Com0015 – Assignment#5 – Event Participation Blog

Com0015 – Assignment#5 – Event Participation Blog

Name the event with a link and explain why you chose this event to attend.

The event is called Women Who Code – Intro to Web Development Workshop and I chose to attend this event because as I am currently heading a project to redesign my company’s website. I will be the administrator for our website when it re-launches and I thought that it would be very useful to gain a better understanding of what goes on in the back end of building a website. This will also help me to ask better questions of the developers building the site as well as come in handy if any problems arise and link me to a network of individuals who may be going through a similar journey as a beginner to web design.

http://www.meetup.com/Women-Who-Code-Toronto/

https://www.womenwhocode.com/

Prove that you attended – include a picture at the event, a screen capture of the discussion, participant list, a JING video of the event, etc.

Women Who Code Workshop 08132014

The workshop view from my seat!

Women Who Code Log in Info 08132014

Logging in!

 

Look Ma! I got  a Sticker!

Look Ma! I got a Sticker!

Who did you meet or interact with at the event? What did learn from that interaction and what did you contribute to the interaction?

I met two young ladies: Amy who is a second year student at UFT in computer science and physics (which she said is for fun) and Amanda who is a legal assistant who took to web development as a way to use her creative side. I learned from Amanda of two other organizations that also provide web development workshops. One is Code Academy which is an online based company that provides free tutorials on how to code and the YMCA that has a low cost web development workshop. I advised Amanda about another not for profit company called Ladies Learning Code which has low cost workshops as well on the weekends.

What ideas have you walked away with from the event?

I have a better idea of what exactly coding is and some of the fundamental concepts behind it. I also feel that with another lesson or two, I would be able to actually code my own basic websites and that I will better be able to understand the web design process when we begin to work on developing the site.

Collect a quotable quote from the event?

In all honesty, the instructor of the session went through everything so fast and due to the disorganization of the workshop, I was playing catch up so hard that most of what he said is blur.

Will you attend a similar event again in the future? Explain why.

I don’t think I would attend another workshop by the Women Who Code as I felt that it was a tad disorganized. There was an email I was supposed to have received that was needed for the workshop as it held certain files that we were going to use.

In the first 15 minutes that I was there and everyone was setting up, there was no mention anywhere that I needed anything additional than to download a text editor called sublime. Instead while the instructor was going through the definitions of fundamental terms we needed to understand, I was scrambling to find this email and I ended up getting 20 minutes behind the workshop. this meant that I didn’t get as much out of the session as I hoping to.

The instructor also went extremely fast through the material so, it was impossible for me to ever catch up. In the beginning he should have posted that there were files we needed where he posted the information to the WiFi and the site that we were using. Then he should have walked around to make sure everyone was set up and ready to go before starting the class instead he sat at the front looking bored.

I would however check out a workshop run by another organization such as Ladies Learning Code as this  Women Who Code was hosted by a company called Bitmaker Labs who actually runs a school for web development that they were promoting at every opportunity they had which may be the real reason they hosted this workshop in order to advertise their (very) expensive classes.

Jayde

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Com0015 – Assignment #1 – Blog Post #4 – Out the Box

Com0015 – Assignment #1 – Blog Post #4 – Out the Box

In working through the process to have my company’s website redesigned, one thing that has become clear to me is that we will need to have a robust strategy to create content consistently. We are technically a medium sized business due to the fact that we operate several manufacturing plants but our head office staff that leads the various pieces of operation is pretty small.

This means that I will be the driving force behind the content wheel and I will have to find creative ways to leverage help from some very busy and harried people that won’t necessarily see creating content as a priority. So, I am currently investigating some pretty interesting ways to make creating content simple, easy and effective.

One such potential method that I stumbled upon during my research is a online based software called Zerys. It will allow for the creation of a content calendar, the build of the project (blog post, long content, ebook ect) within the platform as well as assigning to either your internal team or to outsource it to a network of writers who bid on the project. You can also post directly to certain social accounts from Zerys.

It’s cost effective because once you assign it to a writer you can schedule it into a calendar system that alerts them that they have work to be completed and alerts you once the work has been finished. If sourcing to external writers, not only are the rates reasonable you will only pay if you are satisfied with the work.

