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  • bio
  • rap sheet
  • connecting, speaking, et cetera
  • passion manifesto

bio – an unexpected digital odyssey

People are always asking me – “how did you wind up here…what made you get into digital in the first place?  My answer is quite simple – digital, strategy and innovation found me and knocked; I just happened to have the good sense to open the door and let them in.

I can honestly tell you, I didn’t plan to have this career.  No, I didn’t study computer science, engineering or even learn how to code things.  My original goal was to be a pediatrician so I could work with kids and help people.  One year of pre-med studies at UVa convinced me that I probably had not yet tapped into my true calling.  Instead, my fascination of people and their behaviors took greater hold of my academics and eventually directed me towards a psychology degree.  Little did I realize then that psychology would become an invaluable underpinning to the world of interactive media and marketing that awaited me.

Graduation came, followed by lots of soul searching, grad school contemplation and eventually a short stint at a temp agency.  My 4th temp gig led to a job at a not-for-profit focusing on environmental technology and sustainability where the founders had a rare vision of using the emerging world of the Internet to connect, communicate and collaborate across the industry.  My first assignment there was producing a pair of CD-ROMs for the White House’s Earth Day campaign.  The power of rich media storytelling and ability to engage all levels of creative and technical disciplines made it’s mark and I was hooked.  For the next decade, I began producing website communities, building digital brands and creating interactive consumer experiences that challenged conventional thinking each and every day.  I went on to work with the best and brightest in digital media and learned incredible innovation lessons at each step of the way.  Through it all, my psychology degree has served me immensely.  Because no matter how the technology evolved, understanding people’s motivation and behaviors and developing a sound strategy for applying technology to everyday lives proved to be the ultimate driver of success.

The last six years in this space have been the most dynamic yet – watching the semantic web unfold and seeing how both the consumer and business worlds respond has opened up an entire new world of inventiveness not seen since the early 20th century.  Mobile, social, augmented reality, big data are just at the beginning of their potential and I can’t wait to see where our generation takes it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog – for more on what makes me tick, check out my passion manifesto.  Note – the opinions and other musings expressed here and in other areas of the social web are mine alone and do not represent my employer or any other third-parties unless otherwise specifically stated.

rap sheet – career highlights

  • Brought Washington insiders together to develop and launch 3 unique digital environmental technology brand communities – early pioneer of content management systems, virtual private networks, online paid search programs and live chat events
  • Co-conspirator with Fortune 1000 brand managers to deliver online vision and roadmap for extending their flagship products and services to the Web – go-to agent in development of strategic web, kiosk and online display media expeditions featuring highly sophisticated global eCommerce and publishing capabilities
  • Led specialized design teams to execute social collaboration campaigns for global sporting events such as the Olympics and FIFA – strategic provocateur wielding extensive consumer internet behavioral analysis, digital media architectures and experience design
  • Assimilated global social content network platforms to support launch of new consumer brands in 30+ countries – transformative adopter of Facebook pages and groups, widgets, blogs and transmedia campaigns
  • Captured social media habits of the Fortune 500 to showcase best practices and maturity rankings within B2C and B2B segments – analytical veteran with a knack for separating the avant-garde online pacesetters from the rest of the digital Jones’
  • Concepted 2 first-of-its kind Facebook applications to drive social commerce through an integrated social loyalty rewards and content publishing program – passionate inventor driving digital cultural insights to develop practical solutions for business
  • Known to associate with convicted digerati, extreme visionaries and other disruptive parties in the interactive world at large – willing to debate various points of view on the value and future direction of emerging channels at the drop of a hat

To learn more about my doings in the industry – stop by my LinkedIn page

connecting, speaking, et cetera

I’m always on the lookout for slightly off the beaten path ideas and conversation.  If you enjoy bantering about the latest digital trends, .who’s next on the TechCrunch M&A block or what the &@^% where they thinking when they launched that latest social media campaign – drop me a line at info@iMediaAvenue.com or ping me via Twitter:  @iMediaMichelle

You can also find me at various events in and around Chicago or to hook up on the road – follow my Plancast feed.  Sorry, my FourSquare is on a first name basis only 😉

Those who know me swear I can talk about digital and innovation nearly non-stop (they’re not kidding, when I get going on my soapbox….you just wait and see).  Seriously, I enjoy speaking about my research, observations and the potential I’m seeing in the industry to whomever is willing to listen.  I’ve presented at various industry and customer conferences throughout my career – so feel free to give me a shout at info@iMediaAvenue.com regarding any speaking gigs.

Finally, if you are a fellow digital-media-strategist-social-business-interactive-disrupter type and would be interested in sharing your views via this blog or in an episode on my upcoming iMALIVE show (schedule to be announced later this year) as a featured guest – let me know via info@iMediaAvenue.com

passion manifesto

1 – Digital media is profoundly reshaping how we think, communicate and interact with one another – the possibilities are still largely untapped.  I’m always looking to push the digital envelope wherever and whenever I can.

2 – Bet y’all remember this one – “I need a website.  I don’t know why, I just know I need one”  Now it’s “I need a Facebook-Twitter-Pinterest-YouTube-SuperBlog”, deja vu anyone?  The bigger question is: what are you going to do with this great social media contraption once you have it?  Sound strategy is a pre-requisite no matter the emerging media de jour.

3 – Incremental innovation can get you profits and just keep you ahead of the business s-curve; bringing about game changing business & technology disruption is how you redefine your industry category and set the next bar.

4 – The way you present the content is nearly as important as the content itself – strong immersive creative always makes it mark.  Brand names and their customer experiences should stick from the get go.  If it ain’t stick-in, it ain’t click-in.

5 – 1+0 = hunch; 1+1 = working hypothesis; 1+3 = idea in action and 1+10 who can get you to the next 100 = idea being tested and enhanced in real-time.  Iterative collaboration inside and outside your walls is what truly leads you to the intersection of compelling and scalable.

6 – Simply put – walk your talk.  Whatever your ‘thing’ is it has to be reflected in the culture that you live in.  Invest in it daily or you’ll easily lose it.

7 – You get what you give.  People are the most worthwhile investments, especially those just starting to either embark or go to the next level in their career journeys.  I’m committed to intentional mentoring that cultivates the next-generation of innovators and philanthropists.  Stay tuned for more on this topic in future posts.

8 – If you’re going to work hard, play hard.  Great food, live music and travel escapes to new cities with friends all make for an excellent reboot…so does a mean game of dominoes or backgammon.  Game on if anyone is interested in a quick match.

 

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