Why should the stars have all the fun? This was exactly the question that encouraged a party that, we believe, rivals the one at the Kodak Center.
For the past two years, my friends and I have thrown formal viewing parties as we eagerly anticipate the announcement of “Picture of the Year.” This years party included chocolate fondue, champagne, wine, a healthy selection of craft beer, and more. Check out the results here!
Last year my cousins and some friends up in Canada both got me really interested in downhill mountain biking. Downhill mountain biking usually involves a bike with between 6 and 8 inches of rear suspension travel and a lot of pads. Ski lifts are converted to carry your bike to the top of the mountain and trails are built through trees. The rest is mostly luck. Fortunately, I almost always make it to the bottom.
During the semester, I was introduced to WordPress for the first time. As I became more familiar with the service, it became easier to update my blog and share it with friends. In addition to becoming familiar with WordPress and blogging, I learned some really interesting skills from classmates during their individual presentations. Some notable presentations include: Instructions for adding YouTube videos directly to your PowerPoint Presentations and the introduction to the website, dropbox.com, which I know use on a regular basis in place of my flash drive.
Something I have, tirelessly, pushed on my friends and family over the last few years is the iPhone. And I can proudly say that the majority of them now own one. Whether or not I directly influenced this phenomenon or not is of little interest to me. A greater reward than bragging rights are the added benefits I get from more and more of my network using iPhones. Some of the obvious benefits include apps that only work between 2 iPhone’s, like Facetime. Other benefits are more functional, like shared shopping lists. These apps allow my room mates and I to update a shopping list that is synced to everyone’s phones.
The added benefits from my viral marketing of the iPhone can also be described by something called the network effect. The network effect describes the increase in value of a good or service that is parallel to the number of users. In this case, the more people I could convince to buy iPhones, the more valuable my own iPhone became to me and the more reasons I had to suggest the iPhone to others.
Something useful I’ve learned this semester is the option to add tags to your posts. From there you can make these tags visible on your blog for others to better navigate through topics interesting to them. Below I’ve posted a presentation that takes you step by step through the process of tagging your posts and enabling the plugin to make them visible on your blog.
Feel free to ask questions if you get stuck.
In his column, Nobody Gets Social Media… Yet, Gary Stein offers a new definition for media: any moment when the brand and the consumer come into contact with each other.
As I began to consider this definition, I pondered the ways that social media is new and different from traditional media. In a way, social media created a new realm of “free” advertising. Popular mediums for social media (facebook, twitter, youtube, etc) are all free. They can also provide publishing platforms that allow anyone to publish media previously only available on television, where commercial spots can be costly.
Social media also offers something that has always existed, community. Community a very basic result of civilization. Social media has simply found a way to “mass produce” community. For better or for worse, we can now develop relationships without experiencing human contact.
This unique opportunity requires users to develop a new set of skills. For individuals it may come more naturally, or the consequences of not perfecting mass community may be minimal. For companies hoping to develop a brand, however, this process should be more intentional. Their online presence will likely be critical to building customer loyalty and a strong brand.
While there are many things that I could do to attract more people to my blog, one option is to add more pictures to my posts. Pictures naturally make a blog more interesting, and with strategic tags, could even make my blog appear more often in google searches. I could track the success of this addition to my blog my comparing traffic before and after the increased use of pictures.
Another idea is to post links to my blog entries on my personal facebook page. The additional exposure to hundreds of friends is sure to draw, at least, a few views. I could measure the success of this by the response I get on facebook: impressions, clicks, comments, etc.
I realized something for the first time today, Apple has very little- if any, presence on facebook other than pages created by users (which are not in short supply). There is one page titled, Apple Inc., which simply quotes the description of the company from wikipedia. It’s unclear whether it was actually created by Apple or not, and while there are no wall posts, links, or anything to capture your attention, 544,919 people like this page.
Holden, on the other hand, a small company from Portland, OR that produces high-end snowboard clothing boasts a very impressive website and facebook presence. For starters, their website features videos of snowboarders wearing every article of clothing they sell. In addition, their facebook page features tons of photos and videos posted both by the company and their fans (which total just under 5,000).
In this situation, Holden has clearly done a better job utilizing social media. They attract a strong niche market and build loyalty through quality service and products (I once received a jacket from them, valued at $300, for free because they felt bad it was on back order for over a month). Apple, however, is obviously the recognizable brand. Perhaps some of Apple’s lack of social media presence has to do with the fact that they have been around longer than social media. They became successful before facebook, and now their presence is simply unimportant. They have enough fans who produce very detailed blogs about every new product, even rumor of new product, and updates within the company that the effort on Apples part is unnecessary.