Why Hedgehogs May Not Be the Pet of Your Dreams

Hedgehogs are adorable animals that have become more popular in recent years. The internet loves them. Take a look at Mr. Pokee’s Instagram page – the little critter has over 400,000 followers!
Years back, I bought into the cuteness…and bought some cuteness. Emma was the first hedgehog I owned. After her passing, I briefly housed a male hedgie named Oliver, and I now have another female hedgehog named Lorelai. (Any Gilmore Girls fans?)
Don’t let the title confuse you – I love hedgehogs. They aren’t always what people imagine them as though. Here are some reasons a hedgehog may not be the pet of your dreams:

1. You want a cheap pet. Hedgehogs aren’t as cheap as other small animals, like hamsters. To adopt a hedgehog normally costs around a couple hundred dollars (though rescue hedgies can be cheaper). You also must buy a house for it, a liner/bedding, food dish, water dish/bottle, a wheel, toys, something to hide in, food, veterinary care, etc. Any pet comes with the responsibility to take care of it as best you can.

2. You aren’t sure if owning a hedgehog is legal where you live. Even among the U.S.A., different states have different laws in regards to exotic pets. Some states allow hedgehogs as pets and other states do not. Since laws can change, I would recommend looking into the laws where you live to see if owning a prickly baby could be in the cards for you.

3. You’re looking for a good pet for your kids. Now, I’m not going to say that hedgehogs are a bad pet for children, but a lot depends on the child. Hedgehogs do have quills for protection, which they will get incredibly sharp when scared or angry. You should think about how patient/gentle your child would be with the animal – both for the safety of the kid and the safety of the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs are also naturally nocturnal animals, so if you/your kid wants a fun animal to watch play all day… it may not be the best choice. They can be taken out later in the evening, but constantly waking up an animal in the middle of it’s sleep isn’t healthy and will result in a grumpy hog.

4. You don’t have much time to spend with the animal. Hedgehogs need to be socialized. As stated earlier, they have a defense mechanism. Hedgies will curl into a tight ball with their sharp quills sticking out around them. This makes it impossible to hold them without getting little stabs from the quills (unless you try really think gloves or oven mitts, as I have in the past).
To get them better used to people, breeders suggest that you socialize your hedgehog for around an hour a day. Socialization requires interacting with the animal – holding him/her, letting them explore under close supervision, talking to them, petting them, etc. You need to gain their trust and let them know that you are safe.

This is a base starting point to address some things that people often don’t realize about hedgehogs. If you’re still considering getting a pet hedgie, or if you just want to learn more, there’s many helpful resources out there such as the video below. Good luck!

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Welcome to COM 125 – Social Media!

Welcome to COM 125 – Social Media! I am very excited to be working with you all this term. This blog will function as our digital workspace. You will be expected to turn in many of your assignments using the blog, as well as contribute by writing blog posts. Don’t stress if you don’t know how WordPress works – you will learn everything you need to know during class!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email at bauerj@middlesex.mass.edu. Or send me a tweet!

Creating Social Media Accounts

For this course, we will be using a variety of social media platforms. Please do the following tasks (if you already have a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram account, you may use them for this class):

  1. Create a Facebook Account
    1. “Like” the MCC COM Department’s Facebook Page
    2. “Like” the Middlesex Community College Facebook Page
  2. Create a Twitter Account
    1. Follow Professor Bauer’s Twitter Account
    2. Follow the MCC COM Department’s Twitter Account
    3. Follow the Middlesex Community College Twitter Account
    4. Follow the MCC Street Team’s Twitter Account
  3. Create an Instagram Account
    1. Follow Professor Bauer’s Instagram Account
    2. Follow MCC Communications Department’s Instagram Account
    3. Follow Middlesex Community College’s Instagram Account
    4. Follow MCC Street Team’s Instagram Account

Submit the links to all of your social media accounts in this assignment on Blackboard.

