Social Media in a Nutshell

3101130384_6b529ca224_b

Just when I thought I couldn’t learn more about the internet, I was proven that I in fact could this semester in Social Media class. Of all the things I learned, however, the biggest thing is just how important social media can be for anyone’s success within the Journalism, Media and Computing industry, and just about any other industry in general.

Before this class I had a basic understanding of how social media can be used as a way of seeing if an employer would be interested in hiring you or not, and as a way of networking and making connections with those people who you would want to be working for. LinkedIn is the best tool for this kind of networking, and this semester I learned about it’s importance within the work industry in trying to make yourself known to the world. At first I never put much thought into having a fully-fledged LinkedIn profile, and only had minimal information about myself and my past work experiences. However, after having had a profile for half a year now, I can see just how important it is to build those relationships with not only your peers, but with other professors, faculty, and acquaintances. But that was only one of the things I learned for this class.

This biggest lesson that I took from this class can pretty much be summarized into three words; Don’t Be Stupid. It’s not that hard to simply use common sense with social media, and to always think “Is this an okay-thing to post?” or “Would this upset anyone?” or “Does this sound stupid?” before making any kind of public post. A lot of what we learned about in class was learning from PR disasters from other companies that were mercilessly berated on social media for saying something inappropriate, or responding to a controversial event in not very well thought out way. Thankfully, because of these mishaps, we were able to learn what NOT to do when it comes to social media.

Overall, I enjoyed taking this class this semester. Getting the opportunity to do real-life work for an on-campus client was pretty exciting. I never thought I’d be making a social media plan for an alumni association as a graphic design major, but just having that experience makes me feel more prepared and qualified for a position in the design field. In addition, just learning new things about social media, the fields of journalism, and the web in general were all very interesting. I look forward to putting all my newly-learned knowledge to good use in the upcoming future.

Advertisements

Using Keyboards as Weapons

Have you ever read the comment section of a controversial social media post, article, or YouTube video? If not, the best advice I can give you before going into one of those comment sections is this:

Don’t.

Arrows Hustle And Bustle Face Stress Woman

A lot of times when someone does something that the internet deems bad, stupid, disgusting, or any emotion that can incite a negative reaction, users on social media are not afraid to let the person in question know how they really feel. And a lot of times, there’s zero censorship or boundaries involved when online users voice their opinions on something. These kinds of posts can cause users to go from berating the poster in question, to unwarranted hostility.

Take Justine Sacco for example. When Twitter users caught wind of her offensive tweet on her way to Africa, it caused a massive storm of hate directed straight for her. While the trending #HasJustineLandedYet was more meant to publically shame Sacoo, other users went above and beyond the shaming, and not in a good sense. Many of these commenters undoubtedly had hate-filled messages, and sometimes could be threatening, causing Sacco to feel unsafe for her life.

This is an unfortunate pattern with aggressive commentators on social media; many people who comment threatening messages on other people’s posts don’t often realize that there is another person behind the screen that reads every single one of the messages they receive. It’s as simple as one human being being hateful and violent to another human being and not feeling any kind of remorse for the words said to them. But it’s very easy for people to disassociate the thought of another person reading their messages when hundreds or thousands of other people are doing the same thing. They may not realize it, but jumping on a bandwagon full of hate is a form of cyber-bullying.

It is unfortunate that the internet does seem to reward those who “shame” others on the web. In fact, some websites simply live for that shaming alone. Take Reddit, for example. Many users on Reddit earn “upvotes” simply for being snarky and making mean comments to other users, or joining on bandwagons that attack unpopular, big name figureheads. In some cases, the act of making snarky, rude comments to each other is simply for comedic value, as is the case for the subreddit “Roast Me,” where users ask other users to, as stated in the title, roast them. In less lighthearted cases, there can be subreddits that support hate-speech against certain people, including subreddits like “Fat People Hate,” which the admins of Reddit banned from the website, along with several other subreddits, as a response to their new anti-harassment policies.

So there is an absolute difference in being mean and snarky in a humorous, playful way, as opposed to the often times hate-filled, threatening way that some users on social media may experience. It’s hard to say what the solution is to a problem this big, as this can happen on any type of website, whether it be social media, blogs, news sites, etc.. But in Monica Lewinsky’s case, it is possible to overcome the hate and grow stronger from it. She showed that despite how much hate you receive, you can still continue your life to becoming a successful person in the world.

In this new day and age of social media, it may be important to look back at an old adage and make one small adjustment: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…”

…but words can have a bigger impact than you think.

Effective Brands of Instagram

Instagram is a great place for businesses and consumers alike to post and share their photos with the world. It doesn’t always have to be a simple photo of someone’s dinner that they made, or a photo of someone’s pet. In actuality, Instagram can be used for various marketing reasons in the business world in a way that is engaging to anyone who scrolls through their feed. While not all businesses are successful at this approach, there are those who do utilize this social media platform very well.

instagram-normal

 

One for profit company that using Instagram very effectively is Tensile. Tensile is a company that specializes in camping tents, specifically tree tents that can be suspended in mid-air wherever you are. Not only does this company post very captivating photos onto their Instagram feed, but they also make sure to engage their audience with their posts. In one case, they had a giveaway for one of their tents on the condition that, in order to win, each person would have to follow a few other accounts related to Tensile, as well as tag friends in the comments about their best adventure story. Not only does this bring in a large audience for people wanting to win a free prize, but it gives the company visibility to others who may not have known about the product and are potentially tagged in one of their posts. The combination of an awesome product, well shot photos, and engaging posts is what makes this company successful.

As far as non-profit companies, one organization that uses Instagram very well is Earth Rights. Much like Tensile, Earth Rights uses stunning imagery to grab the attention of anyone who scrolls through their Instagram feed. They typically use profile photos in their posts, focusing on the individual’s story and why it matters to them. The organization’s use of beautifully edited photos to tell a story that conveys a thought-provoking message is what makes them successful on this platform.

Just One Sentence

I’m the kind of person that likes to ramble on in my writing at times; I feel like sometimes it’s just hard to get everything I want to say condensed down to a short paragraph, let alone a single sentence. I always feel like I have so much to say, but never enough space to do it. So trying to figure out a single sentence that describes who I am as a person is understandably a bit of a difficult task for me.

I guess before I can figure out what my sentence is, I have to understand who I am as a person, and how I am who I am today. I came to Creighton as a Pre-Med student, fully set on the idea of studying Psychology so I could one day work my way up to becoming a Psychiatrist. Despite not having any particularly real interests in science or medicine, this idea of becoming a doctor stuck with me from high school until freshman year of college. Of course that quickly changed a semester into my college career, where I did a complete 180 and switched from Pre-Med to Graphic Design. I realized that graphic design was something that I was actually passionate about and really enjoyed doing, so I decided to explore that major more. It was then that I realized that I enjoyed the JMC department in it’s entirety, and found an additional passion for photography/videography.

Given my sudden change of heart when attending college, I believe that anyone can easily find what they’re passionate about, given that they can find the right experiences. It took one trip to the US/Mexico border for me to find what I was passionate about, but I still wonder if there are other things for me out there that I have yet to uncover that I have a passion for. So for that reason, I believe my sentence would be something along the lines of:

“He is passionate about his work and hobbies, and continues to search for interests in the hopes of discovering most passions.”

 

Social Media

socialmedia-pm

Social media is incredibly prevalent in today’s society, whether or not people are aware of it. It can help connect people from everywhere around the world, inform though via sharing news, and is one of the most popular ways of communicating with one another. As a college student, I use social media on a daily basis. I use Facebook to stay up to date on what all my friends and family are doing, I use Snapchat to send goofy messages and pictures to my friends, and I use Instagram to find and post pictures that I think are interesting. These are the three social media outlets I tend to use the most, and I really do enjoy using them for the most part. However I’m not really big on Twitter, which I know is just as big as Facebook; I just never got used to the format of that outlet, so even though I have an account I rarely ever use it.

While I do appreciate the fact that social media can help us stay informed, it can also be a downside as well. It’s great for knowing what goes on around us, but everything you see on social media should always be taken with a grain of salt. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms play pretty big roles in our politics recently, especially when it came to news, as plenty of false news articles were shared among many people. It’s also sometimes difficult to have good conversations with strangers on social media as well; a lot of times people cannot have very level-headed conversations or arguments in the comment sections of some posts, which tends to be another problem for social media. But when people do communication effectively and respectfully, it works.

I hope to get a lot out of this class, including things like how to effectively use social media in both your personal and professional life, as well as just studying different phenomena of social media culture. I’m really excited for this class, and can’t wait to see what we go over!

The Wrap Up Blog

flickr_uf-journalism_and_communications

Introduction to Mass Communication Technology has been both an informative and fun course to take this semester. I’ve learned a lot of things that deal with the field of journalism that I had not known before, a lot of which pertains to what I’ll be doing with my career in the future. Every class period had a lot of good lessons and information to take away; no class time was wasted at all, and I definitely appreciated that. I always felt well prepared for the exams as well, so that was also a big plus for the class.

I can’t think of a single bad thing that I didn’t like about this class. I loved writing blogs every week that covered different topics pertaining to what we’ve talked about in class. I’ve never done any kind of writing for blogs before, so this was a fun first experience to just jot down my thoughts dealing with class material.

The readings we did for class were also very beneficial books to read. I particularly enjoyed reading Program or Be Programmed, and found myself agreeing with a lot of the points that were made when it comes to how people should be utilizing technology to its fullest potential and actually know how and why things work. It was a very relevant book to read, given most of us in the class are JMC majors.

I think it’d be great if we had more speakers come to the class and talk about their experiences in the field of journalism/graphic design/PR/etc. I really appreciated Justin Kemerling’s lecture, as it really made me take a step back and look at how I, as a graphic design, approach my major in the future. I’m sure others in the class had the same impact as well. Outside speakers as always great to have, and very insightful, so that;d be awesome the the students who take this class next year.

Overall, I really enjoyed this class this semester, and would absolutely take it again if I could. Not to mention, the professor was pretty great, too (congrats on becoming the Department Chair!).

 

 

Public Relations

I’ve always had a pretty loose understanding of what the term “PR” means. I knew it meant “public relations,” but didn’t have that great of a grasp of what PR people actually do. From my understanding, public relations people are typically in charge of creating and maintaining the public image of a person, whether it be a celebrity or political figure, or any kind of organization or company. After reading Edelman’s talk, I realize that my prior understanding was in someway correct, but there’s still much more to working within PR.

10888776353_9c71574e19_b

Being in PR means you should be able to grasp your audiences’/consumers attention and reel them into what you’re pitching. Whatever you do should be engaging to them, whether it be doing that through social media, advertisements, deals and offers, etc.. But what’s more is that being in PR means you have to be creative and innovative; you need to be able to predict trends before they happen, and capitalize on them as soon as possible.

The internet is constantly moving at a rapid pace; something may be trending for a day or so after it has happened, then the internet will quickly move on to the next big thing. People within marketing and PR do their best to make sure they can be a part of these trends to make sure they reach a wider audience. And most of this takes place in the digital realm within social media. It’s hard to scroll through your Facebook feed and not see one of those popular How To videos on food recipes, with Buzzfeed’s Tasty being one of the most popular examples of this.

So many companies take advantage of utilizing social media as an advertisement venue, and it can be extremely effective. They’ve ditched the traditional straight forward approach of advertisement, and adapted a more entertaining or emotional way of marketing their products. Companies with clever marketing tend to get more love from consumers. For example, the marketing team for the newly released Marvel movie Deadpool, an anti-superhero R rated movie that was marketed as a drama/love story that would make the perfect Valentine’s Day movie date. The marketing team received so much praise for their outside of the box thinking with this campaign, as can be seen from their resulting box office record.

So PR isn’t just the act of trying to get more followers or consumers for your product, it’s the way you go about doing so. Advertisements can only be so effective if they’re not engaging enough for an audience. But once you start thinking outside of the box and being more creative with the way you go about marketing something, you’ll be sure to have a significantly higher number of supporters for what you do.