Why the blog title? Thanks to my sister Janice, my childhood nickname was Apple. I also happen to love apple products.
Serendipity is looking for one thing and finding something else, usually described as a pleasant surprise. Sometimes serendipity is subtle and goes unnoticed until later. Other times, is’s like an immediate, shiny rainbow of fun. I have noticed both of these examples over the years with social media. I first became enamored with social media in 2005, because of the efficiency to save contacts, pictures and life events. This was important to me because in 2003, I lost EVERYTHING in a fire. I loved digital photos and finding friends, after losing every school yearbook I owned. But, the pleasant surprise was social media is more than a great way to keep in touch with family & friends who don’t live in the immediate area (Facebook). I stopped my newspaper subscription. I get my daily news, make friends and network, (Twitter & G+), find a business in a new town (Around Me), meet friends or find digital coupons at businesses around me (Foursquare), and purchase products (mobile marketing), and eventually store contacts and/or meetings like a digital rolodex (Hashable) and keep in shape, route maps & stay accountable with workout buddies using Runkeeper – even while I’m out of town. Finally, I love sharing health tips about great deals on products I find or use with my friends.
Initially, I wanted my first blog post to inspire my audience and encourage them to subscribe to this feed. Instead I’d prefer to express my gratitude. First I’d like to thank my great friend Deborah O’Hara, who also happens to be the brilliance behind AboutRedlands / @AboutRedlands. She is an example of serendipity. We met while serving on the CASA board and for a number of years we co-chaired the annual fall fundraiser “Munchin’ at the Mansion”. I was looking to help abused kids in my area, and was surprised to find a great friend. I gave her a few tips on different applications to maximize her businesses and she insisted I needed to start a consulting firm. Thank you Deb, for encouraging me to turn my hobby into a business.
Second, I’d like to thank Michael Stelzner and the Social Media Examiner team. Not only are their newsletters very helpful, but I won the ‘golden ticket’, and it’s the reason I attended #BWELA 2011. I felt like “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory”, but without the chocolate. Thanks again for the tickets Mike, it was great meeting all of you. BWELA is definitely the largest piece of this Giddyup Genie serendipity puzzle. If you’ve never heard of this social media conference, imagine 19 social media lectures happening at any given moment – over a period of three days, combined with three evenings of networking and blogging. There seemed to be something for everybody, but I attended the educational, social health and non-profit lectures to enhance my day job. In the end, I also turned multiple related hobbies into a business. I was also fortunate to meet the folks at Blekko. Blekko is a web search engine that aims at providing better search results than those offered by Google Search. Their results are culled from a set of 3 billion trusted websites and exclude material from such sites as content farms. I was the lucky winner of their iPad2 contest at BWELA. A little shout out goes to the Ford Motor Co. social media team. I have a fun profile picture, with a fabulous green background. This meeting and subsequent picture was definitely serendipity. I’d only had 5 hours sleep the night before, and didn’t think having my picture was a very good idea ~ and I was pleasantly surprised again.
Finally, I’d like to thank some UsGuys from Twitter: Sherree Worrell, Ric Dragon, Mila Araujo, Josepf Haslan, Bruce Sallan I enjoyed meeting all of you IRL and our conversations were the highlight of my week at BWELA. Last but not least, I really appreciate my kind, helpful, techy husband Joe – with whom I enjoy taking many adventures. I don’t feel I can adequately express my gratitude. So just know, I think he’s pretty awesome.
I feel like I won some kind of lottery, without purchasing a ticket. But as Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”