Archive for the 'Topics of the Week COMM 4633' Category

16
Apr
12

The Favorites

Here we are, the last blog post of the semester. This week’s topic is supposed to be about my favorite blog posts that I’ve read throughout the time of this weekly blog assignment.

first place by evelyngiggles

I would say that out of all of the “pr pro” blog posts that I’ve read, my favorite  has to have been the one Ariel Hyatt wrote on her so-called “social media food pyramid”. What made this so favorable is that it was a new and interesting way to gauge and conceptualize the ideal amount of each kind of post that musicians should do through social media. But really, who has thought about doing that with a food pyramid of all things? This has definitely been of a great help for my final project that I’m working on that’s targeted for musicians who would like to become better at using social media.

Of the student posts, it was pretty hard to decide on ONE that was a favorite, and that’s not me just trying to please others, that’s an honest thought, because I have some very talented classmates. However, since this is about favorite blog posts in a social media class, I’ll have to say that one of my favorites have been “tweeting for the greatest reach” by Ember Award nominee, Rachel LaFlam. I really like how concise her writing is, and I try to model that in my own writing. I also really like the way she uses images within her posts, it really seems as if she puts forth a real effort to find unique and creative images to use with her own content! As to the content of this specific post, I never thought about scheduling tweets in such a strategic way!

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15
Apr
12

Guest Blog

Somehow, I looked over an old topic of the week. My guess is that it was because of spring break throwing everything off balance.

Anyhow, here’s a guest blog post from my friend Ben. You can find it on his blog:

Podcasts are pretty stinking awesome. I am a big fan of them. I used to listen to them a lot when I was in high school, specifically KOXM, the podcast for Official Xbox Magazine. I think the main reason I stopped listening to that every Saturday was because when I came to school, I left my Xbox at home and didn’t keep up with the news as much because the only time I got to play was when I went home for breaks. However, I loved listening to it, and I think companies can learn a lot from that specific one. I also enjoy listening to the Solid State Records Podcast on occasion, as they sometimes bring in artists who I really like listening to to talk about their new albums/tours/etc, and play new releases.

I learned a lot from the OXM guys while listening to their KOXM podcast that I think can apply greatly to many other business podcasts. KOXM is run by two of OXM’s editors and they do a great job of incorporating the audience and keeping up with the news and latest in the Xbox industry. It seems that they don’t post as often as they used to, but they are still doing just as much quality work as when I listened to it. The two editors always do a great job of joking back and forth with each other and have a genuine relationship that they can build off of. They always bring in a producer, artist, designer, etc, of a gaming company that is making a big game coming up that is being talked about primarily in the media, and go into extensive interviews with them. That was my favorite part. A lot of times I would only listen to their podcast if they interviewed somebody working on a game that I was really interested in, but I noticed that listening every week had it’s advantages as they talked about everything around the Xbox industry as well. At the end of the interview before ending the podcasts, they also let listeners phone in and leave voicemail messages concerning questions and comments to be responded to, which I think is one of the best things they could be doing and that companies can learn from. This way, the listeners know that their voice is being heard and they are getting their questions answered. I called in a couple times and it was kind of interesting hearing my own voice in the podcast when they played the message through. Also, they always have some sort of contest. Usually they play a sound bite from a video game and the listeners email in what they think it is, and the KOXM guys select randomly one person who got it right and mail them a random prize.

I think companies can learn a lot from this magazine’s podcast. Keeping your audience engaged is a great way to keep them interested in products, and keep them coming back to listen more. Having contests with actual prizes does the same, and really gets them intrigued on who won and what the sound came from.

From interviewing important people in the industry, to keeping audiences involved, podcasting is very important and I think it’s something a lot of business should be doing as it gets the customers even more in tune with the company and going-ons of the brand.

08
Apr
12

Viral Videos

So just the other day, I was on Facebook and a friend of mine shared a video that had a bit of a funny buzz to it. Rather than talking about it, I’m just going to let it speak for itself:

The link was pulled off of Digg, basically a “social news site” that allows users to read articles and vote them up or down. But really, the site that had made the video more known was the originating blog site, Viral Videos 4 U.

 

So this made me think about viral videos, I asked myself a few questions. Questions like:

  • Really what are viral videos?
  • What is it that makes a viral video so viral?
  • Why are viral videos so much more important now than ever before?
  • What is it that the creators behind viral videos do to be more effective with their creations?

So to help fuel my research, I decided to look for one of the more successful viral videos, Kony 2012 pt 1.

What I like about this is that it’s more than just a simple video that catches people’s attention and makes them laugh. Rather, it makes them think and feel a sense of belonging with the cause behind Invisible Children’s campaign.

So returning to my original four questions, here’s what I’ve come to decide:

Really what are viral videos?

I would say that a viral video is a video that is shared from person to person. These videos spread, like a virus. Here’s what Urban Dictionary has to say about viral videos:

Viral Videos are online videos which gain mass popularity through Internet Sharing, such as entertainment websites, e-mail messages or suggesting a friend watch it. Heavy.com and Youtube.com are two well-known examples of media sharing websites which contain viral videos.

What is it that makes a viral video so viral?

To this, I would say that to be truly viral, a video needs to be creative, interesting, original, and even new. If it could be all of these, it could potentially become viral.

Why are viral videos so much more important now than ever before?

More and more people are moving to the social web, and with that, there is room for more impressions upon the public! If you can get people to share your videos with one another today, there are potentially more people that will see it than 5 years ago.

What is it that the creators behind viral videos do to be more effective with their creations?

Neatorama published an article that basically asks “what makes a viral video go viral?”, and here’s the bottom line of what I got out of it:

  • They need to appeal to emotion.
  • They need to target a big network of people.
  • They need to match what people already think about your business or product.
01
Apr
12

Widgets and Badges

As complicated as they seem to be, widgets and badges are two of the most useful tools for a budding web developer. These spice things up, and offer features that simplify everything for both the consumer and the creator.

What makes widgets seem to be so appealing to the masses is that simply put, they do interesting things. There are a variety of features in widgets, some examples would be widgets that feature a email list form or some kind of a media player. It is really all up to the author/webmaster as to how to use them.

Just to add in a real example, I’m currently searching for appropriate widgets to include in the upcoming website I’m beginning to create for the band I’m managing and doing publicity for, A Sound Asleep.

ASA Band Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently, I am filtering out any widgets that are not:

  • Relevant to both the band and consumer/potential fans
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Appropriate for the band at this current stage of their career

So out of the ones that pass these filters, I then pick just the right ones so that I could have a site that offers a lot, yet is still clutter-less and simple. People like simple.

Badges are quite different from a widget in that a badge is simply a link to another website in the form of a (usually eye-catching) image that displays the person’s (usually the webmaster/person portrayed) credentials to establish some sort of credibility by associating the person with an organization.

This would be comparable to a “verified” image on twitter, except this image connects you to the organization’s website, where you could potentially connect to other associated members.

Simply said, to be successful, you need to say the right things in the right way to the right people. If using widgets and badges are relevant to the brand, then use them.

Say, a local-level band that’s trying to spread their music. This band would need to include widgets that display tour dates, play songs, leave a form open for mailing lists, and even connect the audience to the band through voice messages. It’s all useful, and in a world where everybody else is using these tools, it is required. As far as badges go, it would be a good idea to use any that display past achievements like “1 of AP’s 100 Bands You Need To Know 2012.”

What do you think about widgets and badges?

25
Mar
12

The Benefits of Social Bookmarking

So I started using Diigo earlier today, and I couldn’t help but thinking “wow, this is very addicting.”

"book club" by theloushe

I’ve noticed that the site makes it easy to gather your favorite things into one central place, so that you could access it from a variety of different places. I’m guessing that Pinterest was greatly influenced by these social bookmarking sites, as at the core, it is very similar in function.

What I like about Diigo (and other social bookmarking websites), is that it makes life easy for students and others that work in a setting where they need to use multiple web resources that need to be accessed at any given moment. But how does this help?

Social bookmarking helps you to compile a list of different websites through different devices. Sometimes you work from your own laptop, sometimes you work from the library, and sometimes you even work from the computer lab. The problem with this is that unless if you use some sort of cloud computing or even remote log in, you’re going to have trouble sharing important links with yourself. Also, have you ever thought about the possibility of having your laptop stolen? Social bookmarking helps you to protect yourself from disaster.

Social Bookmarking helps people to share their favorite webpages, and send it out to whoever you would like to see certain sites. Emails become clunk-y, and tweets can become buried underneath others easily. It can all be sent from one place directly into another. Now there’s no possibility for “missing” an important link since sharing links can be simplified with social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking helps you and others to see and collectively moderate a variety of web-resources to sort and categorize. Wouldn’t you love the idea of adding to or fixing others mistakes from the comfort of your own dorm room, house, or apartment, instead of from across the table at a Starbucks? We live in the 21st century, face-to-face interactions are a thing of the past.

18
Mar
12

What About Foursquare?

So there’s been this thing that’s been around for about 3 years (as of March 11th). It is called Foursquare and there’s a good chance you’ve probably heard of it by now.

VLA Very Large Array Radiotelescope, New Mexico 2008 by Gord McKenna

But in case if you haven’t heard of it, it is an online social networking application that allows users to “check-in” to literally any location through their smart phones. Foursquare makes this worthwhile through implementing badges and points to reward frequent “check-ins” and any other notable achievements. This is great, because foursquare is capable of connecting to your other social networking sites so that you could share your “check-ins” with your extended friends and followers.

You see, the beauty of this is that it motivates people to tell others about a place that they were at. In many cases, these places are businesses, so when one tells another about the place that they checked in at, it is similar to advertising. But in their heads, it is not, because Foursquare makes this fun.

But the potential trouble behind this is that Foursquare users often put themselves at risk by revealing where they are currently located through checking in at different spots. Would you really want others knowing where you are at? How about at all times? Did you keep strangers in mind? Yeah, it’s scary, isn’t it?

This shouldn’t be something to completely scare off potential users. I really just see this as something to be made aware of. As fun as it is to tell people that you are at someplace, do you really want people potentially finding you there? In other cases, what if you are revealing the location of a good friend’s house? That would totally violate their privacy, as I’m sure that they would not want the world seeing where they live.

What do you think about Foursquare? Do you use it? Why? Is it fun? What about privacy issues and the sort?

04
Mar
12

Music Podcasts

Preface: This blog post is going to be re-worked, rewritten and reused for my upcoming “social media in music” website that will be opened in early April. If you know of any musicians that would like to learn a thing or two about using social media to engage fans, pass this on!

You would think that because iPods are commonly associated with music, podcasts would be too. But are podcasts really as popular as people expect them to be? Should bands really look into hopping on that train?

Here are some things to think about when it comes to podcasts created by mid-level and low-level bands:

Musicians:
Do you really listen to podcasts? What kind? When was the last time that you’ve actually listened to a podcast from beginning to end? What was in it that made it so special?

Do you think you could put something unique enough for them to dig into? How much of this would literally be created by you (as a band)? Would you be interested in developing any exclusive/first look content, like songs: (live recordings, covers, acoustic) or announcements: (upcoming tours, new album, sponsorships).

Fans:
The first four questions go out towards you too: Do you really listen to podcasts? What kind? When was the last time that you’ve actually listened to a podcast from beginning to end? What was in it that made it worth your time?

Would you rather listen to a podcast created by one of your favorite bands, featuring content from mostly your favorite band? Or would you rather listen to the same band showcase what their friends are currently digging?

 

Example:

Man Overboard, a pop-punk band based out of New Jersey had started this thing called the Defend Pop Punk Mixtape Series in the summer of 2010. Ever since then, the band has released mixtape after mixtape every summer and fall for download.

Press Pic of Man Overboard obtained from an Alter The Press! article

After listening through the very first podcast, I saw that it included an old demo from the band’s past, some commentary before a chunk of songs (similar to a radio show), and even songs by friends of the band. What I really like about this is that Man Overboard talks about others more than they talk about themselves. I think that this really works out, because I see the aim of the podcast series as a method of reaching current fans, not ones that don’t completely exist.

 

As great as all of this is, what would you create if your band were to ever start up a podcast series?




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