When Social Media and Classic Art Collide

By | Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

It’s interesting when two very different eras collide, when old meets modern. Social media has defined the past decade and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by edgy artists looking for a new take on existing classic work.

There’s the Ukraine-based artist, Nastya Ptichek, who has done a fascinating job of integrating the digital era into renowned works of art. She demonstrated how iOS emojis strongly resemble well-known paintings in her emoji-nation project:


And applied Twitter, Facebook and Instagram notifications to Edward Hopper masterpieces to capture how his subjects might express their loneliness in the online world:


And I particularly like how she used digital errors to explain these Renaissance paintings:


Old-school art critics might turn their nose up at this ‘dumbing-down’ of classic art but I think it’s a creative way to get the younger generation interested in history. It could be a great way to educate traditionalists about emojis and the like too.

Other examples of artists highlighting the social media revolution, includes the famous London street artist, Banksy, who recently poked fun at our need for attention online through notifications with this stencil drawing. I hope you ‘like’ this blog article.




Then and Now: How Social Media Aesthetically Changed

By | Social Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

Can you believe ten years have passed since the inception of Facebook? It’s also been nine years since YouTube was established, and Twitter turned eight only a few short days ago. It goes without saying that a lot has changed since those early days – Facebook went public, YouTube was purchased by Google and an average of 400 million tweets are sent daily. But I’ve always been more visually oriented, so actually seeing the growth of popularized social media platforms fascinates me. For example, take a gander at what Facebook (or should I say, The Facebook) used to look like in 2005:

facebook profile 2005 with ads

It’s a night and day difference compared to your existing Facebook profile, isn’t it? Believe it or not, The Facebook in 2005 didn’t have many of the features we hold dear today such as likable “Pages,” which wren’t introduced until 2009:

Facebook page 2009

If you thought The Facebook looked amateur in 2004, then you’ll get a kick out of YouTube’s UI from their humble beginnings in 2005:


And if we were to jump in our DeLorean and gun it back to 2006, Twitter would look something like this:


So if there are any aesthetically unappealing sites you frequent, don’t write them off just yet! If history shows us anything, they may just be the next big thing. Which is great news for my personal blog – it looks horrendous.

Source: digiTash, AbhiSays

‘Rice’ is the New Way to Trade Stuff

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

Type in the phrase ‘social trading’ into any search engine and ninety-nine percent of the time you’ll come across mounds of information about financial investing. But one company wants to change how social trading is defined (and used). Led by Toronto-based co-founders Rishabh Varshney, Aubrey Jesseau and Francis Lata, Rice is a prominent startup who has created a mobile app that allows location-based trading of goods–think of it as the ‘freebie’ section of Craigslist, only in a more streamlined and fun way.

How It Works:
“You send and receive offers with the people around you using items you have uploaded to the app,” says Jesseau.
Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 12.10.27 AMrice

“The items can be anything from collectibles to imports; the harder it is to get, the more value it will have in a trade. Users can populate their profiles with meaningful items that tell a story about themselves or to simply try and trade away an old guitar.

In its purest form, Rice reminds me of the good ol’ days when trading cards stood up their very name and it was common to have a friend you found yourself trading items with. And based off the amount of beta invite requests Rice has seen so far, 2014 could be the year of what Rice hopes to be the newly defined ‘social trading.’

Want to get in on the fun? Sign up for your beta invite now! Hurry, invites end April 4th!

Who Is Your Tweetheart?

By | Funny Photos, Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

Why yes, it’s Valentine’s Day today, and if you’re one of the many people without a valentine, no worries! The people at Butlers Bingo have created a fun and simple way to help match you with your perfect ‘tweetheart’. Simply connect to “Who’s Your Tweetheart” with your Twitter account, and the Butler will instantly check to see who your #Tweetheart is this Valentine’s day!

Who did I get matched up with?

My buddy, Cedar Brown! And for the record, I don’t disagree with this pairing…

If finding your tweetheart isn’t your thing, you can always start a personal ‘photosation‘ with someone, or better yet, send them an e-card like the one below!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Want to work in social media? Make sure your Instagram profile is on point.

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, What Not to Post, Words of Advice | No Comments

A few months ago, I was inspired after reading a story in the New York Times about how a college senior named Liz took an Instagram profile (@newyorkcity) and turned it into a multi-million dollar social media business. That was a couple years ago when not everyone had an Instagram profile and Liz was able to snag @newyorkcity. She took beautiful and artsy pics of NYC and set the stage for newbie Instagrammers everywhere.

