Digital Age Journalism & Social Media Anthropology

The Oilcloth Backpack

One of my favorite all time posts about my favorite material, oilcloth.


On my gifts wish list this past holiday season, I had included an oilcloth backpack. Keep in mind, I had no idea if such a thing existed but I had decided that I wanted one. Since I knew about oilcloth and had other items made from it, I decided that a backpack must be available, too. Thanks to the power of the Internet and search engines such as Google, it took me simply a matter of minutes to locate a dreamy, pink patterned oilcloth backpack from a company in Georgia.

Besides it being a mouthful to describe, this bag embodied several of my favorite design elements. First, was the color pink; next was the pretty blue floral pattern on it. And last but essential, of course, was that it was made of oilcloth. I have had a love affair with oilcloth ever since a dear friend of mine introduced me…

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We’ve Moved!

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For a while, until we can transfer them, these past issues of The Marketing Bytes Blog will continue to be available here. But we have a new blog site that includes posts, scoops and two magazines, one on RebelMouse and one on

The main URL for the Marketing Bytes Blog & Website is now www.MarketingBytes.Biz. Find all our new work there.

You can also go directly to Alison Gilbert’s Daily World on
Alison Gilbert’s Daily World on
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and to Alison Gilbert’s Daily Magazine on
Alison Gilbert’s Daily Magazine on
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We look forward to hearing from you, your comments, suggestions and questions.

Blogging my passion, Pinterest

This post was inspired by and is the result of a questionnaire presented to bloggers, event planners, photographers, social media experts and other professionals by a freelance writer seeking input and opinions on Pinterest etiquette. 
Pinterest research and blog posts:
I have done a substantial amount of research on Pinterest, have written several posts about it to date, and am a pinner myself. I have an extensive list of sources and resources that you may find additionally helpful for your project. You can view my Saturday articles as well as the source and resources lists, on Digital Brand Marketing posted on 3.17.12, 3.24.12, and 3.31.12.
Pinterest Bio:
As a blogger and visual artist myself, I was immediately drawn to this relatively new platform with the naive assumption that it would be like scrapbooking but on virtual boards, no cutting out from magazines, no glue and no trips to the crafts store and no in-depth knowledge of social media. After the beginning of an ongoing and thorough investigation about Pinterest and its inner workings, I have come to some very different conclusions and considerable legal concerns.
The top row of my 16 board account.

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

To answer your questions:
Q1. What bothers you about the way that people pin you work, photographs or ideas?
A1. What bothers me most is not that other people are pinning or repinning my work, photographs or ideas. What really concerns me is that it is very difficult for people to obtain clear guidelines on know how to pin properly, at all.
The reason for this is due to the fundamental lack of understanding about how Pinterest actually works. It may
appear to be an innocent, hobby like activity but it is just as complicated and intricate as any other social media
platform, if not more so. Transparency is the key. In my opinion, the founders of Pinterest were not clear in their ‘Terms of Services’ when they wrote them. There is considerable concern within the ‘investigative blogging
community’ about the current updates not really being sufficient to create the needed transparency to make this
platform user friendly. 
4 boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q2. What would you encourage Pinterest users to do before they pin something?
A2. I encourage pinners to learn how to pin properly. How can they do this? Research, research, research.
I know that this will seem like an ordeal for pinners to do this but I can simplify this by sharing the work I have done. Since the original and revised ‘Terms of Service’ are so heavily laden with legal language, I strongly suggest that anyone who wants to pin read the set of posts by A.F.MarCom. Angelique and Friends turn inscrutable legal language into pedestrian terms in:
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part One: The difference between “pinning” and “uploading”
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 2: Why Pinterest needs perpetual rights to display your work
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 3: How YOU should behave on Pinterest
• Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 4: How artists can protect their work despite widespread sharing

I also suggest potential pinners view the two short videos by Jonathan Bailey at the beginning and end of this post: Pinterest Part Three: The Perplexed Pinner

I would be remiss if I did not include the extraordinary Resource Guide of 89 Pinterest posts compiled by Tom Treanor and mention the Pinterest LinkedIn Group that we and many other pinners belong to.
4 boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q3. What kind of content is unacceptable for users to pin?
A3. This is a direct quote from the Pinterest website’s Pin Etiquette page and then my comment:
Report Objectionable Content
“We do not allow nudity, hateful content, or content that encourages people to hurt themselves. If you find content that violates our Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy you can submit the content for review by pushing the ‘Report Content’ link.”

The first sentence of this quote is very clear and requires no further explanation or research. But in the second sentence, we run into the same legal issues discussed about the ‘Terms of Services’ and ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ in Q2.
4 Boards from my account

4 Boards from my account. Each image is credited on the board itself.

Q4. In terms of giving credit where credit is due, what advice would you lend to people using Pinterest?
A4. To quote from the Pinterest website and then add my own comment:
Credit Your Sources
“Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Image Search or a blog entry.”

