Findery.com: The go to destination for armchair travelers and everyone else

standard September 18, 2014 2 responses

So, here’s the deal, I adore traveling. I love hotel rooms. I love walking around new places. I love, love, love discovering local treasures. Sadly, I don’t have the bank account to fund this love of mine, or the time to manage the jet setting lifestyle I wish I could live. Kids, life, responsibilities… it all colludes to keep me a veteran armchair traveler rather enjoying the real deal. Lucky for me, Findery.com has now made it easy for me to travel around the world doing everything I love without ever leaving my desk chair. Even better, should I eventually ever get to actually pack more than an overnight bag, I’ll already be in the know on all the great things not to miss where I’m going. What can I say about Findery.com? Imagine for a moment that Google Maps and Pinterest had a baby, well, that baby might look a bit like Findery. It’s awesome if you’re looking to research a destination – find the best place to grab a bite, the neatest sight, the “thing” you never thought you’d ever want to know and yet are so glad you discovered. It’s also awesome if, like me, you spend most of your time traveling virtually.

  Or, it’s perfect if you want to find the neat finds that you didn’t even know were in your neighborhood.

  I’m not going anywhere soon, so, in the meantime, I’ll just keep updating some of my own favorite notemaps so others can “travel” with me:

  Follow me on Findery.com and come explore the world with me. I can’t wait to see where you want to go too. If you’re a hard-core mobile user, you’re in luck. The Findery app was JUST released for Android (It’s already out on the Apple App Store). So, if you, like me, can’t resist the smell of fresh apps, download it now and come get your travel on! Findery on Android

Please note: Findery.com is one of my clients. As part of the work I do for them I have been compensated for this post. All words and opinions are mine and mine alone.  

The Facebook Conclusion

standard March 27, 2014 5 responses

I haven’t sworn off Facebook yet. I haven’t even taken a break. I don’t even think I’ve really reduced the amount of time I’m on there.

But, after a few weeks of really thinking about the issue, I am way more mindful of how I spend my Facebook time.

To start with, I’ve purged my following list. Gotten rid of all the people I “friended” because we had friends in common, because we were at the same conference, or because we met at some random event I can no longer remember. I was pretty callous. If I couldn’t remember meeting the person in the flesh or couldn’t remember any meaningful event that we communicated about I unfriended.

The result? A Facebook stream filled with information, comments, and anecdotes by people I actually know. Surprisingly refreshing.

But it’s not the only reason I decided to stick around for the duration.

I’ve already mentioned it, and it’s going to sound incredibly sad and shallow, but I know I’m not the only one for whom this is true, so I’m not ashamed to own it.

Facebook is where I get the bulk of my news.

OK, yes, I read the local and the hyper local papers (if by read we mean glance at quickly over breakfast), but the rest I glean from Facebook.

Why?

Well, first of all, I have a rather impressive array of international friends so people actually share international news. Second, it’s not all doom and gloom like the American televised news tends to be.

I don’t want to be scared by falsely sensationalized news reports. I want to be informed. Simple enough, right? And sometimes I want to read about the good stuff, the uplifting news, proof that there’s still good in the world.

So I read the articles my friends share. And I partake in the conversations they then have on their Facebook walls, or on mine if I feel moved to share the articles too. I drink my tea and nod my head, make a comment, and then I go on to the next article. For a minute it feels like I’m sitting at the bar of the local diner, having breakfast with my cronies, drinking coffee and pontificating on the state of the world.

I think I could live without the posts about my friends’ kids’ artwork (as cute as their creations might be) or about that lunch that those people shared last week, but the news thing will keep me coming back for a while yet. Without it I think I would feel disconnected from the world at large, and I find I like being connected.

In the end I think the secret to Facebook success is about finding a balance. Knowing when to turn it off and walk away. Realizing that you don’t have to be on there 24/7. You can pop in a couple times, see what’s being discussed, and move on.

With all the extra time I’m rediscovering, I’m making time to have coffee or lunch with friends, take the puppy on walks, and generally enjoy what the “real” world has to offer.

It’s not an either or kind of deal. It’s an “as well” deal. And I’m feeling a whole lot more connected and happy again.

*****
Want to follow my Facebook situation thought process? See below for the first two posts in the series:
What will we do after Facebook?
Is Facebook the reason we’re lonely?
 

What will we do after Facebook?

standard February 27, 2014 3 responses

Any long time reader of this blog will remember that I came to Facebook kicking, screaming, and dragging my heels all the way. I wanted to believe that Twitter would be the winning social network and had some serious trust issue with the big blue thumbs up.

