Blog Reflection- Will you carry on blogging?

Blog Reflection- Will you carry on blogging?

Like many of you fellow students I have never used a blogging website, so when it was announced that part of the assignment was to create a blog consisting of marketing issues and reflections I was quite overwhelmed. However having experience with micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, I know that the only difference is the character count- writing a blog is far more detailed than a tweet.

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The first scenario I encountered was decided what to write topic wise for my blog posts, I think a blog post should be of relevance in terms of news/events actually taking place in the world. For example I would visit the BBC business/technology page and inspect whether a story that I could relate to in a blog post was available. This can be seen in my previous blog posts.

Another development after writing a blog post was to maintain some interaction via the MSc Facebook group or directly on the Word-press page. It’s very easy for someone to like a post, but for me a like means nothing, a comment is much more useful in making the blog more welcoming as if other users see comments they are more likely to comment themselves.

After the a few weeks of the unit I found that the interaction level in my blogs had decreased a lot. I think this could be due to students only focusing on their own work, too much workload or they just don’t have an interest in sharing their opinion on a public website. Hence the blog started to become less about interaction and more relevant in helping me to develop my knowledge in certain marketing fields. Discussing issues in my blog posts allowed me to think critically, the more I investigated a topic, the more I was able to discover and learn.

Will I carry on blogging?

If you asked me this question a month ago the answer would’ve been a certain no. However having more contact with the blog has made me feel differently as I see blogging as a tool to sell your thoughts to others. I may not post a new blog every week after completion of the unit, as the degree workload is increasing, but I will certainly keep my page and update with new posts when possible in the new future. I personally have gone from a blog writing hater to a blog writing fan in the space of the last month, it’s a shame I don’t feel the same way about the MOOC.

Will you carry on blogging after this unit is finished?

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An honest reflection of the MOOC

An honest reflection of the MOOC

Following the last three weeks of the MOOC (massive open online course) I have been able to reflect on how this online course has been for me personally of little use at all. The MOOC was flawed from day one for me as part of the unit I am forced to partake in an online course or face the consequences of failing the unit. I’ve found many of the posts on the MOOC are forced and very repetitive due to pressure of passing the unit via the participation of the MOOC.

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This is my first time participating in an open online course, most likely the last time if I have any say in the decision. The three weeks of the MOOC coincided with the cancellation of lectures each week, where it was recommended to use that time to partake in the MOOC. However I feel that the lectures would have been more worthwhile rather than the idea of the MOOC being part of the assignment.

Having online courses allows you to share and take in people’s opinions/thoughts on a point from a different perspective, as participation of the MOOC was worldwide. On the other hand I felt more secluded as the course being online meant no human interaction with your peers. Since the start of the MOOC I’ve had little or no prospect to socialize with other students studying the degree.

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Allegedly the MOOC is a free online course, but as it’s part of the degree I am studying I do not feel it’s free as I’m paying £10,000 plus to partake in this degree. At times I felt the MOOC was in place so lecturers can save time and effort in not having to attend certain lectures. My point is that the MOOC should be optional rather than it being core part of the assignment. I think face-to-face contact is much more effective than discussions online, hence me being disappointed with the structure of this unit.

The MOOC may be an interesting and new learning experience for many, but for me it’s a disappointment and almost discouraging to think how the other units in the degree could be structured similarly. If you were to ask the students how they feel about the MOOC many replies would be sugar-coated in a way not to offend the lecturer’s work in creating the online course. However I am not one of those people and as this is a reflection I am going to be honest and I feel angry that the MOOC was part of the assignment.

All this talk of the MOOC being free is misleading; on completion of a course you usually attain a certificate for free, but in the MOOC’s instance I believe you have to pay £34 not including delivery. This just shows that nothing is free; even if it says it’s free there is always some underlying cost.

Are TV adverts still effective bearing the extreme price?

Are TV adverts still effective bearing the extreme price?

Recently Twitter and Facebook released their first ever TV ad, but why do social networks need to produce ads when they are not selling a product or service that costs the users any money to use? I can ponder from the placements of these ads that the social networks are trying to show their power in the world of business; as placing TV ads is not a cheap act at all. Allocating four screenings (over a 4 week period) of an thirty second ad on ITV at a primetime slot can cost around £3million in just one region locality.

Was all the money spent for the TV worthwhile? “Can’t imagine anyone feeling invited to use the service or see the value after seeing the spot.” This description (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34668035) was given after the release of Twitter’s advert. More negative reviews were given regarding the TV advert. This makes me reflect whether the advert had a negative effect on Twitter financially and public image wise.

I find it extremely strange to see a company like Facebook that’s universal and seemingly unbreakable as steel reduced to utilising a medium such as television, that directly competes with the social network. Even stranger is the series of TV ads (https://youtu.be/bOWRQfo-RGk?list=PLbdghcV-4s2puIOVXH4KjMcHCCEzrehi0) try to be reminiscent of what companionship was like before Facebook’s existence, before the days when people implored for likes on their pictures and statuses.

So far it seems I’m quite against TV adverts being effective in a positive manner. However there are occasions where a placement of a TV advert is shear powerful in bringing in awareness of a brand or product. For example during the Superbowl in America corporations fight like dogs to get the half-time ad slot by paying millions to the television companies, all in an act to show their TV advert to a huge 100million audience domestically alone. This annual slot is probably the most important in the year as at no other time are TV viewer ratings this high.

In the United Kingdom the main advertising time that exploits the most success is the Christmas period. One company John Lewis produces huge budget adverts that are always shown at peak audience hours for maximum viewer coverage. An example of costs can be seen below showcasing how much John Lewis would pay ITV just to advertise their advert in the specific locations and time slot.

Regions 6-7:30pm 7:30-9:30pm Region cost per day Total cost for 4 weeks
London 5 6 £101,490.00 £2,841,720.00
Anglia 3 4 £23,810.00 £666,680.00
West Country 3 3 £5,670.00 £158,760.00
Meridian 3 5 £37,060.00 £1,037,680.00
Central 4 5 £66,810.00 £1,870,680.00
Total cost for all regions for 4 weeks £6,575,520.00

ITV Media. (2013). Let’s Talk About Cost. Available: http://www.itvmedia.co.uk/tools/rates. Last accessed 3rd Dec 2014.

Now I ask the question whether it’s better for John Lewis to save the £6.5million plus and use a fraction of that on just online advertising instead. Would the awareness be as successful probably not, on the other hand the company has saved a lot more money in that department.

Do you agree or disagree? Please share your opinions.

Are online reviews a trustworthy basis of evaluating a product?

Are online reviews a trustworthy basis of evaluating a product?

Reviews on a product are key for me in identifying whether I am to be purchasing the product or not. For example I always look at reviews on amazon before decided what to purchase if there are multiple options. Reviews posted by users are key motivators to improving sales of a product due to the elimination of potential doubts.

Usually reviews that I have read on amazon are often more than reliable, but can they be trusted anymore?

Recently an article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34565631) posted by the BBC highlighted that amazon will be targeting 1114 fake reviewers in Seattle by launching a lawsuit against them. That’s right even on a huge website that constantly controls the content uploaded by users like amazon has fake reviews located within the site for certain products.

This story has risen forward due to amazon seeking to shut down websites that pay to users to review products (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32251698). Amazon give the reason for seeking damages as the paid opinions weaken the review system that comes from impartial sources.

The reason why these fake reviewer websites exist is because reviews typically that give four or five stars correlate to higher sales. The motivation for the reviewer is being paid around £14 per review.

Fake reviews can twist the truth; sometimes they can be posted by furious customers or even by competitors. There have also been cases where organization management will post reviews to twist the reality, making their act very unethical.

fake-web-reviews

One way amazon has stopped fake reviews is by matching reviewers with the purchase of the product that they reviewed. For example if you click on a product and look at the reviews you can now see that reviews posted come with the “verified purchase” tag showing that the customer reviewing actually bought the product. For me personally that simply puts a lot more confidence in the reviews posted, as they are real.

I believe online reviews that are credible provide important information to me, but it’s imperative that the trust between customer and organization displaying the review is concrete. Trust can only be established if the product has numerous reviews and is reliant on the reviews being authentic. For me the reviews need have quality and quantity.

So what other approaches are there of reviews you can trust?

I find that word-of-mouth reviews are very useful especially coming from someone you know. For instance when I was buying a new car, rather than looking at written reviews online I watched video reviews showcasing the car in visual review that was more helpful. However the most useful review still came from an owner of the same model of car that I was considering. In the end his review was enough to convince me to purchase the car- a Volkswagen Golf (yes I was affected by the recent VW emissions scandal).

Do you trust online reviews anymore?

Have you ever come across fake reviews?

Have you ever been conned by fake reviews?

Ethical issues following Tinder-Are you safe?

Ethical issues following Tinder-Are you safe?

The other day I was discussing my use of Tinder with a friend who doesn’t agree with the apps evident moral issues. People against the idea of this app have labeled it shallow and vain, it’s too hurried. However are those views outdated by fact that the way humans communicate has changed forever, causing the method of people meeting each other much more different from it used to be. But I believe Tinder is a modern-day pattern of keeping up with current times/trends.

One ethical issue that could potentially occur with the use of apps like Tinder is the misrepresentation of people identifying themselves as someone else. People may have the motivation to conduct this act if they want to gain more attention from potential dates even though the profile is misleading them. This questions humanity and also drives us to be less honest about whom we actually are.

Another ethical issue that has been highlighted in the past is that Tinder has been subject to numerous undesirable news headlines with the issue surrounding privacy fears. It had been found that people were able to hack into user locations as well as several sexual harassment cases that have been taken to the founders of Tinder. A similar incident of privacy concerns had occurred for an app called Snapchat where users were not adequate protected by the software.

Do these ethical concerns make you less likely to use an app or to even quit the app? Most people don’t as the number of users for both apps has kept increasing causing the creators to gain even more royalties while users are left exposed. Tinder would believe it has better has a better user engagement rate than Facebook and Instagram even though the total users is considerable less. This coincides with the fact that 78% of Tinder users are between 16-34 years old meaning the usage of the app will be constant due to it being a communication app that has no limits on the life of the app. The only way I can see people quitting the app is if they find a partner or they’ve given up on the app due to a bad experience.

I think we cannot look at the creators of the app because it would disrupt our decision to join the app. The app developers should focus on fixing the hacking glitches so the app is safe to use. On the other hand if people do not want to use the app they do not need to. Tinder purely manufactures a different method for people to interact socially and the possibility to find person that could be your other half.

Do the modern-day humans care about ethics? At least 12% of Tinder users are in a relationship but still use the app, is that ethical?

Dating Apps/Websites- Tinder the future?

Dating Apps/Websites- Tinder the future?

If you haven’t heard of Tinder what are you doing? If you currently use Tinder you cannot escape the app. The dating app that came out of nowhere now absolutely rules the UK dating scene. In 2012 Tinder was launched as a fresh and free innovative dating app. Today it has estimated that the app has 50 million users, with 10 million daily users. The app has become so obsessive that research shows accounts are accessed 11 times a day for an overall average usage of 90 minutes a day. Is that too much time?

So how does it work? Tinder simply uses your GPS on your mobile device to calculate where you are and then find you potential matches within a certain radius selected by the user. You can also narrow down the potential matches by age-selecting the age range of the people you want to find on the app. A smart choice Tinder made is by verifying people as people by being able to open a Tinder account via their Facebook profile (the only way to create a Tinder account). Utilising your likes, friend lists and photos you can create your profile all at the ease of material already existing. Once you have created your profile you simply swipe left or right determining on the profile you’re currently viewing.

From my experience of using Tinder for over a year now I have encountered many pros of using the app. Setting up a profile is very quick, you can be up and running within a few minutes. Using the mutual friends function allows you to meet people who are friends with your friends, helping you realise this is a small world. The app is designed for mobile users meaning the construction of the app is very clear and easy to use, it’s ideal to fill in those free minutes you have waiting for that train or bus.

Sounds great right? Well there are a few problems with the app. Matching someone is one step, but then who starts the conversation I personally have matches sitting in my list, but I’ve never bothered to speak to and I’m guessing they aren’t too bothered either. You can comparably get people who just want to “hook up” meaning relationships that you’re after will need effort to create and don’t forget “trolls” you get many of these, I advice the use of the block feature. However the most disappointing problem with the app is the lock on certain features being only available to paying members, such as having unlimited amount of likes available only if you pay £3.99 per month, bearing in to mind these restrictions never existed for most of the app’s life.

If you have used Tinder share your experiences whether good or bad. If you haven’t tried Tinder I recommend having a crack at it, you never know you might find your Tinderella.

Please leave a comment below to get involved.

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