Ashley E. Kingsley

Archive for the ‘New Media’ Category

SHE DID IT ANYWAY

In App Technology, New Media, Social Media, Twitter on June 5, 2012 at 5:36 am

 

leap-of-faith

Looking back, I cannot believe what just occurred. It almost feels as if it was a dream… and yet, I know, it wasn’t because I have aged, considerably.  It was a start-up. A beginning. A hope. A fear. A mountain. A valley. A success. Wow.

I find myself  sifting through the emails I filed under “Milestones” so I could begin to digest the last two years of my life, their meaning, significance and the enormity.

From what I have been told, timing is everything. Starting a company, with no plan, no money and no idea, is quite the serious undertaking. Good thing we had no idea what we were in for. We loved the idea and it had legs.

Kismet, indeed.  The stars aligned, yes. But we JUMPED. We moved quickly because we had too. The market was getting penetrated and we wanted a strong foothold.  So we worked, like dogs… and I mean, dogs.  The kids got seconds and our husbands got whatever little pieces that may have been leftover. Our baby, was our company.

Startups are messy and confusing, exciting, wild. Talk about being on a roller coaster.  Many people told us, “We couldn’t do it, not with kids, no way.” The more people told us we couldn’t, we did more, faster, better. Flat out, we set out to turn that notion upside down.  Between my partner and I, we had three kids under 3.  Breastfeeding, diaper changing, sleepless nights,  consistent illnesses, and not to mention just being new moms, WE DID IT ANYWAY. 

We experienced the highest of highs, and the LOWS… of the lows as well. One determines what those are based on a varying degree of things – and we had ours.  Some days were killer. Some days, killed.

The company grew fast and before we could even decide on a logo, we were turning a profit. It was unreal. We were hiring in every state of the Union less than 6 months in.  We were learning things we’d never set out to learn.  Within eighteen months, we were in 18 markets, on national news and radio regularly,  published in major news outlets and frequently asked to contribute our story  and experiences.

The tough part was that there was no time to really relish.  It was always GO TIME. If we weren’t dealing with tech issues, it was human resources, legal, or sales.  We were small and mighty, the wind was strong and sometimes destructive. But we didn’t give in.

And a lot of life happened too…

Between life and children, managing 26+ people  and markets nationwide, ensuring the best customer service in the industry (a promise I made to myself from the start), there was very little ME left. I gave it my all… and then some. So very, very proud.

Someone once told me that I’d never make it to college.  I now had, not only my traditional schooling, I had several Masters degrees in Business, Public Relations, Marketing, What Not to Do, Operations, Sleeplessness, you get the idea.

We did good and we are both proud to say, the “Start-Up” is no longer a Start-Up, but a company, being driven by one of the finest people I know, with one of the best teams imaginable.

We accomplished more with the company than I ever imagined possible. I am so, so very thankful for the experiences, the people I met along the way, the patience and the support from my family and deep kindness from the communities across the Country.

I sold my portion of the company in April 2012, exactly two years from inception. It was time for new adventures. One of the biggest adventures being a full-time stay at home mom for the summer months. This is something that scares me more than going after funding, talking to the media and having a server crash during a big announcement.  Yet, much like I did with the start-up, I am jumping in, literally, with two feet and no idea. I do know, the kids and I will make a splash this summer!

What a RIDE! A journey!

To be repeated. No doubt…

Private Life and Social Media

In App Technology, Facebook, Fail Whale, Leadership, New Media, Nimble, Social Media, Twitter, Women in Tech on August 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

KeyholeSocial media, (#SM) since I started using it back in 1998 has evolved exponentially.  This is not news.  People have gravitated to multiple  SM vehicles over the years. Sites such as MY SPACE, FACEBOOK, LINKED IN, TWITTER, and DIGG to name a few.  It seems just in the last few years the term SM has exploded and everyone is either a guru or a maven, or wants to be.

Everyone is using it. TWITTER is no longer for the birds. BLOGGING is a mainstream term and everyone has one.  SM as its own department is a growing trend in large and small corporations across the globe.

This is a shift. People finally understand the value of communications, mass listening, monitoring, and connection via SM. It’s powerful. Ahh, how refreshing;  we are getting to the same page.

Now, how do SM and private life intersect.  That is the question. This is my opinion.

Many choose to keep their online lives separate from their professional lives. This is common. After all, do you really want your boss to see your private goings on via your FACEBOOK page?  Most of you will say, “hell no!” I disagree.

I choose not to ‘hide’ my online presence from anyone. I am not afraid to show the dimensions that are ME.  I am human. Many would argue that people will not want to hire me because I have blogs under my name about MISCARRIAGES, health concerns, life in general, and oh, yeah, I use profanity.  I think this is small mindedness.

We are all multi-dimensional creatures with  access to amazing tools and devices that allow us to connect in real time with people all over the world. We all have private lives as well as professional lives; but dividing them would be a shame.  I choose to be ME online and off.  This is who I am and this is who you are going to get.  What a loss for so many if you have to hide half of who you are in the work place?  Sad, really.  I must admit, this has been a struggle for me as I would imagine it would be for many.

