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Final: Blogetery In Forward Motion

Design is a very competitive field. My peers are my harshest critics. Many don’t easily (or free of charge) offer much in terms of advice or insight. Considering how tech savvy graphic design is as a field, you would think more designers would be open in their blogs/websites. I set out on this blog wanting to do something different.

I use Photoshop and the Adobe creative suite on a near daily basis. It would be too easy to simply talk to the core audience with technical jargon, but my audience is intended to be larger. While, I won’t quit my day job, I do enjoy stand-up comedy and quotes and ideas from that realm seep into this blog. I have a passion of design, but I also realize that it is okay to laugh and poke fun of yourself. As I’ve said several times, it humanizes my job.

I am writing a blog. That word grew out of weblog. In grammar school, we had to keep personal accounts for our science fair project. We called it a log. A lot of the students had difficulty accounting for their trials and tribulations. Our teacher was looking for something personal about our successes and/or failures. To me, it was being honest. It seemed so easy to me, it was fun. Writing a blog is the same.

What Do You Know?

Again, this is common among my peers in the field. Who really has esoteric knowledge in design or in life? I am still looking to meet these people. Before I enrolled in graduate school, I felt the need to learn more. I went on some Amazon shopping sprees and purchased a number of design sources. I am looking to further develop my knowledge and my voice on this platform. I have the books and know some good resources. This blog provides the opportunity to finally utilize them.

How Have I Grown?

When I first starting posting, I wrote about fears, successes, failures and personal stories. I thought it was a good foundation, but felt something was lacking. That something was design. I was honest with the reader. To some, it came off as a lack of passion or confidence, but to me, it was just the ups and downs of a designer trying to make it in the field. I grew from the personal stories to talking about my experiences with the larger goal of design concepts in mind. If I blogged about working with a local YMCA, I wrote about the evolution of their logo. If I read about the word of mouth that was the OBEY Giant graphic, I wrote about the evolution and controversy surrounding the logo. If I was looking for an online portfolio to upload my designs, I posted about which sites worked best (or worst) and why. I went beyond just me during the course of this blog and talked about the larger concept of designs and how they affect me.

What’s The Plan? Next Steps?

The next step in this blog is the actual design of it. With all of the blogs I have written on the subject of design, I realize that the proof should also be in the look. Choosing another designer’s template is almost like having someone ghostwrite my posts. It would not feel natural. As I grow as a graduate student, I hope to take my graphic design skills into web design and give this blog the look I feel it should have. This would also reflect on my Twitter page and YouTube channel for continuity purposes. To learn web design and post about it would be a comprehensive learning experience in the future.

Personal Achievements

In an earlier post, I mentioned how writing was a passion as a child. There are a lot of children that dream of playing a professional sport, but for the majority, that dream fades into adulthood. With the way technology and communication have changed, my passion for writing does not have to fade.

A major accomplishment for me writing for something I am truly passionate about, even if I have the occasional writer’s block. If you took a look inside my room, you would find music/movie posters, sports memorabilia and a rather large collection of DVDs. I could much more easily blog about music or movies. The key is that I would never really learn anything, as those are not fields I strive to break into. I knew in graphic design this would not be the case. To attempt to post a compelling blog meant that I had to sometimes go outside of what I knew and tap into other resources. That made me learn. There was never any wasted motion in this process. If I spent hours trying to create an online portfolio, I blogged about it. If I was inspired my metaphors in my writing, I also tapped into how they affect me in design. These were topics I can take with me well beyond this blog.

From the start of the blog up to now, I feel Blogetery in Motion has a much greater sense of identity. It evolved from my personal ramblings to graphic design, life experiences and creative ideas (as mentioned in the blog subhead). The Blogroll on the upper left column has relevant links to my YouTube channel, a design website and a Photoshop tutorial site. Below that is also a link to my design portfolio. To make the blog a bit more official (and to prove that I actually design), this accelerated the need to also create an online portfolio to link up to, at least until I become an improved web designer.

In my writing class, my professor said something that will really stay with me moving forward in my classes and career.

“Your worry shouldn’t be will I find a job, but what if I miss this opportunity?”

I knew going in that blogging about design would not be the easiest topic for me. Design is subjective to many and sometimes too can have to segmented of an audience to appeal to universally. To choose anything other than it would have felt as though I was not only cheating the reader, but more importantly, myself. It would have been that missed opportunity.

