Thursday, June 21, 2012

"It's Just Plain Mean"

Today's 28 Day Author Blog Challenge asked a very timely question because of something that recently happened here in upstate New York:

" How are you using social media to promote your book? What aspect of social media would you like to learn more about? What are your next steps?"

Well, what about that power of the social media? 

Today, a middle school in the city of Greece, New York (near Rochester) is on everyone's lips, and not for a good reason, either.  At my upstate New York job this morning, a You Tube video was a major topic of discussion.

A school bus monitor is an internet heroine for keeping her cool as she was bullied by students on her bus.  All because a student on the bus took a video with his (or her) cell phone and posted it on You Tube.

A person in his 20's then grabbed the video (which has since been taken off You Tube at the request of the Greece school district) posted it on a social website where money can be raised for causes and is raising money for this school bus monitor.  

As of right now, the total raised is somewhere in the range of $330,000.

He wanted to raise enough money for her to have a nice vacation. 

Besides being verbally harassed, she was touched by students and was even verbally threatened.

If not for social media, this bullying incident would have stayed on the bus.   Plain and simple, her bravery would have gone unnoticed. Instead, the video has gone viral, major blogs and TV networks are reporting on it. and hopefully this will start discussions that need to happen.

All because of social media.

This afternoon, a news conference was held.  Apparently (and I say "apparently") the responsible parties are four 7th grade students.  Where did I watch the news conference?  Online, after I got home.

Earlier today, the monitor announced she is not going to press charges.

So, what was the prompt?  Oh yes.  Promoting books using social media.

I don't have a book, but I use social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest) to promote my blog. If I do write a book, I'm sure I will use those and other social media to promote it.

 But yesterday, a cell phone video showed us all the power of media. What exactly it showed us, I have a feeling we still don't fully know.  Like ripples in a pond, I don't think we are finished with this story because I find it hard to believe that this was an isolated incident.

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