Twitter Wars

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Recently, a reporter for Fox Business erupted into a twitter rant over responses to false tweets. This rant was subject to much criticism throughout the journalistic world and in turn lead to loss of some credibility. While this example was seen as comical by some, it lends itself to giving advice to anyone entering the professional field.

Twitter is fun, by definition it is SOCIAL media. Many people choose to use this medium in many different ways, but some times this can lead to a poor reflection on your professional standing.

Like many other blog posts written by myself, this example lead me to believe that caution must be used when using social media. While these platforms may be seen as entertainment to some, in the relevance of getting and maintaining a job, irresponsible uses of social media can negatively affect your career.

So next time you go to tweet about how drunk you are, or who you hooked up with at the company Christmas party, think again. These actions could get you put on the naughty list.

Thank You Letters

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My mother, as I'm sure other moms have done, has always insisted on me writing thank you cards. She wanted me to write thank you cards for everything. Christmas, Birthdays, Party invitations, etc. But recently after applying for jobs she blew my mind by asking whether or not I wrote a thank you letter to the businesses I had just finished applying to.

I never knew that this was a common thing to do, but after the last week in one of my journalism classes I found that not writing a thank you letter could cost you a job.

The teacher of said class offered us a story. When she was involved with human resources for a company and interviewing prospectful employees, our teacher informed us of an instance when comparing two candidates. In her words, the company was stuck between two candidates, and in order to differentiate between the two they decided the first to write a thank you note would be the one they would hire.

To make a long story short, the two prospects never wrote thank you cards, and in turn neither were hired for the position.

While this is just one example, many others exist. So if you are serious about a position, write them both a thank you email and thank you card. It not only shows that you are committed to the company/position, but also that you understand common courtesy and the ability to relate to people.

Things to Keep Off Social Media

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If you're reading this blog, you're more than likely to be a college student. With that in mind, we know that you're well educated, part of a very diverse group, but most importantly, you are looking for a job.

Now most student have a good resume. They've been in clubs, organizations, they've had jobs, good grades, and hell maybe even a couple of teacher recommendations. What could ultimately set yourself apart is how you hold yourself outside the professional setting.

Which brings me to social media

Too often do I see students like myself constantly posting pictures of themselves high, drunk, or saying things that could be viewed as very unpopular by possible employers.

So what shouldn't you post...

Racist remarks, drunk pictures, high pictures, slander on another person, stupid comments, song lyrics, selfies, or other posts that could render yourself unemployable.

What should you post...

Interesting links, material relating to your professional field, developments of your own groups/organizations, really anything that makes you seem professional.

In conclusion, don't be just another Facebook troll. Make your social media efficient and professional in order to make you employable

Tips for Blogging

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Through my studies here at the University of Minnesota, I have studied blogs and blogging in many different classes. With their immense journalistic power, they have become the topic of much discussion throughout journalism schools nationwide. With this power, they have become popular ways for students to get into professional writing. This is a great tactic, but when writing a few tips should be taken into account.

Write about something you like
While writing professionally and giving insight into the problems of the world seems like a good idea at first, many bloggers struggle at creating meaningful content. This in turn destroys the credibility of their blogs and ultimately leads to a lack of success. Instead, I encourage writers to write about a topic they have interest in. This could include anything as far as fashion, sports, politics, food, hell I've even seen good blogs about a guy that puts funny things on top of his rabbit. Your blog will drastically improve if you discuss things that are of interest to you.

Keep it short
Now, I haven't done a great job of this in this particular post, but one of the key factors to increasing readership is to keep paragraphs short. Literally two to four sentences are often enough to convey an idea and move on to the next. This constant paragraphing keeps the reader engaged and often times helps in keeping arguments clear.

Tag the hell out it
So you've got a bunch of content, but not a lot of readers/shares/likes/etc and you're wondering how popular blogs get their popularity. Well you may find that it is difficult to find your blog through Google. Online, Google is god, and if your blog isn't within the first few pages you're essentially dead. So use popular tags (that relate to your posts), link to popular sites, use pictures, and use headers and sub headers. These all will increase traffic to your blog.

Snapchat Turned down $4 billion...

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I don't pretend to be that well off financially. I, like most of my peers, am an extremely poor college student. It's not uncommon for this 4 year period to live paycheck to paycheck and eat ramen on a weekly basis.

