FacebookTwitter

College Students Declaring Majors in Social Media

By on Dec 27, 2012 in Twitter |

It’s no stretch to say that the internet is changing the world faster than any prior invention in history. It has managed to break down borders and create a truly international world, where anyone anywhere with a device and an internet connection can follow the news, watch videos and check out life in faraway lands. And thanks to social media, people can interact with each other from across those same distances in seconds. People spend more time in relationship online than in person these days. The postcard or catch up letter has been replaced by Facebook stalking, as friends, families and former classmates can now discretely hop online and discover the intimate details of a life. And Twitter is swiftly becoming the go-to breaking news source for the world. All you need to do is check out the volume of tweets that are posted during major political, social and sports events to see that this is the case. So while it may sound silly, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that ‘Social Media’ is about to become a college major. Newberry College in the small South Carolina town of the same name may be the first four-year university to offer such a major. But while the idea of becoming an accredited expert in Tumblr or Pinterest sounds a bit ridiculous, according to members of the university staff this major will not be a cakewalk. Associate Professor Tania Sosiak of Newberry College spoke to the local Fox network WACH, and broke this new discipline down. Apparently, the Social Media major will incorporate elements of communications, marketing, statistics, graphic design, business and psychology. And if you think about it, those disparate disciplines do come together to make up this billion dollar industry. So what type of future will this major actually lead to? While not all Social Media graduates can expect to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, the Newberry College staff hope this exciting curriculum will encourage some kids to stay in school who otherwise are on the bubble. In fact, one thing Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have in common is that both brilliant students dropped out of Harvard to run their businesses. Even Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple left college early. Universities need to change with the times, and Newberry College is hoping a modern major will encourage more kids to stick it out and get their degrees. The problem is there seems to be more and more incentive not to complete school these days. First off, college is more expensive then ever before. Grants and scholarships are harder to come by, and mountains of student loan debt burden most graduates for decades after they leave college. Today’s internet-savvy youth see these trends, and also see that the recession economy doesn’t automatically reward a hard-working college graduate with a job. So why should you take on that sort of debt if it doesn’t even lead to a career? In addition there are all of the aforementioned tech geniuses who did it without a diploma. If the Social Media major is aimed at the same types of thinkers, you could have some serious push back. And other entrepreneurs are pouring fuel on the fire. Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal is actually offering $100,000 to students who win a contest, as long as they drop out of school and use it to start a business. How can a major with questionable future application compete with that? You’ve also got internet classes being offered by for profit and not for profit organizations, RN to MSN programs online for those who want to shoot through school with a practical skill set and heavy competition from foreign programs looking to lure our best and brightest with cheaper tuitions. It’s a complicated problem, and a major focused on Social Media probably isn’t the...

Twitter CEO Promises Downloadable Tweets Archive

By on Dec 3, 2012 in Twitter |

Twitter is certainly one of those things that has taken the world by storm — a true example of something that really puts the “phenomenon” in the term “social media phenomenon.” It’s sites like Twitter and Facebook that have put that new term on the map, and with good reason. In particular, the relatively recently-developed “microblogging” service turned out to be the very first of its kind. Social media has undergone a pretty rapid evolution over the last several years. What started with Friendster and Myspace has now gotten to the point where those of us born after a certain point in time don’t even remember those words anymore. Trends have risen and fallen within a single decade, and it’s become something of an interesting spectator sport to see how long the public will entertain the next “big thing.” Social media seems to be a niche that’s replete with the next big thing, and the social media titans Twitter and Facebook seem to have wound up being the biggest of the next big things. While Facebook’s Zuckerberg has been no stranger to the public eye, those behind the curtain at Twitter are a little less outspoken. Nevertheless, Twitter’s CEO has made some news recently, and it’s another development that’s got people talking. Twitter has evolved to the point where just about everyone is on it. Once you join, it’s not long before your feed is essentially “full” (though no such thing really exists) — it doesn’t take more than just a few users before your home feed is endlessly scrolling down as the additions of countless users flood in. Especially for those who consider themselves “power users,” Twitter can be an incredible influx of information — it’s easy for something to get lost. For this reason, the Twitter CEO’s recent announcement has been of particular note. Dick Costolo has announced that users will be able to download the entire history of their tweets by the end of the year 2012. As this is essentially the third time this year that he’s made this claim, many are expecting he’ll actually follow through, given that there’s so precious few weeks left in the actual year. Why does this excite as many people as it does? To those of us not intimately familiar with Twitter, it might seem a little baffling. Maybe it’s posterity, or maybe it’s because you want to document tweets for a study, or maybe it’s because you’d like a record of everything you ever tweeted for a bizarre art installation. Whatever the case may be, the ability to download your entire Twitter history will soon be added to the Twitter tools already available on the site. Costolo has yet to reveal any specifics about when this will roll out, but one can imagine that these details will come within the next month or so. It’s exciting to see what types of new developments Twitter offers its users, and one can only hope that something equally as interesting will follow this...

