As a freelance artist, most of my work is done online and thus behind the curtain. I don’t have the luxury to live in this beautiful ever going cycle of traveling, taking beautiful pictures, getting paid and using that money to travel some more etc etc. I don’t have the luxury of waking up to clients lining up at my door. I don’t have the luxury to be sponsored by Nikon of Cannon to simply have all the toys that I would/could ever want. No, unfortunately for the both of us I have to advertise my portfolio, sell myself and litter your feed with a bunch of hashtags, ads and constant posts. The challenge is to annoy you with all that stuff without coming across too strong, kind of like a pickup line on Tinder. It’s corny and cheesy but doing it right to score a date is an art in itself. So how do I do it? Well quite frankly I don’t, not yet at least. I haven’t reached the pinnacle of advertising on social media but over time I’m sure it’ll come. Anyways, this post isn’t about me or my challenges with my business it’s rather in regards to my media communications class at the University of Ottawa. Basically, this class was a three-hour lecture from 7-10pm every Monday night. Sounds boring? Yeah it’s what I thought too before attending the class. Allow me to explain. Imagine all the positives of an online course and all the positives of an in-class course and mash them up together without any negatives (aside from the two girls in the back who never stop talking…). The prof is very relaxing and pronounces well, if by any chance you fall behind in regards to what he saying because you were playing flappy bird on your phone then all you have to do is go check the twitter feed and voila you caught up! If you have questions you can ask them through twitter or you can raise your hand. Side note : I know to most this may see like not that much of a big deal but quite frankly this makes a big difference especially to those who feel too uncomfortable to raise their hand and ask a question in front of 200 plus students. Back on track. I personally felt as if the prof made a tremendous effort to promote a healthy learning environment. Everything from the lights to the sound was groomed and tailored for us, students to promote and stimulate our senses. (no #FiveGum pun intended). So, I just feel the need to expand on the twitter feed for those who may not know/understand how twitter works. Twitter is essentially a medium to which people can share their thoughts, just like your facebook wall. You have a limit of 160 characters and you can use some of those precious characters to add hashtags. Hashtags are a form of sorting mechanism that lets you find all the tweets with the same hashtags. This being said, we can, as a class agree to use the same hashtag for every tweet (#uotm17) and we can use this hashtag to put all of our notes, comments and explanations in one place for everyone to see. Hence why I said earlier that if you miss a part of the class you can always catch up. Now some of you might ask “what stops you from just playing flabby bird for the entire class and just read the tweets later?” and the answer to that is “nothing really”. I mean you are graded on how many tweets you send out per class with a minimum of 6 but aside from that you could easily just coast. This being said, you’re also paying 4 000 $ per semester and you’d think most would try to get as much knowledge for their buck as possible. Exceptions always apply but for the most part this system works well. We average around 800-900 tweets per class. So how does this all correlate to my photography? Well this class taught me the impact and use of social media, aside from that it’s also a communication class and it goes with the whole pick up line idea I was saying at the beginning. It helps you organize your ideas, target your audience, understand the concept of communication and this through different social media platforms. Through this class I was able to sharpen my communication skills alongside further my knowledge of these platforms that we use every day. All in all I enjoyed my class with Mr. Pierre Lévy and I’m sad to say this is the last class that I will have with him for a while. Not only was the content great but the environment even greater! Learning through the power of social media is truly inspiring and makes me wonder what the future holds for us!
- David Chartrand