Embrace it

168707I took this class because I needed another immersion, and out of all of my options, this sounded the most interesting. Doable, at least. On the first day of class I was convinced that it would actually be pretty interesting, but also scary.

John Robinson pretty much listed reasons to drop the class (at least that’s what I heard). And three (well minimum of three) posts sounded like a lot, especially when I had never blogged before.

Another issue that I had with the class, and J-school in general, was that the subject matter is so temporary.  I spend time learning about the implications of an app that I probably won’t use on the job in 10 years?  We discuss a barrier to the media business that will be overcome 5? I come to a class to talk about the present and dream about the future?

(I was a history major in a previous life, and had grown pretty accustomed to stability and certainty.)

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My biggest takeaway from this class is to embrace new things and then keep on running.

When I started hearing about Snapchat at the beginning of college, I thought that it was the dumbest thing ever. I was slow to hop on board and not excited about it or optimistic about its future. Its only use appeared to be finding camaraderie in late night studying – another way to waste time.

But during this class we watched Snapchat launch Discover. Snapchat, with its sketchy sexting associations and time-killing abilities, had partnered with CNN. And ESPN. And Nat Geo.

Plus it has ads (really expensive ones, too). And live event feeds with sponsors and a lot of views. It’s all mobile. There’s a growing number of users. I wouldn’t be surprised if location features will keep getting better, with people adding their own snaps to the story of their favorite local coffee shop, businesses getting some free ad content to mix with paid logo ads right beside it… I’m genuinely looking forward to watching it develop.IMG_0086

That’s different. And not very me.

In mass communication, sticking with the status quo just isn’t an option. So when people come up with a new idea about communication, I want to check it out to see if I think that they’re on to something. And then question what would make it better. If I give it a chance and still hate it, fine.

Snapchat just happens to be my most recent example of something that I looked down on and resisted. Maybe it won’t be around much longer, but surely we’ll learn communication methods that work and don’t work no matter what the outcome.

I’m glad this class forced me to investigate change and find and read a lot about it on my own. I hope finding and reading (and watching!) is a new habit. Good thing I didn’t drop it.

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