Social Media

Skittles Gets A Taste of Cyberbullying

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments



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

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.


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.





By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

After an annoying 24 hours filled with fender benders and computer glitches, I am reminded of how lucky I actually am. We should all feel lucky to be alive and remember how short life really is. As a social media marketer, it’s hard to avoid the news surrounding this past weekend’s tragedy. If you’re reading, you know what I am referring to – James Holmes and the Colorado massacre that killed 12 people, injured 58, all while attending a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Even still, I get sick to my stomach thinking about someone that could do something so horrific.

Obviously, social media was and still is overflowing with conversations surrounding the incident (check out these hashtags #JamesHolmes and #coloradomassacre). It’s interesting because everything I have read has little to no information about Holmes. Many sources are saying that it’s because he lacked any online footprint. In a digital age, that is hard to believe. I dug deeper and did not find a verified Facebook page or Twitter account for Holmes but I did find something quite disturbing. On July 5th – Holmes created an online profile through, “The World’s Largest Sex Dating Site & Swinger Personals Community.” Holmes’ quote to live by as posted on the site – “Will you come visit me in prison?”

At this point, all we can do is pray for the victims’ families because there is really no sense in wasting time trying to figure out just how deranged Holmes is. His actions speak far louder than anything anyone ever wanted to hear.

Bad last name? Watch out for Facebook. Part 2

By | Funny Photos, Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments


I never thought I would see the day when I would have to add a “Part 2”  to this blog post title but nonetheless, the day has come.  If you haven’t read Part 1 of “Bad last name? Watch out for Facebook,” head there before continuing on.


Yesterday, as I was going about by day trying to create a custom tab for our client, ProStart, I realized I kept getting error messages every time I tried to save my changes. I usually do not fully read the error message, but this time to my surprise, Facebook, AGAIN, decided to discriminate against my last name! I plan on writing a letter to good old Mark Z. because I know I am not the only Slutsky in the Facebook world and NO Slutsky should ever have to deal with this again! The good thing to come out of this was that I posted the photo below on my personal Facebook page and it received 34 Likes. If you’re a social media lover like me, this is much more exciting than Facebook telling you your name contains profanity.





Puppy Tweets

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Puppy Tweets: You’ll receive hilarious tweets about your dog’s status – whether he’s eating, playing, or napping!




Product Features


  • Tweets are the new Bark!
  • Now you can get the 411 with text messages from Puppy Tweets!
  • Comes pre-loaded with over 500 phrases
  • Lets you connect with your pet over the Internet
  • When your dog moves, barks, or naps the tag sends a Tweet via Twitter
At first glance, it sounds adorable. I immediately envisioned Gossip Genie’s mascot, Alfie‘s tweets – (most likely a long stream of variations of the phrase “I am hungry” or “feed me”).



I actually heard about this product last year and I almost purchased it but then I came to my senses. I am really a sucker for anything related to my dog, pair that with social media and I am sold…until I read the reviews and realized the ridiculous nature of this product.


This is one of many negative reviews I read that sold me on not purchasing this device!

This review is from: Puppy Tweets Blue (Toy)

This thing is really lame. It is huge and it is fake. It just randomly spits out tweets that have nothing to do with the dogs. Here is my actual log from my twitter account, my dog is “Jude and Royal”:

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
7 hours ago

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
19 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
18 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
17 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
15 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
12 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
11 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
10 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
9 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
7 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
6 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
5 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
5 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
3 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
1 Mar

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
28 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
26 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
25 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
24 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
23 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
22 Feb

21 Feb

Jude and Royal:You’re my best friend, but my chew toy and I have become very close.
21 Feb

Jude and Royal:My “puppy-dog eyes” seem to have no effect on the pantry door.
21 Feb

Jude and Royal:HEY YOU, STOP… ah, I’m pooped. Go ahead and walk across the yard.
21 Feb

I think if you kept those delicious-looking muffins as close to the edge of the counter as possible, they would stay much fresher.
21 Feb

Jude and Royal:L’il help! Nose stuck in bird feeder!
21 Feb

Jude and Royal:I <3 Animal Planet.
21 Feb

Jude and Royal:Why? Because I can.
21 Feb



Would you buy Puppy Tweets? If so, why?  We know what Jude and Royal would say… “Why? Because I can.”

Motion vs. Action: What’s The Difference?

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It’s my time of the week to dish out a little word for thought and with more than 140 characters to spare you better believe I’ll be taking advantage of it.  Last night I was looking for a few words of inspiration for a friend and came across a quote that really stood out to me. “Never confuse motion for action.” Feeling like I struck gold, I forced myself to evaluate what that really means. Just because you are moving doesn’t mean you’re necessarily making moves. Action to me is a commitment. It’s making a consistent effort to be more than ordinary. Demanding more from yourself. Leading by example. Just think, in what area of your life could you be more proactive in stirring the water a bit? Start there. Motion may begin with one step, but action takes endurance.

In terms of your job, ask yourself if you are doing more than just taking up space. Below are 25 tips to cause positive action for your career from the article 25 Ways To Make An Impact.

1)   There is no such thing as “I can’t do that” – or – “That’s not my job”.

2)   There is no time for divas, drama, victim statements or whining.

3)   Nothing is more impressive than good, old-fashioned hustle.

4)   Humble confidence is the second-most impressive trait.

5)   Unless you’ve worked out alternative hours, saying “I’m not a morning person” is beyond lame.

6)   There is almost no such thing as a dumb question (ever hear of Google?)

7)   GOOD questions are a sign you are sincerely interested in growing – and learning.

8)   Challenging status quo with “why” questions is a sign of intelligence (and leadership).

9)   Saying you are going to do something turns it into a commitment – and a responsibility.

10)  No trophy will be given for “effort” – you are measured on results achieved, only.

11)  Just as important as results… is the attitude shown while achieving.

12)  What you were taught in school, for the most part, doesn’t apply here… adapt, quickly.

13)  No glory will be given for learning what you already claimed to know (or what you should know)

14)  Self-learning the skills needed for just-in-time problem solving is called “amazing”.

15)  99.9% of the time, we learn best when we’re not talking.

16)  No credit will be given for just showing up; amazing things happen when you do show up.

17)  Consistently being late for – or missing – meetings is not cool; your reputation will be affected.

18)  Coming up with idea after idea is great… turning your ideas into usable solutions is gold.

19)  To quickly earn the respect of your team, mentor as you are being mentored.

20)  Failure is only good if you – and we – learn from the experience.

21)  When a problem needs to be fixed or a customer needs assistance… never, ever wait to be asked.

22)  The quickest way to make your way to the top is a willingness to work with us at the bottom.

23)  Without goal setting, planning and measurement… you can’t produce something scalable and repeatable.

24)  Don’t ever wait for permission to lead.

25)  The Golden Rule still applies – treat others as you would like them to treat you.


Productively yours,