Newsy from Infancy!

All of my family and friends know that one day I want to anchor the news in Detroit and ultimately work for The Today Show on NBC. I like to think that I was born with an innate love for the news and the ability to deliver it. My mother always tells the story of how I got my nickname “Newspaper”.

As an infant I would play in the newspaper every day. Mom says I would sit at the table and put on my Grandmother’s readers and act like I was reading the newspaper. She said I would literally do that single day. So she says she always knew that I’d being something with entertainment, news and media. So it did not surprise my mother when I declared Electronic Media and Film Studies as a major and Journalism as a minor here at EMU.

As a young person I have always enjoyed watching the news more so than reading the newspaper but I loved them both nonetheless. I loved and still love ALMOST everything about the news. A great thing about our local news station WXYZ Channel 7 Action News which is an affiliate of ABC is that they are good at communicating with their audience beyond the television set.

Channel 7 has been my favorite news channel for a long time mainly because of the great Diana Lewis is also one of my personal mentors in the industry. They became my favorite when they launched their Facebook and Twitter pages. On those pages you can get up to the minute updates of the news happening in the Southeastern Michigan area narrowing in on the Metropolitan Detroit area.

Another cool feature is that you get to know your favorite personalities from the station on Twitter and Facebook. It is all so interactive and informing. I believe that Channel 7 has successfully created a human extension of their brand on the two largest social media websites in the world.

Viewers also get to use those pages as a soundboard for discussing some of the most of controversial news items of the day. The station also does live tweeting and chats during every single broadcast. This is most effective especially when they’re doing telethons for the Michigan Humane Society to try to get people to donate money and adopt animals.

I am a full participant of all things news on the internet be it CNN, MSNBC or the local Channel 7 Action WXYZ Detroit. I love the up to minute updates, I love being able to give my opinion on things and I love that I get to talk to some of my favorite news personalities. My mom would tell you that I’ve been a news junkie or newsy from infancy.

-Orlando P. Bailey

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140 Characters or Less!

  Chapter’s 8 and 9

There is nothing like saying what you’re doing, thinking, and how you’re feeling to the world in a matter of seconds. It’s a world that is created by us. Our world can be small or big depending on who we choose to follow and who we allow to follow us. Crafty is this social media world that we have to participate because when we want to say something, it has to be within 140 characters. Ladies and gentlemen– Twitter!

In the book Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web, author Brian Solis says, “Of all of the micro services available today, Twitter is by and large the leader.” (Solis 2011) To better understand Twitter as a micro service I want to define the term micro blog. Merriam-Webster defines it as: blogging done with severe space or size constraints typically by posting frequent brief messages about personal activities. Twitter virtually embodies that definition by forcing the blogger or tweeter to say what he or she wants to say in 140 characters or less.

Twitter has grown into so many things and has help innovate many areas in media, business, and marketing to reach the consumer in a more effective way. “…services such as Twitter represent a more approachable and usable gateway to social media than any of the networks serving as its predecessors.” (Solis 2011) Solis in my view is saying that Twitter has the ability to reach a lot of people in a less intimidating way.

Businesses have to be creative in crafting a message for their consumers because of the constraints of Twitter. If people are anything like me they don’t want to spend a lot of time reading blogs, messages, and articles that are too long. Twitter is the place where the consumer can the message in short fast paced way.

Brands and businesses have become pretty good at it too. “Twitter has single-handedly forced businesses to pay attention to online conversations on a mass, and growing, scale.” (Solis 2011) Most of the time when a business tweets, they are linking us to something else. That’s fine as long as whatever it is, is worth reading or watching.

In chapter 9, Solis tackled video broadcasting. We are living in the world of Youtube. Everyone has a phone with a video camera on it and can shoot footage and upload it to the internet within minutes. For me, I know I would like to watch a video than to read something. So if a company is smart they will link the consumer to a fun interactive video to stimulate interest and action. Solis summed what a viral video should be. “This is storytelling. This is entertainment. This is education.” (Solis 2011)

After reading chapter’s 8 and 9, I must say that Solis has done it again. His depth of knowledge and everyday practicality makes him a joy to read.

-Orlando P. Bailey

Cheerios or CheeriNO!

You ever get up in the morning with a taste for something specific? It can be eggs and bacon, fruit, or maybe a plain bagel with cream cheese. Well I woke up one morning ready to open up a brand new box of Honey Nut Cheerios that has been in my pantry for about a month. So I open up the box only to see that the cereal bag is ripped open! But I wasn’t angry yet.

So like the social media expert I’m becoming, I took to Twitter to ask a little over 200 followers of mine if its smart for me to eat some cereal that was ripped open. I got an overwhelming response from my followers telling me to not eat my favorite cereal because it’s just better to be safe than sorry. But I wasn’t angry yet.

Then I thought, hmm Honey Nut Cheerios and the Cheerios brand has been around for a long time and I am sure that General Mills cares a lot about their consumers. So in true fashion, I found Cheerios on Twitter and tweeted to them my dilemma and that I was not happy, expecting them to answer me quickly and to help resolve the problem. But I still wasn’t angry yet.

The day go by and I check my Twitter to see if Cheerios responded to me only to find out that they did not respond to me at all! NOW I’M ANGRY! I have been a customer of theirs ever since I was a kid and General Mills and the Cheerio brand didn’t think enough of me to at least answer a tweet. I am a firm believer that if you ignore a problem it’s only going to get worse. Cheerios made a huge mistake. It is definitely not my fault that my cereal was already open. As I looked at the Twitter page, they have not a lot of followers and only a few hundred tweets. At this point, I am NOT cheering for Cheerios.

-Orlando P. Bailey

Take a Photo, Share a Story!

    Social Media allows people, celebrities and companies to do so much to reach friends, fans, and consumers. As I often talk about, I believe that social media is the human extension of any brand, company, and celebrity. One of the cool features of social media that Brian Solis highlights in Chapter 6 in his book, Engage; The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web is the power of photo sharing. “Online photo sharing encourages views and interaction around images, transforming pictures into social objects.” (Solis 2011) There are certain stories that a photo can tell with a small caption that a speech or televised message could never get tell. Ever been on Facebook on a Sunday when everyone is coming down from the fun filled weekend? I have. Just by photos you can tell what club your friends went to, what they had to drink and even if they cut a rug or two on the dance floor.

It’s the same concept with companies and brands. Chapter 6 also dealt with networks and audiences. Smart companies know who their niche audience is and what networks they are a part of. Solis adds, “As pictures, as well as all forms of media, are social objects, the advantages that result from extended interaction and visibility far outweigh controlled distribution.”  There is a certain power that pictures have that no other form of media has. Pictures are so much easier to share and send. Solis draws examples from seeing pictures of CEOs and executives attending company fundraisers and parties. Seeing those kinds of pictures also help humanize the company which a lot of company’s lack these days.

In addition to pictures knowing how to get people to look at and share your pictures in key. Solis talks about social networks for social media networks also known as a social dashboard. Solis defines social dashboard as “a dedicated microsite either within an existing corporate website or hosted at a dedicated URL that aggregates the disparate corporate social profiles and media – presenting them in one visually rich, easy-to-navigate destination that promotes outside connectivity and onsite interaction.” I do have personal experience with social dashboards phenomenon. There was a site called Meebo and allowed me to connect to all my instant messengers at once. There was a time when I had a Facebook, Myspace, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, and America Online Instant Messenger. My computer became so slow trying to jumpstart every messaging system when I would boot it up. When I found Meebo, it allowed me to do it online and erase the messengers I installed that was slowing down my computer.

Once again I learned a lot from reading chapter 6 and 7. Solis has a way of making me see myself in what he says and gives practical tools that I can put into use right now!

-Orlando P. Bailey

For The Blog, By The Blog

    Having read chapter 4 of Brian Solis’ book Engage, I have concluded that blogging is a cultural phenomenon and an effective tool if done correctly. I like to think that blogging is the human extension of any brand. People don’t want to be bombarded with advertising and marketing when reading a blog but want to see and read a humanized piece of literature. Solis uses Ford Motor Company as an example, “Ford, for example, often introduces us to the people behind the story, allowing customers to make a human connection.” (Solis 2011)

In class we watched a video of Brian Solis interviewing Ford Executive, Jim Farley and Farley explained why it’s so important to get the human side of Ford out, whether its “Alan Mulally making a phone call to a new Ford customer” or “telling the story of a Ford dealer who has always sponsored a little league team in his community.” Solis stresses that this should be the essence of blogging. “Blogging for the sake of blogging, even with the best of intentions, is meaningless if the internal team cannot communicate an organized infrastructure.” (Solis 2011)

In addition to providing some insight to a company about extending the human side of their brand through blogging, Solis also offers advice for the regular person who may want to have and launch a successful blog. I have come to understand to have a successful blog with a loyal following; one would need to successfully be loyal to other blogs in the blogosphere. “Comments on other blogs are a form of both participation and unmarketing. Be sure to pay attention to relevant posts around the blogosphere and contribute relevant comments on both your blog and elsewhere.” (Solis 2011) When I read this I was really taken back. I have never thought to approach blogging this way. Of course everyone wants a successful blog with faithful readers, and now we have the key. We need to be the participator we want to see. This is a very unique way of marketing without sounding too generic on other social networking websites trying to get people to read what we write.

To be for the blog by the blog but to have a successful one there are some components that must be embodied. “What’s the cause? What’s the intent? How can we fill a void and, more importantly, how can we help solve problems? What should readers take away from the blog? Why should anyone link back to the blog?” Blogs are a valid piece of literature and media and should be substantiated in whatever subject matter of the writer’s choosing. If you’re a foodie writer, tell the readers why apple pie is good for them or not so good for them. Just an example. I believe a humanized blog is a blog that people care about, care to read and most importantly, care to engage.

-Orlando