Monday, November 30, 2009

Coming into the 21st Century: Social Media Update

I forgot to mention that I recently bought a MacBook from the "Niner" Mac store in UNC-Charlotte's new Student Union. I love it and I hope it helps me do all those fun Social Media things I'm desperately trying to keep up with.

Speaking of new social media things, this week looks like a good catch up week for me. I finally received a Google Wave invite and Charlotte Magazine posted an article about the Queen City's New Social (Media) Elite (although I remember Today's Charlotte Woman doing a feature on Crystal Dempsey in August, so wouldn't that make it just plain ole social media elite? lol). Look for blogs about both topics coming soon.

Wish me Luck!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I sincerely do not like District 9, but can appreciate it anyway.

My best friend, Tiffany, came down to the Queen City to visit for a couple days. I love the movies and saw that District 9 was at the top of the movie charts and had dominated Twitter topics for the last week. What the heck, 10 bucks for 2 movie tickets is not a bad deal. I decided to buy into the hype and see this movie for myself. I love the movie for its social commentary, but I have to air my grievances first. (Happy stuff at the end, I promise)

First problem: The movie is too slow. I did not really get into it until it was mostly over.

Second problem: I could not connect to what the movie was trying to do or the characters. The filmography started off like a documentary and the camera followed Wikus in a way similar to Cloverfield. However, in the middle of the movie we are led to believe that Wikus is not under camera surveilance at all times. Trying to make this distinction while the camera was still in documentary mode made the movie feel choppy and disconcerting. Finally, the aliens are called discriminately called "prawns." I was hoping for the documentary aspect of the movie to not give in to prejudice language at the end and only refer to the "prawns" as "aliens" or "extraterestrials." (But I will concede that point to nit-picking)
Third problem: The movie is set in South Africa which was also participating in apartheid during this time. Maybe they replaced the natives with aliens in order to show that time in a new light, but the choice, I feel, tackily revisits that situation and can make the audience feel like such drastic separations can only happen in places that have historically done so. It would have been a much more moving comment on humanity's intolerance of others if this had happened somewhere else with a less current segregation history. (I must admit the only country that comes to mind is Canada, but that's just ignorance on my part)

Fourth and final problem: The characters are unrealistic. If I am looking for somebody in a grassy field, I am not going to drive up to the field, get out of the car, look around within five feet of the car and then drive away. Also, I have a hard time believing that Wikus could not simply ride with Christopher and waited his three years out of harm's way.

First Merit: I know I sound like a broken record, but the social commentary is great. Humans, as a culture, struggle with deciding what organisms are and are not important. I particularly liked the scene where the MNU torches the building filled with baby aliens without any second thought and that adult aliens can only have children with a permit. The main military antagonist admits to his love of killing the aliens mercilessly. And, expect to have no human value if you experience some type of genetic enhancement that could change the world. You're cruel painful death is for the benefit of mankind.

Second Merit: I could connect with the alien protagonist. He cared for his species and his offspring. He was knowledgeable about the law and savvy enough to find a way to get home instead of staying in his situation.

Third Merit: The graphics were very realistic. The mother-ship was not shiny and super high tech. The missing piece was equally dirty. And I can totally believe that it would take twenty years to get enough fluid to make the trip home.

Overall, very original movie, but I do think it could have been much better

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Web 2.0 Quest Update

My Twitter life is in full swing! follow me at . Next task, keeping up with the blogspot.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Millennials, Social Media and the Internet

I was in the fourth grade when my dad brought home our first computers. His was an IBM built by some computer company in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. It had a Windows 95 processor, CD Rom drive, floppy disk, and AOL 4.o. Mine was a V Tech laptop that ran on special programs you could buy on cartridges. I remember sitting on the sofa across from his desk as he worked to set up all the programs and software needed to bring our family from 1996 into the 21st century. I, in turn, read the whole manual that came with my little laptop and even tried futilly at recreating a few programs listed there ( I realized then that coding probably was not my life's ambition).

It was around this time that chatrooms were at their highest popularity. My dad stayed up until early morning hours on chat sites for career, religion, hobbies and whatever else was around. My mom's favorite movie was You've Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, which told the story of how love, even in the midst of the anonymity of the Internet, can conquer contempt in the real world.

Besides frequenting Web sites like and AOL kids my first experience with social media was in middle school with I do not remember how i stumbled upon this site but I can say I spent countless hours looking through message boards, trying to gain new badges, adding friends and checking email. The Bolt I grew up with died when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2007, but I had stopped visiting the site long before. Back then, the Internet was a flash-in-the-pan activity that I used during real world down time, so I was not fullly aware of the Internet's evolution into daily life.

Like most high school students in my demographic, I had a Blackplanet account. was, for me, the first realization that people make new acquaintances with others in their local area. Unfortunately, I could not gain a concrete connection with the site and soon lost interest in updating my profile. I filled my connection void by emailing friends and playing games. However, the Web was still merely a tool for school work.

Even when I created my first blog by receiving a then covetted LiveJournal invitation, I still could not gain a genuine connection with everchanging social media. Please do not missunderstand, with I was able to keep up with my friends during weekends and holidays and join groups of people with similar interests and backgrounds, but I personally was not devoted to regular updates. Ebay only manifested itself through necessity and RateMyProfessor was funny but irrelevant to my school's class selection process. I had no real need for social media until college, when all my friends were suddenly at least two hours away.

When I first created my profile, the site was called It, for lack of a better phrase, revolutionized the way I interacted on the Internet. With thefacebook, I could locate people I had not seen since I was five. With myspace, I could gain more of a connection to those friends personalities by the way their page layouts. Suddenly, I was joining all the social networks I could from Xanga to hi5 in hopes of reconnecting with old friends and networking with new people.

Today, social media, or Web 2.0, has infiltrated the lives of almost everyone with access to a computer. Millennials (those apparently born between 1976 and 2003) are constantly in need of connection. We seek an outlet of expression and can almost always instantly voice any thought, idea or opinion online. There are groups for families, nations and classmates. "DeviantART"ists, people looking to "Meet Up" or "Yelp" and even those who just want to "Gather" find a niche and creative outlet in social media.

While not necessarily true for all, I feel that my journey through the evolution and development of social media is similiar to others in my generation. It is, however, more imperative that I, as a budding public relations professional, continue to stay ahead of new social media trends. I look at this as a pleasure and look forward to new networking developments.
See you online,


Thursday, March 5, 2009

My quest into the 2.0

Recently, I enrolled in an international pr class at my university. This class has a component that requires students to interact on the internet as an international pr team. During this membership I have already diversified my social media. (I think I am the only one who calls social media Web 2.0. I read it somewhere and love the name, so I'm going to make it stick.)

So, although it is March, I am going to add one more resolution onto my 2009 todo list: Actively engage in and seek out social media. I have already added skype (actually a re-add), icq, and twitter (yes, I am the last person to add twitter!). I also have membership with linkedin, blogspot (obviously), facebook and myspace(which I sincerely believe is dying a slow painful death) but I am going to put more effort into linking all of my media into one social world.

Wish me luck!