The Good, The Bad, and The Unstoppable

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The eventuality of technology is evolution regardless of how you look at it, it’s unstoppable. So while even though this may be old news to some degree or something that has continued to evolve into an increasingly complex problem that begs and even more complex solution.  Illegal music downloading or P2P file sharing are only a few examples of countless obstacles facing modern businesses with advent and development of new forms of file sharing.

Here’s a blog post I found interesting about whether or not downloads are really killing the music industry or if its actually something else. Although, in the interest of presenting this information in an unbiased way. Here’s more information on music piracy directly from the RIAA or The Recording Industry Association of America or the major music companies.

Obviously it’s a matter of opinion as to where you stand on this issue but it’s good to gather as much information as you can before formulating this opinion. Including anything you can find regarding currently pending/recently passed legislation or laws in the works to change the make-up of the internet or online access. For example the Protect IPA act or SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and how such legislation may change/restructure the future of online sharing or for the specific nature of this post, P2P sharing and illegal music downloading.

Personally, I believe these obstacles are a necessary evil for such industries or businesses to face. In order to genuinely improve or progress the quality, relevancy, and practicality of the product or products they produce. As it is with evolution; “only the strong will survive.” Not to mention, there are a formidable amount of dangers facing indivuals who partake in piracy. Such as the potential for viruses or trojans and the like. The  risk of being caught and punished by some governing body if on a large enough scale. Poor quality files and intentionally mislabeled files to gain downloads or increase interest.

Industries and organizations should be obligated to manipulate the make-up of their business model and methods or techniques for producing profits in response to changes and a volatile economy. Rather than being able to manipulate the make-up of the legislation or laws effecting online access or the internet. Consumers should be allowed to use their available resources to the fullest extent in obtaining a company’s product or products. Their job is to sell it too them.

I’d love to know what anyone thinks? Potential solutions? Questions for me? Concerns and comments are encouraged, please keep the conversation moving.

Thank You for Inforgraphicing

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An interesting trend in online information sharing or social/media networking is the increasing relevance of infograhpics. Infographics are a unique way of visualizing data that blends visual devices with informational elements and other such individual style elements.

There is even some evidence that suggest they can be a powerful tool for search engine optimization(SEO) in the social media world. Personally, I find them to be a nifty little device to drive curiosity or conversation about a topic, brand, or whatever given the unusual blend of visual and informational elements. This can be effective in helping people commit the information to memory or wanting to share the “cooler” infographics with others.

Conceptualizing in this way may also give the creator a deeper understanding of the information and develop a distinctive vision of how they want to convey the information.

I mean if a pictures worth a thousand words, whats a picture with loads of words and information worth? Please let me know what you think about infographics. It will be interesting to see how they may develop going forward and their potential uses.

In the interest of attempting to visualize these thoughts, here’s a cool infographic of infographics. Try utilizing them for yourself and find cool or interesting ways to visualize your data!

Sex, Lies, and Viral Videos

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One of the classes I’m taking this semester at the University of Nevada, Reno is Management 491. A “social business” or rather social media and social networking class. We have had regular guest speakers come in and share their personal stories of success using various aspects of social media/networking.

Most recently a man by the name of Ron Bell, who is a local Reno/Tahoe Realtor who has grown his own business exponentially using social media techniques.  His emphasis was on the use of viral videos or YouTube marketing as a means of generating new customers. He even started a group known as the Reno Social Media Group. They are an internet and social media marketing team implementing social media for businesses of all levels. Who uses social media and networking with organic SEO to strive for first page search results and customer interaction.

Please check out some of these interesting facts or statistics you may not have known about YouTube as well! Viral videos and YouTube are continuing to grow at an exponential rate and the amount of time the average user spends watching them is staggering.

Not only can YouTube and viral videos be an essential driving force for your business or organization but you can easily find a unique way to use it to your own advantage or for personal branding as well.

Below is an interesting YouTube video from a website known as Socialnomics about the return on investment from social media for most business. Again there are some extremely interesting stats and figures!

Dirty Sandusky

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Though the actions of ex-Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky may not have had an actual body count. The destruction and devastation he has brought to, an as of yet undetermined amount, of individuals lives both directly and indirectly has and will continue to bring misery for years to come. Essentially, the onset of this news was like dropping a nuclear bomb on Penn state University and the collateral damage continues to mount.

Correspondingly, as Harry S. Truman once said; “It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.”

On the other hand, a common theme I’ve found in this whole scandal is a general unwillingness to step forward and be held accountable for your actions.

I simply find myself amassing far more questions and concerns than being provided answers and punishments. Considering the NCAA has only handed out the “death penalty” or revoked a universities ability to compete in a sport for a year five times, for far less egregious actions, I think Penn State deserves no less. Here’s another good article with some college sports misconducts that received seemingly much worse punishments then Penn State has as of yet been hand. I support the sentiments of this article regarding what they should do with the Penn State Football program.

Absolutely I support the firing of Joe Paterno and any individual who was involved with this situation or had any knowledge of it’s occurrence within the organization.

Here’s a link to a video timeline of the Penn State Scandal as provided by Sports Illustrated. YouTube also has a number of solid videos on the recent riot at Penn State in reaction to Joe Paterno’s firing as well the entirety of these events as they unfold. Below is one I found somewhat interesting myself and offer to way in with your own thoughts and opinions. Please let me know what you think and keep the discussion going.

Breakfast at Epiphanies

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“I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” Words to live by, or in this case blog by, from the one and only Audrey Hepburn.

After a series of recent events involving the deactivation of this very blog for an issue regarding a questionable link. The sudden realization or meaning behind this blog became more clear to me than ever. As this blog began for personal branding  or to create something of an online presence for myself. There must then be some blogs generated and created entirely from the mind of Joshua Tyler Burkhardt. No more or less and no links or videos that involve the thoughts, opinions, and concerns of others.  This may be somewhat selfish but blogging already seems somewhat self indulgent.

So with this in mind, I promise to hereby occasional create posts that are free of any content other than my own. I believe this will add a new level of personality to the blog and give the readers a better sense of who I am. However, I am open to suggestions or questions and am willing to give my own insights on a variety of fields of interest if called upon.

For example, I’ll share with you something interesting  I’ve come across and sure it’s not a for leaf clover but I hope it brings you some luck…

(P.S. I do realize there is a bit of irony in opening a blog of this nature with a quote from someone else.)

The Silence of the Spams

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Traditionally the word SPAM might evoke jokes and urban legends about mystery meat and the nature of a certain food product. However, the word has begun to take on a whole new meaning within the framework of social media, networking, and our general online use. Here’s an infographic to help shed a bit of light on the history of everyone’s favorite unsolicited messages:

Now more than ever one must be vigilant and constantly on guard against potential online threats to security. As the forms of social media or networking and the numerous ways we communicate and share content online continue to evolve. The techniques to manipulate or undermine our privacy and steal valuable personal information seemingly develop simultaneously. There are a number of websites on google that provide various avenues to complain about frauds or scams online if you think you have been the victim of one or become aware of one’s existence. There is also a pool of valuable information related to the topic.

A service known as the internet crime’s complaint center releases regular scam alerts to online users about recent cyber crime trends and new twists to previously existing cyber scams. In a recent report they discuss the existence of a traffic ticket spam that’s been trending. Here’s a link to the article and a quote about the traffic ticket spam; “The IC3 has received over 70 complaints since July 2011 reporting fraudulent e-mails claiming the recipient had been issued a traffic ticket. The spam, which spoofed a nyc.gov e-mail address, claimed to be from the New York State Police (NYSP). Complainants, throughout the U.S. and internationally, reported that the e-mail indicated a traffic ticket had been issued against them as a result of a moving violation.” Merely one example that supports the idea of SPAM and online scams coming in almost all shapes or sizes and how they are becoming increasingly better at disguising themselves as harmless or even faking authority or purpose!!

Sure their annoying but is SPAM actually becoming something of a detriment to our environment? What do you think? Please share with me your thoughts on this second infographic:

Some “Like It” a Lot

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How many times have you logged into Facebook and seen in the corner of your home screen that its somebody’s birthday and sent them your best wishes?

Been on twitter and felt compelled to retweet someone’s content? Or even commented on a random blog like mine?

While at times these may seem like completely meaningless and empty gestures. They may actually have profound direct or residual effects for yourself or others. Here’s a blog that highlights how simple Facebook makes it to wish someone a happy birthday and how the author considers it “a charming ritual to spam a friends wall with obnoxious things.” I couldn’t agree more with these sentiments. I mean not only is the simple acknowledgement of another’s birthday a quick and easy way to show your appreciation for this person but the power of reciprocity is strong. There’s really no telling how they’ll pay it forward.

Tons of information exists on the power of the retweet, great reasons to retweet, or how you can even measure these things. Though its crucial to first decide how you’d like to position yourself with regards to social media or networking and further this “personal brand” accordingly. For example, the majority of my posts are about social media/networking so I tweet content that reflects these concerns. The link on the power of twitter denotes that “Social media is a great way to boost your searchability and online presence.  ReTweeting allows you not only to share great information with your followers, but increase your visibility in search engines. Retweeting also helps the originator of the tweet increase their visibility too. It’s a true “win-win!”

These very same principals can be applied to nearly any form of social media including a cunning comment on someone’s blog. Good blog comments really contribute to the discussion or discourse. Below is a neat video on YouTube about how to leave a good blog comment.

Never underestimate your value to others online! In the vein of an old English proverb, “We never know the worth of water til’ the well is dry.”