Category Archives: Uncategorized

Socialbrite- 9 online petition tools & how to make a difference

Check out my latest article on about online petition tools!




Musica Tradicional Folklorico de Costa Rica…I think.

Costa Rican Music

Costa Rica Folk MusicFolk music in Costa Rica is strongly influenced by African cultures. Guanacaste, the northwest region of Costa Rica is the home of folkloric tradition.

Alcohol Related Crime in Winter Park, FL

This Map is from the “Orange County Underage Drinking Task Force Final Report“, it is one of many maps showcasing the vast amounts of licensed alcohol distributors in Orange County. Not only does alcohol contribute to many arrests each year, as exemplified in the Google Map Project above, it also contributes to traffic accidents and traffic fatalities.

Mapping Project Timeline and Proposal

Sodexo Mapping Project

Julie Katz

Alison Sweeney

Andrew Wells

We propose a research endeavor to uncover the truth behind our somewhat beloved catering company here at Rollins, Sodexo, about local resourcing and fair wage.

Steps We Are Taking, a.k.a the very Conditional Timeline:

  1. What local places Sodexo@Rollins, Sodexo@Central Florida gets food from
    1. map these locations using Google Maps
      1. Sodexo locations (in Central Florida)
      2. Farm locations
  2. Which of the local farm locations meet fair wage/farmer alliance?
    1. map these locations using Google Maps
    2. map locations that do NOT meet fair wage
  3. Get information from Sodexo@Rollins about CORPORATE food (frozen food) used in place of local product.
    1. map locations of nearest factories/production facilities to illuminate the difference between the amount of local food used.
  4. Use these numbers (find way to calculate overall costs and profits) to compare money spent on local farms and resources/ money spent on local farms and resources that do NOT meet fair wage to the money made by Sodexo@Rollins annually or Sodexo annually (total profit and ‘kickbacks’)
  5. If necessary, break into Rollins Cafeteria and do a content analysis of our own. No, we are not afraid.

Steps Already Taken:

  1. Research on Sodexo and Farm activity in Florida
  2. Research on ‘kickbacks’ and ‘rebates’ concerning Sodexo
  3. Research on local percentages spent by Sodexo
  4. Emailed Rollins Director of Dining Services asking Questions Below.

Sodexo @ Rollins Interview with Gerard Short

  1. What local places does Sodexo@Rollins get food from?
  2. What percentage of the budget, or how often?
  3. Do you know which of these farms meet fair wage or are in a Farmer’s Alliance?
  4. How much of the Sodexo@Rollins is corporate owned, frozen food?
  5. How much is Fresh Food?
  6. How much is the Sodexo contract@Rollins?

What if Stark was one of us? Transmedia to Transreality.

Henry Jenkins: Transmedia

This week I’m giving a presentation in class about Transmedia Storytelling, as conceptualized in Henry Jenkin’s Blog Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Core Concepts of Transmedia Storytelling. As always, Jenkins offers compelling insight into developing technology. What I find particularly interesting about this is Social Media’s role. Jenkins gives a lot of information about fan investigation and the retelling of a story through different mediums. I wonder where Social Media can play a part? Where would it fit in to Jenkin’s assessment if Marvel Comics sponsored an Iron Man twitter? I don’t mean a Twitter about the movie, and updates, but a Twitter meant to seem like it was being updated by Tony Stark himself. In light of this, I actually just did a search for a “Stark Industries” website. Considering there has to be transmedia media for Jenkin’s to talk about, I figured if Marvel and Paramount were smart enough, they’d have some sort of webosphere realm for Mr. Stark who has quickly become one of America’s favorite smartasses.

While I didn’t find Stark (well, actually I did, but the domain belongs to a compressor distributor). I can only assume it is a buildup to part of the story for this year’s release of the greatly anticipated Iron Man 2. I’d like to use some of the 7 core concepts introduced by Jenkins to assess this piece of transmedia.

Check it out: Stark Expo 2010

Storytelling Without very much knowledge (for the unresearched fan) of the sequel, the website teases some interesting information. For example, when taken to the “Message from Tony Stark” we learn that the StarkExpo is a rebirth of a tradition that was started by Tony’s Father. We can guess that StarkExpo is going to be quite the shindig in the movie by Tony’s famous attitude.

Branding Here’s an area that the website successfully counteracts. The site promotes the fictional world where Tony Stark and Stark Industries rules. There is no mention of the comic or the movie (albeit a small MARVEL logo on the bottom of the page where the event sponsors are), not even a link or reference to Paramount. In fact, the copyright is for Stark Enterprises (which, by the way, if you search it on the internet brings you a community development company). The only brand is Stark, which is fictional, which brings me to my next point.

Drillability Fandom is a deep obsession. The drillability of a narrative is meant to encourage dedicated fans to search for and dig into the available transmedia outlets that support their favorite narrative. My action of searching the internet for Stark Enterprises and coming across the StarkExpo is a perfect example of this, though I wouldn’t put myself in fandom status for Iron Man, despite Tony Stark’s…I mean Robert Downey Jr.’s sex appeal. A look into the StarkExpo gives fans a look into the fictional world of Iron Man. It offers information about the new movie in undercover form. But, is the site worth talking about?

Spreadability At the bottom of the page, there’s a link for StarkExpo’s Facebook page. Suprisingly, the page only has 6,790 fans considering the movie is due out in less than a month.

This is where I find the role of Social Media in all of this TransMedia mania to be particularly intriguing. Why don’t more people know about the site? And what exactly does that mean? In terms of spreadability, it may mean that the site itself does not give enough or it does not spark enough interest for friends to run around to one another excitedly spreading the word about new information regarding Iron Man. However, it may mean that Marvel and Paramount are not doing a good enough job of marketing the movie. Hence my suggestion for Tony Stark’s Twitter. Now, there are multiple fake Tony Stark Twitters, but nothing that seems to be legitimate.

We all know by now that when it comes to non-profit and social media marketing, utlizing and interconnecting all aspects of Social Media- a blog, a facebook, a twitter and so forth- is extremely beneficial. It spreads the word, it allows different measurements of communication. When it comes to Fandom, however, and this concept of Transmedia it seems widely underused and underappreciated. If there’s developing interest in the way the internet is serving narratives up in trans-media’d forms, there should be more development of interest in Social Media. I suppose this is where the concern between Continuity and Multiplicity come into effect for big companies, especially the likes of Marvel and Paramount. But, I’m sticking to my case. Why stop at StarkExpo’s website? If Tony Stark had a Twitter, wouldn’t he be tweeting about the StarkExpo (or Pepper Potts more likely)? Furthermore, if Tony Stark were to be a tweeter, he would have to have a Blog. What I’m getting at is…What if Stark were one of us?

In this perspective, Social Media offers fictional narratives the chance to “get real” beyond the limits of simple fandom and “alternative reproduction”. Considering our less-than-skeptical age, it is arguable that the Spreadability of such an endeavour would be minimum because most people would be smart enough to know it isn’t real. But, the Drillability is huge. If done right, if managed and updated well, if kept as realistic as possible, the realm of fandom in combination with Social Media can be huge, believable, and make some serious profits.

The theory is very simple. There’s a lot of critical theory out there about how Disney Characters and other Cartoons are really sort of abused to sell products to children- make a beloved character a brand ambassador and you’re good to go. Who is to say that isn’t possible with the likes of Iron Man himself? Internally, movies like to joke about how their main character gets spread amongst sponsors and I’m not saying I want to start seeing Tony Stark in Old Spice commercials. I am saying, though, that a contract between Facebook, Twitter and major movie production companies can be huge and that larger-than-life fictional narratives can be brought down to the size of your computer screen. Oh yeah.

Henry Jenkins asks in his blog to imagine a world where we are always scanning across various media forms for something of interest and when we find it we can become deeply involved in it. I ask you, Mr. Jenkins, what if it went the other way around? I know that’s called Marketing…but what if Tony Stark virtually stepped off that screen and followed me on Twitter? I’d like to imagine a world where the fictional narrative seeks out fandom in the real world.

If Tony Stark could Tweet like a civilian, oh just think of it, think of all that we could share…

Google Maps

View Class Presentation Map in a larger map

Google Maps is an icnredibly useful Social Media Tool. With Maps, you can add pins to multiple locations with the ability to hyperlink them to Flickr streams, Blogs and other sites. Maps can be live and changing according to search restrictions and there’s a magnitude of features to use Maps.

Google Maps can be most beneficial to nonprofit organizations by utilizing the social mapping capability.

Socialbrite- ido30 treads line between grassroots movement & corporate campaign

Jonas Nielsen, originally uploaded by kommunikationscast.

ido30 treads line between grassroots movement & corporate campaign

By Julie Katz
Socialbrite staff

Finding a balance between creating a movement and actively, successfully campaigning without coming off as a brand ambassador is very hard to come by for many nonprofits, especially when the campaign is backed by corporate interests. ido30 is a Denmark-based nonprofit promoting low-temperature laundry as a way to help combat climate change.

If every household in Europe goes from 60 to 30 degrees Celsius (140 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) when washing laundry, we can save the same amount of carbon dioxide that’s produced by 3 million cars in one year, the organization says. That applies to Americans as well: Choosing a “cold” setting instead of warm or hot would accomplish the same.

With growing followings on their Facebook page (over 12,000 fans from 25 countries) and Twitter account , it is hard not to see the group as a grassroots movement. On the other hand, ido30 is sponsored by bio-industrial company Novozymes, which creates the enzyme that makes low-temperature laundry possible.

What, then, differentiates a movement — spreading the word and gaining a following — from a campaign that takes action to achieve a goal?

Sebastian Overgaard, creative director at Mindjumpers, a progressive and social media focused advertising group working with Novozymes, explains their strategy for creating a grassroots approach using social media.

“First, it’s important that we ourselves and the employees at Novozymes really believe in the cause – that spreading the word about low-temperature can actually make a difference,” Overgaard says. “This way we’ve been able to act almost like a grassroots organization, with a very human and spontaneous approach, but always with a transparent honesty about Novozymes’ underlying interests in focusing on ‘climate friendly choices’ as a bio-innovation company.”

By communicating these climate friendly choices through social media, the ido30 effort makes joining the movement synonymous with being an active participant in the campaign. In doing this, ido30 gathers what Overgaard calls its tribe. “Having a group of people sharing a cause that is in alignment with your core business makes a strong argument when approaching new potential partners,” he says.

But it is Mindjumpers’ attitude toward its tribe that makes ido30’s online tribe active participants. Says Overgaard: “You have to be genuinely interested in the people and not just look at them as numbers but as potential new fans” who can be called upon to take action through interaction on Facebook.

Nurturing a community, then prompting it to take action

One example of this approach took place in 2009 during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. People like Overgaard saw a flood of wall posts on ido30’s Facebook page from members around the world communicating how they wished they could be in Copenhagen to help spread the word: “This inspired us to bring their statements out to the world in ’speech bubbles’ on the Facebook wall,” he said. “After this was well received, we got the idea to really bring the statements to Copenhagen in a ‘real’ speech bubble, which we brought to the center of Copenhagen, filmed and put on YouTube.”

There are two important processes Mindjumpers use strategically in their social media support of organizations like ido30. First is “social media gardening,” a process used to nurture an online community, like ido30’s Facbeook page, after it has been “seeded” with members. “Practically speaking,” Overgaard says, “this means we’ve engaged in one-on-one conversations with fans of ido30.”

Second is something Overgaard calls “tribesourcing,” essentially using what the flowers of their online gardens have to say, as they did in Cophenagen. “We’ve gotten insights, feedback and ideas from all over the world,” he says.

Focusing on the human factor, as Mindjumpers suggests, is precisely what helps to achieve the balance between the social power of a grassroots movement with the political savvy of a corporate campaign. Mindjumpers’ strategy allows members of ido30 to be part of an organization making their voices heard in European capitals while helping to create a green movement of climate friendly decision making.

A little encouragement is all it takes. “We’ve encouraged people to spread the word by telling their Facebook friends about the campaign, and pass on our videos, one of which has been seen by more than 330,000 people,” Overgaard says.

Clearly, the world can be saved one laundry load at a time and one voice to another.