Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

The dB C Media Influence Network Works in 53 Countries

If you are looking to get specific jobs done for your career, or for your business, you can look through us. We have an expert influencer network in over 50 countries on 5 continents. Take a look at where we have been and where we know experts that can help you in media, finance, tech, mobile computing, education technology, enterprise solutions, commerce and government.

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Filed under: Influence, , , , , , , , ,

Michael Dortch Is a Good Man, So Take His Surveys

If you take his surveys, and you are one of the people who offer the most respondents (the person whose network has the most clicks on the survey), he will make a donation to a charity.

Here is the email he sent around this morning:

I’m launching some research that I think will be highly interesting and valuable to a broad audience, and I need your help. I’m hoping this e-mail will convince you to help me, so please read on!

I am conducting research focused on what I’m calling online experience optimization (OEO) – everything necessary to deliver the best possible online experience to colleagues, customers, partners and prospects.

OEO touches every aspect of every type and size of company that does business online or plans to do so. Business stakeholders include advertising, marketing, public relations, sales, internal and external support teams and business performance decision makers, among others. Technologies involved range from Web site construction and management tools to content management systems, analytics tools and support for “the mobile, social cloud.”

I intend to produce multiple deliverables based on the results of this OEO research. Some will be published by Constellation Research, where I’m a Vice President and Principal Analyst. Some will be published at, a site that provides expert and user-generated advice, comparisons and reviews focused on technology solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). And some will find its way into analyses and blog posts at, and, of course,

So how can you help? To begin, I’ve prepared two brief surveys I’ve posted on SurveyMonkey. I’d appreciate it if you’d take them both, and then tell everyone you know about them. (Respondents can remain anonymous, but if they provide a name and a valid e-mail address, I’ll notify them personally as summary results become available, and enter them in a drawing for a free business or technology consultation with me!)

The first survey asks four basic questions business decision makers need to be able to answer to achieve OEO. The link to that survey: .

The other asks respondents which company do they think offers the best overall online experience, and how their own companies compare to that company. The link to that survey: .

As further inducement to you, I’ll make a donation to the favorite charity of the person or company who provides the most referred respondents to each or both. (Make sure your referrals tell me who referred them in the last question!)

I think OEO is going to be a “next big thing” in business and business technologies, and I’d greatly appreciate your help with my research, as well as any ideas, questions, connections or suggestions you’d care to share. Thanks so much for your time and your help!

Michael Dortch

Filed under: Influence, Tech, , , , ,

“Future Self” Will Take What’s Behind Door Number Two, Please

Here’s an interesting study from Columbia University about one’s connection to one’s future self, and how it determines choices one makes.

Impact on education? As far as I can see, helping a student make some strong connection between the learning happening now and the reward or the experience of learning’s outcomes in the future is what a school system should do. Are we doing that well now?

 The June 2011 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research features research from Professor Daniel Bartels, marketing professor at Columbia Business School, and Oleg Urminsky, marketing professor at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, that depicts how consumers feeling or not feeling connected to their future selves impacts their spending and savings decisions. The researchers conducted a series of experiments, manipulating the degree to which subjects felt connected to their future selves. When discontinuity with the future self is anticipated, people behave more impatiently – speeding up the consumption of utility (in this case, gift cards) – than when connectedness to the future self is expected. The research which examines how people weigh smaller, immediate rewards against larger, long-term rewards, is part of a growing area of study in psychology on intertemporal trade-offs.


In the first study, the researchers asked a group of college seniors — three weeks before graduation — to read a passage that described college graduation either as an event that would prompt a major change in their identities or as an event that would prompt only a relatively trivial change. Compared to students who read the passage describing graduation as a small change, those who read a description of the event as a major change were much more likely to make more impatient choices, choosing to receive a gift certificate worth $120 in the next week rather than wait a year for up to $240.


In a subsequent study, the authors asked people to evaluate their sense of connectedness and similarity to their future selves. Three weeks later, they were asked them to choose between smaller gift cards they could use right away or larger gift cards that would require waiting. “Those who had felt more connected to their future selves then made more patient choices and were more willing to wait for a higher-valued gift card,” Professor Urminsky explained.


Professor Bartels discussed the significance of the study. “Our work suggests that you can motivate people to hold onto their money, or make other, more prudent decisions by increasing their sense of connectedness to their future selves. Rather than trying to guilt ourselves into making prudent financial choices or creating complicated incentive schemes, we can instead look for simple, straightforward ways to foster our sense that what matters most will be preserved in our future selves, so that we can achieve goals that are important.”

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Work, , , , , , ,

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