Lynne d Johnson

 

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12.16.09 02:48 PM

Keeping You Up-toDate: Where I've Been

When I first started blogging here, it was 2001 and I'd recently been laid off from a job at BlackPlanet.com. What I didn't know then, but know now, is that BP was a precursor to Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, et. al. The entire ethnic community site architecture at Community Connect Inc. -- MiGente and AsianAvenue along with BP -- definitely lent some foundation to some of the social nets we see today. Granted there's a little of Reunion.com and Classmates.com in FB too, but if you move on a trajectory from CCI's sites through the most popular social nets today, you'll see that most of them are direct progeny .

What I learned there was how to facilitate community online and interweave it with content. I was pretty much still a writer at heart at this time and needed an outlet, and so I started this site while freelancing in other media venues. It's foundation was my resume (a bio, a list of published works and speaking engagements) but this blog/diary was the catalog of my existence -- my likes and dislikes -- and it helped me to foster some of the greatest online relationships that I still hold near and dear today.

Not too long after launching this site, I was in grad school working on an MBA in Media Management and working in community technology centers while also teaching urban middle school educators how to bring technology into the classroom. That's when an opportunity to become Vibe's online editor came along. The Vibe gig helped me grow as an editor and digital manager in general, as my role expanded there to manage mobile plays for both Spin and Vibe, to eventually leading the day-to-day of the entire digital operation for both magazines.

While those media properties started being sold off, I started thinking more about the value and future of blogs and how online communities could provide research and marketing value for media companies. That's when I landed at FastCompany to work on editorial, but mainly to launch a blogging network and to help them launch an online community that matched the fervor of their then eight-year-old Company of Friends community (that was primarily run through listservs and offline meetups via regional and special interest groups). I also helped in growing the brand's online awareness and social graph. Though our foray into online communities, on a Drupal platform, was rocky at first, we continued to hold the interest and adoration of many business executives who wanted to help us succeed. The magazine, still a stellar product, was going through a transition too and eventually the focus of the digital property changed. Eventually that focus didn't meld with why I was originally brought in.

And this brings me to today, and what I'm doing now. In September, I started a gig with the Advertising Research Foundation as the SVP Social Media. There, I'm focusing on content, brand and social media development and strategy, and spearheaded the launch of The ARF Social Media Council, among many other key initiatives. I'm coming up on my third month, and so far it's been an amazing ride. It's as if this position is the culmination of a lot of my previous career experiences, even more than I've named here. I'm living in the next moment now, and helping companies to traverse an unknown landscape that places the consumer in the center of nearly all business operations. Social media is beyond a marketing play, it's an opportunity for companies to bring the consumer into the R&D process, into the boardroom, and into the product. Social media isn't just Facebook or Twitter, and in fact, I hope one day soon we start calling it something else besides simply social media. 

Here's more about what I had to say about joining the ARF in an interview on their site: "The ARF introduced our new SVP Social Media, Lynne d Johnson at our Social Media Council launch!" And here's another interview I did with the SocialTimes about social media and marketing & advertising: "Lynne d Johnson: Advertising's New Social Media Concscience," that's also available in rough, unedited form in this video (where I look a little too overzealous).

An aside: I love it when people insist that my name be written Lynne D. Johnson as opposed to Lynne d Johnson, especially when they think I've made a typo or mistake with my own spelling of my name.

Anyway, if any of my long-time readers are still out there, I thank you for your support over the years, but also realized that not everyone follows me on Twitter, so all of this may be news to you. I'm still speaking and started a blog partnership between the ARF and FC called Marketing Shift, so you may see me there, or even on MediaBizBloggers, where I plan to start blogging in the New Year. Oh yeah, and I'll be here too. I've been promising a brand new spanking site for a while new, but it's definitely time to give this dusty home a sweeping.

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