Sunday, May 1, 2011

Now It's Time to Say Goodbye...

As my college graduation looms I have come to the realization that my life is about to get very busy. While I have greatly enjoyed writing for this blog, it is also a class project and something that I realize will probably get left my the wayside after graduation. Knowing that this is a likely outcome I have decided that I will leave this blog as it is and use it as an example of my writing ability.

For those who have taken the time to read this, especially those people who are not my classmates, thank you. I really have enjoyed writing it and hopefully you have enjoyed reading it.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Microblogging Revisited

In Chapter 8 of Brian Solis's book Engage, discusses what Brian calls "personal broadcast systems (PBSs)"  or networks that are also known as microblogs and microcommunities among other names. Casual social media users may not recognize what those terms actually mean. When describing PBSs Solis says they are a "unique culture of dialogue organized around short bursts of updates and the responses and corresponding voices and personalities behind them." The keywords here that might spark a light blub is the phrase "short bursts of updates". Did you think of Twitter? If you did, good job! That is most definitely a type of microblog, but while it is probably the most popular, its not the only one. In this post I will be discussing 2 of my favorite lesser known microblogging platforms, Dailybooth and Tumblr.  

One microblog social media site I recently found and love is Dailybooth. Are you into photography? have a camera with you at all times? Heard of the 365 project and always wanted to do it? Dailybooth is just for you.

Dailybooth's tagline is "your life in pictures".  The premise is that you take pictures of yourself, your world, whatever you want and post them. People can comment on your picutres, respond to you about them with a picture of their own, and basically just converse usually through the medium of pictures.  Its similar to Twitter in that you can respond using @username, follow people, and have people follow you. Like Facebook you can Like things and message people. The similarities may make it seem like the same old thing, but don't worry the similarities just make figuring the network out very easy and intuitive, while the focus on photography make is one of a kind.

A few DB users showing their love
If my feelings for Dailybooth can be described as love, then in comparison I have developed an obsession with Tumblr. The way I describe Tumblr to others is as something in between blogger and twitter. You have no character limit so you can type as much as you want but unlike blogs you don't really feel the need to sit down and really write a whole lot. Like dailybooth much of tumblr posts are pictures but you can post so much more.

The picture above is of the top of a tumblr "dashboard." Your dashboard is your home page and those buttons are what you click to post things. As shown by the images you can post a whole slew of things. As with Twitter you can follow people and then reblog (twitter term = retweet) things you like. As with facebook you can also "like" posts. A girl I follow on tumblr, thedisneyhipster, really described tumblr pretty in a recent response to a question. She said" Ok best way I can describe tumblr... If you go on Facebook, it's a bunch of people you know in real life talking about things you don't care about. Tumblr is a bunch of people you don't know talking about things you love!"

I can't even begin to explain all of the awesome things that make up Tumblr. You can tag things, track other tags, queue of posts, ask people questions, and many other things. And those are just the features of the site. Tumblr offers the ability to tap into close knit communities and follow things you love. It can be just a fun pastime or just another way to communicate to publics. An example of connecting can be seen in PR briefs by Caron Sjober which is a blog with PR tips and tidbits. 

Tumblr is a really amazing website and I highly recommend it to everyone. Unfortunately by talking about Tumblr here I am breaking Tumblr rule #1. Oops?


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Please Scan Here: QR Codes

While reading up on business cards for my Personal Learning Network project I came across the idea of putting QR codes on your business card. I have to confess that as a consequence of not having a smartphone,  I had very little idea as to what a QR code is. All I knew is that you could scan them and you could receive information through them kind of like a barcode. I have researched them much more since I read that initial tip about putting them on your business cards and I must say, I am highly impressed.

If there is anyone else out there who like me doesn't know what a QR code is here is a quick explanation. Basically a QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a square barcode that unlike barcodes can be read from any angle and can contain a whole lot more information. QR codes can encode a variety of information and can direct someone to a website, prompt them to add a vcard (basically a contact information card) to your contacts list, send an email or text message, or simply just display text. QR codes can be scanned by any smartphone or camera phone and read via a QR reader. QR codes are traditionally black and white but people are beginning to create them with colors and designs. One of the best aspects of QR codes and one that makes them much different from barcodes is that they have built in error correction ability. If a code is damaged by dirt or wear and tear it can still be read. That means the QR codes are not only really useful, they are reliable too.

Its probable that even if you have no idea what a QR code is, you have probably seen them before be it in magazines or advertisements. It has great potential for advertisers but I think it has even greater potential as a way for entertainment and lifestyle companies to connect with the public. I even found a recent example of this in Disney and their Star Wars themed attraction Star Tours. Star tours has been undergoing an upgrade for the first time in its history that will change the whole ride and is set to reopen at the end of May. Not surprisingly there is a huge amount of anticipation from both Disney Parks fans as well as the massive and rabid Star Wars fan base. My friend Paul Chadkin, who I have previously blogged about, recently retweeted a picture of a poster about Star Tours 2 which included a QR code. The poster, as you can see in the link, said that the QR code would unlock details about the attraction. The QR code then took you to a special website where you could explore the new aspects of the ride.

To me this is an absolutely excellent example of how QR codes can be used. I am sure there are more examples of QR codes being used in entertainment, but I couldn't think of any. Do you know of any entertainment or lifestyle companies who have used QR codes? If so, please share them with me!

Unfortunately while QR codes are widely used in countries like Japan and South Korea, they have been slow to take off in the west. I hope that they become more widely used because I think they have amazing potential.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Social Media: Friend, Foe, or Both?

Have you ever had the experience of settling into your couch for a nice night of TV, popcorn, and PJs only to have your phone light up with notifications from Twitter and Facebook of what your friends are doing. You see that your friends are out at a concert for a local band or enjoying dinner a a fancy restaurant and you find that your night in doesn't seem quite as awesome as it did before you looked at your phone. That slight feeling of disappointment you may end up feeling is known as "Fear of Missing Out" or  FOMO.

"Feel Like a Wallflower? Maybe It’s Your Facebook Wall" is an article by the New York Times writer Jenna Wortham discussing FOMO and the darker side of social media. The vast majority of people really only think about the good things that come of social media and smart phones that link us to our preferred networks. This article is really interesting because it takes a look at one of the downfalls of social media and our cultures constantly plugged in state.

I will be the first to admit that in the big scheme of things FOMO isn't a huge downfall. Its not really life threatening or a deal breaker for most people. But it is an annoying negative of social media that I think a lot of people experience. Social media allows us a greater degree of access to our friends lives and as a result can lead to feeling that our life is a bit inadequate in comparison. I know that I have seen pictures of friends European vacations and had moments of jealousy and sadness becuase a trip abroad is something I have never been able to do. I have seen status updates from friends who are out together doing something fun and had FOMO moments. If I have had these experiences and I don't even have a smart phone which is constantly with me and updating me all the time about what my friends are doing, I can only imagine what it would be like for someone who does have a smartphone.

While I am sure most people will extol the benefits of social media and smartphones that all instant access to their favored networks, I wonder what negatives people would find if they really took a look at their wired lives. Does social media cheapen our relationships and prolong some relationships that are really empty shells? Does social media provide us with some many options of what to do that it paralyzes us with indecision? Is social media in addition to other technologies making our society a more ADD/ADHD filled place? These are all questions that I do not have answers for and I am not sure that anyone does. But I do think that thinking about these and other questions like them is a important way to take a look at the downside of our hyper connected world.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dailybooth: Microblogging for the Photographer In Everyone

In Chapter 8 of Brian Solis's book Engage, discusses what Brian calls "personal broadcast systems (PBSs)"  or networks that are also known as microblogs and microcommunities among other names. Casual social media users may not recognize what those terms actually mean. When describing PBSs Solis says they are a "unique culture of dialogue organized around short bursts of updates and the responses and corresponding voices and personalities behind them." The keywords here that might spark a light blub is the phrase "short bursts of updates". Did you think of Twitter? If you did, good job! That is most definitely a type of microblog, but while it is probably the most popular, its not the only one.

