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Wrap up of the session in one pretty little package

This is my final blog for class. I doubt I’ll use this anymore because I prefer Tumblr. They have a more user friendly interface etc. When I joined the class, I decided I wanted to try various media forms. In my mind, that was kind of the point of this class. I’m glad I gave WordPress a shot but it’s too clean cut of an interface and at difficult to use.

Going along with the idea of various media, I’m taking away some really neat tools. I’ve very interested in Storify. After our class assignment, I started to make another for fun. On Slashdot, there were TSA articles all over that peeked my interest. I wanted to make a collage and post it to Twitter. We’ll come back to Twitter in a moment. I want to talk about Linked In. I once told my teacher, Social Media class is like PE or working out. You need that push sometimes. I’ve been meaning to join LinkedIn a billion times over but I needed that push. I’m glad she made us create and use our profiles. Someday I hope to break the ice and post but there’s some glass that are harder to break than others.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter… what a teeth puller to join. At the start of class, everyone raved about it and I wanted to gag when I found out I had to use it. My opinion has changed since then. I once believed it was an annoying life casting machine. I’m sure if you follow tweenie boppers, that’ll be the case but I followed a good number tech blogs. Sadly, I don’t see much use in Twitter other than to check out updates so I can see my account fading here pretty soon. Small confession as a side note tho. I did not understand this hash tag deal so I don’t exactly have a favorite or any tag.

So, what are some valuable lessons I learned? The trip to the humane society was one of the most rewarding experiences. It was a real eye opener to see the uses of social media and the extent someone has to go in order to build a lager, active community. I’m not going to say too much on this but check out my post about it. In all honesty, this is one of the most valuable lessons anyone going into or currently dealing with social media. If you ever get the chance, go to the humane society and kick it with Baxter & Elizabeth for an afternoon. It’s really worth it.

As for my sentence. I designed it to my ever changing life. It will probably remain my main sentence but in all honest, it’s hard to sum someone up in a sentence. Almost impossible. I’m more for paragraphs. Always adding and eventually becoming a book. Once I figure out my purpose and job, There’ll be a new sentence and so on.

So, final thought on this class. The teacher was really worried we wouldn’t get the bang for our buck or we weren’t learning anything. She shouldn’t be worried. It was a rewarding experience. I needed that motivation to join LinkedIn and to practice Prezi. Truth be told, she helped me learn to work with it more effectively. No it’s not a waste to ever take a class about social media. If you already know how to use Facebook great but do you know how to personally brand with it? I took pre algebra in summer school for fun (nerdy kid) two years in a row. Every time I took it, I got a new perspective and learned a new trick and got better. Social media is the same way. Some one else has always pioneered a new channel, why not listen?


"Oh no! My stocks!.." It's okay grandma, it's only a game.

During class we talked about different social media platforms and Klout. Someone took both these and added in gaming to create Empire Avenue. Social Media Examiner has an in depth review the game here but I’ll briefly sum it up for my read though.

Empire Avenue is where you can buy stocks of real people. The value of a person rises and falls with how active they are on various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (I think..), Youtube and a few other social media sites. Like Klout, Empire Avenue some how takes all these channels and pops out a score for someone.

I would try out the game but the author of the article and a buddy were raving about the pop ups to do stuff within the game. While it is nice to have some guide, I get so easily annoyed by achieve this, jump through that, eat fire now that it’d be a turn off. And, best explained by the author, it’s a “just” be  game. You can pick it up as often as you like but there’s no real purpose to it.

The purpose of me bringing attention to this article  is because I found it fascinating that someone finally combined the social media to their apps almost. If you’re a big social media junkie or into the Facebook apps, this may seem pretty cool.

As a final side note, if you haven’t check out Social Media Examiner you should. The user interface is soo cute and the articles are clean cut, useful and… Just go try for yourself. (No teachers were an influence in the finding or raving about this site.)

People don't always need a shiny trophy but a little incentive goes a long way

I stumbled across another blog and they have a post on  a bad social media contest to raise money. Here’s a link to their blog.

The post analyzed Head and Shoulder’s competition. People were asked to tweet “hats off” to a hash tag every time their baseball team did well. At the end of the season, Head and Shoulders would donate $50,000 to the city with the most tweets. The poster checked how the competition was coming a long and after 5 days, there were only 15 tweets. Yikes. Why was this such a flop? Here are the major points from the blog:

  1. Motivate people – people enjoy giving to good causes but people want to get something out of it. A personal thank you, reward or credit will suffice in most cases.
  2. Make it fun!
  3. Have a thrill factor – people like mystery, challenge or anything to get their attention. The author of the blog posted how he worked with a radio show and even though people didn’t have any idea what the tenth caller would receive, the phone would ring off the hook. However, tweeting “hats off” isn’t very exciting.
  4. Make the competition title relevant but simple – Hats Off Movement was the title. Kind of vague but after you know the basics it make sense.
  5. Make it easy to enter – tweeting is easy but people having to create hash tags can get messy.

What they did do right was open to different media channels. The author gives Head and Shoulders credit for trying to attract new followers by doing so.

On the flip side, companies have successful created a competition for a good cause. Example, Coca Cola. Coke had a recycling challenge. It’s best explained with this video. To sum it up, Coke opened 10,000 recycling drop offs in Israel and asked Facebook followers to post photos of themselves recycling. The most active user would be crowned the Recycling King. The competition was a huge success! People all over were submitting photos. How does it compare to the Head and Shoulders points?

  1. Motivating people – people  are contributing to a good cause but still have the incentive to be crowned the recycling king when it’s over
  2. Make it fun – colorful sun flower bins + Facebook. Not the definition of fun but it’s a more attractive way of bringing awareness to recycling
  3. Have a thrill – they turned it into a way of getting noticed in combination with competition.
  4. Make the competition title relevant but simple – Recycling King, check.
  5. Make it easy to enter – thousands of marked recycling points all across Israel is pretty easy. From there just have someone snap a photo of you with and cell and post. Pretty simple.

Last week our class to a small field trip to the humane society to talk with Elizabeth Hilpipre. She heads the humane society’s  social media which includes the website, Twitter and Facebook. While Baxter the wonder Pomeranian was a definite highlight, she did pass on some great information about dealing with social media and an organization.

1. Find your niche

This means find social media outlets that work for what you’re trying to do. In the case of the humane society, they’re trying to get animals adopted so Elizabeth created Youtube videos featuring animals looking to be adopted. It’s a great way for people to see what’s at the humane society without always having to always visit. Also, people can share the videos with friends and family which increases the chance of an animal getting adopted.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment

Elizabeth discovered the hard way when asking for donations. People didn’t like the idea of having a donation button on Facebook. Still needing donations, she came up with the idea of tying donations to a cause. Her most recent success was Izzy the Cat. Izzy was about to reach her 100th day at the shelter (which is rare) so she devised a way to collect donations and help get Izzy adopted. She asked followers that if Izzy didn’t get adopted by day 100 to please help by donating a small amount to her cause. People were more than willing to help a cause and by day 108 Izzy was adopted.

3. Make the most of the tool given to you

Going back to Elizabeth’s use of Youtube, she used the analysis feature to figure out roughly how long to make her videos. She noticed people did enjoy seeing cute animals but preferred short videos instead of longer ones. Facebook also offers a similar tool for pages. You can see how much impressions your posts have.

4. Engage your audience and build a community

By asking questions, asking the community to share information about their pets, responding to people’s questions and so on, Elizabeth has created a reliable source for people to come together over their pets. People frequently visit their pages and subscribe to them because it’s active and they feel welcomed.

5. Be human and roll with the punches

There will always be trolls, flamers and rude people plaguing the internet. At times you have have to deal with these people or a scandal. The best advice Elizabeth could give was to be consistent with what is being said (across all media: news, Facebook, Twitter..), admit mistakes and never fight with people. Try to be honest and mindful how you word certain sentences is another key to winning people even in unfavorable situations.

