Insta-Kernels for Week 9


November 22, 2013 by Kathryn Kuttis

photoI took my iPhone for a walk along OR Highway 99 and snapped this photo. Within seconds, I used Instagram to add a filter, give it a caption and share it with my followers. I’m not going to lie I am obsessed with Instagram.

This term, one of our course goals was to explore a social media platform that was completely unfamiliar to us. Mine was Instagram.

I liked their logo immediately. What’s not to like about a retro camera? No one has a camera that looks like this anymore.

What really got me hooked was scrolling through photos of the people I follow. Whenever I have a few minutes of down time, I look at as many photos as I want of #rust, #design, #industrialdecay, #urbanexploring, #vintagesigns and #retrofurniture.


Last week, I experienced my first (and probably not last) episode of Insta-envy. I was standing in line to buy a burrito on a rainy afternoon and there was a photo in my scroll of a beautiful beach. I’ve seen photos of Italian beaches before but someone I knew took this one. OK, I don’t really know Paris1229 but I’d followed her photos for a few days and now she was clearly on vacation. Why wasn’t I on vacation in Italy? This somewhat irrational feeling eventually passed and I’m glad I resisted the urge to unfollow her.

What makes Instagram so addictive for me is the immediacy of it. The world is a big place and I want to know what everyone is seeing.

I also love that I am taking more photos. Look at these Instagram Stats from blogger Craig Smith. With more than 55 million photos posted daily on Instagram, clearly there are many of us out there taking more photos.

While I can’t be on a beach in Italy and eating a burrito in Eugene at the same time maybe the next best thing is to be on Instagram. That way I can still live my life but still be connected to all those other lives I could be living.

I look forward to hearing from my J452 students about their social media explorations this term. Maybe I’ll even see a few of them sharing photos on Instagram. (Hint: Here’s where you can find me).

For now, I’ll have to settle for sharing my kernels instead. This is our final week of blogging this term. Watch for my next post where I’ll spotlight the best student blog posts from the term.

The Social Psychology of the Selfie (Mashable) How has your self-image changed this term? Did your personal social media plan deliver help define your online professional image?

Coke Zero Dares Fans to Design the Ugliest Christmas Sweater (PR Daily) My Aunt Sandy could win this with her knitting needles tied behind her back. What is Coke Zero by the way?

7 Ways to Give Presentations That People Actually Care About (FastCompany) Great tips for your presentation. Why should an audience care about your presentation?

Goodbye Peace and Quite: Hello, Phone Calls On Planes (Forbes) Is this really a good idea?

If you think your presentations are too big for the Presentation Zen style – think again! (evangelist) How can you use “forced simplicity” to help distill your main message?

If JFK had been shot in the social media era (USAToday) There is a lot of coverage out this week about the Kennedy assassination. Look at this time traveling technique.

Snapchat, Instagram And Vine for Social Media Marketing?(Forbes) How could you make short, sweet and visual social media content?

Nick Saban has not seen AJ McCarron’s Sport Illustrated Cover (USAToday). How could he have handled this a better way?

Sugar High: Cinnabon Vodka Coming Soon (AdAge) How did I miss the “sweet booze trend?” Yuck! What other food and booze combinations would you suggest? How about pizza gin?

Birkenstocks: The new shoe celebrities love for summer ( Eugene, Oregon your 15 minutes of fame starts now. Where do you stand on the beloved Birkenstock?

Top Chefs Campaign for Feeding Pigs on Food Waste (Guardian) This seems like a smart idea. What do you think we should do with food waste?

U.S. Jury Awards Apple $290 Million in Retrial Against Samsung (Reuters) What would your strategic PR response be for this story if you were team apple? What would it be if you were team Samsung?



One thought on “Insta-Kernels for Week 9

  1. expoundpr says:

    I love the burrito, Italian beach, drizzly Oregon, Instagram combo imagery that this post conjures. A kernel, indeed. Thanks for another inspiring and thoughtful post, Kathryn. You’ll continue to be one of my kernels long after J452.

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If you share an interest in public relations, media and visual design, this might be a good place for you to hang out. I started this blog to exchange ideas with my students at the University of Oregon. They keep me (and maybe you too) at the forefront of social media, visual communication and career development. Here you'll find our best ideas, links and learning as we write, create and blog our way through a course on Strategic PR Communication.

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