Trayvon & Zimmerman Online

What started as a small story in Sanford, Florida (my hometown) rapidly grew on the Internet and became a nationwide topic. In Febuary of 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what he says, was self defense. I remember listening to the local news cover it the next morning, and not thinking much into it. Sanford doesn’t have the best reputation, and the story didn’t surprise me.

According to the Miami Herald, “Among the first to publicize the story was nationally syndicated radio host Michael Baisden, who sent a message to his 65,000 Twitter followers and 585,000 Facebook fans: “Unarmed 17-year-old boy shot by neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, FL outside of Orlando.”

Once the Internet caught wind of the story, the situation was played out and fueled on by social media. Imagine my surprise to be in California the summer of 2012 and watching my little hometown, Sanford, dominate headlines across the country.

It never slowed down. Over the course of the past three weeks of trial, Instagram was flooded with users posting pictures of them in hoodies or with skittles and ice tea, with the hashtag #blackout or #justicefortrayvon to represent Martin.

The case came to a close on Saturday night with a not guilty verdict. Martin’s parents were not present in the courtroom for the announcement and took to Twitter for their response seconds following it:

The reaction to the verdict took over social media, with Trayvon’s name dominating the hashtags, along with #manslaughter, #florida, and #sanford trending on Twitter.  Facebook newsfeeds were also flooded with anyone and everyone’s opinion on the matter.

Did you voice your opinion on the verdict on social media?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Online Identity Theft

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the negative consequences that can come from a social media presence.  Even I am guilty of being quick to share what I’m eating, who I’m with, and where I am, with basically anyone who wants to know!  The truth is, as much fun as it is to share, always remember there is such a thing as too much. It’s important to always be weary of the type of information you’re putting out there.

A chilling video was just released in an online campaign today about Internet crooks from the advertising company Duval Guillame.  The video chose a real victim, found his information online, and used it to easily take over his life.

Was this a reality check for you as it was for me?  This could happen to anyone.  Like I said in one of my previous posts on privacy, remember to be viligant with personal information. Doing so well help you to continue to have a safe and happy online environment!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Facebook Graph Search

Search “Friends of my friends who like Starbucks and Horses and live in San Francisco, California”


As of yesterday, the above search will yield Facebook results thanks to Graphic Search.   If you thought it was already easy to Facebook stalk your friends, crushes and exes- this just made it even easier.  Basically every move you’ve ever made on Facebook, whether you liked a band, photo, lyric, or movie, can be tracked with the new Graphic Search.  My search above led me to one result, a girl that I’ve never met, who Facebook expects me to connect with.

When I typed in “Search photos of my friends at the Grand Canyon” all of the pictures from my recent roadtrip with my sister were layed out before my eyes.  Whether you or someone you know shared it, you can look it up. It’s now easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for without digging.  Ofcourse, Graph Search is only as powerful as your Facebook friends willingness to share information about themselves, in the form of the like button.

According to Facebook, Graph Search is meant to “make your community feel smaller”.  Right now you can search people, photos, places and businesses but ultimately Mark Zuckerburg wants it become “a resource around the world”.

My advice?  Now is the time to double-check your privacy settings.  Limit old post settings and photos to avoid embarassing moments of the past resurfacing.  And you also may want to be a little less click-happy when it comes to the “like” button.  What do you think about Graph Search?

Tagged , , , , , ,

Social Media & Disasters: Asiana Plane Crash

sfo plane crash
I was heading home Saturday morning, stuck on bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to cross the Golden Gate Bridge when I heard the news on the radio. Just miles away from where I was, an airplane had crashed at SFO. As you’ve heard by now, Asiana Airlines flight 214 crash landed on Saturday. I was so anxious to grab my phone and read about it, but I waited until I got home to watch the crash unfold on social media.

Social media provides us with something extraordinary in that it provies real-time photos and updates from multiple witness’s point-of-view. After the crash, photos from survivors and onlookers from inside the airport went viral, as the world watched and tried to understand what had happened. In the time it took a news crew or reporters or even ambulances to arrive on-scene, hundreds of photos and tweets sharing critical information had already been posted online.

Social media also provided a way for survivors to communicate with friends and family that they were alive and what hospital they were at. Let’s face it- Social Media is first at the scene of a tragedy, making it an essential part of Journalism.

Did you follow the plane crash through social media?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

LinkedIn: Top 5 Must-Haves

Do you ever Google people you know when you’re bored, just to see what pops up? During breakfast this morning I decided to do a little search on my mother, who is currently trying to build a business selling body wraps and vitamins (on top of running a horse camp- go mom!). The Google results yielded her personal website and below, her LinkedIn (or lack thereof) account. No picture, no headline, no contact info, nothing except her name! It is my duty as her daughter (oh, and maybe as a social media manager) to help her out. I immediately called her, got her passwords, and went to work improving her profile.  If you’re starting to build your profile on LinkedIn, here are my top 5 suggestions on what to fill out immediately on the world’s largest professional network:


Your Picture

Your picture is your first impression. A professional headshot is the best way to go. When I initally made my own account, I used a cropped picture of me that was zoomed in too close. Just take a quick headshot of yourself on a blank background and it will do wonders for attracting customers.

Claim your URL

LinkedIn gives you the option to choose a simple, clean URL instead of the generated ones involving all those confusing numbers. If your first and last name is available, claim it right now! If not, try including your middle initial. This will also make your profile easier to find if someone Googles your name (like I did).


Get creative here and use descriptive and compelling keywords. My mom is among hundreds and thousands of other people trying to sell the same products, as you probably are too. Keywords can make the difference in being found and noticed.

Current position & location

It seems obvious, but make sure current your position and where you work is listed. Minor details like this make a huge difference. How can a potential customer or employer use your services if they don’t know where you offer them?

Summary (In 3rd person)

This is the area where you can really stand out from the rest, so make it descriptive.  In college I was taught to write this part in third-person, so it doesn’t come off as if you’re speaking highly of yourself. As with the headline, BE ORIGINAL!


Above is my LinkedIn profile, does your meet all the requirements I listed?


Tagged , , , , , ,

Social Media Day 2013

Did you know there’s an entire day devoted to social media lovers like us?  Social Media Day, hosted by Mashable, celebrated the connected generation around the world on June 30th for the 4th year in a row. Over 118,000 tweets regarding the celebration from six different continents were posted via the hashtag #SMDAY.

Across the globe different meetups were organized to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. Personally, my first memory of social media beginning to impact my life was sophmore year of high school. Mind you, this was back in 2005- Myspace’s prime time. It was the most visited social network in the world, and all my friends were starting to build profiles. I remember you could choose your top eight friends to be on your profile (in order!). Giving a group of 16-year-old girls the chance to rank their friends based on the drama of the day? Of course we were hooked!  Don’t even get me started on my first public relationship change.

So much has changed since my Myspace days. Now I run a number of social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest) for myself and others. It’s funny to remember how it all started and one of many reasons to celebrate Social Media Day 2013!

If your city doesn’t recognize the day, fear not. You can submit a proclamation request to your City Hall. Remember why the day is important to your city; Social Media is a way to connect your community. If anything, celebrate by just giving yourself a  minute to reminicise on your first media memories.

Share your Social Media Day 2013 memories or celebrations with me!

Tagged , , ,

The Instagram Video & Vine Battle Royale


It’s been almost two weeks since Facebook released video for Instagram. Their version of Twitter’s popular video sharing app, Vine, stepped it up by including 13 new filters, video stabilization, and the ability to choose a cover clip.  To add to the blow, an additional nine seconds were added to rival Vine’s six second recording capability. Now that we’ve had a little bit of time to play around with the new feature- do users think it measures up to Vine?

We watched some pretty major celebrities flock to Instagram video. Justin Bieber, Madonna, Lebron James, and John Mayer (to name a few) are using the new feature as a platform to let their fans have a 15-second sneak-peak into their private lives. These videos instantly acquired hundreds of thousands of likes upon being posted. Celebs weren’t the only ones in on the action.

Huge brands including Ford, MTV, and Starbucks posted video to Instagram on the first day it was announced. Rachel Tipograph, director of global digital and social media for Gap, told Mashable, “The fact that Instagram videos are going to publish to Facebook in the same way a photo does means we are going to see huge engagement.” Instagram already had a bigger following than Vine and with the video feature, and brands are recognizing the built-audience.

I am a huge fan of Instagram and I just started getting into Vine. Since I already use Instagram daily, I do see this new feature as potentially driving me to use Vine less often.

Are you or your brand on Instagram video? Did you make the switch from Vine? Let us know what you think!

Tagged , ,