Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why you should keep blogging

During the last week of classes for my fellow seniors, talk centers around the status of the current job market- less than ideal for those of us trying to secure our first jobs. This http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jul2007/sb20070713_202390.htm
Business Week article looks at the most sucessful bloggers around. All of the people in this article live full time off the money they make through their blogs.

Always nice to have a back up plan...
(Photo: businessweek.com)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Best Practices

As the end of the semester approaches I thought I would summarize a few lessons that stood out for me when I reflected on what I've learned. These "best practices" apply to all businesses and are especially important for young people looking to begin a career in PR. 

Writing: "You must be a strong writer." -Everyone
Technology: Blogging, second life/avatars, social networking sites, Blackberries. Be a pro.
Branding: "People always ask 'why do these wealthy people get free products?' They are the best walking advertisers that money cannot buy." -Gigi Howard
Media Relations: Databases, pitch carefully, wine and dine
Personality: Balance shy and aggressive, be outgoing, put together, friendly
Networking: Do it 24/7, write thank you notes, be current
Launching a career: Critical thinking, recognition of duties not title, "Confidence, enthusiasm, and an investment in your career." -Mike Lake

Monday, April 21, 2008

What if there were no Internet?

Through my blog this semester, I've explored an array of ways we use emerging technology, especially the Internet, in our daily lives and as communications professionals. One night (when I probably should have been doing something more constructive) I found myself watching... South Park. Now really, I NEVER watch South Park, but last week's episode, Over Logging, parodied the catastrophe that might ensue if the world lost the Internet, and it kind of makes you think- What would you do without your Internet?

Watch "Over Logging" from southparkstudios.com: 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In Good Taste: Social Responsibility

Sometimes I’m met with less than enthusiastic response when I talk about how much I love fashion, and how important it is. Some people today seem to think that too many "more serious” issues are happening in the world today to take fashion seriously, or that caring about what the next it-bag will be is frivolous.

Okay, I don’t want to start a debate over why you should read Vogue before Newsweek, I just want to point out the enormous global influence fashion has everyday, and how designers do use that power for good.

One case where the fashion industry brought major attention to an important global issue was last summer when designer Anya Hindmarch (http://www.anya
released her wildly successful “I’m not a plastic bag.”

When the first version of the tote sold out in London (in two hours), Hindmarch talked to the bloggers at bagsnob.com to explain her philosophy for creating the eco-friendly accessory. She told bagsnob that the project began two years earlier when she was approached by the operator of We Are What We Do (http://www.wearewhatwedo.org/), describing the site as  "a fantastic movement who try to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world." Of the operator, Hindmarch says, "he is very much of the belief that if everyone makes a small change and does their bit it can actually amount to making a big difference. I just loved the simplicity of that and I agree with it.”

Well, Hindmarch may have been attracted to the simplicity of the bag, but for shoppers everywhere, getting your hands on the canvas tote was anything but simple. After being photographed on the arm of many celebrities, the stock of 3,000 bags sold out at Whole Foods in New York City in just 29 minutes (Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXaLdRdMK-M). The bag had to be banned in China after several women in Hong Kong were injured after being trampled while trying to buy it.

Even with it’s worldwide popularity, some fashion commentators questioned the bag’s appeal. But really, should we question why people want to be fashionable and save the world at the same time, especially when the bag retails for just $15?

So now the question is, how big an impact did the “I’m not a plastic bag” frenzy really have on the condition of the environment? According to thegothamist.com(http://www.thegothamist.com/), “over 380 billion plastic bags are consumed in the U.S. each year, they take about 500 years to degrade and less than 1% reuse them.”

Hindmarch puts the practicality of her tote into perspective, telling bagsnob.com, “I refused nine plastic bags as I could put things directly into my cotton one - and that’s amazing. If it makes people rethink their behavior and perhaps makes the supermarkets rethink their solutions then it’s achieved something as far as I’m concerned."

New this season, Dog Eared has a great selection of canvas totes on their website: http://www.dogeared.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGYMINI&Category_Code=shopping-bags

Monday, March 31, 2008


Super-blogger and Miami Native Perez Hilton posted this update http://perezhilton.com/2008-03-31-things-are-slowly-a-changin to his site on the latest bans being uplifted in Cuba.
This news comes days after Cuban authorities began allowing citizens to purchase DVD players and computers. I'm sure all Cubans, including influential blogger Yoani Sanchez are excited about the historic changes going on in Cuba right now. Click here http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/ to read her blog for yourself.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Blog for Cuba's New Generacion

The Dalai Lama’s recent assertion that he will relinquish his title if the violence in Tibet does not end sent bloggers worldwide into a flurry, keeping them on the edges of their keyboards making predictions for how China’s strict censorship laws will affect international broadcasts during the Olympics later this year.

But authorities in another communist country are going to great lengths to silence one particular blogger.Yoani Sanchez writes the most popular Cuban blog, "Generacion Y," but when readers on the Caribbean island logged on today, they found an error message instead of Sanchez’s insights on Daily life in communist Cuba. Sanchez received 1.2 million hits to her site in February, the same month long-time dictator Fidel Castro stepped down from power and appointed his brother Raul as the country’s new leader.

Sanchez parodied the younger Castro’s allusions to major improvements in store for Cubans when she wrote “Who is the last in line for a toaster?” reacting to news that Cubans could now purchase some items that have been banned by the government until recently, like DVDs and computers, but would have to wait two more years to buy their own toasters.

Sanchez expressed similar frustration to the New York Times over the continued discouragement of free-thinking in the still communist country.

Luckily for her readers, Sanchez plans to continue writing her blog. She acknowles the new deterrents to the site, but explains that attempts to censor the citizens’ limited Internet access will not keep fans from reading the blog. Sanchez believes that her fans will continue to read because with basic computer skills, they will be able to get around the censors.

Image from canada.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More on the Juicycampus Effect

It looks like I am not the only person disturbed enough by juicycampus to write about it. New York Times writer Richard Morgan wrote a piece addressing some effects of the gossip site on campuses and students. Morgan notes that the site is not limited to harmless gossip, but can hurt students' chances of securing jobs post-graduation, and even create a campus-wide security scare.
Unfortunately, as Morgan also highlights in his article, juicycampus is not legally responsible for any comment posted on the site.
For me, the lack of responsibility juicycampus administrators will face stresses even more the importance for students to take the responsibility on themselves to not support these sites.
As Morgan also emphasizes in his March 16 article, students who continue to post potentially damaging content on juicycampus and Facebook may not fully understand the consequences until the damage happens to them.

A Crash Course in Online Gossip, by Richard Morgan: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/fashion/16juicy.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=fashion