Social Media

Photo Calorie iPhone App Measures Calories

Cookies

You grab a stack of chocolate chip cookies on your way out of the office potluck party.  You also grab a quick photo of your snack with your iPhone.

Screen shot 2010-04-08 at 1.45.34 PM

If you were using PhotoCalorie, the free iPhone application could generate some feedback, letting you know how each cookie had roughly 100 calories – so your snack ran you around 400 calories in total.  (Bummer! I guess it might be a salad for dinner.) PhotoCalorie would also log your snack in a food journal, helping you track your meals day by day.

I’m sold! When they get the iPhone on Verizon, guess what the first app I download will be.  And as a new Boston girl, the project is particularly close to my heart, as it was developed by a group of researchers from MIT, Boston University and Harvard. Boston is so smart.

Learn more about PhotoCalorie in this Boston Globe article, also, follow them on Twitter @PhotoCalorie.

Twitness! Who’s on Your Twitter Fitness List?

When I’m not working out or eating or making healthy/yummy food…or blogging about working out or eating or making healthy/yummy food…I’m Tweeting. A lot.

Twitter lists are nothing new, but I’m still loving them and adding to mine on a regular basis.  It helps me organize my personal network as well at categorize the conversations I’m following. For the most part, I follow people who chat about marketing, PR and social media.  But I embrace my inner health nut by keeping up to date on Tweets about health and fitness.

Here is my fitness list from Twitter:

SELF Magazine@selfmagazine – Official Tweets from SELF magazine

Chalene Johnson@chalenejohnson – Super friendly and super fit. Creator of Turbo Jam, TurboKick, and Chalean Extreme, just to name a few.

Fit Sugar @fitsugar – Check out this fitness blog at http://www.fitsugar.com

Gaiam@gaiam – Hippie food, organic fibers, granola-crunching yoga-freak awesomeness. Namaste, ya’ll. http://www.gaiam.com

YogaDork@yogadork – Check out this yoga blog at http://www.yogadork.com

Jillian Michaels@jillianmichaels – It’s Jillian from The Biggest Loser!

Bob Harper @mytrainerBob – It’s Bob from The Biggest Loser!

Hungry Girl@hungrygirl – Check out this nutrition blog at http://www.hungrygirl.com

Smash Fit @smashfit – Tweets from Smash Fit founder Heather Frey. Trainer/client match-making at http://www.smashfit.com

Bethenny Frankel@bethenny – Bethenny is the “health foodie” and that awesome chick from Real Housewives of NYC

Taryn Perry @choose2befit – Taryn is a hot mom! She is  a Beachbody coach with great advice and will she take the time to personally answer your questions about P90x and Insanity.

Tony Horton@tonyhorton – Tony is an animal. He created P90x, Power 90, and Ten Minute Trainer. (Tony darling you need to Tweet more!)

Mark Sisson @mark_sission – Check out his blog at http://www.marksdailyapple.com to learn about the Primal Blueprint approach to health

Eat This Not That @etnt – What’s the best of two evils? Check out the Eat This Not That nutrition books

Women’s Health Magazine @womenshealthmag –  Official Tweets from Women’s Health Magazine

SHAPE Magazine @SHAPE_magazine – Official Tweets from SHAPE Magazine

Oxygen Magazine @Oxygen_magazine – Official Tweets from Oxygen Magazine

Healthy Eats @healthyeats – Check out this nutrition blog at http://blog.healthyeats.com

Jackie Warner @jackiewarner10 – The star of Bravo’s Workout, fitness icon, uber-intimidating trainer-to-the-stars, creator of Sky Sport Spa, entrepreneur, self-made millionaire by age 22..nbd. This lady inspires me. (Tweet more, please!!)

I hope this helps you find some great information that will motivate you 140-characters at a time.  Have any suggestions for me? Who else should I follow to get my health nutty Twitter fix?

Snack on This: Self.com’s Eat Like Me Blog

You know those affected phony hipster peeps who ride the T and read mystery books, Jane Austen novels, and Hemmingway's best of the best?

