Facebook, Privacy, and a Reflection

Rex Features 2012

Having been a loyal Facebook user for seven years now (gosh, can’t believe it’s been that long), I can say that we’ve had our ups and downs regarding privacy. First it was a matter of who could see what before you’ve accepted them as a friend. Then it became that certain features (profile pictures and wall posts) were automatically set to public if you didn’t adjust them. There was also the issue of Facebook selling user information to advertising companies (Macke 2012). The fact that I’ve been sold is frustrating but I guess I deserve it since I participated in the whole process in the first place.

My most recent frustration over privacy was thanks to the enlightenment of Carrie Nagy for sharing this link.

According to The Telegraph (2012), there were complaints from users regarding the publishing of messages from 2007 to 2009 onto the users’ public wall. Facebook’s director of engineering Andrew Bosworth shook off the problem by stating: “In case there was any concern, these are just wall posts and not personal messages… people just forget how we used to use the wall!” (Richmond 2012).

At this rate, I think Facebook is pushing the bounds of privacy because of the constant fluctuations of the settings and their policies. I do not think transparency is the way to go because it only makes users feel paranoid and used. Communication is key here. Though it may not be in a marketer’s best interest if every Facebook user was asked to openly share their information (to which many, I’m sure, would say no), there are other ways to go about gathering it. These other methods could focus more on user behavior and it would not touch the issue of privacy.

References

Features, R. (Photographer). (2012). Facebook reflected in eye from computer screen. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from

Macke, J. (2012, February 02). 3 ways facebook plans to exploit users. Retrieved from http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/3-ways-facebook-ipo-exploit-users-172215377.html

Richmond, S. (2012, September 25). Facebook flooded with complaints after messages ‘bug’. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/9563855/Facebook-flooded-with-complaints-after-messages-bug.html

 

A Reflection

The process of blogging for my first DMC class (Intro to Digital Marketing: IMC 640) has been different from what I’m used to. While I still consider myself to have a casual tone, the content is more structured and researched. I’ve found that it is essential to do outside reading on certain topics if I’m going to write about it and sound remotely intelligent.

Regarding class topics, I was very surprised to learn about all the ways companies are using the internet to know their market. From using creative advertising involving social media and contests to tracking page hits and the amount of time one spends on their site, Web 3.0 is astounding with all of its capabilities. Out of all the class topics, my favorite one was effective user generated Youtube videos. I think the involvement of consumers with companies is unifying on a psychological basis and helps the company with their own creative process. This topic was also fun to research because so many companies (from Coca-Cola to Doritos) are involved with their audiences in different ways. It was refreshing to have interactive examples involving companies that I am familiar with.

After taking this course, I can say that I feel a bit more primed to take on the rest of the Digital Marketing Communications program, but not completely. While I am still learning how to properly share and discuss ideas in an online setting, I could have benefited from a more thorough explanation regarding critiques through private emails. This stronger communication would aid one in improving skills and to learn from mistakes. However, what I have gained through this course is a more thorough thought process when I am writing and discussing. I know that in order to keep conversation, I need to do more than just agree with the topic, but contribute something new altogether. In this process of contribution, I end up learning several new things about that topic that may have not been discussed yet. All in all, I feel more comfortable doing research and using several more terms relatable to the field. I’m looking forward to sharing these things in the next course.

Changes in Animation and How We Watch It

I was five years old when I saw Toy Story in theaters. I remember loving how Pixar created a new way of telling an animated story. I thought this again this past summer when I went to see Brave. I compare Pixar’s first big release with its newest addition because I am constantly blown away with how animation continues to evolve.

According to Pixar simulation supervisor Claudia Chung, Pixar created two entirely new software programs just for Brave’s main character, Merida’s  hair. Chung says:

“Merida’s hair is made up of 1,500 individually sculpted curves, distinct points in a three-dimensional space that are programmed to bounce and interact in relation to one another via a new software system. Another software program was created to make the hair react more realistically to the character’s movements and surroundings” (2012).

Innovations such as this are continuing to change the animation industry, thus affecting what audiences will view daily. Once the animated features are released for purchase, the way they will be watched by consumers have changed as well. Consumers may watch a DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital copy on a varying amount of devices. These devices can range from a plethora of traditional or flat screen HD TVs to the 3D TV, or on a laptop, mobile device, or tablet. With the staggering amount of portable entertainment, will television still be considered the norm in the distant future?

According to the studies of McBride (2012), there are several factors that play a key role in how people will access and watch films.

