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Lahar's Bakery—Kinda gooey snickerdoodle cake

It’s nearly baseball season, although you wouldn’t know it here in Jerseyland by the freezing temperatures (and the size of my power bill), and my thoughts turn to my beloved St Louis Cardinals, coming off of a second consecutive year just short of another championship. OK, really, I haven’t been to St Louis in many years and certainly never actually ate any of the local food (ice cream in an inverted miniature batting helmet doesn’t count). In fact, the first time I heard of “gooey butter cake” was in the 5 Spot, 1500 miles away in Seattle.

While looking through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook the st. louis gooey butter cake caught my eye and I decided to go ahead and make it. There are no special ingredients in it, just a lot of sugar and butter with a little flour and cinnamon.

Not having been patient enough to soften the butter properly resulted in both a cookie base and a “gooey layer” that were both pretty stiff and hard to spread properly, so it took a bit of work to get it to form it in the pan, and really the gooey layer wasn’t much less viscous than the substrate.

The “snickerdoodle” part arises from the layer of cinnamon sugar on top, which the author claims to be a lot but doesn’t make a real thick layer in my 13-by–9 pan with too much parchment paper. It was enough to make a nice crispy layer on top once it came out of the oven.

I may have overcooked the cake a bit, so the gooey layer seemed more like just an undercooked layer, and I don’t know how people at work really took to it other than the fact that it disappeared pretty quickly. I thought it was pretty good, although next time I’ll skip the pretense of the St Louis label and just make snickerdoodles.

Lahar's Bakery—Recent (and not so recent) diversions

Catching up on a few things that I’ve made the past two months. Unfortunately I have not yet realized that I always have a camera in my pocket and don’t have pictures for everything.

- Peanut butter cookies (yet another America’s Test Kitchen recipe): I had made these a few months back as a graduation gift for someone who could not have chocolate and they had come out pretty well. This time they tasted great, but unfortunately did not hold together very well (partially because the bag they were in took a lot of abuse as I was running through the rain while also carrying two pieces of luggage). This was either because (a) in my impatience on the night before leaving town, I didn’t bake them long enough; (b) the natural peanut butter I used wasn’t mixed well enough and was too runny; or © using whole wheat flour to replace half of the flour, instead of a white whole wheat or just all-purpose flour.

- Chocolate sheet cake from The Pioneer Woman: This one turned out a lot better than it ever should have, thanks to some hacking. I needed a simple chocolate cake recipe as a gift to my non-baker hosts, and this fit the bill. The recipe is unfussy and straightforward although a bit rich—the cake and icing require nearly a pound of butter—so a small slice is enough. Even a small slice was really good when warm, even if re-heated in the microwave, and served with some greek yogurt, making a great contrast to the rich, warm cake. Definitely a thumbs up and something I’d make again if I needed a quick cake.

- Strawberry rhubarb pie (from you-know-where): I have learned (albeit several weeks after the fact) to make sure that you keep your various white powders straight. The filling tasted great, but was a complete runny mess, compounded by my attempt to pull the hot pie from its baking sheet full of pie effluvia and place it into another pie dish, only managing to get it half way in before the juice solidified into (delicious, delicious) glue. A few weeks later while cleaning out my spice cabinet I realized my little bag of cream of tartar had gone missing…cream of tartar that closely resembles arrowroot, of which I actually had a very large bag. Oops. Thankfully cream of tartar isn’t as toxic as raw rhubarb leaves…

