by Kelsey Doherty
Mommy bloggers have existed now for years, stay at home moms that discuss “mom” things via personal blogs. This means product reviews, tips on raising a child, new uses for old household items and so on. Plenty of brands have gone to mommy bloggers to sample and review their products and services, getting their names out there. There’s no doubt that mommy bloggers are very powerful and influential in the marketing world, receiving pitches and product samples on the daily.
Apparently Wall Street Journal writer, Katherine Stone, did not consider this when she wrote an article calling out the entire mommy blogger community. She very blatantly disrespected the influential group of moms, saying that mommy bloggers can sleep in and enjoy fun trips together and conferences to relax and escape from their families. Well, needless to say a Hell storm ensued. Mommy bloggers from around the country began writing blogs to argue the points made and making appearances on Huffington Post videos.
Stone suggested that the moms simply enjoy stuffing their faces and hanging out at hotel bars during their social media conferences and summits. Moms argued back, explaining that they are entrepreneurs, the conferences are just like any other business trip that a working mother or father would attend. This article, called “condescending” by many, stirred up enough angry bloggers that Katherine Stone was forced to write what seems to be a very genuine apology on Babble.com.
In the end the mommy bloggers won out, and in the process revealed to the world how they work, exhausted from all day conferences and then going back home to clean, drive the children around, cook, and run errands. Thus they have earned themselves more respect than almost any tech, sports, or entertainment blogger.
So really what this blog post is getting at is that you should NEVER call out mommy bloggers or disrespect their industry, because their industry is influential.
Below is the cartoon that accompanied the article from Katherine Stone.
Microsoft is going up in a fight against Google, and its invasion of our privacy. “Your privacy is Microsoft’s priority”, is their new tagline. With Google’s invasion of our privacy, and Microsoft’s recent walk down memory lane campaign; they have done an outstanding job of advertising. The amount that we put out there on the Internet, becomes scary, and us as consumers need to recognize the companies that want us to save some of our privacy.
The campaign, Microsoft’s general manager for Internet Explorer Ryan Gavin says in today’s post is meant “to help people learn more about the tools and technologies Microsoft provides that give them have greater control over personal information as they browse the web and use their favorite Microsoft devices.” I think Microsoft is on the right track with getting the attention of Internet users. All different forms of hacking are happening all the time, so Microsoft is taking advantage of this opportunity.
With their recent campaign of bringing back the 90’s, they have tugged at the heartstrings of users. They continue to use that tactic with this campaign. They have found the emotional message necessary, and I believe it will work to their advantage.
By. Joey Polino
How did generations past live through history-making/traumatic events without social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook keeping them up to date with a live feel of information pouring out every second? Imagining what it must have been like to have to wait for the news to tell us everything that was needed or necessary for the public to know sounds nerve-racking. Thankfully, there’s a new news outlet in town—however it’s one that every journalist, professional and amateur, belongs to: Twitter.
During the events of the Boston Marathon Bombings last week, Twitter was the main source of information as events unfolded in the public sphere and before it landed on local and national television. Most (myself included) learned of the bombings themselves by casually checking Twitter moments after news was posted. Over the following few hours of chaos (and then the days after as the case grew and then concluded,) it was the most up to date of sources.
If the Boston Marathon Bombings and the epic Manhunt that occurred on Friday has taught us anything about news of this modern, digital age, it’s that news has begun to hit Twitter faster than it hits news outlets. This was put on stunning display late Friday night when Anderson Cooper reported the news that Suspect #2 was in custody… by checking Twitter mid-broadcast. The moment there was confirmation over the Boston Police Scanner of “Suspect Down,” and before it could be relayed to newscasters shaking in their boots, anxiously waiting with anticipation to announce those words.. it was on Twitter.
The question then becomes: what does this mean for breaking news? Are we gone from the time of the likes of journalists such as Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw coming onto our nightly television, breaking into our primetime shows and informing us of an assassination or uprising in a country an ocean away? Twitter kept us up to date in Egypt, the spilled the beans of Osama Bin Laden’s death and now it’s proven to be able the source of information for news outlets. Yes, we now need to weed out information at a larger rate than before, the fact from the fiction, but within our Twitter timelines, fact is being reported to us nanoseconds after news occurs.
As written on SocialMediaToday, news no longer breaks… it tweets.
As Bostonians we all have felt the affects of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Last week seems like a nightmare that everyone just wants to forget, but as a marketer I did recognize the significant role that social media platforms played in the news sector, the social sector and possibly even the actual discovery of the subjects.
When the Boston Marathon bombings happend on Monday at 2:50 pm the phone lines were immediately flooded with nervous people looking for loved ones, looking for information and looking for answers. Many people could not complete their phone calls because of the instant inflation therefore turning to their Twitter and Facebook accounts to assure loved from far and wide that they were not injured. I personally posted in order to inform my family abroad and in the states that I was near the incident, but had not been harmed. These quick updates from their loved ones allowed millions of people to stay off of their phones and allow for emergency calls to go through.
Over the next couple days we saw an outpour of photos and personal accounts appear all over social media including pictures, videos, and stories. Pictures from all around the world poured and let Bostonians know that they were not alone and that people had them in their thoughts and prayers. The photos that circulated and soon became viral were not only touching, but heartfelt. In a time of need the people of Boston were greeted with love and kindess through social media.
Within hours on Thursday after the photos were released the Boston Police Department Twitter followers nearly doubled. Their twitter was kept up to date and gave followers a minute by minute account of the troops on the ground. They informed us when press conferences were upcoming and also showed photos of the people of Boston interacting with the BPD. In a worrisome and troubling time social media aimed to control the chaos of the media circus that our town had become.
I could not be more proud to live in this digital age that allows a steady form of informations and facts, and I could not be more proud to live in Boston.
By Blair Mosberg
Have you been searching endlessly for a new cuckoo clock? Probably not since 1969. But some designers from BERG Cloud, a design studio in London, are reinventing the cuckoo clock with the world’s most famous bird, the Twitter bird.
The #FLOCK project is a partnership between BERG and Twitter UK, who awarded BERG the chance to show the world what they think is one of the most creative ways to use Twitter. And honestly, what better way to do that than make
a cuckoo clock four cuckoo clocks that look like birdhouses? Clever on so many levels.
Three of the four clocks sound to an individual Twitter account’s different notifications; a new follower, a retweet, and an @ mention. The birdsong for these notifications can be controlled by a volume dial. The fourth clock, is a regular clock.
Now does this sound like something you might want? Unfortunately, it’s not for sale. #FLOCK is of very limited quantities and actually was never meant to be sold to the public. Instead, #FLOCK is merely a trial project for its new BERG Cloud Bridge Software, which is used for many projects similar to #FLOCK that wok to bridge the gap between the Internet and tangible products. Also, these adorable cuckoo clocks are all made by hand.
So, should we put the old clock-makers back to work on this? I say, let’s see where Twitter goes first.
Why send a cover letter when you can have a conversation? It’s 2013 and we’ve seen resumes created on Vine, designed to resemble an Amazon page, even a click-through landing page. Networking is not just for those Eventbrite Thursday night meetups at that restaurant down the street. Social media is being used more and more to connect with future employers & employees.
Twitter & Instagram are great tools to use to stalk, (yes stalk) your future boss. Find out what they like, and strike up a conversation. You both may be obsessed with The Walking Dead. (PERFECT ICEBREAKER) People are more inclined to meet with you once you have a connection, vs. trying to set up an interview through a cold email.
I personally use Twitter as my method for job hunting. I find the leaders in the companies I want to work for, and I offer to buy them a cup of coffee and chat. It’s a good excuse for them to get out of the office and a great opportunity for you to see what they’re like and what the inside scoop is on the company. Don’t forget, they may be interviewing you, but you’re also interviewing them.
