New Music Streaming Service, TIDAL: Fair Concept, Awful Launch

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Earlier this week, some of the world’s most famous music artists – including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and Kanye West – gathered to launch TIDAL, an artist-majority owned music streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Pandora.

It’s an effort to give artists more control over their music, as well as (let’s be honest) to make more money, with TIDAL expected to pay double the royalties offered by other music streaming services.

TIDAL will offer music fans high-fidelity audio and video – including exclusive content – but there isn’t a free version. Users will have to pay a monthly fee of $10 for a compressed format or $20 for CD-quality streams.

Now then, I understand why Jay Z and co wanted to introduce TIDAL. It’s true that artists don’t get fair returns when it comes to streaming (Aloe Blacc revealed in this Wired article that it takes roughly one million song plays on Pandora for the songwriter to earn just $90 – he earned Pandora royalties of only $4,000 for his huge hit ‘Wake Me Up’).

However, when I watched the video about the TIDAL launch, I found myself getting annoyed and hating it in an instant. Why? Because of the way it was launched. The video showed the artists sat around a conference table, looking incredibly serious and important, and it appeared as if they were coming together to cure world hunger, to fight social injustice, to save the entire world.

“Every movement throughout history began with a few individuals banding together with a vision, a vision to change the status quo” – led the declaration signed by all the artists. “Together we are unstoppable” TIDAL tweeted dramatically alongside its hashtag #TIDALforALL: 1I took to Twitter to see if my response was being felt by others too and there was (and still is) a lot of backlash. Check out these tweets:


t2 t3 t4 T5T5

TIDAL appears to be a fair concept but the launch felt inappropriate and tasteless. Hopefully going forward, the brand will tone down the ‘greater-than-good’ messages and focus on what’s in it for the consumer.

A clever way to ask someone to prom

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Yesterday, I was walking Stella Boo around the neighborhood and saw a series of sidewalk messages that brought back feelings of being in high school. In an age where so many teens do everything via social media, I loved Anthony’s approach of taking it offline and using sidewalk chalk. Whoever he was asking, I hope he or she said yes! 😉


Honoring Our Son

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If you don’t know about the son that I lost, that means you haven’t been reading my blog posts, shame on you! My husband Ron and I lost our baby boy at 24 weeks pregnant in July. It’s been a long road to recovery and while we have healed immensely, we will always have a hole in our hearts and long for our son. I have learned so much about myself in these past 8 months, I have grown in ways I didn’t think possible. My son was such a blessing and I am grateful for the things I have learned as a result of his existence. Therefore, I want to honor him and I found the perfect way to do so and I am trying to harness the power of social media to support my efforts.

One of the most important things for us is to keep our son’s memory alive and honor him in any way we can. Ron and I have decided to participate in the March of Dimes walk in Chicago on the 26th of April. The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, obviously something very close to our hearts. As Ron and I continue to heal, we want to be proactive in honoring our son with our family and friends and a donation to this organization would be the ultimate way to do so.

Your gift will support March of Dimes’ research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And it will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

If you want to donate, you can do so here:




Apostrophe 101

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Nothing irks me more than the incorrect use of an apostrophe. My blood boils when I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed and notice a peer that graduated with me has a status update with an out of place apostrophe.Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 1.13.12 PM


It seems that the trend is to overuse the apostrophe because people think pluralizing a word automatically means an apostrophe must be present. The apostrophe is like the Kim Kardashian of punctuation, overused and underrated! This Instagram post causes me as much anger as a Kim K selfie.



There is a page on Facebook that I admit, I like, but it bothers me every time it appears in my newsfeed because not only does it misuse the apostrophe once, in the page name, it misuses it in a different way in the cover photo.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.16.57 PM  CORRECT:

Child of the ’80s


Child of the 80’s

Child of the 80s

In this example, the apostrophe is used as a contraction i.e. it replaces something that was removed from its place. Basically, the apostrophe replaces “19” in “1980”.

Here is an email I received many years ago from someone that referred a few clients to me. I think she is in rehab now for apostrophe addiction, this is from an actual email she sent me a while back.

Hi Jacqui –

What promo’s and giveaway’s can we do for our various client’s? We should be sending email’s to them with this info.

Thank’s (Okay, this one is an exaggeration)

Alyssa (Not her real name)

As a reminder,

noun: apostrophe; plural noun: apostrophes
  1. a punctuation mark ( ’ ) used to indicate either possession (e.g., Harry’s book ; boys’ coats ) or the omission of letters or numbers (e.g., can’t ; he’s ; class of ’99 ).

    If you or someone you know is abusing apostrophes, please seek immediate grammar attention!

What happens when you delete your Instagram account?

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Things you should know before deleting

If for some reason you want to delete your Instagram account, there are a few things you should know.


  1. Once you delete your account, your username is GONE FOREVER. Repeat, not you, nor anyone else can ever claim your username again.
  2. You must login to because you are not able to delete your account within the mobile app. Here’s how: Sign in –> Click on your profile icon in the top right hand corner –> Edit settings –> Scroll down to the bottom –> Click on ‘I’d like to delete my account.’
  3. Unlike Facebook who allows users to go into a ‘hiding period’ where their profile doesn’t exist but the data and photos still do, once a user deletes their Instagram account, they will not have access to any of the photos previously uploaded on that account.


Special Tip: If all you want to do is change your username, you can do so easily by clicking on ‘Edit Your Profile’ and type in a new username in the second box from the top. Immediately following your name change, your old name will be up for grabs and available to the Instagram universe.

#Sharethehonestlove & Why We Must Stop Pretending Everything Is Perfect

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I think I just found my new favorite hashtag. #sharethehonestlove is a social media campaign launched by Laura Caudery who wished she had spent her wedding day focusing on the emotional significance of the day, rather than the practical arrangements. Her campaign encourages newly weds-to-be to enjoy every moment of their important day and not to get too caught up on superficial elements, like guest lists, color schemes and parking arrangements.

Laura realized none of this really mattered when her husband passed away just over a year after their wedding and she became a 32-year-old widow (read her heartbreaking story towards the end of this article here). She looked back at her wedding photos and noticed that only a small selection showed the true emotions of the day. Laura shared these photos (example above) with the hashtag #sharethehonestlove, encouraging other couples to share their most honest wedding photos. The response has been overwhelming (see examples below).

Laura, who organizes weddings for her day job, says: “I wish brides and grooms to-be could see more honest and real photos like this on blogs and in magazines; it would remind them of what’s most important. Whilst I think our Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with the prettiest of weddings, I’m going to make sure I share a lot more photos like this too. I love the wedding industry but I think sometimes the message gets a little lost. Let’s all remember and celebrate what a wedding day is really about: let’s #sharethehonestlove.”

I think this story is a reminder of the superficial nature of social media and the media. That we often strive to present not just weddings, but many elements of our lives, as perfect. I’m just as guilty of this as any other person – I have my own personal blog about Chicago life and tend to write only about upbeat, happy stuff. It’s human nature to want to appear in a positive light, but I am increasingly recognizing the importance of being honest, whilst increasingly lacking tolerance for things I see on social media that project an overtly perfect existence.

I’m realizing it is possible to be honest and not lose any self respect. In fact, honesty can bring people a lot of credit. Some of my favorite blogs and press articles are those that are truthful or brave. I follow the travel blog Waegook Tom because of this very reason. If he doesn’t like a destination/hotel/attraction, he’ll say it (check out his list of ‘Six satisfactory cities’), and I appreciate his balanced reviews.

Honesty can really resonate and build trust with an audience and we must keep this in mind at all times – not just as marketing managers for businesses and brands, but on a personal front too.





w 1

The S#*T People Say on Social Media

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Facebook has been around for over 10 years, and though many are pros, some users still don’t know what they’re doing.

Like this lady:

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And this lady, confusing us and her friends:

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And this guy, who sends selfies of himself to brands (notice, also his profile pic):

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 And these, well these are just hilarious:

stupid_people_4 stupid_people_5 stupid_people_7

And sometimes, we like to create the fun ourselves. This method only works with the more socially savvy users!

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How Online Rumors Can Spiral Out Of Control

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The New York Times just published an interesting article about the influence of online rumors and how, all to often, these stories can overwhelm efforts to set the record straight.

Researchers at the University of Columbia have tracked the scary rate at which false stories are shared online and created a unique online tool called Emergent which aims to develop best practices for debunking misinformation. You can view a list of rumors being tracked on its homepage, stating whether the story is true, false or unverified.

As I briefly scanned the false stories, I recalled seeing some of them shared on Twitter or other social channels. For example, the news that ESPN had planned a special domestic violence panel that didn’t include any women. Like many others, I remember reading those headlines and feeling annoyed (see examples of angry instant reactions on Twitter below):


tweet 2

Yet, Emergent’s analysis found the story to be false. The rumor started when the opening sentence of an Esquire article entitled ‘ESPN has a problem with women’ was widely interpreted as saying that ESPN was set to run a special panel, hosted only by men, which would address the specific subject of domestic violence in the NFL. In fact, the pre-game show was actually running as normal, with a segment on domestic violence.

This false story received 8,245 social shares, yet the news that set the record straight (a Deadspin article entitled ‘That ESPN Domestic Violence Panel You Keep Hearing About Isn’t Real’) received only 525 shares.

This is hardly surprising. Humans love gossip and drama – and are probably far more likely to share a sensational headline on social channels because it’s simply more entertaining. However, many of those users shared that story genuinely thinking it was true and Emergent’s findings are a vital reminder to not believe everything you read online – especially if you’re going to share it with others.

Emergent could be a useful tool for Social Media Managers looking to verify a story that relates to a client’s industry before they reference it online. I’m excited to see how it develops.






The Lesson All Brands Can Learn From DiGiorno’s Mistake

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What Not to Post, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

DiGiorno is famous for their frozen pizzas, but they became the talk of the town on social media overnight for all the wrong reasons. The company inadvertently made a major social media mistake by participating in a controversial trending topic and failed to research its origins. The hashtag #WhyIStayed began trending on Twitter in response to Ray Rice’s domestic assault on his now-wife Janay Rice, and is being used by women on Twitter that have survived an abusive relationship with their partner. Below was DiGiorno’s #WhyIStayed tweet:

DiGiorno’s social media team took down the tweet moments later after backlash from the Twitter community, but not without repercussions. The company has since publicly apologized for the error. So what can brands learn from DiGiorno’s huge mistake? It’s a little thing called “fact checking.”

It’s easy for brands to get caught up in the whirlwind speeds of the social media highway, but sometimes the road with less shortcuts can prove to be the safest. We live in a world where news can travel at lighting-quick speeds, and to think any brand is safe from a similar catastrophe is foolish. The precautionary measure to take is to fact check, fact check again, and fact check even more. Need another example? I’m your guy.

Now my story isn’t anywhere close to that of #WhyIStayed, but it definitely shows that brands – major ones in my case – are susceptible to misinformation even when it comes to the simplest form of fact checking.

Yes, that was Disney Alliances publishing a promotional tweet for ABC’s television show The Middle; the only problem is that if they would have fact checked and not made assumptions, they would have properly found that the show’s official Twitter handle is @TheMiddle_ABC and not @TheMiddle. Did I mention that that tweet is still up and running? And here’s one more for you:


Remember: fact check, fact check again, and fact check even more.

The Greatest Tweets of All Time

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Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.39.00 PMAs promised, I’ve returned with some of the greatest Tweets ever conceived, and let me tell you – it wasn’t easy putting together the concise list you’ll find below. But after spending the last two weeks delving into the deep, dark recesses of the Twitterverse, I’m confident that I have found the crème de la crème of 140 character blurbs. Without further ado, here they are:

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Jack Dorsey, co-creator and co-founder of Twitter sending out the very first Tweet ever sent

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The man that inadvertently live-tweeted the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound just prior to his death

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The selfie heard ’round the world

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The first Tweet from space

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You’ll need to be a fan of Game of Thrones to appreciate this one

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A sad truth, albeit a hilarious one

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We’ve all been there before Charlene

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Makes you wonder what historians have completely wrong today

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That one time Kevin Durant spontaneously played flag football with a bunch of kids

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When the lights went out at Super Bowl XLVII, @Oreo was quick on their feet

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Oprah’s very first Tweet, and Shaq’s subsequent trolling

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A Google employee using Twitter to ignite what would become the Arab Spring