Month: January 2014

galvanizing your peeps…and tweeps

As social media dominates the next century, it continually undermines something that happened 300 million years ago. Pangaea, our planet’s former super-continent, broke apart and created divides that separated people until travel finally intervened. Today, physical barriers no longer obstruct communication, ideation, or galvanization. While people may still be far from one another physically, the influence that social media continues to garner worldwide is nearly Pangaea-like.

In Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, the notion of connecting people behind a cause is not portrayed as novel but powerful. His account of Evan Guttman’s attempt to retrieve his friend’s stolen cell phone by publicly blogging the ordeal conveyed that human emotion and mass participation had a direct influence on government bureaucracy. Readers of Guttman’s blog rallied behind a cause that they connected with and lent their voice (and outrage) to solving a problem.

Because social media is fueled by technology, there are Orwellian fears that it will increase distance between people. While Nicholas Carr makes a strong argument that social media causes more distracted people, the opportunities for game-changing collaboration and open source projects outweigh having harried attention spans (in my opinion).

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (my employer) open sources its side projects and research related to its Pediatric Cancer Genome Project. St. Jude believes that the more access scientists have to information related to anomalies in the genetic code (that lead to cancer), the better. It allows researchers across the globe that have a vested interest to request access and explore the data. Why? Because children could be ultimately be helped by others with a fresh set of eyes, other resources, and different ways of thinking.

That harkens to Shirky’s point, and others. People have already converged. Now, we’re in the next phase of witnessing results, actions, and progress.

Pictorial reaction to class readings by Burton Bridges.

Pictorial reaction to class readings by Burton Bridges.

Other articles of interest from this week:

Social Networking? Three’s a charm.

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram.

That’s my mid-week confession. I’m continuously opening and closing the above three apps in that order on my phone. I can’t stop. I won’t stop.

Twitter: Last Sunday was the GRAMMYs, this Sunday will be the Super Bowl. This is my conduit for reading and writing and snarkily participating in those events. While I’m yet to be on the red carpet and can’t make it to MetLife Stadium, Twitter is there for me. Yes, I use it for news, but my favorite thing to do is join the chatter with with fellow viewers during large broadcasts.

Facebook: Are we friends? If not, let’s make it happen. Zuckerberg’s goldmine is my source for daily affirmation. Every time I post something, I get a warm feeling seconds later because, “You like me!” It’s the compliments, BuzzFeed links, and likes that keep me coming back.

Instagram: “The ‘Gram” is clutch. Seeing filtered photos is like picking up a crisp, glossy magazine at the airport to entertain you for the next four hours in transit. Its mindless, therapeutic scrolling lets you keep up with the Jones’s anywhere, any time. The best of this app includes behind-the-scenes looks of the Game of Thrones’ set, watching Sofia Vergara get pranked by her cast-mates, and catching FLOTUS throw shade (even if exaggerated). Instagram is voyeurism, and it’s en vogue.

While I confessed to my “Three Kings” of the social networks, I am gearing up to learn more about expanding my reach, courtesy of the JOUR7330 course led by the tenured Dr. Brown-Smith. In the next few months, I’ll be a rambling man trying out other sites and apps and learning to use all to their potential. My personal interest in social media is fueled by the people using it. If you’re here, you have an open-door policy. So, let’s #TurnUp.

The Memphis Beat: For Millennials

The Bluff City can be a tricky network to navigate socially and professionally. It can seem a little bit country-club in a rock-n-roll town. However, the crux behind knowing  who, what, when, and where is being tackled on many fronts, especially for millennials.

Recently, there’s been a surge of hometown pride injected into Memphis. Natives and transplants alike are choosing to live and work here. Startups are staying put. Chic, hipster, and gritty “901” looks have invaded wardrobes across the Mid-South. Needless to say, the pride is visible.

The bias of this blogger is that Memphis is a funky town that’s worth touting. This blog will feature posts about interesting millennials residing here, networking opportunities, fun events, and articles that young professionals might enjoy.

Posts for this Millennial-inspired beat will be tagged with #MillennialMEM. Future story suggestions are appreciated; feel free to mention me every minute: @MemphisMaverick.

I Love Memphis Mural

Photo by Courtney Lynch