Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Are eBooks the future? September 15, 2013

I’ve been cheating on you with my iPad. I’m obsessed with reading lately and it’s all because of the convenience of eBooks. Between that and Fairway Solitare, it’s the only thing I use my iPad for.

photoJust like when mp3 players came out, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read an electronic book. I knew I’d miss holding it in my hand and turning a physical page. In the end, convenience (and price) won out.

I can go to the library from my couch and never have to worry about returning the book on time. Instead, they just take it from me. Meanwhile, I forget to pick-up a book I request at the library and am charged $2 for a  book I never even touch.

I do miss the fact that I can’t skip back a few chapters to see if that character that was just mentioned was the same one they mentioned in chapter one to find out if I just solved the mystery. It also makes it hard to join a book club or use it for a textbook. I also miss looking at how thick the rest of the book is to determine if I can finish it in one sitting, or if I should just go to bed. I’m suspicious of whether or not eBooks will replace paper books or not because there are so many benefits to both.

When I go to the pool, I can’t take my iPad with me-; it’s the most expensive book I’ve ever purchased! But when I go on a plane, I’d much rather pack a less bulky book that can also check my email and Facebook all in one.

Studies show that hay-day of the eBook was in 2010 and since then, has had a dramatic decline, including a signs that sales are beginning to level off.  It also shows that while ebooks are popular, they have yet to match the demand for printed copies.  Is it nostalgia, resistance to change, or both? When we made the switch from CDs to digital music downloads the same trend occured. CDs continued to dominate for the first few years after their introduction, but they now dominate the market.

closed-shop1It reminds me of the moment Meg Ryan’s character turns off the lights of her empty boutique bookstore in You’ve Got Mail. It’s such a sad moment. Nearly as sad as driving past abandoned Borders stores after they went out of business. Can you imagine a future where our children don’t know what it’s like to visit a bookstore? It’s really not that hard these days.

I have faith that people will still crave a tangible book to supplement their digital readings. There are certain circumstances when you just need one over the other. Then again, if we look at sales trends of CDs to Digital music or how DVDs made VHS obsolete, chances are we’ll eventually live in a eBook only world. Brace yourself.

Do you think print books will remain in the market in the future?


Pancakes with a side of news February 20, 2012

I remember applying to college and finding out I was accepted, via email, just a few days later. I was disappointed. I had watched the college acceptance process on TV shows and in movies and assumed I would wait in agony for weeks until a bulky or thin letter from the university determining my fate would arrive. Instead, a simple congratulatory email, discovered after school in the journalism room, was all I received. I didn’t even get a chance to hold my breathe before opening it!

Then, I was disappointed in the speed of information because I felt like it degraded my value- as though nothing about my history was being considered. Now, I thrive on this fast-paced delivery of information and drain my battery before the day ends by simply checking email, Facebook and Twitter.

The good news is, my obsession for knowledge is not isolated. 48 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 check Facebook when they wake up in the morning and 28 percent before they get out of bed (guilty!). Is the increased speed of information flow dangerous or a positive change?

For me, it can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s the worst for me when I know an important email is coming, but not when. I assume this is what it was like for students applying for college in the olden days (you know, a few years ago), only worse because we are used to having information at the exact time we want it.

Three years ago, I successfully gave up Facebook for Lent. Could I do that today? Then, I was a sophomore in college so Facebook really only served as a distraction from homework. Since then, Facebook created groups and chat, which was imperative to many group projects. In fact, one day I had to park so far away from my multi-media journalism class that I went to a different computer lab and worked with my group members through our Facebook group instead of wasting 15 minutes walking to class. Even now, as a hopeful PR girl whose future career will most likely involve the use of Facebook on a daily basis, the thought of not having access to social media or the Internet seems impossible.

To step away from the information and technology is not an easy thing to do these days. Because the news is readily at your fingertips, you are expected to be more knowledgeable about the world around you-which, don’t get me wrong, is a great expectation. The challenge comes when we attempt to find a balance between information overload and general knowledge.

Evaluating and separating information we need or want to know from information that is just occupying space helps  to better utilize our time. Logging on to Facebook or Twitter just because  you are bored or to check up/creep on old classmates is not a good habit to practice. We should live in harmony with information, rather than letting it dominate us.

I 100 percent believe in the power of social media and its use for information flow, but sometimes I have to scold myself for checking my phone apps instead of enjoying the life around me. Information is an addiction and accepting it is the first step- Yes, I’m poking fun a little. But seriously, here’s some tips to keep in mind nonetheless. Read Responsibly.


** Update: Here is a great article from a social media curator’s point of view. How can the people creating and monitoring social media content avoid burnout?  Four easy steps to avoid social media overload.


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