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Anthony Less

Photographs of the Single Best Moments in a Person’s Life

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

Last week, Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch tweeted, “How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life? If so, what a gift.” People  tweeted back at him heart-warming and emotional photos of them at their happiest. Deitsch’s question elicited a range of responses from people and included everything from proposals, weddings, the birth of children, beating illnesses, and a host of other moments that have brought them happiness and joy.

Here a few of my favorite responses:

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Do you have a picture of the single happiest moment in your life? Tweet it to @GossipGenie! We’d love to spread the joy!

4 Lessons We Can Learn From These Epic Social Media Fails

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, What Not to Post | No Comments

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Facebook launched for high school students in February of 2006, when I was a junior in high school.  Everyone was talking about it. You weren’t cool if you didn’t have a Facebook.  So naturally, I logged in and created an account. Eager to build my network of friends, I started poking everyone at my high school. I thought this was how you sent a friend request! Lets just say no one poked me back and I received some strange looks in the hallways at school the next day.

We’ve all had embarrassing things happen to us on social media, whether you’ve accidentally “liked” a picture of your crush or posted a picture you didn’t want anyone to see. It’s embarrassing, of course, but what happens when major brands experience a social media fail?

Here are some lessons we can learn from some of their biggest mistakes:

1.    Triple Check Your Post Before Sending

Before I send out a post for client (and from my personal account), I always triple check it to make sure that there are no spelling or punctuation errors and that the post makes sense grammatically and contextually.

Can you spot the grammatical error in Pampers’ post below?

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2.    Know Who You’re Posting As

Have you ever meant to post as the company you are managing but accidentally posted as yourself? You should always know who you’re posting as to avoid a mistake like the American Red Cross or KtichenAid.

An intern at the Red Cross meant to send this tweet from his personal Twitter account but accidentally sent it from the @RedCross account.

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When KitchedAid posted this, they issued an apology saying, “a member of our Twitter team mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from their KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle.”

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3.    Don’t Hijack Hashtags

Some big brands have tried to capitalize on the popularity of a hashtag. This is never a good idea when that hashtag involves a serious or sensitive matter.

 Celeb Boutique sent out this tweet after the Aurora shootings because they saw #Aurora trending.

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Kenneth Cole received serious flak when they tried to hijack the #Cairo tag associated with the Egyptian Riots.

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4. Always Ask, “Is this a good idea?”

A good rule of thumb is to always ask yourself if posting this is a good idea. Does it make sense for the brand? Will it create a negative reaction? If you’re unsure, ask for advice. Always be thoughtful and take multiple considerations into account before posting.

American Apparel could have used this advice before they created an “In case you’re bored during the storm” campaign during Hurricane Sandy:

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What’s your biggest social media fail?

 

Zach Sobiech Leaves Behind an Inspiring Legacy

By | Gossip Genie Blog, What's Trending | No Comments

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While most high school seniors have spent the school year looking ahead to the future, terminally ill Lakeland, Minnesota teenager Zach Sobiech has spent his time staring down the unimaginable. As his classmates made plans for prom, filled out college applications, and made plans for the future, Zach and his family were dealing with a harsh reality: his bone cnacer had started spreading so rapidly that he knew he may not make it to graduation.

He had also become a commercially successful singer/songwriter behind the viral Youtube hit “Clouds.”

He passed away on Monday.

Zach, 18-years old, battled a rare kind of cancer for most of his teen years after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was 14-years-old. As a way to say good-bye to his friends and family, Zach wrote a song called “Clouds” that he uploaded on YouTube in December. The deeply personal video went viral and ended up touching the lives of millions of people on the Internet.

Zach’s amazing story also caught the attention of The Office’s Rainn Wilson’s YouTube channel, SoulPancake, and they made a short documentary about the teen’s journey, “My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech.”

Watch the inspiring video below to learn more about Zach’s incredible life.

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In the documentary, viewers learn about Zach’s diagnosis and the inspiration for “Clouds” through interviews with his family, close friends and his girlfriend, Amy.

“He’s shown me it’s not all about the grades you get, or how cool you are in high school,” Amy says. “It’s about doing what makes you happy and no matter when you’re going go to, live life to the fullest every day.”

We don’t realize how little amount of time we actually have in this world and to see someone who has SO little time and yet chooses to live so much, despite the odds against him, is truly inspiring. We all have problems in our life. Some are big, some are small. Your quality of life is dependent on how you react to those problems.

