MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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The Hottest Man On Twitter

Well this week, my life decided to catch up with me and Monday morning lucky me, I was sick in bed. Ok well I guess I wouldn’t say lucky actually it was horrible. But back to the blogging, since I missed class on Monday and Wednesday was an independent class to work on our project, I didn’t have any readings to base my post on. So I decided to research CC Chapman. If this guy is as awesome in person as he is on paper, I hate the fact that I was sick. However, he does also does seem a bit different.

Known as the hottest man on Twitter, this guy seems to be extremely successful and certainly knows what he his talking about when looking at Social Media. Check out his website, to see the cool stuff he is doing. But I have to say, he certainly does not fit the social media type. I mean, when I think of social media gurus, I don’t think stay at home dad. This goes to show how SM is often associated with young guys.

But seriously, check out the website. It’s hilarious; he even has calendars for sale. All proceeds go to a charity of his choice. Thing is he did a photo shoot with chilly peppers, clever right Hottest man on Twitter.

Anyways, I wish my body had decided to take another day to protest but I guess you can’t choose this.


June 18, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , | 3 Comments

“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

Bull Twit

On June 15, Social Media Group posted a blog entry called “Tweeting your way into a Twinternship”. A Twinternship is essentially an internship where students can act as a Twitter expert, consultant or content manager for large organizations or high-profile individuals that don’t have time to Tweet themselves.

Considering Twitter’s sole mandate to determine: “What are you doing?” (“you”, meaning organizations and individuals on Twitter), does it make sense for someone from outside the organization to come in and answer that question? Does a fresh-faced student, not-yet immersed in the company culture have the knowledge and intuition to provide daily updates on the inner workings of an organization? Maybe.

On one side of the coin, an outside source would be free from the biases and cynicism that result from years of working for the same company. Someone with a fresh perspective could tweet about exciting news and events that they know would be of interest to the outside world.

On the other hand, that fresh perspective may not be an accurate one. Furthermore, it might not be articulated in a tone that is true to the organization or celebrity.

It’s one thing to Tweet about oneself. We don’t have to research the current events in our life, or adopt a specific tone in order to accurately portray our Twitter status. But when we Tweet on behalf of an organization or celebrity, we must assume the personality of that organization. Someone external to that organization would likely have to fake it.

I suppose that is what we, as communicators do when we write a news release or speak to the media on behalf of an organization. The difference here is that social media claims to be a more organic, or “real” medium. Can companies, political figures and celebrities really claim that they’re using social media to be “real” and transparent when they pay someone else to do the tweeting?

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Social Media Were a Small Town That Nosey Old Lady Down the Street Would be Facebook

This week on Managing the Gray my eyes were shocked to behold a brand new podcast by our pal (you’ll be meeting him via Skype tomorrow) C.C. Chapman. As always, the podcast impressed. One topic that stood out the most for me was a presentation he did called Social Media is a Small Town.

Being from a small town in Newfoundland, I could totally relate to what he was getting at with this presentation. He says, there is often a small town mentality associated with social media. To me, that means it’s all about generating a conversation or dialogue with your publics. In a small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business. If you want to know what movie to rent you will ask your neighbour. Growing up in a small town can often be cumbersome especially if you are a private person; but, if you’re into social media you want people to know your business! (or at least want to know other people’s business)

Chapman says growing up in a small town has helped him excel in this world of blogging and podcasts and social marketing. I would have to agree with him there. Small towns teach how to spread information whether you want to share or not. I guess it all comes down to transparency. In a small town, the flow information is often inescapable. If you are to be successful in the social media world you need to realize that information must be truthful and passed along the right channels and to the right people.  In every small town there is the one nosey lady down the street who knows everything and shares it with everyone she speaks with. In our social media world she would Facebook or Twitter. Tell her a secret and within seconds all of your friends will know.

So, who agrees? Who in the class is from a small town and can see how this has helped them with social media? Or conversely has it hindered you? Let me know!

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , , | 3 Comments

Did I break up with the love of my life for the cheap thrill of a fling?


