My Google Docs Experience

Having the opportunity to play on GoogleDocs today was a good time. They save my life. I also use my Google Drive to store my Presentations…so here is a link to one of the ones I’ve done in the past: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1oEtnq3voZclpzmrnIQr8KBIAELmtw-s7gw1aBrx_9eA/edit#slide=id.p 

Enjoy!

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Thank You & Please Blog Safely.

Blogging is an interesting way for people around the world to connect. The risky part is that there are many cyber creeps. To help protect yourself, as well as those featured on your blog, here are a few precautions to take. 

+If your blog is public, only post information about yourself that you want everyone online to find out about. 

It can be really hard to refrain from spilling everything online, but do yourself and everyone else a favor and keep things vague. You never know who is watching. 

+Make sure you know who is commenting on your blog, as well as who is blogging about you. 

You have the ability to control the comments that are posted to your blog. Make sure to review them periodically and remove the ones that are distasteful or irrelevant. It is also important to search your name and view the information that others have posted about you online.  

+Be extra cautious about meeting up with someone you met online

There are many bloggers who have successful meetings, and gain lifelong friendships. However, this is not always the case. Things can take a turn for the worst quickly, so be sure to do extensive research and meet in a high-traffic area if a meeting is to take place. 

+Blogging Anonymously? Be sure to hide your IP address too 

Blog from an anonymous network Tor, so that blogging networks can’t track your IP address and see which computer your are blogging from, and where it is located. 

Following these tips, and taking extra caution before you put information of any kind online will keep you and all those involved on your blog safe!

Happy Blogging! 

Sources:

http://www.getsafeonline.org/social-networking/blogging/

Blogging

https://www.eff.org/wp/blog-safely

Classroom Blogging

After observing the activity on over five different educational blogs, I have learned a lot about the significant impact they can have on a classroom. I had always viewed blogs as a ways for adults to interact, generally through life-updates, or learning a skill. These blogs mentioned things such as classroom activities, homework helps, and even updates on the class pet!

I observed a librarian’s blog as well, which was fascinating. She had posted links to download-ables, research help, and book recommendations. She also did an entire segment on bullying, and how to put an end to it.

 Blogs are a great way for educational interactions to take place, especially for parents to interact with their children’s teachers. It’s extremely important for communication to be open between children and their parents about the environment at school. Blogs can be an excellent resource for these interactions to take place. 

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Blogs observed: 

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/

http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/

Facebook is taking it Home

Facebook. On April 4, 2013 the well-known social media outlet has developed a “skin” for android users known as “Home”. 

According to NBC, “Right now only a handful of phones are able to download Facebook Home, including the HTC One X, One X+, and Samsung Galaxy S 3.” Could this mean trouble for the new interface?

Apple and google control over 87% of the smartphone market, which limits the access even more. 

 According to TechCrunch, “Checking the news feed for the latest photos and stories from your friends is a conscious decision. You’re either living your life or reading Facebook. The social network would surely prefer those to be one and the same.”

The basic interface is basically an Android phone with Facebook plastered all over it. It may be obnoxious to some, as Facebook chats will follow you around your screen, and be a constant.

For Facebook “addicts” this is probably a great way to stay connected, but it comes at a price. 

The new skin has gotten a lot of negative feedback, as it diminishes several of Android’s best-selling points such as the lockscreen and desktop widgets and folders.  

When asked to comment about this new skin, Mark Zuckerberg commented, “The strategy we have is different from every other tech company that’s building their own hardware system, like Apple. We’re going in the opposite direction.”

 When asked about expanding the market to other phones and devices, Zuckerberg mentioned an updated version of the skin becoming available every month, as well as a version quickly becoming available for the tablet market.

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Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/facebook-home-now-available-download-if-your-phone-runs-it-1C9329507

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/06/apple-makes-gains-in-u-s-smartphone-market-share/

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/hands-facebook-home-social-takes-over-android-1C9220930

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/29/facebook-home/

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-a-facebook-phone-just-doesnt-make-any-sense/

Apps

Technically speaking…”text messaging” is completed through an app.

The camera on your phone…is an app.

No matter which platform you are using, the various functions of your phone, tablet, or other electronic device wouldn’t be possible without apps. 

The apps I want to focus on are technically the stuff of dinosaurs…apps for computers. 

Apps for computers have been around about as long as the floppy, and we don’t even want to think back that far.

When Apple released the app store for OS X Mountain Lion, they changed everything for computers. There is no such thing as a box and disk combo for downloads, it’s all done seamlessly through the app store. The best part? Updates are also downloadable, so you will always have the best version of your apps.

All apps in the Mac app store go through extensive research and testing before they become available to the public. This is great to ensure security, but may also cut out a large majority of the apps that could be available. 

MacWorld.com offers some advice on how to get around it. They mention finding your favorite apps through the app store and searching the name of the creator…their website may have some gems for you to download. They also recommend searching for their apps with the word “review” directly behind it, to get some third-party opinions. 

One of the users on MacWorld recommended 

as useful resources for finding Mac software.

If more expensive and extensive software is needed, http://deals.macupdate.com offer daily deals on high-rated software. 

Jordan Merrick, in his article The Complete Guide to the Mac App Store, comments, “The Mac App Store is part of the same ecosystem as iTunes and as a result your iTunes gift cards you received over the holidays can be used on purchases from either iTunes, the App Store for iOS or the Mac App Store!”

 I think that all of this is very true. As an avid Mac user, I am excited to watch the evolution of the App Store, and see how PC companies try to compete with it. 

 

 

 Sources:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2013994/venture-beyond-the-mac-app-store.html

http://deals.macupdate.com/

http://mac.tutsplus.com/tutorials/os-x/the-complete-guide-to-the-mac-app-store/

Viral Videos

Justin Beiber, Gangham Style, Charlie bit my finger, Old Spice commercials…what do these have in common? 

They’ve all gone viral. 

What exactly does “viral” mean….when talking about social media that is. 

When a video goes viral, it means it has been spread rapidly by sharing. Sharing can be done via links in an email, on facebook or twitter, or even word of mouth in everyday conversation. 

Most marketing companies are asked to generate viral videos, to gain recognition for their clients. What their clients don’t always understand is that the backbone of a viral video is the actual content. 

Sure, getting a video off the ground takes a lot of work on your part. The best strategy is to relentlessly promote it. We’re talking everything from posting it to facebook, emailing it around to friends, adding the appropriate trending tags, and attempting to get celebrity endorsement. 

Something such as Jimmy Kimmel tweeting about your video will skyrocket your views, which is exactly what happened to “Double Rainbow”. 

Keeping content relevant to a target audience is also a key factor. Generally viral videos are either humorous, or a big part of pop-culture. However, more serious videos have the capability to go viral if shared with appropriate target audiences.

Viral videos can provide a source of income if played right. YouTube is anxious to make money off of your videos too, so they will contact you about placing ads on your channel if you hit enough views. However, be cautious about the ads placed over your videos, as they can discourage users from watching your videos, or re-direct them to other websites. 

The media attention that viral videos can get is generally welcomed by the producers, but can also be an annoyance, or even an invasion of privacy if the producers don’t anticipate it. There have been several instances where families have been bombarded by media coverage, and have attempted to file lawsuits. Always remember that content placed on the internet, especially a video, can be quickly escalated out of your control. You and your cat could be the next big YouTube sensations. 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/technology/personaltech/cashing-in-on-your-hit-youtube-video.html?_r=0 

http://socialtimes.com/what-makes-a-video-viral_b61409 

http://www.epolitics.com/2006/07/03/online-tactics-viral-campaigns/

#’s and SEO’s

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is the efforts placed into generating highly trafficked  and easily searchable websites. Websites that are easily found from various search engines, such as google or bing always generate more traffic. If websites aren’t getting enough hits as is, they can also do paid searches, also known as PPC, or pay-per-click. The PPC’s do generate more traffic, but not in an organic manner, so many of the users won’t spend much time on their website.

According to BlackBoxSocialMedia, “Meta tags do allow a web designer the ability to control how their web pages are described by some search engines, provide some SEO benefit, and they also offer the ability to prevent pages from being indexed at all.” Meta tags used to be the only way to gain SEO’s for a website, but it has since progressed to everything from writing content with a lot of keywords, to linking the website to diverse social media platforms. 

Geotagging is simply what it sounds like. Tagging yourself at a geographical location. Social mediums such as Instagram and Facebook have “check-in” features that allow individuals to tag themselves at a certain location. The biggest geotagging platform is foursquare. Businesses give users the ability to check in at their location for incentives such as discounts. 

This info graphic demonstrates the ongoing phenomenon of SEO’s. As new technology is released, such as google analytics, SEO’s have to evolve to incorporate it. SEO’s are a very smart business tool to utilize, and should be monitored by all businesses who are looking to grow their company-especially if they are looking to strengthen their entire online presence, not limited to social media. 

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Sources:

http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/search-engine-optimization-seo/search-engine-optimization-meta-tags/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-drive-more-customers-to-your-local-business-with-social-geotagging/

http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/search-engine-optimization-seo/ 

 

Legal, Policies, and Ethics

Social Media.

At first glance it appears completely harmless, and is even a great way to connect with friends. What many don’t remember is once you release pictures, videos, or even tweets out to the social media world, you can never fully take them back. Sure things can be taken down, erased, and forgotten about. Seems like an easy fix.

