Nonprofit arts and media organization BRIC (242 3rd St at 3rd Ave, Gowanus, Brooklyn; 718-683-5658, bricartsmedia.org) offers two dirt-cheap small-group intros to social media. If you’re a Brooklyn resident and among the dwindling number of people who aren’t plugged into Facebook or Twitter, a two-hour evening crash course will take you through setting up your profile and using the sites, including photo and video sharing (Facebook: Aug 27 6–8pm; Twitter: Sept 5 6–8pm; $10). The organization also offers Videoblogging 101, for those who want to create a Web page incorporating video (Aug 15, Nov 7 6–8pm; $10).
Whether you’re in a marketing job looking to move into the social-media-marketing arena and/or boost your company’s social-media profile, a small-business owner who wants to promote your products or services, or looking to enter this growing industry, Pratt Institute’s one-day continuing ed class, Social Media and Social Media Marketing (212-647-7199, pratt.edu; Sept 2, Oct 9, Nov 11 or Dec 4; $295) will give you a solid grounding in how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube (plus newcomers to the arena such as Tumblr and Pinterest) to your advantage. Jay Miletsky, who has created social-media campaigns for Hershey’s and the NBA, among others, will guide you through the most effective strategies, including blogging and creating branded video content that goes far beyond old-school corporate promotional videos. “Let’s say you’re a financial planner; I don’t want to see videos of what your services are, but you can create a series of videos that show people how to save money for different situations, like the top five ways for saving money for your kids’ college education—something that people are getting something out of and recognizing you’re the one that put this stuff together.” If you want to take the specialty further, Pratt now offers a certificate program in Online and Social Media Marketing.
Chances are whatever your big idea is, there’s an app for that. Cooper Union’s “Building Apps for Mobile Devices” (212-353-4195, cooperunion.augusoft.net; Tue 6:30–9:30pm; $790; Oct 9–Dec 11) covers both programming and graphic design, to create products that stand out in a market that’s as crowded as an Apple Store on a Saturday afternoon. The school has also landed talented illustrator Jorge Colombo, who creates gorgeous artwork for New Yorker covers using an iPhone, for its new two-day workshop, “Drawing and Painting on Tablets and Smartphones” (Oct 6 and 7; $675). No previous painting or drawing experience is required. Colombo will guide you through the Brushes application, and you’ll work from life or images in books or magazines. “[Smartphones] are a bit like Swiss Army knives these days,” says Colombo. “That’s one of the things I like about this technology; it’s something that is already in your life. If you want to try watercolors or oil painting, you have to get an easel, paints and brushes, and you only use them for that dedicated activity. The appeal for a newcomer is that more often than not you have one of these tools already.” While creating art on a “canvas” roughly two by three inches may seem daunting, Colombo compares it to eating with a knife and fork—at the beginning it’s clumsy, but it becomes second nature.
For those who want to transition to the job-rich field of network administration, Understanding Networking Fundamentals (1 State St Plaza at Whitehall St, 23rd floor; 800-268-7737, globalknowledge.com; $2,995; Sept 10–14), run by well-regarded international professional training outfit Global Knowledge, will give you a solid grounding in the basics: how to connect computers to a network and how routers forward data packets, the basics of network security and firewalls and wireless networking. Unlike some other training centers, Global Knowledge incorporates hands-on labs. “We bring all the equipment into the classroom,” says product manager Tori Easterly. “Students get to take out all the routers and the switch and add a hub. They all have the cables and build the network from scratch.” As a result, when you start typing commands into the laptop, you’ll understand what’s happening. Once you’ve come to grips with the basics, you can move on to more advanced networking—Global Knowledge offers a course in TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol), which is at the core of the Internet and intranets.—Lisa Ritchie
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