I began my career in online marketing in 1999 by picking up a copy of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating an HTML Web Page” and creating a fan site for an online video game (it was a virtual catering business, so really, I was a CEO quite early on in my career). As luck and persistence would have it, I would be working as an online community manager for that very video game company (Turbine, Inc.) some years later. During my time there, I even had the chance to write, code, and implement a few quests.
I was fortunate to be working at Transparent Language during the social media explosion, because the company embraces new web tools and strategies, and strongly supports their online community. We dove into Facebook and Twitter, creating over 30 separate language-specific learning communities, and I grew those communities (through a regular content delivery strategy as well as effective Facebook advertising) to over 3 million members today. On the content side, I manage a team of freelance bloggers writing for 29 language blogs with companion YouTube channels.
In 2008, I was blogging about indie documentaries. I wanted someone to make one about modern tabletop board games, but there didn’t seem to be such a project in the works. So I made my own film, Going Cardboard: A Board Game Documentary, completed in 2012. I learned how to edit footage, run a successful Kickstarter, negotiate reseller partnerships and digital distribution contracts, present in front of large crowds, and arrange a commercial DVD print run.
My personal interests and career path have given me expertise in community management, social media, and online marketing with a solid understanding of gamification from both the player’s and marketer’s points of view. That’s one reason I chose the Nilofer Merchant quote on my home page: “To understand a new paradigm, you can’t just sit back and observe it… you have to live it, to embody it.” I am a strong believer in learning by doing, and I’m not afraid to dive into unfamiliar territory (like filmmaking, for example) to do it.