amanda cosco

8 Statements From #OWS Movement in 140 Characters or Less

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The #Occupy movement may have been ousted from parks, universities and churchyards, but it’s certainly taking up its share of digital space.

All over the wireless airwaves, citizens are testing out their political voices on social mediums. We’ve gathered eight of the best tweet-sized statements from #OWS.

If you have better ones, send them to @Amanda Cosco using the hashtag #OWSSpeaks.

1: This tweet plays on the popular quote “Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, and love like you’ve never been hurt before,” only this time, we have an #OWS slant, which raises concerns over health insurance, freedom of speech and the legality of (gay?) marriage throughout the United States:

 

2. I love this sign because it captures how #OWS transitioned from being about a few people gathering in New York City to a worldwide movement: “Occupy All Streets” reads the rewrite, a sure sign (pun intended) of the movement’s trajectory

3. Anyone who quotes Goethe on a protest sign is guaranteed to land a spot in my top ten list. Goethe was known for writing in fragments, not unlike tweets. The  demonstrator in this picture obviously sees relevance in Goethe nearly 180 years after his death:

4. This tweet evidences that the #Occupy protestors understand that their fight will not easily be won, but they believe in what they’re fighting for.

5. Aside from being visually stunning, this protest sign plays on the famous line from the Watchmen, “THE END IS NIGH.” Instead, here we have “The beginning is near,” with a raging bull on his way  down. The bull could represent a few things— capitalism, American bankers, a bullshit economic system—to name a few, and the statement, “the beginning is near” hints at a new dawn that could be born out of the #OWS movement.

6. I love this tweet because it’s simple, direct, and it emphasizes the three most important sentiments from #OWS: conversation, community and children:

7. This young man made the cover of The Economist: 8. A little love to those who bring humour into the picture:

 

@Amanda Cosco is a freelance writer, content queen & social media girl genius. To learn more about her, visit her professional blog here.

 

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How Yellow Pages is Leveraging Social to Stay Relevant

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I grew up in the nineties, the dawn of digital culture.

For me—and for many others born in the late eighties and early nineties— the Yellow Pages brand was irrelevant; I never understand why people would spend ten minutes leafing though a thick and cumbersome book with flimsy pages to find a restaurant or plumber when the same answers were easily searchable online.

But those born only a few years earlier than me remember a time when the Yellow Pages was more than just a useful doorstop or oversized paperweight, when the brand was an iconic symbol for finding information, not unlike the Google brand of today.

As we move into an increasingly digital world, brands like the Yellow Pages face extinction, since the services they provided have been optimized by internet search engines.

In an effort to remain relevant, the Yellow Pages has moved online, extending their platform to mobile applications and social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.


“Find, review, and share business listings on Facebook” invites the new Yellow Pages Facebook application.

The app, which can be installed for free on your Facebook browser, allows you to search for people and companies, just like the Yellow Pages book. Users can search by business name, keyword, or location, and the program is integrated with Google maps. Users can also read and write customer reviews and bookmark searches for reference later.

The Yellow Pages App is also compatible with the iPhone, the iPad, Blackberry, Android, and the Windows Phone 7, making it easier for people to access local information without having to lug around that thick yellow book.

@Amanda Cosco is a freelance writer, content queen & social media girl genius. To learn more about her, visit her professional blog here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter Reacts to the Eviction of #OWS

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It’s no surprise that Twitter had something to say about the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park; after all, the microblogging service has served as a tool for spreading awareness about the #Occupy movement, and has played a crucial role in organizing conversations surrounding #OWS.

On Tuesday morning, more than 200 protesters were arrested and removed from Zuccotti Park in a surprise police raid. Law enforcements were following orders from New York’s Mayor,  Michael Bloomberg, who ordered a “park cleaning” early last week.

Bloomberg said that the occupiers were welcome to exercise their right to protest, though he said their tents and living arrangements in the park had become a “health issue,” and were no longer welcome. Mayor Bloomberg told The New York Times that although New York is a place where you can express yourself, he didn’t feel the occupiers were doing that. What’s more, he said, the protestors and their mock-village have made Zuccotti unavailable to anyone else.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the movement hasn’t stopped:  thousands on videos, images, and tweets continue to pour in under the #OWS hashtag. Just search #OWS, #OccupyWallStreet, or any of the other hashtags used for the movement and you’ll find thousands of pieces of citizen journalism, like these images, which document the eviction:

This image was captured by @JATayler and circulated by Andrew Katz (@katz) on November 17. Here’s the caption he provides beneath the image:

And then there’s this image, captured by @OccupyWallStNYC:

If a picture is worth a thousand word, then this image says a lot about the control that’s being exercised over the demonstrators. In the image, we can clearly read that this is a shot of  Zuccotti park—a supposedly “public” space. The sign, which clearly reads “open to the public,” is sealed off behind bars, capturing the power-struggle narrative running through the entire story of #Occupy.

And then there’s this video:

While the protestors in New York were being evicted, student demonstrators in California were being pepper sprayed by police officers.

While the examples above are by no means a comprehensive analysis of Twitter’s reaction to the #OWS eviction, the tweets selected demonstrate the general spirit of media being pushed through Twitter under the #OWS hashtag. Almost al of the #OWS citizen media contain the same tropes: cops acting badly, protesters being victimized, and the crowd shouting that one resounding line: “the whole world is watching.”

 

The whole world is watching, and we’re staying tuned to see what will become of the new arrangements in Zuccotti Park. According to The New York Times, New York police reopened the gates to the park shortly after dark on Tuesday evening to allow 750 people back into the park, single file, and one-by-one. The Times says that people with large backpacks and large amounts of food were turned away.

@Amanda Cosco is a freelance writer, content queen & social media girl genius. To learn more about her, visit her professional blog here.

 

Twitter Gong Show Takes Toronto (A Case For Social Media Marketing)

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When Mark DeBonis was asked by a talent booker to think up an idea for an entertainment show at the last minute, DeBois spit out the first thing that came to his mind: a Twitter Gong show.

At the time, DeBonis—a stand-up comedian—was half joking; he wasn’t really sure exactly what a Twitter Gong show would look like, or if the concept could work, but he suggested it anyhow.

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