Words From a Shy Yet Social Woman

Quotation

I love writing. I love written communication. I excel in expressing myself  when I am writing my thoughts down, verbally, I don’t excel as much. I think its partially because I prefer to listen and wait till no one is saying anything to respond but its also because i’m shy. Verbally expressing myself has been a difficult task for me but i’m working on it and getting better. I love to chat and share verbally and I do so a lot. I’m a chatty girl, really, I am; still, I prefer to express my wants and needs with written words. Maybe, it is because I don’t feel as shy or maybe it’s because I can take the time to fully express what I want to say without interruption. Either way, written words are my chosen medium. Being preferential to the written word coupled with a creative imagination, it’s no wonder I became a writer.   I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction since I was 15!  At the age of 18, I published my first short story in the Young Writers’ of Canada  Tales from the Campfire.  I wrote a very short story (350 words)  about a teenage girl who survived a serious drunk-driving car accident (leaving it  a large gash across her cheek, which served as a reminder to not drink and drive.)   Afterwards, I attended university and as an assistant editor (then editor then assistant Editor-In-Chief) I wrote many articles for Imprint Publications. Now, I’m currently writing a novel, which I would like to finish my first draft by December (fingers crossed). The written word has become a strong part of my life and I hope it will stay that way but I’m continuing to improve my verbal communications as well!

Besides it’s like Terri Main says ” You are a writer, the ‘normal’ ship sailed without you long ago.”

Active Consumers Seek Corporate Responsibility in the Age of Social Media!

Age of Web 2.0! Age of consumer empowerment!
Age of responsibility?

Consumers are active and participative today. Consumer empowerment for businesses/corporations means no more regarding consumers as passive. They consider actions of businesses/corporations before buying into products. Consumers are looking for responsibility in their product and service providers. What exactly is responsibility for a company?

Business dictionary defines corporate responsibility as:

“A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship (1) through their waste and pollution reduction processes, (2) by contributing educational and social programs, and (3) by earning adequate returns on the employed resources.”

If you want a lengthier explanation visit: Reference for business.

Smart companies/businesses target and interact with their consumers. The internet and social media has encouraged the new age consumer who wants to find out more about businesses. Consider coffee: Dark, rich, aromatic coffee that brightens your tired self in the morning. AND afternoon. Maybe evening too. You buy coffee based on taste and advertising, right? The passive consumer does. They go with what they know from what little information they have. What does the engaged consumer do? They research brands online, find out the company’s reputation and what they stand for. Corporate responsibility are two words that may not immediately jump to the average consumers’ mind. Two words stand out for the engaged, vocal consumer: Fair Trade. These two words hold a fair amount of power. It means that the farmers who grew the coffee beans received a fair (regulated) price for those beans.

Thus that farmer doesn’t have to live a poverty-stricken life selling beans well below value because they don’t have a choice.

Businesses who buy their beans through fair-trade can bear the fair trade logo. Since fair trade is regulated, you won’t find businesses claiming to be fair trade that aren’t. The only disadvantage to fair trade coffee is the price to consumers. Fair trade coffee costs more for the consumer to purchase. Without the fair trade logo one might assume it is overpriced coffee but not know why it is. A fair trade logo connected with a business says “we’re a responsible, morally considerate company that appreciates quality.” It also leaves the consumer feeling good about their purchase. Purchasing+ feeling good are a great match. Businesses want their consumers to feel good about making purchase because those consumers are more likely to continue purchasing their product.

My fair trade coffee example highlights how a passive consumer might not have known about fair trade quality or understand its importance. The passive consumer just listens to what the business says and doesn’t really ask questions. A one-way conversation. Ignorance is bliss to the passive consumer.

How is this applicable to social media?

Internet and social media removed the rose coloured glasses from our eyes. They give information that once wasn’t readily available now available to the masses! You can Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, and Reddit (to list a few!) a business to find out what it stands for; find out what other people think about it.

Coffee wise: Companies/businesses who have facebook pages, twitter accounts and webpages can mention their fair trade association and their corporate social responsibility.

Perfect example: Starbucks! They are very quick to brand themselves as a responsible business. “We’ve always believed that businesses can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities they serve.”

Starbucks proudly shares its corporate social responsibility with its consumers throughout social media. For example: You can like Starbucks and Starbucks frappuccino on facebook, roughly 20 different twitter accounts and follow them on LinkedIn. Engaged consumers who are already plugged into various social media they will visit webpages and social media links of various businesses. Consumers want to know the truth and want to feel good about their purchase. Starbucks must know this and use it to further their brand quality. Essentially you can find Starbucks everywhere on social media. You can find them sharing and connecting with their consumers online and off! Thanks to social media!

As a social media specialist and a consumer, I recognize the importance of ethical business practices, corporate responsibility and usage of social media. Social media connects businesses with their consumers. Consumers can share their thoughts with businesses and other consumers. Starting a conversation between businesses and consumers as well as consumers with consumers via social media benefits all. It keeps businesses in the spotlight,responsible to its consumers, and in return it gains loyalty. Thus consumers get to feel good about their purchases and businesses receive purchaser loyalty/longevity.