You can either wake up every day and choose to focus on the negative, whether it’s the fight you got in last night with your significant other, the car that cut you off on your morning commute, or the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked  against you. Or you can wake up everyday and choose happiness. You can choose to be thankful for the blessings in your life and the time, no matter how finite it may be, that you have.

If Zach’s story can teach us anything, it’s this: You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living. Choose happiness. Life’s too short.

Zach’s song, ‘Clouds’ is available on iTunes and the proceeds benefit the Zach Sobiech Research Fund of Children’s Cancer Research.

Here’s the star-studded video tribute to Zach:

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And the original YouTube video for “Clouds:”

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10 Famous Internet Firsts

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

Do you remember the first email you sent? What about your first tweet? It’s hard to imagine a world in which the Internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and everything else you can find online never existed.

Here are 10 famous Internet firsts that were monumental in shaping web history and how we communicate in today’s world.

1. The first tweet was written by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on March 21, 2006. It’s weird to see such a short Twitter handle!

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2. Mark Zuckerberg was the first person on Facebook with ID number 4 (the first three Facebook accounts were used for testing). The first non-founder to join Facebook was Arie Hasit (below), who is now in Israel studying to be a rabbi.He works for a Jewish youth movement called NOAM. He said, “I definitely use Facebook to promote my nonprofit work. I started using it literally at the beginning, and I’ve been singing its praises ever since.”

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3. Remember AOL Instant messaging? The first AOL Instant Message was sent by Ted Leonsis to his wife on Jan. 6, 1993. It read, “Don’t be scared … it is me. Love you and miss you.” His wife replied, “Wow … this is so cool!” Leonsis later became AOL’s Vice Chairman. We’ve come a long way since 1993!

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4. The first YouTube video posted was posted by co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and has been watched nearly 10 million times.

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5. The first picture ever uploaded on the web was posted by Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) on behalf of a comedy band called Les Horrible Cernettes.

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6. The first website was dedicated to information about the World Wide Web and went live on August 6, 1991. Here’s the url: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

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7. The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com on March 15, 1985. Now it serves as a historic site.

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8. The first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson, a US programmer who implemented the first email system, to himself in 1971. “The test messages were entirely forgettable. . . . Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP or something similar,” he said. 

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9. The first sentence uttered on Skype was in Estonian in April 2003 by a member of the development team. It was ‘Tere, kas sa kuuled mind?’ or “Hello, can you hear me?” in English.

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10. Joe McCambley ran the first banner ad ever online. It went live in October 1994 on HotWired.com, and it promoted 7 art museums, sponsored by AT&T.

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Is Social Media Changing the Way We Watch TV?

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Reality TV, Social Media | No Comments

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Something is stirring in the landscape of broadcast television. And social media is at the root of the shift.

Did you know 80% of Smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching TV? And 51% of those who post on social media while watching TV do so to connect with others who might also be watching the same thing. They’re tweeting, commenting, and talking live as the events unfold during broadcast, a notable change in how we’re experiencing television series in the age of social networking. Gone are the days of “watercooler” TV talk. Now, chatter and spoilers are easily accessible through social media. The TV landscape is shifting from the watercooler to the Internet.

It looks like more and more networks are starting to integrate social media into their series to enhance the viewing experience of their audience, thereby creating more loyalty among their viewers. While most shows on television have a Facebook page and Twitter account for their fans to like and follow, some TV shows are taking social to a whole new level.

Take Bravo, for example. Aimed at a younger, female-driven audience, the network has engaged viewers by integrating social media in real-time, placing themselves light-years ahead of competing networks. Now, viewers can answer questions while watching the broadcast to vote on what is happening on screen. Ever had the desire to share your opinion on whose side you are on in a housewife fight? Now you can! Bravo’s Play Live! Site serves up real-time content, questions and polls around whatever show is airing on Bravo at any given time. As people vote or interact with content on the site, the tally is calculated and displayed on the television screen in real-time, during the show.

It will be interesting to see how social media plays in the ratings and popularity of a television show. Will networks catch on to the importance of social media and rely more on popularity on social networks than on Nielsen ratings? Many shows are cancelled because they don’t have enough viewers based on Nielsen ratings, but what if social media chatter could change the fate of your favorite shows at risk of cancellation?

Trendrr TV measures social media activity related to specific television shows (e.g. mentions, likes, check-ins) across Twitter, Fcaebook, GetGlue, and Viggle. Here’s a look at the top television on social media last weekend:

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Interestingly enough, Spongebob Squarepants was the most talked about show on the air in 2012. Here’s the top 10 list:

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As more and more television shows begin to integrate social media, it may seem inevitable that everything on TV will be in the social sphere soon. Have you become a superfan of your favorite shows by connecting with them online? Are there any shows you feel have dropped the ball in the social game, and you wished they’d expend a little more effort on it? How about TV shows that possibly shouldn’t go social? Does such a thing exist in our interconnected world?

Breaking Up in the Digital Age: Is KillSwitch the Solution?

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

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Breaking up is hard to do.  From the tears and anger to the constant reminders of them in your life and the dividing up of shared stuff, I’m sure there are times you’ve wished you could just forget them altogether.

In today’s digital age, that is increasingly more difficult. Reminders of our exes don’t just mean walking past the coffee shop where you had your first date. Now, it’s as simple as logging onto Facebook. Photos, wall posts, and messages of your life together are all neatly packaged on the social media site, a daily reminder of your relationship and ex flooding your newsfeed and profile.

Have you ever wished you could just delete your ex from your mind completely?

The new mobile app, KillSwitch, might be able to help.

Released on Valentines Day (how fitting), the app, whose tagline is “Making breakups suck less,” makes it easy to eliminate your ex’s entire presence from your Facebook timeline.

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The app searches your profile for content such as photos, videos, wall posts, and status updates linked or tagged to your ex’s specific Facebook ID. Once it identifies all the content, you have the option to delete it all or manually select certain interactions you want deleted. If you don’t want to delete your entire history with your ex on Facebook, you can choose to save photos, videos, or anything else in a secret KillSwitch folder that lives on your Facebook account for easy access whenever you want, invisible to others.

Helpful tip: You have to still be friends with your ex on Facebook to use the app, so don’t make any rash decisions in the heat of the moment after your breakup.

KillSwitch begs the question: Can we ever really invest in a new relationship while evidence of our past ones remain etched into the peripheries of our digital lives?

KillSwitch’s site says it aims to be social media’s answer to helping people move on post-breakup. Their website says:

“Relationships ending and moving on is an essential, healthy part of life. And while social media intends to reflect many aspects of the human experience, it doesn’t yet easily reflect the key element- the end of relationships. With KillSwitch, we’re trying to fill that gap, bridge online with offline. To help people move on in their digital lives as much as they want and need to in their personal lives.”

This app reminded me of the technology used in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, albeit on a much lesser level. In the film, Jim Carrey’s character uses a technology that literally erases his memories of Kate Winslet’s character from his mind after a messy breakup. Through reliving his memories with her during the erasure, he realizes that even though it hurts, holding on to the memories of her are still important.

Do we really want to erase everything about our ex? Sure, breakups are hard. The inevitability of love is that hurts. But just because we delete a few pictures and wall posts from our ex, does that make the sting of a break up hurt any less?

Not every memory is going to be good and love is not always perfect. It is messy and complicated, but isn’t it better to have those memories and to have loved than to have never loved at all? It might sound cheesy, but technology is already streamlining so much of our lives. I’m a big proponent of new technology and the innovative ways in which it can assist us, but I can’t help but wonder if using it to erase our memories is going a little far.

Memories and experiences make us who we are, and by deleting them, even just their digital imprint, aren’t we erasing a part of ourselves?

Oreo Scores a Slam Dunk: Are real-time Twitter campaigns the future of marketing?

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, What's Trending | No Comments

As much as the Super Bowl is about football, chicken wings, and Bud Light, it’s also about marketing. A 30-second spot during the big game not only allows companies to promote their product and be seen by the hundreds of millions of people watching but also to be a part of larger media conversation. Who had the best commercial spot? Which ad was the funniest? Which featured the biggest celebrity?

(Personally, my favorite of the night was the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial. Who didn’t get a little misty when the horse recognized his trainer at the end?)

This year, CBS charged between $3.8 and $4 million for every ad shown during last night’s game. In a night of lackluster commercials, one of the most powerful marketing gambits came courtesy of your very own Twitter feed.

When the Super Bowl broadcast was abruptly interrupted by a power outage, Oreo jumped on the chance to promote their product. They tweeted this ad:

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It was retweeted more than 10,000 times in an hour. With the amount of people most likely on Twitter during the game’s broadcast, especially during a down time such as a blackout, Oreo brilliantly created a Twitter campaign to take advantage of a real-time situation.

