked really hard with my group in developing our content about the "new economy" and the world of business in the digital age. We worked with all types of social media to help connect with each other, such as Google+, email, facebook, and Google Docs.

4. Self-Directed Learning

Here is a documentation of my self-directed learning. At times it was very distracting and time consuming, nonetheless, very enjoyable :)

New Times, New Technology, and the Digitized Economy
Tradition in Business is Like... Pumpkins!?
Increase in E-commerce
The Law of Attraction

And, of course, all of the other concepts--history and digital--were learning through self-directed efforts.

5. Collaboration

I learned how to collaborate far beyond what my abilities were before the class. When I got home from my mission about two years ago, I had zero interest in online things, such as social media. Facebook was deserted. I didn't ever participate in any event creating or organizing. Surprisingly, a few weeks ago, I found myself on Facebook making comments on some of my friend's photos and keeping up a little more with them--I realized that my attitude towards social media/internet was changing! By the end of this class, I even had my own twitter account and learned how to use it for the first time. My collaboration was huge with my Business group members. As one of the leaders of the group, I kept them updated weekly, almost daily, about things that needed to get done next and was very involved in all of the collaboration efforts to get our content all put together.

And here we are . . . at the end. What a great semester--thank you for teaching me how to be a digital citizen, to understand core concepts more that I had never, previously heard of, and to bring History alive by relating it to modern issues of today.

Hunger Games

I went to see the Hunger Games the day it came out in theaters. Aside from the violence and other aspects involved, it is full of principles that we have talked about in class about control. Here are a few thoughts:

  • What is the way control, in any mode, being enforced?
  • Who is being effected by it?
  • What are the motives behind the agency that is enforcing it?
  • Why is the particular form of control necessary?
Have you seen the movie? Many lessons are to be learned from the movie/book about the concept of control. In effort to prevent spoiling the story for you, in case you haven't seen it, I will not go into detail about the movie or story, itself.

But I would like to reiterate the importance of checks and balances. It is critical to have a pure system in place, whatever it may be, with the right motives, to effectively enforce any type of control.


The Sopa issue is gone and past (or just sleeping . . . for now), but I just wanted to document my thoughts and learning about the topic. When I first saw a few articles and posts about it, I was introduced to a new world of thought. I hadn't thought about that kind of thing very much.

Although I didn't have the chance to document my thoughts, I had some and here they are:

I feel that control over internet-type things is a very complex issue (stating the obvious, right :P). Some questions to consider when discussing this topic:

  • Who is in control?
  • How is the controller maintaining power?
  • What are the stipulations and regulations (sphere) of their governance?
  • What criteria or evaluations are in place to traffic online material/info?
  • How easy is it to add or remove certain content?
Tackling an actual solution of my own has not been a part of my plan or personal goals. I feel quite educated on the topic and aware of it -- whereas, I hadn't ever even heard or thought about "control" before taking this class.

The Law of Attraction

I'm extremely interested in the Law of Attraction. I have heard of it from being around different people in the business world and have always wanted to learn more about it. Although I feel that we have certain limitations and some people may have certain gifts that others don't, I believe strongly in the power of the mind. I feel that an individual, no matter his/her circumstance, can improve their quality of life by the "self-talk" that goes on in their minds. Here are a few paragraphs that talk about this concept from an article called "Positive Intelligence:"

"Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves. Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. “Once I get a promotion, I’ll be happy,” they think. Or, “Once I hit my sales target, I’ll feel great.” But because success is a moving target—as soon as you hit your target, you raise it again—the happiness that results from success is fleeting.

In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive. I’ve observed this effect in my role as a researcher and lecturer in 48 countries on the connection between employee happiness and success. And I’m not alone: In a meta-analysis of 225 academic studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found strong evidence of directional causality between life satisfaction and successful business outcomes.

Another common misconception is that our genetics, our environment, or a combination of the two determines how happy we are. To be sure, both factors have an impact. But one’s general sense of well-being is surprisingly malleable. The habits you cultivate, the way you interact with coworkers, how you think about stress—all these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success."

What ever you choose to do in this life, choose to think big!

New Major for Business Students??? Renaissance Parallel

As I have done a lot of research about the digital age and how it has transformed the world of business, I came across a scholarly, peer-reviewed article in the Harold B. Lee Library that had a full plan laid out for a new business major.

"The rapidly emerging digital economy is challenging the relevance of existing marketing practices, and a radical redesign of the marketing curriculum consistent with the emerging student and business needs of the 21st century is required. To remain relevant to our students and to the ultimate consumers of our output, businesses, the marketing curriculum must evolve with both the changing technological environment and the way marketing is perceived by its own academic architects" (Wymbs).

This wasn't just another emphasis, similar to finance or entrepreneurship, rather, it was a new creation for the business world that never existed prior to the digital age... Here is how it is structured and its purposes--how important is this? Is it critical that it be implemented in higher education? If so, how quickly does this need to happen?

• Area: Consumer Behavior in Digital Marketing
 Careers: Direct and Interactive Marketing, Digital Advertising
 Courses: Direct and Interactive Marketing, 
Digital Advertising, e-Business Technologies
• Area: International Supply Chain Management
 Careers: Supply Chain Management and B-2-B 
 Courses: Internet Law, Innovation, Technology, and the Global Enterprise (B-2-B), Business Buying Behavior
• Area: Digital Entrepreneurship
 Career: Entrepreneurs
 Courses: Social Media Marketing and New 
Ventures,  Direct and Interactive Marketing, 
Digital Advertising, Consumer Behavior or 
Business Buying Behavior     

I found this to be major evidence of the current digital revolution that the world is experiencing. When I was reading the article, I thought about how this is similar to what was happening during the Renaissance. One definition I found on Wikipedia about the Renaissance is "an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought."

Society today is largely focused on novel approaches to thought. Much of the digital technology is making way for new ways to go about research and different types of learning. As shown in the article by Wymbs, the changes happening today is causing people to "re-think" many of the current systems such as education, government, and business. Overall, I feel that the new major proposed by Wymbs IS relevant and, in fact, I believe it is absolutely necessary for a student to be prepared for the new economy that has evolved from digital technology.


Wymbs, C. (2011). Digital marketing: The time for a new “Academic major” has arrived. Journal of Marketing Education, 33(1), 93-106. doi:10.1177/0273475310392544 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spreading the word for the EVENT!

When we were asked to ask ten people by personal invitation, I was a bit overwhelmed. I thought that it would be very difficult to find other people I knew would be interested. Then I realized that I may not know, exactly, who is and is not interested and simply need to ask! I sent personal invitations to 13 people -- I narrowed down my list of friends and/or people I know to invite those I thought would have most interest. So the inviting began--here is a list of people who I invited and a little bit about them:

1) Robert Scoble is someone I found from doing a google+ search for people and pages. I looked, specifically, for people who were technologically inclined and/or were business professionals. I chose Robert because he seemed to be an expert in modern technology and internet resources. Here's a little bit about him, as posted on his blog "about" him ...
I'm a geek who grew up in Silicon Valley (my dad was an engineer at Lockheed) and since 1985 I've been building online communities. In 2000 I started my technology blog,, and my life has been on a rocketship ever since. In 2003-2006 I worked at Microsoft as an evangelist and one of the five guys who started Microsoft's famous Channel9 video community.
He responded to my request/invite by saying that he was too busy and didn't have the time to participate.

2) Jeff Clavier is also someone I found on google+. I chose him also because of his expertise I read in his "about" post about himself...
Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in close to 100 consumer internet startups (Fund IFund IIFund III)  in areas like social media, monetization, search, gaming or B2B/B2C web services.
I never got a response from him... a little frustrating. But I kept trying!

