March 6, 2009
What began as a simple blog about the deeds of our 44th President for a class assignment morphed into an exercise of personal digital growth for your humble narrator. Having slipped a bit from its original intent of commenting on Barack Obama, (hence the title of this blog The Obama Comment) this weekly narrative became more geared to class expectations, but opened the door for a truly constructive editorial in the future. The following is a tentative outline for how I plan to tell you all (at least my classmates and instructors…or fellow NMDL passengers as I like to call you (starting now)) the story of how I went from a naive Internet adolescent to a confident digital young man (or man-child):
1) “The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Man Often Go Awry”
To begin with I’ll give a rundown of my original intentions for this blog, how I plan to resume those plans following completion of this course, and why it’s better that I waited anyway.
2) “The Shortest Answer Is Doing The Thing.”
Here I will give an outline of what I knew, what I didn’t know, what I did with this blog, and what it taught me.
3) “Why, Then The World’s Mine Oyster. Which I With Sword Will Open.”
I’ll conclude by explaining why I think New Media Drivers License is not only a great course, but why I believe it’s necessary for anyone entering public relations, and the field of communications as a whole. I will also describe how I see what we’ve learned as giving us an advantage upon entering the world of employment and a leg-up on those we with whom we will be competing.
4) “”My Advice Is, Never Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today. Procrastination Is The Thief Of Time.”
This has nothing to do with my presentation…I just wanted to point out that I finished this week’s assignment ahead of time.
February 21, 2009
What if during all of that time you spend on Facebook and using “the” Google (thanks, McCain) you were actually developing skills you could use in your career? What if you could actually earn credit by using them and the rest of the Internet even more than you do now? Well wipe the drool from your laptops and dream no longer, my friends (ibid, the Maverick). Michigan State University, always a forerunner in the field of communications, is once again ahead of the game with their latest course offering entitled, “New Media Drivers License.” Taught by leaders of the old and new schools of communications, Dr. Richard Cole and Ingenex CEO Derek Mehraban (sort of like the Butch and Sundance of cool teachers), NMDL takes you on a journey through what you thought you already knew and makes you realize you didn’t know much at all.
NMDL Instructors: Butch Cole & The Ingenex Kid
You’ll learn how to use social networks like Facebook and Twitter, search engines like Google and Yahoo, YouTube, blogs, and podcasts to advance yourself academically and professionally. This is one of those classes that you tell your friends that you’re taking and they can’t believe you’re actually getting credit for it. The only difference being you’re actually going to use every single thing you learn from Day 1 in class to your last day on the job…and love every minute of it. So what are you waiting for? Sign on, sign in, and sign up. Then again, if you don’t know how do to that yet, you need much more than a New Media Drivers License.
February 14, 2009
When I first heard about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization for long, a few years ago, I thought it was something only the super techie nerds were supposed to how to use and be concerned with…kind of like the finer points of Star Wars. I accepted it as something I knew existed, but needn’t worry myself with because I would never understand it…kind of like stem-cells and my ex-girlfriend (I’m actually starting to understand stem-cells). However, after recently delving a little deeper I realized after breaking it down, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
SEARCH: Well that’s just looking for something. I know how to do that.
ENGINE: Engines are what make things go…know that one too.
OPTIMIZATION: That’s all about getting the most of something with an -ATION at the end…three for three I am.
So when you add it all up, it’s all about getting the most out of the engine that does your searching. To give it a little structure, it’s simply maximizing the likelihood that your site will come up in the results of Google, Yahoo, and the like when people search for related terms. Whether your a small-time blogger or a retail juggernaut, SEO is all about implementing a strategy to make sure when people are looking for something that you happen to offer, it’s you they happen to find. Different SEO tools do different different things, but in the end it’s all about increasing the relevance of your site to search engines like Google through precise, targeted key words, searchable tags, related inbound links, and the structure and content of your actual site. Improve these areas accordingly and the volume and quality of traffic to your site will improve, your page rank will go up, and the process becomes cyclical…this is search engine optimization, and it is here to help.
Now consider that explanation the fun, quick cartoon version to give you lay folk an idea of what search engine optimization is all about…however, for the Mona Lisa of SEO explanations click on the old lady below to see what she’s smiling about.