My Final Blog Post: Why You Should Hire Me!


A little bit about myself…

I’m a social media expert.

How am I a social media expert?

This blog is just one facet of my social media expertise. My last semester of college I had the fortune of taking a course in Social Media that was offered through George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. The course was taught by Professor Nikki Usher – a Harvard grad that is now regarded as a preeminent expert in the field of media. She knows all about how the digital media scene is rapidly evolving.

  • I have an insatiable interest in the media and social media industries. I frequently tweet about trends and general news that’s happening in the industry. Check out my Twitter for more.
  • I’m experienced in business social media marketing. In my last internship at the renowned management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company, I helped manage the LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for their Capital Projects & Infrastructure practice. I had to learn an entire industry that was previously unknown to me – infrastructure – and package our research into easily digestible social media tidbits. I’m a pro at turning complicated concepts into 140 characters or less.

 Why am I an expert in my subject-area?

Why did I start a blog about dog ownership? When I first got Cuevo back in September I was new to the concept of owning a puppy on my own, as a busy college student no less. Through this blog, I’ve been able to chronicle my own experiences while also providing advice for other aspiring college-aged dog owners.

Beyond just knowing about dogs, through this blog you’re able to see a couple of my digital media-savvy skills on display.

  • I’m good at infographics
  • I know how to use social media analytics. I do some basic analysis of my blog’s metrics in this blog post. But I’m also able to do much more complex analysis, at my McKinsey internship I became an expert in using Simply Measured’s detailed reports to optimize our digital outreach.

Here what you need to know about social media:

It seems like everyday there’s some new social media app feature or game-changing business deal by the social media titans. Below, I’ve curated a list of the need-to-know issues and trends that will impact the future of social media.

My Own Tweets:

Watch this TedTalk for something eye opening. Is focus at the workplace the new form of IQ? If you’re spending too much time on social media at work then it may be time to do something about it.

The digital media market is reaching a saturation point, meaning there’s less room for social media newcomers and people may be giving up some medium in lieu for others. All the players in the social media market need to work that much harder to beat their competition.

Crazy stat here, Bitmoji is not only the fastest growing social media app but also the fastest growing app period at a growth rate of 5,210%. It is followed by Tinder (166% growth rate) and GroupMe (101% growth rate). What do all these apps have in common? They’re all about social connectivity – facilitating gatherings and social interactions.

My Classmates’ Tweets:

As we begin to grapple with the possibility that we are all addicted to social media, what does this mean for the younger generation that is growing up with it? A recent study found that the more time kids used social media, the more unhappy they were with school, their appearance, and life overall. The positive side? Kids may be more satisfied with their friendships.

People are becoming increasingly dependent on social media as their sources for news. Although 62% of adults get news through social media, 68% of people don’t actually trust that news. Follow the story’s link for a ranking of social media sites by trust.

Cue the rise of the “Finsta” (fake instagram acccount) and changing you’re your last name on Facebook. Can what we put online, such as funny yet inappropriate comment or embarrassing photo, possibly damage our future career goals?

The two most important issues going forward.

As you’ve already seen in some of the trends that I’ve highlighted, there’s A LOT going on with social media that have significant future implications. Here’s what I see as the two most significant issues to a future where social media will dominate human interaction…

Addiction

I’m fascinated by how addicted we’ve become to social media as a society. Try to think of the last time you stood in line, ate a meal, or sat down for an hour straight without looking at your phone. Pretty hard right? Today, we are so inundated by phone alerts, texts, Snapchats, and so forth that our brain has literally become rewired.

However, there is debate over how much social media has really changed out social connections. As this article that I read for my Social Media class discusses, the absence of real-world conversation is nothing new.

I’ll leave you with one last thought. While everyone may think that they can do work and be on their phone at the same time, multitasking is a myth.

Fake News

The rise of fake news has been meteoric. Did it have an impact of the outcome of the 2016 presidential election?

No doubt, the threat of fake news will stay around for a while. This analysis gives a really good in-depth look at how powerful fake news can be. Here are some crazy numbers via Buzzfeed:

“During these critical months of the campaign, 20 top-performing false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.

Within the same time period, the 20 best-performing election stories from 19 major news websites generated a total of 7,367,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook.”

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But the good news? Social media sites are making efforts to combat fake news.

Financial Times: Facebook to pay fact-checkers to combat fake news

Fortune: Google Is Changing Its Search Algorithm to Combat Fake News

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I hope to see you again soon.

What’s a social media cleanse like for someone who rarely posts?

What’s a social media cleanse like for someone who rarely posts?

Full-disclosure about my social media habits…

Oddly enough, despite considering myself a social media connoisseur – I manage LinkedIn and Twitter accounts in my current internship and I signed up for a class called Social Media after all – I hardly post on the platforms I use. Weird…I know. Social media for me is more of an entertainment outlet. It’s less of a stage for me to broadcast my life and more of a way for me to keep tabs on my friends (and those random acquaintances we followed at some point) as well as a mental break for when I am bored of whatever it is that I am doing.

The 24-hour fast

Regardless, like the rest of my classmates from my Social Media course, I embarked on a 24-hour-long social media fast this past weekend. Beginning on Saturday morning, I took the plunge and ended my social media consumption till the next Sunday morning, or at least I attempted to. I chose that Saturday for my fast because my weekend plans conveniently aligned with my goals for zero social media. I was away with friends in Virginia Beach from Saturday morning to late Sunday morning, providing me the perfect window to avoid the iPhone screen.

Overall, I was able to successfully avoid social media apps and email for the day. But as I would soon find out, it’s incredibly hard to avoid texting for an entire day. Apparently, others found it just as challenging just as I had – I tweeted about the difficulty of trying to avoid texting for 24 hours and collected six likes on it, way more than I usually receive on my tweets. As I had stated earlier I do not really consider myself to be addicted to social media, but the time I spent away from social media – even if it was for only 24 hours – made me realize just how hardwired I am to frequently check the social media networks on my phone.

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What was it like?

I will be breaking down the reflections on my fast into three categories – behavior, identity, and commercialism. But before getting into what I learned from avoiding my social networks it’s first important to understand my own regular social media habits, as told in this infographic I created –

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Behavior

  1. Was I more plugged into reality? As someone who isn’t too into social media, I didn’t necessarily find I was more plugged into reality than normal. The biggest difference came when I was in situations where I was alone and waiting.
  2. I’m bored, better check social media. Because I was with friends all day, I rarely felt the need to be social on my phone. Nonetheless, there were times throughout the day that I was alone (such as standing in lines or waiting on people) and found myself reaching into my pocket to casually check social media. Each time I had to force myself to put the phone back in my pocket and return to awkwardly spacing out as I waited…I really am hardwired to check my phone in moments of boredom.
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Do you also feel this way when you wait in line without your phone?

Identity

  1. I don’t care, and I love it. For almost every major social media platform (Snapchat the exception), I was late to the party. I got a Facebook years after my friends had gotten one, I didn’t have a Twitter until Professor Usher’s Freshman Seminar required we make one, and I created an Instagram just a year and a half ago. I really do not associate my real identity with my online identity. Social media, to me, is just a way to connect with people and share content with close friends.

Commercialism

  1. My own media company? The social fast helped me realize that I primarily use social media for consumption, not production. For my purposes, I really do believe that the future of entertainment – and news to an extent – is tied to social media platforms. Social media allows us to build our own personalized outlets for entertainment and news.
  2. Pop culture world. Spending a day away from social media made me realize how we live in a world where pop culture rules. Social media networks are a zeitgeist of what’s hip and happening in the world, and people adapt those trends to bolster their own social presence.

All in all, the fast was great because it helped me realize that I am content with my current level of social media consumption. Whether that will change with the times is yet to be seen…

DNA Tests for Dogs? That’s Right

DNA Tests for Dogs? That’s Right

They really do grow up fast…I can’t believe it, but Cuevo turned one year old this past weekend. In honor of this week’s focus on analytics, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a different kind of metrics – doggy DNA. If you didn’t know, dogs too can have their ancestry deciphered, just like us humans. All its takes is a simple cheek swab. If you’re interested in finding out your own pup’s genetic heritage, the generally regarded leader in dog DNA tests is Wisdom Panel. At $80 a pop they aren’t cheap, but its worth it if you have a complete mutt like Cuevo. You can even get yours through Amazon Prime!

I was lucky, my friends bought Cuevo a DNA kit for my birthday. Three cheek swabs is all it takes. Once you swipe all three, all you do is send back the kit with a prepaid label, wait 2-3 weeks, and voila! You have yourself a canine recipe. Results are delivered directly via an email that takes you right into your dog’s online DNA results. These reports are extremely in depth, here’s what you can expect to find:

A Complete Breakdown of Your Pup’s Ancestry

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.35.22 PMPrior to the test I thought Cuevo would have been maybe 2-3 breeds, primarily black lab. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Cuevo is amazingly 6+ different breeds.

Details on Each Individual Breed

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In addition to the basics (Size, weight, etc.) these descriptions also offer potential behaviors of the breed that you may see in your own dog (Bottom left corner of the description). This can be very helpful in learning how to handle your unique buddy.

A Family Tree

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How cool is this. While I’m not sure how accurate these trees are, it’s amazing to be able to visualize Cuevo’s potential heritage.

A Health Summary

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Definitely pay attention to this section – it will tell you if your dog will react normally to drugs at the vet. It also gives a projected adult weight. Based on this figure, Cuevo still has a while to go.


My Blog – 3 Steps for Improvement

Now for my own bit of analytic sleuthing. Based on WordPress’s backend analytics, I’ve come up with three insights that I could use to boost engagement.

1. Find new ways to drive traffic to my blog

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Almost all of my traffic comes from our class blogroll. It’s time find other routes for driving traffic to my blog, beginning with Twitter. I also plan on using other social media sites to share my blog – Facebook, maybe even LinkedIn. I have plenty of content, so I should space out reshares of posts through the next month.

