Entries by Jennifer Kammeyer

58,000 Students

As a university teacher, a lover of technological advances, and a communication scholar, the notion of 58,000 students participating in a free online course enthrals me.  Today’s NY Times article, “Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course” describes how Peter Norvig and SebastianThrun are offering a course on artificial intelligence this fall through Stanford. Anybody, […]

Communication Critical in Medical Care

We all know intuitively that communication is an important aspect of medical care.  Each of us can recall experiences where a doctor did a good or bad job communicating with us.  For me, the bad job was in the ER just before my mom was diagnosised with colon cancer when I was literally arguing with […]

Couch it in a Narrative

Harvard Business Review did a short blurb on reserach by Emily Moyer-Guse of Ohio State and Robin Nabi of UC Santa Barbara showing that a narrative is an effective form of persuasion. The research study had 367 undergraduates view either a narrative or a non-narrative, news-style program about teenage pregnancy.  Those who saw the narrative […]

Persuade with 5 Canons of Rhetoric

When you want to get somebody to change an attitude, belief, value, or behavior — happens just about every day — you need to employ the art of persuasion.  A quote from a student of mine: “Thus, to change a person’s view, their belief or their actions is to slide through their ears and into […]

Your Look Commands

Speech recognition technology has come a long way.  I now use Dragon Dictation on my iPhone to send texts to others.  It is as least as accurate as my touch typing.  It is refreshing to have a different way to interface with technology. The future holds yet another way to interface — with our eyes.  […]

Social Network Research from WSCA

At the recent Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Conference two panels “Social Networking and Beyond: Computer Mediated Communication and Community” and “Relational Communication and Social Networks” contained interesting research on how people are using social networking.  The overarching theme is that people are using social networking as a means of simultaneously forming and communicating their […]

Speech Recognition, Getting Closer to Mainstream

As an individual who prefers the spoken word over the written word, I have been longing for the day when I could have my eloquent phrases automatically turned into flowing text.  When working on my master’s thesis a few years back, I purchased iListen for Mac in hopes of typing less.  After 5 or 6 […]

Technology Can Be Turned Off

Technology can be turned off. That is a reminder from Sherry Turkle director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self from a USA Today article, “2010: The year technology replaced talking“.  According to the article “Americans are connected at unprecedented levels — 93% now use cellphones or wireless devices; one-third of those are “smartphones” […]

Data on Learning to Speak

80,000 hours of video and 120,000 hours of audio recording.  That is the massive amount of data collected by MIT Media Lab‘s Human Speechome Project to analyze how one child learns to speak.  You can see a visual of the data on Forbes.com to get a feel for how words are gained over time.  Just […]

Immersive Communications

Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has announced an application called immersive communications that combines physical, virtual, and augmented reality into one.  Forbes covered the story in Bell Labs’ Super Virtual Conferencing.  The idea is that geographically dispersed people on a variety of mobile devices can have a virtual conference in which they all appear and sound to […]

Whisper to the Brain

Neurology is now being applied to persuading others through communication.  The NYT article, “Ads that Whisper to the Brain” reveals techniques used to discover what activates the human brain when somebody watches a commercial. Researches use electroencephalographs (EEGs) to measure brain waves that become more active when people have heightened attention to determine if they […]

Virtual Reality Transforming Social Interactions

If you watch yourself in a virtual mirror as an attractive avatar for 90 seconds, you will stand closer to other virtual beings and be more confident about your own looks in filling out an online data application. What happens in virtual reality, effects reality. This I learned from a very interesting lecture video by […]

Words Can Get You Fired

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country,” he said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves […]

Forget Coopetition, Now we Have Frenemies

I am probably more easily amused by communication quirks than others, but this is entertaining. The San Jose Mercury news article on Adobe’s stock climbing on news of a secret meeting with Microsoft, explains that the companies are ‘frenemies.’ “Both Microsoft and the San Jose maker of expensive graphic design and Internet software are “frenemies” […]

Cross-Generation Tech Communication

In this Forbes article on The Cross-Generation Workforce, the digital disparity of generations is highlighted as an issue in the workforce.  I completely agree that as tech-savvy graduates enter the workforce that issues around technology use will need to be resolved.  The article puts forth some good suggestions on how IT departments can address the […]

What Not to Do in Crisis

A crisis communication situation is never fun and always complicated.  Over the years, I have done my best to help clients in crisis navigate the waters.  This NYT article In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do is an excellent overview of the common crisis communication strategies as applied to BP, Toyota, and Goldman Sachs.  […]

Time is Money

Time is money. Something I learned just as I entered adulthood.  I remember my first UCSD economics class and a graph that pitted time against money.  The professor asked us students to put ourselves on the graph based on our own values — which was more important time or money? “It’s Free Only if Your […]

Singularity Movement — One step too far?

