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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

How Social Your Media Account is an Online Home with Guests

October 29th, 2014 by Admin | No Comments | Filed in Social Media & Media

A Facebook Wall or Fan page and a Twitter or Google+ stream is a kind of online home page, in ways that basic online homepage can only approach by including apps to social media.

Usually interacting on social media is fun and interesting. Twitter, Facebook, Twitter and other sites have coding that allows for responses that can develop into fascinating conversations to contribute in or simply quietly lurk.

I lurk a lot because I enjoy learning. There are wonderfully learned, creative and eager to share expertise and knowledge. Some of these people are world famous who share their lives and best advice, while others are relatively unknown but successful people who have expertise in their field, such as a mom who tweets about a new toy that is helping her child one master a skill. Other non-commercial people on social media find and share off the beaten path news and information from reputable sources. And then there are the other people I follow who simply share their humanity and friendship, showing images of their lives, including cell phone photos of glorious sunsets. Of course there are commercial or business only members on social media, including off-line media such as TV, radio and print magazines and newspapers, which also usually freely share information and links to fuller stories.

If I post on your Facebook wall or if you follow my account so my messages show up in your Twitter or Google+ stream I do this only as your guest. No one owes me the right to make them read my tweets or post to their Facebook wall. My posts are always those of a guest.

In social media and in life, guests who are polite, interesting and even kind are invited back. On social media I am “invited back” every time someone continues to follow or friend me.

As a fine artist, a painter who also used her hand made images to create new digital images by combining images into new original works (sometimes my process is referred to as tradigital art), I have many, many original images that I can and do share online. Yet, I do not share my own unique original images on other people’s Facebook walls (although the ones on my wall and page can or have been shared by other people on their own walls). I watch as other artists share images of their own works on the pages and walls of other artists, art critics or advisers. And yet, I will not do it. I will not even share a link to one of my blogs on someone’s wall or page. Why? For the same reason that I do not walk into a friend’s dinner party and without invitation open up a portfolio of my work. It is just so glaringly, aggressive and even bullying.

Talk television shows are generally set up to resemble a kind of living or dining room with plus seating and even tables where the guests and host(s) gather. However the guests on these shows are specifically invited onto the show with the clear understanding that the guest will be “plugging” a new movie, book, TV show or event. I have certainly been invited onto blogs, pod-casts, and had my works shared on social media, and sure I too plugged my work or event within the context of the subject of the show. Yet, I was invited to do this. I am almost always happy to allow one of my art works to be used to illustrate or decorate others’ blogs or magazines, as long as I am credited as the artist, the name of the work is shown and there is a link to my website. I often tweet and post links myself to online sites where my works are shown with permission, but, again, in each case, the work appears by invitation.

A Facebook wall or Twitter or Google+ stream can also be understood as one’s own channel, much like a TV or radio channel out to the world. Finding great stuff to share or RT is a boon – I see this as programming I get for free.

However, even with disclaimers people (including myself) tend to see a RT or share as a kind of endorsement, so I am careful as to who my sources are for the “free” programming materials. On Twitter, I RT a lot, especially about art (I am kind of known for this), and people thank me publicly. Yet, I always think that the thanks should go the other way because that source freely gave me valuable programming to share!

On my own Facebook wall and also in the comments posted to my blogs, I take responsibility for what occurs just the way I do in my own home as to what goes on in my home or studio. People who try to use my wall to sell their products find that their post is removed and they are no longer friended by me (unless they were previously asked to share their event or work, which has happened) While comments and discussions are enjoyed, negative name calling or bullying is not, and those comments are deleted, although comments that indicate disagreement, and hopefully even have or link to outside source facts are greatly welcomed.

Finally, a kind of pet peeve that often gives me a chuckle. It is not that is seems impossible to me that people can be so selfish and dumb, especially if they believe they have a real and good cause or idea. At least several times a week people aim a tweet at me that asks me to ReTweet their tweet that promotes their cause or product. The tweet invariably goes something like “@judyrey Check out the benefits of XYZ now on sale at http:link Please RT”. In other words, I am being asked to use my channel to give this person free advertising for something I know nothing about. Yet, that alone is not what peeves me, or rather astounds me. The kicker is that almost always, conservatively 98% of the time, the tweeter asking for the favor has never had any interaction with me, does not follow me on Twitter or anywhere else. Often they follow almost no one, but have a stream of initiated tweets that are identical to the one I receive aimed at other Twitter members. I can only assume these tweeters are aiming to win the Darwin award for spamming.

To everyone who follows me on Twitter or Google+ or Pinterest, is my friend on Facebook or LinkedIn, that you for inviting me into your social media homes, and thank you for sharing your life happenings, ideas, finds, news and comments with me in my social media homes.

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How to Discern a True #Free #Giveaway from a Scam on Social Media

May 30th, 2014 by Admin | No Comments | Filed in Brain & Perception, Inspirational Stuff, Social Media & Media

Call me old fashioned, but I hold that if something is promised or promoted then it should be free. When something is offered as free, then there is an implied promise that it is absolutely, free – not free if or free when or, one of my least favorites, “Buy one and get one free!”  That second item is not “free”, it may be a bonus, or the item can be honestly called, “two for the price of one”, but the second item really has a cost, as both items are half-priced.

Cost is not just about money. Your time can be more valuable than money. We live and breathe in time, not money. No one who is dying ever asks for, “Just one more dollar before I go.”

If you have to do something to get something then an exchange of goods and services has taken place. On social media,and especially now popular on Twitter, under the hashtags of #giveway or #free there are many scams. People are frequently asked to ReTweet (RT) a tweet about a “giveaway” or “free” item in order to qualify for that item. Sometimes this is just for the chance to win an item. This is a scam, not a giveaway. The item is only offered in trade for the service of a RT.  Thus the item is earned. It may seem worth a RT for the opportunity to gain the item, but even so, it is a scam. Even if you get the item, the original offer is inherently a lie and hence a scam. Do you want to participate or encourage others to participate in that?

Giving away bonuses is wonderful. I like to give and get bonuses –but a bonus is not a free gift if it is given only if one buys or does something. It is a bonus. Who does not appreciate a good bonus?! Also, who turns down a good twofer, as in two for the price of one? Yet call a twofer “Buy one get one free”, and there is a lie concealed in what could be a good offer.

Perks, rewards and bonuses can all be legitimate and very good deals. These are used with great success via crowd funding sites. I am about to launch my a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo and have prepared what I considered to be great perks, fantastic opportunities of art, recognition and fun to reward contributors who help me change the world with a brand new vision.  On crowd funding sites it is made very clear that there is an exchange made, everything is stated and the terms as clear.

Elsewhere, on blogs, and in books and training programs that unsuspecting people buy, marketers are busily teaching otherwise honest people how to scam in ways that at first seem legitimate. One idea is to give something digital away for free in order to gain the prospect’s email. This is called “permission marketing”. A favorite thing to give away in order to get someone’s email is an e book. If the e book is offered in exchange for an email address the deal is not a scam. However if the e book of digital download is offered as free, and all one needs to do if give a email address so that it can be sent, the deal is a scam and a lie, even if the item is a good one.

It is now easy to freely giveaway a free ebook without asking the recipient for their email address. If a person wants one of my free e books, it is as easy as clicking on a link. Then another window opens and the PDF, or zipped EPub or Kindle file is there to immediately download. This may be considered awful marketing by some marketers; yet, when I say my prayers my conscience is clear in relation to my free ebook giveaway. You can see my method in action, and even download a free e book in the format of your choice at http://artofseeingthedivine.com/booklet.htm. Just click on a link for your preferred format for e books and watch how easy (and free) this instantaneous method is!

This blog was “inspired” by a tweet from an author who I had followed. He is a new author and who has self-published a kind of self-help or inspirational type of book, which I thought looked interesting. Instead of immediately following me back, he sent me a tweet that said,” Thanks, by following, my e-book “XXXXX” is yours for free. Simply RT to confirm.” Those X’s are where the title of his book was. Now he follows me back. I am glad because he did us all a favor with that tweet, because I truly do not think this person realizes he is involved in a marketing scam. His other stuff is on the up and up, and rather true blue. This is why I am not using his Twitter ID or book’s title to “out” him.

Essentially he wanted me to advertise with a RT for him, which is a form of sponsored tweet since I would be paid with his book. Even sadder is that strongly doubt this author thought up his scheme all by himself. He was taught this dishonest but clever marketing method by a “marketing authority.” He just did not think the ramifications through. There are many other really good people, often creative people who are not business types such as authors or artists who have fallen prey to bad advice from so-called marketing gurus.

Perhaps, my mailing list grows and has people opening my mail because the only place I ask for their email address in exchange for something is for my e-newsletter or the times I have given a free webinar as I need to send information such as phone numbers, links and codes to participants. There is no way to send an email or e-newsletter without an address.  Earlier on, when the Internet was younger, people needed email addresses in order to attach digital downloads.  This remains a good method for sending paid for digital woks. Yet for e books or other “free” information email addresses are no longer needed.

