I love this article by mashable because it shows examples of brands that have successfully used their social media to have a two-way conversation with their consumers. At the end of the article there are examples of twitter hashtags that have helped the brand out. For example, a kid tweeted to Dennys (restaurant chain) “Can you twerk?” And Denny’s responded with “Twerk so hard your hungry for Dennys”. Since ‘twerk’ is a word used often with my generation right now, it showed this customer that they are somewhat “hip” and humorous. If I were a fan of Denny’s, I would have definitely realized that they are really trying to engage with their customers on a more personal level and thought that it was a pretty neat.

My Dad owns a dirtbike shop and I try to get him to include these personal conversations with his social media fans as well. I think it’s extremely important to not just tweet or post statuses about your product, but to also reply back and make it more personal for the reader or customer. Or create a hashtag for them to get involved in. This directly relates with newsrooms as well, it’s important to not just post on Facebook the new article that you posted, but to get readers involved by maybe posting on a blog or replying back to questions of the readers. If newsrooms are tweeting, they could also engage readers through questions on twitter. Or, just simply sending back a thank you tweet to someone who compliments the newspaper through a tweet or says something friendly to the newspaper. Social media is very effective if used correctly.

Here is a screenshot from my twitter of a magazine that I will be interning with for this summer, this is an example of the magazine having that important two-way conversation by responding to readers and being personal.

This article in Mashable explains the on-going controversy of online photo’s being taken without permission. I think this article starts perfect with explaining a scenario where you see a billboard and realize that it was photo you had taken and put online. How would you feel? A little violated maybe,  but probably more upset that someone else is making money off of that billboard with a photo you created.

UK is proposing an act that makes it easier for companies to license photo’s online for their own use. Photographers are concerned that their photo could be used without them authorizing it. The article says, “Once photos are indexed by a search engine such as Google Images or posted by multiple people, it’s tough to determine who the rightful owners are.”  How many of us are actually worried that our creative and cute Instagram photo’s could possibly be used one day by a company without our permission? Or vice versa, how many times do WE use photo’s for different online sites and we don’t know where the source came from? I think as time goes on, we are going to continue to see this controversy come into play. Now with all the ways we can get photo’s from the internet, it’s hard to determine or give credit to a photo if we want to use it for our own use. My advice to my fellow friend photographers, if you’re going to share your photo’s online to the public, atleast use a watermark or find a way to protect your photo’s.

Here is an example of a a visible watermark in the lower right hand corner, this is a picture of me when I did a shoot for a photography site.

May 6th, 2013

AP’s Twitter hacked

April 30th, 2013

I read this week that AP’s twitter account was hacked and a false tweet was sent that said, “Breaking: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”  AP quickly tweeted that it was false and that they were looking into it. The part that I found interesting was that the Dow Jones fell 143 points after this was posted but went back up after AP tweeted that the tweet was false and that they were hacked. This simple social media “tweet” made quite the impact within a matter of moments.

Since I’m very interested in how powerful social media has become, my mind was racing after I read about this. Imagine the impact that hackers have when it comes to something as simple as a tweet reporting false news. I know that both Twitter and the FBI are looking into the situation, but imagine all the people who read that on twitter and must have freaked out. Especially after the Boston and Texas incident. AP is a credible source, so if I would’ve read that tweet as soon as it was posted, I know that I would have believed it and waited for further information on different news sites.  However, most twitter followers of AP were able to quickly realize that this tweet was false because AP usually refers to Obama as “President” and does not use his proper name. AP also uses all capitals for the word “BREAKING” during an actual breaking news story. Good to know.

Here is a picture of the tweet, taken from Mashable.

In this article from Mashable, a student and a professor from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, created a map that shows the tweets that were sent from the Boston marathon shortly after the bomb went off. They were able to do this by searching the hashtag and then sorting out the ones geotagged in the Boston area. I love this quote by the student, “Even people who weren’t super familiar with Twitter and its capabilities could realize all these people were sitting in the area at the time tweeting these things that were happening in real time,” said Bauer. “I feel like it makes it just a little more concrete than just looking at a Twitter feed.”

Since I’m a big advocate for twitter with news sites, this just proves to me that Twitter and social media can be used in real-time and help the community connect in a different way to what’s going on in different areas. The map that this student and professor made is a perfect example of it. By using location data, it allows the users to see what people in the area were talking about. It’s just another way that the public can keep up with what other community members have to say about a certain situation, sort of like message board or comment forum, it’s something that allows the users to be apart of news in the making. Although reading an article about the bombing in Boston will give the public a more full story of what’s going on, this map of twitter comments is just another tool to give the community more of what’s going on or what people are saying.

Here is a picture of the map from the website made by the professor and student:

Bullying post goes viral

April 16th, 2013

Facebook seems to be having more impact on spreading awareness on certain issues that users post about. After his son was bullied and the school didn’t do anything about it, a dad posted a picture of him and his son holding a sign saying, “I stand behind my son in the fight against bullying… tell school districts that protecting bullies by turning a blind eye is wrong!” followed by the name of the school he was upset with.  This picture went viral and the dad ended up on NBC’s Today Show to discuss the situation and issue at hand. Many newspapers have written about this incident and what the dad said on air on NBC.

Often times we see that once something is newsworthy, it’s all over Facebook. But what if something gets its newsworthiness from Facebook itself? I think that more and more we will see certain issues going viral and the start of the source will be someone trying to outreach on their Facebook page. I think it’s really interesting that social media can create something newsworthy, it’s a great resource to spread the word about something. I think that there could be a lot of potential newsworthy incidents that are posted on social media that reporters and the media can be on the look out for to create an interesting article. Check out this neat picture, which is the father’s (Matthew Bents) picture for his Facebook page.

Tracking God

April 9th, 2013

I came across an article that explains a new interactive website which tracks “where God is at“. Tracking God in real time… This website uses certain algorithms to track the word ‘God’ on social media sites. For example if someone writes the word ‘God’ and ‘coffee’, then God may be accounted for being at a coffee shop a certain amount of times. Or the fact that God must surely like Fridays, because “Thank God it’s Friday!”. I checked the site, and God was thanked 22 times in Wisconsin today.

Although this site is extremely silly, and clearly is for entertainment, it made me realize how far our technology has come for online websites. News sites have this same advantage of tracking certain words and seeing how many times a certain subject comes up on social media. I think this would be a great way for news sites to track certain words or ideas that are spreading throughout social media. (Sort of like hashtags that are trending for Twitter). I’m sure most news sites use similar algorithms to figure out what certain audiences are talking about, but I think it’s an advantage for them because they can target a certain topic that the people are interested in. It’s news sites like “God Was Here” that show how far we have come with online tracking.

Social media during lent

April 2nd, 2013

With lent just previously passing, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about a popular trend in what people gave up; social media! This article from Mashable discusses that the new norm is giving up social media such as Facebook so that people can grow in their relationship with God. Lent is a time for christians to give up something that they feel is distracting them from their focus on their faith.

It’s sad to think that social media is such a BIG part of our lives. After reading this article about people giving up certain social media for lent, it posed a certain question for me. Was their a big decrease in Facebook users during this time? Did it effect any advertisers who wanted to place ads during this same time period? Did certain news sites get less traffic because people weren’t posting their articles on their social media? In my online journalism class we are discussing measuring an audience on a website. Although social media is not a huge distribution for traffic to a news site, it still made me wonder if it had any impact on people giving up their Facebook’s for lent. So although it may be beneficial for someone to give up social media for their own personal growth, is it beneficial or neutral for news sites?

I came across this graph from Emarketer.com that discusses total ad revenues from the last few years on Facebook. (A website that discusses digital marketing and media)

I know there are many factors that would play into measuring the effect lent had on news sites and their advertisers on facebook, but I think it would be a very interesting topic to further research. Plus, how many of us could truly give up our Facebook’s for 40 days?

The Power of CNN

March 19th, 2013

Reading through a post from Mashable about CNN’s breaking numbers when the Pope was announced, made me realize just how powerful our online digital world really is. One of the statistics on the site showed that with 1.4 million live streams, it was the highest record of the year. Also, 6 of the days top 10 stories were from CNN related coverage about the Pope. There were also 68.3 regular views on CNN that day which made it the second highest day of the year.

We all know that CNN is world-leading news site, but I think these numbers really make that come to life. To think about the amount of people who were online the day the Pope was announced, whether on computers or mobile phones, is crazy! CNN is trusted by many people. I think that even the article I read about CNN breaking records for it’s coverage about the Pope, is good publicity toward them as well. The public wants to read news from a website/newspaper that they know other people trust too.

Here is the audience profile from CNN’s own website:

Places I want to Visit

March 19th, 2013

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