My “Progress”

These past 3-4 weeks have been such an interesting experience for me. Being a Communication Studies Major and a Writing Minor, I have pictured myself doing social media work as my future career path. I have always wanted to understand and learn what being an ‘influencer’ on a social media site would be like. This project has given me a lot of insight into the social media world (how it works, what to post, what NOT to post, etc…), which I’ve always wanted/needed in order to truly grasp what kind of lifestyle ‘instagrammers’ and bloggers live.

 Insights:

My progress has been pretty slow and steady these past few weeks. I have been using ‘Insights’ as a way to monitor my progress throughout the week. I took screenshots of these insights as you can see below. They are helpful because they show how many times each post has been seen. This can help to understand which hashtags and which pictures people like the most or are the most excited to see. A downfall of Insights is because I only have 29 followers, the app is not able to tell me much about the ‘trends’ of my followers. My goal by the end of this project is to get at least 100 followers so that I can attain this information. (This goal might be a little bit of a reach but only time will tell.)

I also use Insights on my blog. These statistics show me how people find my blog site and how many people view each post. This helps me to understand how much Instagram is attributing to the traffic and publicity my blog is receiving.

How To Gain Followers:

I haven’t gained very many followers in the past 5 days which I attribute to the fact that I went out of town and did not keep up with posting stories and pictures. I am hoping to gain more followers in the coming weeks by posting daily and adding more hashtags to my stories. I also realize that I need to start following more people and interacting with their pictures. Oftentimes I find myself feeling awkward when commenting on other people’s posts, but I need to remember that this is a large part of the algorithm and a large factor in how successfully my Instagram will grow. Unfortunately, I cannot gain followers just by existing… 

Finding My People:

I have yet to come across many Instagram profiles that are similar to mine. Most of the bloggers that I follow are either stay-at-home mom’s who post about tips and tricks of motherhood, or they are beauty and fashion bloggers with tons of selfies and advertisements. I think as soon as I find my crowd I will be more excited to interact with other profiles on Instagram. Applying what Debbie Mitchell wrote on her ‘Twitter Tips’ bullet journal page, I do think that I need to ‘Find My People’. This support will not only make the app more enjoyable but it will hopefully allow me to find real-life connections which will lead to a more meaningful experience. 

Highlights:

During the first two weeks of this assignment, I was pretty consistent with posting stories and adding them to my highlights. As the weeks have gone on, I have noticed myself slacking especially with the creation of new highlights. I think people would ultimately be more interested if I were to post more stories and add them to my highlights. I am planning to add a ‘Steamboat’ highlight and add a bunch of pictures from my trip this past weekend. I know personally when I look at a new profile, I always tap through the highlights, so adding new ones will hopefully increase followers.

Quick Steps To Increasing My Followers:

What I’ve Learned:

All in all, I have learned that… I have a lot of learning to do. Instagram is a difficult platform to get noticed on. Your posts must be consistent, your content must be exciting, and your followers must be dedicated. I now know that a posting schedule is the key to success if you want to gain a following and I have learned that engagement with other users is so important. Cheers to the coming weeks and hopefully some more success in the Instagram world!

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Synthesizing and Visualizing

We have done a lot (A LOT) of reading about Instagram these past few weeks and some reading about social media and visuals in general. Take some time in your groups to try and synthesize important information from all these readings. Focus on what you’ve learned about Instagram and its relationship to social media in general. Each group should design a way to represent this synthesized information visually using the program listed below. Post your visual to our WordPress site with a brief description. Be prepared to talk us through the choices you made in synthesizing readings and representing information visually. 

Group 1: Whitney, Andrea, Olivia, Karl: ComicLife

Group 2: Allison, Surina, Riley: PiktoChart

Group 3: Natalie, Cassy, Katy, Estrella: Prezi 

Readings to consider: 

Text Remediation: Humor

Remediated by: Estrella, Karl, Cassy, Katy

Anthropologist Mary Douglas (1991) examines the very thin line sepa- rating a joke from an insult: a joke expresses something a community is ready to hear; an insult expresses something it doesn’t want to consider. Thus, recognizing a joke involves exchanging judgments about the world and defining oneself either with or against others. Content creators can endear themselves to a particular audience by showing they understand its sensibilities and can alienate themselves by miscalculating that audience’s sensibilities. Humor is not simply a matter of taste: it is a vehicle by which people articulate and validate their relationships with those with whom they share the joke.

