It took me a while to get used to this class. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it because everything seemed so laid-back, but overall, I enjoyed learning about social media.
I wasn’t too keen on having a Twitter account at first, and I’m still not sold on following a whole bunch of people. Still, like Gavin said, it is an excellent way to get news quickly. I mostly skim over my feed until I find tweets from CNN, The Associated Press and Doctors Without Borders, but I am trying to accept it as a format for “ordinary” microbloggers as well. It would have been cool if we had called up Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, too.
I thought the viral marketing campaign was an interesting use of Facebook instead of holding it to just wall posts and status updates. The competition between me and Jen was a good example of viral marketing because after we invited all of our friends, we really had to rely on others to invite more people. Though we could beg for fans through status updates, tweets or word-of-mouth, it really came down to our friends’ participation and willingness to get others to join the fanpage. The fact that everyone came up with a different idea and was able to gain a following is worth mentioning because it shows that Facebook especially is beneficial when it comes to viral marketing. Millions of people use the site, and to start a campaign through a group, event or fanpage means that hundreds, and possibly thousands or more, will see what you are trying to do and help spread the word. I think it would have been interesting if we were made to market a viral campaign through YouTube instead of Facebook (a la OK Go) and see if the results would have been the same.
I think the two most important projects from this class were LinkedIn and the website, because both are great ways to present oneself professionally on the Internet. Because more and more job openings are found online, and interviews are sometimes held online as well, it’s imperative that we learn to upload our resume and examples of our work for potential employers to see. I finally got my LinkedIn account at 100%, and I’m still adding connections. My website took me a long time to complete, and often I became extremely frustrated with DreamWeaver and the whole process. For the most part, I knew what I wanted to do but I couldn’t figure out how to execute it; I think I’m the least tech-savvy person in this class. I am proud of my site, though I realize it’s far from perfect. Still, I successfully uploaded and attached my audio and video samples, .pdf-ed my writing samples, and wrote a resume. I wish I had done it on Wordpress though, because then I could edit and update the site from my own computer. Plus, DreamWeaver was pretty confusing for me most of the time.
Overall, I’ve realized that social networking is an important tool for communicating to others on a wide spectrum. I would have liked to have written more blogs for the practice and experience of it, but I realize I can do this on my own time and don’t necessarily need a class to write blogs. It also would have been nice if we had gotten around to wikis, but I didn’t mind the extra time to work on my website. As a communications major, I thought this course was a good introduction to social media, and it’s beneficial to have this knowledge as more and more people turn to the Internet for information and entertainment.