Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Social Media @ Work: Acting

Welcome to our new series, Social Media @ Work,  which features great social media advice from a variety of professionals. Our inaugural post features Lisa Sosa, an independent film actress currently based in San Antonio.

How long have you been acting, and how did you get started?
"The acting bug bit me when I was 10 years old, and I have actively been pursuing it for too many years to count! I got started by doing community theatre in my hometown, and taking theatre all four years of high school. That’s the easiest way to gain experience. From there I eventually auditioned for, and was accepted to acting school in New York."
"I do mostly indie film where you have more creative freedom
to tell the kind of stories you want."
Image credit: Mark J. Robinson
What do you like the most and the least about your profession?
"I get to tell a story, which is my way of being creative, and of reaching people. I’m quiet and shy, and this is my way of 'speaking' with people. I do mostly indie film where you have more creative freedom to tell the kind of stories you want.

There are so many things I don’t like about my profession, but I’ll tell you what I’m grappling with right now. I don’t like that there are things that I can’t control. I can’t make a casting director call me in for an audition, or make them cast me when they do call me in even if I nailed the audition. I’m not considered a 'type', and because of that I rarely get auditions, which is why I do more indie film. Indie film directors/writers usually cast their own projects, and are more open to casting a 'non-type' actor."
"I look up to those actors who never gave up, those who don't fit the norm...[and]
those who produce their own material." Image used with permission.
Who inspires you?
"I look up to those actors who never gave up, those who don’t fit the norm of the 'beautiful' actor, and those who produce their own material. A few of my favorites are Naomi Watts (who made it at the “old age” of 33), Jenna Fisher from The Office who struggled for many years, actually, all the actors from The Office because they don’t fit ‘types.’ I love Mindy Kaling because she writes and produces her own material. I also admire actresses who, despite their age, keep making a living from this business, i.e., Susan Sarandon, Jane Lynch, Kathy Bates, the list goes on."

What is your favorite social media site? Why?
"Personally, I enjoy writing my blog. With a blog you can write about a subject of your choosing, give your own spin on it, and use it creatively. I also like using Instagram because it only takes a quick click of my camera phone and bam, I’m a photographer, however amateur I may be!

Screenshot of Lisa's blog at

How does social media help your career?
"I use Facebook to post my new blog entries, and to alert friends to any projects I may be currently working on or am promoting for crowd funding."

What social media advice would you give a newcomer?
"The easiest thing to get on board with is Twitter. Just a short thought or a retweet of another post can gain you several followers. Pick a few days out of the week to post something, and be consistent and you’re on your way. This is what has been my experience."

Screenshot of Lisa's Twitter account, @mslisasosa
Whom do you follow on social media?
"On Twitter, I follow

@HuffingtonPost -- they always have great stories.

@LATISM --Latinos in social media--because I'm one of them!
@mindykaling because she's awesome!
And, of course @TSMRI, because they really school you on the art of social media.
On Instagram I like to follow the healthy food accounts of alkalinesister and whole30.  It gives me motivation to take better care of myself.  I also follow Milano_Alyssa -- I've always been a huge fan of hers and she posts the cutest pics!"

Are there any current or upcoming projects you’d like to plug?

"I’m currently in production for a film called Transient. It tells the timely story of an illegal immigrant in Texas. It’s a project I’m honored to be a part of. Also, if anyone would like to read my blog the address is"

What is your favorite quote?
Oh! So many, but I’ll give you this one:
“Try not! Do or Do Not, there is no try.” -Yoda

Whatever you want, you gotta jump in with both feet!

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo by Heidi & Matt:
Lisa Sosa is a professional actress based in Texas. She lived in New York for nine years where she saw great theatre, made good friends, and eventually stopped getting lost. She is currently in production for the film Transient directed by Alexander Stockton. Besides acting she loves animals, daydreaming, and baseball. You can keep up with her at

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Attribution – It’s the Right Thing to Do

 In social media, images have become the eye candy that draws readers to your blog and Facebook posts.  If the image is one you created yourself, you’re good to go.  But what about those times you can’t create your own images?  Is it OK to just use that great picture you found on the internet?

It’s safest to assume that all images on the web are copyrighted with all rights reserved, unless otherwise stated.  That means you need to get permission for use from the image creator, or possibly face penalties ranging from a take-down notice, to a bill requesting payment for use of the image, to legal action against you.  Not to mention – asking permission is moral and ethical.

A number of artists and photographers, sometimes in an effort to generate notice for their work, have made their images available for use under Creative Commons (CC) licenses.  The creator can put the image into the public domain (waiving all copyright), or retain some rights and choose from six licenses, ranging from simple attribution (permitting derivatives and commercial reuse, CC-BY), to allowing reuse as long as it is noncommercial and the work is not modified (CC-BY-NC-ND). 

