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Monday, July 18, 2016

6th Annual Texas Social Media Conference - Call for Interactive Sessions and Paper Presentations​ (Deadline - July 30th)


The Texas Social Media Research Institute formally invites you to submit a workshop/paper proposal and/or to register for the 2016 Social Media Conference in Fort Worth, TX at the Tarleton State University - Southwest Metroplex campus on Friday, November 4th.
We are excited about this wonderful opportunity and we anticipate over 150 face-to-face and virtual attendees this year! To discover more information about the 2016 Social Media Conference, please click here - http://www.txsocialmedia.org/

This conference consists of SIX types of sessions:
Session Type 1 - Practical Application of Social Media (How to..) Sessions

Session Type 2 - Higher Education and Social Media (Focused on Student Services/Academic Affairs/University Marketing)

Session Type 3 - Social Media Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (Including Social Media Campaign Development, Assessment, and Demonstrating Return-on-Investment (ROI) for companies)

Session Type 4 - Social Media and Entrepreneurship (Focused on Individuals, Small Businesses, and Non-Profit Organizations)

Session Type 5 - Scholarly Research and Social Media Sessions (Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches)

Session Type 6 - Local and State Governmental Utilization of Social Media (Crisis Communication, Best Practices, Expert Panels, Developing Brand Advocates, etc.)

Additional Information: Possible forms of submission include: panels (including roundtables and discussions), papers/abstracts, and training workshops. Complete the conference submission form (http://www.tinyurl.com/SocialMediaConferenceCall/) AND e-mail papers/panels to TSMRI (texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com) no later than July 30th (EXTENDED DEADLINE).
If you have any questions, please contact the Texas Social Media Research Institute via e-mail (texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com) via e-mail or telephone (254-307-8211).

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

@TSMRI - Packing Tips for a Carnival Cruise Liner

Recently, the Texas Social Media Research Institute traveled to Galveston to embark on our first Social Media Research Cruise. We had a great time and we formed three undergraduate research papers after the experience.

This post is the first of a series of posts focused on the Social Media Research Cruise Experience.

Packing Tips for a Cruise Liner
(Dr. Karley Goen - Assistant Professor of Communication 
& Texas Social Media Research Institute Board Member)


You know the daunting task of trying to figure out exactly what you are going to wear for an experience that is sure to be invigorating, life-changing, and filled with excitement, but with all of these expectations how to do you plan and pack for all these various travel expectations?

When I started off packing for my Spring Break experience, a study abroad educational endeavor with undergraduate students headed to Belize, Honduras, and Cozumel via a cruise liner, I and my fellow colleague Dr. Winslow (my cabin mate) focused on the divide and concur motif. Dr. Winslow manufactured a list of items that were suggested to bring on a cruise (i.e. toiletries, close hamper, chargers of various types, etc.), while I feverously waited until the last minute to pack and grab my items that I was asked to bring. I stayed up the night before running from one end of my apartment to the other, trying to figure out what was absolutely essential for my cruising experience. I packed countless wardrobe pieces that I thought I could separate out for various other looks, magazines to read, floppy hats, bulky curlers, a dryer and a straightener, beauty regiments I was dying to try (now that I would have some down time), you get the picture. But, as the as the hour approached to when we were meeting up on our college campus to head to Galveston, I realized that my pile that I had created, was much more impractical. I feverously rolled and stuffed all my essential belongings into my various luggage pieces and prayed that it would be sufficient for me to “walk on” the cruise ship. (I didn’t want to check my bags). I ended up with a backpack, two rolling suitcases (the size suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment on commercial airplane, and a large sized purse). Whew….if I only listened to my mom’s advice, and focused on some essential packing tips and my own travel experiences, I would have saved myself a lot of panic and unnecessary artifacts that could have stayed at home.

