Ethical Implications of Graphic Photos: Boston Bombing

Assignment: There were many graphic photographs of the aftermath of the bombing. One showed a victim who had lost his leg in the blast. You can see his face. Explain the ethical implications of using graphic photos. 

Like most anything in life, I believe context plays a big role in how images, messaging, or media as a whole is received. In an effort to respect the individual who is shown in the photograph being discussed, I am choosing not to share the image on my blog. While he may not care, I’m unsure whether or not he does and I simply don’t feel the need to circulate it further. The image is graphic, and what is a sickeningly sad time for one man is also the time when other’s courageously stepped up to help.

Initially my eyes went to the gruesome image of the man’s missing leg. Before long my stomach began to twist as I tried to figure out what’s what in the image, which only made my stomach turn more. (As you may have guessed, I don’t do blood well.) I then changed my focus to the man and woman helping the injured man and their facial expressions. Without any text provided with the link (and even if there were text, it may not have answered these questions), I found myself wondering about the relationship between the man in the wheelchair to the man and woman behind him. Did he know them? Were they family members or friends? Were they complete strangers? Looking at their faces and sensing the compassion they had for the injured man, whether they knew him or not, the feelings of uneasiness dissipated and instead sadness overcame me, but so did joy — for the willingness of Americans (humans really) to come together in a difficult time

The point I am trying to prove (which is not nearly as eloquent written as professional journalists), is that the meaning of the image changes based on the context through which it’s absorbed. Is the image being published to portray the brutality of the attack or the hardship and  compassion of those affected? If an image of this nature is the be used, I most certainly feel as if the individual in the photograph must give approval, but also believe it to be an incredibly insensitive time to ask for such. What reporter is going to hang on to the image until a time when the news is no longer hot off the press.

Ethically, I believe it is incredibly inappropriate (and to some degree I thought illegal) to publish photographs of people without their consent. Whether or not it is “okay” or appropriate to do so, doesn’t address the fact that if consent is asked for it’s likely at an inappropriate time. More so than ethics, I think it comes down to morals and what journalist feel is right in their gut. I chose not to publish the picture…but I’m not a journalist.

While I think such images can be argued to portray a more realistic depiction of the event(s), which some may argue is what social media is all about (being “real”), but social media is also about being human. Just as the individuals aiding the man in the photograph showed compassion during a traumatic time, it’s the journalists choice to chose whether to exercise this same compassion. While I think there is a time and a place for “real” images and the context they are shared in is particularly important, I believe journalists overstep when they set their morals aside and forget that they themselves are human, as well as the individuals in the photos.

Ethics of Data Mining

Assignment: Read this article about the ‘ethical’ social network Ello which promises not to data mine. What do you think could be the wider consequences to social networks of Ello’s stance? Do you think social media users will respond positively? How would you predict Ello’s future?

According to the assigned article, Ello offers an “‘ethical’ ad-free social experience.” While the platform may claim to be “ad-free,” that doesn’t necessarily mean the platform operates ethically or provides an “ethical experience.” Additionally, a platform that is not ad-free doesn’t necessarily provide an unethical experience. The terms are mutually exclusive, and simply because the platform does not allow advertising, does not mean it is superior or more ethical than other social platform. In fact, many platforms don’t necessarily foster unethical experiences, but rather the users act and generate content that is less than ethical.

With the frequent use of the terms “ethics” and “ethical” in this post, it’s important to keep in mind that what constitutes ethical behavior and how some may define ethics differs among individuals. Additionally, the term ad and/or advertisement may also seem like words with concrete definitions; however, the article claims that Ello, as a Public Benefit Corporation, “won’t make money from selling ads.” Does this mean pro-bono ads are fair game, what about ads promoting their cause and motives for what they deem to be an “ethical experience?” Would in-kind donations in exchange for ad space fall within or outside of this statement? You see, even when we think we are rather clear with our terminology and motives, there almost always remains some level of ambiguity.

