Category Archives: Assignments

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? :)


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

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.”

Thursday is the New Black Friday

I was 17 years old the first time I ventured out for Black Friday. I wanted to buy my mom a pair of ruby earrings for Christmas and Kmart was selling them for 75% off from 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.

Groggy from a lack of sleep, I rolled out of bed that morning and left the house long before the sun came up.  It was bitterly cold outside, but there wasn’t enough time to warm up the engine of my 1984 Buick Century — the nearest Kmart was 20 minutes away and I wanted to be there when they opened.
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The Ties That Bind

Open-ended questions for Week 8:

  1. In a recent article in The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell argued that “activism associated with social media…[is] built around weak ties,” and that “weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism.” In what ways do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  2. How do you think digital media has impacted your relationships with people in your life, particularly your family members and closest friends?

Social Networking 3.0 — Myspace/Facebook Collaboration

According to The Telegraph, Myspace recently announced that they will be including Facebook Connect as part of their redesign efforts.  This means that Facebook users will now be able to log into their Myspace accounts using their Facebook I.D. and password.  It’s a truce in the metaphorical war between the two social networking giants, with Myspace finally conceding to Facebook.  Is it too late for Myspace?  Will Facebook Connect save them from becoming obsolete?  Stay tuned!