Social Media

Courtesy of CSU

A new safety campaign from Colorado State University’s communications and natural resources departments is teaching national park visitors about safe selfies.

The Safe Wildlife Distance program includes educational materials for park staff, as well as ads and social media campaigns explaining how to get a good photo of wild animals without putting yourself -- or the animal -- at risk.

“Potentially people didn’t know what a safe distance was,” said Katie Abrams, an assistant professor in CSU’s Department of Journalism and Media Communication. “So, they would look to try to read the cues of the wildlife and see if they could make a determination or they would approach the wildlife to a distance that felt safe to them.”

Karlie Huckels / KUNC

The news that Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to develop political ads has reignited a national discussion about expectations of privacy online. A new study from the University of Colorado Boulder turns the focus to another social media giant: Twitter. The study found that 62 percent of Twitter users were unaware their tweets are freely available to researchers.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It’s safe to say that 2016 has taken a toll on pop culture. It began in January with the loss of singer David Bowie to cancer, and ended this week – hopefully -- with the deaths of ‘Star Wars’ actress Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

Now a persistent theme has cropped up on social media - the call to dump this ‘dumpster fire’ of a year that has claimed some of our most beloved icons. University of Colorado Associate Professor of Media Studies Rick Stevens spoke with KUNC about why so many of us are taking these losses personally.

“David Bowie is a huge loss for people who love music or who grew up listening to certain messages within that music,” Stevens said. “That kind of loss affects people very personally.”

Colorado Senate GOP / Flickr - Creative Commons

Several police reform measures are making their way through the statehouse, and lawmakers are also looking at how best to address the problem of teenagers sexting. We asked two reporters working under the gold dome to review the week that was.

Viral Old MacDonald Video Hits Sour Note With Farmers

Mar 12, 2015
Only Organic / YouTube

Nothing conjures bucolic, pastoral farm imagery like a group of kids singing along to “Old MacDonald Had A Farm.” You know the words: He has a farm and on that farm he has some animals. E-I-E-I-O.

The nursery rhyme is iconic. It rouses a certain kind of nostalgia. Tamper with the formula to stir up some emotions, and you’re begging for a slugfest.

Erin O'Toole / KUNC

Rocky Mountain National Park officially turns 100 years old Jan. 26. On this date in 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation establishing the park. A century ago, the word ‘selfie’ didn’t exist in its current form. But these days lots of people are taking the opportunity to pose in front of park signs commemorating the Centennial.

“The signs are already very, very photographed with people in front of them – and even more so now with this great little ‘100th’ banner on the bottom,” said park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson. “We’ll take that off in 2016 – so it’s a great experience for memories to be made, and to say ‘I was there’ at the Park’s 100th anniversary.”

On a recent Sunday night, Liz Paul was tired. She'd worked in the morning, spent a full day with her family and she did not feel like going out for her daily jog.

"I tweeted out, 'Well, it's 9 p.m. on Sunday and I didn't work out,' " she says, "I really shouldn't go run in the dark should I?"

The response was immediate. The network of people Paul is relying on to help in her battle to lose weight chimed in with advice. Some tweeted back, "Yes, get out and run." Others offered alternatives like a video workout. But everyone said, "Do something!"

You can't miss 'em. Baby pictures have flooded so many Instagram and Facebook feeds that an app is now available to block them, if you want. But as the newness of social media collides with an experience as old as time — motherhood — researchers are beginning to study its sociological and psychological impacts.

No matter what the market's doing, a certain breed of entrepreneur tends to come out on top — or should we say, breeds? Domestic short hair, Persian, Siamese — if you have the right breed of cat, or at least one with a certain look, you may be feeding kitty treats to a potential gold mine.

Luckily, there's a road map to feline stardom — published Tuesday, it's called How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom.

Gone are the days of waiting for angry letters.

Social media allows the NFL, NASCAR and other pro sports leagues to hear from fans in real time. And that feedback has become so important, leagues have built what are essentially social media command centers to monitor trends and engage directly with fans.

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