|January 23, 2012||Famous Last Facebook Words||1 comments|
|January 13, 2012||Girl Scout cookie craving? Believe it or not, there's an app for that.||1 comments|
|January 06, 2012||Oh, the Places You'll Go: Social Media in 2012||1 comments|
|December 29, 2011||Auld Lang Syne, Twitter.||no comments|
|December 23, 2011||Rock star Twitter moments? Yeah, they totally exist||no comments|
|December 16, 2011||"A New Kind of Profile"||1 comments|
|December 09, 2011||To Tweet or Not to Tweet (During a Performance)||no comments|
|November 28, 2011||#HailTwitter||no comments|
|November 23, 2011||Thank you, social media.||no comments|
|November 16, 2011||Blogging, Blogs, and the Bloggers that Blog Them||1 comments|
Facebook Growth Plateaus, but Engagement Continues to Surge: How many users can the Zuck really continue to add after his company has already hit 800 million? Perhaps now the focus will not be on the number of users but instead on how much content they generate. With the recent addition of Timeline, I'll be excited to see how the Facebook profile evolves; once a cool "college kids only" site, it now exists as an ever-changing online document of a user's life, with emphasis on sharing, sharing, and sharing some more.
YouTube Gains Popularity in the Living Room: Why would you NOT want to watch Charlie Bit My Finger on the big screen? Jokes about viral videos aside, YouTube will certainly have some competition with well-established services like Hulu Plus and Netflix's instant streaming service. I'm curious as to how the Google-owned company will make the move from dorm room to living room.A Meaningful Second Tier of Social Networks Emerges: Hooray for beloved timewasters and inspiration-creators Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr! None for you, Google Plus. What do you think? Do you care where sites like Facebook and Twitter are heading as long as they aren't changing your privacy settings once every three weeks or charging per tweet, status update, etc? Leave a comment and tell me your predictions!
Up until this week, I could count the number of times that I had a brush with the folks on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on one hand. Actually, more like on one finger: George W. Bush visited Harrison High School while I was a student there. I think I watched his speech on closed circuit television. Impressive, I know.
On Wednesday, I officially added one more moment to my list when the official White House Twitter account retweeted one of MDJ's Tweets, essentially broadcasting our name and message to their 2.6 million followers. (My horrible-quality screencap at left does it no justice, but hey, it's proof.)
Hold up. Why? Who? What?
You see, late Tuesday, The White House launched a social media campaign to help put a face on a recent debate that resulted in gridlock in Congress over the American Jobs Act; they asked their followers to tweet with the hashtag #40dollars and tell them what sort of things the extra amount of money per paycheck would help their familys pay for. We followed in their footsteps, asking “What would an extra #40dollars per paycheck mean to you?” Quickly thereafter, the White House retweeted our question, and instantly, our Twitter feed filled with people responding, saying #40dollars would help pay for things like gas, student loan payments, and groceries for the week. According to Washington Post, over 30,000 people responded to the campaign over the course of the week. It was so cool to know that a small fraction of those people took the time out of their day to tell us what $40 meant to them.
As I am writing this, I'm watching the Associated Press tweet that Congress has approved a two month extension of a payroll tax cut. Sigh. The power of 140 characters.
For more information about #40dollars campaign, click here.
I promise you, this is not just some random social media catchphrase that I made up. Tweet seats, as I found out this week after stumbling upon this USA Today article, are popping up in theaters and performing arts centers across the country. Often located in the back row of theaters, they are meant to accommodate those people who wish to live-tweet symphonies, musicals, and the like while appeasing those who cannot stand the tell-tale combination of cell phone lights and the flurry of thumbs of people tweeting, texting, etc.
When USA Today's Kara Rose asked patrons about these tweet seats, one concert attendee sang their praises, saying, "I could communicate openly about my reactions to the music, musicians and conductor — without speaking a word. Plus, I had the opportunity to engage others, and get their reactions to the performance." On the flip side, another grumbled that the people in the tweet seats, "...didn't even look up to applaud at the end of each selection. The fact that they were watching their handheld devices, they missed out on what was happening on the stage."
This is where I break free from the social media pack and side with the old schoolers. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for communicating openly and obsessively documenting every aspect of my day (hello, Instagram), but even I reach a point where it's time to put down the iPhone and take a deep, touch-screen-free, in-the-now breath.
Awards shows, political debates, high school football games? All free game for live tweeting. However, if I'm taking the time out of my life to go enjoy a real, live performance that isn't taking place in my living room, I want my attention to be focused solely on what's in front of me - not retina-deep in my phone, concentrating on how I can describe my experience in 140 characters or less for the sake of "engaging others." At the end of the day, I prefer to engage others face-to-face over a nice meal where the risk of my phone's text autocorrect embarrassing me is nonexistent.
What do you think, blogging brethren? Tweetriffic or twittorrible idea?
(I'm working on the social media puns, I promise.)
That's right, folks. I'm about to admit that Mississippi State had a clever idea. Cue my husband's ashamed glances and heavy sighs.
Now that the proverbial Band-Aid has been ripped off, allow me to explain. If you were one of the 27 people that watched my beloved Rebels fall miserably to the Bulldogs in the Egg Bowl on Saturday night, you might have noticed that The School Down South had painted the phrase #hailstate in their end zone, number sign and all. And, if you were like most members of my family, you wondered, "What the heck is that in the end zone?!"
A hashtag is a short word or phrase that, when typed after the number key, will become categorized in a list of other tweets using the same hashtag. Pretty confusing, I know. For example, during a Braves game, a Twitter user could tweet something like, "Tim Hudson is back at it again! #Braves" The #Braves hashtag would automatically create a hyperlink that, when clicked on, would display a list of all other Twitter users also tweeting with the #Braveshashtag. When a bunch of people use the same hashtag, it becomes a "Trending Topic" but that's another story for another day.
So, did Mississippi State's trendy end zone art make a point? Sure; I didn't even know they had access to the Internet down in Starkville (I jest, I jest). In all seriousness, a glance at the list of Tweets using the #hailstate hashtag shows that people were using it and using it frequently. Even if the hashtag was mostly used to brag and boast, perhaps those Bulldogs are onto something after all.
Where do you think hashtags will pop up next?
I'm thankful for Twitter. I found out about bin Laden's death over an hour before President Obama announced it on television after a White House aide leaked the news with a simple tweet that read, "So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn." I now use it to break news for MDJ and live-tweet high school football games for Cobb Football Friday, interacting with readers both new and old. We have received story ideas from our followers and constructive criticism from others. The door that it has opened for journalism in the 21st century is undeniable. Every morning when I open my Tweet Deck, I can't help but smile at those 140 character sentences, trying to predict what crazy Tweet I'll see today.
I'm thankful for Facebook. Aside from keeping up with former classmates and relatives living across the country on my personal account, I've used MDJ's account to post a picture of Kennesaw Mountain High School's first special-needs homecoming winner, only to gain over 60 comments and likes. I've conversed with young MDJ readers about whether or not a tattoo shop should be allowed on the Marietta Square. Much like Twitter, it has opened up a whole new realm of possibility for sharing stories, photos, and video.
I'm thankful for Instagram, the iPhone photo-sharing app. Not only does it make my mediocre cell phone snaps look like Eggleston-esque works of art, it inspires me to think outside the box when it comes to what makes a picture beautiful. Like Facebook and Twitter, the instant gratification of Instagram is undeniable; the ability to share photos with your followers in mere seconds is addictive. Whether it's a photo of flags flying in Marietta Square on Veteran's Day or of the spread the Marietta Diner sent to MDJ staff the day before Thanksgiving, Instagram makes sharing photos from around Cobb with our readers quick and easy.
I'm thankful for our MDJ bloggers who have been so willing to jump on board with this new venture. These different people from different backgrounds all blogging about different things enrich our site with every blog they post, and I cannot wait to see where the blogs take us.
Happy Thanksgiving, blogosphere!
You may have noticed some changes around MDJOnline in the past few months. We’ve expanded our online presence across a number of platforms and have also increased the amount of online-specific content, such as photo galleries and videos of events happening aroundCobbCounty. Most noticeably, we have embraced the use of social media as a new way to interact with our readers, including the very place you are visiting right now: the brand spankin’ new blog section of our site.
Trendy catchphrases like “blogging” and “social media” are often met with confusion by people not entirely versed in the vocabulary of the Internet. After all, what makes a blog any different than your average op-ed? By definition, a blog is a website that contains a writer’s or group of writer’s own experiences, observations, opinions, etc. In essence, with some keystrokes and the click of a mouse, a blogger can share his or her unfiltered opinions on the issues that matter to them with an immediate online audience.
Blogs illustrate participatory, grassroots journalism at its finest. Harnessing the virtually limitless space of the Internet, blogs give people of all backgrounds an easily-accessible vehicle through which they can share their thoughts and opinions on a wide variety of topics with an extremely large audience. Take a look at the bloggers we have housed in our blog section; from an ex-Marine to a professor of sociology, our bloggers backgrounds vary wildly, purposefully so. Whether or not a blogger holds a degree in journalism or has any journalistic experience is irrelevant in the “blogosphere”; rather, it is what they have to say that matters.
Of course, blogs are not meant to take the place of traditional journalism; nothing can replace the experience of starting your morning off with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good, old fashioned newspaper in the other. However, in the age of touch-and-go technology, bloggers will be able to continue the conversation in the “blogosphere” well after the coffee has cooled and the ink has faded.
While the blogger his or herself is certainly a crucial part of a blog’s success, blogs rely heavily on the interaction of readers to offer feedback, or perhaps even to offer a dialogue different than their own. As we see every day on the comment section of MDJOnline, readers will always have opposing viewpoints, but what is most important is that people are engaged in conversation about events on local or national scale on a very public forum. These conversations often create a snowball effect, spurring the writing of other blogs, more comments, so on and so forth.
So welcome to our new blog section. Take a look around. Read what our bloggers have to say. Comment on their blogs. Make your voice heard. Interact with other readers (respectfully, mind you). Who knows? Your thoughts might spur someone’s next blog…