Web Design For The Non-Web Designer

I have posted a lot about graphic design on this blog. You have read my words and perhaps heard my voice (on this video), but you have not really seen a lot of my work. I have alluded to some of the projects I have worked on, but trying to showcase them all is not easy, especially since I am not a web designer. However, as a graphic designer, I am very specific in how I want to show my work. For a while now, I have been looking into a customizable, online portfolio to show my work. Without knowledge of coding, HTML or CSS, finding reputable (and free) options are limited.

Wix

Wix.com allows for some Flash animations and is customizable. The widgets and apps have features that allow you to connect with Google Maps, PayPal and RSS feeds. The downside is that it takes too long to edit and you are often limited to what templates are available. Also there did not seem to be a way for me to link up a widget on this blog, thus not as much connectivity between online platforms. From a website with potential to…

Web.com

I signed up for web.com last winter. Big mistake. It is free for 30 days, but they still have your credit card information on file and will charge you when the trial runs out. Since it is a publicly traded company with 275,000 subscribers, I assumed the site would be legit. I called just to make sure the site was customizable for my needs and the operator assured me they were. They answered my questions a little too swiftly, making me suspicious from the start. The available templates were laughable and something you would find on Websites That Suck. I later found out that there was very little customization on the user end and if I wanted any of the advanced features, I would have to pay for them (NOT what the operator told me). Even the cancellation process was a hassle. When you do a Google search on web.com one of the auto results is “web.com scam.”

Lesson learned. I just wanted to have a level of independence to showcase my own work and be taken seriously.

Coroflot

I was initially hesitant to use coroflot.com. It seemed very bare bones without a lot of customization. The more I thought about things, I realized that while web design is a goal for the future, I want to show my work now. I remember choosing Facebook years ago over Myspace. I did not want to deal with all of the add-ons and features that Myspace had. I wanted a clean and (at the time) simple interface that Facebook provided. With Coroflot, I didn’t have to be ashamed about my lack of coding skills to create my own personal and professional portfolio. The layout puts everyone in the same boat, while making your work speak for itself. While not overly flashy, Coroflot also allows you the option of placing a badge (similar to embedding a YouTube video or Facebook Fan Badge) to your own website (as seen below).


view my portfolio:
coroflot.com/faccento

It is not the end all of what I want to do. The goal (as I move forward in my graduate program and career) is learning the ins and outs of web design. In today’s job market, the lines between a graphic designer and web designer are blurred. A lot of jobs expect both out of one person. I always had dreams of launching a website to show all of my work and branding. Someday that will happen, but in the for now, its important to show the work you do have. In the meantime, my portfolio will have to do, at least until this website idea takes off.

Stepping In the Social Media Squared Circle

I have always been interested in sports and entertainment. With my nephew recently discovering the live action soap opera that is professional wrestling (marketed as sports entertainment), I thought it was the perfect time to revisit what I watched as a child (World Wrestling Entertainment) and review their social media presence.

I stopped watching the then-WWF as a teenager for a time because I felt they were always slow to adapt to change. To my surprise, their social media presence is apparent right on the front page. There are links and logos for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter prominently featured on the front page. The Twitter page gives links to all of the wrestlers’ official Twitter accounts. I would be very curious to see if the performers are required tweet in character or not. I actually think it is a great opportunity for a newer performer to connect with fans. Characters live and die with fan support, so this could be a great way for a performer who may not get a lot of television exposure to stay in eye of the fans. While their website offers their own video player, I think it is also important to utilize YouTube. I think having a personalized YouTube page for WWE’s brand offers fans the opportunities to potentially embed videos to their own blogs.

I chose review the WWE’s social media presence because I feel it was always an industry slow to adapt to change. While they never really outright inform fans each broadcast, it was long been accepted that the events are staged and results are predetermined. It goes to show the importance of social media. Even a traditionally “sheltered (in terms of other working with other media)” company like the WWE realizes that there are more ways to connect with fans rather than just using their website. It provides a new way for both fans and performers to interact with fans, in ways that “real” sports does not officially adopt.

What About Design?

Web designers are always on top of the latest trends. When I do a search on social media and graphic design, I see that a lot of great work is being done in terms of designing logo, templates and favicons. However, I don’t see an abundance of interaction within social media. Blogs whose feeds I subscribe to include You The Designer, 2expertsdesign and Logo Design Love. All they really have are infrequently updated tweets on their Twitter accounts. What can I learn from this?

