3 Reasons: Facebook should be integrated into High School Classrooms

High school students procrastinate more than six hours a day on Facebook (Tsukayama, 2015). For some students, it ends up costly toward their final grades. Facebook has become part of their daily life. It is almost impossible to stop them from using it. High schools can change the use of Facebook for these students by making it part of the curriculum- make it more positive. Therefore, Facebook should be integrated into the high school classroom because of following reasonable reasons; first, it is an effective way to connect students around the world. Second, students can use it for educational purposes.Third, it is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

Mind Map Mind map.jpg

1. Facebook is a great way to connect students around the world.

Facebook creates an effective platform for students to build International communication between each other. Students in a various way can share their ideas by posting on their Facebook wall and comment on each other’s posts. For example, they can create a short survey research with five to ten questions. They can collect data from all over the world, by sharing it in their Facebook walls. Moreover, Facebook makes Group collaboration easily accessible for students internationally. They can work in a singular assignment or a group project by connecting and collaborating with each other through Facebook. Recently, in 2016, Finland ranked as a top education system in the world by the world economic Forum. Let’s say students are assigned to do a group project about “high school education system in Finland”. They can create a Facebook group chat and add students from Finland for collecting raw data from students. Most important of all, Facebook is a free online social network. Usually, other websites need a bank account or other information to have access to their data. Facebook is a network that most of the students are already a member of it, so they do not need to start everything all over again.

2. Students will learn to use facebook for educational purposes.

Since most of the high school students are already a member of Facebook and they know how to use it. They only thing can be school’s responsibility is to teach them how to use it for education purposes. In Facebook, students can create groups for each of their classes. For example; They can have a separate Facebook group pages for mathematics. They can share all of the related documents and discusses the related topic in separated pages so that they don’t get messed up with their school work. Another interesting way to use Facebook for education purpose is to follow academically informative pages on Facebook. For example, I am following a Facebook page that regularly posts mathematics formula including funny memes about math. All of the posts of these page appears first in my newsfeed. To be honest, I have learned and have always been refreshed about mathematics topic by following these particulate academically informative pages. Students can easily find related pages to their own subjects of interest in Facebook and follow them for gaining further information. Once of my favorite way of using Facebook for education, the purpose is to post school related blog on Facebook with my friends. I took social media for entrepreneur online class this semester. Most of our Assignments was to post blogs in word press. And most of our grades were based on those blogs. If students get used to posting blogs on Facebook with their friends by using Facebook, they basically learn new skills.

3. Facebook is a tool to engage students in the learning process.


Facebook encourages students to improve their writing skills. For example, Facebook has improved my writing skills. Every time I want to post something on Facebook –I want it to be grammatically correct –Because my friends are going to see it. Same with other students, they can express their ideas in Facebook. It might not be as academic as school teachers, but at least they get motivated to write and get creative with it. This leads to another crucial point, Facebook makes learning more fun. For example, students can make memes about what they learn in class and share it with friends on Facebook. Memes make learning more fun. Most important of all, students who use Facebook regularly, they have a great knowledge of computer. They get to explore computers themselves. Then there will be no need for computer class.

All in All, Facebook provides the opportunity for students to connect with other students globally. Students will learn that what they are using for procrastinating can be used for learning too. In addition to that Facebook is an exciting tool that can encourage students in learning process. With considering the above reasons Facebook should become part of high school classroom curriculum. Integration of Facebook in High school classrooms will bring a massive change in the traditional learning system. The high school will become a fun learning institution.




Obrien, A. (2014, September 23). Edutopia. Creating a Dynamic Facebook Page for Your School. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Schelten, K. (2009, December 21). Do You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Tsukayama, H. (2015, November 3). Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.

Don’t talk to strangers… online.

The Internet was established many years before I was born, yet the number one thing I heard growing up was “don’t talk to strangers online.” With so much potential, followed by uncertainty, I cannot blame my parents for the extra precaution they took regarding the internet.

It is very unlike me to not listen to what my parents say, one could even call me a goodie-two-shows, but I am thankful I didn’t obey by my parent’s online rules. If I never created a social media personality for myself, I would not be where I am today.

In September of 2011, I joined Twitter, the online hub for any NASCAR fan. After learning the tips and tricks of the site, I began interacting with NASCAR drivers and other fans. Through hours of hard work and connecting with people day after day, my time finally paid off in 2014.

After months of online interactions with Michigan International Speedway’s former president, Roger Curtis, I received a once in a lifetime experience. Curtis gave me a ‘fan appreciation’ award for my online personality representing the track. This award invited me to an exclusive race weekend behind the scenes tour, which gave me the opportunity to interview my favourite driver, Brad Keselowski.


From here my passion and involvement with NASCAR continued to grow. I joined the Michigan International Speedway Youth Fan Advisory Board, helping to promote the track to youth, and began writing for a NASCAR blog, The Podium Finish.

These NASCAR opportunities not only made me a better race fan but gave me more confidence in my everyday life. It is hard to believe that if I did not go out on a limb and talk to strangers online, most of these experiences never would have happened.

Moral of the story kids, it is important to listen to your parents. Maybe they do not ALWAYS know what is best, but just remember their intentions are pure. Like every situation, there are good and bad consequences from the internet, thankfully I have benefited from the World Wide Web.

Thanks for reading!

  • Kathleen


Twitter Post:

They say ‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’ Find out what happened when I did! Get the full story here: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-fgL

Facebook Post:

When I was younger I always heard ‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’ It is safe to say that I did not listen to my parents. Find out what happened when I talked to strangers online and met these people in real life! Get the full story here: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-fgL

Blog #2 – Gen Alpha ON Social Media!


1st Image Credit: The author (my nephew checking his cell phone!) – 2nd Image Credit: My nephew (selfie!)

People are getting more and more attached to social media, especially our kids and teenagers. Despite the official age limitations for users, more than 50% of children have used at least one platform by the age of ten (more likely Facebook as smartphones aren’t required for its usage). Owning a cell phone/laptop among school kids has become so common, so banal, that not having one seems weird. It used to start with parents thinking the worst drama scenarios of “what if my kid is stuck in an emergency situation where he/she needs a cell phone? Or maybe it might be easier to locate them?” but not so much anymore. It’s just a thing that happens. Two months ago, I traveled to Iran to visit my family. I was shocked when I saw that my lovely eighteen-month-old nephew could easily find apps like Radio Javan on his cell phone to play music he loved. He even knew he had to use his father’s cell phone for specific apps such as YouTube to play videos like Bob The Train (some platforms are banned in Iran and one must have a VPN to be able to use them). This made my jaw drop! However, for the most part, parents, in general, may simply be unable to resist their kids’ persistent claim for the need to own them. This is not like our time when we had kept in queues just to make an emergency call!

To give worried parents due credit in their thinking, one can bring up the case of the 2 girls, Abigail Williams and Liberty German, in Delphi, Indiana, who were murdered by a man back in February. The phones may not have saved their lives, but the parents, knowing the girls were Snapchatting their day while hiking in well-used trails, knew to alert the police when they didn’t show up at the meeting point at the designated time, nor answered their phones. The Snapchat stories gave clues as to where they could be found on the trails and timeframe of when they went missing. When their bodies were recovered, it was found that they had also filmed the man, which has led to a nationwide manhunt in the United States. There is even an accumulated reward of a crowdsourced $200, 000 for whoever helps bring this man to jail. While a happier ending would have been preferred, every element of society’s obsession with smartphones and social media here played a crucial role that will eventually lead to the man’s arrest.

But I digress a bit. Even with all the constant warnings about the destructive effects of social media (such as decreasing kids’ creativity, damaging eyesight, neck and shoulder pains, losing connectivity with family members, sharing too much information, and being bullied, to name a few), it seems playing freely with kids in the neighbourhood at hide and seek, tag, rope games, and others, seems to be fading away in popularity. It’s now the ways of the old, more and more forgotten. I sometimes think this is nobody’s fault. It’s just the way our race, human beings, are. Our greed and covetousness on the one hand, with the inclination for exploration and seeking of technology on the other, are leading us towards a very different destiny.

Image result for image about future?

  Image Credit: EuroSTAR

I watched a movie years ago (sorry, can’t recall the name!) about a group of different mutant generations who took over the world. There were almost no humans left, and those who survived became enslaved to the mutants. The poignant factor was that it seemed quite normal to them. Of course, this is an exaggerated example, but when the mutants are interchanged with the internet and, more specifically, social media, the similarities in these perspectives becomes more clear. Social media stages are not just the new trends, they are the new ways of communication and being. Ultimately, the next generations are going to be entirely different in the ways they think, live, and interact. Sometimes I wonder, perhaps the new generations, Gen Alpha and their descendants, just don’t fit in our definition and understanding of living and communicating. They will connect and, possibly, humanize, in a new realm that we may not comprehend properly.

 My question is, would that be a concern when they are all going to think similarly?!


Image result for image of ad for encouraging people to "advertise here"







Image Credit: IndianAwazz.com









Social Media Strategy in a Nutshell for Marketing your Business

Social Media Strategy in a Nutshell for Marketing your Business


My name is Cheryl. I presently consider myself a Rookie when it comes to blogging with the Algonquin Social Media program.

Being a successful “Gently Used Treasures Consultant”, which entails matching people with hidden gems and treasures. “Allways Gently Used Items” is a new service offered to the consumers by Allways Moving Delivery & Storage located in the town of Smiths Falls, Ontario. I am a recognized trusted local authority with a broad knowledge of antiques and we are known for also providing outstanding service as per our feedback and reviews from clients. In this line of work one must be able to identify the client’s needs, design the successful solution and deliver quality items at a reasonable price.

We are using multiple networking paths ranging from community swamp shops along with a variety of buy and sell sites such as Kijiji, which can play a huge role in connecting with potential clients.

One of the biggest decisions is to determine whether Social Media is the proper path for your business. Below is a link to connect you to a straight forward blog, listing the pro and cons in using Social Media for small business.

Please click on link listed below :

Should you really use Social Media for a Marketing Tool?  

There are also hidden area’s of networking which in our niche client service can provide future possibilities and create a ripple effect for enlarging our clientele area. I am looking forward to discussing ways of enhancing proven networking in future blogs.

I have listed our web sites ( which is under construction ) along with our 2 Facebook sites below, Can411 site :

            Allways ” Gently Used Items ” web site

   Allways Moving Delivery.ca

Image result for facebook logo    Allways ” Gently Used ” Facebook

Image result for facebook logo      Allways Moving Delivery & Storage Facebook

 Image result for can 411 logo                  Allways Canada 411 site

5 Reasons Network Marketing is Perfect for Millennial Travellers!


(n.) a strong desire or impulse to travel and explore the world

Millennials… this one is for you!

We are a generation driven for change. Despite the job market being much more scarce today than it was when our parents finished school, we are determined. And in addition, we don’t just want a J-O-B. We want more.  More freedom, more passion, more abundance, and most importantly: more fulfillment. We are dreamers! We want to feel like we are contributing to the world on a massive scale, on our own terms. And for the motivated leaders who are prepared to put in the work to achieve these dreams, the opportunities are limitless!

There is a shift happening… The industrial era of the 18th and 19th centuries made way, following the digital revolution, for the information era, which is now coming to an end with the rise of a new era: one of technology, networking, and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are breaking free from traditional business approaches in search of a better way… The way of the future. A revolution that will one day become our “norm” is starting to get massive attention.

This is where network marketing comes in. Although it isn’t perfect (just like anything else), and it requires commitment and hard work, this business model was the biggest blessing to fuel my wanderlust and help me ignite the fire inside my soul to really do something big! But why does network marketing go hand in hand with the desire to explore the world? Here are 5 reasons why I have found this to be the perfect opportunity for young travellers!

1. We are natural networkers!

It’s almost a no-brainer for today’s youth to align themselves with some sort of company with products or services they believe in and have a passion for, even if it’s just something simple for a bit of extra income on the side of school or full-time work. Why? Because we’re network marketing on our own without even realizing it!

It is completely normal to see a girl posing for a workout selfie on Instagram dressed head to toe in Victoria’s Secret PINK, or a guy showing off his new Jordans on Snapchat, or people all over Twitter hyping up a new restaurant or movie.

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But when was the last time Nike said “Thank you, Sarah! After seeing you wearing a Nike sports bra on Instagram, your friends Jenny and Emma were inspired to start working out and came in to purchase some new outfits from us. We’d like to reward you with a referral bonus and continue to reward you as Jenny, Emma, and all of their friends shop with us in the future”?

