Thursday, July 24, 2008

the next Connect!

Are you ready for even more Connect fun with social media? The dates for the next Connect are set for Sept. 19-20, 2008. More details can be found at the official Connect Web site at

With that ... we have some great changes & have moved to a new blog. 

Update your RSS & start planning for Connect '08 at the new Connect blog at

Sunday, November 4, 2007

video from session 1

We had the first session, Advice from the Pros, videotaped & it is now available for download. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is private e-mail really private in the workplace?

Beware hotmail and Gmail junkies, your employer may be watching you! Listen carefully to what Dr. Bob Sprauge had to say about private e-mail in the workplace.

Should politics use social networks?

In the second session, Dr. Sweetser discussed her passion about political communication research. She specifically talked about how people are talking in non-political spaces, which brings up an interesting question in regards to how politics are using social networks. Our social media class had a heated discussion earlier in the week and everyone had different opinions. We decided that it would be a great opportunity to ask other guests at the conference what their opinion was after Dr. Sweetser got us all "pumped up" about political communication.

Click here to listen to Dr. Meg Lamme APR and her take on politics in social networks.

Dr. V also had an opinion about political blogs.

Connect's success

A big round of applause -- make it a standing ovation -- for all the students (and Dr. Sweetser) who worked on this blog, the podcasts, the interviews, the tweets, etc. that made Connect a success. Without your work, it would've been just another conference, albeit an excellent one. :-) Instead, it truly was a collaboration.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lunch Interviews

We used our lunch time to ask people questions about social media and the UGAconnect conference.

We spoke to Abby Blalock, an undergraduate student at UGA, to get her take on how the conference was going. Listen to what she said.

Bloggers cannot be serious all the time especially when eating lunch. Our next two lunch interviews demonstrate this. We asked Josh Hallett about how to balance social media and law and he answered pretending to be (which the law says you should not do) Kevin Dugan. See what Kevin Dugan (a.k.a. Josh Hallett) thinks.

Paull Young made everyone around him roar with laughter when asked what he was going to do in Athens tonight. Laugh along by listening to his answer here.

Interview with Dr. Bernhardt

As everyone was eating lunch, we pulled Dr. Jay Bernhardt aside to ask him a few questions about how the CDC is using social media and what his favorite social media tool was.
Here are his answers.

Interview at Wild Wing's

After the conference was officially over, everyone headed downtown. The newcomers catch on quickly, don't they?

The dinner venue, chosen by Dr. Russell, was Buffalo Wild Wing's Cafe. I arrived a little late, but there was already a table of at least 15 people seated upstairs.

So, taking the prized audio recorder, I conducted an interview with Kristen English, a first-year PhD. student, and Connie and Sue, first-year Graduate students.

I mainly asked them about their favorite parts of the conference.

From talking to Connie and Sue, I learned they were in the Coast Guard previously, and they were serious social media virgins at the beginning of the year. They told me they had never heard of blogs, MySpace, facebook and the like.

How cool is it that they came to the conference and learned so much! They told me all they wanted to do last night was to go home and play. Social media is so fun!

On top of the interviews, Paull Young told us the saga of his NYC Firemen's Calender that he allegedly bought for his "Mum." ...haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks, Paull.

A summary from 239A

For those of you not lucky enough to sit-in on the three "how-to" sessions in 239A. Here are some take-away points:

Social Networking with Dr. Kaye Sweetser
  • Facebook was started by Harvard students in 2004. It spread and spread and has now taken on the world! In fact, it currently grows at 1.3 percent per day and 30 percent per month.
  • How can a business use Facebook? Don't do this: Target rounders
  • Post your events on Facebook. They become viral.
  • On Facebook, you can only set up the space for conversations about your organization to occur. Once they are set up, just leave it alone and listen.
  • Hallett: "MySpace is the ghetto, and Facebook is suburbia."
  • Twitter is a presence application, a form of micro-blogging. It like passing notes.
  • A great way to use Twitter: send breaking news updates.
  • On Twitter, your organization can track relevant phrases like "buying a car" or "donate blood."
Blog Monitoring with Josh Hallett
  • RSS readers will sort the posts by date.
  • When you are looking for relevant posts, search using your company's name, brand name, products and URLs.
  • Important: Search for misspellings, as well as correct spellings.
  • Use Flickr to do photo searches.
  • Board Tracker
  • These tools are great for showing where the problems are, but the PR person must find a solution. The best solution, just talk to the individual. Be human. It's hard to be rude to someone who is trying to make a personal connection with you.
  • "Blog about them, and they will come."
  • "folksonomy"- anyone can classify information using bookmarking sites
Corporate Blogs with Josh Hallett

Learn Social Media Tools

HT: Kevin Dugan for dropping this hint about how to get PR professionals in the know on social media tools.

At the International PRSA conference going on in Philadelphia right now Kami Huyse posted a PRSA lesson plan to get PR professionals up to date on those crucial social media skills.

There was a big discussion at the Academic Roundtable, the final session yesterday, as to the best way to get students interested in social media, but also how to do the same for professors. Time management was cited as one of the biggest obstacles to trying to learn these new tools, even though the faculty felt they were important.

Well here is a good solution. Short lesson plans that lay out the basics so at least professors are not completely in the dark.

I think this is ideal for anyone wanting to learn about social media, but who may be in a time crunch or overwhelmed by it all.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

UGAConnect: Student Perspective

I posted on my blog about how I felt about the UGAConnect conference as a whole, and not to ruin the surprise or anything but it was awesome.

Weird side-effect though? Thinking in Twitters -

"I left the conference exhausted and with the weird side-effect of feeling like I needed to be posting what I was doing and thinking at all times. Ashley is ... in the car. Ashley is ... listening to Sister Hazel Live in the car. Ashley is ... tired but happy to have been a part of UGAConnect 2007!"

Educators Roundtable Summary

Lots of good dialogue going on with all the educators at the Academic Roundtable discussion.

They discussed a lot about how to make social media classes more accessible to students and faculty alike. In many cases, faculty cannot teach the students because they do not know enough about the tools themselves.

Time management and the desire to learn and see the importance of these tools is a challenge for both faculty and students.

Also, the issue of whether we should have a whole class on social media or maybe just a seminar came up because the tools are not hard to learn and fast to teach.

A heated debate arose between whether AP style was still useless and when it will go out of style. Constantin Basturea said that we write in AP style for journalists, but now a lot of our publics are not going to be journalists. Paull Young added that globally, AP style is not nearly as heavily influenced as it is in America. However, many of the faculty felt that it gives a standard to publishings and professionalism to the business.

The last topic was about how to encourage professors to teach students not only the skills, but the ability to teach themselves and seek out this new information to learn. It is crucial as a practitioner to know the strategies and be above the technician level.

Great thoughts from interesting professionals, students, faculty and practitioners. Some wonderful thoughts bounced around and lets hope everyone involved got something out of it.

Educators Roundtable Podcast

This deserves its own post

"AP style is overrated!!!!!"

Spark the Interest for Students

Will students get into blogging if they are forced?

Students have public fear of making their thoughts public when writing on blogs. They also have time management problems to getting into blogging and learning about everything needed to know in order to post.

"Faculty get it when there's a reason to get it."

Is that true?

In my own life, my Dad is finally starting to realize there are four generations in the workplace. The result: personnel problems and co-worker relationship difficulties. Last week, he went to a conference hosted by a consulting firm. All they talked about was HR in insurance agencies, and how they can try to deal with the different generations.

One of the events that sparked this attendance was his secretary who quit. She was the youngest, and he thinks he didn't know how to deal with her properly.

So, way to go, Dad. He learned, and now he's trying to implement what should be done.

Is he like the faculty? Seems like it. There was a specific reason for his need to learn how to deal with the generations.

To the faculty, not just Journalism: does there have to be a specific reason for you to learn how to use, implement and teach the ins-and-outs of social media? Would a presentation work? How can students help you make an influence on each other?

This is a great session. I love brain storming.