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Gossip Genie Blog

Breaking up is hard to do…on Facebook

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Recently a good friend of mine, we’ll call her Jill, broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years, we’ll call him Joe. The split was a mutual decision and it was amicable, the complete opposite of any break up I have ever been through. Jill handled the situation really well and then late one night, I got a phone call from her crying. I was ready to run out the door, with my emergency hagan daz stash and head over to her apartment. Then I realized Jill was not crying about the breakup she was crying about the announcement of the breakup. The announcement she was referring to was the broken heart icon that Facebook displays on your friend’s newsfeeds when you remove your relationship status.

When Jill finally did change her status to “single” from “In a relationship with Joe” she was immediately seeing advertisements. Jill attended Harvard for her undergraduate degree, therefore, the singles’ ads she was served were for “Intelligent Singles.”

Whereas her newly single ex-boyfriend was served ads to suite his interests. However, the only thing Joe had on his profile to work with was his age. Therefore, this is what Joe saw:

Is there any other place on the Internet that you can target people right down to their marital status, occupation, language and/or birth date? Has there ever been another website that causes anxiety when a person needs to revise their profile?

The power of Facebook is truly fascinating. Recently, I placed an ad for a client on Facebook that wants to reach a more international audience, so I targeted people who live in one of the countries: Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China, France or Germany and who speak 中文(简体), 中文(香港), 中文(台灣), Français (Canada), Deutsch, English (US) or Français (France). This client said that she would like to have the problem of hiring a translator – well as of yesterday; she has that problem because of Facebook.

 

A Social Affair

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A virtual love affair

If you are reading this – I hope that you cannot identify with it!

This story is NOT from personal experience!

So I met this guy on Jdate and we started emailing one another. Then he friended me on MySpace, poked me on Facebook and started following me on Twitter. I added him to my network on LinkedIn, and started following his buzz on gmail. I was on cloud 9; he was everything I wanted and more. He had a great family, so loving, according to his home videos that I watched on YouTube. His tweets were original and funny. His career history and numerous recommendations on LinkedIn proved that he was ambitious and rich. And he was so thoughtful , he posted on my Facebook wall “I feel like we have known each other forever” and attached an album that create downloaded, saved and photoshopped himself into all of baby pics that I posted on Flickr.

That brought tears to my eyes and I sent him an instant message with my phone number and we immediately started sexting.  He told me that I turned his software hard and we had sex on skype.

Then he requested to be in a relationship on Facebook and I was not ready to make that commitment so I rejected the invite. He sent me some virtual flowers and an ecard hoping that would help the situation but I was already over him at that point. He got pissed when I didn’t respond to his Facebook pokes and started leaving nasty comments on my blog. I had to block him on Plurk and bebo and I undug all of his stuff on digg. I posted a Twitpic of him on Twitter, with the caption, “Loser.” It was the worst day of my life!

xoxo,

Gossip Genie

Spring Cleaning for Your Computer: How to Maximize the Time You Spend on the Internet

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With the cold, winter months behind us, it’s not just my Lakeview apartment that could use a little “spring cleaning” anymore, but my computer, too!

It wasn’t that long ago when I realized I could easily kill a few hours of my day just by looking around on the Internet.  Researching interesting topics and watching funny clips on YouTube always entertained me until I began to notice time slipping away from me.

According to The Nielsen Company, consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites. Now, Facebook users average 7 hours a month on the website. Check out the data below:

http://bit.ly/bdZYYI

Americans are spending more and more time on the Internet, but does this mean we are spending it more wisely? Not necessarily.  More of our time spent on the Internet can also be attributed to the fact that there is an infinitely increasing amount of content available, making it more difficult to find the content we’re looking for.

As a college student on the brink of graduation, I thought it was time for me to clean out my “internet closet” and begin a whole new relationship with my Internet consumption.  I generally knew I wanted to spend less time searching for the content, more time looking at quality content, and I wanted to do this all with fewer clicks of the mouse.  Basically, I wanted to simplify my online life. Below are 3 Keys to Cleaning out Your “Internet Closet”:

1.Know what you are using the internet for at that given web session: are you catching up on your emails or checking out the latest Victoria Secret swimsuit collection to get you ready for summer? Identify what you are doing and why- this will help you when you find yourself on an Internet tangent.  Ask yourself, “How did I get to this website and what am I doing here that is useful to me?”

2.Organize Your “Internet Closet”: This comes in many forms but for time’s sake, let’s focus on how to maximize your social networking capabilities. (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) Why waste time searching the Internet for news on your favorite band when you can make the news come to you? It has never been easier to follow the people, news, and movements that you care about. Social networking communities, like Facebook, allow us to easily keep track of anything- friend, politician, fan club, musical artist, organization, business- without any effort on our part.  Simply by following the things important to you through Facebook or Twitter, you are already minimizing the need to go searching around for more information.  For example, I love the MAC Cosmetics campaign Viva La Glam and everything it does to support HIV/AIDS awareness and research so I became a fan of on Facebook to get regular updates.  No longer do I need to search the web for updates because it all comes to me!

3.Repeat Offender: A great way of maximizing your Internet searching efficiency is to avoid going to the same website more than once daily.  To help prioritize which websites to visit and how much, we can make a list by categorizing websites into sites than need maintenance and those sites that do not. Here’s a quick peek into mine:

Requires Constant Attention & Maintenance Requires Attention & Some Maintenance Does Not Require Maintenance or Attention
Email- (Gmail, Yahoo!)School/Homework Websites-

(DePaul’s Blackboard)

Banking- (Chase)

HootSuite

FacebookTwitter GoogleYouTube

BBC

Huffington Post

EBay

Daily Mail

Victoria’s Secret

Urban Outfitters

Creating a list like this helps to keep track of how you are spending your time.  If you happen to notice yourself veering off from websites that require your attention and maintenance to websites that do not, you are better able to get back on track.  Remember: just because you happen to visit a website often, does not mean it is vital in your daily Internet routine, especially if the website in question does not update its content daily. For example, I may check HuffingtonPost.com a few times a day, but the content is often the same. Now, I am much more conscious of the amount of time I spend at sites that do not promise me new information and only visit them sporadically.

I hope these tips help you “Clean Out Your Internet Closet” and motivate you to get the most out of your time- because it is valuable, after all.

Cheers!

Old Men, New Media

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

Multiple times a day, articles, blog posts, tweets and books are published that try to predict the future of social media. Analysts theorize the impact of social networking while statisticians provide us with astounding data to support these theories. My first-hand results are more compelling than all of the literature on social media combined.

I am a young woman with a strong belief in what I do. That is why I recently started my own company, Gossip Genie, www.gossipgenie.com. What is Gossip Genie exactly? It is everything from reputation management, website analysis, PR, marketing to consulting, business improvement and planning all through the strategic use of social media.

I deem myself an expert in social media because I have successfully handled 15 varying client accounts at one time. I adopted the personalities of all of these different brands, concepts and services and delivered the appropriate messages on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. Knowing how to develop and implement marketing strategies on social media sites, for varying industries is difficult. It requires a lot of research, not to mention dedication to building and maintaining an audience and their engagement. It also requires an in-depth understanding of the social media simplification and analysis tools available. I believe that experience makes the expert. Just because a person has a million followers on Twitter does not mean that they are a social media expert.

In this post, I want to address the issue of ignoring social media. Obviously, the people that choose to ignore social media will never see this post but maybe I will print it out and mail it to some of them.

Why are the old men still running the show?

Having majored in women’s studies and communications, it irks me every time I encounter a close minded, wheezing old geezer that refuses to resign as the CEO of a major corporation. He is an 80-something year old that is holding everyone else back because he founded the company when dinosaurs were still around.

It seems like every time I pitch my social media marketing services to a large corporation, I make it to the top without an issue. I impress the gatekeepers to only be rejected by the crypt keepers. Too many of my prospective clients are the Mr. Burns’ of the world.

Not only is it a challenge for these senior citizens to take me seriously with my glitzy website and WB/Disney inspired company name but I am pitching their worst fear, digital media. This does not stop me because I love a good challenge and I know the soft spot on these old-timers. No, I am not talking about their gums post denture extraction; I am talking about providing them with proof. After all, they were the generation that invented the saying – “The proof is in the pudding.”  Therefore, instead of bringing my laptop, I bring a big binder with screenshots of my success printed out and laminated. Remember, these are the men that have their secretary print out their emails to read and still handwrite spreadsheets. They can look at paper without squinting too much. In the end, my professional demeanor paired with the extensive proof of my clients’ success and a promise to deliver, gives me an advantage with the old folks.

While the Andy Rooneys of the world may scoff initially at the idea of social media, eventually they will cave. A conscientious company should understand that just because you are not present does not mean you are not talked about. Who is the person that gets talked about the most? The absent one. The easiest victim is the one that cannot defend himself.

Great blog post by Lisa Barone, “Ignoring Social Media Makes You Mute, Not Invisible” http://bit.ly/btNaRB.

Lisa says, “But closing your eyes and ears does not make you safe. It makes you vulnerable.” I could not agree more.

 

All About Alfie

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

About 5 years ago, I remember picking up the Daily Cardinal (UW-Madison’s school newspaper) and on the cover was “The Latest Craze to Hit Madison.” This article was referring to Facebook. After reading about the academic intent of Facebook, to connect students with their peers for the purpose of studying, I immediately seized the opportunity to join what would soon become a communication phenomenon. The academic aspect quickly fell by the way side as Facebook became a portal for the world to connect with one another.

Initially, many of my friends claimed they would never join the “fad” but one by one they all caved. The turning point for many was when Facebook introduced the ability to upload photos and create albums. This was about a year after its inception, I was a senior in college and I remember being late to class one morning because I was uploading pictures to Facebook.  My  professor did not accept that as a valid excuse.

I remember my first feeling of rejection on Facebook, I “friend requested” the founder, Mark Zuckerberg, (Harvard student worth $5billion). I was curious to see his relationship status (something only available to friends). Mark denied my request and my dreams of being the first lady of Facebook were shattered. Seriously though, I wanted to see if Mark had a blog or a website posted on his profile which was my incentive behind friending him many years ago. Since then, I have enjoyed reading the social media guru blogs by Seth Godin and Chris Brogan (whom I still have pending friend requests out to – kidding).

The best social media marketing blogs, like this one aspires to be, are a mixture of personal experience, statistics, analysis and advice.
Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media. However, I will not overwhelm you with a list of social networking sites that will make you anxious because you are not a part of them. One step at a time, develop your presence on one site at a time.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I am a social media marketing specialist. I help businesses use social media as a marketing tool. In the eight months I have been in this business the results I have produced for various businesses have been unbelievable. The newspapers will only get thinner, Twitter will be more frequently be over capacity and you will be lost at sea if you are not a part of the conversation.

My interesting analogy:
I am realizing more and more that social media is like a puppy. My puppy, Alfie has taught me a lot about responsibility.

Creating a profile on a site and doing it right is a commitment and an obligation, but, something you will love being a part of in the end.

You have to feed your profile with up to date information, just like Alfie needs fresh food and clean water. If you leave the same information on there for too long, it becomes stale and irrelevant which makes you look bad.
You have to make an effort to interact with others on social networking sites or the content you post will be speaking to nobody. Similar to when Alfie is ignored, my rugs suffer!

Before you can try to sell anything through social media, you must establish your credibility. Alfie will not flip on his back until he trusts you!

So the next time you think about ignoring your social media profile, think about what a puppy would do if you ignored him.

My client’s accounts are even more important than my own. Regardless of the situation, every client account I work on is checked every single day. I have an iPhone and I am never too far from my lap top.

Welcome to the Gossip Genie blog, enjoy!