By: Craig Garcia (@shaggycano)
Virtual high-five’s and congratulatory pats on the back to each and everyone of us!
I’m technically suppose to be writing some in-depth blog about measuring analytics, but in the name of summer, and since all of our brains are completely fried (and I might legitimately pass out if I type the word “analytics” again) I decided to keep this light with some of my biggest takeaways from this class – hopefully you can gather a couple more pebbles of knowledge from this post.
5. For better or worse, you can literally have a second life
All of our guest lectures were overall engaging, but one of the most captivating lectures for me was having Donna Davis speak to us about the virtual reality platform, Second Life.
What I didn’t realize until before her lecture was the medical benefits that can come from interacting in Second Life, especially for older people, or those with Parkinson’s disease. As I tweeted during her lecture, I don’t think Second Life is an approachable platform for college students, but it seems they realized that, and their develop Second Life 2.0, which hopefully will be more geared to people that use their platform for rehabilitation.
- The Social Network, Network, Network
If I earned a dollar for every time a professor told me to network with peers/potential mentors, I could buy a pretty kick-ass jet ski. If I earned another dollar for every time I ignored a professor’s advice about networking, I could buy two jet skis (poor analogy, but summer’s on the brain).
The reason why I’d ignore this advice is because professors never really gave me the answer on how to follow through with potential networks. It wasn’t really until this class that I realized it’s not just enough to email them once every month, or hope to grab a coffee with them sometime. Being active on social media, and corresponding with your potential networkers over Twitter has been a lesson for me in this class, and it’s been the catalyst to all of my journalism-related activities that I’ll be a part of this summer.
- Analytics aren’t that intimidating
This is probably a much more personal takeaway than the other ones, but for me – a kid that just wants to make mini-doc’s for news organizations – the thought of looking at Twitter or Facebook analytics on a Macro level seemed intimidating and also useless. It wasn’t until the final group project that I realized that sites like Iconosquare or Netvibe really present analytics in a detailed and understandable way, and sites like thoses have helped me build a larger audience/base for my Twitter and Instagram, which has been exponentially beneficial for when I post new videos.
- Have a distinct voice
I’ve never felt like I was lacking in a distinct voice, but this class taught me to always look to evolve that voice, and to not leave it stagnant. As a journalist, or a PR person, it’s always easy to just have your social media accounts serve as a soundboard for projects that you’re a part of. Have your voice consistently being a part of the evolving conversations in social media, and promoting sites, multimedia, or brands that you’re not a part of but you love will help show your audience a more personal side of you (without getting too personal), which will help your products to reach a larger, more active audience when that time comes.
1. It’s not outside of your grasp
“I don’t see the appeal of Twitter.”
“Social media’s just a trend.”
“My work will speak for itself.”
These are nothing but excuses. In the fields that we hope to go into, our presence on social media can make or break how well we do in our work. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope aren’t sites that should be ignored, they’re things that we should learn and develop to our own benefit.
So stop making excuses and build your presence now. Or as my spirit animal Shia LaBeouf would say, “DO IT! JUST! DO IT!”