Week 4 – YMAK -You May Already Know


This week one of the topics of discussion in our Digital Communication course was about Internet acronyms. Now “DQMOT” but I heard that “LOL” is no longer the cool thing to say in the Internet world. According to an article posted on Twitter by my classmate, Bill, one of our beloved acronyms, LOL, is nearing retirement. It seems the more fetch (Mean Girls reference) thing to say is “haha”. *blank stare*

We also discussed our Digital Consumption diaries. Our assignment was to log every time we used a digital device during a 24 hour period. I choose to log my time on a day that I would be out and about working on a project for my other class. Essentially I thought the amount of time I spent using digital devices during that time would be less than normal. I was completely shocked how often I picked up my iPhone to use Google Maps, check Facebook/Twitter/email, used it to take pictures. In total I was on a digital device for 5 hours and 54 minutes. This was an atypical day for me, so on a normal day I think I can easily add 3-4 more hours to that time.

Professor Strahler asked “What could you live without?” and almost unanimously we agreed that we could give up television. For me, I enjoy watching television but not necessarily “live” television. The DVR is one of the best inventions EVER! One the contrary the least utilized digital device used was “actual radio” as my classmate Traci stated. Most of my classmates stated that they listen to streaming radio to enjoy music. So some of the once popular media forms, radio, is becoming antiquated due to digital convergence.

Our classroom time also included discussion about Digital Divide which is essentially the split between those that have access to modern information and communications technology and those that do not. The global divide may be based on e.g. wealth, language and inadequate literacy and education. The social divide may be based on e.g. economic resources and demographics. It was very interesting to read the statistics completed by Pew Research Center documenting “Who’s Not Online” (2013). One of the more overwhelming revelations was that 46% of people with disabilities are not online. This made me realize more advancements need to be made with digital devices to accommodate those with disabilities.

Our digital divide discussion lead us into our breakout groups for this week. We were asked to plan a conference for communication professionals to discuss “Closing the Digital Divide”. Two out of four groups allotted time to specifically targeted accessibility for those with disabilities. Group 2 stated it is important to make “technology simpler to use and accessible”. They also stated “education and training for those with disabilities for digital access”. Group 4 chose to have representatives from various companies discuss how they are making the internet accessible to those with disabilities.

I really enjoyed our class discussion this week. We covered a lot of information. I look forward to seeing what Week 5 will bring with the discussion of Internet Goverance & Ethical Issues.  Have a great weekend and….

Until next time,



Brian Solis’ and Snapshots

Week 3 of our asynchronous work we learned about Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism which was developed to essentially show how the various social networks are organized. I found the prism to be very useful. Solis developed the prism around helping YOU (ourselves personally and businesses) find out how we envision our social media profile. The prism is broken down into categories e.g. social networks, blog/microblogs, music, livecasting and social commerce to easily see various platforms that may suit your social media needs.

The Conversation Prism specifies five categories and questions that are useful in determining how you personally and professionally (businesses) intend to utilize social media. The categories and questions are:

  • Vision – What do you see to achieve with social media? How does that translate to others?
  • Purpose – Why social media versus other techniques to reach your goals?
  • Value – How will social media benefit you in your personal and profession life?
  • Commitment – Do you have the time to commit to social media to reap its benefits?
  • Transparency – As a business are you ready to put yourself out there to build relationships with the customer base.

Professor Strahler stated that there are some businesses that want to develop a social media presense only because it’s the “thing” to do. I couldn’t agree more because there are businesses that aren’t using social media to the full extent most likely because they don’t see the real value in it. I believe if businesses asked themselves these questions and used Solis’ Conversation Prism they may be more successful when building their brand via social networking platforms.

Speaking of social media platforms. This week our assignment was to develop a Snapshot presentation utilize a Social Networking platform. I’ve never felt so “green” while learning about so many new social networking platforms. One of my classmates, Adam, did his snapshot on Venmo. Until that very moment I’d never heard of such a thing. According to Adam, Venmo is a “mobile payment service that allows peer-to-peer payments”.

Initially I thought “Oh this is just like PayPal” but as Adam continued in his presentation I better understood the difference. First of all unlike PayPal, Venmo allows you to instantly use money sent to you versus waiting a few days for it to clear in your bank. Secondly, there is a social media aspect to Venmo. You are able to post in a “Facebook-like transaction newsfeed”. If you connect your Venmo account with Facebook it allows friends/globally that also have Venmo to see different reasons payment was sent to people.

Since our class meeting I’ve come in contact with at least 3 people in my travel group that swear by Venmo. The Snapshot assignment just further opened my eyes to the plethora of social networking tools that are available to us. It also reiterated the valuable importance of Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism. This weeks class was very interesting and opened my eyes to so many different tools that I will use in the future. Thanks to this weeks’ discussion my phone apps will likely triple.

Until next time,