Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Closing Blog

This blog will remain as a body of work during my undergraduate enrollment in Internet and Social Media for PR, an upper-level division Communication class at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

Thanks to everyone who has followed and read this blog!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gearing Up for SXSW '09

Sorry for the total lack of posts as of late. Senior year is proving to be the busiest of them all. Right now, I am getting ready for South By Southwest which officially starts for me Thursday, March 12. I am volunteering 60+ hours this year and could not be more excited!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @seuchristine for all the latest on me and my experiences! Feel free to respond to this entry with your Twitter information so I can follow you, too. For now, with me being so busy, micro-blogging is where it's at! Gotta love it.

To everyone who is partaking in SXSW '09: have an amazing time, enjoy everything this beautiful city (Austin, Texas) has to offer and don't forget to tweet!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The New and Improved Sidekick 2008

New year, new phone. So as of two days ago, this is my new lifeline.
The Sidekick 2008 by Danger through T-Mobile.

I have been a loyal Sidekick owner for about five years now (the Sidekick 2 & 3) and I have to say this is my favorite model, by far. The Sidekick 2008 has a number of improvements compared to older models. The camera has been upgraded to 2 megapixels which makes a huge difference compared to it's 1.2 megapixels on previous models. The Sidekick now comes with video recording capability. Also picture messaging is finally an integral part of the device, something which had been missing for so long! The overall display is crisp and gorgeous. The phone itself is much smaller and light weight than the Sidekick 3. This is great compared to the more bulky Sidekick 3 & LX versions, although you can tell the screen is just a bit smaller in certain applications such as the month view in the Organizer. But I really have no other complaints!

Although, I must say there is one huge drawback with Sidekicks when it comes to ringtones.. they are impossible to create on your own. (VERY FRUSTRATING!) Users must pay for each and every ringtone they plan to use on their device from the T-Mobile Sidekick catalog. The catalog itself does not have the best selection and truly is a pain to search through. Each ringtone costs a whopping $2.49 each and the sound quality is pretty terrible.

In the end, I do find this lack of ringtone creativity to be extremely annoying but it's worth putting up with for the overall ease of the Sidekick. Truth be told, I am a texting machine. After using the Sidekick for so long I am clearly spoiled when it comes to phones and their attempts at QWERTY keyboards and the like. Even though, the phone itself is smaller and the keyboard has been reduced in size, I still find it just as easy to use as previous models. Love it!

I should also mention that the speaking and hearing quality of the Sidekick 2008 is way better than before. I have always had a difficult time being heard and clearly understood from my end of the line and vice versa, but with the 2008 model this is no longer an issue.

The Sidekick 2008 is also the ultimate fashion accessory when it comes to phones. Users are able to customize the outside of their phones by using customizable shells, you can even create your very own by using your own pictures and art work at http://sidekickshells.skinit.com/. Sidekicks also come with customizable themes on the phone display itself, one of my favorite features of these phones.

Danger continues to put their best foot forward when it comes to their phones. I recently learned something new while speaking with a T-Mobile representative that these phones were originally geared towards those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Interesting fact.

I am very happy with my new Sidekick and I encourage all those interested in a cheaper data plan alternative to the iPhone and Blackberry to check out the Sidekick... you may just be surprised!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to the new year!

Happy 2009!
May this year be our best yet.
Best wishes to you and yours.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Closing time?

The close of the semester has brought the end to a great class for which this blog was initially created for, but I have good news! I will be continuing to blog here but the subject matter will be much more open now, not just about the wondrous and exciting world of social media and PR. I just wanted to thank everyone who has read my blog posts and contributed comments over the course of the semester.

FYI - You may begin to notice some changes to the blog over the course of the next few days.

Revamp coming soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Web Video Class Project

Please enjoy my first attempt at making a web video!

The creative idea behind this video is just a peek at what great pets you can adopt from the humane society as opposed to supporting pet shops which are known to use horrible puppy mills. These animals really need homes and the love and care of a good owner and home. This video hopes to motivate people who are looking for a new pet to adopt from their local humane society and change the life of an animal for the better.

I used Jumpcut to make this video. Also I shot some of the photos of the animals at the Houston Humane Society and the others were obtained online. The song used in this video is Paramore's cover of "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I just came across this great presentation on maximizing your blog's exposure.

"This presentation, originally given at the SixApart Business Blogging Seminar in November, 2006 offers ideas for using the emerging concept of SMO to market and promote your blog."

I found it interesting as to how SMO (Social Media Optimization) is now coined as a legitimate term in the industry. The term was invented by Rohit Bhargava, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy & Marketing at Ogilvy PR Worldwide. His 5 rules for SMO are:

1. Increase your linkability
2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
3. Reward inbound links
4. Help your content travel
5. Encourage the mashup
6. Get communities connected

Post Election Facebook Status Updates

This past Tuesday marked a historical moment in all of American history. Senator Barack Obama won the race for the 2008 President Elect position. Chances are if you took a peek at your Facebook friends' status updates post election you may have encountered some surprising responses. I know in my news feed I saw a number of anti-Obama comments like "oh no, the socialist won - time to move to Canada or Europe" and that's no where near the worst of it.

We've been discussing the campaigns, the candidates, and the election in every one of our classes to the point that many of us are tired of hearing about it but people are still going to have things to say. Facebook is a place where people know they can sound off. I do feel as though everyone should have the right to voice their opinions whether it be via their Facebook or elsewhere. I found this editorial on Jezebel which brings up some interesting points on the aftermath of post election facebook status updates.

