Tag Archives: Photography

Social Media – Outcomes


Over the past year and a half, I have been developing an understanding of how to engage Social Media to assit clients.  The philosophy behind social media is very simple. ” Word of mouth” advertising is the most effective type.  People trust the opinions of a good friend.  Therefore, if people online come to know you as a “real person,” or a friend, they will trust a product or service or idea, that you offer or endorse.  Social media, since it is the place where people meet, chat, and exchange stories has become the new “village square” – the new market place.  I try to expand on this concept with clients, and suggest that all of them have active Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter accounts, and a blog to accompany their websites.

Social media sources give information to people “where they are”  – that is in the “global village square of social media.”  However, that is not the only advantage of using Social Media.  All these entrance points create more paths to your sales or services information.  Statistically, they greatly increase the probability that people will be able to find you in the extremely congested world of the Internet.

Outcomes

February brought outcomes for our exploration into social media.  Our clients Todd Warren and Dale Cameron owners of the George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast in Dildo, NL, have won the Sixth-annual Tourism Atlantic Technology Award at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Lookout! Tourism Summit 2010. In addition, we have set up a new blog for Cupids 400 Inc, which we have called Cupids Cove Chatter – www.cupidscovechatter.com.

George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast

George House Heritage Bed & Breakfast

George House Heritage Bed & Breakfast

Todd and Dale approached me last year to set up a new website for George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast. We discussed the role of social media.  In addition to developing their website www.georgehousebnb.com, I set up a WordPress Blog and suggested the name “An Outport Called Dildo.”  We were all amazed that we  the domain name  www.newfoundlandoutport.com had not been taken.  I also suggested that they actively use their Twitter Account FaceBook account and use a Flickr account which they also called “Newfoundland Outport” for photos. They engaged Reservation Nexus (ResNexus) to set up their online reservation, and we incorporated the coding in their existing website. As well, they updated Google.com and Google Maps with their  GPS coordinates and contact information.

An Outport Called Dildo

An Outport Called Dildo

Cupids Cove Chatter


Cupids Cove Chatter

Cupids Cove Chatter

Dray Media had already established the main website for Cupids 400 Inc. – www.cupids400.com and the Cupids 400 staff had set up on FaceBook and  Flickr, when they approached Baccalieu Consulting to establish a blog.   Cupids Cove Chatter, which is the name we chose, is up and running. The blog will introduce and describe events from an “on the ground” perspective.  Henry Crout, one of John Guy’s Colonists. is the avatar.  Although a number of people including John Guy and Sir Percival Willoughby recorded information about the first English colony in Canada, Henry Crout recorded what was happening “on the ground.”  We are using Cupids Cove Chatter to introduce and describe events from an “on the ground”  perspective.

We have also set up a Flickr Group:  Cupids 400 – Birth of English Canada There are already 180 photos in the group and we are inviting people  to become members and add their own photos.

Cupids Cove Chatter has accounts and photos of  the Royal Visit of  the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as visits from Premier Danny Williams, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

For the month of February, a Valentine’s Fund Raising Dinner and a visit from acclaimed Newfoundland author of Galore, Michael Crummy are highlights.

We hope this blog will last in the virtual world for as long as the journals, books and other documents of the other colonists have lasted!  In 400 years time, perhaps someone will see them and get a picture of life in the 21st century, just as the documents from Henry Crout and other colonists give us a picture of life as it was in the 17th century.

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Filed under Cupids 400, Northern Avalon, Social Media, Tourism

Understanding Content – Avatar


First, a confession – I am a lifelong science fiction fan… and, an even more telling confession; I remember the excitement when the first episode of Star Trek aired on TV. Consequently, I was delighted when a Christmas present from my son and DIL was a visit to town to see 3D Avatar. Beyond the incredibly beautiful visual experience, which was like moving through a painting, the most interesting aspect of Avatar was the fact that Sam Worthington’s character, the marine, Jake Sully, actually did “walk a mile in another’s shoes/moccasins.” And “walking that mile” did literally change his perspective.

Content and Literacy

What does Avatar have to do with understanding content and literacy in the 21st century?

I hoped that Social Media would give an opportunity for people to literally “see the world through each other’s eyes,” without being subjected to Mass Media filters and gatekeepers. Understanding the limitations and problems of different groups, within our own country and in other parts of our world, would create greater openness and greater empathy, leading to positive solutions to intractable world problems.

Accomplishments of Social Media

What has Social Media accomplished so far? It has allowed people who share similar ideas to more effectively find each other and reinforce commonly shared views. In addition to common global issues, most areas of the world have regional controversial issues. In the case of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most publicized controversial issue is the annual seal hunt. Each spring in the past, the hunt has given rise to competing mass media campaigns. This year, I had anticipated there would be competing Social Media campaigns. Looking at FaceBook this morning, I noticed the opposing camps have already started.

Movement to Social Media

In the future, we will to see more advertising, promotion, and political campaigns move to Social Media. To quote Mashable.com, “For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not have any ads in the Super Bowl. Instead, the company will be spending $20 million on a social media campaign it’s calling The Pepsi Refresh Project.”  We have all heard of the effect of Social Media on the election of US President Barack Obama. What will be the future impact of Social Media on communication of ideas?

Propagating a Point of View

Much of the literature about Social Media discusses how to use Social Media to market or to propagate a specific point-view. For example, the “experts” suggest how to become “personable” in Social Media, since being “sociable” multiplies “trust” in the message you are delivering. They want the reader to perceive the message as coming from a trusted friend…which can be very useful…but it can also be truly scary.

From the point of view of marketers and branders, Social Media has a number of obvious advantages. A few of these advantages are:

  1. Allowing people who hold the same views to find each other through networks of friends and followers. By mining information about selected groups, marketers can target their messages to a very specific demographic with known opinions on a number of matters.
  2. Permitting people to express views with relative anonymity. This enables marketers to send carefully worded planted comments  to groups in order to influence opinion.
  3. Letting people use “loaded” words, sweeping generalizations, and other types of expressions without being challenged. Marketers can utilize this in two ways: they can plant message to goad people into more extreme views or they can maliciously add questionable material to legitimate groups, discrediting the group with other sources and with some of its own members.
  4. Having no rules about who can join a group. Marketers can establish paid or unpaid “monitors” to penetrate groups to examine comments, enabling them to determine what type of advertising will be most effective for that particular demographic.
  5. Accepting multi-media materials from unknown sources.  Marketers can quote “data,” display photosphopped or staged images, and post edited videotape, for which they do not give legitimate sources.

Purpose of Social Media

Even without outside intervention from advertisers, marketers and branders, how Social Media impacts issues leads to a number of important questions. Why do individuals form groups and acquire followers in Social Media? Do they want to examine issues, stimulate informed discussion, or acquire knowledge…or do they form groups to reinforce and to exaggerate opinions already held, leading each group to espouse more extreme positions? What, if any, is the impact of these groups on people who are not committed to one side or the other?

As that widely distributed YouTube says, “We live in exponential times.”

The world is faced with overwhelming amounts of data on overwhelming problems – social, economic, medical, political, and environmental. Social media has enormous potential to be a bridge to allow people to develop understanding and empathy for each other’s problems by “walking a mile in another’s shoes/moccasins.”

So far, what I have observed is people comfortably slipping into their old shoes and old thoughts, sometimes propelled by varying amounts of deliberate manipulation and misinformation. If Social Media is to have any impact on solving world issues, we need paths to each other’s situations. Like Jake Sully, we need to develop empathy by “walking a mile in another’s shoes/moccasins.” We need to be able to clearly recognize and distinguish fact from marketing, branding, and propaganda.

The first step to achieving that goal is greater awareness of many of the tactics of propaganda which are being used by all sides. Over the next few weeks, I intend to discuss these in more detail.

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Filed under FaceBook, Literacy, Social Media, Twitter

The Rock… from Many Perspectives: Newfoundland Photography.


Living in Newfoundland and Labrador inspires photography.  The spectacular setting of the capital of St. John’s, as well as the unique local housing, such as Jellybean Row, and Quidi Vidi Village, are frequently photographed.

In “Outports,”  located on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean,  the ever changing moods of wind, light, and water are a photographer’s delight.  Because the province is very sparsely populated, nature is on the doorstep… many varieties of birds and other wildlife are frequently seen;  wildflowers, trees, and other plant life is always on display.  And of course, rocks and rocky seascapes are everywhere.

Our own photos of Bay Roberts and nearby communities on the Northern Avalon can be found on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baccalieu/

Because of the quality and variety of  Newfoundland Amateur Photographers who display their works on Flickr and blogs, we have been using these for time as a source for regional photos for both print and websites.  After finding a suitable photo, we contact the person who has posted it and ask for permission to use the photo, assuring him or her that we will credit the work in any publication.    Almost without exception, they have given permission.

Below is a listing of some sites we check very frequently for the quality of their photos:

Karen Chappell  Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Karren Chappell - Family views Iceberg

Karren Chappell - Family views Iceberg

http://bitstop-nfld.blogspot.com/

Lloyd C. Rees: Location: Chamberlains, CBS (On the other side of Conception Bay from Bay Roberts) – photos of seascapes, birds, wildflowers, historic photos.

Lloyd Rees - Sailing near Bell Island

Lloyd Rees - Sailing near Bell Island

http://lloydsnfldpics.blogspot.com/

Clyde Barrett: Location: Bishop’s Cove, Conception Bay North (On the other side of Spaniards’ Bay Harbour.) photos of birds, seascapes, icebergs, wildflowers, boats.

Clyde Barrett - Young Bald Eagle

Clyde Barrett - Young Bald Eagle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clbarret2003/

Geoff Whiteway : Location: St. John’s.  He teaches at the Marine Institute, which is affiliated with Memorial University, in St. John’s.  His photos have a unique look and feel.

Iceberg Off Shore by Geoff Whiteway

Iceberg Off Shore by Geoff Whiteway

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21096258@N05/

Jean Knowles : Location:  St. John’s.  She is a Tour Guide in Newfoundland and Labrador. Her photos are of scenery, wildlife and flowers.

Jean Knowles - Iceberg from Signal Hill

Jean Knowles - Iceberg from Signal Hill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/song_of_the_sea/

Mark Robertson Tsang: Location: West Coast Newfoundland. He is a ski instructor/coach in the winter months and is also a tour guide.  His photos of wildlife and plants are amazing – he even uses the correct biological terms.

Mark Robertson Tsang - Great Northern Peninsula

Mark Robertson Tsang - Great Northern Peninsula

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_r_tsang/

I will be presenting another list in the near future.  There are just too many to include in one posting.

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Filed under Admiral's Coast, Baccalieu Trail, Bay Roberts, Brigus, Carbonear, Killick Coast, Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Avalon, Photography, Tourism, Western Newfoundland