Initial Expectations for Emerging Technologies and Digital Business
By Justine Merriman
I expect this class to help “update” my knowledge on how businesses build, maintain, and navigate the digital world to avoid being left behind by their competitors. I spent my summer doing competitive analysis for Comcast on how other businesses were using various digital platforms to further monetize their content and businesses. After the first week (even first day) it became apparent that I was the youngest hire on the team by five years and that my colleagues planned to rely heavily on me to help build out the digital entertainment services. Along the journey, I gave high-level presentations on deep dives I completed related to Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. However, the more I dug the more questions that presented themselves. The most repetitive questions seemed to center around basic ethical and moral ideas that have yet to be defined by the government. Additionally, I personally struggled with being up to date with the most popular apps and uses of sites so I often relied on undergrad interns for knowledge on how the interact with platforms and what they consider to be the most influential. I expect these topics will come up often in class and I look forward to hearing everyone’s opinions on how to straddle the gray ethical issues as well as get an education on how the space has evolved and what is most relevant today.
On a more personal note I am excited but also nervous about this class as I believe it will push my comfort level with being an active social media participant. I think this is especially relevant as Facebook just launched when I was in high-school and we would repeatedly have lectures on the importance of minimizing your social presence and maintaining one’s privacy to get into college. Then in college we had to again take classes and sign contract on what we could and could not engage in on social media to avoid “hurting the school’s reputation” as well as future job prospects. However now, only five years later, I find that companies are more interested in the social “branding” potential employees have created for themselves through twitter, blogs, and LinkedIn. In fact, I believe that if two employees with matching credentials are up for the same job, the applicant with the strongest digital presence will be hired in hopes that they will use their skills to digitally grow the business. Therefore, I think the weekly blogs and twitters will help to re-train my previous thought patterns to be updated with what is now acceptable and, in most cases, expected.
Finally, I was excited to hear that we will be learning more about digital technologies, specifically block-chain and internet of things. While we have sat through countless classes learning how to use R, SQL, and so on, no teacher has ever taken the time to give a high level overview of how each technology benefits specific business needs and work together, aside from just pulling statistics. I think being able to learn the best verbiage and ways to explain the concepts behind these technologies in layman’s terms will drastically increase our perceived knowledge level in our future careers.
I think the below memes summarize the differences between my first job out of college and my most recent internship this summer: