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Write-only articles

I saw this on Twitter yesterday:

About 200,000 academic journals are published in English. The average number of readers per article is 5.

I don’t know where those numbers came from, but five…

0 notes

Write-only articles

I saw this on Twitter yesterday:

About 200,000 academic journals are published in English. The average number of readers per article is 5.

I don’t know where those numbers came from, but five…

0 notes

Results from FeedbackArmy

Here are the results from your feedback requests associated with this site.

On May 25, 2010 12:19PM

You Asked:

1. What does this site do?
2. Why wouldn’t you sign up for the course?
3. Have would you advertise this site?
4. What would improve this site?
5. What aspect of the site confused you?

You’ve received 10 answers!
  • 1 1. This site offers a five week course that offers tools and techniques to help you survive in the business world.
    2.I would not sign up for this course because I do not believe the things being taught can be taught from an ebook it is a skill you must acquire.
    3. I would advertise for this site by showing specifically what careers will be helped by it and appealing to those in training for those careers.
    4. I would improve the layout. I think the white coloring is a little boring.
    5. The part of the site that confused me was how random the information in the News section was. Internet Explorer 8 (Windows)
  • 2 1. This site offers the Career Development Program for free with concepts including analysis, Branding, Networking, Interview techniques and Engagement to start new position.
    2. I wouldn’t sign up for the course. Because I have little bit doubt on its profile. Whether its certification is worthy or not and also I am not very much familiar with this website, its name and services.
    3. No, I have not advertised this site. If I come to know about its profile and services are trustworthy then I will advertise.
    4. This site can be improved by adding some videos demonstrating the course features, benefits and also the reviews by the users. By doing this, it increases the site’s trustworthy and will be improved then. It will also earn more members.
    5. I am confused with 1) Whether this site offers free online course to all over the world or to limited countries. 2) It will give any certification or not and also it will be approved by any major governing body or not. These details are not mentioned clearly. So, this has confused me. Firefox 3.6 (Windows)
  • 3 1) This site familiarizes me with a 5 week course on business skills. It directs me and informs me about how to pursue my business goals and hone my gifts so as to achieve my business potential.

    2) I would not sign up for this course because I am not a businessman; I am a teacher. If I were to dedicate 5 weeks to a course, it would be to better myself with other classes instead of business ones.

    3) I’m not sure what “Have would you advertise” means

    4) One thing that would improve the site is a link to facebook. Since a big part of business/career is networking, linking your business course with a social networking site like facebook would not only increase your visibility, it would allow members of your group and those who have taken your course, to increase their network in a real way.

    5) Nothing confused me; it was very straightforward and easy to navigate. Firefox 3.6 (Windows)
  • 4 1. It is about Rusden’s Career Development Program
    2. Only if there is a heavy unjustified price for it, I wouldn’t sign up.
    3. Keep pace with your career goals and lead the world with Rusden’s career development program at
    4. Write brief one line background of the past students who are providing testimonials. State prices clearly on home page. Use right combination of font size for text in header and detail, currently it is not appealing.
    5. It talks of career development program and then there are “Courses”. Then why emphasis is only on development program? Explorer 7 (Windows)
  • 5
    1)This site provides online distance learning programs by combining in-depth analysis from some of the worlds leading business commentators with the networking opportunities of online communities.
    2)I do not have much time for this.
    3)Google ads and giving ads in educational institute site will help a lot to promote this site.
    4)Virtual Demos about the site and courses will improve the appearance and attraction of the site.
    5)Home page content is not good.It created a bit confusion about the site.

    Internet Explorer 6 (Windows)
  • 6 Ans.1. This site provides an online career development program for people which help them with growth potentials.

    Ans.2. I would definitely sign up for this course, since it is free as well as looks resourceful to me.

    Ans.3. If at all I have to advertise this site then I would try recommending it to my friends. Also I would think of advertising on other sites. I would also try and tweet about it on twitter or facebook to gain publicity.

    Ans.4. This site is unique and the concept is totally acceptable.

    Ans.5. None aspaect of this site confused me, apart from the fact that is is really true that the program is free or there is any hidden cost that is not been provided right now on the home page. Firefox 3.5 (Windows)
  • 7 1. This is as online site that offers a training course geared specifically towards business executive material. It also stresses a student network that allows communication between applicants/members.

    2. I wouldn’t sign up for this course mainly because my academic interests take priority in a different subject than what the site offers.

    3. I would advertise the site through popular business education magazines or websites to expose potential users to the offer shown on the site. This would be the best way to get the offer public.

    4. To improve the site, the home page should be even more clear to what they offer through the training program. It would also be informative to show what the requirements of credentials are for applying/signing up for the program.

    5. I was confused mostly about how the networking between students worked and ultimately helps with the course material that they offer. Safari 4 (MacOS)
  • 8 1. This is a site that helps out with career development by giving advice and connecting you to other like-minded people.

    2. I am not the type of person to seek out help when coming to my career choices. I am a stand alone type that has hard ambitions and hold myself accountable for them. It’s nice to hear advice, but to me its hard to take it.