One microblog social media site I recently found and love is Dailybooth. Are you into photography? have a camera with you at all times? Heard of the 365 project and always wanted to do it? Dailybooth is just for you.

Dailybooth's tagline is "your life in pictures".  The premise is that you take pictures of yourself, your world, whatever you want and post them. People can comment on your picutres, respond to you about them with a picture of their own, and basically just converse usually through the medium of pictures.  Its similar to Twitter in that you can respond using @username, follow people, and have people follow you. Like Facebook you can Like things and message people. The similarities may make it seem like the same old thing, but don't worry the similarities just make figuring the network out very easy and intuitive, while the focus on photography make is one of a kind.
A few DB users showing their love


ThinkGeek Pranksters Strike Again

Everyone loves April Fools Day and so it is no surprise that some of our favorite website joined in on the fun and pulled some pranks of their own. As reported in the article "Shock! Media Actually Comes Up With Decent April Fool’s Jokes" by Adweek some of the websites that jumped in on the fun included Google, Linkedin, Hulu, and Groupon. There are many more websites that attempted to prank visitors that didn't make Adweek's list, including my favorite ThinkGeek.

Since 2001, every April 1st ThinkGeek's front page promotes gag products. This year's round of joke products included a Playmobil Apple Store Playset, Angry Bird pork rinds, am edible Gummy iPhone cover, Minecraft USB Nether Portal, and my personal favorite Star Wars Lightsaber Popsicle. Some of these products are more obviously unreal such as the Minecraft Nether Portal while others such as the Star Wars Lightsaber Popsicles seem completely plausible. The best part about ThinkGeek's April Fools prank is if you really like the product, you can let them know.

Past year's joke products have made it into real production because they were so popular. An example is the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag which is yet another Star Wars product that recreates the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke has to sleep in the belly of a Tauntaun to prevent freezing to death.
Even though joke products are an annual event for ThinkGeek, I personally think they are still quite amusing. Its always fun to see what new wacky things they will come up with. If you want to see all of this year's joke products (as well as some from previous years) visit ThinkGeek.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yesterday was Thursday, Today is Friday

Unless you live under a rock (or simply avoid media of all types) I am sure by now you have heard of Rebecca Black and her song "Friday." In the last few weeks, Rebecca and her song have exploded due in large part to social media. Unfortunately the explosion seems to be one of disgust rather than excitement.

Mashable has a great post about Rebecca Black which gives an overview of how she became so popular. Tosh.0 linked to the video under a post entited “Songwriting Isn’t for Everyone.” After that the flood gates opened. I found out about it on Tumblr when the song was ridiculed via classic tumblr memes such as the forever alone guy.

The video for friday has received an incredible number of views, but the ratio of "likes" to "dislikes" is quite skewed. Rebecca also started a twitter account to talk with her fans, but I wonder how many of her 66,604 followers are there because they are fans and how many are there because they want a front row seat to watch the "car crash".  Rebecca Black is definitely a youtube and social media sensation right now, but unfortunately for her it is more due to the hilarity of her musical attempts than to any real talent.

To end this post, I will leave you with this lovely little video explaining Rebecca's viral success.


The Great Equalizer

Chapter 3 of Brian Solis's book Engage opens with the statement "social media is the great equalizer." The idea that social media is the great equalizer is a underlying concept for many arguments about social media today or at least is an underlying concept for many of the arguments made in my Social Media for PR class.  I think it is an important idea but it is one I have yet to talk about here. That little lapse will be solved today.

So what is meant by the statement that social media is the great equalizer? It basically means that social media has put power in the hands of the consumer. Before social media, there was a "top down" form of communication between business and consumers in which businesses said things and consumers listened. Communication wasn't really a two way street. Social media changed that and made it so small consumers could talk to big companies as well as other consumers.

When explained that way the idea of social media as a great equalizer sounds very scholarly and not applicable at all to real life. In reality people use social media as an equalizer all the time. When you purchase a product, say a TV, it dies within a year of purchase, and you go online to leave a review about it, your using social media as an equalizer.

This past Wednesday I had some friends, Christine and Melinda, who used Twitter and Facebook to express their discontent with a company named Whrrl who had a contest to give away 2 Audis during SXSW. They were upset that no one ended up winning those 2 Audis but they were lead to believe that someone would. The girls tweeted Whrrl and Whrrl responded through tweets and email. Christine and Melinda used social media to start a conversation with Whrrl and although the problem wasn't solved, they were at least able to talk directly to the company.

I sometimes think that most of the public thinks of social media as just a way to have fun and connect with others. I think that the idea that it can be used to connect with companies and express either positive or negative feelings about them often gets lost. Hopefully after reading this you will know not to write social media off as just frivolous fun, it can be useful business communication tool as well.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Personal Branding for Disney Fans

In the past week I have been researching Personal Branding for a project for school. Its a concept that in great part has come about with the emergence of the internet and the rise of social media. In case you don't know what personal branding is, its basically the concept of making yourself a brand and marketing yourself and your skills. For example, Coca-Cola is a brand owned by the Coca-Cola company. For personal branding think of yourself as Coca-Cola the company and your personality and skills as Coca-Cola (the drink) which you have to market to the public.

While I was researching this topic I kept trying to think of someone I knew that had done this successfully. At first I couldn't really think of anyone, but then I remembered a friend I had met while working at Disney. His name is Paul Chadkin, a Disney World cast member, and he has been quite successful at branding himself as your go-to Disney Parks information hub.

When it comes to personal branding, social media is your friend. Once you find your niche and decide how you want to market yourself, social media is one of the best ways to start connecting with others and getting your name out there. Paul has done this incredibly well. He has a presence on twitter and posts regularly with updates about what is going on in the Disney Parks. As a cast member, Paul has the ability to go to cast previews and hear "backstage" information which many other Disney Parks "tipsters" aren't able to do. Paul has an parks update report, called the D-Report, which he posts on his blog as well as on Disney discussion boards. In addition to his own report he also guest writes for other well known Disney fan sites such as

The fact that Paul has 727 twitter followers and is on 71 lists shows me that he successfully created a presence for himself in the very crowded Disney fandom universe. Personal branding, a concept and process which can seem very vague can really work. Paul's success, to me, proves it. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Disney College Program Live Blogging Event

Will be live blogging from the Disney College Program's live presentation at the University of Texas on 3/1 at 5:00 pm central.

Update (3/2 9:30am) Technical issues (no internet access or cell signal) meant I couldn't live blog yesterday's presentation. However I am going to try again today!

Update (3/2 1:15 pm): Thanks to everyone who participated! I had a great time live blogging the event. If you want to see the transcript of the event just click the replay button in the box below.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

When Tweets Invades...

While browsing through Barnes and Noble today I discovered some very interesting books. What made these books so interesting was that they were written entirely using emails, texts, and tweets. I realize that sounds completely confusing so the books themselves will be helpful.
The first book I came across was Save As Draft. If you were able to flip this book over the first thing on the back you would read would be this:
"Are we Facebook friends yet? I’m the wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer who lives her life online. (Don’t we all these days?)"
I feel like that gives a pretty good feel for the book. Its about a girl living her life in a social media filled world. When addressing the length of the book a reviewer on Amazon by the name of April Braswell said that "Please know and be relieved by the fact that it is a series of emails, complete with amusing email headers, enriched by a smattering of SMS text messages and tweets on twitter."

 The other book I found was Goodnight Tweetheart. This one I feel is a little more self explanatory than the other book. Both the title and the nice little caption on the front "A Love Story in 140 Characters or Less" make it pretty obvious that this story has Twitter at its heart. The descripton on the back of the book ends with "Told almost entirely in tweets and DMs, Goodnight Tweetheart is a truly modern take on a classic tale of love and loss—a Griffin and Sabine for the Twitter generation." It is about a woman, an author, living in a modern world filled with social media who uses Twitter to get over her writers block. She also happens to find romance as well.

