Social Media Reflection

I really enjoyed our social media class this semester. It was a very laid back class environment and we covered, discussed, and learned many topics. One of my favorite parts of the class was when we went to the Nebraska Humane Society because I loved to see the animals, but also because it was cool to see what a Journalism Creighton alum does for an organization after graduation.

One of the best things I learned was when we went through the whole process of the three-month social media plan for the Creighton Recent Alumni. I felt like it was a good way to combine and apply everything we learned throughout the semester. Things like being professional, applying metrics, public shaming, engagement and how all of these things apply to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. It was also very good for me to get my LinkedIn account cleaned up and started a little bit as well.

I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s views about social media because I feel like a lot of different people had a lot of views on how they use different social media sites personally in their lives. I also thought it was cool to see how people did their presentations differently and had their own unique style and ideas for a topic that could’ve gotten pretty repetitive. Overall I really enjoyed the class and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who was thinking about taking it.

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Public Shaming

The unfortunate reality today is that cyberbullying today happens all over social media every single day. There are a number of people who constantly post on social media with no filter and no regard to how their words may affect the person they are talking negatively about. A lot of people make comments based on their own assumptions. Either they don’t know the facts or they only know half of the facts from one side of the story, not both sides. I think a large part of why so many people jump on the public shaming train when something goes viral is to get the approval of their peers. It’s a part of fitting in and getting their own attention. They use the hurt of others for their own gain. In fact Monica Lewinsky mentioned in her Ted Talk that people actually make money off of the shaming of others. She said that this gossip gets clicks, which turns over ad revenue. She said that the more we click on this gossip, the more numb we will become of the people behind the gossip.

There are people on social media like Sam Biddle who use the shaming of others for personal gain. He exposed and wrote about Justine Sacco’s saying, “The fact that she was a P.R. chief made it delicious.” Granted what Sacco tweeted was awful and she shouldn’t have tweeted it, she is still a person and every person makes mistakes. Biddle exposing her led to most people only seeing one side of the story and being numb to the person behind the shaming. Biddle even said that he would do it over again. But I thought it was ironic that he himself went through his own shaming when he tweeted a bad joke of his own: “Bring Back Bullying.” I guess what goes around comes around. He eventually publicly apologized to Sacco.

This shaming is also recently found in sports, particularly this year’s NCAA March Madness. Referee John Higgins’ company Facebook page had to be taken down due to Kentucky fans trashing it with hate and bad reviews due to a call they didn’t like. Things like this, especially in sports, can get very heated very fast on social media. I think part of the problem is the sheer amount of people that are on social media. When hate starts it just snowballs down the hill faster and faster by the second and it never goes away.

It is hard for me to think that shaming will ever go away just because of how far deep we are already in it. However, that being said I am hopeful for change due to Michelle Ferrier’s TrollBusters. I think her idea of and online rescue service is great. The target of online abuse can send an alert to TrollBusters and they will then flood the thread (on Twitter, for example) with positive and supportive messages to drown out all of the hate. I think this is perfect because it battles numbers with numbers; because like I said the number of people who join in on public shaming snowballs. If we can overcome the amount of people involved in the culture of shaming with people in the culture of compassion, as Lewinsky put it, I think we can make a start towards change.

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Social Media and the Nebraska Humane Society

When our class took the trip to the Nebraska Humane Society I was very excited and eager to see what their social media was like behind the scenes. I say this because I follow them on both my Twitter and Instagram and they are one of my favorites on each. Puppies and kittens were already very popular on social media, but what they do with their animals serves a great purpose in helping them find homes and save lives.

Elizabeth Hilpipre is the person behind the scenes running the show for their social media. She is the Development and Communications Specialist at Nebraska Humane Society as well as a Creighton Journalism graduate. During our trip she talked about how she uses metrics to determine what to post, what works and what doesn’t. She said that the number of people her posts reach is very important because it has the potential to help an animal. That was something that really stuck out to me because I never really thought about how social media impressions can impact an animal in need.

