Self Branding

How we present ourselves most certainly depends on the context in which we are responding to.  From a social stand point I feel that for most people what we regard as “normal” dress for this function or that function is largely intuitive. We spend our entire lives, particularly as children, learning what to do and not to do and often our ques as adults are based upon that model. However, from a professional world standpoint the rules change drastically and are laden with a good deal more expectation.

I do feel from a professional standpoint that appearances can make or break someone. Ultimately it does come down to one’s personal skills on the job and what they can contribute. A nice suit is not the end all, be all; they can still be horrible at their job. But clothing and posture and language can all play massive parts in getting that job in the first place and getting ahead further along. Coming into a work place looking like last week’s laundry basket found under a bed will leave just as much of an impression as anything you have to say in that meeting. We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t judge by appearances, but whether we like it or not, whether we are even conscious of it or not, the judgement is there in the first 30 seconds or less; this goes back to childhood skills of watching and judging and absorbing the assumptions of those around us. Some things are just too deeply rooted into our culture to be easily rid of.  

images (3)

As far as I am concerned personally, I do not fuss overmuch about normal everyday wear, so making that extra effort with something that does matter, like an interview, is a bit nerve wracking. But there is a certain sense of satisfaction/ease to be had knowing that even if you screw something up you will look decent doing it. Do I think it is unfair that people can be judged and discounted by something other than their actual credibility? Yes, it is not very fair. But at the same time I understand the inherent logic behind it. If one can not take the time to look nice and be willing to go that extra step or two to make a presentation to someone else, one of two things has occurred: 1. They don’t actually care about the thing. In which case, why are they bothering to apply and why should you bother to hire. Or 2. They are careless, disregarding or lazy when it comes to their appearance, something that can be likely to translate into their work ethic. Dressing nicely usually does not take much and it is, in the end, really a display of initiative and positive-ness. The social world can be flexible, the professional one is not.

download (3)

TL;DNR–Academic Copout


I honestly have very little to relate to in this post. I have never in my life posted TL:DNR on anything I have been asked to read in the entirety of my academic career. From a purely academic standpoint, baring expressed page limitations for assignments in which case professors or fellow students could be said to be within their rights to forego, I find this sentiment extremely rude and counterproductive. I think a more accurate term instead is TL;TB (Too Long, Too Boring); but if someone does not or cannot be bothered to engage with your work on some level, even if it means skimming until the very end, then they only have themselves to blame for their dissatisfaction in the end. The point of reading something, especially for someone else is to give them ideas about how they can improve. If you never read, how can you suggest meaningful improvements to make it more engaging if that is what it needs?

For myself, there have been several papers and assignments of others that were about as entertaining as watching paint dry as far as their overall style was concerned, but I still read enough to grasp what was important, so that I could make those suggestions. People who simply write out TL;DNR are shirking their responsibilities not only as readers but as critiques; it gives the impression not only that they are bored, but that they are lazy, unwilling to take the time to truly analyze and give voice to their objections; if they write something to that effect who is to say they read the piece at all in the first place?


Good working relationships, no matter what the project require reciprocity. If I felt like my school readings were too long and dry could I simply put TL;DNR at the top of the page of every in class quiz over the material? Of course not. Doing such a thing would not would not only indicate failure in the general sense of making an excuse, it would also indicate an extreme lack of personal responsibility and initiative.

All this being said, the working world can be somewhat different, especially when it comes to advertisement. In this sense it is very much the business owner’s or agency’s responsibility to ensure short sweet and simple on every piece of ad or flyer. 1. Because it is an investment on their part and 2. There is no real concept of obligation in selling goods. Consumers do not have to buy your product, they have a choice and competition to go elsewhere to, thus the producer has the responsibility of making sure what time they have to spare is not wasted when it comes to reading your ad or finding out more information.

Blog Post #4: Literacy – More Prominent than Ever

found at

Literacy, the ability to read and write, is a skill that can be applied to any business or workplace situation. Written communication is a major communication modality used to communicate complex ideas through a relatively fast and easy medium. With the rise of internet technology over the past decade the need to write and interpret texts across the internet has called for an increasing need in individual literacy. The role of textual literacy in the 21st century workplace is more prominent than ever.

“Illiteracy costs United States businesses and society at least $225 billion annually because of lost workforce productivity, crime and unemployment” (Sessoms 2013). Illiteracy in the United States is a growing problem with new forms of communication modalities such as and other internet mediums that allow citizens of the United States to acquire information through videos and other non-written forms of communication. Since every form of communication is not found via videos on the internet the need to interpret written texts found outside of these internet platforms is becoming a more pressing issue. Written communication is an everyday occurrence in the workplaces of the United States. My father, a project manager of Macy’s website development team, has to sift through hundreds of emails on a daily basis that consist in written communication. Many other jobs include similar tasks. Even though other forms of communication modalities exist in modern day workplace scenarios, such as oral communication, no other modality thoroughly expresses ideas and information in such a concrete way as written communication. Written communication allows an individual the ability to display information in a specific way that is not replaceable by other forms of communication. This is because written communication allows the user the ability to edit, postulate advanced ideology and cite justification from other written references in an easy and understandable format. Written texts have the ability to last for a longer time than oral communication which can be useful if an individual wants to reference a written text at some point in the future.

In the case of my father, emails consisting of written texts allow for an easy way to understand and respond to any sort of problems that need quick solutions. Written communication allows my father the convenience of understanding quickly what problem he or another person in his development team has encountered and the ability to express clearly and concretely what measures should be used to fix it. If these problems were to pose themselves through another modality of communication such as a video it would take my father a longer time to make a video in response to the problem his team is facing. Fittingly Gail Sessom writes that “Workers who cannot read and interpret basic signs and instructions compromise safety, slow production and cause errors that affect profits” (Sessom 2013). Not being able to read or write in workplace setting can be the decision between whether or not a worker will make a product or deliverable by deadline. If an employee is spending their time interpreting information through a video or audio medium it will take the employee longer to load the video and audio, understand the information and reply to the situation then it would if the information was presented in a written from of communication. In most workplace scenarios written communication is a necessity, no other form of communication modality can display information in such a fast, convenient and proficient way as written communication; therefore, making it one of the most prominent forms of communication in the workplace.


Works Cited:

Sessoms, Gail. (2013). Effects of illiteracy on business. Chron.


Blog Project: Literacy

Literacy is one of the oldest hallmarks of civilization itself. The expansion of literacy rates in the United States is a severe problem confronting both our education systems and our work force structure and it will only prove to be of more critical importance the more different forms of communication come into use. Huffington Post reports sobering stats to the effect that literacy rates over all in the U.S have not budged significantly in over a decade. Partially it is to do with education being unequal over the socio-economic boundaries, but also because of an influx of immigrated workers and their descendants would will prove to be the backbone of much of the work force following baby-boomer retirement. As an English major, I feel literacy is of inexpressible importance in order to function in society.

Back in the days of large family farms and apprenticeships, literacy could be done without. As the economic opportunity expanded into machinery and later still into computers it has become no longer possible to live a decent life with knowing little more than how to read and write your name and a few other things. We are no longer framed in an economic structure that would be able to support vast numbers of workers who are illiterate in capacity because it matters as far as getting ahead is concerned. Especially, coming out of this “Great Recession” things will only get worse if something is not done to boost our education. Overall the vast majority of “middle jobs” have been phased out, rendered obsolete by technology or overseas cost. Gone are the days where an A.A would get you a 30-ish thousand dollar steady employment or a B.A would be considered sufficient education for most jobs.  We live in a society at this point where a good chunk of workers are over qualified for the jobs they have because the higher levels are not open to them for various reasons. If these people remain in these positons, there are even fewer options for those who are illiterate to go to where they can still get by which means, at least for some, and perhaps even a majority, the next stop is the welfare system where the economy will only slow further.

Basic word and print literacy is of primary of course because it is so basic and will likely not go anywhere; However, there are now expanded definitions of literacy because is not literacy an expansion of competency? Computers will also grow increasingly important as time goes on. Knowing how to use them is not the advantage it was back in the 80’s, it is expected. I think it is reasonably safe to say that there are several forms of literacy that school systems and immigration programs alike must strive to teach fluency in beyond computers and print; I wish I could think of another good example but to be honest such literacy might just be so common place to myself, I don’t even realize that I use it. (That mentality in itself being a bit of a problem since I would think a majority have no idea how bad our literacy rates really are and thus don’t know there is a problem to begin with.)

Another blog also pointed out that the lack of a standard definition is one of the many problems surrounding this issue, if not the main one. I agree with this and feel that giving out basic standards for what literacy is, is an extremely important step in trying to rectify the problem. Yes, picture graphs and similar info graphs will suffice for many situations to a certain extent, but it does not and will never match the amount of information that can be conveyed by words themselves.


Project 1 The World of Blogging: The Wealth and the Price

There is no more versatile a creation then that of the internet, with the exception of humanity itself. Over the past 40 years or so it has crossed boundaries and sparked movements and passed information faster than any other means before it. Blogging is one of the many forms of communication employed through the internet and, for the corporate world in particular, is well known to offer a multitude of advantages with little of the effort and expense found in “conventional” means. Yet there is a large debate, particularly between the corporate sector and the relations it holds with the general public at large about whether or not such advantages are in fact worth the risk of downfall that can also be part and parcel of the blogging experience.

First and foremost, blogging brings people together; large or small, be it about books, games, sports or the latest phone release, blogging enables a large segment of similarly interested people to communicate on both broad and specialized topics. From a cooperate stand point, this allows them to both introduce their products and to build an image overall that works better “than a billion dollar ad campaign could have”  to maintain a more personable presence among their target audience as opposed to a less interactive means such as flyers. (Strother)  “Foot-traffic” and word-of-mouth tends to do the rest, reducing time and effort on part of the company and potentially giving them footholds in market areas they might not have reached otherwise. It also allows them feedback on demos and prototypes to better ensure the quality of final products and to address concerns more quickly and broadly than with the limitations posed by mass emails. These same advantages of fluidity and encompassment are not just limited to the PR sector of a company: they can provide the same benefits to the internal structure of a company as well. “Blogs can transform a static, one-way, top-down intranet into a dynamic, interactive collaboration tool that can be felt directly on the company’s bottom line.” (Strother)

Since blogs have become such an integral part of many business’ strategies for attracting revenue, there can be grave consequences to the misuse of a blogs intentions. That same blog which presents a favorable public image can just as easily turn the public against itself with the wrong post. Problems can arise from “bashing” on a competitor to the point of libel, there can be misinterpretations of posts by readers leading to unfavorable rumors. There can also be problems between the company and either former or current employees. When disputes of internal nature become public to one extent or another a company must capitulate to general demand, sometimes in unfavorable ways and to the loss of its credibility. Walmart presents a good overall example with its “Walmart-ting Across America Blog” that attempted to shore up a positive image for the chain in light of poor public opinions regarding its employee treatment policies. So many favorable posts aroused suspicion and led to the discovery of Walmart paying off people to boost their popularity, instead having quite the opposite effect to the point of ridicule. (Kaye) Where information is traded out so publically, it is also very easy for companies to have sensitive information “leaked” to the detriment of profit or reputation.

Despite these many disadvantages, blogging remains one of the first and foremost go-to for the dissemination of information. It can perhaps be argued that all of blogging’s equally many advantages are in fact a by-product of two characteristics that set it apart from all the other means of internet communication: its versatility in any situation and its ability to be the closest means of its kind to mimic group conversation, as opposed to a single chat window or even email. In many ways it is comparable to oral vs. the written language. Both speak broadly and can be used and adapted to many conditions as needed; but the written words is both more accountable for its intent and is able to cross boundaries of space, time and other languages with fewer problems. Overall, the advantage where blogging is concerned over other forms of digitalized communication is slight, but still present and even formidable under some circumstances, outweighing most if not all of its pitfalls.



Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253.

Kaye, Kate. Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253.