Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beauty Redefined Billboard Campaign

One person -- or in this case, two people (twin sisters) -- can make a difference! I know I'm not alone in being disgusted at all the billboards and other materials (magazines, TV ads, etc. etc. etc.) that objectify women's bodies and communicate the message that worth = looks/weight/size etc.

Lindsay and Lexie Kite, Ph.D. students in Communications, have decided to take action to help give women different messages. This week, twelve billboards are going up along the I-15 corridor in Northern Utah that will be a contrast to the bikini beer ads, the plastic surgery ads, and others that line the freeway.

One of the things I love about what the Kites are doing is that they are teaching media literacy. Too often, people just absorb the messages from the media without looking at them critically, analyzing the dynamics, and challenging falsehoods with which we are bombarded. Once I talked with them, I started realizing how completely saturated our world is with these messages. I also feel more determined to help my children understand the truth about who they are, and how different that truth is from what they hear and see in the culture around them.

To learn more about the Beauty Redefined campaign, see

You can also read an interview I did with the Kite sisters.

And here is a recent news story about the Beauty Redefined billboard campaign.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

My many selves are giving Google+ a +1

I have known for a while that I am a nerd, but this whole Google+ experience has sort of confirmed that for me. I love being part of a test run of this software. Bugs? Bring 'em on! Feedback is the name of the game, and I am a feedback fan. I love watching a business seek it and respond to and implement it. The Google+ people send videos to report on progress, post posts seeking specific input, and share glimpses of what is coming down the pipe (or is it pike? -- could someone settle that for me once and for all?) And I love learning from smart, true tech people...and let me assure you, there are a lot of such people engaging on Google+. Fun. Sometimes I still regret not getting the computer science degree I had originally declared.

My social and networking self is loving circles. LOV.ING. This is a different model from Facebook or LinkedIn -- no glaring "Only add this person if you know this person!!!" kind of message. Don't get me wrong; I think there is definitely a place for such caution, but I've been surprised at how much I enjoy the more open community-building that is happening on Google+. Other people can do my networking for me. I think that part will surprise some people, and, on the down side, it does make it hard to know who is a real possible contact you want to have, and who is just spamming accounts for connection. I still prefer leaning on someone else's recommendations before adding them to my circles.

As a business person, I think this kind of market competition and strategy implementation is a blast to watch. I can't wait to see what Facebook does in response (hint: it will have to be better than one-to-one video capability via Skype). I am anxious to see how Google+ will fit in strategically with  other Google features. I'm chomping at the bit to see how businesses and other organizations will be able to use Google+ (as of now, only individuals are allowed to use Google+).

The strategy, too, of building the anticipation through limited invites and the pretty-public-now field trial has fascinated me. To have this much attention and this many participants before launch is, in my view, brilliant. I also thought this article had some interesting points about how Google+ will be able to be used by professionals in ways other social media tools have not: Google+ Aims for the Professional

And my SEO enthusiast self is really wondering how this could impact the world of search engine dynamics. I've already seen some people report significant differences in their site traffic because of Google+. I'm sure some of that is coming from the novelty of the tool, but I will not be the least bit surprised if that impact also has a shelf life.

Just a few months ago, I couldn't imagine anything pulling people away from the investment they had made on Facebook. If anything will pull people away, Google+ is it. What a surprise? I guess we should have seen it coming.

And who knows what the future will hold?