People are smart. If they get good value and benefit they will come back for more. If you are a member of my list, you know, I do not bombard members with email, but do send news and sometimes freebies or special discounts. Time is valuable.

Having a cleaned conscious may not seem worth making a sale to some people, but there is another compelling reason that when a potential customer or customer is offered a freebie, that it needs to be actually free: trust. Every great and successful brand is trusted. Trust is never really free but it cannot be bought –only earned over time. It goes back to the golden rule, which is the best marketing advice ever: do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

Currently, and running through an upcoming crowd funding campaign, the popular e book is available absolutely for free. If you are reading this prior to the beginning of the campaign, check the top right column on this page for a link to the e book in various formats for the Kindle, iPad and other readers, including PDF, which works universally. Get the book this inspiring book can help change the way you actually see the world, through a revolutionary, new Bible based art, and this may be a fulfillment of  prophecy for the end times. Is this for real? See for yourself. Get the book — it is really for free, no stings, or emails requested.

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5 Steps to Successfully Getting a Link Clicked on via Twitter or Facebook

April 29th, 2010 by Admin | 1 Comment | Filed in Social Media & Media

Following and sending links on Social Media, especially Twitter and Facebook is a part of our daily routine that enriches our lives.

It is important to me to continue a two-way conversation (and on Twitter I do follow back followers and converse), which includes enticing others to read and my blogs that include artwork and writings and finding other good blogs, articles and images, which is just as much if not more fun for me. I am forever curious, and a born communicator who is first and foremost an artist but also a writer and speaker

There are five simple steps to for success with links.

What works and what doesn’t for a link.

It is fairly easy to successfully share information via links, yet I am finding too many people do not fully understand how to successfully accomplish having their links viewed and also on Twitter RTed.

1. The Destination of the Link:

The first priority for any link is the article or image is what you are linking to.

Make the blog, article or image worthwhile for those who follow you.. Give value not junk, which may get you unfollowed or unfriended even if it is not spam. Think of your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or other Social Media interactive messages as a kind of TV or radio channel that you are producing. While you can, and probably should be a bit personal, think of the viewer and make your messages interesting.

This also goes for anything you ReTweet or resend. Never resend anything only for the sake of the sender. Think only of your audience’s benefit.

2. The Link Itself.

A. Make sure that your link actually goes to where you think it goes.

Recently I have followed far too many links from good people to what promised to be good information that did not actually lead to that information.

Example One: I followed a link to an article that went directly to Bloomberg .com where I guess it had been the lead article a short time before. Now, there was a new lead article, which had nothing to do with the art article I wanted to read. I had to search using keywords to find my article on Bloomberg.  NEVER link to an article simply by using the dot com address!

Generally you can find the actual link to any article on a news site of blog by double clicking the title of the article. The page may seem to remain the same but the URL in your browser will change to a unique address. Shorten that address and use it as a link.

Example Two: This happens frequently. Someone sends Twitter link to a post on someone’s Facebook Fan page. This is a really bad idea. Although I am a member of Facebook, if I am not signed in, I have to do so to read the link. About half the time it may not be worth the time and effort. Plus, not everyone is a member of Facebook. Finally, Facebook continues to experience downtime and busy outages. I hit one today re a link that Facebook informed me would be up and running again shortly. And the Twitter sender had only just posted it.

B. Post the information to a blog or image hosting site and then link from Twitter, Facebook and other sites to that. If you want to upload the blog or image to Facebook, do it, but link to your blog from a site like Twitter.

Always check that a link works before you send it in a message.

C. Shortening the Link

Assuming you hope to not only get people to click on your link, but also click on subsequent links, use your link shortener wisely. Currently I use bit,ly. I have also happily used ow.ly and gd.com. These shorteners have an advantage. If a person finds another article on my site—or someone else’s site that I’ve linked to, the reader can easily Tweet or message that new location. I am not going to “out” any shorteners, but some make this impossible. Personally, I want to encourage the dialogue, whether it is from my blogs or someone else’s.

3. The Tweet or Message that Announces or promotes the link

Indicate what the link is about. We assume it is something really interesting, informative or entertaining that your friends or followers could want to see.

If the article or blog has a title, use it!

Tell what the picture or artwork is about and who it is by.

If the article is from a news source indicate the source if possible.

Bad Examples:

”Look at this (then the link)”

“Please look at this and tell me what you think (then the link)”.

“New blog post (then the link)”

“Cool photo I took yesterday! (then the link)”

Good Examples:

New blog: Why You Need to Do Something or Other to Live Better (then the link)”

“Pres. Obama to Do Something or Other Important NYT : (then the link)”

“Photo of me with my friends at the beach (then the link)”

“Art by JaneDoe Artist at QWERTY Gallery (then the link)”

Note that the link can also be placed in the middle of a message, if you have more to say after it.

