The Living Is Easy

Social Media and Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy

Archive for Blogs

The Realities of War

The War in Iraq is said to be the first war were people here in America can get first hand encounters of the things going on in the war immediately thanks to blogs, video sharing sites such as YouTube and citizen journalism. 

Today I watched a video on YouTube called US Marines in Iraq Real Footage Warning Graphic.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be in another country and fighting the enemy on their native land.  This video gives an up close and personal veiw of what soldiers are doing everyday. 

I also checked out a blog called Army of Dude after my teacher suggested it.  This is a blog by a soldier named Alex.  He posted on this blog while he was stationed in Iraq.  Currently Alex is back home trying to adjust to civilian life.  The pictures that Alex has on this blog are amazing.  Everyone looks so young and innocent some of the soldiers pictured are still in Iraq but there are also many pictured that have died fighting in the war.  Social media is clearly having a significant impact in giving a human face to the tragedy of this war.  I think that it is helpful to people to know what is really going on.  I do not know anyone personally who is in Iraq however reading these blogs gives me a chance to see real faces and I think that is important.  Seeing these faces brings the atrocities of war closer to home versus seeing a news anchor just talk about the war.

This is definitely a blog that I will continue to read even after my class is over.  I am interested in keeping up with Alex and reading his thoughts about the war as it continues. 

Does anyone even care that Bush said “Mission Accomplished” on May 1, 2003?  Maybe he should have said “mission could be accomplished but I’m not done yet.”

I am very thankful that these soldiers have a commitment to protecting our country at all cost even if the cost is their own life.


Sharing and Connecting Is Just As Important As Closing The Big Deal

When I think of Johnson and Johnson I tend to think of babies and the sweet smell that J&J products give to babies.  Did you know that Johnson and Johnson had a blog?  I didn’t.  And surprisingly it is a very good blog.  I like the blog because the topics are just as random as the topics on my own blog and the posts are written in a very familiar voice as if you talking to an old friend.  Currently their are four contributing writers, Ray Jordan, Jeff Leebaw, Shaun Mickus, and Bill Price.  The editor of this blog is Marc Monseau .  A recent post written by an employee named Rob was about his experience at BlogHer 2008.  Rob attended a blog conference that was attended mostly by female bloggers.  One thing that Rob pointed out was that he noticed at this woman dominated conference women were more interested in “sharing” and connecting with each other whereas male dominated conferences would more interested in “selling” and “deal making.”

 I can totally agree with Rob’s observation.  As a higher education administrator  I have attended two NASPA conferences.  Many people use the conference as a chance to interview for positions at other universities.  However, I love to go to the conference to use it as a chance to not only learn about new trends in higher education, I also like to meet people from other universities that I would not ordinarily have an opportunity to meet.  I also get a chance to hear about the challenges that other universities may have or share “war” stories about housing issues, move in weekend, and helicopter parents. 

Last year, the conference was in Boston.  While I was there I meet Fabienne Naples, Ed.D and her husband Robert Naples.  Fabienne is the Associate Vice President at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Bob is the Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students at UCLA.  Yes, the have a long distance marriage and they are the cutest couple I have ever seen.  They were also two of the nicest people that I think I’ve ever met.  And although both of them have very high positions at their universities, both of them are highly educated, and  exceptionally smart.  They were the most down to earth people you would ever want to meet.  Quite a few people at my university could learn from them.


On a side note…if you are involved in higer education in any way and you have never been to a NASPA Conference, you don’t know what you are missing.  

NASPA 2009 Seattle, Washington!!                                          


Blogging in Armenia

Global Voices Online is a Web site that compiles some of the most interesting blogs from other countries.  Typically the information found on this site is not found in main stream media.  I was very fascinated with this Web site because I know that main stream news is filtered and it does not always represent what the everyday person is talking or thinking about.  For this blog post I have decided to look at Armenia’s blogosphere to see what people are blogging about there.

There are several blogs in Armenia about the LGBT community, education, and politics in general. It seems that there is a reoccurring theme around the world when it comes to blogs.  They give people an opportunity to voice opinions that may not otherwise be heard. The LGBT community has several blogs in Armenia.  According to Global Voices, blogs were originally used to by the media to perpetuate homophobia amongst its residents now it is used to give people in the LGBT community a forum to voice their opinions and views.  One of the most popular LGBT blogs in Armenia is called Unzipped: Gay Armenia.

Education seems to be another hot topic in the Armenian blogsphere.  It seems that many people are opposed to how the government handles the education system in Armenia.  According to The Armenian Economist, the government plans to fund students to study abroad.  This blog however argues that the money would be better spent improving the education system currently in place.  The country’s lack of resources and shortage of qualified teachers has also been a pretty hot topic amongst bloggers there.

I must admit that I am known for being wrapped up in my own little world and I tend to forget that there are other people in the world with their own issues.  This Web site gave me an opportunity to look at what others are talking about and the challenges they face.  I think that this is a great Web site and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to leave their world for just a minute to experience another.

Social Media Bill of Rights

On more than one occasion, I have read about a blogger whose site was taken down because of something that he or she posted that the host site did not agree with.  How much freedom does a blogger really have if their site can be taken down at any moment?  I do not agree with this practice.  I am sure that most bloggers do not keep printouts of their blog posts as references.  They naturally assume that when they or anyone else logs on whatever they have posted will be accessible.

In response to issues like this, Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble, and Michael Arrington wrote a Social Media Bill of Rights.  The main concepts discussed are ownership, control and freedom.

After reading the Bill of Rights for Social Media, I decided to check out the terms of service offered by WordPress.  Yes, I know this is probably something that I should have looked at closely when I signed up for a blog on their Web site but hey this blog is a part of my class requirement so I just signed up like everybody else.  I am sure my teacher read all of the terms and conditions, so that and my “A” are all that really matters.

The part of the agreement that caught my eye immediately was section 10 that said, “Automatic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Web site at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.”  With or without cause? What if I have not done anything wrong and it was a mistake or the fault of WordPress?   Do you mean to tell me that the WordPress gods could take all of my hard work from me with the click of a button?  The  WordPress gods could take all that I have written and my chance to be a high authority blogger from me without explanation, without some kind of review processs, maybe a warning that I was in some type of violation.  That is kind of scary.  I guess we have freedom of speech but only to certain extent when someone else is in control of the server.

Plea to WordPress gods:

Dear WordPress gods, I promise that this was only an assignment that my teacher forced me to write.  If you are reading this and I have somehow offended you, please oh please don’t take my site away.  Give me one more chance.  🙂