Racist Names and Logos: A Sports Post

scomedy / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

scomedy / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

When does getting with the times trump tradition?  For some sports teams, apparently not anytime soon.

If it isn’t a name like Redskins or Braves, then it’s an image of a Native American as a face that’s half nose and completely red.

PositivelyCleveland / Family Photos / CC BY-SA

The culprits of using disparaging names and logos are the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Cleveland Indians.  Although the Indians, of the four, are the team with the least offensive name, they use the most offensive logo.

In an article I read on CSBSPORTS.com, “PR purge exacerbates Redskins’ offensive nickname,” by Will Brinson, a senior blogger, the Redskins’ recent attempt to sugarcoat their namesake was examined.  In an effort to justify the use of the name Redskins, the team has cited 75 different high school teams that use the name for their football team.  “The Redskins, apparently pleased with the public reaction from their first piece on their offensive nickname, released a second item on the team’s official blog entitled “Lamar High School: ‘Once a Redskin, Always a Redskin,” writes Brinson.

I say, shame on all of you. Shame on the Redskins. Shame on the high school teams that named their football team after this professional football team. Shame on the Braves, Blackhawks and the Indians.

While these names may have been acceptable in the past, they are still offensive and times have changed. It’s time for these teams to consider re-branding.  As Brinson points out, it is not like people will stop watching their favorite team just because the team has decided to become conscious of how awful their name or logo is.

I would go as far as to say, that for the die-hard fans that would cherish older merchandise like someone who collects Nazi memorabilia, the price of their collection would probably go up. It’s win-win, right?

Who knows? Re-branding could wash the bad taste out of the mouths of those who don’t care for such blatant racism, and then maybe they would start rooting for their local team.

Maybe a parody is in order.  Maybe someone should create a team called “Whitees” and the mascot could be Honey Boo Boo.  Just sayin’…

lwpkommunikacio / Foter.com / CC BY
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Top 5 Reasons to Intern at a Nonprrofit

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After completing a course at Ohio State University called “Rhetoric and Community Service,” I realized a few things about the importance of interning at a nonprofit. I also learned that even though you don’t have to take a course to intern at a nonprofit, doing so has its benefits.

About the course “rhetoric and community service”
In this course, I was instructed on how to get the most out of my experience with a nonprofit. In that, it helped to make writing for my nonprofit, Community Shelter Board, more effective. Additionally, this course provided feedback on my writing as well as interaction with other students interning at nonprofits.

CSB is a nonprofit that raises money and awareness for their mission to end homelessness in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. Here I was able to write for their social media, press releases and stakeholder emails.

Interning at a nonprofit
If unable to find a course like this at your college, internships are still one of the best ways to get real-world experience to apply what you are learning in your coursework for your major.

My experience with interning at CSB over the last four months has provided me with knowledge about the way nonprofits work, how to write for them and why this work is so important. But what about other students experience interning at a nonprofit?

In the blog post “5 Reasons To Intern With a Nonprofit,” by Natalie Dance, a marketing student at Brigham Young University, Dance details why she thinks you should intern at a nonprofit.

In addition to Dance’s reasons for interning at a nonprofit, below I provide my own top 5 as a student in a strategic communications major.

Top 5 reasons to intern at a nonprofit

    1)Engaging in your community
    I can’t think of a better way to take part in bettering your community than interning at a nonprofit. The experience is one you’ll carry with you for a lifetime, whether you better understand the importance of volunteering, do another internship at a nonprofit, or end up working for one.

    2)Writing for a cause
    When interning at a nonprofit, everything you write is for a greater cause. You’ll never be expected to work on a campaign to get children to want junk food or to develop products that have no social benefit. Writing for a nonprofit is a great way to hone in on your ability to engage in civic duty while learning how to write in the voice of your organization.

    3)Learning how to work on a deadline
    College students always have deadlines and this is also true in the workplace. Nonprofits are constantly working against the clock to raise funds and to get people to participate in functions and volunteer as well. Interning at a nonprofit will fortify your ability to accomplish what needs done in the workplace in a timely manner.

    4)Understanding the use of social media in the workplace
    As you can see in the blog post “How Non-Profits Relied on Social Media in 2012,” by Sam Laird, nonprofits rely on social media heavily. Nonprofits aren’t the only organizations that do so – many companies do. As students of the millennial generation, it will be expected that we know how to use social media and what better place to get a real-world application than an organization that often relies heavily on it.

    5)Building your resume and gaining a competitive advantage
    Virtuosity aside, having some experience at a nonprofit, whether it be an internship, volunteering or through post-college work experience, does look good on your resume. It displays both a desire to engage in your community as well as selflessness.

Interning for CSB has been one of the best and most fulfilling experiences in my college career. This is why I am glad to announce I will be doing another internship for CSB in the fall semester.

Best wishes to all my fellow students out there and may you all find the path that fits your journey into the workforce.

The One-Minute Writer and OneWord

 the waving cat / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

the waving cat / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


Whether looking for a creative outlet, searching for blog/writing prompts or trying to find a way to kill a minute or two, The One-Minute Writer and or OneWord are great websites to visit.

By taking a look at the post “The One-Minute Writer,” by M. Selene, you can see a good example of “The One-Minute Writer” bringing out the creative side in people and providing a prompt for blogging. This post is also an example of how easy it is to write past the minute time limit on “The One-Minute Writer.” Later, I will talk about why this isn’t the case with “OneWord.”

As both these websites are similar because they prompt you to write about something in one minute and that what you write can be posted on their website and read by anyone, I will focus on how they differ.

The Differences Between “The One-Minute Write” and “OneWord”

    With “The One-Minute Writer” you are given a topic such as “everyday heroes” whereas on “OneWord, you are only given one word, such as dashboard.

    Where “The One-Minute Writer” sometimes asks what your reaction to something is, “OneWord” will only give you the one word and then you respond in any fashion you’d prefer. Due to this “OneWord” lends itself to fictional writing.

    On “OneWord” your are told to stop when the minute is up and submit. This is not the case with “The One-Minute Writer”. As you can see in Selene’s blog and by viewing both minute writer websites, the result is longer posts on “The One-Minute Writer” compared to almost exclusively short posts on “OneWord.”

    “OneWord” gets more traffic in that there are more posts any given day. So if you are looking to read previous posts this website may be a better choice.

    “The One-Minute Writer” seems to be more family friendly as it suggests you write in your journal if your response may be inappropriate for all eyes. As “OneWord” doesn’t make any such suggestions the result is a speckling of “gritty” content.

Todays prompt on “OneWord” is “dashboard.” If you had only one minute, what would you write? Give it a shot in the comments section below.

Thanks for sharing and remember, only one minute.

Like, What’s the Deal with Saying Like so Much?

debaird™ / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

As a college student, I hear the word “like” more than any other word. I hear it in every class and used in every way. Whether it’s the smart student who can’t seem to get out whatever eloquent comment without saying “like” every five words or it’s someone who uses “like” as one of the five words they know, the word “like” is definitely a staple in the undergraduate experience.

Although saying like, in like, every sentence can be the most obnoxious display of lacking a good vocabulary, the post “Every language needs its, like, filler words,” written by Esther Inglis-Arkell, attempts to explain the importance of using words such as like, um and uh. Inglis-Arkell makes some great points, however she hardly makes a case for why and when like should not be used.

If you were wondering, there may be positives to using the word like. According to Inglis-Arkell, like can be used effectively when beginning to talk about what something or a situation was like. Also, she says that if we pay too much attention to not saying like, that it would hinder our ability to speak.

Even though like can be used appropriately, the WikiHow post “How to Stop Saying the Word Like,” makes it clear that the word is almost never necessary. Additionally, using the word like too much makes the speaker sound less credible and unsure of what they are saying. I know I am not the only one that finds it incredibly irritating.

If you want to sound more credible and sure of yourself when speaking, it might be best to discontinue using the word like altogether. This way, you won’t have to worry about using the word inappropriately.

WikiHows 9 Ways to Stop Using “Like” Inapropriately

    1) Know how the word “like” is supposed to be used.
    2) Pause when you typically insert “like.”
    3) Record yourself to see how often you use the word “like” incorrectly.
    4) Stop using “like” when quoting someone.
    5) Don’t use “like” to approximate.
    6) Stop using “like” before adjectives and adverbs.
    7) Improve your vocabulary.
    8) Quit using the word “like” altogether.
    9) Make sure to see how long you can go without saying the word “like” in an improper way.

If you’re like me, you could imagine catching yourself using like inappropriately here and there. But what if someone recorded you speaking? How much do you think you would say like?

Here’s to, like, using the word like less.

My Life On Twitter So Far

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I have mentioned before my reluctance to be involved with Twitter and in my last post teaching about how to use Twitter some of this reluctance still showed. I am going to be honest here, although not as reluctant, doing Twitter right still seems a tad daunting, but I won’t focus on that now.

So far, my presence on Twitter has exclusively been to complete class assignments. I have had to do a week of tweets, live tweeting an event and tweet chat in and out of class. And although tweeting has become a more natural thing to me, I have yet to fit it into my daily ritual.

As you can read in “Twitter: How to ruin your life in seconds” by Asian Image writer Sonia Ali, Twitter is considered a vital tool for communication, but that it can destroy reputations as well. Although I am not concerned with ruining my reputation via Twitter, I am beginning to see what it can do for me.

After my last assignment for Twitter, where I tweeted while listening to the speaker Drew Dudley from TED talks, I realized how easy it is to make strong connections with important people.

As I was listening to Dudley weave in and out of his inspirational stories about leadership and his past, I tweeted on several quotes I liked, gave him credit via his handle and thanked him for speaking that night.

After completing this assignment, I thought that was it, I’m done tweeting until close to graduation next year where I will start producing more regular professional oriented tweets. Then Dudley started following me and thanked me for attending.

Now that I have someone like Dudley following I am starting to think that I need to pick up the pace on my tweets and tweet even when there is no assignment to do so.

Luckily, the summer break is near and I will have more time to attend to my Twitter page appropriately as I would like to be able to keep people that I revere following me.

Wish me luck.

The Buzz About Busy Bees: Five Reasons People Need To Be Busy

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If half of what you read on Facebook is about how busy so-and-so is or all your friends constantly talk about how busy they are, reading this post might provide some insight into this busy culture.

In the blog post “On Being Busy,” by “Design Mom” blogger Amy Hackworth, she points out how people, in efforts to stay busy and to be able to say they are busy, add unnecessary things to their day to keep them running.

It makes me wonder if I do this. Are others doing this? Is this why everybody is able to legitimately claim they are so busy? Now that I have read the article “The Busy Trap,” by New York Times writer Tim Kreider, I believe it is so. Collectively, it seems that a whole bunch of us have decided busy means something important to us, so we all make ourselves busy.

“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day,” wrote Kreider.

To break down what saying your busy communicates to you and others, I’m providing this list of why we may be saying we are busy all the time (aside from being busy while at work because there you are usually unavailable).

5 REASONS WE NEED TO BE BUSY

    Believing we are busy provides self-importance and displays importance when we tell others about it.

    Being busy reassures our purpose. By adding things to the day that may not be necessary, we are filling in a potential void that may lead to feelings of doubt.

    Busyness is linked to success. If you aren’t busy all the time, you aren’t a success-oriented individual.

    Being a busy bee is the only way we can get everything done. Living as if every day is the only day that everything can be done and that there will not ever be any other time to do anything.

    Behaving like our peers is important. We hear and read about people filling their days to the brim and we feel the need to keep up with everyone, especially those whom we revere.

“It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do,” wrote Kreider.

I don’t want to say that it is bad to be busy, but maybe just not all the time.

Take time to do nothing every once and a while, let all that busyness go and try excluding talk of how busy you are and see if that makes any change in your life.

I would say good luck, but trust me, slowing down is easier than that.

Social Media For A Better Business

h.koppdelaney / Art Photos / CC BY-ND

Isn’t it enough to have a good business idea and the gumption to make it work? The answer can be yes, especially if your business plan includes exploiting social media to its greatest potential.

I recently viewed a business venture I am involved in from the perspective of a student trying to get a good grade in a communications audit group project. After completing this communications audit and yes, after getting an A, it was easy to see that social media will play an integral part in the venture’s success. It was a simple conclusion to make; we want more business and expanding our social media reach is a cheap and effective way to expose our product and interact with our consumer base.

But where is the proof?

Aside from heavy coverage in most strategic communications texts, a great example of social media success can be found in in the New York Times article “Naughty in Name Only,” by Nicole Perlroth. This article provides a detailed account on how Sophia Amoruso used social media and other business savvy techniques to bring her online vintage clothing store, nastygal.com, millions in revenue.

Although lacking a marketing team, Amoruso is able to use her accounts with Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest to connect with her consumer base in ways that ensure their interaction with her brand.

What if all this seems a little much? If so, consider some of the ways you can create a greater consumer base, customer-to-brand interaction, and brand loyalty by checking out the article “10 Ways To Use Social Media,” by Livvie Matthews.

10 WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA:

    1.Share your expertise:
    •Share what you’ve learned that can help others avoid the pitfalls or the learning curve.

    2.Show viewers What or How “To Do”:
    •Share with viewers what your company does or can do for your ideal client.
    •For Products – create a video that spotlights the benefits of using your product.
    •For Services – create testimonial videos of clients speaking and sharing how your services have helped them.
    •Solve their problems.

    3.Interact with your viewers:
    •The new currency in today’s market place is engagement and conversations. It’s Key! Your main focus should be starting and continuing conversations with your viewers.

    4.Make your content work for you – Share it!:
    •Encourage your viewers to comment on and share your content they like. This helps establish you as an expert, the “go-to” person, in your area of expertise.
    •Install widgets that make it easy for your viewers to share your content.

    5.Learn to turn negatives into positives – Quickly!:
    •Consistently do a quick search for viewers mentioning you, your company, or your products and services on the social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ (alerts)
    •Consistently do a quick search for viewers mentioning you, your company, or your products and services on the social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ (alerts)

    6.Be transparent.

    7.Reward your customer, client, patient loyalty.

    8.Get mobile.

    9.Target online advertising.

    10.Promote – but never aggressively.

Hopefully this post provides some inspiration and good advice.

Good luck and successful business ventures to you.