4. Link Etiquette

Phishers and wicked people who wish to send vial attacks use shortened links in emails, including those on Facebook and other forms of private messages such as twitter’s DMs. One of the kindest things that you can do for your friends, followers, fans and anyone you email is to never, ever send a shortened link in one of these types of private messages.

The exception may be a Twitter DM, but in that case always pre-inform the recipient through the Twitter stream that you just actually sent them a link in a DM. That pre-announcement in the stream is something that phishers will not do.

Personally, I announce regularly that I do not send or click on any shortened links in private special messages, including even newsletters.

This is important because anyone, even me can make a foolish mistake, especially when tired or feeling under the weather or harried and click on a link that will be regretted.. It happened to a very web savvy friend of mine with a PhD, and so it can happen to me or you too.

Since phishers scheme to take over known and trusted accounts my friend though the message came from someone she actually knew and trusted. Just one tiny mistake and an account will send out phishing messages as emails and DMs to the people who trust you. This is why I want everyone who trusts me to know that if they get a shortened link from me—do not click on it—instead email me back to see if I actually sent it. I strongly advise you to exclusively use long links in private messages!

5. The Next Link

One link sort of leads to another. If you want people to check out your next link take care with the one at hand. Social Media is an ongoing conversation, not a one time kamikaze hit that takes a person to a squeeze page; that is for spammers, not you. The best way to promote your nest links and be a trusted and significant presence in the conversation is to take care with each link that it easily conveys the viewer to the destination of the material which is expected and worthwhile.

Acknowledgements

I wrote this article because of too many recent actual experiences with links that failed to go where they were supposed to that were sent by good people spreading interesting or important information. Some of the information in this article I first learned from  Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki), who are Social Media masters. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I strongly suggest you follow them and also learn more about social media from their You Tube channels. Plus, Guy heads up Alltop and probably is the all time link maven for interesting material! They did not suggest or pay me to make this recommendation,. I make it because I know if you follow them my experience on Social Media will be even better.

Happy linking!

* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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New Media vs. Old Media – The Conversation is the Message

June 8th, 2009 by Admin | 4 Comments | Filed in Social Media & Media, Uncategorized

A revolutionary shift in how we relate as a society and even what defines a society is swiftly and quietly occurring. A new kind of media, spawned by advances in technology is quickly and steadily replacing the old forms of written and printed letters, newspapers and magazines and may soon extend to books.

The most natural form of communication is interaction. Newborns communicate with their caregivers, who communicate back. Throughout most of human history immediate interaction was only possible when people were in close proximity. This communication can involve the most senses, as we see, hear, smell and perhaps touch and even taste (for instance, kiss) each other. It is our basic, essential form of communication.

Our predominant sense is visual. Over 60 % of a healthy human brain’s space is dedicated to visual perception. The second favored perception is sound.

A Brief History of How Media Developed

The earliest methods of communication that traveled over great distance were based on sight and sound. One could send signals through smoke from a high place or via musical instruments such as horns, such as a ram’s horn or a drum. However, these messages had to be simple, complex ideas could not be communicated.

Messengers could be sent, but the original message might not be identical to the one conveyed. Pictures could also be sent with a messenger to show the idea(s) behind the message. The earliest writing was a form of art known as pictographs. Sight and sound, including art and music, continued to be the primary methods for communicating information.

Since only a few people could read, a paradigm for communication from one individual or a group to another group developed. Essentially information was received by one media distributor, which then broadcasts it to the community.

Until the late nineteenth century, distance equaled communication delay. News traveled slowly. When news arrived it was communicated by calling the people together in some way. After the printing press was invented more people learned to read so local newspapers and print media became the way of disseminating the news.

The invention of the telegraph meant news traveled faster, but it was still disseminated via word of mouth and print. Telephones allowed for more information to be quickly conveyed, but only top one person from one person. Mass news dissemination still continued to rely on printed media.

Radio and then television changed that. News could be delivered as it was breaking by reporters who were on the spot. Printed media and movie reels were used for more in-depth coverage plus editorial opinions.

While a few people were able to make their views known via books, art and films reaching many people, the majority of people could only influence those in their own immediate circle. Access to large scale publishing and broadcasting was limited or expensive. The advertising industry blossomed into mega profits as companies paid information channels to disseminate “news” of their products. Few individuals can afford a major media advertising and PR campaign to make their news and views known.

This paradigm can be useful and effectively convey important information that people need to survive or make their lives better.

