All About Abby

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I'm a senior Management major/Public Relations minor from Cincinnati about to graduate in May from Ohio Northern University!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cobra has been Found!

As Renee mentioned in class today, the cobra that escaped from the Bronx Zoo has a Twitter account. But, I don't know how much longer the account will remain active, because the missing cobra has been found alive and well today.

I wanted to give everyone some background on this situation – the 20-inch Egyptian Cobra escaped on Friday, March 25th sometime in the afternoon. Cobras are known to be uncomfortable in public areas, so officials knew the cobra was most likely to be in a non-public area of the reptile house; and that’s just where officials found the serpent this morning. This snake could have killed a human with venom in 15 minutes. 

Now onto the cobra’s Twitter account – known as BronxZoosCobra, the person behind the account tweeted about the snake's escapades in the Big Apple. The only user BronxZoosCobra is following is TheBronxZoo. The location is listed as, “I’m not at the Bronx Zoo.” The bio states, “I’m an Egyptian cobra out on the town.” This cobra was also smart enough to make a gmail account! As of now, there is no immediate comment from the person who was sending messages via Twitter as the snake, who attracted 217,046 followers when I checked tonight. Apparently, the snake’s last adventure was attending the New York Yankee’s Opening Day baseball game.

My top three favorite tweets the 'cobra' posted included:
·         ‘If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It’s probably nothing.’
·          Anyone know if Rebecca Black lives in NYC? No reason.’
·         Dear @CharlieSheen, know what’s better than tiger’s blood? Cobra venom. #winning #snakeonthetown Also I’m 20 inches long. Just sayin’.’
Big props to whoever is behind the Twitter account; you have managed to gain a massive amount of publicity through news stations, newspapers, blogs, etc. Also, you have managed to create quite the flurry during this six day missing spree. This frenzy also created a Facebook page to get the Bronx Zoo Cobra to host SNL. I would like you to reveal yourself and shake your hand. You are one funny person. Unfortunately, your time in the public eye may be short-lived because following a cobra who is back in the cage just won’t be as entertaining. 

I hope the zoo officials make sure the snake cages are a little more secure this time around, but for now, rest easy Bronx residents.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Living Arrangements at ONU

When I first moved into my freshman dorm in Maglott, I wondered how I was going to survive in that tiny room with another person for a full school year. My roommate was Chelsea (tall blonde soccer girl) and we both had a lot of clothes and decorations to fill up our little space. Our desks and closet spaces were always overflowing with different items and come winter weather, we didn’t think all of our big coats and pants were going to fit. Somehow, we survived. I liked that we did not have to care for a bigger room and would only take us a minute to vacuum.

Sophomore year, I moved into Brookhart, which was very nice because this room had a bathroom, a living area and two separate bedrooms. Chelsea and I worked out well the first year, so we decided to live together again. Being on campus was nice because of the quick walks to all the academic buildings and I honestly didn’t mind being on ONU’s meal plan for another year, because I am not much of a cook.

I was a little disappointed at first when I heard that I was not able to move off campus until my senior year. However, my junior year apartment in Klondike’s Den worked out very well. I lived with Alex, my friend and teammate on the volleyball squad. I loved that I didn’t have to worry about paying bills or furnishing the entire apartment.

Senior year, I am off campus on University Ave with five of my closest friends – Chelsea, Alex, Kelly, Ashley and Natalie. It’s been quite interesting living under one roof with six girls. For me, it has worked out very well. I love that at least one person is home when I am home and all of our bedrooms are a decent size, so whenever I do need time alone that’s where you can find me. We cook ‘family’ dinners every now and then and we all go out together on the weekends. Some of my favorite nights have been when the six of us are gathered around the television watching trashy reality shows. All of us play/played sports and we are very supportive of each other. Also, our house is very close to Dicke, which is good for me being a business major. I can leave for class four minutes before it starts and still be on time (this is a different story when I have class in the PAC lab). Another reason why I like living in a house is because I really like our house layout – open floor plan with the kitchen and family room together, two big bathrooms with double sinks, six bedrooms that are all mostly the same size and a large front foyer (big enough for… games). Our landlord just redid our house this past summer, so everything is basically new and we only pay $250 a month plus utilities.

