Tag Archives: technology

Flying Past Mountains… and other airplane thoughts

Today marks the end of my last college Thanksgiving break. I’m sure my dad is reading this and laughing outloud to himself, because my entire Senior year so far I’ve been saying everything is “the last first day of school,” “my last Fall in Boston,” “my last class registration” – basically just being overly-emotional and making a big deal out of everything… but, really, isn’t that what girls are supposed to do? If you’re a girl reading this, don’t try to tell me you didn’t do the same thing your senior year of high school and/or college…!

Anyway, I guess the real reason I’m putting such a big emphasis on the “last” of everything is that it’s pretty weird knowing I’m going to be graduating from college soon… in a few days less than 6 months, to be exact. And who knows where I’ll end up, what I’ll be doing (please hire me!). All I know is I’ve changed a lot since I first started college.  And one of the ways I’ve changed I just noticed today while I was at the airport.

When I first headed to college, I had only ever flown on a plane by myself once or twice before. I wasn’t very used to it. Walking around the airport, I felt like a little snowflake in the middle of a huge snowstorm (gotta love winter-themed similes!). I didn’t know my way around the airport, I took way too long taking my shoes off and my laptop out of my bag getting through security, and I definitely couldn’t entertain myself for 6 hours on the plane.

But not only have I learned to deal with airports and airplanes, I’ve grown to somewhat love traveling. Because I decided today (this morning, rather) that being a college student at the airport is actually very empowering!

Here’s why:

1. College students outnumber other people at the airport at many times during the year. I don’t have any actual statistics to prove this, but really, we all fly on the same days during the year, and there’s hundreds of thousands of us… college students, unite!

2. We fly a lot. And consistently. While many people only travel at random times during the year for vacation or business, college students generally (besides the occasional vacation or spur-of-the-moment trip) fly during the same times each year: August/September (going to school), Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, then May/June (going home). Many of those are very busy times of the year, because of holidays. So we are pros at navigating our way through busy airports, we don’t get annoyed or fed up waiting in long security lines, and we know how to find the good food and places to sit in each terminal. So we can walk with a certain kind of swagger, knowing we’re airport pros, while we smile and nod at our fellow students throughout the airport… the real question is, will we still be airport pros after we graduate and become “real people”? Well, at least for that last flight home after graduation…!

3. As college students, we have many more ways to entertain ourselves on long flights than other travelers do. Because a.) we’re used to traveling (see #2), and b.) most of us (I guess I’m generalizing here, but at least this is true for me and most of my friends at Emerson) love technology, social media, the internet, etc… For example, right now I’m on a 6-hour flight to Boston. But instead of trying to force myself to sleep, I’m blogging! I’m also tweeting… and checking-in on Foursquare (yep, in the sky!)…

4. One of the main things that defines a college student is having homework – and what better place to do it than on the plane? I guess this really would fall under reason #3, but it’s not so much “entertaining” as it is just something to do… So while I personally am not doing my homework right now (blogging is much more fun, and I can do my homework later…!), I’m sure there’s many other students on my flight doing theirs!

5. As college students (or at least myself), we don’t exactly have much time to spend doing recreational reading. If we’re reading, it’s probably a textbook, or another book required for class. So for me, the airplane is one of the few chances I get to just simply sit down and read a book! Right now I’m reading the 4th Twilight book, Breaking Dawn (don’t judge!).

So all you college students out there, whether you fly home, train home, drive home, bus home, or walk home (does anyone really do that?), just know there’s tons of us out there! Like I said before, college students unite! I’ve seen at least 5 people from my high school class at the airport and on the plane so far today… it’s like a mini-reunion! So if I’m seeing college students I know, imagine how many there are that I don’t know! Just look for the young-ish looking people wearing sweatpants, sweatshirts, and leggings…!

And on that note, since it is my LAST THANKSGIVING BREAK EVER (!!!), I figured I should mention some of the things I’m thankful for. I’m sure I will forget at least a few of them (there’s so many!), but here’s 10 things I’m grateful for in my life, and specifically in this past year:

1. My family. Words cannot describe how much I love you all and how grateful I am for you guys (and how grateful I am that you actually read my blog posts…! That makes 3 people… haha)! You are THE most important people in my life.

2. My health (and my family’s health). I have a cold right now, but I’m not complaining… it could be much much worse.

3. My sorority sisters. You are always there for me, to support me, to laugh with me, to cry with me, or to just have fun with me!

