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Original articles from Aprel Phelps Downey.
What Happens When Starbucks and Twitter Have a Coffee Date?
At the heart of every Twitter conversation is the act of making a connection with someone else. That connection can be based on sharing a common interest, brainstorming business development ideas, or assuming the role of armchair analyst when trying to figure out where last night’s game went horribly wrong. Everything from breaking news to television show cliffhangers...

Facebook Appeared to Have a Case of the Mondays
Facebook struggled to rise and shine Monday morning as sleepy-eyed users were unable to do just about anything on the social media site. Attempts to post status updates or make comments on friends’ activities were met with pop-up error notifications. It continued well into the morning as users tried uploading new pictures, browsing through their own albums, or viewing friends’ pictures. Even something as simple as “liking” another status update or comment failed to go through.

Are You LinkedIn With the Correct Message?
Making connections is the lifeblood of the business world. You are only as good as the next connection you make. One of the social media powerhouses puts the network connection power in the palm of your hand when utilized correctly. LinkedIn opens a window of opportunity to connect with nearly every person with an online presence. Scoring that coveted LinkedIn connection with that one person who can take your business to the next level requires the mindset you bring to an executive board meeting.

Facebook Changes the Game of Hide and Seek
Part of the childhood thrill in a game of hide and seek is finding the best hiding spot. The more secluded you could become during the game, the better your chances of being the last one found. Facebook affords many of us the luxury of finding that elusive hiding spot amongst the prying eyes of the social media world. Now it seems that you can run but you can no longer hide on Facebook.

Can’t Martha and Apple Just Get Along?
Martha Stewart took to Twitter last week to express her frustration over having dropped her beloved iPad, cracking the screen in the process. She inquired as to whether Apple would make a house call or if she needed to visit her local Apple store in person. Her tweets continued the next day, letting followers know that apparently Apple was less than thrilled with her airing her iPad distress on a social media forum. Almost instantly Stewart found that her iPad-focused tweets sparked quite an unintended controversy. Some followers gently suggested she check her bank account balance...

Do You Have a Twesume to Your Advantage?
A traditional paper resume highlighting skills and qualifications previously served as a golden ticket to gaining an invitation to an interview. Social media quietly came along and virtually erased the existence of traditional paper resumes. As a result resumes need to sparkle and shine in order to make it to the top...

Will Twitter Face the Same Publicly Traded Fate as Facebook?
The grumpy cat does it. Just about every celebrity in Hollywood does it. Even the Pope has been known to do it once in a while. Chances are, you and your business take part in the action also. The task in question is of course the ever-present, fast-growing art of sending 140 characters out onto the Twitter playing field. On any given day, a typical Twitter timeline contains everything...

What is the Point of Social Media, Anyway?
Everyone is raving about the benefits of social media. It’s presented as the "be all and end all" of business interaction. Anyone worth a grain of salt in the business world has a wealth of social media accounts and the impressive connection numbers to go with each. You’ve played along, creating the keyword rich social media profile pages and adding interactive buttons to your blog. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are checked on an hourly basis in the hopes of seeing the new friends, followers, and connections everyone talks about.

Score One for Social Media at the VMAs!
MTV grabbed the world’s attention Sunday night to celebrate something rarely shown on its network: music videos. The awards show created a flurry of activity across social media outlets that let fans at home and celebrities in the crowd get involved in the action.

How Social Media Can Help You Land That Next Job
By now we recognize the laundry list of what to do and not to do in terms of using social media when searching for a job. There is the cardinal sin of posting those status updates and pictures from a weekend of partying. It also goes without saying that social media is not the place to air our dirty laundry for all the world to see. Yet there are aspects to social media use that can prove beneficial when it comes to searching for that next job. Job advertisements, whether traditional newspaper or online...

Are You Tuned In To Your Social Media Followers?
Your latest social media campaign has proven to be the baseball equivalent of hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the World Series. Every one of your key target market audiences is being catered to in some fashion across the social media boards. Simply put, you are on social media fire! Yet you are being unfriended and un-followed...

Will the Amazon CEO Change the Face of ‘The Washington Post’?
One of the biggest names in online retailing made a little purchase of his own Monday afternoon. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is now the proud owner of the iconic newspaper ‘The Washington Post.' Bezos’s $250 million dollar purchase of the paper comes on the heels of Boston Red Sox’s owner, John W. Henry...