That sounds crazy, right? Well, that’s what network marketing is all about. Real people are being rewarded for sharing products and services that they genuinely use and love! Word of mouth marketing is proving to be a much better distribution method than other advertising techniques with the rise of social media as a platform for influence.

Since we’re going to post about the things we love anyways, we might as well get paid for it at the same time! Who doesn’t love posting pictures lounging poolside on an exotic island or backpacking through Europe? What about sharing our favourite makeup or smoothie recipes or our inspiring health journeys?

We share these things with our networks because they excite us, and of course, travel excites a lot of other people too! So while doing something you would already do naturally, you’re inspiring your friends to partner with you and build the type of freedom that allows all of you to travel together!

2. Residual income to fund your trips!

Surely we would all love to travel – but of course seeing the world isn’t always cheap. From plane tickets, to accommodation, to food, to sightseeing, and don’t forget this one: the money we’d lose if we couldn’t be working our regular jobs while on vacation. What if there was a way to make extra money to save for a trip, AND (wait for it) even continue to earn money while traveling?!

With the right network marketing company, there is no cap on how far your income can grow if you apply yourself, learn the skills to be successful, and stay consistent! What may start out as a few extra dollars on the side can very possibly replace your full time income down the road and fund your wildest dreams to see the world at a young age.

The power of residual income allows network marketers to not only work from anywhere in the world with a WiFi connection, but get this – even if you’re not “working” on your business, you can actually continue to earn money on your trip from work that you’ve already done! Compare it to being a successful author – J.K. Rowling continues to get paid writing the Harry Potter series years later as more people buy her books.

This quote from Warren Buffett says it all.


Warren Buffett shares his views on residual income.

Although I’m sure we would all love some extra cash, it is important to note that financial success isn’t the focal point here. It’s what we choose do with that money that adds value! Traveling is an amazing motivating factor to earn a bit of extra income and enrich our lives with the best experiences around the world.

3. What’s more important than financial freedom? Time freedom!

Money isn’t the only thing we need to fulfill our dreams of traveling all over the world. There are lots of people who are perfectly capable of affording travel but don’t have enough time!

Even if we work hard to save up for a trip, most of us are relying on someone else (a boss) to get the time off to be able to take a vacation. Even unpaid, this can be hard to accomplish! Most people work 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, just to retire after 40+ years. Where’s the time to live our lives? Of course, hopefully everyone enjoys what they do and doesn’t want a vacation from it, although this isn’t as common as one would hope.

With opportunities arising to take our work with us as long as we have internet connection, and do it on our own time, millennials are defying the status-quo and pushing the boundaries to create more freedom to live every day to the fullest! We don’t want to wait until we’re retired after 40 years to start seeing the world.

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Network marketing allows the average person to be their own boss, work around the things they want to do, without having to rely on a third party to tell them if they can or can’t spontaneously jet off for a week in France or take a road trip to New York City!

4. Small business tax deductions!

Quick disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and this is not intended to be financial or tax advice. Everyone is responsible to educate themselves properly on what can and cannot be deducted on taxes so make sure to check with your CPA or the IRS website to be sure. This is simply my own personal experience.

There are many tax advantages that are available to business owners, specifically home-based business owners. As a network marketer, depending on how seriously you are taking your business, you may qualify for some of these write-offs!

Of course, there must be a clear division between business-related travel and personal travel. However, there are many opportunities that will arise to invest in travel for the purpose of growing your network marketing business. For example, if the network marketing company you’ve aligned with opens in a new international market, it can certainly be considered a business trip to visit this new area, make connections, educate yourself on their culture, attend trainings and events for your business, etc. and it is possible to claim a portion of this as a business expense for tax purposes!


Every penny counts! There are many tax advantages available to home-based business owners.

For specifics, of course, be sure to clarify with your accountant, but another example includes using tech devices for business while traveling – a portion of what I paid for my lightweight, portable laptop that came with me to run my business while on vacation, and a portion of the wifi hotspot I purchased to use my phone for business activities in Europe are both examples of possible partial deductions.

If it helps you grow your business, there’s a good chance it can be claimed as an expense and these definitely add up.

Imagine seeing the world and growing an international business all at once!

5. Grow your brand through travel!

Network marketing is becoming more social media-based every day as our influential reach extends with the progression of technology and sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Attraction marketing is defined as the concept of creating value and building intrigue for your target prospect so they are attracted to you and your message.

This requires building a “brand” on social media that revolves around more than simply the company you’ve chosen to align with. People will do business with those they know, like, and trust. This means being genuine, sharing your passions, working to be a positive influence and role model, and developing a brand that portrays your lifestyle and inspires others to strive towards their own dreams with your help.

It’s no secret that everyone loves seeing and sharing travel blogs, photos, videos, etc.

The more you travel, the more new and exciting content you will have to share with your audience. More people will want to follow your journey, and then the people who are attracted to your brand will come to you because they want to live a similar lifestyle!

So not only do you get to enjoy an epic vacation, but your business will grow as a result of you sharing these experiences and living the lifestyle of your dreams. Not a bad gig!

Of course, it takes consistency and other techniques to perfect the art of social media marketing (making sure your posts are seen, keeping a balance in the types of posts, etc.) – but in the end it all comes down to providing valuable content, and who doesn’t love seeing pictures like the ones below?

Today's office #startyourlife

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on

this dock was my happy place all week 🌺

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on


Italy is kind of pretty

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on

rode from the very bottom to the very top of Santorini yesterday 🏍

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on

every time I think I'm over not waking up to this view I remember I'm actually lying to myself 😭

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on

I still have soooooo many more Europe pictures and videos to post 😳😳 • Life of a procrastinator ✌🏼️ • But seriously, it's hard to believe I'm not still over there thinking about which train to catch over to Rome from Florence tomorrow or what time we want to hit the beach in Barcelona or whether we want 1 or 2 scoops of gelato 😂 (always go for two!!!) • Of course we had some more stressful decisions to make over there but looking back, our troubles while traveling seem so minuscule compared to the fast pace of life back home. I've been getting back into the groove of stepping into my leadership as a business owner, making some big decisions like getting my first car and finding an apartment, all while trying to get through editing all these amazing travel videos that are making me super emotional 😩 and the time that I've been home has just flown right by in front of me! • It's such a whirlwind of emotions but for now I'm just going to get these videos finished, reminisce in all the incredible memories once they're done, enjoy the beautiful weather, surround myself with positive people, and keep working to find a routine that works for me. 💓💓

A post shared by Char (@charlottekingston_) on

One last bonus: Travelling = Happiness = Success!

One of my favourite books is The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. This book explains that success does not cause happiness, but rather the opposite – happiness is what primarily fuels success. Achor says, “When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it.”

Travel and network marketing go hand in hand because traveling, exploring different cultures, taking time to discover what we want out of life while strolling through the little streets in Italy or hiking through mountains… every one of these experiences does so much to progress our personal development and enrich our lives. This happiness motivates us and increases our productivity and we can be more successful in our businesses and in life in general!

Your life is too valuable to spend it just getting by! Get out there, follow your passions, and truly live!

I am on a mission to inspire young people to dream bigger and live louder! For more information on my team’s movement, visit www.dreambiggerlivelouder.com.


Millennials, this one is for you! If you have a passion for travel, this could be your solution to freedom! 🌍 http://tinyurl.com/m2v568l


Millennials, this one is for you! If you have a passion for travel but struggle to come up with the time and money to make your dreams happen, this could be your solution to freedom! 🌍 Discover 5 reasons why network marketing could be the perfect fit to satisfy your wanderlust ✨ http://tinyurl.com/m2v568l

How Social Media can Spark the Mind of a Child

What would be the tools on Social Media than can spark the mind of the preschoolers? How is it being used to be effective in emergent learnings? In this article, I will share what are the tools and how they help to spark the minds of children in the early learning settings.

It was a sunny day and the preschoolers ages 2.5 – 3 yrs. old went outside to play. I brought few open-ended materials such as chalk, silk banners with various colours, magnifying glass, bug container, etc. One child picked up the chalk and started to scribble on the ground and said, “I made a scarecrow.”  There was one child who asked him,  “What is the scarecrow doing?” and the child replied, “He scares the birds.” So when we came back to our classroom we had an investigation by using Google search. The children found out from the images that a “scarecrow” is not a real person but a made up thing place in the middle of the field to watch the plants and scares the birds and animals. One child suggested that we can add the scarecrow to our “Interest Web” which is posted on the wall of our classroom.

After some minutes, one child asked if they can make a scarecrow. So we search again from Pinterest how to make a scarecrow. Two children went to the creative shelf and took the basket of crayons and pieces of papers and started to make a picture of the scarecrow. But some children wanted to make a scarecrow out of pieces of fabrics from Dramatic Area.  And this can be their creative activity for the following day.

Credited: en.wikipedia.org. “A bunch of Scarecrows in a rice paddy in Japan”

The next  day I observed two children playing with the farm animals by making sounds.  During circle time I used  video clip from YouTube to show them the pictures of farm animals with their names and sounds that they made. The children learned in an instant the name of each animal and their corresponding sounds. To evaluate their learnings we played the “Listening Lotto”. It is a game by marking the picture of an animal as they listen to the sound made. Moreover, on YouTube children learned songs and dances of different cultures. We had fun everyday.

Indeed, the given tools on social media are means to help the children develop their domain and skills such as physical, cognitive, communication, social and emotional well-being but it is not the end. As educators, parents and caregivers let us learn how to use the tools by developmentally appropriate to their age level,  balance and creative in providing learning opportunities to the children in our care.

You are most welcome to share an experience you have related to my article.


What is Emergent Curriculum?


COM0015 Blog#1 Personal Vs Corporate Tools & Sources

I have been in the business of media relations since 1995 and I have seen my fair share of tools and sources trends that have emerged and disappeared.  The “Next big thing” is always around the next corner.  So the question one must ask is what are the objectives of our social media communications plan? And how do these tools and sources afford us the ability to engage in critical thinking?  In other words, the tail (e.g. tools and sources) should not be waging the dog (e.g. social media comm plan).  The easiest way to look at this issue is through the eyes of a personal media plan versus a corporate media plan.

Personal Social Media Plan:  In this case, the free tools and sources are the safest way to go since they afford both a media monitoring and organic engagement capability.  In my case, I use a Hootsuite account with your standard RSS feeds, Twitter account and Facebook helps too.  For the rest of my personal media monitoring and feedback capability, I rely on Google Alerts.  Aside from the inordinate amount of time required to apply and familiarize myself with the tools and sources, one must also be aware of their other limitations.

Limitations:  Google alerts searches a database of approximately 1,000 outlets in Canada.Google Alerts Logo  It is unable to provide searches that are time based (e.g. past year, past month, past week or the past 24 hours).  In other words, everything is lumped together.  There is also something to be said for having the ability to consult with someone  to help you with your searches and/or resolve issues.  Finally, Google Alerts has virtual no social media monitoring capability. So you have to have something in addition to Google Alerts to gain an accurate monitoring capability.

Corporate Social Media Plan:  Before I appear to be placing and advert in this blog for the Meltwater company, let me just say that I am using them as an example to contrast the tools and sources afforded by corporate media monitoring capabilities with those of free media monitoring and will try to keep my comments to the generic advantages.  Perhaps the most obvious is the fact that by relying on an external company one does not have to research, choose, constantly validate and apply various monitoring tools and sources.  This can take a lot of time.  Other advantages include:Meltwater Social Media Monitoring

Advantages: Hiring a company like Meltwater significantly increases the searchable database.  They have access to approximately 10,000 outlets in both official languages that can be divided by provinces, with specific time frames and are listed in chronological order.  This provides the user with the ability to detect trends.  In fact, their database can be searched as far back as 2010!  They also provide you with some analysis that may help direct your focus on the issues of importance.  You may also reach a contact person that can help you with your searches and they have a partnership with Facebook and Twitter, so searches done through Meltwater also includes these two important social media platforms.

Summary:  Notwithstanding the price differential between free monitoring versus corporate monitoring, one must ask themselve: How do these tools and sources afford us the ability to engage in critical thinking?  when time is in short supply, given the speed with which social and traditional media operate, we need to make sure that the tail (e.g. tools and sources) is not waging the dog (e.g. social media comm plan).






