An Interview with a Social Media ‘Intern’

Shane Reilly is a 22 year old college student who works part time doing promotional work for Red Bull.  Red Bull is an energy drink – but it also has become a symbol for extreme sports. Red Bull has a very aggressive promotional strategy.  The big funding is poured into commercials on major networks and sponsorship at major events.  But a huge part of their campaign is run by employing students, like Shane, to hand out free drinks, work events, and promote on social media forums.

I sat down with Shane to get a better idea of what he does, and here are some of his responses:

 

How long have you been working for Red Bull?

I started when I was a sophomore, so its been about 2 years.

How has your role changed since starting 2 years ago?

Well, I had a friend who had been working with Red Bull, they needed some manpower for events, so he let me know.  Originally, I was doing a lot of things like handing out flyers, free cans, and moving different equipment around.  I thought it was cool to be doing work for Red Bull, and others did too; but it was really pretty basic.  Eventually it got a little more involved.

So, what are some things you have done for Red Bull since?

A big part of my job now is promoting different events or specials.  I operate a twitter account for Red Bull as well as a personal account, and I use both to notify followers when we have events or specials.  We do specials at bars pretty frequently for example.  I just try to create some interest, and it often is pretty easy with Red Bull’s name behind it.

Anything else?

Yeah definitely.  Theres some random smaller things, but one of the more involved things we started doing more last year was sponsoring parties.  For example, if a friend of mine is hosting a party, we can often supply the party with free cases of Red Bull, and also Red Bull branded cups, tables, and a bar.  Its a win-win really.  The party gets a bunch of cool free stuff (the tables and bar get returned after) and we get some free promotion.  I usually show up at the party, take some pictures, and then later post them on Twitter or Facebook.

So you’ve been doing this for 2 years now; does it ever get old or boring?

I can see how it would, depending on the person, but for me its not like that.  Its the perfect job for me as a college student.  I guess its not terribly involved, and theres tons of other people doing the same thing.  But I’m going through college, not really looking for an involved job where I can make a difference or anything like that.  My hours are flexible really, since I can do my work from my couch.  The only real times I’m required to have certain hours in certain places is if I am working an event or going to a party – and thats not so bad at all.

Tumblr Review

(http://s3.lockergnome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/tumblr_on_blue_large.png)

Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their blog.  Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp.  Tumblr has quickly grown to be the 10th largest social network with 6.8 million weekly visits.  Tumblr has quickly gained popularity as an easy way to share ideas, photos, and videos with friends.

Here is a screenshot of the dashboard page for my tumblr – mrgasbarro.tumblr.com

At the top, there are links to start new posts in various formats.  The author can choose from text, photo, link, among others, and with one click, can quickly begin a blog post in the specified format.  The links are big, visually appealing, and easy to use.  There are easy to use options at the top right logging in/out, help, and preferences/settings.  Posts from blogs that are being followed appear from the bottom, in a newsfeed style way.  From here, these posts can be re-blogged in one click.

Also from this screen, and also with one click, I have options to add a new avatar, add a blog to follow, or ‘Explore Tumblr.’  This is a neat feature.  When you explore, you are taken to a new page that helps you find new blogs sorted by categories.  Some categories may be illustration, politics, or education.  Like everything else with Tumblr, the explore feature is presented in an easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and modern way.  Here is a screen shot from the explore feature:

One last feature that further emphasizes how easy it is to start a Tumblr, is that there are a collection of already designed themes for the user to choose for their blog.  Some themes have a cost associated with them, but many are free.  The free themes are the most used, and a new-to-Tumblr user can quickly have a blog running with a fully designed theme.  The screen shot below shows the themes page, the possible themes scroll down on the left side and the right side shows a preview of what your blog will look like.

If you are considering Tumblr, I encourage you to go check it out.  It offers much more functionality than Twitter, and doesn’t ask you to offer up personal information like Facebook.  You can’t beat it for ease of use.  Check it out!

Na na na na… hey hey hey… good-bye

From the Suicide Pool official homepage…

With four games to go, the WIP Afternoon Suicide Pool has been thinned down to just 77 hopefuls from the original crowd of nearly 25,000. The Bears surprise loss to the Chiefs took a big chunk of last week’s survivors. 

So here we are, with just 0.3 percent of the starting crew left, all going for that championship ring from Safian and Rudolph Jewelers.

I’m not one of those 77 hopefuls. Moment of silence…

I’m almost certainly positive that I jinxed myself in my last post bragging about how this is the furthest that I’ve made it.

I picked the Bears at home against the Chiefs.  Sure, Jay Cutler is out injured, but its just Jay Cutler.  He isn’t THAT important.  And plus, almost anyone could be taking the snaps for the Bears and it would be a better offense than one headed by the Chiefs’ Tyler Palko.  All you have to do is not fumble the snap, and then not fumble the hand-off to Matt Forte.  Forte is an all-pro running back and by far the most important player on the Bears’ offense.

However, Forte only got in 5 carries for 12 yards before he went down and never returned.  This is pretty much the only thing that could cause a loss from the Bears.