The NY Times SundayBusiness section ran an article titled, “Merely Human?  So Yesterday” about the Singularity Movement.  Singularity, according to this article, is ” a time, possibly just a few decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our […]

Communication and Bullying

This month’s issue of Communication Currents covers the topic of bullying.  Often bullying is thought of as a physical offense, but more often than not it is a communication offense.  And, communication is always required to solve the problem. The article points out how prevalent the problem is in schools and organizations.  It also addresses […]

Broadcast Slideshow

There is a new feature in Office 2010 that I can’t wait to try.  It is called Broadcast Slideshow and it allows you to create a link to your presentation so others can watch it via the Internet.  Brent Whichel of Office.411.com explains the feature in this video. I think of the number of times […]

Does Social Networking Make us More or Less Social?

That is the question on many social scientists and communication scholars minds.  When people use social networks and texting, does it hinder their ability to communicate in person?  Are these technologies making us more social or less social? It is not clear how the rise in instant, computer-mediated communication will change the nature of social […]

PowerPoint — An Internal Threat?

The New York Times did a story, “We Have Met the Enemy and He is PowerPoint” about the military’s use or misuse of the presentation tool.  As is common, the tool is blamed for horrible presentations that result.  While I do not agree with the belief that PowerPoint makes you stupid and it is the […]

If Communication Fails . . . Spouse Spying

The Forbes article “How to Track a Cheating Spouse” is one way to find out if your mate is being faithful.  Being that I am all about communication, I prefer the direct communication route.  If you ask your spouse to their face if they are sleeping with someone else, chances are you will be able […]

Scrabble Words

Being that Scabble is my most favorite game in the world, I was quite interested in hearing the news about proposed changes to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) shared in the NY Times. I recently had the opportunity to play Scrabble with an ordinary dictionary (travel version at that) and found it very unsatisfying. […]

It is About Time!

“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens,” Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the […]

Good Reminder of Cross-Culture Communication Needs

Just read a Forbes article titled “Technology’s Language Barrier” on the topic of communicating with technology across cultures.  It is an interested article and a good reminder of how we need to increase our cross-culture communication skills as our world shrinks from technology innovation. Simple mistakes, like not understanding that Chinese women don’t change their […]

Communicating with A Sex Doll

Now this story on Roxxxy peaked my interest — from a communication perspective, of course.  Robotic girlfriends have been around for a long time in some form or another.  And, as in every other area, technology has improved the experience, so I have read.  But apparently the physical experience is not enough and communication is […]

Tell Them What You’re Gonna Tell Them

Remember the saying “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them” that is a recommendation for effective communication? Well this week, the tech industry giants seems to be doing just that. Today Google speculation about the new Nexus One phone and Apple speculation about […]

Nothing Like Mama’s Hugs

I read about a website in a San Jose Mercury News story today.  Started by an ex-tech-marketing pro, Mamabread gives online visitors an ear and support.  From a communication perspective I find this website interesting on two levels.  The first is at the emotional level — how many people feel they have nobody to listen […]

All for Direct Manipulation

In this Forbes article, Dan Woods talks about his difficulties of moving from a touch-screen device to a point-and-click device and back again.  I am in complete agreement with Dan’s statement, “The confusion, however, has made one thing clear: multi-touch is clearly better than point-and-click. My brain wants direct manipulation. I want the virtual world […]

More Control, More Privacy – I like it

I have chosen to use Facebook for my personal sharing and Twitter, this blog, and LinkedIn for professional sharing.  Not everyone makes the choice to divide their social networking venues in such a manner, that is why I think Facebook’s new privacy options discuss in this Forbes article are good news.  I especially like the […]

Holiday Shopping; a Physical Experience I know today is Cyber Monday and there are plenty of good shopping deals floating in the cybersphere, but I just can’t seem to engage. To me, holiday shopping is still a physical experience. Standing in front of Target at 5 am on Friday has a feeling to it. A […]

It All Comes Down To Communication. This article in the New York Times http://tinyurl.com/yfh26ns about bankers and their verbal faux pas, is just another example of how so much of business comes down to communication. Those who communicate well, are rewarded, those who don’t are scrutinized. Sometimes it helps to listen to the experts tell […]

Impossible to Ignore

In a New York Times article reporting on Forrester Research stats http://tinyurl.com/nlxdrn, the reporter writes, “Time waster or not, social media are a phenomemon that is now nearly impossible to ignore.” I agree, but would drop the ‘nearly’ from the comment.  The Forrester stats show 50% of adults visiting social network sites at least monthly.  […]

Sharing my traffic data

I happen to love it when I am stuck in traffic and I can see just how long I will be stuck by looking at Google Maps on my iPhone.  Therefore I am more that willing to share my data back with the rest of you who may also be stuck.  Google is now offering […]