Inspirations, Frustrations & Faded Hair

“Sorry”, “Just” wanted to check in with everyone…

Playing around with video as a medium lately… Of course I have plans for it. ;)

Correction: That amazing woman is Terri Holland.  Silly Joi

Links to stuff I referenced:
– Jumpstart Mornings talks I have been helping host at the Impact Hub SLC (…)
– Annoying semantics policing that is happening to Women in Biz lately (…)

Celebrate: Family Dance Party Style!

As I prepare to unplug and enjoy the US Holiday weekend, I thought I would share my new fav internet rabbit hole – I love Love LOVE the new trend of parent/child dances.

With all the polarity in our news of late, what a great way to disconnect and have fun with your kids!

Enjoy a sample of some of my favs here:

Happy 4th!

Creative Mornings & Jumpstart Mondays

I did a quick video to invite local SLC folks to a couple events that I am helping facilitate.

1. Creative Mornings SLC

I will be hosting this month’s Creative Mornings talk on the global theme of REVOLUTION.  Impact Hub SLC has generously offered to host the space.  Doors open at 8:30 for breakfast and coffee and talk will start at 9am.  It’s FREE and open to the public, but RSVP if you think you will be coming so we have an idea of the crowd.  :)

2. Jumpstart Mondays @ Impact Hub SLC

I am also helping facilitate a Monday morning speaker series at Impact Hub SLC called Jumpstart Mondays.  Local social entrepreneurs getting together to talk about their different projects and have great conversations with their peers.  What a great way to start a week, right?

Hope to see you soon!

ICanHelpline pilot on Indiegogo

Excited to spread the word about Anne Collier​’s new project – ICanHelpline​: Building an Online Social Media Support Helpline for Schools.

It’ll be a place schools can call or email for help with cyberbullying, sexting, reputation and other issues involving students and staff in their communities – help with navigating sites and apps, reporting abuse, getting content taken down that violates terms of service, etc.

The Indiegogo campaign JUST launched – please considered donating.  If you can’t help fund, please help spread the word. This is a MUCH needed resource and if this pilot gets funded and works, we can have it spread nationwide for all schools.

Answering the Drum Beat

I have spent the bulk of my career working on building safe and engaging communities for customers and audiences of all ages.  I’ve worked with established brands, but also many startups (and revamps) and taken those brands to tens of millions of happy users.

This last year working with the Metaverse team has been quite an adventure.  While there, I had the opportunity to oversee almost a hundred active projects at a time, as well as the hardworking project/account managers that kept those projects running smoothly.  I did this simultaneous to donning a new business development hat and earning some documentable sales experience in an area at which I knew I would be good.  I mean, you don’t DO services for 15 years without being able to eventually SELL services, right?

But for the past few years of my career, the beat of the entrepreneur drum just kept getting louder.  And to run with the metaphor further, the sound of the social good flutes started playing in conjunction.

I’ve come to the decision that I am going to take some reflective time.  As such, I am leaving my role as VP of Professional Services at Metaverse this week.

So… what next?

In the past, I’ve been fortunate that opportunities have become available to me when I wanted changes.  But this time I am going to be a bit more proactive.  I have a knee surgery coming up that I have been postponing for literally decades, so I am going to leverage that time, in true multi-tasker fashion, and have a good think on what I want to do next.

So I’m taking calls.  I’m having meetings.  I’m joining conversations and brainstorms.  I’m deciding what amazing thing I want to do next.

[I also plan on watching LOTS of TV in the next week while I am recouping from my surgery.  So if you want to talk with someone about that series you’ve been obsessing over – I’m probably your gal.]

Looking forward to the future and all the cool stuff I will have the pleasure of working – maybe with some of you!

Social Good FTW

Lately, in an effort to engage with my new home in Salt Lake City, I have been volunteering on local projects that take those international and large-scale skill sets I have developed and try to apply them in hyper-local situations:

Working towards safe and engaging audience communities online can feel detached at times, especially when you are working in the thousands or millions of users ranges.  I haven’t lost my desire to work on online projects, of course, but it’s great to be able to see those digital skill sets translate so easily into the offline space.

