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How Do You Use Social Media?

Hello my Internet friends!

I’m looking for some input from those of you who are in some sort of media and marketing field (or follow, use, or love it).

I have been asked to guest lecture in a college advertising class about social media, marketing, and networking, specifically about Twitter and blogging. Obviously, these are things I am familiar with as a user because it’s no secret how ridiculously addicted I am to both, and I have some solid examples of connections made through both of these platforms.

However, I’d like to broaden this with even more examples that include case studies and brand uses, and I’d like your input. For instance:

  • I know mommy bloggers made quite a splash when Motrin released an ad that they felt insulted them.
  • I know that Barack Obama utilized social media and networking in an unprecedented way on the campaign trail.
  • I know Comcast boasts an entire customer service platform via @comcastcares on Twitter.

But what else? How do you use Twitter? How has it connected you to your friends, your community, your services, and brands? How does it impact your purchasing decisions? Career?

Personally, it connects me to the 20sb community, locally to my Twin Cities community (via a variety of writers, bloggers and local pubs), and breaking news I’ve decided I want to follow.

Obviously, we’re a powerful community.

But help a girl step back a little and see a bigger picture – how would you explain not only the functionality of Twitter to a class of college students, but its relevance, importance, and ultimately – the role social media will play in their lives as they pursue communications and marketing careers?


Test Kitchen: Viva Tortilla

I really, really love food. I love trying a restaurant I’ve never been to before, and I love experimental cooking in my own Test Kitchen. I adore reading food blogs, especially by folks that live here in Minnesota and offer practical ideas and suggestions that are fun and easy to implement.

I do promise to get back to a more well-rounded discussion of other interests, anecdotes, and exploration soon (maybe?), but in the mean time… I couldn’t resist one more food post because I really have been spending an extraordinary amount of time cooking lately.

I just discovered the deliciousness of tortillas from scratch and I don’t think I’m ever going back to the packaged ones. True story!

When I know I want to spend the evening playing in my kitchen, around 2pm in the afternoon, I start thinking about what I’m going to do. What do I have on hand? Do I need to pick anything up on my way home? Do I need to check a recipe for inspiration or should I just start throwing things together?

On Tuesday, this thought process went something like this:

I have tofu I’d like to use soon and I have that Thai Kitchen Pad Thai in my cupboard… I have eggs… and I could add things to it like other veggies… no, no, no, I want to cook from scratch tonight.

No boxes.

Hmm… but I do have peppers and onions, and some chicken. And I have some cilantro-lime rice leftover from when I made that fish last week… peppers, onions, and rice?  Sounds like a fajita burrito from Chipotle… mmm, but I bet mine would be way more healthy than that delicious gut-buster.

I bet I could do that at home. I mean, I know I have chicken. I wonder how they season it. Well, I can look around the grocery store and see what inspires me. I don’t have tortillas though. I wonder if I could make those from scratch. I have flour and salt and water. It can’t take much more than that, right?


I searched a bunch of recipes online for “homemade tortillas,” but every single recipe I found called for shortening (which I don’t have, and don’t really want to need to use), and most of them required that I let the dough rest for an hour or more. Sorry, but I’m an instant gratification kind of person and just don’t have that kind of time.

So, I emailed Kate and asked for some input. Here’s what she told me:

We make scratch tortillas all the time and use flour, canola oil and water. Put two cups of flour in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of canola oil. With your fingers, mix the oil into the flour until it’s all incorporated, then pour in about 2/3- 3/4 cup of warm water. Mix with fingers until a dough ball is formed- add in more flour if too sticky. You should be able to roll them into balls without too much trouble. We let the dough balls rest for about 20 minutes. We have a big tortilla grill that presses out the dough. Otherwise you have to roll them out with a rolling pin.

I got right to work, and she was right! They were simple and delicious, easily the freshest (duh) tasting tortillas I’ve ever had and the extras reheated fine both yesterday and today.

I’m never going back.