Here We Go Again


Is anyone out there?

I won’t be upset if there isn’t. After all, it has been more than two years since my last post. But if by chance there is a reader sticking around, I want to say hi (!) and thanks.

I have to admit that this – my return to blogging and this blog in particular- has come as a surprise. This site was born as a school assignment and was supposed to end along with the class, slipping in line with countless other abandoned blogs and online projects. But I’ve hesitated to delete this site, periodically coming back to check the traffic and read old posts, and now I’ve worked up the courage to start writing again, this time without the class syllabus to provide structure and guidelines.

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Our food. Your questions. McDonald’s and harnassing the power of the social web


Whether you love or hate McDonald’s as a restaurant, it is difficult to deny that they’re doing an impressive job with their social media campaign. In addition to a well set-up and regularly maintained website and Facebook page, McDonald’s recently launched a program which allows users to submit questions to the fast-food giant online. According to the description in the header, McDonald’s will answer all questions about their food posted on the site and so far, there’s been a lot of interest.

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Lessons in Social Media: Food Trucks and the Toronto Street Food Project

Over the past few weeks, we’ve explored a number of issues in social media focusing on some of the most popular and available platforms, trying to understand the benefits of each. We’ve examined different social media tools, identifying their contributions to the field of public relations and discussed the merits of programs such as Twitter, Foursquare, and infographics. This week we’ll take a slightly different approach and instead of dissecting one particular platform, we’ll focus on how these technologies come together to build a comprehensive social media program using the Toronto Street Food Project/Toronto Food Trucks as our case study.

via Toronto Food Trucks

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Foursquare and its role in public relations

The idea of somebody or something- an organization, company, etc.- monitoring all my interactions has always been a concern of mine. Ten years ago, the thought of sharing my personal information online was unfathomable. But then came the rise of social media and Facebook, a place where you could find people and all their information because it had been supplied, willingly, by the users themselves. At first, Facebook seemed scary but eventually it intrigued me, and now, I find myself logging in at least once every few days. For me, I was willing to hand over my personal information in order to stay in touch with friends and family around the world, sharing videos and photos, sending messages, and so forth. What this demonstrates is that there is the potential to get users such as myself, who are concerned with privacy, to start using social media. The key, is making it worthwhile. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or my blog, I will engage with select forms of social media because it adds value. This however, is not the case for Foursquare, an application that “helps you and your friends make the most of where you are,” at least not for me.

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Caine’s Arcade: Things we know and lessons we can learn

Most of us, whether casual observers or active users are aware of the impact and influence of the social web. If we look at the numbers- 955 million active Facebook members, 500 million Twitter accounts, 100 million Instagram users, etc.- it’s clear to see that people are signing-up and signing-on to social media. All of this is fairly impressive, especially when you consider Facebook, arguably one of the most prominent leaders in social networking, wasn’t even launched until 2004. The social web has certainly come along way in recent years. But the influence of the social web isn’t measure strictly in numbers; it’s also the ways in which we engage with these technologies.

Social media platforms have given individuals the opportunity to share and discuss issues on a grander scale. People like you and I now have the opportunity to broadcast our thoughts, ideas, and opinions to networks that extend beyond family, friends, co-workers and colleagues, potentially even reaching a global audience, all in an accessible low-cost manner.  This pervasiveness is apparent to many users, most of all marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals who are forever trying to find new and effective ways to communicate with their audience. With these social networking technologies, public relations professionals and the organizations they represent are engaging with their audiences across various platforms with the aim of building and strengthening their relationships, while also (ideally) enhancing their corporate brand and reputation.

However, with usage increases comes the addition of more voices, opinions, pitches, and ideas, and we run the risk of experiencing social media fatigue. This can be problematic from the perspective of both social media producers and consumers because suddenly the outlets that once allowed us to speak freely become muddled. But as with most things, there is a solution: patience, commitment, and creativity, which is why I’d like to turn your attention to Caine’s Arcade (video below).

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.


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