Friday, August 31, 2007

Cyberslacking Anyone?

Ever checked Facebook at your workplace? Sure you have. Think your employers don't know? Think again. A report by CNN Student News reveals that some employers in Great Britain are concerned about the amount of time being spent on social networking sites. "Cyberslacking" is what they are calling it. In addition to routine e-mail checks from family and friends and searches for updated news on the Michael Vick case, people are checking their Facebook and MySpace accounts too. Social networking sites have become so addictive that people simply can not resist checking their accounts while at work. As a frustrated government employee, I can attest to the social networking addiction, as I do not have the luxury of accessing my Facebook account while at work. I once thought restriction would cure me of my addiction, but anxiety only heightens after I check my e-mail and learn that a friend has "replied to a thread" on Facebook. The U.S. Federal Government prohibits access to such sites just as some major companies in the UK have begun to do because they fear employees are wasting all of their time on the Internet. If companies haven't began worrying yet, they may start after reading evidence reporter Chris Choi of ITV News found on Facebook:
I worked 7.5 hours; at least 5 were on Facebook.

I'm supposed to be reading reports for work; here I am on Facebook.
I know how much time Facebook and the like consume. How long do you think it will be before U.S. major companies ban access to these sites or have they already? How much time do you spend on social networking sites while at work? Too much? The report says bosses fear that "raising this issue will just give workers something else to chat about online tomorrow." Well, I'm glad they're catching on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Never Ending Friending

Fox Interactive Media recently released a 68 page study about social media. While this study mainly focuses MySpace (and almost seems like an advertisement at the beginning), it has some important information for PR.

The study discusses how social media users (particularly MySpace users) are discovering -- and building relationships--with brands and products. In fact 4 out of 10 users reported discovering brands through social media. The majority of this discovery occurs through the momentum effect. The momentum effect is when someone posts or blogs about a product and their "friends" read that information and go on to use the product. Therefore, the study recommends companies releasing transferable links, pictures, backgrounds, etc. for consumers to use on their own websites and blogs.

Along the same lines, the study found that what consumers want is "friendonomics." They want companies to treat them like friends. Tell them information that is useful like what specials are occurring or if a new product is released but not to overload them with boring, unimportant information. The tone is also important. It needs to be authentic.

The study held more information that was rather interesting and presented with fun graphics. It even gave profiles of different types of users (go see which one you are!).

video links from class

Here are the various video files we watched today in class:

"i"...Am such a Nerd

I never thought the realization that what we're studying in class would hit me in the face as abruptly as it did tonight. Surprisingly, my Mom told me about a new TV show on ABC called, "i-CAUGHT."

On the show's website, host Bill Weir gives a video definition about what the show's goals are. In text, it says,
We call this new television and Internet experience i-CAUGHT. Because
that's how so many people feel these days. Everywhere you look - cameras -
catching everything: breaking news... making headlines... turning unknowns into
celebrities... turning others into laughing stocks...

And for all the world to see - in an instant. It's video at the speed of life.
Every week, i-CAUGHT brings you the real stories - reporting on the real people -
behind the videos that millions of us watch and share everyday.

I think the show reinforces Americans' perception that we are always being watched, but they profile different videos on different topics every week. From identity theft, to Miss Teen South Carolina, to a guy on an Etch-a-Sketch, they highlight what's hot and how video posting has impacted our culture.

I found it particularly amusing tonight. They guy in the famous, "Numa Numa" video was interviewed, and he gave an unbelievable testimony of how his life has been changed by his stupid, yet hilarious video.

Some of you may already know about this show, but I got really excited when I started watching it. I think I will faithfully be in front of the TV every Tuesday from 9-10 p.m. from now on.

Are we creating a new elite?

As much as we try not to believe it, there are those who live without the constant clicking of the Internet to provide the background music to their lives. Some people are completely unaware of the advances made in social media.

Not everyone has access to the Internet. There are millions of people who are unaware and unable to be aware of all the Internet has to offer. The majority of people who have access to the Internet are in westernized countries. They have the privilege of owning a computer. They understand how to use one. On the other hand, there are those completely tuned out of this new club. They are unaware of the P.C. and we should not even bother asking said people about emerging media like RSS feeds and blogs.

More and more people are plugging in and then plug out because they end up confused with the ridiculous amount of information available. We not only limit ourselves to excluding those with no voice, we unintentionally or not exclude those with weaker voices.

Are we, as the technologically savvy few (with regards to the whole world, we are few), creating an unintentional elite group? Are we limiting ourselves to those with only an Internet accessible voice?

Monday, August 27, 2007

social media abound in grady

And you thought this was the only cool social media class being taught in Grady College at UGA, didn't you? Well, then you seem to have forgotten Dr. Scott Shamp & the New Media Institute.

This class is rather tame compared to Dr. Shamp's class this semester - which is being taught in SecondLife.

That is right. Not on SecondLife, but in SecondLife.

Some of his "classroom rules" ... ummm ... well, they might go without saying in the first life:
“Please don’t sit on the fountain during class. Don’t forget that everyone needs to wear clothes the next time we meet. And, please, try and remember not to fly during class time.”
We're going to be lucky enough to have Dr. Shamp to tell us all about SecondLife in our our class on Sept. 11 - so everyone please don't site on the fountain, wear clothes & avoid flying when he visits us.

bring your book to class!

A little quick note to students - please bring your Cluetrain Manifesto book to class tomorrow so we can talk about about the reading!