This work, "CC Chart", is a derivative of slide 88 of “The OER 101 Workshop at USM II” by Zaid Alsagoff used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5. ”CC Chart” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 by Amanda Pape.
There are a number of tools available to help you find copyright-friendly images, such as Creative Commons Search and flickrCC.  Recently, Google Image Search made finding such images much easier. 
1.    Enter your search term.
2.    Click on Search tools.
3.    Click on Usage rights.
4.    Select the appropriate license (“Not filtered by license” is the default).

Google image search screen shot taken and further modified by Amanda Pape, CC-BY
Images (if any) that fit the license restrictions will appear.  Depending on your search terms and the license you choose, images may come from Flickr, Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay, or the Open Clip Art library.

It’s important to note that ALL Creative Commons licenses require users to provide attribution to the creator.

What is attribution? It’s the journalistic practice of crediting information to its source (so you know where something came from), and a concept in copyright law requiring acknowledgement of the creator of a work (such as an image) which is used or appears in another work (such as your blog or Facebook post).

Why should you provide attributions?  Using other's images without giving credit is plagiarism.  Also, think about how you might feel if someone “borrowed” one of your images to use on a website and did not give you credit, thereby implying that the image was their (or another’s) creation.  This has happened to me (more than once), and I wasn’t too happy about it.  (Luckily, in both cases, the borrowers added or corrected the attribution when I commented on the mistake.)

When using Creative Commons images, you must credit the photographers/artists in the manner they specify (if they do so).  Sometimes you can find the preferred attribution with the image, or on a profile page from the website where you found the image.

Just as there are tools to help you find copyright-friendly images to use, there are tools available to generate attributions when no specific one is provided.  Unfortunately, none of the tools I’ve tried (such as flickrCC, OpenAttribute, and ImageCodr) fully and consistently meet the Creative Commons guidelines for attribution, which require that you:
  • Cite the work’s title or name (and link it directly to source of the original work).
  • Cite the author’s name, screen or real (and link to the author’s profile page when available).
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under (and link to the license deed on the CC website).
  • Keep intact any copyright notices for the work.
  • Indicate if the image has been modified or adapted by you in any way.

If you use one of the citation tools mentioned above, take what it generates and fill in the missing pieces, as much as you can.  Make some effort, just as you would in citing sources in a paper written for an assignment in school.  The two images used in this blog post provide examples of proper attribution.

Here are some additional resources on proper attribution:
· (has a great infographic), and

Amanda Pape is the Coordinator for Archives and Special Services for the Tarleton State University Libraries.  She regularly uses (and attributes!) Creative Commons images on her genealogy and family history blog, ABT UNK.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Reasons You Might Not Need LinkedIn

 Did you know that over 259 million people use LinkedIn?  We here at TSMRI are LinkedIn fans, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone.
  • So...should you take the plunge?
  • Or, if you have a neglected account (you know who you are), should you log back in?
Check out our reasons why LinkedIn might NOT be for you below.

5.  You're burned out and about to retire.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by kayepants

You can't wait until your last day of work, and you look forward to never seeing any of your colleagues ever again.  You don't want to connect with former co-workers, keep up on industry news, or plan meetups.  You are done.  None of us want to finish our working life in these conditions, but unfortunately, it does happen. Here are tips on avoiding sabotage by co-workers.

4. You're in the middle of a (personal or professional) crisis.

If this is the case, just dealing with what life throws you at you from day to day will sap all of your energy. Take care of the basics--food, sleep, etc.  Take care of YOU. The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress recommends that people in crisis situations  discuss their experience, seek support, get physical exercise, meditate, and hug others.

3. You're being stalked/harassed online.

Although this may sound like an extreme case, sadly it is not. If you are the victim of online threats, you are probably leery of self-promotion.  Read this guide to cyberharassment and cyberstalking laws in the U.S.  An excellent (and brief) guide to these issues, packed with useful tips, is The Smart Girls' Guide To Privacy.

2. You're just fine, thank you very much.

You may already use Twitter for professional networking, or you might prefer to meet people face to face.  Maybe you work in an unconventional profession (such as acting) where LinkedIn would be of little assistance. In this case, brava and happy trails.  Perhaps LinkedIn hasn't provided you value yet, but you may want to use it in the future for networking, or after you've made a career change.

Social media expert Chris Brogan famously closed his LinkedIn account in 2012 due to technical issues but is now back on the site, with over 500 connections.

1. You're on LinkedIn, but rarely use it.  

There are several types of people in this category:
 Which one of these is you?   

If you don't fall into any of the five categories above, then stay tuned for 
future blog posts on maximizing your presence on LinkedIn.

In the meantime, check out this handy guide.

is a cross-collaborative initiative where Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff organize an annual social media conference and produce a peer-reviewed social media research journal. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. for the latest social media news, research, and more.

