Telling Your Story With Google Maps


I’m a big fan of Google. They have lots of cool tools that make my life easier, like Google Drive and Google Alerts. Another fun tool that is useful beyond just getting you where you’re going is Google Maps. Did you know you can create your own maps in Google for personal use or for an organization? The possibilities are endless. Map your favorite walk around the city, map and share your favorite beaches, create a map for a loved one with all the important places from your relationship (I dunno, it might be cute?), or map the DrinkAbout route like Sarah Grieco did here.

Recently, I made a Google map for California Sea Grant, where I am currently a communications fellow. CA Sea Grant is celebrating its 40th anniversary and we wanted to show what fellows and trainees from over the  years are up to. If you click “view larger map,” you can see more detail. For instance, I was able color code the markers based on the type of fellowship each alumnus had. This simple, easy-to-make map has not only served as a visual to show Sea Grant’s impact on ocean policy, but also as a tool for former fellows to network with fellow alumni in their area.

For directions on how to make your own map, check out this YouTube video made by Google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TftFnot5uXw.

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Young Professional Series: Whitney Walsh


For the second installment of our young professional series, we went to our other third, Whitney. Besides being a bestie to both of us, she also does both of our hair. In fact, it was probably fifth grade when she first dyed Nicole’s hair.

Name: Whitney Walsh

Profession: Hair Stylist

Current Position: Stylist/Color Specialist at Sanctuary Salon

What is your favorite thing about being a hair stylist?

My favorite thing about being a hair stylist is that every day is completely different, and with that, brings new challenges to achieve the hair my clients have pictured. It also allows me to be very creative and be hands on with people.

Whitney doing hair for a wedding.

Whitney doing hair for a wedding.

As a hair stylist you don’t simply do hair, but you are also a business owner. What do you do to promote your business?

As a small business owner, I rely mostly on referrals. To encourage my clients to refer me, I offer rewards for each new client they send in. If I’m having a slow day it’s best to hit the streets and meet new people by walking around and passing out business cards and putting my face and name out there.

As a hairstylist, how important is your personal brand?

At the salon we really try to build a whole salon brand, not so much an individual brand because we’re a team and able to reach more people as a unit rather than individual. People often compliment the atmosphere and us being a family and working well together. Clients want to feel welcome and a positive energy from everyone in the salon, not just one person.

Are you allowed to have a bad hair day?

No, I’m not allowed to have a bad hair day. If I’m having trouble with my do one day, luckily I have nine other stylists who can put me together.

Want to make an appointment with Whitney? Call Sanctuary Salon at 951-956-8269 or check out their Facebook Page!

Call Whitney if you want to look at feel great. The drive to Temecula is way worth it (if you are in SD like us) and you can always hit up some wineries after being pampered!

Call Whitney if you want to look and feel great. The drive to Temecula is way worth it (if you are in SD like us) and you can always hit up some wineries after being pampered!

I Have a Valentine!


I got a Valentine! Did you? Ok – it wasn’t from some hot stud muffin but instead, my tried-and-true bestie, Nicole! And to sweeten the offer she sent it via social media – look how she makes my heart melt 😉

If you didn’t know yet, you can send REAL gifts via Facebook. None of this virtual or poking nonsense but real-life goodies!

Facebook Gift 1

So, one day I was happy to see a little notification on my Facebook (I always get excited when I get a notification because it means I have received virtual attention – which is what Gen Y thrives off of). When I clicked on it I was lead through the process of redeeming my gift!

One aspect that was interesting was that you could make tiny changes to the present. Nicole picked these milk chocolate salted caramels for me, but since she obviously doesn’t know me well (and all of the health benefits from dark choco) I switched it up and got the dark chocolate.

facebook-gift-swap

Although she spaced on my love of dark chocolate she knew me well enough to know I wouldn’t turn down candy. Not sure if your recipient will love your gift? No worries, I was given the option to TOTALLY swap out my gift! I’m not sure if the sender would be notified if you do swap out your gift (Nicole assures me she did not get the notification that I changed my chocolate choice).

Has your Valentine sent you a gift? What’d ya get? Do you think you will be sending any gifts on Facebook? I ventured and sent Nicole a gift. I settled on a gift card after passing up the $50 bottles of wine you could ship!

Getting to know the RDI Team through Graph Search


As you may or may not know, Blake spends part of her time working at Red Door Interactive. This past week she wrote this fun post for their company blog about Facebook Graph Search. Check it out:

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As you’ve probably heard, unless you’re living under a rock with no wi-fi, Facebook recently launched its Graph Search. Our own Social Media Strategist, Anne Buehner, even wrote up a piece a few days ago outlining the “Next Steps” for brands (you can read the post here).

So now that the business-side has been taken care of and we all have a plan to either update our privacy settings or enhance the visibility of our brands, the fun can begin. Read more…