Twitter Your Hearts Out… The Senate Is!

21 01 2009

The Senate Floor. The House Floor. The U.S. Supreme Court.

Do any of these seem familiar to you?

If so, thank you for having a brain.

If not, no worries, Twitter has made them accesible and welcome to U.S. Policy, Law and Government structure.

“How do I access such quality information,” one might ask. Good question. Tweet these usernames:

@senatefloor @housefloor @ussupremecourt

“What’s a Tweet” one might also ask. At this point, I would normally tell you to take a hike in true “gritty Jacob’s proving himself” mode – because I write for professionals with some understanding of Social Media. But, in light of our government reaching out, I will reach out, too.

1. Direct your browser to http://www.twitter.com and sign up.

2. Upload a nice face shot.

3. Post your personal site (please no MySpace).

4. Change the them to one of the premade layouts.

5. Write a small 140 character bio.

6. Then Tweet. All tweeting is, is updating your status. Simple? For now. Later, you learn to quality Tweet.

7. Then find the names I just mentioned: @housefloor @senatefloor @ussupremecourt.

8. Click on “follow” underneath their picture.

That is all. There is nothing complicated about this, but if you have questions, comment on this blog and I will try to help you. Why are these usernames important? Because now, thanks to our wonderful new President, his campaign manager and his new staff, we ae being given access to floor updates, new policies, proposal, etc. that were not nearly as accesible before.

For the first time ever, I have to say… Go Obama!

–JMS–

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A Cause to Believe In

20 01 2009
Want hope? Want change? Want to improve yourself? Want to get in shape and tired of looking at that sagging tire swing around your waist?

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

Join…

… Crimson for a Cure (www.crimsonforacure.com)

Crimson for a Cure is a project for University of Alabama students to honor the past and give hope for the future by raising money for breast cancer research and awareness. Students volunteer to train for and run or walk Nashville’s Country Music Half Marathon on April 25, 2009. Each participant will recruit a minimum of three sponsors who will donate a minimum of five cents for every mile run during ten weeks of official training and the race. All proceeds from this project will go to Colleges Against Cancer’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life event and will be directed toward breast cancer research and awareness.

So basically, you can either join and run/walk 13.1 miles, or pledge so much money.

PERSONALLY: I would like to have you join me and run. But I know that some of you don’t want to commit. And I get that. I’m not requiring it. But if you don’t, can you atleast help by pledging for me?

I mean… 5 cents per mile run during training and the actual event… at the high end of things thats 200 miles, making it like 10 dollars or so. I will run 13.1 miles to save you the time of running and you can help me by pledging $10 or more… or you can run with me and we can have an experience to talk about later.

And really, as far as the running goes, I’m new to it. After 2-3 weeks of training, I am up to 5.5 miles at a time, and climbing. You can do this too.

Contact me at 205.310.6702 or jacob.summers@gmail.com or givingsomethingnew.wordpress.com or twitter.com/jacobsummers if you would like to help.

–JMS–





The Project: Ideas, People, Ideas!

20 01 2009

Ok, so I usually like to GIVE. SOMETHING. NEW. But, alas, I need to resort to the other part of my catch phrase, and “take what is mine.”

Essentially, I need professional suggestions.

The Goal: I need an online forum host.

  • It needs to allow people to answer others’ questions in real time.
  • It needs to be able to be moderated.

Why?

Here at the Ferguson Center, we are working on hosting our SGA Presidential Debates this spring online. Well, we will still have an in-person addition, as well as an online edition.

We need to allow anyone who wants to log on, and then ask questions of the moderators. We then need the moderators to ask the candidates the questions we have approved. And all of this needs to be seen and delivered in real time.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

–JMS–





It’s Not You… It’s Me. Actually, it IS you. I can’t lie.

18 01 2009

So I realized something. Our nation is full of morons. Wait. I knew that. Let me explain the latest examples…

So I’m running 4.0 miles (yes, insert applause here), and I’m really getting into it. I’ve been working up to 3, and then this run, I decided to jump a full mile forward instead of one. Well, I run about 11 laps, walk 10, then run the last 14. Well, at the end, I’m preparing for my final lap. My final lap is the one where I just bust my tail to get to the end. I run like The Flash. Well, the lap comes and I plant my heels momentarily, before dashing forward. In my head, I’m running like the Blonski from The Incredible Hulk with men slowing down around me… when all of a sudden… this girl screams “It’s not a race!”

[Insert mental what-the-hey here.]

I wasn’t racing.

But if I were, she lost. No hard feelings, but you don’t drag someone down when they’re working out. Was I booing her as I glossed past her? No. Most people understand that when someone is dashing, its part of their workout.

Well, the next time, I ran 4.5 miles and as I passed the next fastest guy, I started a conversation with him:

“How are you sir?”

“Good. You?”

“Good. Hey, I’m not trying to race you… just dashing my last lap.”

“No, hey, I admire the drive.”

“Good, because someone last week got onto me for it and I was astounded.”

“Who cares about her?”

“Exactly.”

All of this without panting as I finished the last lap and heard the guy mutter “who can run that fast?”

All ego aside… the point is… people have always pulled each other down, but lately, in light of desperate economic times and uncertainty, it seems to happen more prevalently – no one wants to see others do better. Because that means you’re subpar. Wake up. That means work harder. Then, we have a nation of hard workers willing to do what it takes, and no whiners sitting on the track getting trampled.

