That’s about how fast this semester has flown by. I am facing one last semester at LSU when this one is dead and gone.
On my Digital Brands course (#digitalbrands), this class seemed to go even faster, now that my awesome groupmates (Amanda, Lauren, Erica) and I have finished pitching our final project to our client the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
Looking at this pictograph of all that happens each minute on the internet and comprehending the scale of content created as each minute ticks by is really pretty astounding. I mean as I’ve been writing this post upwards of 100,000+ other things have been posted, reposted, and shared on tumblr alone.
With this in mind there are a few things (both pros and cons) that I can take away from the Digital Brands class:
1. You have to be solid. As in everything you do and put online needs to have a purpose that unifies with your overall concept of your personal online “Digital Brand.” With so much content being pushed online in alarmingly large amounts, this copious amount of information is approaching unconsumable levels for the average interent consumer. Meaning that we personally have so little control over how people read information about us online that every little nuance of our onlince presence must be uniform with our entire persona so that when a new person stumbles upon us - that quick snapshot gives them an accurate representation of who we are.
Beyond this concept, if everything is solid and together and your brand is uniform then people can accurately gauge how you will present content and you will become a more credible and professional seeming brand if eveything you do is coherent, clean, and presisely how you want.
tl;dr - Pick your strategy/style of posting online, spread it to every platform you engage with; and go with it. Be the ‘you’ that you want everyone else to see.
2. Consistency is key. Playing on what I wrote above, if you are consistently creating, sharing, and posting content online the higher the chances are that someone will see and engage with your content. In the information age was now live in society is no longer focused on the game of mass producing goods; rather we are focused on the game of mass producing ideas. Do your part, contribute to the world. And if you want to get your name/ideas out there; you must be consistent. Klout, the online social media influence aggragator, demonstrates this concept well because it clearly rewards users who consistently create quality content online. Something anyone knows who has taken a week off-line and seen their Klout score suffer the consequences.
3. Brand Smack Downs. Never will the fact that you have taken for granted what you do online more so than when you are paired up in a play-off style verbal and digital brawl over why you do what the hell you do online. This exercise over the course of the semester was invaluable because it caused the class to look critically at their online presence and actually think about how we interact with others both on a personal and mass communicated scale (twitter v. facebook; etc.). This ‘social networking thing’ is not old news. It is completely new (less than 7 years old). There is little (if any) information or studies to tell people or inform people the best way or safest way to interact online. Everything has been the wild wild west of uncharted territory. Since kids my age have been 12 years old, we have been the guinea pigs living this test out in real-time on the proper way to communicate online. We as humans have not adopted this mode of discourse long enough for anyone to actually be able to draw any conclusive results oh on it is affecting our culture or society as a whole. Everyone is just waiting with baited breathe hoping we don’t turned out fucked up knowing that we can update a status and geo-locate but can for the life of use write in cursive.
So I thought the Digital Brand Smackdown concept was actually pretty groundbreaking in its ability to assign a structure and create a ‘right-way’ and ‘not as effective-way’ of critiquing our ability to communicate in the online world.
4. I want an iPad. After seeing both Lance and Alex teach so effectively using only iPads; whether linking entire class lectures to the projector from their tablets or simply taking notes/real-time grading is I believe the beginnings of a paradigm shift in how education will be taught in the U.S. and eventually the world. As the shift away from the personal computer to Cloud based computing and tablet + App interfaces we will learn quicker, smarter, more efficiently, and ultimately more effectively. I mentioned earlier that we are solidly in the upswing of the Information Age; well this is a clear by-product of how we will learn better in this Information Era where up-to-date and current content (knowledge) is king.
5. Pitching and formulating a campaign for a real client. This was also invaluable as a life lesson and as a skill I can walk away with. Losing was a bitter pill to swallow, but the mythical ‘client’ is an ephemeral beast that is hard to tack down what it wants when they barely know what they want. So we came up with our concept for a mobile app for TAF and created an idea that would resolve an issue and capture, effectively, an entire demographic they currently do not have - with little to no effort on their part. My main goal was to create something that would work functionally not only as an app but as a solution to the campaign puzzle that was presented before us. With hindsight it seems glaringly obvious that TAF would want a broader app with more general functionality rather than a lean-mean-donation and knowledge gathering machine. But eh, that’s life. Our only spilled milk qualm was we programingly shot ourselves in the foot by removing the functions from our app that ended up being the deciding factor between the campaigns. It didn’t matter that ours would actually work or solve a problem, it just had less features…
Overall creating and nailing a presentation to a client where it’s do or die and knowing how hard everyone in my group worked and how we presented our material the best we could makes me able to walk home with my head held high. The only thing you control is when the ball is in your court, and when you do everything to the best of your ability with the results in the final judges hands - you can go home content that you did your part and in the end it was left up to semantics rather than error or doing a shitty job.
I loved this class and will be sad it is over. But I will get a double dose for next semester in the Advertising capstone campaigns class.