Forever Facebook

For this assignment I have chosen the brand Forever 21. This clothing store is able to use the new Facebook changes to interact with consumers. Instead of simply “Liking” the page “Forever 21,” people will now be able to say that they “Wear’ Forever 21.

Each time the user does online shopping at Forever 21’s website they can have the option to connect into Facebook to let their friends know what they recently bought. For example: If I were to buy a sweater from the website my Facebook friends would then know that I recently bought a V-Neck Cardigan from Forever 21. This feature on Facebook will prompt many users to click on the post to view what the article of clothing looks like and will hopefully persuade them to stay on the website and shop.

This app can also give recommendations to a user who has recently purchased or viewed specific clothes from the website. These recommendations can be seen by clicking on the app itself.

If the user wishes, it will be possible for people to say what they are wearing a specific day. There will be some clothing options on the app itself from Forever 21’s collection but more can be seen on their website. All the user has to do is find whatever clothing item they are wearing that day and click a button that says “I am currently wearing this.” Their Facebook friends will then see that they are wearing that particular article of clothing.

Another feature this ab will have is connected to Foursquare and Facebook. If a person is shopping in a Forever 21 store and they check in via Foursquare and have their updates sent to Facebook it will appear that “Jenny Muscat is at 12 Oaks Mall shopping at Forever 21.”

This app will give Forever 21 a great deal of exposure on Facebook. Young adults take recommendations about products from their friends very seriously when deciding to purchase then or not. When Facebook users see that their friends are wearing Forever 21 clothing or shopping at their stores they will then have a more positive idea of this brand in their mind.

How the new Facebook changes will affect brand pages

The past few weeks have meant many aggressive changes for Facebook. They have introduced new feature such as the Ticker which provides users a live feed of everything their friends are doing. The Timeline is in replace of the old Facebook profile which archives a user’s old activity and makes it readily available to them. Facebook has also added the feature of subscribing to a profile. This feature will allow for users to receive updates from a profile without adding them as a friend. These new changes have some people worried about privacy issues but they will have many affects on brand pages.

Facebook is going to focus heavily on building up their apps, this will greatly affect how users will be able to interact with brands. Instead of ‘Liking” pages, users can now say they are “reading,” “watching,” or “listening to” a product. Brands will be able to create their own apps which can allow them to have Facebook users say they are “cooking” or “wearing” a specific product. The “Like” feature has seemed to level off in the past year and it does not seem to get people’s attention as much as it used to. This new focus on apps can significantly help brands promote their product or service in a new way that will intrigue users.

The new Ticker feature provides a constant stream of updates on what friends are doing. The app updates will now appear in the feed saying what friends are eating, watching, listening to, ect. and giving brands more awareness. These activities will show up on a person’s Timeline. The Timeline feature is a way for people to really get a sense of what a person does in their daily life (i.e. what music they listen to, clothes they buy, books they read).

The Ticker could also mean bad news for brands. If a lot of users begin posting songs they are listening to, foods they are cooking, or clothes they are buying it could possibly end up as spam or noise. Posts like these have the potential to seem repetitive or irrelevant to users which can cause them to tune them out. This means that brand will need to think of new ways to make their features engaging for people using or viewing them.

Charlie Sheen Roast

While watching the Charlie Sheen roast on Comedy Central on Monday night I used the “second screen” function while having Comedy Central’s social media dashboard on the roast open on my laptop. I found this tool useful in some ways and not useful in others.

I took full advantage of live tweeting during the show to get myself in the mindset to write about the experience. I tried to use the feature on the dashboard that allowed me to send a tweet directly from a text box but I got frustrated with the fact that it always included a link to Comedy Central’s website which cut down on the amount of characters I could use. I just found it easier to use Twitter to tweet.

While tweeting I wanted to mention the roasters in my tweets but forgot to follow them ahead of time. I really appreciated the fact that the dashboard included a place for all of the roaster’s individual Twitter accounts and a place to click to follow them, such as Amy Schumer’s. I also really liked the feature of showing all of the tweets that had the hash tag of #SheenRoast on the bottom of the page. It gave me the opertunity to look at what other people were saying about the roast.

I was under the impression that the video screen on the top left corner would be footage of Charlie Sheen throughout the whole roast. On my dashboard though, it just had a continuous promo for the pre-show. I’m not sure if I had misleading information or if there was a glitch but I was kind of disappointed that this feature was not there.

I also wish that the dashboard had more things to click on while I was watching. I know that they did not want to distract the viewers too much from the show but during the commercial breaks I was looking for something to look at other than the tweets and I was kind of at a loss. I think that they should have had different videos from the audience or the pre-show playing while the commercial breaks were happening.

All in all I enjoyed the experience of being involved with social media during this show. I’m glad that Comedy Central had the hash tag of #SheenRoast promoted weeks before it aired because when the show started I was all ready to start tweeting and there was no confusion (coughJobsNowFailcough).

To Write Love on Her Arms

The Twitter account that I have chosen to follow is for the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms. This organization was created to help give people struggling with depression, self injury, addiction, and thoughts about suicide. The purpose of this organization is to help connect people to treatment centers so they can get the help that they need.

The goal of this twitter account is to raise awareness about this organization and keep people up to date on different events that are being held, similar to this. One unique thing about this account is that, almost daily, tweets are sent out with inspirational quotes such as this. This is my favorite part of TWLOHA’s Twitter account. When I am having a bad day I will sometimes scroll through their tweets to find these quotes because they are helpful and give me hope.

The reason that this organization interests me so much is because seven years ago I was diagnosed with a form of depression. I have been off medication for a long time now but it is something I still struggle with from time to time. I love the organization TWLOHA because I can relate to the target audience. I am glad that the organization is utilizing social media such as Twitter to reach out to people because when I see their tweets on my live feed it is a reminder that I’m not alone in the world and that I have people who care about me.

I would say that this account is being updated by the PR or communications department. It is very successful at linking people to their website in a great deal of their tweets. The website has a blog that contains posts about people’s personal experience with suicide and their Twitter account is very good at immediately updating their followers on new posts such as this. There are also other tweets that link to outside websites such as this.

The tone of these tweets has a wide variety. The quotes obviously have their own tone as inspirational and serious that are aimed at helping people who are going through tough times. Other tweets are just purely informational about events that are being held but I would say that most of them are serious.

I feel that this Twitter account is highly functional and useful for anyone looking to learn more about the organization so as of now I can’t think of any changes that should be made.

We’re never alone anymore

We’re all guilty of sitting in front of a computer for hours watching videos on YouTube. These videos can be funny, sad, emotional, uplifting, or just simply entertaining. Before watching the anthropological study of YouTube done  by Micheal Wesch from Kansas State University to the Library of Congress I had no idea the cultural impact that YouTube has on our society.

The most interesting part I found from this video was the idea that YouTube has, essentially, reinvented the sense of community across the world. Before socializing on the web was possible, global interaction was very limited. Right now, in the year 2011, I wouldn’t even think twice about going onto YouTube and searching for a video of a person who lives half way around the world. It’s very hard for me to think of a time where this was not possible because this ability has been so deeply ingrained in our lives.

YouTube has allowed society to connect on so many more levels than before web sharing was possible. Perhaps my favorite example of this is the It Gets Better Project, a project that wouldn’t have been possible without YouTube.  This project was founded in 2010 by Dan Savage and his husband in response to the multiple teen suicides from gay bullying. The goal of this project is for gay adults to post videos onto YouTube explaining that it gets better to LGBT youth to prevent more suicides from happening. After reaching their 650 limit on video uploads the project had to be moved to its website which now has 22,000 videos of people from all sexual orientations including many celebrities.

I think that it is truly amazing how people are able to come together through simply posting videos telling others that they are not alone. YouTube allows people to collaborate together to stand up for what they believe in and take a stand. YouTube has turned into a cultural value that lets people express themselves in any way they want. One webcam can be a person’s connection to the whole world, it may as well be the eyes of everyone watching…but in a way it’s not. YouTube allows people to share their inner most thoughts without the fear of immediate judgement.

As humans I think that we are fascinated by other humans. We naturally want to connect with others in some way and find ways to relate to them so we know that we aren’t alone. Video blogging lets people’s thoughts be heard and helps people know they are making a difference in the world and that they are loved.

Facebook, Twitter, and blogging are also a major part of this phenomenon. Keeping the world up to date on your thoughts and life is second nature to us now. It is a little less public than video blogging but personally I feel less alone by sharing things on Twitter and Facebook and having people respond.

In a world with billions of people YouTube allows one person with a goal to be heard around the world by a simple click.

 

Never forget.

My vision blurred as I scrolled through the pictures displaying the rise and fall of the Twin Towers in the New York Times’ “The Reckoning” 9/11 ten year anniversary tribute. This project allowed readers to read a variety of articles related to the events of 9/11 and what is occurring ten years after the tragedy.

The first part of the project includes articles on how the country has evolved these past ten years. One article, In Love with Death, discussed how America as a country briefly came together and behaved as one solid country. Reading this article helped me remember how people acted towards one another after the attacks.

This project allowed readers to interact  with one another socially by having a space for people to post where they were and what they were doing when the planes first crashed. Reading the responses from people made me wish that I was older when this occurred and that I fully understood what was happening. I was only ten years old on 9/11 and all that I knew was that a plane crash happened in New York and that a lot of people died or were hurt. Reading people’s stories and looking at photographs still help educate me on what actually happened that day.

This project was extremely well done and paid an excellent tribute to the lives lost on this fateful day in history. The project also pays tribute to the war and a personal account on someone’s thoughts on the war. There was also an interactive place for people to leave their thoughts on the war.

We sometimes can forget how many people this tragedy effected. The remembrance section included a touching article about a boy who’s father was killed in the attacks. This boy had to deal with loss at a very young age but deals with it by pushing himself to be the best that he can in school for his father.

