Instagram’s latest update has disabled location data [UPDATED]

Location Services for Instagram on iOS 8

Newer always seems better, doesn’t it?

I definitely thought so when I downloaded iOS 8. I was so excited for the bunch of new messaging upgrades alone.

The next day, I also dutifully downloaded the slew of app updates that rolled in for iOS 8 update. Among them was an update for Instagram.

I didn’t think anything of this until last night, when I tried to upload one of the pictures I’d taken during a recent weekend trip to Crater Lake. The social media strategy nerd in me had planned out which pictures to upload during the week, and so I was incredibly frustrated to find that Instagram’s 6.1.0 update seems to have disabled external location data.

As you know from my previous post on geotagging pictures for Instagram, the geodata needs to be embedded in the photos themselves (either using location services when you’re actually taking the picture, or by adding the geotags afterwards using an app like Koredoko or Mappr).

iOS 8’s Location Services for Instagram have changed: instead of just being a button you can toggle “On” or “Off,” you now must choose between “Never” and “While Using the App.” But if you enable Location Services while using the app, it searched for nearby locations, not the location data embedded in the picture you’re uploading.

This is really disappointing and frustrating. As I can tell from the response to my geotagging post, the map experience is so important to so many Instagrammers. I’ve contacted Instagram about fixing this for their next update, but this is one thing we’ll have to wait and see on.

UPDATE: Later today, Instagram’s 6.1.1 update has fixed the problem! Map lovers rejoice!

Shoptagr sales alerts

Hukkster is closing. What do I do now? [Updated]

I was disappointed to hear that Hukkster, my favorite sales notification site, is shutting down. I’d relied it on it to let me know when anything I wanted was on sale, and really loved that it was headed up by women. In order to make sure that I didn’t go without sales alerts, I immediately embarked on finding a new alert service.

Within minutes of putting out a call on Twitter, I was inundated with requests. Most of them came from sales alert services themselves (or employees), but I’ll give them all a big high five for having excellent Twitter searches to let them know I and others will be looking.

Since getting the best deal on something is pretty damn important to me, I tried a few that I thought would suit me. Here’s how it went, in case you need a new sale alert system! FYI, I was using all these services on my laptop, so I can’t speak to the mobile apps or versions.

Update 8/6/14: Fashionista has a list of services you can try, too!

Track If:

Track If sales alertsUnfortunately, this was the one I liked the least. Even though there’s a pretty cool feature that tracks the history of the price (so you can see if it’s gone up or down over time), the inability to let me choose things like color, size, or sale percentage really didn’t work for me. I need to know how much I’m saving!

Even though they have a nice user interface, I counted Track If out early on. Plus, they automatically connected me to Facebook, even though I didn’t use Facebook as my sign-in. It creeped me out and ruled out Track If for good.

Their Chrome extension button was handy, but I’d only use Track If for checking out the history of pricing for something you’d like to buy.

Update 8/5/2014: TrackIf’s people are very helpful over Twitter, and assured me they’re looking to expand into price, color, etc., tracking.

Update 8/6/2014: TrackIf has asked me to remove the bit about auto-connection to Facebook because “it is untrue.”

While they did not automatically connect to my Facebook account, the Facebook plugin on their site did. TrackIf can argue with me about semantics all they like, but the plugin is unnecessary and seems invasive. Social share buttons would suffice if I wanted to share my tracks with all my friends (which I don’t).




Covvet bugs

Covvet seemed really easy, but turned out to be really buggy. It has a Chrome extension (which I started expecting), and the layout was very simple. Until it was too simple.

There was nowhere to set email alerts, which bothered me. When you’re logged in, there’s not FAQs or About or How It Works page to let you know they’ll be emailing you an alert when something you want goes on sale. And after I confirmed my email address, I still got a message on the site (both on desktop and mobile) that told me to confirm my email address.

Another confusing aspect is that there are two tabs: On Sale and Everything (which is the items you Covvet). Even though one of the sandals I tagged was on sale, it didn’t show up in the On Sale tab. Neither did the Gap khakis I Covveted, which were on sale for $39.

Which brings me to the most serious bug–the fact that these khakis showed up as $10.95. The website said the pair I wanted was $39. The cheapest pair was $19.99. It worried me that Covvet had a completely different price–what if I happily skipped over to Gap’s website to buy a pair of khakis for $10.95? I’d be pretty disappointed to find out they were $39 instead.

And the nail in Covvet’s coffin was that they didn’t support J. Crew’s factory store. They’ll send me an email when it’s added to their supported list of stores (which, to be fair, is pretty extensive). But nobody has time for that.

Update: Covvet tweeted at me immediately to help resolve the problems I’d had. I appreciated that.


Mavatar's shopping cartMavatar:

Mavatar works differently than the other services. Everyone else has an extension that you press to add something to your list of stuff to get alerts about. But Mavatar’s Chrome extension button installs a cart.

When I opened the cart, there was something from Old Navy. I don’t know how it got there, so I was a bit freaked out. I also didn’t know how to put something in my cart, and the FAQs didn’t address it. After I tweeted them for help, I realized I’d have to put something into the shopping cart on the website I was visiting for it to show up in my Mavatar cart. This worked for Gap, but not for the J. Crew Factory store. Tsk, tsk!

Something about having to physically put an item in my cart turned me off. Savings and coupons are applied when shopping; they don’t email you to let you know something’s on sale. Since I wanted that email, Mavatar didn’t work for me.

Update: I received a nice email from Lindsey Kennedy in the Social Media Marketing department that took the time to explain how some of the processes worked and thanked me for the feedback. She explained that Mavatar’s purpose is to be completely different than all other sales alerts (which I’d definitely agree that they do) and outlined how Mavatar is doing that. It’s definitely an interesting model, but not one that I wanted.


And now, the moment you (may) have been waiting for! I found my new Hukkster.

Shoptagr sales alerts

Shoptagr (The Winner!):

I liked Shoptagr the best, folks. It reminded me of what I liked about Hukkster: it’s easy. 

There isn’t a Chrome extension, but they have a +Tag button, which is easily dragged to your Toolbar, so I didn’t feel inconvenienced.

Shoptagr allows you to tag exactly what you want: price, color, percentage off during sale, fit.

Another cool feature is that you can earn rewards when people sign up using your personal link. Or you can share via your social channels, with simple share buttons (hear that, Track If?! Nobody automatically signed me into anything). After five people sign up, you get a $10 gift card to Amazon, Asos, Topshop, or Net-A-Porter. Ten people sign up, you get a $20 gift certificate. And so on, up to $250. I don’t flatter myself a fashion influencer, but I think the chance is pretty rad.

You can also set email preferences. Hallelujah!

The one downside was that Shoptagr got confused when there were too many products available on one page. Since it’s pretty rare that e-retailers clutter up their pages, this wasn’t a huge problem.

Update: Shoptagr emailed me to let me know that I could also receive text alerts just by changing my settings. Not a feature I plan on using, but pretty cool.

Update: Shoptagr now has a browser extension.

Do you have sales alert services that you really like or use any of these services? Tell me about why you like them in the comments.

Not-so-lazy summer days

July isn’t over, but it’s already been a wonderful month. As if Independence Day and long, warm evenings weren’t enough, I’ve been busy with some awesome stuff.

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Seattle. I was there to present at CU Conferences on social media crisis management for credit unions. It was my first conference presentation that didn’t have to do with being Muslim or being  a woman, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was wonderful to meet credit union board members from all around the country and talk about how social media can help their credit union marketing and customer service. Thanks to everyone who grabbed some snapshots of my presentation!


Another exciting first for me is living out my fantasies of fashion blogging for Money Side of Life. I wrote about how to build a professional wardrobe without losing your entire paycheck, and had so much fun trotting out my Le Tigre and Blue Steel looks. Below is one of the looks; head over to Money Side of Life to see more looks and discuss my frugal wardrobe tips.

How to look professional without spending a lot of money

Photo by Jens Odegaard for Money Side of Life.


These two firsts were exciting because I’m turning 31 this month. I absolutely loved turning 30; it’s been a great year. I’m excited to see what firsts 31 will bring (hoping they’ll all be good ones).

Weighing in on the workplace for millennials

Happy July, friendlies! I wanted to share an article with you that I contributed to. 

I talked with Myriam DiGiovanni of the Credit Union Times about workplaces and millennial employees:

“A big misconception for most companies is that you’ve got young people at the bottom of the totem pole and older people at the top,” Fakhraie said. “That doesn’t mirror the reality at brass: Everyone’s making decisions at all levels and leadership positions aren’t just for boomers.”

Check out the entire article, which also profiles a marketing agency and a credit union, at the Credit Union Times website! 

Amplifyd helps lobby for the little guy [UPDATED]

I just learned about a start-up that brings lobbying to the masses. It’s called Amplifyd, and it allows you to purchase a phone call in support of an issue you care about. For $5, someone will call your elected official and lobby on your behalf. The founders put it this way:

“As more and more corporations are spending millions of dollars lobbying our elected officials, Amplifyd is providing the first technology-driven solution that gives people the power to voice their political opinions and have more influence over government, without having to march, protest, cold call or quit their day job.”

This really got my attention. Most of us want to make a difference, but we don’t know how to go about it other than a Facebook like (which doesn’t do squat). What I like about Amplifyd is that I can purchase an actual phone call for a cause I care about. In addition to that, 60% of that $5 goes to the non-profit that made the phone call on my behalf, supporting those actively working on what’s important to me. Plus, I don’t ever have to make the call myself, which really appeals to the lazy part of me that would rather watch Netflix or scroll through Instagram.

I’ll be honest: my activism has slid into slacktivism after I left MMW. So I decided to give Amplifyd a try. I purchased two calls (one for net neutrality and one for expanded background checks for all gun sales). Amplifyd explains what happens after I buy a phone call:

  • Someone will call and lobby your representative on your behalf
  • The majority of your money is given to the charity that made the phone call on your behalf
  • After the call is made, you’ll receive a recording of the conversation

You can make phone calls for a campaign, too. Every campaign lists available positions, which could get you some extra cash on the side.

So far, the most annoying thing is that I had to reenter my credit card number for two different campaigns. But It’s pretty cool that $5 will go toward a cause I care about and get me a recording of the phone call made for that cause. Currently, my calls are listed as “In progress,” so I’ll update the post when I receive the recordings.

I think we’ll see a lot more of Amplifyd; I can already think about a few causes that I’d like to buy calls for. Have you tried it? What do you think?

UPDATE (July 2, 2014): I received an email saying that a call had been made for one of my campaign. It included a link to listen to the phone call itself, which redirected me to the Amplifyd login page. Once I logged in, I could hear the recorded call, see when it was made, and leave feedback. I received another email on July 3 for the other call.

Other than the callers fumbling around with pronunciation of my name (something I can’t totally blame them for), I have two major thoughts. First, you only have a week to review the call after it’s made. While I understand that feedback should be given immediately, I hope this doesn’t mean that the link will expire and the phone call won’t be able to be replayed.

The second thought is how much of your information you’re giving to these callers. While I know that I ordered the call to a local representative, there was something a little creepy hearing a stranger leave my name, city, and email address on the rep’s answering machine. This is the same information that I’d give out myself if I were to call, but now someone else is doing it. I don’t want to assume the worst of Amplifyd callers (because I’m sure they’re just trying to make some money like the rest of us), but that is something to be aware of if you’re concerned with your privacy.


I’m in the May/June issue of ISNA’s magazine

Muslim Women Changing the Narrative

Islamic Horizons is the official magazine of the Islamic Society of North America, and it’s full of stories by and for American Muslims.

Sabina Khan-Ibarra, the creator of Muslimah Montage, interviewed me, along with author Jennifer Zobair and Zahra Billoo, the Executive Director for the CAIR San Francisco Bay Area, for the newest issue. The article is all about ways that we’ve created avenues for ourselves to discuss issues important to Muslim women.

It’s a pretty great article, so check it out if you have time (the article starts on page 36)!

Have you updated your Twitter profile?

Have you updated your Twitter profile?

I updated my Twitter profile a few weeks ago. Have you done the same?

I know everyone’s grumbling about it looking like Facebook, but I kind of like it. I especially liked the pinned tweets feature, which is really handy for keeping something important at the top of your mind (or profile).

In case you’re wondering, the profile dimensions are 1500×500 pixels. If you already have a profile picture, Twitter will automatically resize it to fit within these dimensions. Whether it still looks good is another story.