Thursday, December 24, 2009

Starbucks hit social media gold

In the season of giving, Starbucks rolled up their tech sleeves along with (RED) to create a  global sing-along as a part of their continuing efforts to help fight AIDS in Africa. The project is Starbucks Love Project.

At 1:30 pm GMT on December 7th, people from 156 countries joined in the sing-along. You can see the video edited together on the Starbucks site, Starbucks Love Project, YouTube, even their Facebook fan page, which has a caption that reads 'One moment. One song. 156 countries.'

From accross oceans, tribes, languages, cultures, ages and more, people came together to sing one song of love for all to hear, 'Love is all you need.'

This is a project that wouldn't have been possible years ago, and with the assistance of social media, this has become an amazing tool to create AIDS awareness along with brand awareness for (RED) and Starbucks. I can't help but think of how this is such a phenomenal example of how technology can be used for extraordinary things. Starbucks and (RED) didn't just create a montage of clips of people singing. They gathered people from corners of the world, had them huddle around their webcams and sing together. It's a brilliant and unprecedented event, giving us one voice. Taking a Beatles hit 'All you need is love' and running with the event.

I think they not only excelled in the use of the new media, but busted through a roof. Starbucks and (RED) gave consumers what they wanted during the holiday season. This 4 minute video is something that can't help but bring a smile to faces in such an uncertain time. While places are facing political unrest, economic uncertainty and more, people are stopping and sining about love.

Is this really just a video?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Computer People'

Last Friday someone told me 'I'm not sure if we have a website, I'm not a computer person.' I know that some people don't use computers, but really? Isn't a website as vital as having a phone number to call? If I need a number, contact, organization or event information I head to the web.

Am I ridiculous for thinking that people that are in customer support positions need to have some computer skills? I currently work in a customer support field and computer skills are not only 'highly recommended' but a requirement.

I went on to speak with my grandmother, she emails, gchats and likes to 'google' movie reviews. When she was trying to get a job through a temp agency, they made it manatory to have basic computer skills. She was actually offended that someone said that they didn't know anything about a website or computers.

When it comes to culture, has this just become an assumption? In the skills section of my resume, I almost feel like posting 'Microsoft OS proficiency' is like saying 'I can read'. Why would I put that?

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Social Media & Relationships

Recently I flew to the east coast to attend a close friend's wedding. It was small, beautiful and very intimate. I realized that my college friends and I spent no time 'catching up'. I've been told numerous times that when you are back with people you haven't seen in a while, it can be hard. However, we were never really apart.

For my various circles, it's become acceptable to touch base through social media.

Social Relationships
Between Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google Features, email and more, it's nearly impossible not to stay in contact with friends and family from a distance. During the brief weekend on the east coast we already knew who was working where, how the projects were going, how my friend was now dating a new woman. Where did we get all this information? Facebook statuses, email, texts and- once every blue moon- a new YouTube video.

I've noticed that some of my past teachers, mentors and professors keep track of my professional edeavors through my Linkedin page. This has actually expanded my relationships with these people beyond former supervisors, club advisors and classroom walls. This has been a great way to rekindle and enhance relationships by opening professional doors.

While my parents aren't very active online, at least not on my networks, I am able to touch base with cousins, aunts, uncles and brothers. All of the cousins went to school all over the U.S. and I have a married brother in Asia, so this makes social media, specifically social networks, a great way to keep track of my family. Sometimes my parents and relatives are shocked when I know about an engagement. However, my mom now just says 'I know, it's on facebook isn't it?'

I know that people criticize social media for it not being a real relationship tools, but they are wonderful for maintaining and enhancing already established relationships and building community.

My relationships on social media are personal, professional and family oriented. What are your relationships online?