Capitol Hill Photo Shoot

When a photographer friend asks me if I’d be willing to be a guinea pig for them, the answer will almost always be “Yes.”

So when my girl Rebecca asked me if I’d like some headshots because she wants to create a “Social Media Rockstar” package to offer her customers, I was READY. I needed some new pictures anyway and I suggested that we go to Capitol South for the actual shoot. It was a lovely Saturday and a fellow SMC-DC member, Clement also joined us.

I had a blast shooting with Rebecca, who’s one of my closest friends, and a blast to work with as my photographer.  We giggled a lot, I made ridiculous faces and at the end of the day, I have 5 fabulous pictures to add to my portfolio.  Rebecca is so awesome, she gave me a B&W version for EACH picture.

I know, bad-ass.

Here are three of my favorites and you can find the rest here.

Need new headshots? Have an event coming up? Just want some awesome new pictures?  Be sure to check out Ampersander Studios and tell Rebecca I sent you her way!

Photo shoot 1 B&W

Photo shoot 2

Photo shoot 3

Thanks again Rebecca for my awesome pictures! Can’t wait for 2013 😉

A little humor to boot, one of my friends decided to get a little creative with one of my pictures…

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…

Email Love

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Before we had Facebook to stay connected with our family, there was email.  It was Yahoo! that kept me connected with my family overseas.

Email kept us connected when the phone bill began running too high because we tend to be chatty. (People related to me being chatty? Go figure!) Thank goodness we don’t get charged by the word with email!

When words failed, sometime we would substitute emoticons because that’s what every family from a distant cousin needs: A bouncing smiley face.

BOUNCY BOUNCY BOUNCY!

I don’t remember the first email I ever received but I know that I have a pretty long-term love affair with email.  Emails to family, emails to professors, emails to my best friend who moved to Nebraska for college. When you spend every day together in high school, the separation can be a tad difficult (My dad really didn’t appreciate the large cell phone bills!)

Email saved our wallets.

The best part about email?

The spam filter.

Not only because it keeps out the unnecessary spam from my inbox, but it also provides me with entertainment if I really need it. Right before I delete spam emails, I like to read the subject lines.

Maybe I should start taking bets on how many times a day I’ll need to take my special blue pill.

Of course, I don’t need to take bets with the money I have coming from overseas anyway.

Has anyone seen my Nigerian King?

When did your love affair with email begin?

 

Becoming Professionally Obsolete

I feel like 26 is too late to shift my career into an industry with rising stars, where those still in college & graduating from college are making a huge impact.

I currently sit in an intern room as the oldest one. I’ve worked since I was 16 and this is not my first office job.

I’m starting out from the bottom of the ladder again.

What if, by the time I take the next step, I’m already obsolete?

That is my biggest fear.

I’m not from a generation where social media is covered in the classroom, and I am not fluent in HTML.  Everything I’ve built so far in the last 2 years with my personal brand has been through trial & error.

Did I mention I’m still in school for my Bachelor’s? After that I might look into a masters in social work degree, but first things first.

I decided to take on another major, in accordance with my career shift, so let’s add that to the ‘disadvantage’ column.

I do love what I do. I’m a connector, and I love spreading the word via Social Media. I want to make a difference.

In 10 years, I want to take my experience, and start a non-profit. I do have a dream outlined in my mind. The execution methods may change by the time I make it a reality but the dream is there.

What if someone beats me to it?

Maybe someone already has.

Every morning, I wake up with hope, and fear. I’m afraid that I’ll always remain in the background. I may never make enough of an impact to become an expert in my field.

Then I remember that those in the background also make an impact. If I love what I do, and I am going after my own dream that will someday make a difference (even in one person’s life), doesn’t that count?

So that’s how I overcome my fears. With hope.

And a little dose of reality.

In a field that evolves every single day, all I can do is keep moving forward.

I educate myself.

I read.

I form opinions.

I listen.

I join in on conversations, and participate in groups such as u30pro.

I share my .02 since I am a little more experienced in some things.

Maybe I will become obsolete in the grand scheme of things. By moving forward, I just won’t be afraid of becoming obsolete.

