HTML

HTML is a coding language used to program webpages and applications. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML can be identified as combinations of letters, numbers and symbols carefully formulated to dictate specific outcomes. Right-clicking on any webpage and selecting “view source” will reveal the HTML source responsible for the websites components.

HTML to the internet is like The English language to the United States of America. HTML code is responsible for the UX and UI of what you see when you browse the internet. Coding is the practice used by programmers to which fuel innovation in the world of cyberspace.

While completing this module, I realized I’d been HTML coding since I was twelve years old. Before Facebook was the king of social, I had accounts on two popular social network/blog sites at the time – Myspace and Xanga. If you were part of this generation, you’d know that popularity contests were settled by who had the coolest layout. The way to change your layout was to copy the HTML layout code and paste into your backend profile editor.

Pretty soon I was playing around with the HTML, adjusting the code to change font sizes, colors, resize pictures, and learned basic tags, etc. If someone had a feature I liked on their Myspace or Xanga profile; I’d recall saying something like… “HeY, YuR RoTaTiNG BaNNeR oN YuR PRoFile.. SoOoOOO CooL! WhaT CoDe DiD Yu YouZ? PAycE OuT” (this was the language of the Xanga generation) and I’d use mix and match codes to get the layout I liked.

HTML can be helpful in creating social media content in a team environment. Understanding basic HTML means better communication with the web programmer on the team. Knowing HTML also allows me to make basic adjustments to websites, images and WordPress. Since this assignment I’ve been learning HTML basics through tutorial videos and practicing coding. I’m now convinced I want to invest some time to master a few code languages. Coding is in high-demand and is a great opportunity for me to challenge myself. Coding teaches critical thinking, data analysis – a fantastic skill to add to my digital arsenal.

 

 

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Week #2 Blog post

Week 2 assignment – Edit an article from the web. – Excerpted from the NEW YORK Times. 

NO decision we make as Americans more dramatically affects the direction of our country than our choice for president. He or she is more than the manager of the executive branch, commander in chief or appointer of judges. The president reflects, but also helps define, our national values, priorities, and direction.

Bernie Sanders is boldly and fiercely addressing the biggest challenges facing our country.

He has…

  • Opposed trade deals with nations that pay their workers as little as a dollar an hour.
  • Passionately advocated for pivoting from fossil fuels to renewable energy to save our planet from global warming — the greatest threat facing humanity.
  • Recognizes that to accomplish this; we must keep the vast bulk of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground.
  • Been unflinching in taking on predatory lending, as well as the threats to our economy from high-risk strategies at our biggest banks.

Bernie is a determined leader in taking on the concentration of campaign cash from the mega-wealthy that is corrupting the vision of opportunity embedded in our Constitution.

His leadership on these issues and his willingness to fearlessly stand up to the powers that be have galvanized a grass-roots movement. People know that we don’t just need better policies, we need a wholesale rethinking of how our economy and our politics work, and for whom they work.

Special interests, aided by their political and judicial allies, have exercised an ever-tighter grip on our political system, from the rise of unlimited, secret campaign spending to a voter suppression movement.

We need urgency. We need big ideas. We need to rethink the status quo.

The first three words of the Constitution, in bold script, are “We the People.” The American story is a journey of continuous striving to realize more fully our founding principles of hope and opportunity for all.

It is time to recommit ourselves to that vision of a country that measures our nation’s success not at the boardroom table, but at kitchen tables across America. Bernie Sanders stands for that America, and so I stand with Bernie Sanders for president.

Reference

Merkley, J. (2016). Why I’m Supporting Bernie Sanders. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/opinion/why-im-supporting-bernie-sanders.html?_r=0 

 

My Three Goals for MNGT 139 Social Media Content

discipline-is-the-bridge-

1. “Examine differences between writing for print and writing for the web and produce effective and appropriate marketing content for both mediums.”

