Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Avengers, Finally!

Alright so this topic doesn't exactly fit so perfectly with the theme of our blog, new and old media. However, I thought it would be okay to make an exception cause I mean come on its The Avengers. Since I heard about the film I have been pretty excited. The film is simply filled with some cool actors and a great director/writer that I am sure will work well together. Five big screen films have been made to help build the stage for The Avengers, so it's extremely important that it lives up to the hype. We will have to wait until May 4th to know for sure, but it looks as though The Avengers will pull it off.

The Avengers has already opened overseas with an amazing start. The film has already made roughly $178 million with the biggest opening weekend ever in 12 other countries including Mexico, New Zealand, and The Philippines. The Avengers definitely has a great chance to set some new records for the U.S. box office, but it's interesting to see what this movie has new to offer. I think the biggest thing is the amount of major characters. People are obviously also excited for Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises, but both those films are about one main focus. No other film has yet to bring this many major superheroes to the big screen at once. It's an action movie that has potential to create some amazing scenes. I hope to be able to see it in all it's nerdy superhero glory this weekend. Are you guys planning on seeing The Avengers this weekend?

Hot Problems??

I am an avid YouTube user, and in the past week or so, reactions to a certain video have been everywhere. However, this video is one of the worst  I have ever seen. The video is called "Hot Problems," and consists of two teen girls from LA "singing" about the toils and turmoil of supposedly being attractive. The duo, who call themselves Double Take, have been dubbed the new Rebecca Black by many Internet dwellers, and "Hot Problems" is being called the worst song ever by ABC News. Even though it's so terrible, the video has 9,832,471 views, 448,109 of which gave it a thumbs down. 

The Internet fury ignited by the video has once again brought up the topic of cyber bullying, as was the case with Rebecca Black and "Friday." However, I myself find it difficult to express any type of sympathy for these girls. Being members of a media fluent generation, these girls most definitely know what happens to teens who post these kinds of videos. What else would motivate them to make such a thing but attention? These girls knew the consequences of such a post, but most likely saw the potential five minutes of fame as well worth the hate. 

What's your opinion? Did Double Take deserve the backlash they received for their song? Or are they being too harshly criticized for a little teenaged fun? Let me know in the comments.


What's Popular??

One of the main ideas we are trying to get in this blog, is to show how new media has changed society in a whole new way.  What is important or "trending" on social websites each week may or may not have connection to what is important in the newspapers that week.  to show this, I have been watching what has been trending on Twitter this week, what people have been posting about on Facebook, and what has been popular in the Wall Street Journal and other news sites.
     This week, Twitter has had many trends as usual everyday but I've been watching for trends that are Madison specific as well.  Some of these trends include the draft, the Dean of Students and Mifflin.  On Facebook, all anyone has been talking about since it came out is the Dean of Student's message to the students on behalf of Mifflin.  There has been re post upon re post of the video itself, and then of course thousands of videos and memes made because of the video.
     In contrast to these things that seem to have been important to those of us who are obsessed with social media, the rest of society has been concerned with other things.  There is one thing that I saw which connected across social media and the news which was the draft.  Other than that, what has been important to the rest of society rests in recent politics, earthquakes in California, international news, and recent unfortunate events which have left some killed.  As you can see, what is important to society in the news is much more centered around the well being of everyone, and what should be important to all Americans.  On the other hand, social media trends are generally centered around raising awareness.  Whether that awareness is something that is funny, or something serious, trends are a way of spreading the word.
     Social media and everyday news can both differ and connect in some ways.  They can sometimes fight against each other, and other times work together.  The main idea here, is that they are different and will remain different, and this difference has effected society.  The effect is neither good or bad, but is has made an impact on all of us, especially those of our generation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cover The Night Results

After the Kony 2012 YouTube video went viral, I expected the support for it to grow as time went on. Unfortunately, it seems as though the movement has lost its momentum. Friday was the big day for the "Cover The Night" event that the video was promoting. The goal of the event was to cover cities in posters of the infamous warlord to help pressure the U.S. government to aid in the arrest of Joseph Kony. But in the end, the event did not end up producing the intended flood of Kony posters in many cities, including Madison.

