When I first embarked in a career in tech, I didn’t know what I was in for, mostly because it was accidental. I was pursuing a career in book publishing, but that was back in 2007 when the outlook for the publishing industry was grim at best. Digital was taking over. Facebook and Twitter hadn't emerged yet, but blogging was steadfastly gaining in popularity.
Worried, I decided I just needed to get a job. Any job. I wound up fortunately landing a gig as the Associate Editor for an online web publishing platform, thanks in part to my own personal blogging efforts (I know, traitor). I spent my days nurturing a community of 10,000 global writers and a team of incredible editors who I can safely say were all much more talented than me. We did our best to help writers be better writers, to steer them in their craft and help them feel valued; help them feel part of something.
When Facebook and Twitter made it onto the scene, I found joy working with the marketing team, experimenting with ways to build community online. Three years later, Google’s “Panda” Algorithm update ate my company - and my job. Not knowing where to turn, our head of PR offered me a hail mary, “I think there’s a name for what you do, I think it’s called Community Management.” So off I went searching for every Community Manager job I could find.
After rejecting an offer as the Community Manager for Glitch, an online game created by Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield for his then company Tiny Speck (the precursor to Slack), I wound up at Invoke, a Vancouver-based digital agency that had not long ago hatched a promising new product called Hootsuite.
It’s been heartening to see how much the tech community has blossomed and witness how incredibly supportive it has become. Proof of this is my current inbox, where I see an email about a group of incredibly giving people, from Hootsuite and beyond, who spent their Saturday at the Motion Ball Marathon of Sport supporting Special Olympics Canada. I see an invitation for Tech's Got Talent, an epic lip sync competition between Vancouver tech companies raising funds for local charities, hosted by the good folks at Chimp and Plenty of Fish. I received my hotly anticipated weekly newsletter from Startup Digest with reams of events, workshops, and conferences supporting developers, community managers, entrepreneurs and anyone else who’s touched by tech.
It’s been tough to figure out how to add to all this goodness and cleave a space where we can continue to bond, share experiences and learn from each other. But, I think we have it. Here it is: Introducing Venture This! a live event series featuring real stories about life, love and work experienced through tech coloured glasses.
This is an evening where you’ll hear true, personal stories about various encounters with technology. Tales of rejection, triumph, and resilience. There are no pitches or presentations, just stories, the kinds you hear at a cocktail party (after a few drinks) or a dinner party with close friends. There’ll be an opportunity to mingle afterwards too, a chance for you to share your own stories.
Our lineup of storytellers is shaping up to be incredible, diverse, and rich in their experience. We’ll announce who these folks are soon, but for now, we wanted to invite you to save the date and save your seats!
Thanks for hearing my tech story. I hope to hear yours at Venture This!