Social Media

Lost and Found: Missing Hat Facebook Post Goes Viral

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Bridget Hughes of Las Cruces, New Mexico lost one of her most important posessions: a hat. While the hat pictured above might not look like anything special, it’s a piece of sentimental value for Hughes. It was the hat her mother wore during chemo treatments before passing away from breast cancer when Bridget was 7. It is “the only possession of her I could constantly carry with me.”

She took to her Facebook page to see if anyone had found it and the response was overwhelming. So far, the post has over 37,000 likes and over 220,000 shares.

Here’s her post:

My name is Bridget Hughes and on Monday November 26 at around 12:30 a.m. I was at the B7 gate in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport waiting to board U.S. Airlines flight 2918 to El Paso. My flight was cancelled. In all of the chaos that ensued me getting my new ticket and my hotel voucher I lost one of the most valuable things I own. It is a simple knit brown floppy hat from the Gap (pictured below).

My mother passed away from Breast Cancer when I was 7. This is the hat she wore most often during her chemo treatments. My aunt gave it to me when I moved away after I graduated from college. It was one the only possession of hers I could constantly carry with me. I checked the gate the next morning, the hotel, and my shuttle van. It was nowhere to be found. I’ve contacted the Phoenix Airport Lost and Found, but I doubt I’ll hear back from them. So, I’ve turned it over to the power of social media, all for a hat that represents the fierce goofy independent spirit of a woman that is my mother. If anyone is willing to just share this status, I’ll be really grateful.

The hat still has not been found and Hughes even had to write another Facebook post telling people to stop calling and bothering the Phoenix Airport.

Even though Bridget’s hat is still missing, her story shows the impact social media can have and the sense of community it brings. When you see so many Facebook posts of people using hurtful words or using social media as a way to bully, it’s comforting to see people band together in support of a girl’s missing hat.  As Bridget said, “If the hat does not turn up, I will be sad, but my life will go on and I will have been put in contact with all of you and your stories. For the kindness that you’ve shown me, thank you.”

How to Discover a Catfish

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If you’re a fan of social media and aren’t living under a rock, then there is no way you have not yet heard about the new MTV series Catfish. The show stars Nev Schulman as he follows people who are in online relationships but have not yet met their significant other on the other side of the computer screen. To give you a quick lowdown, the show was created based off the movie Catfish, when Nev himself was in an online relationship and destined to meet his model girlfriend Megan. Nev and two of his buddies end up taking a road trip to find where Megan lives and uncover the truth. The truth resulted in “Megan” being a 50-something year old Angela who obviously did not resemble the proclaimed model, Megan.

I have been closely following the television show and although I do feel sorry for the people who find out their significant others are not who they say they are, I can’t help but notice the obvious signs. Maybe they asked for it or maybe they were easy targets. Either way, here are a few tips on how to discover if  someone who are talking to online is a *catfish!

*The term ‘catfish’ comes from the original movie when Angela’s real husband relayed this story: When live cod were shipped to Asia from North America, the fish’s inactivity in their tanks resulted in mushy flesh in the Asian markets. Eventually, the fishermen discovered that putting catfish in the tanks with the cod kept them active. Vince felt that people like Angela are catfish, who keep other people active in life.

1. Don’t respond to friend requests you don’t know. Many people accept every friend request they receive or worse, they accept only the people they find attractive. Tip: Many catfish out there appear to be very attractive in order to pull their victims in! If you don’t know them, simply send them a message and ask where you might know them from.

2. Check out their profile. If they happen to be a model, a cue card writer for the Chelsea Handler Show and are taking online classes to be an anesthesiologist, chances are they’re just too good to be true. Take it from Sunny, who fell in love with the man of her dreams who had that exact occupation on episode 1.

3. The wall says it all. Do they have a Facebook wall with actual people who have written on it? Many times, catfish will add a ton of random people to appear as if they are real. In reality, all of their friends are just random people who accepted them as a friend. If the only posts say things such as “thanks for the friend add,” you can bet these Facebook friends aren’t real friends.

4. Reverse Google Image. Many of you may not be aware of this fun little Google feature but you can in fact, upload an image to Google and find out other places on the web where the picture is located. This comes in handy if your potential catfish’s photo looks professionally taken.

5. Google, Bing, Yahoo. If you aren’t going to listen to my first tip of advice and this person starts talking to you, their fate truly lies in their Google results. Here you can find news stories, blogs, their LinkedIn profile, maybe even police records- that is if they even EXIST. Everyone leaves a virtual paper trail so if nothing comes up, start getting suspicious!


The images below show the person the catfish was claiming to be on the left and the person they are in real life on the right.

From Catfish the movie: “Megan” also known as Angela.

“Scoprio” also known as Lee.

Mike as Mike.

“Jamison” also known as Chelsea.

“Mike” also known as Mhissy.






Twitter Reveals Royalty

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As a married woman in her late twenties, I am horrified by the premature announcement of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. As if the Duchess did not have enough pressure on her to conceive, her acute morning sickness is so bad that she needs to be hospitalized and reveal to the world that she is pregnant well before the normal 3 month reveal date. As much as I love, live and breathe social media, I know the decision to reveal the royal pregnancy early has a lot to do with social media. All it would take is one tweet from an over-eager, nosy staff member at the hospital and the pregnancy would be revealed.

According to a royal aide, “Considerations about Twitter and the Internet formed part of the decision in going public, as it shapes all decisions about the handling of the media in the current age.”

After the news broke, 3 Twitter accounts were launched @iamroyalbaby @kateswomb @HRHfetus and quickly suspended. As the pregnancy progresses, social media will progress with it and over-saturate the world with related updates.

Can you imagine if you had to consider the impact of social media with every move you made?

Social Media for Activism: “Never Reatreat, Retweet”

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I’ve been seeing a lot of year-end lists of the best films of 2012 and New York Magazine included a documentary called “Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry,” a film I had never heard of. Working in social media, it piqued my interest since the reviewer described it as a story of a man who uses “Twitter to drive a totalitarian government nuts.”

I did some research on the film and the story is quite compelling.

The film chronicles the life of artist Ai WeiWei, who in 2011 was named the most powerful artist in the world by ArtReview. As well as being a popular artist, he has become known as a political activist and intellectual critic from his use of social media- Twitter in particular—as a tool for spreading his many messages, often in defiance of the Chinese government.

Here’s a description of the film from the film’s website:

“Ai Weiwei is China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.

Ai WeiWei:Never Sorry is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.”

In the trailer for the film, WeiWei declares that he believes “the most important medium of our time is Twitter.” Some people are even calling him the first “social media artist,” since he’s using the medium like no one has before him.

His mantra is “Don’t retreat, retweet.” After being imprisoned for 81 days last year, he was released on the condition that he would not speak to the media. He did not retreat. He took to his Twitter to express his opinions on the oppressive state of China’s government. Twitter allowed him the ability to speak without a filter and have his voice heard.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogspot and other social media sites have been blocked in China because the Communist Party of China deems these websites “detrimental to maintaining social peace and harmony.”

Chinese citizens, including WeiWei, use Internet tools to unblock the Firewall and gain access but China’s attempt to censor it’s citizens have empowered WeiWei to speak out. He even tweeted at Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, to express his concerns.

For Ai WeiWei “the role of an artist is to be focused on communication, engagement, and furthering conversation.” Social media as a medium is used for precisely those reasons and it’s inspiring to see an artist using Twitter as a form of activism. We can learn a lot from this famed Chinese artist.

Here’s the trailer for the documentary below:
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Recovery Vlog

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I have always wanted a reason to vlog in order to document a life event. Therefore, I figured what better time to try it out than my knee surgery. Last week, I wrote about my upcoming knee surgery and this week I am writing about my recent knee surgery. The thing about this surgery, patella realignment is that it’s not very common and therefore, I would love to use my social media savvy to provide others with information about the procedure. Despite the difficult recovery, I feel very blessed that there was a solution to my knee problems that did not require a full knee replacement. I am dedicated to my profession because I think every social media maven should vlog about something at least once in their lifetime and despite my sickly appearance, I felt like now was a great time to try it out.

The day of surgery – a couple of hours before the procedure

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Day 4
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Twitter Mourns the Loss of Twinkies in 140 Characters or Less

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Amdist news of Hostess Brands, Inc.’s decision to shut down 10 months after filing bankruptcy for the second time, the masses took to Twitter to grieve the loss of Twinkies, which have been a staple on the shelves of grocery stores and gas stations for over 75 years.

I’ve collected some of the funniest tweets mourning the loss of the iconic spongey dessert.

It’s interesting to see the attention Hostess, and Twinkies especially, have gotten surrounding news of the brand’s demise. I haven’t eaten a Twinkie or Hostess product since I was a child, but based on nostalgia factor alone, I can see where the intense reaction is coming from. Will I ever pay $20,000 for a pack of Twinkies as advertised on eBay right now? Definitely not. But it’s sad to see a brand that has been so iconic, especially in the Chicagoland area where Hostess resides, leave so abruptly.

Yet still, Twinkies might live on! With high brand recognition and over 2.5 million dollars in revenue each year, companies are currently bidding to save the Hostess product. And based on Twitter chatter alone, it looks like the demand is definitely there!


It looks like Twinkies really do last forver!


What Not To Post: Cryptic Messages to Company Pages

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As most of us now know, Facebook has allowed users the ability to privately message business pages. This is a new feature that can be set on or off depending on what the page administrator prefers. Gossip Genie clients have this feature set on as we like to communicate with fans should they have a question or comment that they do not want to write on the wall. It is also useful for exchanging information when a contest winner has been chosen.

If you have your own business page, at some point you will receive strange messages. Whether they are in another language, incoherent, requests for free products or just strange and inappropriate, you usually have to decide when to ignore and when to respond. I complied just a few of my favorites along with one that a friend of mine received on her company’s page (bottom photo). We believe this young woman meant to send a message to my friend, not her company’s business page!

Guide to Twitter Acronyms and Lingo

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Whenever I run into someone who isn’t on Twitter, their typical response is “I don’t understand Twitter, there’s so much going on.” True, there are a lot of shortcuts and tricks we take to get our message across in 140 characters or less, but really, it’s not that hard, and proven to be very effective. I thought I’d create a simple “cheat sheet” for those just getting into Twitter, or for those who might need a little refresher.

Beginner phrases:

RT = Retweet. You can retweet simply by clicking the arrows on or placing a RT in front of someone’s tweet and posting it as yourself.

# = Hashtag. Hashtags are one of my favorite things about Twitter. If you click on a hashtag, you can see in real-time who is tweeting about whatever you put after your hashtag. I especially like #thatawkwardmomentwhen. Do it. It’s funny.

DM = Direct message. You can send private messages to people or businesses on Twitter, but only if they are following you.

Advanced Twitter lingo:

MT = Modified tweet. This is basically a retweet that you had to modify because there were too many characters. I only use this if I change the tweet drastically. I wouldn’t use it if I just change a you to u, or and to &.

TBH = To be honest. Pretty much self explanatory.

ICYMI = In case you missed it. I use this if I’m sending a tweet about previous blog post or re-promote a contest or sweepstakes.




Tweeting for the Record

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After we posted Obama’s history making tweet this morning on the Gossip Genie Facebook page, I decided to see where it matched up against the other popular tweets in Twitter history. posted the top 10 tweets of all time and I was surprised to see the other 9 tweeters stacking up against Obama are comprised mostly of pop stars. I also found it interesting that all of the tweets besides Mr.President’s do not mention any significant events in our recent history! Check out the ‘Top 10 Most Popular Tweets’ below and read the full article here.