Monthly Archives: January 2010

T.O.W. Week Three: “Ethical” Social Media Monitoring

While looking at the topic for this week, I was a bit stumped to say the least. Ethics in social media?? Well to begin my thoughts on this I decided to pull out my textbook (nerdy, I know) for a little help. I’m currently enrolled in a Media Ethics class at Georgia Southern, so I’m responsible for learning these principles this semester, and hopefully taking something useful from the class to make me a better PR practitioner.

Ethics is described as the moral principles or rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc. So in my mind that would mean that in if you are intruding on someone’s personal space and thoughts then that’s disrespecting them correct? Which would make it unethical….BUT some people misuse their privileges and rights to freedom with social media sites.

The Good:

Social media monitoring can keep people informed, as well as spread good thoughts and causes. People have different definitions of the effectiveness of social media, and many have yet to realize it power. People can use social media sites in order to expand their horizons, share stories, and network to meet people and find job opportunities. I think that social media monitoring can help keep people safe, as well as protect the well-being of many companies.

As far as companies monitoring how people feel about their product, I believe that if it’ll help them make necessary changes for the greater good of their company then that’s fine with me. Many professionals adopt social media to gain a competitive edge, and these moves more often than not turn out to have a positive outcome for them.

The Bad: Social monitoring can not only create bad press, but it can often be misconstrued in different circle.  When information is posted on the internet it travels like a wild fire and all it takes is a little oxygen to make a bad situation worst. Many companies also use social monitoring to gain insight on current and potential employees.  In some situation and jobs that may be important, but it seems to be the new fad for hiring and firing employees. What a person does on their private time does not reflect their capabilities to do a job well.

Blogs I think you should check out!!

Social Media Success is a Field of Dreams by: Lauren Vargas

Don’t Let Up by: Lauren Vargas

Photo Credit:



Filed under PRCA 3030, T.O.W. Topic of the Week

Building a WordPress Powered Website: Survival Guide Reading Notes, Ch. 4

For the second week of reading notes in my Social Media class we were required to read chapter 4 from A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.

If you are considering rebuilding your website or starting a new one, this book suggests that content management systems like WordPress should be used to build it. WordPress is one of the easiest content management systems to learn; it contains countless plugins and themes to choose from.

What I learned:

  • CMS websites like WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal use cascading style sheets (CSS) to make it easy for users to change the look and feel of their site, and for developers to contribute templates or themes that others can use to customize their site.
  • The anatomy of a WordPress Site
    • Header-the area where the main header is located. Also features the title and tag line of the blog.
    • Navigation menu- usually a part of the site’s header, but optional (not necessary all the time).
    • Main body area- are where the actual blog entries are located. On WordPress this area is known as the “content area,” and it can be customized by changing the amount of blog entries display on a page
    • Sidebars- columns on either side of the content area (sometimes below). This area holds links, categories, search tools, recent blog entries, archived entries, photos, video streams, RSS feeds, widgets, badges, advertisements, and much more
    • Footer- the area of the site where credit is given; this area should not be removed because of the amount of people that have donated their time to this free, open source project, and they are due credit.
    • Sidebar widgets- different elements and modules you can place on your sidebars; can be arranged to your liking and choice
    • Static pages- pages of a WordPress blog that do not contain blog entries, and can be linked to from the navigation menu.
  • Customizing a WordPress theme: You can customize a WordPress theme to fit your tastes by changing specific colors, font size, or adding images. To change this, all you need to possess is brief knowledge of cascading style sheets (CSS).
  • WordPress blogs can be cut short with a “read more” option.

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Filed under PRCA 3030, Reading Notes

Reading Notes Week 2: Understanding the Groundswell, Chapters 1-3

For my social media class at Georgia Southern University we are reading a book by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff called Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. This week we were required to focus on the first three chapters, which are groups in a section titled “Understanding the Groundswell.”

