Category Archives: TOW: Topic of the Week

Guest Blogger- TOW 15

My guest blogger this week is Meghan Beytagh, I chose her because before reading Meghan’s post I thought Foursquare told anyone where you were at that time, I didn’t realize that it was just “your friends” on the site. Read Meghan’s post if you are interested in knowing more about Foursquare.

Here is the link where I found the post: http://meghanlane.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/topic-of-the-week-foursquare/

 One of the newest social networking sites that is showing up on the scene is Foursquare. With over 500,000 users to date the company which employees 16 people grossed about $1.35 million dollars last year. Which is not bad for a year old business.

According to PocketLint, Foursquare is a location service-based social network-come-game. Its purpose is allowing its members to share their location with their Foursquare friends by “checking in.” They “check-in” at different locations around town via their cellphone and earn points. You see, whenever you walk into any location around town you simply “check in” to Foursquare and your friends can see what restaurant, bar, or location your at and you earn points. The more points you earn the higher your Foursquare ranking becomes. You can even become “the mayor” of a particular area.

From a business stand point, the opportunities from this location-based network provides endless opportunities. Business can use Foursquare to reward frequent visitors with coupons and incentives. They can also do what Starbucks is doing and use the site as part of their new customer loyalty program. The site is even rolling out a free analytics program to business that provides detailed information about who is “checking in” to their locations and provide them the ability to communicate to these customers.

For the individual members and potential members of this site, there are obvious dangers. They are giving out information about their exact location at a particular time and broadcasting it over the internet. The comforting thing is that the information is only sent to “your friends” whom you have to approve. So, if you are using this particular networking tool or are about to, I would advise you to post locations that you have recently visited or make sure that you have a friend tagging along with you when you post your exact location

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Guest Blogger- TOW 14

 My guest blogger for the week is Brittany Cook, and the post below was written by her after she listened to the podcast “Social Media: Friend or Foe?” The reason I chose to use Brittany Cook as my guest blogger, is because everything she said in this post is true, regardless of what it is, social media skills are essential now in the business world and regardless if we like it or not we need to be prepared for it.

Here is the link to the original post: http://zta0621.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/social-media-friend-or-foe/

After listening to the podcast “Social Media: Friend or Foe?,” my perspective on social media becoming such a huge role in communication in today’s society has changed.  There are many different pros and cons to communuicating through social media.  Checking/updating our Facebook or Twitter has become an everyday thing just like reading the newspaper.  Social media has become such an important part of communicating with one another, especially for businesses and organiztions that are in the marketing and PR fields.  Social media is now being used to locate and market target publics which has become so very important to the overall success of their companies.  Even though face-to-face communication is very important in establishing and maintaining relationships with customers, social media has also become another means of creating these relationships.

During the podcast, those who opposed the use of social media for targeting important publics said they did not like not being able to network face-to-face with others.  Some people voiced their concern about not being able to take their clients on activities that would allow them to create business relationships because the internent would take the place of these activities.  This could possibly hurt them in the long run because businesses would be commnicating to a broad audience and not to just a few people.  One person even said he did not like not taking his clients golfing or other ways that create an opportunity to network.  Those who opposed social media communication would rather use traditional methods of establishing relationships with customers rather than using the internet, which does make sense to me.

Businesses are going to have to adapt to the new means of communication, whether they want to or not.  It does not have to be the primary means of establishing relationships, but it will be necessary in reaching large audiences.  While I do think that social media will improve the communication means for PR and other related fields, I do still think that traditional methods should also be used.

What makes a video go viral? TOW 13

What does it take for a video to go viral? In my opinion I think the video has to be humorous in order for people to keep telling others to watch it. The video also need to be unique, meaning no one else has created a video like this. Some videos that go viral are not always planned. For example, “David After Dentist” was a father filming his son after his son got a tooth pulled and then child was still on medication in the car ride home and the child didn’t realize what was going on in his body…just that he “felt funny.” I’m sure the father was not thinking that this video was going to go viral all over YouTube, because he probably did not think that people, who did not know his son, would find it nearly as funny. But that is the best part about viral videos; you never know how many people really are going to end up watching them and referring them to other videos to watch and download. Another factor that I believe makes a video go viral is when the footage is so unexpected. For example one of my favorite viral videos is one originally shot by a news camera crew in Mobile, Alabama. The video talks about how the people living in Mobile have been seeing a leprechaun but no one can seem to catch it. The best part is someone drew an amateur sketch of what they saw when they had their encounter with the leprechaun, and the sketch was used in the news story. Also the whole idea was just hysterical, the fact that these people thought there was a gold somewhere nearby because the leprechaun had brought it. In addition, one man said he had inherited a special leprechaun flute from his ancestors and this is what he was trying to use to attract the leprechaun to him. Other examples of popular viral videos are the ones made and uploaded by Chris Crocker. One of my favorites is one called “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE.” Crocker is obsessed with Britney Spears and considers himself her biggest fan. He made a video of himself lying on a bed talking about how the paparazzi and everyone else out there needs to leave Britney alone and why she needs to be left alone. The funny part of the video is how intense Crocker gets, he begins to cry and scream at the camera and try and really show off his love and obsession for Britney by defending her. Crocker has made plenty of videos and all of his seem to go viral, and I think it is due to how extreme he is and how he always pushes the limits too far in every video.

 “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc&feature=related

Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nda_OSWeyn8

Widgets & Badges – TOW 12

Widgets are “a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have no rights of authorship.” (Wikipedia)

 

 Badges are “ small images used on a website to promote web standards, products used in the creation of a web page or product, or to indicate a specific content license that is applied to the content or design of a website.” (Wikipedia)

 

The difference between the two is that a badge is more of a form of advertisement in a sense; they are made for others to notice and use. You can click on badges. Where as widgets are snippets of code that are displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or Websites (pg. 222, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).

 

Badges and Widgets are helpful because they can provide more information for others. They make it easier for people when they are trying to access information. Badges and widgets can both be created, but widgets are more difficult due to their complex coding.

 

One organization that I’m apart of that can benefit from widgets and badges would be the Society of Communication Scholars. They could have widgets and badges and this way people could easily access information about any area within the organization that they might be interested in and then become more aware about it. Having these applications can only help.

Delicious -TOW 11

 

Delicious is a social bookmarking site, in which you can track all your favorite or most visited sites. We can all benefit from this by seeing what sites our friends and families are going to. Students can benefit from this especially if you are working in a group because this way you can see where all the other group members have been researching. In the end, Delicious can probably make the research portion of a project run a lot smoother if everyone is informed of the sites that all group members are using. People can use Delicious also if they want to track sites that way they can refer them to others.

 I personally use StumbleUpon, I find this social bookmarking application very entertaining. I know that whenever I’m bored that I just plug in my interest to StumbleUpon and it brings up the most bizarre but interesting websites.

 Below are some sites that I bookmarked on Delicious. These are all sites that I frequently visit.

http://delicious.com/micaelac329

PR Open Mic-TOW 9 & 10

PR OpenMic is a social networking site developed by Robert French.  The site is targeted to students who are majoring in PR, professors, PR Professionals and people who work in PR departments. Some of the first things that the site suggests are for you to invite your friends, customize your page, and then begin to add content. Once you join the site you can update your status for others to see. For example if you are looking for an Internship, this is a perfect way to let others know that way anyone who is looking for interns can see that you are obviously interested in PR and can connect with you. There are many applications that PR OpenMic offers for example; you can upload videos or pictures, comment on posts and read the open discussion forum.

PR OpenMic is beneficial to students who are graduating because this site allows for people to post job openings, or internship opportunities. The sites also offers networking and connections to specific people who work or are apart of certain groups on the site.

The part that I find different about this networking site compared to others is the open discussion forum, because you can read and comment on these posts. Where as most networking sites just provide the connections and not really provide a place for people to see your thoughts. The site is similar to Twitter, because you can update your status. In addition the site also similar to LinkedIn, they are bothe sites used for networking and you need to be professional on them. 

PR OpenMic is beneficial to students who are graduating because this site allows for people to post job openings, or internship opportunities. The sites also offers networking and connections to specific people who work or are apart of certain groups on the site.

The part that I find different about this networking site compared to others is the open discussion forum, because you can read and comment on these posts. Where as most networking sites just provide the connections and not really provide a place for people to see your thoughts. The site is similar to Twitter, because you can update your status. In addition the site also similar to LinkedIn, they are bothe sites used for networking and you need to be professional on them.

TOW #8 PODCASTS

Listening to podcasts is a new popular and convenient way that companies are starting to use. A podcast is a series of audio or video files that is distributed over the Internet (pg.121, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization). A podcast is different from other audio/video files because it is streamed through the Internet. Students who major in Public Relations can benefit from podcasts because of how easily accessible they are. People who are in PR always seem to be busy because they have their hands dipped into everything.

So PR professionals and students can multitask and benefit from podcast because they are streaming from online, so they can listen to them everywhere as long as there is internet access.

 So if you’re busy walking across campus you can hold your Blackberry and listen to the podcast. It could also be convenient when or if you ever get stuck in traffic or just on your way to work. This way once you get where you need to be, if you’re pushed for time, or there right on time, you know that you already listened to yesterday’s minutes through a podcast, from the conference you could not attend. Then that part is already taken care of and you will see how podcasts benefit us, especially in crunched situations.

 Organizations might choose to use podcasts to target their publics, because they are convenient and easily accessible.