Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Examples in "Measure What Matters"

My favorite part about the book “Measure What Matters” written by Katie Delahaye Paine is the examples that are included. Throughout each piece of advice Paine offers is a series of examples that allow the reader to take the concepts being described and apply them directly to real life situations. These examples include listing different metrics to measure and different audiences to consider prioritizing. By reading this book, those entering the marketing and public relations world are given direct access to suggestions on where to being when measuring social media, and the examples assist them in choosing how to define certain aspects as they go. It truly is a helpful book.

Any text that gives readers examples is useful. Reading textbooks that are strictly concepts and lack real-world examples or applications is not effective. Paine goes above and beyond in her book by including not only a multitude of examples in each chapter, but also an explanation of each example and the benefits or applications of each. I believe anyone in the marketing or public relations field would find this book to be extraordinarily helpful when attempting to measure certain metrics on social media. I am thankful that I was able to read this book, as I truly believe it will assist me in my future. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Helping an Individual Cabi Stylist Take Off on Social Media

My mom, Katie Vachon, is an individual cabi stylist who sells cabi clothes to women. Cabi is a designer line of women’s clothing that is presented in friends’ homes or by private appointment. The company has been around for 13 years, and it strives to change the way shopping works for women while putting an emphasis on customer service. Although my mom works for the company, selling clothes, booking appointments and everything else that comes with her position is on an individual basis, including marketing her business.

Because I have learned so much about social media this semester in my social media principles class, I am helping my mom expand her marketing on social media. Hopefully, if I can use the knowledge I have gained about social media marketing to reach more potential customers on social media, she will gain more business in return. Some tips I have given her include answering any questions a potential customer might ask via social media right away, and post pictures of the clothes she is selling in cabi fans’ group pages on Facebook. Over break, I intend on helping her further.

I am thankful this class has given me the skills to market via social media, and I am happy I get to share this knowledge with my mom. I hope it helps! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winter is Coming

This fall, students at Ohio Northern University have been blessed with some unexpected, long-lasting warm weather. Normally, Ohio experiences cold and snowy weather as soon as November begins, sometimes even experiencing a snowy Halloween. However, we have yet to see a snow fall that sticks to the ground, and the last week of November consisted of 60 degrees Fahrenheit weather. Unfortunately, the moment December began we were greeted with freezing temperatures. We avoided the inevitable long enough; winter is finally on its way.

Last winter, ONU got lucky with only a little bit of snow and relatively warm weather compared to past years. We got lucky again this year so far with the cold only just beginning to creep its way in now that it’s December. I’m worried that we won’t be so lucky when winter actually begins. I can’t stand the cold, and in my mind snow is only acceptable during the Christmas season. I’m praying for another mild winter, especially considering walking to class and receiving wind burns here on campus is not pleasant.

I hope everyone stays warm this winter!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving: It’s Not Just About the Food

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love the opportunity to get together with my family and eat tons of amazing food (stuffing is my favorite!). I also love how it kind of acts as a kickoff to the official Christmas season. However, it’s important that we remember this holiday is more than just an excuse to load up on yummy food—it’s a time to give thanks.

In all honesty, I believe we should be thankful every second of our lives. Even if you feel like you have nothing, you have something that someone would love to have. I promise you. However, since it is simply human nature to take things for granted sometimes, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to focus on all the things you are grateful for and not take anything for granted.

This year—like every year—I will be going to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Her husband always makes the most delicious turkey, and everything tastes spectacular. I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to, so I am excited for the dinner. Every year, my family and I try to name the things that we are grateful for in our lives and remember how fortunate we are to live in this wonderful country.

I was raised to be thankful, especially on Thanksgiving. However, I know how hard it can be sometimes for people to realize that food is not the most important part of this holiday. I urge you all to take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on all that you have and give thanks. This is a time of celebration, family and, reflection. While you’re giving thanks, be sure to eat as much food as you possibly can. It’s so delicious, and this day only comes around once a year after all! Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Four Possible Goals of a Social Media Marketer

In Chapter 7 of “Measure What Matters”, author Katie D. Paine claims that social media marketers usually have one of four general goals in mind. These goals are as follows: sell products, launch new products, drive affinity between customers and the brand and, reach new markets and customers.

I found this information to be very interesting. Paine sorts all possible goals for a social media marketer into four general categories. She then gives helpful advice on what questions marketers may want to ask themselves based on their general goal. This can be useful, especially because coming up with specific objectives can be overwhelming sometimes. Crafting goals and objectives is one of the most important parts about getting measurement started on social media because without this step, you may not know what exactly you are looking for or what you want to take away from the measurements you’re about to make. For this reason, it is important to keep goals in the center of attention when measuring.

Paine has excellent examples of what to and to not do when social media measuring. These general goal categories she gives readers barely scrapes the surface of the advice she offers. I read several articles about her work when searching for pins about social media measurement on Pinterest, and I have noticed people calling her a “social media guru”. I plan on taking the advice she gives into my future career, and I know that it will one day serve me well. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Facebook’s New Tab

This week, my phone automatically updated the Facebook app for me, and when I opened it after it finished I noticed a new tab had been added. This tab is labeled “Videos” and it is a timeline of strictly videos that are shared on Facebook. At the top of this tab, there are a list of the accounts I follow or like, and clicking on one leads to the most recent videos that account has shared. Below that section is a “Top Live” section in which a live video is being broadcast. The final section of this new tab is “Suggested for You” and it is a list of videos that Facebook suggests based on videos I have liked or watched on Facebook in the past. Beneath each video is the name of the person or account who posted the video, as well as a “follow” button.

Facebook has added several new features this year, including the “Sell” tab in which you can post pictures of what you want to sell with a price and people can buy them from you through the site or app. The Facebook app also moved the “Messenger” button from the bottom bar of the screen to the top left corner. The app has been revamped this year to say the least.

I am an avid Facebook user because of my involvement with Odyssey, and I use the app on a regular basis. I enjoy the renovations, although I don’t use them often. I never sell things online, and I prefer to watch videos in my “News feed” rather than watch them in their own section. Nevertheless, I believe some people will enjoy the changes the app has made and use them to their full advantage. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanksgiving Break Has Finally Arrived

Thanksgiving break has finally arrived for the students of Ohio Northern University. On Friday, Nov. 18, those who were heading home for the holiday departed after classes. Some students even chose to skip their Friday classes to get on the road as quickly as possible. Many students were mainly excited to get home and see their families and pets, and I was one of these students. It had been a month since I had seen my dog or any of my family members, and I was eager to get home. However, I chose not to skip class because I had important assignments due on Friday and I knew I couldn’t afford to skip. I hit the road as soon as possible though, and I arrived at my house in Michigan by 5:30 p.m. I ran into more traffic than I had anticipated and it took me three and a half hours to get home when it usually only takes me two hours and 45 minutes. Although the drive was frustrating, it made arriving home that much more relieving.

While I’d like to say I’m going to make the most of this break and do as much relaxing as I can, unfortunately I will be stuck doing homework all week. I have several term papers I need to complete before returning to school so I don’t fall behind. However, I’m grateful for the allotted time I’m given to complete these papers and stay on top of my work. I know if I can complete my homework, I will be much less stressed when I return to school. Hopefully I can get it all done and still enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.