What I find most interesting about these books is not only the  role social media and specifically Twitter plays in the plot but also more importantly the role they play in the writing of the book. I was absolutely amazed that there are books now that are written entirely in tweets. To me it just shows how much Twitter and social media have permeated out culture. Now these books are definitely not classics in the making. If there is a genre of books that fits with chick flicks these books would belong to that genre. Even though they are not classics the fact that years from now when Twitter, texts, and email are outdated someone will be able to pick up these books and see what a big part of our lives these technologies were is something I find very cool. I am apt to believe that this style of writing is just a fad. I seriously doubt this style of writing will take over but the fact that there is not one but two books written this way definitely says something. I guess the question is what exactly does it say?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Influencers- Who are they?

This past week in class we discussed the concept of Influencers and specifically who they are, why they are important, and how to find them. 
Influencers is a new word for a really simple concept. Influencers are people that you follow that seem to be ahead of the curve. When they say something, you listen. These people tend to have a lot of followers.  I'm sure we can all think of at least one person that would fit this description. However an Influencer is more than just someone who is ahead of the curve and popular. According to the article Unveiling the New Influencers by Brian Solis they are also good listeners. They not only are followed by a lot of people, they follow a lot of people in return. Influencers are masters in a certain area, they know what they are talking about.  Influencers aren't just hyperconnected nobodies. They are people who have a voice, have expertise, and listen just as much as they speak.

Now that we who these people are, the question of why they are important may arise. Well, its quite simple. If as a company you can connect with them, they can become an incredibly useful tool in both finding out with the public is saying and communicating with that public. Communication today is not what it once was. People refuse to simply wait to be fed a message, they have opinions and they are going to share them. Influencers can act as a pulse for the public and a link to talk directly to them.

It is obvious now that Influencers are important and that companies should seek them out. But how can they be found. You need to find those people that talk, listen, and are connected. That is not a quick process. Luckliy there are programs to help you in your search several of which are mentioned in Solis's article. They make the process a lot easier but they can't finish the work for you. You need to constantly monitor for new Influencers and make sure the ones you have found are still relevant. Its an ongoing process but its a fruitful one.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Socially Connected Disney Characters

It seems that I have a knack for discovering the more odd Twitter users. In this case, it happens to relate to Disney, which as I have mentioned before, I am quite the fan of.

Not surprisingly The Walt Disney Company is quite the social media user. I am sure I will blog about them again, not only because I love the company, but becuase they offer such a plethora of social media things to talk about. That isn't really the point of this post though. The point of this post is to talk about how they even have characters from their movies interacting with fans via social media.

I haven't poked around to see how many Disney characters have Twitter accounts, but I do know that all of the main characters from the latest Disney animated film Tangled have accounts. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, its based on the Rapunzel fairytale but of course has its own Disney spin. The characters that have accounts include leading lady Rapunzel, her faithful chameleon companion Pascal, the leading man Flynn, Rapunzel's mother Gothel, the city guard horse Maximus, and the Thugs from the Fluffy Duckling.

I think that the characters having Twitter accounts and connecting with fans is a really great idea. Some tweet more than others but in general they have a good follower/following ratio. Pascal is my personal favorite of the bunch. I greatly enjoy reading his tweets and it definitely reminds me of the movie whenever I read them. I'm sure when it gets closer to the DVD release, they will tweet about that to remind fans.

While I think the Twitter accounts definitely work for these characters I wonder if other non animated film characters could pull something like that off. I'm not sure it would work as well, but I would definitely be interested to see someone try it. Any thoughts? Do you think something like that would work?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't die on me Delicious!

Back in December various web-savvy media outlets reported that Yahoo! had announced internally that it would be closing the social bookmarking website Delicious. I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what social bookmarking or Delicious was before this past week. However after discovering what social bookmarking and Delicious are, I clearly see the incredible benefits that they offer.

When most people think of bookmarking they think of just clicking that local bookmark button in whatever web browser they are using. Social Bookmarking is revolutionary concept. Instead of having your bookmarks saved to just your computer, they are accessible anywhere because they are saved to a website like Delicious. You can then tag your bookmarks and organize them by subject (or any other way you choose) and most importantly never have to worry about your computer crashing and loosing all of your bookmarks.

Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web wrote an article entitled R.I.P. Delicious: You Were So Beautiful to Me which discussed some of the other less obvious ways that social bookmarking sites like Delicious can be used. Among other uses Kirkpatrick mentioned using Delicious as a type of search engine. I really wish I had known about this concept before my last semester in college. Through the use of tags you can see what websites people have found that offer useful or interesting information about a given subject. I can imagine how useful this would be for writing papers and creating presentations.

I see Delicious as an incredibly useful website. I have already begun using it and definitely will continue to in the future. Kirkpatrick's article featured an update that reported that Yahoo! doesn't plan to close Delicious but to sell it. I can only hope this is true. Otherwise my new found love might be short lived.

Update (4/27): Delicious is safe!! Yahoo! announced today that the founders of YouTube Chad Hurley and Steven Chen have aquired Delicious. You can read more about the switch here


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Superbowl 45 Seat Fiasco

When you were watching the Superbowl this past Sunday did you perhaps notice a swath of empty seats like the ones in the picture below?

It wouldn't be surprising if you didn't see the empty considering that they were in the "nose-bleed" section. Given the fact that it was the Superbowl you might wonder why those seats were empty you can rest assured that it wasn't because fans did want to sit in them. In fact fans bought tickets to sit in those seats but unfortunately were turned away. The Huffington Post has a article that explains the situation but the short explanation is that there were problems with the instillation of the temporary seats that were unable to be fixed and lead to fans being turned away the day of the game. While about 2000 fans were effected by the issues with the seats only 400 were left completely out in the cold while the other 1,600 were either placed in other seats or stood in the standing room only areas of Cowboy Stadium.

The idea of fans being turned away from the biggest football game of the year when they paid for travel, lodging, and tickets is absolutely incredible. Its also a huge PR nightmare. Understandably fans, both directly affected by the seat fiasco and not, are angry. In fact they are so angry that the affected fans have filed a lawsuit against the NFL. Fans have also taken to Twitter and other social media sites to express their anger.

The NFL has also taken to Twitter to talk fans, especially those effected by the seat issues, and to explain what they have done for those effected. Brian McCarthy is the NFL's PR guy on Twitter. He has been keeping twitter updated on what the NFL is doing for effected fans by posting links to press releases as well as tweeting and direct messaging fans. Overall it seems like the NFL is doing a great job in using Twitter to keep fans informed and prevent what could have been a massive nightmare from blowing up in their face.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

How does social media effect activisim?

In the past 2 weeks the unrest in Egypt has become a topic that the world, or at least the world's major media outlets, is talking about. The current situation in Egypt has highlighted several issues that face the internet but the one that I will focus on here is how social media effects activisim.

This past October, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article entitled "Small Changes" for the The New Yorker which addressed this topic. If one had to guess what this article said without reading it, they might say that this article probably raved about how social media has made activism easier, more widespread, and much more accessible. In actuality, the article essentially said the opposite, that while social media can produce activism it is much more limited and is not as effective as traditional face to face activism.

Throughout the article Gladwell uses the civil rights movement as a historical example of activism to compare current social media driven activism to. In comparing the civil rights movement to current social media driven activism Gladwell notes that "Activism that challenges the status quo—that attacks deeply rooted problems—is not for the faint of heart" and that this type of truly challenging activism requires strong ties to the source of the activism. In this article, Gladwell expresses his belief that social media such as Facebook and Twitter do not produce the strong ties necessary for truly challenging activism. He says that they produce loose ties which create networks, but not the strong hierarchy that serious activism requires.

I find that I agree with Gladwell in his belief that social media does not produce the type of environment necessary for activism that changes big problems. If you think of the number of people you are friends with on Facebook, how many would you actually count as having a real bond with and how many would just be labeled as acquaintances? If you lived during a time period that had a social issue like segregation would you really go protest with an acquaintance just becuase they asked you? And if you did would you be willing to endure the hardships that civil rights activists did?