- Southern carmel cake (you cannot get me to say “caramel”): This is a grand cake meant for a special occasion, such as a farewell party for a colleague (for which it was indeed made). It’s fairly easy to assemble, as layer cakes go, and the carmel icing firms up beautifully as it cools. The “grand” bit comes from the fact that this is a rich cake that uses nearly a full pound of butter between the base and the icing. The result is appropriately delicious, but between the six of us we could only eat a quarter of this cake. The remainder was much appreciated at the lab the next day. - Fig bars, from Jennifer Reese’s Make the Bread Buy the Butter: provided you can find a pound of reasonably-priced dried figs (I bought three 6-oz bags of Sun-Maid figs for something like $2.50 each) the hardest part is rolling these together since the exterior is as uncooperative as any other pasty crust. (It also didn’t help that Reese says to pile the fig mixture along the “spine” of the rectangle, a term I don’t remember being used in my geometry class. She means along the middle in the long direction, or along the major axis, if you prefer that term.) These beat the pants off of any Fig Newton. The outside is crispy and delicate, the inside fruity and not too sweet. These do better when cut wider, as in the lower of the two rolls in the picture above. - Ultimate banana bread Yah, I did this one before, but this time I used frozen black bananas that I thawed in the microwave, which allowed me to skip cooking the bananas and then straining and reducing their liquid. As noted in the recipe frozen bananas don’t need to be cooked to release their liquid—freezing ruptures the cell walls and allows the liquid inside to pour out—and the liquid that did come out was pretty thick to begin with. This cuts down on the fussiness substantially and allows you to have a loaf in the oven in half an hour. I skipped the banana-shingling again and just topped it with a lot of chopped walnuts—my girlfriend had recently made banana bread that was completely coated with walnuts, which I chickened out on—and again with some granulated sugar. The bread was again very flavorful, and not overly dense or underbaked, and had a crunchy topping. I’m really starting to believe that America’s Test Kitchen has been gilding the lily again. I’m so disillusioned…I should eat more banana bread…

“St. George and the Dragon” (Date: 1987–8; Location: Dorset Rise, London) by Michael Sandle, born May 18th, 1936.

Photo by Lonpicman [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.

How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence

You are a small business owner who has been trying to optimize your website for a while now. You want to know whether you’re making progress. Rather than just trust your gut, are there any objective measures you can use to assess your website power and influence?

By Cojharries (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The answer is yes, there are options available. I recommend two, your Alexa score and domain authority (DA). Both are widely accepted, readily available and free.

This post will explain the metrics, tell you where you can find them, and suggest how to best use them.

Alexa Score

An Alexa score is a simple 1 to 30 million numerical ranking of the top websites on the Internet. It’s  based on a rolling 3-month aggregation of unique visitor and page view data derived from millions of volunteer users of the free Alexa toolbar or browser extension. Rankings are updated daily.

Alexa scores are produced by Alexa, a California-based subsidiary of Amazon. Alexa assigns traffic rank to the top 30,000,000 websites and produces a continuously updated list of the top 500. The lower your score the better.

The Alexa Top 500

As you can see above, the current top-ranking websites on the Internet are search engines and social media channels.

There are some limitations to Alexa scores.

  • Only the top 30 million websites on the Internet are ranked. We know there’s about 1 billion websites on the Internet (as of September 2014), so your website might not rank high enough to be assigned a ranking or score.
  • Toolbar and extension users that share their browsing data with Alexa tend to be tech-savy marketing types who are less concerned about privacy. It’s a reasonable sample size, but biased.
  • The toolbar and extensions only work with Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. That leaves out Opera, Android, Safari, Blackberry and Lynx, up to 20% of Internet users, and mobile, 30-60% of all Internet traffic.
  • The rolling 3 month sample of data used to derive Alexa scores also doesn’t account for seasonal fluctuations in traffic and page views.

You can contribute to Alexa’s data collection efforts and/or view your own website’s ranking using browser add-ons or the Alexa website.

To find a browser extension or add-on, go to your browser’s library and search for “Alexa”. To use the Alexa website, go to alexa.com, enter your domain name in the top right-hand corner window, and press “Find”.

If Alexa has a score for your site, it will tell you. Otherwise it will issue a warning with the message “We don’t have enough data to rank this website”.

If you want to see Alexa’s rank-ordered list of the top 500 websites on the Internet, click on the “Browse Top Sites” link just to the left of the “Find” window shown above, top-right.

Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA) is a metric produced by Moz, a search engine optimization (SEO) tool maker and thought leader. It is a score based on a 100-point logarithmic scale that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher your score the better.

