Monday, November 17, 2008

Journalism Interviews

On election day, I had the opportunity to give a guest lecture to Geoffrey Graybeal's (one of PhD colleagues) classes. I discussed online political campaign communication. Since the lecture, I've had a few students interview me for their election analysis stories. I thought they had some interesting questions that I thought I would post here to see what your answers would be.

Here are a few of them:

Do you think that young voters were actually influenced by the information available on new media, or did they just use it as a way to publicly support the candidate that they had already decided to vote for?

Did young voters use new media to try and influence their friends to vote for a particular candidate? How did they do it? Did it work?

Do you think the way Obama used new media in his campaign will forever change the way campaigns are run?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Useful and Interesting Links

Here are a few links to various Web sites and blogs that I think are useful and/or interesting (some are older than others).

Secrets of Election 2008 - Newsweek
Obama's Newest Web Presence - Office of the President-Elect
Fireside Chats in the Digital Age - Personal Democracy Forum
Barack Obama, The Social Web, & The Future of User-Generated Governance - Brian Solis

Tactical Transparency - Paull Young
Public Engagement - Richard Edelman
Understanding Social Media - PRSA
Survey about Online Newsrooms & Social Media - PRSA

Shuttle Launch by Hyku

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day, A New Beginning

Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama! It is truly a historic moment. We should embrace and celebrate, but not forget the work ahead to get this country back on its feet.

I think this song and video encompasses our time:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two blogs


I know it's been awhile, but I'm here promoting two other blogs I've been working on.

Connect 2008 - PR & Social Media Conference I've had the pleasure to help organize. We'll be liveblogging and tweeting during the conference (Sept 19-20). Stay tuned!

PR Communications Class - My writing students are each writing their own blog post on a particular type of technology/social media. They are also commenting on each others' posts.

I'll be back soon with new updates.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Interesting Links

Barbara Nixon's YouTube Links - The first one about Power Point is great. I really wish I had it when I was teaching Public Speaking.

We don't have a job, but what about an internship?

Social Media Jobs

Quamut - "the go to how to"

It's about time.

PRSA, McClellan Book & Ethics

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Week in Technology

Here are some fun links from my RSS feeds as well as other items I've found over the past week or so that I thought were interesting.

Highlights from the SCNR:

Courtesy of Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu:
New Media, New Influencers and Implications for the PR Profession
SNCR Closing keynote: The transformational power of blogging

For Students:
Skills for Young PR Pros (From Voce Communications)

Email - The New Interface
Twitter for Journalists

In Politics: Covers the 2008 Election
Search Engine Use in the 08 Election
Web on Candidates

Interesting Blogs of the Week:
Philip Young - Mediations
Fun - Athens Door Guy

Just for Fun:
Student "Tweets" His Way Out of Prison

Upcoming Events: Wish I could participate in this

In other technology news, my laptop is very close to biting the dust and I've been on a search for one over the past few months. Here's my dilemma...I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 and it's served me very well and so has Dell. I have had a couple major service issues including a soda management problem and they've taken care of it through their 'Accidental Damage' coverage. Basically, I need a system that travels well, is affordable and if a PC, has XP (I don't want to deal with Vista).

Note: KS - Yes, I know...get a Mac.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

I've been having a little bit of an identity crisis with this blog. I started it to talk about politics and technology. Unfortunately, I let it devolve into something a little too personal. So, in the future, I will attempt to resist the personal posts, except when I think it is important.

That said, I'm looking for direction. I want to start a view specific types of posts to put up every week. For example, I would like to discuss technology tools, existing and new for my students to learn about. Next, I think I will start a political post for Sundays. Considering I keep up with the Sunday morning talk shows, it would be a nice wrap-up for the week. I guess my question is...What do YOU think? Do you want to hear my opinion on something? Do you have a specific question you want me to answer or perhaps a topic you wish for me to discuss? Basically, what thoughts from this academic are you most interested in hearing?

Let me know. I'll be taking suggestions for the next few days.

Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One year...12 months...365 sunrises and sunsets...8760 hours...

I debated about whether to make a statement about the anniversary. In the end, I decided it would be best to express my thoughts here rather than answer questions today. For all of you at UGA, I'm taking a "mental health day" and will not be on campus.

April used to be just another date on the calendar, but now, at least to me & the rest of Hokie nation, it is a reminder of the worst tragedy to ever hit the campus.

Some of these hours and days have been agony and others triumph. I want to recap my year since that tragic April day last year when I was witness to one of the greatest tragedies in history. This first anniversary is about showing how far we’ve come since we were torn down by tragedy. It’s about remembering why we are all Hokies and how we showed the world we could keep it together and triumph in the face of the greatest adversity.

I won’t recap the events of that day and in the days after. If you would like to read my posts about that, please see (The day, the days following, the week after). My focus for this post is to talk about how I found strength and determination is one of worst situations.

Since that day I have:

- Finished & defended my master’s thesis
- Attained my master’s degree
- Watched many of my students cross the stage at graduation
- Moved to Georgia
- Survived my first semester (almost a year) of my doctoral program
- Found myself once again
- Closed old and opened new chapters in every aspect of my life
- Lived every day
- Lost a love
- Cried myself to sleep many nights
- Laughed till I cried many
- Went through counseling
- Got over my fear whenever I heard a siren
- Watched Northern Illinois University go through our pain

Important lessons learned:

- There were 33 Hokies who lost their lives that day, not just 32
- It’s not about getting back to normal, it’s about moving forward
- The hardest thing about moving forward is not looking back
- Tears can heal
- No one can really understand what we went through
- Hokie Pride stretches far beyond Blacksburg, VA
- The Hokie Pokie is therapeutic

I am grateful for every day and I'm living every day.

Thank you for all of the support, thoughts and prayers, they help me through the bad times.

From an alumni message I received yesterday:

"At the dedication of our permanent April 16th Memorial last August, SGA President Adeel Khan summed it up exceptionally well…

Take time to remember the legacies, remember the dreams and remember the talent that our community has lost. I hope you are inspired to work harder to honor the 32. Share you talents with the world for the 32. Achieve your dreams for the 32. Be more compassionate, friendly and thoughtful for the 32. Be better, for the 32.

In 2008, we remember the 32; we are thankful for the survivors; and we are proud we share together that incredible Hokie spirit."

Day of Remembrance

Webcasts of Events

Edit: Great piece from my former dept head

Monday, March 31, 2008

End of Semester Craziness

So it's here...the end of the semester scramble. No matter how much work you do during the rest of the semester, the last 4-6 weeks are usually the most stressful. Everyone keeps asking whether or not we will make it through and we always do, but we can't help but asking.

Funny story related to the end of semester [might help some of the seniors nearing (or surpassing) their breaking point]. I almost walked away from my undergrad program in the last week because of my senior seminar (a campaigns course). I pretty much had a nervous breakdown and was ready to just quit. However, I had great teammates and friends who managed to convince me that I would make it through. We did and gave an awesome presentation and the on campus health center (our client) loved our ideas.

No matter how low it gets or how much work you have, think about how far you've come and the many accomplishments you have in your four (five, six, etc) years. This time of year is always the hardest, but remember it's also the best. Take time out to enjoy the few moments you have left in college.

Keep in mind: “Life's a journey, not a destination” -Steven Tyler

What's left for me to do/finish this semester:
2 conferences papers to tomorrow?!
Critical Analysis in quantitative methods & presentation
Multivariate Analysis final project & presentation
4 critical-cultural-historical (CCH) short papers
Final project in public opinion - coding of articles, analysis of polling data, finish writing, etc - & presentation
3 final exams - CCH, quantitative methods, & public opinion (only semester since I was a sophomore in undergrad that I've had 3 finals)

End of 1st year of doctoral program: 30 days
ECA: 31 days
Week in the Keys on a sailboat: 33 days (my inspiration)
Peachtree Road Race (my 1st 10K): 96 days
CONNECT 08: 207 days

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fun with the Flip cam

Dr. S takes her Flip camera everywhere...even into research meetings. It definitely lightens the mood, but of course I'm looking like I haven't showered (for the record I did, just wanted to wear a hat).

Getting back to the point, the video is a brief description of what we're working on and a little about research in general. Enjoy!

