Social Media Miracles

Taylor Swift Doubles Down on Her Burgeoning Career As an Instagram Therapist

Relatable! (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Aspirational everywoman Taylor Swift has alighted from her ivory pedestal to interact with her Hollister-clad fangirls once again.

Ms. Swift first made headlines by giving love advice to a lovelorn teen named Hannah last week. Hannah posted a selfie and appended a soliloquy about the guy who broke her heart. “A guy who said sorry for eating in front of me after finding out I had to skip breakfast,” Hannah explained (the Daily Mail has screengrabs). “A guy who grew up across the street from me. A guy who plays guitar like me. A guy who was my first best friend.” Read More

They See Me Trollin'

‘Fat Old Creep’ May Sniff Taylor Swift’s Hair Thanks to 4chan

(Photo: Kiss108.com)

One 39-year-old creep may finally achieve his dream of sniffing Taylor Swift’s hair–at least if 4chan has anything to do with it.

A contest organized by Boston radio station KISS 108FM is offering to send one lucky winner to a Taylor Swift show on July 27 and get their picture taken with her. When you register for the contest, you generate a unique link; in order to win, you have to get as many people to click on that link as possible once a day until the end of the contest. Read More

They See Me Trollin'

Sorry, Trolls: Taylor Swift Declines to Perform at Horace Mann School for the Deaf

Relatable! (Photo: CMT)

Shimmery fairydust composite Taylor Swift, who floats instead of walks and subsists entirely on a nutritional diet of rainbows, has decided not to let the trolls ruin a good contest.

Back in August, Reddit and 4chan galvanized for the all-important cause of gaming a VH1 competition that would send Ms. Swift to perform at a school that received the highest amount of votes. Soon, a hoard of trolls began liking Ms. Swift on Facebook and voting to send her to the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston.

(Get it? Sending a musician to a school for kids who can’t hear music? “Lulz.”) Read More

Pretty Pictures

iPad Art Party! Khoi Vinh’s Favorite Mixels So Far: Taylor Swift ‘Won’t Be Denied’

11 Photos

(David Jacobs on Mixel)

It’s been almost a month since design guru Khoi Vinh launched his social collage app, Mixel, and after coming across a few inspired mixels on Twitter, we decided to check back with the first-time startup founder and veteran NYTimes.com design director. Mr. Vinh was in the middle of fixing some memory bugs that were causing intermittent crashing, but took time to Gchat Betabeat about how users have responded to the app so far.

But first we had to ask, based on evidence, would he consider Taylor Swift something of a personal muse? “Isn’t she a muse to everyone?” he wondered. Betabeat mentioned a surprisingly rousing rendition of “Fifteen” performed by some (adult) friends at karaoke night over the weekend. “She won’t be denied,” Mr. Vinh concluded.

As for the app at large, “Remixes are very popular,” noted Mr. Vinh, “Some of the remix threads get very long.” The last time we spoke, Mr. Vinh had pointed out that, for your average amateur, an art-making app without a social element was doomed to fizzle. “The threads are conversations, and when you open one up, it’s a little like walking up to a few people chatting at a party. People feel compelled to jump in and join.”

“They create a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to create something,” he added, “Because you have pieces and ideas to work with and add to or subtract from.”

He also noticed that early users were not reusing individual pieces as much as he and his co-founder Scott Ostler had expected. “Most of the images that go into mixels are pulled from the Popular tab or the Web Image Search tab (within the edit screen)…What we had thought was that people would also browse other people’s mixels and say, ‘Hey, I want to use that in a mixel of my own.’” A possible solution to that, he proposed a ‘drawer feature’, “So that when you’re looking at someone else’s mixel, and you see a piece you like, you can tuck it away for later.”

Mr. Vinh declined to share the number of users just yet, pointing out that, “We’re a creation app on iPad, so we don’t get the exposure that people will get to a Web site.” In that same vein, times of usage also differ, “We see a lot of activity at night, as people leave their iPads at home during the day, for the most part. And a lot of activity on Saturday, too. So it’s very different from the Web, which a lot of people will surf during work. We’ve also heard a lot of people say, ‘I’m having Mixel withdrawal’ when they leave their iPads at home.’” (That reminds us, we have some Words With Friends games to dominate . . .)

If you’re suffering from Mixel withdrawl yourself, here are five of Mr. Vinh’s favorites, followed by five of our own. Read More