Do You Stream?

17 Mar

Have you ever been sitting at home and wanted to watch one of your favorite movies… only you don’t have the dvd. Now there are other options for users to find and watch their favorite movies and tv shows right away.There are so many ways to stream shows and movies directly from the Internet. Users have the ability to watch from almost anywhere. With Internet on smart phones, smart TVs, tablets, and computers users can watch from all different types of screens.

Some examples of streaming options.

Hulu
Cost: $7.99 per Month
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Netflix
Cost: $7.99 per Month
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ABC App
Cost: Free
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With so many different options to stream movies and TV shows at a minimal cost per month, will views soon stop buying their local channels or paying for cable? It seems that it would be more affordable to stream. Also, users can customize the shows and movies that they want to watch.

The downside?

Many of these streaming methods only allow users to to watch previous episodes and seasons. Through cable and other providers users can watch the most recent episodes and current seasons. Time will tell what users prefer.

Always,

Elisa

Where Do People Spend Their Time Online?

11 Mar

Users have the ability to go to their favorite websites from desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. I was curious where users are spending the majority of their time from desktop computers and their mobile devices. I found a list of the top 10 websites listed by USA Today and thought that I would compare the list to my top 10 websites that I use on a day to day basis.

A recent discussion in my IMC class brought up the fact that when a website has a mobile version users spend more time on the website. The top five websites on the USA Today list and my list all have mobile sites and Apps! All of these companies know how to attract users.

How do these lists compare with your top 10?

USA Today’s List

1. Facebook
2. Google
3. Yahoo
4. Microsoft
5. AOL
6. Amazon
7. eBay
8. Tumblr
9. Craigslist
10. ESPN

Elisa’s List

1. Google
2. Pinterest
3. YouTube
4. Twitter
5. Yahoo
6. ecampus.wvu.edu
7. wordpress.com
8. Facebook
9. wchstv.com
10. Amazon

Always,

Elisa

Source:
Weigley, S. (3/9/13) “10 Websites Where Users Spend The Most Time.”
Retrieved on 3/9/13 http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/09/10-web-sites-most-visited/1970835/

Personalized Online Marketing

4 Mar

When you go to Google or Yahoo have you ever noticed that an advertisement for a product that you were recently searching for? This is called personal advertising or marketing. Companies target individuals by accessing their location, passwords, search terms, sending cookies, etc.

Some users find this convenient, because the advertisements display products that they are interested in. However, other users are annoyed that their personal information is being distributed throughout the Internet.

Now there are companies that are finding ways track consumer’s behavior on their mobile devices and tablets as well as desktop computers. Companies can attach cookies to the emails that they send out to their customer. Then this information can be used to the next time you go to a search engine, an ad for the company will display. Also, companies location, and zip code information to send users more personalized messages and advertisements.

What do you think? Intrusive or a great customization tool.

Always,

Elisa

Free College Courses!

25 Feb

coursera

A college education is invaluable. Courses that expand your mind and knowledge about the world. By taking specific courses it help students become an expert on key topics within their Major. The majority of employers will not look at a resume unless you have a degree. The downfall of getting a higher education is the cost! There are so many students facing the challenge and stress of paying their student loans. Coursera is a website that has partnered with universities around the world to make free courses available to users online.

There are 62 universities available on Corsera, including international institutions. Coursera has 323 free courses available for users! The courses cover a variety of categories and

5 course have been approved for college credit:

Pre-Calculus: University of California, Irvine
Algebra: University of California, Irvine
Introduction to Genetics of Evolution: Duke University
Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach: Duke University
Calculus: Single Variable: University of Pennsylvania

I am sure that more and more users will start using coursera and other online college programs. Mainly because of the price and the ability to do the work from any location. It may be a smart decision for the WVU IMC program to offer the intro course for free through coursera. I believe once people get a taste they will want to enroll and complete the program!

Always,

Elisa

Great Music Apps

18 Feb

songza

pandora

How many people out there love using their smart phones, tablets, and computers to store and play music? One of my favorite things is that I can carry all of my music on my phone. When I go to the gym my music is right there and I can easily put in my headphones and listen to my favorite songs while I work out. I can also connect my phone to my car and listen to my music through the speakers while I drive. I mainly use music apps and websites because the majority of my music library is a little dated. There are tons of great apps and music websites.

One of my favorite music apps is Pandora. Pandora allows users to create different radio stations based upon song title and or artist. Once the user creates the station all the songs played are similar to the artist or song title. This is a great app because the user can customize a playlist and they only have to list one song or artist. It’s easier than searching through an entire music library.

