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#HireMe: I used to tweet to 35,347 people

A recent job interview involved questions about my previous position and the social media numbers for the channels I oversaw. I decided to put them all in one place so I could reference them, and just in case any potential employers stumbled across my blog/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc. The numbers are public anyway, but I thought it would be beneficial to collect these in one place.

I was the only web producer for KGPE and KSEE (the CBS/NBC news stations in Fresno, California, for those who don’t want to Google the call letters). When I started ,there were some accounts already set up, but not all of them were widely or regularly used (and Persicope didn’t exist when I started). Below are the starting and finishing numbers from my time there.

KGPE

Facebook: Start 89,276. Finish 103,172

Twitter: Start 9,383. Finish 13,153.

Instagram: Start 328. Finish 653.

Periscope: Start N/A. Finish 482.

 

KSEE

Facebook: Start 63,425. Finish 68,795.

Twitter: Start 13,164. Finish 22,194.

Instagram: Start N/A. Finish 457.

Periscope: Start N/A. Finish 563.

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5 things I regret about this vlog paper

I’m presenting a paper on video blogging/vlogging at a conference on Friday and as I write it I feel these are my main regrets…

I wish I had:

1. Written it consistently over the year.

2. Maintained forum posts I started.

3. Consistently vlogged myself.

4. Been a more active vlogging community member.

5. Watched more vlogs!

*if you know any anthropologists that vlog let me know!

Re(al)-tale: Last-minute scheduling

I just got a call from my supervisor about coming in earlier than my on-call shift. Instead of coming in at 3 p.m. I was asked to come in at 11 a.m.. It was 9:30 when they called and I was in the midst of cleaning for my guest.

I asked them if I would leave early if I started early. No, they said, I would have to work until 7:45 p.m. as usual.

I said no, I needed time to clean the house for my guest.

They said, in that case, I could come in at 11:45 a.m.

I said no. That really wasn’t enough time for me to do what I needed before my guest came.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten a call the day of to come in for a shift I was not scheduled for. Last Sunday I had no been scheduled at all (no on-calls) and I got a call around 10 a.m. asking if I could come in. When I asked what time I was told, “As soon as possible.” I told her I couldn’t because I already had plans and was kind of given the runaround like today (she asked when I would be done, if I could do it later, etc.).

It’s interesting to me because of the tone of the interactions, as if I’m the one in the wrong for not being able to make a last minute shift change. I’m pretty sure they said we had to have three-days notice before a shift, and lately, between the last-minute calls and late release of the schedule, I don’t think they’re following that guideline.

 

Re(al)-tale: Power and gender

Oh snap, I’m going there. These are merely my observations, along with some examples of incidents. The dialogue of such incidents may not be 100% accurate due to human error and lack of recording device (or right to use such device).

I have noticed a distinct difference in how the male supervisors handle employees when compared to the female supervisors.

The male supervisors are more likely to praise and educate.

Example: My second ever use of the registers I was with a male supervisor. He had walked me through one transaction and then stood beside me to watch me do another. When the customer left he said, “Great, you did everything perfectly, except what?”

I paused. “Oh shit! I forgot (insert promotion here)!”

“You did, but that’s ok. Remember it for next time. You did everything else perfectly.”

Compare this to my first ever use of the register with a female supervisor.

“Can you watch me do my first transaction?” I asked.

“Sure, I’ll be over here if you need me,” she says as she walks off to do “go-backs.”

The difference in the two interactions is key because the first time I try a new skill I am met with resistance to my request for assistance. I had admitted at the start of my shift that I was uncomfortable with the registers as I had never used them before and in my first attempt my concerns were essentially ignored. With my male supervisor I felt comfort knowing that he listened to my concerns and created a learning moment out of his observations, making my register training more thorough. (In saying “thorough” I mean he was close enough to observe if I was doing everything correctly on screen and off, rather than walking away entirely.)

Another difference is how the two handle visits from higher-ups. I’ve observed all four supervisors react to visits from superiors on multiple occasions and each time I have noticed the same responses. When on the floor during inspection the male supervisors tend to lean toward positive reinforcement with the sales team. The female supervisors participate in corrective interactions with the sales team when in front of their superiors.

