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Podcamp AZ

Integrate Your Online Personalities

I spent this past weekend at PodCamp AZ, a social media unconference for bloggers and podcasters. It was my third year attending, and I had a great time. I always walk away with new tidbits of information.

gemini   -oh, dedicated to a pisces in his bday-

Image by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via Flickr

This year, I attended Carey Pena’s session, “Branding, Not Bragging.” Carey gave great advice on creating and promoting your brand. She challenged us to think about our personal brand, which is hard to do yet so simple – it’s who we are. Our brand is our personality, not our jobs. To promote your brand, you just have to be yourself. The best quote I took from her talk was, “The best branding is authentic branding.”

Someone at Carey’s talked asked if they should have separate Twitter accounts for their personal and professional lives. That question made me smile, because that was my question at PodCamp AZ in 2009. That year the lovely Heather Lynn Herr did a presentation about online personas. I was a 2L at the time and seriously questioning if I need one Twitter account that would be 100% professional and a separate account where I could be a little more outspoken and free with my thoughts. I posed the question to the room and the group responded with a resounding, “No!” They said it was better to rock on with my quirky, geeky, flash mobbing self because some people are going to love it and they are going to seek me out because I’m different, even in the generally conservative legal community. And they were right . . . about everything.

When I think about personal branding, I think about a question that Bill Richards asked me during an interview for a law school externship. He asked, “If you could do anything for a living, what would it be?” That’s a great basis for discovering what your brand is. Your brand is about what’s important to you, how you spend your time, and who you spend it with. Sharing those things gives the rest of a glimpse into who you are. And then when I need to hire someone, I’m going to go to seek out the people I inherently like first and their recommendations before turning to Google or a referral service.

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SALK Day 55: Sheila Dee Photography

Sheila Dee is one of my favorite photographers (and people) in the Phoenix area.  She has such a keen eye.  When she first considered doing a professional show of her work, she sought guidance from a fellow photographer who asked, “Is your works special?”  I’d say Sheila’s work is more that special; it’s magnificent.

I love when I see Sheila at events around the valley, like Ignite Phoenix, Podcamp, and Improv AZ events.  She’s usually wearing her green photography backpack that makes her look like a turtle.  When I see her, I know the pictures are going to be magnificent.  Some of my favorite pictures of me where taken by her.  When I met Sheila, I didn’t realize that her specialties were photographs of nature and architectural elements.  Her work on her website, On The Creative Side, is spectacular!

Photo by Sheila Dee

Her first showing was last year at Studio 5C in Tempe, AZ, a gallery that doubles as office space.  One of the people who worked there loved her work so much that he bought a piece before the show even opened.  He picked a beautiful picture of what appears to be an architectural detail.  I was so impressed by her work at the show that I declared that Sheila gets to decorate my first office after I graduate from law school.

I love Sheila’s pictures from her travels.  She has such a unique perspective.  Sheila takes pictures of buildings but she also take the most beautiful pictures of the most ordinary things – an autumn leaf on the ground, a link of chain, a nail sticking out of a board, bubbling water – everyday occurrences but viewed in almost majestic ways.  She has amazing skills with texture and light.

Sheila shared her passion for photography at Ignite Phoenix #8.  She said that her photography is a “personal expression of who I am.”  She gave us an incredible glimpse of how she views the world through her camera.

When asked why she enjoys taking pictures, Sheila responded, “The thought of capturing a moment in time excites me. The idea of showing someone a place they might not have been to prior or allowing them to remember a special place they have visited really pleases me. I enjoy shooting the ordinary and making it special.”

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Sheila Dee.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

SALK Day 32 – Brand X Custom T-shirts

I absolutely love today’s sponsor, Brand X Custom T-shirts in Tempe, Arizona.  They create customized shirts, hoodies, hats, bags, onesies, underwear, and more.  If you can conceptualize it, they can make it a reality.  They even have an iphone app for creating shirts.  You can also get a quote online or just bee-bop into their store on to speak with one of their awesome staff members.  Even when the shop is busy, they carefully walk each client through the design process to make sure that each person gets exactly what they want.  They have locations on Mill Ave and at Arizona State University.

Copyright Brand X Custom T-Shirts, used with permission

Brand X has a massive selection of apparel to choose from, and they are all high quality pieces.  If they don’t have what you want on hand, they can order it for you.  If you’re putting words on your shirt, they have a huge variety of fonts, colors, and textures for your lettering.  You can bring in your own design, or use one of theirs.  This past Christmas, I ordered matching Rabies Awareness running shirts for my sister and brother-in-law so people will think that they did a Rabies Awareness Run.

I love that Brand X is so connected to the local community.  Brand X has made the shirts for every Podcamp and Ignite Phoenix event that I’ve ever attended.  They also make the shirts of events for charity like Twestival and have events featuring local artists in their store.  At the last Podcamp AZ, Brand X was on-site at the event making Podcamp shirts as they were ordered with their mobile set up.  It was awesome.  My Brand X shirts are among of my favorite things to wear, and being a future professional geek, it’s very important to have good t-shirts.  Brand X also made my underwear for the 2010 No Pants Light Rail Ride.  I can’t wait until I’m earning a living wage again so I can create more pieces.  I have at least two ideas that I can’t wait to turn into wearable art.

And it’s not just me who loves Brand X.  Everyone on Yelp has nothing but good things to say about Brand X, their high quality work, their fast service, and their wonderful staff.  One of my friends goes to the South by Southwest conference every year, the most awesomest film, music, and interactive media conference in the U.S.   He has Brand X make a shirt for every day of the event.

If you need to make a personal statement or if you need a special gift for someone else, please consider Brand X.  You won’t be disappointed.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Brand X Custom T-shirts.  For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

SALK Day 13 – Friendships Through Social Media

Today’s sponsor is my friend, Debbie Walker, who is an outspoken blogger and podcaster.  She asked me to write about how our involvement in “social media type events” led to friendships between participants.

Phoenix is a city known for its transplants.  It seems like everyone here moved from somewhere else.  This is also a city where it is hard to find new friends and establish a sense of community.  This was a complaint I heard all the time when I was a therapist.  My suggestion to my clients was to get involved in activities that they enjoyed and that would lead to meeting people with similar interests.   Social media has made this process even easier.

#EVFN San Tan Brewery
Image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

There are a host of events that are organized through social media that bring together people who otherwise would probably never meet.  Some of these local events are Podcamp AZ, #evfn, Ignite Phoenix, and events by Improv AZ.  Some of these events are educational and some are just for fun, but they all involve smart witty people who want to meet and converse with other smart witty people.

One of the wonderful things about making connections through “social media type events” is that it facilitates friendship between diverse people.  For most of us, “social media type events” are what we do in our free time.  By day, we’re advertisers, teachers, writers, students, and business owners.  Most of us are people whose paths wouldn’t otherwise cross if it weren’t for our shared interest in social media and volunteering at social media events.

The best thing about these events is that they constantly bring other people into the mix.  None of these events involve an exclusive group.  We always welcome new friendly people.  It can be daunting to be the new person at an event, but the people that attend these events are always willing to talk to the new guy.  I was once the new guy and I was petrified of attending an event where I didn’t know anyone.  I started with a prank event where I met one person.  He invited me to be part of the core organizers of Improv AZ.  That led to me learning about, presenting at, and now volunteering with Ignite Phoenix.  My conversations with these fantastic people led to my interest in podcasting and blogging which led to my invovlement with PodcampAZ.  Somewhere in there I also added the Social Media Club Phoenix and #evfn.  The people who were strangers to me two years ago are now some of my closest friends.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Debbie Walker. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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