Links to resources about topics in which I have research interests.

“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” — George Meredith

A decade ago — on September 19, 2007 — I started this blog to document my journey as a PhD student in human and organizational systems at Fielding Graduate University. I envisioned it as a personal journal, academic endeavor, and professional platform. Although I withdrew from Fielding, I continued blogging.

A few years later I launched my website, but this blog was my first form of online expression and it has evolved into the anchor of my social media strategy. This blog has been a tool through which I have shared my story; I will continue doing so indefinitely.

As I begin to discover my PhD potential with the University of Leicester, my PhD plans are again becoming a possibility. Once I begin my program this blog will reflect those experiences along with my adventures in academia.  I look forward to the future with optimism and idealism. The worst is over and the best is yet to come.

Speaking of focusing forward, in the first week of the Discovering Your PhD Potential course I was asked to answer the following question: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In ten years? (Consider carefully whether doing a PhD will help you to fully achieve this, and if so how?). My answers follow:

In five years I will:

  • Defend my doctoral dissertation and start my first year teaching with my PhD.
  • Apply for a promotion from being an instructor to assistant professor at AUE.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle that brings me comfort, calmness, and confidence.
  • Share my life with a partner who fills my soul with faith, hope, and love.
  • Expand my acting to include commercials and voice over work.

In ten years I will:

  • Publish at least ten papers in high quality journals, five book chapters, and two books about social media marketing, sports management, or my related research interests.
  • Work towards a promotion from associate professor to full professor before I turn 55.
  • Celebrate my sons living happy and healthy lives as they embark on adulthood.
  • Produce five online video courses and appear in a half-dozen podcasts.
  • Enjoy financial stability and the ability to travel at least twice per year.

The past decade has dealt me both unplanned obstacles and unexpected opportunities. Trying yet inspiring experiences have broken me while strengthening me. I have grown as a person and a professional; I am changed for the better, despite the scar tissue. This blog has documented these changes and will continue to serve as reflection of my progression. I am eager to make the most of each moment and invite you to join me on my journey.

It is with great pride I announce that I am joining the Peer Review Board of the Journal of Educators Online (JEO). I was selected by the Editor and Editorial Board according to the needs of the journal. I am excited about this opportunity to contribute to the academic community and appreciate the chance to make a difference.

According to the JEO website:

The Journal of Educators Online (JEO) is a biannual publication by the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University that highlights research in the broad area of Computer Mediated Learning (CML) which includes distance, online, electronic, virtual, distributed, blended and mobile learning. Computer-mediated learning occurs when an individual interactively learns (formally or informally, synchronously or asynchronously) about material via computer means where the learning materials and pedagogy are developed to take advantage of the available technologies.

The goals of JEO are to:

  • Promote a scholarly approach to the practice and profession of teaching in computer-mediated environments.
  • Foster dialogue concerning innovative computer-mediated teaching, learning and assessment strategies.
  • Enhance understanding and application of best practices in online teaching and learning.

JEO is published in January and July of each year. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

In my role as a member of the Peer Review Board I will review two to four manuscripts per year and for provide feedback according to a pre-established set of criteria.  I am expected to evaluate manuscripts in a timely and thorough manner with constructive comments to enhance the quality of the manuscript.

Additionally, if I believe a manuscript is not publishable, I must make every attempt to provide extensive comments/feedback with regard to why the paper is not acceptable and provide the authors with constructive directions.

To learn more about the JEO please review the publication’s overview; you can also review the current issue or review past issues. If you are interested in applying to be a member of the JEO Peer Review Board you can do so here.

Looking forward to contributing to future issues of the Journal of Educators Online (JEO)!

“Yusajel Hadaf!”

eafl-shieldThis phrase can be heard among Arabic speaking people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when their football (soccer) team scores a goal. However, the 2012 founding of the Emirates American Football League (EAFL) along with changes in athletic interests that include the National Football League (NFL) could change this.

Recognizing the increasing relevance of American football globally and in the UAE, I wrote a chapter about the EAFL in the book The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business profiling its social media strategy. Titled “Arabian Gulf Game Plan: The social media marketing strategy of the Emirates American Football League,” the chapter:

  • Explores the origins of the EAFL.
  • Looks ahead to the future of the league and American football in UAE.
  • Shares the league’s social media strategy as a means of marketing while creating a community of fans, players and their families.

On May 1, 2017 I presented my chapter to faculty, students, and staff at the American University in the Emirates (AUE). I joined with two AUE colleagues who also contributed a chapter to the book: Prof. Kamilla Swart and Dr. Kevin Heisey, who is also one of the book’s editors.

This was the third “Library Distinguished Guest Speaker Series” event hosted by the Library and Information Resource Center (LIRC) and the Office of Research and Advancement at AUE. I previously presented my book, “edX E-Learning Course Development” at the inaugural event of the series.

You can watch a recording of my presentation below via YouTube (it was originally streamed live to my Facebook page):

The Routledge Handbook of International Sport Business is an essential resource for any course on sport business, sport management or international business. The book, which was published in September 2017, offers the broadest and most in-depth guide to the key themes in international sport business today, covering every core area from strategy and marketing to finance, media, and the law.

On Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Flora Grand Hotel in Dubai I joined two colleagues from American University in the Emirates (AUE) — Dr. Konrad Gunesch and Dr. Paul Mears — at the 6th International Conference on New Challenges in Management and Business.

The Conference addressed a range of critically important issues and themes relating to the management and business. The main topics of the conference will be held in two main fields and different panels:

  • Business Management and Strategy
  • Marketing Management

At the conference, in addition to enjoying learning about the research of fellow academics and researchers from all around the world, I presented my proposed paper, “Strengthen Your Social Media Marketing with Live Streaming Video.”  The abstract from my paper follows:

“Live streaming video is an emerging option marketers can use to connect with and convert consumers, especially via mobile devices. Mobile video is particularly promising: Cisco (2015) reveals 80 percent of Internet traffic will be video by 2019 and Brightcove (2016) reports that 74% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a branded video; 46% have done so. However, recorded video is costly and cumbersome to produce; live streaming video increases engagement and decreases costs (Piontek, 2015) while giving marketers increasing influence: Yeung (2016) reports that more than 110 years of live video is watched daily on Periscope. Facebook launched a live streaming service and YouTube has now followed suit (Hockenson, 2016). Recognizing that individuals and organizations alike can strengthen their social media marketing with live streaming video, this paper reviews the rise of social media, previews live streaming video, and shares live streaming video survey results.“

Watch the recorded Facebook Live broadcast of my presentation below via YouTube (it was originally live streamed to my Facebook page).

Slides from the presentation are available via Slideshare and embeded below for your review and reference.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 17,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals…Click here to see the complete report.

What’s in Your Wallet?

Bank Transfer Day LogoThis is a question Capital One asks consumers in its popular series of television ads promoting their brand of credit cards. However, on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, in honor of Bank Transfer Day, consumers were more likely symbolically saying “Remember Remember the Fifth of November!”

This refrain is the opening line of a popular English rhyme celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Day (a commemoration of the November 5, 1605 “Gunpowder Plot” intended to blow up the English Parliament).  The poem and the date have since evolved into a rallying cry against oppression and government abuse of its citizens.

Likewise, the goal of Bank Transfer Day, which was launched from the laptop of 27-year-old art gallery owner Kristen Christian, is to to encourage consumers to voluntary switch their financial accounts from large commercial banks to non-profit credit unions and community banks.

What inspired Christian to start Bank Transfer Day? In the following HDNet interview with Dan Rather she explains that, in large part, it was Bank of America‘s (recently rescinded) decision to charge its customers $5 a month to use their ATM cards for purchases:

Interestingly, the logo being used for Bank Transfer Day is based on the design of Guy Fawkes masks which are also worn to commemorate the celebration — and have also been used by #OccupyWallStreet participants (though Christian’s efforts are not directly connected to that consumer movement).

The poem and the ideals it embodies were also popularized in the 2006 film “V for Vendetta” which was based on a series of graphic novels of the same name written by by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. Hugo Weaving portrayed the character who delivered the famous poem in the scene below:

Will Bank Transfer Day be successful? Predictably, banks have not commented in public, but financial institutions must disclose their deposits every three months to comply with federal regulations, so perhaps we will know more about the impact of Bank Transfer Day in February 2012?

Regardless of the actual financial impact, however, Bank Transfer Day represents a positive and productive paradigm of consumer activism.

In many ways it was similarly inspired, though with much more bite than the bark in my December 25, 2008 parody of the bank bailouts, “‘Twas The Night Before Bailout!

In closing, with Bank Transfer Day upon us, perhaps the more relevant question today is “Where’s your wallet?”

Update: According to a March 2, 2012 Los Angeles Times article, “More than 1.3 million Americans opened new credit union accounts last year, up from less than 600,000 in 2010, the National Credit Union Administration reported. That brings the number of credit union members to a record 91.8 million.”

Google+ 1st Generation UserOn the same day the Space Shuttle launched into its last orbit, I was invited to launch into my first orbit as a first generation member of Google+ by my friend, Detroit-based photographer Hillary Fox. You can view my profile and, if you are currently a Google+ member, add me to one of your “circles.”

If you would like an invitation to join, please contact me with your e-mail and, once there are more spots available, I will send you one. When I first signed up yesterday morning there were invitations to be had, but 12 hours later, when I endeavored to invite a friend, the option was no longer there.

It appears the system is once again closed to new users to prevent overwhelming the servers. Of course, the secondary benefit mirrors the most basic tenet of economics: scarcity drives demand.

Clearly, there is significant interest in this latest social media initiative from Google. With some of their more recent efforts — Wave and Buzz — seeming to have disappeared before the end of their first act, it will be interesting to see what happens with Google+.

I have taken Google+ for a few short test drives so far, but nothing too in depth. At the moment Google+ strikes me as very similar in almost every functional way to Facebook, though with the trademark Google simplicity of design and interface. I like the threaded discussions (as in Facebook) but for some reason it seems more free and open like Twitter.

Some of the more unique features of Google+ include the following:

  • +1 Button: Clicking the “+1″ button on Google+ is similar to clicking “like” on a Facebook status update. In order to remove your +1, click the button again and it will be undone. Notably, Google has integrated the +1 button into all of it’s search results – and even into ads it serves – so if you find something you like, just click the +1 Button and it will be saved to your Google+ profile.
  • Circles: Groups of people with whom you are connected and defined in any way that makes sense to you; also allows you to easily select with which Circles you share certain content.
  • Hangout: Group video chatting allowing up to 10 users simultaneously.
  • Huddle: Group messaging function that lets users share information with certain “Circles.”
  • Sparks: News feeds about topics in which you are interested.

One notable advantage over Facebook is that you can edit a post long after you’ve made it— something you can only do in Facebook immediately after you post content on your wall. It would not appear that is a “Facebook killer” but it is far too early to pass judgment either way.

One nice aspect to Google+ is that it integrates with all of Google’s other online tools — the recurring theme of efficiency, immediacy and interactivity offered by Google+ with other Google products. Google+ definitely has potential to make a difference, yet the adoption seems to be slow.

For some reason, despite its prowess elsewhere online, Google has struggled with creating a widely used social media platform. I wish them well in this endeavor. Generally speaking I am an admirer — and user — of many of Google’s services (it’s hard not to be given their extensive involvement in everything Internet).

In March 2011 I began using an Android-powered phone; to say I am overwhelmingly impressed would be an understatement. Previously I used a BlackBerry and while it was good, it was not great. Android’s functionality and features quite simply blow me away.

Two months later, In May 2011, I began using Gmail more regularly. (My new laptop failed and I needed a temporary solution to remain in touch with the outside world while I limped along with my old laptop). Once I began using Gmail to send and receive e-mail from my POP account, I suddenly realized the efficiency and effectiveness of the service.

Notably, I really appreciate the immediate integration of my calendar and contacts between my phone and my Gmail account online. This was always an arduous task with my BlackBerry and one of my chief frustrations (in addition to my Curve 8330 being vastly under-powered and unable to run more than two applications at once).

I have also discovered the ease with which I can save documents online and forego the need for a USB drive (for most cases).  There are numerous other features offered by Google but those are just a few that I actively use.

One thing I do like about Google+ is that it integrates with all of these existing tools that I already use. Again, the idea of efficiency, immediacy and interactivity offered by Google+ with other Google products. Overall, I am unsure what will come of Google+ and what to expect from it. I am also unsure in what way, if at all, it will change my social media practices and priorities.

As it is, I am using social media more selectively and strategically, though I still find incredible value in my Twitter  accounts (I use @MatthewAGilbert and @doctorious the most regularly) and Facebook; both allow me to learn and share knowledge while making professional and personal connections that have enriched my life.

I also continue to teach several courses that directly or indirectly deal with social media and it’s impact on industries and individuals. Social media continues to evolve into an undeniable cultural and commercial force and my being able to teach it is a great way to continue learning about it.

Looking forward, I am intrigued and excited to find out what will become of Google+. For more information about it, you might want to explore this CrunchBase profile for Google+ — I found it useful.

The video below also offers a general overview of the service:

Whenever or if ever you join Google+, I look forward to connecting with you there and/or engaging with you about it here!

Have you declared your independence from indifference?liberty-bell-656871_640

Today, as Americans celebrate the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, many of us repeat the following passage:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Thinking about the “pursuit of Happiness,” I find myself wondering if indifference prevents people from experiencing the happiness of  their life’s purpose? This leads me to ask questions like:

  • How many of us truly pursue that which makes us happy?
  • How many of us have a longing for something greater?
  • How many of us envision a path we have not pursued?
  • If obstacles were removed would we pursue our dreams?
  • Do we limit ourselves with fear and excuses?

Like the character Neo in The Matrix, there are times when we sense something is not right, but we choose the blue pill because we fear the reality of the red pill. Fortunately Neo embraced the unknown, but not everyone makes the same choice.

In his inspiring TED talk, Why we do what we do, Tony Robbins argues that, despite tremendous obstacles, we all possess the power to realize our dreams. Robbins explains that we fail to achieve our dreams not because we lack resources, but because we lack resourcefulness — the emotional ingenuity to achieve our dreams:

Consider the seemingly insurmountable odds America faced when it declared its independence from England.  The odds of success were minuscule, but those odds discounted how driven to dream the colonists were. But they weren’t naive either; instead the colonists embraced the philosophy that would later be defined by Jim Collins as the Stockdale Paradox:

“Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties – and at the same time – confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.”

Certainly, we all face limitations, but I encourage you to look to what is, rather than what is not. The past two years have been challenging and rewarding to me personally and professionally, but I continue working on moving forward rather than back.

Reinforcing this philosophy, Fortune Cookie: Discover the Power within YourselfI recently received a fortune cookie that read “Discover the Power Within Yourself.” As trite as this message sounds, it inspired me. Taking those words to heart I continually re-frame my situation to see it realistically while retaining faith I will prevail in the end.

So, whenever you find yourself encountering adversity, I encourage you to declare your independence from indifference and discover the power within yourself to achieve what you dream!

If you think social media is only about fail whales, think again: Facebook played a significant role in saving Clark Kent from death by kryptonite exposure in the April 23, 2009 episode of Smallville.

smallville_opening_creditsTitled “Stiletto,” the episode involves Lois Lane posing as a new hero of the same name to attract the attention of the “Red/Blue Blur.”

This is the name given to Clark Kent in reference to the distinctive “red and blue blur” his primary-colored clothes leave in photographs taken of him saving residents of Metropolis at supersonic speed.

In the scene when Facebook is mentioned, Lois visits Chloe Sullivan (her cousin) about the whereabouts of missing Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen. Notably, after getting married just a few episodes ago, Chloe and Jimmy abruptly divorced due to some key plot twists involving the appearance of Doomsday in Smallville.

Audio clips and transcripts of the two key parts of the scene are provided below. Note that the volume of the clips might be low, so be sure to adjust your volume.

Facebook Saves Clark Kent: Part 1

 Lois: “Jimmy’s not answering his phone and I was just wondering if perhaps you knew — “

Chloe: “Where my ex was? I thought that’s what Facebook updates were for.”

 Facebook Saves Clark Kent: Part 2

Chloe: “Jimmy should be at the Ace of Clubs…I really need to remove him from my Facebook friends, don’t I?”

FacebookFortunately, Chloe’s revelation allows Lois to find Jimmy and Clark who are being held captive by gangsters. She embraces her adopted superhero role and saves the day.

Unfortunately, a kryptonite-weakened Clark takes a bullet meant for Lois during the rescue, but he quickly recovers. Of course, he makes sure to not let a guilt-ridden Lois in on the secret.

The “rescue” scene and the one immediately following it is available on YouTube (embedding has been disabled). You can also watch the full episode online at the website of the CW Television Network.

So, when’s the last time your Facebook status saved a superhero?