We haven’t decided that this is the route to go but it certainly is an intriguing possibility.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Jayde

Com0015 – Blog Comment # 2

Com0015 – Blog Comment # 2

American Egg Board  – The Second Installment of “Incredible Breakfast Trends”- http://www.aeb.org/blog/food-service-blog

We have been told for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that skipping it has dire consequences and I can’t even count the numerous times I have seen this theory being used to tout one of the latest trend in the food and beverage industry. Yet, I can’t help but wonder how true this really is since for myself, I have always had issues eating breakfast. As a kid, it used to actually make me physically ill to eat before a certain time of the day.

As an adult it is a very rare circumstance where I have an appetite in the morning let alone choke down what seems to me as a monster meal that my research into what a healthy breakfast  should consist of. Just like many others outhere I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle and I am interested in having a balanced diet which has certainly been an uphill battle. I think it’s fair to say I am in reasonably good health and I have never ever been one to regularly have breakfast beyond a hot drink (usually tea or hot water with lemon). In sporadic instances, I may have a fruit or some type of granola bar and I am usually set until lunch. So, it begs the question? Am I just an anomaly? Or are there more people out there like me and this whole breakfast thing is just hype created to sell food to masses?

Com0015 Blog Comment # 1

Com0015 Blog Comment # 1

National Restaurant Association Blog –

If Eating Bugs Will Save The World, We’ll Need a Culinary Hero. http://show.restaurant.org/Connect/Blog/July-2014/Bugs

When I saw the title of this blog my immediate and very visceral reaction was “Ah HECK NO!”.  I have seen a few articles in my scanning of trends that I do daily where there is this discussion about bringing bugs into the modern North American food chain and I can say I am unequivocally against this movement and I pray dearly that it will never come to pass.

I am firm believer in just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to do it and more importantly it doesn’t mean you should. Honestly, how many fads and ideas have been come into existence claiming to be able to do this or that (some with scientific back up of the times) just to be debunked years later as unhealthy or just plain stupid? Hasn’t your mother or some wise person ever said to you: if all your friends decide to jump off a bridge would you do it just because they did it? If you are a: rational, logical and independent thinker than the answer should be a resounding no.

I’ll admit, I am not the most adventurous eater out there and I have some definitive food issues where certain food types make me inexplicable ill but I for one think that this food trend train one that needs to be de-railed regardless of whatever scientific “facts” come out of studies.

Com0014 Assignment # 1 Blog Post #7 – Personal Reflection

Com0014 Assignment # 1 Blog Post #7 – Personal Reflection

Summing up Storytelling in a B2B World in one word: COMPLICATED!

smiley green alien whatface confused surprised clip art

I have been a part of the corporate business world for 15 years now and as a fledgling who cut her baby teeth in customer service; I had to learn on the fly and pretty quickly how to use different interaction styles with happy customers versus irate customers. As well, I had to figure out how to best communicate with my bosses and how to phrase interoffice communications.

I also needed to learn how to provide critique and how to coach not only my peers but new employees and those in management positions above my own. Each group required a different method and being politically correct was a necessity if you wanted to collect that paycheck at the end day. Don’t get me wrong, the common sense lessons that I learned at my father’s knee and practice on how to sass back without getting in trouble have certainly served me well in any communication arena that I have had to venture into. However, with the advent of social media as an accepted form of marketing in business and the popularity of storytelling for brands has meant yet another complexity in how to correspond with internal and external clientele.

Gone are the days that politely phrased politically correct statements posted to a website or social media account are enough. With the deluge of blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, tweets, and digital media post, it is no longer enough to just post an announcement or make a proclamation. It is a do or die necessity to be engaging, entertaining, interactive, interesting and knowledgeable as you need to beat out all those other competitors for your audiences limited attention span. Storytelling is the new communication art form and you had better get on the boat or you will lose out in leads, sales, reputation management and brand awareness. You also need to be consistent by producing content regularly but you also need to be sure that what you publish is quality content.

I am still trying to piece together what the right tone and style will be for my company’s website as it is a juggling act on to how to balance the right level of entertaining and humorous with professionalism and being knowledgeable. We need to figure out with a limited budget and constrained resources the level of quality and engaging content we can consistently produce.

I face a long road ahead of me and I am always interested in tips or techniques to gain stakeholder approval and consensus. Anyone have any ideas?

Feel free to post comments with your 2 cents!

US Penny back clip art

Thankfully yours,

Jayde

Com0014 – Assignment # 1 -Blog Post # 6 – Do People Know Your Story?

Do People Know Your Story?

books

As a relative newcomer to my current role and to the food and beverage industry in general, I can’t say with any certainty that I have all the answers to the challenges or secrets in our business. In fact, I am pretty sure there is so much more that I need to learn and being a food manufacturer because it is one complicated process from end to end between, supply chain, logistics, quality assurance, product development and marketing.

However, in my little corner of this beast that is the manufacturing industry I do know that trying to implement a social media strategy has come with a fair bit of obstacles. I would say one the greatest challenges that I have faced in implementing digital media into our marketing mix has been how to promote and create content for our brand when our products are all sold under another company’s label.

Adding to the complexities of that is the navigating through contractual obligations that restrict the ways which we can associate ourselves publicly with any of the clients that we create products for. Violating any of our agreements in any way not only indicates a breach of trust but can lead to loss of contracts or penalty fees. This has been a literal minefield for me to negotiate through and I have needed to get very creative with my social media strategy suggestions.

Com0015 – Assignment # 1 – Blog Post # 2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

Strong & Weak Organizations

coffee clip art

A social media strategy is a hot ticket in the marketing world and as I wade through the myriad of articles on creating content and operating in a digital media environment, there are many case studies that abound of companies who are doing well in implementing social media into their marketing mix and horror stories of those who still have a long way to go.

One company that immediately comes to my mind is Starbucks, I mean I have never even been a much of a coffee drinker but they make you want to drink coffee just to try their delicious sounding concoctions despite their higher than average prices for anything in their stores. Starbucks has created a culture out of the art of blending and drinking gourmet coffee.

This has been done in part by creating a very engaging social media marketing campaign that has messaging that is very consistent to the brand, ensuring that they not only promote their brand through quirky tweets that plug their products but that they create spaces and reasons for their consumers to join in the conversation such as encouraging participation in the community by fun and interesting campaigns such as their creation of the next Starbucks cup contest they ran on Pinterest.

On the opposite side there is Timothy’s World Coffee, which there seems to be very little presence on social media. There is no Twitter or Google+ account. Their only major social media accounts I could find was a Facebook account which seemed very functional with the occasional post and written in French. The LinkedIn account only had the bare bones of a profile account and had not had any updates or articles posted to the corporate page.

cup of coffee

Com0015 – Assignment # Blog Post # 3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

Professional Networking now and in the future

cannibals

When I was laid off a few years ago, my former company was so kind to provide its employees with an agency that would provide advice, resume building critique and workshops to help get you back on your feet quickly from this life altering blow that we were hit with. I was one a few who decided to take full advantage of this service as I had been with the company for 12 years and really felt lost about how to go about getting myself re-employed.

handshake 01 clip art

Nice to meet you!

Networking was the catch phrase used to motivate us poor laid off workers and to remind us it’s not what you know but who know that will get you back in the work saddle. I did my due diligence and researched my options, I joined Meet Ups, Twitter and LinkedIn but in the 16 months that I was unemployed I can’t really say I ever actually made it to any events. I eventually completely fell of the Twitter bandwagon and LinkedIn was just yet another social media account to add to the myriad of others that I have collected along the way.

So, now the question has been posed: what is my present strategy for networking and what activities and commitments will I be making in the next 6 to 12 months? To that end, I have no hard and fast strategy on networking. Currently, I do monitor LinkedIn, I have groups that I have joined and occasionally, I will post to a group if it’s relevant to my present position. As part of my social media strategy for work, I set aside time to monitor Twitter and post religiously 3 times a day, Monday to Friday. I have my Meet Up account which I get alerts on new groups or events that are going on in my group. However, I have made it to very few events in the 5 years that I have been using any of these services.  In all honestly, I can see this trend continuing because I find this method of trying to make a network extremely artificial and forced which goes against the grain of who I am.

I have a very active life as I spend my weekends hanging out with friends and family. I am also currently working full time and I try to travel as much as I can as well I am taking 2 courses and I play sports several times a week. This hasn’t exactly left me with a ton of time in my schedule to fit in a strategy of networking. Add to the fact that most of the events that I have any interest in attending are located in downtown Toronto during the week which is next to impossible to make from the outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area  (Toronto traffic is atrocious). This means that my plan is very simple and virtually unchanged; I will continue to monitor the social channels that I am already a part of to see if there are any events that catch my interest and if by some lucky miracle that the stars, the planets, my schedule and location align then I will commit to attend an event.

Com0014 – Assignment #1 – Blog Post #5 – Personal Branding

Me 1 The Personal Brand  of Jayde

It’s funny, I have no problem talking about myself in the right context and I feel pretty secure in my abilities as I have worked hard to hone the positives that I like to believe define who I am. However when asked to write about it or put it down on paper than my mind goes blank. This feels uncomfortably like bragging and not only have I been taught my whole life about being modest and humble, I actually believe that those are endearing qualities to have. But a student has to follow dictates of her teacher so; I am putting aside all those uncomfortable feelings around describing myself out loud to find a way to express who I am as a personal brand.

About Me: I love to learn new things, I am very curious about how things around me work and to that end whenever I have a free moment, I am always looking to gain a better understanding of systems, processes and technology. I am a rock star at doing research fast, effectively and thoroughly. This has served me well in my various jobs because if I didn’t know an answer to a problem, I was always motivated to figure it out. This could be through asking questions, researching or taking a new course to learn new skills that I felt I needed to ensure I could do a kick butt job on any task assigned . This has also given me the ability to move up through the ranks pretty quickly regardless of the changes in company direction or management.

The flip side of this coin is that I hate things that are illogical, overly or unnecessarily complicated and not easy to use which has given me a critical eye in which to view processes or products. I am constantly motivated by this to find new and improved methods of getting work done. I truly believe that you should work smarter not harder and to that purpose I am always inventing new ways or proposing streamlined techniques to work flows. I have been found to be a very valuable employee as I don’t just talk about what’s wrong with our work or department; I will come armed with research and potential solutions to fix it.

Finally, one of my mottoes that I apply to all areas of life is” not to just talk about it, be about it”. It’s all good to complain about your job, your life and your relationships in fact I even think its cathartic for the soul to rant a little but at some point you need to buck up and make plans to change whatever things you are dissatisfied with.

Jayde

 

Com0014 – Assignment # 1 – Blog Post # 4 – B2C Case Study Samsung

B2C Case study Image

 

Social media engagement as a marketing tool can be a very powerful weapon in any company’s arsenal of weapons in pushing brand awareness and generating sales. It is a band wagon that it seems that everyone and their mother is jumping on but is anyone doing it well and how to determine what a successful effort looks like? Is it a return on investment in sales? Is it the amount of social shares on all channels or just a chosen few? Perhaps, it’s really depends on the goals an individual company has set and whether or not they are reaching it?

As a bit of tech junkie, I thought it would be interesting to look at how Samsung mobile is using social media to engage their audience. After some research, I found an article that quotes their CEO as making beating back the “Tsunami that is Apple” as the heart of their mobile strategic mission and at the core of their overall goals a user design experience approach that makes their products a part of the consumers  everyday life.

In order to meet their targets they have created content on several social channels starting with Youtube which they use to showcase their product offering and to create video logs that doubles as user guides. In keeping with their goal to fit into the lives of their consumers they interview users to find out how their Samsung product s has made their life better. They have also run contests to generate user created content that highlights Samsung devices in innovative and creative ways. Samsung has also debuted short videos on Vine that show off their phones capabilities in fun and offbeat methods.

On Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ Samsung has gone the route of self promotion tweets that use a mix of humour related to their products, information on device capabilities as well as tips to maximize their products better. With Facebook, they have a more personalized approach with charming pictures that show just how integral their products are with life on any occasion from Father’s day to picnics to the beach. As well, they seem to post fairly regularly and respond to customer messages.

The results: Samsung has certainly taken the mobile world by storm by having the majority of market share and profits in the Android mobile sector and as well as coming in a close second of the overall premium smartphone to Apple who has been the champion for some time. Samsung has also been ranked as the most shared video brand in 2013 with an impressive 7.3 million shares (http://www.unrulymedia.com/article/10-12-2013/samsung-most-shared-social-video-brand-2013/1769068800)via the most used social platforms and beating out Google for the top spot.