Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Month Left

I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to write a post instead of working on my actual project for school.  But here I am, so I guess I'm stuck.  In exactly one month from tomorrow I will be done with all my school work for my Masters Degree in Instructional Design and Technology.  I still remember the day I decided to look into online programs and thinking that nothing would really come of it.  I applied with no intention of getting in...2 years later here we are.

It's interesting to see how things can change so quickly.  When I was 26 I felt lost like something was missing from my life.  My job became repetitive and I didn't see myself going anywhere in the position I was in.  I needed to learn new things, find my interests and become happy again.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The new Myspace, yes it's back.

I joined the new myspace last month to see what all the hype was about.  The little commercial and song with the preview on their main site made it very appealing.  It was a different platform than any other social media network site I have seen.  It's sleek, redesigned and just looks great overall.  I like the cover option as a background picture to everything else and I'm a big fan of the horizontal scrolling.  

The search option makes it easy to search for your favorite artist or song and play the song instantly.  It also gives you the chance to "connect" with your friends and music that you follow.  Let's see how many people jump on this bandwagon again though.

My Profile Page


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why I Love Twitter

I use twitter to follow people, brands, products, music and everything else that I love.  It can be anything from cold medication, to grocery stores, good beers, and awesome places and name it and it probably has a twitter with a dedicated number of followers.  This list will be ever growing as time continues, but below are some of my favorite replies and retweets from awesome companies and people.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crunch Time

I was sitting at Starbucks this past October with a goal of picking a new idea for my final project. As I sat there deeply thinking I kept hoping something interesting would pop into my head, and there it was: social media marketing (as I mentioned in an earlier post).    Since then, I have been really excited about this topic and have started reading articles and looking for the best blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linked-in and Youtube influencers.  I would have to say that one of my favorite sources for information has to be the Social Media Examiner Podcasts by  Michael Stelzner (founder and CEO).  He talks to industry leaders and game changers in Social Media and provides so many useful tips.  His podcasts are very informative and creative.  Click on the image below to check out his site.

From what I've gathered so far, social media marketing goes beyond showcasing your products, it begins with creating a community of followers.  These followers are interested in how the company interacts with the rest of the world, do they help the community? What is their company mission? Do they offer any contests or prizes online to their followers?  Although a customer ultimately seeks good deals products, in reality a company needs to focus on getting customers interested in them first.  The rest will come later (if executed properly).  Although there may be other factors, social media can be used as a tool for consumers to carefully make their decisions about the products they want to purchase.  If businesses can create an exceptional user experience, they have a better chance of creating a community of users who are true fans of their products.

I am super excited that there are only two weeks till the end of the semester... my project design documents and website are the two things that stand in my way before the my final semester starts!

Here is a preview of my final project website, custom made banner 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

Wow, where did October go!?  I can't believe November is here already, I miss the summer soo much, especially the nice little break I had from school.  Not a huge fan of the time change that is coming, it will get so dark so soon.

So I am about halfway through the fall semester and it has been great so far!  We have created a blog (the one I am using now) a podcast, wiki pages, voice-threads and we are starting to build our websites.   We have been reading through Dreamweaver CS6: The missing manual to teach ourselves how to build a site.  So far so good?  Not sure about that, I vaguely recall building my first site titled "the hot spot" with a very early version of dreamweaver in college.  8 years we are.  Going through the book is very helpful, but I'm going to check out some online tutorials and get some other workbooks from the library to really dive into it this week.

Dreamweaver Cs6 Logo
Image: Dreamweaver Cs6 Digital Ghost Logo

As far my final project, I am going to focus on Social Media Retail and the affect it has on Consumer Behavior, more specifically focusing on Retail Businesses.  I am very exciting about doing research on this topic and I hope to finish the second part of my lit review in the next week.

This week we are focusing on 508 Compliance and its affect on web design.  I will actually be using this blog to see if it passes compliance without errors as part of one of my class assignments.  In my other course we are creating another voice-thread with regards to copyright and its implications on online distance learning.  

Alright, now back to work people.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Today I made my first podcast!  It was very simple using PodOMatic (you can sign up for a free account using the link)  Episode 1 and 2 have been posted tonight, where I talk about my experiences in an online community and what I think is the most important component of online education.  They are both brief..but I will post more podcasts later about other topics relating to my final project, my moms real estate website and other interesting technology things that pop into my head.

You can hear my voice here!

Grace G's Podcast

I used my brand new Apple EarPods (which I love by the way, thank you Apple for the redesign) to record the episodes on the recorder app on my Iphone and emailed myself the files and uploaded them directly to my podcast.  Once I am more comfortable my voice I will sound a little more cheerful!  It will come with practice :)

Apple EarPods
Apple EarPods

Friday, September 21, 2012

Before and After

I've been throwing around ideas of how to get started on my moms site and found a really great course on Udemy (link below)

Design and Development Tricks

Chapter 4 from the lecture is all about development and in particular lecture 11 is focused on an introduction to HTML with some other useful lectures as well.  As I was listening along to some of the lectures, I started thinking back on elements of a good design.  I like to think of  using the right techniques, but making sure they serve a purpose.

This prompted me to go back and find a site I came across the other day that compared before and after real estate sites

before and after real estate sites

In the book Design your Imagination the authors explains that "the primary concern of a business website is to design a website which is attractive and interactive " When I looked at the sites above, the after websites exhibit appealing colors that invite the user to keep reading and possibly explore the site further.  Other elements that are discussed in the book include using strong colors, centered orientation, easy to read text with simple font.  I'm excited to start reading more on web site design in conjunction with emerging technologies.

Sites and Sources

WebGuru India (2010). Design your Imagination. Brainware Consultancy Pvt. LTD [E-book, version 1]