Gossip Genie Blog

Skittles Gets A Taste of Cyberbullying

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Usually my Friday blog post is a time where I can unwind with a cup of tea and crank out a little inspiration for the working folk. Today will be different. This afternoon Skittles posted about a photo to their Facebook page of a young girl who received a Skittles covered jewelry box for her 16th birthday. Immediately the comments started to pour in, cyber bullying at its finest. Did you know that 1 in 6 teens are subject to this? Recognizing that it’s a growing problem is not enough, what are you doing about it? Honestly, what astounded me the most about the seemingly growing number of hateful comments is that most of them are coming from adults. Not only that, but several people mention that because she is overweight the comments are “purely inevitable.” Why? Are we now protecting the content we portray because we know how big of an issue bullying is? According to Consumer Reports, one million children were harassed, threatend or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year. One million.

All I ask is that you put this into perspective, bullying is bullying. Whether it’s about weight, social status, sexual orientation, religion, the color of your skin…it is all wrong. Every single person who has commented on the Skittles thread has a family, a best friend, a sibling. I’m sure they would do anything to protect them, but why does that stop at only the people we know? Do I as a human being not owe the same kindness to the person I stand next to in line at Starbucks every morning? The man next to me at the gym? The young girl who won a jewelry box for her birthday? I personally think of my two young siblings, it gives me chills to think that they could someday be subject to the hate poured out daily online with the click of a mouse.  J.K. Rowling once said, “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Start with today. CHOOSE to be better. CHOOSE to stand up for someone you don’t know. Roughly 22 Million people “Like” the Skittles Facebook page, but more importantly how many of them will speak up?

Comments posted on the Skittles Facebook page

Don’t Text and Drive (or Tweet, or Facebook)

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Words of Advice | No Comments

I am definitely guilty of texting/tweeting/Facebooking while driving. Mostly, I’m the girl getting honked at when the light turns green. While I tell myself I’ll only do it at stop lights, I have done it while driving – until recently. I was tweeting when I “tapped” the car in front of me. This accident could’ve been avoided if I’d have waited the 5 minutes it took to get home.

All of the sudden, I started really noticing the road signs that say “Don’t Text and Drive,” commercials talking about the deadly results of texting and driving, and then the news story came out about the man who drove off the cliff while texting.

Texting while driving causes:

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts
  • Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

After watching the below video, I now feel as strongly as I do about NOT texting and driving as I do about recycling. And if you don’t know, I am an avid recycler! Please, please, please – STAY OFF YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING!


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

Tuesday afternoon, one of my best friends texted me and asked if I would be interested in going to the Coldplay concert that night at the United Center. As a huge Coldplay fan, I didn’t think twice before I realized I had already responded to her with an ecstatic “YES!” Not to mention, the tickets were free after they were provided to her by her the company she works for (thanks Echo Global Logistics!)

As we walk into the United Center, there were employees handing out wristbands to all attendees. What’s on the wristband, you ask? Nothing other than the Twitter logo and a hashtag to use, #ColdplayFilm, when tweeting about the concert!  Twitter is one of the only platforms artists can use to directly communicate with their fans. For many artists, Twitter followers are the ones that got them to where they are today. What better way to engage thousands of concert goers than to encourage them to use a specific hashtag to connect with the artist on a more direct level? I discovered the meaning of #ColdplayFilm after some research on the Coldplay Twitter account. Apparently, they are coming out with their first concert film since 2003 this year. Very smart social media move! According to, the hashtag #ColdplayFilm resulted in 464 tweets generated, 115,479 impressions, reaching an audience of 81,136 followers within the past 24 hours. And, there’s still another show tonight!


As an active social media user, I immediately wanted to take part. Instagramming, tweeting, and checking in on Foursquare, all with the use of the hashtag #ColdplayFilm. As the concert began, we were notified to keep the wrist bands on as they were going to be a part of the show. As soon as Coldplay came out with their first song, Mylo Xyloto, all 19,000 attendees’ wristbands became aglow displaying quite an amazing sight! Kudos to Coldplay and their concert directors for thinking of such a creative idea! The entire concert was constructed around bright colors and beautiful light shows. From the glowing wristbands to painted beach balls to multi-colored confetti drops, the concert was amazing and Coldplay puts on one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen.


Top 10 LollapaLOSERS

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Lollapaloser – A person that you want to avoid at Lollapalooza and in life

1. Wristbandit: The guy that is still wearing his wristband(s) on Monday at work because he thinks it’s cool. 









2.  The Pregnant Mudslider: The woman that is 8 months pregnant doing mud slides in Grant Park while Calvin Harris plays in the background. 

3. Offspring of Pregnant Mud Sliders: This will be the same Lollapaloser that brings her children every year and subjects them to her fellow Lollapalosers.









4. The Muddy Pig: Anyone that purposely tries to become one with the mud. Mud is for pigs, therefore, you are a pig. 

Photo by Jack Edinger, courtesy of Lollapalooza








5. The Puke Spewer: The guy that parties too hard and wakes up in Police custody unaware that his purple vomit has ruined the hair and clothing of many









6The soon to be Puke Spewer: There is always one of these in every group. This girl will ruin Lollapalooza for at least one of her friends.







7. The “E”diot: The idiot on ecstacy that is more amusing to watch than the live performances.







8. The Child Abuser: Cops: Man punched girl, 11, to get beach ball at Lollapalooza






9. The Downers: People having a serious conversation about their relationship during a live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“You’re breaking my heart.” -him

“It’s just not working out.” -her

“Why? I love you.”-him

“I am going to throw up!” – me  (works every time)

These two quickly moved away


10.  The Napping Fool: The guy that takes a grassy nap during the early performances that no one cares about. Advice: sleep in and come later!

For Whom The Page Turns

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Have you ever wished that at any moment you could recall every person mentioned in your favorite book, every brand of scotch sipped by the antagonist? What the most referenced item is out of all the literary wonders? Well, book nerds, the time has come. Say hello to The Storyverse by Small Demons. After analyzing 7,000 reads they have created a rich online universe full of all the people, places, and things from books. Surreal. In fact, I’m sure you’ll smell like a library just by clicking on their site. In an article published by Fast Company on the archiving process the VP of Content and Community said, “Once we started to do this, one of the things we started to realize is books contain worlds.” So I encourage you, step into For Whom The Bell Tolls. Sit down with Great Expectations. Remember Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Thousand of stories are waiting for you. Ready, set, click.



The Storyverse will show you which people and places are mentioned in each book.


Curious abut how many books "Hey Jude" has been featured in? Storyverse has you covered.




Combining Social Media and Guerilla Marketing

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In the marketing world, the “out with the old, in with new” saying tends to ring true, especially as the social stratosphere continues to evolve and adapt to its audience (think MySpace vs. Facebook). This July, we decided to throw a little curve ball in our marketing efforts and hit the streets.

Street marketing, sometimes considered guerilla, has been around long before the internet and yet, is still highly effective for reaching a company’s target audience. As we ran two guerilla marketing campaigns in unison with a strong social media push, these two marketing tactics proved to be a deadly duo.

Because one of our clients, Pinkberry, is very close to North Avenue Beach, we coordinated with Chicago Sport and Social to hand out flyers for 50% off their Pinkberry to the beach volleyball league players after a Thursday night league. My friend, who plays volleyball on Thursdays, tweeted to me the same night (not knowing I had anything to do with this promotion):

Pinkberry Tweet

Leading up to the night the flyers were distributed, we were using Pinkberry’s Twitter account to reach out to people tweeting about volleyball in the Chicago area, letting them know of the awesome froyo experience that was yet to come. The response was overwhelming! And the best part, I went in to Pinkberry this week with my friend so she could use her coupon. YUM.

Pinkberry Creation

We are also in the process of implementing a combined guerilla and social marketing campaign for WilliamPaid, an online rent payment service. Since we are based in Chicago and it’s an extremely busy rental season, we created some sweet postcards to drop off at popular apartment finding services. We used social media to form relationships with the apartment locators, asking them if it was okay for us to drop off some postcards for their waiting room. We are awaiting some amazing results since the offer is $20 off your rent for the first month and we’re reaching people that are just about to sign a new lease.

Olympics 2012: Social Media #SpoilerAlert!

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

When we are in need of real time updates, most of us would be lost without Facebook and Twitter. We all have a serious epidemic when it comes to knowing what everyone is doing, everywhere. When it comes to international sporting events like the Olympics,  a 7 hour time zone difference can cause issues and avoiding the results before they are posted on social media sites can be an Olympic challenge in itself.  Epic Burger, a Chicago burger joint, posted the immediate results of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team and minutes later posted the statement below after realizing they may have spoiled the good news to others who hadn’t watched it yet.


Even NBC was criticized for accidentally airing a promo on Monday night revealing the outcome of the highly anticipated 100 meter backstroke. They have since apologized for the mishap.  My advice? If you don’t want the Olympic results to be spoiled, it’s best to stay away from social media sites, news sites, Google alerts, and basically all other forms of technology. Obviously, this is easier said than done!

Check out what some social media users have to say about the issue!

In your opinion, is the media enhancing or spoiling the Olympic Games?





#Lollapalooza Freaks

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It’s that time of year in Chicago when people ask if you are going to Lollapalooza before asking how you are doing. In just a few days, I know my Facebook newsfeed will be inundated with check-ins at Lollapalooza, pictures of the festival and many status updates relating to the 3-day event. I would like to thank Lollapalooza for allowing my Facebook friends to share their custom schedules. In my opinion, that’s a major newsfeed no-no. It’s almost as bad as people that share what they are listening to on Spotify.

Let’s be honest we all know that most people use Lollapalooza as an excuse to be drunk for 3 days from morning until night. As documented by the tweets of these undoubtedly brilliant people.

Speaking of drunks, I would like to share the correspondence I had on Sunday night with someone that was supposed to buy my Lollapalooza 3-day wristbands. I listed them on Craigslist and obviously, everyone that responds to a Craigslist post is an intelligent and credible human being with the best of intentions. If you haven’t noticed, I am being extremely sarcastic today.

Anyway, I received an email from a man, let’s call him Felipe, that’s actually his name so we should refer to him as such, that was desperate to buy my wristbands. He convinced me to remove my post on Craigslist because he assured me that my wristbands were sold. A few hours after our email exchange, he called me to let me know he was driving into the city from the suburbs to pick up the wristbands. The series of events via texts that followed were very amusing.

Felipe never showed which is probably a good thing.



By | Gossip Genie Blog, Words of Advice | No Comments

When I was a little girl I wanted to be nothing more than Martha Stewart. Parading around in old dresses 7 sizes too big with clip on pearls and spatulas, that was my reality. In the summers I would setup a recording studio in the living room, my Grandma would tape me creating the finest lines of potpourri with none other than her kitchen spices. Who knew one could be so inspired by basil? Grandma Sue did. I remember hot summers with sticky Missouri air and the smell of flowers. I’d listen to her stories about growing up in the country over fudge pops on the back porch. After playing outside we would watch I Love Lucy for hours and dance around to Elvis in the kitchen. She taught me to sleep without a night light and how to wear red lipstick like a lady. Most of all she taught me the real meaning of encouragement. “When you grow don’t just do, but be happy doing..and be SMART.” Those words have always stuck with me and I know they always will. While I’ve yet to find success in a mixing bowl or with a spatula, I found success through her words. I grew up knowing that I really could be anything, no limitations. John M. Maxwell once said, “Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.” So thank you Grandma for giving me just that. Ask yourself how you can be more instrumental in the success of others, be it in your personal relationships or you career. After all, words can stem encouragement and out of encouragement action develops. Who will you influence today?

How to Let a Twitter Bot Embarrass You

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At some point or another, many of us have fallen victim to making an error on a cleverly crafted tweet. We use humorous play on words or sayings to get our point across and people interested in what we have to say. One of the phrases many of us apparently tend to screw up is “Sneak Peek.” You’re probably reading this thinking, “of course I know the correct way to spell it.” But, when your fingers are flying swiftly across your keyboard and you’re trying to complete that 140 character masterpiece, we tend to mistake this one.


Lucky for all of us, there is a Twitter bot to call you out! Let me introduce you to @StealthMountain (Stealth–>Sneak; Mountain–> Peak, get it?!) who’s angry  Twitter picture is of a black peak with a serious scowl across his face as if he is protesting against the fact that we are all accidentally referring to a covert mass of elevated land. His bio reads “I alert Twitter users that they typed sneak peak when they meant sneak peek. I live a sad life,” which brings light to this little grammar police as he speaks self-deprecatingly of himself.  The account went live in November of 2011 and now has issued over 125,000 corrections! His tweets are all the same…”_____ (insert Twitter user)  I think you mean ‘sneak peek. ‘”

I will shamelessly admit that I once used the wrong version of Sneak Peek and was called out by @StealthMountain. Rest assured, I have never made the same mistake again! Maybe the Twitterverse would be a tad bit smarter with more of these spelling and grammar Twitter bots.