My #1 priority is to improve my writing skills. Throughout this program, I’ve come to terms with the ultimate power of persuasive writing. Customers are doing plenty of research about businesses before choosing their services or products. Poor writing can dissuade potential clients and portray a lack of credibility; which can be bad news for small businesses who don’t have experience with writing for the web. I’m interested in learning how to write in various tones and personalities to match their audience. Powerful writing is a dark force in the hands of fascist dictators or annoying advertisers, but a super power for the ones who serve the people.

2. “Research and discuss knowledge, skills and abilities required for professional positions in the fields of social media content and digital content creation.”

Within the next five years, I see myself as this Rockstar CMO of an organization that benefits those whom it serves. In crafting my master plan towards this vision, I find myself working backward. I study the top CMO’s of today and look into top marketing skills and abilities for 2016. Identifying the most sought after skills gives me a framework for these next few years. I’ll develop a plan and devote time every day to perfecting these skills. I love how this is one of the outcomes. It takes in-depth research and discussions for someone like myself to effectively plan this sort of roadmap.

3. “Evaluate and propose strategies for delivering effective marketing messages and business content for the web and social media channels.”

We’ve covered so many different strategies throughout this program; My first concern was how in the heck am I going to retain all of this information? But what it’s done so far is cultivated the “problem-solver” mentality inside of me. Asaph MacGyver. Putting myself in the shoes of actual brands gives me experience in content creation for multiple platforms. The diverse-rich world of business pushes me to think outside the box and pull lessons from the past, with the customer in mind. The marketing message must match the core values of the brand if they want to resonate with the people. The audience determines what channels, post frequency, tools and content. Every factor correlates with the other, and this process calls for critical thinking, intensive research, and decisiveness when proposing strategies.

Info Design for Business REFLECTION

Writing for the Web– In our W2 Module, we learned the difference between writing for the web vs writing for print. We learned that the average internet user prefers to skim and that long text can dissuade potential customers from reading further. I learned strategies such as sentence structures, shorter paragraphs, headlines, and general web copy. As a digital marketer, writing is one of the most valuable skills to have! Writers are the voice of the business. A great writer can provide clarity, story-telling, and is the basis for blog content creation. Writing is transferable to any industry. These lessons taught me strategic writing that I will use throughout my career.

Visual Design– In our W4 Module, we learned about visual design and how it relates to marketing. I learned how images, colors, fonts and visual elements affect how users perceive your brand. I learned that certain colors incite different feelings. Our assignment was to create a graphic design promoting an event. I had the opportunity to use what I learned and put it into practice by creating a marketing piece. Flyers, Banner Ads, logos are all forms of marketing content I’ll need to know how to create. Visual components are especially effective in influencing the audience. Thanks to this module I learned concepts, found free software and had my first experience creating graphic flyers!

Social Issues with Content Creation– In our W8 Module, we learned about copyright, privacy, legal issues and fair use. Most of what we’re learning revolve around inbound marketing. When I work with businesses I’ll most likely play a role in their content creation. In our discussion we defined fair use and gave an example how we’d use it in our marketing. The legal issues with content today cause a lot of commotion. There’s confusion, confrontation, ambiguity, and is something I can possibly run into when I do real world projects. I don’t want to deal with it. The best way to deal with it is learning what I can do to avoid legal issues when I create content.

Online Selling and Web Usability REFLECTION

Branding– In week 4 we learned about branding for your business. I learned online branding is not just your logo and website. Branding is how your customers feel about your product. Branding is the visual elements, the story you tell, and the message you inspire in your audience. It’s clear that the most successful businesses of today were able to tug the heartstrings of the consumers. In our W4 Blogpost, I had to analyze DO The Extraordinary and identify what they’re doing online to enhance their brand. I am fascinated with branding. Outside of this class, I’m constantly reading, learning techniques and studying the best brands in the market. I plan to make branding my forte in my marketing. This module helped me understand the different ways businesses do branding on the web, identifying them and explain my reason.

