Monthly Archives: October 2017

7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Social Media Campaign

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Starting a social media campaign for your business is like entering into a relationship. For it to succeed over the long term you must be committed to it and have realistic expectations as to what you’ll get out of it.

Current statistics show that that 73% of Twitter registrants have posted fewer than 10 messages and one third have posted none at all.

The majority of Facebook fan pages give visitors no incentive to “like” the page. As well, they rarely develop ongoing communication campaigns catered to their fans.

These trends are a clear indication that both people and businesses are participating in social media with either no plan, no goals, or no idea why.

So before you make your first tweet, create a Facebook fan page, or start searching for Linked In connections, ask yourself these questions. The answers may help you better focus your time, resources, and better understand how to include social media into your company’s marketing program.

Why do I want to participate in social media?

With social media “experts” declaring that any business not tweeting or without a Facebook fan page is losing business to competitors, many entrepreneurs feel compelled to participate out of fear. This just leads to frustration when time and money is spent on setting up accounts and custom pages, only to not see any measurable results. The fact is that social media is like any other marketing tool and may not be right for every business. Even so, it must still be used effectively, perhaps as part of a bigger campaign, for any benefits to be seen.

Do I have the time and resources?

Unlike conventional marketing such as ads in a newspaper, direct mail, or even a web site, social media requires continuous attention. Depending on your business, this could range from a few minutes a day to over an hour. Do you have the time, desire and patience to make regular and relevant tweets or update your Facebook page? And while you could have a staff member or virtual assistant do this for you, that means allocating resources and money that you may or may not be able to afford, or could better be used elsewhere.

Can I continuously come up with great content?

Unlike a blog where you can post content on your own schedule, making social media work means posting interesting and relevant content on an ongoing basis. Depending on which guru you listen to, this can mean a few tweets a day to more than 10 per hour. Can you keep up this pace? And do you really have enough to say? Even sharing a mix of personal anecdotes, relevant links, retweets, and business information can only go so far before you start getting mentally exhausted – and frustrated.

What are my goals?

Unless you’re involved in social media for purely social purposes, it’s likely that you are hoping to get some form of financial return out of it. The goals of attracting more clients and more sales is what drives most businesses to social media in the first place. So let’s be realistic – from a business perspective, followers, friends, fans and connections are really nothing more than lists. And if the names on those lists are not the kinds of clients you would like to attract, then you may be preaching to the wrong crowd. The best thing to do is decide what your goals are from the start. For many businesses, clients can come from any geographic area or be any demographic, so social media may be ideal. Think about if you’re trying to create awareness for your company, product, or just you

What are my alternatives?

Social media is just one of hundreds of ways to reach people. Depending on your goals you may find some old fashioned methods produce better results with less resources. Trade shows, direct mail, email, seminars, networking events, newspaper ads, or publicity stunts can still garner the kinds of result you may be looking for. Many companies have successfully used social media to build word-of-mouth “momentum” that originally started from a conventional marketing campaign. Remember the old spice guy? That campaign started as just a television commercial and went on to become the most successful social media campaign ever.

Do people really care?

The open forum concept of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In groups allows for huge numbers of people to talk about common interests. But let’s be honest here. Is your business worthy of discussion? A client of mine who is a self employed dental hygienist was disappointed when her tweets and Facebook postings garnered little response. While they were quality posts, it seemed teeth cleaning was just not a big draw for online discussion. It can be tough to hear, but sometimes the world does not share your passion about your product or service.

How do I measure success?

While many web designers and consultants will point to Google Analytics when asked about return on investment, the fact is that ROI can only be measured in dollars and cents. Your time and resources are worth something, so you must put a value to them and factor that in when developing your social media campaign. If you make $80.00 an hour doing what your core service is, then investing 10 hours in social media will cost you $800.00. If you don’t make that money back in a reasonable period of time, then you will have a negative return. Factor in other costs such as a graphic designer or marketing consultant, and your costs will be even higher. Success should be defined by a set of criteria before you begin your campaign – social media or otherwise.

Think of social media as just one tool in your marketing toolbox. And the most effective marketing campaigns come from knowing what tools to use and when to use them, either alone or in combination.

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Tips for Choosing a HD 1080p Media Player

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So how do you make sure you are getting the most value when purchasing a HD 1080p media player? Let’s look at the facts.

