Monday, September 28, 2015

Twitter Use: Carly Fiorina and Ricky Gervais

Considering the approach of US Presidential Election 2016, I decided that it would be interesting to analyze one of the presidential candidates and their Twitter use. I decide to look at Carly Fiorina, a Republican candidate. While I was analyzing Carly Fiorina’s Twitter account, I noticed that her tweets are not personal and as such do contain less personal messages; rather, they are more information based. Even though Fiorina’s posts are mainly written on the 1st person, most of her posts ask for mobilization or are activity oriented; that is, they show where Fiorina is or is going to be at a certain date and time. As a result, I did not get the impression that I had a connection and I was engaged because her arguments where lost among all the activity posts. The tweets are broad so that they appeal to multiple audiences: “It is critically important that America lead again in the world.” Further, the tone is serious and easy to understand and numbers are rarely used to support her arguments. Another noticeable detail is that the use of hashtags is small, besides the #Carly2016. I believe that if hashtags were to be used more along with her arguments, people would feel as if she is inviting them to debate and engage rather than just making a plain statement. Further, an increase in the number of tweets that are not activity-related would engage and inspire the followers more.

After I analyzed Fiorina’s Twitter account, I went on to see how Ricky Gervais, a comedian, uses Twitter and what the main differences are. The first thing you notice is of course the tone. Gervais uses informal language and often is funny and controversial. His posts are personal and less informing, different from Fiorina. Further, he tends to use more hashtags than Fiorina and as such his followers are more engaged. He also posts videos of himself as a way of engaging people more. I found his posts to be more attention grabbing than Fiorina’s. However, considering that he is a comedian rather than a politician who is a presidential candidate, he does not have to make sure all the time that his information is backed by data and is accurate; as such, the goal of his tweets is different. Another difference, is that you see less posts about his activities, which is predictable considering that he s not meeting his followers in person as Fiorina has to do during her campaign. Nonetheless, similar to Fiorina, Gervais asks for mobilization (animal rights) and writes in 1st person. Overall, I found his posts to be more engaging and inspiring than Fiorina's; but then again, one is a comedian and the other a presidential candidate.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Short memo on difference between politician and celebrity's Twitter account

I think that there are some differences between politician and celebrity's Twitter account.

In terms of politicians' account like Barack Obama (https://twitter.com/potus), most of all, they tend to mainly use word "We," "Our," while other private Twitter accounts more use "I," "he or she or they." I think this is because politicians often deal with policies that are related to "our" lives and they also want to show that they are with us.

Second, they use many statistics, I think they often mention very detailed policy, so they need to show that the policy that they propose is more scientific and trustful.

Third, their accounts are more formal. I feel that they are less humorous and more serious. I think this is because they need to set up their images more gracefully. I fully understand why they do that, but sometimes is it good for them to give us pleasure, as well?

On the contrary, many celebrities' accounts have a lot of gossips, while politicians do not. There are a lot of stories about fashion, humor, our episode that common people can be more interested in.

Second, sometime there are commercial promotion like Game of War. So I can feel this account is more informal and familiar.

Third, many people leave messages and twit more. So I think that this has more active communication with others and it is likely that people feel more comfortable in this accounts than politicians' one.

Any, I will discuss more at tomorrow's class!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Facebook for organizations.



Facebook is the most popular social media platform and it has around 1.5 billion accounts. To get a leverage of its reach, businesses and organizations across the world are using Facebook for extending their reach.
To create a presence for an organization, one need to use Facebook Pages, which are essentially profiles geared towards companies and other organizations or services. To create a Page one can sign into his personal Facebook account and then go to facebook.com/pages and create the page.
There are many features that are available for organizational pages that are not available for regular Facebook contact pages, but the biggest difference between the facebook page and a personal facebook profile is that on facebook page “Page Insights” are available after at least 30 people like the Page. Insights provide information about Page's performance. One can find demographic data about his audience, and see how people are discovering and responding to various posts.
One can use Page Insights to understand how people are engaging with his Page. With Page Insights, one can:
  • View metrics about Page's performance
  • Learn which posts have the most engagement
  • See data about when one’s audience is on Facebook
For example, one can look at each of the posts and see which ones have the most likes, comments and shares and the least negative feedback. One can use this information to create more of the types of posts that his audience is interested in seeing. One can also learn about when his audience is on Facebook and publish posts when he is likely to reach more people.
The other major difference is that more than one person can manage a Facebook Page, and one can assign different roles to different persons :-
-Admin
Can manage all aspects of the Page including sending messages and publishing as the Page, creating ads, seeing which admin created a post or comment, viewing insights and assigning Page roles.
-Editor
Can edit the Page, send messages and publish as the Page, create ads, see which admin created a post or comment, and view insights.
-Moderator
Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, see which admin created a post or comment, create ads, and view insights.
-Advertiser
Can see which admin created a post or comment, create ads and view insights.
-Analyst
Can see which admin created a post or comment and view insights.

