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Mark Traphagen
Works at Stone Temple Consulting
Attended Westminster Theological Seminary
Lives in Durham NC
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Mark Traphagen

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This is my #marketing  crusade...

Brands who nurture and encourage employee personal brands,
people passionate about their business who develop their own loyal audiences,
who create content and engage on topics relevant to the company brand,
those people create unique and powerful relational connections for those brands, connections that may not have happened any other way.

Read the post below I wrote for +Moz to find out why PBRs (Personal Brand Representatives) are so powerful, and what they could do for your business.

The Ideal: The company brand is well-represented by a stable of powerful and beloved people.

+Moz is a great example in our industry: +Rand Fishkin +Cyrus Shepard +Pete Meyers +Erica McGillivray +Jennifer Sable Lopez and more.

The Reality for many brands though, is that they are not quite ready for the full-blown PBR strategy. Even launching one PBR may be difficult.

For that reason in the weeks and months ahead I'm going to be creating a content series that gives brands the incremental steps to get from Reality to the Ideal.

And BTW, not all brands need to go all the way to "Ideal." There will be actionable material for everyone in this series.

Watch this space!
 
Personal Brand Representatives: What They Are and Why Your Brand Needs Them
More and more brands realize their is real business value in humanizing their brand via content and social media. But far fewer have taken the next step: nurturing and supporting real in-house personal brands to represent the brand. Learn how to harness the incredible power that happens when people connect with real people associated with your brand.
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+Martin English to what does "this" refer? To my concept of Personal Brand Representatives? Because that's what this post is about. If not, please send me a private message with your concerns. I'd rather not derail the discussion here.
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This is a great track showing why Bill Mallonee​ is the greatest singer-songwriter you never heard of. 

He has out now a 23 song live album from the period when his band the Vigilantes of Love were at their peak. #plusonly  
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+Mark Traphagen  I'm enjoying this album a lot so far, I'll try to find a CD as well.
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Finally on the gut ‪#‎warpath‬. Tracking food & exercise on ‪#‎fitbit‬. Down 3.3 lbs in first week. ‪#‎doingit‬

+Karyn Traphagen was right. There is no substitute for tracking the calories. Why is she always right?

#plusonly  
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+Craig Burton run faster!

I was very happy with my weight until having to cut out my more intensive exercise habits.... (I'm not allowed to run anymore so I won't say how much I weighed ;o)  it's been slowly catching up with me- almost 3 years now. Pretty much sucks.
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A Look at Possible Dinosaur Feathers
 
How cool is this? Evidence has been mounting that our modern birds are the most direct living ancestors of the dinosaurs.
 
From +io9 #plusonly
Today a group of paleontologists announced the results of an extensive study of several well-preserved dinosaur feathers encased in amber. Their work, which included samples from many stages in the evolution of feathers, bolstered the findings of other scientists who've suggested that dinosaurs (winged and otherwise) had multicolored and transparent feathers of the sort you might see on birds today. The researchers also presented evidence, based ...
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+Marcus Holland Very true! I have always accepted it as fact. Funny - I didn't realize that some did not until today. 
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I'll be the guest of +Zara Altair on her Midweek Marketing Zap show this Wednesday.

Zara is going to ask me about my idea that part of marketing is actually educating prospects, not telling them what they want to hear or think about, but leading them toward what they should be thinking about.

And with the 80+ degree temperatures in Durham this week, there's a pretty good chance there won't be the snow that kept me off air the last time Zara tried to have me on!

#plusonly  
 
Prospect education. How do you show you prospects what they should be thinking about?+Mark Traphagen  of +Stone Temple Consulting  chats about teaching your prospects to think in new ways. We hear about knowing your prospect and getting into their head, but what should you do to get them really engaged?

Responding Yes or Maybe will set a reminder so you can catch the replay.)

Watch live at Actation Now! http://actationnow.com/this-weeks-zap/
*Hashtag: #MWZlive * Please use for your tweets and when sharing out the show.

Like the topic? Know someone that will enjoy it? Invite your friends! 

Love the show? Become a patron for just $1 a month.http://www.patreon.com/ZaraAltair

About Mark:

Tagline
Social Media Marketing | Content Marketing | Personal Brand Authority
Introduction
As Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, I'm responsible for raising the awareness of STC's renowned services for our many Fortune 500 level clients. 

What can you expect me to talk and engage about? Social Media Consulting + Social Media Marketing + Content Marketing +Inbound Marketing + Internet Marketing + Google+ Business Pages + Paid Search Advertising and anything to do with connecting on the web!

My mission is to help you get seen and heard, to get your message out and bring in people who want and need what you have to offer. My special know-how is in the intersection of social and search.

I'm the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, one of the leading online marketing agencies in the United States.

On Google+ you'll see me posting and sharing mostly about social media and how we can more effectively use it to collaborate and transform our world.

My Creds: 

Active user every day since Google+ Day 3
In the Top 500 of US G+ users according to CircleCount.com
The Stone Temple Digital Marketing Excellence Blog
Social Media Marketing columnist for Marketing Land
Published on Search Engine Land, Moz (Featured Author),Social Media Today and many other top publications.
All my LinkedIn Pulse articles
Speaker at major conferences across the US, including MozCon, SMX, and Pubcon
Read and subscribe to my Flipboard Magazines. I daily curate there the best online marketing related news, tips, and articles I run across all over the web:

Google+ Plus Power http://flip.it/IxUeA
Online Marketing Daily http://flip.it/h2nXP
SEO Search Engine Optimization Daily http://flip.it/7LvQK
Available to speak at your conference! Also for press, podcast, and webinar interviews. Contact me through this profile or the email address below.

Personal Stuff


Married for over 30+ years to Karyn Louise Murphy Traphagen. Two grown-and-married daughters; six grandchildren.#nerdfighter #DFTBA!

I've competed in The Monti storytelling event (winning a StorySlam and runner-up in a GrandSlam), and joined a New Orleans-style second line band called the Bulltown Strutters.

Cover photo courtesy of Dustin W. Stout & Weal Media. Profile image by Jennifer Rich.

All posts and opinons expressed by me on Google+ are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or any other organization with which I might be connected.

Elsewhere

My home blog is at Stone Temple Consulting. I write the Social Media Marketing column for Marketing Land, I also contribute toMoz, Search Engine Land, Maximize Social Business, Social Media Today and many other top digital marketing sites.

I have spoken at numerous industry conferences, including MozCon, Pubcon, SMX (Advanced, East, West & Social Media), and SearchExchange.

I tweet at @marktraphagen

Finally, let me leave you with a benediction, courtesy of my friend Eli Fennell:

In nomine Google, et Long Tail, et spiritus AuthorRank.

Bragging rights
Old enough to have an Early Adopter Badge from Foursquare for Planet Earth | The Monti StorySlam Winner & GrandSlam Runner Up

f you came to the show and commented in the events page, you will be put in a notification circle to be invited to future shows.
Host +Zara Altair  created *The Midweek Zap*to help you develop an online strategy that works for you and your business. You are here!
Go to Actation Now! website to view all original events plus articles to help you create and sustain your web presence.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Zara Altair. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
Preview
Live
Midweek Zap - Level Up On Wonder
Wed, April 22, 3:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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+Mark Traphagen Melt down! Temperature here on Wednesday will be about the same.
So happy you will be on the show. 
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Clicked through to the linked article and in the first paragraph I was confronted with an unsubstantiated claim.

He quotes Scott Galloway as claiming a "97% reduction in engagement year-over-year" on Google+. The link in that paragraph goes to another article by the same author, in which he quotes Galloway as claiming a "97% reduction in users" (which is it, engagement or users?).

In neither case is their any citation of or link to any data supporting those statements.

Shared by +jd quinitchette  #plusonly  
 
"The key to this approach is to identify a segment of customers whose needs are not being met and generate more value for that segment sooner."

This is just about the only statement in this article that reads true for me. (Thanks for sharing, +Clare Cosgrove !)

Clearly, Steve Denning hopes G+ will roll over and die so he won't have to write any more articles about its unfortunate passing.