My Own Social Media Squared Circle

Like the WWE’s undercard of talent looking for a break or fan reaction, I think it’s important to stay on the forefront of social media, even if I’m not a publicly traded sports entertainment company. How to do this?

Twitter
I find that the more I tweet, the more followers and blog reads I receive. I recently blogged about the relevance of the OBEY Giant artwork. I personally found the topic interesting (did I mention that I watched wrestling as a child), so I posted an offbeat tweet about it. To my surprise, I received a fair amount of feedback. However, I don’t always check Twitter as religiously as others, so when I go weeks without a tweet, I notice I’ve lost a few followers. Clearly, the advantages (especially for an upstart professional) outweigh the disadvantages. I’ve learned to tweet items relevant to your blog and not post with a course agenda to them. Unless sending a direct message, I want my tweets to sound authentic. I tend to never read a tweet from a peer that posts “Assignment 5: Post 1.” We all have writing requirements, but its important to continue to attract outside followers with similar interests. Now the key, is to hold their interests.

Facebook
I do not consider Facebook (at this juncture) to be a viable means to reach my audience. As someone with a personal account, I don’t feel comfortable promoting my brand to friends and family at this stage. To gain notoriety and success is the dream of any graduate student and should (or optimistically when) this occurs, I would feel it is appropriate to create a Fan Page.

LinkedIn
I find that LinkedIn is sometimes in the shadow of the other social media giants, but is also important. While not as informal in tone as my blog posts, I think it is important to show the client where I have been in my career and also read recommendations on my work.

YouTube
YouTube is the next realm of social media that I want to take more seriously moving forward. I have already posted a link to my DesignSource project and YouTube will be a platform to not only post tutorials, but perhaps a video slideshow of my portfolio. Perhaps not necessarily YouTube, designer Dave Werner utilizes video to describe his work in an extremely effective manner.

I think most of us (even you wonderful baby boomers) have come to accept social media as the norm and not a fad. For an upstart trying to make a name for myself, it would be foolish for me not to try. Of course, I can go on about this…now to make it happen!

Module 10: DesignSource Presentation

Intro

Hi. My name is Jonathan Faccento and I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree. Currently, I’m a Marketing Associate at a non-profit organization that’s given me a couple opportunities with graphic design projects, which is my dream job. Sure, our great country is in the midst of a recession, but with experience and a little bit of patience, I’ll be on the fast track to “living the dream” in no time.

Cut to

Look, I’ll be completely honest, that was 3 years ago. Sure, I’ve had a few freelance jobs here and there, but I’m always looking for more. CareerBuilder and Monster searches aren’t enough and I just don’t think my portfolio has gotten enough exposure. Graphic design is not an easy business to break into without that competitive edge.

In 2006, there were 261,000 people employed as graphic designers. By 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of graphic design jobs will increase 13 percent—as fast as the average growth for most occupations. Despite growth in the field, however, there is strong competition for graphic design jobs. The hours are often extensive, and in the start of your career, you may not get the most thrilling assignments. According to The Princeton Review, many new graphic designers become discouraged and leave the profession within the first few years.

About 25 percent of graphic designers are self-employed, and many of these designers work on a freelance or contract basis. As a graphic designer, I love nothing more than heading to my computer, turning on some music, tuning out the world and get motivated about my project. Unfortunately, jobs are not always easy to come by. It takes the right amount of networking, personal branding and experience to land your next gig.

Are you new to design? A graphic design student looking for jobs or career advice? Or an experienced professional designer trying to further your prospects? Maybe you’re just looking for inspiration?

Find it all with DesignSource.

What is DesignSource?

Are you a client looking for the right design? Are you a designer looking to showcase your talents? Let Designsource.com be your bridge to creative networking. DesignSource is a way for designers and clients to create, explore and connect. It’s taking the work or potential work you have and sharing it with a community dedicated to making the client/designer relationship as smooth as possible, all in one source.

For Designers

You’re an artist. A web designer. A graphic designer. You want to sell yourself. Now, sell your complete self with DesignSource. DesignSource is a comprehensive site dedicated to sharing your work and helping you find new work and connections. For graphic designers, there are plenty of websites dedicated to showcasing your work…and they have a catch. Many require you rebuild your portfolio from scratch using their own Content Management Service. Websites like Monster and CareerBuilder help you look for jobs, but often allow you to attached a pdf when going for jobs. Isn’t there a better way to showcase your work regardless of format? Do you have a portfolio you want to showcase be it web, pdf or Flash? Share it. No need to rebuild one that you already have. Link directly with DesignSource.

