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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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7 Days of Blogging – #7 – To Learn

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So my 7 days of blogging turned into 7 days spread out over 10, but I finished my challenge! Here is my blog #7 entitled To Learn…

I spent most of the last year of my life learning. It started in December last year, when I heard from the MN Workforce Center of a social media class I could take at Takoda AIOIC – Institute of Higher Learning. I knew I wanted to up my skill set, so I signed up. In January, I took the class and through it, learned of the Public Relations Specialist Program they also offered.

I always thought that public relations was about having to be in front of a camera (I am absolutely a behind the camera kind of gal!), but soon realized I that had actually been doing public relations for the past 20+ years of my life in one capacity or another. I jumped at the chance to enter the program after hearing about the classes involved: Creative Writing, Writing for Public Relations, Public Speaking, Marketing, Graphic Design, Fundraising, Event-Planning, more Social Media to name a few.

It was a fun scavenger hunt and scramble to put together my past grades from high school to various universities, do some required testing and gather other required documentation to enter the program. I managed to get everything in by the deadline and finally started in March.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use the change the world.

 ~Nelson Mandela

 

We were a cohort of nine to start, and five of us who started together, ended the program together. Four of the original group left the program and two other lovely individuals had started before us but had to take a break for a block, and rejoined with us in the second block. We were the Super 7 throughout our second block, and part of the third. Unfortunately one of the seven, again had to leave. Still following? The six that made it through are from different personalities, races, cultures and walks of life, and each one is a creative, beautiful and extremely strong woman.

I cannot speak for the others, but now that the program is at conclusion, I am proud of what we all accomplished together and separately. There were some tough times and each of us had our individual struggles on top of accomplishing a 2-year program in 9 months, but I think we all learned about many topics that will bring us further in life. Plus we developed friendships in a unique experience that had us spending more time with each other than our own families in the past months.

I can also personally say that I learned a lot about myself as well. This has been such a positive experience for me in that I have learned many new skills, skills that I am already putting to use in my internship, my personal social media plan and building my website. More importantly, I rediscovered pieces of me that were “sleeping,” and I am very glad they woke up. I feel empowered and have the strength to “get out there.” I may have feelings of anticipation but I am not afraid. I am ready for new challenges.

Thank you to my fellow cohort, thank you to the instructors that taught me so much, and thank you to the wonderful staff of Takoda… I could not have done it without you.

~Christine Dietsche


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A Traveler’s Guide Through the Social Media Universe: Part III

Thus far, we’ve been discussing the main characteristics of social media and it’s channels, but before we travel any further, we’re going to take a brief detour and discuss a subject of crucial importance: online etiquette. While many choose to ignore them, you must know the proper ethical and morale customs when visiting and engaging on social media. If you don’t, you may just run into disaster  or humiliate yourself, and your guide most certainly does not want that.

Whether by choice or ignorance (or perhaps  both), many of those surfing through cyber-space opt to blatantly disregard the importance of treating others with genuine respect. Sometimes they get away with their poor behavior, but not always. Nonetheless, their examples are not to be followed. Consistently apply these codes of conduct and you’ll be able to navigate through even some of the roughest social media scenarios:

  • Be honest and transparent: If you’re not, your friends and followers will become distrusting and resentful.
  • Engage authentically – People can read through plastic attitudes, so you’re best off not faking it.
  • Truly listen – One of peoples’ greatest needs is the need to be truly heard.
  • Understand your audience – Knowing who they are enables you to better both them and yourself.
  • Avoid profanity  – This  universal rule goes without saying.  Keep the conversation classy.
  • Don’t be a troll – Only people with retched self-esteem use social media to abuse others.
  • Do not delete comments – This applies to companies because of the first rule of transparency.
  • Know all legal perimeters – This is the best way to avoid the nasty surprise called “lawsuit.”
  • Respond quickly – Social media’s speed is quicksilver. Do your best to keep up.
  • Do your homework – As much as you can, research social media and its trends. Become an expert.

Of course, this core 10 ethical principles don’t cover every detail, but they provide strong guidance. Stay consistent with these rules and you’ll protect yourself from doors of disaster you don’t want opened, as well as opening up doors of opportunity you don’t want closed. Try to memorize these core ethics before we move onto part four. Until next time, safe travels!

