Tracy Zhang on Social Media in China

30 03 2012

By Sheng Lee (@shengdanger)

Tracy Zhang is a traveling scholar from Shanghai, China. After earning her degree in Advertising, Zhang went on to teach. She has been a teacher for about five years now and has come to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to sit in on a couple of Journalism classes.

This semester, she is a special guest in Dr. Sara Steffes-Hansen’s New and Emerging Media class. The class focuses on the rising trends in social media/networking, blogging culture and new media studies. To broaden the students’ perspective on social media as a global phenomenon, Dr. Steffes-Hansen asked Zhang to teach the class more about social media in China.

As the second largest country by land area, The People’s Republic of China stands as the world’s most populous country with a population of more than 1.3 billion! Practically the biggest country on Earth with the most inhabitants, one must wonder how social media has shaped the culture of China, or rather how the culture has shaped its social media.

Due to government censorship, sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are banned in China. Instead, the social media industry is run by “local players,” Zhang explained. There are three top social networking sites in China just as there are three main players in the U.S.: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but in China they are: Renren, Kaixin and Weibo.

Both Renren and Kaixin are the Chinese equivalent of Facebook. Renren launched in 2005 and Kaixin launched three years later in 2008. Because both sites allow users to blog, post photos and play online games like “Happy Farm,” Renren and Kaixin appeal to college students and young urban professionals.

Weibo, on the other hand, is the Twitter of China. It  allows users to micro-blog on a public platform as long as they stay within 140 characters. But in Mandarin Chinese, characters have more meaning, allowing users to say more with fewer characters.

Next Zhang talked about the Chinese equivalent of YouTube called Youku. Interestingly, only 30 percent of all videos on Youku are user generated. This means there are fewer homemade “stunt” videos, recorded pranks and just general shenanigans that go on on Youku. Most of the content are TV shows and Movies, so it doesn’t surprise me when studies show that the average American YouTube user spends 15 minutes online, whereas the average Chinese Youku user spends about one hour.

Zhang also mentioned Douban, an artsy website similar to Pinterest where mostly young artists share ideas on culture, music, fashion and film.


Then there’s the dying breed, the Myspace of China, Qzone. Mostly appealing to teens, Qzone was one of the earlier social networking sites in China, and like its American counterpart, it is being phased out by newer, more attractive competitors.

But what about the more intimate sites that facilitate online dating? China has got that too. A popular dating site in China is called Jiayuan. Attracting white collar professionals, Jiayuan requires that registrants have a four-year college degree in order to join. Also, in order for a candidate to be more credible, Jiayuan encourages its users to scan their ID card into the system to verify their identity. As Zhang explained, these precautions make the site a lot safer against sexual predators.

Similar to the U.S. and yet different in so many ways, China’s social media connects billions of people every day to share ideas, converse and fall in love.


Importance of Internships for J-students

29 03 2012

By Ashley Raddant (@araddant)

If you haven’t already started thinking about internships to enhance your resume, now is the time. The more experience you have the better your chances are of getting that dream career. I interviewed Barb Benish, the Department of Journalism’s internship coordinator, and she gave some wonderful insight on the importance of having experience and useful ways to get the experience that is needed.

It is important for journalism professionals to stay active in making posts online. Some websites to make these posts include: Blogger, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Employers are looking for active candidates that excel at those websites.

Check out Titan Jobs and upload your resume for employers to view. It is also a good way to see when employers are doing interviews on campus for a job you are interested in. Along with on-campus interviews, new job opportunities are uploaded on to Titan Jobs every day!

“To prepare for an interview you can get experience working for the Advance-Titan, joining Ad Club, PRSSA or any social media club,” Benish said.

Benish conducts an internship class to help students prepare to get the job they want. She also organizes mock interviews for students and journalism professionals. This is offered every semester.

“It’s the one time to find out what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. It’s a good opportunity to practice,” Benish said.

So, if you need help gaining experience before your actual interview, Benish is the one to go to. You may ask yourself if there is an internship out there that is available for you. There are internships available for everyone; it is up to you to make this opportunity possible. As Benish says: “if you want it, yes.” That is an excellent motto to follow.

For more information on internships for the Department of Journalism, check out the J-department website. Now that you have the knowledge, put that knowledge to work!

UW Oshkosh Journalism Emphases Series: Writing/Editing

19 03 2012

Part one of our J-Vlog series: UW Oshkosh Journalism Emphases. Real J-students talk about their experiences with exploring their special emphasis in the Journalism program. J-student Sheng Lee shares her experiences with her emphasis in Writing/Editing. Stay tuned for more on the other emphases: Public Relations, Advertising, Visual and Media Studies!  Subscribe to our YouTube channel at:

Facebook Photo Contest: Show Off Your AP Style This Spring Break!

9 03 2012

By Lindsey Noack (@LinzCnoack)

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are slowly creeping out of the negatives and the first part of the semester is about to come to a close, which can only mean one thing for UW Oshkosh students…Spring Break 2012 is finally here.

Some of you might be heading off to Florida or traveling to exciting, new destinations and some of you might be parking it right where you really want to be for a week – in front of the TV. Where you go is up to you, but the Journalism Department wants to see all the places you’re headed and is challenging you to make them extra special. We aren’t talking about adding a boring traveling gnome, we’re talking about spicing it up with the item every journalist should be carrying with him or her at all times – the AP Stylebook.

Over spring break, we want you to post your most creative, scenic or humorous pictures of the places you’re traveling (or not traveling) to with your AP stylebook on Journalism Department Facebook page. Then fans can vote for their favorite by “liking” the uploaded photos. Whichever picture has the most likes by Friday, March 30 will be crowned the winner and have his or her photo used as the profile picture for the Journalism Department Facebook as well as win a small prize. So grab your Stylebook off your desk (or out of the closet) and let the travels begin!

Here are a couple ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

J-students Place in Photgrapher’s Forum Photo Contest

7 03 2012

On February 20, Photographer’s Forum Magazine announced its winners for its 32nd Annual College Photography Contest. Among the finalists were five Journalism department students: Panhia Lee, Elizabeth Granberg, Jennifer Newlin, Adam Jungwirth and Josie Bennett. The sixth student, Deniz Cakmak, placed as an honorable mention.

Winning photos are published in the fall issue of Photographer’s Forum Magazine and exhibited at Brooks Institute Gallery 27. All contest finalists will be published in the hardcover book Best of Photography 2012.

“The contest is a good way for students to get used to competing on a national basis against other students,” Dr. Timothy Gleason said. “It is one thing to succeed against classmates, it is another to succeed against students from around the country. Students benefit from placing because they can put it on their resume. Even if they are not in the visual journalism emphasis, it is valuable because potential employers recognize the better students strive to succeed. And in a changing workplace, employers need employees who try to excel with new challenges.”


$2,000 cash award from Photographer’s Forum
PLUS Sigma 120-400 mm lens (MSRP $1,400)

$1,500 cash award from Photographer’s Forum
PLUS Sigma 8-16 mm lens (MSRP $1,100)

$1,000 cash award from Photographer’s Forum
PLUS Manfrotto 055XPROB Professional Aluminum tripod and 327RC2 Joystick head (MSRP $446)

Five $125 cash awards

All Honorable Mentions will be listed in the November 2012 issue of Photographer’s Forum magazine and will receive a gold embossed certificate of outstanding merit from Photographer’s Forum.

For more information on Photographer’s Forum contests, visit:

Steven Vanevenhoven on making YouTube videos for UW Oshkosh Admissions

1 03 2012

By Steven Vanevenhoven (@SVanevenhoven)

The evolution of social media has resulted in new communication platforms known as Web 2.0. These platforms include sites such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. An incredibly large number of individuals are involved on these sites as they explode in popularity. However, many businesses now want to take advantage of this available resource.

About two years ago, the UW Oshkosh Admissions team embraced this new technology by creating a social media department. I have been working in the Admissions office for two years as a campus ambassador, which has allowed me to see the progression of our social media presence online.

To help interact with potential students, the social media department has filmed a number of videos, all of which can be found on our YouTube channel. We have produced some music videos and our most recent one is a spoof of “Good Life” by One Republic. We changed the lyrics but kept the melody and filmed current students acting it out. I had a smaller role in this video, but had a blast helping out.

About a week before winter break, I was surfing YouTube and found this video of Preston Leatherman dancing to Mariah Carey’s song “All I want for Christmas is You,” but there was a catch. He was not only dancing in a crowded mall, but no one else around could hear the song because he had it playing on his iPod.

After I watched this video about 10 times, I was determined to try something like this over winter break.  I was talking about my plans in the Admissions office when Melanie Cross, the Admissions social media specialist, said we should do something like this for UW Oshkosh.

Another student and I jumped on board to help make this video entitled “Dancing with an iPod in Public-UW Oshkosh Holiday Edition.”  This video, which has been viewed over 3,500 times, helps remind prospective students about the energetic vibe on campus. I did get some strange looks when we were filming, but most of the students were just as enthused as I was.

If you have any ideas for other promotional videos, we would love to hear them. Contact us on Facebook at UW Oshkosh Admissions or follow us on Twitter @UWOAdmissions.