Archive for Assignments

End of a Beginning

Just when I got accustomed to “forcing myself” to write 500 words each week, the social media course is approaching its end. To say the least, it was an intense journey.

  

What has blogging really brought into my life? To begin with, it has forced me to use my imagination, and think outside the box. Each week, I tried to come up with a topic that wasn’t consistent with my usual domain, and to explore things that I would normally not think about. Reading my classmates’ posts enabled me to see the world from their perspective, and to grasp at different ways a similar topic can be approached.  I always acknowledged the impact social media is having on the world we are currently a part of, but my blogging experience has given me a taste of how ‘powerful’ it can be to input and edit information for the whole world to see. I might not always say the right things, or have the correct approach to things I blog about, but my writing has been genuine in terms that it was honest, perhaps gullible at times, and always with the intention to spark conversation and engagement amongst those who cared to read it.

I was petrified of the technological implications this course brought along, but I feel more powerful as a PR professional having had the ability to experience and create some of the social media platforms.  At the beginning of my social media journey, I was worried about the technical adaptations I was never aware of in the past, but as the time progressed, my main consideration has been content. To my credit, I think that has been reflected in my writing over the past three months.

My biggest fear, at all times throughout this process, has been that of self-evaluation in terms of following. In other words, I was skeptical of whether people would care to skim through my website, read a line here and there, and at most, make some sort of a comment. To this day, I am afraid of the impact anything I say has on the society. The bottom line is- does anybody even care? If there is no following, what’s the point? Until today, the point was to pass the class, and get that check mark for maintaining a presence in the blogosphere on a weekly basis. But what happens when nobody expects you to say anything, and you are at liberty of exposing your mindset with the external world, at your own choosing?

Completion of the social media course will not signify my so-called resignation from the blogging world. I intend to maintain my presence, and provide perspectives and opinions to those interested in reading.  Hence, this is just the end of a beginning. Beginning of what? Stay tuned.

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Should Facebook Have a Panic Button?

When thinking about social networking sites and security issues, I always remember the unfortunate cases of girls that would meet guys online (or vice-versa), agree to meet with them in real life, and then go missing until their lifeless bodies get found days later. Tragic and scary, to say the least!

A couple of months ago, a 17-year old British student told her mother she was spending the night at a friend’s house and instead made plans to meet with a boy she met on Facebook. Unfortunately, the young girl never returned home, as  her teenage “date” turned out to be a 32-year old sex offender, who raped and murdered her. The monster (who goes by the name Peter Chapman) eventually confessed and was jailed for life in March this year.

In the wake of poor girl’s murder, her family was joined by British child-protection advocates in demanding that Facebook install a so-called panic button on its pages that would enable people to access information about Internet safety topics such as cyber-stalking and sexual abuse. “It’s like a burglar alarm on your house: It tells anyone coming into that environment to engage with you that you’re protected”, said Jim Gamble, the head of Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center. According to a recent Times article, MySpace and Bebo already have panic buttons. So why isn’t Facebook following in their steps?

           

Facebook had previously said it would not install a “panic button” on its main pages, but would develop its existing system and would install links to organizations including CEOP on its reporting pages. Last week, Mr. Gamble announced the agency had received 252 complaints about Facebook during the first three months of the year-with 40 % of them about the potential grooming of children. Although Facebook has maintained that its abuse-reporting system is strong enough, the recent UK developments on the site’s existing system will allow members to report abuse directly to the CEOP instead of through Facebook’s internal system. In other words, when British Facebook users click on “Report/Block” person tab, a pop-up box will appear providing a link to the CEOP website.

“If the proposal is that we should put the button on every single page of the website, we’re quite clear that that isn’t the quick-fix solution that will actually make users of Facebook safer than they are today”, says Richard Allan, director of European public policy for Facebook. However, in the words of Mr. Gamble, “ if you’re going to operate a business that encourages people to frequent your public place so that you can advertise to them, then let’s look after them while they’re there”.

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As the saga continues, Facebook spokeswoman Debbie Frost said that the company will be donating ad space worth $7.7 million to cyber-safety groups over the next two years. Regardless of the initiatives taken both by the social networking sites and cyber-stalker protection, people first need to be EDUCATED about online safety. Raising awareness amongst Internet-users and ensuring that the safety lessons learned in real life be applied online is an absolute MUST and the initial step to over-coming and avoid tragic situations.

