Google Search Results: Alexis Willey

Have you ever Googled yourself? If you have, were the results a good representation of what you would want others to think about you or your reputation? Interestingly enough my assignment this week was to do just that and while the results weren’t crazy they were interesting to see.

I just Googled my name, Alexis Willey. The first few results were of my social media accounts, specifically LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, then a post from my this blog. I really like that my LinkedIn account was the first result from my Google search of myself. I want to be perceived as a professional, responsible young woman and I think this social network (along with my other social accounts) portrays this. If people were to do a Google search of me this would be the first link I would want them click.

The first and the fifth face look familiar but who are the rest of these "Alexis Willeys"?

The first and the fifth face look familiar but who are the rest of these “Alexis Willeys”?

The second page of my Google search was a little more interesting. My Google+ account, Pinterest, and then a few stories from a blog I had during undergrad appeared. Along with this was information about another Alexis Willey in Pennsylvania (mostly social media accounts) and a Facebook link for “The Alexis Willey Foundation” for 13-year-old girl, Alexis Willey battling leukemia in Iowa. I clicked on this link and it hasn’t been updated since January of 2011 so that kind of concerns me. The results on the second page were interesting because I feel like my name is unique. Growing up I was the only Alexis, and there aren’t very many Willey’s out there so to see results for people with the same name as me that I’m not related to was not what I was expecting.

I then Googled my email address and thankfully nothing relating to it came up. A few months ago I got an email from Gmail saying that someone from Turkey had tried to get into my Gmail account. When I was told I had to Google my email in this week’s assignment I thought I would find someone was using my “identity.”  What a relief to see no relevant results…

What was missing in my Google search? I am a pretty active person and I really enjoy running in races. I was surprised to see that none of my race results appeared in the first few pages of the search. I was also surprised to see that a lot of my blog entries weren’t available either. I work hard on these posts and based on WordPress analytics they are viewed pretty frequently, certainly more frequently than stories I wrote four years ago in undergrad! I wonder why one blog post from last semester appeared on the first page of the results but none from this semester?

What do I want to change? After seeing these results I would like to have my Google+ account appear on the first page of these results. I realize I need to be more active on this network  for improved SEO and so more results relating to me and not other Alexis Willeys will appear. I also know that I need to post more of my blog posts to my Google+ in order to have them appear higher in the results.

Where's my Google+ account?

1) Who is Alexis Willey from Hofstra University? 2)Where’s my Google+ account?

Googling myself really puts my online reputation into perspective. With recruiters and businesses admitting to using Google as a research tool it is imperative that we put our best “selves” forward on the Internet. If you haven’t Googled yourself before I advise that you do. You may be surprised what appears. 

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Hello Vino!

I love to workout, not only because it is healthy for me but also because I really love to eat and drink yummy foods! One of these “foods” I thoroughly enjoy is wine, specifically a Riesling or a sparkling rose. My boyfriend likes to tease me about these “girly” wines so when I saw this week’s assignment I thought, “Why not use this week’s blog to expand my wine list?” and with that I downloaded the Hello Vino app to my iPhone.

hello vino menu pageHello Vino is a smartphone app that helps guide users to wines that suite their tastes. The main menu asks if it can help users find wine for certain meals, occasions, or holidays (i.e. Valentine’s Day). It also has wine options based on preference, types, and popular wine picks. Whichever option the user selects Hello Vino will help bring them to wines that are perfect for their tastes.

Hello Vino uses global positioning in order to send the user push notifications about wine. It also sends reminders about certain wines users have saved to their wine list. Perhaps the best part about Hello Vine using GPS is for the deals the app offers.hello vino wine deals

Other great aspects about Hello Vino include YouTube videos, wine lists, scanning ability and reviews. Their YouTube selection is really helpful. The videos detail how to use the app in order to get the most out of it! I really like this approach because I feel like it is more personal than just a “How to” section.

Through it’s scanning ability and wine lists Hello Vino makes sure users won’t forget wines they’ve enjoyed. Users can scan the labels of wines, save them to a wine list, and write a review for it. These reviews can then be shared with other users of the app.

Do I think Hello Vino is useful? Yes. As someone who usually only drinks one type of wine regularly I think this app will help me broaden my horizons. I think the most interesting aspect of Hello Vino is its ability to help me identify wines for certain types of food. For instance I am obsessed with sushi. I eat it probably two times a week, usually with a glass of Riesling. After doing some research on Hello Vino I found out that a Sauvignon Blanc goes better with spicy tuna rolls than a Riesling. I really look forward to the food and wine pairings I’ll be having in the future!

Trying Something New: Second Life

Before graduate school I had only heard of Second Life from a Law & Order: SVU episode. When I told my boyfriend I had to play it for an assignment he asked me if I was going to hold anyone captive like the pedophile in that SVU episode did. I defended Second Life and told him how companies like IBM and universities are using this program as a means to communication and with that my Second Life experience began.

When I first joined Second Life I was excited to pick out my avatar. I played Sims when I was younger and I always liked being able to make my Sim look like me. I wanted to have an integrated self in Second Life too but I could only choose predesigned avatars in the free version. I ended up choosing a goth looking girl for my initial avatar. After a few minutes in the game I found some more avatar designs and I changed to a Victorian girl who reminded me of Disney’s Belle.  I thought she looked really pretty which I think determined my outlook for my Second Life experience. I imagined I was in a Disney film as Princess Belle!

Second Life avata

I caught on pretty quickly with how to walk but flying was the most fun, not because it is an easy way to move around but because I loved the way my avatar’s dress looked when I was flying. Because life is a fashion show (and in Second Life it’s not different) I chose to fly everywhere and show off my avatar’s dress. I don’t think anyone else in the first world I visited really cared about me or my dress so I just kept flying around minding my own business until I found a portal!

Second Life Portal

When I walked through the portal I got put into a nightclub. My first impressions of the club: the music is cool, people are dancing, how do I do that!? This is where my first conversations in Second Life occurred. A bunch of people started saying hello to me in different languages! I eventually found someone who spoke English and I asked the gentleman how I could dance. He told me to “click on the disco ball.” Well…I couldn’t find the disco ball and didn’t want to look like a loser just standing there in a room full of people dancing so I decided to fly around. Eventually I found another portal and decided to where it took me. I ended up back where I started!

I wouldn’t say I had a bad experience in Second Life. I don’t know if I logged on at a high traffic time (Monday around 8pm) but the program was very slow on my computer which made conversing with others really hard. Every time I would try and type something it would take my sentence about ten seconds to appear. It got annoying and eventually lead me to just not want to talk to people.

I can see why people join Second Life. It is a way of escapism and helps others connect and make new friends. While many establishments have integrated this program into their work life I am glad I have not had to join Second Life to communicate with others; I don’t think it is for me. I really enjoy the Sakai program my graduate school uses. I interact with my classmates and professors regularly and have connected with many of them outside of Sakai on social media.

In Case You Were Waiting on Baited Breath…the Results Are In!

Last week I asked audiences on Google+ social media focused communities and followers on my blog to take a short survey about social integration in television programming. I chose to ask these audiences as opposed to my Facebook friends because I felt I would get a more diverse demographic of participants. Seventeen people answered a variety of questions detailing social media’s role in television.

One response that stood out to me the most was how people like to see social media incorporated into their television shows. Over 47% of those who took the survey said they liked to see a Twitter crawl as opposed to a television host reading comments (29%). This was interesting to me because later in my survey I asked what incentive would get my audience to participate in social integrations and over 58% said they would post more if they knew a television host would read their post on air. So what is it they really want? Twitter on tv

82% of my audience believes social media in television programming does add value to their shows, but they generally like it to be done more passively (i.e. via Twitter crawl). I can’t say I disagree. It is nice to be updated about the latest in a certain genre every half hour or so in this fashion, when it interrupts a show or becomes the focal point the show’s message can get lost. I also think social media contests are not as common in programming so the incentive to have a famous person read one of my audience’s social posts is something different than what they are used to seeing!

I found out the majority of my audience likes to interact with their television shows on Twitter (58%). Everyone agreed social media will only continue to play a bigger role in television programming in the future and the majority of my audience supports this (48%). 58% of my audience interact on social media via mobile but surprisingly 0% interact on a tablet (that one threw me for a loop). I expect this statistic to change some in the future as tablets continue to take on a bigger role in our digital world.Social-TV

Hindsight is 20/20

Overall I am very happy with the results I received, but looking back I would change some things in my survey. I did not ask any demographic questions which I am disappointed about. To be honest I just overlooked these type of questions and really focused on the meat of the matter. I realize now how important demographic questions are because it could help me understand what gender and race like social integration more.

I also wish I would have asked a few questions centered around YouTube. YouTube is vastly popular but isn’t seen much in social integrations on television. Why? I would like to see what my audience’s feelings on this outlet being incorporated into their television shows would be.

I plan to take this information and really think about what it means to me, my career goals and my focus in this degree program. I think if ever presented the opportunity to make a survey about social integration again I have a great outline and now know better, more precise questions to ask my audience.