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Showing posts from 2013

Moving Forward in 2014

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In August 2009, I graduated from Texas Tech University and moved from Lubbock, TX to Syracuse, NY for a tenure track position at Syracuse University (SU).  Six months later, in January 2010, I signed up in all major social media websites.I called that “I am entering a new era.” Thanks to social media, I am connected to the “real world,” and because I embrace and understand social media, I can teach classes and do research in social media.

Coincidentally, I also made big changes in 2013.I accepted a new position in The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona and moved from Upstate NY to Southern California in the summer.In addition, I graduated with an iMBA degree from SU.
When I decided to pursue the iMBA degree at SU in 2010, my friends asked me not to do it.Many of my unofficial mentors also advised me to put more thoughts to the decision.Their concerns make perfect sense (even at this point).First of all, I have already had a M.S. degree and a Ph.D. degree i…

For Better or Worse? My Experience of Teaching in the “Smart Classroom”

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I was my pleasure teaching in the “smart classroom” during my first quarter in The Collins College of Hospitality Managementat Cal Poly Pomona.The classroom installs four Apple TVs, which enable professors and students to stream the same (or different) content on four different screens.And yes, if you wonder, there is an app for this “smart classroom.”

I think this is a very “cool” classroom.It definitely provides more flexibility for professors and students.To name a few examples, I was able to stream class lectures using the SlideShark app on my iPad, making it easier for me to walk around to engage with different groups of students or answer students’ questions.When we were having a guest lecture session via Skype, I was able to keep one or two screens for the guest speaker (Skype) and at the same time, showed students relevant content on other screens.
The “smart classroom,” however, is not always working for the better.There were also a couple of times when Apple TVs did not funct…

Interested in a Sales/Marketing Position? You’d Better Start Tweeting

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Traditionally, companies promote sales by initiating one-way, and often persuasive messages to influence buyers’ purchasing decisions, but social media has destroyed the “one-to-many-communication” model. And because of that, if one wants to work in the field of sales and marketing, s/he must know how to communicate effectively on social media.

Well, many people have already been active on Facebook and Instagram. Isn’t it enough? Probably, at least they know how to “talk” as a customer. The challenge is B2C (business-to-consumer) communications are very different from C2B (consumer-to-business) and C2C (consumer-to-consumer) communications because everything posted on a company’s Facebook page or Instagram profile must reflect a brand’s or a company’s core value. Do you notice any differences between the Facebook messages posted on McDonald’s page and the ones on Chick-fil-A’s page?

A good sales/marketing manager must also know how to measure and document the ROI (return on investment) …

Learning while Tweeting: Why Not?

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Using smartphones in class?  Don’t students have enough distractions?  Doesn’t tweeting or texting make students disrespectful to the professor in class?
As a professor myself, I certainly understand how distracting a smartphone can be to a student in class, but at the same time, I also believe using smartphones and tablet computers can enhance students’ learning experience if they are used appropriately.  Here is my experience.   
When I taught at Texas Tech, I had a strict policy that prohibits students from using laptops and cellphones in class.  I adopted the same policy when I first moved to Syracuse University (SU).  It made sense at that time because I wanted students to engage with me in face-to-face and verbal discussion. 
Time has changed, however.  When I developed and taught the social media class at SU and RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).  I turned to the opposite direction.  I requested to teach in a computer lab.  Students were encouraged to used laptops, smar…

Social Networking at Age 13: Why Not?

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LinkedIn announced two updates, according to The Wall Street Journal.  First, LinkedIn introduced verified university pages, providing new cyber space for applicants, current students, alumni, faculty, and staff to engage with one another.  Second, LinkedIn dropped the minimum age for the website to 13 (14 in the U.S.).  Facing these new changes, some people are concerned about whether teenagers should be allowed to access an additional social networking site.  They ask: will it be early?

