Author: Carla Caban

Carla Caban – Lynda Requirement

For my first time using Lynda I thought the platform is very helpful and does have a very wide variety of courses to take. Since I am a graduating advertising major I wanted to look up something that would be related to my field. In advertising the use of celebrity endorsements and influencers is something that has been known to show good results.  Therefore, for this I decided to learn more about Influencer Marketing and the steps behind finding an influencer that will benefit your brand as well as help create a more personable connection with the target you are trying to reach.

The first thing that the course mentioned was the importance of authenticity. From research, people tend to listen to what their friends and family recommend to them . They are more likely to look up a product or buy it if a recommendation for that products comes form a trusted source. According to the Razorfish Fluent report, online influencers such as bloggers and social media influencer score second only to your closest friends and family. This is where influencers can sneak in and make an impact.

According to the course many brands forget to focus on where the end consumer’s trust really is, not  in the ads they serve them but in the messages covered by their friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and other influencers. The tricky part is finding the influencer whose audience matches your brand and how to work with them in order to produce a majority illusion about your product or service.

There are 4 different types of influencers: Macro-influencers, micro-influencers, brand ambassadors and unhappy customers. Macro-influencers refer to musicians, actors, professional athletes, business leaders and platform sensations. These people have developed an elevated status on specific social media platforms by building a hyper-engaged audience. Micro-influencers compared to macro-influencers have slightly less reach but a highly engaged follower base. They are non-celebrities, experts in a specific field, passionate about a specific subject, with a follower account of 100K followers or less, high engagement rates and capabilities to motivate others to take action. Brand ambassadors are consumers who are already fans of your brand, with them the goal is to spread brand advocacy. Finally there are the unhappy customers, these are the people that have had a negative experience with your brand and share it on social media. With these cases it is important for the brand to quickly respond to consumer’s concerns and be apologetic about their bad service.

The course goes on about how to identify the right influencers for your target as well as what kind of influencer works best with your desired goals. It again, emphasizes the importance of authenticity and how this will ultimately be how you will best connect with consumers. It is also imperative to keep good relations with your influencers since you are designating them the responsibility to carry with them your brand’s values. This course really helped me understand all the little things that need to happen in order to find the right influencer for your branding how to maintain good relationships with them. As an aspiring advertising professional this is something that will help me when working on certain brands. I also loved using Lynda, there are so many different courses!

Here’s a quick read about how Fire Festival did it wrong with influencers.

Final Project – Carla Caban

On April 24, 2017 Jack Jones became the 1,452nd person to be executed in the United States since 1977. Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Mary Philips back in 1996. Jones among the other 1,451 people that have been executed exemplify the act of capital punishment that has been in effect in the United States for essentially all of the country’s existence. The death penalty in the Unites States for many years has been a topic of vast public dispute. Ever since the death penalty was abolished and later reinstated back in 1976, public opinion has shifted back and forth on whether to favor or oppose such sentence. For this piece, I wanted to gather more information about the death penalty and contrast both opposing and favoring views on it. I wanted to take a closer look into which states still have in effect the death penalty, which states have carried out the most executions, and ultimately what are other factors contribute to this debate. First, let’s consider the history of the death penalty in the United States.

As the timeline showed, with data taken from CNN, with the introduction of the lethal injection as a form of execution, there have been many concerns regarding whether or not this falls under “cruel or unusual punishment.” In order to be able to comprehend and examine the death penalty and its pros and cons, Hugo Adam Bedau, in a work published by the American Civil Liberties Union entitled “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” presents eight angles by which the death penalty may be analyzed. These are: the costs of the death penalty relative to incarceration, the barbarity of the practice, its public support, its increasing rejection by the global community, whether it is unfair, whether it punishes the innocent, whether it is a deterrent, and whether it is unjust retribution. By putting these into perspective one can construct a more rounded opinion on which side to stand.

Why in Favor?
So why be in favor of the death penalty? By taking into consideration these eight angles, the death penalty can guarantee that a person that has committed a heinous crime pays for what he or she did. Additionally, it removes that person from further committing additional harm to society or to himself. Some may add that it provides some level of justice to the victims of those affected by their heinous crimes. Ultimately, it could also serve as a deterrent for other criminals to commit similar heinous acts. However, there is no definite evidence that the death penalty has indeed acted as a deterrent or whether it provides a fair reason for the government to take the life of another. Most of the population are still in favor of the death penalty with 49% support compared to 42% that are opposed, however, the number continues to decline. According to Pew Research Center, Democrats account for much of the decline in support over the past two decades. In 2016, just 34% of Democrats favored the death penalty, compared with 72% of Republicans. With public support steadily declining over the past few years the nation’s attention has become focused on the possible risk of substantive error in the process of sentencing someone to death, which is why some are against it.

Why Against?
From my research and personal experiences and taking into consideration the eight angles again, I believe most of the people that are opposed to the death penalty is because they struggle with the morality of the act. Another is due to the possibility that an innocent person might be wrongly convicted to death. Although, there has been no conclusive evidence showing that individuals who were bound to death row that got pardoned were executed. In addition, with controversial executions like Clayton Lockett it raises concerns on the barbarity of the practice. Another aspect that comes into questions is the cost. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, cases without the death penalty can cost $740,000, while cases where the death penalty is sought can cost up to $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner can costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population. These number need to be taken with caution since they can vary from state to state. Plus, more substantive factors should be of more value to decision makers than the cost. Furthermore, there also seems to be a global resistance towards capital punishment. According to Amnesty International, for the first time in a decade, the United States was not among the top five countries that carry out executions. The U.S. ranked seventh internationally, behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt with the last four countries excluding Egypt accounting for 87% of total executions. For some that is not a place where they want the United States to stand.