Are Customer Service Twitter Responses Missing the Point?
Customer service departments hold the power to make or break a company. Handling a customer issue with grace, dignity, and an ounce of respect can send a business skyrocketing. Take a customer issue and add more problems and headaches to the equation, and it is a recipe for disaster. More and more companies are facing the second scenario...

Can a Social Media Picture Take Your Business to Court?
Social media outlets are quickly becoming our first source for breaking news. Event participants and bystanders capture those first few crucial moments with their smartphones. From there, status updates and tweets hit the Internet on Facebook and Twitter at a rapid pace. Images of the event begin flooding Instagram and Pinterest, and Flickr timelines...

Do We Understand the Vital Role Social Media Plays?
Trouble in the air resulted in a plane crash at the San Francisco airport on Saturday. Within minutes, a single tweet sent from a passenger aboard that flight alerted the world to the events unfolding on the runway that afternoon. David Eun, former AOL media and studios president, typed 140 characters on Twitter indicating that a crash landing had occurred.

Where Have All Your Social Media Connections Gone?
You company is quickly taking off with new clients coming in almost as fast as your product is flying out of the door. All of this activity promptly sends you on a social media posting frenzy to share the great news. There are tweets highlighting client reviews, Instagram photos of new products, and status updates on every little office development that day. Life is good! Yet the next morning a quick check of your social media outlets reveals your followers...

Have We Taken the #Hashtag Too Far?
The hashtag burst onto the social media scene in 2007 as a way to enhance user interaction on Twitter. Being the new kid on the block, the hashtag brought versatility and a sense of creativity to the neighborhood. A basic tweet could now take on a whole new meaning with the humorous addition of a hashtag. It was a convenient way for Twitter users...

Does Your Social Networking Activity Play to Your Advantage?
Your intentions are always in the right place every time you go online. The plan is social media networking activity first and Candy Crush second. Yet after a couple of hours you close the laptop with blurry vision and candy images stuck in your head. Corporate America will not quietly wait for you to be more disciplined about your social media networking activity focus.

Are You Guilty of Social Media Fraud?
Countless hours have been spent planning out the next step of your career path. Your Facebook status updates detail virtually every moment of your progress as you go about pulling off that dream internship or landing that coveted interview. Your Instagram account highlights networking events where you rub shoulders with the people that can send you straight to the top of the corporate ladder.

What Happens When Online Actions Result in Real-World Consequences?
You are heading into an interview for your ultimate dream job. It starts with a confident smile and firm handshake. You answer each question "on point," making sure to include the research you did on the company beforehand. As the interview comes to a close, you walk out the door certain you nailed it. As the door closes behind you that interviewer goes online to find out more about you.

Are You on Social Media Overload?
You arrive at the restaurant where you quickly check-in on Foursquare before joining your dinner guests. Pictures taken during dinner on Instagram go straight to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once home, you search Pinterest for that delicious recipe everyone was talking about at dinner. Social media involvement doesn’t end with personal connections. An evening spent at a networking event sends you straight to making LinkedIn connections. Meeting a new client has you on Facebook reading customer reviews and learning more about their company.

Learn About Someone Online Without Being Obvious
Social media networking is all the rage these days! With the click of a mouse or tap of a finger you can find out where a potential business partner goes for networking events or how that next client truly engages in the outside world. Social media also allows you to keep tabs on people you associate with, yet might not want to be "friends" with.

Facebook Makes the Heart Grow Sadder
Two people meet, feel the spark of a connection begin to form. It soon turns into a full-fledged romantic relationship. Declarations of love are made to family and friends. Text messages filled with sweet nothings are sent back and forth between one another throughout the day. You feel as if you are sitting on top of the world. You want to share this new romance with anyone who will listen.

Phone a Friend to Save Your Facebook Life
You pour a cup of coffee and log into Facebook. Instead of seeing your morning News Feed you remain on the log-in screen. It appears your password has been entered incorrectly. You try again two more times with the same end result. At this point it just became Facebook serious. The coffee is brushed aside. The TV is muted and little beads of sweat begin to form on your forehead. You take a deep breath and slowly enter each keyboard character...

The Internet is Always Watching
Facebook creates a digital connection to family and friends. Foursquare provides a convenient way to meet up with friends for a night on the town. Instagram captures irreplaceable moments in a virtual photo album perfect for sharing. Twitter condenses personal thoughts and business ideas into 140 characters or less. LinkedIn allows us to network with potential business clients. The information sharing does not stop there. Email exchanges with family, friends, coworkers, and bosses open a window...

Are You Ready to Get Off the Fence?
At the start of 2013 personal goals were put into place that would make this year different than any other. You are going to take an active stand against a social issue such as bullying or battling an addiction. You are breaking up with fast food and becoming best friends with the gym. You are going to become the next best-selling author. Then life got in the way and now you are stuck without much motivation and wondering if it’s too late to make a change this year. Have no fear; there is a movement hitting the Internet...

In the Wake of the Boston Tragedy, Social Media Provides a Lifeline
America is once again grieving the loss of loved ones at the hands of someone else. As a nation it is another page in an all-too-familiar book. With very few answers and a million questions weighing heavy on the mind, we reach out to one another, share sentiments of love, and stand together as a nation vowing to bring the responsible party to justice.

Text and Drive? You're Not Alone.
You're driving down the road when it happens. You hear that all-too-familiar 'ding' on your phone indicating the receipt of a new text message. Slowly and cautiously, without taking your eyes off the road, you reach across the passenger seat until your fingers grasp your cell phone. Once in hand the phone slowly moves towards the steering wheel until it is directly in line with your view of the road.

YouTube Disappears: Real or Practical Joke?
For the past eight years YouTube has been the go-to Internet video destination for virtually everything including dancing babies, acrobatic dogs, music videos, and how-to guides. Parents have relied on it as a virtual tutor for assistance in helping their kids with homework assignments. Singers have become overnight musical sensations after uploading home-shot music videos. It is the place for bloopers, practical jokes, and video diaries. Now it seems all these viral videos may soon be in search of a new home.

Yahoo Pays $30 Million to Sit at the Cool Table
Everyone wanted to sit at the cool table in high school. A large majority of this table consisted of jocks, cheerleaders, and other popular icons that filled the hallways. Sitting here meant one had achieved the ultimate high school social status ranking. Those not invited to sit at the coveted table waited and watched quietly for a golden opportunity seat to open up. The social media world operates on the same premise.

Staying One Tech Step Ahead of Your Kids
You are a diligent part of Facebook as a means to keep tabs on your daughter’s online activity. You check her profile page; have her password so you can scan her news feed and messages. You know everyone on her friends list. Those who are unfamiliar are removed or blocked if needed. You feel as if you are one step ahead of the game. Think again! Do you remember that cell phone she has for emergencies or as a means to keep in touch with you? The one with the rules you laid out before handing over the phone?

View the Windows of the World Courtesy of Google+
A pack of wild elephants runs across an African safari desert in the middle of a rainstorm. The emotional changing of the guards takes place each hour at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The Eiffel tower in Paris illuminated at night and the Roman coliseum guarding secrets of chariot races from ancient times. There are lakes, waterfalls, and forests as far as the eye can see across the globe. Each of these settings offers us a window to the beauty of our world. A million more picturesque windows to the world remain.

Yahoo Shutting Down More than Just the Home Office
The often misunderstood CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, is sitting pretty as the queen of media headlines these days. It started with her decision to abruptly halt employees working from the comforts of home. This singular business decision captured the attention of status updates, tweets, and blog posts around social media land.

And the Oscar Goes to…Social Media!
It is a night filled with glitz and glamour. Celebrities walk the red carpet dressed to impress sharing facts about who they were wearing from their earring straight down to their shoes. Acceptance speeches, musical performances, champagne toasts and parties until dawn will complete the biggest night in Hollywood!

Tweet Your Way to a New Job
Nerves have your stomach in a knot. Beads of sweat form at the top of your forehead. You have spent countless hours in front of the mirror answering potential interview questions in order to boost self-confidence. Your social media network profiles have been triple checked to ensure that each one makes the best possible first impression. With one last deep breath and a quiet positive affirmation, you fire up the laptop for the job interview of a lifetime. The emergence of social media networks and Twitter...

Need a Valentine? There is an App for That!
Valentine’s Day holds the promise of a perfect day filled with love, sentiment, and time spent together. Dinner will be spent gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes as chocolate hearts wrapped in shiny paper and bouquets of red roses are exchanged. Cutesy stuffed animals with big red hearts on their bellies that play "love songs" when pressed will be paired with the perfect card.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet; That is the Question
Performance arts theatres are the last of a dying breed. These treasures are one of the few places in America that have yet to be touched by social media and the modern age of smartphones. As the house lights dim, audience members make one last glance at a cell phone, making sure to turn it on "silent."


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