Archive for October, 2012

Keeping Tabs on Sandy

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Social Media has helped people out in staying up to date on the status of Hurricane Sandy. Game 4 of the World Series drew more comments than usual (1.2 million). Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced via Twitter Monday that the NFL trade deadline will be moved back due to the hurricane.


I decided to go with the recommendation from the assignment, so I went to the barber shop I normally go to for my haircut. This took me out of my comfort zone because I would have never gone to a public place to look for sources for a story. I was personally challenged because I didn’t know any of the customers there, and I’ve only talked with the barbers on occasion when I go to get my haircut, which happens to be only about once a month.

The concerns that the workers voiced was that there are certain times where they are brutally slow and not getting the business they would like. They said that they open the place early in the morning in hopes of catching a few people on their way to work or class in an effort to make some sort of money for the shop. So, I guess that, in terms of story ideas, I could do a story on why local businesses can have both on and off moments in college towns. Another story idea could be that the barber industry is feeble and depends on the location and demographics of the shop. Lastly, I could write about the everyday conversations that take place in this type of place. It’s certainly an eye-opener as to what it takes to be a legitimate journalist. You have to be willing and able to go into places like these and hunt for sources.


Video Script:

ANDREW CURTIS: The Social Media Club of Lawrence, Kan. Covers a wide variety of topics, including how to distribute your content in a timely manner so that those who follow your profile can see it.

ERIC J. GRUBER: At social media club, we talk about social media and how to use it to get messages out with communications and just interact with our community. I find it to be a really interesting way to talk with other people that are using social media in their jobs. It’s really just a fantastic way to network and grow professionally.

CURTIS: People in attendance at the meetings have their own unique takes on what is being discussed.

RACHEL SMALTER-HALL: One of the things I love about these morning meetings is the unexpected direction that conversations go, so, surprisingly this morning I learned a lot about sites you can go to with tutorials to learn how to fix things.

CURTIS: The club unites its members, giving them new ideas in which they can apply to their material.

MARTIN DOWMAN: I definitely think that, when you get together a group of people who have similar needs as far as communication and are working from different angles, you sort of awaken to all kinds of different ways of handling it.

CURTIS: For those interested in attending, the group meets at 7:30 a.m. every Wednesday downtown on the second floor of Signs of Life.

For Socially Web Savvy, I’m Andrew Curtis.

A bank in South Africa is now allowing online access to customers’ bank accounts via Facebook. Meanwhile, the final presidential debate preceding the 2012 election in a few short weeks sparked plenty of attention on Twitter, registering roughly 6 and a half million tweets about the debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Finally, there are many different ways to express political opinions on social media websites.

Imagine a world without the most popular social media sites. It would be a cold, dark world to live in. For college students, it would be a deep hole to climb out of. Facebook launched in February of 2004, while Twitter came two and a half years later, in July 2006.

Since then, each social media website has grown at an astronomical rate that would have never been thought imaginable just ten years ago.

In fact, according to their website, Facebook now has around 1 billion users worldwide. Meanwhile, it has been widely speculated that Twitter passed the 500 million user mark, but that number continues to climb, while Facebook’s numbers remain stagnant.

From a closer perspective, I’ve noticed that the popularity difference between the two has seen an increased gap, especially in the past year, among college students.

University of Kansas senior Nathan Fordyce prefers to tweet.

“Most people on Facebook are really stupid about what they post and it’s just annoying to go through,” Fordyce said. “Twitter, you can just scroll through. It’s not as much about what people are actually posting.”

Social media can be a big distraction for students. Kyle Rosberg, a sophomore at the University of Kansas, sees it quite often.

“All the time, you probably can see in class, people just sit there, whether it be on Facebook or Twitter, and not pay attention. It’s easy to kill time on both websites.”

Social media can also be a dangerous game.

“I’ve started to get more aware of what I put on Facebook,” Rosberg said. “When you start applying for jobs, they look at your Facebook and search for anything that you have, so I don’t want anything to be held against me.”

Fordyce is also cautious as to what he posts on these sites due to potential future employers who might check out his profile.

“We live in an age of social media, so, I mean, anything you put on it can be seen by anyone, so you have to be careful,” Fordyce said. “I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t want anyone else to see because, writing for the Kansan, I try to keep it appropriate content, try not to swear and stuff like that. My Facebook is private, and even so, I still don’t think I have any photos on it that would make a potential employer go ‘oh my gosh, I can’t hire him because of this’.”

So, which one is dying out? Rocco Pendola of calls Twitter the ‘modern day version of the newspaper’, and goes on to say that it will sustain. He believes that Facebook will live at least another decade, but that it will die and eventually come back reincarnated as something else.

“You can do everything on Twitter that you do on Facebook, plus stuff that’s actually useful,” Pendola said. “And there’s much less mindless minutia to wade through.”

As to which one, Facebook or Twitter, will go away first, Fordyce chose the latter of the two.

“A couple years ago, I would have said Twitter,” Fordyce said. “But, since Facebook has gone public and what not, and they are going to start charging eventually, Facebook is eventually going to fizzle out and Twitter will take over.”

The consensus is that Facebook isn’t worth paying for.

“If Facebook started charging people to use it, things probably wouldn’t work out,” Rosberg said. “I wouldn’t pay for it.”

So, it’s clear that Twitter is the number one social media site for the time being. With its content-driven approach, that should be the case for a continued extended period of time.

Of course, you never know, though. Facebook seemed to be an unstoppable force just a couple years ago, but it’s already being lapped.  To put it in school terms, the pupil is ahead of the teacher.

Facebook, the predecessor, is giving up its reigns as the world’s top social networking site, slowly but surely. As expected, it will be a test of time to see what will happen next in this ever-changing online social media world.


Twitter is currently outdueling Facebook.


ANDREW CURTIS: In the last five years or so, social media has been taken to new heights.

SOUND BITE: Facebook chat sound, followed by Twitter notification alert sound.

CURTIS: University of Kansas sophomore Kyle Rosberg prefers Twitter over Facebook.

KYLE ROSBERG: I probably prefer Twitter over Facebook, because it’s, I don’t know, it seems more fun. You can, like, follow all the celebrities, NFL players and MLB players, and they all get on there and, sometimes they will even tweet you back.

CURTIS: KU senior Nathan Fordyce sees one as being more popular than the other.

NATHAN FORDYCE: It depends, it’s like, so many people have smart phones, I mean, you’re always on one of them (Twitter or Facebook), so I’d imagine Twitter is more popular but, with everyone having, you know, an iPhone or Galaxy (Android) or something like that, both of them are always at your palms.

CURTIS: Fordyce says that he would rather access social media through a mobile device than his laptop.

FORDYCE: I hardly ever use my laptop. The only time I ever  use my laptop for social media is if it’s like, links and stuff, that I want to post. You can do it, it’s just that it’s easier to do it on your laptop than on your phone.

CURTIS: Fordyce says the difference between the two is very simple.

FORDYCE: I use them both the same (in a similar way), mostly for, I mean, Twitter is more, obviously, more repetitive. I mean, you can post things, like every second if you really want to, and it’s socially acceptable. But, if you do that on Facebook, those are the people I absolutely hate and hide those comments because it’s annoying to read what you’re doing the whole day, so.

CURTIS: Rosberg believes that one can use social media to build a portfolio.

ROSBERG: I think it could, because, you see, if you follow any of the ESPN guys, they will always post columns and articles that they write, to get it out there more.

CURTIS: Andrew Curtis for Socially Web Savvy.

Social Media Musings

Posted: October 16, 2012 in News from Elsewhere

A 14-year-old female Pakistani blogger was shot after sticking up for the educational rights of women in her country. Meanwhile, the state of Michigan’s largest universities are learning how to properly use social media while on the go. People in England need to be careful with what they write on social media sites, otherwise they could be in a whirl of trouble by breaking a law that has stood since before Twitter and Facebook ever even existed.

Effects of Social Media in the Classroom

Posted: October 12, 2012 in News

The increased use of technology in the classroom has been a big part of education all over the U.S. in the past few years. One of the leaders in this technology boost is a mobile tablet device called the iPad. Many students use this as a tool, both inside and outside the classroom.


ANDREW CURTIS: Mobile technology devices such as tablets and iPads have become an intrical part of the college learning experience. According to an survey, 73 percent of college students said they cannot study without technology devices.

University of Kansas sophomore Lawrence DiCicco finds iPads to be a valuable resource in the classroom.

LAWRENCE DICICCO: Well, it makes it really easy if there are certain things that instructors say or concepts they bring up that you’re not quite familiar with, you know, instead of halting the class or whatever, you can just look them up real quick on the iPad, you know, just the internet access, the feature of that, that it has, it really helps out quite a bit, I think.

Dr. Sean Smith, Associate Professor of Special education at the University of Kansas, says iPads sometimes help students with learning disabilities by not requiring too much reading.

SEAN SMITH: In higher education, we have a number of individuals that struggle as learners, including those that identify with disabilities but we have a lot of folks that come here to KU that struggled as average students in high school and they are here now, and I think the iPad can help with getting access to information.

Dr. Smith says iPads have a deep impact in the classroom, starting with his role as a teacher.

SEAN SMITH: 80 percent of kids with learning disabilities have reading problems. So, if you take reading out of it, a lot of those kids can learn the material. One, from a faculty perspective, I can represent the material in a variety of different ways, besides just print. Two, from a student side, I can demonstrate what I know in a variety of different ways, instead of just print, like typing out information. And three, it seems to be motivating and engaging.

DiCicco prefers the advantage of interactivity that the iPad offers.

LAWRENCE DICICCO: Well for me personally, I’m not a big reader, so the interactivity portion of it seems a little more exciting to me than just sitting down with a textbook and reading.

CURTIS: For Socially Web Savvy, I’m Andrew Curtis.