Widgets and Badges

Chapter 9 of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization (by Deltina Hay) explains the differencebetween widgets and badges.

Widgets are snippets of code that can be used to syndicate content (RSS feeds), or to add interactive features that you can add to your blog or website.  These interactive features are usually fun and engaging applications comparable to “apps” on an iPhone. Widgets include clocks, countdowns, weather, etc.

On blogs a widget can be added to a sidebar to show a search bar, allow people to get the RSS feed, see archives, blog comments, etc.

A badge is usually an icon or logo that has a link back to a source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in the community on the Social Web.  On my blog, I have badges from Facebook, Scribd, Linkedin and PROpenMic.  Each of these are images that when clicked on will take you to the website that I am a member of.

My twitter icon is also a badge, however the twitter stream showing my latest tweets is a widget since it pulls information from a profile that I’m connected to.

Both widgets and badges are useful because you can show people visiting your site or blog where else you “are” in the Social Web.  You can also add interactivity by adding widgets if it is appropriate to your site.  Adding RSS is a widget that is very useful because it allows people to read your blog without having to check it every day.  Also, you can add widgets at the end of posts that would enable people to share it to other sites like Twitter, Digg, or Facebook. This would greatly increase your presence in the Social Web.

April 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Podcast Episode #3 – Using the Internet to Monitor and Research Your Brand

One assignment for our Social Media and Public Relations class was to record ourselves creating a brief Podcast about any topic on social media.  I chose to do mine on the importance of companies doing research on consumer opinions and reactions to their brands and services.  Below are the “show notes” from my Podcast, and then underneath that you can click on the Podbean.com logo and listen to the show. Enjoy!

Podcast Show Notes

  • 0:0.0 Introductions -Hendrix Hourly, 3/30/2010
  • 0:33 – Why use Research?
  • 1:13 – Research Can Tell You – What are consumers saying
  • 1:54 – What/Who to Monitor – Social Media Monitoring
  • 2:49.5 – Researching Tools – eWatch, Media Sense
  • 3:49 – Special Thanks – Li, Bernoff, Breakenridge
  • 4:14 – Conclusion
  • 4:35 – End

March 31, 2010 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Delicious and Helpful?

I have an account with the site Delicious which is a social bookmarking site.  This site is actually great for me because this semester I am in two classes which require me to blog.  As part of the blog we are required to write “pr connections” which are basically anything we see on the Internet that translates into something we are doing in class.  Another aspect of blogging is writing blog comments.  For our blog comments we are to write on other student’s or professional’s blogs and keep a list of the comments on our blog.

This is where a site like Delicious comes in handy for me.  Whenever I may be thinking of where to look for a “PR connection” I can look at my social bookmarks and see what sites I have visited before that were helpful to me.  For instance I have marked Mashable and Hubspot and a few others as well that provide great stories about social media.

For blog comments I often look to professional’s blogs in the industry and see what they are writing about.  I have marked Brian Solis, Deirdre Breakenridge, Todd Defren’s Pr-Squared and Richard Laermer’s Bad Pitch Blog. It’s then easy to go to their blogs, read what they have written, and write comments to them.

Delicious allows you to organize your social bookmarks into categories.  I’ve organized mine into different “classes”, “school”, “blog”, etc.  I think that a site like Delicious is a good idea for college students to use because it helps to keep organized.  For example, if you are trying to go back and search for an Internet source that you used to write a paper you could easily find it if you placed it amongst your social bookmarks.  Also, if you have several students working on a group project using a site like Delicious would allow you to check to see what each person is doing and what sites they are using.

In our class for example, if other students were wondering where I got my information on new facts about social media they could check my Delicious account and see that I often visited Mashable.  They could also see that for my blog comments I often read the blogs of Breakenridge, Solis and Defren.

To connect with me over Delicious check out my account and maybe we can share sites!

March 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

Chapter 7 Notes- Creating News Features and Op-Ed

The Value of Features

feature story – provides additional background information, generates human interest, and creates understanding in a more imaginative way

  • Types of features
  1. case study – tell how individual customers have benefitted from a company’s product of service or how another organization has used the product or service to improve efficiency or profits. (third party endorsement/testimonial the helps boost popularity of product/service)
  2. application story – focuses on how consumers can use a product in new ways
  3. research study – surveys and polls
  4. backgrounder
  • one type focuses on a problem and how it was solved by an organization or a product
  • another type explains how a technology or product has evolved over time
  1. personality profile – people like reading about people (celebs, CEO’s of companies, etc.)
  2. historical piece – anniversaries, major changes, centennials, etc.

Parts of a Feature

  • Headline
  • The lead – purpose in a feature story is to attract attention and get the reader interested to read entire article (as opposed to summary lead in a news release).
  • Body
  • Summary

Op-Ed – purpose is to present a variety of views on current news events, governmental policies, legislation, and social issues.

Text Used is:
Public Relations Media Techniques- 6th Edition
by: Denis L. Wilcox

March 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Trade Book Review

For our Social Media (PRCA 3030) class we were given the assignment to read a trade book on public relations and then create a slidecast (a powerpoint presentation with audio accompanying the slides).  I chose to do mine on Deirdre Breakenridge’s PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.

