Hi there! Today is my last day as the AY Communications Manager and it only felt right to go out the same way that this all started— with a blog post by yours truly.
A year and a half ago I was in the middle of getting my MA in Psychology and was asked to come aboard the AY team on a part time basis. I was completely unaware of what I wanted to do or be, but decided to put my BA in Advertising to good use. By February, it became my favorite full-time job to date and that whole Master’s thing went straight out the window. We were a small team in NY of only a handful of people and I got to do everything—literally— and whether it was pitches or research, I was excited to come to work every single day. By March I started reviving the company’s nonexistent social presence, growing our then 2-person social team, and decided that maybe we should start a blog— you can thank Veronica Mars for that one. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since those fateful days back in early 2013 so much has changed, but the one constant that has remained is the amazing team that I have been lucky enough to work with on a daily basis. They are one of the main things that I will miss most of all!
In all honesty, I was fortunate enough, early in my career, to work with some of the most hardworking and smartest people in the world— yes, world (we are international, after all). They work long hour and weekends, with— instead of against— the daily roadblocks they face, and have never uttered “no” to even the most difficult tasks put in front of them. And they’re pretty amazing human beings as well.
They are the most genuine group of people I’ve ever met (some of them only over Skype) and have made my time at AY more than I could have ever expected. If I could take them all with me, I would in an instant!
So I guess that this is my goodbye!
To all 998 of you (across various platforms) who have followed AY Digital on social (& are possibly reading this now), thank you for an amazing ride (and tons of engagement)! I hope you enjoyed the numerous toast posts, our vast industry knowledge and looks into our day-to-day. To date, taking on AY’s social media has been my shining achievement— from 32 followers on LinkedIn to almost 1k across various platforms— not too shabby, eh?
Auvoir and all the very best (for the last time),
June 17, 2014
When we need to write something, we always read some other ideas first. Some of them might be related to the subject we’re writing about, but others are just things we read just to get our brain working. If you feel a constant need to feed the right side of your brain, here’s a list of books to get you started.
I have to admit that I love all sorts of books. I’m the type of person who devours Hemingway and his short phrases, as well as Allende with her long detailed ones. And I also love sarcastic Beigbeder and psychology or sociology books. Yes, I know, this tells a lot about me.
Losing neurons vs. Being ambidextrous
But here goes the part I’m not that proud of. I have a guilty pleasure and it’s called chick lit. What is more is that I know I’m not alone in this. A lot of smart women started with Jane Austen and ended with this genre.
When I want my brain to take a break, but I still need to feed it, I always go for an easy-breezy read. And maaan, some of them are sooo bad. This is probably why I sometimes watch B-rated movies—just because they’re bad.
Some people say this is one way of losing neurons. But hey, I’m a rookie ambidextrous person and neurons start to die on their own after turning 20 anyway. I bet you didn’t know that.
Being ambidextrous means you can write with both hands and you might develop schizophrenia. This is why from an early age I’ve been improving “right hand takeover.” But it also means my strict, left side of the brain likes to give the creative, right side of the brain some free time to go “reading wild.”
Excuses. Excuses. I know.
Here are some books to help with your creative side or just to wake up your brain. No chick lit, promise. You can add me on Goodreads for that.
- On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser: This is a great book for writers of any age. Even if you already know the rules, you’ll polish them. It even helped me with my writing style and I’ve actually come up with some writing subjects while reading it.
- Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday: In this day and age, 2.0 writers know what they’re getting themselves in. For the others this is the perfect book to better understand new media.
- The Magus by John Fowles: Perfect book if you are in search of an intellectual challenge. This is one of those maze-like books worth reading and rereading. Each time you’ll see different things. That’s how awesome John Fowles is.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: This is a popular classic and you have to hand it to her, the woman can write and develop memorable characters like no other. Besides this, she does prove that women can be funny.
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Do I still have to spell it out for you? The man created a masterpiece over here. This book is great for women, as well as for men. It’s good for the creative brain, as well as for the writer’s block.
- Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises To Wake Up Your Brain by Stefan Mumaw, Wendy Lee Oldfield: This is the book you’ve all been waiting for. It’s great if you’re going on a long road trip with your friends. It’s funny at parties and, for me, it also worked to grab attention on social media. And yes, it’s great when you and your team need to do some brainstorming
June 16, 2014
What is icing? I'm new to hockey and don't understand this concept
June 13, 2014
Bosses, managers, and team leaders out there, the secret’s out: If you give us a gadget, an Internet connection and something creative to do, we’ll take at least 10 minutes for ourselves before we start something. If, until now, you had doubts of how we spend this time exactly, here’s the inside story.
First, let me just add that I know I’m doing you guys a favor. But, like we all know, no good deed goes unpunished. I feel you’re going to ban me from taking my 10 minutes of losing track of time at work… creatively. But hey, this is how I don’t lose my sanity.
Why we need those 10 minutes to go “digitally wild”
And there’s a second thing I would like to add. No, I’m not making excuses. I always finish things on time.
Yes. I’m that good.
It’s not about that, it’s about the fact that if I’m stuck, facing “writer’s block,” I can’t write anything for hours. Thus, allowing me to go “digitally wild” for 10 minutes is the key to success.
What people usually do
People usually pass this time on Facebook. Have you seen the new News Feed? I’m turned off instantly. All those ads left and right, yeah I know those “feed us,” but no! Others like to take their time with websites like 9GAG. Have you ever tried it? I can’t do it only 10 minutes. It’s way too addictive for me.
What I usually do
I look for things that aren’t mainstream. I have a lot of websites and blogs which I constantly stalk, but this one is really great. Swiss Miss is a design blog where you can find funny gifs (like the one above), sassy quotes, interesting news and even other cool websites like Noisli.
P.S. What’s your favorite background noise combo?
June 11, 2014
Nowadays, memes are everywhere. Along with the rise of social media, photos and videos can go viral overnight.
Social media platforms have changed the way and increased the speed at which information is spread. Before this, sharing was happening mostly through email or messenger - and regular old word-of-mouth.
Now, we have a half dozen social networks and social news sites like 9gag and Reddit where catchy (or sticky) content can be shared by millions of people with millions more.
When it comes to Internet memes, good grammar, a call to action and users engagement affects their virility. Some catch fire while others burn out. But what happens when regular people become memes?
Let’s take for example one of the most popular memes: Sweet Brown and her “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”. It all started with this video:
A reporter interviewed her while her apartment was burning down. Soon after that, the video went viral and the phrase “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” was all over the Internet and filling school hallways as well as office conference rooms.
She was invited to many TV shows and she did a commercial for a dental clinic using her iconic phrases. Even Beyonce quoted her during an interview using the phrase “Lord Jesus, it’s a fire!”
But internet fame isn’t always a happy story. Last year, Business Insider revealed more information about this woman. While seeking to profit from her internet fame, Sweet Brown has sued Apple, a radio program and many others for unauthorized use of her likeness, according to court documents. Sweet Brown isn’t so sweet anymore.
Another example of how internet can turn you into a meme is the cute Tardar Sauce (a.k.a. Grumpy Cat) has won the internet with her eternally grumpy face.
Her owner left her job as a waitress and she managed to create a genuine brand. Grumpy Cat has millions of hits on YouTube, T-Shirts, calendars and a best-selling book available in 14 languages. Also, she has her own agent, bodyguards and a lawyer.
June 10, 2014
Check out part 2 of a day in the life of a New Media Journalist!
June 4, 2014
There is no metric for viral. When we hear the higher ups ask to include a “viral video” in our marketing strategy we all cringe and die a little on the inside. It’s not so much because we think a viral video would be a bad idea, but more because planning on one is a terrible one.
When building content, everyone hopes to be as viral as the bubonic plague, but the reality is your content would be lucky to catch on like the common cold.
That’s actually the mentality you need when building shareable content. The content has to have thousands of different strains and be resilient. It has to break through the white blood cells of internet boredom - no small task.
So, how do you go about building a super bug? You fail, fail again and fail better.
