One Million Faces

On June 28, 2011 I jumped in Google+ both feet with every intention of making a huge difference – with what I wasn't sure of. I feel I'm just starting to get traction with that journey now, almost a year later. I am about to roll over to ONE MILLION followers on Google+. It's an honor and distinction I share with 144 other people (being over the 1M mark) according to +CircleCount (love their site!).

tl;dr – THANK YOU Here's the shared circle of all the mentions here (https://plus.google.com/u/0/106600962597764825745/posts/H7izqDa4HX3).

I'm a normal person by all accounts, but a slightly abnormal social media practitioner (as I do this for a living since 2006 but in technology since 1989). "Early adopter" is what a lot of people would call me. I like to jump in and bang all the buttons and break things, rip them apart to see how they work, and then use it to the very best of my abilities. My business and career are all about helping companies & their brands navigate the social spaces and technologies online. My passion is coaching & teaching professional women how to do it for themselves and their business/career.

I've been blogging since 1996 (I coded mine by hand thank-you-very-much). I'm one of the early pioneers in podcasting since 2004. In hindsight that only shows that I geek out early and often on social platforms. It proves nothing of my talent or intentions now. What matters is what I do here – what I do now. The same goes for you.

There is one overwhelming fact to disclose here – I didn't do this alone. So how did I get to a million without being an actor or famous person before Google+? Somehow I wound up on the SUL (Suggested Users List) which I am eternally grateful for. I have no idea how to get on the list or what the criteria is. What I do know is that you don't get 'automatically added' to people's circles because you are on the list. You still have to produce kick-ass content and make a real difference in people's day – or their lives. Every single day – online and offline – I try to do justice to the honor and privilege of being on the SUL. With that said, numbers don't mean squat. It's true. It's only what you do with the privilege that matters. Remember that please. If you are selling songs or art or books the numbers might count. I'm selling me (snarky comments aside…) I am my own business and I haven't found a way to clone me yet!

So here is the big question – what does 1,000,000 circlers get me? I can tell you it didn't get me a party or a champagne toast! I only get out of the million faces that follow what I post what I put into it myself. What I put into this platform was everything I had – and I got that and a lot more in return.

An idea that I had early on that gave me motivation is the creation of +Women of Google+. It never has become what I had hoped, as I'm the only one 'running the show'. Any self-employed person knows there just aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done, especially with a family & kids. I still want to create a space where women that thrive within social media channels – especially Google+ – can come together and celebrate each other. There is an old medical school saying "see one, do one, teach one" that is what I hoped would become of the idea. Learn from someone, do it yourself, teach another to do it as well. With extremely limited resources to get the project off the ground, right now it only falls on me to pull the ropes and carry the buckets. Every opportunity I get in 'real life' is spent talking to professional women (and the businesses they run, lead, or own) and lending encouragement and mentorship. We need our voices heard and in order to have that happen we need to learn how to make our own voices loud and clear.

Since my experiences in Google+ and online in general would be nothing without the million faces and many friends along the way, I wanted to use this self-made opportunity <grin> to showcase some friends of mine that I think will add value, passion, and knowledge to your experiences here as well.

It's hard to reach a million people and not make some dear friends and find wit, intelligence, comedy, and enthusiasm that change the very being of who I am. I highly recommend following every single one of them.

+Arleen Boyd – Arlene was the very first person I ever did a Hangout with. I was in New Jersey, and she was in Hawaii (at a yacht club I might add – gorgeous!) Someday I promise I will find a way to get out there to do a real life Women of Google+ +HIRL and have a drink with her!

+Carter Gibson – Egads. It's hard not to love Carter. I met him for the first time at the NYC +HIRL. We were in the same tour group of the NYC Google offices. I will not disclose any shenanigans that went on during our visit <grin>, but only want to note that Carter is one of the most talented and personable community managers I've ever met. Wrangling a company or brand online is like herding cats of the Nyan Cat kind. It's not easy, but he makes it fun. Outside of that, I see him as an amazing advocate for humans, compassion and tolerance. I love him much….

+Cecily Kellogg – Cecily is a Philly local girl to me, and I absolutely love her. She inspires me and makes me smarter. She is strong and strong-mouthed (which I love) and is an amazing mom. She's earned her stripes for sure. If I could pick a sister, she might very well be her….

+Chris Brogan – He's (to many) the king of social media, but being that I've know him for a very long time, I will forever think of Chris as "The Mayor." (I won't give a reference on this one, but anyone that has known me or my 'business' for a long time will figure it out). I've seen him build his own ideas and empire and change the mindset and actions of this industry. Chris is like a phenix to me, always inventing and reinventing the next big idea.

+Daria Musk – What's to say? Daria is the sweetheart of Google+ and soon to be the world. I met her in Google+ but have been friends with many independent musicians before that. Sadly, even those with amazing talent don't always 'make it.' Daria has amazing talent, yes, but she also has brains and a support system behind the scenes (her mom rocks). She above all others is showing me that you just can't go through life alone. It's only by surrounding ourselves with other shining people can we hope to reach high enough to pluck a star for ourselves.

+Dave Young – My husband of almost 12 years. Dad to my amazing kids. My resident geek extraordinaire. To quote +Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, "the most important career choice you make is who you marry. I have an awesome husband and we are 50/50." None of what I do in my business, my career, or Google+ would make a lick of difference if I didn't have Dave in my corner.

+Evo Terra – Way back in the day, I first 'met' Evo online and was blow away by his knowledge and passion for indie authors. He's the co-founder of +Podiobooks.com – Serialized audio books & currently co-heading +ePublish Unum – Digital Author Education. He took the opportunity of this platform and blew the top wide open for himself and many indie authors that are making names – and money – for themselves. He's amazing, plain and simple.

+Jane Ellen – Jane is remarkable. She's wicked smart, a smart ass, sassy, sexy, glamourous, and talented. WAY talented. Jane is for sure a role model for me. She knows how to work a room even via Hangout. While I feel socially awkward and klutzy, she makes me see what it's like to be grace under fire with a smart comeback. You couldn't ask for a better friend or publicist than Jane.

+J.C. Hutchins – Just as I have a love of indie musicians, indie authors are etched in my heart – JC above all else ( #suckit +Scott Sigler – even though he's a top favorite author of mine also – it's sort of a fan 'inside joke'). Stories don't just live on a page when JC writes them, they flow to all media and all spaces of imagination. The idea of #transmedia is something I learned about via JC. Stories aren't stories when JC writes, they are beings.

+Marcy Massura – LOVE. HER. We both live and understand this crazy 'space' online and breathe it in – even when it stinks. She knows how to deal with brands, moms, fans, and an audience – probably with a martini in one hand. She may live 3,000 miles from me, but Marcy is another long lost sister of mine I'm sure of it.

+Matthew Ebel – My original indie musician crush. Matt was one of the very first artists to let us podcasters use his music royalty-free ("podsafe"). He broke the barrier of "untouchable rockstar" and let his fans into his life to become a part of the music. He is a pioneer when it comes to indie music online. Some call him a mix between Elton John & John Mayer – but now I just call him talented & a true friend.

+matthew rappaport – Matt lives and breathes Google+. If you are looking for a slice of live within Google+, Matt is your go-to guy. One of the first people to use Hangouts for entertainment, he's the king hangouts as far as I'm concerned! An actor at heart, Matt lives to entertain! He has a way of finding the most interesting people in Google+ and showcasing them on Hangouts. Check out +The PLUStainment Show to see how he does it.

+Peter G McDermott – Peter is a Google+ advocate for sure. His love and understanding of the platform is amazing. I got to meet him at the NYC HIRL / Google office tour as well & found him to be very smart and has a genuine interest to help businesses in Google+. Personally I think Google should hire him….

Many thanks – of course – to Google themselves. +Vic Gundotra & +Bradley Horowitz have quite an amazing team in the Googlers and every single one of them strives to make our experience here better every day. Special thanks to two of my favorite women of Google+ – +Natalie Villalobos & +Katherine Gramann for being two of the first million faces I knew in here. To me they are amazing role models and am glad every day to know them.

Want to see more amazing people that I value every single day? Go check out my stream. See who comments with me, who talks with me, and the people I talk to or +1. I actively hunt out smart people and smart content in here. I never expect it to arrive at my doorstep, I am on the prowl constantly for this stuff! (Queue: Hungry Like a Wolf from Duran Duran!!)

Of course my experience in Google+ would not be anything exciting with these amazing Women of Google+. These are some of the interviews I have done in Hangouts. These ladies keep me strong and grounded and I'm amazed every day by their accomplishments.

+Aliza Sherman
+Valeria Maltoni
+Jacqueline Carly
+Cecily Kellogg & +Dresden Shumaker
+Jane Ellen
+Adrienne Graham
+Marcy Massura

Thank you. Every single one of the 170 million in Google+, and especially to the million faces that have any interest in hearing what I choose to say on my little soapbox on the 'net. THANK YOU. Now let's go find some champagne!!!

Forgive me if you feel I've left you out of anything – it is not my intention to be exclusive, only to draw attention to the people 'off the top of my head' that have enriched my Google+ life.

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Podcast: Interview with Jordan Weisman, on “Shadowrun Returns” | J.C. Hutchins: New Fiction And Author Updates
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