- What topics should a Social Media for PR class cover?
- What readings are absolute musts?
- How can students demonstrate their mastery of course content? What should the student projects/assignments consist of?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
- Start by identifying a few people in your field whose work you admire. Then look them up to see if they tweet. You may use Twitter's built-in search engine to locate people on Twitter (click on the 'Find People' link on the top right hand side of the page), or you can check their blog or other social networking site to look for their Twitter handle.
- Now you can piggy-back off their following/follower list! Go through both lists to see whether there are any people who share your interests or who tend to pass along valuable information. A quick look at their latest tweets usually is enough to make that call.
- When someone in your network sends out an RT (retweet), look up the person who sent the original tweet. Again, check their latest tweets to see if you could benefit from the type of info they tweet.
- Check out the #followfriday suggestions from the people in your network. Every Friday thousands of Twitter users all over the world participate in this event by suggesting people who are worth following.
- You can also check Twitter for suggested users although those suggestions won't be tailored to your specific needs. Twitter uses the analogy of your local book store's staff picks to explain its suggested users list.
- If you want to receive suggestions on who to follow based on your current network, give Mr. Tweet a try. Mr. Tweet looks through your relationships and tweets to identify the influencers and followers you should follow.
- An even easier way to discover new and interesting Twitter users is to consult a Twitter list. Twitter is in the process of rolling out its own list feature to the public, so you may want to check your favorite tweeter's lists once the feature goes live for everyone.
- In the meanwhile, check out the lists published on TweepML, another service that allows you "to manage and share groups of Twitter users." Use its "find a list" search tool to locate lists of Twitter users in your field (for instance, check out this list of educators on Twitter, or this list of PR pros).
- Start by filtering your incoming tweets. That's the only way to keep on top of Twitter when you are following a large group of people. Get a Twitter desktop client such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic and divide the people you follow into groups. For instance, I have a group for PR educators, one for PR professionals, another one for non-English tweets, etc. By organizing them into categories, the tweets will be neatly displayed in columns which will make it much easier to scan your tweets for relevant information.
- "Test drive" your Twitter subscriptions for a month or two. Then re-evaluate. Are there accounts you are subscribing to that aren't providing much value to you? If so, hit the "unfollow" button! Think of your subscriptions as coming with a money back guarantee. If you don't like what you see, simply cancel at no cost to you.
- Don't forget to repeat steps 1-8 every now and then to add new voices to your Twitterstream.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
- Accurately reflect how people talk & search (natural language)
- Face little competition from other keywords
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, strategically incorporate them into your news release (see the Edelman position paper for tips on how to do so).
- Your revised & optimized news release with the keywords highlighted in bold print
- A short paper listing the keywords/keyword phrases you decided on and explaining why you chose them and how they fit the 2 keyword requirements outlined above. Include screenshots of the visuals generated by tools such as Google Insights to back up your argument.
- A Twitter pitch for your news release of no more than 140 characters. Use a separate page for this pitch. Your pitch should incorporate at least one of your keywords. Since this is not an official SEU news release, do not send it out over Twitter. For tips on writing effective Twitter copy, check out this example.
Your optimized news release will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Quality of the writing (10 pts.)
- Properly optimized
- Keywords incorporated into headline (10 pts.)
- Keywords incorporated into body (10 pts.)
- Keywords bolded (only bolded words will be considered) (10 pts.)
- Quality of the paper
- Lists keywords (10 pts.)
- Provides rationale for choice of keywords (10 pts.)
- Explains how keywords fit reqs (natural language & competition) (10 pts.)
- Provides screenshots to back up rationale (10 pts.)
- Twitter pitch
- Within the 140 character limit (10 pts.)
- Incorporates keyword(s) (10 pts.)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The idea behind creating a social learning environment is to get students to engage the course material critically and to have them keep their eyes open for interesting material to share with their peers. By having to provide their own examples, students learn to reflect upon course concepts and simultaneously learn to evaluate their peers’ contributions. Such environments allow students to contribute course material and share relevant stories, articles, videos, and pictures in near real-time with both their classmates and instructor around the clock. Although this type of sharing of insights isn’t new, we now have technologies allowing us to do so much more efficiently. My presentation will discuss three technologies instructors can use to set up a social learning space for their classes: (a) Delicious Social Bookmarks, (B) Zoho Creator Databases, and (c) Blackboard Scholar. I have created a tutorial on how to set up each and have embedded them below.
The first tutorial covers setting up Delicious and pulling it into Blackboard through a simple Yahoo Pipe. I have students contribute at least one quality resource a week on a topic discussed in class that week. These contributions can take on the form of relevant news stories, articles, videos, podcasts, or slideshows. We occasionally review these bookmarks in class. During those reviews, students are expected to tell their classmates about the resource and why they think it serves as a good illustration of a particular course concept.
The second tutorial is based on Mike Wesch's 94 articles activity and explains how to set up Zoho Creator databases and how to connect them to Blackboard.
The last tutorial is a brief introduction to Blackboard Scholar, a social bookmarking service offered through Blackboard.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
- A few months ago, one of the people I follow on Twitter shared an interesting article with his followers. Since the article seemed relevant to research I am working on, I bookmarked it and set it aside to read at a later point (an example of a passive social search through Twitter)
- As I read it last week, I annotated it with additional research questions. I noted that it would be nice to know how many of the videos uploaded to YouTube each month actually reached more than 1,000 or 10,000 views.
- The next day, one of the Del.icio.us users I follow bookmarked an article in Slate Magazine that answered that exact question (another example of a passive social search, this time through social bookmarks)
- Yesterday after I had finished writing up the section of my paper that deals with these stats, I checked my feed reader only to find that I had a new item in the folder labeled research. The new item wasn't relevant to the research I had worked on that day, but the one above it, which I had marked as "keep new" was (I do that when a feed sounds interesting but I don't have the time to review it). This is how I stumbled upon a paper from HP's Social Computing lab on the success dynamics of 10 million YouTube videos - a perfect fit for my research and another example of a passive social search.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Contents and Effectiveness of Agreement. This syllabus governs your classroom experience with your professor. This syllabus becomes effective and you agree to its terms by either showing up in class or by failing to drop the class within 3 business days of receipt of this syllabus.
Amendment of this Syllabus. Your professor may amend this syllabus by changing, adding or deleting any assignment, required reading or due date at any time. S/he will provide you with notice of the amendment to the extent required by university policies.
‡ Please note that your professor reserves the right to change how each assignment is weighted throughout the semester. For example an assignment originally worth 9.99% of your grade may increase to but not exceed 29.99% of your grade. If you are late on any assignment during the semester you will be required to perform additional work on each assignment and will also need to submit an extra credit assignment for each late submission.
Performance information: Your professor may periodically review your overall class performance by obtaining information from your other professors concerning your work in their classes. Should it be found that you did poorly on any assignment for another instructor, your professor may adjust your grades for his/her class accordingly. In addition, your professor may report information about you to the dean's office. You have the right to dispute the accuracy of information reported. Your professor may at any time during the semester and for any assignment require that you perform more work than originally outlined. In that case, your instructor must give a one week notice before new requirements go into effect. Depending upon how your professor and his or her colleagues like you, you will be graded more or less harshly than other students in your class. If at any point during the semester, you do not agree with the professor's changes to the syllabus you may choose to drop out of the class--however, all homework will still be required. Please don't worry about your prof, however, as should your class perform poorly, s/he may receive additional funding from the provost.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
When we worked with our network provider yesterday to reschedule this planned maintenance, we did so because events in Iran were tied directly to the growing significance of Twitter as an important communication and information network. [...] It's humbling to think that our two-year old company could be playing such a globally meaningful role that state officials find their way toward highlighting our significance. However, it's important to note that the State Department does not have access to our decision making process.Looks like the State Department has come to understand the importance of social media in times of crises. The governments of countries such as Iran, China, and Myanmar should have learned an important lesson too: that restricting access to the media no longer works to crack down on dissent. Governments trying to control all information flow are facing the same reality as businesses trying to control all branding messages - they are fighting a losing battle. Despite Iran's efforts at blocking social networking sites and threatening Internet users, Iranian citizens have managed to post pictures of the unrest to the Internet, upload videos to YouTube, and post their stories to Twitter and Facebook. And now that traditional news outlets (banned from reporting directly from the scene) are relying on these social networking services in their reports, the story does get out. Maybe even in a more authentic way?
Friday, June 12, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
- Interview with Janis Krums, the twitter user who shared the first picture of the Hudson River landing - Reanne, Austin, Ginny, Ben
- Interview with Cynthia Baker, President and Founder of Accolades PR in Austin, TX - Monica, Jaime, Ailynn, Alejandra
- Panel on Twitter - Sara, Joe, Jesse, Kirby
- Interview with Lauren Perdue, a social media professional with Peer Buzz in Austin, TX - Alex, Stephanie, Ashley
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Must be a hail storm in Texas right now. Mighty Twitter knows all.Nothing too unusual considering the speed with which messages get spread through Twitter. Except that in this case, the tweeter was @pphilp and lives in Canada. It took me a second to realize that the hail storm must be a trending topic on Twitter and lo and behold it was:
Sunday, March 22, 2009
You may also want to read Brian Solis' new post on Social Customer Relationship Management with regard to the need to listen in on online conversations. Yahoo pipes offer a very basic, yet easy way to do what Solis is describing here:
Listening to the dialog related to specific keywords within every community, initially, will help us define and chart an accurate social map that pinpoints the exact communities that require our attention, the volume and frequency of relevant conversations, and the tonality and reach of those conversations within their respective networks.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
First, I'll run your blog URL through the MoneyPath Bailout Calculator (via @BarbaraNixon). Then I'll rank order your blogs based on the bailout money you received and assign a corresponding grade...
Okay, just joking! Tempting though :-)
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Walther, J. B., Van Der Heide, B., Kim, S. Y., Westerman, D., & Tong, S. T. (2008). The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep? Human Communication Research, 34 (1), 28-49.
That is, if you send a message to another user (or post to their wall, etc...), that content might not be removed by Facebook if you delete your account (but can be deleted by your friend).Update (02/18): Facebook today announced that it will temporarily revert back to the old TOS while it is working out the kinks in the new one. Mark Zuckerberg also announced the creation of a Facebook Bill of Rights & Responsibilities in his blog post.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The campaign went off without any major glitches the first two days, but as the promotion gained steam (it received coverage by several major media outlets: CNN, CNBC), the initial excitement soon turned to frustration and outright anger due to a number of seemingly avoidable problems such as:
- Improperly timed email messages: After keeping everyone glued to their computers all day on Thursday, LMT sent out an email at 10 p.m. CST reading "You didn't miss your chance today because the sale hasn't happened yet" only to retract that email 2 hours later.
- Ever-changing terms of service agreements: Thus far the TOS have changed 3 times, each time getting longer and specifying new restrictions. Another piece of confusion: Although the sale states that winners will pay $1 per day, they are actually charged $0. This raises questions of whether or not to consider the promotion a sale or a contest (and carries important tax repercussions).
- Banning of auto-refresh and auto-fill browser plug-ins: As of yesterday the company has banned the use of auto-refresh plug-ins that keep reloading the page (i.e. check4changes, changeEvery). Note from LMT: "The World for a $1 Campaign was designed to give an equal opportunity to all individuals to make a booking during the Campaign, and therefore, the success of the Campaign requires that we forbid the use of automated devices and/or software. You may attempt to make a booking the “old-fashioned” way – by watching our videos that contain hints, logging onto the site, and checking the clock." These plug-ins were not banned earlier in the competition and the TOS were changed yesterday to add this new restrictions. Funny side-note: the LMT clue videos show computers auto-refreshing the hotels page while the video protagonists are asleep or have their hands tied to the bed.
