Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Week 4 MCDM Storytelling Summary

Posted: October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Tonight I felt myself start thinking in terms of telling a full “story” as opposed to the typical slideshow format I typically utilize for multimedia. The videos we watched today were both hilarious, and heart wrenching, and it made me want to really think hard about what my storytelling goal is for our final project. We specifically want to focus on the “fails” of digital media usage and the need to unplug when it comes to live social scenarios. I really appreciate the double approach perspective, and realized this evening that it’s not so much the info you’re giving, but how you give it.


In digital storytelling last week we briefly touched on Marshall McLuhans theory that the medium is the message. In other words, the way we experience a story greatly relies on the way it is delivered, not necessarily the story itself. Afterwards I couldnt help but wonder if the framework of digital storytelling is really all that different from traditional storytelling. Does the fact that its digital really change the main ingredients that make a great story?

In his theory McLuhan points out the fact that typically when we discover or develop new mediums we will try to utilize them with old methods before we realize that new mediums require new techniques of delivery.

In my opinion, the framework of digital storytelling still holds traditional aspects. For example, a compelling statement or emotive imagery will always have an impact on an audience, whether its delivered via print, broadcast, or in person. I believe the main change the digital world has brought to storytelling is convenience and timing. Acquiring material is now easier than ever, and the notion that people can explore any topic imaginable from the comfort of their own homes means that not only will they be seeking more media; the home environment also makes them comfortable enough to allow themselves to fully immerse in a story when they may have been more reserved in any other circumstance. Additionally, the digital realm has changed the game by appealing to and influencing shorter attention spans. With limitations on websites like youtube, we are not only restricted to the amount of material we can post, we are now used to and expect to get all the information we need in two minutes or less. I believe this has forced developers to think more concisely with regard to the content they distribute because they know consumers no longer have the patience to “wait and see” what a story is all about. We want the message up front, and if you dont give it to us up front you better have something amazing to maintain our attention until you get there. So to conclude, I believe that the framework for compelling stories remains the same on all mediums, the digital realm has just facilitated an environment where we crave more information in a shorter timespan.

Note: I apologize for any grammar or spacing mistakes in this post, I am writing it via my droid poolside in Las Vegas.

When it comes to smart phone applications I am admittedly a novice. It wasn’t until Stephen pulled me aside last quarter and showed my the possibilities of my droid that I had even thought about downloading new applications. Now I don’t know what I would do without applications like navigation and satellite radio.

In this mobile applications course I would like to learn more about what makes a successful mobile application vs an unsuccessful one. How do programmers and designers target what exactly users want and need and then put those needs together in a simplified mobile application?

In addition to the design process I am also interested in what types of applications tend to be used more than others and why.

I am also interested in learning more about the patent and distribution process of mobile applications. For example how do these apps make it to Droid and iPhone formats? What is the process developers must go through to get approval by the mainstream marketplace, and how much of those profits must be split with the mobile distributor?

Most of all I am interested in learning about how I could possibly develop my own application: where/ how do I find a reasonable programmer? Do I have to make my programmer a partner? What kind of user testing do I need to hold before my application can be considered good enough for distribution?

Overall I am excited to learn more about mobile applications and the ways they can grow to viral use. I think they are becoming vital tools in usability and marketing and know that this is a realm I will benefit from learning more about.

Hi Kathy, I just wanted to show I understood the map lesson… thanks! -D
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Company Website Genre

Posted: April 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

In doing a little research on website genres I came across an article about the website as a domain specific genre. According to the journal at, website genres are now coming into the focus of linguistic researchers wanting to look at the norms for language use on the internet. Specifically, this article talks about the company website genre, looking at how banks communicate with website patrons. I found this particularly interesting because I work in the real estate appraisal industry and am required to research the websites of financial institutions before we begin marketing to them.

Interestingly, the main focus of the research gathering of these websites looked at their proper use of the English language, and the results were sad. In addition, they also found that the issue of poor quality was deeply rooted within the company website genre itself, especially those of financial institutions. This is definitely something I can vouch for in my own experience. English and grammar mistakes are actually quite common on banking websites. It’s amazing to me that those financial institutions our economy relies on can’t even use correct grammar on their one window to the world, their website.

The essay I read expressed that the main theory for this insufficient display of business sense and common knowledge is attributed to the fact that the company website genre is oftentimes not developed with the same attention to detail that is paid to literature like business proposals and service agreements. I personally believe that in the banking industry this is due to the fact that these are some of the oldest and most deeply rooted traditional institutions out there. The Presidents and CEOs are so integrated with their traditional communications and traditional business roles, that they are neglecting to accept that their website actually is now their first impression on the world, and probably the most important piece of literature they have when is comes to communicating with the end consumer. Oftentimes, websites are looked at as a tool to scan for information, whereas printed documents are thoroughly read. But in actuality, the website has now become a main source for gathering company information, and the perception of that website can make or break whether a customer decides to invest with that corporation.

Another interesting point was that the amount of English and grammar mistakes on the websites directly correlated with their service ratings. I hope that the findings in this research paper will bring light to the banks that have been neglecting this window to the world. If they continue to refuse to implement the highest quality work into their websites credit unions like BECU will continue to rise in the industry because of their natural knack for connecting customers at the digital level, and these banks will continue to fail

Many of today’s traditional companies are wondering what the deal is with this social media craze. It seems like everywhere we look online there are “F” icons for joining a group on Facebook, or Ts for following someone on Twitter. We even hear it on TV spots that companies are no longer promoting their personal domains, but asking customers to find them on social media networks. What does this mean to mortgage lenders?

The time has come, social media can no longer be considered a simple platform for high school and college kids to share pictures and chat about their latest activities. (But it has become an avenue for students to set up banking accounts and learn about loan rates.) Today’s social media communications have spread to every demographic. This medium is effective and incredibly cheap if not free, and if you’re a mortgage lender and you aren’t taking advantage of it, you could be throwing your advertising budget down the drain.

When consumers look for a place to take out a substantial loan they want a company they can trust.  People want to feel connected with their lenders on a level that allows them to gain a better understanding of their personal finance, as well as their unique borrowing needs. They want an institution that is transparent, genuine, and knowledgeable about today’s society.

Social media communications allow for banks and credit unions to educate, as well as develop genuine personal relationships with their customers. Twitter and Facebook provide platforms for updates about products, customer service advantages, and reduced loan rates, and did I mention that they are free? Why waste your valuable ad money on a TV spot that people are going to TIVO through, or on a print ad that’s going straight to the garbage (and is not economically viable)?

Blogging is another way for banks to promote themselves and the services they offer. Not only is blogging free but it also helps search engine ratings and brings interest to your company’s unique qualities. You can blog about anything from personal finance issues, mortgage news, or even profile your distinguished loan officers or other employees to put a face to your services.

Twitter is a way for banks to update their followers automatically on rates, promotions, or simple insight into how your organization works. You will reach a much larger audience by tweeting about a promo than you would by simply placing an ad icon on your website. The likelihood of your customers “poking around” and paying attention to a site ad is slim to none, but tweeting is a guarantee that they will receive the message via their cell phones or computer access in real-time.

Social media communications allow for lenders to better connect with customers and build a reputation as being customer-focused and responsive. Nonetheless, lenders must remember that even social media interaction must be compliant. Here are some tips from the ABA Banker Journal to keeping these customer communications in compliance:

  1. Conduct a compliance risk assessment. Don’t forget to assess the compliance requirements for a specific activity and evaluate the risks that are associated with those requirements.
  2. Establish policies and procedures. Clearly outline the details of offering and ongoing servicing. Be sure to cover everything, from start to finish.
  3. Establish controls to help address the risk identified in number one. Controls may include a pre-publication review by compliance staff assigning responsibility for specific functions associated with the activity, as well as dual control, second review, and detailed checklists.
  4. Set up a monitoring process. Identify and correct errors before the examiners or customers do.
  5. Report to management. Inform management of compliance exceptions found through monitoring as well as regulatory developments.
  6. Vendor Management. Follow this compliance process even if using third-party vendors, because the lender is ultimately responsible.

Social media communications provide an active avenue to put a face and a voice to your mortgage department. It also allows for consumers to become co-creators of innovation by responding to lenders and providing input about what type of service they are looking for. With proper use, you will end up saving those advertising dollars while keeping your members informed and engaged with one simple click.


The American Banker’s Association. (2009). Six new-media compliance tips. ABA Banking Journal. Retrieved from

Gillin, Paul. (2009). Secrets to Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo Charge Your Business. Fresno: Quill Driver Books.