Yea… that's not me.  Working in consumer PR (read: fashion clients), I'm surrounded by free copies of the check-out line's greatest hits – namely: US Weekly, People, Cosmo, etc.  That and some coffee? Let's get this commute party started.

So these magazines.  You know what one of the top stories is every time?  Some skinny celebrity and her miracle 1,200 calorie diet.  You read this stuff, wonder if you could do the same thing, and then you proceed to feel guilty five hours later when you're stuffing yourself with office potluck party cupcakes.  Yet, at the end of the day you come to your senses and call BS on the whole thing. Yea freaking right [insert celebrity name] actually eats that.  Adderall and Belvedere aren't exactly the South Beach Diet.Self_printlogo (1)  

 What you need to read is Cristin Dillon-Jones' Eat Like Me blog on Self.com.  She's a legit registered dietician who blogs about her day-to-day diet.  The point is plain and simple: you can have a busy life and still eat healthy.  She leads by example.  It's realistic and motivating to read Cristin's cooking tips, shopping ideas, and responses to reader questions.

One of the things I love most is that at the end of each post, Cristin describes her meal in terms of what nutrition it provides.  So often "healthy" is qualified by how little the portion is, how few calories it is, how low-fat it is.  It's always focused on taking in less of something.  It's about deprivation.  Here, the focus is how much the meal gives.  It's about fueling your body with what it needs.

It's almost cool enough for me to get one of those iTampon I mean iPad things so I can enjoy it on the T.

Houston, We Have a Breakthrough

I have an embarrassing confession that I hope someone will relate to.  I’m totally happy to introduce myself to anyone randomly online through LinkedIn, Twitter, email or whatever as I always like to network and connect with like-minded marketing peeps. Then, I go to networking events, and I totally clam up.

I absolutely dread those “networking” hours interspersed between seminars. It’s weird: if someone approaches me, I’m completely friendly and at ease.  But the thought of approaching someone on my own at one of these things terrifies me. Even the thought of approaching someone I have spoken to online sometimes freaks me out.

 It’s very inconsistent with how I normally am. I was a waitress, my tips depended on my ability to schmooze…with strangers. Before I got this job, I was Little Miss Informational Interview, seeking out one-on-one conversations…with strangers. At a bar, I’m a wingman, grabbing guys and telling them to dance with my friends…grabbing strangers.

 Am I just socially awkward IRL?  Why is it that at conferences I get intimidated? Why is it that at a time when my game face should most definitely be on, I’m off?

I admitted this fear for the first time to my boss/mentor when we were discussing our networking strategy for an awards event. This bit of advice stuck: remember that everyone is there to network and talk to random people. It’s not like you’re at the mall or the gym and it’s unexpected (and possibly unwelcome) for you to go up to someone and strike up a conversation. Literally, the point of these events is to go up to people you don’t know, tell them your name, chat them up, and make a connection.

Obvious, right? But no one had laid it out like that for me before. Any lightbulbs going off out there?

Take My Hand, But Not My Twitter Handle: Maiden Names in Social Media?

Basically, this is just something I’ve noticed.  My friend’s 70-something year old grandmother is on Facebook.  She has her maiden name on there.  This is a lady who probably hasn’t used her maiden name for 50 years or so, but she’s using it again on her Facebook profile.  Same thing with my other friend’s mom, who recently added her maiden name to her Facebook profile.  I also noticed recently married peeps either not changing their Facebook names at all, or keeping their maiden names on their profiles and sticking the new hubby’s name on the end.

The maiden name debockle has long been a soul-searching situation for women, and I feel like it’s gotten more complicated over the years.  It’s gone from “what will I do with my business cards?” to “what will I do with my email?” to “what will I do with my LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts?”  (And if you’re super nerdy like me, “What will I do with my URL?”) Yikes!

Obviously, the issues to contemplate transcend the importance of social media. “Do I want the same last name as my children?” and “Who am I if I am not a Johnson (insert your maiden name here)?” are thoughts to ponder. Some may say to keep your maiden name for business purposes and use your new name in your personal life.  But thanks to social technology, we live in an increasingly networked world in which business and personal relationships are harder to distinguish.

