Since acquiring Instagram, Facebook has made some changes to the rapidly growing social media platform. As a photo sharing social network, Instagram is based on visuals. So when it introduced Instagram Badges, the social site hoped to help brands and individuals market their Instagram profiles along with the other sites (Twitter, Google+, and Facebook) that are currently using badges. When adding an Instagram badge, several images are available as the button that will appear as the badge:

Insta Badge J

Once you have added a badge to your blog or website, it will show up like this example from Mashable:

Instagram Badge J

Instagram is growing as a source of branding for individuals, but it is becoming increasingly popular among brands. Companies know that their consumers respond to visuals, so what better way to appeal to them, as well as informing them about products, than through photos available to them anywhere? So decide for yourself if Instagram badges are an improvement on this visual platform, and while you decide, enjoy some of my most recent Instagram photos:

 Insta3                                             Insta2

Insta1                                              Insta4



Kings and Queens

All the talk about Thanksgiving has inspired me to post about what many people focus on during this holiday: food. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? Mine has to be my grandmother’s homemade turkey and dressing- there’s nothing like it! I dream about this dish all year long, and sometimes she even makes it for me when it’s not Thanksgiving because she knows I love it so much.

Social media has been full of posts about Thanksgiving this month, especially today since the holiday is tomorrow. I came across an infographic in an article on Mashable about the most talked about Thanksgiving foods, so let’s take a look:


Who knew people loved green beans so much? Well, while great food is one part of the holidays, my favorite part is getting to spend time with family, especially seeing certain family members that I often miss during other times of the year. Thinking about the things I am thankful for reminded me of the people I have met in Haiti, New York City, Knoxville, and the billions of strangers around the world who don’t have these things. They don’t have a shelter where they feel safe all the time, or more food than they could ever eat before it goes bad, or even a closet overflowing with clothes that they don’t even wear (and in case you still don’t get it, I have way too much stuff). I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are often a time when people are more conscious of the poor, but my hope is that I can make a difference in those people’s lives no matter what time of year it is, and that I can inspire others to do the same. I have mentioned the The Bowery Mission in New York in other posts, and recently they have been posting on Facebook and Twitter about the donations they received after hurricane Sandy, as well as donations for Thanksgiving. KARM here in Knoxville has also been posting about the donations they have received for Thanksgiving. Seeing these posts makes me want to help those in need, but also reminds me that I need to do a better job of being faithful in helping the poor no matter what time of year it happens to be, because many of these people will be forgotten once the first of the year comes around. I don’t want these people to be forgotten. I want these people to be loved and cared for more than I want that homemade turkey and dressing from my grandmother on Thanksgiving. I want them to feel like kings and queens, not just for a day, but every day. I guess my point is that I am happy that Americans like to help the poor during the holiday season, but I would encourage you to think about those in need year-round! Go help those in need and watch how it changes your life. So go eat some great food, help some people out who might not be having a great holiday season, and be thankful for the things you have been blessed with!

Check this music video that is part of a project to help those in Haiti:

Social Musicians

My brother and several of my friends play the guitar, so when I came across a Mashable article about Soundslice, I had to share it. Soundslice is a new way for musicians to learn songs. Instead of tediously studying a YouTube video or downloading a tab to learn a song, musicians can now use Soundslice to view the YouTube video with the tab, all in one place. It looks a little like this:


The song can even be played at half speed without changing the pitch. When asked if Soundslice could become a social network, the creator said, “It can become a commons for user-generated musical annotations and transcriptions,” he says. “At the moment, social interaction is very limited — you can see other people’s annotations and see all the other videos they’ve annotated and that’s it. But obviously, there’s a ton of potential to do more.”

The creator, Holovaty, also envisions a paid version of Soundslice for musicians who want higher quality, or the ability to upload their own videos without having to rely on YouTube. He also sees a educational version in the future. So, whether you are a musician or not, it is interesting to see technology change in a way that helps people improve at whatever their passions may be. In honor of all this YouTube talk, check out one of my favorite songs by The Beatles:

Giving Back Through Social Media

In Advertising we learn that brands have relationships with their customers, and that we should always be thinking of how to engage consumers with the brand we are representing. I believe that social media has made the process of building relationships with consumers even easier. Consumers already use social media, so why not go where you know that they are already spending time? Today I was catching up on Mashable and noticed an article that gave links to the 40 Essential Mashable Stories You May Have Missed in 2012. Well apparently I missed an essential story in July called Viral Philanthropy: The Impact of Crowdsourced Compassion. This article talks about many different causes that have been able to raise more than enough money to support projects or people who need it using social media. Slava Rubin, founder and CEO of Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site said, “I think we’ve moved from a world of transactions to a world of relationships.” I agree with Slava because social media has changed the way that people talk to each other, the way that they interact with each other when they are not spending time together in person, and the way that they connect with causes that they believe in. Here are a couple of examples of campaigns from Indiegogo:

Check out Indiegogo’s latest campaigns to help a cause that you believe in!


A New Kind of Economy

What do you use Facebook for? To keep up with friends, post pictures, or manage a business’ page? Facebook has many different facets, but one that I am learning more about is the world of Facebook apps. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am currently working on a campaign for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl. Crash began using a Facebook app for the first time this year, and has seen tremendous success because of it. Facebook apps have become an industry of their own, creating 235,644 jobs. Facebook, if it were a country, would be the third largest country in the world behind China and India. So how does this enormous platform contribute to the app industry? Well, Facebook users install 20 million apps per day, which is 2.4 times the amount of cups of coffee that Starbucks sells in one day.

While on Pinterest, an infographic caught my eye. (Yes, I am aware that I am infographic-crazy!) This graphic led me to a post on the Engine Yard blog called “The Facebook App Economy”. The article discusses the specifics of the Facebook app industry, but I will let the infographic do the talking:

The Quiet Giant

This semester I discovered a great resource for anything I could ever want or need to know as I began two separate campaigns for two different Advertising classes- one for Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, and the other for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl. This resource is called SlideShare. From discovering target markets involving moms, to learning about the demographics of filmmakers, SlideShare has it all. And, just in case you are wondering, it has other topics that are relevant to you! So, what is SlideShare? It is a website with endless amounts of slideshows on almost any topic. You can upload your own PowerPoint presentations, or look for information on the slideshows that are uploaded by others. SlideShare even has a paid “Pro” version that businesses can use at a different level than individuals. I did not realize, however, how much SlideShare is used by people all over the world until I happened across an infographic about it on Pinterest. The pinner referred to SlideShare as the “YouTube of professional resources”. I have a slight obsession with infographics, perhaps because I am a designer, and I think that this one gives some valuable information about this incredible resource called SlideShare:

So next time you need to know something, check out this “Quiet Giant”.

Too Much of a Good Thing

As an Advertising student, social media is a huge part of not only my personal life, but my college and future career. Certain people in the School of Advertising are even pushing for the social media class I’m currently enrolled in to be a mandatory part of the Advertising curriculum. Social media is the fastest growing form of technology in history, and it is an enormous resource of all types of news. Hurricane Sandy is the greatest and most recent example of how social media is becoming a necessary way for people to communicate. I posted about Sandy a few days ago, and even recommended a few Twitter accounts to follow for information about how the restoration process is coming along, and how you can help.

I could talk all day long about the great things that social media has done, but can there be too much of this good thing? Social media can be a distraction, even for those whose job it is to keep track of certain accounts. When I took a look at Mashable today, an article titled “Social Media Distractions Cost U.S. Economy $650 Billion” caught my eye. Check out this infographic about how social media can be a distraction: