Sunnier Side of the Office – October 21, 2019

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"C'est moi."

- Mitt Romney's response to a reporter when asked if he was behind the anonymous Twitter account Pierre Delecto

Fitness and Faith
By: Ben Thomas

This week, the Vatican announced the latest device in our IoT world: the connected rosary. The eRosary is an internet-enabled rosary that pairs to an app on the wearers’ smartphone, guiding them through prayer, tracking their progress and also functioning as a fitness tracker.

Tech isn’t the first thing people think about when it comes to religion, but the eRosary has been designed to address the bigger issues facing the Catholic Church. At a time when people are feeling increasingly isolated, the rosary acts as a social device that connects users with other people who share their faith. By monitoring the users’ progress, it taps into gamification and tracking behaviors that are ubiquitous in the devices and apps we use.

It’s also a way to appeal to a younger generation of Catholics by modernizing the faith through the devices they use everyday, in all areas of their lives.

Facebook Makes Native Scheduling More Timely
By: Jessica Bedussi

“Organic reach is dead.” This has been every social strategist’s mantra since 2013 which is why it’s a bit of a head scratcher to hear Facebook is adding options to help pages post organically. 

Last week, users noticed a “suggested posting time” feature when scheduling posts natively. This uses Facebook’s data to tell when a page’s followers were most active during the previous week. While this data isn’t new to pages on Facebook (it’s currently located within the analytics tab), the inclusion of it while page admins are scheduling keeps it top of mind. 

This feature isn’t as turnkey for pages who use third-party tools to schedule, but could be useful for those who schedule natively. However, at the end of the day, if Facebook doesn’t drastically improve organic reach, optimized posting times can only do so much.

Live in A Barbie World

Last week, Mattel announced that Barbie has listed her Malibu Dreamhouse, a very real luxury villa in the heart of Malibu, for users to book for $60 per night (to commemorate the Barbie brand’s 60th anniversary) starting Oct. 23 on Airbnb. The two-bed, two-bath home will be available to rent for a one-time-only, two-night stay from Oct. 27-29.

The ocean-front, three-story residence includes an indoor theater, a basketball court, an outdoor dining patio, a meditation space, a hobby studio, a fully stocked kitchen and a sunset-facing infinity pool equipped with a water slide. Of course the decor is on-brand too, with pink cushions, pink carpets, even pink cooking pots.  

According to the listing, the stay includes visits by Barbie's friends to "inspire and teach you new things": fencing lesson with Ibtihaj Muhammad, cooking lessons with chef Gina Clarke-Helm, meet-and-greet with celebrity stylist Jen Atkin, and behind the scenes tour of of Columbia Memorial Space Center with pilot and aerospace engineer Jill Meyers.

This is not the first time Airbnb has offered co-branded stays. Previous partnerships include listings for an Ikea showroom and an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile stay.  

Bi-weekly has two different definitions: Twice a week, or once every two weeks. 
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