Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Definitions of Social Media and New Media

In our Social Media for PR class, we are reading Engage! by Brian Solis. While reading the chapters on the definitions of new media and social media, I found the attempts to define both terms to be interesting.  My personal learning project (more details to come) revolves around different types of social/new media that are being used in higher education.  When I first started looking into this topic, I was really narrow minded and looking for all the wrong things and thought that our school didn't use much social media other than for marketing purposes.  

After reading into the book more, the picture of what is included in social/new media in a university setting began to come together.  In classes when we use blackboard or wikis, it's new media.  When my organization uses Evite! to invite people to an event, it's new media.  And when we also internally use blogs to keep in touch and show we're learning over the summer, it's new media.  Social/new media is most commonly known, however, as: facebook, twitter, tumblr, and foursquare.  

I know it's much more than that.  There's blogs, social bookmarking, picture sharing, and video sharing.  However, I never thought much of these tools being useful in a different way.  The examples of Southwest Airlines, Jet Blue, Red Cross, Oracle, and IBM in chapters 3-6 of Engage! were helpful in illustrating that.  I am finding that the cases and examples are showing how only what's worked, but also some road blocks and how to overcome them.  It's given me a new starting point to look at when going forward with my project, as well as with finding out what skills might help me in the future.

Bloggers: The Next Generation

When I heard that the New York Times was going to start charging for digital subscriptions, I immediately worried and was not excited at all about this new development.  While the fee isn't much (comparatively) and the motives are understandable, I still wasn't happy that I would have to pay to read the articles I see on twitter every day.  Then I learned that articles made available and linked to through their official twitter feeds would still be available to the public, and I felt much much better.

It is easiest to get my news from my twitter feed than any other way. I wake up every morning and before I even get out of bed I check my twitter feed.  There I get to see what's going on with friends, brands, and news  before I turn on the Today Show while getting ready.  Throughout the day, I normally check twitter now and then plus tweet a few times if I find something interesting or have something exciting to share.  It's become a habit to get my news and read online posts almost solely through tweets with links, and that's why I when I found a New York Times article (through twitter) about how blogs are not as popular with younger generations, I found myself agreeing.

Though blogs are normally pretty brief, I find it much easier to find something I want to read by going through twitter, and not just searching until I find something relevant.  I try really hard to use Google reader daily, but the fact of the matter is that it is much easier to read twitter than anything else.  Twitter is brief, mobile, can include videos, pictures, links, and it allows for instant interaction.  Unless you have gotten into the habit of reading through blog posts daily, the instant gratification of scrolling through tweets is hard to beat.  The future of blogging is going to all about how bloggers tweet and link back to it... in the shortest and most creative ways possible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tweetcast of St. Edward's Passion and Civility Debate Finals

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A different kind of #winning

Forget Charlie Sheen.  James Franco has established what it really means to be "winning."  Hint: it has nothing to do with tiger blood, goddesses, or money.  James Franco is proving himself as the best multitasker ever... and is putting all of our "I'm too busy" excuses to shame.

In a recent New York Times article highlighting his dedication to everything he does, Lisa Foderaro revealed that James Franco made it to his 9:00am doctoral class the morning after he hosted the Oscars with Anne Hathaway.  Any college student would think he's nuts--why wouldn't he stay and go to all the parties? But Franco proves once again that he's dedicated to obtaining his doctoral degree in English.  Any doctoral program is grueling itself, but add movie-star and another master's degree program at NYU, and you're just asking for stress.

Franco's online presence has made it easy for anyone to follow his daily adventures.  He posts pictures and videos of things he's up to via his twitter, but without any accompanying text.  There are also websites and students at Yale committed to reporting sightings of him around campus.  Which by the way, his residence is in New York City... and Yale is in Connecticut.  Talk about dedication.

As a student who tries to stay busy and on top of my work, it's unbelievable how he manages to do so many high-stress and high-commitment things at once.  He should really be teaching a class about time management, not film editing.  He's a true multitasker and deserves way more credit than he gets (especially after his okay hosting of the Oscars).

credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images