E-Commerce– In Week 2 we learned about the components of e-commerce. Our discussion assignment was to identify what the company was offering, how they accepted money and the shopping journey. We watched videos and read articles that taught us about various e-commerce strategies. The assignment was to analyze a small business, commercial and non-profit website and take notes on what could use improvement. Proactively finding solutions to e-commerce platforms will benefit the businesses I work with in the future.

Usability Test Report– The final project for this class was to design, conduct and create a usability test report. This gave real-world experience on professional UX testing. Testing and finding areas of improvement for a website can be costly. Small businesses may not have the knowledge or the resources to do one. This means their web presence can be lacking in many areas, which can result in setbacks and customer dissatisfaction. Poor UX. E-Commerce is the new normal. Everyone is shopping online. Businesses need to ensure they follow best practices. After this project, I can confidently say I know how to conduct a usability test. Having this experience makes me more valuable in the marketplace.

Multi-Media Marketing

Email newsletter- Email  will play an essential role in our lead nurturing system. We want to build rapport with potential clients looking for information on buying/selling homes. Strategically crafted landing pages and an email sign-up form will call users to stay connected. The example I used in my multi-marketing piece included an open house invite, what to expect from the e-newsletter and a free pdf guide from Quicken Loans. We want to provide valuable content that builds trust, gives clients what they’re looking for and work towards an opportunity to meet in person. Our blog posts and videos will be included in our email newsletter. Emails will be tailored towards our potential client’s needs (home buyer, home sellers, aspiring agents). Email services like AWeber and Mailchimp offer great analytics, tools and templates. Tracking email analytics (open rates, CTR) will help me drive the results and see what needs improving. 1-4 emails per month.

Flyer- Canva is a free software I’ll use to create beautiful graphics. Flyers, event promotions and homes for sale will be posted on Facebook. We want our viewers to like, share and engage with us on social networks. Visual pieces provide opportunities to engage and build brand awareness. We’ll use these visuals to get people visiting our site to find more information. They’ll be included in both our e-newsletters and website. Graphic visuals will be made and posted when necessary.

Video- One video per week. Videos will be included on our website, e-newsletters and facebook posts. We’ll have our own YouTube for the company. Videos will cover buying/selling tips, information, events, testimonials, and conversations. I plan to meet with team members once a week to come up with engaging videos that our audience can benefit from. YouTube analytics (shares, likes, comments) will be monitored carefully and used to make improvements. This will be the heart of our content strategy.

Usability Testing

 

This usability test was done by the man, the myth, the legend himself; Mr. Steve Krug. Throughout the video, I made some key observations in preparation for my first usability test. Up to this point, the concept seemed simple enough. Ask users to do specific tasks and take notes. But continuing research I learned of the different factors to be aware of such as; how do I answer if they have questions? What can I say to keep the test productive? What should I be taking notes of specifically?

Here are some segments and what I took away from this usability test on “ZipCar” with Steve Krug.

“First go ahead and look around, what strikes you about it, give me a little narrative, what kinds of things would you do on this site?” -Before giving his tasks, he asks his tester to observe the homepage. Originally I might’ve jumped straight into the tasks, but this kind of information can be essential to revising the front page. During my test, I made sure I asked these questions and took notes.

“okay. okay. hmm. okay.” – I learned that when communicating you want to be neutral. Simple phrases like “okay” and “hm” may seem redundant in normal conversation, but is a good way to remind yourself to remain neutral.

“figure out how much it costs to rent a Zipcar ___ hours a week and ___ days a month” – The first task was very specific. The scenario was elaborate, with a story that puts the tester right in the shoes of a potential user. This gave me insight on creating an effective scenario, that’s realistic and can lead to productive findings.

“what do you think that means” – This is a great question to ask I’ve learned. Steve gives a list on his website called “Things a Psychiatrist Would Say”. It’s important that as a tester we do as little to interfere with the process. Playing Devil’s Advocate, and asking questions that elaborate versus giving away the answers is key in usability testing.

Reference
Krug, S. (n.d.). Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug: Usability Demo. Retrieved March 04, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QckIzHC99Xc