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Friday, November 9, 2018

Week 11: Comments on Classmates' Posts

I commented on the Week 11 posts that Alexa Floren, Chade Montgomery, and Mathew Ward wrote.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Week 11, Part A: What a Codex Alexandria Newsletter Would Contain


I would send a new Codex Alexandria newsletter every three months because I do not think that I could generate enough every month to create monthly newsletters. However, if Codex Alexandria newsletters were published every three months, I could still insert enough interesting, new material within them that would satisfy my subscribers until the next quarterly newsletter arrives. Ultimately, my goal would be take the Codex Alexandria newsletters entertaining and light-hearted while still advertising the merits of Codex Alexandria educational software products. With regards to creating content for these quarterly newsletters, a I think that my subscribers would appreciate a wide range of content that would amuse and teach them while positively advertising Codex Alexandria educational software. Since Codex Alexandria is fictional company and I myself do not currently subscribed to any newsletters from any company, I can only speculate what kind of diverse material Codex Alexandria customers would find interesting. For one thing, I think that subscribers would be interested in stories about children using Codex Alexandria software and benefitting from it because parents would naturally be interested in the success of real students who have used Codex Alexandria products. In these quarterly newsletters, I would also feature a regular section called “This Month in History” that discusses interesting historical events that occurred within the months that the newsletters were prepared for. I would do this because a lot of people are already naturally interested in learning more about history, and this section would discreetly enable me to push the benefits of purchasing Codex Alexandria history software. I would also feature a section with product descriptions of new computer games created by Codex Alexandria.
In addition, I like the idea of adding advice columns on how to create individualized lesson plans for homeschooled students using Codex Alexandria software, which I think would be useful for homeschooled students and their parents, one of Codex Alexandria’s key customer demographics. A few advertisements for upcoming holiday sales for Codex Alexandria products would appear in these newsletters. In addition, they would also feature stories about the positive impact of  educational software/online learning inside and outside of a typical classroom environment.  The newsletters would also feature recently published studies about various academic subjects and the benefits of doing those subjects, and a regular advice column aimed at high school students about how to get into the colleges that they want to. In order to reach out directly to my subscribers, Codex Alexandria newsletters would occasionally feature polls about which topics for Codex Alexandria to cover in their upcoming software programs. Finally, these newsletters would occasionally (twice per year) contain details about writing contests offered by the company that would allow children to win cash prizes or scholarships that they can put towards higher education institutions of their choices (community colleges, universities, and trade schools). I think these scholarships would purely be based on merit (on can write the best essays). This strategy would allow customers to engage socially with Codex Alexandria, and I could glean from the essays details about who typical Codex Alexandria user might be, and how to market to such customers.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Week 10, Part B: Organizing and Attracting Traffic on a Codex Alexandria Blog



In all honesty, a blog for Codex Alexandria, the company that I created for the purpose of this class, could attract many customers by simply using a few key organizational categories on a company blog. However, at the moment, I’ll just focus on a few key categories that could help Codex Alexandria grow. For example, posts under a category called “Upcoming Sales” could   give Codex Alexandria space to post about upcoming sales and alert new and previous customers about new opportunities to buy Codex Alexandria software. In addition, people who have never tried Codex Alexandria software might be more inclined to buy it if they realize that they can get it on sale at 25%-50% off of the original price and even return the software if they are not satisfied with it. A blog category called “Fun Facts” could also allow Codex Alexandria to post brief, interesting facts about topics that students might be studying. Additionally, this category would also attract more students to the blog by offering them a space to access to links to fun, exciting information within the same place. If prospective customers see that Codex Alexandria posts links to interesting websites and information on its blog, maybe these prospective customers might be more likely to consider buying Codex Alexandria software products, too.

Of course, I would also add a biographical category in the Codex Alexandria blog entitled “Our Story.” The blog’s “Our Story” category would discuss when and why Codex Alexandria was founded, as well as the company’s core mission. Under this section, Codex Alexandria could also mention why it seeks to appeal to the parents/guardians of homeschooled, public school, and private school students in the K-12 grade levels. An additional blog category called “Other Great Educational Platforms” would house posts that contain information about other similar educational software companies that could offer students information that could supplement what they would already be learning with Codex Alexandria software lessons. This section is where I would feature links to well-respected education companies such as Chegg, Rosetta Stone, Princeton Review, the College Board, and many more companies that focus on delivering high-quality study materials to students. Students who appreciate being given links to these websites may be more inclined to purchase Codex Alexandria software in the future out of gratitude. In addition, customers may reason that if Codex Alexandria is associated with these well-respected educational companies, its own products must also be of high quality, too (and therefore be more likely to buy software from the company). A category called “Our Products” would organize posts about specific software products/computer games that Codex Alexandria has created, including their current retail prices, descriptions of what kind of learning/knowledge these products offer, and photographic images of Codex Alexandria software. The “Our Products” category would also contain information about which computer operating systems  Codex Alexandria software would be compatible with, and which grade levels particular games and lectures/lessons would be suited for. Finally, a topic section called “Announcements” can be used to organize announcements about the company’s future plans for expansion, including plans to include lessons in languages other than English in order to reach potential markets in non-English speaking countries. Like the “Upcoming Sales” section, this category could organize posts that mention upcoming software sales, especially for holidays.

Week 10, Part A: Benefits of Enhancing Blog Posts with Personal Human Touches


Adding anecdotes about personal experiences to a blog can reassure people that they are making the right choice by potentially following the blog writer’s advice. By adding personal anecdotes to blog posts, blog writers essentially show that they care about users by sharing knowledge or information that they might have had to spend time seeking on their own if the blog writers did not voluntarily give away this knowledge for free. In addition, since adding personal touches can be a great way of eliciting feedback from one’s readers, this feedback can be a valuable tool for understanding one’s readers and predicting what kind of content that the readers want to read about in the future. My personal experience with social media is that people are more likely to leave responses to topics that they can relate to, or even already have an opinion about. For blogs with large audiences, adding personal touches to blog posts can be effective way for bloggers to increase their revenue streams through their blogs. In addition, blog audiences seem to appreciate personal anecdotes because they suggest that bloggers have originality, which makes their blog posts more intriguing and more likely to stand apart from other blogs that discuss similar subjects (but in a less interesting way). Personal anecdotes, therefore, suggest that bloggers are genuinely enthusiastic or at least interested in the topics that they are writing about.
Sharing personal experiences can make blog writers seem more accessible and not so distant. After all, people are probably more likely to contact bloggers and leave them comments on their blogs if they feel they can relate what they are saying. In addition, sometimes more complex subjects can become easier to understand if people add a few personal experiences to their blog posts that make the information easier to digest. People’s eyes may start to glaze over with weariness if they scroll through a blogger’s website and notice a line of long posts, but they might be more likely to read them if a personal story “hooks” them within the first couple of paragraphs of these blog posts. In addition, if personal touches like colorful photographs, cartoons, or interesting fonts are added to blog, people are more likely to read these blogs because the illustrations and images on the blogs elicit their curiosity and desire to learn more about these blogs’ content.
There are key times to add personal touches to blog posts. These personal touches can be added when writing product reviews (bloggers can write about their personal experiences with using these products and why or why there would not recommend them to other people), when writing about if they had success with making something (such as a new cake recipe from the new coconut flour that they have never tried before), or when explaining how to do perform a task step-by-step (especially if certain tips that they tried helped them perform these tasks more efficiently). Obviously, people who read more socially-oriented blogs such as lifestyle blogs, spiritual blogs, and travel blogs because they enjoy experiencing bloggers’ experiences vicariously through hearing about them often appreciate personal touches more.  They also often want to embrace some of the pieces of advice that these bloggers offer and try them themselves. However, there are also times when it is unnecessary to offer personal touches to posts. For example, it is not necessary to post about personal experiences when bloggers are writing purely informational content about a subject. Generally speaking, biographical blog posts, blog posts about items, non-human entities or abstract ideas, or events should not contain personal touches. For example, a blogger writing about the French Revolution probably should not add any personal touches to such a post because the blogger did not live through an event that happened 220-230 years ago. Bloggers should also not offer any personal touches to blog posts that are written as part of an official company blog or website because such blog posts are meant to represent the interests of an organization, not an individual blogger or freelance journalist.  In general, it could perhaps been said that blog posts that focus on more formal, academic, or work-related topics probably should not contain any personal content within them.

Comments for Classmates
I have commented on Eva Whitburn's post, Chade Montgomery's post, and Mathew Ward's post. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Week 9, Part B Blog Post




I found five users on Twitter that I believe could benefit Codex Alexandria. Codex Alexandria’s Twitter page is located at https://twitter.com/AlexandriaCodex.
1. The SAT Program (https://twitter.com/OfficialSAT)- I found this user after searching for Khan Academy, and then noticing that Khan Academy recently retweeted a post by The SAT Program.
2.Salman Khan (https://twitter.com/salkhanacademy)- I found this user, the CEO of Khan Academy, after I noticed that he was mentioned under the “People” section of Khan Academy’s Twitter page.
3.EdAlive (https://twitter.com/EdAlive)-This is an Australian company that produces educational software to teach various academic subjects to children and teenagers. I discovered EdAlive by typing in the term “educational software” and scrolling through some the Twitter page results that I obtained after I typed in this term. When I noticed the one the tweets categorized EdAlive as an educational software company, I checked out the company’s Twitter page and decided that it could be a good business partner and ally for Codex Alexandria.
4. EdAlive USA (https://twitter.com/EdAliveUSA) - When I looked at the followers on EdAlive’s page under the category “following”, I discovered EdAlive, the US branch of EdAlive. The US division of this company is located in San Francisco, California. EdAlive USA publishes educational computer games and software for children in grades K-8.
5. Primaryedutech (https://twitter.com/primaryedutech) - I discovered Primamryedutech, an online resource company that specializes in making educational resources more available to elementary school/primary school teachers. It is based in Adelaide, Australia, and I discovered the company after scanning the EdAlive’s Twitter feed. 

With regard to searching for new possible Twitter connections, I basically used two methods for finding 5 new connections. With the first method, I simply went to Khan Academy’s Twitter page and scrolled through it in order to find a few new connections. Khan Academy is fairly well-known online learning company and I had already heard of the them in the past, so I figured that they would probably have at least a few followers or connections that I could benefit from. Luckily, this hunch turned to be corrected. My second method of discovering new business connections was to use the search bar at the top of Twitter to search for the phrase “educational software.” When I looked the top search results for “educational software”, I scrolled through the page, and discovered a retweeted post by EdAlive, and after reading the company’s description of itself as an educational software company, and checking out the company’s Twitter page, I decided to check out EdAlive’s Twitter page and follow them. From that point, I discovered EdAlive USA and Primaredutech from examining Ed Alive’s follower list and scrolling through Ed Alive’s Twitter feed.

For whatever reason, Twitter did not allow me to create any lists, even though I did attempt to. However, my plan was to create 2 distinct list: one for digitally-oriented education companies, and one list for individuals associated with the online learning industry. Creating these lists makes it easier for me to potentially find more companies to add to my educational companies list, and I hope that creating a list for individuals (like CEOs, journalists, etc.) will also give Codex Alexandria an potential advantage for meeting with or interviewing these people someday to see how they became successful with their businesses. My guess is that the majority of potential customers would see my tweets any time between 12:00 pm in the afternoon to 5:00 pm in the evening (Pacific Standard Time). This is my belief because Codex Alexandria is supposed to be a small company with headquarters in San Diego, California, and therefore the majority of potential customers would be located in the United States, and Canada, particularly within Pacific Standard Time regions. It is difficult to estimate when the greatest amount of people would see my tweets because Codex Alexandria is an unknown, small entity, and very few people would discover it unless they somehow manage to find the Codex Alexandria Twitter page after clicking around and finding Codex Alexandria listed in the followers’ lists of other (more well-established) learning companies.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Week 9, Part A Blog Post


My business for this class is called Codex Alexandria, and it supposed to be a company that specializes in selling educational software to homeschooled, private school, and private schools students from grades K-12. My Twitter account for Codex Alexandria is located at   https://twitter.com/AlexandriaCodex  . I have found four other businesses that are somewhat similar to Codex Alexandria, and I believe that I can learn something from each one of these companies’ Twitter accounts.

Khan Academy is a well-known online educational company that specializes in offering free course material to K-12 students and college students. Khan Academy hosts free courses in subjects as diverse as mathematics, engineering, science, computing, and many more subjects.  Khan Academy’s Twitter cover image contains a cartoon of various animals craving pumpkins for Halloween. This has probably been done to make their profile appeal more to children and teenagers in the K-12 grade range, many of whom enjoy Halloween and trick-or-treating. Even though Khan Academy does forward or copy of its Facebook posts unto its Twitter account (especially ones that are related to marketing Khan Academy products, the company still engages with Twitter users somewhat by retweeting their endorsements of Khan Academy and posting customers’ endorsements on Khan Academy’s Twitter page. One of the key things that Khan Academy does (that I appreciate) is the fact that they frequently use their Twitter account to encourage students with their educational ambitions. I think that Code Alexandria’s Twitter page could generate more interests and followers if I were to write posts like this. However, I think that they could improve their Twitter page by interacting with more of their individual customers by asking them why they like Khan Academy so much.

Coursera is an online educational company that a variety of enrollable courses for a fee. Coursera claims that they provide their enrolled students with access to the best educational sources in the world. Coursera’s Twitter cover photo features a headshot of a man staring intently at his tablet device and cell phone as he accesses Coursera. This is a good, personalized photo for showing that Coursera can be accessed on all kinds of digital devices. Coursera’s Twitter account is mostly dedicated to retweeting favorable articles about their company and advertising upcoming webinars and courses. In contrast to Twitter, Coursera actually responds to individual users on Facebook to answer their personal questions about the company.  I like the fact that Coursera’s Twitter account often advertises how their products have been endorsed by various companies in the business world, which gives them a greater air of legitimacy. Their Twitter account also features posts about speaking engagements by their current CEO, Jeff Magioncalda. I think that my Twitter account would benefit from featuring a few pieces of me (as the CEO) talking about Codex Alexandria.

EdX, an online educational company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers online college classes from world-class universities such as MIT and Harvard University. EdX’s Twitter cover photo features distant snowy mountains below an infinite, deep blue sky. This cover photo is perhaps symbolic of the infinite amount of new information that users may have access to if they enroll in edX online courses. In comparison to its Facebook account, some of edX’s Twitter posts are the same, but others are uniquely different, even though the different Twitter posts also focus on presenting brief facts and statistics and the proceeding to advertise for edX courses that offer students the opportunity to study such knowledge in greater depth. Although edX does retweet positive comments about their company that individual people on Twitter give, edX does respond or directly interact with people on Twitter. I think this company could ultimately improve its Twitter account by interacting with more individual customers on Twitter and by writing individual responses to them. However, I do admire edX’s frequent use of colorful photos on their Twitter account, which undoubtedly attracts more users’ attention. Codex Alexandria would do well to emulate this aspect of edX’s Twitter account.

4.MIT OpenCourseWare- https://twitter.com/MITOCW
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free educational videos, exams, and lecture notes to any online users who want to take advantage of these resources. MIT OpenCourseWare’s cover photo features an intricate golden key placed on top of black computer keys, which is perhaps symbolic of the company’s mission to have computer users unlock access to more knowledge that was previously out of their reach. Most of MIT OpenCourseWare’s Twitter posts are mostly different from its Facebook posts, but some of the same posts appear on both the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. One of the greatest characteristics of MIT OpenCourseWare’s Twitter page is that the images it features on its page are a mixture of photographs of students and instructors participating in their open courses, interesting graphics, and GIFs. I think that my Codex Alexandria Twitter page would look more dynamic and attract more attention if it featured a more varied mixtures of images on my future posts. Overall, I think that MIT OpenCourseWare has excellent, engaging Twitter page, but the company could perhaps spend more time responding directly back to comments from individual users. This would strengthen the relationship between customers, potential customers, and the company.