Dictators, both political and religious use this type of communication have used this paradigm to control people. The fewer media distributors there are, the easier it is to control what information people receive.

The people who control the channel(s) that broadcast information to any group basically control the group. When many differing, even conflicting, channels of information are available the group or society enjoys more freedom.

Enter the World Wide Web

From its beginning, the world wide web allowed people to send messages and images quickly over a distance. People could “chat” even with total strangers, post messages to bulletin boards and create their own web sites. One could meet more people, but it was difficult to create any interesting or meaningful communication with more than one or just a few people via email.

The original paradigm of news being sent to a source, such as a town crier or newspaper, radio or television show, which then conveys the information to the community, remained the same.

Blogggers Begin the Media Shift

The early blogs were much like web sites where anyone could easily voice their opinions. When the technology developed that easily allowed for comments the paradigm began to shift. Anyone could write a comment, which is posted, and often replied to by the blogger and further commented upon by others.

New kinds of news and magazine sites developed where breaking news stories were immediately posted and commented upon. Bloggers, some of whom were journalists and reporters, were uncovering news and making ideas and information known that was then picked up by the old, regular media of newspapers, TV, radio and magazines.

A New Paradigm Emerges from New Media of Blogs and Online News and Magazine sites

Blogs and online magazines and news sites that encourage comments are understood to be New Media. The paradigm has shifted from the old one way flow of information to a two way, responsive communication flow.

The degree of the shift for any site depends on the amount of freedom allowed in the comments. My blogs, and most of the ones I frequent and post comments to allow people to voice any opinion as long as it is on the topic, does not use profanity and is not raciest, sexist, treasonous, etc.

Again the amount of freedom is indicated by the number of information sources plus the degree of conflicting information allowed. Recently, I have seen several blogs here individual comments could qualify as blog articles, as they were that long and well conceived.

A recent development is that individuals can subscribe to updates on comments to any individual blog via email. This lessens the time lag and allows for further dialogue, although it is not as immediate a chat, or Twitter.

New Media is Social and Quickly Responsive

New Media functions to allow more of the essential original communication paradigm experience for groups.

Social media sites like Ustream and similar sites are currently the best New Media platforms but only when they are broadcasting in real time . In real time these broadcasts include interactive keyboarded chats where participants and audiences interact freely with one another, as well as phone in availability. Ustream and sites like it, have the capacity to actively involve more people communicating, engaging the senses of sight and sound in real time.

Twitter , Tumblr , Facebook and sites that have the capacity to allow many viewers to simultaneously message and exchange information in real time conversations potentially including many participants are the second best examples of New Media. All of these sites are also called Social Media.

A fourth communication paradigm shows the interaction possible on sites like Ustream, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Notice how it resembles the original paradigm.

Can Old Media Survive?

Old Media is floundering in our new age of immediate interconnectedness. Many print newspapers, including The New York Times are desperately chasing lagging readership and advertising revenues. These are being blamed on the economy, instead of being recognized as a problem with adapting to the new paradigm.

Of course, most Old Media is founded on the paradigm of their own superior expertise and information. The slogan, “All The News That’s Fit To Print” implies a superiority of knowing what information we need to know.

Old Media seems to have an ongoing message and position of, “You Need Our Opinion and Information, We Don’t Need or Want Yours.” This worked before we had the technology to allow for inter-connectivity.

When old media goes online it basically replicates its ongoing print presentation. This may seem to provide immediate additional advertising and even subscription streams of revenue, but it hurries the demise of the newspaper, magazine or television show itself. In the long run all that is accomplished is legitimizing the relevancy of obtaining pertinent information from an online information source.

Consumers shift to participate with a welcoming, responsive interconnected New Media Site with similar information. During the recent Tony Awards the Times was busily updating it’s site and had the news online at it’s site almost immediately—but not as quickly as Twitter members who were busily messaging each other with the news and their views.

But, imagine the traffic the Times would have had if they had hosted a chat, or Ustream style event with one of their top theatre critics from their web site during the Tony’s show!

For Old Media to survive it must focus on immediately opening and encouraging streams of social interaction to its communications, become quickly responsive to customers far beyond support desk help through meaningful dialogue. The old paradigm that can be understood as: “Me to you and you and you and you…” – must be replaced by “Us.”

How Oprah, Larry King and Local ABC News NYC Became New Media

Two years ago I wandered into Oprah Winfreys’s web site . Back then it was already a hub of interaction and connectivity. Members have blogs, discussion groups were active, and could contain comments that criticized or disagreed with Ms. Winfrey or any of her guests. From her television show, Oprah frequently asks viewers to go to the web site to receive a special bonus, participate in discussions. Regular viewers appear as guests on the show via Skype. Oprah has done shows on social media, Tweets from Twitter and has a Facebook fan page. The audience is made to feel that their opinions are valued and that they could be active participants and participate with Oprah and her staff.

