Why the Doug-less Jays Will Continue to Roll

I try to avoid ranting here because I feel annoying. Considering that may not be the case today, I apologize in advance if I begin to preach to my very small choir of readers. That being said, I feel obligated to address an extremely uniformed and misled population right here on Creighton’s campus. For whatever reason a large amount of my peers are convinced that without our pride and joy Doug McDermott the Jays can longer roll to victory. Although we have flourished throughout Doug’s unforgettable four-year journey, his departure has been blown slightly out of proportion in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong – Dougie McBuckets cannot and will not ever be replaced. But for some reason it has come to my attention time and time again that “we are going to suck at basketball next year.” That really annoys me. What these individuals have failed to recognize is that we no longer associate ourselves with the hodgepodge of lackluster mid-majors (besides Wichita State) that compose the MVC. We belong to the Big East Conference now. And with our new-and-improved status comes an abundance of perks that will amplify Bluejay basketball to a great degree. I’m not talking about our coverage on FOX SPORTS 1, or the increase in our strength of schedule. I’m talking about the much better recruits we now have a much better shot at luring to Omaha. Nevertheless, here are four newcomers that will surely keep the Jays rolling in the post-Doug era.

Photo from blogs.omaha.com

Photo from blogs.omaha.com

First, the high school recruits:

1) Ronnie Harrell

The top addition to our team is without a doubt Ronnie Harrell – the 84th best player in the class of 2014 according to Rivals.com. This four-star stud out of the Mile High City was a dominant force throughout his time at Denver East where he became respected for his silky outside jump shot and versatility among positions. Yet the best part is he may not even be done growing – doctors predict the 6’7 Harrell may grow another three inches.

2) Leon Gilmore III

This three-star wingman out of Texas has a lot to offer the Jays. Standing 6’7 and weighing 200 pounds, Gilmore III is a freak of an athlete who declined offers from Kansas State, Houston, and Texas Tech to become a Bluejay. Between his distinctive hairstyle, catchy nickname (LG3), and energetic play on the court, he is sure to be a crowd favorite.

And now, the transfers:

3) Maurice Watson Jr.

Watson Jr. recently ended his remarkable two-year stint at Boston University to relocate to Omaha. The 5’10 Philly native led the Terriers last season averaging over 13 points and seven assists per game. A speedy point guard with a knack for finding the open man, Watson Jr. is sure to be a great fit to the Bluejays.

4) Cole Huff

Huff announced he would be leaving Nevada and joining the Jays a mere 12 hours ago via Twitter. And considering he chose Creighton over the likes of both Iowa and Michigan, the city of Omaha should be pretty pumped right now. The 6’8 sophomore averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game for the Wolfpack last season, and was named to the All-Conference team.

Although Watson Jr. and Huff will be ineligible to play this coming season due to NCAA transfer rules, there is not a doubt in my mind they will be valuable contributors in the 2015-16 season. As for Harrell and Gilmore III, I am confident these two high school stars have promising careers ahead of them in Omaha. If these key new acquisitions are able to mesh with returners Chatman, Artino, Brooks, Hanson, and Zierden, the Jays should have no problem shocking the naysayers and holding their own in the Big East Conference.

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A Semester in Review

Well, it’s that time of year again. The brutally bipolar spring season of the Midwest is drawing to a close, and summer is looming on the horizon. Yet, academic freedom is still very much out-of-reach. With project deadlines and finals week quickly approaching, these next three weeks are sure to be hectic. However, in retrospective the sleeplessness and stress that is about to ensue over the remaining sliver of the school year seems relatively insignificant compared to what I have done this past semester. At the beginning of the semester, I outlined some specific goals to tackle. I believed by accomplishing these I would be able to greatly improve my résumé, and hopefully land an internship for the summer. Fortunately enough, I was able to do just that.

My primary objective for this semester was to build my advertising and graphic design portfolio. With an empty portfolio and a relatively blank résumé, scoring an internship (or even an interview for that matter) at the time was simply unrealistic. Thus, I was extremely excited to begin creating advertising campaigns under the guidance of my advisor, Dr. Jeff Maciejewski, in JRM 347. Throughout the semester, I created print and billboard ads for Husqvarna, Badlands National Park, and the Crescent Moon Ale House located on 36th and Farnam. The process in fact turned out to be far more complex than I expected – it included extensive research, concise creative briefs, and straightforward in-class critiques. At this point in the course, we are now in the revision stage. After fine-tuning my copy and visuals, I am confident I will have a solid collection of ads to begin my portfolio.

HQ_alternateAside from school and my part-time job, I also served as the Creighton men’s basketball graphic design assistant. This role allowed me to produce game-day infographics for the team’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, which actually turned out to be far more rewarding than I expected. As a diehard college basketball fan, I thoroughly enjoyed producing promotional work for a thriving team headed by the man himself, Doug McDermott. More importantly, this position allowed me to compile over a dozen graphic design examples for my portfolio. Although I have been swamped with class projects lately, I plan on redesigning some recruitment materials this summer. I hope that I can keep this position for the remainder of my time here at Creighton. That being said, I am very pleased that I took advantage of this opportunity, and I look forward to the doors it may open down the road.

Marquette

Yet above all, I learned the most from my JRM 327 Social Media course taught by Dr. Zuegner (I promise I’m not just brownnosing). To be honest, I was not excited to take this class. It’s required for my track of study, and I decided to just get it over with this semester. Personally, I think the course name is misleading – maybe tack the word “marketing”, “journalism”, or “communications” on the end to make it sound more official. But that’s not the point. Much to my surprise, I actually learned way, way, way more than I expected. My perception of social media and its variety of purposes was significantly altered. I knew social media was on the rise; but I had no idea the amount of possibilities it brought to the business world. In class we discussed networking, personal branding, content marketing, SEO, social media policies and plans, effective strategies, ethics, tons of platforms I had never heard of, and much more – all of which I found intriguing and unique. I watched my online presence grow as I became active on several other platforms, especially Linkedin. The weekly blog assignments provided a structured writing schedule that helped me put together a collection of relevant samples I could share with prospective employers. Ultimately, it was my understanding of the information from this course and my blog that led me to be offered by both B2 Interactive and Nuvem Consulting to be each respective company’s content marketing intern. While my advertising and design portfolio received positive feedback, it definitely was overpowered by my understanding of social media, content marketing, and blogging.

All in all, this semester has been a true success. My once nonexistent portfolio is now stacked with samples of work; I landed not one, but two awesome internship offers because of a class I initially didn’t want to take; and I am also about to finish building my personal website for my web design class. Unfortunately, I still need to bottle my excitement a bit longer while I grind out the remaining projects and final exams that will surely control the last few weeks of my sophomore year.

The Rise of Content Marketing

Last week in JRM 327 we were privileged to listen to Creighton grad Danny Schreiber speak about his content marketing work at Zapier. Considering I’ve applied for several content marketing internships for this summer (which to be honest has snuck up on me like some demonic spirit out of Paranormal Activity), Danny could not have come at a more perfect time. After providing us with some background information, Danny highlighted the distinct differences between journalism and content marketing. With experience in both of these fields as well as the Creighton degree that is forever engraved on his LinkedIn account (paper résumés are on their way out anyways), Danny was clearly a credible source. In his own words, content marketing differs from journalism in that it is “measured extensively, promoted exhaustively, and SEO’d meticulously.” Yet more importantly, he outlined seven steps to producing a content marketing platform that is unique, measurable, and successful.

1)   Identify a specific topic.
2)   Determine different types of content to use.
3)   Search for ways to weave promotional material within content.
4)   Set up a simple editorial schedule.
5)   Measure gains and losses.
6)   Promote again.
7)   Always look for ways to do more.

In order to better understand what each of these steps mean, I did a little research about this budding business tactic. In essence, content marketing blends marketing, journalism, and technology to engage with customers without blatantly pestering them with traditional sales techniques. I now present to you my three favorite content marketing campaigns that I have stumbled across.

1)   Charmin: SitOrSquat

When you have to go, you have to go. Just a simple fact of life. Thanks to Charmin’s quirky app, the search for respectable public restrooms in the most trying of circumstances is no more. SitOrSquat allows you to locate and review restrooms so you can enjoy taking care of business in a cleanly manor. It even connects you to Facebook in order to maximize interaction, although I must admit I probably don’t want everyone knowing I need an app to make it to the loo.

Image from blog.clientheartbeat.com

Image from blog.clientheartbeat.com

2)   Orabrush Tongue Cleaner: Bad Breath Test

Although I find the spokesperson for this video to resemble an annoying knock-off of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, I cannot deny that he does an excellent job in proving the purpose of a bland product with seemingly limited potential. The Orabrush is used to polish your tongue, and thus eliminate the true source of foul breath. That being said, I know several people who will be receiving an Orabrush from yours truly this holiday season.

Image form wired.com

Image form wired.com

3)   DollarShaveClub.com – Our Blades are F***ing Great

Shaving sucks. I hate it, especially considering my razors grow dull with ease as I peel my pathetic attempt at “facial hair” off my baby face twice a week. Fortunately, DollarShaveClub.com has got my back. It delivers high-quality razors to your doorstep for as little as $1 a month. And this video – well, it’s hilarious to say the least. In fact, I am seriously considering making an investment in DollarShaveClub.com to help out my bank account.

Image from thenoobdad.com

Image from thenoobdad.com

These three examples, all of which are funny, fresh, and feasible in their own respective ways, helped me to better understand Danny’s presentation on content marketing. It also opened my eyes to the creative possibilities that can stem from something as simple as basic hygiene products. I truly look forward to learning more about content marketing as it continues to grow in popularity. Now excuse me while I go brush my tongue and trim my “sideburns” in the Harper Center restroom.

The Second-Coming of the Fab Five: An ESPN 30 for 30 in the Making?

Although March Madness never fails to live up to the hype of its name, this year’s season finale of college basketball has been especially… mad. And by mad, I mean it will forever be imprinted in my memory as the year of downright excessive insanity. So mad in fact, I am convinced there will be a documentary made somewhere down a road about one underdog contender that everybody, including myself, overlooked from the start. Now if you find yourself lunging from this tab to Google search “underdogs to make it the Final Four”, I’ll save you some time. Wichita State in 2013, VCU in 2011, and George Mason in 2006 (just to name a few). However, as you are about to find out, none of these teams have done it like this year’s eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats.

Jalen Rose. Chris Webber. Juwan Howard. Ray Jackson. Jimmy King. These five names compose the former greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball – Michigan’s Fab Five.

Photo from elitedaily.com

Photo from elitedaily.com

Aaron Harrison. Andrew Harrison. James Young. Julius Randle. Dakari Johnson. Marcus Lee. These are the six names that compose the new greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball – the 2013-14 Kentucky Wildcats.

Photo from nationofblue.com

Photo from nationofblue.com

As you may or may not know, the Fab Five’s claim to fame was reaching the Final Four with an all-freshmen starting lineup. Rightfully so, an ESPN 30 for 30 – one of the most respected series of sports documentaries around – was made years later to detail the Fab Five’s classic road to greatness. Having seen this documentary as well as Kentucky’s historical journey, I am now left wondering if this modern-day Kentucky “Fab Five” (which in my opinion should be dubbed something along the lines of the “Significant Six”) is worthy of better, worse, or the same treatment as the original Fab Five. While I was initially pro-Kentucky, I decided to do some digging. And I must say, the similarities are truly remarkable. Both Michigan, a six-seed, and Kentucky, an eight-seed, were considered underdogs due to their lack of experience and their difficult bracket drawings. In each of their respective paths to the Final Four, Michigan and Kentucky both defeated a no. 1 seed, as well each team’s rival opponent. Additionally, neither team blew out their opponents. All game were relatively close, making each victory just that much more triumphant.

