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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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Social Media Can Also Improve Relationships

Social networking (and other technological advances) has altered how we stay connected to friends, make purchases, network with colleagues, and find out what’s going on in the world. It has been known to destroy relationships by rekindling past flames, beginning covert affairs, replacing face-to-face intimacy with imaginary online closeness, revealing too much information, and cyber-stalking to ease or confirm jealousy.

Some things to remember that will help keep relationships running smoothly online (and offline) are:

  • Anyone involved in a committed adult relationship shouldn’t be afraid to be public about their status on Facebook or other social media sites.
  • Your partner should be your friend on social media sites. If you can’t see what each other shares publicly online, this could be a sign of impending trouble.
  • Reminisce only briefly with past loves. Anything any more than that could put distance between you and your significant other.
  • Never vent personal information online when you’re angry. In fact, never do it offline either. Give yourself time to assess the situation and address it without pointing blame.
  • Online content is permanent! Even if something posted is deleted (and forgotten), it isn’t really. Nothing ever permanently goes away, and you don’t want it to resurface when you least expect it.
  • Don’t over-share. A better way to learn about people is to have face-to-face conversations. Also, don’t publicize every little detail about your relationships and personal life online.

Often, social media does couples more harm than good. However, social media can also be a positive thing that fortifies bonds between partners. Social media is a great way to connect and encourage loved ones during the workday, or whenever they are away. Anytime you can stay connected and increase communication will benefit a relationship.

Here are some fun ways to stay connected and put a smile on that important someone’s face during times when you are apart. Use social media to:

  • Remember the good times by reminding them of a special moment you shared.
  • Express thankfulness for kindnesses they’ve shown you and for their friendship and love.
  • Make them laugh with a funny meme or other online content that you think they will enjoy.
  • Just say “Hello” or send a smile (emoticon).

A celebrity who does an awesome job of showing his wife how much she means to him and is an inspiration to us all is Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad. He just might be the most perfect husband ever, complimenting his wife Lauren Parsekian every chance he gets. Read about this very-much-in-love couple here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/aaron-paul-wife_n_4032479.html. Awwwe!!

Remember—you have the power to build and maintain quality relationships. The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is excellent advice; it is as powerful now as it was c. 2000 BC, “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)

What are you waiting for? Go reach out to your special someone!

—Laura

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Twitter Tips for All

Twitter logo

Tweet! Tweet!! A little birdie told me…

Thinking about using Twitter? Not sure why you would or if it’s even worth it? Twitter is many different things to many different people. It’s a great place for keeping in touch with friends and family, staying current with what’s happening in the world, and informing others about your business’s products and services.

Twitter is like blogging (it started as a micro-blogging service) and instant messaging combined. It is the ultimate in social messaging, as you can connect with lots of people whenever and wherever you want. It is an event coordinator, a business tool, a news reporting service, and a marketing device.

In order to effectively use Twitter, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you enter the world of Twitter and get ready to “tweet” (or post) a brief message:

MISC. INFO

  • Maximum length of username is 15 characters—the shorter the better. It will be easier for people to find you.
  • Maximum number of characters per tweet is 140. Leave at least 20 characters free as space for people to retweet you.
  • Twitter shortens links with their internal shortener, or you can use bitly.com. Each link uses up 22 or 23 characters.
  • Starting the beginning of a tweet with @username is a reply. It will only be seen by that person and people who are following both of you (it will also show up on your profile page and in Twitter search). If you tag a username anywhere but at the start of the tweet, everybody following you (including the user) will see that message. This is called a mention.
  • Images dramatically increase social media engagement. A picture on Twitter uses up 23 characters.
  • If you make an error in a tweet, to fix it, delete it first and then re-submit. You cannot edit tweets.

