Podcasting 101

18 year old Hae Min Lee was last seen at 3 p.m. on January 13, 1999. She was found days later in Leakin Park, Maryland. The case was immediately classified as homicide by manual strangulation. Years later, in 2015, this story became the center of a popular podcast series called Serial.

Yearbook photo of Hae Min Lee

Pod-casting is downloadable audio files (most commonly MP3) that can be played on any media player. The popular podcast, Serial, detailed the events that took place 17 years ago. It was hosted by Sarah Koenig from This American Life and swept the world by storm. It is estimated that it was downloaded more than 80 million times.

This podcast, among hundreds of other successful ones, are revolutionizing the way we listen to media. Users can set it up to have these podcasts be automatically downloaded on their device via web syndication. Podcasts have become increasingly  popular over the last few years. In 2016, 21% of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the past month. When comparing this to 2013, it was 12%, significantly less.

Podcasting has many  reasons why it is so successful. One of the most significant features of pod casting is that it requires all of the listeners attention. When watching TV, there are many distractions constantly demanding the viewers attention.   When listening to traditional broadcast media, there are frequent commercials. With podcasts, there are no commercials. No messages from competitors are spread, which causes competition. This is beneficial to the pod casters, because it allows them to create a good repertoire with listeners.

One study released from Edison Research Report discovered that people who listen to podcasts continue to listen to them more than other other form of audio. Pod casting becomes the main source of journalism. As podcasters, it is important to realize this and continue to make quality material.

Podcasts are also very vital in an educational setting. Professors can record their information and lectures and upload them to a podcasting listening platform such as Soundcloud. Students can then review the material at home, reinforcing the concepts learned.

Podcasting is a very affordable and easy way to be able to share content. The only necessary tools needed to create a podcast are a microphone and a way to connect the content to a computer. Comparing this to the cost of producing a movie, TV, or radio show, the difference is notable. Podcasting can be done by virtually anyone, below is a video showing how do make one.


Social Movements Making Change

In Chibonk, Nigeria on the night of April 14th, 2014, 276 female students vanished from the Government Secondary School.

The group of militants entered the school pretending to be guards, ordering the girls to leave and follow them outside. This terrorist group was believed to be Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group that has been terrorizing northeastern Nigeria for the past 5 years. They are a group governed by strick Sharia law in the Islamic state. They are apposed to western culture, as well as education of girls, which is why this kidnapping took place.

What happened with the girls? Some of them were sold into slavery, others were held for randsom. At this point, we are unsure how much Nigeria has done to help the situation. We do know that the first tweet was sent out by a lawyer in Nigeria and a $300,000 reward to whoever could help to locate the missing girls. In the next few weeks following, many celebrities took to social media with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Even Barak and Michelle Obama participated, sharing pictures of them holding papers that say #BringBackOurGirls. This left ripples of action in its wake. A protest began on Twitter and Facebook with thousands of people sharing their support for the girls who have gone missing and their families.

30 days following the kidnapping, Barak Obama sent 80 military personal into the neighboring region of Chad in order to help return some of the girls that were stolen. While his success was not as great as he thought it was, he was still able to rescue some girls.

The #BringBackOurGirls protest has a verified Facebook page with 236,466 likes and 224,562 followers (Facebook, 2017). It had no official Twitter or Instagram accounts, but they were both major platforms, as millions of hashtags, videos and pictures are consistently shared even today.

This story is a perfect example of one of the amazing benefits of social networking. The ability to share information for free and in an accessible way is important to make a change. The trending hashtag that took social media by storm is the reason that many of these girls are safe today. If it weren’t for people letting governments know what matters, then most likely these girls would still be missing.


Barak Obama’s Social Media Success


In the past century, there have been many advances in the way people communicate. Franklin D. Roosevelt transformed the way the radio was used to spread political messages. John F. Kennedy was the first to use the television to do this. In recent years, there has been a rapid change in the way that information is spread and society interacts with one another. Information exchange has become a multifaceted communication tool to both share and receive feedback. Barak Obama, the president of this new social media era, is often dubbed the “first social-media president”.


Through the use of social media, you can also choose the audience you are targeting. In class, our professor used the following example: Most people don’t care about politics, but do care about other topics. The ability to target the specific group of people in order to get the most people listening is called Micro-politics. Obama learned that the individual is the universe, so each voter has a different set of things important to them in their own individual universe. Because of this, the future of politics has to be addressed to groups and individuals, not society. One of his greatest accomplishments was the ability to engage the Y_Generation (people born after 1982) which make up a large amount of voters. Below, is how Obama used Facebook and Twitter during his presidency.