What Does Easter Mean to You?

Note: This post is about something personal that I wish to share. It's not about politics, technology or education. It is about communication...spiritual communication.

It's funny to think about what major holidays mean to you and why we celebrate them. I've gone through various phases in my life and dealt with the holidays and celebrations in many ways.

As a kid, Easter meant a big basket full of chocolate eggs, jelly beans and various little toys; an Easter egg hunt at Grandmom's; dying hard-boiled eggs; and being forced to wear a floral dress. All of these activities were traditions, but I never really understood the holiday until I was much older.

Throughout my teenage years, I struggled with my religious and spiritual beliefs. I spent a lot of time exploring the meaning surrounding the various holidays. During this time, I focused on the resurrection of Christ and what that meant during Easter.

College saw my beliefs fade into the background as other priorities took over. I went through the motions during my undergraduate years with the holidays and fell into a commercial celebration of them.

When I reached Virginia Tech, I began again to explore my beliefs and started my path back to a more spiritual being. The past two years I've spent more time on reflecting on the meaning of the holy period of Lent, giving myself a challenge and spending more time repenting for my sins. I also focused on the rebirth aspect of Easter, allowing for the creation of a new 'me' through the Lenten process.

This year was an interesting Lent due to where I am in my life. The past year has been rote with struggle and I've been forced to adapt to the changing tides. As the 40 days passed this year, I allowed myself to meditate and carefully consider where I had been and where I wanted to go. Yesterday all of that came to fruition when I attended service with Sue and Connie at Sue's church.

One of my most productive times spiritually is not productive in other ways. This aspect of my 'spiritual maintenance' always frustrates me because I always use my time very carefully. With that said, I gave myself to 'the spirit' once I got to the church. No matter what was bothering me that morning. It didn't matter how my outfit looked or that I was having a bad hair day, it was no longer about was about the connection. Giving up control in a particular situation is a difficult task for people who want things a certain way. However, there are times in your life when you have to consider whether having control is really important.

As I sat in church for yesterday's Easter service, I got lost within my spiritual connection. I sat there listening to the messages, singing along with the hymns and praying. There were tears and laughter, but most importantly, a rebirth of my being. It's hard to describe in words, but it gave me a new perspective and I hope I can hold onto that as I open a new chapter of my life. And that is what Easter means to me. Thank you for listening.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Break Recap - New Friends, New Experiences, Great Paddling

Back from South Carolina...

First of all, this trip was definitely one of the best I've ever taken. That's not an was perfect. We had great weather, great paddling, funny stories, lots of new memories, and most importantly, a clearer mind.

The first day we met at the UGA's Ramsey Center to load up the kayaks and van to set off. It was snowing...yes in Georgia, as we left for Spring Break. We all thought this was quite amusing. We got on the road and headed to Charleston. The first night we stayed at the KOA campground. We learned how to pack the kayaks and found that it was not as difficult as we had imagined.

The next day we got set for our first launch at Gadsdenville. While we waited for the car switch, we learned basic paddling strokes and various other important pieces of information about the trip. After I stopped fighting my kayak, we all got on our way. It was about 2.5 miles to Capers Island where we set up camp for two nights. After getting camp set up and eating, Sue and I decided to explore the island a little and walked up the beach for a few miles.

The next day we were allowed to sleep in...which felt awesome. I kept waking up thinking, "oh I should get up" and then I realized I had no real I rolled over and fell asleep again. Finally, we all rolled out and get ourselves together to explore the island's marshes in the boats. We went through until we ran out of water. Then, we headed towards the open ocean, where some people decided to go surfing...Sue and I stayed back and just floated around a bit, enjoying the scenery and watching everyone else. After we came in from that, we went for another hike. This time into the island where we discovered the alligators. That night we ended our stay at Capers with a nice bonfire.

Tuesday was by far the toughest day of kayaking. We went over 7 miles the whole day through a lot of territory. We did take a couple of breaks, but I was a little cranky by the end. Sue can attest to my cranky mood. The only injury for me occurred as we got out of our boats after the 7 mile journey. I didn't balance myself well getting out on the boat dock and proceeded to slip and smack my rear and back on the dock. It didn't hurt right away but let me tell you the next morning I thought a Sumo wrestler had slept on me. There was also quite a bruise.