As powerful as the manifesto for Ello is (as shown below), and I truly admire that they agree not to sell their users information to companies, it’s difficult to fathom that Ello will (1) gain enough traction by limiting those allowed to use it or (2) make enough money to continue to operate solely off the sale of widgets and plugins. Although individuals are less than thrilled about the idea that their information is being sold to marketers, for which there should likely be more strict regulations, our society has become accustomed to being marketed to.

Ello's Manifesto

Ello’s Manifesto

Whether it be television or a live sporting event, almost any form of entertainment provides opportunity for marketers. Why? Simply because it’s where the people, their audience, is located. While I personally don’t agree with data being sold, I do think it is fair game for platforms to utilize the information themselves, which may include strategically placing ads for companies for a particular demographic. That’s not to say I believe companies should be able to buy a list of individuals and their personal information to do whatever they please with, but rather they are paying for the ability to market to individuals that fit a certain demographic (without owning the information). We’ve allowed this practice for other platforms such as television advertisers that only want to market to people in a particular area watching certain types of shows.

I’m also in support of such information being used to improve service and/or be utilized for proactive reasons, including but not limited to safety. Essentially, I believe Ello limits itself substantially (and financially) by claiming they will not (EVER) participate in advertisements! Instead, I believe it could be more beneficial for Ello to promise not to sell personal information.

Without advertisers and with limited exposure, I predict a bleak future for Ello, and a slow death, similar to MySpace. (Which, by the way, does MySpace even exist anymore?) Oh, that’s right, we’ve forgotten about platforms that don’t have audience members, particularly when there are mammoth size companies to compete with and more than enough social networks to keep up with as is.

Need proof that Ello hasn’t gained traction, just look how unpopular the assigned article about the platform is:

Ello article - Social SHare

(Note: See social sharing stats/numbers above the article.)

While I don’t think Ello’s stance will force the hand of social media moguls such as Facebook to do away with advertising, I do think it may force social platforms to be more accountable for securing information and disclosing what they do with it. Initially, pending Ello even gets enough exposure, I believe some individuals will jump on the bandwagon and advocate for platforms of this nature; however, eventually they (the users) will want to participate on a platform that they can connect with others and to to do so will ultimately be forced to resort back to the platforms they once denounced.

Although I pride Ello for their efforts, I believe they could have utilized the multi-millions of dollars they have funded to raise greater awareness about how social media platforms are using our information to create an initiative for more strict regulations. Hell, a couple million dollars in promoted Tweets and Boosted Facebook posts could probably create quite a stir, in particular when using the platforms themselves for purposes of exposure (oh, the irony). Of course this would be going against their mission, but would it be worth while to prove just that point. How powerful would it be to state the advertising criteria you used on the ad itself and say that is why you are being targeted, because social platforms have allowed me access to your information for marketing purposes.

Moderation Assignment

Assignment: How would you moderate the following audience/customer comments if left on your organization’s Facebook page?

To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

Dear ____,

I am shocked and embarrassed to hear about the condition you found the restaurant in. I can assure you that this is not typically and would greatly appreciate a brief amount of your time to discuss this matter in more details. Please email me at or you may call me at 000-000-0000. If I can get more information regarding the time and date during which you found the restaurant in the condition you mentioned, it will aid us in getting to the bottom of the matter and properly handling the situation.

I can assure you that our restaurant kitchen is clean and has received zero infractions by any restaurant management service. As a dining facility, we are held to strict requirements and have never been penalized for being below the standard. I would so appreciate the opportunity to prove to you that how you witnessed our restaurant is not characteristic of the norm. I would like to personally invite you to our restaurant to experience our exceptional dining environment for yourself. I also would love the opportunity to apologize in person and meet you first hand. If you would like to contact me with a preferred day and time to dine with us, I will schedule your reservation and make sure that I am personally on staff to ensure all your needs are met.

My sincerest apologies,


To a mainstream news network: “Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)

Assuming the reporting was truly balanced , it is clear that this individual was unable to see past their self-created blinders and has reached a level of anger that may not be capable of talking down. Although news networks are often criticized for their biases, as individuals we also have biases and often form them unknowingly. Even when we are aware of our biases, it is difficult to absorb information in a neutral manner.

For instance, you may write an apology letter to another individual and in it you equally share your role in the situation as well as theirs. When reading a letter of this nature with pre-determined biases of our own, it’s easy to remember the criticisms rather than the mentions of the individual apologizing and also taking responsibility for the situation. In situations such as these, it’s possible the person may never see the other side, or it will likely take a sit down conversation (which doesn’t seem like an option for the disgruntled individual blasting the mainstream news network). For this reason, I am unsure if I would advise replying, as the individual may not be able to see the other side and it is clear they are already quite perturbed, and it’s not unlikely that they will simply fire back with “colorful” language.

This may be an issues worth consulting with your co-workers or team about. If the consensus of the staff of the mainstream news channel involved in making these types of decisions was to reply, I would consider including a clip of the report she is referring to and timestamps where each party’s position is addressed to show that equal time was given to each cause, this way he/she can reference back to the clip. I would also express your deep interest, concern and respect for the matter as well (after all, that’s why you’re reporting on it), and determine amongst your team if an apology for how she felt the information was portrayed is necessary, or if it admits fault (for which we are told there was none).

DiGiorno’s Uh-Oh

Assignment: Find an example of how a company or an individual has had their reputation put at risk by social media activity. This should NOT be an example covered in the video lecture or readings. Explore how the company or individual responded and discuss what action you would have taken.


In September of 2014, NFL player Ray Rice was facing public scrutiny for abusing his wife Janay. For those of you that didn’t see the incident on the news, YouTube or SportsCenter, Ray hit his wife knocking her out cold in an elevator, which he later dragged her out of. I’m not getting into the politics of what she may have said or done prior, their relationship history, or anything of that nature – the assault was shocking and definitely not a laughing matter.

To raise awareness about domestic violence and the seriousness of the matter surrounding the Rice’s, a Twitter hashtag, actually hashtags, were created. Many women, including celebrities, opened up about their personal experiences of being victimized by a significant other. Women shared their reasonings for both staying in the relationship (#whyistayed) and/or leaving (#whyileft).


DiGiorno pizza is apparently known for making snarky, satirical comments on Twitter, and frequently utilizes hashtags, especially those that are trending. However, DiGiorno’s cold, comedic heart got burned when they didn’t do their homework and insensitively misused the hashtag #whyistayed.  

DiGiorno eagerly used the trending hashtag without doing the miniscule amount of research necessary to determine the actual message behind the #. In their consistently satirical tone they tweeted the following:

Digiorno #Whyistayed

Ready, set…BACK PEDAL. Almost instantaneously DiGiorno realized the PR nightmare they had created removed the Tweet and replaced it with an apology.

DiGiorno - #Whyistayed response

But they didn’t stop there, and nor should they have. DiGiorno responded and apologized to individual Twitter users’ tweets as well, and while the apologies got somewhat monotonous and lost their genuity (in my opinion), they didn’t stop apologizing….how could they?

Digiorno #whyistayed replies to individuals

As stated in this Washington Post article, “brands are people too – and sometimes people make idiots of themselves.” The article also appropriately groups DiGiorno with some other idiot brands, guilt of making some social media mistakes. But hey, we’re human..right? Apologies can go a long way in relationships, in particular face-to-face; however, I don’t know that they hold the same value in 140 characters or less, particularly from a corporate brand with deep pockets. Money talks.

DiGiorno may not have done their research before tweeting, but it’s possible they learned from other social media mistakes such as the Red Cross and Dogfish Head  #gettngslizzered incident. Red Cross was fortunate to have Dogfish Head step in as an ally, but DiGiorno was responsible for their own damage control and wiping the pizza of their embarrassed faces. DiGiorno’s efforts to repair the damage have been honorable and were in fact rather timely, given October (the following month) was domestic violence awareness month.

To successfully recover, DiGiorno had to put their money where their mouth was and turn apologies into dollar signs.

Who do you trust on social media?

Assignment: Who do you trust on social media, on any platform or combination of platforms? Focus on individuals rather than corporations. Reference some of their social media content. Why do you trust them? What behaviours do they display in their social spaces? What do they benefit from gaining your trust?


