Author Archives: AdamAssessesAthens
I really like this recording. This recording is good. I like it when this recording tells me I’ve been bad. This recording thinks VCR is just as good as DVR.
What has become Leo Kottke’s distinctive style of playing is displayed on this album, which was recorded at Tacoma Records in 1969. As the title implies, the album consists of his playing instrumental tracks on both 6 and 12 string guitars. The compositions are a mix of folk, blues, and jazzy styles of playing and he displays his proficiency in fast finger work, slide guitar, and at times, he throws in a little bit of flamenco. The result of his unique style of playing and polyphonic, textured melodies coax your ears into believing that you are listening to two musicians playing simultaneously; one of my favorite attributes of Kottke.
Like many artists who create instrumental works, he chooses to give his songs long, nonsensical names in lieu of actual lyrical musings. This track will make you as moist as a snack cake down there.
Larry’s Dog House is definitely one of my favorite places to go eat questionable meats in phallic form for a very reasonable price. I feel as if its one of the most over-looked eating establishments in Athens and its right under your nose. Oddly enough, its located a few seconds past Lucky Dog on West Union Street, so you should definitely check it out the next time you make a liquor run.
They have a pretty standard menu full of things that make me proud to be an American; foot-long chili dogs, hamburgers, fries, fish, chicken in its many forms, hand-spun milk shakes, and even pork tenderloin. I have never ordered anything besides the foot-longs and fries but I would assume that it is all just as satisfying.
The thing I really like about Larry’s is that I feel out of place when I go there. The crowd there consists mostly of locals and there’s always tons of little kids and old people there. It definitely has a very down home, mom and pop kind of feel to it. Every Wednesday is Weenie Wednesday where you can get a hotdog for 99 cents. What a deal.
I’m actually very impressed by Larry’s use of social media as a means of advertising and interacting with their customer base. I have a feeling that they have one of their younger employees that runs their Facebook page because the man who owns it (Larry Young) is old and presumably, a social media virgin.
Their Facebook page has a much higher amount of “likes” than I would have expected, coming in at a staggering 3, 229 people. In addition to this, they have claimed their business on FourSquare and made it so that it shows up when people “Check-In” at their establishment. Out of all the groups I’ve looked at so far, Larry’s and Casa Nueva are the only places I have seen that utilize FourSquare for their social media needs.
They update their Facebook page nearly every day, which is something I cant say about most of the other pages I’ve looked at. Even when the information becomes repetitive every week (Weenie Wednesdays has 99 cent hot dogs) it is still important that you let people know. They have weekly specials and post calendars of those specials for your weenie eating convenience, all to show that they care about their customer.
When someone posts on their wall, they generally make an effort to let that person know that their thanks is appreciated. For instance,
someone recently posted on their wall telling them their family enjoyed the birthday cake that Larry’s Dog Shack made for them and Larry’s “liked” the post. It’s something very easy for businesses to do and it is another way to show your customer that you listen to what they say.
Another cool feature of their Facebook page is a tab that I’ve never seen that allows you to review the restaurant and give it a star-rating. This is a risky feature to put on your website unless you’re very sure about your product and its quality because negative word-of-mouth can be much more influential than positive.
There Facebook page also links you to their website which doesn’t have very much content at the moment except for a menu and some et ceteras. It is, however, being built but there is no date of completion set.
They don’t have a Twitter account so I can’t really comment on them in that capacity but it would be something that could be beneficial to them. Many people have their FourSquare accounts linked up with their Twitters so whenever someone checks-in to Larry’s, it is all for naught. This is an avenue they should consider following to increase the connectivity with their fans that praise their fine dining establishment.
Even though they are only really active on Facebook, Larry’s does a good job of leveraging their page as a resource for their fans to find out what’s going on in their store. I’m pretty impressed. Kudos, Larry!
Courtside, or C-Side, as it is colloquially known, is a very popular bar in Athens, Ohio, and it is one of my personal favorites. When I look back on my college experiences, I will think about all the good times (and money) I spend there with all my friends and strangers. It’s definitely one of the best place to go to watch your favorite sporting event because of their reasonable drink prices, decent music selection and wide variety of patrons. Nearly everyone on this campus is aware of their Wednesday Slice Nights, where you can get a slice of cheese pizza for 50 cents and a slice with pepperoni for 75 cents. How can you beat a deal like that?
They aren’t very active in the social media world, as they only have a Facebook page and a few unclaimed destinations on FourSquare. On their Facebook, they currently have 1,313 friends, which means that they are using Facebook as a “person” and not as a page. This is something they should look into updating.
They don’t post things on their Wall very often, but they are very good about keeping up with peoples friend requests. They do, however, make events for things that are going on at their bar like today’s Green Beer Day event and yesterdays Fat Tuesday Celebration. The bar also does a good job of keeping up with photos that people take when they’re at the bar which helps you get a feeling for what kind of atmosphere they have.
The problem with their current Facebook profile is that there isn’t a way for people to interact with it other than “liking” or commenting on posts that Courtside makes. They can still post to other peoples walls as Courtside Pizza but they’re missing out on a lot of interactivity and information that could be gathered using the New Facebook Group Pages.
It would be beneficial for them to consider getting a Twitter account because I know a lot of people that @tag them or #tag them, but this really doesn’t serve a purpose. If Courtside would hop on the Twitter wagon, they could interact with their fans more directly than they can on their Facebook profile.
Also, it would be a good idea for the fellas at Courtside to claim their venue on FourSquare so people have a legitimate place to “Check-In” to. Between the 3 venues listed on FourSquare, there are nearly 1,000 “Check-Ins” at Courtside which is no number to sneeze at.
Basically, what I’m saying is Courtside is pretty bad at using social media and they should do their best to improve their performance in this increasing social world of ours.
Compared to a lot of other schools, Ohio University’s Greek community comprises a small part of the student population. With about 33 Greek-letter organizations, both social and academic, there are about 1,600 students involved at our university, which works out to about 11% of the student body. This seems like a high percentage but when you tell someone you’re a member of a Greek organization at OU, people generally pass judgment on you and pigeonhole you as a “bro” or “sorostitute.”
There are many reasons why people join Greek organizations; to meet new people, they might have had a family member that was a part of the organization, some people do it to get out of living in the dorms sophomore year, some want to be involved in the politics within the frat and IFC, and some people do it just to network. Whatever their reason, there is a lot that can be gained from joining a Greek organization.
Once you are a member, you own part of the organization, have a closer bond with your brothers/sisters, and strive to attain a certain amount of respect for the organization you’re a part of. I was in a frat for about 3 years of my college experience and it provided me with some of the best memories of my college experience. Even though I’m no longer a member, it still holds a place in my heart and I encourage others to join if it’s something that they’re interested in.
Ohio University’s Greek Life’s use of social media is both good and bad. They have a Facebook and a Twitter account, both of which post important, pertinent information about what is going on in their Greek community. However, it appears that they interact with other organizations more than they do with individual students. If I were in charge of their social media, it would make more sense to me to direct my attention at individuals to show that you’re really concerned with the person and not just getting your recruitment numbers higher.
The Greek Life Facebook Page currently has 526 “likes,” which amounts to about one-third of the total members on campus. This is surprising to me because most people that are involved in Greek organizations take a lot of pride in their chapter and Greek life in general. My friends that are in Greek organizations “like” their chapters on Facebook and often make posts on Facebook and Twitter about things that are going on in their chapter.
They aren’t as active on Facebook as they are on Twitter, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because there are a lot more students on Facebook. Their most recent post is from October 4, 2010, and the post before it is from August 17th, 2010, and most of the posts are things that would only appeal to people already involved. Since I’m assuming that most of the people that “like” their page are already part of Greek Life, it makes sense why they post the things they do such as links to the new OUWPA and IFC websites.
The info section on their page leads you most places you would need to go; their office, website, phone number, Twitter page, et cetera. However, they just have their Twitter handle listed and encourage you to follow them but I think it would be more helpful to just have a committed link to their page.
Aside from their posts, its been over a month since anyone has posted on their wall and this makes me think that they don’t care about the organization. I know this probably isn’t the case but if you have a public page advocating a certain organization, it would make sense to me that you would want to keep people updated on what is going on.
As I said before, they are a lot more active on their Ohio University Greek Life Twitter account than they are on their Facebook. If someone is taking the time to update their Twitter almost every day, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t put the same information on their other pages. It’s very easy to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts with services like HootSuite or by looking at the Twitter apps that are a part of the new Facebook pages. I think this is something they should look into.
Even though they are more active on their Twitter account, they still run into the same problem that they have with their Facebook account; they focus more on interacting with organizations rather than individuals. They often retweet other student organizations events and things related to individual Greek chapters on the campus. For instance, they commend people when it is their chapters Founders Day and events that are going to be taking place in this years Greek Week.
Like I said before, Greek Life isn’t extremely popular here at Ohio University but I think that if they could make it sound more appealing and show that there are a lot of people that really enjoy it by using their social media outlets more effectively.
Klout is a website that provides you with in-depth information about how influential you are in your social networks. Ohio University Greek Life comes in with a moderate score of 35, whereas my influence score is 45.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Chubb hall used to be the old location of Ohio University’s library? I bet you didn’t!
Alden Library can be both your best friend and your worst enemy. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent at least 40% of my college career sitting in this building (It’s where I’m currently posted/posting) and I actually have a love for the place. In my time here, they have done a good job at connecting with students and trying to improve their experiences while they’re here.
A lot of people have trouble navigating to their site from Ohio University’s homepage (I know because I was on Alden Library’s Student Public Relations Committee) and even then, people don’t know how to use the wealth of resources available to them. One of the easiest ways to get help from the librarians is by directly having instant message conversations with them or even having a Skype conversation if you were so inclined.
When you first arrive on Alden’s homepage, you can see that they have both Twitter and Facebook accounts and the ability to subscribe to their various RSS feeds. Both of their uses of the social media platforms are very informative and interactive, however, they also have a YouTube channel, but no link to it from their home page.
I hadn’t looked at their Facebook page in a long time and they are really taking advantage of the wealth of features available for use in the new pages. I find that their Facebook page is 10 times easier to navigate than their actual web page.
Their Facebook page allows you to do all the (“important”) things you could do on their website but its all in one easy place on their sidebar. For example, there are links to all of Ohio University’s yearbooks, their YouTube channel, IM a Librarian, subscriptions to their RSS feeds, InfoTree and Alice Online Catalog. In addition to that, they have components I didn’t know existed in the social media world; the ability to search for books and site them in your required format (CiteMe) and a service that allows you to search for books in libraries all over the world (WorldCat).
In addition to all of these
They are very active on Twitter and thank people for mentioning them or retweeting things that they’ve said.
I’ve had the joy of having Alden respond to one of my tweets about something that had been a bone of contention with me for some time:
- HumbleMumble: @AldenLibrary Idk whose idea it was to put extension chords on all these tables on the 3rd floor but it is a much appreciated improvement
- AldenLibrary: @humblemumble Glad to hear it – and thanks for letting us know. We appreciate the feedback.
I really do appreciate when I know that there is someone listening to me, even if it is just a librarian avoiding work by tweeting at its “customers.” However, I was kind of upset when I noticed that they got new covers on the seats in the cafe and they didn’t respond back to me. I’ve since gotten over this.
Klout is a website that provides you with in-depth information about how influential you are in your social networks. I’m surprised at how low Alden Libraries number is because I’m technically more influential. Alden comes in with a score of 44, where mine is a score of 45.
Out of all the businesses I’ve examined so far, I’ve found that Haffa’s Records has one of the more personal relationships with their customers than I’ve seen with others. If not for the large hipster population in Athens, I’m not sure that this place would be able to stay afloat.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought a record (LP, EP, CD, etc) and my only friends I know that do buy them are ones that are graduated and have jobs. When you’re in college and have limited funds, you don’t usually make buying music a very high priority, especially when its available so easily for (free?) downloading.
Before I actually attended Ohio University, my father and I would come down to Athens every President’s Day weekend to go camping. He is an alumni of Ohio University so it served a two-fold purpose for us to come here; bonding time and an opportunity for him to tell me the same boring stories over and over again.
I’ve always been a big music fan, to the point where it is a bit of an addiction; I’m that friend you ask for new suggestions…super pretentious. Whenever we would make our way into town, I always had to stop into Schoolkids Music (what we now know as the poster store) and Haffa’s Records (which used to be located in the basement on the building that currently houses it).
This is the Haffa’s I remember oh-so-fondly; the place where I bought Soundgarden’s “Superunknown,” the Beastie Boys “Hello Nasty,” Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead,” and many others.
I have lots of great memories about buying loads of records every time I came down here, but I don’t think I’ve stepped into the store since I’ve attended this school.
Since Union street begins the ascent into hipster territory, a lot of people aren’t aware that a record store even exists in Athens. Unless you’re a hippie, professor, townie, on a shuffle, or ride a fixed gear, you won’t find your average student heading in that direction. I would think that the folks at Haffa’s would want to try to make themselves more visible by promoting around campus, actually having a website or Twitter account, or even just getting a flashier sign.
These guys aren’t very internet savvy or they just don’t care, but I have to get down to the analysis portion of my blog post. They only have a MySpace and Facebook page and it appears that they only use the latter for promoting their business.
Their Facebook page currently has 854 “likes” and from the looks of it, a lot of the people are non-student, record enthusiasts. Their information section doesn’t offer too much….information; basically, it has their hours, the products the offer (What do record stores sell?), and a link to their Facebook page (on their Facebook page). I find it rather humorous that they say they’re “Athens, Ohio’s, last independent record store,” because they’re Athens only record store.
They don’t make too many posts on their wall except for the occasional musing about a certain song or artist that they happen to be listening to in the store that day. The thing that I do find really endearing is the way that they use Facebook to interact with their fans and respond to their queries. I consider myself to be quite the cognisant of music and a lot of the records people inquire about are nowhere to be found in my archive of a brain.
For instance (via Haffa’s FB page):
- Customer: Can you guys order me a CD copy of Middle Brother’s new album which comes out March 1st?
- Haffa’s: Yes, We’ll save one for you.
- Customer: Awesome thanks guys
….A few days later
- Customer: Is that in for Tusday?
- Haffa’s: It’s here, set behind the counter for you.
That’s a really nice way for a business and their customer base to interact with one another on a very personal level. People are always worrying that computers and social networks are going to be the end of interpersonal skills and pretty soon everyone is going to be a cyborg or something; no way. We just need to find new ways to foster relationships that are supplemented by social networks, much like Haffa’s has done.
So, yeah…they’re not that active on Facebook but it must not be much of a problem for them (as far as business is concerned) because they’ve been open for a pretty long time.
Maybe it’s just me, but logic would dictate that if you had a website other than your Facebook page, you would make some effort to direct traffic from one to the other. Regardless, their Facebook page does not tell you that they have a MySpace but it does come up (2 results) before their Facebook in a Google search.
Their MySpace page has currently has 476 friends, which is considerably less than their Facebook page. This page seems to be devoted more to their personal predilections in regards to music and then showing some support for local acts as well. The other part that puzzles me about their MySpace coming up first in a Google search is that it looks like they haven’t been active on their account in years. Their last blog post is from 2008 and its been 144 days since someone last posted a comment; they should probably deactivate it?
For the purposes of my analysis, they do a really poor job of utilizing social media; on a personal level, I’m almost envious of what they do. If I had been born 20 years earlier, I could see myself owning a record store, albeit in a larger city. I love hearing what music other people listening to, pontificating, and then referring them to something they may not have heard before. I’d be sad to see a day when there are no more record stores, but I know that its almost inevitable. Maybe in 30 years they’ll become kitschy like 50’s Cafes and I can relieve some adolescent memories.
From Rural Action.org “Rural Action builds model sustainable development projects and encourages a broad civic conversation around Appalachian Ohio’s assets in order to create sustainable development paths for the region.”
For my Communications and Campaigns class, my group was approached by Rural Action to bring attention to the Waste Stream Management problems in Athens County. Currently, we are only able to handle a very small portion of all of the garbage that the community creates and people need to know this. I was charged with creating the various social media outlets for it and this is my analysis of what I did and why.
The use of social media outlets as a marketing tool has been gaining a lot of momentum over the past few years. Both small businesses and corporations alike are finding more and more that the ability to be in direct contact with their consumers on a social level is very beneficial and integral to their marketing mix. It has given organizations the ability to see what people are saying about their products and services and allows them to throw their hat into that conversation.
Not only does it let the company respond to what people are saying but it also helps the customer feel like their voice matters. It is both exciting and dangerous because if people aren’t speaking highly of your organization, word can travel quickly and not always have the best results.
For the Rural Action Waste Stream Management campaign, the client wished to reach out to the student body to make them aware of how inefficient Athens waste management really is. By bringing about this awareness, they hope to get the student body involved in changing these practices and taking responsibility for the waste they create.
Since a large majority of the Ohio University student body is active on multiple social networks, namely Facebook and Twitter, it made the most sense that these would be the major outreach tools to use. For the purposes of this campaign, the Facebook page acts as a starting point that then links people to other pages and resources related to the clients organization.
In the past couple of months, Facebook has completely revamped their group pages and added a lot of functionality that lets you to reach out to people in extremely beneficial ways. The pages still have the familiar wall, discussions, event posts, information page and photo section but they have added the ability to do a lot of customization to create a more personal feeling.
With the new Static Facebook Markup Language feature, you can add customizable tabs to the left sidebar on your Facebook page. I utilized this by adding a “Like” button to the page and a link to both the Rural Action website and the Rural Rambler YouTube channel.
Another feature of the new pages allows you to get more feedback from your fans and add further customization is the app feature. These are applications that you can add to your left task bar and profile tabs at the top of your page. I added a poll app, positing a simple question “Do you separate all your recyclables into multiple bins?” with the ability to answer “Yes” or “No.” While this is a simple question, you could use this to gather a wealth of information from your followers.
To add value to the pages content and further its purpose as an aggregate page, I added a couple RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds into the sidebar. The purpose of these is to provide people with more information about the topic related to our Facebook group page. I used a couple different apps for this; the Simple RSS Tab scrapes Huffington Post’s Green section of their website every 30 minutes and updates our page with new articles; the other is called RSS Graffiti and it scrapes the Rural Rambler, EarthDay.org, and the Environmental News Network every 30 minutes to post to the Facebook wall.
It used to be that when you had a group page on Facebook, you could post on other peoples pages but only as the administrator. With the new pages, you can post on others pages as your page, i.e., you have the ability to post on Ohio University’s page as Waste Stream Management instead of as Adam Horst. The advantage of this is that you can reach out to like minded groups and people and it gives more personality to your page. I reached out to many Ohio University schools, programs and students that I felt could be beneficial to our clients cause like Recyclemania, OU Involvement, Ohio University Community Service and OU Greek Life.
Another great feature, Facebook Insights, allows you to see what elements of your page are drawing in the most traffic. For instance, it shows the views of your wall, events, information, tabs on your left task bar, RSS feeds, etc. This allows you to improve the elements that aren’t garnering as much attention and continue to focus on the things people are most interested in.
While Facebook is good for getting people to rally around your cause or let them know about an event, Twitter is better for carrying on a conversation and driving traffic to our website. On Twitter, I followed like minded people that are concerned about the environment and human well-being in general. Additionally, we followed local groups and businesses that are in the same vein of environmental and progressive thinking as Rural Action. The page acts as an abridged version of our Facebook page, as it will direct you there if you choose to follow our link and also allows people to watch a quick YouTube video to learn more about the program.
It is very important that you make all of your social media outlets in a uniform manner, in a sense, making sure that your “brand” is the same across all platforms. You achieve this by using the same logo, name and websites and link them all together. To make sure that all of our pages are always updated with the same information, we used a couple different services to achieve this.
HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows you to control all of your accounts from one convenient location. You can link your blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts to this program and update them all at once. For instance, I set up another RSS feed to post to our Facebook and Twitter every three hours from NPR’s Environment section of their blog. Additionally, I linked our Twitter account to our Facebook so that if someone posts on one, it will update the other. All RSS content posted to our page from HootSuite and Twitter is funneled through the URL shortener Ow.ly and allows you to track clicks on those links as well.
Klout is a website that provides you with in-depth information about how influential you are in your social networks. Since I run the Waste Stream Management account, I’m sad to say that we come in with a score of 11, which should be higher, since my personal score is 45.
I’m actually pretty impressed by Casa Nueva’s use of social media in terms of all the services that they use and how they use each one for its intended purposes.
While looking at their home page, it’s easy to gather that you are looking at the website of a restaurant/bar/music venue. They have links to all of their various social media outlets, and they cover the whole gamut of them really. They have a MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and a link to their review page on Yelp. I especially enjoy the fact that they have a widget linked to their Foursquare account because it really gives their mayor a sense of pride.
While it is true that they have a presence on all of these sites, they use them two different purposes; promoting their business as a restaurant and promoting their business as a musical venue. On some of their sites, they downplay one or the other in order to appeal to whichever audience they’re trying to contact.
If you click on the link to their Twitter account, @CasaNuevaRest, you can see that they talk about food and drink specials for the day, different bands that will be playing, articles they think their locavore fans will enjoy, and when they’ll be having unexpected closings. This is all well and good, but they currently have only 156 followers so they’re not reaching a very large audience.
From their webpage you can also “like” them on Facebook, but all you end up doing is liking a link that takes you directly back to the website you were just on, casanueva.com. Also, the link to their Facebook page isn’t a Facebook page at all; its a link to some dudes profile who works at Casa (I’m still waiting to be accepted :/). The description of their business under info is “I like music and booze,” which, for their hipster crowd, is probably very appealing, but for anyone else, it sounds like it would be run by animals.
However, the profile does list the same kind of information that their Twitter account does and they let other people post to the page. The profile has 2,210 friends, which is a good number but I think they should also promote their other social media platforms and encourage others to connect with them there. Under their website listings, they only have links to their MySpace and website; they should definitely include others.
Their MySpace page is used mainly to connect with bands that have played at their venue or ones that they would like to see there in the future. It really makes a lot of sense from that aspect because most people don’t really use MySpace any more except for the purpose of promoting their bands.
While it doesn’t make sense for Ohio University to have a MySpace, it makes perfect sense that they would. If you look at their friends, most of them are bands and the page is full of info on upcoming shows, a music player demonstrating the types of groups that have played there and booking information.
I’m pretty impressed by the fact that they have a Foursquare widget linked to their account but they could be using it more effectively. Since they have a Yelp account also linked to their website, their Foursquare presence is basically serving the same purpose. Location-based marketing could be the next big thing and I think it would be cool to see them utilize this.
On Foursquare, you can claim a venue as your own, partner up with the company and create different events and incentives that would encourage more people to come and check-in at your business. For instance, they have a mayor of their establishment but she doesn’t really get any credit for it.
On their website, you can create certain conditions in which you would be able to offer your best customers incentives to keep coming back. You could make it so that if someone checks in there more than 20 times in 60 days then they would be sent a text message saying that they get a free margarita or something to that effect.
They have had 560 total check-ins from 252 different people which seems healthy for a geo-tagging service that is still used by a small portion of our society. It’s not a service you can name drop like Twitter where most people will know what you’re talking about.
Lastly, they have a link to Yelp showing that their average rating is 4 stars, something they should be proud of. The rating comes from 29 different people but they have more 4 and 5 star ratings than anything else. It’s a bold move, unless you’re an excellent establishment like Casa Nueva.
Overall, it is really impressive how they have their fingers in so many different social media dishes but they just need to make sure to link them all to one another and make sure that they have a clearly defined definition of what they are.
Klout is a website that provides you with in-depth information about how influential you are in your social networks. I’m sad to say that Casa Nueva has a pretty low score of 19, which means I’m much more influential with a score of 45.