Tag Archive: BJ Emerson


What You May Not Know About Me

As the year comes to an end, I realize there are a few things on my “to do” list that I can still accomplish.

In July, I read a great blog post by Amber Naslund called “What I Wish More People Knew About Me. I shared the post on Google + commenting that I couldn’t find the nerve to write a similar post. Amber and Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive encouraged me to try. As Carrie said; “what’s the worst that can happen?”

 So here goes!

I’m a wife, mother and a GiGi (grandmother)  – My family is my first priority. I am insanely proud of my kids, grandson and husband. Translation – I brag about them incisively on Facebook. There are two rescues, a 100 lb Doberman (Emmett) and six month 50 lb German Sheppard (Bullet). They are very much part of the family and get equal bragging rights.

Bullet and Emmett

My husband tries to convince me to cut back on the videos and photos. The great thing about Facebook is that if my updates annoy my family and friends all they have to do is hide my posts.

I’m extremely passionate – I have been involved with Computer Explorers, a technology education franchise since 1996. I have yet to present an opening or closing at one of the annual conferences without shedding tears. Why? When I look into the audience I don’t just see a roomful of franchisees. I see a roomful of friends. I see people that I worked closely with when I was a franchisee (from 1996-2004). I see people that work hard and I want to work even harder to help them succeed. I think about the smiling faces of the children in their classes and the difference each franchisee makes in their local community delivering a quality technology education program.

My passion comes from doing work I love.

I want to be a Geek! – My third anniversary with Twitter was this month. Yes, I know what my anniversary date is and if you want to find yours use this link: http://www.tweetstartdate.com/

In May, 2010 I decided to take the next step with social media and start a BlogTalkRadio show, Social Geek Radio. I was thrilled that one of the franchise industry best social geeks, BJ Emerson agreed to co-host with me. My responsibility was to be the social co-host and BJ’s job was to “GeekItOut”.  Each week BJ shared geeky sites and tech tips. Not only did the audience learn something but so did I.  I quickly became a geekwannabe. Today, AK Stout is my co-host and my Geek mentor.  I’m constantly amazed by what AK knows about social media and technology.

Social media and technology are a big part of my business and personal life. It’s exhilarating to think about 2012 innovations and social platforms.

I love meeting strangers – This is the total opposite of my husband. He cringes at the thought of attending a big event where there is a crowd of people he has never met. On the other hand, the very same event excites me. Spending the time getting to know new people seriously interests me.  I can’t stand in line at a store without socializing with the person next to me. My daughter once asked me “Mom, can we please go shopping without you chatting with the person next to us?”  I’m not noisy or a chatterbox, I’m social and very interested in other people’s stories. It’s amazing what you learn with a smile and a simple hello.

In February I will attend the annual IFA (International Franchise Association) convention in Orlando. As one of the Ambassadors I will have the opportunity of greeting people attending IFA for the first time.

Too often I speak without thinking – It’s a bad habit. It’s totally embarrassing to scramble like a cartoon character trying to pick up my words after they have spilled out of my mouth only to find that I can’t shove them back in. I’m getting better and my hope for 2012 is to learn how to pause, think and then speak.

When I retire I want to own beachfront property – When we lived in NJ it was a short drive to the beach. One of the best ways to relax was to sneak off on a work day with my beach chair, a good book and listen to the waves. I miss that.

Today, my book would be replaced with the Kindle or the iPad but the beach and the chair would be the same.

There you have it, a few things you may not have known about me. Hopefully, we are connected and there is more you know about me than I have listed here. If we are not connected, then let’s take care of that in 2012.

Happy New Year!

I Want To Be A Geek!

I’m sure I’ve said it before and will continue to declare “I want to be a Geek!” Two of the best Geeks I know, look up to and have a lot of fun with are AK Stout and BJ Emerson.

GeekItOut - Cool Website List

AK amazes me weekly on Social Geek Radio in the GeekItOut segment. She shares Websites and information that is fun and informative.  You can find the complete list here. (The segment was started by the #1 Geek, BJ Emerson when we started Social Geek Radio a year ago.)

BJ Emerson

BJ joined us on Social Geek Radio last night to discuss using social technologies to reward brand loyalty. There was a fantastic article in Hospitality Technology titled “Reward Point Revolution” which you can find here He says that he thinks “ that part of our job is to provide visibility to what’s going on online related to the brand.”

We had a lot of fun and if you missed the show it’s archived on iTunes or BlogTalkRadio.

So if you want to be a Geek  or want to learn something new about social technology then follow AK and BJ. I promise you at the very least it will bring a smile to your day!

It all started a year ago!

In 2009 I immersed myself  in social media seeking ways to build brand awareness for COMPUTER EXPLORERS (CE). As I worked hard exploring the world of social media I became more and more intrigued. Building an on-line community awareness for CE became exciting and an educational experience for myself.  It wasn’t long until I was asked to share my experiences with other franchise leaders at conferences and speaking engagements.

Meet the Geek

BJ Emerson

BJ Emerson was one of my social technology connections. I was invited to be a speaker at the 2010 IFA (International Franchise Association) annual convention. BJ was also attending as a speaker. This was exciting since we had never met IRL (in real life)!

After spending time with BJ I knew he would be someone to expand my knowledge in the social technology world.  I felt there was something I was missing in my use of social media. I asked BJ if he’d like to take a risk and join me in starting a Blog Talk Radio show on social technology. He thought it would be a lot of fun and came up with the clever name of Social Geek Radio. It was his idea to use the last 15 minutes of each show to “Geek It Out.” A segment sharing social technology sites that would be new to our audience. They were always new to me since he never shared with me prior to the show!

Our goals were simple:

  • Provide an educational show for business owners on the best practices of utilizing social technology
  • Empower others who love technology to connect with others
  • To make the cyberspace easier to manage and be heard over all the noise
  • To entertain and have fun doing so

We had a great time in 2010 but starting in the new year of 2011 BJ’s speaking and travel commitments were going to interfere with his availability on Thursdays for the show. Check out his calendar of events here.

I needed a new Geek!

I was connected to AK Stout, Saying It Social and I was very impressed with her social tech skills. Her Twitter profile says, “all you need to know about Online Marketing, SEO, Social Networking, & Social Media Marketing for Franchisees, & Small Businesses.” As a guest on Social Geek Radio she wowed our listeners.

I took a chance and called AK to invite her to be my new co-host. She accepted and has been a great geek! She easily picked up the Geek It Out part of the show and amazes me weekly. Recently she shared a list of some of the best sites that she has shared on the show: GeekItOut: Cool Websites & Tools

Year Two and Beyond

There have been challenges using Blog Talk Radio and it’s a commitment of time to do the show weekly. I don’t know how long this gig will continue but for now I’m having a great time. We have some interesting guests lined up for the next few months and there is still so much to learn and share! I hope you will join us as we continue this adventure.

Happy Anniversary Social Geek Radio and thank you BJ and AK for allowing me to get in touch with my inner geek.

Get on The Bus!

Please click on the bus to enlarge so you can read the banner! It says “Listen in each week and learn something. Maybe” The graphic was designed from a website The Generator Blog shared by BJ Emerson during our “When In Doubt Geek It Out” segment of Social Geek Radio.

I am always energized on Fridays following Social Geek Radio. I love doing the show and last night our guest was Gini Dietrich. One of the topics we discussed was blogging controversial topics. Gini’s recent post “Attire Not Appropriate for Public Speaking” generated a lot of discussion, good and bad. I’m following the comments and for the most part I see good stimulating conversation. I admire Gini for posting a topic that she knew  would “ruffle feathers” but she posted it anyway.

What I have learned after reading Gini’s post and our conversation last night is that it’s time to get on the bus. Yes, I ride the Social Geek Radio bus weekly but I have yet to step onto the bus of Controversial Topics. My personality type according to DISC profile assessment is a high “D” and high “I”. In other words: direct, daring, domineering, enthusiastic, impulsive and persuasive. I need to transfer some of my real life personality into my social media personality and become a little daring.

As Jim Collins (author of Good to Great) says: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance, it’s a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus and then know where to drive it.

I’m on-board the right bus with the right people.  I learn something new each week from BJ, Gini and so many others. It’s time to focus on my direction.

Are you on the right bus and do you know where it’s going?

Growing up as a kid I was never characterized as a geek or risk taker. Today with the use of social technology I’m learning and growing into those characterizations.

Last night was the first episode of Social Geek Radio with my co-host BJ Emerson. Starting an internet radio show was not only a risk but I found that I needed to dig a little deep to find my geek to pull it off.

Multi-tasking has always been something I do well. Any mom with kids totally understands where I’m coming from. Any leader and/or manager gets it too. Multi-tasking for me hit a new level monitoring and helping to manage the show. For example: I had two computers set up. My laptop was running tweetdeck so I could monitor and engage in conversations regarding the show in real time. I had a desktop computer set up with the blogtalkradio link. It displayed the callers, chat feature and a running clock of how much time we had left for the show. I was using my cell phone to call in (we don’t own a land line) and was pushed a little too far when my good friend and team member wanted to test my geekiness by sending me a blackberry message. I ignored that message since she was also direct messaging me on Twitter. Good try Lorri and maybe next week I will surprise you with a reply.

Things I learned that work:

  • With a co-host it’s easier to screen callers while the other host keeps the show going. At first it was a bit freaky having BJ pop in and out but monitoring his “microphone” icon I could tell when he was mute and when he returned with the caller.
  • Chatting with listeners on the call via the whisper feature is pretty cool. I received some great helpful tips from listeners that we will add for the show next week.
  • Knowing who is tuned into the show via Twitter is encouraging. Especially when they are posting very positive tweets!
  • Allowing callers to ask questions live is risky but I think the unscripted participation can be interesting. Neither BJ nor I knew our caller Chris Adams from Connecticut but thoroughly enjoyed his interest and participation!
  • Constructive criticism is welcomed but I will admit that watching the tweets after the show is a little nerve wracking.

Things I learned from my mistakes:

  • You can’t submit your podcast to iTunes until after the first episode. Duh! Hopefully it’s uploading properly and can be found.
  • The recording continues as long as you are connected to blogtalkradio. I thought that once the clock ran out that the recording would stop. Not the case!  SO…we need to work on our closure and actually disconnect and take our discussion off line.
  • Yes, I like to talk but if I don’t breath and stop talking over BJ then I will find myself alone weekly.

If you listened and want to send me your feedback I would greatly appreciate it!

Do you flip?

I just finished reading John C. Maxwell‘s book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect.”  The book was suggested to me by friend, BJ Emerson as we prepare to connect with our audience of Social Geek Radio. Maxwell outlines that we shouldn’t just talk we should connect. He provides basic principles if you want to connect one-on-one, with an audience or in a group setting.

One of my favorite chapters is – Connecting Goes Beyond Words. Here is a blurb from the book describing how a breakdown would occur:

  • Something I know but do not feel, my communication is dispassionate.
  • Something I know but do not do, my communication is theoretical.
  • Something I feel but do not do, my communication is hypocritical.

After finishing the book I started thinking about how I communicate and connect with friends, family and franchisees. Since we live in a visual age spending countless hours looking at YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, reading email  I realized that I often communicate making it a visual experience. I love posting YouTube videos on Facebook wishing someone a Happy Birthday. I send video messages to franchisees who are not feeling well or just need to know I’m thinking of them. I communicate where I am via foursquare and post videos of my experiences on Facebook using my flip camera. I promote and connect with my tweets. Believe it or not I also use an old school tool and actually telephone (via cell phone of course) just to say hello for no reason at all.

It’s no surprise that I like to communicate but my goal is to actually connect using the tools provided by social media!

Social Geek Radio


We all know social media is  about engagement. Like most of you I started using social media several years ago with LinkedIn. I securely held the position of President of COMPUTER EXPLORERS so I didn’t establish an account to search for a job. My goal was to develop relationships with peers in the franchise industry and help to build brand awareness of COMPUTER EXPLORERS. I wanted to leverage relationships with people I had worked with previously, friends, former customers and of course to build new connections.

In December 2008 I was convinced that I needed to join Twitter and spend time listening and learning. I listened until March 2009 and started tweeting like a fiend. By the end of the month I had 62 followers. According to http://www.twitterholic.com I had 922 followers by August 2009. Once again my goal was to make new connections and leverage relationships.

It was natural for my next steps to develop a Facebook page, Flickr, Digg and Delicious accounts and then of course start blogging!

Over the last year I have been fortunate to appear on The Franchise Show with Jeff D’Arcy and again with Rieva. I did an interview on The Business Makers Show with Esther Steinfeld and most recently did a BlogTalkRadio show with host Paul Segreto.

Just when I thought I couldn’t add another tool to my social media strategy I’ve decide it’s time to co-host a new online radio show, Social Geek Radio! BlogTalkRadio is a social network application allowing people to easily host their own online radio show. I’m honored that my co-host will be BJ Emerson, Social Technology Officer for Tasti D-Lite.

Our first episode is scheduled for Thursday May 13th 6pm PT/8pm CT/9pm ET. You can find more information on www.socialgeekradio.com or www.blogtalkradio.com/socialgeekradio. BJ and I plan to share our tips on social media and at the end of each show BJ will share “When in Doubt Geek it Out!”

We hope you can join us!

Foursquare visit

I had the pleasure and the ultimate geek experience this week to visit the foursquare headquarters in New York City with my friend BJ Emerson. BJ is Social Technology Officer of Tasti D-Lite, blog author of “Social Tech Blog” and his favorite line is “When in Doubt Geek it Out!”

BJ scheduled time with Eric Friedman, Director of Client Services of foursquare to demonstrate the Tasti D-Lite loyalty integration with foursquare. I was honored to sit, listen and observe the demonstration. I did my best to keep up with their geek speak and BJ took “when in doubt geek it out” to a whole new level.

I am an enthusiastic user of foursquare and so are some of my friends and colleagues. Currently Lorri Wyndham, Operations Manager, COMPUTER EXPLORERS is Mayor of ICED Headquarters (COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate office location). Charmayne Redd, Director of Advertising ICED is Mayor of Northwest Forest Conference Services. Both Lorri and Charmayne are investigating the new features available on foursquare to create specials and coupons for a venue.

If you are not familiar with foursquare read Jennifer Van Grove’s post on Mashable – Foursquare: Why It May Be the Next Twitter. In Jennifer’s posts she talks to Dennis Crowley, co-founder of foursquare who says “the point of the service isn’t I’m here, but I’m here, so now what?” Using foursquare check-ins and activity have a meaning. As a game you collect points for every check-in. After checking in at the same location multiple times you become Mayor. Lorri and I constantly battle for Mayorship of ICED. To date she is Mayor but Eric awarded me with the official foursquare Mayor shirt!

Like any great social technology app foursquare integrates with Twitter and Facebook. While traveling this week I am personally using foursquare checkins to inform my family, friends, coworkers and franchisees of my whereabouts. I am using the tips and to-dos feature to find specials, coupons and to locate restaurants and shopping in the area. If it’s not listed I have the opportunity to add the venue and my tips.

At this time I don’t see foursquare as an application for COMPUTER EXPLORERS. I plan to continue exploring and learning more and I am confident that sooner rather than later foursquare will find a home with COMPUTER EXPLORERS!