Thursday, February 25, 2010

Citizen Marketers: Fanatics


While reading Citizen Marketers, I came across a section titled "Fanatics". Fanatics are citizen marketers who filter work, analyze the daily or weekly progress of a brand, product, organization, or person and prescribe courses of action. They basically critic brands etc. but also praise them when praise is deserved. These citizen marketers are just "fanatics" who blog etc. as a hobby. In the book, is used as an example. McChronicals is essentially just a blog about McDonalds. I went to the website to explore further. I wanted a hands on, visual example of what a "fanatic" actually is. Upon my venturing the McChronical's site, I learned a lot of new things about McDonalds that I would otherwise not know. For example: Did you know that McDonalds charges you 5 cents extra every time you purchase a water bottle from their establishment? It is a deposit free. Interesting. Why not just buy a cup of water instead? It costs less (nothing) and keeps you from throwing away a plastic bottle. Yes, at McDonalds there is no other option then just throwing away your bottle. They do not provide customers with recycle bins! I also learned that the McDonalds in Iceland recently shut down due to soaring costs. They also have their own Monopoly game board. Yes, that's right! McDonalds Monopoly. You can also follow McDonalds on twitter! You know you want to. It goes on and on. It includes restaurant reviews, customer comments, and how-tos. It was really impressive. This blogger really goes above and beyond. I can only imagine he is a real McDonalds Fanatic (that can't be healthy). I find his cause very noble. I can see how blogs like this can really sway consumers opinions and open their eyes to the inner workings of a company. I think I will continue to read this blog, even though I don't eat at McDonalds ( I don't eat fried food). I find it very interesting. Citizen Marketers really do make a difference.  

A Virtual Map

This morning I decided to track my virtual journey and map my tracks. In other words, I decided to keep track of where one page took me to another and another and so forth. I wanted to explore how and why one page took my to another and beyond. So here it is: This morning I checked my Facebook, just like I do every morning. I browsed around at other users updates and came upon an update by "365 things to do in Austin", a page which updates each day to provide users with an activity they could do that day. When I came upon the update, I decided to go to their page to see what else they had suggested. The page got me thinking, "I really need to come up with some activities to do with my little (Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Austin)". So I went ahead and checked out the previous notes that had been posted on the page. One of the posts had to do with Capital Area Food Bank. I didn't really know much about Capital Area, but I heard of it before, so I clicked it to find out more. I ended up interested in the work done by Capital Area and therefore ended up at their organization's official web site. The web site inspired me and I signed up to volunteer next month! I went from checking my Facebook one minute to volunteering the next. The internet has endless paths for people to venture onto. You never know where you might end up! Other paths I took off of this Facebook page were to the Austin Children's Museum's official web page. I found out that the Museum is free on Sundays from 4pm-5pm! That's something great I can do with my little. I thought it was interesting that I ended up planning day trips left and right with my little for the next couple months.  An innocent visit to Facebook to check if I had any friend requests or event invitations (which I did as well) landed me a volunteer opportunity and a trip to Austin Children's Museum. The internet gives us this great freedom of knowledge to explore and endless resources.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Twitter Helping Hati

We are all aware of the earthquake in Haiti that occurred on January 12, 2010. These days news spreads like wild fire and indeed it did! Almost instantly Twitter updates by the thousands related to Haiti and/or Earthquake were posted after the earthquake with links and photos. Facebook pages filled with blogs about the earthquake and status updated sending Haiti victims prayers. Immediately after the disaster, people were already thinking of great, innovative ways to help in the Haiti relief. Just here on campus, there were bake sales, benefit concerts, and new organizations arising everywhere with hopes of aiding others in the reconstruction and relief of Haiti. This was just a smaller scale of what the world was doing to help. 

Some of you may not know, but Twitter has gone above and beyond to try and help the cause. Not only does twitter allow people to share information, photos, news, and donation links, but they have now made a deal with Digicel to bring free SMS tweets to Haitian citizens. Previous to this deal, the people of Haiti used to be charged a message fee every time they tweeted. This is a new way for people who do not have broadband internet service or smart phone access to still be able to connect to others on the internet. This is a great way to encourage the citizens of Haiti to share their stories and provide the world with updates. I am impressed by twitters move. It is a gift that the people of Haiti can share their stories and receive support in return. It is also a current, up to date report in which users can keep track of the progress in Haiti. Twitter has found yet another way to link the world together via social networking.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Google Buzz

Google just announced Google Buzz on Tuesday; its newest push toward the social media movement!