Thoughts? Share them with me!  😀

Texting: Does It Help Us Connect With Others Or Does It Creative A Divide?

Short answer: I think it helps us connect casually with more people but it is not meant for deep connecting moments.

Long answer: Global news hour recently discussed this topic. Their bottom line: an in-person conversation for 5-10 minutes is better than mass texting. I agree with this statement on the basis of quality over quantity. Face time over texting is always better but does this mean that we shouldn’t text? No ! I think text messages are a great invention. I almost like them as much as various social media applications. ALMOST. As a Social Media Specialist, I am immersed in web and mobile 2.0 to build community, marketing, interacting and share information. My heart and passion belong with social media but when it comes to texting I’m hooked.

Here’s a neat link. Nielson Wire performed a study on primarily teenagers (and other age groups) and their texting habits. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/u-s-teen-mobile-report-calling-yesterday-texting-today-using-apps-tomorrow/
Nielson states that there is an 8% increase in texting from 2009 to 2010. What does that 8% really mean? 3,339 texts a months for the average teenager. Adults texting has increased too, not to the same degree as teenagers but there still is a sizeable difference. Look at the chart below from Nielson Wire.

This is from Nielson Wire: The Nelson Company

I admit, I’m a textaholic. I love texting. I even get my facebook updates via text. I like it because you can communicate with a large group of people instead of being confined to one call at a time. Another benefit of texting is it allows for multi-tasking. Our society is becoming more about time maximization. We even like our devices to have multiple purposes. Look at the once iconic pocket watch, nobody really uses it anymore because it only performs one function. Even its shrunken cousin the wrist watch is declining in popularity; a cellphone/smartphone displays a clock on its screen, which makes a wristwatch redundant (unless you use it as a fashion piece.) To captivate attention and get usage today a device must perform multiple functions. This is why smartphones are becoming increasingly popular as they offer not only phone calls and texting but they also offer internet browsing, emailing, and other various applications.

Another reason why texting is rising in popularity: Texting is simple, fast and to the point. You can get a message to someone quickly and get a response back. For example (in text type): Penny: Car brke dwn. I can’t meet u 4 coffee. Gale: Sorry 2 hear that! Ok, nxt time. This takes about 10 seconds to type and send versus a 2-4 minute phone call explaining the situation in great detail. This way “penny” can focus her energies on arranging car repair and Gale knows not to wait for her. Great example of a casual issue that can arise where texting is beneficial.

I don’t recommend texting for discussing important issues that warrant in-person discussions. Taking in text to discuss a substantial problem with a family member, friend, or a romantic partner doesn’t give proper respect to the problem. Texting is a casual action. Applying a casual attitude to serious matters says you can’t be bothered to take time to work through deep issues. Texting instead of in-person discussions removes verbal and physical indicators and according to Dale Carnegie s 50% of all communications are non-verbal. This means 50% of the communication is missing during a textual argument. It may be easier to type “I’m sorry” than to say it but it doesn’t mean the same. You’re avoiding conflict and emotional baggage by texting and it will only disrespect your family member, friend, or romantic partner. I may love technology and social media but I would not want to have a relationship with someone who would rather discuss serious problems via text. There is a reason why texting is called SMS because a short message service is meant to be short not in-depth which relationship issues require. There is even a facebook group dedicated to the matter: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texting-is-NOT-an-acceptable-way-of-discussing-deep-relationship-issues/315662067102

Bottom line: Texting is great for casual interactions. It provides us with a way to interact with a multitude of people at the same time while performing other activities. I love texting for the aforementioned good reasons but don’t hide behind your phone instead of talking to a person; when a problem happens TALK it out don’t type.

Today Is…..

NYC Mayor Bloomberg declares that April 16th is Foursquare day in the city. This means there are roughly 300 cities celebrating the holiday.

The location tracking social network gets its own day in New York City. Bloomberg delivered his endorsement on April 14th to the NYC based social network. It is no surprise to hear that New Yorkers as well as many others around the world are enamored with FourSquare. Eight million users strong, FourSquare allows you to ‘check-in’  through your smartphone app or sms. Every time you check in you’re awarded points, which earn you badges. here’s a list of badges. For example: If you earns the badge of mayor it means you have visited that specific venue the most out of others who have checked in at that venue over the past 60 days! The person of this award is continuously changing  and some businesses like to offer special discounts or deals to their current  FourSquare ‘Mayor’!

Popular FourSquare continues to gain new members.  According to FourSquare’s blog they grew 3400% last year! Check out the neat info graphic @ http://blog.foursquare.com/2011/01/24/2010infographic/

So, one question remains… Where will you spend April 16th?  If you are curious about where others will be spending their day check out : 4sqday   and  geek.com

Cheers!

Should Twitter Have a Like Button?

Should Twitter Have A Like Button?

