Tag Archives: connected writing

You Cannot Go Where You Cannot Imagine Going

By Leslie MacKenzie

In 2019, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 76% of respondents would describe climate change as a crisis or a major problem. Despite that large number, 62% said tackling climate change would require little or no sacrifice on their part.

More than half of respondents said they wouldn’t pay anything out of their pocket to fix the problem. Fewer than half of respondents were willing to pay $2/month as a tax on their electric bill; about 25% said they would pay $10 a month.

Someone else should pay … companies that burn fossil fuels and the wealthy. Those with the least incentive and the most to lose should take the lead, Americans have decided.

Not surprisingly, that hasn’t happened.

Continue reading You Cannot Go Where You Cannot Imagine Going

Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Advertisement by Accessing How Audiences Are Targeted

Quinton Miller, MDST 485 Communicating with New Media, Public Relations Major, Metropolitan State University

January 22nd, 2021

This scholarly journal keys in on the increasing popularity of CBD products. Through algorithms set for identifying certain words, this passage explains the analysis taking place surrounding the conversation concerning attitudes towards cannabinoid (CBD) and its purpose. Terms including anxiety, stress or nausea were identified as indicators for therapeutic necessities. This could help with uncovering what language companies who sell these types of products would use in their advertisements going forward. It may also provide insight into a drug policy that needs revision for places that do not allow it due to the products legality based on those first hand accounts documented from forums. This includes Cannabinol/CBD, hemp oil and Cannabis. There are pieces of qualitative data from these findings which is what some new age advertising services utilize. Not only does this tie into the cannabis sector of public relations in new media through explanation of a methodology professionals can use on social media platforms, this academic journal is relevant to us as citizens. When using social media, we often find advertisements geared towards something we’ve recently posted, viewed or talked about. The algorithm, similar to a control F function in a word document, gives an example of how our data is utilized in studies. Once we, as users of these platforms, think outside the box and consider other ways our words are used, we can conduct other research as to how social media and advertisements have played hand-in-hand.

Does this remind us of anyone who whistle blew about this in the past?

This news article was originally written in the beginning of 2018 and revised in October of 2020. This article includes a video experiment of a couple conversing about cat food to see if ads would begin to appear in relation to their conversation. They concluded that facebook had been listening for keywords in their conversations due to the fact that cat food advertisements begun appearing days later. These readings seem distant on the surface, but with a little critical analysis in the mindset of media communication, people can bridge the gap between an obvious new age of targeting methods and terminology. Both articles involve keywords instead of age groups. All users of either the forum or social media who used certain words were taken into account. Each of these had different ways and different purposes, but they could relate to the ways companies use new media to gather and target data on potential consumers.

Take a look below and try it out for yourself !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0SOxb_Lfps

Of course this isn’t the real Edward Snowden’s instagram. (I doubt we’ll see the real Snowden on social media). This is a instagram fanpage dedicated to the man who informed the world of what the NSA had been doing.

Narcity Media, October 2020, Why You Keep Getting Ads For Things You’ve Talked About But Haven’t Searched Up Online https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.narcity.com/amp/why-you-keep-getting-ads-for-things-youve-talked-about-but-havent-searched-up-online

International Journal of Drug Policy Vol. 77, Mar 2020, Social Media Surveillance for Perceived Therapeutic Effects of Cannabinol (CBD) Products https://www-sciencedirect-com.mtrproxy.mnpals.net/science/article/pii/S0955395920300293

From the Page to the Stage: Be Heard

I have heard so many times growing up that there is no money in writing. Yeah, you’re good. But where is it going to take you? Reading, writing, and books just aren’t that interesting – and so many other comments about writing and reading, not just novels but poetry too. These sentiments have not stopped as I’ve got older.  Maybe you’re one of those people that agree and haven’t come across a piece of literature that has moved you. You may not have been exposed to writing that is not technical or academic. Maybe you think writing is a talent but not what can give you a fulfilling career. The truth is some of us, especially young people, don’t write for money? Some of us don’t even have an interest in becoming wealthy or famous writers. Some of us were just young and got lucky in our efforts to get free.