Study Shows Integrating Twitter Into College Courses Increases Engagement

By on Oct 23, 2012 in Twitter |

Social media website Twitter may be relatively young when it comes to corporate histories. But the platform that allows people around the world to connect through 140 character messages has somehow managed to revolutionize communication. Many people now get their news entirely from Twitter. They follow their favorite celebrities, share inside jokes with friends, and even watch revolutionary movements on other continents in action. And according to a study released by a research team from Michigan State University, Twitter is also becoming an entirely original learning tool. The MSU study was spearheaded by Benjamin Gleason and Christine Greenhow of the College of Education. The team looked at existing research to see if social networking sites like Twitter and the use of microblogging on the part of students while actually in school would impact student engagement. The findings, which have just been published in a research journal put out by the Educational Forum, determined that college courses that find ways to integrate Twitter usage showed improved interaction across the board, both between students and from students to teachers. What Twitter seemed to bring to the table is a stronger connection to what a student reads, as well as a real ownership over what he writes. Chances are it is due at least in part to the massive public forum Twitter represents. Students are often encouraged to tweet directly to authors they read while in school. And some classrooms integrate Twitter more deeply into the course of events, with all of the students’ Twitter accounts projected live onto a screen in the front of the room. It’s a fantastic way to get students interacting, especially for those who would never get up and ask a question. Everyone can contribute, and the professor can see how ideas are spreading through the class. It focuses the conversation and exposes informational gaps that need to be filled. It’s an encouraging trend, and a close look at the numbers proves that Twitter and social networking in general are here to stay. During MSU’s research program, they found that Twitter usage by American teenagers has doubled just over the last two years. Currently, over 200 million active Twitter users post upwards of 175 million tweets each and every day. While the total membership may not yet be in Facebook’s ten-figure zone, there’s no denying that Twitter has a larger impact on the real world. Live-Tweeting has become a phenomenon, evidenced by the enormous activity posted to the site during this year’s Democratic and Republican conventions and the national debates. And when it comes to education, students now have the opportunity to engage directly with the most impressive minds alive. Imagine reading a book in school, asking the author a question directly and then actually getting a response? It is truly a game changer. Of course, Twitter is a very different thing to everyone who uses it. People who follow comedy stars or athletes will have one experience that folks following Nobel-winning authors will never understand. And those who have cracked the Twitter ‘code’ of hashtags, mentions and retweets learn and grow with the site in ways the uninitiated can only dream of, even if they have an MBA marketing...

Seattle Hospital to Tweet and Instagram First Hearing Restoration Surgery

By on Oct 10, 2012 in Twitter |

Technology has had a striking impact on a great many of our modern endeavors. Breakthroughs in sustainable energy have now made it possible to drive a car that gets more than one hundred miles per gallon. 3D cameras give filmmakers the chance to immerse their audience in a movie, and HDTV manufacturers have brought that process into the home. Medical procedures that used to take months of recovery can now be executed with a simple office visit due to microsurgery and laser scalpels. And today, technological innovations in medicine are paring up with social media to create awareness on a massive scale. On October 2nd, the process of helping 79-year-old Eleanor Day recover her hearing after five years of complete silence will be covered live and in full detail on Twitter and Instagram. The hearing restoration surgery is taking place first thing in the morning at Seattle, Washington’s Swedish Medical Center. Drew Symonds, a member of the support staff from the center’s communications department will handle the social aspect, while Dr. Douglas Backous, department head for the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery will perform the operation. It’s an incredible opportunity for the world to receive commentary and photography during the whole process, and the medical staff hopes it will raise awareness for this new surgical procedure and the overall issue of hearing loss. The procedure Ms. Day will go through is called cochlear implant surgery. It’s fairly new but completely safe. The surgical team implants an electrode in the patient’s inner ear, designed to stimulate the delicate nerves that are damaged when hearing is impaired. While many people are considered strong candidates for the elective procedure, only 10% of them end up going through the actual process. Part of the issue is expense, but the major problem is awareness. Dr. Backous feels that opening up an operation to the world through Instagram and Twitter might be able to bridge that awareness gap. While most social networkers are fairly young, if additional millions knew this surgery was possible they would then share it with the older generations in their lives that could most benefit. The documentation of the cochlear implant surgery will be thorough. They will start the social media outreach when Ms.Day arrives to prepare for the procedure, and continue it straight through to when she settles into the recovery room. The surgical team will even take magnified pictures of her inner ear during the process and post them as well. The surgery isn’t very bloody, and the entire event will be over in about an hour and a half. Ms. Day has been struggling with hearing loss for the better part of twenty years, though she has only been considered completely deaf for the last five years. Her condition does not respond to hearing aids, so this surgery is really her only chance to regain the lost sense. When queried as to her reasons for participating, Ms. Day said she really hopes to hear her family speak and be able to interact with her church community once again. She had never heard of Twitter or Instagram, but once it was all explained to her she was thrilled to be a part of such an important, visible operation. The success of the surgery will not be immediately apparent. Her ears must be allowed to heal, and the implant won’t be turned on for the first time until the 14th of this month. But if you’re more than casually interested in the process or are working on a masters health care administration you should tune in for a detailed live chat with the surgical team on the 10th. You can find additional information through the hospital’s website, at...

