T.O.W. 13: Videos going “Viral”

For this weeks topic in my Social Media for PR class, we were asked to discuss what qualities in a video like “David After Dentist” allow it to go “viral.” I think that anyone can make a video, but for it to have good “viral” quality the person making the video must have something that other people feel they need to be informed about.  Videos that have “viral” potential also need to be universally funny, meaning that anyone of any gender, race or age would think is funny. Videos, should also be able to relate to others in some shape or fashion.

Videos that are becoming viral often have a great amount of views and sometimes can even be seen on news channels and various television channels. Many people who are in these viral videos become known as “internet celebrities,” well-known throughout the world just because of one little video. These videos can also be the same videos that come back to haunt them later in their careers. Some viral videos are great for advertisements within companies and organizations and have brought success to some as well.

One of my favorite viral videos to watch features a two year-old dancing to “Oh Let’s Do It” by Waka Flocka Flame. The baby is jamming too hard, on beat and really enjoying the song.

Another viral video that I enjoy watching is a video that two girls made while they were bored. One of them is wearing a clown mask, and they are doing the video dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. I would explain more, but just watch it and see what happens…


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Social Media Newsrooms: Survival Guide Ch. 10-12

For our reading notes during weeks 12 and 13 we were asked to read chapters 10-12 of “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.” These chapters all focus on social media newsrooms and other social media tools.

A Social Media Newsroom is a place where the media or anyone who wants to know something can view all the major media coverage on a topic or company and see all (past and present) news releases about a certain topic. They can also look up the company’s past and future scheduled events, view bios, and upload different media. Social Media Newsrooms are important for individuals or businesses that tend to get or want a lot of media coverage or those who put out many news releases.

If you’re interested in using social media tools to optimize your website the book suggests:

  • Social Calendars: these are something the book suggests using as a way to get extra exposure, they offer a convenient way for you to post your events in one place .
  • Social Pages: these are a great tool to use because instead of creating a page about yourself, you create a page on a particular topic. This works well with search engines because visitors can simple search a simple topic

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The End of Groupthink: Trouble for New AmErykah??

Neo soul artist Erykah Badu’s new video for her song “Window Seat” may land her some time behind bars. The video was filmed in downtown Dallas, Texas where president John F. Kennedy was shot, and features the 39-year-old singer walking the streets stripping naked. When interviewed about the video, Badu said that is it a declaration, an attack on groupthink and its followers.

Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. This in turn limits individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. Members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.

Badu shot the video on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, so the street was filled with many tourists, residents and children. The singer shared thoughts the day of the shoot through her twitter page. “We had one shot to get it right,” she wrote. “We didn’t plan the shoot. Too busy lookin for cops and being petrified! I remember Tweeting that day, ‘Okay, here goes nothing.’ I felt like I was going to do something life threatening.”

No charges have been flied against the singer thus far because the Dallas Police Department needs a witness to come forward and testify for the case to be prosecuted. Badu could face a class B misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, which may cost her $2,000 and a jail term of up to 180 days. She may also be charged with a class A enhanced indecent exposure, which carries a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail, (because there were children present during the shoot).The video was done in one take with no crew, and afterward all involved ran away from the site.

At the end of the video Badu is shot down, and the words groupthink bleed from her head. The finish is a though-provoking statement:

“They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand.  They move in packs, and ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. they are us. This is what we have become, afraid to respect through individual A single person within her circumstance can move one to change, to love herself, to evolve”

“Window Seat” by Erykah Badu

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“It was St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas. I was at the grassy knoll. Although I was thinking one million things as I walked, I didn’t see anything,” she continued tweeting. “I heard people yelling different things at me but I held my head up and kept moving. There were children there. I prayed they wouldn’t be traumatized.”

I love the song and the video, and I commend her for having the courage to do what she did. How do you feel about the video and Badu’s motion to resist Groupthink?