Once the Facebook Page is customized, it can be promoted by linking to it on personal account’s wall so that it will appear in one’s friends’ newsfeeds. One can encourage friends and others to visit the page and to click the Like button and become Fans of the Page. Any updates or announcements one makes on the Page will appear in the newsfeeds of all the Fans.



Connecting Your Social Media Strategy to Your Organizational Mission: The Marie Jackson Case

Photo credit to EatChicChicago


When Marie Jackson took the helm at Renfield Farms, she set out to strengthen the company’s product offerings and brand equity.  With her internal “change agents”, she identified major goals to move the company towards a more robust product development operation and modernized communications strategy.  Specifically, the company implemented several social media tools to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders.  These social media strategies flow directly from the organization’s overall vision statement.

Brief Background


Renfield Farms is a dairy foods producer, whose product lines are Yogurt, Milk & Cream, Frozen Dairy, and Plant-Based Beverages.  They have passionate employees and passionate consumers.  As the market moved towards more organic products, Renfield was slow to keep up.

Renfield Farms was hurt by bad press caused by a viral video of cows jammed in to pens and beaten with pipes. This led to a boycott of Renfield Farms products by Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Consumers felt the company did not respond quickly enough. Renfield Farms Community Relations Director, Margaret Sparks, was shocked by video and slow to learn about it.  This incident highlighted the lack of a social media presence for the company.

It was then that Renfield brought in its first outside CEO, Marie Jackson.  Her previous experience involved brands, marketing, integrated marketing communications.  She was known for developing strong relationships with trade partners, and was an early adopter of social media marketing.  She was also known for her exuberance and brilliant marketing strategies, and her passion for products, energy, and vision.

Communications Plan/Goals


Marie Jackson developed the following:

  1. Win back consumers - Recapture and nurture relationships of passionate consumers through multiple networks, harnessing the power of social media and other digital platforms.
  2. Keep things fresh - Reestablish continuous product-development process.  Capture and leverage customer insight to guide R&D and reduce time to market for new products through internal cooperation.
  3. Optimize our resources - Leverage our cost structure and allocate our resource more effectively.

To implement her plan, Jackson developed a communications plan that incorporated the use of social media.

For internal stakeholders such as employees, she communicated by:

  1. Creating an internal blog
  2. Podcast
  3. Online media platforms such as screensavers on all computers

With external stakeholders, such as customers, she communicated by:

  1. Redesigned the company website and a Facebook page
  2. Introduced a Twitter presence with a character named Farmer Renfield
  3. Created a corporate department for monitoring and analysis


New Product Launch


Jackson then launched a product known as Hale Fresh, a Greek yogurt. She utilized their recently adopted social media tools and developed the following:
  1. A breakfast challenge and snack challenge on social media sites to find fast, fun serving ideas for Hale Refresh
  2. An app that let consumers frag different toppings to find the right combination of nutrients based on daily activities
  3. A new company blog that shared ideas for easy, portable, healthy breakfast and snack ideas for school-aged kids
  4. Celebrity posted Instagram photos of her favorite yogurt smoothie

This was a huge success. The internal and external strategies supported the company vision that “collaboration is at the heart of all our activities.”

