The Jungle

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I wish I could find a gif that portrays the way Professor Kane’s description of the syllabus on the first day of class sounded to me as I sat there, but I have scoured the depths of the internet, and this is the one. This is about to sound really cheesy, but bear with me here because I’ve never blogged before, alright? To me, social media and the world of digital business is exactly that, a jungle. I’ve heard of a rainforest. I know what a tree looks like. I’ve seen lemurs and frogs at the zoo. But I’ve never had the luxury of being dropped in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and told to survive. That’s pretty much the metaphor my brain created when I listened to Professor Kane explain the structure of the class last week. I know bits and pieces about the world of tech and social media, but if you drop me into the thick of it, I’m going to have almost no idea what’s going on. I’m going to be sitting in a class with MBA students, people with real world experience, and am expected to keep up with them. I’m not stupid, but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about block chain. This class isn’t going to be easy. Professor Kane made that part pretty clear.

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I quickly realized however, that I was looking at this the wrong way. There are not a lot of classes at BC, probably too many to count. But I have yet to come across another like this. Social media is about communication and intellectual creativity and freedom. The class, I realized by the end of the second class, seems to mirror that. I get to blog and tweet and present about stuff I want to learn about, and so does everyone else in the class. It’s a good thing I’m in a class with MBA students, I’m going to get perspectives and learn about the interests of some pretty smart people. So here we are. Bring it on.

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I figure the best way for me to break down my initial thoughts is to look individually at each of the social media platforms were going to be working with this semester. So here we go…

Twitter

One way that I am not behind the curve in this class is in navigating Twitter. I joined Twitter in April, 2012. I have essentially stopped tweeting since I got to college, but to date I have tweeting approximately 11,800 times. Erring on the side of caution I would say that at the very most I have tweeted 800 times since I graduated high school in 2015. Some quick math tells us that in high school I tweeted an average of 7.5 times a day, every day, for four straight years. No one is that interesting, especially not a 15 year old. Let me illustrate to you what I mean. (To spare myself any possible future exposure to how lame I am, I have covered up my handle):

There were the absolutely mundane…

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There were the times I got sentimental…

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There were the tweets that didn’t really age well…

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And then there were tweets that I hope future employers or God forbid my unborn children will never be able to dig up…

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Twitter has been a place for me to babble nonsense for the past six years of my life, and I’m glad that this course is finally giving me an opportunity to see social media as a useful tool for communicating valuable ideas.

celebrities-without-teeth-20I’m pretty used to getting news in real time, and I think Twitter is an excellent medium for people like Adam Shefter or the Associated Press to give quick blips and be the fastest to report something, but I am excited to see the more in depth side of what Twitter has to offer. This week on Twitter has already shown me the value of sharing something other than a picture of what Drake would look like without teeth (pretty terrifying, by the way).

Social media can do a lot of good. It can bring the world together to support a child with cancer, effect the political climate in a nation (I look forward to writing a blog in the coming weeks about the effect social media has as an echo chamber in politics). For years I have known Twitter as one of my idiot friends who is going to run up behind me and slap a shaving cream pie in my face. Today I am proud to proclaim that Twitter and I are growing up.

WordPress

I don’t have much to say about WordPress because, quite frankly, I don’t know much about it. As a finance major, I am rarely given the opportunity to write anymore, especially about things I am interested in. I am excited for the opportunity to write about things I am passionate about, and more importantly I am excited to have a few sets of eyes on my words than a history TA. It will be nice to have a platform where people come specifically to read and engage with articles, since Twitter only allows 280 characters, and no one cares what you have to say on your Facebook timeline (If you’re reading this, sorry Uncle Carl). I am especially excited to keep a running log of some of my thoughts laid out in detail this semester, and see how my knowledge and opinions change between now and May.

I still have no idea what block chain means. I am deathly afraid of artificial intelligence even though I know I probably shouldn’t be. I feel like I haven’t heard a thing about net neutrality in two months, which I’m fine with because I had almost no idea what people were talking about. I really don’t know what a “cookie” does expect for follow me around on Google and make me hungry every time I hear about it. But that’s why I’m here. Bring on the jungle.

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4 comments

  1. One of the neat aspects about this course is that for so many, one of these different social media platforms is new. Part of this journey will be to see how we can navigate this digital space and improve our content, engage with our audience, and discover hidden talents. And as for AI, just embrace it because the change is inevitable!

  2. I love the jungle metaphor you used for social media and this class. I am definitely overwhelmed and I hope this class gives us the tools to become explorers of the social media and business world. I’m glad to see you are a twitter expert, I’m sure you are going to be a valuable contributer to the class twitter. Its tough to look back at old posts and wonder how you possibly thought that it was a good post at the time, it will be good for us to learn how to use twitter as a business tool rather than a place to just share our random thoughts! I’m with you on your thoughts on wordpress, I have never had any contact with a blogging community like this and I am excited to learn how to use this tool.

  3. Too bad I missed the first class! Really wish I could see that! Again, S/O to the jungle metaphor, that’s brilliant! I will have to learn how to blog and twit along the way this semester. Will be a fun experience for self-branding as well!

  4. Last time I tried to reply to a blog it didn’t go though so I’ll try again.
    Hey Jake, enjoyed reading your blog post. I really like the point you made about growing up with Twitter and other social media. It’s an interesting parallel you make: as we mature, our view of it becomes more mature. It used to be a platform to “babble nonsense” but now we hope that we can use it as a powerful communication tool. The jungle metaphor is apt too. Just browsing though some trending hashtag and we can see that Twitter is thick.

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