Monday, November 18, 2013


[This is a targeted blog to Business School Members of California State University, Northridge Business and Economics school as a follow up to a presentation on polishing their online identity so it is professional and appropriate by the time they graduate.]



Thank you for attending my presentation “Going Viral: Developing your Professional Online Profile (POP)" at your California State University Northridge event last Friday, November 15, 2013.

As promised, here are some career and reputation/profile links you may find useful when building your own  Professional Online Profile (POP). I also wanted to remind you that now is a good time to clean up your Digital Footprint before you graduate.  Below are just a few tips for managing or reducing some of the crumbs on your digital path before you enter the full-time job market.

Good luck and thanks again for attending!  


PS--In you are interested in apply for an internship with, please contact 

Tips for managing or reducing your digital footprint (via Ryan O. Hicks / @rohixx):

  • Manage your online interactions with others.
  • Take control of your privacy; set online accounts to private.
  • Do not post what you would not want someone else knowing about you.
  • Use caution in how you interact with others on social websites.
  • Clean up your footprint - Remove photos, close online accounts, and delete old comments on websites and forums.
  • Stop using the internet as a mindless hub for entertainment, and limit your activity.
  • Google yourself and see what comes up.
There are also numerous tools to help you identify what information you may have on the internet. Some of the websites are paid and some are free. I am not affiliated with any of the services listed below.



COOL WAYS TO MAKE A RESUME: Create an Online Timeline or Infographic
Resume and more!


Sunday, August 25, 2013


by Cynthia Lieberman

Social change is the transformation of social institutions and political and economic systems over a period of time. There are many reasons for social transformations to occur, and while some of these changes are swift, many of them are a slow, evolutionary process. There are many variable consequences to social change, and it is often divisive. Some changes in social patterns are intentional, but many are unplanned and usually the rate of social change will vary.

David Reisman developed the term social character to mean personality patterns common to members of a particular society. He views pre-industrial societies as promoting tradition-directedness, or rigid conformity to time-honored ways of living. This coincides with Max Weber’s theory that the “truth” is always the same to “what always has been” to traditional people, and social change occurs when the unquestioned truths of an earlier time are challenged. Tying in with this notion, W. Ogbum’s (1964) “culture lag theory,” claims that material (technological or aka “modern”) societies adjust more swiftly than non-material cultures that value ideas, norms and ideologies. In other words, there is a “lag time” after a new idea or invention is introduced during which the non-material culture is still adapting to new material conditions.

A good example of this notion is the invention of the automobile, which has made a significant impact on society and the world. When this modern device was introduced, non-material culture felt that it caused people to “move too fast” and that it transitioned society away from the cultivation of smaller, safer, private communities. This was initially perceived as a detriment to the moral fabric of society, but eventually, convenience and speed prevailed. As the influence of this invention grew (along with other devices of modernity), industrialization and urbanization increased and the non-material culture of rural areas began to erode. Over the past five decades, the automobile has continued to have positive influences on society such as providing mobility for the physically impaired, emergency healthcare assistance and protection of communities during disaster with emergency vehicles. It has also created negative impacts on society, including political and economic greed (oil crisis, war, recessions), the environment (global warming, smog), and our health and welfare (cancer, car accidents, etc.).

There are other countless ways that modernization has significantly impacted social change, and as a result, a great number of people in modern societies today have the privacy and freedom to express their individuality. New technologies such as the internet and social networking, for example, create new opportunities and increase options available to society. Interactions between people become more global, and the exchange of ideas change the structures of human groups and behavioral problems. However, the introduction of these technologies also introduce new social behaviors that are rapidly creating a monumental shift in society and the way we communicate, invent, emote, discover and even conduct business. It also creates new conflicts, problems with identity, social deviance and other hidden factors.