Media Compatibility

Broadcast TV, DVD movies, and streaming video are almost never 1080p. Having a HD 1080p is not going to enhance the picture any higher than one supporting only 1080i or 720p. The big difference comes when you start considering the latest formats of entertainment. Blu-Ray discs are support 1080p and can take the full advantage a HD which supports 1080p. This only becomes important if your are planning on archiving your Blu-Ray movies onto your HD 1080p, which can be a great choice.

What about your TV and your HD 1080p media player

The other factor you need to consider is your television. Having a HD 1080p player does you no good, if your big screen TV is only 720p. You could still buy the 1080p HD digital player with the plans of being ready when you upgrade your TV.

Video on Demand

Since 1080p is not supported by video on demand systems at this time, due to the large bandwidth it would require, it is not a major consideration when considering your HD streaming player today. This doesn’t mean it is not going to happen in the future. Should you plan for the future, or wait for change? If price was not your biggest concern, it would make sense to get a digital player which is ready for the next generation of streaming media. Microsoft, YouTube, and other services are already planning to offer 1080p.

Now lets look at the question is a HD 1080p player worth the price? The answer is an absolute YES. You will quickly discover the cost difference between a HD 1080p player and a less capable HD digital media player is only a few dollars. Why would you try to save only a few dollars, and then not be able to use it for your future upgrades? If you have any equipment capable of 1080p, your investment in a HD 1080p media player will be well rewarded.

Additional considerations when purchasing an HD 1080p media player

Compatibility with your entertainment system

The more important questions come down to choosing seamlessly integrates with your existing television and home theater system. Choose a HD 1080p which supports video on demand, is also an HD streaming media player, and has all the connection options you need for your equipment, especially an HDMI video connector.

Wired or wireless

A bigger question should be do I choose a wireless media player, or a wired system. This can even become more important with a HD 1080p since you’ll be pushing more data.

Storage of the HD 1080p.

Also, considering your storage options will be critical when buying a HD 1080p player. Storing your Blu-Ray movies onto your HD is going to use large amounts of space. You may want to consider using network attached storage for the ease of expansion and flexibility.

So is a HD 1080p media player the best choice in a HD digital player? To get the highest value from your dollar, and to be ready for all your future needs, no other choice really makes sense.

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International Conferencing for Your Business Brilliance

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With fast paced globalization, world economy has witnessed a drastic change and now the companies have decided to head on foreign investments to maintain pace with the changing market scenario. Companies are keen to set up offices across the world. The reason for establishing offices abroad is to keep a strong footing in international arena. So, in order sustain close contacts and co-ordination with the regional branches of the corporate houses, international conferencing has become really indispensable. Besides, such conferencing solution has proved to be an essential means of connecting multiple parties straight to people in various locations round the globe.

Frankly speaking, gone are the days when business personnel and representatives were required to throng to foreign countries to meet and invite new business collaborates, suppliers, channel partners, retailers and other dealers. With international conferencing becoming the most sought after tool these days nothing seems impossible. One can just make good use of internet or telephone to connect with the stakeholders and communicate with them in real-time. So it is not only convenient but also reduces the conference calling expenses, curtailing the traveling time and costs each time.

Big business houses and organizations, seeking for the most cost-effective means to manage their conferencing arrangements can look for call service providers which offer effective services at reasonable costs. The service providers come up with wide range of web interacting solutions that let the users work in virtual setting which is pretty supportive to collaboration. The basic requirement for such type of virtual meeting is computer or laptop well accompanied by fast net connection and a conferencing application. The conferencing service doesn’t demand any software installation by participants or moderators. What’s more is that the user-friendly application is well accessible from all the web browsers devoid of any plug-ins. Simply put, they are fully safe, as the service operator encrypts the solutions as per maximum security protocol.

There are plenty of providers dealing with international conference call service who are into offering global conferencing service to company. The providers present applications which are installed with multiple advanced features. The users get the choice of transferring the applications, documents and files without any heck followed by sharing the whole desktop with participants present on the other side. The webcasting service lets the participants to record the meeting for further reference. Apart from these, the effective features include drag and drop, white boarding which are included into the transmission software to guarantee right brainstorming and transmission at real time amongst participants who are located at distant places. Companies as well as individuals can choose such features as per their needs and requirements while gaining international conferencing solutions from reliable service providers.

To conclude, this can be said that with operator backed conference call, you get the liberty to simplify the whole conference process and facilitate your meeting in a more effective and formal manner. Well, regardless of your business size, be it big or small, you can make good use of this superb international conferencing and make the communication easy like never before.

