I don’t know why you say goodbye; I say hello. I think the Beatles were on to something here… The semester may be ending, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of #IS6621! What we’ve learned in the past few months, what we’ve discussed and researched, what we’ve tweeted and blogged about, what we’ve shared; it’s all part of the future as well.
It feels like we’ve talked about everything in this class, from dating apps to complicated algorithms, the knowledge we’ve gained and experiences we’ve had will change and have already changed the way we live our daily lives. We saw the great revolution of Facebook’s iconic “Like” button. We saw the United States government and Apple battle relentlessly in court over consumer privacy. We saw the Pope join Instagram. We’re living in a consistently changing digital landscape, and taking the time to discuss it for a few months has shown me how much is truly happening under its hood. It truly is an impossible task to master a field as complicated, broad, and fluid as this one, but hell, we can try.
Consumers and companies alike have to keep pushing, constantly challenging the limits of social media and digital business. Crowdfunding and sharing has become huge in our society, for better or for worse, and allowed individuals with a good idea to have a voice in an online world where everybody’s yelling. Between the kajillion posts/tweets/videos/etc that are being shared every day, sometimes it’s hard to create value. I believe it is in the community that value is found. The concept of democracy is a central building block of content-sharing websites, and the community’s approval and disapproval has generally served its purpose well. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have created an environment where people can communicate and share their opinions 24/7, 365, and media can go viral within hours. Interspersed between cat videos and political agendas, truly good ideas and causes can spread like wildfire, and social awareness effected almost instantaneously.
But while these sites may be biased by the people in your circles, I believe the true beauty of the internet lies in websites like Reddit. Nobody really knows anyone, and the democratic power of the masses is seen at its best. Self-proclaimed the “Front Page of the Internet,” Reddit allows for users to have an environment where they can be themselves, free of judgement (for the most part), and witness how the human aspect of social media behaves. Whether or not something someone posts or comments is objectively good or bad, who knows. But that’s not what I care about about, it’s in the behavior of the social online machine created by the general population that we have to look to.
I believe the key to success for social media in digital business lies in understanding this kind of behavior. Too often we’ve seen blunders on social, whether a news site uses a clickbait headline for a crime story, or a national seafood chain fails to comment on a singer’s Superbowl performance. Companies need to understand that the future is on the internet, and they need to have the resources necessary to positively interact with their online consumers.
Hopefully, with the knowledge we’ve gained through these couple of months, #IS6621 will produce leaders and pioneers in the digital marketing age. Thank you to every single one of you for the presentations you’ve given, the discussions we’ve had, and the food you have provided. This is not the end, this is merely the beginning. Let’s get tweeting.