Joshua A. Frank | All things Media
Thoughts on web design, interactive media, and all things media.


Over the past three months I have participated I a very special and innovative class put together by Michigan State University and Walsh College. The class is called, New Media Driver’s License and is being offered again in the summer. The topics of this class included but were not limited to; social media, blogging, networking, search engine optimization, and personal branding. As the class comes to a close, I am reflecting on the most important things that I learned. I would like to present my crash course in New Media.

Personal Branding

  • Protect your reputation. If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t put it online. Employers are always finding new ways to check up on their employees and their actions online. This guy got fired for posting his disapproval with his employer on Facebook.


  • Blogs are NOT diaries. Blogs are sources of very valuable information. (most of the time) If you have something to share, BLOG IT! We all have opinions and advice, don’t bore your spouse and co-workers to death, blog instead.


  • Learn to be your own publicist. Imagine how visitors would find you using Google, and use those keywords when you blog.

Social Networks

  • Use them to your advantage. When you have something that you want other people to see, Tweet it, Digg it, Stumble it! Use your network of online friends to help you promote!

Keep your head on straight!

  • New Media has no speed limits!

When was the last time you responded to a piece of direct mail marketing? The last time you bought based on a print advertisement? Probably not recently. Yet, when was the last time that you purchased a product online that you found through Google? David Meerman Scott takes a deeper look at 21st century buying habits and marketing rules in, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”. Scott’s principles are simple. He advocates using the strong social networks already available to all web users for free. The “New Rules” of marketing are to spend less money trying to get to your customers and instead utilize bloggers, and internet users to comment and promote your products, without you having to do anything. I guess I would call it, “passive marketing”. Your goal should be to start a fire by creating a product that people want. After that use the internet to empower the world of internet goers to pour on the gasoline.

Here are some of Scott’s most important ideas from, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”:

  • Have a great product
  • Don’t be misleading
  • Allow and encourage your visitors to contribute
  • Be sincere

David Meerman Scott’s Site

Buy “The New Rules of Marketing & PR

View my Press release about this book on


Looking for a class that offers real world experience?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the onslaught of social media technologies?

Obtain your New Media Driver’s License and master the art of social media!

Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, teaches this class that broadens students’ knowledge of New Media and social networking in particular. Although most students are familiar with Facebook and Myspace, few students know how to optimize their social networking image using all available tools.

Subjects Covered:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WordPress
  • Linkedin
  • New Media
  • Blogging
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Online Marketing

These skills can be added to your resume along with your New Media Driver’s License giving you the competitive advantage you need to succeed in the interview room!

Click Here to view the Facebook group for NMDL!

Sign Up for the class (ADV 492 Sec. 701)!


Search Engine Optmization (SEO) is a phrase that has become extremely popular with the expansion of the web over the past five years. Now that sites like WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad allow users to build a website within minutes, the popularity contest that is the Internet has a lot more competitors. It is vital to keep SEO in mind when creating a site or adding content to your site. These five factors will help to get your page ranked highly for the keywords you want.

Pick your keywords wisely

It is important to know what keywords are attainable. Trying to optimize your site for a keyword that is too general has negative effects. Lets use a blog about Web Design for example. Using general keywords like, “design”, or “blog” are nearly impossible to successfully optimize for due to the fact that so many sites contain these words. Second, if a visitor finds your web design blog when they were actually looking for a interior design blog, that visitor is not the quality traffic that you are looking for.

Instead implement the Long Tail Technique. The Long Tail Technique involves optimizing your site for more specific keywords and phrases that are easier to attain high rankings on Google. So lets add some specificity to our keywords. If we optimize for “Detroit PHP Web Designer” we have a better chance of getting a higher ranking and the visitors that come to our site are much more qualified traffic than before.

Learn some HTML

Knowing some HTML code goes a long way in helping to optimize your site or page. SEO experts will tell you that the <title> tag is the most important place to put your keywords. If you use WordPress for your site, your home page <title> tag is what you enter as your blog name. It shows up at the top of your browser window.


Acquire some link love

Gather up a list of all of your friends that have web sites of any kind. This includes Facebook, Myspace, etc. When you launch your site or make a new post, tell all of your friends, and tell them to tell their friends. Try and convince all of your friends to link to your site. As I mentioned before, the Internet and especially Google is one massive popularity contest. Inbound links (links that point to your site from an outside site) are like friends in this analogy and the more friends that you have, the more popular you are.

Publish fresh content worth reading

Keeping your content fresh and relevant is the best way to ensure that your site is always full of keywords. Also, content that is fun and interesting to read will draw visitors who will in turn link back to you making you like the starting quarterback strolling the halls after winning the big game.

Don’t take keyword infusion to the extremes however. If you do, you can suffer extreme consequences. How does being banned from Google sound? Keyword Stuffing as it is known in the SEO world is a big no-no and will for sure have you penalized by Google. If your text is difficult to read because it is stuffed with keywords you are only hurting yourself. Besides, Google puts much more weight on inbound links (harder to manipulate) than it does keyword infusion (easier to manipulate).

Track your success

Using a tracking software such as Google Analytics or WordPress Stats will show you how much success you are having with your SEO campaign. Pay particular attention to the amount of inboud links you have and do what you can to increase that number. Follow these guidelines and watch your sites numbers climb the charts of Google!

Here are some links and resources to learn more about SEO:

Search Engine Ranking Factors from SEOmoz

SEO definition from Wikipedia

SEO Chat


stumbleStumble Upon is a tool that I came across a few weeks ago and has quickly become one of my favorite browser tools. Here’s how it works; you tell Stumble Upon what interests you. In my case I selected web design, sports, hip-hop, business and several others. After you’ve completed this step, Stumble Upon gathers sites that fit into your interests pulling from a database of sites that other users rated positively. Install the toolbar and fire away. Each time you hit the “Stumble!” button you will be taken to a new site. Like it? Give it the thumbs up and it is added to your favorites page. Hate it? Nail it with a thumbs down and you won’t see that site again. It’s amazing how much content is out there. I now have 60 favorite sites, and have hit the stumble button hundreds of times. Stumble Upon is a great tool for finding amazing content on the web.


nmdl_mclovinThe New Media Driver’s License is a course put together by Michigan State University and Walsh College. Taught by Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, the class aims to get students familiar with the world of social media. Lessons include blogging, twitter, and facebook. The intended result is to receive a “New Media Driver’s License” certifying that the student is able to navigate and participate effectively in the vast and ever changing world of New Media. My stance on social networking sites, a main component of the course is rather unfavorable. I find sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace to be somewhat intrusive and I struggle to keep up with new media sites. I hope that this class will open my eyes to the positive financial and business advantages of keeping up with social networking sites.


“All things Media” is a blog that makes sense out of the bombardment of “New Media” technologies. Somewhere between Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Blogging, RSS, Web 2.0 and Google, things got a little confusing. This blog attempts to take these emerging technologies and extract the importance. How will StumbledUpon make my life simpler? How will LinkedIn make me money? How to get the most out of Google? Here you will find the answers to those questions.