Sunday, April 18, 2010

ROI for my Dandelion

To my faithful readers, this may be my final post. This blog ends my semester and academia at American University. Usually when I finish a class, I'm thrilled because its one less thing on my list to worry about. But not for this class. I enjoyed your companionship and feedback. However, there must be an ending to every beginning. With that being said, I bid you farewell.

But before I part with you, I would like to share my final thoughts with you. I read "Social Media FAQ #3: How Do I Measure ROI?" and "How to Measure Social Media ROI for Business". If you haven't noticed, the theme focuses on Return on Investment (ROI). And after reading these articles, I felt like sharing something a bit more practical from my experience.

I was faced with a challenge to promote an ebook. But not only promote, I also had to measure ROI for my Dandelion project. So I did the following:

1. Based on what I was trying to market and promote, I chose specific online social media to assist me.
2. I'm aware that people love to support anything that's for a good cause, so I created a cause that made them feel like they were actively contributing towards that cause.
3. I interacted frequently by updating status, posting and directly answering their questions. And sometimes, engaging in dialogue with my supporters (just to maintain their interests and their support).
4. Regularly, I checked my analytic reports to measure how many fans, clicks, unique visits etc. or simply ROI I had accomplished.

Based on the articles and my experience, is there anything you would do differently and why?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Predictions & Trends for Social Media

For this week, I read the following articles: "Six Social Media Trends for 2010" and "5 Predictions on The Future of Social Media". Based on the second article, "social media is in its infancy", and thus made the following predictions:

1) Ratings will become an expectation
2) Content aggregation will boom
3) New tools will replace some of the first movers
4) Social networks become portable
5) Virtual worlds gain traction

According to this first article, "In 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media... In 2010, social media will get even more popular, more mobile, and more exclusive." Hence, the article listed six trends as follows:

1. Social media begins to look less social
2. Corporations look to scale
3. Social business becomes serious play
4. Your company will have a social media policy (and it might actually be enforced)
5. Mobile becomes a social media lifeline
6. Sharing no longer means e-mail

In my opinion, I think that numbers 2 and 3 (second list)go hand-in-hand and it ultimately leads to number 4. And I also think that number 4 is on a rapid increase. Based on the lists, what do you think? Is there anything else you can add to the list? Or have you experienced any variances?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

SEO - why so late?

This week's reading I focused on "What is search engine optimization (SEO)?" and "Anatomy of a Blog Post Well Received". I felt like these articles and videos were very helpful. The articles gave a lot of tips and ideas of how to promote your blog ,as well as, how to generate traffic to your blog. And most of all, how to analyze the traffic your blog is attracting. However, I felt that if they were introduced earlier in the semester, they would have been even more helpful. What do you guys think ?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to link job hunting & social networking

This week I read "The Blog is the New Resume" and "Social Networking has its perks". These articles were very enlightening because I never saw the blog as a resume. But after reading the article I understand why employers would consider the blog a resume. I always thought that blogging was a hobby or something to do with your free time. But then I learned that your blog is a representation of who you are, because it is an unedited version of yourself and it mirrors your thoughts and opinions.

However, I disagree with the second article with respect to if people "want to find a job they should get out from behind their computer". When it comes to job hunting, we need to be creative because competition is high and I think using the computer may actually be an asset in finding a job. For example, having an online presence that is presented in a professional manner, like having a LinkedIn account.

But what I found intriguing, was that the same article suggested using Facebook to market yourself in such a way that makes you appear valuable to potential employers. Though the article acknowledged that Facebook discourages this practice, it suggests that one way to avoid mixing your personal and professional presence would be to have two separate profiles. Now, my question to you is 'do you think this is effective?'

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids & Technology

For this week's reading, I came across two distinct articles that relates to 'Online Collaboration'. The first article I read was "Students discovering online collaboration" and the second article was "Online Collaboration Tools".

The reason why I say these articles are distinct is because the first article speaks of current collaboration tools that is presented to first-graders and the second article speaks of tools that were available before broadband. Nevertheless, I found them very interesting, it provided me a time-line and a vision of how far internet capabilities have come.

I think its great and a clever idea to introduce these collaborative tools to kids early. But I do share some concerns with Kristen Alloway. For example, kids using nonauthoritative sources, accessing inappropriate materials and giving out personal information online.

However, when it comes to technology and kids, I'm amazed. Its like they were programmed at birth with the manuals in their brains so when they are presented with any given technology they have no fear. For instance, my niece is 8 years old and she's asking me for help with her research paper. She was complaining that she was having difficulties finding reputable sites to reference. So I said, why not go to the library. And guess what she did...she laughed at me! Then I had my other niece from London who came to visit me last summer. She's 4 years old and claimed to be a Michael Jackson fan. So just to prove how much of a fan she was, she began singing a lot of his songs from way back. I was amazed and asked where did she learn that...she said YouTube. Now my question is 'how does a 4 years old with no older siblings know how to use the internet?'

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Virtual Teams - Love it or Hate it?

Hi all, hoped you enjoyed your spring break. I did, I slept 75% of the time, went nowhere and did nothing until now. Sometimes, it feels great to be a bum. Besides all that, I read the following articles: 6 ways to build trust with your virtual teams and Working Together...When Apart.

These articles provide generally accepted rules for making a virtual team successful. Though virtual teams may have some similarities, they differ by culture and dynamics. And I think that in order for a virtual team to be successful, is for the leader to adapt to the group's culture and work on enhancing their strengths.

Take me for an example, I prefer virtual teams. I'm flexible because I do agree that our first meeting should be personal where team members become familiar with each other. And I'm aware that circumstances may arise when the team has to meet face-to-face. But for some strange reason, all face-to-face interactions with my groups has always been a waste of time, for the most part. Actually, my groups have always been more productive when virtual.

For instance, I'm currently taking a class where the class meets once a week, we have weekly deliverables and due to conflicting schedules my team is unable to meet (EVER!). So thanks to Google docs, G chat, emails, texts etc. and all other available technology my team completes our deliverables on time. I really love technology!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Virtually in the Classroom

After reading "Learning in Second Life: Virtual Education" and "Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality: Which one is More Real?", and considering the fact that I'm a college student who is majoring in Business, let's just say I have mixed feelings about virtual education.

I am aware that many universities embrace online courses and web-based systems like Blackboard to increase revenue while promoting distance learning. But take it a step further...try to visualize virtual education. Don't get me wrong, from an educational and business viewpoint, I thing its a great idea. For instance, the recent blizzards and snowstorms we experienced this winter; with virtual education professors would not have to worry about rescheduling class materials or sessions.

But from a student's point of view or my opinion, I would hate virtual education. If I'm at home, I want to relax and spend time with my family or friends and not have to worry about school. I want to sleep in late, play in the snow or do whatever it is that I felt like doing at the time. Again, don't get me wrong here because I value online classes. At least if or when I registered for the class I knew it was going to be virtual. But if I had to make a conscious decision about registering for a traditional or virtual class....guess which one I'm picking?