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How Google TV Will Help Photographers

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So what exactly is this Google TV phenomenon everyone is talking about? Google’s services are no longer solely in the domain of their powerful search engine and emailing systems. Their innovative approach to technology has led them to produce Google TV which is essentially an application that integrates the company’s core business product (searching), the internet, multimedia capabilities of a media box, and television. Google TV uses a unique method to prepare the websites to be viewed on your TV, even in high definition if you would like. What this effectively means is that you would have full control over information, downloadable programs, the internet, and other media content such as videos and photographs, all from you’re the comfort of your home television.

Perhaps the most attractive element of Google TV is the fact that it is specifically designed for the television user. Anyone can build a device to give you access to the internet through your television. In fact many other manufacturers have been doing this for years. The difference is Google TV is adapted for finding information on program schedules for a specific channel through the search bar. How you can use this information really sets Google apart from the competition, and the preloaded applications show the faith other companies such as Twitter, Napster, and Amazon have in this application.

The additional applications to customize your setup can be downloaded easily through the program and Google launches continuous updates over the air. Other applications such as Flicker and Picasa can also be installed, giving the user full control of their photo gallery or any photos they would wish to use. Because Google TV can be used with just about any TV, households with high definition televisions can view their photo gallery in HD. To some extent this can be advantageous to a photographer because the ‘cap’ on the resolution of the pictures they would like to shoot is increased. This software really gives photographers an excellent opportunity to showcase their portfolio in a way that they intended it to be seen. Google does not limit what you can access through Google TV’s full browser. Coupled with Adobe’s flash player, anyone with the software installed on their television can view flash content. This means that for videos available on YouTube.com and other video content systems that can be viewed in HD, you can watch them right from your television in big screen.

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45 Family Media Literacy Activities to Grow Smart Brains in a Digital Age – Help All in One Place

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What is “media literacy?” The word literacy connotes a high degree of competency and usually means that a person knows how to read and write. A literate person, on the other hand, is well read, using and applying high level thinking skills across a broad range of topics. Computer literacy means the capacity to use computers well. Media literacy, then, is the ability to use all forms of media well. A media-literate person uses television, movies, DVDs, computer and video games for specific purposes, just as a print-literate person reads a book or a magazine, a college text or a newspaper for specific, various reasons.

Using all visual screen technology intentionally is the first, and most important element in becoming media literate. Ultimately as parents we want children and teens to be in control of small screens and not be controlled by them. Research has verified and experts know that a child who mindlessly watches a lot of TV or plays video games endlessly is less equipped to develop the capacities for wise media use. A media literate child, on the other hand, would learn to self-monitor screen time-being able to take it in doses-rather than make a habit of it four-five hours a day ad nauseum. He or she would want to do other activities because thinking, creative children are curious beings and there’s a whole world out there to explore-screen technologies just being one small part of it.

While a print-literate person reads words; a media literate person reads images. Using analysis, evaluation, and higher level thinking skills, a media-literate person interprets the subtle messages and overt claims visual messages convey. This is where we want our children headed-in a direction of making it second nature to think well about all forms of media images.

If we boiled down media literacy for our children, I think we would find five basic skills that we would like them to acquire:

• Conscious, intentional, limited use of all forms of screen technology

• Ability to critique visual messages and understand their intent and intellectual and emotional impact

• Ability to communicate facts, ideas, and thoughtful opinions about media images

• A thorough understanding of media production techniques to fully appreciate how such techniques as camera angles, lighting, cuts, etc. impact the messages being delivered

• Ability to use all forms of screen technology purposefully, and eventually wisely

Children can enjoy becoming media literate. The 45 family media literacy activities are grouped as follows:

30 General activities that you can adapt and use with children or teens.

15 Activities for children, specifically designed for children, ages 3-6

30 General Family Media Literacy Activities

1. TV and books.

Keep track of the dates when a TV version of a book is scheduled to air and encourage your kids to read the book first, or follow up the program by suggesting they read the book afterwards. Great discussions can result from comparing the original book and the TV version.

2. Use TV to expand children’s interests.

Link TV programs with your children’s interests, activities, and hobbies. A child interested in crafts can watch craft programs for encouragement and ideas; after viewing a wildlife show, take the kids to a zoo and have them recall what they learned about animals from the TV program. How does the real life experience differ from the show they watched? Are there any similarities?

3. Time capsule.

Ask your child to imagine that he or she has been given the job of choosing five television programs that will be included in a time capsule, not to be opened for one hundred years. Discuss what type of society these shows might reflect to a child opening the time capsule one hundred years from now.

4. Different viewpoints.

All family members watch one program together. The TV is then turned off and each person writes a few sentences about their opinions about the show. Discuss and compare everyone’s opinions, pointing out to your child how different people will like or dislike the same program. Why are all opinions valid? Who had the most persuasive opinion about the show? Why?

5. Watch a TV show being taped.

Take kids to a television program taping either locally or as part of a family trip to New York or Los Angeles. To make the trip more meaningful, have your children draw the set, take notes on the format of the show, note the special effects, and talk about what it was like being in the audience. Is the audience important to the show? How? (It may be easier to visit a local TV or radio station. You could visit both and talk about the differences between them.)

6. Make up an alternate title.

When you’re watching a TV program or movie with your child, ask him or her to exercise imagination and think of another title. To get things rolling, suggest an alternate title yourself. All family members can come up with as many alternates as possible. Vote on the best. What makes it better than all the rest to convey the essence of the show or film?

7. Compare what you see with what you expect.

With your child, come up with a description of a show before watching it, based on what you’ve read in a TV schedule. Predict how the characters will act and how the plot will unfold. When the program ends, take a few minutes to talk about what you saw: Did either of you notice any differences between what was written in the TV schedule and what was actually shown? Were either of you surprised by anything you saw? Is the show what you expected it would be? Why or why not?

8. Which category does it fit?

Using a television guide, your child will list all the shows she or he watches, then divide them into the following categories: comedy, news, cartoons, sitcoms, dramas, soap operas, police shows, sporting events, educational programs, and documentaries. Which is her or his favorite category and show? Why?

9. Predict what will happen.

During commercial breaks, ask your child to predict what will happen next in the program. You can discuss such questions as: If you were the scriptwriter, how would you end this story? What do you think the main characters will do next? Is it easy or difficult to guess the main event in this program? Why or why not?

10. The guessing game.

Turn off the volume but leave the picture on. See if your child can guess what is happening. To extend this into a family game, have everyone pick a TV character and add his/her version of that character’s words.

11. Letter writing.

Encourage your child to write letters to TV stations, describing why s/he likes and dislikes certain programs. Emphasize that giving factual and specific information will be helpful.

12. Be a camera operator.

Have your child experiment with a video camera to learn how it can manipulate a scene (omission-what it leaves out; selection-what it includes; close-up-what it emphasizes; long shot-what mood it establishes; length of shot-what’s important and what’s not).

13. Theme songs.

Help your child identify the instruments and sound effects used in the theme songs of his favorite shows. Have her sing or play the music in the show and explain what the music is doing. Does it set a mood? How? Does it tell a story? How does it make him/her feel?

14. Sequence the plot: a game.

To help your child understand logical sequencing, ask her to watch a TV show while you write down its main events, jotting each event on a separate card. At the completion of the program, shuffle the cards and ask your child to put them in the same order in which they appeared during the program. Discuss any lapses in logical sequence.

15. A time chart.

Your child will keep a time chart for one week of all of her activities, including TV watching, movie watching, and playing video games. Compare the time spent on these activities and on other activities, such as playing, homework, organized sports, chores, hobbies, visiting friends, and listening to music. Which activities get the most time? The least? Do you or your child think the balance should be altered? Why or why not?

16. Winning and losing.

Tell your child to watch a sports program and list all the words that are used to describe winning and losing. Encourage a long list. You can make this into a friendly competition, if you like, with two or more children collecting words from several sports programs and then reading them aloud.

17. TV and radio.

While watching TV coverage of a sports game, turn off the TV sound and have your child simultaneously listen to radio coverage. What does your child think about the radio coverage? About the TV coverage? What are the strengths of each? The weaknesses?

18. Quiz show comparison.

Compare and contrast the wide variety of game and quiz shows with your child. You’ll see shows that test knowledge, shows that are based on pure luck, and shows that are aimed specifically at children. Which are your child’s favorites? Why?

19. TV lists.

Assist your child in making lists of all television programs that involve hospitals, police stations, schools, and farms, and all television programs that contain imaginative elements, such as science fiction shows or cartoons.

20. Television vocabulary.

Challenge your child to listen for new words on TV and report back to the family on their definitions.

21. Critical viewing survey.

Ask your child to watch one of his favorite programs with you. Afterwards, you will both fill out the following survey. Then compare your answers. Are they different? Why? Are there right or wrong answers, or is much of what was recorded open to individual interpretation?

Critical Viewing Survey

Program watched:

Characters (List three to five and describe briefly):

Setting (Time and place):

Problems/Conflicts:

Plot (List three to five events in order of occurrence):

Story theme:

Solution:

Logic (Did the story make sense? Would this have happened in real life?):

Rating of the show (from one to ten, with ten being the highest):

22. Body language.

Observe body language in commercials and/or TV shows and films. Notice head position, hand gestures, and eye movement. How does body language affect how you feel about the intended visual or verbal message? Children could cut out postures and expressions from print advertisements (magazines and newspapers) and see if they can find those postures and expressions on TV or in movies. How important is body language to convey persuasive visual messages?

23. Variations on a story.

Look at how a particular story is handled differently by different channels. Use videotaped shows to compare. What are the differences? What are the similarities?

24. Quick problem solving.

Point out to your child how quick problems are solved on many TV shows. Discuss the differences in dealing effectively with challenges in real life. You may want to include in your discussion what processes you go through to identify, confront, and resolve problems.

25. Put words in their mouth.

As a family watch a favorite program with the sound off. Try to figure out what each of the characters in the show is saying. Discuss why you believe that based on past knowledge of the program and how the characters are behaving. Encourage your child to think about how he or she would write the script for each of the characters. What are the important things that they say? Why are these considered important?

26. Make your own family TV Guide.

Gather your child/ren and ask them to make a family TV Guide for the upcoming week. What programs would they include? What programs would they make sure not to include? Ask them to give reasons for their choices.

27. Thinking ahead to predict what might happen.

This is a great activity for school-age children who may need guidance in watching their favorite programs while you can’t be there with them. Give your child a written list of 3-5 general questions that they can read before they watch a TV show. Consider such questions as: “What do you think this program will be about? What do you anticipate the main character’s troubles will be? How will he/she resolve them? Why are you watching this show and not doing something else?” Instruct your child to think about the questions while viewing-no need to write anything down-just think. As your child watches, he/she won’t be able to stop thinking about these questions-it’s just how the brain works. Intermittently, ask your child to discuss the TV program with you, along with how this activity helps to think about the program!

28. Ask: “What will happen next?”

This is a simple, yet effective activity. Mute the commercials while your family watches TV together and ask each child and adult what he/she thinks will happen next. There are no right or wrong answers! This gives everyone a chance to engage in creative interplay and then to test his/her “hypothesis” when the show resumes. Children may learn just how predictable and mundane a lot of programs are and soon improve on the scriptwriters, adding their own creative ideas!

29. Record your child’s favorite show.

Then play it back during a long car trip or around a cozy fireplace on a dark winter evening. The purpose of this activity would be for your child to hear the program, without seeing the visuals. Talk about how the characters and their actions change as a result of only hearing the show. Does your child have to listen more intently? Why or why not? What are some crucial distinctions between watching and listening?

30. Encourage your child or teen to be a media creator.

Ultimately what we want is for our children to find ways to creatively express who they are. You can encourage a child to use a digital camera and make a photo collage of a family trip, for instance. Older children and teens can create websites, blogs, even podcasts. Screen technologies are powerful tools and when used intentionally, with specific purposes, our children become media-literate in the process of learning more about their own creativity and unique skills.

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15 Media Activities for Children, ages 3-6

Screen Violence

1. Talk about real-life consequences.

If the screen violence were happening in real life, how would the victim feel? In real life what would happen to the perpetrator of the violence. Compare what’s on the screen to the consequences of what happens when someone hurts another person in the real world.

2. Violence is not the way to solve problems.

Emphasize that hurting another person in any way or destroying property is wrong and won’t solve a person’s problems. Point out to your child that many of the violent cartoon characters never seem to solve their problems from episode to episode, and that to use violence is to act without thinking of the consequences. Tell your child it’s powerful and smart to find peaceful, creative ways to solve problems with other human beings. Choose a problem your child encountered recently such as another child taking a toy away and talk about the reasonable way the problem was resolved or could have been resolved-without hurting.

3. Anger is natural.

Talk about the fact that we all get angry, that it’s normal. It’s what we do with our anger-how we cope with it and express it-that’s important. When screen characters hurt people out of anger, it’s because they have not learned how to deal with their anger. Your child could make a list of screen characters who know how to deal with their anger in positive ways.

4. Count the number of violent acts.

While watching a favorite cartoon with your child, count the number of actual violent actions. Point out that these are harmful to others and you would never allow him/her to do such things to others. Total the number of violent actions at the end of the program and ask your child if he/she thought there were that many. Decide not to watch cartoons or any shows with such violent actions.