Lessons Learned


  1. Develop the organization’s mission and communications strategy
  2. Select social media tools that support the company’s mission
  3. User friendly tools should be incorporated 
  4. Collect metrics from social media channels to understand target market
Graphic by Ben Bond

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Graham Bell Call to Facetime call


Communication is an important tool for the development of any society. Before telephone was invented, communication was mainly through post/telegram. Graham Bell made life easier with his invention of telephone. Now people could connect and communicate immediately. It gave a boost to the business across countries and of course, to the human relations. Telephone Calls carry ordinary voice transmission using a telephone. There were lots of developments in voice transmission technology. The satellites made international calls more accessible and cheaper. However, since my childhood, I always wanted to see the person to whom I was talking over phone. Internet and mobiles made this possible.
Video telephony allowed transmission of audio video signals by users at different locations for communication in real time. This technology uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Earlier VoIP allowed calls to be made through a PC. A PC/Laptop with webcam was required for video telephony. That was a new era in communication. Now we could talk and see in real time, irrespective of distances, provided we are connected with internet.  With this technology made available on mobiles through service providers such as skype or Apple (Facetime), the communication system has attained new heights. Now with a phone and a Wifi connection, the whole world seems to be connected like never before. This has reduced the distances from kilometers to centimeters.

I am using Apple's mobile app Facetime. I personally feel Facetime to be a part of my life. My siblings and relatives are mostly in India and in Australia. But I don’t feel the distance now. Talking over Facetime and seeing them in real time make me feel as if they are with me. It gives me a lot of emotional satisfaction.  I am sure others would also be feeling the same. Moreover, it is also the cheapest and the most accessible means of communication. On the way from India to any country, while hopping at the airports, this was mostly the only means of communication. 
These mobile app are also very user friendly and even kids use it. These are also widely used for learning.
I consider this no less than a revolution.

Six degrees of separation - the movie

Just watched the movie " Six degrees of separation". What a fantastic movie, both interesting and enlightening. Experimenting with the urban myth that everyone on the planet is connected to the other in just a few steps and proving that its not just a myth but a science, namely network science, is an eye opener. Kevin Becan six degree connection is quite interesting. The best part of movie is the theory of hubs, through which the network expands and how this theory is equally important in the field of medicine, to know about the spread of diseases. Really, network science is the foundation of the 21st century.
Thanks Prof Ines Mergel for suggesting to watch this movie.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Digital radios in natural disasters


Chile was shaken by 8.4-magnitude earthquake last night. This is my fourth week in Syracuse and I still can’t feel calm. I love the city, its people and of course the university but since I arrived here that I haven’t take a breath. It was 6:54 pm yesterday when I arrived home. Immediately I started to receive a lot of WhatsApp messages from my family and friends in Chile. A major earthquake affected from the north to the south of my country.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center immediately extended a Tsunami Alert to Ecuador, Peru, Hawaii and of course Chile. Waves of almost 5 meters high hit all the north coast of my country and people from the south are still waiting the tsunami to come. It is the first time I'm away from home when a natural disaster occurs there. We are used to living under constant threat of climatic phenomena of proportions every 4 or 5 months. Chile is characterized for having a lot of earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and frequent natural disasters. So the first thing I decided to do was connect to the Internet and listen to digital radio national online.

A great advantage that we have today thanks to the advancement of technology: constant updates of the major world events in real time. It is in times of crisis that makes it even more necessary to have such services through Internet. I was worried about my family and friends. I did not know where they were, if the earth was still moving and if the authorities had said something about it. The apartment where I am living now had not even traditional radio to listen to   local radio frequencies but if I had my cell, where I could connect to Chilean digital radios and hear the latest news until 2am. It was a relief.

What happened made me think about the benefits of living in a digital age. Without Internet I would not have been able to hear from my relatives nor of the situation of crisis affecting my country. Internet has changed many aspects of our daily lives, our consumption habits and the way we relate to the environment.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

test message. apologies for disruption please


It is important to have a responsive social media policy

The University of Texas at Austin just fired their Athletics Director this week.  Steve Patterson had only been on the job for 22 months, but had become increasingly unpopular for a variety of reasons, namely his cool, business-like demeanor and hefty increases in ticket prices.  In addition, he forced out longtime Sports Information Director John Bianco, among other staffers. 

In reading one particular article on HookEm.com, the below quote struck me as being relevant to our course.
Eventually, public perception so turned against Patterson, he was getting blamed for things he didn’t even do. 
An Internet-based report indicated Patterson was charging Texas Tech band members for tickets to the game. Two days later — eons in the social media world — UT officials released a statement saying that wasn’t true.

As discussed in class earlier this week, the social media world has quickened the pace at which people expect information.  Two days to release a relatively short policy statement is entirely too long.  While this was not the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, it certainly added some weighted hay.  A social media policy allowing for a quick response could have ended the rumors quickly and taken a little of the heat off of Patterson.  A policy allowing a quick response does not preclude a fuller response at a later time.  The policy statement could have still been issued on its time schedule, but having a faster social media response could have prevented the rumors from building and swirling in the Twitterverse, media reports, and fan message boards.  Unfortunately for Patterson, the response was too little too late.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Difference between the Internet and the Web



It is common practice to use the words "Internet" and "Web" interchangeably. It is common in daily conversation to abbreviate Internet and World Wide Web as the "Net" and the "Web", and then swap the words interchangeably. This usage is technically incorrect.
The Internet is named for "interconnection of computer networks".It is a massive hardware combination of millions of personal, business, and governmental computers, all connected like roads and highways. The Internet started in the 1960's under the original name "ARPAnet". ARPAnet was originally an experiment in how the US military could maintain communications in case of a possible nuclear strike. With time, ARPAnet became a civilian experiment, connecting university mainframe computers for academic purposes. As personal computers became more mainstream in the 1980's and 1990's, the Internet grew exponentially as more users plugged their computers into the massive network. Today, the Internet has grown into a public spiderweb of millions of personal, government, and commercial computers, all connected by cables and by wireless signals.

No single person owns the Internet. No single government has authority over its operations. Some technical rules and hardware/software standards enforce how people plug into the Internet, but for the most part, the Internet is a free and open broadcast medium of hardware networking.

The Web Is a Big Collection of HTML Pages on the Internet.
The World Wide Web, or "Web" for short, is a massive collection of digital pages: that large software subset of the Internet dedicated to broadcasting content in the form of HTML pages. The Web is viewed by using free software called web browsers. Born in 1989, the Web is based on hypertext transfer protocol, the language which allows you and me to "jump" (hyperlink) to any other public web page. There are over 65 billion public web pages on the Web today.
Another way to think about it is to say the Internet is composed of the machines, hardware and data; and the World Wide Web is what brings this technology to life.

Impact of E-Banking on Traditional Banking Services




The Internet has revolutionized communications, to the extent that it is now our preferred medium of everyday communication and even more. In almost everything we do, we use the Internet. Ordering a pizza, buying a mobile or a book, sharing a thought or picture with friends.
The Internet itself has been evolving. In its early days—it was a static network designed to shuttle a small freight of bytes or a short message between two terminals; it was a repository of information where content was published and maintained only by expert coders. Today, however, immense quantities of information are uploaded and downloaded.
The impact of internet over social media and many other applications is already there on this blog, I would like to mention the reforms it has carried over the banking services.
In the pre-web era, banking services were tied down to a particular bank branch which was for most of the people nearest branch to their home or workplace. Before traveling, one had to see the bank schedules, manage time off their schedules and withdraw and carry the money. For any longer duration one had to get some travelers check, arrive at destination and deposit. All this procedure is still very much applicable to the person who would not use ATM cards or internet banking.
With the internet banking, the delivery of banking services have transformed so much that, sitting in USA, I am operating my bank accounts in India, paying my utility bills, transferring money to anywhere in world. I need not worry about bank schedules as I can withdraw money any time as long as I have money in my account, or better still I can pay with my credit card.
On last weekend I traveled to Montreal for two days, and believe me I driven around  there, had dinner, visited places, paid parking charges, stayed in Hotel, got gas for vehicle, shopping and what not, without even touching any Canadian currency.
The ease and convenience the electronic payments and internet banking has provided to the consumers is immense. Because of Internet the world of banking as become almost seamless and omnipresent without any geographical boundaries and I find it difficult to visualize my may dealing the banks in pre-web era.

YouTube Clip: Web 2.0, the Machine is Using Us


Here is the video we viewed in class.

How post web technology changed our life? See the link below

Pre web and post web technology


Difference between the internet and the web

Wikipedia: Before and After

Creating an electronic encyclopedia does not seem to be an odd idea and a difficult job though it had been deemed somehow revolutionary in the past. Just transfer classical piece into a CD/DVD and then wait for people to buy and use it in their computers instead of reading paperback copies. You can go one step further and publish all the content online then wait for people to visit your website and read it online. If you have to sell it don't wait for people to come, advertise your product too. This had been typical reaction of content and service providers throughout first stages of digital transformation. Although it brought about many new advantages, we may say that the only change generated with this shift, in essence, was media through which people get access to same encyclopedia content. In other words, content producers, content providers and users were all the same people.

Peculiar, hard and challenging thing, however, was to change the mindset and push innovation on how an encyclopedia (content) could be created and accessed in alternative ways. This is what Wikipedia did: creating an encyclopedia (content) with the inclusion and participation of all who volunteer thanks also to web 2.0 tools and provide open access to it.

Wikipedia is one of my favorite web platforms. I call it as a platform because I it really is. It is an arena that everyone with moderate computer and web literacy skills and knowledge of any topic has an opportunity to take his/her part in developing cumulative knowledge there. I know it has its own deficiencies. There occurs vandalism; there is and there may be lack of enough knowledgeable volunteers for some topics/entries; there may be a problem with sustainability of content provision and even of platform itself; governance of the platform may be a complete headache, etc. I am sure it has and may have further shortages other than known ones, but it just is what it is. I mean, taking some unprecedented aspects into consideration it is different from classical encyclopedia in writing and offering. So, I think, rather than assessing and judging it by a thorough comparison and equalization with those pre-Internet and pre-Web era products, we may respect the mindset, conditions and even tools that paved the way for it and exploit it.  

Read, write, discuss, manage, donate, ... : there is too much to do. Do whatever you like and enjoy your own encyclopedia...

Newspapers versus CNN.com/NYTimes.com



I remember reading newspapers every weekend as a child in Austin, Texas.  Periodically, my mom would take me to the public library so that I could read the newspapers of other large cities– New York, Boston, Houston and Dallas.  It was such a relaxing time to read the paper casually, flipping the pages to find interesting stories.  Particularly noteworthy articles would be cut out or photocopied and saved for future reference.  It was a relaxed learning experience.

Those days are now a luxury.

News websites, even for those news deliverers that still produce a physical paper version, offer many more features than previously available in the print media.  News can be delivered instantly on the web rather than delayed until the next day when the physical paper would be delivered to customers’ homes.  Rather than a limited number of images per printed paper, a website can deliver multiple images per story, and often times, a gallery of images can be included.  The NYTimes.com website often includes a picture with the story, but the picture can be enlarged if the reader so chooses.  This site, as well as CNN.com, offer stories with extensive photo galleries giving the reader a much larger range of photos for the story.  For example, the New York Times recently ran this photojournalism story about human trafficking in New York.  Seeing so many well-crafted images creates a larger impact that would have been more expensive to re-create in paper editions.  In addition, websites, even for even traditionally print media, offers video for some stories, blurring the lines between print and video delivery.  Check out the video in the left column of this CNN story on the Australian Prime Minister.  Many stories also contain comment sections, such as the comments in this story on college tuition.  Most sites embed social media connections showing readers’ Twitter and Facebook reactions. Websites also allow information-rich infographics to be created, such as this one on European migration in the New York Times.  All of these features created a richer and more dynamic news resource, but usually with a more frenzied pace, than traditional printed media.

While websites offer many features, now many news deliverers offer apps for your smartphone.  CNN and the New York Times offer apps that allow on-the-go access, so that you do not even need to wait until you are at a computer.  You can view news in the three minutes you are waiting for a bus or a train.  If there is breaking news, the apps will push the news to you, sending you an alert.  A challenge created by this instant news is that usually there is not much more information than the tidbit of information contained in the alert.  Clicking on the alert often takes you to a page with little relevant or additional information.  Often times, you are greeted by a “more news coming soon” notice or even just directed to the homepage, because a story has not been written yet.  Like the websites, these apps speed up the delivery of news to readers, but often while losing the luxury of time to create worthy content.

The difference between the internet and the web -  The internet is the physical infrastructure of network and the many different platforms available.  The web is a specific piece of the internet.  It makes available web content served generally over the HTTP protocol.  The CNN.com and NYTimes.com sites are examples of parts of the web.  The internet is the physical infrastructure that delivers the content to the readers.