Colloquium Fun!

I was lucky enough to sit in early on Tyler Hartsook’s panel at the 2017 Kennesaw Statetall University’s Communication Colloquium. I was able to ask him some great questions before his panel even started. He and I talked about how hard it is to start on your own in any field. I shared my experience of ghostwriting through Upwork and how, even though I want to be paid 15 cents per word, when I started I was making less than 2 cents per word. Hartsook said that’s how you have to start. You have to be willing to grind and then he used a bit of colorful language which I won’t post, but he was right. You have to be willing to grind to get the things you really want. Also, he is ridiculously tall.

I realized during the second panel that Eat Here ATL and Hungry Girls Do It Better decided to attend because it was basically free publicity. Even though they didn’t say it, I took the note mentally that if I ever get in this situation, that I should always be willing to impart my knowledge on students like they did. ( They gained at least 20 followers each that night). I loved their personalities and how Olivia Tuttle had been in routine contact with them multiple times, but they never realized it was her. That’s just how the industry works I guess. Ton’s of people reach out to influencers, but they rarely remember who you are. They also talked about how you have to be shameless in promoting these days because of all the digital clutter that’s around us all the time. Remaining consistent is key.2ndpanel

I’m grateful that I was able to attend and got to add Robert McDaniels (AdobeSpark) and Tyler Hartsook (22squared) to my profile on LinkedIn. I had such a fun and informative night.

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Cassini’s Grand Finale

NASA:

September 15th marked the descent of the satellite Cassini who has been orbiting Saturn’s solar system for more than 13 years. NASA chose to share it’s final moments on social media including SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram. The build up for this event garnered tons of attention from astronomy enthusiasts and NASA followers. Many people seemed to attach an emotional connection with this satellite even though many had no idea of it’s existence until it was announced to be set to disintegrate in the atmosphere of Saturn.

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Photo Credit: Amber Hutchins at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.

For the purpose of this post, 50 of the most popular Tweets on Twitter are being used. How companies and individuals have reacted to the death of Cassini have been analyzed and how NASA helped facilitate the conversation surrounding Cassini’s last moments was turned into a learning opportunity will be shared. To watch the conversation, I searched the hashtag #Cassini and watched the conversation from September 13, 2017 to September 15, 2017. The use of multimedia was examined, who was actually posting, key words and if people personified Cassini.

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made with www.meta-chart.com

Six key words were examined on the Twitter landscape. Space, Images, Saturn, Goodbye, NASA, and GrandFinale. Space had the most frequent use, showing that many people could understand what Cassini related to and where she was. GrandFinale and Goodbye showed that people were aware of what was actually going on. There were 64 percent of people that personified Cassini by thanking her, saying farewell or creating comics showing her with eyes and emotions. One company even posted an article explaining why it was okay to “well up over a lump of metal.” There were no mentions of the word “pictures” and this shows that people took on the NASA term “images” to refer to all the wonderful things Cassini sent back to us.

People who used the “space” keyword normally connected it with the place where Cassini would be lost (like a cemetery), instead of meaning a generalized location. NASA did an excellent job in creating widespread awareness about Cassini and all she did for the scientific community.

ringsThe overall response was positive, with most users bidding the vessel farewell or thanking it for it’s contributions to society. A few people were upset and didn’t understand why they had to intentionally send the satellite into Saturn, but those questions were quickly answered by other users. There were no negative remarks or bad publicity about that. NASA did a good job setting the stage, but they seemed to lack the interactivity that would have boosted this tremendously.

People increasingly became more attached to the lump of metal destined to disintegrate into the atmosphere of Saturn. Here are a few ways NASA could have better facilitated the conversation.

  1. Establishing a designated hashtag –  People were hashtagging whatever they wanted. #GrandFinale seemed to take on it’s own life, but it wasn’t an intentional move on NASA’s part. Even though they named the event “Cassini’s Grand Finale,” they didn’t intentionally ask people to share the hashtag. It would make tracking and reading who was actually paying attention a lot easier. There were #GoodbyeCassini and just #Cassini as well, it made finding the best keyword to track difficult. A designated hashtag would’ve helped. The main NASA page almost exclusively tweeted the hashtag #CassiniSaturn, which paid no homage to her descent and was not on everyone’s minds as she prepared to take her plunge. The two Twitter pages really should have been on the same page. grand
  2. Write a story – As Cassini entered her last week, they could have done a narrative about the 20 years that she existed and showed some of the amazing images that she took. There were other people that made collages and videos (and user generated content is great), but they should have also took control of the story that was being told. People seemed to personify Cassini as if she were a real breathing person, and NASA could have played on this connection to increase traffic to their site. Cassini’s personal twitter had a ton of stories, but NASA didn’t retweet or share them. sat
  3. Interactivity – It seemed that NASA was in it’s own little world as this was happening. They posted videos and pictures to keep their public informed, but didn’t really have a way to be involved. They should have had a PR/Social Media person participating on Twitter re-tweeting and actively answer/asking question. With all the “fanart” this event made, it would have been a good move to have a contest of some sort to generate more publicity about it.userThis was a great event to monitor and it’s amazing what Cassini photographed and was able to produce for us in the 20 years she was in space.

Being induced tomorrow.

And I feel like the most terrible mother in the world.

I’m sure it’s just hormones and silliness, but I feel like I am betraying my beautiful, smart, and completely unaware daughter. N is almost 27 months old now and I’ve had her for that long.

There have been 27 months with laughing, crying, potty training, learning, and sleepless nights and I just don’t know how I’m going to handle two perfect little girls.

Will I love this new baby the same way? Will N hate me for bringing home another baby? Will she think I’m replacing her?

I hope not. Because I know she will be the best big sister in the world. She will boss around her little sister and share with her and teach her and sing songs to her and more. And my heart will nearly explode watching her be a big sister. I just can’t imagine right now that in two days, our second daughter will be here.

I suppose tons of mothers go through this stage. I’ve asked enough of them to be reassured.

And how do you even have the love capacity for more children? I used to think that the amount of love a person has is definite. That you give so much love per person and can continue to love those that are gone. But it only goes so far, that’s why people fade out of our lives and our minds. When we think of that red hot burning love from a few years ago, it’s barely a flicker.

But I think having children is different. It produces more love. Love that makes you crazy with worry that you’re doing something wrong. That these little people are completely in your hands. The clumsy hands that have ripped papers, and smeared ink, and ruined relationships are being entrusted to you.

And God chose ME to have babies? I can barely keep my life together as it is and Heavenly Father’s like “You got this. Have another!” I don’t know if I will shatter under the pressure or stay resilient. I hope I stay strong for my daughters.

I have daughters. How crazy is that sentence?

To the Girls Who Think Having a Baby When You’re Young is a Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea.

To the girl in my class who winced when I answered her question of, “How old are you?” While showing pictures of my baby to another friend, she leaned over and had asked my age in a surprised tone. When I said I was 24, she physically recoiled and hissed through her teeth as if my answer burned her.

At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I was honestly dumbfounded. As a young mother, I have frequently been asked if N was planned or why “in the world” would I want a baby so young. I’d never seen someone physically react the way you did. “Well, that was rude,” I said to which you immediately apologized and said you didn’t “mean it like that.”

But, you did. You mentioned that, “At 24, I do not see myself with a baby,” with distaste in your voice and for a moment I was mad at you, the Mama Bear inside of me wanting to prove to you that my daughter was amazing and a blessing. You said the word baby like you’d say the word bunion. As if a baby is a nuisance.

But, I took a breath and let it go. You’re 19, you’d mentioned your happy home life and working as a waitress. One persons view of happiness can be entirely and surprisingly different than another’s. For you, happiness is traveling the world and going where you want when you want. The thought of being married was an obstacle to you, being “chained down.” In my experience, the exact opposite is true. I love my husband and my life. Money may be tight sometimes and we have to budget and use coupons, but I would trade this crazy little life for anything. I also have the privilege of having a companion by my side for the rest of eternity.

Family is everything. N is the reason I get up in the morning, and she’s on my thoughts as I fall asleep. I worked hard for her, I was sick almost every single day during my pregnancy and I was in an exhausting induced labor for three days. People want to wait to have children because they want to make something of themselves and get established before. That’s completely fine, we are all in control of our own destinies.

But, I made her. I made a perfect human being. The moment she was in the world, she became my accomplishments. Whatever she accomplishes and becomes, it’s because I wanted her and grew her and made her. I will grow up with her and teach her, show her, and tell her all about the world. Essentially I have another person’s entire future dependent on me. She will base her perceptions of motherhood on me, and how to be treated by a man from her father. It’s a huge responsibility.

At 19, I didn’t want kids as young. I had dreams of going on a mission, and dreams also similar to yours. When I met my would-be husband, I didn’t give him a second glance, and then within 6 months we were married. That’s a story for another post, but when we decided to have a child, it was carefully thought about and discussed. And I would NEVER go back to the way I was at 19 because I didn’t know what true bliss was.

Perceptions of happiness can vary widely from culture to culture or from person to person. A person’s past imprints on their future, always giving an outline of things to fix, want, or avoid. I want my future to be full of children and a happy home. I hope next time you meet someone you don’t understand or agree with, I hope you ask more questions. I hope you take a moment to understand because I live a truly wonderful life. I wish I hadn’t responded the way I did, because I feel now I may have shut down those questions. But, I know for next time to be less defensive and more open. We all have different perceptions of happiness and we should be accepting of it.

Have you ever experienced something similar to this? If so, how did you react? Leave a comment and tell me your advice and stories! I’d love to hear them! If you like my story, please pin it, share it, or like it! Leave me comments! I’d love to hear your stories!

About Me

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My name is Sarah and I am a full time student, stay at home mother, aspiring novelist, and public relations professional. I have a wonderful family of two little girls (N is 2 and M is only 6 months!) and a adoring, supportive husband (A).

I am a full-time student majoring in Public Relations and should be graduating in 2018 with a minor in Professional Writing. I will be the first of my family to receive a college degree and am very proud of the fact.

I will be posting about various things including projects at home, thoughts on various topics, and including examples of my professional work.

If you have any questions or have a recommendation on a blog post, please reach me at sarahsmee.me@gmail.com.