Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why study media?

The following is an example post for students of my introductory media theory courses:

image via Shutterstock


A few years ago, while speaking to other students at a graduation, I jokingly remarked that due to my programme of choice, every movie I watched, every video game I played, and even every podcast I listened to could be considered research. I was only half joking, though. I had, after all, been studying mass communication.Time and time during my studies, I was able to illustrate concepts and deepen my discussion of theory by using examples of everyday media. I explained convergence and consolidation using Sony’s virtual monopoly of Spider-Man-related electronic media in the early 2000s. A page of Vladimir Putin memes sparked a discussion that I later referenced in an essay on public relations. Critical observation of media has always reaped rewards for me professionally, whether as a teacher, a former reporter, or a freelance writer. And media studies has remained a fresh and exciting field to me because it’s based on an ever-developing, ever-changing media landscape.

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PR and Marketing

We spent most of the PR and Marketing session discussing the broader implications that social media has on advertising, marketing and public relations. We discussed two interesting cases that highlighted both the opportunities and the challenges that new media brings to those fields. Although I expect that most of you, hardworking and resourceful as you tend to be, have already done extensive research on those cases, here are a few follow-up reports on both of them:

Here’s a story and light analysis by the Globe and Mail on Samsung Canada’s highly successful use of social media…and childish drawings of imaginary animals. This CNET News report on the Nestle social media meltdown of 2010 gives a blow-by-blow account, while 1GoodReason delivers an in-depth analysis of what the corporation did wrong, and how they could have capitalised on the initially negative press.

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What makes your work worth sharing?

In our first class, I told you that bloggers and vloggers should have a unique voice. There should be something special about what they share, or how they present it.

This is what I meant.

Let’s talk about what we can learn from Zach Anner’s YouTube channel.

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Social Media Project Example – Heart Talk and Challenges Associated With Scoliosis

Lest you think that only the women of COMM 350 courses past have produced good work, I present today a double feature of notable work from male students. While the execution wasn’t as solid as other projects I’ve highlighted, these two projects stood out because they forced the fellas to open up about very personal challenges they’ve lived with all their lives.

In Challenges Associated with Scoliosis, Ewan Headley first set out to share information and advice on scoliosis, a spinal condition he lives with. However, a post or two in, Ewan realised how much he enjoyed sharing his experiences growing up with (and receiving treatment for) the condition. His stories, the most compelling of which recounted the sacrifices his family had to make to pay for his treatment in the US, proved to be much more focused and interesting than his original plan. Ewan also started a Facebook group for people living with scoliosis in T&T.

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Building a foundation

Building a blog has always been a love-hate process for me. Those first few steps into a new project can be invigorating; you get a brief, vivid glimpse of the project’s real potential.

But if you’re anything like me, you then mentally exhaust yourself by spending an inordinate amount of time on (relatively) minor details like the site’s name, description and template.

I think I’ll just dive straight in this time.

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Working on WordPress and Socialising SOJACS

Let’s try something different this semester.

I’ve decided to integrate my work on SOJACS’s social media outlets into the COMM 350 course delivery. Essentially, I’ll be working alongside you on a project of my own, learning the ropes and sharing my observations on a regular basis. I’m not exactly new to this, but I am treading some new ground. The SOJACS Facebook group will be the largest (and likely most active) that I’ve run, and this will be my first WordPress site.


My posts will describe the various steps I take in “socialising” SOJACS, and I’ll discuss choices, challenges and results. I plan to try out a few content ideas here as well. Those posts will fall under the Socialising SOJACS category, and will be tagged appropriately.

This blog will also act as the main platform for your blended material, so expect posts featuring course-relevant information and resources. Remember that discussion is encouraged (and rewarded) in this course in particular, so please feel free to leave feedback or questions in the comments below each post, either here or on the course group.

This should be interesting. Good luck on your own projects!