I think that most people couldn't respond yes to all of those. I know that I wouldn't. I think that social media can definitely serve a purpose within activism in that it is a great way to communicate with the general public. But as a single source of activism it is rather ineffective. Joining a group to save Darfur on Facebook really doesn't do much to actually save Darfur. If you actually want to save Darfur your going to have to do something more than just join a group. Sometimes I think social media activism is just a way for my generation to achieve a certain "look" without having to actually do anything. 

So how do you think social media effects activism? Is it a great tool, the next big thing, a fad, or perhaps something else?


Monday, January 31, 2011

Social Media/PR Internships

For the most part, anyone who has met me in person quickly comes to know that I love all things Disney. I spent the spring semester of 2010 working at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida on the Disney College Program. It was an experience I absolutely loved and I fully intend on going back to Orlando after I graduate and doing another internship. This second time around though, I plan on doing what is called a Professional Internship.

Professional Internships at Disney are internships that rather than a College Program internship where you could be working at an attraction like It's A Small World, you can work in actual business departments of the Parks and Resorts segment of the Walt Disney Company. The list of internship positions available for the Fall 2011 semester went up today and I am practically drooling over some of the amazing communication positions available.

Out of all of the communication positions 6 specifically list PR or public affairs and about 3 mention social media in the title. My particular favorite is the "Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Social Media & Marketing Intern." I am positive that all of these positions, but especially the Fairytale weddings position, will  have incredibly competitive application pools.

The reason I am posting about these internships is to show that large companies like Disney are increasingly starting to use social media to connect with the public. These internship postings say to me that my interest in social media in relation to PR is justified. Hopefully this social media in PR class will give me an advantage if and when I apply for internships similar to the ones posted right now. At least, I can hope it will.


In case anyone would like to go look at the list of Communication related Disney Professional Internships the link can be found here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Barbie Tweets?

Did anyone know that Barbie has a Twitter? She does. And turns out her former boyfriend Ken has one too.
They even tweet each other!
While browsing Yahoo! news today I came across an article about Ken's mission to win Barbie back by Valentines day. I thought it was interesting and made a guess that Mattel had probably set up some sort of account on at least one of the major social media websites for Barbie. Through a little Twitter search I discovered that in addition to the Facebook page mentioned in the Yahoo article, both Ken and Barbie have Twitter accounts.

While both Barbie and Ken seem to have fairly active accounts with 1,359 and 324 tweets respectively I am curious as to who Mattel is seeking to connect with by using Twitter. I would think Mattel would want Barbie to connect with the audience that primarily plays with her, little girls. I will be the first to admit I am not really into Twitter and as such I have no idea what the primary age of the users is. However I really can't believe that the little 6 year old girls who I imagine play with Barbie are on Twitter.

So that again leads to the question of who is Mattel seeking to connect with? The general public? Adults who have the ability to purchase a Barbie for the children in their lives? That is my guess, but I would love to hear other thoughts too. Who do you think Mattel is trying to reach?


Update: Barbie said yes! So it's official, Barbie and Ken are back together. Mattel even made special commemorative dolls to mark the occasion. I found them in Walmart recently.

 The front and back of the box.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Well Hello There!

I always feel that when starting a blog, its a good idea to introduce yourself. I'm sure everyone likes to know a bit about the person behind the computer screen.

My name is Marion and I am currently a Senior at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. I am majoring in Communication with a concentration in Advertising, Public Relations, and Media Arts. This blog is a product of a class that I am enrolled in this semester called "Social Media for PR." I will be posting several times a week with at least one of the posts discussing the readings from the class. We have 2 books that we are using for this class are Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff and Engage by Brian Solis.

At first I had a hard time deciding what this blog should be about but I recently decided that it should be focused on something that I am actually interested in. Something I am definitely interested in is the Entertainment and Lifestyle industries. By this I mean obvious things like films and music but also things like amusement parks and toys. Things that entertain us and are fun. This blog will look at these industries and examine how they use social media to communicate with and engage the public.