Digital Artifact and Contextual Essay

You can download the Digital Artifact PDF by clicking this link.

Individual pages of the Digital Artifact PDF

Contextual Essay

“A crash Course in Social Media for the time-poor small business!” is a digital PDF mini-guide for people who are interested in or who have start a small business either as a business entity, a freelancer, or a sole trader. The original intention for this digital artifact was for it to be a series of short videos, however due to the density of the subject matter and the amount of text, the decision was made for to be presented in this alternative format.

In this mini-guide I have collated a series of tips and advice on how to effectively optimize your early business practices in a way that is suitable for future content creation on various social media platforms. This guide is intended to be a great way to line out the groundwork and set strong foundations for anticipating growth with social media for anyone looking into running their own social media accounts. It aims to simplify the process of choosing platforms and creating content in an easy-to-follow format.

This guide is not meant to be too in-depth or comprehensive, and as such gives generalised advice. It encourages the reader to do their own market research and their own planning to boost their social media visibility and gain confidence in independent content management. As it was originally intended to be series of videos, the early stages of the artifact were divided into separate categories. This enabled the guide to be formatted clearly with little to no unnecessary content.

In addition to the foreword and conclusion pages, the main content body is divided into three subcategories: Identity, market, and content. I have chosen to format the artifact in this way to create a clear path through the material. The guide advises that the information and advice within is best followed in order, as each sub-category contains steps that will help in the next ones. Each sub-category has three points of advice with a simple heading preceding each one. This makes the information easier to reference as well as remember.

The guide also uses the #FIST methodology as a starting point to most of the advice given within the text. Throughout the guide the principles of the FIST methodology are reiterated as a constant reminder to the reader not to become overwhelmed. When writing the guide – which was originally to be the transcript of the videos I was going to create – I also followed the subject mantra of “the medium is the message”, using this as my own guideline for the content.

The design combines bright and muted colours of the Pantone 2017 “Greenery” colour palette entitled Transitions. This is a modern colour palette paired with bold and simple fonts to ensure the content is easy to read and easy to follow. I avoided the use of graphical images to emphasize the content itself.

Throughout the creation of the mini-guide I relied heavily upon my own experiences with the subject matter presented to formulate the advice given, and as such there are very few references used. There are also no references in the text itself however the list below includes some resources that I have read throughout the semester and may have influenced the content in the artifact.

 

Reference list

BirdBrain. 2017. Top 10 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses | BirdBrain. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.birdbrain.com.au/blog/top-10-social-media-tips-small-businesses/. [Accessed 22 June 2017].

Building The Agile Business. 2017. FIST – Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny – Building The Agile Business. [ONLINE] Available at: http://agilebusinessmanifesto.com/agilebusiness/fist-fast-inexpensive-simple-tiny/. [Accessed 22 June 2017].

Sprout Social. 2017. Social Media Demographics for Marketers | Sprout Social. [ONLINE] Available at: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/. [Accessed 22 June 2017].

Use social media to boost business | Business Victoria . 2017. Use social media to boost business | Business Victoria . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.business.vic.gov.au/marketing-sales-and-online/online-business-and-technology/social-media-for-business/using-social-media-to-boost-business. [Accessed 22 June 2017].

Using social media to market your business: the basics | Business Queensland. 2017. Using social media to market your business: the basics | Business Queensland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/online-marketing/social-media. [Accessed 22 June 2017].

 

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Week 2, pt. 1: Guten Morgen, meine Freunde!

I made my calendar for this semester. This about sums it up:

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Actual picture of me in week 2.

I am going to have NO FREE TIME. By free time, I mean honest, scheduled time where I do nothing at all. This doesn’t count procrastination time, which is unscheduled and will happen a lot as I am a mess and I can’t stick to a schedule when I am tired (spoilers: this is all the time). Dear future employers: please don’t read this and think I won’t get your work done! It’s a very different story when money is involved (the temptation to wink here is high – but also rather inappropriate). 

So why do I have no free time? One word: assessments.

Included in said assessments are two digital artefacts – one for DIGC330 and one for this subject! So this blog post will be looking at ideas for that, as well as the class mantras (philosophies): FEFO and and #FIST.

What is FEFO?

FEFO, and not FIFO as I keep mis-identifying it (thanks to my former TelCo work experience) is Fail Early, Fail Often (not first-in, first-out!).

Fail Early, Fail Often: The process is iterative and nonlinear; prioritizes experimentation and rapid prototyping; all mistakes are non-critical as long as you iterate #FIST.

(From the Prezi…)

What do I make of this? Well I can be quite literal at times. I can also be quite linear, however. Although my studies in MEDA301 would absolutely love this methodology (I will hold off on introducing it to my lecturer, however) – this was something I have always struggled with. I love my lines. I love my structure. Yet I lack the logic to do something constructive with that.

Unlike of course “Bomie”, the moniker of a software-engineer-online-contact of mine. He offers the following sage advice:

Public void doWork(){
 Throw new unsupportedexception();
 //TODO
}

(It essentially means do your work. Thank you, Bomie.)

I generally like to have an idea of what I’m working towards, and I tend to plan scrupulously to pull that off. Sometimes this can bite me in the arse and progress is killed off by my previously mentioned procrastination problem. This generally means I don’t leave a lot of room for experimentation or failure. When said failure occurs, to me it is huge and totallygetsinthewayofeverything!

So I am to get used to this not-as-uncommon-as-I’d-like-it-to-be concept of failing early and failing often – for through each failure, we learn a lesson, and through each lesson, we come closer to success. Cue Coldplay’s Fix You playing in the background.

You are quite welcome to listen to this while reading the rest of the blog post.

So we’re prototyping now. We’re making progress, experimenting, finding what works and what doesn’t. We find that listening to Coldplay is actually soul-draining so we turn that racket off. These failures don’t matter because they become lessons – or do they? Cue #FIST – an acronym which most of my friends will snicker childishly at. However, context is key, so with that in mind…

What is #FIST?

A methodology that is unfortunately, widely adopted by US Military weapons developers (of course, right?) – FIST stands for Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny. It is a great methodology to follow when prototyping, and may even lead to bigger and better ideas. Once again, though, I have a tendency to over-complicate things in this context. My biggest downfall when making a project is dreaming big, then having to scale back when I realise my limitations.

Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny: A methodology used for making digital media artefacts; to move fast and be biased towards rapid prototyping; to use inexpensive components whenever possible; to simplify as much as possible, optimize for memes rather than films; to build in small components – optimize for the bazaar rather than the cathedral.

(From the Prezi…)

Well, might as well jump right in then, shall I? I present to you, this absolutely awful, please don’t judge me, Sanic meme that I have created. I’m ashamed to say that this is 100% my own work and any other student that has had something similar… well let’s just say, great minds?

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Update: You can find this under my Imgur account here but I am not submitting this to the public and compromising my “liked” notoriety status.

I… Think I need to lie down. I will have to leave artefact prototyping for another day. This needs no explanation if you are at all familiar with the sanic meme. (If not, please google it – I need not soil my eyes further).

 

I’m done.