Author Archives: alanaelyse

Belmont Seniors: What’s Next?

Brenna Mader and Alana Kreegel spoke with Belmont seniors, asking them what they planned on doing after graduating. We wanted to see  if/how the economy is affecting their plans.

Below is a video I found on YouTube, discussing the challenges college graduates are facing in this economy.

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Twitter: Does “Fast News” Threaten Our Sense of Morality?

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Pete Cashmore tweeted about this story on cnn.com.
The article states that according to scientists, receiving rapid news from sources such as Twitter, might numb our sense of morality and make us indifferent to human suffering.
Below are a few excerpts from the article, explaining what some scientists believe to be consequences of using tools like Twitter to get your news:

New findings show that the streams of information provided by social networking sites are too fast for the brain’s “moral compass” to process and could harm young people’s emotional development.

Before the brain can fully digest the anguish and suffering of a story, it is being bombarded by the next news bulletin or the latest Twitter update, according to a University of Southern California study.

“If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people’s psychological states and that would have implications for your morality,” said researcher Mary Helen Immordino-Yang.

I can agree with these scientists to a certain extent, but the research does not take into account the fact that many “tweets” are links to more in depth stories, allowing the user to take more time, if desired, to absorb and digest the information. Tweets regarding hard news stories, in particular, do seem to link to full stories the majority of the time.
One thing researchers must take into consideration is that there are many options as far as where people can get their news, and people will consume the stories that most interest them. On the other hand, with all the options out there, we cannot make people consume or even care about stories they are not interested in, regardless of how important they may be.
So…are we being desensitized by “fast news?” Pete Cashmore clearly does not think so. What do you think?

Would You Pay For Facebook?

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Pete Cashmore posted this article examining Facebook’s business plan and the possibility of the website charging for a “premium” membership in the future.
Facebook continues to uphold the notion that advertising, their current source of revenue, will remain their primary source of revenue. However, when asked if they would entertain the idea of charging fees for a premium membership, Facebook authorities seemed to avoid a clear answer to the question.
Here is chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg’s answer to the question:

SANDBERG: The answer is no, we are not planning on charging a basic fee for our basic services. Once again, that question stems from people thinking we’re growing so quickly we’re running out of money. We’re growing really quickly, but we can finance that growth. We’re not going to charge for our basic services.

Seems as though they are leaving the door open on the idea of a premium membership option. Do you think think this could be successful? What Facebook features, if any, would you be willing to pay for? Are there any additional features you would like to see Facebook add?

Below is a chart that shows what Facebook members use the website for the most.
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Notice that browsing profiles and pictures is the most popular Facebook activity by far. Facebook says they would never charge for “basic use” so would a premium membership be profitable right now?

OneRiot Launches Search Tool for Twitter

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The website OneRiot has launched a search tool for Twitter users. While Twitter already had a search tool that allowed users to search what was being tweeted about in real time, the OneRiot Twitter Search allows users to search for the websites that are being tweeted about in real time.
Here is an excerpt from the full article:

OneRiot’s CEO Kimbal Musk explains, “We’re indexing all the links being shared on Twitter in real-time and allowing users to specifically search for the content that matters most to the Twitter community right now.”

What OneRiot is doing is important because it demonstrates two social media trends that are proving to be successful in drawing audiences: aggregation and personalization.
It seems that many content providers are realizing that content aggregation plays a huge role in attracting an audience. Why? Because people want what’s convenient. They don’t want to have to search for their information. If you can organize valuable content in a way that is easily accessible, people will be more likely to come to you as a source of information.
Here is an article on socialmediatoday.com explains how content aggregation can be used as a social media marketing tool.

Twitter, oh Twitter…

Just for fun…

Apparently Jennifer Aniston did not appreciate John Mayer’s constant tweeting.

John & Jen!

To find out how social networking supposedly ended their relationship, click here!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

An article I read written by Sarah Evans describes what social media users in the business world should and should not do in order to maintain a well respected online presence.

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How to not be consumed by twitter…

I am sure this article is supposed to be helpful and informative, but I’m not going to lie…it makes me laugh a little. The article, by Tim Ferriss, offers in depth tips to avoid letting Twitter consume your life. OK, I exaggerate… kind of…but have we really come to the point where we need to seek help for our social media addictions? I know, it is not uncommon for procrastinating college students to check their Facebook pages several times a day, but this article ends by saying “remember, unless you work at Twitter, you probably have a job or a family that’s more important.” You think??

On a better note, it does include tips for the avid tweeter, on how to be more efficient when using the social media tool.