June 3, 2014
Do you think there’s a problem with our title? No? Then you’re in luck. You haven’t been corrupted with the new styles of headline writing yet.
A few years back, as new media journalists, we learned that a title must attract attention. Then, it must send the message of what we’re writing about. Next, we’re suppose to focus on making it as SEO as possible, to make search engines “appreciate” it.
Here is where we learned: an SEO-friendly title must have a head keyword or term. “Dresses” is better than “dress,” “gadgets” is better than “gadget.” And then a long tail keyword to explain it and make the title up to 5 or 6 words.
- "Dresses for spring-summer 2014”
- "Top 10 gadgets of 2014”
Then things took a turn. In the last couple of years these rules have changed, and all because of social media. After writing an article, we all know we must find a catch phrase to promote it on websites like Facebook or Twitter.
But now we’re facing another issue. Those catch phrases have actually become today’s headline. Things like “The New Collection is Out. You Must Get It!,” “Shock and Terror Has NYC Citizens Grasping at Straws. Read here!,” and “You Didn’t See The Latest Picture of Brangelina? Click Here!” are invading us.
We gotta give it to the new trend. It’s catchy and it meets its purpose: everybody clicks. It’s impossible not to. But it’s a bit tricky and it kind of brings a media brand down.
So what’s your take?? Would you do it if it means more clicks?
June 2, 2014
Get into the daily life of a New Media Journalist in today’s infographic below:
May 30, 2014
The release of the Google glasses has been the source of many media speculations, reviews and predictions.
Are they cool? Are they too expensive? Are they worth it? Will we all be wearing them soon?
One thing I didn’t see coming was them being the reason of a new online social scandal.
Recently a woman entered a restaurant in New York City wearing a pair of the infamous glasses. The manager of the restaurant asked her to remove her glasses. Why you ask? Because apparently these glasses are known for being used by their owners to record stuff around them. Which apparently makes other patrons upset.
Well, little did the restaurant know that she was possibly the only influential person on Google+ (ever) and she posted about her experience on the platform. Loads of people got upset. And by loads I mean all 13 Google+ users ever.
The restaurant is upset because now they have a whole bunch of one-star reviews, most of them coming from people who don’t even live in NYC.
This could be a business model for Google. “Let people wear our glasses in your establishments or get bad reviews on Google.” Wait… guys that sounds familiar. Yelp?
May 29, 2014
According to Mehr News Agency, an Iranian court ordered Iran’s Ministry of Telecommunications to block Instagram over privacy concerns on Friday.
This isn’t the first time for Instagram; the Iranian government blocked the social network for 12 hours on Dec. 29, 2013. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are also officially inaccessible. Earlier this month, WhatsApp was also blocked.
Nevertheless the Ministry of Communications has to make the decision if it will follow the court order and block Instagram. Over the weekend, many users were still able to access the app, however, Iranians are already reporting disruptions in the service, with many complaining that they couldn’t view pictures on the platform.
Apparently the problem wasn’t because of the government decision, but instead from Facebook moving Instagram’s distribution network to its own services, which are blocked in Iran.
Iran has been pushing for an Instagram substitute, Lenzor, launched by Iranian social network Cloob.com. Lenzor can be better controlled by the local government because the servers are inside of Iran.
Instagram has yet to comment on the matter.
May 28, 2014
Facebook decided to change something for the better! Yes, it’s true, they made a change that could save your butt if you’re one of those people who regularly post things you wouldn’t want a boss, or future employer to see.
Facebook changed the wall post settings to automatically share with friends only, instead of “Public” to avoid over-sharing. However, this change is only in effect for new members, starting now. So in other words this affects no one (ha ha ha).
Just kidding, when the babies you’ve been flooding your friends newsfeeds with grow old enough to start over sharing their lives on Facebook – rest assured, they’ll be protected. But, for the rest of us veterans, you must continue to change your audience settings as you post.
Side Note: If you change your audience settings ‘before’ you click “post”- those settings will stick from that point forward, each time you post. If you want to change for just one particular post—change them after you actually click “post.”
May 27, 2014