COM0015. Blog Post 4: Out of the box. Turning around a company’s negative image.

Social media is the new word of mouth, and people trust word of mouth. Followers, likes, plus1s, and retweets are all like over hearing your neighbours talking about something new and upcoming. Comments, suggestions and feedback are like a neighbour’s direct endorsement.Whether word of mouth is positive or negative, people listen to social media.tumblr_n6erylTSnO1st5lhmo1_1280

Social media can build trust and authority on any topic through time and consistency. Carefully constructed online posts can capture people’s attention and relay a message that is meaningful and personal to people. People like reading ‘stories’ and ‘messages’ that relate back to them.

Make the message personal and you’ll have the peoples’ attention.

Good social media can turn around any company’s image by capturing people’s imagination beyond their current thinking. Divert peoples’ attention from the negative aspects of a company to something else entirely.

By consistently building people’s online thoughts and ideas from what they don’t like about a company toward what interests and relates to them, a company can rebuild a negative imagine through a new online presence.

Connect peoples’ new ideas to the company and they will have new ideas about the company.tumblr_mqq4l2H3Fh1st5lhmo1_1280

Social media is everywhere and everywhere is how social media is used. If a company can:
1. Create a new message.
2. Build that message.
3. Imbed said message into people’s online minds.

Social media can turn things around. With time and patience a consistent online message will have people connecting the new online image to the real life company.

COM0015:POST THREE: ETROVERTS – Who are these people you speak of?

An introvert. “Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.” (Urban Dictionary, 2014) school age books

Introverts do not like large groups. They prefer small intimate groups, or one on one conversatiolaptop-on-couchns with a personlaptop-on-couch who can speak in depth about a topic. Large group gathering that involve idle chit chat will have an introvert running and screaming. Small group gathering with one on one conversation about a topic of interest? You’ll never get an introvert to shut up.

Online social networking is the epitome of a large group gathering to chit chat about a topic. This will have an Etrovert, an online introvert hanging around the sidelines, acting like a creeper, listening in on or reading other peoples’ conversations, but not engaging or participating.

Enter social network online groups, i.e. Facebook groups or Google+ communities. Social network groups are a great way for Etroverts to make social connections. They take the vast world of online social networking and break it down into small manageable chunks, and for an Etrovert, these groups are a great way to enter online social networking.

Online groups are smaller, interest targeted, and easier entry points for making personal connections. Etroverts can find a group about an interest topic, follow the conversation with people of similar interest, then connect with group individuals on a one-one basis.

laptop-on-couchMost egroups have guidelines which ask or expect participants to engage and contribute to conversations. This stipulation is a perfect to force Etroverts out of their comfort zone and into the world of social networking without great risk. Groups are small and also have rules about respectful participant conduct.

So, as a self-professed Etrovert, my goal is to join and participate in at least three topic targeted groups over the next year. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I imagine to more connections that will over time make me realize that I’m social networking despite Etroverted self!


When it comes to my work in the child care field, I check Twitter,  followed by Facebook. Image

I find that you can read through a page or so of my Twitter feed and feel instantly updated on what people are talking about, thinking about, and engaged in.  Like jumping into a party.

Facebook, I find gives me a little more depth (longer posts) on what’s new and trending with pages and people I want to hear about; new information, ideas and trends in child care. 

Pinterest is the other platform I check daily, because my online presence surrounds my 100 Days of Child Care Programming pages, I like to check Pinterest for daily inspiration and new ideas on activities and art that can be done with children. 

Google + is the final place I browse through for the same reason as Pinterest.

For general news and personal interest, I like to read Mashable as they seem to collect some of the most  interesting posts and stories that are just out.  They tend to be really on top of what’s trending.

I also like to keep CBC as my homepage so I can read about what happening in ‘real world’ and not necessarily the ‘social world.’    





People tell stories and everyone has a story to tell.  Storytelling is important to digital content because it puts a face, a character or a personality to an otherwise faceless media outlet.

People plug in to social media to make connections, and storytelling make those connections happen in the way that stories, people’s stories come from the heart, and people reading the stories feel they know something personally about the storyteller.

What story is here for this martial arts school?

What story is here for this martial arts school?

