“Be My Guest” Shel Holtz

This week in my Social Media class we were asked to switch blogs for a week with a fellow blogger. I have chosen to post a blog post from Mr. Shel Holz. Enjoy and thanks Shel!

Wired iPad app: the future of publishing and the future of Adobe

“A number of thoughts bubble up about Wired’s iPad app.

First, I’ve long felt the future of publications was based on recognizing the value of the total package, whether it’s print or online. As publishers of periodicals and newspapers look to the digital world for salvation, they need to recognize that simple repurposing of existing content won’t cut it. This kind of packaging with its seamless integration of multimedia is the way to go.

Second, Apple’s Steve Jobs blistered Adobe in an employee town hall meeting a couple weeks ago, calling them “lazy” and insisting the iPhone, iTouch and iPad don’t support Flash because it’s buggy and its use will decline as the world moves to HTML 5. But Adobe has clearly worked with Wired to produce something extraordinary here, and they created it for an Apple product. I can imagine Adobe staff smiling when they heard Jobs’ criticism, knowing that the preview of their iPad product would hit the news in just a couple weeks.

Third, I’ll admit I was underwhelmed with the iPad when I saw the demos and read the specs; my feeling was that I already have everything the iPad will do between my laptop and my iPhone. And I’m still extremely leery of a platform that requires approval for the applications you’ll run on it. But — assuming Apple won’t be petty and vindictive and hold up approval of this app because of the Adobe affiliation (and I wouldn’t put it past them, given their failure to approve iPhone apps because they don’t like the logos) — it’s clear that the iPad will only be as good as the apps that are created for it specifically, not just the iPhone apps that migrate over. With enough apps like the one Wired and Adobe introduce in the video, the iPad could become an invaluable device.

The full article that accompanies this video on Wired’s Epicenter blog is here.”

Thanks again Shel for the Great insight!

April 20, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

What Makes a Video Go Viral?

Many of you may have seen this adorable video of little “Charlie” biting his big brothers finger and making him cry. I personally cannot get enough of this video. My friends think I am a little crazy but there is just something about this video that gets me every time.

But, what exactly is it about this video, and other videos on YouTube, that make them internet sensations? I believe that most people have an innate desire to connect with other human beings and get in touch with their basic human emotions. In this instance, humor.

With the day-to-day grind of school, work and money problems, I think people just want to laugh sometimes. While this video does allow people to escape from their current realities, it also provides a familiar setting or feeling, allowing us to connect emotionally.

I have a 4-year-old and sister and a 2-year-old brother. This probably is a large reason as to why this video speaks to me the way it does. If you are a parent, or around children often, you know how incredibly hilarious they are in just being themselves. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into my little sister and brother’s playroom to find them deeply delved in some crazy plot. It is refreshing and endearing and who doesn’t want a piece of that?

The video I embedded at the bottom of this post is of a wedding party walking, err, dancing down the aisle to a popular hip-hop song instead of the traditional Canon in D.  Weddings are amazing rituals that make me cry every time so this video special to me.

I think in the end what makes a video go viral is the perfect mix between escaping from reality and making a common human connection.

April 20, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Widgets and Badges

Blogs are commonplace nowaday’s among many. There are many ways to jazz up you’re blog. Two common add-ons are widgets and badges.

Wikipedia defines a web widget as “a portable chunk of hat can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation.” This lingo is a little technologically heavy for me so allow me to put this in layman’s terms. Widgets are pretty much apps for your blog. Widgets can include calendars, countdowns, flight arrival schedules, even horoscopes. Widgets are created on the basis of a code reuse. Code reuse is simply the use of existing software. Widgets are usually placed on the left or right sidebar of your webpage.

A web badge is a simple icon placed on your website that links back to another page, usually a page you want to endorse. For example, Apple Microsoft has developed several badges for Apple users to paste on their blog or website. Apple explains that this is a way to ” reinforce Apple’s corporate and brand identities, while reaping the benefits of those identities.” In short, a web badge is a great marketing tool.

I am a huge fan of the small club in Statesboro called the Swing Cat Society. As you may have guessed, the group is comprised of around 25 social dancers who share the love of swing and shag. As of right now, the club is virtually non-existent in the social media world. I believe it would be a fantastic idea for this group to create a blog and then add certain widgets and badges to extend their reach and viral marketing.

The beauty of widgets and badges is, they are virtually free! The Swing Cat Society may have to employ a social media expert for a low fee, but the group members could probably run the blog themselves.

If I were in charge of putting the Swing Cat Society’s blog together the first widget I would add is a simple calendar along with a countdown clock marking their important events and meetings. I would also add a twitter widget. I would place badges for Georgia Southern University on the site as it is a university club. I would also place a badge for the Swing Cats Society of America on the site to show the authenticity of the group.

Widgets and badges are a true must on any effective website. You must allow people ample opportunites to get your message and widgets and badges aid in this endeaver.

April 20, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Mmmm…Delicious!

This week in my social media class, we have been asked to create a delicious account. I am sorry to say that prior to this invitation, my understanding of delicious was nothing passed tasty culinary delights! Just kidding! Delicious is a social bookmarking service used to share all your favorite websites, see what other people are saving as their favorite websites, and compare what is being said about them!

After the simple and quick sign-up at delicious.com, I was easily adding all my favorite websites to my account. It was really interesting because each time I added a new blog or website to my favorites, common terms used to describe the website by other users popped up on the bottom of my screen.

This is a fantastic tool for college students! Surfing the web has grown to be something of a nuisance in the sense that there is such disorganization and information overloads. Delicious can eliminate both of these common search engine woes. Delicious is making online researching incredibly more efficient and easy.

Also, delicious allows users to share research more effectively. Let’s say students are working on a group project and they each are bookmarking different sites for the end project. With delicious, individuals in the group can easily look at their group members delicious accounts and bookmark the same pages they have bookmarked. Keeping them up to date on the information pertinent to their project.

Using Delicious in Education by Gabrielle Grossek lists some advantages of delicious for students:

  1. Neither the operating system or the platform is important
  2. Ubiquity, you can access delicious from any computer connected to the net
  3. It is very easy, we don’t need to memorize or write down addresses
  4. Browsing leads to finding pertinent links
  5. The more people use delicious, the stronger it becomes

Overall, I am very excited to embark on my delicious new journey! Hope you do too!

April 18, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

PR Open mic

pr open mic
PR Open mic is a social network designed specifically for public relations students and professionals. I personally have been a member of the network for over a year now and absolutely love it.

One aspect I really like is the fact that PR open mic sends e-mails to you when breaking PR news occurs and links to site so you can read the entire article.

There is also a huge area on the site devoted totally to job posting and internships.
I am about to graduate in May, so this is probably my favorite part of the site. I have gotten a handful of job leads and sent my resume to a good number of companies posted on the site.

I’m also a huge fan of the discussion forum on PR Open mic. This is a tool I use a lot. It is a great way to talk to people and get a good feel for the industry, what’s going on, what’s the hot gossip. A little mean girls reference there!

If you visit the members section you can easily search for anyone you think might be on the site or look for members in your area. This has been a great way to connect with my professors and classmates as well as potential employers.

The last piece I want to discuss is the groups section. This is just like the groups section on facebook where you connect to groups of people who you feel relate to you. This is a great way to get news that directly relates to what your interested and weed out the info that is irrellevant to you.

Overrall, this is a fantastic site. I strongly encourage those of you in this industry sign up immediately!

March 31, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Advantages of the Podcast

podcastThis week in my social media monitoring class, we are focusing on podcasting. I must admit I was a bit at a loss before this class as far as this new media went, but, now that I have done some research, I see that the possibilities and advantages of podcasting are truly endless.
First of all, what is a podcast? To put it simply, a podcast is just an mp3 file you record and upload to a podcasting site. I use the website mypodcast.

Bob Withers says that there are two main advantages of podcasting:
1.)Ease of Use
2.)The availibility of free/cheap software to run them

The real beauty of the podcast is how easy it is to distribute. Most people in this day and age have access to ITunes and you can download podcasts, for FREE, right to your ITunes account.

Podcasts could also be defined as radio/talk shows on demand. People today are busy and move at an extremely fast pace. With a podcast, you can be sitting at the airport waiting for your flight and can listen to a podcast immediately.

Finally, it has become very popular for large corporations to use podcasts as their training sessions according to Ramona Meteri, President of Ingenia Consulting.

Here is a list of some of the organizations who are doing this:
-IBM
-Calyx
-Akron Children’s Hospital

This is a great way to cut costs and be more time efficient with new employees.

Bottomline, podcasts are the future and you must get on board this mothership!

March 31, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Internship Advice

This semester I have been lucky enough to obtain an internship with a fantastic company, Savannah Morning News. I work for Savannah magazine specifically, and even though it is an unpaid internship, I am having the most amazing experience with working with the best in Savannah in journalism and public relations. My boss and editor have been giving me great feedback and I feel, that after several months at an internship, I have some tips to share with those who are about to embark on their internship journey.

One of the compliments I receive the most is that I have a great attitude. So, the first tip I would give to an intern is to always be gracious and be willing to work. Let’s be honest, internships, no matter where you are, are not going to be highly glamorous. I often find myself making phone calls and running errands but I always do it with a smile on my face. I also make it a priority to thank my boss and editor for giving me this opportunity. Georgia Southern University student, Kelly Rowen, recently graduated with her hotel and restaurant degree. She finished her internship in Florida last summer. She was working at a hotel in St. Petersburg and she absolutely  hated the job.

“It was the worst job I had ever had,” Kelly said. “I was constantly being yelled at by customers and my peers, but, that never stopped me from doing my very best.”

When Kelly left her job she received a great recommendation letter from her supervisor.

Another tip I give is to act professionally and not cross the line with off-colored jokes or dressing inappropriately. Laura Callahan, a junior at Georgia Tech, worked at an engineering company in Atlanta where she was often working side by side with construction workers.

