Social Media Closes up Shop

Well it’s officially over.  Social media 101 is done.  We’ve all we ever need to know about social media right?  I think not.  This class has been one of the most entertaining classes I think I have ever taken at Creighton.  Every day was something new, something I have never studied, looked at, or even heard of before.  I mean really who ever heard of Kred before this class, or maybe it’s just me. I think that this class definitely inspired in me a new love for twitter, even though I am still not up to par with some people.  I think that overall this class was so great for me and taught me so much because it was so much fun.  It didn’t feel like I was going to class,  it was more than that I think.  I mean who gets to go to the Nebraska Humane Society for class and actually say that it was helpful.  This class opened up a whole new view on social media for me.  Even though I used Facebook every day and Twitter occasionally I never really understood the impact that social media can have on every day life.  Out of every lesson this semester I think the one that impacted me most was the Sentence assignment.  Having to actually sit down and think about something like that was not only challenging for me but also eye-opening.  It really made me look at myself and what I’m here for.  Even though I think my sentence may have changed from when I created it, it is something that I still remember and think I won’t ever really forget.  Oh and the pie. I will never forget the pie.

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Playing with my Puppy

Having recently bought a puppy there are quite a few things that I have learned over the past month.  Her name is Rio and she loves to pounce on things, including but not limited to, my face.  She plays a game where she hides under the futon and the minute you put your head down to she exactly what she is doing she goes in for the attack.  Now you would think after all this time I would have learned my lesson but for whatever reason I get caught in her trap every single time.  Beyond eating my face she does eat normal puppy things, like water bottles, chair legs, textbooks, and hair brushes.  She is probably the most exciting part of my life right now.  Of course there are the bad things that come with getting a puppy like accidents in the house.  Now she is doing alright in that category for only being 3 months old (tomorrow) but its a slow process.  She is the biggest brat yet the biggest sweetheart all at the same time.  My friends have given her 2 names, depending on her personality for the day, she is either Princess Rio or Piranha Rio.  Personally i think she is both at the same time but maybe that’s because I live with her every day and receive the most puppy breath kisses and the most puppy teeth bites.  Either way she is my puppy and my cuddle buddy and my favorite person to talk to.  I recently asked my roommate “How did I end up with her, I mean what happened here?”  and then I answered my own question before she could even open her mouth.  “She is probably the best decision I’ve ever made. Ever.”

Social Media Tricks

I recently visited the Nebraska Human Society where I was able to learn some new tricks for social media.  Elizabeth Hilpipre is the social media expert for all things, including how to delete pictures on a phone.   Shes manages the Humane Society Facebook page, two Twitter accounts (one for just cats), the website, and on top of all that plans and promotes fundraising events on all media outlets.  Being in charge of all social media outlets is a tough job for anyone, mainly because of how social it really is.  Elizabeth has to consistently check and respond to any posts, comments, tweets, questions, all within a timely fashion, or else people will stop interacting with them online.  One of the things I found interesting was the research Elizabeth has been doing to figure out how to effectively use social media to get results.  She looks for the right time of day to post, what pictures to post, what events sell on which outlets, etc.  One fact she shared was that the internet is mainly cat people, which surprised me.  Having to deal with so many different factors makes Elizabeth’s job extremely difficult, because everything is a guessing game for her.

One thing that Elizabeth had found in her research was that Twitter doesn’t work for them in the same way Facebook.  They have more engagement and likes on Facebook than followers on Twitter.  With all the new changes Facebook has been making though she has seen a slight drop, since the new Timeline layout makes engaging on the page more difficult for viewers.  With social media constantly changing Elizabeth is forced to constantly change her tactics as well.  She also talked about the recent creation of a Pinterest account and how she has yet to figure out the most effective way to use it.  She doesn’t know how to read people on the site, or how to get them to interact with what she pins.  Her whole job is off of trial and error until she figures out what works.  Social media can sometimes be very social and helpful to people like Elizabeth, but sometimes an old trick gets taken out by a new dog.

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Not So Invisible Afterall

Recently a video went viral online, reaching over 100 million views in just six days, the fastest record yet.  This video is not a child after his trip to the dentist, or a teen girl singing a song about a day of the week, instead it is a video looking to make a change.  It is a video hoping to  inspire a worldwide movement to make the lives of others better.  It is a video to make people act.  The video is Kony2012.  It was created by Invisible Children Inc. an organization which began working in Uganda in 2005.

The video was created in order to raise awareness of what exactly is going on in Africa and how we CAN make a difference. The video is a call to action directed at the new technologically centered generation.  Obviously by reaching so many views in such a short time the video was working well.  Research done by Gilad Lotan of Social Flow showed an in-depth analysis of how the video was able to become as viral as it did.  Beginning in small pockets of people the video spread from one connection to another.  It was a very simple process to follow.  Watch the video. Share the video. Make a difference.  Ethan Zuckerman talks more about how the simplicity of the video worked in its favor.

And truly the video was simple.  Joseph Kony is a bad man doing bad things to innocent people and he needs to be stopped.  All we have to do to make that happen is make sure people know who he is.  Make people aware of the problem and they will fight for a change.  The video is emotional, informative, and beautifully simple.  It makes people feel something and want to act.  And that’s exactly what it was meant to do.

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Where did the time go? How did I miss it?

So I’ve been sitting here in my living room for the past 20 or so minutes talking to my roommate about out future and our plans, and even where we think we would like to end up in our lives one day.  Then the realization hit me that I have roughly 1 year to figure out what I’m going to do with my life. I don’t graduate for a year and a few months but at the same time the thought of truly being out in the professional world is slightly intimidating.

Right now my worries are what tests I have coming up, making sure I use the correct formatting on a paper etc.  But all of those things seem trivial when I think about my future and what I really want to do.  Of course I want to be happy and I want to travel and see the world, and I want to fall in love, and have the happily ever after wedding like Cinderella.  All of those things are pretty universal I think.  Just thinking about what I want to do and how much time I don’t seem to have anymore is really hitting me today for some reason.

Then of course the price of everything is a huge factor in my life.  Like do I want to go to grad school or not? If I went would I even go for anyway?  Could I find a job right out of college? Would it pay enough? What if I didn’t want to stay in the Midwest anymore and I wanted to move to California then what, how do I even go about getting a job there? All of these questions and more keep running through my mind and I just can’t seem to pick out the right answer.  I know what I love and I know what I’m good at but how do I do that in life and how can I be a professional and still live where I want, do what I want, and be the person I want to be?

Hopefully with the coming year I will be able to clear up all these answers and I definitely better figure out what I’m going to do after I graduate but for right now I’ll continue sitting in my living room, listening to music, and typing up a paper for my class this week, and leave the rest for later.

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Real Life and Growing Up

Being in college definitely gives someone a reality check from high school, but living in dorms and eating cafeteria food isn’t exactly the real world experience. Having moved off campus into an actual apartment where my roommate and I have real bills to pay, food to cook, and basic maintenance that a place needs to have.  Of course all we wanted was to grow up and be considered real professional women, but then we get our first winter gas bill and want it all to stop, paying over $100 for heat was not what we expected.  Then after getting our large bill we talked about ways to make it go down next month and finally got our wish, when our furnace broke.  Calling the furnace company, making arrangements for them to come over while we somehow had a break in our busy schedule, all while wrapped in blankets was not our view of the “grown up world.”

After resolving the furnace issue we thought we were home free, and things went well for about a month. Then after a long workout in the odd weekend weather of sunshine snow all my roommate and I wanted was a hot shower, but when I turned the water on, and waited for it to reach that perfect temperature we realized that we had no hot water. Our water heater was out. No hot showers.  So we called the water heater company to get a repairman out as soon as possible then sat around from 9 – 1 because of course they can give you no real arrival time.  Now that we have hot water we have come to realize that growing up is nowhere near as fun as we imagined it as children. But there are so many things that come along with growing up that we never expected. Including the rare moments we had as we huddled together under multiple blankets drinking hot chocolate and laughing the night away.


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Social Media 4 Good

At the Social Media 4 Good presentation on Wednesday I was able to listen to some great discussions on how social media can really work for a business.  While many of those in the audience were confused about what exactly a hashtag was, the conversation was still insightful.  Brittany Mascio from Silicon Prairie News spoke about the difficulties of keeping multiple social media sites connected in the minds of users.  Having to maintain an events individual identity while connecting it to a larger brand name is a challenging task that Brittany has to take on every day in planning events.  Brittany also spoke about how different sites were more useful than others for particular events.  For the work done at Silicon Prairie the best way to get information out the public is through twitter, not Facebook as some predicted.  Being able to recognize what works best for your target audience is key to using social media.

