#NewhouseSM4: Looking Back

23 Apr

It seems crazy that another semester is coming to a close here at Syracuse University. As I look down the list of everything we have accomplished in #NewhouseSM4 this semester, it really is crazy how many different social media platforms we have come across. Just to name a few: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pearltrees, and Pinterest barely cover the multitude of platforms I have used this semester. Here’s some reflections from this semester:

Social Media icon set from http://ow.ly/at2pX

Favorite Social Media Platform: HootSuite/Twitter

Why? Before this semester, I mainly used Twitter on a personal level, tweeting about sports and the daily happenings in my life to my friends. I made a new professional Twitter for this class and immediately started to use Hootsuite. At first, I was skeptical of Hootsuite, but I can safely say that I prefer it to going to the Twitter website.

Least Favorite SM Platform: Google+

Why? Ok, so I know I’m not unique in disliking Google+ because a lot of people do. The big reason I didn’t like it was that I could not connect my Google+ profile to my Hootsuite account, making it a burden to move to and from Hootsuite when I wanted to post content. I did really like Google+ hangouts though, which is a plus.

Most Annoying Social Media Platform: Pearltrees

Why? I think it’s a work in process and has the chance to be one of the best curation tools on the Internet, but I just found it annoying and slow when using it at times. I also don’t like how any random user can change around your Pearltree without that user’s consent.

Favorite #NewhouseSM4 Speaker: Megan Gebhart (@megangebhart)

Why? My favorite speaker was Megan Gebhart, a Michigan State alum and creator of 52 Cups of Coffee. The reason she is my favorite speaker is because she told us great stories, and after class ended I was still looking to read more of her accounts of 52 Cups of Coffee.

At the beginning of the semester, I never thought I would have learned this much about social media. Honestly, I wasn’t even aware that there was this much to learn about. I’m looking forward to staying in tune with the ever changing world that is social media.



4 Apr

Earlier today my team presented our project in my social media class, #NewhouseSM4. Our presentation (#ESUSM) was all about social media and how it is best used for small businesses. Overall, I think it went really well. We probably could have integrated and/or intertwined our specific parts a bit but tther than that, a job well done.

First I wanted to talk about a collaboration tool I just used for the first time last night: G+ Hangouts.  My group members did a hangout with our professor, DR4Ward to discuss our presentation. I was more than impressed with the tool.


G+ Hangout With Teaching Team #ESUSM - @DroMUSIC90 @JenFolger @jfwheeler2003 @DR4WARD

Yes, at first it looks exactly like Skype. And probably most people who aren’t collaborating or doing business type things will use it for solely video chatting. But the thing is, G+ hangouts offer so much more. Like Skype, you can screenshare with the people who are video chatting with. One of my teammates was talking about how key this would be for his company, a computer repair business.

Another thing that we did on G+ Hangouts last night was simultaneously view and edit our presentation together. This is much easier than having to email a presentation back and forth within your team. This tool also offers apps, one of them being YouTube. I found the YouTube video app really interesting. The Google + Hangout mutes everyone but the video, and has a “Push to Talk” button where people can interject occasionally while watching the video.

My team also collaborated using PearlTrees, yet another social media platform that I have learned about due to #NewhouseSM4. We were able to post interesting articles we found via our RSS feeds and blog subscriptions in an organized fashion. I think PearlTrees is starting to grow on me a bit after using it as a collaboration tool for this team project.

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After we did our presentation today in class, we ran some analytics on Hashtracking.com. Turns out we made about 120,000 impressions and reached over 19,000 followers. Couldn’t have done it without our classmates in #NewhouseSM4, following and tweeting along during our presentation. Thanks! I also completed a Storify story outlining the #ESUSM stream that was going on during the presentation.

Screenshot from my #ESUSM hashtracking report.


May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

21 Mar

The Hunger Games and Social Media

This past Christmas, one of the presents I got was the Hunger Games trilogy. I had seen the trailer on television a couple of months earlier, and had to see what all of the buzz was about. I started reading the first one, and could not stop until I had read the last page of “Mockingjay,” the third book. I immediately could not wait to see the movie adaption of the film, which is actually coming out this Friday, March 23.

So what does this little anecdote have to do with social media? In #NewhouseSM4 today, Oliver Starr (@OWStarr) – Chief Evangelist for Pearltrees – was our guest speaker. I was excited because I wanted to learn more about Pearltrees, a social media platform that was new to me and had left me dumbfounded after a couple of uses. To anyone that is unfamiliar with Pearltrees, it is a curation tool that presents “pearled” material in a web-like structure, instead of the linear and boring drop-down bookmark menu.

Anyway, in class,  Oliver had us simultaneously create a Pearltree about the Hunger Games. When he asked our class who knew of the Hunger Games, the majority of girls raised their hands (not surprising). We got to all grab links about the Hunger Games from the internet and work together to organize them. It was a bit glitchy at times – Oliver said this was probably because Pearltrees had never experienced so many users curating information together at the same time. I was glad to be apart 0f a Pearltrees experiment and have the chance to read so many articles about the Hunger Games!

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Facebook Timeline: The Good and the Bad

2 Mar

I am not one of those people who whine every time Facebook changes it’s format. And that’s because I know that with time, you can get used to anything. That’s why I chose to switch over to Facebook timeline before Mark Zuckerberg forced me to. The first thing that I wanted to do was find a suitable cover photo.

Screenshot of a cover photo from Facebook's "About Timeline" page

Yes, the cover photo is a neat idea. It allows you to basically have two, yes I said it, TWO profile pictures. The one thing I don’t like about the cover photo is that you need a photo that specifically caters to that size. A picture with a portrait orientation simply does not work. The way to go is one with a landscape orientation.

The next thing that I noticed was the changes to the Facebook wall. I must say, not a big fan. I do not understand the necessity of two columns of wall posts, picture tags, and apps being used. It all seems a big cluttered to me. But as i said before, I can get used to anything.

The new and improved Facebook wall. Also from Facebook's "About Timeline" page

My asked two of my roommates their thoughts about Facebook timeline. See what other college-aged students think about the change. My one roommate is an Industrial Design major. She enjoys how easy timeline makes it to stalk people. Which is true. You can look back at people’s Facebook posts and pictures by year and month. She also commented that she liked the layout because it’s more dynamic.

My other roommate, a photojournalism student, mainly likes it because of the cover photos. And who wouldn’t when you have a multitude of great photos to make your cover photo.