All posts by marissakolmer

Oreo and Big Data

As some of you may know, Oreo is currently running a mass media contest looking for the next great cookie idea. If you haven’t heard of it, please direct your attention to this link.

Oreo has advertised this contest on every social media outlet, including on the news. So far they have gotten hundreds of thousands of comments filled with the most outrageous (and sometimes brilliant) ideas meaning their marketing strategy has worked. Now I am all about delicious cookies and getting a chance at half a million dollars but suddenly something scary happened.

I have had a Twitter since it can out but I have never posted a thing in the multiple years I’ve had it. When this contest came out, I decided to add to the lottery of Oreo ideas but posting my first ever tweet…well actually three. (Cause hey the more ideas the better the change right??) Within an hour after my first Twitter post, I went on Instagram and guess what popped up. A sponsored advertising for the Oreo Creation Contest.

Now sure could it have been a coincidence? One could argue it was but then I started seeing it constantly. What are the odds this contest would just happen to show up for the first time after I post about it? I would say the odds are pretty damn good. Why you ask? Because of big data, which you can read about here.

I know that my post was public but the fact that my never before used Twitter was then connected to my Instagram in a matter of an hour is scary to me. I showed one interest on Twitter and suddenly I am being directly marketed. In other words, the seemingly fun contest has given Oreo more insight to who they should be marketing towards.

The fun and games are over because we know Oreo is not the only company using big data to help target their audience…





All Quiet on the Blogging Front

I have never been a cat lover. I never wanted to pet my friend’s cat, never swooned over cat photos and never even thought about owning one…. and there comes the writer’s block.

Over the past week and a half, I have been staring at this open Word document racking my brain for a blog topic. The first thing that comes to mind you ask? A blog about my Sphynx kittens! Wouldn’t that be perfect? I tried to think of what to say about them but after only getting about three sentences down on paper I found myself having nothing to say after typing, “yes, hairless cats”.


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Team Work Makes the Dream Work #sphynx #sphynxmom

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After some serious brainstorming, I thought I had it I’ll write about cauliflower rice, I thought! It only took me about two minutes to get over that idea, realizing most of my class probably couldn’t care less about cauliflower, and even if they did the 30-second explanation I gave in class last week was probably detail enough. So, I let two more days pass by.

Once again I thought I had it! I thought I’d blog about how great Sphynx’s are and share tips for owning them. I retyped my cat introduction and hit the same writer’s block. Motivated to make this happen, I spaced down a few lines and start looking up more details about my cats that I could write about. After about 5.2 seconds of looking up cats I realized I truly am not a big enough cat person to be looking up any types of cats, mine included. I let another day go by.

Finally, I had one last brainstorming session. I decided to not blog about craft beer out of the fear of sounding like a brewery-loving hipster. I pass on gardening because I’ve blogged enough about that already for Sprout MSP, and let’s be real I’m not feeling like the best gardener because I can’t get stupid bugs to stop eating my plants.

So, here I sit a week and a half later, blogging about not knowing what to blog about.

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All Quiet on the Blogging Front #classblog #beertime

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No Support Here

Seeing as we are in the middle of Pride month, it’s safe to say there is no shortage of rainbows in the news lately. There are articles like this one flying around all over the internet.

Now, I can’t argue that this blog doesn’t bring attention to Pride, of course, it does. But is it really bringing attention to the right thing? In the above post, less than 100 words are said about the goal of this march, and there is not a single word said about how to support the cause. Instead, the main focus of this post is the witty signs people carry when they are marching for social justice. Yes, some are very clever and very entertaining but it brings me back to my earlier question.


None of us are strangers to the lack of results political marching has lead to over the past few years. We know that, in full honesty, those signs are not going to lead to social change. In this day-in-age, it simply isn’t enough. So as a blogger who is bringing attention to Pride month, I would think that adding more depth about the reason for the march, the significance of the timing, and how to help the cause would be important rather than just sharing humorous signs.

You could argue, how do we know the writer wants to support the cause? Well let’s be real if this writer didn’t support the cause would they really write an article on it? Also, if anyone knows like I do, they certainly do not shy away from sharing tips on how to get involved. All in all, there was no reason to post this blog to millions of viewers without adding more content about an important social cause.

If you would like to learn about how you can support LGBT+ community, click here. For easy ways to get involved in Pride month start here.




Okay, okay I know. How awkward is it that I am writing about nipples for class, right? Well before you get all worked up, hear me out.