4. The Olympics/Paralympics. And the people I worked with at both. This past February-March was probably the best 2 months of my life so far. Such an amazing experience! And to those of you I worked with (or worked for!), you are all amazing and I hope to work with you again in the future (London 2012, anyone?)! I brought my volunteer backpack on the plane with me…!

5. Technology. Ok, I know that sounds kind of superficial, but really… what would you do without the internet? Well, maybe you’d be just fine and dandy, but I don’t know what I would do without it! I mean, I’d be fine, but life would not be as fun or as productive! Thank you internet for Twitter, blogs, video blogs, and all the other fun things that I love (and hope to have a job related to someday)! And thank you for the free wifi I’m using right now on the plane…!

6. Emerson. Yes, I have my complaints (but so does any college student about their school!), but really, Emerson has been great to me in this last year. I got to take a semester off but still receive credit for a directed study about the Olympics (in which I blogged and video blogged about the Games), and now the school has let me skip prerequisites to get into a 300-level Marketing class (I wish I could just magically have a Marketing major…!), and skip prereqs to get into the capstone I wanted for my Broadcast Journalism major. So thank you, Emerson, for letting me bend the rules a bit to get everything I want out of my expensive education!

7. Airplanes. I had to say it. I definitely couldn’t go to Emerson if airplanes didn’t exist… or do a bunch of other amazing things!

8. Beautiful views. I have never appreciate how beautiful Seattle is until going to college, and especially this past year. Also, the beautiful views on the Boston Esplanade, and from the airplane!

thanks again, technology, for letting me take this picture on the plane!

9. Whistler. Thank you for the Olympics, Thanksgiving breaks, and too many days of snowboarding to count (especially the days with the fam!).

Pops, the (not-so) little bro, and me on the mountain yesterday! We missed ya, mom!

10. And last, but definitely not least, all the necessities in life. The ones most of us take for granted most of the time. Housing, clothes, food (my personal favorite), and everything else we need to get by in life. Take a moment today to remember and appreciate everything you have in your life, because there’s tons of others out there who don’t have those things!

I hope you all had a great (LAST or not last…) Thanksgiving break! Let me know some of the things you’re thankful for in the comments! Or just what you did over your break…!




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Social Media Panel @ Emerson College 11/08/2010

So I know I’ve somewhat neglected this blog for a while… I’ve still been blogging and vlogging a lot, but just not on here! For 3 weeks, I was a New Balance Campus Fitness Blogger for HerCampus.com (you can check out my blogs and vlogs here), and I’m going to continue to vlog for them, and I’m also vlogging for the EVVY Awards (Emerson College’s own award show – you can watch my vlogs for them here)!

Anyway, I want to fill you guys in on some cool things I learned/heard about this week in the online world.

As you probably know, I am addicted to social media (if you’re reading this, you probably got the link via some social media site). I personally love social media, so I think this is a great addiction for many reasons (If you’re not addicted yet, I can probably convince you to be!), but some of my friends and family would beg to differ…

Anyway, this past Monday, I attended a social media panel at Emerson College, hosted by EmComm, an Emerson College marketing firm. More specifically though, it was moderated by @ZachACole, an Emerson senior Marketing student, who does a ton of things when it comes to the internet (including writing for a bunch of different websites). He’s one of my favorite people to have nerdy social media conversations with…!

The panelists were Twitter celebs @BostonTweet @BostonTweetup (@joselinmane) @likeablemedia and @oneforty . If you’re a social media fan, and live in Boston (or really anywhere – but especially Boston!) you should definitely be following all of these people.

The panel was great – Zach Cole started off introducing each panelist, and then asking them questions. Each panelist had a ton to say about social media, and how to use social media to your advantage, depending on your career and life goals.

It’s the 3rd day of the week, so I decided to format this blog around 3s… so read on for 3 tips in different categories about social media…!

3 things all college students should get involved with in the social media world right now: Twitter, LinkedIn, and a personal blog.

1. Twitter. Other than the fact that it’s super easy to sign up for (just give an e-mail address and a username and you’re all set!) and it makes it possible to network within seconds (just click “follow”!), there’s not much you need to know about Twitter when you’re just starting out. If you want more evidence on why I love it so much, just ask me!