With both views, there are its challenges and with these there is limited reliable information where the public can base their decisions on. Aspects such as geography, selection of jury, discretion and media coverage can all affect the way in which a trial is decided or interpreted by the public. Nonetheless, there are safeguards put in place to prevent substantive errors from being made such as the Appellate Court where defendants have the automatic right to appeal their verdict.

Does public opinion affect outcomes?

Does Public Opinion affect Outcomes?
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This chart compares the support of the death penalty with the number of executions done by year. From this chart one can see that there is a slight correlation of these two. But are they directly proportional? It would be hard to find exact evidence on that. However, having support of capital punishment seems to justify the government’s use of it. Let’s take a look at the discrepancies of public opinion over the years as well as gender, racial and partisan gaps in views.

Public Opinion on Death Penalty Over Years
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Of the 35 jurisdictions that still hold the death penalty some states stand out more than others. For example Texas with 542, Oklahoma with 112, Virginia with 112 and Florida with 92.

Number of Executions by State
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According to Jeffrey Tobin from the New Yorker, there are many factors that have led to the decline of the death penalty in recent years. Some of them being: less crime over all, with less fear among the public as a result; exonerations based on DNA evidence have lead jurors to hesitate before imposing a death penalty sentence; reluctance of pharmaceutical companies to provide the lethal-injection drugs and thus the search for a drug protocol that passes constitutional agreement. With these factors being some of the cause for the decline in support there is a heightened emphasis on the juries to make the right legal decision. The future of the death penalty is in jeopardy if the American public believe that substantive errors occur widely in capital cases and whether the American people believe that the government does not care or that they are trying to hide the nature of the problem. I believe that although it is now legal in 35 jurisdictions the death penalty will still be practiced in the United States. It will not be until a specific case comes that raises concerns that the death penalty will go away.

Below is a list of all the people that have been executed in the United States since 1977.

Personal Project Proposal – Carla Caban

For my final project I want to do a story about the death penalty in the United States. I want to take a closer look at how public opinion has changed back and forth throughout the years. I also want to show which states have the death penalty and which of them have used it the most. In addition I plan of showing the reasons why people might be for or against the death penalty as well as the cost of it versus life imprisonment.

For this story I would need to obtain the history of the death penalty in the United States and maybe even compare it to other countries, the number of people for and against it throughout the years, data on states and how many times they have made death row executions as well as gathering data about costs across different states on the death penalty versus life imprisonment.

For this story, I plan on using resources given to me in my Political Science class, The Judicial Process, and adapt that into data visualization. There are a few other websites that provide a lot of information and numbers that I can use to put together my story. I am thinking of using Timeline.js. to showcase the history of the death penalty. For the data on different states I plan on using highcharts and then show all of the data on a searchable sort table. For the rest of the data I find I will plan on using different kinds of tables from highcharts or

Some unknowns might be sorting what information could be biased and what is not. Many of the website that provide information generally lean towards one side so I would really need to look at various publications and websites to clear that out. If things go wrong I plan on hopping into or another tool in order to improve or fix my problem and at the same time learn a new skill and improve the design of my project.

Assignment 6: Carla Caban

For this assignment, I decided to look into unemployment rates from the past 10 years and compare them with the number of new jobs created. The dates are kind of off. I used the excel sheet but for some reason the dates are not exact. I got my unemployment data here and the numbers of new jobs created over the past 10 years here. I couldn’t figure out how to put the percentage sign after the number and not before so if someone knows how to please let me know.

Assignment 5: Carla Caban

Since graduation is right around the corner, I decided to take a look at the average student debt by state. I found this data when looking at The Institute for College Access & Success for their Project on Student Debt. Here is a visual map of the data.


Student Loan Debt By State
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Here is my searchable table with the rest of the data.

Assignment 4: Carla Caban

Since the International Women’s Day was celebrated fairly soon, I wanted to look into women in the workforce. The chart shows the percentage of women that hold senior roles and the percentage of businesses that do not have women in senior roles based on country. I wanted to see if there was any striking difference in how women are represented among different countries.

Below is my test chart about online browser market shares.

Assignment 3: Carla Caban

With recent news regarding self-driving cars and announcements from SpaceX to launch tourists into space in the next couple years I thought it would be interesting to make a timeline about a great innovator, Elon Musk.

Assignment 2: Carla Caban

When looking through the New York State open data site, the dataset on Hospital Acquired Infections stood out to me. I thought it would be interesting to see how the number of acquired infections varies from hospital to hospital. All acute care hospitals are required to report certain hospital-acquired infections to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). These include: central line-associated blood stream infections in intensive care units; surgical site infections following colon, hip replacement/revision, and coronary artery bypass graft; and Clostridium difficile infections.

For this assignment, I decided to focus on the main hospitals in Syracuse area: Crouse Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, University Hospital and Upstate Medical University.

I started by filtering the dataset to only show those particular hospitals. Then I put each hospital data in a separate sheet to analyze them. I sorted each one by year and then summed the number of infections acquired by year. Ultimately this let me compare each hospital visually in order to see the variances in number of cases of infection. Below is a visualization of the data.

DataViz Assignment 2
Create line charts