Clearly, as the friends who have renamed it the JessicaBook will tell you, I’ve adapted.

I finally joined because I had to. From a social media marketer perspective, I couldn’t realistically do my job well without being active on the number one social media platform. And, bit by bit, I started using the site more and more.

You see, it became fun.

It became fun because my friends in England, Australia, Iraq, France, Nova Scottia, and other far flung places were sharing photos of their kids, kids I’m likely to never meet, kids I’m only ever going to see through these photos. They’re sharing tidbits of their lives with the world, with me. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter that my friend in Germany had eggs for breakfast, but for that split second it made me feel close to her, made me forget that I haven’t seen her in 15 years and probably won’t be seeing her any time soon.

It became fun because more and more of my American friends were joining. Blogging friends I only ever get to see at conferences. Writer friends who live in towns I’ve never even heard of. All of them, right there, in my computer. Sharing encouragement, stories about their days, highs and lows about working in our field.

It became fun because even my local friends were logging in. I know that I can walk up the street to see how my friend and her new baby are faring today, but how much more fun is it for me to see that she’s having a bad day so I can pop over with a comforting latte?

What was once a chore has become a lifeline of sorts. When I feel lonely sitting at my desk, I just have to open up a browser window and I have friends to talk to. When I’m struggling with something, I just have to share and soon enough I have lots of helpful (or not so helpful) advice. When friends inform me that they’re moving, my soul feel a hair less crushed than usual. They may be leaving, but I’ll still be able to “see” their kids grow, still be able to have them in my life.

Or will I?

More and more of my close friends have decided that they need time away from Facebook. They’ve recognized that, beyond being just a fun distraction, a quick way to check in with friends and family, it’s become an obsession, one that’s taking them away from their families and their face to face friends. And they’re stepping away. Deleting the app from their phones. Only checking in once a week or less.

A few years ago people were declaring a “time out” from Facebook, leaving for a couple days, and then coming back, lured back in a very tangible “Fear of Missing Out.” These days, people are saying they’re taking a quick break, walking away, and… not coming back.

I’m seeing the trend grow. It’s starting among the less tech savvy of my friends. Those for whom a cold turkey break hurts for a few days and then is easily replaced with something more wholesome. But I’m sure it’ll keep growing. I can easily imaging a time in the not so distant future when the only people who will remain are the lonely marketers like myself who will be struggling to figure out how to operate in a post Facebook world where paid marketing no longer has the reach it used to command and free marketing seems to be failing.

Soon enough, much like Twitter, Facebook will be a marketing wasteland.

And what then?

How did we keep up to date with our friends before Facebook?

Will we go back to writing letters? Emails? Sharing photos on Flickr?

Will I have to hope that the Europeans catch up and start sending photo holiday cards so that I can “see” my friends’ kids at least once a year?

Will we go back to the way things were BF (Before Facebook) or will we head off in a totally uncharted direction?

Will we have to go back to signing up to receive blog updates via email? Or keep links in bookmarks and remember to go check daily for new posts?

GASP, will people actually start commenting on blogs again?

One thing’s for sure. I doubt anyone at Starbucks wants me to stand around randomly saying things that pop through my head just to see if someone will be interested enough to reply. The JessicaBook is going to have to go back to living inside my head.

Invitation to a chat with a designer

standard April 25, 2013 2 responses

One of Little L’s favorite questions to ask is “How do they make that?” She asks it all the time, about all sorts of things. She wants to know what’s in food, in toys, in cars. She’s constantly trying to figure out the “why” behind everything.

To be fair, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, with only one difference. Instead of needing to understand how things work, I long to understand the motivations behind brands and companies. I live to know their conception stories. Once I know how and why a company started I feel a sense of loyalty to them, I can’t help it, it’s like I know them.

A few weeks ago the CEO and founder of a new flash sale site contacted me to see if I could help promote some sales.

“Whatever, another flash sale site,” you’re thinking. But no! This one is different than the Groupons of the world. This website is offering shoppers the chance to chat with the designers and creators behind the items being sold.

Be still my heart. 

How could I say no?

I’m helping with a first event taking place tomorrow (today?) Thursday, April  25th at 11:30am PST, a chat with Priya Saraswati of Saffron Rare Threads, and I would love to have you join us. The clothing being sold is gorgeous and fashionable and offers “structured silhouettes with feminine lines and timeless appeal.”

If the conversation from the last sale is anything to go by tomorrow’s chat is going to be incredible. 

Join me? Come check out this brilliant new site? Maybe snag a couple gorgeous new items to round out your wardrobe? You know you want to!

RSVP for the Saffron Rare Threads event
Take a ChatBasket.com tour!