The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.

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7 Days of Blogging – Five Equals Robin

Life is all about all kinds of emotions and recently, I have been thinking a lot about how we deal with death and grief on social media.

This blog is an updated and abbreviated version of something I wrote shortly after Robin William’s death, and this is why #5 = Robin.

Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society

The news of Robin Williams’ death on Monday August 11, 2014 shocked the world. That this news created an overwhelming sense of sadness at the loss of someone whom I had never personally met was at first a bit incomprehensible. Why did this loss affect me so? Then I wandered onto my Facebook page to the onslaught of commentary of Rest In Peace and video clips of this man who touched so many people on so many levels. I then realized that he had been a part of my social conscious for almost 40 years. I felt the need to honor this man. I also found it fascinating and somewhat frightening how social media reported and reacted to his death.

Social media will be changed forever due to bad behavior. Twitter quickly re-vamped its user protection policies after a few horrible people posted things to Robin’s daughter Zelda’s account. “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement, “We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”

Zelda herself had the last word though, “To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 1.42.59 AMfor those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too.”

Robin starred as lead in numerous films, not all of them comedic roles. He won an Oscar for his portrayal of professor Sean Mcguire in Good Will Hunting. Of course it’s mainly the comedies that most remember, especially Mrs. Doubtfire. Robin got social media, always had a joke at the ready, and himself tweeted his photo as Mrs. Doubtfire in response to a certain someone showing up at the Met Gala one year wearing a dress that Robin claimed, he “wore it better!” As always, perfect timing.

Dead Poets Society (John Keating) – 1989
“Why do I stand up here? Anybody? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.”


Dead Poets Society is one my favorite films and one I have watched too many times to count. Ironically, the deep roles Robin played often revolved around dealing with suicide. How strange and very sad that some of the funniest humans have the heaviest hearts.

The news, the tributes and internet chatter about Robin’s death not only allowed people to grieve openly together, it also allowed people to speak out about their own struggles with depression. The silence about mental illness and depression must end. We must have those difficult conversations about a topic that generations have tried to sweep under the rug. Everyone I know has in one way or another been affected by suicide and, unfortunately, many of us with more than one loss due to suicide throughout our lives.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 38,000 people die by suicide every year, and 750,000 more attempt suicide. More people die by suicide annually throughout the world than death by war, murder and natural disasters combined. These staggering numbers makes one reel. How can we prevent these numbers from continuing to increase?

Robin’s death prompted many people who had never spoken about their issues to open up, and more amazingly is that they have done so in a very public forum on the internet. The dialogue needs to continue. Everyone needs to understand that there is no shame in having depression. Start talking. Speak openly and honestly, reach out and talk with someone. Find someone to trust who can be there for support whenever you need it.

~Christine Dietsche


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My Little Pony: Every Pony Has His Day

My Little Pony Ponies

Derpy Hooves, Shining Armour, and Princess Cadance at MLP-MSP 2014

Four sharp-dressed men strode into the hotel lobby, looking much like the characters of Reservoir Dogs. Without guns, of course. Three of these men were long-term associates, one was a more recent addition to the group. Two go by their given names, two have aliases. These men were on their first mission together—one they successfully accomplished in one weekend, after months of planning, Skyping, tweeting, posting, and other online collaboration.

In June 2014, fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” gathered at MLP-MSP, Minnesota’s First-Ever Brony Convention. Most of the attendees weren’t little girls—they were adults dressed like colorful ponies complete with pink wigs, horse tails, unicorn horns, and Pegasus wings. Some of the pony costumes were meticulously handmade, while others cost as much as $2,500 to purchase. One wonders, why were these grown men and women willing to face possible public humiliation by dressing like cartoon characters?

“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” is a cable TV program in its fourth season. Although the TV show was originally intended for young girls, it attracts male and female viewers of all ages. Millions of young men (called “Bronies”) follow each episode, living by the show’s tag line, “Friendship is Magic.” According to Walt Disney, “Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.” Disney has said, “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

Fans of the show are hooked by its clever scripts, high-quality animation, superb acting, and original songs. They are drawn by the show’s characteristic loyalties and kindnesses. The ponies typically rely on goodwill and friendship to resolve moral dilemmas such as bullying, gossiping, or jealousy. The essential story elements are honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, loyalty, and magic (which happens when the other elements are in place). These principles apply to all people, extending beyond age and gender. Additionally, Bronies say the show draws them in with pop-culture references to shows such as “Mad Men,” “M*A*S*H,” and “Arrested Development,” as well as parodies of songs and popular phrases.

Brony fandom is a global phenomenon, with about thirty conventions held around the world each year. This trend has inspired several documentaries and a great deal of academic research. There are very few cultural sensations as unique and unexpected as “My Little Pony” fandom. Bronies experience a sense of community and friendship from the cartoon, and this carries over into their day-to-day lives. Brony online discussions are usually civil and helpful instead of insulting and hostile like many chat boards. Because it promotes friendship and acceptable behavior, “My Little Pony” seems to attract nicer people. Some fans have found that this kinship has helped them with their confidence levels and to deal with depression.

There are approximately three million Bronies ranging in age from 14 to 57 years old around the world, the majority of which are male. They have many different backgrounds, including soldiers, physiologists, scientists, and students. There is an entire community of Bronies in the military, traditionally a very masculine environment. “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” reflects many of the most important values in the military, such as loyalty, duty, and respect. These men push the boundaries of what society considers appropriate behavior, especially for adult males, because they enjoy watching episodes of “My Little Pony,” collecting memorabilia, and attending Brony conventions like MLP-MSP.

The three-day MLP-MSP affair was packed with a full schedule of events. The entire agenda was posted on Google Calendar and made public, which made it very easy to find information about individual events as well as create calendar entries on smart phones and tablets. MLP-MSP had about 750 attendees. Through social media outlets, such as Tumbler, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and chat communities, this con attracted people from all over the United States and as far away as Canada and Israel. The events were live-streamed through YouTube, and the chairs live-tweeted highlights of the convention all weekend long. Although this was relatively small for a Brony Con, it was well-organized with everything handled quickly and expertly.

On the last day, after all was packed up, the chairs left the hotel in street clothes, returning to their families and other commitments. We don’t know their real names, but they’ve got what it takes to run a con. And they will be back.


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Social Media puts the All American Red Heads on Display


Game On Red Head style!

Women’s basketball has seen tremendous growth over the last forty years and huge props go title IX as well the forever fans, friends and families of women’s basketball. Finally there is a successful professional basketball league-the WNBA (16 years strong). They encompass beauty, power and speed. But it did not start there. It began many years ago. There were no television deals, huge contracts or endorsements, however there was fanfare. These ballers were so serious they were even shaken the men down! I know you are chomping at the bit to find out who these ladies are. In case you are wondering who this team is, keep reading and you will soon find out.

The WNBA’s Houston Comets surprisingly were the WNBA’s first dynasty, but the real reign began in 1936 and lasted until 1986. I bet you are probably thinking what women’s team was lacing it up and draining three’s before the three point shot ever hit the rule books. Let’s introduce the theses ladies to some and to other’s they need no introduction. The All American Red Heads.

Their story began in 1936, when businessman Connie Mack (C.M.) Olsen, who already owned two men’s barnstorming team. Quick side bar, in case you are not familiar with “barnstorming,” it means to travel from place to place making brief stops as in a political campaign or a promotional tour (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/). It has other definitions, but that relates what Olsen’s teams were doing back then. Olsen was a jack of all trades for his teams. He was the road manager, booking agent, handled the publicity, the player coach and a showboat.

Olsen formed the Red Heads with the help of his wife, whom with owned several beauty salons. Some of the members were basketball players. Two of the members already had red hair so the rest of the players dyed their hair to match. This also gave these ladies mystique. You have to remember back then women participating in male dominated sport such as basketball was not hugely accepted and they need to stand out. Red hair or not, these ladies were very talented and were serious about basketball. Olsen also added the entertainment flair to their game, which included fancy passing, dribbling, shooting from thirty feet out and mixing it up with the crowd. This often led to comparisons to the Harlem Globetrotters.

In their inaugural season the Red Heads played over one hundred and thirty games in over 25 cities in less than a year. When the Red Heads hit the courts they dazzled their audience with their basketball skills as well their entertainment value. They truly added validity to their brand by when they began competing against the men. They played by the same rules and beat them over 75 percent of the time.

Word of the Red Heads quickly spread and they began playing in front of sold out audiences not only in rural places but in major cities such as Hollywood, New York, Alaska, and Chicago. They also captivated audiences in Canada and the Philippines.

For fifty years the All American Red Heads entertained the masses and they finally received their just due when they were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame September 7, 2012. They have the grand distinction to being the first women’s basketball team ever to be inducted. This should have happened years ago, but better late than never. They are definitely the pioneers of women’s basketball. Thanks to social media the world can read about one the best female basketball teams…ever!

The All American Red Heads not only won on the court, but they were champions off the court. They were successful in sports when many of the women’s occupations were homemakers, nurses and teachers, proving they were other careers for women Do not misunderstand me all of these are great occupations, but it was refreshing to see female athletes getting opportunities to shine back in the 1930’s.
Information gathered from: www.allamericanredheads.com

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Hey Mr. Influencer, I Need a J-O-B

Dave Kerpen, author of “Likeable Social Media” (our class textbook) writes about LinkedIn on Inc. Magazine online.  I was especially interested in this article since this channel was my very first introduction into social media more than 5 years ago.  Kerpen asks the question, “Is Conan O’Brien the Ashton Kutcher of LinkedIn?” Apparently, O’Brien’s goal is to do the same thing Kutcher did for Twitter several years ago, gain one million followers.

O’Brien declared on his late night talk show, he’s going to be the most popular “LinkedIn Influencer.” Kerpen says this is an invitation-only program comprised of  thought leaders from a range of industries. I suppose that’s good news for those who like LinkedIn as well as O’Brien. Whether O’Brien is serious or not, will his LinkedIn presence help me find a job?

