Thursday, October 22, 2009

Social Media Midterm - Question 5

What kind of conversational patterns can you expect to encounter using social media as a PR professional? What will consumers of your content expect? How can you level these expectations?

As as PR professional, I think I'll be expected to be somewhat knowledgeable of different social media applications, and in terms of conversational patterns, I think two way conversations are becoming much more common and much more popular. This will promote networking, which is a key communication tool in public relations. As well, I think conversation patterns will be driven by consumers, because it is they who will determine and ultimately inform what their needs and wants are. As PR practitioners, it's our duty to figure out ways to meet these wants and needs.

Social Media Midterm - Question 4

Who is Jamie Zawinski? How is the role he played in helping spread design principals important to you? How are the design principals he helped spread important to you?

He was influential in developing Netscape Navigator, one of the first web browsers created. By creating Netscape, Zawinski made the internet more accessible for the world. In the 1990’s, 90% of internet users used Netscape. While no one uses it now, it did start the revolution we call the Internet. Some might say Zawinski’s design principles, like Netscape, are important because to us because he created the first web browser. Others, like myself, however, think that if he didn’t develop a web browser, someone else would have come along and developed one, or something similar. Zawinski is important, not really for who he is, but for what he did.

Social Media Midterm - Question 3

McLuhan used a model with four elements surrounding the term MEDIUM. Touching on the four elements, describe how this model can help us in interpreting social media.

McLuhan's model asks four questions:

1. What does the medium enhance? In this case, medium means social media. Social media enhances conversation and the speed at which connections and communications can happen. Information can be passed instantaneously, whereas before, there could be hours, days, weeks, even months before information was received.

2. What does the medium make obsolete? Social media makes face to face interaction and conversation obsolete because the convenience of being able to send someone an Instant Message or an email is much more appealing then waiting to call someone or meet them in person to discuss something. Some people find this lazy, while others enjoy the convenience.

3. What does the medium retrieve that had been obsoleted before? It can help reconnect people with others from their past.

4. What does the medium flip into when pushed to the extremes? Privacy is pushed to the extremes because it makes people extra protective as to what they put out on the internet.

This model helps show how social media impacts not just the way people interact and communicate these days, but as well, the effect it has on other forms of media, such as television. Previously, people depended on media outlets such as television and radio to get their news, whereas now, they are able to not just receive information faster by using the internet and social media, but as well, they can contribute themselves.

Social Media Midterm - Question 2

In Wikipedia: The Truth in Numbers the message seems to be: no longer do the victors write the history books, we do: you, me, and everyone else. How is social media (twitter, blogs) forwarding this idea? What gives someone authority to "write history" and why should we listen to them? Is there a hierarchy of authorities? ie. is what someone like Seth Godin says more important? What should be taken as canon?

Social media provides the ability to broadcast yourself to the world instantaneously. Thoughts, opinions, and news can be published on blogs or in tweets in seconds, where anyone can read them. Things said by someone like Seth Godin can be considered more important, because he’s more knowledgeable, and more experience in his field. That makes people trust him more. The question of what’s to be taken as canon depends, because some might feel that if enough people believe in something, that makes it real or true. This can be dangerous however, depending on the topic.

Social Media Midterm - Question 1

In Deirdre Breakenridge's article PR 2.0, Brian Cross discusses how changes in technology will change the function of PR practitioners. In what ways do you think public relations will change and what role will PR professional's play in these changes?

Cross says public relations provides the ability to identify the correct target audience and give guidelines on how to bring in these audiences, thus making PR vital to the success of a business. Social Media and other technology and the changes in these have a large impact on public relations practitioners because they are forced to adapt to using these new social media applications. However, though some might see learning to use a new application as annoying, PR professionals are the leaders in opening a new door to communicating to even more of the world. If they want to reach more diverse audiences, they must adapt to work on the same level as these audiences.