Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Media

I started working in the Social Media industry back in October of 2009 for a company called Lunch is a social review site that allows their users to build out a profile, rate and review any and everything, and moderate and join communities. In October when I took the job, I didn’t even really know what Social Media was other than the Wikipedia definition of it. “Social Media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” In lame man terms, Social Media is Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, and so on. Any website that allows its users to meet up and socialize on their platform by networking, posting pictures, sharing information, etc. Just within the last 10 years Social Media has moved from only a few hundred people involved to hundreds of millions of people due to the easy availability of the Internet and smart phones. Facebook alone has over 350 million users, which is more than the population of the US. Yet even though there are tons of articles and publication about the possibilities of Social Media for students, business owners, entrepreneurs, politicians and pretty much anyone in the world, my eye weren’t opened to these possibilities until I went to South By South West in Austin, Texas.

Knows as the Spring Break for geek, the South By South West Interactive (SXSWi) conference allowed me to meet and talk with tons of people involved in some walk of Social Media. From meeting young Internet startup entrepreneurs to listening to the CEO of Twitter Evan William @ev speak, I learned the who, what, when, where and why of Social Media. After running around Austin chasing down Gary Vanerchuk @garyvee a wine selling video blogger, to make a showing at one of his famous wine parties to seeing beautiful women throw themselves at guys whose only reason for being popular was the fact that they had 50,000 followers on Twitter made me realize this industry is no all nerds and geeks sitting around in their dorm room crunching algorithms, yet an industry made of entrepreneurs and MITs (Millionaires in Training).

Take Pete Cashmore @petecashmore for instance; a 24 year old Social Media blogger who stared his company called Mashable in a little town in Scotland. Mashable is now like the CNN of Social Media and what did this guy do? He wrote about a few things on Social Media and before he knew it was the CEO of one of the biggest Social Media site that brings in more than 15 million page views a month. Or take Kevin Rose @kevinrose who spent under $3000 to start, which is now one of the biggest web content distributors known to man. Now you might be asking, “What does having 15 million monthly visitors to your website mean?” Well, it means a lot. In fact if driving just a million people to you site a month is impressive and if you can get advertisers interested in posting ads on your site you can make lot of money. Also, a business owner, you may be interested if not stupid to not spend a little dough to have 15 million people looking at your logo a month.

The interesting thing to me about this industry is how fast it moves and how innovative the people are. You can never expect for nothing new to show up. In fact you’ll never expect what’s coming next and think to yourself, “Damn… Why didn’t I think of that?” But it’s okay because that’s what’s great out this industry, you can always come up with something new and innovative that someone may not have thought about. Just 5 years ago I was talking about how great it was to look at old pictures that my friends from high school posted on my Facebook and now I’m tweeting ever 5 minutes linking up my geo-locating account on Gowalla to Twitter to let everyone know where I am and what I’m doing at that moment. If you asked me 5 years ago what I thought the future of Social Media would like, my guess would be nowhere near what it is now. Side note: Geo-location in the next big thing in Social Media. Trust me! Get onboard! It’s the future.

So where do you fit in, in this world of Social Media? Well whether you’re user, marketer, entrepreneur, or just looking to meet someone new, Social Media has a spot for anybody and if you can find your fit or your place, make one, and who knows, you might just walk away a millionaire.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Infill

While diving home the other night I came to a red light and noticed there was a Starbucks on one corner and another Starbucks in a strip mall across the street. Initially I laughed, and then got slightly annoyed. I thought to myself, what a waste of money to have 2 Starbucks across the street from each other. Wouldn’t that be cannibalism? I’ve heard of this before but never thought it truly existed. Yet, I didn’t allow myself to stop there. I felt there had to be a reason why this was okay in the business world.

