November 2012 Archives

Fulton Brewery FAQ

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Thought it would be interesting to communicate the uniqueness of a relatively new local brewery in the Minneapolis area - Fulton.

Fulton began as a single-barrel brewery in a South Minneapolis garage in 2006, and in 2010 expanded into a larger brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owned and operated by four friends, Fulton Beer can be found in many bars and eateries around Minneapolis and the surrounding metro area. Additionally, Fulton Beer is available for purchase at the Fulton Tap Room, which is located at their Minneapolis brewing location.

A local company, Fulton strives to produce the highest quality beer time and time again. The essence, craftsmanship and thought put into each bottle of Fulton beer is a reflection of Minneapolis. Fulton's goal is to offer its customers a delicious and locally brewed beer that is one of a kind.

Fulton Brewery produces four different beers: an American Blonde, India Pale Ale, Imperial Red Ale, and Russian Imperial Stout. The most notable beverage of the group is the India Pale Ale (also called the Sweet Child of Vine). Each batch of beer is hand-brewed under the watchful eye of brew master Pete Grande. The ingredients used are the finest from around the Midwest area, and are intended to instill a unique flavor in every drop.

Fulton beers can be purchased at various liquor stores around the metro area, at select bars and restaurants, or at the Fulton Tap Room located in Minneapolis. Additionally, Target Field now serves Fulton beer at select vendor locations. Fulton also produces shirts, hats and glasses which are available on their website.

Comcast Follow-Up

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I recently wrote a fake customer service response to one of my friends who has experienced poor customer service when dealing with Comcast. Below is what I said...

We at Comcast are sorry to hear about the troubles you have experienced with Internet speeds in your home and in your neighborhood. Your satisfaction as a Comcast customer is our top priority, and we are actively investigating the cause of your decreased Internet speed.

After thorough investigation, we found that your slowed Internet connection was the direct cause of government hardware (modem) testing around your neighborhood. We received numerous call notifying us about similar slowed Internet connections, and we hope that the lack of testing will now allow your Internet speeds to climb back to their normal speeds.

Additionally, we are aware that you have experienced difficulties communicating with our Midwest representatives over the phone, and we would like to notify you that this is in part due to the traumatic events that befell the east coast earlier this month. We were forced to relocate many of our telephone maintenance representatives in order to provide extra support to the thousands of Americans who were affected.

In these trying times we ask you to bear with us as we continue to provide relief to those were unfortunate enough to stand in the way of hurricane Sandy. Keep in mind that when natural disasters strike, people lose much more than their Internet connections. Nevertheless, we value your loyalty as a customer and encourage you to continue using Comcast. God Bless America.

Ghost Tweeting

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I think that a company's social media interactions are extremely important. When a company or organization tweets, everyone can see it. In fact, Twitter is one of the best ways that a company/organization can build rapport with future customers and clientele.

Therefore, delegating social media relations to an outside or "ghost" source is unwise. Corporate Twitter accounts should be taken very seriously, and generated in-house. This way, companies can have more control over what they are tweeting, and they can take responsibility for their tweets. Social media posts are a reflection of a company's image. Managing this image should be a top priority.

Online Pressrooms

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I recently viewed the online pressroom of Nintendo-a prominent video game company. It's pressroom allows visitors to see past news releases that feature updates and previews about new video games and electronic upgrades that will be released in the coming months. This is definitely good, because it allows Nintendo users to stay up-to-date on the major and minor releases that relate to Nintendo.

The bad part about Nintendo's online pressroom is how bland the web page is, If I was allowed to have my way with it, I would renovate it. Perhaps put up some pictures of classic Nintendo video game characters, or big name video game titles that are going to be released soon. Either way, I believe that Nintendo can do a better job of making their pressroom user-friendly. They need to do a better job of getting people excited about their product. A bland newsroom is a bad start.

Super Bowl and Yogurt

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During this year's Super Bowl, the Dannon Company aired an effective advertisement for one of their yogurts. The product, Oikos Greek yogurt, was shown being consumed by both an attractive middle-aged female actress and actor John Stamos. The two sit at a table with one yogurt package between them. John Stamos teases the female actor with spoonfuls of yogurt, dangling it just out of reach of her mouth. Eventually, the female actor succumbs to her desire for yogurt and violently head-buts John Stamos in order to acquire the remaining yogurt. Having finally possessed the yogurt, the female actress gleefully consumes the remainder of the package.

This advertisement targets middle-aged men and women who are conscious of their body image, and concerned about the way members of the opposite sex perceive them. The needs of this target audience are evidently a tasteful and healthy snack alternative. Additionally, the target audience values physical fitness and the influence is has on the opposite sex. Through their advertisement, Oikos' value proposition can be associated with good health and overall product quality. Consumers are persuaded to view the yogurt as a delicious snack that's worth fighting for. This value proposition is effective due to the association consumers can make between the Oikos brand and the quality of their yogurt.

If the Dannon Company was to target a younger population with their Oikos yogurt product, they would need a drastically different advertisement. They could accomplish this in two different ways. First, kids care about the taste of the product more than anything else. An appropriate ad would feature a pre-teen child sneaking his parent's Oikos yogurt out of the fridge without them knowing. This would convey how obtaining Oikos yogurt is worth breaking the rules. A second advertisement might be targeted at mothers who are concerned about the health of their children. This advertisement could show a mother packing Oikos yogurt into her children's lunches, leading to her children removing and eating the yogurt once they were out of her sight. Unable to wait until lunchtime to eat their yogurt, this advertisement would send the message to children that Oikos yogurt is too good to wait for. It would also show mothers that their children were willing to eat a healthy snack over less healthy alternatives.