In my personal efforts, I came across an organization called TruArtSpeaks. They are an arts based non-profit organization that cultivates literacy, leadership, and social justice through the study and application of spoken word and Hip Hop culture. At sixteen years old I took part in their largest youth program called Be Heard. It is a statewide youth poetry slam series that seeks to identify a cohort of 6 young people between the ages of 13-19 to represent Minnesota in an international poetry slam competition. If you are not familiar with a poetry slam, it’s a competition where people come on stage for 3 minutes and 30 seconds and share their own original work. 5 judges give a score between 1 – 10 (1 being the low and ten being the high) and the highest and lowest score is dropped. Recently, they have decided that instead of going to the festival they offer $500 to the cohort to continue their education along with giving writing and performance workshops the entire summer. By the end of the summer, they create their own manuscript ready for publishing along with support from Graywolf press.

The award for the 6 that end up on the team is amazing. But the real success is what it does for these young people in their personal and professional life. The juice is what this program has helped them discover about themselves. Be Heard has taught many to dig deep into who they are and want to be and demand the change they want to see and live in. It has taught many at a young age that they have peers that care about the same things and adults who want to listen. It has created space for community to prioritize young people and eventually those young people become leaders, movers and shakers in their community. Below is a short documentary TPT did on the Be Heard program in 2018.

https://video.tpt.org/video/Be-Heard-Youth-Poetry-Slam-Series-30289/

“I really hope you stay involved past this,” says Chavah Gabrielle in the video at 2:27. And though she wasn’t speaking to me as I had competed 5 years prior to this, it was the same thing that was said to me 5 years ago and I sure am glad I listened.

I’m a writer – I write stories, poems, and essays (though the essay is more of practice to make creative academic papers and better understand academic papers). I write because what would be considered ‘back talk’ to my parents, was me just trying to communicate how I felt. I write because when I tried to write my first story and shared it with my parents, they both disliked how well I mirrored our life to the page. I write because I’m in control. I write because I’m scared, and it brings me courage. I write for first generation students. I write for Black people. I write for Africans. I write for immigrant parents. I write to make sense of the world. I write when I am wrong and figure out how to get right. I write for a better future. I write, I write, I write because as a young person I needed to empower myself when everything around me was killing me.

Be Heard Slam series at what was formerly Intermedia Arts in South Minneapolis. Photo from TruArtSpeaks

If you came to this blog post from reading my instagram post, you’ll remember I said that there is communal and personal power in sharing our stories. And though this is a small bit of how I learned to share mine, it is the first place I really began to heal.

If you’d like to see more of the powerful work TruArtSpeaks is doing, and the power in being heard and sharing stories, check out the video below!

Want to know more? Head over to www.truartspeaks.org and learn about their weekly open mic, writing workshops, and so much of the other amazing work they do. And if you’re feeling inspired, consider donating! As we all know a lot of non-profit business have been hit hard during the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you were at all moved by what you read or the videos you watched, or know someone able to donate pass along their website and follow the “donate now” link and you’ll be able to donate through their GiveMN page. They also accept checks directed to TruArtSpeaks, address is 275 4th St. E #701. All donations over $50 are tax deductible.

Where America’s Day Begins

When you think about colonization, I’m guessing that the historical context is what comes to mind. White Europeans invading exotic foreign lands, forcing the local inhabitants to give up their way of life and become more civilized. Drawings of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés in textbooks, navigating their ships onto deserted beaches. Definitely something of years long past.

Let’s shift gears for a moment and think about vacation spots. I don’t know about you, but when I think of vacation, I picture a tropical paradise. The Mariana Islands, in the west Pacific Ocean, are beautiful and very tropical. White sandy beaches, coconut trees, and coral reefs that make for great snorkeling/scuba diving. One of my favorite places for a relaxing vacation.

So where am I going with this? What does colonization have to do with my favorite vacation spot? My hashtag above may have given it away. The Mariana Islands are a colony of our very own, U.S. of A.

“Saipan, where America’s Day Begins”

The slogan above is used for marketing to tourists of the islands. As the capital, Saipan is the 2nd most recognized island in the chain, next to Guam. It’s a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (or the CNMI for short). They are a remnant of America’s strategic colonization, well positioned in close proximity to Asia.

Residents of the CNMI have U.S. citizenship and a representative in Congress. That sounds great, right? But even as US citizens, residents on these islands cannot vote in federal elections, like the president. And those reps in congress? They can speak during debate but again, they have no vote.

So, why does the US want to keep hold of these tiny island, on the other side of the world?

Strategic position. During WWII, the US invaded these islands with the hopes of gaining a stronghold in a location that would allow them to attack Japan with more ease. Planes could make a round-trip flight from the islands to Japan and back, on one tank of fuel. For this very reason, the atomic bombs, that would later be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were launched from the island of Tinian, in the CNMI.

