Monday, November 24, 2014

Ted Talks: "Am I dying" the honest answer

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I have watched several TED Talks in the past, as I find them very interesting. The beauty of a TED Talk is that it doesn't require props or a large effort to set up the stage for the speech, it just requires a good speaker with a great idea. It can be short and simple like the one I am reviewing, but equally as powerful. Matthew O'Reilly's "Am I dying" The honest answer is extremely touching. It is about a Critical Care EMT in Suffolk, New York that after a career of lying to people faced with imminent death and telling them that they were going to live, he instead decided to start telling the people the truth; that they are going to die. The reaction he got was surprising, and he noticed there was a pattern of how people reacted to hearing the news that they will die: 1) Wanted forgiveness for their faults in life. 2) Wanting to be remembered 3) The need to know that their life had meaning. He describes that in every situation where he has given somebody the bad news that they will in fact die he has received one of those three reactions, usually followed by peace and acceptance of the reality of death. This TED Talk shows that in death there are only a few things you care about, and in general they revolve around the need to feel like you made a positive impact on this world, and to know you did everything possible to minimize regrets.

There were no props or other visual aids used in Matthew's presentation. In this case, I don't think any are needed, you can tell by his eyes that he meant every word he said; death is not something to be scared of. Given the TED Talk was only about 6 minutes long, I would say it was an extremely impactful and effective use time, the presentation was extremely powerful both in message and delivery. There were no questions asked or humor used, Matthew says "thank you" and walks off of the stage. He delivered at a medium pace, and my only complaint is that he stumbled on his words a couple times, which is understandable because he is an EMT, not a public speaker. I think the overall flow of the presentation was exceptional. I felt as though the user walks you through, his background to establish trust in his opinion, and then leads you through body of the Talk.

I truly am comforted by watching this TED Talk. Death is something that is both inevitable and generally scary. It's nice to know that given imminent death, the overwhelming reaction is peace and solace. I think if I was faced with death I would not regret my past like some of these others have, but instead be sorrowful that I would have no more future. I do think I would like to hear that I am going to be remembered as a positive influence in peoples lives.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay. There are different strategies that companies and individuals use to convey the information they want and develop their own online identity. Companies using Facebook and Twitter have target audiences they are trying to reach out to. I am going to be talking about two different organizations that have completely separate agendas in their online presence, and what their reasons are for using these services.

Many of us frequent big box stores like Walmart often to do some if not all of our shopping due to cheap prices and wide selections. These kinds of companies are using Facebook and Twitter profiles, mainly targeting people that are already customers. If you like them on Facebook or Twitter you see between 3 and 5 posts a day, mainly targeted product advertisements. Around Halloween they were bombarding people will ideas of things to buy for Halloween parties like costumes, food, crafts for a successful Walmart purchased Halloween. There is very little distinction between their Facebook and Twitter pages, they are used very similarly in the fact that it is a flow of products and services that they would love for you to buy at Walmart. It also offers a unique experience where they will respond to your Tweets or Facebook posts with customized responses to make it a friendly and inviting online experience. In general it’s a way for them to constantly feed you advertisements for free with the intention of making more money. For many it could be useful to get ideas for holiday season, similar to how Pinterest is used.

The next example I will use is completely different both in its delivery of content and its reasoning for doing so. The Green Bay Packers use their Twitter and Facebook the same way most sports teams do, more as a source for news, updates and a means to get fans excited for upcoming events and contests. Similarly to Walmart, both its Facebook and Twitter are used for essentially the same purpose, almost with identical content. This is due to the fact that most of what they do is news related. The Packers use their Twitter account as an official way to release information about injured players and their expected returns. Really the NFL and world as a whole use Twitter as a way to get news extremely fast and to the point.

Twitter and Facebook have become means for organizations to easily pass current information and ideas on to their followers. The interesting thing is that you aren’t forced to follow anyone, and conversely you can unfollow anyone at any point. If an entities followers are going up or down is a pretty solid indicator if they’re doing a good job or not in the eyes of their followers.