Tips for Choosing a HD 1080p Media Player

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So how do you make sure you are getting the most value when purchasing a HD 1080p media player? Let’s look at the facts.

Media Compatibility

Broadcast TV, DVD movies, and streaming video are almost never 1080p. Having a HD 1080p is not going to enhance the picture any higher than one supporting only 1080i or 720p. The big difference comes when you start considering the latest formats of entertainment. Blu-Ray discs are support 1080p and can take the full advantage a HD which supports 1080p. This only becomes important if your are planning on archiving your Blu-Ray movies onto your HD 1080p, which can be a great choice.

What about your TV and your HD 1080p media player

The other factor you need to consider is your television. Having a HD 1080p player does you no good, if your big screen TV is only 720p. You could still buy the 1080p HD digital player with the plans of being ready when you upgrade your TV.

Video on Demand

Since 1080p is not supported by video on demand systems at this time, due to the large bandwidth it would require, it is not a major consideration when considering your HD streaming player today. This doesn’t mean it is not going to happen in the future. Should you plan for the future, or wait for change? If price was not your biggest concern, it would make sense to get a digital player which is ready for the next generation of streaming media. Microsoft, YouTube, and other services are already planning to offer 1080p.

Now lets look at the question is a HD 1080p player worth the price? The answer is an absolute YES. You will quickly discover the cost difference between a HD 1080p player and a less capable HD digital media player is only a few dollars. Why would you try to save only a few dollars, and then not be able to use it for your future upgrades? If you have any equipment capable of 1080p, your investment in a HD 1080p media player will be well rewarded.

Additional considerations when purchasing an HD 1080p media player

Compatibility with your entertainment system

The more important questions come down to choosing seamlessly integrates with your existing television and home theater system. Choose a HD 1080p which supports video on demand, is also an HD streaming media player, and has all the connection options you need for your equipment, especially an HDMI video connector.

Wired or wireless

A bigger question should be do I choose a wireless media player, or a wired system. This can even become more important with a HD 1080p since you’ll be pushing more data.

Storage of the HD 1080p.

Also, considering your storage options will be critical when buying a HD 1080p player. Storing your Blu-Ray movies onto your HD is going to use large amounts of space. You may want to consider using network attached storage for the ease of expansion and flexibility.

So is a HD 1080p media player the best choice in a HD digital player? To get the highest value from your dollar, and to be ready for all your future needs, no other choice really makes sense.

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WD TV Live Hub

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WD TV Live Hub With 1TB Hard Drive

What is the WD TV Live Hub? It is a convenient and easy way to funnel all those media files into one central location and watch them directly from your TV. Not just the files on your computer, but it also streams directly from the internet. And when you have all of your files accessible to the WD TV Live Hub, you can then stream it to any other location in your house that’s set up to handle the media stream. It even handles sending out several streams at one time. Think of it as a mini media server under your TV. But what really sets this apart from the rest of the streaming field is its onboard 1TB hard drive. Let’s break down the features.

WD TV Live Hub File Support

When Western Digital set out to make a device of this kind they no doubt wanted to learn from the mistakes of some of the competition, namely Apple TV’s lack of file support. So here are the files that the WD Hub can handle.

Video

AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9

Audio

MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS

Photo

JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG

This is very convenient if you have collected a number of odd and different files from multiple locations lost in a sea of folders just sitting on your hard drive. (You know you do.) Well this can assist in sorting it all out very handily, and who knows, you may even rediscover some old videos you loved when you first saw them but simply forgot you had them.

Streaming

A computer is not necessarily needed in order to benefit from the WD Hub. It connects to directly to the internet and gives you access to online services. Here are some of them in no particular order.

Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube, Pandora, Facebook, flickr, Live 360, Media Fly, AccuWeather.

Storage Capacity

There are several other devices on the market that are similar to this one. But as I said at the beginning what really sets the WD TV Live Hub apart from the rest is the onboard 1TB Hard Drive. How much can 1TB hold you may ask?

