The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.

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Hellllllloooooo Social Media

It’s a new day for me.  I’m starting a social media class and learning how it can benefit a course of study I’m taking in the world of public relations.  My Uncle Sam says there is going to be a powerful need for people like me, so let’s see what I can learn about a whole new type of communication that was, until a few months ago, fairly foreign to me.  

A couple of observations about YouTube and Facebook, which are the only real sites I have a passing knowledge of at this site, even though I know they have been huge for years.  What they seem to do well is make people happy, connected, and eager to create a desire to reach out time and time again.  They are quenching a powerful thirst that seems to exist in a huge population of people that have a great “need,” to be connected to the world in a quick and endless way that has never been previously available to the masses.

What I want to do in this class, is learn more about what, if anything, I’ve been missing.  What is the complete fascination people have with their electronic lives?

I went to see “Star Trek,” with friends yesterday, and afterwards we stopped to have lunch at Big Bowl.  Across from us sat two younger guys in their late 20’s or early 30’s who had ordered lunch.  They both were on their smart phones––neither talking to the other.

Our server came over greeted us and brought menus.  She left.  She came back and took our drink orders.  She left.  She came back with our drinks.  She took our lunch order.  She left.  The men at the other table hadn’t spoken in all that time, they were still on their cell phones.  At my table we had been babbling away the whole time.  One of my lunch companions commented that they were probably texting each other.

What I want to get from this class is why social media is taking over for person-to-person communication.  The scenario I observed yesterday at lunch I have seen many times before in the last number of years.  Perhaps this class can help me understand the compelling pull of social media to ignore the person you’re with to conduct an “electronic life.”  My own fear is that my life will become electronic.  I see it all around me.

I understand the need, and usefulness of the electronic life for work.  I see how it can benefit society in many ways.  I try to think of it as if I were learning French or Spanish.  An electronic language that will link me to speakers of a foreign tongue.  Here’s to new beginnings.





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   Getting started (Carol)

So, here’s my first stab at this whole blogging thing in “real world” for all the see. Oh, and the swans, they’re Lancelot and Elaine. They live on Lake LaVerne, on the Iowa State campus, in Ames. So pretty and graceful.

First thing I looked at for class is MinnPost.com, a website for news content. I am a regular/daily reader of this website. Several StarTrib reporters have landed here after layouts and buyouts, etc., so it’s nice to read them again. They provide breaking news, other current news, and long-format pieces. Their coverage area is wide, including politics, arts, legislative issues, local/city issues, education, business, sports, and news from DC reps.

Their social media presence includes Facebook (where I get some info), along with Twitter, Tumblr, You Tube, and RSS feeds. They also have good back-and-forth commentary and interaction with readers. Checked out the Tumblr blog, but don’t really get what’s there. What do you do with it, beyond “liking” something? Not sure of the point.