MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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What do you carry?

One of the posts from the blog I am following, Entitled, left me wondering what is I carry that really means something to me and says something about me?

The blog talks about how there are items we all carry with us that mean something to us and say something very particular about all of us.  The woman in the blog speaks about how she even carries something important to her but doesn’t believe she is superstitious.

I think even I carry around items which are very important to me but mean nothing more than they are important. We all ake comfort in certain items and when things are all going wrong there can really be something said for those items that bring instant comfort.

In this world we all live in today I think it’s important for people to find comfort any way they can. So I leave you with wondering, what are you carrying?

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | 1 Comment

A new world…

All of the aspects we have learned in this class I feel are so important in today’s PR world. I can already see the benefits it will have for us and the organizations we will work for in the future.

One of the greatest parts to all of this is the way in which we evaluate it. I think it is so important we understand how to evaluate everything we are suggesting our employers use and know when it is working and when it is not. Being able to use all different types of social media is one thing but understanding how to think strategically about it is entirely other issue.

The presentation we saw on evaluation was so valuable to me as a professional because with social media once you put something out there, it’s out there. There is no real way to take it back and understanding what will work and won’t and why can make a really big difference to organizations.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | Leave a comment

“Plug it in and Change the World” : Making Moments with Social Media

The day before C.C. Chapman spoke to our class via Skype he posted a great podcast on Managing the Gray. What I’d like to pull from the podcast is what I think could be one of the most important lessons we’ve learned about social media.

Inspired by a presentation by Ze Frank at Webstock in New Zealand, Chapman discusses creating moments through social media. For Chapman, his moment was when I guy came up to him after following the podcasts and explained that he had quit his high level executive job to follow what he really wanted to do because of Chapman’s discussions on following your passions. Definitely a jaw-dropping moment. It’s certainly easy to forget the kind of reach you may have through social media and the impact what you’re saying might have on people. I think Chapman put his thoughts on the subject very nicely so here’s the quote from his podcast:

“I’m sitting here in Massachusetts with a microphone in my Mac and I’m talking into it but the words that come out of my mouth every so often can really affect somebody. And that’s a moment. That’s when you realize, ‘wow.’ And that’s why I’ve always treated this medium as something different. And while people are out there- whether it’s podcasting, Twittering, blogging, whatever it is, while most of it is just throwing stuff out into the ether you never know when something you throw out is going to resonate. When that’s going to create a moment for yourself or somebody else.”

I think this is an important lesson for us if we are to continue using social media in the future. We must recognize that we will, potentially, hold a great deal of power in our hands and what we tweet or blog about or podcast may actually impact someone’s life one day. The idea of creating moments for people makes social media take on a whole new meaning for me. No longer is it about just getting your name/business/product out there. It’s about reaching the masses and creating your own moments and moments for others.

In closing, the song “Electric Feel” by MGMT. The lyrics were probably not meant to be about social media but I think it fits! If “electric”=computers and blogging, and “making electricity” and “changing the world” =making moments then it works, right?!! Take a listen and enjoy! It’s been great blogging for you all 🙂

“All along the eastern shore, put your circuits in the sea

This is what the world is for, making electricity

You can feel it in your mind

Oh you can do it all the time

Plug it in and change the world

You are my electric girl”

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment

The Next Step After Second Life??

In keeping with the feel of Second Life and creating “online” identities: Is this the direction we’re heading? I hope not! Cool interactive site though if you have time to play around with it. Choose your Surrogate.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Really Relevant Interesting Stuff | , , | Leave a comment

Did we cheer Twitter Revolution too quickly?

Protests in Iran from

Protests in Iran from

Wow, sometimes we get too excited over happenings in the social media realm without researching, analyzing and the big one THINKING about it!

On the blog, I am following Net Effect, Evgeny Morozov published an Op-Ed on his blog that he had sent to the Boston Globe and was also published. In his op-ed/blog, he stresses that we should look at things from the other side before we start celebrating the success of social media.

For instance, the Western World celebrated that Twitter was allowing us to know about the happenings inside Iran. However, as Morozov questions, why didn’t the Iran government block Twitter? He gives these excellent ideas:

1)It is a god-send to Iran intelligance to discover connections between activists and their outside counterparts.

2)It allows the government to follow the events happening inside closely.

Opps… yet another way for big brother to control the people. Also another example that we as intellectuals need to question more and think from the other perspective.

As social media is used more and more we need to be more inquisitive about who is able to read what we are putting out into cyberspace and who can read it.

Your thoughts?



June 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

To text, or not to text: that is the question.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Shakespeare wrote sonnets in iambic pentameter.

Did u know ur def like summer?
Ur so cool and I ly4e.

We write text messages in two-letter slangameter.

This week on Spark, Nora Young recaps a texting experiment they did with Al Rae (artistic director of the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival). In response to a New York Times article that reported some unbelievable statistics about teen texting, Spark challenged Rae to start texting as much as the average teenager. Neilson Company reports that at the end of 2008, American teens were sending an average of 2,272 texts a month. That means almost 80 texts a day. 80!

Rae stepped up to the challenge. After a few texting lessons from his daughter he attempted to become just another regular text message maniac. After a few weeks of non-stop texting, Rae didn’t quite reach an average of 80 per day; however, he did come away with an interesting perspective on text messaging. Rae said that after a few days of texting he felt a strange disassociation with the world around him. Rather than spending time fully interacting with other people, he was “subtitling and paraphrasing” his life, and publishing “a glib version” of himself.

A few Spark listeners/readers sent in their own experiences with teenage texting:
-One parent found her two children texting each other about the meal while sitting together at the dinner table.
-One high school student was sending 2000 texts a month and a significant portion of those were sent between 1am and 3am.
-A parent received a phone bill for over $500 accumulated during less than a month of texting by her teenage son. He was averaging 200 texts a day.

I’ve been a little slow getting into the world of text messaging. Right now, I’ve got 100 free texts a month and that is usually more than enough for me. When I think about teenagers who send 80 texts a day, only one thing comes to mind: communication overload. Is there such thing as TOO much communication? Too much connectivity? I think that text messaging is redefining our boundaries of availability and our standards of communication. We’re expanding quantity and downsizing quality. It’s a 24/7 world and it’s getting hard to separate ourselves from the technology we’ve created.

Texting isn’t just a teenage trend, but some of the effects on teenagers are a little startling. According to this article, physicians and psychologists have said that excessive texting is leading to “anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation.” Instead of going to sleep or even finding a few minutes of peace and quiet at the end of the day, teenagers are interrupted by a beep, ring or vibration that is calling for an immediate response. And many times, where you find a teenager thumbing away on an unlimited texting plan, you can also find a parent leaning face first into a BlackBerry. I could write a lot more about this article and the effects of text messaging on teenagers, adults and families, but instead I’ll recommend that you read the article and leave you to think it over.

To text or not to text? That is the question.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Really Relevant Interesting Stuff, Review of Monitored Site | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s been a fun and interesting ride!

It is hard to believe tomorrow we enter our last week in our Social Media class. Seriously, the time flew by! I have to admit  this class has been an eye-opening experience. I feel so lucky to be ahead of the game in regards to social media and its use in business, marketing and PR from this class and I am nervous to leave in case a new social media tool creeps up and I won’t hear about it. (oh no, I’m concerned about being left out of developing social media apps. Has this class turned me into a Web 2.0 geek?)

Although I found learning about all the different social media tools (blogs, wikis, twitter, flickr and even skype was new to me) fascinating, it wasn’t until we had the opportunity to speak with C.C. Chapman that this exciting world of social media hit home for me.

C.C. was so down-to-earth and spoke about social media in plain language (Too much tech talk before turns me off). After hearing about his agency’s, The Advance Guard, advance buzz campaign for True Blood I was captivated. So I read more about this particular campaign and watched videos on the response. I even found myself showing it to people who barely know me at work and gushing about how well done I thought it was. This campaign was the perfect mix of social media and traditional marketing. As mentioned in our first reading by Tracey Taweel, people love to communicatewith each other, but we also love to communicate in different forms. If we only had ICQ, and couldn’t talk on the phone, in person or in any other form what a lonely world we would live in. This campaign not only tapped into newer social media as a forum to intregue influencers with social capital, but they used the old fashioned post office communicating.

It is exciting campaigns like The Advance Guard’s True Blood and people like C.C. Chapman that get me excited about social media and how we can use it as a new tool among all the other tools we have in our red PR tool boxes.

Thank you Dr. D for this fantastic experience. Turning on a computer will never be the same for me ever again!



P.S. By the way, ever since C.C. Chapman skyped into my life and I discovered True Blood, I’ve been a little obsessed. For your viewing pleasure, the teaser for True Blood season two.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Last Post…

So this is it, my last official blog post. I have mixed feelings as a write this post, I am sad that the course is coming to a close, but also to be filled with knowledge of what social media is all about.

