Category Archives: ASU

Obama’s ‘Body of work’ speech gags critics

This video is worth watching, if only to see how the president of the United States put an overblown media controversy to rest –giving that phrase a new context, now.

For those not familiar with this flap, ASU had not intended to give the president an honorary degree –an old college custom lavished on commencement speakers. It was a policy that had been in place for years. But a statement by the university raised the ire of some, exacerbated by media chatter. The statement had the phrase “his body of work is yet to come” and attracted headline such as “ASU stiffs Obama.”

ASU didn’t change its policy; it created 2000 ‘Obama Scholarships’ instead.

So it was interesting to see the pres weave in that phrase many times, to take it to a different level. In the vein of any parent, any teacher that tells a young person ‘you never stop learning,’ and ‘don’t sit on your laurels…’ he stressed sacrifice and finding greatness that lies within. “Don’t stop adding to your body of work!”

The entire speech is here.


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Have camera, will report (esp if biggest story falls in your lap)

It was just last summer, that the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU was picked as one of the four top J-schools for ABC News’ multi-media bureaus on campuses.

Barely a year later, they got an opportunity to report on a story that anyone in the media business would give their right arm for.

Watch This: Check out this report by a student. Using slick editing (clever use of the Valley’s new Light Rail with roof-top solar panels in backdrop!) and wide perspectives, this story captures the sense of expectation before the president paid a visit to ASU.

Tweet This: If you know of a student interested in the changing media landscape –I know at least two– here’s a challenge by ABC Campus News, looking for roving multi-media savvy reporters



Twinterview with ASU’s Nina Miller Kulhawy

Yesterday i took part in a large social media exercise that allowed us to cover the visit of president Barack Obama to ASU, where he spoke at the commencement.

To follow up, I am doing a series of podcasts and Twinterviews. Continuing where I left off.

This afternoon, I will be live posting responses from Nina Miller Kulhawy, principal  graphic designer at the Office of The President. Watch this space!

AF: You’re a Graphic Designer heavy into web design. What got you into social media here at ASU in such a big way? #twitview09 #asugrad

NMK: I went to web 2.0 conf 2 yrs ago, it clicked with me. Human connections have always fascinated me. #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: I think universities need to engage with people as individuals, and I see this as a way to do that. #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Few people know u are an improv actor. Does relating 2 a real audience have lessons 4 communicating w/ virtual peeps? #twitview09  #asugrad

NMK: Yes! Improvising and dealing with a live audience in person doesn’t differ from what is needed online #twitview09 #asugrad

NMK: Listening skills apply in both, not just always producing content, but hearing what others are saying #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Let’s get to Obama’s visit May13. What part did social media play in your job? Was it even in your job description? #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK:  It fits under “other duties as assigned.” I was tweeting as @asugraduation for the day w/@JulieEspinosa #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: I was part of the planning committee, worked with Melissa Werner & @tiffapiffa to build the event site #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: You were tracking many Twitter feeds answring questions in realtime. Without this tool what would u have had 2 do? #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: I can’t imagine what I would have done. One woman in dublin was shocked when I answered her question #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: This is the only tool that I can see fitting the needs of that kind of communication #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Any neat example or success story in the social media newsroom y’day at the Sun Devil Stadium? #twitview09  #asugrad09

NMK: I think the running out of water rumor being addressed was one basic needs win. Photos really helped that #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: The biggest win was everyone bringing their expertise to the table, doing their thing. The collaboration #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: For an audience not familiar with the water issue, can u explain? #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: There was a report that we had run out of water at the water stations on the field, it was incorrect. #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: How long did it take for the rumor to disappear? I saw one reporter rushing 2 the exits to check this #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: It seemed to be diffused pretty quickly in person because there was water #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: but it was important to report that online so people that weren’t there didn’t think we were careless #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Got a link to that picture of the water station?#twitview09 #asugrad09

Water_ASUGrad09_8608210NMK:  RT @asugraduation: RT @emersunn: Contrary to reports, there is plenty of water. #asugrad09 #twitview09

(this is the message she re-tweeted at that moment. Click image left to enlarge)

AF: I noticed several mainstream media folks following our tweets. Any collaborations or exchanges with them worth noting –online or off? #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: I can’t really think of mainstream media collaboration from yesterday #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: No problem. I was sharing images with a photo journalist -he was basically shooting 4us. talk about Fair Use! #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: Our collaboration with managed by @dotguy was especially helpful. Featured on their home page. #twitview09 #asugrad09

AndersonCooper_TweetAF: on the media, I wrote 2 Anderson Cooper who continues 2 paint a wrong pic- he let it slide #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Going forward how might ASU use the groundswell of social media users across our 4 campuses? Any big ideas? #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: I think if we continue to use it as a listening tool, it will be a great way to connect with individuals #twitview09 #asugrad09

NMK: The conversation and interaction is the most important part to me. #twitview09 #asugrad09

AF: Thanks, Nina. Great lessons for all of us. #twitview09 #asugrad09


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Take risks, change attitude, rethink your career

Obama4If people though that Obama would trot out the message of Hope, and yes-we-can for an grad audience, they were wrong.

It’s about change, not hope.

“Question conventional wisdom and challenge old dogmas.”

Hard task ahead, not just for people like these 11,000 people entering the work force. I try to put some of this across in my resume-meets-social media seminar, but taking risks is hard, scary at this time. But guess what? I know of two people who are doing just that.

One guy is starting what most people would call crazy –a media company. He happens to be an ex-journalist. The other guy has a great model for mobile marketing, using the phone as a scanning device. I asked the journo, if he has a business plan. He says yes, but it’s not exactly a plan because  he intends to tweak it as he moves ahead. Conventional wisdom tells me this is risky. But that’s exactly what we need in a recession: Unconventional wisdom. He was not forced into a career change. He shifted gears before he was forced to.

As Obama sums up his speech –it’s 8.25 pm Mountain Standard Time– I know that Obama is lighting a fire under an audience beyond this stadium with than formula.


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Obama arrives at ASU, light bulbs go off

PresidentCrow_1The light bulbs go off like strobes.

But as President Crow addresses the 70,000 plus audience here, I can imagine the other light bulbs go off. He gave a huge shout out to K-12 teachers, and I can see how this resonates with Obama as he reaches out to get a ground-up movement going to fix education.

Watch the Blueprint for Education video on this site! It is the speech where he says “if you want to make your mark, with a legacy that will endure, then join the teaching profession.”


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Alice Cooper rocks graduates -still!

“Why is Alice Cooper alive?” was one of the comments on Twitter at 6.15 Pm.

The short answer to it is: he eats a lot of red vines. (He happily took some off our desk.)

It was moments after the 61-year old took to the stage –probably tweeted while this was on stage. When you think about it, you wonder, what is this brand doing on stage in this day, at this time. Also he’s the lead act before another brand, Barack Obama who will be here in a few moments.

The funny thing is, not all brands who need to stay relevant need to join the Twitterrati, as we have. I actually asked Alice Cooper this question a little while ago when I got to interview him. His response: I don’t need to do this stuff, I tell my band when they are in Paris to get out and see the real Eiffel tower, rather than look at it online.”

For anyone juggling between old media and new media, this is a sobering thought.

Don’t you think?

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Posted by on May 14, 2009 in Arizona, ASU



Obama’s visit today begets massive social media coverage

PressBox_0512Happy to note that I am part of the social media ‘swat’ team at today’s commencement at Arizona State University, where president Barack Obama will speak. (Sun Devil Stadium, 7 PM Mountain Time, 63,000 people).

Now unofficially called the ‘Tweam‘ (in the tradition of making horrible words to describe anyone also using Twitter as a communication tool) about 20 of us will provide a different type of coverage from what the major networks will bring: multiple angles, twitpics and more uploaded to Flickr, perspectives and commentary on several blogs, podcasts etc. Befitting, of course Obama’s and the White House’s use of social media.

A few things to get you started:

Watch how ABC15 profiled this social media blitz last night –click on the TV story, top right of page


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