My Smartphone Is NOT My Life

Personal Post:

nomophobia_0

I think we can all agree that the advance of technology has changed our lives. Some say technology has changed our lives for the better, and some will say otherwise, but it’s hard to hate something that makes our lives a little easier…. okay, maybe a lot.

My phone shattered on concrete two months ago, but I’d only gotten the smartphone in the beginning of the year. You would think the disconnection with the world wouldn’t be so bad because I was used to the older brick phones with sliding QWERTY boards and no wifi. My parents aren’t the type to go out and buy the latest gadgets, so I patiently waited until my ancient phone’s contact expired before finally indulging in a new toy. Technically, I was okay with not having a phone because neither do I like texting, nor am I crazy about Facebook and Instagram to care. Nonetheless, I was also shocked at how absolutely vital my phone had quickly become in my life. My mother complained every day until I got a new phone because she worried when I couldn’t text/call her to let her know where I was or what I was doing. My dad complained because he sometimes sends me documents through an app for me to skim through a proofread which I could no longer do. My 17-year-old sister complained that she couldn’t send me silly snapchats during class while my boyfriend developed a strong dislike for my unfortunate inability of letting him know when plans changed last minute.

Even though I was content with not having a phone, it seemed to cause greater distress for everyone else in my life. We have all become so dependent on our devices that we expect all our friends and family to be just a beep away when we need them. I personally liked not having to reply to meaningless texts or having the distraction of my Twitter feed at my fingertips during lecture… it was nice taking a break from technology and living outside the social media world for a little bit, but you better believe I missed it!

I am notorious for getting lost, so the GPS app on my phone is a lifesaver at least 4 out of 7 days a week. I tend to jot down thoughts or mental memos as I go about my day so I can remember them later, so the “Notes” widget on my phone is extremely helpful when it comes time to scribble a news pitch or something interesting that I heard. Oh, and the camera… it broke my heart a few times when I would reach into my back pocket to grab my phone and snap a quick picture because I love documenting everything in my life! If there is one thing that technology has done right, it is the invention of the camera on smartphones. I believe pictures are priceless, so when you think “oh that’s cool” or “that’s hilarious”….. take a picture! Pictures will be all we have left from the past.

Hype-Ur-Bubble Down A Notch

 

 

 

 

Because it’s not that great…

hyper

An example of a bad website, in my opinion as I’m sure you will also agree, is the website called Hyperbubble. The website is designed to promote the band “Hyperbubble” but clearly has not grasped the idea of text. The whole site is fixated on memes/images and even relies on them to announce performance gigs… not that you could even find it through the list of options.

Hyperbubble uses a Mystery Meat Navigation (MMN) and multiple pages that contain MMN to prevent users from ever finding actual content. Viewers must blindly click through the 13+ links before finding something profound to read about the band. There was recently 2 pages of symbols before browsers could even find the real page, but luckily that has been somewhat improved. Now there is nothing on the main page but links… so I think the owners of this site need to find a balance. It’s a shame that folks who want to share their musical talents hide their work from the audience due to their lack of basic knowledge on websites.

Don’t be Hyperbubble and go to Lynda.com for tutorials on just about ANYTHING! Enjoy :)

20101004 CNN frontpage

My favorite news site would be CNN.com because the content for the website is organized and updated frequently so I am guaranteed the read/watch the latest news going on in the world. I especially like the sub-categories along the left side of the site with a list of the latest news, top stories, opinion pieces and a list of stories that might have been missed the first time around. Even a little over a year ago, this page was a little overwhelming because all the lists and categories looked cluttered, but it has incorporated thumbnails and videos to ease viewers through all the information.

There are a few other websites I turn to when I’m browsing for news, but many are reporting on more and more sensationalized content rather than “news.” Sorry, but I could care less about where Miley Cyrus was twerking over the weekend or what color Kim Kardashian dyed her hair. Sometimes I don’t mind reading about TV gossip, but not on sites that are generally intended for news.

 

 

Making Social [ME]dia About ME

social

With this day in time, social media has become a large part of our daily lives. Did you know that social networking sites are the top news source for 27.8% of Americans? That ranks a smidge below newspapers at 28.8% and above radio and print publications. In our spare time, if we’re not browsing the pictures on Instagram, we’re probably scrolling through our Twitter feed or entertaining ourselves with the hundreds of short videos on Vine. It’s become so vital to young lives that 10% of people younger than 25 years old respond to social media and text messages during sex…. now that’s ridiculous! It’s not necessarily a bad thing if journalists utilize the time spent on their social media websites to develop valuable sources. According to a post on Mediashift.org, Roland Legrand says that having sources on our social networks make it possible to build extended networks, search for story ideas, build contacts and dig up information. However, even more important, they help to build up the relationship between the individual journalist and the people formerly known as the audience.