Ohio Northern students are lucky to have this long of a break. Most universities and colleges I know of only get Thanksgiving and Black Friday off school. While this means most of my friends from high school won’t be able to hang out until next weekend, it gives me a lot of time to focus on my homework and my family. I hope everyone has a safe and happy break! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

ONU’s Odyssey Team Reaches a Record Number of Members

I became editor-in-chief for ONU’s Odyssey team last February. When I first took up the position, our team only had around five members who were contributing regularly. Once I sent out an email to the student body inviting people to join us, we gained about 11 new members in two weeks. It was quite the accomplishment, and it brought our member count from five to 16 very quickly. Since then, this number has fluctuated back and forth, ranging from 10 to 17 members, which before now was the maximum number that we ever reached.

At our last Odyssey meeting, the team and I discussed different recruitment tactics that might be efficient in gaining new members. Little did I know the team would do such an incredible job recruiting that we’d see the second largest spike in Odyssey invite requests our team has ever received within a week. After just seven days, Odyssey at ONU welcomed aboard six new members. Before this spike, we only had 15 Creators on board; now, we have broken our record of 17 members with our new record of 21. This is huge because it means in less than a year, Odyssey at ONU quadrupled in size. I am so proud!

These 21 wonderful Creators write about current events, poetry, short stories, personal anecdotes and experiences and, so much more. At Odyssey, we now have the opportunity to submit a series of pictures or a video for our weekly article, so there is room for all sorts of creative activity. Our members are some of the most creative, intelligent and, kind-hearted people I know, and I am so fortunate to be editor-in-chief during this time of team growth. I can’t wait to watch how the new members develop in on this social media platform, and I am thankful for the success ONU’s Odyssey team has seen in the past few months!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fall Sports Coming to an End

Here at Ohio Northern University, as well as several other colleges and high schools, fall sports are nearing the end of their season. Football and soccer have concluded for the year, and posts from the players reflecting on the season are scattered across social media. For the most part, it looks like the teams here at ONU have been fairly successful this year. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch any games this year because my schedule has been so packed. However, I have always been a sports fan, so I’m happy to hear ONU’s teams had great seasons.

I used to play soccer and basketball, which were mainly winter and spring sports. However, I know the sinking feeling that players get when their season ends. You feel relieved that you can have a little bit of a break from working so hard, but you’re sad knowing that you won’t be able to play competitively with your teammates for a while. When you’re on a team, you and your teammates grow very close, especially since you’re spending so much time practicing and working with them every day. Hopefully, players made great memories this fall and can take comfort in those memories when looking back.

Congratulations to all the teams that were successful this fall. I hope next year I’ll be able to attend some of the games here on campus and support our Polar Bears!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Phases of Engagement

In our book, “Measure What Matters” written by Katie Delahaye Paine, Chapter 5 discusses “how to measure in a social media world” and gives great advice. One of the most valuable pieces of information I felt Paine gave us in this chapter was her explanation of the “Phases of Engagement”. According to Paine, the levels proceed is follows: lurking, casual, active, committed and, loyalist. Paine then goes on to discuss the characteristics of each level mentioned.

I found this information to be very helpful. It thoroughly explains how relationships between companies and customers progress on social media. I had never thought about it before, but building any relationship takes time, and that does not exclude social media relationships. By seeing the levels of engagement in a grid that Paine crafted, it is much easier to understand how a relationship is built online. This will benefit me in my future career should it involve social media and relationship building. These relationships might just be one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. If you don’t have a good relationship with potential customers online, then your company will not be successful in gaining followers and loyalists. It’s as simple as that. Thanks to Paine, understanding how to build those relationships in the most efficient way as well as knowing when to reach out and when to hold back is simpler than ever. I will be taking this knowledge with me into my future.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Finding a Common Ground of Success

In our book, “Measure What Matters” written by Katie Delahaye Paine, Chapter 2 focuses on the planning part of measuring statistics of the media for businesses. Paine gives great advice, including an entire checklist of things to do to ensure accurate results before you get started with measurement. One piece of advice that she gave the reader stuck out to me: “By getting everyone to agree on a standard definition of success, you can far more easily judge your performance in the marketplace and relative to your competition.”

This is significant advice for a couple of reasons. For one, it is an important thought to keep in mind when beginning to measure data about your company and social media traffic. Everyone needs to be on the same page with the same goals in mind. Otherwise, miscommunication will occur and people may not be measuring the same things with the same objectives. To measure online data for your company, everyone on your team must have the same basic understanding of what it is you are looking for in the data you collect. That is the only way you will be able to successfully compare yourselves to your competition.

Another reason this is great advice is it can be generalized to any job or project. Teamwork is all about coming to an understanding with your teammates and making sure that everyone is working towards the same goals. This begins with defining what success is among the team. If people disagree on the definition of success, they won’t be working toward the same goal, and thus disruption would inevitably occur among the team and the data. Finding that common ground is an important part of business, but it is also an important part of life. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election Day is Upon Us

Election Day is just around the corner now in the United States. It has been a very long and drawn-out battle between all candidates, even those who are no longer a part of the race. There are seemingly only two options to choose from now, and most people are comparing this moment to choosing the “lesser of two evils” since neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump appear to be ideal. There are third-party candidates, such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, that are still a part of the election, but they are not as popular among the media as the democratic and republican candidates seem to be. Regardless, it’s going to be a tight election.

Ohio Northern University has done an excellent job keeping its students informed throughout the election process. Besides student organizations raising awareness about specific candidates, ONU has provided several “watch parties” for students to attend to watch the debates between Hillary and Trump. The campus provided free food as an incentive for students to attend. I attended one of them myself, and I intend on attending the final “watch party” on Nov. 8 to find out who will be our next president with several of my peers. ONU student organizations have also been doing their best to encourage students to vote, because most students don’t realize how important their vote is to our country. I voted, and I hope that the efforts of ONU to inform and encourage student voters has inspired others to do the same.

Election Day will be a big day for all of America. Hopefully, whoever becomes our next president will take care of our country and put its people first. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Food for Thought When Creating a Pinterest Board

One of the most valuable pieces of advice that I took away from the Pinterest chapter of “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” was when the author gave the reader guiding questions to ask oneself when creating a Pinterest board. Jason McDonald, author of the book, stated that we should ask ourselves these questions:

“What is this board about?”

“Who will be interested in this board?”

“What will you pin to this board, and where does that content live?”

These three questions are extremely helpful when creating a Pinterest board, especially because it can be somewhat difficult to know where to start. I have never been an avid Pinterest user, but when I was in middle school I attempted to play around with it only to discover that organization is key. However, I never thought about the last two of the three questions McDonald gives us. It’s important to think about who your audience is for your Pinterest board so that you drive the most traffic to it, especially if you are using Pinterest for marketing purposes. Social media is key in today’s marketing world, making Pinterest just as useful of a tool as any other social media site. I will be taking this food for thought with me into my future career!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Trick-or-treating at ONU

This past Tuesday, ONU hosted a trick or treat event for the children of Ada. Dormitories across campus were decorated with different themes for the children to walk through as they collected candy, such as “Finding Dory”.  Volunteers from different student organizations lead groups of children and parents from building to building. Overall, the event appeared to be very successful with many people in attendance.

Although I did not participate in this event, I truly enjoyed seeing the little kids dressed up in their costumes on campus. I was surprised to see parents dressed up as well; their costumes were a bit scarier than the children’s! I felt a bit of nostalgia watching them trick or treat and it made me miss walking door to door on Halloween with my family and friends. Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but I appreciate it and think that it is a fun time of year—no matter what age you are!

