Cara Mitchell

October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day ’08: POVERTY

Filed under: Personal,Responses — by caramitchell @ 11:07 pm
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Yesterday my professor told our class we were invited to participate in Blog Action Day and that the topic this year is Poverty. The idea is to raise awareness about Poverty and for people everywhere to call attention to the same topic. Our instructions were to blog from the heart, and if our hearts have nothing to say, keep quiet. So I had to write something.

Poverty is definitely a serious problem- as most people would agree. But the problem comes in when we say it’s a serious problem, and silently think – but it’s not my problem. This relates to the idea of Poverty and the Other. The way that I realized I can avoid thinking like this is by this Bible verse: Proverbs 22:2 “The rich and the poor have a common bond; the Lord is the maker of them all.” We are all fellow human beings – regardless of why we are facing poverty or how we get into situations- we are our brother’s keepers.

This Blog Action Day has been successful in making me realize that I’m not doing enough to help. If you’re not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem, right? Just reading other posts on the Blog Action Day site are inspiring to me- they affirm that the effort of every person- My effort- is significant.

Writing this post is my first step in being a part of the solution.

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October 9, 2008

Exploring Social Media (Comment on Chris Brogan’s “50 Applications and Sites to Consider”)

Filed under: Responses — by caramitchell @ 1:59 pm
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Since we are learning the odds and ends of social media in class, this post by Chris Brogan: 50 Applications and Sites to Consider is perfect for getting an idea of what exactly is out there in the blogosphere.

In this post (before he begins listing sites) I noticed that fact that Chris Brogan has an account on each of these sites, even though he might not use it; this echoes the advice of Dr. V in class: if you are looking to work in PR, even if you don’t use all of these Web sites, you at least need to stay on top of what’s out there.

Comments on the 50 Applications & Sites List:

  • For free blogging and hosting Blogger seems cool. Just from taking a quick look at it, it seems to be very educational. For example the first thing you see on the home page is the question: What is a blog?(Maybe if we had used this in class, Dr. V wouldn’t have had to do so many tutorials on her class blog. It explains very clearly what blogging is and several terms related to blogging as well).
    • After looking at all of the blogging sites listed, they all focus on how easy it is to create a blog. Especially Tumblr which highlights the words: “Sign up in 10 seconds”. 🙂
  • For microblogging BrightKite looks cool. Its theme as a Web site really focuses on community and meeting friends. Instead of saying “Join Now” like many other sites do, it uses the phrase “Get an invite”.
    • Friendfeed has this same appeal to community and meeting friends (hence the name Friendfeed), but I don’t like the design on the home page. It does not make me want to be a part of this community…
    • Identi.ca looks cool too. It seems to keep it simple. I like the tag feature it uses. You can read recent posts on particular topics by selecting a tag.
    • Learned something new about microblogging while on Jaiku – the short posts that people type on these microblogging sites about what they are doing or whatever are called activity streams. (Didn’t know that). Something funny on Jaiku: while I was looking at the map feature a woman said: I still wish Jaiku was as nice as Twitter.
    • Posterous looks very interesting – different from the others. I might have to explore this one a little further. It again stresses the ease of creating an account (it crosses out the words “Create an account”).
  • As far as bookmarking sites go: Ma.gnolia has a list of tutorials to watch (I could appreciate that) to get to know the site.  StumbleUpon makes me want to try out one of these bookmarking sites for sure (great name, too 🙂 )
  • Social media news sites: After browsing over these, I see that they are worth being acquainted with- these appear to come in with the listening factor that so many class guests and other people talk about when they discuss how to be a part of this online world. Digg, Mixx – I’m definitely coming back to these sites.

Basically, this is a great post just to start getting an idea of what exists online. Most of these sites focus on how simple it is to get started and on becoming a part of a community. Some of them go on to teach you what the site does and how to use it (which is very helpful). I’m just getting started on exploring this list of 50 – which will probably lead to learning about more 🙂

October 2, 2008

Insight from PRinciples Class Guest Speaker @pistachio

Filed under: Responses — by caramitchell @ 6:23 pm
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I just learned so much in this class about the power of social networking! I almost feel like knowledge overload has taken place. We live-twittered in class, so I not only learned from my professor, but from other classmates who were twittering, and from @pistachio who spoke to our class via Skype. @pistachio- (Laura Fitton) who we learned is referred to as the “Twitter Queen” told us about how she learned how to use her voice online and how she got to where she is today (she is an expert microblogger and communications consultant who teaches her clients how to incorporate social media into their interactions). Today I learned that if someone can learn to use their voice the right way, then their voice can be louder and more influential than that of a large corporation.

More noteworthy points: @pistachio also talked to us about the best ways to use social media networks like twitter . One thing that stuck out to me on this topic was that if you are using a social network for business purposes, don’t always focus on promoting, but use that human voice that everyone has to relate to others. She shared her thoughts about how newspaper columnists’ jobs will change drastically in the future- in ways that we cannot even imagine- possibly to columns that are actually online communities.

Main Lesson: The overall theme of what I learned in from our speaker today in class and from our last reading of the Cluetrain Manifesto is not to fall into the cycle of continuing to build the “golden wall” that separates organizations from publics, but just be genuine in making those connections with others – regardless of what channel of communication is being used. It sounds like a simple lesson, but it also appears to be one that has been forgotten.

Cluetrain Manifesto- key points

Filed under: Reading Notes — by caramitchell @ 3:01 am
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95 Theses & Ch. 1 of Cluetrain Manifesto

  • The current ways that companies function in their business to business relations, customer relations, community relations, and employee relations must shift and adjust to thrive in this new networked market.
  • The old ways of doing things are becoming inefficient (ie: relying on brand loyalty). Markets these days won’t settle for the usual- they want to be active in the organizations’ inner conversations. For example, community involvement is crucial; without it companies will not be able to relate the market and will have no “human voice”.
  • “Just as GM mistook the Hondas and VWs for a passing fad, most corporations today are totally misreading this invasion from Webspace”. This idea is HUGE in CM. This addresses the issue of organizations being unaware of how big of a deal the Net can become in their careers.
  • CM discusses the way that the principles of scientific management are at work under the surface in organizations today. Basically, managers and CEOs don’t truly trust their employees enough to be creative, innovative, or to interact with their customers and one another without so many rules, stipulations, or surveillance.
  • A lot of the rules, jargon, and big word that corporations now view as standard and normal are what is building a wall between them their publics (employees, customers, community members, other businesses). This speaks to the question that the CM asks: what if you build an intranet and no one comes? From this perspective, it seems as if the main point of these intranets and organizations using the internet (connecting with publics) are being overlooked and forgotten.

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