So do the 2013-14 Kentucky Wildcats deserve an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary? My answer remains yes, but on one condition – that they do what Michigan didn’t by winning the national championship. If the Wildcats can accomplish that, there is not a doubt in my mind that this squad of teenage Wildcats will go down as the most successful recruiting class in the history of college basketball. But for the next 24 hours or so, that remains a mystery left unsolved.

The Field Trip I Kind Of, Sort Of Played Hooky From

Last week in class, we were privileged to have the opportunity to visit the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) to listen to Creighton JM&C alum Elizabeth Hilpipre speak about her work. Unfortunately, my 1999 GMC Jimmy decided to take a day off, leaving me stranded on campus. So you must forgive me if my comments on NHS’s social media engagement are distant, distorted, or quite possibly wrong in every way, shape, and form. But hopefully that is not the case.

NHS’s online presence is strong. With approximately 6,300 tweets and 7,300 followers on Twitter and over 50,000 likes on Facebook, it’s clear that Elizabeth is thorough and consistent in her work. There are two active Twitter accounts  (@NEHumaneSociety and @NHSCats) and a Facebook page. The first thing I noticed about its Twitter account was the little puppy peering through bars like a falsely convicted prisoner. This image alone is enough to make any animal-lover drop the task at hand, and drive like Ricky Bobby to retrieve his or her new best bud. As I proceeded to scroll through the account’s tweets and photos, there were three reoccurring themes that stuck out to me, all of which play off of each other.

(1) The cute factor

Dogs and cats are cute. Everyone knows it, and very few people are capable of rejecting the “puppy face” when it’s actually on a puppy. The cute factor makes the viewer say, “AWHHHHH, THAT’S THE CUTEST PUPPY I’VE EVER SEEN! I HAVE TO HAVE HIM/HER NOW.” This is the attention-grabber that hooks viewers. It’s powerful, yet simple eye-candy.

(2) The guilt trip

While most dogs and cats possess some degree of the cute factor, abandoned dogs and cats are cuter. A lot cuter. Furthermore, we as humans are inclined to feel guilty that a creature that cute and innocent looking could be so unfortunate as to not have a true home. Thus, it only makes sense that NHS would encourage people to adopt by carefully guilt tripping its viewers via social media. Pretty straightforward but here’s an example.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.29.12 AM

Image from @NEHumaneSociety

(3) The follow-up

Lastly, I noticed that NHS likes to interact with people who have adopted from them using “Follow Up Friday”. People can get a shout-out from NHS by posting a picture of their NHS alumni with #FollowUpFriday. This is an excellent way to show that NHS cares not only about the animals it cares for, but also the people who adopt them.

All in all, Elizabeth’s approach to social media is spot-on. Although being guilted into adopting a pet might come off as annoying or desperate to some, it is essential to keep the mission of NHS in mind – to give abandoned animals a loving home. And for that, I commend Elizabeth and the rest of NHS for their work. For those who are still opposed to pet adoption, maybe this will help. Now excuse me while I go adopt a dog.

21st Century Cartography: Twitter Mapping

To reiterate myself from previous posts, Twitter is definitely my favorite social media site. Thus, I’m confident that I am able to pinpoint several, if not all, of the six Twitter conversation crowds that have been defined by the Pew Center (what a strange name) in its Internet Research Project. The six archetypes are divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, in-hub & spoke, and out-hub & spoke. “But, Jack, what in the world does that mean?” I’ll tell you. Of the aforementioned media structures, here are the four that rule my Twitter feed.

Unified: Tight Crowd

For the record, I’m not and will never be a Minnesota Vikings fan. But judging by the amount of Vikings fans in South Dakota, I might as well be from this mystical land of way too many lakes. Needless to say, my Twitter feed is packed with Vikings chatter. No matter how horrible the Vikings perform each year, the same diehards stay true to their beloved purple and gold. How they do it, I will never fathom. Sunday after Sunday, year after year, this tight-knit group of fans takes to Twitter to cheer for, rant about, and cuss out their doomed professional football team so everyone can witness their excruciating pain. Ultimately, the rest of us are left dumbfounded as to what mysterious personality trait or, quite possibly, birth defect fuels the fiery passion of this surprisingly loyal fan base that refuses to accept any outsiders. The Vikings faithful is the epitome of a tight-knit, unified crowd.

Fragmented: Brand Clusters

There are two brands that immediately come to mind when I think of Twitter brand clusters – Apple and Starbucks. For Apple, I am primarily referring to the rise of the iPhone. There was a period in time not that long ago when ditching your dinosaur of a flip phone called for an announcement on Twitter. This was done by simply tweeting “#TeamiPhone”. While I certainly did not use this ridiculous hashtag when I made the leap from the Stone Age to the 21st, plenty of people did. My guess would be they were trying to connect with their fellow iPhone “teammates”, but what do I know. Another example of a brand cluster on Twitter is Starbucks. I think it safe to say that the average female I follow has tweeted about her tall, half-caff, soy latte at 120 degrees (yes, that’s real) at some time or another. This just goes to show that social media truly has the power to unite complete strangers over something as simple as cup of coffee.

In-Hub & Spoke: Broadcast Network

It’s March. And with March, comes madness. The season finale of college basketball is finally here, which means avid fans of the game like myself are bound to tweet about the nonstop entertainment that comes from 68 teams with a common goal – winning a national championship. While I like to flatter myself by thinking I know a great deal about basketball, there are in fact individuals out there who analyze this sport for a living. This is their time to shine. Nowadays every major sporting event provides an opportunity for celebrated sports analysts like Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, and sports media outlets like ESPN and Fox Sports 1 to release trusted information for all to consume. Because these famed Twitter identities receive higher levels of replies, retweets, and favorites, there is very little audience interaction. In essence, this Twitter crowd is composed of the most elite sports analysts who prefer to interact with one another.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 1.17.13 AM

Image from @RealSkipBayless

Out-Hub & Spoke: Support Network

When you enter Creighton’s Brandeis Dining Hall, the TV in the entry way can often be seen flaunting this mediocre lunchroom’s social media shout-outs. The vast majority are comments about last night’s artery-clogging late night meal, or today’s macaroni and cheese. However, once in a blue moon, an especially unsatisfied and/or repulsed student calls out @CreightonDining for all to see. Whether it’s the undercooked omelets in Brandeis, the ridiculous meal exchange prices in Skutt, or the caterpillar in the Becker salad bar (my personal favorite), these confrontations are always awkward and amusing. However, @CreightonDining is usually pretty good about handling the issue at hand over social media. This characteristic classifies @CreightonDining as a support network structure, at least to some extent. In sum, a portion of its Twitter activity is comprised of customer satisfaction.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 1.20.00 AM

Image from @DoubleGfor3

As you can now see, twitter mapping is important for several reasons. It allows us to recognize which types of users are inclined to interact with others outside of their crowds, and which ones are not. It allows companies to decide where they should promote their products and services, and where they should not. And lastly, it allows us to pinpoint trends and points of interest using social media demographics. Overall, this was an intriguing study that will likely be utilized for many years to come.

#FixThePool

Although “Doug McDermott Bobble Head Night” was the designated theme for tonight’s nail-biting victory over Big East counterpart Seton Hall, a select group of Creighton students embraced a separate agenda. As the countdown to tip-off dwindled, the usual diehard fans assumed their positions in the front row of the bustling CenturyLink Center. However, the typical “Roll Jays” signs and vibrant Creighton blue attire were not as apparent as usual. Instead, the Bluejay faithful were adorned in pool attire. Wielding swimwear, inflatable sharks, and signs reading “#FixThePool”, the members of the so-called “Fix the Pool Movement” battled the best college basketball player in the country for camera time in order to broadcast their message.

