Archive for June, 2009

A rare tweet

June 9, 2009

A recent study from Harvard Business School has dared raise one of the most important unspoken questions since a small boy wondered aloud why that Emperor fellow was naked. Exactly what is the point of Twitter? The technorati—and the media—may be enamoured with the micro social-networking site, where people can keep their “followers” informed of their every move in 140 characters or fewer, but, it turns out, very few others are. The study, conducted by Bill Heil, a Harvard student, found that Twitter’s usage patterns are different from other on-line social networks. “A typical Twitter user contributes very rarely,” says the report. “Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days.” The study, which examined the activity of over 300,000 people who had signed up to the site, also found that the top 10% of users accounted for over 90% of tweets.

So, to return to the original question: given those figures, what exactly is the point of Twitter? Despite describing itself as “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected,” Mr Heil believes that, in reality, it has become little more than a marketing tool for companies and celebrities. Quoted on the BBC, he said: “Twitter is a broadcast medium rather than an intimate conversation with friends…The Twitter management need to decide if this is a problem, and if they decide it is, how they will tweak Twitter to become more acceptable to the average user?” Answers in 140 characters or fewer please.

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Which MBA online
The Economist’s Business Education page

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Flying the nest

June 2, 2009

The University of Maryland’s Robert H Smith School of Business is on the move. It has announced plans to relocate to a bio-medical research park in the Westside district of Baltimore, putting it “at the nexus of great research and innovation,” according to G. Anand Anandalingam, the school’s dean. It is currently situated in the university’s School of Nursing. The move will give the school more than four times the amount space of its current home. It expects to begin offering its part time MBA in the new facility in 2010.

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Which MBA online
The Economist’s Business Education page

Eight year itch

June 2, 2009

Dipak Jain, the long-standing and popular dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is standing down from his post. The school has announced that Professor Jain is to take a year’s leave of absence, starting in September, before returning to Kellogg’s ranks as a faculty member. Professor Jain joined Kellogg as an assistant professor in 1986 and has been at the school’s helm for eight years, during which time it headed the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of MBA programmes for three consecutive years between 2002 and 2004. Northwestern University said it would shortly be appointing an interim dean while a search for a full-time successor was undertaken.

Back to:
Which MBA online
The Economist’s Business Education page