What’s the fuss with Google Plus?

What’s the fuss with Google Plus?

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If you know me at all, you know I adore social media. If you don’t know me, well, now you know :]

I find the whole aspect of “social networking” absolutely fascinating – when used correctly of course.

I believe that each social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) all have different pros and cons. These sites also have different groups of people who use them (in both the right and wrong ways).

Think back to the days of Myspace.com. I first made my Myspace profile when I was in middle school — way before every middle school-aged teen had a cell phone or one with a camera. This was way before the days of digital cameras in every family as well. I remember I didn’t even have a default profile picture on my Myspace page — for a while it was tennis-star Andy Roddick because, at the time, that was my favorite picture. Myspace came and went pretty fast, never really taking advantage of “networking.” It was mostly younger kids who had profiles and they just used it and abused it for keeping up with gossip and friends.

Facebook was still quiet around this point, and towards the middle/end of high school I found myself making a Facebook account. I don’t even have to go into explanation as to how quickly and successful the site became. I will say, however, that it is used to make new friends, get to know new friends better, creep on … EVERYONE and keep in touch with old friends. As you know, almost everyone and their mother (literally) has a Facebook account and everyone is sharing pretty much everything. It spread like wildfire, almost to the point where many people are beginning to hate the site because of the amount of ridicule the people on the site produce — that will happen anywhere though. Then of course there are the rumors and stories about how businesses can pay Facebook some big $$ to gain access to someone’s private accounts for hiring purposes, etc.

Then came Twitter (my personal favorite). During my freshman year of college I went to a communication seminar up at Progressive Field where public relations professionals spoke to a large group of us about the importance and positive direction of social media. They absolutely ADORED Twitter and could not stop talking it up. At the time, maybe only two of the people in the entire room had an account and they highly encouraged us all to go home and make one immediately. They stressed the importance of staying professional, showing some personality and meeting new people on this network. This all is why it has become my favorite; you don’t have to personally know somebody to follow them or even to converse through Twitter. Better yet, it is so easy to find local professionals in the field you want to pursue. It works as such a plus (and THIS is why I love social networking); you get to become acquainted with people whom you may end up meeting, working with and needing down the road.

OK, so back to the title of my post: What’s the fuss with Google Plus? (G+)

Think about Google.com … powerful, the best and most used search engine online, growing in talent and abilities, right? OK, now mix that with all of the traits of social media – status updates, picture posting, blog posting, friends and networking.

Google Plus is synced with your Google (gmail) account, which means on your homepage (think Facebook’s homepage), you can access your gmail email account, your calendar, your G+ profile, your G+ account and Google’s search features all while interacting with your friends, or as G+ calls it, your circles and seeing their status updates.

Instead of just accepting or denying every friend request sent, you can pick and choose what “circle” you want each person to go to. The strength of this concept? Hiding stuff you don’t want certain people to see. For instance, your mom gets a G+, simply put her in your “family” circle and when you post your status update about what you did last night, you don’t have to share it with that circle. There are also circles for friends, acquaintances and the option to create your own (i.e. sorority sisters, coworkers, people I hate, etc.) This way, you can pick and choose who can see what on your profile.

Some critics are saying our lives are on social media overload, while this is correct, old ones fade out (example: Myspace) and new ones perfect flaws and step in.

Right now, G+ is on a trial. It is invite-only when it comes to making a profile. Solution? Ask around, find a friend who already has a profile and ask them to send you an invite.

It will definitely be interesting to see where this goes. Google is so powerful and such a smart and capable engine that there can be many great things that come from this new line of social media.

Hope I helped somewhat illustrate this new trend!

Keep cool in this weather! :]

-samantha

Experience(s) of a lifetime.

Experience(s) of a lifetime.

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Can you believe it is already the middle of July?! Where is this summer going? Perhaps it is my busy schedule that is making the days FLY BY!

As I mentioned in my previous post, last week was the Katy Perry concert! One word – AMAZING! Katy is such an inspirational and talented person and her performance definitely illustrated that. She put on a great show that kept fans entertained from the beginning to the end.

The Cleveland Indians had a pretty long homestand and I was there for every game except the night I was at the concert. If you’re wondering if I was there for Travis Hafner’s walk-off grand slam… yes, yes I was. It was an unbelievable experience, let me tell you. The game was very slow at first, (as in the first 8 innings!) and by the time the 9th inning rolled around, my coworkers and I were getting tired. We were about to head downstairs to end the night when we decided to just wait a few more minutes. We were standing out in the right field seats, Slider The Mascot had joined us, and we were getting excited as the bases became loaded. Just then, I looked over Slider’s head and saw the ball coming right over the wall! GRAND SLAM! It was so beyond exciting! We all jumped up on the right field wall, as part of our job, and cheered with the crowd as the Tribe celebrated on the field.

The Indians are keeping me busy outside of just home games; last night, some coworkers and I headed down to Eastwood Field to join the Mahoning Valley Scrappers during Affiliate Day — all of the Indians’ minor league teams sent representatives to the game to meet the fans and cheer on the game!

The school year is quickly approaching and it is definitely bittersweet. I am so excited to start my senior year but, at the same time, I don’t want this great summer to end!

-samantha

Summer keeps getting better and better!

Summer keeps getting better and better!

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Sometimes I have such a good week that I am way too excited to blog and share it with you :]

This past week has been great! As I told you before, my mom and I got a puppy, so a lot of our time has been spent with her. Aside from that, I’ve been here and there, running around, spending time with friends and enjoying this beautiful weather.

On Friday night, I took a couple of hours off from puppy duty to meet some friends from Mount in downtown Cleveland. What is nice about having friends from all over the place is the fact that meeting up in the summer is always exciting. Downtown Cleveland is kind of a halfway point for all of us, so we fit a little meet up in our busy schedules.

On Saturday, my mom and I went to the West Side Market in Cleveland. Visiting the market is one of my favorite things to do! The market’s features have been shown on the Food Network multiple times and it is easy to see why. Mount Union is only about an hour away from Cleveland so it’s easy for me to visit the market during the year when I want fresh food. I actually went down by Mount to visit my boyfriend on Saturday night for the 4th of July weekend. After he graduated in May, he was hired as an assistant professional at a golf club right down the road from the school. The club held a firework show for the holiday this past weekend. It has been a while since I’ve been around Alliance, but I was able to drive through the city on my way down! Even just seeing all of the signs for the university made me so excited!

Fast forward to Monday night – The 4th of July … Tribe vs. Yankees. Working down at the game was an absolute blast. We all were decked out in our patriotic pride as we cheered the team on in front of a SOLD OUT crowd down at Progressive Field. Words can’t even describe what a great experience it was!

Tomorrow, I am going to see Katy Perry, my favorite singer, in concert! I am SO excited! Check back next week to hear all about the show and about the rest of the Tribe’s homestand!

Until next time,

-samantha

Opening a new chapter

Opening a new chapter

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The day has finally arrived. Yes, the day where a new puppy has been added to the family!

We’ve always been an animal family. Back in the day my family had dogs, cats, fish, birds, turtles, rabbits – you name it, we had it. We even had ducks at one point! Over time, our number of animals dwindled due to moving around, etc. Over the past few years, my mom and I have been tossing around the idea of getting a puppy, but never landing on an agreement. Finally, Saturday evening, my mom decided that it was time we gave in and got a new addition to the family.

Sunday morning consisted of us visiting local animal shelters, listing the pros and cons of every dog we fell in love with. If it was up to us, we would have taken them all home – but we all know that is a little difficult.

When we thought that Sunday was not our day to find a dog, we found a number in the newspaper of a breeder that lives right down the street. We took a chance and hurried over to the house to find a yard full of puppies! We spent what felt like hours trying to decide which one was right for us.

We agreed on Bella (my mom chose the name!), the little female Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie, how cute!) who stood out among all of the others. We excitedly went to the pet store and stocked up on dog food, toys and all the other fun stuff that comes along with getting a new dog.

As excited as I am that we added a new member to our family, I am getting kind of bummed that school starts in two months and pretty soon I’ll have to leave her home when it is time to go back. However, one of the greatest things about being a student at Mount Union, is that the school is only an hour away from home! How perfect is that? I can come home and visit her whenever I want. Not only that, my mom and her can come up and visit me as well! I’ll be living in the new townhouses this year, which means we’ll have a big courtyard in front of our house for her to play in.

Hope everyone else is having as great of a summer as I am!

-samantha

Cleveland is HOT

Cleveland is HOT

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As I mentioned last week, the stars of the TV Land sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland” were coming to Cleveland to promote their new show.

I went down to Tower City this past Thursday to see Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick take part in a ceremony where they received the keys to the city. It was a great experience! During the ceremony, stars also expressed their love for Cleveland.

The next night was another home game with the Tribe, and star Valerie Bertinelli was to be throwing out the first pitch! I was able to escort Bertinelli out to the mound while she threw the first pitch to Sandy Alomar Jr.! What another great experience!

Working down at the ballpark is still just as fun as ever. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’ve been seeing what seems like EVERYONE from Mount Union! I even ran into one of my favorite Mount professors on Friday – professor Harry Paidas from the Department of Communication. That was a nice surprise!

-samantha

Putting my skills to work

Putting my skills to work

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Hi there!

All of the kids are out of school and summer has (almost) officially begun! The sun is shining, the greens are bloomed (allergy season is almost over) and, well, it is the best time of the year!

Indians aren’t doing so hot lately, but ya know, that’s ok. We had a fun winning streak while it lasted. A losing streak doesn’t make a difference to me; I am still enjoying my part-time job with the Tribe.

However, I started a new part-time summer gig this week, which will help me keep busy, bring in some extra cash and use my communication knowledge that I’ve gained at Mount Union.

I am starting to do some communication/marketing/public relations work for Aladdin’s Eatery. My mom works in the corporate offices for the restaurant and I’ve always helped out with random tasks. However, now that I want to improve my skills and add some more hands-on experience, I am now moving past the random tasks and having way more responsibilities.

My favorite part of the new gig is working with social media. Ok, I’ll admit it… I am kind of a social media nerd — totally proud of it though! I’ve seen how the Indians used social media last year with my internship, and of course I see how my campus organizations use it, but now I get a whole new point of view! Restaurants have many different and unique ways to interact with their customers and social media has a big influence on many of the ways.

Another one of my favorite tasks that I am responsible for is the calendar making for the restaurants, which will allow me to use my graphic design skills. Even things as simple as making a calendar require a lot of creativity! I will be helping with monthly newsletters and fundraising events as well!

Overall, this job will give me a taste of the whole communication/marketing/public relations field. What is nice is the fact that I am pretty familiar with the business because of my mom, so that will make the learning experience a little bit easier.

This coming week will be full of excitement! The stars of one of my favorite TV shows, Hot In Cleveland, will be in Cleveland for the season premiere of their show and I plan on attending some of the events. I’ll be sure to keep you updated :]

Have a great week!

-samantha

The Tribe Experience

The Tribe Experience

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So this post is definitely going to lack the usual “GO TRIBE” cheering … That winning streak that had the Indians fans coming out of the woodwork has went away … Let’s just hope it’s on a little hiatus and it’ll be coming back soon.

Despite the team’s dry spell, I have been down at every home game, enjoying the ballpark atmosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, I work with a bunch of people from Mount Union and I couldn’t love it any more. Come fall, I will be living with two of my friends from work – Sam and Stephanie. So, it is really nice being able to spend the summer together before a year of school!

Everyday at work I notice different parts of the job that I love more and more, however, I have found that the fans are what make the experience the best.

For instance, do you know how great of a feeling it is to hand a pack of baseball cards to a little kid and watch his or her face light up with excitement? Sure, it is just a pack of baseball cards, but that pack may have made the kid’s day! Sure, you’ll have the fans who get disappointed and complain … you’ll have that anywhere! But the excitement that the grateful fans give makes up for all of the negativity out there.

Also, it is almost inevitable that every single game I work at I see a handful of Mount Union students.  It’s great running into them because otherwise, I wouldn’t see them until the end of August! That’s a long time if you ask me.

Other than working downtown, summer has been going well. I’ve been keeping super busy which has made the beginning of summer fly by – is it already June? Yikes!

-samantha

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

Summer, nice to FINALLY see you!

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Well, well, well … looks like Ohio-summer has finally arrived. This morning as I was running my errands, the thermometer in my car read a whopping 95 degrees… can we say ‘IT IS ABOUT TIME!’ ?

Unfortunately, our Cleveland Indians have hit a dry spell too, losing to the Red Sox, Rays and Jays. It’s OK though! Everyone is starting to doubt the team, saying the early winning record has went straight to their heads and now they are getting lazy. It has only been a few losses, folks. We’ve been playing decent teams, so we can’t win ‘em all! Here’s to bringing home some more’s… and soon!

The Tribe has been out of town for almost a week now, which means I haven’t been able to enjoy the ballpark lately. However, Sports Time Ohio filmed an in-game promotional clip and has been using it during every away game… guess who the clip stars… moi! It has been nice to check my Facebook, Twitter and text messages to hear from all of my school friends that they have seen me on TV! Maybe that will be my 15 minutes of fame :]

Since I have been away from the ballpark, I’ve been able to spend more time with my friends and family. This weekend I went up to Geneva On The Lake with my boyfriend and we enjoyed a little bit of our Memorial Day weekend there! We actually ran into quite a few Mount Union friends during our trip.

My mom and I soaked up the sun on Monday – the pools around here are finally starting to open and it is all so very beautiful!

Of course, the Jim Tressel incident has pretty much all of Ohio in a rage, along with the Indians’ little losing-streak; not a good weekend for Ohio sports fans. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

-samantha

Viva Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas!

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As promised, this post will sum up my recent trip to Vegas with my mom! We had a blast! Vegas was nothing like I had imagined; the city was so overwhelming with people everywhere, flashing lights and so, so much more.

We spent a great deal of time taking advantage of all of the fabulous shops that Vegas has to offer — that was our favorite part! We also spent time laying out by the pool. We stayed at the Paris hotel and the mock Eiffel Tower was right above us while we laid out in the sun. The food there came in a close second when it came to my favorites about the trip — all you can eat crab legs? Yes, please!

The Billboard Music Awards were being filmed the weekend we were there, so we were definitely on the lookout for stars… unfortunately we didn’t see any in person. However, we knew they were everywhere! Singer Nicki Minaj performed in a bar in our hotel on our last night there!

Speaking of famous people… We went to see a stand-up comedy show put on by Tim Allen! I love Tim Allen, always have. Imagine my excitement when we found out he was performing while we were there. He was absolutely hilarious! Nothing like “Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor,” though… but still good!

My mom had always talked about taking me to Vegas when I finally turned 21; I just can’t believe it came so quick! We waited until school was out for the summer to make our trip; definitely a great way to end the school year and start the summer! The Indians are still on a roll! They just swept the Reds! This week holds the home-stand against the Boston Red Sox and I am extremely excited to be a part of that! As I’ve mentioned before, this job is amazing! I can’t wait to keep you updated on the rest of the season!

-samantha

GO TRIBE!

Best. Summer. Ever.

Best. Summer. Ever.

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We haven’t even been out of school for a month and I am already having the best summer ever!

I’ve made a lot of time in my schedule to catch up with some friends from home that I haven’t seen in a while due to us all attending different schools. Since the Cleveland weather has provided us with a few nice days, we’ve went on bike rides, beach visits, roller-blading trips and exciting nights out. That’s another thing I love about college; while you have to take some time away from your friends to all go to different schools, when you come back for breaks, it’s like you were never even apart.

My boyfriend came up to visit this past weekend and, well, the Cleveland weather wasn’t so nice… however, we were able to go to the Great Lakes Science Center and enjoy a day running around there like we were still in elementary school — don’t judge … college kids can have fun too :] We also watched the movie “Tornado Alley” that was playing in the IMAX Theater.

However, the best part of the summer so far would definitely have to be my summer job. As you know, it is with the Cleveland Indians, and by reading my previous posts you know I love the team very much. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve worked for them for a couple of years now, but no experience comes close to this one!

I get to be down at almost every home game and I am out there cheering with the fans. I could not ask for a better summer job. The people I work with are awesome, not to mention that there are six Mount Union students on our team. There are also a bunch of other Mount Union students working down at the ballpark whether it is through volunteering or internships; that makes it a lot of fun to run into my friends during the game. That’s not even including all of the Purple Raiders that make the trip up to Cleveland to go to the games … they come from all over! I guess that’s what happens when your city has a winning team. Ha Ha!

Progressive Field is a little community in itself, though. All of the employees in all of the different departments automatically become friends just because of the atmosphere. Like I said, it’s awesome!

If you’re wondering where I was Friday night when Travis Hafner hit that homerun to win the game against Seattle… I was up in the outfield with one of the other Mount students I work with, cheering with the crowd and having the best time ever. After that, we ran down to the field to celebrate with the rest of our team and we stayed on the field during the fireworks. What a great time!

I will definitely be keeping you all posted on my life down at the ballpark — it will keep getting more and more exciting! (Did you see the score of last night’s game?! 19-1?!?!)

This week holds plenty of excitement because I am going to Vegas with my mom on Thursday! Next post will be all about my trip so make sure to check back next week!

-samantha