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young-adult-perception-facebookHere at Smart Boy we like to gather social media information and trends by analyzing the perceptions of everyday social media users. Here we have Ashley Trull’s opinions on Facebook, as a young, 22 year old user in Sacramento, CA. Enjoy!

Facebook has grown rapidly since you were a child. What’s your perception of Facebook? Is it needed? How do we benefit from it?

I think Facebook is great! Facebook is a great way to connect with people you lost contact with. I don’t think it’s needed but I think it is very helpful. We benefit from Facebook in a few different ways. One way is staying connected to friends and family you don’t get to see often. You get to see what they are up to and what’s going on in their life. With Facebook you almost don’t need high school reunions because you know what they are all up to and how their lives are going. You can also stay updated on what’s going on not only in your own town, but around the world as well. Get different views on what’s going on with politics and religion.

For the young adult, do you feel Facebook is a valuable tool in job searching?

It can be. You can post a status about needing a job and your friends can comment on that status or send you a message about a job posting the found or places they know are hiring. Or you can post about different odds and end jobs you can do and see if you have and friends that could use you for those certain jobs. However, one shouldn’t rely on Facebook to find a job, but it can be helpful.

How much time do you spend on Facebook daily?

I spend a few hours every day on Facebook. Some days are more than others depending on what I’m doing that day. If I’m sick I’ll spend most my day on Facebook, but if I’m working that day it’s only about 1-2 hours.

Off the top of your head, what Facebook Pages stand out to you most – and why do find yourself liking or sharing their content? Is there a reason? Funny? Inspiring? Share with us.

There are a few that come to mind. One of them is Have a Gay Day because they have both funny and inspirational posts. Another one is I Want To Marry A County Boy because they post pictures of hot guys to be honest. Another one is House of Winter because they post some beautiful and interesting pictures from different photos shoots they have done and ones that inspire them. One more is Positivity because they post a lot of inspiring and interesting posts and pictures. I always find something good on each of these pages.

Do you think it’s important for people to spend time away from Facebook?

I do think it’s important for people to spend time away from Facebook because I think people spend too much on it. Don’t get me wrong I love Facebook and I already said I spend a few hours on it every day. However, some people are so addicted to Facebook and they can’t spend more than an hour or two without going on it. There is life outside of Facebook.

What do you generally share on Facebook?

I usually share (from other pages) funny photos or inspirational photos or cool projects or makeup I would like to do. Things I usually post on my own timeline are status about having a great time with certain people or funny things that happen to me or post something crazy that’s happened to me, and pictures I post are usually of my family/friends and I doing something or of new things I finally bought that I wanted to. J

What’s your current favorite Netflix TV show?

I have a few favorites: Sons of Anarchy, Switched at Birth, Say Yes To The Dress, Nightmare Before Christmas, Hercules, Bones, Lockdown, Nip/Tuck, and Weeds. Okay I have a lot of favorites.

Do you prefer texting or voice calls?

I prefer texting because I don’t always have time for voice calls and texting allows me to reply when I can instead of taking time when I don’t have the time to answer the phone call.

blogging-tips-writingThere are 6.7 million people blogging on blogging sites and another 12 million blogging through social media, Marketing Tech Blog reports.

With almost 19 million bloggers online, what chance do you have of getting and keeping a following? People are eager to read good content. If you don’t trip over these same mistakes that so many other bloggers do, you’ll find your audience out there.

Bad Writing = Bad Blogs

One of the biggest turn-offs for the reader is bad writing. Included in this category are:

  • Spelling errors – If yuo can’t uze a spell cheker then how kan you expext peeple to respetc you?
  • Grammatical errors – “Every students takes a tablet to school, now” makes readers stumble through your blog.
  • Punctuation errors – This is easy to do, and it creates, a big distraction; for your readers.
  • Rambling sentences – Because, you know, people want to know, like, what important things you have to say to them, like, you know, stuff that they could use, I guess, in their lives, to, like make them better people…yada yada yada.
  • Incomplete sentences – No go. Huh?

Find Your Own Voice

People will follow your posts and learn your particular speaking style. You will lose some people because they don’t like it, but enough people will connect with you. That’s because your own style is the natural way you speak to people. It comes across as genuine and uniquely you.

Use phrases that are special to you. If you copy someone else’s catchphrase, give them credit for it. But don’t hesitate to make up your own.

Leave Out Corporate-Speak

People don’t want to listen to a corporation. They want to chat with a friend. Limit writing about your products and services. Don’t spend time telling people how great your company is. Write something that helps people deal with one of their problems.

Focus on sentences containing “you” instead of “I,” “we” and “us.” Your blog post is a conversation you’re having with your readers. Avoid jargon or tech-speak, unless it helps you make a point or your target audience speaks like that. “Next, try reversing the polarity of the neutron flow through the modulated flux capacitor to increase resonance in the induction coils,” probably has a limited following of readers.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting

If your blog contains a lot of graphics or videos, don’t make your visitors wait for pages to load by using a cheap hosting service. Refer to a site such as myhosting.com for Windows hosting to keep your site running quickly and efficiently. You have about 3.5 seconds to display your content before someone gets bored, according to The New York Times. You might save some money, but you’ll certainly lose visitors to your site.

Give People Something to Take Away

The goal of your blog is to help people. Give them something in each post they can take and use. Hopefully, it’s something that causes the reader to take some action. It could be a new way to apply for college financial aid or a cheap way to tune their flux capacitor. It could even be a new way to look at some topic with a different perspective they didn’t know about previously.

When you consistently give people something they can use, they will come back for more.

no-strings-attached

The No Strings Attached Project is an opportunity to help fund and support the breast cancer non-profit, the 2nd Basemen, by participating in a charity guitar chance drawing.

“We pick up where insurance leaves off and help bridge the financial gap of household expenses.” -The 2nd Basemen

How did you come up with the idea for the No Strings Attached project?

After getting the first guitar signed for an auction (Cheap Trick) I decided to ask others artists to sign more guitars for the cause.

Why do you dedicate so much of your life to fighting breast cancer?

After loosing my mom 7 years ago to Breast Cancer, and just when I was recovering from the loss, I was diagnosed myself. This was four years ago. When I shared this with family and friends, I was shocked to discover how many people had breast cancer themselves or know of others who have it.

So I decided to become an advocate. To raise awareness and help as many women and men with the tools for early detection.

In what ways do you hope the No Strings Attached project changes and touches lives?

If this project creates awareness in just one more person and saves their life through early detection, it will be enough. Of course, I would also like to provide a significant monetary contribution to the charities so they can help make the fight for life a little easier for as many people as possible.

How does it make you feel to have the support from some many incredible musicians?

Humble and blessed, as they are asked daily by multiple charities to participate in various causes. For them to believe me and what I am doing is amazing.

How can someone support No Strings Attached?

Buy as many ticket to the drawing as possible, here! :)

Who’s your favorite sports team?

The San Francisco 49ers

If you could sit down with any person for dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?

Well I am a dinner party kind of person so….

Michael Jackson, Annie Leibovitz, Randy Pausch, Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafza,

Matte Stepanek, Steve Jobs, Nancy Brinker & My Mom and Dad. To name a few :)

Speculation Surrounds Twitter’s IPO

twitter_logo

An amended S-1 filing with the SEC revealed that Twitter plans to begin trading stock to the public on Nov. 15 under the ticker symbol “TWTR.” Now that we’re less than a month away from this social media giant’s IPO, expect speculation surrounding Twitter’s true value to skyrocket. Facebook’s disastrous IPO is fresh in the minds of analysts, and Twitter faces serious concerns over how many of its users are legitimate and how many are fake personas.

Still, Twitter has emerged as a powerful force in news, politics, sports, and entertainment, and it’s hard to imagine that anything will slow this train down.

A Case Study: Facebook

Few companies seem as prepared to thrive in an increasingly technological market as Facebook, which is why the social network’s free fall in the months following its IPO was so surprising. A share of Facebook cost $38 initially and rose incrementally on day one. Just three months later, Facebook’s public value had fallen by nearly 50 percent. CNN reports a Nasdaq technical error may have been to blame at the outset. After months of losses, however, it was clear that investors might not be as bullish on Facebook as valuers thought.

Twitter hopes to avoid a similar fate when it goes public, and that starts with a sound valuation. Bloomberg.com suggests that the stock may debut at around $30 per share. Facebook’s public offering was ultimately good news for Twitter. After touching a share price low of $20, Facebook is now trading at around $50 per share. Part of that comeback has to do with positive shifts in the stock market as a whole, but there’s no doubt that Facebook has bounced back from early struggles.

Fake Personas Equal Fake Value?

