What’s all this about “Dark Social?”


In November of 2016 I went to an internship fair for UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, and I talked to a representative of Splash Media in Addison, Texas. He told me that the newest thing that marketers should be paying attention to in social media was something called “Dark Social.” He explained a little about what is was, and then I did some investigating on my own. Here’s what I found out.

What is Dark Social?

Dark Social is defined by Technopedia as “the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs.” That’ stuff like emails, Facebook messenger (which is HUGE) now, twitter DMs, and even apps like GroupMe which is used for group chats.
It’s called “dark” because there isn’t any straightforward way for most brands to measure it, and we don’t often think about it as a method of content sharing because it’s typically shared between just two peers. And yet, in one study by RadiumOne of over 900 million users they found that almost 77% of content sharing done by users is done through “Dark Social.”

Why does it matter?

When marketers think about social media impressions and engagement we don’t usually think about private messages between people on social media, I know I didn’t. But after hearing about dark social I realized how often I find something cool on Facebook, and share it with my friends via Facebook Messenger with a little bit of my own commentary.

As mentioned earlier, about 77% of content sharing is done through dark social. Analyzing how users share content is important to making marketing stronger, and to giving users the kind of content they like. With the majority of content sharing being out of reach for most marketing analysts, what new insights into digital marketing are we missing? With the rise of the studying of Dark Social we’ll be able to comb through a new frontier of digital marketing ideas, and social media etiquette. There is a whole area of user behavior we’ve never factored in, and the innovations that come from finally analyzing that could bring big changes in how marketers bring content to users.

SEO optimization, programming process
Image from gwebpro.com

In addition that, when web analysts are looking at web traffic for their websites, they sometimes see people showing up to a webpage out of nowhere. It’s as if they manually entered a complex URL into their browser, no linking from another web page or social media platform. It’s likely that much of this traffic is actually coming from Dark Social. People sharing links from peer to peer, and then clicking on them from in their messages. As we begin to understand Dark Social we’ll be able to innovate how marketers engineer their clicks and conversions.

What’s the history of Dark Social?

The term “Dark Social” was coined by Alexis C. Madrigal in his piece for The Atlantic called “Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong.”

In the piece Madrigal talks about his problem with the standard narrative of how the internet evolved. It goes something like this: First we had simple webpages linking to one another, then the rise of web crawlers to better find the page you were looking for, and then the rise of the early social media sites like MySpace. He says that’s not even close to the full story.

Madrigal goes on to talk about how his early days on the internet were definitely spent connected, but rather than exclusively using sites like MySpace, he was using a lot of things like instant messenger, web forums, and emails. He says he thinks that social media sites are given too much credit for establishing social networking on the internet.

“How was I supposed to believe that somehow Friendster and Facebook created a social web out of what was previously a lonely journey in cyberspace when I knew that this has not been my experience True, my web social life used tools that ran parallel to, not on, the web, but it existed nonetheless.”

-by Alexis C. Madrigal

There’s a lot more he has to say about the subject, and considering that he wrote the book (or article to be exact) on the subject of Dark Social, I highly recommend checking it out. If the guy from Splash Media is right, we might all be talking about Dark Social sooner than you think. Better get a head start on the competition.

-Dallas Schwab, @schwabsyy

Social Media and My Job- Cameron Harlow (Blog 1)

The Live Music Coordinator for the University Program Council (UPC) of UNT. That’s my job. What it entails? Broadly, choosing what artists/bands come to play for the students of the university to enjoy. Personal biases included. More specifically, however, I send emails, make mock-up posters of each event I host to send to our campus’s designing company, and put in publicity requests to our marketing team. I get to help choose what to Tweet to the world, what pictures to post to Instagram to bring in a crowd for each show, and what story to create for our Snapchat followers to watch.



Each artist or band that I choose to bring in gets personalized social media outreaches. For this upcoming week, the artist we are bringing, Tor Miller, has two music videos posted to Instagram, pictures of the poster we have created on Snapchat, and a slew of tweets saying things like, “Don’t miss @TorMillerMusic perform this Thursday in the Syndicate at 7 pm!..” All in all, each artist gets a lot of social media publicity.

UPC is more than just the live music shows we bring, though. There are different committees that focus on bringing educational events, arts and crafts events, and other forms of live entertainment. Each committee has to meet with our marketing committee. Then our marketing team creates a game plan with each committee leader (coordinator) to decide what social media strategy will bring the most number of students out to an event. A lot of effort goes into thinking of new ways to capture viewers attentions on different platforms instead of having them just skip right over it.

Sending out music videos of the bands we bring is a new strategy that we are hoping will work in our absolute favor; at least the sweet sounds of music should capture people’s attentions.

If I didn’t say and if you didn’t listen, Tor Miller is coming this Thursday at 7 pm in the Syndicate. Go. It’ll be worth your time.

And you’re welcome.

UPC Twitter

Tor Miller Info

Diversity in the Media

By: Sierra Ramos

Diversity is something that tends to lack in the media. “About 40 percent of the United States identifies as nonwhite and women make up more than half of the population, yet popular media outlets largely remain homogenous,” according to DiversityInc. Absent diverse viewpoints from the media can also have damaging effects on some people. However, one of my favorite television shows that does show much diversity is “How to Get Away with Murder,” which is a popular drama T.V. series on the network channel ABC. It is basically about a female lawyer who teaches law classes at a law school where she has a group of students who help her out with her dramatic criminal cases.

The reason why I love this show is not only for its drama and suspense, but because the main character is an African American woman. So, not only is the star of the show a female, but she is also a minority. Her name in the show is Annalise Keating, who is very strong, smart and independent. I love how this show used a woman as a brave and brilliant criminal defense attorney because many shows and movies depict lawyers as being male because it is stereotypical to think that men are the ones who are supposed to have high-paying careers. Another thing that makes this show different is that Annalise is a dark black woman. I say “dark” because I remember that in one of my classes, a couple of black students said that “light” skinned black people were depicted as better looking and more attractive because being a “light-skinned” is closer to looking white. Me being a pale Hispanic female, I did not know this kind of thinking existed in the black community because it is sad to think that way. As for the show, Annalise is shown quite often taking off her wig and embracing her natural hair, which is very short and curly. One of Annalise’s assistants is also a Caucasian female, which makes the show even more diverse. There is also a Hispanic female main character who sometimes speaks Spanish on the show. She is one of Annalise’s closest students.

Other than race and gender, the sexuality in this show varies greatly. There are straight relationships between a man and woman and there are also lesbian relationships, as well as gay relationships. One of the men in the gay relationship is Asian, which is also diverse and uncommon in T.V. shows because he is Asian and he is gay.

This show is amazing for its content and its diverseness among race, gender and sexuality, which I think is very important in today’s society because it does not discriminate anybody and it seems more accepting. I hope more movies, T.V. shows and the media as a whole will be more diverse in the future.

Diversity Logo
Source: Google Images


All About Hate Comments on Social Media

Whether you use Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you will most likely experience some sort of negativity or “hate comment” on one of your social media accounts. A hate comment is a form of cyber bullying that can include mean comments on a social media post. These comments can come from friends, relatives or even strangers. This is a very unfortunate issue in today’s society that is rather common. Celebrities on social media especially get a lot of hate under their Instagram pictures, forcing them to sometimes delete their post because of all of the negativity, which is very sad because famous people have feelings too and don’t deserve the hate that they get. Personally, I have even experienced hate on my Instagram and it made me feel very bad about myself. I had posted a picture of myself with my hair in a half ponytail with winged eyeliner and I got about many comments from strangers telling me that I was copying Ariana Grande. They were saying that I could never be her and I was trying too hard to look like her, which I wasn’t. I ended up deleting my picture because I didn’t want my other followers to see the hate comments under my picture. I do regret deleting that picture, so I have listed some ways to deal with the hate comments below:
• Block the Haters
If you notice that someone has insulted you or was just left a nasty comment on one of your social media posts, block that person. Blocking someone on social media, such as Instagram, will not only delete their comments but will actually never show you posts from them again and they will never be able to comment or like on any of your posts.
• Delete/Hide the Hate Comments
If you see hate comments on one of your pictures and want to get rid of them without deleting your post, then just delete the comments. Instagram has a new feature now where you can delete individual comments. Its new feature can also let you hide inappropriate comments so people can’t write offensive words on your posts.
• Defend Yourself and Be the Bigger Person
You don’t always have to hide from your haters, you can always reply back and defend yourself. Defending yourself doesn’t mean you have to be mean as well, you should be the bigger person and say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then please don’t say anything at all. Have a nice day!”

Source: Google Images

I Still Hate the Electoral College

Almost two weeks after the US Presidential Election, and people are still angry about the outcome, including me.  In a post right before the election, I talked about the 2000 Presidential Election and how the Electoral College was unfair.  Much like what happened to Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton was not elected president, even though she won the popular vote of the nation. Donald Trump was elected only because he won over 270 Electoral College votes. 

There has been a lot of talk from people who are happy that Trump won that are calling out people who aren’t.  Some are saying that the only reason people are upset is that their candidate didn’t win, not the Electoral College. This is definitely true for some people, but not all. The fact is that the Electoral College is unfair to the candidates and the American public. If I vote for someone, I want my vote to stand by itself, and count towards the big picture in the outcome.

The Electoral College stifles the vote of the public. Clinton received over 1.5 million votes more than Trump did, but not the right amount of Electors. It doesn’t make sense that a candidate with the highest amount of votes, could not get elected.  

The amount of electoral votes that a state has is equal to the number of people in Congress that the state has. The minimum being three, representing two people in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. There are people from each party who are elected to vote in the Electoral College. They are usually very involved and are trusted to vote with the party they associate with.  The party of the candidate that wins more votes in the state gets to be the electors for that campaign.  This means that since Trump won the state of Texas, the only electors who get to vote in December are the ones appointed by the Republican Party.