“These guys would often curse and talk about really gross stuff,” Laura said. “I made sure to never give into the casual nature of my environment though.”

Laura’s boss was impressed by her tact and professionalism and got invited  back to work at this company next semester.

Internships, although they can be a lot of work, are really fun. So my # 1 tip is to get one and get excited about it! Enthusiasm shows through and it makes the people you’re working with happy to be around you.

March 11, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Inside the Foursquare

“Love it! Having a lot of fun checking in to my locations and becoming a mayor of my favorite haunts!”

“I love to be in the Foursquare family”

“this has potential, tho rite now primarily used by urbanite hipsters. i’m afraid it’ll lead 2 constant coupon feeds to your mobile whenever u walk near a biz.”

“To many lies on Foursquare (just spoke to a friend in NY who claimed to sit in a hotel in Dubai”

These are some reviews I found on the newest thing to hit the social media market, Foursquare. While some reviews are good and others are not so good, we know one thing. Foursquare is generating some definite buzz around town.

Foursquare is a new  location-based “app” for the iPhone or blackberry that helps you find new ways to explore your hometown or places you are visiting. This new app also allows you to meet up with friends with its built-in GPS-like system. Foursquare, created by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, is based in New York City. Foursquare is also a game in which you receive points for discovering new places or meeting new people. This is pretty revolutionary technology.

I believe foursquare will end up being a very beneficial tool for companies. If companies sign-up and become part of the game, they are essentially implementing an incentives marketing plan which will hopefully drive new consumers to their institutions.

However, as a woman, one of the first things I thought of when I heard of Foursquare was the privacy aspect possibly being violated. How safe is this technology? What if some of the information gained from this application got into the hands of a felon? Or a sex offender? I wonder if there are measures being taken to prevent things of this nature?

Other than this concern, I think this seems like a fun and engaging application that I will definitely think of downloading!

March 5, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

What to wear? PR Edition

As a woman, everyday outfit choices may seem difficult, however, when it comes to choosing the ensemble to wear to a job interview, this task can be nothing short of frightening. “Does this make me look smart?”, ” Do I look too risque with this color lipstick?”,  “Is this shirt too ‘something’?”  The questions and doubts are endless. This is precisely why I decided to put together this post to rid you of all uncertainty around this important decision. I searched the web and put together the tops finds I retrieved. Here they are!

Celeste Mitchell from the blog, Mediabistro, gives some tips for those applying for media related jobs including public relations. She suggests getting some information on the company before deciding on your outfit. If you still can’t really tell, a suit is most likely the best option, however, Mitchell says to wear a fun colorful shirt to show a bit of your personality. Also, “you want to show an understanding of the audience” Mitchell says. Know the organizations client-base and make sure your outfit choice reflects those people.

You Can’t Wear That to an Interview!Or can you? In a changing employment world, some job-hunt truisms are becoming old-fashioned myth ,by Julie Gordon, from the business week blog, says to pay attention to the small details as well as the overall appearance of your ensemble. Many kids right out of college usually overlook important touches like making sure your zipper is up and that your shoes have no scuffs on them. These little aspects of your outfit speak loudly to interviewees. So, do not forget to paint those chipped nails!

Finally, watch this video to get a professionals opinion on the matter and after you watch this video compare it to other YouTube videos on the subject and pull the ideas that are repeated!

Happy job hunting!

February 27, 2010. Assignments, Public Relations Practicum, Topic of the Week. 2 comments.

“Speakers & Speeches: Social media, Friend or Foe?”

Here are the notes I took on,Speakers & Speeches: Social Media, Friend or Foe? – October 24, 2008. This was a panel discussion led by the CEO of Ragan Communications, Mark Ragan, about social media being incorporated into his organization.

Why should we blog in corporate America?

  • Customer’s are having conversations and we need to listen to them.
  • When we listen to them, we are building relationships and become “passionate evangelists” and part of our community.
  • Accessibility is key. We need to be accessible to audiences of all ages.
  • We need to have a place for people to talk on “our playground” and be authentic.

Who is writing the blog?

  • Employees that are in the trenches, so to speak. They have the details consumers are interested in and then the CEO can blog ever once in a while about overall concepts.

What if someone writes something bad about us on our own blog?

  • There will be certain guidelines and restrictions enforced making that a non-issue.
  • Also, you don’t have control over your customers, so this way you can hear a problem and deal with it instantly.
  • It is in the companies best interest to remain “transparent”, to show the culture and process of the organization to the public.

What is the ROI, or bottom line?

  • Understanding customers is priceless.
  • Marriott hotels made $10 billion through blogging.
  • This is an open-source technology so it is basically free.

What about people using social media at work?

  • Social media is good during work hours. It is a form of collaboration and work life integration.
  • Work place policies will be implemented and strongly enforced.

Where should we be in 5 years as far as social media goes?

  • We need to be experimenting with new technology all the time to be ahead of the game.
  • We must be adaptable to new technology and open to it.
  • Communications people need to work on building relationships with IT people in their company.
  • We can learn from our children and how they use social media.

February 20, 2010. Social Media Monitoring, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

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