Friday, May 10, 2019

Threatening messages on social media

For everything good that there is about social media, there is also a very dark side. On the front page of today's sports section of the Akron Beacon Journal, there is an article about Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer. A link is below.

Bauer seeks changes on social media threats

Sports fans have favorite teams and favorite players. I have watched many games over my lifetime where a player on my favorite team choked in a do or die moment or played very poorly. I never would have thought to write that player a letter or try to call him. Now still, in today's age of social media, I never would think to tweet at a player, slide in his dm's or message that person on Instagram and tell them they suck. If they played poorly, they know. No need to make it personal. Absolutely no need for death threats or telling them you hope they die. Can you imagine what would happen if on a bad day at work someone messaged you to say they hope you die? Crazy. The anonymity of social media has given too many people courage that they otherwise wouldn't have and they become "keyboard warriors." I hope it stops at some point.

Friday, April 19, 2019

As a follow-up to social media reacts...

In my last post, I commented about how there has been a trend for quite some time about the reaction on social media to news stories. Yesterday with the release of the Mueller Report that investigated the 2016 Presidential Election and whether or not there was collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians, social media and cable news was on fire with constant coverage.

And with many stories, especially due to the web, some things in the news take on a life of their own and get celebrity status and notoriety that otherwise would be no big deal.

Take this report by CNN for example and the stare of Rod Rosenstein.
The Rod Rosenstein stare

So for all of the BIG news that came out of the release of the Mueller report yesterday, this also gained traction on social media. This?! This also had people talking?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

And social media reacts!

News and sports over the last few days have been loaded with stories that have spread quickly and have had people talking. Since the internet and especially since social media has become a way for people to "talk" about news stories, a trend has developed. It's not just the newsworthy event that gets posted but it's also the reaction. And many times, the reaction story is just as big because of the people who react. 

The link below is the story about the reaction to Tiger Woods winning the Masters. Note the people who congratulated Tiger on social media.

This next example below is similar yet different...People around the world took notice of the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral burning in Paris. What's different about this is that this story focused on the newspapers around the world and the reaction rather than reaction on social media. I get it. This story was to show what hard copy newspapers showed from around the world but with so many newspapers struggling and readership down, I am still surprised this angle was taken.

Googling the phrase "social media reacts" will result in several hits on news stories. I don't think this will go away as seeing how we now measure news stories' reach by clicks, reactions, retweets, and likes. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Class of 2019 Apple Distinguished Educator

(Massillon, OH) I received great news almost a week ago. On Wednesday, April 3, at 9:09 p.m., I got an email from Apple saying I made the Class of 2019 for Apple Distinguished Educators! Below is the video I submitted for my application.

This is a great honor. At Hiram College two years ago, we started a program called Tech and Trek, which means each student gets an iPad Pro. I love it. Having a media background in audio and video production makes me really enjoy incorporating media production into my classes.

About the Apple Distinguished Educator program, I'm truly humbled and honored to be in it. We have so many great educators at Hiram College who are doing amazing things with the iPad. While I have done a lot with the iPad, I want to say this distinction is a "team win" for Hiram College.

Friday, April 5, 2019

A new website and branding

I just finished teaching a Web Design class this Spring semester. The class did not focus so much on coding as it did on the design, look, and content of the website. I had my class purchase a membership with WordPress/Bluehost to build their website from a template and then write biographical information about themselves, add pictures, video, and other items relevant to them.

The most important thing I wanted them to start with was a goal for their website. Did they want to show off artwork, display their ambitions to be a football coach or whatever. I modeled for them what I wanted to do for myself.

I wanted to create an autobiographical website of who I am, complete with photos, videos, my resume, and a story about who I am. I bought the domain and here is My website. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Old to the to podcasting

It's a sign of the times. Old school radio is dying. Plain and simple. While traditional over-the-air traditional radio still exists, much of the power of transmission and who controls the content, has seen a major shift to the listener. 

When I started in radio
I started in radio in 1988, volunteering my time at WTIG 990 AM in Massillon. I went in Sunday at 6 a.m. and turned on the power to the transmitter and station and played country music for 90 minutes before switching over to back-to-back church broadcasts. It was thrilling. The only interaction I had was with my Mom who would call me every now and then to make a request. Mom was the best!

Fading interest in radio 
Fast forward 30 years to Hiram College. Interest in radio was fading away as students were not using the radio station so much in the basement of the Kennedy Center. The space that was the radio station studio had fallen on hard times. Equipment was broken and Hiram College's IT Director Matthew McKenna and I decided to shut it down, rip everything out, and restart it as a podcast studio. 

The old studio at Hiram College
Here's what the old studio looked like.

We tried to sell the records and equipment and had no takers. Everything went to the trash. After a lot of help from the Hiram College Physical Plant, the IT Department, Marc Freeman, and others, the space was cleared. 

How academic restructuring played a role
In the spring of 2018, our Dean Judy Muyskens announced a number of new academic majors and programs that we as faculty at Hiram College should come together on and bring to fruition. One of those new majors was sport management. Sports psychology professor Andrew White, Integrated Exercise Science professor Mike Rebold and I came together to research sport management programs and went to work assembling curriculum. Part of our work included creating a wish list of things we would need funding for. I proposed we included funding for the podcast studio so athletics could use it. Funding was approved and work got going on transforming the space from what you see above to what you see below.

The new podcast studio

Tuesday, February 26, we had our big reveal of the new studio space. We had 16 students show. It was awesome to hear the collective "oooohhhs" and "ahhhhh" when I removed paneling from the window so they could see the studio. And right away, I showed them the equipment. They opened up GarageBand and started playing around and recording. It was a blast to hear the students discuss ideas about how to share content and get shows going. I can't wait to see where things go from here. 

If you have a show idea for a podcast, feel free to share it with me in the comments on this. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

MAGA hat controversy

Is a MAGA hat the level of Tinker v. Des Moines?
MAGA hat outlawed?

(The image above is from:

I just saw this news story about a young lady who was told she could not wear a "Make America Great Again" hat in her high school. The link above the photo in green will take you to a video about the student and this situation in California.

Substantial Disruption

Regardless of how you feel about President Trump, this is a free speech issue and an issue that was dealt with in the Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines. In that 1969 landmark case, Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker were banned from wearing black colored peace armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. The High Court ruled the school could censure student speech IF it would cause a "substantial disruption" to learning.

If the student would get disciplined for it, she could appeal it. In the case of the young lady from California, I don't see how her wearing a #MAGA hat would cause a "substantial disruption" to the educational environment.

When I was in school

When I was in school, wearing any kind of hat was not allowed.Granted, I graduated from high school in 1989. At that time however, hats were not allowed in school. Since that time, things have changed quite a bit. With the advent of social media, student expression has taken on new life and new ways. As polarized as this country is, I think we will see more news stories like this one from California.