The average hotel room size, according to a report done by USAToday in 2009 entitled “My Square Foot-An Examination of Hotel Room Size,” the average hotel size in the United States is 325 square feet. The average interior stateroom on a Carnival cruise liner is 185 and an ocean view stateroom is 220 square feet according to the Carnival website. Knowing the living quarter dimensions within a stateroom, here are some tips to take into consideration when packing for a cruise liner experience:

1). Use Gallon Ziplocs-using Ziploc bags when packing is like using a space bag (without the cost) and compressing space with a household item will keep your garments organized. Add a dryer cloth, and your clothes will stay fresher longer.

2.) Use Tic-Tac Containers- these everyday compartments are great for bobby pins, travel sewing kits, paper clips, medication, or even your favorite spice to incorporate on meals.

3.) Contact Lens Cases-are great for organizing jewelry (i.e. earrings) for that elegant formal wear you have packed.

4.) Hard Shelled Sunglass Cases-can help with protecting iPods, chargers, jewelry (i.e. beaded or jeweled necklaces), and anything else you don’t want smashed.

5.) Old Pill Bottles-great for storing cotton balls.

6.) Lastly, stash wardrobe pieces within your packed shoes. This is a great way to minimize space.
We have all heard to wear your most bulky items on travel days, but hopefully these tips will lend themselves the next time you pack for an experience of a lifetime.

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

@TSMRI - How to Eat Gluten Free on a Cruise Liner

Recently, the Texas Social Media Research Institute traveled to Galveston to embark on our first Social Media Research Cruise. We had a great time and we formed three undergraduate research papers after the experience.

This post is the second of a series of posts focused on the Social Media Research Cruise Experience.

How to Eat Gluten Free on a Cruise Liner
(Dr. Karley Goen - Assistant Professor of Communication 
& Texas Social Media Research Institute Board Member)


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gluten is within the family of proteins and can be found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley. When flour is combined with water, the gluten proteins begin to form a sticky consistency that is glue-like. This glue-like property makes dough elastic, and gives bread the ability to rise when baked. Interestingly, the name glu-ten is derived from this glue-like property of wet dough.

According to the Mayo Clinic (2016), more than 30% of Americans actively try to avoid eating gluten, whether they have been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity or have Celiac Disease, or just want to live a more “healthier” lifestyle, Americans are looking for a more sustaining diet to counterbalance the symptoms they are susceptible to when eating gluten byproducts. Foods such as pizza, sandwiches, cakes/cookies/pies, pasta, and beer, all have damaging effects to someone with a gluten sensitivity. The symptoms felt are typically diarrhea, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, anemia and tiredness.

Knowing this, how does one plan for a vacation on a cruise liner for example? He/She is going to be out to sea for a week with various food choices, but how does one maneuver the complex menus and arrange for special meals based on their dietary restrictions?

I have had Crohn’s Disease since 2003, and I am a very picky eater. I follow a daily regimen of what I am consuming, and stockpile occasional cheat days around family celebrations and the holiday season. So when I was asked to go as a faculty partner on a cruise liner this Spring Break, I was curious as to how Carnival was going to accommodate my dietary needs.

Now for someone who doesn’t know about Crohn’s, Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive track that can lead to severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. I was excited to see upon entering my stateroom, that there was a continental breakfast menu that we could utilize before our morning workout (I was rooming with my colleague Dr. Winslow). The menu contained various fruits (i.e. banana, fresh melon, and a citrus melody), Cheerios that were gluten free, gluten free toast, yogurts, and juices. That was such a comforting feeling that Carnival was consciousness about patron’s dietary restrictions and health regimen.

When I asked our dining room waitress, Lealiane from the Philippines, later that first evening about a gluten free menu, she simply stated that there was no sole gluten free menu within the Carnival fleet; however, one could request what they would like served to them a day in advance, so the kitchen had time to adequately certify that the plate was gluten free.

