Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take a deep breath: Pinterest updated their T&Cs


Did you hear that? It was the big sigh of relief from marketing managers, bloggers, photographers, and Pinterest enthusiasts everywhere.  Yes, Pinterest has changed their Terms & Conditions as announced on March 24.
Many of you have probably seen the above image (sans my lovely editing) and read the original article from The Window Seat which highlighted some of the legal dangers and risks of pinning. The article received over 400,000 views and was even pinned 45,000 times. Legal gurus and worrywarts fretted in their seats coming up with hypothetical legal cases while deleting their pins, while major publications continued to write about and magnified the perceived issue with Pinterest. 

I decided to equate this fear with Y2K (remember that?) and kept on pinning. In comparison to the growing pains of other social media platforms, I felt it was obvious Pinterest was working hard to embrace their new found growth across all areas of the social community. In my opinion, the negative attention simply helped expedite the progress they were already making. In the last few weeks alone, there have been numerous updates to the UI, profile page, and mobile app so it was just a matter of time this hotly debated topic was next. As stated by Ben himself:
 Over the last few weeks, we've been working on an update to our Terms. When we first launched Pinterest, we used a standard set of Terms. We think that the updated Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy are easier to understand and better reflect the direction our company is headed in the future. We'd encourage you to read these changes in their entirety, but we thought there were a few changes worth noting.
Now we all know reading the Terms & Conditions can be a very daunting [re: boring] task and most of us blindly hit "Accept" eager to get to the next screen. So for those of you that have been following along, here is a recap of some of the most important changes along with my social commentary, which will go into effect on April 6:
  • What Pinterest Says: Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
    My take: Don't worry, your artsy shot of your Sunday Brunch or the generic beach scene will NOT become stock photography.
  • What Pinterest Says: We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse. 
My take: Thank. You. It really grinds my gears when I am simultaneously pinning high-calorie recipes and workout tips and come across that stupid image of Kate Moss saying "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Obviously she never tasted ice cream, cheese, or Nutella. Aka, this will help cut down on the amount of girls encouraging each other with pro-ana tips.
  • What Pinterest Says: We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements. [Updated form & updated policy].
My take: If you installed the do not pin code to your site, this will help. Or if you are the marketing manager for Starbucks and a super fan already created an account claiming to be Starbucks. And in extreme cases, someone is blatantly ripping content off your blog and posting it to theirs then pinning it back to their site in hopes to drive traffic.
  • What Pinterest Says: Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.
My take: This will open the door to a ton of really cool ideas, integrations, and 3rd party applications that seek to enhance the Pinterest experience. And private pin boards means you can actually plan a party, source inspirational images, and curate a marketing promotion privately, before you want the rest of the world to know. 
And the final note:
Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon. We're working hard to make Pinterest the best place for you to find inspiration from people who share your interest. We've gotten a lot of help from our community as we've crafted these Terms.
In other words, keep the feedback coming but puh-lease, be patient, stay positive, and know they are working as fast as humanly possible while creating a sustainable business and inspirational community. If you are still interested in the finer details, read the follow-up post from The Window Seat.

Happy pinning and of course if you aren't already, follow me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My favorite Sunday Brunch drink: The Man-Mosa

Once upon a summer almost three years ago, I went to a little cafe in Brooklyn that is now closed. A seemingly innocent Sunday Brunch in the City turned out to be a roller coaster of emotion and for that it will always be one of my most memorable meals in Brooklyn. Highlights included:
  • meeting a 40-something guy named Bennett who had the energy of Jack Russell Terrier and told one hysterical story after another
  • the start of my egg + avocado obsession (BTW, it's on year three and still going strong)
  • super bitchy wait-staff, which explains why they are now out of business
  • the worst Mimosa EVER
  • the introduction of the ManMosa aka the star of this post
Long story short, my worst Mimosa ever consisted of 85% from-concentrate OJ and a splash of warm, flat, "sparkling" wine. It was so bad and our server was so suck-y that I waltzed into the restaurant, to prove I wasn't being dramatic asked the bartender to "try-it", and requested a replacement of some sort. If I recall, they were "out of Bloody Mary mix" aka strike two. And then, it happened. Another bartender recommended I try the ManMosa. After hearing the ingredients I was most definitely intrigued and gave it a shot. Four rounds later and an entire table singing it's praises, I was hooked. And so I present to you, the ManMosa.

My standard recipe- just add your favorites!
Step 1. Pour an entire bottle (12 oz) or up to 16 ounces of a hefewiezen or wheat beer into a chilled 23.5 oz glass. I plan on adding A LOT more to this list this summer, but here are few of my favorites that have been taste-tested and approved:
  • Magic Hat Circus Boy
  • Blue Moon Ale
  • ROC Brewing Co. Belgian Blonde 
  • Dundee Summer Wheat 
Step 2. Top with 4 ounces of fresh-squeezed or not from concentrate juice.

Step 3. Add 1.5 ounces of chilled Vodka. Absolut is readily available. But Prairie is really good if you are making them at home.

Step 4. Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice and gently stir. Strain back into the glass, top with a slice of orange, and enjoy.
Now I am not claiming I created the recipe (hence the back story), but I have yet to come across a menu outside of NYC that offers it or a bartender that knows what I am talking about. So this summer I am making it my mission to spread the word to all my friends and to my favorite spots in the Rochester, NY area in hopes it becomes a standard Sunday Brunch classic. Help me by doing the same! And if you have ordered the ManMosa from somewhere before, please leave a comment with your state and location.

If not the ManMosa, what is your Sunday Brunch standby?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Top 10 reasons why the ADDYs are awesome for advertising

Every year creative agencies, marketers, advertisers, and students alike gather up their best work and compete for their chance at ADDY Gold. Simply put, the ADDYs are like the Academy Awards of the ad business. It's a chance for marketers to celebrate their success, collaborate as a community, and to be recognized for outstanding creative excellence- all while having a really good time [re: drinking heavily and shouting obscenities].

I have been fortunate to attend three out of the past five local ADDY award shows put on each year by the Rochester Advertising Federation. This year I opted out for reasons I won't get into. But as I followed (okay, stalked) my industry friends' Twitter feeds, Facebook updates, and Instagram posts during last night's show I knew I was missing out on more than just a good time. I reflected on the two years I spent working at an agency and how much I miss being a part of the action, not just on the outskirts as I often feel [note: working on changing that].

I imagine it's like this for most professions, but for anyone who has never been a part of the ad industry it may be hard to understand the love/hate relationship so many of us feel for the business from time to time. So for those of you who are thinking about advertising as a profession, are in the industry and looking to re-ignite your mojo, or just plain miss it and need a slap in the face for as for why you should go back, just think of the ADDYs. Or in my humble opinion, the top ten reasons why they are so awesome.
10. Umm, resume builder, duh. I'm putting this last because while it's a bonus, it shouldn't be your MO for adding work to the show. However, for those that are more junior and just starting out, having an ADDY under your belt is instant street cred and can help validate that yea, you do know what the hell you are talking about which is exactly why you don't want to be relegated to foam core duty.
9. Brotherly-Sisterly Love. Even amongst teams within the same agency, it's nice to spark a little competition and put a few wagers on which submission will win. That kind of competition is as healthy for team spirit as congratulatory cheers and man-hugs can be. So hug your AE. High-five your uptight Copywriter. Thank your receptionist for helping you make 18 copies of those pitchbooks.
8. Competition. Sure it's fun to prance back to your seat as you brush past your old boss while holding the ADDY Gold, but the spirit of competition runs much deeper. Displaying your best work for your local competition to see is much like stripping down naked. If you are in tip top shape, you are going to look the best, and if your not, well it will definitely spark some motivation for when you get back to the office. Moral of the story: it pushes the community as a whole to be better, regardless if the goal is to claim the title or defend one.
7. Networking. Especially for the Freelancers. It's an awesome venue to connect with potential agencies you want to work with or people you'd love to collaborate with. Just don't be the HR guy that trolls the room looking to poach candidates from every winning agency.
6. Confidence. We all need a pat on the back from time to time as re-assurance we did the right thing, chose the right career, took a smart risk. If your client's aren't helping to pump you up, feel free to put your pride in a little lucite statue- even if it's just until the next time someone asks you to make the logo bigger.
5. Humility. A vast majority of creative types have an ego (yes, even you). Some are more recognizable than the others, like the Account Planner who claims to be a "social media expert" (c r i n g e). But even if you don't have an in-your-face attitude, it's necessary to not always be the best. It keeps the Type A's in check and forces the heavyweight agencies to realize there are more fish in the sea.
4. Community. There is something to be said for a room full of stunningly funny, creative, and hardworking people. Competition or not, at the end of the day every agency, freelancer, and company is there to celebrate the art of the business. To toast to the ability to create emotion and connect people through the power marketing, in every form it takes.
3. Inspiration. Obviously the highlight of the show is the work. Seeing the submissions while putting it into the context of the creative process is remarkable. It's amazing how much effort is put into a single piece of work; how a problem can turn into an opportunity which then sparks an idea that is crafted into a beautifully constructed communication. I especially like looking at the student submissions. Each year they seem to get better and better. Knowing there is a fresh crop of talent waiting to jump into the industry is exciting and is a testament to the hopeful and curious spirit we should all still have.
Side note, big props to the team this year for putting together the submission Web page for all to actually take in the beauty of the work- especially awesome for those that didn't get to go. 
2. It's a celebration, bitches. As much as you hear "don't get drunk in front of your co-workers" from any kind of professional advice, I assure you, and I say this with caution, almost anything goes and can be forgiven during a state of euphoria while attending. Even needs to let loose and doing so in front of your co-workers can be therapeutic. Plus, it's funny to remind Kim from Accounting what she did the next time she bugs you about your time sheet.
1. Passion. The raw emotion and excitement that is elicited when you prep for the big night, see an old colleague, and hear your name or company announced as a winner speaks volumes for the passion one has for the industry. Reasons 10 through 2 all contribute to the zeal the ADDY's are about: no guts, no glory. We put our heart's into our work, pull over-nighter's or skip our lunch, not for some trophy, but for the glory of coming together as a creative community to celebrate a common passion.
 Congratulations to all the winners of the 2012 Rochester ADDY awards!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If you are what you eat: be a Shamrock Shake

Inspired by the fabulous creations I seem to always pin from Polyvore, I decided to create a new feature highlighting two of my favorite things: FASHION & FOOD. Everyone's heard of the saying "you are what you eat", so what better way to epitomize the saying by taking it quite literally and creating satirical outfits based on my never ending craving for good food.

The first in the series is dedicated to the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. My hometown of Rochester, NY goes absolutely CRAZY during the weekend leading up to the holiday. I'll be hosting a party of my own before taking to the streets of my downtown neighborhood to share in the festivities. Only I'll be sporting a much more relaxed outfit [re: theme t-shirt, orange flats, & huge sequin hair bow] since the day's celebration is reminiscent of an all-day college frat party rather a fashionable cocktail hour.
Add caption
Blouse | Necklace | Clutch | Shorts | Shoes (which I have and love!)

Plus, I love this look for its ability to hit on multiple trends without trying to hard:
  • Color Blocking
  • Pastels
  • Statement Necklaces
  • Metallic Accessories
Speaking of Shamrock Shakes, if you do go to McDonald's do yourself a favor and order a Thin Mint by requesting half Shamrock half Chocolate. And for those of you that are fast-food phobe (like me), click here for a copycat recipe, which also happens to be a MUCH healthier alternative.

How will you be celebrating St. Patrick's Day? And what will you wearing?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fringe Tassel Garland Love [Confetti System & beyond]

Let me just start out by saying I think this post is quite epic. It has links to so many other awesome web finds that I want to apologize in advance for the A.D.D. this will cause you. And you are welcome.
The picture that started it all
About a year and a half ago, I caught site of the amazing designs from the Confetti System while browsing a feature on The Selby. You may even recognize the shiny strands from the PartyParty collection at Urban Outfitters or J.Crew's Holiday 2010 window displays. Whatever the case, there is no denying the endless amount of inspiration the artistic duo Julie Ho and Nicholas Anderson have created. Browse just about any design blog, chic Tumblr account, or girly Pinterest board for some proof.
Via Cupcakes & Cashmere
Fast forward a few months later to when I was introduced to yet another blog favorite and saw that Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere used the metallic fringe to create a perfect backdrop on her office wall. I made a mental note to incorporate the same type of detail I had long loved into my own home in the near future.
Via EverlyLaneDesign Home
At the end of last year I moved out of my compact apartment [that I was completely attached to mostly because of a closet] and into a much bigger space with my boyfriend. The selling point was the ability to double my closet space by taking over an extra bedroom and customizing it to my every need. At the time of the move, I was going through an obsessive Etsy phase. So when I found EverlyLaneDesign I squealed. Literally. Through a custom order, she created a beautiful CS replica in the exact color scheme I was hoping for. I promptly cut the nylon rope in half and strung the sparkle over each window for pseudo-DIY, alternative to curtains as shown below.
Details in my closet room
So when I stumbled upon the amazing DIY on Camille Styles blog as told by Jennifer King who adopted the tutorial from yet another blogger [told ya it was going to get cray up in here] I couldn't resist dedicating a full play-by-play write-up on how damn obsessed I am with Fringe Tassel Garland.

Whichever option you fancy, click below to get your fix:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rainbow Brights

For as long as I can remember, I have had an undeniable attraction to the color gray. It's like a magnetic force that I just cannot resist. Declaring gray as my favorite neutral would be an understatement. But this post is a tribute to just the opposite. Pops of color (thank you, @mrbradgoreski). And bold rainbow brights. I haven't walked out of a store or clicked "checkout" with anything BUT bold hues lately. Not only do all my new finds look fabulous hanging in my closet, but I'm looking forward to the endless color combinations I can now create when I get dressed.

Here are a few of my favorite rainbow brights that have caught my eye over the past week.

Statement Necklaces
1. Hixson Bib Necklace, DANNIJO
2. I want this necklace but all I have is this picture

Funky Feet
3. Jessica Simpson Summer Haze Color Block Pumps, LuLu*s
4. WR890 Rainbow Sneakers, New Balance

Sweet Style
5. Street Fashion from a stylish ASOS shopper (that laser-cut clutch is only $40!)
6. An image from my Pinterest collection of color blocked tights & shoes that Pure Wow choose as their first ever Pin of the Week

Beautiful Blooms
7. Organized mix of flowers in a simple, yet unexpected arrangement
8. Ecuadorian Roses I spotted yesterday at Wegmans