Archives for posts with tag: technology

A look into Generation Y and its affinity for web start-ups and iced coffee

by Lory Martinez

The Startup Guys, complete with smart-phones and energy drinks.

Popular comedy site, College Humor, on the Web Start up Culture:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6507690/hardly-working-start-up-guys

This parody isn’t too far from the truth. Generation Y ( 18-29 -year-olds), or as they’ve come to be called, “20-somethings,” are growing up and driving the internet economy.  As such, it isn’t too uncommon to hear about a youth fresh out of college joining or even starting a  brand-new social media or technology company.

In fact, there are so many startups these days, it’s hard to keep up. Some immediately gain popularity, like Facebook and Pintrest but, all too often, others die down as quickly as it takes for a user to close out their browser.

It’s easy to make fun of these 20-somethings who have made a name for themselves through websites that range from Kloff, the app for pet-lovers to Triggermail, a personalized email site for  e-commerce. But the truth is, with all their fancy offices and user-friendly interfaces, they are a major part of the media business.

Unconventional office space: check.

Dreams that their grandparents would never have imagined having at all are now possible. In that sense, generation Y is proof positive that if given the chance, young people can create just about anything.

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A look into the umbrella that covers you from the rain and allows you to text while walking into other people

by Lory Martinez

Brolly Umbrella with knuckles

I first saw this story on Gawker, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

“Brolly,” once an englishism used to describe an umbrella, is now the name of a “text-friendly” umbrella designed to allow users to stay dry and still freely use their phones.  The promo for the new gadget is a  parody of what is now deemed a classic “first world problem” : Not being able to text…in the rain.

Check it out:

As a New Yorker, I’ve had this problem, and have been the victim of many a joke by my friends who offer no assistance and instead watch with wide grins as I fumble with my umbrella and phone at the same time.  I would often find myself thinking, “the struggle is real,” as the umbrella falls to the ground and I get covered in rain anyway. But of course, the best part is when I walk into/bump into a stranger who is most assuredly having the worst of days, and swears me into a stupor.

Umbrellas 05

Umbrellas 05 (Photo credit: Jethro Taylor)

Business, I’m sure, will be “a boomin” for the company as this is a common problem. However, I’m not sure this solves the issue of inattention while in motion. Maybe people will bump into each other more often and be more polite to each other as a result? Perhaps we will come up with a way for us to look where we are going while still browsing our phones… but that’s just a pipe dream, and dangerously Terminator-like.

Oh, wait.

A look into online profiles and how much they affect employers’ decisions in choosing new hires.

by Lory Martinez

Spring Cleaning your online presence

This week we’ve done a number of stories on online profiles. And now, as graduation and the real world fast approach, it’s time to clean up,( If you haven’t already) that online persona.  Warning: A virtual suit and tie may be required.

According to a recent study, up to 37 percent of employers check social networking sites before even considering an employee for an interview. Up to 90 percent  of employers are hiring through social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even, Facebook.

In my recent interview with avid social media enthusiast, Jessie Rubin, we both noted that social media is who we are. As the generation that both created and produced the social media boom, we are indeed defined by our presence on the internet.  Ten years ago, email and instant messaging had only just begun to flourish, slowly collecting a kind of cyberhistory that has evolved and expanded into the myriad of platforms we use to communicate and express ourselves today.

Remember AOL instant messenger? Myspace? Remember the days of funny email addresses we made up for those accounts?

Aol Screenames circa 2002: chatingchuck, and any cat variations thereof

Now as kids grow up in this  “living yearbook” world, they have to be careful, because, in the same way an embarrassing photo from high school can come back to haunt our parents once they are found in the attic somewhere, our  “YOLO” moments can come back to bite us. And those are way easier to find.

So here are a few tips I’ve collected throughout my own years of experience with social media. Special thanks to those who have given me this professional advice and much more over the years.

How to clean up the digital you:

  • Check your privacy settings on all social platforms. Make sure you have to approve things before anyone can post them in association with you. We all ignore those emails from Facebook about updated privacy settings, but be sure to at least check your own settings
  • Google + is a useful tool. Even though a lot of people say it will never become popular in terms of social networking, you can at least help employers easily find you via Google search, and with a comprehensive profile, you can even direct them to your work.
  • Get a LinkedIn, if you don’t already have one. Even if all your connections are classmates, they will soon have jobs in the real world, just like you, and can help you later on.
  • Look through your photos you’re tagged in, make sure the photos represent the best version of you, the one that would make an employer think, “Yeah, I would definitely trust him/her with important tasks.”
  • Have a fancy profile photo or two. You should have a photo in a nice outfit  for your  job search profiles including Google + and LinkedIn. Keep it casual and fun for your other profiles, but maybe leave the beer can out, at your discretion.
  • Opinions are opinions are opinions. Yes, your opinion matters. Yes, it’s just as valid as any other. But be weary of ranting in public. The internet is vast like the ocean but it can also be as tiny as a small puritan town. Don’t be Hester Prynne. Gossip travels fast and so do viral posts, so make sure you don’t end up like this guy.
  • Don’t over-do it. Don’t go deleting your entire profile history and consider starting from scratch. Starting over is fine, but if there are no photos, or posts of you from before last week, it will be as if you never existed before last week. Don’t lose yourself, or your “digital” self in the process. It’s about cleaning up what’s there, not replacing it entirely. As the saying goes, “Work with what you’ve got.”

