Closing Time

Wow, it’s the last blog entry. That went by fast. Creating and maintaining a blog has got to be one of the most engaging assignments I’ve ever had to complete for school. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of blogging (The Struggle of Blogging post, Exhibit A), but it was definitely a worthwhile experience.

I wanted to use this last post to come full circle and re-ask the question: what is emerging media? Em Emerging Media put it this way: Emerging media is the evolution of utilizing technology to share information in new and innovative ways.

It’s a pretty vague definition, but I think it works. While we can forecast and predict future tech trends, there is no way to be 100% certain about the future of anything—including technology, media, and marketing.

I found this article by Brian Solis over on Social Media Today. Solis makes a great point about what marketers are doing wrong with emerging media:

The truth is that in a time when we could change everything, we’re running without clarity of direction or vision. We’re not necessarily talking about a revolution as much as we’re conforming revolutionary opportunities into familiar packages. We’re merely taking what we know and applying it to what’s new. In many ways, we’re working against ourselves.

Today in what is nothing less than an emergent moment for marketing and communications, I see even the best of them leaning back instead of leaning forward. It takes a different philosophy. It takes a different approach.

We’re in such a dynamic time for technology. Things change daily and the future is unwritten. If marketers plan to use emerging technology, they’ve got to abandon old marketing tricks and make new tricks. “One size fits all” cannot apply to this industry.

As I move through the IMC program, it’s becoming so clear to me that a good company/consumer relationship is the product of integration. The collaboration of PR, marketing, creative, and other strategies builds up into a seamless campaign. As new media continues to emerge, companies will have to incorporate them into the marketing mix.

Well that’s it! I hope you got something from one of these posts! Thanks for reading!

Brittany

 

Mobile Security & National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Our final discussion this week focused on mobile privacy. With each post I read, I started to get more and more wary about how much information I’ve been giving my phone. Saved passwords, location services, and now even my fingerprints—I’m giving up bits and pieces of my personal information in return for a few saved seconds here and there.

For the past 10 years, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has sponsored National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October. I love this year’s theme—Our Shared Responsibility—because it reminds us that internet safety is everyone’s responsibility. Content providers are responsible for securing their websites/apps and informing of privacy policies. Consumers are responsible for knowing to whom they’re providing their information, and for what reasons.

Over these past couple of weeks, you’ve seen my love of infographics. Here’s a short piece of one that the NCSA published in honor of the 10th annual Cyber Security Awareness Month.

NCSAM_10_Years

Did you see that? By 2017, mobile users are expected to have paid more than $1.3 trillion on their devices. My grandmother didn’t even like the idea of me paying one of her bills online. Just imagine if she knew I paid most of my bills through my cell phone! It’s amazing to see how technology can transform something as common as bill paying.

The NCSA has some great resources so that we can all play our part in educating about cyber security. Here are a few helpful tips that even I forget:

  • Stop & think before downloading an app. Before blindly accepting an app’s terms of service or creating an account to access additional features, know exactly what you’re getting into. Review the privacy policy and understand what data is being transmitted.
  • Protect your Wi-Fi! Be wary of connecting to Wi-Fi in public places and be sure to adjust your security settings so that your device recognizes that it’s a public network. When you’re using public Wi-Fi, avoid websites and apps that require you to log in.
  • Update your software. For it to be such an easy process, I’m usually behind on updating my apps. However, phone and app updates usually include security updates along with feature updates.

Go out and celebrate National Cyber Security Month and share a cyber security tip to someone who needs it!

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History of Search Engines [Infographic]

I originally intended to write a post about Google vs. other search engines, but I came across this great infographic on the history of search engines. It’s from 2011 so some of the information has definitely updated since then, but here are some highlights that I wanted to point out:

  • 75% of web users never pass the first page of results when searching for something
  • 46% of web searches are about product information or services
  • Archie (a nickname for archive) was the first search engine and lasted from 1990-1995
  • No surprise, but Google is the top web browser, with almost 85% of the market share in 2010. (Updated statistics bring Google down to 65%, with Bing and Yahoo making a come-up).

I was surprised by some of the active search engines that I had no idea about, like ChaCha for example. Also, seeing Altavista in the search engine history took me back to elementary school. The 18-year-old search engine was actually shut down by Yahoo in July of this year. RIP Altavista.

Check out the infographic below. It’s long, but an interesting read.

 

TV on Twitter

Last week’s lesson focused on how companies are using social media to market their brands and their products. A more recent phenomenon is the presence of television shows on social media. My Thursday nights are dedicated to watching ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and social media has made the experience even better.

 greysscandal My Fall television lineup is back in action!

Twitter realizes how integral their website has become to television viewers. From hashtags and trending topics to official accounts and live-tweets, television watching hasn’t been the same since Twitter came on the scene.

From Twitter’s dev blog, the question is posed: “Do TV viewers want a synchronous interactive experience?” Judging by the amount of users who use Twitter to interact with their TV shows, I’d say absolutely. Just check out the video below for yourself.

 

The blog post also includes this eye-opening statistic:

And here’s the most important thing to know: Across networks and genres, when TV shows bring hashtags, accounts, or other Twitter elements into the broadcast itself, we see a direct and immediate increase in engagement on Twitter—anywhere from two to ten times more Tweets created while the shows air.

TV + Twitter is so big now that Nielsen actually has a Twitter TV Ratings List, ranking weekly episodes based on their Twitter popularity. Neilsen tracks four metrics:

  1. Tweets associated with the episode
  2. The amount of unique Twitter accounts that tweeted about the show
  3. How many times tweets about the episode were seen
  4. How many of those unique Twitter accounts (with tweets about the particular show) are seen

Last week’s top 10 shows were:

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. American Horror Story: Cove
  3. Catfish: The TV Show
  4. The X Factor
  5. The Voice
  6. Jimmy Kimmel Live
  7. Dancing with the Stars
  8. WWE Monday Night RAW
  9. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
  10. The Voice

Does it surprise you that Twitter is so popular in relation to television shows? Do you tweet or use Facebook while watching television? Let me know in the comments!

The Struggle of Blogging (Part Deux): What Makes a Good Blog?

Data from a 2012 Neilsen study found that there are over 181 million blogs worldwide. Back in 2007, a similar study only tracked 36 million.

Blogging is booming. With millions and millions of blogs, how do you get your blog to stand out? And what makes a good blog? After thinking and researching, I’ve concluded that those are trick questions. Maybe the best question is: How do I make my blog work for me?

In my last post, I included an infographic that described five types of bloggers:

  • the part-time professional
  • the hobbyist
  • the full-time professional
  • the corporate
  • the entrepreneur

While the full-time, professional blogger is blogging for an income, the “I Love Fall” blogger is doing it for fun (and probably posting a lot during the fall season). Therefore, instead of just making a blog “good,” maybe it’s best for it to be “fitting.” What makes a personal blog successful may not work for a corporate blog, or vice versa. That was an epiphany of sorts for this novice blogger. One size does not fit all for blogs.

Searching online for “good blog tips” or “successful blogs” pulls up millions of results, but after sorting through, I’ve put together a list of tips that fit.

  1. Know the intended audience. In any form of communication, you’ve got to know your audience or you’ll run the risk of your message not being received.
  2. Develop a goal. Are you trying to gain readers, share knowledge, make money, or do all of those things and more? Maybe you just want to write. Know what you want for your blog, stick to that goal, and then try to make it happen. Forbes 14 Ways To Make Your Blog Get Real Attention article puts it like this: “determine what the value is that you will provide to your audience and continue to deliver that value”
  3. Be timely. For the hobbyist, posting 2-3 times per week is appropriate for maintaining a blog and not really being focused on growth. For the blogger who wants to grow readership as quickly as possible, 3-5 posts per day is recommended (source).
  4. Content matters. With over 181 million blogs in the world, make yours one that matters, even if it’s just to a few people. Publish quality content, include links and graphics, and make it an interesting, informative read.

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Blogging Stats [Infographic]

This post serves as the interlude between The Struggle of Blogging parts one and two. While researching “what makes a good blog?” I came across this infographic on Social Media Today and wanted to share. It’s a long one, but it has a ton of interesting info. I didn’t know that the Huffington Post was the highest earning blog or that popular gossip website, Perez Hilton.com, was the third highest earning.

blogging infographic

 

Did you find anything surprising from this infographic? Let me know in the comments!

The Struggle of Blogging (Part One): What Makes a Good Blogger?

So, this has been hard.

And by this, I mean blogging. It’s strange to have this much difficulty with blogging for my coursework, considering all of the time I spend on my various social networking accounts.

This week, our discussion question focused on “unofficial” blogs, a blog specific to a particular company but not actually affiliated. It made me think about my own blog and why I was having such a hard time with this experience. Not just Examining Emerging Media, but other blogs I’ve tried to start before. What makes a good blogger? What makes a good blog?

In part one of this post, I want to go over what makes a good blogger. Below, I’ve listed five characteristics:

Buzzworthy– As a good blogger, you want readers. Whether you’re writing anonymously or not, you’ll want someone to read your words. Otherwise, you’d be writing in a diary. Good bloggers build buzz for their blog and attract more readers through word-of-mouth approaches.

Literate- So, this is a cheat one because it’s obvious, but a good blogger is able to read and write. Read AND write. READ. Reading other blogs, for starters. Just search “how to become a better writer” and many of the solutions will include a suggestion to read more. I’ve always found that reading helps me focus on my own writing voice and appreciate it. I toy around with how I would phrase something differently, or where I would take the next paragraph. Reading gets you thinking about what you’ll write next.

Open– A blog is public. A good blogger knows this and is open with his/her readers. Depending on the blog topic, the degree of openness can be negotiated. However, you’re expecting complete strangers to read your words and value your opinion. The least a blogger could do is be open about who he/she is and allow readers to piece together the person behind the screen.

GGenuine– Good bloggers need to be genuine in their posts. Why blog about cats if you hate cats? You’ll hate it, your posts will suffer, and your readers will notice.

Entertaining– A good blogger doesn’t have to be hilarious or whimsical, but his/her posts should be entertaining. As a blog reader, I wouldn’t want to feel like I am reading a textbook even if I am researching something academic. There’s a way to make information interactive and conversational without losing a professional tone.

Reliable– A good blogger is reliable. Inconsistent posts here and there (pointing at myself) annoys readers and makes it hard to build a relationship. Even monthly posts are reliable, as long they happen every month. Drop off that schedule and it shows how much value you’ve put into your blog.

Looking at the characteristics I’ve listed above, I can see some traits that I lack that may be hindering me from being as successful with blogging as I’d like. What do you guys think of these characteristics? Can you think of any other traits that would fit better (I even challenge you to stay within the b-l-o-g-g-e-r theme)? Let me know in the comments.

Part two is coming soon!