As I began to ponder WHO I trust on social media, I was surprised to find myself continually turning to companies rather than people. Although I was initially surprised by this, I began to realize the expectations I have in regard to companies and social media marketing. I chose to follow many of the companies, and afterall they are businesses, so would it be so wrong that they market to me? Do I love being bombard it by it ? No, and of course that’s where the self-promotion comes into play, but I’m accepting of it. Although my level of acceptance may be significantly impacted by my profession, which includes social media marketing, it did make me wonder if the formula for trust is different for companies than individuals. While I don’t consciously believe I have expectations for individuals on social media (because let’s face it, nothing is surprising anymore), I do believe businesses have somewhat of a professionalism to maintain.

Now, is that to say I don’t have hopes for how people would use social media (i.e. respectfully) – certainly, but I don’t place those expectations on them. After feeling as if I couldn’t trust anyone on Facebook as I scrolled through my feed, it hit me – a former neighbor, stay at home mom, and mother of two. I’ll refrain from using her name or screenshots of content, but as I thought about WHY I trusted her, the MORE I trusted her and reminisced about previous posts of hers.

In order to explain why I trust this woman, I must share with you my revised trust formula….well it’s really more of a modification in wording for the formula discussed in our ethics course.*

According to Steve Rayson, the formula for trust on social media is as follows:

A=Authority, H=Helpfulness, I=Intimacy, SP=Self-Promotion

A=Authority, H=Helpfulness, I=Intimacy, SP=Self-Promotion

While I do believe the formula created by Rayson would produce relatively the same results, I would use different wording and factor in consistency. Although I don’t know that the mathematical side of the equation would make sense, if I HAD to re-write the equation I suppose it would look like one of the two equations below:

TRUST = Authority x Compassion x Transparency x Consistency / Self-Promotion


TRUST = Authority x Compassion x Transparency / Consistency – Self-Promotion

The individual whom I spoke of that I trust on social media uses Facebook as her primary platform. She doesn’t share only the positive, or gripe about everything negative. She’s transparent about both the high’s and low’s of her life. Her posts show photos of her children’s misspellings, side pony-tails her daughter has created on her (the mom’s) head, images of family members that have past and date nights with her and her husband, as well as their triumph over his battle with cancer. Her posts ooze with compassion toward her family, her new friends and those she had to part from when she moved away. She posts regularly on Facebook and is a mother, wife and simply a human being, which in my opinion gives her the authority to speak openly about life. While I believe the “self-promotion” factor is a little more difficult to factor in when it comes to individuals’ posts, particularly if they don’t work, this person doesn’t post about herself often. While her family, friends and religion are all very closely related to her, it’s not the same as posting a photo or status about herself personally.

As I thought more about how much I trust this person and how quickly we became close as neighbors, my feelings became more pronounced. I supposes that’s how I know I trust her. Not only do I believe her, which is definitionally related to trust, but I care about her. I also suppose this is why a company would want you to trust them, so that you reciprocate a certain level of compassion or care. I also can’t help but realize how my relationship with this individual off-line has influenced my feelings toward her online. Again, I suppose that’s also similar to businesses. If they promote trust online with consumers, they must also provide that same environment in their storefront or through their customer service. While I can’t say that I am connected with anyONE on social media that I haven’t interacted with outside of social (I would consider my peers and I interacting through coursework outside of social media), I would imagine it’s more difficult to start a relationship with no reputation and build trust entirely online, for both an individual or a business.

In a nutshell, I trust those individuals (and businesses) on social media that not only fit the criteria of the trust equation online, but also have a trusting relationship with them outside of social media as well.

*To my peers: For more details on why I chose to change the wording of the formula check out my reading reaction post for week three. In an effort to (somewhat) stay within the word restrictions, I have not included my detailed reasoning within this blog post.

YouTube Lacks Video

Note: This blog was written for academic purposes, requiring an evaluation of social media platforms’ terms and conditions and recommendations for “re-drafting.”

Before seeing the YouTube Terms of Services page I thought the Facebook Terms of Service document was pretty bad, as in not user friendly (lengthy, not visually appealing, non-conversational language, etc.); however, the YouTube Terms of Services document gives Facebook a run for its money as far as being one of the worst social media terms documents. When I describe the documents as “pretty bad” or “worst,” I’m, referring to the level of understandability.  Not only is the document  incredibly lengthy, but the language consists of legal jargon not understandable to the “average Joe.”

Facebook Terms & Conditions

Facebook Terms & Conditions

For instance, try reading the very first item under “Your Acceptance,” which by the way, places a lot of responsibility on the user (“YOUR”). (Shown below.)

YouTube Terms & Conditions

YouTube Terms & Conditions (Click image to enlarge)

Although I must agree social media platforms are user-generated and should place a large responsibility on the user, the platform itself must also take responsibility as well, despite how hard policing an astronomical amount of uploads may be. In my personal opinion it’s only ethical to share the responsibility between those that are posting and those that created the platform in the first place. YouTube goes as far as placing responsibility on the viewers, which would seem difficult to enforce, as they may not have an account.

One of the items discussed in lecture was the accessibility social media terms and conditions documents. Again YouTube places the responsibility on the user, stating: “Although we may attempt to notify you when major changes are made to these Terms of Service, you should periodically review the most up-to-date version.”

Here’s an idea YouTube…step your game up. Play by the same rules as the rest of us, and put it in a video if you want people to listen. Or do you want people to list? While I agree you shouldn’t force individuals to watch an entire video on terms and conditions, as they may break their computer screen in frustration; however, you can prompt them to do so more readily. If the content is critical make users listen/watch to the whole thing, just like us non-paying Pandora users have to do when commercials play.

Regarding the terms and conditions document (not just changes, as mentioned above), did you (YouTube) ever think to put it in a video version? Wouldn’t it be most ethical (or best practice) to also utilize the power of audio/visual, as you encourage your users to do the same? Of course, in small digestible videos (like the rest of us) and maybe by category (Acceptance, Service, Accounts, General Use, etc.). Social media should be “social” or conversational (i.e. answer a question, put it in Q&A format).

Even though it’s a legal document, you can say it in plain English, or have two-versions if your stuffy lawyer tells you you still need the traditional format. Make it fun and preferrably in 3-ish minutes. Follow the same guidelines and recommendations we as users are told by the social media marketing experts, and maybe your terms of use will be read/watched and UNDERSTOOD more often.

Oh, and P.S. Your document is almost 5 years old! Get with the program! You wouldn’t not update your technology and features in 5 years, what makes it okay to keep your terms and services, and essentially your user agreement, the same.

P.S.S. I really love your product/platform YouTube, please accept my sincerest apologies for my attempt at a satirical bashing, while completing an assignment and providing some (what I hope to be) constructive criticism.

UF Ethics MMC 6936 Introduction

Hello to all! I’m looking forward to reading and responding to many of your blog posts (and reading reactions) again this semester, as well as getting to know some new “virtual faces” through this course. This is my third semester in the program (first using Canvas – eek, I think many of us are together on that one) and I truly enjoy the diversity that I have come to find among my peers. I believe this will be particularly interesting in an ethics class and can’t wait to hear all our differing opinions and share in some friendly conversations.

If you would like to learn a little bit more about me personally and/or connect on social media, hop on over to my About Me blog that was created at the start of the program. In a nutshell:

  • I’m a Gator grad (undergrad)
  • I reside in Gainesville where my husband of a year and a half is originally from
  • Our “baby girl” is a Goldendoodle named Bella
  • I’m the Marketing Coordinator (yes, it includes social media responsibilities) for an independent insurance agency in Gainesville, FL that sells home, auto, business and health insurance (McGriff-Williams Insurance)…thrilling, right?


I’m all about transparency online, so please feel free to reach out or ask me questions. That being said, I’m not one of those people that posts all their opinions online because I feel as if we’re all entitled to our own…and shouldn’t be victim to others on a constant basis. Which brings me to why ethics interests me and why I believe this course will be incredibly insightful and promote open-mindedness, which I am a huge fan of. (I’m also human and guilty of being close-minded as well at times….and there’s the transparency).

