In reflecting back on this semester, there are many things I could pluck out and discuss, but I’ve chosen to highlight 3 habits that this class has pushed me to develop:
Consistency, Consciousness, Collaboration
In this way, the end of the semester isn’t really the “end,” as a good habit isn’t something I’d want to break.
There are many ways to practice consistency (I’d love your interpretations) but one place this class has made me consistent is in my Twitter behavior. As a digital marketer, we always hear about the importance of consistent postings, even going as far as optimizing time of day and week, number of times a day, etc. Though this is common knowledge and practice for brands (including my company), I never really concerned myself with my own personal behavior.
The requirement to tweet 4 times a week forced me into a habit, though, admittedly, it took a while for me to pick it up. Especially as I wasn’t a real Twitter user before (Snapchat and Facebook being my primary SM platforms). I had created a professional Twitter account last semester for my TechTrek class but used it minimally, mostly to thank our hosts. My personal account was from freshman year and essentially a time-sink that I abandoned. This semester really opened my eyes to Twitter’s power and the great use-cases as a professional, especially to access industry and world news. My tweets have been building in consistency and frequency, and it’s been awesome to actually build out my professional account with comments and articles relevant to my interests and experiences.
I’ve found myself more aware of current events than I was before (or at least more quickly informed) and definitely look to keep using Twitter consistently in a professional capacity.
Especially when we discuss the darker sides of social media, such as potential biases or falsehoods inherent in or propagated by social media, being a conscious consumer and producer of information is critical. Just last week we discussed the human elements that go into forming search algorithms and the value-judgements that are often inseparable, such as reliance on number of views and popularity. We have discussed the real impact on people’s lives or on businesses from false accusations or viral videos as well as the reprisal from posts poorly phrased or in bad taste. We have also assessed and dissected the brand marketing on various sites, looking at the congruence of posts and promotions with brand values and the success of brand storytelling.
I think this accumulates into the idea of being conscious and critical viewers and producers. We have been trained to be more careful in what we post, more discerning in trusting information, and more strategic in how to craft a narrative.
I feel like this always comes up but I think it is, nonetheless, true that collaboration is an essential ability and a hallmark habit of successful companies and people. In this instance, it applies in two spheres. One, in the classroom and digitally with classmates and, two, in general from a more high-level perspective.
Regarding one, this class has been one of the most inclusive and collaborative classes I’ve taken– all without one group project! The discussion-based nature of the class has formed an open dialogue that has continued digitally on the blog and on Twitter. The continued discussion and crowdsourcing of topics and articles has created, in my opinion, a richer, more interesting, and relevant accumulation of information. Re: two, this just touches upon the sharing economy we discuss in depth in class and read about in various articles. The sharing we do in class only underlines that.
What habits do you believe you have formed during the span of our course? Are they to be continued…