My hands may be SMALL, but my ideas are BIG


Companies, if you're not already, get on a social site

We're a society driven by social interactions. Learning from people, taking, giving, listening, talking, connecting. I feel that way, but my generation has molded into a different kind of interacting. I don't remember a time where you mention someone that I don't know, and I say "oh wait, I'll just look him up on Facebook," or when you're interested in a company and you can directly connect with the VP or HR Director on LinkedIn.

I grew up with social media, where the Internet and new web 2.0 trends aren't 'foreign' to me. It's my language. However, recently a study from a Boston consultant firm, Cone found that almost "60 percent of Americans interact with companies on a social media website, and one in four interact more than once per week."

It's not just important to us Generation Y'ers anymore because 93% of Americans believe a company should have a precense in social media. To dive deeper, 85% believe a company should also interact with its customers via social media.

We still thrive on human interaction, it's just through a different medium...and companies, businesses, services, etc. should realize that the interaction will be pivotal to their success. It's a lucrative industry, but social media is exploding, growing, and changing even this very instant as I'm typing. So, hop on board--tweet away, blog about it, upload your video coverage to YouTube, and remember the important social interaction humans are looking for.

[The online survey was conducted September 11-12, 2008, by Opinion Research Corporation, among 1,092 adults comprising 525 men and 567 women 18 years of age and older. For more on the study click here.


Hitting the sweet spot at Sugar(loaf)

This past week and weekend was a little nuts. I started my new job, Adam left for Europe (last minute hostel booking and 'ah, what do I pack'?!), and then my friend from college, Sara flew in for some visitation love.
Sweet Sara-Sushi on my lunch break downtown

As a native upstate New Yorker, (let me clarify that Upstate is not Poughkeepsie, this is so upstate that she sees the Canadian border control at her house up in Champlain, NY) Sara had never been to Colorado. Needless to say, we were in full tourist mode. I pretended that I hadn't been here for only a month, and was the best tour guide (really, I was)!

We hit up Happy Hour Margs at the Rio (limit of three, they're so strong), Farmers Market, shopped Pearl Street, shopped the Hill (Sara needed a Colorado shirt), out in Denver for the night with friends, hiked Sugarloaf*, got pedicures, and went to the Celestial Seasoning tour (free entry, free tea). I'm exhausted, as we got up at 5:00 AM this morning to drive her to the airport. But it was such a packed weekend, I am not complaining, plus I had Miss Sara by my side!
Sara, Mikie, and me
*Sugarloaf was beautiful. I would say round trip it isn't longer than an hour, but the view is 360 degrees in all directions. East is Boulder and the plains, where you can see forever and Denver in the distance. North West you can see the looming rockies, up in the sky covered in snow. It was breathtaking, silent, and not crowded. If you want a beautiful panoramic view, with a not too strenuous hike but want to get outside, I would definitely recommend Sugarloaf.
Looking out from the top of Sugarloaf. Snowcapped mountains.

Sara & I owning. Looking out over Boulder...I think I see Nebraska.


Online Media-Influencing Our Economy

Graduating with a degree in Public Relations from Champlain College I was keenly aware of the
growing social media world, and how PR has an integral roll with online media.

I believe that traditional news releases are almost becoming obsolete. By obsolete I don't think the practice will be totally canned, but it's uncontrolled media (once you let it go, who knows who will actually pick it up) and we need to hop on the bandwagon for online media [i.e. social media release thanks to Todd Defren at SHIFT] This allows for a media rich release, that uses YouTube video coverage, blog links, pictures from Flickr, etc. Check out these social media releases at HubSpot and Ford. Allows them to be more viral? What do you think?

I don't recommend pitching via twitter (even though there's talk of it) but it is a way to create a dialogue, start a conversation, ask questions about your product and service, and connect. Don't overlook tools like blogs, twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. It's everywhere. Obama updated the world via Twitter and text message when he announced his VP running-mate, Joe Biden.
Photo Courtesy:

Marketing Pilgrim: Andy Beal, believes that "Blogs, Twitter, FriendFeed, Fecebook, and other forms of social media are not only shaping thoughts, they are also shaping where dollars are spent through reviews and product descriptions."

A new report from Universal McCann called, When Did We Start Trusting Strangers polls 17,000 Internet users in 29 countries and follows consumer interaction through social media, and what specific tools people are using worldwide. For more coverage, check it out here.

Social Media: "Influence Economy" -- you bet it can. What tools are you using to influence your direct surroundings with social media?


Too Lijit, Too Lijit To Quit

Drum roll please...yesterday I started my job at Lijit .

Lijit is a hot start-up in downtown Boulder, Colorado that offers a free service to publishers (mostly bloggers). This is how is works: We offer a search-powered web application that allows readers to access all of the publishers' online social media content (ie: Flickr, Facebook, Delicious, Twitter, your blog, etc.) We also include your extended trusted network in this search. This means when someone does a search, they will get results from your blog, all your online content, and the content of your network. It's a much more personalized and relevant search component. If people are coming back to your blog because they trust what you're writing, they will also trust what you're bookmarking and writing about in the wild world of the WWW.

I'm doing Business Development and personally reaching out to Bloggers, and segmenting who we're forging new relationships with. I love the environment, the people are great, it's a progressive start-up, and right now at my desk, I have a view of the mountains and downtown Boulder!

Regarding landing the job, as I talk with Career Services at Champlain, I say network, network, and then lots of research. I didn't even know they were specifically hiring, but then the fit for Business Development ended up being just right. In the morning I met with Micah Baldwin, VP of Business Development to chat about the 'local market' and see if he knew of any employment opportunities. It turned into an impromptu interview with the COO, Walter, and that same day (Friday the 12th), I was hired, and Monday the 15th I began work.

Here's an office tour of our downtown digs. This was a little while ago, so there are recent renovations and new decorations but you get the idea. Tara, one of my colleagues in the Biz. Dev. team (her title is Community Catalyst) is the wonderful hostess. Enjoy!

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New Discoveries, Connections, and Friends

"Buy the ticket, take the ride."
-Hunter S. Thompson

I came out to Boulder about three weeks ago, based on an intuitive notion. I had no place to live or work, and generally no friends. I left all my hometown and recent college friends behind. I live for that kind of adventure, and with my strong sense of focus, experience, and determination I knew things would work out. So far, it has worked out splendidly. IE: New, amazing house, great roomies, realizing I have many friends in Boulder, meeting new friends, networking opportunities, and promising job potentials.
At a new favorite spot, The Med, with old friends. Helena Meyer, mom, me, and Bob Meyer.

My (prior) babysitter from childhood who stayed with us for five years, (I was 1 and she was 13 when she started) now lives out here with her husband Doug, and beautiful daughter, Lauren. I was also in their wedding, so I feel especially lucky to have them here. Lauren is 7 and my new best friend. It's like being with someone my age, her maturity and wit surprises me each day. We're going to keep it in the tradition, as I now babysit and play with Lauren.
Lauren, Heather, Me (three generations)

In addition, I have two good friends from Fairfield that go to University of Colorado, Mike and Katie. We've reunited, and they've been my "wing man/woman". I have also found many friends from my world travels and even hometown that have somehow ended up here, or have rolled through. One of which would include my kindred spirit, and best friend Camie Bargerstock who passed through here on her similarly adventurous move to California. Check out her inspiring blog, here.
Altitude adjustment while hiking Royal Arches

Camie and I overlooking Boulder-At the top ofRoyal Arches at Chautauqua (trailhead is my backyard)!

Moral of my story today: The world really is my family, and six degrees of separation is a daily experience in my life here. Discovering old and new friends is a humbling and exciting process.

Fairfield, Iowa friends. Mani, Katie, me, and Camie downtown Boulder-Connecting the Dots

As Camie so eloquently put it: "Finding little gems in the places you least expect is a secret in life. Everyday I am learning to be more present with reality and more clarified with intention. Sometimes its scary to change circumstances so quickly. And it is now too. But I'm just not entertaining that fear today..."


Sarah Palin + Social Networking

With Alaskan Republican Governor Sarah Palin, selected by John McCain as his running mate for this upcoming, pivotal election there's been a lot of hype surrounding the choice. Personal politics aside, the intriguing part to me is the way the web and media has taken to Sarah Palin's recent position.
Check out my fellow respected bloggers, Elaine Young, a Professor at Champlain College and Adam Fullerton an Internet Marketer phenom, both of which have been following the web 2.0 tail of Sarah.

Young's take on Palin is maybe she should run with the "Little Known Facts" from Twitter-even use it in her ads ie: the witty ones. I believe this could help leverage beneficial public relations, but then again, this is an uncontrolled form of media...

In Fullerton's most recent post he makes a notable point where he says, "I don't think anyone in the Republican party has ever even heard of Twitter," and that means the Republicans "won't lose any "loyal Bush-ies" from this press."

We'll have to see where this takes her, but with my public relations mind running this is still coverage and publicity for Palin. With continual updates, and the viral nature of social media, the action and evaluation steps in the near future will be interesting to keep tabs on for the success (or not) of John McCain and Sarah Palin's public appearance.