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This blog has been the result of a class assignment for my Emerging Media course.  I must admit that I’ve learned a great deal from my participation in this course.  Mostly, I’ve learned how blogs work and the impact they can create.  In the past I had considered blogs merely as “online diaries” written by wannabe writers, however, apparently I must be one of these wannabe writers as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the blogging process. 

One of the things I’ve learned is that for a blog to be successful, one must try and post regularly.  I think that many start blogs and may post for a few weeks but then they lose interest or don’t have the time for frequent posts. Then when someone does stumble upon their blog, the visitor is likely to be disappointed to find the most recent post to be months old. 

When blogging to create interest in a product or service this could be devastating.  What customer is going to have faith in a business who can’t manage to keep their blog fresh and relevant?  It would be better to not have a blog at all than to take that risk.

During this course I’ve also learned the importance of networking through social media sites like Facebook or MySpace.  These sites are attracting more members daily and it looks as if their membership will continue to grow.   Even Oprah has jumped on board hosting Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, for a recent show where all things Facebook were discussed.

oprah

I still need to figure out Facebook and MySpace–I guess I’m just a bit leary of posting something that may somehow be used against me!  The things Photoshop can do are amazing!

I think people and businesses will continue to use blogs to express themselves and to build brand relationships.  I do think that the format may change somewhat as technology seems to always be improving on the basics.  Twitter seems to be a blog spin-off in that people are sharing what they’re doing, but in 140 words or less and without the graphics.  I’m sure as digital capabilities continue to evolve, then our methods of communicating whether it be blogs or Twitterspeak will also continue to evolve.  For the IMC practitioner the challenge will be to try and stay as current and up to date as possible.

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about social media.  First a quick definition–see if you agree with it. I like this one as it makes more sense than others I’ve read.  It was written by Joseph Thornley, CEO of Thornley Fallis a full-service communications and public relations firm.

Social media are online communications in which individuals shift fluidly and flexibly between the role of audience and author. To do this, they use social software that enables anyone without knowledge of coding, to post, comment on, share or mash up content and to form communities around shared interests.

Some examples of popular social media sites are on line discussion forums like those available at Weightwatchers.com; networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace; and social messaging services like Twitter

Chris Crumhas blogged about some ways that businesses around his hometown of Lexington, Ky. have utilized social media–along with suggestions for others to jump on board.  His post can be read here–Real Life Examples: Local Social Media Marketing in Action.  Seeing how businesses are putting social media marketing techniques into use is a great way of gaining an insight into just what can be done with today’s technologies.afaceatwti1

 Taking a look at Facebook, I’m amazed at its continued growth.  Facebook has now outpaced MySpace with a registered user base of over 180 million.  Smart businesses can use this huge community to their advantage by using just a few simple ideas.  One thing a business can do is to watch what people are saying about your business and use that to build and improve on your brand’s reputation.  By having a Facebook presence your company will increase brand awareness and chances for interacting with customers.  Facebook also has many ways of targeting ads through user profile information.  Because people can opt in to be your friend, you can target messages specifically to those who have already shown an interest in your business.

Time to jump on the blogging bandwagon–especially since it is a requirement for my Emerging Media class!  In this blog, I plan to post about the trials and tribulations of playing catch up in a digital world.   Learning to make use of the many technological gadgets created to simplify our lives is going to be quite challenging.

With new buzz words and gizmos jumping out at us every day, becoming simplified is not so simple.  I’ve found I need to find friends on Facebook, connect on LinkedIN, identify what a Twitter is and understand widgets, tags and RSS feeds!  With the ultimate goal of becoming a digital marketing guru, I’ll really need to get with it.

First, things first, though–I really need to understand how this blogging thing works.  I want my blog to look creative, cool, savy and intriguing like all the others.  But so far, I’ve spent two hours just trying to create my header.  I’m in for a true learning experience with this one.

A bit about me and the tech I CAN comprehend.  I love discussion forums.  I talk and trade books, plants, recipes and eggs.  (hatching eggs)  I love Photobucket, Ebay, Youtube and my good friend, Google.  Some of the sites I visit daily include:

paperbackswap.com 

backyardchickens.com

gardenweb.com  

Well, time to feed the chickens and gather the rent.

This concludes post 1–I’m sure I’ll be back to edit and add more linkies!

Please comment and hit me with some tips on any and all social media, marketing, techie buzzwords and sites you consider relevent.

Becky