Yvonne is a TSMRI co-director and librarian who likes old
and new media.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Register for our blogging unconference (July 11)

What's An Unconference? 
It's a less formal, participant-driven gathering.
Sessions can take unexpected turns depending on the needs of attendees. 

Who Should Attend?

Anyone interested in blogging, regardless of whether you have a blog.
This includes students, small business owners, hobbyists, researchers, and more.

Why Should I Attend?

1. So you can meet and network with other bloggers. 
Compare notes and get ideas on how to create, monetize, and/or format your blog.  Stuck on post ideas? Come brainstorm with the rest of us.

2.  So you can get tried and true advice and specific examples for improving your blog.

3.  So you can help drive the session content. 
There's zero chance of struggling to stay awake during endless Power Point presentations.

We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information, go to our registration page.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Avoid Facebook Oversharing With Friend Lists

According to one study, 35% of online users have posted something that they later regretted.  Avoid  post-click regret by creating Facebook lists for different "audiences."
Generated at

A Facebook list separates the people you're connected to on Facebook into different groups.
This way YOU decide who sees each of your posts ("family", "close friends", etc.).

1. Sign into your Facebook account. Click Home.
2. On the left side of your feed, scroll down until you see the "Friends" category.
3.  Click More.  You may need to hover your cursor over the word "Friends" until More appears.
4. Click Create List. Name your list.
5.  Add members by typing in the first letter of their (first or last) name.
6. Click Create.

Screenshot taken by author.


1. To post a status, click on Home.
2. Under Update Status, begin typing.
3.  Your status box includes a drop down selection of who will be able to see your post: Public, Facebook Friends, etc.

Screenshot taken by author

4.  Click on desired list (you may need to click More Options), then click on Post.

Happy posting!

You can also watch our YouTube tutorial.

is a cross-collaborative initiative where Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff organize an annual social media conference and produce a peer-reviewed social media research journal. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. for the latest social media news, research, and more.

Yvonne is a TSMRI co-director and librarian
who likes old movies and new media.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Should you kill Bill (when Bill is your blog)?

 When is it time to pull the plug on your blog? 

In the words of a Lenny Kravitz song, "It Ain't Over Till It's Over."  But, how do you know when it's over?
Perhaps you've followed all the tips out there from expert bloggers, such as researching your content, carefully crafting your posts, using bold visuals, studying Google Analytics and more. You've carefully studied the most popular blogs in your area and even purchased books on the subject.  But all of this effort has been to no avail. 

So, when is it time to bid a fond (or not so fond) farewell?  Below are four signs of the apocalypse...of your blog.

Reason #1: No one cares.  


Your time is precious. There's no reason to spend several hours, or more, per day or even per week on a blog that is getting few views despite your repeated marketing efforts. According to Shanna Mallon, if you've been blogging consistently for "six months or a year and still don't have readers, something's wrong."

  Reason #2: Your passion is gone.
creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by renwest
 You, or your team, used to love blogging about your area of interest.  The ideas came fast and furious.  Now you struggle to come up with a post on a topic that hasn't been done to death. Your main goal is to finish the post and get it online--all of the joy has been sucked from the process. New blog posts are few and far between.

Reason #3: You can't remember why you blog.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by Flооd

Why did you begin your blog?
Do you remember? What were your goals (if any)?
For example: "I want to create a blog that addresses topic X and specifically helps Audience Y with related issues.  I will know my blog is successful when I hit 1,000 subscribers or 500 views daily, on average....OR when at least 10% of my customer referrals come from my blog.." are good, specific goals. Nicole Leigh Shaw, aka Ninja Mom, specifically advises would-be bloggers against seeking profits: "
Don’t do it for the money. So very few bloggers actually make a lot of money from blogging." Whatever your goals are, having some, period, is better than throwing a blog online hastily because "everyone else I know has one."

Reason #4:  It's time to start over.

creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dirigentens
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dirigentens

"What, you want me to start ANOTHER blog?!" you ask. 
Well, yes and no.  It depends on your blog.
  Maybe the niche your old blog covered has cooled down considerably. 
Perhaps you've found a new passion.  
Or, you could take the bittersweet lessons from your previous blog and apply them to your new one.  Jeff Goins has an excellent post on problogger about how he traded one blog in for another, with great success. Maybe you want a break from all things blog-like.  That's OK, too. 

So have you decided to "Kill Bill"?  If so, don't give yourself a hard time about it--that is a waste of energy.  Note your mistakes for next time so that you don't repeat them. Then move on.

On the other hand, maybe you've decided to resuscitate your blog by changing the layout, arranging for guest posts, or cross-promoting it through other social networks.

Feel free to link to your (non-spammy) blog below, and cheers.

is a cross-collaborative initiative where Tarleton State University students, faculty, and staff organize an annual social media conference and produce a peer-reviewed social media research journal. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. for the latest social media news, research, and more.

Yvonne is a TSMRI co-director and librarian
who likes old movies and new media.