Your Identity

In the digital age that we live, many of us have spent countless hours sharpening our social media identity. Social media helps define who we are both professionally and personally. Decide what you want people see. Some of us might tweet, have a Facebook fan page, YouTube video portfolio or a LinkedIn resume they want to share with a like-minded community larger than they know. Share it. Show what you want to show. Be as transparent as you want to be. DesignSource provides the user the opportunity to link up what want to showcase from their desired social media site, be it widgets for Twitter, Facebook fan badges, Linkedin resumes or just embedding a YouTube video. You can do all of this with DesignSource’s simple in easy to navigate interface.

For Clients/Agencies

Ideas are almost never conceived perfectly. Nobody ever said brainstorming was easy. Many organizations that have a marketing team simply cannot afford a graphic design with all of today’s cutbacks in the business. Trying to find a designer with fair rates is not as easy as finding a repairman.

DesignSource takes design and outsourcing tasks to the next level. It gives designers the opportunity and platform to showcase their portfolio and website, but also serve as a way for companies and agencies to hire, recruit and discover designers. Designsource.com connects the client with the designer, all in one source.

Job postings/recruiters will be charged a nominal fee per job post. This not only helps build revenue for DesignSource, but helps us make sure are recruiters are legit.

Other Benefits?

Showing your work and finding jobs aren’t the only things DesignSource has to offer. We plan on having sponsored design contests to get your work showcased as a featured portfolio on our front page, much like a top YouTube hit of the day. We also plan on having special guest speaker videos and blogs with advice from experienced professional. In additional to this, DesignSource will provide monthly RSS feeds notifying our email list of industry trends featured employers and other site updates to stay connected with our audience.

DesignSource is convergence for the modern day designer. Unlike the competition, there are no gimmicks, templates or other product tie-ins. Just the work you already have. Think of it as your own blank canvas which you can add your work, social media presence, find inspiration, networking and potential careers.

Find creativity. Share creativity. DesignSource.

Midterm: A Blogetery Proposal

Have you ever visited a graphic design blog? The first hits on a Google search will land you on the pages that give you tutorials and examples of logos or typography. These sites, while being helpful, have always left me wanting more.

“Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.”George Santayana

I couldn’t agree more. Beyond Photoshop, there has to be more to design. That is what I seek to uncover in this blog.

What Is Blogetery in Motion?

Blogetery in Motion is my (somewhat) witty take off the phrase “poetry in motion.” Where is the motion? Well even though this is a blog, I am always moving. Moving towards a graduate degree, becoming a better graphic designer and forging a successful career. So many blogs give “10 Ways To…,” it seems like a lot of people in the creative field have everything figured out, right? Graduating with a bachelor’s right in the midst of the recession, everybody talks about success, but few seem as though they talk about how they got where they are. Whether it is trying my hand at drawing as a small child or just trying to work with a client who happens to be a good friend, these are some of the stories that separates this blog from the rest.

Humanizing The Job

Don’t get me wrong, some blogs are informative and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I appreciate a personal touch. Working in non-profit, if there was a donor that worked with me, I would leave a handwritten note. Just to show them I appreciate them.

Until they ran out of credible artists, VH-1 milked the show, Behind The Music. People enjoyed the journey of music artists both good and bad. Am I living the life of Motley Crue? No. Do I think my life and journey is constantly interesting enough to share? Not always, but it humanizes my job. The goal is to have the reader understand my point of view and to “pull the curtain back” of my job and give a fresh perspective. When I say pull back the curtain, I mean talking about design in ways other bloggers do not. I want to bring a level of authenticity from someone who is still maturing in the field.

Online Presence

A Voice – I have had experience writing for blogs that I never really had the intention of growing. It was a way to find my voice and create a tone. While I am still evolving, I do feel as though I have developed. I feel most “at home” sharing personal stories relevant to design, but now I am ready to also share my take on design concepts and trends.

Twitter - In the increasing interactive world we live in, it is important to have multiple platforms for your voice. Twitter, is used on a semi-regular basis (though not overkill for a follower) as a way to announce new blog posts, revelant links about design or just saying/retweeting a witty joke. I chose the name @JonBlogetery to create a sense of continuity between Twitter and Blogetery in Motion.

