When I ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I have asked.
When I ask you to listen to me, and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me, and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
So please, just listen and hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a few minutes for your turn and I promise I’ll listen to you.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
|A study space I long for. Source: not known|
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
|Ingredients for a simple stew|
|Who doesn't like meat?|
|The cabbage stew simmers gently|
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Making a choice of who to contact to act a referee and give you a recommendation (for a job, or to further one's education), can be a headache sometimes.
I've had this problem before, and currently see a number of my friends and students going through the same dilemma.
Who qualifies as referee/reference? A person who can be asked for information about another person's character, abilities, et cetera. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
I've learnt that, it is not as clear-cut a choice, as it seems to be.
Here are some tips:
- Consider the job, or course you intend to read. This makes it easier to choose a referee who has considerable experience in that particular industry (i.e. for the job application), or field of study (i.e. for the intended course of study).
- For job applications, an former boss is ideal, as they can really give the needed information on a your abilities and attitude.
If it's for an entry position, and you do not have any work experience, relations and acquaintances can make the recommendation.
If the requirement for such an entry position is a university degree, then the you would have to fall on former lecturers to recommend you. This can be a lecturer who taught you a relevant course, the intended course of study or job expects you to have knowledge of. It can also be your final year project supervisor, or a supervisor for any project you undertook as a student.
This brings me to the issue of 'choosing' a supervisor.
Most institutions in Ghana, choose supervisors for students. Sometimes students (i.e. Postgrads) get to choose their supervisors.
I've had a number of encounters with students who had wished to have a particular individual as their supervisor, and as such were disappointed with the choice their institutions had made for them.
As a student, choose a supervisor who has a keen interest in your research/ project. This can be a published researcher/expert in your research domain. The advantage is that they can guide you to make the best out of your research, by making worthwhile contributions.
Choosing someone you are 'comfortable' with does not always help you as a researcher, or with your finished project. There have been instances where projects are assigned to supervisors who are not interested in them and so just 'manage' their given roles till the end of the project. Others also do not have a clue what the research/project is all about, and the student is left to fend for himself/herself, like a lost sheep with no shepherd.
Other times, the case is reverse, where you have a student choose a project or research area they are not interested in, and expect their supervisor to do all the work.
That. Won't. Happen.
For now, these come to mind. If you have any other comments, please don't hesitate to share them via the comment section. Thanks.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
|Photo Credit: McKinsey Global Institute|
The proliferation of mobile phones in Africa is pretty overwhelming. Almost (used advisedly) everyone owns one. Ghana has a 100% mobile penetration; 53/100 people have Internet-capable phones. This has made it a tool for development in terms of commerce, governance, learning.
A nagging challenge however, has to do with the security of mobile phones, and the protection of the data, and privacy of users of mobile technologies/telephony. This has made telcos, and companies that use mobile technologies to deliver services, to be on their toes, as they ensure the protection of their users’ privacy and data.
Countries are also looking at data protection vis-a-vis national security, especially after the Snowden revelations. They therefore have data protection laws that govern how the protection and use of their citizens’ data by telcos, and companies are done. Ghana has a Data Protection Act that is 2 years old. However, I do not think ALL African countries have the same laws. This can be difficult if an organisation is operating in different countries. A question therefore is how feasible it is for countries to come out with consistent laws to safeguard the privacy of users’ data.
Also, though measures are being put in place by service providers and organisation with regard to privacy and data protection, the Terms and Conditions are really long and confusing to the end user. There’s therefore the need for such organisations to make these terms understandable, and concise. Further education has to be given to customers to really understand how important it is to protect their privacy, and not just depend on telcos and companies to do it for them.
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has taken off in Africa with the speed of light. It is a phenomenon that has really improved businesses across the continent; connecting urban areas to the country sides. A couple of security questions come to mind:
- How secured are mobile communication channels?
- What are some limitations of mobile phones that make them susceptible to infiltrations?
 Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa. Full Report from McKinsey Global Institute Analysis. Accessed 21st September, 2014.
 Transcript: IGF2014 Session on Mobile, Trust and Privacy
NOTE: The above post is a copy of my mid-course assignment for the Internet Governance class I am currently taking.
Friday, August 1, 2014
As Christians, we need to remember that God's perfect love is not only for our benefit.
A model wears clothing to attract attention to the designer's creativity. The model displays the designer's work, but the designer's reputation, not the model's, is on the line.
In the same way, as Christians, we model God's love, whether or not we realise it. People watch us, and what they see affects God's reputation for loving His creation. If we claim to follow Christ then wear the world's twisted style of love, we drag the name and character of our Lord in the dirt.
For this reason, we must ask ourselves, "Am I modeling the love of Christ? Do my motivations and actions in this relationship reflect the perfect love God has shown me?"
How would you answer those questions right now?