A logarithmic scale means that every time your score improves, it’s exponentially harder to repeat that success. In other words, it’s a whole lot harder to bump your score from 60 to 70 than it is to go from 0 to 10, or 10 to 20.

Domain Authority, adapted from the 2008 Elliance Page Rank Explained infographic

Domain Authority is calculated using data from 300-400 million websites every 4 to 8 weeks. Scores fluctuate because the sites and data sampled each update vary.

There are a couple of different ways you can find your website’s domain authority. The easiest is to use the Moz Open Site Explorer tool. The other is to download and use the Moz toolbar, available for Chrome and Firefox.

The example above shows where you can enter your domain name when using the Open Site Explorer tool. Note the update stats in the red box on the bottom left under “Mozscape Index”. That’s how you can tell whether scores have been updated since you last checked.

Enter your website’s domain name (URL) in the top left window shown above and press enter.

Here’s a sample result for www.google.com. Its domain authority is 100. (No surprise there!) Domain authority is for your whole site. Page authority is for a single page. In this example, the page authority (97/100) is for Google’s home page.

Your other option is to use the Moz toolbar. After you install the toolbar, website domain (and page) authority will be displayed below search results and at the top or bottom of pages displayed with your browser.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in search results.

High level website metrics like page authority (PA), domain authority (DA) and the number of incoming links and linking root domains (RDs) is shown below individual search results. You have to subscribe to Moz to see the actual link and root domain counts. If you’re not a subscriber, it will display “PRO ONLY” instead.

This is what you see when you have the toolbar installed and visit a web page. This example is for the Moz toolbar page itself.

You’re shown the exact same scores you saw in search results, with the exact same caveat, just at the top or bottom of the page depending on how you’ve configured the toolbar.

Sample Scores

To give you a flavor for Alexa and Domain Authority scores, I sampled some popular blog, information, news, search engine, social media and shopping sites. Here are the results.

Sample Alexa and Domain Authority Scores For Popular Sites

How To Use Scores

So now you have the scores, how should you use them?

First off, I recommend you baseline your, and your competitors’, website scores before you begin optimization. It’s your starting point, your line in the sand from which you can measure improvement over time.

Copyright Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Be realistic. If you’re a small retail website, for example, don’t benchmark yourself against Amazon. Pick a small niche player like yourself and note both your starting metrics and the date on which you captured them. These are the numbers you want to beat. They are your yardstick for measuring improvement.

Because both scores have their shortcomings and tend to fluctuate over time, it’s best to look for trends and not obsess over short-term fluctuations. If you’re doing what you need to, you should see a slow and gradual uptick in your site’s Alexa and Domain Authority scores over time.

Look for relative differences. If your score drops or jumps significantly one update, do competitor scores show a similar pattern? If yes, that could signal the change is a result of the update scope and targets rather than anything you, the competition, or the market may have, or not have, done.

Keep perspective. Remember these metrics are just one measure, a snapshot in time reflection of your website performance. Ultimately, achieving your company’s goals and objectives should be your best measure of success. None of these metrics mean squat if site visitors aren’t converting.

So what do you think? Will these scores be able to help you? Do they make sense? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get right back to you.

This article was previously published on the www.b-seenontop.com blog with the same title, How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence.



from Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/1HL3pea
How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence

You are a small business owner who has been trying to optimize your website for a while now. You want to know whether you’re making progress. Rather than just trust your gut, are there any objective measures you can use to assess your website power and influence?

By Cojharries (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The answer is yes, there are options available. I recommend two, your Alexa score and domain authority (DA). Both are widely accepted, readily available and free.

This post will explain the metrics, tell you where you can find them, and suggest how to best use them.

Alexa Score

An Alexa score is a simple 1 to 30 million numerical ranking of the top websites on the Internet. It’s  based on a rolling 3-month aggregation of unique visitor and page view data derived from millions of volunteer users of the free Alexa toolbar or browser extension. Rankings are updated daily.