So this week on The Hobson and Holtz Report they covered a study done by Harvard University about the usage of Twitter.  This seemed relevant given last weeks class and the seemingly consented opinion that no one knew what to think of Twitter and whether to jump on that band wagon like it was the new facebook or not.  Apparently though, we’re not the only ones having a hard time deciding about our romantic feelings toward this relatively new social media sensation.  According to the study Twitter’s major content is generated by a small and loyal user base.  Okay, so perhaps that’s an understatement, the reality of it is that 90% of Twitter’s content is generated by…guess…are you ready for this? Only 10% of their users.  That means that if there were 100 people signed up for Twitter and 100 tweets, 10 people would have generated 90 of them while the other 90 people split the other 10 between them. Alright, so I’m not trying to insult your intelligence with that grade 1 math lesson, but when I finally realized that and the implications that holds for Twitter, especially if they do start charging for use as we discussed in class, it absolutely blew my mind. I mean, after our Kermit Card Twitter experiment I was absolutely positive that this was a boat I was missing and I should try to catch up.  But after hearing about this study, I realized that maybe it’s not as effective a tool as I’d originally thought. Maybe more people have only luke warm feelings towards Twitter like we do than I realized.

On the report they questioned whether Twitter was actually about engagement or if it was really just a broadcasting platform that could be used as a marketing/communications tool.  My thoughts: how could it really be an effective marketing/communications tool if everyone is signing up but no one is using it? Honestly though, if you think you’re reaching a million people but really you’re only reaching 100,000, that may seem like a lot but you’re also missing out on ways to engage the 900,000 you’re not actually communicating with. How effective is that really?  Not that I’m ready to break up with Twitter and lie that I just want to be friends instead of a passionately engaged companion, but this report really added to my confusion. Maybe I should have just stuck with my first long term relationship with Facebook before abandoning it for a younger lover.

What do you think?  Did I break up with the love of my life for the cheap thrill of a fling?

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Embrace the Internet but don’t leave some employees behind

To gauge the importance of the Internet for the field of public relations we need not look any further than our classes this week. Without new technologies made possible through the internet, such as Skype and Twitter, we would never have been able to speak with Harold Simons in such a personal and effective manner and we would not have gotten the real world, real time experience of Ben and Kimberly’s Twitter experiment. 

The reading for this week by Paul Christ discusses the need for public relations professionals to embrace Internet technologies or be left in the dust, so to speak. I think, thanks to this social media class we are being taught very important and applicable lessons for our future careers that will certainly give us an edge as we search for employment in the future.

Rogers Plus internal communications strategy embraces the Internet in the way that Christ’s article suggests. One of the primary reasons offered by Christ as to why PR practitioners need to embrace Internet communication is because it is now one of the main ways people receive information. As an organization one must examine where their stakeholders get information and provide it through that portal. Simons did a great job with that. As most of Rogers Plus employees fit the 18-24 demographic they would most likely get their information via the Internet. By providing employee information via the ning site, he has made the information available in a way that they will most likely use.

Further, the Christ article, though it doesn’t speak to internal communications specifically, suggests that using the Internet helps to “develop stronger relationships with stakeholders [as] they can tailor their services to meet stakeholders’ needs.” This is evident through the initial success of the Rogers Plus employee site.  They found out what the employees needed from them and provided it through a custom site made especially for employees.

With all this in mind I still wonder: what does Rogers Plus do if a new employee doesn’t have access to the Internet? We (especially those of us who embrace social media like us) like to think that everyone we are trying to reach with our messaging has access to the Internet; but in reality that is not quite the case. As mentioned in a previous class, upwards of 80 per cent of Nova Scotians are without high-speed access. Is it really reasonable to expect that everyone will have the ability to do this training from home? This got me thinking about my own experience. When I started work at the NSLC, I had to do online training modules similar to the Rogers model. The option wasn’t even provided for me to do them at the work place. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but thinking back I now realize the importance of providing another option to new employees so that messaging gets across clearly and so that the organization doesn’t make anyone feel left out. More than that, employee training isn’t an optional message. If the message isn’t getting to those who absolutely need it to do their job then as a PR professional you have not done yours.

Any suggestions as to how to bridge the technological divide between new employees? Perhaps a shared employee computer at the work place providing access to the site?

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , , , , | 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