On the first day of class I was nervous and excited. I was not comfortable with my social media skills and when I was told all the exercises we were going to be doing, my stomach did a little bit of a flip. Blogs, Wikis, pos casts… WhAT!?!? I had used these tools, but to actually make when. I am a facebook geek, and I would tweet and blog from time to time, but to actually learn the purposes or blogs, wikis, podcasts was a great experience. I find my self a lot more comfortable with the different social media tools, and actually know what they do and where to get access to them.

I also enjoyed reading my classmates posts. Each post was unique and very informative. It was also nice to see how our personalities are shown in our posts; just by reading them you can guess who wrote them. I would also like to say thank you to all the great guests speakers that we had. All of them brought new ideas to the table, and open my mind to what social media has to offer and how it different tools can play different parts in organizations.

Last but not least. Thanks DeNel.  You made this class fun and interesting for the last 6 weeks. You kept us working hard and always had us on our toes. In my opinion, I think this course should be a mandatory class. Social media is growing fast, and all up coming PR practitioners should learn the ropes.

Au revoir mes amis!

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One PR Student’s Optimistic View of Social Media

There has not been an updated blog on the Ascentum site since June 4th so I decided to to my last blog on my thoughts on Social Media thus far.

At times I feel overwhelmed with the vastness of the internet and I think I am not alone when saying that I can easily get social media fatigue. I think the trick is to look at Social Media as an addition to the mediums in which you gain your knowledge and not a replacement for important acts in our lives.

The concept of Social Media reminds me of something my farther said to me when I was in High School.

“There will always be a need for people to specialize in one area of expertise, but if you truly want to understand others it is better to know a little about a lot of things then to know a lot about one thing.”

This is what social media allows. It permits people to dip into the thoughts of others and gain snippets of information otherwise not seen by traditional media. If this holds true social media will help people progress and better understand each other and understanding foster peace.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“That was so last week.”

Yet another interesting week on Spark. Nora Young posted her interview with Bill Wasik, senior editor at Harper’s magazine and author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture. Wasik is also the creator of the ‘flash mob’ and he has a lot say about the media culture we’re living in. In case you’re not hip with the lingo, according to Wikipedia, a flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, and then quickly disperse. A good example is the T-Mobile video we watched last week in class.

Wasik has been studying what he calls “nano stories” and the internet phenomenon of the micro-celebrity. Everything on the internet is delivered faster and information is boiled down to these little provocative stories. Susan Boyle, who skyrocketed to fame after an amazing performance on Britain’s Got Talent is a prime example of a micro-celebrity. As Wasik says, “move over big celebrities because here come the amateurs”. In order to make your big break, all you need is a comfy chair, a computer and a high speed internet connection. Our society is becoming so accustomed to the rapid speed of the internet that our thirst for novelty is growing insatiable. Susan Boyle sang one song and became an instant celebrity, primarily through the viral market of YouTube. A week and a half later, the excitement was dimming and viewers might have looked back and wondered where it came from and where it’s going to go.

For Susan Boyle, she rode high on the wings of fame for about a month and then came in second place on Britain’s Got Talent. The Star reports that after some makeover backlash, a few meltdowns and being admitted to the hospital for exhaustion, Boyle has begun to sing again. And how many people are watching now? Probably only a fraction of the 200 million who viewed her first performance on YouTube. “Swept up, forgotten, and we’re on to the next thing.” We built her up, and we can easily knock her down.

Now this can’t all be a bad thing. I doubt that Susan Boyle intended to become and remain the greatest celebrity in the world. Maybe these 15 minutes of fame have brought her a great deal of happiness. What I find really interesting is our speed-dating approach to information and entertainment.

Wasik makes a few more interesting points:
-Discourse has migrated to the internet. This is shown in the phenomenon of the micro-celebrity. Something or someone is the talk of the world wide town for awhile; but, soon it’s onto the new idea or new band.
-Internet forces people to market themselves in the same way corporations do. “We use the tricks we’ve been taught, but on the other hand, we know the tricks well enough that we’re not entirely fooled by them. We’re way more aware of them than we used to be.”

After listening to this interview, I was asking the same question as Wasik: is it a good thing for our culture that we’re so aware and that these cycles are turning over and over?

I’m still sitting on the fence. The fast pace of the internet world can be exciting and refreshing, yet also frustrating and overwhelming. It’s changing the way we create and process information, and I think our culture is taking the fast lane when it may be wise to enjoy the scenery for a little while. Okay, so maybe I’m not completely on the fence. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, “Slow down, you move too fast!”

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment