New Way to Gift on Valentine’s Day

By TingHsuan(Rose) Kuo

Have you found a gift for your Valentine yet?


Photo Credit: GeoMarketing

Valentine’s day, the worldly known most romantic day, is just a few days away. Unlike any other holidays, modern time Valentine’s day is universal and has no cultural differences. It is a celebration of love and relationships. Throughout the decades, Valentine’s day remain to be one of most important holidays for retailers. Each year, retailers spend thousands and thousands of dollars to invested in advertising and marketing to allure customers to get Valentine’s day gifts for their loved ones. However, as a college student who is living on a budget, there may be alternative way through social media to show your friends, or significant other your love for them without getting them an expensive gift.


Photo Credit: buzZoole

Valentine’s gift should not just be all about the materialistic gift, it should be all about the incentive. Like that one best friend that’s far away from you, you could use Facebook to send them a personalized Valentine’s Day card to let them know that you are thinking of him or her. You could also create meme to express how you feel about one another. Not to mention on twitter, there are many hashtags and keywords that you could use to tag your loved one with. Then, you could always use snapchat to record your lovely date with the snapchat stickers. Also, there is always millions of inspirations DIY post on Pinterest that you could find something to make a special gift. Lastly, the saying goes “if you didn’t have take a picture, were you really there?” no matter if it’s a Valentine’s Day date or Galentine’s day, you can always gather some cute post and captions idea from Instagram.


Photo Credit: Giphy

Even If you are still trying to find someone to spend with on this special day, there is also ways to help to meet someone. Ever since the World Wide Web, dating and meeting people is not the same anymore. Nowadays, there is many of websites and smart phone applications that help modern day people to find one another. It is almost unnecessary for people to go out to physically meet new people, the idea of digi-dating and digi-love was created. Like the smart phone application Tinder helps many individuals to meet each other by swiping each other left or right, and similar application Grindr that specifically made for homosexual men. But If you would like to just spend the day by yourself, you could also create Episode, an interactive storytelling app, and celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s day.



  1. Hutchinson, A. (2017, February 12). How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day on Social – a Platform-by-Platform Guide. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from to Celebrate Valentine%27s Day on Social – a Platform-by-Platform Guide&utm_campaign=related-items
  1. Wiesen, S. (2016, February 01). Use Social Media To Inspire Your Valentine’s Day. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from
  1. Chang, L. (2017, February 12). Episode app has a story of its own to tell about the future of dating. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from

Small Businesses Making a Splash through Social Media

By: Nicolas Austin


Photo courtesy of: Entrepreneur 

The day after Black Friday is called Small Business Saturday, in which mom and pop stores set up shop by trying to sell what their stores has to offer. Usually on Black Friday, it is not hard to gather the attention of customers toward store promotions. On the other hand, Small Business Saturday has a lack of accumulating attention their way. Small businesses have to think like a big brand in order to drive customers into their doors. This is where social media comes in hand. If a small business has a social media account, they can set up strategies, which leads to tactics on how to achieve their objective of getting customers involve with their brand.

Creating a hashtag is a great tactic to use on a social media account for a small business. The hashtag #ShopSmall lets people know your business is not like the big brands that are more marketable across the globe. It lets people follow you, and become aware that your business specializes in a product that is not similar to other big brand. Along with a hashtag, you need to make sure the account page is up to date. Customers want to see the page is current, and is partaking in the holiday spirit. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great social media platform to promote small businesses. Posting videos, especially on Instagram, gives a glimpse to customers of what to expect in the holiday shopping experience. Videos of the store being decorated is very helpful, because it shows customers that you are on the same agenda of being as festive as they are. Customers like to see the stores in the holiday spirit. It puts an extra incentive when they are shopping inside.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Using pictures on your social media page for your small business, offers a chance of what your brand is trying to promote. For example, if a person sees a collage of photos, they are more likely to think to themselves of how that product can be helpful for them. Sending the collage of pictures to a news outlet can boost your brand by a longshot. People watch the news on a daily basis, and if they see your brand on television, they are more likely to visit your store.

Overall social media is an excellent method for promoting a small business. It allows small businesses to make a name for their brand instead of being swept underneath the rug during the holiday.


Conner, C., (2016). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from

Turner, M., (2016) Retrieved November 27, 2016, from


Green is the New Black

Image credit

The day after Thanksgiving for a large amount of Americans means waking up at 5 AM to get a decent spot in line at the nearest shopping mall in order to get a head start on Christmas shopping while also scoring some really good sale deals. Some people even go to the extreme of camping out a few days prior to the actual sale day. In some odd way, black Friday has become part of our culture.  People have literally died over taking 20% off a flat screen TV at the local Best Buy but yet the extremist who participate in the madness do not seem to mind. I have never personally been black Friday shopping, the idea of it really stresses me out. But in 2015, California State Parks created an alternative called “Green Friday” which is something I can get down with.

Green Friday is a new alternative to crowed shopping malls and gives people the opportunity to go out and enjoy nature with family and loved ones. 116 of the 280 state parks in California are offering free admission for the day as well as a free parking pass while supplies last. According to Gloria Sandoval, deputy director of public affairs for California State Parks, The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest times of the year. Because it is a busy time, green Friday goers are encouraged to plan ahead of time due to passes being limited. This year is only the second year for California State Parks to host green Friday but plan on having a successful turn out.

I really do love the idea of this black Friday alternative. So many people are too caught up into having the newest iPhone or a bigger TV that we forget to enjoy what is all around us. I hope this idea of Green Friday begins to spread around the country and more people begin to appreciate the simple things in life during the holiday seasons.


By Lauren Vincent



New Social Media Fraud Emerging Just in Time for the Holidays – How You Can Protect Yourself

By Alexandra Blateri

The holiday season is quickly approaching! Whether you’re excited for cold weather,

Angler by Brett MacDonald

spending time with family, boozy egg nog, or red Starbucks cups, there is a lot to look forward to this winter. Unfortunately, the season also brings a slew of criminals trying to take advantage of holiday shoppers each year. The newest scam has been dubbed “Angler Phishing” after the creepy ocean creature that attracts unsuspecting fish to be its prey.

How it works

Due to the popularity of using Twitter and Facebook to resolve customer service issues, scammers have been creating fake social media pages for retailers and banks. These pages can be so realistic that it’s difficult to distinguish them from the company’s authentic pages. When customers reach out with questions or complaints about a business, the phony account replies and sends them a link directing them to log in on their website or app, which is also fake. Unsuspecting customers are signing in with their account information and may even fill out their credit card number or home address under the impression that it is a trusted retailer.

Image by Proofpoint

What you can do to protect yourself

Many companies have multiple social media pages that serve different purposes, which can make it difficult to figure out if a page is legitimate. Some of the phony accounts look almost exactly like the real thing. There are even ways to create a fake verified account symbol on Twitter. Rather than following a link sent to you via email or social media post, it is alway better to type in the company’s known website address to ensure you are going to the real site. This is especially important if you will be typing in any personal information.

With fraudulent mobile apps on the rise, it is important to do some research before downloading a retail or bank app onto your devices. Are there any user reviews? Are there typos in the app description? You may even want to visit the company’s website to find the link to the correct mobile app. It is also important to monitor your bank statements more closely around the holidays. Check to make sure all of the charges on your account are purchases that you have made or EFTs that you have previously set up.

It’s a shame that each new convenience of technology comes with con artists looking to exploit it. Remember to always be cautious when providing personal or account information. No one wants the gift of credit card fraud this holiday season. The holidays are stressful enough!