Larry King – @ kingsthings and also other CNN hosts such as Anderson Cooper encourage comments and questions via the CNN web site and Twitter where they are @kingsthings and @andersoncooper . Larry King reads and answers some of these audience communications on his show. King listeners often call into his show, which is common in radio, but not in a live national show.

Nightline also makes great use of Twitter via < a href=:’http://twitter.com/Nightline”>@Nightline. They regularly Tweet with links to their stories, reply to members and ReTweet others’ messages. Where Nightline stands out ion their Twitter Profile page . Here a “LEGAL NOTICE” warns that any message, can and may be used , including on their television show. What an invitation to participate! Plus, The Nightline web site encourages visitors to comment on shows and those comments are shown.

Where I live local ABC late Night News leads into Nightline anchor Bill Ritter ( @eyewitnessbill ) and others on his team are Twitter members. They respond to tips sent to them through Twitter and their web site. Unlike The Times, Ritter often replies to those who Tweet to him. This news team reads comments from Twitter followers on-air, asks for input and works to make their news somewhat interactive and responsive, from news stories to suggestions for their & On Your Side Consumer Investigations the audience is encouraged to participate.

New Media is a Choice

In essence all media are information distribution channels. For any media to be and remain viable it must be a source of meaningful information, which can include entertainment. This is a cornerstone for both New and Old Media.

Thanks to today’s technological breakthroughs New Media can follow an exciting new paradigm that allows for social interconnectedness between audience members and media source, real time or fast responsiveness for potentially vast amounts of world-wide participants. New media is so social and participatory that at web sites like Digg and Stumbleupon people nominate and vote on their favorite news stories.

New Media is a seminar with a leader or facilitator where the chairs are in a circle and many participants, including the leader come prepared with the latest information, but everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and questions. Old Media is an unresponsive authority, a professor lecturing from his notes to people he ignores in his lecture hall. When the information communicated is identical, which would you choose?


* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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How Using Twitter Increases Intelligence

March 18th, 2009 by Admin | 13 Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Why being active on Twitter is like can be like playing brain games to increase awareness, perception and intelligence

Among the Social Media sites Twitter stands out as unique for its short 140 Tweets (micro blogs) and totally visual presentation. While other social media sites rush to incorporate video, music, groups, games, and other applications, Twitter execs keep plodding along ignoring possible competition and just being twitter. Twitter is all sight, no sound, no video, and as its screen based so smell or taste – just messages with 140 characters.

According to Wikipedia : “Intelligence (also called intellect ) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.”

Recent scientific discoveries in neuroscience have shown that a healthy human brain can continue to grow, by adding more connections and even mass throughout one’s lifetime. People can actually gain intelligence. What makes the difference is how one uses one’s brain on an ongoing basis. Stimulated, challenged and learning brains grow.

Spending time interacting on Twitter on an ongoing basis can foster growth in many kinds of intelligence.

Spatial, Visual and Kinetic Intelligence

Twitter is the most immediately interactive of all the major social media sites. Whether a person uses Twitter straight from the web or via a cell phone or ipad or other reading device the stream continues to move along. Blink and one may miss important information or a link, a great joke –or a comment in a fascinating conversation between other members.

Much like forms of instant messaging and chat, people hold real time conversations on Twitter. However, as the stream keeps moving the Twitter member must make quick decisions as whether and what to reply. This means that the type of viewing Twitter requires is not passive, but active and engaged. This is the type of viewing most aware and best suitable for learning.

Messaging back brings in the tactile or kinetic component as the Twitterer must use a keyboard and mouse quickly to message or copy and ReTweet (RT) someone’s message as the stream keeps relentlessly rolling along with new messages. While doing this many Twitters, have a second Twitter screen open to keep an eye out for other messages pertinent to the conversation while quickly composing one’s own reply.

This quick back and forth finding, reviewing and responding to several visual sources of scrolling information promotes greater skill with spatial, visual and kinetic (the typing) information. In a way this visually mirrors actively participating in a sport where one must follow a moving target, ball or player, access the situation and then take action in response.

Enhanced Creativity

Every great artist knows the luxury of rules and limits. Constraints foster creativity, as one seeks to get around them or at least transform them through one’s choices.

The Twitter rule of 140 characters per Tweet fosters creativity. One’s best idea or comment must be condensed to 140 characters and if one is in a conversation this must happen quickly. Plus if the message has a chance of being RTed and going viral, the maximum it can be is 128 characters. This extra shortening leaves space for one’s own Twitter ID, such as mine, @judyrey, plus the letters RT and a space.

The 140 character rule has prompted many creative abbreviations and terms within the Twitter community. For instance, the hashtag (#) sign is used to congregate messages on a topic, such as #pray4 or the most popular one, #TCOT (Top Conservatives On Twitter). Using a site such as http://search.twitter.com or http://tweetchat.com one can follow the separate # conversation much like a chat room.

While Twitter also incorporates texting abbreviations, terms, apps and many hash tag abbreviations are subset of English unique to Twitter, which fosters language learning skills.

Interpersonal and Emotional Intelligence

Twitter is a social site that fosters relationships. Aside from the celebrities and gurus who are followed for obvious reasons, the people who have the most followers often follow back and busily interact and build relationships. Just as in any real village, people who are popular are helpful, interested in other people, fun and busily interacting with others.

In order to explain #TCOT above, I turned to the Twitter stream at about 2 AM EDT on a Sunday evening and asked, “ What does #TCOT actually stand for T C O T? Needed for an apolitical blog article on Twitter & how it can promote intelligence.”

Within a minute I had five replies.  Twitter helps bring people together and fosters relationships.

What is interesting is that I have not had any or much of a relationship with these specific Twitter members prior to asking this question. Partially, this is due to the time I asked it. Yet a reply came in from another member I have conversed with asking that I tell her answer to what TCOT is as she has wondered also.

As the information flowed in the stream as I publicly thanked those who replied, members who follow me and were present saw the interaction from my side and were introduced to the IDs of these Tweople.

No one in the Twitter village drives a really fancy vehicle, lives in a mansion, dresses well, or has any real world trappings that can impress someone. It’s impossible to show any of that in the stream. Everyone is reduced to using 140 characters, one avatar (which can be changed, but only one at a time), plus one bio page and URL link; that’s all, there is no visible gold, glitter or bling.

Tweets enter into the stream in an orderly fashion on a first come first served real time way. It is impossible to out shout, shove or bully anyone in the stream. Each tweet is just as loud and has the same space and visual importance as any other. Whatever one’s race, sex or creed, everyone gets a chance and is accorded the same space.

People who have a victim or nasty attitude soon either change their ways or discover that they have few followers and few people who are willing to engage in conversation with them. Their messages are not RTed.

Although there’s no body language and the only Twitter visual aids are each user’s avatar and whatever is used for a background on their Twitter Bio page, after a while people one follows become easier to read. It is a process that takes time. This can be a social learning lesson for those who tend to rush into relationships full steam. On Twitter it’s easy to spot obsessive behavior—even one’s own.

Everyone can easily see who follows who and how many people follow each member. Moreover, every single message tweeted is kept in a log of updates, which is also open to every other Twitter member. Thus, Twitter naturally fosters transparency.

Since the majority of conversations must occur in the stream as Twitter has limits for the number of direct messages allowed we witness each others behavior. The people who are successful on Twitter, who use it to foster relationships, including ones for business are opening doing their thing. Anyone can learn how to interact, spot phonies and users by watching and participating on Twitter.

Using lists means a person may have three or more streams moving simultaneously as one interacts in several conversations on different topics with different members of the Twitter village at the same time. It’s a visual and metal juggling act that top Twitters with many followers who follow back many have learned to do well.

In prior generations men and women hunted for game, watching for movement or searched for food to gather. Visually Twitter supplies some of our natural need or enjoyment for spying out discoveries or even prey.

Visual and Logical Intelligence

Thus just following the Twitter stream forces a person to concentrate, skim relevant information, and make quick appropriate choices as to what links to follow, bookmark for a later time (by using a favorites star) or ignore.

This is the type of information sorting teachers try to instill when explaining how to take outline notes – only on Twitter the information seems more relevant than classroom learning ever did. Increasing one’s recognition of what is important and what is less so is a way to directly increase functional intelligence.

Twitter for Learning

Like a book, Twitter lacks sound, and so mimics a streamed book current life in its stream of ongoing Tweets.

Many of the Tweets contain links to articles that range from fast breaking news to arcane knowledge. Information can be found on health, child-rearing, business, investing, the arts, religion, self help, books, and of courses how to use Twitter. At times Hanging out on Twitter can seem like a stroll through a library where links in Tweets are book titles.

Using Twitter to Increase Intelligence is Fun!

Studies in neuroscience continue to indicate the benefits of mental challenges, especially those that involve the perception of vision, socializing and social networks, hand eye coordination exercises, etc.

