The Incredible Shrinking World

I was sleepily perusing Facebook this morning while drinking my first cup of coffee for the day.  An old friend of mine from Michigan posted a link to an NPR sound clip titled Stop Me Before I Facebook, about a software that Mac users can download to prevent themselves from getting to social media sites.  Lo and behold, a familiar voice!  It’s my blogging instructor, Kathy Gill, talking about why social media is so addicting. 

Is it just me, or is digital media shrinking the world? :)

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The Seattle Do-Gooder

My final project, a blog called The Seattle Do-Gooder, is complete.  Since starting the blog a month ago, I’ve:

  • Made eight blog posts;
  • Started a Twitter account specifically for this blog;
  • Included a blogroll of other Do-Gooder blogs; and
  • Attempted to reach out to other bloggers including Britt Bravo (Have Fun, Do Good) and Laura Miller (Secret Agent L). 

As much as I’d like to continue blogging at The Seattle Do-Gooder, it’s likely I won’t have the time once this class is over.  It’s been a great learning experience and it’s definitely something I can add to my professional portfolio.

Best of luck to everyone and Happy Holidays!

Don’t Be a Twit, Get Twitter

In the few short months that I’ve been blogging, one thing has become abundantly clear to me – bloggers must use Twitter.  I was terribly reluctant to start a Twitter account, and now I can’t imagine blogging without one. 

First of all, Twitter drives traffic to your blog.  I have 400% more page views since opening my Twitter account.  This isn’t a fluke.  According to Technorati’s 2010 State of the Blogosphere, 88% of pro-bloggers are using Twitter to promote their sites and market their businesses.  Their survey found that Twitter takes the cake when it comes to driving traffic to blogs.  Here’s how other tactics compare:
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Who Can We Trust, Really?

In looking over the reading reflections for this week, one theme stood out to me: The public has lost trust in journalism and much of this is because mainstream news media is owned by money-hungry corporate conglomerates.

Jeannie tied the readings together really well. She quotes Skoler, when he says there has been “…a steep drop in public trust in journalism,” and explains how this started with large-scale mergers of media companies in the 1980’s.  We stopped trusting them when they started to change their business models to maximize profits.  This directly links back to Bagdikian, who blames major media and their “need to satisfy the major sources of their income, corporate advertising.”    Continue reading

Text 2 Donate Reflection

Thanks to everyone for your support in listening to my presentation.  I’ve never really been one to talk in front of a group.  I much prefer one-on-one conversation, but it wasn’t so bad!  

Although Text 2 Donate is an easy and convenient way for many to send quick and instant donations, it’s not necessarily what’s best for the non-profit you’re donating to.  As you saw from the presentation, it’s very expensive for the non-profit to implement and use.  In fact, it’s not even feasible for many smaller non-profits like the one I work for.
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Do-Gooder Project Update

My new blog, The Seattle Do-Gooder, is up and running.  I’ve made a total of 6 blog posts to date and planned to make 4 more posts before the end of the quarter.  I’ve also started a Twitter account for The Seattle Do-Gooder, which has increased traffic to my site while allowing me to pass on tidbits of information without writing an entire post. 
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The Power of Persuasion

In class tonight, we were asked to give a few examples of good persuasive writing.  Here are a few that I found interesting:

Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt
By Julie Zhuo – The New York Times

This is an op-ed piece from The New York Times.  Even though I agreed with the writer before even clicking the link, I thought this was a great persuasive post.  It hit on all the key elements of a good persuasive post and was extremely well-written.  Zhuo included links to psychological research as back-up and told a heartwrenching story about how trolls have infiltrated memorial sites.  Her call to action was also clear and concise.  She says, “Let’s start to rein in bad behavior by promoting accountability,”  and follows that up with examples of how to do it.
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NPR Makes Internet History

This past week, NPR’s Science Friday re-aired their very first radio internet broadcast from 1993.  This was really fun and interesting to listen to.  Since the internet was in its infancy at that time, everyone in the broadcast is amazed by it’s capabilities and how it connects people from around the world.  We definitely take this for granted nowadays!

Also interesting was a quick discussion about how the internet was used during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  David Hanson, a professor of Russian politics called the internet “addicting” because ” waiting for published journal articles [was] too great a penalty.”

Text 2 Donate

For my class presentation, I decided to look into mobile giving, more commonly known as Text 2 Donate or Text 2 Give.  I work in non-profit fundraising and have heard a lot of buzz about text donations. Many have touted them as the charity wave of the future after the success of Help for Haiti.

So I was curious to find out how Text 2 Donate works. More specifically, I wanted to know how much it costs to implement and the feasibility of using such a program at the organization I work for. These are the types of things I’ll talk about in my presentation this week. In the meantime, feel free to take a look at the PowerPoint presentation I’ve put together:

Think Globally. Be Thankful.

I felt that the afterword of Ben Bagdikian’s book, The Media Monopoly, reads like a socialist manifesto.  While I understand many of his points and agree with him on some things, I don’t think our country has it quite as bad as the picture he paints.  As much as the economic and political landscape of America could improve, I think it’s important for U.S. citizens to keep it all in perspective. 

Sure, there’s a need for increased funding for public schools.  But at least we have public schools to attend – according to UNICEF, there are 121 million school-age children who do not have this privilege.    
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