My particular interest in social change and what it means to me relates to the effects of post-modernity in society, or rather the social characteristics of a postindustrial society. While urbanization and industrialization has allowed for progressive thinking, the idea of “progress” has not necessarily always been effective. Higher crime, poverty, and suicide rates have resulted from the modernization of society as well as the formation of a entirely new set of class systems. Wherever modernization has occurred, there are always tradeoffs, such as cures for some diseases yet an increase in others that formed as a direct result of new technologies (heart attacks, cancer). Media influence has contributed to a rise in importance of other-directedness (the practice of imitating others) and places an importance on the mimicking of current trends and fashions. This often causes people to conform to their peers and diffuses original thinking. This “other-directedness” in society can have a positive impact (going “green” for example) but it can also be detrimental (rehab brat behaviors by celebrities). Naturally, in a pop-driven culture society like the United States, teenagers who are still forming their own identities are particularly influenced by this.

In many ways, I agree with Ferdinand Tonnies that much of modernity has caused an erosion of the human community, and that the Industrial Revolution weakened the social fabric of family by introducing a business-like efficiency. However, the unique “privatization” that new media provides also creates a unique social bond that has never existed before. I am concerned that the diminished use of physical human contact is biologically unhealthy for the body and spirit, yet there is a unique communal socialization that can also have many positive effects through the use of technology. For example, people now have a group--and a personal--voice in society and their opinions are often shaped through blogging, social networks, chat rooms and websites. If society does not agree with a social behavior, they now can unite and be heard almost instantaneously. I am perplexed and in awe of this powerful social influence and am fascinated by the postmodern impact of this change. After all, this new sense of community can be used to help poor countries grow economically. However, there is a price for everything, and although theoretically their health and well-being would improve ,who is to say that helping a poor country economically is good for them from a cultural standpoint? Money does not necessarily buy happiness, as the familiar cliché goes. Many a “poor” village has more peace and longevity than a city of thousands, and there is something to be said for that.

Regardless, in “the end,” I still believe in the pursuit of a healthy and harmonious society, and I believe that by gaining a better understanding of different cultures and how they adapt to new ideas and how they process their beliefs and these ideas, we can help transform social, political and economic systems in a constructive way to create positive social change.

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Infograph Source: Interactive, H., & University, W. (n.d.). 2012 Social Change Impact Report | Social Change | Walden University.Accredited Online University Degree Programs | Online College | Online School | Walden University. Retrieved August 25, 2013, from

[This was one of my first posts in the UCLA/Fielding University Media Psychology and Social Change (MPSC) graduate classes in February 2008; to access more of my MPSC papers, please go to:]

Monday, February 18, 2013


We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

–Lyrics by pop-rock trio “Fun,” Winner of the 2013 Song of the Year Grammy
While watching the 2013 Grammys  with my husband and my two Millennial-aged children, an amusing moment occurred.  When the pop-rock trio “Fun” performed a song entitled “We Are Young,” my husband exclaimed, “Folk music is back!”  My 25-year-old daughter retorted, “No, no it’s not, that’s Indie,” and a debate ensued.  There were only 22 award categories in 1987 when she was born, including “Folk.”  This year, there were 30 — excluding “Folk” but including Music Video,  Music for Visual MediaAlternative, and more.  Fun went on to win the Grammy for Song of the Year for “Carry on.” Ironically, in today’s day and age, it seems when it comes to social action, Folk is to Indie what Hippies are to Millennials. Sort of.
As the first generation to grow up in a newly-connected, digital world enters full-fledged adulthood, this tribe of so-called “Millennials” (young people between the ages of 18-32) have become an indicator species of sorts. After all, where better to look in order to assess the effects of a hyper mediated world?
Currently numbered at 79 million, Millennials are expected to outnumber the Baby Boomer population 78 million to 56 million by 2030 (Paul, 2012).  Their hyper-connectivity and new digital technologies make their influence and mass genuinely formidable.  They know how to collaborate and use the strength of their numbers in ways unlike any previous generation.
Unlike the noisy demonstrations of their Hippie parents, Millennial protests generally lack hail, sleet and heat.  Instead, these twenty-something’s quietly participate in positive social causes without leaving the comfort of their own dorm, home, or parent’s couch, and they reach out to others who share similar concerns via Google hangouts and chat rooms.
In addition, a recent survey by Boston Consulting Group (Paul 2012) reveals that Millennials are active “consumer engagement influencers”; they are more likely to purchase products that support a cause rather than make direct donations (which 34% of them do anyway) — especially from mobile devices.
Because “their lives feel richer when they are connected to people online” (Paul, 2012), 60% of the Millennial population use crowdsourcing to explore brands and share peer-related products and services, videos, images, and blogs to influence or be influenced.
This is a far cry from the 1960′s “sit-ins” and peace marches, and ultimately more powerful.  The ability to collect, connect, and collaborate via social networks allows people to “touch” favorite social causes and contextualize how their efforts are making a difference. One third of those polled also tended to favor brands and programs with Facebook pages and mobile websites that let them share their experiences and thoughts with one another.
Any new technology can be used for good or bad, especially communication technologies.  Sure there’s porn, but there’s also the Discovery Channel.  Sure there are “hacktivist” movements such as the internet collective “Anonymous” hacking into the CIA, the Church of Scientology, and large corporations. But at the same time, according to social entrepreneur Ahrif Sarumi, “Millennials are pioneering ways to give back to their communities, sharing actionable solutions to social issues, and galvanizing others who believe real impact is sometimes only a send button away.”
Unlike the short-lived rebellious youth of their parents (after all didn’t all those so-called Hippies later become Yuppies??), the power and influence exerted by Millennials is turning out to be more long-lasting and durable. As William Deresiewicz writes in “The Entrepreneurial Generation” (2011):
 “…Unlike those of previous youth cultures, the hipster (aka, Millennial) ethos contains no element of rebellion, rejection or dissent — remarkably so, given that countercultural opposition would seem to be essential to the very idea of youth culture. That may in turn be why the hipster has proved to be so durable. The heyday of the hippies lasted for all of about two years. The punks and slackers held the stage for little more than half a decade each. That’s the nature of rebellion: it needs to keep on happening. … But hipsters, who’ve been around for 15 years or so, appear to have become a durable part of our cultural configuration.”
So what if we don’t see them standing on a picket line?  Instead, the Millennial generation understands how to leverage digital resources to support causes in ways we never could have dreamed of.  Why not put your Millennial assumptions aside and read the recent  2012 Millennial Impact Report that explores their relationships with nonprofits.  They may be more proactive and empathetic and charitable than you think!
~ ~ ~
REFERENCES:  Want to point your own Millennial in the right direction?  Check out opportunities such Ignite Good’s Millennial Impact Challenge and’s article  Millennials Using Social Media for Social Good for inspiration.
Cadwalladr, C. (2013, February 10). Anonymous: behind the masks of the cyber insurgents | Technology | The Observer . Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . Retrieved February 13, 2013, from
IGNITEgood. (2013, February 11). IGNITEgood. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from
Kingkade, T. (n.d.). Millennials Are More Stressed Out Than Older Generations: Stress In America Survey . The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2013,
The Millennial Impact Report. (n.d.). The MillennialI Impact Report. Retrieved February 11, 2013, from
Sarumi, A. (2012, November 2).  Millennials Using Social Media for Social Good.  Retrieved February 8, 2013, from

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Monday, April 23, 2012


Transmedia storytelling can be integrated into education, marketing, social change and other areas in a myriad of ways, but one thing it always offers--regardless of the arena--is choice.  Telling stories in different forms on different platforms opens the door to produce complex reflections, to take classic linear methods of expression and weave them into the tapestries of unique observations and understanding.  Rather than following the traditional path of beginning, middle, climax, ending, the story creator and/or reader is provided with the freedom and opportunity to devise multiple outcomes.

As mentioned in another blog I wrote for (Transmedia and Teaching Native Multitaskers, 4/13/12), transmedia narratives touch on many areas in education on a global scale.  To help you navigate the often baffling labyrinth of its definitions and applications, I have assembled a list of 34 great transmedia storytelling resources below.  I hope these resources will serve as starting point for discovering practical ways to teach and utilize these demanding new literacy skills in our schools and in our lives.


