Social Media Spurring Gang Violence?

•May 31, 2011 • 2 Comments

Social media, by definition, is for users to be social. I use Facebook to keep in touch with people I don’t see often, make jokes with people I do, and every thing in between. I think that’s pretty common for most people. However now, some kids are using it not only to keep up with their friends, but also to organize them into gang-related violence.

Due to Facebook, over 1,000 kids met in Carson Beach yesterday to watch rival gang violence. Though they are no specific groups or pages these kids used to organize, it is assumed they kept in touch via messaging or status updates.

There has been some speculation if the “gang meeting” was exaggerated or not, but regardless over 5 agencies and 100 officers responded to the scene. By searching “Carson Beach” within Twitter results in dozens of tweets, most linking back to the WebProNews article or the Boston Globe, or arguing the truth to these allegations.

Perhaps it wasn’t a “gang meeting,” merely a hot day. Maybe the kids used these methods to meet up and hang out, and it got out of control. Maybe it wasn’t even out of control, but 1,000 teenagers all in one group just seemed out of control? Either way, social media is now a method for people to organize, whether violent or non-violent. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

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Memorial Day Parade in Lansing: A chance to honor our servicemen and our country

•May 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Parade season is officially underway in Michigan. In the capitol of Lansing, the annual Memorial Day Parade was held on Saturday, May 28, 2011. The parade began at 10 a.m. Parade participants set up in the parking lots on Allegan Street by the Michigan Historical Library and Museum east of Butler Boulevard. The parade traveled east on Allegan Street to Capitol Avenue, north on Capitol Avenue to Ottawa Street, and west on Ottawa Street back to the parking lots near the Michigan Historical Museum. A detailed view of the parade can be found via Google Maps. Several unique Lansing landmarks were on the parade route, including Lansing City Hall, Michigan State Capitol, Murray D. Van Wagoner Transportation Building, and the Michigan Historical Library and Museum.

Parade participants included: The Marine Corps Reserve Color Guard, The Eastern High School Marching Band, Otto Middle School Marching Band and the Caravan Circus Pickup Band played during the length of the parade. Others include the American Legion Post 460, VFW Post 701, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and Blue Star Mothers. The Blue Star Mothers are women who have children currently serving on active duty. Miss Michigan Galaxy, Shelley Lance, also was be in the parade along with Lansing Mayor, Virg Bernero, and several representatives from his office. Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson also walked in the parade.  Below is a photo of members of Robinson’s family as well as Mayor Bernero.

The Forty & Eight, an invitational honor organization of U.S veterans, had a unique train entry.

An overview video of the parade can be viewed below:

Following the parade was a ceremony held at Evergreen Cemetery on Mount Hope. The Memorial Day ceremony starated at noon at the Little Arlington section of Evergreen Cemetery, 2600 East Mt. Hope Ave. Guest speaker Lieutenant Corporal Kevin Payne, Commander of the Army Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion. The ceremony attendees were able to view the memorial erected last summer to honor service men and women who have died since September 11, 2001.

Memorial Day parades allow patriotic Americans to honor and appreciate the members of the national service who have fought vigilantly for our country. Many other parades were held through Michigan, including specifically in the Detroit area. These were listed on the Detroit Free Press website.

Social Media Slams on Schwarzenegger Scandal

•May 22, 2011 • 5 Comments

If you’ve somehow managed to miss the media cover of the Schwarzenegger scandal this last week, here’s a brief summary: Former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife of over 25 years, Maria Shriver, announced their separation. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Arnold had fathered a child (now 14 years old) with a former housekeeper. Since this revelation, Shriver has since filed for divorce, and if “Schwarzenegger Scandal” is searched in Google, over 8,000 news articles are the result.

Beyond the mainstream media judgement, harsh words have also been exchange through social media. Former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, posted this tweet on May 17, 2011: “Another guy guv admits 2 cheating on his wife. Maybe we need more women governors. Guys: keep ur pants zipped, for Pete’s sake. #Arnold.” An hour before her tweet, her husband, Dan Mulhern posted, “Men: can we talk maturely, openly, and seriously about sex and fidelity?” The Detroit Free Press goes on to explain that Mulhern is often featured in the media as a representative male with a successful wife, and the two are publishing a book together, due this September.

And these are not the only two posts regarding the subject. Former governor Granholm was definitely not the first (nor the last) to use the hashtag – #Arnold. If searched in Twitter, a new tweet pops up every few minutes. Even a top tweet directing readers to The New York Times Week in Review Article begs the question, if you had that kind of power, would you behave? Other tweets vary from consideration to his family to Bill Maher describing the scandal: “Two 13 year old boys, one from the wife, one from the maid, living in same house. Greatest. Reality. Show. Ever.” Similar results surface for the web’s new nickname of Schwarzenegger, using the hashtag #Sperminator (clearly a play on the Governor’s former infamous film role as The Terminator). Other celebrities also took a crack at him, and these top tweets were posted via The Wall Street Journal.

Although judgment towards the former California governor has been intense, Granholm expanded her position in more depth through her Facebook, “By the way: there are lots of great men out there serving in positions of leadership. Let’s support them and encourage good people – men and women – to run for office. My prayers are with Arnold and Maria’s family, and peace to everyone involved.” Later the same day, Schwarzenegger’s son Patrick showed the support for his family through his Twitter, “some days you feel like shit, some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet i love my family till death do us apart. #family.”

Through the 8,000 articles, celebrity tweets, and late night TV jokes, there has been much scrutiny of all members of the Schwarzenegger family. Social media has offered a way for news to spread like wildfire, and allow the public to stay abreast of current stories in a more convenient manner. The question the reader should ask him or herself, is whether or not the story is credible, and is it worth the retweet?

The Death of Print? (And a great infographic!)

•May 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Image from GetSatisfaction.com blog

Intellectual Property of my Property…. Who Really Owns It?

•December 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My biggest question of the day – who has rights to photos of you? Or your property? To explain I will have to give some background…

About 4 years ago, I got into a small car accident. Nothing horrible happened to myself (or my car really; just a small dent in the fender), but a friend of mine took a photo of my car because it was somewhat humorous. What happened is that somehow my car got stuck, literally, on a rock. Dumb, yes. I don’t really care about the actual event as much as that people won’t let it go. It happened about 4 years ago, perhaps more. But there is now a photo floating around that simply will not go away.

While it isn’t the actual event I am annoyed with. And although my friends are frustrating me because they won’t let the situation simply go away (telling coworkers and other friends about it, even to this day), and now the photo was posted on Facebook.

So herein lies my question – Who has the rights to the photo? Does my friend who posted it? He wasn’t the original photographer. He wasn’t even present the day the event took place. Is it my property as it’s my car? I didn’t object to the photo at the time, which has since been tampered with in Photoshop. Is it the original photographer’s photo? It’s not on his Facebook page (he knows how annoyed I get about it). Perhaps as it is posted on Facebook, it is just simply become the property of Facebook itself, whether or not I consented to it.

I didn’t seem to have any solutions to my situation. I asked him to remove it several times. He apparently can’t from his phone (this may be the one occasion I curse Apple, or perhaps at least the Facebook App). I could have reported it as spam I suppose.

Instead I deactivated my Facebook account. Probably harsh, but perhaps healthy. I have developed a dependency on checking my notifications that can be more healthily devoted to something else. Perhaps this blog, or as I like to say, “The Twitter.”

Only time will tell how long my hiatus will last. In the meantime, I will continue to ponder about the actual ownership of photo property rights, especially since the photo taken is of my property. Sigh. If only I was a better driver.

Bill Nye Collapses… and Kids Tweet

•November 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

I saw this tweet today and upon checking on the article, was seriously bothered. It seems that Bill Nye the Science Guy was on his way to do a presentation at USC last night, and on his way to the stage, he collapsed.

Luckily, he is OK. But the unsettling part is that NOT ONE STUDENT went to check on him. Instead, they updated their statuses with their cell phones. How scary is that?

Read the story here on Yahoo!

Sesame Street’s Success with Viral

•November 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Using YouTube to promote yourself isn’t just for businesses and creative geniuses. Even a TV show that has been airing for over 40 years can still utilize social media to promote itself. I’m specifically speaking about Sesame Street’s recent online buzz and how it has promoted the brand.

A video posted in October has reached over 1.2 million viewers due . The video “I Love My Hair” was featured on ABC Nightly News with Diane Sawyer due to it’s incredible impact on the African American community. The Sesame Street writer responsible for this song wrote it for his daughter, who he adopted from Ethiopia.

Although the audience of this video is intended to be young children, Sesame Street’s use of their YouTube channel has made it available to many generations of women who can relate. As soon as I saw it, I sent the link to my sister, who adopted three Ethiopian children in 2009. She had already seen it, loved it, and shared it with her friends. It truly is truly great to see such a good message spread to so many people because of social media.

Sesame Street has also shown a satirical side with recent pop culture spoofs. A recent episode played off Apple’s “There’s An App For That” campaign, was featured on CBS news as a top viral video of the week. The iPogo boasts video chat and social networking.

And there was also Grover’s “Smell Like a Monster” spoof of Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercials, which has over 5.6 million views.

Sesame Street seems to know what they’re doing, and marketers should take note. These parodies may be silly, but it has boosted the brand to relevance once again. Their YouTube channel has nearly 90,000 subscribers and over 163 million views of their 750 videos. And they’re not just for kids.