Networking in the Digital Age

By Vivian Unger

     At the risk of dating myself, I fondly recall the way we conducted business pre-digital age.  Be forewarned, this is similar to those stories of walking to school backwards, uphill through twenty feet of snow!  When I began my career CNN was in its infancy with 24/7 news, expense accounts were abundant and advertising sales people spent ample face-time with their clients over meals and beverages. Remember, we are talking about pre-cell phones, Internet and even Federal Express.  To that end, with more face-time our professional relationships were solid, personal and trusting.
     No doubt, technology has changed the dynamics of our business relationships.  In many ways, our relationships are virtual.  Client face-time has diminished due to the quantity and rapid pace of our business turnover with the digital age.
    Networking and building relationships in the digital age require us to work smarter.  Liz Lynch, author of “Smart Networking,” says that previously success meant whom you knew or who knew you that led you to open doors and referrals.  Now, in the digital age there is a new method of diffusing our relationships.  The likeability factor is the key in the digital age.

    In order to be likeable one’s credibility has to be strong.  In order to raise one’s credibility in the professional world, trustworthy is a virtue.   Trust entails keeping promises, doing good work, offering referrals and utilizing Network Gravity in your digital life.
      “Smart Networking” describes Network Gravity as a force that automatically draws people to you  with whom you have the greatest potential to build mutually beneficial relationships.  Through content and community such as Facebook, blogging, e-zine, LinkedIn and Twitter the people that share the most in common with you will become a follower of the conversations, engagements and information you are sharing. Building relationships smarter means be a good person digitally.



By Ashley Murphy

Hiding behind a Twitter handle containing randomly selected numbers and letters is cowardice and shameful. If you have ever been the subject of cyber bullying or have been verbally attacked in the world of social media, it can be a frightening and a lonely position to find yourself in. On July 31, 2013, several journalists from Great Britain were targeted with bomb and rape threats on Twitter. Catherine Mayer, editor of Time Magazine in Europe, received a specific bomb threat with the words: “A bomb has been placed outside your home. It will go off at exactly 10:47pm on a timer and trigger destroying everything.” Other female journalists who were targeted with the same message were Hadley Freeman, the Guardian columnist; Grace Dent, a columnist for the Independent newspaper; Sara Lang, social media manager of AARP; Anna Leskiewicz, editor of Oxford University’s student newspaper; and Katie Hartwill, assistant to the British Member of Parliament.     

Catherine Mayer and Grace Dent took the threat in perspective. Neither women took the menacing message as a serious bomb threat, yet they both have considered the language as abusive. Mayer states, “It was phrased in a way that I found more amusing than sinister. I take it seriously as abuse but I didn’t actually believe at any point there was a bomb outside my house.” The question remains as to why these high profile women are being targeted by perpetrators trolling the internet. Could these individuals be part of a widespread group of extremists promoting an anti-women campaign? Or is it one individual sending out repeated messages in bulk? British police have been thoroughly investigating to trace the cyber bully.

The bomb threats occurred after prolonged cyber attacks targeted Caroline Criado-Perez, a freelance journalist and advocate of the feminist movement in England. She lobbied the bank of England to feature Jane Austen’s face on the country’s currency, which caused heightened controversy. The Queen of England has historically been printed on the nation’s currency, which is understandably a tradition conservative “Brits” would want to remain unchanged. However, the Bank of England authorized Austen’s face to be printed on bank notes in July of 2017. An outpour of death threats flooded Perez’s Twitter feed when the announcement was made to the public in protest of the decision. Bomb and rape threats documented at 50 threats per hour were enough to force her to contact law enforcement out of fear for her life. Perez was compelled to involve police officials in lieu of Twitter, which the social media site failed to immediately take action when notified of the incident.
Twitter has suffered severe backlash from all the harassing threats that have taken place within the past few weeks. Critics have slammed Twitter for making it too easy for people to set up phony handles to harass innocent people and then deactivate those accounts to evade being tracked by police. In response to the criticism, Twitter has announced the site will provide a “report abuse” button available on iPhones that will accompany the site’s Help Center. Twitter has been slow to respond in reported cases, making users complete a form to report a violation and wait to be contacted via e-mail. The response time could take up to a few hours to 24 hours before you hear a reply, which if someone is receiving multiple death threats could seem like an eternity. The best case in any situation is to always notify police immediately if your life is being endangered, social media is not worth sacrificing one’s safety.
Catherine Mayer raises a valid point regarding Twitter because it’s supposed to be an interactive service, yet the CEO and head of the company do not interact with users. She strongly believes that Twitter is a social media giant that is still operating like a start-up company. Mayer firmly suggests Twitter “needs an infrastructure to respond to claims of abuse in each country”. I have to agree with Mayer that all social media avenues need to be held accountable for harassment and abuse online. Twitter has a responsibility to protect users by taking action against those who abuse its policies.


Fry Street has Problems

Fry Street has Problems

by Dylan Braun

                          With so many different accounts on Twitter to follow I have to suggest that everyone in Denton (who enjoys a cold one once in awhile) immediately click the follow button on the @FryStreetProblems parody account. There are a few parody accounts out there that are worth the follow, this one just so happens to be my favorite, mainly because I feel like I can relate to most of their posts. Throughout the week they tweet and retweet random “opinions” and ironic things that relate to the Fry Street bars and things that people do on Fry Street. With the cheapest drinks, I have personally seen, in the great state of Texas, it can get pretty ratchet (crazy) pretty fast. This explains why @frystreetproblems retweets posts such as, “Using quarters to pay for my drinks tonight ” and “I got so drunk last night I woke up and thought it was Friday again. ” both relate-able tweets to any “regulars” on fry.