It’s nice to see the direct impact via work on the local level. I have met and been inspired by so many people in my new city and I am excited about the potential I see here.

Notes from Sandbox Summit

I was interviewed on the Metaverse blog re: my recent Sandbox Summit trip, here it is:

Welcome back, fellow Sandbox Summit Alum! I know you’ve spoken at the event before regarding your work on Animal Jam. Can you share a bit about your history with MIT’s Sandbox Summit, and your previous experience?

Metaverse Friends and Sandbox2015

Sandbox summit is a great forum of Creative Professionals from the Kids’ Entertainment and EdTech worlds.  This is one of the more inspiring conferences I attend – all of the attendees are so invested in making high-quality content for children and families.  You really get to engage with high integrity folks at this show.

Following the conference on Twitter was great (#Sandbox2015) — and it seems to have really blossomed this year! Can you share any high-level insights on the conference overall from last year to this year?

I think everyone has completely embraced the APP world at this point – that seemed to be the biggest platform of discussion.  It was more about how we can leverage this medium for more engagement, fun, learning, play, etc.  The Maker movement was another theme that recurred – robotics, circuitry and other tinkering sorts of activities were prevalent in many of the demos.

I LOVE the theme this year — ‘Imagining a Playful Society.’ There seemed to be a stronger app/game approach to the conference.  What interesting products or speakers did you see that support the approach of using games to inspire play?

“Play” was a great way to engage the audience of the conference.  There were a couple audience participation moments – a room full of execs playing patty-cake, and a full-room dance party were definitely both memorable moments.  There were also some thoughtful conversations around AR/VR and if/how/should they fit into gameplay.  Also – if you haven’t checked out Caine’s Arcade yet – click NOW and watch this.

There were a few big content themes this year: Education (as always), Health, and Digital Usage. Please share a bit about how you saw these areas fit with the overall “Imagining a Playful society” theme?

The MIT Venue for SandboxEducation is always a big theme at Sandbox, but expressing how FUN and PLAY could fit in is important.  When are games right in the classroom, how to incorporate into curriculum and how to measure efficacy were all topics of discussion.

Google Play Store did a great presentation discussing the tools and resources they have for app developers.  We (the community and social media folks) love the Play Store’s ability to respond to your app customers reviews – as it gives you a chance to thank them for your feedback or let them know you heard their issues and are working on them.

In the mass market, we don’t always see the huge success rates with educational tech as we do with licensed entertainment products.  What was the conversation like around educational tech this year?

Seeing as these are the people who make and market those types of games – it was a positive conversation. That said, they are a practical and critical bunch. They do not accept the status quo, but rather keep wanting to push the industry forward.  Many of them have come from the entertainment arena and have migrated to the educational tech space, so that spirit of fun/entertainment drives them as much as the learning.

For the parents and teachers who could not attend – what do you think is important to knowledge to share from the Summit?  Do you have any concerns that blossomed from the Summit for teachers? Parents?

PlayScience released their new report regarding how parents show gender bias toward their child’s tech use. It’s definitely worth a read for both parents and teachers as they raise kids with the growing advancements and opportunities of digital products and technology.

David Wiesner Spot AppFor those in the business of tech for youth/family – what would you say are the top take-aways from the event?  Or products/people to look out for?

I have already downloaded the app Spot by one of my step-children’s (and husband’s) favorite picture book authors, David Wiesner.

Also, I saw a very cool app/device management program from Intel called K-12 Blueprint, that should be especially helpful in those school districts utilizing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. It’s a program that can benefit many types of districts, including low-income.

Is there anything else you’d love to share with us about the Summit? 

Just a shot out to one of the sponsors  It’s a great site that I have been donating through for a while.  It allows teachers and schools to set up Kickstarter-style campaigns for crowdfunding.  The organization generously gave each attendee a $50 gift-card to help us start funding our favorite projects.  I already have my eye on a couple great opportunities for my step-kids’ school.