Monday, April 26, 2010

The iPad Strikes Again

Recently, posted a story about a 99-year-old woman’s new experience with the iPad. Virginia Cambell, a 99-year-old woman from Lake Oswego, Oregon, purchased the iPad to access online books. According to reports, Cambell suffers from glaucoma, which affects her eyesight. The video below shows Cambell’s first encounter with the device:

This story really made me start to question the effects of new media and trends on older generations. How do they perceive these new devices? In the video, Cambell appears quite perplexed by her new iPad but delighted at the same time. If given the opportunity and guidance could older generations benefit from devices like the iPad, just like Cambell? It is also brings into question if older generations would accept or reject the advances of new media trends. As a people who grew up with computers and cell phones, most of us tend to be open to new technology. How do kids these days feel about technology? I recall getting our first family computer in 1995 and the excitement of Microsoft Paint. Do kids feel the same excitement about the iPad? Or are they already so jaded to new technological advances? I recently spent time with my friend’s family and learned that his 6-year-old cousin had an iTouch. I must admit that I was a little perplexed and jealous (I’m still rockin’ the original iPod video). But really, a 6 year old with an iTouch?! Makes me wonder what my kids might have one day. On that same thought, it makes you wonder how Cambell might feel about her children’s interaction with new technology (and their children!).

How do you feel? Do you have experiences with family members or friends that have different views on technology?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Be Careful on Craigslist!

The Statesman recently posted information about two men accused of robbing people with the help of Craigslist. Apparently the two men placed advertisements on Craigslist pretending to sell an iPhone. Once the buyer was lured in to a location, such as a parking lot, the men would rob the person. According to police, four different meetings were set up between the robbers and unsuspecting buyers. All of the meetings were set up in business parking lots between the hours of 10:15pm and 11:30pm.

The men, identified as Arthur Anderson and Kent Jenkins, were both 18 years old. They have only been charged with robbery in a Braker Lane incident but police believe that the men were involved in several other similar incidents.

I found this new report somewhat disheartening. Of course we all know to be careful when dealing with individual sellers and buyers on Craigslist but it is despairing to see people use the site in such a negative form. I am personally a huge Craigslist fan and have been lucky to have positive experiences. I found my current job on Craigslist about a year ago and have been very fortunate. However, it seems that trusting Craigslist is not enough when dealing with certain individuals.

Below is a list of tips provided by Craiglist to help ensure safety:

When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
• Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
• Tell a friend or family member where you're going
• Take your cell phone along if you have one
• Consider having a friend accompany you
• Trust your instincts

It is important to note that these tips can apply to any encounter organized via Internet. Many people will often trust social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook to be reliable sources for meeting new people. In reality, individuals must always use caution when meeting people outside the realm of the World Wide Web. Of course this seems like common sense, but many people fall victim to online predators. Remember to always practice caution and safety when communicating with strangers via the Internet and social networking sites. What have been your experiences using Craigslist? Do you have any tips for other Craigslist users?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is Facebook Affecting Your Romantic Relationships?

Like many social networking sites, Facebook has become a highly used resource for both professional and personal use. Many of us, including myself, frequent Facebook many times a day resulting in what I like to call Facebook overload. When one spends so much time of Facebook lines between friendship, relationships, and reality begin to blur. Sometimes the content we post on Facebook can end up affecting different aspects of our lives, like professional image, friendships, and for some, their love life. In recent article by, they look at how Facebook has changed dating and the rules of dating in a negative way.

“We all know from experience that one threat is real: Facebook makes dating far more complicated than it used to be,” says author Samuel Axon.

Below is a list of 5 reasons why Facebook has affected dating for the worst (found on

1. Overanalyzing Will Drive You Crazy
2. You See All the Action Your Ex Is Getting
3. Relationships and Breakups Are Public
4. It’s a Record of Every Relationship Mistake You’ve Made
5. Other People’s Comment Will Make Your Date Jealous

From this list, it seems fairly clear that Facebook has created many difficulties for those in romantic relationships. Many of us may have even experienced one or two of the events on the above list. How do you feel about the effect of Facebook on relationships? What has been your experience?