I'm not sure what Google is doing about The Plus internally, but over all, The Stream seems to have no lifeguards  !   Every community is set up with moderators who know how to police them.  Not the main stream.  Google might be so smart its stupid because apparently, no one has been hired to watch the water  .  

I've been around since 2011 (12?), when my son and I were invited to an HOA to celebrate the new +Alicia Keys cd.  It was a magical experience, complete with a frantic LiLi flaming out over a tech glitch.  Her husband was like, "BABY"   Malachi and I could not believe our great good fortune as we sat and watched one of our favorite artists be a real person.  

I thought it was a portent of things to come.  There were some really fun times with people I'd wallop now if I met 'em IRL.  See, now I'm getting to it.

IF GOOGLE PLUS DIES, IT WILL BE BECAUSE MARKETING MACHIAVELLIS  KILLED IT WITH THEIR FAKERY, CRONYISM AND LIES
And the fact that the only way Google seems to know how to intervene here is reactively, i.e., SHUTTING DOWN FEATURES THE CARTELS ARE ABUSING, INSTEAD OF CALLING THEM TO ACCOUNT

Yes, I'm yelling.

Legitimate social media marketers are marginalized, ostracized, bullied and threatened with financial ruin IF THEY DO NOT KISS ASS. GOOGLE IS ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN.  

A few self-important blowhards are going to implode this platform, unless Google makes them stop.  They'll just take their snake oil somewhere else, and the non-marketers won't have any idea why their favorite internet watering hole just dried up and blew away.
Google needs to rethink its mission statement and delight its customers
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Ironically, irony only exemplifies ironic actions, if the context lacked narrative, leaving the thought process as moot. +AJ Kohn   
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What am I proudest of in my life? Anything I've accomplished in my career? Any awards I've won? Any shoutouts from famous people?

No. Here's my list:

1. My wife +Karyn Traphagen who advances the frontiers of science, and is primarily responsible for the success of #2 and #3 (which are not in any order of importance!)
2. My daughter +Sarah Free who recently left a successful career as a biomedical researcher to enroll in nursing school, because she wants to help people hands-on.
3 My daughter +Hannah Walden who is pioneering new ways to use technology in the classroom.

That's my list. #ItsTime2015 #plusonly
 
We want to know what YOU think It's Time for.
Play to win a 3 day all-access pass to It's Time Conference.

In 2 weeks, a  a select group of powerful organizations, women and men will get together to achieve gender equity and empower women and girls at all levels to be leaders. You can be there too!

Here's how the game is played
It's 2015, yet many social dynamics haven't changed. We want to know what you think It's Time for.

1. Share your own story - in a post, in an image, in a short video - and let us know what YOU think It's Time for. You can share it all over the web - Google+, Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Pinterest, your own blog. Have fun!

2. *Use the Hashtag #itstime2015 * so that we can track it with +NOD3x 

3. Spread the word get as many shares and comments as you can for that post, and other posts.

4. You have 5 days to really rock it! We'll announce the winners on Thur. April 23, 2015 at noon CST.

Need inspiration?
I'll start - 

It's time for each of us to find our unique voice and share it with the world. Gone is the chase of the shiny object. Gone are the day of copying others. Gone is the pursuit of external pacifiers, Novocains for the soul.
It's time to discover our passion, what truly fuels us, stand up and - unapologeticly - grab it with both hands and drown in its bliss.
That's what life is about, and it's time for all of us to have a taste. and then the whole cup. Why not? ;)

A great example of it is +Mia Voss  - 
Mia Voss recently took a 3 week birthday celebration trip to Italy.. all by herself! Even when faced with a breakup and a cancer scare, Mia chose to push forward and celebrate her 50th birthday and celebrate with wine, restaurants & building new connections in another country. Lesson learned: just do it. YOU can do it. 

YOUR TURN
What do you think It's Time For?

Let us know. We're tracking :)

-------------
#contest  
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Got your priorities in order +Mark Traphagen!
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Being Sane with Social Media Automation

I'm with +Dustin W. Stout on this one. Those who reject automation completely leave opportunities on the table. Those who automate fully don't even create opportunities.