Along with maintaining conversation in your social networks, quality-feedback and reader-created content can enhance reporting. People who would ordinarily be outside of these groups, yet may have a deep knowledge or unique perspective, can contribute their thoughts under a new light. With these improved digital contributions, reporters can not only make their storytelling richer but also establish loyalty. By media outlets expanding their open communication with fans and followers, they can get an idea of what audiences prefer and dislike because social networking sites spread information faster than any other media. Over 50% of people learn about breaking news from their social media accounts. Due to this shift in attaining information, law enforcement professionals say that social media helps solves crimes more quickly. I guess we see this more and more with each tragedy that happens, such as the Boston Bomber.

Tweet Tweet Tweet, what’s Twitter?

twitter

I’m not obsessed with Twitter or anything, but I sure do like to scroll through the news feed when I’m bored. There are more than 200 million active users worldwide and more than 500 million tweets sent to the platform every day. A majority of Twitter users are active through their mobile devices. The country with the most Twitter users with 35.5 million is China… yes, they’ve beat us in yet another category…

It is a platform where users can share anything they want on their Twitter accounts that they are willing to share with their followers (or with the world if their account is not set to private). Viewers of the tweets are given the option to ‘favorite’ the tweets they like, which is similar to the like feature on Facebook, or ‘retweet’ it onto their Twitter feeds for their own followers to see. Once again, these features depend on the privacy settings of the person whose Tweet is being viewed. Lastly, there is the infamous #hashtag which has the world going nuts. I would explain the redundancy and annoyance of hashtags…. but I’ll just let Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon do all the talking below. Enjoy!

You Don’t Need To Google This..

wpid-photo-jan-14-2013-1115-am

Everyone knows what Google is, but did you know that it was named after the word “goo-gol” which is the number 10 raised to the power 100. When written in numerical form, it is number 1 followed by 100 zeros. With all those zeros, it’s not hard to believe that Google is just about Apple with a net worth of $200 billion! Every day, the search engine answers more than 100 billion questions from people all around the world in 181 countries.

Of those 100 billion questions, 15% of the questions are asked for the first time. When it comes to typing it in, keep in mind that every word does not have to be typed in order to pull the best possible results. For example, “dimensions and weight of the 2010 macbook air” works just as well as if someone types “dimensions weight 2010 macbook air.”

I have an Android and absolutely love all the features that Google products entail. With that being said, I have used Google Docs, Google+ Hangout, Google voice and etc under various circumstances. I’m currently using Google Docs for a group assignment in one of my classes where all members of the group can sign onto their gmail account and work on one document from different locations. Google Voice gives you one number for all your phones which the option of specifying ringtones based on who is calling.

Overall, Google products are emerging left and right….. if you’re not already familiar with everything Google has to offer, you should definitely look into it! After all, there are Google operated sunglasses now. How cool is that!?!

Face-to-Face With Facebook

facebook-testing-new-timeline-format-with-single-column-of-posts-updated--8395815038

Facebook is about connecting you with the people who are important to you through a variety of different ways. Users can upload pictures and post statuses for everyone in their friends’ list to see as well as take a more personal route and post on friends’ personal walls. There is also the method of instant messaging which now allows users to video calls, similar to Skype if both users have installed the right program and are both online at the same time.

People are able to look up recommended companies, music, restaurants and so much more. However, many are not aware of these tools and widgets. A new way of doing this is by using #hashtags on Facebook like it is used on Twitter. Companies can use a graph search in order to learn more about their fans and competition because it shows more of what their fans like and also what competitors are lacking to fill in the format hole.

Pictures are most engaged with and reach the most people as compard to other content such as links, status updates, etc; it recieves 5-20 times more interaction.

Anyone over 13-years-old is allowed to join the social network service.
The site is currently valued at $100 billion.

Tumbling Tips 4 Tumblr

tumblr_icon

Tumblr is a blogging platform now owned by Yahoo. It was founded by David Karp in 2006 and launched in February of 2007 where it gained over 75,000 users in two weeks! Tumblr has a dashboard similar to WordPress which allows users to keep track of their posts, pictures and comments all in one place. There is the capability of posting straight to your blog by emailing your content to a custom email address provided for your URL. Recently, Tumblr added the option of phoning in your posts by dialing 1-866-584-6757 and leaving a message which will be available on your page within seconds!

Tumblr has many preloaded themes that you can use for your blog and your linked page. Custom layouts allow users to use HTML code to completely customize the look of their blog. Custom layouts are good to make profiles stand out form the rest. However, before you start posting, be sure to follow people and have people follow back so you’re not posting to yourself. It’s best to centralize blogs around a specific theme to give it meaning and help other follows know what to expect. Tumblr allows your to assign key words to posts which help others search for posts that can be found on your blog. It also makes it easier for people who aren’t following you to find your posts when they search for your tags.

