What is the Future of Emerging Media?

December 28, 2009 4 comments

What is the future of emerging media? 

My best friend got the Droid today. If I posted this one year ago you might’ve thought that she visited outer space over the weekend and brought back a robot from Star Wars. Although I do think that would be a much more interesting story, she actually visited the Verizon Wireless store and purchased the Motorola Droid Eris. The Droid is presented by Verizon and Google, which are quoted as “two powerhouses of communications,” by the Verizon Web site. According to the Web site, the Droid “does” (Droid from, 2009).

The Droid…

  • “Does fast processing”
  • “Does the biggest screen”
  • “Does swap batteries”
  • “Does run thousands of android apps at break-neck speeds”

(Droid from, 2009).


Image retrieved from:


I wondered what was next for the cellular phone designing engineers. My friend showed me every aspect of her phone and I was amazed. She scanned the barcode of a cracker box with her phone and told me how many calories were in each serving and what foods were best with the selected crackers. She looked up various items on the Internet, listened to music, downloaded music, played games, called her mom, text messaged three different people within two minutes and looked up the nearest Outback Steakhouse. She did all of this on her cell phone. The Droid was pretty amazing, but I couldn’t help but wonder what was next for emerging media? Will we become so advanced that there will be no other way to excel in an area of interactive media?

Interactive Media Predictions

According to Brian Solis, a Forrester report was published in early of 2009 that indicated that social media was expected to increase by 34% by 2014. This percentage positions social media behind mobile marketing and in front of search marketing (Solis, 2009). The graph below is from the Forrester US Interactive Marketing Forecast: 2009 to 2014:

With the rise in interactive capabilities of mobile devices, it is no wonder that we are seeing such a jump in the next five years in this area.


Droid from Verizon Wireless. (2009). Retrieved December 28, 2009, from http://phones.verizonwireless.com/motorola/droid/#/google

Solis, Brian. (2009). The Future of Interactive Marketing. Retrieved December 28, 2009, from http://www.briansolis.com/2009/12/the-future-of-interactive-marketing/


Facebook: Social Networking or Social Distraction?

December 28, 2009 4 comments

Facebook: Social Networking or Social Distraction?

My first interactions with Facebook

Five years ago I discovered what I would like to call the “black hole” of social networking: Facebook. In 2005, I graduated high school and that summer I became a member of Facebook. At the time, Facebook was only available to college students or people that had a registered college e-mail address. I received my e-mail a couple of months before I actually got to West Virginia University, so I was able to register with the Web site. At first, barely anyone that I knew was a member of Facebook. One of my friends had told me about it and I decided to join because I was really bored at that moment in my life. I thought it was cool when I could upload a profile picture on the Web site.

The next step of my Facebook experience was when I joined my first ever Facebook group, which I am still in today. Someone from my soon to be dorm, Dadisman Hall, had created a group called “Dadisman Hall 2005…Partying Hard!” and invited every person that had Dadisman as their room location at WVU. I looked at the people who were soon to be dorm mates. This was all very new to me and it was actually intriguing me that such a Web site could connect so many people from various cities, states and countries.

Fast forward five years.

Here I am today, in my first semester of graduate school and I find that Facebook has changed from a social networking Web site to a huge social distraction! I live in my sorority house at WVU and I am surrounded by 32 girls every day of my life. Each of these girls is completely obsessed with Facebook. Like these girls, my life has been annoyed by this obsession. When I get home from my graduate assistantship, I usually find my roommate Facebook “stalking” or looking at pictures on Facebook. Facebook “stalking” is a term that my friends and I have made up for someone who looks at another person’s page for more than five minutes. Facebook is a bottomless pit of information, pictures and applications. I find it difficult to steer myself away from the Web site when I log on. Unlike many people though, I can easily click away from the Web site when I have homework to do. Some students get lost in the Facebook world for hours on end when they have homework to do.

Facebook: Negatively Effecting GPA’s?

Researchers at Ohio State University recently conducted a study on students who use Facebook on a daily basis and on a group of students that don’t use it. The study shows that students who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying, which could result in a drop of a whole letter grade. The problem with the study is that the group that doesn’t use Facebook could be less socially inclined than the group that uses Facebook (Facebook’s, 2009). I personally think that this could be true. If students are spending more time on Facebook and less time on school work then there is probably a decline in the student’s academic performance.

I find it difficult to consider Facebook a social networking site anymore. I have too many friends that I do not know and have never met on the site. My boyfriend can’t even have a Facebook page because he wants a government job and government employers would definitely look him up on Facebook. Some people lose jobs because of their Facebook accounts and some people lose prospective jobs because of inappropriate pictures on Facebook. How can Facebook be considered a social networking Web site if it has the potential to ruin someone’s career or cause a decline in a student’s GPA?


Facebook’s Negative Effects: Why Your GPA Might Plummet. (2009). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from http://www.cklin.org/index.php/observations/facebooks-negative-effects-why-your-gpa-might-plummet/

What’s Hotter: Starbucks’ Coffee or Starbucks’ Emerging Media Efforts?

What’s Hotter: Starbucks’ Coffee or Starbucks’ Emerging Media Efforts? 

Starbucks is one company that has mastered the art of using emerging and social media to market its products. Last year Danny Brown wrote an article about Starbucks and the company’s use of social media. Brown brings up a very good point in his article, stating that many companies are sitting around contemplating using social media techniques like Twitter, while Starbucks is already conquering it (Brown, 2008).When Brown wrote the article last December, Starbucks had 17,000 followers on Twitter and now, this December (2009), Starbucks has over 650,000 followers!

The Starbucks Love Project

Starbucks’ partnership with (RED) helps raise money to fight AIDS in Africa. On the Starbucks Web site, starbucksloveproject.com, users can create a drawing that resembles what he or she thinks love looks like. The drawing canvas has red, dark red and white paint colors with a three different paint stroke sizes. For every drawing that is created on the Web site, Starbucks and (RED) will donate five cents to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Users can also view drawings that others have done on the Web site (Starbucks Love, 2009).

Here is a picture of the drawing that I did on the Starbucks Love Project Web site:

My Starbucks Idea:

One of my favorite ideas that Starbucks has enforced is the “My Starbucks Idea” Web site. Users can share their ideas on the Starbucks Idea discussion boards. Also, users can vote on other ideas and make comments. You do have to register with the Web site though if you want to be able to post your ideas, respond to other ideas or even view the ideas that are already posted. There is a blog section where users can see ideas being put into action as well (Starbucks Ideas). I think this is a great opportunity for any company to implement. This type of discussion board really shows the company what consumers want and the company can respond to the consumers by reviewing these comments or implementing the desired action. As a consumer, I really admire companies that have an idea section.

Starbucks knows the importance of reaching viewers via emerging and social media. Browns article said that Starbucks was reducing the amount of advertising that it used on television to use on the Internet instead. I think this is a great move for the company. Television is still a popular advertising media for companies, but there are so many unique advertising opportunities that are becoming available online. Starbucks has jumped on the interactive media bandwagon and created a whole series of new media Web sites.

Here are some links to Starbucks’ social media Web sites and emerging media efforts:


Brown, D. (7, Dec., 2008). Starbucks: A Lesson in Social Media Branding. Retrieved December 27, 2009, from http://dannybrown.me/2008/12/07/starbucks-a-lesson-in-social-media-branding/

Starbucks Ideas. (2009). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaHome

Starbucks Love Project. (2009). Retrieved December 27, 2009, from http://starbucksloveproject.com/#/love/

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Interactive Web sites for Kids: Socially Responsible?

December 23, 2009 2 comments

Interactive Sites for Kids: Good or Bad? 

My cousin, who is in middle school, was talking about a Web site that she was using for class. The site was an interactive learning Web site where children could learn about science. I asked her what the name of the Web site was and she said it was called “Cells Alive!” I had to check this out for myself. I could not believe that children were using Web sites to learn about science and that she actually liked learning about science because she was using this Web site.

The Web site, http://www.cellsalive.com/, has various interactive pages that teach children about cells, cell cycles, mitosis, meiosis, cell cycles and even has cell puzzles. My cousin must’ve been in a science class that was learning about various cell processes. After searching around on the Web site, I found it to be very informational and a great way for children to learn about science. By incorporating games, puzzles and information into a Web site, teachers can help students say interested in a topic (Welcome, 2009).

