MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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I mean seriously don’t be a ‘Twater’ .. it’s Friday, jam a little.

Mistah F.A.B. – Hit Me On Twitter


June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

And I’ll Get Expelled for Plagiarism?

Alright, so here’s the thing, journalists are flat out admitting that not only did they not check their facts in regards to this Wikipedia quote by Shane Fitzgerald but they flat out lifted it from the site. So there are professionals, who went through what can only be assumed as four years of rigorous university training, at least, to become the truth breeders of the world, directly copying fake quotes, and I’m going to get kicked out of school if I forget to put a quotation mark around three words that were directly from a book even though “if the” are the first three words. Really?

Don’t get me wrong, I never have nor ever will in my life take someone else’s’ work and call it my own. Not to sound arrogant, but I believe I’m above that. To be blatantly honest I think expulsion is a great consequence for plagiarizers. What I want to know is what the media is going to do about their slack reporters who pull an obviously “too good to be true”, as Fitzgerald puts it, quote off of a communal encyclopedia and call it a conclusion. I’m sorry, but if I’m going to spend the majority of my university years worrying about where to put the right comma to ensure I’m not a word thief, then a simple Britney Spears style “Oops, we did it again,” doesn’t do it for me.

I guess it all really comes back to what we talked about in class, questioning everything we read. I have a friend who graduated from King’s College with a degree in English. When I commented on the unbelievable amount of reading for some of her classes and asked her if she really had to read it all to follow along in class she told me this, “Probably not. But I do the reading because I realized that if I didn’t then I would simply be accepting someone else’s point of view on the material without discovering if it was actually my own or not.” She’s a brilliant girl to begin with, but after that I made sure to do all my class readings. The point is, she taught me that despite the fact that her professor is supposed to be an “authority” she wanted to make sure that she knew for herself that the source knew what they were talking about. Perhaps our journalists could take a lesson from Heather Thomson.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Questioning the Source

Alright, so if I’m being brutally honest, is an incredibly lame name for a website.  Despite my 100% confidence in Dr. Rehberg-Sedo’s social media brilliance, I was totally not looking forward to wading through countless media releases sent by every Jane, Henry and Joe who thinks they know how to practice effective PR on a weekly basis to try to find someone that had a notable thought and expanding upon said thought to create brilliance of my own, which, by the way, is obviously abundant. Today, I’m officially repenting of my assumptive sins. To my surprise, and extreme delight if I may add, this site is actually a well put together and incredibly interesting setting for a bi-weekly podcast by Neville Hobson (ABC) and Shel Holtz (ABC) called The Hobson & Holtz Report. Catchy eh?

Throughout class this week though I started to think, sure, the topics they choose are definitely interesting and I could comment on any one or multiple podcasts. But before I do that, I’d have to listen to them, and after our discussion on questioning everything, I started to wonder, why should I listen to them? So I did some research. Tonight I’d like to present you with, what I hope will be a brief analysis of these men and their lives works…as far as I can tell from google anyway. That way you can make an informed decision about whether you’ll stay tuned to hear my take on their take or whether you’ll choose to politely pass by my posts concerning Hobson and Holtz for the next four weeks.

Let’s begin with Hobson shall we?

Neville Hobson

I think it’s worthy of note that when I typed in Neville Hobson google informed me that there were 143,000 applicable web page. Wow. I put my name into google and found, well a porn star from the 1980’s. In addition to his impressive google profile, he’s got 4,145 twitterers tweeting after his every word and 2,584 confirmed, dedicated bloggers to boot. If we’re talking sheer quantity (over quality of course), I’m definitely impressed. Obviously someone thinks this guy has something to say, but should that really count for something?

According to his website,, Hobson has been a communicator for the past 25 year and is still holding strong. In addition to being an accredited IABC member he has worked in numerous aspects of the field including the all intimidating investor and financial relations. He’s a company founder, a volunteer, a consultant, an author, an early adopter, a blogger, a podcaster, a tweeter, and a guy with an opinion. Currently residing in the UK, Hobson has worked all over Europe and the US.

Shel Holtz

Alright, so Holtz falls short of Hobson on the google article finder at a mere 91,700 articles, but hey, Deidra Hopkins is still a porn star so I guess he’s at least more impressive than I am at any rate. While his google numbers are low he does beat out Hobson on the twitter meter with a whopping 4,537 followers and is perhaps more humble as he lacks a friend counter on his blog. He wants us to be able to reach him though because you can find him on a variety of social media sites including: Digg, Flickr, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube,, Skype, Gmail, Technorati, MyBlogLog and Utterz.

