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 July, 2011

  • Facebook

    Ginny Pitcher | Thursday, July 28, 2011 23 Comments

    Martini or another Facebook friend?

    Tell me to purge my life of sugar, caffeine, um…alcohol, and I’ll start listing reasons why these vices are so very critical to my every day life, and I may even throw in that they are very much part of my every day charm. I mean I know they are bad for me. They don’t care whether I’m up or down, happy or sad, funny or dull, but I’m okay with that. They give me something and for that I am eternally grateful and they willingly have a friend for life.

    The funny thing is that there are very few things that I would tolerate in my life that treat me with such disregard. After all, who needs apathy? And, yet, for years I have carried the burden and weight of a very draining vice that I truly can no longer tolerate – the passive Facebook friend.

    You know whom I’m talking about. We’ve all got them. You get a friend request from an old high school friend. Yeah, maybe you weren’t that close, but she always seemed cool and didn’t she date that really hot football player? Or, maybe it’s an old co-worker whom you always thought was going to go places and now he’s friending you! Or, maybe it’s just a random friending. You know the kind that you would never do: the spouse of a current friend, a friend of a friend, a non-friend of a friend.

    But, for years, I didn’t care. I accepted friend requests like I might accept a Grey Goose very dry martini, straight up with a twist (I’m just saying, in case you were thinking of buying me a drink sometime). Anyway, I accepted these friends and never looked back. Never noticing if they ever shared something with me on my wall, commented on my posts, LOL’d at a picture, whatever.

    And then, a few weeks ago, I thought to myself. Why am I doing this? I get tremendous joy from Facebook. I have reconnected with old friends, sparking new conversations and moments to share. I have been able to lament about my bad days and rejoice in my great days, and have found true friends who care about my state – happy or sad. So, why would I open my world to someone who had absolutely no interest in it…other than stalking?

    For some, I suppose, the number of Facebook friends you have legitimizes your very being. We are often judged by what others perceive as success – the car you drive, the house you own, the job you hold, the number of connections you have. Facebook lets everyone see this, especially that elusive “number of connections” you have. And so I’m sure for some that’s a good thing. But, for me at least, I like to get something in return. If you’re going to see a picture of my latest feast at my favorite summer haunt or read a “he said what?” quote from my sometimes funny and often cringe-worthy 9-year-old son, I’m going to want to hear from you. Facebook is my conversation with my world, a two-way conversation. And, if you’re going to be my friend I would expect the occasional thumbs up, “eww…gross” comment, a shared ridiculous video, or some other touch base. Isn’t that what friends do?

    So, I did the unthinkable. I took my almost 750 friends (I might be embellishing here) and purged them down to 300. And let me tell you…it felt great.  I looked at each person and asked myself: When was the last time he or she reached out? Has he or she ever written on my wall after friending me? Honestly, if you really cared about staying connected to me why not check in now and again? Say hello, comment on a post, “like” my photo.

    For some, it may have been a bit of shock when they couldn’t see my wall or follow my conversations, but my guess is that for most, they didn’t even notice. And, with that, I raise my martini in one hand, Tangy Taffy in another and bid adieu to one vice that I can happily quit.

    How about you? Have you ever thought about purging your friends on Facebook?

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  • Facebook

    Jayne Seward | Monday, July 25, 2011 62 Comments

    Hi. My name is Jayne, and I’m a Foursquareaholic.

    @jayneseward: I just unlocked the “Ten Hundred” badge on @foursquare!

    As a self-proclaimed “social media addict”, it comes as no surprise that my addiction spans across the entire social media landscape, including foursquare, the location-based social network that is taking the world by storm.

    Being the avid foursquare user and lover that I am, I personally believe that there is nothing like the feeling of excitement and delight that comes with receiving a new badge. Those outside of the social media world may not understand how something so insignificant can make someone like me feel so accomplished; but for those of us who view social media as an essential part of our existence, receiving a new badge on foursquare is a means of proving our worthiness within this social media-driven world.

    Just last month, foursquare announced a major milestone for the location-based social network: a whopping 10 million users! And just a week after this newsbreak, my Twitter feed announced an even bigger milestone: @jayneseward just unlocked the “Ten Hundred” badge on @foursquare! Finally, after a year+ of checking in at almost every place I go to, I have officially checked-in to over 1,000 venues. Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it!

    Foursquare has been such a big part of my social media world and everyday life over the last year in so many ways. Without it, I would’ve never been able to bar hop thru NYC without even making a dent in my wallet. I wouldn’t have known where to park for free when I showed up for my interview at the @KelAndPartners office a few months back. I would’ve never been crowned the “official” Mayor of Skellig, Bentley University’s go-to bar on Thursday nights. But most importantly, I would have never been able to show my friends and family just how fun and useful social media can be.

    With 3 million check-ins occurring each day, about 400,000 businesses using foursquare as a marketing tool, and 358 million check-ins now occurring outside the United States, all I have to say is this: If foursquare is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

    For all my fellow social media addicts out there- what’s the most exciting foursquare badge you’ve ever received?

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  • Facebook

    Deirdre Carey | Tuesday, July 12, 2011 21 Comments

    Facebook – The New Love Connection?

    As a single, 44 year old divorced woman, I’ve been in and out of the dating scene for about 8 years now. And boy, how times have changed. I remember a long time ago when we young gals would meet guys at local bars, work parties, or even weddings (which is where I met my future ex-husband.)

    Then along came Match.com. At first, no one would ever conceive of admitting to going to find a date, heaven-forbid, at an online dating site – that would mean you were desperate, right? WRONG! Well, with Match.com’s almost instant success, opinions quickly changed – and everyone was uploading Match profiles (I hate to say it, but I know of people who weren’t even single who joined to “see what was out there and available!”) On a happy note, I personally have five friends who have met & married someone they met on an online dating site.

    While perusing the Today Show website this morning, I came upon a story that piqued my curiosity – “Hot or Not” Facebook app leads to marriage.

    In a nutshell, three-years ago a Brazilian woman named Gisele (not to be confused with the other famous Gisele from Brazil who I’m convinced stole my soon-to-be 2nd husband Tom Brady) posted a picture of herself not only on her Facebook profile, but also on the Facebook app “Hot or Not.” Gisele, a flight attendant, had broken up with her boyfriend and was trying to get back into the dating scene.

    Low and behold, a gentleman by the name Gavin Jenkins found Gisele “Hot” and months of IMing, emailing and Skyping lead to a first date and ultimately marriage!

    Why did this idea work? According to Gisele, being able to see his pictures on his Facebook page, and learning about his hopes and dreams from his profile information was what sealed the deal for her. Gavin proudly confesses, “I have a lot to thank Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for. He helped me find my soulmate – I definitely owe him a pint.”

    It is an interesting concept, don’t you think? If you’ve ever created a profile page on an online dating site, you’ll know that you’re instructed to fill out pages and pages of information about yourself. And for those who have (me) filled one out, you write and edit, and write and edit in the hopes that you sound interesting, and intelligent, and witty and fun, in the hopes of attracting someone with similar personalities and interests –while weeding out any Ted Bundy’s or sounding too much like The Virgin Mary/Tara Reid!

    But with Facebook, I’m guessing about 80% of the profiles are legit. Your page clearly showcases who you are – through your status updates, images, causes you belong to/support , what you are passionate about, what brings you joy, and your true beliefs.

    I’m thinking we’ll see more Gavin & Gisele stories popping up in the near future, don’t you? And I have to agree that this may be a great way to met someone – because both of you get to see the real deal!

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