Monthly Archives: December 2015

Thoughtvectors Metaphor

This course, to me was a lot like going to an art museum. When the course began, we started with assignments that were surface level and allowed us to reflect on our own lives. The assignments were fun, easy to understand and relateable. The amount of thought needed in order to complete the assignments was very minimal. This is much like going to an art museum and starting off in an exhibit of paintings of well known cartoons or paintings of a celebrity. Here the artwork is fun and we can understand it because we have seen the subjects outside of the museum. Not much thought is needed into understanding the deeper meanings of the paintings simply because there is no deeper meaning.

Then we moved along to the readings. Given that many of the readings were not written in this decade, we were required to turn on our reading comprehension skills. For me personally, I found the readings difficult to get through. They were extremely long and the diction in some of them threw me completely off. I had to use context clues sometimes in order to understand enough to pull out nuggets that I could talk about. This to me is much like looking an abstract painting that is hard to understand. The more you look at it, the more you see that there is an amazing deeper meaning within the painting, however you just can not quite grasp what it is. You start looking at little things here and there within the painting that can help you put together what the painting might actually mean. Being asked to pull out a nugget from a reading is equivalent to somebody asking you “hey what do you think this painting means? ” or “how does this painting make you feel?” In the end there really is no right or wrong answer, it is all based on your own personal interpretation.

Finally, we made it to the main featured exhibit, the Final IP. All the assignments that led to the Final IP were smaller exhibits that related to the featured exhibit, but were not exactly the main attraction. The Final IP was like the exhibit that make flyers for that will only be in the museum for a limited amount of time. This is what most people came to see.

Overall, my experience with this class has not been the best. Even though in reality I enjoy art and museums, for the purpose of this metaphor I am a preteen who was dragged along on the family trip to the museum and I am disinterested by nearly everything that I see. With this class, I found it very difficult to be engaged in this class. Even with my Final IP which was on a topic that I eventually would like to have a career. As a student at vcu, I am an extremely abstract thinker. I do not do well in environments that are not hands on, or one on one with my instructor or peers (sometimes; I am not too fond of group projects). In addition, I do not do well when it comes to a lot of direction and rules. This class was filled with them. I find it that I can be a great writer when I am given little direction, however I know that this is something that I will have to get over since many of the writing done in college is structured. This class has been a learning experience for me and I am now ready to leave the museum.


4 Reasons Why Businesses Should Love Social Media

  1. Social media marketing can improve communication between businesses and customers.

“Social media enables both reach and engagement through judicious use of all formats and platforms” (Hanna et al.)


2. Social media marketing can increase customer loyalty.

“When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company” (Social Media Today).


3. Social Media marketing is cost effective.

“Unlike traditional media that are often cost prohibitive to many companies, a social media strategy does not require astronomical budgeting” (Hanna et al.)



4. Social media marketing can increase brand awareness.

“Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor” (Forbes).


Real Estate

Rampages provides me with a blank canvas to do whatever I want to the page. Since I have experience with the site, I can navigate it easily and ensure that the project will come out the way I envision.

IP Introduction

Before joining social media, the only way I could get in contact with a business was if I went in to the business directly, I called it, or emailed it. The first option was the only way to guarantee a same day response, but even then you could still get hit with the line: “Sorry, my manager is not here right now; you will have to come back another time”. Being able to get in contact with businesses was a very difficult process in the past. However, new ways to improve customer communication are forming. A couple months ago , I ordered a pair of pants from a company called ASOS. Honestly, I knew I should not have bought them because the pants that I really wanted were sold out. But me being the impulse buyer that I am, I bought the other pants because I was determined to not leave the site until I bought something. Two days later I hopped back on to ASOS’ website just to find that the pants I initially wanted were back in stock. I was so heated, I logged on to Twitter and tweeted ASOS’ customer service account. To my surprise I got a tweet back almost instantly from an employee eager to fix my problem. Now this is not the first time I had an issue with ASOS, however, I used to have to go through a long annoying process starting with making a complaint on the website then waiting hours for a reply in my email. After that there was a long drawn out process of back and forth emailing, sometimes for days, until the problem was solved. Being able to tweet ASOS cut that process down by over half the time.

July, 26 2010. This marks the day of my fourteenth birthday as well as the day of my very first Facebook post. By officially becoming an avid user of social media, I unknowingly immersed myself into the world of “Social Media Marketing”, an up and coming marketing strategy that many businesses and companies were beginning to use and find success with. Now currently in 2015, thousands of businesses, currently have accounts on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. With so many businesses using social media as a marketing technique, this begs the question: How does the usage of social media add to the success of a business or company? Although there are those that say social media can be harmful to a business’ reputation, social media marketing can actually be instrumental to a business’ success because it creates a communication bridge between the business and the customer, increases customer loyalty, is cost effective, and increases brand awareness.

Idea from a source:

“67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing”

This idea serves as the basis of my argument. The most important thing a business should focus on is communication between its customers. Whether it’s solving a customer’s problem or relaying the business’s message to current and potential customers. Good communication leads to positive results. When a business uses social media, it creates another medium for customers to reach them. Social media also allows for businesses to address customers in a timely fashion, thus improving communication.

Personal Dynamic Media Nugget

Nugget: “Devices” which variously store, retrieve, or manipulate information in the form of messages embedded in a medium have been in existence for thousands of years. People use them to communicate ideas and feelings both to others and back to themselves. Although thinking goes on in one’s head, external media serve to materialize thoughts and, through feedback, to augment the actual paths the thinking follows

This nugget actually relates to my IP project more than I thought it would. The nugget discusses how people use “devices” and different mediums, more specifically, technology, to convey messages to others. It essentially goes on to say that these devices make our ideas come to life by materializing our thoughts and through feedback it can influence the way we think. My IP project talks about how businesses use social media to make themselves more successful. One of the ways social media increases the success of a business is by strengthening the communication between the business and its customers. Social media is a medium that businesses use to communicate with its customers; the customers’ idea of the business (whether they like it or not) can be heavily influenced by his/her interaction with the business through social media.

#thoughtvectors metaphor

To me this course has been a lot like training for a marathon or one of those “couch to 5K” programs. We started very small, with a post that was just commentary on another #thoughtvectors blogger. Very similar to running, where you are supposed to start by walking. Slowly we amped up the speed as the assignments got more and more thorough, just as a runner begins to run more and walk less. But we got breaks from all the cardio too, as the nuggets allowed us to take a breath and work a little less than other days. Kinda like stretching after a long run. Relaxing, but still part of the workout.

Runners also need to do some lifting to gain muscles, and I think the heavy part of our course have been the readings. To build up our strength (cognitively, that is), we had to read a lot of texts that were somewhat difficult, at least for me. Engelbart’s was particularly complicated for me, as well Vannevar Bush’s. Which makes sense to me, because just as one cannot lift only 2lbs forever and hope to get “jacked”,  as students we also cannot hope to become better readers and writers if we keep reading only our Facebook feeds.

The several milestones a runner needs to reach in order to prepare for a marathon were all the research-related posts we did. Dividing our bigger goal (the IP) into smaller goals made this task (seem) easier, and I appreciate how much time we’ve been allowed to fully explore our topics. In the end, all this preparation only made the finish line even more cathartic.

I must confess I was scared at first about having a blog where I was supposed to write my school work in. I’m a nervous writer and I’m not fond of criticism, so obviously I was not thrilled about the format of this class in the beginning. But with time I came to love the idea of blogging, and it was great to be able to receive and give feedback to other students and interact with those in other classes through the #thoughtvectors hashtag on Twitter. Somehow blogging took a bit of the pressure off from oh-so-terrifying academic writing. Runners too sometimes start on this task to lose weight, initially dreading it – but then end up loving it. It’s been a great experience! But for now I am looking forward to getting back to my couch (at least for Winter break).

Thoughtvectors Metaphor

This class was similar to a rollercoaster. Some of the ride was easy and fun and some of the ride was bumpy and difficult.

This is my second online course and it required a lot of patience and determination to get some assignments done. Reflecting back on this course I’m proud of what I accomplished in this class and for keeping up with the course. Sure, sometimes this class demanded a lot of time, but at the end of the day it was all well worth it. I really enjoyed the first weeks of this course, where we blogged freely about our interests.I enjoyed some of the readings as well, such as “Augmenting Human Intelligence” I think the activity where we got to look up different sentences and our peers work to mash them all together as our own piece was neat.


final blog post: Metaphor

Keep pushing! Although it is a bit hazy, I can just make out the finish line. Some of my peers are finishing a lot stronger than me while others are lagging hard behind. My cross-country running coach used to always say, “J-Roc”, when you see that finish line, it’s time to turn up and push yourself!”.  That is exactly what I have been doing,  going out of this semester panting and heaving. Over the course of this semester, times have been bleak but I’ve made it. Although I wanted to do better, my confidence in writing has improved drastically.

We were given numerous writing assignments this semester. I paced away with valuable information from each one steadily becoming a stronger writer. At first, I read assigned readings and completed nuggets, writing prominent ideals that stood out in passage and summarized what it meant to the writer and me.  My girlfriend was really helpful this semester, I didn’t look forward to getting my  rough drafts reviewed by her. She would mark and slash my paper with a red pen, I now call her “The Butcher”. A part of me feels like she enjoyed it, I know she was only trying help but it made me feel like my writing was lousy.  Most things she pointed out would be the same things that the instructor gave me feedback on, Justin would agree that women do stick together.

The biggest challenge for me was the Final Inquiry project. I used journal articles most often to gather a framework for my final IP assignment. I would jot down notes and free write about different topics that I could focus my papers around. This was the start of my IP writing process.

I started off very strong in my introduction, grabbing the reader’s attention, by the end my topic had waivered and my conclusion wasn’t the strongest. I might may have left the reader feeling confused and unsatisfied. Constructing the paper helped me a lot with the research process, citation, and including strong supportive material.

A devoted dad, full time employee, boyfriend, and student all at the same time is the greatest but most difficult sprint in my life so far. A lot of people have told me that it’s impossible for me to reach the finish line because of my conflicting roles. At times like these, I remember my coach taught me and dig deep to prove them wrong. Here’s for the first step over the finish line, cheers!