co-author of The Meadow
Mike O'Hare
July - 3 - 2012 | 2 Comments


. . . From the student’s point of view

So why should you blog? I’m wearing my student’s hat today. Although I’m mature in years, I’m still of the opinion that blogging is the most effective way to express yourself in practical terms. From the student’s point of view it is imperative not to create a blog page and treat it as a personal diary. That is what will happen unless he or she has gone to the bother of learning how to blog in an effective way. The article below, although specifically aimed at the student will apply to anyone who is serious about, and wants to know, why you should blog.

A typical student blogging


The CV is not enough to enable the student to create sufficient awareness of work and study which, in some cases, has taken five or six years to complete. In these days of dog eat dog, it is imperative that the student facilitates his or her portfolio to a wider audience—a global forum of interested ‘parties’ who, in an instance, can see the value of an individual’s commitment to further and higher education.
Things are changing at a rapid rate in this world of ours and as long as you choose to remain a member of society you have to keep abreast with whatever changes are out there. If you don’t then someone else will. An optimised blog is the essential tool for any student who is serious about what he or she has studied and desires the world to know.
Although not part of the syllabus at all in most cases and perhaps in the final year for some, the blog per se is still not exploited to its full potential. The following article helps to describe what is necessary to achieve the live blog which will help to bring every man and his dog into your domain. 
The only constant in the Universe is change ~ Jasper T. Nicoli



~ By Mike O’Hare

Never before has there been an opportunity for the individual to make his or her mark on society. To all intents and purposes it’s an electronic mark, but psychologically it carries the same impact as though one was speaking from Hyde Park Corner to a ‘captive’ audience.

Powerful institutions such as government and large conglomerates have always had the media to do their bidding. When a new law or bill has been passed in the House of Commons in the UK or House of Representatives in the US, or a new commercial innovation has come to light, the media of the day has always ensured every man and woman is made aware of the situation. How is this so? The media is just another branch of the Establishment, that’s why.

Those same institutions who we regard as part of the Establishment have had their way for too long. Over the centuries we have been fed with their lies, dogma and deceit. The world is the way it is today because of the controlling ethos that has woven itself into the fabric of society.


Time for change?

Is it time to fight back? Maybe I shouldn’t make this article sound like a war cry. That would put me in the same bracket as those who wish to have absolute control over your life. I have no desire to use fear and threats as the tools of my trade. On the contrary, my objective is to discover a facility whereby I can put my point of view over to as many people as possible. The difference being that the decision on whether to act on that information is yours. You have the choice.

And what is that facility, I hear you ask? The media is spoken for but we have the Internet. Until we learn how to use it effectively it will always be a useful toy to play with. We can search for information, create a website, join social media groups, do our on-line banking, contribute to campaigns that others have organised etc, etc. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a commercial graphic designer, what you promote via the Internet will only reach those within your immediate range of communication unless you know how to exploit it properly. And this is why you should blog.


Play to your strengths

As a student of Creative Film and Moving Image I’m fortunate to have a wealth of technology and teaching at my disposal. I’m also the co-author of the novel “The Meadow” co-written with Elfreda Pretorius which means that I have a product to promote as well as spending my time at an HE college. Whilst I’m in the process of learning my new trade I thought what an excellent idea it would be to use what is available to me and literally get the word out there regarding the book and my personal journey as a mature student.

And this is where the fun begins. If you don’t use the tools of the Internet to their maximum advantage, your word won’t get much further than family, friends, and peers. Now that I have such wonderful equipment to use in the process of promoting myself and my trade, not to mention a team of fellow students to work with, all I have to do is create a project that will compliment my marketing needs. After all, I’m learning how to produce film, so why not tie that in with something that can be both practical and syllabus friendly.


The blog

Probably the next best thing to a king’s speech or president’s address is the live blog. In essence a blog presents an effective way to create a means of adding content to whatever information you desire to share. That additional content can be optimised using competitive and effective keywords. With the aid of suitable applications (apps) and programmes, these keywords can be used in such a way as to link in with any website or social media channels you are using. And just as important is that your blog can be picked up by search engines that selectively and electronically work on that vital keyword analysis. One of the programmes is Google Analytics which, when used effectively, can produce all the data that you require to produce an optimised blog.

I’m hoping that you’re getting the message that it’s no use in opening up a free account with a blog publishing tool such as Google. There is much more to it than that. For Google to be able to recognise the vital words that are used in your blog, including the URL, you must have those extra tools in place. Whatever is created to host your blog, it must have the facility to accommodate plug-ins – programmes that allow certain software to help you with keyword research. In plain English the result will be by a process based on the type of blog you are creating. You end up being ‘fed’ with all the necessary key wording that is essential for a live blog.

You may be thinking “It’s alright for him. He has the technology.” Wrong! I’m in the same boat as any serious blogger and, believe me, I’m still learning about this very effective way to get information out into the world. The Establishment will be cringing to learn that I’m sharing this information with you. They don’t want you to know how to blog effectively because then you will possess the same power. This is why you never see official educational agendas that teach you ‘how’. You can now give your “king’s speech” because you have made the effort to find a way to use the Internet to your advantage. And this is why you should blog.


Whisper campaigns

The equipment at my disposal, as long as I remain a student, is tailored into making quality films. This has nothing to do with blogging in a direct sense. In an indirect sense it is very important to me. You may have heard about Whisper Campaigns. They are nothing new. Years ago they were recognised as campaigns used by governments and the corporate world to spread damaging rumours and innuendos about a specific target whilst hiding its source. I think we’re all familiar with that one. It’s all still going on in the same old fashioned way except that there is a new kid on the block – a kid with a pocket full of tools and he’s not out to hurt anyone. He just wants to use the same concept to promote himself by using the Internet to its full advantage.

