We started this semester with Web 2.0 and moved along to Social Media. Before the first exam we covered important topics like the characteristics of Web 2.0 and it’s patterns, which allowed the web to grow into a participatory culture as well as a convergence culture.
One of the most important takeaways from this semester is the privacy topic. I think as a society we are starting to be more accepting of the fact that privacy is something we lose when on the internet. That being said one of my favorite days in class was when we were discussing this. Everyone in class seemed ok with knowing how companies use their information. We know that our information is out there and people can see it, but when someone showed the class spokeo.com everyone freaked out. It was really interesting to see how creepy it is when you see your information actually being used in ways you didn’t expect.
Another really important takeaway was how businesses are utilizing social media. This was something that I think knowing will help me in my future job search. It was interesting to how different businesses acted differently on the various forms of social media. For example I looked at Lululemon and their twitter was more a tool to promote customer service, while facebook was more of a tool to connect with their customers on a different more casual level. The article titled 7 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience With Social Media by Dave Toliver was a great resource for this topic. The seven ways are as follows:
- Give customers a place to talk – I think this very important for businesses to understand. Social Media can be a great opportunity to get feedback directly from your customers in an efficient way.
- Integrate social media into your customer service – All businesses should be open to the new forms of social media out there and should be willing to learn which social media tool will best benefit their company. They should take advantage of using this tool to provide quick and efficient customer service.
- Activate your existing customer base- It’s a great way to build a bond with the current customers that you already have and getting them to really learn about your company culture as well as your products.
- Be proactive – Interact with customers on a daily basis. Post multiple times a day, if you don’t do it enough, you will get lost in your customer’s news feeds.
- Reward influencers – Make your customers feel special. By doing this you can turn them into advocates for your brand.
- Create Compelling Content – Great example is Nordstom’s “Beauty Central” on Facebook. They do a great job of posting relevant content on topics their customers would be interested in.
- Stand out from the crowd – we are very visual society, if a post has a video or image, people are more likely to take the time to read what it’s about. However you can go beyond that too. The more interactive and engaging your social media presence, the better.
Overall I think that this article was percise and to the point. It gave great advice in a very precise accurate way.
Another interesting reading that was assigned this semester is Alice E. Marwick and Danah Boyd’s I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagines Audience. I will be the first to say that I was apprehensive to join twitter. However after this class and in particular this article has made me see that twitter has a lot to offer. It was interesting to see how people act on twitter especially when it comes to audiences. One interesting point from this article is that “home page creators thought of their work as constructive for the public even if they focused on friends and family, creators acknowledge the potential for the audience to be unlimited and undefined.” It was really interesting to see how we have an imagined audience, which seems to be much more imagined on twitter than on homepages. With twitter, you never really know who your audience might be. Homepages are much more static, so it is easier to present you type of thing. I found it interesting that twitter users try to balance the desire to maintain positive impressions with the need to feel authentic.
Finally, the last topic we covered is copyright. I really enjoyed this section of the class because it was a topic that I didn’t know much about. Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in Hybrid Economy, by Lessig was a really interesting reading that brought up great points that helped me understand how copyright is affecting digital culture. Many of us DTC majors are creative people, so for me at least there is a love hate relationship with copyright. Anyone who creates show have complete control over how their work is being used by others, but if you don’t allow anyone to be inspired or learn from your work, it is affecting our culture. The most important take away I got was that we need to find a balance. Today there seems that nothing is quite original. There is always something that inspired that work to come about. Some is more closely tied to the inspiration than others but where is line when art resembles something too closely? Possibly the most important take away to me is that our culture and technology is constantly changing, and we as a society need to learn and grow with these changes.