The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


What Social Media Has Done For Me – A Brief History

Rather than gather information, links and ephemera from the web, I like to talk about my personal experiences with social media. It’s not because I have a large ego that needs constant attention, it’s simply because it’s easier for me.

I’m not really sure if message boards are considered social media, perhaps they were a precursor to it. I’m still involved in posting on a few regularly, but a dozen or so years ago they were they only way to interact with others via the web. The first one I ever was aware of was called TCPunk. Two computer-knowledgeable friends created it with the intent on connecting the people who were involved with the punk rock scene in Minneapolis in the early 1980s. I quickly found out about what people were doing, where they were living, all sorts of things. It was quite amazing to be able to talk to them for more or less free, while sharing old photos, music and stories. We eventually had events where we could meet up in person.. none of this would have been possible with only telephone calls or letters. It opened up a whole new world of connectivity, and people not in our “scene”, who were much younger or older, soon joined in and became part of the community. Like many things online though, it ran its course and though the forum and site still exists, there are only a handful of people on it now. It has been replaced by Facebook for the most part. Still, it did start something and it’s fun to look at the archived posts to see how people change over the years.


LinkedIn is a strange one. The Summer of 1980 I spent living in London, working at a youth hostel. I met a lot of really great and interesting people from all over the world. Last year on LinkedIn, I got a message from a name I immediately recognized but had not heard from the person since 1981. Two German students stayed at the hostel and befriended me. One had excellent English skills so we talked often. They told me about a concert that they said I must attend, and I did so with them. It turns out it was recored for a live album, I didn’t find that out until perhaps a year later, but I still have it and can say I was there. Anyway, there in my LinkedIn messages was a note from one of them, Thomas, who remembered me and my name and wanted to connect. He now works for Sony records in Berlin. Maybe not a business connection that can help me out, but it was very cool to hook up again nevertheless.

For some reason, I look at the past fairly frequently. Not because of nostalgia or to escape, but to learn from it and to see what my strange trajectory has been. And many parts of it become revealed through the power of the web and search engines. Facebook has been excellent for this and connecting with yet more people from my past. I really do like to connect again with people who were important to me way back when. I’m looking forward to see what is next in this aspect of social media. GJB



Social Media in the Deaf Community J(“o”)

Generally speaking, technology has been more of a source of angst and perhaps even aggravation for most of my early life. Usually I felt as though I was always behind the curve and reluctantly scampering to catch up with the crowd. However, my son Shayne, changed all that for me. Shayne, the youngest of my three sons, was born in 1994. My pregnancy was difficult and although he was a term delivery, he weighed only 4 lbs 5 oz. and 19 inches long. Shayne was developmentally delayed; he had difficulty holding his little bobbing head up. He sat up at nine months, crawled at a year and didn’t walk until he was 2 years old. The week he turned one year old we learned, as suspected, that he was indeed profoundly deaf. From that moment, my perception of the world changed drastically–it was now all about Shayne and making his life the best it could be.

Over the years as Shayne grew up, so did the world of technology, as if it were just for him in some way. Less than ten years ago I remember our first Video Phone which operated with a modem and a small television set. Shayne sat for hours signing in real-time with his friends from school while working on his homework. A few short years ago, he got his first phone and we were able communicate through text regardless of where we were. As a mother, it was reassuring to know that Shayne could reach me if he needed me anytime, anywhere. Before that time texting was very foreign to me but I upgraded my phone quickly so I could communicate with my son. You might say, I was motivated by love to embrace technology as a gift.

Shortly thereafter, Shayne got his first smart phone and instantly his video phone was obsolete. All of his friends had the same type of phone and texting was replaced by live video chat. Today, our entire family is connected by laptops and smartphones. When I asked Shayne which channels of social media that he and his friends use the most, he told me has tried many of them, but he uses Facebook and Twitter the most. Shayne and his friends also love to tell stories via youtube videos. Attached is one that he created after he got his Apple computer with the built-in camera. He was so excited to communicate his new device with his friends. Since then he has created several videos and vines. He is very visually creative and I am so thankful that he was born at this time in history so he has the opportunity to express himself via so many different channels.

Many years ago, Shayne lost interest in the cochlear implant, mostly due to peer pressure. Over the last weekend, he approached me and expressed his desire to use it again. What that means is technology will continue to play an important role in our lives as a family. Shayne’s need to communicate has removed any apprehension I may have had otherwise. His needs superseded my anxieties and planted a desire to give my son the very best connection to the world. Social media is his lifeline and until he got his car a few months ago, was his social life. Also, because Shayne detested reading, social media exposure has taught Shayne the finer nuances of the English language. Social Media has broadened Shayne’s horizons and has had a strong and lasting positive impact on his life and that of our entire family. J(*V*)

Who Should Use What When

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How would different groups/organizations use the different social media channels to reach their customers/supporters?

News organizations (e.g. CNN) –

Twitter: news organizations such as CNN use Twitter for on-the-ground news reporting. This has been especially apparent in different countries around the world (e.g. the Middle East) when news channels were cut off and regular journalists were not able to gain access to certain locales.

Boutiques and clothing retailers –

Pinterest: Pinterest would be one of the best SM channels for shops (large and small) to use to get the word out about their wares, especially reaching female shoppersSocial Media Management.

Food shelves/homeless shelters –

Facebook would be one of the better channels for charitable organizations to use to reach large audiences. These groups need to get information out about what they do, increase awareness about social issues, and let people know about fundraising events and activities.

Local nonprofit community radio stations –

Facebook and Twitter are good channels for small community stations (such as KFAI – Twin Cities) for getting their messaging out about upcoming shows, interviews, events, fundraising, just a plethora of messages. Twitter has been good for KFAI during their recent fall pledge drive in terms of keeping people up to date on pledge numbers and total dollars raised – updating the Twitter account repeatedly during the day.

-paw (week 3)


Social Media 101 and Kerpen Saved Me

During a recent job interview, I arrived 5 minutes before the start time.  Actually more than 15, but I refused to overpay for parking.  When I greeted the receptionist, she handed me a list of 9 questions and told me to review them. They would be asked during the interview.  Darn, I thought, I just wasted ten minutes.  As I reviewed the list, this question leaped out at me.

“Outline your experience working with different types of social media.  What do you believe are the key elements in communicating through social media?”

Now I know for sure, there is a God in heaven. What a gimme!  My mind leaped back to Social Media 101 and the Kerpen lectures.  All kinds of ideas flooded my mind. Here are a few of the thoughts I frantically wrote down.

1st Part

  • LinkedIn – most experience
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogging (WordPress)
  • Pinterest

2nd Part

  • Engage people
  • Don’t focus on yourself/company, put people/customers first
  • Get people talking:  Ask questions, make thoughtful comments
  • Make it interesting:  use videos, pictures
  • Keep it brief

When the question was asked, I owned up about  being a social media newbie.  I then shared my written answers.  I also talked about the social media pages I had reviewed. What I didn’t like:  too much focus on the company or person and too much advertising.  Then, what I liked: taking negative comments and complaints off-line and being timely.

The interviewers seemed pleased with the response.  Even if they weren’t, I was. Social Media 101 and Likable Social Media saved me. Just 60 days ago, I could not have answered this question. While I may not get the job, I was pleased. I was able to apply what we’ve discussed and what I’ve been trying to execute. I’m becoming somewhat comfortable with social media and confident with my abilities.

So what did I learn?

  1.  Pay attention in class, join the discussion, and practice what is taught.
  2.  Be careful about being penny wise, pound foolish, sometimes full price is worth the admission.


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Social Media Saves J(^V^)

Social Media Saves…

Social Media Saves Time

As a student in Social Media 101, I have been immersing myself into the vortex of all things Social Media. Through that process, I have asked myself, “What are the true benefits of Social Media—what is the appeal?” Sure, it’s fun to explore and discover all of the neat, new thingamabobs and doohickeys that technology seems to spew out in an endless stream, but how can one best put the doodad’s to practical use in our busy business and personal lives?

Like most people, I am interested in how social media can save me from wandering into a rabbit hole that sucks my time like a vacuum hose to nowhere land. Social Media, I have discovered, indeed saves time. How, you ask? To save time on social media for your small business, here are five ways to get yourself organized:


Set up a schedule. Know what time your target audience is online. That is your best time to interact with them. When you do post, make sure the content is valuable and will stimulate responses from your fans and followers.

Create a content bank. Establish a block of time when you can brainstorm and create colorful content for your blog or Facebook page. For me that time is late at night when there are no distractions or phone calls. When is your most creative time of day? Set-up a calendar that coincides with your content bank to funnel your material sans anxiety. By using your time wisely, you can establish a comfortable workflow.

Link your networks. Especially if you work alone, it can be challenging to find the time to maintain all of your social media channels. Using Facebook’s scheduling tool or apps like Buffer and Tweetdeck, you can link posts across different applications in one step and save valuable time. Make sure your content is fresh and different on each channel or you will lose followers.

Use Social Networks for Customer Service. Rather than wading through piles of customer service emails, or voice       mails from customers, use social media to streamline your customer service responses. On Twitter and FB accounts,                 publish a specified block of time when customers can contact you with customer service questions. By channeling this activity into a window of time, you will be able to field customer questions quickly and efficiently for them and for you. A bonus will be that customers will witness your service of others as well in real-time which will build trust and confidence.

Set up Topic AlertsSet up a Google Alert for specific topics you wish to create content about. This will save you research time as the resources will be waiting for you when you are scheduled to sit down and pump out content for future posts. Use tools to lighten your workload and time investment.

Social Media Saves Money

Not only does Social Media save time, but it also saves money. Who doesn’t like that?! “Social networking streamlines the money-saving process,” says Nick Mokey, a staff writer at Digital Trends in Portland, Ore. “Matches are better.” The key, Mokey claims, is using a site with a feedback system that rates other users. Here are five ways to save money by using social media:

Peer-to-Peer lendingWebsites match lenders with borrowers for personal, auto and home-improvement loans and can save money on interest rates by cutting out the middleman—banks. Credit scores of 650 or higher offer you leverage. “Our rates are 20 percent to 30 percent better than banks,” says Rob Garcia, senior director of product strategy at Lending Club. “And you can get funded in a few days.”

Save for College – Social networking sites such as SmartyPig and GreenNote offer future students the opportunity to save for college or apply for donations to offset the cost of books and incidentals. GradeFund invites donors to sponsor students with good grades.

Bartermatch and Swapping servicesSocial media is a great channel for swapping services. Sites such as FriendlyFavor is an email network for exchanging services. Babysitterexchange for childcare. Or based on your personal interests, search for clubs of common interests. For example, BookMooch is a community of bookworms who share online books. FreeCycle is a network of communities connecting groups of people who are interested in giving, getting, sharing, and donating in their local communities.

Search for Deals CheapTweet and RetailMeNot make it fun and easy to find coupons and bargains from across the web, all in one place. Deals may range from $25 off coupons to percentages off at retail stores and restaurants, to free items. Faye Penn, editor of Brokelyn.com, a budget-living guide to Brooklyn, N.Y., recommended searching online for a coupon code before making any purchase. She said that though the Internet is full of “deal noise” and false promotions, sites such as RetailMeNot aggregate coupon codes from across the Web to help you find the deal you want.


Social Media Saves Lives

Not only can social media save time and money, but social media saves lives.

  • One woman saved her friend from home invaders after seeing a plea for help on Facebook
  • Another woman was rescued by emergency personnel after tweeting for help when she was injured and lost in the woods.
  • Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Red—an incredible organization whose goal is to deliver an AIDS-free Generation by 2015 and save lives in the process. This duo has created a campaign whereby every time someone shares, tweets or pins the infographic below, they (J&J) will donate $1 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, up to $100,000. http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/07/10/how-johnson-johnson-is-using-social-media-to-save-lives/


  • The Durkehim Project is a program that uses artificial intelligence to identify common words and phrases among those who may be contemplating suicide. Special attention is focused on war veterans as they have a very high suicide rate upon returning home following overseas deployment. These apps track posts and upload flags to a medical database. A medical algorithm tracks those of high risk for self-harm in effort to save lives.




There are countless testimonies on Google sharing stories of how social media has saved lives. But can social media “save the day?” Indeed it can…read this excerpt:


…”A little lost dog named Yoda was quickly reunited with his humans thanks to the power of social media—adorable! Yoda was lost and wandering our neighborhood, and sadly when his finder called the number on the name tag, it was disconnected. the good citizen immediately took Yoda to our ‘hoods animal clinic and started spreading the “found” message. the message went onto our neighborhood’s website, then to a Facebook page, from there, a Willo friend of ours sent me a social media message,  which I, in turn, texted to Danny and neighbors. Then, just a few hours later while on his way home from work,

Danny saw a “lost” sign on a light pole and sure enough it was Yoda! The sign indicated that Yoda’s tag was outdated, so Danny called and let the owner know his little pooch was safe and sound. Yoda is home. Pretty cool! Love our neighborhood. Love the positive power of technology. Love happy endings.!”


Taken from: [http://thetaleoftwotings.com/2013/06/social-media-saves-the-day/]

Who can resist a happy ending—not I? J(^V^)

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THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE, well, you know….

What should you do with positive and/or negative comments on your channels? How do you handle controversy or problems that come with being on social media?

The main thing about dealing with all comments, the good, the bad, the ugly, is that you handle it swiftly and adeptly. Do not let the bad things fester publicly or the great things go unacknowledged. I was going to give the examples of KitchenAid, Kenneth Cole, and the NRA as examples, but they are actually examples of companies who CAUSED their own crises….(um, LOL?) I found a great blog on this subject here: http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/2013/09/5_things_not_to_do_in_a_social.html.

So while I agree that the timing in responding to any comments, good or bad, is important, what you say and how you say it is very crucial as well.

The negative things are obviously more difficult to tackle . . . if someone is really wailing on your organization’s political views, bad customer service, or about something wrong with your product, it would be somewhat hard to know exactly the right thing to say. But the most professional thing to do would be to accept responsibility by apologizing that the person is having a problem (no matter what the issue is) and make yourself available OFFLINE to have the person get in touch with you personally to discuss the matter in private. Do not engage the person online with argument . . . that would be the wrong way to go! I think that handling things privately, and with effective communication and finesse, will usually settle matters in a way that makes everyone happy. Now if you have a crazed internet troll, that is an entirely different matter, and you can have their posts deleted and report them to whatever Social Media channel they are using. And there are A LOT of internet trolls. (I was thinking of being one for Halloween….)

But I digress. If someone is rabidly exclaiming that your organization is fabulous, your product is wonderful, or your band just totally rocks, ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE, ACKNOWLEDGE! Even if someone just sounds wacky and over-the-top in their post, responding to them immediately or as soon as you can really lets the person know that you care and are listening to them. They think you’re great – be very gracious and thank them profusely. It also gives you some insight that you are doing something right, and that’s really good feedback for your company or organization, no matter what you’re hawking.

-paw (week 2)

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Adventure in Social Media and Art

As I’ve stated before on facebook, part of what I love about manga is the artwork. For the most part, manga is simple sketches in comic form, but there are some Asian artists that take it a step further by creating these characters through digital art. Because of the complexity of digital art, they only do single portraits of characters. One of the social networks where you can find this type of art is on Deviantart (http://www.deviantart.com/). The site provides a forum and outlet for visitors and artists of all genres whether it be photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash, or filmmaking. They also provide skins for applications, operating system customization utilities, extensive downloadable resources such as tutorials and stock photography as well as journals, polls, groups, forums, and portfolios.

There are a wide variety of things to do and see at this sight. They have a system similar to Facebook’s “like” only it is called favorite. You can post comments, join groups or clubs, talk with artist, enter contests, and purchase artwork. They have implemented a point system where you earn points by taking polls, submitting artwork or written works or entering contest. You can then use the points to purchase things or give them to people to show appreciation.

 I mainly go there for the artwork. There are many digital artists that have done some amazing things. My favorite is Heise. In addition there is a landscape photographer, Oer Wout, which has some of the most unique photos.I even take time to read some of the original stories or adaptations of various manga stories. I’ve often considered submitting a story, or two, myself. I guess I haven’t gotten the courage yet. If you have the time, some Sun day afternoon, you should check out this site. It can be an adventure. — Denai