Hack, Hack, Hack…

Everywhere you look from business to entertainment there are stories of pictures, databases, and credit cards being hacked. Some examples:

There are two kinds of big companies in the U.S. …those who have been hacked by the Chinese, and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.” FBI director Jamey Comey

Private nude photos of celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Amber Heard and Gabrielle Union were leaked onto sites 4Chan and Reddit.  These followed an August hack in which nude photos of Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence and others were leaked.

Dairy Queen has become the latest major company hit by a data breach. A malware known as  ‘Backoff’ –  the same responsible for the major Target data breach – was found in the computer systems of Dairy Queens across seven states. 

So for me personally, I have maintained the idea that no information is safe.  I am reluctant to use credit cards are restaurants, do not shop online, and keep personal photos off of my iCloud.  How do businesses combat this latest influx of technology breaches?  Is security really just an illusion, even on “private social networks”?

Is the “Snappening” Era upon us?


The Replacement Era

Put down your pens and paper because technology is taking over.  This is nothing new to think about; gone are the days where the written word is actually the written word.  We know that emails outnumber handwritten letters and the Google search has replaced trips to the library.  However, there are other aspects in technology that has changed the way in which we document and communicate.

When I started with the company I currently work for in 2006 we printed everything.  Proposals were sent in the mail, documents required pen signatures, and contract negotiations required everyone involved to be in the same room at the same time.  With the growth of email, online and websharing sites, and video conferencing, businesses have evolved and technology has created a sense of locality across the world.  What I knew in 2006 has been replaced with what is new and what is emerging.

Here are some examples of how technology is replacing traditional means of documentation/communication:

  • Facebook picture albums have replaced touchable photo albums.
  • Game applications have replaced board games – for kids and adults alike.
  • Interactive maps on Smartphones have replaced paper maps and the need for directions.
  • Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds have replaced journals and diaries.

Apps are taking over and the way in which we share and store information is forever changed.  I recently heard about a baby journaling app that creates your baby book for you based on information that you send through text messages.  You set up your account and log in periodically, but for the most part all you have to do is respond to a text chronicling what your child did that day and a year from now you can have an entire yearbook of your baby’s milestones, pictures included.

So is this replacement era a bad thing…for US Mail and paper companies, probably yes.  For tech users who like instant updates, easy access to information, and sharing information with friends, absolutely no.  Where do you stand in replacing the old with the new?

Since when did football stand for crisis management?

Given the extreme, off-the-field antics college and professional football players have participated in recently, it should be a necessity that coaches, administrators, team owners, managers, spokes-persons and commissioners have a crisis management system (and a good one) in place. It’s becoming apparent that understanding how to deal with these issues and the negative backlash might come in more handy than knowing the actual rules of the game. As the domestic violence cases in the NFL are slowly drifting away from the lime light, Florida State quarterback, and Heisman trophy winner, Jameis Winston aggravates that fresh wound by drawing more negative attention for his obscene (and just seriously immature) action in his school’s student union that earned him a full-game suspension. Florida State’s initial ½ game suspension received much criticism before the team agreed to bench Winston for the entire game vs Clemson. Player antics are nothing new, but in the wake of domestic abuse cases, fans aren’t quick to forgive and forget. Even the most faithful fan understands that these actions deserve consequence and they are pushing administrations to take responsibility, handle it and communicate such with accuracy and consistently.

So what does this mean for emerging media?  Not only do football teams have to deal with media scrutiny on a local level (hello traditional newspaper) but really on a national level.  Sure news would have traveled on campus of Winston’s tirade and there would have been consequences, but since the video went viral, the University was forced to hand out a severe consequences in the wake of the backlash with other aforementioned dramas.  Social media = social sharing = social problems.

Spread the Word

Ten years ago when a news story broke the ripple effect was slow and marginal. People had to stay glued to their television sets to see the story unfold, and although that did happen for some stories, the effect was not instant and typically not significant. Today, however, with social media any story can unfold rapidly and widespread so that any story can seem local but prodigious.

Here are some examples of stories that spread like wildfire through social media:



Ice Bucket Challenge


Bin Laden Killed


The real story behind these numbers is the “so what”. In the instance of the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, over $100 million has been raised for the ALS Association. Because of social media the ALS Association has seen a 3,500% increase from fundraising dollars last year.

ice 2

This is of course for good; however the power of social media can have a negative effect. Consider the Ray Rice story. Had the video of him and his wife not surfaces and spread like wildfire across social media, the NFL may not have had to take such explicit repercussions. Personal opinions about the topic surely swayed the decision of the NFL to take disciplinary action. Everyone now has an opinion of the subject, and the NFL will remain under fire in these types of situations if the public does not feel they are taking the necessary actions. For further information on this story check out #whyistayed on any social media outlets.

Microsoft iPa…I mean Surface

Microsoft’s Surface Tablet appears to be a great product.  It has all the makings of a tech phenom; high processing power, ample storage, a sleek design with detachable keyboard.  The NFL even took notice and has made the Surface the official tablet of the NFL. They are paying a pretty penny for it as well, in the upwards of $300 Million.  With this connection and visibility during the NFL season, Microsoft hopes to cash in.

The problem is the competitor of the Microsoft surface is the iPad, and the announcers can’t seem to remember that the two are not interchangeable.  The iPad name itself has become synonymous with the tablet so that people just refer to any tablet as an iPad ( Kind of like the band-aid, which is actually the brand name and not the name of the item being used).  Case in point…


Placing products in movies, tv shows, etc. is nothing new.  We’ve all seen Reese’s Pieces in E.T. and Coca Cola on American Idol, but the NFL’s use of the product’s technology  in real time is a special deal.  If they can combat the name game and put the Surface on display, will it then be able to compete with the tech giant iPad and make a “name” for itself?


In 2007 Twitter launched the idea of the hashtag (#) whick groups a word of group of word into searchable topics.  On Twitter the # is a searchable link which takes you to other tweets about the same topic.  For example if you were watching the Emmy Awards you could search #Emmys to see what others are saying about the show.  Other socials media platforms also use it as a way to contribute to a trending topic.  This is an illustration of the platform, including Twitter that utilize hashtags:

Pinterest: Search for topics and boards

Google+:  Clicking on a hashtag create a websearch for that topic.  It allows you to search the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tumbler: Use a hashtag to include yous post with those of the same topic.

Facebook:  Group posts into topics with other users.

Instagram:  Post a pic showing a particular topic i.e. #beachdays

Social Media Icons


Hashtags are fun and great for personal use, but how can they benefit your business?  Here are a few ways:

1.  Promote a campaign #eatmorechikn

2. Generate buzz #ALSicebucketchallenge

3. Help users search your business #goodcupcakes

4. Stay relevant #2016election

#haveyouhashtagged #emergingmedia #wvuimc2014



Popularity Growth


To expand on my last blog about Jimmy Fallon, here are some items to consider:

NEW YORK — Aug. 21, 2014 — “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” has reported its top ratings results in nine weeks. Averaging a 1.14 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.002 million viewers overall for the week of Aug. 11-15, “Tonight” earned its top marks in both categories since the week of June 9-13.

Every week, Fallon challenges his eight Twitter million followers to come up with ideas based on games he creates (e.g., #howigotfired, #awkwarddate). These bits become global trending topics, some in as quickly as twelve minutes.

Ed Bark of CNN has this to say about Fallon“…if this indeed is Fallon’s time, it may be in large part because we live in very different times. The Internet-driven “social media” didn’t exist during Carson’s storied 30-year reign. He simply had to deliver a conventional TV audience. He did so year after year against a variety of competitors in a much less crowded late-night field.”

This graph represents Google search hits.