COM0011 – I Divorced Cable and Lived to Tell You About It.

Approximately one year ago, my boyfriend and I severed our relationship with our cable provider. In the divorce, we increased our Internet usage and decreased our monthly payments. Our cable provider tried to keep us together with unbelievable compromises. But, when it came down to it, we knew in our hearts that our relationship with cable had been changing for years.

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Our friends and families were up in arms. A haze of confusion clouded the community. Fear could be felt in the streets. People would look at us with wide eyes and a little sweat on their brow.

“No cable…But….What do you watch then? What is this cableless world you are living?”

In truth our relationship with cable had lost its spark. Reality. Drama. Sitcom… always the same rotation. It was like we had been eating pot roast for dinner every night for the entirety of our lives. Where was the spice? Where was the sweet, the savory and the zesty?

The problems piled up. Cable just wasn’t flexible enough for us. We felt like we were being held to a strict schedule, one that we just couldn’t keep. So on those cold, tasteless and lonely nights we turned to our new friend, the Internet. The Internet was ever so accommodating.

Our new friend the Internet introduced us to his close friend, YouTube.

It was an instant love affair.

YouTube. Content we want to watch and can watch whenever we want.

Unlike the one-way communication we experienced with cable, YouTube wanted to hear from us. We made many new friends within the YouTube community. Friends who taught us how to cook and how to play video games. Friends who did ridiculous things that made us laugh. Sure cable tried to do this too, but these friends talked to us through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube commenting. They asked us questions and changed their content based on our suggestions. It was like we were a part of the process, like our thoughts mattered.

Let’s face it. One way communication is not acceptable anymore. If you are giving me content I don’t like and you won’t listen to my suggestions then I am going to check out of our relationship.

Cables demise in our home was inevitable. We know what we like and we are not willing to sit through content we don’t like just to get to little tidbits that interest us.

All of our needs are met with YouTube and other online streaming subscriptions like Netflix. We are able to access all of the TV shows we want using apps on our iPad like CityTv and Global. With these options we are able to watch the shows we want, at a time that works with our schedules.

In March of this year, PBS created a news story on this topic entitled “Are millennials missing out by scrapping cable TV subscriptions?”  Below is a clip from this article which confirms a  growing trend for Millennial’s like myself leaving cable and moving toward broadband options.

This article speculates whether or not Millenials will return to traditional cable when they are able to afford it or when they pass through major life stages like starting a family. I can’t speak for others, but I know for myself that I do not foresee a future where I return to the traditional cable subscription.

Do you currently have a cable subscription? How long do you think you will maintain this subscription?

How do you think cable providers should adapt in order to fit the changing demands of Millenials and those who  will follow them?

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COM0011 – Purchasing Behaviour and Social Media

Summer has finally arrived, and like many homeowners, I have a long list of home renovations I hope to get done this summer. Recently I went through the process of choosing a landscaping company. I was surprised by the large role that social media played in my decision making process.

As a relatively new homeowner, I have very limited experience with hiring contractors to complete renovations. Given this, I first turned to my friends, family and colleagues for landscaper recommendations. Word of mouth recommendations are typically first on my list when I am planning a new purchase. I first posted to my Facebook profile asking my friends who they would recommend for landscaping services. Unfortunately, this posting did not gain that much traction and I had few recommendations.

So, I did a quick search on Google and Facebook for landscapers offering services in my area.

When I was evaluating the potential landscaper websites and social media some of the key things I was looking for were: current and updated content, customer reviews and examples of their work.

If a company had an inactive Facebook page they were immediately removed from the list. I felt that if the company was not updating their Facebook page that they may be unreliable or too busy. In addition, a current Facebook page or website also indicated to me that they were dedicated to their work. There are many people who offer landscaping services, and some of these companies take it a bit more seriously than others. I felt that by choosing a landscaper with active content on their social media, I had a higher chance of hiring a company that was more established and therefore more trustworthy.

I also considered customer reviews in my decision making process. I discovered I trusted reviews on Facebook pages more than testimonials on websites. On Facebook I was able to see the profiles of the people who had left reviews. I found I placed a higher value on reviews that were written by people who shared mutual friends with me. The video below provides some quick stats on how consumers use social media and the internet to make purchasing decisions.