Other Avenues – I use LinkedIn as a way for clients to post recommendations (which I am currently building) and to link up to an online portfolio. As far as an online portfolio, I am currently creating a Flash version of one (via wix.com). The ultimate goal is to design my own page, but I am still in early stages of learning html and Drupal (which will be something to blog about). Also, I am looking into designing my own background to reflect the theme of the blog.

The Blog – This is where my online presence resides the most at this time. As of now, I do post and tweet under a pseudonym, but would change that when my professional portfolio/website is up. I am also going to put a description of the blog below the title, to make it clear what the blog is about.

Lessons Learned

“If Ernest Hemingway, James Mitchener, Neil Simon, Franck Lloyd Wright, and Pablo Picaso could not get it right the first time, what makes you think that you will?” – Paul Heckel

Get To The Point - In the past several weeks, I have posted well over 20 blog posts pertaining to design. The initial goal was to systematically start off with my history with design, then move into the field at large. Sometimes we get so involved in our own history, we fail to remember that not everything we post, resonates with the reader. I have always liked what I call the “slow build.” In a movie, the story is set, you have some background on the characters, and then the film hits the ground running. A future goal in the blog, would be to get the core of design. Recent blogs like Trading Ethics for a Design, Find Inspiration, Not Theft and Visual Metaphors have reflected this approach.

Never Be Content – The great work of other designers is what motivates me to get better. The same can be said of writing. I did go into my blogging experience thinking I had an edge, since writing was a passion in my youth. The ability to win over a reader that otherwise would have no interest in the subject is a big picture goal here. I want to be good, really good. Not just in my design, but in how I articulate that in my writings.

Goals

“Stop looking at yourself as a designer, and start looking at yourself as a deliverer of ideas.” – Stle Melvr

Whether it is finding your niche or just being stuck in a rut, I want people that, even if they avoid Photoshop, walk away thinking of a relatable experience, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with design. Blogetery in Motion is meant to entertain, but also inform. Why listen to me? I have a great passion for sports, comedy, music and movies, none of which I intend on pursuing for a career. I could write about those topics, but I feel I would be cheating the reader and myself. With design, the creative well never runs dry and it’s a big part of what I want to do.

Staying On The LinkedIn Path

In my last blog regarding LinkedIn, I talked about the differences in professional versus personal voice. The aspect that they both share is honesty. I don’t really “beat around the bush” here or on my LinkedIn account, although the tone is treated more like a resume. I included my freelance design work, as I have had a relatively steady stream of projects. I was not crazy about having to name the freelance work as a “business,” but no sense in shortchanging yourself. With that said, below is a link to my account:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanfaccento

Things To Fix

I would not be honest, if there were not things I would like to update in my profile moving forward. Obviously, more connections would be beneficial. Unfortunately, a lot of my greatest workplace “advocates” are not on LinkedIn, as they see it as yet another social media site, as I once did. This also affects my recommendations. I only have one for my graphic design skills, but certainly I will request from my former co-workers. Also, a good ten years of my work experience was spent in retail and nobody from those jobs are LinkedIn yet.

Final Thoughts

As I progress in my career, my LinkedIn account will only get stronger. It goes to show me, that while I have plenty of Facebook friends, I need to do a better job of networking and maintaining business relationships. I keep the LinkedIn url on my resume, as I hope that someday, it will replace the formal resume altogether. Feel free to leave any suggestions for page as well.

LinkedIn or LinkedOut With The Audience?

I begrudgingly joined LinkedIn last summer. Thoughts of starting up yet another social media page did not seem like a task I wanted to undertake. I was relieved that I did not have to put much creativity in the page. LinkedIn is strictly business. Professional photo and information only. Clever tweets and Facebook photos are not required.

To Scratch or Not Scratch the Surface

This blog and Twitter are different for me. They are ways for me to explore my creativity and scratch beneath the surface of who I am. What’s the surface? The surface is LinkedIn. It is my 9 to 5 life. The site has a Twitter/status update option, but I choose not to use it. I find that most people just announce when they are getting back from a trip or attending a seminar. LinkedIn provides the voice I would want to convey at a job interview. It is the book I expect you to judge by its cover.

Voices in My Head

To really know me is to know a healthy dose of both “voices.” There is my blog/Twitter voice, which sometimes funny, honest and likes to tell stories (and ramble on). Then there is my LinkedIn, professional voice. This is the same voice that sends out Outlook emails and dresses business casual.  It is quick and to the point with facts I would want a potential employer to see. I think it is important to separate the two, as I wouldn’t want to get too casual with a professional audience, but I also would not want to talk to my audience here (you, the loyal reader) in a rigid fashion.