Let’s create a scenario and take the world of higher education as an example for what I’m about to suggest. There are many other examples but let’s just concentrate on this particular one for now. There isn’t a serious student out there who does not have an art or a craft to promote. If it’s a skill then he’s simply promoting himself. Sally Smith is a fashion whiz and is in her final year. She has had her produce shown at exhibitions and at times even been covered by the local and regional press – all thanks to the lecturers and admin staff at her college for creating those opportunities. Her CV is to die for and her peers are very envious. Out there in the big world there are thousands of Sally Smiths who have just passed out with their degrees and are awaiting that opportunity to earn a living. So how is this particular Sally Smith going to ensure that the right people take notice of her and she stays ahead of the game? Unless she is the daughter of some famous designer or high profile celebrity, she stands to be ignored because of the high competition.


To the rescue

Is there a genie in the lamp and can he show himself at the right time? Yes, he can. Consider yours truly as that new kid on the block. He is learning how to push the right buttons by being able to blog effectively and he also has a product to promote through his film studies. Is the product about himself? Absolutely not! He shares the same college facilities as Sally Smith and has heard about her academic success. He has also learned that she is keen to blog about her products and skills but is getting nowhere. Unless she goes down that road of finding a host in which to apply those vital tools to blog effectively, she is in a very tight corner. All those other Sally Smiths are doing the same thing and it’s becoming very tedious.

It’s not everyone who has the inclination or the will to spend time learning how to blog successfully. However, I can help. Remember those Whisper Campaigns? So Sally and I spent a couple of hours down at the student bar as I told her all about my film work and how it could help in her endeavours to find work. I discussed the Internet and how to blog effectively and explained why she was going nowhere. Here’s how the rest of the dialogue went:

Sally (S): “So what are you suggesting? I hope you’re not a pervert and just leading me on.”

Me (M): “Ok, so I’m a student in Creative Film and Moving Image in the other building.”

S: “Yes, I sometimes see you with the rest of your strange-looking friends.”

M: “I now have two vital tools to play with. The first one is my ability to blog effectively using keyword analysis. In short what I blog creates a huge return by way of good communication, i.e. people who have searched for the very subject that I have put out there.”

S: “But that’s not my subject. You are a film maker.”

M: “Yes and that’s my second tool – something that I can create to add to my blog. Are you beginning to understand yet?

S: “Not quite but I’m sure you’re going to help.”

M: “The team and I (we work well together) have the ability to create a very short film drama based around you and your work. We’re going to call this a Whisper Campaign. We’ll hire a couple of actors who are on our data base and film this drama. The clip will only be a minute or so long.”

S: “A minute isn’t long. Will that be enough?”

M: “It needs to be short and effective. What’s important is that this campaign hits the reader/viewer in the eye. The purpose is to create interest and excitement around something that still has to happen like the release of a book, a movie or a new programme to be launched live, or on someone like you who is determined to hit on the world of fashion. Here’s how it goes. The actors’ characters are called Jean and Karen. It’s just two people in a conversation.”

Jean: “I didn’t sleep well last night.”

Karen: “Why, that’s not a problem you usually do.”

Jean: “Yes, but as you know I’ve worked really hard at doing my fashion degree and I’m not sure I can stand up to the competition now that I’ve graduated.”

Karen: “You’re referring to that bitch Sally Smith aren’t you? She’s had her work shown around the UK and the newspapers just love her, not to mention our lecturers. She’s their favourite. I hate her!”

Jean: “But her work is so original. She has imagination beyond what most of us can come up with. Some big company is going to snap her up, I know it.”

Karen: “You … ummm … errr …  can be just as good ….”

Jean: “I knew it. You feel the same way about her work don’t you? We can’t deny that Sally Smith is going to be very big one day in the fashion world …..”

M: “And so on, Sally. This could be made way more interesting with your knowledge and input. Now that I’m learning about social media marketing, we can throw in famous designers and owners or others by leading conversations purposely in the direction of big fashion. With the right tags and other tools we can create some nice surprises. Anyway, that is the gist of a Whisper Campaign – to create interest and curiosity but not to give the answer away. We must maintain the mystery. If this is done with creativity it can have a very big impact.”

S: “How much will this cost? I’m not working yet.”

M: “Most of your peers are in a similar situation to you. They have a product to promote. If you got together and decided how effective this could be, a group could be formed and a small budget agreed. Remember this will be my course project so it is still part of the syllabus. It would be up to the lecturers and admin staff to calculate a final figure but that’s not going to break the bank, trust me.

S: “So you’re not a pervert. I’m so glad to hear that. I’ll get back to you soon.”


Time for action

There is not a marketing department in the land that cannot benefit from this type of blogging. The target should always be to maximise the effort and optimise the product. I’ve lost count the number of websites that I’ve looked up only to find them dead and buried. Thousands of pounds can sometimes be spent on creating nothing more than a few pretty pages of graphics.

The above example has been based on the fact that I am involved with film making. As a consequence, I have created the opportunity for many projects to be created in-house – having fellow students, even lecturers, as potential ‘clients’. However, to be able to blog effectively does not have to include the trappings of the studio. As long as the ideas I have put forward are followed, then it should put you at the cutting edge of communication.

Wikipedia says “Whisper campaigns are defended in some circles as an efficient mechanism for underdogs who lack other resources to attack the powerful.” Well, that’s one way of putting it. One in the eye for the Establishment then? In this instance the underdog is the individual who has to make his mark in the world against so much competition. I have a blog to write and I’m part of a crew of film students who are standing by. Anyone interested?

2 Responses so far.

  1. Mark says:

    Superb post!!

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