Designing For Social Media.

A couple years ago I decided to go back to school and take a chance on a whole new subject that I knew I would love: graphic design. I’m not a big fan of studying or memorizing for exams, but it took me a while after high school to think of trying design classes. Their website was great: it had testimonials from previous students and said that 92% of graduates were working in their field within a year. I was really impressed by this percentage – I never knew that there was such a big demand for graphic designers! I always thought that online design websites would sweep these jobs away from artists. Well, after 3-4 years of job searching, pro-bono work and freelancing, here I am with nothing that the school had promised. My initial instincts were right; more and more web sites are making cheap graphics, business cards, posters, you name it. There is no steady, well-paid jobs in graphic design. I tried to forget about what I had wanted to do with my diploma and started working in a great-paying construction job from Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm.


I started to look at these design websites carefully. I wondered, how are they making a living by having such cheap designs? Yes, they obviously have resources, but how were they able to corner the market? And then it hit me: social media. They are so good at advertising their products that they have an overflow of work. They can manipulate the market and easily ship internationally – designers like us are shut out. They are able to reach small companies that couldn’t afford a full-time designer, but still need graphic design services. This is where my interest in social media came from. How impressive is it to live in an era where we can reach around the globe by simply using social media?


The one thing I hate the most about a website is if you have to click more than 3 times to find what you need (Blackboard, *cough, cough*). Any more than 3 and your web interface is completely wrong; it confuses users trying to navigate the site and they’ll leave the page. This is where some bloggers have a faulty design. They should make sure that the design of the website flows to maximize page scrolling time. Imagery is also one of the most important factors in any kind of web interface; the power of visualization is what first draws a user in. A website with no images or graphics is just dull.  Typography can be used to add interest and set the tone of the site, but don’t forget that there are a lot of dyslexics like me! From my personal experience, typography can make or break a website.


I could go on and on but at this point I should start teaching the class, *wink wink*. My ultimate goal with this program is to work in an environment where I could help design great social media interfaces for businesses.

If you need  tips or tools on your upcoming website or blog here is a link to help you out:


I hope that you now know a little bit more about page design. Have you ever thought about the complexities of a website creation before? What are your thoughts on creating and designing a good website? Let me know in the comments below.



Twitter Promo:

Did you think it was that simple? Here is a small glimpse of my journey and thoughts on my new interest in ”Designing for social media


Facebook Promo:

Here’s a small blog on how my design courses and social media courses cross paths. Do you agree with my take on how to properly design a website/blog? Feel free to comment and post in ”Designing for social media“.

COM0011 – Technology use over time.

COM0011 – Technology use over time.

The 1980’s

I was in grade 6 at the time so I am somewhat dating myself. I would say one of the precursors to modern social media would have to be the audio cassette. I would get blank audio cassettes and make mixtapes from songs on the radio. It was a little bit of a challenge to record the introduction of a song right when the DJ stopped speaking in order to have the best version of songs you could get from home recording. The information sharing part came when other kids that also made mixtapes were trading them around school.

My first exposure to computers came around this time. Nowadays, I am a PC guy but the first computer I was using at school was an Apple Macintosh. It was a big deal at the time to be the one who got to use the only computer with the color monitor. I recall playing a lot of The Oregon Trail at this time.


The 1990’s

CD’s started to make their way to market. Now we had a better way to make mixtapes. Kids would lend their friends a CD so that mixtapes without the DJ talking at the start of a song could be possible. Also the audio quality was higher. It was a somewhat primitive form of information sharing.

I had finally managed in the early 90’s to convince my parents to buy a computer. I believe it was an Intel 486. It was still early before modern adoption of computers and a bit of a nerdy thing to have at the time in the early 90’s but I got one with a modem and started my journey into the online world. Connecting through dial up bulletin board systems I was able to access Usenet, play games and generally chat with other users on forums. It was mostly text based at the time.

It wasn’t until Windows 95 came out that it seemed that everyone had gotten a computer and was connected online. It had finally become commonplace to see website and email addresses.



It was 2003 when the computer had become more then a machine to play games, chat and surf the internet. I had signed up in the regular force of the Canadian Forces and become an Administrative and Finance Clerk. Computer use for me was now a daily requirement of the job. Clients would come for appointments and I had to navigate online tools, policies and regulations in order to assist them.

I had been prompted by a friend to sign up for Facebook in 2007. It was my first journey into social media. I spent many hours online (and still do) on Facebook. There have been many changes I have seen over time. Easier sharing of things like photos. Different formats to what used to be called your wall and is now a timeline. I went through my contact list excitedly and tried to connect with friends and collegues and any other acquantinces I came into contact with.


During this time I had finally upgraded to a smartphone. Now I was accessing the internet on the go. It also seemed that free Wi-Fi was popping up everywhere. Now nearly every bar, mall or restaurant has free Wi-Fi so I don’t go over my data usage and end up with a large bill at the end of the month. Upgrading phones over time became less of a hassle. I integrated Google apps into my phone so that doing tasks such as managing hundreds of contacts, checking email and updating my calender could be updated in real time.


I had been holding off on signing up for Twitter for awhile but finally decided to give it a try. Many friends were on Twitter and I followed them. Over time I started following many people and brands. I made it to about 3000 following so needless to say my timeline managed to get very cluttered. I found it was not quite what I intended when I first signed up for the service so my enthusiasm for Twitter started to wane. Who knows, maybe this course will rekindle my interest in Twitter.

Facebook: One man’s journey through technology, the internet and social media over time.  http://wp.me/p3QRy0-faD

Twitter: How has your #technology use changed over time?  http://wp.me/p3QRy0-faD

S17 – Digital Communication: Blog Post #2 Honestly? Make it a good story.

The key to storytelling is honesty. If the audience doesn’t feel like it can trust what you wrote, you’ve squandered an opportunity to engage with it. The way to get there is through clear, concise, correct and complete content. Making sure your content doesn’t “trip up” the reader means that your message will not be lost and your call to action may be headed.

Not everyone can be a storyteller but everyone can write properly. Sometimes that’s the way to engaging your audience. Using the inverted pyramid as a guide means that the most important information will be read first. At the very least, you’ll have someone who can quote what they’ve read. At the most, they’ve continued to read and can elaborate on the points you want them to remember.

Getting the reader’s attention is the hardest part. A catchy headline and lead helps to draw that attention. However it’s the honesty of the writing that will keep that attention. Proper grammar, plain language, clear sentence structure and solid research will gain that trust and open the door for more engagement.

If you open that door, make sure that you stay engaged with your audience. Facebook responses must be timely. Replies to tweets must be immediate. Commenting on Instagram photos are required. Audiences like to feel that the businesses they engage with are interested in what they think or how they feel. Creating that bond is important but maintaining it is critical.

An attention-getting story, well-written content and staying engaged with audiences will help a business move forward with achieving its business goals.

COM0015 Blog #1: Older Man Enjoys Easy Listening……

For the past eight months or so I have been slowly working my way through this five part Social Media series and it has been a challenge. I am older than most students and can easily see my sixtieth birthday on the horizon. Yes, I know that many people much older than me are far more internet savvy, but that is not me. Nelly is pushing me kicking and screaming into the wild wonderful world of social media, yet I still rebel. I like easy listening and for me that is Facebook. I am interested in retirement subjects and people my age are very comfortable on Facebook. Since I am required to look elsewhere I have used Twitter but it is a distant second. But listening and monitoring on Facebook works very well for me. It tells me, everything that I want to know, I think. I now understand what retirement issues are important to people my age. What worries them, what angers them and what they want to know more about.

Being a creature of habit I use Google Alerts exclusively. It seems to work well for me. I have explored Hootsuite but I don’t think that I need it. I am sure that there are others out there that can give me a multitude of reasons as to why I need to diversify but so far my limited, but effective social media plan seems to be working out. I think that this is due to the fact that I am seeking a particular niche; people of retirement age in Canada. Yes, people use different social media channels but the majority seem happy to be on Facebook. Perhaps by using other services I could get a better handle on my market but I see it as a lot of effort for limited reward. Think about it. If you were looking for people 55 to 70 years of age that wanted to talk about retirement issues where do you think that you might find them?

If I am really missing some great opportunities to learn more about my niche market feel free to tell me. But you may have to take it easy on me. Until recently I thought that Instagram was an online dating service for available women my age. 🙂