Top 13 Blog Posts

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Throught the semester in Elon University's iMedia program, blogging has been a requirement. This document presents a selection of my favorite blog posts. The full blog can be accessed here: http://com530.wordpress.com

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  • TheMediaInteractiveWheelSeptember23,2009ByShelleyRussellDavisFoulgersEcologicalModeloftheCommunicationsProcessisgood,butnotgreat.Atfirstglance,itappearstoincludemostelementsofcurrentcommunication.Foulgersdottedlinesbetweenthecreatorsandconsumersindicatethatthereissomecrossoverbetweenthetwo.Message,languagesandmediaareinthecentertoindicatethatmessagesaretransmittedinbetweenproducers/creatorsandconsumers/audiences.ButthenFoulgersmodeltakesawrongturn:Heassertsthatcreatorsimagineandcreatemessagesandconsumersobserve,attributeandinterpretmessages.True,butthesedefinitionsexcludethemoreactiveconsumerbase,ortheprosumers.Whoistosaythattheconsumersarenttheoneswhoarecreatingorimaginingoriginalcontent?ThisisthedefinitionofbloggingandusergeneratedinformationontheWeb.Producers,asmentionedmultipletimesinCharleneLisTheGroundswell,shouldbeconstantlyobservingandinterpretingtheirmessageaswell.Successcomesfromlisteningtoconsumersandrespondingtotheirneeds.Foulgersmodelalsoleavesouttheideathatconsumersarecommunicatingwitheachothermorenowthaneverbefore.Interpretationofmessagesoccurswithintheconsumerbase,notjustperindividualWebuser.Withallthisbeingsaid,howcanonecreateamodelthatincludesallofthenecessarycomponents?Interactivemediaisallowingforamoretransparentinformationflow,makingitmoredifficulttodefinespecificrolesinthecommunicationtimeline.Wherecanindividualsconfidentlyplacethemselvesinanyexistingmodel?WiththehelpofclassmatesPaulWagner,LindaMisiura,JordanYostandAndrewRushton,wewereabletodevelopanewworkingmodel,theMedia,ortheMemodel:Aninteractivewheelofmessageprocessing.Insteadoffocusingonadditionalplayersincommunications,thismodelfocusesontheindividual.Eachinstanceofthewheelrepresentsoneperson.Theinnerwheelportraysdifferenttypesofmessagesintermsoftheirparticipatorylevels,oropportunitiesforcreativeinputbytheconsumer.Theouterwheeldefinesthedifferentrolesthatconsumerscanplayinthecommunicationsprocess:Creators,responders,lurkersandinactiveaudience.Theouterwheelspinsindependently,therebyillustratingthatconsumersdonottakeononerole,butinsteadtheytransformdependingonthemessage,andthepersonalityoftheindividualwhoisviewingthemessage.

  • Thefutureofsocialnetworking:PredictionsandinsightfromaprofessionalSeptember28,2009ShelleyRussellTodayslecturefocusedonmyresearchtopic,thefutureofsocialnetworking.Myresearchhasbeenextendedtoincludeprivacyissuesaswell.OutofallthesourcesIhavecollectedregardingthefutureofsocialnetworking,CharleneLispredictionseemsverylogical.AccordingtoablogpostfromForresterResearch(http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2008/03/thefutureofs.html),Liwrites:Socialnetworkswillbelikeair.Shediscussesubiquitoussocialnetworkingsites,attributingthemtoanecessitythatwillpossessallofourconnections.Keytermsfromtheblogpostincludetheideaofauniversalidentity,asinglesocialgraph,socialcontextforactivitiesandsocialinfluencedefiningmarketingvalue.Butifsocialnetworksareeverywhere,whatwillthismeanintermsofsecurityandprivacy?Therearealreadynumerousissuesrelatedtosocialnetworksandprivacy.Usersareconcernedaboutvagueprivacypoliciesandhowtheirinformationisbeingused.IspokewithMihirKshirsagar,aformerfellowatEPIC,whoofferedinsightabouthowconcernsaboutprivacywillchangeovertime:Todaywearestillinthecollectionmode.Peoplearestilltryingtounderstandthewaysthattheirinformationiscollected.Butinthefutureitisgoingtobeabouthowinformationisprocessed,andwhatdecisionsarebeingmadebasedonthewaythatitisprocessed.AccordingtoKshirsagar,definingprivacyintermsofsocialnetworksissynonymouswithdefiningcontrolofinformation.Userswanttobeabletomanipulateandusetheirownpersonaldatainthewaysthatareusefultothem.Kshirsagardiscussedthefactthatintherealworld,informationiscollectedforoneuseandoneuseonly,suchasacreditcardtransaction,butthisinformationcollectioninsocialnetworksmaynotbeforjustoneuse.WearesoquicktogiveoutdetailsaboutourlivesonFacebookprofilesbecausewethinkthatitisgoingtobesharedonlybetweenourfriends.Kshirsagarofferedarealworldexampletoillustratethewaysthatsocialnetworkingsitescancollectpersonalinformationfromusersandmanipulateittotheiradvantage:IgotoaDunkinDonutstogetadonut.IknowthatthestoreownerknowsIambuyingthis.IgivemoneyandIgetthedonut.Thatinformationisbeingcollectedinaveryspecificcontext.Imagineifthesamestoreownerthencollectsinformation

  • abouthowmaydonutsIhaveboughtinaperiodoftime.Thensomeoneelsecomesandbuysthatinformation.Thentheyuseittomarketmorethingstome.MaybetheywillsellittomyinsurancecarriersotheycanseeifIamatariskofaheartattack.Thefactthattheaboveexamplecouldbecomearealityinthenearfutureisstartling.HowcanwemaintaincontrolofourinformationifitisbeingcollectedandexchangedamongstthirdpartyWebsiteswithoutourconsent?PrivacylawsinEuropeandCanadahavebeenreworkedandextendedtoincludeprotectionofprivacyandpersonalinformationonline.WehavenotyetadaptedourlawsintheU.S.;althoughtheWhiteHousehashiredasocialmediaarchivistandisclearlyawareofthegrowingpresenceandimportanceofsocialnetworkingsites.Hopefullythesechangeswillhappensoon,asmoreandmoreorganizationssuchasEPICtestifybeforeCongressandworktoenactchange.SearchengineoptimizationandsitemaintenanceOctober4,2009ByShelleyRussellAfterreadingBetheMediaChapter9,IfoundthatIlearnedmanyimportanttipsaboutsearchengineoptimizationandtheimportanceofknowingthetoolsthatareavailabletoaidinthecreationandmaintenanceofWebsites.WhileIamlearningalotabouttheWebdesignprocessintheiMediaprogram,Ihadnotreadmuchaboutspecifictoolsavailabletoinsurethatasitewillgainanaudienceandremaincompetitive.85percentofuserswillfindasiteusingsearchengines,soitisessentialtoimprovepagerankthroughkeywordsandmetatagsontheWebsite.Whenreadingthechapter,IwassurprisedthatmanyofthetoolsavailabletoimprovepagerankareeasytoapplytoaWebsite.DuringtheDigitalMediaWorkshopinAugust,IbecamemoreskilledatusingDreamweaver,butIwasnottaughtabouttheimportanceoffillinginimagetagsandestablishingatitlepageforaWebsite.ItissosimpletotitleaWebdocument,butmanystudentWebsitessayUntitledatthetopoftheWebsitewindow.Thisaloneisenoughtogreatlydecreaseapagerankbecausethesitewillnotbesearchfriendly.IfthemajorityofWebusersrelyonsearchengines,itisalsoimportanttoutilizeoffpageoptimizationfactors,whichMathisonsaysareevenmoreimportantforrankingthanonpagefactors.Thesefactorsincludecommentingonblogsordiscussionboards,publishingstoriesonotherWebsites,orsubmittingarticlesto

  • directories.ThebiggesttakeawayfromthischapterissomethingthatIampushingmyselftodoonaregularbasis:WhenyouhavecreatedaWebsiteanditisfinallyonline,theworkisfarfrombeingfinished.Makingthesiteliveisjustthefirststep.Foranysortofsuccess,creatorsmustbeconstantlyactiveontheWeb.TheyarenotjustcreatorsofWebsites,butparticipantslookingtospreadabrandanddrawinusers/readers.Itismyinstincttocreatesomething,displayitandthenmoveontoanotherproject.ButaWebsiteisnevercomplete.Contentanddesignmustremainuptodate,andtheaudiencebaseshouldcontinuetogrowwithaddedeffortinspreadingawarenessaboutthesitespresenceonline.5effectivefreetoolstopromoteyourbusinessandselfusingWeb2.0October7,2009ByShelleyRussell1.BloggingBloggingisagreatwaytoexpressyouridentity,goalsandideasonline.Withenoughefforttoconsistentlytagandcategorizeposts,aswellaspromoteyourblogonexternalWebsites,itispossibletogainafaithfulfollowingandexpandyoursitesaudience.Frommyreadingandclassdiscussions,themostimportantthingaboutstartingyourownblogisto:a)Writetobescanned,andb)Writewiththeattitudethatpeoplearereadingyourblogpostsandareinterestedinwhatyouarewritingabout.Easytousebloggingsites:WordPressBloggerTumblr2.FacebookfanpagesMorethan10millionFacebookusersbecomefansoffanpageseachday.Thisisquitealargefollowing.CampaignslikeTGIFridaysWoodyBurgerpromotionbecameinstantlysuccessfulviafanpagesduetothespreadabilityofinformationinthatmedium.AparticularlyusefulaspectofFanpagesisthatuserscaninvitefriendstobecomeafanofthatpage.Bands,individualartistsandbusinessesaretakingadvantageofthesepagestointeractwithconsumers.

  • Keyconceptsaboutfanpagesinclude:Creatingapagewiththeintentiontointeract.Makinganefforttoreadusercommentsandrespondeithergenerallyortospecificcomments.EncouragingfansofthepagetoparticipateontheWallandwritemessages.3.TwitterAsidefromcreatingabasicTwitteraccountandworkingtoachievealargeamountoffollowers,Irecentlycameacrossaninterestingadvertisingtool.WhileworkingonaclassprojectinvolvingtheWater.orgWebpage,therewasanoptionformetodonatemyTwitterstatus.Essentially,thisstatusdonationmeansthatbysubscribing,Iamallowingwater.orgtoreTweetselectmessagesonmyTwitterpage.ThisisaneffectivemarketingtoolbecausemanyofmyfollowersonTwittermaynotbeawareofWater.orgortheircurrenteffortstoconquerthewatercrisis.ThisreTweetingtoolisveryeffectivefornonprofits.4.MySpaceMySpaceisaveryeffectivetoolformusicians.Asimpleprofilesetupallowsartistsorbandstolistinformationaboutupcomingconcerts,allowuserstolistenordownloadsongsfromabuiltinplayeronthesiteandinformviewersaboutnewevents.Userscaninteractwithartistsorbandsbypostingcommentsontheprofilepage.AsthecreatorofthatWebpage,itisimportanttofrequentlyofferupdatesorrespondtooccasionalcomments.Usersneedtofeelliketheirvoiceisbeingrecognized.Byparticipatingmoreinthediscussionaspectofyoursite,youwilllikelygainamoreloyalfanbasethatappreciatesyourefforttocommunicatewiththem.5.YouTubeSomeofthemostlowbudget,smallscalevideoshavebecomeviralonYouTube.Takethisvideoforexample:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFpbXJuQYnE.Adrivertakestheircarthroughthewrongentranceofagate.DriverFail,postedonfailblog.orgOctober6,hasalreadyachieved116,392viewsonYouTube.BycreatingaYouTubecounttopostinteresting,funnyorcompellinginformation

  • online,thereisachancethatpeoplewillchoosetosubscribetoyourchannel.Gainingsubscriberswilllikelyincreaseifyoupromotethesevideosonblogs.ThenicethingaboutYouTubeisthatvideoscaneasilybeembeddedandsharedonpopularsocialnetworkingsiteslikeFacebook.ItisalsoasimpleprocesstoembedaYouTubevideoonablogsuchasWordPress.Mostoftheabovetoolsworktogetherandthereareelementsofcrossoverthatallowanindividualorbusinesstoeasilyuseandincorporatemostofthesetoolsintheirstrategyforonlinepromotion.ViralvideoqualitiesOctober12,2009ByShelleyRussellClassdiscussiontodaywascenteredonviralvideo.Someofmypersonalfavoritesincludethefollowing:Babyattackedbycat:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjgrCzf0oZMVodafone:TheMayfly:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvC_KHU4AqEOKgoontreadmills:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RAReporterfail:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVR1JunnuGESoundofMusic(CentralStationinBelgium):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k&feature=relatedTodayinclass,groupdiscussionledustodevelopalistofqualitiesessentialinanyviralvideo.Thisiswhatwecameupwith:1.Humor2.Shockvalue3.Inherenttalent4.Candidmomentscaughtontape5.Extremenaturaloccurrences6.Remixesandmashups

  • 7.GoodpacingInadditiontocertainqualitiesthatshouldbepresentinsomecapacityinviralvideos,contentisalsoessential.Mygroupidentifiedfivecategoriesthatcanaddtothespreadabilityofvideosonline:1.Children2.Groupsofpeople(Thrillerprisondancevideo,ImprovEverywhereteam,HeyJudeinTrafalgarSquareetc)3.Originalmusic4.Animals5.Celebrities(Althoughcelebritiesarebynomeansessentialinviralvideos)Anotheraspectthataddstothesuccessofviralvideosistheabilityforuserstorelatetothecontentorthesubjectsinthecontent.AnyonecaneasilycreateandpostvideosonYouTube.InthinkingaboutsomeofthemostpopularvideosontheWeb,mostofthemhavenothingtodowithfamousfigures,butinsteadcapturefunnyorinterestingmomentsaboutaveragehumanbeings.Vodpod:Embedtheseeminglyunembedable!October15,2009ByShelleyRussellUponcompletingmyroughprototypeformyMemoryallassignment,IwasquiteexcitedandwantedtopostitonmyWordpress.Unfortunately,theembedcodewasntworkingandIwasntsurewhy.ThenIfoundtheproblem.IhadcreatedmyprojectinVuvox,andwhileVuvoxvideoscanbeeasilyembeddedinmostWebsites,Wordpressisnotcompatibleforsomereason.Luckily,IfoundVodpod,ausefultoolthatallowedmetoeasilyembedmyprojectonmyWordpressaccount.Byvisitinghttp://vodpod.com/wordpress,IsimplydraggedthePosttoWordpressbuttontomytoolbar,andwaseasilyabletocapturethevideoIwantedfromVuvox,pasteinthelinkandpasswordtomyblog,anditinstantlyappearedasapost.

  • Aftermyquicksuccesswiththefreetool,IwenttoVodpodssitetolearnmore.Bysigningupforafreeaccount,usersgetaccesstoaShareVideobuttonthattheycanplaceontheirtoolbar.MembersoftheVodpodcommunitycaneasilycreatelistsoftheirfavoritevideosandsharethembyclickingthebuttonontheirtoolbar.Inaddition,VodpodcangrabandembedvideosintothefollowingWebsites:WordpressBloggerTwitterFacebookTumblrTypepadMySpaceTherearesomelimitations.Forexample,whileVodpoddidembedmyVuvoxvideo,Wordpressdoesnotsupportthefullscreenoptionformycollage.IendedupcreatinganewaccountwithBloggerforthisreason.Also,therearesomesitesthatdonotallowVodpodtograbvideos.AdditionalVodpodresourcesinclude:VodpodonTwitter:http://twitter.com/vodpodVodpodblog:http://blog.vodpod.com/Vodpodgeekblog:http://geekblog.vodpod.com/HowbeingasocialmediaexpertcanearnyouanewcarOctober21,2009ByShelleyRussellFordMotorsislaunchinganewcampaigntosellcarswiththehelpofindividualswhohaveestablishedasocialmediapresenceonline.FordsFiestaMovementlaunchedearlierthisyear.Thecompanychose100agentstoperformmissionsoverasixmonthperiodwhilebloggingabouttheFordFiestaanddrivingthecararoundwhileperformingthemissions.OneoftheseagentswasoneofiMediasown,DavidParsons.ParsonshasbeenbloggingabouthisexperienceswiththeFiesta,andmoreinformationabouthisexperiencescanbeaccessedviahisblog:http://giveusafiesta.tumbler.com.Moreinformationisalsoavailablehere:http://fiestamovement.com/agents/view/88.

  • Whilechancesforapplyingforthiscampaignhavelongpassed,FordMotorshasannouncedtheirnewFusion41campaign.ThecompanyislookingforeightownersofFordFusionorFordHybridownerstoparticipateinarelayrace.Eachofthechosenownerswillputtogetherateamoffourfriendsandpassoffthecarforadurationofthreeweeks.Eachteamwillreceivea2010FordFusion,accompaniedbyfreegas.Socialmediapresenceandexperienceofteammembersiskey,becausethecompetitionrequiresthatmembersdocumenttheirexperiencewiththeFordFusiononlineviablogging,videos,andothersocialmediadevicessuchasFacebookorTwitter.Thewinnerofthecompetitionwillgettokeeptheir2010FordFusionandthevehiclewillbepaidinfullbyFordMotors.Thefourfriendsonthewinningteamwillreceivegasforayear.ManyofusintheiMediaprogramhavebeenwonderinghowbloggingcanbebeneficialtoourlives.Weareeitherconfusedaboutwhyweorblogging,orsearchingformeaningbehindthewordswearewriting.ThiscouldserveasananswerforanylostiMediabloggersaboutthere.Evenlosingteamshavesomethingtogainbecausetheywillhaveexperiencedthepowerofsocialmediaatitsbestincorporatingvideoandtextintomultimediapresentations,allowinginterestedWebsurferstofollowthemontheFordFusionrelay.InterestedparticipantshaveuntilNovember6thtoapply.Competitionrulescanbefoundhere:http://fordvehicles.emipowered.net/fusion41/register/?TwitterAclassroomrequirementOctober23,2009ByShelleyRussellIntheiMediaprogramatElon,weworktoestablishouronlineidentitiesthroughtheuseofsocialmediaplatformssuchasbloggingandmicromediaoutlets,butimaginehavinganentireclassdedicatedtoonesocialmediasite.GriffithUniversityinAustraliaisdoingjustthat.Recognizingthegrowingimportanceforcommunicationsprofessional...