Thanks, Ohio Northern University, for putting on a Halloween event for the village of Ada. It was so cute!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to Lucid Dream

For my Social Media Principles class, we were asked to create a "how to" video. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with an idea that I could easily craft into a video. I thought about what my skills are and what activities I know how to do, but it was very difficult to come up with something that would be suitable for this project. Finally, it dawned on me: lucid dreaming.

I wanted my video to be beneficial for people to watch and grab their attention. I know that not a lot of people know how to lucid dream, so I figured this is the perfect opportunity to teach them. People talk all the time about how they wish they could do it, so I want to help them do just that. I've only been able to lucid dream for about a year, and I learned how to do it on accident, but I know that I can teach people how to go about trying to achieve the dream. What a perfect "how to" video topic! 

Feel free to like my video on YouTube, and please share with your friends and family! Eventually, we all could be lucid dreamers!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Comparing Video Data on YouTube

“Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” has an entire chapter dedicated to teaching readers about YouTube. The author, Jason McDonald, gives the reader several details about how to best use YouTube and optimize your success on the site. One of these details stood out to me in particular: “Competitor video data is hidden under the ‘more’ button.” I am not an avid YouTube user, but I believe that this information is very useful in the field of public relations. Being able to compare video data to other top competitors on a YouTube video gives us important knowledge, so that a company, organization, business or, an individual can look to see what their audience is responding best to, and what other videos are doing right.

Perhaps someday, when I have a full-time job in the field of public relations, I will be able to contribute to the team by knowing how to compare our video data to our competitors’. For now, however, I believe this piece of information is interesting to say the least, and it could be fun just to compare videos to other videos to see which ones are more successful in the social media world.  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

ONU Homecoming Parade 2016: Delta Zeta Edition

The 2016 homecoming parade at Ohio Northern University that took place on Main Street, Ada was quite successful. Overall, the parade had a healthy number of people in attendance who were all there to celebrate ONU’s homecoming. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in this parade as a member of Delta Zeta.

As we began preparations for this event, I decided to live tweet everything interesting that occurred. My tweets begin with pre-parade setup and waiting time, transition into the procession down Main Street (including Delta Zetas cheering for our sorority in celebration!) and finally, wrap up the live tweet session with a special shout out to our float driver. You can see all of the tweets I am referring to here. If you attended the parade, I hope you enjoyed seeing ONU’s Delta Zeta ladies! If you did not attend, take a look at my Storify that is made up of my homecoming parade tweets!

It was a great experience to be able to live tweet such an awesome event. It made me start to wonder how Ohio Northern University was doing in covering these events, so I took a look at its pages on Twitter and Facebook to see whether or not the people running them were doing well or not. I have to say, I was disappointed in their promotion of ONU’s events. Homecoming weekend is one of the major events that we host here on campus throughout the entire school year, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that there was hardly any promotion of homecoming on the pages. ONU’s Twitter account, @ohionorthern, had only a single tweet mentioning homecoming at all, and it simply stated that it was homecoming week with an attached photo. It did not mention any of the events ONU would be holding, and it didn’t even attach a link to show us where we can find the events. It didn’t even seem like much of a promotional tweet, since it simply stated a fact and did not encourage anyone to participate or engage with the tweet. Our book, "Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016", tells us to use hashtags to help promote a tweet or event, and ONU’s account did not even do that. The book also tells us to tag people that would be interested in your tweet to give you a shot at someone else helping to promote it, but ONU’s account did not do that either.

ONU’s Facebook page was severely lacking as well. The page has a single post from homecoming week, and it has absolutely nothing to do with homecoming—frankly, it has nothing to do with anything. It was a post about how “You can’t help but FALL in love with this campus”, which I suppose promotes the beauty of the school during the fall, but does not encourage engagement. “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” tells us that “interactivity is goal #1 for your Facebook posts” as well as to “be emotional” on Facebook. This post didn’t do either of those things, and it didn’t have anything to do with homecoming at all! I was shocked. The book also advises us to use keywords, but the post lacks these as well.

If ONU wants productive social media pages, the account owners will need to step up their game. On Twitter, they should learn how to tag people who might want to retweet them, use hashtags to encourage engagement, and attach links to sites that give more information about the school or event being hosted. On Facebook, they should consider tagging and hashtagging as well, but they should also consider being more emotional and applying key words to grab their audience’s attention. ONU’s athletic Twitter account live tweeted the homecoming football game, which is the only thing that ONU’s Twitter did right as far as homecoming promotion. ONU’s Facebook page didn’t do anything in regards to homecoming promotion, so that is something the account really needs to add next year. If ONU follows these tips, they may be able to have successful accounts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Delta Zeta's Homecoming Participation

Homecoming is just around the corner at Ohio Northern University. ONU will be welcoming back the Classes of 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1976, 1971 and, 1966 for their reunions. There are several exciting events planned throughout the week and weekend put on by different campus organizations to celebrate, including the homecoming football game.

As a sophomore, I will be entering ONU’s homecoming weekend a bit differently than I did last year, as I now know what to expect. Last year, I only went to the tailgate lunch and the game. This year, however, I will be participating in homecoming events much differently, especially now that I have joined Delta Zeta sorority.

This year, the Friday of homecoming weekend, Delta Zeta is hosting a “Glow Run” to raise money for our philanthropy. This run will be a 5k, and it begins at 7 p.m. on the Tundra. We will have sorority sisters placed in specific spots throughout the course, ready to spray runners with glowing liquid so that they light up as they finish their race. It will be an exciting event, and we courage everyone to sign up and run with us. It’s for a great cause: the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This organization helps put money towards getting the deaf community in underprivileged areas and countries the hearing aids and support they need. If running isn’t your thing, at least consider donating to our wonderful philanthropy and help change lives!

Along with the Glow Run, Delta Zeta is hosting a luncheon for our alumnae. We are very excited to welcome them back into the house for a few hours and provide them the food they deserve while we hear about how incredible their lives have been since college. I have a lot of respect for our alumnae, as do most of our DZ sisters, and I am excited to meet the women I was never able to be an active member with while at ONU. It should be a fun time!

Finally, Delta Zeta will be walking down Main Street in Ada to participate in our homecoming parade. It will be such a fun experience to walk with other Greek members and organizations on campus throughout our town. I am very excited to participate, and I encourage you all to come out and support ONU at this parade, as well as all of the other events going on this weekend!

Happy homecoming!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tweeting to Journalists

One of the most interesting pieces of advice that our book “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” by Jason McDonald has given us is, in my opinion, the suggestion to “pitch journalists view Twitter” as a promotion strategy. Tagging journalists in tweets about your company, product or, services can be extremely useful.

According to McDonald, journalists love Twitter because it is where stories seem to unfold the most. By tagging them in tweets you would want them to see, you are grabbing their attention and giving them a potential story that they may want to dive into and explore. By tagging several journalists in promotional tweets, you may just get lucky to the point where they will want to write a promotional story on you or your company. They also might choose to retweet your promotional tweet, which would give you access to a whole new audience of people that follow that particular journalist.

This is useful information, because promoting on Twitter can sometimes be a difficult task. Twitter is very noisy, and it is hard for users to pick out what to pay attention to and what to virtually ignore. Being retweeted or recognized by a journalist would help your promotion to stand out. I’m glad that McDonald gave this advice because before I read this section, I had never thought about tagging journalists. I believe that this knowledge will assist me in my future career in PR, and I will be able to help companies better expand their outreach and audience traffic on Twitter. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Apple Pistol Emoji Has Been Replaced

iOS 10 for Apple products has made several changes to the way Apple works. Overall, the public reaction to the changes was positive; most people find the new Apple model to be satisfactory. However, there is one change to the update that has almost gone unnoticed—almost.

