Jarter Jargon

While we all are monitoring social channels for mentions, follows, likes, unlikes, retweets, and a whole list of other things to worry about, many brands are overlooking a more simple idea: “purchase intent indicators.”

We need to take a look at the broad audience. Sure we track hashtags and certain groups, but what about the small-time, broad-range conversations that go on under our radar? A perfect example is Jason Fall’s experiment one day in Louisville. He tweeted:

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These are the kinds of tweets people send out in a heartbeat looking for general feedback. To Jason’s surprise, he received a tweet from a bourbon joint in a Marriott hotel on the city’s east side.

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A simple suggestion that grew from some pretty smart monitoring, but it’s something small that should still be considered by brands everywhere. Just because people aren’t directly mentioning your brand specifically doesn’t mean that it’s out of your realm.

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After reading an op-ed on Mashable about the potential effect social media is having on the world’s literacy rates, it really had me thinking.

Some say that social media is killing this generation’s ability to express clear and concise thoughts. Facebook and Twitter are rife with grammatical errors, and it still baffles me that people my age don’t know the difference between “You’re” and “Your.”

While studies suggest people are reading less, I find that hard to believe. People everyday, although on their smartphones or tablets, are reading and taking in massive amounts of information all the time. Take a second to look around in the grocery store, on the bus, even the ever-dangerous texting while walking. People are on their devices looking at the news, Facebook, Twitter, and so many other sources of information for just that: information. It has become so prevalent that it can now actually be difficult to get out of the habit of being locked on to our devices.

We live in a day and age where people have become accustomed to social interaction online. People have even come up with online etiquette! It’s here, and it’s here to stay. People look for that daily engagement whether it comes from brands they love or friends they love to talk to. Admit it, we all love getting Facebook notifications or Twitter mentions and retweets. We love when people like our photos on Instagram. We love sharing things via these channels.

Hofstra University Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Composition Ethna Dempsey Lay, who co-edited the essay collection Who Speaks for Writing: Stewardship in Writing Studies in the Twenty-First Centuryargues that what we are witnessing is a “sequel to literacy” meaning that we are finding new ways to communicate through the channels we are now faced with. However, on the other hand, she also brings to our attention that these social channels allow us to post immediately which has had an adverse effect on our ability to proofread and can also lead to the complete omission of revising.

As social media expands, new ways of communicating are being discovered every day. And while social interaction is at an all-time high, there are some cracks starting to show.

Recently, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer barred employees from working from home. The reason? To boost “collaboration and communication.” This now requires all employees to physically report to one of Yahoo’s locations.

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings,” Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s head of HR, wrote in the memo. “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

While it obviously frustrated employees, a huge debate erupted over the internet. Some also took the opportunity to recruit for their own companies calling for Yahoo employees upset with the ban to reconsider their career. Not only did the new rule seem to buck the trend in tech workplaces, but it also appeared to go against Yahoo’s recent efforts to bring more of the perks common at other tech companies to Yahoo. Under Mayer’s leadership, Yahoo has given employees free meals, freeiPhone 5s and initiated weekly all-hands meetings.

On one hand, I understand Mayer’s logic. Synergistic meetings and in-person discussions lead (quickly) to solutions. It also works to weed out employees who might not necessarily be working at Yahoo for the right reasons. Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider hears from a source that there are a “huge number” of remote workers in customer service, marketing and engineering, many of whom “weren’t productive.” For Mayer, the new rule will either force these workers to work in the office, which the company believes will help productivity, or force them to quit, which will help the company cut costs.

On the other hand, is it fair to completely cut out “Work from Home” days?

I can understand the need to boost productivity, however, employee morale has a huge impact on the work that gets done on a day to day basis.

It all started about a month ago with a phone call from a friend: “Have you ever been to California? Do you like to watch the Grammys? Do you want to go to the Grammys?” I can’t believe I get to say this, but actually being at the Grammys was awesome.

It’s not every day you get to attend one of music’s biggest events. When I first found out I was going, I instantly started counting down the days. Needless to say, being a social media buff, I planned on documenting the entire trip. My Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were set and ready to go. I even posted a couple Vines over the weekend. I woke up Sunday with the biggest smile on my face. I knew it would be a long night with a red eye flight back to Milwaukee after the show, but it was well worth it.