This is the question that came to me last night. I’m pondering the possibilities and the implications. Facebook and Google both have their own type of like button, why doesn’t twitter? Throughout my experience with like buttons I’ve come to greatly appreciate them. Like buttons support the concept of community building.

How you ask?

Google recently started their +1 recommendation to give browsers more confidence in their search efforts. +1 is available to those who have a public Google profile. You can ‘like’ or in this case ‘recommend’ places or links to your connections. When I go onto Google and search a topic, if a connection has recommended one of the search results I see it! This is more of a search related liking and less of a social aspect but it brings a social aspect to web searching.

On Google’s website: http://www.google.com/+1/button/ they describe +1 as such : “Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” The way I see it is helping others strengthens us all. It helps foster support and builds a sense of community.

Facebook’s like button serves more of a social, community aspect of liking. As a social media specialist, I love to post updates and links to interesting content on my facebook account. I experience a rush of excitement when someone likes one of my status updates or links I’ve shared. Liking a post says “I agree” or I appreciate what you’re saying and I’m publically stating it to our social world. Liking on facebook builds a positive connection with your friends and it encourages more socializing. People tell me they are more likely to share links and post updates if they receive likes because it makes them feel their efforts are appreciated. In other words: they like feeling popular.

Everyone likes to be liked. Liking someone’s link is an extension of liking that person. Facebook capitalized on this by allowing businesses to have a fan page or facebook page for businesses. The like button can be placed on external sites as well encouraging site visitors to ‘like’ them on facebook (this shows support for that business and it benefits facebook as ‘likers’ are using facebook more.) Another recent development is the connection of television advertising to internet browsing. For example: On a tv commercial Aquafina flavoured water advertises its product then encourages viewers to find and like them on facebook. Currently, there are 13,039 people who like Aquafina on their facebook page.  coincidence? I think not.

So this raises the question should twitter have a like button?

I’ve been discussing this topic and received mixed opinions. I’ve been asked what about retweeting? Isn’t that the same thing as liking? Does liking on twitter even fit what twitter is?@xMediaOutlet said “NOPE, retweet is much stronger action than like.” On the other side I’ve heard that it would make twitter even better. @ davemossop called it a “ magic switch.” I fall on the supporter side. I think a like button on twitter would even further foster a sense of community.

To answer a previously stated question: retweeting? Isn’t that the same thing as liking? No it is not the same. Retweeting, while it is a way of sharing a tweet you like its main focus is on information sharing. Liking does not share the link with others, it would tell the tweeter that you like what they are sharing. I believe these two functions could operate independently of one another and improve the already great twitter.

Who wouldn’t like to see “your tweet was liked by….”? 😀

Bottom line: I would like to see a like button for tweets in the future but is it necessary for twitter’s survival? No. It would be a neat perk I’d really like and I’m not alone on this! 😀


Another Earthquake? Japan Needs Your Help!

Another earthquake hit japan and to make matters worse there is another potential tsunami.  I’m asking that if you haven’t donated to the red cross you can do so now @  http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=000043&tid=016 .
The Black Eyed Peas  who shot this video just before the first  earthquake in 2011.  They dedicated this song to Japan.  Listen 🙂

Twitter May Be The King But Google Buzz Shows Promise!!

Microblogging/ information sharing  What are my thoughts?

Google Buzz: …..a failure?’  is a statement in the article I read —->  http://mashable.com/2011/04/04/larry-page-google/ <—-

My Response “As someone who uses both Twitter and Google Buzz, I am confident in stating that Google Buzz is not a failure. Google has a long road to travel to become a better social network provider, but Google Buzz is a decent first step”  For my fellow blog readers:  Let’s focus on information sharing/ microblogging.

The king of the microblogging arena is Twitter and I have yet to see anything to prove otherwise. In case you don’t know what Twitter is, here is a link: http://www.thepicky.com/internet/what-is-twitter-features/

What does Twitter offer?  it offers real-time information sharing and online community.  Twitter allows mass information sharing in a 140 character space. Thanks to link shorteners like bit.ly it is possible to share websites  and a brief message. Since 2006, the phenomenon has grown from an unappreciated social tool into a powerful network of information!

Twitter connects everybody: rich and poor, regular joes and celebrities, as well, businesses or business people with their customers. I like to call it the great equalizer!  Now, I can follow my favourite authors, actors, companies, and friends. Twitter allows for interaction between follower and followee. These interactions are the reason I’ve dubbed Twitter the great Equalizer!

It took a while for twitter to gain credibility and to get the recognition it deserves and the same can be said for Google Buzz. Google Buzz is still in its infancy —  just like an infant, it is growing bigger and stronger everyday! I like what I’ve seen thus far in Google Buzz. One great feature about Google Buzz: NO 140 character limit! I can tweet something, link it to my buzz account then further explain it in detail on buzz!  Another great feature: I can add in pictures right in the message!

My thoughts: I like Twitter and that won’t change, however don’t count out Google Buzz just yet!  Let’s see what the rest of 2011 brings 😀

Cheers!

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