Few have a firm grasp of how many legitimate users frequent the site, which makes valuing Twitter so difficult. In a world where the number of followers, favorites and retweets rules, users have resorted to creating fake personas to boost their profiles. Even the most prominent figures are guilty of hiring fake Twitter followers. Social media management firm Status People revealed the majority of followers on President Obama’s campaign handle (@BarackObama) were fake. Imagine millions of supposed users conjured up from thin air. It’s certainly a red flag for investors, one that’s bound to make investors second guess Twitter’s claim as it boasts 218 million active users.

Security has been an issue for Twitter as well. Hackers are prone to overtake accounts and either spam followers for money or embarrass the real user. Identity security is a growing concern in many facets of life, and if Twitter hopes to continue its meteoric rise, it’ll have to shore up its network.

Twitter Can’t Be Stopped

Despite legitimate concerns, investors still see Twitter as a potential gold mine. In the S-1 registration form, Twitter pointed out that its platform has become the premier place to find breaking news. President Obama announced his 2012 election victory on Twitter. An unsuspecting Pakistani citizen live-tweeted the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound hours before traditional news outlets got hold of it. Twitter’s value is evident in the countless ways it has integrated itself within cultures around the world. That influence seems bound to grow.

(Photo: http://sebianoti.deviantart.com)

If you are going to run a movie blog, then you have to be careful because most people who see movie reviews assume that they were either paid for (such as most of the Prometheus reviews), or that the reviewer does not have your taste in movies.

So, here are five great ideas for a movie blog.

Movies that you should give a miss

Why are there not more websites or blogs like this already? There are so many terrible movies out there that it is a good thing that people are downloading them via pirate sites. Have you ever bought a movie from a store, only to get it home and turn it off after five minutes? It’s not fair is it, and if movie producers had their way then we would be getting screwed like this all the time. At least with pirate downloading sites you don’t lose anything if the movie is terrible.

This blog idea would help to save the money of suckers who always pay for their movies. Sure, you should pay for great movies such as the Avengers Assemble, Pacific Rim, Lord of the Rings, etc, but this blog would help save you money by steering you away from the terrible movies of this world. Just a quick five points on why a movie is bad is all that would be needed.

Movies that are not terrible

This is not a blog telling about great movies that everybody knows are great (e.g. Fight Club), but is about movies that look like they should be terrible but that are actually quite good (e.g. The Curse of Chucky). It is a blog that tries to explain why a movie looks bad, be it through a crummy trailer, cheap production, or poor previous movies. And, it then goes on to explain why the movie should really be watched.

Everybody knows that Dark Knight was a great movie, but people who saw Batman Begins, or any Batman movie before Batman begins would be excused for thinking that Dark Knight is just another crummy batman movie. This blog could set the record straight. Or, Piranha 3D looks truly awful, but this blog could explain how it is a balls-to-the-wall romp that does not take itself too seriously.

The best of their career

This is a blog explaining all the movies of a certain actor (actresses are now called actors too). The likes of Google and Rotten Tomatoes are able to provide you with a list of movies and TV shows that an actor has been in, but they are never complete lists. There are always movies missing, and there are always great movies that are pushed into the background.

If you were to look up a few Brad Pitt movies then you would see some great work with Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher, but it would neglect to tell you about movies such as Legends of the Fall where his epic role in this movie is all but forgotten. Your blog could help to highlight these forgotten movies, whilst still telling about the more modern movies of that actor.

The greatest action films in forever

There are some good action films and there are some great action films. Time is often a killer, where you look back and question how you ever liked such a primitive action movie, and yet some of them still work rather well even today.

You can go over the silly but still great action movies such as True Lies, Independence Day and Armageddon. Or, you can go over a few of the great action movies that do not spare on the giddy thrills such as Predators and Rambo (the newest).

You do not have to limit yourself with time and how well a movie was received at the time. For example, was Bladerunner really as great as people remember it? Was the third star wars movies (the one produced third, not the one known as the third in the series) really all that good? Or did the appearance of midgets in furry costumers spoil it? (yes).

The movies that you didn’t know existed

This is truly for movie buffs that have seen a lot of movies and have found some great movies that others do not know about. There are some strange old movies about giant rabbits, and others about a pair of 80’s cops, one of whom becomes simplified and has to solve his own murder (Dead Heat). Or, you could blog about a series of unknown movies that were a bit nutty such as the Puppet Master series.

You can even write about less well known movies that have some very weird things in them, such as the Roald Dahl book based movie called Witches where a woman looks to be doing a very rude mime on a close up scene.

The guest post is written by Sonia Jackson from Cool Essays. She writes essays on different topics and can give you useful advice.