Blogging: An Opportunity to Showcase Your Personal Brand

I’m new to the blogging world, if you can’t already tell. When I created this blog about a month ago, it took me forever to decide how I wanted to set up the blog (I’m still moving things around). I spent hours trying to decide which colors to use, which images to include and which fonts I wanted my posts to be in. The whole process was exhausting and a bit overwhelming. I am a regular reader of blogs, typically fashion blogs, and for some reason I assumed setting up a blog would be a “walk in the park”. Well I found out it is most definitely not that! Creating a blog is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of careful planning because in a way it is a form of personal representation. A blog is an extension of its creator and the things they care about. A blog is an opportunity for the creator to show off his/her personal brand and connect with his/her followers in a less formal internet setting. Because of this, people, including myself, invest a great deal of time (and in some cases money) into creating a great blog.

Some of the best blogs are those that allow the creator’s personal brand to show through. Just by reading their posts and viewing their pictures you almost feel as if you know everything about them. Just by reading their blog you understand what their personal brand is all about.

If you find yourself tasked with creating a blog, like I was, below are 3 tips that I found helpful when creating my own blog.

1) Discover what your personal brand is
2) Include a variety of media (pictures, videos, links)
3) Create post topics that reflect your personal brand

Discover What Your Personal Brand Is
Discovering what your personal brand is can be a tough task. It takes time and a great deal of introspection but it is well worth it because it will not only help you in creating a blog but it will help you throughout life. Your personal brand is basically all of the promises that you represent. It is a sum of who you are, what you represent and what you stand for. A well-defined personal brand will help dictate what types of post your write, which topics you cover and how you approach those topics. It can also aid in you in deciding how to set up your blog.
Include a Variety of Media
Videos, pictures and links are a great way to showcase your personal brand on your blog. One of the quickest ways to get to know a person is to view their pictures and see the types of videos they watch. Just from viewing these forms of media you can find out about a person’s sense of humor or tell which issues are most important to them. For example, if you are really big into environmental conservation, post pictures of yourself in a nature conservatory or post videos describing the harmful effects of deforestation. Including various forms of media can help to further highlight your personal brand.

Create Topics that Reflect Your Personal Brand
Blogs posts are the crux of your blog, so make sure they represent you and your personal brand. Cover topics that are most important to you but remember to always let your personal brand show through in posts. For example, if service is a large part of your personal brand, include a variety of posts that discuss service related topics. Include posts on upcoming service projects or posts highlighting everyday heroes who make a different in their communities though service groups. Consider allowing blog readers to suggest future service projects and perhaps highlight small acts of service from around the world. Use your post wisely and remember to let you brand personality shine through.

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Interactive Videos

Interactive videos are videos that allow the user to interact with the video as it plays. In some cases viewers are able to change images and sounds, download coupons and play games all while the video is playing.Last year Bob Dylan created an interactive music video for his song, “Like a Rolling Stone“. The video is set up like a television screen with channel buttons on the left side. Viewers are then able use their “up” and “down” arrow keys on their keyboard to change the “channels” within the video. As the viewer changes the channel, each character on the screen begins to sing along to the song. What is so great about this video is that no matter when you change the channel, the

Many people are often annoyed with pop up video advertisements, but interactive videos could potentially reduce people’s disdain for digital video advertisements, not to mention they encourage viewers to interact with the video and the brand. According to socialmedia.com, “…our relationship with video has not changed significantly since 1950. Basically, we “observe” , but interactive video can revolutionize how we watch videos. Many companies are already using this technology. In an interview with Corey Kronengold, Director of Marketing for Innovid (they create inactive videos for companies) Kronengold stated that companies such as MTV, VH1, National Geographic, TNT, TBS, Food Network, SYFY, Gamespot.com and iVillage have already begun to incorporate this technology into their campaigns.

One of the great potential uses for interactive videos is in the retail sector. Canadian retailer, Sport Chek as well as American online boutique SSense have already created ads/music videos using this technology. In addition, HSN and QVC have been using a version of interactive videos/television for years.

As this technology becomes more widely accessible, there is no telling which industries will begin to use interactive videos as part of their marketing tools.

Access to Emerging Media

 

So emerging media is supposed to be the next best thing, right? Interactive videos are supposed to revolutionize the way view video content by allowing us to break down the barriers of communication. Social media is supposed to revolutionize how we connect with one another and explore the world around us and interactive websites and advanced search engines are supposed to make searching for information easier than ever before. Together, all of these different forms of media are supposed to help propel society to the next level and usher us into a new age where we are smarter, more skilled researchers and better equipped to analyze the world around us. All of that is fine and great but none of that can happen unless majority of society has access to these tools. We all know that more people than ever are online and have access to the internet. We know that there are 1.85 cells phones in use for every person on the planet (as of 2012). We know that there are 1.4 billion active Facebook users, but do we realize that there are millions people worldwide who don’t have access to the internet. And do we know that a significant portion of those people live right here in the United States.  In fact, according to reports 20% of people living in the US live without access to the internet. The majority of those without access are concentrated in the south.

The inability to access to the internet and use emerging forms of media is a real problem for many and one that can have a lasting impact on our society. Not only does a lack of internet access have personal implications (the inability to pay bills online, the inability to conduct research and look up information, the inability to apply for jobs) but it also creates a social and economic divide between those with internet access and those without.  Just think about your everyday life and how much you rely on the internet for tasks. Just think, what if you didn’t have access to the internet to apply for a job? Or what if you were unable to apply for financial aid to attend school because you lacked internet access? How would you conduct research on complicated topics? Yes, all of these things can be done in person, however access to the internet allows people to complete these tasks using less time and money that if they had to complete them in person.

 “It’s 2014, why would anyone not have access to the internet?” Many may people ask this question. To those of us who are fortunate to have internet access it seems so farfetched that a person would not have internet access but the reality of the situation is that due to costs, location, and availability many people find themselves without access.  Of these limitations, cost is the primary factor. The Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity writes that there is a strong correlation between poverty and one’s ability to afford internet access. The group found that a family with an income of $15,000 adopted the internet at a 32% rate. Furthermore, the group found that because of a lack of competition, internet provides have little to no incentive to lower internet prices therefore those living in poverty are unable to afford internet access.

If we are going to all progress into this new age where emerging media is king, what can we do to ensure that everyone has access to the internet and to these new technologies? Many cities (Richmond, California, Nashville, Tennessee just to name a few) are implementing programs were free internet access is provided for residents who are unable to afford it. Some places provide mobile internet centers that travel around cities and states providing computers and internet (for temporary use) to those without. Social media tycoons like Mark Zuckerberg  and others have discussed programs in which global internet access around the world is expanded. (Check out Google’s Project Loon) I personally think that for two hours a day, internet access should be free for all who are able to connect. Maybe, this is a farfetched idea, I don’t know, but I do know that as the internet and emerging media become more and more important to the functioning of our society, it will become even more imperative that all member of society are able to connect to the internet.

Emerging Media and Music

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How we connect with our favorite artists and their music today is so vastly different than how our parents and grandparents connected with artist in “their day”. Just 25 years ago, if you wanted to listen to music by your favorite musician or band your would have to go to the store, buy the artist’s record or tape and then play that record or tape on your tape or record player. Today going to a store to purchase music is almost unimaginable and actually playing music via a cd player is unheard of. If you think about it most kids between the ages of 10 and 15 have probably never bought a cd in their entire lives! How crazy is that!!!

How we listen to and consume music has changed so much over the years due in large part to emerging media and technological advances like the rise of social media, the growth of file sharing sites and the explosion of music streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora. Via social media sites, people can keep tabs on their favorite artist, find out about upcoming albums, listen to “unofficially released” music, and purchase tickets to upcoming concerts. How we connect with music has gone completely digital!

Not only have these new technologies changed how we listen and connect to music and musicians but they have revolutionized how music is shared and marketed. Instead of relying on publicity tours, promotional appearances and record label backed advertisements, artists both famous and unknown can virtually promote their music without ever leaving their house! Just think about all of the famous musicals that became famous off of their YouTube videos.  Because of emerging media, musical content is easier to get, more easily disseminated and more readily available.

While emerging media has impacted the music industry in innumerable ways, below are three of the most significant ways that I think emerging media has impacted the music industry.

The Rise of the IoT (Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things refers to the connection between physical products and internet. How does this affect the music industry you ask? Image you purchase tickets to a concert and the tickets are linked to one of your social media accounts. Then imagine that when you arrive at the music festival you are given a wrist band that is also linked to your social media account(s). Now imagine that while you are at the festival, every time you pass a “check-in station”  that is located near a stage where a band is playing your wristband updates your social media site’s status and lets your followers know what band your are listening to at the moment. Sounds kind of cool and futuristic right? Well this currently is being used at music festivals all around the world. Not only does keep festival goers connect to their social media followers but it also works to promote the music and artist in attendance at the festival.

Increased Ease of Self-Promotion via Social Media

If you were a new artist back in the day trying to make it big, becoming famous would have almost been impossible without the backing of a large and powerful record company. Today relatively unknown artist can garner large and loyal followers through self-promotion. Using social media sites and file sharing services artists can spread their music all around the world with only a few clicks. Social media is perhaps the best tool unknown musicians have to promote themselves and their music. According to The DIY Musician, there are 10 social media rules artists must following in order promote themselves and their music. I think by far three of the most important rules listed are:

Make sure your website in socially friendly

Post consistently

Have a conversation with followers/Engage with followers and fans.

Rise of Mobile Adoption

Today we can listen to music anywhere, at any time and on any device. Don’t have your favorite cd in the car, simply stream them music from your phone to your car’s stereo’s system.  At the beach and in need of some music, play the latest releases from your tablet or phone. There is literally no mobile device on the market today that cannot play music. Not to mention there are tons of music apps (applications) available to mobile users. In 2012, over 429 million dollars were made off of mobile apps. Mobile apps and music streaming via mobile devices and made music portable and easily sharable.  Not to mention they have created a new advertising outlet for artists and record companies. While in the past advertisements were limited to print publications and t.v, advertisements can now be placed on mobile apps and on mobile music sharing services.

 

In your opinion what are the top three ways in which emerging media has impacted the music industry (the creation, dissemination and promotion of music)?

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