Product Review

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I recently received a pair of Comply Foam Plugs-ear buds that claim to cancel up to 15 decibels at a time. At first glance they appear stylish; they are bluish/black in color and small enough avoid any unwanted attention.

The most impressive feature is an innovative memory foam insert that supposedly molds to the inside of your ear. I tried these bad boys out at a concert last week and they worked quite well. The buds blocked out most of the loud noise that usually leaves my ears with a ringing, while not depriving me of a true musical experience.

However, I can see how some consumers may not be pleased by the size of the ear buds. They are rather small and might not fit a person who has a smaller ear canal. Regardless, if your like me and have normal sized ears, these buds will save your ear drums from loud sounds you might encounter at a music festival.

Obama and Romney Websites

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Seeing how the Internet and social media play such a large role in the lives of many Americans, it's no surprise that both President Obama, and Republican candidate Romney both have lavish campaign websites. Each candidate's website is a reflection of himself and his promise to Americans. Yet, while each site looks similar at first glance, they are very different.

Mitt Romney's website gives viewers the facts in a clear and concise way. One of the first options that is presented is a layout of Romney's presidential plan, including an extensive document outlining his economic reform plan. Basic candidate information and a condensed biography of Romney are also available. As this is election week, a significant part of the site is dedicated to voter information such as where to vote, and how to register for an absentee ballot. Romney's site is laid out in a fairly basic way, with a large picture of the candidate splashed across the top of the page.

Barrack Obama's website has a much more interactive layout that Romney's site. It allows viewers to watch video streamed straight from the home page. The bottom of the page is similar to a blog in design. It is arranged in chronological order leading up to Election Day. Like Romney's homepage, the top of the site features a large picture of the President. Unlike Romney's site, Obama's factual section has more information on why not to vote for the Republican Party. It does a better job of presenting factual information about the Democratic and Republican agendas side-by-side.

Overall, I think the Obama website is a much better site. It is easier to navigate and more user-friendly. It also gives viewers campaign facts in a much more understandable fashion than Romney's site. In addition, the videos and blog layout of Obama's site gives it a more interactive feel that I think relates more with young people. Romney's site needs to be less formal. It seems rigid and tough to decipher what his actual plan is (if you are completely uninformed that is). Nevertheless, the point on a campaign website is to inform the uninformed in the fastest and most efficient way, and this is what Obama's website does.

Globalization

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The avenues of globalization most obvious in my life are the products of outsourcing. The collective efforts of multiple companies striving to produce goods in faster and more cost-effective ways has led to a decrease in materials that are manufactured inside of the United States. Through the simple process of putting on my clothes each morning, the modernization theory is discernible. Malaysia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh, places I have neither visited nor could place on a map adorn the tags of my clothing in small print. In addition, my phone and computer- gadgets I could scarce live without- were assembled in Shenzhen and Suzhou, respectively. When the mirror of my Honda Accord was torn off, its replacement was shipped in from Foshan, China. These examples of outsourcing also highlight the growing trend of global economic integration. This integration positively reflects globalization by providing employment opportunities in other countries. Additionally, economic integration nurtures global collaboration, which results in more effective manufacturing methods, clearer marketing strategies and enhanced productivity.

The ongoing process of globalization continues to flatten out our world by interconnecting the collective ideas, beliefs, and knowledge of the human race. The outsourcing used by companies in the US is evidenced in the products I buy, and further illustrates the role globalization has played in economically integrating the rest of the world. Each individual's ability to flatten out the world is restricted not by a lack of resources, but by their personal interest in global interconnectedness. Truly, the world is only as flat as one perceives it to be.

The Right To Blog

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We often take for granted how much freedom the Internet the internet gives us. When I express my charged opinions via blogging or other social media networks, I don't often think of how lucky we are to be privileged with something like the First Amendment. Even if I did, it's difficult for me to imagine what life would be like without it. However, this is the case, and with websites such as youtube and google, and social networking sites like twitter and facebook gaining strong footholds in countries other than our own, disparities begin to emerge. Our freedom to openly criticize political figures and publicly question our government is something unique. This is especially true during the current presidential race, where I'm sure you're hard-pressed to find a blog or social media post that doesn't contain political undertones.

Yet, in other established countries around the world, the Internet is closely monitored and often censored by governments. Take the Chinese government who implements substantial political and religious filtering in order to quell public controversy. Or Iran who has proposed a national Internet, which would increase governmental control over individual Internet users(Rininsland theguardian). In fact, while the social media and blogging world of the US comes alive during political events such as the presidential race, the Chinese government actually increases Internet censorship. A recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek even shows how China is using internet filtering to cover up the increasing economic gap between rich and poor - Great Internet Firewall of China.

The point I'm getting at is how lucky we are to have a First Amendment in the internet age. Since we do have it - take advantage of it. Post controversial material, push your opinion onto others and instigate anarchist internet behavior. There are too many Internet users who are inhibited already. It's not fair to them to tiptoe around when we have the ability to criticize prominent political figures without the fear of being thrown in jail. The best way to show how much we value our online freedom is to use it.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2012 is the next archive.

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