In five years, I’ve never found a job via LinkedIn or come close. I will admit my participation is inconsistent. I crank up my interest and involvement when I get into a serious job-hunting mode. Over the years, I’ve connected with friends and past colleagues. They know my job status, but I’ve never had one of them approach me about an opening. As far as requesting introductions, I’ve made a few but none have panned out. At times, I felt odd asking someone I haven’t spoken to since the job ended many years ago to make a connection, but I’ve laid my pride aside and done it. Yet, some questions always plague me. What do they really know about me now? What do I know of them, since we last worked or saw one another? Is the relationship between my contact and the person I want to connect with amicable or not.  Should I care?

During the summer and fall of 2012, I used LinkedIn’s job search function frequently and applied to a number of positions. I didn’t receive any responses to my resume. I’d love to hear from someone who found a job through LinkedIn. Please, tell me what I’m doing wrong.

As for Kerpen’s article on LinkedIn and O’Brien, two questions bother me. First, does a LinkedIn Influencer make a different for someone who doesn’t have a service subscription? The thought of paying for any social media channel galls me. O”Brien says the tops influencers are Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra and President Obama.  Really?!

Second, why Cohen O’Brien? Personally I’m not a fan, don’t find him particularly funny, and think he’s absolutely annoying in a Tom Cruise sort of way. Kerpen hints that some people think this is a joke for O’Brien and his team. I agree. If so, just add this stunt to my list of reasons why he’s not my favorite.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to more face-to-face networking. If I have to use a social media channel, I’ll go back to browsing job postings on Craigslist.  It’s up by two jobs compared to LinkedIn’s zero. CRJ


New Mexico student: ‘Rock Your Mocs’ campaign promotes celebration of Native American cultures

‘Rock Your Mocs’ is a great way to promote Native American Heritage Month and help to instill pride into the Native American culture. Something as simple as moccasins can distinguish between the many different tribes and yet represent them as a nation. The fact tRock Your Mocs Campaign copyhat they are utilizing social media to promote this campaign means that a larger audience will become aware and will be able celebrate with them.


I have always had great respect for the Native American culture since elementary school.  Growing up, one of my best friends was a Native American and I never saw her as anything but a friend. In later life, a friend I was blessed with at my last job was married to a Native American. Through her, I have been able to experience the Native American culture more deeply by attending Pow Wows and visiting Native American museums. Now being at an American Indian OIC school furthers the experience even more.


My only question is, why isn’t our school celebrating this outstanding occasion? I feel a need to spread the word and promote the Native American culture, but at the same time I want to be respectful of their beliefs and traditions. Do they simply not know or is there a reason for not celebrating. Perhaps when I speak with Joe this coming week regarding other matters, I may inquire.  Denai

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Spreading The Word via Social Media

Billionaire vs. The Bad River Tribe

… and many residents of Northern Wisconsin..
 Chris Cline, corrupt billionaire’s yacht: “Mine Games”

Some of you may recall a speech I made way back when we had the Public Speaking class. Seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? I talked about a proposed mine in Northern Wisconsin, which is still an issue. I found out about it through social media, namely Facebook. Had it not been for the power of social media, I may still not know about it. I have informed people that spend time in the area, as it is a valuable and popular region for recreation, hunting, skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities.

A somewhat organized group had been trying to spread the word about what is going on up there, mostly through a few Facebook pages as well as encampments, organized events, public awareness campaigns held in various venues. And again, the same group of right-wing trolls have been attempting to discredit and disrupt the anti-mine campaign by creating Facebook pages and blogs. I’ve found that some of these people have up to a dozen Facebook accounts each, with fake names and profiles. And some of the accounts have been active for over 5 years, have been reported many times, yet Facebook lets them remain. So if you have more than one account, don’t worry about it. I have two myself, one is inactive but I’m keeping it.

But to the issue mentioned, the Facebook page has brought many people together and informed them of this issue. There is quite a bit of misinformation out there, and sometimes social media accentuates it, but in some cases it can provide the truth. The proposed mine would ruin the watershed that feeds the Bad River, and the Bad River Reservation’s residents would no longer have clean water, bountiful fisheries and wetlands for gathering Manoomin, or Wild Rice. The Bad River flows into the Chequamegon bay of Lake Superior.

1380442_10202092461581834_158304818_n This seal of the Territory of Wisconsin contains the phrase “Civilitas Successitt Barbarum” which means Civilization has replaced Barbarism. An insult to the native people who were considered savages by the people who then tried to commit genocide on them through various barbaric means. GJB

Minnesota Man Gets Three Consecutive Life Sentences

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Child advocacy organizations use social media to get information on sentencing. Anti-death penalty advocates could also use social media channels to share information on the case and the potential consequences.

Aaron Schaffhausen oops! Coming to a prison cell near you. Talks around the jail are that he has a few potential roommates who would like to share a cell with him. D@#% S$@# @GrahmsJ