Archive for January, 2010

How Ethical is Social Monitoring

January 28, 2010

When I was given this topic, I didn’t know where to begin or how to formulate my thoughts.  I started thinking to myself, to answer this question in full detail, there are certain terms that must be clearly defined. For example, what is social monitoring? After researching social monitoring on various search engines such as Google and Bing, I came up with my explanation of “social monitoring.” Social monitoring is when companies/organizations are able to track various conversations, pages, blogs, videos, etc whether they are positive or negative. So, my next question is why would a company invest so much time and money (if any) into monitoring what people are saying about their company or “new product” they just launched? Think about it. For example, with the new Apple Ipad that just came out today, Apple can track their target audience and find what or how people think of their new Ipad by just using the Internet so that they can improve their company to satisfy their audience and customers.

The next definition that needs to be discussed is “ethics.” What is ethics and how can it be defined?  Throughout my college career at Georgia Southern University taking communication, sociology, and public relations classes, ethics is defined in various ways. To keep it simple, according to dictionary.com being ethical is being “in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession.”  In other words, being ethical means being truthful and honest following morality principles in all aspects of life itself and is defined by what society says is ethical.

So is social monitoring ethical? I believe that social monitoring is ethical if it is done in an appropriate, proper, and honest manner.  In addition to surveys, companies can instantaneously search what Internet users are commenting about whether those comments are positive or negative. Today, most companies big and small are utilizing the Internet such as by being on Twitter, creating Facebook ads and fan pages. Thus, if companies are taking time to use social media sites to market their product or themselves, why can’t they monitor what people are saying about them on various social media sites?

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Active Blogging

January 22, 2010

Through my recent blogging, I have noticed that I haven’t received comments or ratings. First, I thought I’m a “beginner blogger.” However, the more I blog, my statistics  stay the same even though I publish my blog posts on Twitter. Reading novels such as “The Whuffie Factor” and “Twitter Power” have made me realize that it doesn’t matter what you blog about or how much you blog.

 What matters to increase your blog posts is to comment on other people’s blogs and rate them.  By doing this, not only will people begin to give you feedback, but also increase your popularity on various social media websites. The result is rewarding because you make connections with people who you never thought you would. So commenting on other people’s blogging increases your popularity on social networking websites, which will result in connecting with other people. It is important to see what other people are saying on various topics, not just what you’re interested in. For example, even though I’m interested in the public relations field,  I still read other people’s blogs that discuss fitness, politics,  businesses, etc. Not only does this give you ideas to blog about, but it also gives you awareness on what people are talking about, similar to “trending topics.”

My lesson that I have learned is to comment on other blogs and end my blogs with questions so that people can comment and discuss your blog topic.  What is your advice on commenting other blogs?

Haiti Media Coverage: Competition or Awareness

January 22, 2010

The destruction of  Haiti due to the earthquake  is speechless.  When this happened, I was watching various news networks to get updated stories about the earthquake. With that being said, I don’t know if the media is exploiting the Haiti Earthquake by reporting personal stories or if they are delivering personal stories to raise awareness on how severe this is.  For example, is Anderson Cooper in Haiti reporting new facts to increase ratings and compete with other news networks or is he there for our sake to increase our awareness by using personal stories?  Is it necessary to know personal stories of various Haitian people and use graphic pictures for competition and to capture the American audience to watch a specific news program or read a specific newspaper? In my opinion, I think all the news programs are doing both competing with one another to increase their ratings and to persuade Americans to help out in any way possible. On the positive side, relief for Haiti has been technology friendly. For example, the International Red Cross is using text messaging for people to give $10 and will show up on people’s cell phone bill. Haiti is receiving faster, quicker relief due to people having more access to social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. As an active member of Facebook and Twitter, I have seen various tweets and status updates on both social media sites for people to help in other ways.  This strategy is genius because we didn’t take advantage of the technology for Hurricane Katrina, which exemplifies how technology has become more advanced within a couple of years.

Effective Group Characteristics

January 13, 2010

In this Group Dynamics class, it is obvious that group work is vital in this course. Throughout my college career, I have been part of various groups completing different tasks. However, I’ve never had a professor such as this one explain and discuss how important it is to abide by these certain characteristics in order for group work to be a positive experience. These are just a couple of characteristics I chose to list. He gave each student a handout listing 22 group process behavior along with four group characteristics. This list is his handout. I firmly believe that every professor giving group work throughout their classes should have a clear systematic method to group work.  In order to do that, each professor should list what their group expectations are and follow-up with group presentations, papers, & projects with a group evaluation sheet. If you were to hand this out to your students, what characteristics would you list?

Group Characteristics:

  1. The group sees a relationship between their work and rewards.
  2. Everyone takes responsibility for the group’s success.
  3. The group knows and uses good group process behavior.
  4. All group members work toward the building of a “learning team.”

Group Process Behavior Effective Characteristics:

  • Disagree openly with any group member, but in an agreeable manner
  • Value Differences
  • Be willing to accept the possibility of being inaccurate
  • Everyone arrives on time
  • Practice courteous communication behaviors
  • Give reason for disagreement
  • All members participate
  • Everyone is prepared for discussion