“Start Kicking” Assignment

For our “Start Kicking” assignment we were instructed to peruse the website www.kickstarter.com. 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.

Second Life Assignment

Second Life Logo

Despite my initial unfavorable opinion of virtual worlds, such as Second Life, recent articles and comments from my peers had aided in increasing my enthusiasm about this assignment; however, it didn’t take long for me to return to my negative opinion. With my bias opinion likely still present in the back of my mind, my lack of patience for technological obstacles and disgust for video games since my childhood, I’m not surprised by my lack of interest in Second Life. Although I personally did not enjoy the experience, and most certainly went into it guarded and with hesitations, we are all entitled to our own hobbies and if it makes someone else happy, and doesn’t harm others in the process, I have nothing against it for use by others.

I am a relatively outgoing person, so I found going up to strangers and trying to talk to them fairly entertaining, despite the lack of success I had. I was so shocked by the experience in general I had to call my husband into the room to simply witness how bizarre the whole concept was, in my opinion. Whether I wasn’t approaching these individuals with proper virtual world etiquette or I simply seemed weird or uninteresting, I have had more success holding conversations with strangers in the real world. l also must admit, I have a higher level of confidence outside in the real words versus virtual worlds as well. I felt very uncomfortable and insecure while participating in Second Life, and as weird as it sounds, I thought maybe others could sense it.

Although I am a 25 year old female, I chose a male avatar…the least creepiest looking male avatar, in my opinion. Based on the warning we had from our professor about a former student’s experience and my low level of comfortability with the platform and the users, I strategically made this decision to avoid any odd interactions or advances, even if they are just virtual. As you can tell, I obviously was very guarded in this whole process, which may have hindered my ability to enjoy it more. I found the simple task of finding a name that wasn’t taken to be frustrating. I must say though, my husband and I did have quite a good time laughing at the whole concept and approaching individuals.

I, or should I say Kaleaf (my avatar’s name), walked, flew and teleported to various areas. Although I tried to talk to a few people, only one person attempted to converse with me and they spoke Spanish. I did boogie down on the dance floor with another individual but we never sparked a conversation.

I accepted an invite to another land, where I had hoped I would have more success conversing with other virtual individuals. After feeling rejected, overwhelmed and even a little like an outcast, I took more of a light hearted approach to try to end the whole process; however, Second Life doesn’t allow you to drown yourself in the ocean, so I eventually just resorted to logging off.

Facebook Ad Survey Results

 Results for Facebook Users’ Opinions on Facebook Ads Survey

Question One

All of the twenty-three individuals that completed the survey have Facebook accounts. This was not surprising as Facebook was the primary method for participant recruitment. A strong majority (82.61%) of the survey participants view their Facebook newsfeed daily. The remaining participants view their newsfeed multiple times per week.

Question 2

Twenty-two of the twenty-three participants noticed advertisements on their Facebook account. Of those individuals that did notice advertisements on their Facebook, 16 individuals noticed advertisements in both their newsfeed and on the right side bar and 5 individuals noticed advertisements only in their newsfeed.

These type of ads are likely more apparent to most users because they are located in the feed of information they are scrolling through, rather than on the side. Additionally, if a Facebook account holder primarily uses their mobile device for Facebook, they would likely have only seen newsfeed advertisements as there is not a side bar on the Facebook mobile application.

Only one individual noticed advertisements solely in the right side bar.

Question 3

Question 4

According to the responses from question four, only 17 individuals should have answered this question; however 18 responses were collected.

Approximately 56% of the individuals found Facebook advertisements outside of their newsfeed to be “mildly bothersome,” 39% did not find them to be bothersome, and one individual (6%) found them bothersome.

Question 5

According to the responses from question four, only 21 individuals should have answered this question; however only 20 responses were collected.

Forty-five percent of the individuals found Facebook advertisements within their newsfeed to be “mildly bothersome,” 30% found them to be bothersome, 20% didn’t find them bothersome and one individual (5%) enjoyed them.

Question 6

Sixty-one percent of the individuals that participated in question seven (shown below) found Facebook advertisements outside of their newsfeed to be “slightly relevant” to their personal interests, 33% said they were not relevant to their interests and one individual said they were very relevant to their personal interests.

Question 7

Sixty-seven percent of the individuals that participated in question seven found Facebook advertisements inside their newsfeed to be “slightly relevant” to their personal interests, 24% said they were not relevant to their interests and 9.5% said they were very relevant to their personal interests.

Question 8

The majority (55%) of individuals were unaware that they could “unfollow” or block ads, 32% of individuals were aware of this feature and have used it, and 14% were aware of this feature but had not used it.

Question 9

Over half (55%) of the individuals claim to have clicked on a Facebook advertisement because of a level of interest in the product being advertised, 36% of individuals claim not to have clicked on Facebook advertisements and two individuals (9%) could not recall.

Question 10



Seventy-five of individuals found advertisements within their Facebook newsfeed bothersome or “mildly bothersome,” however; approximately the same percentage (76%) found the ads to be either very relevant or slightly relevant.

Only 61% of individuals found advertisements outside of their Facebook newsfeed bothersome or “mildly bothersome,” however; approximately 67% of individuals found the ads to be either very relevant or slightly relevant.

While many Facebook users find the ads to be bothersome, if the content is relevant and the ads are being clicked, they may still be relevant to the marketing industry. Many individuals find various marketing tactics to be bothersome, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Further research is needed to determine the return on investment (ROI), and thus the effectiveness, of Facebook ads as they pertain to online marketing.



To improve survey results, a larger population should be surveyed and alternate online survey programs should be considered. In using a basic, free platform, many limitations prohibited me from tailoring the survey to the individual based on answers to previous questions. For example, if someone were to have entered the survey and said they did not have a Facebook account, they should have been exited from the survey. Based on a peer’s survey, it appears other online platforms offer this feature; however, this particular free version did not, thus increasing the possibility for inaccurate results.

Survey Assignment: Facebook Ads

As a professional in the marketing field and a graduate student studying social media, I have chosen to examine Facebook users’ opinions about Facebook advertisements.

Facebook advertising has allowed marketers to target individuals using demographics as well as personal preferences (“likes”). Although Google may have a larger audience to market to, Facebook may be able to target individuals more accurately.

Although Facebook advertising may seem like a great tool for marketers, how do Facebook users feel about this tactic? As you may have noticed, Facebook not only shows advertisements on the right side of your screen, as shown here (Hootsuite & Bounty), but it also shows sponsored advertisements within your news feed.

Facebook ad - Right

Sample of Facebook ad as shown outside of news feed, on right side of screen

Facebook ad in feed

Sample of Facebook ad shown within news feed











While these advertisements may seem annoying to Facebook users, Facebook also gives us the option to hide ads from a specific company and even take a survey to make your News Feed “better.” Whether the ads are annoying or not may be irrelevant to marketers if they produce a return on investment.

Although I was personally annoyed by some of these ads initially, in particular those that appeared in my feed as opposed to the right hand side of the screen, I also grew to appreciate their surprising level of accuracy in regards to my interests.  From a user experience perspective I can see how these advertisements can be annoying; however, from a marketing perspective I can also see how extremely powerful they can be. Being torn between these two opinions, I find myself wondering what other users think and whether or not having a marketing background affects their opinion.

The following are the instructions for our Research Methods in Mass Communication surveys assignment: Identify one service, register for the free trial and explore how you might use one of these programs to answer a research question you may be considering. Create a short survey and distribute to your friends on social media. Explain the purpose of the survey and what you hope to better understand.

I have chosen to use Survey Monkey, a free online survey software & questionnaire tool, to further investigate Facebook users opinions pertaining to Facebook advertisements. While I don’t believe a “short” survey will provide conclusive evidence regarding this matter, I do hope to achieve a better understanding of users opinions by collecting evidence from a larger sample size than just myself.

While I will be administering the survey formally on Facebook, it can also be found here.

