Invisible Children #Kony2012

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know this isn’t something I normally post about, but this is definitely worth talking about.

Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), better known as “the rebels” to Ugandans. Kony and the LRA, abduct, rape and kill children in Uganda, and in many other African countries. He takes children out of their homes, and forces the girls to become sex slaves and the boys to become child soldiers, forced to kill their parents and kill and mutilate innocent people.

This is a man who must be stopped. Jason Russell created a movement called Invisible Children that can help change the world. Through social media and word of mouth, people around the world, especially in the U.S. are getting involved to help raise awareness about Kony and stop him from abducting and killing children. President Obama sent 100 U.S. troops into Uganda to work with the Ugandan Army in finding and stopping Kony.

The only way to make sure the U.S. troops aren’t pulled from Uganda is to make sure Americans don’t lose interest in the cause. How are we going to do this? Keep talking about it! Tweet about it, post it on facebook and Google+, write about it and tell everyone you can. Make sure President Obama doesn’t pull our troops out of Uganda, because if they’re needed anywhere right now, it’s in Africa to stop Kony.

Although there have been some controversial articles about the intentions of Invisible Children, I believe that it’s a cause with good intentions to raise awareness about the issue. Like any other cause some of the money donated will to go to staff salaries, promotion and advertising, but the point here is to raise awareness about Kony, and isn’t that what Invisible Children is doing? Let me be clear, I’m not asking anyone to donate money to Invisible Children, I’m simply asking that we all help to raise awareness about Kony and Invisible Children is doing a good job of doing just that.

Please watch this video and spread the word.



Social Media: It’s All About Strategy

December 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Although social media may be “the new media,” it’s no longer new. It’s been around long enough that simply creating a Facebook or twitter page isn’t necessarily going to get people to click that “like” or “follow” button; you need to be persuasive. Being persuasive in social media is key to getting your message heard, because if you don’t make it worthwhile for someone to click on your page, you’re wasting not only their time, but yours as well.

Being strategic is key. You wouldn’t build a house without blueprints or start a business without a plan, so why would you make a facebook fan page if you don’t have a focused goal? That plan doesn’t have to be as strict as blueprints for a house and, yes, the plan can change as the medium and goal does. But you should always have one main focus. The focus can be to create a community, to raise awareness, to generate a conversation, but whatever it is, make sure it is clear and you understand how you’re going to execute it.

Here are a few tips to help you along the process, with some help from Mashable’s, 6 ways to be more persuasive with social media:

Be Likeable. And no, this doesn’t have anything to do with the “like” button on facebook. Ask yourself, “Do people like me?” Being likable means being genuine and honest, because no one likes a liar. Not only do you need to be honest but you need to be nice too. Watch your tone and make sure you’re interacting with people in a pleasant, polite and sincere manner.

Make people want to listen to you. This means showing off. Have you ever been published? Do you write for a well-known blog? Talk about it. What about building a company or developing software? If you’ve done anything noteworthy, brag about it, but in a tactful manner, of course. Showing that you have been professionally recognized for your achievements proves that you are worth listening to.

Get popular. Make yourself available, but not too available. Creating specific, well known, times to be online for twitter chat or setting deadlines for sales and promotions will help. The more followers and fans you have, the more likely people are going to think, “Well, this person must have something good to say.”

Hopefully these tips and tricks can help you while you start up or revamp your social media pages. If you need any tips on good tools to use feel free to visit a previous post, Social media tools you should be using for personal use, because these tool are good for business, too!

Read this post on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

Hacking at its worst

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Children looking forward to watching the Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel were given a rude awakening when they came across porn, Sunday evening on October 16th. The channel was hacked; all the original videos were taken down and replaced with X rated material, as well as the text and the background changed. The disturbing images were definitely not suitable for children and I’m sure it confused and angered quite a few people. Although the channel was only hacked for 20 minutes, I think many of us would agree that’s far too long on a children’s YouTube Channel.

We can thank Google for the quick discovery, and immediately taking down the site. There are leads on the hackers, however the hacker listed “MrEdxwx” has denied responsibility.

The channel is back up now and to it’s original form. Currently featuring a video on bullying. That just goes to show that if the Sesame Street Channel can be hacked, ANYONES channel can. So, moral of the story, as always, be careful online and keep you passwords and account information protected.

This post can also be read on Marketing Conversation and Business 2 Community.

Is Rebecca Black a social media icon or the downfall of online credibility?

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think we have all heard our elders say, “What is this stuff that you kids call music? In my day we had REAL music!” Well, I think I have finally caught myself sounding like my grandfather…

Rebecca Black, 14, is a pop singer whose music video, “Friday” went viral last March. She is now stating her claim to fame with a semi-new music video, “My Moment.” The song “Friday” received extensive media attention and was deemed to be, “the worst song ever” with more then 160 million views. Countless parodies later, the video was removed from YouTube after a controversy as to who owned the rights to the video.

