As the owner of Cornell Gallery (a picture framing business in Pleasantville, NY) I had always aspired to get onto the Westchester Magazine “Best Of” list which is published in the July issue every year. Well, in 2008 those aspirations became a reality as Cornell Gallery was named “Best Framer in Westchester”. It was quite an honor and we aspire to win it again.
Last month, I received an envelope from Westchester Magazine that was unexpected. It informed me that I had been named to the “Best Of” list once again — but this time as “Social Media Guru” for 2010 — as a result of this Twitter Professor website I have been using to build community through social media in Westchester and beyond.
Today Westchester Magazine published the list of 2010 winners on their website, and the magazine should be available on most newstands.
The great thing about this award is that it was completely unexpected. The reason I launched TwitterProfessor.com was to promote the use of Twitter, and subsequently other forms of social media for the benefit of the community around me. Through the process, I have met scores of local people who share an interest in social media — many of whom are having great success in using it to build their business, promote their organization or accomplish their own personal goals.
TwitterProfessor was one of the ingredients that helped form Westchester140 — a Westchester-based group that aims to “inspire Westchesterians to discover their potentials through the use of social media and nouveau marketing.” Westchester140 is the group behind each of the first five very successful Westchester TweetUps, including the one held last Thursday at XV Motorsports in Irvington (read write-up here), and organized by House Party. Westchester140 was founded by Chris Dessi, Polly Kreisman, Andy Barovick, Anthony Colasacco, Sarah O’Grady, Adam Stone and myself. Dessi and Kreisman are no longer organizers, but both are still extremely active in local social media.
TwitterProfessor has provided me with the opportunity to meet local people who are walking the walk. Examples include Linda Rey, Christopher Roberts, Heather Flournoy, Nancy Shenker, Stacy Geisinger, Kris Ruby, Jeff Kornfeld, Dom Crincoli, Peter Barossi, Paul Feiner, Walter Olson, Dagmar Bleasdale, Denise Treco, Natalya Aikens, Elizabeth Nunan, Gerald Stern, Van Shea Sedita, Rick Wolff and many others.
I have also met some great social media minds from far beyond the borders of Westchester. These include Tim Massie, Becky McCray and David Mathison, just to name a few. TwitterProfessor also provided me with the knowledge and confidence to launch my BaseballArt website and Facebook page — which has in turn introduced me to nearly a hundred baseball artists and other experts in the field. That endeavor owes all of its success to what was learned here in Westchester.
I must also mention that I have learned a tremendous amount about Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media while conversing and working on this confusing stuff with my wife, Connie, who is the public relations director for Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.
The work that was started here on TwitterProfessor may begin to shift to my new website WestchesterSocialMedia.com — because what is going on now encompasses so much more than Twitter. I welcome you to become an active particiapant on both of these sites, as well as on the WestchesterSocialMedia Facebook page. We are at the tipping point, and I believe it’s only going to get better from here on out.