Alexa scores are produced by Alexa, a California-based subsidiary of Amazon. Alexa assigns traffic rank to the top 30,000,000 websites and produces a continuously updated list of the top 500. The lower your score the better.

The Alexa Top 500

As you can see above, the current top-ranking websites on the Internet are search engines and social media channels.

There are some limitations to Alexa scores.

  • Only the top 30 million websites on the Internet are ranked. We know there’s about 1 billion websites on the Internet (as of September 2014), so your website might not rank high enough to be assigned a ranking or score.
  • Toolbar and extension users that share their browsing data with Alexa tend to be tech-savy marketing types who are less concerned about privacy. It’s a reasonable sample size, but biased.
  • The toolbar and extensions only work with Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. That leaves out Opera, Android, Safari, Blackberry and Lynx, up to 20% of Internet users, and mobile, 30-60% of all Internet traffic.
  • The rolling 3 month sample of data used to derive Alexa scores also doesn’t account for seasonal fluctuations in traffic and page views.

You can contribute to Alexa’s data collection efforts and/or view your own website’s ranking using browser add-ons or the Alexa website.

To find a browser extension or add-on, go to your browser’s library and search for “Alexa”. To use the Alexa website, go to alexa.com, enter your domain name in the top right-hand corner window, and press “Find”.

If Alexa has a score for your site, it will tell you. Otherwise it will issue a warning with the message “We don’t have enough data to rank this website”.

If you want to see Alexa’s rank-ordered list of the top 500 websites on the Internet, click on the “Browse Top Sites” link just to the left of the “Find” window shown above, top-right.

Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA) is a metric produced by Moz, a search engine optimization (SEO) tool maker and thought leader. It is a score based on a 100-point logarithmic scale that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher your score the better.

A logarithmic scale means that every time your score improves, it’s exponentially harder to repeat that success. In other words, it’s a whole lot harder to bump your score from 60 to 70 than it is to go from 0 to 10, or 10 to 20.

Domain Authority, adapted from the 2008 Elliance Page Rank Explained infographic

Domain Authority is calculated using data from 300-400 million websites every 4 to 8 weeks. Scores fluctuate because the sites and data sampled each update vary.

There are a couple of different ways you can find your website’s domain authority. The easiest is to use the Moz Open Site Explorer tool. The other is to download and use the Moz toolbar, available for Chrome and Firefox.

The example above shows where you can enter your domain name when using the Open Site Explorer tool. Note the update stats in the red box on the bottom left under “Mozscape Index”. That’s how you can tell whether scores have been updated since you last checked.

Enter your website’s domain name (URL) in the top left window shown above and press enter.

Here’s a sample result for www.google.com. Its domain authority is 100. (No surprise there!) Domain authority is for your whole site. Page authority is for a single page. In this example, the page authority (97/100) is for Google’s home page.

Your other option is to use the Moz toolbar. After you install the toolbar, website domain (and page) authority will be displayed below search results and at the top or bottom of pages displayed with your browser.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in search results.

High level website metrics like page authority (PA), domain authority (DA) and the number of incoming links and linking root domains (RDs) is shown below individual search results. You have to subscribe to Moz to see the actual link and root domain counts. If you’re not a subscriber, it will display “PRO ONLY” instead.

This is what you see when you have the toolbar installed and visit a web page. This example is for the Moz toolbar page itself.

You’re shown the exact same scores you saw in search results, with the exact same caveat, just at the top or bottom of the page depending on how you’ve configured the toolbar.

Sample Scores

To give you a flavor for Alexa and Domain Authority scores, I sampled some popular blog, information, news, search engine, social media and shopping sites. Here are the results.

Sample Alexa and Domain Authority Scores For Popular Sites

How To Use Scores

So now you have the scores, how should you use them?

First off, I recommend you baseline your, and your competitors’, website scores before you begin optimization. It’s your starting point, your line in the sand from which you can measure improvement over time.

Copyright Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Be realistic. If you’re a small retail website, for example, don’t benchmark yourself against Amazon. Pick a small niche player like yourself and note both your starting metrics and the date on which you captured them. These are the numbers you want to beat. They are your yardstick for measuring improvement.

