MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Are we losing our voices?

As PR practitioners, we are constantly searching to find our voice, and the voice of others. Finding your voice will differentiate you from others; it is what makes you a weak, ok or great writer. This week on the Community Marketing Blog, an article caught my interest. It might have had to with the fact that this American based blog mentioned Prince Edward Island. But as I kept reading, PEI had nothing to do with it. The blogger, Doug Hall, was questioning if social media affects your voice.

In his post, Why instant feedback on the internet can be BAD, he says “Instead of saying what I believed – I was writing based on what I thought the audience wanted. The result was a “dumbing down” of my messages. And, a lack of authenticity.”

This is a bit alarming, what is social media doing to our future? Is our intelligence really creating us to become dumb? When looking at tools such as Twitter or Facebook, people are updating their status as if it’s going out of style. With 140 characters, you can’t say much so instead of using proper English, a new lingo is created. Also, people seem to start to write only what they believe others want to hear. I feel this is making people become superficial. This makes you wonder, if people are losing their critical thinking skills to social media? By not writing what you believe and simply what you feel others want to hear, you don’t need to think much since in today’s society we are bombarded with what messages we should think.

On another note…

The results are in! With over 40 bloggers who entered the blog-off contest, a winner has been announced. Over a two week period, 12 bloggers posted on the Community Marketing Blog. However, there is not one defined winner. Instead, the 12 bloggers will be invited to contribute on a weekly basis. So, what was the point of the contest if there was no winner?

That’s all for now,



June 8, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , | 1 Comment

Everybody get footloose!

One pink toe at a time


Today’s guest speakers were really inspiring. Both Calum and Rob had two different presentations, yet both shared a love for social media and especially Google! I found Calum’s insights on niche marketing to be quite enlightening in terms of assessing your client or organization’s needs. His expert tips not only showed us how we can make personal profit, but also, how we can generate more revenue for our organizations. I know, we’re communicators and not financial advisors, but at the end of the day doesn’t it always come down to the bottom line? And if we have more revenue, we have more money in our communications budget for social media tactics! Approaching social media from a business perspective really emphasized how important it is to have a solid understanding of new technologies as they unfold. I admit, I’m still freaked out buy the enormity of the blogosphere and the uncertainty around how social media will impact the internet as we move forward. However, I think Rob offered some great advice when he said that we don’t have to dive into using all of these tools at once, just dip one toe in at first and feel our way around. I don’t know Rob’s exact words, but it helped ease some of my anxiety and fear that employers expect us to be completely fluent in all of these social media tools. It’s overwhelming, yet incredibly exciting! So, here I go, one brightly pink painted toe at a time!



June 8, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | Leave a comment

Social vs. Traditional

On May 26, Social Media Group (SMG) columnist Doug Walker posted a blog entry entitled: “How much does social media rely on traditional media?” The entry discusses the decline of traditional media tools as social media tools become increasingly popular. Traditional formats like newspapers are losing precious advertising dollars to free online news sources–which, of course, are more attractive to consumers as they are free.

The problem is many online sources have an original source in some traditional media source. News blogs, for example, tend to borrow from newspapers, summarizing and commenting on stories which have already been published elsewhere. As such, many blogs have been inadvertently siphoning advertising dollars from the newspapers whose stories they rely on.

Traditional media outlets are now rallying for something to be done to even the playing field. TV and news tax models have been suggested along with pay walls for online news.

My concern here is that raising the pay walls on social media will suffocate the dialogue that it generates in the first place, thus defeating the purpose of the medium.

I’m also concerned that it will be difficult–if not impossible to slap a price tag on something that has been free to consumers for so many years. Furthermore, how could traditional media news outlets determine and monitor each of the millions of bloggers who benefit from sourcing stories from traditional outlets? And when I say benefit, I’m not necessarily referring to financial gains. Most of the bloggers using the stories aren’t at all motivated by money, but rather a universal need (and right) to feel connected, and to comment on the world in which we live. If we begin to police that right we will be moving backward instead of forward when it comes to open communications.

MoneyIt seems to me that traditional outlets would also experience some benefit from bloggers referencing and linking to their stories. This is a free form of promotion for them. Something tells me, however, that promotion and increased connectivity are not $olely what motivate traditional media outlet$ . . .

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pepsi Seeks Serious Journalists and Students Alike

Check this out. This week on The Hobson and Holtz report I was turned on to the newest workings at PepsiCo. They’re hiring, which could be news in and of itself give the “current economic times” as the catch phrase goes.  But what’s more interesting really is what they’re hiring for.  They want nine social media gurus on board to help make Internet Week synonamous with social media. They’re going to do this by handing out, essentially, journalistic assignments, everything to “panels to parties” as Holtz puts it, and sending out their gurus to get the story.  They’re to come back with pictures, videos, blog posts, and carefully crafted, witty Twitter Tweets to describe what’s happening in New York.  All the content will be uploaded on the PepsiCo network and targeted towards making Internet Week the hippest spot for the social media inclined New Yorker. Cool right?

