By a show of hands, does anyone here own an Apple iPad?  Wow, that’s quite a few of you.  By another show of hands, how many of you really like your iPad?  Hmm, it seems like no one has put their hand down.  Ok, how about this one.  How many of you think you’re cooler because you have one and your friends don’t (ooh, ooh, me, me!)?  Very interesting.  I’d venture to guess if this were an anonymous vote that you would all have your hands raised.  Now, last question, I promise.  How many of you actually need your precious iPad?  I mean realllllly need it as if you didn’t have it, you wouldn’t be able to perform critical business or personal functions. Crickets. Read the rest of this entry »


If you’re one of his 500,000 weekly radio listeners, you know Dawson McAllister. His brainchild, TheHopeLine, is a radio show and web community designed to help teenagers and young adults deal with a variety of difficult topics. I tuned into TheHopeLine during a late-night drive in Chicago recently and heard his frank approach to giving advice for the first time. The callers the show aired seemed to really connect with Dawson and even a quick visit to his website reveals numerous ways to interact with him. There’s a 1-800 phone number, an email address, an online chat interface, and an entire section devoted to reporting incidents. And then towards the bottom of the page, you see the now-familiar social media icons with links to his Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages. Dawson’s lively Twitter feed, @DawsonRadio, has over 2,400 followers and includes tweets containing short pieces of advice and pleas for donations. But who are the feed’s followers hearing from? According to Dawson himself, it’s not Dawson himself.

About 15 minutes into my own TheHopeLine session on Kiss 103.5, Dawson plugged his Twitter feed on the air. Perhaps because it was 11pm on a Sunday night, Dawson then sheepishly admitted he doesn’t actually own a computer and the Twitter feed his show operates is wholly managed by his staff. In other words, tweets labeled as “Dawson” aren’t exactly coming from Dawson. Mr. McAllister is definitely not the only web-challenged celebrity with social media elves working on his/her behalf. Is that a problem with anyone out there? Do Twitter followers and Facebook friends expect something more than canned tweets or status updates? Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday afternoon around 3:15pm I was, well, it’s not relevant what I was doing.  But, what is relevant is what happened.  I received a text message from Chick-fil-A.  Not just any Chick-fil-A but from the Chick-fil-A in Vinings (a neighborhood on the north side of Atlanta).  The text message looked like this:

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A trip to the grocery store can be a painful experience.  The crowded aisles and long lines after work can be unbearable.  And the worst part is that when you finally finish checking out, your total somehow rings up about twice as much as you expected.  How is that possible?  You just saw a segment on the news last night about women who save an average of 87% on their grocery bills.  How are they doing it? You probably already know the answer…coupons.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sure, LeBron James was able to tune out the impressive boos from the Cleveland crowd last night in the Miami win. But how will he fare against the Facebook status updates from the prideful Cavs fans?? As a Cleveland native, watching my Facebook news feed was much more entertaining and much less depressing than watching our former king’s return game.

Here’s the story of the big night, courtesy of Cleveland Facebookers… Read the rest of this entry »

So I was at Starbucks yesterday and I was feeling quite “perceptive.”  I say perceptive in hindsight because I frequent the neighborhood coffee shop 3-4 times a week and yesterday was the first time I noticed something very interesting about the sales transaction.  After I placed my order (Peppermint hot white-chocolate), gave my name, and paid with my Visa check-card, the lady at the register asked me, “do you want your receipt?”  A modest question, yes, but lets knock down the walls and explore what this really means.

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The intersection between social media and money is one of our favorite themes to write about here at the humble FishBowl. Stories of corporations like The Gap using social media to juvenate revenue are all around us, but charities and non-profit organizations are quietly changing the way they raise money, too.

Well, some are more quiet than others…

Normally at this point in the morning you can find me glued to Lady GaGa’s Twitter feed, waiting for the next peak into her holiday dinner menu. But today you won’t find any GaGa updates… or Justin Timberlake tweets… because the celebs are abstaining from their social media sites in the name of charity today, forcing us all to read actual news stories or even get some work done. Alicia Keys is the mastermind behind the “Digital Life Sacrifice” and if users want their celebrity tweets back, they’ll need to raise $1 million in support of her charity, Keep a Child Alive.

My first question: Can we get Kanye in on this quiet period? But my second and more important question is: how is social media changing the non-profit world? Read the rest of this entry »

This whole free jeans Facebook promo The Gap launched this month has people talking. Some people called the promo super exciting (probably because free stuff is awesome), while others called it nothing short of a PR disaster. Who would have thought that something so free would be so controversial? But regardless of how you feel about all that (Here’s a good SIDE A and a good SIDE B), we must admit it was both significant and significantly awkward. Read the rest of this entry »

The recent announcement that Facebook is launching the un-official “Gmail killer” has many an industry a buzz. Many people feel that this is just another step toward Internet/social/privacy domination by Facebook but I do not subscribe to that school of thought. Personally, I view Facebook the same way I view medicine: just shut up and take it. It’s been good for you before and will more than likely be good for you again. Sure, medicine sometimes has negative side effects (that picture you were tagged in or that late night Facebook chat that you shouldn’t have started) but, on the whole, it has provided more relief than distress.

Before we jump into the pros, cons, benefits, etc…let’s examine exactly what the new Facebook social messaging function is and isn’t. You can find the specs HERE but let’s do a quick overview. The new social messaging center will house and store ALL of your messages. Not just Facebook messages, but emails, texts, and IM’s all in one neat and convenient mailbox. You will receive an email address (your Facebook but this isn’t meant to replace your existing email addresses (not yet anyways) and good ol’ Zuck has been quite emphatic about this sentiment. Along with that proclamation, Zuck feels that instant messaging and text are surpassing email based communication and that we had all better get onboard. Ergo, this
is not a Gmail killer because this is bigger…much bigger. Read the rest of this entry »