Movie Review: American Sniper

Let me begin this post by saying I am by no means a movie ‘reviewer.’ In fact, I am not a big mover ‘go-er’. This is the second movie I’ve seen in theaters since 2012.

When I saw the trailer for American Sniper my boyfriend and I were watching television together. We immediately looked at each other and said at the same time, ‘I want to see that movie.’ Little did we know the impact that it would leave upon us.

The movie is filled with action that causes your heart rate to increase (literally my heart was beating out of my chest). The audience gets a better and clearer perspective of how our troops fighting for us overseas and what the families were going through while in the states. You’ll see defeat and feat. You’ll see laughs and cries. You’ll see a man who selflessly defended our country in one of the most risky positions.

When the movie was over and the lights turned out, the audience silently and slowly got out of their seats and left the theater. It was an energy of sorrow and pain. My friends and I agree it felt as though we were leaving a funeral. Everyone had their heads down. The movie was beautifully written and portrayed that it left such an impact on us.

I left the theater praying for Chris Kyles wife and children. I left the theater angry at the individual who took Chris’ life. I left the theater with a deeper understanding and deeper admiration for our troops.

Everyone should see American Sniper.

Check out this GREAT interview of Chris Kyle on Time.com.

Until next time,

Jenn L.

Facebook Terms Summary – January 2015

If you have logged into your Facebook account recently, you may have noticed a notification from Facebook alerting you about their update of terms which will go into effect on January 1, 2015. You may also noticed some of your friends posting about the terms and feeling of anxiousness about the changes. I’ve taken the time to go through the updated terms and briefly summarize them below. You can learn more here: Updating our Terms.

Overall Summary: Understand that what you post on the internet, including Facebook, is subjected to public viewing. Rule of thumb: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. Also, I don’t really think Facebook is out to get you… they are a business seeking data (a lot of demographical data) to use for their own benefit. They aren’t ‘big brother.’ I will point out, that I am shocked they didn’t make updates or changes to their search functions. Perhaps this is an internal improvement? 

More Control: FB is going to offer users more control on who can see their posts, untag yourself, set an audience for your posts, etc. This is already happening on FB but it appears as though it will be more obvious to the user that these changes are available. 

Privacy Check-up: When posting, it will be more clear who you want to share the post with, such as friends, lists or public. This is *also* already happening on FB but it appears as though it will be more obvious to the user that these changes are available. 

Location: FB is being a bit more sneaky about finding your location and they are using this information to find people near you, businesses and events (this is already happening in some regions). If you are like me and would NOT like people to know your whereabouts, make sure you turn off your location settings in your FB app. FB is saying that this is a way for users to find restaurants and to display the menus and such. 

Buy Button: A buy button will be available at a convenience for users to make purchases using FB (in beta in some regions). This will be helpful for business pages and paid advertisers. With any purchase online, make sure you trust the source and the process!

Permission for Location: FB is testing battery strength and signal for the app functions such as response time. They will be asking for your permission to use the location of your phone to test the battery and signal in the region. 

Facebook’s Family: FB has grown (rapidly) over the years and they have a lot of other apps under their family tree. The company is making it more clear as to which apps are owned by Facebook. This can help the user for forgotten password situations. If you forgot your Instagram password, Facebook can help! 

Advertisement Control:  Those who advertise on FB have the option to post on newsfeed walls to those who may be a good fit / customer for their company. For example, if you have on your profile or have posted to your profile that you like paddle boards then don’t be shocked when a paddle board company shows up as a paid ad on your feed. The way advertisements posts will change to be more clear that it is an ad. Some users (I  was one of them) were asked to take a survey on how advertisements are displayed and the likes / dislikes of them. You can select on the app (not 100% this applies to desktop) on which advertisements you like or dislike. 

Until next time,

Jenn

@ShrednTrim

I’ve been busy working on a new project, @ShrednTrim. An Instagram (IG) fitness motivational page my workout partner, Alex, and I created. It has been a lot of fun & I am learning A LOT about IG (along with fitness and health=D). Alex and I have been exercising together since September of 2013. We really enjoy going to the gym together and we will even rearrange our schedules so we can workout together.

Alex and I talked about creating an IG fitness motivational page a few months ago & decided to take the leap & create the page this past June, 2014. The timing was perfect…. Alex entered an athlete search on IG hosted by a supplement company, 1st Phorm  & I was looking for another project. What not? The page was launched June 4, 2014 & received an encouraging amount of support. As of now (July 10, 2014) the page has a total of 639 followers & a lot of positive feed back. 

Being a giant nerd, I took the social media marketing into account as fun marketing project. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being able to motivate people to exercise and become more fit (not to mention I have changed my lifestyle to be more health focused). However, the online marketing aspect is a big interest for me. Let me just say…I’ve learned a ton about IG. I thought I knew IG from a personal level but taking the approach from a marketing level is much different

A thing or two that I’ve learned:

  1. KIK: Is a messaging platform a lot of people on IG use. You’ll see this in bios (which, by the way, has a character count of 140). Since IG doesn’t have a  direct chat message platform, users commonly use KIK. However, you can DM with a photo and then add a comment but cannot just DM text to a user directly.
  2. People PAY ridiculous money for a ‘shout out.’ First off, why didn’t I think of this when IG first became popular. Second of all, why would someone pay $50 for a shoutout? A lot of times, the person charging for the shoutout will remove the page after a certain amount of time (8 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours). Of course, the price varies depending on the person who is charging & their amount of followers plays a part. (@ShrednTrim does NOT pay for shoutouts!)
  3. Hashtags can break. What I mean by this is that you can post an image with a selection of hashtags. Depending on the frequency of the hashtag you should see the image indexed at the top of the grid. Sometimes there can be a broken hashtag (you won’t know which one because none of them will work) and the image won’t be indexed (or shown on the searched hashtag grid). This is one of my obstacles with IG as we rely on the hashtags to be found. If the tags don’t work, we delete and try again and again until it indexes (a few hours between attempts).
  4. Take advantage of free analytic services. What kind of online marketing / SEO person would I be if I didn’t evaluate data? Not a good one. We can see who unfollowed us or who gives us the most likes. A ton of useful information can be found. @ShrednTrim uses Iconosquare (formerly Statigram – the company whose 2013 year in review for personalized accounts went viral.) 

If you have IG be sure to look up @ShrednTrim for fitness motivation, workout ideas and healthy recipes. We even started a blog, check us out by clicking here. We are having a lot of fun & really enjoy sharing our passion for fitness & health to the public. 

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Until next time,

Jenn L.