Writing online and the image that people, corporations, or entities are trying to portray, and the methods with which these images work, are constantly in a state of evolution and never cease to shift. When we generated memes in class with Kevin, it was an interesting exposure to a new form of media production that I am exposed to every day but had no idea that it was so easy to create.
The platforms through which I’m exposed to these vary, as they shift between a friend’s post on Facebook to a famous blogger’s post on instagram, or sometimes, even, a text from my mother. This activity, however, led me to think about how an image posted on instagram can be used to not only self-promote, but also promote a company, or an ideal — essentially, a product.
For my second Coop, I interned in New York City at a company called gilt.com which sells luxury products at discounted prices in daily flash-sales. Through this experience, I was exposed to the amount of money and time that can go into making an image that will be 2 inches x 2 inches on someone’s phone or tablet. At first, I thought it was absurd, but then I realized that with the amount of people who are using social media, it makes sense to put effort into a quality image (I struggled with the fact that the image would only last several hours before it was “old news”). I also had the opportunity to meet several bloggers who make a living by posting images to instagram and their blogs. The amount of money generated through this app is astounding!
And so, two weeks ago, when I was working at Sonsie (on Newbury Street, in Boston), I decided to try to put up my own “artsy” picture in an attempt to get some friends to drop by and bring attention to the fact that we were open at 8am on a Monday. It worked! I had two friends drop by who saw the picture. Although this is just a small example of how product placement or marketing schemes use social media, it shows that what people post online and how they post it, are often extremely targeted towards a certain audience with the hopes of achieving a certain result.