North Dakota has a population of 756,927 people and has three electors.  This means that each vote represents 252,309 people. Texas’ population is nearly 27.5 million people and has 38 votes in the Electoral College. Each of those votes represents almost 723,000 people, which is almost as much as the whole state of North Dakota. If I vote in Texas, my vote could only be potentially 1/723,000 of one of the votes, but in North Dakota it could be 1/252,000.  The votes of people in smaller states are mathematically more reliable and accurate. Over 3.8 million people in Texas, and over 64 million in the whole country voted for Clinton, but because the majority of states with a higher, more influential population voted leaned towards her opponent, she lost.

When it was created, the Electoral College made some sense.  It was difficult to count all of the votes and get that information spread, but it was much easier for individual states to count them and send representatives. Now we have amazing technology and easy communication, so the system is impractical and makes our votes not count as much.  I don’t want my vote to be discounted because more people in my state voted a different way, regardless of my party affiliation.

By Bethany LaChance

Social Media and Broadway

By Terrance Sowells Kemp

Photo: Playbill

In todays world we see social media everywhere we go. Social media has become such a prominent factor in everyones lives that many different brands have found some way to incorporate it into their products, especially television and news networks. One area that we have not seen social media be used in a prominent way is in the theater.


Photo: Pasek and Paul

We have all heard of the popular broadway show that has taken the world by storm, Hamilton. We see our friends and celebrities raving about how great the show is on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Currently the hashtag #BoycottHamilton is currently trending on Twitter. But Hamilton or any other Broadway show has mad an attempt to truly take advantage of it. That is, until now.

A new musical has been added to Broadway, called Dear Evan
. In Dear Evan Hansen social media is very prominent role in the events of the story. 17 year old outcast Even Hansen, played by Pitch Perfect‘s Ben Platt, is wrongly characterized as the sole friend of another student who has recently committed suicide.  Through fake emails, YouTube videos and Tweets, Evan Hansen is able to fabricate a relationship with his deceased classmate in order to gain popularity.

Photo: Pasek and Paul

The backdrop of Dear Evan Hansen is made up of oversized phones and computer screens with tweets as the characters react to the musical numbers and events of the musical. The stage is somewhat minimalistic compared to other musicals and stage plays.

The play is ultimately about how social media is able to sway opinions, change circumstances and spark connections in both good and bad ways. The story shows how social media can turn lies into truths and losers into heroes.

Not only does Dear  Evan Hansen revolve around social media, it also uses it as a means of promotion. The musicals producer, Stacey Mindich, has admitted that she hasn’t spent a lot on marketing and that the musical mostly relies on word-of-mouth of it’s viewers. She even set up a “Influencer Night” during previews where she invited Silicon Valley executives and other digital tastemakers to gain both feedback and to discuss online strategy for the future.

The show has already gained great reviews and has been endorsed by  celebrities before it’s official opening on Broadway.

Dear Evan Hansen opens on Broadway on December 4. 



“As ‘Hamilton’ Rules Broadway’s Social Media, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Digs Deeper.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/leeseymour/2016/05/17/as-hamilton-rules-broadways-social-media-dear-evan-hansen-digs-deeper/#2ddfa6e91d6d&gt;.

Takiff, Jonathan. “Gizmo Guy: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Is Theater’s Take on Social Media.” Philly.com. N.p., 29 May 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20160529_Gizmo_Guy___Dear_Evan_Hansen__is_theater_s_take_on_social_media.html&gt;.

Isherwood, Charles. “Review: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Puts a Twist on Teenage Angst.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 May 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/theater/review-dear-evan-hansen-puts-a-twist-on-teenage-angst.html&gt;.

Paulson, Michael. “Second Stage Adds ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ To Spring Season.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/second-stage-adds-dear-evan-hansen-to-spring-season/&gt;.

Peaceful World Please

By: Sierra Ramos
A topic that has particularly interested me lately, because of all the politics and presidential election news, is stereotyping. Racism and sexism have been brought up a lot in the media lately and it upsets me to know that people still think in this negative way about others. It must be hard for people in the public eye who are of ethnic races because of stereotyping and racism.
Personally, I get stereotyped all of the time and I hate it because it is not fair to judge someone on how they look. I remember that someone in one of my classes said that they get judged as someone who is not smart, probably poor and rides the bus because this person was a big African American male. He said that other students think he plays basketball and listens to only rap music, when that is not always the case.
As for me, I am Hispanic and people automatically think I speak Spanish, when I don’t. Other than being Hispanic, I am very girly and I would say that I come across as a fairly pretty girl with my hair and makeup always done because it makes me feel good about myself. With that being said, people always ask me who I pledge for and I have to tell them that I am not in a sorority and they say something like, “Oh sorry, you just look like you are.” I don’t get mad, but it is sometimes awkward. However, something that I absolutely hate is when other girls think I am stuck-up and “all that” because I am shy. I have a hard time making friends this way because girls judge me before they even get to know me, so I have to introduce myself in a super friendly way.
Overall, I hope everyone starts to try and be more accepting of others and less judgmental to make this world a better and peaceful place to live in.

Source: Google Images