Every Snapchat User’s Worst Nightmare

Introducing Snapchat, and its friendly ghost icon.

Introducing Snapchat, and its friendly ghost icon. Via Forbes (article linked)

Snapchat, for those who have never heard of it before, is an app which boasts that it can share images directly between users for up to 10 seconds. Initially, it was stated that after these 10 seconds or less, pictures were “obliterated”, or shredded pixel from pixel to never be seen again.

Sounds harmless enough right?

The app, whose interface is clean, simple, and bright and inviting, has taken on a darker purpose among some. Some users use the app to send goofy faces to their friends, record short clips from concerts, or snap vanishing images of the mundane. Others however, use the app’s promise of “shredded evidence” to send more explicit content.

Yes, just like ‘sexting’. Exactly as bad as it sounds.

While the app does have safeguards against users that attempt to take screenshots of pictures, it would appear that the veil of safety had been lifted as a new generation of “hack” apps have emerged to lower the privacy of these “snaps”. In the ‘early days’ of the app, an alert would go off when iOS users cleverly tried to screenshot images, notifying the sender that their picture was no longer ‘transient’ and was permanently saved. However apps like SnapCapture,  SnapSave, and various others now enable users to capture pictures without alerting the image or video.

Brace yourselves, snapleaks are a thing now.

The result? That silly picture of you and your friend doodling cat ears on each other might surprise (but not horrify) you when its posted to Facebook. Or in worse cases, that ‘sexy’ picture meant for your then-boyfriend might be your now ex-boyfriends next submissions to snapchat pics on reddit. YIKES.

No matter what you snap, make sure you’re ok with the rest of the internet seeing it too, because chances are, they will.

The State of Language in 2013

Apologies for not updating in a while; the city moves fast and time moves so quickly its easy to forget the little things!

At any rate I wanted to address a growing trend in language as I’ve witnessed it as both a former college student and as a (semi) functional member of society. In high school, many may remember the trials and tribulations of conquering the English language: studying those pesky SAT words until your eyes bled, mastering the art of the elaborate college essay, and perhaps even learning to decipher Shakespearean.

via simply steph

In college, those essays became magnificent reports, spanning pages with any elaborate word that could boost your page count before resorting to the dreaded size 14 or 16 ‘.’ marks. In some cases competition would arise in classes with presentations, and you may have found yourself ransacking dictionaries to trump your classmates with fancy words like ‘elucidate’ and ‘explicate’ to make yourself seem more informed. If you were an English nerd, you probably even made flashcards of words to toss around regularly to stump your opponents in arguments, hoping to shut down an overconfident instigator with verbiage that seemed both alien and intimidating.

Or you may have just been ‘queen of the powerpoint’.

via Zodhana Yoga

However somewhere along the long walk to receive that diploma or perhaps when you finally finished your studying to settled down to watch a reality show in television, you may have noticed a jarring contrast in the way language was changing; one might even say ‘devolving’.

When we were younger, words like ‘internet’ and ‘Facebook’ entered the dictionary to address new standard nouns found in our culture. In 2012, alongside words like ‘copernicum’ which described a very specific scientific endeavor, words like ‘sexting’, ‘aha moment’, and ‘man cave’ joined the pages of Merriam-Webster. As I sit and type this post, ‘bougie’, a noun some may recognize from rap lyrics, has been newly added to the ranks of prestigious words.

But it isn’t just the words we use; it’s the words we don’t use anymore. When I was little, I’d be called ‘moron’ or ‘idiot’ or ‘nincompoop’ (admittedly more so by older people) but would rarely encounter outright obscenities. Nowadays anyone we find displeasing is more often referred to with words that requires asterisks to shield their true identity: it’s not enough to be a “stupid idiot” anymore, now everyone is a “f***king idiot”. This is most visible in our pop culture: our movies, our stand-up comedy, memes, our television shows, and our music are now riddled with enough obscenity to make a grown sailor blush.

via Doug Savage

It’s almost as if our culture has either grown too lazy to think of clever ways to dispatch a good insult and has relied on our dulled sensitivity to the words to get away with just about any artful arrangement of ‘f***ks’ they can muster (sometimes even utilizing the word as every part of the sentence). Comedy roasts in particular has devolved so far that it is nearly impossible to have 10 minutes without a ‘bleep’ noise from the censor (who must have exceedingly impressive muscles from the sheer volume of ‘bleeps’ he must administer, I’m sure). In the original Dean Martin roast of Betty White, there were far less lewd mentions and obsessive profanity:


However when Comedy Central re-roasted Betty White for her 90th birthday, the sheer volume of lewd, profane, and truly graphic ‘jokes’ was a horrifying display of how far our humor had devolved. And the most shocking part of all was how completely normal this type of humor was received by both Betty and the studio audience…as if no good joke can be told without an accentuating ‘f***k’ for good measure.