2. Blog. They said as far as the blog goes, not to worry about having some amazingly clever and creative idea, just blog about what you’re passionate about! If you’re a college student, getting ready to apply for real world jobs (ahh!), blog about what you want to do in your career. Just start a WordPress site, a Tumblr, whatever you want. The panelists said that as long as you are passionate in your blog posts, you will stand out to employers, because who doesn’t want to hire someone with passion?!

3. Linkedin. This is important for anyone who has or wants a job, but especially for us college students hoping to make connections before we graduate! If you don’t know what Linkedin is, it’s a career-oriented website where you can basically post an online version of your resume, attach your Twitter, blog, whatever you want, and then connect with people – literally, you add them as a “connection” (it doesn’t sound as creepy as “followers,” eh?). But it’s not just like Facebook where you’re only connected with your own friends – on Linkedin, you’re connected with the people you know, and the people they know, and the people they know, etc. etc.! So let’s say you have 10 connections. If each of those people has 5 connections – voila! You’re connected to 50 more people! This is very useful when trying to find jobs, because the people you know may be connected to people in your career field. There’s also Linkedin groups (somewhat similar to Facebook groups), where you can connect with people of a similar career path, hobby, etc. One thing with Linkedin I learned about at the panel that I didn’t know about before is Linkedin Questions. On the site, you can post a question about anything, and then anyone on Linkedin can answer it! For example, right now I’m trying to buy a domain name, but I don’t know which site to use, so I just posted the question “What is the best web hosting site?” under the “Web Development” category. Hopefully some people will answer my question soon!

3 tips on building your social media presence:

1. Believe in yourself, and just get started! Don’t worry too much about what to say, or what to do – just do it! And with Twitter, the panelists said don’t make your profile private. They said that somewhat defeats the purpose of Twitter if you make it private – Twitter is about getting as many people to hear your thoughts as you can! I learned this when I first got Twitter. I started out with my page private, because I didn’t want any creepers to find me. But then I realized that many more people would follow me if I made it public, and that rather than being afraid of the creepers, I should just not post anything that I wouldn’t want them to see!

2. Don’t separate your professionalism from your personality. Twitter is the most successful when you are transparent, and being your true self, quirks and all.

3. Go to Tweetups! Since @BostonTweetup was there, of course tweetups came up in the discussion! Tweetups are Twitter meetups, where you can essentially get offline and build real relationships in-person with the people you engage with online. They’re clearly very useful, because for all you social media cynics out there who think you can’t form real relationships on the internet, tweetups allow you to make real relationships out of the relationships you already have online! They can take place anywhere – a bar, a restaurant, or wherever you want! If you’re still confused, go to Boston Tweetup’s site, where you can check out all the tweetups going on around Boston. I personally have only ever gone to one tweetup (it was a Social Good Day tweetup sponsored by Mashable and the (RED) Campaign), because a.) I don’t have much free time, and b.) I don’t hear about them a lot – but now that I know about Boston Tweetup, I’m definitely going to start hearing about and going to more of them!

3 ways social media is changing and will change in the future:

1. @likeablemedia: she comes from a marketing perspective, so she originally started using social media as a marketing tool, which many companies do. But she thinks companies will start using social media as more than that – for sales, for customer service,Q&A sites, etc.

2. @JoselinMane: the next phase of social media is influence. Specifically, Klout! I had actually heard of Klout before this panel, but it is new for many people. Klout says it is “The Standard for Online and Internet Influence.” On the site, you can type in your Twitter username, and it will give you a Klout score, along with a bunch of other statistics, For example, I have a Klout score of 34, a true reach of 310 (the size of my engaged audience), an amplification of 15 (the likelihood that my content will be acted upon), and a network of 77 (the influence level of my engaged audience). If you click on any of those numbers, it gives you more explanation. Basically, there’s a ton of information on Klout, so if you have a Twitter account, you should definitely go test it out! And if you don’t have a Twitter account, well, you know how I feel about that…!

@JoselinMane also said that certain places will actually give you a discount depending on how high your Klout is! I’m definitely going to test that out… So you can be rewarded for having influence on Twitter. He also said social media is “the great amplifier.” He cited the movie Bruno failing (because everyone talked about how bad it was on social media), and the new GAP logo (social media users complained about it, so the company went back to it’s current logo – yay! Look how powerful we can be, guys!).

3. @BostonTweet said social media is changing the way news works. We are now the media. It used to be that the local media broke the news first, and then the consumers found out about it. But now we are the media, and the local media picks up on what we’re saying. He also talked about the power of the Twitter search engine, and how it may even be more powerful than Google, because Twitter tells you what people are talking right now, what’s happening right now, whereas Google tells you what has already happened.

3 things I learned speaking to the panelists one-on-one after the formal discussion:

1. @SeattleTweet? I told @BostonTweet I’m from Seattle, and asked him if he thought anything similar would be possible in Seattle. He asked me about the size of Seattle, the public transportation, the neighborhoods, etc., and asked me if I thought Seattle was similar to Boston in the way that you can get from one end to the other (e.g. from Back Bay to Cambridge) in just a few minutes. Boston is a walking city. As of now, I’m not sure whether or not a @SeattleTweet would work… but who knows, maybe someday it’ll exist (made by me, or someone else)!

2. Video Blogging. I talked to @BostonTweet, @JoselinMane, and @oneforty about the video blogging that I do, and asked them all how they think video can be used with social media, and how it’s possible (or if it is possible) to monetize vlogging. Most of them seemed on the same page that they didn’t really know how some people seem to have a decent amount of money, but it seems like they just make YouTube videos, and none of the panelists seemed sure of exactly how those people make money. But some of the panelists cited how YouTube does sometimes pay its users to have ads on their videos, depending on the number of views and subscribers on your channel.

One thing @JoselinMane told me is that, for YouTubers, it’s really good to try to post videos at a consistent time. And that time should be consistent with your viewers. This is something I definitely want to start implementing. For example, the people who watch my videos are probably mostly college students (and my parents, of course…!), so I should try to figure out when college students are most likely to watch videos, and then post my vlogs at that time! This will get me more views, more subscribers, and just overall more success in the long run!

3. A new vlogger role model! @oneforty told me about Sarah Dussault (@dietsarah), a fitness video blogger in Boston. On her YouTube channel, The Sarah Fit Show, she talks about fitness tips, health tips, and weight loss tips (she just finished up a 6 week pre-Halloween Weight Loss Challenge on her show). Every week she answers one of her viewers’ questions, so she really gets her viewers involved in her content. She even allows her viewers to vote on which questions they want answered, which is something I haven’t really seen before! I had never heard of her before @oneforty told me about her, but Sarah seems like a really great model for the kind of video blogging I would like to be able to do (not necessarily fitness-related – although I did that recently with HerCampus.com – but just in the way she interacts with her viewers and produces consistent content). Since she’s based in Boston, maybe I can meet her sometime!

There’s a ton of other things I learned and heard about at the panel, but this blog post is already way too long, so I will leave you with one last thing – some of the tweets from during the panel! I tweeted 10 times during the 1-hour panel, and then a few more times once I got home. Here’s some of the highlights people posted during the #ECpanel :

“the more times ppl say ‘follow me,’ the less I want to follow them” – @bostontweetup (tweeted by me)

Great night tonight at Emerson College with the #ECPanel & of course all the students who listened to me babble. http://twitpic.com/356rpq (tweeted by @BostonTweet)

“each and every one of you can become your own CNN” – @bostontweetup on social media influence (tweeted by me)
@bostontweetup talking about sun and the wind.. all you can do is provide your goodness and they will come to you (tweeted by @celianissen)
Twitter is a conversation not a distribution center via @BostonTweetup @ #ECPanel (tweeted by @akelley18)
“I know most of Emerson is addicted to @boloco” – @BostonTweet – sooo true! I might get some after this #ECPanel (tweeted by me)
“Use Twitter as an extension of your voice” -@BostonTweet (tweeted by @celianissen)

@BostonTweet says he walks 15 miles a day from going to so many different places and events! Crazy! (tweeted by me)

“be authentic and genuine, and you can connect with almost anybody.” – @BostonTweetUp @joselinmane (tweeted by @Karlan_Baumann)

“Think before you tweet” -Janet A. @oneforty (tweeted by @val_molina)

“think twice, then tweet once.” @BostonTweetup on thinking before you tweet (tweeted by me)
“social media is not new media, it’s NOW media” – @BostonTweetup (tweeted by me)
Full house in the bill bordy for the @Emcomm’s #ECPanel ! http://twitpic.com/3566hj (tweeted by @akelley18)
#SoEmerson Tweeting @BostonTweet when he’s in the very same room.(tweeted by @simply_stephi)


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