Week 6 Readings

I think I’ll begin with an analysis of how our photo a day assignment has helped me. I have begun to notice little things all the time that I think would look really good when shot from this angle or that one. I take notice of what is going on around me because I know I’ll have to have something interesting to show for my day and that has made me realize that there are hundreds of amazing things to look at all the time. I have voiced this opinion before that I dislike Tumblr but I understand why you are having us use it, because that is also teaching me how to deal with frustrating technology. I hope that I’m beginning to improve upon my photography itself- that is yet to be determined…. But regardless it has given me more of an understanding of the possible issues I could have with social sites and apps and if I ever help to make or design one I can have some input.

On to McAdams advice, most of which I have tried to put into practice. The rule of thirds is so amazing and I wish someone would have told me about it years ago! Actually I take that back, someone did mention it but the explanation was so off base I had no idea what the hell the thirds actually were- yay google! Anywho, the composition of your photo and the way you use your body to position the camera are so important. I have gotten to the point that when I see photographs on instagram or facebook that are taken with no eye to detail I cringe. It’s not fair for me to do so since I have been guilty of the same crime but no one ever said life was fair…

I really enjoyed reading Buttry’s post, although it definitely wasn’t necessary to tell me since I have a cyber closet saved on Pinterest that I like to shop from whenever I have a bit of extra cash (which is never) and I also collect recipes and home design ideas from places like Home Goods and Better Homes and Gardens. He mentioned pets and there is a really great use for Pinterest when it comes to shelter animals. Since it is such a visual medium, and people are more likely to pay attention to pictures of animals than written posts or ads, shelters and rescue organizations are using it to spread the news of which animals they have and what they look like. C’mon, you see a picture of a dog doing the shelter dog eyes (you know what I’m talkin about) and you’re headed to the car to make a mistake before anyone can tell you no.

For my blog, which centers around my passions for gender equity and extreme nerdiness, photos can be very useful. Pictures are worth a thousand words… that was super corny but completely true so I get a pass…. If I see an interesting photo then I know I am ten times more likely to investigate further. However, I need to start finding the right kind of pictures. I’m having trouble really figuring out what I’m trying to show and I think it is holding me back. I need to just go out there and see what there is for inspiration, it’s on my to-do list. If I can hone these skills then I definitely see my blog becoming more user friendly and drawing some traffic. I think that PR professionals could use Pinterest as an aggregation of infographics, advice, ideas that they would like to pursue in the future, even creating a board for each campaign they are involved in and organizing the content on that to explain things to their followers.

So the really interesting thing about Shirky’s text this week was that earlier today I was binge watching a show called The Good Wife. The last episode was completely about the prisoners dilemma! It was a couple (of six months) that was brought in for questioning and then put into two separate rooms. Both were assured that they had to inform on the other or go to jail and that they had better hurry because the other person was about to talk as they spoke. The entire episode the lawyers to each person were urging them to turn on each other and not face 20 years in prison, but they never did. In the end, the boyfriend confessed to the crime, although it was she who had pulled the trigger (to protect him). This is a perfect illustration of the innate trust we have in people. We trust the government to protect us (hopefully Robin doesn’t read this), we trust that as we pass under a green light everyone else is following ┬áthe rules of the road, the girlfriend trusted her significant other not to turn her in. I like that he brings up Meetup, I think it is one of the most amazing (and FREE) tools citizens have at our fingertips. If I need help understanding photography skills, I can post on the Memphis Digital Photography Groups page and get some help. If I’m feeling particularly pale from a long winter of couch surfing and netflix binges, I can check out what the Memphis Outdoor Adventures group has to offer. Talk about social capital! People are not connecting the way that they used to, that is true, but I laugh at anyone who tells me that people are more disconnected than ever. That is an excuse from people who do not like to accept change. We are so connected in ways that my parents couldn’t have imagined when they were my age and it is beautiful. I can meet people who truly share my passions and whom I can have strong and interesting conversation with- that would have been impossible just 20 years ago.

The world is changing and many people are afraid of it. That is what needs to change, the outlook that many people have on how social media creates cheap relationships, because they just don’t see it for what it truly is- the center of a big ass web.

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Week 5 Readings

When I was reading through Betancourt’s 10 Rules for Increasing Community Engagement, it amazed me how useful it is to what I’m working on right now. Meeman 901 Strategies, the student run PR firm of which I am the director of visual media, has been tasked with discerning new ways of driving people to donate to MLGW’s Plus-1 campaign. A charity that they have run for longer than I have been alive and yet so many have no idea what it is. So our idea was to brand the Plus-1 campaign with visuals and personal content and to spread the word through social media. We came up with the idea to post a call to action for anyone contributing to or receiving aid from the program to post photos of themselves holding up one finger and using the hashtag #Iamplus1. MLGW really liked our idea but after meeting with them several times it has become apparent that they are unsure how to direct this community driven effort. So now with this article I have some rich information to process and present new ideas to the board. By making the site more easily navigated and adding calls to action people will be more likely to join, interacting with the conversation will make contributors feel more involved, and profiling the people who are involved in aid will foster more involvement.

I have no affinity for Twitter, I know that is a huge weakness and am trying to work on it, but that is the hard truth. I have difficulty keeping up with the pace of things and remembering to stay on task with my direction so that I can begin to build a following. I will admit that this article is helpful, but the few chats that I’ve tried to do haven’t ended well. I kind of sit there with a helpless feeling as tweet upon tweet refresh on my feed and I feel like I have nothing to offer… I will continue to try to be more involved in order to practice my interaction skills.

As I have said many times in class, I attribute some of my crazy nerdiness to the fact that I am able to connect with so many different networks in order to organize people of similar passions. I would never have been able to walk around asking random people in the City of Memphis if they were Whovians or Potterheads…. instead I have the amazing powers of social media and online organization. Shirky describes the way people became so invested in changing the Catholic church because they were offered the outlet to do it easily and with people of similar ideas. In the same way a mass of dedicated Sci-Fi fans made it possible for a little, one season show called Firefly to be made into a blockbuster movie. When the show was cancelled after one season by Fox, the fans were furious. Here was this amazing storyline mixture of space and old westerns with a helping of Chinese swear words that so many grew to love over 14 episodes that was suddenly cancelled. No wrap-up, no explanation, people were slavering for an end to the tale. And so the fans took it upon themselves to write emails, sign petitions, donate money, tell people what they wanted, and it worked. Serenity was a full scale, action packed Universal movie put out in 2005 that told the end of the story. The community engagement from the fandom was the only reason this happened, in fact a documentary was made chronicling the events and applauding the people who worked so hard and Done the Impossible.