2015 Adobe MAX Recap – Part 1

Adobe Max design wall

Post-conference Haleigh does not approve of pre-conference Haleigh’s creative doubts.

I recently attended the 2015 Adobe Max Conference where creative brains from around the globe gathered to learn about the latest Adobe Creative Suite updates and the different ways to leverage these tools to create works of art, from photographs to illustrations and videos. As a communications professional and aspiring creative services manager, I attended the conference to hear the latest trends in visual communications and to learn some new techniques for eliminating pesky creativity barriers. I got all that and much more.

It was an action-packed three days at the Los Angeles Convention Center so I’m going to divide my top takeaways into two separate categories and blog posts. Those looking for personal reflection prompts to unleash creativity, you’re in the right place. Practical professional recommendation folks, stay tuned.

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How to Survive Graduate School While Working

What’s with the disappearing blog act? Well, I learned that it’s difficult juggling grad school, a full-time job and life. To others that are about to embark on this same journey – congratulations! Your future selves will pat you on the back for investing in your career and passions, but first you have to make it through this lifestyle change. The following five steps will help you manage the transition and stay motivated to reach graduation day.

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Blog Wrangling

I initially created the Tuesdays with Media blog for my New Media Studies Proseminar class. Bringing the assignment full circle, the professor asked that I explore the evolution of the blog and its future by crafting editorial guidelines.  I won’t bore you with the details that span from revision process to hyperlink policy, but I will take this opportunity to encourage other bloggers to perform this exercise.

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Drop Assumptions to Progress

As mentioned in my last post, I am examining an information ecology according to the process outlined in Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day’s Information EcologiesThis required developing an ethnography-driven methodology that centralizes on interviews and observation. Beginning my study, I quickly learned that assumptions were limiting my understanding and approach.

Understanding how technology is used within an information ecology (or team dynamic) seems to be easier if you are an active member. I perform this process every day, and I’ve had these conversations with my coworkers. Unfortunately, my level of familiarity served as an immediate disadvantage.

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Examining Information Ecologies

Last week, I briefly referenced the book Information Ecologies by Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day in relation to analyzing social media platforms. This time let’s take a broader look at how to effectively examine the use of technology to incite positive change.

Do you think that the new instant messenger program at work is more distracting than beneficial? Does your team need new software to drive better business results? Are you unsure about speaking up? Nardi and O’Day will boost your confidence.

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Attention! Sacrificing Quality for Quantity

Let’s turn a critical eye on one of the most celebrated benefits of technology – its support of multitasking. At home and work, we leverage technology to simultaneously cross items off the ever-growing “To Do” list. The multitasking high has left me restless.

I can no longer stick to task A, I must also be working on task B and watching email. Honestly, focusing all efforts on a single task would make me feel inefficient and lazy. But it may have the opposite results.

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Profit from Nonprofit

profitfromnonprofit

Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul University’s Facebook Page

I recently attended a career event at DePaul University, during which four nonprofit professionals shared job responsibilities and advice. Each had unique perspective, but there were consistencies in the experiences and skills needed to be successful as a nonprofit professional.

For those interested in pursuing roles in the nonprofit field, here’s a quick list:

Networking

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Better on Screen?

“We shape our building and then they shape us.” Sherry Turkle closes the intro to her book Alone Together with this Winston Churchill quote asking that consumers think about the impacts of technology and whether it serves “our human purposes” (19). With this approach in mind, let’s consider how technology reshapes our interactions.

What is the preferred medium for communication? Turkle spotlights the proliferation of emails as well as text and instant messages, and even uses the phrase “avoid the voice” (206) to address the decline in face-to-face and phone conversations. Before pointing at Gen Y speed texters, understand that the screen communication trend transcends generations. It also applies to interactions with family, friends, coworkers and customers.

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