Tag Archives: Facebook

Politics 2.0

3 Nov

In class this week, we spoke about the growing trend that involves using social media to campaign during a political election. Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 Presidential Election was defining for a number of reasons, one of which was his heavy usage of sites like Facebook and Twitter to mass-project messages and promises to his supporters. Obama’s constant stream of updates on social media outlets humanized him in a sense, and allowed citizens to feel more connected. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it brought him closer to the Y-Generation, voters born in the early 1980s and later, who turned out and voted in record breaking numbers. Through his dedication to sites such as these, as well as personalized websites like MyBarackObama.com, Obama was able to project more than just a candidacy in the election – he was able to create a brand. Equally as important as maintaining these outlets of communication was his pledge to continue connecting with his supporters via these means after his victory in the election.

Our class discussion allowed me to think about the relevance of social media in other countries in political and economical hot spots in today’s world. For example, with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou surprisingly calling for a referendum on the approved international bailout package, a move made Papandreou contests, to look out for the people’s interests, I am left wondering if Papandreou’s stance would possibly change had he been continuously connected with his country’s people via tools such as Twitter or Facebook. Would he have come to a different conclusion? Would he have heard more directly from some of the people who are unemployed, have recently lost their jobs, or are calling for his resignation in the streets? Would any of it had mattered? Yes, there are more questions than answers to this rather irrelevant question, but the premise remains interesting: in a country filled with all sorts of turmoil, could a political leader’s use of Twitter or Facebook affect public opinion? Positively? Negatively?

The Influence of Steve Jobs and Apple

10 Oct

Our childhood has seen some pretty drastic and continuous technological changes. I remember the introduction of the desktop computer into my academic career sometime in the 3rd or 4th grade – it was met with awe by all my classmates… and I’m talking about the old, quite intimidating machines that would garner nothing more than a chuckle and scoff today. Slowly, our view of computers changed from a convenient addition to a necessary tool, filled with constantly evolving applications, capabilities, and advances. The more that computers changed, the more that my generation became addicted to them. The more that they changed, the more that we relied on them for everything from academic work to games to social interaction. By the time the year 2011 hit, computers controlled pretty much every aspect of our social and academic lives, and ‘Steve Jobs’ was a household name, much like his revolutionary company, Apple. The changes in technology are so drastic, that I believe we would look back at the state of the technological world a mere two years before and be amazed that we were even able to function without what we have today (repeating this process for every two year period).

One of the amazing things about Apple is that the company makes one realize how seemingly impossible life is without it. Quick example? As I write this post, frustratingly cursing at some provided computer that would bring the words, ‘junk,’ ‘garbage,’ and ‘snail’s pace,’ to mind, I cannot help but think of how I usually write blog posts, since it has become somewhat of a routine: I lie in bed, take out my MacBook Pro, plug my headphones into my iPod, and begin typing away. Should someone happen to contact me while I am working, my iPhone would buzz on the table next to me. Sure, that sounds like a commercial for Apple, but it’s just become a fact: life is easier with Apple and all of its products. Some would even say that life is impossible without them!

In class we have discussed the revolutionary ways in which people are able to communicate and interact with one another via the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs: All these powerful tools of speech are virtually embedded with Apple and Steve Jobs’ creations. Whether it’s tweeting on an iPhone or facebooking on a MacBook, Apple and its co-founder have managed to permanently wield its way into our lives at a startling pace.

Finally, much is made of the remarkable way in which Steve Jobs used to present his company’s products. Jobs paces on a stage, using heavy body language and animated gestures to showcase the capabilities of his newest genius creations. Jobs’ presentation style speaks to the philosophy of Apple: engaging the audience and making them believe that life with Apple is necessary for all. There is now an entire way of presenting known as the Steve Jobs way!

With the tragic passing of Jobs last week, all we can do is try to begin to understand just how much one man influenced everything we know about technology today, and how much his products will continue to evolve and amaze, causing us to question how we could have ever lived without them…

Social Networking Progress

4 Oct

 

After last week’s discussions about social networks, I found this short video online about social networks, posted over four years ago. While everything in the video is rather obvious now, I found it humorous to remember back to the beginning of my high school days and being told “You HAVE to try Friendster!” “You HAVE to get on MySpace!” “You NEED a Facebook!” While I simply scoffed until I realized that every single one of my friends had a Facebook and created one for myself, it is astounding to realize how far social networking has come in a period of around five years. The statements made today about social networking in general seem fairly basic and understood to mostly everyone, but it is eye-opening to think that the video above may have made all of us roll our eyes and expect the apparent ‘craze’ to die down soon! Even more revolutionary is YouTube, where I was able to find this very video in a matter of minutes! While we all take it for granted today, think of where we would have turned for informational or entertainment videos only a few years ago… Drawing a blank? Me too…