Welcome to the Ampersand Blog
The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.
Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category
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Kendyll Messina | Monday, June 2, 2014 16 Comments
Get in the Social Know: Emerging Hashtag Definitions
Hashtags. We see them all day across the social media landscape, not just on Twitter and Instagram. Most are simply combinations of phrases or abbreviations of words we are already familiar with, but then there are the other Hashtags, the ones that leave us thinking… “WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?!” I dedicate this article to those of you that struggle with these less-than-obvious hashtags. Don’t remain dazed and confused in the land of social media, check out the definitions of the latest and greatest in Hashtag lingo below, and let’s get in the social media know together…shall we?
#mcm = Man Crush Monday
- Definition: That one guy that as hard as you try, you simply cannot stop thinking about (whether he is attainable or not is beside the point). For example – Leo, Bradley, George, Justin, Adam, David… you get the picture
#TT = Transformation Tuesday
- Definition: Most of the time this will come in the form of a before and after photo. The “transformation” can be interpreted many different ways, whether it’s a photo of someone who has reached a fitness goal, or has finally cleaned up their extremely messy desk.
#wcw = Woman Crush Wednesday
- Definition: Similar to man crush Monday, this is when it’s most appropriate to post about a woman you find attractive or admire.
#tbt = Throwback Thursday
- Definition: Features a photo from the past, whether it’s an embarrassing photo from childhood or from just a few nights ago at the bar, which may still be embarrassing – but most importantly memorable.
#FBF = Flashback Friday
- Definition: Because you just didn’t get enough on Throwback Thursday…
#FF = Follow Friday
- Definition: Mainly on Twitter, this is when a person recommends that you follow someone they follow. This can be anything from a friend or celebrity, to a particular brand of clothing or restaurant.
- Definition: When people take selfies on a Sunday. If you don’t know what a selfie is, you may just be a lost cause at this point…
#ootd = Outfit of the Day
- Definition: When someone shows off or shows approval of an outfit, which they or someone else is wearing.
- Definition: Something you simply cannot handle, so you just “can’t”.
- Definition: Referring to an incredibly attractive food item of the healthy or not so healthy variety.
- Definition: A way in which one says that they are “sorry”, but don’t really mean it… like at all.
I’m personally a fan of using Hashtags as long as it’s clear to me – and my potential reading audience – what they mean.
How about you? Have you seen any other Hashtags recently that have your head spinning, wondering what the original poster was trying to convey? Feel free to share yours in the comments below!Read more
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Alyssa Taliaferro | Friday, February 14, 2014 14 Comments
Who Are You On Valentine’s Day?
So today is Valentine’s Day, or as some people out there like to call it, just a regular, good old Friday. This holiday has turned into a commercial overkill of a day that can largely be attributed to marketing, and most recently, the art of social media. With mixed messages streaming through your Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds from the Valentine’s Day lovers, haters, and those in between, let’s all take a moment and be honest with ourselves. The most successful and mutual relationship we’ve ever held onto long enough (though not always beneficial for us) has been between us and that jar of Nutella.
So are you a Valentine’s Day hater – or a lover? Well, let’s see here.
Will you be channeling your inner Jessica Biel tonight with a group of friends for an I Hate Valentine’s Day extravaganza? Or maybe you’ll join in the fun on Twitter while you include #LonelyHeartsClub to the end of each Tweet you send from now until whenever you feel less bitter about your current situation. If so, here is a list of the top anti-Valentine’s day hashtags through the years (pulled from both Twitter and Instagram):
- #Selfie #Me #I #Love #Myself #NoFilter #WithFilter
…Or just maybe, you need some full-on Tweets to inspire you:
- “This candy will probably last longer than any love you’ll share.”
- “Are you into divorced lobbyists?”
- “February: It’s the only month you can compensate for your bitter Valentine’s Day disappointment by binging on pancakes.”
…Or you could turn to one of these celebrities who have been named the “Most Retweeted Celebs” on this holiday alone.
- Justin Bieber (feel free to skip this one)
- Emma Watson (I’m sure guys and girls alike will opt for this one)
- 50Cent (Oh?)
- Harry Styles (no explanation necessary)
If all this talk of the anti-Valentine is getting you down, you can choose to be one of those overly happy people in love and use a most-mentioned hashtag to back it up:
If both of these options don’t seem to sit quite right with you, you could be like this woman who, on Valentine’s Day last year in Brooklyn, gave out hundreds of Hello Kitty Valentine’s to people she saw on her commute to work. This woman’s name is Erika Anderson, and she is a freelancer based in Brooklyn, NY. When asked why she started the project, her response was rather inspiring.
