Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trash isn’t Sunken Treasure-Keeping the Ocean Clean

The ocean is a precious resource that shouldn’t be wasted on poor habits.  For those living on the coast and in the coastal lifestyle you know how important the ocean is to your way of life and the recreational activities you enjoy. Sailing, surfboarding, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are just some of the fun activities in the San Diego area.  Pollution and waste damage the environment for everyone and with a little care our beaches can be cleaned and improved.

Last weekend I decided to take my snorkel and Nexus phone to La Jolla Cove in an attempt to see some of the ocean wildlife. Paddling along the ocean top and diving for interesting objects on the bottom I came across a lady’s sandal. A fairly expensive one at that so I’m sure she didn’t intentionally part with it!

I didn't know Nemo was doing retail?
It didn’t take much to clean up the mishap. I just dived down, grabbed it and came back up to the surface, swam near the shore and flung it onto the beach thinking I would make my way back later.  I was pleasantly surprised that someone obviously saw the relay pitch and picked up the sandal and threw it away. Teamwork among strangers.

A lost sandal is likely to be a tide accident where the water creeps up to a beachgoers gear and snags something to bring to the bottom.  Waves are a little like squirrels in this regard. However, the sandal wasn’t the only thing on the bottom. Plastic bags, cans, and other items do make their way into the ocean floor and add to the collection of growing debris.

There is an estimated 6.4 million tonnes of garbage that enter the oceans every year (Karpus, 2012). Discarded items make their way through the food chain and back onto our dinner plates. Yum! Would you like a side order of silicone with your shell fish? Few things occur in our environment that doesn’t eventually impact us in one way or another. 

Much nicer without the shoe.
The amount of garbage has accumulated to the point that it is changing the ecosystem. According to a study conducted by the Ocean Voyages Institute in Sausalito California there is a floating patch of garbage that adjusts seasonally off the coast of California (1). It moves around in a huge circular pattern being pushed around by ocean currents while fish swim and eat among it.

Not all is lost. Organizations like the San Diego Port Tenant Association conduct dives to collect trash. Coming up on August 24th Operation Clean Sweep that will remove large and small debris from the ocean floor. In 2012 they gathered over 50,000 pounds of junk. If you are a diver and interested you may want to visit their site at http://www.sdpta.com/cleansweep.php

A few tips can be helpful:

-Keep your gear bundled together and away from potential tides.
-Throw away your garbage in the plentiful garbage cans in the area.
-If you see trash, pick it up and throw it in the garbage can.
-Support organizations that focus on clean-up operations.
-Tell your friends not to throw their trash.
-Teach your kinds to respect the environment.
-I understand the water is cold but go fetch your sandal! jk.

Karpus, L. (2012). Plastic in our oceans.  Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine, 355.

Call for Papers: 3rd International Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business

December 14th, 2014
Location: Kota Bharu, Malaysia

ISEB 2014 is organized to catalyze the knowledge sharing and the exchanging of innovative ideas on entrepreneurship and business internationally. The seminar will especially encourage and facilitate experts and scholars to present their empirical findings and best practice outcomes related to entrepreneurship, and at the end, gain important inputs for the improvement and development of current and new strategies. This seminar will be also the main platform for any participants to build constructive network and collaborative research and development worldwide.

Web address: http://fkp.umk.edu.my/ISEB2014/

Using Behavioral Marketing to Link to Your Customer

Behavioral marketing is the “Holy Grail” of marketing attracting highly motivated customers to increase purchase rates.  Research by Chen and Stallaert (2014) help show how small advertisers are better off with targeted marketing while larger advertisers are not yet able to fully capitalize on the benefits. The study has implications for marketing investment and where they are dollars are likely to be most fruitful. 

Behavioral marketing seeks to use technology to better understand the online behavior of consumers and reach those most open to purchase. The information is collected from webpage cookies, search terms, forums, and other behavior to build a marketing profile of customers and then display ads that are relevant to their needs. 

Businesses seek to attract customers in the most cost effective manner possible. The further the marketing reach with the least amount of investment the higher return on investment (ROI). Small businesses have limited capital to spend and target niche customers while larger companies have a broader profile to attract customers through mass marketing campaigns. 

The study helps show that small advertisers find significant value in behavioral marketing while large companies may not realize this same value.  Market leaders are able to use a wide enough net to capture a high volume of interested customers that produces a higher pay off.  

To effectively develop behavioral marketing it is necessary to find an appropriate algorithm and then collect information while updating customer profiles. It is a lot of information to handle, analyze and move. Therefore, popular channels of advertisement often do better with behavioral marketing while less popular sites do better with mass marketing. 

The study helps us think of how mass marketing attempts to reach a broad range of customers by economizing its efforts. This is still a popular and cost effective method. Even these large advertisers are realizing the benefit of incorporating features of behavioral marketing to focus their advertising dollars. The closer you can align your approach to your target market the higher your chances of successful campaigns.  

Chen, J. & Stallaert, J. (2014). An economic analysis of online advertising using behavioral targeting. MIS Quarterly, 38 (2).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ponder the Art and Set Sail at the Maritime Impressions Exhibit

Experience art, learn about history, walk the ships and take a sea tour. Currently displayed at the Maritime Museum are artistic renditions of San Diego ships through the exhibit of Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego (PAPASAN).  Impressionist artists seek to express a feeling more than the exact nature of reality. Their works are colorful and vibrant in depicting the maritime existence of San Diego Bay. After visiting the museums and contemplating the art you can take a swift boat tour of the bay.

French Impressionism is a radical change from previous European art and continues today as a frontier of art exploration (Snider, 2001). The style seeks to enhance the general impressions from a scene by using unmixed primary colors and short strokes that creation reflection (1). Many of the paintings are vibrant and not in particular detail but still provide a full picture.  A feast for the eyes.

PAPASAN artists to connect through nature while offering exceptional paintings for patrons to ponder and purchase. You may see some of these paintings at http://www.papasanartists.com/.  Their mantra is “The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found, it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it”. - Gustave Courbet.

Perhaps you would prefer to make a few hours out of the affair and visit the rest of the museums. For $16 you can purchase a ticket and walk aboard the multiple ships in the harbor. Explore San Diego maritime culture by walking aboard vessels like the Russian Cold War B-39 Submarine, the Steam Ferry Berkeley, or the Pirates of the Caribbean star HMS Surprise.  You can review some of the ships at http://www.sdmaritime.org/the-ships/

As a bonus to your ticket you can splurge for the addition $5 to take a tour of San Diego Bay. The guided swift boat tour does the same as the larger tours in the area but at a much lower price. With the museum entrance ticket and the $5 tour pass you can enjoy the entire event with the sightseeing tour for a grand total of $21. With less than a dozen on board it is up close and personal. There are few things similar to feeling the wake of the water while your host elaborates on the history of the bay.

San Diego Maritime Museaum
1492 North Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

Snider, L. (2001). A lasting impression: French painters revolutionize the art world. History Teacher, 35 (1).

Book Review: Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter

Joseph Schumpeter’s book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy brings forward some interesting concepts pertaining to the nature of economics and governmental forms. He believes that Socialism will eventually outstrip Capitalism as a system once the owners of production reject the capitalistic system that made them successful (1).  The early period pure competitive methods that fostered growth will become stagnated as the system fails to change.   

The book seeks to reconcile in part the differences between democracy and capitalism. The best method is the rule of people to create collective governance of society. However, as capitalism grows the average citizen doesn’t have much say in day-to-day politics and becomes more of a support to the legitimacy of others (2). 

To this point it is important to understand that the very core nature of society is to allow some to move forward while others to stay in followership. Difficulties can arise when those with the basic skills and abilities are inherently locked from moving up the social ladder thereby creating two separate societies of existence. As the divide between the two societies grow so does the problems. 

Democracy works when people have sufficient power to vote out and demand changes by elected officials (3).  The official becomes a type of business owner that seeks to find customers to his/her leadership focus. When customers are serviced properly they will re-elect their officials thereby creating opportunities for proper societal alignment. 

The biggest fear capitalism faces is, “the very success of capitalist enterprise paradoxically tends to impair the prestige or social weight of the class primarily associated with it [i.e., the entrepreneurial class] and that the giant unit of control [i.e., large corporations] tends to oust the bourgeoisie from the functions to which it owed that social weight”.

Larger entities will naturally write the rules that lead to the destruction or damage of small business that foster economic freedoms. Without the developing of new and revolving businesses, within the circular creative destruction explained by Schumpeter, the nation will turn to socialism. 

There is much to agree and disagree with in the book. It should be remembered that the book was produced in the 1930’s when world wars were raging, capitalism was threatened, and change was rampant. 

To further Schumpeter’s ideas it is beneficial to include a couple of concepts beyond this book that lead to the success of Capitalism and its governing form called Democracy.

-Upward Social Movement: It is important to foster small business and upward financial movement to encourage motivation in society as well as the development of new ideas and concepts. New businesses and intra or inter-organizational entrepreneurial activities lead to greater innovative and economic growth. 

-Open Dialogue and Information: Democracy requires the voting in and voting out of governmental representatives through proper information and open dialogue. Information should be free flowing, provide alternative points of view, and foster critical thinking. 

-Enhanced Legal Structures: All legal structures should enhance the population and encourage upward social movement. By encouraging greater human advancement it lowers the incentives of crime and costs of dealing with that crime.   Legal structures should not unnecessarily protect monopolies or unjustly restrict human advancement.

-Political Aeration: Allowing new members to enter the political sphere offers the opportunity for continuous adjustment to the will of the people as well as better decision-making matrices among leaders. Stagnated political networks damage long-term development by failing to adjust to world realities.