USING TWITTER

  • To be social, when you are mentioned (@username), you should respond to that tweet.
  • Retweet, reply to, and favorite other people’s tweets.
  • People who tweet frequently attract more followers. An active Twitter presence can help a business generate more revenue.
  • Link your tweets to interesting articles you find.
  • Hosting a creative contest or sweepstakes is a great way to improve engagement for businesses.
  • Join a worldwide public conversation by participating in Twitter trends (#hashtags). Twitter provides a daily list of trending topics near the top of your Twitter page on the lefthand side.
  • Behind-the-scenes info and photos are a great way to humanize your business.
  • You can live-tweet anything that would interest your followers and friends. Concerts, low gas prices, Elvis sightings, etc.
  • Quotes are always popular no matter what social media platform you’re on.
  • Create an original meme that fits with your company or product. Everybody loves memes and they often go viral.
  • Use one to two #hashtags per tweet for maximum engagement.
  • Become an expert: inform, talk about your company and other things your audience is interested in.
  • Use Twitter daily—search, lurk, post, retweet.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

  • To grow your community, add your Twitter ID to your email signature and other content, both online and off.
  • It’s OK to schedule tweets, but don’t automate anything.
  • Don’t be a salesperson on Twitter. Instead, be informative, entertaining and social.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you. They probably won’t. Some may unfollow you.

REMEMBER

  • Everything you say can be seen by anyone, right from the start.
  • Your tweets can be found in Twitter search and also by Google and other search engines.
  • Search your company on Twitter. See what people are saying about you. Respond whether good or bad—make things right!
  • Follow 20-30 good users.
  • Google search companies doing well on Twitter and check out what they do; follow them.

Don’t be nervous! The best way to learn is to jump right in and as Nike says, “Just do it!”

—Laura


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It’s never too late to start social media!

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If you have not yet started social media you might be discouraged because you feel like you are way behind the current explosive social media trends. I will like to encourage you to not give up yet. Please note that it’s never too late and you are not alone.

I was very skeptical myself for a long time worrying about if I’m sharing too much or not knowing where to start. I would like to share some tips to help you.

Where and how do I start?

Starting social media could be scary or you might not just know what to do, like I didn’t. It’s ok to be a little scared because the social web is a huge space with lots of people from all over the world. Maybe your fear might subside if you know what to do. I would like to share with you how I overcame my fear through learning more about social media and how it can be used.

 

Facing the fear

It’s OK to be afraid but what anyone out there would tell you is that you have to face your fear to overcome it. And a way to do that is by learning about your fear; well that is exactly what I did.

Find a social media class: you would be surprised; there are a slew of classes out in your local community that is offered for free. You might find them at your local library or at other community organizations. But if there is nothing offered in your community don’t fret over it, you can search for anything you want to know about social media online for free too.

A few things I have learned about social media:

  1. Although social media is a social platform, you can still decide how social you want to be. Just like any social gathering, your level of interaction is up to you. You can choose what type of audience you want to attract and the kind of information you want to share with them.
  2. Once you have decided on an audience, you can now start putting things together to share with them. Try not to worry about your topic being discussed before on social media. You should concentrate on sharing something that can solve a current problem. A great way to figure out what your audience wants is to ask questions to jumpstart conversations. Knowing what your audiences want allows you give them great content.
  3. Images are really nice to share because people are attracted to visual things. Make it as large as you can, use screen shots and infographics.

Overall, plan and set the goals that you want to accomplish with social media because once you do, because it will help you understand what is needed of you. The actual crafting of the content will be a lot easier. Making a post go viral will get everybody’s attention in your niche and will put your blog, tweet, or post on the map.

Liz Lemon saying, "What the what the?"


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Reconnect, Connect and Follow Your Family Tree with Social Media

The thing about history, family history is that I didn’t care about the details until I got closer to the end of my life. As a child and early adult, I confess that I was truly self centered. All the stories pictures that my grandfather tried to shove down my throat annoying and got in the way of MY LIFE. Thank God for Social Media class. Now my children can have there history in one place one disc until they are mature enough to care.