Also, there is a difference between crediting the person whose content is in a pinned image and the source of the image itself. Which one is the proper credit?

Here is a fantastic blog that explains how to get the proper credit:

If this very clever search method still leaves you empty handed, do not use the image. There are millions of other images to choose from, both your own original ones and those of fellow pinners.
So always follow these ‘suggestions’:
• check that your source is correct
• ask direct permission if possible or when necessary
• if both fail, find another image

If you do not follow the above to the ‘letter of the law’, I believe that you can leave yourself open to possible legal problems related to copyright infringement.
Pinterest is a platform that has qualities and issues that I am very passionate about. I hope my answers are helpful. I would be delighted to discuss this topic further with anyone who has thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or disagreements.
Digital Brand Marketing
Pinterest Part Three: The Perplexed Pinner
Resource Guide of 89 Pinterest posts compiled by Tom Treanor and mention the Pinterest LinkedIn Group
Terms of Service
Acceptable Use Policy
Protect Photos with Google Search by Image

Digital Brand Marketing Education & Interactives


I have been conducting an intense and extensive research project on how businesses are solving the facebook timelines for business page cover challenge. At first, I suppose, it was curiosity. It has now become a full-fledged obsession and an analysis that will result in statistical evidence.

For now, so that I do not scare away any of my readers, I decided to keep it VERY basic. Actually there is a second reason. I am finding that most small business owners are baffled and do not know how to solve facebook’s challenge. In fact, in my opinion, I think this change by facebook was quite unfair to the average business owner.


One need look no further than the page covers presented by corporate America BEFORE the March 30th ‘deadline. They are prize-winning examples of professional graphic, branding and social media savvy, obviously created…

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Facebook Changes Not for Faint-of-Heart

“If you have not yet converted your Facebook fan page over to the new Timeline design, your page will automatically convert on March 30th, 2012 which is coming up fast.” Mari Smith, speaker and author

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Why Major Marketers Are Moving to Google+

Businesses should jump on Google+ because it’s the Wild West, so you can stake your claim, as opposed to breaking through the noise on Twitter and Facebook.

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Business will fully embrace social media in 2012

The summit stars 27 social media pros teaching business owners and marketings how to master social media marketing (brought to you by Social Media Examiner).

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A Pinterest picture board now generaltes more referral traffic than twitter. A
picture is worth more than 120 – 140 characters!

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INBOUND MARKETING: How to Get Customers Without Really Trying, Updated

Readers, what do you think? Your comments and my ability to reply to them are part of the process of developing more ideas, a larger perspective and new theories. This are very important to me both as a writer and someone who seeks to be a thought leader. Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments. Thank you all.

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Cutting Up The Social Media Pie: Let’s Go To The Videos


There are so many parts and facets of social media. Just attempting to keep up with them can put one into a dizzying tail spin. So what I thought might be fun, every once in a while, is to present a particular slice of the social media pie as its own post topic.

The social media pie

The Social Media Pie @

Today I am in the mood for videos. How about you? YouTube ranks second only to Google in the number of searches that are done on it. YouTube can be a great way to learn, be entertained and have interesting background noise while working on something else on your computer.

I have one Channel on YouTube, MarketingBytesBiz. There are a wide variety of videos on my channel. Some are educational, some are entertaining, and I am still working on some that are not your everyday topic.

In doing my research about videos, I have noticed that I have a tolerance for varied lengths of videos depending upon my mood, my other activities, the attention span, and how much time I am willing to invest in a particular topic.

I have a tremendous admiration for people who can say things very concisely. I also appreciate a longer video if it holds my attention. There are topics that require only a minute or less, particularly the fantastic series about social media by Basil Puglisi, founder of Digital Brand Marketing Education, a multi author blog that I write for.

Other stories and presentations can last the 18 minute designated length. They often leave me wanting to hear more. Then there are the film length and longer videos that have to be segmented to qualify for YouTube viewing such as the Ian Xel Lungold Series about the Mayan Calendar @ Ian Xel Lungold. It previews before the actual video show here.


I would like to combine some of my own video with that of other people and projects to present some of my favorites and some that I feel have particular value. First is my favorite, from a summer vacation two years ago. It seems to be a favorite of other people, as well. It is called, Have You Ever Been Kissed by a Giraffe? I loved every minute of the experience and hope you will enjoy watching it as much as I did starring in it @ Phil Jacobs.


Next is an example of a very short series of educational videos that I think work extremely well. They are amazingly concise and really hit the nail on the head about social media and testimonials @ Basil Puglisi.

A post without an example from the series would be incomplete. The presentations are extraordinary and are about the most up-to-date things that man is doing, creating and experiencing. In my opinion, I would rather than watch these than almost any TV show on. Here is one of my favorites, Thomas Heatherwick Building the Seed Cathedral @ TED Talks:


Every snack you could want for movie viewing

Movie Snacks Anyone? @

Well, I hope you remembered to bring your popcorn, your favorite candy and soft drinks. Going to the ‘videos’ can be fun and entertaining. It can be educational and promotional. It can be a breathtakingly amazing experience, too. Did you enjoy your time with me today? Let me know what you think of these videos as well as the ideas of presenting slices of the social media pie as topics.


Is Curation as a Value Finally Here?

Writers, Here’s the Recipe for Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Social Media Pie


A Fond Farewell to the Charrette Corporation

The Charrette corporate culture, philosophy and brand development was such that it is possible that other retail corporations fashioned their stores after Charrette. They were clean looking with simple straight lines, well designed, displaying everyday items as if they were high end designer merchandise.

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Where Have All The Blog Posts Gone?

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone?
One might think that based upon the infrequency of my posts lately, that I had lost interest in blogging. The opposite is the case. I love to write and I think blogging is one of the coolest inventions for someone like myself who has plenty to say, to show and to share.

I have not been posting here as often as I’d like because my writing energies have been going to a multi-author blog that I am a contributing writer for, I have been contributing for several months now and have watched myself progress as I hone my skills as an online ‘journalist’. In fact, that reminds me of some recent posts of mine about an Oregon  Supreme Court case dealing with blogging versus journalism. You can read them on DBME.

Mari Smith comments on Joy Lynskey's DBME blog post

Mari Smith comments on Joy Lynskey's DBME blog post @ facebook

Digital Brand Marketing Education
Let me just tell you a little bit about DBME. It is a nonprofit started by Basil Puglisi, a very bright, high-energy young man who is really going places in the social media world. In the short time that the blog has been in existence, we have reached the semi-finals in the Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Top Ten Blog contest. From an original nominated group of 570, 20 blogs have been selected as semi-finalists. has made it this far. We are all thrilled and keeping our fingers crossed as we watch the number of comments increase and more visitors swimming around our word-pool.

This publicity has drawn a good deal of attention to the blog. This is wonderful for everyone. Our blog deals with social media issues, things related to digital issues, branding, marketing and business. As writers, we are part of the ‘read, write and share’ tradition. As we become better researchers and writers, we are better able to educate and inform our audience about  the issues at hand.

This has been a phenomenal experience for me. I look forward to many opportunities to come both as a writer for DBME and the perks that come from being part of a community of such esteemed social media professionals.

Social Media Examiner Blog Post Announcing the semi-finalists in their Top 10

Social Media Examiner Blog Post Announcing the semi-finalists in their Top 10 Blogs Contest 2012 @Social Media Examiner


Digital Brand Marketing Education

Social Media Examiner Top Ten Blog Semi-Finalist for 2012

Mari Smith Comment about Digital Brand Marketing Education Blog Post

The Treacherous Trip from Leopard to Lion: A Digital Fable

About a month ago, I awoke to find that I could no longer view videos on my computer. Was it a nightmare or was I really awake to this horror. I would receive indications on e-mails, on social media comments, on blog posts, it seemed like everywhere. The reason I knew they were videos hidden from sight was because I was constantly plagued by the sign of the black rectangle.

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Traditional Print Advertising versus Digital Online Marketing

Unfortunately, one of the major obstacles to going paperless is the generation of adults, considered baby boomers and older, who grew up and became educated without this technology. The height of sophistication was slide rules and pocket calculators. Now there are the Inbound Boomers to help with this transition.

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Steve Jobs’ 2012 Presidential Prediction for Obama

“Steve Jobs, known for his aggressive and sometimes prickly personality, didn’t hold back when he met President Obama in 2010: The Apple CEO warned Obama he wasn’t going to win re-election.”

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Transforming Trash Into Treasures

So began my love affair with old furniture and furnishing, transforming them from trash into treasures. It lasted for several years, became a business and a system for the reuse and (re)decoration of wood, metal and other materials.

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A Casual Glance at Social Media

By now, just about everyone is at least aware of social media. Whether one participates in it, likes it or dislikes it, favors certain venues over others, social media has become part of our everyday culture and part of our technology in its brief 30 year history. It is also inarguably here to stay and will continue to morph into more and more amazing forms.

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Staying in Touch

My office is filled with the seeds, sprouts and sometimes flowers of the work I have done over the last 30 or so years in areas seemingly unrelated except for the fact that I had to do them. They were like breathing, like feeding and nurturing my soul.

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Technologically Speaking

There are many things that are no longer just the way they were. Similar to the story of Rip Van Winkle, someone who had simply fallen asleep or gone underground for a few decades and returned to the present would find his present to be very much in the past. There would be many technological changes that could baffle him. This post, Technologically Speaking, illustrates a few of them.

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