As I continued to think about this blog post more I found myself often returning to religion and the various beliefs of individuals. To hopefully make a long story short, I had a friend in college that (at the time) had different religious beliefs than myself. Due to the fact that we had a mutual respect for one another and our opposing beliefs, as well as a certain level of open-mindedness, our conversations came to be some I have valued most in my lifetime and a friendship I treasure to this day.

I believe this class will ask us many question and provide various scenarios that we will have very different opinions about. I believe keeping an open mind and being willing to discuss a variety of viewpoints can facilitate growth, both professionally and personally…and that is why ethics is of interest to me, in particular this course and the discussions.

“Start Kicking” Assignment

For our “Start Kicking” assignment we were instructed to peruse the website I began the perusal process by scoping out the “Discover” section where I was lead to 15 “diverse categories” including: arts, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology and theater.

KickStarter category page

If you knew me, you would know I am not a left brain person, so many of the artistic and musical categories were not of interest to me. However, I love FOOD…so I dug a little deeper into the 649 “live projects” (at the time of search) that were categorized as “food.”

It didn’t take long for me to find a project I was passionate about: The Chocolate Conspiracy Expansion is intended to expand a raw artisan chocolate company out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Included in the project details is a video about the business that starts with a still image of a delectable looking chocolate bar (shown below).  Also included in the project details is an extensive list of items needed to grow their business, including the prices of the equipment needed. The concept is built on the organic, local food movement and uses local honey to sweeten their chocolate.

KickStarter - The Chocolate Consp. Expansion

Gainesville Co-Op

In sticking with the same theme (food), I decided to search some local projects in Gainesville, Florida. I recognized the image and name of a local Citizen Co-Op, which claims to want to “build a community through a local food marketplace that offers fresh creative alternatives to how we connect with our food.” I was pleased to discover they were already “Successfully funded” and I look forward to scoping it out next time I’m on that side of town. 


Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.12.08 PMWhen I returned to the Kickstarter website for a third time to gather my thoughts, I stumbled upon Zubits Magnetic Shoe Closure, which I couldn’t resist writing about. At the time I saw the Zubits project it was 646% funded! Zubits is the perfect example of a “Shark Tank” type invention. It’s been said that successful inventions are those that solve a common problem or make a current task easier. Although there are of course sneakers with velcro; however, they are far less fashionable, Zubits provides a revolutionary way to fasten your sneakers. While it seems elementary, over 4,000 individuals have backed the project and $187,216 has been pledged thus far.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.16.30 PMAs previously confessed,  I am not a left brain person and my level of creativity is bleak to say the least. While I don’t personally have a concept or project I would want funded, I know plenty of other individuals (far more creative than myself) that may be interested in this concept, and I appreciate being made aware of this financial crowdsourcing platform.

Scan Me – Scan You Assignment

I must confess I was surprised by the results of my “Scan Me – Scan You” assignment, for which we were tasked to Google ourselves. It must have been over a year and a half ago since I have searched for myself on the internet, as I recall having to search by my maiden name, White. When I went by Kaitlin White there was also a well-known gymnast by the same name, and apparently a Miss Teen USA by that name as well.

Below are the search result for Kaitlin White.

Kaitlin White

Kaitlin White the gymnast, which was quite ironic because I did gymnastics when I was younger.

Kaitlin White the gymnast, which was quite ironic because I did gymnastics when I was younger.

While there are many spellings to the name Kaitlin, the word “white” serving as an adjective, noun and verb, affects the search results for my former name.


Although I have made an effort to brand my name since realizing the importance of search engine optimization, not only as a business, but as a marketer; I unfortunately cannot fully credit my search status to my stellar SEO tactics, but rather to my husband. Okay, okay – not really to my husband but to taking on a new last name, and a less common last name at that.

Kaitlin Gertner generates the results shown below. Four of the five images are headshots from various profiles/accounts, and the one image that is not a headshot of mine is a photo from my Pinterest account.

Kaitlin Gertner

The first page results for the Google search “Kaitlin Gertner” generates the following:

1: My LinkedIn Account

2: My Twitter Account

3 & 4: Pages affiliated with my employers website – my biography and one of the many blogs I have written.

