So, given that my digital essay for this class is going to be a youtube video, I have grown increasingly interested in that form of communication. I think they can be incredibly effective and show the benefits of the Internet. They provide big messages in interactive, visually appealing ways that grab and hold the viewer’s attention—in a world when ADD/ADHD rates are increasing (however accurate these diagnosis may be) and the amount of content we are bombarded with ever growing, this is quite a feat. I would wager a guess and say the reason these kinds of videos are so effective are the way they engage a variety of senses.
This video provides a series of facts about the “fad” of social media and comes to the ultimate conclusion that networking is hardly a fad but rather a communicative revolution that will forever change the way our world interacts. From big businesses to the way children learn, each subset of the population has been affected by this growth of social media. We are as heavily influenced by facebook as we are the people we connect with through facebook. We no longer need to go out searching for information, news or products—they come to us. That is not to say the work we need to do is any easier. In fact, I would venture to say it is even harder to sort through the series of internet-things we are hit with to find what is truly important, useful and relevant to us. It is very easy to get distracted and in a world of competing markets, we are waging constant war with all the brands online (from our University, to favorite store to favorite political blogger) that are each working to divert our attention to what they have to offer. It’s a wild, wild interworld out there and if we don’t watch our fingers, there’s no saying where we will be hyperlinked to.
For those who wish to have an internet presence and influence, there are a few take away messages from this video:
1.) Social media, use it. Everyone is and for once, it is definitely a good idea to follow the crowd and jump on this bandwagon.
2.) Make it easy, make it simple, make it cute. Guys, girls, young, old—it is a common misconception that internet-regulars are internet-savvy. No, we are still the generation that refuses to read instruction guides. We know the bear minimum to get by and so anything that is too flashy, too bulky, or too complicated will lose our attention. Take it from Apple, if it looks clean and cool, you’re doing it right.
3.) We live in a visual world so take vis-antage of graphics and interactive features. The Internet is the opposite of boring so if you and your website are not competitively interactive, you will be lost in the black hole of cyber-space.
4.) Make it interesting and relevant. We don’t like learning useless information and so the bulky verbosity of textbooks and thesis and dissertations should be left at the threshold of the Temple of Academia. In the real world, we like bullets and we like one-liners and we like things we can actually use and integrate into our lives.
The Internet is a mine of gold but for a poorly constructed website, it can be as destructive for a brand as a landmine.