Our reality television highlights some of the most foul-mouthed and quick-tempered of persons; often exhausting blurred mouth patches and ‘bleep’ noises so often that it becomes tricky to even discern if the person is speaking English or fluent ‘swear-anese’.

via Bad Girls Club (TV reality show)

It would seem that in 2013, language is already on a tricky path downward into the underbelly of ‘lazy insults’ and ‘easy jokes’ all with asterisk-ridded “swear words” firmly rooted at the core. Will we ever return to the days of witty comebacks devoid of a wholesome helping of obscenity?

Who f***king knows.

Cold Tweeting: The Modern ‘Cold Call’ For Influencers

In marketing you may have heard of the term ‘cold-call’ or a call made spontaneously to pitch an idea to a potential customer or  client you don’t know, on behalf of a company, service provider, etc.

On Twitter, the same technique can be utilized to boost influence. Anyone who follows me may have noticed that I have not been reaching out very often to handles I do not follow, and this has been done on purpose. When this blog post is published, I will only have 338 followers on twitter, and what I hope to demonstrate through initiating ‘cold-tweets’ after this post, is the effect that genuine ‘outreach’ tweets can have on the influence of your handle.

So how does one ‘cold-tweet’? The first thing you should consider is who you should reach out to; don’t tweet to someone you don’t anticipate holding a conversation with. You can find them by searching a topic that you find interesting (for example, bakers in Brooklyn, search “Brooklyn Bakers’) or by looking at the left-hand sidebar of who Twitter thinks you should follow.

Second, obliterate any ‘salesy’ or ‘pitchy’ tweets from your mind, because you aren’t about to sell this person something: you are about to initiate a conversation. Before you type anything, look at their bio on their twitter profile and read it. All of it. Then read their last few tweets and come up with a friendly response to one of them or type out a tweet referencing a recent conversation. Imagine you have just bumped into them at a posh café…..or at Shake Shack.

And then wait. You might get a response, you might get nothing, you might get followed. Either way, plan to send out 3-4 of these day, and observe what happens. The power of a ‘real’ follower versus a ‘bought’ follower is enormous and those following you will begin to notice that you’re a human, not a mindless retweeting robot.

Hope that helps!

Normally I never ‘reblog’ anything. Ever. Period. But this blog so accurately summarized an issue with valid points, effective evidence, and compelling well-thought out writing…it would be a outright crime not to reblog it. Because I cannot say this any better: Rape culture is when after reading this young woman’s post…you are not sure if you want to live on this planet anymore. Please read, and leave any comments you deem necessary in the comments.

Rethink the Rant

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”

Rape culture is when a group…

View original post 1,115 more words

Common Blogger Misconceptions

I apologize for the sporatic postings (I promise I’ll edit faster!!)

But since I’m back in the swing of things, here’s and extra post because I’m feeling nice:

Being a blogger is a lot of fun: you get to express your opinions freely and openly, and get cool feedback sometimes when you get comments. You get to be a journalist by your own rules, and you even get to pick what topics you talk about! There are tons of different bloggers out there, and with many bloggers come many assumptions, preconceptions, misconceptions, and stereotypes. Here are some of the most common I’ve encountered:

We’re Lazy

Believe it or not, when I put up a post on my blog, more often than not it has been written as many as 3 days to a week in advance. It has undergone several revisions, and may have even been scrapped, re-written, and then re-formatted. For many bloggers that are not staff writers or affiliated with a large community or company, the blog(s) I maintain are not my only job. Personally, I maintain 2 of my own blogs, and contribute to 3 others. So I wouldn’t say I’m lazy.

We Have Tons of Free Time

Like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t my only job. Most often my blogs are written on weekends, before I go to bed, or pieced together over the course of a week. When I first started this blog, I was working social media for a start-up and wrote my drafts when I got home. Currently, I work as an associate at a PR firm, and many of these drafts are written on the train when I visit parents or at obscure hours on Sundays. We have a lot of ideas, but free time not so much.

We’re Paid

While some bloggers are paid for what they write, most individual bloggers are not paid for their work. I am not paid for anything I write here, on my other blog, or for any contributions I make elsewhere to date. Most of us genuinely love to write, and write because it’s our passion, not because we’re expecting a check. Sorry Carrie Bradshaw, I am not you.

We’re Jerks

Sometimes my opinions don’t match yours, I’m only human. If I happen to disapprove of a current event, or have a pretty hefty two-cents on a social issue, it might offend you. But then again, if writing what’s on my mind makes me a jerk, so be it.

Some Things That We Are:

-We’re humans with dayjobs just like you (and yes for a lucky few, this is our dayjob).

-We’re passionate individuals, and write about our passion whether it be food, fashion, music, or anything in between.

-We’re not all jerks. Some of us are though. We’re sorry about those ones.

-Some of us are Communications majors, and we resent being told our majors were dumb.

Also, We Think You’re Awesome

So as you check out the latest celeb gossip, cookie recipe, or album release on your other favorite blogs, maybe leave a nice comment for the pleasant human that wrote it 🙂 !

Endorse All The Things! Actually Don’t…

LinkedIn Can Endorse Your Skills Now! COOL!

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for young professionals and high-level executives alike; it enables employers to get a quick glance at your resume with little effort, allows recent grads a starting point in their job search, and now even allows you to see what skills a person has based on the new ‘endorsement’ feature. Much like a crowdfunding site or Yelp referral service this new feature has many positives, the greatest being the ability to see what people thing you are genuinely good at….or that what its supposed to do at least.

Endorse All The Things! Actually, Don’t

Though you may be tempted to endorse your friends for all the skills they have listed, you may want to put your friendship aside for a moment and assess what skills you really feel they excel with. Much like the new trend of parents wanting their kids to be ‘perfect’ and excel at everything (and I mean literally everything), I’ve witnessed a new trend of people endorsing their friends for every trait listed. The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t give an accurate portrayal oh what the individual actually excels at.

What Do You Mean?

For example, a graphic designer that is very talented at certain programs, and new to others may have all the programs listed as skills on their profile. What their profile should reflect, is a strong endorsement in the programs they excel at, and a moderate endorsement in what they are new to: this lets a recruiter know how much training may be needed, and where their strengths really are.

But I’m Just Being Nice!

Another example may be a PR hopeful who has a strong background in traditional email marketing and b2b…but that hasn’t quite gotten a handle on social media. By endorsing this person in social media, this gives the false impression that this person understands social media as well as they understand traditional marketing.

NBD, Right?

Why is this a problem? You might say, “Oh well we all fudge our resumes a little when we try to impress people” but therein lies a fundamental flaw. If you allow a recruiter to assume you have an equal understanding of all the skills endorsed highly on your profile, it could come back to haunt you: If you demonstrate that you are not actually proficient in one skill highly endorsed on your profile, it could invalidate all the skills that have been endorsed on your profile.

So Don’t Get Trigger-Happy!

How can you avoid this? Only endorse the skills you know a person has: if your friend kicks butt at networking….but not so much social networking, ONLY endorse ‘networking’ until you think they are skilled in social networking. When LinkedIn asks you to endorse 4 of your friends at the top, DO NOT click the ‘endorse all 4’ button. Look at each suggestion carefully and endorse accordingly.

Give your friends a more fair shot, and endorse accordingly! Happy endorsing everyone!

Catching Up

I apologize for the silence lately! Life has been getting pretty hectic, and I promise I have fresh new content coming your way!

Like many, I caught the ‘killer cold’ that passed through many offices, and have been working on some material to go up. At this point, I’m not sure where else I can help in terms of help with Twitter. I would love and appreciate any comments about what you need help with, or would like to know more about!

Thanks for being patient!

The New NRA Ad: Your Thoughts?

Recently, the NRA aired a new TV spot, which was meant to promote arming teachers and remove gun-free zones from schools. Admittedly, I first read about this in Upworthy, and was a bit dumb-struck by what I saw. Here’s what I mean:

This controversial piece has caught heat from The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Chris Christie, and nearly other news source around the country. The ad, which tells the nation to ‘stand up and fight’ not only brings the Obama children into the gun debate, but also brings more children into the spotlight again by expressing a clear dissatisfaction with gun-free zones.

Continue reading

Twitter for Beginners: Step 3

And we’re back! Welcome to step three of your basic guide to Twitter. Today I will be explaining how to use basic functions on Twitter such as ‘favoriting’ and ‘retweeting’. Let’s begin:

Overview

On twitter you will encounter a set of functions available to all twitter users: the favorite, the retweet (or RT), and reply. There are other options available, but these three will be your primary focus going forward. Replying to a tweet is as straight forward as it sounds.

Let’s look at how to reply to a tweet:

Tweet-Replyex

So here I have clicked the ‘reply’ button and chosen to commend Michelle Mangen on this cool infographic. So what I’m going to do is type in my response and hit enter.

Tweet-replyfinish

This is the result. This will not show up as part of a ‘conversation’ on twitter. It is publicly viewable, and can be interacted with by followers of both users, and by the general public.

Now, on to retweeting: to ‘retweet’ or share a tweet with your followers/the public, you will need to select the ‘retweet’ button. This should be the result:

Twitter-RTex

Once you have chosen to retweet an article, this should be the result:

Twitter-RTexdone

Another option you have is to ‘favorite’ a tweet. This ‘favorite’ will not be viewable to the general public, but will alert the user that you liked their tweet. This is a great function if you want to politely and discretely liked something without drowning your followers in replies and retweets. To favorite something, simply click the ‘favorite’ button. The result will look like this:

Twitter-Favex

Now that you know how to retweet, reply, and favorite tweets, your homework is to find up to 5 tweets you like, and retweet and favorite them. If you really like it, send the user a polite reply.

Next Week:

How to get people to follow you.

Twitter For Beginners: Step 1

Hey guys, so I know I said that one of your new year’s resolutions should be to tweet, so I’ve put together an easy step-by-step guide on how to get started. I’m going to give you a new step each week to help you on your way to being a Twitter rock star (or the coolest mom ever, or the ‘cool tech-savvy’ person in the office,…)!

 

Step 1: Set up an Account

First, go to Twitter, and set up an account. The screen you will get will look something like this:

Twitter

From here, opt to create a new account (you may be tempted to add twitter to your smartphone; wait until you have set up an account to do this). You should then be taken to this screen:

Twitter2

You DO NOT have to fill in your real name if you don’t want to, but make sure you write down your password so you won’t forget it. After you’ve got all your details plugged in you will be taken to your ‘profile’ page or main screen. I’ve screencapped what mine looks like below (please note that I created all my own custom graphics for it, and would be happy to make some for yours as well):

Twitter3

Once you are here, you’ll notice you have no tweets, no profile information, and you also won’t have any images. To get started on these go to the ‘wheel’ shaped icon above like so:

Twitter4

From here, go to ‘Settings’ to customize your twitter:

Twitter5

First, make sure your account information is correct. there will be a sidebar with options like ‘profile’ and ‘design’. Please make sure you are satisfied with all this info before proceeding. There are many other options like location and connecting to Facebook if desired. You can play with that later. Click ‘profile’ next:

Twitter7

Here you can upload your photo (your tweeting icon) and your header (the image for your header bar where your profile is listed). You can also fill in your bio, add a website, your location (optional) and your name (also optional). Remember that there is a word limit on your bio, so choose wisely (you can always fix it later). If you see an options to ‘protect’ your tweets DO NOT DO IT. This is will defeat the entire purpose of you tweeting. Next click design:

Twitter6

Here you can select a pretty background for your twitter profile, and even customize your own with the ‘themeleon’ tool. For now, stick to something simple. Next up: let’s tweet!

Twitter8

You are going to see a blue stylus button in the upper righthand corner. This is the ‘compose tweet’ tool. Click this to write a tweet:

Twitter9

When writing a tweet, make sure that you check any ‘#’ and ‘@’ “shoutouts” for correct spelling. No one likes a sloppy tweet (least of all me). To tweet at individuals, use ‘@’ and their correct username in the tweet. Make sure you put something in front of the ‘@’ to make it viewable to all. Hashtags or ‘#’ mentions are like indexed categories. For example, if you are a mom talking about your kids, add ‘#kids’ or  ‘#family’ at the end of your tweets to index it into the kids and family categories. If you are a student looking for a job, used ‘#recentgrad’ or ‘#employment’ to index it as a tweet from an undergrad looking for a job. Sometimes employers search Twitter for grads looking for jobs; Sometimes celebrity moms search Twitter for cute kids and families to tweet at, you never know.

If you have any questions so far, write “I have a question @ChazNKellogg” in a tweet to me and I’ll answer any questions you have!