Sh*ts about to get real…

Apologies for being a bit quiet round these parts, I’ve been a little busy….working on my business (am I the only one who sang that like the Fergie song…’workin’ on my fitness’). It’s early stages yet, but yes you heard that correctly. I’m taking this here venture legit.

I have taken steps, set myself up as a sole trader with an ABN (so grown up, right?!) and registered a business…oh em gee! Then I went ahead and paid for a proper domain, someone pop the confetti.

I’ve been doing The Digital Picnic’s Social Media Manager School, not only have I learnt so much (honestly, invaluable content and knowledge from Cherie) but it has inspired me to take these steps. I am making my dream a reality, I can’t wait to begin my new career.

So watch this space…whilst I am the equivalent of a baby giraffe taking their first steps, I am passionate and keen as a bean to learn all the things and then provide value to you guys.

I feel like I am only just scratching the surface, there is so much to learn…and I plan on continuing to keep taking courses and upskilling, there’s at least 3 more courses with The Digital Picnic that I want to do. I thoroughly recommend checking them out if you are wanting to learn some skills yourself.

I always visualise myself as a little sponge just soaking up all the knowledge, squirreling it away in my mental compartments for future reference. This industry is ever evolving, change is inevitable and I just need to keep up with it.

I may not be your typical, super profesh business guru…I am uniquely me, I am not trying to fit into any perfect mold. What you will get is honesty and authenticity, I am playful and fun. I think I will appeal to fellow crafty creative types that don’t take themselves too seriously.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Think of me as your hype girl/wing woman, my mission will be to help small businesses to grow & elevate their business…and have some fun in the process. I am not quite at the point where I am out there actively pitching myself, but it is only a matter of time and I cannot wait.

In all honesty, there is some serious imposter syndrome kicking my butt…I am learning to turn that little negative voice off in my head and change the narrative – I’ve got this, you’ve got this. We are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to think. So if you take anything away from my ramblings today, let it be that. Back yourself!

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

So scuse’ me while I throw myself a little party and pat myself on the back for taking those steps. I hope you’ll stick around for this journey, I promise it won’t be boring.

Also side note, Unsplash is a great free resource for businesses that are looking for great stock images that are copyright free. Hope that helps someone.

Have a fabulous day.

Back to the Grind

What seems like the blink of an eye and here we are embarking on the beginning of Trimester Two.

I had so many plans to create content over the uni break and barely did a thing. I think I was more fried than I realised…3 units, homeschooling and moving will do that to you. I did enjoy the sweet downtime and relaxation the break provided even if I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked.

hoto by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Given that I am only studying my last unit this trimester I plan to make an effort to continue blogging and posting on socials. Afterall, social media is a passion for me and I cannot wait to get started working in the industry.

I am eager to gain the all important hands on experience that only a job can provide. Part of me wonders just how people in the industry got their start in it, because there always seems to be the catch 22 of every employer wanting someone with experience. If you are someone working in communications/social media I would love to hear how you got your start and what advice you have for those just starting out.

Actually that just gave me an idea to reach out through some of the connections I made last Trimester and ask those very questions and compile their answers in a blog post. I can’t be the only one interested to know just how they did it. Watch this space…

I think networking and making connections online with other people in the industry could potentially hold the key to gaining employment. The community that is available through those online connections is invaluable.

Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

So a word to the wise for an fellow students who happen across this blog post, engage with your peers online…form those connections. You never know where the path may take you but try and enjoy the journey along the way.

I am always down for a collaboration so if you want to collaborate on something leave me a comment or contact me through my social channels.

Featured Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Reflecting on my First Trimester

And breathe….all assignments have been submitted and I’ve had a week to decompress, I finally feel a little more relaxed. For those that don’t know, I just finished my first trimester of uni. As a first time uni student I had planned on blogging my experience along the way.

However, I just didn’t feel like I had enough time to post much when I was in the thick of it, now that I’ve finished I finally have more time on hands and I’m eager to start creating some content.

I definitely needed that down time after the final submission, that last month especially was rather hectic. When I signed up I never could have predicted how things were going to play out…I don’t think anyone could have predicted that.

It certainly made for a unique experience, I personally didn’t mind the switch to online learning. I was also incredibly lucky that the units I was taking all lent themselves to a fairly seamless transition. Especially the unit ‘Social Media Content Creation‘ which almost the entirety of this blog has been for, it was a more practical unit with ‘learning by doing’. It was also my favourite unit in trimester 1, I really felt like I learnt a lot and was exposed to new technologies that helped expand my skillset. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering studying communication at Deakin.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Overall I am fairly happy with how I have gone so far, it was difficult at times trying to juggle homeschooling my kids while taking classes myself and working on assessments. I feel given the circumstances I did the best that I could and I am good with that.

I still have one more unit to complete in Trimester 2 but I am already thinking about taking that next step in looking for work in the digital agency space. I am a little unsure how I go about getting my foot in the door given I haven’t worked in the industry, although on the other hand I have a lot of work experience behind me and I have a lot to offer.

Now all I need is someone willing to give me a chance. I am eager to get started and learn all of the practical job experience and putting what I have learnt in to practice. I am confident that I will prove myself; so I am just going to put that out in to the universe and hope that the right opportunity comes along.

I am also super excited about another course I have signed up for through a company that I am obsessed with called The Digital Picnic. The course is their Social Media Manager School, it kicks off next month and I cannot wait to get started. I love everything they do and their CEO Cherie is an unknowing mentor to me…ha ha. That sounds a bit stalkerish but I honestly respect and admire her and the company is goals. If you don’t already follow them on social media you should because the advice and authenticity they offer is hard to come by. I’ll make it easy for you and link their insta here.

So that’s a little look back on the last few months, it went by a lot quicker than I thought it would. This year has both dragged and gone incredibly fast at the same time, hard to believe we are more than halfway through.

I don’t know what the rest of the year holds but I am really excited to start working in a career that I am passionate about. I’ll keep you posted…

Surveillance Society

I don’t know about you but being the social media enthusiast that I am, I have downloaded many an app with a barely a thought to the permission and access I am granting to my life and information.

To me it is as simple as if I want to use their platform, I need to agree to their terms and conditions. Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.129) refer to the saying ‘I agree to these terms and conditions’ as the biggest lie on the internet. I would have to agree, I know that I am guilty of not taking the time to read them over. I was curious to know what the general consensus was and took the question to twitter. You can see the results in the poll below.

Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.140) also go on to say that when people do read the policies, they usually only remain on the page long enough to scroll to the accept button.

What some people may not realise is when you click on agree you are giving those apps permission to use your content as well as your data. Troni (2020) suggests that social media is the Holy Grail for marketers.

In this thoroughly 21st Century communications channel, old notions of privacy simply do not apply; sharing personal information, experiences, and opinions is the whole point of the service. And, wonder of wonders, consumers don’t only provide it willingly—they provide it for free!

Naomi Troni (2020)
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Obviously there are sometimes cause for concern in regards to your privacy and sometimes we see a particular platform end up on the news. Recently there has been plenty of coverage around Tik Tok. Tik Tok has become widely popular with over 800 Million users and is expected to rise to over a Billion this year. It is used for a variety of content creation with many users becoming viral sensations. It was a recent conversation with a friend online that caused me to dig a little deeper. Below is a brief video I have made on the subject, I would love to hear what you think about it all.

We are aware that certain apps ask for permission to access our phones data, like our photos or audio, what you may not be aware of is that the information is being shared with companies you didn’t sign up for.

Warzel (2019) advises that when you enter into the contract, you are also exposing your sensitive information to dozens of other companies. With each app potentially leaking your data to 5-10 other apps.

This is done through something called an SDK (Software Development Kit), before reading that article I had never even heard of an SDK. It is a set of software tools and programs used by developers to create an app. So rather than having to build parts of the code for their software from scratch they use existing SDKs, which in turn gives the companies that own the SDKs access to your data.

Binns et al (2018, p.3) advises that third-party companies gain access to our data as a result of integrating into first party apps and websites, with the concern being that the more websites and apps that integrate those same third party entities the greater the tracking power becomes for them to access a wider range of our personal information.

Social media is what you make of it, the choice is yours whether you are comfortable or not in using it knowing that your data is a commodity. That is the price we pay to use these platforms freely in the first place.

In saying that, I found a quote that is great food for thought.

Remember if the product is free, the product is you.