5: My Pinterest Account

6: My Trulia Profile

7: My Google+ Profile

8: My personal WordPress blog – created for coursework pertaining to this program (Mass Communication Master’s with a Specialization in Social Media at the University of Florida).

9: A blog I wrote for my WordPress blog pertaining to Facebook advertisements.

I was somewhat surprised that all search results on the first page of Google were actually affiliated with me, and that those at the top of the results were some of my least active accounts.

For this assignment we were also instructed to search by our email address(es). I used to use my company email as my primary email for most all accounts; however, in recent years I have changed some to my personal Gmail account, but have not yet switched all accounts and some are easier than others (i.e. Google+). To eliminate publicising all of my emails, I will be using a description of each and general description of search results.

When I searched my company email address all first page results were affiliated with myself: Our companies team page and contact us information, blogs I have written for our website, guest blogs I have written for other websites and company accounts for which I am the primary account holder (and used my company email address for).

When I searched my Gmail address the results were less pertinent to me directly, and some were a bit puzzling. It’s during this search that I also began to wonder how my previous searches are effecting my results, as one of the results has my maiden name and my Gmail address contains my married name. Other results included organizations I am a member of, WordPress related results (including comments I’ve made on my peers blogs) and Google+ results (pages I manage and contacts, i.e. people in my circles).

When it came to searching for my University of Florida (UFL) email address, I was initially quite shocked; however, I then took into account the number of safety procedures put into place by the university in regard to email security. I don’t think I’ve ever searched Google and came up with less than a page of results. There were only three results, none of which listed my proper UF email in the meta description. I was so surprised by these results I couldn’t not include a screenshot. I’m curious if any of my peers searched their UF emails and received similar results.

KGertner UFL email search results

Discount Double Check (App Assignment)

For the “Discount Double Check” assignment I chose to download the Publix application (app). The app is designed to save users time, money and make shopping a pleasure. The app includes the following features (as shown below): my grocery list, weekly ads, digital coupons, recipes, online ordering, prescription refills, featured products and more!

Publix AppAlthough I didn’t receive a discount for downloading the app, weekly ads and digital coupons are available through the app. One of my favorite features is the weekly ad section the divides all items by category, and includes a list of items that are currently buy 1 get 1 free (BOGO).

Weekly AdThe app does include global positioning, in that it will tell you what Publix location you are closest to, or you may choose to select a preferred location. There does not appear to be a review section on the application. I would imagine this would be difficult given the amount of locations, and the difference in services and products at various locations. I suppose a review section could be generated for each location, as there are location based reviews accessible online when individuals perform Google searches on various locations.

Google Search for Publix location

This image shows a Google search for a Publix which has 4 reviews for this particular location.

The app offers many additional resources; however, many of the features are ones I use through other applications. For example, I use the app AnyList for a shared grocery list option, and since I do not just shop at Publix, I do not envision myself switching to the Publix option. However, the Publix app does have a recipe section which allows you to chose a meal and add ingredients for the entire recipe all at once. If I was looking for a meal option, and knew I would only be shopping at Publix for ingredients, I would be more inclined to use these two features together. On a side note, many of the recipes appear to be fairly decent and offer a wide variety of options. That being said, I may start using this app to browse recipes for the week, in addition to checking out the BOGO specials.


Recipe with add ingredients to list feature








The app also offers the option to place online orders at the deli; however, when you select this feature it takes you to a separate web browser, rather than placing the order directly through the app. Although the only items I have ever pre-ordered from Publix were cakes, catering orders, subs and wheat pizza dough (yep, they have it…you just have to ask), I have always called these orders in. Knowing that I can now place these orders online, and have pre-cut meats and cheeses at the deli waiting, I may be more inclined to start using this feature.

Publix Deli Pre-Order

Although I do not fill my prescriptions at Publix, and the store I frequent most doesn’t have a pharmacy, the refill options on their app appear to be convenient, in that you can scan a barcode to order refills.

Publix RX

All in all, I think the Publix app provides a plethora of resources and has the potential to be very useful for avid Publix shoppers, whether they use one or all the features.