Here is an example of one of the cell models shown on the Cells Alive Web site:


Although there are many interactive Web sites that teach children informational things such as science, English, reading and more, there are Web sites that do not teach children anything relevant to school or their studies. Some Web sites that are purely interactive include Polly Pocket (http://pollypocket.everythinggirl.com/home.aspx), Barbie (http://www.barbie.com/) and Lucky Charms (http://www.luckycharms.com/). If you take a look at these Web sites, you can see that they are sites that children can get lost for hours playing. Barbie and Polly Pocket’s Web sites let users dress the dolls up in their favorite outfit and hairstyle and play a ton of games. Lucky Charms Web site is similar, children can help Lucky run away from the children and play several games.

I am not sure if these Web sites are acting socially responsible. By making Web sites for products that can be sold in stores and online, I feel that children are being misled. Many children do not understand the concept of product placement or what can be classified as a socially responsible Web site.


Barbie. (2009). Retrieved December 23, 2009, from http://www.barbie.com/

Interactive Sites for Kids. (2009). Retrieved December 23, 2009, from http://www.theteachersguide.com/interactivesites.html

Lucky Charms. (2009). Retrieved December 23, 2009, from http://www.luckycharms.com/

Polly Pocket. (2009). Retrieved December 23, 2009, from http://pollypocket.everythinggirl.com/home.aspx

Welcome to Cells Alive! (2009). Retrieved December 23, 2009, from http://www.cellsalive.com/

Viral Marketing: Word-of-Mouth via Internet

Viral Marketing: Word-of-Mouth via Internet

Viral marketing is a technique that is used by companies to influence individuals to pass marketing messages onto others. A message or a file can be passed on the Internet via peer-to-peer networks, which is what makes viral marketing so effective. Word-of-mouth is the most effective way to advertise a brand or a company’s products or services. Viral marketing is the word-of-mouth advertising for the Internet. One of the reasons that viral marketing is used widely by marketers is because viral marketing methods can be easily measured. According to IMC 613’s lesson six; “viral marketing firm Digital Media Communications has worked with companies like Apple and Microsoft to create online monitoring software that measures consumer awareness by tracking how wide a viral video clip as spread” (Perley, Lesson 6, 2009).

According to IMC 613 Lesson six, “there are six basic elements that all marketers should think about including in their viral marketing strategy” (Perley, Lesson 6, 2009). These elements include;

  1. Giving away products or services
  2. Providing effortless transfer to others
  3. Scaling easily from small to very large
  4. Exploiting common motivations and behaviors
  5. Utilizing existing communication networks
  6. Taking advantage of others’ resources

(Perley, Lesson 6, 2009)

Microsoft’s Hotmail is one of the first companies known to utilize viral marketing. The company offered a simple exchange: a free e-mail service for users as long as the company could put a one line promotion at the end of every e-mail. According to Carol Waugh, author of the article “Viral Marketing” on Xcellent Marketing.com, “The promotion line encouraged the recipient of the email message to go to hotmail.com and sign up for their own free email service” (Waugh, 2000).

Amazon.com is another example of a company that utilizes viral marketing. According to Carol Waugh’s article, Amazon lets users send books to friends, which in turn gives Amazon potential buyers and allows the company to insert promotional materials into the products that are being sent to the friend. Geocities is a site that allows users to make their own Web pages and invite friends to look at these pages. When a user visits one of these web pages they are prompted with an option that allows them to create their own Web site (Waugh, 2000).

Viral marketing is an easy and inexpensive way to draw traffic to a Web Site. Companies can offer users prizes for inviting a certain amount of people to the site or for referring a friend. Also, like Hotmail, companies can insert a promotion at the bottom of an e-mail or companies can give visitors the option to create their own Web site like Geocities does. This type of viral marketing can increase Web site traffic dramatically and can allow companies the option to connect with more users.


Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University (2009). Lesson 6: Pass along media I: Viral, Buzz, Word-of-Mouse/Mouth, and Word of Blog. Retrieved December 21, from the WVU eCampus Web site: http://ecampus.wvu.edu/

Waugh, C. A. (2000). Viral Marketing. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://www.xcellentmarketing.com/html/articles/viral2000.html

Internet-only Companies Utilize Emerging Media

Internet-only Companies Use Emerging Media for Success

There are many Internet-only companies that can be accessed on the Web. Companies profit off of using social media and other emerging media to market the company’s brand and the products or services that it sells. According to the article, “Top Internet Companies duke it out,” by Rick Munarriz, the top 10 web properties include:

1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. Yahoo

4. AOL

5. News Corp

6. Facebook

7. IAC

8.  Ebay

9.  Apple

10. Amazon

Each of these properties has a different unique audience population; with the highest being Google’s with 155.6 million and the lowest being Amazon’s with 59.6 million. Although the unique audience populations go from lowest to highest, the amount of time per month that a user spends on each sight varies. For example, the average Facebook user spends 4 hours and 40 minutes on Facebook each month while a Google user usually spends 2 hours and 31 minutes on Google per month (Munarriz, 2009).

Using Emerging Media


Many of the top 10 web properties use various emerging media outlets to market their companies. I am going to use Facebook as an example of one of these companies that has used various emerging media techniques to market its social networking Web site.

For example, Facebook is a social networking site (like Twitter) but it also uses a social networking site to market Facebook. Facebook’s official Twitter is located at http://twitter.com/Facebook and has over 160,000 followers. The Facebook Twitter updates followers on the latest Facebook news and applications and also allows followers to post comments and post ideas and feedback (Facebook, 2009). Google has over one million followers on its Twitter account. You can check it out here: http://twitter.com/google. Amazon, Apple and Ebay all have Twitter accounts to market their companies as well.

Facebook utilizes YouTube as well. Facebook has its own YouTube channel located at http://www.youtube.com/facebook#p/c/F0F2972302FBC189. Facebook has various videos of different employees showing users how to utilize Facebook and how Facebook was created. There is a section on the Web site where subscribers can comment on the page and the various YouTube videos. The page also updates users with the latest Facebook news (YouTube, 2009).

The videos that Facebook posts on YouTube are focused on showing the consumer what the company is about and how the company comes up with some of its ideas. The main video on the Web site currently is called “Prime Time Hack: The Birth of Facebook Video.” It is very interesting to hear the creators speak about how Facebook videos were created and the reason that they were created. Take a look at the video below:


Facebook (Facebook) on Twitter. 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://twitter.com/Facebook

Munarriz, R.A. (14, July 2009). Top Internet Companies Duke it out. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/07/14/top-internet-companies-duke-it-out.aspx

YouTube-theofficialfacebook’s Channel. (2009). Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://www.youtube.com/facebook#p/c/F0F2972302FBC189

LinkedIn: Networking for Professionals

December 14, 2009 2 comments

LinkedIn: Networking for Professionals


As I stated in my previous post about social media, LinkedIn is a social networking site for experienced professionals from around the world. The site has over 53 million members (with a new member joining almost every second) in over 170 industries and over 200 countries around the world. Executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies are also LinkedIn members. About half of LinkedIn’s members are from outside of the United States (About Us, 2009).

What is LinkedIn?


This video was taken from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzT3JVUGUzM.

When joining LinkedIn, members create their profiles and then invite people to join their network.

According to LinkedIn.com, the following is a list of things that users can do through their networks:

  • Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as professional
  • Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  • Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  • Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  • Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company
  • (AboutUs, 2009)

I joined LinkedIn.com in June of 2009. I have about 40 connections that I have made with previous employers, current employers, classmates, relatives, professors and acquaintances. Through LinkedIn, I have stayed connected with people that I have graduated college with in May 2009 and professors that I have had during college. I have also connected with my graduate school professors on LinkedIn.

One of the most interesting things about LinkedIn is that employers and previous employers can give references. One of my previous employers wrote me a recommendation on LinkedIn and it is posted so that employers can see this recommendation.

Through LinkedIn I have created the West Virginia University Public Relations Student Society of America group. Members can request to join the group and I approve requests. I created the group this summer and there are about ten members now, but I plan to promote it so that more people will join LinkedIn and the WVU PRSSA group.


About Us. (2009). LinkedIn.com. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://press.linkedin.com/about

What is Linked In? (2008). YouTube. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzT3JVUGUzM

Categories: Uncategorized