Linking Together

My blog is listed on my LinkedIn page. I look at LinkedIn as an online, straightforward resume. People that would look at my page may scan it quickly, but if they wanted to dig deeper, I’m comfortable with this blog listed there. I will just not go as far as to say what I would post on this forum on my LinkedIn page. With that said, for my next post, I am going to explore my very own LinkedIn page, as I am editing what I currently have. Does it do a good job of promoting my professional “brand?” Is it boring, bland or “corporate” compared to what you might read here? We shall see…

“A Place For My Stuff”

Once upon a time, I was working at a progressively thinking non-profit organization. The recession (that “R” word) had hit and we needed new ways to get our message across during especially difficult and uncertain times. We turned to social media and as one of the younger people in the office I was expected to take a lead (I also wanted to keep my job) and adopt social media, even if I did not fully “get” it. I embraced it and got recognition for trying new things and having my finger on the pulse of some of the new trends. Another organization saw this, wanted to incorporate that and subsequently hired me. To my dismay and naive surprise, it has not been embraced. Thus far, I would say I have not really explained the importance of social media in a convincing way that would make sense to an office of older folks. They do not want anybody to see their personal Facebook page (regardless of the privacy settings). They do not fully understand that we are in an age of mass interaction with the ways we communicate. I could not properly and justly communicate this, which is something I have been doing with my own media devices and life…convergence.

The Future Is Now

I am all for media convergence. I also understand the reluctance of change for people of past generations. I can sympathize to a degree, but come on people, some of you grew up on The Jetsons! You had to know we would be moving forward by now. I was not able to attend the ICM orientation a few weeks back. A question asked was what were our latest digital “hobbies?” I would not have worded it correctly then, but my hobby as of late is convergence of media devices. I am watching my movies on my computer on my Xbox. I tend to buy products of same brand (mostly Samsung and Apple) so they “play nice” with each other, yet I still feel I have too many devices.

Using Wikipedia almost daily (even if facts are not always accurate), I can recognize the collective convergence of knowledge from millions of different sources to one collective website. The Blaise Aguera y Arcas demo is a perfect example of what French cybertheorist Pierre Levy calls “collective intelligence.” It is a wonderful illustration of pooling together images across various platforms such as Flickr, mobile devices, etc. and creating something really powerful and amazing on Photosynth. This really exemplifies the old adage the sum being greater than the individual parts with active participation from various users (a fine example of mass interaction as well). Another factor examined in the Seadragon version of the demo, was a traditional form of media taking on a new shape. For the past several years, media “pundits” declare the death of print media. As Jenkins in says in Convergence Culture, “Delivery technologies become obsolete and get replaced; media, on the other hand, evolve” (13). The Seadragon absolutely coveys this. A high resolution newspaper or magazine with the look of the print we have come to know and love is a great thing in my opinion. There is more screen real estate to have more articles and space for ads, which we can zoom in and see the specifications of certain products. Jenkins quote reminds me of the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” gone reverse. Don’t get married to the messenger either because it might just leave you and take a different form.

Too Much Stuff

How far can this “convergence” go? As Jenkins says, “Sooner or later, the argument goes, all media content is going to flow through a single black box into our living rooms” (14). He refers to this as the “Black Box Fallacy.” I personally look forward to the day this happens, but I realize a black box that stores all of your media might scare some people not ready for this. In non-technological speak, George Carlin (in a way) sums up a need for convergence (the fact that we have too much stuff),

“Actually this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all, a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

Sooner than later, we will be able to walk around with all of “our stuff” (in a media sense). When you make it sound that simple, convergence and mass interaction can be easier for some folks to digest. In the mass interaction side of things, I have turned the page with some of my work colleagues at my current job towards social media. Twitter frightens them, but I remind them that the business “after hours” did not sit that well with me (I sometimes want to go home at the end of the work day). When referring to Twitter as “the world’s largest cocktail party” this tends to sink in. While social media may have been the norm from my previous job and current education, I have to understand that not everyone has the capacity to understand how quickly we are moving (it still makes the job challenging and interesting).