AdAge reported that the tweet was “designed, captioned, and approved within minute’s” at a “social media war room of sorts” at the company’s headquarters.

For all the planning, money, and time that goes into making a Super Bowl ad, this one was just as, if not more, effective and was completed in mere minutes for no cost.

Working in social media, it’s exciting to see a brand as big as Oreo take risks like this and embrace the instantaneous, communal nature of social media.

Everyone watching the Super Bowl was experiencing the power outage and when they reached to their phones to check Twitter during the downtime in the game, you bet those that follow Oreo could relate, or at least connect with, the tweet ad in ways they might not have with some of the flashier, elaborately staged television spots.

On the ad industry’s biggest night, Oreo just might have scored the night’s biggest slam-dunk.

Besides the Ravens (and Beyonce), of course.

 

Creative Resumes That Stand Out

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When applying to jobs, you’re always looking for that special something that will help you stand out to potential employers. Whether it’s a perfectly worded cover letter or a creative resume design, you have to do something to stand out in the current job market.

Phillippe Dubost, a Paris-based product manager, upstaged us all by turning his resume into an Amazon.com product page and it’s gone viral, resulting in over 100 job offers from various companies.

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Phillippe’s not the only one to get creative when it comes to applying to a job.

Eric Ghandi created his resume to look like Google-page. He uploaded it to his LinkedIn page and was contacted by Google directly about applying for a position.

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Sabrina Saccoccio modeled her resume after a Facebook profile page.

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She even included wall comments.

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It’s a tough job market and people will do anything they can to stand out. But does it pay to be creative? I guess it depends on where you’re applying. Just as you wouldn’t wear jeans to an interview, your resume needs to match the part. But it never hurts to get creative. It could be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else!

 

What’s the most creative you’ve gotten with your resume or cover letter when applying for a job?

 

Inauguration 2013 Through Social Media

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, What's Trending | No Comments

 

Impressive Numbers

According to Twitter, there were 1.1 million tweets sent out during President Barack Obama’s Inaugaration Ceremony this morning beating the 82,392 tweets sent out during his 2009 inauguration.

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Live Tweeting

President Obama has continually embraced social media throughout his presidency and election campaign, hosting chats on Twitter and Google+ hangouts to address citizen’s concerns and answer questions. The inauguration was no different. Under a new media team, the White House (@whitehouse) embraced social media, live tweeting the ceremony. They sent the best quotes from Obama’s Inaugural Speech as well as images of the ceremony.

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Making History

Obama made history when he became the first president to mention gay rights in an inaugural address. In his speech, he said, “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

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Michelle’s Bangs

Michelle Obama’s new haircut was definitely an issue of discussion on social media.

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#Anoguracetion?

The word “anoguracetion” was trending on Twitter for a while. It’s a hard word to spell but this doesn’t even come close!

Most Tweeted Moment

The most tweeted-about moment was Obama’s line saying that “we cannot mistake absolutism for principle . . .,” which drew 27,795 tweets per minute.

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Celebrity Sightings

Bill Clinton photobomed Kelly Clarkson as she sang America “(My Country ‘Tis of Thee)”

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Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce share a moment backstage.

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What were your favorite parts of the ceremony?

 

What Not To Post: Your Illegal Activity

By | Gossip Genie Blog, What Not to Post | No Comments

 

Even police departments are using social media to catch criminals!

Jacob Cox-Brown, a teenager from Astoria, Oregon, was arrested for a hit-and-run after posting on his Facebook page about the incident. His post, pictured above, has to be one of the biggest, or at least the most stupid, gaffes I’ve ever seen on Facebook.

Two officers responded to a report at 1am of a hit-and-run that left a white Scion and adjacent vehicles damaged in their parking spots. With no clues as to who hit the parked cars, the officers finally caught a lead via social media.

Police were tipped off after two of Cox-Brown’s Facebook friends privately messaged an Astoria Police Officer. The police department and its officers “have an active social media presence,” according to a press release from the department. They said, “It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving, though. When you post … on Facebook, you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long. We actually use Facebook to find things not unlike this.”

Your facebook posts can get you in trouble with a significant other, a friend, or even a family member, but you know it’s bad when what you post on Facebook is getting you in trouble with the law. Don’t drink and drive…or post on Facebook!