As I got up on Saturday this weekend, I expected to see tons of red Kony posters everywhere. It could have been my high expectations, but it looked as though the event had not gained the members it needed to result in a successful impact. By the end of my Saturday I counted only 3 posters. Most likely some areas are covered more than others. However, I expected the campus to contain plenty of students willing to participate. It's also important to note that Fridays are obviously a big night for partying. I'm also guessing that having the event on 4/20 didn't exactly help their cause, but I think the biggest issue was timing. The YouTube video just came out too early, and by the time Cover The Night came around all the hype was gone. There just seemed to be nothing else to keep the public interest. I think that the video should have come out closer towards the date of Cover The Night. I remember when I first saw the video for Kony. I was so pumped, and I just wanted to grab posters and start putting them on people's faces. I was completely convinced that I would participate in Cover The Night. For me, the controversy regarding the Kony campaign's use of funds and the huge time gap drained my interest. Were any of you guys planning on Covering The Night?

A Modern Engagement

Hey everyone! Today I will be talking about a trend that I have been noticing in my own life: weddings. It doesn't apply to me yet, and most likely doesn't to many of you either, the digitizing of much of the wedding process has caught my attention. My cousin got engaged over winter break, and I was recently invited to view the happy couple's website. Some may find this conceited, but I think it's great.

Weddings are traditionally very costly and elaborate affairs, but some of that cost can be cut out by digitizing part of the process. For instance, I've always though save-the-dates were a waste of paper, but having a website with the wedding's information eliminates that need. Even if physical invitations are sent, the website cuts down the information that needs to be included, thus saving money.

But even more than the monetary benefits, I love the idea of a wedding website because it allows guests to get to know more about what they're actually celebrating. My cousin's site includes small bios for each of the wedding party, explaining how fit into the life of the bride and groom. There are also extensive bios for both bride and groom, which is great for getting to know the side of the bridal party you've never met. It's a lot more pleasant to attend a party when you're not completely ignorant of half the guests.

The site also includes details about the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and honeymoon, as well as providing helpful lodging and travel information. The bride was even able to contact several hotels and other lodging options and secure reduced rates for guests, making it easier for all the people the couple wants to be there to be able to.

Although marriage seems veryveryvery far away for me, I hope this digitizing trend continues. God knows I have enough expenses to deal with as it is!



Just when you think Apple cannot possibly come out with anything more, they can and do. Rumor has it Apple is coming out with their very own television. Yes they have their " Apply TV" but this my fellow readers is an actual TV.  According to, Apple is taking the Television where no other company has taken it before.Taken from the article on Fobes, " Apple is working on a television set with an iTunes-integrated touch screen remote and Siri-like voice command technology." In addition, the TV will come with an Apple- branded game console that is similar to Microsoft's Kinect video game console.  The Apple television set is supposed to come out at the end of 2012. I believe this  TV will set the new  standard for all future televisions. I mean, who are kidding, it was only a matter of time some company comes out with a television set like this. There was a point in time where "touch-screen" devices were  simply too good to be true. Now a days, if a technology company doesn't carry a touch-screen device, they might as well consider themselves passe! I think this new Apple TV could be really cool and models as such will become the new norm of watching television. However, this just seems like a huge Ipad that you can hang in your living room. Television can be watched from almost any technological medium these days so realistically, how different is Apple's television set going to be from anything else that is out on the market?! What are you thoughts on Apple's rumored television set?!
Here is where I got the article from:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unknown Knowledge


This week I've realized a lot of things about our generation and how lucky we are.  I'm in a class for my major where once a week we hear from different managers/executives from all different types of retail companies.  And every week we hear about how right now there are more and more jobs opening up based off of the knowledge that the people of our generation possess.  Jobs that don't even have a title yet, or a description, or a base pay.  But the thing is, they are willing to pay.  To pay for the knowledge of how people connect, new media ideas, our predictions for what is going to be the next big thing, and most of all our unmatchable skills in technology and social media.
     To us, social media is an everyday, all day thing.  Through our computers, ipads, and smart phones we have access to social media all the time and are constantly using it.  Through this use we gain a set of skills unlike any other generation has had before.  And for a lot of companies, those skills are crucial to selling and connecting with their target market.  Connecting with your target market is number one on the list of what successful companies have to do throughout their business lives.  For anyone who has studied retail, and many who haven't, you can tell who a company's target market is based off how they advertise and connect with their customer.  If a company doesn't have any use for a Facebook or Twitter then they are clearly not targeting a younger generation.  But, those that are trying to target a younger generation will suffer horribly if they do not keep up with social media and all its demands.
     This is where we, as a generation, come into play.  We are the target market, not just as consumers but as employees as well.  We have the knowledge and ability to take a company to the next step with the kind of knowledge we possess.  So, this is my advice to everyone in college right now.  When looking for companies and jobs after graduation, remember that they might need you as much as you need them.  You can help each other to gain more knowledge and move ahead both in business and life.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Remakes, Tons of Them!

Alright so this is post is kind of cynical, and it's going to be a lot of me complaining about the amount of movie remakes. Although I feel like my complaint is at least somewhat warranted, I'm sorry if it doesn't come off really upbeat. I just can't help but notice all of the remakes that are hitting the box office. I mean Titanic in 3D, 21 Jump Street, The Three Stooges, Mirror Mirror, along with a few coming in the Summer like Total Recall and The Amazing Spider-Man. Admittedly, I'm pretty excited to see Andrew Garfield swinging on web and spitting snarky comments at bad guys. However, I still think I'm seeing too many remakes. Why can't the original be good enough? When I saw the trailer for the Three Stooges I thought that it looked ridiculous. Because everyone knows that a remake of the Three Stooges will hit it out of the park with a compelling story and great characters. Or just maybe it won't.

When you decide to make a remake you are instantly entering the movie into comparison with the original. Nostalgia can be very powerful and hard to overcome at times. There will always be fans who criticize it for not being like the original. Right now, I kind of agree with the nostalgic fans for a lot of these remakes. It's not exactly easy to come up with an original idea that will capture audiences, but we all know it's been done a lot. So I think filmmakers should cut back on the remakes. I don't mind if the universe of the movie is based off of an older movie. That can actually turn out pretty sweet. But they need to stop trying to recapture the success of the original with the same version, just with better CGI. What about you guys? Are you getting annoyed with all the remakes or do you want more?

Tweets All Around

     So, this school year has opened my eyes to a bunch of connections between new media and technologies and education.  The most surprising connection I have been affected by is education and Twitter. 
     One of my professors first semester made the first connection I've seen between education and Twitter by setting up a Twitter for the class itself.  As he instructed lectures he had his Twitter feed rolling and every once in awhile we would see little tweets pop up in the top, left hand corner.  This was so weird to me at first and I didn't really understand what the point was.  But, now that I have a Twitter and am literally on it ALL the time (because of the Twitter app on my phone obviously) I completely understand why he did this.  What an easy way to keep students updated and get them the information that they need.  I check my Twitter way more than I check my e-mail and if someone wants to remind me of something or tell me something really quicky there is no easier way than tweeting at me.  Like I said, this was the first connection I was introduced to.
     Second, I have found that for anything that one is trying to publicize, Twitter is the way to go.  Making a Twitter page for student orgs, class projects, and anything else you are trying to get the word out for is an amazing idea.  For the two student orgs that I'm in there are Twitter pages for both of them and are very active.  Whenever we have any events coming up that we want people to know about, tweeting is the best way to go about it!  I know that people on this campus are very connected in thousands of ways and they might not even know it themselves, so one tweet can do a lot.
     When I finally got a Twitter this year I had no idea what I was getting into.  Now, I have been submerged into this world of online connections that have never existed before.  I think it's awesome that education has found its way into the world of Twitter.  Professors that really want to stay in touch with their students and keep them updated are geniuses to use Titter as their means of doing so.  I commend organizations and professors for figuring out that Twitter is an amazing way to connect with people around campus before I did.  Bravo!

Lessons from 'Texts from Hillary'

This past week while perusing political blogs for a J176 assignment, I came across the recent phenomenon that is a little website called Texts from Hillary in an article from The Huffington Post. The site is naught but a simple meme Tumblr that takes images of celebrities texting and imagines the dry, humorous, badass response from Hillary. What started as a joke between two buddies had turned into a global obsession-of-the-moment when Hillz herself entered a submission to the site and invited its creators to meet her.

The reason this story caught my eye is that I appreciated the good natured humor Hillary exuded regarding the meme. Having just written about the benefits of utilizing new media in political campaigns for a class, I loved the way that she embraced the meme rather than ignoring it or treating it as if it wasn't worth her time. This acknowledgement of the people's cleverness is an action that I believe sets politicians of today apart from those of the past, or at least sets apart those I approve of from their faceless competitors.

Sadly, while researching for this blog post, I came across the news that the Texts from Hillary page is now dead, and that no new posts will be added. According to its creators, the huge influx of attention, especially the recognition from Clinton, has become too much. For them, there is no possible way that they could top Hillary's own submission, and would prefer to just let the meme lie. While this is an unfortunate development, I am still impressed by the way Hillary responded, and hope other politicians take a cue from her media fluency in their own public relations.

Have a great week!


Texts from Hillary:

The Huffington Post article:

"'Texts from Hillary' calls it quits":


For all of those who have had iPhones ( and now available for Androids) are familiar with one of the most popular apps: Instagram. Before I had the iPhone, I used to have an Android and was quite envious of all the Instagram users. As for those who are unfamiliar with Instagram, Instagram is kind of like Twitter but for pictures. It allows you to take pictures or upload other pictures from your phone, edit them in several different filters and post them for others to see.  Like Twitter, you can follow your friends' or celebrities' Instagram accounts and they can follow you back. You can leave comments on pictures as well. With Instagram, you are given the option to save the Instagram to your smartphone, upload it to Facebook or Twitter, E-mail it etc. I personally love Instagram and addicted to it. Every time I am out somewhere and I see something "Instagram Worthy," I whip out my iPhone, take a snapshot, go to Instgram, choose the best looking effect and wait for at least one of my friends to like the photo.

Recently, Facebook just bought Instagram for a whopping $1 BILLION BUCKS!! Some critics think this will be a great way to keep enhancing the photo sharing phenomena  that Facebook is notorious for. While others fear that this is another way for Facebook to keep building their dominance. For starters, Instagram is free to download,  so $1 billion is huge amount of money for something that is free for all users.  What do you all think about this investment? Is this going to make the app even better for users or do you think Facebook is just conquering a competitive app so that they can to remain on top?!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

From Board Games to Bored Games

Before technology had such a prominent place in everyones everyday life, playing board games was a common pastime that families and friends sat down around a table and played. Although board games are still in existence, I cannot remember the last time I sat around to play a game like Pictionary in my spare time. After reading an article about the new sensation of the Iphone app called Draw Something, I got to thinking about how people spend their free time.

Now a days it is not often that people set aside time to sit with a group of family or friends to play a board game. People now play games on their phones when they are bored. It is no longer a planned and shared interpersonal experience. Playing a game such as Draw Something, which is basically the digital version of Pictionary, is played when people need to kill time. The amount of time I see people playing games on their phone during lunch, while waiting for a meeting or standing in line is enough to make me think about how the definition of a simple pleasure like playing a board game has changed due to technology. While playing Draw Something, the player plays against one of his or her friends that is connected through Facebook or an email address. This is no longer an interpersonal experience. Is the experience of playing a game against someone via technology more rewarding than playing a board game in person? Do children growing up in this world today know what a board game is, or are they instantly trained to play games on their parents i-pads?

These questions are important to ask because as I post about the difference between past and present and how media and technology has changed a lot of values and systems in the world, I wonder what our society will be like in another ten years when technology becomes even more advanced. What do you think?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Citizen Journalism: A good thing or a bad thing?

With all of the blogs and social media websites that are popular in todays world, more and more people are able to express their opinions and share stories and events that happen in their everyday life. The definition of a journalist is no longer black and white. It is no longer just someone who works at a news station and has a professional camera crew. People are catching current events on video cameras on their smart phones, posting pictures and writing statuses on online blogs and social media sites. This creates a culture where people can become informed instantly without even turning on the TV to watch the news. For example, "Some of the first public accounts of the military operation that killed the terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden, came in the form of tweets from Sohaib Athar, a 33-year-old IT consultant in Abbottabad, the city where bin Laden was found." To check out the full article about how the tweets emerged to be the first to report this incident check out the article click here. 

In my opinion, citizen journalism comes with pros and cons. It can be something positive because people have the opportunity to become more involved with today's society and world events where they can express themselves through multiple online outlets. It allows for different view points around the world and allows for people to catch news before it becomes big media, which can allow for raw footage to be captured before news stations even hear word of an event. A negative aspect that citizen journalism can bring is the spreading of rumors and misunderstanding of events. People who express their opinions about a certain event can mislead other readers' which can leave the specifics of an event blurry. News stations for the most part try to be objective in stating the specifics of an event where bloggers tend to give their opinions which are usually extreme. What do you think? Do you think the blurring definition of who journalists are is a good thing or a bad thing? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trayvon and Social Media

     So I'm sure most of you have heard about the recent case in Florida involving a boy named Trayvon Martin and how he was killed.  There is a lot of publicity centered around this case, and in turn the case is very popular across the country.  If you haven't had the chance to read about what happened and what is still happening now follow this link and it will bring you to a whole slew of articles, both recent and older. 
     Since this case has gotten so much publicity there has been a ton of social media groups and individuals trying to do what they can to make a difference and raise awareness.  One of the first instances I saw of this was when a friend of mine tweeted "why isn't #TrayvonMartin or #BoMorrison trending yet!> raise awareness people!"  This simple little tweet made me realize how much of an effect social media can have on people nowadays.  After I saw his tweet I followed the hash tags to see if they would catch any sort of trend.  Neither one of them has showed up in the today's trends lists yet as far as I've seen, but they have caught wind and have been tweeted many times since then. 
     The other popular social media website, Facebook, has been no slouch either as a way for people to raise awareness.  Many groups of friends, professionals, classes, and individuals have been taking pictures or making videos to support the cause of injustice.  I am in a singing group on campus called Pitches and Notes, and we joined in with the cause as well.  Using what we had to make ourselves unified as one group, we took a picture to spread awareness of what we believe to be injustice.  The picture represents our disagreement with the comment made on the news by Geraldo Rivera. "'I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as much as George Zimmerman was," the Fox News host said Friday on Fox and Friends" (  We posted it on Facebook that night and got many hits and comments on it, both positive and negative.
      Linking in recent and popular news with new media ways is an excellent way for people to stay connected to what's going on in the world around them.  A lot of times I hear about news on Facebook or Twitter before I have the chance to read the newspaper (or more realistically look on a news website).  I think it's an awesome things, especially for people of my generation.  We don't read or watch as much of the news as other generations do, but we are still expected to know what is going on around us.  The way that news has interconnected itself with social media sites is a great way to spread awareness.

Pitches and Notes:  Respect and Remember <3

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Political Ads Adapt

With the Republican primary on Tuesday, political advertisements are inevitable. Though this primary seems to be changing it up a bit. As more people avoid television ads with DVR or traditional television altogether with online streaming, some candidates are adjusting their strategies to help adapt to the new ways many are now using media. Mitt Romney has decided to deal with the issue of reaching the largest possible audience by putting ads on Web browsers along with usual TV ads. There will be two Romney ads on the browsers. With this, Romney and his team may be able to use the Internet as a helpful boost to their campaign.

I thought this was very interesting because candidates seem to be also adapting to the new lifestyles of our generation. With more people watching television online, I thought that many of us would be able to escape political ads. I've seen a few of them online but not a memorable amount. It appears that candidates are willing to develop new strategies to get our attention. With the Internet being so complex and hard to manipulate, candidates have a long way to go before being able to use it to reach as many users as efficiently as possible. I think they are on the right track though.


Oh Internet, How We Love Thee...

Hey guys! So, even though it's spring break, we're still blogging. At least I am, as I am proficient in the art of procrastination (you will soon see why). Aaaaand I'm having a teensy bit of trouble finding something interesting to talk about. Plus I'm sure the last thing you want to read on your break is a forced blog post about something the author doesn't really give two shits about. Therefore, today I'll be doing more of a fun little post about something you might actually like. Who says a little fun can't be substantial?

While some of you may be spending your week off school in some exotic locale, others, like me, are stuck sitting on their asses at home with nothing better to do than inhale their parents food and watch hour upon hour of Say Yes to the Dress. But although there has been plenty of that going on on my end, one website has been a real lifesaver for me in the interest of wasting time and thinking about anything but school: tumblr. I have spent many a day trawling this site searching for entertaining blogs, and would like to share a few of my faves with you, for your time-wasting pleasure. Therefore, I give you...

Morgen's Top Tumblrs (such a clever title, I know)
In no particular order:

Pretending to pay attention to the professor, while gchatting with all of my friends
This is my current favorite, combining real life situations with often hilarious GIFs that fit them perfectly.

Awkward Stock Photos
"Where awkward stock photos finally have a purpose" Extremely odd and very entertaining.

 I'm Remembering!
80's and 90's nostalgia. So this is why old people love antiquing...

Texts From Bennett
First World Problems
Animals Being Dicks
Funny Or Die
Accidental Chinese Hipsters

So, there you have it. Ten pointless but wonderful outlets for boredom. Who needs the beach when we have the Internet? I apologize sincerely for sabotaging you if you actually need to accomplish something. Happy tumbling and have an awesome break!