Friends of State Street Families- Spreading Awareness

At 20 years old, I have never thought about what it is like to be homeless. I grew up in a middle class family, with a supportive parents that help me pay for college, and I have saved enough money from working to afford my rent. So to come to class today and have a guest speaker named Angela Gargano tell us about the issue of homelessness in Madison Wisconsin, where I go to college, was truly an eye opener. Angela came in and told us about Friends of State Street Families, an organization in the Madison area to help families and individuals who are affected by homelessness everyday. When we were learning about Friends of State Street Families, we were spreading awareness of this cause with our Twitter followers by live tweeting. Live tweeting about this charity was very beneficial, but also heartbreaking at the same time. Although it may seem heartbreaking tweeting about such a huge issue that takes place right in front of us, getting this information out via Twitter was extremely powerful. It enabled us to share the information we learned  with a large audience and helped make a big impact in a short amount of time.

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It was not challenging in itself to come up with tweets about Friends of State Street families, because we learned so much during such a short time. The challenge that went along with tweeting about this cause were hearing the hard, sad facts about the effect of homelessness in our community. Statistic after statistic of depressing information and stories we heard in class were just  heart wrenching to hear, and even more difficult to tweet. But to spread awareness about this cause, information like this needs to shared in order for people to realize the seriousness if it in our community. The statistic that really stood out to me the most was that the average age for a homeless person is just nine years old. How sad is that? Tweeting that information to my followers was something that at first, I did not want to tweet. Not many people want to hear about depressing news such as that statistic. This is due to the fact that the news and media do not want to cover homelessness in their communities.The Friends of State Street Families has a very great website, if you want to read specifically more facts about homelessness, click here. 

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If there is one thing we learned in class so far this semester, is that social media can be an extremely powerful tool. Live tweeting in class about Friends of State Street Families confirmed this fact. The first time that we live tweeted in class, my followers from outside our class did not engaged with my tweets whatsoever. But, during this live tweeting session I had friends from home and others engaging in my tweets by favoriting, retweeting and even replying to my tweets. To me this was fantastic, because not only was I spreading awareness for homelessness in Madison, but my tweets were affecting my other followers who do not even live in Madison. Also, the first day that we live tweeted I actually lost followers, but live tweeting today I actually gained two followers. With this being said, live tweeting for Friends of State Street Families was beyond beneficial to not only myself, but for my followers to spread awareness about homelessness. Maybe it will even influence them to try to make a difference in their community when it comes to homelessness.

Although live tweeting for this cause was challenging at times, I am beyond glad that we did this in class today. Even though we heard things that we did not want to hear, posting via Twitter  can help spread the message in a quick, and powerful way. I have not been volunteering my time in the community as much as I should be, and after class today, I think I am going to see what I can do to help Friends of State Street Families. If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer or donate items to this organization, please visit the Friends of State Street Families website for more information.

 

 

 

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The Great North Face

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For our Comms 295 class, we were to choose a brand that resonates with us, and follow that brand on all platforms of social media. The brand I have chosen is The North Face, because I absolutely love their items. For those of you who do not know what The North Face is, it is a brand that contains a variety of different clothing and outdoor equipment items such as: jackets, sweatshirts, hats, mittens, shirts, pants, snowboards, boots, tents and more. I chose this brand because I love their products, and have everything of theirs from rain jackets, fleece sweatshirts (I have 7 of these), hats, mittens and shirts. It is very rare to see me in fall, winter and spring not wearing one of their products at least a few times per week. As I began to follow the The North Face on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the sites reinforced reasons as to why I love The North Face products and how they advertise them, but also would like to see a few things change in the way they advertise also.

I have been wearing North Face clothing since high school. I absolutely love their products for many reasons. The clothing has amazing quality, and lasts an extremely long time. Their website and their social media sites do an amazing job of promoting their products with phenomenal photos. I believe the way they brand themselves with these types of images helps their company gain more followers on their sites, thus getting more people to buy their products. Their social media sites are always active, with updates at least daily. This is a great thing to see if you are a customer, because you know they are always getting new products and having new deals. Below are just a couple of amazing images that are on @thenorthface Instagram feed. Who wouldn’t want to look at such beautiful photos?

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I love almost everything about how The North Face promotes their products, but there is one thing that I think could use some improvement. I noticed that @thenorthface Twitter account does not seem to get involved in Twitter conversations with their customers.The only time that they really do is when a customer has a complaint about their products.The North Face always starts their tweets responding to these complaints with “We are sorry” which we learned is the best thing to do.When looking through The North Face Twitter account to see how they engage with customers, it does not look good to see that the only time they engage with their customers is when there are customer complaints. A recommendation for their company is to start being more socially active with their followers, and respond to positive tweets and responses as often as they do with the negative ones. Almost all of their tweets are just promoting their products. Although it is good to promote your product on social media, I think getting involved with your customers and your fan base is extremely important. If a prospective customer goes on social media and sees that the company is engaged with their customers, they are more likely to buy products from that brand.

As I mentioned earlier, The North Face has been one of my favorite brands since high school. I love the majority of the way that they promote their product, but there is room for improvement on social media by interacting with their followers and customers. I am interested to see over the next few weeks of following The North Face on social media if their advertising tactics stay fairly the same, or if they will change.

 

 

Live Tweeting: My First Experience

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Today in Comms 295, we had a live tweeting day.Live tweeting is when an individual tweets about a topic while it is happening. In order to get full points for the activity, we were to tweet 20 times during our class period, with tweets that corresponded to the discussions. When we did this, we were to us the hashtag #socialeagles to get credit for our tweets. I love Twitter and tweeting, but I have never participated in a live tweeting situation as actively as I did today. One important item to note about live tweeting is that you never know what to expect, and that definitely can be said about today.

Live tweeting is very fun, but very intense at the same time. Tweeting with twenty other people in the class at the same time is difficult, because it is necessary to constantly be checking tweets, notifications and replying to others’ tweets. It came easily to me because I like tweeting and between all the conversations taking place, it was easy for me to chime in. Most of the class seemed to be enjoying the activity. My twitter profile is here, if you would like to view my live tweeting. I had really fun conversations with students in our class that I never had talked to before, and I think this class made us a little bit less of #awkwardeagles. Unfortunately, I also saw that others only tweeted once or twice during the whole class period. Not participating in the activity is not beneficial whatsoever, because we did not get to read or see that individual’s personality or anything, like I did with the active tweeters.Hopefully during our next live tweeting session they feel more comfortable tweeting and have a better hang of it.

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I literally came to class with my laptop battery at 60%, and after an hour and a half, it was totally dead. I think I ended the class period with about 27 tweets, which was a little bit about the requirement. But anyway, our tweeting took us to a number of different conversations and levels, and our tweeting even got us 50% off a Papa John’s Pizza! (The pizza situation is a whole other story in itself, but let’s just say that Papa John’s will not be the pizza place I will be ordering from if I want pizza within this next century.) Unfortunately I tried getting @ZacEfron to give Maddie, Lily and I a shout out, but I guess we didn’t make the cut. I very much so look forward to our next live tweeting day. I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

 

 

 

 

Over Sharing: Why You Don’t Want to be One of Those People

Technology is a beautiful thing (when it cooperates, that is.) Through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and so on, we are able to connect with friends, family and acquaintances on a daily basis. Big news is often shared via social media, such as pregnancy announcements, new jobs, and many other items. Some people take social media for granted and overshare, which most of us do not care to see when we scroll through our newsfeed. Luckily, I am here to explain why you do not want to be one of those people who overshares on social media, and posts stauts’ with too much personal detail. Not only is over sharing improper social media etiquette, and can just be super embarrassing.

Over sharing… where do I even begin? As an active social media user, being friends or following a person that overshares is just the worst.Honesty, 99% of the time I unfriend individuals on my feed that overshare. I do this because I really do not care to see constant posting by the same person, and I assume other social media friends feel the same way. I had (emphasis on had) a friend on Facebook that would post status’ detailing things about her menstrual cycle, and just other really personal information about herself and her family that did not have a reason to be posted online. Personally, it made me feel uncomfortable, but I am not close enough to the person that I would really mention anything to them about it. It was just easier to unfriend the individual on Facebook, and move on. Refraining from over sharing on your social media accounts is important because although it may seem harmless at the time, it may save you from embarrassing moments like it would have for Sally in the instance below.

I did not want to use personal examples of individuals on my Facebook that were oversharing, but I found a website online that provided many examples of people who over shared who just shouldn’t have. blogpost2pic3I found a great page was titled 14 Examples of Oversharing That Will Make You Cringe Forever, and it provided some examples of oversharing on the Internet. Here is an instance of a Facebook update that proves that some things are just better left unsaid.

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This example is just straight up too personal and as Melinda said, “TMI much?”

From my example above, we see Sally oversharing via Facebook. In both cases, we ask ourselves “why would anyone post that?” Well, in an article we read in class titled The Real Reason Why So Many People Overshare on Facebook, we get a few reasons as to why a person would post this type of information. The article tells us that when an individual is facing a screen rather than talking to an individual face to face, it is easier to say anything you want. Obviously, Sally was one of those people who did this, because I could bet that Sally would not go up to each of the friends that she has on Facebook and tell them this ‘news’ that she had face to face. Although I am not personally friends with Sally on Facebook, her status suggests that she frequently posts updates on her newsfeed. Please people, do not be like Sally and overpost and share way too personal of information on social media, or post intimate information that the general population does not need to know. And no Sally, we aren’t “jealous much.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

140 Characters You Wish You Could Take Back

 

Twitter is a great social media app for many reasons. It can connect anyone to the Twitter universe within a matter of seconds. Twitter gives people the opportunity to see what friends, acquaintances and their favorite celebs are up to. Although Twitter can be great for these things, it is very important to watch what you tweet. As we discussed in my Comms 295 class this week, one tweet can damage a person’s reputation for a very, very, long time, if not forever.

Justine Sacco, who worked as a director of communications of a company, was traveling to South Africa when she decided to tweet the following:

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding, I’m white!” (via @JustineSacco twitter account.)

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She did not believe the tweet was that big of a deal, considering she did not have that many followers, and her tweets usually did not draw much attention. When she got off of her flight though, she realized that her tweet had caused major turmoil. Her tweet was the number one trending tweet on twitter, and she was receiving all sorts of negative messages from people that she did not even know. The tweet even caused her to lose her job, and made it extremely hard for her to get other jobs after the incident. Still to this day, she does not reveal where she works because she does not want to continue to be ridiculed about a tweet she sent almost three years ago.

Many people today do not think before they send out tweets, post on Instagram, or comment on others posts. If a person does send a tweet or make a post and decide that they should delete it because it is not appropriate, they obviously are not aware that the web is written in permanent ink. No matter if a post is deleted, it is still there somewhere on the web, or in the hands of someone else. One thing that I learned in my Comms 295 class this week is that when we are on the web, we should act the way that we would if we were attending a dinner party. If something would not be appropriate to do or say at a dinner party, it should not be said or done on the web. If class this week and the story about Justine Sacco taught me anything about the web, it is to seriously watch what you post, because 14o characters (or even less in Sacco’s case) can literally lead to lifelong regret and humiliation.

 

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