That’s about it folks. Have fun Spring Cleaning!

A look into Anonymous‘ most recent cyber protest

By Lory Martinez

OP USA Poster

Infamous hacker group “Anonymous” threatened a massive cyber attack on US servers earlier this week  to protest American foreign policy. The plan, dubbed #OP USA, was to be Anonymous’ successful follow-up to #OP Israel, but it did little to no damage to US sites.

According to the group’s press release, “#OpUSA will be initiated on 7th of May 2013 and will target American websites & servers. The hackers say they are targeting the USA for its war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The hackers also said the attacks will be done in solidarity with the innocent victims of american drone attacks especially the innocent children.”

However,the plan backfired and instead reinforced relations between the groups’ victims-the US and Israel- in cyberspace. The Times of Israel reported that Israeli hackers promised to fight alongside American cyber-defenders, if the need should arise. The Israel Elite Hacker team, formed in the wake of #OpIsrael, tweeted, “This is a message from the Jewish Nation to our friends in the #USA,” the group said. “Although we have cowards for leaders, we take care of our friends!”

In the states, our cultural response had less of a “friends stick together” feel. It was simply a matter of memes:

The Internet reacts to #OPUSA

Some food for thought, from all of us here at The Media Review.

A note: Even though the semester is over and our show ended this past week, we will still be bringing you updates and commentary on the media well into the summer. Thanks for listening and reading!

Social Media Class

Social Media Class

A look into Social Media Majors and how they work.

by Lory Martinez

So you want to major in “Communications”, huh?

Well, you should know,  it’s more than just newspapers and blogs these days.

Several universities across the US are beginning to include “Social Media” in their approved course-load for students interested in communications.

I’m not sure how to feel about this.

I mean, it’s one thing to say you’re “proficient in social media platforms” on your resume; it’s another thing to actually have a degree in it.  It brings to mind an important question:

How do you even measure proficiency in “Social Media?” I always assumed that it consisted of  being active  on all major sites: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger,Tumblr, Yelp, Foursquare etc.

But there’s more to it. universities like Newberry College in North Carolina have taken “social media proficiency” to a whole new level. They’ve incorporated a variety of different programs into the BA in Social Media. According to Gizmodo.com, “The Social Media major [at Newberry] will be an original interdisciplinary program that will capitalize on the strengths of existing courses in Graphic Design, Communications, Business Administration, Psychology and Statistics. Four innovative courses, created specifically for the Social Media major, are also included in the curriculum.”

Considering the effect of social media on recent events in the mainstream media, it seems like the perfect time to revamp the journalism major. Ivy League universities already incorporate social media statistics in marketing courses for business majors. But those are summer courses, or six-week intensive seminars.

Creating a comprehensive major that includes all of the newest forms of communication seems logical.

However, how much can a student majoring in Social Media actually learn within a platform that is constantly changing? Because it’s so new, how many employers will take the major seriously? What do you guys think?

A look into radio accents in the digital age.

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by Lory Martinez

Have you listened to the radio lately? I’m talking “talk radio” not “top 40” here. Well, if you have, you may have noticed that hosts all speak a certain way on air.

From the classic transatlantic accent circa 40:

(Excerpt from “His Girl Friday,” a film about the news business during the 40s)

To  National Pubic Radio’s successful radio programs like This American Life and Radio Lab:

(Talk Radio host Glenn Reynolds at WNOX 100.3 discussing the “NPR voice”)

We hear what is called, “the news accent.” Journalists the world over are trained in this accent before broadcasting. After years of listening to radio broadcasts and noticing this accent,I decided to take a look at this universal “news accent” and how it came to be.

From transatlantic accents to what people call the “NPR voice”, this week’s show highlights the evolution of broadcast accents.

A side note for those of you who listen to our radio broadcasts on Wednesdays at 4 pm on whrwfm.org or 90.5 FM Binghamton:

We’ve been off-air for a little over a week now because of technological troubles. The good news is that this coming week we’ll finally be able to do our show on accents. So tune in!

In the mid season premiere of Doctor Who this past Sunday, the 1,000 year old, two-hearted alien known only as “The Doctor” came face-to-face or face-to-screen with this episode’s villain: Evil Wi-Fi. That’s right. A company controlled by an anonymous benefactor has created a Wi-Fi connection that, once clicked on, uploads its users onto a “cloud” where they are stored as living minds.

Cringing yet? Here comes the worst part: the benefactor and his minions are able to hack personalities and increase the appearance of certain traits, such as confidence, intelligence and even paranoia.

Though this sounds like a Conspiracy Keanu meme, the reality isn’t too far from the science fiction. Chances are, you have all your information stored on a Cloud or online storage center like the one in the hit BBC series. Technology has become far more ingrained in our lives than we realize. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing but, after watching this, I think it’s definitely something to think about.

For those of you not familiar with the show, this isn’t the strangest villian “The Doctor” has had to wrestle with. “The Doctor” has been in constant battle with aliens called the “Daleks,”( angry squids wearing really effective armor) for 32 seasons.

I just wanted to share that with you all. Watch Doctor Who. It is a brilliant show and the source of many a “whovian‘s” happiness is conversation about their favorite time-travelling alien.

Remember to tune-in to The Media Review on whrwfm.org at 4pm this Wednesday for  a roundtable discussion on changing accents in both radio and everyday speech.