Thoughts on social media marketing as I write a presentation I'm giving tomorrow: I used to want all social media roads--Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, whatever--to lead to my blog. My blog was the home of my brand, where all the content was. It's where I was trying to funnel the discussion, and it's what I was trying to get people to share on other platforms. Now, years later--I have been blogging since 1996 but went pro in early 2008--I think that content is so ubiquitous and information is so much less exclusive that blogs as a platform are much less valuable because they are not really easy to engage with.
Never before has there been so much free advice at our fingertips for self-help in managing depression and anxiety, but so many years of trying to overcome the dumps by reading articles about gratitude and quotes about happiness and writing lists about small successes makes me more feel like I'm trying to dig myself out of quicksand. Thinking and meaning-making about my mood does nothing to improve my happiness. There's no logical solution to this because it's an unreasonable problem.
I owe her a monthly letter soon--I have a lot to tell Future Alice. We just spent a week in Chicago on our first family vacation together and had a BLAST. We did all of the sights in six days and I learned what a fabulous travel companion my daughter is--her enthusiasm never decreased from sun up to sun down. The TSA! The airplane! The trains! The buses! The river through the city! The room key! The tiny soaps! The king-sized bed and cable TV! All so glamorous. And that's to say nothing yet of the amazing experiences we had at the planetarium, art museum, aquarium, science museum, department store...
Right now I'm listening to founders Susan Koger (Modcloth), Susan Feldman (One Kings Lane), and Julia Hartz (Eventbrite) on the Commonwealth Club on NPR. As I'm hearing them speak, I'm noticing a very common pattern between their stories that I have not recognized before.
1. Airbnb is actually about entrepreneurship (which can kind of sneak up on you).
When I started hosting, it was truly out of desperation because I needed a way to fund the new company I was building. When I made my first few hundred dollars in a month with seemingly little effort, I realized that by taking hosting more seriously I could avoid what I thought was the inevitability of needing a part-time job (in addition to my 60-hour/week at Hello Holiday plus parenting my daughter). As my personal finances were dwindling, I could never have stomached the idea that starting a second business would be the solution, which is why the possibility of so much hosting success surprised me.