The Social App of the future

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Isn’t it time that technology brings us together to celebrate and live life? Check out Spangle which does exactly that.

Check out the video and download the app! #BeSpontaneous and fight #FOMO

http://vimeo.com/90956797 – video

http://goo.gl/NcNGl5 – download that app here! and if you want to be a student ambassador as well, you can go here

and don’t forget to mention my name (Chirag). 

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How to make a Webinar

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I told you what a webinar is, but now how do you go about in making one? There are several factors that you need to take into consideration so you can have a successful webinar. First off you need to put together a support team. In general there are three main players in making a successful webinar. You have your organizer, the presenters and the assistants. These roles can be designated however you see fit but it’s a good idea not to do it yourself, as it’s extremely overwhelming. The organizer is responsible for developing the webinar topic, locating a speaker, marketing the event, setting up the registration etc.. The presenter is the individual who speaks during the webinar and the assistants take care of everything else that you delegate to them such as answering technical and logistical questions.

 

Next you should figure out the format you want to have, a webinar can be structured in a variety of formats to suit different purposes. Such as having only one speaker, keeping an interview style or having an interactive format. There are pros and cons for every style but you need to determine what would suit your topic and audience. Webinars rely heavily on audio and visuals to get the message across, both should be engaging. Therefore prepare your visuals beforehand to have a smooth flow to your presentation. Next in the process is to determine what web conferencing platform you want to use. Factors to take into consideration when making this decision are- how many people will the tool accommodate? How much will it cost? What features are included? You can find articles on TechSoup.org and Idealware.org that help you understand and pick a tool for your webinar.  

Next you should have a dry run of the webinar to work out any kinks there may be. During your run make sure to note that you have all the proper equipment and a backup plan because technology can be unpredictable. Next you need to figure out your price structure.. Keep in mind that some webinars are free, most usually cost anywhere from $25-$40 and others may be upwards of $200. You need to assess your audience, but be cautious because raising your price might drive people away. Something you can do is ask for optional donations until you figure out your audience. Lastly, you need to promote and provide essential info on the webinar. It’s hard work but if done right the payoff is huge.

What is a webinar?

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A webinar or a “webcast”, “online event” or a “web seminar” is a very effective and efficient tool for any organization. With a webinar an individual can have a vast audience from all over the world because everything is being done over the internet. We all have heard of Skype and Google Hangouts but a webinar is on a greater scale. The speaker from the hosting organization can share PowerPoint presentations, videos, web pages or other media content with their audience which could be located anywhere in the globe. The audience usually can interact with the speaker in real time through tools such as instant messaging and email.

 

A webinar typically has both visual and audio components and often additional software isn’t needed. If special software is required, the host of the webinar will usually inform and provide it for the participants beforehand via download. Most webinars will require you to sign up ahead of time, so make sure you are registered and have your spot reserved. After doing so you should receive an email shortly which will contain your confirmation code, from there just follow the given instructions by the host.

 

The beauty of a webinar is that once you get passed your apprehension of the technological aspect (which is minimal) there are benefits on top of benefits for all parties involved. With a webinar you can eliminate a vast amount of your expenses. Compared to a live conference you are cutting out the meeting facility, travel costs and also the energy and time for participants to attend.

 

The uses for webinars are pretty much limitless. They can be used for conferences, training programs, lectures or even short presentations. You can let your creative mind run wild and take advantage of this tool any way you see fit. It is important to find ways to cut your costs but still have an effective and efficient business, holding webinars can definitely help you with that!

 

Ted Talks: The power of social media and creativity

 

 

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I recently watched several Ted Talk videos but a few really stuck out to me.One of those was a TedxTalk by Hillie Van der Kaa titled “Thanks to social media, everybody can be a journalist.” As the title suggests she speaks about how everyday individuals can become reporters of news because of social media. This is a trend that I myself have been seeing and participating in since I entered the social media atmosphere. She brings up the instance of 9/11 and how when she heard about it she tried to tell others but they didn’t quite believe her and they were more focused on their studying. It clicked to her that she was basically spreading a rumor in the eyes of those who haven’t heard the news yet.

