Kindergarten to BC Class of 2016

Reading my first post (Initial Musings), I’d be the first to admit that I sound like a naive kindergartener on the first day of school.  Buzzwords are sprinkled throughout and I even ask the rhetorical philosophical question, “Is all digital media inherently social or is all social media inherently digital?”

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Cruising in my Barbie jeep, kindergarten-me was blissfully unaware of the future data-driven world she would live in and the far reaching implications it would have on her life.

Months later, I’m glad I’ve learned enough that I can laugh at the fact that I thought that I might walk away with an answer to that question.  I don’t think anyone knows the answer.

Here’s what I have learned:

  • Double check your tweets because the lack of an edit feature is frustrating when you make a typo (Simultaneously be grateful for the fact that your “worst nightmare” is a spelling “the” as “teh” and that that is not a crisis, which is unfortunately not what other brands can say after going down in Twitter-infamy for egregious social media mistakes).
  • Expand your breadth of reading.  While people raise concerns about how algorithms may filter the news and effectively change the world we live in, don’t self impose limits on your knowledge by sticking to your go-to favorite sources (As much as I love Adrianne LaFrance’s commentary on technology news at The Atlantic, I need to cast a wider net to learn more).
  • Our class coincided with the Apple vs FBI case in the names of data encryption and privacy rights.  Related to the concept of privacy, I was introduced to the social implications of data encryption and privacy.  How does dependence on public wifi make certain populations more at risk of profiling or less privacy? 
  • I leave more of a data trail than I realized.  While I sometimes wonder what ever happened to my old gmail account from 8th grade, my neopet account (don’t worry, I cringed for you at that admission), or any other random account I made in middle school, what about the data that I’m freely giving away now that is of much more significance than juvenile AIM conversations?  I (may) have a FitBit.  I (may) have a Tile on my key chain.  My iPhone is (potentially) always within a few feet of me.   (Is it bad to admit to what technology you use on a public blog?)
  • There’s a whole world of enterprise/corporate social media tools waiting for me on the other side of graduation.  Before this class, I knew about Slack and a few others.  I didn’t know about smart badges that can measure influence and productivity.  I’m sure there’s a host of enterprise tools that I’ll come across with over the course of my career and a large portion probably haven’t been invented yet.

As a result of the class Twitter feed, weekly readings, and individual presentations, I feel like I am emerging from a super intensive course on all things related to social media.  While we were free to explore our own particular interests at depth, exposure to a variety of topics at least at a surface level provided a great base foundation in digital technology and its business implications.  I’m grateful for that exposure because I know it will make me a better decision maker in the future.

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I “instagrammed” this photo one afternoon in 2014, less than fifteen years after my parents developed the picture of my brother and me from a Kodak film roll in a highly manual process.

My personal knowledge has come a long way and I’m grateful to everyone in the class because everyone contributed to it.  Thank you.


  1. Great post, Danielle! I laughed in agreement with all of your takeaways from this past semester. I constantly found myself going to the same 3 sites to look for information about Social Media trends and have learned that my scope was too narrow. I too realized how little I knew about our digital world and I’m excited to continue to explore the ever-changing landscape!

  2. Very insightful. I value your reflection and your takeaways were both informed and witty. One thing you addressed at the end, the surface and depth nature of the course. The foundation we’ve built served as an anchor for exploring and understanding more in depth topics. I also thought that “expand your breadth of reading” was a great. You don’t necessarily need to be reading long books all the time if you’re powering through pithy articles. Cheers and thank you!

  3. Great last post and really good insights and takeaways from the class! One thing that I particularly found interesting was when you wrote about how we leave data trails, and don’t even realize it.As we’ve learned all semester and as your post reinforces, we live in a world where we always have to be careful and mindful of our words and actions online.

  4. Great post and takeaways. I think you make a great point with the privacy and leaving a data trail concerns. Before this class I was never really aware of how much data I am giving to these social media sites. I now definitely take that into account. I also liked your takeaways on enterprise/corporate social media tools. It will be interesting for some of us to use and take advantage of these tools as we move into the real world after graduation.

  5. Great posts. I really enjoy seeing how the blogposts evolve over the course of the semester. Those initial posts are always a bit painful for me to read, but it’s worth it when I (and the student) can see the development over the semester. Nice work!

  6. ajsalcetti · ·

    Nice last post and good personal takeaways. The one that resonates most is how much data is being gathered without us necessarily knowing. Sure an old email account or old photoblog one had from a high school europe trip is out there, but it is the secretive or discrete ways firms collect information that most people are naive to…and to your point, that is really what matters! A marketing firm doesn’t care about your europe pictures from 10 years ago, but they certainly like the cookies and browsing history from last month stored in your computer. They certainly like the history trail of purchases and clickthroughs on google searches, Amazon, and itunes. They certainly like to know where you are via geotracking iphone photos, fitbit information, or nike+ runs. How firms really monetize and use that vast information in 2, 3, 10 years will be interesting…and maybe scary!

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