(http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/001/472/564/134857174_crop_650x440.jpg?1323038700)

If that wasn’t enough of a sign that it wasn’t meant to be for me this year, Palko and the Chiefs’ pulled off a miracle at the end of the half.  The final score was 10-3 in favor of the Chiefs’, so the only thing separating the two teams was the Hail Mary play to end the half.  9.9 out of 10 times that pass will fall incomplete.  But in this game, Bears’ stud defender Brian Urlacher jumped up for the rainbow pass, batted it out of the air, and it landed straight into the open arms of the Chiefs’ Dexter McCluster.

(http://cdn3.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/2396066/134857080_extra_large.jpg)

An unusual play for an unusual score that ended up being the difference in an unusual loss for the Bears.  Couldn’t have seen it coming.

The streak dies with week 13.  I’m officially out.

Week 12 Recap

Week 11 was the end of the bye week, so week 12 saw all teams in action.  6 met on Thanksgiving in three games that I couldn’t pick – the Ravens, Cowboys, and Packers seemed like pretty obvious winners to me, but I had already used all 3 teams this year. Yes, I knew the Ravens would win. No, the 49ers aren’t great.  Yes, the 49ers will be lucky if they win a playoff game.

Anyway, there weren’t many games still available that I was comfortable picking.  The best team playing that I hadn’t used yet was the Patriots.  Conveniently, they were playing the beat up Eagles.  I’ll take Tom Brady vs. Vince Young 10 out of 10 times.

(http://media.photobucket.com/image/Vince%20Young%20sucks/SoonerBorn88/Misc/th_Radio-Motivation.jpg)

I know the Eagles well enough to know they weren’t going to win this game.  They had an injured defense that can’t stop anyone even when they’re healthy.  Brady has been picking apart far better defenses all year, and I thought this would be a big day for “Aarob Gronkandez.”

(Pats TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez -http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/3b/fullj.942ecc1524b47ee3fbdd 71913aad666e/942ecc1524b47ee3fbdd71913aad666e-getty-134182477.jpg)

Brady threw for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns while distributing the ball to both of these tight ends as well as his top two wide receivers.  The final score was 38-20 which is softened since the Eagles caught a late game garbage touchdown.  The game was dominated by New England.

On to week 13! I’m proud to say this is the furthest I’ve lasted in the Suicide Pool in the last 5 years.

Week 11 Recap

The Lions and Panthers met in a battle of the big cats in Detroit (that was pretty lame).  The Lions have a high-powered offense that scores a lot of points, especially at home.  While the Panthers are much improved over last year and they have the likely rookie of the year playing QB, they’re very turnover prone.  Cam Newton has thrown 14 interceptions this year.  Sunday’s meeting with the Lions was no exception.  In a high scoring affair, Newton threw for only 1 touchdown but 4 interceptions.  Stafford on the other hand threw for 335 yards and 5 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.

(http://media.mlive.com/lions_impact/photo/matthew-stafford-detroit-lions-0775a921b6160dec_large.jpg)

The game was actually quite close into the fourth quarter.  The Panthers just couldn’t keep pace as the Lions won the game by 2 scores: 49-35.

Week twelve features 3 Thursday Thanksgiving games, and even better – the return of the Colts!

Week 10 Recap

The Suck for Luck continues!

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Tough week for picks in week 10, so I went for the pick that hasn’t failed anyone all season – whoever is playing the Colts.  In week 10 the Jacksonville Jaguars went on the road to beat up the Colts.  Yes I know, I’m breaking two rules in taking the away team in a divisional game.  However, all season long, the Colts ability to lose games has trumped all else.  They don’t have anything going for them.  The Jags on the other hand have MJD facing off against the leagues 30th ranked run defense.

(MJD - http://blacksportsonline.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/mjd.jpg)

MJD rolled for over 100 yards and a touchdown: 17-3 to the Jags.  Too bad the Colts are on the bye next week.

Living in State College

 (http://nbccollegefootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/joe-paterno-ii.jpg)

I frequently visit www.grantland.com and recently found this article. ‘Living in State College’ is written by Michael Weinreb, and it is his third piece on State College since things started spiraling out of control a little over a week ago.  Weinreb grew up in State College and that is largely the basis for his first piece – ‘Growing Up Penn State.’  In ‘Living in State College,’ Weinreb returns to State College to write about how his hometown is coping with the blowback, as well as the differing perceptions of the town versus the nation.

Safe? In State College? I spent my Friday nights in high school loitering at a defunct video arcade called Playland. The closest I ever came to danger at Penn State was during a fraternity initiation involving several pints of Mad Dog 20/20. I knew people who left their cars and their apartments unlocked for days at a time. In State College, we liked to think we looked after each other, and then we found out that some of the most prominent members of our community had failed to look after helpless children, and because of our lifelong emotional attachments we now feel like we are being branded as complicit in these crimes.

“It’s like people are on the outside, saying, ‘You don’t get it,’” I heard a man say. “And we’re on the inside, saying, ‘You don’t get it.’”

I think State College is more than a little different than most any town in the United States.  Sure, theres plenty of small towns that bond around whatever it is they share; but nothing really rivals Penn State football and Joe Paterno.  State College now has the national spotlight, and large collections of metropolitan populations are tuning in – and they can’t relate.

Weinreb continues and shares a thought that a friend shared with him in relation to Mike McQueary and his failure to act.

“Before I deployed to Afghanistan,” said a friend of mine, a Penn State alum, “I was convinced that the first time I got in a firefight I would be out in front of my men, leading them with bullets zinging around. Want to know what I did the first time the shit hit the fan? I jumped in a fricking ditch. Once I gathered myself, I was able to make the decisions that needed to be made, but the point is, I thought I knew what combat would be like and how I would react. Turns out I was wrong, and if I can’t even tell how I’ll react in certain situations, I certainly am not going to say how others should have reacted in situations requiring split-second decisions.”

This is one view point that I disagree with.  I can accept that I don’t appreciate the culture at Penn State, and I can’t understand the way their unwritten chain of command is followed.  I think this point applies only partially.  According to the ‘facts’ as they currently stand (more information could obviously come out, but this is what we have to go off of for now), McQueary witnessed a sex act between Sandusky and a young boy in the shower, and walked away from it.  The point made in the above quote – and I think that it is a valid one – only applies to that split second when he turned his head instead of rushing in.  After that though, it is no longer a split second decision.  I can forgive McQueary for initially turning away to walk, but I can’t forgive him for not going back.

Wenreb goes on to address the way people at State College struggle with accepting what has happened and realizing Joe Paterno was involved.

“You have to live in the middle of this contradiction,” a Penn State sociology professor, Sam Richards, told a class that Lori Shontz of the Penn Stater magazine sat in on. “You have to live in this zone where both [situations] can be true, and it’s very, very, very difficult. But part of becoming a thinker is to sit with two contradictory thoughts in your head and see them both as being true. And not go crazy. And not immediately try to resolve them. And so we’re offering that to you. Sit with that. Because this is big. That’sbig.”

And one final point about Penn State and the community culture.

 The people who think the need for football in State College is entirely about football did not grow up in a place like this, where the community happens to congregate outside a stadium to mark the time and to mourn and to express sympathies and sorrows and regrets we might not otherwise be able to put into words. I know people who have been coming to this stadium for years and have never gone inside. It is just something we do, and if it’s the wrong thing, if it needs be pulled back or dropped to Division III or halted altogether for a year or two in order to achieve some measure of justice and perspective, then we will adjust. There are so many questions, and so few satisfactory answers. It feels like we are walking in place.

 

Week 9 Recap

Week 9 was a success.  I decided to go with the Falcons who were on the road playing the Colts.  This breaks one real rule (don’t pick road teams) and one guideline I try to follow (don’t bet against win-less teams).  I’ve managed to survive by picking against the colts and previously against the then win-less Rams.  Generally speaking though – I hate to pick against teams that are win-less because odds are they will win eventually.  But as I pointed out before…

 

(http://www.dailysportnewspaper.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/02833e72tis-painter.jpg)

So yeah – I liked my odds.  The Colts are now the only team without a win, and they are leading the ‘suck for Luck’ campaign.  They are 31st in the league in total team offense, and also 31st in total team defense.  Thats a certain recipe for failure.  They have no reason to win at this point.  On Sunday, the Falcons went in to Indy and handed them a very convincing beat down.  The final score was 31-7, and the game was never really any contest at all.

Proud to say I’m still alive after 9 weeks.  The total count is down to just over 1,000.  Thats about 1 in 25 from original pool at the start of the season.

Week 7 & 8 recap

Dont worry.  I’m still alive.  Literally and also in the suicide pool.  I’ve been with only 1 handle since week 6.

Week 7 – In week 7 I decided to go with the Dallas Cowboys.  They had been playing pretty well all year and they were playing host to the win-less St. Louis Rams.  The Cowboys never trailed in the game and won by a final score of 34-7.  In addition to this game getting me through week 7, it also served as Demarco Murray’s welcome party.  He scored on the first drive of the game with a 91 yard run from scrimmage.  He averaged 10.1 a pop for the game totaling 253 yards.  He has continued since then at a very impressive clip.

(http://media.sunherald.com/smedia/2011/10/24/22/58/4QJz8.St.77.jpg)

Week 8 – This one wasn’t as smooth as week 7.  I picked the Ravens and they did win.  So that’s what really matters.  However, it took three touchdowns out of Ray Rice and ultimately needed a game winning field goal at the end of regulation.  This game never should have been close.  To see Arizona put up 27 points on the Ravens defense IN Baltimore really had me worried.  Typically, Baltimore wins games with its defense bailing out the frequent offensive woes.  However, this game was different.  Ray Rice scored a career high for touchdowns and this time bailed out the defense.  It was hard to watch, but it worked.  Baltimore took it 30-27.

Still alive half way through the season, looking good so far.

No-nose boss

 

August 2014
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