What Have I Learned From NTFM?

This is the end…my only friend the end…

So here we are, after 10 weeks this is my final blog post as part of the NTFM module. I have to say that I have really enjoyed this module as a whole, its given me a chance to really express myself on a variety of subjects that I have a profound interest in, that being social media and technology in general. These tend to be the ultimate forms of procrastination for me when I am normally at the end of semesters and trying to get study done, so when I was given the option instead of actually being on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc for genuine college purposes, and not having to study for an end of module exam, naturally I thought “Winning!”

Of course, this being a college subject after all I have learned quite a number or rather interesting and helpful terms, phrases and skills that will stay with me for long after I’ve left college and am in my future career- hopefully with the aid of NTFM in the area of digital marketing. Things like finding out about instagram, Pinterest and Linkedin and how to edit and put videos together . Watching a number of interesting TED talks and lectures from the Digital Marketing Institute have all but added to my overall positive experience of this module;
10 weeks ago if you were ask me to give you a lesson on Mobile Marketing or explain to you the whole area of “The Filter Bubble” I would probably have stared at you blankly and made excuses not to. Now however with thanks to this module I could now talk to you openly and confidently about these topics as well as giving you my personal opinions, which you may have already read in my previous blogs.

Blogs…..blogs are perhaps the fundamental skilled I have learned over the course of this semester. I was always aware of the concept of blogging and was a little interested in giving it a go myself. So when the main part of this module was to write a series of blogs, naturally I was enthusiastic. And how right I was! I’ve really become drawn into blogging, the idea that you can get out all of your thoughts and opinions into a single site that can be visible by the world is rather overwhelming. I can definitely see myself continuing with blogging even after the semester is over. Its just too fun!

Would I do NTFM again next semester if given the option? Yes without a doubt! It has been perhaps one of my favourite modules over the course of my 3 years of college life. Is there anything I could do to improve it? I would probably make it a subject in semester 1 for first year students as it will be an important element that they will need throughout their entire college experience. I would then have a more advanced module of NTFM in one semester every proceeding year as students become more and more in touch with the digital marketing world. I hope some strings will be pulled in order to make this happen.

So thats about it for this blog, and my NTFM module in general. Its been a pretty great few months and I’d like to thank you all for coming on this adventure with me! Fear not however this will not be the last you will have heard from Hayden’s Blog Box! 😉
I will leave you with this song, as it is “The End”
Goodbye friends


I’m forever surfing in a filter bubble….

Social Media Filter Bubble
“As more and more people discover news and content through Facebook-like personalized feeds, the stuff that really matters falls out of the picture. In the Darwinian environment of the hyper-relevant news feed, content about issues like homelessness or climate change can’t compete with goofy viral videos, celebrity news, and kittens. The public sphere falls out of view. And that matters, because while we can lose sight of our common problems, they don’t lose sight of us.”
-This is a direct quote from Eli Pariser, the man who came up with the whole concept of the topic of this blog; the “Filter Bubble”. 

Ill be honest and admit that before I watched some of Eli’s videos I was completely unaware that such a term existed. But in the end I found Eli’s theory both fascinating and compelling. If you haven’t seen this video for yourself you should check it out here.

Examples in this video that Eli points out is Google and Facebook’s use of personalised search results and streams. This is something that we all knew already right? Once you have logged in and stay logged in you should expect to only see things you are interested in pop up on your feed. Im sure you would probably much prefer to hear the latest about Kimye rather than the financial woes of Ecuador, standard! However you may find it shocking to hear that all past search results and web history you will have can then be used by several internet firms to target advertising to you and make it appear prominently in your future search terms. So this can be the reason why you are always seeing links about your favourite celebrities or TV shows even if you are searching for something completely non-related for college.  Think it can’t get any worse? Apparently even if you decide to search Google and Facebook as anonymous users, they can still find out its YOU judging on some fascinating elements such as your location, whether you are on a laptop,a PC or a mobile device, even going as far as where you are sitting. Stalker alert

Another thing I learned about filter bubbles thanks to Eli’s talks are the shocking personalised Google searches for every individual person. I was always under the impression that Google had the same basic searches for everyone. It turns out I was very wrong. If you and I both searched a term, lets say “football” we may be get completely different search results, or get the same results but in a different order on the list. This is because Google likes to think it knows us personally and thus will filter its results to cater to our preferences. If you are a Liverpool supporter and I am a Manchester United supporter, then a hypothetical 5-2 win for United over Liverpool would more than likely appear higher up on my search bar for Google than you the Liverpool fan. All of this can understandably make the average person feel uncomfortable that Google is in possession of all this data. No longer will we think Google is just an inanimate service in which we look for answers.
Thinking “Oh thats ok I can just start using Yahoo! instead”?. Yahoo are just as much a culprit of filtering data as Google are, but because they are not as mainstream as Google it has been less noticeable. The same can be said for Bing.