Even though advancements have been made to allow for planes to fly much further distances, the US still maintains a military presence in the CNMI. This presence puts residents of these islands at risk of attacks, like the recent threats from North Korea.

I love these islands. Not just for vacation (but I would recommend that), but for my family and friends that still live there. These are islands of beauty, although tainted by the blood shed by American and Japanese forces. I maintain hope that one day, these islands will find peace.

It’s Time to Save the World

“Is my English OK? Is the microphone on?” asked Greta Thunberg, in one of her most recent addresses. “Because I’m beginning to wonder.”

Laughter from the audience.

It wasn’t a joke. No one seems to be listening.

Nine years ago, when I was Greta’s age, I wasn’t aware. I wasn’t politically, globally, socially, environmentally aware. I wasn’t aware of what our biggest problems were–or that I, as a kid, could do anything about it, even if I did know what was happening in the world.

Nine years ago, I was LARPing (live-action role playing). For those who don’t know, LARP is a game wherein you create a character for yourself, dress up in costume, and run around in the woods at night, fighting faux villains with foam sticks. It’s like playing make-believe in the backyard when you were little, but on a larger scale, with maybe a better production value.

LARP comes in a number of forms, but the game I played was mostly like Dungeons & Dragons. It was a fantasy game. Swords and sorcery. Lightning bolts. Storming the castle. All of that.

While I knew that the events in the game weren’t “real” and that the character I played wasn’t “real,” they always felt important. They felt bigger than the small “reality” I actually lived in. I often felt that my character was better than me. She was stronger, prettier, freer. She had more goodness in her; more to give. I wanted to be like her in real life.

This disconnect–the idea that my character was false and somehow separate from me–affected my growth in a number of ways. I could write a book on it. There’s a lot to unpack. But the point here is that even after I managed to quit the game, I had a hard time developing an idea of who I was without that character.

Recently, with the changing of the seasons, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia. It would be the start of LARP season now, if I was still playing.

I’m still sorting through it, but one of the things that finally occurred to me was that I could be like the heroic character I used to play. I already was like her. She came from me.

But there were still situational differences, systematic differences between that character’s world and mine, dragging me down.

I posted this on Facebook:

larp

And, only days later, the sentiment was echoed by somebody else:

dnd

I’ve been flailing for a solution. Something I could do to help the environment, and reconcile the reality of my apparent helplessness with the idea of once having played at being someone courageous and able to create change.

In this video, Jane Goodall advises people to act locally. “Quite honestly,” she says, “if you think globally, you get depressed.” Break it down, then. Start with what you know you can do. Do something. Even if it might seem small. “We’re all interconnected.”

I’ve been worrying myself sick. I woke up today with a sore throat, and a headache, presumably from my newfangled teeth grinding habit. In an anxious, somewhat dissociated haze, I drove to the store for some groceries, just to get out of the house. Everywhere, meat and dairy. Things packaged in plastic. Delicious things that I only felt bad about craving. I bought one of those chocolate bars that claims to help endangered species, and felt doubtful about its impact, but I hoped.

On my way home, it seemed like all I could see was trash. Scattered along the side of the road, accumulating in the ditches, washed up along the curb. Plastic bags blowing in the wind and caught up in bushes.

Enough is enough.

I found a metal stick–one of those garden hooks for hanging bird feeders or little candle pots–and I filed the end to a point on my dad’s bench grinder. I walked across the street to the park outside my house, and I attacked the garbage in the rain garden. I chased it through the foliage, piercing it with my makeshift rapier, collecting its remains.

Maybe this will help.

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Photo by Robert Stuart Lowden

I’m an adventurer. It’s my job.

And for all the shitheads out there who consume without thinking, and leave their trash lying around; for the people who continue to make a mess of the world, I have just one message:

58933430_10218647447926135_8483253600141705216_n

Gender Bias

 