Since emojis became a part of Apple products, there has been one emoji in particular that has caused problems that most people are unaware of: the pistol emoji. Although the emoji was, for the most part, used in harmless fashions, there have been several instances of people using the emoji as threatening, or to make others feel threatened. Perhaps a more common—but still inappropriate—way this emoji has been used is next to a face emoji, where the pistol is pointing at the head, insinuating suicide. People have been pressuring Apple to remove the pistol emoji for quite some time now in order to remove the possibility of people using it in inappropriate manners. With iOS 10, those people have finally succeeded.

The new update didn’t just remove the pistol emoji, it replaced it. A neon green squirt gun has taken the pistol’s place, which takes away the threatening appearance of the original gun. This means the only way people are able to use the pistol emoji in social media or over text is to Google the image of the original and insert it into the post or message.

A majority of the population of Apple users hasn’t even noticed the change yet, but those who were fighting to get it removed are rejoicing over the change. However, where there is one opinion there must be a counter opinion. The gun community (those who own and/or operate guns, such as hunters or those with concealed weaponry licenses), despise the change. They feel as if Apple is taking away their freedom to discuss guns over social media and text, which in their eyes is stepping a little too close to the “gun control” debate line. They have begun attempting to put the pistol emoji back into Apple’s emoji inventory.

So far, Apple products are the only ones who have made this emoji change. Since other device brands still have the pistol emoji, they can still send pistol emojis to Apple devices. However, it will appear as the squirt gun to the Apple user, not a pistol. Whether or not you are a fan of the change, you have to admit that it is an interesting decision that Apple has made. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Clowns at ONU

Last week, a clown was spotted on two different occasions on the Ohio Northern University campus. The first time was on the Green Monster, and the second was near Affinity Village. Campus security was contacted both times, but they were unable to locate the clown.

Students who witnessed the first sighting of the clown claimed that the clown was walking towards them holding an object that resembled a "butcher knife". Regardless of whether or not these sightings were true or simply false claims, they have incited panic in the entire student body. Students have begun exercising campus security's services of escorting, purchasing mace and pocket knives, and avoiding walking outside at night altogether.

Although time has passed since the second clown sighting and people have begun to relax, it doesn't erase the fear in the back of people's minds when they walk alone on campus. Most clown sightings around the country have been dismissed as pranks, but no one likes to be pranked unknowingly, regardless to if it is harmless or not.

People should not be forced into fearing for their safety at a place that once felt so secure. This clown prank has taken things too far, and the students of ONU do not deserve the effects it has caused us. This clown joke is ridiculous and needs to be put to an end.

If you know anything about the clown at ONU, please give that information to the police. This is not a funny joke; it is affecting how safe people feel at their own homes.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Schmoozing on LinkedIn

According to the book, schmoozing is “another word for business networking”. The worksheet we did was all about networking our LinkedIn profiles in a way that helps us engage with our connections on the site to try and build followers for our potential business, as well as make connections that could be beneficial to us. The worksheet discussed 1st and 2nd connections. 1st level connections are those who you may direct message/interact with, whereas 2nd level connections are “friends of friends”, or your 1st levels’ 1st level connections that you can only interact with by being introduced to (confusing, I know).

I thought that this worksheet taught me a lot about how to best make connections on LinkedIn. Personally, I am not all that familiar with LinkedIn, and I have a lot of work to do regarding expanding my profile. This section of the workbook as well as the worksheet provided me tips that I otherwise wouldn’t have received. I have a few 1st level connections right now, but not too many. I know that I can work on expanding my list by working with my 1st levels to be introduced to my 2nd levels, and the book provided my insight on how to best approach that situation. This will be beneficial to me when I begin looking for future careers in Public Relations, because as the book states, “It’s not what you know (in business). It’s who you know.”

Now that I have this knowledge about schmoozing on LinkedIn, I will be able to help other companies in the future that I work with in developing and managing their profiles on the site. Doing so will allow the company to not only find worthy employees, but also worthy clients and partners. I look forward to being able to exercise this knowledge in the future, both in my career and in my personal life. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Review of Blogger

Blogger is a website that allows anyone to create a blog for free. It gives individuals the opportunity to craft their own personal blog page on their own terms. It is a great website for beginner bloggers who are just starting to test the waters in the blogging world, because they are given so much freedom on an easy-to-use system.

The students of Social Media Principles use Blogger every week. As a student in the class, I have come to get to know the website fairly well in the couple months that we have been in class. It took me a few minutes to figure out and understand all of the tricks to the site, but once I got the basics down I was set. I customized my page exactly the way I wanted it in every way possible, and I made sure my new blog correlated with how I see myself. It was fun to create the blog’s design and layout, but then after that it was time to get to work.

I now write three blogs a week, and the process has become second nature to me. What I like most about Blogger is how easy it is to navigate the site and organize your blogs. Having all options available and clear to me as I craft my blog makes everything so much simpler. I also love the statistics Blogger shows you about the blogs that you write. These include how many people have viewed and commented as well as what sites they viewed it from. This is extremely helpful in planning where to post each blogs, because it shows you where your blogs are getting viewed the most.

Although those are all wonderful qualities of Blogger, there is one thing in particular that I feel it is lacking. I believe it would be beneficial for Blogger to have a “home” page, so that there may be a feed of other Blogger users’ blogs and blog posts. There is an option at the top of the site that says “next blog”, which, when clicked, takes you to a random person’s blog. However, although this is a step up from not being able to browse any other blogs, it’s not a great system. It doesn’t always show you blogs that are updated, and you never know who’s blog you are going to be viewing. You can’t pick and choose blogs based on your interest, which if that were to be implemented into the site, might really add something great.

Overall, I think that Blogger is a great site, and I’m thankful that I have been I’ve had the opportunity to get to know how it all works. I would definitely recommend this site to friends!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Break at Ohio Northern

The first true break of the semester has finally arrived here at Ohio Northern University: Fall Break. This year, students have October 10th and 11th off of classes, giving them a much needed and deserved break from school. It may be short, but it is most definitely welcomed by all students with open arms. 

One of my last posts regarded midterms here at the university, and those dreaded exams definitely make this break even more wonderful than it already was. As for myself, I have already headed home for the first time all semester. I hadn't seen my dog in over a month, and I missed him dearly. Reuniting was so wonderful, and he is just as cute as the day I left him for school! I am sure several ONU students are reuniting with their pets this weekend, which presumably is as great for them as it was for me. It is also nice to finally be home and just relax on the couch with my family. Moments like those don't happen very often since I've been away at school, and I no longer take them for granted. It feels so good to just relax.

Although I know that Fall Break will be over sooner than I'd like it to, I'm going to make the most of it, including going on a mini vacation to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Glen Arbor, Michigan, which is about four hours north of my house. Other than that, relaxing is a top priority, since this semester has seemed a bit more stressful than the other ones that I have experienced. 

I'm just glad that we actually have a Fall Break at ONU, because I know most of my friends' schools don't have one. They have to wait until Thanksgiving for their first break to arrive, which seems so far away from now. I know that once I'm back at school I'll be counting down the days until Thanksgiving Break, so I can't even imagine how they feel! 