As one of the most important social media websites of our time, Facebook was used by Barak Obama in both campaigning for election and to communicate as president. The president set aside a $16 million internet budget, using $643,000 to promote his Facebook account.

Once elected, he created the Official Facebook Page of the White House in May 2009.


He also has his own personal Facebook account, POTUS (President Of The United States) that has been since handed down to current president Donald Trump.


Barak Obama has three twitter accounts. The first one, @BarackObama, is used for election efforts. This twitter account has over 86 million followers. This account is run by Organizing for Action, with most posts being by his staff.

He also created the twitter account of @WhiteHouse for presidential activities. This twitter is now run by the current President’s staff.


Finally, he created his personal twitter account, @POTUS. With this account, the former president was able to answer questions posed by other users, as well as bring to light many issues important to him. These include healthcare and reducing gun violence. The importance of this twitter account is that Obama could promptly address situations as they arise. For example, when the police arrested 14 year old Ahmed for bringing an electronic clock to school, Obama took to Twitter to reach out to the child.


While any president would have adapted to the new social media era and use this to help their campaign, Barak Obama did this in a way that made a lasting and profound impact.

Guest Speaker 2

Today, the guest speaker Ana Lopez came to speak to our class. She is a 36 year old who got her start as a cultural anthropologist. She did this for 2 years and then decided to take a job in Public Relations. At first, her job consisted of traditional Public Relations before the social media era. Following this job, she decided to get a Master of Communication in marketing, which she then used to get a job at at Estrella Damm. Estrella Damm is known for being the beer of Catalunya. She told us that this company represents Mediterranean Culture. It has a reputation of being related to friendship and joy. This beer is different than others because it focuses on the street culture of Catalunya; enjoying everyday moments, friendship, artists, museums, and the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Ana was promoted to Brand Manager and then Digital Marketing Manager. At this point in the company, there was no digital marketing at Estrella Damm Beer. Ana, alone, created the digital marketing department in 2009. She used the ideals of friendship, street culture, and Mediterranean way of life in order to make the first commercial in 2009.

This 3 minute video got 2,500,000 views and it is estimated that there are around 6 million views due to parodies made. The song in the video, Tonight, Tonight, by a Swedish band that was not popular, became th song used most frequently that summer in Spain. This is all happened despite the fact that at the moment, Estrella Damm had no social media, such as Facebook or Twitter for the brand. This video debuted as a commercial with short versions lasting 1 minute and 30 seconds.


After this overwhelming success, Ana set a goal to be the biggest social media user in Spain. She told us that “It is important to have a clear idea of what you want to tell people that matches their interests.” In order to do this, she created their instagram account focusing on landscapes because that is popular on that media platform.

#Positano #Italy #mediterrràniament #mediterràneamente #estrelladamm Taken for us by @thererumnatura.

A post shared by GUIA ESTRELLA DAMM (@estrelladamm) on Apr 3, 2017 at 12:04pm PDT

Their twitter account is a magazine of culture and things going on in Barcelona. Damm Beer uses their twitter to promote the agenda that they are sponsoring. It isimportant to remember that you have to match the interest of the brand with the interest of the target. If twitter is used for news, the company uses their twitter to specifically advertise events that their products are being sold. On each platform, you choose what you talk about.


They also began sponsoring and selling the beer in restaurants in 2006-2009, adding to their success.  Collaborating with partners such as festivals and sports teams increased awareness of their brand. The company continued to make music videos year after year, and each of the videos location impacted tourism in the area. While they had their one big summer music video, over the rest of the year they had ongoing small campaigns they promoted on other social media platforms.

In 2015, they decided to globalize. The new target: Not just Spain, the World. A commercial launched with Dakota Johnson bringing in 6,500,000 views and award best campaign in Spain by YouTube. She now had 1 million people working inside and out the country for her.

Overall, Ana has had extreme success by utilizing social media to propel her company forward. She learned coming from traditional media that it is important to realize that people from traditional marketing think about things in a certain way. However, in the new digital era, there is now bidirectional communication. Remembering that a few bad comments don’t change the goals of the company is vital. From her, I learned that one person can start something huge with dedication and determination.

A Hashtag That Made a Change…. #IamJada

Jada, a 16 year old Houston-area girl, was living a seemingly normal life. She spent her time at work and hanging out with friends. On June 1st, her life was drastically changed. She was going to a friends house to attend a party. While she recalls little of the evening, she remembers that she passed out and woke up the next morning puzzled and with her clothing all over the room. Confused, she went home and thought nothing of it. A few weeks later she found out that there was photos taken of her at the party. These photos soon found their way to social media outlets, with people on twitter mimicking her pose when she was passed out with the hashtag #jadapose.

Jada’s family filed a police report on June 22. While they waited, Jada decided to do something astonishing. Instead of hiding in embarrassment from the new trending twitter hashtag #jadapose, she took to public forms to shine light on the incident. “There’s no point in hiding it,” she told one television station “Everybody has already seen my face and my body, but that’s not who I am.”

She was being stigmatized and bullied online, which was very hard for her. While the messages are virtual, the effect they have on Jada is not. In the following weeks, thousands of messages of support came in through social media outlets all around the world.

In solodarity with Jada, people took to social media with the hashtag #IamJada and their fist in the air in order to raise awarness about her story. Rape culture has become increasingly prevelant in our society today and this was vital in ending this.


Even celeberties such as Jada Pickett Smith and Krystal Ball posted on their Facebook and twitter accounts to help support the young girl.

“With the case of Jada, the very technology that was used to make matters worse was used to improve matters,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. “Teens need to understand that their online behavior has lasting and permanent impacts,” Jim Steyer, a father of four and CEO of Common Sense Media, wrote in an e-mail.

Since the events occurred, 2 young men have been arrested for sexual assault. The 19 year-old was tried as an adult and the 16 year-old tried as a juvenile. You can read the story of their arrest by clicking here.

Clinton Onyeahialam, 19, is charged with sexual assault in connection with the alleged rape of Jada

Jada’s story is important for the nation to hear. It shows what can happen if people take a stand and fight back, especially using social media and hash tags to start a movement. Jada choose to speak out, despite the possible repercussions. She decided that rape culture is too common, and cyber bulling is unacceptable. Through the use of her story, Jada made a difference. “Yes, I feel like a heroine, because it takes courage to speak out and show your face, ” she said.

User Generated Campaigns that Worked

User generated companies are companies that use the users in order to promote a brand rather than using the brand itself. It is used to publish news related content individually. It is any type of content that is created and marketed by fans. Many companies have used this technique over the years, and here are a few of the ones that were the most successful.

COCA COLA: This company created a campaign called “Share a Coke”. The campaign personalized coke bottles with customers’ names on the labels. Then, the customers were asked to share a photo of them with the personalized bottle and share it on social media platforms such as twitter.

Initially launched in Australia in 2011, this campaign has since moved to all over the world. It has caused an increase of 2% sales after many years of declining revenues.


Starbucks: Another company that used this technique is Starbucks. They launched their “White Cup Contest” in April of 2012. This contest was to created doodles on Starbucks coffee cups and submit pictures of it to be judged.

This campaign lasted only 3 weeks, but 4,000 customers submitted their photos. This generated a large amount of social media activity, especially on Twitter. From there website, they posted “The contest encourages customers in the U.S. and Canada to decorate a Starbucks cup with customized art, take a photo of it, and submit the design through social media using #WhiteCupContest. The winning design will be printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup.(3)”
Burberry: After Angela Ahrendts was appointed CEO of Burberry in 2006, she launched a campaign called “The Art of The Trench”. This was a website where people can interact by uploading comments of people wearing Burberry.

Each image uploaded would feature the person in the photo for 15 minutes giving them their 15 minutes of fame. The company was designed originally to stand alone as a social media platform. Following the launch, Burberry registered a 50% year-over-year increase in e-commerce sales.


Elf Yourself: One of my personal favorite campaigns is the “Elf Yourself” campaign. It is a campaign run by Office Max that lets people create their own silly Christmas cards. Images of peoples faces are uploaded into the website and the bodies become elfs that dance and sing. This campaign is one of the largest user generated campaigns of the century.

another example of user generated content was created in 2012, called Warby Parker: Home Try-On. It is a company that lets you take home 5 pairs of glasses and try them on to decide which pair you want. While you try them on, people are encouraged to take selfies of themselves and hashtag #warbyhometryon. Clients are able to return the ones they didn’t wear with a prepaid return label.

Marketing 2.0

Marketing 2.0, a term that became popular in 2005, refers to a new way of marketing based on use of social media and the internet. It is the idea that companies need to find and address the needs of the consumer in order to prevent becoming irrelevant or loose credibility. It also focuses on dialogue with customers, instead of just one way communication.

Before marketing 2.0, traditional marketing was the main way that businesses were able to reach their customers.This is done through one way communications where the people cannot respond back to the advertsement. In a video below, this can be described as the company using a megaphone. Traditional marketing would suggest that the more megaphones, the more the company is targeting the listener. However, more megaphones don’t increase impact and instead can infuriate people. Marketing 2.0 recognizes that conversations are important in promoting a product. Brands are built by communities, not companies, and so the input of the community is very important in this aspect.Trading in the megaphone used in marketing 1.0 for social media marketing tools used in marketing 2.0 is a key concept of this new way of marketing. Social media tools used are commonly Facebook, twitter, linkedin, and instagram. Selecting the right tools will allow for the specific community to be adequately targeted.




One example of Marketing 2.0 done well is Airbnb. This companies goal is to set up overnight accommodations throughout the world. This company is located in California and now has 1,500,000+ listings in 34,000+ cities worldwide. They decided to perform a global social experiment in January of 2015 called #OneLessStranger. The company asked people if they would perform a random act of kindness for a stranger and post it to social media using the hashtag #OneLessStranger. This video was made in order to promote the campaign.

The campaign was very successful, and led to 3 million people worldwide talking about it in the next weeks.

McDonald’s also follows this model, specifically targeting local communities with their food. By targeting the specific culture a certain country has, they are able to increase their earnings. For example, McDonald’s introduced the McArabia, a flatbread sandwich, to its restaurants in the Middle East. In the Philippines, there is now McSpaghetti. In France, there is macaroons. Each of these are appealing to the specific food preferences of the people in that country.

Imagine While viewing a TV add for a new laptop computer, a consumer uses her phone and searches in google “laptops”.  The first pop up is a paid link for apple laptops and reviews of them. On the way to work, she begins realizing billboard advertisements for laptops she never noticed before and on the side of her Facebook advertisements pop up with the newest laptops on the market. Then, she and finally heads into the Apple store to try out computers and buys one. This is Marketing 2.0 and the use of social media in order to sell a product. It is the continued exposure to the specific target audience that makes this idea so successful. With social media drastically changing in the past few years, marketing and advertising has since changed with it for the better.

Why Kids with Cancer Deserve More

Jude, Age 4, Relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

According St. Baldrick’s and the National Cancer Institute, every year in the USA 13,400 children under age 19 are diagnosed with cancer. That is 36 children diagnosed with cancer a day, enough to fill an entire classroom.
Every day, 7 children lose their life to cancer, making cancer the largest cause of death by disease in children under 19. This is more than AIDS’s, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital abnormalities combined. The treatments the
se children endure also give them lifelong side effects.

Because of the treatments they endured to save their lives, by the time these children enter their 30s or 40s, nearly ⅔ of the children will have chronic or life-threatening diseases. Despite these staggering statistics, childhood cancer remains grossly underfunded and there is a significant lack of research.

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Jude and Raulie, both fighting Leukemia

The National Cancer Institute reports that childhood cancers make up only 1% of all cancer diagnoses. Because of how rare it is, many people believe that the research needs to go to the people who will get the most benefit out of the research. However, this is denying the littlest cancer victims a fair chance at life.  On average, an adult diagnosed with breast cancer at the average age of 61 looses 16 years of life. A child diagnosed with cancer loses an average of 67 years of life.  This means that even though fewer children get cancer, those who do pay a larger price in lost years of life. However, the problem is much bigger than this. The problem lies within the organizations we trust to find a cure for cancer.
The problem t

Bailey, Leukemia, Forever 1

hat only a small percentage of the hard earned money that people are raising is being used for the purpose of research and finding a cure. According to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University, the American Cancer Society held a fund balance of over 400 million dollars with about 69 million dollars in holdings of land, buildings and equipment. Of that money, the ACS spent only $90 million— 26 percent of its budget— on medical research and programs.

The rest of this money covered “operating expenses”. These operating expenses gave 60 percent in generous salaries, executive benefits, and pensions. So for every dollar spent on direct services, approximately $6.40 is spent on compensation and overhead. This leaves 16 percent or less on direct services for cancer victims.There is no lack of money. There is no lack of fundraising. However we are fundraising for a billion dollar industry that cares little about its mission and pays large corporate salaries.

Research for childhood cancer should get its fair share of funds, however, with such little money spent on research and programs for people fighting cancer, how can each cancer get the research it deserves? The answer is, it can’t. Someone is going to get the short end of the stick, and those victims are the children.  Why? Because childhood cancers are not profitable to pharmaceutical companies and private industries.

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One of the families that has been forced to fundraise in order to save their son’s life, is Barbara and Aidan Anderson from Tucson, Arizona. Their 4 year old son, Jude, is fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for the 4th time. After surviving 2 bone marrow transplants, Jude is now doing well and looking forward to starting Kindergarten in September! We recently discussed with his mom the underfunding of pediatric cancer in the below interview.



You can see more of Jude’s story in the following video:

The funding and research for children has gone down every year since 2003. In 2008, the funding was 26.4 million. In comparison, the NCI set aside $254 million for AIDS research, and funding for breast cancer topped $584 million the same year. In 2011, the National Cancer Institute’s budget was 5.196 billion dollars. Of that budget, childhood cancer received the least amount of money, only 3.7%. However, both of these organizations use children with cancer as a huge marketing tool. By posting a bald child on their marketing collateral, the general public feels morally obligated to help save a child’s life. Little do they know where the money is actually going, and who is reaping all of the benefits.

Common misconceptions also frequently lead to a lack of research. Most people believe that childhood cancer is the same thing as cancer in an adult, just miniature. Because of this, there does not need to be research specifically designated to childhood cancers. We can just take the adult drugs and modify the dosage to help children.

The truth however, is that pediatric cancers are vastly different from adult cancers. Prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer do not occur in children. The most common childhood cancers are leukemia’s, brain tumors, kidney tumors and solid tumors throughout the body. Of each type of cancer, there are hundreds of different subtypes, each having its own treatment and prognosis. For example, there are hundreds of different childhood brain tumors that won’t be seen in adults. Astrocytoma, atypicical teratoid Rabdoid tumor, gangilogioma, medulloblastoma, oligodendroglioma, craniopharyngioma are all brain tumors exclusively in children.  These tumors and cancers need to be treated differently. However, despite this there has only been one new childhood cancer drug developed in the last 20 years.

Delaney Clements, Forever 12, Neuroblastoma

Out of all of the chemotherapy drugs on the market, only 4 drugs are approved by the FDA for use on children. In contrast, there are about 200 adult chemotherapeutic agents. Also, the chemotherapies and radiation commonly used to treat children children are toxic. Radiation given to children’s developing brain can significantly lower IQ, as well as limit the ability to read, do basic math, tell time, or even talk. So children are surviving, but at a very high cost. Many children develop secondary cancers and many other lifelong problems due to chemotherapies given to them as children to save their lives. Because of the treatments, by the time these children enter their 30s or 40s, more than 73% of survivors will have a chronic health problem such as vision impairment, hearing impairment, infertility, or secondary cancers.

This is an unacceptable situation. Childhood cancer continues to kill children every single day and people turn a blind eye to it because it is almost to heartbreaking to bear. Children are our most valuable asset, they are our future.



Guest Speaker Visit

Our class was lucky enough to have Valentí Sanjuan visit and speak to us last week. Valentí Sanjuan is a self made athlete, journalist, and entrepreneur. Most importantly, he is his own brand.  His first job was at Catalunya radio where he worked for many years, but eventually left the company. After leaving his work there, he decided it was time to do something new. Valentí Sanjuan thinks that the only thing you need to make a name for yourself is a camera and audience, and this is just what he did. He put his social networking skills to use and decided to create a company called Gorden Seen and Visto Visto. He is now the creative director of both companies.

In addition to his business, he also has accomplished much athletically. He decided to participate in the Ironman of Lanzarote 2 months before the competition with no prior training.



He also participated in the marathon of Sables, crossed the desert in 7 days, and completed a total of 5 ironman competitions.

I describe Valentí Sanjuan as a dreamer. He had a bold idea and followed his heart. He held onto what he believed and took a leap of faith. He said to our class that he wanted to be one of the “best storytellers on youtube”. At first, he only had a few hundred viewers. He started social media platforms on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Youtube Despite his initial slow start, he continued to stick with his idea. Valiantí Sanjuan focused on interacting with youth in his show, and was able to capture this audience in a variety of brilliant ways. First, he asked questions in ways that wouldn’t be found on any other show. Also, he used language that some might find offensive, but helped him to connect to the younger generation. He also provides his listeners with sharable and valuable content which keeps them coming back to listen to him. Now, he has 2 million followers and has thousands of people tuning into his show weekly.

Another important topic we discussed in class is that Valentí Sanjuan is his own brand. He runs his own company, and gets to choose what he talks about. He has sponsors that he listens to (Sony, Estrella Beer, Nestle, Kit-Kat and Powerade to name a few) but essentially he has created his own brand and has become his own boss. When an individual is the brand instead of a company, social media plays a key factor in promoting it. An important aspect of personal branding is “Self packaging”, which not determined by the individual’s skills, but how they market themselves online. If someone is successful in creating an image for themselves on social media, then they are more likely to have more followers and create a greater impact on society.

Overall, Valentí Sanjuan is a perfect example of how determination and successful self branding can open many opportunities. This message is specifically important to share with youth who are finding their place in the world and thinking about their lifelong goals and how to put this into action.



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