Because both scores have their shortcomings and tend to fluctuate over time, it’s best to look for trends and not obsess over short-term fluctuations. If you’re doing what you need to, you should see a slow and gradual uptick in your site’s Alexa and Domain Authority scores over time.

Look for relative differences. If your score drops or jumps significantly one update, do competitor scores show a similar pattern? If yes, that could signal the change is a result of the update scope and targets rather than anything you, the competition, or the market may have, or not have, done.

Keep perspective. Remember these metrics are just one measure, a snapshot in time reflection of your website performance. Ultimately, achieving your company’s goals and objectives should be your best measure of success. None of these metrics mean squat if site visitors aren’t converting.

So what do you think? Will these scores be able to help you? Do they make sense? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get right back to you.

This article was previously published on the www.b-seenontop.com blog with the same title, How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence.



from Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/1HvZIU1

DUBROVNIK TODAY!! We don’t get into port until 12 o'clock today but we leave much later so that’s no problem. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while now. I’m excited to get some good photos of this place. Dubrovnik looks beautiful, should be fun :D.


Original background image by Edwardwexler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Women Teachers - Beyond the Salary - Still Keep Coming Back for More

Two young or middle aged teachers needed, $40 a month
Women
Black Hills Daily Times Dec 1880

2015 United States national monthly average salary for a teacher $3400.00 a month.

If you are a woman and your profession is teaching, your happiness indicator should be way up.

Image by Amy Snyder (Exploratorium) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Deadwood, Lawrence, South Dakota, Family History

How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence

You are a small business owner who has been trying to optimize your website for a while now. You want to know whether you’re making progress. Rather than just trust your gut, are there any objective measures you can use to assess your website power and influence?

By Cojharries (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The answer is yes, there are options available. I recommend two, your Alexa score and domain authority (DA). Both are widely accepted, readily available and free.

This post will explain the metrics, tell you where you can find them, and suggest how to best use them.

Alexa Score

An Alexa score is a simple 1 to 30 million numerical ranking of the top websites on the Internet. It’s  based on a rolling 3-month aggregation of unique visitor and page view data derived from millions of volunteer users of the free Alexa toolbar or browser extension. Rankings are updated daily.

Alexa scores are produced by Alexa, a California-based subsidiary of Amazon. Alexa assigns traffic rank to the top 30,000,000 websites and produces a continuously updated list of the top 500. The lower your score the better.

The Alexa Top 500

As you can see above, the current top-ranking websites on the Internet are search engines and social media channels.

There are some limitations to Alexa scores.

  • Only the top 30 million websites on the Internet are ranked. We know there’s about 1 billion websites on the Internet (as of September 2014), so your website might not rank high enough to be assigned a ranking or score.
  • Toolbar and extension users that share their browsing data with Alexa tend to be tech-savy marketing types who are less concerned about privacy. It’s a reasonable sample size, but biased.
  • The toolbar and extensions only work with Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. That leaves out Opera, Android, Safari, Blackberry and Lynx, up to 20% of Internet users, and mobile, 30-60% of all Internet traffic.
  • The rolling 3 month sample of data used to derive Alexa scores also doesn’t account for seasonal fluctuations in traffic and page views.

You can contribute to Alexa’s data collection efforts and/or view your own website’s ranking using browser add-ons or the Alexa website.

To find a browser extension or add-on, go to your browser’s library and search for “Alexa”. To use the Alexa website, go to alexa.com, enter your domain name in the top right-hand corner window, and press “Find”.

If Alexa has a score for your site, it will tell you. Otherwise it will issue a warning with the message “We don’t have enough data to rank this website”.

If you want to see Alexa’s rank-ordered list of the top 500 websites on the Internet, click on the “Browse Top Sites” link just to the left of the “Find” window shown above, top-right.

Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA) is a metric produced by Moz, a search engine optimization (SEO) tool maker and thought leader. It is a score based on a 100-point logarithmic scale that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher your score the better.

A logarithmic scale means that every time your score improves, it’s exponentially harder to repeat that success. In other words, it’s a whole lot harder to bump your score from 60 to 70 than it is to go from 0 to 10, or 10 to 20.

Domain Authority, adapted from the 2008 Elliance Page Rank Explained infographic

Domain Authority is calculated using data from 300-400 million websites every 4 to 8 weeks. Scores fluctuate because the sites and data sampled each update vary.

There are a couple of different ways you can find your website’s domain authority. The easiest is to use the Moz Open Site Explorer tool. The other is to download and use the Moz toolbar, available for Chrome and Firefox.

The example above shows where you can enter your domain name when using the Open Site Explorer tool. Note the update stats in the red box on the bottom left under “Mozscape Index”. That’s how you can tell whether scores have been updated since you last checked.

Enter your website’s domain name (URL) in the top left window shown above and press enter.

Here’s a sample result for www.google.com. Its domain authority is 100. (No surprise there!) Domain authority is for your whole site. Page authority is for a single page. In this example, the page authority (97/100) is for Google’s home page.

Your other option is to use the Moz toolbar. After you install the toolbar, website domain (and page) authority will be displayed below search results and at the top or bottom of pages displayed with your browser.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in search results.

High level website metrics like page authority (PA), domain authority (DA) and the number of incoming links and linking root domains (RDs) is shown below individual search results. You have to subscribe to Moz to see the actual link and root domain counts. If you’re not a subscriber, it will display “PRO ONLY” instead.

This is what you see when you have the toolbar installed and visit a web page. This example is for the Moz toolbar page itself.

You’re shown the exact same scores you saw in search results, with the exact same caveat, just at the top or bottom of the page depending on how you’ve configured the toolbar.

Sample Scores

To give you a flavor for Alexa and Domain Authority scores, I sampled some popular blog, information, news, search engine, social media and shopping sites. Here are the results.

Sample Alexa and Domain Authority Scores For Popular Sites

How To Use Scores

So now you have the scores, how should you use them?

First off, I recommend you baseline your, and your competitors’, website scores before you begin optimization. It’s your starting point, your line in the sand from which you can measure improvement over time.

Copyright Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Be realistic. If you’re a small retail website, for example, don’t benchmark yourself against Amazon. Pick a small niche player like yourself and note both your starting metrics and the date on which you captured them. These are the numbers you want to beat. They are your yardstick for measuring improvement.

Because both scores have their shortcomings and tend to fluctuate over time, it’s best to look for trends and not obsess over short-term fluctuations. If you’re doing what you need to, you should see a slow and gradual uptick in your site’s Alexa and Domain Authority scores over time.

Look for relative differences. If your score drops or jumps significantly one update, do competitor scores show a similar pattern? If yes, that could signal the change is a result of the update scope and targets rather than anything you, the competition, or the market may have, or not have, done.

Keep perspective. Remember these metrics are just one measure, a snapshot in time reflection of your website performance. Ultimately, achieving your company’s goals and objectives should be your best measure of success. None of these metrics mean squat if site visitors aren’t converting.

So what do you think? Will these scores be able to help you? Do they make sense? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get right back to you.

This article was previously published on the www.b-seenontop.com blog with the same title, How To Objectively Assess Your Website Power and Influence.



from Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/1HvZIU1 via http://ift.tt/1GfJFib

Rijeka is our first stop in Croatia, Today should be interesting, at this point I have got used to this whole new place everyday thing so I think this time I should be able to have a better sense of appreciation for the place. Today is the first I don’t have internet access again, so you’ll have to wait for pictures when I get back :D. 


Original background image by Laslovarga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

未充足ニーズ。そこに価値がある。

以前、エスノギラフィーフィールドワークとKA法のワークを大阪でやったときに面白かったのが、こうしたいのにできない!といゆう「未充足の価値」があるなーという話が出てきたことだった。

実際その時は、外国人観光客が大阪で買い物をするときに困っているが自分で工夫している人や、困ったまま目的を達成できなかった人がいて、
困っているということは明確な解決策が無い=ここに価値があるかも!?
という話になった。

イノベーションはだれも気づいてい無い課題を見つけ、それを解決していく中で新しい価値を作るということ、「コト」のデザインであるが、
「未充足の価値」というワードがあるんだという事に驚いた。
言葉があったほうが覚えやすいとは思うけれど。

そこで調べてみたら、こんな資料が見つかった。


イノベーションが起こるのだとしたら、Dの「企業は売るべきものを知らず、顧客も買うべきものを知らない」というところ。これを見つけるのにエスノグラフィーを用いてKA法を試し、だれも気づいていない価値や課題を見つけるということをみんながしている。

もはやグループインタビューなどで聞けばわかる内容はDの欄には入ってこずイノベーションは起きにくい。

—–

心理学の世界で用いられる「ジョハリの窓」は、私は西村佳晢さんの「インタビューのワークショップ」に参加したときに初めて知ったけれど。インタビューのワークショップでは、秘密の窓、盲点の窓、未知の窓を知るきっかけとしてインタビューをしたりそのオブザーバーを担当したり、インタビューの音声を聞き返したりして、かなり面白かった。

なんとゆうか、自分が思っていること感じていることと、他人が抱く印象にギャップがあったこと。と、自分が本当に感じていたことを引き出してくれる(盲点の窓)に気づく機会があったことが面白かった。

インタビューとは人間関係がある程度築けてないと盲点の窓や秘密の窓にはいけないし、別に行く必要もないのだけれど 盲点の窓や未知の窓に少し触れたときに、自分の心が軽くなったり、何か糸口を見つけたような明るい気持ちになれる。どちらかというとカウンセリングに近い。


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Between the hammer and the anvil

Between the hammer and the anvil

Blacksmith at work02” by User:Fir0002 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons.

The blacksmith uses heat and force to transform the iron into the desired shape. The iron goes into the fire to be heated and is then moved to the anvil to be hammered into the desire form. The process is repeated until the smith is satisfied with the result.

This is a fitting analogy for how God…

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 今日は僕が寝坊して7時半から妻とSkype。他の先生の担当している生徒が,説明の分かりやすい妻を頼って押し寄せるらしい(笑)。よきこと。

 今日はまずエルニーニョ。なかなか良いいわゆる”poster child”が出来上がった。poster childとは,よく募金とかを呼びかけるようなポスターに写っている貧しい子供たちを意味していて,本来あまり好ましい言葉ではないが,「現状の問題を分かりやすく広告する図表」という意味で,研究者の間で使われることがある。SSTに関するPoster childは十分なので,次は降水のシグナルを調べて社会への重要性を調べよう。

 DennisとT先生に推薦状の依頼。推薦状の依頼というのは,「僕を◯月◯日までに書面で褒めてください」ということなので,いつも気まずい。けど,それでお金をもらってるんだから,やらなきゃ仕方ない。僕が悪者でないことの証明が,権威のある他者から必要なのだ。本当に頭が上がりません。

 そのあと,TAで授業に出席。台湾の学生Cが,授業後にたまたま一緒になって「シアトルは何年目なんですか?」と聞いてくれる。Cは,一年生らしい。”You’re a great TA.”と言ってくれて,悪い気はしない。
 さらにその後,TAで宿題作り。この雑務からもうすぐ解放されると思うと嬉しい。なぜ雑務と感じるかというと,いかんせん学生側にやる気がない人が多いからだ。Undergradは,単位や成績が取れれば良いと思っている。日本のように一発勝負の試験が批判されることもあるけど,成績至上主義も考えものよね。
 ただ,それでももうすぐ学生たちに会えなくなってしまうのは寂しい。愛別離苦,苦手なんで。
 
 その後,日本の大学にセミナーの依頼をして,GFDLの降水(RCP8.5実験)のデータをダウンロードをして,一日が終了。現在お洗濯待ち中。

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Tanggal : May 16, 2015 at 12:09PM
Penulis : Rakaputra WSF
By : Wikipedia - Perubahan terbaru [id]
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