Confusion to the Nth Degree

So here we are. Module 5 of Squared Online, The Final Countdown, The Home Straight, The Last Hurdle, The Last Leg, Finish Line Insight,*instert other sporting puns here*

There will most likely be at least 2 entries about module 5 as essential its a 2 pronged attack/finish to the course. For this first entry I am going to do something a little bit different and try help get my head around the task in hand.

Myself and the rest of Group 2 have to debate our stance on a given topic and to be honest we’re all still trying to get out head around it so we decided to each write up a blog entry to get our heads around the topic and then to discuss in tonight Google Hangout. Not that difficult you may say but when you have to consider we also have to research and make an infographic on the future of Clients in digital marketing it can get confusing quickly.

Our given debate topic,  ‘Facebook’s Privacy and Data Use Policy is an unnecessary restriction upon its users rights’, ironically seems quite apt at the moment given that Facebook is currently celebrating it’s 10th birthday, which in itself is not bad going considering its humble beginnings as a student directory at Harvard University.

Now we have been assigned to the for motion for this debate, something that has really made us go away and think long and hard about, one that if I am brutally honest with myself I am still struggling to fully understand. To try and help me get an understanding of the whole topic i intended to view this not from a “Facebook” the product but more from “Facebook” the business and try to take into account all of Facebook’s portfolio’s and dealings in the last 2 years. OK it may not exactly be what the debate is asking from me but I hope it will at least be able to get my head around the topic.

So what has happened with Facebook, the business, in the last 2 years?

  • 9th April 2012 – Facebook purchases Instagram for $1Billion
  • 18th May 2012 – Facebook lists itself on the New York Stock exchange, therefore making the company a public company allowing people to buy stock into the company.
  • 17th  December 2012 – Under new ownership, Instagram updates its Terms of Service, confusion over what they actually meant caused user backlash as users felt that the new TOS was about selling users photos and data for its own profit.
  • 20th December 2012 – Instagram backtracks on new TOS and reverts back to original TOS, announces its continued ambition to start to have adverts on the platform
  • 4th April 2013 – Facebook releases Facebook Home – a Android only Launcher which replaces the existing Android home screen with an always updated Facebook new feed.
  • 1st Nov 2013 – Instagram starts it’s roll out of adverts in the US only.

Just looking at the above 6 points its easy to see that Facebook is a business and in business you need to make money. A product’s terms of service/privacy control/term’s of conditions or what ever else you want to call them are integral part of protecting not only the user’s best interest and data but also sets out the rules in which collected data by the company can be used, and at the end of the day there is a lot of data available to Facebook that it could potentially use to its own means, with about 1.23 billion registered users posting a variety of different content, let alone their interests,  location, computer cookies the list is endless.

Yet it’s the updates themselves which often cause the frustration and confusion amongst users towards the product, take the changes to Instagram post Facebook-purchasing for example, a couple of edited words to the TOS, which on closure inspection was actually more beneficial for users and helped protect them from advertisers using their photos in adverts, caused a backlash amongst users and for Instagram to reportedly lose an almost half of its user base in the space of a month, something which Instagram heavily denied.

Facebook itself has not had its fair share of TOS controversies ranging from:

  • 3rd party developers selling collected data of users to another 3rd party (or would that be 4th party?) buyers who would use the data collected for their own means
  • Beacon, a programme that auto-shared your online purchases with your friends, caused major user upset and eventually was discontinued and cause Mark Zuckerberg to issue a personal apology to Facebook’s users

Have I fully or even partially answered the debate question? Probably not, if anything I have only gone and confused myself even more.

Am I any closer to understanding the issue from Facebook’s point of view? Err… ish, I understand that the TOS are there both for our (the user) protection and for Facebook’s own business needs and that changes to TOS are a delicate and complicated situation, even if the majority of users ultimately don’t end up reading the full document.

I know the majority of changes are either for the user’s own benefit, to make the wordings and legal contract easier to understand, or are subtle changes in favour of the company to give them a little room to move and become profitable, something which is vital for Facebook considering that all of its accounts, personal and business pages, are free to sign up to.

Would I justify all of Facebook’s changes? Hard to say because even the most subtle change can send the average user into a spiral of confusion and doubt, even if the change ultimately works in their favour.

Untill next time.

Ana… Xmas Break… lytics

So we have just finished Module 4 of the course which was based on Google Analytics and how to read and decipher the data from it. I have to be honest and admit that this module was a weird one for me, starting off in early Dec then before we knew it we were on a 2/3 week hiatus for Xmas and then it was time to hand in the Assignment (hence the title of this Article).

That Xmas break really through me out of the loop of things and I found myself struggling with a few elements of the Analytics deciphering, luckily my second group of this course where there to support and point me in the right direction and we successfully finished the assignment on time.

Module 5 should be fun, not only because we get to make Infographics, but because it is our last module for the course!!

Time has truly flown whilst on the course and it feels weird to think that we will be done by this time in Feb.

Job hunting is going ok and have gotten a couple of good leads to follow on thanks to the course so things are certainly starting to look up on that front.

Until Next Time.

Squared So Far and Module 3

I’m going to start this entry with an apology of the lack of updates during module 2, unfortunately i have been kept rather busy during the later part of module 2 having to juggle assignment work and job hunting in at the same time, which is no easy feet at the best of times.

We received our results for module 2, and more importantly pprlss, our paperless receipts & money management platform idea we came up with, yesterday (20th Nov 2013) and achieved a average 8/10 from the tutors which I thought was a very respectable score with suggestions that if they were looking to invest in to a new business they would certainly look into us, which in itself shows how well we as a group in TGT Ltd bonded together in such in short space of time

So how has my experience of Squared been so far since my first lesson 3 months ago now?

Well first of all I can’t believe it has been 3 months already, time has certainly flown by in terms of the course and I feel like I have been doing it for longer, certainly in terms of Module 3 (which I will talk about in a second). I have learnt so much that i can’t even begin to list them all, though certainly topics that spring to mind is how to get into the right mind set on creating multi channel campaigns, how to identify and follow customer behaviours, how mobile and tablets are leading the way in consumer behaviour and the advertisers change in behaviour to accommodate it. i am also looking forward to getting hands on into learning about Adword campaigns more as well as analytics monitoring.

Now onto Module 3, even if it is nearly over what with the Assignment being handed in next week. Module 3 has been all about multi channel campaigns, something that I am thoroughly enjoying. As part of our multi channel pitch TGT Ltd has come up with some really interesting concepts to help promote the “brand” we are working with.

I am going to leave it there for today as I am wary that this has been a long blog entry.

Untill next time.

Module 2 – Half way point

So it’s been a week or so since TGT Ltd first met on Google Hangouts and our progress from that awkward meeting has progress immensely. Not only did we are come up with very good ideas, we have also voted on what the winning project would be going forward and are well on the way to planning the slide show presentation required for the module.

Hangout themselves have become a lot easier as we get to know each other more, start learn what our natural roles within the group will be and have banter between one another.

The weekly lessons for module 2 have allowed me to learn about our mobile habits and our increasing independence on them, including the rise of second screen usage something of which is soon to vastly increase with the release of both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, and consumer behaviour when it comes to mobile website.

If the first half of the module is anything to go by we got more fun and enlightenment on the way!

Untill next time

The Awkwardness of Your First Google Hangout

Evening, and welcome to my first blog entry for Module 2 of Squared Online. For those of you that are interested I got my grades for Module 1 today, got 100% which is pretty good I suppose ;).

Now for module 2 – becoming millionaires!

Ok bit of a stretched exaggeration on my behalf but module 2 is all about coming up with a business idea/plan and laying the foundations down as a group, or TGT Ltd as we are now officially know.

No idea what my plan is at the moment but I am currently toying with a couple of ideas, mainly involving some kind of store, or cats… what the internet loves cats!

Anyway not going to make this a long one tonight, need to go think of my concrete plan and draw it up before Thursday.

Until next time people

Sam

Module 1 – Done!

So here it is, my second blog on for Squared Online and the first module is already over!

It’s been a complete whirlwind start to the course, and to think I only started 4 weeks ago. In those 4 weeks I have learnt that the net is no longer run on porn alone, everything that happens in digital is connected in some form or another, even if the digital world as we know it now didn’t exist.

I have even noticed a change in the way I see the digital world, reading up more on digital marketing news websites, like The Drum, with more interesting, reading all the latest news and keeping myself update with all the latest digital marketing changes and elements. Even my dad is starting to find articles for me to read in his Estate agent magazines on digital marketing.

It just goes to show you how important and vital this new medium of marketing is to every industry, from your humble street food vendor to big corporations. Speaking of street food vendors you guys should check out one of the first blogs I wrote on Europe’s first Nitro ice cream parlour, Chin Chin Labs, in Camden, London. Without doubt the smoothest and tastest ice cream I have ever tasted, you should certainly check them out next time your down there. The link to my article can be found here – http://biltongandcrumpets.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/ice-cream-adventures/

And to top this first module of I completed my first Assignment, the first part being this blog which I will try to update regularly for you fine people, the second part of the assignment was to create a snapshot of what I consider to be my digital life, turns out it was a load of Facebook and emails really :/, and finally and introduction video to myself, which you can find below if you want to view it:

Until next time people

Sam

Squared Online – Sept 2013 Start

Hello and welcome to the first of many blogs that I will be writing during my journey on the Squared Online, the Digital Marketing course from Google and the Home Learning Collage.

Now a lot of you may be wondering why I have called my blog “Crumpets Squared”, well I plan to use this blog as an extension to my other blog that I co-write “Biltong and Crumpets”, which you can find here http://goo.gl/jLoZYy.

Whilst I may be new to the blogging game, having only started writing for Biltong and Crumpets only a couple of months ago, April 30th 2013 to be exact, I hope that my natural blogging skills will have vastly improved come the end of my course in 6 months time, especially as a major part of my assignments will consist of me maintaining this blog 😉

For this first post I am going to keep in short and sweet as I need to start editing the second and third parts of my 1st assignment (a Youtube Video and Presentation slide) but rest assured you will be hearing more from me fairly soon J

Until next time,

Sam