Tag Archives: MACT2014

How I made my term video

In the past few months, I have been exploring the concept of social networks, why people form and join social networks, what motivates them, and how networks are formed? This was the main focus of the Managing Communication in Networks course that I am taking as a part my Masters in Communications and Technology at the University of Alberta. The main focus of the course is on Charles Kadushin’s book “Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings”. In addition to this, I was also exposed to numerous academic journals, articles, and videos about the topic. As a part of the course, my term project was to take a closer look at one of the theories that I learned and to create a short video with my thoughts about it.  I have decided to explore the “Psychological Foundations of Social Networks” chapter, as I like learning about the motivations of human behaviour.  My final video is available to be viewed below, however I want to share the steps I took in order to create this video.

  1. To manage my time better, I started by reading out loud one of my previous papers to see how long it took me. I discovered that in order to create a video of about five minutes, I had to write a 1.5 single-spaced paper.
  2. I wrote the paper and made sure it contained the main components of the assignment: summary and highlights of the reading, as well as questions I found engaging or problematic.
  3. I recorded my voice using the iPhone voice recorder.  I found it much easier to record 2-3 sentences at once, then the whole paragraph.
  4. I then added my narrated pieces into the Windows Movie Maker program, thus creating a new project.
  5. After that, I searched for images online that would resonate with my paper. Once I had the photos, I added them into the video.
  6. In places where I was quoting the author, I wrote the quotes for the viewer to see.
  7. When all the voices, pictures and quotes were in place I began to add animations, which were already programmed into the Windows Movie Maker.
  8. When the video was complete, I reviewed it to make sure there were no spelling mistakes and all animations worked well.
  9. Last but not least, I uploaded in on YouTube for you to enjoy!

I hope you found my steps easy to navigate and you will use them for your personal video projects. If you think that you know a more convenient way of created a narrated video, please let me know below.


Is Your Personal Information Safe?

Recently Canadians and Americans discovered how their governments spy on their own citizens by accessing their personal information online. Many people have become concerned about their privacy and have expressed their dissatisfaction. However, what they got in return from the government were assurances that either the government did not spy on its citizens, and if it did, this was for the purpose of protecting the wellbeing of its citizens.

Many of us (including me) were not satisfied with such an answer and started to look for ways to protect ourselves. Since we are spied on via phone conversations, text-messaging, use of social media, emails, and other technologies, I propose the following suggestions that could help us:

  1. Talk in-person – when possible, avoid texting or calling in order to exchange personal information. If the situation permits it, talk to your friends in-person.
  2. Stop the constant updates on social media – letting everybody know where you are located, which event you are going to, or what you have eaten for breakfast will not help you protect your privacy. When possible avoid posting updates about your personal life.
  3. Think before clicking the ‘send’ button – before sending a message think whether it contains personal information about you or somebody else and imagine what would happen if somebody else reads this information.
  4. Consider the audience – keep in mind the reaction of your intended and non-intended recipient. For instance, a message suggesting to run the car into a bar may seem like a joke to your friends, but may seem as a safety issue by the government.
  5. Know the security features of your channel – many social media channels have good privacy and security features that allow you to protect your information. Make sure you know what they are and use them.

These are the steps I have chosen for myself when I learned about how the government can easily access our personal information. It would be interesting to hear other advises. Feel free to leave your recommendations below and remember that the government is reading it as well.

My aha moment of #hashtags

For the past month and half I have been tweeting and continue to do so on a daily basis as part of an assignment for a communications course I am currently taking at the University of Alberta. One of the main goals of this assignment is to increase my online social media presence and to expand my tweeter network.

Tweeting on daily basis has not been such a difficult task, as I always find interesting topics to tweet about, but increasing my network has been more challenging. Since I wanted the attention of my classmates, I used our course hashtag, #comm506, for every tweet I sent. This strategy helped me to increase the number of followers on my account in the first week of the assignment. This seemed like a great start, but in the second week I could not attract any new followers. This forced me to re-think my strategy, as I wanted to draw the attention of additional users.

During my third week, I thought that it would be a great idea to add another hashtag, something trendy and common among my tweets, and so I chose #socialmedia. I was very excited to when I saw that this hashtag attracted 3 new followers to my account. As in the previous weeks, however, I was not able to attract other followers in the following week.

In my 5th week of tweeting, I decided to play around with hashtags and add them in relation to the tweet I was tweeting out. For instance, if the tweet was about Google Analytics, I would add #googleanalytics.  This approach was very successful, resulting in a high number of new followers at the end of that week. In addition to that, I also noticed that random people sent me tweets in response to my earlier posts. That is when I had my aha moment of hashtags.

Hashtags are great! They should be used in multiple ways. First, they should be used to attract specific groups of users who are interested in similar issues. Second, it is ok to have more than one hashtag in a tweet. Lastly, it is important to add a hashtag that is related to the body of the tweet.

What is Twitter and how do you use it effectively?

If you do not know what Twitter is then you are missing out on a great communication tool that can help you stay up-to-date with your contacts and get the latest news or gossip. Twitter is an online social media tool that allows those with an account to write anything they want in 140 characters or less. Twitter is used by various organizations, businesses, celebrities, and ordinary people.

So, how does it all work? Let’s take, for example, and imaginary user by the name of John. John joins Twitter to follow his friends and favourite athletes. Every time one of his contacts tweets, John is able to see it and know what is happening. Similarly, John can update those who subscribe to follow him with his latest tweets. The nature of those updates can very, as some users may post their selfies from, let’s say, a concert, or announce an upcoming wedding. Although John can follow many people, they don’t have to follow him.

Having twitter can be fun as it allows you to interact and meet new people who have similar interests as you, but how can you use it effectively? Below are my top 5 tips based on my personal experience:

1. Tweet daily – tweeting on a daily basis can keep your contacts engaged and up-to-date. In addition to tweeting from your computer you can use your cellphone to tweet using text messaging or the Twitter app. You can also program your tweets ahead of time using TweetDeck and Hootsuite.

2. Retweet – create conversations with your contacts by retweeting others’ posts.

3. Use hashtags when tweeting – Hashtags can help find people who are interested in the same topic as you.


4.Thank your new followers – if you have a new follower, thank them for following you. Users feel good when they are recognized.

5. Think before you tweet – do not tweet stupid things. It would be up to you to figure out what is a stupid tweet, but remember that your followers may consist of friends, coworkers, and unknown people so you should consider their reaction to your tweet before tweeting out.

The above tips are based on my experience and I hope you find them useful. If you have other tips, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, follow me at Yuliya_Mass and let’s tweet to each other!