- Standing sounds better in studio than it does in my head. I played my best single take of guitar on Saving Grace, ever. EP is nearly ready. 2013-04-21
- To celebrate I am taking myself out to see Rufus Wainwright sing Judy Garland at the Kimmel Center tonight! 2013-04-21
- @jmooreconrow I couldn’t turn down the $10 rush tickets. Plus, hopefully nothing from his awful last LP in the midst of opera and Judy! in reply to jmooreconrow 2013-04-21
- @KMBTweets A fantastic Bowie deep cut. Haven’t played that in an age! in reply to KMBTweets 2013-04-21
- Sitting close enough to Rufus Wainwright to run over & hug him before anyone could’ve stopped me. Didn’t even realize. Probably for the best 2013-04-21
- Soprano Melody Moore’s voice was absolutely hypnotic. I saw vivid peals of indigo & violet swirling during her opening runs. (Not on drugs.) 2013-04-21
- “If Judy Garland studied the science of rainbows, she would have known they weren’t something to fly over, but simply refractions of light!” 2013-04-21
- Encore of Oh What A World, Babs/Judy Happy Days / Get Happy, and Hallelujah. I’ve died, in case you were wondering. 2013-04-21
- @HokuleaSF Saw the Prima! Rufus! Judy! show in Philly, he was sitting right in front of me during Prima and I didn’t even know! in reply to HokuleaSF 2013-04-21
- Open floor plan offices are groovy & collaborative until the person breathing at you from the other side of your monitor has strep throat. 2013-04-22
- @aworldgoesnova I relocated for the day. I love my team dearly, but I have preggo wife, and vocal recording all week, and [SPOILER] next wk. in reply to aworldgoesnova 2013-04-22
Archives for April 2013
I am incredibly excited to share that the next step in my career is working as the first Strategic Account Manager for RJMetrics!
RJMetrics is a Philadelphia-based start-up that provides business analytics to aid companies in making data-driven decisions.
That’s a little corporate-speaky, so they break it down for you in video:
And, if you’re not in the mood for a show, here’s my version:
Businesses – especially in eCommerce – collect a lot of data about their customers. They’re almost in the data business as much as they’re in the business business. They know data is important, but when it comes to querying, analyzing, and reporting on that data it become a big time-suck that I know too well. People get lost in the weeds of data requests, Excel crosstabs, and creating glossy charts for their presentations. The process becomes their whole job, and if it turns out they didn’t quite get the right data the first time around, all that work gets scrapped and repeated.
RJMetrics makes the relatively un-bold proposal that your time could be better spent, and they do that by presenting an easy-to-use, web-based software that connects to your data and presents all of those metrics in a dashboard that anyone (and everyone!) in your organization can dig into. You can change sources on the fly, perform cohort analysis, and output data and charts with just a few clicks. I learned how to use it in less than an hour.
It’s intelligent, it’s elegant, and it’s the kind of obvious product that ought to be ubiquitous across all businesses that live and die by understanding the trends emerging from their customers. And, as an Account Manager there it will be my job to help make it ubiquitous – and to ensure clients are getting the most out of the product!
As with many amazing developments in my life, my new position is owed almost entirely to social media interactions.
I recently attended a “Working for Start-Ups” seminar with @Marina_Rakhlin through Girl Develop It – an incredible global org that helps women (and men) lifelong learners acquire the skills they need to develop software. E sometimes teaches with GDI, and I mostly took the course so that I could better understand the start-up world that she occupies at Monetate.
Just a few weeks later, one of my local Twitter musician friends, @BenGarvey, mentioned he was starting his new job at RJMetrics. Ben had recently told me about his new adventures in software at a chance encounter at BarCamp Philly, so I was intrigued to see where he landed. And then I learned all of the above, and saw that RJMetrics had a Strategic Account Manager position available.
Having just taken such an amazing seminar on working for start-ups, I took a shot at it! I went through the most awesome and entertaining interview process, which you can read about in RJMetrics’s post “Data Driven Hiring.” (Their “Getting Startup Jobs If You Aren’t a Programmer” post is also great.) After meeting the RJ team and their CEO Robert Moore – and a very difficult deliberation with my own council of advisors – I decided that after 10 years in health care it was time to try something new and different.
What won’t be different is that I’ll be working for a brand with a product I believe in and with people who I am already excited to collaborate with. It means so much to me to be able to advocate for my brand to my friends in person and on social media, and I’m excited to do that as I learn and grow with RJMetrics!
And that’s the end of this week’s big news! Now, off to a weekend of belated birthday celebrations with E and recording final vocals with Gina. Nothing could be better!
This is my last week working at Independence Blue Cross – also known as IBX. I have been an IBX associate since March of 2003.
It still doesn’t seem real to see those words written down – not just because they represent the end of a ten-year chapter of my life, but because during that decade the name of my employer has never appeared here on CK (aside from perhaps an archived tweet or two).
No one ever told me not to mention IBX. I had blogged openly about all of my previous jobs and colleagues, and even blogged a bit about my introduction to corporate culture at IBX. I don’t think Google Alerts existed when I first interviewed, or if they did they were not very prevalent.
Yet, as I sat in the interview for my initial cooperative education experience in Provider Communications back in 2003 talking about how I was trying to triangulate my way to the perfect job for me, I must have decided that it was for the best to keep mum about it.
I never thought I would enjoy a corporate job, but my initial co-op position as a Communications Assistant proved that wrong. I loved working with the nuances of words and communicating the position of a brand. Read more…
In 2009 I was also finally in the position to be asking questions about IBX’s approach to Social Media – or, more accurately, in the position for my questions to be heard. Unfortunately, the answer at the time was, “We don’t have one.”
My Director, Shawn, had a different answer. He assembled a small team – including me and the now-infamous Britt – to define how IBX could best join the conversation in social media. Shawn boldly directed our work, helped us uncover best practices, and sold our strategy to everyone in our company up through the CEO so that we could establish a foothold in social media.
I am so proud that my initial questions and subsequent research helped grow us into a brand with a robust and consistent Social Media identity and responsive social-based customer service. It’s my dream come true.
In 2011 I was promoted to a position made just for me – Client Services Lead. With it came responsibility to help set the strategy for not just one campaign, but our entire brand. I took over communications our Sales division, which changed my focus to our biggest customers and most intricate problems. I also had the chance to pitch and implement our 2012-13 Social Media strategy, and to assist in undertaking a company-wide rebranding!
Deciding to leave Creative Services at IBX has been the most difficult decision of my life. There are as many projects waiting to be tackled here now as when I arrived in 2006. While I’m sad to leave them behind, I know they remain in highly capable hands.
As I say goodbye to IBX, I have so many people to thank for my continued development and success – colleagues and clients alike, past and present:
Betsy, Rob, Laura B, Ray, Sherm, Eric, Ed, Laura L., Alex, Cheri, Tammy, Tim, Caroline, Cindy McR, AnnaMaria, Margie & Mimi, Dan K, Evie, Ryan H, Dr. Brooks, Emily & Julie H, Charleen, and Patti G. & Donna M.;
Elib, Carol, John McC, Lisa McSmith, Maureen, Jamie, Lynda, Tet, Rossi, Karen F, Karla, Mike N, Karen L & Barb, Janice, Sheila P, Bob K, Dave H, Tyler, Rhasaan, Marie L, Marion & Karen CG, Denise HM, John & Jackie, Lytanja & Emerlinda, Rita, Kathy A, and Lorina;
Shawn, Christine, Kate, Leah, Sarafina, JulieAnne, Mandy, Jay, Dan McN, Matt P, Mark DC,Cindy C & Kimberly S, Mel, Trisha, Erin, Koleen, Susan, Melissa, Ashley, Mark, Ryan B, Stacey, Toni-Marie, Mary Eileen, Sonia, Shawnee, Britt, Nate, Sheila H, Joanne J, Ruth, Kathy I, and Stephen;
Mary Kate, Chris McD, Maggie & Anna, Josh, Jeremy, Counter, Christian, Gabby, Darlene, Markus, Sarah M, Mike F, Karen Br, Rebecca & D, Andrea F, Colin, Michael H, Carolyn F, Mary, Elissa, and Dave M;
Peggy, Jim, and Terri at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation; the team at Leadership Philadelphia; Tierney Communications, Brownstein Group, and Brian Communications; Richard, John, Roman, and the team at Netplus; and dozens of other people at IBX and in our partner organizations.
Every one of those people changed my life, and in the process we changed millions of lives in the communities we serve – helping people manage chronic conditions, covering kids without insurance, and inspiring people to take healthy steps for themselves.
It has been my honor and privilege to work alongside so many committed, creative professionals for the past decade. I might have the same career aspirations without them, but surely not the same career potential or trajectory, nor the same personal accountability. True to my word in that first interview, IBX really did help me triangulate to what I wanted from my career – and now I’m going after it!
The IBX building is an anchor of Philly’s unmistakable skyline, which means everyone in the city sees it almost every day. Sometimes after a long day or week of work, the last thing you want to see on the horizon is your office staring back at you, but I never really minded. Whenever I spotted it in the distance or drive by, I would just always say to myself, “there’s Big Blue,” and smile.
I love you, Big Blue.
Over five years ago I told you all that E and I were getting married.
Four years ago I live-posted my vows on our wedding day.
Three years ago I shared the story of buying our first home.
While the impending summer 2013 birth announcement of Baby Krisis (not his or her official nickname) (yet) will likely remain the biggest news ever to break on CK for possibly all of eternity, this week I have two amazing pieces of information to share that rank only a few rungs on the news ladder below “I am committing to stay with my partner forever” and “I am buying a piece of property three time as old as me.”
Stay tuned, true believers. I am shaking it all up in 2013.
- @alexcmurphy We tried four episodes in S1 and they were all terrible. Even with all the alt-reality stuff in the future, dunno if I care. in reply to alexcmurphy 2013-04-14
- Good morning! I seem to have recovered from West Coast time adequately, but I’m still a hung up on the weather. Mmm, sunny 60s every day. 2013-04-15
- @LunaTechie Do you know, one of the things that unconciously makes a place seem foreign to me is a lack of Dunkins? So weird and East Coasty in reply to LunaTechie 2013-04-15
- @izabelleg You rock, Iza! So much willpower and time management went into this change of life. I could learn something from your example ;) in reply to izabelleg 2013-04-15
- @gregpak I owe you an apology; in the TPB of Xtreme I now see that Dazzler’s guitar has built-in speakers to drive her power. Fine work, sir 2013-04-15
- @SocialBrown @marykateruf @saranmatthews @edwardocean @thecpmcd @SmashleyDubs @suzymags Good luck w/the new digs today! 2013-04-08
- I am writing you from inside The Google. (@ Googleplex – @google w/ 12 others) http://t.co/p0pvLR6Z92 2013-04-08
- Chrome Android says hello! http://t.co/5iClf1ftmH 2013-04-08
- Must resist buying Google baby gear. Must. Resist. 2013-04-08
- @ChrisUrie There were a notable population of people walking around with Glass. They uniformly looked like creepers. Cyborg creepers. in reply to ChrisUrie 2013-04-08
- @mtomasetti Because you recently played Spider-Man in a major motion picture? in reply to mtomasetti 2013-04-08
- @joeross Interested to see what sorts of tea geek resources you amass. I’m just now realizing not all teas want the same temperature water. in reply to joeross 2013-04-09
- After walking up what seems like a neverending hill @not_pele located a Chinese Candy Store that meets her vaguely-defined quality standards 2013-04-09
- Her booty? Fruit flavored beef jerky her grandmother used to buy in the 80s. Possibly from the 80s. http://t.co/0ioAWYgz7s 2013-04-09
- We have reached the end of today’s quest. http://t.co/SV7LG97Q1T 2013-04-09
- This day will last in my memory forever, with its eight mile quest up and down the hills and various unexpected stops along the way. 2013-04-09
- @bengarvey The one we walked up… there are no words. It was stairs up to a point and then they gave up and it was like crawling. in reply to bengarvey 2013-04-09
- @shunmahoney Because you will occasionally be tapped to guest-host? in reply to shunmahoney 2013-04-09
- Okay, this is some really bad sunburn. The Left Coast may have won the day. 2013-04-09
- This is what happens when I travel without my travel hat. Hopefully today’s adventures will be shaded. http://t.co/vKI3Uhqmhp 2013-04-10
I would look for any excuse. Forgot my gym clothes. Wore boots instead of sneakers. My eczema meant I was predisposed to asthma.
Anything not to run a mile for the Presidential Fitness Test in gym class.
I look back and laugh to myself. I barely weighed anything at the time. How hard could it have been to locomote myself 5280 feet? Certainly easier than now, where every galumphing step makes me acutely aware of just where I’m storing all that ice cream I’ve been eating lately.
Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t really the running I was avoiding. Well, okay, it was the running a little. Mostly it was where we were running it. I attended a city high school with a tiny school yard on its roof. There was no track anywhere to be found, and letting us loose in the surrounding neighborhood could result in any number of side trips to buy cigarettes or hook up with reprobates lurking outside the college across the street.
No, to keep things contained we would need to run around the parking lot. Just the west half of it, actually. Nine and a half times.
I like to think if they loosed us up and down Green Street I might not have minded as much, but the utter drudgery and the hurdling over mounds of trash bags was too much to bear. Some kids sat it out in protest, no doubt earning a firm note home to mom and dad. I protested, but I was and have ever remained averse to official forms of reprimand, so I would run.
Actually, now that I think back to my time, I was pretty fast.
I was doing just that, yesterday. Not running fast. Thinking about my time. Because I found myself in the drudgery of all drudgeries – running a mile on a treadmill without any music to run along too.
And why was I undertaking this Sisyphean task, you might wonder? Because I was taking the Presidential Fitness Test, along with three of my co-workers. We worked up a devilish little challenge for Q2 of 2013, and it started with timing ourselves on a mile jog.
Now, I had gotten pretty good at jogging by this time last year. Once, a single time, I managed to come within a hair of an 8:30 mile, which is as fast as these luscious Italian thighs should ever have to carry me over that distance. The past year has not been especially kind to my body and I, so that time is now far behind me. I had no illusions of matching it on my personal hamster wheel. No, this was a run for my life. Gasping and wincing and biting my lip and humming one of my own songs just to cut through the digital tick tock tick of the timer on the screen in front of me. I would defeat this electronic taskmaster and its 5280 feet of endlessly looping pavement. I would run that damned mile.
In that moment of sureness I had a feeling not unlike what people might refer to as someone walking on your grave, but in reverse. I knew at that very moment that somewhere in the continuum of time a version of me half of my age had been cajoled into taking nine and a half laps around the parking lot, and was hurdling over a trashbag with secret glee.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m due for another run.
When I was age seven or eight I wanted to be a comedian. I never told anyone.
My mother really liked to watch comedians on television. I guess my parents had that in common, because I could always seem to unearth yet another comedy routine of Robin Williams or George Carlin from our pile of dubbed Beta tapes. My mother would always say they were not appropriate for me, but she never stopped me from watching them.
At the time I didn’t especially enjoy being in front of people. I had to be dragged into performing a simple narration in a school Christmas pageant at age 10, which I have absolutely no recollection of due to what I have to assume was my blacking out from fear.
I did not want to be in front of an audience, but I wanted to be clever. I liked the idea of making people laugh for a living.
Even eight-year-old me understood the precarious economics of the Comedy profession. You would have to be super, ultra funny to get as many people to sit in front of you as Williams or Carlin, let alone Gallagher with his watermelons. I loved Gallagher. Jay Leno. Tim Allen, too. They were zany, and they were clearly very talented. I was sure they wrote their own jokes, which was an awful lot of jokes.
(I cannot speculate on whether that lead me to focus on writing. I didn’t write things that were especially funny at that age. I preferred the macabre. Too much Stephen King, I guess, another one my mother was never sure about but kept letting me read.)
Eventually I gave up my secret comedian wish in favor of one more typical for a bright kid – doctor, I figured. Yet, that early urge to be funny probably informed my profession more than most of my math and science scholastic endeavors aimed at a future in medical school.
Now I don’t like most funny things. Jokes, pranks, comedians, sitcoms – they mostly elicit a groan from me. I still laugh, mind you, but I like my humor sarcastic, or ironic, or soaked in pop culture. Nothing overt. No cartoonish hammers wielded against watermelons. Joss Whedon and Tina Fey are my comedy gold.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “comedy is for kids.” When you are a child, every joke is a new one. Every episode of I Love Lucy or Looney Tunes has a gag so funny you think you will stop breathing. Sitcoms play out tropes you’ve never seen before. Talk show hosts tell groaners, but you don’t understand that you should groan.
I do not want to be a comedian anymore. I don’t think I ever did, to begin with. I wanted to be what comedy represented. An innovator. A trailblazer. Something novel, every time.
Little did I know how in demand that would be when I grew up.