Fellow Polar Bears: I hope you all enjoy your Fall Break! Be sure to make the most of it, because time sure does fly!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Four Good Reasons to Use Facebook for Social Media Marketing

In our book “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016”, the author Jason McDonald begins Chapter 2 by listing off four good reasons as to why Facebook is an amazing place to begin social media marketing. I thought for my book blog this week that I would name these reasons and give my personal input on why I agree they make social media marketing easier.

McDonald’s first reason as to why Facebook is a great place to start is that is it “the largest social media platform, with over one billion active users and countless profiles, Pages, and groups.” At first, I was surprised by this number, thinking about how vast the population on Facebook really is compared to other social media sites. However, after a minute I realized that I wasn’t that surprised. From the moment Facebook became a popular site when I was in elementary school, I knew it was going to be huge. Everyone used it—how was it going to be possible for people to function without it? Yes, there are still people that don’t have Facebook, but everyone I know that doesn’t have one still uses it by googling Facebook profiles. It has become such a useful site, it’s easy to see why so many people in the world have an account.

His second reason was “once you understand the dynamics of Facebook…you’ll more easily understand the dynamics of other social media”. When I read this, it really made me think. Facebook had been my first social media account, and I tried to think about if I would’ve understood the other social media accounts I got later in life like Twitter and Instagram if I hadn’t known how to use Facebook so well. I don’t think that I would have, because Facebook taught me the basics, what is and isn’t appropriate to post online, how to instant message people, and how to interact with others through the site. These skills really came in handy when I got a Twitter, because Twitter has a few differences that make it more difficult to understand if you don’t already understand social media.

McDonald’s third reason pointed out the usefulness of the Facebook component Edgerank, which “rewards you for posting items that users interact with (as measured by likes, comments, and shares)”. I have barely gotten a chance to use Edgerank, but after completing the Facebook Analytics assignment for class, I feel like I have a basic understanding of how it works, and I can easily tell how useful it could be to a social media marketer. The more you know the reactions your audience has to certain posts, the better you can plan your best marketing strategies to get the most engagement with your audience.

The final reason that McDonald listed was “Facebook is fun!” and “social media marketing should not be thought of as a chore, but as a way to get closer to your customers and build a community of evangelists around your company, product, or service.” This is a true fact. When I enter the Public Relations field in the future, I want my job to be as fun and enjoyable as possible. If that includes working on fun social media (such as Facebook), I will be a happy girl! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Benefits of Social Media

Social media has been around for several years now, but isn’t it crazy to think about how much it has evolved in that time? We started with only being able to send each other private messages through chat systems to being able to share photos with all of our friends and family in a click of a button. When social media first grew in popularity, older generations became a bit skeptical about how it would play out in the lives of young people. Would it take up too much of young people’s time? Would it have a negative impact on face to face social engagement?

In my opinion, although those fears still exist, I don’t believe it has had too much of a negative impact on our lives. Granted, it definitely has affected the social engagement habits of young people everywhere, but I don’t believe social media is necessarily causing a negative impact. The ability to share your thoughts, pictures, videos, and whatever else you can think of with anyone that you want to any given time is kind of amazing. Texting might have changed the way young people communicate, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As long as social media is being used correctly (and you aren’t completely dependent on it), then it is a healthy way to stay connected with people.

Another great thing about social media that many people forget about is how useful it is for businesses and consumers. Before, if we wanted to know more about a business and what other consumers think about it, the only real solution was to verbally ask around to see what people thought. Now, we can see reviews of a business and how many people truly enjoy it—not just a few people. Also, it allows businesses to interact with its consumers. The more a consumer feels comfortable with a business, the more likely they will be to stay loyal to it, which is why social media marketing is so important.

Overall, I believe that social media is a good thing. It has revolutionized the way that our country functions, and I think that it is useful for a lot of different reasons. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Midterms have already occurred in some classes are are unfortunately coming up sooner than later in others. It’s that time of the semester when professors decide to test their students’ knowledge on what they have learned so far on a stressful exam. So far, I’ve only had one major exam for midterms, but I know that there are plenty more exams and projects to come.

Being a college student can be tough around midterms. It’s like a miniature finals week, where half the school population I stressed and caffeine-fueled and the other half is in denial. Not everyone has midterms, and midterms are spread out over several weeks, not condensed into one. Even still, they are stressful and make people nervous about their grades. Luckily, even if students perform poorly on their midterms, there is still time throughout the semester to get their grades up—that is, if they put in the extra work to do so.

The only midterm that I’ve had so far did not go as well as I had hoped. In all honesty, I probably should’ve studied harder than I did, but I had felt confidence that made me feel like I knew more than I actually did. Even though I haven’t received my grade yet, I am not too worried about it, since I’ve been doing well in the class up until this point.

I know that there are many more midterms to come, and I am praying that they go well. If you have a midterm coming up, good luck to you! We’ll get through this together. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Social Media Marketing Compared to Throwing a Party

In the newest book that we are reading in class, “Social Media Marketing Workbook 2016” written by Jason McDonald, the first chapter makes an analogy that I find to be intriguing. The author compares managing a social media page for marketing purposes to throwing a party. He mentions that in order to throw a party that many people want to attend, you must have everything in order, meaning food, entertainment, invitations, guests, and music. This means that on your page, you must have an attractive profile picture and header photo, as well as quality content if you want people to come to your page. You also have to keep your visitors entertained with your content without making them feel overwhelmed with it. The whole thing can be a tricky and tiring process, just like planning and throwing a party.

I found this analogy to be quite helpful in thinking about attracting people to your social media page. I knew that it couldn’t be that easy to get people to follow and like you while marketing on social media, but I have never really thought about the actual process of making it all happen. This analogy provides somewhat of a checklist for people to think about when they attempt to market online. If they think about the food/entertainment of a party as the content of their page, the decorations at a party as the attractiveness of their page, and the face that no one likes to go to a party where they don’t know anyone as a way to invite and promote good reviews on their page, then the people marketing online might have a better chance of understanding their responsibilities of management. How to go about marketing on social media makes much more sense to me now, and I believe this analogy could potentially help marketers across the country.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Will Google Photos Become Useless on Apple Devices?

Google Photos was a life saver at the beginning of this year. I always run out of space too quickly on my phone due to having too many photos and videos, so when I first heard about the app, I jumped right on it. Essentially, this Google app works like a drive that you can access from anywhere. Any time I take a picture or video, it is automatically replicated and put into the Google Photos app, and therefore I can gain access to it from anywhere, even on my PC. Another great part of the app is that it creates collages, animations, and slideshows from certain moments of your photo library that were taken close in time to one another. Also, it has a feature that you can search for people, objects, places, and days, so that any picture that is relevant to the keyword you search will pop up. For instance, if I were to search “mom” after titling my mother’s picture “mom”, then it will pull up on my screen every picture my mom is in, because the app can recognize faces. After years of searching through hundreds of photos to find the one I am looking for, this app was a nice change and gave me a much easier experience.

The one downside of Google Photos is that in order for it to help save space on your phone, you must first wait for all of the photos to sync to the app, and then delete every photo from your phone’s photo library. This means that if you want to post a picture to or change your profile picture on a social media website, or if you want to switch your background on your phone, then you need to re-save the picture you want back to your photo library on your phone. This can be a hassle.

