Archive for August, 2012

Multi-Generation

I recently interviewed an older member of the Baby Boomer generation to get an idea of their outlook on social networking and its place in business and culture today. First off we both share very different outlooks on today’s world, but under fundamental lenses we share the same opinions. On the other hand, this boomer is very reluctant to embrace social networking, whereas I am a fan of modern innovative communication practices. Generation Y’ers, like myself, have grown with technology throughout our lives; where we evolve right along with new mediums of connection in order to keep up with those around us. Boomers have lived through an evolving world as well, but technology did not burst onto the scene until the near end of their careers. In communicating, my generation tends to prefer messaging and getting straight to the point to not waste time. Now although no generation enjoys wasting time, it was clear after the interview that boomers prefer speaking over messaging and this seems to be associated with their traditionalist mindset of “that’s how we always did things”. This seems to be the overall theme of why boomers have not embraced social media as quickly or at all compared to younger generations, who generally use more than one social networking platform.

Boomers seem to be very reluctant to even get online because they went most of their lives without using this new technology; as businesses embraced email communication it became necessary for these boomers to get online to utilize email between fellow employees and employers. I feel that as these boomers remain in their careers, they must also start using social networking, because the workplace is generally a multi-generational zone and boomers might not want to feel left out. It would be reasonable to assume that boomers who have not taken to social networking most likely retired before the networking boom of the new millennium. My interview with this retired boomer revealed a consistent theme over social networking views of older generations.

TABLE: Personal and Lifestyle Characteristics by Generation (If you cannot read this image e-mail maxon@fdu.edu to receive a print edition of FDU Magazine)

1.How do you feel about social networking? 2. Is it useful? 3. How has it affected your life?

  1. “I don’t really understand the need for social networks when we have email for communicating online.”
  2. “Sharing photos seems to work well, but I don’t get too much out of it.”
  3. “I see more pictures of my grandchildren, but I rarely use it while online so it hasn’t really affected me.”

As you can see from these couple of questions, this boomer is very reluctant to try new methods of communication over the traditional outlets of the past. The interview revealed that their general internet uses were for paying bills, checking email and logistical reasons (directions, airline tickets, etc…). After watching the interviewee use the internet and Facebook, my assumption is that they simply have not used the internet enough. They seem to be very uncomfortable with clicking; worried that what they click might lead to a virus or some link that they do not want. It seems that as comfortable as my generation is with new technology and internet, older generations are timid with new innovations that involve actions in a virtual world that they cannot touch or open with their hands. The more these boomers use the internet, the more they will become comfortable with the virtual world ahead of us all.

Generally, the best way to reach older boomers is to send an email that gets straight to the point, while the best way to reach generation Y (my generation), from my experience, is to use a social networking platform, such as Facebook. When you use these platforms you’re alerted via email as well; effectively killing two birds with one stone.

Online/Offline Media

Random House, a book publishing company, has created a very interesting way to get young fans of books connected through an online community, which will most likely lead to an increase in customer loyalty or sales for the company. Random Buzzers allows writers and readers to share their favorite books, find reviews, chat with authors, win books and so much more.

Online, the site is composed of a vast amount of activities, which will earn registered users “Buzz Bucks”. Buzz bucks are an online currency created by the site to encourage users to engage in polls, quizzes, reviews, galleries and inviting others to join. These Buzz Bucks are used to purchase items, that have to do with literature, on the site’s store. The site also features regular contests that result in winners receiving new books and forums for discussions as well. All of this takes place among a vast network of “friends” ranking in different “levels” determined by the “Buzz Bloggers” who determine levels based on activity.

These activities, earnings, rankings and connections encourage users to engage with the site and hopefully bring about new literature fans and customers. Random Buzzers also allows connections through Facebook and Twitter accounts so users can spread the word and stay even more updated with the comings and goings of the site. Buzzers are also given information on authors speaking events and book signings and will update users with their favorite authors locations and actions. These events and items delivered by the site give users an offline experience that will strengthen their relationship with the network.

Random Buzzers has been very successful in engaging users with various online activities, real world events, and connection with like-minded youth. The site has also encouraged buzzers to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook with buttons and apps that will hopefully get others on board.

In order to further engage young readers outside of the online community, Random Buzzers could partner with schools to further encourage active readers. Instructors might use Buzz Bucks to reward good behavior, correct answers and good grades, where students could spend the bucks on items at school or in the shop online.  This would further spread the network of Random Buzzers and could get young students more interested in reading to keep up with what’s going on in school and online.

Video Statement

If there is one function that social media can contribute to this ever-changing world, it is transparency. Posting videos to social networks have shined a light on many unethical and unlawful situations world-wide. These social movements have garnered serious questions about government and corporate transparency, with various outcomes, such as employee accountability to revolution in certain situations. Adding video to social media helps effectively spread the message of a movement and can provide real life examples of success, failure, service and atrocities. Transparency laws might be the only possible counter to this social media strategy. If videos are subject to removal over the internet, it will not only hurt the efforts of social media campaigns, but also send a blow to transparency; a right that all citizens should stand firm in support of

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Seattle Police Pepper Spray 84-Year-Old Activist, Priest, Pregnant Woman, Among Others

Social Media and Transparency: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD28DBGQJsg

Transparency and the Environment (Article): http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/will-transparency-curb-carbon-emissions-if-cap-and-trade-fails.html

Transparency and War (WikiLeaks): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-oeJHHlK5k

Bradley Manning and War Crimes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBlMlDUgO8s

Egypt’s Revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqHPRHOHcN8

Peacefully Assembled Protesters Assaulted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nws2ha8AuE

Corporate Social Responsibility: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2011/10/31/social-media-means-transparency-into-corporate-social-responsibility/

Core Values and Transparency: http://socialmediatoday.com/node/547671

These video clips and articles give a small insight to the reporting that individual citizens and social campaigns can now administer through various internet forums. As long as the internet remains open and uncensored, the powers that be cannot stop the spreading of information.

A Mayor’s Challenge

 

nashille mayors workplace challenge e1340663041379 Home

I happened to see this while looking at fitdesk.net. It looks like Nashville’s mayor is challenging his cities’ businesses and organizations to lend a hand in the “livability” of Nashville. This challenge includes promoting volunteering for the community, green up offices and workplaces and fostering a healthy workplace while encouraging healthy living.

involved logohealthy logogreen logo

This kind of encouragement should be practiced by every city nationwide. What am I saying, they should be encourage worldwide! Thank you Mayor Karl Dean for this inspirational endeavor.      http://mayorsworkplacechallenge.com/default.aspx

Fitdesk

If only there were a way to support battery life while pedaling…

Fitdesk

http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2012/08/09/lose-weight-while-working-with-the-fitdesk/