{October 27, 2007}   Smartphones & Ringtones

So it’s a long held notion that girls spend a LOT more time talking on the phone than their male counterparts. Although it has a negative connotation, the fact that girls are constantly using this ever-evolving technology can be traced back to the early days of the telephone. Women were at the forefront of telephone use, being employed as telephone operators after it was determined that young boys were much too rowdy for the job.

In high school, I ruined several of my mother’s perfectly good telephone cords. I would stretch the phone into my room from the kitchen until the cord had lost nearly all of its spiral, then spend hours talking to my friends whom I had just spent all day with at school. I finally convinced my parents that the only solution was to put a phone in my room. Which really just gave my little brothers the opportunity to pick up the other phone and listen to all of my TOP SECRET conversations.

As you might imagine, I absolutely loved when I finally was able to get a cell phone. I wasn’t quite as early an adopter as Zach Morris, who was seemingly the only one at Bayside High with the ability to bring a phone to class, but my phone was still pretty cool. It was a Nokia brick that I outfitted with Zebra print faceplates. Currently, I’m sporting the LG Chocolate, simply because I fell in love with its candy apple green color as soon as I saw it on TV. Lately, I’ve been eyeing smart phones. I’m holding off on buying one partly because I have a year left on my contract and buying one at full price will run me a pretty penny, and partly because I will hopefully be starting a full-time job soon and I’m hoping that I might be able to get one as part of my work obligations.

Thinking about it now though, I probably should have sucked it up and dished out the cash earlier in college for a phone that would have kept me more organized than my paper planner that I usually lose by the third week of the semester. It would have been even better in high school, comparing notes and scheduling plans with my friends as we emailed each other in the back row of classrooms instead of paying attention to the lessons. It would have been a more high tech version of Cher and Dion in Clueless. If your high school allows it, I definitely think a smart phone would be a great way to keep your homework, practices, games, and social calendar organized, in addition to being able to dial up your friends to chat, all in one simple device. Some models to consider: Apple iPhone, T-Mobile Sidekick, and soon-to-be-released LG Voyager.

I think the coolest thing about cell phones is the ability to personalize them. My Nokia brick had maybe five midi tones to choose from, and there was no such thing as Bluetooth. Additionally, at the time, I had no idea that it would soon be possible to put my favorite songs onto my phone. Lucky for you, it’s very easy to create your own ringtones without paying 1.99 per tone per year. Don’t get any ideas about selling them to your friends, as that would get into copyright issues, but creating them for your own personal use will probably be just fine.

Happy Toning!


{October 21, 2007}   Create your own Podcast

So in my recent job search, I have been trying to think of a unique way to set myself apart from my competition. I am working on a portfolio website to showcase my work, but most everyone in my field has some sort of digital portfolio, so its almost expected by employers. On paper, my resume stands out because of its bold design, but when it has to be just text based for online applications, it probably looks like everyone else’s resume, which has prompted me to look for alternate ways to catch the attention of my future employer.

My latest great idea? A podcast. Podcasts are easy to create and I can add it to my website in just a few steps. Employers and hiring managers will simply have to click on a button and get to know me by listening to my podcast. I can talk about my experiences, my goals, my education, and my skills in a more vibrant, colorful way than any piece of paper could ever explain.

To check the appropriateness of my idea, I searched through different articles but couldn’t find much on my idea. I saw a couple of comments to blogs that agree that it is a way to get noticed and to set yourself apart from others, but even sites that discuss alternative resumes don’t really touch on podcasts.

Using a podcast as a resume got me thinking. What else is as competitive as the job market? Getting into your first choice college, of course. College admissions officers are always looking for essays that really let them see a person’s goals and personality. What better way to do that than by speaking to them about your experiences and goals? You will still have to write the required admissions essay, but adding a podcast may just set you apart from the thousands of other applicants. I think that this will work especially well if you are applying to a technical school because you will be showcasing your skills at the same time.

Both Windows and Mac users can follow the Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Creation, which includes downloading a free copy of Audacity to create your podcast. Mac users can also follow Apple’s Podcast Creation Guide, which gives you step by step instructions for creating a podcast using GarageBand and distributing it using iTunes.

Podcasts are also a way for musicians to record and distribute music, for writers to share their stories with others, and for you to keep your family up to date on what you are doing after you get accepted and start classes at your first choice school.

Happy Podcasting!

et cetera