Big companies are often concerned with their corporate brand.  The public are familiar with their brand and know what to expect.  But imagine, when that brand moves from being some untouchable entity somewhere out there to a series of personal stories about Damien Thomas’ experiences with that company, or how his grandfather grew up with that company’s products in his house, the brand is made personal and is brought closer to the consumer.  When people think about the brand they now think about Damien’s experiences and how his experiences are familiar or connected to their own.

People will gravitate toward what they know and trust.  If companies can create digital content that is derived from people’s stories, they will create an online atmosphere of trusted social connections.

In order to create interesting digital content that people can connect with, I plan to write colourful life experience stories about my work in child care.  I think telling stories that people can relate to will bring them to my blog over and over because they will have their similar stories to tell.


PICTURES.  I can’t get enough of them.  Pinterest.  Tumblr.  Google+.  Instagram.  Photos can tell so many amazing stories with just one glance, and you realize that–

Everyone really does have a story to tell.  

A personal brand is a story.  It’s the main story the brand wants to be known and remembered for, and that story allows the brand to make its mark, like a catchy jingle, a brand wants to stay in people’s mind.

I have a story, and that story is my brand, and my brand is what I’d like people to think about when they think of my work in child care.

100 DAYS OF CHILD CARE PROGRAMMING is my collection of short and snappy creative art and programming ideas for the everyday teacher.

I created it so the ordinary teacher can access extra ordinary ideas.  As a retired on-floor ECE teacher turned college professor, it’s important to me to maintain my first love, the education of young children, by inspiring ECE students.  I’ve never forgotten how to be a new student where learning is new and fresh and exciting.  I want 100 Days to be that niggle of excitement when teacher’s think about doing something new.  I want them to think 100 Days.

I’ve worked in the ECE field for over 20 years, and am proud witness to the emerging barrage of public awareness of the importance of play in young children.  With awareness comes action, and I see many young people answer that call to action by entering the ECE field with a firm respect for the value of play in children.

My contribution to the call is to tame the flurry of information into visually inspiring ideas and easy to do activities with children that stimulate creative play on the most mundane days.   I want students to know where to go to recapture that initial spark.

SECRETLY I want 100 DAYS to be the place where students and teachers go to be inspired to do new and creative things with children. I’d like it to be THE place that immediately comes to mind when teacher’s stop and ask, “What am I going to do with them today?”  I want them to connect with 100 Days for an inspirational answer.


Trail blazes programming ideas with 100 DAYS OF CHILD CARE PROGRAMMING !!

100 Days photo 2003 SLC


Retired on-floor ECE teacher turned college professor.



Canada, where she maintains her first love, the education of children by inspiring ECE students to teach young children.

After graduating (ahem 20 years ago) with her ECE diploma, she’s worked in the field ever since, and is a proud witness to the emerging public awareness of the importance of play in young children.



Tames the flurry of ECE programming ideas into an ebook, blog and social media presence with 100 DAYS OF CHILD CARE PROGRAMMING, a collection of short and snappy creative art and programming ideas for the everyday teacher.August 18 033

Connect with her on: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or by commenting on any of her Google+ posts.



Yup.  She created and ran The Social Learning Centre – an afterschool homework and creative experience program for school age children. It was the best kind of down time after school .

COMM 0014: B2C CASE STUDY – Red Ted Art
Red Ted Art is a children’s programming site for parents and teachers searching for unique activities and crafts to do with young children.
The site is a blog which engages its audience with regular, colourful posts of children’s art activities. The site uses large photographs of children immersed and engaged in the posted activities which is very motivating for the reader. There a easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for the adults, which makes implementing or doing the activities with children seem very simple and fun to do.
The blog is set up for user to make regular comments on the activities, which many do, and regularly engages the users with challenges to try the posted activities at home or in class. Most of the users do try them and then post their results.
This appeals to many of the user’s sense of pride, as they receive regular feedback on the activities they’ve posted, either Kudos of a job well done, or helpful hints for next time.
Audience engagement on the blog is very high quality. Reponses to comments are direct and focused to the users comments. Readers can tell there is an interested person responding to the comments as the comments are personal, and have character. They are not general.
The blog has several links to the usual suspects of external social media sites and pages, so users can further engage on just about any platform available. The same is true for bringing users from those external platforms to the blog.