        

Optimizing a Press Release for the Social Media

 

    

In duration of our recent class discussions, we spoke about ways to make our press releases suitable for bloggers and the overall demographics of social media. Our recent guest speaker, David Rosen, engaged us in some interesting questions regarding the ways we have to think about shareholders in traditional and social media.  Furthermore, he raised the concern of social media being a “current trend” which has enabled PR profession to reach its golden hour. But what happens in 5 years when everybody will be able to use this medium? Do we move concentrate our efforts on something different, or will our credibility and efficiency decrease? These are some powerful questions that require a lot of thought and that cannot be approached without doubt.

Amid the ongoing speculation on how to effectively convey our clients’ messages to social media, I compiled a short, comprehensive tips list. We all know that social media contributes to organization’s visibility, sales, investors and long-term marketing, but what are some of the most effective ways to approach the influencers, and get our clients covered by the Web 2.0 community? We are at a challenge of driving our messages deep into online audiences by optimizing press releases for search engines and social media. In terms of press releases, it is inevitable to enable our constituents to find our news online so that press releases can be seen at the critical moment when audiences are looking for relevant information and are most open to the messages we are providing them with.

Headlines

Must be short and succinct to gain most weight from search engines.

Keywords

Find out the keywords for which your client’s site is optimized. Using important keywords that the shareholders CAN RELATE TO improves the visibility of a message and increases the chances that the message will be found.

Link keywords

Include a URL for readers that may want more information, and link keywords to relevant web pages.

Create a tweetable headline

Add relevant #hashtags to give a message greater search opportunity. This way, audiences can interact with the given news via sharing sites, Twitter, digg, delicious, and blogs.

Integrating social media efforts into a press release shall with no doubt deliver more visibility to keyp messages, and will allow stakeholders to understand the larger picture of whatever it is you are trying to convey. I am certainly not an expert in the field, but have recently come to realize that while search optimization engines such as google do a fantastic job tracking documents, social media gets the appropriate followers. And let’s not forget that it gives that extra mileage out of each dollar spent.

  

 For more useful information on the topic, feel free to visit www.prnewswire.com

Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities

In the words of Allison Fine  in Momentum : ” The Net-Gen is plugged in, moving at Internet speed, and open-minded because they are coming into contact with so much information and so many different people from different places. The world is truly open to them and for them. The Net-Gen is ready to make social change happen. Are activist organizations ready for them?”

                                            

Social media without doubt has had an impact on the way we communicate with each other, conduct business transactions and approach opportunities that knock on our door. Following some reading I did regarding the non-profit organizations and their embrace of this technological phenomenon, I came to the following conclusion:

1. Social media can help non-profit-organizations engage their constituencies and deepen engagement from supporters.

According to the Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report conducted in March 2009, social networking has become an integral part of non-profits’ online strategy. Of the 929 respondents, 74.2 % have a presence on Facebook, and 30.9% have one or more social networking communities on their own website.

2. A number of NGO’s have been successful in using social media to change their cultures, and improve their programs and services. In her blog, Beth Kanter mentions the example of American Red Cross that began its social media campaign in 2006 by organizational listening strategy, which allowed them to take the input of their vocal critics and implement necessary changes for success.

3. Tremendous opportunity for non-profits

According to the Social Media Club and the Society of New Communications Research, trust in social media is significant among social media savvy would-be donors. 61 % of those aged 30-49 trust social networks and blogs to provide important information, as is the case with 44% of those 50 years or older.  Among 30-49 year olds, social media use is also very high with 91 percent of users participating in social networks, 81 percent participating in blogs, and 56 percent participating in message boards. Among those 50 and older, 94 percent participate in social networks, 78 percent participate in blogs, and 60 percent participate in message boards.

Social media can not only help non-profit organizations approach their audiences in a timely and cost-efficient manner, it also allows them to establish necessary support for successful campaigns. Furthermore, it allows for promotion of networking and fundraising, conveying their goal through visuals and sounds. And let’s not forget that it enables the above-mentioned organizations to get closer to younger generations and get them involved in their efforts.

However, a non-profit organization (or any organization for that matter) must be ready on all levels before implementing a social media campaign. For example, there is no purpose in creating a presence on facebook or twitter if one’s website hasn’t been updated in three months. In a similar manner, social media can help if it is used to target the audience that use it. So, if the group an organization is trying to approach does not use iPhone applications etc. what is the point?

A couple of useful points that I came across:

1. Pitch the right social networks

2. Prepare to lose control

3. Find an “expert” to help you.

4. Make a good first impression.

5. Know who is already pretending to be you. Farra discussed this in her presentation, with a vivid example of big duck domain that was already taken on Facebook.

6. Think of social networking as an investment in the future.

And let’s not forget what Clay Shirky,author of Here Comes Everybody said:  organizations of all kinds no longer have monopoly on coordinating or organising.  The Internet is good for short sharp shock organising, whereas institutions can provide continuity. @clayshirky : “tools get socially interesting when they get technologically boring”.

Communication Ethics Violated in Taming of Merrill Lynch

  

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis retired from his position at the end of the 2009 year, a full year earlier than expected. Lewis, who was responsible for the acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of financial crisis, last year, has been accused of withholding shareholder information regarding the now controversial purchase. Three months following  his departure, financial world is still left with pending questions, including the impact Bank of America acquisition of Merrill Lynch had on Mr. Lewis’ decision to resign, the ethical controversy regarding the acquisition itself and the fate of Bank of America post Mr. Lewis’ exodus. Lewis has been a target of critics for months, and the decision surrounding the end of his four-decade career raises questions about  legal and ethical violation that might have taken place.

During Lewis’ tenure as CEO, Bank of America more than doubled its deposits and expanded its credit card and mortgage operations. Lewis was named Banker of the Year in 2001 and 2008. In addition, he was listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

On September 15, 2008, Bank of America announced its intention to purchase Merrill Lynch in an all-stock deal worth approximately $50 billion. At the time, Lewis was believed to be a savior of Wall Street and the acquisition made Bank of America the largest financial services company in the world.  The bank, in its January earnings statement, revealed massive losses at Merrill Lynch in the fourth quarter, which necessitated an emergency government bailout in amount of $20 billion to keep the bank solvent. The bank also disclosed that it tried to terminate the deal in December after the extent of Merrill’s trading losses surfaced, but was forced to complete the merger by the U.S. government. According to sources, Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke (Federal Reserve Chairman) persuaded Lewis to stick by the deal terrified that pulling out of it might set off renewed panic in financial markets. Lewis later testified before Congress that federal officials pressured him to proceed with the deal or face losing his job and endangering the bank’s relationship with federal regulators.

The revelation of the $20 billion rescue package in January angered some long-term BofA investors, who filed suit against Mr. Lewis and mounted a successful campaign to strip him of his title as chairman. Angry shareholders held him accountable for what they view as a series of missteps that forced the bank to accept two government bailouts.

Under communication ethics, four general categories are at play when evaluating existence of an ethical issue: Truthfulness, ethics of running a business, ethics of representation and helping clients behave ethically.   In the case of Lewis and BoA, one can argue that he violated the category of truthfulness, by failing to disclose losses and executive bonuses at Merrill Lynch to the bank’s shareholders BEFORE they voted to approve the deal. His action also takes a form of deception, since the omission to submit previously-mentioned material information to the shareholders disabled them from being able to completely evaluate the situation and act accordingly.

We’ll never know what would have happened if Bank of America had canceled the Merrill deal. Merrill Lynch would probably have been in a horrible position, akin to Lehman Brothers fate and the government would have likely had to spend an awful lot more than $20 billion to save it. Given that the system didn’t melt down last December, it seems reasonable to assume that the decision by Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke to convince Mr. Lewis to proceed with the merger was the right one.

Analyzing Ken Lewis and his actions inside Bank of America, it is very difficult to say with certainty whether he was looking to deceive his shareholders, or if his actions were a result of pressure exerted from the U.S. government. Furthermore, when assessing communication ethics in the case, it is almost impossible to know whether he lacked the ethical instinct when making his decisions, or he truly had a long-term vision for the success of the Bank.

Ethics and Morality in the Media Representation of Serbia? Don’t Make Me Laugh.

        

Ethics stands for patterns of right behavior according to the norms of a society. Morality, on the other hand, tends to be more personal, as it exemplifies one’s distinction between good or bad conduct. As I consider both, I cannot help but re-visit the media representation afforded to Serbia during NATO bombing of Belgrade back in 1999. For reasons apparent to those that read about the instability weighing in the region at the time, I am of strong belief that Western media violated both ethical and moral principles in covering the warfare.