However, viruses will happen, people will save things to their computers, and things will eventually creep back into the universe, especially when it comes to future employers. Security settings are customizable, but users shouldn’t be solely dependent on social mediums for protection.

CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.

According to the Huffington Post, “In Bozeman, Mont., hiring managers asked job seekers to divulge the usernames and passwords to ‘any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.’ on their application forms, CNET reported. Shortly thereafter, Facebook even issued a statement saying they objected to the practice not only on ethical grounds, but on legal grounds as well.”

According to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a law firm with a large labor and employment practices, “Employers should review their Internet and social media policies to determine whether they are susceptible to an allegation that the policy would ‘reasonably tend to chill employees’ in the exercise of their rights to discuss wages, working conditions and unionization.”

The New York Times released a story about an employee who was fired due to the criticism she posted about her supervisor on her Facebook page. 

Many employers feel that they are entitled to unlimited access to any form of social media, especially when it is related to their employees or company. The labor board responded to this issue with a statement issued by Lafe Solomon, the labor board’s acting general said, “This is a fairly straightforward case under the National Labor Relations Act — whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.”

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/employers-use-facebook-to-pre-screen-applicants_n_1441289.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/business/09facebook.html?_r=0

http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/how-first-amendment-rights-impact-public-sector-employees-and-soc

Managing Social Media

There are so many forms of social media that monitoring all of them can become a hassle.

Social Media wheel with spokes  and icons

Aggregators can be anythings from a plug-in to an app, numerous versions have emerged in the past few years. By simple definition, an aggregator is “to provide you with one simple point of entry where you can keep track of the streams from any and all of the most popular social networking sites.” -PC World

The top rated on PC world contain both websites, apps and web-browsers.

  • Streamy  is a website that keeps all of your social mediums and services in different tabs, making it easy to differentiate between the traffic on each of them.
  • Flock is a web browser that makes it possible to post to various social mediums via a sidebar that is constantly visible.
  • FriendFeed, a website that makes it easier for your friends to track all of your social media activity in one place.

Another form of an aggregator is the newly emerging “if this, then that”, or ifft. Ifft is an application that allows you to customize the notifications you receive, for example, if someone tags you in a photo on facebook, then send you a text. Ifttt syncs with s a wide variety of websites and services, including email, SMS texting, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Calendar, LinkedIn, Instapaper, Flickr, Foursquare, Vimeo, and Weather.

Social media analytics can be tracked in hundreds of different ways, there are databases, spreadsheets, plug-ins and many other options.

For example, ViralHeat is a social media tracking company that regularly gives away free access to their database of social media analytics. Information on various companies, topics and properties can be analyzed and charted to make background, or market research increasingly easier.

Mashable.com has several customizable spreadsheets to choose from. These spreadsheets can be used to track social media platforms, specific topics, or basic traffic flow. They can be found here: http://mashable.com/2012/02/09/social-media-analytics-spreadsheets/

Sources:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/169515/social_media_aggregators.html

http://mashable.com/2010/08/23/viralheat-social-trends/

http://mashable.com/category/social-media-analytics/

Platforms

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Google+. LinkedIn. Instagram. Flickr. YouTube. Foursquare. 

What do all of these websites/apps have in common? They connect people. They are all social media platforms that were created with the purpose of allowing people to share and connect with others. 

If they all have the same underlying purpose, why are there so many different options?

Breaking it down:

Facebook is one of the crown jewels of social media. Many social media outlets converge on facebook. For example, many people are syncing their twitter, instagram, pinterest, and LinkedIn profiles with their facebook account. Why? Convenience mostly. It’s a way to keep all followers/friends/acquaintances simultaneously informed. 

Social media is the main news source for over 1/3 of adults under the age of 30.  When events such as the Colorado shooting, or Coach Anderson leaving Utah State occur, its a way for an ongoing conversation to unfold as information is released. 

Social media has also changed permanently changed politics. According to The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management/ORI survey, “nearly two-thirds of voters reported that political information on social media was either higher quality or on par with traditional media outlets.” 

This info graphic breaks down social media, and the lasting effects it can have:

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The fact that 49% of Americans have heard “breaking news” that turned out to be false is horrifying. There are many hackers and others with harmful intent that could damage the reputation of an individual or business. In order to avoid such damaging information, social media outlets must be monitored at all times, especially for celebrities or international businesses. Damage control can be accomplished by responding multiple times through all social media outlets with the same message. Another idea would be to engage in conversation on social media outlets, giving your audience the opportunity to ask questions. 

Social media is not a trend or fad. It is a mainstay in our society, and needs to be recognized as not only a way to socialize, but also as a business asset and news source.

 

http://mashable.com/2012/04/18/social-media-and-the-news/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/01/survey-users-trust-social-media-as-news-source-154477.html