Chances are if you have a good conversation, they’re more likely to refer you to another company, or they choose to put more effort into getting you a position at their company. The best part: the pressure is off. Formal conversations and stark office meeting rooms can create a tense environment for both people. Coffee shops are great places to meet, plus you don’t have to worry about what to do with your hands since you’ll be holding a mug.
The biggest rule: Don’t give up. They’re probably answering 200 emails a day so a mention from you might slip through the cracks. Be persistent until they respond. You’re important, so make them believe it.
How Social Media Can Be Helpful and Hurtful in the Midst of Tragedy
By: Rachel Dunnigan
Monday’s events were an incredible test of our strength as a city and a country. The fear and panic during the bombing, as well as the outpouring of kindness and determination thereafter was captured and made public through all facets of social media. As a social media student I was both proud and frustrated with the power of social media in such a trying time. For the most part, I believe social media was incredibly helpful and ultimately positive. I realized just how important it could be when used correctly and for the better. Below, are some examples of how social media was good, bad and ugly during the Boston Marathon Bombings:
If you were in Boston at any point during the events on Monday, then you know how difficult it was to get in touch with friends and family. Calls weren’t going through and texts were iffy. My initial reaction was to check Facebook, and that was probably the best thing I could have done. Not only were there updates about what was happening just down the street, but there were statuses of friends saying that they were okay, and reaching out to make sure I was also okay. If I was unsure about someone’s safety, all I had to do was check their Facebook, and I could find out if they were alright. In this situation, Facebook definitely came through.
One thing that was frustrating about social media (apart from people tweeting as if it were just another day in the life), was how instantly information was being made public - whether it was correct, or not so correct. With various different sources (some very reputable) posting and tweeting contrasting information, it was so difficult to get the story straight at times and really comprehend what was going on. For a good chunk of time Wednesday afternoon, reports were claiming that they had a suspect. Only to find out that not only did they not have anyone in custody, but all they had was a photo of two men whom they thought to be suspects. Needless to say, it all worked out successfully. For a good 24 hours, however, there was so much that was not clear, and the rapid-fire social media reports were not helping with that confusion.
Perhaps the worst us of social media during this sensitive time was the Boston Bombing Memes Facebook page. Shortly after the events took place on Monday, a Facebook “like” page was set-up, displaying internet memes poking fun at what had just taken place. At this point, it was already determined that three people had been killed and over a hundred others had been injured. How a person could take something like that so lightly was unthinkable and caused many angry Facebook users to report the page. Ultimately, it was taken down. In a way this example is a bit of a Catch 22 because without the power of social media, the news about the page may not have spread as fast and efficiently.
Overall, social media proved to be an incredible resource during such a tragic and overwhelming period of time. That being said, it also proved that even the most positive things in life have their downfalls. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to all on how to effectively use social media resources in the midst of crisis.
As a snowboarder, skier, and winter enthusiast, climate change personally effects my future. While I’m not here to preach about what is or isn’t happening and demand that you start recycling, I do want to highlight the impact that people can have on a social movement when they all work for a common goal.
Climate change and its effect on the winter sports industry recently took the spotlight at The White House when pro-snowboarder Jeremy Jones was honored as a Champion of Change. As a “Champion” Jones is rightfully being praised for his efforts as a community activist, environmentalist, and innovator of future ideas to help resolve the problem that is shortened winters. On a more social front, he founded the organization Protect Our Winters (POW) whose mission is to unite and actively engage the global snow sports community to lead the fight against climate change.
The idea here is community. First, start small and reach the target demographic, snow industry enthusiasts. These like minded people are quick to understand the impact of such a global problem and how it will effect their future. No one wishes to see New England resorts closing in the next 10 years or the winter season being shortened by weeks at a time. Even the public who despise snow can recognize this as a rising issue. Next step, country wide and global awareness. Climate change isn’t just effecting the activities I love. No, it’s reducing jobs, businesses, and the once thriving economies of mountain communities. Winter tourism brings in $12.2 billion in annual revenues, creates 212,000 jobs, and pays out $7 billion in salaries. Surprised? Proper education and action against climate change by the President is the next tier to move forward. On behalf of all winter sport participants, globally recognized athletes collectively drafted a letter to Obama calling for climate reform and positive action. Give it a read.
It may not seem like a huge step, but it is the idea that resounds. Individually people can make noise, but together they can make change. And this is the purpose and benefit of social media – to provide millions of people the platform to ban together and send out the same message in order to gain the attention of the unaware.
[source: Protect Our Winters]
by Michelangelo Aragon
The weather pretty much predicts the outcome of our days. Admit it! If you have a smartphone, and you live on the East Coast, you probably check the weather during this time of the year before dressing accordingly and going out. Thanks to Yahoo!, you can now check the weather with a real-time picture of any location in the world (including the West Coast).
Using Flickr, the Yahoo! weather app updates each of their cities accurately in time. Using the radar function, we can clearly predict precipitation of any kind at any given time. It is amazing how a simple chart with icons is so highly informative because we are not just reading numbers. Yahoo! took the leap forward and added even more features than your regular weather app. I mean, it even tells you when the sun is rising and setting!
What is the secret behind the popularity of this app in the Internet? For one, the Flickr community will be actively taking pictures of all the cities around the world and posting them online. Ever heard of the Project Weather? Check it out: http://www.flickr.com/groups/projectweather/. With over 6.8k members contributing to this project, there is a high traffic of daily content published online thanks to Yahoo!
The project itself looks entertaining to smartphone photographers because the process is simple: Snap and Share - the same way we do with other social networks in our lives.
What’s the incentive? The more you snap, the higher the chance your photo will be featured. According to mashable.com, “The more photos available for a particular area, the more often that photo might update.”
Have fun with it and snap away!
By Dana Cornelius
Disconnect was founded in 2011 by a former Google employee and a consumer rights and advocacy attorney. It was originally created to keep Facebook from accessing “private” information from users, but soon branched out into all areas of the web. Disconnect works as a browser extension that allows users to visualize what kind of data websites are trying to access. It also encrypts what data users do share with these sites so that passwords and information cannot be stolen. Currently, the web extension works for over 2,000 different sites.
Here is an example of how the extension looks when you visit Facebook:
Not only have I blocked 3 different ads, but my page actually loaded twice as fast by using Disconnect. This is what sets the extension apart from competitors. Unlike other similar services such as Ghost, Disconnect not only blocks ads and allows users to easily visualize how much data they are keeping to themselves, but it also strives to save bandwidth and therefore load time.
Another awesome thing about Disconnect is the pay what you want feature. When you go to add the Disconnect extension at disconnect.me, it adds the tool to your search bar, and leads you to a payment page. Here, you have the option to contribute $10, $20, $50, $100, or any amount you want (including $0). You then can use slider bars to decide how much of your money will be donated to one of four detailed charities, and how much will be donated to the development of Disconnect.
While many of these type of extensions and applications are going to make it more difficult for advertisers to reach audience information online, I think they’re extremely important option for consumers to have. I also believe that services like Disconnect will make advertising online less parasitic and more thoughtful. In my mind, accessing information about online users is becoming too easy and is making many advertisements lazy and simply annoying. While it may be a stretch to assume that extensions like Disconnect will drive better advertising, I believe that it will at least make companies have to think more about their target markets. Hopefully this will start making the online world a more friendly place for modern consumers!
by Kelsey Doherty
For $90 million you could purchase almost anything, what would you buy?
The answer for LinkedIn was easy, acquired three-year-old newsreader Pulse. While RSS feeds are on their way out Pulse has been thriving as a news aggregator. LinkedIn sees great opportunity in this growing RSS reader and after putting down the $90 million in stocks and investments they’re well on their way to incorporating Pulse technology into the website.
LinkedIn explains that they want to be the one stop for professionals to get all their news and connect or network. They’ve already been headed in this direction for some time, sending out emails daily with the top LinkedIn news, usually stories from across reputable websites like Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com. LinkedIn also includes top stories, relevant to a particular user’s industry, directly above their newsfeeds. It only seems natural that LinkedIn has purchased Pulse to maximize features like this on their website.
It’s unknown how LinkedIn will apply the RSS reader to their website, whether they’ll tie the two together or keep them only loosely associated. As the third most popular social network in the world, LinkedIn appears to provide one of the most practical services to the public of all social networks. Additional news feeds and sources can only strengthen LinkedIn’s brand and provide a further service to their users. It should be interesting to see whether Pulse becomes an added feature, something just for Premium members, or simply connected with LinkedIn in the coming months.
For More Information: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/11/linkedin-acquires-pulse-for-90m-in-stock-and-cash/
By Devon Kotch
This week, Facebook rolled out another new feature: emoticon status updates. If you’ve scrolled through your newsfeed and seen status updates like “is feeling excited” with a special emoticon, this was the new feature in action. At the moment, it is only available for selected users.
While some users view it as a way to spice up a simple update, social media news sites say this is yet another way Facebook keeps close tabs on its users…in a very sneaky way. The main idea with the new design of the updates, these sites say, is to gain more of an insight of consumer habits. In addition to the “feeling” update, users can also select what they are watching, reading, listening to, drinking, eating — basically anything that is ‘likable’ on Facebook, which means that the users themselves are advertising for those certain products. TechCrunch also notes that when these details are added to status updates, Facebook may automatically add the ‘likes’ to your about page or recommend you ‘like’ the page.
Although the new update is still in beta, companies and brands are being handed a new kind of word-of-mouth advertising.
By Blair Mosberg
Musical acts in some of the T’s busiest stations are not uncommon. What is uncommon though, is when their acts go viral.
On April 6, violinists Rhett Price and Josh Knowles uploaded their rendition of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” they performed in South Station. Lucky for them, it rocked (Taylor Swift, take note), and their performance went viral around the Bean. And now thanks to the Huffington Post, the video is making leaps and bounds across the Internet.
Three days after the video was posted on YouTube, it got a little praise from BostonTweet:
This tweet received an impressive 153 retweets and 84 favorites. And that was just the beginning.
On April 10, according to the boston.com feature on Price and Knowles, the video was just shy of 10,000 views. Now on April 12, the video surpassed 153,000 views on YouTube. Also a rarity for subways buskers—the video received some positive (and not outrageous) comments. And thanks to these YouTube comments, the song is now available on iTunes.
With so many musical acts emerging through YouTube, will Subway Violinists be the next Karmin, or just a 15-minute viral sensation? I say with the Billboard Hot 100 now taking YouTube videos into account, they have more of a chance than ever. And because they’re playing pop music, I don’t think they’ll be ignored the way world-famous violinist Joshua Bell was when he played on the subway. Maybe Bell should have tried harder to get his performance circling online.
This winter in Colorado, a state where skiing is the second largest business industry, you can imagine that many stress filled nights and days have gone into brainstorming ideas to pull in tourists. That is especially the case this year in the Rocky Mountain State, and in other states fueled by winter sports, when skiing and snowboarding participants are dwindling. Unpredictable snowfall levels, the high costs of the sports, and even fluctuating trends all dictate the success of any given season.
A collective of similar thoughts came together this week at the Mountain Travel Symposium in Aspen. Combine hundreds of industry movers and shakers with some progressive thinking companies and you get a glimpse of the future travel industry.
One forward thinker was a little company out of California named Google. Their Travel Department is working to create an improved online experience in which they assist the user and suggest ideas rather than solely supplying answers. (Check out their Street View project with Aspen/Snowmass.) By tapping into customer travel plans, Google has the potential to offer a hyper intuitive, customer centric initiative in which they can provide information to the customer that they weren’t even aware they needed. A connection with the customer on such a deep, personal level proves that Google, or any other company for that matter, understands the customer’s preferences. The travel experience is looking to become a much simpler process with every tid-bit of information being supplied to the buyer on a silver platter. Alright, so maybe that’s a bit too far, but it does sound like some of the allure and exploration of a new destination has been removed from the equation. Are we making customers so lazy that they no longer want to discover their new favorite restaurant, a hidden spot that Google might not have reviewed? Would they rather just be given a pre-written itinerary?
Who better to understand customer likes, dislikes, friends, and little black secrets than Facebook. They are of the belief that personal connections and suggestions from people you know are the driving factor in travel decisions. According to their social graph, 40% of people use social media when mapping out their travel bucket lists and 80% of tourists are persuaded to visit a locale after viewing photos, videos, and posts created by people they know.
All this talk of data mining leads back to one central idea: storytelling. Telling a story and supplementing it with unique content is one of the secrets of driving traffic, and in this case, increasing tourism levels. Aspen/Snowmass is one of my top ski industry brands to discuss when it comes to an online presence that engages their audience. Day in and day out they are sharing fresh content in the form of dream-worthy photographs, videos highlighting the mountain experience, and continuing a lively conversation with their fans. All of these facets complete the story of Aspen/Snowmass and give a taste of what a trip there could offer. They wrote the intro to the vacation, but it’s up to the customer to explore and add their personal touch to make the trip a unique adventure.
The Twitter-Bug Is Spreading Like Wildfire, And It’s Not Slowing Down
By: Rachel Dunnigan
I happened to walk into the living room the other night while my mom was watching American Idol, just as one contestant was finishing up her performance. Once her song ended, she walked over to Ryan Seacrest, who reminded the audience of her name and the number they should call to vote for her. This didn’t surprise me one bit, since the procedure has remained the same since the show began in 2001. There was one thing, however, that did surprise me. On the screen behind the contestant was her name and Twitter handle. I shouldn’t have been too shocked because Twitter is everywhere nowadays, but I think the fact that it was being newly infused into an older show, made it seem a bit forced. It made me realize how prominent this one social media platform is becoming in the everyday lives of regular people - not just Emerson College Marketing Communications majors!
As a fan of Twitter and it’s integration into all facets of life, I’m definitely on-board with it’s increasing popularity. I can’t help but wonder, however, if perhaps it is becoming TOO much. An example of this came with this year’s Grammy Awards. Many social media experts online applauded The Grammys for their incorporation of this valuable tool. Others, were under the impression that it was forced and not genuine. It seems like every TV show, film, artist, event and whatever else you can think of is incorporating Twitter into their brand and overall awareness mission. And Twitter itself is riding the wave to hits highest peak as it continues to expand it’s reach.
But has Twitter reached its prime? Will this phase of glory soon end, beginning a downward spiral, similar to that of once-on-top child stars?
A new article on The Atlantic Wire’s webpage, entitled “Even the Twitter Elite Say It’s OK to Hate Twitter Now”, brings up the point that Twitter is getting intensely congested. With over 170 million active accounts, even the top defenders of Twitter, are beginning to feel unhappy with the platform. The article also brings up another point, regarding making “our social lives better online”. Because Twitter is becoming more and more popular, it’s not enough just to be there. There real dilemma is how to sort through all the congestion that is beginning to occur, before the site loses it’s appeal entirely. As we’ve seen recently, every brand out there is incorporating Twitter, and it doesn’t appear as if they will stop anytime soon. So that leaves Twitter to the challenge of making itself fresh and relevant once again. Others may disagree, but even the “Twitter elite” are disgruntled, so that must mean something.
What do you think? Is Twitter becoming #TMTH?? (That is “Too Much To Handle”, if you were confused.)