On Tuesday April 16th, Pinky Gonzales (@pinkygonzales) came to visit our class to talk about life experiences and the utilization of social media, particularly LinkedIn. Pinky was extremely entertaining and the class was very receptive to his stories. While he is a high school dropout, who has held over 30+ jobs, Pinky has been able to make a name for himself, reveling in entrepreneurship, mentoring, investing, and even teaching. His most recent venture is Upriver Solutions, a marketing company that helps businesses large and small navigate the waters of growth, management, and marketing. While this venture is very interesting and exciting, Pinky chose to focus most of his presentation on his career path and dabble in the benefits of social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Some of the key topics Pinky covered were career opportunities, the importance of telling stories, the 3 B’s (Blogs, books, and beers), elevator pitches, and the utilization of LinkedIn.
During Pinky’s inspiring presentation, our group had to communicate and connect with the class. After hearing various tips from the past Twitter Management group, we felt ready to implement the task. We utilized the hashtag #URSolutions to spur conversation during Pinky’s presentation. As the first group recommended, we contacted Jessyca prior to class to retweet our tweets featuring #URSolutions in order to make students aware of our selected hashtag. Unfortunately, this action only went so far. While a number of students did take note of this, there were many who failed to catch on. Although we are unsure, we guesstimate that many students’ privacy settings on Twitter are set as private. This action limits the ability for others to see tweets, which could inhibit class communication during presentations. For all we know many more students were utilizing #URSolutions, but we were unable to see.
Our efforts and planning, however, were not completely fruitless. Luckily, a handful of students were aware of our tweets and Jessyca’s retweets, leading them to actively participate in the conversation. We believe most of the students involved in the discussion were from the group that led the Twitter conversation during the previous class, so they were more in tune with the happenings. We posed questions, got a couple responses, and replied when we felt we could. Towards the end of the lecture, however, the conversations and tweeting died out. We believe this happened for one of two reasons. It seemed like those aware of the tweeting requirement felt that they had fulfilled their obligation and therefor no longer had to continue chatting. We might have also missed students who did not know about the hashtag or who had their settings set on private.
All in all, we advise future groups to make the conversation hashtag known to the class before class starts – either by writing it on the board or making a formal announcement. Using Twitter works, but only if everyone is looking out for it. Since this is only the second conversation of the class, students are still figuring it out and getting into a rhythm. Soon, this should not be as much of an issue.