A Blank Canvas

The transition from the tangible world to the digital sphere seems inevitable. This switch can get a bad rep, since it’s changing the nature of certain professions and most web content seems to breed a short attention span in its audience, but I think this digital transition is an awesome opportunity for creativity. As a student at the Ross School of Business, I’m hoping to pursue a career in advertising and marketing, and the digital world is becoming an ever increasing influence in the marketing game. Don’t get me wrong, I love newspapers, books, print advertisements, and grass roots marketing campaigns and would never want the digital age to completely consume the world of the printed word and image. There is an undeniable art in creating the printed world, but still, there is this unavoidable truth in the efficiency and effectiveness of the digital tools being developed and improved every day. And of course, many organizations are looking to cut costs (the business student in me is now acutely aware of any way to save money) and oftentimes digital tools are the perfect affordable solution.

I’m all for the digital transition, and I’ve always taken a liking to technology. One of my brothers used to be a huge computer nerd, and of course, if he thought computers were cool, I better think they’re cool too. I’ve especially found a passion for graphic design and typography. Remember AOL instant messenger? Remember the buddy icons that would show up on the side of your instant message window? Yeah, I used to design those. And when MySpace took over the world, I found another opportunity to test my design skills – creating the background images for my friends’ and my pages. The digital world is full of these chances to get creative and to personalize your own corner of the web.

As the world settled down after its MySpace obsession and continued on to its other forms of social media, I was right there waiting. I was the first of my friends with a Facebook and a Google+. One day I went overboard and made sure I had every type of social media account that I could think of– YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Delicious – and needless to say, it was too much. A lot of these accounts don’t get my full attention, and I feel like this happens to a lot of organizations as well. They try to diversify, but they don’t know why. They jump on the bandwagon because that’s the “cool” thing to do but never utilizing these tools for what they’re intended. So instead of picking what tools work best, they end up with a bunch of dead end links that they’d be better off without.

Again, I’m fascinated by graphic design and fonts, so it goes without saying that I admire the endless amount of creativity that goes into developing digital tools and content. In addition to my admiration, there are so many creative outlets that I want to explore for myself – like videos, photos, and blogs. I think the digital world is like a giant blank canvas just waiting for inspired minds to add color. Many people (mainly people like my parents and my teachers) are upset by what seems to be a shortened attention span for this digital era. This seems like any marketer’s dream – being on the edge of innovation, deciding what is going to capture this audience’s attention next.

This really is a new era of influence, tastes, and communication, and I love being caught up in the middle of it. This internship is going to give me a chance to entertain my creative mind and to see what and how digital content can make an impact. I’m excited to learn more about website development – from creating its design to measuring its traffic. Through my experiences at Ingenex, I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about all the components of a successful marketing campaign. Hopefully, with a little experience, I’ll be able to add my own color to the digital canvas.

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