  • Up to 285,000 digital photos
  • Up to 250,000 songs (MP3)
  • Up to 25,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
  • Up to 76 hours of Digital Video (DV)
  • Up to 440 hours of DVD quality video
  • Up to 120 hours of HD video

Now that’s a lot of time spent in front of the TV. And just how will you get all those files in and out of the WD Hub? On the Hub itself it has Gigabit Ethernet, front and back USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4 (that’s the latest version), Composite A/V, Component video, Optical audio. The only thing you need to supply is the cables. All this for around $200.00.

Final Thoughts

Now this isn’t to say that Western Digital has come out with the perfect device. While the navigation is fairly straight forward and easy to use it still takes a bit of navigation to find what you’re looking for. All in all though it’s a solid product with good support from Western Digital. After a little bit of set up you’ll be watching movies, looking at photos and going through all those forgotten files on the big screen.

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A Happy Medium With Satellite TV

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Most children love television. This is a commonly known fact and it is an issue that parents can struggle with. While many people enjoy television, there are a lot of negative things said about the damaging effects that too much television watching can have on the brain, especially those of developing children. Fortunately, a lot of television programs have adapted to this concern and there are more and more educational shows available than ever before, especially for individuals with satellite TV. The large array of channels means that parents and children can watch programs together, bonding and learning at the same time.

Channels like Disney and Nickelodeon have cartoons that teach children how to count, read, and even learn Spanish. Even programs that do not have blatantly obvious lessons like adding and subtracting still try to teach children a lesson. Many shows are filled with entertaining stories that revolve around a moral that they want to convey to the child audience. Having a giant purple dinosaur that they love tell them to be nice to other children in high definition will get the point across much better than having a parent or teacher lecture them about right and wrong.

Aside from cartoons there are plenty of educational channels that children and adults can both benefit from. Watching the “Planet Earth” series together could open up the eyes of everyone in the family to different parts of the world and animals that they never knew existed. The variety of shows that satellite TV makes available can have a whole family traveling back in time together, learning about the city constructs and social practices of 15th century England or taking a virtual tour of the Roman Coliseum. Television has the unique ability to making learning more fun and interesting than the average day to day textbook.

Watching cooking shows, music videos, and travel shows can expose children to different cultures around the world. While all of this is good, not all of the material on television is suitable for children, but luckily parents can block certain channels from being accessed by kids. Being able to monitor which parts of satellite TV a child has access to increases the chances that their relationship with the TV will be an educational one. Just like adults, kids can travel the world from the comfort of their home using nothing more than their remote control.

While it is still not a good idea to leave a child in front of the television for hours on end everyday, letting them watch some truly educational programs could inspire them to get out and do something. Watching a great soccer game could motivate a child to head outside and kick a ball around, or hearing the announcer in another language could spark an interest in learning a second language. The wide variety of programs that satellite TV provides means there are multiple lessons to be learned and a vast amount of information for children to absorb. The television does not have to be viewed as the enemy of a developing child’s mind.

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Becoming a Media Planner

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Taking a client’s advertising ideas and creating a plan for the best advertising campaign is the job of a media planner. They work with the ad copywriters and the clients, to design a an advertising campaign and then work out the most appropriate medium to advertise on, eg TV, radio or print media? Which channels? Target audience? What time to play the ad? etc. The person that takes on this role needs to be a creative visionary with a good eye for what works in advertising. They will also need the ability to develop ideas that will make an advertising campaign successful. Sound intriguing? Some tips below will give you an idea of what it takes to become a media planner.

Get a degree. Media planning is a professional field which requires a good education. There is no dedicated course to study for media planning but it is a good idea to pursue classes in media, marketing and advertising. These courses will be a great place to start.

The right skills. You will need not only a good education, but the right skills set to become a media planner. A sound knowledge of advertising, including what kinds of products can be marketed to a particular target audience and on what form of media that advertising should be presented eg print media, TV, radio? Media planners should be knowledgeable about brands, and be able to design plans on how to brand particular products. Really good people skills are important also, since you’ll be working closely with both clients and advertisers to create a campaign. You should be prepared for a lot of fine tuning in this line of work to ensure that the brand is aimed at the correct audience.

Work experience. Don’t expect to jump right into a position as a media planner – often the way to get started at advertising agencies is by working in lower-down-the-ladder jobs. If at all possible, get an internship with an advertising agency. The relationship to media planning doesn’t have to be immediately obvious – it is more important to get general experience in the industry. You can work your way up the food chain later.

Apply for work. When you are very familiar with the media and advertising campaigns, then you can start going for jobs as a media planner. Talk to the employer that you are currently with regarding positions available at that company. If you’ve worked hard and have proven yourself, you have a good chance of getting promoted to media planner.

If you seek employment outside of your current company, ensure that your résumé is recent and the cover letter is tailored for the company you’re writing to. List all of your relevant experience in media advertising, emphasize your ability to work with clients and advertising professionals to design a successful ad campaign. Be ready to provide samples of your work. With the right grounding and a good interview, you have no problems getting a job as a media planner.

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Watching TV Shows Online – P2PTV vs Streaming

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If you want to watch TV shows online there is more than one way to do it. Peer to Peer TV (P2PTV) and streaming media remain the two most popular choices. This article will talk, in simple terms, about the advantages and disadvantages of the two protocols.

1. Peer to Peer TV, better known as P2PTV.

This is the newest kid on the block and a lot people are taking notice of P2PTV. How can you not notice it, when the makers of Skype have taken this on as their next project? Joostt is just one of the players in and increasingly competitive field. P2PTV works on the same principles as BitTorrent. The big difference is that P2PTV does not take packets of data in a random order. Instead P2PTV picks up all of the parts in sequence. What this means, for the viewer, is that you are able to watch the show as you download. You then share the information along to the next person or people watching the program, seeding as you would for a normal torrent.

Advantages:

– You can watch high quality shows using P2PTV, just the same as you can with BitTorrent.

– There are legal networks available.

– The technology is improving constantly, and a lot of money is being poured into P2PTV.

Disadvantages:

– There is one great disadvantage to P2PTV, and that is that it does use similar protocols as BitTorrent. With that in mind, if your ISP shapes torrent traffic in any way at all, or it is blocked by a school or college network, then you may no be able to use P2PTV.

2. Online streaming   TV   media .

Online streaming media has been around for years. You have most probably come across online media streaming in your travels across the Internet. The way streaming media works is similar to the way normal HTTP traffic works. It’s called Real Time Streaming Protocol or RTSP. As a type of traffic on the Internet it is virtually invisible to normal traffic. The way the video downloads is in sequence, and the packets are delivered sequentially in order to your computer. You can watch as it downloads, just as you can with P2PTV.

Advantages:

– Streaming media looks like normal Internet traffic, so if your ISP is shaping torrent traffic streaming media will still get through unhindered.

– Although it’s an old technology, it is being improved all the time.

Disadvantages:

– Because of the way streaming downloads, during peak times the picture can become jerky due to the speed of traffic.

The two main protocols for watching TV shows online both have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing which way to go, take in to account your circumstances and how your ISP or college network operates, and you’ll be watching your favorite TV shows online without interference.

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What is Dish Net TV and What You Should Know Upon Subscribing

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Currently there are two major dish net TV providers in the US, Dish Network being one of them. Almost all that people know about Dish Net TV is that it provides high quality signal and hundreds of channels. In this article I will explain in more detail what exactly that is in order for you to be able to make a more informed choice when you are subscribing.

Digital network or dish net TV defines a set of communication media enabling telephonic media to handle voice and video. Initially this media was only used to transfer voice from the source point to destination point. But now days, many other features such as video conferencing, chat through voice, etc. are also a part of these networks’ services. The more general term associated with digital networks or dish net TV is integrated service digital network or ISDN. ISDN is a circuit based network system mainly aimed to remove the draw backs of an analogue phone. A digital network and analogue networks differ in many ways.

Analog networks operate upon waves of varying frequency and the digital ones work up on series of binary digits often called bits that indicate the respective on and off sates of the communication medium. This results in better voice quality, minimized attenuation and disturbance free environment for effective communication. It is a way of communication for high quality and low latency sound signals. Another form of high quality digital network service is Broadband Integrated Digital Service Network (BISDN). This service is employed to handle large no of tasks at the same time. Thus a digital network is effective way of modern day communication.

In the article I explained what this type of networks are and what they offer. Now that you have the knowledge you can make a far better decision when you decide to get one for you home/office.

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Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It

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At a glance:

  • Implicit media endorsements make you stand out from the competition.
  • It’s not advertising; it’s building credibility.
  • Maximize your exposure by posting it on your Web site and sharing it via social media.

A colleague of mine, who’s a former newspaper reporter, tells a story about a savvy attorney she knew. He’d tip her off whenever he had a particularly juicy case if she promised to include his name alongside that of his client in her story. Whether he won the case or lost it, people remembered his name and associated him with high-profile cases. He’d figured out that having his name in the paper bought him something no amount of advertising could: credibility.

For anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get their book into the hands of more consumers, the implicit endorsement that comes from being interviewed by the media is what I call “marketing gold.”

Let me explain. Thanks to the Internet, you and every competitor you have, big or small, have the same chance to reach your potential consumers. So, what makes one business, one product or book more appealing than another? It’s endorsements from the media that make you stand out. Let’s face it – if USA Today has chosen to review your book, or refer to it in an article, it gives reason to believe there’s something special about it. If a doctor is quoted in the news about solutions to a particular health issue you’re dealing with – your instinct will be to check out him and his product first, because the media must consider him an authority to have quoted him.

When the media recognizes that you have something important to say, you gain credibility. This is the marketing gold I’m referring to: the endorsements from TV and radio show hosts, the editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines – and now, bloggers, news Web sites and followers on social media too. All these forms of recognition give others confidence you’re as good as you say you are. But, it’s upon you to use this “gold” as a critical part of your marketing to let people know these endorsements exist.

The return on investment usually isn’t immediate, which can be frustrating to people who expect a surge in business or a spike in sales with every media interview. That used to happen more often in the old days – I’m talking way back in the ’90s – when a radio talk show host might chat with you for 30 or 60 minutes and newspapers had twice as many pages to fill. It became apparent that when a client’s message clearly addressed an urgent public problem, along with their expertise and solution-oriented content, they could hit the jackpot.

From January to April, an IRS expert who spoke of resolutions to IRS problems or gave on-air tips on how to prevent IRS abuses would always see a huge jump in book sales. Or, the health expert, who got on the air during flu season and explained why his health program would make them feel better faster would sell a ton of product.

But the old days are gone and here we are in 2012. Today’s talk radio interviews are brief – 7 to 10 minutes in the larger markets – and newspapers have no space for full feature stories on interesting entrepreneurs and writers. There are far fewer opportunities to grab an audience for a significant length of time.

So how do you grow your investment in PR? Marketing your media exposure is a strategy that pays big dividends over time – but requires an effort from you.

  • Your Web site should prominently display your endorsements: “As seen on CBS,” “featured in the Louisville Gazette,” “heard on WFLA radio.”
  • Don’t forget to mention the media coverage to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, too. The third-party endorsement will help you build more contacts, because people like knowing who the experts are and following them.
  • Use the media you’ve obtained to help you gain more TV, radio and print exposure. It serves as credibility for journalists as well and they will be more likely to want to interview you if you’ve already been vetted by other media professionals.
  • Let your personality shine online and respond to journalists and followers alike with interesting commentary and insights – not pleas to buy your book or product.

Yes, it takes work, a strong theme and a message that resonates. But if you invest wisely, you’ll grow rich in marketing gold.

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The Power of Publicity – Finding Your Media Niche

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Whether you are the owner, manager, or public relations director of a company, chances are, you’re always looking for ways to get your name in the public eye. While advertising is a great start, enhancing your advertising with publicity creates a perfect marriage of exposure for your company. What is publicity? It’s non-paid communication to promote your company in a positive light using media vehicles like television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. Through publicity you build mutually beneficial relationships between your business and the public on whom your success or failure depends.

When it comes to publicity, most people believe they can write a press release, send it to a TV station, radio station or newspaper and just wait for the avalanche of phone calls. But time goes by… and after they realize there aren’t any reporters beating down their door, they make a few phone calls to the newsroom only to discover that no one even read the press release. All of that time and work goes down the drain. You’re back to square one and you start over, but to no avail. So how do you end the vicious cycle of disappointment?