Another one of my favorite music apps is Songza. Songza allows users to choose from a variety of playlists that are created for specific events. Some examples are: unwinding, studying, bedtime, love and romance, etc. This app is great because users do not have to create the playlists or think about the songs that they wish to listen to. The playlists are already ready for the user to pick from.

Always,

Elisa

Square Space

11 Feb

squarespace-black-enterprise-620-480

I recently came across a new blogging and website builder called squarespace.com. This website is a great tool for anyone who is looking to build a new website full of content. Squarespace.com is easy to use and it allows users to upload their own images by dropping them into different formats. The website also allows users to size the images to best fit the format of their blog or website. The squarespace website also allows users to create an ecommerce website so that they can sell their products online. This is a great tool for artists, photographers, small stores, etc. to highlight their products and offer them to a greater population. Squarespace.com allows users to add share buttons and badges for Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, google, LinkedIn, and more. A final attribute that sets this website apart from the rest is that it gives users the ability to import content from your original blog wherever it was created so that you do not have to start over! This is the perfect way to update your blog or website.

Always,

Elisa

Path – A More Personal Social Network

4 Feb

pathcollage

Path

I recently discovered a social network called Path. It is designed to let the user record life events, photos, and video. Path acts as a personal journal for the user. Similar to other social media websites Path allows users to follow and share with other users and friends. A unique feature about Path is that the user is only allowed to follow 150 people. Path’s theory is, “We tend to have 5 best friends, 15 good friends, 50 close friends and family, and 150 total friends. At Path, we’re building tools for you to share with the people who matter most in your life. Our intent is to nurture quality relationships to offer you the comfort to share all your personal moments,” (Path 2012). This seems logical to me! I know on Facebook I have thousands of friends and followers, but I only communicate regularly my closest friends. I think that Path is on to something!

Make sure that you check it out!

Always,

Elisa

When Two Become One

28 Jan

Pingram

Two of my favorite social media outlets are Pinterest and Instagram. I recently found that both are coming together to form a new social media site called Pingram! Considering the popularity of both Pinterest and Instagram I believe it was smart for them to come together.

First let’s take a look at Pinterest:
Pinterest is a social media site that allows users to organize and share all things on the web. Users have the ability to create different categories and “pin” information to those category boards. Users also have the ability to re-pin from their friend’s boards or pin information straight from the web. This allows users to remember important information and share it with their friends and followers. This site is great for planning events, exploring new creative ideas, sharing tips and information, etc.

Second let’s look at Instagram:
Instagram is a smart phone application that allows users to share photos with their friends. There is a photo editor within the application, which allows users to enhance their pictures. Users can follow their friends and other users. Users also have the ability to comment and “like” their friend’s photos.

Now let’s look at Pingram:
Pingram is setup like Pinterest. It is a website where users can scroll through photos from their friends, and other users. Users also have the ability to share the photos on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Pingram is unique because all of the photos on the site are only from Instagram users.

If you haven’t been to Pingram I suggest that you login and check it out!

Always,

Elisa

West Virginia Botanic Garden Trail

16 May

The Famous Snuggie

4 Apr

You may recognize the video above. If you don’t already know what a “Snuggie” is, it basically a blanket with arms. This product started out as an infomercial product. The commercials were on very late at night and besides “call-in orders” there was limited customer interaction. However, there has been a growing popularity with this simple infomercial product. I feel that this is mainly because of all the user-generated content that features the Snuggie. I believe this product has gained an extremed amount of success through Youtube. The video above is the professional infomercial that was/ is shown on television. Since then there have been multiple parody videos made by other users.

“The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody)” is one of the most popular user-generated videos featuring the Snuggie. There is only one difference between the Snuggie infomercial and the “The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody)” YouTube video. The commentary in the background is comical instead of informative. Although this YouTube video has not put the Snuggie in the most positive light, it has put the Snuggie into consumer’s minds. I believe the only way to describe this phenomenon is based on the fact that all publicity is good publicity. One important factor to look at is that every user that produced a video about the Snuggie (whether positive or negative) purchased the Snuggie. “The WTF Blanket (Snuggie Parody)” has 16,953,011 views as of April 4, 2011. It also has 49,050 comments.

Another Snuggie Parody is called “Snuggie Worldwide.”

This video is not as popular with only 17,212 views as of April 4, 2011. However, it is a much more positive video. It shows the product in a fun and carefree environment. Overall, I feel that the Snuggie has gained tons of recognition and success through these viral videos.

Always,

Elisa

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