#IS6621; a hashtag I will miss & a few other notes on the semester

When the second week deliverables included creating a Twitter account, blog profile and signing up for snack time, I knew I was in for a treat with this course. And, while I can say this course has little in common with any other course I have taken over the past four years, I can confidently say I have gained one of the best learning experiences. Endless information, conversations and healthy debates opened up a whole knew realm of education through my eyes. While I feel I could write a blog post much longer than 800 words on what I have learned this semester, I have decided to break it up into four of my biggest takeaways.

  1. Digital and technology are integrated into everything.
  2. You can never be too current.
  3. Time will tell.
  4. Amazon.

One: Over the course of the semester we covered a plethora of random topics, and somehow they all involved some form of technology or digital maturation. Starting with the first class, we learned digital maturation is a vital aspect of companies and businesses today. While it’s not about making one monumental shift, digital maturation is more about finding a system where the business is constantly maturing with their consumer and the industry they are in. Most of the time, this involves the implementation of technology.

Looking back on presentations, blog posts and tweets, it is clear that technology is the future and redefining the way business is orchestrated in every line of business. For example, we read @cgoettelamn23 blog post, “Retail Isn’t Dead: How Walmart Plans to Stay Relevant” where we learned Walmart’s mobile payment is a hair behind Apple’s. We also learned from @TaylorVanHare’s presentation that Estee Lauder is implementing augmented reality within the makeup industry and @jracques62 taught us about a shaving company that used digital advertisements and humor to hit the ground running; Dollar Shave Club.

@SherittaColeburn discussed “Ways Social Media is Boosted the Hair Industry” and how Birchbox uses customer interaction through Snapchat in order to connect with their consumers and better serve their needs.

Last week, @hacketju walked us through technology within hospitals and the routines of nursing, while @ProfKane suggested they are still far behind and could enhance their technological use with iPads. The point being, every industry, big and small is either implementing technology as a vital aspect of their business, or redefining how business is done in order to remain relevant.

Also, one could never forget @BrianDenton’s presentation and twitter interaction with the Hartford Yard Goats in hopes to receive an A. Baseball and technology; not the first two things you would automatically put together.

To wrap up learning point number one, it is fair to say that technology is the future and if your business is not integrating it already-the clock is ticking!

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Two: This brings me to my second point; you can never be too current. Wednesday at 4:30pm I had this internal routine. I would walk in, feeling up to date and on top of everything since the class met the week prior, and by 5:00pm, after the Twitter discussion, I would be amazed at the things I missed. We were each other’s resources and informers of the most up to date information (on Amazon) and it was never ending—we defined digital maturation within a classroom.

I loved how much I learned from my classmates; a rare aspect of a course curriculum. I remember one class, roughly in the middle of the semester, someone shared the concept of 29Rooms hosted by Refinery29 in NYC and Los Angeles. The concept is based around a ticket which permits a tour around a creative space where customers can takes selfies and Instagrams amongst the creative set pieces; without a doubt one of the strangest concepts I have ever heard, yet it’s a two+ months since and I not only remember the topic, but am hoping to check it out in NYC during winter break.

Since I was not a Twitter user prior to this class and had to familiarize myself with how the platform works at a nitty-gritty level, #IS6621 was a hashtag I looked forward into typing into the search bar to see what I missed in the two hours I had been offline. Each and every time I checked Twitter as well as 5:00pm on Wednesday’s I was reminded that I can never be too current, and I loved it.

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Three: Following the idea of never being too current, I also learned that time will tell. Most of our debates revolving around the creepy/cool line (i.e. Blockchain, Amazon in-house delivery, children’s Uber) however, as we said throughout the semester, 5 years ago we would never get into a car with a stranger, let alone sleep in a strangers house. Yet today, Uber and AriBnB built their top-notch business around these two strategies.

I read an article yesterday that stated if you bought $100 worth of Bitcoin in 2004 it would be worth $140 million today. If people had seen that coming, I’m pretty sure everyone would have jumped on that bandwagon.

All of these businesses are essentially a shot in the dark and prediction on what consumers will like and dislike, however, with the success of Uber, AirBnB and Bitcoin, it’s proven that there is no guarantee of what will stick or what will not.

Four: And finally, contrary to my point above that revolves around “time will tell, these are just predictions”, Amazon will most likely take over the world; one creepy/cool debate at a time.

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11 comments

  1. Loved this post Sydney and I really liked how you broke it up into your 4 main take aways for the semester as a whole. I really liked your third point on about how “only time will tell”. This whole aspect of many new tech innovations falling on that line of creepy / cool is something I can say I experienced throughout the course of the semester as well. Certain AR technology, targeted marketing techniques, and “drone ubers”, all fall under that creepy category for me, but then I have to take a step back and realize that in a few years this will probably seem mainstream. Like you and said, the original concept of Airbnb or Uber was creepy but it has become so normalized that we don’t even think about it anymore. Crazy to see where this will take us!!