This is a practical guide to transmedia storytelling for beginners. This book can be downloaded on your computer and is also available in print and on the Kindle at Amazon
@JWTIntelligence JTWL 2011 report “Transmedia Rising” takes a look at why this trend is bubbling up right now, how it’s significant for marketers and where it’s going, including a half-dozen case studies, insights from transmedia experts, and more.
To further highlight the problem with the term “transmedia” and the increasing chasm between storytellers and franchisers/marketers, Steve Peters started this collection of amazing amount of sometimes contradictory definitions, which should nicely illustrate the problem.
Transmedia in the Classroom has the potential to engage students and allow them to absorb information in a way that they have become accustomed to in their social lives and entertainment consumption. Through Transmedia, it is also possible that that schools will be able to save time and money and – in the long run – reduce inequalities in the school system.
Henry JenkinsOver the past few years, transmedia storytelling has become a hot buzzword in Hollywood and Madison Avenue alike--"the next big thing" or "the last big thing" depending on whom you ask. Last year, the Producer's Guild announced a new job title, Transmedia Producer, a decision that has more or less established the term as an industry standard. More and more companies are laying claim to expertise in producing transmedia content.
Graphic for Henry Jenkins 7 myths @budcaddell
If you happen to be one of the people who haven’t personally engaged in transmedia, congratulations.  The other 99.9% of us have adopted a true transmedia lifestyle where our personal stories have slices of our lives told to different people. Some of us have one, five, or a hundred transmedia channels covering Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, websites, social platforms, wireless networks, and more.
      This computer infographic by Steve Peters helps us understand if an initiative is or not a story Transmedia. 
      Transmedia storytelling (also known as multi-platform storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises, sequels or adaptations.


Many children take it upon themselves to actively participate in this networked society in the form of wikis, blogs, or many of the other Web 2.0 tools available to them.  As students prepare to enter the workforce in which collective intelligence dominantes, it is the responsibility of all educators to create a classroom where knowledge is acquired not by a learner memorizing facts and data, but by a collective group working towards a common purpose. 
11. LearningWorlds
@get ideas From Entertainment to Education However, as is so often the case with technologies that take that journey from other contexts into education, the translation is not a simplistic one. In the case of transmedia, it is critical that we modify and redefine the concept in certain ways so that it can contribute as effectively as possible to students’ learning. In 1883, the advent of distance education (or correspondence learning) introduced a new platform for learning using the medium of mail. By 1910, new technologies such as motion pictures and radio expanded platform choices. In 1924, Sidney Pressey introduced “automated education” that claimed clear educational benefits for learners interacting with machines. Machines, some believed, were beginning to make a shift from a previously passive learning experience for some to an active one, at least in the sense that it enabled a more individualized instruction.
@simonpulman Having already speculated at how a “Transmedia classroom” might operate, I’d like to turn to the issue of motivating change…
@larfleming @getideas 21st-Century Learners: Square Pegs in Round Holes Students today are too often a square 21st-century peg in a round 19th-century hole. Young children bring a natural digital proficiency to school that doesn’t mesh well with the traditional schooling model …
@getideas In education, one (the traditionalist) is afraid of what innovation will do to its examination results (even if the innovation might improve on them) while the others (the innovators) could often spend a bit more time fathoming out the real educational advantages of their latest adventure, beyond the vague “21st-century skills agenda.”
@getideas @ Immersive Transmedia Stories in the Cloud In the Cloud, children perceive a direct, one-to-one connection between themselves and the world they live in. The growing range of devices, platforms, and applications that exist in the Cloud offer possibilities for building narratives that are complex, real and educative in the widest sense. With the capacity to access what is in the Cloud using any device, anywhere, any time, and as the devices themselves become ever more mobile and user friendly, then all of us, not just children, will be able to create, access, and participate in increasingly immersive transmedia stories.
Jeff Gomez speaks @getideas