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This post is an entry in the u30pro.com launch contest!

If you enjoyed it, please leave a comment with your feedback and feel free to share with your friends on Facebook & Twitter. (In fact, sharing is very much encouraged if you enjoyed it. It *is* a contest after all)

Put Your Best (Online) Face Forward

Announcement: Ad spots are still available for April. Don’t forget that you’ll also be giving to charity at the same time! Full details here.

When a company looks into the ‘online you’, is what they will find appropriate?

Whether you’re currently on the job hunt, or you may be in the future, your presence across social media platforms & blogs will come under scrutiny.

Are you putting your best face forward or is your online presence hurting your chances of being hired?

You have a stellar resume, letters of recommendation & your interview outfit is sharp. One look at your Facebook profile and all of that can become irrelevant.

You will be representing your company and they want to make sure you represent them well. Here are a few tips for putting your best ‘online’ face forward:

Be consistent. You are your own brand. Make sure that your image is consistent across social networks. Your LinkedIn is inherently professional but if your Facebook is a complete 180 from that image, employers will take that into consideration.

Be aware of your online footprint. Everything you put online will remain there and it will be found. Always keep in mind that even pictures you delete from your Facebook can still be found. Think twice about putting up that picture of you at the frat party. Would you want your future boss to see it?

Keep the profanity to a minimum. (Or don’t curse at all if you can). There is nothing impressive about cursing and just like you wouldn’t just drop the ‘F-bomb’ in front of your boss at work, you shouldn’t be dropping it all over your social network. Especially your Twitter feed. Your 140-characters shouldn’t be ridden with profanity. You certainly don’t want to accidentally drop the ‘F-bomb’ on your company’s Twitter feed.

Be aware of how your friends contribute to your presence. If your friends are consistently writing about how awesome it was ‘getting trashed’ on your wall, you might want to tweak your wall settings on your Facebook. When cleaning up your profile, be sure to also clean up what your friends put on there, including tagged pictures. Don’t be hesitant to untag and ask your friends to take down pictures of you from their profile as well.

Mashable has some great tips on how to clean up your Facebook.

Don’t trash-talk your previous employees. In addition to being completely unnecessary, this is very unprofessional. You shouldn’t be doing this off-line or online because it actually shines a bad light on you. The person you may be talking to could refrain from even giving you a referral because of the way you talk about your previous employees. You also never know when you might run into a previous coworker again. The rule here is simple: Don’t.

Google yourself. In order to put your best face forward, you have to be completely aware of how others see you.

What will your boss or potential employer find out about you when they hit ‘Search’? So, are you putting your best ‘online’ face forward? What other tips do you have for those active across social media?

[Events] In DC This Week

I normally don’t do events post like this one but when two amazing events are happening in Washington, DC in one week, I certainly have to highlight them!

DC Fit Week

Beginning today, DC Fit Week is geared toward bringing excitement and awareness to physical activity as a means to stimulate weight loss. By doing this, it will motivate and empower active social adults with the knowledge to lead healthier lives and to provide a support network of like-minded professional people.

You can sign up for free classes through the week,. The full schedule is available here.

Wednesday night is the DC Fit Week Expo which is DC’s only fitness-focused happy hour, expert chat and fashion show sponsored by local fitness shops! It’s free so be sure to sign up! I’ll be there with WGirls DC so come by and say hi!

For more information on DC Fit Week, be sure to follow the them on Twitter.

DC Twestival

I love using Social Media for raising awareness and DC Twestival is part of the global organization, Twestival. An event fundraiser is hosted to benefit either a local Washington DC charity or one global charity with global impact.

This Thursday, March 24, you should join us for this year’s fundraiser!

Come join us for a a social media fundraiser in Washington, DC! This year, DC Twestival Local is joining with FAIR Fund to elevate community awareness surrounding human trafficking. FAIR Fund’s program, “Tell Your Friends,” reaches out to youth in DC schools with a four week process to educate and discuss the serious nature of human trafficking, how to identify it and how to end or report it!

