Misericordia in Motion – Team 5

Misericordia Logo


Project Description:

The goal of our project was to partner with Misericordia Heart of Mercy and provide donations and service to help bring awareness and further contribute to their cause. Our team participated in two service events for Misericordia as well as raised donations and awareness through social media and online outlets. We hosted an event with a family-friendly movie for residents and the general public which also included other activities such as yoga, dancing, face-painting and a silent auction to generate monetary donations to Misericordia and also interact with and engage the community. Four of our team members also volunteered at the Greenhouse Inn for Sunday brunch at Misericordia’s campus restaurant. Our group maximized online donations through the implementation of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This social media exposure and personal networks brought significant online donations through our FirstGiving.com page as well as provided valuable awareness to the work done at Misericordia.








Charity Information:

Misericordia is a Chicago-based not-for-profit corporation serving persons with developmental disabilities.  Misericordia serves more than 600 people through a wide variety of programs.  The Mission Statement of Misericordia is to “support individuals with developmental disabilities in maximizing their level of independence and self-determination within an environment that fosters spirituality, dignity, respect and enhancement of quality of life. We promote development of natural family and community support, community awareness, education and advocacy.”  Misericordia offers a continuum of care based on the needs of the individual.  They also offer peace of mind to the families of residents since they know their loved one is cared for in a way that will enhance their life.  Donations allow Misericordia to offer more than just room and board for residents and offer them exceptional programs, such as intervention by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.


Success Metrics:

Goal #1: Generate $3,000.00 in revenueDSC_0718

Our group was able to produce $2,795.00 in revenue and we reached 93% of our intended goal.  This was amazing as approximately 70% of our revenue was generated entirely online through our personal/corporate networks and social media outreach. Through many in-kind donations and resources we were able to minimize expenses to $30 and the entire remaining balance will be donated to Misericordia.

Goal #2: Provide 48 hours of service

Our group was able to produce 58 hours of service to Misericordia through two service events. The first service event had a family-friendly movie for residents and the general public which also included other activities such as yoga, dancing, face-painting and a silent auction. At this event we had approximately 60 attendants including 45 Misericordia residents. Four of our team members also volunteered at the Greenhouse Inn for Sunday brunch at Misericordia’s campus restaurant.


Goal #3: Have a social media reach through 4,000 impressions

Our group was able to produce over 175,000 impressions! Our original objective was to produce 750 likes and 3,000 reach on Facebook, 25 retweets on Twitter, 25 hearts on Instagram, and 10 snaps on Snapchat or approximately 4,000 impressions. By combining all of our social media exposure through the listed social media outlets, including LinkedIn, our group was able to far exceed our original goal by producing over 175,000 impressions. Each impression provides awareness and recognition for the valuable work Misericordia does.


Advice for Future Teams:

  1. Defining individual responsibilities and workflows is key. By having individual ownership, everyone was held accountable and felt that their contributions were part of a collective goal.
  2. Decide on a goal or mission and stick to it. It is imperative to have a clear and attainable scope for your project. Scope creep can be easily overlooked and before you know it you have a completely different project.
  3. Have an online presence. With the various conflicts people have whether it be family, other classes, work, etc it is very difficult to get everyone in one physical location. Our group utilized Google Docs and Google Hangouts to make sure that more people are able to participate no matter where. In addition, our group took advantage of online donations as part of our online presence.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Having a team mission is critical. By understanding what it is your team wants to accomplish makes other decisions much easier. For example, when venue conflicts arose our team knew that the involvement and engagement of Misericordia residents was more important and this ultimately prevented us from changing venues.
  2. Continue to monitor risk and make any updates for new risks that may occur. With so many variables in the field project it is important to have contingency plans. Having an effective risk management plan allows for your team to be proactive in dealing with future issues and have a proper response to overcome the issue.
  3. Utilize an effective communication strategy. There are many applications groups can use to make communication easier such as the app Slack. Setting some rules of communication and having a proper way of communicating allows for the group to work together more effectively. In addition, this will help eliminate some redundancies in communication such as email overload.

Advertising: The Connection for Twitter and Television


Anyone who has a Twitter knows that it is not out of the ordinary for users to tweet about a certain television show or sports program as they are watching it. While Twitter users may think this is just them stating their opinions to the Twittersphere, these tweets are actually giving the social networking site an opportunity to capitalize on advertising.

Last year, Twitter partnered with ESPN and Ford to expand their advertisement section. The partnership with ESPN and Ford allowed for replays from football games to be promoted to people who showed interest in sports. The executives at Twitter saw this worked in their favor, and wanted to continue  improving their advertising process. They knew their advertising results would not change unless they implemented another change into their process. They needed to stretch their goals beyond where they were currently standing.

Twitter executives are taking the steps towards improvement by capitalizing on all activity users are sending out during programs. A new product will send ads to people who are commenting about multiple programs. In other words, brands will now be able to match advertisements with tweets sent out by viewers.

Twitter said they will be working with media companies, including Time Inc., Bloomberg, Discovery, Vevo, Vice Media, and Warner Music Group to allow a format of digital video or television clips from the shows.  Those clips will then be able to be shared on Twitter by users, and advertisements can be run before or after the videos are viewed. Matt Derella, a director of brand and agency strategy, said, “When people turn on TV they turn on Twitter.”

Do you think this move will be beneficial to Twitter? Do you foresee people sharing these clips and getting advertisements out there? 

References: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/business/media/twitter-lets-brands-find-viewers-of-their-tv-ads.html?ref=technology

Tweet Equity: Social Media in the Workplace Boosts Productivity

Over the past decade, social media has become a hallmark in the realm of communication. Not only has it re-shaped the way in which communication functions on a social level, social media has taken on a new role in the workplace. Social media usage in the office is no longer seen as a distraction for workers and has become a new tool towards productivity and engagement. Instead, these companies have adopted an embracing attitude towards it and have incorporated it into company culture and everyday office life.

To prove this argument, a study was conducted at by Joe Nandhakumar, professor of information systems at the Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom. Over the span of two years, the study monitored the productivity levels at a well-established European telecommunications company that practiced policies that encouraged social media use in the workplace. The results of the study show a clear rise in productivity. This rise can be contributed through the employees’ ability to respond to client and customer concerns in a quick manner, through the use of social outlets and networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Employees were also able to use these outlets to pitch products and ideas and close sales. Nandhakumar also noted that social media allowed for heightened collaboration amongst employees, both within the office and in other locations that may be farther away.

This embrace of social media within the workplace is a major indicator of the definitive changes in corporate culture and the face of business in 2013. Social media has the ability to allow a company to build a distinct culture and identity. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allows businesses to grow a public presence and allow fast and direct communication with its customer base, clients, current and potential employees, and any other interested user. Social media also changes the way in which employees communicate with each other and management. In a time where telecommuting is a very common practice at most companies, networks such as Skype or Google (Hangouts) make it possible to have quick meetings without the need to physically be in the same place. Not only does this boost productivity and cuts down on time, this also has the potential to cut down on travel expenses for companies, since they are afforded with the convenience of virtually conducting a meeting absolutely anywhere. Skype and other video chat outlets have also become commonly used in job interviews, saving time and money for both the employer and the potential employee.

The topic of social media usage in the workplace very distinctly paints a picture of the how business is conducted in 2013. There is an immense embrace of transparency in business that allows for collaboration, growth, and innovation. The corporate use of social media has opened the conversation on many levels.

How do you think the relationship between business and social media will expand in the future?

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-01/when-social-media-at-work-dont-create-productivity-killing-distractions#r=inn-s

Socialcast: Facebook for business or an innovative way for collaboration?

Source: http://www.socialcast.com/

Socialcast is cloud-based social network for business that aims at easing communication between employees and vendors. Its platform allows employees to share ideas, documents, videos, and seek for help, when needed.

VMware bought Socialcast in May 2011, when the company was just starting to target business with its goal of easing internal communication. VMWare, with it new update in mid-April, transformed Socialcast from merely a commination tool, to a dream product for any Project Manager.

VMWare, through Socialcast, wants to alter the way businesses access information by improving business processes. The new update is especially important for Project Managers as it integrates multiple different systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Sharepoint (document management software), email, and other applications. It creates a centralized workspace that helps Project Manager to keep track of deliverables and critical activities through communication with the team.

The new update also allows for instant messaging feature, called Socialcast Messenger, that is available on the platform as well as on mobile devices. While it is not an innovative feature, the IM keeps employees off using other massagers, such as Google Chat, and instead, keeps the communication centralized. Socialcast also allows employees to post updates, such a new security policy, and lets others in the company to comment on the post.

DePaul IT department, at which I am currently employed in as a Help Desk Analyst, uses similar features that Socialcast provides. We have a database, called DePaul University Knowledgebase or the “Wiki,” where specialists from different IT teams post documents and articles on various topics. This is especially helpful for my team because it aids in troubleshooting a technical problem. There are documents ranging from security polices to instructions on how to install various programs, such as SPSS, on DePaul machines. The Knowledgebase is especially useful for new employees, as they are not familiar with DePaul technology policies.