  1. More Blu-Ray features: Blu-Ray is evolving into BD Live –an effort to make the discs part movie, part game and part social network. This may appeal to several different ages across the market. Disney being a prime example.
  2. Different ways to access titles: If you’ve ever purchased a film via iTunes, you may be able to soon connect your iPhone/iPod to your television with a cord. Using SD cards and external hard drives to purchase films from kiosks will also offer the convenience of organization and lack of clutter.
  3. Product pairing: Again Disney is great example. When you buy the Blu-Ray, you will also receive the DVD, and digital download copy. This lets consumers utilize several means of watching in hope of catching them up to the current times, or persuading them to upgrading the way they view film.

I think that the way we watch television will change in a sense that we will have more choices in how we go about doing it. Each outlet of entertainment is working together to make the selection process easier for the individual. Things may remain the same for certain markets, but for others, the versatility of owning one film for several devices may be more suitable for their lifestyle.

References

Cheney, A. (2012). In pixar’s ‘brave,’ new software addin pixar’s ‘brave,’ new software adds rich details rich detail. Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303836404577472942036042750.html

Disney Pixar. (Designer). (2012). Pixar’s ‘brave’: Inside look at movie’s characters — exclusive photos. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/04/02/brave-pixar-first-look-character-posters/

McBride, S. (2009). The Way We’ll Watch. Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122833913230576869.html

The End of the Facebook Era?

According to the Business Insider, Facebook may be on its way out claiming that the social networking site faces traffic declines from age groups 12-17  (down 42%) and 18-24 (down 25%) as of August 2012.

Facebook has played a crucial role in our society’s culture, but it was only a matter of time until the next advancement makes its way to the forefront. As a loyal user since 2006, I’ve often wondered what would replace it. To me, it offered everything I could need in one location and only seemed to be evolving with its layout, accessibility and multipurpose use.

But now the time has come where a newer audience and bored members are drawn to change. The Business Insider predicts that Instagram will be the new “IT” method of social data sharing. Already there are over 100 million users, which may be attributed to the fact that Facebook owns Instagram. With a rapidly growing user count, do you think it will overtake its predecessor?

 

References:

Blodger, H. (2012). ANALYST: Facebook Has A Big New Problem You Need To Worry About. Retreived from http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-usage-declining-2012-9

Sathishkumar, A. (2012). Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion [ Photo.]. Retrieved from http://zombies7.blogspot.com/2012/04/facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion.html

 

Social Media Participation Inequality

All of us have that one Facebook friend. You know the one who updates their status every six minutes with their daily life routine. After a while of scrolling, it may seem that half of you news feed consists of the meandering thoughts from that one person. Or maybe you’re more of a forum poster. It seems once a user starts a topic, they continue to keep conversation going by asking others, and then that user may be connected to several other threads as a commenter rather than a moderator. These instances are perfect examples of Jakob Nielsen’s “Participation Inequality“. The way Nielsen has described this principle is through a 90-9-1 set up breaking down segments of the online community.

Image

Nielsen, J. (2006). Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Participate. Retrieved from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

When it comes to other forum sites such as RedditLivejournal, or 4chan (These are sites that I frequently use and can relate to), there may be ways to encourage the Lurkers to get involved in discussion.  In an article by Getsponge.com (2011), it has been recommended that in order to avoid Participation Inequality, websites should take action. This may involve anything from rewarding first time participants, the notification of new comments/feedback/answers to bring them back to the community and continue the discussion, incorporating a point/reputation system (Reddit uses Karma points), and lowering the barriers to participation similarly how Facebook has a “like” button and Twitter uses a “retweet” option.

From the Marketing stand point, it is our mission to give users something to talk about and make it easy for them to go about this process. My personal stance on the Participation Equality is that there will always be people who are eager to speak out. Whether this it’s the eager first grader whose hand flies into the air for every question or the overly opinionated blogger on a forum, these people are our voices. Until the lurkers can no longer stand it and feel the need to speak up, I believe they are comfortable with remaining a lurker because what has been said is all that needs to be. As long as web sites are allowing lurkers to join in through ease of access, they will come. It may just take some time.

References

N.A. (2011). Using Content to Find More Customers: The 6-Step Guide. Retrieved from http://blog.getsponge.com/using-content-to-find-more-customers-the-6-step-guide/

Nielsen, J. (2006). Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Participate. Retrieved from http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

Social Media Takes the Fun Out of Fashion Week

Here is just another example of the power of sharing through social media:

As I browsed through my Facebook news feed, Sartorial Sidelines ( a fashion blog whose page I have “liked”) posted an article via Buzzfeed. The article read “The Top 5 Ways Social Media Has Completely Tainted Fashion Week”. The reasons listed ranged from personal devises created a distraction, repetitive tweets, social pressure to become the next big blogger, and sketchy endorsement deals (Google glasses?). 

Image

True, it’s because of social media brands are now able to market themselves in newer, more interesting ways to those unable to get the firsthand experience of the craziness that is Fashion Week.

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Social media is everywhere, whether we like it or not. And yes, in public settings it can get really annoying. We’ve all experienced those people who are on Facebook during a movie at the theater, or the guy who blocks your view while filming an entire concert. But unfortunately, we live in a society that a) gets bored easily and b) thinks that their “friends/ followers” actually care.

Image

 

All in all, I compare the need for photos and tweets at fashion week to someone visiting the zoo. If you’re ten feet from a tiger, you’re going to want to reminisce and let the world know.

In conclusion, like Odell (2012) says in her article, “Maybe it’s time to pull back from our tweets and our Instagrams and our pins and, you know — OURSELVES.”

 

References

Diane Von Furstenberg watches a practice run of her Spring 2013 show with Google co-founder Sergey Brin. (2012) Seth Wenig, [photograph]. Digital Life Today. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2012/09/10/13781281-geek-chic-google-glass-eyewear-hits-the-runway-during-new-york-fashion-week

Odell, A. (2012, September 14). The Top 5 Ways Social Media Has Completely Tainted Fashion Week. Retrieved September 16, 2012 from http://www.buzzfeed.com/amyodell/the-top-5-ways-social-media-has-completely-tainted

Our obsession with social media is totally ruining fashion week. (2012) Samantha Randazzo , [photograph]. Styledish. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from http://www.styleite.com/media/styledish-09152012/

Revlon Takes Charge

As I continue to learn about new and effective ways to stand out in the world of digital marketing, the success of cosmetics company Revlon and how it is utilizing digital media and Web 3.0 grabs my attention. In order to avoid speaking class lingo, Web 3.0 is something that many believe will allow the internet to serve as an assistant by organizing search results based on previous responses and learning how the browser can more accurately respond to your requests (Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University). Not only do I, a 22-year old female on the go, fit perfectly into their demographic, but it is the proper means of advertising and communication compared to other cosmetic companies that gets me involved.

To take a first look at Revlon, one must visit their official site. Since my last post for class discussing bad web pages, I have become more attentive toward the details of a successful site. I like Revlon’s site because it is modern, stylish, and interactive. Once visitors become familiar with the site, they will also notice Revlon’s newest campaign utilizing social media at its fullest. This interactive campaign is called the Revlon Expression Experiment. The goal of the campaign is to get their consumers talking and involved. I cannot help but think of the 95 Theses from the Cluetrain Manifesto (Manifesto (Levine, R., Locke, C., McKee, J., Searls, D., and Weinberger, D.) and their constant mentioning of the importance of conversation between businesses and markets.

  • Markets are conversations
  • There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.
  • These two conversations want to talk to each other. They are speaking the same language. They recognize  each other’s voices.
  • The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
  • These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

The Revlon Expression Experiment challenges their audience to take risks and try new techniques with their daily makeup routine. It encourages creativity and inspiration between users and offers them the chance to share their story via twitter by using the tags @revlon or #RevlonExpression. What’s great about this campaign is that it’s starting conversations between Revlon users and through that; the consumers are recommending different products and techniques to each other. Learn more about the campaign by visiting Revlon’s facebook page. To further explain how Revlon continues to reach toward Web 3.0, they have also created a successful app available for free on iTunes. This app is called Revlon All Access and offers beauty and style advice from industry professionals Gucci Westman, Polly Blitzer, Christine Cameron, and Kristin Knox. Users have the opportunity to bookmark or favorite certain tips and to share the tips with other non app users.

Once users select their makeup artist of choice, they can watch a tutorial video or listen to advise on looks the artist has chosen to elaborate on.

References

iTunes. (2012). Revlon all access.  Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/revlon-all-access/id441617486?mt=8

Levine, R., Locke, C., Searls, D., & Weinberger, D. (2001). Internet Apocalypso. In The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual . [use sentence case] Retrieved from http://www.cluetrain.com/book/95-theses.html

Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University (2012).  The Changing media environment:  From traditional to digital.  Retrieved September 17, 2012, from the WVU eCampus Web site:  https://ecampus.wvu.edu

Revlon. (2012). Company website. Retrieved from http://www.revlon.com

 

 

Video advertising – the future of printed press?

Today Mashable announced that fashion magazine Marie Claire UK would release its first issue with a video advertisement within its pages. Readers can expect to see the 45 second Dolce & Gabanna advertisement first hand when the issue hits the shelves October 1st. For a sneak peak of what it’s all about, check out the video featured on Mashable.

http://www.viddler.com/v/7e90afcb

As a reader, I find the ad to be a bit pretentious but none the less impressive. As technology advances, I am constantly being blown away and I’m sure the same reaction will be spreading across the faces of Marie Claire readers come October. But regarding Dolce & Gabanna, are their efforts in shocking the world and standing out in the advertising game worth the amount of money to put the video chip within each magazine? Though D&G has not specified how much this advancement will be setting them back, I’m sure time will only tell if this new method will be effective.

What do you think? Waste of money, waste of time, or innovative and changing the way we read magazines?

EDIT: Video disabled and changed to link

Reference:

Wasserman, T. (2012). UK Print magazine to Feature Video Ad. Masahable Business. Retrieved  from http://mashable.com/2012/09/07/uk-print-magazine-video-ad/

Building Online Communities: A Domino Effect

The online fashion community wasn’t something I discovered until my junior year of college. Sure, I had been an avid internet user since the age of fourteen, but mainly to communicate or shop – never the combination of the two.

It was through a friend that I learned of a community on Live Journal, called What I Wore Today. On What I Wore Today (WIWT), people would post pictures of their daily outfits and would be either encouraged or bashed at their style. At first I began as a creeper, taking notes on what kinds of outfits people were posting and getting inspired by the pictures that they would take on the street. Once I finally got the nerve to post an outfit of my own onto the online community board, I was happy to have received encouragement and feedback to help me with my style.

 

From posting onto WIWT, I then went off and like several of the usual posters, and made my own fashion blog, Quirky Girlfriend. Once my blog was created via Blogspot, I went back to the WIWT community and helped spread the word, agreeing to follow anyone who followed me. This kind of networking allowed me to make new friends from all sorts of places around the world. When Quirky Girlfriend started bringing in traffic, I started posting about other things (besides daily outfits and styling tips) such as fashion in film, fashion news, and product reviews.

Since the blog is approaching its second birthday, I have since learned a few things:

1)      Stay original to yourself. Don’t try to be like anyone else’s’ blog. Readers enjoy varied content that they haven’t seen already.

2)      Let your audience here your voice. While wanting to remain clear, it’s essential your posts have a bit of personality to them so that the audience will be able to relate and respond.

3)      Lastly, be creative as you want to be! Don’t worry about judgment from others or why your posts aren’t flooding in subscribers – have fun with what you post and try sharing it with people who have the same interests as you.

The internet is a great place for sharing. Once something inspiring is on one site, it can easily be reposted onto seven more in the same day. I can see a similar pattern with the way I social network and with the way large companies do. We have both established a home site. From there, we have both branched out into other sites to promote the main one. Once I established my original Blogspot account, I went on to create a Facebook page, Polyvore, and Tumblr. Each account has the same goal, to gather readers and inspire people, but the function of the varying sites sets out to accomplish the goal by sharing things differently.

All in all, my story of how I came about blogging would never had happened, I think, if it weren’t for a community that I had never met.

 

Reference:

What I Wore Today. (2010). What I Wore Community. Retrieved from http://whatiworetoday.livejournal.com/

An Introduction

Hi everyone, by everyone I mean my Digital Marketing class. This first post is mainly to introduce myself in a more casual tone. 

I’m Kristina and I think I’m probably one of the youngest ones in our class. Yesterday, August 27th, was my 22nd birthday. It has been nearly three months since I graduated West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and I’m already back for more education.

Originally, as a freshman college student, the thought of Graduate school had never crossed my mind. It wasn’t until I started working for the University where it was brought up. Basically, I had the opportunity to continue my studies, become a Graduate Assistant and receive a tuition waiver. Once I learned of this offer, I really began to think what I could pursue. I knew I liked blogging (check out my fashion blog of nearly two years quirkygirlfriend.blogspot.com)  loved the creative aspects of advertising, and worked in public relations as an intern. I told these things to my adviser and she pointed me in this direction, and I’m so glad she did.

Though my field experience isn’t as vast as my other Digital Marketing classmates, I still look forward in hearing what they have to say and learning from that, and sharing what I can. 

On a more personal note, other things I enjoy (besides blogging) are movie dates with my boyfriend of four years, and   playing with my two sugar gliders. They may be cute, but they are very mischievous and intelligent creatures! It’s almost like having two toddlers, I imagine.

Image