What IS Content Strategy?

When posed with the question of what exactly is content strategy is, I would respond by replying that it’s what we post, and why we post it on social media. If we are creating something of our own, it’s also what goal you hope to achieve by creating this post. For example, if I wanted to communicate to my readers that I am someone who enjoys the Netflix original series Stranger Things, I could tweet about how I am dying for the second season to come out in 2017 by saying, “When you finish Stranger Things and have to wait till next year for season 2” and including a gif of someone rolling their eyes in disgust for having to wait that long. This tweet, therefore, communicates that I have watched the show, communicates that I cannot wait for it to return, and using Twitter, instead of Facebook, to express these feelings allows me to reach a more millennial audience who would understand my frustrations.

However, individuals personal content strategy is a similar, but different, approach than the approach that businesses need to use to promote their ideas and to attract audiences. The four main points for using a content strategy are the audience, competition, media, and trends. Your business needs to be aware of what your audience needs from you and how your content can help them personally. Any good business needs to be aware of their competition so you can keep your audience base and not let your competition get the upper hand. Media is another key point in having a content strategy because as a business you need to be constantly engaging with your audience and others through different outlets of media such as social media, or possibly television. Trends are how companies can stay afloat. By knowing what is “in” or “hip” at the current time, you can figure out the correct ways to incorporate the latest trends into your content to appeal more to your audience. However, keeping up with trends is definitely something I believe businesses need to improve on because as a teenager, I have more knowledge of when something is not trendy anymore versus a company who may still be using Harambe memes, even though they are no longer funny to the general public.

Content strategizing can be difficult for businesses because it requires a large team to uncover all of this data in order for their business to stay hip, connected to their audience, and connected online as well as off by providing content that can help their audience. However, even though all of this strategizing  is hard, that doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t put just as much effort into this research as they do into their regular everyday advertising. Finally, companies need to find better ways to improve their strategy by having clear ideas of what they’re going to be tracking, more meetings to see how each part of the company are proceeding and to see how to move forward, documenting what exactly your strategy is, and avoid R.O.T. at all costs. “R.O.T.” stands for redundant, outdated, and trivial information. Audiences won’t be engaged in information that isn’t up to date, saying the same thing over again, or something they could have figured out on their own.

Although many businesses claim to have business strategies, you often see businesses losing audience because they didn’t fully develop their strategy and ended up wasting time and money. Keep up your analytics and keep up with your audience!



The Key to Key Messages

Sales pitches are the pinnacle of companies no matter what size they are. Key messages are an essential part of getting your point across no matter what angle you choose to come from. Key messages are a quick way to get your point across, support your point, and tell your audience to take action depending on your message. Different issues you are trying to push need to be put forth with different types of formatting to accurately get your point across. For example, Uber telling us how their service is better than cabs by telling why they’re better, supporting that with evidence, and giving their potential customers a percentage off of their first ride by downloading their app.


What They Say About Us vs. What We Say About Them: This kind of arrangement allows companies, or even political candidates, to elaborate on all of the facts they can contribute about themselves about how they are better than their opponent, then following with what their opponents will say about them in their own words on specific issues. Their opponent will say their points in opposition to their opponents first claims with facts of their own about why these facts aren’t true, their side is better ‘factually,’ and add why the opposing side should have your approval rather than the other side. Both sides defending and rejecting themselves at the same time. This, once again, is used in more instances of political candidates or big competing businesses. This would not be an ideal model for companies wanting their customers to take action, or wanting to describe their idea in detail.


Point, Message, Support, Action: This type of pitch is the most helpful for companies trying to reel in new customers by starting off with a main point, giving their message, giving support to their idea, and then giving the audience an action after seeing all of their message. Take Amazon Prime for example:

Point: Microwaveable meals are un-tasty and lame.

Message: Heating up dinner is so boring and doesn’t taste as it should. Blue Apron is a service that sends you all the ingredients you need to make a meal, all portions already made, and all you have to do is cook it. No more having to go to pick up fast food on your way home, Blue Apron has you covered with meals ranging from 30- 1 hour. You decide how much time you have and want you want, and Blue Apron will deliver.

Support: Original Recipes:

  • “Discover exciting, seasonal recipes created by our culinary team & renowned guest chefs
  • Recipes never repeated in the same year
  • Approximately 500-800 calories per serving”

Fresh Ingredients:

  • “Specialty ingredients that are fresher than the supermarket
  • Ingredients are perfectly pre-measured so there’s no waste
  • Meats naturally raised on antibiotic- and hormone-free diets”

Convenient Delivery:

  • “Free delivery nationwide
  • Choose a delivery day that best fits your schedule
  • Ingredients arrive in a refrigerated box so food stays fresh even if you’re not home when we deliver”

Source: https://www.blueapron.com/?cvosrc=search-paid.google.brand40&gclid=CPy4i-2ssM8CFU87gQodx0EMjg&utm_campaign=brand40&utm_medium=search-paid&utm_source=google

This would not be a good model for political candidates, or for non-profit organizations.


How Much Do They REALLY Know?

We constantly share information about ourselves whether it’s online, or in person. But do we really know exactly HOW much information we really share about ourselves when it comes to being online? Think about your Facebook profile. How many things have you liked? Where have you tagged yourself recently? What events have you said you were attending? Most people don’t realize exactly how much information they are actually sharing on the internet, or how easy it is for companies to target you more for advertisements with this information.

In this article, Charles Duhigg explains more about why we do the things we do from the places we shop, to our daily routine habits, to exactly how much information we truly put out about ourselves to advertisers. Andrew Pole started working for Target in 2002, but by 2010 he had made Target’s revenues jump from $44 million to $67 million dollars just by finding out people’s habits and going after them with advertisements at the right time based on information they had already collected on them. What type of information you ask? Companies of any sort can go after any information you allow them to see from where you’re from, where you’ve been, what restaurants you go to, if you’re married or divorced, etc. More examples could be,”your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what web sites you visit” (Duhigg 1).

After reading this article, I have become exponentially more aware of how much information about myself I am putting out for companies and others to see about me on a daily basis. Does that make me more inclined to withhold information for fear of companies knowing too much about me? Not necessarily. I know no matter how much I try, companies will always find some way of advertising things to me based on what I search.

Advertising will always be around us, telling us specific products will make our lives better. There are certain steps we can take to stop being advertised to as much as we now, but I do not believe there is any way to completely irradiate ourselves from advertisers lists. Advertising is a necessary evil that we all must deal with, but that we can still fight against when the time comes.

Source Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html

Chapter 11-3; Question 1

I was posed this question after reading an article by Lawrence Lessig where he claims that “digital tools” are “dramatically changing the horizon of opportunity for those who could create something new.” His question is: Are we restricting future creators by copy writing everything they can make money off of, or should we move towards a more free future?

As Lessig describes we are currently, due to the introduction of the WWB (World Wide Web), more things are becoming more readily available to us, legally or illegally, as far as content goes. He determines although we have no idea what the future of the internet holds, even the creators don’t know, we can still see glimpses of the future just ahead. “Yet there are elements of this future that we can fairly imagine. They are the consequences of falling costs, and hence falling barriers to creativity. The most dramatic are the changes in the costs of distribution but just as important are the changes in the cost of production. Both are the consequences of going digital: digital technologies create and replicate reality much more efficiently than nondigital technology does. This will mean a world of change.”

This being said: do we as a society have too many copyrights and restrictions on new creators to where they feel they cannot express what they want without being fined, or told that someone else already had that idea? Are we limiting ourselves as well as future creators by claiming more things than necessary?

And if so, what can we do to open up more doors to others and allow them to express themselves as well? Lessig says the answer is more free. “This is not a new question, though we’ve been well trained to ignore it. Free resources have always been central to innovation, creativity, and democracy.” Lessig is suggesting that we make companies and artists  allow more of their material to be free and easily accessible to the public’s use and further happiness.



Digital Divide

In our most recent reading of Chapter 10-1, our question asks us, “Beyond simply providing access to computer hardware and software, how should educators and policy makers concerned with closing the digital divide proceed?”

Jennifer S. Light says that, “For instance, some researchers approach the digital divide as a purely racial issue, while others combine race and socioeconomic status in their analysis.” She also says that especially in the United States, we don’t pause before assume that the digital divide will shrink if we just make it more readily available to people; that we think that educationally, socially, and economic inequalities will be eliminated. She also brings forth statistics that show that back in the 1970s and 1980s when handheld calculators were brought into the classroom. People thought that if would greatly increase performance  on standardized testing among all students. The results were quite the opposite. “Inequalities in outcomes for students, what really matters, did not substantially change, despite access to calculators.”

The question to be asked then is, even if we continue to increase access to computers and to technology as a whole, will that do anything to help close the digital divide, or is it simply that some people just don’t want to deal with technology?

My conclusion is that you cannot force people to go and learn new things about technology if they don’t want to. However, allowing more teachers and students to use media in the classroom setting ,instead of telling them not to, is a step in the right direction.

As Light says, “Historically, powerful political and commercial interests have shaped the ultimate form uses of technology. This profit orientation helps to explain why cable and other media have not realized their potential as broadly educational tools, particularly for self-improvement beyond the classroom…Without more prominent contributions from the education community, there is little reason to believe that the trend will be reversed.”

The Power of Smart Mobs

Smart mobs, according to Dictionary.com, is a group of people who assemble, move, or act collectively by using cellular phones or other wireless devices to communicate. In my most recent readings of Chapter 9, we discuss the power of communication via technology from cell phones and computers and how it can be used to bring people together for a cause or purpose. On numerous accounts, text messages and mass sharing of communication have overthrown governments as well as changed the course of time for lots of places.

With these new kinds of technology such as tablets and more social networking sites as well as communications apps, getting organized is not as hard as it used to be. The political advantages of SMS messaging and social implications of this are tremendous; no longer does society have to rely on fliers or word of mouth to relay messages, but can now turn to email, Twitter, Tumblr, and other networks.

City after city, one person, who can be described as the lone wolf, has a cause that they want to stand for and try to organize people and rally them to their cause. They tell one other person, that one person tells more people and before you know it, you have a “swarm” of people. With all the technology we have today, nothing is impossible without a leader.

The Internet’s True Impact

Ever since personal computer prices dropped significantly in the past decade or so, more people are having continuous access to the internet from their personal computers as well as their phones. Even though we may think that interacting on social media or getting onto the Internet hasn’t drastically changed our lives, there are a few significant changes that have occured throughout our daily lives that make reality different from the world wide web.

The Internet is different from reality in such examples as anonymity, physical distance, no physical appearance unless shown otherwise, and times becomes “immaterial” while on surfing the Internet. Everyone knows that with the right username or photo, they can make themselves anonymous and interact with others with a certain mystery to them. Physical distance is another huge factor when it comes to the Internet because you have the ability to meet people from all over the world without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. Physical appearance has not become too much of a burden or problem as much as it was before with the help of profile pictures on many social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. However, this doesn’t stop people from copying random people’s pictures off the internet and claiming to be them such as an online predator might do.

For me personally, the Internet has allowed me to keep in touch with people I don’t get to see often, or that live farther away. It also allows me to showcase what is going on in my life to others who may not get to see me on a day to day basis. I also see the Internet as a place I go with questions that I am too afraid to ask personally to someone else face to face, or to keep up on current events as well as become a creative outlet for me. The Internet has altered how we go about our daily lives from asking out GPS on our smart phones how to get home from work, to buying a Groupon for that massage you have been eyeing for a while; the Internet as forever changed how we interact with one another. Is this change for the better, or for the worse? You decide what you believe.

Web: A Communication System

In my recent reading, John December traces the origins of the Web and describes the different functions of the Web. December refers to the web as a “communication system.” But what exactly does he mean by that? He uses the example that many people forget that the Web is just an application that “uses the Internet for data communication.” Ultimately, the Web has become the way to organize information, communicate with others, and interact with others using it on a global scale.

The Web is the way by which we can do a variety of other things. Like December says, it is merely an application by which we can accomplish other things, but many people forget that. The Web supposedly started by wanting people to be able to share text and files across all platforms from many different computers. And also to create hypertext: users being able to follow links through a path to find their information needed.

Even before the web became widely available to the public, people have always wanted to find more ways to communicate with one another and to be able to find the information quickly to answer their questions. The only thing different from now and back then is that we can now share information with more people than by just word of mouth from our One- to – One pattern to a new One- to – Many pattern all through help of the web. But why refer to the Web as a “communication system” instead of a “textual database” or other terms? I believe it is because not only can we find the facts about what we want, but we are also opening ourselves up to others people reviews and personal opinions along the way. We refer to the Web as a communication system because that is precisely what it is; a communication system. The only difference is that we are communicating way more information that just scientific files or low quality pixelated images, we are sharing our lives though text, pictures, and videos; all which are manners of communication between us as humans.


New Media Gone Global

According to my recent readings, in the eighties and nineties, big media corporations were “typified by domestically owned radio, television, and newspaper industries.”

Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone puts it this way, “Companies are focusing on those markets promising the best return, which means overseas. ” Back before the Unites States was dominated in many industries by large conglomerates, there were more privately owned companies that lobbied to keep the industry flowing by increasing competition.

However, times have changed drastically as more and more companies are either dying out altogether or being merged with or bought out by larger, more expansive companies. First tear companies are too big to be bought out by other, but second tear companies have only one motto to live by, “Expand or die.” “Like second tear media firms elsewhere, they are also establishing global operations, especially in nations that speak the same language.”

Although more companies now are looking to expand more overseas where they may have more success, more companies outside of the US rely on us to keep their economy and exports increasing. China is an example of this. China has seen us as the prime example and started to rise alongside us to become another huge player in expanding themselves to show their international potential.


“Internet Super Two-Way”

Everyone knows that since the invention of the Internet, everything about our daily lives has changed drastically. The main question becomes: Is convergence transforming the nature of mass communication and leading us to re-examine the term as a whole?

The 3 main aspects of mass communication that have changed dramatically is the relationships between organizations and their audience, daily personalized content, and the dominating buisnesses in the industry.

In the early analog stages of media, most of the communication was entirely one way: from the source to the audience. But now with the digital age, the audience is able to communicate back and forth with their sources. For example, more people now a day will look at reviews of a restaurant on Yelp! before checking out the restaurant themselves. This allows the restaurant to determine how happy customers are with the establishment, or what they can change to make it better. With the more direct lines of contact between sources and their audience, the media has been able to more personally watch their audience. This, to them, is a wonderful new accomplishment but for the rest of us? Not so great. Have you noticed how anytime you search something on Google or check out a website, then annoying ads starting popping up directly linked to the website you just visited? These are called Cookies. This is also another way that your source can tailor themselves to track your behaviors, tendencies, and habits. The other new change to the media industry is the fact that there is a large oligarchy when it comes to who provides these internet services. Comcast is one of the leading internet provider in the US. This, to them, is the best thing possible, but to most of the United States is the worst. Since they are dominating the industry by being one of the leading providers, they can set the prices however they want due to the fact that they have little to no competition.

The Internet is no longer a single road, but a fast-paced two lane highway that is constantly under construction.