  2. Really interesting article! I really liked how you structured your blog and your 4 points. I also remember when we spoke in class about the selfie space in San Francisco. It is interesting that these places exist and so many people, but I guess we are now in the digital era and these places will keep on flourishing even more. Most importantly, as you mentioned, Amazon has been really interesting this past semester. It seems that it doesn’t stop growing and introducing products.

  3. I agree with others that this reflection benefitted well from being split up into the four sections. When I’m reflecting back on my time in the class, I definitely understand the benefits of being constantly learning what’s current by checking Twitter everyday. The creepy/cool line will definitely continue to be a part of my thought process when I check online for tech news and eventually purchase the things that I think are cool, yet so many people think are creepy. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Great reflection post! I agree with all four points that you mentioned, in particular that everything is a prediction and only time will tell. Technology is moving so fast around us that we don’t even have enough time to process everything anymore and I think that it’s making us more and more irrational in our decision making. Bitcoin became so big because most people had FOMO and bought in without actually researching the technology behind it because it’s all moving so fast for the layperson. In ten years, we will probably have some form of inverted game theory that applies to the development of technology. As you so nicely put it, time will tell.

  5. I loved your final post, Sydney! You did a great job summarizing your thoughts and conclusions with the four overarching themes. I really resonated with your Point #2 – You can never be too current. It’s so true though. Throughout the semester, I would feel overwhelmed at times because of the amount of information that we were learning on a weekly basis. I would go on Twitter almost every day, but still feel like I didn’t catch everything that was said on Twitter during our discussions on Wednesday. I think the entire class has taught me that there is no such as thing as knowing “enough” when it comes to social media and digital business. It’s an area that is constantly changing every day, and it will continue to change as new platforms come out and new technologies change our lives. Overall, I really enjoyed your post!

  6. Great final post, Sydney! All of your four points really resonate with me. I also agree with you that I have begun to integrate the ideas, products, and companies I have learned about in this class into my daily life. I’ve subscribed to Greatist, downloaded Infatuation, and used Visit a City- all things I have been exposed to thanks to this class. The greatest part, besides learning about the most current and cool social media and digital devices, is understanding the business and strategy behind them. We have all become informed consumers because of #IS6621.

  7. This is an awesome final post! The point you made that resonated with me the most is that you truly can never be to current. I think the structure of the course reflects this point very well. If Professor Kane had laid out exactly what we were going to be talking about every class even just at the beginning of the semester, by the end of the semester we would have been woefully behind the times. Who would have guess at the beginning of September that we would need an hour in December to discuss the skyrocketing of Bitcoin? Like you said, technology is integrated into everything, and it is tough to stay on top of it all. I think this class has given us the tools to do the best we can, and ask the right questions when it comes to the progression of technology in our future. Great post!

  8. Really awesome closing post! I think I’d have to agree with all your main points, especially with not being able to stay current. Although this class allowed me to stay more up to date than all my family members and the majority of people on campus in terms of what is going on in technology, I too was always blown away by how much else I was missing. What I think is disappointing as this class comes to a close is the fact that I probably will never be able to do as much tech reading/learning after this. Although I’m still against our heavy phone/social media use, I think I’ll really take away just how important of a tool it is for companies.

  9. I really liked how you broke it down into 4 sections. I also really resonated with your “you can never be too current” point. I realized during our Twitter discussions that no matter how much time I spent on Twitter leading up to class I was never going to be prepared for everything we were discussing. I’m not sure if this is because of my newsfeed of tweets and whatever algorithm Twitter uses or because there were just too many to read. I also thought your point about “time will tell” is so true. It would be interesting to meet back in 5 years and see how things have changed. Society has adopted technology into all aspects as our lives and it continues to change how we live day to day. This just makes me excited (and a little scared) to see what the future brings!

  10. Great final blog post! I can really relate to all four of your biggest takeaways, especially your second point that you can never be too current. Despite trying to scroll through Twitter between classes and work, I always seem to miss some of the major Tweets discussed during the first part of class. It is crazy to think that 30 minutes offline is enough time to fall completely behind in the latest news due to the development of platforms such as Twitter. In a recent article that I read, I saw that on average, over 350,000 tweets are sent per minute. I can only imagine that this number will continue to rise with time, and am interested to see if any other similar platforms become as popular as Twitter, and if Twitter retains its popularity. I also wonder if I will continue to use Twitter once this semester is over. I guess only time will tell!

  11. Great post. I always learn from students, too!

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