The Social Network Show has just released an episode entitled “PlanSoon: A Social Network Rising; The Paradox of Amanda Knox.“ (Release Date: January 10, 2014. We welcome you to listen to the show on our website or click the link to listen on the Stitcher website.) This show will fascinate you with information about the usefulness and influence of social media. First you’ll hear from Jenny Vance, founder/CEO of a new social network called PlanSoon, and then journalist Nina Burleigh will discuss the influence of social media in the Amanda Knox trial. This show proves that social media is not only here to stay: its shaping the world in which we live, and the ways we interact online and off.
As Co-founder/President of a lead generation company, LeadJen, and Co-founder of a CRM software solution company with many awards to her name, Jenny Vance is one of the leading women entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. In 2012, she started a social network called PlanSoon that allows people who have similar interests to connect online and plan an activity together (such as dancing or golf) without feeling the pressure of a date or needing to gather a whole group. I enjoyed listening to the story of how Jenny came up with and implemented this idea, how she is currently gathering user input to further meet the needs of her audience, and how she helps users stay safe online. In addition to being a cool idea and helpful way to connect with others, PlanSoon is about to be a TV star: this new social network is featured in the inaugural issue of VentureCamp, a docu-series and tech accelerator program. PlanSoon is a perfect example of why people love social media—it meets our very human need to connect, and expands our vision of the ways in which that is possible.
Next up is Nina Burleigh, a returning guest on the show and an award-winning journalist and author of five books who writes a column for The New York Observer. Ms. Burleigh has written for many other publications, including Rolling Stone, Businessweek, New York, and The New York Times. Her latest book, The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox is a New York Times bestseller that tells the story of the arrest and conviction of Amanda Knox, an American student living in Italy who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the November 1, 2007 murder of her housemate, British student Meredith Kercher. The case is back in the news because Amanda is currently undergoing a retrial that will reach its conclusion at the end of this month. Ms. Burleigh gives us the scoop on both the original trial and the retrial, along with the vital role that social media and the internet have played in events surrounding the trials. As she puts it, “…this case might be to social media and the internet what OJ was to the 24-hour news cycle.” Ms. Burleigh’s insights about public fascination with Ms. Knox (the archetypal good girl gone bad) and about the psychological aspects of human behavior on the internet are both highly informative and deeply disturbing.
I loved both segments of this show—putting them together allowed me to see the big picture in social media. From expanding our horizons to shaping our perceptions, social networks have become vital to our personal and political interactions, and this episode will help you stay abreast of both.
Elizabeth Hall Magill
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