Dr. O’Neal talks to students about his humor and leadership research

February 25, 2013 in Leadership, News

The Southern Methodist University campus was livelier than normal on a Friday night to hear a keynote speech about academic research in humor. The keynote speaker of the night for the North East Texas Humor Research Conference, hosted by SMU and Texas A&M University – Commerce, helped draw in the large crowd.

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Google Plus: Do not be left without a community

February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Google Plus when announced in 2011 was seen as a social media platform that would not be able to build a substatntial audience and pull focus from Facebook and Twitter.  Almost two years later, Google Plus is the second largest social media platform and has over 25 percent of its users active on the platform.

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The KONY 2012 debate

July 21, 2012 in News, Social Media

The KONY 2012 debate

Last week the Stop Kony 2012 went viral on social media. This campaign led by Invisible Children has called into question the work of the organization. Are they creating more harm than good? You decide.

Storified by Jonathan Machemehl · Sat, Jul 21 2012 21:46:05

The Kony 2012 video went viral across social media last Tuesday.  This effort was quickly adopted and supported by groups on the internet.
“On Tuesday evening, Invisible Children posted their KONY2012 pledge, video, and a fundraising ask on their cause of 900,000 members,” said  Becca Hare of Causes.com in an email. “In less than 24 hours, 300,000 people took the pledge and almost $200,000 in donations came pouring in.”
The viral video brought to light long time critics of Invisible Children.  The debate over whether Invisible Children was helping or hurting the children in Africa started to come into question.
The campaign’s newfound attention was quickly accompanied by criticisms of the Invisible Children organization, including its aid-spending practices, a controversial photo of the NGO’s members posing with guns, and the project’s neo-colonial undertones.
Social media users started taking sides with critics asking supporters to educate themselves before they decide to support an organization.  Reports started referencing the nonprofit’s rating from Charity Navigator.  The rating gave the organization three stars out of five for not allowing independent audits and other factors.
REVENUE  Total Contributions $10,334,060   Program Service Revenue $3,423,351Total Primary Revenue $13,757,411   Other Revenue $7,769TOTAL REVENUE $13,765,180   EXPENSES     Program Expenses $7,163,384   Administrative Expenses $1,444,570   Fundraising Expenses $286,678TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $8,894,632   Payments to Affiliates $0Excess (or Deficit) for the year $4,870,548   Net Assets $6,584,811
The backlash caused Invisible Children to respond to the allegations.  The organization has released multiple statements since the criticisms have started.  Here is their latest response.
In a video released on the Invisible Children website, chief executive Ben Keesey laid out his group’s finances, showing that more than 80 percent of funding was spent on program costs out in the field, and emphasized that most funds were spent through partner organizations on the ground in the communities of northern Uganda and the northeastern section of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also said that the group, which has launched the most viral YouTube video campaign in history, is dedicated to bringing warlord Joseph Kony to justice.
Despite the criticism the group has received support from President Obama.  The video calls for its supporters to contact select politicians and celebrities to start talking about the campaign.  A link to the video is below.

In addition, the call to cover the night on April 20 has caused Facebook events to be created for college campuses and cities across the United States.
KONY 2012 at SMU | FacebookFacebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to ke…
COVER THE NIGHT- DALLAS TX | FacebookFacebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to ke…
It is still too early to tell if the campaign will be successful.  Events have started forming on Facebook to prepare for Cover the Night and the group continues to receive support from organizations.  On Friday, the SMU Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility encouraged its followers to get involved.

Will you choose to support the cause?


Comfort to our ears

July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized by Jonathan Machemehl

Comfort to our ears

It is the art that will continue to live on even with the changes in technology. Music will always be there for people to connect to events that are occurring in their lives.

Storified by Jonathan Machemehl · Tue, Apr 10 2012 22:15:29

Music is the art which people go to in order to express their feelings and contemplate events happening in their lives.  It would be hard to say that you could not find a song to express how you feel as you encounter each event in your life.  People look to music when they are sad, happy, excited, depressed, grieving, and any emotion in between.
MUSIC in today’s life is essential. Without music the world would be a very quite place. Music is the perfect art. Music does not restrict the audience in the way that movies or graphic art does. The listener can create whatever image she or he wants to when listening to music.

Everyone takes for granted someone they are able to call on anytime when they are in trouble or need advice from that person. They could be friends, parents, grandparents, relatives, or mentors.  There is one song that is the go tofor me when one of these people is lost in my life, Brooks & Dunn, Believe.

i believe brooks and dunn w/ lyricsleviohman

This song was on repeat when I found out mygrandfather had passed away in April of 2010.  The song was an inspirationand reminded me of the goals I wanted to achieve and the support he always gaveme towards those goals.  I also have to admit I did not call him as muchas I would have liked during school, which is one reason I relate to this song.

