Archive for April, 2009

50 Awesome Online Lectures for Social Media Masters

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

By Olivia Coleman

Social media addicts and the developers, designers and business managers who run social media sites have totally revolutionized the way the rest of us get our news, network, promote our businesses, and connect with (and meet) friends. It has come a long way since it was first launched as a MySpace 2.0 for college students – now everyone from working professionals to high school students are getting in on the action. Students attending online universities are jumping into the social media bandwagon as a means to network in their field and stay connected to classmates all while working from home.

If you think you’re a social media smarty-pants, check out this list of 50 awesome online lectures dealing with social psychology, member-driven community structure, identity, etiquette, and marketing. You will be amazed to learn how social media is changing the way we learn, do business, socialize, and entertain ourselves.


These general guides deal with Facebook hacks, page views, social media careers, and more.

  1. Finding High Quality Content in Social Media: Carlos Castillo from Yahoo! Research Barcelona shares tips on digging through social media sites to find quality information and items.
  2. A Large-Scale Study of MySpace: Observations and Implications of Online Social Networks: Here you’ll learn about spam, online deception and MySpace.
  3. Facebook Pages and Media Hacks: This podcast shares hacks for building up your Facebook profile.
  4. The Facebook Effect: This short video considers how Facebook has evolved to compete with MySpace and offer so many marketing and networking tools.
  5. Social Media in Plain English: This video offers up a metaphor for the birth of social media, especially social bookmarking sites.
  6. A Career in Social Media: Find out what it’s like to work in social media as an editor, blogger and consultant.
  7. Politics and Social Media: This presentation from professionals from the University of Washington, Seattle Times and Microsoft Research explores the relationship between social media and politics.
  8. What makes a social media expert an expert?: Find out what it takes to become a real social media expert here.
  9. Even Poor Kids are Social Network Savvy: Read the transcript or listen to the podcast to learn how social media has reached all demographics and helps educate children on technology.
  10. 2009 Social Media Predictions: See if you agree with what this man has to say about the new trends for 2009 in social media.

Marketing and Analysis

Learn all about the marketing techniques and data that drive social media promotion and profit.

  1. Graph Mining Techniques for Social Media Analysis: Mary McGlohon from Carnegie Mellon University explains the purpose of and basic techniques for graph mining for social media.
  2. How to Create a Social Media Strategy: Here you’ll learn about developing a smart strategy for standing out online.
  3. World Wide Rave: David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR discusses new trends in digital marketing and consumer generated media.
  4. PubCon South: What’s Happening with Social Media and Business?: Discover how businesses are figuring out how to use social media for marketing.
  5. Social Media Marketing: This Q&A session is all about marketing trends and techniques.
  6. How to Create a Buzz Using Social Media Tools: This intense video shares tips for cutting through the noise, staying relevant and staying competitive in the overpopulated social media universe.
  7. Social Media Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Video Sharing: Learn about these social media marketing platforms.
  8. New Rules of Marketing: Learn about cause marketing, basic PR and social media marketing in this podcast.
  9. Social Media Marketing Strategies with Search Engine Optimization: Get SEO tips for boosting page views and more.
  10. Digital Podcast 45: How to Make Social Networking Profitable: Help your company profit from all your social media marketing and networking.


Here you’ll find lectures that share tips for networking and remaining competitive.

  1. The Secret of Social Media Success: Here you’ll learn how to develop and achieve your social media goals.
  2. Is Social Media in YOUR Company’s DNA?: This podcast explains why social media is so valuable to companies.
  3. Networking with Social Media and Strategies that Generate Leads: Learn about the best networking strategies for social media.
  4. Capitalize on Social Media: Get tips for bolstering your reputation and promoting yourself with social media.
  5. Second Life and Social Media: Networking Goldmine or Time Sink?: Discover whether or not Second Life is actually worth it for networking.
  6. Facebook Social Media Optimization: Learn how to use Facebook for promotion and networking.
  7. Social Networking Tools Simplified: Discover which social networking tools are most worth your time.
  8. Social Networking + Social Media + Social Bookmarking = Traffic: Get more traffic by implementing these online networking techniques.
  9. Social Networking and the Value of User Communities for Technical Communicators: This podcast looks at social networking generally, and as a tool that can help technical communicators connect with customers.
  10. Social Media 101 – Intro to 8 Key Tips to Get Noticed Among the Noise: This series of videos helps you figure out how to find your niche and get your message out to the world.

Structure, Etiquette and Identity

Discover the fundamental building blocks of social media in these lectures, including social theory, identity perception, projection, basic structure and more.

  1. Wikipedia Self-Governance in Action: Motivating the Policy Lens: Learn about Wikipedia’s social structure in this lecture.
  2. Space Planning for Online Community: This Microsoft project goes over strategies and principles for organizing communities online.
  3. What elements of an online social networking profile predict target-rater agreement in personality?: Consider how profiles and online identities attract each other online and in social history.
  4. WhoAmI — A Web 2.0 Platform for Faceted Identity Management through Aggregation of Social Media: This 10-minute lecture explores how identity is created and shared through social media.
  5. Social dimension of social media: This lecturer wonders why there is little to no relationship structure in social media.
  6. Will Monetization Models for Social Media Ever Come?: These professionals wonder why sites like YouTube and Twitter still haven’t figured out a way to make money.
  7. What’s New in Social Media?: This video highlights what’s new in social news and bookmarking sites, as well as new trends in social media company structure.
  8. Utilize Social Media But Don’t Forget to Manage It: Lisa Buyer of The Buyer Group shares tips on staying organized and effective while using social media.
  9. Built for Conversation: The interaction of design of social media: This hour-length video argues that social media networks "can only be effectively guided by means of a researched and learned examination of social psychology."
  10. Social Networks 3.0: LinkedIn is used as a model example for how social networks continue to evolve, in terms of structure, features and managing identity.
  11. How to Build a Community Website: This technical guide will help you create a member-driven website.

Media Trends

Learn how some social media outlets and trends are starting to outshine traditional media sources.

  1. Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia on the Future Brand Building with Consumer Media: "The Wikipedia guy" Jimmy Wales talks about the future of consumer-generated media.
  2. Exploring Social Media Scenarios for the Television: Noor Ali-Hasan from Microsoft explores the interactivity trends prevalent online and how they can be adjusted for TV.
  3. Finding Influencers and Consumer Insights in the Blogosphere: Discover who creates trends in the blogosphere.
  4. Using Blogs to Provide Context for News Articles: Continue the debate about the relationship between blogs and traditional news media.
  5. The moment when social media became the news: This lecturer discusses how social media is now considered a primary news source, in some cases.
  6. Amsterdam plane crash: Twitter, social media and the anatomy of disaster: As Twitter users continue to break news faster than the traditional media, consider the pros and cons of democratic news sharing.
  7. Social Media and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election: Take a look at how social media impacted the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
  8. Science and Social Media: Nancy Shute from U.S. News and World Report encourages science writers to use Twitter and other social media outlets.
  9. Twitter a Hot Topic and mb’s ‘Journalists and Social Media’ Panel:’s panel includes reporters and professionals from NPR,, PressThink, The Daily Beast and others, all of whom came together to talk about why social media is important for journalists.

Economic Stimulus to aid Environmental Toxin Research

Friday, April 17th, 2009

By Claire Webber

Check the headlines of celebrity news lately and you may see a recent rash of articles slamming Gwyneth Paltrow for voicing her concern about environmental toxins and their impact on children.  It’s mind boggling to see that most of these articles label her as a ‘nut’ and ‘loopy’ or out of her mind.  Thankfully celebrity gossip magazines and blogs aren’t controlling our nation’s future, and our recent economic stimulus package actually includes funding to increase the research regarding this very real threat.

According to Elaine Shannon, who writes for Enviroblog, $10.4 billion dollars has been allocated for ‘biomedical and behavioral research.’  These funds, which are to be distributed through the National Institutes of Health, will help keep important government programs alive.

According to the report, microbiologist Linda Birnbaum, who heads up The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, plans to direct the funds to areas that researchers have determined need attention the most.  And it may come as some surprise to celebrity blog writers that topping this list is research relating to our understanding of environmentally triggered diseases. 

At least $200 million dollars will go towards programs of this nature that continue to investigate the complicated relationship between environmental contaminants and the human body, as scientific research in these areas is still in early stages of development.

According to Shannon’s report other areas that the NIEHS intends to focus on include:

–    Health effects in relation to climate change

–    Stem cell research as an alternative to lab animal use to predict toxicity of chemicals

–    Genetic changes caused by prenatal environmental exposure to chemicals causing conditions that may not present themselves until later in life or even in future generations

–    Studying the risks associated with different materials, like plastics, on a cellular level

As years of progress have gone by, little has been studied to understand the complex interaction between humans and compounds we have created.  Recent reports related to toxic chemicals in the home, in places previously assumed to be safe, can be found almost everywhere on the net. 

Developing new products and compounds to make our life ‘easier’ it is comforting to know that the government is at least taking note of certain risk factors.  And while studies in the area of environmental contaminants are a long way off in many areas of understanding, it is encouraging to see growth in research and research funding.  


New Education Secretary Outlines Goals

Friday, April 17th, 2009

By Claire Webber

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan outlines his plan for schools at an education conference in San Diego.

Speaking at the National School Board Association’s conference this week in San Diego, Secretary Duncan applauded and encouraged school boards across the country in an effort to revamp our education system to match world competitors like China and India.  Our new focus, he said, was overall complete reform.  He also recommended a reintegration of schools and communities in an effort to increase the quality and performance of teachers.

The reaction to Duncan’s speech was overwhelmingly positive, with some board members remarking on how exciting it was to finally have a voice in Washington that they understand and agree with.  According to the San Diego Union Tribune trustees like Zepora Roberts from Dekalb County Schools in Georgia were ecstatic.  “He’s been where we have been,” said Roberts, “It feels like we have one of us in Washington.”

The news could not come at a better time.  For years American schools have been in need of serious adjustment as teacher shortages continue to affect education.  Secretary Duncan encouraged governments to get involved at the City level, saying that bigger City Mayors needed to step up their involvement.  Which was an interesting statement considering that most school boards are opposed to mayoral control.   “You’re welcome to boo,” Duncan said in a jovial tone, “[but] please don’t throw any shoes at me.”

Not afraid to criticize.

And Secretary Duncan had harsh words for the San Diego Unified School district which he criticized saying that the need to “build sustainable leadership” was paramount.  Duncan was referring to the district’s inability hang on to district superintendents; the region has been through five in five years, noting that the constant turnover was sending the wrong message. 

In addition Secretary Duncan also made mention of President Obama’s provisions in the new stimulus package relating to education, encouraging schools to go after funding that had been set aside form them and to increase their efforts to innovate teaching practices.

Duncan ended on a high note, saying that although mistakes have been made in the past it only offers more opportunity for improvement in the future.  “This is less about what you have done historically,” he underlined, “but what you will do tomorrow.”