What is Your Digital Plan? (COM 565)

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Where would we be without modern technology? How could we get through every day not knowing what is going on in the world? It is an interesting concept to wrap our minds around as many of us have grown up with digital media technology. Not only does it have an impact and influence at home, but the roles companies develop now are highly influenced by digital technology. In previous blogs, how media technology has influenced our lives (personally and professionally) were discussed, but now, what comes next? In this blog post, a plan for how to improve some of the technology we face with modern digital technology will be discussed. In addition, a look into our digital communication skills will be discussed.

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The collaboration of technology and journalism has been well recognized by our culture and society. It is known that this kind of collaboration and convergence of sources can create many opportunities for communication professionals. Various platforms can now be used, and are at times expected, to promote and market either a product, service, or story. Thus, it is important to understand ways to manage digital technology, with an emphasis of social media, in the workplace. Lotich (2016) further defines these parameters by discussing a few tips companies can follow to help manage social media in the workplace and those include:

  1. Keep up with current technology trends
  2. Determine which avenue works best to use for monitoring and using media
  3. Set Social Media Expectations
  4. Have a Written Policy
  5. Train employees

With the growth that technology has been making so far, companies need to be aware of what is going on around them. How can they continue to make themselves relevant? In addition, the importance of a work/social media balance becomes a larger issue to tackle because of the potential distractions they can bring if employees are using them for purposes outside of company goals. This is where those tips come into play. The tips challenge companies to take control of the media usage that happens at their company. It creates a clear path as to what and when digital media should be used, thus leading to a more effective flow of work being done. And it protects the company’s image by having trained employees to be smart and well educated digital media users.

However, the digital communications field’s influence on our culture expands past the office, past the dinner table, and this is in relations to how intertwined it is with our lives. Furedi (2014) states, “the intermeshing of the virtual with the “real” is part of the reality of contemporary culture” (para. 13). Everything from the way we talk to the way we dress is influenced by the impact digital media and social platforms have on our culture. People are able to reach thousands with the click of a button. Considering that we are now communicating with those outside of our normal circle, one can imagine that we, as a society, have determined new ways to communicate our thoughts and ideas through these various social media platforms.

In conclusion, managing social media/digital communication usage in the workplace assists in keeping on track with the efficiency of time and resources for companies. And when it comes to a reflection of the cultural impact modern digital technology has on us, I leave you with this final question – If you were to change one thing about the way technology impacts you, what would it be and why?

To provide you with further context, which may help you answer the above question, review this video on how your favorite emoji could actually be influencing our communication skills digitally.

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References

Furedi, F. (2014). How The Internet and Social Media Are Changing Culture. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from https://www.aspen.review/article/2017/how-the-internet-and-social-media-are-changing-culture/

Lotich, P. (2016, February 10). 8 Tips for Managing Social Media in the Workplace — The Thriving Small Business. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from http://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/8-tips-for-managing-social-media-in-the-workplace/

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Who Impacts Who? Technology vs. Culture – COM 565

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Charles Gilkey (2015) explains the impact of technology and culture by stating – “as much as technology is created from the fabric of our culture, technology also creates the fabric of our culture” (para. 7).

Technology has provided many different experiences to our everyday lives, further changing our culture and the expectations we have as a society of each other and the products we use every day. Each month there is a new update, a new app and ever year there seems to always be a new Apple product. This quick advancement in technology has created the expectation that we will always have a new product, that we are entitled to it because why wouldn’t we get it? It happens all the time. And when we don’t get what we want, we either become impatient or we move on the next thing.

Gilkey (2015) continues to provide examples of the influence technology has on culture by listing off ways we might personally see or feel the impact of technology:

  • “Every time you’re at a table with your friends and are balancing interacting with them and interacting with your phone, that’s technology influencing culture”

(para. 11)

  • “Every time you can order something from an online vendor rather than going to a local store, that’s technology influencing culture”

(para. 12).

  • “Every time you go to a new place based on its Yelp profile and reviews, that’s technology influencing culture”

(para. 15).

 

These are perfect examples to the question that many of us may ask ourselves, are we influencing and creatively making these new experiences or is current technology dictating where we are going next due to the habits it has had us create for ourselves. It is a never ending debate that we may or may not get to. But for now the conversation that needs to be made is how can we take control of ourselves and not let bad habits such as “Binge Watching” effect our lifestyles outside of technology?

To add to this conversation, and to spark more conversations between you and those around you, Ramesh Srinivasan discusses how culture and technology impacts each other other remote places of the world in a TED Talks video here.