100% of ticket sales and donations will go directly to FAIR Fund in support of local DC programs and initiatives! Join us Thursday, March 24th, at Shadow Room. Be ready to meet the DC Twestival team, and talk with the FAIR Fund nonprofit executives!

You can buy your tickets here if you haven’t yet. If you can’t make it, be SURE to spread the word. Tweet about it using the #DCTwestival hashtag! For updates and more information, follow DC Twestival on twitter.

So, in case you missed it, you buy your tickets HERE.

🙂

Celebrate PQ

OK, so this isn’t a major event but my birthday celebration will be at the Science Club on Sat, March 26th so be sure to stop by.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Crowdtapper

Before you do anything, go over to the left and click ‘Like’ since I finally made a FB page for DC Princess. Go, do it. <3

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I love taking surveys.  As bad as I am about writing reviews, I do enjoy giving feedback on products that I enjoy and products that may interest me but need improvement. (Let’s not even start with the ones that I don’t like).

I also like giving to charity, though I may not always have the financial ability or the time to do as much as I would like to help out to the different causes that are important to me.

So when I discovered Crowdtap, “the first a pay-per-action social marketing and research platform”, I was intrigued.  I immediately signed on and began playing around with the options available to me. Once I realized it was something that I will actively use and would like others to participate, I began spreading the word.

It’s fun & easy to use AND you earn cash for gift cards and charity for your participation. In fact, you earn your first dollar just for signing up. (Sign up now!)

When you first log-on, you see your progress, actions available to you & community activity.

Above that, you have your navigation for ‘Home’, ‘Stats’ (Where you can see your own dashboard, stats & history, as well as any badges you’ve earned), & ‘Redeem’ (Once you reach $10, you may redeem your earnings for a gift card & the charity you choose).

One of my favorite things about Crowdtap is their blog, OnTap, “keeping you up to date on all the latest happenings direct from the team. From new functionality and new perks to how Crowdtappers are making an impact , OnTap will keep you in the know.”

Their blog is informative, engaging and provides you with tips, news & announcements.  For a great start-up like this, I believe that an active and engaging blog is key and the folks at Crowdtap are definitely on top of it!

Currently, Crowdtap is invite only so click this link to go & sign up!  Let me know what you think!

You can also find Crowdtap on Facebook and Twitter.

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This is not a sponsored post and I am not affiliated with Crowdtap in any way. 

[Reverb10] Community

The groupphoto © 2009 Grzegorz Łobiński | more info (via: Wylio)

This year, as I found myself, I also found people around me fading away.

As I grew out of friendships, it seemed that because of one friendship expiring, I kept losing entire communities of people.

At 25 years old, it’s hard to make new friends, let alone find new communities so you focus on making the ones you have stronger.

June of 2010 was an incredible month for me as I found myself smack in the middle of a sisterhood that had already embraced me unconditionally. I just didn’t fully see or understand it until we were all in the same room together. They had watched me grow over the last few years, some intimately & some from a distance.  When a friend I had met online who had watched me from a distance invited me to her wedding around the same time someone I thought was a friend told me I wasn’t welcome in her life (In addition to her wedding), I understood what true friendship & community meant.

I also found the Social Media community of Washington, DC. I was intimated at first because I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer. I was timid & unsure, like the new kid in a high school where everyone had known each other since nap time. I still put myself out there, through my fear & insecurities. Boy am I glad I did.  I have met some amazing people who have made a name for themselves and are still offering insight to the newcomers. The sharing of knowledge, insight & the friendships that form in this community are priceless. (This is obviously nowhere near a comprehensive list of all the amazing people I have met & you should join the FB group if you want to join the great discussions)

You have to make it through the fluff.

The reality is no matter what community you discover, there will always be fluff.  It’s when you get down to the nitty gritty that you find the true value in the community, the people and most important of all, yourself.

In 2011, I’ll keep being the new kid where it counts.

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Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

It Was Time

Sometimes in life, it’s necessary to have a pen name.  Sometimes, it just makes things easier because all you’re doing is creating a name that is not so uncommon that it comes up on Google searches.

Sometimes, you just need that safety net.

And then, there comes a time when it gets too complicated.  You make friends, you sign up for conferences and your business cards and everything else has your pen name while your name tag at the conference has your real name.

Sometimes, it’s time to figure out the best way to consolidate the two because you still don’t want your real name EVERYWHERE on the web.

You have to start somewhere. So I have.

I’m not sure how I will go about consolidating the two LinkedIn profiles, or my bio on here.  I will figure it out.

I do know one thing.

The ‘PQ’ stays.

Welcome to the next stage in my life, where I finally take control.

Be patient with me as I figure it out.  Just stick to calling me “B.” or “PQ” online. Let’s keep it simple.

Though, I’ll be honest. Seeing MY name in a byline? Priceless.

If you’re around D.C. tonight, you should stop by 18th & U for a  Fundraiser for LGBTQ Youth (The Trevor Project). Details here. (Yeah, that’s my real name up there.)

Beneath the Surface

Fact: I’m on a ton of social networks. I love to be connected.

Myth: My entire life is on said social networks and all you have to do is read my status updates.

Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend with people in my life.  They seem to think that the best way to communicate with me is to read my status updates and then make assumptions to construct my life the way they see fit. This is ridiculous.

The status updates I put up are snapshots of my life, of things that are randomly going through my mind and trust me: The 24 hours of my life every day could not be simplified enough to become a string of  140-character one-liners.

Is it true that I used to pour my heart out in my blog and work out every problem I had through writing? For the most part, yes. But even back then, there were things that you could only find out by talking to me.

When I first started blogging, it was my only communication with the world sometimes.  Between commuting to school, the two part-time jobs I had and family affairs, I barely had time to socialize and needed to connect.  I was also only 18 years old.

Naturally, I’ve grown up some. (A LOT in this past year alone.)

I’ve also become a lot more private, even among friends.  I know that when I need to vent, or have an issue, my friends will be there in a heartbeat.  I could vent to them about everything that frustrates or upsets me on any given day. I often choose not to.

I’ve learned that some things are best resolved internally and then discussed if needed. I now have the ability to resolve my issues on my own, instead of throwing out into the universe for my friends to discuss amongst themselves. As much as they have my best interest at heart, sometimes that is worst possible idea.  My friends cannot fit in a mold and their opinions vary to the point of being completely opposite at times.  I love that about them.

Even my closest friends that know everything about me don’t know everything about me on any given day.

As much as I love writing, and venting, I love living more.

Part of  living is feeling. Part of living is growing pains.

Part of living is learning to be alone with myself and basking in the peace of my mind.

This is not to say I’m not a social creature. Nor will I disappear from social networks. I will still be there but so will my phone. And my e-mail.

Best way to get to know me?

Talk to me.

Get beneath the surface.

[source]

Getting to know you:  Tell me one random fact about yourself.

Making A Difference

In a previous post, I mentioned how much I love walking.  When walking for a CAUSE, it’s even sweeter, which is what I will be doing  next weekend during the National Memory Walk.  I, personally, have not had Alzheimer’s hit close to home but that is not a requirement to raise awareness and walk for a good cause.  I am one of the Memory Muses and if you’re local, we would love for you to stop by our fundraising happy hour tonight at Coco Sala. Besides, who doesn’t love red wine & chocolate?

http://twtvite.com/MemoryMuses

If you are not local, you can always contribute to the cause through my page.

You can also make a purchase from my Etsy shop and I will be donating 25% of my profits to my goal of $500. Grab an awesome picture for your home & contribute to a good cause. What could be better?

Speaking of making a difference, you guys know that I’m currently interning with myImpact, which is a brand new online platform to track your volunteer activity through Twitter & the web.  We have an exciting few months ahead of us and I’m excited to be a part of the team.  If you do any volunteering at all, you should sign up and check out our tool to track your impact.  We want feedback from our users to mold the platform to be as effective and useful as possible.  It’s exciting to be a part of a project working toward making an impact and recognizing, as well as encouraging those of you who volunteer and make a difference in your community.