By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Hey there! How was your week? Did you do that thing? You didn’t? I can’t believe you, this is so typical. You always overcommit and then never fulfill anything. Well, I guess there is one thing you can do to redeem yourself. You can keep reading and find out what happened this week in pop culture!
Emma Stone loves the Spice Girls, and I love that Emma Stone loves the Spice Girls. In fact, it’s such common knowledge that when Emma appeared on “The Graham Norton Show,” the host couldn’t help but prank her. Although the Spice Girls have been mentioned quite a lot on the “Amazing Spider-Man 2” press tour, like when she told Jimmy Kimmel she could forge all their signatures, Stone hasn’t met one in the flesh. “As you know Stone, it’s very rare for more than one Spice Girl to appear together for any reason at all,” teased Norton to the flair of a drum roll. “So, they’re not here.” And safe to say, Stone was heartbroken.
The trailer for the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller “Gone Girl” hit the internet this week. Now, I watched the trailer, and found myself wanting more. Obviously the trailer can’t give away the plot twists that gave “Gone Girl” its cult-ish, fervent following, but I still felt like it didn’t pack a punch in the way it needed to. What do you think? How do you set up the movie trailer for a psychological thriller without revealing the big twist? Are you going to see “Gone Girl”? Can we go together? (Disclaimer, I talk throughout movies).
Sometimes, Taylor Swift amazes even cynical old me. The Red singer showed up at the wedding shower of longtime fan Gena Gabrielle in Ohio. Gabrielle mailed Swift an invitation to her wedding as a long shot. Swift couldn’t make the wedding, but that didn’t stop her from stopping by the shower. Gabrielle had no idea, and I can’t imagine the shock and happiness the bride-to-be was feeling when her favorite singer walked in with presents. Swift has been stopping by to visit fans a lot recently. In March, she visited 17-year-old Shelby Huff, who has cancer. Swift spent 4.5 hours at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and 20 minutes with Huff. Thank you, Swift, for being a grade-A good person. I appreciate it.
Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram and immediately slayed all the competition. His first picture was effortlessly artsy, with a pair of Ray-Ban aviators front and center and himself blurred in the background. He also posted a selfie with President Barack Obama, and the world fell to pieces at the awesomeness of the moment. Biden already has almost 120,000 followers on the social media outlet, with no doubt of the number growing. And you know what? I’m not even mad. Rock on, Joe Biden. Rock on.
Lana Del Rey debuted her new song “West Coast” at Coachella this year. The song will be on her upcoming album Ultraviolence, which was announced in December. “West Coast” is the second new original song for Del Rey to release. Her first, “Meet Me in the Pale Moonlight,” has since been taken offline. The new song is expected to debut in the upper half of Billboard’s Hot 100. Lana has been rapidly gaining followers, and her appearance at Coachella and anticipation for her new music whipping people into a frenzy for her.
Miley Cyrus has been hospitalized after a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. Cyrus has taken to Twitter to express her displeasure over canceling Bangerz shows, but the star has rescheduled some of her canceled shows. The European tour is scheduled to go on as planned, but the U.S. tours are a little more touch and go. Cyrus is trying to keep in good spirits despite being hospitalized, posting tweets, hospital selfies and making jokes. The past month has been tough on Cyrus, and I hope she gets better soon!
Could it be true? According to various sources, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are planning a summer stadium tour! The tour will go from June to August, taking them from Atlanta to San Francisco, with a few stops in Paris next September. Although not officially confirmed, the timing works out: Jay-Z finished his Magna Carta tour in January, and Beyoncé wrapped up her Mrs. Carter tour in March. The summer stadium tour could be the perfect thing to get them back into the tour-game. For the sake of all humanity, I hope this summer tour turns out to be true!
That’s all I’ve got! Tell me down below if I missed anything. What do you think? Will Emma Stone ever meet the Spice Girls? Will Taylor Swift and I become best friends? Will Cyrus ever get better? Will Beyonce and Jay-Z go on tour? Only time will tell!
By Madeline McGill, Staff Writer
There are few college students who are not familiar with at least one well-known digital brand. Staples such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr have blended seamlessly into our lives, dominating our day-to-day rituals. Casual actions like waking up and checking Facebook or browsing through BuzzFeed during a study break demonstrate the significant influence that digital brands hold.
Edward Boches, an advertising professor at Boston University’s College of Communication, says that digital brands are significant in that they often serve a certain utility, which is changing the landscape of how the idea of a brand is defined.
“By definition a digital brand isn’t something that you buy and wear, it isn’t something that you buy and eat, it isn’t something that you buy and drive, it’s something that you use on a day in day out basis,” said Boches. “So it has to add enough value to your life that it’s something you want to use.”
When one stops to think about how a digital brand such as Facebook became such an integral part of our social interactivity, the story becomes less clear. Yes, many digital brands arose to meet the growing market need for social media services. But how did the ideas behind Snapchat and Instagram turn into multi-million and billion dollar industries?
Boches said he believes that there are certain factors that contribute to the success of a digital brand. One of these, he stated, is an available user base.
“If you look at the value of any digital brand, whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, a blog like the Bleacher Report, it’s pretty much based on how many eyeballs it has,” said Boches. “
What use would Instagram be if no one had instant access to a camera at all times of the day? Part of the company’s success is that it was able to take advantage of the utility of the modern camera phone while creating a digital platform that appealed to a wide audience.
Appealing to a wide audience, according to Boches, can also be achieved by a frictionless user experience.
“Because you think about anything that you use in that space, and if it works really easily, really seamlessly, really simply, really institutive, and has very low friction to it, then you will tend to use it more,” said Boches. “So think about how fast Instagram took off. You didn’t need to figure it out or think about it.”
However, any avid Instagram user can tell you that it is not all about the individual user experience. There is a great need for users to share their experiences with their network, and Instagram provides a digital space where that need can be met.
“So why did Instagram take off so quickly? Because all of a sudden everybody in the world is walking around with a camera in their pocket that can capture images and what are you going to do with those images?” said Boches. “You’re going to want to share them and look and other people’s pictures, and so it could only have existed when all of a sudden the camera in your pocket was a universal thing. Which by the way was also connected to the web, which was connected to your social profile, which was connected to everything else.”
Digital brands that effectively tap into an active user base will experience astounding results. Since its launch, Instagram boasts more than 200 million monthly users, 70% of whom log in at least once a day.
Recognizing the success effectively cultivating and mobilizing a user base may yield, there are individuals who use the process of digital branding, through digital brands such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote themselves or an idea that they want to share.
Many college students are familiar with the Twitter user @BostonTweet, who created a Twitter account in 2008 to promote local business activity during the economic downturn. Boasting 112 thousand followers as of April 13, account creator Tom O’Keefe has successfully marketed himself as a personal brand to the Boston area.
According to Boches, this is just one example of how any individual can market themselves via emerging forms of digital media.
“You could be a brand,” said Boches. “If you’re a reporter, and you have a column, and you have a Twitter account, and then you also have a blog, and you also have a Instagram, and you share all of your content and you build a community of followers, and they pay attention to you and seek out and subscribe to your content, then you are a small brand.”
It may not fit the traditional definition of a brand, but it is all part of an evolving transition that is changing the way that the public regards the traditional definition of a brand.
According to Boches, anyone who is resourceful, determined and prolific could accomplish what @BostonTweet has done with the digital resources at their disposal.
“When I was your age, you needed five million dollars to do anything,” said Boches. “Now there’s a multi-billion dollar infrastructure courtesy of Facebook, Google, Twitter, the web, YouTube, et cetera… I think what it means is that anybody with the wherewithal, with the creativity, with an idea, with content, et cetera, can do something.”
Boches added that though actual content creators comprise a smaller proportion of social media platforms than content distributors, generational changes have encouraged the increase in the percentage of content creators.
“There’s an argument that goes like this: of all the people on all the platforms, whatever they are, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, across all those platforms probably only 10 or 15 percent of the people who use them are actually creating content and calling attention to themselves. 30 or 40 percent of people are maybe distributing and sharing it, and passing it around or commenting it or interacting with it. The rest are just reading it, as consumers,” said Boches. “But, if you look at those numbers, that 15 percent of content creators used to be 5, then it was 10, now it’s at 15 and I think as your generation and subsequent generations have something to say, you’re growing up with the idea that ‘Well, we own the media. The media belongs to us.’”
With the ingrained idea that people have the power to manipulate the media, what are the future implications of digital brands and the process of digital branding? With more resources available, it is expected that the number of personal and digital brands will arise via the use of social media platforms.
“I do think that it’s not that we’re going to see less of it,” said Boches. “It might be harder to stand out, and harder to get real notoriety, and you might have to be more inventive and more creative and better at it.”
By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
Hello friends! I hope you all had a great winter break filled with great food and good company. Here we are at the start of a new year, time for new beginnings and new life hacks to try out.
But before we turn over a new leaf, it’s important to take a look at the past and learn from our mistakes. Why don’t we take a close look at the fall semester and rectify the mistakes we made (if you didn’t make any, good for you – but let’s be real: we’ve all made mistakes).
Here are five things we (hopefully) learned from first semester:
This does not mean simply skimming. It may get the task done quickly, but not very well in the long run. When it comes to studying, websites like Sparknotes and Cliffnotes are helpful to refresh your memory, but the only way to actually know what’s going on is to read the real deal. Don’t have the time? Try an old elementary school tip and apply it to college by reading a portion of the assignment each night. You can also make a habit of active reading by taking notes or by quizzing yourself at the end of chapters, another great study tool.
2. Monitor your party habits.
Partying is fun, I get it. The experience is unlike any other, but at the same time, don’t be that desperate freshman looking to “turn up” every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. First semester it might hard to find the delicate balance between having a social life and partying too much, but now that we’ve had a semester to assimilate, it is no longer acceptable for you to stagger into your dorm every single weekend. Instead, plan out your weekend. One night out, another night in. Your body will thank you for less toxins and more sleep.
3. Get involved.
Academics are great, and should be a huge part of your life. However, if you spent your entire first semester hitting the books, it’s time to get some fresh air. Thankfully, BU has over 500 clubs and organizations, including the Community Service Center (CSC), that you can always find something to do. SPLASH may be over, but another way to find out what BU has to offer is through this great site that lists all our student organizations. If you don’t have the time to commit to anything specific, at least make a late New Year’s Resolution to explore Boston. Go see a Red Sox Game, visit a museum, the list goes on.
4. Make an effort to keep your friends.
This one isn’t as obvious, but if you notice, your friends have been coming and going all throughout first semester. The friends you thought you would keep all four years from orientation are no longer your friends and the random kid you met in math class is suddenly your best friend. Unlike high school, you don’t see your friends every single day, which makes things more difficult. Take the time to keep in contact with people, by making a lunch date to catch up. It will be worth it in the end.
5. Social media is not that important.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. We’re all obsessed, and while we say we can stop at anytime – the truth is, we can’t. Document how much time you spend on social media everyday for a week and you’ll how bad your media addiction really is. By learning to cut back, you can increase time spent on studying and spending time with friends, and therefore improve your grades and relationships. If you can’t stop checking your social media sites, look into applications such as Self-Control (Apple) that block you from accessing those pesky sites you go to by instinct.
Best of luck in making this semester even better than the last.
By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
We’ve all heard it—we’re in the electronic age. From finding out that our friends from home are engaged at 21 on Facebook, to following people on Instagram who have killer style (but they don’t even go here), or reppin’ some of the cutest DIY posts your friends have pinned for Thanksgiving.
The thing is, well, isn’t it kind of odd that people can see what we do and like what we’ve liked? It’s not for us, but if you think about it, it totally is. Even companies like Hulu and Facebook are getting real personal with advertising products and websites that are geared to what you like.
If you’re ready for another revolutionary advertising tactic, Japan has it for you. Neurocam and its new app were introduced at the Human Sensing 2013 conference in Yokohoma, Japan.
Advertisers can tell what we like based on a headband system that attaches to your head and holds an iPhone next to your temple. Hitting the soft spot, huh? Well, this headset knows you better than you know yourself with the help of EEG sensors.
The camera on the headset records whatever you’re viewing, so when you see those Jimmy Choos and can’t contain yourself, the sensors will pick up on those spikes of interest through the brain scan.
The spike value ranges from one to 100, so once the data gets to a value of 60, the EEG sensors will claim whatever you’re viewing as something of interest to you. That’s when the phone’s camera will start to record, in five-second GIFs, the image you’re viewing (like a Tardis teapot in commemorating the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary).
I told you it’s a little weird, right? Well, advertisers are going to use this to their advantage, which I don’t have too much of a problem with, but my wallet just might. Advertising titan Dentsu is supporting the Neurocam through Dentsu ScienceJam. They think it can help to determine what goods interest people and also help in urban development planning.
The thing is, when I see a commercial for the Kia Soul while I’m on YouTube and literally scream because I’m obsessed with those Kia hamsters, only I see this side of me. I don’t know how I would feel if Kia can actually see how many times I’ve watched the commercial because it’s right there on the screen when I’m browsing online. I’m sure they’ll keep showing the commercial to me until I buy the car…oops.
Don’t you just want to buy the car now? Yep, totes.
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook plans on adding hashtags, the use of the pound symbol followed by a word or words, to its site.
It’s hard to believe that the hashtag, in its Twitter use, is less than six years old. It was originally introduced to organize tweets and track trending topics, when Chris Messina tweeted, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”
But hashtag usage has been mangled into something much more annoying. Within the past five and a half years or so, the evolution in use has gone from functional to bordering on the absurd.
The hashtag’s overexposure has even led to a namesake baby, little Hashtag Jameson, born in November of last year, a controversy which sparked debate about the level of integration that the internet and social media have on our lives.
I’ve often seen tweets composed solely of hashtags, (a.k.a ‘hashrash’), or the use of #hashtag, or the use of hashtags on Facebook (in case you didn’t notice, it doesn’t work; in fact, the hashtag becomes as useful as any other symbol on your keyboard outside of Twitter or Instagram).
This last misuse prompted the founding of the Facebook page, “This is not Twitter. Hashtags don’t work here,” as well as multiple Youtube video rants about improper hashtag usage. There is even a Twitter etiquette page on hashtags.org that reminds Twitter users that “Peppering your tweets with too many hashtags is not only defeating the purpose of a hashtag but also very annoying to see. Expect to get unfollowed when you do this.” But some of use still don’t seem to grasp this concept.
I hope I’m not the only one who grimaces a bit with the news of the addition of hashtags to Facebook. Twitter has always been a public broadcast network, and hashtags have only helped the site increase functionality; Facebook, however, has always been a more private and intimate means of social interaction. Hashtags make sense in a news-based context, but putting them on a social networking site can only further commercialize it.
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Hopefully I’m not the only person who always clicks through to Instagram posts that surface on my Facebook newsfeed, and then remembers in disappointment that, oh yeah, you can’t see Instagram profiles on the web. But hallelujah, Instagram has announced it will begin rolling out web-accessible profiles! Since Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year, it is no surprise that the latter will resemble the former.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am excited about this. Thanks to this new feature, I can get a greater dose of my Instagram guilty pleasures, and you can more easily stalk your friends’ photos. Also, powering the online web presence will allow the expansion of Instagram’s audience. Previously, the application was only accessible via smartphone, but now we might be seeing more youngsters on the Instagram scene. And by youngsters, I mean bratty tweens like my 11-year-old sister, who has an iPhone and twice as many followers than I have… Awkward.
Instagram online may also pose a threat to websites such as Webstagram, Statigram, Populagram and all of those other websites whose purpose is to allow online Instagram profile viewing. But as for the actual profiles themselves, the popular ones will see an increase in following since it will now be easier to browse. Let me help you by urging you to follow these entertaining Instagrams that you just cannot miss, whether in the new online format or on your smartphone.
Cuteboys_withcats is exactly eeing photwhat you are thinking. Who doesn’t love sos of good-looking men with their feline furry friends? Join its other 30,000 followers, and you will be treated with cute boys and cats in your feed everyday. What a better way to start the day?
My all-time guilty pleasure, however, happens to be not an Instagram profile, rather a tumblr compiling the best photos from Instagram that displays the sickening wealth of America’s richest kids (Rich Kids of Instagram). The Tumblr keeps tabs on how they live, private jets, flowing Moet and all. Though borderline repulsive, you can’t help but sit there and gawk.
After months of watching all of you post artsy pictures of your meals, outfits, pets and adventures, The Daily Free Press is finally joining in! Our office is excited to start sharing images from our news stories and our newsroom with you, from reporters documenting stories to any number of interesting finds on our decorated office walls.
You can find us at dailyfreepress on Instagram and be sure to check out our Facebook page for our activity. Feel free to tag us in your captions if you take any cool pictures of Boston University or beyond; we want to know what’s going on in different communities and you are our spectrum of different perspectives!
After playing around with filters, it’s safe to say the news just got rosy.
By Frankie Barbato, Spotlight Editor
Since its 2010 inception, over 50 million iPhone owners have downloaded the free photo sharing application, Instagram. The average person can instantly become a professional photographer by transforming photos into artistic masterpieces by using color filters. However, celebrities, as if they do not already have enough pictures taken of them, are joining the Instagram craze as well. The result: wealthy celebrities attempting to look edgy by filtering colors of the picture of their Porsche.