Journey to the Center of Memes

Joshua Lawson | @JoshKLawson

The definition of a meme is an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. It originated in the field of psychology, and the internet has adopted it and changed the meaning while also embracing the previous definition.

We now live in the digital age. A wealth of knowledge is at our fingertips and fits in the palm of our hand. But, instead of using that tool to learn more about the world around us we use it to spread ideas of what we perceive as funny. Some people create their own memes to share with the world, and others just look at them and laugh. picture2

The definition of memes has expanded beyond intangible thoughts, to ideas that people can see and share. They allow people to experiment with different social cues, expand problem-solving skills, and adopt different social identities as a form of improvisation in relationships. Creating memes has become a new learning activity as

Creating memes has become a new learning activity. Users have to comb through different news outlets, trending RSS feeds, and other relevant content to create a meme that other people find funny and conveys the emotions they wanted. But that doesn’t all memes are good.picture3

Some memes have malicious intent. Some memes use images they don’t have permission to use. Before you make someone into a meme, just, think if you’d be ok if it happened to you. Think if it would affect the image, or personal brand, of the person in the meme. Overall, think before you post. You may think you did all your research, but always double check.

Using Social Media To Benefit Your Personal Brand

By: Nicolas Austin


Business 2 Community

Think of yourself as a farmer. Now think about how many cattle you have to brand. You want your cattle to be branded and recognizable by others because it’s your brand that shows others who and what kind of cattle you own. Now let us put this into PR terms. The farmer is still you within the next scenario. But instead of using cattle, you will use social media to market your brand.

You want to build your personal brand on social media in order to show what you are trying to promote. There is a difference when you are promoting yourself instead of a company. In regards to a company, you have to follow the guidelines the company is telling you to abide by. In terms of yourself, you have all the free capacity to promote your business on social media in any way or form you please. The only thing that you should consider is the notion that you want to promote the brand online in a smart and fashionable way.

Locate groups who will share the same interest as you, and will support your ideas. You want people who will value your area of expertise. Finding a group with the same interest can help bring an audience towards your brand. For example on LinkedIn, you can create a group that allows you to find other people who can understand the ideas that you’re trying to promote through your brand. On LinkedIn, you can also create a page that allows you to promote your product, in which you can link it back to your actual page of your brand.

A brand needs to have content that not only grabs the attention of the audience but also be consider shareable. Visual images is a great way to promote your brand. It shows what you are trying to sell. Imagine just putting your brand name on a social media page without any visual aid. It might not do so well in regards to pulling in a big audience towards your brand. Websites like Pinterest and Instagram are great sites to promote your brand. Now imagine placing your brand’s name along a picture with people who are showing the full capacity of what your brand is about, and what it can do for customers. Do you get the picture now?

Social Media Today

Social media allows you to be yourself. What that means is that you can provide personality within your brand. Let loose a bit, and show off your personality. Show off your creative and intellectual side when promoting your brand online. Use your personality to develop relationship with other users on social media. Personality goes a long way. Users will be influence by your personality and remember your brand, in which they will want to work beside you. One way to show off your personality to influencers is by engaging in the content you posted onto your page. Engaging allows you to get in touch with the audience. The audience will see your enthusiasm for your product, and will take a positive note in regards to the fact you had responded back to them.

Don’t forget your brand is your image. It is the thing that makes you who you are. Your brand is your superhero name, and social media is the skyscraper you stand on. When people look up, you want them to recognize who you are, and what you stand for.


Patel, S., (2016). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from

Aguis, A., (2015). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from

Kid Friendly Social Media, an Alternative Many Parents are Using

As the world of social media continues to grow, even the skeptics now have to accept that these online platforms aren’t going anywhere. For parents, this means that social media is something they will have to incorporate in their children’s development.

There are plenty of reasons for parents to worry about their children’s online activity, but the question has become ‘how early is too early?’

Federal regulations prohibit children under the age of 13 to join most social media websites. But there have been countless cases of children faking their age in order to create an account on Facebook, Twitter, and other big players in the social media world.

Unrestricted Internet use for children has often lead to exposure to cyber bullying (aka getting trolled), inappropriate language, and worse things. In order to prevent this, parents have found success in preparing children for the cyber world the same way they would the real world; by starting with lots of control and restrictions, then making baby steps to freedom as they demonstrate responsibility.

Many companies have catered to this approach and created social media apps and websites designed for children under the age of 13. One of the most well-known safe social media alternatives is Disney’s Club Penguin. Club Penguin is a child-friendly game where users create a penguin avatar and can interact with other users as they earn virtual money to upgrade their outfits, accessories and igloos.

Other websites include Yoursphere, which prides itself on it’s “no sexual predators” promise, and requires parents to provide a background check before starting. Then there is Kidzworld, a platform similar to Facebook but has real-time monitoring of chat rooms to keep things PG.

I never used any of these sites, but they have been successful for many parents in easing their child into the world of social media. I just hope that when I have to face this issue, my child will be content with Neopets like I was.

To read more on this approach, and about these social media alternatives click here.




Iverson, A. (2016, October 30). How to safely introduce children to the social media world. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from

Trump’s Social Media is Just as Embarrassing as his Personality

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Republican nominee Donald Trump was intentionally trying to lose the election. On a regular basis, his Twitter personality goes completely against what you’d think anyone trying to get a decent job would say, much less the largest job in America.

During the first presidential debate the most re-tweeted post was an old tweet of Trump claiming that global warming was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

The four-year-old tweet became relevant when Clinton accused Trump of denying climate change. Of course Trump said that she was wrong, as he did many times throughout the debate. That’s when tens of thousands of twitter users shared the old post, proving that he had contradicted himself.

You would think that a man who is so quick to accuse his opponent of being incorrect would spend a few minutes fact checking his own social media accounts. The fact that they were posted in the first place is embarrassing enough, but the real suspicion starts to build whenever we see that so many of these embarrassing statements were never taken down.



This isn’t the only time Trump has embarrassed himself on social media. The man has a long history of ridiculous claims, slander of popular icons, and outright neglect to appear professional.

We have to know that a campaign as big and expensive as Tump’s would include staff committed to his online image. This staff would obviously have the time to clean up his social media presence, or rather make it appear exactly how they want to.

The question then becomes clear. Why would Trump intentionally sabotage himself?

I can’t answer this question, but I can say that it points to larger forces at work. America has never seen a political candidate like Trump before. His strategy appears to be completely backwards to most. We wont know until November if it worked for him, but we may not ever know whom it is truly working for.

To see more social media embarrassments from Trump click here.


Photo source

App connects special needs families to local resources

Learning that your child suffers from a chronic medical condition or is a special needs individual can be tough.

It can be even harder to find medical service providers specializing in working with special needs individuals.

Carestarter a firm based in Austin believe parents and children should be empowered to make the best healthcare decisions for their own family. Carestarter developed a mobile app in conjunction with their website to allow people to connect with medical professionals in their area which specialize in particular medical chronic conditions and special needs individuals. The app allows people to find resources in their local areas on their own, rather than just being referred by their doctor.  The app was recently launched in five Texas regions – Austin, Dallas, Houston, Waco and Central Texas. Carestarter will anticipates expanding to other cities across the country soon.

The free app is available for download for Android and iPhones.

Source: CareStarter SXSW launch

The app uses a person’s zip code to find providers from five to 100 miles away, which have partnered with Carestarter. Once downloaded the app requests some demographical information and the name of the child’s insurance provider.

People can look up six categories – Education, Family, Medical, Nutrition, Recreation and Therapy. People can bookmark providers to their own “lists” to make it easier to find at a later time.

Category selections
Source: Carestarter app

Online Classes Versus Traditional Classes

By Jasmine Russell


Receiving a college education can be one of the most rewarding moments in a person’s life. According to history there was only one way to obtain a formal education and that was in the classroom. That was known as on campus or onsite.  Presently, there are two options a person can decide on when receiving an education traditionally or virtually, that is on the internet/online. If an individual is in school and has never taken an online course before initially one might wonder what to expect.

With advanced technology there is no reason to be afraid of accomplishing your goal.  Online courses are affordable, less travel to and from classes and less time consuming.  Accessing the internet is an alternative to traditional education. Online degrees have been accessible for more than two decades.

Online education allows you to have flexibility options for the amount of time to work if employed; while pursuing a college degree or certificate. It is best to choose a program that accommodates your life style in deciding to attend full- time or part- time.  If you juggle multiple task on a daily basis such as working full time and taking care of a family, then taking online courses might be the best fit your needs.

Traditional education is best suited for those who have a little more time in their schedule. Even if you’re hoping for a little flexibility, on-campus courses typically offer day and evening schedules so you can coordinate with your daily commitments. One thing you’ll need to remember is to factor in is where you live and work in proximity to the campus, if choosing the traditional classroom setting.

Distant/online learning is an alternative that allows you to graduate ahead of those who are taking traditional classes.  Of course, it depends on the program, such as some traditional classes are offered one semester or quarterly usually, a minimum 12 credit hours, while online classes are offered at a faster paste.  For example, 4 classes every six weeks’ equals to 12 credit hours or scheduling classes every 2 months.

I have never had the opportunity to take classes strictly from an online based stand point. I have always found it beneficial for me to take my courses at the campus.  I enjoy this because it allows me to interact with the professors face to face.

Traditional classroom settings allow students to fellowship with other students in class and students are able to work independently or on group projects. With online classes you rely on yourself by independent doing assignments with limited resources. A lot of online courses offer the option of communicating through a form of posting assignments.  With these post you are able to send and receive messages from the teacher or classmates when you have a question about your assignments.

Managing time and effort are two key factors you should learn when going to school.  First, time management is of great importance to your personal life and career success. It teaches you how to manage your time effectively and make the most of it.  Second, effort is putting forth physical, mental energy to include mind body and soul.

When you put in effort you are collated with how hard you work on something to achieve your goal.  Both time and effort is a process that must be developed.   When taking on an activity or task in the academic arena a student must learn self-control, maintain mental effort, a working cognitive capacity and have the ability to stay focus in order to be successful in academic.

At the end of the day, it’s your decision on how to earn your college degree.  Before you dive into a degree, be sure to research whether online or traditional education is the best fit for you.


                      Bird, Kenall. Rasmussen College. Online vs. traditional education: the answer you never expected on 1/19/2014

                                  vs-traditional- vs-traditional-education-answer-never-expected//

Dumbauld, Beth.  A brief history of online learning [infographic]. Posted on July 11, 2014.  Retrieved 3/13/16 from


Skilled Up. Online Education Vs Traditional Education:  The pros and cons. Posted 1/15/2015







The science of social (media)

By Erica Wieting

Feeling socially accepted or rejected is no longer being applied only to physical interactions. In the modern digital age in which we live, these feelings have now extended to our interactions online through social media.

“If you turn on the TV set and watch a program, most of them are about rejection and acceptance,” University of Kentucky psychologist Nathan Dewall said in a 2011 article titled “Social acceptance and rejection: The sweet and the bitter.”


Our lives, both physical and virtual, revolve around these feelings. Humans are social beings who crave acceptance, and social media can make us feel included in many ways.

It connects us to people we may not otherwise be able to see every day. We feel validated when people follow us on Twitter, share a status or post on Facebook or like a picture we put on Instagram. Trending social media topics let us know what our peers (and people around the world) are talking about at any given moment.


Young, middle-aged or elderly, social media has become a phenomenon of conversation.


Other times, we post a status, article or picture that hardly makes a splash in the social media pool, receiving little to no likes, comments or shares. When a relationship comes to an end, we struggle with changing our status to “single” and seeing our former partner do the same. If a colleague unfollows us on Twitter or unfriends us on Facebook, it feels like a slap in the face.


And it’s entirely logical. Feelings of rejection, in person or online, trigger the same areas in our brains that are activated when we experience physical pain. Feeling accepted—among family, in a group of friends or acquaintances, within a society—is undoubtedly an integral part of who we are as human beings.