Research can make or break your pitch

Research. Plain and simple, you need to know your audience and know your media market. And research is the key to both.. So first and foremost you need to take a look at your message and ask yourself a few questions–is it newsworthy? Is it consumer-related? Does it have a local twist? Is it a visual story? What demographic am I targeting–how old is my audience and what is their target household income? The answers to these questions will help you craft your ‘pitch’ and determine which media outlets you should target.

While most people go for the saturation effect, seeking radio, television and print media simultaneously, the reality is that your message might not be a good fit for all media. So that brings us back to the research table. Now it’s time to do a little homework and figure out where your message stands the best chance of garnering media attention.

How do I get on TV?

TV newscasts communicate to their audience through pictures and conversation. Producers look for newsworthy topics that are visual and entertaining or informative ‘how-to’ segments. They want compelling conversation and pictures that will grab the viewers’ attention. They don’t want a ‘talking head’ rattling off statistics or blatantly plugging a new book.

Worried that your message isn’t visual? Try this- ask yourself how you’d explain your message to a child? Did that help you think of any pictures or simple words that fit your message? Those pictures or simple words can translate into graphics for a TV story. We once had a life insurance agency that wanted us to arrange local and national TV appearances for their CEO. The pitch we created offered interviews discussing the importance of life insurance and why it’s vital for women to protect themselves for the future. Sounds like you could sleep right through it, right? But we offered more than just the interview. We had the client prepare graphs and bullet points with short information snippets showing the mortality rate of women versus men. The TV stations turned them into graphics and voila– it became a very powerful visual story that was successful for our client and the media.

Keep in mind too, that the morning, noon and evening newscasts are each geared towards a different audience. The early morning shows are usually watched by working adults and families getting ready for school. Notice how the news formats shift into more of a talk and lifestyle segment that’s sprinkled with news ‘updates’ after 8AM when most commuters have already left for work?

Saying Your Piece on Talk Radio

Radio talk shows engage their audience through words rather than photographs. Most radio stations are turning to local angles for interviews. So it’s important to figure out if your message has a local tie-in or is important to your community.

Because radio doesn’t require visual props or photos, it’s a great fit for just about any message, so long as you can discuss your topic for a good 30 minutes. Because what you’re really doing is having a conversation with the listeners, you need to be well-versed in your topic and able to handle plenty of questions. Your message should be topical too; something people want to talk about at the office water cooler or over coffee.

Radio talk shows, which are found mostly on the AM dial, also vary from morning to night. Morning shows have shorter interviews during this “drive time” to work. Talk show hosts don’t have time for a 30 minute interview because morning shows are jam-packed with news, weather and traffic updates.

Midday shows were once known to target women, but that’s changed because so many people listen to the radio at work. Now, you’ll find many business shows air during typical daytime work hours. After work, you’ll find the second “drive time” of the day. Unlike in the morning, listeners are more relaxed. They’re on the way home from a long day at work and there’s more time to air a 30 minute interview.

During the evening, it’s a mixed audience of people listening from home. And don’t discount the reach of overnight interviews–while you may think no one is listening, think again! Overnight talk shows (from midnight to 5 a.m.) are very important due to overnight jobs that bring in listeners – 2nd and 3rd shift factory workers, public service employees and many other industries that operate all night long.

Getting Yourself in Print

Print publicity includes magazines and newspapers. While they are two different vehicles, their requirements are similar to television. Your pitch needs to be newsworthy, entertaining, informative, and in some cases, even visual. Newspapers work on tight deadlines, so make sure you don’t wait a week after a hot story is released to offer your expertise or an interview on the topic. Magazines, on the other hand, often have a 30 to 60 day lead time. Research the publication you want to contact and make sure they have a reporter who covers your topic or message. It’s also helpful to offer quality visuals. For example, restaurants offering a recipe, a gym offering tips to a tighter tummy, even the latest trends in jewelry, can all be accompanied by photographs to support the story.

I’ve Narrowed the Search, Now What?

Once you know the types of media you want to target, how do you know which TV stations, radio stations, or print publications are in your area? You can always subscribe to some sort of media list, but why would you do this when the internet is full of free media information? Some websites you may find helpful are www.radiolocator.com, www.usnpl.com, www.newspapers24.com , www.mondotimes.com and www.newslink.org. You can also use a basic search engine and search for your city + media, for example type in “Tampa Media.” You’ll find a whole list of media outlets at your fingertips.

Now that you’ve found a list of media contacts, you’re well on your way to creating a Power Publicity campaign to drive business to your company. Now that you understand why it’s so important to find your media niche, next up in our series, we’ll focus on creating a powerful message. To be successful at publicity, you must create your message specifically for your target audience and then find the best media vehicle to drive your message home. That’s why pushing those standard press releases didn’t work for you in the first place.

About Marsha Friedman:

Marsha Friedman is the CEO of EMSIncorporated, (EMSI) a leading publicity firm that has represented many well known clients such as Motown’s Temptations, Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa, Jr., National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, Bristol Myers Squibb, Financial TV personality, Jim Rogers and Dr. Barry Sears.

About EMSIncorporated:

EMSI is a nationally-recognized publicity firm specializing in arranging interviews on radio shows around the country, appearances on local and national TV and obtaining editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines.

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Promotional Items Vs TV Advertising

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With daily news updates about the credit crunch it is no surprise that you might be worried about the upcoming year and considering abandoning plans to use promotional items; instead looking to focus your marketing budget on other initiatives. However, before allocating your budget give some thought to the power of promotional items…

One of the Strongest Performing Marketing Tools

Promotional items are one of the strongest performing marketing tools, with a recent study showing that 84% of respondents recalled a company after receiving a promotional item from them. Part of the reason promotional items can be more effective is that they work in a slightly different way than TV or radio campaigns.

While TV may bombard us with information every advert break, many people are too busy making a cup of tea to notice. And when they make their tea, your customers could be using a promotional mug, branded with your name and logo, which promotes constantly…not just for a couple of minutes in between a program.

Better Market Segmentation

It is true that TV advertising can reach a lot more people, but this can also be a negative point. Many of the people who see your campaign may not be the people who would ever buy your products, or even consider them. This means that you are wasting some of your hard-earned budget on targeting completely the wrong people. Using promotional items puts the power in your hands, either to ensure that regular customers are sent a gift, or that you send a mailer containing a gift such as a pen to build recognition before your follow up calls.

Cost vs. Return

TV advertising is a very costly approach for any company to take – effective creative comes at a high cost and that’s without media buying. In contrast to this, buying and sending promotional gifts is extremely cost effective and targeted. In fact, if you are seen to be sending gifts to customers and potential customers while other companies are cutting back on this type of activity, it helps differentiate your business as a company who cares about its customers and rewards them for their loyalty. They will remember your name and feel special…rather than a one-way message delivered to everyone on a TV screen.

TV advertising is also short-term, you may only see a brand / brand message a handful of times. However, a promotional gift such as a pen or calculator will keep a company’s brand / brand message in front of someone constantly for a long period of time.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes…would you prefer a generic message delivered over a mass medium (such as TV) or would you prefer a more personalized approach, such as a letter and gift?

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Glorifying Social Media – When Television Met Twitter

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There is no denying the prominence of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter over the past couple of years. Although these social media platforms did not exist a decade ago, they are now firmly integrated into modern society. In fact, it is incredible how much our lives are influenced by social media. We not only communicate online, but we also “tweet” and “digg” and “bookmark” and “favourite” and share all kinds of content. Any event of interest, regardless how insignificant it may be, is almost guaranteed to be reported via multiple online avenues. Whether it is a tweet or a blog post or a viral video, the buzz spreads rapidly across the Internet. After all, we are the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter generation – we live and breathe through social media.

In particular, the rise of social media brought upon an interesting phenomenon within the traditional media format. Recently, the world watched its first ever situational comedy inspired by a Twitter account. Crassly titled $#*! My Dad Says, the show features William Shatner as a cantankerous old man with a wide array of snappy one-liners, while his son records these remarks on the Internet. The actual Twitter account has almost two million followers; the sitcom premiere debuted to an audience of over twelve million viewers. Let those impressive numbers sink in first, and then you better realize that it was an anonymous old man – who would never have been famous without the Internet – drew this much attention and popularity.