Consider a breakout advertising success from 2010: Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign. Launched in February by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the television commercials feature Isaiah Mustafa as Old Spice Guy, “a handsome but somewhat inscrutable figure who engaged in random acts of manliness”: “the man your man could smell like” (Potter 2010). 

Promising to transform customers simply through their use of the product, the spots draw on some of advertising’s own clichés and cultural touchstones. It parodies not only the pitchman but also the commercially manufactured ideal man—all “chiseled torso and ridicu- lously self-assured tone” (Edwards 2010). Old Spice has employed such techniques multiple times in the past. For instance, a commercial in2007 showed how the product could grow chest hair instantly (a feat its competitor in the side-by-side comparison couldn’t manage). This manliness made it the ideal choice for “real man situations, like basket- ball, recon, and frenching.” A 2008 spot featured a spokesman sliding around the entirety of a baseball diamond while he promoted Old Spice as the “bare-knuckle, straight-on tackle, heavyweight deodorant that gives the best game, set, and match, high-stepping, sudden-death, double-overtime performance in the pit fight against odor.” By 2009, the product was shown as the deodorant of choice for the winners of manly competitions such as arm wrestling, the karate chopping of concrete blocks, and chainsaw carving. In the latter case, the Old Spice deodorized winner carved his own block of wood into a chain- saw, and he then used it to carve his competitor’s block of wood into a sculpture, all before the other guy could start his saw. Old Spice has long experimented with parodying the advertising industry’s construction of masculinity.

For the impressions minded, by September 2010, the original Old Spice Guy spot had received in excess of 25 million views on YouTube, while the Old Spice channel showcasing all the campaign’s videos received about 94 million views. At that time, the brand had acquired more than 90,000 Twitter followers and more than 675,000 Facebook fans. Perhaps in relation, sales of Old Spice grew 30 percent from February through July 2010, the five months after the new advertising campaign had launched (Edwards 2010).

We might see the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign as a product of Old Spice’s ongoing experiments with finding the right humor- ous tone to mock notions of masculinity (Caddell 2010). Unlike the previous spots, this campaign engaged both male and female viewers, as the commercials are directly addressed to the “ladies” who are often purchasers of body wash for their significant other. Its self-parodic elements implicitly grant users permission to adopt and adapt the content for their own purposes.

Parodies of the Old Spice commercial spread across the Internet as users drew on the spot’s form and structure to conduct their own conversations. Men of all body types and sizes shot spoofs featuring “more realistic” men your man could smell like. The children’s television show Sesame Streetproduced a version featuring the character Grover that promised to help viewers “smell like a monster.” Australian political comedy program Yes We Canberra! shot a version critiquing the status of gay marriage down under, and another Australian Broadcasting Corporation spoof featured an animated Tony Abbott, leader of the Australian opposition party, begging to be “the man your PM should be.” Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library even produced a version selling the merits of studying in the library.

“Smell Like a Man, Man” serves as a good exemplar of a “pro- ducerly” text. The video has a clearly defined message, but the absurdity creates gaps “wide enough for whole new texts to be produced in them” (Fiske 1989b, 104). Wieden+Kennedy enlisted Mustafa to shoot 186 individual videos over 48 hours and posted them on YouTube, responding to comments sent to Old Spice Guy via Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook and to video responses left on YouTube in real time. Old Spice Guy responds multiple times to Alyssa Milano (whom he flirts with), offers a marriage proposal on behalf of a Twitter user, and answers a lot of quite random questions. Many response videos don’t feature a single mention of Old Spice products—they respond to people talking about the campaign. Ultimately, the campaign uses its humor in all its exten- sions to demonstrate how Old Spice “gets” a certain mentality and is a meaningful participant in the dialogue of particular audience members (in the case of the online extension, communities that are cognizant of the traditional logics of advertising, fully conversant in irony, and immersed in social media platforms).

Not every group appreciated the outreach, however. When Old Spice targeted the trolls at 4Chan, they responded with a mixture of bemusement and overt ridicule; one wrote, “This was the first time I’ve ever seen someone market to /b/ and I am glad it was a thing as epic and funny and as close to our humor as this so fuck off,” while another posted an image macro of the Old Spice Guy labeled “marketing cam- paign troll.” In this case, Old Spice’s humor may have been directed at the wrong audience, offending some in a community expressly built to be not just noncommercial but often anticommercial.

Re-Mediation

Surina, Olivia, Natalie

Available when and where audiences want it: Producers, whether professional or amateur, need to move beyond an “if you build it, they will come” mentality, taking (or sending) material to where audiences will find it most useful.

Portable: Audience members do not want to be stuck in one place; they want their media texts “on the go.” Content has to be quotable (editable by the audience) and grabbable (easily picked up and inserted elsewhere by the audience). Audiences will often abandon material if sharing proves too onerous.™

Easily reusable in a variety of ways: Media producers and media audiences circulate content for very different reasons, actually for very many different reasons. Creating media texts that are open to a variety of audience uses is crucial for creating material that spreads.™

This meme became a symbol of controversial topics or unpopular opinions. The sign became replaced with various topics on all platforms of social media.

Relevant to multiple audiences: Content that appeals to more than one target audience, both intended and surplus audiences, has greater meaning as spreadable media.™

Part of a steady stream of material: The “viral” mentality leads brands to invest all their energy in a particular media text that is expected to generate exponential hits. Blogging and microblogging platforms emphasize the importance of a regular stream of material, some of which may resonate more than others in ways creators may not always be able to predict.

Hedgie Love

When I was first introduced to Instagram, I didn’t really know what to do nor what to follow. I began searching around and I saw a lot of Hedgehog accounts. I began to delve deeper into these accounts and what I was able to come up with fascinated me tremendously. I’ve seen Hedgehogs before but these accounts on Instagram were getting a lot of likes and followers so I knew that these Hedgehogs had a lot of influence. There are a few Hedgehog accounts that I deem to be the best among my own opinion. The accounts that I would follow a lot and keep up to date with are @tacakotan, @_gogooma, and @shimihazu. Each of these accounts does something very unique to influence followers and each account HEdgehog seems to have their own personality that draws more attention to them and makes them, unlike other accounts.

We can all relate to our youth and how some of us, or people we knew, had blankets that they would never leave behind. The Hedgehog accounts @tacakotan has the same childish and adorable behavior. This Hedgehog has a little blue blanket that it guards with its life.

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The author in this accounts, and like the other accounts, focuses a lot of pathos to appeal to the audiences. Though it has been hard for me to be able to read much of the posts since Instagram’s translation of isn’t always the best and it also doesn’t translate the comments people leave in the post. There is still a lot that we can assume about the audience and its that they are huge Hedgehog enthusiasts and mostly are located in Asian countries as well as how they all have a soft spot for Hedgehogs even though they can be a bit prickly. The features of this account are that this Hedgehog has a unique part about it that I would like to incorporate. It would seem that I would post a lot of content featuring Hedgies that have a similar niche to them. The things that I would try to avoid is just to use the same content over and over again and perhaps be very diverse in what I wish to include for my audiences. In the multimodal article, I began thinking about adding perhaps more text to my pictures on my account. Perhaps something quick and flashy that will coincide with the picture to keep it from going stale.

@_gogooma is an adorable little friend which separates a lot of Hedgies from this one. This Hedgehog is a like a lot of people in the world where it’s just lazy. At least, that’s what the creator of this account likes to post. This account posts Gogooma sleeping and just minding its own business. This is a Hedgehog that we can also all relate to. Whenever I look at this account I can only say, “It must be nice” with all of the content of the Hedgehog just sleeping.

2019-01-15 (1).png    Even in this picture, Gogooma lies sleeping as its owner squishes his chubby cheeks. This creator uses a lot of pathos for its audience. It features a sleeping Hedgehog and cute antics on the Hedgehog as it sleeps. Everyone likes to see animals sleep, its a cute thing, and they also enjoy witnessing Hedgehogs being lazy just like how we are sometimes. Along with this content, it would be best to avoid a lot of material of Hedgehogs just sleeping, though it is cute, sometimes the audience wants the Hedgie to be doing something for their entertainment. Perhaps just scurrying around. Henry Jenkin’s article about spreadable media made me realize that it’s hard for these accounts to post pictures better than the last one so they stick with what the audience knows. This makes me think that sometimes I won’t have any quality posts and that Ill have to resort to a safer alternative so that my progress doesn’t go downhill.

I have noticed that a lot of people like to say their own pets have emotion. Though with a dog we can sense when it is happy due to its tail waggling. Hedgehogs do have tails but whenever they’re happy they don’t wag it. @shimihazu has another way to tell its owner that it’s happy.

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@shimihazu makes facial expressions that the owner can clearly tell that it is happy. This Hedgehog in this photo is currently smiling at a knitted cupcake. Honestly, who wouldn’t smile upon seeing a cupcake? It is simple to see that this creator also implemented pathos into the content that they post. The audience seems to enjoy this content as well as its something we don’t see within a lot of Hedgehogs which makes this one particularly unique compared to the other accounts. This feature is hard to avoid and this account doesn’t really post the same content over and over again. I would say that out of all of the accounts, this one is the most diverse and there’s anything I would avoid about it. Steve Krug makes a point about the web and how people tend to use it, how we don’t read pages but scan them instead. A lot of the posts here on Hedgehogs features small text and don’t delve into making long and complex comments on the post that a lot of the readers simply wouldn’t regularly read.

Citations:

  • Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” In Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multinmodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19.
  • Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J., (2013). “Designing for Spreadable Media.” In Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press. 195-229.
  • Krug, S. (2005) “How We Really Use The Web” In Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition. Berkeley, C.A.: New Riders, 21-29.

Transparent Testimony

There are countless Instagram accounts dedicated to posting pictures of Bible verses daily, however an account that includes a verse, a testimony, aspects of real life, and is specifically for troubles college kids experience is a difficult fish to find in the sea of profiles on Instagram. However the four accounts I chose all have aspects of things I want to be reflected in the account I want to create and I believe would most successfully obtain an engaged, interested audience. These include; @daily_bibleverses, @daily_bible_devotional, @legitsadierob, and @knowing_god_for_teens.

The account, @daily_bibleverses, is about as simple as it gets, all they do is post a picture of a Bible verse every day. But, this is a small part of what I would like to do on my account as well. The aesthetic of their page inspires me with what I want mine to look like. I think having the first thing people can view our picture is big words of exactly what they might want to know can be really helpful with these kinds of accounts. This account also helped me see ways to give credit to other accounts if I want to use one of their pictures.


@daily_bibleverses

@daily_bible_devotional’s account is a little more interesting. It’s a man, I’m not sure of his name, who posts pictures of Bible verses with mini-sermons of them, advice for those trying to lead a Godly path, and lots of videos of himself sharing the word. The videos he posts really show authenticity and bring a personal level to the account, which is something I really want my account to have as well. He also uses Instagram’s ‘story’ feature, which is something I am excited to try on my account. It is a good way for someone to see a little bit of what your account entails quickly without having to scroll all the way down your page.

@legitsadierob, also known as Sadie Robertson, is a young author, owner of a clothing line, speaker, has a podcast, and the list goes on and on. I am really inspired by her ministry because she is very authentic and proud of who she is and what she stands for, and I think she’s a great role model for young girls. Her Instagram account isn’t technically a ‘devotional’ or ‘Bible verse” account, but her account includes many Bible verses, testimonies, advice for women of faith, and clips of her seminars. I want to convey the same message of authenticity and self-love and purpose in life to my audience that she does, because I think those are important values to hold, especially as college students when there are so many things we struggle with.

@legitsadierob

@knowing_god_for_teens includes the same pictures of verses along will small devotionals in the captions. Like this account, I want mine to be targeted toward college students and teens. I think we already have a lot to deal with so words of encouragement based on problems specific to us can be really uplifting.

@knowing_god_for_teens

I have learned many different things I can do with my account in order to make my audience grow and my message to spread, such as hashtags, so I was thinking something short and catchy that makes the purpose of my account clear; like #dailydudevo. Through my analysis of these accounts I found different aspects of each I hope to include in mine, such as the coordinating pictures of the verses, personal testimonies and advice pertaining to the verse in a way that is targeted for college students, using the features of the Instagram ‘stories’ to actively interact with my audience in a personal way, and to make sure my content is authentic, transparent, and relatable.

A picture captured at the GVCM (Global Vision Citedelle Ministries) by Mia McLaughlin, whose blog about her experience in Haiti and journey through her faith I will be linking in my Instagram account. @mia.mclaughlin

Yes, We Are Still Here. And No, I Don’t Live in a Teepee

I’m sure most people in Colorado are unaware of the thousands of indigenous people that have been displaced just so America could expand across the western United States. Unlike in the movies about cowboys and ‘Indians,’ my people did not live in teepees. I come from the Green Reed Place, or as the Spanish named it, Sandia Pueblo.

 

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My home on the Pueblo of Sandia Reservation. Photo by Andrea Orozco

To most people this holds little to no significance, but as a member of three tribes this holds all the meaning in the world. Leaving my home to come to a place like Colorado left me with questions like: How do people not know more about the history of their own country? Why don’t they care? How can I educate others on my heritage and the problems we have faced and continue to face?

Two things you would never think to connect would be Native Americans and Instagram but that is exactly what I want to do. To start my social media takeover I first looked towards others who have already started to post about Native American Culture. I first looked online to see if I could find any instagram accounts that had already gain traction for their work. Galore Magazine had an article about Native America Women who are doing exactly what I want to do, showcase their culture to the world.

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Instagram post from Deb Haaland. Retrieved from Instagram.com

One of the most prominent Native American woman that I looked towards was Representative Deb Haaland. As one of the first pueblo women in Congress she has already caused a stir in what people knew about Native Americans. Her instagram feed is quite short but in the few post she has she has already made clear that her rhetorical situation is one that displays her culture, her hopes for her time in congress, and the progress she has already made in the eyes of young generations of young indigenous women like myself. I hope to follow in her steps in being more personal with my post and display my own experience as a Native American woman.

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Indigenous Women Rising Instagram Page

Another Instagram account that I came across was Indigenous Women Rising. Unlike other accounts that I have followed, this page focuses on the topic of sexual health and reproductive rights. I look to this page in hopes of being influenced in how they use instagram to educate with both pictures and text. As said in the What are Multimodal Projects reading there are many factors that go into how the text is presented both linguistically and visually.

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Instagram Page We Will Not Be Silent from https://www.instagram.com/wewillnotbesilent/

 

The last page I looked at was that of We Will Not Be Silent. Although this page is not exclusive to Native American issues it does heavily focus on activism. This page has an aesthetic that very much fits into what instagram is. It not only visually holds the consumers eye but the text that is integrated is very short but to the point and hooks the reader. I want to integrate this into my social media project and make sure that the pictures and videos that I post are pleasing to the eye while holding many layers.

Most of these pages play on pathos and how other humans can connect to these pages and their messages on a moral and values based level. I hope that my social media project can also play on human emotions while creating credibility for myself both by using my own experiences and being educated. Most of these pages are made up of pictures and text but I am hoping I can bring a different experience by adding more video and links in my posts to create more content and credibility by adding more sources to the ideas I will try to convey.

I also want to work with writing for web because of the microblogging core of instagram I have to consider how I will write for the web like talked about in the reading for Brian Carroll and how to make my writing short and concise for readers and to how their interest.

 

Works Cited:

Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” InWriter/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19.

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Carroll, B. (2009). Digital Media Versus Analog Media. In Writing for Digital Media. New York, NY: Routledge, 23-54

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