One tactic she talked about dealt with how she will sort of balance the older dogs with the cuter younger dogs because usually the puppies get more impressions on social media. In doing this she actually ended up making the older dogs more popular and it helped them get adopted as well. She had mentioned that most of social media work is trial and error. You kind of have to feel around to see what works and what doesn’t at the time because social media is constantly changing. A year ago older dogs weren’t popular, it was all puppies. But now people seem to give the older dogs a lot more attention, which is great!

One part I personally enjoyed was her use of Snapchat as it was far more laid back. I actually ended up adding their Snapchat after that. I think that one piece of advice I really took away was in order to keep up with the times, just keep trying different things because trends on social media are constantly changing. Just keep working at it and keep trying new things until it works.

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Social Media: More than just Selfies

A lot of people use social media as personal tools for either sharing their own lives or sharing their personal brand. In fact I think this is what most people use social media for. However what a lot of people don’t realize is that social media can be used to promote Brands and Nonprofits.

Instagram, for example, is known to be used to post selfies and pictures of people in their lives. However one of the biggest Instagram accounts out there right now is a brand called National Geographic. At the time of me writing this blog National Geographic’s Instagram has 68.7 million followers. National Geographic is a brand that shows how a company can adapt to changing times. They have been around for a long time and they relied mostly on print magazines. Continuing their work over social media is brilliant and Instagram happens to be the perfect form of social media to do their work in my opinion. I think something we could learn from them would be how it’s possible to use social media to adapt your business in a constantly changing world of technology. I think National Geographic uses Instagram affectively to reach an even broader audience that they might not have reached before. And for us it’s like having our own online magazine of cool pictures!

Brands are not the only ones who can benefit from Instagram. There are a lot of Nonprofit organizations that also use Instagram affectively. For example the Nonprofit Neverthirst uses Instagram very affectively to help their cause. Using Instagram they can show a great number of people the urgent need for clean water in North Africa and Southern Asia. I think Nonprofits can use Instagram to spread word about their cause and show people behind the scenes of what it is really like to be in these places in these conditions. They can show us these situations that we might not otherwise have seen. They can also show the positive affects that our donations could have on their cause as well. Neverthirst does all of this and more as they constantly post pictures of the muddy water conditions, images of work being done, and most importantly images of the people who it affects. I think this gives the followers a real human connection to the problem at hand and makes them realize that there are people like us out there that need our help.

Overall I think I could learn from both Brands and Nonprofits. National Geographic shows how to give the followers good entertaining content which is something I could learn from. I should focus on posting stuff that my audience would be interested in. I need to post good quality content. Neverthirst showed me that if I really want to get a message across then Instagram would be a fine way to do it. Whether it’s through hashtags to spread my message or by using imagery to show the reality of my message, Instagram is a good tool to use.

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What’s my Sentence?

Daniel Pink asks people a simple question: what is your sentence? This simple question can help people discover who they are or who they want to be. It’s a simple question with a tough answer. Only one sentence? When I sit down to write, I tend to go on for a while even on things I don’t know all that much about. But narrowing down myself? What I want to be? That’s tough. It’s a common problem us college kids face. Along with the common question, “do you have a girlfriend yet?” comes the question, “what are you going to do after graduation?” Sorry grandma, but the answer to those questions are no and I don’t know. However figuring out my sentence may give me a better idea.

To begin figuring this thing out, I’ll answer a few basic questions. What are my top three personal strengths?

  1. Being a good friend. I care about the people who are close to me.
  2. Wittiness/quirkiness. I can be strange sometimes but a lot of times it makes people laugh in one way or another.
  3. Honesty/straightforwardness. I can tell it how it is without including my own opinion.

What are my top three talents?

  1. Analyzing and writing sports about sports.
  2. Video games.
  3. Making YouTube videos.

Core area of expertise:

This is an easy one for me. My expertise is in the Denver Broncos. I can list almost any stat about any player from the team past or present. I enjoy watching the games and I can analyze what they did well and what they need to improve on. I think this goes with what I can do better than anyone else: talk all day about the Denver Broncos or just football in general. (Side note: I can also do the same thing with cars as well. Consider me a car enthusiast.)