Due to Social Media family history research today can be much easier. You might think of social networking as chatting with your friends online using Facebook, but social networks of all kinds can play a role in your genealogical research too.

Here are a few ways you might use social networking for family history research:

Reconnect with family members you have lost contact with. Your own family members are your best resource when you begin your family tree. Social networks give you a way to contact people quickly with questions even if you’ve lost touch and don’t have an address or phone number to reach them through.
Connect with others researching members of your family tree. Even Ancestry.com is a specialized form of social network. Using their social tools (or those of similar sites), chances are good that you can find other people researching ancestors you have in common. This can be a great way to find information on a more distant branch of your family tree or to get access to family records, such as photos, that your immediately family doesn’t have.
Follow your favorite family history resources. With social networks like Twitter you can follow genealogy websites and blogs of interest to you. This can be a good way to make sure you don’t miss announcements such as sales on access to family history databases or even free tools and downloads to help you keep your research organized.

I also found a few Apps that can be helpful also:

Ancestry – This app from Ancestry.com really isn’t that robust. It’s less about being able to do research on the road (I’d just use the full site for that), and more about carrying your Ancestry family tree with you to share with others. I find that useful because when I visit family out of town I often have new things to share in my tree. This lets me do that without lugging my laptop around everywhere I go.
Find Grave – This app gives you access to the FindAGrave database right on your mobile device. This is one of my favorite resources which I use before planning a family history trip. It helps you locate, identify, and preview grave sites of your ancestors.
MyHeritage – This app from MyHeritage.com is for members of the site. It gives you a little bit more functionality than the Ancestry app in that you can initiate searches right from the app in addition to tracking your tree.

Please let me know if you have any other tips or tricks for researching family history.

kkrissy

Once again Social Media make our world smaller!

Once again Social Media make our world smaller!


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What is the Alternative to Alternative Medicine?

More Eastern and Western medicine and  professionals than ever are using social media sites to widen the debate over which is the best. Social media makes worldwide debates and connections possible. This allows for hopefully a new open mindedness and productive, creative idea sharing. The use of crowdsourcing by medical specialists discussing challenging patient cases is growing. Facebook has over 1 billion monthly users. Twitter transmits over 400 million tweets every day.

The development of science is usually thought to have enhanced the quality of many things. However, in certain spheres of life, traditional methods are still being used; medicine is a good example of the co-existence of two approaches. Along with commonly recognized conventional medicine based on science and technology, there also exists so-called alternative medicine, which sometimes includes practices developed thousands of years ago. Each of them have proved its effectiveness.  Understanding their advantages and disadvantages is important to make an informed decision.

The first difference between these two systems is their approach to diagnosis. Conventional medicine focuses on the factors that cause the diseases and remedying their symptoms, separate from environment and personality.  Unlike alternative medicine that sees a body in balance with its environment and disease is thought to be caused by an imbalance between them.

Alternative medicine assumes that health is a life-long process; therefore, to sustain a healthy body condition a person should continually maintain proper nutrition, daily regimen, body care, mind exercises, and so on. Conventional medicine, while also taking these principles in consideration, still relies mostly on drugs and surgery. This makes it more effective for managing critical situations (or for so-called quick-fixes), but is less efficient in healing chronic diseases. In addition, it is extremely expensive.

On the other hand, alternative medicine is more affordable, it guarantees stronger and more stable results, but is also time-intensive, requiring a commitment to a healing process, and thus may not seem like a reasonable option for quickly healing a patient.

Unlike conventional medicine that relies entirely on chemically synthesized drugs, alternative medicine uses natural components such as herbs as remedying substances. Alternative medicine also uses ancient methods of dealing with diseases, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, and so on. Conventional medicine, in its turn, puts more trust in scientifically approved methods of diagnosing and treatment.

Alternative and conventional medicine have different approaches when it comes to understanding and curing diseases. Whereas conventional medicine often sees a disease as an independent and emphases a quick-fix.  Alternative medicine sees a body and its environment as a holistic system; a disease occurs in case of an imbalance between all of the system’s elements. Conventional medicine is more effective for treating critical situations and less suitable for managing chronic diseases. Alternative medicine yields gradual effects, but they are usually more steady and long-lasting, as they often involve the alteration of an individual’s lifestyle. Alternative medicine relies mostly on natural mechanisms and ancient techniques, whereas conventional medicine prefers chemical drugs and scientifically approved methods of diagnosis and treatment.

So the debate goes on and on and hopefully a coming together of the best of both worlds.

kkrissy


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Advice from Biz Stone, Twitter’s Co-founder

I’m not yet convinced that Twitter is a great gift to the world, but I was entertained and inspired by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s memoir, Things a Little Bird Told Me. I copied down quotes, and when the book comes out in paperback I’ll probably buy it and underline and notate the good quotes.

Here’s an example:

“My dictionary defines opportunity as a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. The world has conditioned us to wait for opportunity, have the good sense to spot it, and hope to strike at the appropriate time. But if opportunity is just a set of circumstances, why are we waiting around for the stars to align? … [Y]ou might as well go ahead and create the set of circumstances on your own. If you make the opportunity, you’ll be first in position to take advantage of it.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that this is the core of entrepreneurship – being the person who makes something happen for yourself. But it’s also true for all forms of success, in all parts of life.”

One of Biz’s examples was when he was in school and decided he should participate in a sport. He couldn’t compete with the boys who had been playing football, basketball and baseball for years. After enduring the tryouts he convinced his school to start a lacrosse team – he didn’t know the rules for that game, either, but neither did his teammates – a level playing field, literally.

I found the quote and story particularly appropriate for someone who is about to go out and look for work in my new career of public relations. I’m starting now to create my own sets of circumstances.

— JE


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Good Etiquette on Social Media

I’ve been speaking about my new Twitter account and about how fascinating the people are who have been following me. For the most part, the survey I’ve sent out to my followers has been a bust, but there has been one bright spot in my survey experiment and her name is Kristine Dugan. She started following me in my first week of having my account, and she responded to my survey I sent. This wasn’t as surprising as it may sound as compared to all the silence I received from from all my other followers. If you look at her account you will see she follows all the right principles of good social media.

Kristine is a real estate agent in Las Vegas and even though I’m in the Midwest and not looking for a home in Las Vegas, she sent a very nice personal reply when I reciprocated her following of me. I was nothing special in this regard, because I’ve seen other Twitter post that she has sent to people that follow her back , she always makes that little personal connection. That personal connection is what makes a very good social media person and I knew she was someone I should follow. Along with her personal responses to people, she is all about getting out helpful information on a range of topics in her tweets. These topics are not just real estate related, but are about: social media, business, and life in general.  Her post are something to look forward to and not some narcissistic rant about their workday, that some people feel they need to share and, clog my twitter feed! That kind of sharing is what a good therapist is for ! But I digress.

Her survey had seem to fit with online nature. Her first social media account was FaceBook, she started it for her business and she wanted to be engaged with new people. I asked her how does she find people to follow on Twitter and her response was “Common topics or people I want to do business with.” I asked her how she found my account and she said that she found it through having critical thinking listed in my bio. Now if I had known that being a critical thinker would get a lovely woman to Tweet me, ( now everybody get your minds out of the gutter ! ), I would have spread that fact around while I was in college. Ahhh, if Twitter would have been invented back then!

Now that it has been over eight weeks and no more surveys have come back, so i believe that this little experiment has come to an end. I hope everyone in my class, and all who follow 5oci4lm3di4101, has a chance to look at Kristen’s Twitter account and maybe a few of you may want to follow and emulate the way she manages her account. I know I will, when I have to step back into that cold, cold world called work after these classes are finished in a few weeks and as my niece Olive would say “Go make bacon !”.