Category Archives: Social Media

How Innovative Are We Really?

The media coverage of recent Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election has been greater than ever. It seems like every time we turn our heads, there is a new way of covering a story. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube streams all have one thing in common: to connect us all to one another simultaneously.

Twitter: As soon as the power went out, immediately after NYU patients were evacuated from the hospital, when tons of flooding occurred, when nearly half of NYC was destroyed, the world knew. Live updates from Twitter about Hurricane Sandy bombarded the worlds’ news feed. The New York Times especially kept us updated, tweeting stories and letting us know how victims were.

Instagram: Search the hashtag #HurricaneSandy. You can see photos taken during the storm and you can see photos of the aftermath. This tool really captured and shocked many of us. The destruction was devastating.

Hurricane Sandy Instagram Pictures

Facebook: Although Facebook has been dwindling down more recently, many statuses were posted in the eye of the storm. More importantly, local communities and celebrities reached out to the victims afterwards. Charities were formed and donations collected.

Flickr: Like Instagram, Flickr also shared photos of the Frankenstorm. Shocking and eye opening, the photos allowed viewers to better understand the tragic event.

YouTube: Pictures are one thing. Videos though? Extremely effective. We are a visual generation and seeing videos of the storm allows us to better relate. Words are one thing, but people would much rather watch a video. The YouTube videos of Hurricane Sandy form the whole package. They are stories, with pictures, and motions. We come together and understand.


Final Presidential Debate

What a few professionals/celebrities had to say about the debate

On the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy‘s address to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he announced that nuclear missiles had been found in Cuba and that the United States would regard any launch from Cuba as an attack by the Soviet Union, I turned on my television to watch the final debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

At the start of the debate, the two candidates addressed the issue of foreign policy. It appeared that Obama knew more about foreign policy than Romney did. Romney commented on the Arab Spring saying, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.”

However, when Romney said that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe rather than Al Qaida, Obama was sure to call him out on it. He emphasized the fact that Romney was poorly educated on foreign policy. He jokingly told Romney, “The 80’s are calling and want their foreign policies back.” This comment fueled responses on Twitter that Romney was not ready to take on the role as president.

At the beginning of the debate, Obama seemingly knew what he was talking about and hit on good points. Romney appeared to be a bit all over the place. Mid-debate though, Romney started to save himself.

“Our purpose is to make the world more peaceful,” Romney said.

Rather than focusing on foreign policy so much, he began to focus more on our own country.

“We need a strong economy,” Romney said. He addressed that too many Americans are on food stamps and not enough jobs are readily available for people to get.

While Romney got off to a rocky start, he certainly saved himself with his closing statement. His was much more effective and convincing than Obama’s. People are more likely to remember the last thing you said and the last impression you gave.

Live tweeting during the debate

Watch the latest video at

Patriots vs. Jets: That was a close one!

Live tweeting during the game

The New England Patriots faced the New York Jetsyesterday at 4:25 p.m. in Foxborough, MA. Most fans (of both teams) expected it to be an easy win for the Pats. The Jets just can’t really seem to get it together this season. However, it was just the opposite.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Jets led over the Pats by a field goal. However, with a few seconds left Stephen Gostowski managed to kick a field goal and tie the game. This left the two teams forcibly into overtime.

The Patriots received first possession, but couldn’t manage a touchdown. They led the game with a field goal, 29-26. The Jets had a huge opportunity to win the game. All they needed was a touchdown. A field goal would have tied the game, but unfortunately they could not manage either.

The worst of it came when Rob Ninkovich knocked the ball out of Mark Sanchez‘s hand and recovered the fumble. This ended the game and secured a Pats win of 29-26. The Patriots (4-3) moved into first place in their division.

Not contrary to the norm, I watched this game while on Twitter. I always enjoy live tweeting during the game and finding out what others have to say. For my fellow Pats fans, we converse over the game and cheer together. It’s fun to see what celebrities have to say too. I would be lying if I said I also didn’t find it entertaining to read what the haters have to say.

My one friend who is a Jets fan constantly tweeted about how the game appeared to be fixed. Reading things like that puts your view in a different perspective. It makes you think about all aspects of the game.

Live tweeting and checking social networks during an event is beneficial for me. Sure, it can be distracting, because you stand the chance of missing an important play or moment. But for the most part, it is helpful. It places society together at one time. For a moment, a majority of the world is in the same place at the same time.

Obama vs. Romney

The first Presidential Debate triggered controversy over several social networks, especially Twitter. Below, collectively are a bunch of different tweets people sent out during and after. See who was favored on social media outlets!

[View the story “First Presidential Debate” on Storify]

Does social media really matter? Find out here!



Browse more infographics.


This infographic works for me because of the different icons used on the map and the notepad to the side of it with the key. There is minimal writing, which makes for a good visual and it is not too crowded. If I were to change one thing about it, I would probably eliminate the theme park biggest attractions towards the bottom. Although it contains valid information, it makes the infographic a bit long.

Political Brands

Browse more data visualization.

I found this infographic interesting, especially because the presidential election is less than a month away. What makes this a good infographic is the minimal writing, the statistics used, and the comparison between the two candidates. The only thing I would have done different would be to align the two candidates next to each other with the statistics, rather than under one another.

Meet Kristi Barlette

Kristi Gustafson Barlette is a social media strategist and reporter at the Albany Times Union. She is a features writer who writes about issues and topics that those in their 30s can relate to in her weekly column Life 3.0 and her popular On The Edge blog.

She uses social media personally, to draw readers to her blog, as an entity to view photo albums on the Times Union website, and to engage readers. Aside from spending much of her day on the Times Union website, a good portion of her time is devoted to The Stir, The Huffington Post, and All Over Albany.

When asked what steps she took using social media to get her blog to where it is today, Barlette says she used a lot of personal interaction. She would use Facebook and Twitter to engage people and get them to want to read her blog. She would share her likes and dislikes, which allowed people to better identify with her.

“The more interested people are in your thoughts and what you post, the more likely they are to follow your blog when you promote it,” Barlette says.

When blogging though, beware of a few things. Since the blog is the fastest way to share information and often times the quickest way to display mistakes, it is important to be accurate. Don’t make simple mistakes that could be prevented.

“Triple confirm everything,” Barlette says.

Another quirk with social media is that customers now expect companies to communicate thoroughly with it. Barlette can relate with this and says people have compliments, complaints, concerns, or just want to know the holiday hours. Quick responses are the most beneficial she says. One of her friends had received a birthday coupon for Red Robin for a free burger, but had lost the coupon. She called and e-mailed the company for a few days, but no response was made. She then posted about the issue and tagged the company on her Facebook wall. Needless to say, her concern was almost instantly answered. So for companies, social media use is huge and is at times quicker than picking up the phone or writing an e-mail.

Finally, Barlette advises students who are pursuing a career in journalism to be well rounded. A basic knowledge of HTML and bringing various multimedia packages to the table will make a person stand out, she shares. The social media aspects that you don’t think are important actually make you distinct from another person.

“Be savvy!,” she finishes.

How Do Young People Use Social Media?

Have you ever sat across from a date or even a friend whose fingers seemed to be glued to that iPhone, Android, or Blackberry? Have you ever done it a thousand times? Have you ever felt like this generation is lacking in ordinary communication skills because we have the Internet at our every disposal?

Although it may be difficult for our generation to hold a conversation while on a date or even refrain from taking our eyes off of our phones on the walk to class, this technological advancement can be beneficial. We have the ability to put anything that is on our minds out there with the touch of a button. Social media has made accessing instant information as easy as getting the mail.

On my way to class the other day, I bumped into Chelsea Walrath, 20, on her iPhone scrolling through Twitter.

“I use Twitter and Instagram a lot. I love the idea of sharing and comparing pictures on a social network. Twitter and Facebook are really just how I keep in touch with friends or follow celebrities,” Walrath said.

So, is it a vanity thing? Or a way to stay extremely connected?

Sophomore Allison Kartner, 19, says she uses social media to look up information quickly, keep in touch with friends, get new ideas, and for breaking news.

“I know when something really huge has happened because it’s all over Facebook and Twitter. I actually find out there before I hear it on any news station. People love to put their two cents in about breaking news,” Kartner said.

In addition to staying connected, young people use social media for educational purposes.

Senior Brittany DeMarco, 21, says she uses Facebook to stay connected with people she met in Europe this past summer while studying abroad. She also recently used Facebook to help with a class project.

“Social media is such a diverse tool. It can be used in any way really,” DeMarco says.