Google analytic monitors visits to your profile and also provides the key words used to bring traffic to your blog. Not only is a blog limited to just the owner, but it allows the owners to share comments and complaints by others onto their blog to engage followers in discussion or form a updated FAQ page.

Get Your Niche Together, People!

“The best journalism isn’t judged by form or medium but by its effect on readers’ lives
– Ryan Pitts, Senior Editor for Digital News.

I’ve spent most of my life striving to become a journalist, but my ultimate goal in life would be to change lives for the better. I can’t think of a better career than helping people understand what is happening around them and giving them the tools to make decisions; this is what true journalism entails. The senior editor for Digital News, Ryan Pitts, says “we should be able to build something that not only exposes the bigger picture but also helps people focus on the details most relevant to their lives.”

172175081

However, in order to help people with their lives… we must be able to establish a strong foundation for ourselves to succeed. First thing first, your digital life will take up a huge chunk of your time because in this day in time, almost everything can be done using technology. It’s easy for all your documents to become disheveled, so organize your email because you can at least start by bringing order where there is commonly chaos. One way is to limit the time your email is opened up on your computer screen. Attend to other duties for an hour or two, or four, and then launch the email site back up and address the new emails before closing out again.

Second, organize your contacts by using spreadsheets or Google Docs software. Keeping up with new and old contacts is vital for journalists. Nonetheless, contacts are not the only loose leaf pieces of information you want to set up in a document, so also organize beat sheets of story ideas and source lists by categories. It will make life much easier when time comes for you to whip up a news story in a very limited amount of time. You won’t have to go digging in your purse or rummage through the junk in your back seat for that business card you received two weeks ago.

Lastly, help fellow reporters do their job by sharing data on an application programming interface (API) which allows anyone to tap into their data and build tools and Web pages for mashups. A minor key point that one journalist may have found could be the minor detail needed for another journalist to crack their case! With that result, journalists are expanding their power to establish justice. Isn’t that what journalism is all about?

Thanks for reading :)

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions!

Let Me Tell You About A Few Blogs…

Blogs range through a variety of interests from arts and photography to the fundamental purposes of sharing one’s feelings with their followers. My favorite website to read blogs about world news is Yahoo! News. The writers incorporate images, videos, links and other aides to help readers better understand the content being read.

An updated article about the 4-year-old blonde girl found in Greece displayed an image gallery with photographs taken from the interview, as well as from the natural setting of the mother and her other children. The story had made national news, so when DNA tests proved the identity of 33-year-old Sasha Ruseva as the mother, it was nice to see an image gallery of the woman and her other children related to the mysterious blonde girl from Greece. Not only were the pictures well done and extremely relevant to the content of the article, but they also had captions that explained the details of each photograph. The Yahoo! News website also includes capabilities of sharing the articles on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, so that the newsworthy content can continue to spread onto other websites.

To read more information on this case, click here.

Capture

So when it comes to blogs I don’t like… it would start with TMZ and all of its useless gossip that the site happens to deem “newsworthy.” Although I sometimes read the latest gossip about celebrities from TMZ, their process of publicizing information and lack of moral values disgusts me. With TMZ, there are no boundaries or a chance at mercy if a celebrity’s private details are leaked to the public. If a TMZ reporter or photographer is able to get their hands on touchy documents of personal content, you better believe it’s going straight onto their website for everyone to see.

Sometimes the news articles being published are petty and irrelevant junk that does not need to be publicized; it is only further ruining reputations and spreading gossip that may not necessarily be true. However, if that is the case, TMZ only slashes through their public content with a line as if the line is enough to recant their previous statements. This sort of “journalism” is a disgrace to the true journalists who strive to report factual stories backed up by credible sources.

Check out this completely meaningless article solely based on reality television fans who LOVE drama (ridiculous!)

CNN Speaker Gives Pointers On Graphic Design And Editing

VENDETTASmall1

Shortly after Monica Pearson spoke, the Speakers Auditorium opened its doors to receive a CNN member, Adrienne Lee, to talk about video editing and graphic designing. Lee started off by talking about trending editing techniques, editing software out in the market, availability of resources, ethics and characteristics of a skilled editor, and networking in general. Students began getting involved as soon as she spoke about the free resources that are available to everyone. The involvement was perceived as soon as the environment went from formal to informal. “I wish somebody would have told me about these resources back when I was a student, it would have made things easier for me, and today, I’m here facilitating them to you guys,” Said Lee.

Continue reading CNN Speaker Gives Pointers On Graphic Design And Editing