#PBandJterm Top 10

#PBandJterm was a pretty long three weeks. Making a top ten list of my favorite things from it seems easy but I know I am going to end up having a hard time picking. But here were go.

Ten

Meeting so many new people from different places around the world. From England to Italy to South Korea, there were so many different cultures mixed up in Spellman 4095. It is too bad we learned so much about content otherwise I would have wanted to learn more about everyone in the class!

Nine

Making Memes in the class. Every time Jill asked us to make memes there were non stop laughs. Brett, the meme making master, had no limit to his creativity and cleverness when coming up with a good meme.

Eight

Jae Yong Kim’s crazy and hilarious antics. From day one (or was it day two?) Jae made the mistake of mentioning to Jill that he was “hilarious”. Since, every time we do some activity Jill would egg Jae on about being hilarious. Low and behold though, every single word Jae spoke the class would lose it. I hope I see Jae around campus, I’m gonna miss that guy.

Jae Yong Kim Presentation Gif

Jae presenting to the class.

Seven

Tweeting. Some people lost followers. Some people gained followers. The PBandJterm hashtag was constantly being used by everyone. The non-stop tweeting and retweeting of presentations, jokes, quotes, and thoughts was loads of fun.

Six

Jess Leitch. Bringing donuts in was smart and quite the treat (even thought I accidentally picked the weird yet interesting salted caramel doughnut). I enjoyed Jess’ presentation because she gave a lot of insight on being successful. She also gave us a lot of useful information about networking and people in the Saint Louis area.

Five

Jenn Cloud. Jenn was a lot of fun and full of energy. She really connected with the class and brought herself to our level so we could relate to her. Jenn motivated the class and told us about all her mess ups so that we know that even if we completely screw up we should not give up. Her message was to keep trying and take every opportunity we get and I am going to take that to heart.

Four

Going to Switch. I was not sure what to expect from Switch since I did not know anything about them. I figured they would be some small business. When we arrived their entrance was kinda tiny and it only confirmed my idea of them being small. When we finally went inside I was proven completely wrong. Switch was ginormous and as our tour went on it only got bigger. Besides seeing the place learning about an actual branding agency was neat too. Seeing that the stuff our class is learning can make such an impact put a new perspective on the subject.

#PBandJterm Switch

Brittany and Marko under the Switch logo

Three

Using Google+. I always enjoy using Google products (everyone knows that). Having a Google Plus Community page for everyone to communicate on was exciting to me. I think Google Plus is a great way for any group of people to communicate and I believe everyone should use it. Any excuse to make people use it is good enough for me.

Two

Using Google Drive. Google Drive is a powerful tool. Managing all the documents and assignments on there made the class very manageable. I honestly do not think I would have been able to keep up with the assignments due every night if it were not for the utilization of Google Drive. Once again, I believe everyone should use Google Drive.

One

Having Jill Falk as a teacher! Jill is one of the most exciting and relatable teachers to have. She knows how to teach so that it is not only fun but effective. I may be biased, but she has an advantage over all other teachers because she uses Google Apps to manage her course work and it makes it easier not only for us students but I am sure for her as a teacher as well. I am glad I got to take another course with her and I am afraid to say that since this is my last semester at Lindenwood this was my last chance to take a course with her. Thanks for the great class Jill!

#PBandJterm Switch

The whole #PBandJterm Class. Photo courtesy of Jill Falk.

Why You Should Get A Chromebook

Chromebook Logo

My Samsung Chromebook

What don’t you do on the web?

Many functions an average, everyday, person does on a computer are all web based. Movies, music, socializing, and even all the Microsoft Office applications can all be done through the web. Google has realized this when making Chrome OS and the Chromebook.

I often find friends and peers looking to upgrade their laptops and are getting mediocre devices that are at an awkward in-between of too powerful for what they mostly do and too expensive for the hardware/life span of the device. To elaborate my point, a Chromebook is literally the best thing you can get with your money.

For $250 the Samsung Chromebook (my Chromebook) can:

  • Browse the entire web using Google Chrome
  • Check all your important social medias.
  • Play Spotify.
  • Video Chat.
  • Has HDMI out so you can hook it up to a TV.
  • CAN STREAM NETFLIX.

When looking at all that, it does not leave much else to be desired.

Browsing For A Tablet?

Another time to consider a Chromebook is when shopping for a tablet. Many ten inch tablets cost around the $400-500 price range. One of the coolest parts about a ten inch tablet is consuming content on a bigger screen while still being portable. Yet again the Chromebook can satisfy these needs for cheaper. Most Chromebooks have around a ten inch screen and even come with HDMI so it can book hooked up to a bigger screen without any proprietary cables.