Apple noticed this flaw, and decided to give Apple users the best of the best when it comes to a photo library. With the new iOS 10 update, Apple has created a program in their photo library app that is seemingly identical to the one that Google had already created, but better. Apple created iCloud for pictures, so that every time you take a picture it is saved to the Cloud, not your phone. However, this time the photos you take remain in your photo library without taking up any storage space on your phone. This means that Apple kept all the same features from Google photos—the search engine tool, the automatic animations, and the slideshows—while adding features that are favorable to Apple users. These new features include showing a map of where the photos were taken, as well as separate albums for Twitter, Instasize, Snapchat, and Instagram photos. This, along with the beneficial aid of having the photos remain in your photo library for easy access, trump the old Google Photos app.

Will people stop using Google Photos now that Apple has implemented these new features? Google Photos seems almost useless for Apple users now, since the photo library takes over the responsibilities that Google Photos once provided. Even still, a majority of my photos are no longer on my phone and are on Google Photos, so I’m not sure if I will ever stop using it now. However, I believe that only time can tell us what to expect from the Apple versus Google Photos predicament that many people—myself included—now find themselves enduring. We shall see!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Family Day 2016 at Ohio Northern University

This past weekend on Saturday, September 17th, Ohio Northern University hosted Family Day. Many other colleges and universities have a day like this as well, and ONU likes to celebrate it just as much as any other. It is a day where family members are welcome to the university to engage in various activities with their college student. It also serves as an excuse for families to come visit their student, since that doesn’t always happen often. I personally love Family Day because it is the only time that I get to actually hangout with my family while at school, since they live three hours north of here in Michigan. It’s always fun to show them around!

Some of the activities that ONU provided for students and their family members included bingo, a carnival to raise money for two Greek philanthropies, a performance from pogo stick professional Wacky Chad, Improvapalooza—a show put on by ONU’s improv group Fearless Shenanygans—and a talented illusionist that goes by Kid Ace. Also happening around campus on this day was the Ada Harvest and Herb Festival located in downtown Ada, as well as a Bright Pink Run/Walk in honor of breast cancer, and two home soccer games for both the men and women ONU teams.

As many of you know, Ohio Northern University doesn’t typically have a whole lot happening on campus. Family Day was a way to bring all sorts of fun activities and events to ONU for a day. I am so blessed that my family came to visit me, and I am very thankful to ONU for giving us so much to do and experience. Full disclosure, there were a few moments throughout the day that we found ourselves with nothing to do, but that was just because our timing was off when planning which events to attend. Overall, Family Day was a great time, as always. I miss my family already, but I’m thankful for the time we got to spend together here on campus! Hopefully next year will be just as great. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The First Floor of Heterick Memorial Library Has Been a Huge Success

Over the summer, Ohio Northern University made some major renovations to the first floor of Heterick Memorial Library. They completely redid everything, that is, the floor, the paint color, the furniture, and even the walls and rooms within it have a whole new look. They even added a new café, which serves Starbucks coffee and other types of delicious drinks right here in the library (which, if you ask me, was genius—studying college students need coffee fuel!).

The result of the renovations has been overwhelming success. Before, students were not in the library very often—there was always plenty of seats to find when looking for a study spot. Now, however, the first floor is seemingly always packed with busy students—myself included. The café has also been a huge hit—there always seems to be a line, and as you walk throughout the library, you can see several students drinking the beverages they bought from there.

As an employee of the Writing Center on the second floor of the library, I can say that even our services have been more popular than ever. With more people at the library studying, there are more students who don’t mind running upstairs really quickly to get writing help or set up an appointment. It is great to see that our services at the Writing Center are becoming more popular!

Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of students that study on the second and third floors of the library. It just seems that a lot of the success that the library has seen since school started this year can be attributed to the incredible renovations ONU has made to the first floor. Let’s hope that eventually the school will renovate the second and third floors as well, so that our entire library can look as amazing as it does on the first floor!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Will iOS 10 Bring Changes to Social Media Sites?

Recently, Apple just released iOS 10, and with it came several new changes. Most of the changes are in Apple apps, such as iMessage, Apple Maps, and Notes, as well as changes to the overall settings of Apple products. Both good and bad things have been said about the new update, as it might with any update. The only difference is that iOS 10 was built up with such high expectations from Apple users because a lot has been changed, and Apple promised worthwhile results. Whatever your view of the update may be, we can all agree that the update gives Apple products a whole new look. Since Apple is predominantly a superpower in the world of technology, this bold new update raises this question: will social media websites also get a bold new make-over?

In the past, social media apps tended to update whenever Apple did, even if only minor changes were made. Again, not all of the changes that have been made to social media apps in the past have been a huge hit among users, but either way, people were forced to get used to the changes whether they liked them or not. Most of the time, the social media site knows what it is doing, and knows that the changes it makes will eventually be the norm for their site.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the way social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat function now, and I think that the sites are modernized enough to the point where they match the “futuristic” style of iOS 10, so any changes or updates among sites are not entirely necessary. However, I’m always up for a modern change, and I really like the elements that Apple has implemented, so I wouldn’t complain if some of those elements were added to the social media apps I use on a daily basis.

For now, it doesn’t seem like any major changes have been made in social media as a result of iOS 10. We may just have to wait and see!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Review of "The Art of Social Media"

Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick's "The Art of Social Media" was a very interesting read. Most required reading for classes in college tend to be dull and difficult to pay attention to, but this text was interesting, to-the-point, humorous, and easy to understand. The entire book is made up of different tips to try and use while utilizing social media in order to make your page, blog, business, etc. spread across the internet. This way, you are gaining a lot more publicity for yourself or your company.

There are tips in this book that seem obvious to me, such as how to mention someone in a reply on Twitter, or the advice "always post interesting and relevant content" as opposed to boring and irrelevant. However, I also learned more about social media than I ever thought possible as a result of the readings. Before reading, the only social media sites that I knew how to use were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, but now I know about dozens of other websites that could be of great use to me in my future career. I also know information about planning events and how to incorporate social media into those events, as well as how to interact with people via social media during important times.

Social media has become an important part of keeping up with change in this generation, and it may perhaps become even more important over time. This book gives not only people in the public relations/communications field a better idea of what to do in certain situations and on certain sites, but people in any field. Plus, it is actually enjoyable to read, and it being short and to the point helps readers to remember key tips more efficiently. This was the perfect book to have the students of Social Media Principles read, and I strongly recommend that anyone who finds social media useful should read it. I'm sure glad I did!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Instagram Tips from "The Art of Social Media"

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites on the internet. Personally, it is my favorite social media app to use, period. I just love looking at all of the images everyone posts and the interactions that come with it. I especially love the search tab on Instagram, because it opens up a whole world of interesting pictures and videos to look at. Plus, the filter and editing options are fun to play around with.

Because I love Instagram so much, I especially appreciated the section of “The Art of Social Media” that gave tips for the site in chapter 11. I found the tips that advised using popular hashtags and collages when necessary were a bit obvious, but other sections I found interesting. For instance, the discussion of filters was intriguing. I had always known that filters make a picture appear more pleasing to the eye, but I had never realized the impact that they could have in regards to sharing across platforms. The authors also point out “#NoFilter” as being one of the most popular hashtags, which, in a sense, contradicts their advice on finessing filters on Instagram. It just goes to show whichever way you choose to use filters, make sure that you are using them to your advantage.

The other part of this section that I found interesting—and even a bit humorous—is the advice “don’t show off”. People on Instagram—especially millennials—have a habit of only posting pictures that are “Instagram-worthy”; in other words, people tend to only post pictures that are absolutely perfect and make their lives appear to be fantastic. Although I believe we are all guilty of this, there are some people that take things a little too far, and end up sounding as if they are bragging. Also, there are people that are constantly posting selfies, which makes them appear conceited and obsessed with their image. I believe that many people need to hear this advice the authors provide, and perhaps try to adjust their Instagram-use accordingly.