Today,  there are over 150 million active monthly users on the mobile app making it the fastest growing social network of 2013. An Instagram profile can tell thousands of words about a person and it’s now something we require potential candidates to provide before we consider hiring them. Why? Because if your Instagram profile isn’t up to par, you probably aren’t equipped to thrive in a social media position.

The best qualities of an  Instagram profile:

1. Clear pictures. Repeat, CLEAR pictures. Posting a blurry Instagram or a poor quality photo doesn’t really set you up for “like” success.

Beyonce and Kelly Instagram

Beyonce, however, can do whatever she wants

2. Well-taken, tasteful pictures. I will almost always click like on a beautiful picture, sometimes even before looking at who posted it, if it grabs my attention right away. It helps me to take 10+ pictures of the same scene so I can choose which looks best. This is also the reason I have increased storage on my iPhone twice in the past year.


3. Tasteful filters and frames. You’ll often find me going through the filter row three times or more because I take the time to really assess which filter is the best and will encourage the most double taps. One of my major pet peeves is when people use a different frame for every picture. I enjoy a good Nashville frame every once in a while, but when a user goes nuts using tons of different frames, their profile looks cluttered and anxious and I want to look away.

And some of the worst qualities of an  Instagram profile:

1. Party pictures. No one wants to see you and your friends completely hammered. Pictures of you and your friends having a good time is perfectly acceptable, but I suggest you leave the shot pictures and the glazed over eyes for the group text the next morning.

Drunk Instagram

And, they’re in high school….

2. Using #Instagood #Instamood #IGers and a million other hashtags in your post. I may spark a debate on this one but why, oh why, oh WHY do people use these on every picture they take? Yes, we know you’re #Instagood, you’re on Instagram! Choosing a hashtag relevant to the actual photo is much easier on the eyes.

Instagram Shoes

The Rise of ‘Photosations’: 2014 and Beyond’s Biggest Social Media Trend

By | Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | No Comments

161745860“A picture is worth a thousand words” is one of the most commonly used phrases in the world of social media marketing, right up there with everyone’s favorite, “content is king,” but what amazes me is how brands are not expanding on this phrase.

One major hurdle many brands fail to clear is the ability to provide ‘quality’ content on a consistent basis. It’s no secret that images work well in regards to social engagement, but for many, the unforeseen Achilles heel is this: push marketing.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that is “sell, sell, sell,” but in a world where brands are trying to find ways to boost engagement and become social storytellers, I started to realize that brands aren’t harnessing the true power photos encapsulate.

It all started when I stumbled upon a tweet from my Twitter friend, @ChelseaRhane:

Ninety nine percent of the time, Chelsea would have received a text-only response from me, but because I believe photos are the embodiment of storytelling, I included a photo to help add to her ‘short story’:

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.55.40 PM
Chelsea chimes in:

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.55.50 PM(Note: There was no coffee challenge, and no, I did not win anything…)

It wasn’t until I read Chelsea’s reply above that it hit me – why aren’t we using photos AS REPLIES as often as we should?!

And so the story continues:


And we both agreed, something cool was taking place:


Chelsea’s story became my story… and this is how our story ended:


So what does this all mean?

In social media, we often talk about how responding to user comments and questions is a necessity for brands. Imagine what photosations can do for user sentiment if a brand responds with relevant (and real) photo replies!

Now some of you might be saying, “But wait, Darryl, this isn’t new!” To you it may not be, but for brands, this can be the next wave of “interaction” they can have with their followers. Chelsea and I didn’t invent photo responses; we’re just taking it for a walk through the park of evolutionary stages for it to grow.

2014 can be the year photosations reignites the way we interact with each other, both personally and professionally. Beyond it, as photosations evolve, it wouldn’t surprise me if a new social platform were created to accommodate this sole form of interaction to expand storytelling. Oh, and in case you were wondering: “photos” + “conversations” = “photosations”

So let your photos literally do the talking, because you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Right, Chelsea?


Why Every Brand Should Be Using “Tagboard” For Hashtags

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

hashtagAh, yes, the hashtag. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the hashtag symbol embodies all that is gloriously social media speak. In just a short few years, it has grown into a social behemoth that is now utilized in many (if not all) of the social networks out on the web — and it’s safe to say that brands have taken notice. But are brands really capitalizing on the hashtag’s fullest potential?

Social media has given everyone a voice, and brands that effectively use social media know that they need to amplify their audience’s voice to show that they’re listening. So if you’re a brand and are looking for a new way to engage with your fans, this is where Tagboard becomes your new best friend.

is capitalizing on the usage of hashtags in social media and has built a platform for specific topics that are alive on the web and gives them an aesthetically pleasing home where users can find more info about a certain hashtag. On the other side of the coin, companies have the ability to customize the design and imagery of their Tagboard pages to help frame the conversation and brand, all in real-time.

Layman’s terms: Tagboard takes hashtag-associated content from the big name social networks, including videos from Instagram and Vine, and lumps them all into one place, saving you the hassle of logging into multiple social networks and having to switch back and forth.

If you’re looking to help your brand inch closer to brand champion status, I suggest hopping on the Tagboard train! The company even shares helpful tips and creative ways brands can integrate Tagboard into their social media marketing:





Wondering what it looks like on the user-end? Gossip Genie’s Social Media Week Chicago event is a great example of how Tagboard can make live-tweeting from events more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes:



Tagboard definitely has something special here and brands should take notice. Being a power user myself, I happily endorsed the platform during the Q&A portion of our Social Media Week event, and so far the reviews have been positive from the audience!



Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 3.33.01 PM

Will you be giving Tagboard a try? Let me know what you think of it!

Potbelly Masters Customer Service on Twitter

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I love Potbelly. a lot. I even created a Facebook group in college (back when Facebook was only for college students) called “I’m straight up addicted to Potbelly Sandwich Works.” I would go there almost every day because there is a location right across the street from DePaul’s loop campus. Not many people joined the Facebook group, but I have a feeling my group was the very first Facebook community of Potbelly lovers. Now, the Potbelly Facebook page has over 37,000 likes and I am no longer alone.

I’ve tweeted to them in the past so I know they have a great social media team, responsive and fun:

Potbelly Twitter

I’ve also found a reason to use the 1977 filter on Instagram:

Potbelly Instagram
Last week, I called to place an order for delivery and they told me it was going to be a two hour wait. Annoyed that I had to order Jimmy John’s instead of eating Potbelly, I tweeted to them about the long wait time. A few days later, I received this note in the mail, along with two free sandwiches. Cheers to you Potbelly, and cheers to your awesome social media team. They rock. #TKY #allday

Potbelly Twitter2


Vine Becomes More Awesome, Adds Sessions and Time Travel

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

Vine, the Twitter-owned app, unveiled two new updates last week that gives its users more flexibility with their six-second works of art.

vine_sessionsSessions is one of the new updates that adds a draft-like feature, allowing users to no longer need to finish videos immediately after recording their first clip. With Sessions, users are now able to save any post and come back to it later, up to ten posts at once. It also allows users to check out the work of others mid-Vine for some inspiration!

time travelThe second new feature (and this one is a biggie) is Time Travel. With Time Travel, users can remove, reorganize or replace any shot within a post at any time – it essentially lets users edit their videos, where in the past, Vines had to be shot continuously without a mistake. Now, when shooting a video users see a new green bar that allows them to organize shots as well as a new “Edit” button when in preview mode.

With 40 million Viners and counting, the release of these updates not only gives users even greater flexibility working with their six-second creations, it will definitely entice users to become even more creative. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the next wave of Internet famous vines popping up on the news – just ask Ryan McHenry, creator of ‘Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal,’ how things are working out for himself after his vines went viral!

Gossip Genie at the Freebie App Launch Party at Allium

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Last night, the Gossip Genie team had the pleasure of attending the Freebie App Launch Party at Allium, a restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel. It was an amazingly executed event, from entry to exit, the Freebie team definitely knows how to throw a great party. When we arrived, there were lounge tables set up for bottle service, all complimentary because that’s Freebie’s MO.

I have been a huge advocate of Freebie from the beginning. It’s an app that uses your social connections to offer you complimentary services, products, event admission and more, throughout Chicago (they do have plans of expanding to multiple major cities). Last weekend, I was able to go to the Looking Glass Theatre to see “Big Lake Big City,” directed by David Schwimmer, with two friends – all compliments of Freebie!

The launch party at the Allium connected all who attended together socially, which is one of my favorite things about how Freebie operates. They provide event hashtags and Twitter and Instagram handles on their welcome cards and menus, making it super easy to properly tag your photos. While we waited, we sipped on complimentary Ketel One cocktails. When we sat for dinner there were a variety of craft cocktails and wine to choose from, as well as two dinner menu items per person.

This was our experience. Muchas Gracias to the Freebie Team, you guys rock!

Gossip Genie Team


photo 2

photo 4

Bison Tartare

Freebie Launch Party

Freebie Launch Party

photo 3