    3. I would post adds for this site on under the classifieds for jobs, because a lot of people who are unemployed go to that site for advancement opportunities.

    4. A forum is always a great addition to any website. Allowing for direct feedback from its users, and a place for users to go to discuss services. I myself love forums and post to them frequently.

    5. The site was very well laid out but some of the pictures almost seemed irrelevant. The students being located at the bottom of the page instead of in a forum makes the site look a little cluttered. Firefox 3.6 (Windows)
  • 9 1) Rusdens offers a 5 week online course that helps you improve your career.
    2)It did not seem to grab my attention.
    3)I would not advertise this site.
    4) The site needs to be attention grabbing, perhaps have more testimonail or something like that
    5)it didnt confuse me at all Internet Explorer 8 (Windows)
  • 10 1. This site teaches career development courses.

    2. I would not sign up for the free course if I did not have 5 weeks to devote to it.

    3. I would advertise the free course offer in banner ads on Google and Yahoo.

    4. I would improve this site by changing the name of the site because it is not easy to remember.

    5. The aspect of the site that initially confused me was the cost of the additional courses because you they were not told until check out. Internet Explorer 8 (Windows)

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The last decade has seen considerable progress in the scientific appreciation of how networks are structured. There are two reasons for this; the increase in the availability of data and information about real world networks, and the increased attention paid to the field by the scientific and mathematical research communities. Analysis was hitherto primarily the domain of sociologists and was hampered by their inability to undertake anything more than small scale, qualitatively based research, where in some cases the research process itself distorted the results. At first blush, it is difficult to see how a series of number crunching exercises on a university’s mainframe computer can help any of us in the prosaic, street level business of getting our names and talents known in the right places. However some of the insights this research provides are revelatory, and the dispassionate outlines of academic findings resonate directly with real world experience. The research helps us because a network is an organic, natural phenomenon, built on a string of huge numbers of relatively tiny exchanges, decisions and interactions. Although each decision making process in social networking is itself complex and unique, analysis of the sum of these decisions provides some relevant lessons.


The popular belief that we are all connected by a short series of acquaintances – the Small World Theory – acquired substance in 1967 when the social psychologist Stanley Milgram began a celebrated series of experiments. These entailed asking subjects, who were chosen at random, to get a package to somebody they had never heard of and who lived in a different part of the United States. Participants had to pass the package by hand to somebody they knew, who they thought would be a step closer to the target, and who was asked to continue the chain in the same way. A number of chains were completed, and those that did contained an average of six steps between sender and target. These results were published in a popular psychology magazine and caught the public imagination. Dinner party conversations would centre on the apparent fact that if you knew, say, fifty people quite well, and they knew fifty others, and so on, by the time you took these links six stages you would have a network greater than the world’s population (50 to the power of 6 is 15.6bn.) Unfortunately this neat argument is flawed (even if it were not it would be useless in practice). Later research found shortcomings in Milgram’s research methods, and unpublished papers revealed that the ratio of completed to uncompleted chains was so low (5% in one case) that the conclusions were of dubious validity. The jury is still out; the Small World Project at Columbia University is running a much larger, e-mail based version of Milgram’s experiments. Preliminary results released in 2002 showed that of 60,000 chains started across 171 countries, aimed at 19 targets, only 380 were completed; these had an average length of 5 links, increasing to 7 when borders were crossed.


In a word, homophily – the natural human tendency to associate with people like ourselves. Homophily leads to clustering, which we can describe as the formation of tightly linked, highly interconnected sub networks with limited external links. Clustering is an important aspect of network behaviour to which we shall return; for now a brief summary of another follow up to Milgram’s work will demonstrate its power. In 1976 JM Guiot asked 52 French Canadians living in Montreal to contact a prominent member of that City’s Jewish community, using telephone chains of acquaintances. They achieved an 85% success rate – the point being that once you had penetrated the tightly knit (i.e. clustered) Jewish community you could very quickly get to anybody in it (although limiting it to one city was also a factor). I mentioned that even if the six degree theory were valid, it would not help us, and to explain why we need to visit the world of mathematicians and Erdõs numbers. Paul Erdõs was a prominent, and brilliant, Hungarian mathematician, an itinerant individual who collaborated prolifically. Mathematicians make ideal subjects, because when they work together they publish papers, making it relatively easy to analyse the structure of their collaborative networks. This type of network is useful to us because it has many of the same qualities as the professional networks we need to develop. An Erdõs number is a guide to an individual’s proximity to Erdõs, based on published papers. So Erdõs himself has a number of 0, whilst all the people who co-wrote with him have a number of 1 (there are 507 of them!). Those who wrote with his collaborators, but not with him, have a number of 2, and so on. The game for mathematicians was to find out their own Erdõs number. In his book “Six Degrees”, Duncan Watts describes how his colleague Steve Strogatz needed two days of concentrated effort to find out his (it was 4). The problem is that the range of potential links expands geometrically at each stage. It is difficult enough simply to establish who your own collaborators have also worked with, while the task of exploring the next level is overwhelmingly complex.


The next diagram, which is simplified, highlights two different styles of networking behaviour. Bill and Adam are, respectively, Sales Director and Head of New Product Development for a niche consumer audio products manufacturer. Both are highly effective in their roles. Bill is very gregarious and manages his team in detail, regularly socialising with them (and with key customers). The ties within this cluster are very strong and information passes freely, quickly and effectively. His success as Sales Director is built on his ability to motivate his staff and develop close links with his customers; it owes more to maintaining high levels of energy than to creative or original thinking. Adam on the other hand is more remote, an austere individual who prefers to work alone. His talent for innovation centres on an ability to spot promising technologies and incorporate them into products that attract consumers. The diagram shows his links with external component suppliers, whom he keeps at arms length and interrogates about new developments by exchanges of e-mails and technical papers. Diagram 4. Bill’s highly clustered Sales Department on the right is in stark contrast to the sparse set of distant links that Adam maintains with the component suppliers whose new technologies enable his own product development. When the company is acquired by a larger competitor which has no need of Bill or Adam, they both decide that their futures lie in building portfolio careers as consultants and non-executive directors. Which of them is better positioned to build a new network on which to find these roles? In 1973, sociologist Mark Granovetter published a ground breaking paper called “The Strength of Weak Ties”. In this and subsequent research he demonstrated that the valuable connections are those that link us, perhaps tenuously, with distant groups or networks. When it comes to moving on, it is not those to whom we are closest that can help, rather those we know less well but who can open the door to new opportunities. For example he demonstrated that white collar workers achieved much greater success in finding new roles through connections with people they barely knew, and that social activist movements in Boston (acting against urban development) were far more effective when they established links across different communities. His paper triggered a slew of further research, which showed that: Complex networks have “Structural Holes” – that is, areas where interconnectedness between clusters is very low. In our diagram we can see such a hole between the sales team and the new technology / product design area. Members of each group are well aware of the other, but tend to focus on their own activities (e.g. hitting the month’s sales target); Those who own or control the links across the holes are in a powerful position, as this ownership gives them a competitive advantage. Because they control a flow of information, they are of interest to people across a wider range of groups than those who operate inside a tight cluster. In essence, Adam has a great store of Social Capital which he can transfer to a new role, whereas Bill’s social capital derived from leadership of a group of which he is no longer a part, set in an environment in which he will no longer operate. Social Capital as a concept is in its infancy, and definitions vary, but it can be thought of as a metaphor for an individual’s competitive advantage arising from their position in a network structure. When he had his job, Bill’s social capital arose from a high degree of Closure; by this we mean that his actions were highly visible to his immediate contacts (colleagues and customers) and hence he built trust and respect. Adam operated in a looser network with a far lower degree of closure (people didn’t know him well enough to develop trust) but the social capital he possesses as a function of his ownership of a range of weak ties linking separate but related networks is of much greater use as he contemplates life outside the corporate cocoon. The tsunami of research which followed Granovetter’s work provides overwhelming evidence that individuals whose networks span structural holes achieve greater degrees of success. Ronald Burt, whose Network Structure of Social Capital has already been cited, identifies survey after survey reaching this conclusion. Hence a foundation of our approach to Transition Networking is that we do not rely on contacts to whom we are close, hoping that they in turn will know somebody who knows somebody who will want what we have to offer. Nor do we simply try to make as many new contacts as possible in the hope that one in a hundred will pay off. We are looking instead for structural holes in networks, areas in which we are clearly qualified to add value. It is highly likely that in order to position ourselves to add value, we will be relying on weak ties – contacts who know us little or even not at all – to make introductions and to convey messages. By definition weak ties offer little in the way of closure, and therefore the messages we send across these links must be Robust and Sticky.

To find out more about Networking for career success sign up for our free career development program at

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Adult learners: One of the real growth areas for education in the future will be one that is relatively ignored by most of traditional higher education at present – adults returning for additional education. They generally will have a pretty clear view of what they need to get from this additional education, and will demand programs meeting these needs rather than reflecting traditional disciplinary agendas. Sometimes they will be looking for degrees, other times for certificates, that demonstrate that they have a new skill to bring to the table. These learners have little interest in the expensive infrastructure that universities and colleges have built for undergraduates – residence halls, student unions, student affairs, and athletics, and won’t expect to pay for them. They will demand institutional flexibility in course delivery, both in location and in time, in order to accommodate their packed schedules. Both distance learning and secondary campuses may be more appropriate to meeting these demands than the traditional campus, and provide an opportunity to segregate off the high infrastructure costs of the main campus. This is a group that has not been a part of the traditional core mission of most of higher education, but it may be time to break out from the narrow educational mission that focuses primarily on the 18-22 year old full time residential undergraduate student. In other words, to really embrace the idea of lifelong learning as part of our core mission.

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"RedBubble makes money because we don’t have to spend money on marketing because the artists do it themselves." ~Martin Hosking