Tonight’s Presentation

Tonight's Presentation

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Once again, as a result of this week’s reading, I’m slightly overwhelmed by the amount of data I likely produce. Some of it is (potentially) for the greater good, like the example of GPS tracking as an aid in medical research or to track one’s carbon footprint. A lot of it though, focused on the negative, like a potential employer requesting your Facebook password.

Despite the use, there was a consensus in this week’s reading that privacy laws need to address the issues of personal data in the mobile and social media era. Most of it revolved around the idea of consent, which I can get behind. I think at this point none of us are naive enough to think that any of our information on the internet is totally private. My Twitter profile is open to the public, and I use Facebook check-in more than any person should. As a general rule though, I don’t put anything out there that I would be ashamed to have someone see, whether it is an employer or my grandma. I think as internet-users, we need to have an understanding that nothing is really private. Do I think it is appropriate for an employer to ask for someone’s password? No way. However, it is totally appropriate for them to view what you are putting out there for the public to see.

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The use of data in digital advertising

It’s no secret that there has been a paradigm shift in communication and advertising since the advent of the internet, particularly now that we have entered the social media era. This week’s article discusses some of the learning curves companies are facing with the emergence of new data and advertising outlets. It looked at four “use cases” of how marketers are using online data to improve the effectiveness of their advertising- audience optimization, channel optimization, advertising yield optimization and targeted media buying. In every case except for targeted media buying, each was labeled with a low maturity level but a high level of long term potential (TMB was labeled intermediate maturity). Companies are still catching up to the technology and branching away from older, more traditional practices of data use. 

One of the matters still up for debate is the use of personally identifiable (PII) data and third party data. As a consumer, I was very happy to hear that PII data isn’t widely accepted. If a company wants to know what I am looking at on their site, that’s fine by me, but I’d prefer if they didn’t know my name and address. And really how useful is that anyway? Unless they are planning to follow up with a direct mail campaign (doubtful), then behavior analysis is going to be much more beneficial to a company. 

What do you see in the future for online consumer data used in marketing strategy? 

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Message Testing

The reading this week discussed message testing in order to determine effectiveness. The first reading looked at the impact of advertising on sugar sweetened beverage consumption in the city of Philadelphia. This campaign used what I traditionally held as my view of message testing, using consumer input to craft ads for television, radio etc. 

The second reading, observed consumer behavior on ecommerce sites in Canada and China. The study measured the impact of emotions on the perception of site atmospherics. According to the research, web designers “should use different techniques to increase visitors’ feelings of pleasure and likeability of the website for Canadian and feeling of control over the website for Chinese customers.”

I found this study particularly interesting because it seems to be more up to date with the needs of the ever changing media. Many websites need to be able to reach broad, sometimes international audiences, with different cultural influences. One website cannot serve the needs of everyone, even if they are in the same country. It is imperative to focus on your target audience, including their cultural influences.

Given the expense of message testing, would you consider using it for an international company?

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Given my interest in the field of web design, eyetracking has always intrigued me. Although I have never personally done it, I like the idea of using eyetracking to adjust elements of your web design- where things fall on the page and how to make your most important elements stand out. Although it is a little outdated now, this Mashable article about Facebook pages was one of the first things that introduced me to eyetracking.

Since I don’t know a terrible amount on the subject, I found this article to be a good foundation for the rest of the reading. It explained a little bit more about how eyetracking studies are conducted, by observing infrared light sources. Although technologies are becoming more advanced, it sounds like the model of having users wear a headset or staying completely still might yield less than completely realistic results. I’m pretty sure all I would be thinking about in that situation is how I can possibly not move my head. Just me?

The Poynter Institute studies brought in some of the real meat to eyetracking. They looked at participants reading both online and print versions of newspapers. One of the older studies, from 2003-2004, seemed to confirm some of the previously held notions I had about good web design. It mentioned that users looked at the top left of the screen most frequently (usually where the logo is placed), the bottom of web pages received modest viewing, top level navigation attracted a lot of attention etc. I also found it interesting that in one of the later studies it mentioned that large differences in reading sequences for print vs online reading.

With web design, how can we use this information to our advantage to build more effective sites? In what cases would you perform eyetracking tests on your website?

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For me, crowdsourcing, particularly in journalism, felt so nature that it wasn’t until recently that I fully realized how engrained in our culture it had become. It took someone in a meeting suggesting crowdsourcing as a fundraising opportunity for me to think “whoa, whoa what’s happening here?” Until then, I had enjoyed the benefits of open source software, looked at people’s cell phone pictures on the news and used iStockphoto without giving it much thought. It encompasses so many things that you hardly even notice it, but at the same time it is hard to ignore it’s impact.

With the emphasis on the masses, there is a paradigm shift in how news is being reported. As the When the Media Meet Crowds of Wisdom article stated “A significant accomplishment of the new media world is a shifting of power from publishers and advertisers toward the people.” Although, it is debatable on whether or not this is true journalism, I think elements of it bring great perspective. This is especially the case when it comes to eye-witness reporting, like people taking pictures during the 9/11 attacks the same article mentioned. A random person writing in the Cincinnati Enquirer I’m not so sure about, but I guess it is no different than all the blogs I peruse.

Now, as far as Wired Article goes, I can see how crowdsourcing can really hurt someone’s business. One of my former roommates was a photography major and she used to get so mad that anyone with an iPhone or Instagram now considers themselves a photographer. The graphic design students I work with have similar worries. The same rule applies with iStockphoto. And although I cannot speak to the quality or originality of stock photography, there are always going to be people that don’t care about those things and just want to go the cheap route.

1. Do you feel that the way news organizations have incorporated crowdsource reporting has hurt the traditional view of journalism?

2. Given that most of us have a common interest in good design, how do you feel about using companies such as iStockphoto with often drab images vs. a real photographer with perhaps a higher price tag?

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Online Brand Management

Has anyone ever seen that Sarah Jessica Parker movie, I Don’t Know How She Does It? The one where she lays in bed at night and makes lists? Well, that’s me (and probably all the females in this class for that matter). Except instead of remembering my daughter’s dental appointments and play dates like in the movie,  it’s wedding planning, a masters degree and a full-time job. Last night when I was going through my list something stopped me in my tracks- I forgot to do my blog post on time! Sigh. My apologies. So with the it’s better late than never attitude, I shall proceed. Hey, points for fessing up?? 🙂

The reading this week predominately focuses on brand reputation management, particularly in terms of social media. The PR News Wire article discusses the term social echo, meaning “the powerful reverberation of conversations around your brand that occur in the numerous social networks where people gather today.” The article discusses the importance of not just entering into these conversations as a brand, but really listening to what your customers are saying and adapting accordingly. You can use the platforms themselves to go about this, like what people are saying on your Facebook and Twitter pages.  I personally often like to search for my brand’s name on SM channels even when they are not @ mentioned. I can usually obtain some vital information from people that are not directly dealing with us.

Of course, it is when listening to these conversations that it sometimes leads to the need for a disaster plan, like the AdWeek article mentioned. Customers are not afraid to say how they feel about your company on social media. Sometimes this can be positive, other times not so much. I think what’s going through all of our heads right now is the Chick fil A debacle and how that spiraled out of control. Thankfully, I have never had to deal with such a situation. Have you ever had to deal with a social media disaster? Do you have a plan in place?

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