COM0015 – Event Participation

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The Event

The professional development event I have chosen to participate in is called EDCAMP. I have chosen this event because my girlfriend is currently studying in Ottawa to become a teacher and I happened to be visiting that weekend. She signed up to go to this event and I decided to tag along so I can do my assignment on this as well. At first I thought to myself why I would do my assignment on an event that is directed towards teachers but after attending such an event I realised the bigger picture. Yes, a lot of current students studying to become teachers and those who were already a teacher attended but the main purpose of this event was focused towards professional development. The fact that it was a teacher event did not matter, it was how individuals in this field can improve, adapt and learn new methods to better themselves as educators. Therefore, the journey does not end after obtaining a position in your desired field. You must continue to learn and educate yourself to acquire the skills and knowledge for both personal development and career advancement. This is a link to their word press: http://edcampottawa2013.wordpress.com/

What I Learned and Contributed

I had interacted with several people during this event because it was not a typical event where you sit down and have someone lecture you throughout the entire day. Conversations were built on ideas that were submitted at the beginning of the event by everyone who attended. Meaning the attendees controlled the discussions based on what they wanted to share or know about a particular subject. Whoever wanted to provide input on the topic did so. This was almost one giant brain storming event to help or educate one another. I did meet one of the organizers of the event who did participate as well. Her name was Erin Painter and she is a teacher in Ottawa. One of the topics she brought up during the event was how effective social media is when integrated with learning. There was moments throughout the day during the breaks where you could continue your conversations with people you have met, so I briefly spoke to her about this topic. I could not agree more with her. I then began giving her my opinion on how introducing social media for purposes other than leisure, at such an early age compared to myself learning about it now, gives these students a one up. It gives them insight on how such tools can be used professionally and possibly help develop their future. She then said that, ultimately that is what they are trying to establish. With the way that our society is moving with technology, our future will soon depend on the usage of these applications and tools. They must take necessary actions to adapt to the given situation. This allows teachers to use them where applicable as an aid to help the students learn. Figuring out different strategies to teach and deliver messages to students increases their learning.

Ideas Gained From Event

Regardless of the profession you choose, there is always room for improvement. The use of technology and social media will be our future. We must all learn to adapt to change and embrace new arising resources. Learning to use such tools for our advantage makes opportunities endless. It is our decision on how far we extend ourselves for career advancement. That being said, is it really enough to only use social media for the ways you already know or have been told? Or is it our responsibility to continue to explore these options further to improve? Exploring these options is what I walked away with from this event. The teachers do this not only to benefit themselves but they do it to incorporate these tools as much as possible in learning as a strategy for students to retain information. This is also done to familiarize the students with these applications and prepare them for their future. Social media applications are given to society for free for the most part, and it requires nothing from us in return. It is an aid that can be used for an endless amount of tasks. Why not continue to explore all different kinds in order to figure out which ones benefit you the most and determine how you can incorporate it with your field to improve your professional development.

Collect a Quote

“Teachers Matter” is a quote that I decided to use from the event that seems the most important and the one message that had the most emphasis. The body language, teaching methods and the way teachers choose to speak plays a vital role in teaching. Therefore, the development of teachers is not just for them. They advance themselves in order to become better educators for the students. The things students learn from teachers is what will ultimately help them in the future with their development. Teaching at an optimal level  puts the students in a better position for their future.

Will I Attend a Similar Event in the Future

EDCAMP is an unconference meaning that events like this are loosely structured. This kind of conference focuses on the participants exchanging information and ideas in an informal manner, rather than following a structured program. I will attend another event like this in the future because this was one of the best experiences I had at an event. I hate being lectured and having a set plan that needs to be followed especially if the information being delivered isn’t interesting. I feel that I am able to retain more information at events like this due to the constant interactions.

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COM0015 – Out of the Box

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Throughout the semester, taking the Applied Social Media in Business course, I found numerous helpful applications that I have not known about or had much knowledge in their functions before taking the course. LinkedIn and Twitter are the two applications that I am going to discuss on how effective these social media tools are in the field of online marketing.

imagesCAT2WS76I did not have much knowledge on LinkedIn in regards to its function and uses but taking a closer look into it and creating a personal account for myself, I have discovered how excellent this tool is. I had no idea that this application allows individuals to advertise themselves to employers and create a professional network where you can build a contact list. This kind of application opens many doors of opportunity when looking for a job. This application is also based on the statement “It is all about who you know” because the people you include in your network can be used as referenced to future employers. Another interesting feature that this application allows individuals to do is source out information on different companies where you prefer to work by finding contacts within that organization. So much can be achieved through the use of this application, it all comes down to us and how we choose to use it. Embracing tools like this one is important because of the way our society is evolving, thus taking full advantage of this free application will be very beneficial.

twitter-evolveLooking at Twitter from a marketing standpoint, I can now see why businesses lean towards using it and how successful it is for this purpose. Before taking this course I had a personal Twitter account but used it only to keep in contact with friends, family and stay up to date with some interests I have like celebrities and restaurants. Knowing what I know now about marketing and social media, I can see the business tactics used by companies. A lot of companies use Twitter as a way of advertising products and services, receiving customer feedback, promoting social events and new items, and lastly creating a portfolio so new potential customers can see what they are about. Twitter is effective because people tend to have this application hooked up to their PDA devices and use it on the go. It can be seen at any time and creates a log/timeline so anything posted can be referred back to if it is missed. When I first created my Twitter account I just thought that it was the “in” thing to have in terms of staying connected with friends. I did not see its purposes beyond that. I guess its simplicity and lack of restrictions as to what you can or cannot do on Twitter allowed it be used for so much more.

There are so many applications out there that you hear about but never think about using. You may get a quick explanation of what it can do for you or how it is useful but is it enough to leave it at that? It isn’t until you actually try it out that you figure out its true functions and what other people are using it for. Each application is full of surprises that might end up “wowing” you. From my experience with this subject, it is safe to say “don’t judge a book by its cover” because until you open it up and explore, you wouldn’t really know what it has in store for you.

COM0015 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

To be honest, I do not have a specific strategy for developing my professional network online. What I try to do though is use social networks that interest me because I find if I am somewhat interested in it, I will continue to update it and check it regularly. Currently I am using Twitter and Facebook as my main social networking tools to develop my professional network. Although, these are more for personal use, I am trying to incorporate professionalism in both. This is a little difficult to do because some people that I do network with in person, do not use these tools.

untitledAt the moment, my strategy for developing my professional network in person, I find is more efficient than what I do online. I try to involve myself with social events at my work whether it be charity events or company parties/BBQ. From these events, not only do people from my work attend but other dealerships that are partnered with us are also involved. During these events I try to interact with many people, specifically individuals who I do not know like managers and owners. By doing this I try to increase my network with the help of my current managers who explain to our superiors who I am and how I am a great asset to the company. The help from my managers helps me to be noticed rather than being just another employee. Aside from work, I try to move outside my comfort zone and network with people from my church and my parent’s friends. Doing this gives me a lot of opportunities and opens many doors. I think this strategy trumps the one I do with my work because it moves away from the automotive industry and gives me a variety of networks and links to possibly better my career path. My parent’s friends always inform me of job openings within their industry or happens to know somebody that can refer me when I apply for a specific field.

11Although my online network is not as strong as my personal network, I do feel that if I apply myself and spend more time to build it, in the end it will be a lot more effective. It is much easier to communicate and get a hold of people online than in person. A lot of the time people cannot find the time to meet due to conflicting schedules. By increasing my online network, I eliminate this obstacle and people can communicate at their convenience. It is very common that people have their networks linked to their PDA devices which is also a bonus. The commitments I am making in the next 6-12 months to continue the development of my online network is signing up and using more professional social media tools. I am going to look into networks such as: LinkedIn, hoot suite, and Pinterest. I feel that these applications will help build my network, market myself, and create a portfolio of job postings.

I need to face the facts, doing what I am doing now in the automotive industry is not cutting it for me. Unless I land a better position within my current company where they pay me the big bucks to stay, I may consider it. As of this year, networking has been really important to me because I am trying to change my career path. This is why my “in person” professional networking is helping out a lot. Over the next year I plan to set up meetings with some of the people that have offered to help and assist me in career opportunities. During these meetings I hope to meet the people they network with so I can increase my professional network. This will give me a variety of contacts that I can use now or in the future. Hopefully, in turn, I can be of some assistance to them as well.

It seems appropriate to conclude this blog in one sentence, stressing the importance of networking: In today’s society, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know!

COM0015 Blog Post # 2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

Since I am a huge food fanatic, I have decided to choose a couple of food organizations that in my opinion use great social media strategies to promote their business. I love trying different kinds of food, from all different cultures. A lot of the restaurants I try and continue to eat at started off as small businesses which is why advertising and promoting is very crucial to their success.

