Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Theory of Human commmunication

For Dr. Gillette's exam we wrote about your understanding of human communication. I am posting my exam for my fellow classmates and future CICS grads to read. Enjoy
Patrick Jackson
Change in Communication Tone Due to Change in Audience
Four different topics will be discussed. The first two topics involve one on one communication with feedback and without feedback. The last two topics involve one to many communication with feedback and without feedback. This discussion will conclude with a chart.
In communication, there are many aspects to study and understand. The idea that we have “theories” of communication is very interesting to me. Little John’s definition of a theory is as follows: “The theories or organized knowledge of a field, developed by generations of previous scholars, provide a starting point for understanding that field.” To me, this means ideas build from one generation to the next.
I want to discuss the way people communicate with each other and how that communication changes depending on the speaker and the audience. The two main areas I plan to cover are communication between two people and communication between many people. People communicate differently depending on what is being said, and to whom it is being spoken.
One on One Communication:
One on one communication is the first of the “flavors” of communication I will discuss. I define one on one as any communication that is not intended to be consumed by an audience. On occasion, we do hear as an audience, one on one communication and it is beautiful work that we may never have known.
I will discuss communication with and without feedback. Let us talk about communication with feedback for now. Almost always, one on one communication with feedback takes the form of conversation. “One of the issues with human communication lies with the process of getting information from sender to receiver (Lyon, 2011).” In a conversation, information transfer is very easy because it is one on one and because the sender receives feedback from the receiver. Also, there are extra cues available in a conversation, such as body language, that help convey information faster. Body language is not a requirement for a conversation (i.e. telephone calls), but it helps.
When speaking to only one other person, I believe information is transferred faster. This is due to a more personalized message that transfers more information faster. For example, if you were talking to many people, you might say, “they” when referring to teachers, so as not to single out any one teacher. In one on one communication, however, you feel at ease and refer to one individual.
One on one communication without feedback is a more difficult idea, and therefore, a more difficult explanation. Imagine you needed to pass information to someone but could get no feedback. You would have to imagine issues that might arise, while the second person reads the information. Therefore, you must give more content than in a feedback conversation. Some examples of no feedback one on one information transfers are: notes, personal maps, diaries, and personal memos. A very good, no feedback message should still make the reader feel as if they are being spoken to directly. In the diary of Anne Frank, she writes as if no one will ever read what she has written. Yet, anyone who reads the book comes away with the feeling that she wrote her diary with them in mind. It takes very good writing for her to convey such a beautiful message over so much time. In general, I theorize that it takes twice as much information to convey a message with no feedback versus one that does utilize feedback.
One to Many Communication:
                In one to many communication, I will discuss the same two points as before (with feedback and without feedback), but with the understanding that we have a speaker and an audience. With the use of technology we can send our information to more people than ever before, and in more and more cases, feedback is becoming a major part of the way we communicate through technology.
Regarding one to many communication with feedback, consider the example of a manager speaking to his employees. After all, “a boss speaking to his employees is very close to speaking to an audience (McGlothlin, 2011).” When a manager states an issue in the work place, his/her employees respond with feedback to correct the issue. Audiences that give feedback may need less information from the speaker because he or she can tie up loose ends after receiving feedback from an audience. A boss may ask his employees, “Does that red light on the equipment mean we have a problem.” He may receive the response, “No, that equipment is working correctly,” or “Yes, it is broken.” Without feedback, he would also have to state a solution along with the original problem statement. Feedback means faster message transfer.
Without modern technology, one to many communication without feedback would be very difficult. A great example of this is broadcast news. Because there is no feedback and the audience is so large, they must give much more information to transfer the message.  Some people have great vision and can transfer their idea to others quickly. An example of this was Steve Jobs who was quoted by Peters saying, “Effective visions are inspiring.” Jobs almost always worked on projects in secret, meaning he received little or no public feedback. Yet, he could understand what people wanted and delivered. Creating a great message in one to many communication with little or no feedback mean that you must understand your audience very well, or give lots of extra information.
ManyExample: boss to workersExample: broadcast news
OneExample: conversationExample: diary
Each form takes a different set of skills to master. The trick is to be good in all forms of communication at the same time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A look at Dollar Tree

