Monday, February 24, 2014

"The Tao of Twitter" Truths

The power of a tiny little blue bird.

     Recently, I read the book "The Tao of Twitter" for my Public Relations 490 class. Honestly, I thought to myself "why on earth do I need to read this, I know everything about Twitter." Not even four pages in and I realized just how wrong I was. Although it is mainly a guide for new "eggs" on how to use, set up and follow on Twitter, there are many pearls of wisdom that even the most "hatched" of Twitter users can benefit from.

    I have been @acbshaw since the summer of 2010, and back then I was considered a Twitter late-bloomer. My tweets include a wide array of topics, as does my mind and personality. These include news, funny quotes from my friends, the bi-polar Knoxville weather, my obsession with the Vols, lyrics to a song on the radio, the list goes on and on. One thing I never really considered when I tweeted was that I could use to for my professional benefit. Mark Schaefer, the author of "The Tao of Twitter" explains in great detail the 3 steps one takes on their 'tao', or path, to a great Twitter account:

1. Making targeted connections
2. Providing meaningful content
3. Offering authentic helpfulness

    Like I mentioned above, I have always thought that my personal, quirky Tweet content would hurt my in the attempt to professionally network via Twitter. According to Schaefer, employers are going to want to see your personality, interests, etc. to be evitable in your tweets so they can learn more about you. Just like these Twitter birds pictured below, my Twitter account is full of many different aspects of my personality.

If you post nothing but boring, "professional" content, people will think you are that way in real life. Although my professional persona on Twitter has not yet been fully established, I am going to use this book religiously on my path to creating a balance between the personal and the professional. Take my advice, go buy your copy of "The Tao of Twitter." Start your own journey toward social media influence and business success today!


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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sochi Slips get a 4 out of 5 for this Olympics

In 2012, I religiously followed the Summer Olympics when they took place in London. I watched events every night after work, watched live feeds on my phone at work, and had an alert sent to my phone whenever we won another medal. However, I cannot say the same about this year's Winter Olympics that are happening right now. Don't get me wrong I love skiing (been doing it since I was three), figure skating, bobsledding, and heck even curling can be exciting. I might not be following these Olympics like my life depended on it but the one thing I have payed attention to is the pictures that arise about everything that is wrong with Sochi.

For starters, I didn't even know such a place existed whenever they announced where the events would take place. I mean if you're going to go to Russia, why not go to nice, CLEAN cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg? Sochi is indeed not well known because I had a friend of mine say, "Sochi, does that stand for South Chicago?" Second, this city was obviously not prepared or even equipped to handle such a large scale event as the stinkin' Olympics. On Twitter and Buzzfeed, there have been numerous articles, hashtags, and pictures released claimed just how bad the accommodations have been for our world class athletes. If you do not believe me, type #sochifails on Twitter and see just what I am talking about.
If you want to have a relaxing day at the spa, you have to put it together yourself.
That is some world class hotel room decorating right there.
Sochi likes their water like the color of their medals.

So instead of me being excited about winning another gold medal or someone breaking another record, I look forward to the new pictures posted of pee-colored water, WiFi routers hanging out of walls, and toilets that have no barrier. USA! USA! USA!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hump Day Hunger

I'll admit it, I LOVE FOOD. My favorite television channel is the Food Network, I asked for a KitchenAid mixer this past Christmas, and the only food that will not enter my mouth is peppers. Whether I am the prepaper or the eater, I have always had a love of being in the kitchen and creating something delicious (and more importantly, fattening). I have cooked full meals for my family, created desserts for various occasions, surprised my boyfriend with a homeade supper, and even asked the chef at my favorite restuarant in Cape Town, South Africa, how to make malva pudding (a buttery laden cake). Luckily for my obsession with edibles, I do not have to stick my nose into dozens of cook books or watch hours of the Food Networks looking for recipes. One of my many overflowing boards on Pinterest is of course full of recipes that are just a search bar [enter] away.

Here are 7 of my favorites foods recipes that I have either made or still want to make:

[Just simply click on the picture to be transported to the recipe]

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies (I am a Red Velt connoisseur)
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Shrimp Etouffee (Paula Deen y'all)

Skinny Chicken Salad

Cream Cheese Bacon Bites

Paula Deen's Shrimp & Grits

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

I wish you all good food & best dishes.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Good Ole Small Town USA

When I was younger, I took advantage of my small town lifestyle and everything that that meant. Driving a total of five minutes to get somewhere, knowing everyone in my graduating class since kindergarten, hanging out in the Wal-Mart parking lot, having tractors back up traffic on the highway, I could go on and on. A lot of kids in Dyersburg always say, "I cannot wait to leave this place" or "Dyersburg is so stupid." I always liked Dyersburg but since leaving it to attend college in Knoxville, I have grown to love it! When I first moved to Knoxville, everyone knew by the way I talked that I was a small town girl. Buzzfeed released a video yesterday explaining to the "big city folk" about the ways of small town life. Personally, I "small town" approve this list of not opinions but sheer facts.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Ten

Back in my high school days, I had a blog where I posted about meaningless stuff like Dyersburg gossip, the lunch we had at school, and different dresses I wanted to try for prom. On the other hand, I posted once a week a list of pictures that I either found inspirational, beautiful, funny, or just down right love. I am deciding to bring it back to my "big girl" blog, and to start it off with this week's "Tuesday Ten":


My love for Nutella is greater than yours.

Jennifer Lawrence, you're my hero.

You can never go wrong with stripes & leopard.

It's just not normal.


My feelings exactly.

Wise Mother Teresa.

Sheer perfection.

I'm a gridiron gal.


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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Next Episode playing in 14 seconds...13...12...

Has this ever happened to you before? Do you fall under the spell of the "Next Episode" option? Do you look up at the clock and realize that you have been staring at your computer screen for almost 5 hours? Do you ever think to yourself "wow, I may have a Netflix addiction..." Netflix has taken the Internet world by storm with their endless (well somewhat) lists of TV shows, movies, documentaries,   and even some of your childhood favorites that you haven't seen anywhere else except for in VHS box. I consider myself a "Netflix junkie" because not only is my "Recently Watched" record really long, the entries are only separated by a small span of time.

One of the most popular trends I have noticed since being in college is that college kids LOVE Netflix to watch TV shows. Whether the show has ended or still being aired, Netflix is the best way to see for yourself what all of the fuss is about the blue meth (Breaking Bad), doctors being shot at (Grey's Anatomy), or who this Chuck Bass character is (Gossip Girl). I think I can speak for everyone when I say that there is little second-guessing time when an episode ends and you instantly have the option to move on to the next episode. "I'll watch one more..." "Okay just one more..." "Last one..." "Ahh I have to find out what happens next..." More than likely, all 2.9 million Netflix subscribers have said one of those comments at least once in their streaming marathons. Here is a list of the TV shows I have so far fallen victim to the "next episode" option (I recommend every one of them):
[Obviously this list is proof enough why I call myself a Netflix junkie]

When I first started to become a 'Flix junkie, I began to think to myself, "the person who invented this is either an angel sent from God or just someone who stumbled upon a great idea." While I tend to think he falls under both categories, Reed Hastings got the idea for Netflix in 1997 after he was charged a $40 late free from Blockbuster for his rented copy of Apollo 13. About a month ago, Buzzfeed released a video with a list of facts that not a lot of people now about the most popular website for streaming videos. Here's the "Surprising Facts about Netflix": (clink title for link)

1) Netflix is watched more than any cable network in the U.S.
2) The average subscriber streams 87 minutes of Netflix per day, that's 4 episodes of 'Family Guy'
3) [how Reed Hastings got the idea for Netflix]
4) Blockbuster turned down many offers to buy Netflix for as low as $50 million...TOO BAD because Netflix is worth $20 billion (we saw who came out on top in the end)
5) Netflix employees are sworn to never reveal the locations of the DVD warehouses
6) A Netflix DVD inspector inspects and cleans 650 DVDs per hour, that's 5,200 a day!
7) In 2006, Netflix held a $1 million competition to see who could create the best DVD recommendation algorithm. The most difficult movie for the algorithm to recommned...
8) Netflix instant streaming is the single largest contributor to Intenet traffic. It accounts for almost 1/3 of all Internet traffic in the U.S. 
9) Netflix made a test movie that still exists on the site, it's called 'Example Show'
10) What's the most watched show on Netflix? (my favorite) Breaking Bad

So thank you Reed Hastings for giving us the greatest reason to procrastinate studying or just lay in bed all day. Next time you acess your Netflix account remember to ask yourself this question, am I going to turn into this?...

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Love it or loathe it?

Whether you love or hate the day of roses, chocolate and oversized teddy bears, there is no escaping it all this time of year. Personally, I L-O-V-E Valentine's Day! And not just because I get roses from my boyfriend or that it's a great excuse pig out on chocolate, it is a day to remind your loved ones how much they mean to you. We have Thanksgiving to express our thankfulness and Christmas for giving, but Valentine's is our chance to love. I have always had a soft spot for V-Day, even when I was still single. Call me a hopeless romantic but I love the sappy cards, abundance of hearts, the little chalk heart-shaped candies and the stuffed animals that are as big as a small child.

Women absolutely love the surprises they receive on Valentine's Day while men on the other hand are typically only surprised when they wake up and realize it's a holiday from the reminder their woman set on their iPhone. Surprisingly enough, my dad seems to remember V-Day more than my mom's birthday or their anniversary. I love to just walk in Walgreen's or Kroger on V-Day and see the card/floral aisles just completely swamped with husbands/boyfriends buying last minute treats. Men, this is your time to shine! Impress your woman with a nice bouquet of flowers (roses are pricey), get her a little box of chocolates or even just a simple card will suffice.

My most memorable V-Day was my junior year of high school when I had my wisdom teeth removed, nothing about that experience was "lovable" at all. While I was confined to my bed and gauze in my mouth, my friend JD payed me a visit that night with V-Day goodies in tow. That night was spent with me laying helpless in bed with a box of chocolates that I obviously couldn't eat yet, and JD sat on the floor while we watched Semi-Pro. It's just the simple things that are proof enough to show someone how much you care for them. So whether your V-Day will be spent on a date with your significant other or watching rom-coms and stuffing your face with chocolate, don't forget to your loved ones just how much you love them. Love it or loathe it, HAVE A HAPPY HEART DAY Y'ALL!
[pictures courtesy of Pinterest]

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Five-months-to-graduation Anxiety

The evil question: What are your plans after graduation? What field of work are you going in to? What city do you think you will end up in? These were the questions that never seemed to quit flowing my way over Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. When they were asked, all I heard was "it's growing up time!" I have always been one of those people that went back and forth on what kind of career I wanted to start for myself after leaving Rocky Top. One week I wanted to go to law school, the next own my bakery, the next sell wedding dresses, and after that one be a teacher. This never ending cycle of not making up my mind has put me in this position, not being to answer that dreaded question.

 Being a part of the Volunteer Team, I have discovered my passion for showing hospitality to visitors and my deep love of the world of football. When I answer those questions with "I want to work in collegiate football in the recruiting process," everyone looks at me as if I have lobsters crawling out of my ears. The job market for these positions is very slim and a major game of "it's not what you know, it's who you know." Throughout my time working with the recruiting office, I have met so many influential people that will help propel me in this industry and get me to where I want to be.

You're probably thinking, why football recruiting? Isn't that a man's job? It is a man's world but being able to plan out visits for potential student athletes, and help them fall in love with the school I love so much is truly gratifying. This is all scary to think about because I still feel like I live at home, have to call my parents every night before bed and make sure to obey their rules. It's time to put the big girl panties on, throw on a suit and hit the ground running to answer that dreaded question because it is coming up on me faster than Roadrunner chasing Wiley Coyote.


Super Bowl XLV-3: Horses vs. Hawks

Ever since I was young, I have always been that girl sitting in a sea of testosterone, buffalo wings, and team banter watching the battle for the Lombardi silver football. If not listening to men carry on about how they could coach better or play someone else, one could see me explaining the game of football to my fellow females. "Three points is a field goal"..."that's what an on-side kick is"..."no, there is no such thing as a homerun in football." Luckily for you ladies, Buzzfeed has released a cheat sheet so you can not only understand what is going on but even impress the men with your new found knowledge of the gridiron game.

Ladies, if you do not retain any of the information about the influential players, which team has the best defense, or even who coaches them, remember the last section (it is hysterical). It is called "How do I sound like I know what I'm talking about?" First point is pick a quarterback and say "Let's go, [insert name here]." I suggest you ladies pick Peyton Manning, the greatest quarterback in football. And if all else fails, Buzzfeed says to "agree with people and repeat what they say." You will look like a P-R-O!

Horses vs. Hawks. Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson. What will Richard Sherman say next? Those are the questions that will be answered after million dollar commercials, useless ESPN commentary and zoom-ins of the coaches yelling at referees. In true Tennessee Volunteers fashion, I will be cheering for Peyton and the Broncos to hoist the Lombardi and make confetti angels on the 50-yard line. So brush up on your facts with this cheat sheet and start preparing the homemade salsa, the countdown to the kickoff is on!


Here is the link to the cheat sheet: