Social Media

A toast to our heroes

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight | No Comments

Mommy love was spread all through the Twittersphere yesterday for Mother’s Day. Even celebrities everywhere were giving shout-outs to their mommies. It was a day for Twitter to represent a shrine of photos and comments featuring love, appreciation and respect for the many motherly heroes across the globe.

Here are a few of our favorite tweets – From, sons and daughters. To, amazing, superhero mommies.





Ron Howard




Here’s a toast to all you mommies out there. You’ve put up with our teenage stages, our raging hormones and every good and bad moment we’ve experienced during our journey to growing up. Here’s to you.
What did you do yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Crowdsourcing: The REAL Avengers

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Mask? Check! Cape? Check! Cellphone? Double check!

Living in a world where superheroes have dominated the big screen, it’s no surprise that when the end credits rolled from the film The Avengers (one of the highest grossing films of all-time), it left many people wanting to be an actual member of the superhero team – I know I did! But what lies beneath the surface is that many of us are already part of a team doing greater good for the public whether we like to believe it or not – it’s called crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing, which can be used in different ways, is the combination of the words crowd and outsourcing, and is best defined as (usually online) the process of gaining needed services, ideas and content from a crowd of people. And we have technology to thank for putting this team together – sorry Samuel L. Jackson.

Now we’re not exactly up against aliens or intergalactic mutants threating to devour Earth, but everyday real-life crimes. And how we help solve these crimes is literally at our fingertips.

On May 5th, an Amber Alert was issued for a missing 14-year-old girl in Texas. The news spread like wildfire on Twitter and within seconds, by the power of crowdsourcing, hundreds of people retweeted a simple message:

Twitter Alert

The outcome?
Twitter Alert

Thankfully a happy ending to a scary situation, this is one of the many ways that showcase how powerful crowdsourcing can be. Some have even suggested that crowdsourcing could be the new America’s Most Wanted. So no matter who you are, what you do, or even if you’re a “superhero” lurking in the shadows of your own home, you never know what one simple post or tweet can do. Crowdsourcing, assemble!

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!



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.



6. The first website was dedicated to information about the World Wide Web and went live on August 6, 1991. Here’s the url:


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



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. 



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.



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


A Smile Beats a Frown

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Last week painted a vivid stream of what seemed to be one horrific film after the other for the whole world to witness. Whether it was the photographs of the Boston bombings displayed on Twitter, the first-hand video coverage of the Texas plant explosion on the Internet, or just the unknowingness of when it would all end – The world, eyes glued to social media feeds, TV news, was, plainly, saddened.

TIME however made an interesting point in a recent article that, in my opinion, reiterated how people can always seem to find a glimmer of light or hope at the end of a very dark tunnel. After 911, and after last week’s endless terrors, sometimes it’s important to grip the good, and hold it tight.

In addition to TIME’s list of the wonderful, inspiring things that happened last week – Here are a few, more recent incidents that will hopefully help everyone dealing with the aftermath realize that there is always “light amid the darkness.”

1. Earth Day Brought People Together

People gathered nationwide yesterday to celebrate Earth Day. Celebrities, institutions and major corporations spoke highly of Earth’s personal holiday and the importance of going green. On Twitter, people used the hashtag #EarthDay, among others, to show their support for Mother Earth.

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2. Awareness and a Second Chance

The Washington Post shed light on a little girl named Bhawana Thami from the Nepali village of Dushikharka who was born with a rare disease, which left the girl with abnormal hair growth that covered half of her face. If untreated, it could become cancerous. Luckily, with the help of Narendra Shrestha’s photographs of the young girl’s condition, awareness of the disease is now being spread and discussed. Miss Bhawana has undergone surgical procedures, which has completely removed the unwanted hair, but she still has a procedure to go. She is finally on the road to a whole new life.

Read more.

3. A Furry Friend Gets a Home

With the help of the Kauai Humane Society in Hawaii, lost, abandoned and abused dogs get a second chance. The humane society reaches out to people who would be able to take the pups across the Pacific to a better, safer environment. One tourist fell in love with Grady, a unique four-legged friend, who never got any attention or even visitors from anyone who came into the shelter. But when Martin Sprouse saw Grady, he couldn’t bare to leave without the furry friend by his side.

Read more of the story.

4. Girl Scouts and Their Cookies

A Girl Scout Troop sold 9,082 boxes of cookies to raise funds for charity, according to Phyllis Zorn from Enid News. The Troop gave a whopping $1,000 to the Enid Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The young ladies were able to meet executive director of Enid SPCA, Vicki Grantz in which they were able to ask questions about animal care and wellness.

Read more.

5. I Repeat, Smartphones in Orbit

NASA successfully launched three smartphone satellites to space Sunday. According to NASA, “the trio of ‘PhoneSats’ is operating in orbit, and may prove to be the lowest-cost satellites ever flown in space.” NASA continues to explain that their goal “is to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite.” As of yesterday, all three “PhoneSats” are operating normally. Cheers to technological advancements.

Read more.


Do you have an inspirational story you’d be willing to share?

Is Social Media Changing the Way We Watch TV?

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


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:


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?

Promoting a Kickstarter Campaign Using Social Media

By | Social Media, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

kickstarter-com-logo-e1327873222322We recently had our first experience promoting a Kickstarter campaign using Facebook and Twitter – and we’re happy to say that after 29 days, the BikeSpike received funding! The day that Kickstarter ended, we had another client, Clevermind, begin their Kickstarter. Hosting a Kickstarter campaign without a social media plan is like startup suicide. Here are a few things we’d like to share with you about the process:

1. Create a social presence BEFORE launching your campaign. If you don’t want competitors to catch on to your idea, create a page that isn’t all about your product but about the industry you are trying to enter. It’s better to build an audience beforehand, so you can announce your launch with a captive audience.

2. Facebook ads are absolutely necessary. We were able to grow a page from zero (on start date) to over 1,200 by the time the 29 day campaign ended. Facebook ads allow you to reach out to your exact market, targeting those who like certain brand pages, live in certain areas, are a specific age or gender and so much more.

3. Utilize Twitter to monitor keywords. Twitter is one of the greatest tools of a Kickstarter campaign, if used correctly. After someone backs your project, they have the option of sharing their contribution on Twitter. Make sure you have streams saved to thank these people, and anyone else talking about your product. Twitter is the best and easiest way to spark conversations, take advantage.

4. Use Linkedin to join groups. For some campaigns, it makes sense to join Linkedin groups to reach a more business-related and educated audience. Starting conversations and gently working in a link to your campaign is a great way to increase funding.

5. Make the most of any and all media coverage. The media is your friend. Thank them, mention them, and keep sharing the link to the media coverage on all of your networks.

6. Get the creators of the company/project talking about the campaign. Friends, family and colleagues of the actual project creators are the most likely to initially back a project and share news and updates about the campaign. Make sure the project has a voice and the creators are visible online. This is important to many backers, they like to see the founders are real and active in their industry.

7. Share Kickstarter milestones. People like to “like” these types of updates. You reached $100,000K? Great, post about it! Our favorite image we shared was when BikeSpike reached their funding goal. It was their most viral post ever.

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Birthdays are the BEST DAYS on social media!

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Social media has really changed the way people send out birthday wishes. Each year, the number grows for the amount of Facebook posts people get on their birthday. I remember the first year I was on Facebook, my cousin was the only person to wish me well on my special day. Today, however, I prepared for a wonderful day full of red notifications.

…..I even changed my profile picture.

Bday profile photo

Starbucks sees birthdays on Facebook as a way to make money,


and Pinkberry gave me a reason to celebrate! Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 3.16.01 PM

Many thanks to the Gossip Genie team for knowing me so well and giving me the perfect presents! #GreatBirthday

Bday presents

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences Expand Targeting

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On Tuesday, Facebook started offering advertisers another tool to target potential consumers with Lookalike Audiences, a feature that lets them reach users similar to those in their Custom Audience database. Custom Audiences, which launched in late 2012, lets marketers use existing data such as email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs to inform their Facebook strategy. Lookalike Audiences, as the name implies, is a tool that alerts advertisers to similar consumers. Facebook also noted in a recent blog post that marketers can buy Custom and Lookalike audiences in conjunction with any other ad buy.

For example, a business could choose to run an offer to two people who they know have bought from them before, as well as customers who share similar attributes to them. The object is to lure in new fans, but Lookalike Marketers will only know certain attributes of their Lookalike Audience, such as their size. Facebook has vowed not to share any of this personal information with advertisers.  They also claim that such targeting increases efficacy. Facebook launched Lookalikes in beta in February. The product ties in with Facebook’s goal of improving overall ad performance.

In January during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts, “There’s a big opportunity in front of us to make every ad that we’re showing a lot better. The biggest ways we’re going to do this are by improving targeting and relevance so we can show everyone content that they care more about and by designing better ad products that aren’t just about links and text and images. For targeting, I’m most excited about the work that we’re doing on Custom Audiences.”

So what do you think? Do you think you would spend money on the new Lookalike ad feature? Or think that it’s unnecessary?

Leave a comment and let us know!


What Your Facebook Likes Say About You

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What do your Facebook Likes really say about you? According to a recent study, your public figures, posts and pages you Like on the social networking site can reveal surprisingly accurate information about your religious and political views, IQ, drug use, and sexual orientation.

Cambridge University, who published the study, analyzed more than 58,000 Facebook users’ digital activity.  Participants volunteered their Likes, demographic profiles, and psychometric testing results through an online application; the Likes were then fed into algorithms and verified with the information from profiles and personality tests.

Highlights: Users who liked “curly fry” and “thunderstorm” pages were more likely to have higher IQs than people who liked “Harley Davidson.”  Those who liked “swimming” were said to be satisfied with their lives overall, whereas those who liked “iPods” were dissatisfied.

Are you surprised by these results? Think there’s any logic behind them?

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Is Teaching Media Literacy in Schools Important?

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To be a functioning member of today’s digital society, not only must one be able to use online publishing tools and social networking, but also be able to critically think about all forms of social media as a whole. Without a strong foundation in  media literacy, it can be tricky to decipher fact from fiction.

For society as a whole, access to all of the free information on the internet is a great thing.  More people can stay informed and more voices can reach an audience.  Writers aren’t held back by page counts, column inches, and the cost of ink.  Stories can be reported with additional multimedia, greater depth and previously unthinkable interactivity and accessibility

All of the online information you have access to will be worthless unless you know how to properly determine the truth about content on the Facebook and Twitter feed as well as filtering through which sources are trustworthy in a set of Google search results.  As technology itself evolves, so does the concept of media literacy.

The results of a recent Pew Study have shown that 83% of teachers feel that the amount of information available to students is overwhelming, while 60% think that finding credible sources amongst that information is very difficult.  It comes as no surprise that 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that some form of social media literacy should be mandatory in each school’s curriculum.

So, what do you think? Is someone illiterate if they don’t know how to interpret a tweet or tell the difference between fact and fiction on social media? And should media literacy be made mandatory in schools? Or is it just something that’s an amenity instead of a necessity?