Monday, April 29, 2013

Make it Happen Monday: Work It. Write It.

It's happening....

The rhythm of writing. The ideas flowing smoothly, succinctly. I remember this feeling right around Thanskgiving. I was bubbling with joy. And then I had a slight bump and eventually took a break in preparation for a new blog design that never happened. (Note: Don't work with lame designers). I also had a death in my extended family at the end of 2012 which certainly did not produce a level of creativity and happiness that I strive for in my writing style.

In the past week alone, writing, content creation and development, and pure brainstorming have taken over my life - and I LOVE it. I am not sure how it all happened but I know a Gchat conversation with Cristina Roman (@cmroman) surely had my juices flowing. We had first connected when I emailed her after reading a post she wrote for Levo League. She was thorough in her response to my inquiry and even offered to link back to my blog, which at the time was just itty bitty thing. Fast forward to a few days ago, I pitched an idea about a career-related post for her blog and readers. She enthusiastically gave her approval and now I'm off to the races to write my first guest post for another blogger Thanks Cristina!

Wait, there's more.

I recently wrote a review of BeBlogalicious Blogatech summit because it was that good of a networking/mini-conference. That blog post, which I tweeted to @beblogalicious, led to a guest spot on their website's blog! Check it out here.

Thanks Stacey for the opportunity. I had fun writing it.

So yes, this Monday has been a good one. A lot of writing, drafting, editing and connecting. Onward!

- IJ

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tweets: Blogatech Recap

I had the utmost pleasure of spending a full day at the BeBlogalicious summit, Blogatech, at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center (@MicrosoftIPC) in D.C. last week. I finally had the chance to meet face-to-face with women I follow on Twitter including the founder of BeBlogalicious, Stacy Ferguson (@justicefergie), Christine Celise (@christinecelise) of DiversiTech and Ananda Leeke (@anandaleeke) of Digital Sisterhood. These beautiful, intelligent women had great energy and were so supportive! Aside from the attendees, there were great speakers espousing tips and other gems about social media, blogging, consumer research, building an online platform and much more. Here are some tweets to give you a snapshot of the lessons and insights from the 2013 Blogatech summit
#Blogatech agenda

  • I think everyone freaked out when we this exercise was announced. It was interesting to see the reactions of relinquishing your phone, which turned out to be more personal than would guess.

  • Solid advice if you are thinking of launching your own product or venture. Reach out to your personal networks first and go from there. Maximize without spending money!

  • Julie's presentation was really funny. Her first point was, "Don't be boring" when using social media. Enough said.
So much useful knowledge. I look forward to more Blogalicious events and engaging conversations and continued support from the women I met. Cheers!

- IJ

P.S. Super excited that I got to meet the women behind Blerdology, kat calvin and Amanda Spann! #blerd

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Twitter & Tragedy: How Social Media Spreads News

Twitter and tragedy in the same sentence? It seems a bit peculiar but there I was, glued to my timeline as reports, some true and false, flooded my feed. Twitterverse was a flurry of news of varying sorts and credibility. Aside from trying to decipher what actually happened, as it was happening nonetheless, I was surprised at the swiftness of first person accounts and new stories.

As a race steeped in history and tradition, the Boston Marathon attracts over 10,000 runners from the across the world. Naturally this type of sporting event would be featured in the news as runners race for personal, professional and charitable reasons. Outside of the news anchors on hand at the finish line, there were countless spectators with their own devices capturing their teams and loved ones as they push through that last mile.

Unspeakable events took place in the heart of Beantown yesterday and there literally were digital cameras, phones and other gadgets to capture everything in real-time. It was almost as if another race was taking place. News outlets wanted their pictures, videos, interviews and whatever other inside scoops and angles featured first. A bit of a mad dash to say the least.

 I was not at a television but the speed in which tweets, with hashtags like #prayforboston, dominated the Twitterverse was amazing. The content was raw, real and utterly fascinating. It was riveting to virtually witness chaos while also being a part of a community of support. Soon, #prayforboston and #bostonmarathon were trending (and would remain so for many hours afterward).

Some of the heroic stories of spectators and first-responders are amazing. Thankfully, we have social media to be another window to the good that was shown amidst an evil attack. The fact that some runners continued to run to hospitals to donate blood is truly beautiful. It's more powerful than the evil attack itself.

Some memorable and heartbreaking tweets from yesterday...

This particular tweet was retweeted over 8,000 times! Speaks volumes.

Tragic events are just that - tragic. The beauty, even in tragedy, is that all walks of life can unite and help one another, online and offline. We are one. We are Boston.

If you would like to help those who were hurt or to offer tips to law enforcement, please click here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Roundup, Heads Up: Spring Cleaning

I am quite impressed without the amount of work I've done on this fine Sunday. I was up before eight this morning and charged ahead with some spring cleaning that I started yesterday. Aside from exercising and joining a Google Hangout for morning meeting,  I decluttered my closet, sorted clothes to donate to a women's support group and attempted to clear out my inbox. Spring cleaning isn't just offline anymore. My inbox is getting fatter by the minute and it's time for a serious trim.

