COMM 0015 – Assignment 1 Blog Post 1: Tools and Sources
Before beginning this first blog post, I have to admit that despite my love for social media, the amount of time I spend on my computer, iphone and ipad, I still find myself learning about new tools everyday. I have tried over the last 6 months or so to really look at all my options with respect to online tools. I think, however, that my distance from my professional life right now and being at home with my children, has made it difficult for me to put in to practice some of what I have learned through the few courses taken at Algonquin thus far. Playing online for a few weeks with these tools I have studied and reading articles is SO VERY DIFFERENT from actually using them on a day – to – day basis in a professional environment.
While I do not have professional, “real world”, experience with any real listening tools, the ones in which I feel somewhat confident in are Hootsuite and Talkwalker. Both have been fairly easy to understand and appear to offer a lot of variability and versatility to individual users.
Hootsuite will allow a user to track mentions for several different keywords such as a company, brand name, product or service, industry, the competition or a particular market term. When I imagine my use of social media in my work environment this particular tool appeals to me because my environment is so unique (Parliament) and our “market terms” are so varied.
Talkwalker is an easy social media-monitoring tool that provides updates in the form of emails of the latest and most relevant mentions as they happen. For me, the aspect of this tool that appeals to me is the ease of setting up email alerts. While I do admit that pretty much all monitoring tools these days do offer email alerts, there is something about this tool that feels easy to understand and seems to be a tool that will suite my job profile.
I certainly have more experience with online social media tools used for news and updates. For me, these tools help me to stay in touch with the professional world. They allow me to remember my industry key words, remain “in the know” with changes and keep me stimulated in a way that Facebook and Pinterest simply cannot. My two “go-to” tools for staying in the loop with news, both worldly and local and within my industry is Twitter and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has been an incredible tool for me to remain connected with individuals in my field and has allowed me to network during the time that I have been (technically) off work. I will admit that when I first logged on to LinkedIn, the amount of time required to set up a profile and become familiar with the site was a bit of a turn off. I even went so far as to log off and didn’t go back to the tool for quite some time. However the pay off is SO WORTH the time required to really set up. And I will also say that once I started setting up my profile I became more and more confident with my online language and terms appropriate for the site. As I became more familiar with it I found that I WANTED to add more information.
Twitter has fast become my go-to tool for all news related information. Whether it’s a snowy January day and I need to find out how the roads are, or whether I need to find out school news for my daughter, twitter is the first place I go to. While I still find that I don’t tweet a whole lot, I find the platform to be user friendly and very quickly becoming a trusted place for news.
Spending time on these sites, and continuing to stay connected socially, continues to broaden my horizens and challenge me in such a different way than my job would otherwise. I look forward to using listening and monitoring tools more as I become increasingly familiar with their offerings.