Archive | Spring ’11 Topics of the Week-COMM4633 RSS feed for this section

A Social Media Class

4 May

Doodled Desks 2 by Tiffany Szerpicki

This Spring, I had yet another opportunity to take one of  Barbara Nixon‘s classes at Southeastern University. Social Media for Public Relations was a very influential class and, just like any public relations class, we  learned about things that were currently happening. The Public Relations field is constantly changing so it makes me feel like I’m learning, studying and working in “real time.”

I am truly going to miss gathering weekly and discussing the latest PR scandal/incident at the beginning of each and every class. I learned a plethora of things in all of Barbara’s classes and would recommend her as a professor to any of my fellow communication majors.

I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Barbara for the awesome influence that she has been to me. I believe that without her having come to Southeastern last year, I would not be as prepared to enter the PR world as I am now. Her classes were challenging and interesting because she truly loves what she does and I believe that she will always love it. And to all of #COMM4633, thanks for the laughs, discussions and learning experiences. I hope that you all “make it big” wherever your path takes you!


Guest Post: Cut your Cable and Keep your Laptops!

29 Apr

Today's guest blogger is Melissa Rodriguez of Florida Southern College.

Cut your Cable and Keep your Laptops! 

How many of you actually pay for cable? Sure I can understand it’s because you need to feed your Dexter addiction, or whatever new show is on HBO. Exactly how many shows can you actually watch for your money through cable?

While some consumers might be ready to cut the cord with their cable companies, and there are lots of reasons for doing so, some might argue that America isn’t, ahem,technologically savvy enough to do so.

“Downloading torrents or NZBs is time consuming and only a small portion of the population actually has the know-how and hardware to do it. Sorry. Cord cutting is a lost cause,” says TechCrunch writer Matt Burns.

However, a Canadian research firm estimated that by 2012 over 2 million households in the United States will turn to web streaming companies/devices for their entertainment and sever their ties with their cable companies.

Netflix is quite aware of this switch from regular TV to on-demand viewing. Last November they added a streaming only plan and experienced a 63% subscriber growth. Most subscribers jump onboard to watch older programming they missed out on when it was first popular. Many older shows like Ally McBeal and My So-Called Life are available on instant play and many movies from Hollywood’s golden era are available for disc rental. Newer content, especially from Warner Bros., takes about a month for Netflix to make it available to consumers.

Still, it’s not a bad replacement for regular cable.

Many college student don’t have the time to sit down and have regularly scheduled meals, much less watch regularly scheduled programming. Even without a Netflix subscription many popular television stations post popular programming on their websites 24 hours after the original piece aired.

Chances are you are not the first person to have a life that doesn’t revolve around primetime viewing. Usually when I actually have time to watch cable the only things to watch are pretty awful choices. If I actually paid for cable I’d be so disappointed that I was paying for constant Teen Mom coverage, NASCAR races, the Bachelor, and The Real Housewives of Wherever. Amazing choices for viewing, right?

Which is why more people are turning to under-the-table downloading to keep up with their favorite shows. Not allowing programming to be viewed on-demand just leads to more sites made for pirating content. It’s not hard to go to Google and type in “(name of show) online viewing,” or “(name of show) episode download” and find links to what you want.

Is having cable completely worth it? Not so much. If you still aren’t brave enough to make the cut completely, I challenge you to freeze your cable subscription for at least two weeks and try to watch everything online. I promise you that by the end of the first week you won’t miss having to wait through endless late night infomercials.

Podcast? What for?

12 Apr

Why should a company consider using podcasts to deliver messages on behalf of their company? Some of the reasons that I see as important are as follows;

1) On-demand streaming
2) Share opinions or have discussions on topics
3) Receive feedback from listeners.

I think that churches should definitely consider having podcasts for churchgoers who aren’t always able to make it out to the service or to the online streaming.  By listening to a church podcast, I think listeners can relate better to the man standing above them and even interact with him via social media or podcast comments.

Public Relations students, or students in any degree, should listen to podcast related to their future career field. If we have access to learning about the topics that professionals in our future industry are talking about/expect us to know about, why aren’t we subscribing and listening to podcasts? I encourage you to download podcasts onto your phone and when you’re in the car and are tired of listening to that same ol’ list of songs on the radio, plug your phone in and learn while you drive!

Below are some of the podcasts that I subscribe to:

Discovery Church Audio Podcast, Orlando, FL

Inside PR

Couch to 5k

Guest Blogger Megan Getter on Widgets & Badges

10 Apr
It’s Guest Blogger Week! Our guest is Megan Getter of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. She is studying Public Relations, Interpersonal Communication as well as minoring in English. Check out her blog, Waves and Ripples!

Widgets, and badges, and more: Oh my!

It’s not as much fun to say as lions, and tigers, and bears, but I’ll explain why they can be more helpful than carnivorous mammals.

lions and tigers and bears 

Image Credit: “Pick me! Pick me!” By captainxo

A few things you should know before we get started…


First, according to Wikipedia, a widget is “a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship (user can edit coding of page).”


I use widgets a lot on this blog. If you look on the right side, each of the different items is a widget enabled by the blog theme. There’s a widget at the bottom of the page too! (See word clouds.)


Second, also according to Wikipedia, a badge is “a small image used on websites to promote web standards, products used in the creation of a web page or product, to indicate a specific content license that is applied to the content or design of a website.”

Think of badges as bling or flair. You can show of all the cool stuff that means something to you.


HTML5 Powered with Connectivity / Realtime, CSS3 / Styling, and Graphics, 3D & Effects

I got this badge off the HTML5 logo creation site. You often have to click on the badge to find out what it means. Maybe you should do that for this one too! ;)


For a company or nonprofit, the use of badges and widgets can come in handy. A company can create a badge or widget for others to display on their website. For donating to a cause, someone could get a “giving badge” to share.

A widget can be created to provide a special service to either clients or potential customers. Think industry news! Or a countdown till the release of a book, movie, or event. People love to display widgets (gadgets for windows) on their desktop and blog, so make sure whatever you create is versatile.

Diigo-A Social Bookmarking Site

25 Mar

I had heard of social bookmarking before but I had never heard of Diigo before. I had only heard of Honestly, I just about confused diigo with digg. But let’s not go off on a tangent. Social Bookmarking is helpful for many reasons but here are a few that I, as a college student, can relate to:

  • Access to your bookmarks from multiple computers:

We no longer have to limit our bookmarks to one computer because with sites like Diigo, one can simply login and find all your bookmarks. It’s probably more organized than any internet browser bookmarking.

  • Ability to share bookmarks

Instead of having to send an email full of different links that you recommend that your friends look at, you can simply send them the link to your Diigo Bookmarks. Here is a link to my Diigo Bookmarks.

  • Ease of Book mark organization via Lists

If you have a set of bookmarks that you want to apply to a particular topic or group of people, make a list for easy sharing

Diigo is beneficial to students working in groups because you can bookmark all of the articles or websites that you are using for research, etc. Students can also benefit from using Diigo when making a presentation. A link to the student’s Diigo profile can help the viewer find the links used in the presentation way easier than any other method.

With that, click here to check my Diigo profile out!


PROpen Mic: The Networking site for PR Students, Faculty, and Pros

19 Mar

PR Open Mic basically serves as a Facebook for public relations students, faculty and professionals. New members are encouraged to add a picture of themselves and invite their friends to join the website as well. On the home page of PR Open Mic, there are recent PR news and one can access videos as well as featured members. There is a section that shows the latest activity of members and there is a list of recent job and internship posts.

By creating a profile on PR Open Mic, college students and recent college graduates are exposing themselves to peers, professionals and potential employers in the public relations career field. PR Open Mic allows students and recent graduates to connect with people they may have gone to school with or those who might become their colleagues.

Since potential employers now tend to Google applicants, PR Open Mic can aid them in finding you and viewing your PR connections, experience, as well as your professionalism and PR work.

I encourage every single public relations student to try PR Open Mic out!

Take a look at my PR Open Mic Profile!

Let’s Play Foursquare!

17 Mar

I’m sure that most of you remember the good ol’ days when we played four square at recess. I remember drawing the squares with a white rock and always calling square number one. But, like most other outdoor activities, children aren’t playing four square anymore. They have switched over to computers or their game console. Just as these children have transitioned, four square has become foursquare. Well, not exactly, but sort of!

Foursquare is a location-based service in which users can “check-in” to the places they go and, if they have added friends, their friends can see where they are. Often, people synchronize their foursquare account with their Facebook and Twitter so that people are alerted of that cool new restaurant that their friend is having dinner at.

Companies can claim their venue on foursquare and alert those who are nearby, or those who check-in, of specials. Here are some examples of specials:

“Free appetizer for every third check-in”

“20% off smoothies when you present this check-in”

“Free drink for the mayor”

Whoever checks in the most to a particular venue becomes the mayor. This is a great way for companies to really get to know their regulars and give them freebies for continually visiting their venue and advertising their visit to their social networks.

Like any other social network, using foursquare can potentially be dangerous for individuals. Since it is a location-based service, people can find out your GPS location almost exactly. Be careful where you check-in! I wouldn’t check-in at “my house” because I would be telling the world where I sleep at night. Also, don’t check-in at potentially dangerous locations when you are alone.