Example: Visit One

I was on the floor helping a customer with a question about denim jackets. As I raised my arm to point out where the jackets were located the supervisors and their superior were just coming to my section and paying close attention to the interaction. Without waiting for me to finish my explanation to the customer my female supervisor interrupts and tells the customer that we don’t have the product she is looking for, but have something similar in a place opposite from where I was about to direct her.

I walked the customer over to where the female supervisor had pointed out the product would be located. I was fully aware that the information my supervisor had given was inaccurate, but being watched by her I followed through with her directions. The customer asked (again) if there were any other locations for denim jackets. I told took her to the place I originally pointed out, before being “corrected” by my female supervisor, and found multiple styles of the item she was looking for.

My male supervisor did not make any attempt to correct my behaviors, or any other sales staff that I observed. (I am indicating that I did not observe the entire interaction.)

Example: Visit Two

I am replacing items from the dressing room to their place on the floor. We are having another big visit from the superiors. A male and female supervisor are on the floor while the superior is there. My male supervisor stops me and asks me to (please) recover (i.e. tidy up) a messy table before returning to my assignment. He follows up by saying he wished I worked again the next day because I was so on top of things.

My female supervisor stops me while attempting to complete my shift-long assignment and tells me what I should be doing instead, despite her telling me to do that very assignment in the first place. Though my male supervisors have lavished positive comments upon the sales staff all shift I did not hear one positive comment from either female staffers. I only hear corrective comments, sometimes I feel they are unneeded.

This brings me to a concluding thought. I have heard in classroom discussion of studies and statistics that women in power often feel they must exert that power in ways men do not (and do not feel they have to). I have never before encountered such a distinct dichotomy. I love women in power, I think it rocks and I’ve been lucky enough to have two strong female bosses that I am still very close to.

My theory is that the female supervisors partake in corrective commentary because it is a sign of power, they have the status and education to determine when others are not doing an operation correctly and tell them to change behaviors. The male supervisors more often turn to positive comments before bringing up incorrect behaviors. They nestle the corrective comment between positive statements.

This is a topic I wish to elaborate on continuously throughout the holidays. I find it fascinating that between the four supervisors (two female, two male) there is a very predictable pattern of behaviors.

Master Disaster: Anthro Conference!

It’s been a few months (many, many months) and I really should get on top of working on the paper I’m presenting to the annual American Anthropological Association meeting in Chicago this year!!

Throw paper like a boss.
More like THROW DOWN this paper!

My abstract (which I will list in FULL below the cut) is about using vlogs as a form of fieldnotes. I’ve done this myself (check them OUT!) over the year, but I would like to know if others do this, want to do this or just how they feel about it.

So if you, or someone you know, is an anthropology major, please contact me so we can have a chat about new media in anthropology.

Continue reading “Master Disaster: Anthro Conference!”

Lab work

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This is a peek into the daily task of editing. This is the massive server set up for just ONE of the rooms.

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This is a grainy pic of the lab itself. Which is so cold that I have to bring a sweater.

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My freezing fingers on the important keys.

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A small segment of my eventual cut.

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The setup itself. As you can see it’s all pretty sweet, and the sub-arctic temperatures are really nothing to complain about. I just wanted to post a little something to pass the time as I render.

The joys of editing!

Book Review: Beyond Borderlands

Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico
by Debra Lattanzi Shutika

