Team Dynamics

Imagine a small news organization, in a local market, discovered that their website was rated the worst in the area. It is a tired design, with outdated technology and ideas, one that the previous CEO would never allow to be fixed. But now, the CEO has been replaced with a new president, one that wants the organization’s managers to work together as a team to create a new, far better web presence. Without an energetic, central web location for all of its news, advertising, and multimedia, the organization will face bankruptcy within the year.… Read the rest

Creating a Team Building Culture

When promoted to being the president of an organization, a person immediately needs to find ways to make the organization stronger. New leaders are often tasked with creating teams and rewards for accomplishments, and to create a thriving culture is important to the longevity of both the leader and the organization. Having the right team in place is essential to the growth of the organization, to reach personal and organizational goals. To help reach those goals, a rewards program can help to motivate staff. This paper examines the need for leaders to cultivate an environment of solid team building, and to design a rewards program with the proper levels of responsibility and recognition.… Read the rest

Evaluating Social Media Customer Service

The ways in which organizations use social media to feed their audience is not much different than the varied ways in which zookeepers feed the animals in their care. In the petting zoo, the hens are looking for whatever food they can get. At the other end of the spectrum, feeding the lions takes a specific set of rules, to keep everyone safe and happy with the care provided.

Smaller organizations are closer to their audiences, and stricter guidelines, much like feeding a lion, need to be in place to protect the organization and the audience.… Read the rest

Media Coverage Around the World: Pulse Nightclub Attack

Very early on the morning of Sunday, June 16, 2016, as the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was announcing their last call for drinks, a man walked into the club and began shooting people. Over the next several hours the gunman killed 50 people, wounding at least another 53, ending in his death after an intense shootout with police. News media across the world reported the tragedy, often in real time, detailing the horrific event and its aftermath.

Those details, and the way that the articles were written, offer a fascinating look into how media organizations in different parts of the world report on events.… Read the rest

The 13th Warrior

Intercultural Relationships and Film: The 13th Warrior

Halfway through the 1999 film The 13th Warrior, the Northmen’s much-feared serpent of fire is seen in the distance, working its way around the mountain towards them. One of the Northmen bangs a gong to warn the villagers, and as the villagers seek shelter the stranger among them, an Arab named Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, starts to believe that maybe the mythological dragon could be real after all. Ibn Fahdlan races towards a small girl trapped near the head of the dragon, and as he reaches her he sees that it is not a dragon, but hundreds of cavalry with torches.… Read the rest

The Impact of Streaming

In the middle of 2015, our household faced a dilemma that many families ultimately have to face: whether or not to keep cable television service. I was still only working part time in 2015, and money was tight. The year before, Comcast had offered us an upgrade on our services, promising that the great price would not go up drastically in the future. A year later, after a frustrating call with Comcast’s billing support, it turned out that it was not true, and the price went up almost $50 from one month to the next.… Read the rest

Crocodile Dundee

Stereotypes and Film: Crocodile Dundee

As a parent, one of the things we encourage our children to do is to take in entertainment from various time periods, including books, music, and movies. One of the older films we watched recently was the 1986 film Crocodile Dundee, a comedy featuring an Australian man from the Outback and the female news reporter from New York City who shares adventures with him. Viewing the film after 30 years, it also features a laundry list of stereotypes from the mid-1980’s, including the stereotypes of the Hispanic maid, the affluent New Yorkers and their high style of living, and African-Americans as either chauffeurs or gang members.… Read the rest

time_enough_at_last_rdickerson

Creating Fan Art: The Artist’s Perspective

It is truly interesting that fan art is this week’s topic, since it is something I am not only intimately familiar with as an illustrator, but this week my freelance life centers around that very idea. One of the things I enjoy doing is interviewing the cover artists for Apex Magazine, and I am sending several this week. Fan art questions often come up with those artists, who create fan art for various reasons. Along with that, I am also working on a piece of fan art this week, in the hopes that it will be published later this year in a book filled with art based on the 1982 film The Thing.… Read the rest

Local Communities Should Offer Makerspaces

Imagine for a moment that a visually impaired teenager has an interest in building a marble machine, where a small marble can roll down a series of pieces connected to a wall, landing in a cup at the bottom. This project would take materials that the teenager does not have, with knowledge he cannot easily learn by himself, and without the space at home to even try. He has the intelligence to learn it, and the will to try out new things. But he simply does not have the resources available to him to follow his ideas to their fruition.… Read the rest

How Streaming Video Shows Who I Am

As someone with an insatiable curiosity, my experience with different media has been an interesting one. Often, the information found in one medium leads to another, and then another, to try to find as much information about a subject as is possible. A great example of this is the latest book on my reading list, which concerns the assassination of President James Garfield.

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard is an exceptional book, filled with the fascinating history of an event that is mostly forgotten in today’s society. The history of the event, and the precursors leading up to it, are showcased in Destiny of the Republic, and it leads easily into a search for more media about the subject.… Read the rest

icebergs-in-museum

Original art is always better than a reproduction

The origins of my 20-year art career were not that different from many other artists, learning the craft by seeking out inspirational artworks, and it is something I continue to do. Since I also enjoy writing, I took the advice from a friend that I should combine my writing skills with my desire to learn about art, and I began blogging about artistic masterpieces in the early 2000s. One of those blogs was about the famous painting, “The Icebergs” by Frederic Edwin Church. I learned a lot from the tiny image of the painting I found online, but I realized only later that seeing the original in a museum would be a far superior experience.… Read the rest

Article: Theodore Roosevelt and the bullet speech

In my home office, behind my computer monitor and at the front of my desk, is a board of various quotes that help me think. Most of them sit outside of my view tonight, in the dark of the evening, but one in particular stands out in the light from my lamp.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.… Read the rest