#BOSTON STRONG

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Since this is my last blog for our Introduction to Social Media course I wanted to talk about the upcoming Boston Marathon. As many of you are probably aware since it was all over the media, yesterday marked the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and social media was very active to commemorate the events. I have been monitoring what was being said or posted on Twitter, CNN and Facebook through out the day and learned a lot about the event, injuries and the recovery of the people who were affected by the bombings. It was overwhelming seeing the footage and made me realize how thankful we should be and appreciate life for what it is. 

Have your heard? Last night, a guy dressed in black not wearing shoes ran on Boylston Street near the finish line yelling “Boston Strong” then dropped backpacks and left. The Boston Police bomb squad had to respond and did a controlled detonation of them for precautionary reasons. The male suspect was arrested told the Boston Police that he had a rice cooker in the backpack. I can only image the amount of police personnel that will be present for the safety of all.

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Some of the popular Twitter accounts during the day where @OneFundBoston, @bostonpolice and @BostonFire. Inspiring pictures and mentions that were posted on social media included hashtags such as #BostonStrong and #BostonMarathon.

Why am I so attached to this event? Well, I will be running next Monday’s Boston Marathon and feel very privileged to be able to participate. Last year I didn’t run due to an injury….thank god! This year will be my fourth Boston Marathon and will be by far my most exciting and emotional race ever.

Let’s say I will be very aware of my surroundings before, during and after the race. Sad to think like that isn’t it? Boston Strong.

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COM0011 Blog Post #5 — Benefits of Social Media for Runners

 

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Do you like running? Have you tried running by yourself and don’t find the motivation to continue? Most of your friends are either busy or just don’t bother running as they don’t want to take the time or don’t have it. You’re not the only one that feels that way…alone with no running buddies. Did you think of reaching out to your friends through your Facebook account or even your followers on Twitter? From personal experiences, whenever I see one of my friends posting on Facebook that just went for a run it makes me want to get out there and run. Social media can be a great tool of inspiration. By reaching out to them you will set out personal goals and do you know what, you might enjoy it and set goals for future races. You will have great discussions with your running partner and probably make new friends to.

After reading this very interesting article on Runner’s World  and a blog from Matt Rhodes, I found that you don’t have to run alone if you don’t want to. When I created my Twitter account I had selected a few elite runners as a source of stimulation. It gives you the opportunity to be in their shoes and see how these amazing athletes think, train, eat and perform.

Whenever I want to run with music I bring along my smartphone to listen to music, keep track of my distance and pace while using apps such as MapMyRun, RunKeeper and Nike Plus just to name a few. There are numerous apps available but I find these ones particularly good.

Next time you are planning to go for a run mention it on your Facebook account and see how much positive comments you will get. You will get words of encouragement and that will motivate you to run faster, longer and you will feel great after your run.

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COM0011 Blog#4 – Disappearance of Malaysia Airline Flight 370

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What happened to the Boeing 777? How come it veered to the left at one point and disappeared from the radars? We have so many questions with so little answers. Like many of you I have been watching CNN regularly to get answers but in vain. This mystery affects me in one way because I used to be a flight attendant a few years back and wonder what really happened to this commercial carrier.

Have you been disconnected from the world for the past 2 weeks and wonder what I am talking about? Take the time to read this Wikipedia page they have created. It is very informative; it gives us a detailed breakdown of the events and is kept up-to-date.

The FIRST question that came to mind is that most of the passengers onboard of that flight had a cell phone with them and how come none of them sent a message called or email their loved ones? I think it’s a question most people would ask themselves as most of us carry a cell phone at all times. It’s been a popular question on social media particularly Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.Weibo

For a situation like this I don’t think it would be smart to solely rely on social media to get news/updates on breakthroughs of this mystery. A good example is Courtney Love claiming on Twitter that she might have found the missing airplane and posted pictures of her interpretation.

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Dedicated fans of hers will truly believe that she is right and will propagate that information to their friends/followers and create false hope. Just image what the families of the victims think and feel when they hear that kind of information.
Social media can be a useful tool to stay up-to-date on what is going on in this crazy world but you need to be vigilant on where and from what source you get your information from. I truly hope that they will find the Boeing 777 even though it’s in one of the most remote areas of the world. I think they are in the right patch and we will get answers in the near future.

My heart goes out to the pilot, co-pilot, flight attendants, passengers and the families of flight 370.

COM0011 Post#3 — Disclaimers: Does it protect me?

People need to be smarter!

