For the past four months, I have been enrolled in a class called Social Media & Digital Communications. During this class, I was assigned to create this WordPress blog, which has opened me up to many wonders and possibilities of the Internet. I discovered that I love blogging, promoting and researching current events and interesting global news. I enjoy trying new social media sites like LinkedIn, Foursquare and Tumblr, while also attempting new mediums of expression such as podcasts and videos.
Though my interests and passions have been sparked in many ways, they have also dwindled in others. I realized how much I have relied on social media throughout my life without even realizing. Now, I more honestly see how the use of social media affects my life – primarily Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I looked into research (as mentioned in attached podcast recording) that depicted peoples’ use of social media and our capacity to maintain relationships, etc. I don’t need as many Facebook friends, I don’t need to scroll through all my apps before I get out of bed, I DON’T need to post photos of everything I do in real life on multiple social platforms – and neither do you.
The most important thing I have taken from this course is that social media and digital communications are extremely useful and simultaneously wonderful. They allow us to have access to so much the world has to offer. However, we must take care not to distance ourselves too much from the real world.
• Spend a certain amount of time outside everyday – fresh air and nature are key ingredients to happiness
• Maintain healthy relationships – spend time with friends and family, socialize in person!
• Experience things and be fully there – don’t miss out because you were busy documenting
• Value your education, learn all you can, be attentive
• Remain calm and relaxed – detach from your computers, tablets and smart phones
• Make room for passions in your life, not just straining your eyes and thumbs on your touch screens…go hiking, learn to crochet, read a book, take up photography, travel, play piano – work and reward
• Live to the fullest – if you aren’t happy, perhaps you need to reevaluate what’s most important to you
With that said: back to my experience during this course, blogging and the key takeaways. I may preach until I am blue in the face about how important the things other than social media are, but I certainly think social media is great in moderation. It provides a great way to express ourselves in a healthy, communicative and intelligent way. For example, as a project for the course, we each wrote and recorded our own podcasts on a subject of our choice. Watch the video attached to hear mine! This project was great. We looked into current social media issues and what techniques and qualities make the best podcast. We utilized many skills for the course, while maintaining a great interest in the subject because we selected the topic.
I recommend to any fellow college students out there to take a course focused on the significance of social media. There’s much more to it than updating Facebook statuses and posting photos, I’ll tell you that!
Keep looking for more posts from me, everyone! I will likely be expanding my content to subjects other than social media, but will keep some similar content as well. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!
I recently read an article about Ben & Jerry’s social media marketing campaign that caught my eye. Ever hear of “Free Cone Day?” I participated in the event last year at their shop in Manchester, VT. It’s when Ben & Jerry’s serves anyone and everyone with one, free regular cone of any flavor they choose on the first day of their open season. The tactic they chose to promote this event spread the message like wildfire across the U.S. through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more: the huge component being the use of their hashtag, #FreeConeDay.
They ended up reaching over 10% of the entire population. Ben & Jerry’s goals were the following:
1) Engage a global audience
2) Drive awareness about the event and traffic to their stores
3) Fuel customer participation that would propel word-of-mouth and increase their brand reach
All it took was a paid promotion through Twitter. Once people saw the ad, they shared, and shared…and shared. I find this story so particularly interesting because it shows how incredibly far a small investment in advertising can take a business. As a junior business student interested mostly in marketing, Ben & Jerry’s success is awesome and super exciting. Social media is hugely transforming the business world. Can any of my readers enlighten me about some good marketing success stories? Thanks, and to those approaching finals right now like I am…good luck!
Recently, I’ve started to notice that more of my friends (ages 18-25) are deleting their Facebook accounts, posting less, responding less frequently to private messages and spending lots of time on other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr. I’ve also heard some buzz about the number of users nation-wide decreasing as well.
Apart from trying some classic Google searches, I tried to think about what I could personally come up with as for why people might be losing interest. I generated a list of possible annoyances my fellow generation may have experienced (that I feel mutually annoyed about), causing them to give up or decrease Facebook use:
- Increased use of sidebar ads and promoted pages that show up at any given time
- Facebook’s tendency to spy on your other Internet browsing activities, and show you ads according to these activities (a pair of boots I was thinking of buying were displayed on my sidebar from Overstock.com for about two weeks)
- By clicking on someone’s profile one time, Facebook thinks you want to see that person’s every post or activity displayed on your newsfeed – your newsfeed then shows the activity of about 20 random people out of the 500 you are friends with, plus a small handful of the people you interact most with
- Most of what people post is about some silly status game, where if you “like” the post, they will assign you what to do next in the game (i.e. List a number of facts about yourself, list things you like, or dislike that all start with the letter “B”, etc.)
- Frequent game invitations that you have no interest in
- The increased use by adult and elderly family members
- The increased rate of employers searching to find out about us through Facebook profiles and tagged pictures, which supplies anxiety
- Has become heavily business-focused – every business is on Facebook, promoting and sharing – it feels like a world full of ads at times
- Left and right, it feels like a space for people to brag about how cute their baby is, how nice their new house is, how gorgeous their vacation is, or how healthy and beautiful their relationship is…
(Feel like you can relate, now?)
There are probably more reasons that I haven’t noted personally, but from what I’ve come up with, I see plenty of reason for the site to slowly phase out of the interest of younger generations. As more and more social networks are generated and spread throughout the world, the more options people have, leaving less need for tolerance. People freely drop one account and replace it with another, fresher, more innovative one.
Adults and businesses are using Facebook as often as ever, so it won’t phase out at any foreseeable time in the future. In fact, according to Forbes, Facebook stocks have increased by 2.23% today.
Marks, Gene. “Why Facebook Is In Decline.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
Bosker, Bianca. “Facebook’s Rapidly Declining Popularity With Teens In 1 Chart.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
The ways in which I have been trying to promote my blog involve commenting on and liking posts by others, following blogs that post of social media issues and re blogging articles that I feel relate to what my blog is about, which in turn gets those bloggers to follow back. I also use many tags (around 10-20) in each article and keep track of my “blog hits” with the WordPress widget on my sidebar. I frequently share my blog posts through my Twitter and Facebook pages made specifically to draw attention to my social media blog.
So far, my blog has had 105 hits, which means it has been visited, posted on or viewed 105 times (I’m thinking this post will bring it even higher!). This leads me to believe my promotion has been somewhat effective. I think what has helped with this, aside from my tags leading people to my blog, is that I often post my post links to my Twitter, through which I am following about 20 accounts that post about social media news. Some have followed me back so when they see my links, they presumably visit my page and read my other posts.
I have had a few regular users who comment on my posts that I do not know personally. None of them seem to disagree with what I say, so they express their agreement, offer further support, or pose further questions. Each of my blog posts has around two to three responses and/or “favorites.”
In other efforts to gain more followers/readers, I have commented on around 20 blog posts that relate to social media in some way.
I also re blog posts that I find really cool or interesting. This encourages the original author of the blog post to follow me. Plus, they usually thank me for re blogging them.
I plan to continue frequent updating and searching through tags that I am interested in, so I can favorite and comment on them in order to spread the awareness of my blog even more. I also think that regularly posting significant or interesting content will benefit the popularity of my blog considering I am already above 100 views at the rate of promotion I have kept up with thus far.
How have you been successful with your blog promotion so far? Have any tips?
Civil disobedience has been a significant part of our famous world history, but with all the advances in technology and social media, it has taken a whole new direction. Since society’s transition into social media, all forms of political activism and protest are able to be formed through use of the Internet by means of petitions, fundraisers, mass letter-writing and call-in campaigns to street marches, picket lines, sit-ins, and occupations, plus many newly developed techniques.
The term “civil disobedience” generally makes people think of Rosa Parks or Mohandas Gandhi protesting for civil rights and peace. They also associate it with being dangerously public and they remember how often it puts people at risk of arrest. The awesome way civil disobedience, or cyber civil disobedience, methods have been transforming is that people can come together to plan and protest behind closed doors in the privacy of their own homes and without having to put their bodies on the line.
The ways people can now take action online are separated into three categories of “disruption,” “information distribution” and “infrastructure.”
Disruption tactics, as you can imagine, aim to interrupt peoples’ flow of information and usually feed them alternative information, such as “Website defacements.” This is when a group or individual takes over a Website and replaces much of its content with their own propaganda to convince the user of their opinions.
Information distribution focuses on releasing secret information about a person or organization in protest to their actions or beliefs. The most famous case of information distribution in recent history is Wikileaks. The main goal is to put injustices out for public view, and cause more people to go against whatever is being protested.
The idea behind infrastructure in terms of online civil disobedience is replacing systems that have been compromised in order to get people off of them. An example would be if the government began spying on the activities of a Website. Users of the site who were not okay with this would create ways to make it harder for them to spy, or they would create a different site and stop using the compromised one.
These new approaches have been very prominent in all cultures and wouldn’t be possible without the many skills of hackers. The idea behind it all is to spread important information to people who need to know. When used for good, it aims to stop negative forces from having too much control. When used for bad, it may prevent people from getting information they need, or feed them untrue information.
What do you think this means for politics and for global issues? Is this movement into technology and social media good or bad?
Sauter, Molly. “The Future of Civil Disobedience Online.” Io9 – We Come from the Future. N.p., 17 June 2013. Web.
27 Oct. 2013. <http://io9.com/the-future-of-civil-disobedience-online-512193648>.
- Course Reflection Post (With First-Ever Podcast Recording)! December 16, 2013
- Ben & Jerry’s Did It Right December 6, 2013
- Evolving Language December 2, 2013
- The Social Media Effect Infographic December 2, 2013
- Giving Thanks November 24, 2013
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