Those 5 points were great take away from the visit at the humane society. I knew and could logically see where she got her points but it was amazing just to hear them and listen to the examples she gave.

Facebook has been a way of connecting us all

Do you think social networks and the way we communicate are making us more isolated, less connected? Is there such a thing as too connected?

Reading over Pew Internet’s survey results, I’m kind of shocked to see some results. Their posting came just a little over a month ago states that since 2008, social networking has doubled. I was aware social networking was always recruiting someone new but it seemed in my life everyone already had one. But, to be honest, I picked up Facebook in the summer of 2008 when I started college. I always heard it was for college students. Now, little sisters of friends are adding me. Maybe more youth is diving into social networking. I remember having a cell phone in high school was the hot thing. Now kids as young as preschool are getting into iPads. But, back to my main point. I was shocked to see that social networking continues to grow.

Since Facebook dominated the social networking with a whooping 92% of people using that were surveyed, Pew decided to dig deeper.

“15% of Facebook users update their own status, 22% comment on another’s post or status, 20% comment on another user’s photos, 26% “Like” another user’s content, 10% send another user a private message.” Status I felt like could be higher. People love to talk about what’s up with their lives. That’s why Twitter is so thriving. Liking is also something I would have expected more of. It’s easy and there is some good content people post. Other than that, I can see the other stats being accurate.

As for their bolded topics, Facebook users are more trusting than others and Facebook users have more close relationships seemed a little weird at first then after reflecting, it did make sense. Facebook allows you to view people’s lives that you normally wouldn’t get to know on that level. Example would be some of my sorority sisters. It’s hard to keep up with nearly 150 girls and know them in depth. It’s just interesting to sometimes snoop of a girl that pops up in your feed. And, I don’t mind if they snoop back. Matter of fact, I leave all of my information open instead of being selective of what they can and cannot see. Moreover, I’m impressed by the number of people that have their cell number posted on Facebook.

Something that confused me in their posting of results was what they identified as an adult. Someone who is 21+, 30, 35? Who knows. I wish they had spelled out the age group better.

With Facebook being sure a huge part of our lives, I do think we can isolate our lives by living through others but it also connects people. I forgot my source but I heard once that Facebook saves hundreds of languages because people are able to practice it and keep in touch with people who still use it. Events page is huge for bringing people together. I don’t have all my friends in my phone but it’s nice to post on walls or creep to see how some are doing while off in different states.

Use common sense when publishing on the internet

With social media wiring all of our lives, companies are tagging on policy to cover them from risks. Cisco has a blog post stating their policy on posting on the internet through any media outlet. Their policy is specific in some instances and vague in others. Example being “Common sense is the best guide if you decide to post information in any way relating to Cisco,” while I’m sure Cisco employees are bright, not everyone is the sharpest and it’s even harder to pass judgment on what’s common sense. They do over their tails later in the posting by spelling out what is expected. Such as don’t reveal confidential information, don’t harass / insult, don’t act like you’re speaking on Cisco’s behalf, etc…

The tone of the policy seems stern but overall relaxed. It’s not restrictive, they don’t ask employees to deactivate their accounts. They do focus on don’t do’s instead of saying do this when using social media but their main focus as a company is not social media so I feel they’re just covering bases.

I believe their policy is effective. It does lay down the law however, after every point they don’t add a threat but there are at least 2 instances where they say the employee could be terminated or having posts deleted if they do not abide by the rules.

“When posting your point of view, you should neither claim nor imply you are speaking on Cisco’s behalf, unless you are authorized in writing by your manager to do so.” I think is a neat tid bit from their policy. They do respect their employees and opinions but ask they don’t take it upon themselves to act as the face of Cisco.

As for following the 10 points outlined by Lauby, Cisco does cover them fairly well. Asking employees not to be authentic in the idea they shouldn’t speak out of position and do have a mindful posting when using social media

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