Internet Consensus and IUPUC

If you go to the dictionary or Google the term “internet consensus” you won’t find much, if anything; believe me I tried. However unfamiliar the term may seem, the concept is something we are all acquainted with. Internet consensus is simply creating a format on the internet for people to collectively put their thoughts and opinions. Then you have a large source of information ready and available to you for whatever the purpose of collecting the data was for. I have three prime examples of internet consensus:

2002: M&M color change
Changing colors isn’t a new procedure for M&M’s. They changed their tan M&M to blue back in 1995. They had the choice of blue, pink, or purple and had to call a 1-800-FUN-COLOR hotline to place their vote. What about internet consensus?  It wasn’t until 2002 that M&M decided to introduce another new color, but this time voting was done via the internet. The choices were pink, purple or aqua. There were advertisements abroad, all over the world. Consumers were invited to go online to M&M Global Vote and vote for the next color. M&M marketed this new campaign to all sorts of media. In one particular instance M&M had put a voting poll on the AOL homepage, and in a single day registered over 600,000 votes! After the time was up, the internet consensus determined that purple was to be the new M&M color.

2009: Live Music by Mass Animation    <watch video here>
Mass Animation, a computer graphics company out of California, teamed up with Facebook to create an interactive consensus with Facebook users. People had the option to download software that had unfinished clips of a possible story line and make it their own. They then submitted their short film layout and people could then vote on them. The winning submission with the most votes won a Dell XPS System, and every week the submission with the most votes won $500 per shot. Once the polls were closed, Mass Animation studios then finished the short film and Sony then showed the short film on the big screen with Planet 51. The internet consensus produced a high quality and entertaining short film.

2010: DEWmocracy <get out and vote!>  <watch video here>
Pepsi knew it had a fan craze base with Mountain Dew products and wanted to provide tasty options to its many loving fans. They provided the simplest solution: give them what they want! Pepsi created a very comprehensive poll method allowing their fans to choose everything about the new product: the flavor,  color, name, label design and fans even had the option to choose which campaign companies would make the new commercials. That’s not all! Then they finally had the option to choose one of the three drinks they created to be the new mountain dew product. Geniuses.

IUPUC
With the knowledge that internet consensus is successful and can provide profitable data, how do we implement that at IUPUC? It would be simple for IUPUC to question their students with an on screen poll installed on all the lab computers. A lot of people are investing in smart phones and use an IU mobile app. IUPUC could use that app to retrieve poll answers. So what kind of information would IUPUC receive through internet consensus? IUPUC could ask the students and teachers about what kind of new lunch item they would like to see at the café. Ask the students what class they would really be interested in taking that isn’t provided. Come up with community volunteer ideas and let the students decide on which one they would like to participate in. Find out what pressing topics we are interested in and give those majoring in journalism an opportunity to write about what we want to know more about. Any information that IUPUC needs to come to conclusions or for research can be done through internet consensus via webpages, mobile apps, Facebook, Twitter and more.

By: Amanda Jo Lucas, Business Entrepreneurship Major – IUPUC

<additional dewmocracy video> <additional dewmocracy video>

Pro and Cons of Telecommuting

I believe that telecommuting started to become popular in the twenty first century.  This is when computer and Internet technology really started to advance.  More people than ever before now own a cell phone.  Very powerful computers including laptop computers started to become very affordable and popular for people to own in their own home.  High speed broadband Internet became much more affordable and available to many more people than in the past.  There was also the desire for more people to be able to spend more time with their family at home than to have to travel to and from work each day.

The major advantage for someone to telecommute is the ability to work from home.  I do believe that this can be a major advantage for many people.  Some people have families with children where they would like to stay close to at home.  In this case telecommuting can be a major advantage to them if the job has very flexible hours working in a very relaxing environment at home.  Most people that do telecommute every day from home have a separate area in their home away from the rest of their family so that they can focus on their work.  I do believe that telecommuting is very popular for stay at home parents.

Telecommuting can reduce the amount of money that is spent on gas.  With gas prices over three dollars a gallon now in many parts of the country, it might make sense to work from home more often than to drive to work every day.  This can really benefit the environment.  The life of a person’s car can be extended as well by not driving to work everyday. The telecommuter might be able to focus more doing their work from home then having to deal with the daily office distractions.

Telecommuting might also open up the job market for some individuals.  The economy in the U.S. is not really doing well right now.  Some people might have to look for a telecommuting job online in another state.  In the past if someone wanted to work for a company in another state, they more than likely had to relocate to another state.  Now they can just work from home anywhere if they were to get hired.  Telephones including cell phones, web cams,  and video conferencing might be used if the telecommuter has to talk with coworkers and managers in another state.

The major disadvantage of telecommuting is that there is no daily social interaction with coworkers and managers.  This could make it harder for some telecommuters to get promoted because managers do not see their employees daily.  Telecommuters can also sometimes be lonely.  The telecommuter has to really be self-motivated to be able to work every day from home because some people consider the home to be a place to relax and not work.  Some people might have a hard time separating their work life from their personal life working at home everyday.  Telecommuters working from home might be easily distracted from work if they do not have a separate area in their home for work.

Telecommuting does have some advantages and disadvantages.  Full time telecommuting is not for everyone.  It depends on what the person’s personal situation is at home and what type of job they would prefer to do for a living.  I do believe that full time telecommuting is not for someone who is single because they might desire the social interaction with people by going to work every day.   A telecommuting job might be more appealing for someone that has a family at home.

Personally, I do not believe that I would like or enjoy a full time telecommuting job but I would consider a job with some telecommuting work at home after I am done with college.  I would be someone that would enjoy going to work every day and having interaction with my coworkers and managers than someone that just does their work on the computer at home every day.  There are many benefits to a job that has some part time telecommuting.

I do believe that telecommuting will keep on getting more popular in the future because technology just keeps on advancing.

By Eric Shepherd-IUPUC Business Major, Ivy Tech Alumni

Real World Examples of Groupthink and the Consequences

 

First, what is Groupthink?

Groupthink was discovered as an undesirable by-product of group cohesiveness by a psychologist named Irving Janis. He further defined groupthink as a “mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

What are the symptoms of Groupthink?

Excessive Optimism                                      Assumptions of Inherent Morality

Suppression of Dissent                                 Desperate Quests for Unanimity

Stereotyping                                                  Rationalizing

  • These symptoms create a decision-making climate where the probability of making a poor decision is very high.

Real World Examples and Their Consequences

Corporate

Swissair’s Collapse: Thought to be so financially stable that people referred to it as the “Flying Bank.” Poor decision-making processes eventually led to its collapse.

Symptoms: The belief that the group is invulnerable and the belief in the morality of the group.

Lack of expertise, similar backgrounds / norms and pressure to conform were also present.

Consequences: Collapse of Swissair

Political

Vietnam: Groupthink is believed to be main reason for the war. Strategic advisors in 3 successive administrations rubber-stamped battle plans laced with false assumptions.

Symptoms: Groupthink prevented contradictory views to the war from being expressed and subsequently evaluated.

Consequences: 58,220 United States servicemen died.

Newly studied areas of groupthink outside of Politics and Business where symptoms were present.

Sports

Major League Umpire Association: In 1999, the Major League Baseball Association staged a mass resignation in a failed attempt to gain a stronger negotiating stance.

Symptoms: The umpires overestimated the power that they had over the baseball league and the strength of their group’s resolve. There was the presence of self-censorship; some umpires who disagreed with the decision to resign failed to voice their dissent.

Consequences: Failed strategy, Major League Baseball accepted their resignations, 22 umpires were out of jobs and eventually replaced.

Groupthink Consequences and Preventing Them

Previous examples show how groupthink can have devastating consequences. In some cases, thousands of lost lives have been associated with it.

How can we prevent groupthink?

According to Irving Janis, there are some things we can do to improve decision quality in cohesive groups but groupthink will always be a threat.

Most Important: Group members must always ask, “Are we allowing ourselves to become victims of groupthink?”

                Fundamental prevention measures:

  1. Avoid the use of groups to rubber-stamp decisions.
  2. Urge each group member to be a critical evaluator.
  3. Bring in outside experts for fresh perspectives.
  4. Assign someone the role of challenging assumptions.
  5. Take time to consider possible consequences of action.

References:

Kreitner, Robert. Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Book.

By David Rice, Business (Computer Information Systems) Major-Indiana University Purdue University Columbus

Interviews from hell – what not to wear and what not to say

Many people may not realize this, but studies have shown that it only takes 20-30 seconds to make a lasting impression in a job interview.  This is an extremely important factor that should not be taken lightly.  There are several things you should be aware of when attempting to make a positive lasting impression.  Factors such as appearance, body language, timing and even your hand shake can make or break your odds of getting the job.Bad Interview

When it comes to interviewing, your appearance is very important.  Some examples of apparel and accessories that should NEVER be worn to an interview include: hats, sunglasses, t-shirts, headphones, bright or large decorative clothing, short skirts, sandals/flip-flops, heavy makeup, facial piercings, visible tattoos, short sleeve shirts and strong perfumes or cologne.

Now that you know what not to wear, you should also know what not to say in an interview.  It’s difficult to anticipate and prepare for all the questions you’re going to be asked, but here are a few common questions that you should be prepared for.

Why do you want to work for our company?

Wrong Response:  I need a job bad, and I’ve been turned down everywhere else.

Interview-What Not to SayAppropriate Response:  After visiting the company’s web site and learning more about the success the company has had in the industry, I’m confident this will be a rewarding place to work and continue to grow as a professional.

 

Why do you want a new job?

Wrong Response:  I don’t get along with my boss, and my coworkers are difficult to work with.

Appropriate Response:  I’m looking for new and exciting challenges in an environment where I can use my skills to help my employer’s company succeed.

Why should we hire you?

Wrong Response:  I have a gambling problem, and I really need to pay off my debt.

Appropriate Response:  I have the skills to hit the ground running.  Now that I know more about what you are looking for, I’m even more confident that I can exceed your expectations.

Knowing what to wear and what to say takes practice, time and effort.  Do your research, dress for success, and do your best.  You are unlikely to get hired after every interview, but you are very likely to learn something from each interview.

For more great examples of Job Interview Dos and Don’t, please check out Vault Video’s Guide to Interview Dos and Don’ts.

By Brent Humphress, Business Major -IUPUC