Joe Moore from Creighton College of Arts and Sciences knows all about reaching a particular target audience.  As the direction of promotions for CCAS he has to communicate with multiple students on their terms.  Although he may start his day at roughly 6am that is not even close to the time an average college student will allow light into their room.  So Joe had to adjust the times he sent out information to when students would be most likely to read it, even if that meant he was up until 1am.  Being able to reach the audience is the biggest factor in using social media.  If you can’t get to the people you want then whats the point of using media in the first place.

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Social Networks are Saving Lives

Recently my roommate had to go home unexpectedly last weekend because her father, Mark, was taken to the hospital for an emergency quadruple bypass surgery.  After having continual chest pain he decided to go into the doctor to find out what the problem was, Mark’s doctor ran tests on his heart and the findings were not good.  Two of Mark’s arteries were suffering from a 70% blockage and one with a 95% blockage.  The doctor scheduled the surgery on Mark’s heart for three days after his original appointment.  Dozens of messages appeared on his facebook wall minutes after his initial post about the situation, and many more comments of support appeared over the days leading up to the surgery.  As Mark recovered he was even in good enough spirits to post pictures of his always fashionable hospital attire.

Just a day ago when I was looking (creeping) through the posts on his wall, including some very funny jokes about hospitals, I noticed a heartwarming and unexpected post. One of Mark’s friends, Chris, had commented on a post stating that he had been following the updates and finally took notice of his own chest pain.  He made an appointment with his doctor for the next day and went in hoping for the best.  Chris’s doctor sent him to the ER for further testing which revealed that his heart had two blockages, one at 99% and the other at 95%.  Chris was taken in for an immediate surgery and had two stints put in.  Chris said that Mark’s story saved his life.  Mark’s story would never have reached Chris if not for facebook. While some say social media is ruining our ability to have relationships with people outside of technology , its stories like these that make me believe that social media sites have a purpose in our world.

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Google+ knocked out by Facebook

Why (in my opinion) is Facebook better than Google+? Well for starters I have only ever really know about Facebook, it was the “in thing” when I was growing up, so that’s what I’m used to.  I had honestly never even heard about Google+ until about a month or so ago.  When I first got my Google+ account the very first thing that I disliked about it was that I had to get yet another email account.  While I don’t think Google+ is a total waste of time and effort, I just don’t think it is something that is going to take off for my generation.  We pretty much were, and still are, the Facebook generation.

Looking at both Facebook and Google+ side by side they honestly could be almost the same site.  They have the same basic layout, same chat options, even roughly the same color scheme.  But there is something about Google+ that just makes it uninteresting, it’s like there really isn’t that much to do on it.  My main thought for why Google+ has yet to really take off is because barely anyone even knew that it existed.  And for the few who did know about it I can’t imagine they used it very often.  I mean what’s the fun in using a social media site if no one else is there to be social with.

Facebook took a little bit to catch on, even for me, so maybe Google+ will be the same way, but I think Facebook may have beaten them to the punch.

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In today’s world there seem to be more new and fun things to do.  From new apps for my phone to new websites, like Pinterest, to new TV shows, new music, new everything.  The technological world is constantly changing and evolving and growing to reach more and more people in new ways.

Growing up in this technological phenomena which took the world by storm has been an experience that I hardly even notice as being abnormal anymore.  As a child there was no thought in my mind that I would one day being using technology like Skype to communicate with family.  Or that I would read a book for class using a device made of glass and plastic.  All the technology that I grew up with seems like just another part of life to me.

One of the best memories I with technology have is of a trip I took to Paris.  I know who wouldn’t love a trip to Paris right?  But it was a different trip than most take.  My grandma and I went together to visit some family and we stayed in a family house in the Alps.  This house had no phone, no TV, no radio, my Ipod was dead, and no computer even close.  We spent a whole week there, just my grandma and I.  We would walk to the market down the road and buy all the food we needed and then we would spend the day walking around the Alps.  It was perfect, and I have never felt at peace like that since we left and technology came back into my life.

Being so connected is great and technology makes things easier but if I could go back to that house I think I would be just as happy.

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