With the debut of her new single and music video,  “My Moment” receiving more then 17 million views in just one week, is Rebecca Black a new social media icon? Or is Black foreshadowing for the downfall in online credibility?

TNW shows the top 10 YouTube videos of 2010 and a little less than half of them embarrass me to say that they are the top viewed videos last year. Number four especially, Annoying Orange Wazzup, which consists of apples, oranges and bananas saying “whatzzup” at each other with human eyes and mouths, until the apple is cut in half, then they all start screaming. Have we really resorted to letting talking fruit entertain us enough to get 38 million views? The winner with nearly 86 million views is the Bed Intruder Song, which creates a song out of a news broadcast about a woman who was attacked in her bed by an intruder. The song makes fun of what the brother says in the report, essentially coming off as racist and judgmental.

I can’t say that all the top 10 YouTube videos show us a downgrade in online credibility. One, in fact, shocked and amazed me, Greyson Chance, a 12-year-old boy who in the video played the piano and sang the song “Paparazzi,” originally by Lady Gaga. This young boy plays and sings with more passion and talent then many famous artists do. I personally think he may be giving Lady Gaga a run for her money.

Although I’m sure we can all admit to indulging in some sort of ridiculous online video, I think we can at least say that’s not all the web has to offer us. Even though Rebecca Black has obtained her claim to fame through an obnoxious song and music video, her rise to fame could give hope to the people who actually have talent that maybe someday it’ll work for them too. Who knows, maybe 10 years down the road Greyson Chance will get that record deal instead of Rebecca Black.

Read this post on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

Journalism and PR, It’s Time to Start Communicating

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The relationship between the journalist and the Public Relations professional is rocky at best. Neither thinks the other is necessary, both are frequently butting heads.

When you take a step back and look at the scope of the PR and Journalism professions, it becomes obvious that they’re in a far more symbiotic relationship than they realize. PRestige Agency offers some good reasons why:

The PR practitioner saves the journalist a chunk of time in the research process, often presenting ready-made stories on a platter. The journalist can’t take everything the PR rep says at face value, its always necessary to fact check. However, the time that the journalist has been saved is optimal to make the story perfect for any media channel.

On the flip side, the journalist helps PR publicize the message in the most helpful medium for coverage. Unfortunately, not everyone always wants to chat with a PR rep. A savvy journalist is a good friend to have in times like these.

Youtube recently showcased a funny portrayal of the media nemesis’s.  Spoofed from the Mac/PC commercials, the practitioner and the journalist are coached by a counselor to mend a battered friendship. Even though the video pokes fun at both the PR and journalism professions, it also shows that both are necessary for the other to exist.  Journalism- the ying. PR- the yang.

Communication is always key in any relationship. The practitioner needs to understand a journalist’s deadlines, contacting news sources well in advance and always with patience. A journalist needs to be open-minded, acknowledging that a good story can come from anywhere.  In fact, the PR rep on the phone may be the ticket to the newest, hottest story out. Youtube was smart to showcase this issue with humor, an ingredient that’s lacking in today’s relationship recipe. It’s only with clear channels of communication and a few well-timed giggles, that the media world will continue on in harmony.

Read this on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

Piracy and the future of the internet

August 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

With piracy laws continuously developing and expanding, is it possible that YouTube could soon be shut down? Every minute, twenty nine hours of video is uploaded YouTube. Some believe that if you can’t police it, then it should be shut down. Personally, I would rather stream twenty nine hours of video a minute from hundreds of millions of sources than five sources that make the governmental cut.

The history of piracy within U.S. entertainment from Doctorow Video on Copyright and Piracy shares insight on piracy’s evolution:

In the first part of the 20th century, sheet music composers would sell their music to performers. When recording devices were invented the performers then started recording the composer’s music to gain popularity and to make a larger profit. This is when the composers said that what the performers were doing was piracy and that the entertainers couldn’t sell their compositions without permission. The allegations were thrown out the window, just the same as when record labels tried to sue radio stations for broadcasting their music, when broadcasters tried to sue cable companies for selling their shows and when cable companies tried to sue Sony for the VCR because people would record their cable.

Now Sony and the studios are trying to sue the internet for piracy. How is this different than what anyone else has done in the past? It might actually be taken seriously this time.

A year ago, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the launch of “Operation in our Sites,” a program designed to shut down Websites associated with copyright infringement or crimes related to counterfeiting. According to TechDirt, the operation has already seized at least 82 domains.

“Operation in our Sites” is not the only program designed to prevent piracy. Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, the Protect IP Act, (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011), was proposed on May 12, 2011. It is aimed at denying access and linking to Websites encouraging infringing activities, especially those registered outside the United States. The Act has not yet passed. It follows Leahy’s prior attempt, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,which failed to pass in 2010.

With so many attempts to censor the internet, where is it heading? To increase the health of the cultural realm we need to allow more people to participate in the internet and its development. Is blocking specific sites targeting our right for the freedom of information or protecting the rights of the content’s creators? You tell me.

This post was originally written for Marketing conversations.

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