Social Media users figure that if they write “Views are my own and don’t reflect the views of my employer” that they are free of any legal actions (WARNING – the article contains profanity) But then again over the disclaimer you see a picture of a person dressed in their work uniform…figure that one out! Smarten-up! Don’t laugh, it does happen.

 “These disclaimers are dangerous and provide absolutely no protection whatsoever and can actually engender a false sense of security

Let’s get back for a second. Whatever is said on a persons’ social media account belongs to them. Right? They have created their own account and decided what is published and who to follow or who their friends are. They have established if they want to use their account for personal or professional use…correct? When that is determined and that is clearly indicated on their favorite SM site, that person can talk about whatever they want….NOT. You need to be fully aware of who your followers/friends are and be careful of your content. It’s like when you are texting someone it can be interpreted in different ways.

You’re not convinced? Professor Geoffrey Miller can tell you about his experience with Twitter and the damage control he needed to do over his comments he did on obese PhD students.

There are quite a few social media disclaimer articles on the web but Matthew Pearson has a very interesting and informative blog that you should read.

When creating a social media account be aware of what you post. You don’t get a free ticket by writing that your “views are my own”. People know who your employer is and relate to that even if you post on your personal account. You can have fun while doing so but….be smart!

COM0011 Post#2: Large Double-Double Please

COM0011 Post#2: Large Double-Double Please

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear someone say Large Double-Double? Tim Hortons, that’s right! Everybody in this world drinks coffee… well most people do anyways. Is it an addiction, a necessity or just plain habit?  

The restaurant chain was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario by Tim Horton. Over their 50 years of existence they utilized different methods to promote their products to Canadians and around the world. Since this is a special year and it needs to be celebrated they offer you two chances to win with every cup. Not only that, but would you believe they are talking about starting Tim’s TV Channel! That’s right, the program will begin “rolling” out in late February 2014. Why would they start a TV Channel, really? Well, they listened their guests that have expressed interest in seeing more news, more entertainment, more weather and more Tims.

But why are they so popular amongst Canadians? Two reasons; they have restaurants on every corner but the main reason is that they have a strong social media presence. They endorse their products and engage customers using tools such as  Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Additionally, they have a Tim Hortons website and also have made one called Every Cup Tells a Story where people can post pictures and tell their stories. Another great initiative where Tim Hortons reaches out to its customers is the eSSENTIAL Accessibility tool where individuals with physical disabilities (dexterity limitations) can easily access their websites.

When picking up your double-double at the double drive-thu tomorrow morning remember all the avenues where you can connect with people like you who share the same addiction, necessity or habit as yours.

COM0011: HURRY…the baby’s coming OUT!

You’re sitting on the couch in front of your TV watching the baseball game when your wife screams in pain…gestational pain that is. Her delivery date is only next Monday but she’s having contractions every 3 minutes lasting approximately 30 seconds each. She yells “Grab the keys! We’re going to the hospital!” With difficulties, she sits in the front seat since the back seat has the crib and other boxes of baby stuff. On your way to the hospital your wife says “I can’t help it, I need to push”. You pull over and call 9-1-1. “Ambulance, what’s your emergency?” you TRY to stay calm and tell the communications officer that your wife is in labour, in the car, and you were on your way to the hospital. This is your first baby, hence the excitement. Your wife, stuck in the front seat with barely any room, decides to get out of the car and lie down on the patch of grass. Sirens blaring, lights flashing, the fire department, a police officer and two paramedics arrives on scene.
While this is happening, a reporter from the local newspaper is sitting at the red light waiting for it to turn green. She sees that the women is about to deliver her baby right there, on the grass, in front of passing cars. She decides to take her cell phone out of her pocket to take some pictures. The light turns green and off she went to her nearby office.
As soon as she steps inside her cubicle she logs-on the newspaper’s social media accounts and posts a message of what she saw and a picture of the firefighter standing beside the patient….and it goes viral.
What care was provided to this patient? And by whom? The newspaper’s heading reads: “Firefighters delivers baby at side of the road” Is that what really happened? What about the paramedics? What did they do? On calls like this the emergency services has different roles and responsibilities. Here is what really happened; the firefighters provided oxygen, the police officer directed traffic and the paramedics delivered the baby, provided care to the newborn AND mother…and that, my friends, is really what happened!
All three emergency services have their own areas of expertise and the public, especially the media, needs to be educated on those. This is where social media comes into play. Paramedic services as well as other emergency services can NOW rely on social media to disperse their messages. The paramedic service can educate on illness & injury prevention, interact with the public and provide situational awareness. Thanks to social media we will be able to inform our followers and friends of what we do and why we do it.

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