In addition, my mom got a phone call from a solicitor about getting in on the bailout by calling to have any debt removed.

So,yeah. Thanks, America, for falling into the same flawed way of thinking.

–JMS–





Social Media is Not for Everyone

16 01 2009

Yes, I said it. Social media is not for:

  • The incompetents.
  • The slow.
  • Those who don’t understand basic subtlety.

Therefore, many previous MySpace users might just be disqualified.

Robert Scoble, in a recent blog post, made the point to focus on what you do well, so I am focusing on talking on my favorite subject: using Social Media well.

Therefore, I stick true to my statement for many reasons. Some may say it’s elitist. I would have to agree with him. I don’t want anyone on SM platforms with me who can’t spell or understand the world around them. Call me selfish, but I like to be productive, and if I was expected to turn myself around and reach my true potential before broadcasting myself, I think others should, too.

Here is my basic reasoning.

Social Media is revolutionary. Drastic adjective? Sure. But look at it – interactive communication is at a high. People can talk across continents, pay grades and age levels. The previously handicapped are now much more productive. Some people have even come out of their shell and don’t mind letting the world know who they are.

Do you realize how many people there are in the world?

Now think about the max number of people you can visualize on this planet then having a blog, several social networks, instant messaging clients and the ability to comment on anything.

Are you not scared? That’s a lot of people from the general population who don’t have training it what it means to speak candidly or tactfully. Go read the comments on any YouTube video if you don’t believe me.

And then imagine that in addition to all the people you have to worry about on an individual basis now numbering in the millions online, you now have to deal with CEOs and VPs who apparently didn’t learn this lesson either.

Yes, I am talking about the recent Ketchum bit.

Without calling out names or being rude, its scary that we have the masses to worry about and then our leaders not being tactful.

So, what I say, is that if you’re going to start using Social Media:

  • Think first. Do you need it? Don’t pollute the web with endless applications you have signed up for and never gone back to.
  • Observe. When you first sign up and start using said client, application or site, please sit back and observe how the best users in that network operate. Don’t mimic all users, just the best ones. And pay attention to the classless users, in order to understand where my frustrations and the frustrations of others come from.
  • Post with tact. Don’t start a flame war just because you disagree with someone. There are millions online and they come from everywhere. Its a gift. Don’t start a crusade over differences. Talk to the person. You might just find out why you act the way you do and come to peace with a facet of discontent you had not previously considered.
  • Post with me in mind. Think about, before you post something, how someone like myself would see it. Are you really going to post 30+ items that may or may not carry any significance… or are you going to post several key links and ideas that really hit home?

In closing, please be smart. This is a new medium. Don’t pollute it.

UPDATE: Some are actually defending this Ketchum VP for “telling the truth.” Its not that he had an opinion. Its that it was not tactful, respectful or responsible.

–JMS–





Success, success, success

15 01 2009

Quoting Jessica Ayers, “But we are pro. That’s all that matters :)”

Well, that sounds haughty coming from me, and just confident coming from her. But the point is, between her and me, things are getting done recently and I feel SO productive.

In her recent blog post @ “Hey Silver Shoes!” in this article, she outlines a lot of what is going on (accompanied by my little bits of news as well):

  • She is heading up Crimson for a Cure, and I am a captain for that… which is a result of my success in running 4 miles every other day. Additionally, she would have lost her sanity long ago, if not for Kristin McDonald, a fellow student who is as determined to do great things.
  • Today, Jessica and I talked to Dr. Berger, the head of the PR Department, to talk about the launching of PR(evolution), a Social Media series of workshops we want to launch at UA to revolutionize the education of upcoming PR majors. Dr. Berger could not make it, but Tracy Sims, head of Platform, and Mrs. Henley, Campaigns Teacher, were able to… and they seemed to like it, save for some minor tweaks. This will most likely become reality. Talk about a chance for a great job or wonderful recommendation.
  • Talked to one of my contacts on Twitter, got a personal number for someone to get a job from in NY. The call led to no job, but to spreading my resume across NY… which is still very, very cool.
  • Collegiate Politicians is going so well. We had many people sign up at Get on Board Day, the board looked great and people genuinely asked questions  and seemed interested. We have another planning meeting tonight.
  • Also, I got invited to compete in a Chinese New Year’s Dance Competition. Definitely doing that.

Now, for the rest of the day… work, work, run 4 miles, meeting, home, sleep and start again. 🙂

–JMS–





Just Got This

13 01 2009

Just got this in my email…

• Due the increasing complexity of automobile locking devices and to possible liability issues, the Motorist Assistance Program, also known as MAP, no longer will be able to unlock vehicles when keys have been locked in a car. Calls will still be received by MAP and referred to a local vendor who will unlock the vehicle at a charge of $45. Students, faculty and staff on campus may contact MAP at 348-0121 (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday) or 348-9494 (4:30 p.m.-8 a.m. weeknights and weekends) for free motorist assistance if you need to have a battery jumped off, if you run out of gas or if you need air in your tires.

What a shame. We can’t upgrade lock breakers to help students in distress, but we CAN spend money on replacing the fronts of vending machines with UA graphics…

PRIORITIES, people.

That, or students are phoning in to unlock cars which aren’t theirs… which is also a shame.