The World of Social Media

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Social Media Sites by Linkedmediagrp

What ever happened to You Got Mail? Remember the good old days when the most complicated thing about talking on the web was choosing a witty AIM username and email address? My most famous and longest lasting AIM username was LuvSof, a name I affectionately hold dear to my heart in remembrance of simpler times.

Now I have a Klout score of 39 which according to my Professor is higher than average.  So how did I get here?

Begrudgingly and very slowly I assure you.

It’s still a learning process, but like everything else, the key to improvement is knowledge. Let’s start with the basics. What is social media exactly?

Social media is like a newspaper or a radio in that it provides information, but also, allows you the opportunity to respond and communicate back.  This interaction can be in the form of asking for your commentary, having you vote on your favorite song, or even giving you movie recommendations based on the interests of people who share the same interests as you.

Interactive Insights Group gives a really great break down of what Social Media is and lists about 9 general categories. Some sites such as On Blogging Well list 23 different types of social media.  Just reading about them made my head spin.  So I decided to use Interactive Insights Group’s idea and give you the meat and potatoes of social media in an even shorter version. With that said, I present to you . . . SOCIAL MEDIA: What the Heck it Means!

  • Blogs (like hashtagsophiapowe): A website where you can post entries as long or as short as you like in chronological order and your readers can make comments on what you have written.
  • Microblogs (like Twitter): A mini-blog, with less characters, usually updated multiple times in a day.
  • Wikis (like Wikipedia): Sites that allow users to add and edit the content of that particular website.
  • Photo Sharing (like Flickr): Sites that allow you to upload photos and share them with other viewers who can leave comments about your photos.
  • Video Sharing (like YouTube): Sites that allow you to upload videos and share them with other viewers who can leave comments about your videos.
  • Podcasts (like NPR): A digital audio that allows you listen to it whenever you like whether on your computer, media enabled cell, or MP3 player.
  • Social News (like Digg): Sites where viewers get to vote on the most popular web pages and the winning web pages get posted to the news site.
  • Bookmarking (like Delicious): Allows you to save, organize and share your website bookmarks with other people.
  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (like Google Reader): A one stop shop where you can visit one site to keep track of all your favorite website feeds without having to go to each site individually.  As new information comes in, your RSS feed updates automatically.
  • Social Networking (like Facebook): The ultimate social media where you connect and share (comments, stories, photos, video, the works) with other users as much or little as you like .

Phewww!! That was a lot to take in, but have no fear before you know it all this information will come second nature and you’ll be aiming for a Klout score of 100.

What’s in your social media basket?

Komen Foundation: Capitalizing on Cancer?

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Credit: Reuters/Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Handout

As a person who has lost her mother to cancer, I am well aware of how devastating this horrible disease can be. I celebrate and support any organization with a mission to find a cure or provide support for those suffering from the disease. I have always admired the Susan G. Komen foundation, but as a result of its recent Planned Parenthood debacle, I have come to find out facts about the organization that are not so admirable.

As the saying goes, when the media smells a rat they keep digging and it looks like the Komen Foundation may just be a big smelly rat hiding under the façade of a cute mouse. Here are some points to contemplate the next time you want to make a donation to the Komen Foundation.

  • Take a peek at the Komen website. Initially I thought you could purchase t-shirts and teddy bears, but I soon came to find that this is a full-fledged online shopping site where you can purchase anything from a bottle of Komen perfume to a “passionately pink ribbon dessert pan.” But the item that really just does not sit well with me is the featured item, the “Chemo Beanie,” that costs a whopping $25.00.  My first question is why? Who thought about this name? Who thought it would be a good idea?  And why is it so expensive? There is nothing cute or joyful about Chemotherapy. Is the Komen Foundation trying to inspire hope? Or have they found the perfect way to capitalize on a deadly disease that takes the lives of millions of women every year?
  • Science has shown that Bisphenol A (BPA) can cause cancer and inhibit the effectiveness of cancer fighting medicines. BPA peddling corporations such as General Mills and Coca-Cola donate to the Komen Foundation. It seems that although Komen’s mission is based on cancer prevention, they are gladly accepting money from companies that knowingly produce products that do just the opposite. What does this mean about Komen’s stance against breast cancer? Does it value money over prevention?
  • According to Slate.com in their article entitled Sink Pink, the Komen CEO salary in 2010 was $459,406 a year. Reuters reports that Komen paid founder and CEO Nancy Brinker $417,712 in 2011, that’s a really good salary for the CEO of a nonprofit. Reuters also points out that over the years although the dollar amounts of grants Komen has given out has grown, it still does not account for the amount of money Komen has received from donations. There’s a disconnection— where does this missing money go?
  • Last but not least, why did the Komen Foundation really pull funding from Planned Parenthood? Was it political? Was it because they really didn’t want to fund an organization under congressional investigation? Is it simply that they were threatened by outside groups and pressured to stop funding?

All of these topics funnel down to one point: What exactly does the Susan G. Komen Foundation stand for? Perhaps the board should evaluate their mission statement and make some changes.

Blame it on the Facebook?

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Time and time again I see blogs and articles entitled “Facebook Destroys Marriages,” “Report: Facebook Is Destroying Marriages,” “Facebook Divorce– The Power to Destroy.” What is going on here people?

So maybe I’m jaded by the media, but the other day I went on my FB wall to write a post.  My mouse ran across this “custom” button that gave me the option to hide my post from selected people if I wanted to. What? When did this happen? I was appalled and at that point I thought for sure FB had gone too far. I wrote an email to some of my closest peeps ranting about FB. It went a little something like this:

Do you know you can write a post on your wall and hide it from certain people and not others? So basically, like your pictures, you can completely customize your Facebook and display totally different personalities to different people. I can see how that is a good feature to have as a social media provider, but I don’t think it’s good for our society. I definitely think FB is one of the mediums that is weakening people’s strong relationships and causing them to develop even weaker relationships.  Would it be too rash to say FB will be the fall of intimate relationships (platonic included)? Nope, I don’t think so, give it a few years and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. 

Then I ended my rant in the most dramatic fashion I think possible for the topic:

“For this reason and this reason only, I wish for FB’s demise.”

Fortunately for me, my friends are less jaded about social media than I am. Candice pointed out that she has over 500 FB friends some including professional contacts. She appreciates the customize feature because she doesn’t always want to share all of her posts with both her personal and professional friends. Nirali said that FB actually brings the most distant relationships together by providing a means of communication for relationships that span across the globe.

These were all very good points, but I still blamed FB for all of the online drama that was going on. Until I read this:

“This was a defense mechanism for Facebook as Google+ came up with the circles feature which is essentially the same idea. In the end, Facebook makes money when people share more, which is the reason why they resisted implementing it for so long . . . The feature is essentially mimicking the human condition. You behave differently to different groups\circles such as your friends, your family, your colleagues. . .”-Aydin Arpa (MIT Media Lab)

He was kind enough to throw in that he understood my perspective, which made me feel just a tad less foolish than the raging lunatic that sent out the email earlier.

So if Facebook is not to blame, then who is?

Although it is an enabler, in the end we are the ones that make the choices. If we don’t want Professor A. seeing you having shots with your friend Sarah2hot then maybe Professor A. shouldn’t be your FB friend. That’s what LinkedIn is for. If Johnny wants to have 5 girlfriends and only one profile then fine, but that’s what MySpace is for ;).

I have unfairly blamed FB and I concede with a raised white flag. Be adults, make more conscious choices, and don’t let the use of social media ruin what’s real!

On that note, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Who is to blame?