MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

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

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

Tips for Social Media Success

This week I listened to The Dean’s Podcast (episode 6) about the use of social media in graduate recruitment. This was especially relevant because not only was I directed to it by Denel, but it relates to the topic of my communication plan for this class (MSVU’s MPR program).

The podcast features an interview with Noreen Golfman, Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University. The podcast is hosted by Carolyn Watters, Dean of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie. It’s a really interesting and relevant topic and I encourage you guys to check it out if you haven’t already.

Through the use of their new social media campaign, MUN increased the visitors to their site from 5000 to 38, 000 in the first 24 hours of its launch. Golfman offers a lot of advice about using social media for this target market, but her advice could be applied to anyone’s social media communication plan. Highlights include:

• Don’t just update your website – All of your online tools need to have a connection to each other and have the same main focus. There needs to be coherence among every link.

 • Make sure that everything is easy to navigate – Graduate students are “shopping” online for different programs so make sure that all information is available and accessible.

 • Stay on top of it – Keep everything up to date and current at all times.

 Hope some of this is helpful!

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Really Relevant Interesting Stuff | | Leave a comment


I came across a piece today on IMR titled The Latest Experiment in Online Journalism. The article talked about a new website called True/Slant that has been receiving a lot of buzz in the journalism world. The website has already been covered in newspapers like The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

True/Slant describes itself as “original content news network tailored to both the entrepreneurial journalist and marketers who want a more effective way to engage with digital audiences.” Basically, it is a place where contributors, consumers and marketers all share an equal voice.

I thought that this was a great example of how social media is opening the gate for open two way communication in all aspects of our lives.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | | Leave a comment

Skype for Business Use – Why or Why Not?

Before today’s class, I had never used Skype. I knew about it and understood how it worked, many of my friends use it to keep in touch while travelling abroad, and my brother uses it to keep in touch with his friends in England, but for some reason I just wasn’t jumping on the bandwagon.

Having Harold Simons give our class a lecture via Skype was an eye opening (and enjoyable!) experience. Out of all of the different technological tools that we study in class, Skype seems to be the most practical and useful one thus far. When Denel mentioned that many Skype users choose it as an alternative to long distance telephone calls, I was surprised once again- I hadn’t really looked at it that way.

So I decided to do a little more research into the Skype phenomenon and found out that many businesses are taking advantage of this new technology for meetings, seminars, etc. One of the more interesting articles I found compared the positive aspects of Skype for business use with the negative aspects. The article gets a little bit technical, but raises some interesting points. Which made me wonder what you guys think.  Is it something that you guys have worked with on any of your work terms? Will Skype become the next great office tool?

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | | 2 Comments

You Tube, Obama and Paris Hilton

While monitoring my blog this week I  came across a piece about the effect that You Tube had on the most recent presidential election ( The fact that You Tube was even involved in the debate demonstrates what a powerful tool it is in our world today.

The article made me think of a project that I did on politics and crisis communication last term, and how sites like You Tube are changing the dynamic for almost everything in the world of politics. For the project we examined the political sparring between Obama and McCain and focused on the McCain advertisement that compared Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

As a response to this ad, Paris Hilton created her own mock election advertisement which was distributed on the internet and had countless hits on You Tube. This made me think; if Paris Hilton is able to have her voice heard when it comes to a topic that she has nothing to do with, like the presidential election, does this demonstrate that anyone can have their voice heard in this new age of technology?

This could be seen as both a positive and negative thing. Is it bad that just anyone can put their opinions out there and gain followers? Or is this a whole new platform for free speech?

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | | Leave a comment

Teen Second Life

Given that everyone had such strong opinions on Second Life, I decided to do a bit of research on it and discovered that there is also a Teen Second Life (TSL).  It’s basically the same idea as the original, but targeted towards 13 to 17 year olds.


Many people posted blogs saying that they were a bit uncomfortable with different aspects of the Second Life world. I originally thought that introducing this to the adolescent world create a whole new set of issues and concerns.


However, as I learned more about TSL I discovered some articles listing some positive aspects of the program. One of the more in depth articles can be found here –


The article is written by a school librarian and talks about how her and other educators have ‘taken up shop,’ on TSL and really shows what a huge phenomenon this virtual world really is.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | | Leave a comment

Are your grandparents on Facebook?

This week while monitoring IMR I came across a piece about seniors going online, Are you on Facebook? Seniors and new communication technologies ( The article features some interesting facts, like 46% of all seniors over the age of 65 are active internet users.


We always talk about the impact that the online world and social media will have on our generation, but what about the impact that it’s having on other generations? The video that accompanies this article takes the viewer inside an old age home where the residents are being introduced to different technologies. The seniors are embracing this new technology, rather than trying to hide from it which I thought was very cool.


The article goes on to talk about different forms of online technology (Facebook, MySpace, Online Communities, Avatars, etc.) but all from the point of view of a senior citizen. It’s an interesting perspective on social media from a totally new angle. It’s definitely an article worth checking out. 

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | 1 Comment is a divison of the twitter website that allows visitors to follow any 3 topics at a time. It’s simple, you have 3 boxes and each box has it’s own live stream.

You just choose any 3 topics and enter the key word into each box. For example when I was trying it out, I chose to monitter Halifax, Britney Spears and PR. It was actually really amazing to see how many people were blogging about these topics and so often, every few seconds there would be a new post in each category.

This is a great communication tool because it allows you to pinpoint exactly what you want to read about, and then find blogs that are relevant. It would also be impossible to find anything more current or timely, as the blogs are streamed live.

Monitter would also be a great asset for an organization that is trying to follow public opinion on a particular issue or crisis. It is could also be beneficial just to see what bloggers are saying about your organization in general.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Blog Monitoring: In Media Res

I was a little skeptical when I began to monitor my blog, In Media Res ( The goal of the blog is to “promote an online dialogue amongst scholars and the public about contemporary approaches to studying media.”

Basically, scholars from around the world upload short video clips with commentary and try to bring about discussion and feedback. If you think it sounds confusing, you’re not alone. After looking at the site very briefly, I didn’t have a clue what it was all about. But once I checked out some of the videos the concept became a lot more clear.

There are theme weeks and the one I chose to look at for this post were videos revolving around Canadian media. One post by Serra Tinic from the University of Alberta, Made in Canada?: The Art of Memesis in Global TV ( discussed Canadian television programming and gave a really interesting comparison between Canadian and American programming.

This website is really unique in that in combines social media tools, like you tube videos with academia. I hadn’t really thought of social media as being an educational thing but this website proves that it in fact is.

May 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment