5 Lessons from My First Pet

alan betta copySo last week, I got my first pet ever! I know I sound a bit childish, but I really am so excited. The thought of getting a pet hasn’t crossed my mind until just last week. Then I spontaneously decided to go through with it. As you may have guessed (from the photo above), I got a FISH! It’s a male crowntail betta fish. I visited my local Petco, and it was love at first sight. He was a beautiful creature and I could not take my eyes off of him.

I didn’t pick out the name for him until I set up his new home and watched him swim around.  Eventually I named him Alan. I was unsure about giving him such a human name, but after that name was in my head, I couldn’t imagine any other name.

For the first 2 days, I observed Alan for hours. It was interesting watching him swim so freely in the bowl. I could just imagine the flow-y feeling of the water running through his fins. That thought makes me want to learn to swim (yes, you read that right.. I don’t know how to swim, unless doggy paddling counts as swimming). Surprisingly after much thought, I have plenty to learn from Alan.

Here are just a few things Alan has demonstrated that might be helpful for you and me:

  1. Going up for air is necessary. Sure, life can be rainbows and butterflies, but more often than not, it’s more like rain clouds and mosquitoes. Life may not always happen the way you planned, and that’s perfectly fine. I think we need to go up for air when we need to. Asking others for help does not make you weak. It makes you stronger. So go ahead and ask for assistance from someone you trust. You need to allow yourself some air to breathe at some point.
  2. Hiding inside your orange tower is acceptable. If Alan isn’t swimming around, he most likely would be in his orange tower. When he’s tired of having me watch him, he goes inside. Being sociable is something I try hard to become. However, there are times when all I want to do is stay in my room by myself. Even if you’re a socialite, I’m sure (like everyone else) you need your “me” time. 
  3. View the world from different angles. The fact that Alan lives in a very transparent, circular, fish bowl allows him to see things from different angles. But he only sees things from the inside of the bowl. Lucky for us humans, we aren’t trapped in a bowl; although, many of us create a forcefield that prevents us from seeing the beautiful world we live in. I think it is very important for people to be open minded to new ideas and different opinions, even if we don’t agree.
  4. You’re not alone. Since Alan is a male betta fish, he cannot live with another fish. For those of you who don’t already know, betta fish are also referred to as “Siamese fighting fish.” Even though Alan lives alone, he really isn’t alone. There are probably millions (or billions) of fish who are pets. They all go through the same pleasures or hardships. So, even though it may seem they’re living their lives alone, they have other fish who can relate to them. Sometimes it’s just comforting to know that what you’re going through can be very similar to someone else’s life.
  5. You might need to do things you don’t want to do. Okay, so Alan dreads being picked up and put into his smaller container while his fish bowl is being cleaned. Even though he dreads this part of the cleaning process, he needs it. It will prolong his life for the better. For me, I know I dread getting out of bed. But I do it, so I can lead a productive day. A better example would be going for a dental cleaning every 6 months. My experience is always terrible. Getting my gums and teeth poked with those metal, curved sticks is not my idea of fun. However, I need to go to the dentist so that I can have healthy teeth.

Well there you go! Lessons from a fish named Alan.

Q: Do you have a pet? If so, what have you learned from your pet?

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Danielle Chan

Quick Post About Life.

There are times when I wonder: what if the world could pause for five minutes each day so that we can reevaluate our lives at that moment? I’d ask myself these two questions:happy

  1. Am I happy?
  2. Am I proud?

Hopefully the answer to these two questions would be: Yes. But if that’s not so, then the follow-up question would be:  What can I change so that I am happy and proud?

I realized that I’m the only one in charge of my life. There can be several people who think they have a say in how I should feel or even think they have a say in how I should live my life; but I can’t allow that. Taking control is tough and it can be a hazy endeavor, yet always worth a try.

Q: Are you happy? Are you proud?

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Flickr/daveelmore

Are Interactive Holographic Advertisements Coming Soon?

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As someone who grew up using various electronic devices, I’ve come to appreciate the true value of technology. I love thinking of new product ideas that would make life cooler and easier. Lately, I became fascinated with what holograms can offer us in our daily lives. Although holograms have yet to hit the public, I’m sure that somewhere in the world, the concept is alive. One idea is that I would love to see holographic lane markings so we can clearly see the lanes whenever we’re driving. Imagine being able to see clearly which lane is the left turning lane in cases where signage is poor.

From a marketing perspective, there’s a ton of creative ways to tap into this holographic future. Imagine an interactive holographic advertisement in a mall. These ads can be manipulated by a human’s touch and easily read by all shoppers. The ad can simply be displayed in mid-air, people can walk into it as they shop without bothering them, but it will grab everyone’s attention as they’re walking. Now, imagine walking into a clothing store where you don’t know your size. Stepping into a small machine can allow a computer to calculate your size and help you figure out the right size for your body type. A holographic image of your body can appear as well. Holograms are full of wonders and can be taken advantage for businesses and consumers when the time is right.

Q: What do you think about having holographic advertisements in the future? Yay or nay?

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Flickr/SwimParallel

 

Generation Z and Social Media

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This past weekend I spent time with my cousin who I’ll call Jessie. She’s a member of Generation Z. A few weeks ago, she added me on Instagram, which really shouldn’t have shocked me – but it did. Instagram was something I felt was reserved for teenagers. I didn’t realize that her generation would be catching on to the social media bug. My cousin and her classmates all have accounts and are very active on Instagram (more active than I am!). They do ‘follow backs’ and create various contests to gain the likes on their photos. The last contest Jessie did was: whoever was the 10th liker for her photo would be able to change her Instagram handle to whatever he/she wanted. Although I’m not sure if she thought of this contest all on her own, it’s still pretty clever.