To say there hasn’t been drama in our house this year would be a lie, but I am glad I decided to live off campus with all of my friends. I got to experience being a big girl by paying rent, paying the bills and cleaning up/taking care of a property that’s mine (at least for ten months). This house is something I will definitely miss, especially when I am moving back in with my parents in two short months.
My room... I like bright colors.
That time our toliet overflowed into our entire kitchen.. No big deal.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strange Successes of Viral Marketing

I saw in our social media discussion on Facebook we are supposed to do week 7 readings for week 3. This is a very good thing, considering I brought home the wrong books for week 3 readings and the right books for week 7. I’m so intelligent. I found that Chapter 10: Going Viral in The New Influencers was the most interesting to me this time.

One thing that I am glad this chapter discusses is the movie The Blair Witch Project. I thought this film was terrible. I was not scared by it and there wasn’t really a plot that kept me interested. I kept waiting for something big to happen and it never did; the movie abruptly ends. I was so disappointed that there was so much hype about this movie because that’s what made me watch The Blair Witch Project in the first place. Gillin says this low-budget film grossed $140 million. How is that even possible? Because it was marketed heavily through viral promotion. I wasted $10 on a movie because of viral marketing.

Another thing that I find absurd is that The California Milk Processor Board created a website that portrayed documents of aliens kidnapping cattle. Visitors are invited to submit evidence in the form of photos and videos that document the problem. Where do people hear about this stuff? That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Nonetheless, it attracted more than 13,000 references on Google.

Some essential truths of viral marketing include: the product better be good, the campaign must be fun, don’t push it, reward people for coming, let go and use the medium. Gillin states, “In fact, most products would probably not do well if marketed virally.” That comes as a shock to me, as there were so many weird successes described in this chapter alone. And if Burger King can increase their sales of chicken sandwiches by 9% in one week because of an actor dancing around in a chicken suit on their website, I feel that almost all products can be sold successfully using viral marketing.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

MIA from ADA

My life in Ada Vegas.
Since I have been gone from Ada for a week and a day, I don’t have much to say about my life at ONU (except for I am starting to miss that little village). I would like to take time to write about the things I have experienced outside of A-Town. First, I want to brag to everyone about my time in Vegas, and then I want to share a little something special from my interview.

My two friends and our momma’s arrived in Vegas around 10pm on Friday. All we wanted was a big juicy hamburger, so we found a restaurant open 24 hours called Tequila Bar and Grill. By the time our food arrived and we were downing a giant fishbowl drink, it was 5am our time. It grossed me out that I was consuming this much at this time, but then again it didn’t bother me too much.

The next three days, we took time to explore Sin City and the strip and take lots of pictures. The weather was terrible the first two days, cold and overcast, but the third day it brightened up. We went to the Hard Rock Casino, where the Real World cast is staying this season, and visited plenty of other casinos, shops and restaurants. We stayed at the Paris Hotel and checked out the club scene in our hotel, so we didn’t have to go too far. We saw Holly Madison, star of Holly’s World from E! That was cool. We took some tequila shots. Not so cool. I hate tequila, it makes my throat burn. When my friend Suzanne wiped out and almost knocked over a standing heater outside and burnt the club down, we decided it was probably our time to leave.

(That's me in the green, waving)

The last day in Vegas, we went to the Stratosphere, where we basically hung off the side of the building 871 feet in the air on a roller coaster. I almost pooped my pants. Anyways, then we ate at the Eiffel Tower, which was so fancy and so delicious. We ended our trip with a night at Planet Hollywood’s night club called Koi, where it was $20 open bar all night for girls. Needless to say, the flight home was no fun the next morning.

Basically, we walked around a lot to see all the beautifully designed and decorated buildings, drank all day and night, lost our money on slots and rapid roulette, and did some drunk dancing at the Vegas night clubs. It was awesome.

I had my interview with Macy’s two days after I got home, and I thought it went pretty well. The directors I interviewed with seem very impressed and interested in my social media internship experience and knowledge, and I told them it's just going to get better because of this social media course. Macy's is a growing presence online and just got a Facebook in 2009. They plan to do more with their Facebook and other social media sites in the future. I hope this can give me an advantage over other candidates!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That One Awful Word

While searching the web today, I came across a very powerful and personal issue. I was visiting Ragan's PR Daily Web site when I found, “PR Campaign launches to curb the “R-word,” and I knew this is what I wanted to discuss with all my followers.

I have two startling facts for you: the word ‘r*tard’ is tweeted once every three seconds – that amounts to more than 24,000 tweets a day. The number of tweets with ‘r*tard’ just this week is already at 12,233.

To those of you who know me well, you know that I have a mentally handicapped older brother, Andy (I like to call him Angus). Angus and I are very close in age, only a year and a half apart. He has many different disorders, including mild mental retardation, ADHD and bipolar disorder. Andy loves sports and excels in the Special Olympics basketball, softball and soccer programs, and works three days a week at an office near our home.  Even though Andy’s I.Q. is only somewhere in the sixties and he will never be able to read or write, that doesn’t make him any less of a person or a ‘r*tard’ by any means. 

Therefore, you will never catch me saying that awful R-word. It does upset me that people use it in their everyday language, and not even think of what it really means to families and friends of ones with disabilities.

This is why I was so excited when I came across this campaign, created by MyLifeWay, an Illinois-based organization. They created The Social Challenge which features tweets containing the R-word and encourages people to reply to the offending tweets and asks them to check out the Web site, which is also a forum for people to share their personal stories and connect with one another. Advocates also get out in the community to raise awareness.

I encourage all of you to check out this Web site and take the pledge to never tweet or say the awful R-word.

Angus and I at my cousin's wedding this past summer!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebs and Their Tweets

Always wanting to know what celebrities had to eat for dinner? Curious as to see how many hours of sleep they get each night? Well have no fear! Twitter has all your answers:
·         Pete Wentz : “i think i had the best pizza i have ever had in my life with my best friend ever last night.”
·         Leann Rimes : “Amazing dinner @ La Colonial! A little b ballon TV and cuddling! Perfect! Have a great night!!!!”
·         Audrina Patridge : “Just had some snap wraps from carls.... Delicious!!”
·         Rob Brydon : “Almost ten hours of sleep, a modern day personal best!”
·         Shaq : “Anotha sleepless nite, n twitter land, aaaaaggggghhhhhhh, whyyyyyyyyyyyy”

Although I tried to start Twittering twice and failed both times due to lack of use then forgetting my passwords (you have to make them too hard!), I never really understood the obsession of following celebrities on Twitter. What did everyone do before Twitter? How did we find out all the hot gossip? I still do it the old school way of reading magazines and watching E! News. But I just found out I can look at all celebrity tweets without even having a Twitter.

Celebrities like P.Diddy, or is it Diddy Dirty Money? Well, according to his Twitter name, he’s Sean P. Diddy Combs. Anyways, he uses Twitter to announce his Coming Home Tour. I can understand that. Paula Abdul, along with many other celebrities, recently posted on her Twitter page what number to text to give $10 to Japan for the Red Cross. I respect that. Some celebrities use Twitter to clear the air about nasty rumors, that’s fine by me. As mentioned in the Webinar in class today, celebrities like Kim K. use Twitter to advertise for different places. That's smart.

But when celebrities like Aubrey from Danity Kane post updates like, "ITS MY DUTY TO PLEASE THAT BOOTY!" Um… what? That’s just obnoxious. And Nicole Polizzi aka Snooki, posted a twitpic of what her luggage looks like. I hope no one really cares that she has zebra print suitcases. I could be wrong.

In conclusion, I think Twitter can be a great thing for celebrities to promote their tours, help out businesses and thank their lovely fans for all their support.  But in my opinion, I don’t care what their eating, how they slept at night or anything of the nature. They should stop with all the useless tweets.

(All tweets were found at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Busy Times at ONU

Each week, we are required to write a blog about our life at ONU. This week, I am going to take this very literally and write exactly how my life has been during the past two weeks back here for spring quarter of my senior year.

First of all, I really love my spring quarter schedule due to the fact I have an awesome break in the middle of the week. I am done with class at 1pm on Tuesdays then don’t have class until 12pm on Thursdays. Yay! Also, I am done with class at 1pm on Fridays so I can always start my weekend early. Because of my schedule this quarter, I thought I would have so much down time and a lot of time to relax. But, I may be wrong. This quarter is going to be filled with weekly homework assignments, which I feel I haven’t had in a while. I have assignments for my small business management class due two days a week, 3 blogs and 3 comments a week, possibly 4 case study analyses a week, on top of other projects that will come about throughout the quarter.

So, the first week back was not terrible. I did have time to just hang out and do what I wanted (maybe because I saved most of my homework to do on lazy Sunday). However, this week and next week are going to be wild, because I am leaving for VEGAS on Friday the 22nd! While I am so, so excited because I’ve never been there and didn’t go on Spring Break during our actual break, I am swamped with homework until then. I have all my weekly assignments, which are usually due on Monday that I have to complete by Friday. On top of those, Aggie told us that we have to film and edit a PSA by Monday (in my case Friday) and I have to create a business plan by Sunday (Friday) for my small business management class.

I’ll be in Vegas until Tuesday night, the 22nd, so when I come back next week, I’ll be swamped again with my weekly assignments. But wait – I don’t even know if I’ll be back at all for week 3! As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have class on Wednesdays, so I was going to stay home Tuesday night and venture back to Ada Wednesday night. Then, I found out I have an interview with Macy’s on Friday, the 25th  (which I am also very excited about). So what do I do? Do I drive 2.5 hours back to Ada from home on Wednesday night and attend classes on Thursday, then drive the 2.5 hours back to Cincinnati on Thursday night for my interview on Friday? Or should I just stay at home after Vegas and miss class all week? Decisions, decisions….

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Diggin’ the Groundswell Book

I received a nice gift in the mail today, and that was the gift of my book for social media class entitled Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. For starters, I’d like to say this book has the brightest cover I’ve ever seen. It's cool. And the fact that this book has ‘winning’ in the title is ironic to me at this time when everyone is about Charlie and saying, "winning!" Enough about the sweet cover and title, let’s get down to my critical analysis of what I found interesting in this week’s reading.

Groundswell pointed out something that I just recently realized about social media: “people on the Internet showed they were in charge.” This is so true. People are free to create their own blogs and write about whatever they feel like. Facebook and Twitter users can post their status updates as whatever they want, whether it’s exposing someone’s deepest darkest secret to millions of people or leaking undisclosed information, such as the story of the HD-DVD Processing Key being released on the Internet. At the end of the day, over 3,000 blogs mentioned this number, which was the encryption for the new high-definition DVD format and with appropriate skill, people could make copies of ‘uncopyable’ DVDs.

Groundswell also brought up the point that the Internet allows people to draw strength from each other. For example, most bloggers who posted this prohibited key number didn’t even know each other; they didn’t plan to form some secret society to take down the movie industry. However, bloggers overpowered the entire movie industry and all its legal tools. Blogs have the power to allow people across the world to connect to each other and promote similar interests. The Internet is now fully integrated into all elements of business and society.

Going along with the movie industry, another story that struck me as very interesting was the Snakes on a Plane situation. New Line Cinema planned to complete the movie and release it in 2006, but word got out, fan sites spread and it then belonged to the Internet. Before long, Snakes on a Blog became the focal point for fan activity, with 8,360 other blogs and Web sites linked to it. Fans insisted that the movie include a particular line in the movie for Samuel L. Jackson. This line went something like, “I have had it with these m-fing snakes on this m-fing plane.” It's funny to me, but maybe not to New Line, who had to court to these hardcore fans to succeed, so they changed the movie, added the line and lost the film’s PG-13 rating.

Oh, the power of the blogs and the Internet in general can never be underestimated.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Influencers = Active Bloggers

Being a first-time blogger, I don’t quite yet understand the ins and outs of blogging and what blogging has to offer. That’s why I am thankful for my textbook, The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin. Chapter One of this book introduces blogs and tells how they came to be so influential. I was amazed at the story the chapter opens with. An active blogger attracted national attention by recording a phone conversation. I did not know this was even possible.

Vincent Ferrari decided to cancel his America Online account, which basically made him famous for a couple months. Ferrari recorded his phone call with the AOL representative because he had heard complaints about their customer service. Ferrari talked to John, who tried to convince him canceling his service would be a terrible mistake even after Ferrari asked him 15 times to cancel. Then, John asked to speak to Ferrari’s father. Ferrari was 30 years old. It took him 21 minutes to cancel his AOL account.

 I can definitely see how this is a little absurd, but what came after this phone call is even more absurd to me: Ferrari posted the audio file on his blog and four days later, the story was published in the New York Post.  Two days later, CNBC called for an interview. A few days after that, Matt Lauer called him up and asked him to be on the Today Show. After that, it was Nightline. If I would have known that a recording of a phone call with an annoying customer service representative could get me all this press, I would have done this too! I, along with probably everyone on the planet, have experienced what he went through with AOL. Ferrari was just creative enough to record the call and post it on his blog so any Internet user (or millions of people) could see it.

It’s amazing to me how much power the Internet can have. Blogs and YouTube videos are now making ‘average’ people celebrities. Take this example into account and just look at Justin Bieber – he was found on YouTube and has turned millions of young girls into Beliebers. Social media is changing the world. Ferrari said he didn’t expect much to come from his blog post. Maybe I will get lucky enough to attract media attention from one of my blog posts! Anything can happen these days…

Friday, March 11, 2011

My College Career is Almost Over?!

I’ve been thinking lately about how fast my college career is going. Everyone always talks about how fast it goes, but I never truly knew what they were talking about until I experienced it myself. It seems like yesterday I was making the life-changing decision about where to go for college, and yet it was about four years ago. I must have applied to 20 different colleges, all of different sizes and locations. I never heard of ONU until I found it on I liked the size, I liked that it was only 2.5 hours away from my home and that it offered DIII athletics. So I thought, why not visit this school and check out what it has to offer. I can remember very vividly the first time I stepped foot on ONU’s campus. I went to the admissions office, got a tour of the beautiful campus (I loved the trees and ponds!), met with Dean Fenton and Coach Witte, then I got to stay the evening with some girls on the volleyball team. I had a blast! I truly felt like I belonged here, which is apparently when you know what college to pick.

Throughout my (almost) four years here and with my last quarter left, I think I made the best decision possible for me. I don’t regret not going to a big school, like OU or UC with all my friends from home. Being from Cincinnati, my mother was always worried I wouldn’t enjoy the small town atmosphere. Cynthia was wrong. I love the fact that I can walk to class and see at least five people I know. I love the fact that all my professors know me individually and the bar owner in town knows my name. I love the fact I don’t have to pay for a taxi when I want to go out, as everything I need is in walking distance. I met the most amazing people and friends, had good experiences with the volleyball team and accomplished some things I never would have at a big school. I don’t have any major complaints about ONU. Only minor complaints, such as the fact the Freshman dorms are way too small (I don’t know how I survived there for a school year), security gives out too many parking tickets and the weather here really sucks sometimes.

Looking back four years ago, I have to admit that I must have been very smart to choose ONU as the college to continue my education and start the next chapter of my life. I can’t believe this chapter is almost over. These last 10 weeks in Ada, I am definitely going to make the best of it! Who’s with me?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Fast is Social Media Growing?

It’s so crazy to me how far social media has come in the past year. The number of social media sites seems to be increasing at such a fast rate, as I hear about new sites almost every month. Also, the number of users on these sites is increasingly drastically. Social media users today range anywhere from celebrities and professionals, to our peers, parents, grandparents and even our cousins still in grade school! To prove this point, Steven White researched how fast social media grew from 2006 to 2010. Click here to visit his Web site that can clue you in on how fast Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and Tumblr are growing with detailed graphs and charts. To identify the main facts, Facebook grew from 12,000,000 users in 2006 to 500,000,000 in 2010. That's crazy! Twitter started with 1,000 users in 2006 and gained up to 145,000,000 in 2010 (White).
From personal experience, I interned at Greater Cincinnati Water Works during the summer of 2009, and when I came back for the next summer, some of my duties and assignments totally changed from researching how to utilize social media to being in charge of our Facebook page, YouTube Channel and Twitter account. Having experience with social media has given me a leg up on other candidates as I search for jobs. I was able to land two social media spring internships, one for the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and one for the Eisen Agency. During job interviews, the interviewers seem so interested in what social media is, how it can be effective for their company, and what I know and like about it. Social media alone is beginning to create full-time jobs for people, i.e. social media specialists. Crazyness. Social media is continuing to grow and I’m very interested to see how far it goes in the next year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Day of Social Media Class

I created this blog for my social media class at Ohio Northern University and wow, I must say I have a lot to learn about being a good blogger.