Ordering from the dinner menu night after night, it was clear that the menu though it had staple entrees, it was very mindful of the various ethnic, religious, and dietary restrictions one might have to contend with on a cruise liner (very bland seasonings). I focused on protein and eating foods that were either out of my price point back home in the States, or were hard for me to purchase at the grocery store. I ate boiled Maine lobster tail, steamed crab legs, shrimp cocktail, Mahi Mahi, seared striped bass and peach soup, then kept to the staples like a grilled chicken breast, grilled vegetables, baked potato, filet mignon, chili rellenos, and flat iron steaks.

I would advise patrons of cruise liners to bring their own seasoning to manipulate the flavoring of the entrees. For me it is cumin. Cumin helps in the digestion process, improves immunity properties, and aids in overall health and wellbeing. With anemia, cumin is very rich in iron, and can be an added additive to a daily diet for anemic individuals and avoid the symptoms of anemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues. Other seasonings that can be brought on board to help in the seasoning of foods to make them taste a little bit more tailored to your average daily regimen are oregano which helps fight small intestinal overgrowth (pair with chicken, lamb, or egg). Thyme, is an antimicrobial and antioxidant property and is a great source of vitamin K and iron. Ginger can ease many gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and gas. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Add ¼ teaspoon to a pot of rice or sprinkle over veggies, meat, fish, or beans. Finally, cinnamon has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of antioxidants. At breakfast, stir into oatmeal instead of sugar. For dinner, instead of bay leaves, add cinnamon sticks to sauces and stews.

Adding one’s own seasonings from home to meals, asking for menus (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) a day in advance to plan your daily options, and stocking up on fruit such as apples and bananas when available, can help someone with a gluten sensitivity or someone like me with a chronic illness maneuver the lifestyle on a Carnival cruise liner.


The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Friday, June 24, 2016

Did You Forget to Submit a Proposal for the #TXSocialMedia Conference?Find Out More!


If you are looking for the best, cost-effective, energy-filled conference filled with ideas that you (or your organization) can implement IMMEDIATELY, you NEED to register for the Texas Social Media Conference!

This conference is essential for social media content generators, social media researchers, small businesses, and others who are genuinely interested in learning more about social media for work and/or life.

This is the 6th Annual Texas Social Media Conference and we are excited that this will be the biggest and best year of the experience! 

Get involved and prepare to attend this year's conference!

1 - Submit a Proposal (Deadline - July 15th)

2 - Register for the conference (Various Deadlines - Register Early)
http://www.txsocialmedia.org/

3 - Share Conference Info with Others!
Did you forget to register for the Texas Social Media Conference? Nov. 4th in Fort Worth! #socialmedia #research http://www.txsocialmedia.org/

4 - Attend a #TXSocialMedia Chat!
Join our weekly #TXSocialMedia chats on Thurs 8pm CDT on Twitter! Search for the #TXSocialMedia hashtag! Here is a list of our topics:

We cannot wait to meet you at this year's conference! If you are interested in sponsoring this year's conference, please express your interest here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17iI6heS-O1aPUfBv0D93UEynlx4TbWMyZLBpqYkaypw/viewform

If you have any questions, please contact us - texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (@TSMRI)


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Social Media Research

Cover of The Journal of Social Media in Society

The editors and review board for The Journal of Social Media in Society are excited to share the latest issue with you.

Vol. 5 Issue 1 - Spring 2016

Pin it for Yourself: Women’s Health and Fitness Content on Pinterest
   by Lindsey Conlin, Dylan McLemore, Xueying Zhang, Bijie Bie,    & Kim Bissell

Evaluating Podcast Compositions: Assessing Credibility, Challenges, and Innovation
   by David R. Nelson & William V. Faux II

University Students’ Perceptions of Social Media as a Learning Tool
   by Laila Al-Sharqi & Khairuddin Hashim

Creating “Spaces” for Professional Development:  Education Organizations’ Use of Facebook
   by Christie Bledsoe & Jodi Pilgrim

Social Media in a Subjective-science Mode: The “Facebook Likes” Study Reconfigured with Self-reference 
   by James C Rhoads, Dan B Thomas, & Bruce McKeown

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Social Network: A Study of Facebook Users in Bangladesh 
   by Jannatul Ferdous Bristy

Facebook and its Disappearing Posts: Data Collection Approaches on Fan-Pages for Social Scientists
   by Erick Behar Villegas

A Mixed Methods Examination of 21st Century Hiring Processes,  Social Networking Sites, and Implicit Bias 
   by Troy Elias, Laurie Honda-Phillips, Megan Kimmel, & JungWon Chun

Rumor Has It: Examining the Effects of Facebook Addiction on Political Knowledge Gullibility
   by Cynthia Nichols, Lori Melton McKinnon, & Anna Geary

Social Media “Teleco-presence” Theory of Identity
   by Kehbuma Langmia

The Journal of Social Media in Society is blind peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal that accepts scholarly articles and book reviews. The journal is devoted to scholarship and commentary on social media and its impact on society. The objective of JSMS is to advance the study of social media with current literature based on theory, research and practice from all methodological frameworks. The journal welcomes papers on all aspects of social media, such as interactive online platforms and mobile technologies used to connect, share, discuss, and collaborate.

The publisher of JSMS is the Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI), a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fighting Blog Burnout


It happens during the lifespan of every blog; you run short of ideas. You begin to feel...burned out. Parched. Exhausted. Mentally drained. This can be a particular danger when you blog about social media.  After all, what could you possibly say that hasn't already been presented in a listicle, a meme, or an article summary posted on that popular news blog?

                                                                Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Here are some ways to get your blogging mojo back.

1.  Announce a blog hiatus.   If network TV shows can go on hiatus, then so can your blog.  Pick a pre-determined length of time, and post an announcement. For a more personal touch, let people know the reason for the hiatus, such as an upcoming launch, a family emergency, or just because you need a break.  Chances are you are not the only one who is overloaded out there, and people will appreciate your transparency.  Be sure to re-direct to the main page of your website, and/or your email list sign up page, if you have one.

2.  Solicit and schedule high-quality guest posts. This can be done in conjunction with your blog hiatus (see #1) if you like. This strategy works best when you do it several months ahead of time. Be sure that you keep your quality standards high-- don't just use guest posts as filler. You can find guidelines on how to get guest posters here.

3.  Run a Boolean search in Google News.  Boolean searches, which use conjunctions such as AND, OR, NOT, are named after the mathematician George Boole. You can use them to search out the latest social media news by pairing them like this: "Pinterest OR Instagram OR Facebook OR Twitter" can be typed into Google News for the latest developments on any of those platforms. You can substitute keywords for your industry to get news.

4.  Try something new.  Be a guest on someone's podcast, let a college student interview you as part of an internship, add yourself to HARO (Help A Reporter Out), jump onto Periscope to see what other people are up to, or take a class that has no relation to your blog or industry whatsoever.

5.  Pull the plug.  Perhaps you never had blogging mojo to begin with, and you only started a blog because "everyone" said you had to have one. If you dread posting , people can probably sense that. Consider repurposing your blog content in other mediums, and then post an announcement that your blog is no longer active so that people won't wonder what happened.

6.  Write a love letter.  Post a paen to your favorite blogger in your industry -- preferably not the one of the top three people who is praised constantly, but hopefully someone that is higher up the ladder than you. Make sure the praise is sincere, and that you enjoy writing the post, regardless of how many views it gets or whether or not you get a comment from the subject.  Remember how great you felt the last time you received an unexpected but sincere compliment? Pay that feeling forward.



The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.


Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

App Review: Stay “Cloze” With Your Contacts

Welcome to the latest installment in our "All About Apps" series.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is Cloze?

Cloze App 
Cloze is an app created to help alleviate the stress of managing all of your interactive contacts. Its basic role is to compartmentalize all of your emails, phone calls, meetings, notes, and social media with regards to the people you come into contact with. It then sorts and automatically keeps track of information for its users to keep them prepared. It’s multi-functionally on different platforms including an app version for phones and tablets or a login for the computer.

This app was created in 2012 by Dan Foody and Alex Coté out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their goal with the app as they put it was to “…unlock your “relationship gold.” They want the app to give you the best and easiest relationship with your contacts. Does this app do that? Read further down to see my opinion on how this app helps you stay “Cloze” with your contacts for real or if the name is just an incredibly good play on words.

What Does Cloze Do?
When you first get the app you are able to log in either with your Twitter, Google, Facebook, or email. I opted to login with my Google account and it was a simple login because I didn’t have to enter all of my information. Just like that Cloze automatically complied all of my emails together and started developing contacts with the people I had emailed the most. From there I was able to add my social media accounts and notes to my Cloze account and it continued to organize all my data. I could log in and out easily and I felt that my information was safe because it always asked me for my permission.

What’s the Functionality?
Within Cloze there are numerous functions that could be accomplished depending on what you decide to buy. When I downloaded the app it was completely free and that included an email manager, organization of my contacts, a search system, and a social media option. Along with that came a 14-day free trial to all the options that Cloze could do including call history, tracking, follow-up reminders, calendars, signature analysis, morning briefings, and merging, integrating and syncing of just about anything.

Photo by Madison Stout; used with permission
To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed because it was like an information overload and I wasn’t even sure where to begin. After monkeying around with it, the app consistently became easier to function because individual compartmentalized sections organized everything for me. I determined it could plan social media posts, organize the importance of my contacts, easily stay connected, and track a timeline of my work. Cloze also sent me notifications regarding events I had, projects I was involved in, and if I had scheduled any social media posts it notified me when it was published. A negative side to Cloze is that it was difficult for me at times to locate a particular item I was trying to find.

What’s My Bank Account Going to Look Like?
After my 14-day free trial was up, Cloze notified me and asked if I wanted to keep my upgrade “Cloze Pro.” If I didn’t keep the upgrade they would switch my account to strictly the free stuff. Cloze Pro is $13.33/mo. with the bill coming annually or you can pay $19.99 per month. There is also a business option that caters to keeping employees in sync. Cloze Business is priced the same. At first I thought that the price was a little steep. But when I really thought about how it was about $160 annually to basically organize my whole life (business and personal), it didn’t seem so bad and my opinion was changed.

What’s In It For Me?
Being a college student I found that this app isn’t for people my age. The average college student doesn’t have enough relationships and contacts to have an app to keep them all straight. So I didn’t really find it useful. But, people who work in a job where they have relationships with numerous clients and employees will find the most value out of this app. You will have a way to simplify your multi-faceted ways you communicate with people, and better enhance your projects, social media and communication if you are willing to pay the price.

All in all I think that this app lives up to its punny name and I think that it’s worth the time, money and storage space if you are looking for something to help you track your contacts and communication. I don’t see this app fading away with the new digital age. On the company’s blog, employees are continuing to make better changes to streamline the app and make it more efficient to compete with the society’s needs and it seems to be paying off.

If you are interested in obtaining the app you can find it on the app store for iPhones, iPads and for Androids. You can also start an account at www.cloze.com.

References:
https://www.cloze.com/
http://blog.cloze.com/
https://www.cloze.com/app/aboutus

Madison Stout, from Ponder, Texas, is studying agricultural communication at Tarleton State University. You can message her at madisonstout01@gmail.com.

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) is a group of faculty, staff, and students at Tarleton State University with a mission of conducting social media research; sharing social media best practices; and providing social media education for students, non-profit organizations, state agencies, school districts, and higher education institutions.

Contact us:
Texas Social Media Research Institute
Follow Us on Twitter - @TSMRI
Call Us - 254-307-8211
Join Us for Our #TXSocialMedia Weekly Twitter Chats on Thursday Nights at 8pm CDT
texassocialmediaresearch@gmail.com
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