Twitter can be so much fun and so interesting that it has not been noticed as a brain enhancing tool. Brain enhancement was not the purpose or goal of Twitter’s founders, but Twitter definitely succeeds at it when a member uses it to interact and build community. Community is what sets Twitter apart from other brain enhancing programs on the web as on Twitter one is never alone.

Judy Rey Wasserman is the founder of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory at http://ungravenimage.com. Discover how this new way of painting using symbols for strokes can actually change your vision by adding visual memories we normally lack to your brain. This in turn has an amazing and freeing effect in relation to unwanted, negative and creative emotions. See more at http://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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Are People Who Use Social Media Happier?

November 20th, 2008 by Admin | 4 Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

The results of a recent study conducted by sociologists seem to point to another conclusion: people who socialize through the Internet’s various social media are happier than people who watch TV instead. The study’s authors, John P. Robinson and Steven Martin analyzed over 30 years worth of national data in a study that concludes that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as very happy spend more time reading and socializing. The study can be found in the December issue of the journal Social Indicators Research .

As reported in an article at Brain Mysteries, the study did not take into account the effects of social media. How could it when the study began in 1975? Yet the conclusions of the study can easily be applied to social media.

The same mental activities employed when socializing and reading a newspaper are also used when a person is engaged in interacting through social media.

Social media, interacting at sites such as Twitter, Face Book, MySpace, Google, Yahoo and AOL groups, and even commenting in a discussion on a blog involve both social interaction and reading. Social interaction is further revved up by sites such as Stumble Upon, Digg and Delicious where people share what they appreciate. These sites add an interactive and socializing aspect to the news that links people to each other around the world. Skype, IMs and other one to one immediate communications all add a component of further socializing.

“TV doesn’t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading a newspaper does,” says sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author who is also a pioneer in time-use studies. “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise.”

The people who were in the study were adults in 1975, so the youngest are baby boomers. Statistically, although boomers have embraced the internet, older Americans have been slower to use social media beyond email until the last several years. The time period of the study indicate that it could barely have included Internet social interaction, especially through social media, especially by people younger than baby boomers.

Yet the findings of the study are relevant and can be applied.

The two University of Maryland sociologists conducted the study to discover what activities contributed to happiness in people’s lives. They analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (1975-2006) gathered from nearly 30,000 adults:

  • A series of time-use studies that asked people to fill out diaries for a 24-hour period and to indicate how pleasurable they found each activity;
  • General Social Survey attitude studies, which Robinson calls the national premier source for monitoring changes in public attitudes – in-depth surveys that over the years consistently asked subjects how happy they feel, how they spend their time among a number of other questions.

Robinson and Martin found that the two sets of data largely coincided for most activities – with the exception of television.

From the General Social Survey, the researchers found that self-described happy people were more socially active, attended more religious services, voted more and read more newspapers. By contrast, unhappy people watched significantly more television in their spare time.

The findings of the study point to the validity for involvement in social sites and web interfacing as these activities involve human connection and focused mental activity, especially involving sight as reading.

The early adopters of Internet social interaction were teens and twenty-somethings. At the time the study was completing baby boomers and younger adults had moved beyond email and shopping to interact in social media sites. That migration continues as new groups and sites develop or expand to encompass niche interests.

Interacting through social media involves socializing, concentrated reading, decision making and focused visual perception, which watching television does not. People watch TV fairly passively taking in the overall picture, but not actively looking to spot visual details. Socializing develops a feeling of community and belonging, including through the web. There is little community developed by watching TV alone.

When people socialize they are actively looking for visual clues about the other person’s feelings and intent, facial expressions, body movements, gestures are seen as significant. Where to focus one’s attention needs to be consciously decided for best results.

When watching TV the camera does the deciding for the viewer. This occurs in every type of show, but may be best illustrated by the difference between attending and watching a sports event or watching it on TV.

The study’s basic research and findings could not include the effects of social media itself on a person’s level of happiness. Yet when the when the findings are distilled to the underlying meanings and activities they can be applied to new activities, such as social media. Socializing and newspaper reading both point to information gathering, intense communication from other individuals about current concerns, decision making, and concentrated focus of vision. These activities are all a part of interacting through social media.

Social media is new and developing as this article is being written. It is too new for any valid study to have had the time conduct meaningful research, which takes time. However the results of the study conducted by sociologists John P. Robinson and Steven Martin at the University of Maryland seem to strong point to the idea that people who are active in social media are happier than people who instead watch television in their spare time.

Is social media contributing to your happiness?  How? Comments are welcomed!

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