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 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!