Social Media by Leah

Tucker and Why I May Become a Cat Lady
November 17, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My family always had cats growing up.

First there was Hershey, a Seal Point Siamese kitty, who was so friendly and loved to eat ice cream. We got her when I was in second grade. She was my first real pet, you know, besides the hamsters, one goldfish, and random other small critters that lived in our house.

Hershey also liked to go outside. She loved the outdoors. She was hit by a car when I was in 5th grade. I was devastated. I cried for days and went out in the neighborhood searching for her, because a family friend had called and said she thought she saw Hershey on the side of the road near our house.

I never found her.

Our house was lonely for awhile–no meowing or cleaning litter boxes. That’s when Reese came along.

We got Reese, a Chocolate Point Siamese, from a breeder. We knew right away he was not Hershey. First of all, he was supposed to be pure bred, but he had especially long fur and a few suspect markings. He was also a terrible kitten. He scratched our leather couches, forcing my parents to put large comforters on them. Reese’s claws came out as soon as he was old enough.

Reese was supposed to be my cat again, but my mom was the one who really took care of him. Reese and my mom were inseperable. I went off to college, and being an only child, Reese was the lone kid in the house. He had been growing older, he was 11 and still living a good life outdoors. My parents vowed to not let another cat outside after Hershey died, but he escaped once and just loved the backyard. During the summer of 2008, he was attacked by an animal and had to be taken to the ER. My parents were a wreck..even my dad who claims to not like cats. Reese survived and recovered.

This past summer, I had a tough time dealing with some personal problems, and eventually started to get past them. I decided that I wanted a kitten of my own.

I found one on Craigslist. He was a very small, 8 week old kitten. Gray.Tom and I went to go look at him and immediately I fell in love. I took her home that night and to the vet the next day to get checked out.

12 ounces and healthy as can be.

My favorite part of the day was coming home in the afternoon and playing with her. Seeing her come out from under my comforter where she had been sleeping and let out little meows. We were inseperable. Tom thought I was a nut because of how attached to Tucker I was…but there was no denying..she was adorable.

The above photo is her a few days before I got her.

Tucker and I have had a rough start. She had an umbilical hernia, whic sent us to the ER in the middle of the night and cost me a whopping $1,000. Money that I don’t really have, but I took it out of my savings, because what should I have done? Let her die?

We also found out Tucker is a girl, not a boy, but we kept the name because everyone likes it.The way that I go back and forth between “he” and “she” in this post shows how confusing it got at first!

She is now six months old and is still my favorite. I still love coming home to her after work and cuddling with her in bed. She is crazy and still small, probably the runt of the litter, and loves to play. And she REALLY loves to eat.

I found out a month ago that Reese died in May. He went out one night and never came back, and my parents have only assumed the worst. My mother did not want to tell me because of what I was going through at the time, but she assured me that I now have my own kitten to take care of.

She says that when her and my dad retire they will get a Siamese kitten, but until then, the house will  be lonely.

While I may be turning into a cat lady, I never realized how much happiness having your own pet can bring. I know I’m not the only one. Lolcats definitely has some crazy cat owners (who have a sense of humor!!). Meowmail (Although Tucker does not have email, but if she did, she’d get mail because she is popular), Catbook (Reese had one), Catster, and numerous, numerous others.


Response #8: Crowdsourcing
November 10, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Urban Dictionary: The slang dictionary you wrote. Define Your World.

Urban Dictionary is similar to a small Wikipedia, except that it consists of definitions of words, mostly slang. Anyone can add their own words, or contribute additional definitions to a word that is already in the dictionary.

The words range from silly (like Movember) to dirty or gross (like butt acne).

Not only does Urban Dictionary provide you with definitions, but there are also synonyms and the words are used in a sentence.  Sometimes, there are even pictures to show you the word.

The site also includes a marketplace where you can buy mugs with your favorite saying , a blog, a chatroom , and a link to buy their books.

I think Urban Dictionary is a genius idea and I find it to be useful. I use it mostly when a friend says some slang word that I have never heard of…and instead of sounding ignorant in front of a group of people, I nod my head enthusiastically, fake a laugh, and then hop onto my computer or my phone and go to Urban Dictionary to look up the mysterious word.

I do not ever have to worry whether a word will not be on the site. There are over four million words to look through.

Some consider the Web site to be gross, vile, or plain immature, but even Time considered it one of the top 50 Web sites in 2008.

And if that is not enough for you to take Urban Dictionary seriously, Aaron Peckham, the founder, is a software engineer at Google, and he once had big dreams to create a Thesaurus, which makes him a real go-getter.

Granted, some of the words are just outlandish or plain stupid…  but if you want to stay hip and not look like a fool at a party…you should probably keep Urban Dictionary handy.

TwitterPeek? Anyone?
November 3, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I recently read an article on Mashable about the TwitterPeek that will be arriving soon.


The TwitterPeek was originally listed for $200 with lifetime service, or you can purchase it for $100, with six months free service, and then after that time period you will pay $8 a month. . . . to only use Twitter.

You cannot access links in Tweets because…well…the TwitterPeek…which I’ll call TP for short… does not have access to the Internet.

The good news is that it can last up to 3-4 days in between charges (not that that is impressive since the only thing the device does is look at Twitter) and it was designed with the Twitter people…so it is “intuitive to use.” I would hope it is intuitive to use…all it does is use Twitter. I will not even get started on why it would be difficult to type in 140 words and then hit post.

Apparently some people think it is silly to purchase a smart phone and pay a lot of money to use it. (I am not in this category, my iPhone is essentially an extension of my right hand). Ok. That’s fine. I can understand that…but you can do txt updates to Twitter on your Motorola Razr that you are still carting around because you refuse to give in to the trends. If there are people out there who are not texting, I can bet that they are also not tweeting.

Then I read this post that Mashable linked to and I got confused.

Wait, the TwitterPeek checks your email? Maybe this whole post was wrong.

I then realized that the post is referring to the original Peek that has messaging capabilities…and that is it.

Hell, I could make a case for that. I am attached to my email and if the iPhone was not around, I could see myself as possibly being interested in a Peek…but the TwitterPeek does not retrieve your email for you or message your friends. Unless of course you want to communicate via direct message or tweets. But that does not seem practical if you are going to be having a conversation.

Bottom line: I agree with most of the commenters on Mashable… and…mostly everyone else on the Internet.

TwitterPeek is an unnecessary device.


Response #7: The Surprise
November 3, 2009, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The biggest surprise, and/or possibly the best thing I’ve learned so far, is about Google.

As I said in my previous post…I love Google.

I did a human resources project about Google in college, I Google things every single day, I look for images via Google, I use Gmail (best email client ever created, imo), I use Google Groups for my Strategy class, and the list goes on and on and on. (Btw–I can’t wait to get a Google Wave invite).

Hell, I even applied for a job at Google recently.

I thought I knew a lot about Google…and then I read The Search for class.

I learned all about the history, including the good points and the bad points.  I became aware of their strategies and their business models and it was interesting to see how such a large, successful company was able to grow from the young minds of Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Then I read this post by Garrett (PS: This guy is 28, only six years older than me, and editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Magazine. Hope I get to be that successful in the next six years, but I digress and may have something on my nose).

Anyway–Garrett linked to this article about Google owning the Internet. In the article, it discusses Google someday owning everything we use. Telephone? Check. Cable television? Check. Stereo system? Check. Our lives? Check.

I began to wonder…is there anything wrong with that? Granted, for competitors it is probably an issue, since Google just about destroys everything in its path…but…

Google makes my life so much easier and simply….convenient.

It was after all of this that I realized that I have no idea what the Internet…or even the world will look like  in five, ten, 15 years. There are going to be things that I have not even dreamed of out there.

We are going to have to constantly be on our feet and adapting to new inventions and ideas. Luckily, I am young, so this is not difficult for me…but I think the way we do business in the future will be completely revamped because of the Internet, social media and ….those other things.

Is this where we are heading? Or this?

The biggest surprise is we may actually have no idea what is to come.

A Post From My Other Blog…
October 28, 2009, 2:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I once had a blog entitled “The Blogel.” It discussed Free Bagel Fridays at my office.

Here is an entry entitled “Bagel Uproar.”


Apparently, last week the bagel wizards only gave us a small amount of bagels, and the people who delayed their bagel consumption by an hour didn’t have any to eat. I am a bagel shark, and therefore always get there as soon as they are spread out on the platter. I picked a delectable everything bagel. You know what they say, the early bird always gets the worm. As soon as 8:15 rolls around I “go to the bathroom,” which is really just an excuse to go through the kitchen to see if the bagels have arrived. They are usually not there. I take a stroll out of the office, through the hallway, and then return to my cube. Our secretary extraordinaire called “The Bean Bag” (who I suppose can no longer really be called bagel wizards), explained the situation and demanded to know what happened to the rest of the bagels we paid for. The response on the other end was a simple “Ok.” The manager was then put on the phone. He also said “Ok.” It turns out he delivered the bagels, noted that “The bag did feel a little light,” but did not think to check the bagel count. I do not think we were reimbursed for the lost bagels. Finally, today the bagels were delivered in a brown bag in a black trash bag. One editor was quoted as saying, “What the hell is this? Are they trying to make the bagels unappealing?” Yes, sir, I think that is what they are trying to do. The black bag in conjunction with a lack of bagels is creating huge problems around here. Livelihoods are being destroyed, stomachs are grumbling, people are grumbling. How do you write on a Friday without a bagel (or two…?) Bagels were toasted, but there was a sense of mistrust and annoyance lingering in the air along with the sweet smell of toasted doughy goodness.

We are in an uproar.

Response #6: MMOGs
October 27, 2009, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have read articles at work about businesses using Second Life to conduct trainings and meetings with people so that no travel is necessary. People seem to say that it works as well as using NetMeeting or Web cams and it features cool avatars and a 3D world which makes it…technologically hip. I can understand why using Second Life would be useful, especially in this economy. It is more efficient to have an employee sit at their computer and learn than pay for their travel and put them up in a hotel. However, I do not know how useful it would be to put advertisements in the game in order to sell products. Do enough people use it? If a user is looking at an advertisement in a “fake” world, does that transfer over to the real world? Is it too soon to tell?

I joined Second Life today to figure out what it is all about. I loved The Sims in high school…and I thought maybe the two would be similar.

I first decided to head over to London, England. Before finding London, though, I found a couple of “Islands” that provide help to organizations on various topics. Seeing this made me think that perhaps Second Life is a little more helpful than The Sims…

I ended up in London’s Hyde Park and began walking around. There are not very many people in London, so I tried flying, reading signs, “eavesdropping” on conversations and tried to figure out what else to do.

The end result: I got bored and quit out of Hyde Park. I then found another community “Avatar Island,” but had to download another viewer. Is that always the case, or am I missing something?

Somehow I stayed in London and never transferred to the other island…and then I started hearing voices.

No, not in my head, at least I don’t think so. I think they were coming from Second Life. It sounded like there was an American and a Portuguese man talking to each other…about…golf.

Someone then IMed me and welcomed me to the crazy world after I desperately typed out “What is going on?”

Apparently there are red lights going up from a chess board, white waves go off when someone is talking, and I learned a lot about Portugal…such as…there are a lot of men and roundabouts in the country.

Second Life is wild. I consider myself to be pretty technologically savvy, but this is a whole different ballgame.

I suppose that Second Life could be very practical, but how will it become popular? Is it considered to be an innovative tool that only some companies use? Will it just always be a game that people use when they are bored, or want human interaction?

I’ll admit, even in the 10-15 minutes that I spent in Second Life, I learned a lot about a random country! And it does seem like an interesting place for people of different cultures to interact, which could be useful. I found out that the helpful person that IMed me is from Sweden, and we had a lengthly discussion on Ikea furniture.

I decided to leave after the American commented that an avatar “had a big ol’ booty. A big ol’ ass.” Hysterical, but ridiculous at the same time.


There I am… Looking confused!

Response 5: Should We Be Afraid of…Google?
October 21, 2009, 12:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I use Google products for everything.

Gmail, Maps, the Search Bar, Reader, News, the list goes on. I have never feared the growth of Google because it has enhanced my life. When I need to communicate online, I use Gmail or Gchat. If I need an answer to anything–I head straight to Google. RSS Feeds? Right over to Google Reader. I click the “News” tab every morning at work to look for mentions of clients in the news.

However, when I read “The Search,” I learned more about the history and the inside of Google. I felt badly for Moncrief and the losses he faced when Google changed their algorithm and never returned his phone calls. I questioned the way the company entered China and may have gone against their “Don’t Be Evil” mantra as well as the way that they can use our information without informing us. Then, I read this article on the class blog…and I will admit…I started to feel… intimidated.

Google could be my stereo system? What?

I think Google will expand even more than it already has in the future. After reading the articles that were linked on the class blog, it seems that Google does almost everything better than everyone else. Delicious is not better than Google. Even reading the alternatives to Google–most I had never heard of and clearly are not any competition for the juggernaut. I have heard over and over again, “Google is going to take over the world.” So, what is wrong with putting our faith in Google, then? My biggest fear is that it is difficult to rely on one entity. What if something… catastrophic …happened to Google? What would we do?  The problem is Google does everything so well, so it is difficult to figure out who we should trust.

Conclusion? I appreciate Google’s innovation because it makes my life more convenient. However, if we rely on Google too much and something happens…I am somewhat afraid of what would happen to our digital lives! So should we fear Google itself? No. It works. The company performs well.