Once I had chosen my final landscaping company I noticed that the company I had chosen based off of their social media presence also had ads placed around town and I a company vehicle that I had seen on two separate occasions. These other advertising tactics verified for me that the company was organized, dependable and established.

Before I went through this experience, I knew, based on my education, that a company with an active social media presence would be more successful than those that are inactive. However, I think this was the first time that I experienced the importance of an active social media presence as a consumer.

What role does social media play in your purchasing decisions?

COM0011 – Thanks for the Magic!

In the winter of 2001, just after the new year had arrived, I was gifted a book called Green Rider written by Kristen Britain. Over the cold winter I devoured the 500 pages detailing an epic journey of a young girl as she bravely fought off magical creatures and fought for her King.Green Rider - Book 1

I was enthralled. I was forever changed. I was devastated.

Like all stories this one came to an end and I was abruptly back in the cold of a Northern Winter.

In 2001 there was no word of a second book. I believed that I had been on a epic journey that had come to a final end. Then, in 2003 I was perusing through a Coles Bookstore and my heart stopped. By some sort of miracle Kristen had answered all my hopes and dreams and written a second book in the series. So off I went on a magical journey filled with royalty, magical beasts and endless adventure.

Flash forward 12 years and I am impatiently waiting the announcement for the publication date for book 6, but it’s a different type of waiting. I am now an informed reader connected to the author of my most favourite series in a way that 13 year old Jacqueline could never have comprehended.

Today I follow Kristen Britain on Facebook and today she posted this image:

It's done!

I am filled with excitement and anticipation. The next book is done! She knows how it starts and ends. The publication date is unknown and I think I may perish while I wait.

Is ignorance bliss? Have the informative powers of social media given me more agony then bliss?

I don’t think so!

I would rather follow along with Kristen as she shares each milestone for the next book. As a result of our social connection, I am more connected and dedicated to the series than I was in 2001. This is a magical example of the far reaching trans-formative powers of social media. Social media has transformed the reader experience into an interactive one (not counting the classic choose your own adventure books.)

In an instant I could get a message to my favourite author.

Think about that.

This is a huge change. Before the social media era letters were sent via Canada Post. Maybe you would get a response. Maybe you wouldn’t.

Now, it takes but an instant and you expect a timely response, even if it is just a thumbs up.

So, today I am thankful for the connection, thankful to be part of the journey. And, like a true fan I will do what has always been done – I will pass the time by re-reading or listening to her other books over and over until the next one arrives!

What magic has social media brought to your life?

COM0011 – The Best Way to Finish an Unpleasant Task is to Start

Every-time I read an article about Social Media my brain goes merrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, like the constant sound of a still working but pretty much broken fridge.

My search for information begins with good intentions. It is probably a Tuesday morning, I’m feeling ambitious. I’m sitting at my desk looking at a Facebook page that can only be described as a half deflated balloon that was once yellow. The most recent post is from last Tuesday. No one liked it. No one shared it. What was the point of it really? Ambitious me, positive me, says that wasn’t great but I can do better! I can solve this today…. before lunch… because after lunch I just don’t have the time. I have 2 hours. Totally plausible. I am superwomen!

A quick Google search later, I’m on step 3 of 10 Steps to Perfecting Social Media for Business. Step 1, I got that one in the bag. Step 2, I already knew that. Step 3 interesting point I should probably do that….merrrrrrrrrrrrr.

It’s lunch time.

I’ll deal with this next week.

I’ll have more time then…..

….

keep-calm1Hello, My name is Jacqueline and I am overwhelmed by Social Media. I feel like this statement is one that should be whispered in a room with only your closest most confident friends.

There is so much information available, so many lists and pro-tips for managing Social Media for businesses. How do you handle the clutter? In the spirit of honesty, I’ll admit that my first instinct is to retract, turn off all my devices and sit in a dark room. Lucky for me, along with being superwomen, I am a stubborn perfectionist. Thus, why I am currently enrolled in this course.

So for the next 16 days I shall examine the following 16 tips as presented in an article by Redhead Marketing & PR:

  • Pick Your Platforms
  • Define Your Goals
  • Be Highly Selective of Your Social Media Manager(s)
  • Commit
  • Integrate…or Disintegrate
  • Treat Each Channel Individually
  • Calendar and Schedule
  • Avoid Constant Promotion
  • Diversify Content
  • Use Images & Video
  • Engage with Contests
  • Drive Traffic to Your Website
  • Be Responsive
  • Avoid the First Person
  • Be Grammatically Correct
  • Analytics is Your Friend

You can see the full article for these tips at
http://redheadmarketingpr.com/blog/social-media-best-practices-for-businesses/

This article may not be the best. There may be controversial suggestions. I may think some of these tips are bogus. However, I think we all have to start somewhere, we all have to pick a point to dive in. I think the trick when trying to conquer the Social Media beast is to take it tip-by-tip. Otherwise we will all be sitting in a dark room, in a corner, rocking back and forth with the sounds of broken appliances haunting us.

COM0011 – Being Real with Social Media

As a Millennial, I have spent the entirety of my teen and adult years connected through some sort of Social Media. When I first began my journey with Social Media, there was no discussion about the safety of being online and the risks associated with putting information about yourself on the internet. In 2006, I created my Facebook profile. The following four years were littered with an obscene amount of photo albums and daily updates on my mostly mundane life. Similar to many young Social Media users, I created the Social Persona of a girl who needed to prove that I was away at school and having the time of my life – a girl desperate for likes and a higher friend count.

With age, and perhaps a growing awareness of the impacts of Social Media, my Social Media preferences and Persona has changed. My Social Persona has become a fun and professional women with a quirky flare. Instead of wanting a high friend count, I am focused on having a small group of genuine friends. I limit my posts to sharing information I think my friends will find interesting and I primarily use Facebook to learn about news from friends, brands and through trending topics. I have also adjusted my security settings to limit what content is visible to non-friends and also control some of the content my friends share on my page. I have carried over these preferences and my fun, professional and quirky Social Persona to my LinkedIn profile.

Overall, I think my Social Persona’s have been a genuine representation of the real me – my strengths and my weaknesses. I don’t believe that I live a censored life – in fear that I may put something out there that will tarnish my reputation. I am me, in person and on Social Media.

While my experience with developing a business Social Persona has been limited, when I am managing a businesses Social Media I aim to maintain the same tactic of being authentic and honest. In the clip below Chobani founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, discusses how to have a relaxed, personable attitude on social media.

http://www.inc.com/hamdi-ulukaya/how-to-run-social-media-with-personality.html

Ulukaya’s message can be applied to both business and personal Social Persona’s. Be real. When you are real people will be willing to forgive any mistakes you do make.

How many Social Persona’s do you have?
How has your Social Persona evolved since you first entered the Social Media scene?
Is your Social Persona a genuine representation of you?

COM0011 – Becoming an Active Participant with Social Media

In 2017, together as Canadians we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. This momentous occasion is sure to give Canadians across the nation goosebumps of national pride, but has it been marred by a simple logo competition that exploits students and all designers?

Late in 2014, Heritage Canada launched a logo contest for design students to develop a logo to help celebrate the 150th anniversary. While I understand the desire for the Government to engage and include students in this event, I, like many of my fellow Registered Graphic Design professionals, feel that logo competitions and speculative work undermines the value of a designers work. Topic Simple has a great video that describes the impact of spec work.

In January of this year RGD students reached out to the creative community asking them to use Social Media to speak out against this competition. Students and professionals across the Nation were able to come together and rally against this competition with the power of Social Media. Using the hashtag #MyTimeHasValue students and professionals began posting photos of themselves holding a sign with the hashtag. I myself took part in this social campaign!

Me with my fellow design professionals and students getting social with the #MyTimeHasValue Social Campaign

Me with my fellow design professionals and students getting social with the #MyTimeHasValue Social Campaign

While an online petition had also been created, it was through the use of Social Media and the power of the hashtag that this issue got the attention of media outlets such as Global News and The Huffington Post. Below is a link to the clip of the Global News story which even includes the photo that I took!

http://globalnews.ca/news/1781713/canadian-design-industry-rebels-against-ottawas-canada-150-logo-contest/

I found the experience of participating in a Social Campaign very empowering. I truly felt as though I was part of a community that expanded beyond my geographical location. Up until this point, I would have characterized my use of Social Media as passive, an observer rather then an active participant. But on that day, I felt a slight pulse of the true power of Social Media.

At the end of April a winner for the logo competition was selected. While this Social Campaign was not able to put a stop to this competition, it definitely helped bring awareness to the greater issue of speculative work within the design industry. So in my opinion that’s a win.

How would you characterize your social media personality? Are you an active or passive participant?