While the red carpet wasn’t open to anyone without a press pass, there was plenty to be seen inside the Staples Center. Looking at everyone I walked by, all I could think was, “They have to be famous somehow.” My phone was charged and ready to capture anything and everything, but while going through security, the usher said something devastating: “Please do not use your phone inside.” Wait, what? I had spent all this time researching the official hashtag, creating lists of people to keep an eye on during the show, and planning my whole social media approach for the night only to be told, “No phones?”

We made our way to our seats and met the people sitting around us. Not surprising, looking down into the sea of people who “have to be famous somehow,” all I saw were cell phones lit up. That’s when the executive producer of the whole thing stepped out on stage and gave us the pre-show rundown. We were told it was to be music’s biggest night yet, and we were reminded to use social media as much as possible.

After commercial breaks, LL Cool J reminded everyone to follow the Grammys Twitter account, use the official #GRAMMYs hashtag, and to keep the tweets coming. He also read tweets from fans watching at home. Although, I did think he went a little overboard. At one point he suggested viewers tweet with the #GRAMMYs hashtag and to “stay tuned for performances from #Rihanna, #BrunoMars, #CarrieUnderwood” among others.

While their promotion of social media use was a great way to engage viewers and foster conversation, it was a bit obnoxious. Even more interesting was the Grammy’s choice of social media platform. Facebook wasn’t mentioned once. Instagram had a few plugs, but Twitter reined supreme. The Grammys also taught us a few lessons about social media’s role in big events.

First, they told the audience where they could find the Grammys on social media, and they also told us what we would get for following them. From behind-the-scenes photos to exclusive content, it was worth following their accounts. More importantly, they let the audience know they were listening. Letting it be known that there’s someone reading tweets is a great way to trigger more tweets. They were also very active during the event, asking for viewer input and fostering discussions. However despite the amazing number of online discussions, the on-air impact of social media turned out to be little more than LL Cool J imploring fan participation.

It was over before I knew it, but I did gain some new Twitter and Instagram followers. I was also part of a huge discussion. The Grammys produced 8–13 million tweets, and performances garnered over 100,000 tweets per minute. All in all, the Grammys did a great job of incorporating social media into the night, and they did what any social campaign should do: keep the audience engaged, create a discussion, and facilitate the use of their monitored social channels. Now that my star-studded weekend is over, I guess I should apologize to my followers for blowing up their feeds!

 

All throughout my college career, I learned how to work for others. This how you do this, this is how you do that. Clients, deadlines, meetings, research, more research, planning, more research. It all makes sense as to why we do it, but what about working for yourself for a change?

I’m still rolling on my new-me-after-graduation kick, so here we go.

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life is too short not to do what you love. While college taught me how to serve others, both through work and personally, it also taught me to serve myself and do everything I can to be as great as possible. So far, I am trying every day to be productive, creative, and put my entire self into everything I do.

I am in complete control of the outcome of my life. I see what I want, and I am currently working towards my dreams. So while I work in an office, working for my bosses, working for my clients, I can say this: I work hardest for myself.

I’m only 23, so it’s hard to know exactly where I will end up in life, but as I said, I am in complete control. So if I have any say, I know now that not only am I ready to achieve my dreams, I am prepared to get there. I’ve been reading up on industry news, books from the old pros, and honestly, I think it’s in all of us to work for ourselves and build the life that we want.

So work for yourself above everything. There’s no use in wasting time doing something you don’t love. Look after yourself and live the life you want. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.

With graduation firmly under my belt, it’s time to venture out into the real world. Being an adult started on the 16th, and I haven’t looked back since. I can say I look at things differently. I find myself trying to take in the world around me more. Why? I don’t know. Maybe graduation has instilled a sense of finite time to do what I want, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything I experience from here on out requires deep reflection to find the meaning behind it. It just means I have new responsibilities but also new opportunities, and it’s my job to recognize and go after those opportunities.

