Weblog about the Weblog Log

What is a Weblog Log?

For ICS 602, we are doing an assignment dealing with weblogs. We will need to fill out a weblog log for our weblogs. This weblog log consists of putting the title, category, date, and hyperlinks.

Our weblog activity has been very beneficial for me. I have been able to really reflect on different aspects of the communication and technology field. The Information Renaissance was my favorite category. I was able to really learn about different aspects of not only the information renaissance but the renaissance in general.

Overall, this assignment was one of my favorites. I got to expand the topics in a way that was more creative. The topics gave us an idea, but allowed us to expand as we saw fit.

Great job Dr. Gillette, this assignment was amazing.

7 Internet of Things Devices for 2016

Internet of Things (IOT) is taking over the world and slowing becoming the Internet of Everything. Below, I will discuss 7 different IOT devices. They range from clothes you where, to finding your keys, to tracking your pet’s activity.

To start, let’s take a look at the Under Armor SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE. This show takes running to a whole new level. There is a dime-sized, lightweight chip embedded in the insole of the shoe. It wakes up every time you move the shoe. No, the shoe doesn’t have GPS, but the chip has a formula that can interpret your stride promise and calculate the distance at almost the same accuracy. The data is uploaded via Bluetooth to the MapMyRun application, also owned by Under Armor. Worried about battery life? No worries, the battery is said to last three years, longer than most people keep a pair of shoes.

Sticking in the fitness arena, net is Smart Clothing from Athos. Smart Clothing has sensors built into each garment. This allows you to track your performance during different exercises. How does it work? The sensors send information to a device called the “Iron Man” hub. This is a device that you attach to your leg or chest. The hub then sends the information back to your smartphone. The sensors measure muscle activity using electromyography. So it you want to track your fitness to the extreme, this is the product to do so.

Now, let’s take a look at the Amazon Dash button. There are buttons that can order products for you “at the touch of a button”. No, really, you touch the button and it sends an order to amazon. When you get your button, you set it up on your amazon page, and set the amount that you would like to be ordered with each push. Amazon will send you a notification every time that the button is pushed, so you can cancel the order if necessary. The only downside to these dash buttons; they only come for certain products, so unfortunately this means you will still have to go to the store for some things.

Next, let’s look at the Garagelo smart garage door controller. As you would expect this controller opens and closes your garage door by using a smartphone app. The application even promises to let you know if you have left your garage door open by mistake. The controller will also allow you to give access to other people, as you deem necessary. Seems simple right? Well, that was the idea for Garagelo. They wanted to make a product that does one thing really well, reather than loading it up with a bunch of features that are only “okay”.

Let’s look at something in a new market, the market of health devices for your pet. Fitbark has created a device that is essentially a Fitbit for your dog. The company is made for those overly obsessive pet parents that we all know and love. The device even allows you to connect your pet’s device to your Fitbit account. This allows you to track their activity from anywhere, at any time. The device doesn’t just track activity, like a normal Fitbit, it tracks quality of sleep as well. The companies hope is that this information will give dog owners insight to help explain some of their behaviors.

Ever lose your keys? Tile is the answer. How Tile works is you can attach it to your keys. It is then connected through Bluetooth. It has a range of 100 feet, but its most effective within 30 feet. You can also make the Tile ring so you can find your keys. The best thing is, that in reverse if you have the Tile but not your phone, simply press the button on the Tile and your phone will ring, even if it is on silent.

Finally, let’s check out Nest. Nest has a smart thermostat that you can control from your home. It can adapt to your schedule and track your energy usage. The thermostat is connected through your phone so you can turn up the heat on a cold winter night as you are on your way home. The great thing about Nest is that they also have a smart smoke detector and a smart security system, allowing you to have almost a full-on smart house.

For more information on these items, and more IOT devices check out the reference page for the links.


The Internet of Things: 8 of the Best Smart Home Devices. (n.d.). Retrieved  November 03, 2016, from http://www.zipcar.com/ziptopia/city-living/8-of-the-best-smart-home-devices

The Internet of Things: 10 Useful Products You Must Try in 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/internet-things-10-useful-products-must-try-2016/

Best IoT Products | 2016 Overview of the Most Popular Smart Home and IoT Systems. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://www.postscapes.com/internet-of-things-award/winners/

In Search of Good to Great: A Comparison of “In Search of Excellence” and “Good to Great”

Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. take us through the essential processes which make up excellent companies, “excellent” being the term both authors like to use. The two authors note eight attributes that each of the organizations possess. Throughout “In Search of Excellence”, the authors comprise a large list of companies that have remained leaders, while Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”, looks at just eleven companies. These companies, however, were not always leaders, but took a leap from ordinary, to good, then to great. While each author looks at eight characteristics, the list of characteristics differ from each other.

The gap between the 20th century and the 21st century is not only time, but also the transformations that industries were able to take. A thing that has stayed constant is customer service. Companies learn from the people they serve (Peters and Waterman, 1982). “The customer is always right” is something that has always been drilled into our heads.

Another thing that has stayed constant is needing people to get things done. Although companies are becoming more and more technical, there are people behind that technology making sure that it does not falter in any way. People are the constant behind every business, whether they are up to date on technology or not. The people you hire determine just how well your company is going to run.

“Good to Great” discusses the characteristic of “first who, then what”. This is the concept of getting the right people on the bus, then figuring out where to go (Collins 2002). This is a concept that is still used today. Like in “In Search of Excellence”, you need people who are willing to take action to get the job done. If you don’t have the right people, your company will not thrive as it should.

Another concept that was mentioned involved technology.  The technology craze this something what “Good to Great” mentioned that was not a thing when “In Search of Excellence” was written. Technology was something that was not necessary at first, so companies had to decide if it would help them in the long run.

Although there is a time difference between the two books, I believe that all of the concepts to both books relate to each other. There are minor differences due to transformation of all industries, but the major points tend to go together well. As mentioned above, the major change would be the use of technology.

As I begin my journey to a career in the technology field, I am looking into the field of Information System Auditing. In this industry, technology is a must, but it is the people behind it that make it work. Also, in the auditing field, customers are a must. If they do not like the way that you do things, they can drop you and find someone else. No matter what you are going into the following is true: people make the company work, customers are always key, and technology is becoming more and more prevalent, whether you like it or not.

What Shannon-Weaver Missed: The Erica Stevens Theory of Human Communication


Time continues and communication evolves, but human communication never ceases to exist. The Shannon-Weaver model shows how communication takes place but what is missing? The Erica Stevens Theory of Human Communication digs deeper into the Shannon-Weaver model, but also adds more components to it. As the world continues to change, so does human communication.



What is human communication? How do we define a topic that seems so broad? Communication is one of these everyday activities intertwined with all human life so completely that we sometimes over its pervasiveness, importance, and complexity. (Littlejohn, 2011, pg. 3) Human communication will not be defined in this, but it will be theorized.

Theory is systematic thinking. (Gillette, 2016) This simply means that we will look at a systematic approach to human communication. There are already models that define the system of communicating, but they do not include all of the necessary components. My theory takes the time to include the missing components, and fill in what models, like the Shannon-Weaver model, got wrong.


History of Communication

Merriam-Webster defines communication as: the act of process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else. (Merriam-Webster, 2016) This definition fits in with the notion that, throughout history, communication has evolved. Different forms of communication have been seen over time. Cave men used sticks and mud, ancient Egyptians painted pictures, and Native Americans used smoke signals.

As time continued, the Ancient Greeks developed an alphabet leading to the language spoken today. Mediums in which communication was sent have also expanded to allow us to communicate with someone next door, or even half-way around the world. A great professor once said’ “history gives depth to meaning”. (Gillette 2016)


Components of the Erica Stevens Theory

The Erica Stevens Theory is based on the Shannon-Weaver model, which we will compare later. The Erica Stevens Theory asks three simple questions: where, who, and how. Along with these questions, there are some characteristics of the sender or receiver that should be addressed.

To start, let’s answer the first question: where? Human communication can take place over any distance, if you have the right medium. Distance is a component of noise in figure 1. How far the communication has to travel can affect the reception of the message. It is also necessary to state that the environment can affect the communication. For example, tying to send an email to someone in Africa may not be beneficial because of the lack of internet access.

Figure 1: erica-stevens-theory

Next, we will look at who. Humans have a natural desire to communicate. It is obvious to state the majority of human communicate with each other. They may not all uses their voices or their writing, but also by listening. To communicate not only refers to expressing our thoughts, but also to clearly express and receive other people’s thoughts as well. (Macias, 2016) Listening means also people paying attention to those in other functions battering down the time-honored, action-slowing functional boundaries at every opportunity. (Peters, 1987, pg. 367)

Now that we have covered the where and who, let’s take a look at how communication takes place. If you take a look at the Shannon-Weave model (figure 2), you will see there are clear steps as to how a message is communicated. (Shannon-Weaver) You start with the sent, who has the message. The message is encoded and goes through the channel. The channel is where noise takes place that can interfere with the message. Once the message gets through the channel, it is decoded and hits its destination: the receiver. The receiver will then send feedback, whether verbal or non-verbal.

Figure 2: Shannon-Weaver Model

The most important aspect of the Erica Stevens Theory are characteristics of the sender or receiver. Certain characteristics of either person could affect the message being sent. If the person is in a bad mood, they could make even the best news negative in some way. The same can be said for non-verbal cues. Someone’s body language or gestures can change how their message is sent or received.


How the Shannon-Weaver Model Compares

As you take a look at both figure 1 and 2, you can see how the Erica Stevens Theory starts with the Shannon-Weave model. As it is the most well-known model, you would be a fool not to include it in any theory. Both the Shannon-Weaver model and the Erica Stevens Theory have the component of how a message is communicated. It is what the Shannon-Weaver model is missing that makes it not complete for a theory of human communication.

The Erica Stevens Theory fills in the missing points. The characteristics of a person are not mentioned in the Shannon-Weaver model, but as mention earlier, can affect the message. It should also be noted that the model doesn’t discuss the most important factor of communication: a human’s natural desire to communication. Communication is always going to happen, in some form or another, because it is a human’s natural reaction to communication with each other.



“Conversations are a natural, unavoidable part of human life with important consequences. Indeed, our conversations shape our individual and collective identities. Critical theories show us how the use of language in conversations creates social division and holds out a vision for egalitarian forms of communication that empower all groups.” (Littlejohn, 2011, pg. 216)

Although there are many theories out there, there will never be one set definition for human communication. Varying types of communication studies are not solely influenced by definition. (Lytle, 2016) As communication evolves, theories will need to evolve as well. Just like the Shannon-Weaver model, years from now, there will need to be more components added to the Erica Stevens Theory. Time will continue and communication will evolve, but human communication will never cease to exist.



Gillette, Jay E. Class Quote. 2016

Littlejohn, S.W., and Foss, K.A. (2011). Theories of Human Communication. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

Lytle, Alison. Personal Interview. 1 Nov. 2016.

Macías, Cuauhtémoc. Personal Interview. 1 Nov. 2016.

(n.d). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/communication

Peters, Tom. (1987). Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution. New York: Harper and Row.

Shannon-Weaver model of Communication. (n.d). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from http://communicationtheory.org/shannon-weaver-model-of-communication

Academic Recycling: Is it Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a foul word in the academic and the professional world. No one ever wants to be that person who gets caught plagiarizing. It could cost you class credit or worse your job. But, when you use your own writing for a second time, is it considered plagiarism? Well, it depends on who you ask. In a room full of undergraduate students, I would be shocked to see more than a couple of students who would say yes. It is almost a way of life in college, “work harder, not smarter” they say, but what happens if it cost you a job later.

I have read stories of people who were writers and their article was rejected because they were told it was plagiarized, but it was their personal work. How does this happen? Like myself, many students write blogs and if you don’t cite your own articles, there is a chance it could be considered plagiarized.

What about this whole “work smarter, not harder” concept. I have been told this by many professors over my time in undergraduate and graduate classes, but I also have professors who would not approve of this. It really depends on your audience, whether that be a professor or a general audience reading your article.

Some professors would say this is complacency. You are lazy and don’t want to do the extra work so you just slide in previous work to barely pass the requirements. I can see where there professors are coming from, but I also don’t necessarily see a problem with using a paper you have previously written.

The key to academic recycling is making sure your topic/article is still relevant. You need to make sure that your ideas are solid and fit 100% with the topic. You need to make sure that your facts and ideas used are still up to date.

My suggestion is don’t turn in the same paper. Look it over re-write it, with updated information. I am not saying you cannot use the majority of the previous paper, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but just be smart about it and make sure you have a paper/article that exceeds the requirements. If all else fails, site yourself and your previous paper, don’t get caught self-plagiarizing.

CICS: Your Future is Right Here.

What is CICS? CICS is the Center for Information and Communication Sciences at Ball State University. CICS puts together technology and business, giving students an opportunity to expand their range of knowledge and give them a leg up on students fresh out of college. CICS is a professional master’s program that gives students professional experience, not just classroom experience.

Why CICS? CICS has a placement rating of ninety percent. CICS has endless immersive learning projects, so each student can find something that interests them. Social learning events are another big thing of CICS. We don’t just go to class and do homework, we go out and get to know each other on a social level. Through social learning, we also get to meet alumni of the program and network with them.

Finally, we have out Applied Research Institute. Under our Applied Research Institute umbrella, we have five institutes: Human Factors Institute, Institute of Wireless Innovation, Software Testing Institute, CICS Internetworking Academy, and Digital Policy Institute. Each of these institutes offers real world experience to apply classroom knowledge, with faculty providing leadership.

CICS is a master’s program that is like nothing else in the country. Other universities have attempted to make a similar program, but none of them have been able to get it right. If you are looking to set yourself apart and give yourself a step up on the competition, CICS is where your future is.

Information Renaissance: What is it?


Renaissance is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages. Renaissance literally means “rebirth”. It is said to have been characterized by a large interest in Classical scholarship and values. The Renaissance was the time of discovery and exploration of new continents, the growth of commerce, and the invention of what would be powerful innovations. These innovations include paper, printing, the mariner’s compass, and gun powder.

Today, we are looking at a brand new renaissance, the Information Renaissance. Information is taking on a whole new level of importance. Information is taking over our lives. This comes in the form of smart phones, apps, iPads, smart televisions, etc. Business are thriving on the storage of information, aka Cloud Storage.

As information grows more and more, the clear threat to all of it is information security. Whether we are talking on the government, corporate, or personal level, security is the top priority. It is the biggest challenge in the Information Renaissance, and it will continue to be the biggest challenge. More and more people are able to hack into information from anywhere in the world. As the Information Renaissance continues, companies and people will continue to find the best ways to protect their information.

Although the Information Renaissance closely resembles the European Renaissance, there are clear differences. As discussed above, things will continue to be innovated, but it is the security that puts this renaissance on a whole new level. Technologies will come and go, but information and the security of this information will continue to grow.