The hottest and most contentious debate currently occurring on the United States political front concerns immigration. Borderland issues, whether physical or phenomenological, also play a starring role in social sciences topics (as was exemplified in last year’s AAA conference theme) which is what makes Debra Shutika’s book especially relevant. In Beyond the Borderlands: Migration and Belonging in the United States and Mexico (University of California Press) Shutika studies the impacts of migrant communities that journey between Textitlán, Guanajuato, Mexico and Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA.
Shutika took great care in studying the intricacies of a binational existence over a 10-year period, and it shows in her purposeful analysis. She captures the hybridity of the migrant perspective and the uncomfortable space of coexistence in both towns. These invisible laborers have a massive effect on two local economies, yet they are still a marginalized group on both sides of the border. The description of the Kennett Square Mushroom Museum is telling, having no mention of those that pick the produce and now make up a large part of the town’s working class (99). On the Mexican side of their borderland existence, the migrants are never really seen as the same community-members that they used to be. Upon making a “pilgrimage” to Textitlán they partake in symbolic community ferias, but these once a year occurrences do not seem to make up for their annual absence (200-202).
There are multiple instances in which the migrants are labeled “invisible” but not entirely through the author’s omniscient knowledge, rather in consideration of policy and actions on the part of the town. Little things like excluding information on Mexican farmworkers from the town website to a yellow-ribbon campaign with racist undertones all coalesce into a feeling of discomfort, not for myself, but for the Mexican immigrants (211, 148). What must it be like to be literally shunted into the worst homes, have to do the most grueling work, and not be recognized as an important piece in creating a local economy? Why is it that the town’s annual Mushroom celebration ignores the very hands that pick and package them?
I think it is clear she has opinions on how the immigrants are treated in Kennett Square, but I appreciate her care in writing about the more controversial issues (like the moving of the Cinco de Mayo celebration to parking lots and alleys instead of the main street)(203-238). She approaches the issue carefully, laying historical context out before delving into the local history and finally the recent occurrences, presenting quotes from the organizers and the participants. Her distaste with the town’s handling (or rather mis-handling) of the event comes through only at the end, when she has allowed readers to consider all the scaffolding she has constructed.
The theme of “home” and what that means is a major theme throughout her studies. For these migrants the physical location of a “home” may not be static, but there is still a symbolic association with the structure itself as a totem of the family. Immigrant families from Textitlán generally try to keep the homes in Mexico because there is the hope of returning, and when they do return they inhabit a strange place that is no longer native, and not-quite outsider. Money is sent for renovations and family or friends are recruited to keep up the appearance of someone living there. At the same time they are striving to create a comfortable home in the USA, where they spend most of the year. The chapters on home, and the complexity of belonging, would be prime to read alongside Michel de Certeau and Doreen Massey (12-15).
Overall I feel that Shutika keep a steady consistent distance from her subjects when it came to observations. It wasn’t until the end, when certain incidents in Kennett Square became particularly unreasonable that I feel her opinion really came out, but not in such a way as to negate all of her tireless work or sully the overall takeaway from the study.

Book Review: Advances in Visual Methodology

Advances in Visual Methodology

Edited by Sarah Pink (2012)

I read this in one day, the weekend after my final classes as a MA student in Visual Anthropology, so I was looking for a book that would give me hope for the future of academia and adaptation to new media. If you’ve seen some of my vlogs you’ll know I have major issues with academia’s refusal to adopt new media quickly enough to stay relevant and engaging. This book has a wide variety of essays covering various aspects of visual methods, but I felt a disconnect between the editor’s purpose and the collective attitudes expressed by the writers.

The introduction seeks to make visual methods a more accepted, less contested in method within academia, yet some of the authors seemed to discuss it as if it was still speculation as to whether these were accepted methods. Visual methods should have been discussed as if the authors already believed these were legitimate forms of research and presentation (there were a few that did so, but not the majority). Many also still seemed hesitant to adopt new media and stressed having to prove that incorporation of such tools in a project should be justified.

No. Nope. Stop that right now.

If they believe the stance the intro laid out, then they shouldn’t also be questioning the very USE of other media. New media is facing the same speculation and critique as visual methods in academia, we should be striving to open up the minds of researchers to better use all the tools available. And I feel that “justifying” the use of a media in terms of a project should really be determined by the researcher. I use wordpress for fieldnotes and my topic is on fieldworkers. They are not related topics, but I’m not trying to make them so, I’m using a tool available to me. A tool I believe will be the very near future of academic endeavors (at least by younger generations who grew up alongside these advances, and are therefore less resistant to them).

I think that Sarah Pink’s efforts are admirable, but overall this proves that academia is still playing catch-up. Even the design of the book itself showed a lack of proficiency in visual design. The main headline font was Impact. Come on. Basic design lessons teach you to use a unique font (unless making an office flier). And the small percentage of visuals actually produced in this volume also screams contradiction. No, not every essay in this book was about a distinct visual project, but still, when trying to make an argument FOR something at least back that up with action.

I appreciate the effort put forth by some of the authors, but I can’t help but be very disappointed that even recent publications on visual methods are falling short, and in my opinion, hurting the overall argument to make it a legitimate form of methods.

Continue reading “Book Review: Advances in Visual Methodology”

Central Seasons: Trailer 1

Jose’s story

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