Holtz questions whether this is going to be beneficial and interesting or create more paid for drivel in the social media world. Utlimately, though, he concludes that the jury is out and that we’ll have to keep our eyes open to  see how it goes.

What do I think? I think it’s a cool idea. Of course I do though, I’m not a journalist who feels like my integrity is being squashed by a recession that has my balls in a vice grip while I grit my teeth and blog (said as a dirty 4 letter word) about the party the big corporation is “forcing” (and paying) me to go to.  I’m a communicator that is thrilled to see corporations reaching out to my generation in a way that is so totally appropriate.  Of course I care about the integrity of the information. Is it possible that this could all turn out to be a sham and Pepsi hires 9 monkeys to write exactly what they want? Absolutely. But I hope not, because that would defeat the whole purpose of wanting to become aligned with social media. The point is honesty that gives the audience the opportunity to weigh in (a fancy way of saying transparent two way communication I suppose).

Anyways, what are your thoughts? Great potential or potential drivel?

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Are we becoming social media experts?

Another week and still no new post from Managing the Gray. Instead of going on a tangent of my own about how this “social media expert” isn’t adhering to some basics of blogging, I found a rant Chapman did himself and would like to share it with you all.

In response to several emails asking, “How do I become a social media expert?” Chapman posted a video message. He seemed pretty frustrated with the question because as he says, social media is really no different than become an expert at anything. As we are in a social media class, I guess trying to learn this very thing, I thought it would be interesting to examine his response and see if it measures up to how we are learning to be such so-called experts.

 His advice consists of the following:

-work hard and keep yourself up-to-date

-just like anything else, you have to practice it

-if you’re in it because you think it’s hip or cool or it will be easy- then get out

-be passionate about it

-make it a part of your life, your job and then push forward

 I think as a class we are on our way to becoming experts. The most a class in social media can do though, is give you the basics and introduce you to everything in the hopes that you will continue use of it outside of the classroom. With presentations from people who work in the field of public relations (such as Ben Boudreau, Harold Simons  and others) we get to see how important social media is becoming in public relations and just how interesting it is. If you’re ever going to be passionate about social media, this class will do it for you. If after taking this class and you’re still indifferent to it, then perhaps you will never become a social media expert. At the end of this term I don’t think we will all be experts, but I think we will have solid foundation to go out on our own and pursue social media without fear and reservation. 

My question for you all is: do you think you’ll pursue social media further after this course ends? Do you hope to become a social media expert?

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , | 4 Comments

Work Life Balance

One of the areas in life the Generation Y is supposed to be good at, is maintaining a great work life balance. A great example of this balance can be seen in my blog, Entitled.

The girl who writes the majority of the posts for the blog has not been writing since June 3rd and will not have another entry posted until June 22. She is gone on vacation and at first she is on a work related trip, she will be leaving from there is cruise through the Bahamas. She posted to say she is taking a real vacation and will not be checking her work or personal email and definitely not blogging while she is away.

I feel this is a great practice of some of the issues she speaks about on her blog. Generation Y is better at turning everything off than their predecessors when is comes to taking time off. We understand the benefits and need for time off and complete time off. We work for it and enjoy when it comes and enjoy turning off the work part of our life.

This is not to say we do not work hard when we are at work. It simply means we know how to relax when we aren’t there. We understand the idea of leaving work at the office and we are also really good working to live and not living to work.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment

Wasting Away in the Twenties

The blog I’m following, Entitled, gives a very interesting look to the world of being twenty and a young professional. One of the issues which really struck a cord with me was the post on wasting time in our twenties.

Being a 24 year-old woman I continually find myself asking the “What am I doing?” question. I already have a degree and in less than a year I will be all done of round number two.  This causes me to ask “When is my life going to start and shouldn’t  I be more something right now?” I feel this is a common isue with the Generation Y types.

We are forced to go to school longer than any pervious generation so a young professional these days will be me, an eager 25 year-old. We constanly hear how we do this and that the wrong way and we’re lazy but I think it may be that we are more mature. Starting out, we are older and have lived through more than our parents did at our age. We take the time to know ourselves before getting married, get one or two degrees to know we can take care of ourselves and travel to understand what else is out there.

I know I have the moments common to other generation Yers where I’m thinking, where have my twenties gone and what have I accomplished. Although, I think since we start doing everything later in life there is a chance we may be more prepared for the rest of life when it happens.

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | 1 Comment