- Punishing crowds for pooling resources in a chatroom: In true Web2.0 fashion, Internet users started pooling resources by creating a forum to discuss clues, provide support to one another while waiting for hours, and most recently launching what may be the world's first silent chatroom meant to alert people when the sale came on. At the height of the wait last night, the chatroom hosted about 2,000 anxious Internet users. It seems LMT responded by randomly opening booking windows for individual users, rather than opening the sale to everyone at the same time.
- Chopped up time segments: Rather than running 15 minute booking windows, the company has been running two 7.5 minute or three 5 minute windows. To complete the booking they also made users watch several promotional videos thereby complicating users' ability to complete the booking. (See forum for discussion of other allegations such as timers counting down to zero much faster than they should, videos looping endlessly, etc.)
- Contradictory clues: One clue read: "Knowing when NOT to look, is as important as knowing when. Monday-Friday, The World for $1 will only happen between specific hours. While Kevin and Janice sleep in their Manhattan apartment, you need not worry about missing your chance." The video showed the couple sleeping from 11:52pm to 6:02am (EST), yet on day 3 and 5, the sale ran during the wee hours of the morning)
- Limited hotel inventory during the sale period: Internet users trying to book hotels during the sale have reported only limited availabilities - especially with regard to 4 and 5 star hotels which are said to disappear during the sale.
I think that's exactly where LMT went wrong. I know web promotions are a big thing right now, but unless you have thoroughly thought this through, you shouldn't launch such an ambitious campaign. And there's plenty of reasons that lead me to believe that the company didn't think this through very well:
- They launched a blog and a Facebook page 2 days after the sale had started, seemingly as an afterthought. Although the blog has comments enabled and plenty of upset website users have left comments, the company has yet to respond to any of them. Seems like a blog without a blogging strategy. One-way communication instead of dialog. Gil, who runs the blog sums it up nicely: I'm "actually not a blogger but rather a viral advertiser"
- They clearly didn't anticipate the amount of users who would rush to their website at the same time and overwhelm their servers. You simply can't run such a promotion without having the technology side of it all figured out.
- Changing the TOS several times suggests that they really hadn't put much thought into the first version. In this age of mass collaboration, is it really that difficult to fathom that Internet users would get organized and collaborate on this project? Maybe the authors of this campaign should read up on some Web 2.0 literature?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The point here: when you share information online, you've left the private sphere and shouldn't expect to keep that info protected. A good lesson for us all to learn!
Since publishing the Google portrait of Marc L. (the person featured in this article), the magazine had to change all references to cities, places, etc. The original article only rendered the names of the characters anonymous.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
1. Communication -- Americans are eager for information about the state of the economy, national security and a host of other issues. This site will feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone up-to-date and educated. Check out the briefing room, keep tabs on the blog (RSS feed) and take a moment to sign up for e-mail updates from the President and his administration so you can be sure to know about major announcements and decisions.Update: Wow, I must say Obama's new media team is on the ball! I published this post at 1:52 p.m. and received a Twitter notification exactly 32 minutes later to inform me that Government Tweets (dotgov) is now following me on Twitter. And I thought they were all busy celebrating...
2. Transparency -- President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President's executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.
3. Participation -- President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Based on student feedback and my own experience teaching this class for the last 3 semesters, I've decided to add more emphasis to a number of issues, including:
- Search engine optimization
- The semantic web
- Cloud computing
- Social networking sites as a PR tool
- Personal branding
- Social media for crisis communication
- Using social bookmarking sites as search tools
- Doing a social media audit
- Setting up Google alerts and similar monitoring tools
- Creating a community of learners who share class content via social media tools such as social bookmarks (this semester social bookmarking will be an integral part of class participation)
One of the major lessons I've learned while teaching this class is that students often approach new technologies with unrealistic expectations regarding their performance and ease of use. As a result, frustration levels tend to rise rather quickly when new technologies decide not to cooperate- especially when deadlines are looming. This is why I will be adding a session on dealing with new technologies and frustration levels when things don't work the way they should. This session will focus on how to problem shoot online and resolve technology problems on your own. An important skill to have IMHO!