I completely understand where the criticism comes from.  Many teenagers are already allowed to use a variety of social networking sites.  Recently, Twitter even completely removed the restriction on age limit (used to be 13 or older).  LinkedIn was established as the social networking site for professionals.  What is good for teenagers to spend additional time on another network?  Also, will it be too early for teenagers to get engaged in the professional world?
When it comes to career preparedness,…

Human Technology: Reflections on My Tour of Google LA Office

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Last week, I visited Google LA Office with a friend.We went there to pick up his Google Glass.Supposedly, I should talk about my experience with the Glass, right? But in fact, I would rather share with you my reflections on the tour.

I arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, but two Google associates had been waiting for me and my friend in front of the office.They told me they were in the Google Glass Team.In the LA office, there are about 20 members in the team. Each team member is also part of the 3000+ “explorers” selected by Google to test the prototype.For now, the Glass is only available (and tested) in the U.S. market.Google seeks feedback from the explorers for product improvement.Google also analyzes what people talk about the product on the internet.During our visit, the associates spent two hours showing us step-by-step how to operate the Glass.We were encouraged to spend as much time as we wanted until we felt comfortable with the Glass.


If you really want to hear my true o…

The Basic of Digital Etiquette

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If you are reading my blog now, you are probably also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites.Over the years, has anyone made you wonder if s/he needs training on digital etiquette?

It happened that Today’s Show also discussed this topic earlier. Let’s see if it is well-said. Here are some highlights: “Unplug” completely during vacation. Do not over posting “food porn” unless the food is really special or in a special occasion. Also, do it when it does not bother others in the restaurant and the servers. Limit the number of hashtags --- there is not a set limit. Personally, I think it is good to have up to three hashtags for every post. Too many hashtags equal to no hashtag for me. For that being said, it is a idea to create a hashtag for a special event like a wedding for tracking. A written thank you note is always better than a thank you message on e-mail.  Just like daily conversations, too many update about a person’s political views, personal opinions…

Wedding Etiquette in the Age of Social Media

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In today’s age, a guest shares an average of 22 photos per wedding on social media sites (The Today Show - NBC News Network). The truth is no matter if we like it or not, social media has forever changed the way people do weddings, but does everyone know the wedding etiquette in the age of social media? Based on what is discussed in the NBC News video, I recommend the following:

For the Bride and Groom
Make up your mind if you prefer to either keep your wedding private or make it a “public” event on the internet. If you want to keep yours a private and exclusive event, make it clear that you do not want anyone to post anything on the internet. If you do not mind making yours a “public” event, you may do yourself a favor by creating a hashtag for your wedding and encourage your guests to post updates using the hashtag. Unless you have told your guests not to share any updates about your wedding, chances are you will find updates and pictures about your wedding everywhere on the intern…

Smartphones: An Effective Means for Employee Recruitment

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SoLoMo – Social, Local, and Mobile – is not a trend; it is happening right now on this moment. If a company does not have a clear SoLoMo strategy or a mobile-optimized website by now, the company has fallen behind in competition.
I am an optimistic person and thus believe many companies have already taken SoLoMo seriously. Otherwise, they have probably been defeated by their competitors who embrace SoLoMo. My real concern is that not every company has an integrated SoLoMo strategy. Often, companies pay close attention to SoLoMo’s effect on sales and marketing. A true integrated strategy, however, must include every facet of business operations into considerations.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported a story that highlighted the SoLoMo’s impact on employee recruitment. According to this report, mobile devices will outpass desktops/laptops and become Americans’ preferred method for accessing the internet by 2015. Among the Fortune 500 companies, 167 (33%) have already had career …

SoLoMo for Social Media Strategists

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A successful social media strategy must integrate three key components: “social,” “local,” and “mobile.” According to a recent special report in the Nation’s Restaurant News, $159 billion of U.S. retail sales in 2012 were influenced by SoLoMo. Over 116 million people own smartphones. In July 2012 alone, 90 million American had accessed retail information on their mobile devices. Additionally, 38% of mobile users opted in to receive location-based promotional text messages and that 18% used a location-based social media app such as Foursqure to check in at a venue. How can any business come up with an excuse of not participating in SoLoMo?


The following include some best practices and direct quotes from the report. For example, Texas Roadhouse initiated a “TextUs Loyalty Club” campaign. The redemption rate reached 17% during a six month trial period, much higher than those using other media sources.
Nearly two fifth of Pita Pit’s new likes came from smartphone users on Facebook’s app.

Do We Have the Rights to Talk about Work or our Boss on Social Media?

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It is not new to hear people got fired because of their updates on social networking sites. In one extreme case, a man got fired even for his random thoughts posted on Facebook. So, is it legal for companies to fire employees because of their updates on social media sites?

Employees have the rights to discuss face-to-face on “protected concerted activity” as outlined by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). For example, employees can talk about their wages and work conditions with co-workers. According to The Lodging Magazine (2013), the answer to whether employees have the rights to talk about work or their boss on social media sites depends on whether the employee’s update is considered as protected concerted activity.
The article in The Lodging Magazine reported two cases with the published decisions from NLRB. One case involves in an employee’s sarcastic comments about the employer. This employee is not protected because NLRB believes that the comments were made “solely by…

How Much Does “Popularity” Cost on Social Networking Sites?

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Money cannot buy us true friendship in the real life, but can we buy fans or followers on social networking sites? Absolutely, and the price might be cheaper than expected.

Eric Steuer reported the following price tags in Wired Magazine: Facebook: 500 likes for $30 or 20,000 for $699 on Socialyup.com Twitter: 1,000 followers for $10 or 1,000,000+ for $1,750 on FanMeNow.com Pinterest: 100 followers for $15 or 5,000 for $95 on Pinfol.com YouTube: 30,000 views for $150 or 1,000,000+ for $3,100 on 500views.com
I can certainly afford to pay $30 to make my Facebook page look better, but if I rarely engage the Facebook users on my page, how likely can I build a meaningful relationship with them? Without a meaningful relationship, can I create value for me and the Facebook users on my page? Probably not. That’s why I argued earlier that only the relationship built on engaging conversations can create value. Likewise, even though companies can buy thousands or millions of likes or followers, wi…

We Have Good Reasons to Become Facebook Addict, Psychologists Said

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“Yes, yes, I know. I should have stopped, but please just let me finish posting this update …” God knows how difficult it becomes these days to get people’s attention away from Facebook or just any social media platforms. People are tempted to check news feeds and updates.

Let me ask you another question: When was the last time you checked your Facebook? Was it just a minute ago before you put down your cell phone? Or right in this moment while you are trying to share my discussion on Facebook? For a long time, Facebook has become the most visited website in the U.S. (3rd place in the world) and the website on which Americans spend the most time. There must be a good reason why people can’t have enough with Facebook.
According to recent report on Monitor on Psychology: A Publication of The American Psychological Association, Facebook indeed has the “magic” to satisfy people’s need for connectedness and self-promotion, boost people’s self-esteem, and help people maintain offline relat…

Effective Communication (on Social Media): A Remedy for Employee Complaints

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Last week, I invited the Director of Human Resources (HR) at the Sheraton Syracuse University (SU) Hotel and Conference Center to speak in my Human Resource Management class, in which we discussed a few HR issues. One topic was about employee relations and complaints. For instance, what is the most common complaint among hotel employees? How should a HR manager deal with such complaint?

I expect the answer will vary among different HR managers. According to our guest speaker, the most-heard employee complaint is: “That is NOT fair.” Often times, employees do not feel they are treated equally because they misunderstand their managers, regardless of whether they have a valid complaint. In this case, effective communication can help.
In Sheraton SU, for example, the Housekeeping Manager holds a pre-shift meeting every day to ensure that management’s expectations are effectively communicated in the department. The manager is perceived as a “tough guy” with high expectations, but becau…