  • If you need help setting up a Facebook account, click here.
  • If you need help setting up a Twitter account, click here.
  • If you need help setting up an Instagram account, click here.

Blog Analysis: Film Babble

Overview

The blog I chose to analyze is the blogging site Film Babble. The specific use of the blog is to review indie films and Hollywood blockbusters by Daniel Cook Johnson. The first post that will appear is the author Daniel Cook Johnson’s latest review of the movie Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017).                                                                                        The web address is here: http://filmbabble.blogspot.com

 

Analysis

The header is a nice custom picture for the blog which makes clear your reading the Film Babble Blog. The first title is straight forward and gives you an idea of what exactly the author will be covering. The tagline of the first post “Now playing at multiplexes from here to the off-world colonies,” catches the reader’s eye to excite them for the blog post. Other than inside the post the bio for the author is “Film Babble Blog is written, produced and directed by: Daniel Cook Johnson – A Triangle area, N.C. based writer. His work has appeared in The Chapel Hill News, The Raleigh News & Observer, and Independent Weekly.” The menu is halfway down the page on the right hand side of the page which reads as the Film Babble Blog Archive. The widgets can be found almost at the bottom on the right that only include a widget for PayPal to support the blog and a widget to bookmark the blog. At the top right below the bio there is a Twitter link to follow the blog on Twitter. There is also a link to email the author under that one. After that there is a link to follow the blog on Facebook. The footer consists of a copyright and the theme type which is simple. The “About Me,” is found after clicking the hyperlink of “by Daniel Cook Johnson.”

 

Content

The blog consists of simple theme of a white backdrop and black lettering. It is a straight forward display with not too much distraction. Though there could be improvement for a sleeker theme that incorporates more intriguing features. There are photos on almost every post which ties into each post topic. These photos seem to be of film stills not personal taken photos. There does not seem to be to many videos or trailers.

The titles are well comprised. They are well thought through and compelling to click on and not confusing. There doesn’t seem to be a portion of titles that are most popular. There should be a section of popular posts the audience think are Mr. Cook Johnson’s best so new members can get an idea of his best work.

The “About Me” section includes his photo, name, gender, and location which is Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Introduction which is the same as the bio. There is information on how long he has been blogging which is since May 2002 and profile views which is 5,766. Lastly it includes Mr. Cook Jonson’s favorite movies, music and books.

There are sponsors for the blog which enables the audience to see different companies that support the blog. There is also a section on other blogs that are friends of the author. This enables the audience to be able find blogs that might be of similar interest to them easier.

The Audience Interaction could be improved greatly. There could be a poll to see which movies the audience they would like to see reviewed along with the others Mr. Cook Johnson intends to already review. There are very little comments even with the comment section. This could be changed by encouraging readers to give their thoughts below whether in agreement or opposition. The blog does have social media links. Though the blog posts do not have any sharing buttons to be able to share each post. This is a negative because if you enjoy the blog post or want others to read it there is no way to share it. Also, there does not seem to be any other encouragement to subscribe to the blog.

 

Conclusion

         In conclusion, the blogging site Film Babble has a straightforward theme. This theme could be improved for a sleeker theme that incorporates more intriguing features. There are social media links and sponsors. The author’s bio is clear and easily viewed at the top right. The blog posts have intriguing titles that make you click. When you do click you are met with the post accompanied with a film still within. Though there is no trailer from the film which is a drawback because you may not have heard of the film being released or anything about it at all. Another thing that could be improved is the Audience Interaction. There could be a weekly poll to see which film the audience would like for Mr. Cook Johnson to review. Also, the site should include encouraging readers to give their thoughts below whether in agreement or opposition. The blog site should add sharing buttons for the blog posts. Another thing is there does not seem to be any other encouragement to subscribe to the blog. The blog is intriguing with informative posts on the which movies to see next yet lacks Audience Interaction that could grow the audience.