Measuring Success in the Social Web

In Deltina Hay’s “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization”, Chapter 14 looks at measuring one’s success in the Social Web. It is necessary to measure your success in the Social Web to better understand the effect of your efforts and to discover room for improvement. First, Hay recommends narrowing your goal. What is your goal for using the Social Web for your business practices? What is the reason for your investment in utilizing social media? Below is a list of possible goals provided by Hay:

- Increasing Website traffic
- Driving sales or new business
- Monitoring brand awareness
- Improving customer relations
- Managing reputation
- Establishing credibility
- Creating buzz
- Improving public relations

Once you have defined your goal, the next step is to try to determine the success of your efforts. Hay describes two different ways to look at measurement: qualitative and quantitative. Below is an excerpt from chapter 14 of Hay’s social media guide describing qualitative framework for measuring social media engagement:

1. Attention. The amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time. Similar to the standard Web metrics of site visits and page/video views.
2. Participation. The extent to which users engage with your content in a channel. Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.
3. Authority. Ala Tecnhnorati, the inbound links to your content – like trackbacks and inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.
4. Influence. The size of the user base subscribed to your content. For blogs, [it is] followers on Twitter or Friendfeed; or [it is] fans of your Facebook page.

Another way to measure success is through quantitative measuring. In order to use quantitative measuring, you must have a goal with specific numbers. Below is an excerpt from Hay’s chapter 14, outlining a quantitative framework:

- Placement in Website search engines
- Placement in blog search engines
- Placement of social networking pages in searches
- Ranking in social bookmarking sites
- Popularity in crowd-sourcing sites
- Popularity of shared multimedia within media communities

So if you decide to measure your Social Web success using either a qualitative or quantitative framework, it is necessary to first establish a goal. Which method do you feel is the most effective way to measure Social Web success?

Apple iPad Sales Continue to Increase

Over the past few months there has been tremendous hype for the new Apple iPad. People all over the world have turned their attention and focus on Apple’s new creation and its introduction into the market. The iPad, which was made available in the U.S. on April 3rd, sold around 300,000 opening day. In addition, new iPad users were reported to have downloaded 1 million iPad applications and 250,000 e-books.

Since the first day of sales, iPad sales continue to flourish. At the April 8th Apple iPhone OS 4.0 press event, Steve Jobs announced the new sales and statistics for the iPad. Jobs reported that a total of 450,000 iPads had been sold since Saturday.

Jobs also reported the following statistics (found on

- Since the iPad launch on Saturday there have been 600,000 iBooks downloaded
- Over one million applications were downloaded to iPads on day one
- A total of 3.5 million applications have been downloaded to iPads since the launch
- There are now 3,500 iPad-specific applications available for download, with 185,000 total applications available across all devices
- Total app store downloads, across all platforms, have surpassed the 4 billion mark

So there you have it. Apple’s newest creation achieves success in a short amount of time. Although I believe this was expected by all. We are all intrigued to see what device Apple will launch next. What do you think? Will you invest in the new iPad? Why or why not?

Media Communities

This week our assigned reading out of Deltina Hay’s social media survival guide covered media communities and the importance of utilizing them for increasing exposure. Hay defines media communities as "social sites where you can save, share, and comment on multimedia items." Basically, media communities bring together people who want to share their photos, videos, music, etc. Media communities are just another example of social media and new ways to connect with people via the Internet.

Apart from using media communities as a new way to connect with others, they can also be a very useful tool in promoting and drawing interest to specific content. Hay uses an example of Dalton Publishing’s use of Flickr to promote various events related to newly published books. Dalton uses Flickr to post pictures of different events such as book signings and book readings for people to access. For those of you unfamiliar with Flickr, it is a image-sharing site that allows you to upload images and pictures to share with others.

Another example of a media community is the well-known video-sharing site, YouTube. Much like Flickr, YouTube allows users to upload video content to the site to share with others. YouTube also serves as a resource for organizations to upload video content of events or promotional videos to reach a high number of viewers.

One of the most important aspects of media communities is the ability to connect the content with blogs or websites. A user can simply load or link the content from a media community such as Flickr or YouTube to their personal or professional website. In my last blog, I discussed the web video I created for The Big Event. This is a perfect example of how you can create content, upload it to a media community, and then add it to your blog.

What are your thoughts on media communities? Do you have a Flickr or YouTube account? If so, describe your experience!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Big Event 2010

It’s that time again…THE BIG EVENT 2010! Are you ready? Join students in the community service project on April 10th 2010. This year, the annual St. Edward’s service project is bigger than ever! The event, which is sponsored by the Student Government association, is expected to bring in around 200-250 students to help improve and cleanup neighboring areas. Each year, students participate in The BIG Event to give back to communities and neighborhoods surrounding St. Edward’s University. St. Edward’s was founded on a mission statement that reflects giving back to others and having a positive impact on one’s community.