Written By: James Hixson and Patrick Jackson for ICS 601 Ball State University
This paper is in response to an assignment which we a had to pick a company from a list that we felt would provide the best return on investment. The company we choose is Dollar Tree Inc.
With the money intended to be invested in a particular stock, our company Investment Four choose to buy in to Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR, NASDAQ). We, as a team, choose to follow DENTSPLY International, Dollar Tree, eBay, Electronic Arts, ,and Expedia. Several of these companies increased in value during our observation period.
Dollar Tree is a Fortune 500 company that operates a chain of discount stores in the United States.  Items available include everyday household items such as cleaning products, glass ware, and seasonal decor to food items.  Every piece of merchandise sold in the store is priced at $1.00 (Chilton, 2011).  According to Brian Nichols of, Dollar Tree has been one of the fastest growing chains in the last 5 years due to its simplistic secret behind its success, saving money for the consumers.  Since the beginning of 2011, Dollar Tree has opened 159 new stores, 76 just in the second quarter (Nichols, 2011).  Currently, Dollar Tree operates over 4000 stores in 48 contiguous U.S. states. (“The Story of Dollar Tree”, 2011)
Investment Four choose Dollar Tree, however, for two reasons: the first being they gained the most value over the observation period and second that Dollar Tree showed a very low level of volatility measured by Beta. From August 11th, 2011 to the last trading day Friday November 11th, 2011, Dollar Tree gained $11.92 starting at 66.75 and ending at 78.67 (Google Finance,2011).  The Beta for that period of time was .38 meaning that the price did not have wide swings in value.  Also looking back in time over the last year, Dollar Tree has been on the steady rise. Currently their market value is just over nine billion dollars.
According to Dollar Tree’s latest quarterly report, released to the public on August 18 2011, the company had a healthy quarter of growth.  For the quarter ending on July 30, Dollar Tree showed an increase in revenue of $146.5 million dollars from the same time last year.  This resulted in a net income of $94.9 million for the quarter, betting last years quarterly profits of $78 million by $16.9 million.   
            This growth is not only a result of their quality products at a low price, but Dollar Tree’s ability to hold a positive image to their stockholders and customers.  Currently, Dollar Tree is partnering with a non-profit organization Operation Homefront, where emergency finance and assistance is provided to families of service members and “wounded warriors”.  Dollar Tree is helping this organization with their launch of the 2011 Holiday Toy Drive.  In the past years, they have collected millions of toys donated from customers to give to Operation Homefront.  On top of the toy drive, Dollar Tree also helps with a monetary donation to the organization.  These actions reflect positively on the public (“Operation Homefront”, 2011).     
If Investment Four were to invest $10,000 at the opening bell on Monday morning November 14th, 2011, we would receive 127 shares of the company after broker fees.  Over the last year, Dollar Tree has seen an increase in value of 46%. We believe that the company has the potential to continue this trend.  Due to the Holiday season approaching, we trust that next quarter will be profitable a time for Dollar Tree.  Investment Four hopes to see an increase in value similar to that of the current year well into next year as the economy improves but consumers still try to keep spending down.  Over the next six months, we  plan to see a 20% growth in current value.  

(2011). Form 10-q quarterly report filed aug 18, 2011 (0-25464 ). Retrieved from Dollar
Tree website:

Chilton , A. (2011, November 11). Morgan Stanley Made the Right Call, Dollar Tree 1.8%
Lower (dltr). Retrieved from

Nichols, B. (2011, November 13). 6 stocks worth buying before earnings: Nov.14 - 18 .
Retrieved from

Operation Homefront. (2011). Retrieved from

The Story of Dollar Tree 50+ Years in the Making. (2011). Retrieved from

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Social Networking and Business Forums for Advice