NOTE: Initially this survey was designed to have a “weed-out” question asking individuals if they have a Facebook account and if they did not the survey would end. However, this feature is only available through the paid version of Survey Monkey. For this reason, I have included the question; however, it is the only required question. In the event the individual does not have a Facebook account, they are instructed to answer just the first question and select “Done” to complete the survey. Additionally, the unpaid version of Survey Monkey limits surveys to 10 questions.

Results will be provided publicly the week following the administration of the survey.

Nike, Women and SEO


9, 4, 6 and 3….these are the number of Nike shorts, Nike capris, Nike dri-fit shirts/tanks, and Nike sneakers I have in my closet. If I’m not at work or working on school work, you can often find me at the gym, running or doing yoga.

Due to my love for fitness and my obsession with Nike (that I didn’t even know I had until counting my apparel), I have chosen to research keywords associated women’s athletic apparel  for our search engine optimization (SEO) keyword assignment.

I have chosen the 10 words listed below, and have searched them using Google as my search engine. Listed with each keyword search phrase is where they fell in the results, as well as some details regarding the title, meta description/tag, and URL.

1) womens running shoes

Appears second under organic search results with “womens-running-shoes” in the URL and “Women’s Running Shoes” in the title tag and twice in the meta tag.

womens running shoes

2) womens athletic shorts

Appears third in the organic search results with “womens-shorts-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Shorts” in the title tag and “Women’s Running Shorts” twice in the meta tag.

3) womens running capris

Appears second in organic search results with “womens-capris-clothing” in the URL, “Women’s Capris” in the title tag, and “Women’s Running Capris” once in the meta tag.

4) dri fit womens tops

The search for “dri fit womens tops” is unique in that (1) Nike participates in paid advertising for this search query and (2) many other retailers use Nike’s name for their organic and paid searches (i.e. Kohl’s, Eastbay, Zappos, Lady Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods).

The organic search result for Nike.com appears second with the title “Nike Dri-FIT Knit Short-Sleeve Women’s Running Shirt” and “dri-fit-knit-short-sleeve-running-shirt” in the URL that directs to one product in particular, rather than a variety of dri-fit tops.

The paid advertisement for Nike uses the title tag “Nike Dri-Fit Top” and appears third with the following meta description “Find the Perfect Fit on Sports Tops Online at the official Nike site” directing users to the  following URL containing sports bras, but displaying the www.nike.com/ URL in the advertisement.

dri fit womens tops

5) sports bras

For the term “sports bras” Nike appears lower on the organic search results (sixth), with the title tag “Nike Store. Women’s Sports Bras” and “Women’s Sports Bras” listed only once in the meta description. The URL includes “womens-sports-bras-clothing.”

sports bras

6) workout clothing for women

For the search query “workout clothing for women” Nike appears fifth in the organic listings, with the below shown title tag (in purple) and meta description (in black text below the link) and a URL containing the words “womens-training.”

workout clothing for women

7) womens running gear

For this search, Nike appears first in the organic listings with the below show title tag (in blue) and meta description (black text below link), and a URL that leads to a page of products filtered by “Women” and “Running” and contains “womens-running” in the URL.

womens running gear

8) womens sneakers

Appears third in organic search results with “womens-shoes” in the URL, “Women’s Shoes” in the title tag, and “Women’s shoes, running and training shoes” once in the meta tag.

9) athletic apparel for women

For the particular term, Nike does not appear anywhere on the first page when searched on Google, or even the second, third or fourth page! Nike appears as the fourth listing on the FIFTH page with the following title (in blue text) and meta tag (in black text below the link) shown below, with a URL that directs to the Nike store, ironically not even to the women’s section.

athletic apparel for women

Interestingly, the first organic result that appears on the first page, Dick’s Sporting Goods, uses “Nike” in their meta description.

10) dri fit tanks for women

Somewhat surprisingly, Nike appears as the fourth organic listing on the second page for the search query “dri fit tanks for women,” for which the URL contains “womens-tanks-clothing.”

dri fit tanks for women

Just to see if the dri-fit was what was effecting the search, since it was not included in the tags, I also searched “womens exercise tanks,” for which Nike at least appeared on the first page, but as the second to last organic listing.