There is; however something for sale behind all of the conversations, comments and thriving community.
Books. How to ones. Lots of them.
Most people arrive and stay on the blog for the wealth of ideas presented and community connections, but can become further immersed in the hub of activity by buying the available books.
The entire blog provides a clear sense of easy and fun activities that anyone can do with children, and should you buy the books, you can take the entire community with you. There is a sense that by buying on of the books you’re buying a piece of the community to take with you.


The face of ECE (early childhood education) students has changed. Where once, diploma program teachers could look out and see a sea of young, eager but inexperienced high school graduates, the classroom is now filled with mature students, currently working in the field, pursuing a second career, or upgrading education obtained in another country.

The change in ECE students directly reflects the change in our society towards diversity. With every influx of new cultures, so changes the make-up of children in childcare and the educators leading them. If child care programs want to draw and engage to the new ECE teacher they need to do so through social media appeal to this new audience.

Who is the new ECE teacher?

  • High school, but more often a female university graduate.
  • Trendy, and tends to travel by bus
  • Middle class though has minimal disposable income.
  • Works in the ECE field at least part time.
  • Single, can be a single mom, but often married with children.
  • ESL adult with post secondary education and experience from another country.

Social Media Appeal?

  • Short snappy messages crammed with useful material via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Discussion boards with informative information exchanges.

The best way to draw and maintain the new ECE student audience is to set up an information hub where students can access short tid-bits of information and exchange ideas in one place.


STORYTELLING:  Three things you need to know

There are three important things with storytelling.

  1. The story.
  2. The audience.

Once you know these things, inside and out, you can move onto the other important thing, the most important thing:

3. Capturing your audience’s attention.

You can tell any group of people anything, as long as you capture their attention and keep them intrigued.

Children, for example can be a challenge in this respect; however, as any good teacher knows, if you want to deliver a message your group, you first need their attention.  And, in order to get their attention, you need to know the group.

What is going to gain and maintain their attention?

Toddlers.  The most challenging for attention getting.  Think of trying to gather up a box of bouncy balls after you’ve dumped on the floor.  That’s toddlers.  So, once you’ve gathered up their attention, you do not want to lose it. You need to be more interesting than the next thing, or you’ve dropped that box of bouncy balls and your group has bounced on.

School age children and online storytelling are not different.  Once you coax their attention from the  barrage of other social media, you have to maintain their attention or they’ve already clicked away.

Storytelling with school agers can be done using the three important things.

  • Know your story and your message.
  • Know who you are telling the story to.
  • Capture and maintain their attention.
    • Get them to engage.

Storyteller.  Know your story so you can say it and they can read it in 30 seconds or less.  Use photo or video.  Both are attention grabbers.  Video an attention maintainer.

Know who you are talking to:  School age children.  Generation Z.  Raised on 30 second sound bites.  If they don’t have it in 30 seconds, they’ve moved on . . .

Lead with the main message.  Include facts throughout. Tell them what to do at the end.

Put the story where they’ll see it.  The most interesting, aka frightening thing I recently saw was an army recruiting ads pop up on an online first shooter gaming site for teens.  Clever.  Very clever.

Capture and maintain your audience’s attention.  Always ask yourself, what is the best way to keep my audience engaged?

  1. Please comment on the following . . .
  2. If you like this article click . . .
  3. Poll.  Choose.            The hero should marry the heroine because . . . The hero should run for the closest exit because . . .

Which of these do you think will get the most audience  interaction?



This latest snow storm has me thinking about summer.  Camping.  All of those good ‘ol dog days.

Last summer we explored the campgrounds along the St. Lawrence:  Cornwall, Upper Canada, Kingston, and it waImages wonderful.

It can be hard to get my boys excited for life beyond their PS3, but the call of the wild . . . camping . . . certainly can

Bonding over the chop chop chop of an axe.

Togetherness in dragging in a felled branch.

Sleeping under the stars . . . well with the new puppy anyway.

Camping, despite how much work it actually is, has always been a great family time.

Camping St. Lawrence 2012 Summer 021

My favourite part is being able to kick back and watch my boys do all the work.  They never want to work around the house, but will delve in with vigor around the site.  It’s a truly amazing transformation.


Come on summer.