11 November 2009

Twitter Research Complete

I want to thank everyone for helping me with my research for school. The paper turned out very well, and I got an "A". Thanks again for all your help!

05 October 2009

Twitter Research

I'm putting together some research for a little school project, so I put together a short survey regarding Twitter use. It shouldn't take too long. If you get a chance in the next few days to fill this out, please do – I would really appreciate it. Also, if you know any other Twitterers who might be willing to provide some information, please forward this on.

You can respond in the comments of this blog.


Twitter Use Survey

If you would like to remain anonymous, please exclude your real name and twitter name. I assure you that your identity will not be revealed in my research project.

1. Your name:
2. Twitter name: @
3. Age:
4. Occupation:
5. Number of years of post high school education:
6. Number of years in the workplace:
7. Number of years in your current industry:
8. To help understand your overall computer knowledge, how would you rate yourself? (beginner, normal office knowledge, programmer,etc.)
9. How often do you use social networking sites other than Twitter? (monthly, weekly, daily, multiple times per day)
10. About how many tweets on average did you post per day during the past month?
11. About how many tweets on average did you read per day during the past month?
12. About how many new followers did you obtain during the past month?
13. How many Twitter followers do you have in total?
14. About how many new Twitterers did you start following during the past month?
15. How many Twitterers are you following?
16. Did you feel that you were overly distracted from your work (professional, home, school) by Twitter at any time? If so, please explain.
17. Give specific examples of knowledge you gained through the use of Twitter.
18. Give specific examples of how you used Twitter to increase your productivity, personally and/or professionally.
19. Use this space for anything else you would like to share about your Twitter use.

22 September 2009

20 August 2009

It's a busy life

I know, I know. Everyone's life is busy. Well so is mine, and this is my blog, so I can write about it here all I want.

Well, first off, my daughter is 10 1/2 months old going on 2 years. Yikes. How has the time flown by so fast? She started crawling almost a month ago, and she's pulling up on the furniture and "cruising". Soon, she'll be walking. We've already started baby-proofing, but as my wife indicated, she now knows how to open the kitchen cabinets, so I'm going to have to install those door stops we bought the other day...

My wife is working two jobs right now, and taking care of our daughter while I work and try to get through grad school. Needless to say, I couldn't do it without her. (Honey - I love you!) I am about 25% of the way done with the program; the last class is in November of next year. I am learning a lot (and not just going to school, an important difference Seth Godin points out in his blog).

I have managed to find time to golf this summer, and I've probably been out about 10 times this year. I wish I had unlimited time and money for golf because my scores are falling, and I'm really enjoying it. I think my wife would kill me if I golfed any more...

26 April 2009

Twitter for Business? Help!

If you didn't know, I'm pursuing my MBA.

I am currently working on a research project trying to discover the effects of Twitter on productivity at work. Here is a good article about how people can get started using Twitter for business.

I started with this preliminary question: What is the effect on employees’ productivity if they are utilizing social networking tools for work-related purposes at work? Does it result in greater productivity, or is it just a waste of time that results in more internet surfing?

My problem statement has been revised to read as: How can use of the social networking and micro-blogging service Twitter increase productivity in the workplace?

My hypothesis is that the use of Twitter actually decreases the amount of time necessary to disseminate ideas and also promotes quick and easy conversations. I'm sure there are more benefits, and some are outlined in the article from above, especially under the heading Some Positives to Throw Back.

Please, if you have any thoughts on this topic, or articles to share, respond in the comments section.

On a side note: You can follow me on Twitter @jessepalmer

17 February 2009


My new term is "quarterassed".

We've all heard of halfassed work, but it's time to recognize the new low - quarterassed.

Think of it as halfassing a halfassed job.

10 February 2009

The Root Beer Stand (2009)

The Root Beer Stand opened yesterday. I had to stop by after work for a chili-cheese dog with the works.

Excellence in a bun.

The prices went up $0.10 across the board from last year (an average per item increase of 6.5%). Seems about right.

