A Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man

March 6, 2009

James Joyce, from whom I creatively borrowed the title of this blog entry.

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):

elmicecont012

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.

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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.

Shakespeare, Bill

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.

dickens-writing1

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.

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David Meerman Scott: The Sage of New Media

February 27, 2009
photoofdavidmeermanscott_0063Not since the lessons of man were laid down on papyrus has one book so succinctly held the virtues of a way of life. Apologies in advance to anyone offended by that initial statement and comparison (whispers: because I was referring to the Bible), but the scope of importance that David Meerman Scott‘s The New Rules of Marketing & PR spans requires a lofty description. Scott’s New Rules is the go-to guidebook for anyone and everyone in the fields of marketing and public relations. From the undergrad to the company president, this book should not only be required reading for anyone who wants to learn and understand how to use new media to promote their organization, it should be a bedside tome. Scott has succeeded in explaining how to use new media, from blogs to podcasts and site content to viral marketing (and social media and search engine optimization and like a trillion other things), to take your organization into the new and necessary future of marketing and PR. New Rules is a godsend for anyone who wants to know, thinks they know, or doesn’t know a thing about how to effectively use new media.
The Bible of New Media

The Bible of New Media

Following up a masterpiece is never an easy task, just ask J.D. Salinger or Hootie & The Blowfish. Scott, however, seems poised to keep the streak alive with his latest offering entitled World Wide Rave. You may be asking, “What the heck is a World Wide Rave?” Well fear not, my companions, Scott has an answer for you. According to the official World Wide Rave site, a WWW (for shortsies) is “when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.” Well that sounds positively splendid to me. Who wouldn’t want that? If you’re on the Web, you’re there for a reason, and that’s because you want people to hear what you have to tell them. Learning how to bring the world where you want them sounds like a nice size target audience, no?

The New Testament

The New Testament

I encourage you to get to know Mr. Scott and his work. In fact, if I were you I’d just buy copies of both books right now. I’ve already ordered my copy of World Wide Rave and a second copy of New Rules, because when you refer to Mr. Scott’s wisdom as much as I do, it’s better to have a back-up for when you can no longer read through the highlights, dog-ears, and notes in the margin.


Get Your License to Drive…New Media

February 21, 2009

Turn into New Media

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.

NBDL Instructors: Butch Cole & The Ingenex Kid

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.


Search Engine Optimization: Not As Scary As It Sounds

February 14, 2009

search-engine-marketing

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.

mona-lisa