“Simple, beautiful, and ad-free.”


Have you heard of this new social media site? Ello is supposed to be the “Facebook killer.” Its purpose seems to be creating a public space online for users to interact and share status updates, photos, and information with each other, but without the one thing nearly all social media sites have and everyone hates- ads.

Ello’s is proud of its “manifesto”- an anti-ad, anti-product mission statement of theirs. It wants users to break free of the holds today’s technology and consumerism in the form of tracking cookies and marketing trends and flashy advertising has over them.

Personally, I think it’s annoying when websites are plagued with advertisements, and even a bit skeptical (read: creeped out) by ads showing me products related to my Google searches. There are arguments out there that state advertising has gone too far, that it’s becoming too intrusive. Especially on sites like Facebook, where a great population of people and consumers are.

But will enough users make the transition from Facebook to this new site?

Ello is currently in Beta mode, and is “invite-only.” While not just anyone can create an account yet, certain public profiles are visible. They are, of course, pretty empty, as there is no interaction (yet, I guess.)

My first impression? It’s cold. It’s gray. It’s a “manifesto,” which seems to me a word much too strong for a new social media site. I did request an invitation to check it out, but I won’t be offended if it doesn’t arrive.


What do you think? Will you go Ello?

Tweeting for Toys


Imaginations Toy Store

Now that the whole world is digitized, social media of all platforms is becoming more and more prominent. What was once used solely for social online relationships- friend connecting, story-sharing, photo-pasting and the like, has now made its way into business life.

Twitter, for example, has become a lucrative outlet for social media marketing and advertising. Everything from car dealerships to dairy companies use this platform to not only promote their products, but to connect with their customers. This connection is what is important, because company feedback to a consumer is key.

Losing a customer is the last thing a business wants, so creating and keeping them is priority. Companies big and small have begun interacting with their customer base through mentions on Twitter. It’s a way of letting the customers know that they are being listened to and that the company cares.

This fall semester, I am working with a peer team to manage the social media accounts for a local mom and pop toy store- Imaginations of Blacksburg. Imaginations has been around 16 years, and run until now on traditional word-of-mouth advertising. We’re gearing up to launch their new SMM platform this Tuesday! A new WordPress site has been created, Twitter page ready to go, Facebook tweaked, and promotions planned. We’re quite excited! Stay tuned for more updates along the way.

Lazy days mean lazy blog posts.

Is usually make the effort to log into WordPress and blog from my computer, but today is a lazy day. The weather in Blacksburg is definitely October-esque, and what better way to celebrate that than by writing on a blog while eating peanut butter and sitting in your pajamas at home?

There is no better way in the entire universe, I checked for you.

Recently, I’ve been drafting a tap essay using the Tapestry app. Writing a tap essay feels novel in a really interesting sense – it’s not just me learning a new medium, it’s me learning a new medium that the world has never really encountered before. Robin Sloan’s “Fish” really opened the door for the Tapestry to exist as a form of communication rather than just art, and I think that’s kinda neat. It’s just really interesting – you can group a lot of social media together under a “status update” umbrella category, but the tap essay sort of made its own category.

Facebook and Twitter have become so big, their names became the standard? In the same way that we say “can you grab me a Kleenex” versus “can you grab me a paper tissue,” we now say “Facebook it to me.” In that last sentence, it took me a while to even remember what to call a tissue without calling it a Kleenex.

Since Tapestry is kind of sitting there on its own, I think the tap essay could turn into something big. The thing is, it’s been in existence for a while. How long did it take for Facebook and Twitter to bow up? If something doesn’t become exponentially popular in a year or two, will it sit forever unused? Tapestry definitely holds the potential to be a beautiful, effective learning tool, but as I use it today I can’t help but wonder whether my message will be received without using one of the supernova social media tools.

And that leads me to a question – how important to we need to feel before we share a message? If you only had one Twitter follower, how would you tweet differently? If you had no Facebook friends, what would you post?

Then again, I don’t think anyone reads this blog, and here I am. My challenge to us both: just tell your story, and let social media figure itself out.