29 January 2009

iPhone 3G's Sell-Ability

This is an amazing sales chart I saw on my endadget rss feed. It shows how many days it took to sell a million of these handsets. There's not much more to say. Amazing.

28 January 2009

Thank Goodness for the House of Reps

The House of Representatives defeated the bill to delay the DTV transition after it was unanimously passed by the US Senate just days ago. It would have been a huge mistake to do this. The House of Reps is now my favorite part of government.

27 January 2009

Stifling Progress: The US Senate Does it Again

UPDATE: 12:10 PM EST - I spelled "stifling" incorrectly. I blame George Bush, and Internet Explorer 6.

The US Senate passed a bill yesterday to delay the digital TV switch. It was originally scheduled for February 17th. However, it has now been switched to June 12th of this year. Huge issues with the coupon program are partly to blame for the delay. There is also a fear that the poor and those in rural areas will be without TV come February.

The more likely reason: Telecom lobbyists in Washington are pushing for a delay so AT&T and Verizon will have longer licenses on the airwaves they bought at auction last year. Other lobbyists were against the delay. Hmm...

I warned of how bad the transition was going to be back in December. I couldn't believe the wait for my coupons. I requested them in early December, and didn't receive them until last week.

The problem with this delay is that it also delays the possibility of seeing rural wireless broadband access any time soon. Many Americans are "left in the dark" when it comes to high speed internet access.

Obama supports this delay, so there's no chance of a veto...

25 January 2009

Don't forget about the charities!

Here's an analysis I wrote for a recent class. It outlines the available financial performance measures for charities. One of the most comprehensive and widely accepted organizations rating the financial performance of charities is Charity Navigator.

I currently volunteer on a limited basis for a charitable non-profit organization called Kalamazoo Animal Rescue (KAR). I did more in the past fostering animals, but I still manage their MySpace page. I've seen firsthand the struggles faced with an organization like this. It is very difficult not to want to take on every charity case there is, especially the heart-breakers. However, the reality is this: the heart-breaking cases are expensive.

The section "Tough Ratings or Poor Charities?" is particularly relevant to an organization like KAR. Charity Navigator does not rate KAR, most likely because they only rate charities with annual operating budgets over $500,000. I think it would helpful if smaller charities were rated. It would help them focus on the things that are important, and will give the organization more access to donors who regularly check the site.

In this economic crisis, these organizations are hurting financially. This necessitates their leaders to run them more like businesses and less like charities.

Jesse T. Palmer
January 20, 2009
Cornerstone University - MGT-441

Week Three Assignment – Wall Street Journal Article Summary

Bialik (2008) describes some of the challenges of reporting financial performance of charities. Unlike stocks, charities have no single performance measure that gives a good representation of the success or failure of the charity. There has been some work done to try to formulate a better way to rate charities, but the task has proven to be too daunting.
The non-profit financial world has been said to be much more complex than the for-profit world. For example, food banks spend less than 2% of their budgets on administrative costs, while the average charity spends nearly 9%. These and other differences can make it difficult to maintain objectivity when an organization rates a non-profit’s fiscal standing.

Existing Research

Potential donors will research a charity before donating to it. They can do this through a popular site called Charity Navigator. The site rates more than 5,000 charities. It gives them a rating from zero to four stars, relative to the charity’s peers. The ratings come from many areas, for example – administrative costs. Charity Navigator is the quickest way for anyone to research the performance of many charities.

Rating Issues

There is a major problem with the existing ratings scales. It has caused some charities to become very focused on it. They have made decisions to only focus on the things that are rated, and neglect the rest. In this regard, the ratings system has hurt the outcome of some charities.

One of the ratings deals with the amount of savings the charity maintains. This restricts some charities from releasing their funds as they should. Funds are held that could otherwise benefit those who the charity is there to help.
Some charities have even reallocated expenses to make the ratings better. This has raised some concerns because it stretches the definitions for the spending accounts. This does not really affect the good that the charity performs, but can falsely raise their ratings. These false high ratings can affect other charities, and reduce the amount of donations they receive.

For others, the ratings system has proven to be a source of motivation to perform better. These charities take the ratings as a great way to see where they can become better at what they do. It is a source of outside opinion to help the charity improve and see things that they may not be able to see from within.

Tough Ratings or Poor Charities?

Some charities have a hard time with the ratings given to them. There are charities that are so focused on their purpose that they lose sight of their financials. These “bad charities with heart” (Bialik, 2008), are doing great things. However, if they ultimately fail to maintain the funds to survive, they will not be helping anyone.
I personally have been involved with a charity that had great intentions, but poor financial management. I was involved with an animal rescue in Kalamazoo for a few years. It was always very difficult for people to make the hard decisions that may neglect or kill an animal, but save the charity a lot of money. The members of the charity had great hearts, but did not realize that their decisions were running the charity into the ground.

Single Rating Skepticism

Bob Ottenhoff feels that there is no single measure that is perfect for rating every charity, like a p/e ratio for a for-profit company. For now, the best way to judge a charity’s performance is to look at the available ratings. Ultimately, a donor’s money goes to what they believe in. It is often hard to separate business of the charity from the heart of it, but nonetheless, it is necessary.


Enrich, D. (2009, January 10). Citigroup Takes First Step Toward Breakup --- Pushed by Federal Government, Beleaguered Giant Pursues Brokerage Venture With Morgan Stanley; Robert Rubin to Retire. Wall Street Journal, pp. A.1

Harvard Business Essentials. (2005). Strategy: Create and Implement the Best Strategy for Your Business. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

23 January 2009

This. Is. Amazing.

David Bergman over at All Access created an amazing digital panorama combination shot of the inauguration on the mall. It is comprised of 220 digital photos, taken with a Canon G10, controlled by a GigaPan robotic arm, and stitched together with GigaPan software. It ended up at 1,474 Megapixels, and the final product was almost 2 Gigabytes!

Click here
to check out the shot on his blog. The controls are identical to Google maps, so zoom in, zoom out, and pan are all fair game. If you were there, try to find yourself, Where's Waldo? style!

All I can say is: Wow! I could explore this for hours!

14 January 2009

US Broadband Access

The United States isn't even in the top 20 for in-home broadband use, even though we are the second highest user of the internet behind China. Ten percent of Americans don't even have an option for broadband access. This is primarily in rural areas. It's been a long time since I had dial-up access, and I would be sad if this was my only option. This will hopefully be changed by the use of the white spaces opened up by the television frequencies that were auctioned off earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the FCC cancelled their recent meeting that was to be devoted to discussions about the wireless broadband movement in America. The reason it was cancelled: more planning was required for the digital television transition scheduled for February 17, 2009. (Good luck getting a converter box coupon here - they're almost out of money, and there's at least a 60 day waiting list)

University of Michigan Law Professor Susan Crawford likens broadband internet access to other utilities such as water or electricity as a necessary commodity for surviving and thriving in this world. Susan Crawford spoke at the Tech Policy Summit in Los Angeles and is advising the Obama/Biden transition team regarding the FCC.

What we need here: More broadband internet companies. It's hurting us to have so few options. The satellite dish options are fairly expensive, leaving just two options for most - their local cable and phone company. Other world countries have many more competitors, which increases the offerings and decreases the prices.

Bush administration opposes Free Broadband

02 January 2009

iPhone Google App Secret Menu

Check this one out. The developers at Google put some secret options in their Google App for iPhone. From Just Another iPhone Blog®:

To reveal the Bells and Whistles section, you need to continuously swipe upwards on the ‘About’ button on the Settings page for the app. This should show you Bells and Whistles as an extra menu item. From that menu you can:

  • Change the theme color of the app
  • Change the default sound (to a monkey or a chicken)
  • Choose a waveform to appear when you speak
  • Set whether to have links open within the app

Not a huge new range of settings, but better than a kick in the teeth, and sounds like the Google Mobile team had a lot of fun adding these.

I prefer the bright green theme color with the chicken sounds.