Monthly Archives: February 2017

Propaganda

I’ve never put much thought on movies before, I viewed them as entertainment. However taking a class in digital video changed my mind.  It forced me to look deeper at the subtle hints, messages or information that the movies are trying to convey. The medium is a very powerful tool and great influence because it is readily available, easily accessed and for the most part affordable.

For this week, we are to name one film that was used as propaganda, share our thoughts and determine if it was effective or not.  One movie that came to my mind is The Terminator.  Set in 1984, a cyborg assassin from the future (2029) traveled back in time in order to kill the mother of the future leader of the resistance group that will fight against an Artificial Intelligence defense network of machines in the post-apocalyptic future.

The movie was full of action, violence and unbelievable special effects. It appears that the movie is against technology as it implied that the world will be in chaos when the machines take over and will eventually enslave man. Was it effective?  Yes it is.  As with other sci-fi movies it also is effective in sparking the imagination of creators and inventors. And it provided a glimpse of what technology is capable of.  We don’t put much thought into it but we are in the midst of technological revolution.  Some are welcomed others not. This article talks about the technology in the movie Terminator that is almost here. Below is the 1984 movie trailer.

I also found this clip that features the late Bill Paxton, see if you can recognize him.

Advertisements

ROI & Social Media Marketing Goals

ROI for my company would mean continued costumer engagement and growing reach.  Ideally, getting feedback and comments where I could learn from as to what is effective or helpful would be great.

Social media marketing goals would be establishing increased awareness of my brand. This could lead to mentions, likes, follows, tweets or retweets.

Ideal examples of success would be increased traffic because of word-of-mouth and positive customer feedback. On a personal level, if I put out information or product that helped a person or group that would be a success.

Measuring ROI on Social Media would be done using analytics. This would provide data such as traffic sources, browsers or screen resolution, top pages viewed and demographics. Traffic sources would let me know if I am getting referrals or if my page appeared based on key-word search. Data on browsers or screen resolution would be helpful in determining how I could optimize my site maybe by ensuring fast page loads and responsive design. Top pages viewed would be helpful in finding out what content viewers find interesting. I could use this as a basis for future offerings. Lastly, demographics would allow me to see where my viewers are coming from. I know Google Analytics even breaks it down by Country and City. This would clarify who my viewers/costumers are. It could also pin-point if I am on-point with my target demographics.

Special Effects

When it comes to special effects that enhance and not take away from the shot the first one that came to my mind was the scene from The Matrix that’s called The Rooftop Showdown, where ‘Neo’ played by Keanu Reeves is going to encounter the ‘Agent.’. This sci-fi movie released in 1999, is about a dystopian future world where humans are used by machines as energy source and the reality that they perceive is a simulated reality called “The Matrix”.

Per Wikipedia, this visual effect is known as “bullet time” in which the heightened perception of certain characters is represented by allowing the action within a shot to progress in slow-motion while the camera’s viewpoint appears to move through the scene at normal speed.1 The camera shot at 00:38 started behind Neo then it cranes around him with the bullet path showing on his left and right. The transition occurs with the bullet seeming to go straight to the camera or the audience. Super exciting!

The other special effect I am choosing not only does not take away from the scene, but is a vital part of the story. The scene is the Parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments. This Cecil B DeMille’s classic is an amazing effect when I was growing up. Researching how it was done was even more amazing. Filmed in 1956, it was apparently the most difficult special effect ever performed up to that time. The effect took about six months of filming, and combined scenes shot on the shores of the Red Sea in Egypt, with scenes filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood of a huge water tank split by a U-shaped trough, into which approximately 360,000 gallons of water were released from the sides, as well as the filming of a giant waterfall also built on the Paramount backlot to create the effect of the walls of the parted sea out of the turbulent backwash.2 I’ve never paid much attention to the amount of work needed to achieve the much-needed special effects. This is a revelation!


References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ten_Commandments_(1956_film)
Colorful hands

Community Engagement

Staying on top of 4 classes that are all pretty demanding is taking its toll on my social media life. That said most of my “socializing” has been mostly on the required wordpress blog and weebly websites. Ignoring my current situation, the communities I engage with consists of my family, friends, classmates from grade school thru college (yup thru Facebook), work colleagues, classmates from Peninsula College via Canvas, members of Port Angeles Senior Center, other volunteers at the local Habitat for Humanity and followers on my Twitter, Blog, Flipboard and Instagram. The platform I use most often are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Flipboard.

Connecting electronically via Social Media
Connecting electronically via Social Media Photo: Pixabay

Most of my interaction consists of getting and giving updates on status or situation, providing words of encouragement for friends who are down, joining in on celebration for happy events. I think as I establish my brand, I would like for these interactions to be more brand oriented. To get the word out that I am available for hire as a web and graphics designer. Establishing a relationship with another company could be beneficial for their brand as well as mine. I could introduce their products/capabilities to my friends/followers and they could do the same for me. I would like to foster a relationship with everyone, a casual internet user or a friendly face could be a potential client or that person might know someone who could use my services.

drink

Here is an article on Social Media engagement that I need to master in order to improve my  engagement. Ten Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement.

Storytelling in Social Media

Storytelling works. Not only in marketing but in almost everything…teaching, movies, songs, news, TV ads, book covers, leadership you name it. In fact, I have read that “When it comes to inspiring people to embrace some strange new change in behavior, storytelling isn’t just better than the other tools. It’s the only thing that works.”1 It is no surprise that storytelling is even more effective in Social Media. Why? It’s because we are all social creatures. We like to hear stories that we can relate to, we like to be entertained or intrigued. For me, I like those components but I also love stories that can lead to discovery and personal growth.

Giant Tortoise
T with giant tortoise

This continuous search for knowledge and growth led us (me and my husband) to discover a blog/website that we love. The site is called Mr. Money Mustache (or MMM), Financial Freedom Through Badassity. Yes, the brand looks & sounds funny but the message and content are serious, life-altering stuff.  The blog certainly has influenced some of our decisions and he has a huge following of faithful Mustachians. Here is his introduction on his very first blog post:

Hi there. If we haven’t met, my name is Mr. Money Mustache. I’m the freaky financial magician who retired along with a lovely wife at age 30 in order to start a family, as well as start living a great life. We did this on two normal salaries with no lottery winnings or Silicon Valley buyout windfalls, by living what we thought was a wonderful and fulfilling existence. It was only after quitting the rat race that we looked around and realized why we had become financially independent while most people, even with higher incomes, end up stuck needing to work until age 65 or later.

What a great story and introduction. When we started reading the MMM blog both my husband and I were working full-time stressful jobs; on the proverbial rat race.  Early retirement is not even on our radar but we knew we wanted to live a great life.  And who doesn’t want meaningful and fulfilling experiences during our short visit on earth?

dsc06509
Lighthouse in the Oregon Coast

Our path and story is different from MMM.  But my husband and I felt that we too have a story to share.  That we can inspire and empower others to embrace change.  Here is the introduction on our blog:

Hi, we are John and Terry.  Fast approaching fifty, we were a typical American family…2 jobs, 2 cars, 2 kids, 2-hour commute, too little time together.  Always tired and sometimes grumpy. Once our kids were making their own life choices, we embraced change ourselves.  We started with the rather obvious but important discovery that we control our destiny and had the power to make rapid and important changes to our lifestyle.  Priorities to make the most of our time and opportunities.

Well that’s my story, here is the link to our website if you want to read some of our adventures.

Beside the blog pages, below are a couple of great articles on storytelling.

Why Leaders Need to Be Great Storytellers

http://www.inc.com/chris-dessi/how-to-deliver-a-remarkable-presentation.html

Source:

1http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/03/09/the-science-of-storytelling/#2e9a08766cd1

Beautiful Cherry blossoms

Verb (Spring) and Color (Pink, Red-orange, Magenta)

For Week 7, we have been assigned to pick a verb and create a color palette that is associated with the verb.  I am partial to flowers even my professor suggested I do something related to flowers. But what verb to choose?  During my walk around town I began noticing signs of spring. Spring is a noun for the season change but also a verb for move, jump suddenly or evolve. So that gave me an idea to include the before and after videos.  The color palette I choose are pink, red-orange, magenta. The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love; red-orange represents energy warmth & happiness while magenta universal harmony and emotional balance.

Below is the messy story board/idea page I used.

Story board page
Storyboard/idea page
Tree with Orange Flowers

My Story and Call To Action

Door slightly open
Where will the door lead you?

When a door closes it’s not a bad thing. What happens next will depend on our reaction to the situation. We have an option of staying put, feel sorry that we are trapped or wait for someone to rescue us. Those are not bad, but there are better options. How about looking for another opening, maybe a window, or another door. Maybe there wasn’t even a door after all, it was all a mirage.

The door closing was a metaphor for the first and only time I was laid off from a job. I was devastated, hurt, and rejected. I have always been a stellar employee. I knew that because I always get great reviews, stock options, big bonuses, and promotions. But business is business, mergers and acquisitions happen. Employees gets laid off.

So, I look for an opening and boy not only did a find a great one for me. The opening was big enough for both my husband and I! That door closing made us look deeper into our lives, evaluate what really mattered to us. We found that most important is our relationship, family and friends, our faith, health and peace of mind. Money is needed but thankfully, we live simply and have been saving for rainy days so it’s not a concern.

There's a great big world waiting to be explored!
There’s a great big world out there waiting to be explored!

We decided it is time to live, really live. The door to the entire world is open, when and where we end up is entirely up to us. My husband quit his job. We sold our house and its contents. All that we kept is whatever would fit inside a U-Haul trailer. We head west and unloaded the U-Haul at my father-in-law’s barn. We stayed a few weeks to help them with some neglected maintenance. Then we bought a one-way ticket to Mexico. We ended up traveling for 5 months in Central and South America. It was a blast! Many memorable experiences. We decided we need a way to share our incredible journey. My husband said we should write a blog. We looked it up, seems easy. But when we got started it was more complicated that we expected.

Enter Peninsula College, it offers Multimedia Communications degree. I enrolled in the program, found that I love it and would like to incorporate what I have been learning in building my brand. At the same time I’d like to use my new-found knowledge and skills to help others with their website, graphics, or photography needs.

My call to action for the blog will be to request people to provide their emails so they can receive updates, request ‘likes’ on Facebook page and ‘follow’ on Twitter and Instagram. For the services I would add a contact form where they could submit an inquiry and their contact information

Below are some examples of Call to Action Images (all photos c/o Pixabay). These are examples, I will create original images later on.

contact-us-1728620_960_720 group-1825512_960_720 human-1138001_960_720 like-1314734_960_720

Brand Experience

books
Have you read a good book lately?

There are millions of products available to us in N. America. I can’t say I talk about or recommend any particular product to friends or family.  There is a brand/service that I do enjoy, use regularly and recommend to others, it’s the Public Library System. Here in Port Angeles it is called the North Olympic Library System or NOLS. If you haven’t visited it yet, you should. The library is clean, offers plenty of computers, comfortable chairs, tables, quiet rooms for research or study, staffed with friendly helpful folks, stocked with movies, magazines and yes they have lots of books. NOLS provides a variety of services to meet the needs and help the community.  The service I use the most is their digital media service called Hoopla.  With Hoopla I can borrow movies, music, audio books, comics or TV shows that I can enjoy at home or download them to my device to enjoy it on the go. They also provide lectures, book reviews, coffee/wine tasting, coding classes and many more. Check it out and support your local library.

Books
So many books, so little time.

Some audio books I have read recently thru NOLS Hoopla that I fully recommend are the following:

  1. Enough by John C. Bogle
  2. How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
  3. Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

What books have you recently read? Please share some of your favorites!

Project Gallery

Here are my post on three different social media sites.

  1. This first gallery  is a YouTube Playlist of Video Samplers I have created for my Digital Media Class. Here is the blog post (for those who may be interested in reading the description)
  2. Second gallery is a Facebook album that showcases the works of the local artist Andrea Love.
  3. Third is a Pinterest gallery of the some of my work from Illustration classes.

 

Holey Glove

This week’s video project is about Transition and/or Transformation which I have defined as a process or period of change from one condition to another.  Several ideas came to me…baking, transforming the veggies into a salad, the weather, the sun, clouds and others. But my husband came home one day complaining that he’s got a hole (actually there’s 3 lol) in his glove.  So the rest as they say is history :).

Audio/Video Script
Audio/Video Script

I enjoyed making this video, It’s been years since I’ve taken out and used my sewing kit. It brought back fond memories of my grandmother teaching me how to sew. She’s in heaven now and I am sure she smiled a bit because I remembered what she taught me.  It gave me satisfaction that I can fix thing and not be wasteful.  I also like the lesson we can learn from the needle and thread, they are small and inanimate, but in the hands of people, it can mend holes and bring things together.