“The BIG Event is so important to the university and the student body, as it is a reflection of our commitment to being good neighbors. People in the community look forward to The BIG Event each year, and truly appreciate our help,” says Krista Heiden, director of Service for Student Government Association and main coordinator for The BIG Event.

This year also marks the 125th year anniversary of St. Edward’s University. Part of the yearlong celebration includes the 125 Service Challenge, a campus wide goal of achieving 75,000 service hours by the end of the year. Students are encouraged to participate in various campus service projects to help reach this goal. This year, The BIG Event service hours will be counted into the 125 Service Challenge.

Sign up for The BIG Event today by registering online or by stopping by The BIG Event table in the Ragsdale lobby.

For more information go to The BIG Event info page or email

Monday, March 29, 2010

The City of Brotherly Love? Teen Flash Mobbing Takes Control of Philadelphia

When we hear the word “flash mob” many of us are reminded of the brilliant T-Mobile dance in the London train station or the Trafalgar Square sing-along. However, in recent days, the word “flash mob” is beginning to take on a new form. While the original flash mobbing was organized and carried out in a harmless and fun manner, new forms of flash mobbing are starting to turn violent. According to the Associated Press, at least 5 different violent flash mobs have occurred in the Philadelphia area in the past year.

Flash mobs, which are often organized on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, have recently become more popular among teens in Philadelphia. However, while most teens choose to carry out flash mobs through song, dance, or even pillow fights, Philadelphia teens have taken things to a new level through the use of violence. According to the Associated Press, an estimated 2,000 teenagers took to the streets of Philadelphia on March 20th to wreak havoc. Witnesses claim that teens were blocking traffic, jumping on cars, and roughing up bystanders around the South Street area. Seth Kaufman, a 20-year-old pizza deliveryman was one of the bystanders attacked in the flash mob. Kaufman suffered from gashes along his back and arms and bruises on his forehead from kicking.
“By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks” said Kaufman.

The March 20th attack was not the first flash mob to hit Philadelphia. In the past year, there have been an estimated 4 violent flash mobs organized and carried out in the Philadelphia area. The first flash mob to create violence occurred on December 18th, 2009 at the Gallery food court and resulted in teens assaulting pedestrians in the Center City area. Authorities discovered that the gathering was organized via Facebook. On February 16th, between 50 and 150 juveniles rampaged a Macy’s department store ruining signs, mannequins, and displays. Also, fights broke out on March 3rd that were related to teenage rioting and flash mobbing that resulted in 28 arrests.

While it appears that flash mobbing teens are taking over Philadelphia, officials are vigorously fighting back. On March 22nd, 10 teenagers from the Macy’s riot were charged of felony rioting. Also, on Wednesday, March 24th, Mayor Michael Nutter addressed the flash mob issue to a crowd gathered at Headhouse Square in Philadelphia. The Mayor aims to control the flash mobbing issue and to reassure business owners and Philadelphia residents of their safety.

Prior to his public speech, Mayor Nutter and 40 uniformed officers took to the streets of 40th and Market to address an online rumor of a future flash mob occurrence in the area. Mayor Nutter requested businesses to close their doors and stationed officers at various corners. In Philadelphia, they mean business. Nutter plans to continue with his serious efforts to control the flash mobbing through curfews and various citywide restrictions to minors. However, while city officials work towards keeping the streets clean of flash mobbing, Nutter urges parents to keep a better eye on their children. In his public speech Nutter bluntly stated,
“I ran for mayor. I didn’t run for mother. I don’t know what causes someone to act like a jackass.”

Considering this new teenage adaptation of flash mobbing makes me wonder about the negative affects of social media. We have clearly seen how social media can positively bring people together for causes and goals, but the recent Philadelphia flash mobbing attacks really make me wonder how social media can negatively impact people. It is up to each individual to decide whether or not to use their social networking and Internet resources for good or evil, but are we giving adolescents too much power? Perhaps it isn’t social networking that is the danger but rather the actions that occur outside the realm of the World Wide Web. But is social networking to blame for bringing the individuals together?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Podcast #1

Podcast Show Notes

Hilltopper Weekly Podcast: Episode # 1- Monday, March 8, 2010

This week on the Hilltopper Weekly Podcast, Ellie, Natalie and Annie discuss the 125th year anniversary.

00:17 Quick introductions
00:26 Natalie introduces today’s topic
00:45 Ellie introduces the guest speakers
00:52 Natalie discusses the history of the university
02:15 Ellie interviews Marcie Lasseigne and Mischelle Diaz
06:46 Annie discusses the future of St. Ed’s
07:53 Ellie and Natalie close


Monday, March 1, 2010

"Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?"

The most asked question among Facebook fans this past month was “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?” Seemingly odd question at first, but those participating in this ‘inside’ joke can quickly find the humor. On February 3rd, 2010, a Facebook user named Coral Anne created the Facebook fan page “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?” as a joke. The joke being that more people would choose a pickle over the band Nickelback. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, Nickelback is a Canadian group of 3 that sings rock/pop songs. The band, while ridiculed among other musicians and music fans, still retains a large fan base. On Facebook, the band currently has 1,434,193 fans. So for Coral Anne to set out to find 1,434,193 plus people to choose a pickle over the band Nickelback, seems like quite a feat. However, on February 19th, 2010, only a little over two weeks of creating the page, the pickle won!

Within a matter of days, the pickle phenomenon launched into overdrive. You can now find pickle videos on Youtube, buy pickle fan t-shirts, and find pickle fans all over the world. Today the fan page has 1,533,368 fans, nearly 100 more than the band! How did she do it, you might ask? Well below is an excerpt from the fan page written by the founder herself:

1. This is all strictly intended for humour and nothing more or less. I am not using this page to endorse any hate towards the band Nickelback. I respect Nickelback and do not hate them. I am not behind any negative or hateful content that others post on this page as Facebook pages are designed to be public and I, the page's creator, have posted nothing of the sort myself. I do not wish Nickelback or any other bands any ill will and hope they would see the same humour in making this page as I have.

2. I have had no correspondence with Chad Kroeger or anyone affiliated with Nickelback. Anyone who says so is just spreading rumours and/or are mistaken by pictures that were posted on the site of someone with what was likely a fake account. Nickelback have not done anything wrong in lieu of the making of this page and if anyone out there says that they have, it is not true.

3. I am fully aware that I misspelled Nickelback as "Nickleback" in the name of the page. This is because Facebook doesn't allow you to put the word Nickelback in the name of a page because I guess if someone did it would be copyright infringement.

4. Yes, this page was inspired by "Can this onion ring get more fans than Justin Bieber?" before anyone tells me that I copied the guy who made that. I know I have but I thought his idea was so hilarious that I just had to do something in its likeness. So I was inspired, more or less!

In the description, Coral Anne admits to copying a fellow Facebook users idea for the page and purposely misspelling the band’s name in the title of the page in order to avoid copyright issues. However, as she claims, it is all for humor! Personally, I love the fact that a Facebook user can bring together a million and a half people who prefer a pickle to a well-known band. I also find humor in the Facebook group, as it is easy to put Nickelback at the butt of many music-based jokes.

Once again, the power of social media at it’s finest! One thing I do wonder is how the band plans to respond to the group. Do you think it is negative for their public image to lose in a Facebook battle to a pickle? If you were in their position, what would you do?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Podcasting 101

In chapter 5 of Deltina Hay's A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, she discusses the use of podcasting as a social media tool. The chapter, appropriately called "Podcasting, Vidcasting, & Webcasting, explains podcasting and how to go about creating a podcast. The chapter offers interesting tips and tools for first time podcasters.

In my Social Media for PR course, we have recently embarked on a new podcasting assignment. For the assignment, each group of 3 is required to create a podcast about the St. Edward's University 125 year anniversary. To be honest, when I first practiced podcasting, I was struck with a case of stage fright. Even though we are working on an audio podcast, I found it much more difficult to express myself verbally rather than writing. Since I am so unfamiliar with podcasting, I wasn't sure where to start or where to turn to deliver useful content. For someone who is a first time podcaster, like myself, Hay's tips in this chapter help to understand the content of podcasts and how to utilize them as a tool.

What is a podcast? Hay describes a podcast as “a blog composed of episodes of audio or video entries rather than text, and can be subscribed to like any blog/feed” (121). In a way, an individual can create their own weekly episode or clip to create their own show. This gives people the power to create a following of their content.

When starting your first podcast, the first question to ask is what will your podcast be about? For me, I was lucky to be assigned a topic for my first podcast rather than having to create an original topic of interest. It is important to present an interesting topic so people will continue to listen or view your podcast.

One of my first questions for this assignment was… what do I say?! Well, it is important to remember that you want to content to be interesting for the reader. A podcast can be so much more than one person speaking the whole time. Adding jingles and interviews can add a great deal to the segment. Also, many podcasts follow an outline. Below is the outline provided by Hay in chapter 5 (123-124):

• Opening (30-60 seconds)
- Introduce the podcast as a whole.
- This should be the same for each episode.
- Mention the name of the podcast, what its purpose is, and the URL where it can be found.
- Introduce yourself and who you are.
- Introduce the topic of the episode.
- Mention the episode number.
- Introduce the guests if you have any.
• Opening Jingle (30 seconds)
• Main Topics (6 to 12 minutes)
- Depends on the type of episode you are recording.
- An informational podcast typically only six minutes long.
- A panel or interview could be as long as twelve minutes.
• Intermission (30 seconds)
- Break up longer episodes with an intermission.
- Use music for the intermission.
• Closing (2 minutes)
- Thank your guests if you have any.
- Thank the audience for listening.
- Announce the next episode topic.
- Repeat the podcast URL.
• Closing Jingle (60 seconds)

Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for my first podcast posting :)
Click here to get started with your first podcast with Audacity
For examples of podcasts go here, to see the people's choice for 2009's top podcasts

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Dalai Lama on Twitter??

Celebrity activity is something that has always been apart of the Twitter community. Since it’s founding, celebrities have flocked to Twitter to express their opinions, promote their work, and to gain followers. Celebrities such as Britney Spears and Lance Armstrong top the 2009 celebrity Twitter lists along with politicians Al Gore and President Obama. Twitter has become a common practice for celebrities to reach their public.

In 2009, Time Magazine Online listed 10 top celebrities Twitters as follows:
1. Britney Spears
2. Snoop Dogg
3. John Hodgman: PC Guy
4. Claire McCaskill
5. Lance Armstrong
6. Shaquille O’Neal
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
8. David Lynch
9. Ashton Kutcher
10. Demi Moore

While many celebrities were quick to sign-up and start tweeting, many others took their time before joining the networking site. New reports are circulating that Bill Gates has recently joined the Twitter ranks on February 19th. Within a few days, he has accumulated approximately 500,000 followers and growing. Also, popular rapper Lil Wayne has become a new user in the Twitter realm. His account was created on February 21st and has gained around 120,000 followers.

Another big name to make a scene in the Twitter world is the Dalai Lama. According to, the Dalai Lama signed up for a Twitter account on February 22nd. Many would think the famous spiritual leader would be the last person to create a Twitter account. More proof that Twitter is taking over the world? On February 21st, creator and founder of Twitter, Evan Williams posted a tweet saying “Met the Dalai Lama today in L.A. Pitched him on using Twitter. He laughed.” The very next day, the Dalai Lama created an official Twitter account.

Within a few hours of registering an account, the Dalai Lama has an estimated 35,500 followers. However, within that time the account has been jazzed up with photos and webcasts from the Dalai Lama’s web team. Click here to see the Dalai Lama’s Twitter page.

What I find the most interesting about these reports is the number of people following these celebrities within a matter of days. It is so fascinating to see 500,000 people join together to view Bill Gates’ Twitter activity within 3 days. This once again proves the power of Twitter and the sheer number of people actively using the site.

Would these celebrities have been able to reach such a large number of people within the same time span without using Twitter? What are your thoughts on these new celebrity additions to Twitter?

View the post on the Dalai Lama's Twitter addition

Monday, February 22, 2010

Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0

In chapter 3 of Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message authors, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, discuss the changes in web communication and the development of Web 2.0. The chapter titled “The Democratization of Everything” appropriately addresses the need for democracy in order for social media to thrive.

Back in the day, organizations communicated with consumers through one-way communication. Typically, big business and large corporations broadcasted messages to consumers and consumers were left to accept the messages. When the Internet was originally created, this was the sort of marketing and consumer strategy that was still in place. During the 1990’s many large corporations attempted to create websites to harness more power over consumers. When discussing Time Warner Cable’s efforts to produce a website in 2004, writer Kara Swisher says, “like all traditional media companies, it talked while consumers were supposed to listen” (52). This sort of communication greatly separated the business and consumer, leaving the consumer in a vulnerable position.