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Reference

Gilkey, C. (2015, April 21). Technology and Culture Influence Each Other. Retrieved May 21, 2017, from http://www.productiveflourishing.com/technology-and-culture-influence-each-other/

Making Connections For Me – COM 565

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Connections is the word of the decade. With the exposure that online technology has given us, it is rare that you will not hear a company or a person describe working with a group of people or a community as “making a connection”. This is because of the access we have to so many people, on the home front and globally. We have become a “Network Society”. Connecting with various groups and people has created a sense of a larger community. However, that connection is likely to be made for the benefit of the single person rather than the community as a whole.

Castells (2014) describes this sense of self-centeredness by stating:

“our current “network society” is a product of the digital revolution and some major sociocultural changes. One of these is the rise of the “Me-centered society,” marked by an increased focus on individual growth and a decline in community understood in terms of space, work, family, and ascription in general”

(para. 3).

The cultural impact of digital technology has influenced how we perceive ourselves internally and in perspective to other people as well. Social media has a huge role in this because of its features that allow us to not only connect with others, but it also allows us to ensure that those we connect with are only seeing our best features. And as Castells (2014) noted, these connections are also based off of individual interests and values. With this level of connection and the networked system that people have created, there is a new found drive for online connections than personal ones. This change in expectations of social norms has encouraged more self-related activities and goals for people.

One of the ways that we “connect” with others online is through posting photos of ourselves. This is how we can identify a name with a face, further confirming that connection with a “real person”. However, there has been many conversations about the downfalls of take “Selfies” and posting them to the internet. I encourage you to read an article by Robert Locke to determine whether you agree that taking multiple selfies benefits an online connection or makes it worse.

Reference

Castells, M. (2014, September 8). The Impact of the Internet on Society: A Global Perspective. Retrieved May 21, 2017, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/530566/the-impact-of-the-internet-on-society-a-global-perspective/

Growing Up Digital – COM 565

 

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Although we have investigated advancements of technology in the field of communications and media from a professional perspective, we have yet explored the impact that those advancements have on us at home. The growth of technology in the home has risen each year and continues to expose us to the numerous digital platforms on the internet. There is more to these advancements than meets the eye, which is why in this post we will discuss the potential impacts that digital advancements have on our growing generation.

The United States Census Bureau (2014) noted that from “1984 to 2012, households in the United States with a computer have risen from 8.2 to 78.9 %”and “households with internet access have risen from 18.0 % in 1997 to 74.8 % in 2012” (as cited by Berman, Cyr, & Smith, 2015, p. 80). Accessibility for this kind of technology grew and companies like Apple and Microsoft caught wind of the technological advancement, thus leading them to be the leaders in supply. By catching on with this technology, and seeing its value for people, companies (including service providers for internet) began marketing this to be a household product, a necessity if you will.

However, even with its great use and opportunities it provides, having this much access to digital content and media can lead to so devastating repercussions. One factor we must understand is the impact that this kind of technology advancement has on our adolescents, the next generation. This next generation has grown up with this kind of technology making Snapchat seem like what the telephone or email was for some of us back in the day. According to Berman, Cyr, and Smith (2015), “this constant and easy access may affect our youth in regards to formation of an identity because of the lack of in-person communication which allows for cues such as facial expressions, tone and prosody of voice as well as immediate reprisal or dismissal to become unavailable” (p. 87). Creating an environment where you don’t really need to leave your house to communicate has made the expectation of having a “social life” seem almost irrelevant.

A true “social life” means that you are interacting with people, making those connections. Watching videos on Snapchat or liking a post of Facebook does not mean you “talked” to that person or that you even really know them. You are not making a true connection with that person; you are connecting with the analytics of a platform. Looking back at the impact of technological advancements for youth today, I leave you with this question – Who is responsible for the exposure that these kids have? Is it the parents? Or should the platform itself, like Facebook, have some sort of responsibility for its users?

Social Media Brain

Check out the link above to further explore how technology advancements are truly changing our bodies, thus impacting how our culture expresses themselves. 

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Reference

Cyr, B., Berman, S. L., & Smith, M. L. (2015). The role of communication technology in           adolescent relationships and identity development. Child & Youth Care Forum, 44(1), 79-92. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1007/s10566-014-9271-0

Technology’s Impact on Workplace Communications (COM 565)

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Technology’s impact on workplace communication is an important role to consider. This is not a just a business field impact, it is a worldwide and multi-dimensional approach to how the world communicates within their work spaces. The inclusion of journalism and any other work of a professional communicator can confirm that the impact of technology has made their communication style in office more diverse. According to Natalie Burg (2013), the ways that technology has changed workplace communication include:

  • “Mobile Work-from-Home”
  • “Closer Collaborations”
  • “Unified Communications”

(para. 5, 10, & 22).