2. Consistency

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As you can see from my viewership timeline from the past month, my traffic hasn’t been very consistent. It’s vital that I put out weekly quality content to keep my readers coming back. Last week’s infographic post did very well – meaning more visuals to keep people entertained.

3. What posts do well?

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I should continue to monitor this leaderboard of top posts/pages to continue to learn what works and what doesn’t. Views really vary between all my posts, so I get a good idea of what does well and what completely flops. Is seems that a good title goes a long way.

Comments Challenge : What would you like to hear about? Is there a particular topic that you’ve been aching for me to write about? If so, let me know in the comments section.

DC Doggo Adventures

DC Doggo Adventures

For dog owners, Washington DC offers plenty of exciting destinations to take your four-legged best friend. From inside the heart of the city to the surrounding DMV area, adventure and beauty are often just a half-day walk or quick Zip Car ride away. Here are two of my favorite spots to take Cuevo.


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The Georgetown Waterfront

There’s nothing more relaxing than feeling the breeze from the Potomac River as you navigate the riverside path. The riverfront also offers a great space for dogs to play. As sort of a dog mecca, there is never a lack of other dogs with their owners to play with. The numerous green patches often serve as mini-parks to play catch or just frolic with your pup. In the warmer months, the waterfront fountain is a great way for you and the furry friend to cool off.

 

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Billy Goat Trail

The Billy Goat Trail is a 4.7 mile-long hiking trail located in Montgomery County, Marlyand. It’s hard to find closer natural and topographical beauty than this 30-minute drive. The trail is also a favorite for dogs, offering two sections (B &C) for them to walk through as long as the leashes are kept on. The park features a multitude of stunning waterfalls and rapids that are sure to make you feel a long ways away from the city. For dogs that love climbing, and owners that enjoy hiking, look no further.

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Meet Cuevo – 3 Things to Know

Entering my senior year I never imagined adopting a dog, much less a puppy. I was still busy trying to answer the question that plagues seniors everywhere, “what exactly do I want to do after graduating?” The first week of school, my friend came over with a surprise, a 4-months-old nugget of a pup (then-named Conley) that she was fostering. One week later, I decided to adopt this ball-of-energy. Here are the top three reasons that make him so unique.


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Cuevo circa 5-months-old
  1. Those eyes! I was immediately mesmerized by Cuevo’s unique eyes, one blue and the other dark. I’d find out later that like humans, dogs too can genetically inherit heterochromatic eyes. I actually ran a genetic test on Cuevo and was able to find the source, his Australian Shepherd ancestry.
  2. He’s one-of-a-kind. Before the results of his genetics test, I thought for sure that Cuevo was primarily black lab. I could not have been more wrong. Cuevo is amazingly composed of six different breeds! He’s mainly Australian Shepherd, but also part American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, Border Collie, Great Pyrenees, and Labrador Retriever Mix. The results also give a predicted weight for Cuevo, between 61-91 lbs. And as you can see in the below pictures, he’s well on his way there.
  3. His story. Cuevo is actually a survivor of the August 2016 floods that ravaged Louisiana. Cuevo was lucky though. According to his records, he and his siblings were found in a backyard and picked up by the local police. From there, he made his way to the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue based here in McLean, VA. Today, although Cuevo is still frightened by storms, he is showing great improvement!
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Photo Credits: NBC San Diego

 

The Dog Park

“Puppies require a lot of exercise.” When you get a puppy, it’s a warning you’ll hear repeatedly. As a previous dog owner, I thought I was fully prepared for my four-months old black lab mutt. Another truth I learned, not all puppies are created the same. An hour-long walk that would exhaust my Shiba puppy when he was the same age is barely just a warm-up lap to Cuevo. To a dog owner in the city, the local dog park is a necessary godsend.

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Cuevo’s favorite dog park

For a medium to large-sized breed puppy, most walks simply aren’t strenuous enough to fulfill all its exercise needs. Dog parks provide the space to actually run around and play, and more importantly find other dog friends to play with. Fortunately for me, the nearest park is just right around the corner, a mere five-minute walk. If you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, I would highly recommend that you take the time to find the nearest dog park, you’ll thank yourself later.

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Dog parks also play another extremely important role in a new puppy’s life, they’re a contained space for interacting with other dogs and owners. Early socialization is a major stage of a dog’s life. As I learned, dog’s actually have a very brief window in their life when they are most receptive to learning. The most amazing part is that it lasts for so short, it begins around 3 weeks of age and ends between 16-20 weeks.

Something else I didn’t really consider before Cuevo is that like humans, dogs like some dogs but dislike others. Cuevo doesn’t really enjoy catch or many games, instead his absolute favorite activity is wrestling with other dogs. Unfortunately, not all dogs love to be pushed around, bitten all-over, and slobbered on. For that reason, when I do find a dog that Cuevo gets along well with, I try to make an attempt to befriend the owner for future playdates. The unpredictability of the dog park-it can go from being packed to completely empty-makes the reliability of a doggy buddy invaluable.

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The end-goal