Here's a surprise: Canada is awash in production dollars for transmedia. In the third and final instalment of our series on cross-platform production, Playback tells producers where the treasure is buried, and how to raise it from funders.
Transmedia Immersive University (TIU) is the first event transverse, multidisciplinary and educational scope, proposed in France about interactive fiction and scripts transmedia.
MIPBlog: What is TIU? Jérémy Pouilloux: Transmedia Immersive University is a project that is taking transmedia to France’s universities; an initiative I launched last year. The aim behind TIU is to encourage students to write transmedia material by supervising the production of their projects and then broadcasting these projects as part of a public event. This approach is supported by the expertise of more than 20 transmedia specialists working in France, including the producers of FDP, Fanfan2, Addicts, Detective Avenue, and Les Geeks, and brings together the leading transmedia figures from the various national broadcasters
Transmedia and the Micro-Economy First:  As social media goes beyond mere blogging and photo/video/music posts—‘Transmedia’ is swiftly moving to become a platform to integrate an "experience” into the marketing schema.
Transmedia Storytelling Around the World: Karine Halpern Transmedia Storytelling Around the World: Karine Halpern Interview with digital and cultural communications consultant Karine Halpern about Transmedia Storytelling , especially in France, and the question “Why Transmedia?”-
Tweet Marketers have always used stories to share information, change opinions and influence decisions. Now, as people create, consume and share brand stories in new ways, marketers need to go ...
Seth Priebatsch: Building the game layer on top of the world - There is no doubt that the brain has certain triggers that can be targeted by marketers and storytellers.  The concept of achievements (see, Xbox 360) and badges (Foursquare) rewards participants with a clear “action-and-reward” process.  In the future, it is inevitable that we will see virtual rewards for successfully participating or absorbing the various platforms of a Transmedia story.  At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the "game layer," a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.
@tstoryteller interesting example This video highlights the power to engage students through transmedia storytelling. For three weeks in Feb 2012, 600 students across Florida worked in teams of five to role-play c-level executives of a space cargo company.
Applied to the discipline of history, this blog on  using augmented reality’s immersive interface possesses the potential to improve student learning and influence the overhaul of the process of schooling. When one of their rockets crashes into a local town causing environmental damage, the students much decide how their company should respond.
Research has suggested the potential for using augmented reality (AR) games- location-based games that use wireless handheld devices to provide virtual game information in a physical environment-as educational tools. This paper discuss the MIT designed "Reliving the Revolution," which serves as a model for using AR games to teach historic inquiry, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.
ARIS is a user-friendly, open-source platform for creating and playing mobile games, tours and interactive stories. Using GPS and QR Codes, ARIS players experience a hybrid world of virtual interactive characters, items, and media placed in physical space.
@larfleming @edutopia Library media specialist Laura Fleming showcases Inanimate Alice, a new transmedia story with numerous free educational resources.
Inanimate Alice is 9 years old. Welcome to the world of Inanimate Alice, a truly digital novel that has taken the educational world by storm. The idea for Alice first came about in 2003 and the first episode was published in 2005. The story is told by Alice through 10 episodes, and thousands of teachers across the world use Inanimate Alice in their lessons and because of its multimodality across all aspects of the curriculum.


Tracking Transmedia, Crossmedia, interactive & digital storytelling
Resources, design practices, innovative ideas using cross-media/transmedia methods in children's publishing and digital literacy as social action
A highly resourceful Wiki that serves as a simple place to collect and access      resources related to transmedia projects and concepts.
      This @TransmediaLA Wiki is a place with people share transmedia resources          
      with each other, as well as other resources including game publishing, social 
      media, technology, and writing. [licensed for non-commercial use only] - 
      Twitter: @transmediala

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"America's Got Technology": Participatory Television

September 6, 2011

Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life.   – Albert Einstein

This summer, I have had the fortunate opportunity to handle social media for the live tapings of the hit NBC show, “America’s Got Talent” (AGT). Now in its sixth season in the U.S, the talent competition show features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, and more who compete for $1 million and a Las Vegas headliner show. Ultimately, the results of their fate are decided by an audience vote.

Whether they come from Wasilla, Lubbock, or New York City, the contestants arrive in Hollywood with big dreams and often little knowledge of how powerful the voice of social media can be. NBC, on the other hand, does. To help encourage viral messaging (and thereby increase audience participation and viewing), hosts social media portals for each individual contestant on Facebook, Twitter and an NBC/AGT website blog. Contestants are instructed to only use these portals during the run of the show and post only in context of AGT (not other gigs) or risk eligibility.
Since most of them are unfamiliar with branding themselves through digital storytelling, one of my assignments as a social media publicist is to advise and guide the contestants on how to best tell their stories on different social media platforms. After all, the better the storytelling, the better the audience interaction and participation in the show, all which can ultimately translate in to higher votes—and network ratings.

