Top Story: Marriage Equality Goes Viral
This past Tuesday, Facebook started turning red. As the nation’s highest court prepared for two days of hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shared the now ubiquitous symbol of support red equality sign (see photo above).
24 hours after it was uploaded with the caption, “Make sure you wear red to show your support for marriage equality. And make your Facebook profile red too!”, it was shared over 65,000 times and liked almost 20,000. A web app called Equality Me! even popped up, allowing users to superimpose the red equality sign over an existing profile picture.
Marriage equality has always been a hot button issue. Now with these two potentially landmark cases at the Supreme Court, the issue has hit prime time. From poster signs to social media, supporters and protesters all over the country are making their opinions known.
Thinking viral, people drew inspiration from popular videos and memes to bring some comedic relief to the very serious topic. One protester in Washington D.C. referenced a viral news interview clip with sign that read, “DOMA: Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!” Another combined the equality sign with the “Paula Deen Riding Things” meme (see Tumblr for more):
Celebrities, gay and straight alike, were also quick to show their support. Ellen DeGeneres, Lance Bass, and Padma Lakshmi all switched their profile pictures to the equality sign. Even Beyoncé got in on the action, posting a handwritten note on Instagram that reads: “If you like it you should be able to put a ring on it” with the hashtag “#wewillunite4marriageequality!”
Boston man Ben Affleck retweeted his agreement to President Barack Obama’s support of marriage equality.
From bacon to unicorns to Pokemon to Bud Light, the simplistic equality sign has undergone numerous alterations. There’s even a Tumblr page dedicated to brands who have thrown their logos into mix like Gillette, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kleenex, Chipotle, and Harley Davidson. Just more ways people are expressing their creativity for the cause.
The past week really goes to show you the immense power of social media to reach the masses and build content, which has proven incredibly substantial in fueling political activism.
What do you think of all the content that has sprung up in the past few days regarding the marriage equality issue? What kind of role do you see social media playing in future government decisions?
Under the Radar: Instagram Now Factors Into Your Klout Score
Still working on building up that Klout score? Last week we reported that Klout has added business tools to help brands determine what social media users are most influential and thus, best for them to work with. We have to assume this is going to make Klout a little bit more relevant, no matter how much you want to fight it. Now, this seems to be even more true as your Instagram uploads can now contribute to your Klout. Do you think this will help or hurt your score?
Klout has allowed your profile to integrate with Instagram for some time now, but your actions on the photo-sharing platform didn’t influence your score. Now, if you have your Instagram account hooked up to your Klout account, you should start seeing a difference. Of course, Klout is trying to keep morale up for now and if you log in to your account today, you’ll likely see a message like this:
In other Klout news, they’ve officially partnered with Bing, so not only will search results show people’s Klout scores, but search data will actually be utilized with Klout’s algorithm, which could eventually affect your score. We suppose this is an interesting idea, but considering Bing is not the leading search engine, seems extremely limiting.
There are still plenty of issues we have with Klout, but there’s no doubt that they’re seriously trying to become the measurement used by brands to determine influence. Will it work?
Tool of the Week: Mailbox App Perfects the Digital Waitlist
The appeal of the waitlist has been known to brick and mortar businesses for years. Bars and clubs often keep a line outside even when they could let everyone in, just to show people passing by how exclusive their establishment is. This practice has even jumped into the digital realm, with sites like RueLaLa, JackThreads and more making users become “approved” for the site, by first getting on a waiting list.
But, the best application I have seen of this tactic was deployed by new mobile app, Mailbox. Once you signed up for a “reservation,” you could open the app and see what place in line you were. This builds a sense of excitement, by allowing future users to track on a daily basis when they would get access to this “exclusive” app.
It kept the app top of mind for users, who often download and forget apps that do not have immediate relevance to them.
What made this effective overall though, was a strong PR push before the launch of what appears to be a completely new way to manage your mailbox on your phone. With features like, “snooze” and lists, Mailbox is working to clean up your inbox, and was able to build buzz with articles in major tech publications like Mashable, TechCrunch, ZDnet, CNN, Reuters and many more.
The combination of buzz and the digital waitlist has kept this app relevant long past many others in its space. Have you gotten a reservation yet?
Around the Hub: Menino Says No to Re-Election
After two decades, Boston’s far-reaching Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that he will not be seeking a 6th term in office. In a heartfelt speech yesterday afternoon, Menino made his public announcement to a crowd of supporters at Faneuil Hall. There was no shortage of public support for the Mayor’s decision. He welcomed a rowdy applause as he took to the stage.
The difficult decision came after a bout of serious illnesses that kept Menino in the hospital for 8 weeks last year. The Mayor claimed that while he is in good shape to return to his hectic schedule of mayoral duties, he feels that he cannot return to his “Menino Schedule” and make the impact he once did for another term. However, Menino made it clear that despite this, he has no intention of letting his commitment to Boston falter.
“I am not retiring,” said Menino, “but turning one page from this chapter to the next.”
Support for his decision was amplified throughout Boston as the masses live-tweeted his many inspirational words and shared this moment with others. Menino was a well-liked mayor known for his attention to Boston neighborhoods and residents. President Obama also issued a statement, saying Boston “is the vibrant, welcoming, and world-class city it is today because of Tom Menino. For more than two decades, Mayor Menino has served the city and every one of its residents with extraordinary leadership, vision, and compassion.”
So that leaves Bostonians wondering – who’s next? While there are no obvious replacements, there are, as you can imagine, a laundry list of people jumping at their chance to lead the city for the first time in a very long time.
So far, the pool of declared candidates is led by City Council member John Connolly, followed by former Boston police officer and founder of TOUCH 106.1 Charles Clemons, and candidate for Boston City Council at Large Will Dorcena. Other potential names have been thrown out there and no doubt that only more will speculated in the upcoming weeks.