Social Media: The New World Power

The most important thing that I learned this semester was the power that social media has. Namely, the spread of misinformation online. The internet has slackened its collective grasp on the truth when posting and sharing information, in the pursuit for money or asserting one’s agenda. With billions of people on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various other news outlets, it only makes sense that social media has become an increasingly powerful cultural and political force. The election of Donald Trump for president is the most obvious instance of the impact of social media on human society. Social media arguably won him the presidency. This is the prime example of the influence social media has on today’s world because it’s frightening how much it actually has. Social media is proving that it can change the course of history in bold, unpredictable, Trump-esque ways.

Both of my favorite videos were TED Talks. The first TED Talk, “How to Make a Splash in Social Media,” showed how movements can happen on social media. I liked this video because the movement, Fightin’ Splashy, that occurred, wasn’t supposed to happen. Greenpeace did not anticipate or want this, but it ended up working out for their mission, in the end. This goes back to the amazing un-predictableness of social media and I think this video showcased that well. The second TED Talk, “How false news can spread,” taught me how to create and spread fake news. I liked this video because of how it explained possibly the most significant problem with news and journalism. Everyone should be aware of circular reporting and how it can create fake and “incredible” news. Additionally, people need to be aware that user-generated content can also have the same result. This video is a good reminder that in today’s world you should be skeptical when reading articles and consuming information online.

While I enjoyed the digital artifact activity the most, the social media strategy activity was the most surprising to me. I enjoyed diving into a company’s, Tesla, Inc., in my case, social media analytics and then deciphering it in order to find when improvements can be made. Comparing Tesla’s data to other companies helped with that. Creating social media strategies, a critical response plan, policies, and pieces of sample content was more enjoyable than I thought.

Now that I have taken a class on social media, I feel that I can use the knowledge I have gained to potentially see social media trends and outcomes before they happen. Although, social media is still mostly unpredictable, I believe the information that was given to us in class would be enough for a well educated guess. Personally, I now know how to create the most astonishing, flabbergasting, infectious viral type of content that is easily spreadable. Time to start my YouTube or online career.

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GitLab: With the Press of a Button

GitLab endured what probably was their most significant crisis to date. With the press of a button, an employee accidentally deleted some of their clients’ data from their database servers. Then, the company’s backups didn’t work and GitLab lost access to an enormous amount of data. GitLab shut down their site for 18 hours in order to fix the issue. Below was their initial response.

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GitLab’s response was good because they responded immediately and were somewhat transparent, however, it could still use some improvement. They were vague in their transparency because GitLab didn’t want their customers to know that they lost their data and couldn’t access it with no other information to say, which is understandable. Customers could get ugly when hearing something like this. GitLab still could have been a little more transparent by saying that they’ve identified an issue, although that’s what the “performing maintenance” lingo means, but is not clear for someone who doesn’t know that.

GitLab didn’t post again until the next day, but it was completely transparent then. However, there was nearly 14 hours between posts with no update posts in between. This could prove detrimental for a company, given the situation, but GitLab made it through with the combined post below.

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My team’s immediate initial response would have gone something like this:

“We have identified an issue with our database servers. Our site may go offline, if need be. We will post updates as we progress through this issue.”

Here, I believe the company would be as transparent as it could get without risking immediate customer backlash in the form of share slander. Meaning, if were 100% transparent right-off-the-bat with no other information in the form answers, our company could easily be subject to negative and destructive press. We have identified an issue and we are letting our customers know that, whereas GitLab just said they were running maintenance. Then, we said the servers may go offline in order to ease our customers into going offline. This is based off my personal experience in that when people hear that something may happen, they then handle it better when it actually happens. Lastly, we would let our customers know that we will be updating them periodically with further information, which GitLab did not do. They just waited until the next day. Frequently updating customers on progress and then answering their questions would further add to the transparency between company and customer. The customer would feel more comfortable, thus mitigating potential damage to GitLab.

Link to article: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289836

Tesla: On the Right Track

Tesla is an American car company that’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Tesla believes that way to begin doing this is by producing electric cars without compromise, meaning, that the cars would have zero emissions.

Tesla’s target audience is generally anyone who is up-to-date on the forefront of technology in cars. Tesla does not have a definitive social media strategy. They use social media to inform their audience on Tesla news, news on sustainable energy, and to connect with their audience by replying occasionally on Twitter. Tesla’s tone is genuine, kind, and complimentary being that when they reply, they’re jovial with their audience. Tesla receives that warm and welcoming response back from their audience.

The most significant thing Tesla could do to improve their social media game is to just post more. This would be a huge opportunity to make their brand more visible by their intended audience, as well as everyone else. It also wouldn’t hurt to reply on more sites than just Twitter and to implement some humor into their posts.

Examples of Tesla’s social media usage are listed below.

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Screenshot of a friendly reply on Tesla’s Twitter.

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Screenshot of a Facebook video post about sustainable energy and praise from a fan.

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Screenshot of Tesla posting news about winning an award with good response on Instagram.

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Screenshot of more news on Tesla’s LinkedIn.

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Screenshots of Tesla showing humanity and relatedness on Twitter.

Featured Image: http://www.carlogos.org/logo/Tesla-logo-2003-2500×2500.png

Breach and Clear: Bombardment of Messages

Jacob Guliuzo and Josh Smith

We each Facebook messaged three members of our family or friends. We messaged them non-stop for a day, telling them everything we did. We chose the rule of not constantly texting others to violate because it almost guarantees a response. When a person keeps receiving messages over and over they may get annoyed and respond with an inclination of “shut up” or “leave me alone.”

Jacob messaged two family members and one friend. After two hours of messaging the friend and not getting a response back of what was going on, the friend started messaging Jacob back with everything that he was doing. Jacob’s sister did not care, and just said, “good for you.” Jacob’s brother got worried, and then called with no answer. The brother then told their mom and she called Jacob saying that if he didn’t pick up, she would have called campus safety.

Josh messaged three family members. After only three messages to his mom that said Josh went to the bathroom and then washed his hands, she asked if he was drinking. Josh was not, of course, and his mother just kept telling him to be safe throughout the day. She also said she got upset. Josh’s sister did not care, and just went along with it, sometimes responding with “interesting!” or “wow!” Josh’s dad was not amused, thinking that Josh was high, only responding once saying, “Are you high?”

In both cases, we determined that mothers become concerned when their children act out of character, even through social media. Younger sisters tend to respond sarcastically back because they may think that their older brothers are messing with them, per usual. Friends tend to be sarcastic back as well. Everyone behaved the way they did because of preexisting relationships with Jacob and Josh. What this says about how we interact online is that people don’t post ordinary things that they do, or events, on social media. They only post uncommon or special things that make them stand out and draw attention.

Featured Image: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1731333/thumbs/o-GROUP-MESSAGES-570.jpg?6

A Review of My Digital Footprint

I have some social media accounts for personal use, however, I rarely use most of them anymore. I have only ever created a social media account to stay in touch with friends apart from YouTube and LinkedIn. I created a Twitter when it became popular, used it for a little bit, and then stopped soon after. I made a Facebook in 2010, when it was the thing to do, and posted here and there. I don’t that much anymore. I created an Instagram long before this class, but have never used it. YouTube is the only social media site I use frequently for personal use. I use it to stay up-to-date on what I am interested in, to find new and interesting things, and to overall be entertained.

Since I typically use the same profile picture on all my personal social media accounts, I’ll review my Facebook and Twitter profile photo, a picture of me skydiving. I chose the photo because I wanted my profile picture to show me doing something interesting, and I didn’t have many pictures of that. At the time, I had recently gone skydiving and decided to change it from a high school senior photo. The reasoning as to why I wanted to have a picture of me doing something intriguing I honestly don’t know. If I had to pinpoint a motive, I would ponder that I didn’t want to look like a boring person; I mean, who does? A person who views my profile picture may think I am daring, fun, outgoing, not afraid to put myself out there, extraverted, etc. Although at the same time, since my face can’t be seen, I may show hints of shyness and introversion.

Twitter is the social media site that I’ve posted to the most, so I’ll review some of my most recent posts from there:

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I posted this after seeing The Lego Movie in theaters when it came out. The words are lyrics to the main song of the movie, and they are hilariously catchy. I didn’t expect to achieve anything other than expressing my joys in working as team and how awesome everything really is.

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I posted this soon after a microburst formed right in the middle of campus. Me and a few buddies went to play in the microburst and had blast. I guess I wanted to express a reminiscence from childhood from when I lived in Florida and played outside in hurricanes. It was fun.

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I posted these three tweets while watching the 2014 World Cup. The first tweet is about Robben, a footballer with a ton of speed; he used his great speed to score a goal. I was dryly letting people know of his speed and wasn’t expecting to achieve anything. The second tweet is about the Costa Rican team. They were huge underdogs upsetting teams, and they did it again. I was expressing my joy for them. The last tweet was when the US played Portugal. If we won, we were guaranteed to move onto the round of 16. We were winning the game until the very last play when Portugal scored, tying the game. Now that we weren’t guaranteed to move on anymore, my excitement fell flat and that’s what I was trying to express.

As can you can see from my tweets above, I only get one like or retweet here and there. This is due to my network, or personal online presence, being small because I don’t post to social media often, if at all.

Angry Joe: The Reviewer We Deserve

Joe Vargas, or better known as “Angry Joe,” is a gamer that has reviewed video games since 2008, recently reviewing movies as well. His YouTube channel, AngryJoeShow, is where he uploads his videos. Joe’s audience includes gamers of all ages, male and female, although the majority is more than likely male. Being that he has started to review movies; Joe has begun to pick up that demographic of viewers. Angry Joe has 2.7 million subscribers and has amassed over 620 million views. Millions of people have seen his content, including developers of video games. Joe’s influence in the video game world as a reviewer is significant enough to where many developers look to satisfy him in his reviews.

Joe’s Angry Reviews are where he reviews highly anticipated games, AAA or Indie, and explains the game’s strengths and flaws while doing hilarious sketches throughout the review with his friend Joe Lopez, or better known as “Other Joe.” Angry Joe is a reviewer for the people, meaning that if the game is not up to par, he will tell you, hence the angry. He will tell you not to buy the game nor support it, if it is that bad. The two ways of getting that point across Joe uses are his parody character, Corporate Commander, who exposes distasteful practices by video game companies, and Joe bluntly saying, “You done fucked it up!” Joe primarily saves this saying for major flaws.

The reason that Angry Joe’s content is successful and why it spreads are the essentially the same. It is because his reviews are objective, have zero bias, and that Joe is not afraid to call out big business. They are good reviews that sensibly inform the viewer, and people want to share that. As a gamer myself, I can say that is how I think reviews should be done. And apparently, millions of other people agree with me.

Featured Image: http://angryjoeshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/

The Societal Need that is Social Media

I would consider social media to be a result of the combination of both social determinism and technological determinism, but more so of the former. If I had to put a number on it, I would say 60/40. There are multiple sides to every story and the creation of social media was not due to just one theory.

Social determinism is the theory that social interactions and constructs determine individual behavior. Social media was born as a social need by society, as was all technology. Humans are social animals. This theory is evident in how people use social media and the reasoning of why numerous people post, update, and initiate conversations on it. Many people enjoying doing these things because of the potential feedback they get. Whether it is good or bad, feedback is attention, and it can be gratifying for the individuals involved, making them want to interact more through social media in the future. This social interaction could be called a “gratification high,” meaning a person is consistently looking for that feedback as means of an open-ended hand shake where they are waiting for another hand to shake theirs. And that other hand is looking for a hand to shake. Once the hands have shook, both parties have some sort of gratification. This is what I believe has primarily shaped the use of social media, however, that is not to say the opposing theory does not play a role.

Technological determinism is the theory that the characteristics of technological change and advancement determines the way society uses it. I chiefly see technology, in this case social media, as a tool, and not one that controls us (unless that is its objective and we let it). Using Latour’s seatbelt example, the indicator light and the seatbelt itself are suggestions on how we should interact with them. By no means are we being held at gun point by technology, well unless it is a gun; we are free to make our own decisions. And again, I believe social media only gives us suggestions on how we should use it. We determine how it evolves based on our new societal wants and needs at a point in time.

In conclusion, I think humans are ultimately in control of social media. While social media may influence our actions in certain situations, we still have choice. We can choose whether we want to like, dislike, or not even pay attention to certain things. We just need to remember we have that choice.

Featured Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/303922674833982617/