 


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A Traveler’s Guide Through The Social Media Universe, Part II

Let’s pick up where we left off – popular social media channels. The next one we’ll be reviewing is Twitter. This channel can be likened to a noisy, popular night club. These are the main facts you need to know about the Twitter channel:

  1. Social network which allows personal and professional users to set up basic profiles and “Tweet” (send/receive messages), pictures, and/or videos confined by a 140 character limit.
  2. Users can also “Retweet” others’ messages, pictures, and/ or videos.
  3. Users have the option of tagging to “Follow” others to boost social interactions and stay updated on other users’ tweets. The same principle applies vice versa.
  4. Users also receive notices via a “Notifications” folder.
  5. Hashtags (pound sign preceding brief text) links to other sources as well as potentially attracting more followers.
  6. There’s an ongoing newsfeed of “Current Trends.” Users can opt to click on hashtag links to view more information about those trends.
  7. Last but not least, there’s the “#Discover” where Twitter searches out and filters trends the user might like.

Now, let’s examine our third social media channel – Pinterest. Figuratively speaking, Pinterest can be likened to both a playful art gallery. Pinterest’s essential elements include:

  1. Users set up personal accounts to collect, share, and store pictures/videos on virtual bulletin boards.
  2. Users “Pin it” (use web content to upload personal content) and “Repin” (import from other peoples’ boards) media content to various personal “boards” (different categories).
  3. The “Pin Feed” suggests content users might like and use.
  4. Each media image opens the door to other related information and entertainment.
  5. Users can both invite Pinterest friends to their boards and follow other Pinterest members.

Our fourth social media channel, Linkedin, can be likened to a job fair or office setting. LinkedIn’s primary components include:

  1. Professional networking site where users set up profile pages displaying their professional background, skills, and interests to find jobs and/or business opportunities.
  2. Users network with each other by establishing “connections.” There are three degrees of connections (One refers to a direct connect while the other two are indirect).
  3. Users can endorse each other (verify job skills)
  4. Users can “like” and “congratulate” each other on their achievements.
  5. Users can see who has previewed their pages.
  6. Users can also join professional groups and clubs.
  7. Employers can use LinkedIn to post jobs and search for potential workers.

We’ll come back and explore some more popular social media sites soon, but right now, let’s become familiar with the nuts and bolts of these four channels. While you’re doing this, be sure to also check out YouTube tutorials for each of the four channels to help you learn visually as well (There are quite a few.)  Of course, each of the social media channels help centers to assist you as well. On a final note, be sure to explore these additional educational resources before we move on to our next blog:

 

-Cheryl Bokon


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The Joys and Pains of Social Media

I was familiar with Social Media; however, thanks to my Public Relations Specialist Program my learning curve is continually growing. Each time I am online there is always something new, something old, something bold and something sad. You get my point. That is the life of Social Media. And boy, what a life it can be for some of us. That is why it is the Joys and Pains of Social Media.

The delight of Social Media is endless. Connecting with friends from the past via Facebook and finding people with the same interests through meet up groups. Not to mention you can share your favorite link with a friend and they will receive the information in a matter of minutes or seconds.

Marriages, friendly competitions and trash talking, do it yourself videos, global conversations, encouraging people you have never met and learning new recipes. You can even connect with your favorite athlete or celebrity. There is so much information on the World Wide Web people have stopped going to the library(I do not recommend this).The joys of Social Media is endless. I never thought I would enjoy online shopping, but I do. There are more product and colors to choose from. At times I feel like a kid in a candy store.

As usual the when “good” is happening it seems “bad” is lurking nearby. Social networking sites are filled with haters and other dangerous people. So be cautious of the cyberbullies, child predators (if you have children that use the internet), and con artists and so on. These people seem to receive pleasure out the pain the dump on people. You cannot stop all of them. The best anyone can do is to educate themselves about the dangers.

Social Media is a wonderful resource that enhances the lives of individuals. Let’s make the experience it beneficial and not detrimental for all.


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Social Media Restaurant Menu

As I ponder Social Media, one thing for sure is that it is omnipresent. Since enrolling in the Public Relations Specialist Certification program at Takoda Institute American Indian OIC, I come to enjoy Social Media. That got me to thinking, what if there was a restaurant that had its meals and beverages named after social networking sites? Well, I have decided to do that. Just for giggles I have comprised a Social Media menu. The list is not exhaustive. I did not have time to list too many ingredients, that would require lots of time that I do not have, plus I will leave that to you, the readers. Also, this will menu will give each of you an opportunity to explore new social media networking sites. The social networking sites are in bold print.

 

                                     Beverages

       Specialty Drinks                                                                      Soda
        MocoSpace Latte                                                            Skyrock Ginger ale
        LiveMocha Latte                                                             Skoob Root beer
        Influenster Coffee                                                          Hyves Cream Soda
        Ibibo Vanilla Espresso                                                     Gogoyoko Mist-Lemon Lime Soda

                                      Sandwiches

Mouthshut.com-your choice of Chicken, Turkey or Beef
Spring Me– Vegetarian sandwich served with Cheddar, Mozzarella or Swiss
Meet up– Italian Sausage (Spicy, Mild or Hot), Bacon, Ham, Pepperoni
Stickham– Grilled Cheese- your choice of Ham or Turkey or just cheese
Mubi– Grilled Chicken with vegetables

                                        Entrees

Sound Cloud– Baked Chicken served with light fluffy mashed potatoes and vegetable
MOG Stew-Chicken, Turkey or Beef served with hot water cornbread
Ravelry Chops-Pork Chops served with roasted potatoes and vegetable
Taringa!– Mexican Meatloaf served with Cilantro Lime Rice or Mexican Mashed Potatoes and vegetable
Shelfari– Fried Chicken served with mashed potatoes and vegetable

                                        Desserts

Goodwizz Sundae-Vanilla ice cream sundae served with your choice of fruit toppings (Strawberry, Pineapple, Blueberry) and Hot Fudge
Wooxie– Moist slice of three layer chocolate
Yammer-Slice of apple pie served with vanilla ice cream and a splash of cinnamon

I had a fun time compiling my Social Media Restaurant menu. Do forget to visit a few of the websites you might learn something new.


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World’s Ugliest Woman

 

Be STRONG when you are weak. BRAVE when you are scared. And HUMBLE when you are victorious.

Be STRONG when you are weak. BRAVE when you are scared. And HUMBLE when you are victorious.

Lizzie was a sweet little girl, born to two very excited first-time parents in Austin, Texas. She was very small at birth—she was born four weeks premature and weighed less than three pounds. Lizzie was nurtured and cared for by her loving parents and grew to be quite a precocious child. She was blessed with two younger siblings, many relatives, and had a very charming, very normal life. At least that’s what she thought until she went to school.

Little Lizzie was very excited on her first day of school. She had a pretty dress, new hair ribbons, and a snazzy lunchbox. She couldn’t wait to make new friends in kindergarten, but when she got to school, things didn’t happen as she thought they would. No one would speak to her. When she talked to them, they backed away. She had a very bad first day.

When Lizzie got home, she told her mother what happened at school. It was then that she discovered she was not like other children. Her mother told her they would learn to like her and they quickly did. Throughout Lizzie’s school years, there were those who stared and were mean and insulting. There were also those who were very good to her—who loved her and stood by her side when other kids mistreated her. Through all of this, Lizzie remained positive and kind.

Lizzie was very smart and had a great sense of humor. Whatever she wanted to do, she did and was successful at it. Lizzie prospered in school, joined lots of clubs, and was on the cheerleading team. One day, while distracted and not wanting to do homework, she listened to music on YouTube. Lizzie saw a video on the side that looked familiar to her and had over four million views. She clicked on it and was horrified to see her face in a video titled “World’s Ugliest Woman.”

This is how I discovered Lizzie—I was watching something on YouTube, a news program or something, and saw a video on the side where Katie Couric interviewed the ugliest woman. I hadn’t ever seen Katie Couric but was familiar with the name. I was curious to see who she was more than I cared about seeing an ugly woman.

What I saw made me sad and happy at the same time. Lizzie Velasquez is an amazing young woman. She is funny, upbeat, kind, and adorable. She was born with a disease so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. She has no fat cells in her body and cannot gain weight. She is also blind in one eye. Lizzie has put up with so much—wherever she goes she is stared at and treated as if she is a monster. But Lizzie is a special beauty with many loving friends and a wonderful family.

I was so moved by her story that I wanted to learn more about her. I watched a few Ted talks she has done. Lizzie is an inspiring motivational speaker and encourages people with her story. She has decided not to let the bullies win—the video that made fun of her made her even stronger. She vowed to not let it get her down and speaks out against cyber bullying. Lizzie lives every day to the fullest.

I found Lizzie at a time when I needed to hear her story. I was very stressed and things were going poorly for me. Lizzie is so strong! If she can move forward with all that is against her, I think I could too. Lizzie has a website and uses Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumbler to share her story. Lizzie’s story has appeared via broadcast, on-line, or print media all over the country and internationally. She has written three books, of which I now have two. I’m so glad I was distracted that day and virtually met this amazing, inspiring young woman.

You can hear about her story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tydA1MraE. Just don’t read the comments—they will make you sick.

PS: I screen-captured the beautiful pictures of Lizzie from http://lizziebeautiful.tumblr.com/post/98397430713/be-strong-when-you-are-weak-brave-when-you-are (top) and http://ryantowephotography.com/blog/lizzie-velasquez/ (bottom).

—Laura

Lizzie Velasquez

Beautiful Lizzie