Brand Pages for Business with Twitter – the Way to Go

By on Dec 22, 2011 in Twitter |

Twitter has finally announced the introduction of ‘Brand Pages’! This is great news for businesses looking to boost their online profiles and connect with customers, however it’s a kick in the teeth for the likes of Facebook and Google +. Enhanced profile pages: These new brand pages are all part of the enhanced profile options that are featured on the new version of Twitter. Great for helping you to take your brand to the next level and communicate more effectively with your target audience. Twitter is now one of the most effective ways for people to communicate and stay in touch with the latest news, trends and promotions. If you have a new product or you want to let your customers know about any special events for your business then Twitter is a great place to generate interest. Your followers will be instantly updated with any new Tweets you feature on your brand page. Followers will also be able to visit your brand page and find out more about who you are and what you do. With the new enhanced profile pages, it is now possible to use larger header images. This in itself is a very welcome addition and will assist greatly when displaying your business logo, brand colours, tagline and key sales message. These spaces are fully customisable so you can make sure your brand stands out from the crowd at a glance. Setting up a brand page on Twitter is free. With over 250 million members, you really can’t afford to ignore the possibilities. Target your tweets: The promoted tweet at the top of your brand page will also appear in auto-expand. This means that any photo or video link attachment can be seen instantly. Helping to create even more impact for your top tweet. Top brand names are already making use of the new Twitter brand pages. Check out Coca Cola, Dell, Disney, American Express, Subway, Chevrolet, Nike and more. Charity Tweets: As well as promoting the big brand names the Twitter team also appear to have a social conscience. The team have ensured that Twitter also offers lots of free promotional tools for non-profit organisations and charities. Twitter have unveiled a worthy ‘Ads for Good’ programme. This offers free advertising for charities and non-profit organisations. This includes enhanced profile pages and advertising for top organisations such as the Red Cross, Gaffta and Room to Read. Also included in this programme are special grants to help organizations on Twitter’s home turf in San Francisco. Twit’s definitely the way to go! Matt is Head of Search for Electric Dialogue, a London-based SEO Agency.  He writes on a broad range of topics, including: social media, SEO, travel and airport lounges (for one of his clients) and about his favourite steak restaurants in London! This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...

Twitter’s Recent Redesign – What Changed?

By on Dec 22, 2011 in Twitter |

“The times they are a changing.” Of course, Bob Dylan had no idea that those changes would come in the form of easier to use websites. However, many sites are beginning to understand the value of easy to use interfaces. Take Twitter, for example, the company recently redesigned it’s website in hopes that people would begin to use the site more often than third-party applications. If you’re in the dark, let’s take a closer look at what’s changed with Twitter’s recent redesign. SimplicitySome users of Twitter would claim that the website was never difficult to use, but it’s plain to see that many users were using third-party applications because of their ease of use. Whether or not Twitter was really in need of a makeover is beside the point. The changes will definitely streamline the website making it easier for current and new users to take advantage of the social networking site. Users logging into Twitter will soon see three tabs at the top of the screen: Home (for a list of Tweets), Connect (shows Tweets the member’s name was mentioned in) and Discover (shows a list of trending topics). Users will now be able to find exactly what they want without any guesswork. BrandingAnother major change in Twitter’s redesign is the addition of branding pages, which many experts are saying is very similar to Facebook. With the new branding pages companies will have the ability to create large banners at the top of their Twitter page that contain the company’s logo. Companies will also have the ability to select which Tweet is featured first and there will be the ability to separate the company’s messages from those were other users mention the company. Mobile AppsSo that as many users as possible can take advantage of the latest redesign, Twitter has released updated versions of the iPhone and Android Apps. In fact, app users will be able to see the changes before those that use the website version of Twitter. Those interested should download the new apps so that they can get used to the changes that will soon be available on the website. Twitter’s redesign will certainly be easier to use, but it’s plain to see that the biggest change is how companies will be able to market their products. Regardless, many users would say that it’s about time that Twitter joined mainstream social networking and made their site easier and more enjoyable to use. About the Author: Thuy Bohrn loves studying social media and its impact on networking and business. He is a computer geek who loves working on PST repair, hard drive recovery, and any complicated task you can throw his way. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for...