After we loaded the boats, we headed back to the KOA to get a shower...which felt awesome after 3 days without one. That night we tasted real food (as compared to the freeze dried, ramen noodles & power bars we had been eating). We went to a restaurant called The Wreck. Now, it doesn't look like a place you should be eating from the outside...or really from the inside either, but they had great seafood, friendly waitstaff, and quite honestly nothing beats a plate full of perfectly friend seafood and a cold beer after a long day. After our feast at The Wreck, we headed into downtown Charleston, where we proceed to take a driving tour (looking for a parking spot) and then get rained on. So, what did we do...went for Starbucks. Seriously...everyone was going their separate ways, but we all ended up there. After the rain let up, Sue and I walked around a bit. I would really like to visit Charleston again, it looks like a great city.

Our final day was another early one, but we had IHOP for breakfast. Let me tell you...there's nothing like having green eggs and ham with Whoo cakes to get your day started. We then put in at Remie Point, cruised around the Harbor, under the Cooper River Bridge, past a aircraft carrier and Coast Guard ship. We also stopped on a little island that served as a bird sanctuary, passing by some shrimp boats (I could not resist acting out the scene from Forrest Gump...boiled shrimp, broiled shrimp, fried shrimp...hehe), before getting out at Shem Creek. We then grabbed some lunch at the marina before heading back to Georgia.

During the journey home, we played a rousing game of mobile Who Wants to be a Millionaire that ended in some disappointment. Needless to say, we could only get to the $500,000 level. When we got back, we unloaded the boats into the Ramsey Center and headed home exhausted. I slept very soundly the next few nights.

The experience taught me a lot about myself and my abilities as well as allowed me to completely let myself relax and enjoy the world around me. These times truly give me the perspective I need to keep doing what I'm doing. I felt a lot of clarity and gained a new sense of myself out there on the water. I can only hope that I can hold onto that for awhile. At least until the end of this semester.

Some pictures:

Setting up camp the first night

Our Capers Island campsite

Preparing to launch

Awesome shot of me edging

How you doin?

Good Morning Kayaks!

"Googly Eyes"

More pictures:
My Flickr
Dr. Cramer - one of our guides
Sue's blog

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Making it to Spring Break

Well, I've been quite neglectful with the blog this week trying to get through this last week before a much-needed Spring Break. I've been quite busy since the weekend's crazy pace of technology. In addition to the normal hundreds of pages of reading, writing my weekly paper, etc...I started my first experiment on YouTube this week. I was thrilled today to get into the study groups and start seeing what the young people are going to say about the videos, their political views, etc. Research can definitely be a rush...yes, I am a geek.

Over Spring Break, in addition to getting a start on my final projects and various other work, I'm going to take 5 days to go kayaking in South Carolina. Tonight starts that process when I go to the campus pool and learn how to roll, self-rescue and generally not panic in crazy conditions that we may encounter on our trip. Though I've been kayaking several times, this is really the first several day trip and only the second time I've done sea kayaking (the first time did not go well). So, Sue and I will be heading out Saturday morning and getting back on Wednesday night of next week. We have to have 3 days worth of food and water with us and we will be taking all of our gear with us as we cruise around the waters off of South Carolina. We have dubbed it "Survivor South Carolina." Here's the schedule:

So wish me luck on my little adventure and I will be sure to let everyone know how it was when I return...if I do (just kidding).

Some interesting links from my weekly reading of blogs, websites and various other web surfing:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Follow-up on the EDB

I spent way too much time yesterday attempting to format the picture post for the EDB. Now, I'd like to write a more comprehensive report of my experience. First of all, the Campaigns team (under the direction of Connie & Dr. Sweetser) and Edelman did a great job putting a fantastic job putting this together is 43 days. Also, the Word of Mouth class (under the direction of Sue & Dr. Russell) did a wonderful job at covering it.

In an effort to spend less time explaining the whole event, here's some information on the format and background.