So is there a way to escape these overwhelming filter bubbles? There is. If your wanting to get as much information that is available on a social network, then make the move to Twitter over Facebook, because Twitter is so vast and fast moving, it would be near impossible for anyone to filter information to suit just you. Also available as an alternative to Google is new up and coming search engine DuckDuckGo. Again this a service that I had never heard of when first researching the filter bubble and I thought “Sure just use Google!”. However I now know that this is in fact the one of the only search engines out there that gives you 100% unfiltered results, and this is what they pride themselves on.

I hope you are now aware that we are all in fact trapped inside a social bubble, but that now we all know how to make this bubble burst! Bubbles are for birthday parties, and not for the world wide web

Is Facebook taking over our lives?

facebook addiction

Before I begin with this blog I want you all to take a look at this video.

Weird? Freaky? If this happened to you tomorrow what would you do? You would probably call the guards and report the person for harassment, graffiti, and borderline stalking. Yet take this to the world wide web and this is not only normal, its encouraged! I am of course talking about Facebook. Facebook was set up in 2004 and was initially meant to be for the use of college students, however 9 years later and it is safe to say that this is definitely not the case. Facebook is now the worlds largest and most popular social networking site with over 500 million users worldwide. In Ireland alone over half of our population are users of Facebook as these statistics show.

This brings me to the topic at hand. Is Facebook taking over our lives? This is a hard question to answer but I know that for me at least I can admit that Facebook is a big part of my daily life. I can’t remember the last time I went through a day and have not scrolled through my Facebook timeline at least 4 times on my phone and have accessed it through my laptop. Even now as I am writing this blog I am resisting the urge to open up another window and take a “quick” look through Facebook. I have sometimes even gone as far as logging off on my laptop and logging on on my phone a few minutes later. I think that the idea of knowing what everyone you know is up to at any given time and essentially being let in on their plans is part of this appeal of Facebook. However from my own experiences I believe that a lot of my scrolling is purely down to boredom, be it while I’m waiting on a bus or train, waiting on a Tv show, or even in a boring college lecture. However by saying this I am not saying that I am one of those people that is always constantly bombarding your newsfeed with boring non-interesting statuses like “So bored” or “Having dinner now, its lovely”. Quite frankly I hate those kind of people (thats what Twitter is for!) and am always tempted to click “hide from newsfeed” or even “unfriend”. I can usually go for days, even weeks without posting a status on Facebook, nonetheless I am still nearly constantly snooping.


But does this make me a Facebook addict? Are you a Facebook addict? You should take a look at this interesting article
This article contains 10 key symptoms of Facebook addiction, how many of them can you say you suffer from? I myself can identify at least 5 that I can relate to so I would consider this as an “enthusiast” more than an addict. Nonetheless its still pretty evident that Facebook is becoming more and more a part of our lives. How many times have you heard a sentence end with ” Yeah I know I saw it on Facebook”?. This is something I hear numerous times, and I doubt I’m the only one! And with so many businesses beginning to interact with their customers primarily through Facebook as opposed to the traditional customer complaint landline it won’t be long until Facebook becomes our primary form of communication. That thought in itself is frankly terrifying. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!!

Now if you excuse me I’m off to check my Facebook…

Blogging Begins!

First wordpress blog, the first of what should be many over the course of the next few months. This is part of my college course but all going well it should be a big part of my prospective career in marketing/business. These blogs will mainly be on social media (which I am already very active) as well as other topics. Stay with me throughout these blogs and I’m sure you will not be dissapointed!

This is what my life will be like should I become addicted to blogging….

I should probably end this blog by giving you my opinions on the topic of…blogging. Personally I think its a great way for you to express your feelings and opinions on what is going on in the world and giving it your own take. I like to think of it as your on personal online diary, which everyone can read!

I think its a sign of how technology has advanced and become a way of our modern society when up to about 10 years ago I had no idea what a blog even was (although I suppose I was only 10). I probably became aware of blogs thanks to Bebo (remember bebo?) If you remember Bebo stood for “Blog Early Blog Often” and there was a special blog section on your account to post your feelings and opinions. But these will not be standard Bebo blogs I will write, I’ll be discussing a range of different topics in relation to business and social media. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.