3) Marsha Collier is another google+er. Here is a little bit about her...
Marsha Collier's name crops up a lot in the same breath as e-commerce and customer service. No surprise there. She’s the author of eBay For Dummies, eBay Business All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies plus many other related, best-selling titles. She's sold over a million books and been on the Business Week Best Seller list and has published more than 35 books in the Wiley "For Dummies" series. (List of books in print below).
She is a popular keynote speaker, inspiring online sellers to success, the lead instructor at eBay University, speaks at conferences worldwide, and runs a successful online business – so is she an internet fanatic? Well, let’s just say she’s on a mission: educating current and future online sellers.
My interaction with her was really exciting because she emailed me right back and said that she was interested in what we were doing and that she would include the doc I emailed her (our business chapter) to her nightly reading. 

4) Nathan Munson is a computer tech guy and has a lot of interest in the digital field. I emailed him a personal invitation and told him about the event and what it was about. I never heard back from him.

5) Kevin Newton is a business major. I know him from one of my business classes and emailed him a personal invitation. I never heard back from him.

6) Matt Winn is an Information Systems major. He responded to my personal facebook message to him and said that he was really interested. He was going to try and come, but said it was late because he had a work meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. I don't think he ever made it--I never saw him.

7) Deving Basinger is interested in business and is applying for a job right now for Ebay. He responded to my personal facebook message and told me it sounded like something he'd really like and thanked me for thinking of him. He was planning on coming, but then text me right as the event started and told me that other things came up and he was spending time with his wife.

8) Yohanes Tanutama is in the field of economics and business and responded to my facebook message. He said that he would consider it, but I never saw him at the event.

9) Dane Olenslager is an engineering major and loves innovation -- I sent him a facebook message and he never responded. 

10) Kent Dodds is a computer guru. He spends a lot of time in the digital world and I thought he'd have a lot of interest. He responded to my facebook message, but wasn't able to come.

11) Ben Brown is a friend and loves being involved with many things. I thought he'd love to hear about what we had to say and sent him a facebook message, but I never heard from him.

12) Chance Allen is a business guy, but he never responded to my facebook message.

13) Dallin Bastian is going into accounting. I sent him a facebook message, but he never responded.

In addition to the personal invite messages I sent, I did a post-invite on my blog and shared that public on google+. I also created a public event to share with everyone I knew -- a MASS invite on facebook. I also signed up for the class-announcement graph that Hwanhi had created. The Friday before History 395 (Tech in History), taught by Professor York, I made an announcement in class about the event. About 15 people were in the class. A few asked more questions and showed interest... and they may or may have not been at the actual event (or viewing online)!

I enjoyed my interactions, mostly, with Marsha Collier. That was definitely a highlight of my social proofing and gave me a desire to do more. I struggled a lot at first with the idea of social proofing and felt like I'd be bothering other people, but because of the positive and enthusiastic response from Marsha, I realized that there is probably a whole lot of people out there like her who want to be involved and hear what you have to say about something applicable to their field of work or interests.

My wife also came with me to the event and it opened her eyes. She thought it was a little abstract at first, but was impressed by the possibilities of integrating much of what we do currently with the digital world. I enjoyed having conversations with her afterwards about how to be more digitally civilized and use the tools available for our benefit.

I was also very proud of myself for setting up a Twitter account! It is very new to me and I have a lot to learn. But I enjoyed being able to see the comments and questions of the online and present audiences. I tweeted a few of my thoughts and/or questions. I thought it was a very useful tool in getting a feel for how the audience is feeling and what questions are a majority that need to be addressed.

The event was excellent. To everyone . . . Way to GO!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Come to Our Event!

If you have been following my blog, I invite you to our class event.
How do you participate?
Come and be educated about the digital age that you live in, topics are:
The Arts
Intellectual Property
Explore with us . . the parallels of the past with the present.
Do you have family or friends who would be interested but can't attend?
No worries! Watch it on a live stream at THIS website.
And of course, enjoy the refreshments!