October 7, 2022

5 Takeaways From This Class

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.

  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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!”



7 thoughts on “5 Takeaways From This Class

  1. I love all of your points. My favorite one is that you can always have a second life. It’s definitely something that I did not think about before taking this class. It’s crazy how people are able to have complexly different lives on the Internet compared to their real lives. Social media definitely gives people outlets, whether they are is a negative or positive. Thank you for this post. It definitely outlined some really important key ideas from this course.

  2. Reading this was like watching a movie trailer for this class. Something that resonated with me as well is how I present my voice over social media. You wrote, “Have your voice consistently being a part of the evolving conversations in social media…” and I think this hits the spot. Being an active social media user means so much more than monitoring and retweeting. Replying and sharing our own perspective not only puts us in the conversation, but it connects us to others who value what we are saying. But as we learned in class, lets stay away from religion and politics.

  3. Awesome summary of this class! We went over many topics, each with their own take-aways and insights. I really like that you distilled these take-aways into something that had voice and is digestible.

  4. Loved the post, Craig. I think social media is such an interesting topic because we really dont know much about it yet. Are “likes” and “retweets” going to be used as measurements for success in the future? Will we shift more of our lives online for the masses to see or less? I’m not sure, but for the mean time, becoming more educated about the whole medium has been exciting and valuable for the near future.

    -Alex Cano, p.s. think you got the wrong twitter handle on there man but thanks for the shoutout!

  5. Hi Craig,

    I definitely agree with all of your points! I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a professor make a speech about networking. But, it really is about “who you know not what you know.” Judging from Kayla Glanville’s guest lecture, it’s okay to not “know everything.” We learned so much about social media strategy over the course of this term but I think you covered the high points. Analytics was definitely a scary thought for me to delve into, but after the social media audit I am feeling a bit better about it.

    Loved your post!
    -Makenzie Hammond

  6. Craig,
    thanks for the laugh and the light-hearted blog post as I’m sure we all needed this. You made some really good points about what we all learned this term, and it was nice to see it all summed up!
    P.S. I hope at some point you take the advice from your professors and get a really cool job where you can buy all the jet skis you want.

Comments are closed.