Well…Here goes nothing

And so, here we are; the first of many blog posts to come and I find myself asking the same questions which up to this point deterred me from having a twitter account or  blog in the first place. Who would possibly want to hear my inner dialogue? Who has the time to try and parse through said dialogue? Why do I want and/or need anyone to know what’s on my mind when I can’t even look them in the eye to say it? Will I ever be able to take myself seriously after reading through my past postings? (my experience with old facebook posts says no…definitely not) But here I am anyway and it’s all because of something called Social Media and Digital Business.

I’m in ISYS6621 chiefly because of my two concentrations, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, both of which would benefit from a digital background and even more nowadays, require one. I’m going to be completely up front, I’ve shied away from Social Media facing classes because I’ve worked at places where the Social Media department was comprised of an employee cooped up in a small windowless room with maybe a melancholy motivational poster on the wall, and said employee was tasked with managing/coordinating social media strategy. Sounds fancy enough right? Well, it was actually just an agency representative who found funny gifs and made some clever puns for the few companies who deemed a social media presence to be a worthy investment.   

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Fast forward to the first and second day of class and I can see why that exact scenario is reason in and of itself to want to be more involved in social media efforts. The problem is that some companies and even people see social media as a distraction, at most an extra, desperate draw for more eyeballs. I can only imagine how low said company would rate themselves on the digital scale that Professor Kane outlined for us in his work with Deloitte. That being said, after my experience in the workplace and taking my limited knowledge into account, I can already tell that this class will provide a background which will allow myself and all of us to expound upon digital strategy within a business and move beyond the narrow view that social media and digital business can be confined to.

These are just some of the thoughts that I’ve had time to mull over since our measly two days of the course and from the participation and the lively discussion of WordPress already I’m sure this is just a taste of what’s to come. I’m most thankful for the diversity of students who have decided to take this course. Social Media and Digital Business will be my final course satisfying my entrepreneurship concentration and just like the vast majority of the program’s courses, there are students across every level both academically and professionally. My last entrepreneurship course I took was an Entrepreneurial Law course which specifically encompassed Cyber Law and the class was one third undergrad student, one third MBA student, and one third Law School student. The perspectives this provided were unbelievable and make me especially optimistic for Professor Kane’s course as well. Entrepreneurship and emerging digital business changes are almost impossible to really learn and discuss without firsthand accounts of working out in the world to reference and critique.

My biggest gripe about social media as a part of past classes was that the experiences were always very passive and in the end did not add substantially to a greater class discussion. However, given the size of the class and the diversity of students, I think I can say I’m more than optimistic about the way that we’ll be using Twitter to stay in contact and share ideas amongst ourselves. I can already tell that what Professor Kane said the first day will inevitably be true, we’ll come to know each other by our twitter handles better than our own faces. I have my own issues with how impersonal that can be, but I believe that the pros will far outweigh the cons. I have never had a class experience where the lines are so blurred between on or offline, and it’s for this reason that I feel certain it will not matter that we only meet once a week, we’ll end up “being in class” and engaging more than we realize. (I see you you, Professor Kane)

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I’m sure a lot of us had pretty much the exact same thoughts going into these first blog posts but hopefully I could help stir the pot a bit. In the end, we’re all just trying to help build our own presence in a way we have direct control over. For once, we’re not handing over the keys of our social media kingdoms to Facebook, Spotify, Instagram and letting our presence online be passively shaped and monitored for people to datamine; we’re creating our own digital footprints that we can see and know that we meant to leave behind.

 

4 comments

  1. Hi Roarkwood!
    Just wanted to say I appreciated the humor in your post and that I too think that the diversity in this class will help provide a great dynamic.
    I was wondering what was the company you previously worked at? Was it a startup?

    1. I worked for a marketing consulting agency in San Antonio which worked on internal and external marketing for clients handling everything from traditional advertising initiatives, PR and brand strategy. The social media services were still being worked out and effective tactics were unclear (I think it was a generational disconnect)

  2. Yup. It takes a while to get going, but by about midterm there’s usually more happening outside of class than inside….and they feed off each other.

  3. I loved that you talked about the stereotype of the social media worker because I think that it is in and of itself ironic. To truly connect on social media in a meaningful and useful way, one should be social, but because it is viewed as a distraction, those in charge of it are sent to work on their own in an out of sight out of mind sort of way. Hopefully that’s something that will change going forward – I think it will have to if its going to continue being worth the investment for most companies!

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