My thought is that women who are either adding or keeping their maiden names on Facebook  are doing so because they want old friends who don’t know their new last names to be able to find them.  I think the fact of the matter is (even for people who don’t work in marketing and may not give a rip about this so-called personal branding) that your maiden name is sort of like your brand name.  Getting involved with social media, whether or not you use it for business, means you have to establish or re-establish your identity to fit your social networking needs.

I think for ladies my age and up, the problem is easier to solve now than it will be for future brides.  I’m 22, and even the girls that have been involved with social media since their tween days were probably on Myspace.  They probably had really clever usernames like “BSB4Life” and such, so last names aren’t really an issue for us.  But for the Jonas-loving tweens of today, they are establishing first name-last name personal brands on Facebook at an early age.  10, 20 years from now when they tie the knot, how will they re-establish their brands on the internet?

Anyone have thoughts?

Who’s on Twitter?

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately.  No, I’m not stalking you (well, not that much) but I’m doing some PR research.  Sifting through profiles, I noticed something and I want to know if you notice this too.

According to their 160-character bios, the vast majority of people I came across fit into these categories:

-Marketers

-Public Relations people

-Journalists

-Software/web/graphic designers, enthusiasts…people who code.

-Self-proclaimed “social media gurus,” “digital natives,” and “experts” who may or may not know what they are talking about

-Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives of avid Twitter users. Significant others introduced/suckered into micro-blogging who probably still make fun of it but are secretly addicted.

Follow me for a moment into the idea that we are at least in part defined by our occupations.  Sure, there are nurses and teachers and lawyers on Twitter.  There are tons of politicians and entertainers on Twitter, but I think we can argue to some extent that they too are using Twitter as marketers.  I’m concerned that a huge portion of Twitter isn’t so much this even playing field of Common Joes, but more of a media-infatuated, geeky, techy clique.  When we the marketing/PR types get excited about “putting the public back in public relations” and encouraging our clients to engage in conversation with consumers – who are we telling them to talk to?

Don’t get me wrong: I love me some Twitter.  I just wish it was more diverse.

This One’s For the Fridge: I Wrote a Paper About Twitter

I can’t begin to tell you how incredibly proud my parents must be.  They spent all that money on a big, fancy college education and the culmination of all this knowledge is a 22 page paper about Twitter.

This “twpaper” is about @CoffeeGroundz, a coffee house in Houston, TX that uses Twitter to connect with customers.  I wrote it for my senior seminar class, which is the capstone communications course at my college.  I went through the class kicking and screaming, but I’m happy to say that I learned a lot from this project and found the research to be fascinating. I would like to thank everyone who helped me with this project, especially @coffeegroundz, @keithwolf, @cwelsh, @toadstar, @mikedaniel, @lfarnsworth, @gdruckman and @jgrassman. I was touched by your generosity.

I did a case study that involved a content analysis (stalking) of the @coffeegroundz Twitter traffic and interviews (the email kind) with several customers/Twitter followers.  I originally wanted to do a paper about social media and ROI, but then I realized that #1 it’s Pandora’s box and #2 qualitative research on the topic is more within my time-frame and skill set.  The paper touches on the topic of ROI, but looks at it more in a cause-effect sense and not straight metrics or anything like that.  The first part of the paper has some more general information about how businesses use Twitter, then there’s some heady discussion about theories and previous research, and then the fun part (pg. 12) with the research findings and interviews is at the end.

So, here’s the paper.  Enjoy all 31,985 delicious characters of social media marketing goodness.

[scribd id=14596673 key=key-277pbsm1fwu6nc0z7a7d]

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The Facebook Follies

I’ve been wanting to write about Facebook and the job search for a while now, but I wanted to take an angle that wasn’t completely about my personal experience and wasn’t just rehashing the issues other people have so eloquently written about.  Here’s a quick recap of what other bloggers and reporters have said:

This is all great stuff, and I wanted to jump a little further into the topic and ask the numero uno question at stake.

facebook-wall

The article “Employers: Get Outta my Facebook” in Business Week takes that first point to task and dissects the pros and cons of the topic.  Is it an invasion of privacy when companies look at Facebook?  The one side says that Facebook isn’t private.  Even if you say that what you do in your personal life is your personal business, it becomes public business when you post on Facebook.  Therefore, it’s fair game for HR. The opposing viewpoint suggests that Facebook profiles aren’t resumes, and that what people do in their personal time is irrelevant for most jobs.

I think the struggle for college kids is that when a lot of us started Facebook it was something just for students.  We posted whatever we wanted and didn’t imagine there would be future implications with the job process.  The grown-ups weren’t on there yet.  For some, it was like a digital bookmark for college debauchery.

Now your dad has Facebook.  Your professors have Facebook.  Your prospective employer has Facebook.  A transition needs to take place.

De-tag all you want, but know that somewhere out there in the infinite “social utility” abyss are those pictures from that night.

The topic of privacy and Facebook is an interesting one.  If your profile is public, then what you post there is well, public.  I would argue that if your profile is public and you list your company on your profile, then the personal stuff you post there is relevant to your job.  Say you have a bunch of pictures tagged of you at a strip club – then have it listed that you are an Account Executive at (insert your favorite PR agency here) on the work section of your profile.  In that case, you are representing the company in a public environment.  If you are looking for a job, a hiring manager may be valid in wondering: If this is how she represents her current employer, how will she represent us?

So put your profile to private, list your company, and keep whatever information you want on there because it’s your private space for you and your friends to connect.  The current limit for Facebook friends is 5,000.  Sure, it’s just between you and your friends – but you and your 5,000 friends?  At which point is your personal network large enough to be considered public?

With so much talk about the negative implications of Facebook, I feel us getting paranoid.  I see people listing only their first and middle names on their profiles so that possible employers can’t search for them.  I see people creating separate accounts for their personal and professional lives.  People leave all the information blank on their profiles because they don’t want to express an opinion that might not line up with the viewpoint of a prospective employer.  We’re having an identity crisis.  Who is the professional, public me?  Who is the personal, private me?  Who is my Facebook, and should that be public or private?

facebook-screenshot-privacy

We forget that Facebook is there for us to connect with friends new and old.  We can’t connect with each other if we don’t share anything about ourselves. You should be proud of who you’ve become and share that with your Facebook friends.  You probably have cool hobbies, great friends, a nice family, a cool job, ect.  Share it!  Social media didn’t get to be this huge because everybody put the proverbial whitewash on all their accounts.  It’s because people talked about stuff and posted photos of stuff and poked each other that these websites grew and grew and grew.  I say let’s be smart about what we share and we can all have fun with Facebook again and stop worrying about what someone we haven’t even met yet is going to think of us or how the new layout looks like Twitter.

There is a difference between sharing and over-sharing.  Sharing is a picture of you sitting at a bar with a drink in your hand. Over-sharing is a picture of you blacked-out and slumped over a toilet.

The answer to the numero uno question at stake: Regardless of whether hiring managers should look at your Facebook – they do. It’s better to disagree with it if you do and keep your profile private and your postings within reason than to stubbornly hold on to the albums of your drunken escapades and lose out on a job because of it.  Be pro-active about maintaining your profile.  I’m no Facebook expert, just a job-seeker who feels like she found the right blend of personality/”wouldn’t panic if a future employer saw this” in my own profile.  Here’s my take:

  • Use friends lists. Facebook lets you customize which friends get to see which content with friends lists.  Check under the Friends tab.
  • Post your own pictures.  If you are always relying on your friends to tag you in things, you are playing defense because you have to de-tag yourself  from anything you don’t want on your profile – like fat pictures.
  • Be who you are, just be smart about presenting it.
  • Take the driver’s seat with your online reputation.

It was a long one!  I hope this sparks some conversation.  The comments are yours.  As always, feel free to disagree (or agree) and thank you for reading.

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Networking in Boston

A few weeks ago, Jason Falls wrote a blog post about why social media won’t help you find a job during a recession.  The basic sentiment is to use Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. but “know and understand that all the on-line, behind-the-computer, cyber connections in the world don’t beat a hand shake, a smile and a chat.”

So last week, I kicked it old school and met up with some PR and marketing people—(gasp!) in the flesh—during a one-day whirlwind of a trip in Boston.  I had three interviews, two of them informational and one for an internship.  I wasn’t all that shocked to learn that there were hiring freezes and no positions open for me.  However, and this could just be ego, but it feels really great/comforting to hear someone who has a job you want tell you that you’re doing the right stuff to get there.  I didn’t leave with a job (and I didn’t expect to) but I left with many more connections and information that will help me get one.  And recession be damned, I’m getting one.

Highlights:

  • “Twitter levels out the networking playing field.” My new friend Rebecca (@repcor) said it best.  It gives you direct access to people who work at, own, or know people who work at the companies you want to work for. Because of my connection to her and Justin Levy (@justinlevy) I got to watch a taping of Hubspot TV, take a little tour of the office, and chat with Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) about a social media paper I’m writing in school.  Connections connections connections.
  • I wrote a blog post about my trip, and a few days later I got a lovely email from Alexa Scordato (@Alexa) inviting me to a girls night with her friends.  So I ended up having a lovely dinner with Alexa, Rebecca, Maria Thurrell (@MaThuRRell) and Nidhi Makhija (@kaex88).  We even got a surprise visit from Todd Van Hoosear (@Vanhoosear).

I’m not trying to name drop, just giving credit where credit is due.  Everyone was so sweet and welcoming to me.  If I wasn’t convinced that Boston was the place for me before, the generosity of everyone I met really made me fall for Beantown and showed me exactly what that city has to offer.

I don’t think I will get a job directly from social media in that I’m not expecting someone to randomly Facebook message me one day and be all, “Hey, want to be an account coordinator?”  But in my case, I think it is really valuable to use it to make out-of-town connections, and I actually believe I will get a job from one of those.  I think if you plan to stay in the area you went to college in, it’s easier to make those connections the “old way” through PRSSA or AMA conferences and you may not have to rely on the internet so much.  But even in that case, following the local pros on Twitter couldn’t hurt.

Everyone tells me that “networking” is so important in job searching, but not that many people explain specifically what that means.  I hope my experience helps do exactly that: explain specifically what “networking” means.  It’s basically just talking to people who have jobs you are interested in having, talking to influencers they talk to, asking LOTS of questions, being gracious, being friendly, and building relationships.  I recently said that diplomas aren’t magic wands, and Twitter isn’t a magic wand, either.  If you click the mouse and follow someone it isn’t like ABRACADABRA (poof!) you’re hired.  But if you DM them, email them, meet them and offer a firm handshake and a nice chat—then maybe they can direct you to a friend who has a friend who has a job for you.

In conclusion, I just want to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to meet (or chat on the phone with me).  I didn’t mention everyone because I wasn’t sure if it’d be weird to publicly write the name of your company and put down that I had an interview there, but I really appreciate your advice and your time.  Check your mail. 😉

Until next time:

Make friends.  Just keep swimming.  Don’t stop believing.

JNA

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BOSTON

I’m coming to Boston on Friday, February 27th!

I had a great conversation about jobs, PR, and life with my professor last night. (Thank you!!!) His advice was that I make use of my spring break travel plans and stop in Boston if I get the chance. There’s always an open invitation to crash on my best friend’s futon at BC, I’m going on spring break with her anyway, I love that city – so why not? Moreover, I realized that it was important for me to learn more about the city I want to work in and get some face time with some people who work there. In conclusion, I’m hoping to set up some informational interviews for that Friday.

Do you know any PR people in Boston that would have 20 minutes to sit down with me and my portfolio and tell me honestly what I’m doing that’s great and what I could do better?

If so, please don’t hesitate to email me at janetaronica@gmail.com or message me on Twitter. (@janetaronica)

Thanks!

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