Royal Wedding via Facebook and Twitter – Is Social Media Here to Stay?

Royal Wedding via Facebook and Twitter – Is Social Media Here to Stay?

By Gregory West

Note: Originally published in Lambton Shield Newspaper

Yes, without a doubt, the Royal wedding is history in the making. But so is something else here. With all the online interaction over the wedding, one must ask if we really need TV networks to cover such events as this? Right now maybe…But will we down the road?

Not too long ago, major TV networks snubbed any Social Media applications. After seeing that this is what “WE” the public want, and that this is how “WE” communicate, these social “prehistoric” media types broke down, finally “seeing the light”. The major media outlets have jumped with both feet landing in the real world of cyberspace via Social Media applications.

For real time evidence, just look at how TV executives joined the Social Media band wagon for the Royal wedding. They widely encouraged viewers to interact with their television broadcasts via Facebook and Twitter.

The New York Times reported that “ABC News is focusing much of its social media efforts on Twitter for both storytelling and engagement.”

NBC allowed for people to share their thoughts and comments with well over 7,000 people “who have already signed up for the “Event” on the Today Show’s Facebook page.” You could also join more than 32,000 people who followed NBC’s @royalwedding Twitter account  live as the wedding progressed.

According to USA Today, television networks are “using social media to engage readers and share minute-by-minute news, giving wedding followers countless social-media-drenched outlets to choose from, including the BBC’s royal wedding Facebook page, CNN’s Twitter posts from celebrities, the Today show’s Facebook page and NBC’s Twitter account @royalwedding.”

In reality, many people will still turn the TV sets on at home. However, statistics are showing more and more people are turning on their iPads, smart mobile phones, laptops and even old desktops to connect to the Internet for many live events. This will only keep growing as the trends catch on.

The print media, including the Toronto Star, fails to see the importance and popularity of Social Media.Gigaom.com, a very popular blog, reports that it is in many cases “fear” that sets some media back. They point out there are more missing the social boat: “”The Star is not the only media outlet making these kinds of errors — while they are happy to use social media to push their content, most major newspapers have failed to take advantage of these tools when it comes to building relationships with their readers.”

royal wedding couple

Really, if one thought about this, and I am sure wheels are turning in the TV network boardrooms, that the need for reporters, journalists, and radio and TV announcers may decrease. You can bet this is being discussed in colleges and universities around the globe. Could Social Media replace how we get the news? I think it just might…In fact, has it not begun already?

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

Facebook: Are You and Your Children Safe?

facebook logo

Set Your Security

By Gregory West

Are you protecting yourself on Facebook? Are your children protected on Facebook? Not sure? Please read on…

A 2010 Consumer Report shows “23 percent of Facebook users don’t even know about the site’s privacy controls or just don’t bother to use them.” (full report: http://bit.ly/2010_report) and it doesn’t stop there. With over a half billion users, one can only imagine how many people do not use their security settings properly or even at all.

I became aware of this recently when I ran a free “Facebook for Beginners” seminar at Grace United Church in Sarnia, Ontario. Most people in attendance were using Facebook, yet none really knew how to protect themselves with Facebook security settings. In fact, many were surprised to see how easy it is to protect yourself in Facebook.

The Consumer Report goes on to point out the seriousness of this as they found “The survey, which seemed to focus primarily on Facebook, also discovered that 7 percent of people had posted their street address on their profile, while 3 percent had revealed times when they’d be away from home.”

It gets even more frightening when the report shows that “Among Facebook users with children, 26 percent had posted photos of their kids on the site and 13 percent had included the names of their kids in the captions, both of which Consumer Reports believes could expose the children to potential online predators.”

Have I scared you yet? I hope so.

Facebook is becoming extremely secure and a very important utility in today’s society. I personally believe this is the platform where most people in a community will gather…Let me rephrase that: Most people, who are online, now are involved in a Facebook community in one way or another. Facebook is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream media as well. So hang in there and don’t rush to delete your Facebook account just yet.

Here are a few items you can check on Facebook to tighten up your security as you so choose. Please go over the following to check and set your privacy controls to your liking.

  1. Go to your Facebook profile page (just open Facebook) and click on “Account” located at the top right of the webpage.
  2. Click “Privacy Settings”
  3. Now you will be on the page that says: “Choose Your Privacy Settings”. Now look for where it says: “Control basic information your friends will use to find you on Facebook. View Settings” and click on the “View Settings”.

You will now see a list of topics where your security settings can be changed. The topic list includes: Search for you on Facebook, Send you friend requests, Send you messages, See your friend list, See your education and work, See your current city and hometown, and See your likes, activities and other connections.

Those settings can be adjusted so that you can allow one of the following:

Everyone – Friends of Friends – Friends Only and there are some that allow some customization.

If you are at all concerned about who sees what, about you and especially your children, I highly suggest you go each one of these settings and adjust accordingly. Make sure you do this with your children so they realize the importance of privacy settings.

Of course, these privacy settings are not for everyone, and many people such as myself leave them open so that it expands my community and communication. The decision is yours do decide. Don’t listen to others, go and check out YOUR SECURITY SETTINGS today.

If you want further Facebook security information go to this website:
www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php#basicinfo and www.facebook.com/policy.php

The public is welcomed to attend another Free seminar on Facebook Security on May 9th, 10:00 a.m. at Grace United Church. Please bring a food item for the Food Bank.

Be safe out there!

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
Member of Port Huron, MI Computer Group
Blog: gregorywest.wordpress.com

Power Friending
“Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business”

By Amber Mac (Amber MacArthur)

Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2010
978-1-59184-328-3
Pages: 245
USA: $24.95 / CDA: $31.00
http://www.ambermac.com

I bought this book as an aid in my research into the world of social media, knowing that Amber MacArthur would have it all explained in plain English, covering all the bases. I was right, she did, and then some. 

As an avid listener to Amber Mac and Leo Laporte via the Twit.tv network, with the show: Net at Night, I learned how deep Amber’s involvement is with technology and more so, social media. Her insights into this subject are extensive and I knew this book would reveal a guide that would set me on my exploration of social media.

Anyone, whether you own a business, operate a nonprofit group, or simply want to promote you own media for fun, this book is a guide, and Amber sets out to help you “build up your social media strategy, one Internet friend at a time”.

The book consists of nine enlightening chapters starting with a “brief” history on the evolving social media which helps put thing into perspective and sets the groundwork for this book. Amber continues on in this journey telling how real people and companies struggle though mistakes, lies, and failures as well as many success stories. From the failures we quickly learn what not to do in creating our own social media awareness. The success stories are many and they help to give us not only ideas but courage to continue through the social media wilderness learning a little bit more with each step Amber takes us.

Amber demonstrates three rules at the onset: “A IS FOR AUTHENTICITY” – “B IS FOR BRAVERY” – C IS FOR CONSISTENCY”. Each rule is explained with examples of how people / companies both failed and prospered by either following or disregarding these rules.

In chapter four: “CARPENTRY AT ITS BEST”, we are given the necessary social media tools to work with such as blogs, videos, wikis and more. Each tool is explained how and why it works and what it can do for you. Following each tool is a real life example how it works for others. I found this chapter most interesting and helpful. Chapter five is one of my favourites in which Amber discusses “The Strategy”. Time management, spreading your word, responding and bringing the message home are a few topics covered. Here Amber shares her “Ten Best Practices…”A must read.

Amber points out success stories and failures too, all with examples so we don’t make the same errors. One thing I really am a glad about is the Notes in the back of the book. Here are Amber’s gems that refer to a topic on a certain page in the book with a website source that will take you deeper into the world of social media marketing.

I must give this book is easily a ten plus in not only content and information but Amber’s personal stories that keeps the material moving.

Review: Journalismnext – A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

Journalismnext - A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

 

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com

Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
BLOG


Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

by Mark Briggs

Published by CQ Press
ISBN-978-1-604-560-6
Pages: 359
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $45.99
journalism20.com/blog/

I was a journalism student in the early 1970’s. I have been working with computers since 1972. I have been on the Internet since the very early 1990’s. I currently teach computers courses at a local college. I write technology columns for magazines, and I review technology and software books for O’Reilly Publishing. I have been blogging since 2005. However, I must say, that this is the most precise book on how to be in tune with today’s journalist culture I have ever come across. After reading this book you will not wonder why this book is so widely used in colleges throughout North America.

Briggs states at the onset that “Journalism is about people, not technology.” In this book you will learn the inner secrets of how to connect with your readers. You will see how this connection spreads to more and then more readers. Of course you will learn the why and the how that technology is involved so deeply in today’s journalist’s work. You will learn how technology and the Internet are utilized in a career in Journalism.

Briggs covers all the bases, from the importance of advanced and micro blogging, making audio reporting visual, to the techie equipment you will need for the job. In this book he teaches how to “build an audience”; how to maintain that audience. Briggs demonstrates details of why setting up a Facebook or Twitter account is a must.

The book is filled with references and articles by several top bloggers and online editors. Many innovative companies open yet other doors to peek in and learn more interesting tips and tricks. The contents of this book cover every aspect of journalism today, information that would take years of experience and study to learn otherwise.

If you are at all interested in writing or becoming a journalist, especially writing for an online publication, or even if you are a seasoned journalist and need to get up to speed with what is out there today, this book is a necessity. Don’t forget to purchase a yellow highlighter for this read due to the many topic points where you will find yourself saying, “I didn’t know that”.

 

Lambton County’s NEW Online Newspaper

What can I say? “It is about time. Way to go Lambton Shield


Let’s face it, now is the time to lose the ink and newsprint version and get with the times. Many magazines and newspapers are seriously looking at this concept, including the New York Times says it is going “out of print sometime” and you can bet so will the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.

The new LAMBTON SHIELD paper is well laid out and works well with live links to reference sites, including video. It advances Social Media Marketing the way it is supposed to with adding clickable buttons for readers to share an article to Facebook and Twitter. There is also an RSS feed link. Comments online by readers sometimes make for better reading than the original article and this paper has cashed in on this new concept. All that is needed here are more active readers, but they will come and soon.

The Lambton Shield team the best media people around. J.D. Booth as Publisher/Editor, whom I have followed for many years, is well known to people in the area.

Barry Wright is an Editor/Writer and joins the team with many years of experience, both as a journalist and a radio newsroom person. Barry also has a live show on TVCogeco every Wednesday night which is a top rate interview show.

Bob McCarthy the team is a former History teacher, writer, and now a contributing editor on this new team. I have listened to Bob in seminars and he will keep us coming back for more of his extensive knowledge of our past with his amazing tales. In case you haven’t noticed,

Sarnia is quickly becoming a “centre for the arts” and in that vibe, joining this team comes Hazel Rogers. Hazel is the lead art educator at Lawrence House for the Arts, and she is editor of Arts/Entertainment/Culture on this team. Expect to be on the cutting edge of current information about what is going on in Lambton County with the arts, entertainment, and culture scene.

Expect and get the best in the current news and happenings of Sarnia Lambton. Bookmark this site NOW by clicking HERE.

“The technician set up my laptop, now what do I do?”

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE CAN BE REPRODUCED

BY GIVING ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO THE AUTHOR.

“The technician set up my laptop, now what do I do?”

By Gregory Westdionsaur and kid in costume

Ah, the wonderment of getting a new computer. No more having to watch others show off their computer skills as they demonstrate their new digital slide show, or listen about how they talk with relatives across three oceans for hours at no cost. With your new computer you are ready to join the online communities around the globe.

Three gigabytes of random access memory, five hundred gigs of hard drive, a one year subscription to some antivirus / malware protection software utility and you are “good to go,” says the clerk in the computer store.

“But does it come with a manual,” you ask?

“The manual is in the OS software,” the clerk says as he gets you to sign his copy of the credit card slip. “Have a nice day,” he hollers as you lug computer through the doors towards home.

“Ya right,” you mutter under your breath.

So many choices, too many decisions, but at least you finally got it home. Once you open the lid and go to turn on the new computer you realize that you have no idea what you are doing. In fact, you don’t know a gigabyte from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and you couldn’t care less. All you want is to on the Internet and check your email, surf some websites and maybe learn how to get those 265 photos from your digital camera.

“So now what,” you say aloud to yourself? “Where do I begin, you ask your dog in desperation as she gives you that puzzled look?

There is an easy way to learn the various computer functions you need to catch up with your computer geek of a neighbour. First, you can take a formal course at your local college. These courses usually range from beginner to advanced. You can also take online courses (courses offered over the Internet), but this takes a special skill, as many people are not used to working alone and need to get out into a classroom setup with real humans. You can also join a local computer group. Here you will find people with similar interests who provide various seminars on tech-related issues.

I have been on a computer since 1972 where an IBM System/360 Operating System was the popular system in data processing centres. Over the years I have received computer training from all methods mentioned about. In fact, today I am taking two computer courses from books that came with DVD training programs.

However, if you simply need to know one certain function on the computer, learn a software program, or how to troubleshoot a problem in your computer, I suggest Google’s YouTube videos. Computer instructors, tech companies, libraries, schools and many knowledgable individuals upload training videos to YouTube. Here you not only get free training, but targeted training. For instance, if you need to know how to install a USB flash drive in Windows 7, you simply go to youtube.com on the Internet and there will be many videos to help you through this process.

