MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

“social networks spread defiance online” – NY Times

Well guys and girls, this is supposed to be my traditional comment on my monitored site. But unfortunately my site has not been updated since May when I was originally assigned to Prof. Wesch’s blog. So lucky for you, I won’t be talking about YouTube or Anthropology today.

Instead I want to talk about how social networks are spreading defiance online. That’s right; I’m talking about the article in Monday’s New York Times. I found the link on Prof. Wesch’s blog.

Just so you know what I’m talking about: “As the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging those traditional levers of state media control and allowing Iranians to find novel ways around the restrictions.”

Yup, the government has limited the country’s access to the Internet and has tried to stop Iranians from using Twitter to form groups and organize protests. Basically it comes down to censorship. This is really quite depressing if you think about it. These social tools are what’s keeping Iranians focused and positive and providing them a way to communicate with one another during such a trying time. The government was restricting the media coverage regarding the election so the only way the stories were being told and heard were through social tools such as Twitter. These tweets were being re-tweeted or “echoed” across the world.

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School (an Internet expert) said “As each new home for this material becomes a new target for censorship, a repressive system faces a game of whack-a-mole in blocking Internet address after Internet address carrying the subversive material.”

I encourage the class and DeNel to pay close attention to this story as it develops. I have a feeling this will bring light to social media issues we have not thought about before.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Really Relevant Interesting Stuff, Review of Monitored Site | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Last Post…

Since this is may be my last post *tear* I felt it should be related to our futures as we move on from Denel’s Social Media Seminar. For some of us it’s graduation, for others… it’s next semester. Since I didn’t really want to write about Shel Holtz’ Blog this week I had to think hard about what I should write about.

Maybe I should write about the great things I’ve learned like social media measurment from Martin Delaney or maybe how much we appreciated @cc_chapman‘s help connecting us with his friend Julien Smith. Maybe I should say what a wonderful professor Denel has been to us, fair, understanding and tons of fun. I could do that and try to bring tears to our eyes but frankly I don’t think I’m capable AND it wouldn’t really be in the spirit of social media.

We’ve learned that Web 2.0 is about sharing not exploitation. We’ve learned that social media is about creating two-way dialogues and we’ve learned that we all have SERIOUS social capital and a really great network of talented and smart young women … and me.

I figure this post should be valuable if anything. I was considering posting some videos to make everyone laugh or a case study that we could use in the future but then I thought that would be a bad idea because this post still counts for marks.

So I’d like to share with everyone some things that I think are valuable, like cool ideas that may help you land a job in social media, or at an agency or whereever you think is cool. Hopefully these ideas will prompt you to think outside the box not only when it comes to work but to finding work as well.

Cool Idea Number 1. Make a Facebook ad about yourself!

Facebook has really, really, really targeted ads for really, really, really, cheap. How can you pimp this? Target the agencies interests, find out some of the interests of people in the agency combine that with a snazzy little ad such as REVOLVE SHOULD HIRE ME. With the right amount of research the right people will see your ads and at should least give you a look. Link that ad to a website, online CV/Resume/portfolio/blog/naked pics. Ok, Maybe not the last one unless you are looking for jobs outside of PR.

Check out the publicity this guy got for 98 cents!!

Cool Idea 2. Design a HOT online portfolio.

The days of the leave behind are virtually over and the virtual leave behind is here. Can you design websites? Do you have sweet skills online? Make an online portfolio! Or … Are you like me? Do you lack the steez necessary to create your own website? No worries,  I bet you have a friend that have those skills and if you don’t you know someone who knows someone who does.

Check these online portfolios for some ideas.


Cool Idea Number 3.

This isn’t really a cool idea more than it is something cool to consider. I’ve been searching and scouring the internet and seeing what sort of people have really cool jobs and seem to be making decent money doing it. As graduates and soon to be graduates from Mount Saint Vincent University, the unknown little blip on the side of the Bedford Highway, we are probably the most industry ready graduates in the country. I shit you not.

Between our education, work experience and  the attitude and comraderie this program instills in its graduates makes us more than  ready to become industry rockstars.

So, fear not graduates and soon to be graduates you will find jobs in your field if that is what you desire.  Despite recessions, despite increased competition and IN SPITE of swine flu. Allow your swag juice to drip freely on the floor because you’ve earned the right to.

That’s all I really have … I actually have more but I fear this may turn into a Molson commercial before too long.

Thank you Denel for a great semester, good luck grads and to my homies in the 3rd … do what it do.


June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

How I Learned that Social Media is More Than Just Facebook and You Tube

A few other people have written posts on what they have gotten out of this course, and I have to agree with them. When I signed up for this senior seminar, I never imagined I would learn as much as I did in just a few weeks.

The speakers that we had were able to demonstrate for us how social media is used in the real world of marketing, pr and communications. This was totally new to me, but I found the lectures interesting and will definitely apply my learning in future jobs. Whether we are ready for it or not, social media is something that many  of us are about to face as we enter the working world

Not only did we cover plenty of theory, but we were able to apply our learning to practice. By focusing on different areas of social media each week, we were able to get hands on approach to many different sites. Second Life and Twitter were two websites that I didn’t know much about before starting this course, and now I have experience using both of them. The blog and the wiki were also interesting tools to use- it was really great to be able to integrate them into our learning and actually use them, instead of just learning about them.

I remember Denel mentioning that she thought that in a few years this course would be required for the PR program, and I couldn’t agree more. Social media is becoming a huge part of the PR world and is expanding at an alarming rate. It’s hard to keep up with, but with the training and knowledge that we have gained from this course, I think that we can all say we are a few steps ahead of where we were two months ago.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | 1 Comment

Mommies Like Social Media Too

The Motrin Ad.

Is there really anything else to say? Other than HIDEOUS?

I was embarassed for the company while watching that ad. I couldn’t believe that was their take on Motherhood, and that they truly felt that’s what it means to be a mom.

I think what it comes down to is the fact that whoever was behind this ad obviously knew nothing about motherhood, and nothing about the power of social media.

If this ad was on TV, I’m sure these media savvy mommies would have been just as angry and still could have voiced their anger online. However; what they would have been missing was the ability to link their comments to the specific commercial or share the links with their social networks. Because this ad was online, they were able to easily share it with the cyber world.  Also, I’m sure if this ad was released on television it wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much negative feedback in such a short amount of time.

This is the beauty of social media. The public has a voice, which was clearly demonstrated with this case.  Part of the article showed a great quote from the Vancouver Sun:

“They (moms) were making their views known in an online storm that blasted through the blogosphere and the micro-blogging website Twitter, spiking traffic and spreading bad news about the brand”

I think this was a huge wake up call for Motrin, who apparently didn’t have any idea of the chaos that was happening over this ad.

This whole mishap makes me very thankful that I chose to take this course.  If I’m ever in charge of putting together an internet ad for a company, I’ll know all the bases to cover.  And I’ll most certainly do some background research on the target audience.

What do you think of the power of internet ads over television ads?

Farewell to you all!


June 17, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | | Leave a comment

Libraries in the Digital World

This week while monitoring In Media Res, I came across an interesting piece called Bug vs. Book: The Eternal Struggle. The piece began about library books and why it’s important to take care of them. Doesn’t seem very relevant to this blog, does it? Well the piece then goes on to talk about how libraries are attempting to keep up with today’s modern students in a virtual world.

E-mail, Second Life, Facebook and instant messaging are all methods that are now available for students seeking library research. These new methods are certainly convenient; why travel all the way to campus when you have a world of knowledge at your fingertips?

Like everything in our world today, libraries (and librarians!) are becoming digital. I’m not sure that I am ready to fully embrace this concept, given that I have a hard time looking up journal articles on the online database, but I am wondering if these new, digital libraries are something that someone in the class might have used before. Is this something that most students are using now a days and I’m just late to jump on the bandwagon?

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment

Motrin Causes Mommy Headaches

I know I’ve been talking a lot about YouTube and its role in social marketing or just building communities, but I have to do it one more time – so bare with me.

This post isn’t even necessarily directed at a YouTube “issue”. Rather more focused on Motrin’s lame attempt at delving into social media marketing. The article discusses the Motrin ad and compares it to other “social media infernos”, but I also think there are some key lessons that Motrin learned (hopefully) from the disaster that was their Controversial Motrin Moms Commercial.

The first issue I found with this whole campaign is that Motrin did not look for or listen to feedback. After 48 hours, other social media sites (other than YouTube) were flooded with conversation of disgust centered around the advertisement. Clearly Motrin did not do their research about social media and how to use one tool effectively and other tools to monitor the response and ongoing conversation after the release of the ad into the online world.  Note to all organizations: you must understand more than one social tool and/or network before unleashing an advertisement, message, conversation, etc. to people who completely understand and respect the tools and the conversations that occur in that environment.

What’s even more shocking is they didn’t even go online to find mothers/mommy bloggers and ask how they felt about the advertisement. And they didn’t even think to include mothers in the process of developing the advertisement in the first place. This completely boggles my mind. The ad probably doesn’t make any sense to mothers. I mean, I doubt that if Motrin ran a focus group with mothers, the majority of them would identify ‘fashionably wearing their baby when it causes them so much pain’ a major concern. I doubt they would say, “if only I had a pain killer I could strut around with my fashionable baby strap all day long!!” Puuhhhllleeeaassee!!

Anyway, basically I think it’s time that organizations become a little bit a lot more responsible when it comes to using social media. There are way too many examples of what NOT to do, and how-to-do-it-right. Anyone can learn, it’s just a matter of the organization taking the time to do it, and paying attention.

This class is ending and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. I have learned so much and I’ve had such a great time doing it. I can already see how this knowledge I have picked up is going to help me in the PR world. Employers are excited about it and I’m excited about it. I think CC is on to something…eventually (and I can’t wait) the term “social media” will fade away and it will quickly become a part of common communication practices.

Peace out PBRL 4405!! It’s been a time!

Kim 🙂

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , , , | 3 Comments

Fundraising via SM

After reading Social Media ROI –  a calculator for not-for-profits, I was really interested in the tools that Rhodes recommended because I still have questions about the success of fundaraising through SM. We all know what ROI, metrics and measurable objective mean to organizations and those who work in social media. It’s the difference between what we do for a paycheque and a hobby. Since it’s beginning to become easier to quantify social media investment with tools like Radian6 and The Social Network ROI Calculator it’s also becoming easier to put a dollar value on what the work is actually worth.

But is social media the best avenue for fundraising? According to author and president of Community Driven Institute, Hildy Gottlieb fundraising through social media is not sustainable and tools such like ChipIn and Just Giving are virutal ‘begging bowls.’  However she does believe that there is a place for social media in fundraising. For instance generating awareness and driving traffic to your website or events. I agree.

This is where I believe social media is most effective, in creating awareness, reach and building communitiy engagement. The real power in social media is that it has the ability to generate interest and caring about initiatives. I think Twitter spamming and Facebook spamming isn’t as effective as people think.

I think before we go off trying to use social media to solve all of our problems we should stop and analyse what social media does best and where it has had its most success.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A bittersweet farewell

After going over our last reading, Social media ROI – a calculator for not for profit campaigns, I’m filled with a sense of awe and accomplishment.

Not necessarily because of the reading itself, but for what the reading represents.

The reading detailed how social media campaigns, specifically for non-profits, can be measured in dollar value. It also linked to a “calculator” that outlined the formula to determine whether or not using social media would be cost efficient.

Instead of regurgitating the formula, I’d like to speak to what this reading represents, and what this course as a whole has represented: the dawn of an era that we are already a part of… perhaps the “age of information.”

This course has been invaluable in opening my (if not all of your) eyes to what is out there. It’s forced us to step outside of our bubbles, and has exposed us to countless new phenomena, issues, ideas and happenings.

After all, who knew a calculator existed that could determine the value of a social media campaign? Who knew that online communities could serve as the new grief counsellors, or that Twitter could serve as a platform for both scientific experiments and pizza sales?

This course has helped me realize the power of the Internet (more specifically, Web 2.0), and that all of this information and more is (quite literally) at our fingertips.

The possibilities are endless, and in our social and professional lives, we are being thrust into this new world that is expanding exponentially.

Professionally, this course has given me a new perspective in terms of what my future career(s) may hold, what will be expected of me, and what I will need to do to stay afloat. It’s caused me to revise my personal ethics and moral standards, as it’s obvious that these facets will have to expand and adjust to fit each new wave of growth.

I took this course as an elective, but I think  it’s been one of the most useful courses I’ve taken so far in this degree. In fact, I think it should be made mandatory – not only in PR, but in degrees such as Business, Psychology, Sociology and Cultural Studies as well.

This has also been one of the most demanding courses I’ve taken so far. That being said, I think it’s been justified because of the massive amount that we’ve had to learn, and that without the push, we would not have retained nearly as much.

I’ve learned more from this blog than from most text books I’ve read, so thank you all for that!

Signing off for the last time…

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | 2 Comments

Iranian People Have a Voice Thanks to Twitter

Read the article!!!! Absolutely world changing.

I believe we are witnessing the end of corrupt government censoring the voices of its people and media. Now thanks to social media the public has the tools to be the media. The Iranian government has banned the media from reporting on the escalating protests, disputing the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

That is not stooping the streams of information on the protests from reaching around the world at rapid speeds. Journalists and members of the public have been using Twitter to send real-time messages of breaking developments.  

One of the most interesting twists to this story is that Twitter was schedule to have service interruptions in order to upgrade their network this week but has postponed the upgrades by request of the US state department because of the important role the communication tool is playing on the people of Iran.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Is that really you?

Like every other week, I’ve been keeping you updated on the Community Marketing Blog. This week when I went to see what I could write about, something seemed odd. For the second week in a row the post had not yet been changed and was dated. Now, I know people are busy but don’t you think the blog should be kept up to date constantly considering this specific blog is used to communicate best practices with proffessionals? However, the rest of the page is being updated, I just find it odd that the top story does not.
On June 11, Ellen Bradt, winner of the blog-off contest posted an interesting article. If you’re interested you should read I Don’t Like What You Wrote. You Should Be Poisoned, Garrotted, Stabbed With Stiletto Heels, Thrown Off A Tall Building, and Have Vultures Eat Your Liver. This article touched on an interesting topic: identity online. Ellen goes on to talk about how you never know who you will meet online. For the most part people are genuine and friendly but you never know. So how can you make sure that you are not meeting sketchy people online? Well you can’t; I guess you just have to trust your own judgement. Since the internet is not only used for professional but also our personal lives, this brings in a sense of insecurity and skepticism on t he trust we give people. With online dating sites being popular, how do people know that they are not setting themselves up for disaster and dissapointement?

To me it seems easier to get to know someone in person. I guess I prefer meeting people face to face rather than online.

June 17, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , | Leave a comment