Corporations Blocking New Media Application from Providing Services

Aereo is an application that lets you view and record live, over-the-air television programs over the internet from various types of devices (i.e., smartphone, HDTV, tablets) for just $8 per month in the New York area.  This is a great deal for people who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars for television service when they only watch seven to ten of the channels.  Even though this is a great concept for most people, a new report from VentureBeat suggests that multi-billion dollar companies are starting to target Aereo since it is a threat to their profit margin.  The National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) collaborated with other broadcasting companies to request government intervention against Aereo for alleged copyright infringement.

This is an interesting development in technology because it shows the strength of open source software and technology entrepreneurs.  During the past few years, we’ve seen the success of websites such as Netflix and Hulu but these companies get funds from movie, cable, and broadcasting companies.  Aereo does not receive funds from any of these organizations.  Therefore, they are not bound by any agreement or restrictions due to receiving funds from the organizations.  This is a benefit to the consumer because we get to choose a provider that does not charge a ridiculous amount of money for programming.  Some individuals are not able to afford a monthly $17 charge for a DVR plus a $69 charge for cable service.  Therefore, an $8 charge for over-the-air viewing and recording service is beneficial to them.  As we move forward, we must advocate for more access to services like Aereo before they are revoked my multi-billion dollar corporations.

Sharing Content Online will Strengthen Your Personal Brand

Mashable recently discussed the importance of sharing content on social networking sites.  In addition, they discussed how this could help a person become the ideal job candidate.  In the past, the belief was that a person should do anything and everything to get their name out there on social networking sites.  This meant building their personal brand by writing blogs and sharing them on sites, talking about yourself as much as possible, and making sure that your name appeared everywhere to increase your name/brand recognition on Google.  After years of doing this, it now seems as if that approach detracted attention from an individual.

This change in mindset now goes back to the old adage “sharing is caring,” which I believe can be described as “sharing increases the quality of my personal brand.”  I can attest to this new thought process because it helped me increase my relationships on social networking sites, specifically Twitter.  As a Parent Teacher Association President, one of the topics that I follow closely is public education and the “reform” movement.  I’ve started sharing content online related to public education and my relationships within this field increased immediately.  After a few weeks, I shared my first blog post on this particular topic.  In two days, my audience read the blog over 150 times.  In addition, a local paper published the article and I received recognition from public school teachers throughout my city.  This would not be possible if I did not start the relationship with others by sharing content and spreading the knowledge.

This is an interesting development in new media because it shows a movement from a “me-first” attitude to a “community-first” attitude.  It teaches us that we need to focus on developing relationships first before we try to make a name for ourselves.  In doing so, we strengthen our personal brand by becoming an ideal go-to person for knowledge and to promote other people and their content.  As I explained above, this is important because it transcends from social networking sites to the real world, which can lead to new job opportunities and professional relationships.

JPMorgan Finds Out What a Hashtag Failure is All About

On Thursday, The Telegraph reported that JPMorgan cancelled a social media Question and Answer session due to negative reaction from the public.  The Q&A session was supposed to take place on Twitter with the hashtag #AskJPM.  Top-level executives from JPMorgan claimed that this was supposed to be an online marketing event to help boost positive publicity for the brand.  However, many individuals took it as an opportunity to speak out against the company because of the housing collapse that caused havoc to the economy throughout the world.  From various reports, many of the tweets using #AskJPM were relevant to the housing/global economy collapse while only some were irrelevant or “abusive” in nature.

This is an interesting situation because, in my opinion, it shows how communication specialists (or top-level executives) within JPMorgan did not think through this initiative before implementation.  They did not assess the community to find out their beliefs and opinions before their attempt to use social media to promote the organization.  In addition, they did not research other hashtag failures (also known as bashtags) to learn from the mistakes of other corporations.  The initial research is very important because it helps eliminate some of the issues that could come up by using a hashtag campaign or any other social media initiative. 

This article does not let us know what lessons the specialists/executives learned because they only replied by stating that they learned their lesson and would go “back to the drawing board.”  Therefore, we don’t know if they are assessing their processes or initiatives.  They might just blindly believe that they are correct and there is no reason for the public to act negatively.  This attitude limits the efficiency of the corporation because there is no evaluation procedure to bring checks and balances to its processes.

Can we Replace Standard College Courses with Social Media?

Last week, USA Today posted an article about a recently released study claiming that college professors are using social media as a tool to enhance instruction and learning.  Within the article, it gives accounts from different educators who are using or have used social media within their college courses.  Some educators and students discuss the benefits (i.e., getting to know all the students), while others discuss issues or drawbacks (i.e., privacy concerns) related to instilling social media into their coursework.  The most interesting outcome was the fact that Pearson Learning Solutions co-authored this study on social media and academics.

The concern with Pearson Learning Solutions is that they, along with others, are leading the charge on education reform (or as believed by some, the privatization of public schools).  Most likely, this push for social media integration into college courses is because Pearson and others are trying to push Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) into public universities.  Unfortunately, this article does not address any data or facts regarding the success of implementing social media (or MOOCs) into college courses.  Due to this, I would claim that this study is no more than hearsay and just a method of implementing Pearson’s desires into public universities.   

The integration of social media into college courses has its benefits but it should be under the discretion of the professor.  Some courses have too many students to keep up with the integration of social media.  This extra workload for a professor might limit the amount of attention that each student gets for his or her assignments, which might affect their grade.  In addition, some professors might not know how to use social media and it might lead to delays or issues throughout the semester.  When studies like this occur, we should not jump into changing policies or implementing industry-wide (i.e., university-wide).  We should open discussions with all stakeholders to find out the best and most effective way to implement changes, if necessary.         

Twitter Users can Now Tweet Coffee to Friends and Strangers

A recent article in the Huffington Post highlights a new technological advancement that Starbucks is enacting via Twitter.  Starting on Tuesday, a Twitter user can pay for someone else’s coffee by sending a tweet.  The program, known as “Tweet a Coffee” (suitably so), will transfer a $5 gift card to a person from the original Twitter user’s Starbucks account.  This new development shows a business partnership between Twitter and Starbucks that goes beyond the often-used Sponsored tweet.    

This is an interesting development in new media because it might bring some benefits to Twitter as they prepare their IPO.  In addition, it gives corporations a new marketing avenue to increase brand awareness and profits.  On the other hand, it is a promotional boost for Starbucks business since it is the first company to test transferring money or buying products through a tweet.  Current and potential customers will see the company as a progressive, technological advanced brand that is making their lives easier using social media.

Based on this new development, one can only assume who will be the next CEO, corporation, etc. to utilize the monetization of a tweet.  Will Starbucks counterpart Dunkin Donuts be next with some type of Twitter gift campaign for the holiday season?  Will a big chain supermarket use it to help Twitter users donate turkeys to friends in need?  Will a nonprofit organization use it to tweet resources to their clients?  Or, will a political campaign/politician use it to give Twitter users an opportunity to tweet donations to a campaign?  The sky is the limit, which leads to a very exciting time!