Publicity Can Help:

Or, "Tales of Shameless Self-Promotion"

 

(title inspired by the Car Talk radio program)

Self-Promotion: Recent surveys have been very pleasing. In a survey of top researchers (Communications of the AIS, V. 24, Article 14, see pg. 231), I was tied for #9 on that list, and in a more specific study (AIS Transactions of HCI, V. 1, Issue 3, Article 1, see pg. 92) I was #2 in research productivity in human factors in information systems.

 

An ISR paper I co-authored in 2009 just won a 2013 Emerald Citation of Excellence as one of the top 50 management, business, and economics articles of 2009. The article is "User awareness of security countermeasures and its impact on information systems misuse: A deterrence approach," ISR, 2009, V. 20, No. 1, pp. 79-98, and the authors are John D'Arcy, Anat Hovav, and D. Galletta. The award is based on number of citations as well as votes from a judging panel.

 

Publicity: Who says experiments only focus on minor, uninteresting minutia? Actually, it's really fun but hectic when the popular press becomes interested in an academic study. Thanks to our PR people here at Katz, a few of my studies were publicized. Also, a few local interviews were printed in our local paper and also released to syndication. On a more serious note, press coverage helps put the Dean into a more sympathetic frame of mind when making decisions that can be influenced by perceptions of the value of MIS.

 

SPELL CHECKERS REVISITED

See below for an earlier set of news reports about spell-checking. Recently a reprise of this topic was discussed in the New York Daily News. See http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-05-22/news/31816794_1_spelling-auto-new-yorkers

 

KICKSTARTER

Commented on KickStarter for a March 25, 2012 story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Not much ended up here; some of what I thought was the best discussion didn't get here.

SMARTPHONE STUDY

My Harvard students did a class project on comparing the four smartphone platforms (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows) and posted it on YouTube. They told me that after one hour, the video had 3,000 hits and loads of angry comments leveled towards me. Thanks to some good journalism, a few reporters got it right. The stories can be found here on Time and some of the original reporting plus corrections can be found on Technologizer. A story about all the vitriol can be found on PCWorld's site.

PHISHING

A reporter interviewed me in Prague in 2009 and published an article written in Czech. I wish I could read it! A shorter-looking one is available here. That one links to the above longer one, so maybe it is just a summary.

VIDEO RENTAL IN THE FUTURE

For a local story, a reporter took four critical points and only reported on one of them, twice. Oh well, it was interesting to chat with him. See the article at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review site. If it is not available, see it here.

BUXFER

An Associated Press reporter did a story on Buxfer, a new service developed by three Carnegie Mellon students. I gave some opinions and was quoted on the wire service on December 3, 2006 (ending up in newspapers and on-line news services worldwide). See the Chicago Tribune version (and if it is not available, a version is available here.

SELF-SERVICE ECONOMY

Well, Temple University also has a PR person, I see. Lisa Meritz linked me up with the Chicago Tribune where I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Stevenson Swanson. The article only quoted one line, even though I think most of the important points were left out! See the article here. If it is gone, a backup location is here.

 

INTERNET ABUSE

(Study presented at the 2003 pre-ICIS HCI Workshop)

So far, this study (co-authored with Peter Polak) has only been pitched by our PR people in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and appeared in Forbes of Brazil Magazine on September 26, 2003. It will be sent to U.S. wires soon. If you can read Portugese, you might take a look at the 1.3 megabyte scan of the page available here.