The three chapters included within this section are:

1. Why the groundswell-and why now?

2.Jujitsu and the technologies of the groundswell

3.The social technographics profile

In order to understand any of my reading notes further, you must first understand what a “groundswell” is. A groundswell as defined by the authors is:

A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.

The groundswell is controlled and operated not by the owners and managers of companies, but by the average people that support these companies. They can make or break a company, share hosts of information within a matter of hours, as well as learn ways to improve their Social Web goals. This groundswell movement is ever changing, and it cannot be contained. When we visit a social media site, share anything on our blog, read the blogs or subscribe to the websites of others we are active participants of the groundswell. For that matter, anytime you hear something new in the “news” this is a clear example of groundswell.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. With a click of a mouse or a touch pad we have the power to either build up or tear down a company’s reputation, ego, or image.
  2. In business and the groundswell, it is critical to concentrate on the relationships that are being built or broken, not just the mastering of technology.
  3. The Social Web threatens institutional power because the companies that control these outlets are continually having less and less say-so because of how information is shared from person-to-person.
  4. Alpha moms can rule the world; they are mothers, comfortable with technology, interested in parenting, and have above-average incomes. These are some of the best customers and supporters because of how they adapt to media and technology.

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Filed under PRCA 3030, Reading Notes

T.O.W. Week Two: Social Media for Haiti

From the beginning of time, countries and people have experienced hardships and tragedies, sometimes with little hope for help or relief within a needed time limit. This is no longer the case with the development of new social media tactics, and advanced ways to reach humanity through the World.Wide.Web. and other resources. One click away is the theme that drives this force, becoming an all too familiar way of life or so many.

Social media is being used in the Haitian earthquake crisis to deliver widespread messages and further the cause in order to aid the victims of the tragedy. I know within a day of the earthquake’s occurrence, through my twitter account alone I’d read many donation links, text message numbers, and codes that allowed me to donate amounts of money and have the fees sent to my cell phone bill. *(can you say convenient??!!)*

I’ve also seen Facebook groups and sites organized simply for the cause of uniting people in order to aid these victims. The American Red Cross (@RedCross on twitter) has so far spent and committed more than $67 million to meet the most urgent needs of earthquake survivors in Haiti. The people of Haiti are in trouble, and social media is helping to answer their call. Artists like Wyclef Jean (@wyclef ) and Sandra Bulloch are just a few among many influential celebrities to donate to Haiti, and many are really stepping up to give, and linked with many social media sites. The Yele Haiti relief site has side links to many other social media in the Yele community where people can stay connected and informed. 

To say the least, Haiti wouldn’t be fortunate enough to receive the amount of aid it has without the help of social media. It shapes my life, greatly influences the lives of others, and I couldn’t very well see myself without it ;-).

To donate to Yele Haiti:

Click Here

To donate to the American Red Cross:

Click Here

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Filed under PRCA 3030, T.O.W. Topic of the Week

Surviving the Social Web: Survival Guide, pp. 15-22 Notes

For my Social Media for PR class, we were required to read the introduction to A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay.

The future of the internet is the Social Web, meaning that success in today’s Internet absolutely depends on your entire Web presence, not just your experience with search engine optimization (SEO). The Social Web helps you reach a wide variety of potential clients and readers you may not have reached before through connections and search engines. Users of the social web actually want and encourage businesses and professionals to interact with them on their turf because it is a more comfortable environment, provided that the person is using an authentic message to succeed.

What I learned:

  • What an RSS feed is- RSS stands for really simple syndication; it is a file containing information that allows you to syndicate (share) that information across the internet.
  • Content Management System- an application used to create, edit, and publish content in an organized way.
    • They have built in RSS feed and widget technology.
    • Placing code is a function that is built into the CMS infrastructure, making the process relatively painless
  • Using consistent key terms throughout your entire traditional and Social Web presence is essential to overall success because it strengthens the likelihood for your topic, business or service to be found in a basic search. You cannot simply bet that a person will happen to come across your page

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Filed under PRCA 3030, Reading Notes