I like to do a lot of follow ups and check ins with people via email but with all the contacts I've made recently, it's difficult to keep track of everyone and everything. Though I have an Contactually account, I do not use it as often as I should, nor to the best of its ability.

Change is gonna come. 

I actually get enough reminders from Contactually (@Contactually) to utilize their application to better manage my contacts and emails. Since it is synced with my email account, the process is quite seamless. Basically, if you are the type that likes to keep in contact with folks you met at a networking or a former colleagues, then consider using (and maximizing) Contactually. It's also a good tool for small business owners. It's a free service, though you can upgrade. I really like the bucket feature, which allows you to categorize your contacts. If you use Contactually, let me what you think of it!

So, what's the heads up this week? Well, it's hard to imagine that April is already halfsies but I am looking forward to my Photoshop class. It's about time I took a design class! There's a Blogalicious Tech Summit in D.C., that I should probably sign up for less I forget. I have a list of writing assignments that I am ready to dive into including working with Blacks Gone Geek. More on that in a few weeks.

But before I get ahead of myself, I must share that three weeks ago to the day, I was in the Midwest in the midst of a snowstorm; and now I'm basking in the spring sunshine and marveling at nature's beautiful blossoms. Even though the next few weeks will be hectic, it's nice to reflect on the little things; if only for a moment. Check out my lazy, cherry-blossom-free Sunday photos while I was in Kansas City a short time ago. Time flies!

A snowy Sunday in KC
w/ luck,


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

My attempt at thinking of a fun, alliterative theme for a Thursday post resulted in a rather bland, "Thursday Thoughts". Go figure.

Though the outcome was less-than-desired, I will work with what I have because perfectionism is pointless. Besides, I need to get back to writing. So many adventures, so little posting. Earlier today, I read a quote on another blog that resonated quite well: "Creativity takes courage". I have to agree with Mr. (Henry) Matisse but I would argue that sharing your creativity takes even more courage.

Sharing ultimately leads to a sense of vulnerability, a fear, a decision to be open without knowing the outcome of your openness. Denial is real and to be expected. What I found to be amazing by sharing your interests, dreams, passions with others is connecting with like-minded people. Think Seth Godin and the "find your tribe" motif. The more I share, the more I receive in support, feedback and hope. Hope that I'm not crazy for wanting to push myself and other women. In fact, based on the recent comments and words of encouragement from friends, I think I need to push harder and further.

Thursday Thoughts may just be my musings of the day, of the moment. Regardless if one decides to share, one sentiment rings true. You. Must. Create. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Everywhere a Tweet Tweet

I must admit - I like Twitter. I was a holdout for quite a few years but to be fair, when Twitter launched I was more concerned with graduation and being gainfully employed than worrying about a little cornflower blue bird.

Since I joined Twitter almost seven months ago, I've amassed over 1,800 tweets and 300 followers. I also follow almost 700 people or companies. I am a proponent for maximizing social media to benefit your personal, professional or company brand. Last week, I was spending time on my Pinterest account and found this thorough and colorful infographic about tweeting. 

Infographics are very unique in that you can graphically and creatively present a lot of information. This particular infographic focses on Twitter and how you can leverage it accordingly.

Happy Tweeting and don't forget to connect with me @Lucky_IJ

Monday, April 1, 2013

Make IT Happen Monday: Public Relations Opp

I am happy to say, I spent my birthday weekend eating, sleeping and shopping. I did complete my previous goal of successfully going to bed three days in a row, before midnight. Best sleep ever!

My respite and birthday awesomeness came to an end last Tuesday morning. I boarded a direct flight to DCA at 6 a.m. and went straight to my internship and then a three-hour analytics class. Bru-tal! I only nodded off a little bit and decided against leaving class during intermission, which was a good decision. The second half of class was devoted to questions, mostly an open forum and I really learned a lot from that type of structure. I cannot wait to apply my knowledge to the digital strategy I'm building for my social media and web marketing internship.

As much as I am enjoying my internship in D.C., I actually have another one that keeps me busy. For the past few months, I was on the fervent and diligent hunt for an internship with a PR agency or firm. I did not have a particular focus though I do love startups and fashion. I applied, and applied and even tried to use my LinkedIn connections but no luck; that is until I started actively using Twitter. I stumbled upon a PR chat discussion, #prcafe, hosted and founded by @IdealPublicity. I've participated in a couple of different chats and everyone is supportive and insightful. There are really good questions and tips about being a publicist, working with clients, event planning, securing placements, etc. Everything and anything. Thanks to this chat, my interest and knowledge in PR has grown exponentially.

When I saw this tweet in late January, I went straight to my Gmail to begin composing a compelling, snazzy pitch. The subject of my email: "Remote Intern Ready to Dive into PR". Lol, it worked!

About six weeks later (the agony), I got a positive response. As of early March, I've been virtually interning with GoodGirlPR and I love it! The research is not glamorous but certainly a good learning opportunity. Plus, getting tips from a boss lady like Nickie, company founder and owner, has been really great.

Sometimes opportunities come out of nowhere and can take time, but when everything aligns, it's a really good feeling. I literally dove at the chance (hence my email subject line) and it's paying off. Happy face.

And that's the latest edition of Make It Happen Monday.

luckily yours,


P.S. Still working on a blog design, meh.

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