Where To Find Me at SXSW 2012

I’m super excited about SXSW 2012, as it marks a few milestones for me:

I could go on about how many firsts I’ll be having at SXSW, but I won’t bore you — it really does seem like a whole different experience from the first time I attended SXSW in 2010, though.

Anyway, I wanted to share my 2012 schedule with the Internetz. So, here’s where you can find me for SXSW this year:

Speaking About Brand Journalism

I’ll be speaking on a panel about “Brand Journalism in the Real World.” This session will focus not only on defining brand journalism, but also will go in-depth on what brand journalism looks like in action, how organizations can incorporate editorial practices and how traditional journalists can make the shift. The panel will be moderated by MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer Ann Handley and will feature the wisdom of Twitter’s Editorial Director Karen Wickre, Eloqua’s in-house reporter Jesse Noyes, and myself.

Throwing a Sunday Brunch

As director of community at Contently, I’m heading up the planning for our Sunday brunch meetup. In celebration of launching the Freelance Writers Meetup, we’re bringing together a room full of top journalists to gather over a full Texas brunch buffet, all the mimosas you can down in two hours, and the brilliant wisdom of Ben Parr — former Mashable editor, startup entrepreneur, and CNET and CBSi columnist.

Special thanks to Contently co-founder Shane Snow and the stellar team at Jones-Dilworth for helping put this event together. And Ben, thank you for joining us to share the story of your awesomeness!

Attending Parties Galore

While I haven’t planned out which panels I’m attending yet, I already have my top party picks aligned. Go figure, right? You can find me sipping on root beers — and beers of all types — at the following fine festivities:

Getting Educated at Panels

This year, I’m covering SXSW for Forbes, NASDAQ and The Content Strategist. Here are some panels and classes that I will be attending:

Am I Missing Anything Serious?

Given my schedule above, does it look like I’m missing something crucial? If so, let me know about it in the comments below! We only get one shot at SXSW 2012, people! Let’s make it count!

T-Shirt Quilts: Staying Warm With Memories

Over the years, I’ve accumulated hundreds of t-shirts. Last year, I had the bright idea of turning them into t-shirt quilts. There are many quilters that focus on making t-shirt quilts — it turns out that it’s a big market, especially around graduation and winter holiday times.

After gathering all of my shirts together and separating them into categories, I researched about 10-15 t-shirt quilters online. I settled on T-Shirt-Quilts.com, which is owned by Blue Ribbon Quilt Co.

Co-owner Linda Lawson worked with me to choose quilt sizes, t-shirt order and material colors for the quilts. In the end, I settled on having four quilts made for distinct parts of my life: social media, travel, New York University and Paragould High School. Take a look at the quilts below and let me know what you think!

I put my social media swag to great use with this t-shirt quilt.

The largest quilt I ordered fits on a queen-sized bed and contains 36 t-shirts from my NYU days.

I used 30 of my high school t-shirts for this full-sized quilt.

While I’ve been to many more places than the ones represented on this quilt, I wanted to have a travel quilt made that focused on orange. Ta da!

A Look at JetBlue’s “Blog and Social Networking Policy”

Ever wonder about what the social media policies for some of your favorite companies includes? (Me too.)

Morgan Johnston, Manager Corporate Communications at JetBlue, shared the company’s public 600-word “Blog and Social Networking Policy” with me. Check it out below and let me know what you think about it in the comments below. Is it what you expected? What didn’t you expect?


Blog and Social Networking Policy

JetBlue understands that some Crewmembers may wish to create and maintain personal web logs commonly referred to as “blogs” and/or social networks, such as web based discussion or conversation pages (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). While JetBlue respects your right to personal expression, JetBlue expects all Crewmembers to act professionally on the job, and to refrain from behavior, on and off the job, that could adversely impact the Company. Therefore, the following guidelines have been established for posting to blogs and social networking sites:

Personal Expression

Personal blogs contain the views of particular individuals, not JetBlue. If you choose to discuss your employment or identify yourself as a JetBlue Crewmember in any way, you must include a disclaimer clarifying that the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of JetBlue. Because customers, vendors, and business partners may nonetheless view you as a spokesperson for JetBlue it is imperative that you be clear and specify that a blog is not a company-sponsored source of communication. Crewmembers should assume at all time that they are representing the Company when engaging in any form of social networking.

Protect Confidential/Proprietary Information

As more fully described in JetBlue’s Confidentiality Policy, you are prohibited from disclosing confidential, proprietary, sensitive and/or trade secret information of JetBlue and other third parties. Such disclosures threaten JetBlue’s intellectual property rights, business relationships with third parties, and compliance with securities laws. Similarly, you may not provide a link from your personal blog to JetBlue’s website, nor use JetBlue trademarks including but not limited to logos or other proprietary images or information. Additionally, JetBlue may have certain rights in any inventions or concepts you create that relate to the Company’s business.

Be Respectful and Exercise Common Sense

JetBlue Crewmembers are a part of building and maintaining a respectful working environment. Blogs must not violate JetBlue’s conduct-related policies including Equal Employment Opportunity (harassment and sexual harassment), Values, etc. If posting to your blog or social networking site, be respectful of others; harassment of any Crewmembers or Business Partners will not be tolerated. Be aware that anyone including other Crewmembers, customers, vendors and business partners, can view your blog, facebook or twitter page while it is actively posted, and may even be able to view its contents after it has been deleted.

Company Time and Company Property

JetBlue’s Internet and Computer Use Policy governs all uses of company computer equipment. Consult this and other related policies in the Crewmember BlueBook before using company equipment for personal use. As described in the policy, JetBlue reserves the right to monitor use of Company-provided and company-owned computer equipment. Blogging must not occur during work hours or through the use of company-provided or company-owned computer equipment.

JetBlue in its sole discretion will determine whether a particular blog or social network posting violates JetBlue policies, Values, or operating procedures. As with all JetBlue policies, a violation of such policy may result in Progressive Guidance, up to and including termination. JetBlue further reserves the right to request Crewmembers refrain from commenting on topics related to JetBlue or if necessary, suspend the blog or social network site altogether if advisable for compliance with securities regulations or applicable laws. Failure to comply may result in Progressive Guidance up to and including termination.

Adherence to all JetBlue’s policies, guidelines, values, and operating procedures is required. Should you have any questions about this policy or how it may apply to your blog, please contact People Resources.


What are your thoughts on JetBlue’s social media policy? Add them in the comments!

Brands on Gowalla

A while back, I wrote a post called Brands on Foursquare. It seems to have served the community well, so I decided to cover one of Foursquare’s top competitors, as well, Gowalla.

While at SxSWi 2010, there was an all-out battle between Foursquare and Gowalla. I’ll tell you straight out that I’m a huge Foursquare fan. I’m such a fan that despite all of the promotions that Gowalla ran at SxSW, I vowed to only check in via Foursquare the entire time. As of writing this post, I have 57 badges and over 1,200 checkins logged on Foursquare.

As a professional in the social media space, though, I have to draw the line. I finally downloaded the Gowalla iPhone app today and logged my first check in. There’s no return from here. Once I join a social platform, I’m in testing mode. So, folks, here it goes.

For my first research endeavor, I will curate a list of brands with brand pages on Gowalla. Enjoy and let me know if there are any missing in the list below. Thanks!

Austin 360

Austin American-Statesman


CNN Money

Fort Worth, Texas


Longboards Ice Cream

National Geographic

Nets Basketball

NYC Media

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sierra Club

Snow.com (Vail Resorts)

University of Oklahoma

USA Today

Washington Post

First Week at Mashable

Woosh! It has been a crazy two weeks! Two weeks ago, I said goodbye to The New York Times, where I served as a social media consultant. The weekend following that, my Mom got married (re-married). And this week, I joined Mashable as a features editorial assistant, just a month after they celebrated the opening of their New York office.

I’m working with Managing Editor Sharon Feder on writing and editing supported features posts, while also collaborating with the entire features team: Josh Catone (features editor), Matt Silverman (associate features editor), Zachary Sniderman (features editorial assistant), Stephanie Marcus (features editorial assistant), and Amy-May Elliott (features writer).

Because Mashable is a small company, I’m excited to also have the opportunity to collaborate with everyone else as time goes by. Within the first week, I already feel like a part of the team. And if I had to sum up my first week in three words…

  • Awesome: Lame word, I know. But it’s always my fall-back word to describe things that are… well… awesome.
  • Inspiring: The company culture is open and encouraging. I feel inspired to create. It’s a great vibe.
  • Busy: It’s a positive sign when a company isn’t afraid to throw you right in there. After a quick orientation on my first day, I edited a few posts. And by the end of the week, I was averaging three to four posts edited per day. And I even wrote two posts! Needless to say, there wasn’t a moment to spare. It’s a fast-paced place.

Special thanks to the Mashable team for welcoming me with open arms. Here’s to a budding career at one of the top blogs in the world!

Faisal Shahzad’s Headline Photo is Sourced from Orkut

A screenshot of Faisal Shahzad's image on NYTimes.com, as sourced from Orkut.com

The recent creation of Facebook Open Graph opened a whole new can of worms regarding privacy on social networks. Now more than ever, the world is all a-buzz about privacy. But what about privacy for criminal suspects?

Faisal Shahzad, the suspect who admitted to attempting to explode a bomb in Times Square on May 1st, has been pictured across multiple news sites. Most of the pictures being used to depict the suspect are from Orkut and Facebook, social networking sites that Mr. Shahzad maintained profiles on. From a quick search on both sites, I couldn’t seem to find his profiles. But somehow, news agencies have managed to locate his photos and post them alongside the latest headlines.

How could an individual with a plan to unleash bombs in Times Square leave his online social presence completely unprotected from the media? Was he oblivious to the fact that his photos might some day be shared on national television and across the web without his authorization after his attempts at mass destruction? Or did he actually unknowingly give authorization to both sites to share his content with the world? Were the privacy settings too difficult to understand?

Maybe it was just that the default settings said, “Yes! Please obliterate my right to privacy,” and Mr. Shahzad didn’t realize it. Whatever the reason, I am amused to see “Orkut.com” as the source of these photos.

What are your thoughts on news sites sourcing Orkut and Facebook for photos? Do you think there are any privacy implications?

Vote Now in the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards

My favorite online sample sale website, ideeli, has partnered with Style Coalition to create the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards. The goal is to measure the best of style influence online. They need your help determining which brands engaged you, moved you, and inspired you to shop, dress, and think in 2009. There are 7 fabulous categories to vote on- so check out the poll here!

Vote now for The Innovator Award, Fashion 2.0!