Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whatsapp group: A User's take

Screen, when I re-installed the app in Feb 2014
When Whatsapp came onto the tech scene, a lot of folks were glad they could 'swerve' SMS costs with respect to sending multiple messages to their contacts.
Believe it or not, a number of users (still) do not know that Whatsapp uses the Internet.
They've not 'swerved' costs after all. Hehe
Sending of information, however, has not been this convenient, prompt; effective -- and in real time.

The whatsapp group feature
This is the latest craze in Whatsapp usage, with users forming groups (of up to 50 members -- updated to 256 members since 4th Feb, 2016) based on common interests and relations.
In as much as this feature makes the sharing of info among peers fast and efficient, it can be annoying sometimes (or almost always) when some regulations are not laid down.
One very effective use of the Whatsapp group feature is the one, Ashesi University lecturer, Kobby Graham had with his class. A very good use case.
Yes, we are entitled to freedom of speech and expression, but some people go way overboard with the sharing of 'irrelevant' content.
Some of tips for effectively being part of a Whatsapp group:

  1. 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.
  2. Reading long messages on Whatsapp can be daunting. Do limit your messages to a maximum of ten (10) lines.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
I had a chat with a very good friend of mine, Rafe. We discussed our experiences with tech gadgets and apps. It's our mini techRepublic we've been having since 2005.
An idea that he came up with is a feature in Whatsapp to allow users choose which contact they would love to get a message from. Cool, huh?

I will like to.hear your experiences with Whatsapp groups and what you think can be done to enhance the user experience.
Let me have them via the comment section. Thanks.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

The sword of ɔkɔmfo Anɔkye -- Ghana's Excalibur

The sword surrounded by some bottles of Schnapps.
Today I visited the site of ɔkɔmfo Anɔkye's sword. It is located inside the second biggest teaching hospital in Ghana, located in Kumasi.

The site of the sword is said to be the very spot the legendary Ashanti fetish priest stood to conjure the Golden stool from the skies.

Legend has it that the very day the sword (which is firmly rooted in the bowels of the earth) is removed by anybody, the unity of the Ashanti kingdom ceases to exist.
The man who built the hospital tried to 'uproot' the sword with bulldozers during the construction of the hospital, but the sword disappeared and resurfaced a couple of weeks later. It has been firmly rooted in the earth for three hundred and seventeen (317) years!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Designing a questionnaire in Microsoft Word

So you decide to create a questionnaire for a research of yours. You then resort to your word processor as your sidekick in getting questionnaires to your respondents.
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.
Example: The Drop down list control properties dialogue box.
Click on Add to add options for your respondents to choose from.
You can choose more controls from the Legacy Tools icon.



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.