Kerry Finsand

Portland Social Media Consultant
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  • How I Got Into Social Media Part 3

    Posted on April 13th, 2009 Kerry Finsand 165 comments »

    So far we have learned that I first got involved in online marketing while selling advertising at Citysearch.  Next I dabbled with social networking sites, acted like I knew what I was doing with Drupal and worked on wikis.  So that brings me to the fall of 2008 where you could say I had a lot of free time on my hands.  So I started spending more time online reading blogs like Mashable & ReadWriteWeb to keep up on the latest Social Media trends.  And I can’t forget about all of the many user groups from Portland Data Plumbing Group (a user group for Yahoo Pipes) to Beer and Blog (a group dedicated to helping people learn how to blog & socializing with a cold one).

    I decided I needed to build up my work experience so I decided to volunteer for a non-profit called the Pixie Project, which is a non-profit no kill animal shelter and retail store.  This was good for me because it kept me busy and helped my understand how non-profits can use social media to grow their community.

    I was also busy looking for full time work.  Using social media tools made it easier for me to find jobs.  For example I used rss feeds from Yahoo Pipes super job search and from job sites like Indeed.  Using Google, Linkedin, Twitter & Facebook I found out more information about job opportunities and contacts at companies.  While doing all of this I reached out to my Linkedin contacts to see if how well they knew people at various places that I was applying for.

    Then I happened to be following BeerandBlog on Twitter and found out about an event called Endjoblessness.  This job fair was going to held at the Oregon Technology Business Center in Beaverton.  I first heard about the event from Justin Kistner the founder of BeerandBlog, but at the time the details were not hammered out.  So I ended up going to the event on a Saturday dressed up in a suite and tie (maybe a little over dressed compared to others) and not knowing what to expect.  At first there were a lot of technology based jobs, but then the CEO of GoSeeTell, Martin Stoll announced they were hiring for a social media strategist.  I was very interested and went over and talked to him.  After about a month of conversations and hanging out we decided that we were a good fit for each other.  So that brings me today and how I got into social media.

    Take Aways:

    If you want to get into Social Media you have to experience it.

    1.  As Nike says “just do it”

    2.  Read Blogs

    3.  Volunteer doing social media for a non-profit

    4.  Network and learn from others

    5.  Blog about your favorite topics

    6.  Keep updated Social Profiles

    7.  Use Twitter

    8.  Track the results

    9.  Make mistakes

    10.  Reach out to people for best practices in social media

  • How I Got Into Social Media Part 2

    Posted on April 3rd, 2009 Kerry Finsand 69 comments »

    In my first post I talked about how working in online advertising opened my ideas to all types of opportunities for promoting products and services online.  I created a social networking site called  Continually researched other social networking platforms including:

    Free Hosted (Ning)

    Free: Open Source (Joomla, Drupal)

    Free (Dolphin)

    Paid (PHP Fox, KickApps, Boonex)

    I realized there was no perfect platform out there and ending up using a “Myspace in the box” solution called PHPFox.  After my short lived social networking site I decided to move on.  I continued surfing the internet reading blogs about social media and emerging my self in the many sites out there.

    In the fall of 07 I had the opportunity to work for a start up called  Located at the Portland State Business Accelerator, an incubator for start-ups.  neutralSpace wanted to use wiki technology to create a city guide, which quickly changed when I was hired on as the Director of Marketing & Business Development because of my familiarity with the competition that was out there.  We shifted our model to be based around social networking in the calendar/cityguide space with a twist on what was already out there.  I spent a great deal of time researching “Web 2.0” sites and found a useful website called the GO2Web20 directory.  It was my goal to check out all of the sites on the directory.  After weeks of researching hundreds of sites I realized that was not realistic.  So I started searching tags that were relevant to our project.  This was extremely helpful and narrowed down my searches.web-20-tools-and-applications-go2web20

    Around February of 2008 I started to use Twitter, but like many people did not get it at first and moved on to the next gazillion social networking site to check out.  While at neutralSpace I dabbled (or tried to) in website development, using the cms Drupal and learning a crash course in interaction design from a talented website developer, Jeffrey Dalton.  After working for the start up for around 10 months I found myself without a job.  We did not have a product developed yet, so I really had nothing to market or to sale.  Fortunately enough I landed a marketing consulting gig with the wiki company AboutUs.  There I got to know Ray King, Ward Cunningham and the rest of the talented crew much better.  It was a great experience and Ray King is a visionary and really cares about his employees.  I was hired to help out with marketing, sales and branding.  There I researched new products/services they could sell and develop.  I also worked on the team in re-branding their Deluxe Article Writing Service, which is now called SpotlightUs.

    A few months before that I started twittering for the Green Dragon & using social media to promote one of my favorite places at the time to drink beer.  While using twitter to monitor conversations on Twitter I realized what a valuable tool Twitter is for restaurants.  One of the promotions that I ran was buy 1 get 1 free lunch which resulted in one of their busiest lunches ever.  I continued to work with the Green Dragon on a limited basis because of budget and their understanding of the power of social media.  If only I was given full authority to implement all of my ideas, it would have been a wonderful experiment of how small businesses can succeed with social media.  Nonetheless it was still a small success and a fun experiment.  Fast forward to November, my contract with AboutUs ran out and the Green Dragon was purchased.  I tried to start an online marketing company with someone, but it did not work out.  So all of a sudden I had a lot of free time on my hand.  What to do now?  Read How I Got Into Social Media Part 3 coming soon.

  • How I Got Into Social Media Part 1

    Posted on January 26th, 2009 Kerry Finsand 278 comments » LogoAfter working for Citysearch for a year I started to get intrigued about online marketing.  I spent hours studying online marketing trends, SEO & SEM techniques.  Later I joined a freshly formed internet marketing group called Search Engine Marketing Portland or SEMPDX.  During this time an idea surfaced for a niche social networking site.  Next  I did a lot of research on Social Networking platforms including Ning, PHP Fox, Drupal, Joomla, KickApps, Dolphin and several others.

    It was at a SEMPDX meeting that I met John Hartman a social media consultant at Feedia.  He suggested several platforms including Joomla & Ning. I took some of his suggestion and further continued my research and decided on a paid option called PHP Fox.  At $299 for a license I could afford this myspace in the box software.  This was the best option for me because of the price, features and the ability to buy additional features once I needed them.  After hiring a local programmer to set up my site and style the css; was born.  A niche site dedicated to people of legal age creating their own online/offline drinking clubs.  My friend Kelly Quashine an award winning graphic designer created my logo.  I let my friends know about the site and it started virally growing.  They really thought I had something.  Next, I created an online store on CafePress selling my own swag including t-shirts and hats.  For several months I managed the site, engaged in the community and contributed content to the site.  Unfortunately; my lack of programming skills and dissatisfaction with the platform resulting in me doing nothing on the site and I recently took it down.

    Part Two Is Coming Soon!

  • Welcome to my blog

    Posted on January 19th, 2009 Kerry Finsand 118 comments »

    My blog will be set up soon covering topics including; social media, marketing and whatever else I find interesting.  My site is a work in progress so if you want to learn more about me or connect check me out on FriendFeed.