Thursday, July 17, 2014
|Photo: Social Media Today|
- To what extent are online shoppers aware of e-commerce vendors in Ghana?
- What features of an e-commerce website attract and retain an online shopper?
- How long have Ghanaians been shopping online?
- How long have Ghanaian e-commerce vendors been selling online?
- What types of e-payment solution s are being used by vendors in Ghana?
- What e-payment challenges are faced by both vendors and shoppers?
- Has social media had an impact on the sales revenue of online vendors?
|Screen, when I re-installed the app in Feb 2014|
- Do share messages that are relevant to the group's objectives. If the group is just for friends having fun, well, then I guess your chargers should always be close by.
- Reading long messages on Whatsapp can be daunting. Do limit your messages to a maximum of ten (10) lines.
- As a group, decide on times to share information. This can be productive. Random postings can be distracting and annoying. Again if it is a group of friends, and you want to avoid distractions, mute your Whatsapp notifications.
- If it is a group where discussions on social, political, religious, or any other kind of issues are held, do MAKE sure to confirm your facts before sharing.
- Do be sensitive to the feelings of others when sharing information that can be emotionally destructive. An example is the current pictures, audios, and videos on Whatsapp about the Castro incident. Just unfortunate!
- Do not indulge in a conversation with a group member, on the group's page. Kindly chat privately with the person, and stop disturbing other group members with your convo.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
|The sword surrounded by some bottles of Schnapps.|
Monday, May 5, 2014
Usually, the normal way is to create your questionnaire, print them and distribute.
Other times, you e-mail the questionnaire to would-be respondents. They then have to print the questionnaire, fill it (in ink), scan it, and e-mail it to you.
What a drag!
How about going paperless and making them fill the questionnaire on their PCs (in Word).
The following quick tutorial will get you on your way. Enjoy
After launching Word, make sure the Developer tab is showing.
If it is not, do the following (in Office 2010) to display the Developer tab:
Click on File, and choose Options.
Under the Customise Ribbon Tab, make sure the checkbox in front of the Developer option is checked.
Click on OK.
The Developer Tab should be visible now, on the Ribbon.
Click on the Design Mode icon.
Type a question for your survey and add a corresponding control from the Controls group.
While the control is active, click on the Properties icon to set properties for the control. An example can be setting the property to make sure the control cannot be deleted.
Click on Add to add options for your respondents to choose from.
When you are done with the design of the questionnaire, click on the Design mode again – to deactivate it. This allows you to see the finished questionnaire the same way your respondents would.
I hope this has been helpful.
PS: Another tool to use is Google forms. It actually creates responses in a spreadsheet and has an analytical part too. I will create another quick tutorial on this soon.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Kasahorow is a project of the GhanaThink Foundation that seeks to bridge the langage learning gap. I love them. Do download their keyboard for PC and Android.
I see this country moving forward by loving our languages and incorporating them in our apps to improve productivity of our countryside folk. I made a case for local user interfaces in this post. I look forward to a YouTube revolution of Ghanaian videos having subtitles in the local languages.
Friday, March 28, 2014
|Dr. Darko introducing participants to the Mendeley platform|
Remember the saying, "Publish or perish?" Well, it is one that is well known in academic circles.
Aside the products of a university (i.e. its students) being a good metric for ranking, research plays a major role too.
Mendeley has a web installer that also enables a researcher to seamlessly add any paper he/she finds interesting online, to his/her library.
Another cute, yet powerful feature of Mendeley is how it integrates with Microsoft Word, thus making citations and bibliography insertions in a research paper painless. One can choose any reference style of choice.
Read more about Mendeley from their website, and watch some videos on its use here.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
|Photo Credit: www.votomobile.org|
George: I am George Arthur-Sarpong, I am a Senior Software Engineer at VOTO Mobile.
Me: How long have you worked with VOTO Mobile?
Me: What exactly does VOTO Mobile do?
George: At VOTO Mobile, we look to solving solutions to communication barriers between organizations, governments and institutions and the people they serve.
Our tools, available via the VOTO platform enables organizations to engage thousands to millions of people in decision making, feedback gathering, monitoring and evaluation, general information dissemination and mass education through a simple phone call in the language of the receiving individual.
Our hopes are that these tools amplify the 'voices' of the under heard making them important stakeholders in decision making. It in turn directs and makes organization projects and programmes much more effective by reaching the masses through channels they can easily understand and thus achieving impact.
Me: What is the hackathon about? What are participants expected to get out of it?
George: Our Mobile Engagement platform for voice and SMS has been developed over the past year into a robust and global platform with excitingly new features every two weeks.
Also in line with our vision for open communication and towards Social impact, we created our API to engage firstly as in the case of this weekend's hackathon, the Ghana developer community on smart and innovative tools and apps that can be built to reach masses via voice and or SMS.
Let's call it an 'out-dooring' where it's officially open to third party app developers to do wonderful things with it.
They would be judged and awarded in three categories
- Most innovative application: The one that causes us to step back and say, "Wow – never thought of that!"
- Strongest execution: The most complete, most polished, ready-to-use application
- Strongest social impact potential: An idea that thoughtfully creates impact on a local or national issue.
Me: Why is the event being held in Accra, as VOTO Mobile is a Kumasi-based firm?
George: Yeah we are based in Kumasi operating globally, and we had and still have interactions with our local developer community in Kumasi.
We chose Accra this time to also have a feel of the developer community outside Kumasi.
So yes, it's an opportunity to interact and see what's the latest also in Accra, and meet and hack with the developers you know via mail or social media in person.
Friday, March 21, 2014
|The ONE United Against Malaria bead|
Photo credit: ONE.org
My late mum was a beads trader, so I am a sucker for beads.
After selecting the items to buy, I realised the shipping cost was more than I had expected, so I decided to look for a friend who loves beads as myself. We decided it was best to order as one and share the shipping cost.
What we did is almost the same as the platform my friend Ilias, and his Plisionship team are building.
Plisionship loosely translated means friendship. Plision is a Greek word that refers to someone who is close to you and is ready to help you. In helping you, he/she helps himself/herself.
The concept is this simple: once you see an item you wish to buy online, you share it within your network and see if any other friend of yours wants to buy the same item, or even a different item (but from the same e-shop). You then create a group (after logging in) of individuals willing to buy some products from the same e-shop and buy as a group. The creation of the group is only once. So whenever one wishes to buy something, he shares it by posting it. The shipping costs may be reduced (as you share it) or even eliminated if you bargain with the e-tailer. Plisionship looks at individuals linking with their networks (especially people close to them geographically), so as to share interests in goods and services, and share delivery costs.
Remember that, your 'network' on this platform does not only refer to friends and family. Whoever you have a simple relationship with: at home, at your workplace, any other place you hang out, can be part of this group ('your network').
Do visit their website and register to try out the service.
The video below sheds more light on Plisionship:
Thursday, March 20, 2014
He loves her with every fibre in him; yet he is keeping a pre-paid heart.
He eagerly awaits her love to recharge his -- which is at her beck and call.
She says she wants to love him.
To recharge his love.
He acquiesces, and gives her his love.
Then he 'runs' out of love.
His heart is back in pre-paid mode.
He loves her with every fibre in him; yet he is keeping a pre-paid heart.
He eagerly awaits her love to recharge his -- which is at her beck and call.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Our speed mentoring session would feature speed mentors including Victoria Okoye (Relief International), Edem Kumodzi of QuickBets, Kow Essuman (Lawyer), Manasseh Azure Awuni (Joy FM), Sara Nana Yeboah (Nurse & Entrepreneur), Emmanuel Nyame (Ghana Startup Cup), Tonyi Senayah (Horseman Shoes), Freda Addu (HR Consultant), etc. Various presentations on excellence would be done by Enyonam Kumahor of ThoughtWorks, as well as Emmanuel Gamor of Global Media Alliance. We would also interview Yoofi Grant of Databank on this topic. We'd close the day with breakout sessions.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
In 2008, some friends and I decided to set up a web development firm -- techsonetGH -- that is currently re-branding itself. In getting a sort of slogan for ourselves and to portray our core values to clients we settled on dream.initiate.create.
However, dreaming alone won't make any change. The Good Book even says, "Faith without works, is meaningless."
Once the dream has been fully captured, followed by an initiative to see it through, the creation is inevitable.
Whether the creation is accepted by folks or not, the satisfaction got is that you took a step.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
There are a number of apps that try to make the learning of languages fun and interactive: Babbel, and Rosetta Stone.
However, one app I have fallen in love with is Duolingo. It has both mobile and web versions.
Its fun as you play while you learn. You have three(3) hearts at the beginning of every lesson, and you lose a heart, when you get an activity wrong.
I love the fact that there's a new button that breaks sentences into separate syllables and is very useful for beginners.
It's a whole mix of visuals and text.
Check out these snapshots from my phone:
Friday, January 3, 2014
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
|Switch OFF Mobile phones!|
It is common now to hear Pastors say, "Turn your Bibles with me to ...", and find some members of the congregation rather 'querying' their Bible apps for the quotation given.
I should state here that, the Bible-app-querying trend does not happen (a negligible percentage do though) in the Catholic Church as the congregation do not read the Bible in Church, but rather listen to a Lector.
- Do turn off the volume on your phone. (Your sound profile should be silent)
- Do switch off your Auto Sync feature so you do not get interrupted by notifications from other apps like Whatsapp and GMail.
- Download Bible apps that do not require access to the Internet to function. Some examples are Olive Tree, Word of Promise apps.