Here we are at the the end of Module 1 of the Squared Online course.
What a ride! Learnt loads in such a short time.
A few highlights:
“We live in a social economy and we are its exchange. Our actions or inactions are our currency…”, socio-economically we are now part of a “connected consumerism” world (Brian Solis).
“Social media and mobile technologies are changing what we do and what we are as humans” (Sherry Turkle). In this digital world we are so busy “chatting” that we forget how to “talk”. We are removing ourselves from our humanity by constantly “editing” our digital selves and also through lack of real life social interactions.
On the other hand, “mobile technologies and digital media is re-appropriating the space of the personal sphere, narrowing the social divide”, (Stefana Broadbent) by allowing individuals to stay connected with their family and friend circles whilst at/in work. A privilege afforded, prior to the information and digital revolution, only to those in the upper echelons. I have expanded on these themes in a previous post within this blog titled Social Media Ethnography – In Connecting are we Disconnecting?
Also was alerted by El Pariser that in this brave new world, with an internet that is algorithmically edited, we are at risk of surfing in a “web of one” . Hence, rather than being exposed to the wider benefits of a connected society via new ideas and opposing views, our web experience by being personalised and customised via cookies and algorithms, provides us with an isolated world view – “filter bubble”. As a digital marketer this is an issue that I have to ponder on.
Learnt tons from the brilliant Andy Sandoz. From his many ideas, as a marketer I will do well to remember that “smarter businesses with smarter customers” in order to succeed must be:
- Efficient: they should be smart with their use of data and turn as much datum knowledge into wisdom, insight. They should not only be networked within the web but also internally.
- Active: become social enterprises engaging in the social web by listening and talking to their customers.
- Advocating: leveraging the power of referrals and recommendations.
- User centric: rather than brand centric. Make the customer the focus of their content strategy by using the data acquired efficiently.
- Aware of Vendor Relationship Management (VRM): allowing customers to control how the brand relates to customers.
Gained also immense value from the very knowledgeable Neil Perkin. Some highlights are that companies in order to thrive need to be:
- Agile: “it is not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”. “advantage comes from responsiveness and adaptability rather than scale”.
- Planning for participation: “the value equation of media is moving away from attention to participation/interaction”.
From the very wise Richard Eyre, what stuck with me, mainly because of my interest in Eastern philosophy and Vipassana meditation, is that I should “aim to die empty: to set about doing the things in life that it is in one’s heart. Not with regrets because this is symptomatic of when fears are bigger than dreams. Hence, it would be very fulfilling when reaching the “end” not to have a list of unfulfilled ambitions but to be “empty”, satisfied, done. A step closer to enlightenment.
From Sarah Tate, the Programme Lead on Square, I took away several lessons. One in particular was that, I should seek and strive to go beyond my comfort zone as often I can. Only then I will be doing real learning and growing as an individual.
And out of my comfort zone I found myself when I was tasked with producing a short intro vid about me for the course. This provided me with an opportunity to learn about iMovie. Because of the short time I had in which to learn, thanks to the power of the interconnected “flat world” I live in, I booked a Google Helpout for 30 minutes with the delightful Amy Latten. Together with some YouTube tutorials and some trial and error I ended up acquiring another skill: video editing using iMovie.
There has been much, much more that I have learned in such a short space of time. After all, I’m only at the end of Module 1. However, to keep writing about my learning to date, would turn this blog into an eBook.
What I would like to add before I conclude this post, however, is that beyond all the knowledge and skills that I’m acquiring, I have also started to forge some friendships and expect to continue to do so along the course. This is an added bonus of being on the same journey with like minded individuals. Thus, I’m looking forward not only to the learning curve ahead but also getting to know my fellow Squares.
Cannot wait to start Module 2.
Now need to devote some time to think what business idea is going to make a difference and bring in the millions.
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Wishing you great success