6The first organization I have chosen to discuss is Fat Bastards Burrito. In Toronto, this small burrito shop started off with one location and as a result of their success they have expanded and opened many new locations. I believe that not only were they successful from the food they serve and excellent customer service, but from the use of social media. It got their name out there which increased the cliental dramatically. Toronto has a number of burrito places to eat at which means a lot of competition. Burrito Boys, another great burrito place that is the number one contender for all burrito places, was already established when Fat Bastards Burrito opened. Through the use of TWITTER, FACEBOOK, and their WEB PAGE, Fat Bastards Burrito managed to become just as popular as Burrito Boys. Fat Bastards Burrito uses twitter to keep their customers up to date with their weekly features, if they will be catering at social events, new locations, new apparel and newly added menu items. At the beginning of every week, a new style of burrito is added for a limited time for customers to have something different other than the set menu. Facebook is used as their gallery for all the images to show customers every menu item, new locations, apparel, and pictures of the social events they cater to. Everything that is posted to twitter is also linked to Facebook which makes it very convenient for those who do not have twitter, so they do not miss anything.

DSC08508If you love poutines than Smokes Poutinerie is a place you have to try. There aren’t many unique poutine places in Toronto to try so this being the best I have had, it is definitely a favourite. Smokes Poutinerie uses FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and FLICKR to advertise and promote their company. Facebook and twitter is linked together so that everything posted on twitter also shows on their Facebook feed. Smokes Poutinerie uses these tools to keep customers up to date on limited time offers, apparel and also contest information where they offer prizes such as concert and sport event tickets. This is a very effective use of social media because the contest would consist of people attending different locations at a certain time and take a picture inside the restaurant and post it to either of these social networks. By doing this, they bring in customers to the restaurant and while they are there, it is very likely that the customers will purchase something from them. This is a very good sales tactic to promote such events in order to get more customers through the door. Smoke’s also hosts eating contests and uses FLICKR to keep a portfolio of all the different events. This is a great strategy because by doing this they capture the fun and enjoyment at these events for people to see afterwards. When people see these pictures it leaves an impression on them where they feel the need to attend to one of these contests to experience it in the future. The more people that attend, the higher the increase in sales because they serve Smokes Poutinerie products and such events creates the feeling of being a part of something great. Everyone would like to be a part of something and feel like they belong, making this organization a number on choice.

bbqI do not know if anyone has tried an all you can eat Korean Grill House but it is definitely an experience. This restaurant is so unique because they provide marinated meats and you cook the meats you choose on a grill in front of you. They only have a handful of locations in the GTA but it is definitely a hit. I believe that with the use of social media it will increase the cliental greater than it is now. For those who know about this restaurant love it but it seems the only way they get new cliental is through word of mouth. These restaurants also get very busy and it would be beneficial to use a social media tool to inform customers of how busy they are at prime hours and to possibly give an alternative location that isn’t so busy. There are many instances where you arrive at the restaurant and it is packed with huge party reservations so it is almost a waste of time. When trying to explain the concept of the restaurant, it may not seem appealing through words but if they used something to show some of the dishes served on a Facebook page for example, it gives people who aren’t accustom to this type of food a chance to see how amazing the food looks. This will also give people a feel for the restaurant and see what type of atmosphere they would be spending time in. It is great that they have a web page to start but it would be really beneficial to create a Facebook page because it is a simple media tool that is easy to navigate and get their feet wet in the social media world. A step this small will make a difference for an organization like this where they can also receive feedback and make changes based on customers needs.

COM0015 Blog Post#2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

Since I am a huge food fanatic, I have decided to choose a couple of food organizations that in my opinion use great social media strategies to promote their business. I love trying different kinds of food, from all different cultures. A lot of the restaurants I try and continue to eat at started off as small businesses which is why advertising and promoting is very crucial to their success.            

The first organization I have chosen to discuss is Fat Bastards Burrito. In Toronto, this small burrito shop started off with one location and as a result of their success they have expanded and opened many new locations. I believe that not only were they successful from the food they serve and excellent customer service, but from the use of social media. It got their name out there which increased the cliental dramatically. Toronto has a number of burrito places to eat at which means a lot of competition. Burrito Boys, another great burrito place that is the number one contender for all burrito places, was already established when Fat Bastards Burrito opened. Through the use of TWITTER, FACEBOOK, and their WEB PAGE, Fat Bastards Burrito managed to become just as popular as Burrito Boys. Fat Bastards Burrito uses twitter to keep their customers up to date with their weekly features, if they will be catering at social events, new locations, new apparel and newly added menu items. At the beginning of every week, a new style of burrito is added for a limited time for customers to have something different other than the set menu. Facebook is used as their gallery for all the images to show customers every menu item, new locations, apparel, and pictures of the social events they cater to. Everything that is posted to twitter is also linked to Facebook which makes it very convenient for those who do not have twitter, so they do not miss anything.

If you love poutines than Smokes Poutinerie is a place you have to try. There aren’t many unique poutine places in Toronto to try so this being the best I have had, it is definitely a favourite. Smokes Poutinerie uses FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and FLICKR to advertise and promote their company. Facebook and twitter is linked together so that everything posted on twitter also shows on their Facebook feed. Smokes Poutinerie uses these tools to keep customers up to date on limited time offers, apparel and also contest information where they offer prizes such as concert and sport event tickets. This is a very effective use of social media because the contest would consist of people attending different locations at a certain time and take a picture inside the restaurant and post it to either of these social networks. By doing this, they bring in customers to the restaurant and while they are there, it is very likely that the customers will purchase something from them. This is a very good sales tactic to promote such events in order to get more customers through the door. Smoke’s also hosts eating contests and uses FLICKR to keep a portfolio of all the different events. This is a great strategy because by doing this they capture the fun and enjoyment at these events for people to see afterwards. When people see these pictures it leaves an impression on them where they feel the need to attend to one of these contests to experience it in the future. The more people that attend, the higher the increase in sales because they serve Smokes Poutinerie products and such events creates the feeling of being a part of something great. Everyone would like to be a part of something and feel like they belong, making this organization a number on choice.

I do not know if anyone has tried an all you can eat Korean Grill House but it is definitely an experience. This restaurant is so unique because they provide marinated meats and you cook the meats you choose on a grill in front of you. They only have a handful of locations in the GTA but it is definitely a hit. I believe that with the use of social media it will increase the cliental greater than it is now. For those who know about this restaurant love it but it seems the only way they get new cliental is through word of mouth. These restaurants also get very busy and it would be beneficial to use a social media tool to inform customers of how busy they are at prime hours and to possibly give an alternative location that isn’t so busy. There are many instances where you arrive at the restaurant and it is packed with huge party reservations so it is almost a waste of time. When trying to explain the concept of the restaurant, it may not seem appealing through words but if they used something to show some of the dishes served on a Facebook page for example, it gives people who aren’t accustom to this type of food a chance to see how amazing the food looks. This will also give people a feel for the restaurant and see what type of atmosphere they would be spending time in. It is great that they have a web page to start but it would be really beneficial to create a Facebook page because it is a simple media tool that is easy to navigate and get their feet wet in the social media world. A step this small will make a difference for an organization like this where they can also receive feedback and make changes based on customers needs.

COM0015 – Blog Post#1: Tool & Sources

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I personally have a lot on the go for the most part. I find that I don’t have enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Between work and school, friends and family, things can get a bit hectic. I am the type of person who is seen to be using their phone all the time because I find that it is a huge time saver! Being able to do just about anything on my smart phone gives me the ability to save time with applications that continue to update/improve. From emailing, social networking, news/weather and sports apps, I can stay in tune with all my interests.

Facebook is one of the many online social networks used across the world and the most popular among my friends and family. Facebook is one of my favourite social media tools because it gives me constant updates as to what everyone who is important in my life is up to, reminders of birthdays and social events. Coming from a huge family this is very important so I can keep in touch with all my family all over the world. Everything is done for me, I don’t have to input any information like I would in a calendar. For me this tool is quite easy to navigate and make changes to. The layout is simple and appealing to the eye which makes it enjoyable to use.

Instagram is another social Media tool that I enjoy using from my smartphone. Being able to follow friends and family like Facebook, gives me insight as to what goes on during their day. Especially with the newly added video option that captures 15 seconds worth of footage, so you can share priceless moments as if you were there for yourself. Big organizations use Instagram as well to promote release dates for shoes or clothes, so I follow the brands I like so I don’t miss out on any sales event. I can basically follow all the things I have interest in such as cars, different food dishes, and celebrities. Just one picture can paint 1000 words, that being said, this tool is so amazing because it keeps everything short and sweet.

Cp24 is a great application I use to be up to date with daily news. Where ever I am located, Toronto or Ottawa it will give me notifications on breaking stories so I don’t have to constantly check to see if something has happened. Weather changes so often you never know what to expect. Cp24 gives me updates of the weather on the go!

Everyone has their own definition of news now a days. News to each individual might be much more than stories that are happening around them or in different countries. It can be anything that they have interest in and haven’t heard about yet and for me, it is both. Sports to me is also news! I use the SCORE application on my phone so I can keep tabs on all my favourite sports teams when I don’t quite have time to watch a game. This also gives me notifications on signings, trades, game details, clips of game highlights and schedules.