“I think it can be such a terrible day, whether you’re single or with someone.”
So what will it be? Will you be wallowing in self-pity while sitting at a table for one with a cake for 50, surrounded by pink and white balloons and a heart-shaped piñata with a kazoo hanging from your mouth in the Indian restaurant around the corner? Will you be spending it with a loved one? (This doesn’t just mean a significant other, you know!) Or will you see the grander picture and do something for others whose suffering might go just a bit deeper than having no Valentine today?
No matter what your feelings are towards today or your hashtag preferences, reclaim Valentine’s Day as your own, and decide what you are going to do – or are not going to do, for that matter – to enjoy this day to celebrate you, and the love you have for yourself.Read more
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kandpeeps | Thursday, February 6, 2014 16 Comments
What Type of Commuter Are You?
What keeps you occupied on your public transportation commute?
Let’s be real. The commute to and from work takes up a good chunk of the day for a lot of us. Walking to the stop. Waiting for the train or bus. The physical commute itself. And godspeed if you need to make connections. How do you pass the time while you’re waiting to get from Point A to Point B?
The majority of us are lucky enough to own the holy grail of time wasting: a smartphone. With the ability to connect to the Internet, download fun apps, email, text, and you know…actually make and take phone calls, we literally have the world at our fingertips. The options are endless! Which of these things are you most likely doing?
The Candy Crusher
DAMNIT I NEEDED A RED JEWEL RIGHT NOW TO CLEAR THAT LEVEL. You know, like when Tetris was a thing and every piece could save your life except for that dreaded stick. Not only have I seen the Facebook notifications, but I’ve heard the whispers on the train: “What level of Candy Crush are you on?” I’ve never played, so I can’t speak from experience, but apparently it’s addicting. I’m a ‘Bewjewled Blitz’ girl myself. Apps are perfectly valid, brain-numbing activities to pass the time. Which ones keep you occupied every day?
The Internet Troll
Social media stalking is perfectly acceptable. Have at it! Mentally date that guy/girl you’ve had your eye on for the last couple months and picture yourself in their Facebook photos. Chuckle and think that all of their Tweets are extremely witty. Do it up! You can do this for the entire length of your commute. Social networks are perfect for creeping!
Texting pre- and post-work feels like a no-brainer. What better way to pass the time than to be engaged in conversation? Make or cancel plans. Chat about the person you mentally dated on your way into the office in the morning. Whatever topic tickles your fancy. If you have somebody to chat with, type as fast as your fingers will let you. It is the perfect transportation time-suck. (A personal request: if you’re not texting and have these conversations out loud, please, keep your voice down. As a fellow commuter, I don’t need to know how your night went – in graphic detail. Please and thank you.)
Ahh. This, my friends, is my commute bread and butter. Nine times out of 10, you will find me reading on my commute. It’s the only thing that really transports me from public transportation to, well, anywhere else. It’s as simple as that. I do pose a question though. Is there a specific genre of book that’s best to be read while commuting? Me? I’m a murder mystery fan, but I’m open to recommendations!
So who are you, my fellow commuters? If I saw you every day during the daily grind (who knows, maybe I do!), what would you be doing? Are you doing something else that’s so exciting it could switch me from a bookworm? Let me know!Read more
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Ginny Pitcher | Friday, January 3, 2014 13 Comments
Social Media’s Next Generation: Disappearing
Allowing Trey, my 11-year-old son, to create a Facebook profile at the age of nine seemed like a smart, savvy move. As someone who preaches the benefits of a connected, socially enabled world, I had no fears about prematurely turning over the keys to the largest social network on the planet. I figured that I would be able to monitor what he posted, gain insight into his relationships, and truly see – through his interactions – what type of man he was becoming.
Yeah, well, that was a short-lived experiment. The only one who posts to Trey’s Facebook page is me. Every picture, sappy testament on how proud I am as a mother (completely self serving), or forced-family-fun event where Trey is tagged, litters his Newsfeed. There are no girls popping on asking if he likes them. There’s no picture, where he tags all his bros and waxes poetic about their friendship. Good luck finding a statement about his beautiful, supporting and funny mother. It just ain’t happening.
@TroubleBrown isn’t interested in chronicling his life through Facebook or even shooting out snippets through Twitter (oh yeah, I already pushed that on him when he was eight, http://ampersandblog.com/2011/03/28/is-tweeting-at-8-years-old-too-young-one-mothers-confession/). Trey and his comrades have chosen to become the disappearing generation – where content isn’t captured for a lifetime in a newsfeed or content stream. Trey and his friends skew toward platforms like Snapchat (snapchat.com), where content fades once viewed, and ask.fm (www.ask.fm), where users hurl anonymous questions at one another.
Scrounging through his profiles on both platforms, here is the fun stuff I can tell you:
- Sixth graders are obsessed with dating
- Words like “swag,” “idk,” and “baller” are used a lot
- Even though Trey couldn’t articulate what an adjective is, he can describe most kids with five
- Every so often someone from another country will post a question and they are always thoughtful, like: “what historical figure do you most despise?” or “what would you grow in your imaginary garden?” (Trey’s honest answer: money trees)
- Trey likes a lot of girls and uses the adjective “funny” as one of his top favorite traits in liking a girl
And here is the not-so-fun stuff I can tell you:
- Anonymity gives people balls and let’s them say unkind things
- Photos that disappear means that sometimes you do stupid things and don’t worry about the repercussions
- There’s just the slightest veil of secrecy with all of the anonymous, disappearing content that makes me uneasy, a little scared
- For the most part, I have no idea what Trey communicates or says about his friends, his life, me
So, where does this leave me? While I probably thought I was being progressive by letting Trey establish his social profile early on, I’m find myself at the same crossroads as every parent (even those more conservative than me…shutter). Just because you turn over the keys to the social kingdom, there is no guarantee that your kid will take the same path. New technology, sometimes driven by the faults of old technology, will be developed, adopted and appropriated by different generations. And sometimes, that means that you just won’t be part of it. Ultimately, if I did my job right, Trey will respect the boundaries of what is good and suitable content. It will mean that if he were to save every photo he shared, every comment he posted, every interaction he had, his story would be that of a kind, fun and loving boy. So, I’m not holding my breath on this one…but I’m pretty sure I got most of it right.Read more
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Julia McGovern | Monday, June 17, 2013 9 Comments
What Type of Instagrammer are You?
You can tell a lot about a person by scrolling through their Instagram feed. Take a look at my recent Instagram photos:
Do you think I like cats? Well you’re wrong because I love cats. I have accepted that I’ve pigeonholed my Instagram presence as a Catstagrammer for life. It is what it is. Do any of these other classic Instagrammers sound familiar?
When I think of the most skin-crawling part of the human body, it’s a solid tie between ass cracks and feet. Belly buttons are a close second. I’m happy to say I’ve never seen an Instagram of an ass crack or of a belly button. So what’s with all these feet close ups? Why, people? I do not want to see pictures of your crooked toes and bunions.
You know this one. #The #one #who #hashtags #every #word.
Isn’t there an ABBA song that goes “Mama Mia, here we go again?” That’s what I mutter to myself when my friends with babies Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I think your baby is really cute in his footie pajamas. And I thought he was really cute in that last picture you uploaded of him. And the last one. And the last one.
I’m guilty of this so I feel entitled to mocking this genre of Instagrammers. If you’re going to #selfie at least get creative. Put away your duck faces and reverse peace signs. I pride myself in my selfie creativity. I’ve taken selfies in the reflection of Christmas ornaments, watches, and liquor store security cameras.
This is the user who rapid-fire-uploads back-to-back photos every 5 seconds for the span of 10 minutes. Consider your feed flooded.
Food Porn Addict
Unless Gordon Ramsay himself prepared your dish, you should be eating it, not taking a picture of it. The dish is going to go cold by the time you pick your filter, type out #foodporn, perfect your caption, and post. Also pictures of soup are only cool if you’re Warhol.
This is Instagram after all. The whole point is that we are seeing and sharing what is happening in our world instantly. Some Instagrammers only use their account to recycle FB photos from the glory days of college or their innocent toddler years. #TBT is the proper place for these photos, but you shouldn’t only be posting on Thursdays. I’ve already stalked you on FB and seen these photos of you. No need to bring them to Instagram.
If you have to type it out, then Tweet it. Instagram is about the experience of photographs, not text-packed status updates.
Listen, I love to see my photos receive likes. But your like means nothing to me if you like every single one of my photos, and every other photo on your feed for that matter. Is nothing sacred? Get out of here with your distribution of a false sense of approval!
Don’t know what a Catstagrammer is? Follow me at @therealjuliamcgovern for more info.
What type of IGer grinds your gears? What type of IGer are you – c’mon be honest!