The linked post by +Demian Farnworth of +Copyblogger  lays out a very sane approach to balanced automation.

#plusonly  
 
The Proper Way to Automate Your Social Media Activities
and 5 Other Best Practices

Social Media automation can be a touchy subject. There are people with polarized views on both sides of the table. There are documented pros and cons on both ends.

So what side should you take?

My advice is that you should land somewhere in the happy middle.

Be human first, and add automation in moderation for added efficiency.

+Demian Farnworth seems to mirror my views in his article.

I'm currently in the middle of some testing on full automation (some of you smarty pants may have noticed). It's mostly because I hate just taking people's word for things, and it's always best to test theories yourself if you can.

At the end of the day, make the right choice for your audience and try to let your social media channels be an extension of your personality and values. That is what will resonate with your audience.

Automating some of your social media content may be beneficial for both you and your audience, but follow these six tips when you determine your strategy.
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/sub (again) more to say on this tomorrow
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A Truly Awful Google+ Hatchet Job on Forbes Exposed

As some of you know, I've made it my policy for some time now not to waste time responding to the "Google+ is dead" articles that sprout up from time to time like weeds on a spring lawn. 

But the recent rash have been so bad, so poorly researched and argued, that I had to end my silence.

My next +Marketing Land column (which should publish next week, I think) deals with the main arguments in recent articles by +Larry Kim and +Travis Wright.

But in this post I'm commenting on a new Forbes post by Steve Denning titled "Five Reasons Why Google+ Died." In a response today +Mike Elgan dealt very well with a number of Denning's reasons, including a very bad misunderstanding of a quote by Elgan that Denning doesn't even correctly attribute. You can read Elgan's post at http://goo.gl/FH6DJ5.

I want to address a statistic quoted in the introduction of Denning's article. He quotes +Scott Galloway as stating that Google+ had a "97% decline in engagement rate, year over year." (The actual figure is 98%, as you'll see later, but that's the most inconsequential of Denning's errors.)

That's a pretty stunning claim. I wanted to see the actual study, where its data came from and its methodology. No context was given around the number.

In response to my comment on the Forbes article asking for that information, Denning referred me to a previous article of his, which linked to another article. That article had an embedded video of a talk by Galloway, in which he states the 98% drop in engagement as evidence that Google+ has failed, showing for a few seconds a bar chart with that stat.

But still no link to or citation of, in the article or video, whatever study this data came from. 

It took me almost an hour to track down the original study from which the "98% drop in engagement" comes, but eventually I found it.

It's at https://www.l2inc.com/research/social-platforms-2014. Turns out that L2 is Scott Galloway's own research company. 

The full report is for "members only." I entered my email address to get the download of the non-members version. It turns out to be only an excerpt, and does not contain the methodology or any details on how the data was obtained.

As far as I can discern, L2 looked at the social profiles of about 300 brands. So first off, this is only a study of brand profiles on social media.The study does not look at regular users at all. Which means to use it as a source to proclaim overall engagement is fallacious. 

When I dig down further in the excerpt, I saw that there was a lot more to the story.

Yes, of the 300 some brands they surveyed, Facebook is killing it. But if you look at the rest of the story, Google+ is doing at least as well as, and sometimes better than., the other secondary social networks. 

The ballyhooed "98% drop in engagement rate" (engagements per follower) occurred, according to the study, from July 2013 to July 2014. While that drop is  the worst among the networks surveyed, all of the networks had drops including Facebook, which dropped 13%. 

If you look at the other stats, you get a broader story. 

In the time period studied (again, July 2013 to July 2014), the surveyed brands increased followers on Google+ by 41% (compared to an increase for Facebook of 38%). Moreover, the absolute number of followers for Google+ was the highest of any network (960K, compared to FB's 781K).

Also, brand engagement per post went up 67% on Google+, while only 26% on Facebook. 

So you see, you can prove whatever you want, it just depends on which stat you choose.

And in this case, those numbers only apply to a very small sample of brand pages, not to all users of the networks, as the Forbes writer assumed.

These days I always want to add to these posts that I come neither to praise Google+ nor to bury it (sorry, Shakespeare!). I'm not going after this as a G+ fanboy, but simply because I hate misinformation.
Google needs to rethink its mission statement and delight its customers
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+Christian Nalletamby the study PDF excerpt I downloaded says 98%.
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POLL: Which Version Do You Prefer?

Google+ AutoAwesomed a photo of mine, and I'm not sure it was an improvement. Which do you prefer? Vote below: AA version on the left; original on the right.

#plusonly  
94 votes  -  votes visible to Public
36%
64%
AutoAwesome Version
36%
Original
64%
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Original. The "awesome" greens are bilious and the blur at the edges, which force the focus to the centre, is dishearteningly disney-ing. ;)
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Sometimes I love me the AutoAwesome, and sometimes it makes me cringe.

Cringe case here. I usually like what #autoawesome  does with my photos, but in this case it took a lovely shot I took on my walk today of a pond near my home and turned it into a post-nuclear-disaster horror show.

#plusonly  
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The #autoawesome is good for turning candid photos into works of art - but if you allow your deliberate, well considered and framed photos to be manipulated by auto awesome, then the photo can only go one way and that is downwards +Mark Traphagen
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As usual, bang on analysis from +Eli Fennell 

#plusonly  
 
Is Facebook Becoming a Bubble for Advertisers?

Facebook is the #2 online advertising giant, and their advertising revenue is growing faster than market leader Google.  More importantly to their bottom line, much of this growth is coming from large brand advertisers.

Great for Facebook, but is it good for their advertisers?  Not necessarily.  Large brand advertisers tend to use Facebook much as they use other national and international ad platform: they're dumping budget surpluses, targeting broad swathes of users instead of fine grained targeting, or focusing on metrics like getting Likes and "Engagement" which, for smaller businesses, are often no better than vanity metrics.

Increasingly this means that, unless your target niche is extremely specific and valuable, your targeted ad budget will be facing off against the "Spray and Pray" ad strategy of larger companies.  And, if your business needs Direct Response business, your attempts to acquire this valuable traffic source will compete in the News Feed with brands trying to get Likes, Shares, etc...

None of this is necessarily an indictment of Facebook.  Their enormous national and international audience is almost beyond compare for a single product (only Google Search and YouTube readily come to mind as being near the same scale), and would inevitably attract large advertisers, many of whom would inevitably be less interested in microtargeting than in achieving maximum brand exposure.  It was also inevitable that, with advertisers competing in the same News Feed for sales, leads, Likes, "Engagement", etc..., that the cost of some types of advertising would increase disproportionately, hurting small businesses and startups the most.

The platform is mature, which means that in the same way small players rarely target Short Tail Keywords in Google Search anymore, focusing instead on the Long(er) Tail Keywords their larger rivals aren't dominating, Facebook advertising for small players will become more about finding targeted niches where either the competition for News Feed exposure is lower, or where you can justify spending more on those niches than larger rivals while still earning a return larger than your investment.

As Facebook itself would concede, the amount of stuff they can show in any News Feed isn't going to increase by much, and they can't show every Status Update let alone every targeted ad.  This means more competition, and less room for smaller players.
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+Vincent Messina +Mark Traphagen +Eric Enge great dialogue 
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Education
  • Westminster Theological Seminary
    M.A.R. in Biblical Studies, 2004 - 2009
  • Liberty University
    B.A. Interdisciplinary.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Networking, Friends
Birthday
July 21
Relationship
Married
Other names
trappermark, the Foolish Sage, sagethefool
Story
Tagline
Social Media Marketing | Content Marketing | Personal Brand Authority
Introduction

As Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, I'm responsible for raising the awareness of STC's renowned services for our many Fortune 500 level clients. 

What can you expect me to talk and engage about? Social Media Consulting + Social Media Marketing + Content Marketing + Inbound MarketingInternet Marketing + Google+ Business Pages + Paid Search Advertising and anything to do with connecting on the web!

My mission is to help you get seen and heard, to get your message out and bring in people who want and need what you have to offer. My special know-how is in the intersection of social and search.

I'm the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting, one of the leading online marketing agencies in the United States.

