Weekly#11: Definitely Worth it!

Having been out of school for a fews years I figured Social Media would be an interesting topic to begin with. With the success of Facebook, I knew that social media would be a tool that would be used for awhile. And as such I needed to learn as much as I could.

Our Social Media class explored social media from a totallly different perspective. A perspective that without the course I would never have been exposed to. Before this class I really hadn’t used social media personally. I had a Myspace page at one point. But, I didn’t have a Facebook page or Twitter page. What I enjoyed most was learning how to apply what I learned at work and being able to decipher what works and what doesn’t. Just getting to know and understand the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto will broaden ones perspective on how social media works I appreciate that we were taught that one thing a company needs to consider is how much time must be invested in using a particular social medium. Like we learned, using a social medium wrong is worse than not using it at all.

Before taking this class I would have never, ever considered blogging. But not, not only have I blogged, but now I know an understand how much time blogging takes. If ever a client wants to considering blogging as an communications strategy, I wlll be able to give them a first hand account of what it takes to create and maintain a blog.

What I’ve learned is definitely helpful, although like most thing social media defiantly has it pros and cons. For examples social media can help people unite for a common cause for a positive result, like in Clay Shirky’s, Here Comes Everybody. However social media can also be harmful when it unites people for evil, like in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki and his YouTube Videos.

Weekly #10: Z is for Zimbabwe

The most interesting aspect of Global Voices is that it rounds up the blog communities of various countries. The cool thing about this is that as a reader you have the opportunity to learn about what issues are impacting other countries that you may otherwise not hear about on the news. The blogs give a first hand, perspective.

When given assignment this week, we were asked to to explore the blogosphere of a country on Global Voices that begins with the same letter as our name. Given the fact that my name begins with a “Z” my choices were pretty limited. Nonetheless, I selected Zimbabwe.

So here is what I learned…

Right now Zimbabweans are discussing the proposed draft of a new constitution. This will be Zimbabwe’s second constitution. This proposed new constitution will replace the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979 was approved by the Parliament in 1999, but was defeated in the 2000 referendum. Zimbabwe will hold a referendum on the new constitution next year on June 30.

That tid bit of information is cause for concern. Zimbabweans don’t have basic freedoms. The reason for the reform is because Zimbabweans want to be able to exercise freedom of expression. According to an article in The Zimbabwean, people are literally fighting for their freedom. During a protest, police reacted violently to unarmed women and children, which shows that the little freedom Zimbabweans have.

I know I’m guilty of taking for granted freedoms that we have as Americans. After all, I’ve only experienced life in the United States. With that said rarely do I consider what happens in other countries with regards to their struggle to create a more democratic societies. Global Voices gives people access globally, which could be a great way to gain global support for various causes.

Response #3: I Judged, But Now I’m Becoming a Gamer

After reading Erin’s, Before you Judge a Gamer, Ask Are You a Gamer entry. I became ridden with shame and guilt. Why, you ask? Because my name is Zaria and, I’m becoming a gamer. *gasps* For many years I have teased and judged by best friend because she enjoys playing video games. I’ve called her a geek both to her face and behind her back. But, since she recently bought DJ Hero 2 for the Xbox 360, I can’t seem to stop playing…its sick!

At first I was totally uninterested because I knew that it very similar to Guitar Hero, which I suck at by the way. But, after I took the tutorial and played a couple rounds and starting getting the hang of it, I was completely sucked in. First of all you get to dress your Avatar, which is enticing in itself. And the music mixes are HOT! Most of which are Hip Hop and Rock. Although I’m sure deejaying is different than playing DJ Hero, but playing the game gives me a whole new respect for DJ’s. The game is pretty tricky, you have to do a number of thing at once, which can be a little stressful. The whole point of the game it to get a five star rating to unlock certain achievements. While I attempt to get a perfect score most of the time, I really concentrate a lot of energy on my freestyle rating. You know, just in case DJ Kid Capri ever wants to battle in the Bronx, I’ll be prepared. I GOT MAD SKILLS!!

But honestly, now I can truly see how gamers become gamers. It feels like any free time I have, which is not much, I just want to play DJ Hero. I’ll admit it, I even inquired about the connector that enables us to play against our friends remotely. Who have I become? :-/

Response #2: That Was It…

As a die-hard Michael Jackson fan, I was thrilled (pun intended) to find out that after reading her “This is It” entry that Erika is a huge fan also. Like Erika, I have always been a proud fan no matter what the media publicized.

The movie This is It, gave Michael Jackson fans a rare backstage pass. Not only did it allow you to see the planning and preparation that it took to produce a show of that scale but it also gave fans a chance to see another side of Michael Jackson. The movie showed his fans how much of a regular, yet extraordinary man he really was.

When I was five I had the privilege of seeing Michael Jackson in concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, for his Bad Tour. My very first concert. Even though I don’t remember a whole lot from the concert, I remember that being able to go was a BIG DEAL. And with his untimely death that having had the experience made it an even greater privilege. I remembering being so excited to wear my acid washed jean dress. Look, gimme a break, it was 1987…

Ever notice how certain songs bring back memories? When I listen to Michael Jackson’s music, it’s like traveling back in time. I begin thinking of how old I was when the song was on the radio, what the fashion was at the time, where I was living, what school I attended, or what was happening in the world at the time. Michael Jackson’s music is the soundtrack to my life.

Erika, because I would have a hard time picking a favorite Michael Jackson song, I’ll leave you with my favorite 80’s Disneyland attraction, Captain EO. Ever seen it?

By the way Erika, I know you said that you refuse to be a gamer, but, do you think you would at least give the new Michael Jackson game for Nintendo WII a shot?

Response#1: I Love Traveling Too!

After reading Madina’s “I Love Traveling” post, I instantly began thinking about my travel experiences.  My favorite trip so far was me and my best friend’s  college graduation trip to Aruba in 2005. One of the most memorable aspects of the trip was the fact that we went the week after Natalie Holloway disappeared. Before we left, I remember everyone asking us, “Are you still going to go?”  which we would respond, without hesitation, “Hell yeah!”   After all, we needed that vacation! Although, underneath it all we had some reservations.

We stayed at La Cabana Hotel and Resort . As a rule, we promised to never seperate, no matter what happened. And despite the news reportings about Natalie Holloway and the ever prominent missing posters, we still managed to have a wonderful time!
We went on a jeep Safari tour, we road on jet skiis and I went parasailing and partied on a party boat. We even went to Carlos and Charles, although around that time the restaurant was receiving so much negative publicity because it was the last place Natalie Holloway was said to visit before her disapperance. But, the majority of our time was spent laying out on the beach. Either listening to music, reading or drinking Bon Bini’s.

True relaxation.  

Although we were there for five days, I could never get used to how beautiful Aruba was. The sunsets were beautiful. My favorite thing to do was sit on the beach, sip my drink and watch the sunest. As time for us to leave approached, all I wanted to do was stay longer.  I thought, “Maybe I can stay here and sell flowers on the beach.”  I know, pretty unrealistic. At that point I was willing to craft any idea that would allow me to stay. Because I knew that this was my last carefree vacation.

Weekly#9: Giving Thanks to Myspace

Web 2.0 has changed the way I use the internet completely. Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing on the internet. With that said,I must give thanks to Myspace. Although it’s popularity has fizzled over the last few years, but Myspace, in my opinion, was a major contributor to the social media revolution.

I started using Myspace in 2005, when I moved to New Jersey from Virginia. In the beginning, I was reluctant to use it, because of the stories I would often hear about people getting sucked in and viewing user pages for hours upon end. However, after a friend created a page for me, and starting sending friend requests to our mutual friends, I was pretty much stuck. Initially I would only log on to accept friend requests and read messages.

But that quickly changed…

It seemed like the more familiar I became with Myspace, the more time I spent using it. Eventually, everything I did revolved around Myspace. If I went out, the photos were posted on Myspace. If I had an event it was announced via Myspace. But what I am most thankful for about Myspace is that I was able to stay connected with my friends at home and reconnect with my childhood friends in California. When I was living in New Jersey, there were many times when I felt lonely and disconnected. But, Myspace allowed me to receive updates about my friends and see updated pictures also. When browsing the pages, I felt like I was back at home. And the loneliness would subside.

While Myspace was GREAT, there was an aspect that posed a huge issue for me… With the post of event photos, cute outfits became instantly dated. Once an outfit had been worn and photos were published, the outfit could not be worn to another event.

See, I said I had a passion for fashion!

Personal #3: A Different Kind of School Daze

For our Social Media, Wikipedia Project assignment, I chose to edit Virginia State University’s Wikipedia page, my Alma Mater. Editing the page was like a walk down “memory lane.” Before I embarked on the task of editing the Wikipedia page, I had no idea of how much I really miss undergrad.

Growing up I always knew I wanted to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). My mother graduated from Howard University and my father graduated from Morgan State University. My desired to attend an HBCU intensified with each episode of A Different World ( A spinoff of The Cosby Show). Originally, starring Lisa Bonet, the show gave America a glimpse of what life is like on an HBCU campus. Director Spike Lee took it a step further with the 1988 release of the movie School Daze.

My education at VSU extended far beyond the classroom. I was able to learn about other cities, religions and cultures through the relationships I formed. My friends were from all over, some from California, some from New York, and some from Philadelphia. People from all walks of life.

The bonds I formed  were unlike any bond I had formed with “friends” in high school or junior high. These bonds were similar to the bonds I have with family. We were tight knit. If one of us went through something, we all went through it. From terms papers to bad break-ups. We shared a lot of laughs and a few tears too.

So many memories…

It’s funny, I can remember when my parents dropped me off at VSU. All I could think was, “I don’t have any friends here.” Who would have known that I’d find sisterhood. And to think all I asked for were friends. I guess sometimes you get more than you ask for. How lucky am I?