We are Prosumers in the Connected Age

We are living in the Connected Age of the prosumer.   Up until now, society as a whole has been living in a consumer culture where TV, film, radio and political media communications were a one-way street and big business had control over their messaging. Thanks to the advent of the Internet, mobile and social technologies, society has evolved into a participatory culture where the public is no longer just a consumer but rather a prosumer with the freedom to act as contributors or producers of message content.

This communication has been accelerated by the iPhone technology by Apple, which shockingly, was only introduced a little over four years ago. As this type of mobile technology has spread across other platforms such as the iTouch, Droid and iPad, so has the ease of use and mobility. As of January, 2010, the average age of a smartphone (WebOS) is 36 years old and downloads 5.7 apps per month ( This means that the use of mobile/social technology has “aged up” in the past few years and the general population is increasingly engaging in creating and utilizing participatory media. Add in the flexibility and portability of social media communication outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, and technologies like the QR code, and the power of the message has suddenly shifted away from big business and into the hands of the prosumer.

Just like a person expects to have cable service available to them in their neighborhood, this shift in communication power means that people are also increasingly expecting to have interactive media available to them as well. Like cable TV, they don’t have to participate, but they expect to at least have the option available to them if they choose to.

For this reason, competition shows like “America’s Got Talent” and “Survivor” and live broadcasts of award shows like “The Grammys” and “The Oscars” lend themselves perfectly to the use of participatory media. Viewers can communicate with the talent or each other during the voting and judging process, helping shape their viewpoints and decisions about who is good, who is bad, who should move forward, win or lose.’

When people participate in media, it is because they want to be connected, to have a relationship with whatever subject matter they are interacting with.
In the tenth season of the hit singing competition show, “American Idol,” one of the singers who won a ticket to Hollywood was Chris Medina. Not only was he talented, but he also had a moving back story about how his fiancé had suffered a brain injury right before they were to be married. While his talent as a singer was worthy of moving high up in the competition, people were also moved by his strength to stand by his fiancé despite the tragedy. This emotional connection motivated viewers to start following Medina across all media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook as well as entertainment news, which surely led to greater success on the show.

In another example, if there are two contestants who look, sing and dance exactly like Christina Aguilera, the chances are—like with Chris Medina–the one with the best story will win. Why? Because we aren’t just living in the Information Age any longer, we are living in the Connected Age. Humans are social by nature, and in today’s world it is not as much about whether people are physically or electronically connecting, it’s about in what context the communication is being told.

A typical tweet or Facebook post would be something like, “I’m so nervous about going on stage in an hour.” That’s normal and expected, and also not very connecting. If a person said instead, “I’m so grateful my grandmother put me in a choir, because at least I have experience and God’s on my side when I go out there,” it’s more personal. This perceived intimacy provides more bonding, making the reader feel more connected and willing to invest their time and emotions into efforts of the person tweeting.

That’s why I have been telling contestants that more than ever before, content is King and context is Queen, and they must be married together. The way Batman would tweet as an animated series is different than a live action film, comic book, novel, or age-appropriate Halloween costume, mobile app or video game. Yet no matter what platform Batman’s story is told, there are still things that Batman would and wouldn’t do. The content and parameters are so consistent and strong, that as long as the stories are told in context, the quality of the character stays intact and so does the brand. The same goes with their own personal branding.

AdMob, Inc. (n.d.). January 2010 Mobile Metrics Report. Retrieved September 2, 2011 from
Barbeito, Jose. (n.d.) Media Literacy: Main Concepts. Retrieved September 3, 2011 from
International Marketing (January 10, 2009).  The Prosumer – Interactive media usage and its consquence.  Retrieved September 3, 2011 from

This post, along with other great Media Psychology blogs, can also be accessed viewed at

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