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