5. Talk about real and pretend.

If your child is exposed to a violent movie or video game, it is especially important to talk with him/her about the fact that the images were pretend-like when your child plays pretend and that no one was actually hurt. Make it a common practice to talk about the differences between real and pretend with any TV programs, movies, your child watches. Understanding this concept basic to becoming media-literate!

Screen Advertising

6. Blind taste test.

Show your child how she can test the claims of commercials. Have her do a blind taste test. It can be done with a wide range of foods such as three or four kinds of soda pop, spaghetti sauce, cereal-your child’s favorites. Are the products as great as the commercials claimed? Can she tell the difference between a generic brand and a famous one? Can she identify products by name? Do the commercials make products seem different than they really are? Why or why not? This is a fun activity to do with several children. Have a taste test party!

7. Draw pictures of a feeling.

Suggest that your child draw a picture depicting how he feels after watching two different types of TV commercials. What are the differences between the pictures? Discuss your child’s feelings about the different commercial messages. Picture the buyer. Younger children can watch a commercial and then draw a picture of the type of person they think will buy the product. After discussing the child’s picture, explain how various audience appeals are used in commercials to attract specific audiences.

8. Cartoon ads.

While watching cartoons, your child can look for specific cartoon characters that appear in popular commercials. Explain the differences between the commercial and the cartoon: In the commercial, the character sells a product; in the cartoon, the character entertains us. The next time she watches TV, have her report to you if she sees any cartoon characters selling products.

9. The toy connection.

When visiting a toy store, you and your child can look for toys that have been

advertised on TV or promoted by TV personalities. Point out to him how the toys advertised on TV initially seem more attractive than those he hasn’t seen advertised.

10. Invent a character.

Your child can pick a product, such as a favorite cereal, and create an imaginary character that can be used to sell the product. He/she could draw a picture or role-play the character. Or, using puppets, stage an imaginative commercial for a made-up product. Afterwards discuss with your child what she or he did to tell people about the product. Watch a few commercials and point out basic selling techniques such as making the product looking larger than life, repeating a jingle, and showing happy children using the product.

Screen News

TV news contains elements that may not be appropriate for young children. As much as possible, watch news when your child is in bed or not in the room. Protect your little one from graphic images and topics that she/he is not ready to handle cognitively or emotionally.

Screen Stereotypes

11. Not better, just different.

Children are never too young to start learning the message that differences do not make anyone better than anyone else. Point out how each family member has his or her own individual preferences, habits, ideas, and behaviors. Differences make us all unique and interesting. When your child sees a racist or sexist stereotype on the screen, explain that the writers of the script made an error in portraying the character in that light.

12. Change the picture.

Play a game with your child: When she encounters a screen stereotype, ask her whether other types of people could play that role. For instance, if the secretary is a young woman, explain that men are secretaries, too, and that many older women are very competent secretaries.

13. Girls, boys, and toys.

As you walk through a toy store, point out various toys to your child, asking each time whether the toy is made for a boy or a girl. Ask if any child could just as well play with the toy. Encourage your child to find toys that would be fun for girls and boys to play with. Then, when your child sees toy commercials on TV, point out whether only little boys or little girls are playing with the toys.

14. Play: Who is missing?

Often what children see on the screen does not represent all nationalities and the diversity he or she encounters in preschool, kindergarten, or on the playground. While watching favorite cartoons or movies with your child, discuss who is missing-such as an older person; a disabled person, or a person of a certain race or nationality. You can also discuss what types of people your child encounters more often on the screen-young, glamorous, happy white people usually take up the majority of the visual images with men outnumbering women 3 to 1!

15. Model discussion of screen stereotypes.

When your family watches a favorite TV program or a popular DVD, you can help your youngster identify stereotypical roles, behaviors, and attitudes by holding family conversations to involve your spouse and/or older children. While watching the program or movie, the adults and the older children take notes, tracking whenever they spot a stereotype of age, gender, or race. After watching, turn off the TV/VCR and discuss everyone’s observations. Using each family member’s notes, compile a master list of the stereotypical statements and portrayals that were noted. This discussion can be made more interesting if you taped the program (or replay the DVD in appropriate scene/s), so you can refer back to it as family members discuss the stereotypes they spotted. Your little one will listen to this family media literacy conversation and absorb important information while the others share their ideas.