                         I want to know how people become Twitter famous with their parody accounts. Is there some website out there that generates genius parody ideas? Because if there is I want that URL! In all seriousness, there are a lot of parody accounts on Twitter that are worth the follow based solely on their hilarity. I like the ones that I can personally relate to because they create endless laughter for myself and my followers when retweeted. @FryStreetProblems is my personal favorite parody account, but if you can find a better account out there please tweet it to me @juicepick because I love a good laugh.

Online Overload

By: Josue Garcia
Occasionally we spend way too much time online. It can be attributed to boredom but it could also be procrastination. I suffer from both. Being online isn’t really a bad thing unless you have other important things you should be doing. I have tried telling myself that time spent online doing worthless things can’t be taken back. Think about that. The hour you spent on Tumblrlooking at weird stuff could be spent studying. I’ve been trying to cut back my time doing things that are not beneficial in my life. Below you’ll find some of the ways I’ve cut back.
Watching TV is one of my past times if I’m bored, but I would watch entire TV series on Netflix in a week. Monk anyone? Last week I discontinued the service. It’s not that I don’t want it but because I shouldn’t spend my time watching so much TV. Sometimes it is necessary to reduce the amount of time to zero.
Canceling or discontinuing a service can be an extreme option that’s not for everyone. Other ways to limit your time online is to use something like StayFocusd. Stayfocusd is a Chromebrowser extension that lets you set allotted times for websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Mashable did a great article on six apps that can block distractions and help get your work done. One of the apps they feature in the article is WriteRoom. It turns your display into a distraction free writing space. WriteRoom seems like a great alternative to the “full screen” functions because it turns the entire display into one page for writing – there are no format ribbons to worry about.
WriteRoom example.  WriteRoom – Rights reserved
Sometimes being online can become a problem, you just have to remember to keep your priorities straight and be determined to take control of your online life. I know that I’m trying.

The Future of Social

By: Josue Garcia
A small warning: a lot of opinion below. Enjoy.
If you think about social as much as I do, a lot of questions are always floating around in your head. One question I almost always think about is the future of social media. I think about it almost as much as my own future. It might have to do with being so close to the field of social, but like most things that I have interest in, I ask myself a question: “Why does it matter and where is this going?” I ask myself this question before I do almost anything – some might think I have an over fascination with the future and they might be right.
So why does this matter? Social media is just a place – It’s like a park or a bar, it’s a place that people go to. Again, I ask, why does that matter? I don’t have a “fit all” answer but I think that having all the people using social media – being at this place – can help a brand/business grow and mature. To me it matters fascinated me because you have the ideas, thoughts, feelings and other things that people have to say in one place. Having all these things in one place reminds me of data. If you’ve read some of my old blog posts you’ll see that I love data.
Where is this going? Where is social media going? Social media has evolved rapidly since it started online a few years ago. One of the biggest catalysts that I’ve seen has been business. Our modern day lives run on services and products that we buy and sell – it’s no surprise that business would penetrate our online social lives. I think it will continue to do so as long as they do business with social media companies and with us as consumers.
I’m excited for the future of social media and all the things [data, here we go again] we will do with it in the future.
Some future fun:

Back to the future [1989] Universal Pictures

Social Media Metrics

By Kimberly Johnson
Our recent guest speaker, Simon Salt, gave a great presentation this week. His presentation helped me understand why we’re required to take Statistics for our journalism degree.  Simon discussed social media metrics. I must say it’s more to PR, journalism, advertising etc., than I imagined. This is a great thing. It’s comforting to know I’m earning a degree that will serve multiple purposes. Many of the social media platforms are new to me, and I’m not very familiar with a lot of the terms he discussed. After the presentation I made sure to familiarize myself with those terms.
Social Media Metrics are:
  •        Earned media
  •         Paid media
  •         Mentions
  •         Reach
  •         Referrals
  •        Shares
  •         Blog posts
  •          Likes
  •         Videos
  •         Hash tags
  •         Views
  •         Retweet
  •         Tweets

In May 2013 Forbes posted and articles on the metrics companies most often use to measure the impact of social media. These findings back from 2010.
How did companies track success with its target publics before social media came along?

I’m a public relations major, so I applied his presentation to my career goals. I’ve always focused on being a better writer.
After Simon Salt’s presentation I’ve learned public relations isn’t just about writing. Numbers count! Knowing how to track your company’s progress really matters. Understanding these concepts helps an organization reach its bottom line.
As I stated before applying numbers to PR is somewhat new to me.We mainly focus on writing here at UNT.
We’re only required to take one math class for our undergrad degree.From my understanding we focus more on quantitative data in graduate school. I haven’t decided if I will attend grad school or not. Until then I plan to expand my knowledge on how to gather and apply quantitive data. Knowing and understanding what works for your organization is the key to its success.

Screenshots are King.

By James Coreas

All social media users out there…heed this advice.

Watch what you type, because no matter how fast you delete a post that your not proud of five minutes after hitting the send button, someone somewhere may have a screen shot of that post. Whether it be out of anger or frustration, the internet is not the place to air out dirty laundry that you may want to take back, because the internet is always watching. In some people’s cases, it’s waiting for a slip up. There have been numerous times when I have come across posts that leave me shocked because of the carelessness the user displayed while posting.

Celebrities are the main target of the Internet’s unforgiving screenshots. In a post on the music blog Mostly Junk Food here, the writer of the article gathered more than a few pictures of tweets rappers posted that they eventually deleted. Some tweets involved racism, while others took shots at their peers. This is a good example of public figures writing something impulsively on the internet and then attempting to delete the posts before someone noticed. These rappers failed because of the power of the screenshot. This could happen to anyone, so just be careful what you post, it may come back to haunt you whether you delete it or not.