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T.O.W. 12: Widgets and Badges

For this week’s topic of the week in my Social Media for PR class we were asked to discuss widgets and badges, the difference between them, and offer suggestions on how one  specific organization could benefit from widgets or badges. I remembered having to read about widgets and badges while doing our reading notes for our book Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay.

Chapter 9 in the book talks about both widgets and badges, and defines them as:

widgets- snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites. They are customizable, allowing you to pull information for the original site.

badges-an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.

The two of these are often used interchangeably, but they are really very different. The widget has actual content and is more like an application, while a badge is just an image that represents a link. Both are great for businesses to use, because your website can receive more hits in the long run and you can have a better relationship with the business world. Others can add your widgets and badges to their sites and vice-versa to attract different people.

Widgets and badges are great ways for businesses to work together. I have provided an example of both below so that you can see the difference for yourself.

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unPractical Podcast

For my Social Media for PR class, we had to plan, record, edit and create a 5-10 minute podcast about some aspect of the topic of public relations. I chose to work in a group with my friend Meg Tidmore for the assignment, and we named our show unPRactical.

Topics for our first show are:

  • Facebook: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (:30)
  • Twitter: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (2:00)
  • Myspace: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (3:50)

We then had to create a list of possible follow-up shows. Topics for our next show could include:

  • Interview with a hiring firm on their views on social medias
  • An in depth look on the benefits and problems of the “online” you
  • Mass Media revealed: Key tips on making your “online” self more marketable
  • Things to NOT post on Twitter

Listen to the unPRactical podcast here!

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Media Communities and Widgets & Badges: Survival Guide Ch. 8-9

For this weeks reading notes we were asked to read chapters 8 & 9 of “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization” which talk about media communities and the benefit they have to the “average” user, as well as how widgets can be used.

First, what exactly is a media community?

Media Communities are social sites where you can save, share, and comment on multimedia items. It’s another way internet users have found as a great way to connect with one another, by finding similar interests around images & videos. These communities are also used as a way to increase your exposure in the Social Web. you can do this by:

  • adding your images
  • adding video

Image Sharing Sites provide a way for people to get a high amount of exposure on your photos and other images. If used correctly it can be used as a way for potential clients & readers to find you through posted pictures!

  • Flickr is the most popular site for sharing images

Widgets are snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites. Widgets are best to:

  • show your site visitors where you are in the social web
  • pull images, video, events, books and other information from media or other communities
  • add interactivity to your site

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T.O.W. 11: Interview with Martin Waxman

For this week in my Social Media for PR class we were asked to watch an interview that my professor did with Martin Waxman, the president and co-founder of Pallette Public Relations, Inc. During the interview, Nixon and Waxman talked about his PR Agency and the importance of traditional PR backgrounds. They also discussed digital foot printing.

This interview taught me that what I’m learning right now as an undergrad student, and my habits at this very moment can be crucial in shaping my career in the PR field. In the interview Waxman talked about things that employers look for in interns and possible employees. When he said that he looks for traditional public relations skills, I became rather excited. With the professors I have had throughout my college career, I really feel as if I that. I think that traditional skills aren’t everything in a career these days, but the old ways are not going away anytime soon, so it’s best to at least have some knowledge in the area.

I was surprised to hear that he was well aware of the benefits of social media sites like twitter. To quote Waxman,” you put something on twitter and its amplified.” I know i use twitter to complain on the sly about companies, products, and services all the time. I know a specific case where my complaint was actually heard was with Radian 6, a social media monitoring site. I had a group project to do one day for a class, and I was having trouble accessing an account that I had set up. I tweeted about my issue, and someone got back to me almost instantly, and I was able to email my issue to a customer service representative from the company. My problem was fixed the same day, and I even got a great grade on my project.

After listening to the interview, one thing that I would like to know more about Waxman’s company is exactly what they do to fit into the world of PR. It was mentioned briefly during the interview, but I feel like there is so much more that could be said about his company and its practices. I think that he gets the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing people, and just sharing that could do wonders for other people interested in working  in the PR field. Interested in seeing what else he has to say? Feel free to visit his blog.

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