To view the slidecast and see the notes I wrote with each slide please visit Slideshare.net!  I believe from there you can download the presentation and view the notes.

March 11, 2010 at 2:10 am 21 comments

Chapter 6 Notes- Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits, and Pitches

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques- 6th Edition

by: Denis L. Wilcox

Expanding the Publicity Tool Kit


  • fact sheets – one page background sheets about an event, product, or organization
    • a list of facts in outline or bullet form that a reporter can use as a quick reference when writing a story.
    • types of fact sheets:
  1. for upcoming events
  2. one-page sheet giving key facts about an organization – corporate profile
  3. a summary of a new product’s characteristics.
  • media kits/press kit – contains news releases, fact sheets, and photos; assembled to introduce new products, services and major events.
    • Usually prepared for major events and new product launches.
    • A basic media kit may include:
  1. News release
  2. Fact sheets
  3. News feature
  4. Background information
  5. Photos and drawings with captions
  6. Biographical information on the spokesperson or senior executive
  7. Basic brochures
  • media advisories/media alert – let editors know about a newsworthy event or an interview that could lend itself to photo/video coverage.
    • types:
  1. Most common format uses: one line headline, brief paragraph outlining story, 5 W’s, and reporter’s contact info
  2. Used to announce time/location
  3. Used to let reporters and editors know about an interview opportunity
  • making a pitch – writing effective memos and e-mails that will persuade reporters/editors to cover your product, service, or event.
    • A good pitch has three phases
  1. Researching the publication or broadcast show
  2. Writing the e-mail or letter and making the call
  3. Following up

March 4, 2010 at 8:20 pm 2 comments

Celebrities Using the “R” Word

There is a movement happening that I first learned about through Twitter called “Spread the Word to End the Word”.  The “word” that is being referred to is “retard” or “retarded”.  The word is often used in a disparaging way and the goal is to get people to stop using it in a derogatory manner.

The actual definition of “Spread the Word to End the Word” is found on the Special Olympics Website, and is as follows:

Spread the Word to End the Word is a campaign created by youth, in an ongoing effort with Special Olympics and Best Buddies International, to engage schools, organizations and communities by raising the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encouraging everyone to stop using the R-word.

March 3, 2010 marked the second annual day of awareness to Spread the Word to End the Word, hence the significant trending topic on Twitter.  Someone had issued a challenge to see which celebrities were using the word and to try to get the message across to them to stop.  I did some research and found out which current celebrities often used the word.

1.  Chelsea Handler hosts the late night talk show “Chelsea Lately”.  She averages 764,000 viwers/episode and has over 2 million Twitter followers (Source).  Below is an example of Handler using the word “retarded” in a disparaging manner.

  • “E! tries to tell me, “Ooh, you can’t talk about Denise Richards or Dina Lohan, when they have shows that are debuting,’” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Listen guys, the reason I have a show on E! is because of people like Dina Lohan and Denise Richards!’ So you can’t forbid me from talking about them – that’s retarded.”  Source of Quote

2.         Paris Hilton is an heiress and has 1.5 million followers on Twitter. She starred in several seasons of “The Simple Life”.  The first season of The Simple Life premiered to 13 million viewers (source).

  • On rumors that she is adopting children – “That’s retarded. No I’m not,” reports PEOPLE. Source
  • Hilton: I think I am a good role model, and a lot of mothers come up to me and they’re really happy, and I think if any girl follows their dreams then anything can happen to them. Source

3.         Guy Ritchie referring to Madonna,

4.         Kristen Stewart

  • “I just didn’t pay attention,” Stewart recalls. “I was like, ‘You guys are celebrating something that has not come true yet. So, you are really retarded and have nothing to do with this creative process and I really don’t want to hear you celebrate in front of me. Get out of here! It’s my responsibility!'” Source of Quote
  • Stewart is even more emphatic: “It’s so retarded,” she says. “We’re characters in this comic book.” Source Quote

5.         Lindsay Lohan

  • The hot young star has been upsetting some advocates for the mentally disabled by using the word “retarded” as an insult.
  • When asked about rumors she’d had breast implants, for example, Lindsay replied, “That’s retarded.” And, referring to reports that she was feuding with Hilary Duff, Linsay said, “It’s retarded.” Source

7.         Perez Hilton – Ranked #2 by Forbes on the list of the most influential people on the web.

  • “For the third year running controversial gossip blogger Perez Hilton (real name: Mario Lavandeira) reigns supreme over the world of Web celebrity. He runs what he calls “Hollywood’s most hated Web site,” an off-color blend of rumor, opinion and immature humor. The site attracts more than 7.2 million people a month, putting it among the 500 most-visited sites on the Internet, and Hilton has more than 1.77 million Twitter followers. Hilton’s online fame often spills into the offline world…” Source
  • Listen to his retarded rant. (above) Article titled “Danny Glover is a Moron”  Source
  • Emotionally stunted? That’s a nice way of saying retarded! — Article: Britney Spears is Retarded – Source

Most of these celebrities have a extremely large audiences.  Paris Hilton, Kristen Stewart and Perez Hilton have younger, impressionable fans reading and listening to what they say.  These young fans will pick up and repeat what they have read and heard.  I think that these celebrities should use more caution when being interviewed, writing on their blogs, or when hosting their television shows.

March 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm 15 comments

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