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Web 2.0 And Demolition of Print Media

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Web 2.0 is an open source for all netizens to exercise their democratic rights without misuse. To me, the constitution of web 2.0 reads, ‘We, the people of e-space, having solemnly resolved to constitute the cyber world into sovereign, secular, democratic, republic, and to secure to all its netizens”

In plain, web 2.0 is a netizens/Internet users driven world. It has following features:

Network as platform

User driven/controlled contents

A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on AJAX technology

Social networking Aspects

1:1 Connection Between Mobile and Website

Any website based on web 2.0 concept has lots of scope for users. In short, democracy is the main feature of web 2.0. Thus, Web 2.0 is ‘For the People, Of the People, and By the People’.

Web 2.0 implies Netizen journalism. As web 2.0 popularizes Neitizen journalism and more people are becoming ‘public writers’, there is a fear that journalism as a distinct profession is becoming harder and harder to sustain. The boundaries between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ performance are breaking down

Until web 1.0, Internet was more or less treated like print media in digital form. But the technological advancement has made it possible to unleash the full potential of the Internet. Today, Internet is recognized as the most powerful medium, even more powerful than newspapers and TVs. According to a study, majority of youngsters surf Internet for a long time than sitting silently in front of the ‘Idiot Box’. Why?

  • Internet is one stop place for both motion pictures (TV) and literary texts (Newspapers)
  • Internet offers a place for 1:1 interactions
  • Internet Today offers lots of spaces for users’ to participate (web 2.0)

In short, Internet serves everything you wish for! Under these circumstances, one can never undermine the scope of Internet at time when the wave of web 2.0 is floating across. It’s high time to recognize the potential of Internet as important media, which seems to be dominating print and visual media (TVs). While TVs continue to grow at their own pace, print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) may likely to face a tougher challenge from Internet.

I cannot predict how long newspapers will remain. But I do feel confident in predicting that the Internet will continue to demolish the printed world. And with the advent of new technologies (WEB 2.0 AJAX), creating multimedia advertisements inside web pages will make online marketing closer to the highly effective television and radio market strategy. Flash and JavaScript have added visual interactivity–and scripted database functions fill the web with more possibilities than even TV and radio.

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Satellite TV – Is It Right for You?

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Satellite TV is one of the most prominent options in today’s market for entertainment. Local television programming has become one of the least favorite options of television viewers. Even cable service can be limiting. However, many turn to big network providers as a way of getting more channels and improved overall service. Before you consider installing any of these systems into your home, there are a few things to take into consideration. Keep in mind that these companies offer changes all of the time.

You Don’t Have to Make the Decision on Your Own

Perhaps one of the most important things people should know about satellite TV is that they do not have to decide whether to use this service on their own. Rather, they can find experts who can offer a consultation. The consultation will involve looking at your location, your product option choices, your viewing habits and other things to determine what is really best for you.

Why do you need this type of professional service? In many cases, companies are happy to trick you or to make it hard for you to compare products offered. For example, you may find yourself confused as to which company has the better deal. You may be worried about the quality of the service you will get in your specific area (since this can change from one location to the next.) You may be worried about the installation process as well as what it may entail. All of these things can add up quickly.

Who Is It Right For?

There are key advantages to using satellite TV as your choice. If you are unsure if it is right for you, consider the following things.

– Do you want to have access to more television channels? More so, is there a channel that you want to have that is not available through your local cable provider?

– Are you looking for a lower cost? Oftentimes, this type of service is less expensive than using traditional cable television, especially if you want access to more channels and specific types of channels.

– Are you okay with having a dish and managing it? Though some say these are less reliable, they do not have to be with proper installation.

There are many questions to ask when considering whether satellite TV is the right option for you. Keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different. There is not one service that is better for everyone. However, there are many ways for you to learn about your options in programming and costs. Consider your viewing habits. How will they change once you have this type of service compared to what you are used to right now?

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5 Simple Steps to Be a Media Star

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This series of articles are focused on how to become known as an expert. Today we will focus on how to gain media attention.

Dale Carnegie said in his famous book – How To Win Friends and Influence People, “babies cry for and grown men die for”. We all want attention and recognition. We seek media attention to get our name splashed in newspapers, radio and TV. Not only is it something we personally want but it is also a great strategy to gain expert status and get clients.

I have been written up in print, interviewed on radio and TV. Did you know one appearance on TV can catapult you into fame and launch your career into the stratosphere? Fawn Germer, who I recently hear speak, was featured on Oprah. She has leveraged it to the hilt. We all know what can happen if you are seen on The Oprah Show. Businesses become hugely successful and a million books are sold! Dr. Phil and Dr. OZ started as guests on The Oprah Show. Now they have their own shows.

So how do you get attention of the media?

Here are 5 simple strategies:

  1. Find an angle that will appeal to the media: It is quite easy to look up what current stories are already being covered in the media. Just find an angle to latch on to the story. It is not enough to say that you are a chiropractor or a massage therapist. What is new, unique or newsworthy about your profession?
  2. Prepare you story: Once you know the angle, create a pitch that is easy for you to communicate. Human interest stories are featured all the time. Pick a struggle and how you or a client overcame that struggle.
  3. Get a list of reporters: Today it is easier to find reporters on the internet. Social media has made reporters and journalists much more accessible. Pick the target market you want to focus on and find the reporters who cover such stories.
  4. Call or email them: Depending on the information you have and how timely it is, you can just pick up the phone and call the reporter. Make sure you are aware of simple protocols. TV, radio and print media – all have different strategies in collecting and sharing information. Pay attention to when and how you should approach the media.
  5. Build a relationship: I consistently write comments to the reporters. You will be amazed how many of them will reply back. Make it a habit to communicate with them so you can be recognized. Today the media is required to build a following and be in touch with their audience.

These simple and effective strategies will help you start moving towards being a media star.

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How Super Are Super PAC's? Are They Being Controlled By The TV Media?

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The race is on – and it’s not four-legged critters such as in the usual horse races. Instead a much more important and costly race is on for the highest office in our land. Who will win – we all are anxious to know. We all hope it will be “our candidate.” Many of those in influential circles such as the elite  TV   media  believe they already know the answer. But do they? How will the deluge of Super PAC ads affect the outcome? Just how super are… super PAC’s?

These Super PAC’s of course are the private groups who organize and raise money in order to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of, in this case, the 2012 Presidential race.

In past years I’ve always been a somewhat occasional observer of the political scene. Once in awhile while driving I’d catch a few minutes of one of the more popular daily talk-show hosts on the radio. And that would “catch me up” on the issues. Or, so I thought. But the issues are now changing so rapidly, I’m finding it takes more than an occasional hearing. And I have found myself not only glued to the radio but also to the internet to learn and research for myself what is happening to our great country.

And what I’m hearing and seeing is that the all-new-this-year-right-out-of-the-box Super PAC ads are daily being blasted across the airwaves. Their messages being not always made up of truth. Yet millions of dollars are being invested in them by everyone from the lowliest peon to the highest ranking CEO of the largest corporations, banks and investment firms. A lot is hanging on these major players called Super PAC’s. But is all this money bringing in the results that is hoped for.

Well, up until a few days ago I thought it was an open playing field – with of course those with the most backing being more effective simply because of the volume power. But now I’m beginning to wonder if there is not other things happening. For instance”When Mitt Romney Came to Town” came out it hit the news and several main media sources were talking about how terrible and false it all was. Even the candidate that PAC was supporting suggested that if they could not substantiate their message they needed to pull it. The fact being, it definitely got media coverage.

I had seen the production and also most, I think, of the media’s critique of it. And I thought, okay, we’ll see what happens. So in a day or so I checked out the sources’ site and there was an open letter to the “enemy” candidate stating their verification of the facts and offering to pull the ad – when they received verification of certain facts from the “enemy camp.” Interestingly, I heard nothing more on the subject.

Then this same site came out with a shocking production relating the other candidate to a Medicare scandal – which I would think would grab the attention of nearly everyone in America. But, amazingly, that was not the case. You didn’t hear anything about it on the news. Then this Super PAC’s full “documentary” on the subject came out. You would surely think that would be the subject of debates and be on the lips of everyone. Especially since right on the same website they provided a bold link to the documentation for what is presented. But not so. I have watched and listened carefully and have heard nothing.

So, how super are the Super PAC’s? I’m wondering if they are only as powerful as the  TV   media  allows them to be. But then when I think about it, I must ask myself where exactly does all such power come from? It ultimately comes from God. All the money and all the talent invested in Super PAC’s ultimately are in the hand of God to do with as He wills. The mighty King Nebuchadnezzar found that to be true; and after a season of great humiliation, proclaimed: “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay his hand or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:35).

Yet it doesn’t end there. We have been given access to this Great Power through prayer. And as the saying goes, prayer changes things. Because our Great God hears our prayers. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availed much” (James 5:16-17). So if Elias, a man who was no different that we are could pray and affect whether or not it rained for 44 months – perhaps our prayers can effect greatly whether or not the truth gets out. Which ultimately, it could effect the impact of even Super PAC ads – with or without the control of the media.

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