Monday, December 24, 2012

Gossip Girl: A show dependent on social media

Photo edited by me via Textually

I hope this post finds everyone filled with Christmas cheer! I know the holidays are a stressful time, but remember to be thankful for everything that you have and enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Having said that, my post today focuses on a show that has been with us for many holidays over the past five and a half years - Gossip Girl. Now I know this show may seem a little juvenile to be discussed in a blog for college age students, but I'm sure many of you have followed this show from its first season back in 2007 just like I have and were very upset when the show had its series finale last Monday. It had been entertaining to watch the cast go through situations similar to my life and see their triumphs as well as failures. They cried over relationships, they stressed over college acceptance letters, they landed their first jobs, and they pioneered social media on television. 

I was not always aware of this last fact, but when I stumbled upon a Mashable article, it made perfect sense. After all, Gossip Girl held all of her power via a blog and received tips from users who followed her and used their phones to send her pictures and videos. The characters always kept up with the times and the most up-to-date phones. From flip phones to blackberries and finally, iPhones, Blair and Serena had them all. These product placements were clever, as I always remember looking at their phones in envy if I was still using an outdated model ( I always wanted the Sidekick). 

This show was indeed the first show one to focus on the "connected generation". That is, the generation that sees the internet as an essential element of life rather than a novelty, are dependent on their cell phones, and share content for people, including friends as well as strangers, to see.

Now of course, Gossip Girl's Blog would probably not have as much influence as it did back in 2007. As journalists are now witnessing, everyone is Gossip Girl and has the ability to post scandalous photos and information to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the world to see. 

Gossip Girl epitomized millennials' feelings that being talked about, positively or negatively, by your peers makes you "special". Dan Humphrey emphasizes this in his final speech during the finale when he discusses the power the internet has in strengthening or weakening a person's reputation.

Gossip Girl evolved simultaneously with the growth of technology. Back when it started, you were lucky if your Motorola flip phone got pictures. By the time it saw its final episode, the iPhone 5 was out and you were carefully glued to your Twitter stream reading your friends opinions about the newly disclosed Gossip Girl. 

Ultimately, this show had quite the impact. Whether it be its effect on social media and technology or its effect on your lonely heart for Chuck and Blair's romance, Gossip Girl will go down in history as a significant and cleverly produced CW11 production.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tips for after an interview

Picture via Youtern

Winter break is a popular time for interviews. Some of us will be searching for spring or summer internships, while seniors may be securing jobs for right after graduation. Whatever the case, a particular Youtern article written by Glassdoor caught my eye because it gave great tips on what to and not to do after your next interview. Some of the tips were rather basic, but a refresher course is never necessarily a bad thing.

  • Send a thank you note
    • Immediately follow up after any interview. A personal, handwritten note looks the best. This will show that you really do care and see their company as having a worthwhile position for you. It will also put a lasting impression in their mind. If you come into contact with anyone else at any point of the interview, it may be beneficial to send them an e-mail thanking them for their time.
  • Connect on LinkedIn
    • If a connection was present, it will be propitious to take this step. Although they may not hire you for this particular position, another opportunity may come along that makes them think of you. If you are connected on a social network, they can easily access your information and contact you.
  • Don't be impatient
    • The job hiring process is a complex and time consuming one. If an interviewer did not give you any indication of when you would hear back, do not pester them.
  • Follow up
    • Having said that, if the interviewer did allocate a certain time as to when you should have heard back, there is nothing wrong with following up. The interviewer may have forgotten to let you know and it is not fair if you are waiting around when a decision has already been made.
  • Don't quit your search
    • This is crucial. Even if you feel that an interview went flawlessly, the company still may come across candidates with more potential than you. Do not cease your search to find another job until you have learned that you have officially been hired.
  • Don't be too aggressive
    • Tact is key. An employer will appreciate a follow up e-mail or a thank you note. They will be frightened by an overeager interviewee who keeps e-mailing or calling them. 
  • Review the entire experience
    • Regard every job interview as a learning experience. I would even suggest going to job interviews that you are iffy about. It may surprise you and be exactly what you wanted. If this is not the case, it will at the least help you to better prepare for an interview at a company you are passionate about. The job interview process is a scary one for anyone, no matter how experienced they are or calm they appear. Just remember to be yourself!

Here is a helpful infographic on interview etiquette:

Picture via

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Issue of esPResso Out Today!

Need to take your mind off studying? Look no further than our latest issue of the Marist PRSSA Chapter newsletter, esPResso. You'll find 11 articles within the issue covering major current events from the past few months including the 2012 presidential election, Hurricane Sandy and news from your fellow PRSSA members.

If any members are interested in writing for esPResso next semester, contact Director of PR, Meredith Lowe for more information.

Enjoy your shot of PR industry insight with esPResso! Good luck on the rest of finals week!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Twitter vs. Instagram: Changes you can expect to see

Picture via CNET

According to Mashable, Twitter will be adding a variety of photo filters to its official app within the near future. The company is hoping that this will refrain people from logging onto Instagram to edit their photos before they tweet them to all of their followers. All Things Digital has received information that the photo filters will be out before the end of 2012.  

Consequently, Instagram has come out with a statement that they will be removing the option of Twitter to embed photos because they want people to come straight to their application to see photo content, rather than have the option so see it on Twitter. 

What was even more shocking to me is that Twitter's photos will be offered in a higher resolution than those on Instagram. This will come as a tremendous blow to Instagram, as their application focuses solely on the sharing of photos. Twitter's reasoning behind the big change stems from the fact that Instagram recently adjusted their settings to not allow its own photos to show up correctly when tweeted by users. Therefore, Instagram may be to blame in this social media throw-down. 

If Twitter does go through with this photo filter addition, the two companies will directly compete against one another. This competition has been underway since Facebook purchased Instagram back in April. In all honesty, I can not really see myself using Twitter solely to upload photos, as I am a huge advocate of Instagram. It will be interesting, however, to see what successes or losses the two companies will see if this is actually carried through. To read the full Mashable article, click here.

I want to hear your thoughts and comments. What do you think will happen? Do you think you will use Twitter more and Instagram less if these photo filters are created? 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Social media marketing

According to Mashable, social media marketing is a waste of time. In an article written this past week, the highly established website which focuses on social media topics, determined advertisers should stop paying for fans not yet acquired and work harder to make their already established fans happy. 

The reasoning behind this determination stems from the fact that Facebook is by far the most visited social network and the fact that they have recently changed their algorithm, reducing the amount of brand posts their users see. Ultimately, Facebook remains the powerhouse among social networking sites and marketers need to adapt to this ever-changing social network. 

According to the Socially Aware Blog, the average amount of time a Facebook user spends on the site every month is seven hours. Here are how other social networking sites compare:
  • Tumblr - 1.5 hours
  • Pinterest - 1.5 hours
  • Twitter - 21 minutes
  • LinkedIn- 17 minutes
  • Google+ - 3 minutes
At first, I disagreed due to the amount of time allotted to Twitter. However, the study did not allocate for mobile usage. I feel that that most people check Twitter from their smart-phones, rather than on their computers, which is why these numbers look the way they do. Ultimately, all of the amounts would have been higher, including Facebook, if the study had included smart-phones.

It is undeniable that the amount of time people spend on social networks will only continue to rise, while the amount of time people spend socializing face to face and on the phone will continue to decline. This means that advertisers will need to adapt in the future, or will face severely falling behind more technologically savvy companies. 

Conclusively, Facebook has the right to change its algorithm whichever way it deems fit, as it is attempting to make money for itself. Marketers will simply have to adapt and discern the fact that if they do put out the extra money, the amount of users who will view their ads will be monumental to their business. After all, social media is a force to be reckoned with and is changing the very way marketers and advertisers will function forever. 

Here is the Socially Aware Blog's infographic regarding time spent on social media: