Like many digital marketers and card-carrying millennials, emojis have become a part of my daily life. No one is more excited than me about the rumblings of new emojis–more ethnic diversity in emojis, more food variations in emojis (what up, taco emoji?), etc. If the Unicode Consortium (the non-profit responsible for deciding what emojis we get. It’s a real thing.) is ever accepting new members, sign me up.
So when the San Diego Chargers tweeted the following on St. Patrick’s Day, I knew I had to figure out how I, too, could own an emoji domain. You know, for the sake of digital marketers everywhere:
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) March 17, 2015
In my research, I came across a brief history of the emoji domain. Apparently emoji domains have been around since 2011. But in February, Coca Cola popularized their use when they launched a campaign in Puerto Rico using the happiest emojis it could find (thank goodness for me Coke overlooked happiness in sports, because I managed to snag some clutch domains of my own). You can read all about Coca Cola here.
From my research and testing, emoji domains only work in Safari on iPhones. So at least for the time being, don’t hang your 🎩 on an Emoji domain being the only place you live online.
But, without further ado, here are the two simple steps for your own emoji domain name.
1) Using your iPhone, visit a website like Punycoder that will convert your emoji of choice into a text string. The process will look a little like this (sorry, I already own the 🏈 domain). If you want to string multiple emojis together, put them all in the “text” box at once (no spaces) before converting.
2) You are going to use that text string (the “Punycode”) as the name you register your domain under. I’ve found that only .ws and .tk will allow Emoji domains. Here is where you can register each:
When registering, you need to use the text code generated. In the case above, xn-5l8h.
You’ll need to have your own web hosting or a website to forward to (or even just your Twitter handle or LinkedIn page). I personally used forwarding for my .tk domain names. It appears they iFrame the page it is forwarding to, which makes my mobile response website design a little less responsive. That’s something I plan to fix in the future and you should too if using this for professional purposes. For now, I’m just having fun.
What do you think? Will you be using emoji domains?
Normally, I can’t stand reality TV (ok, that’s a lie…I’m a slave to anything on TLC).
But I moved to a new city six months ago, and there is no better way to bond with new roommates than a trashy TV show, yoga pants, and a little bit of vino. And so it happened, for the purpose of a little roomie bonding I became invested in The Bachelor. And by invested, I mean outrageously obsessed. We’re talking following the ladies on Twitter (confession: I’ve learned Ashley I. and I get our lashes done at the same place), compulsively checking message boards, developing complete neuroses about accidentally being spoiled. (We’re talking obsessed enough to come out of 2.5 years of blogger purgatory to actually write something in this space…)
It was obvious to me from, oh, maybe week 3 or 4 that Whitney was the winner. To me, the announcement of the Bachelorette was much more interesting. Sure I’d seen the reports online, but what about the big twist?
When Chris Harrison asked who should be the next Bachelorette, the crowd (along with myself) was decidedly pro-Kaitlyn. I’d been checking the internet…Britt was not particularly liked anywhere (I’m calling BS on this split-down the middle debate). So naturally, I was filled with rage (remember: obsessed) when the two girls were announced as co-Bachelorettes. Having been called all sorts of clichés like social media “ninja” “guru” and “maven,” I decided to put my powers to good and find out what the internet actually thought of Britt and Kaitlyn.
— The Bachelor (@BachelorABC) March 10, 2015
First: A look at the numbers.
@BachleorABC introduced two hashtags. #TeamBritt and #TeamKaitlyn. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Maybe people were showing their support by tagging the ladies on Twitter instead? Wait…
Same. Not 50/50.
Maybe follower count?
Ok..getting closer to that even split, but still not right. (The aforementioned numbers represent the last 7 days as of 3/11 at 10:00PM ET)
I’m a rational person. Just because someone is frequently mentioned doesn’t mean they are the most likable (villains get the love on social too). What people are saying is probably a lot more important.
So I made word clouds. I searched each girl’s first name with the keyword “Bachelorette.” If both girls’ first names were included in a tweet, I excluded that tweet from the cloud. If someone’s Twitter handle, a misspelling of their name, etc. appeared in the tweet, I let it be. Here’s what I came up with.
Sort of meh. What you’d expect.
But check out the Britt cloud.
Seems a heck of a lot of people are talking about Kaitlyn, even when talking about Britt. #TeamKaitlyn running wild!
Now, like I’ve said, I’ve never watched The Bachelor or Bachelorette before, but through following this season I’ve come to recognize some of those little blue check marks affiliated with the show. And you’re a little hard-pressed to find any of them saying anything kind about #TeamBritt.
— Kelly Travis (@kellytravisty) March 10, 2015
— Nick Viall (@viallnicholas28) March 10, 2015
This two bachelorette thing sucks for Kaitlyn. She was clearly the favorite.
— Sean Lowe (@SeanLowe09) March 10, 2015
KAITLYN KAITLYN KAITLYN KAITLYN
— Ashley Iaconetti (@ashleyiaco) March 10, 2015
Somebody got hosed in this two bachelorette deal and I’m not gonna mention any names achemKaitlyn — J.P. Rosenbaum (@JP_Rosenbaum) March 10, 2015
EXACTLY MOLLY! EXACTLY.
It seems like few people (both famous and non) love this dual Bachelorette concept (although seeing very positive remarks around a Bachelorette duel…). I don’t think anyone really had a clue as to how this will work. Are the men actually picking between Britt and Kaitlyn? If that’s the case, let’s have a look at the gender breakdowns of their respective hashtags.
First, #TeamKaitlyn. Second, #TeamBritt.
The charts, of course, are open to your interpretation, but I find the gender breakdown pretty fascinating. Will her seeming appeal towards men ultimately give Britt the upper-hand if a Bachelorette is ultimately eliminated?
What does this all mean?
Well, probably not much. Only that it seems like the social internet is pro-Kaitlyn as Bachelorette. But likeable doesn’t necessarily equal ratings, and certainly the controversy will keep reality TV fans interested for at least a little while.
Or maybe…just maybe…Anna Kendrick is onto something.
How about instead of the men deciding, they just do it Hunger Games style and we can watch Kaitlyn eat this girl for breakfast. #TeamKaitlyn
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) March 10, 2015
“What you and I and God have in common is that we are all human. To be like God, you must be more human. To be more human, you must help others, and give of yourself and your talents. And that means being educated — it is how Jesuit education has formed others for 500 years.
“What you hold onto, you lose. What you give away, you never lose. The reason to be educated is to teach someone else. You never grasp the fruits of your education until you give it away.
“The measure of the success of your education at Boston College is the measure to which people who never got to come to Boston College’s…lives are richer, fuller, more genuinely human because YOU did go to Boston College.” -Fr. Michael Himes
Nights like these turn me into a pile of goo.
You see, my favorite thing about working in sports (pardon the cheese-factor) is seeing dreams come true. I love being around a rookie the night of his major league debut, or working an event where I’m able to introduce a middle-aged man to his childhood hero. I don’t melt over much, but these kinds of things get me every time.
Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins played host to a charity game between the Pittsburgh Police force and the Pittsburgh Firefighters (between the fans and the generosity of 84 Lumber, we raised $16,830 for a firefighter who was recently diagnosed with ALS). I must say, I’m immensely proud of the organization and the fans coming together to create such an incredible experience. The game entertainment was top notch…the same quality you’d see at an NHL game. The fans were great, cheering for our community heroes and treating them like total rock stars. It was awesome to see.
While what these men do on a daily basis is wonderful, I can’t help but think they were relishing this moment to live out an NHL dream—if only for one day.
Most little boys, when you ask then what they want to be when they grow up, they’ll tell you police officer, firefighter or professional athlete. It felt like these guys could cross one more item off the boyhood dreams bucket list.
Anyway, I sort of felt the way I did the first time I watched my favorite commercial of all time. Have a looksie:
This video gets me so amped to be a part of the sports digital revolution.
Things I like in this video:
Last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dustin Ackley for a piece that appeared in the Tacoma Rainiers game program, The Dirt. Here’s the result.
North Carolina Natural
By Melissa Marchionna
Seattle Mariners 2009 second overall pick, Dustin Ackley may be just 22 years old, but that doesn’t mean his name doesn’t carry any lore. Since breaking out as a star at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ackley has drawn comparisons to such players as Chase Utley, Tony Gwynn and…Roy Hobbs.
Yes, Roy Hobbs, the protagonist from one of baseball’s classic tales, The Natural. While one might argue that Ackley is a natural himself, born of baseball blood (his father John was drafted in the third round of the 1979 draft by the Boston Red Sox and played professionally for seven seasons), the comparisons go back to the first year of his collegiate career. In an early spring matchup against UNC Wilmington, Ackley hit a grand slam. While grand slams are always considered remarkable, the truly spectacular part of the hit was that it broke Ackley’s bat.
His aluminum bat.
That one swing inspired the nickname “Roy Hobbs,” something Ackley’s teammates continued to call him throughout his college career.
While Hobbs famously said “I coulda’ broke every record in the book,” Ackley almost did. During his storied freshman year, he broke UNC records and led the nation with 119 hits, 296 at-bats and 73 games. He became just the fifth Tar Heel in program history to bat over .400 in a single season and he set a UNC rookie record with 74 runs.
Even before heading to Chapel Hill, Ackley attracted quite a bit of national attention. He played for South Stoke High School for three seasons, helping his team to back-to-back North Carolina 1A state titles in 2003 and 2004. After transferring from South Stoke to North Forsyth High School for his senior year, Ackley earned preseason and postseason Louisville Slugger All-America honors.
Despite those accolades, Ackley went undrafted after high school. Even if he had been picked up by a team, there’s a good chance he would have turned it down in lieu of university life.
“A lot of kids go through high school and they see the money and want to go straight to professional ball,” said Ackley. “I think the best thing for me was going through college for three years and getting experience there. I think that was the best preparation for me to play professional baseball that I ever could have had.”
The decision to go to school in Chapel Hill was not a difficult one for Ackley. UNC was always in the picture for the North Carolina native.
“The baseball team had been really successful in recent years. It’s a really good program. A couple guys I had played summer ball with committed there.
“Plus, everyone in my family is a basketball fan there, so it made it really easy decision,” Ackley said with a smile.
As challenging as it might have been to balance baseball and UNC’s rigorous academic program, Ackley did follow in his family’s footsteps by cheering on the Tar Heels basketball team. “I went to quite a few of the games at Carolina. I think I went to every Carolina versus Duke game at Chapel Hill,” recalled Ackley.
While Ackley has followed in his family’s footsteps as a basketball fan and in professional baseball, they never forced him in a certain direction, allowing him to forge his own path. When asked about how his father John may have guided his career track, Ackley responded with the perhaps surprising answer that he has not tried to.
“He’s let me go my own way since college. He knew I was old enough to know what to do when the situation came,” Ackley explained.
“He’s told me about the things that went on in his professional career. The things he did. But other than that, he’s let me take this in and experience it for myself.”
Still, when you see Ackley volunteering in the community, posing for pictures with Rainiers season ticket holders, or signing autographs for fans before and after each game, you are seeing his family’s influence. When it comes to those “little things”—the little things that have big meaning for baseball fans—Ackley credits his upbringing.
“I was raised right by my parents,” he noted.
With his family across the country, Ackley now looks to role models in the Mariners organization.
“Since coming here I’ve been around a lot of people who have been in the game for awhile. They are teaching me the right way to do things. I try to do them and hopefully things will work out.
“When I first got to Seattle last August, Mike Sweeney was up with the team. He took me in and showed me everything. If it wasn’t for him, I would have been lost up there. He introduced me to everybody and made me feel comfortable. He was the first guy who really influenced me when I signed with the team.”
Just two days after Ackley joined the Rainiers from West Tennessee, Sweeney began a rehab assignment with the team. The five-time MLB All-Star continued what he started in Seattle while rehabbing in Tacoma, helping the rookie feel comfortable and adjust to his surroundings in the Northwest.
“It was great to see him,” admitted Ackley. “He’s good in the clubhouse. He made everybody relax and have fun. It’s always good to have a guy like that.”
While Sweeney’s rehab assignment has expired and he is no longer a member of the Rainiers, his influence can still be seen in the way Ackley treats the fans and his teammates, and the hustle he shows each day on the diamond.
In The Natural, Iris Gaines, a pivotal person in Hobbs’ past, tells Hobbs “I believe we have two lives…the life we learn with and the life we live after that.”
Be it family, college, coaches, or teammates, the people and experiences of Ackley’s past have taught him how the be a great ballplayer—and more importantly a great person. As his first season of professional baseball winds to a close, Ackley appears ready to parlay the lessons he’s learned into a new life in the major leagues.
On the way home from work I started thinking that it was the night before game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I decided to grab my phone and start orally recording a poem (loosely to the beat of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”). Here’s what I came up with. Not perfect, but hey, I was driving. Go Bruins!
Twas the night before game 7, I lay pondering the fate
Of how my team would fair, in a sport done on skates
B-lievers were nestled, nervously in bed
With dreams of a Stanley Cup hoist o’er head
I curled up in my sweater, and whispered a plea,
That the Stanley Cup winners, would wear a spoked-B.
And back in New England, I needn’t be told
My fellow B-lievers wore black and wore gold.
When down in the hall, I heard the crack of a door,
I sprang from my bed as I heard a loud roar.
I ran down the stairs to see what was abuzz,
And found a tall creature standing, all covered in fuzz.
He didn’t say much, but it knew from his stare,
This was none other than the famed Bruins bear.
His eyes didn’t twinkle, no cheeks like a rose,
He was brown, he was hairy, with a long snoutish nose.
“Score David Krejci, and Ryder, and Marchand,
Lead us Big Chara, and Recchi, and Bergeron,
Show us your heart, young Lucic and Seguin,
Prove to the world this is your moment to win.
Be strong on the blue line, Tomas and Dennis,
The same message goes out to Adam and Ference,
Be in the moment Shawn, Paille and Boychuk,
Timmy Thomas protect as you dive for the puck.
Shane Hnidy and Kampfer, and goaltender Rask,
You are Boston Bruins, with or without mask.
In all that you do, be a part of this team,
As you bleed black and gold and follow this dream.
Campbell and Kelly, Peverley and Kaberle
You have made it this far, continue to play.
Work hard in your battles in corners and walls,
Now grind away! Grind away! Grind away all.
Do it for Chief, Cam, Ray, Dit and Orr,
Do it for Hitchman, Milt, Terry and Shore.
Do it for Savvy, and the pride in your chest,
Do it for Horton, and the ‘B’ on your crest.”
With a tear in my eye, matched by one in his fur,
Our hearts filled with longing Lord Stanley could cure.
We both knew our mission, this Game 7 Eve,
No matter what happened, we had to B-lieve.
“I’m off to Vancouver” he said with a roar,
He waved his right paw, and made way for the door.
As I watched the bear travel, away from my sight,
I heard him say surely “Tomorrow’s our night.”
Marguerite Norris was just about as close as you can get to hockey royalty. Her dad was the legendary James Norris, who in the 1930s purchased the Detroit Falcons franchise—promptly changing the name to the Red Wings.
Despite owning the team, the Norris family didn’t often make it out to games. James had a heart condition, which forced him to stay in Chicago for much of his tenure as team president. Still, he managed to stay plenty informed about the goings on of the team, connecting with coach/GM Jack Adams (yup, that Jack Adams) by phone after each game.
While unable to travel far from his home in Lake Forest, Illinois, James taught his family to love the game of hockey as well. Standing just one inch shy of six feet tall, Marguerite used to play goalie during family hockey games. Although she shared her father’s interest in the game, Marguerite pursued her owns interests as well, earning a degree from Smith College, then working for Dun & Bradstreet in New York and West Farm Management in Chicago.
When James passed away from a heart attack on December 4, 1952, Marguerite took over control as president of the Red Wings per her father’s wishes. Although she had attend many games in Chicago and New York, the game she attended on December 18 of that year was first Red Wings game she had seen at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium in 20 years (in case you were wondering, the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs tied 1-1).
Not much has been documented about Marguerite’s time with the Red Wings, but the team finished in first place during the three seasons she was at the helm. Marguerite was not shy about her disdain for coach Jack, but Mr. Adams remained the Red Wings head coach and guided the team to two Stanley Cups under Marguerite’s reign (1954, 1955). During the 1955 off-season, Marguerite lost an intrafamily struggle to her brother Bruce, who took over the team until 1982.
After leaving hockey, Marguerite moved to Connecticut and pursued an interest in raising cattle and horses. In her adopted hometown of Southbury, she was introduced to John Riker, the man she would marry in 1960. John was a graduate of the University of Alaska, had a master’s degree from Columbia University, and worked in the television business. While running their farm, the Rikers established themselves as leaders in the American Quarter Horse community. They were instrumental in introducing English events to the circuit and developed a popular breed of horses.
Marguerite died from heart failure in Connecticut on May 12, 1994. Her memory is honored each year with a scholarship to a graduating student at Nonnewaug High School—an agricultural high school not far from where she and John owned their farm. The scholarship goes to a student who excels in math, science and athletics and has financial need.
If you have any more information on Marguerite Norris, please post a comment or get in touch via email.