End of Semester Thoughts

Another semester of college almost done, and suddenly I’m halfway done. I’m halfway to being a part of the “real” world, with a “real” job. And I think it’s about time to look back at what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve learned in these last few months that I already know are going to be beneficial for me when I have that “real” job someday.

First, the media industry is constantly adding new platforms and technology, and in order to be successful I need to know what those new platforms are and how to use them. A couple of these platforms that I was lucky enough to work with this last semester was Sysomos and Hootsuite. But that’s not even close to everything that is available to media professionals today.

Traditional news media are making use of these new platforms, even though the word ‘traditional’ invokes thoughts of newspapers and radio, rather than the Internet and social media. They have websites and social media accounts, where they keep their internet readers up to date with the news in real time. Advertisers are using systems such as Sysomos to monitor their target markets and find out what is appealing to the specific demographic they are marketing to.

The field of public relations are making use of social media and emojis to send out their press releases in new and interesting ways. Broadcasting professionals are also keeping up to date with new media platforms, through mobile sites and social media networks.

I was introduced to some new concepts regarding the field of New Media semester. The main one that stuck out to me was cyberbullying, which is not only a movie, but a reality where schoolyard bullies are taking their mean words online, where they never go away. This is something that affects everyone, whether they’ve been a victim, or someone that saw it happening on their screen in front of them.

Some other cool things that I got to work with this semester as well was tools like Canva, as well as Twitter. Getting to work this these tools has opened up my eyes to multitude of ways media professionals can create and display their finished products. From the relative basics of Canva to using Adobe software, there’s never an excuse for not creating something, because there’s always tools open to create on. Then they just have to decide where to release their finished product on, which admittedly is a process usually involving several people depending on the product, which often involves social media in some form.

I tweeted once a day for two weeks near the beginning of the semester to see what would happen to my account. I gained a couple dozen more followers, which wasn’t hard considering I had about ten at the beginning, and was able to get in touch with media and agriculture professionals through this medium due to the content I was putting out, which was a very cool experience.

New media is shaping our society in ways that most of us don’t even realize anymore, because it is so pervasive. Words that would have made no sense a hundred years ago, such as Google, is now a term that can used to describe an action, rather than just a search engine. Social media is where the majority of the population with a social media account get their news from and tell everyone about their lives.

New media is a broad term to describe the reality we live in now, where eventually the tools and systems we use today will become obsolete and replaced with something even more new and the cycle will repeat. This is not a bad thing, it is simply the truth. This field is constantly changing and reshaping and moving from one new thing to another.

I am extremely lucky to be attending a university where I get to take classes that expose me to these types of platforms and technologies. I can’t wait to get out into the “real” world and show you what I’ve got.

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