Many tablet users find they need/want keyboards in order to input to the device easier. The Chromebook already has a keyboard built in while still being a slim and light weight device. Chromebooks excel in portability. I carry mine everywhere with me and it never gets in the way. It holds a charge well too. A full charge lasts me a whole weekend out (depending on use of course). Another worry gone is dropping the device. With tablets you are carrying around a ten inch piece of open glass. Chromebooks, however, close. I have dropped my Chromebook many times and it is able to take a hard fall to the ground with no problem.

Possible Objections

The only downside to Chromebooks is heavy workloads. This may either be programs that require a lot of processing power such as the Adobe Creative Suite or computer gaming. I take care of these necessities on my custom built desktop computer (which will be discussed on another post). I generally do projects at my desk anyways which is more practical for a workstation setup fit for a powerful desktop. I highly suggest not investing in an $800+ laptop though because for the same price you can get a Chromebook and make a powerful desktop computer. Also, if writing documents offline might be an issue for you it can do that too.

Fanboy Aside, Humor Me.

My Chromebook is an ultra portable, seven hour battery life, Netflix, web browsing, instant word processing, HDMI out machine. It finds it way to be useful in my life every day and I found myself going to it more than my laptop because it is easier to throw around and it boots up in less than 10 seconds. Even if you don’t trust me just take a look at the top laptops on Amazon.

Going from Nexus 4 to the 5

Nexus 4 and 5

The LG Nexus 4 and 5.

The Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 was released by Google and LG in November of 2012. It was the fourth phone released by Google and it debuted Android’s Jelly Bean 4.2.1. It was the first Nexus device to be so hyped up that its release (online on the Google Play Store) crashed Google’s Play Store’s site for purchasing it.

Initially when the Nexus 4 came out I, of course, really wanted it but could not drop the $350-400. And the beauty of Nexus devices is that the transition is not immidiately necessary since they can all be updated to the latest version of Android either over the air or through a little bit of hacking around if your device is not officially supported.

However when I got my job at T-Mobile, the only carrier to actually sell the Nexus 4, I could not resist the discount I received on the phone. I wiped my Galaxy Nexus clean and handed it over to my dad (who loves it, by the way). I feel like the gap between the hardware on the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 is a big one. The era where smartphones were becoming powerful enough that the software cannot keep up with the hardware was right around this time.

I finally got my hands on the Nexus 4 and fell in love. I even used it as a tool to sell many customers the phone and spread the word of the Google phone. While using the Nexus 4 I never felt the hardware was outdated, too slow, or laggy. The phone does have a quad core processor and two gigabytes of ram, after all. But by the time I had gotten the Nexus 4, in June 2013, it had already been out for 8 months and Google releases a new one every year around November. So, naturally, November came around and the Nexus 5 came out.

The Nexus 5

When the Nexus 5 was being released (with the extremely anticipated Android 4.4 Kitkat) I almost clicked the “Add to cart” button the minute I saw it come up. Not only did the Nexus 5 have one of the sleekest designs of a Nexus phone yet, it debuted in two colors, black and white, and two different memory sizes, 16 and 32 gigabyte. I decided against the Nexus 5 at first though because I came to the same conclusion as last time, my Nexus 4 was upgradeable to the Android 4.4 update and also the hardware was still keeping up. The want for the device never fully dissipated because I knew eventually the Nexus 5 would show up in my work and the discount is too sweet to pass up. The night I finally realized I could purchase the Nexus 5 was the same night I got to try on Google Glass so I was already on a high of Google excitement.

Comparing The Two Devices

Tonight I finally received my Nexus 5. When comparing my experience between the 4 and 5 I would have to say the biggest upgrade is with the hardware build. The 5 has a beautiful screen with slightly thinner bezels. The back of the phone has a rubberized plastic feel, just like the Nexus 7 2013, so it feels nice and secure in your hands. Software wise there is really no upgrade. The 4 still felt very snappy for me and I did not feel I needed better internal hardware. However I am glad I have the 5 solely for how nice the phone looks and feels.

Marisa Lather

Saint Louis Fashion Week Bloggers

Marisa Lather, an STL Fashion Week Blogger
Photo from STL Fashion Week

Marisa Lather is a Saint Louis native. She is the Marketing Director at Microgrid Solar, a Midwest company that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Marisa is also into fashion, music, and social media.

Digital Integrity

Marisa’s presentation was on digital integrity. She discussed the importance of having a social media presence that is fun and personal but also looks good in the professional world. This does not mean you cannot post anything fun you did on the weekend but just to be very cautious of what you do post and how it looks to everyone.

Marisa said she has two different Facebook profiles. One that is public for employers, coworkers, and colleagues to friend her on and the other for her friends and family. I, personally, am not a fan of multiple social media accounts for the same person. It can be confusing. If you must do it at least have some apparent distinction dividing the two.

A good tip for deciding what content to post, that Marisa explained, is to pretend you have to explain it to your grandma. So if it is hard to explain or maybe a little radical then you, more than likely, should not post it.

She also advised auditing all your social media accounts. Do a sweep through of all of them and analyze the type of image they create for you. Do they all say the same thing about you? Do they all have the same type of content? Are they all connected? This is important to analyze if you care about how people view you on the web.

A good guide of what to post, according to Marisa, is: your awards, accomplishments, skills, volunteer work, and work related stuff (as long as your employer does not mind). You should be proud of awards your receive and do not be afraid to post about them and showcase them. Same goes for accomplishments. If you achieved something then make a post about it. Volunteer work is a great thing to post about because you can connect with the company/organization you did the work for/with. And if you are proud of something you did at work then why not post about it? It will show some initiative and engagement to your employer.

I also asked Marisa her thoughts on something Jess Leitch mentioned yesterday. Jess said, when looking at possible interns, that she did not even look at their Facebooks. Marisa said that there is a decline in younger crowds getting Facebooks. I would assume, that with how open and public the idea of Facebook is, and how associated with spam it is, that people would disregard the credibility of a Facebook account. Why go to a Facebook when you could see someone’s LinkedIn? Heck, even Twitter gives you a better idea of who someone really is (at least in the media/communications scene) than someone’s Facebook.

My Thoughts On Digital Integrity

As a general rule for myself, I only post things that I believe a general consensus of people would enjoy. I started to really monitor things I post one time when I was partaking in adult beverages and wanted to Tweet something comical a friend said. I knew my professional life was going to become a thing soon so I had an epiphany and decided against it. Looking back I’m glad I did. Like most people, I want to be seen as fun and show an enjoyable personality on social media but I also want to be seen as a respectable professional.

Jess Leitch

Jess Leitch Dancing

Jess Leitch Dancing

Donuts. What better way to introduce yourself to people than by giving them donuts? Jess obviously knows how to communicate with an audience. It must be why she is so successful at networking. Jess is the community manager at Alive Magazine. She obtained this position simply by maintaining a blog. In her presentation she detailed all her experiences and humbly explained how she got where she is today.

Blogging

Jess really emphasized sticking with your blog. While discussing her blog, City In a Jar, Jess talked about how bad some of her earlier posts were. Looking at the older blogs I would disagree but it is encouraging to hear that she stuck with it despite her doubt. I certainly do not think my writing is the best and that discourages me from wanting to blog. However, seeing how far Jess made it just by having a blog I will definitely do my best to keep posting good content on the web in hopes of making my brand the best it can be.

Posting for Companies

The thought of posting content as a company’s brand is intimidating. I have no plans to do this any time soon but I have thought about the idea before. I took the opportunity to ask Jess how she handles it. She mentioned that Alive is a little lax and basically gave her reign to posts how she wants (of course she is cautious and does a great job). She did say that she knows others who post content for more prestigious companies and they have more strict guidelines and have certain things they are required to post.

Take Every Opportunity

Jess encouraged us to take every opportunity we are handed. She has held many positions and taken many jobs and has so much experience. She said she even flew an airplane! Experiencing different events, environments, and cultures make you a more well rounded person. I often hate the idea that we have to take so many “useless” required courses. Even though they take up time where I could be learning stuff that pertains to my future I am still broadening my horizons.

Degrees Are Very 2013

Jess brought up multiple times how she does not actually have a college degree (she is one math class short). Even though most frown upon this I think it stands to make a good point. Experience is way more important than a piece of paper. Jess said she would rather hire someone who has written lots of good material rather than someone who has taken multiple writing courses but cannot write worth squat.

Saint Louis Is Smaller Than You’d Think

There are so many names that have been dropped in the past couple weeks. With all the connections that have been establish I have observed many connections between people from Saint Louis. Jess told us about the Buzz List Party which is a gathering of the most influential people in Saint Louis. I definitely plan on attending and networking there. If that doesn’t help me spread my name and make my brand better then I’m hopeless.

Jenn Cloud

Jenn Cloud came to guest speak at #PBandJterm class the other day. She was definitely the most relatable guest speaker I have ever experienced. When she snuck in the back of the class, before she made her presence know, I almost thought she was just another student (with fire red hair). I got the wonderful opportunity to help put a little bit of Google into her presentation by having her Chrome Remote Desktop to Jill’s computer due to her proprietary MacBook video out port. Once Jenn started her presentation is when the antics started.

Background

Jenn Cloud is a “Webgeek, video producer, marketing freelancer.” To me she just sounds like a young adult enjoy the perks of the interwebs. Which is what I respect about her. She is passionate about everything she does and she is very humble about it.