Now although I love going braless as much as the next girl, I must admit this movement did take me off guard. I have a few friends who were posting photos in support of the moment and I didn’t understand the need to make all nipple showing acceptable. Well, probably just like most of you, I was just seeing the very tip of this movement. So, let’s dive in.

Free the Nipple is one of the most powerful social movements working in our generation. Their goal is not just aimed at the social acceptance of women showing their breast, it is to create social change.







Inequality is found in our work structures, government, and even in our social norms. For example, women are still earning less than men for doing the exact same jobs with the exact same qualifications. A man sleeps with multiple girls and he is a “stud” or “the man” while a woman is a “slut” or “whore”. Now I am not condoning “sleeping around” but everyone should have the right to do what they want and not be judged for it based on their gender.

That being said, it is not just the male verse female equality this movement fights for. As it is clearly stated above, they believe that all humans are created equal. To this, I say Amen!

They have a great stance but so do other groups. So, why do I say they are one of the best social movements of our time? Because, if a girl walked into a room with no shirt or bra on, not a single person could say they wouldn’t notice her. They force you to pay attention and will not be ignored. Put the getting attention together with a great cause and you have one powerful movement.

For more information or to see their documentary, click here.



The Longhairs

First, click here.

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The Longhairs is a group of men who have a simple mission: to provide a community for guys with, you guessed it, long hair. This group spoke to me immediately, not because I am a guy with long hair, but because this group’s motivation and way of spreading their mission aligns with Sprout MSP‘s. Like the Longhairs, Sprout MSP is meant to build a community through shared vision. Both groups spread the word about their cause without including harsh consequences that apply when one doesn’t follow in the community belief.  Seeing the Longhairs method of outreach helped me understand the path that, perhaps, Sprout MSP should be following.

The Longhairs use multiple channels to reach their audience including their website, blog, subscription newsletters, Facebook, and even their own line of products. (I know what you are thinking ladies, do it! Don’t worry you won’t be alone, I totally signed up for the haircare tips and purchases some ties myself.) By having multiple channels this group is opening themselves up to more exposure and therefore are spreading their mission one internet user at a time. Two inventive channels they focus on are their products and newsletters. By having their own products, The Longhairs are able to bring the attention back to their goal every time an onlooker asked about the logo on the front of someone’s shirt or another “bro-dude” with long hair asks to borrow a ponytail binder. In addition, by having a daily newsletter, The Longhairs are able to reach their community members directly, encouraging them to share the mission with others.

Now while I do not have any motivation to create a line of products for this group mission, I did appreciate the inspiration The Longhairs brought me. Now I am refocused on Sprout MSP’s mission, and am standing for my first newsletter about hair care!

Facebook: Deactivated 

From joining a gym, starting a new diet or even vowing to never begin the night with shots of tequila again, January 1st is the day that signifies a new beginning for many people. For me, this day is important because January 1st is the day that I deactivated. That’s right I said it. About five months ago, I started a new chapter and deactivated my Facebook account. Now I know what you are thinking. Sure, I do feel a little left out when someone asks me if I saw Laurens new puppy or Becky’s atrocious haircut. But, in all reality, it has been such a relief to “unplug.” I spent countless amounts of time endlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed. For what? Yes, I got to see how cousin Tim in Pennsylvania was doing but I also saw hundreds of people putting on their best face and bragging about how great life is. Daily I would see girls posting overly edited photos with captions that came directly from motivational posters. Minor life events became tremendous accomplishments or spectacles that everyone needed to see. 
Now, I do not consider myself a jealous person (I mean maybe a little but who isn’t right?), but when I saw all of these people posting about their lives, I couldn’t help but compare myself to them. I haven’t climbed that mountain. My hair never lies nicely like that, and I’m not even close to getting married. Cutting the cord on a media outlet that allows people to perfectly market themselves significantly increased my self-esteem and has even helped lower my anxiety. The past few months, I have rarely found myself comparing my life, looks, or successes to others. By stepping away from Facebook, I have been able to see people for who they are in person rather than who they present themselves to be on social media. And let’s be real, no one is as great in person as they seem to be on their Facebook page. If you happen to be someone who is actually as awesome as their Facebook page shows, then take a look at other reasons for you to deactivate below. As for the rest of the population, stop wasting your time scrolling and comparing yourself to your 1,000 plus friend. Deactivate.