One tip for searching within YouTube for help, try using the term: “tutorials” with your search. Sometimes this will give you a full training course on the particular subject you are interested in learning. I use YouTube all the time when I need help with a particular computer program. But it doesn’t stop there either. I wanted to learn how to winterize my RV and save the hundred dollar fee, so I searched for videos on YouTube and have winterized my own trailer ever since for only the cost of antifreeze.

You can get free training from the best of both worlds. If you are new to the computer, YouTube videos will help you get an idea what you are up against, but what if you still need the help of a human. Central United Church operates a free computer drop-in training centre where you can get free help on any computer-related issue. Since September 2010 over two-hundred people have found this training centre an excellent way to learn at one’s own speed. The only cost is a food item to donate to the Food Bank. For more info: go to the website ( http://central-united-church.org/training ) or phone: 519 344-4561.

[bi-line]

Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College.
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new
Community Computer Training Centre at: http://goo.gl/76H15.
This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Learn at your own speed.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16(at)gmail.com

Your Parents Now Have a Laptop? Good Luck!

Santa Brought Your Parents

A Laptop! Oh No?

By Gregory West

Don’t read any further, unless you need to “Teach your parents well…”

I have always enjoyed seeing people get computers for the first time. Although it is hard to detect the look in their eyes: horror or excitement.

My first computer was in 1972, it was the size of a house, well not really, but close. It was a beast of a machine, an IBM 360 located in the data centre where I worked as a keypunch programmer. My first home computer was in 1984, a Mackintosh desktop, much smaller but not easier to use. It had no help buttons as it came with an extra box of instructional manuals. I couldn’t call others for help because hardly anyone had a home computer back then. Some people still experience huge learning curve with their first computer.

Your parents and/or grandparents may get their first computer from Santa this year…look out!  Your life will never be the same. Guess what they probably know where you live. They know your home and cell phone number. They even have your work phone number. They may have mastered the art of texting. You cannot escape from the proverbial: “How do I do this?”

I know people who literally hide. They screen calls. They turn out lights and read from the reflection of their computer screens or light candles fearing a drive-by from parents. All in an effort to evade the constant cry for tech help from relatives who want to learn but cannot figure it out alone.

Sure, we must admit it is fun at first. Seeing them slowly getting the gist of how to send and receive an email. The look in their eyes when they perform their very first Google search. This is all well and good, and even sort of healthy. But when you leave them home alone, that is when it starts. The constant queries begin like this:

Parent: “HELP me.”

You: “What did you do?”

Parent: “Nothing, I didn’t touch a thing. The computer won’t do anything.”

You: “Did you reboot the computer?”

Parent: “Do what?”

You: “Restart your system.”

Parent: “Do I unplug everything?”

You: “Never mind, I’ll be right over, AGAIN.”

It won’t stop here with one visit. Now they really start seeking you out…STOP! Wait a minute. This is our parents we are talking about. The ones who asked Santa for that computer, the same one we talked them into asking Santa. Now it is our moral duty to stand up and be counted, to come to their rescue. We are like super sons and daughters. But how can we accomplish this almost impossible task and keep our sanity?

Never fear, Google is here. Google realized this is a massive problem for many siblings and most just don’t have the time to help and designed free training videos.

Introducing: “Send your parents A TECH SUPPORT care package.” from Google. No, this is not a scam, it for real. As of this writing 13,999 parents have received this care package. Ok, I can hear the questions: ”What is it”?

Google’s TECH SUPPORT is your “saving grace”. And to be honest, you might just learn some tips and tricks yourself from these videos. Here’s how it works:

There are five categories: BASICS – WWW – COMMUNICATION – MEDIA – FINDING INFORMATION. Within each category you find real help video topics in the BASIC as Copy & Paste, Screensavers, Backgrounds, Make Text Larger or Smaller. Others such as in the WWW, as Upgrade Your Browser, Make Strong Passwords, Make a Bookmark etc. All-in-all there are 37 training videos produced by Google to assist in learning basic computer to digital photos, sound, and much more. Each video is very easy to follow along and learn at one’s own speed. One I really like is the “How to Unsubscribe to a Newsletter” sent by email subscription. It is easy. You send your parents the training video that matches their problem or program they want to learn.

I call this new GOOGLE TECH SUPPORT a “Post Christmas” must have for everyone. I will be within these 37 videos even you will find something you didn’t know or have forgotten how. Best of all, it is free with no scams attached.

For peace of mind go here to check out Google’s new TECH SUPPORT video training: http://www.teachparentstech.org

-30-

Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College.
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new
Community Computer Training Centre at: http://goo.gl/76H15.
This is free and open to the public as a community service. Learn at your own speed.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com