Week 1: Getting Started

This week, I started my research project.  I set up this blog and made my first post, which is basically just stating what my intention is with this blog.  I edited the About page, but because I already have a post on what this blog is about, I kept the description short.  Then I began looking up the brands I chose to look into over the next six weeks.  I thought it would be easiest to start out with a page listing the different brands.  I chose to create a separate page rather than putting this information in a blog post because the page is static and won’t be moved when I post more content so the information will always be easy to find, both for me and for others who come across this blog.  I organized the information in order of which brand I will look at from first to last, and linked to each of their websites and social media pages, keeping these in the same order for each brand so it’s consistent and organized.

I chose brands and companies that I am not very familiar with so I have no previous bias or other information. I also chose brands that are in very different categories – a vegan high fashion clothing line, an online persona, a hardware store, energy drinks, electronics, and a company that does just about everything from Post-Its to aircraft to animal care.  Similar companies may use similar rhetoric, so I thought the variety would be the best way to see differences between brands, as well as to see patterns between them.

Because I chose brands that are so different from each other, this made compiling the links on the Brands page an interesting task.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to find some of these brands on certain social media sites.

The most difficult one to find was Cult of Coquette.  Even their About page on their website was only a short definition of what the word “coquette” means.  It didn’t say anything about what products they sell, a mission statement, or anything else.  I also had a difficult time finding them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  I had to use Google to find these pages, and none of them linked to each other.  I am guessing that this is either because they are a somewhat newer brand, though it’s hard to tell how new since I haven’t found any information about this company.  It could also simply be the way a high fashion, vegan couture company handles things – a secretive, somewhat strange presence to draw people in, similar to what is expected of other high-fashion companies and designers.

BatDad is everywhere, except on Pinterest.  This is probably because Pinterest is primarily used by women, but also because it doesn’t fit into his funny BatDad persona.  Aside from this, BatDad is all over the internet and has millions of fans.  I have seen his videos shared on Facebook so I am looking forward to seeing how he uses words to make some kind of impact rather than just videos.

I wasn’t expecting to find the Lowe’s company page on Pinterest, but I wasn’t surprised as many Pinterest posts are known for being Do-It-Yourself projects, and Lowe’s offers products that can be used in such projects.

I was surprised to find Monster Energy on Pinterest, though it doesn’t look like a very active profile, as well as on Instagram.  So far it seems like a very high energy, action packed type of marketing, so I’m looking forward to examining how their rhetoric differs from other companies.

The easiest to find was Samsung Mobile.  The About section of their Facebook page provided external links to a few of their other online profile, such as Twitter, which made searching easier.

3M was difficult to find only because they appear to have so many offshoots of their company, which makes sense because their company offers such a wide variety of products.  Also, just typing “3M” isn’t always good enough to locate the company, because many other profiles unrelated to the company show up in the search results, since it is only one number and one letter.

Most of my focus this week was in setting up this blog, but also in developing my personal blog.  Since part of my project will be observing other brands and applying what I learn to my personal blog, I thought I should start by posting some content. This way I will have some preexisting content for people to see because I think that would seem more legitimate than a blog that may only have one or two posts.  I have already noticed that recipe posts seem to get the most attention, but I will also be posting other content such as art projects and outdoor adventures.  Since I am looking at social media rhetoric, I thought my blog should have the same social media connections that I will be looking at for other brands, so I created a Facebook page (four page likes so far), designed a profile photo and cover photo for the Facebook page using Canva and began linking content from my blog.  I also connected my Tumblr (five new followers, eight shares) and have been linking to my blog posts on Twitter (eleven favorites, one retweet), Instagram (40 likes, one comment), and Pinterest (nothing yet).  My blog itself has received 55 likes, 1 comment, and 12 followers.  Now I have a starting point for my online persona and will develop it using rhetorical strategies I observe over the next six weeks.

This upcoming week, I will be diving into Cult of Couture.

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