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It's list-making time, but there's more in this issue than best-of and prediction lists. Also see how Beyoncé broke the social 'Net, why one family's holiday video went viral, what's next for content marketing, and what gifts you get when Bill Gates is your Secret Santa. Skim your merry way to 2014!

When Christmas jammies beat family newsletters. The Holderness family opted out of doing the typical "holiday newsletter" and [made a music video instead. You do still get the typical year-in-review update (new jobs, new car, recitals), but this one is set to the beat of Will Smith's "Miami." Plus, there's a great gimmick: The whole thing's done in matching #xmasjammies (nice hashtag!). The video's received over 11 million views, making it quite possibly the most viral holiday family newsletter in human existence. It also serves as handy advertising for the Holdernesses' video production business.

Changing music marketing, one Instagram message at a time. Beyoncé surprised fans—and basically broke iTunes—early last Friday when she launched a surprise album, announced via Instagram. The artist says she was "bored" with traditional launches and wanted to connect directly with fans without the traditional marketing noise. (Although the social buzz is through the roof!) The "visual" album, titled "Beyoncé," includes 14 songs and 17 videos. On opening weekend it broke the iTunes sales record, selling 828,773 copies and going No. 1 in 104 countries. It's also the hottest thing to hit the 'Net since the invention of GIFs—which means piles of reinforced fan adoration for Bey.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a social media strategist, copywriter, and journalist based in Paris. A Bay Area native and lover of vending machine candies, she co-founded AdVerveBlog.com and is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast. You can follow her on Twitter at @luckthelady.