However, around 2004, the Internet began to change into what we now call ‘Web 2.0’. Web 2.0 marked the beginning of consumer power against big business communication. McConnell and Huba define Web 2.0 as “creating collaborative Web experiences when information is shared multilaterally” (57). The new Web 2.0 attracted consumers to the Internet in ways that they never had been before. Websites like opened doors for consumers to use the Internet to their advantage.

According to McConnell and Huba, “Web 1.0 was primarily one-way communication between Web-site owner and visitor, then Web 2.0 is multiple-way communication between Web-site owner and visitor, and visitors with other visitors” (57).

In the years to follow, people began to see a rise of blogs, personal videos, and self-expression through the use of the Internet. When looking at the resources available to consumers today, it is difficult to imagine a time with such restricted power on consumer communication. However, the authors point out that social media is a field that still requires additional study and understanding. The inspiring part is that there is still so much to learn and discover in social media. The potential alone is enough to inspire fresh new bloggers and podcasters each day.

How do you feel about the changes that have been made over the past 20 years in consumer communication and social media? Considering how far the field has come over such a short period of time, where do you see social media in the next 10 years? 20?

A Closer Look at LinkedIn

In a world of budding social networking tools and innovations, it is often easy to overlook new additions to the already impressive line-up. I have dedicated my focus specifically to Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, and blogs, and have recently realized my lack of attention to the networking site, Linkedin. While I have been completely aware of the development of Linkedin and the usage among my peers, I have never once taken the time to review it myself. So my friends, I will dedicate this post to understanding the benefits of using Linkedin and review several tips for improved interaction on the site.

What is Linkedin? According to, the site has three main goals for users:
1. Re-connect
2. Power your career
3. Get answers

The masterminds behind this social networking site intend for users to be able to communicate with long lost friends, create career opportunities, network in their fields, and of course connect!

Much like other social networking sites, Linkedin offers users an option of connecting with other users on several different levels. Users can connect either on a personal or professional level through the use of this site. However, unlike sites like Facebook and Myspace that have a predominant focus on personal and social use, Linkedin focuses mainly of professional advancement.

The following tips are courtesy of Chris Brogan at

• First Impressions are important! Make sure your headline reflects who you are and should contain your current company.
• Make sure your summary reflects who you are. Lead with what you do most and the type of business that you want to do. Then explain in detail. Your summary should be written in the mindset of a prospective employer.
• Refresh your summary every two weeks.
• Make sure your past experience reflects your future goals. Make sure the functions listed in past experience would be useful for future positions.
• Ask for recommendations (but only from people who can vouch for your abilities).
• Review your profile as if you’re a prospective new boss
• Enter your blog’s RSS feed on the profile page
• Add a photo (find a good candid)
• Grow your network
• Keep looking at your profile as it applies to your future

To view Chris Brogan’s LinkedIn click here

To see the original list of tips go to here

Citizen Marketers

In chapter one of Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba’s book, Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message, they create a basis for understanding what they call citizen marketers. The authors explain citizen marketers and the breakdown of the different types of citizen marketers. The chapter creates a great basis in order to successfully understand the book material.

What are citizen marketers? According to McConnell and Huba, “citizen marketers create what could be considered marketing and advertising content on behalf of people, brands, products, or organizations” (4). They go on to explain that citizen marketers are unique individuals dedicated to benefiting people, organizations, etcetera. These individuals are not necessarily trained in marketing or advertising fields but act solely out of passion for their particular cause. McConnell and Huba describe citizen marketers as individuals that are “driven by passion, creativity, and a sense of duty” (4).

Citizen marketers are not exactly individuals that are easy to come by. The authors explain citizen marketers as individuals that are out of the norm and not the average consumer. However, citizen marketers will often bring others together to achieve the desired outcome. McConnell and Huba interestingly divide citizen marketers into 4 different categories: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers. These categories are known as the four Fs (5). The authors describe the different categories and pair each with thorough examples. We will take a closer look at the four Fs to better understand the roles of citizen marketers.

The Filters: as represented by their name, the Filters are typically known as information gatherers. The Filters will gather various pieces of media from each available medium. The Filters will cover most of the journalistic work and remain up to date with news.

The Fanatics: base majority of their work on analysis of gathered information. The Fanatics are considered “true believers and evangelists” (10). The Fanatics will typically cheer on their chosen organization or individual, but will also criticize when mistakes are made.

The Facilitators: will gather people together in different mediums. The Facilitators, mirroring their name, will gather a community to represent their specific cause. McConnell and Huba compare the Facilitators to “mayors of online towns” (17) due to their contributions in bringing a large number of people together.

The Firecrackers: typically attracts a large audience through their efforts or actions. Firecrackers are known as the “one-hit wonders of citizen marketers” (19). People tend to draw interest from what a Firecracker marketer presents to the public, which results in a large audience. However, not all Firecrackers seek out publicity. It is possible for a Firecracker marketer to reach overnight celebrity for a personal video, webpage, song, etcetera due to public interest.

Overall, chapter 1, ‘Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Firecrackers’, the authors informed the reader about citizen marketers and how each type can specifically affect an audience. Each type of citizen marketer has a different role in achieving a goal for a specific entity. The chapter offered an understanding of how these seemingly average people can set out to achieve a specific goal in society and achieve it. I find it so interesting to see how people can set out with an outrageous goal and lack of tools, and overpower large corporations. It truly shines a light on the power of creativity and passion.

To view more information about the book click here: Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message

50 Million Tweets Per Day.. Oh my!

Since it’s founding in 2006, the social networking site, Twitter, has been on a fast incline to global phenomenon. Twitter, which first took flight (no pun intended) in early 2007 with the success of its South by Southwest (SXSW) launch, has quickly become one of the top networking sites used today. Twitter allows users to communicate their message and voice to a potentially large audience. As a result, individuals are able to control communication with larger numbers of people than ever before.

Twitter entices a large audience of users due to its multifunctional use. Twitter can easily be used for social and entertainment reasons as well as a professional tool. The Twitter users range from young adolescents to CEOs. The beauty of the site is that these individuals can connect so simply and effectively. As a social tool, Twitter can be used to connect with friends and family. As an entertainment tool, celebrities and influential members of society can apply image control and branding. As a professional tool, organizations can connect with consumers. Twitter is a tool that can be used in countless ways. However, the most important thing is that Twitter enables individuals to reach a large network of individuals and stakeholders.

In new findings, Twitter has reported that Twitter users send out an average of 50 million tweets per day. 50 million! According to Ben Parr of, 50 million tweets per day is the equivalent to 600 tweets per minute. It is shocking to think of a networking site originally launched at SXSW to reach such statistics. Twitter has increased tremendously through the years. Below is a past report from Royal Pingdom (courtesy of Parr):

• In 2007, around 5,000 tweets were sent per day.
• By 2008, the number grew to 300,000 tweets per day.
• By 2009, around 2.5 million tweets were sent through Twitter every single day.
• By the end of 2009, the numbers rose to 35 million tweets per day.
• As of now, Twitter sees 50 million tweets created per day.

It is clear that Twitter has greatly increased its user activity over the years. In 2010, Twitter is more powerful than ever before. However one chooses to use the site, there is no doubt that it is an influential medium in our society.

For those of you living under a rock you can access Twitter at
Click here to follow me on Twitter
To view Ben Parr's article go to "Twitter Hits 50 Million Tweets Per Day"

Social Bookmarking

I found chapter 7, ‘Social Bookmarking & Crowd-Sourcing’ to be very useful and easy to follow. The author of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, Deltina Hay presented instructions and images for the reader to better understand social bookmarking. In my Social Media for PR class, I have experienced the use of social bookmarking for the first time. To be honest, I was at first lost in the haze of but soon found myself catching on. The images and screen shots provided in chapter 7 offers an easy insight to I can now officially say that I am no longer a victim of a cluttered bookmarks bar on the top of my browser. With the help of Delicious, I have been able to organize my bookmarks while gathering additional useful sources along the way. Needless to say, I am officially hooked.

For those of you who are not aware of, it is a social bookmarking site that allows you to publicly bookmark and connect with other individuals. Delicious allows users to bookmark their favorite sites and resources and to share that information with others. Likewise, you can view others’ bookmarks. In a way, Delicious creates a short cut in information finding and research. Thanks to the use of ‘tagging’, search time is cut in half and information can be found more easily.

In her chapter, Hay provides insight and tips on how to use social bookmarking sites such as Delicious. Hay points out that the social bookmarking and social web interaction “is about interacting, sharing, and collaboration—not self promotion” (182). It is important to remember the original reason and need for social bookmarking sites… to connect with individuals with similar interests and in turn receive useful resources.

Hay recommends that social bookmarking users “bookmark, tag, and comment on sites that interest you, and connect with others with similar interests” (182). Much like popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the user must remain active in the network in order to receive results. Like any relationship, digital or personal, it is necessary to stay engaged in interactions in order to be successful.

Another tip Hay provides in the chapter is to “create a list of your best key terms to use as tags and use them as often as they apply to the sites you bookmark. Use your best tags within the descriptions you give each of your bookmarked sites as well” (183). By using thoughtful tags, it is easier for the user to recover saved bookmarks. Also, similar bookmark tags are great indicators of other users with common interests. When viewing another user’s bookmarked pages, it is useful to view their personal ‘tag bubble’ to get a sense of their interests and resources. A ‘tag bubble’ or ‘tag cloud’ is a list of tags found within your bookmark account. Each word you use to tag specific sites can be found in the ‘tag bubble’. The larger the word, the more prevalent the tag is in your account. It is also interesting to view your own ‘tag bubble’ to see which tags represent your content as a user.

So far, I have been very pleased with my interaction and discoveries on Delicious. While it took me a few tries to catch on, I have really developed an appreciation for social bookmarking. I have already started to build a network of individuals with my similar interests and have found sources I am not sure I would have otherwise. However, it is important to note that Delicious is one of the many site choices for participating in social bookmarking. Hay also recommends Technorati and StumbleUpon as additional social bookmarking resources.

Get started on Delicious at
Also, you can Follow me on Delicious

For additional tips from Deltina Hay on social bookmarking click here

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Viral Phenomenon: "Pants on the Ground"

I always find it funny when the online community is struck by a new viral phenomenon. Whether it be a YouTube video, advertisement, news clip, etc. it is interesting to watch these things take on true popularity within our society. In 2004 William Hung took the country by storm with his rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs". Millions of people watched as Hung demonstrated his famous dance moves and vocals. Today, William Hung still performs live and can be followed on Thanks to American Idol, Hung became an overnight sensation. Now 6 years later and following 2010's American Idol premiere, many are calling "General" Larry Platt the next William Hung. The 62 year old Atlanta native took the spotlight on American Idol's opening night of auditions last Tuesday. Platt's original rap song "Pants on the Ground" left the judges in fits of laughter and even led Simon Cowell to comment " I don't think this is the last we are going to hear about you. I have a feeling about you Larry ". In the wake of Platt's instant success, he is scheduled to air on several television talk shows including The View and fans can even purchase t-shirts with the phrase "Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground". According to Brenna Ehrlich of, Jimmy Fallon took to the stage on Friday day with his own version on Platt's "Pants on the Ground" (

Given the recent success of Platt, many journalists and bloggers have taken the extra step to discover more about this overnight sensation. In her blog, Reality Rocks: Where Unscripted Television Faces the Music, Lyndsey Parker takes a closer look at Platt's personal achievements prior to his American Idol success. In her article 'General Larry Platt: A Real American Idol', Parker describes Platt's involvement with Atlanta's Civil Rights movement in the 1960's. On September 4, 2001, General Larry Platt was honored by the state of Georgia with the official Larry Platt Day. Platt was a student of Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in many non-violent civil rights groups. I find it extremely interesting that Platt's current American Idol success has brought to light his true community contributions. To see Parker's article:

As a result from his current American Idol fame, I hope that people can look past Platt's American Idol audition and see a man that has greatly impacted his community. Unlike William Hung, who is known simply for his American Idol catastrophe, I hope that Platt will remain in the public eye and remembered for his life achievements. However, I do think that the most important thing to reflect on in the General Larry Platt phenomenon is the true ability of viral social media to connect our society with this story. Without things such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Platt would simply be another funny audition on American Idol. However, with the use of these tools, Platt has now become an American Idol celebrity. Perhaps he is only the next William Hung, but perhaps Platt will be able to create his own name based on his valuable contributions to society.

Click here for a clip of Platt of Youtube
Click here to see Jimmy Fallon's rendition of "Pants on the Ground"

Web 2.0

" The media, communications, ad marketing landscape in which the public relations industry was developed is being knocked down [...] It is the decline of media based on a top-down model of communications. In this model, a small group of elites are briefed in advance with messages that are too often tightly scripted to brief the national newspaper, broadcast networks and newsmagazines. The message is then simplified and communicated to a mass audience via advertising or as "earned" editorial. This model, as epitomized by Youtube, Myspace, Oh My News and Wikipedia, ordinary people provide content to others. Ideas and information are passed virally. This consumer generated content alters the laws of control message. Many are calling this new social and user driven media 'Web 2.0.' "
- Richard Edelman, CEO of the largest independently owned PR firm in the world (c/o Corrine W.)