Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Getting Paid to Socialize

Social media has opened the door to so many people for building their own brand, not only with a physical business but also branding themselves as individuals. Frances Cairncross' Trendspotter's Guide predicts that home life and work life will coincide. In my previous post I had explored this idea when it came to electronic commerce, similarly we see this blurred line in the world of social media. However, this only applies when we look at social media and the business side to it- which in society today is not uncommon. For the sake of my argument, I want to focus on fashion bloggers whom work from home to cater to their blog, fans and overall branding. Blogging has become so popular, some universities are now offering their own rendition of a "Blogging" course. The truth is, anyone can blog, but how do you get paid to blog? It's a question I have been asking myself for some time now, from all of the famous bloggers I follow on Instagram it's hard to justify that getting paid to post photos online is fair...unless you're the one getting paid. The reason why we can apply Cairncross' trend to aspects of social media is because of access. Social Media can be accessed by so many people and is also accessible anywhere, so a (personal) business that relies on this is going to thrive in our tech-savvy society. It also has the ability to reach a number of people quickly and effectively. Most higher-end bloggers that are getting paid is mostly through advertisements. If a blog gets enough traffic in a day, then a company that shares a similar audience would be inclined to provide advertisements for their site.  We see the lines blur here between home life and work life, especially when some bloggers today are making more money than those working 9am-5pm jobs during the week. Don't believe me? Check out this E online article 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

All Play, No Work

Dream Big
Another one of Francis Cairncross' developments he predicts in his Trendspotter's Guide is the "inversion of home and office". He predicts a blur between the lines of home life and work life, exploiting the office as a place for the "social aspects" of work. Although this is not true for every workspace, when we look at E-commerce this idea of joining home and work life is common in today’s society. E-commerce is essentially explained in the name, electronic commerce. With a business that is designed to work electronically, with the mobility of technology in today's age it is not uncommon to see a business work from a home. I have a family friend who has built her own company, Fabadashery, with the help and convenience of E-commerce.
Her foam designs can be viewed and purchased online and promote her local brand to the Southeast region. This company amongst many others has gotten online exposure to an audience that would not be available without electronic commerce.
I think one of the biggest sites where home life and work life coincide is on Etsy.com . This site allows people to create their own online shops and sell their self-made products to a broad online audience. The E-commerce transactions that happen on such a site are immense and so valuable because you are linking your own, less known, brand with a trusted online marketplace, Etsy. Facilitating business for passionate creators while prioritizing customer satisfaction and secure transactions, Etsy is an E-commerce model that benefits all parties involved. In today's economy, having the luxury of opening up ones own shop is not very likely. Etsy, however, is an online alternative that makes the "self-made dream" more realistic, blurring the lines of home and work life.

Another aspect to Cairncross’ prediction is that work life will become more of a place to socialize. I agree to disagree with his statement because even though there are companies that have a more relaxed environment, it is not always all play and no work. Applying this to E-commerce, a company working with electronic commerce most likely has a physical office that they work out of and fulfill their daily operations. Though the office may be a place to socialize, the business would not hire employees that simply showed up to do no work. However, technology has made life easier for us and the ability to work out of home has become so much easier, and popular, there is still a demand for a physical office and formality in the work force...at least I hope. 


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Think Local, Shop Global

The beauty of E-commerce is the ability to shop globally while remaining local. Frances Cairncross' Trendspotter's Guide, predicts that companies will be able to have a "global reach" with "more local provision". This concept not only aids the consumer in getting a hold of more products but helps small and big companies alike. Primarily small companies rely on their local markets to keep them afloat, however, with the help of E-commerce they are able to reach markets around the world. This allows them to reach a wider range of people without having to spend the time and money on opening shop outside of their local shops. On the other hand, this also helps larger companies because although they already reach a broader range of consumers, an E-commerce presence allows them local provision.
social globe

Larger companies are most likely head up in big cities, in the US we think of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago etc. E-commerce allows them to easily extend their brand to smaller, local communities that would normally not have to opportunity to travel and purchase their products/merchandise. Also, bigger companies can get in touch with the local companies to help get their products into these local markets. For example, a boutique shop in Tampa, Fl called Penelope T holds high-end clothing from several designers that are located in New York and Los Angeles. Not only selling these items in stores, they also have an online presence that gives consumers the opportunity to purchase these high-end brands locally while remaining global. Although, I think it is only fair to point out a flaw in Cairncross' prediction...it is safe to say that a lot of large and small companies make use of this "local and global" idea and apply it to E-commerce. However, I know a many smaller, local brands that do not have any online presence and only market themselves to a specific audience and still remain to do very well in their business. In the same token, larger, high end companies do not allow E-commerce directly from their site but would partner up other retail E-commerce companies and sell their product this way. Again, both scenarios are justifiable; I think with technology evolving companies are going to feel the need to create an online presence because it can only be beneficial. 

In addition to E-commerce, we can again apply this trend to social media. I think a huge point social media makes is that is can and does reach so many people on a global level. However I think it definitely depends on the company and what they are using social media for to decide how effective this trend plays out. For example, if a local Tallahassee company is promoting their brand and holding an event then that obviously has the ability to reach a large market, because it is online and widely accessed, but given its purpose it will only have an affect on those local to their company. However, if a small company in Tallahassee such as Coton Colors promotes a sale on all of their social media outlets then this will affect a much larger, and global, market. Looking at larger companies and their usage of social media, I think this can only benefit their "local provision". The larger companies already have a global reach, so social media helps inform those local markets and really connect people from all over the world on a global and local scale. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

140 Characters

In addition to electronic commerce, we can apply Frances Cairncross' "Deluge of Information" theory to the world of social media. It is true that companies are needing new techniques to boost their brand, and we are seeing this carry out through social media. Our attention spans are becoming so small, and social media provides quick bits of information that grab our attention immediately. We must adapt, the evolving technological world calls for new ways to grab our attention, and effective social media that is less text based and more picture/video based is the way to do it. A tweet for example is only 140 characters long, in the instant you have to catch the viewers attention and get your point across most importantly. With the usage of photos, videos and/or links, the viewer is then able to "sift, process and edit", or rather digest, the information individually.
The following tweets show how a company can increase their branding and connect to their audience through social media. Free People clothing brand not only interacts with their consumer, "Which color is your favorite", but also includes an image and link that will take their audience to their home page. Sears also catches the attention of their consumers and boosts their branding through a few characters and link to a twitter post: "Looks like new. Price tag looks less.". The key words "new" and "less price" is really going to encourage people to click on the link and shop around Sears. After reading this tweet, I did not even notice it was advertising their Craftsman tools. But that's the beauty of social media, the smallest text or image can create the biggest payoffs. Less is definitely more. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pushing the Brand

The number of nights I have spent cramming for an exam, wishing my brain had the physical capacity to hold more information is immeasurable. The truth is, the sizes of our brains aren’t going to change and with that, our ability to absorb more information than what is physically possible is not going to alter. Taking this same idea and applying it to the world of Electronic Commerce, we see a business' drive to push their company and/or brand in new ways because we aren't getting any "smarter". According to Frances Cairncross' Trendspotter's Guide, because we are unable to absorb new information, we need filters to sift, process and edit it all.

Online Shopping
With the rise of an E-commerce business, the competition that runs between companies is extensive. Although their are many different relationships surrounding the E-commerce business model, I wanted to focus on the sale from a business to their consumer. Looking at the vast world of shopping, companies whom opt for online print catalogs, online shopping or even a business whose purchases can exclusively be made online are examples of a business who is taking steps to furthering their brand. With an online presence, a company is able to offer their customers a level of convenience that goes beyond the typical 9am-5pm hours a normal store is allotted. Not to mention, this also benefits the business because they are able to make transactions at anytime and anywhere in the world.  In addition to a 24-hour business, an online shopping experience will offer the same content but without the high operating costs it takes the run the business itself. An E-commerce business does not have to worry about the expense of employee labor and utilities, a website is far less expensive. A physical store location, though has its own benefits, is limited in size. A store in a mall or strip center can only hold so much merchandise at a time. However, with a website, there are no limitations on how much merchandise you can offer to your consumers. This not only helps the business economically, but also betters their consumer loyalties.

These new techniques give customers a different shopping experience and urge them to think about their purchases in a new way. The steps a business takes to push their brand further, such as an online presence, develops an extended customer base that while deepens the costumer/business relationship, also sets aside an individual shopping episode, unique to each consumer.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


My name is Alexandra Weinstock and I will be "Assessing the Trendspotters" for my mini project 2. I will carefully explore the web genres of social media and electronic commerce, and if through these genres Cairncross' trends are exemplified in each. Enjoy!