I especially enjoyed watching the videos about the plans on what to do with the ground zero space. I visited New York City in 2007 and remember that ground zero looked similar to a construction zone. There were some memorials but the plans that are in store for the space seems like it will truly pay tribute to the lives lost in the terrorist attacks.

This project did a wonderful job of pulling everything related to the attacks together. There was a great deal of information and it would be very difficult to read everything wrote and to anyone reading there were many different categories available. I am glad that after ten years the world hasn’t forgotten what happened to America on September 11, 2001.

Tweeting live from Moore 108

I’ll be honest. When I first heard that we would be live tweeting on Obama’s American Jobs Act address I inwardly groaned. Though to my surprise I actually enjoyed the activity. I have had a Twitter for about six months now but never really got into the habit of tweeting regularly. By doing this exercise in class really helped give me confidence in using Twitter.

While tweeting during the speech I found it hard to pick apart the important parts, form them into a tweet, and consistently pay attention to what Obama was saying. Though it was fast paced, I feel that  our class seemed to cover the event pretty well. I found it interesting to go back and look at my classmate’s thoughts on the speech and see how diverse our opinions are from one another. Some entries were supportive  while others were argumentative.

One thing that was extremely helpful were the graphics displayed on the side of the screen during the live streaming. Being a visual learner, I need to see numbers and statistics represented in a graphic format so it helped the messages stick more.

I was disappointed in the White House for taking so long to announce the hash tag #JobsNow. It wasn’t until the speech was almost over that I was able to start using it in my tweets. In today’s society this was a major mistake. Twitter is a vital tool in understanding public opinion. If the hash tag was a trending topic even before the speech started more people would have definitely been aware that the President was speaking and what it was about.

All in all I really enjoyed this experience. I do not feel as strange tweeting because of my lack of followers anymore and have significantly increased my tweet index just within a week of this activity.

 

Fire Up Chips!!

While attending the CMU vs. South Carolina State football game I became aware of all of the different ways the CMU athletic department uses social media to connect with students and fans. Throughout the game the announcer would frequently encourage anyone listening to “stay connected” to what is going on with the football team and the athletic department online. There is a Facebook fan page called Central Michigan Football which provides an easy way for people to get information about the team through posts updating fans on whatever new is happening. I found this page extremely helpful as a student because I am constantly wondering what the game schedule is and this page provides a list as well as separate event pages that people can attend. This page also offers direct links to buy tickets and Chippewa merchandise.

These announcements would also mention to follow CMU Athletics on Twitter to get updates on the department, mainly the football team. The Twitter page CMU_Football was providing frequent updates on the game through tweeting. The tweets mentioning CMU_Football are also sent to a live feed on the Facebook page that I mentioned previously.

I feel utilizing the tools such as Twitter and Facebook is an effective way to get the attention of fans, especially students, and keep them interested in the brand. When organizations take the time to reach out to people online it shows that they are trying to adapt to social media and develop their brand as much as they can.

Even though not many people at the game immediately pulled out their smart phones and started following the Facebook or Twitter pages after hearing the announcements it helped them become aware. Those pages most likely get the most followers from people seeing their friends or followers liking or following that page but if they were already exposed they will be more likely to click the link and give their attention.

I feel that the CMU athletic department is doing an adequate job of building their brand online but they can improve in some areas. Doing more special offers through their pages with local businesses and giving away free merchandise can garneted more clicks and followers. They should also be looking into using Foursquare during the games, possibly taking a list of the people checked in and offering prizes. The word “free” goes a long way when communicating to college students.

 

 

Assignment 1: Social media definitions and experiences

Social media can be described as an interactive way for people or organizations to connect with one another through different forms of technology. The concept of social media has become a phenomenon of this generation and will forever change the way people communicate with one another. Social networking sites are highly personalized and let the user choose what he or she wishes others to view.

Companies and organizations have begun using social media to reach out to the public and build stronger brands. This is an extremely successful way to get the attention of the public through posting updates and special offers online. Social media sites are also an important tool to gage what the public is feeling about an organization or specific product or service.

I would say that I am fairly experienced with using social media. As most people would probably say, I am the most familiar with Facebook it is more of my social media “comfort zone.” It’s where I have the most friends so I feel more inclined to post things on there. I joined Twitter a few months ago and I am still figuring everything out on there. Tweeting is more of a challenge for me because of my lack of followers. I have also been using Tumblr a lot more recently. I use Tumblr to write posts that are more personal to me because I do not have many followers that I know in real life. I have a Google+ account and use it occasionally but I am still growing accustomed to it and I do not have many friends on it yet so the incentive to post is low.

Through this class I hope to gain more knowledge about blogging. I hope to have a blog eventually in which I can regularly write posts. It seems to be a challenge for me to sit down and write out long posts because I am a perfectionist and also have a short attention span.  I also want to learn more about LinkedIn. I’ve never attempted to use this site and I’d like to learn the best ways to make contacts that can help me in my future career.