Online voices and personas

TIL how to start as a content creator and creating a strong persona on the Internet. I also learned the skills of rhetoric speaking and the importance it has on persuasiveness towards consumers of social media.

There are a lot of problems that come with being an influencer in this day and age. If we decided to start going on this path it is riddled with challenges and bumps. There is huge competition no matter what field you go to with established influencers roaming the field since day one. Fashion, sports, entertainment etc are all claimed by different giants which make it difficult for someone to start. For example, SNES Drunk from gaming, Anthony Fantano from music, THe Minority Report from politics etc. What’s worse is that the content you put out is only deemed”worthy” and “viral” by the consumers of social media. You can’t just make your content go viral.

However there is still hope for our generation. Unlike most influencers on the Internet right now, we were born as digital natives instead of digital immigrants like they were. We grew up and adapted to the ways of social media. It is a part of us. My professor included a funny parody of Batman’s Bane quote “Ah, you think [the Web] is your ally. [Boomers] merely adopted the [Web]. [Millennials were] born in it, molded by it.” It is easier for us to sound authentic and come of as relatable to other consumers of social media. We also adapt faster to memes, inside jokes, slang, gossip and other adapting aspects of the net. These all make us more persuasive to our audience.

Speaking of persuasiveness, rhetoric speaking is a great way to deliver a message in a powerful way. According to Aristotle a rhetor is a person who speaks well and includes three aspects in their speech – Logos, Ethos, Pathos. These three aspects work together to deliver powerful and influential messages. Logos mean logic like numbers and statistics. Ethos refer to the reputation of the speaker, the history of our actions and claims of expertise. Pathos are things that tug at your heartstrings. There are some other tips our professor also told us to keep in mind. First we need to remember that our audience shapes what we decide to say, we have to make sure we know who we want to attract and how to convince them.

Language is an important factor in being a good influencer. Using language artfully amplifies your content and attracts an audience to your content. It also improves your ethos. What we can do is to find the lingua franca of the audience you wish to communicate with. For example, in the FPs gaming community, DS means dropshotting – a tactic where people drop to the ground to win in a gun fight with another person.

In our discussions, we talked about using emojis and having niched groups in the online community. According Jing Ge, “Emojis allow for ideas and emotions to be conveyed vividly. It is also recognized that emojis possess inherent meaning and add semantic nuances to words.” I feel like emojis are a great way to bring text messaging and social media interactions closer to face-to-face interactions. It also makes a sentence more intimate. Imagine the sentence “Ok” and “Ok :)” the two brings the same message in a different tone. We imagine the person’s face being stoic in one and smiling in the other. I also find emojis to clear out a lot of confusions in text. I could think of a ton of instances when a misplaced or missing emoji brought out a different meaning.

When discussing about being in online communities, I thought of a few that i am currently in right now. I follow a couple of reddit threads that are related to games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto 5. In these groups there would be specific terms for each communities to refer specific things. Like the DS example, these terms make it easier for people in the community to understand each other. Overall, emojis and online groups really increase the intimacy people have for each other and brings people closer in a global sense. I could chat with a “friend” in a GTA5 thread all the way from Switzerland with emojis and it’ll feel like a normal interaction with a friend in real life.

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