 

The aspect of ethics was also brought up where she stated that she believes that ethical dilemmas like what to trust and what to publish are being taken out of the hands of journalists. Instead it’s the viewers who decide what they believe and what they want to see. This is something I agree with to a certain extent because traditional media used to and still give us what they want to show us a la the bias of FOX or CNN. However with social media you are getting information from a 100 different perspectives and you get to pick what path to follow.

 

Another interesting video that I watched was one called “The Art of Creativity” from a man named Taika Waititi. I am not sure if it was the subject of the video or just the interesting story of this man and the way he presented himself that fascinated me. He explained that he came from New Zealand and from a diverse background where his mother is from Russian and Jewish descent and his father’s background is not mentioned rather he tells us that his father is a farmer and an artist. He presents creativity as a matter of perception and expression through the lens of obsession. He speaks about all the things he was obsessed with as a child and how it honed his artistic skills that he has now. If you can’t become obsessed with your work, your passion won’t come through, and you just won’t grow as you would otherwise. Fully immerse yourself in what you love and amazing things can happen. A life lesson if I ever saw one.

 

 

The Digital Divide

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The digital divide refers to the difference/gap between people who have access to computers and the internet to those who do not. This can usually be divided by race, income, gender and educational attainment. Many of us may not realize it in this day and age but there are many individuals who still can not afford home internet access. Depending on the areas, they may not be able to obtain access at the schools either, which leaves them behind their peers and the rest of the world. As the middle class shrinks and the economy struggles the divide will continue to grow if something is not done about it soon.

According to an article on Mashable.com by Jessica Goodman she stated that “In June, a White House broadband report concluded the divide is still very much present in the U.S. Though the report found that 91% of Americans had access to high-speed Internet service of at least 10 Mbps downstream, only 71% of Americans actually subscribed to broadband at home — an adoption rate lower than other nations with a similar GDP.” This shows that if the economy still continues to struggle that the divide might grow even more. It is because the group that is most without technology is Hispanics and African Americans, and these are the same groups that will make up a majority of the population and workforce in the coming years. It is important to take into consideration however that many individuals opt out of home internet access because they use their smartphone as their primary source to access the internet. With this though many individuals also have a lack of simple computer skills and they can’t complete the same type of work on smart phones as they would on computers.

As stated in the paper written by Robyn Broadbent and Theo Papadopoulos titled “Bridging the digital divide-an Australian story”  “There is increasing evidence that the lack of access to information and communication technology (ICT) or the ‘digital divide’ severely limits education, employment and economic prospects.” The digital divide harms students on an incredibly large scale as almost everything nowadays is done on the computer and with the help of the internet. I personally wish I could use the computer less but there is no way around it because all my school work, all the research for papers and many times the method to turn in assignments requires the use of the internet. When it comes to lower income communities there really aren’t other alternatives unless outside sources help them out. For instance, non profits like Close the Gap who “is an international non-profit organisation that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by large and medium-sized corporations or public organisations to educational, medical, entrepreneurial and social projects in developing and emerging countries.” If children fall behind at an early age and don’t gain the proper skills we will be creating a future workforce who will not be able to compete at a high level.

I believe that there should at least be an attempt to lower the cost of internet as it is something everyone requires and that they suffer without it. With corporations though all they usually see is profit so it is a long stretch to see that happen without any government interference and that would bring in the question of “isn’t this a free market?” As I see it, it would be very beneficial for local libraries to be set up if not already there and then for them to have wi-fi which most if not all already do. This is how I got by when I did not have internet at home. There are many different issues at play here from minimum wages, to technological advances, neighborhood atmospheres and many more. How I see it though having a community center such as a library would be very beneficial and groups like Close the Gap who do so much to help out are the best options. Sadly I don’t ever see everyone being equal but they should have equal opportunities to basic needs and the internet has become one.