Jenn has a  website that she seldom posts to, blog where she posts charitable stuff she does, a Twitter and Google Plus, and a YouTube where she posts projects from all the different things she does.

What I Learned From Jenn

Jenn’s whole presentation was very inspirational. I could tell that she genuinely cared about my whole class and wanted to share all of her tips and tricks with all of so that we could be as successful and she is.

A big part of Jenn’s presentation was about making mistakes. When she started she began by throw Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at us and saying random things, completely out of context. Eventually she started to explain that they were things people have said to her in the past. She went on to tell us the very embarrassing stories, like when the announcer at the fashion show said “I didn’t even realize you were wearing clothes!”( or something along the lines of that). We all had a good laugh. This was a great way for Jenn to start her speech because it showed all of us that she was a real person. We all can relate to making big mistakes and she said that this will happen in our lives and that it is okay.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” This was my favorite quote from Jenn that she got from Eleanor Roosevelt. This is the easiest way to get out of your comfort zone to try new things. The best kind of person is someone who has done and tried everything.

Jenn mentioned a hobby of sitting on the couch and eating Doritos (she apparently really likes Doritos). I believe this was important for the class to hear because as we are learning about all these professionals we just associate them with work. Knowing that they still have fun helps into the professional word and gives us a piece of mind that we can still be weird and have fun.

There were a quite a few different jobs that Jenn had revolving around her having a great personal brand. This gave the whole class a real world example of how beneficial it is to be seen and out there. She even let us all know of a great job opportunity through Vantage Credit Union

There was one thing that especially stuck out to me. Jenn said she hardly writes out long blog posts. Amidst all these tiring 500 word blogs that was kind of a relief to hear. Jenn loves to Tweet and said it was her favorite way of expressing herself. I do appreciate Twitter and I believe I will lean on it as my favorite platform too.

#PBandJTerm Week 2

Week two of PBandJterm has been nuts. We made our focus about content. Everyone that browses the web consumes content (if that wasn’t obvious). Content IS everything that is on the web. Your favorite blogs, videos, pictures, literally everything.

Creating Content

In my last blog post I talked about what content means to me. To summarize (if you cannot simply click a link) I feel I do not create enough content. I consume a crap load of it, mostly on reddit, but, for how involved I am in the web, my ratio of content consumed to content created is lack luster.

Brands You Should Know

The class was then assigned different “Brands You Should Know. We all created presentations on really super duper popular people with great online brands. My presentation was on Pete Cashmore.

Who Is Pete Cashmore?

I am glad you asked. Pete is the creator and CEO of the website Mashable.com. Mashable is a kinda news/blog site that is geared a lot towards technology. Pete started Mashable from his parents house, in Scotland, at the age of 19.

Pete used to be the only blogger for Mashable. Eventually he started hiring more and more content creators and is now the CEO. He has a great vision for innovation. He is always talking about the future and how it will affect everyone in all different industries. Many interview him to hear his genius ideals (and also to get a glimpse at that pretty boy face of his).

It is great that there is a very young sought after professional in the industry that is so passionate about technology and what it holds for everyone. I can really relate to Pete and I find him inspirational.

Impromtu Hangout+ With Scott Stratten

Google Plus Hangout Scott Stratten

While my classmate Michael Sprague was doing his presentation on Scott Stratten (the man behind Unmarketing), naturally, the class was blowing up Scott’s twitter feed with mentions of his handle(@Unmarketing). Next thing you know Scott is asking to do a Skype video chat. Of course, I was not having any of that so I made Scott “begrudgingly” agree to a Google Plus Hangout video chat (which is 10000000000 times better anyways).

Scott was probably one of the best people we could have picked to do this with. He was hilarious (not even close to Jae hilarious though) and was willing to answer any questions Jill or my classmates had. I think he was just as excited for this opportunity as we all were.

Guest Speaker Jenn Cloud

Jenn cloud is a young Saint Louis native with a great brand that took the time to be a guest speaker at #PBandJterm. She started her presentation by saying these out of context lines directly to single students and threw Reese’s at them when they responded.

You spelled DD Pujols’ name wrong!

Huh?

*Gets hit by Reese’s*

She then explained that all the phrases were things professionals have told her along her career path. Hearing her stories of all these unfortunate mishaps were more than entertaining. It was a great way to present to us because it made her easy to relate to. Most of us in the class are getting ready to graduate and we are not sure where to even start. But Jenn gave us great direction, motivation, and useful tips to help our brand. She came off more as a friend than some intimidating professional and I’m ecstatic that she spent some time with the class.

Video of Hangout+ with Scott Stratten

Video courtesy of Jae