Blog - (Archived)

Marine Corps Blocks Access to Social Networking Sites

August 6, 2009

This week it was announced via this message that access to social networking sites (such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter) was officially banned on NIPRNET, the Marine Corps enterprise network. While use of these sites had not been banned across the Marine Corps prior to this announcement, there were already many facilities for which access was restricted or denied.  Additionally, concerns continue regarding the security breaches that could be caused by allowing access to these sites.  The sites have had many security issues as use increased; just today, Twitter reported a denial of service attack, in which a hacker accessed ... Read more

OPM Seeks Public Input for their Strategic Plan

August 4, 2009

Last week Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry announced that OPM is taking a giant step forward in transparency,?? becoming the first government agency to put its proposed 5-year strategic plan online, open for both the public and employees to comment.  Further, they will make comments immediately available for the public to read.  What a great way to use the Internet to interact with interested constituents! The OPM Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 can be found here, and comments can be offered through this online form.  Those who prefer to “lurk” can read all comments here. Read more

Adventures from the MRA Annual Conference Part 1

June 26, 2009

Each year the Marketing Research Association holds an Annual Conference to bring together its membership for a few days of learning, networking and camaraderie.  I was pleased to represent Market Connections, Inc. at this year”s event in Chicago, IL at the Marriott on the Magnificent Mile downtown.  During the conference, there were several tracks one could follow: quantitative research, qualitative research, business of research, and research end-users.  Luckily, I got to attend a little bit of each! The highlight of the first evening was the new member/ first time attendee reception.  This was an intimate affair for say, 75 people.  It ... Read more

Tips for Choosing a Research Partner

June 17, 2009

Downsizing has become all too common in this economy. That’s why many organizations no longer have research departments or an experienced person dedicated to managing research projects and outside providers. Yet, those organizations still have critical needs for current market data. As a result, various departments and personnel are developing RFPs and assessing research companies for the first time. Here are a few tips for the first timers: Ask co-workers and industry contacts for the names of research providers they know and trust. Find providers through the Marketing Research Association or similar organizations. Visit the ... Read more

Helios HR Apollo Awards

June 12, 2009

Last Friday, June 5th, I was fortunate to attend the awards ceremony for the 3rd annual Helios HR Apollo Awards.  This award is designed to recognize companies who create a culture of learning and demonstrate best practices in professional development and employee growth.  In fact, Market Connections was an Apollo Award winner in 2007! This year, we partnered with Helios HR to manage the online nomination process.  As part of the nomination process, we mobile gambling were also able to collect survey data regarding the current best practices of nominees, and our CEO Lisa presented this information during the ceremony.  ... Read more

White House Releases Cyberspace Policy Review

May 29, 2009

Today the White House released their much-anticipated 60-day cyberspace policy review. According to the report, the review team found Cybersecurity to be lacking overall.  The White House team has already promised action.  On the White House Briefing Room blog, Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the National Security Council, writes, “”¦we need a safe Internet with a strong network infrastructure and we as a nation need to take prompt action to protect cyberspace for what we use it for today and will need in the future.  Protecting cyberspace requires strong vision and leadership and will require changes in policy, technology, education, and ... Read more

Social Media and the Federal Government

May 20, 2009

On Monday, John Monroe with FCW Insider wrote an interesting post outlining five ways the use of social media sites (such as Facebook or Twitter) will change the way federal employees work.  He presents the case for allowing,?? and sometimes even requiring,?? use of social media at work, saying these types of sites could actually increase productivity, create more cross-agency collaboration, and increase interaction with the citizenry. Leave a comment and tell us what you think!  Will sites like Twitter and Facebook change the federal workplace, or are they merely a passing fad? Read more

Twitter is out of this world!

May 13, 2009

Twitter has permeated the online social networking scene, but this week the site has reached new heights!  Yesterday Computerworld reported on the in-orbit “tweet” NASA astronaut Mike Massimino sent from space, following the launch of the Atlantis.  He typed, “From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!” Massimino has already sent out another update from orbit.  Click here to follow Massimino on Twitter.  Read more

Debunking Market Research Myths

May 9, 2009

Market research is sometimes misunderstood by business-to-business and business-to-government executives who haven’t yet had the opportunity to utilize it as a business intelligence tool for driving performance improvements. Below are some of the more common misconceptions, along with our explanations of why they are false. Read more

Top Market Research Mistakes

May 8, 2009

Market research is an essential tool for understanding your customers and your competition.  Market research can also identify trends that affect sales and profitability.  However, successful market research takes thoughtful planning and strategy.  Here are four typical mistakes commonly made when setting out to do research. 1.    Focusing on the wrong target market  One of the most important elements of the market research process is identifying the sample.  It is vital that your sample represent the population you want information about.  For example, if you sell beef, but half of your respondents were vegetarian, your research is pretty much useless. 2.    Not ... Read more

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