High Point Furniture Market: Interview with Jaime Derringer

Jamie Derringer of Design MilkHigh Point Furniture Market takes place twice a year, in April and October. On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending my first market and had the opportunity to interview bloggers and editors covering the market.

When I found out Jaime Derringer of the wildly popular Design Milk was attending market, I knew I wanted to get in touch with her. She took time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about her blog and her first experience at market.

About Jaime
Before Jaime began blogging, she worked as a project manager in marketing, advertising and publishing for medical and pharmaceutical companies. In 2006, when she and her husband moved into a townhouse in suburban New Jersey, she discovered blogs and her passion for design.

About Design Milk
Design Milk is a blog dedicated to modern design and boasts a global audience. It focuses on art, architecture, interior design, furniture and décor, fashion and technology.

How did you start Design Milk?
In 2006, I had a job with a lot of down time and was online a lot, looking for furniture for our new home. I discovered design blogs around the same time and used my own blog to catalogue items I was finding for my home. Then I started to find other cool things and began posting about them. More and more people started to read it and people liked the things I was posting about. I did it part time for three years as I worked full time, then I quit my job to follow my dreams. Design Milk is my passion, 110 percent. I wake up everyday happy I’m doing it.

What do you like about High Point Market?
Market is different than what I normally write about on the blog. I try to spot trends and new design innovations that are accessible to everyone when shopping for their home. The products at market are what we deal with everyday.

How do you use social media?
Social media is the single best thing I have ever done for my blog. Not only does it drive tons of traffic to the site, but it allows readers to easily access the content and pick and choose what they want to read so they do not have to be bombarded with their RSS feed. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are valuable tools. They can be a challenge to manage, but at the end of the day those are the best tools I’ve ever had for my blog, bring readers in and keep them interested.

Look for Jaime’s market posts on Design Milk, complete with video in the next few weeks. You can connect with Jaime on Twitter @designmilk.

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High Point Furniture Market: Interview with Roxy Owens

Roxy Owens of Society Social and My Cup of TeHigh Point Furniture Market takes place twice a year, in April and October. On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending my first market. I had the opportunity to interview bloggers and editors attending the market.

I sat down with Roxy Owens, founder and designer for Society Social, and the writer behind the delightful blog, My Cup of Te.

About Roxy
Roxy grew up in a small North Carolina town, just an hour away from High Point, and received her undergraduate degree in marketing from North Carolina State University. Roxy made the move to the Big Apple to pursue an MA in marketing from Parson The New School for Design. She started off in the fashion world, working at fashion week and interning with Donna Karan. After graduation she became a buyer for Belk. When the economy started to fail, she found herself stuck in an office crunching numbers and not feeling creatively fulfilled, and so her blog My Cup of Te was born.

About Society Social
Society Social boasts a line of fun, festive cocktail carts, tables and chairs and accessories introduced in summer of 2011. You can visit Society Social at High Point Market hosted by Acacia Home & Garden, IHFC, Wrenn Wing #346.

How did you enter the blogging world?
I’m one of those crazy, idealistic people, if I’m not happy, I’m not going to do it. I quit my job, I was unemployed for a year. I was happier, I was poor, but happier. During that time I started my blog. I really felt like my blog brought me back to who I was. I read other blogs like Design*Sponge and other interior design blogs and Rue came out and I knew, this is what excites me.

What is the focus of your blog?
My Cup of Te chronicles my personal journey. I blogged about the whole process of starting Society Social. I think that is what helps sets the brand apart. People want a personal connection.

The Draper Accent Table by Society Social

Where did the idea for Society Social come from?
As I read interior design blogs, I saw a gap in the market for fun designer bar pieces at a price point people in their twenties can afford. Personally, I love to entertain and hangout with family and friends. The bar cart is where it all started.

How do you use social media for your blog and business?
I am a huge advocate of social media, which stems from my marketing background. I am always sharing. People like to connect. As a small business owner, I can’t afford an ad in House Beautiful, so I use social media to market my business. It’s genuine and I love to connect.

It was wonderful to meet Roxy and I wish Society Social success at the market!

You can connect with Roxy on Twitter @SocietySocial or @MyCupofTe.

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Yes Weekly and Social Media : Covering Greensboro City Council

Yes Weekly logoYesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Green (aka @jordangreenyes) News Editor of Yes Weekly. Many of you may already know that Jordan covers (brilliantly I might add) the Greensboro City Council Meetings via live tweets as a member of the  @yesweekly twitter team.

Why is he live tweeting you might ask? Well in his own words . . . “social media allows me to perform a unique service.” And it’s true.

With traditional print coverage it would take days to get the story out due to print cycle of a weekly paper – but with social media, Yes Weekly is live streaming the discussions of Greensboro City Council as they happen and (hopefully) in the process inspiring a new generation to become more involved in local government as well as spark discussions with older generations who are pressed for time and who are looking to feel informed and engaged via social media.

It takes time to acquire the expertise to become and active citizen“, Green says and adds that “any political coverage starts with the current elected officials – social media helps me share information with our readers immediately.

On behalf of a grateful community – Thank You Jordan Green and Yes Weekly for your commitment to keeping us informed via social media!

Pick up the print edition of Yes Weekly in and around the Triad and stay up to date on local news and events. Connect with them across the web ::

Yes Weekly on YoutubeYes Weekly on FacebookYes Weekly on Twitter

Greensboro City Council meeting can currently be attended/viewed via Channel 13, you can follow the meetings via Twitter (follow @yesweekly) as well at watch it live streaming on your computer (warning for Mac users :: you must have Silverlight installed in order to watch streaming meetings on your Mac.) Be sure to stay up to date on the next Greensboro City Council Meeting  and review past meetings.

You can learn more about Greensboro City Government and Council Members, and if you’re on twitter you can follow @greensborocity for sporadic postings of Greensboro events.

How do you learn about local government news?

How has social media changed the way you engage with your local community?

Social Media, Parenting and (Lack of) Common Sense

I was running around Facebook, as I frequently do throughout the day, when I came across a business page running a contest. Nothing odd there, right? Lots of businesses run contests and incentives to increase their traffic and number of “likes”.

Except this one was different. This Facebook page was for a medical practice that caters to pediatrics.Social Media and Parenting

“So what?” you may say.

Here’s what.

This is the post from the page:

Support your child and their school today by entering them into our  ______ CONTEST! To enter, simply post your child’s name, along with the name of their school. The school with the most entries will win $1,000 for their school! The runner up will win $500 for their school!

Did you catch that? The page was asking for not only the names of the kids but where they went to school.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the parents were doing it! There were entries upon entries upon entries of parents who not only gave up their kids names, but they also where the kids went to school.  The only thing they didn’t do is offer up their kids schedules.

There they were… parents who wouldn’t dream of leaving their child alone or drive around the block without a 5 point harness system were offering their kids safety up all for the chance of winning $1,000 for their schools. Yes it was a nice gesture to give some school $1,000 but seriously? Could we not figure out some other way to collect information than pimping our kids and the names of their schools out?

I don’t fault the parents entirely. A serious finger wagging and “shame on you” goes to the business owner for not thinking this one through. As a marketing professional and consultant I truly hope there wasn’t a self proclaimed “guru” at the helm of this brilliant plan because if so, I would not hesitate to hunt them down and read the riot act.

It honestly all boils down to this…

Think twice and then once again before you offer up your information.  Don’t get me wrong.. I have slipped a couple of times myself. Just last week I tweeted a photo that included my address and didn’t even notice it until a kind, fellow tweeter pointed it out to me. I immediately removed it but who knows how far it traveled in those 3 minutes. My husband checked into our kids school on Foursquare… once. After I pointed out to him that the entire world (okay.. 58 followers isn’t the entire world but still) knew where our kids went to school, it wasn’t long before he quit checking in to anywhere.

Social Media is fun and at this point, it’s a way of life for most.  But we have to remember that we’re getting these services for free because these sites know one thing.  They know that we’re going to offer up a wealth of information and that they in turn, can mine and store that info until they need it a later time.  It’s one thing to “like”  the Crest page because you love whitening strips but quite another to “like” your kids doctors office and give 800 Million users the intimate details such as their names and where they go to school.

The bigger lesson here is to watch what you post, watch where you check in and if your kids are using social media watch what they’re doing every step of the way.

What “travesties” have you seen along the way in social media? Have you done something that you immediately knew you shouldn’t have?

 

Social Media: How Much Time Do You Spend Online?

I recently posed a question to via Facebook asking, on average, how much time people spend online per week on social networks.

Here are the results thus far. . .

It’s not surprising that the majority of those polled responded with 5+ hours per week. Many citing that there should have been another choice of 11+ hours.

A few who responded are online because of the nature of their business. But to me, that is irrelevant. As a wired society we are all spending more and more time ‘plugged in’, and it will be interesting to see the new usage statistics come out for 2011.

As we all have seen, so much can happen in very short period of time on the web. Case in point : Google+ Growth Rate Shattering Competition. Yep, you read right – it took Google+ only twenty-four days to reach twenty million users. 24 days.

Just a year ago shared in a Mashable post that Social Networking Dominates Our Time Spent Online. Adam mentions that 2010 stats from Nielsen show that sites like Facebook and Twitter account for 22.7% of time spent on the web. And a  2010 study by comScore Media,  shows that the average American spent 32 hours per month on the Internet.

As with any study there will be a ‘heavy users’ group where a small percentage make up the majority of time spent online and since the number of mobile-only households overtook the number of landline-only households in 2009, that means that the average time spent online on sites like twitter, facebook, and now google+, will continue to grow as the global internet penetration rate continues to climb.

Currently 56% of Americans Check Online News Daily with 24% going to four or more unique online news sites daily. Think about it. Where do you get your news? Do you read an article shared by a Facebook friend? How about click a link while you’re on Twitter? The way information travels to us is through our networks. Who we follow, fan or watch.

Check out these 20+ Mind-blowing social media statistics: One year later. It really puts in perspective how much the internet and social media has changed our personal lives and the way we do business.

While researching for this post, I found this Press Release dated 2002, July 12 : Carnegie Mellon Study Reveals Negative Potential of Heavy Internet Use on Emotional Well Being
Though it’s 9 years old, it poses questions and concerns that are still relevant today. How much is too much? Are you monitoring your children’s time spent online? Are you substituting online relationships for interaction with family and close friends?
So how many hours do you spend online per week?
Where do you spend most of your time online? Email, Social Media, Games, Movies or News?
Do you “unplug” on a regular basis?


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