10 ways to stay organized online

As a college student on spring break, it feels great to relax for a week. However, spring break can also be a great time to establish an online presence while finding ways to share, bookmark and, of course, read all of those important news articles and blog posts. While many of these things have especially come in handy for me as a communication major, everyone can benefit from living a more organized and tech-savvy lifestyle. A simpler life is a better life, right?

Below are browsers, plugins, applications and websites/social networks that have vastly improved my organization as well as the effectiveness of my time spent online. Give the list a look and let me know if you have found these things as useful as I have.

  1. Google Chrome: A good browser goes a long way in this day and age.
  2. Gmail: Gmail has revolutionized email.
  3. Diigo: Bookmark everything that you find important and assign tags to each story or post. For me, this has proven to be very helpful for bookmarking articles relevant to journalism and social media.
  4. Instapaper: Save the article you’re reading for future reference. Great way to keep track of stories that you need to share with your followers or refer back to for a term paper.
  5. Evernote: Write notes, record audio, keep assignments in order. This desktop/application has replaced my weekly agenda – I just type in what I need to do for a class on my phone and it syncs to my desktop app. Brilliant.
  6. bitly: Great link shortener site that helps you keep track of clicks. Very useful for people active on social media.
  7. Contently: Online writing portfolio site. Probably only helpful to those in fields like communication and public relations but if you are a serious writer, this free site is phenomenal.
  8. LinkedIn: In today’s day and age, it’s practically a requirement that you have an account with LinkedIn. Social media is always very useful and even Twitter and Facebook can help your job search.
  9. Corn on the Job: Run by Rich DeMatteo, COTJ is full of tips for active job seekers and is great at helping you prepare for interviews.
  10. Mashable: Amazing infographics, guides to social networks and tons of rumors about all things social media and tech. Quite possibly my favorite website.

Checking in

Hello everyone,

I apologize for the lack of posts over the last couple of months. Things have been crazy with school and The Loquitur (as usual). I’ll be on spring break this week, so hopefully I can squeeze in a post or two – I have some ideas floating around.

Also, it is worth noting that I am striving to move all of the content from this site to a self-hosted WordPress site between now and the summer months. The site would still feature occasional posts but I will most likely be using it as more of a platform for my online portfolio. I’ll be updating you as that transition begins to become more of a reality.

In the meantime, feel free to connect with me through social media.

Thanks for stopping by!

Defense huge issue for Flyers right now

Following a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, things are not looking good for the Philadelphia Flyers. They have now lost seven straight games against the division rival Rangers and the defense has seemingly gotten worse since Chris Pronger’s injury in late 2011.

Losing Pronger for the season was going to be difficult but many thought the team would be fine. After today’s loss, many fans are embarrassed about their team’s defensive woes and are hoping that general manager Paul Holmgren makes a deal at the deadline.

I recently created a Storify story that includes strong fan opinions about the team’s play on the back end. Here is the story.

Trying to understand SOPA? Here are some helpful links

This is a screenshot of what Wikipedia's homepage looked like on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

In recent days, SOPA and PIPA have practically been the only things talked about in the news. While these proposed laws are very complex, sites like Gizmodo and Mashable break them down into very easy-to-understand terms. Mashable describes these bills on their website as “bills currently before the US Congress that threaten to undermine the openness and freedom of the Internet.”

  • Gizmodo has a great article on what exactly SOPA, the more talked about of the two bills, is.
  • Mashable has a list of sites that were blacked out on Wednesday as well as the sites that participated in protesting SOPA in some way, shape or form. As you can see above, Wikipedia was one of the sites that shut down their site completely.
  • Storify has a collection of stories related to SOPA and PIPA on their site.

Finally, an opinion piece by Mashable’s Chris Heald titled “Why SOPA Is Dangerous” is a must-read article. Heald offers a very straightforward look at how the bill may impact our lives:

This bill turns us all into criminals. If it passes, then you either stop using the Internet, or you simply hope that you never end up in the crosshairs, because if you’re targeted, you will be destroyed by this bill. You don’t have to be a big, mean, nasty criminal — common Internet usage is effectively criminalized under this law. This bill will kill American innovation and development of the Internet, as it will become too risky to do anything of value. It is toxic and dangerous, and should not, under any circumstances, be supported.

You should also participate in Google’s call to action by going here. I am against SOPA and you should be too.

1.22.12 update: SOPA is now dead. Mashable has coverage here as well as a timeline of “the week that killed SOPA.”

Flyers surrender lead, fall to rival Rangers in Classic

Game recap

Whenever the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers face off, you know that the score will be close, words will be exchanged and the crowd will be revved up. However, what happens when these two rivals face off in front of nearly 47,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park on a cold winter day?

What you get is one of the best hockey games of the season, also known as the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Yes, just two days into 2012, Citizens Bank Park hosted the NHL’s fifth annual outdoor hockey game. When all was said and done, the Rangers skated off with a 3-2, come-from-behind victory in the Monday, Jan. 2, game.

Goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Sergei Bobrovsky played well in the first period, which ended with no score. Lundqvist stopped 12 shots for the Rangers in the first while Bobrvosky turned aside all nine shots he faced.

In the second, Philly got on the board first. Brayden Schenn fired a puck past Lundqvist at the 12:26 mark of the second to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Playing in his 18th career game, Schenn was fortunate enough to tally his first NHL goal outdoors.

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia’s leading scorer, tallied the second goal of the afternoon for the Flyers just 1:55 later. However, Mike Rupp of the Rangers got one goal back for his team just 30 seconds later to make the score 2-1.

In the third, Rupp struck again to tie the game with a shot that beat Bobrovsky blocker side. Brad Richards then completed the comeback for the Rangers when he found the loose puck in front of the Philadelphia net and fired it home to make the score 3-2.

As the final 15 minutes of the game wound down, both teams had strong scoring chances, especially Philadelphia. After New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh covered the puck in the goal crease, Flyers center Danny Briere was awarded a penalty shot (video) with just 20 seconds left to go. However, Lundqvist came up strong and stoned Briere on the attempt. Lundqvist finished with 34 saves as New York emerged victorious in the 2012 Winter Classic.

My thoughts

While the loss dropped Philadelphia to 0-1-1 in Classic games, the fact that the Flyers have been able to participate in two of these games is amazing. Having an outdoor game during the NHL regular season and “going back to where it all began” is truly something special. To be able to watch an outdoor game with Flyers (and Rangers) fans is something I will never forget. To see my hometown team play one of their biggest rivals on a rink built on top of the infield at Citizens Bank Park is absolutely phenomenal, no doubt about it. If you were at the game with me today, no matter who you were rooting for, you’ll agree that your experience at the Winter Classic was priceless. I know that mine sure was.

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Photo by Nick LaRosa (iPhone 4)

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Photo by Nick LaRosa (iPhone 4)

Philadelphia legends propel Flyers to 3-1 victory over Rangers in Alumni Game

Fans young and old gathered at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, Dec. 31, to watch an outdoor hockey game between Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers legends. When all was said and done, the Flyers alumni came away with a 3-1 victory in front of nearly 46,000 fans.

Ranging from Mark Messier and Adam Graves for the Rangers to Bernie Parent and Eric Lindros for the Flyers, both teams were represented by Hall of Famers and former All-Stars. Philadelphia fans clearly outnumbered Ranger fans, leading to lots of applause for the likes of Parent, Lindros and John LeClair and a tremendous amount of boos aimed in the direction of Ranger defensemen Darius Kasparaitis and Brian Leetch.

Parent started the game for Philadelphia and made six saves before leaving to a thunderous ovation. Mark LaForest took over for the Flyers and played outstanding, stopping 16 shots en route to the win.

John Vanbiesbrouck, a goaltender who played for both teams in his career, got the start for New York. Vanbiesbrouck surrendered two goals in the first period and was tagged with the loss in the game. Eric Lindros set up John LeClair for the game’s first goal and Shjon Podein tallied the second goal of the afternoon for the Flyers several minutes later.

The Rangers tried to mount a comeback in the second period, cutting Philly’s 2-0 lead in half with a goal from Glenn Anderson. At this point, Neil Little had taken over the goal crease for Philadelphia and Dan Blackburn was in net for New York.

The third period remained a tight affair until Flyer defenseman Mark Howe was awarded a penalty shot against Blackburn. Howe fired a beautiful shot past the blocker of Blackburn to put the Flyers up 3-1 and cement the game.

While the Rangers finished with a 34-21 advantage in shots, the hometown Flyers were the ones who skated off with the victory. The Saturday afternoon alumni game brought a level of excitement to Citizens Bank Park that will only be intensified when the current Flyers and Rangers squads face off in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Monday, Jan. 2, at 1 p.m.

Bernie! Bernie! Photo by Nick LaRosa (iPhone 4)

Photo by Nick LaRosa (iPhone 4)

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When uniforms and social media mix

Last week, the Philadelphia Wings lacrosse team announced that players will wear special jerseys for a game against the Buffalo Bandits on Sunday, Feb. 12. The jerseys will be turquoise instead of the traditional red and black and the backs will feature the Twitter handles of players instead of their surnames.

What?!

According to wingslax.com, the Wings “will be the first American professional sports team to use Twitter handles in place of last names on their jerseys.” When you think about it, the impact that social media has had on society is pretty remarkable. But is it a good idea for social media and sports to mix in regards to team jerseys?

Since the only part of the jersey that is affected is the nameplate, this is not problematic at all. It’s actually pretty cool, especially because the Wings are requiring all players to make a Twitter account prior to the February game, so they get a lesson in tweeting too. However, what if the team chose to change their team name to @PhillyWings for the game and dropped the logo from their uniform entirely?

Different story. A Twitter handle on a nameplate allow fans to see the online identity of a player; a team handle on the front of the jersey, to me, more or less says that you are playing for the team’s Twitter account. Advertising on uniforms has already wreaked havoc on uniforms in other sports, so there is the chance that social media could do the same. However, what the Wings are doing is truly unique and only for one night.

A player’s name in Twitter form is a brilliant idea and the fact that the athletes are being given a “formal Twitter training session” prior to the game shows that the Wings truly do care about the role that social media now plays in our society.

Here’s a screenshot of what the jerseys will look like:

wingslax.com

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