On Google+ you'll see me posting and sharing mostly about social media and how we can more effectively use it to collaborate and transform our world.

My Creds: 

Read and subscribe to my Flipboard Magazines. I daily curate there the best online marketing related news, tips, and articles I run across all over the web:

Available to speak at your conference! Also for press, podcast, and webinar interviews. Contact me through this profile or the email address below.

Personal Stuff

Married for over 30+ years to Karyn Louise Murphy Traphagen. Two grown-and-married daughters; six grandchildren. #nerdfighter #DFTBA!

I've competed in The Monti storytelling event (winning a StorySlam and runner-up in a GrandSlam), and joined a New Orleans-style second line band called the Bulltown Strutters.

Cover photo courtesy of Dustin W. Stout & Weal Media. Profile image by Jennifer Rich.

All posts and opinons expressed by me on Google+ are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or any other organization with which I might be connected.

Elsewhere

My home blog is at Stone Temple Consulting. I write the Social Media Marketing column for Marketing Land, I also contribute to Moz, Search Engine Land, Maximize Social Business, Social Media Today and many other top digital marketing sites.

I have spoken at numerous industry conferences, including MozCon, Pubcon, SMX (Advanced, East, West & Social Media), and SearchExchange.

I tweet at @marktraphagen

Finally, let me leave you with a benediction, courtesy of my friend Eli Fennell:

In nomine Google, et Long Tail, et spiritus AuthorRank.

Bragging rights
Old enough to have an Early Adopter Badge from Foursquare for Planet Earth | The Monti StorySlam Winner & GrandSlam Runner Up
Work
Occupation
Sr. Director of Online Marketing: Social Media Marketing - Google+ Marketing - Content Marketing - SEO - Organic Link Building
Skills
SEO, social media marketing, link building, content marketing, writing, content production, blogging, speaking
Employment
  • Stone Temple Consulting
    Senior Director of Online Marketing, 2014 - present
    Responsible for strategic planning and implementation of the online branding, promotion, and reputation of Stone Temple Consulting, as well as specialized consulting with selected Stone Temple clients.
  • Virante Inc.
    Director of Digital Outreach, 2011 - 2013
  • Virante Inc.
    Internet Marketing Analyst, 2009 - 2011
  • Westminster Bookstore
    Manager of Online Marketing
  • The Covenant School (Charlottesville VA)
    Assistant Administrator of Lower School
  • Abbot Laboratories
    IV Products Sales Representative
  • Uarco Business Forms
    Account Manager
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Durham NC
Previously
Youngstown OH - Columbus OH - Dayton OH - Muskego Lake WI - Menomonee Falls WI - Indianapolis IN - San Antonio TX - Cedar Grove NJ - Ramsey NJ - Cortland NY - Lynchburg VA - Hoolehua HI - Charlottesville VA - Glenside PA - Wyncote PA
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Absolutely amazing. Some of the best French food I've had anywhere. The owner is a delight.
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If you want to experience all the charm, elegance, and nostalgia of 19th century Lancaster PA first-hand, you'll do no better than a stay at Ascot House. My wife and I stayed two nights here while attending a wedding in a nearby town. We first fell in love with the town itself. Market Street, it's main street, is like a museum of 19th century architecture. You'll see it all there, from log cabins to Federal style, Duch Colonial, etc. But staying at Ascot House makes the experience even better. Owner Wendy has done an incredible job to restore this c. 1812 townhouse while subtly including modern conveniences that made our stay enjoyable. We arrived in the afternoon and after settling in enjoyed a fabulous wine and cheese snack on the veranda overlooking the spectacular back garden that Wendy created as her first project after buying the house. Part of a good B&B experience is an interesting and gracious host, and Wendy excels in those categories. She retains most of her delightful English accent though she's lived in the US almost 30 years. And she brings a touch of British polish and charm to the Americana of Ascot House, including to her delicious breakfasts that always have a Brit touch to them. We highly recommend Ascot House, and would definitely stay there again when staying in the area.
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Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
The Sichuan is authentic and delicious. Be adventurous!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Just good home cooking. Mac & cheese like mom used to make.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago