A Walk Through A Slide

For an assignment in my Writing Arts course, we were assigned to make a Pecha Kucha, which is a slide show that uses 1 photo per slide and no words. The slides change every 20 seconds. Pecha Kucha prevents “death by powerpoint” and ensures the presenter will not just be reading off of a slid. Here is a walk through one of my slides..

A Walk Through A Slide

For the Pecha Kucha assignment, my blog group and I decided on the topic of blogging becoming mainstream. My five slides were first and with these slides, I discussed the history of blogging.

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Although I put a lot of thought into each of my slides for the Pecha Kucha assignment, my favorite slide was my last slide. My final slide shows a girl painting her nails red at her computer desk. With this slide, I discussed the fact that blogs are a large part of our culture and many blogs are related to hobbies and interests. I then introduce the growth of beauty blogs as a type of hobby and interest blog in recent years.

My slides leading up to this slide showed little to no beauty aspect since they were used to discuss the history of blogging, rather than the beauty angle. Therefore, this slide is the first to show any type of beauty or glamour. As soon as I saw this picture, I knew my search was over and it was perfect for my final slide.

I chose this picture because even though the girl is sitting in front of her computer, she has her laptop and mouse pushed out of the way and is painting her nails red. She has all her nail tools on the desk, along with her stapler remover, scissors, agenda and other stationary tools. I believe this picture is a perfect representation of beauty blogging. Even down to using the color red as an accent color is perfection because nothing screams glamour like the color red.

With this image, I used information from an article to help introduce the popularity of beauty blogging. The article I chose was, “A Brief History of Blogging.” The article was exactly that, a brief history of blogging. The article gave the important dates and milestones of blogging and discussed how blogs moved past just political and world news and are now focusing on interests and hobbies, like beauty blogs.

I see this slide as a perfect introduction to the topic of beauty blogging. With the computer and stationary supplies on the desk along with the nail tools and nail polish it shows the aspect of writing as well as the aspect of beauty. I think it was a good end point to my part of the presentation as well as a good starting point for the next presenter. Looking back at it now, I don’t think there is much I would change about this slide. I definitely would not change the image, if anything, I would expand on my discussion about beauty blogs more than just stating how they have grown exponentially in recent years.

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

For this module, my blog group and I chose the topic of beauty blogs. I was excited to start a beauty blog and write about a topic I am interested in. I haven’t studied beauty blogging exactly, but I did go to cosmetology school, so I studied beauty. I also worked at a salon for about 2 years before deciding I wanted to go to college to become a teacher. I enjoyed working in the beauty industry, but I saw it as more of a hobby than a career. It is a lot harder work than people think and the hours are terrible. But all in all it was a fun experience and even though I no longer work at a salon, I still love hair and makeup and experimenting with both.

Although I was excited to write a beauty blog, I was worried about relating the class reading to the blog topic, but it was actually easier than I thought. The two reading from Bolter were relatable. The one, “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print,” discussed the shift we are experiencing in print and how we are now living in a time that is being coined as the “late age in print.” Bolter visited the topic of the rapid growth in technology and stated that as new technologies present themselves, the idea of print is being left behind. One of these new technologies is blogging. In recent years, following the early 2000’s, blogging has grown and now, pretty much everyone has a favorite blog or even writes their own blog.

We also got the opportunity to choose readings outside the class for our blog entries, which was a little easier. My first blog using an outside source was “And the “Father of Year” Award Goes To…” which discussed an article I read about a single father going to beauty school to learn how to do hair for his daughter. Obviously this story was adorable, but my focus was more on how after taking classes at beauty school, the single dad started a blog and Facebook page showing other single dads and hair struggling parents how to complete simple hairstyles for their children.

I also read an article from the New York Times, “Beauty Bloggers Parlay Social-Media Success into Entrepreneurship” about successful beauty bloggers and how these women made a career out of beauty blogging. I took what I learned from the article and wrote a blog post, which focused on the three women in the article as well as how these women turned blogging into a career.

I found both the in class and out of class readings to be both informative and interesting. I learned a lot about my topic when it comes to the blogging aspect, rather than the beauty aspect. Although I follow a lot of beauty blogs, I am glad I got the opportunity to start my own. I am sometimes a little reluctant to give in to technology, but starting a blog was easier than I thought and it was fun to write about a topic I have interest in, rather than a topic given to me by a professor. I am even thinking of continuing to “beauty blog” this summer when I have some free time.

The Facebook Challenge

The thought of giving up FaceBook.

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This was my exact reaction when the class was assigned to give up FaceBook for a WHOLE week! Although I was apprehensive I deleted the app from my phone, and the bookmark from my bookmarks bar on my web browser. Facebook is my escape from reality and boredom. I tend to only update my status on Facebook during extremely stressful times. During this week of being “grounded” from Facebook I just so happened to be starting my full time job. All I wanted to do was go onto Facebook and complain about how hard my life was at that moment.

I feel like it’s always nice to have someone relate to you, or understand your stress. I know some people find constant complaining on Facebook really obnoxious, and I get that. So for the week of no Facebook I faced the challenge of finding a new outlet for my stress and negativity. By the end of the week I realized that I felt like I got through the week feeling less stressed, and I was letting things roll off my back easier. By constantly complaining about life on Facebook I am reliving experiences and holding on to stress just so I can update my status. Really I should just make a permanent status like this:

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Life is so much easier when you don’t have the constant need to relive negative experiences and have a completely unnecessary conversations with people about it.

Another thing that I found hard to get past was the need to go on Facebook when I was bored. I usually get on Facebook before class starts. You know those times when you get to class ten minutes early, and everyone is sitting around with their faces glued to their phone screen? Yeah they’re on Facebook. Those ten minutes were the longest of my life during the Facebook ban.
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I never knew what to do on my phone. I usually went on to the Huffington app or the Wanelo app. I also did cheat a few times (totally not on purpose!) when I clicked a company’s link it took me to their Facebook page…I promptly clicked off because I was committed. ;D

I never understood and still don’t understand my obsession with needing a constant update on peoples lives. Most of the time, like me, they are just complaining and releasing pent up anger and stress. This only adds to my stress and anger. I think by being off of Facebook for a week has helped me realize that it does more harm than good in my case. I may feel an impulse to complain and vent in the heat of the moment, but in the end it’s better to just let it roll off my back. However, this doesn’t mean I’m done for good…it’s a hard habit to break.

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Tweet Tweet.. by Amanda Darpino

Prior to this module, Twitter and tweeting were definitely foreign to me. As a class requirement, we had to tweet, which was weird to me. At first I wasn’t completely sure what to tweet, then I began tweeting about the articles we were assigned to read as well as other quotes I read about writing. I also tweeted whenever I added a new blog post to my blog, Fashion Forward Student. I did not get much feedback on my tweets besides a few “favorites” and even fewer comments, but I blame that on not having many followers.

I do believe Twitter is great for connecting with people in a professional community, more so than Facebook or other social networking sites. In order to find people in my professional community, I searched “#education” and found endless tweets about different issues in education. I did reply to a few of these tweets, but unfortunately, my replies went unnoticed, but my feelings weren’t hurt. Since getting acquainted with Twitter, I realized it is difficult keeping up with replies, even though I have got so few of them. This is mainly because I am so new to Twitter and still learning how to navigate the site, but I noticed the professionals I replied to have A LOT of followers, which is why my comment probably got lost in the sauce. I have a handful of followers and at times it is days before I notice a reply or message on my Twitter and that’s why I forgive these professionals for ignoring me. I have forgiven and forgotten.

One of the first professionals i tweeted was Dr. Justin Tarte. I chose the following tweet to reply to:

The most dangerous phrase in #educationpic.twitter.com/RPqxKR99qB

— Dr. Justin Tarte (@justintarte) February 18, 2015

The image that accompanies this tweet is a photo of the quote, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”

To which I replied:

 @TimElmore technology is taking over the classroom. as long as we incorporate those devices in the classroom, we will have the best of both

— Amanda Darpino (@AmandaDarpino) February 22, 2015

So, my second attempt was better, but still no reply. 

I believe this is because Tim Elmore has 33.8K followers and follows 28.3K.

His bio reads: President of @GrowingLeaders. Author of #Habitudes. Committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Tim Elmore posts about relevant education issues frequently. He follows fellow educators and leaders in education. By visiting his list of followers, i was able to find many other professionals in my field to follow. 

Although Twitter is still new to me, I believe it is great for getting in contact with fellow professionals. It is not my first choice for social networks, but that could change one I build my followers and learn to navigate the site better.

Woah Target, Too Much.. by Amanda Darpino

Now, maybe I’m naive, but I was shocked by what I learned from the article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.” I knew companies had access to a lot of information, but according to this article, there is a lot more companies know than you think. At Target, each customer has a Guest ID number, which keeps a record of everything you buy as well as if you use a credit card or coupon, fill out a survey, mail in a refund, call customer service, open an email, or visit Target’s website. All this information gets recorded and linked to your Guest ID. So yes that is a lot of information, but this is not what I found so shocking. It is all the other information that is linked to your Guest ID that shocks me, such as, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit.

Target can also buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, and your political leanings. So you know, just the basic, personal details all Target’s should know.. Not.

Although I find this all very creepy, Target uses this information to learn about their customers so they can ensure their customers are using Target as their primary store and getting all their products from Target. Target uses the science of habit formation to accomplish this goal and a main component in the habit formation is all the personal details of customers.

The article gives the example of a women who buy swimsuits in April. Send those customers coupons for sunscreen in July and diet books in December. Makes sense, right? So although Target and other large retailers are using the science of habit to hook and reel customers in, I can’t help but feel a bit violated. A lot of the information they are gathering is very personal and it raises a concern of where they are obtaining it all from. Like i said at the beginning of the article, I may be naive about this whole topic because I would be lying if i said my mouth and eyes weren’t wide open in shock as I read this article.

I am going to have to start paying closer attention to what coupons Target sends me. What does your Guest ID say about you? Just take a look at your coupons to see if you can figure it out.

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So often I’ll want to try something new for my makeup, but I won’t quiet know how to do the things that I desire, or I can’t think of an idea. Thankfully though there are sites like Youtube and Pinterest that have how to’s to simply guide you through.

Beauty gurus, get to make videos and blog post of new makeup looks and how to achieve the look and can get paid thanks to the views and subscribers that they get. Personally I am more then grateful for Youtuber’s like Zoella, Nicole Guerriero, and Tess Christine. Thanks to them I was able to watch makeup tutorials on looks to achieve with my Urban Decay Naked makeup palette. Often times I learn neat tips and tricks that I wouldn’t know other wise. When I first tried to get may hand at winged eye linger, it was often less to be desired, but after countless youtube searches and lots of time spent watching different techniques of achieving the perfect wing, I am finally able to do the same with little effort.

Internet is changing the way may things are being done. Learning tricks and tips used to not be so easily assessable. I for one am grateful that I can learn things in the comfort of my own home, and able to try along with the videos, or simply look up things that I might be too shy or embarrassed to ask someone else about.

One Week Without Facebook… Did I Actually Survive? Theresa Baran

The assignment was to log off of Facebook for a week. Delete the apps from any device and stay signed off from the computer. I somewhat succeeded, but at the same time, I feel like I failed.

First off, I don’t use Facebook for communicating with friends. It’s mostly just scrolling through the newsfeed and picking up different stories that pique my interest- anything from BuzzFeed to YouTube that gets posted. I also use Facebook to feed my Tetris addiction. So a week without Facebook had me doing two things:

  1. I downloaded the BuzzFeed app onto my phone and was constantly going through BuzzFeed’s … Feed trying to get my daily dose of news, cuteness and awes.

  1. I downloaded a (horribly made) Tetris app, which made me want to break my phone. I love my Tetris and the app that I got was absolutely horrid.

So when the clock struck midnight, the first thing I did was go to Facebook and click the Tetris Battle link on the side of my newsfeed. I spent the next three or so hours going through Marathon mode of Tetris Battle. I hadn’t realized that it was going to be such a relief to play again. It was like taking your hair out of a tight pony tail and feeling your roots sigh in happiness.

But did I actually survive a week without Facebook?

Wednesday – February 11, 2015 —  my alarm blares in my ear, jolting me from a deep slumber. I groggily push myself up from the mattress, my hair a mess and grab my phone from my nightstand. I grumble as I shut off the alarm and go to open the Facebook app when the calendar notification pops up. No Facebook for a Week. Starting Today. A small string of explicits exit my mouth. I wasn’t feeling well and I had just wanted to go on Facebook, complain to my family- like I typically would do. But no. I couldn’t. So I put music on and got my day started, thinking I could easily do this.

But man oh man was I wrong.

First of all, I’m an avid Candy Crush, Pet Rescue and Farm Heroes player. Not only did I have to disconnect from Facebook for the week, but within 2 days, I had beat the episodes of all three games and couldn’t ask (and by ask I mean bombard) my aunt and best friends for tickets to the next episode.

I couldn’t do it. I did do it, but I was more often than not tempted to go on. I missed two engagements and a birth announcement during that week. Oh goody.

The bright side however, is that I was able to keep in touch with my Facebook only friends through messenger because messenger is NOT Facebook. It doesn’t have the games, the photos, the status uploads or the links that Facebook has. It was like texting my friends, but through an app released by the company whose main app I could not use. Yeah….

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Let’s just say that I am glad that the week is over. I missed Facebook more than I thought possible and I am glad I won’t have to do that again.

The Facebook Ban has been Lifted… by Amanda Darpino

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As a class assignment, I was asked to abstain from all Facebook activity for seven day! Prior to this assignment, I would have said i was not addicted to Facebook at all, but I quickly learned my dependence on Facebook was stronger than i thought. I use Facebook in times of boredom. At work, during commercial breaks, or while waiting in line at a store.

During the Facebook-less week, I will admit, there were several times I clicked the Facebook app on my phone out of habit. After the first two day, I had to move the app to its own page on my iphone to keep from using it. After doing that, there were many times i went on my phone and looked to my Facebook apps old spot and felt a pang of longing. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but my finger did hover over where the app once was before I realized I couldn’t use Facebook.

Well, I obviously survived the Facebook blackout period, but I did feel out of the loop for  a week. For an entire week I missed out on people’s status rants, relationship status updates, and photos of meals. Also, I had to actually do my job, watch commercials, and read tabloid headlines while in line at stores.

It was hard not to cheat, but I did my best. However, on Valentine’s day, I uploaded a picture to Instagram and clicked to link it to Facebook. I don’t count this as cheating though because technically i did not log onto or use the Facebook app to do this (spoken like a true Facebook addict).

To say I was excited to log into Facebook Wednesday morning might be an understatement. I will admit, it felt good to sign on and have so many notifications. I also had a lot of newsfeed to catch up on and a ton of BuzzFeed articles I needed to read.

Although this was an interesting experiment, I do not think I will be giving up Facebook again any time soon.

Lasting the Week… By Colleen Dilger

Have you ever stopped to realize how many times a day you may reach for your phone or laptop to go onto social media? This past week I did my best to give up on being so religiously attached to Tumblr. At first I dint really think that this was going to be a hard task to follow through on. Believe it or not, I failed on my first day. Now for me I use Tumblr as a time passer as well as a relaxer, so when I was stuck in the doctors waiting  for about an hour you can imagine how desperate I was to make time pass. I first started off my going on other social media apps.I started with checking my Instagram, however when you check your Instagram as much as me, theres usually very little new photos posted, so that took up a solid five minutes of my time. Then I moved onto Facebook, the classic standby, but for some reason my Facebook feed is either filled with post of videos (of which I believe would have been extremely rude to watch while sitting in a quite room filled with other impatient waiting people) or post that seem to have no necessary meaning or value. I quickly gave up on that, lastly I moved to twitter, however I’ve never really jumped on the twitter bandwagon so I was just kinda scrolling through with no real purpose. After sometime I just got annoyed and figured that it wouldn’t mind if I just go on Tumblr today. I’ll start tomorrow when I don’t have to spend my time just waiting around. So later that night before I fall asleep I grabbed my phone and did my usual Tumblr session that I always do before I fall asleep, I mean I already cheated today so why not. Day two was equally as challenging, honestly being an eye opener for me. I guess I never really thought about how often I seem to go, I realized that Ill go on after I get ready in the morning and am waiting to start my day, I’ll go on during class and I feel bored and need something to keep me going, Ill go on again when I waiting in the car to pick someone up, even when Im hanging out with my friends and the conversation seems to dull for a minute I’ll grab my phone on make a quick check, then Ill end my night strong by again going on. Why has Tumblr become such a huge aspect of my everyday life? What if the site actually got deleted one day, would I be able to cope or would I have to find a new addiction to waste my time? I’ve noticed that in this week as an attempted to not check Tumblr, I would find myself doodling in class when I felt bored, and I would bring up conversation starts with my friends when the chitchat slowed, at night instead of wasting the hour or so I would scrolling through my feed, I simply feel asleep. Now I would like to say that I was able to stay unplugged from Tumblr for the rest of the week, but sadly I think that I had a moment of weakness probably at leave for 30 minutes everyday. Im not proud of it, but I can admit it. Living without Tumblr was challenging to me, and at some points frustrating. I see the addiction that I have, as well as the addiction that is formed in many people around me. I place you with a challenging. I dare you to realize which social media is for favorite, whether it be Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, maybe even Tumblr and give it up for a week, like give it an honest try. I want you to realize just how plugged in you are and take a step back to see how its effecting you.

Madeleine Czekalski: Beauty Gurus Changing the Beauty Industry

Think about it. Five years ago what drove you to buy a certain beauty products? How did you know to buy one product over another? Were you more disappointed with purchases back then compared to your more recent purchases? Last question, I promise, has YouTube made you change the way you buy your beauty products? Chances are for over half of young adults, and more technology savvy adults the answer is YES!Smiley face

You no longer have to walk blindly into the department store beauty counter where the women wearing copious amounts of makeup tries to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of products, when you could find amazing dupes for one fourth of the high-end prices. Smiley face
Some people may think well “you get what you pay for,” but with the world wide web of beauty we see that just isn’t the case. We now have millions, if not billions, of beauty related video content on YouTube. These people give use what seems like a personal interactive video meant just for us. They give us their serious, and honest opinion on tons of beauty brands and products. According to this article, for beauty brands the money is no longer in the magazine ads, television ads, or door-to-door consultants.

The money is in the online video content! NYX is one of the many makeup brands using the already popular beauty gurus to spread word about the amazing products they offer. NYX is a drug store quality brand (if that even means anything anymore), so they are already lacking in funds to advertise their brand. Despite this fact they had almost one hundred percent of their views come from “user-generated content.” Dove, which also has a larger television campaign, had only forty percent of its online video views come from user-generated content. This means that even though Dove has been using YouTube for advertisement longer than NYX, NYX has millions of more views because of their user-generated content. User-generated content means that a brand sends beauty gurus (active users who make beauty related content and have millions of subscribers) free products to try and share with their online audience. This is essentially, a low cost method of advertisement.

So if you’re wondering, what does this have to do with how I chose what makeup to buy, or if you’re wondering if these beauty gurus are getting paid to have a positive opinion? Most beauty gurus will tell you they always give their true opinion. If they said they liked a crappy product, and thousands of their viewers went out and bought a product based on that beauty gurus’ opinion, only to find out it was not a good product, they would lose viewers and money. This user-generated content advertising is not only changing the way companies advertises their beauty products, but also the way we buy our makeup. Guaranteed the next time you want to try out a new lipstick you will be on YouTube doing your research, rather than going to a Mary Kay party, or a makeup counter.

Fellow Beauty Bloggers Find Big Time Success! by Amanda Darpino

Blogs are a fun, creative outlet, but sometimes what starts out as a hobby can turn into a career.

Cara Brook, age 28, is the creator of popular beauty blog Maskcara.com and in November of 2014, Cara began selling her own line of products via her blog. The Las Vegas native began selling her contouring kit, HAC pack ($47) and foundation ($26). In 2013, Cara was named Allure magazine’s Beauty Blogger of the Year and in her interview, she said her innovation came from her frustration with the highlighting and contouring products on the market. Her frustration led her to order raw ingredients to experiment with creating her own makeup. Both products have been selling and Cara credits the success of her new line to her blog readers saying, “They’re so intelligent, down to earth and sweet.”

Cara wasn’t always a successful beauty blogger, in fact, when she first began writing, her main blog posts were based on sample products she got from Sephora. After a year of blogging about these sample products, Cara’s sister, Rachel, called from a salon where she had just given a pedicure to a woman whose company manufactured makeup for Sephora and Bath & Body Works. They worked together for two years to create the Maskcara line, testing it on readers who signed up for makeovers. Today, there is currently a waiting list for the makeovers!

Cara’s childhood dream of inventing her own beauty products became a reality with the help of social media, but she isn’t the only one who found success via social media. Michelle Phan, 28, began posting makeup tutorials on YouTube in 2007 and now has over five million subscribers! In 2010, she collaborated with Lancôme and this year, Michelle introduced a makeup line called Em Cosmetics, backed L’Oréal, Lancôme’s parent corporation. Her products include Chiaroscuro, a contour and highlighter stick ($24) and Waterliners, skinny eyeliners ($18) as well as collections of eye shadow, blush, and lipsticks.

Another successful beauty blogger, Maria Morrison, 39, took a different angle and started a nail-polish blog. A search for the perfect shade of purple nail polish led her to create her own, which she cleverly named My Kind of Cool Aid. Now, this shade sells along side of various other shades, each selling for $12 on her online site, Cult Nails. Maria states, “the line is as organically made as possible, and is vegan and cruelty-free,” based on the input of Maria’s teenage daughter who is vegetarian.

What started out as a childhood dream, fun hobby, or vanity project via social media has turned into entrepreneurship for these three successful beauty bloggers.

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