 Officially a Serbian province, Kosovo was stripped of its constitutionally granted autonomy by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 1989. Until 1999 exodus, 90% of Kosovo population was made up of ethnic Albanians.  In 1992 the Kosovars declared their independence from Yugoslavia, which refused to recognize its decision.  The conflict came to a head with NATO forces stepping in to launch strikes on Yugoslavia as a means of forcing Milosevic to accept a peace deal for Kosovo.

While NATO tried to quickly enforce peace in Kosovo, the way that NATO carried out its action received harsh criticism.  Just because Milosevic’s regime was clearly violating many international laws didn’t justify any reaction without close examination and analysis.  The role of mainstream media, in the West, has been less objective than expected, not verifying various claims and then using them as a major weapon in the form of propaganda to collect support for the war against Serbia. Violation of ethics, one could argue.

The headline over a New York Times (NYT) dispatch from Belgrade on March 24-the first day of bombing read-“U.S. negotiators depart, frustrated by Milosevic’s hard line (New York Times, March 24, p.A1). But the evidence posted in”Forgotten coverage of Rambouillet Negotiations” suggested that it was U.S. negotiators, not the Serbs, who blocked the agreement.  The Kosovo delegation was pressured to accept the agreement though it did not have explicit terms regarding independence.  For Serbia, the agreement had provisions that would let NATO go anywhere in Yugoslavia as they pleased, which was regarded as military occupation and could not be accepted. When the Kosovo Albanians accepted, it became represented as how they supported piece, whilst Serbians rejected it.
The media portrayal of this issue didn’t mention or analyze objectively the actual military and civilian provisions of the peace deal.  The military provision talked about military control of other unspecified nations on Serbian territory.  Any country, with a ruthless leader or not, would not accept such a deal, especially when the U.N is not involved in it. In addition, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on January 5, 2003 (“The Fall of Milosevic”) revealed some important aspects to the negotiation process at Rambouillet.  The documentary interviewed many NATO leaders and ministers involved at the time in the negotiations.  In that documentary, the Italian Foreign Minister Dini revealed that the peace agreement that had been drawn up was the means to justify war; that NATO had to get Kosovars to accept it so that the Serbs would be shown to be in the dark side.

The claim by Clinton and company that they have been moved to action over Kosovo because of their humanitarian concern has not the slightest bit of credibility.  Before the bombing began, estimates of the civilian death roll in Kosovo were in the range of 2,000 and the number of refugees somewhat over 300,000.  These are terrible number and they are surely an indication of Milosevic’s brutality.  But they are hardly different from-and in some cases they hardly compare with violence around the world that hardly evoked any kind of humanitarian concern from Washington. Media promote the view that there is a good violence over an evil violence.  “The West’s moral justification was that, over one year, 2000 people had been killed, 250.000 people displaced and that 45 people had been killed in Racak.  After three weeks of bombing, at least 350 civilians have been killed, an additional 500.000 have fled and NATO remained determined to reduce the welfare of 10 million Yugoslavian citizens for years” (Plilger John; Morality? Don’t make me laugh, The Guardian, April 12, 1999)

Something to think about ??

BIG BROTHER and Its Impact on Society

Reading about reality television, along with the public’s fascination on figuring out “clues” (spoilers) before they are displayed on TV, got me thinking about Big Brother, one of the first reality shows to make it big in both Serbia and Greece, where I grew up. Big Brother, and shows of similar calibre, can be analyzed to see how people react when brought into contact with each other, lacking privacy and simultaneously providing entertainment to an over-excited public. Reality TV allows its viewers to fantasize about gaining status through overnight-acclaimed fame. Despite there being no conclusive evidence that the viewers will act out on these fantasies in their everyday lives, it is clear that we have accepted a much broader range of what is normal and permissible in the non-TV world.

Big Brother can be perceived as a mass media experiment in watching people deprived of the mass media. According to the producers, the intent is anthropological and socially therapeutical. The basic foundation of the show is that the cast members live with the knowledge that not everything they do is necessarily broadcasted but could be at any given moment. The appeal of the real, in this context, becomes the promise of access to the reality of manipulation, which the viewers already knew to be the reality of entertainment programming.

My hypothesis is that when ordinary people watch reality shows such as Big Brother, they see participants alike themselves, and imagine they too could become celebrities by being on television. Participation in reality TV becomes a synonym for a shot at stardom with minimal efforts.  Thus, when an ordinary Mary wins, it gives people hope that one day they could be winners too. Furthermore, the constant observation of the participants invites the viewers to look at the participants not only as experimental subjects, but rather people with whom to identify and learn from.

As Andy Warhol’s famous observation about fame suggests, the erosion of the boundaries that separate celebrities from the mass doesn’t just allow for the details of celebrities’ private lives to flood the airwaves, but creates the potential for an inversion of the celebrity equation: willingness to expose one’s private life could lead to celebrity. If the limelight that revealed the most personal details of celebrities’ lives demystified them, if it brought them down to the level of ordinary people, the corollary was that ordinary people could, through as mediated self-disclosure, attain a degree of celebrity.  

To sum up, Big Brother has been shaped by promising the democratization of creative control and productive power based on increasingly unequal access to media’s information. Willing subjection to surveillance on the BB show comes to serve as a demonstration of one’s comfort level with oneself, furthermore promising that the persistent presence of the camera signifies authentic display of reality.

Rationale proposed suggests that (1) people are affected by reality TV they swear to, in terms that shows such as Big Brother allow them to fantasize about gaining status through automatic fame achieved by appearing on TV; (2) constant surveillance is presented as one of the hip attributes of the modern world where being exposed to transmission of all our facts and gestures on TV is no longer experienced as police control but self-promotion; (3) the celebrity status attained by participants on the show highlights the promise that authenticity via surveillance has its rewards, where Big Brother’s gaze promises an ironical mass individuation.

Social Media and my Louis Vuitton bag

I want to begin writing today by reminding you how limited my social media skills have been until two-three weeks ago when I started getting exposed to the convergence culture. You will soon understand what I mean.

I recently read a couple of very interesting chapters in Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” book about  modern society adopting new technology. Amongst other things, the author tells a story of a woman who lost her cellphone in a cab, and later had her phone company store copies of her information on its servers and transfer it to her new phone. Once the information had been transferred, she discovered that her original phone was actually found and “repossessed” by a young girl. The woman knew this because the girl was using it to take pictures of herself and email them to her friends; the same pictures were also sent to the lady’s new device. Victim’s brother, aggravated by the situation, started his own blog addressing the situation (after they were able to get in touch with the girl who refused to give the phone back) and sharing his disappointment and anger with a vast audience. As most of my readers are familiar with the outcome of the story (NYPD got involved, the girl got arrested, phone safely returned to its primary owner) I would just like to re-emphasize that the situation exemplified how the old limitations of the media have been radically reduced, with much of the power accruing to the former audience. As Sharky puts it, it demonstrates how a story can go from local to global in a heart beat.

Why am I talking about this? Because reading about Ivanna associated me with a recent unpleasant experience I had, and because I wish that I acknowledged the power of social media earlier than I did.

Back in December, I was flying to Serbia for the holidays. My luggage was checked in at JFK Airport in New York, and even though the flight wasn’t direct (I was flying through Paris), the bags were sent to Belgrade. Upon my arrival to my hometown, I realized that neither I, or the other passengers who flew from the US had received their luggage. It got delayed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and Air France promised to have it delivered to our houses in the next two days. Frustrating, but not unusual.

Two days later, I received my bags. However, a Louis Vuitton purse I packed inside one of my bags was MISSING. All the other content was there, neatly folded as if it had never been touched. In other words, somebody SOMEWHERE (where? America? France? Serbia?) conveniently opened my luggage, pulled out the indisputably expensive product shining back at them, and sent the rest of the stuff back to me. To say the least, I was in state of shock that something like this would happen, and uncertain of what to do. Unfortunately, I waited too long to report the item as missing and when I did, Air France customer representative kindly told me that they wouldn’t reimburse me. They did apologize, for the luggage getting stuck in Paris, but they failed to mention ANYTHING about my bag getting stolen while under their property and care.

  I wonder, if I knew what I know today, just a month later, would I have had a similar outcome with the woman whose phone got returned? If I started a blog, a facebook discussion, posted a bulletin board for everyone to read about my experience, would it have made a difference? Sharing my story with the world would have been the simplest way to take advantage of the new social tools and perhaps to entice collective action.

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There is no conclusion to the story, just a reminder to all of us getting acquainted with the world of social media-anything that changes the way groups function will have profound ramifications for everything from commerce and government to media and religion. Ask Shirky!

Why am I here today and what next?

Having graduated from college in the United States, completed four internships, and worked full-time at a New York City corporate communications firm, I sometimes have to pinch myself. I grew up in a part of the world where such opportunities were rarely possible, if ever. Though I’m proud of what I’ve already accomplished, I certainly have a sense that the best is yet to come and although my education and work-related experience have been fulfilling, I feel the immense need to further advance my knowledge and broaden my opportunities and personal expectations.

From an early age, it was evident that I would mature into becoming a communicator of some sort. In elementary school I naturally fell into the role of advisor, where fellow classmates came to me for advise and council when in need. During high school, I attracted a diverse-ranging network of friends and in university I evolved to non-chalantly seeking ways to contribute towards a smile on the face of a colleague or friend. I spent my time actively surrounding myself with others to avoid the displeasing feeling of being alone. I excelled amidst an audience because these are the moments I am most comfortable with myself and my full potential is reached. During the second year of university, I knew that I needed to take on more responsiblity and decided to implore my skills with a business partner to open a Karaoke bar located in Greece. Studio Bar Karaoke specializes in launching new talent while providing entertainment and opportunities to those wanting to enter the world of show business. It’s main concept is to help clients gain recognition and experience growth by creating branding, lifestyle events in search of establishing effective platforms for success.

I see myeself one day with a burgeoning career as a global communications specialist who will endorse her activities for the benefit of others in this global community of ours. A goal of mine has always been to apply a branded franchise model to the night life business. And naturally, one of my long-term goals involves becoming a part of the national campaign towards restoring the Serbian image. Sadly, for many reasons, my country’s reputation has been sullied in recent years and Serbia’s steady progress seems to go unnoticed. Quity simply, I’d like to change that.

As far as how social media “fits” into my short and long-term goals, the answer is simple. Learning how to handle and get the most out of this tool will allow me to achieve my objectives in a more efficient manner. Next week, I start a new internship at a boutique PR agency whose clients range from New York’s most established night clubs, to hotels, fashion designers and celebrities. During my interview process, my supervisors emphasized to me the importance of social media in their every-day work. To say the least, I now realize just how much I underestimated the power of facebook, twitter and blogging itself. Fortunately, I am given a chance to redeem myself. My new journey begins next week and I look forward to keeping you posted on my progress.

And don’t forget, social media success begins with each one of us!

Tech-savy? Not me.

I usually find relief in writing, yet the problem I have is that I cannot be creative unless I am inspired. I don’t know if this falls under the category of  having “writer’s blog” but I’ve been struggling with it for as long as I can remember. I truly admire journalists who, when on assignment, can tune in and restlessly come up with a 1000 word article. In a similar manner, aren’t we PR professionals met with challenges when crafting press releases, or agendas for clients? Either way, I have a long way to go before I master my writing skills or reach the level where I can at ease face the everyday challenges of written expression.

Another challenge I am faced with in the ever-changing world is the relatively new concept of social media. I recall 2-3 years ago all of my friends opening up their Facebook accounts, and I refused to do the same as I failed to see the potential of this powerful site. Soon enough, I succumbed to temptation and to this day remain addicted. Facebook not only allows me to keep in touch with dear people, but it also enables me to find people I have long lost touch with in all parts of the world.  Fortunately or unfortunately, facebook ocassionally becomes my obsession and a perfect site for wasting time that could be used in a more efficient way. To my credit, facebook remains the only true addiction for me in the social media world. I am a relatively new user of Twitter and until now, have failed to absorb the true meaning of this medium, and its benefits over other social sites. However, I am willing to commit more to exploring it, and it will be interesting to see what conclusion I come up with.

Overall, I must admit that I am quite technologically challenged. In other words, I do not handle blogs and similar novelities with an ease that I should, which is why I am thrilled to be a part of the social media class. I am excited to learn about all the new things that are present in the technology world, and am ready to equip myself with the knowledge of how to use such tools to my benefit. This is going to be a long journey, and a beginning of something that I might not yet be aware of.

Until then, my name is Sara and this is my first attempt of writing a blog :)! I hope to keep you all entertained, and most of all, I hope that my experiences will benefit each one of you in a special way.