Socialcast Broadcast. Does this look like a Facebook wall?
Source: http://www.socialcast.com/

We also use internal instant messaging to aid in communication between different teams. I can communicate with my supervisor instantly without the hassle of e-mails. I personally find the IM and the Knowledgebase very useful, as I don’t need to get away from my desk and take time from others to ask questions that can be otherwise answered with a support document.

While Socialcast is useful for employees to familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and seek help, how much does it look to you like Facebook, but just for business? Even the platform of Socialcast looks very much alike the Facebook wall. The idea of Socialcast new update is to centralize the workspace and minimize e-mail communication, or even eliminate meetings. Has the way we communicate changed so drastically that we no longer seek face-to-face interaction even in the workplace? What do you think of the new Project Management update to Socialcast?




Socialcast Website

VMware Adds Project Management, Secure IM to Socialcast Platform By Thor Olavsrud. April 18, 2013. 

VMware Updates SocialCast With Private Messaging By Chris Preimesberger. April 22, 2013. 




Open Season Ending For Social Media Hackers

Twitter Hoax Causes Market Decline–Washington Post


Following a recent slew of high profile Twitter accounts being hacked, the popular social media outlet is beefing up its security efforts.  If the company were to allow for the same security measures to remain in place, it would not only be damaging its own reputation, but it’s very operations would be ignoring a major ethical concern surrounding people’s right to privacy.

People are posting more and more of their personal information on the internet and social media outlets for various reasons and in varying capacities every day.  Naturally, such a movement has led to a simultaneous leap in presence of hackers.  The danger of social media hacking does lie solely in loss of personal data, however.

Individuals are now relying on social media as a primary source of news.  Inaccuracies in what is posted by seemingly reputable sources then has the potential to make for major overreactions and misunderstandings.  This is evidenced in the recent Twitter hackings of members of the Associated Press (AP) that led to several different incidents of false information being spread via the social media site.

Recently, false posts from a hacked AP account contributed to a stock market decline.  A hacker (following the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombings) posted untrue information regarding an explosion at the White House.  He even went so far as to say that President Obama was hurt in the explosion.  Reactions to the news led to the aforementioned drop in the S&P 500 that saw a $136 billion dollar decline in market value.  This news is especially threatening to Twitter considering it was only a few months ago that the sharing of market-sensitive data was made legal on the social media site.

These sort of issues directly speak to the need for greater security measures to be taken by Twitter to ensure that private information and accounts are not compromised.  In response to the recent account hackings, Twitter has begun to take proactive steps to ensure that these sorts of issues do not continue.  New security measures are to include a multi-step authentication process that may even include identification codes being sent to account owner’s cell phones that must be utilized in order to be granted access to one’s Twitter account.

The increase in security measures is a great move, but it would appear that such a step is long overdue.  As we learned in class, proper planning steps could have addressed the potential for these ethical issues originally and saved the hassle now.  Individuals and companies entrust Twitter with personal information with the assumption that they will be protected from hackers and the like.  If Twitter or any other site is unable to live up to such assumptions, a very serious ethical issue could cause the reliability and credibility it has attained to be lost.

What other steps can Twitter take?  Do reports of these sorts of issues make you wary of the credibility of Twitter sources?


Facebook Rebound!!

Facebook is one of the largest social networking website with more than 800 million users worldwide. It was founded
in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerbergand his roommates. The idea behind Facebook is a limited network between college class mates than expanded
to other colleges gradually growing to become the most used social networking service. The way Facebook grown dramatically fast brings the question, how will Mark Zuckerberg carry on his success?

Last class we learnt about the product life cycle and the 4 stages of it (introduction, growth, maturity,
decline). It was interesting to apply that on one of my favorite websites and see where it stands. From the history of Facebook, it’s obvious that the introduction phase was so difficult for such a young and talented group of Harvard students. The product life cycle was never planned or imagined to reach what they achieved today. Facebook moved smoothly to the growing phase, they concentrated on competitive services with a lot of improvements and options especially with more competitors introduced in the market. Users increased rapidly during the period from 2008 to 2012; however this fact made the debate if Facebook reached their peak and how far the maturity phase is.  Facebook appears to begin maturity phase of product life cycle. growth started to stall in some regions losing more than 7 million active users in US and Canada.

In your opinion, where do you see Facebook after 5 years??