Changing the form of communication by working from home has created a different kind of environment of learning and communication among team members and leaders of their team. Burg (2013) further explains this point by providing an example of how a family can benefit from this by being able to work virtually and have the time to also attend a child’s soccer game. Ferrazzi, a best-selling author of “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back”, notes that “there’s real value in accommodating that employee need” (as cited by Burg, 2013, para. 8). This example thus showcases how communication among professionals can still happen virtually and with the world of online journalism, this is more apparent than ever.

Furthermore, being able to create closer collaborations and having a unified communications plan, enhances technology’s impact on workplace communications. Communications professional are now able to touch base and create opportunities with various people in creative formats. Burg (2013) showcases this point by stating, “collaboration used to happen in board rooms with whiteboards and bagels. Today, it’s on documents being edited by multiple people all over the world at the same time. It’s sharing screen data and chatting over video” (para. 11). This leads to the factor of having unified communications. Technology has further allowed businesses to keep people updated and informed at all times, thus leading to Burg’s (2013) last point – digital tools “don’t just make the new way to work more possible and productive. They also make the job itself more desirable” (para. 27).

If you are interested in learning more about technology’s impact of workplace communications and how you can apply that your own space, review this article on tinup.com.

Reference

Burg, N. (2013, December 10). UnifyVoice: How Technology Has Changed Workplace Communication. Retrieved April 23, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/unify/2013/12/10/how-technology-has-changed-workplace-communication/#f97ae31670bd

How Journalists are Incorporating Mobile Exposure to the Delivery of News (COM 565)

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Mobile learning is another form of technology that has truly impacted the work of communicators because of its versatility and ability to be learn wherever you are, whenever you want. With the growth of how news is being curated and delivered, there has been a modification in how upcoming journalists/communications professional are being taught and exposed to the future of the field (Walck, P. E., Cruikshank, S. A., & Kalyango, Y., 2015). Gathering news doesn’t just come from a person going witness to witness or from place to place to gather information anymore. Many will find their headlines online or through social media. These platforms are being heavily used through mobile usage as well. With that being said, a learning communications professional will need to understand how this new form of new media is going to impact their work in the future.

Ways that students of journalism are being exposed to the how they will use mobile devices in the field incorporate learning about “the inclusion of multi-media components, including recording video, audio clips; “tweeting” information; and posting to Facebook in once-traditional courses” (Walck, P. E., Cruikshank, S. A., & Kalyango, Y., 2015, p. 241). The world of digital journalism continues to expand – from video, to live stream, and through mobile exposure. I leave you with this question – how are you being updated on the news and why do you prefer that format?

For further reading, follow up with this article by Rowena Cormack

Reference

Walck, P. E., Cruikshank, S. A., & Kalyango, Y. (2015). Mobile learning: Rethinking the future of journalism practice and pedagogy. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 70(3), 235-250. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/docview/1719000636?accountid=3783

How Technology Made an Impact on the Work of Professional Communicators – Digital Journalism (COM 565)

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Technology has changed our culture and how society runs on a global platform – simple as that. When you are looking for updates and information on current events or entertainment, where do you turn to? And why? Is it for convenience? Or is it for accuracy? These are questions we must ask ourselves because in the field of communications, there is no exact science anymore as to who can be a journalist and how we gather, then curate content to share with the world. According to Kaul (2013), “with massive changes in the media environment and its technologies, interrogating the nature of news journalism is one of the most urgent tasks we face in defining the public interest today” (p. 127). The influence that technology has had over the work of communicators created an opportunity for new forms of journalism and professional communications work, including digital journalism. There are various and advanced tools that the world of digital journalism has given professional communicators that we cannot deny how much of an impact that has on our culture.

To further explain and showcase this kind of influence and the role technology plays, watch this interview with Tim Pool – Professional Digital Journalist.

Tim Pool Interview

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Reference 

Kaul, V. (2013). Journalism in the age of digital technology. Online Journal of    Communication and Media Technologies, 3(1), 125. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/docview/1283517369?accountid=3783

The Power of Good Branding

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Figure 1. Retrieved from Andy Sowards

When it comes to the power of good online branding, the top three factors that a person or company needs to think about include vision, mission, and values. The world we live in and the tools we have at the tip of our fingers give us so many things to think about which in turn could cloud our message. We then try to add too much to one single message or vision and then in turn we lose our original message. You need to be clear about what you are providing and the value that you are giving to your audience.