In the end, “convergence refers to a process, not an endpoint.” I do not have time to mourn of the tail-end of a delivery system’s lifespan, there is a better more effective and convenient one around the corner. I have seen our cultural convergence, I live in this media convergence and while I cannot really predict exactly where we are headed, I must say, I am not all that scared.

References:

  1. Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture, Introduction: “Worship at the alter of convergence” (pp. 1-24). New York: NYU Press.
  2. Blaise Aguera y Arcas Photosynth demo at TED. link
  3. Jon Reid, Twitter Is A Cocktail Party, twitip.com
  4. Carlin, G. (1981). A Place For My Stuff On A Place For My Stuff [CD].  New York, NY: Atlantic Recording Corporation.

Right Place, Right Times

Why do we need technology? Aren’t the Xbox and Playstation’s graphics good enough? Why do we need social media? Don’t we have enough ways to communicate? These were once questions I naively asked, now I hold a different perspective. I believe like a lot of other technological advances and success stories, social media has embedded itself into the way we communicate and in some cases, live. It came at the right time and right place.

In Blogging for DummiesBack In The Day post, a question asked was, “If they got to this far in the 1960’s, where was the hold up? Why did it take so long to further the computer and educate the world on it?” Especially after watching the Engelbart Demo, I was sharing the same sentiment. I think it was too much for people to grasp at the time. In my elementary school, we were still using Apple II computers well into the 1990’s (and it was a private school!). I think that as generations have been exposed to as much as we have in the digital age, the influx of information becomes easier (although sometimes overwhelming) to digest. So while it took quite some time for Engelbart’s tools and vision to become somewhat of the norm, I feel this is no longer the case today as technology continues to grow exponentially. Licklidder’s The Computer as a Communication Device mentions the computer being a means to “improve the effectiveness of communication among people as perhaps to revolutionize that also.” There is little argument that the computer has done just that, but no longer will we be as slow to adapt and change. We are not just dreaming about the next digital revolution, we expect it.

We Had To Be Shaken, To Start Stirring

In Bush’s As We May Think, he mentions the “partnership” between science/technology and the war. “Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.” Indeed, Dr. Bush’s words are ahead of its time. It seems at the beginning of the article, we needed to enter a war to help further advance our technology of the day. I believe, especially in previous generations, we did need somewhat of a tipping point to evolve. In World War II, technology grew “in demand of a common cause,” but what is the reason for it to grow today?

Politically Speaking…

All right, I do not mean to scare any of the readers, I will NOT go on a political diatribe on this forum (personally I do not read that stuff anyway). Aside from that, I would not want to feel the wrath that Scott Baio felt about his recent comments What would be a reason that social media is now the norm? It is because people want to be heard. What we once saw as a privilege is now a right in the eyes of many (as Licklidder debated about society reaction to the computer). He also states that our interactive communities will be “not of common location, but of common interest.” Politics are that common interest that people can always debate and speak with great conviction and passion about. What better way to get your partisan beliefs across than finding others that share that common interest and blogging, tweeting or joining a Facebook page?

Red Sox fan or Yankees fan? Conservative or Liberal?

I'll Stick With Social Media Instead

These are questions i try to avoid (and will not answer here), but to me, there was no denying that social media played a part and Barack Obama was smart to take advantage of it. The war Dr. Bush wrote of caused a change in jobs for people, while the 2008 election made folks of all walks of life embrace the new technologies we are now accustomed to. Even one of my colleagues at a non-profit organization joined Obama’s campaign trail in the fall of 2007. Her job was to blog about her experiences. I thought, “That’s not a job.” Not only was it a job, but another way to communicate with the audience. How did people try to convey the importance of voting in 2004? I’m still trying to forget this slogan. Is the president tweeting news? I think it’s debatable, but the fact that people are talking about it, means that social media is accepted by the masses.

Do I think politics made social media what it is today? Absolutely not, but it definitely served as a basis to help make social media more of a norm that it already was becoming. As Licklidder says, “there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to find his calling, for the while world of information, with all its fields and disciplines, will to be open to him – with programs ready to guide him or to help him explore.” It gave some in the political realm a voice and it gives a lot of people in any generation bracket (or political affiliation) a chance to find their voice…

Even if they don’t have anything of great importance to say.

References:

  1. Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think.” Theatlantic.com, July 1945
  2. J.C.R. Licklidder, “The Computer as a Communication Device.” Science and Technology, April 1968
  3. Rich Brooks, “What Businesses Can Learn from Barack Obama’s Social Media Strategy”  fastcompany.com, January 2009