I participated in the educator's track along with professors and instructors from UGA, University of West Florida, Clemson, Georgia Southern and Auburn. We had a great group and we covered a lot of ground in discussing the various forms of social media available, how to incorporate it in the classroom as well as specific lesson plans to implement within our curriculum.

Phil Gomes discussed his work with intense social media training that he runs out of Edelman's Chicago office. We discussed the various aspects and uses for many social media formats. Emphasis was placed on incorporating the instruction within the curriculum because students will be expected to know it when they go into their entry-level positions. Gomes also shared what he looks for in new we can take that back to the students.

Robert French, Karen Russell, Mihaela Vorvoreanu, and Kaye Sweetser also went through several specific assignments, how they've used them, what worked (and didn't) as well as how to grade them. This portion was probably the most beneficial because it provided very specific assignment sheets with examples. These were included in the booklet given out to all educators who attended as well, making it easy to adapt them.

One thing I wish we had had more time for was talking with students about what they learned from their workshops. I spoke to a couple of students about what they were doing, but I would have liked to see their suggestions. Just from what I heard from the few I spoke to, they were very creative.

By the end of the day, I think there were countless ah-ha moments, lots of new relationships started and a lot of comfort zone expansion. The Edelman folks were a great group of people who provided not only great information, but were also a blast to hang out with after the event :)

Here are some of the attendees share their thoughts:

Robert French of Auburn

Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu of Clemson

Brett Pohlman of Auburn

William Wickey of UGA

Dr. Kaye Sweetser of UGA

Barbara Nixon for Georgia Southern

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pics from the EDB (Sorry about the formatting)

Here are a few select pictures from yesterday's Edelman Digital Bootcamp (EDB). There are many more pictures available at the EDB Flickr account.

The educators were hanging on every word and tweeting the highlights.

Professional & academic educators interact (L-Phil Gomes of Edleman, R-Robert French of Auburn)

We learned from the Ninja...oh and Phil Gomes of Edelman

Ruthann Lariscy (UGA), Eileen Perrigo (UofWestFl), & Bryan Reber (UGA) learning how to teach social media in the classroom.

The students worked hard on their of my students, Diem (forefront) works with his team.

Evidence of the students' hard work

Cindy asks me some very important questions

Sweetser in the educators how to teach social media

The Word of Mouth class served as our coverage team for the day by recording podcasts, videos, blogging, snapping pictures & tweeting. Sue (on far left) lead the team.

Connie (Campaigns team leader)

Sweetser & Me at the end of the day...
Her caption: Ready to rock some social media in politics research!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bootcamp Day!

Follow the Edelman Digital Bootcamp at UGA:

General Website & Blog



Also, I'll be updating over the course of the day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It's been a rough week. So, I wanted to post, but I'm being a bit lazy. I'm just posting some links.
- I updated my Flickr photos


The Tudors is an awesome show...the Showtime network has really stepped it up in the past few years

Google Health - no ads

Overheard in Athens


Anyway, I'm very excited about the Edelman Digital Bootcamp (#edb) this weekend! Looks for updates from me on Saturday.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another SNL Funny

Here's Tina Fey discussing Hillary Clinton on Weekend Update. (Please note foul language is used).

Edit: Ok...YouTube had to take it down. SO here's NBC's site. It's a little more than halfway through.


Grady College Pride

I wanted to share a few points of pride for the Grady College. The students at the Grady College are constantly achieving wonderful accomplishments.

New Orleans Trip Audiovisual Presentation
- Product of the Health & Medical Journalism course last semester

Safe Kids Athens
- Product of the undergraduate Bateman PR Case Study Team (undergrad students working on real world problems, producing real world solutions)
- See the video here -

Project for UGA Office of Security & Emergency Preparedness
- Undergraduates in Dr. Sweetser's Research Methods course investigated perceptions of the university during a crisis

Don't forget to register for the Edelman Digital Bootcamp (both undergrads & educators)! It's less than 6 days away.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Huck on SNL

I thought this skit was rather entertaining from last night's Saturday Night Live.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thoughts on the Election

I just love the pictures they select on DrudgeReport...they love Hillary :-P

Anyway, many people have been asking me about my thoughts on the Presidential Election and wondering who I actually voted for in the GA primary. I've been reluctant to share because at heart I'm an academic and we really should manage to stay objective in our thinking. It also aides in our viewing of election materials, articles, and various other mediums we choose to study. I am by no means saying that I don't have an opinion, but I choose to exercise that opinion privately.

With that said, I would like to share some of my objective thoughts about this election season thus ar. I will refrain from making predictions because I'm neither a pundit nor an fortune teller for the American voter. I like to leave it up to the process...that's what it's there for.

The number one trend I'm most thrilled about in this election is the shear amount of involvement, discussion and engagement with politics. I love to hear people discussing politics around campus, on the bus, in coffee shops and elsewhere. No matter what you think about red and blue states, we as a nation need to continue this engagement and educating ourselves on the political process. I was so happy to see more explanations of the delegate system and how the political process works. These thoughts may be my idealism showing, but I don't think I'm in the minority either.

Another trend I think is related to the engagement is the overall lack of negativity between candidates. Though there have been examples of classic attack including the "war of words" (interesting article about that: and McCain's most recent comments about Obama's inexperience. However, overall, the candidates have attempted to put themselves up for election without taking down their opponents. A student asked me during a recent lecture about political advertising about how the lack of negativity would play as we went forward. My thought is cynical because I don't see it lasting as we go into the general election period. The party loyalty is important right now, but once it is Republican versus Democrat...we will most likely regress back into the typical negative attacks.

As the primaries go forward, especially with the Democrats, I think it's now important to concentrate on policy differences between Clinton and Obama. Yes, there are a lot of similarities, but also differences. These are what should make the difference...not gender, race, etc. On the subject of Clinton stated in one of the debates, no matter which candidate you choose on the Democratic side, there will be change. [No bias intended].

As for McCain, I do not think he should be attempting to influence the Democratic primaries. He should work on maintaining party loyalty and focus on his choice for a VP. Also, come up with solid plan for Iraq, other than another 100 years of occupation. [A more]

In other news...I'm thrilled to see that the first search result that comes up when you Google my name is this blog :)

MTV Street Team Quote

I forgot to post this earlier, but I thought it was great to meet Shelby Highsmith at SoCon08. He then interviewed me for his weekly post for the MTV Street Team 08. Highsmith is the Georgia state representative for the Street Team.

Quoted (it's towards the bottom)...

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Smart Cities

America's Smartest Cities...

Source: Forbes

Monday, February 11, 2008


This post is way too late I know, but it's been a rough week.

SoCon08 was great this weekend. I met a bunch of great folks in various industries, doubled my Twitter followers, and got some research ideas. It is always interesting to talk to people who are just as excited about technology, especially social media as I am. Sometimes when I'm talking to someone who's not as interested, I find myself feeling a little crazy.

Friday night was a great dinner at Maggiano's (wonderful eggplant parm), where I sat with the political people and were told we were the most engaged in our conversation compared other tables. We made a couple of predictions, analyzed the Super Tuesday results, and pondered the influence of technology on the Presidential election. We also discussed the voting procedures in Georgia, using DieBold machines, and not having a paper trail when voting. I'm generally a proponent of a paperless systems because it's better for the environment and more convenient. However, we agreed that it would be nice to have some sort of receipt would make us feel more comfortable about the process. Mainly, the receipt would be for auditing purposes.

On Saturday, we had a full day of activities starting with breakfast in the morning. With my bagel, I got a sales pitch from a entrepreneur talking about his new website with small education modules for people to learn at their own pace. After that we headed into the auditorium for a discussion of the trends over the past year, important factors to consider in social media's evolution, as well as comments from the participants about their success using technology. The whole time, they were switching between the conference's Twitter page, the websites of participants, blogs, and Power Point up on the big screen. It was great because I picked up a laundry list of new links to all of my free time :)

When we took a break, we signed up for our afternoon breakout sessions. At lunch, I found myself again discussing politics, but also about Utterz and some other sites I had not heard of before. After lunch we went into our breakout sessions. I choose to go to an effective writing session and one about incorporating social media in the classroom. The most interesting parts about the sessions was just talking with other people about their perspectives and experiences with social media.

After we finished with the conference, Connie and I decided to stay another night. So we secured a room and then went over to the after conference drinks and pizza. Ok, first of all, Mellow Mushroom pizza is awesome & so are their soft pretzels. With that out of the way, we started to talk about non-business items and the beer flowed freely. It was a lot of relaxed.

Once we had our fill of pizza and beer, Connie and I headed over to our hotel. We got an awesome room (after being upgraded for free) with plenty of room, a big bed, and amazing TV. After saying we were going to work before going to bed, I think we pretty much vegged out before passing out.

All in all, the conference took a lot more energy than I had anticipated, but it also yielded more than I thought it would.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Great Links From Today

Jobs in SM:

Entertaining Blog:

Atlanta Business Reviews:

Discovering the Internet:

Quilting Network:

YouTube Channel:

Multitasking Women:

I want this:,n95_8gb

SoCon 08


I'm blogging from SoCon 08 at Kennesaw State University at Marietta, Ga. Last night we had a wonderful experience of networking with many social media folks, including politics.

Listening to a presentation:

5 Big Events that changed our lives in the last 12 months - in technology of course

<- A pic of me from last night

Watch for updates as the day goes on!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday!

Here we are...Super Tuesday. We have reached the most important day of the 2008 Presidential Election. Some people were excited about LOST coming back last week, others are anticipating a resolution of the writer's strike, but I have been teeming with excitement waiting for today's primary elections.

No matter what the pundits or polls say, it's up to the American people to choose who the candidates in the Republican and Democratic party will be this Fall.

If you are one of the following states, get out & vote: California, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts.

Polls open in Georgia at 7 a.m. and stay open till 7 p.m.!

I look forward to updating later today :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Internet as Information Source

Good Morning,

I received this in a weekly newsletter put together by a Lecturer and Media Consultant at Grady. I thought it was interesting and not too surprising.

DIGITAL SUPER FUTURE: The Internet has officially taken over as the most important source of information – at least among Internet users, according to a study by the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication. But even among Internet users, there is still a question of trust and reliability. With the number of hours spent online rising a full hour per week from 2006 to 2007 to an average of 15.3 hours per week, four out of five Internet users (80%) consider the Internet to be an important source of information for them. That’s up dramatically from 66% the year before and is significantly higher than television (68%), radio or newspapers (both 63%). Yet less than half (46%) say that ‘most or all’ of the information online is generally reliable, although the same people say their particular, favorite Web sites are reliable by a margin of 83% and almost the same number (80%) say the established media websites are reliable.

The study which is in its seventh year found that more than half of the Internet users (55%) who are members of an online community feel as strongly about their online communities as they do about their real-world communities. That’s an increase from 43% just a year ago. And membership in online communities has more than doubled in the past three years. Of course that’s only 15%. More than half of the online community members (56%) reported meeting their online counterparts in person, but they also said they have an average of 5.2 friends online whom they have never met in person. Despite this, Internet users report spending slightly more time per week socializing with friends and family in person. When they are online they are buying things, with 60% saying they have bought something (usually under $100) online, and that they make an average of 36 purchases a year online; and yes, they do say it comes at the expense of retail stores.

And in a sort of good news, bad news cliché, the good news is that three out of five Internet users (60%) report looking for news online. Of course that’s still lower than the percentage (71%) who say they are just surfing with no specific destination. The bad news, at least for my newspaper brethren, is that one in five (21%) report they have stopped a subscription for a newspaper or magazine because they can get it, or related content, online. Some consolation comes from a new question in the poll which showed that half (52%) said they would miss the offline edition of the newspaper if it was no longer available while a quarter (27%) said they would not. Another new question in the poll showed that somewhere between a quarter and a third (29%) of Internet users say they have time shifted their TV viewing, using either a VCR or DVR.

Sunday, February 3, 2008



My name is Kristin English and I'm a PhD student who has a love and passion for learning, politics, communication, and technology. My main research area campaign communication (political, health, and public relations) through emerging technologies. I did my master's thesis on campaign blogs in the 2006 midterm election, examining how the technology was being used in U.S. Senate campaigns. My purpose with this blog is to share my view on various topics, including technology, politics, and communication. I look forward to discussing on the topics with whoever wishes to comment.