  Over the last few years, forums have become very common on various kinds of websites.  Forums are one of the most basic forms of social networking and can be easily maintained by the site owner. One important aspect of forums is that each one can have its own main topic.  The general concept of a business forum, for example, is that business owners and managers have a place to ask questions about managing a business as well as other business related concerns.
            Recently, two forms of business social networking have emerged. The first type involves businesses hoping to capitalize on small business owners. This is accomplished by selling the small business owner products or services and allowing them to exchange questions and answers, as well as read published news that may affect their business. The second type of business social networking involves utilizing a more open web-space where anyone can ask business related questions.
            This first type of business social networking mentioned can be referred to as a Small Business Social Forum.  A great example of this is Open Forum ( Open Forum is a website run by the credit card company, American Express (AMEX). The most important aspect that AMEX values in this type of social networking is the ability to provide its current customers with business help advice. An added benefit for AMEX is the website’s ability to attract new customers looking both for advice and finical options for their businesses. The site contains several main areas, including a news page with helpful articles about running a business, a business social network, as well as advice columns. 
            Businesses also have the option of setting up a social networking page. Anyone can view this page to find a business’s address, phone number, company size, founding date, and products or services offered. Any member of the open forum can contact the company for business reasons. Businesses of all sizes, including companies with anywhere from one to one thousand employees, are listed on the site. The online community is divided into sixteen different industries. This is useful because a business owner may need help on an industry specific topic or question, and can therefore turn to other businesses in that specific industry. 
            The second type of business social networking includes websites such as Yahoo Answers ( Yahoo Answers has both a business and finance section. The questions asked on this website are often less targeted toward business owners, but can be and are still used to ask questions. This site has much more traffic than the Open Forum, and therefore, questions are answered more quickly. The following example can be considered as a demonstration of how the website works.  A user asks a question and that question can be answered by any other user. The user who asked the question then chooses the best answer. The person with a best answer receives a ‘point.’ More points indicate that the particular user is more helpful in answering other people’s questions.  Often, multiple users contribute adequate answers, which increases the effectiveness of the service. Because the question is posed to a crowd of people, this question/answer system is called, “crowd sourcing.” 
Both These companies and many others are coming up with innovative solutions for business social networking.  Business owners, like any other group, can find the advice they want over the Internet with the help of social networks built for them.  Further research is needed to understand how these networks affect a business’s productivity through a more informed management. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Online Portfolios

While work portfolios provide employers a general background of one's work experience, how are the implications of online portfolios an advantage to a portfolio handed in at an interview or mailed to the employer? Well for one it provides an easy access to an individual's information. An online portfolio can be created in many different ways as in a summarized version or full out detailed version with graphics and documents. Another way online portfolios can be an advantage is that all of the information is in one location and can easily be updated. Employers can be notified of updates and access them instantaneously through a link in an email. Résumés, certifications, diplomas, and all other supporting documents can be accessed at any given time. However, there are disadvantages to online portfolios. Without password protected sites, information can easily be accessed by the general public, compromising mailing addresses, social security numbers found on supporting documents such as the military DD214 Discharge form. These are considered sensitive information and should never be posted publicly on the Internet. Another good practice in creating online portfolios is purchasing a SSL certificate encrypting your data while users access your portfolio. Many common uses of online portfolios are photography portfolios and design work portfolios used by architects and artists. However, as the technology age advances I would guess that employers will be looking at sites like not for résumés or applications but rather than work portfolios. As you would be able to get the same information in a work portfolio summarized in a résumé or application, online work portfolios can be customized with graphics and detailed work information that can be appealing and attractive to the eye.

Monday, May 9, 2011


If you read the title, you may be thinking, "what the heck is that?" But if you break it down, you can see the word video, so you might think 'picture.' You can see laryngo and think 'larynx/voicebox.' Strobe might make you think of light. And according to, scopy "indicates viewing or observation."

So a videolaryngostroboscopy is a technique used to examine the vocal chords. Speech pathologists who specialize in voice may conduct these evaluations quite frequently. The main component of the equipment used for this assessment is a gadget called an endoscope. This picture, from shows one in use.

The physician is putting the endoscope into the patient's mouth. The endoscope has a small camera at the end that is slightly angled so that it can see the vocal folds more easily. The camera is connected to a fairly large screen so that the physician can easily see the tissues.

The endoscope is fun to use because it is controlled by foot pedals, as both hands are needed for maximum control of the endoscope. One pedal turns on the regular camera light, one turns on the strobe light, and other pedals control the recording of the video. Now, I mentioned a strobe light (thus the term "stroboscopy"). The strobe light is used to view the movement of the vocal folds more easily. Vocal fold movement is really quick--faster than what the eye can detect. So to get a better picture of how the folds move, we use a strobe light. This tricks the eye, providing a slow motion effect.

So here is what you will see when you use the endoscope. The first picture (left) is what the vocal folds look like when they are open (when someone is just breathing). The second picture (right) is what the vocal folds look like when they vibrate (when someone is speaking). If you are interested in an actual video, just search video stroboscopy on and you can find plenty of examples.