I got a chance to catch up with Jessie and asked her some general questions about social media:

Me: Do you know what social media is?

Jessie: No, I don’t. But I have heard of social studies and I’m not that good at it.

Me: That’s okay! Just try your best. Have you heard of Facebook?

Jessie: Yeah, but I don’t have an account.

Me: Good. Do you ever comment on videos on YouTube?

Jessie: I watch videos on YouTube, but I don’t have an account, so I can’t comment on anything.

Me: Do you know what MySpace is?

Jessie: Nope, what is that?

Me: An old social network.

*End of spontaneous interview*

It makes me feel very old when Jessie never heard of MySpace! Even with its revitalization, MySpace is still an underdog. As you can tell, Jessie has not fully grasped the meaning of social media, even though she’s currently using Instagram and YouTube. I’m wondering when the term will come into play. Will Generation Z learn about social media in the classroom?

Key takeaways in regard to Gen Z and social media:

  1. Generation Z are very comfortable with using tablets, computers, and other mobile devices.
  2. Instagram has clearly become the ‘cool’ thing to be a part of.
  3. These kids are already figuring out marketing tactics to get more likes for their photos.
  4. They are driven by numbers and strive to increase them.

Q: What have you noticed about Generation Z? What are your thoughts about it?

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Flickr/Chrisinplymouth

Does ROI increase with Social Media?

7496669132_5386f4f954As someone in the marketing field, I know there are many articles that suggest social media marketing has a link with ROI. There are debates on whether or not this is true, but here’s my take:

Social media marketing (SMM) efforts is not correlated with ROI; and it shouldn’t be expected to lead to new sales. If you think social media can help you get more sales, you’re using SMM for the wrong reasons. SMM should be used to create and nourish relationships with your customers. That is your first intention. Your second intention could be to carry out your hopes of increasing sales, but that should be put on the back burner. Basically, what I’m saying is: if your social media efforts seemed to be increasing your ROI, then good for you! However, if your business’ ROI is not reacting positively with your social media, then there’s no issue there.

SMM is not tied with the money your business makes. It is tied to the value and perception of your brand. You really can’t put a price tag on the valuable insights you’ll receive from interacting with your customers. Social media allows for a two-way communication between a company and its customers, which is a new kind of relationship in the business world. Having the ability to connect with a customer who may be 1,000 miles away from the HQ locations on Facebook helps make the communications barrier businesses once had disappear.

For all those who think SMM is a waste of time and resources, I would have to say I whole heartedly disagree. SMM has become the new and preferred method of customer service for many. SMM has transformed marketing into a powerhouse of innovative ideas.  It allows businesses to truly get to know their customers and learn something new about their products and services.

As much as we would like SMM to have an effect on ROI, it simply does not (at least not yet). Get over it.

Q: What do you think?

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Flickr/SalFalco

Why Are We Driven By Numbers?

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Something I will never understand is that there are people who think having the most followers makes them special. I’ve come across so many instagram profiles that state “I follow back!” I think this is silly and it’s a very old-school way of thinking. I know there are people who buy followers to increase their numbers. But what exactly does this do for them? It doesn’t increase their engagement or success. These users are just fooling themselves into thinking they’re worthy of all these followers when half their followers are probably fake accounts.

I know this is not new. In middle school, MySpace was a popular site my classmates were into and people would try to get the most friends on it. This competition was so unnecessary. For my personal profiles, it’s not about the numbers. I like to put out quality content for my real followers. I strive to share articles that I know my followers will enjoy and hopefully stir some discussion.

However, my opinion does change from a business perspective. Having more followers than a company’s competitor is an important goal. Only because this is the easiest way to gauge the success of one’s social media presence. I would hope that companies are not investing in creating fake profiles to increase their following because 1) it would be a waste of resources 2) it is unethical.

Regardless if you’re a business or a regular person, I think the best thing you could do to increase your numbers is to share relevant, original content. Don’t just always retweet or tweet random thoughts. I think content marketing is the only true way to get more people to follow you.

Q: Do you care about your numbers? What do you do to get more followers on your social networks? 

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Flickr/MervC

Is Anything Really “New” Anymore?

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Besides Google Glass, name three products that pop into your head that is truly new (maybe the image above can help you). I feel as though every major tech company is just recreating products that are very similar to their competitors. For instance, Blackberry came out with its Z10 smartphone. It’s just another touchscreen smartphone. The Samsung Galazy S4 was announced last week and there’s really nothing new aside from a few features that I could care less about. There seems to be a new laptop being released every month, however, they have the comparable specs. Electronic devices in general seem to be hard to differentiate without their brand names.

Is it just me, or are you yearning for something brand new, too? I want the unimaginable to be created. I want the impossible proven wrong. With fresh products, the world can be inspired to develop more innovative things. I’m not an engineer or developer of any kind, but I’m wondering what cool, imaginative things are currently being worked on that has yet to be presented to the public (such as Google Glass). If tech companies keep creating the same tablets and computers, then we’ll just be in a vicious cycle where consumers will get bored and buy things solely based on price.  In the end, all the smartphones out there are just using each other’s recycled ideas and creating phones that they’re labeling as “new.”

Well, that’s my blog (rant) post. I hope 2013 has some great new products in store for us! As always, let me know your thoughts!

Q: If you were able to come up with 3 products that is truly new, what were they? 

-dchan

Photo Credit:
Wikimedia