#IS6621: Thoughts on this course*

*I swear as the semester goes on, I’ll have much more interesting blog titles, but I am playing the new card, and I blame the lack of a creative title on my inexperience with WordPress ;)

So, here I am, week two in this Social Media & Digital Business Class.

A colleague of mine recommended that I take this class, and I was all…

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I mean, why do I need a class to learn more about social media and technology? My profession and the work I do as a fundraiser in higher education is really built on face-to-face meetings and building relationships in person. But, I trust this colleague, so I signed up. I mean, how bad can it be?!?

Then, I read Professor Kane’s syllabus and notes on Canvas before the first class…

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Professor Kane specifically states that we WILL be lost in this class for the first few weeks. Who says that?!? I’ve never had a professor who includes that in a syllabus (although, I wish my economic analysis and corporate financial reporting professors had given me that head’s up for their courses).

But, the first few classes have been great, and I think by the time the semester ends, I’ll be feeling pretty good…

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(Feel free to give bonus points because I incorporated this adorable puppy picture into my blog post)

In all seriousness, I’m really excited to be learning more about how a company can use social media and digital technologies to create, further and enhance its work, and also how we as a society use these things to solve problems and integrate it into our daily lives. For most of us, social media has become a huge part of our lives. I’m really embarrassed to admit that I depend on my iPhone more than any human being should. My phone connects me to my family, to my friends and to the world. All in one device. Whether it’s making a call, sending a Facebook message or reading about the Iowa caucus results, I can get connected and stay connected to what’s happening. So instead of trying to deny that social media and technology has become a big part of who we are, why not embrace it, and learn how to use it for good.

When I told my friends that I was taking this class, they thought I would be spending all my time Tweeting and learning how to use SnapChat. Honestly, I thought I would be too. I guess we were all half right, as I have been on Twitter and have been re-learning everything (I had a Twitter account for several years, and then decided to delete my account because I never used it). I thought this would be a course that teaches me what each social media platform is, and how to use it. I’m really glad I was wrong.

I thought this class would be about a lot of basic things, but what I didn’t think about was how Lays chips used social media to increase sales and get consumers to be more connected to its brand. I also never thought about how a cancer institute used social media to help save lives from breast cancer. And I definitely did not think about how new digital technology such as Podtrackers can ensure that you never lose your pet again.

This is the great thing about this class: we are not just learning about what Instagram is, or how an Apple Watch works, we are taking it a step further, and we are learning what the impact of shared pictures and digital wristwatches have on our society and how it’s integrated into our lives.

It’s still very early in the semester for me to really feel like I know how social media and digital technology affects our world, but I’m really excited to learn more. I have a feeling that I will end up using what I’ve learned in this class in my personal and professional life. What about you?

4 comments

  1. Great post, Ashley! I really enjoyed your tone and incorporation of humor – it kept me engaged. I thought it was great how you used hyperlinks to include examples of how companies are using social media, especially ones such as a cancer institute, which some people might not expect. I am really interested to learn how other unexpected companies are utilizing social media. To answer your question, I definitely anticipate using what I learn in this class in both my personal and professional social media life. I have many of the standard accounts, but I don’t use them too often. I am hoping to learn a great amount in this class about how to use my accounts more, especially professionally.

  2. I really liked your take on social media and technology and how we should embrace it and learn how to use it for good rather than dwell on how dependent we are on our phones. I talked about this in my blog post but it is always good to have positive outlook. In terms of the course, I feel the same way but I hope to be able to learn about a variety of ways that social media can and has changed how we do business.

  3. Nice post. I think the technology and the platforms themselves are pretty easy to get, what’s more difficult is what these technologies mean for business. I’m constantly impressed at how companies innovate with digital tools.

  4. I love the sense of humor you brought to this. The puppy is nice and all, but you had me with Lucille :) I’ll be really interested if you discover any social uses for your fundraising needs — I’m working with a grade school to help them with their funding and I’m open to any ideas you might unearth. Looking forward to seeing what titles you come up with!

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