COM0014-Blog#7-Personal Reflection

I learned a lot throughout this course. Initially, I based everything I knew off of what I was seeing online. It looks sometimes like everyone is trying to emulate each other and hide who they really are with filters and editing. I thought I had to use similar tools and make my content look similar to theirs in order to draw people in. In going through the course, I learned the opposite. I learned that telling my personal story will set me apart from the rest and draw people in. I actually wrote a blog post while taking the course that was the most successful post I’ve written, and I believe it’s because I opened up and showed how I really feel about the subject I wrote about.

I really like that that I’ve learned how important storytelling is. My entire blog is based around telling my story as well as stories about how I see the world. The web address is even my name: www.lbradley.ca. I initially started the blog just for fun and to have a place to write. Now I know that it could actually become something that matters to people. I also have more confidence in how I write. I’m planning to continue with my writing and I’m hoping that, through telling my story, I will be able to help others along the way who have lived similar things.

Laura Bradley (40803034)

COM0014-Blog#6: Do People Know Your Story?

89EB6703-B420-4BB1-9D78-71EAC56F314DSoon after having a heart transplant I started to hear all kinds of myths linked specifically to heart transplants. Some of the myths are linked to life expectancy, some are linked to overall health. The myth that struck and bothered me the most as a 13-year-old whose life had just been completely flipped upside down, was the myth about identity.

A major challenge I faced after transplant was no longer knowing who was. My heart died. I didn’t understand that I didn’t die with it. I thought what made me, me was gone. I didn’t know how to be anymore. I didn’t know who I was, and I certainly didn’t know how to manage it all. The things I was used to, that I held onto, that I relied on for comfort, all changed at once. Part of this was just because I was entering my teenage years. Some of it was normal but I’m still not clear on which parts. In the middle of it all, I was hearing stories about how heart transplant recipients adopted some of the personality traits of their donors. So, I had my heart taken from me and I was being told I wasn’t me anymore. If someone had asked me who I was then, I may have run away.

It’s been 18 years and for most of those years I never felt like I was doing enough. I only now realize that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I was healing and figuring out who I was. Those myths don’t bother me anymore because I now know that this life is a constant journey towards learning who I am.

Laura Bradley (40803034)

COM0014-Blog#5: Personal Brand

In August I started a blog which I wanted to use as a space to write about my life as a Heart Transplant Recipient. Since then I have written 8 posts on varying topics. Sometimes I would comment on things people said to me, sometimes about things I would say to myself. The purpose is to share what I go through so that I no longer keep going through it alone.

When I was young, I was very shy. I even wrote a post about it. I eventually got tired of being shy and decided a blog would be a great way of helping myself break free of my shyness. If ever I start to doubt myself I remember this quote by Anais Nin and I’m reminded of why I’m doing it: “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.

What sets me apart is not only what I’ve been through as a kid who needed and received a new heart, but also my willingness to share deep personal experiences with my friends, family, and whoever else is reading. Today in fact, I posted my most personal post yet : http://lbradley.ca/2020/02/18/february-14th-2020/. It’s about my experience going through a day of medical tests. I talk about being afraid and feeling immature for being afraid. In one day, it has become my most popular post yet. I chose to tell the truth through personal story and that’s what sets me apart. I didn’t hide anything or sensor anything or try to model myself after what someone else is doing online. I’m so proud of myself for taking this leap, starting to write for others, and learning about myself and my personal brand in the process.

Laura Bradley (40803034)

COM0014-Blog#4: B2C Case Study

Knix is a company that sells intimates to women. They are mostly based online with only two physical stores across Canada. According to their website knix.ca, the company began with crowdfunding for leak resistant underwear in 2013. Since then, it has grown into a company that makes a line of intimate clothing for women with the aim of helping women feel more comfortable and confident.

Since they are mainly online, they use social media influencers to help promote their products. I happen to follow two influencers on Instagram that promote Knix: @thebirdspapaya and @amyin613. Both of these women are from Ontario and though they promote the products differently, they both focus on feeling comfortable and body positivity. This concept has become big on social media and Knix has been listening and is using it to achieve their success. More and more women have benefitted from positive messages and are learning to love their bodies exactly as they are and Knix builds clothing to support this.  Knix also employs these influencers as models for their ad campaigns. @thebirdspapaya can be spotted on the knix.ca website, on their social media accounts, and even on buses.

The use of real people, like the two influencers I mentioned, who are varying shapes and sizes in advertising is becoming more and more popular in the advertising world, especially when marketing to women. It seems to be resonating very well with customers. Since 2013, they have gone from selling uniquely online to beginning to build physical stores. According to the article “Can Knix win the 12$ billion underwear wars?”, and article by fastcompany.com, Knix continues to grow and plans on “leaning into customer photo shoots, both as a marketing tool, and a source of customer feedback.” They foresee building even more stores if this success continues. Based on the company’s growth in the last 7 years, their model is working, and they will continue to grow.

Laura Bradley (40803034)

COM0014-Blog#2-Writing a Quality Post

One of my main goals for 2020 is to write consistently for my personal blog. I have learned this week in reading module two of the COM0014 Algonquin College course that there are a few main things to consider when writing a quality blog post; storytelling, engaging your audience, and communication styles. Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 9.34.22 PM

In my experience storytelling is very important. Telling a personal story or stories of how I experience the world is what my readers relate to and often what brings them to comment and tell me a little about their personal stories. To me, telling a personal story is a great way to build a relationship with potential readers.

One of the topics that I find very interesting when discussing communication styles is “begin with the end in mind”. When I start writing, I almost never know where it is going to go. In fact, I start writing when I finally decide to stop worrying about where I want the blog post to go. Once I start writing and figure out what my post is about, then I decide how to engage with my audience. Often, I ask a question and ask them to leave a comment. I will definitely implement some of the advice in the course to try to increase engagement and readership.

For new bloggers I recommend starting off by getting what is in your head onto the page. Then, reread your work considering how you are telling the story, if you are properly using communication tools and ensure that you are asking your audience for feedback.

Laura Bradley (040803034)

COM0014-Blog #1: More Than a Vacation

One of my favourite things about my last vacation was the coffee! Let me explain.

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Coffee in Curaçao

My mom and I recently went on a 12 day southern Caribbean Cruise. Sounds magical right? It absolutely was. I’ve been on a few cruises but none were this long. We stopped in 5 places; Sint. Marteen, Antigua, Barbados, Curaçao, and Aruba.

I’ve always wanted to see the southern Caribbean so this cruise was already highly anticipated, but it also came at the right time in my life. I had just been promoted and started my new job just 2 months before the trip. It was a big jump for me and I was completely overwhelmed. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t remembering that I was new at this and I’m allowed time to learn. I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to take care of myself. Everything felt awful. Have you been through his? It took one not so friendly email from a co-worker for me to kind of have a break down. I know, crying at work is never the goal, right? In the middle of all of this, it was time to stop drowning, get on a boat, and literally sail away from my problems.

Mom and I quickly got into a routine that promoted some primo relaxation. Midday naps, snacks whenever we felt like it, and our daily cocktail. We started to meet people and get to know them. I love that. I love meeting people and getting to know about their lives. The people you meet on a cruise are from all over the world! Have you ever been on a cruise? If you can, I highly recommend it! That is how we met Jhon. Jhon worked at the buffet. It seemed like he was working all of the time. He worked really hard, was always smiling, kind and always new exactly when and how we liked our coffee.

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Flag Ceremony: Crew members from all over the world with their Country’s flag

Every time we went to the buffet for a coffee break, we got to know a little bit more about him. When we asked how he was doing, no matter what, he’d always say “Never been better!”. We found out that he is my age and has a family back home in the Philippines that he is working hard for. He has a little girl named Hope who’s 3rd birthday he was about to miss. You could see the sadness on his face though he never stopped smiling. Their daughters name reflected the sign of hope they received when she came into their lives. With Hope, they new everything would get better. Soon after, Jhon was offered this job and was able to provide for his family.

The people I met on this trip helped me realize that I was going to be ok. I was going to get through it. I had been through far worse. When I got home, I took charge, and everything got better. Everything got better because of a coffee break I took while on vacation.

Laura Bradley (040803034)

 

There’s an App for that!

I don’t how many times at work lately I’ve said there’s an app for that to the surprise of my less techy coworkers. I like to try to find the easiest way to do things. I just started this new job in September after finishing my degree and was brought into the world of HR programs, having to put in benefits claims, and all kinds of other programs we must use to manage our careers. Initially I didn’t know how people did it all without their own secretaries! Please tell me I’m not the only one who can never remember their passwords? Do you get locked out of your accounts too? Well, I have good news folks: there’s an app for that.

When apps first came out, I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t understand that they are basically software programs with a new fancy alias. They began as programs that you add to your phone and branched out to tablets and laptops. According to Mehul Rajput in his article “Tracing the History and Evolution of Mobile Apps”, an app is basically “a computer generated program designed and developed to run on an iPhone”. He also says, “apps are easy to access and simply make your life better as a result.” Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

I’ll admit, it took me some time, over the years, to figure out apps. It took me even longer to figure out how they could be helpful. It’s social media apps that really got me hooked. Right now, my favourite one is Instagram. Instagram is actually a program that started out as an app and was adapted for a computer, unlike Facebook that started out as a platform accessed through a computer that was adapted into app form. Elise Moreau in “What is Instagram, Anyway?” explains that Instagram can be accessed on a computer but for viewing only. Users must use the app to upload and share.

What do you think about apps? Do you still find it confusing or do you feel like an app master like I sometimes do? Do they make your life easier? Do you have a favourite one? How many of you wouldn’t get up in the morning if it weren’t for your clock app? Personally, my life is a lot easier now that I have my HR app, the app for my benefits, the essential calendar app, and the 25 morning alarms I have set in my clock app. I even have an app that allowed me to proctor exams remotely today! Of course, I can’t forget my favourites; any app that tells people to bring me food!

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Facebook: How much do you really use apps? Are they important tools in your life? Or are they simply portals to your favourite social media escapes? Check out my latest blog to find out how I use apps to make my new work life easier. http://bit.ly/thereisanapp

Instagram: There’s an app for that! Check out how I figured out that apps could help me in my new job. http://bit.ly/thereisanapp

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Is Facebook Really Dying?

Do you still use Facebook? I remember in 2007 hearing about this “Facebook” thinking it was similar to my space but cooler and I decided to sign up because all my friends were doing it. Facebook ended up being a big part of my college experience. We’d message each other through Facebook even if we were sitting next to each other in class. We’d connect to find out when and where to hang out. Of course, it was also a great resource for finding out where the closest party was happening. Facebook grew very quickly and we all totally forgot about MySpace.

I still have my Facebook page. It’s evolved a lot. I’ve accumulated pictures and memories. I still use it to connect with my friends. I don’t see myself deleting it anytime soon. I recently started working in a University and I hear from students all of the time that Facebook is dying. Apparently, Snapchat is way cooler now. I’ve tried to use Snapchat but it’s really not my thing. I don’t get it.

So, what are the facts? Is Facebook really dying? In his article “Is Facebook Slowly Dying”, Giovanbattista Cimmino says “Many adults now use Facebook as a glorified address book”. He says that young people “jump to the latest trend without a second thought” and that “Facebook is now a dinosaur”. According to Elizabeth Orley in her article “Is Facebook dying in 2019” it’s not that clear. She says that “people are so emerged into the platform it makes it hard to get rid of it for many users” and that it will be hard for us to give it up.

There are many varying opinions online, so what’s yours? Do you still use Facebook? Are you a business owner that relies on it? Have you already moved away from Facebook and if so, what do you use now? Is there something that us diehard Facebook users have been missing out on? Tell us what we’ve been missing out on or if you’re not ready to let go yet in the comments below.

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Facebook: Do you think Facebook is dying? I hear this a lot from younger people. To them Facebook is no longer cool. Check out “Is Facebook Really Dying?” on the blog! http://bit.ly/FacebookReallyDying

Twitter: Are you still on Facebook? Do you think it’s dying? Check out this week’s post on the blog to find out. http://bit.ly/FacebookReallyDying

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Is Social Media Bringing Us Down?

How often do you find yourself on your phone, tablet, or even work computer on some form of social media site? How often are you looking for your phone, in between chores or homework assignments, just to check out the latest buzz on Facebook or twitter? A couple of hours pass by and the dishwater is cold, and your evening has flown by without any of the things on your list being completed. It’s not a nice feeling.

What about when you log on to your favourite social media site and see that your bestie went out without you, or that someone has gotten engaged. Everyone is so happy online while you’re sitting at home alone, checking it all out from the sidelines. How does that make you feel, really? Sometimes it really gets to me. Doesn’t matter how mature I am or how much I think about my own accomplishments, something about my Facebook friends’ trip to Cuba seems so much better than everything I’ve done lately.

According to Healthline.com in their article “15 ways to Avoid Depression” social media use is addictive, can cause depression, and even lower your self-esteem. One of their suggestions is not having social media applications on your phone so that it is less accessible. They even suggest website blocking extensions that kick you off the platform after a certain amount of time.

Are these suggestions a little extreme? Do you feel like you’re in control when you’re on your preferred platform? Do you limit your own use or are you like me and find hours have gone by when you finally look up?

A study by Medical News Today’s “Can social media really cause depression?” found that using social media a lot does not cause depression. They suggest that personality has more of an impact on us getting depressed than how much we use social media. Maybe this is the category I fall into.

What do you think? Think about your life and your habits. Do you feel like you are living a healthy lifestyle? Maybe you’re getting everything done but are you getting enough sleep? Could social media be playing a role in your mood or holding you back and do you think you’ll limit your use anytime soon? Or maybe you’re killing it, living your best life. In that case, do you have any advice for the rest of us? Either way, let me know in the comments below!

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Facebook: How many times a day are you on your favourite #socialmedia platform? Do you find you’re online more than you want to be? Do you want to limit your use? Check out the blog for my take on social media and its potential link to #depression http://bit.ly/socialmediabringingusdown.

Twitter: “Is Social Media Bringing Us Down?” Check out my take on #socialmedia and it’s link to #depression on the blog http://bit.ly/socialmediabringingusdown.

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How to Become Insta-famous! Really?

How many times have you thought to yourself “life would be so much easier if I could be Instagram famous”. Me? All of the time. I come up with all kinds of ideas like getting a pug and making it famous, instantly becoming a fitness model, or actually becoming interested in makeup and fashion. I’m no fashionista, makeup aficionado, or workout guru. None of these make sense for who I am. Except maybe the pug. Who doesn’t want a pug?

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

According to wikihows “How to Become Instagram Famous”, there are four ways: a catchy Instagram name, and artful profile photo, a consistent theme, and to find a unique niche. Inc.com has an article called “11 Top Hacks to Finding Fame on Instagram” listing advice on hashtag use, marketing, and photo quality. @gettinggrowth in their article “How to Become Famous on Instagram: The Only Guide You Need in 2019” lists 22 ways with a list of what not to do at the end of the article.

So, what ACTUALLY works? How could we possibly implement all of the advice we can find online? Here’s my advice: keep your day job. Don’t think you’re going to be Instragram famous overnight. You need to build it over time, like you would a new habit. Start by going through your day and thinking about what you’d like to share. What do you enjoy? Perhaps you love flowers or have great cleaning tips. It doesn’t have to be exotic or glamorous. There will always be someone out there who will relate to you.

Start by finding your community of flower lovers or cleaning gurus. Begin posting more often, commenting more often, and building relationships. You may never get a million followers, or you may post something that goes inexplicably viral overnight. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be famous, but I can guarantee that you might have fun.

Think about what kind of community you’d like to be part of. Maybe it really is flowers that you’re into. Once you figure it out, drop a comment below. Why not build our own community? A community of people who wished they were Instagram famous. 😉

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Facebook: Ever wanted to be Instagram Famous? Is the 9 to 5 life not working for you? Need something new? Check out my latest post on the blog “How to be Insta-famous! Really?” http://bit.ly/instafamereally

Twitter: Ever wanted to be Instagram Famous? Check out my latest post on the blog “How to be Insta-famous! Really?” http://bit.ly/instafamereally

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