As for my time spent at Marquette, it’s strange to think it’s already over. It was in the blink of an eye that I found myself no longer a freshman but waiting for my turn to cross the stage, shake hands, and exit the stage a new man. I can’t thank Marquette enough for everything it has given me. The opportunities, the experiences, the people I have met truly have made me feel that I have received a top-notch education from the greatest school out there. Sure my mom would have liked it if I went to a university that had a football team, but I wouldn’t have traded what I did have at Marquette for the world.

People come and go in and out of our lives. It’s a fact. The friends and faculty I have met during my time in college, though, will stick with me for a lifetime. Many students spend their 4 years getting an education. Personally, I spent my time educating myself not only in the field of advertising and marketing, but in the field of life.

When I considered attending Marquette, I did what any potential student does: research. I explored every nook and cranny of this university to make sure that I was making the right choice. Putting four years of my life into the hands and expertise of others is a very daunting decision. However the one thing that stood out to me is the overall theme of “Be the Difference.” To me, that is a lifestyle that speaks volumes of this university. The phrase mentions nothing about classes, nothing about campus life, just “Be the Difference” as an open invitation for us to find what it means to us personally. College is undoubtedly a time for young adults to find out who they are. That, coupled with the sole purpose of a university in being the difference and creating a positive change in the world, is the perfect equation. It’s all about how each individual student can spend their time here and, again, be the difference. What can they do personally as they develop here at Marquette that will reflect upon the world?

Even though I didn’t meet my wife at the Square Dance, which is apparently the #1 place to find that special someone, I wasn’t even halfway through the first semester of my freshman year, and I already knew that I was right where I was supposed to be and one day, I would be more than proud to tell people exactly where I had graduated from. Job interviews, off-hand conversations, “Where did you go to school?” I knew after being on this campus and interacting with students and faculty that with the biggest smile on my face and the biggest love in my heart, my answer would and always will be, “Marquette.” The caliber of students that graduate, and have graduated, from this university gives me faith that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Marquette University prepares its students for the real world. Cura Personalis, “care for the entire person.” The real world is a lot more than a job and an education to get you that job. The real world is daily interactions with the human race. Some people may take it for granted, but when I walked across the stage at graduation, I realized just how unique and grand my time at Marquette was been and how well it has and will continue to serve me,  a whole person.

So, I guess this is the part where I say something about going off and “doing what I love and love what I’m doing,” but to me, that leaves a bit too much wiggle room. So here is what I plan on doing: “Make a life, not a living.” I have said it in an earlier blog post, but right now, it’s the perfect start to my new adventures now that I have left such an outstanding university. Marquette has prepared me, one, to be fully functional in my area of study, and two, to take what I have learned and apply it to my own life. Not only did I learn and study to make my way into the world of advertising and marketing, I learned how to be the very difference Marquette hopes for all of us to be. My time at Marquette proved to be challenging, enriching, and life-changing. I can honestly say I would not be as proud as I am today to call a university my alma mater if I had not attended Marquette. I plan on making a life, not a living, I hope to continue to grow as a person, and as Saint Ignatius told the Jesuits, I plan on going forth and setting the world on fire.

Thank you Marquette. I can’t express how much my time here means to me.

 

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Today, Microsoft announced the Beta launch of Socl. Previously a social search, it has now developed into what seems to be a more amped up Pinterest with hints of Google+.

First, you are prompted to sign in either through your Facebook or your Microsoft account. Once you have logged in, you are hit with a fire hose of posts which can be sorted by “All,” “Following,” or “Featured.” Socl makes it extremely easy to share websites, news stories, photos, and videos: everything you would share elsewhere. With it’s Windows 8-esque design, it can be overwhelming at first.

You can break things down to specific interest categories, all driven by images. What’s interesting is that you can follow specific people or general interests such as “tech” or “music,” very similar to Facebook.

Posting comes in the form of searching for a topic and adding content. If you search “music,” a blank post template appears with related material for you to add.

The most interesting feature of Socl to me is the “Parties” section. Here, people can post videos that loop while others can join in and watch and chat. Videos posted from YouTube lose the function of pause/play/fast forwarding/rewinding so it seems pointless for longer content.

Overall, Socl seems like a fun place to stumble across interesting stuff, and I do think it could make its way into playing a roll in the social scene, but as of right now it’s too soon to tell where it’ll fit in seeing as how you can share posts from Socl on other channels like Facebook and Twitter.