Gender Bias is a discrimination that often goes unnoticed on a day to day basis. This Bias has been push through each generation from early history when all women would stay at home to care for the family and house while the man went to work to provide the income for the family. For history to have a period of time like that creates a bunch of stereotypes for what boy and girl should be and act like from an early age. It was up until the nineteenth century when women were allowed to partake social life, education, and politics.gender These ideas where pushed through movements like Christianity and the age of enlightenment. It has taken women movements and acts from the government for women to be respected by institutions of the government. Although women are still fighting to this present day to still have equality between men and women. Our history allows us to see there has always been separation of fair equality between men and women. Overall both of these links below talk about gender bias in different and similar ways but both educate you on gender bias in the world today. They both also touch on how gender bias has progressed over the years and through movements.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-marie-jenkins/unconscious-gender-bias-e_b_7447524.html

http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/271/Gender-Bias.html

CBD in MN

Cannabidiol—CBD  is a chemical compound in cannabis that is beneficial from a medical standpoint. It gives people the medical benefits of cannabis, without getting the “high” or “stoned” feeling. CBD is still paving way for acceptance but has still has a stigma since it derives from the marijuana plant.

There has been tons of testing done on the benefits of CBD especially when we talk about seizures and general body inflammation. The major break through right now with Minnesota Medical Solutions is that they have developed a more potent strain of marijuana to extract CBD from. This is a vital procedure because it cuts production costs by making it easier to produce the plants, and making it cheaper to refine CDB from. Since Minnesota is one of the most restrictive states with medical marijuana it is a great opportunity to get rid of another obstacle standing in the way of patients in need of medicine that isn’t as harsh, and  providing an alternative solution to their medical needs.

Image from: https://grandvalleyhempinfusions.com/what-is-cbd/

From my point of view on CBD, if there is a medical solution with out experiencing the intoxicating aspects of marijuana it should be used medically. It has very minimal or close to none side effects and can help a large sum of our population. Obviously we still have a long journey on the way to legalization on both state and federal levels, but having medical CBD available is a step closer to legalization.

PDF on CBD testing results: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1250/8949/files/GRLabSheetPacketOctober.pdf?12689755168953608911/

StarTribune Article: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-medical-marijuana-manufacturer-hopes-new-plant-will-push-down-prices/362716951/

Minnesota Medical Solutions website: http://minnesotamedicalsolutions.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Connected communities and visibility

Connected Communities and visibility

I will present two blogs that I have been following for more than a month.
They are https://blog.sleepnumber.com/ and https://blog.mnreadingandmathcorps.org/

The Sleep Number Blog stated that it was the Official Founding Partner for the Super bowl NFL season and dedicated last week’s articles to how athletes need a restful sleep and what kind of sleep number settings helped them achieve maximum rest. They also communicated their Sleep Number Station with full-on activation at Nicollet Mall and engaged the public who came to visit and sleep on their Sleep Number Setting beds.

In their blog articles, they touch upon various aspects of life that deeply relates to have a sound sleep. It can be as simple as a bedtime routine, to cutting out caffeine, to eating the right kind of food, to decorating your bedroom to make it look comforting. Or it can be as complex as Sleep program accreditation and assessments which are scientifically proven. The blog does a thorough job of investigating all aspects of Sleep as a Science,
an Art, and a biological rhythm of everyday living.

The blog subtly promotes the Sleep Number beds but not in an overtly in your face marketing campaign. It talks convincingly about the Sleep Number bed and how it can help you stay healthy through life’s ups and downs. I like to read this blog because they have a Book Club and showcase interesting books to read. This scores maximum brownie points for me along with other well-written articles. It has a subscription list as all blogs and also has shareable content. I liked the blog because it covers almost all aspects of sleep and has an authentic voice and a delightful online presence.

The Minnesota Reading and Math Corps Blog

The second blog that I loved is the Minnesota Math and Reading Corps blog.
It is a simple blog with no fashionable art or sophistication. It speaks out to me, because serving in Reading Corps for four years was significant milestone in my life. It also salutes those who have served and currently serving. It is a blog of service to young children and how each member has his/her own story of triumph.
(https://blog.mnreadingandmathcorps.org/2016/05/learning-and-growing-together.html?view=snapshot) That is me and my 2 minutes of Reading Corps glory. This blog places it’s focus entirely on the Tutors without any distraction or deviation. You may ask why is this so? It is because the Tutors are the ambassadors of the Program.
The Program has its independent website which has all details of the application process to become a Tutor and the works. The blog is completely dedicated to the individuals who bring the program to life. These tutors come from diverse backgrounds, but with one mission: To make a difference in the lives of children. The blog does an excellent job of delivering it in a direct and powerful manner.

In my analysis of the two blogs, I think they are creative hubs or online stations where the brand experience is communicated in a singular strategy. The Sleep Number Blog talks about the multifaceted phenomenon of “Sleep” and the Minnesota Reading Corps Blog talks about “Tutoring as a lifetime experience”.
The blog is available to a global community and you can reap the benefits of learning more about sleep patterns or the joys of being a tutor simultaneously. It is incredible how blogs are changing the way we experience life through the eyes of other’s who are sharing their experience and information.

The Lack of Sleep During Your College Years

If you stop and ask a college student if they’ve ever pulled an “all-nighter” to study for a test, or to write that last minute paper the response is likely, “Yes”. I know during the years I’ve been in school I’ve sacrificed a lot of sleep due to my procrastination and poor study habits.  The relationship college students have with sleep is something that needs to be improved in the years to come. According to Shelley Hershner and Ronald Chervin 50% of all college students report daytime sleepiness and 70% report they attain insufficient sleep. Those numbers are quite high, but not shocking to most. The lack of sleep for college students attribute to lower grade point averages, higher rates of car accidents, and possible failure of college classes.  Not only do GPAs and academic success hinge on the amount of sleep a college student gets, but the lack of sleep also attributes to altered, negative moods.

One reason college students attain insufficient sleep is simply because there is so much going on around college campuses. Both academically and socially, students can be overwhelmed with the prioritization of their needs.  Living in a college dorm is a blessing and a curse. Each pair of roommates have a different schedule and a different set of priorities. As the years go on, it seems as though self-care and wellness seem to go by the wayside. To fix this problem, the path is a two-way street. Universities need to adjust policies and engage in campus outreach to spread the message that sleep is exceptionally important to a student’s academic success. Also, students need to realize how much of their success hinges on getting the appropriate amount of sleep.

 

Read further:
Sleep Study

Is Sleep Deprivation The New Norm?

Connected Communities and Visibility – Blog 3

Connected Communities and visibility

I will present two blogs that I have been following for more than a month.
They are https://blog.sleepnumber.com/ and
https://blog.mnreadingandmathcorps.org/
The Sleep Number Blog stated that it was the Official Founding Partner for the Super bowl NFL season and dedicated last week’s articles to how athletes need a restful sleep and what kind of sleep number settings helped them achieve maximum rest. They also communicated their Sleep Number Station with full-on activation at Nicollet Mall and engaged the public who came to visit and sleep on their Sleep Number Setting beds.

In their other articles, they touch upon various aspects of life that deeply relates to have a sound sleep. It can be as simple as a bedtime routine, to cutting out caffeine, to eating the right kind of food, to decorating your bedroom to make it look comforting. Or it can be as complex as Sleep program accreditations and assessments which are scientifically proven. The blog does a thorough job of investigating all aspects of Sleep as a Science, an Art, and a biological rhythm of everyday living.

The blog subtly promotes the Sleep Number beds but not in an overtly in your face marketing campaign. It talks convincingly about the Sleep Number bed and how it can help you stay healthy through life’s ups and downs. I like to read this blog because they have a Book Club and showcase interesting books to read. This scores maximum brownie points for me along with other well-written articles.

The Minnesota Reading and Math Corps Blog

The second blog that I loved is the Minnesota Math and Reading Corps blog.
It is a simple blog with no fashionable art or sophistication. It speaks out to me, because serving in Reading Corps for four years was significant milestone in my life. It also salutes those who have served and currently serving. It is a blog of service to young children and how each member has his/her own story of triumph.
(https://blog.mnreadingandmathcorps.org/2016/05/learning-and-growing-together.html?view=snapshot) That is me and my 2 minutes of Reading Corps glory.

This blog places it’s focus entirely on the Tutors without any distraction or deviation.
You may ask why is this so? It is because the Tutors are the ambassadors of the Program. The Program has its independent website which has all details of the application process to become a Tutor and the works. The blog is completely dedicated to the individuals who bring the program to life. These tutors come from diverse backgrounds, but with one mission: To make a difference in the lives of children. The blog does an excellent job of delivering it in a direct and powerful manner.

In my analysis of the two blogs, I think they are creative hubs or online stations where the brand experience is communicated in a singular strategy. The Sleep Number Blog talks about the multifaceted phenomenon of “Sleep” and the Minnesota Reading Corps Blog talks about “Tutoring as a lifetime experience”.

The blog is available to a global community and I can reap the benefits of learning more about sleep patterns or the joys of being a tutor simultaneously. It is incredible how blogs are changing the way we experience life through the eyes of other’s who are sharing their experience and information.