At first, the concept of a Twitter account sounds laughably absurd – how could an actual television show sustain based on the random tweets of less than 140 characters? As it turns out, $#*! My Dad Says is no different from the standard laugh track comedies on CBS, complete with Shatner’s distinguished way of delivering a ha-ha punch line (or any line at all, really). Yet, it is the idea behind the sitcom that displays the most originality. Think about what the show has accomplished by its mere existence: a social media icon is being celebrated in network television! Can you imagine getting a TV show based on your disjointed thoughts online? Can you imagine being famous because of your Twitter account?

While Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter grow more dominant in our culture, it is becoming increasingly clear that social media has no boundaries anymore. Its influence extends beyond the Twitterverse or a primetime television show; it affects our modernity as a whole. This essay will analyze deeper into the seamless integration between social media and traditional media, as well as the unsettling repercussions of this recent pop culture trend.

The Facebook movie and the Twitter sitcom are just two recent examples among numerous success stories. Several high-profile entertainment bloggers have quit their day jobs so that they can become full-time online gossipmongers. HBO is in the works of producing a comedy called Tilda, featuring Diane Keaton and Ellen Page, about a fearsome blogger loosely resembling Nikki Finke. In addition, there are hundreds of minor Internet sensations made famous by their viral videos, and sometimes their fame extends to lucrative opportunities in the entertainment industry. For example, that YouTube kid is on The Amazing Race with his father a few seasons ago. In fact, YouTube is like the hub of revolving online celebrities; their stardom fades in and out over time. Leave Britney alone, anyone?

Since a sizable portion of social media users belong to the younger demographic, it is no surprise that a number of youth-oriented programs feature social media into the show’s premise. For example, iCarly showcases three teens that discover the success of their webcast as they become online celebrities. Balancing the normalcy of adolescent life along with the abrupt Internet fame makes iCarly unique from the other television shows. Similarly, while the targeted demographic of Gossip Girl is aimed towards a slightly older audience, it showcases an anonymous blogger that spreads scandalous gossip on the Internet and how this inadvertently affects the lives of several privileged young adults. Gossip Girl covers the darker side of social media, where the online anonymity poses a threat to real-life privacy.

By promoting social media so heavily into television and film, the entertainment industry has sent a message that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are integral elements in our everyday lives. It seems that a Facebook account is even more significant than an e-mail address or a cell phone number. It seems that relying on Twitter updates and viral videos are more preferable than reading an actual news article. It seems that blog posts will revolutionize the journal industry sooner enough. As the number of television shows and films about social media increases, this trend indicates that we cannot function in society without some sort of social media platform or social profiling account. How else will you communicate with your acquaintances? How else will you manage your friendships and relationships?

I am in the school of thought that relying on any technological medium too much can lead to disastrous results. Social media may have eased our communication processes, but it also oversimplified our abilities to form coherent and insightful thoughts. After all, how profound can your tweets be if it only permits you 140 characters per message? And anyone who bothered to look at the comments section under a YouTube video, especially regarding controversial topics, can witness a wide array of banality. Even Facebook, with its frequent breach of privacy, has an unsophisticated system of categorizing your profile details, such as the “It’s Complicated” option for your relationship status. (Of course, they don’t care about what you put in your profile, as long as you are part of the demographic metrics for the prospective online advertisers. Single male in his thirties who uses Facebook a lot? How about clicking on the online dating site advert in the sidebar?)

Social media does not pose any life-threatening perils, although there are some incidents of online stalkers or worse, but we should still be informed about its obvious limitations as a communication medium. Don’t assume that social media is essential just because it is promoted everywhere in films and television shows. Do not misjudge its prevalence as a form of necessity. As consumers, as online users, and as human beings, we should take a critical look of social media as a form of the new traditional media. If these social media platforms are here to stay, where do we fit in? Are we satisfied with being defined as the Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter generation?

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