Protest and Patriotism -Sitting down for the National Anthem

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines last week with his decision to sit down during the playing of the national anthem before the Packers – 49ers preseason game. After the game, he explained his actions. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. His actions reflect the tenuous balance between an individual's freedom of speech and the rights of an employer to regulate the behav...
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My Op Ed Response to the San Bernardino Shooting

I’ve had enough. Wednesday afternoon I was greeted by the news from San Bernardino, Calif., that at least 14 people were killed in another mass shooting incident, this time at a public facility. I’m tormented by the stark realization that as a nation that prides itself as the voice of justice and compassion to the rest of the world, we can’t go through a week’s news cycle without hearing about another mass shooting and innocent people losing their lives, often in the most violent and bruta...
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Are you “cool” under social media fire?

Most of us have probably read a social media post that has infuriated us or, at least, prompted a desire to fire off a snarky or snipe-filled response. Here's a couple I captured off the internet: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motor city and yet no one here knows how to [expletive] drive." This was written by an auto industry contractor, who probably didn't think it would offend anyone, unless of course you're from Detroit or work for an auto manufacturer. The message here i...
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Why headlines (or subject lines) matter and where to find “free” money!

Read these two very different headlines. An Earth-like planet found in a habitable zone! Hot cakes are actually not selling well at all. Now admittedly these two actual news headlines don't have much in common. One announces what could be one of the most amazing space discoveries of all time, while the other flips a popular saying on its head to relate a challenge in the food and restaurant industry. Which one grabs your attention? You could certainly argue that the discovery of a planet that...
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How to make the un-interesting, interesting…well sort of!

We've all been there. You're at a party or other social event, and you find yourself in a small group of people listening to someone talk about something that's not really that interesting. This can usually go one of two ways. One, you politely nod along with the story, throwing in the occasional nod of agreement if the storyteller suddenly makes eye contact with you. Or two, you highjack the conversation and turn it into a battle of wits, using all your abilities to salvage a boring topic with ...
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Dogs and Cats living together. Well, at least on Facebook!

As I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline this week I noticed that many of the posts involve people's pets and their occasionally entertaining antics, at least in the eyes of my friends and family members. This made me ponder what actually goes into crafting a good post. Not just why dogs and cats are so popular, but what else makes a person reading or viewing a post want to engage, or better yet share it? I suppose we all understand the universality of pet ownership and how most people...
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ROI and Social Media. Finding new ways to measure your effectiveness.

Return on Investment, or ROI, is often the determining factor when it comes to committing to and staying with an advertising or public relations campaign. Did the campaign work? Has it created new customers? Did it deliver visitors to a website, landing page or social media site? Unlike traditional advertising campaigns, measuring ROI for social media can be a challenge. It's easy to use analytics to track increases in page follows or likes. However, determining the effectiveness of those eff...
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Badgers season shows us all the power of sports and social media.

Spring isn't just about daffodils and watching our lawns slowly turn green after a long winter of hibernation. It's also the time when college basketball takes over the weekends and this year in Wisconsin, the Badgers took us all along on a great journey. Although it ended with a loss to Duke in the championship game, the highlights of this season will last a lifetime. It's been 74 years since the last time the Badgers had been to the big game, winning it all in 1941. This year's version feat...
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Remember when mobile phones were mostly used to make phone calls?

If you know the name Martin Cooper, well then, you're probably really good at trivia games. He's the former Motorola employee who invented the mobile telephone way back in 1973. When he created that incredible innovation, I'm sure he didn't anticipate that his device would ever be used for anything more than making phone calls. Fast forward to 2015 and according to media researchers, mobile devices are now used principally for Internet access and text messaging. When looking just at Internet ...
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