 

SPELL-CHECKERS: TROUBLE IN PARADISE

(Study published in Communications of the ACM)

Thanks to our PR person Barry Kukovich, the Associated Press got wind of the study in March 2003. As a result of his press release, CNN (TV and Web Site), ABC, CBS, Business Week (May 5, 2003 issue, page 12), and several newspapers and radio stations covered one of our more interesting experimental studies. Thanks to co-authors Alexandra Durcikova, Andrea Everard, and Brian Jones (unfortunately not named in most of the articles), the study was reported in CNN.com. The story has now expired, but you can see what it looked like on the archive. Mid-day on March 14, 2003, you could go to www.cnn.com and click on the technology button. It was on CNN TV briefly, scrolling across the bottom of the screen on that same day. You can see the screen in freeze-frame or 14 seconds of video. You can also hear one of 5 radio interviews. It was on Minnesota Public Radio's program called "Future Tense." Hear the interview (the only one available online) at http://news.mpr.org/programs/futuretense/ (click on the 3/19/03 link about the Spell-checker study). Other radio interviews were conducted on CBC Radio (Saskatchewan), CKLW Radio (Windsor, Ontario), CKTB Radio ("Drive at Five" in St. Catherine, Ontario), CNETRADKIO.COM. Online and print newspapers also covered it, including those that conducted their own interviews with me (for example, The Daily Northwestern, as well as the AP feeds. The following have been tracked (in alphabetical order): ABC News, Bakersfield Californian, Biloxi Sun Herald, Boston.com (expired), Broward.com, Brunei Direct, Canada.com (expired), Canoe News, Canton Repository, CBS News, Duluth-Superior.com, Edmonton Sun, E-School News (one of the more complete stories), Fort Wayne.com, Fredricksburg Star (expired), The Globe and Mail, Canada, Grand Forks.com, Hampton Roads Daily Press (expired), The Daily Illini, Independent Online (South Africa), Kansas City Star, King 5.com, Seattle (requires registration), KTUL (Oklahoma) (expired), Newsday.com (expired), Ohio.com, Penn Live.com, Raleigh News (with best title of all: "Spell czech, for better or wurst"), Salon.com, San Jose Mercury News, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Seattle Post Intelligencer (expired), State College Centre Daily Times, Toronto Star, Times-Daily (Alabama) (expired), Tuscaloosa News (expired), WCCO Minnesota (note: WCCO has a nasty by-line: "There's a study about everything these days"), Wired News, WJXX, Jacksonville, WMAR, Maryland, WSET Virginia (expired), Yahoo News (now expired).

 

WORD OF MOUTH: EFFECTS ON ATTITUDES, BEHAVIOR, AND PERFORMANCE

(published in Communications of the ACM in 1995 and ICIS 1994 in Vancouver)

This study was reported in the Wall Street Journal, June 2, 1994, page 1 (in the "Business Bulletin" column), which was very exciting because it was "above the fold!" Thanks, Virginia Kliest, for pointing that out so enthusiastically on the morning of June 2! The study was also reported in Computerworld, July 18, 1994, p. 86; Computer Reseller News, July 25, 1994, p. 101; Information Week, July 4, 1994, p. 8; and PC Magazine, August 1994

 

WITHERING BYTES: OP-ED HITS BIG

My first experience with press coverage spawned from an op-ed piece that first appeared in the Washington Post on February 16, 1996, and resulted in about 45 seconds of air time on All Things Considered on National Public Radio. See the details on the radio stations and newspapers carrying the story. Note that my prediction of 50% drop in Internet usage never materialized, but I wasn't that far off: a 1997 Nielsen survey showed that 25% of users (9 million) "churned" and dropped their usage of the Internet. OK, so I expected double what happened. Most recently, a report by Neilson/Netratings (reported in an NUA story on January 26, 2001) states both the number of sessions by people as well as the amount of time spent online has dropped. Also, on Jan 3, 2001, Nua reported a Roper Starch survey saying that "the overwhelming amount of information on the Web is turning people away from the medium and back to pre-Internet information resources." Contrary to some negative reactions I received, there was some evidence that losses were indeed occurring.

WHY DO THIS?

Publicity like this is not very valuable for contributing to the field in general, but is highly recommended because it seems to raise the value of MIS internal to a particular school. If you are fighting a political battle, you might want to pay your PR person a visit or two. Sharon Flake, our excellent PR person at the time, visited us quite often to find such stories.