Brad Williams Photography Photo from https://twitter.com/bradwphoto/status

Brad Williams Photography
Photo from https://twitter.com/bradwphoto/status

To clarify, our university’s swimming pool draws an outrageously close resemblance to both the Mojave Desert and my theology professor’s personality – extremely dry. While I have failed to pinpoint when the pool was last used, I have concluded after speaking with several alumni this past weekend that it was long, long before ‘Nam. That being said, I now present to you the top five reasons why the pool should be resurrected.

1. For the scorchers. Although Omaha isn’t exactly the most desirable vacation spot, it certainly does have its fair share of blazing hot days. That being said, it would be ideal to have a place to cool off besides the fountain outside of Swanson Hall (Public Safety does not approve).

2. For the athletes. As a distance runner, I know from firsthand experience that aquatic exercise is the best way to stay in shape while nursing an injury. Thus, filling the pool with the good ole H20 would be a major asset to our athletic program.

3. For the Average Joes/Josephines. No, I am not an avid swimmer. No, I do not own a speedo (you’re welcome or sorry, depending on who’s reading this). And no, chlorine is not my scent of choice. But I must admit that I would not mind fine-tuning my cannon ball before spring break.

4. For convenience. As of now, students wishing to take a dip have a grand total of two options – the YMCA and Carter Lake, neither of which are worth anyone’s time when we have what could be a perfectly fine pool right here on campus.

5. For the absurd amount of money we pay to call this wonderful university our home. Creighton is expensive… really expensive. So to all the naysayers of this unofficial aquatic revolution, be thankful it’s #FixThePool and not #BuildAWaterpark. Just saying.

 

My roommate actually took the time to make a Facebook page for today’s game… https://www.facebook.com/events/1399449986981849/

And for what it’s worth, the world’s best water parks. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/travel/worlds-best-water-parks/

The Backup Screen

Aside from sports, I don’t watch that much television. For TV shows I’m a Netflix guy mainly because I dislike planning my day around the boob tube. However, it is always hard not to tune in when my Twitter feed is blown up with information about a show or event. That’s when the element of curiosity enters the room and proceeds to taunt me like Richard Sherman. And if I’m doing something important like studying or eating white cheddar popcorn, chances are I’m going to pause the task at-hand to get up and turn the TV on (our remote is broken). This development in social media usage is easy and effective for any televised occasion, especially when holiday-esque events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics roll around.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.30.11 AM

That being said, I definitely participate in this second-screen trend. I usually find it worthwhile to check out the variety of reactions and comments that are tweeted by the accounts I follow. At the same time, I usually tweet once or twice during a game – maybe even three times if I’m feeling especially outspoken. My most recent second-screen Twitter activity was during the Creighton game earlier today. McDermott tied his season high of 39 points as the 18th ranked Bluejays thumped the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats. Although I only tweeted once, I easily could’ve tweeted enough to lose a substantial amount of followers considering how exceptional we played in the biggest game of the season thus far. I also keep close tabs on the team’s Twitter account so I can see the game-day graphics and promotional material I put together.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.23.09 AM

As great as this trend is, there is one major drawback that comes to mind. Unfortunately, it facilitates cyber conflict, especially among rival fans and players. Because social media is so dangerously accessible, infuriated viewers can post their unfiltered thoughts in a matter of seconds for all of humanity to see. Thus, athletes are frequently force-fed excessive amounts of explicit hate mail. Besides this, I think this phenomenon is a valuable promotional tactic that can be utilized by just about any show, event, or company to increase viewership.­

A link to the game-day graphic I threw together yesterday afternoon… http://instagram.com/p/kfQDStAsL0/

And more on this trend. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/10/10/the-second-screen-phenomenon-is-much-bigger-than-twitter-and-facebook/

Why Wasting Time Online is Hardly a Waste At All

I have always spent a considerable amount of time online. But how much of that time is spent in a productive manner is certainly up for debate. I joined Facebook my sophomore year of high school, and Twitter the following year. Like many people, these two sites comprise the vast majority of my non-academic online activity. However, I have recently started using LinkedIn, which I find myself checking almost just as frequently in order to increase my connections and endorsements. While I have been encouraged by my professors to utilize other social networking sites like Google +, Instagram, and the uncomfortably feminine Pinterest, my interest in doing so is currently nowhere to be found (I have a feeling it will turn up soon though).