My grandfather visited me during move in day andmentioned he wanted to come up because it would be his only chance.  Thispuzzled me since I was planning on staying at SouthernMethodist University for four years.  I do not know if he had afeeling or why he would make the comment but I know I am glad she and my grandfather decided tocome up and see why I am proud to go to the university I do.


Since loosing my grandfather, there have beenother people that were mentors to me that keep this song fresh in my mind. Everyone tells you to find a mentor and I followed that advice but thatoften means finding someone that you grow attached to and hate to ever saygoodbye one last time.

"Believe" is a single by American country music duo Brooks & Dunn. It was the second single from their album Hillbilly Deluxe, and it won the Country Music Association’s 2006 awards for Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year.[1]
The song was a hit across the country winning numerousawards.  The song is a time for reflection and a time for me to evaluatehow things happen when you least expect it.  I knew I had to go above andbeyond in college in order to fully honor the life that was lost.      

Jennifer Hudson rerecordedthe song in 2011 and felt the song tied into her new album she was going torelease that year. 

Jennifer said she titled the album ‘I Remember Me’ because it is helping her "to remember the old stuff and celebrate the new."

 Everyday I set my goal to make sure what I amdoing would make my grandfather proud.  I think everyone finds inspiration to getthrough tough the times in his or her life and music is something that will alwaysbe there for you to relate to.  Whether it is blaring the radio to hardrock when you are frustrated or upbeat songs by Colbie Calliat when you arehappy, music never lets you done.

Jennifer Hudson – Believejhudfans

Sad end to a long day at SMU

July 21, 2012 in News by Jonathan Machemehl

Social media and the Super Bowl

February 13, 2012 in News, Social Media by Jonathan Machemehl

It is the most anticipated event in football where friends and family get together to watch the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl.  Super Bowl XLV set a new record for the most viewers, breaking the record held for 27 years by the television show M.A.S.H.

The television event is most commonly known for industries to introduce new commercials, which will run for months to come.  However, this year many companies looked toward social media as another way to interact with the audience providing hashtag and online options.

Coca-Cola launched an application that had polar bears, which interacted with viewers via Twitter and Facebook.  The two bears each supported a different team showing reaction for each play that was made during the Super Bowl.  The polar bears would also react to the commercials including falling asleep during rival Pepsi’s commercial.

Other companies such as Budweiser, Audi, and H&M showed hashtags during their commercial in hopes of getting viewers to talk about the commercial on Twitter. The commercial advertising David Beckham’s new line of clothing for H&M was one of the most talked about commercials of the night.

While some companies succeeded in embracing social media others like Toyota took their measures too far.  Toyota made the decision to spam Twitter accounts with phrases that mentioned “Camry Effect a Friend Giveaway.”  Toyota’s efforts were unwelcome by many and were vocalized by a blog on The Next Web.

Proof of the large impact social media had on this year’s event was with the statistics.  Twitter reported 13.7 million tweets about the Super Bowl this year.

#SB46 showed viewers are embracing social media and ready for companies to continue to use the platform for them to take their thoughts beyond the party.

The code of a Mustang leader

February 6, 2012 in Leadership by Jonathan Machemehl

“Be a Leader.” “This student showed great leadership in all of his/her actions while working on this program.” We hear phrases like these at almost every conference and award ceremony you attend but they never give the specific characteristics that make a good leader.

A leader is the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country according to the New Oxford American Dictionary.  Does this definition really define what a leader is?  Better yet, does this definition define what a great leader is or does to be considered one?  During the All University Crain Leadership Conference, Dr. Lori White, vice president of student affairs atSouthern Methodist University, presented us with a code, which a leader should follow.  Looking at this code, I see it as a checklist to determine whether you fit the classification of a leader.

They are as follows:

  • Make a commitment to be the best student leader you can be.
  • Understand the value of diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
  • Stand up for what you know is right. (even when others are not willing to do so)
  • Treat everyone fairly and respectfully.
  • Avoid making negative comments about other individuals or groups. (that includes in person and on social media sites)
  • Never compromise ethical principles.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Serve as a model for all individuals through your words and actions.

If you did not notice the list is an anagram for the word mustang but that is irrelevant.  This is a code that a true leader follows.  We all wobble and have our faults but should always strive to live up to this code throughout our lives.