Status updates, the Facebook method of broadcasting one's thoughts or mood out to the world, became filled with hateful rhetoric, putting some Facebook users in an incredibly awkward position: "Do I de-friend this person?" "Do I engage this person?" And perhaps the most puzzling question of all, "How did I become friends with this person in the first place?"
- hortense of Jezebel

So what's a Facebook friend to do? If you really feel so inclined to de-friend someone because their political views may not match up to yours, then do so. But if not, just realize that all social media is an open forum for people of all different ways of thinking to interact and join in on the conversation, especially of such important issues as our next President.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Xbox to Blame for Boy's Death

In one of my latest blog entries, I talked about social media addictions amongst young people. This entry will be a continuation of that general topic.

It was just released that a young boy was found dead in Canada as a result of not being able to play his
Xbox. This is yet another example of how social media is becoming so addicting to the young people of generation z/c that very negative things are happening.

15 year old boy, Brandon Crisp, ran away from home on October 14th because his dad took away his XBox. He had been addicted to and obsessed with playing the online game Call of Duty 4. What's really interesting is that once Microsoft, Xbox creators, heard of Crisp missing; they offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could find him. Sadly, his body was found Wednesday by hunters.

In an interview with the media, Brandon's dad admitted that he had no idea how important this game console was and that he would react in such a way.

"This had become his identity, and I didn't realize how in-depth this was until I took his Xbox away," Mr Crisp told the Globe and Mail. "That's like cutting his legs off."

"This is such an issue that hits every parent out there, with video games that are starting to control our kids' lives," he said.

"I just took away his identity, so I can understand why he got so mad and took off. Before, I couldn't understand why he was taking off for taking his game away."

I was doing a little MySpace snooping while researching this story and I found this MySpace page entitled "RIP - Brandon Crisp". It's disturbing because it is mimicking the child's death. It was found that Crisp likely froze to death and the MySpace page is decorated with a layout that has falling snowflakes and its latest mood is set to "cold". The "about me" section reads: Brandon Crisp was a xbox player who loved to play "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare," and when his parents decided to take his Xbox , Brandon was just following his dad's orders when he was told to "go chill out."

"In the east of Canada, born and raised, On the Xbox was where I spent most of my days. Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' with the door locked, All shootin' some Iraqis in CoD4.

When a couple of parents who were up to no good, Started making trouble up in ma hood. We got in one little fight and my mom got scared, She said, "We're movin' your Xbox 360 downstairs!"

I begged and pleaded with her for a day, But she packed up the console and sent me on my way. With no Iraqis to kill and no clan wars ma' guild, I left the house and said, "Imma' die irl."

I looked for my bike and when I came near, The tire was flat and it was missing a gear. If anything I could say that this bike was rare, But I thought, "Nah forget it" - "Yo homes get out of there!"

I pulled up to the road over 9000 or 8, And I yelled to my 'rents, "Yo hommes, smell ya later!" I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there... To die in the field, as the Prince of CoD4."

It is VERY disturbing that this MySpace page was just created today, November 7th. I speculate that it was made by one of Crisp's peers and fellow Xbox players. The page also has an active chatroom embedded into it which has many young users participating. After observing the chat for awhile I saw comments like "I played with Brandon. He didn't deserve to die like that," as well as other general discussions about parents taking away xbox consoles and playing Call of Duty. The MySpace page also has disturbing photos like the one posted below of Brandon being photoshopped.

I think this page should be taken down immediately by MySpace. It's horrible that someone is out there making a total mockery of this poor kid's death. This page is so inappropriate and so disrespectful to the boy and his family. It's really unfortunate that parents are not paying sufficient attention to how obsessed their children are becoming with such social media as online gaming. Like Autumn Eadows, Brandon Crisp formed an identity online. He had somewhere to go and feel as though he belonged and when that was taken away from him he decided to take matters into his own hands. These type of addictions are becoming more prevelent amongst young people. It's important that parents begin to closely monitor their children's usage and not let them become out of touch with reality.

11-8-08 Update: http://www.myspace.com/ripbrandoncrisp has since been deleted by MySpace.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hulu Hits High Numbers

The free video sharing website, Hulu, has prooved to be a big social media success. Hulu was launched just over a year ago, in August 2007. Neilson Online has reported that the website had over 142 streams in the month of September, it's highest numbers yet.

Hulu not only lets you watch free movies and tv shows, but also has kept up with Election 08' footage. Obama's acceptance speech and McCain's concession speech were posted immediately after the live delivery, courtesy of MSNBC. Hulu also provided much of the debates and other commentary in their coverage.

Hulu is supported by advertisements which media buyers are definitely paying attention to. Web TV Wire reports that currently 93% of Hulu users are content with the amount of advertising they see while using the website. This is good news for Hulu now, but the number of ads will surely continue to increase. I surely hope it's not a matter of time before ads take over this website, too.

Websites like Hulu are changing the way we watch entertainment. Along with other media devices such as digital video recorders, which allow us to record programs on television and watch them later, as well as give us the ability to fast forward through advertisements, social media is changing everything. You don't even need to own a television set to "watch tv" anymore. If you have a computer, a high speed Internet connection, and a good screen and speakers.. you are good to go.

I have to say that I absolutely love Hulu. It's great to be able to watch entire seasons of shows and movies that I haven't seen yet at no cost to me. The advertisements don't bother me at this point, but like I said earlier, I hope they don't increase too badly as the website begins to become more and more popular.

Do you think a website like Hulu can ever hit YouTube status?