When I started this class I was skeptical on all things “virtual.” I proudly decided that if it wasn’t in print, some sort of writing I could hold in my hands, then it wasn’t relevant. Although I still hold a personal reverence for print media, my opinion has changed on the very real virtual rality.
Twitter. My opninons on this form of social media are still mixed. When I first started the class I thought Twitter was a completely irrelevant excuse for people to tell me what soap they used in the shower this morning. However, I do now realize it is a very effective and useful professional networking tool. I do have a twitter (because this class made me get one) and I don’t use it much, however, I have decided to keep it, because I see it’s worth when I start looking for jobs and trying to make connections.
Facebook. I was into facebook before I started this class, and despite my usual wariness when it comes to social media cites, I really enjoy this one. It helps me keep in contact with friends from home, friends I met while abroad, friends who are abroad, etc. I don’t find it a useful networking tool professionally, and so I put no real relevant information on there, although I am very careful of what pictures are posted of me, because I do have employers who friend me (and what am I supposed to do, say no??) However, I will say that facebook is probably the only social media cite that I have lost repsect for as a result of this class. The more I see the professional, real-world usage of cites like Twitter, and LinkedIn, the creepier I think facebook is. And with all the random updates, strange advertising privacy loop holes, and general stalking creepiness, facebook has lost some points in my book. I’m going to keep it, obviously, who doesn’t have a facebook anymore, but I’m appraoching it with a bit more wisdom.
LinkedIn. I enjoy LinkedIn, and find it a very useful and interesting personal marketing tool, and although I have not done much with it yet since creating it, I plan to keep it and use it more in the future. I think it’s like an online professional portfolio, possibly even more useful then Twitter for making professional connections, and I plant o keep it updated.
As for viral marketing and social networking, it wasn’t that I was skeptical of them when I started, it was that I thought I knew what they were, when in actuality, I had no idea. I never thought viral marketing would be effective, but, if a person is on the computer more then they watch TV, and they are bombarded with adds, eventually something is going to hit home. And really good viral marketing campaigns are effective to gain interest when none previously existed. (The E*Trade Baby?? Elf Yourself?? Genius.)
Finally, the grand finale… my website. I’ll be honest, for a while I hated this thing. I didn’t understand how to work Dreamweaver, I wanted to tear my hair out. But as I got used to it, I found it easier to navigate, and with the final project finished, I’m pleased with the end result. I feel it accurately represents my accomplishments and professional goals, while also showing who I am. I think it’s simple, and aesthetically pleasing. And I have a better sense of what type of persona I can put forth on the internet, and the kind of information that requires.
Overall I found this class to be enjoyable, informative, and never boring. Not bad for the first (and probably last….no offense) communications class I will ever take.