Holtz has been working in communications for close to 30 years and is the current principal at Holtz Communication + Technology. Before that Holtz worked in various communications environments where he had the opportunity to master the art of organizational communications on varying levels including financial relations and even marketing communications. His work is both corporate and consultant based and he has always tried to be at the forefront of technology so that he could infuse that newness into each organization’s culture. An IABC Fellow, the highest honor bestowed upon IABC members, Holtz is a trusted member of the global communications world.

So what do you think?
Are they worth listening to?

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

You’re not intelligent, but your pen is smart!

This social media thing gets a little redundant from time to time. I find myself knowing the same information, learning new tools, asking and answering similar questions, but mainly I find myself losing and gaining interest almost as much as I shower. Okay maybe that was a bit much, but seriously—every time I begin to write my blog I switch from losing interest in social media to becoming completely fascinated by it.
Five minutes ago that exact thing just happened. But then I read this post on the blog I’m monitoring (  This was a post from Prof Wesch on Mar 11, 2009 titled “SmartPen as Digital Ethnography Tool”.  This is the craziest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I mean, have you ever seen something online or on YouTube and said “this can’t be real?” I.e. the YouTube video, “Microsoft Surface” that received over two million views.
But this SmartPen is real. Prof Wesch describes the pen by saying “In short, it records audio as you write and links what you are writing to the audio (by recording what you write through a small infrared camera near the tip of the pen).  When you are done recording you can actually tap the pen anywhere on your page and the pen will play the audio that was recorded at the time you were making that specific pen stroke.  Students are already sharing lecture notes in the community section of  As recording devices become increasingly embedded into everyday objects the days of protecting lectures from being recorded seem numbered.”
He includes his first use of the pen during his midterm research updates by his assistants. You can enlarge the image and actually click anywhere on his notes and you can here the discussion that took place while he wrote his own notes. The interesting, and I hate to say it but –ironic- part is; when I clicked on his notes, the discussion happened to be centered around “ownership” and “authorship” in the context of code, and developing websites.
He uses the example of a painting belonging to the artist who painted it, but if he used Photoshop, would his image belong to the creator of that software, where the image now belongs to the paintbrush and not the person using the paintbrush. I say this is “ironic” and I say that lightly, because if a student uses a tool like this to share lectures and lecture notes isn’t it the same idea of ownership? Who will own that knowledge or lecture? Will it still be the professor who originally wrote the lecture and taught it to his students? Or the student who wrote her notes and recorded it with her pen? Or the makers of the software that allowed that pen to copy the lecture? Or even still would it be the person who coded the site that allowed that student to upload his/her professor’s lecture with the Livescibe pen and share it with the world?
Ahhh this is so exhausting…but so fascinating.
Chew on that for a while ☺

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The right to be heard

I found it interesting that the first sentence in the introduction of this article was a question; an unanswered question – “Does Web 2.0 mean anything?” It’s almost amusing that as students we are asking the same question as web research and developers. I know there are specific definitions as to what Web 2.0 is and the types of tools and collaboration that makes Web 2.0 exist, but what does it mean to the people who don’t actually care? The people who don’t own a computer? The people who aren’t connected to the Internet? Or the people who use the computer and Internet every day but only for work, not for research, or Web 2.0 uses?
The question of the “right to communicate” is an interesting one. I didn’t really even think about it, to be honest. But as citizens we all know we have the right to free speech and freedom of opinion and expression, so what happens when the only way to voice your opinion is through a video posted to the web? A comment box on the website? An email? An online survey?
The people who either have accessibility issues, or disabilities, or the people who aren’t connected but still hold the same rights of freedom of opinion and expression are now left without an outlet. This just emphasizes the importance of continuing already existing communications with the addition of Web 2.0 technologies. We can’t simply just leave many people behind and ignore their rights to communicate with us. I understand that certain campaigns or companies will target specific audiences, and those people may not have communication issues, but for … say … the government, it is much more important to be able to give everyone the same opportunity to voice concerns, opinions, and comments. Everyone should be apart of the conversation.
Any thoughts?

Kim Bottomley

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

The apple fell and landed on a “big fat gay collab”

I am following , a very interesting blog developed by a Kansas State University working group led by Dr. Michael Wesch. Their blog is “dedicated to exploring and extending the possibilities of digital ethnography.”
My first response post must be dedicated to their most recent blog post. The post features two videos – the first an old Apple advertisement about the Internet and what possibilities it would bring (at a time when very few were actually on the Internet).  The ad posed a question, “What would you do?” if you had the Internet, and many comments spilling all over YouTube were disgusting and hateful towards many groups.
Wesch continues his post speaking about the considerable amount of GLBT hatred on YouTube and other social sites. He ends his post with an inspiring video flying around YouTube at lightning speed. It is called The Big Fat Gay Collab! and it did make me emotional. For one, I love the song – Lily Allan rocks. And two, it’s just so true – real people being true to themselves and saying Fuck You to all the haters that are too small minded to think outside of their own lives. Personally, I think this is a brilliant video, and an opportunity to eff up the saying ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. I assume the people who participated in this video feel that they have been burned enough times by people who also ignore the ‘nice rule’ that a backlash was necessary. And I can’t disagree.
This blog has many other great posts. I hope you all find it as interesting as I do. Stay tuned for what I expect to be more posts that push some boundaries. P.S. Prof. Wesch uses a lot of embedded YouTube videos in his blog. I like it.
Kim Bottomley
May 14, 2009

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wonder world

Wow, I can’t believe blogging is a requirement for a university course; this is actually amazing. I am so excited for the social media seminar; this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. And it seems there is no better place to start than with Tracey Taweel’s paper, Social Media, Social Capital and Public Relations.
This paper was a great read for the introduction of the social media class. With the evolution of communication and society’s dependence on the Internet, Taweel is right when she says; this dependence also presents a lot of choices when it comes to social media options. The question of which method to use, when, why and to connect with whom, are questions I hope to find answers to in this class.
In my time as a PR practioner, working on my co-ops I have found that many organizations do recognize the importance of using the Internet and social media as a primary information source, and the importance of having a strong web presence, but few know exactly how to do that. Few organizations understand how to utilize the same channels that their stakeholders and clients are utilizing.
I agree with Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, authors of Groundswell – organizations need to encourage, listen and connect with those who use social media tools and they need to spend time answering consumers’ questions, responding to their blog outbursts, and correcting misinformation that flies around in cyberspace.  The recent Domino’s crisis (which didn’t have to be a crisis) is a prime example of the way social media can cause an unnecessary issue if the organization isn’t paying attention to what social media it’s employees, consumers’ and stakeholders are using. If you aren’t monitoring what is being said, if you aren’t connecting with those around you who are online and participating in these trends, than you will end up being slapped in the face by it.
James Grunig said it best, “new media offers tremendous potential for environmental scanning, issues management, rumor control and crisis communication…”
Today, people are all about the videos. Everyone has a video camera on their mobile device, or a video option on their digital camera. People are uploading their videos as often as they upload and share pictures. is a great example of this new wave of video popularity. This website is the one-stop-shop of how-to videos. They have it all from how to dance, to how to make a toothpick launcher with a clothespin and string. And if you are creating your own video for your website, is a platform that enables users to add video channels to their sites based on topics. This site provides video discovery, social networking, and custom players. They even have a live chat so you can talk directly with a web video expert.
I definitely believe that what scares organizations away from using social media is the lack of control they have over the way their message is used once it’s out there.  Taweel’s paper says, consumers now have a choice whether or not to accept your message and they will be happy to tell you and everyone in their online community what they think about it. That can be a scary thing, but it can also be an amazingly exciting thing.
My hope is this class will provide me with the tools to evaluate when it’s right to use social media, who to connect to and why, and most importantly how to evaluate the use.
Kim Bottomley
May 12, 2009

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matt Goes National

Matt tweeted yesterday about Bill IP21C, which, if passed, would allow the police to get personal information from ISPs. His message was picked up by a CBC producer who sent a local reporter to interview him. According to Matt, and as usual, not everything he wanted to argue was picked up in the final report. “I had expressed in the interview how I thought the internet should be free from governance and free for everyone to share and search without the fear of being monitored by police or the feds,” Matt wrote to me in an email. “But they left that part out haha.”

I think we’re all beginning to understand the potential of new media.

Way to go, Matt!

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment