Leave No Trace Behind but a Facebook Photo #trailheadselfie

by Heather Kallevigcropped-cropped-dsc010772.jpg

 

It’s the age of the selfie – we’ve all done it. There’s no one else there take to you’re your photo, so you snap a quick shot with a little bit of scenery behind. What if someone told you a selfie could save your life? Search and rescue teams are now asking hikers, bikers, skiers, and all other outdoor enthusiasts to post a selfie.

Search-and-rescue squads’ main work is out of doors. These altruistic individuals risk life and limb to aid fellow outdoor enthusiasts, but many are turning to the value of social media. Not as a marketing tool, but as a new innovative rescue strategy. Search-and-rescue volunteers across the country are asking people to take what they call a “Trailhead Selfie” and post it on your social media platforms using #trailheadselfie.

A few things to think of when taking your trailhead selfie:

  1. If you know you won’t have service at the trailhead, post before you go.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use several platforms, particularly Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  3. After posting your photo, shut off your phone to conserve battery – this also reduces technical distractions during your wilderness time.
  4. Make sure the selfie shows what you’re wearing, the trailhead location, and anyone with you. If this doesn’t fit in your photo, add it to your description.

It can be a bit intimidating setting off in a new location, especially if your new to an area or enjoy hiking alone. While snapping a #trailheadselfie does not ensure your safety, it is a useful application for our phones and social media. Just remember to be smart, be safe, and most importantly ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

“The mountains are calling and I must go…”

John Muir

#trailheadselfie

#resurrectionpass

Genius – Facebook Quizzes Lead Viewers to Advertisers

Genius – Facebook Quizzes Lead Viewers to Advertisers

A recent blog post opened my eyes to a new method of advertising – releasing Facebook quizzes to lead readers to your company.

In Jeff Bullas’ 6 Great Examples of Facebook Quiz Marketing, he explains how the popular Personality Quizzes found on Facebook can be a useful marketing tool. For example, if you’re a florist, post a quiz on “What kind of flower is your girlfriend?” When the quiz is completed, have your add pop up, maybe the person who took the quiz will then order flowers. Possibly a more tantalizing quiz, “What kind of shoe are you?” Tell them what kind of shoe their personality points to, then follow up with an add for your shoe company which just happens to have the very shoe the quiz pointed them to. The unwitting consumer may think its fate and purchase said shoe.

How to create a Facebook quiz*Picture from Jeff Bulla’s Post

Genius.. Why didn’t I think of that?

Exploring New Realms of Technology

Exploring new realms of technology

This semester has been one of discovery, investigation, and sometimes technological frustration and discomfort. I have always considered myself to be fairly tech-savvy in my own way, but for the past five years I have focused entirely on education technology. I focused on new tools to wield in my classroom for efficiency and student experience. Now I have new goals and am exploring new forms of technology.

This semester my focus has been social media, and new platforms. Previously I was experienced with the social uses of Facebook and Pinterest. I had Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, but I never used them. In the past semester, I have been using them frequently and find them to be more satisfying. My social base is more academic and professional, and therefore my satisfying. I have also been exploring blogging, a new outlet for my ideas and writing. This has been a very satisfying experience – one I intend to continue once the semester is over. The other area I’ve been exploring is web page design. This has been an exciting and heartbreaking practice at the same time – said emotions depending on whether or not the technology and I are cooperating.

I’ve found the new forms of technology rich and satisfying – often more for the hard work they can require. I look forward to targeting new technologies over Christmas break and next semester as I continue on with future plans – my next blog will explain more…

Tata for now!

A Topic Worth Discussing – Contemplative Computing: An Introduction

by Heather Kallevig

 Photo By lee Scott

Social media becomes more widespread every day, attracting increasing numbers of users while individual users increase their personal attachment using more than one platform at a time. I myself use six – Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and WordPress blogging. Maintaining six profiles with different cultures, languages, and expectations can be daunting. There are times when the last thing I want to do is look at my computer screen. I often take breaks from my computer, cell phone, and/or iPad through recreation. My favorite method is getting outdoors; on extended camping trips, I won’t have access to my accounts for several days. I avoid screens while I walk, run, or practice my photography outside. Indoors yoga keeps me balanced, as does reading a book, or simple activity-free relaxation.

By using these methods for recreation and relaxation, I am able to use my devices purposefully. When I use my computer, it is not generally for entertainment or to simply “zone out.” It is to complete a task, write a paper, connect with friends and family, find a recipe, etc. There are times where I am finding a movie, or relaxing on Pinterest, but I am not what I would consider addicted. I can survive happily without my devices, and I have many other options to entertain and enjoy.

Photo By Jonathan Velasquez

I wasn’t always this way. There was a time not so long ago when my day was propelled from one place to the next by the constant motion of devices and technology – whether I was checking my Facebook first thing in the morning, sitting at my computer aimlessly shopping during my free time, or checking my work e-mail throughout the evening. There was always a device in control. Today, I am in control of my technology. I practice contemplative computing.

Contemplative computing refers to “the use of technology to improve concentration and flow in a world where technology often interrupts concentration and inhibits flow.” Alex Pang considers contemplative computing to be a self-fulfilled process. It’s something we learn to do until it becomes habit. In our technology-driven world, it doesn’t always come naturally. People must avoid distraction addiction – the feeling of need to be constantly entertained or ‘distracted’ by our technology.

Distraction addiction and contemplative computing are becoming popular topics in the world of research. My next two blog posts will examine two articles in this area published in 2014. In the first article, Developing Habits with Social Media: Theorizing the Cycle of Overuse and Taking Breaks, Sarita Schoenbeck examines how distraction addiction has reached such a level that people tend to feel overwhelmed and incapable of controlling their impulses for technology – therefore they must take long-standing self-enforced breaks. The author of this article examines the reason behind this. My second article, Technology Distraction and the learning Environment by Andy Griffin examines the impact technology is having on our learning environments and how educators should respond.

I hope you return to view these articles and perhaps begin your own journey with contemplative computing if you haven’t already done so.

How Social Media has Changed Activism – A look at the benefits of online collective activism

by Heather Kallevig

Image from the-platform.org.uk

One of the greatest problems historically hounding Nonprofits has been marketing. How can an organization with very little funds and a meager budget ever hope to effectively advertise? Traditionally methods included word of mouth, fliers, conventional media – radio, TV, newspapers, etc. These past techniques required a great deal of legwork and hours to maintain. They often required funds, which could be controversial. Many frowned upon a company, whose sole purpose is to raise money toward a cause, using any of those donated funds to advertise. These were difficult days for our idealist world-changers.

Today, thanks to the social Internet, information and communication technologies (ICTs), nonprofits are discovering new techniques and opportunities for voicing their cause. These new technologies are transforming the ways people interact and share information online. Social technology in the form of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and content-sharing websites (Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr) are the new platforms for online collective activism. Nonprofits can effectively use these platforms to reach vast numbers of people using e-word of mouth through likes, sharing, comments, e-mail, etc. Information sharing that used to take work for all involved, from the creators, to the sharers, to the receivers, is now as easy as the click of a mouse and a few short words – maybe even 140 characters.

Activism on the technology level is faster and easier than ever before, allowing more people to get involved, and increasing the spread of ideas to a rapidity never before witnessed. For nonprofits this is beneficial. The recent icebucket challenge by the ALS association is a great example. A seemingly silly idea went viral and everyone from children to celebrities was getting involved, either donating and/or letting someone drop an ice-cold bucket of water over their head. I myself was a participant.

Videos, pictures, stories, and events can be used to rapidly gain the attention of millions. Hope for Paws, a small animal rescue in Los Angeles, California gained national attention when their happy ending videos went viral. This small organization has gained much-needed funds and become a sort of mentor for other similar organizations. Here’s a video of one of their rescues.

Social media can also be used to raise awareness and gain support. According to Stacy Grau in her book, Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, Water.org uses social media to raise awareness, raise funds, and enable participation by allowing interested parties to follow a project from start to finish. This encourages interest, donation, and participation.  Little do people know this organization was actually co-founded by Matt Damon.

If a small organization wants to increase their online presence, there are a few small things they can do. First, they can easily maintain a website through wordpress or weebly. Second, hire or engage a volunteer to maintain their various social media platforms. Maintaining an online presence does require regular interaction and frequent posts, so this is where volunteers and the online collective activism can be utilized. Finding supporters to maintain Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube content is essential. The webpage is equally important. If an organization has the funds and spread they can hire a social media manager for $400-800 a month depending on their requirements.

The social Internet can help nonprofits grow by increasing awareness and knowledge. Thanks to the advent of social media, nonprofit marketing is reaching new levels, allowing the opportunity for growth never seen before. They can reach out to people who may not have been in their circuit with traditional activism. It will be interesting to see how this impacts organizations over the next few years as they create, maintain, and grow their online presence.

Resources:

Grau, S. (2014). Marketing for nonprofit organizations: Insights and innovation. Chicago, Ill.: Lyceum Books.

Lee, Y., & Hsieh, G. (2013). Does Slacktivism Hurt Activism: The effects of moral balancing and consistency in online activism. CHI 2013: Changing Perspectives, Paris, France, Crowds and Activism.

Yuce, S., Agarwal, Wigand, Lim, & Robinson. (2014). Studying the Evolution of Online Collective Action: Saudi Arabia Women’s ‘Oct26Driving’ Twitter Campaign.

Giving your Attention in a World of Distraction

by Heather Kallevig

How many people roll over in bed to the alarm on their cell phone, turn it off, and immediately begin browsing their apps – e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? They lie there feeding themselves with new information – good or bad – and prepare for the day. Before they know it 30 minutes have passed, and time that could have been spent restfully awakening, drinking coffee, and welcoming in the day have turned into running late, a news-inflicted bad mood, and a rush through the morning.

I can describe this happenstance because I used to be one of these people. My day was interrupted at regular intervals by my phone whether it was to check my work e-mail or to spend 30 valuable minutes on Facebook or Pinterest. I had lost those quiet, blissful moments when it was ok to not look at your phone but to just stare blankly into the void. When did we get so uncomfortable not being entertained at all times? The issue has reached such an extreme that many people admit to requiring their phone as entertainment even in the bathroom!

To be honest, I cannot put my finger on a specific day or event that brought about my change. It was just a gradual realization of the stress my phone created. Rather than feeling a brain at peace, I felt the heaping of information creating scrambled eggs of my already full mind. It began perhaps with mornings. Rather than greeting my husband and the eager welcome of two wriggling dogs, I was lying in bed looking at my phone. That was the first thing to go. I think Grad school has also made a difference. I no longer have the expendable time to waste on Facebook. Sometimes I miss it, but other times I am more thankful for the time spent building ideas or on brain breaks. I feel happier and more intellectually satisfied.

A book that was introduced to me recently – “A Distraction Addiciton” – supports the idea that we need to disconnect from our device distraction. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far, and would recommend checking it out!  Click on the book below to see the author’s website.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

by Heather Kallevig

 

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Without any background knowledge this phrase can elicit a variety of responses, fear, questioning, incredulity, acquiescence, enthusiasm. To be honest, I experienced a milieu of these feelings myself when I first saw the phrase prior to watching “The Machine is Us/ing Us” posted on Youtube by Michael Wesch. Though this film does not have Web 2.0 in the title, it is essentially a description of the way Web 2.0 has changed how the Internet is used today.

The Age of Taxonomy

The Internet is no longer a tool, created and operated through the labors of a few for the use of many. This is a description of the past world I visualize when I consider Web 1.0. This is a relegated idea, where web creators had the sole ability to change a web page, alter content, add information, and tag data. This is the Age of the Taxonomy. Experts tried to visualize what web users wanted and worked to meet those demands. They created tags, were in charge of changing and updating web pages, and users primarily looked at the information. The ideas, pages, and tags of these experts inhibited users. They were boxed in by the taxonomy. Today we see a very different world.

The Age of Folksonomy, User-Generated Content, & Harnessing Collective Intelligence

https://i0.wp.com/unsplash.imgix.net/45/ZLSw0SXxThSrkXRIiCdT_DSC_0345.jpg?resize=267%2C180&ssl=1

With the ushering in of the Web 2.0 era, we have seen a dramatic change. Today it is no longer the few, but the many who are updating the web, and we are doing it a thousand miles a minute. Web 2.0 tools need regularly updated ideas, photos, and experiences to succeed. Thus they depend on user-generated content to grow. Wikipedia is one of the most effective examples of Web 2.0 success. When the platform was first presented, most people scoffed, saying it was impossible to maintain an academic page where anyone and everyone could contribute. “They will virtual-vandalize it and add inaccurate information, accidentally or on purpose.” Ignoring these critics, succeed it did, and proved that Web 2.0 tools were not only possible, but very effective. Today we have a regularly updated massive encyclopedia that all may access for research or to contribute facts. Mind you, it is still necessary to have those few – moderators who can monitor user-generated content – but it is more effective to have a small group of moderators than it is to have a small group of creators.

Harnessing collective intelligence is one of the seven necessary components of Web 2.0 tools outlined by Tim O’Reilly, a supporter of the Web 2.0 movement and an expert on the subject (O’Reilly, 2005). Collective intelligence is the result of having umpteen users working on a tool. With Web 2.0, we can have people from all over the world exploring one idea at the same time. The contribution possibilities are greater, the information more varied and valuable.

We are in a world where authorship is allowed and everyone has the opportunity to contribute his or her ideas. The more ideas shared, the stronger a program becomes. The goal of Web 2.0 is to “harness collective intelligence,” to employ the ideas of many contributors. A good example of this is Tripadvisor. This website relies entirely on its members to update their profiles with reviews of the different places they visit on their travels. Without these users, they would have a barebones website, full of the opinions of a small group of travel writers. By harnessing collective intelligience, however, they are able to source a much larger crowd and meet the needs of a massive group of readers. Today Tripadvisor has more than 4 million members exceeding 170 million reviews (Tripadvisor.com). I would know, I am one of them and find the service both a valuable travel tool and a fun form of authorship.

Authorship

Photo By Patrik Goethe

One of the greatest offerings of Web 2.0 tools is the opportunity for authoring. This can occur in Wikipedia and Tripadvisor listed above, or in many other forms of social media, blogs, facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. According to Andrew McAfee in Enterprise 2.0, the inventor of wiki blogs, Ward Cunningham, wanted blogs to allow that authoring opportunity.

“Most people have something to contribute whether it’s knowledge, insight, experience, a fact, an edit, a link, and so on, and authorship is a way to elicit these contributions” (McAfee, 2006)

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Web 2.0 is a power tool that needs that interaction and contribution of its users. It is using us – we make it smarter, more powerful, and the web is developed based on our information. By virtue of doing what we do, the machine becomes smarter. The beauty of web 2.0 is it brings us together, gives us ownership, and learns from us. People are sharing, trading, collaborating. Web 2.0 has opened a wonderful world where everyone’s contribution is important.

Photo By Aleksi Tappura

References:

McAfee, A. (2006). Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn Of Emergent Collaboration. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 47(3), 38-38.

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. O’Reilly.

Developing Your Online Identity

by Heather Kallevig

Though the Internet was around for nearly 20 years before I was born, the World Wide Web and I are nearly the same age. Thus, in my lifetime I have seen the availability of the Internet grow from something used only by businesses, to education, to the first computer my family owned – an Apple SE computer. In elementary school we played games like the Oregon Trail and Number Munchers. When I was in fifth grade we would go to the school’s basement computer lab for our first Internet lessons. By the time I was in middle school we began computer classes in which we learned typing skills for which I am especially thankful. When I was 13 my eldest sister helped me set up my first e-mail address. I would sit at the computer chatting with my friends on ICQ, reading a book while pages loaded on our dial up Internet, and praying nobody would pick up the phone and kick me off-line. By high school I was toying with MSN messenger and had purchased my first Dell Inspirion. It gave me 6 faithful years before I killed it with viruses, but in that time helped me build my first MySpace and Facebook pages. The beat goes on as I march through my relationship with the World Wide Web.

Today I continue to grow as a user, and I hope I use the Internet with more purpose and scope.   I am now in the process of building my online identity. Through social media, networking, and online news, we have a persona beyond what we share in person, or on paper, and this new forum is more available to our world of viewers. We have had shared readings in class discussing social media and your online presence. They have been very informative, but one has resonated with me more than the others. Online Identity Management for Engineering and Technology Students by Vorvoreanu, Clark, and Boisvenue gives a step-by-step plan for building online literacy and increasing your professional online identity. In the next few months I intend to build my online presence professionally by following their guidelines, specifically:

  1. Create professional online content.
    1. Building a tech blog, personal blog, and non-profit pages
    2. Following blogs in my areas of interest – tech, social media, non-profit
    3. Commenting on other blogs, tweets, and sharing professional information
    4. Scope out live and virtual conferences to attend
  2. Optimize professional content for social media.
    1. Create Twitter page for professional content only
    2. Update and improve Linkedin page
  3. Develop and maintain a professional online network.
    1. Again, commenting on other blogs, tweets, feeds, etc.
    2. Participating in ongoing conversations in my field
  4. Maintain and monitor online presence.
    1. Actively revamp blog, social media profiles, webpage, google page, and personal portfolio