WHY I CHOOSE TO BE OPEN WITH PRIVATE LIFE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

What if you could connect via common themes with people that have NOTHING to do with business, or vice versa. Connect with people through business that you wouldn’t have ever met if it were just left to personal fodder? 

SCENARIO

You come across someone on TWITTER or FACEBOOK or what have you. After several TWEETS and POKES you decide to meet for coffee.  Over coffee you realize you could be colleagues, partners, client/service providers or even friends!  How much are we losing out if we keep our private and social lives baracaded? What if we don’t take the risk or being ourselves and putting our best foot forward?

Employers should (SHOULD) recognize that most people have an online presence of some sort and their professional lives are only part of who they are as people.  If you can be who you are all the way through then there are no surprises, right? A wider stream in which to swim and connect with as many fish as possible would behoove us and our relationships; potentially creating life long business partnerships, contacts, customers and need I say it, friends.

Last year I was consulting for a company during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  It was one of the most important weeks of my life.  I attended a panel on Global Poverty during my lunch hour and I TWEETED about it. Within a few hours my boss called me on the phone and asked where I was that afternoon? *He had a SOUR tone in his voice* and I knew where he was going with it. I replied “I was at a panel about Global Poverty during my lunch hour, why?”  He replied “I saw your TWITTER post and just wanted to ask.”   Well good for him for acting like big brother.  And good for me for being exactly who I am, doing my job and taking my lunch hour to learn about something that is important to me.

HOW

Be honest about your work and operate with integrity and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.  I managed eleven people during a consulting job and every single one of them is my friend on my FACEBOOK. Does this make me a good boss? Well, I will leave that to you. BUT,  I don’t have my head where the sun doesn’t shine… and I am aware, that yes, in fact, people do have lives outside of work!  I would rather connect on the human level rather than expect my employees or my employers to think I am just a robot.

I am proud of my experiences, my ability to chronicle my life through business, private or both.  Of course Private Life and Social Media intersect. If yours don’t- try it.  If you’re scared of opening yourself up then there is always an option to play it safe and create separate profiles; one private and one public.    Just don’t get confused… someone is always watching, or listening!

New Media Isn’t Going Away

In New Media on August 8, 2008 at 6:26 pm

It’s certain. New media is here to stay. What do I mean when I say new media? If you have heard of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or Twitter then you know what new media is.  How to use it and why are totally different animals.  I have spoken with so many people who think that these platforms are for the teenagers and they have no relevance in the business world.  I chuckle when I hear this from my parents and from business owners. Do they have any idea how powerful these platforms are?

No.

Top 10 Social Media Sites of 2008:

  1. Blogger (222 million)
  2. Facebook (200 million)
  3. MySpace (126 million)
  4. WordPress (114 million)
  5. Windows Live Spaces (87 million)
  6. Yahoo Geocities (69 million)
  7. Flickr (64 million)
  8. hi5 (58 million)
  9. Orkut (46 million)
  10. Six Apart (46 million)

Notice, Twitter and YouTube are not even mentioned? Big Fail.

TWITTER:   ( Join me @AshleyKingsley )

Microblogging site Twitter grew an unprecedented 752% in 2008 and has 4.43 million monthly unique visitors. As of the date of publication, there were 1,128,618,000  the site’s launch and if you watch the live counter, it moves faster than the world population clock. Twitter users are roughly 60% male, 40% female and 45% have a degree while 15% have a graduate degree. Half of the users’ household  income exceeds $75,000 and it’s no kid  network  20% are under age 35 while 40% are aged  45 and over and the most dense age group of users is aged 35 to 44 representing 40% of all users.

 

Takeaway Twitter Statistics:
Grew 752% in 2008, 4.4 million unique monthly visitors
1,128,618,000 tweets so far
60% of users are male, 40% are female
45% have a college degree, 15% have a graduate degree
50% have household incomes over $75,000
20% are under 35,  40% are aged 35-44, 40% are 45 and older

 

YOUTUBE:

The video sharing site, YouTube is a great example of video viewing trends online.  Although the site’s traffic only grew 21% in 2008, YouTube has 258 million users, half of which visit at least weekly. An average of 100 million videos are viewed every day, over  5 billion videos have been uploaded and 13 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. What’s incredible about the site is that it hosts 44% of all online video(14)and did you know that 75% of Internet users view online video?

 

Takeaway YouTube Statistics:
21% growth in 2008, 258 million users, hosts 44% of all online video
5 billion videos uploaded
13 hours are uploaded every minute
100 million videos are viewed every day
75% of Internet users view video

Astounding trends and growth. We are on the cusp of major transitions in how we utilize, consume and share media, news and communications.  To me, what is mostly repeatedly mind boggling, is the pushback I get from Small Business owners when I pitch them low cost media solutions to grow their business, as well as create and expand their brand awareness.

In the days and months ahead, I hope to see more adopting New Media and join the conversation online, where it all seems to be moving.

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