Blogging never goes out of style

Blogging never goes out of style

I’ve always been a fan of blogging, actually one of my goals in life -digitally speaking- is to set up my own blog and write about topics I’m really interested in sharing with the world. But here’s the struggle: since I was a teenager I haven’t found the required inspiration for getting it started plus my perception of the popularity of blogs being opaqued by social media has been increasing in the last couple of years.

Personally I believe that my excitement of writing a personal blog has decreased since the birth of social networks and vloggers (video bloggers), all this need for being read and heard when I was younger has been replaced with a single status in my Facebook profile and a picture uploaded in Instagram, therefore the likes and comments are my “readers” showing their engagement in my posts.

Honestly, by the time I knew I had to open a blog account for the course, my first thoughts were: But if we have so many new ways of communication, why blogging now? Is it still relevant nowadays? Now that the time for writing has finished, the answers started to appear by themselves.

Blogging is the method in which the authentic model of communication through words is developed, years before social media was even born, having your own blog was all that you needed to express yourself and it worked very well.

For example back in my country there is a very famous blogger called Romina Sacre who set her own blog a few years ago and now she is being followed by thousands of Mexican young adult females. I was analyzing her blog a few days ago and what I could appreciate about it was her seek to make you feel like her friend therefore she speaks in a very casual and authentic way.

I consider that one of the most important things for blogging is just being yourself through words, it may sound like a cliché but it happens to me every time I read something: the more you feel the writer is being genuine in her/his words, the more you feel empathic and interested as a reader.

blogging-inside

Image from: Olivia’s Cuisine

That’s what I learned from this experience of setting a blog, even though the posts had to be related with topics about digital marketing or the MOOC you made it easier for your fellow classmates if you used a friendly tone inviting them to read about your thoughts at the very beginning. Furthermore I feel that at least for non native english speakers writing in english enriches our academic writing and enhances our critical thinking.

Generally speaking I feel that the spirit of blogging still remains, however having a blog means having readers as well and I perceive that reading at least between teenagers and young adults has become an effort more than a passion, so I consider that this type of exercises help us lighting the writer inside of us.

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My MOOC mood

My MOOC mood

The first time I heard the term “MOOC” was during the beginning of the Master’s, it was Dr Lisa Harris who spoke about it for a while, mentioning the importance of participating in it within the course. By that moment I felt quite curious about it, and I instantly looked up for the meaning of its initials, after reading them I started to imagine a world of possibilities.

The word Massive specifically highlighted the whole meaning to me, would it be a series of live video streaming lectures that could be watched from people all over the world whilst users shared their comments and beliefs while being answered simultaneously by educators? I didn’t know exactly what to expect.

In Mexico online courses aren’t the first option for students in terms of learning, one reason for this is the low quality of the education in terms of the use of technology in both private and public sectors. One thing I can rescue from this is that the MOOC’s incentivize the use of digital means and enhance the importance of the technology for the future of education.

By the moment I started participating within the modules I realized my assumptions weren’t far from reality, however as the weeks passed my expectations for my first MOOC lowered.

My observations land in the platform’s functionality, I consider it can be significantly improved to achieve a more meaningful interaction in order to build a higher interpersonal communication online; it can be based in the Facebook’s user friendly algorithm. For example, to consider the possibility of mentioning someone with the “@”, showing who liked your comments and sharing the most relevant comments for you.

On the other hand, talking about the content of the information inside the platform I could perceive an evident effort from the learners towards the structure and the narrative of the information and the general encouragement towards the learners to express their thoughts.

For this being my first time studying in the UK I’ve already experienced a new way of learning which challenges my capabilities and that includes the participation in the MOOC as well. From what I’ve learned, the more the education is being shared, the richer it gets, I consider that the spirit of education itself is to be opened to the community.

I believe that the MOOC’s model of education has quite of potential regarding the   immediacy of the information and the reach of the material. However, I consider that it will hardly replace the great value of traditional education such as live lectures.

I consider that education is directly attached with emotions, at the end of the day the knowledge is shared between two human beings and that bond is what makes learning valuable. Open online courses are just a communication channel to exploit the share of knowledge but the authentic meaning of learning face to face is feeling the lecturer’s passion to give away the information for the learners to take away for their entire life.

Emoji Labelled

Emoji Labelled

A week ago I was hanging around a retailer’s shop when I glanced at a corridor with several clothes with printed Emojis, these instantly grabbed my attention and I felt curious about what kind of Emojis were chosen to be sold to the costumers. My first reaction was to take a closer look, I felt identified with some of these but others made me wonder: I would never wear these, so who else would?

image1At first I considered it bizarre to think about an Emoji Fashion fever in clothes actually happening (specially among teenagers). Since childhood we were used to see this kind of articles with printed stuff, for example Disney characters or classical cartoons. We enjoyed wearing them as casual clothes due to this identification with them, now people are wearing Emoji clothes to feel this similar bond.

Branded Emojis

The use of emojis in the digital platforms is increasing every time, according to Swyft Media, “41.5 million messages and 6 billion emoticons or stickers are sent around the world everyday…”, our ways of communication are constantly evolving to become more immediate and even more efficient.

One of the most relevant facts is how companies have decided to take all this Emoji fever to the next level. There is a relation with brands using emojis for engaging with their users and receiving a positive response from the users towards the messages, one example for this is the Domino’s Pizza new “Easy Order Service” in which pizza could be ordered just by texting a pizza emoji, as simple as that:

domins-pizza-emoji

Image source: cw39.com

Sending a little pizza Emoji carries the same message as if it was expressed through a phone conversation with the fast food employee: I want pizza and I want it as soon as possible.

Some other brands had used them to commemorate important dates or events as for example Bud Light did for the 4th of July, which gained a good number of RT’s and Fav’s:

Bud-light

Image source: MarketingNetwork.ie

With three different Emojis stick together forming a flag, Americans felt empathic and patriotic about a whole national celebration.

Furthermore, we can see the emoji fever rising not only among brands but in our personal daily lives. In past lectures we have discussed the reasons why we tend to wear big brand printed clothes -big enough for people to see-, we are being true and faithful to our brands everyday.

More than words

One emoji as one single image can express a lot more than words. Wearing Emojis as if they were brands tells us about the evolution of a particular language which involves feelings and therefore a common message within a globalized community.

I consider this Emoji Fashion will end up becoming obsolete as most of the trends do and we will see them disappear from the stores in a near future, but the fact is that Emoji communication will still be the option to fill the blanks when words just aren’t enough.

We are being followed – Retargeting as a digital strategy

We are being followed – Retargeting as a digital strategy

Picture yourself looking for flight tickets in a random airline website until you don’t find anything that convinces you. Perhaps the options were too expensive or the dates you were looking for weren’t available, so you decide to look up again tomorrow or next week -maybe you will get luckier next time-. You close the airline website’s tab and minutes later you go through Facebook or Twitter, you scroll down the page into your news feed and suddenly there it is: at the right of your screen there is a banner from the airline website you were visiting just a few moments ago, offering “cheap” plane tickets for the exact destination you were looking for.

I’m almost sure it has already happened to you at least once. And no, it’s not magic, it’s: RETARGETING.

Maybe this concept is well known by you by now, but in case you are not familiarized with it here is a little explanation of how it works for a any site: “Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.” Source: http://www.adroll.com/getting-started/retargeting

You can take a look at this illustration from AdRoll (retargeting platform) that may clarify your doubts:

3_step_retargeting

Source: adroll/getting-started/retargeting

Retargeting in our daily lives

Personally, a couple of years ago I didn’t fully understand how it worked or how could it be achieved by companies, but being a digital marketer made me realize I had to able to explain and understand it, and now I do it this way: We all are being followed while we make our daily activities online.

In previous posts I mentioned that I used to work for two car brands, for one of them we had to build a digital strategy because one of our main objectives was conversion (it was nearly null), and after I experienced its use today I consider retargeting as a fairly good complement for campaigns online, due to the fact of the interest shown previously by the user.

Everything has it’s negative side

I am a daily victim of retargeting, specially after I look up for ¡train tickets online (which I usually do) and this I’m being bombed for several days with ads. This has worked on me a couple of times until the moment I already bought my tickets but the ads are still appearing me (in both laptop and mobile), this is the reason why this resource may turn kind of overwhelming or annoying once the ads are shown every day to the same person (same issue with regular banners). Companies must be aware that if they decide to go with retargeting to develop their campaigns, they must keep on refreshing new banners regularly and program them to a fair frequency to users.

retargeting-ads-cool-creepy

After reading this, what do you think about Retargeting? Would you use it for your own digital campaign? Do you think this strategy will live long in the digital field?

United by a #Hashtag

United by a #Hashtag

Media is constantly spreading news about wars and strikes caused by political disagreements around the world, could you imagine how many of these have been evoked or feed through social media and internet itself? During my bachelor’s studies, I personally lived a student movement expanded and developed thanks to these resources.

It was a normal day at the uni back on may 2012 the highlight of it was crucial though: the presidential candidate for the most important Mexican party (PRI) was making a visit to the institution to give a speech about his proposals and projects for young people across the country (+18 years old).

It is important to mention the uni where all took place is private and also one the most highly ranked in the country, therefore no one ever imagined something like this could happen. Earlier that day, the presidential candidate walked inside the campus with the hope to encourage and persuade young Mexican students to vote for a party that had been ruling the country for over 70 years.

PRI1

Source: hijodelpueblo.wordpress.com

I perfectly remember the time when I saw this bunch of people crossing the campus towards one of the principle building and hearing at the same time people screaming all over the place. By the time I got closer, I won’t forget the image of the presidential candidate standing outside a toilet entrance defended by his guards where they surrounded by a mass of angry warm-blooded students.

You could see hundreds of students wearing masks of a controversial ex president of PRI, with red painted body parts in memory of the deaths in the war between the Mexican force and unarmed students taken place in the state where the presidential candidate was governor 6 years before.

epn1

Source: elcontenidoneto.blogspot.co.uk

By the next day the news were already spread national and worldwide, and people who had already chose to support the movement, helped it by spreading their messages even more. They posted countless videos, messages and photos through YouTube, Twitter and Facebook expressing their emotions and encouraging people to follow their beliefs and ideology against the government, and specially its new candidate.

The movement went viral and it became a world trending topic with the hashtag: “#YoSoy132” (“#IAm132”), making a reference to the people supporting the 131 students that uploaded a personal video declaring they took part of the event at the university days before and defending that they were actual and formal students and not paid rebels like some newspapers were declaring through their articles.

Mexico has never seen this kind of event in its entire history, supported by social media and important influencers across the country and worldwide, “YoSoy132” will eternally be reminded as an authentic born student movement that not only confronted the government directly, but also helped students and citizens from all social classes across the country to unite for the same objectives: to express their political beliefs and disagreements, to fight for more local media tolerance and defend their human rights.

Google, dream job?

Google, dream job?

Who wouldn’t love to get a job at any Google headquarter in any part of the world? There are nearly 40 of them all around the globe decided to reclute the most brilliant candidates for the most interesting technology projects. Sounds truly interesting, but after reading this maybe you will change your mind a bit…

Last week I was looking up online for the most desirable jobs in the biggest companies in the world, and in this list of course was Google. It is well known that most of large communication and technology companies offer the best contracts and working conditions to their employees for one simple reason: their workers are their real factory of ideas.

However, not everything we read and hear about having a job there may be completely true: Sometimes working for the best could come along with some negative aspects.

To begin with, as Google characterizes for only hiring the most outstanding employees from the best universities and backgrounds in the world, the daily pressure and constant competition between the workers to demonstrate who is the best could lead to surprising stories from people that could do the unthinkable just to win or climb to a place in these offices. After thinking about this, at least personally, I wouldn’t enjoy working in a place in which your life gets so much pressure that it could lead to so much desperation, you ignore when are you going to be betrayed by your co-workers… or have to betray them yourself someday.

Additional, as Google always keep on hiring people with the same type of profile all over again, same universities, same principles and same interests it could turn into a diversity issue, in which you may not find new bold fresh ideas. Furthermore, there could be cases in which brilliant people can get stuck in the same job position for years and could represent a waste of potential brilliant minds.

Someone once told me (it must have been in one of my ex-agencies) that working for Google was like a dream because it was like doing it in your own home, you can feel free of doing whatever you want while working: laying in the cozy sofas, playing Xbox and eating pop corn at the same time (all the food inside Google is free for workers as well). Sounds like heaven! But, after deeply thinking about this, there may be a point in which your life could turn into your job when it means endless entertainment as well?

Having all those benefits turn people more productive, and I think that is exactly the idea of making them feel comfortable enough to ignore the time passing by; this is when I consider that places like Google need machines instead of humans to work for them.

To conclude, I consider it’s perfectly normal that a person’s biggest desire and interest is to live for their work, it’s a way of living that you can find in multinational companies like Google, but what I truly believe is that if you want a a healthy life both outside and inside your job, you will have to work for reaching a balance between them someday.

Why do I want to write about this?

Why do I want to write about this?

Few years ago after my first Digital Media class in Bachelor’s at Mexico, I decided I wanted to work in Digital maybe for the rest of my life -I’m saying maybe because perhaps tomorrow I’ll end up trying to save polar bears from global warming in the North Pole or sea turtles in the Mexican beaches-… you NEVER know.

But what did work in Digital really mean? By the time I was 21 I didn’t even had the clue of how, when, where or who could help me in the start of my journey, I just knew I had this idea stuck in my head. At least in my country, the Digital world was developing very fast but no one really was studying to make things for it as there were very few digital-only agencies or digital dedicated people. It was just after people began realizing its potential, when the world started to react towards it and then I wanted to make something too.

I worked at two different digital agencies back in Mexico and after those jobs, I realized what Digital could achieve in the world. The problem was that I wanted to work for environmental causes, not to sell cars, I wanted to make the world a better place with digital tools but I didn’t know how to even start doing it.

Honestly, I’m not sure I will afford living my entire life through digital stuff made by myself -my dream is to have my own digital agency or end up writing very interesting/ funny things and news online that people really seem to enjoy (there is one guy in Mexico that started his blog like this and now he is a big influencer)- but what I’m certain about is that digital world is a HUGE opportunity area that we must not let go.

I turn around everyday and see people in their phones sharing information, buying stuff, reading articles, checking their news feed, texting to their friends, etc. that I can’t believe human beings had reached all this, that’s why I wanted to study this phenomenon and try to make cool things as well. I want to make the Digital world makes the world a better place.

After I was required to write a blog about any topic I chose, my head went a little crazy because I wanted to pick the best one for me… even I looked up in Google: “Best topics to write a blog” (that’s why I love the internet, you can find the most random things in the world instead of thinking by yourself) and once I read “-Choose the one you could write about so much about, you won’t even feel it” and I knew from that moment that it would be this.

I chose DigiTales not only because I’m studying a Digital Marketing master’s, but because I would really like to share everything I find to read about the latest news from the Digital universe and mix them up with some of my thoughts, beliefs and experiences.

Cheers.