Ray Shaw (2019)

I am happy to offer up my data if it means that I get to use the platforms to connect with my friends and family. If what that entails results in some targeted advertising, then target away. Although I don’t know who else finds it eerie when you have a conversation with someone about a specific topic only to then be shown ads online for that very same thing. It is a running joke that our phones are listening to us, but they totally are.

Everyone will have an opinion on social media but given that I intend to make a career in that field, I am very much on the pro side. It offers us entertainment, an escape, connection and a service. Just be sure that you are going in to it eyes open and fully informed, do your research and follow what feels right for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, feel free to leave me a comment below or come and say hi on social media (links are on the home page). I am always up for a thought provoking discussion, hope to connect with you soon.

References:

Binns, R  Zhao, J Van Kleek, M and Shadbolt, N 2018, ‘Measuring Third-party Tracker Power across Web and Mobile’ ACM Trans. Internet Technol. 18, 4, Article 2018, pp.1-22  https://doi.org/10.1145/3176246

Leetaru, K 2019, ‘So Much Of Our Lives Have Been Exposed Through Breaches We Have No Privacy Left’, Forbes, retrieved 11 May 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/08/25/so-much-of-our-lives-have-been-exposed-through-breaches-we-have-no-privacy-left/#2a43554c1d3b&gt;

Obar, J and Oeldorf-Hirsch, A 2020, ‘The biggest lie on the Internet: ignoring the privacy policies and terms of service policies of social networking services’, Information, Communication & Society, 23:1, 128-147, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870

Rembert, L 2020, ‘Is TikTok a Cybersecurity Threat?’, Forbes, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/tiktok-cybersecurity-threat/>

Shaw, R 2019, ‘How to stop Big Tech using you – breaking up or breaking free’, Gadget Guy, retrieved 17 May 2020 ,https://www.gadgetguy.com.au/how-to-stop-big-tech-using-you-breaking-up-or-breaking-free/>

Troni, N (2020), ‘Social Media Privacy: A Contradiction In Terms?’, Forbes, retrieved 11 May 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/04/24/social-media-privacy-a-contradiction-in-terms/#396356717c45&gt;

Warzel, C 2019, ‘The Loophole That Turns Your Apps Into Spies’, NY Times, retrieved 27 April 2020, <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/opinion/facebook-google-apps-data.html&gt;

Music:
‘Chill Wave’ by Kevin MacLeod (CC BY 3.0)
Kevin-9-1 – Chill-wave

Featured Image: Photo by ev on Unsplash

Images and Videos:
Privacy by Kyla Borg (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash
Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Screenshot of ABC Article 2020, retrieved 27 April 2020 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-19/should-we-trust-chinese-owned-tiktok-personal-data/11962086>

Screenshot of CNBC Article 2019, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/16/how-tiktok-went-from-a-fun-viral-app-to-a-us-national-security-concern.html>

Screenshot of CNBC Article 2020, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/tiktok-security-flaw-found-that-allowed-hackers-to-access-accounts.html>

Screenshot of SC Media Article 2020, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.scmagazine.com/home/security-news/privacy-compliance/tiktok-app-inherently-unsafe-and-a-privacy-risk/>

Video by Coverr-Free-Footage from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by Evodesign from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by mgprest from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by starroom from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by vijayrajesh from Pixabay (CC0)

Our Best (Digital) Self

Are you the same person online as you are offline? Or do you only tend to show the highlight reel of your life?

You wouldn’t be the only one guilty of wanting to curate the most flattering image of themselves online. You best believe that if a friend tagged me in a picture that made me look bad I would be untagging myself quick smart.

Social Media is a powerful tool for communicating with many different audiences; how we approach each platform depends on who you are communicating with. What I mean by that is, typically you would adopt a more professional approach on a platform such as Linked In as opposed to the more casual version of you that you present to friends and family on your private Facebook account (assuming that you have one of course).

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

We often hear ‘just be 100% yourself’ or ‘be authentic’ when it comes to advice for social media. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could hand on heart say that I am 100% myself online. I certainly don’t share pics of my crazy hair, no make-up self before I’ve even had my morning coffee…nobody needs to see that.

A good Snapchat filter is my friend, could it be a lack of confidence or it could be that I just don’t want an unflattering image of myself kicking about the interwebs. I am all for a good selfie, if you are feeling yourself you should document that.

I just wish that people wouldn’t compare their normal everyday lives with the highlight reel of someone else’s. We are all unique and finding your people online can be highly rewarding. There is a sense of community once you find your niche, people with similar interests etc.

The internet and social media is what you make of it, if you go looking in dark places and get sucked in to the drama it’s not going to be a good time. I personally try and spread a little kindness, the world needs more of that.

How we portray ourselves online is ultimately a part of us. William James, American philosopher and psychologist, suggested that our digital identity is somewhat split, with our various online personas leaving breadcrumbs of our core self. 

I don’t see social media as the enemy or that it is destroying us but I did find the YouTube clip below interesting and worthy of sharing. I’d be curious to know your thoughts on it…?

Do you agree with the quote by Elon below, are people trying to make their lives look more interesting than they are?

‘People look like they have a much better life than they really do’

Elon Musk
Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash
#blessed

Who wouldn’t want to share an image like the one above, if you were sunning it up in Greece you would want to capture that moment and look back on those precious memories for years to come.

I do my best to be myself as much as I can be online, without overstepping…people don’t necessarily need to know every nitty gritty detail. But also bare in mind that once you share that photo, comment, tweet, it is out there for all to see. Try and think of the future and make sure you don’t do something that may come back to haunt you (teenagers take note: your future employer will Google you!).

Ultimately it is up to you how you appear online, you control the narrative of your own life (both online and off). If you want to share only the good, there’s no shame in that. Let’s all do our bit to be the good though too.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite sayings: ‘spread kindness like confetti’. Yes, let’s!

Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash

Navigating Creative Commons

This week we started discussing creative commons in our unit and the proper way to credit images.

Creative Commons – cc stickers by Kristina Alexanderson (CC BY 2.0)

I wasn’t totally oblivious to copyright to begin with but I definitely didn’t fully understand how to credit correctly. I feel like we’ve all been guilty of sharing an image from Google or Pinterest without giving credit where credit is due.

Artists/Creatives work hard to create those artworks in the first place, the least we could do is give them the recognition that they deserve (plus it’s the law, so there’s that).

Using images through sites that allow you to share and credit photos gives you the ability to really up-level your content. Especially if you are not naturally blessed with the talent to create them yourself.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Sharing my love of coffee using this awesome image.

I try and use my own images for the most part but it’s not always possible to create something to illustrate your point that enhances your blog post.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

This photo represents my love of both stationery and rainbow coloured everything…

That’s where creative commons comes in to play; a few resourceful sites for finding great images are Flickr, Unsplash or even the Creative Commons website itself.

It’s also a great way for people to recreate their own version of copyrighted material, such as movies and television shows, and put their own creative spin on it. Case in point…

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

So make sure you share the attribution love, don’t leave me hanging with no likes. I hope this helped in some small way and encourages you to credit images going forward.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

If you want to learn more about the different types of creative commons licenses you can check that out here.

As a general rule you would credit the name of the photo, publisher and creative license and link back to the original sources for those 3 things. You can see in my image captions above my examples. Unsplash is slightly different in that they don’t insist upon credit but it is always best practice to give it.

Thanks for coming to my (brief) Ted Talk, have a fabulous day.

Happy International Women’s Day

I just wanted to give a shout out to all the incredible women out there. There are so many amazing women that I admire and look up to. We should celebrate the women in our lives everyday and let them know we appreciate them. I appreciate that you are here right now reading this, whether you are a woman or not.

Tomorrow is my first class at uni, wish me luck.

The Beginning of Something Great

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Keshena.

Coffee lover, mother and wife, stationery addict, obsessed with all things cute. Some favourites are iridescent, rainbow, glitter and pink. That should give you a good idea of my tastes, ha…

I have always had an interest in all things social media and content creation but this year I have finally decided to do something about it.

I have decided to make it my career and in order to do that I needed to hone my skills and get a qualification under my belt to help me start off on the best foot.

So for the first time in my life I am going to university to learn all things digital media, I thought it would be cool to document my journey along the way. Hopefully I can share some insights as I learn and also use this as a way to share cool and creative content.

I hope you’ll join me on what will no doubt be quite the adventure. I will try my best to not bore you and with any luck maybe even inspire you to create something yourself.