Tag Archives: Facebook

A New Breed of Celebrity

It’s no secret that I am a TMZ watching, Us Weekly reading, pop culture fanatic. There is good reason why I’m not alone in this thinking. Whether it’s the chic and brilliant Johnny Depps and Meryl Streeps of the world, or the not-quite-sure-why-they-are-famous Kim Kardasians and Heidi Montags, the fascination is due to the fact that these people are beautiful, wealthy, and – at least in some cases – talented. The constant swarm of salacious gossip doesn’t hurt either.

But lately, we’ve seen a new breed of celebrity: digital business leaders.

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Filed under Celebrity, Facebook, Film, FourSquare, Social Media

Gettin’ Lucky on Facebook

I find it terribly annoying when a brand launches a Facebook page and then doesn’t do a darn thing with it. Particularly for consumer brands, there is not only a huge marketing opportunity for them, but a chance to closely engage with their constituents on a one-to-one level.

I was happy to see that Lucky Magazine has taken Facebook marketing to a new level with the launch of its Facebook Pop Up Shop. In partnership with the Home Shopping Network (HSN), the shopping pub introduced a virtual store for designers like Pade Vavra, Gerard Yosca and F+C.

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Filed under Best Practices, Branding, Facebook, Internet

AVATAR and the Interactive Trailer

When going to the movies, I always arrive early to make sure I have a chance to see the previews. Trailers showcase the best elements of a film, like high-energy action sequences with bad guys in toe, heart-warming embraces between the heartthrob and his leading lady, epic soliloquies by the underdog-turned-hero or that one punch line that everyone will remember for years to come. Whether or not the movie is actually good, the preview never seems to disappoint. While I may be an easy critic, every once-in-a-while there is a trailer that creates such buzz and generates such curiosity that it nearly crashes the Fandango site weeks before the film is in theaters.

One of these aforementioned previews is for the James Cameron flick Avatar, out in theaters today. While the futuristic storyline sounds awesome and the special effects look out of this world, you have the chance to really get to know this movie before you even hit the theaters.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out the Avatar interactive trailer powered by Adobe AIR. Offering much more than your average two minute preview, this desktop application takes over your screen with a variety of video clips, behind the scenes interviews and connection to social media sites like Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. As you scale through the many features, you can track the Avatar Twitter account, which disseminates updates about the cast, links to additional YouTube clips and offers updates on ticketing. If you see something you like, you can update your Facebook status or Twitter page with the click of a mouse.

For decades, movies were very one-way; the audience would sit in front of the screen and absorb the movie in front of them. Today, we have the option of becoming involved with a particular movie even weeks or months before we see it. Through social media outlets like Flickr, YouTube or Twitter and with interactive applications like the Avatar trailer, we are able to watch and absorb information about the film and share our opinions with our peers and directly with the production companies.

How do you feel about the interactive trailer? Does it enhance the movie experience or ruin the element of surprise?

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Thanks to Rob Longert for the idea behind this post.

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Filed under Facebook, Film, Flickr, Social Media, Twitter, Video, YouTube

Spoiler Alert

I just joined the 21st century less than a year ago and got actual TV channels. (To clarify—I had watched TV before but my apartment had zip reception and for years I had refused to pay for cable. Finally, I broke down). Now, I’ll have to admit that I’ve made social plans around Gossip Girl, Lost and Entourage.

Nowadays, it is practically mandatory to have a digital landing page for each show on the network’s site. And more and more, social networking-esque features are cropping up to allow viewers to share commentary on the most recent episode, play games to find out which character personality they most resemble and share show content via Facebook or other third party sites.

I’m all for the camaraderie these sites offer when it comes to shows like Dexter that have a bit of a cult following; the virtual “water cooler” dialogue they offer allows fans to have a more personal connection to their favorite shows and the characters they love (or love to hate). However, in other ways, social media has spoiled the experience completely for me.

Take last night’s Dexter season four finale. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the culmination of the season’s twists and turns leading up to Dex’s revenge over the Trinity Killer. However, I wasn’t able to watch the episode live last night. That didn’t stop fans from promoting the killer twist via Facebook (don’t worry, I won’t say what happened). So now, when I finally get to watch the episode tonight, I won’t be as close to the edge of my seat.

In many ways, social media allows us to stay up-to-date on any kind of news we would want. But in some cases, life doesn’t allow us to keep up and we end up missing out on the personal experience.

In short, please include a SPOILER ALERT announcement when you are talking TV.

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Update: I was able to watch the episode last night and despite knowing the ending, I still found it to be the best season finale of the series. What did you think?

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Filed under Facebook, TV

Has Facebook killed the blind date?

Over pints of micro-brewed beers at Pony Bar in Hell’s Kitchen, my friend eagerly dished on the many attractive qualities of his potential love interest. His college, current law school curriculum, interests, hobbies. Oh, and the fact that he’s gorgeous.

“Have you met this guy yet?” I asked. “I thought you two were being set up.”

“We are,” he said. “I Facebooked him.”

For me, that sparked an intriguing question: Has Facebook killed the blind date?

While I may be a little more than rusty when it comes to dating, I still feel fairly certain that part of the excitement when it comes to a blind date is the mystery. What is his personality like? What do we have in common? What does he look like? That is why they call it a blind date.

However, social media has allowed us all to put forth as much or as little information about ourselves as we want. From the good:

Me and the Saint Louis University Billiken. Adorable.

TO the bad:

Not exactly the best first impression for a potential date.

To the ugly:

Not me. My profile is immaculate.

Between Facebook, MySpace and the no-longer-taboo (or-is-it?) Internet dating, it is now virtually impossible to go on a true blind date. While I am partial to the old meet-your-significant-other-in-high-school, this isn’t all bad. No longer does one have to worry about awkward silences on a blind date—just think back to their profile!

“So, I heard that you are into The Arcade Fire. I heard they were coming to Madison Square Garden in January. . . blah blah blah.” Simple.

This is not to say that all blind dates will be a homerun (although my friends’ seemed to be!), but we might want to start calling them only-seen-your-profile dates.

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Filed under Facebook, Internet Dating

Social Media Sweeps Word of the Year

Every November, The Oxford American Dictionary announces its selection for the Word of the Year (WOTY). This selection is made by a panel of lexicographers who nominate terms based on popularity in everyday discussion and cultural influence. Historically, these words have stemmed from widespread topical issues like high gas prices, locally grown foods and global warming. For example:

– WOTY 2008 – Hypermiling – To attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques.

– WOTY 2007 – Locavore – One who consumes food from farmers’ markets or home-grown gardens with the belief that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better than the alternative.

– WOTY 2006 – Carbon-neutral – achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.

However, this year, the selection took a different direction, solidifying credibility for a widely accepted, though more unique issue facing millions of people today: unfriending.


Just this morning, The Oxford American Dictionary announced “unfriend” as the 2009 Word of the Year. This verb refers to the removal of someone from your friend list on a social network such as Facebook or MySpace.

Not only did a social media term take the gold medal, but runner ups included “hashtag,” “netbook.” “paywall,” and “sexting.”

The fact that past WOTYs have reflected such serious and legitimate issues proves the point of my post: social networking is serious and legitimate.

While digital communication may have seemed like a fad that appealed to computer geeks 20 years ago, the simple example of the term “unfriend” making its way into the official lexicon demonstrates the fact that social networking is the way of the future and will continue to become entrenched in our daily lives even more so than it is now.

Language is one of the most fundamental elements of civilized society. The fact that these social media trends have taken root in our vocabulary and we are now mandating acceptance by placing this simple term in the dictionary demonstrates the staying power of these platforms.

[Note: This post by Lauren Begley origionally appeared on PepperDigital]

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Filed under Facebook, Language

The Democratization of Intimacy

One of the most talked about generation gaps between my peers and our predecessors is the question of whether or not technology has made us more or less intimate.
socialmedialandscape

Boomers have been known to say, “All that texting and Facebooking and IMing. . . what ever happened to a good old fashioned face-to-face conversation?”

On the other hand. . .

Millennials tent to espouse, “I am able to regularly communication with friends and family in and out of town. Technology has made this instantaneous and enjoyable.”

I live up to my Millennial expectations by spending a good nine hours a day on the computer. I use email, GChat, Google Talk, BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter (@LaurenBegley), Facebook, texting, LinkedIn and others, to stay connected to coworkers, clients, friends and family.

While I do agree that there is not a technology-based interaction as powerful as a face-to-face conversation, I find myself more drawn to the position Stefana Broadbent takes in this TED video:

She claims that technology has, in fact, made us more intimate. Even though our digital networks may include hundreds, if not thousands of people, she claims that we still only maintain regular, intimate communication with a handful (4-6 people on Facebook, under 5 people on IM, 2 people via Skype).

While the medium of communication may not be as warm and fuzzy as a chat over the dinner table, we are able to connect on a regular basis with people all around the world—This is, as she says, the “democratization of intimacy,” which technology has allowed.

While I might prefer that conversation over the dinner table, I am thankful I was able to Skype with my family and friends while I studies abroad and I can connect with my college friends today, even though I live states away.

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Filed under Facebook, Millennials, Social Media, Twitter