What I Learned (ICM 522)
I want to start out by saying that I enjoyed this class a great deal. I have two other degrees and it’s hard for me to come up with courses from those other degrees (BA, Philosophy; and a JD) that were as enjoyable. I’m coming up with Botany, Creative Writing, a few of my Philosophy courses, Product Liability, and Trial Practice. And that’s about it. I did not expect that when I enrolled.
One of the things I learned, big time, has no link and no sample and no PDF. I learned what it’s like to have a truly terrific partner. Kim Scroggins and I got along swimmingly. Everything was a wonderful idea. We fell over ourselves trying to do better and better. We just had such fun and I don’t think we honestly disagreed on anything. I realize that such a situation is far too rare in life but did want to acknowledge it. Now onto what I feel is my best class work.
Putting everything together was a great way to synthesize everything that we had learned. I have been on Twitter for five years, I have been blogging for something around the same amount of time, I’ve been on Facebook, etc. And I had always felt like the person who cannot get any traction in a conversation. You know the one – there you are, at a party, engrossed in some fascinating four-way conversation about local politics when a fifth person (the fifth wheel, as it were) kind of barges in and announces that they like pumpkin pie. Well, that’s lovely, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
Three of the more important skills I took away from ICM 522 were social listening, researching into buyer personae, and the rule of thirds. The pumpkin pie-lover in the example should have listened before speaking, and realized that the conversation was about something else. If the words were at a lull, and the other four seemed receptive, that person could have asked – do you want to change the subject? And if a response was in the affirmative – for after all, people could have been thinking of their next responses or munching on hors d’ouevres and not ready to change subjects – then the fifth wheel could have, instead, asked, does anyone have a good pumpkin pie recipe?
So here’s our final project, where we put together everything we learned about putting on a social media campaign for an unsigned band. The video is embedded, above.
Communities (Module 4)
This unit really spoke to me, and I suspect that that is because I’ve been a community manager for over a decade. Therefore, here are my essay and my video and I think they speak for themselves –
Facebook (Module 9)
I – we, really – had no idea things would take off the way they did. While we knew that the currently existing fandom for our unsigned band was on Facebook, our goal and our hope were for thirty likes so that we could start seeing metrics.
We weren’t aiming high enough.
When the band’s Facebook page was created, after I had put up our logo (designed by Kim) and our background image (a Creative Commons image of sheet music I had found), and we had one quick post, I immediately went to my network. I posted the link on my wall with a message – this is a class assignment, please check it out. Truly, all I wanted was to hit the magical thirty.
We got to thirty likes in maybe an hour. We hit one hundred likes on that first day. Our one hundredth like was, perhaps ironically, the sister of a guy I had briefly dated in High School, a good thirty years ago. No matter. I posted a thank you and called her out by name.
Then we threw everything we had at Facebook, knowing that it was the preferred destination for our community. Using Hoot Suite, we added Facebook postings to our tweets and retweets, to our Google+ postings and anything else. We tweeted our blog postings to Facebook, too. And we created original content just for Facebook (which we spread to Twitter and our Google+ page). This was our destination, and over one hundred and fifty people agreed. Come see it here –
Twitter (Module 10)
I enjoyed writing about Twitter and a Twitter revolution. This particular assignment allowed me to stretch some long-dormant philosophical muscles, and post my opinion about Twitter and our society, and the right to assembly and its connection to protesting. Please check it out here –
Platform Effectiveness and Design (Module 11)
We tried with MySpace. We really did. But it just wasn’t working out (our Final Project reiterates that). This essay assignment spoke to me as a means of figuring out – what does our buyer persona truly need? I determined that they need a community, and it needs to feel a bit more permanent than MySpace, which currently feels like it’s almost fly by night. After all, why invest time, money, energy or any other valuable resources in a community that won’t be around in a week or a year, or at least it seems that way? My take on it is here –
I have been doing this for years, but my effectiveness level has finally risen dramatically, as I have learned to listen better, and how to truly interpret and act on what I’m hearing. I don’t just shout out my message. I listen and engage with what I’m hearing. I have ICM 522 and Professor Hong to thank for that kind of attitudinal shift.