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The last thing I want to cover is this: what services can I offer that no one else can? I think that would have to be honest news, reporting the facts regardless of my opinion. That being said I think I have my sentence:

He reported the facts during a time when the truth was rare.

This sentence shows who I am as a person with my honesty but also what I want to do eventually as a reporter. I would ultimately like to become a Denver Broncos or NFL sports writer/analyst where I could analyze and express some of my opinion. However news writing may be a stepping stone in that process to becoming a sports writer. That being said, reporting the truth is something that I think is lost in a lot of today’s news in the United States. Most just care about getting it out first, writing what sells regardless of accuracy. I think I could be one of the first to change that.

Social Media and Me

Just like almost every other person in today’s world, I use social media on a day to day basis. My usage includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and also Snapchat. However these sites were not always my day to day go-tos. Social media changes over time. Some grow as big as Facebook, and some die out within three years such as Vine. In my case social media began when I was in either 6th or 7th grade.

Back in junior high I used AOL instant messaging. It was a very simple form of entertainment to me. I had many pointless conversations with fellow classmates that usually was on the lines of, “Hey, what’s up?” followed by,” Nothing. You?” As boring and useless as this might seem, it entertained me and is what got me started with social media.

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The next form of social media that I encountered and quickly fell in love with was Facebook. I believe this would be around the time of late junior high or early high school for me. It started once again as another form of entertainment. I could instant message people like on AIM and I could also post statuses and photos and receive likes and comments on them. This was really fun for young me and, to be honest, I probably became a little obnoxious and went a little overboard with Facebook. I either posted or was tagged in way too many embarrassing photos of my young self, and I also went a little overboard with my interests as well. It’s for these reasons that I barely use Facebook today. If I were to connect with someone they would quickly discover my immature junior high self. My information is still somewhat up to date, aside from all of my interests, however I rarely post statuses or photos. Even though I don’t post myself, I still get on occasionally for entertainment purposes.

 

Today I still use social media everyday. Although I may not touch Facebook as much, I use Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat almost everyday. All three of these I would say I use mostly for entertainment purposes, however they are also good with keeping up with friends. On all three I follow all of my friends and also my favorite athletes, actors, interests, etc. For example, as a car enthusiast,  I follow many different car accounts on Instagram to view all of my favorite cars and car related topics at my leisure. I use YouTube often to learn more about cars and also to entertain myself. In I use Twitter to all of my favorite car YouTubers to stay up to date with their lives, as well as the lives of my friends. Finally, Snapchat I use to post small videos and pictures of my life as well as keeping up to date with my friends and see what they’re up to. It’s also entertaining to use the filters on Snapchat with my closer friends.

Even though I use all of these from a day to day basis, I still do not post myself that often. I think my last post on Instagram was on Halloween of 2016. I would say the site I post on and use the most would be Twitter. This is because there’s more variety I think. I don’t always have a picture I can post on Instagram, but on Twitter I can just use text without a photo if I want to say something. In addition, I also use the “retweet” option a lot as well. That being said I would say I am definitely most active on Twitter.

I have definitely changed the way in which I have used social media over the years; from going a little overboard early on Facebook, from maybe not posting enough on Twitter or Instagram. However that does not change the fact that social media still plays a large role in my life. I am looking forward to this class and I hope to learn more about social media and how to utilize it more effectively  in my life, rather than just using it for entertainment purposes.

What I’ve Learned: The influence of Tech and Media

This semester has been a very enjoyable one for me. We have covered and analyzed a lot of topics that I find important especially in the world that we live in today. From funny John Oliver videos about the importance of newspapers to books such as “Program or Be Programmed” we have covered many important issues in the world of journalism. However many of these issues can apply to everyone, not just to people in the world of journalism because, in my opinion, everyone is in the world of journalism. Anyone who uses a smartphone or social media is technically in this world of journalism. That being said, I would like to go over a few of my favorite/most important things that I have taken away from this class.

The first thing I would like to discuss is program or be programmed. I really liked this because it emphasized how important it is to understand the technology we use and the media that we watch so that we can make educated decisions. So many of the people in the world today use all sorts of high tech devices such as iPads or iPhones to browse and they don’t realize the impact that it has on their lives. There are a lot of people who use devices and online social media to replace face to face human interactions. Little do they know that there is absolutely nothing that can replace face to face human interaction. Talking and being with people in person is priceless and is one of the best parts of life. It is also one of the most taken for granted parts of life. Now I won’t be a hypocrite because I too fall victim to society. I too have my phone out for a significant portion of my day. However this class really opened my eyes and I am really working on changing that. I think it would be beneficial for everyone just to use their phone as a phone and not use it to avoid people or try to replace actually being with people. For example, I loved the video we watch a couple months back when it showed a man using an actual map and asked a girl for directions rather than using his phone. He ended up marrying this woman. You never know the opportunities you might miss if you are glued to your phone.

Another thing I’d like to briefly talk about is how important journalism is in the world today. Journalism influences some of the most important aspects of our lives. One thing I took out of this class in particular is to be careful about what influences you. So many things in media today are bias, misinformed, or just simply not true. I think it is very important especially in our country today as it seems as though sometimes we are all split in half and a large part of that is due to media. We all need to be active and be careful about what believe and work together despite our differences to make our country and world a better place to live in for everyone. I believe this starts with journalism and the media. Overall I really enjoyed this class. There are many things I have learned in this class that I can take to heart and apply to my own life; and that is really valuable to me.

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Public Relations Today

Similar to news media and social media, public relations has changed a lot over the years with the development of all of this new technology. The way people receive their news and their entertainment has changed and will continue to change drastically as time goes on and technology becomes more advanced. Due to all of this change, public relations has had to change and adapt themselves to survive in this technology obsessed world we live in.

There are a few skills that people need in order to be successful in public relations today. In advertising, for example, you need to keep in mind that many people today have very short attention spans. This idea of attention economy is important to know because it will change the way in which advertisers can successfully promote and sell their products. That being said, there are a few different advertising trends that we have discussed in class that are important in public relations today, in my opinion. These trends include viral videos, guerrilla marketing, product placement, and native advertising.

Viral videos, in my opinion, is probably the trend that sticks out to me the most because it is the one I see most often. Being an active Twitter user and a dedicated YouTube watcher, I come across my fair share of viral videos; and with every viral video, there are almost always a few ads that go with it. I think this method would be pretty effective because it will get a lot of exposure. Chances are millions of people will watch the video and be exposed to your ads. In addition, chances are that the video will be shared and then thousands (if not millions) more people will see it as well. The only problem I could see with this is that the more people watch viral videos, the more they tune out or even skip the ads. These videos may get exposure, but that doesn’t mean people are actually paying attention (which links back to attention economy).

Another trend that stuck out to me that I don’t see that often is guerrilla marketing. This method is essentially promoting a product in an unusual or original way. To me this is sort of the opposite of viral videos because I think less people see it, but the people who do see it will be more likely to pay attention or notice the ad. I think this method could be very effective as it is more likely to grab the attention of all of those people with short attention spans.

When we first began talking about public relations I wasn’t really sure what to expect. That being said, it’s hard to say if all of this information is similar or different to what I thought it was going to be. If I had to choose one side, I would have to say similar. This is because since we just finished discussing how much technology has changed news and media, I sort of assumed it would have some sort of effect on public relations as well which it does. In this crazy world today with all of the bland and boring ads, I think people in public relations really have to be unique and creative because that is how they will capture peoples’ attention nowadays; or at least that’s how you’d have to capture mine.

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The Business Side of Journalism

As technology advances and news becomes easier to attain, journalism (specifically newspaper companies) will continue to have a growing problem when it comes to revenue. Before the days of internet and social media, newspapers were a main source of news and even entertainment. As noted by Nicco Mele in the podcast we listened to in class, newspaper companies made a ridiculous amount of revenue back then. Today, however, is very different. Nowadays, due to the internet, people can gather endless news and entertainment for little to usually no cost to them from websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google. Of course this will become popular. If someone can get the same news for free then why wouldn’t they? But as we discussed in class this can be very damaging to the world of journalism and even to our world in general as a lot of the accurate and trustworthy information comes from newspapers. In addition to that a lot of television news and other forms of news often source newspapers as their main sources for stories. We found this to be true from the comical yet accurate video we watched in class this past week. If newspapers go out of business because people stop paying for their news altogether, it is very possible that we might end up getting news that is not accurately sourced, or even just inaccurate in general and potentially biased.

So what can we do to help combat this potential problem? Well Nicco Mele sparked a couple of ideas for me after listening to the assigned podcast. First I would like to mention  that I think it is essential to educate people on why it is so important to stop this trend of free news to continue. This could be challenging since people are so used to not having to pay for news now, but I think it is important to understand how this can effect the accuracy of news, and why it is important to have the accurate, trustworthy and non-biased news that newspapers bring to the table. Mele stated in the podcast that he believes if this trend of free news continues, then one-third or maybe even one-half of newspaper companies will go out of business within the next three to five years. So unless something changes soon, we might end up getting news about kittens and raccoons rather than important political topics as the funny video we watched comically depicted.

There are a few things I think we can do to prevent this trend of free news from continuing. The main thing that stuck out to me from the podcast was the idea of subscription based models of making revenue. What this meant to me was having people pay maybe a monthly fee or something of that source to get access to the news they want to receive. There was another method that Mele mentioned, but it would not work as good and that is for good reason. The method is to pay for each piece, like iTunes has people pay

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$2.99 for each song they buy. The reason this works for iTunes and why it wouldn’t work for news is because there is only one iTunes so you are forced to buy it there since there is no other place to get the song from. Meanwhile in news there are many other places you can get the same news from for free. That being said, the only idea that sticks out to me in my mind to make revenue for news would be to have subscriptions. Now the big question is can we get a majority of people to hop on this idea even though they are used to free news? I guess we will find out in the next three to five years.

Are These Reporters Vultures?

Typically when I think of reporters I think of people who don’t really connect or relate to the stories they write about. Rather, I think of them as people who just go in, get the facts, write the story and move on. I feel as though many reporters just have their own agenda and aren’t always careful even if their story covers a sensitive issue such as a child dying from cancer. Now maybe my view of this isn’t true. After all I do not have significant experience in journalism or motives of reporters. That is just how I feel. That being said, it was refreshing to read about Diana Sugg. She really truly cared about the story she was working on and she really tried to approach it carefully since it was such a sensitive topic. I am sure there are many reporters of her kind, but I personally don’t hear of them very often.

You could really tell how much she cared because of many different things. One example is how careful she continuously was in asking her questions. Whether she was asking R.J. questions or asking his mother questions, she was always very careful and tried not to push to hard or cross the line. She also always emphasized being appropriate; not pushing to hard, and not seeming as though she didn’t care at all. She tried to find the sweet spot in between those two extremes.

Another way I could tell that she cared was how much time she spent not only working on the story, but how long she waited to publish the story after R.J. past away. She really put a lot of thought into writing this story and this goes along with what I spoke of earlier on how she always carefully asked questions.But it also seems as though she gave a lot of time to reflect whether or not she should continue with this story. She constantly battled with herself whether or not it would help other dying children or if it would hurt R.J.’s mother Michele.

Finally another way I saw the amount of care she put into the story was how involved she was in the lives of who she was writing the story about. Diana and her photographer Monica spent countless days with R.J. and his mother Michele. They became close with each other. Diana helped R.J. from time to time with medical things and she even sat down and played a game of chess with him, whether it was unprofessional or not. Even after R.J. died Diana kept in contact with his mother everyday and she even seemed to be someone that his mother could rely on since the father had been gone and her family members

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weren’t around. A reporter who was just trying to follow their agenda wouldn’t put this amount of time or thought into the subjects of their story. Diana truly cared about the topic and the people who were involved in it. For that reason I do not believe that Diana and Monica are vultures. Yes they may have had to ask questions and take pictures. But they were careful and thoughtful in the way that they approached it, and that payed off. Her story helped many people who were going through similar situations, and that might be because she followed her heart rather than her agenda.