Twitter Unbalanced?

I use twitter A LOT!

It is a place I joined to get to know friends from other sites more. Which is something the site has done so well. It was mostly people from The Leaky Cauldron, Youtube and various Good Charlotte sites. Actually, mostly the Good Charlotte sites, as the GCfam are just brilliant. And twitter has brought me closer to them, and to the band themselves.

But recently I have noticed a few strange going-ons. First is people using the site to advertise themselves for work, and don’t make any personal statements or anything. And I just miss the point of that. You use the site to get to know people, even if it is purely those in the same industry as you, but simply retweeting people does not use the site to it’s capabilities.

The second thing, its fanbases trying to beat each other. Mostly its Lady Gaga Vs Justin Beibers (or Monsters Vs Beliebers), and they try to knock each off the trending topic lists. :S Again, most of it is spam, and doesn’t do anything bar get on peoples nerves. In fact, coincidentally, both acts are becoming very close to over-saturating the market. That is basically getting to the point where instead of making new fans, you annoy people and get less fans. It is the golden rule of advertising, don’t over-do it. And the fans don’t realise that they could be negatively effecting their idol’s sales.

But, twitter is a tool. And the reported interest 0f Google, to purchase the service for as much as $10 million. Watchers say that this inflated price could be the sign of another internet bubble about to go POP. The reason they say this is because they struggle to validate the site being worth that kind of money, especially when advertising and promotion have only been launched recently.

I guess time will tell with twitter. I love it, so as long as it still works, I don’t mind, really. Just don’t change it too much.

Social Media Expert?

What is it that makes someone an expert at social networking?

It’s a thing that seems to be bounced around by an awful lot of people. They have Twitter and Facebook and think that constitutes them being an expert in all things social media. Well, just because you post 50 tweets since you started on twitter 2 years ago, doesn’t make you any sort of expert.

The thing is, businesses are starting to realise that social media is a perfect was to tout for business for free. Which is great, but if they put it in the wrong hands, it can do more harm than good. Spamming on Facebook may get you followers, but does it really get you more business?

I don’t think it does. If you spread yourself amongst various networks, and employ them well, they can all become interconnected. You can show all different aspects of blog posts, video posts, favourite pieces of the internet and more. By showing likes and dislikes, you can show some kind of personality to a business. Like I mentioned before on the blog about websites, not too long ago, if a business has personality, people are more likely to form an attachment with it.

So the more you employ various social networks to talk to other users, and show who YOU are, people will like what you say, and maybe give you business. But it is called SOCIAL network, doing ‘follow4follow’ is not being social and getting to know people. Social networking is about making friends and getting to know people. People become friends because they like where you’re coming from.

Maybe its just me. I have spent a lot of time learning to use networks such as Myspace, Last.FM, Bebo, Hi5, Flickr, DailyBooth, Twitter, Youtube, Livejournal, Tumblr and more. This is something that I do because I enjoy it. I love the idea of being able to get to know people all over the world. I don’t go on twitter because some I was told to as a designer to get work, it was something I used to as a way to get to know people I spoke to on other sites.

Maybe it’s because I do value websites I use as the people I know through these sites mean a lot to me. It always kind of bothers me, that businesses just use it for promotion. They don’t use the sites correctly, in my view, show no personality and don’t interact with people.

If you are a ‘master of social networking’, I believe that you should show the sites and its users with respect and love. It sounds stupid, but people can pick up when you love something, and if you a enjoy using a service, it will be picked up on by any potential client. If you don’t show care for a FREE website you have an account on, what’s saying that you’ll show care on any paid projects.

Wanted: Work for portfolio building.

Yeah, this isn’t going to be a lengthy rant about anything, for a change.  People will be happy, you are getting a break, LOL.

I have been emailing and contacting local bands and companies, looking to get some portfolio building done. Because I haven’t done any actual projects done in a long time, for the time being, work is being carried out FREE OF CHARGE! The only thing is, is that any work I will do, will be used online to advertise my work.

So if you want some free advsertising, and are looking for something created, such as posters, packaging or anything, I offer my services.

Thanks

Email me at Riot_Graphics@yahoo.co.uk

The Internet: Social Networking

Social networking is undoutably big business on the internet. I mean, as of March 2010, there is over 400 million active Facebook accounts. Facebook is used as a free tool to contact friends and family, as are other social networking sites, such as Myspace, Twitter and Bebo.

Myspace, was the first to be used to promote services, mostly music artists. Where they could set up a free account and stream music to visitors to their site. This was music getting back to its routes, where you would pass cassettes of your favourite music on to your friends. And Myspace quickly became the best way to stay in contact with favourite bands as well, with being able to add bands such as My Chemical Romance and The Editors as friends. This improved contact with bands, made people become more involved in music.

And this concept has spread to other sites, and to other types of promotion. For instance, fast food outlet, McDonalds’ Facebook page as over 2,000,000 fans. This means that the groups can send offers to the people who like their business, and to the people who are their customer base. This reaches people, who may not read daily newspapers or don’t watch a lot of tv. And the best part is, it is free. Doesn’t cost McDonald’s a penny.

Then Twitter, which is now being actively used in offices, where people can send each other short messages to discuss information. It means that rather than having long distance calls, which can cost a fortune, they can ‘tweet’ each other, and it costs nothing. Twitter is widely used to promote businesses or offers, where again, if someone follows you, you can send them out new updates or offers. Which again, closes the gap between customer and business. And the more involved the customer feels with the company, the more likely it is, that they will use them for work purposes.

And yet, when doing online advertising, too many companies still overlook the power of social networking. Some think it is just for teenagers, some think it is a fad. But fad or not, free advertising is free advertising, and businesses should learn to uses this new media.

If you run a business and considering social networking to advertise, think of this: More people under the age of 25 use the internet and social networking sites, than they use any other type of media, including TV.

Crazy that isn’t it. If that is the case, how benifical is it to still spend so much money, advertising on TV and in newspapers?

Calm before storm

I am at work and I am so chilled out.  I work on the phones, for a television company (who shall remain nameless), and I have been getting technical training, so that I can help more of our customers sort out their problems, rather than transfering calls.

What happens is we get this training in a classroom, much like school, and then we spend two weeks taking nothing but technical calls. And right now, I am in the middle part, as I have just finished the training about 20 minutes ago. 🙂 So I am on the phone, for the last hour of my shift, taking my normal Customer Services calls, and to be honest, it is totally dead.  And I am really excited about starting to take tech calls tomorrow 🙂 , as in really cannot wait. I guess its just because I am trying something new, so it is always exciting. I am just happy its not billing, because I like techincal, but I cannot do billing for the life of me.

The one thing that is important with working on the phone, and even moreso with tech, is how you explain something to a customer. Which is how graphic design works, its how you communicate  the information. Its one of the things I have learnt, working for such a large company, customers only take in what they want to. So I suppose an important thing in what I do, is finding a way that all the important information will be taken in by whoever looks at it.

Because of the industry I am planning to go into, I am very big on reading the small print, but that is something I have learnt working here, as well as creating my own advertisements.  People absorb what you tell them to, and people use that power against the very people they set out to have as customers.

By not displaying information as clearly as they should, people don’t even read important things such as contracts and small print, because they are boring. They just want to watch their new tv, not sit and read through a book of terms of their contract.  As a business who serves the public, is it not important that we tell customers EVERYTHING, and not just the good bits to make a quick sale.

At the end of the day, if you are honest and upfront, a client or customer will respect you for giving them all the facts. Just because there are conditions to your free broadband, does not mean that is anyless of an offer if we tell you of the conditions.

I believe that the public should be given as much information as possible, by us, as in businesses, so that the can make the best decision. And people who withhold information, should get charged, as we need to defend the public. They have faith in who they deal with, too many people take advantage of that faith.

**sorry for rambling, but its a thought which has been in my head a long time, and I think that it is something that should be openly discussed. **

Brand This.

I have thought a lot recently (wow). About how advertisements have become a huge part of our everyday lives. I mean every thing which has a logo, is there to identify and promote that product. Whether it’s the electrical company branded television in your front room, or the badge on the grill of your car. It is all advertising that product to other people, to get the name stuck in your head.

I mean I can tell you now that I am typing this blog on an HP keyboard, and viewing it on a Compaq monitor. Companies have always wanted their products to be identified as their products. Now, in this simplified form, it makes sense. If you put a product out into the public domain, you want people to know you made it.

So this comes down to everything, from buses to pencils, from microchips to microwaves. A brand name is there, to provided easy identification of a product or service. What ever you use has identification of some kind branded on it. On things like televisions, the branding tends to be just off the line of vision, as although your eyes aren’t focused on it, your mind still absorbs the information. This is a popular tactic with logos, apply them in places which will it noticed. This is why you have branded clothing labels and tv channels, with the small symbol in the corner.

Because these logos, are something which are not actively promoted, there is no conscious thought process involved, and your brain takes in a lot more than you think. This is why logos and branding are so important to get right. Logos are the most important parts of advertising, get it wrong, and it shows your company in a negative light. Get it right, and it could become as well known as McDonald’s ‘golden arches’.

So as a designer, you need to be aware of what kind of message, the company in question, would like to convey. This is as relevant as the shape and colour of the logo, effects to how a person percieves the logo. A representation of one thing, goes as far back as the 17th Century, where a Coat of Arms, was used to classify a person. This was was a way of identifying one person from another, which is why people use logos for, for identification.

The main thing, which is needed when designing a good logo, is communication with your client. This makes sure that whatever you design, conveys the desired message. Its not doing what they say, its colaberating on it.