I say this because recently Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $4 billion. In response to this offer, Snapchat declined, hoping to be valued higher from overseas buyers. To this I reply, "That's a bold move cotton, we'll see how it plays out."

Seriously, $4 billion! Even after taxes that is an incredible amount. Honestly I don't think I could have turned down an offer for $100 million, but $4 billion. I can't imagine the amount of stress they went through saying no to that offer.

While this is shocking in and of itself, it gives us a glimpse into the future of snapchat. Much like other social mediums, advertising is coming. And I think it will be overall positive. For me personally, getting a snapchat from Taco Bell at 1 in the morning would completely convince me to go grab a chalupa.

So as a prospective advertising professional this excites me. Making ads that last no longer than 10 seconds and are geared at a very young social audience sounds fantastic, and I cannot wait to get involved.

Miley Cyrus: Yes I'm Serious

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Miley Cyrus hasn't been the topic of much discussion in the media recently. No rather she has been the topic of all discussion and with every stunt continues to "one up" her own charades and has earned herself a spot as one of the most debated celebrities to date.

It should come as no surprise that once Miley relinquished her role as Hannah Montana and came into adult hood, she took her new role in full stride and embraced the certain "liberties" that come with it.

This has brought upon much criticism saying that she should be aware of her role as a role model and she is setting a poor example for today's youth. Others however have stated that she is a media genius, and marketing herself in such a way has gotten her press which brings in revenue.

I'm not here to tell you which side is right, but rather that this argumentation in the media hurts everyone except Miley.

While these media conglomerates argue whether or not Miley should continue to cater to a younger audience and show herself as more of a role model figure, Miley sits back and reaps the benefits of this publicity. This argumentation in turn takes away media space for covering politics, individuals that are splendid role models for young kids, world news, and really everything else of importance.

Because she does take up so much air space I see this coverage as completely detrimental towards everyone besides herself. As a society we need to stop giving these celebrities our constant undivided attention and rather focus on what is important to our daily lives.

Cover Letters: Under-Utilized and Forgotten

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For a class assignment recently, I had to write a cover letter. We were given job opportunities, and we had to research the company, and write a cover letter as if we were applying for the job. After listening to my teacher, doing my research, and finally writing it, I have come to the realization that the cover letter could be one of the stronger parts of an application.

Yes a resume can set you apart from everyone else, but you can't really say that much in a resume. And off that point, everyone's resume is essentially similar. In application reviews the process of sifting through resume after resume seems very boring, and after a couple hundred resumes, differentiating between different resumes could become lost.

But that's where the cover letter comes into play. Unlike the resume, this gives the writer a chance to elaborate on his/her past experiences and key into skills that may have been lost in a resume. Also, a cover letter allows you to tailor an application to a specific company, which is very beneficial if done correctly.

That is why I implore you to use cover letters strategically in order to get the job of your dreams. It will help differentiate you and will ultimately land you a job.

Twitter Is The Future Of Journalism

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Twitter. It has taken the journalism industry by storm, and has started to be viewed as a credible source for news stories. Not only is it featured in almost every news or sports program, but it has emerged in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, etc. Like the explosion of Facebook, Twitter has just begun to hit its stride.

Unlike Facebook who immediately gained popularity amongst kids looking to make profiles and share pictures, Twitter has demonstrated its ability to be used as a professional tool, and has earned its spot amongst journalism mediums.

That is why, unlike most other social media platforms, I believe Twitter is here to stay.

140 characters doesn't seem like enough space to form a journalistic piece, especially one that has any merit, and to be quite honest it's not. What Twitter brings to the table is an active community. This community spreads news like wild fire, and can get the word out before Fox, CNN, Reddit, you name it.

This active community is the base for Twitter, and if it strays away from corporate involvement and constant advertising (Facebook) then I believe Twitter will find itself as another journalistic medium for a very long time.

Social Media Optimization

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This year I got the pleasure of working for a local apartment complex. For this apartment building I did a lot of website work, and most if not all of their social media. Before this, they did not have a social media presence, and due to the increase in competition, they thought they should revamp their advertising strategy.

So they employ me. I had never had any experience with professional social media, or website development/management for that matter. I had limited knowledge with how to do everything, but they thought I was good at communicating and professional through my interview so they hired me.

It was then I started working with their outsourced advertising agency and begun my journey of starting a social media presence for this apartment. While it was a difficult process, filled with many hours of online research and watching of YouTube videos, I finally got the hang of it (Or so I tell myself).

The biggest thing I had to learn though was how to write from a professional standpoint, and switch your voice to be congruent with the employer. This took a while to finally get down, but after a while I started to think of it as acting. I had to play the role of apartment building and connect with residents, potential residents, and the general public. In short, I had to know my audience and give them what they wanted. Along with that, complaint management and community involvement gave me a chance to fine tune my acting abilities.

After all was said and done, their Facebook has over 1000 likes, their Twitter has close to 200 followers, and the interaction levels for both mediums has shot through the roof. (Not bad for a rookie)

Stewart/Colbert: Good For US Politics?

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Not too long ago, a class of mine was posed a question. Do you think Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's satirical view on politics and relentless shredding of politicians is good for Democracy or does it dilute it?

While many people in very high positions of power have argued that this humorous TV show destroys Democracy and turns the youth away from interest in politics, I completely disagree. I believe that this humorous stepping stone between Comedy Central and CSPAN is the perfect way to get young people interested in politics and start to make political knowledge viewed as cool.

While my evidence is purely experiential and I have no quantitative figures to back me up, I think there is still merit to my argument.

While growing up, politics was viewed as uncool. People were bullied if they gave a damn about anything other than president. If you knew what the supreme court was you were instantly shunned to eat lunch by yourself. Of course this began to change as we got older, and by our later years in high school, people began developing there own political opinions and even running for student government.

For me this was the norm, and may have influenced my disinterest in politics as a teenager. Now however I see kids becoming much more interested in politics at a much younger age. I remember my sister babysitting a group of 13 year old boys that would not stop watching the Colbert Show.

It's this rise in popularity of political humor shows that brings me to the conclusion that they are good for Democracy. Without interest in politics, the number of potential politicians would drop dramatically, and our government would suffer as a whole.

Miss America Debacle: How Social Media Can Go Wrong

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A few months ago, the newest Miss America was crowned to Nina Dauluri. This crowning received much media attention, but not for the vast amount of class and poise, but rather for the social media explosion that occurred soon after.

Instead of praising her and her beauty, Twitter soon erupted with racism and became the discussion of many news stories for weeks to come.

Nina has since taken a very silent approach to combating this racism. This approach in my mind is the best option for her. While others have directly confronted these bigoted statements, Nina has shown the utmost maturity in her silence. This "turn the other cheek" method has begun to silence her opposition and I believe most other people on social media could learn a very valuable lesson from her.

The Differences Between Carlson and SJMC

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Through my studies here at the University of Minnesota, I have had the pleasure of studying in both Carlson classes, and classes offered through the Journalism School. What I have found in these classes is that the style of teaching and learning are very much two sides of the same coin (Comparing Advertising and Marketing). While both schools strive to teach students how to succeed professionally in marketing based careers, they have very different approaches in doing so.

Through my time at Minnesota, I have taken close to 7 Carlson classes, and I have found that their studies are focused primarily on structure. Every class has a similar style of midterm scheduling, presentation scheduling, and even project assignments.

These classes primarily focus on traditional marketing methods such as demographic descriptions, and statistical analysis. Through this, Carlson breeds their students to be the perfect employees for large organizations such as Target, 3M, and General Mills.

Along with the differences in organization, Carlson teachers are also very different to those found in the Journalism School. Within Carlson, teachers are often former of employees of aforementioned large companies, and are heavily involved within research programs at the U. Furthermore, these teachers bring their past experiences to the classroom by focusing on their own careers and how that should influence our own instruction.

Unlike Carlson, the Journalism School is based much more on research and group discussion. These classes lend themselves much more to open forums, and innovative teaching styles. This openness however brings a much broader range of teaching styles, and consistency tends to fall through the cracks.

This inconsistency also lends itself to a range of grading scales. This in turn makes it harder for students to bounce from class to class. What the SJMC excels in however, is helping students on their path to a professional career. While Carlson breeds its students to be perfect cubicle employees, SJMC promotes creativity, and personability which in the long term helps theses students rise to the top in a multitude of different careers.