Video Influences, ran by Sean Cannell and Benji Travis, is a clear example of how they took their experience in online video to a new message and vision for potential online video influencers. Check out one of their interviews below and ask your self – what is my message? Who am I trying to reach? And why?

Evan Carmichael on Mastering Your Message, YouTube Brand Deals, and Perseverance (April 29, 2016) – Video Influencers

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Online Branding for the New Generation

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Figure 1. Retrieved from WPExplorer.com

Feenberg (2009), as noted in the previous post, understood the development of social media, one must think about how we would use such a platform where the needs and wants come from everyone and not just the author. The tools that the internet has given us has gone above and beyond just social uses. Because of these platforms, there is now a whole industry based off of social media and it is now used frequently for marketing and branding purposes.

Online Branding

Online and professional branding through social media platforms has become a very popular concept and practice. According to Kilgour, Larke, and Sasser (2014), “many organizations used it as a broadcast media…, but the nature of social media has evolved beyond this point, enabling consumers, rather than corporations alone, to influence and contribute to the content” (p. 327). And as our culture has evolved in its communication styles and preferences, it makes sense that with the openness of online media communication, consumers may trust a review or pitch from an online influencer or blogger than the company itself. It makes the process and experience of consumption much more personal, thus creating more value for the consumer.

sm-4Figure 4. Retrieved from Sandler, J. (2015)

Taking Control of your Brand

Going back to how social media is incorporated into our online and professional branding, Hubert K. Rampersad (2008) states that it is important to take control of your own personal online brand because “your personal brand is the synthesis of all the expectations, images, and perceptions it creates in the minds of others when they see or hear your name” (p. 34). And because social media can show an extension of who you are as a person, it has become more relevant and important for all professionals to incorporate their social media sites to their professional network and portfolio, and to ensure that it is also relevant and appropriate to their goals and experience. Our social interactions are no longer private as they once were. If you post it, it is live for the world to see.

References

Kilgour, M., Larke, R., & Sasser, S. L. (2015). The social media transformation process: Curating content into strategy. Corporate Communications, 20(3), 326-343. doi:10.1108/CCIJ-07-2014-0046

Rampersad, H. K. (2008). A new blueprint for powerful and authentic personal branding. Performance Improvement, 47(6), 34-37. doi:10.1002/pfi.20007

Social Media – How did we get here?

social-mediaFigure 1. Retrieved from The Huffington Post (2016)

Think about your morning and night routine for a minute. What does it look like? Do you have an alarm clock or do you use your phone as your alarm? When you go to bed, what is the last thing you do? For many of us, we would like to say that it is reading that we do or that we turn off all our lights and make sure to get a full night’s rest. But the reality of our morning and night routines is that at some point, most of us will be on our phones checking our social media sites – for one reason or another. In this post, I will be discussing the important and effect social media has had on our culture. In addition, how social media has now curated online branding and its importance to your professional network.

sm2Figure 2. Retrieved from Grossman, S. (2016)

From Dial Up to Web 2.0

Our world has changed dramatically since the world of Web 2.0 can into play. Web 2.0, meaning new age media, has not only given us great new tools to incorporate in our everyday lives, but it has also become an essential part to our lives. It has engrained itself into our culture and inevitably has changed our social interactions, as well as the meaning of them. According to Jose van Dijck (2013), “utterances previously expressed offhandedly are now released into a public domain where they can have far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Social media platforms have unquestionably altered the nature of private and public communication” (p. 7). To some this can be a scary thought to have, but to others it is a way to connect more than ever before. Our culture is now, almost entirely, a global society.

Just Google it?

People have been exposed to the World Wide Web since 1991 and it has ever since evolved into a world of its own (van Dijck, 2013). The essentials started the process with emails, websites/blogs, and list-servers (van Dijck, 2013). Since then we have been exposed to a variety of the same concepts and even more. For example, search engines such as Google and Yahoo have become staples in the home for searching content. In fact, Google has been the leader of it all making the word “Google” into a modern verb – e.g. “just “Google” it”.

And with the advancements of programming, software building, and new needs created by the access we have of the internet, certain platforms have become our new “hangout” spots. Places that people like to “hangout” at are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. An interesting thought to think about is one noted by Feenberg (2009), where he noted that “social media platforms, rather than being finished products, are dynamic objects that are tweaked in response to their users’ needs and their owners’ objectives, but also in reaction to competing platforms and the larger technological and economic infrastructure through which they develop” (as cited by van Dijck, 2013, p. 7).

sm-3Figure 3. Retrieved from Twin Design

How did you begin using Social Media? And why? What was your first account and do you still use it?

Reference

van, D. J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity.: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu