Online PhDs an Emerging Segment of the Digital Society

A University of Oxford DPhil in full academic ...

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A few weeks ago I responded to a LinkedIn discussion question – “online PhD or not?” There were over 20 responses to this post weighing in both sides. I began to panic as I continued to read some of the posts that argued against online PhD, citing, “lack of acceptance by brick and mortar” institutions. My goal is to one day become a university professor. I fear my degree will be frowned upon because I did not go the traditional route.

Through my research I discovered that at least one-fifth of all higher education students now taking a least one online course. Of the estimated 3.9 million online students, 14 percent of those are taking graduate level courses. My belief is that online PhDs are an emerging segment of society, that will began to gain acceptance as the online education continues to grow.

Who could be better equipped to teach the next wave of online learners than PhDs who went the non-traditional, online route? More notably, is the scholar-practitioner model, that is the cornerstone of many online PhD programs. Online PhDs, learn about their about the scientific endeavor of knowledge while being simultaneously grounded in the day-to-day delivery of a product or service.

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Concept-Dependent Social Phenomenon Journal Articles

Back in September I wrote a short post (you can read it here) based on Andrew Sayer’s book, Method in  Social Science a Realist Approach, Since then, I’ve had hundreds of readers directed to my blog.   I feel strongly about dissemination of information my philosophy is “knowledge is power,” I have researched several databases and found related journal articles which I hope will be of use to someone. In addition I have another article that I had difficulty uploading titled, Social Science Concepts: A User’s Guide by Gary Goertz).  If you are interested in reading this article just send me at, and I will gladly email it to you.
Feel free to provide feedback on the articles.  Thanks, and enjoy!

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HubSpot Shines a New Light on Twitter for Marketing and PR

Hubspot on Twitter

Hubspot on Twitter

Hubspot’s webinar, Twitter for Marketing and PR was informative and at the same time, a business case study in real-time.  The seminar hosted by Ellie Mirman, Mike Volpe and Rick Burnes, covered three main topics:

  1. Building Your Network
  2. Engaging Your Community
  3. Tracking and Analyzing

The segment on Building Your Network focused on personalizing you profile and following the Top Tweeple (Twitter users)and top though leaders. Follwoing top users on Twitter is now easier with Twittergrader which is powered by – you guessed it – Hubspot.

The second segment, Engaging Your Community touted the importance of following people who follow you and communicating with followers as opposed to only broadcasting to them.  Publishing helpful content was another important aspect of Engaging your Community.  With the use of TinyURL you can provide link to help information for your followers.  Tiny URL is a website that will condense a long URL so you can post it with you Tweet.

Track and Analyze was the topic of the third and last segment of the webinar.  That segment cover tools such as TritterGrader, tracking visitors to you website from referrals from Twitter and leads from Twitter.

Hubspot will send out a the audio and Power Point files for the Weebinar, I will be sure to post them as soon as I receive them.

I was very impressed with how useful the the information was that was presented.  My class and I immediately jumped on Twitter and  plugged into a whole new Twitter exprience thanks to Hubspot.

Send me at tweet, my user name is natashambaker!

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Is Twitter an effective Marketing and PR tool for Businesses?

Image representing HubSpot as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Hubspot, the maker of an inbound marketing system for small and medium-sized businesses is hosting a free webinar – How to Use Twitter for Marketing and PR.  I was introduced to Hubspot via Chris Brogan’s e-book,  which listed Hubspot’s free website grader – I highly recommend trying it if you have a website.  Since using the website grader I have received a few emails from Hubspot about new products an services – none I have  acted on until now.

The great part is I’m incorporating the webinar into my marketing lesson plan for the business management class I teach at Heritage college.  My class attend the webniar and post their opinions on their blogs listed below:







It will be interesting to see how they view Twitter, and webinar, since none of them have any experience with either.  Before the webinar I will discuss Twitter and have them signup for a Twitter account.  Stay tuned  for highlights from the webinar.  Better yet -attend – its Free!

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Introduction to Web 3.0: A Free Course (Day 3)

Image provided by Ian Routsala on Flickr

Image provided by Ian Routsala on Flickr

It’s day three of class!  Let’s begin with an article published in Technology Review. The article focuses on Eric Miller, an MIT-affiliated computer scientist.  Miller was the leading scientist over a group of researchers who worked together on a project in 2002 on the semantic Web.  Here is a quote from the article:

“For the Semantic Web, it was no longer a matter of if but of when,” Miller says. “I felt I could be more useful by helping people get on with it.”  Now, six months after the launch of his own Zepheira, a consulting company that helps businesses link fragmented data sources into easily searched wholes, Miller’s beachside decision seems increasingly prescient. The Semantic Web community’s grandest visions, of data-surfing computer servants that automatically reason their way through problems, have yet to be fulfilled. But the basic technologies that Miller shepherded through research labs and standards committees are joining the everyday Web. They can be found everywhere-on entertainment and travel sites, in business and scientific databases-and are forming the core of what some promoters call a nascent “Web 3.0.”

Here is the link to complete article uploaded to Scribd: A Smarter Web

Part Two

Today’s class continues with a link to Harold Carr’s blog.  Harold Carr is the engineering lead for enterprise web services interoperability at Sun Microsystems – enabling atomic transactions, reliable messaging and security between Java and Windows Communications Foundation.  Harold attended the Semantic Technology Conference which was held on May 18-22 in San Jose.  Harold Posted his notes from the conference.  Harold states,

I took lots of notes which I had hoped to post day-by-day or at least cleanup and post. It’s clear to me now that I’ll never find the time for those activities, so here they are: unedited, unspellchecked and unformatted. I hope you find them useful.

As you can see Eric Miller, the author of the article The Smarter Web, which is posted in part one of today’s class, was the speaker on the second day of the conference.

Part Three

Part three focuses on The 2008 Semantic Technology Conference website.  The reason we are looking at a site from a past conference that has passed is because the site incorporates several interesting semantic tools, such as the faceted search tool. Play around with the site, there is tons of useful information from podcasts, webcasts, and presentation audio and slides to a free Semantic Wave 2008 Report.

Mark your calendars – the 2009 conference is scheduled for June 14-18.

Part Four

Class will conclude with a short 6 minute video, Intro to the Semantic Web.  The video was posted to by: Msporny on YouTube.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Intro to the Semantic Web“, posted with vodpod
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Tag Clouds for the Classroom

While searching the Web for classroom ice breakers that tie into my daily lesson plan, I came across Nancy Wozniak’s blog, which contains a variety of topics dedicated to Web 2.0 for educators.  Nancy posted a discussion on using Tag Crowd as a classroom ice breaker.  Tag Crowd’s Website states that Tag Crowd is:

A web application for visualizing word frequencies in any user-supplied text by creating what is popularly known as a tag cloud or text cloud.

I decided to try it myself before I used it in the classroom.  I had a minor problem when trying to use the URL option to create a tag cloud, it produced a blank screen. But the copy and paste option worked fine. Here is a screen shot of my tag cloud.

I am definitely going to incorporate it into my lesson plan.   I plan to take it beyond using it as an ice breaker.  I will have my students create their own Word Press blogs, and then write a personal essay about themselves.  They will then post their essay and their tag clouds created with Tag Crowd on their blogs.

I’m currently teaching Business Management at Heritage College. The final project in the class is a business plan.  The students can then use their blogs as part of their Marketing strategy for their business plans.

My belief is that as potential small business owners I want to equip them with all the tools they need to be successful.  The integration of Web 2.0 technologies into mainstream business is a growing trend.  Utilizing a blog for target marketing on a grassroots level has proven to be an inexpensive and effective channel for small and large businesses.

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