Realizing that there was no way Starbucks was in the market for cannibalism I decided to research this a bit. I found out that Starbucks, along with other companies, do this strategically for various reasons. Starbucks calls it “infill” for the idea of having a Starbucks on every corner. They’ve said it is beneficial for Starbucks to have stores across the street from each other which actually helps sales. When people are in a situation where there is a Starbucks across the street, because Starbucks coffee tends to be more expensive than other coffee shops, some people wouldn’t cross the street. Yet, if there were a Starbucks on the same side of the street as them, they would step inside for a Grande Decaf, Non Fat, No Foam Latte.

Thinking about this I’ve realized that Starbucks not only has found a way to get customers in their doors, they’ve pretty much checked off everything on the list for marketing their brand. One thing pops into mind: location, location, location. Starbucks has every location so they don’t need to worry about this. So remember the next time you see 2 Starbucks across the street from each other, they’re doing that because you were too lazy to cross the street.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Two recent situations that have come up in my life helped me to see how important communication is in the professional world. The first one was something that came up this past week while I was at work. As a marketing team we realized that we needed to be more open with each other on what each of are working on and what is going go with each person we are working with outside of the company. Not only is it easier on the rest of the team to know what’s going on with the rest of the team, but allows for the entire team to check up on one another to make sure everyone is in check. Sometime it may seem a little overbearing to have someone constantly knowing what is going on, but ultimately it is the best way to make sure the team is working with his or her mind focused on the same final goal.

The second situation that came up was from a new TV Show called Undercover Boss. In the show the top level CEOs and Presidents of major corporate companies go undercover to entry-level positions to see what it is like working at those levels of the very company they are running. At first the I thought the show might have been a fake reality show that tells the viewer that the people involved have no idea what’s going on, when they really do. Regardless, this show uncovered something for me that really helped me understand how great companies are that have a horizontal shape rather than vertical shape. By allowing the employees of a company who are at the lowest points in the company be able to talk and communicate with the people on top, it allows for the presidents and CEOs to understand what is going on in the lower levels of the company rather than having the CEOs just guess or think they know what’s going on.

Ultimately, communication is a major factor in running a successful operation, whether it’s playing soccer or running a multimillion-dollar organization. If everyone in the company can communicate and talk with each other, not only will the employees be happier, there will be higher productivity. It is key to understand everything that is going on throughout all the different levels of a company.

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Post!

This blog is for me to write about anything and everything I encounter while I walk through the professional world. My blog posts could be about anything from insight and stuff I learn to ideas for future ventures. I guess the best idea for my first blog post would be my background and where I’m currently at in my career.

A little background on me, I studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing while in college. I attended Marymount College for 2 years then transferred to Loyola Marymount University to finish out my last 2 years. While at Marymount I was able to really figure out what type of business I wanted to study. I decided to study marketing, which I felt geared towards my personality and me best.

In the late summer of 2006 I transferred to LMU. While at LMU I was lucky enough to study abroad in Bonn, Germany for a semester. Living in Germany not only allowed me to have a different perspective on other cultures, it really allowed me to understand business on a global scale. While in Germany I was able to tour and meet with many European companies such as DHL and government organizations such as the European Central Bank.

After graduating from LMU, I took a marketing position at my family business for a year. During that time I also co-founded a business called International Baseball Connect. The company started out with not much direction, but we shortly figured out what we wanted to do and IBC became a placement service for baseball players to play ball around the world.

In October of 2009 I took a full time marketing position with an Internet start up called The founder of Virtual Tourist started Lunch after he sold VT to Expedia. I still currently work at as a Social Media Coordinator. I promote the website and do all that I can to bring on new users, build the brand, and ultimately work to turn into a top 100 website.

To finish off this blog post I want to talk about my plans for the future of my career. I have just finished submitting all my applications to law school. I want to attend law school to meet my goal of one day going into Athlete Representation. Yes, a Sports Agent. I’ve learned a lot about the industry and I realize it is probably one of the toughest industries out there. Yet that doesn’t scare me or make me think twice, but rather excites me and makes me eager to get out into the Athlete Representation world to show what I am capable of!