“Life is a great big canvas…”

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” – Danny Kaye Let me start off by saying that paint better be BLUE and ORANGE ;o). I touched on my feelings toward graduation a little bit the other day in the blog that I wrote while I was packing my things for this past weekend… but I wanted to again express my gratitude to everyone who had a part in putting me on this path in life. Maybe a doctoral degree will be in the future… I cannot dismiss the thought of obtaining one… but who knows what the future holds. For right now, I am completely ecstatic with all that I have accomplished in just over the past two years. As I mentioned, grad school was not easy by any means while I was also holding down a job… but I got through it and I implore you to challenge yourself in ways that can help you grow as well. This chapter of my life was amazing. Difficult. But, amazing. Thursday Mom and I made the trip to Gainesville on Thursday with Melky–it was her first vacation and we are so proud of how well she did in the car. After we checked in to our hotel, I finally got to see the UF campus. I picked up my cap and gown at the UF Bookstore and then flipped through what seemed like hundreds of pages until I found my name printed in the program for graduation. Friday THE BIG DAY! I finally was able to check out Weimer Hall–the...

One Down, One To Go

One Down, One To Go November 18, 2015 The fact that I haven’t blogged since early September… YUCK! My apologies. This fall semester is wrapping up and I could not be more excited. This means that I have ONE more semester left before I graduate with my MA… and that one last semester is just my Capstone. The entire program at the University of Florida has been amazing and I’m actually sad that I will not be able to take all of the rest of the classes that are offered for my concentration in social media because the content they teach us is so relevant and worthwhile to what we do as social media professionals. Anyway, I made a goal for myself for my “offseason.” I want to increase the worth of my own brand so that includes getting additional certifications, specifically for Hootsuite and Google AdWords. I just officially knocked the Hootsuite certification out of the park… about twenty-four hours after I finished up my final presentation. I started going over the material on Monday but really, for anyone that is contemplating taking the exam, it is best if you have experience using it so you can recall little details. Otherwise I would assume it would be more challenging if you only watched the videos one time. I’ve grown a lot more comfortable with Google AdWords the past few months because I was tasked with analyzing the data and compiling it in spreadsheets. So, bring it on Google! I’m ready for the next challenge...

Social importance of #ASG

Social importance of #ASG July 28, 2015 This is our game, even though our feet may not be adorned with cleats and physically be digging into the clay at one of the thirty ballparks—lucky for our mothers who would cringe at our grass stains. As a fan, it is our decision who gets to forgo a few days of vacation to take a trip to the coveted MLB All-Star Game, preluded by the monstrous Home Run Derby. Major League II (1994), image from giphy.com All thirty teams tempted to woo fans for their vote using clever hashtags and content on social media. These campaigns started months ago and even carried into our living rooms via our television with signs decorating the backstop of the field declaring, “#VoteAltuve” and “#VoteRox”. These campaigns and hashtags became so important to the teams, that their Twitter name (not to be confused with handle) was even changed to reflect their mission. Your browser does not support iframes. Astros mascot Orbit invites the Kansas City Royals to the Jose Altuve Fan Club meeting. Fans had the opportunity to vote up to thirty-five times online, and one particular team’s fans took advantage which had some predicting that the entire Kansas City Royals team, minus two positions, would be starting the All-Star Game in Cincinnati. This caught the eye of Major League Baseball who wound up throwing out between 60 to 65 million of the already 300 million ballots cast on the premise of possible cheating—and for the record was not necessarily due to Kansas City fans. It should be noted that Major League Baseball, as a...

Transforming The News: Entering A Digital Culture

Transforming The News: Entering A Digital Culture June 17, 2015 Some may argue that if things are not broke then they do not need to be fixed. But, let us consider the analogy of an old car: Parts may start to go bad so do you wait to make the fixes until it stops working or do you slowly make repairs one at a time? Change can be a good thing. Newsrooms are no different–some individuals are fully embracive of using digital while others do not feel it is necessary. As we had discussed in class this week, some news organizations are even providing training to employees to bring them up to speed on what is turning into being new standards in journalism with the rise of social media. For example, the New York Times keeps an open line of communication with their journalists so they are able to ask for help. This allows journalists to receive training on different digital platforms while also being shown the best practices for incorporating them into their stories. The Financial Times also believes in shaping training to the needs of their journalists and even go a step further with providing introductory HTML classes. Our assignment this week is to consider how the following roles should be using social media and the benefits to utilizing the digital tools. Foreign News Correspondent: Last week I was introduced to Alex Thomson and how he used Twitter to reunite a family after a natural disaster. Thomson also uses platforms like Vine to showcase short videos about the stories he is working on. One particular story featured...

Enhancing Journalism Through Social Media

Enhancing Journalism Through Social Media June 11, 2015 The role of a journalist has undergone a transformation from what it was considered twenty years ago. No longer do television anchors only report the news on their respective live broadcasts, but each type of journalist has the added responsibility of making information available instantly. We also do not have to get up on cold mornings to run outside to get the newspaper to find out what is going on in the world when we have all of that information published and shared in almost real-time for us on the internet. One particular area that I wanted to focus on is sports. In the past, if you wanted to see a game but had prior commitments, you would more than likely have to catch up with your friends in school the next morning and get all of the highlights. Now, getting game scores and video highlights comes in the form of several different sports applications for smartphones. You have a men’s softball tourney and can’t watch the game? That’s cool. MLB At Bat (or insert your favorite sports app here) has you covered. Or, you can check out your favorite social network and see posts from the sports teams themselves showing the box scores from the evening–sometimes even with video highlights. I’m going to use my favorite team as an example. This season more than any other that I can recall has seen the Tampa Bay Rays plagued with injuries–mostly to the starting pitching staff. This past week Jake Odorizzi came out of a game in the fifth inning against the...