Google Buzz is a feature of Gmail, so users must be a member of Gmail to be able to have access to Google Buzz. Google Buzz enables users to share statuses, updates, images and videos via Gmail. The Google Buzz features will not only be accessible via your home computer or laptop, but it will also be available on Android iPhone to provide users with "live" updates. Google hopes that Google Buzz will soon become the new Facebook, which is the new-ish Myspace. Some features include: The 40 people users chat with the most via Gmail & Gchat (instant messaging for Gmail users) will be automatically added as friends on Google Buzz. These individual's updates will show up automatically (like Twitter)as a live feed on one's Google buzz. When creating your own status updates, you can choose to make them private or public each individual time.One can also tag people in their status updates (like Twitter). Google Buzz gives people the option to like or dislike (unlike Facebook) statuses and filter out status updates that become frivolousand obnoxious. Google Buzz also recommends new friends to follow (like Facebook). Photos from Flickr and Picasa and videos from YouTube appear as thumbnails in one's Google Buzz. When you click them, they pull up (full size) on your browser. Users can also pull in tweets, from Twitter, (but not Facebook updates) into Google Buzz. Unfortunately, you can't export your Google Buzz updates out to Twitter. based phones as well as the

I personally wouldn't call this" innovative". It just seems like a new Facebook or Myspace, only exclusively for Gmail users. Some news Google, we already have a Facebook and it's available to everyone! We'll see where this goes. It could be a flop in the younger demographic, but a possible winner for business professionals. There are not enough users involved in Google Buzz yet to really foresee what will happen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Facebook: social or professional?

Should Facebook effect your professional life?
I have been told many times that I should monitor my photos, my information, and even my friends because potential employers might come across my page. I have also been told that employers often judge potential employees by the photos, information, and friends that person may have on their Facebook page.

Is this justified?

Most people use this social tool for their social life. I keep in touch with friends and family, share photos, and stories. I can see how my page may give employers the wrong idea. It is full of my personal photos, and friends. I do have friends on Facebook that have questionable photos and content. Their content is not my own and I will not base who my friends are and are not on their Facebook content

Why should I be judged based on who my friends are? Why should I be judged on the "events" that I partake in? And finally, why should I be judged on what I like and dislike? (by a potential employers) 

What I do on my personal time has nothing to do with what I do on the clock. Have you heard,"keep your personal life at home?" That's what Facebook is, It's my personal life, so no one should involve it with the office. I personally don't have anything too inappropriate on my Facebook. But if for example, someone claims their political or religious party on their Facebook and this effects the decision of a potential employer, they may never know that was the very reason for their unemployment. Sure there are laws that say you can't discriminate for this or that reason. An employer can simply say there were others more qualified than you.

True or False?  

I have not experienced this discrimination, or as far as I am concerned I have not. This is a concern of mine though. I hate the feeling that I have to monitor every move I make on Facebook. I believe that Facebook should be used as a social tool only and not a professional one.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pew Internet & American Life Project

We all leave a trail behind us every time we log onto the internet. This trail is called our "digital footprint". "The more content we contribute to the public or semi-public corners of the Web" the larger our footprint becomes. You probably are not even aware of how large your digital footprint really is. I found it interesting that more than half of the people involved in this study do not worry about the amount of content on them that is available publicly or how personal this content may be. Most people do not think that they are interacting in any risky business when logging on to the Web. I personally am one of those "worried by the wayside" users of the internet. I'm most likely not careful enough when it comes to protecting my personal information. Now that I think about it, I post more intimate details than I think. On my Facebook, I post the city I live in, my birthday, my relationship status, my favorite movies and activities. Someone who logs onto my page could even figure out who my friends and family members are. I, in fact, share a lot of information on the Web. I Googled myself the other day after reading this write-up. My twitter name showed up (erinraelovesyou) second on the search engine list. I wouldn't consider this to be personal information, but I also searched Google images. On the first page, first line, there was a picture of me and my best friend. If it was as easy as a click to receive that much information on me, how easy is it to get other information on me? I'm sure I could type my name into the white pages and find my home address or something of that nature. So with one simple search someone could get a photo of me, my home address, and my twitter account. That is a little scary. Even though I have made all my online social networking pages private to those who are not my "friends", I don't feel like I'm being safe enough. Some of the people I friend are not always good friends. Some people I only know from class, or work. I don't really "know" them. These are things people, and I as well, don't think about when we are enjoying our time networking on the Internet. My conclusion to this is, be careful what you share. You never know who might be searching your name.