Instagram is already a popular site, but with the help of these tips, people could learn to use it even more effectively. I will most definitely be attempting to follow this advice from now on. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Delta Zeta's Philanthropy Round of Recruitment

As a member of Delta Zeta, I am currently in the process of formally recruiting several new girls into our chapter by the end of this weekend. The first night of formal recruitment was based around the philanthropies of the chapters here at ONU. Our philanthropies of Delta Zeta are the Painted Turtle Camp, which is a camp that disabled or terminally ill children go to experience a fun, energetic summer camp while they are being treated, and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This foundation raises money to bring hearing aids to people of the deaf and hard of hearing community all across the world.

In order to help raise awareness for both of our philanthropies during the first round of recruitment, our sorority decided to make turtle pillows to send to the Painted Turtle Camp for all of the campers. To do so, we had the girls who are rushing sororities this fall help us cut out fabric in the shape of turtles, so that we could put stuffing in them and sew them together to make the pillows. This way we were able to share with the girls what the Painted Turtle Camp is all about in a fun and rewarding way! However, in order to include the Starkey Hearing Foundation philanthropy awareness, we decided to surprise the girls by singing a song in sign language. For months now, Delta Zeta sisters of this chapter have been practicing the “Friends” theme song in sign language in order to raise awareness for hearing loss and for the foundation. The music started playing out of nowhere, suddenly all of our sisters stood up and rushed to the front of the room, and the girls were truly surprised and impressed by the hard work we put in! It was such a fun and interesting experience. It made me want to learn sign language as a whole so that I might someday be fluent, but I know that will definitely take time and determination. We will see where life takes me!

Overall, I think that our philanthropy round of recruitment was really successful. The girls all seemed to appreciate the effort we put in, and I think they all enjoyed the activities that we did! I can’t wait to welcome our new Delta Zeta sisters home. It’s only a few days away, and I’m so excited! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

What It's Like to be an Editor-in-Chief for Odyssey

Previously, I wrote a post about what Odyssey is for one of my first blogs. Today, I want to retouch on that subject, this time focusing more on my actual position for Odyssey: editor-in-chief. 

As I have said before, Odyssey is one of the fastest growing social media properties in the world. Sometimes we even receive more pageviews than the Huffington Post, which is huge! Odyssey was created when a former college student, Evan Burns, decided that he was tired of the media looking down upon millennials and only sharing what they think we want to hear in the news. He decided to create Odyssey so that millennials can use it to share their own unique perspectives and voices on different topics that are important to them as individuals. Thus, Odyssey was born.

Our team here at ONU contributes to Burns' effort. We each submit one article a week due by Friday at midnight. Once submitted, the editing process begins. That's where I come in. 

I joined Odyssey the fall of my freshman year as a way to share my writing with the world and achieve more experience with publishing my work. Last winter, the previous editor-in-chief made the decision to step down from his position, and he suggested to our managing editor that I should take his place. I was absolutely thrilled! After a bit of training, I was set to start managing the team here at Ohio Northern. 

We started with only a handful of people writing for Odyssey, and then--by spreading the word on social media--we are now up to 17 incredible people on our team! With the help of my contributing editor, I edit each of their articles on a weekly basis, making sure that everything is filled out correctly, Odyssey's standards are met, and no grammar or spelling issues exist. 

Of course, editing is my main responsibility, but I am also in charge of screening people who are interested in joining our team, organizing and conducting team meetings once a month, and keeping in touch with our managing editor so I can keep up to date on any changes Odyssey might have made.

Being editor-in-chief comes with a lot of responsibility. Although it can be stressful at times, I wouldn't change a bit of it! I love being the editor as well as being a writer, and this role is the best of both worlds for me. I am so honored and thrilled that I get to be a part of such an incredible team, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings for us!

To learn more about my experience as an Odyssey editor-in-chief, you can listen to my podcast here. In the podcast, I answer the following questions and discuss them in more detail:

  • What is Odyssey?
  • Why did I choose to start writing for Odyssey?
  • How did I become editor-in-chief?
  • What are the specifics of my responsibilities as editor-in-chief?
  • What does Odyssey mean to me?
Make sure to listen in! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in person or leave them in the comments below, and I will be sure to answer them to the best of my ability! Happy writing!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Evergreen Hashtag

Chapter 7 of Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of Social Media” offers a variety of tips regarding the best ways to socialize events and increase popularity, whether it be online or in person. One of the tips that I found to be most interesting was tip 70, “Pick a Short, Evergreen Hashtag”. This tip points out that during events, avoid using hashtags that will have a short lifespan and will only be used for a few days (his example was #MotoXMexico2013). Instead, he advises us to pick a hashtag that people could talk about indefinitely, and people who are not at the event can still feel a part of (his example was the simple #MotoX)

I found this to be interesting because I had never thought about the use of hashtags in that way before. In my mind, using specific hashtags would grab the attention of people scrolling through social media and make them wonder what event they were missing out on, and therefore research the purpose of the event as a result. However, it now makes sense to me that using a simpler, “evergreen” hashtag allows people who were not even in attendance connect with the event. The hashtag has the chance to gain popularity, and if it’s short and sweet, people will be more willing to use it and have an easier time finding posts like it. It’s a very interesting and quality piece of information to share about hashtags.

In my opinion, there are a few events where you would probably want a more detailed hashtag that may have a shorter lifespan. For instance, sometimes weddings will use a hashtag for their guests to use when posting pictures of themselves at the event, and this allows everyone to search the hashtag and find only the pictures from that specific wedding (for example, #BryanSierraWed16). However, private events such as the one I just named wouldn’t have much of a reason to attempt to socialize their event (unless of course it was a public celebrity wedding, in which case everyone would want to be in on the action), so it makes sense as to why they wouldn’t want to use an evergreen hashtag.

In my future career, I believe I will need several socializing techniques to publicize events for businesses, and I believe this simple yet effective tip will serve me well in those endeavors. Who knew a hashtag could be so powerful?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Instagram Stories: Similarities and Differences with Snapchat

Recently, Instagram launched a new feature on its site, which many people claim was copied from Snapchat. The new feature is called “Instagram Stories”, and in a way, it does mimic Snapchat quite closely. People who are loyal to Snapchat are calling it a waste of time, and don’t see the point in having an Instagram Story when they can just post a story on Snapchat instead. But was the creation of this feature really just to take Snapchat’s concept and turn it into Instagram’s own?

Yes, the feature does mimic the same concept, but that’s not all that it’s good for. One of the key factors of Instagram Stories is that you see each person that you are following’s story. Compared to Snapchat, most people are following hundreds of people on Instagram rather than just those who are in their contacts. While this fact doesn’t matter if no one is posting personal Instagram stories, it matters a lot in the business world. Before, businesses would struggle with the idea that posting too often on Instagram would drive people away (which, in most cases, they’d be correct). Now, whatever pictures that aren’t “Instagram worthy”, per say, can be posted on an Instagram Story, and still access thousands of followers with their post. Celebrities also tend to benefit from this new feature for similar reasons—they are able to access an audience much larger than that of Snapchat, which is great for publicity. To top it all off, as long as their profiles aren’t on private, people who aren’t even following businesses or celebrities can watch their Instagram Stories and learn a little more about whether or not they would like to follow them based on a story they post.

