Why is this class going so fast? I don’t want it to end. It’s way too much fun to just last twelve days. I feel like I’ve learned so much, not only about social media and personal branding, but also about myself. I feel like as a class we’ve become very close knit. I’ve never had a class where that happens. It feels more like a group of friends getting together for coffee (at Starbucks, of course!!) than a class where we’re supposed to be working on our personal brands.
This week’s topics included:
- LinkedIn – Setting up a profile for those who didn’t have one and doing some other basic things to get everyone going in the right direction.
- Nick Gilham of A Branded You came and spoke to our class about things you can do to improve you LinkedIn so you get found more in search results.
- Everyone in the class wrote a blog post on what they are passionate about. Mine just so happens to be cooking. You can read it here
- Today we learned the best way to share links on twitter.
- Tomorrow everyone is going to be presenting on the niche blog that we are going to write for our final project for class.
This week was most definitely the week of LinkedIn. For those who are not aware of LinkedIn, it’s the largest online network of professionals. You can find people on here in just about every industry. It’s a great way to connect and stay in touch with past and present colleagues, find jobs, and ask questions of other professionals. This week we learned how to set up and polish our profiles to make them really reflect our experience.
On Tuesday, Nick Gilham of A Branded You came in and gave a presentation about the importance of a well thought out and organized LinkedIn profile. One thing that I took away from it was the eye-tracking test that was done on a LinkedIn profile. The area that was looked at the most was the profile overview (that’s the box at the top!). In the overview you need to make sure you have as much relevant information as possible, as well as a nice profile picture. Your profile picture should be fairly close up with the majority of the space being taken up by your face. Keep in mind that the picture space is about 150px square. Your picture should look like you, no pictures of you making funny faces or the like.
Super Awesome Links of Awesomeness
- Wanna start your own niche blog? Check out this post from Problogger.
- Chris Reimer talks about How Not to Use Social Media to Promote Your Brand. This post details a series of tweets from Vinos Finos from Raleigh, NC and the not so excellent job they are doing of branding themselves.
- And just for fun, I’ve found a couple of sites I like more than looking up lolcats: Attack of the Cute and Dear Blank, Please Blank.
Write Your Passion
Like everyone else in the class, I had a spot of trouble figuring out what I was passionate enough about to write a blog post on it. I sat in my room for a good hour just listing things that I like doing that I could write at length about. I just kept coming up blank. I had a lot of ideas, but none that really stood out as something that would be really enjoyable to write about. Then it hit me – why not write about cooking?
A few months back, I started a cooking blog called Microwave Magician. It’s currently housed in a wordpress.com blog and it only has one post. I started out with really good intentions of using the freedom I had after homecoming was done to do something productive and then I ended up only posting once. So, in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions (a bit late, I know), I’m going to create a content calendar and commit to it.
Microwave Magician is the working title of my blog for now. The whole concept is to cook complete meals in the microwave. I’m not talking TV dinners, but real food. Like the spaghetti and meat sauce that I posted about this week and the homemade potato soup that I posted when I first started. In the future, when I no longer live in the dorms (read: in May when I’m finally free of college), I’m going to evolve it a little bit, into a lifestyle blog of sorts. I’m gong to try to write about crafts, decorating, cooking, and entertaining ideas that work in any size space on a relatively small budget. My goal is to post twice a week on that blog and then twice a week here about web and graphic design as well as about SEO and social media trends and topics.
How Are You Going to Write Like That?
If you read that sentence and thought, “Holy cows, that’s a lot of writing,” you’re absolutely correct. That is a lot of writing, especially when you consider that I have a tendency to write longer posts. But along with that content calendar I’ve already mapped out how I’m going to do that. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop spending so much time on the internet doing things that aren’t productive. To help me stick with my resolutions, I’m going to start writing a list of 3-5 things every night of that I have to get done the next day. When those things are done, I can do whatever I want, whether it be looking at lolcats, or just vegging in front of the TV.
Some Tips On Prezi
Tomorrow’s presentations for class are going to be using Prezi. Not my favorite, with good reason. I’ve got some weird inner ear stuff going on and I get motion sickness from it. It’s fairly mild and goes away quickly. But there’s some things that people commonly do in Prezis that make it worse. I know I’m not the only one that is affected by it, so I thought I would post some tips that we learned last year in my Digital and Interactive presentations class.
- While it is possible and looks cool (unless you get motion sickness easily) please don’t make your presentation spin, zoom, and move side to side all in one motion. Even people who don’t have an inner ear problem get a little woozy with this one. Try and keep all motions going in one direction.
- As with any type of presentation, don’t use complementary colors for the text and background (i.e. blue text on an orange background or vise versa). The text will appear to vibrate which can also cause headaches and eye strain.
- Keep the text to a minimum. No one wants to look at a big block of text.
Here’s a video with comedian Don McMillan about what not to do on your presentation. While it talks specifically about PowerPoint, the stuff he talks about is relevant to the world of Prezi as well.