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

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#AddictedToTwitter

Am I addicted to Twitter? Thats a pretty easy question….YES!

I joined Twitter in 2009, purely to see what all the fuss was about as I was always hearing some of my favorite TV personalities talking about how much they loved being on it and I was under the impression that this was THE thing to be a part of. My first few months of Twitter life were not very exciting and I was seriously considering packing it in. However this was until I started to use Twitter on my phone- this is where my love of Twitter officially began!

Fast-forward to 2013 and I am literally never off Twitter. Now I use it constantly, it is nearly the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning and at night I go through a number of refreshes before finally calling it a night. If you catch me looking and scrolling through my phone then there is about a 99% chance that I am on Twitter. I would go so far as to say that I prefer using Twitter to using Facebook. This can be backed up by my near 7000 tweets on my personal profile, however the main addiction comes from the constant scrolling of my newsfeed to see what is happening in the “twittersphere”. Scrolling through Twitter is something that has become almost as basic to me as eating, it is just far too easy and convenient to do, particularly when boredom is kicking in. So what do I see on my Twitter feed that is just too interesting? I follow nearly 900 tweeters, from WWE wrestlers like John Cena, CM Punk and The Rock, TV presenters like Alan Carr, Holly Willoughby and Keith lemon, pop stars, sports stars, news anchors, actors, comedians, models, business bloggers to even my own friends. Basically a who’s who of my interests and loves are on my Twitter feed. I must also be doing something right as I have nearly 220 followers with me treating each new follow as a monsterous achievement ( I’m catching you Bieber!) This I think is what makes Twitter superior to Facebook, you have everything that is happening to everyone in the world at the palm of your hand, in 140 characters or less.

You might read this and think that I need to get out more, and you may be right, but I am far from the only person that has problem. If you take a look at some of these facts you may be surprised to learn that Twitter is indeed a fundamental part of life in the 21st century. On average 750 tweets are sent per second, this means that while you have been reading this already over 10,000 tweets have probably been sent worldwide. These kind of stats are what have made certain mediums like TV and radio to embrace the twitter craze. It is very rare to watch a program like The X Factor or The Voice these days without the show executives encouraging you to communicate and interact through twitter by using a certain hashtag while watching the show-again this is something I nearly always end up doing.

However like any addiction, there can be some bad cases and stories of people who have had their lives consumed by tweeting, take a read of this article from The Huffington Post or this addiction story. No doubt these kind of stories can make you reconsider your use of Twitter, or if you aren’t on it already make you not want to join. However for me, Twitter will still remain a big part of my social media life although I will always try and make sure it does not completely consume me, or I might end up like the guy in this video

Convinced? Are you too addicted to Twitter? Make sure to comment and tell me your stories……or follow me on twitter! @hdoylemarketing (professional) @HDSunrise (personal)

Tweet on

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.

facebook-addiction

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…

Mobile Marketing: My thoughts

ImageI still remember my first mobile phone. I must have been about 10 or 11, it was a Nokia 3310 and I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever had. I could keep in touch with my school friends and I could play cool games like Snake! Fast forward about 10 years and if you saw someone with a Nokia 3310 today you would probably laugh and call them poor and old fashioned.

This is because of the dramatic change in the term “mobile phone” from the 90’s to the present day. Because now, a mobile is not just a “phone” it is a fundamental element in how we live our lives. Mobiles, particularly smartphones have changed the way we communicate, do business and overall how we entertain ourselves. Imagine telling someone in 1992 that there would be phones that can play mp3’s, take photographs, help you shop online, and pretty much anything else imaginable? They would have laughed in your face!

I, like some 1 billion others am the possessor of a smartphone. Ok mine isn’t an i-phone or a samsung galaxy but I still feel like it gets the job done that a smartphone should do, and certainly more than a 3310 could even dream of doing. And it is clearly not only myself that thinks this, lets take a look at some stats;

-There are an estimated 6.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, 1 billion of which are smartphone users

-It is estimated that this year (2013) that around 840 million smartphones of all types will be shipped

– By next year more people will be accessing the internet by their handheld rather than their standard PC or laptop.

( reference: Digital Marketing Institute)

I truly believe this is a valid estimation as I know too well the standard effect of “dual screening”. This basically means that I am always on Twitter or Facebook from my mobile whilst I am also watching the TV, just last week I was live tweeting whilst I was enjoying the WWE Elimination Chamber event. I was looking at what thousands of other users were making of what I was watching with them. It was like having them all in my house. This is only an experience I experimented with about 2 years ago, and now I can’t imagine watching a show without my phone close by.

Not surprisingly this information can and has been picked up by businesses and firms of all types all round the world, this is a process which is known as “mCommerce”. Mobile apps have changed the way we interact with brands as almost all brands have some form of app. Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes allow you to do your shopping on your phone without even leaving your bed, RTE, TV3, ITV etc allow you to catch up with your favourite TV shows with their catch up apps as well as news apps from Sky News so you are never lefi in the lurch. If I carried on with examples I could be writing this blog until I’m 40.

This therefore gives us an estimated prediction of how mCommerece and mobile marketing in general will continue to grow;

-Unexpectedly a further massive growth is predicted in smartphone sales (an estimated 40 billion dollars in this year alone)

-The explosion of the tablet revolutionized by Apple and the i-Pad is also expected to continue ( an estimated 24 billion dollars)

-An increase in the “augmented reality”

I predict that by the year 2020 when you walk into someones house you will see no TV, no computer, no radio etc, only i-pads and i-phones that have the capability of doing everything….except downloading food!

What is even better is that mCommerce is not difficult and anyone can work it…anyone….

The app is dead, long live mobile marketing!