Monday, November 17, 2008

Animal Cruelty Awareness

After thinking over the web video assignment, I chose animal cruelty as my social issue even though I knew it would be difficult for me as I am very passionate about this issue. I chose to focus on abuse of dogs because I was a volunteer at my hometown humane society, and in that time, I saw too many sickening animal abuse and neglect cases.

I decided to use sproutbuilder to make my web video. My experience with this application was good, except for the fact that I could not figure out how to make the video end at my last slide and make the music fade out. If anyone can help me with this, it would be much appreciated. When you watch the video, you will see what I am talking about. Despite this frustrating issue, I enjoyed making the video, and I am proud that I actually taught myself to use this application. I think that this is good experience for what we might have to do in a communications profession.

You can watch the video here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alzheimer's Assocation Finds Social Media Campaign Success and the Alzheimer's Association posted a press release on recently that brings to light how their social media campaign and how it has been successful.

The website and the Alzheimer's Association teamed together to take this social media risk with the Purple Ribbon Campaign, which allows users to post a purple ribbon on their blog, website, etc. to help expose and spread awareness about Alzheimer's. The ribbon was posted on over 1,000 blogs and websites during a period of only 7 weeks.

While other organizations have used similar tactics, I liked the idea that the user could personalize a message written on the ribbon. The person could put a family member's name who has suffered Alzheimers or "For Mom", which I thought was a really neat touch. contributed 10 dollars for every ribbon that was posted, which put the total at over 10,000 dollars. I think this is a perfect example of a successful social media campaign and a similar idea could be adapted for a number of organizations and companies.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photographers Benefit from the Social Media Phenomenon

After coming across an article from the LA Times online, I really began to understand how social media has created a world where anyone can gain fame, and not only kids who makes silly videos that go viral.

The article discusses this photo, which was posted on Roger Eickholt's Flickr page.

Within a few days over 200,000 people had viewed the photo and posted it on blogs and social media sites, and the funny thing is that the photographer had no idea until he was contacted for an interview. He then checked his Flickr, and his followers had gone from 2 to over 100. His story and this photograph have now gained national attention and have been published in a number of newspapers.

This story made me think about how it is impossible to predict what could instigate overnight fame. There are so many people who actively participate in a number of social media applications and endlessly try to create a video or a blog post that will get them attention and notoriety, but many of them never succeed. Then there are people like Eickholt who doesn't even check his Flickr religiously enough to realize his sudden fame. It just shows me that the users really have the power to create this phenomenon, and we are often not in control despite our efforts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Military Launches "Trooptube"

I came across this article on internetnews .com about a new website that allows those active in the military to keep in touch with their families.

After blocking youtube and social media sites over a year and a half ago, the Defense Department has come up with TroopTube to allow military personnel to keep in touch with friends and family through a video share website. The website allows users to register as a supporter, military member, or family member, and then share a video.

I think that this is a great support system for our troops and another new social media innovation that will make it easier for people to communicate. While, they do not edit videos for content, the Defense Department does screen the videos for any suspicious content. I think that this will be a very positive thing for the troops and the easier opportunities to connect with their family and friends will hopefully bring a boost in moral.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I found an interesting post on that discusses a new partnership between the Travel Ad Network and the L49 advertisers, which will allow geographically specific ads to appear on They call this "geo-contextual targeting".

The ads change as the user changes the view of the map and zooms in or out based on their destination, interest, or intent. They also call this "mapvertising". Corporations that are participating include American Express, Apple, and hotels such as the Hilton and Comfort Inn.

While I think that this could be helpful at times, lets say if you were looking at a vacation spot and a hotel ad for the area popped up, but is this crossing the line? This kind of reminded me of the facebook advertisement controversy or when you shop online and the website offers "other things you might like." I could see how these pop-ups could get annoying, but I guess it is not much different than the pop-ups we deal with everywhere else on the internet right?

Carnival Cruise Taking a Shot at Social Media

As everyone seems to be jumping on the social media bandwagon, Carnival Cruises is taking now sailing in that direction.

Carnival's online program, Make a Connection, allows users to make the cruise planning and sharing process much easier. Among many things, users interested in a cruise can tune into the Carnival channel too see videos and read blogs that will help them decide which cruise it right for them. It also allows people to plan cruises for a group using invitations, interactive polls, and message boards to get input from the group on where they would prefer to go, who wants to room with who, etc.

The program also makes it easy for future cruisers to ask questions to experienced cruisers, which is always positive because people usually trust the opinions of other people more than anything they would find on a website. After taking a cruise users can upload photos to share with their family in an online interactive scrapbook.

I think that this is a great step for Carnival. I have taken two Carnival cruises and the website has been very helpful in planning and organizing the trip. I would have liked to have the opportunity to ask experienced cruisers questions before I went, and I think other people would too. This just illustrates the wide variety of corporations that social media can benefit.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Company Awarded for Use of Social Media

As the use of social media in the workplace to increase and is moving towards becoming a necessity, one organization has taken it upon itself to reward companies for taking a chance on social media.

"The Forrester Groundswell Awards recognize excellence from companies that accomplish business objectives using social applications and technologies" according to an article on Recently, they awarded the business and financial management company, Intuit, for using social media to engage customers.

The award was given on the grounds of Company Transformation and is given to those companies that have really changed and adapted alongside of the market, which has become largely online and interactive in recent years.

Intuit received the award for their Quickbooks online community where small business owners can discuss and share information. They were also recognized for their Just Start Campaign, which offers online video submissions and voting in order to encourage budding entrepreneurs, and for TurboTax live community where users can access answers to troubling tax questions.

I think that the Forrester Awards are a very positive and encouraging way to initiate other company's use of social media. It is a way to showcase those who have utilized it and a way to show other companies how it can be beneficial to them. Hopefully more companies will begin moving towards this "Company Transformation."