While the majority of my time wasted online comes from social media, I have always been inclined to excessively Google miscellaneous subjects. In my mind, this rather meaningless hobby has had more of an impact on my life than any social media site has had to date. This trend started when I was in sixth grade, also known as the Era of AOL Instant Messenger. I have been a basketball fanatic since day one, so naturally I spent a great deal of time reading about my favorite players like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade. But I didn’t stop at player statistics – soon I was researching their hometowns and neighborhoods. Part of the reason I sought out this information was due to its foreign nature. As a Caucasian youth growing up in the bland ole state of South Dakota, I found the gang violence, drug trafficking, and poverty of some of these areas to be intriguing. It was a way of life I had never been exposed to (thankfully), and it helped me develop a newfound level of respect and appreciation for some of my favorite world-class athletes who had triumphed trying circumstances to reach the pinnacle of the sports world. As you might imagine, this interest in various sociological environments was eventually appeased – although I still find this subject to be very interesting today. And although I cannot confirm that it has helped me in any tangible manner, it opened my eyes at an early age to the intricate diversity of our world. In doing so, I have grown to take immense pride in my ability to relate to and sympathize with others.

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This phase of online wandering paved the way for my next subject of recreational research – art. My first passion, before basketball, was in fact drawing. My artistic pursuits evolved from Calvin and Hobbes-inspired cartooning at a young age to realistic drawings of just about anything and everything early in my high school career. I took every drawing class available, and practiced religiously at home. By sophomore year, I was set on becoming an artist. I was confident in my abilities, and wanted nothing more than to advance my artistic capacity. However, my parents were wary, as they did not want their first-born son to surrender his promising academic potential for an unstable future as a starving artist. While I spent most of my time searching countless artists and their work online, I eventually began to explore career alternatives in the creative industry. Fortunately, It didn’t take long for me to pinpoint advertising and graphic design as my niche.

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Yes, social media is essential, especially in my field of study. And contrary to popular belief, wasting time on it can be beneficial. However, this pastime cannot compete with the personal knowledge and growth I have acquired from countless hours of simply Googling whatever sparks my interest.

A look at two of the NBA’s premiere guards and the harsh environment they escaped… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cydAKyfJoOE

And some facts about the site I am most scared of joining. http://socialmediatoday.com/gillpolard/1839431/5-pinterest-stats-consider

Social Media Evaluation

So I googled my name. The results weren’t all that exciting. My Facebook came up first, followed by a comment on CU Confessions about my friend and I being “the hottest roommate duo on campus” (obviously a joke). Other relevant results included this blog and a cross country profile from high school that I definitely did not make, along with a Prezi on Hamlet I did for an English class. Pretty random stuff.

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That being said, I need to step my social media presence up. I am consistently active on Twitter, but for some reason my account did not come up. Yet for now, I’m perfectly fine with that. While I can see how Twitter is a valuable networking tool, I personally feel that in this point in my life that is not what I need to use it for. For me it is simply recreational. I have just under 400 followers, which isn’t too shabby if you ask me. In order to make my brand more professional, it is essential that I do away with the procrastination and finally make a LinkedIn profile. In my opinion, this is the most important social media tool a college student can utilize.

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My Klout score was a 28, which wasn’t exactly a surprise considering I’m only active on two social media sites. 62% of my social media activity comes from Twitter, while the other 38% is from Facebook. I’m curious to see how this score will raise as new Google +, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts are factored in.

 

Why Klout isn’t all it’s chalked up to be… http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

And how college students like myself can get the most of Twitter… http://www.business2community.com/social-media/5-ways-college-students-can-professionally-use-twitter-to-grow-their-personal-brand-042626#!ufDol