We’ve now established that Instagram Stories can be beneficial to businesses and celebrities, but what about the general public? Although many do see it as pointless given the fact that it is so similar to Snapchat, there are several differences that some people find worthwhile. For instance, Instagram Stories appear right at the top of the app as soon as you open it, so that it is out of the way, but not difficult to get to. Snapchat, on the other hand, has all stories on a separate page, making it somewhat inconvenient to view stories when first opening the app. Furthermore, you can hold the screen to pause a slideshow, or swipe left to go back a slide, as opposed to Snapchat, who does not allow the duration of a story to be paused or revisited unless you go back and click on the owner of the story’s name once more. There are also three different types of brushes for drawing, as well as custom made color palettes that are easier to choose from, unlike Snapchat that has only one brush and a difficult color palette. Finally, for all of the stalkers out there, Instagram does not let someone know when you screenshot their story, which I suppose can be decided whether or not that is a good or bad thing at the user’s discretion.

While Snapchat may still have the lead in popularity (perhaps for its ability to add Geofilters and stickers, if nothing else), social media experts are wondering whether or not Instagram Stories will take a spike in popularity in the near future. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Writing Center Open House

Last Tuesday, The Writing Center inside the Heterick Memorial Library here at Ohio Northern University held its first open house for the semester. Upon arrival, students—and faculty, if present—were given a brief, ten-minute description of the services that The Writing Center offers to ONU students. Afterwards, they were asked to sign in so that they may be entered to win a $10 gift card to a location of their choice just for attending the open house. Finally, the students were welcome to travel through The Writing Center office to see what the rooms looked like, as well as pick up a delicious snack and drink on their way out. In case you missed this event, I happen to be a writing tutor employed by The Writing Center, and I am happy to give you a brief overview of the services we provide.

The first service we specialize in is perhaps the most common one, and that is one-on-one tutoring. This means, by scheduling an appointment, you will have a writing tutor’s sole attention for a full 25 minutes. During this time, you can ask questions, talk about your paper, and receive help on any aspects of your paper that you are questioning or confused about. What most people don’t realize about this is you are not required to have a full draft in order to use this service. In fact, you can schedule an appointment with nothing but a rubric to show, and ask the tutor to help you figure out how to start your paper or go about writing it. You can have as little done of your paper as a prompt from your professor, to as finished as a polished draft that you feel ready to turn in. Tutors will be able and willing to help you no matter what. This also doesn’t just qualify for going over papers—we can assist you with learning how to write citations, going over grammar rules, and virtually any other question that you might have in regards to writing. Feel free to bring in any type or form of writing, too. From 30 page essays to love notes—we’ve seen it all.  

The next service we provide at The Writing Center is much less well-known—the Writing Room. Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.—as well as 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays—you are welcome to come into the Writing Center and sit in our Writing Room and just write. The beauty of this service is that a tutor is always in the room with you during this time. That means whenever a question might rise up as you write, you will have a tutor there to answer it for you right away. If you are the only person in the room, you can look at it as an extended one-on-one tutor session, because you will have the tutor’s full attention. If there are more people in the room, the tutor can help you for five minutes at a time, in order to make sure everyone is getting their questions answered equally. This is a great place to write out papers, so keep it in mind!

Finally, the last service we offer is email help. If you have a question about writing, but do not feel like going to The Writing Center to ask for help, you can email your question to writing-help@onu.edu. During tutoring hours, tutors will be able to respond to your email almost immediately and answer your question to the best of their ability, as well as potentially add links that could help you better understand the answer they provide. This service is not intended for submitting full drafts and asking someone to edit it, because unfortunately we do not have the staffing to read all email drafts. You also would not make an appointment through the email, as it is intended strictly for answering questions about writing or The Writing Center. Feel free to email us your questions anytime!

The open house for The Writing Center was such a success, that we ran out of food halfway through the day! Our director promises that there will be plenty more food for our next open house in the Spring Semester of 2017. Be sure to make it! Until then, The Writing Center is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Call (419) 722-2186 or stop by The Writing Center to make your appointment today!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall Recruitment 2016 for a Spring 2016 Pledge

If you had asked me if I was interested in joining a sorority a year ago, I would have told you not in a million years. But somehow, in a matter of just a few months, I found myself joining Delta Zeta. I don’t know how I got here but here I am, sitting in my sorority house as I type this.  Although I did not rush in the fall like most people do, I accepted a bid in the spring when recruitment was much calmer, and it was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. I have truly bonded with my sisterhood, and I am thankful for this opportunity to be able to call myself a DZ.

Rushing in the spring is tremendously different than rushing in the fall. Fall recruitment is so much more intense, whereas spring recruitment is more laid back with much fewer people involved. I’m the type of person who does much better with calmer crowds, so I’m glad that I did it when I did. However, there are a few downsides to rushing in the spring, one of them being I have never gone through the official recruitment process and have absolutely no idea what it’s like. So as fall recruitment arrives here on campus, I find myself nervous about the next few weeks—almost as nervous as I know some of the potential new members (we call them PNMs) must be.

 Things in the sorority house right now are crazy. Everyone is scrambling to get together with their committees, make crafts for our soon to be new members, and making sure that each round of recruitment goes smoothly so we spark a lot of interest in the PNMs. Again, this is my first time going through recruitment, and I’ve got to say I kind of feel like a chicken with its head cut off.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very intriguing and exciting. I’m pumped that we’ll potentially have a bunch of awesome girls join our sisterhood by the end of this recruitment process. I’m mostly just a little nervous that I’ll do something wrong, and I’m praying that recruitment goes exactly how we are hoping it will go.

Until formal rounds are over, I’ll just be taking things one day at a time and hoping for the best. If you are even somewhat interested in joining a sorority, don’t hesitate to give it a shot! You might be surprised by just how much you can fall in love with a sisterhood. Go Greek!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Content Monster

As I was reading the chapters of "The Art of Social Media" for this week, one topic that the author touched on stuck out for me more than all the rest, partially because he continuously referred back to it as the chapters preceded, and that is the concept of content creation versus content curation. The section I am referring to is found on pages 16 and 17, which is the beginning of Chapter 2 titled “How to Feed the Content Monster.” These concepts are a perfect way to introduce the chapter, mostly because the author gets right to the point and tells you the two exact ways you can feed this “Content Monster”, which is basically discovered new and interesting content to share each week.

I really liked how the author was so upfront and honest about how it can be really difficult to repeatedly go back and try to find new and interesting content that not only the audience is interested in, but also the writer, since there’s no sense in writing about something that doesn’t spark at least somewhat of an interest inside of you. Content creation, as the author put it, is basically exactly what it sounds like: the creation of new material, specifically posts, pictures, or videos. As a writer for both Odyssey and a hobby, I know all too well that this can be a difficult task, and finding inspiration that others will want to read about is hard. But I had never really thought about the second option that the author states in the way he says it: content curation. Basically, it’s searching for material that people have already written about and summarizing it, then sharing it. Not only does it give the writer something relevant to write about and discuss, it also provides the original piece with more publicity and gives the writer more credibility. The author called it a “win-win-win”.

As long as I am in the business of writing and sharing articles, I will always be needing to feed the Content Monster at least once a week. Although it can be a task, this chapter gave me some positive tips on how to satisfy its hunger, especially with the initial two ways to do so as I discussed above. I took a lot out of chapter two (especially from the portion where he listed off several useful websites for blogging with a description of each—that is just so helpful as a blogger!) and I look forward to reading the remainder of the book.