What’s Maggie (Not Margaret)?
Maggie (Not Margaret) is a social media culture blog, covering social media trends and happenings. Personally, I’m interested in the ways that technology is changing how we interact with and connect with each other, particularly through storytelling and building our own personal narratives and brands. I believe that, though social media, we’re all writing and publishing our own autobiographies, whether we know it or not. Although I try to keep the blog to those topics, it wanders as my interests and attention do.
Every day (okay, more like once a week) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about Internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on Maggie (Not Margaret). Maggie (Not Margaret) is hosted by WordPress and often draws upon Slate, Mashable, SocialTimes, and my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds for links and inspiration. My posts Social Media and the Art of Storytelling, Amazon, eBooks, and the demise of Borders and bookshop culture, and Facebook’s Baby Bump were featured on Freshly Pressed, bringing a whole new readership to my blog. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
I’m a twenty-something marker. Not quite living the dream that Friends promised, but building a career and a life for myself. Also, I do some other things. Namely: biking; blogging, lurking, and surfing online; reading; and hanging out on bars, coffee shops, and libraries. Last year, I moved from a city to a super small town: Dover, OH. It’s two hours from Pittsburgh, two hours from Cleveland, two hours from Columbus and about 50 years in the past. I’ve recently accomplished one of my goals for living in small town Ohio: being able to get through a conversation with an Amish person without screaming “Amish! Amish!” inside my head the whole time.
Want a little more of a CV? Hoping that I have some authority for all my opinions?
This will probably disappoint, but here it is.
I’m from an awesome, giant Irish Catholic family from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. (You’ll see a lot of references to my family here, I’m not sure how they feel about that, but they’re a big part of my life, so there you go.) I attended Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College (HTC) where I majored in Political Science and minored in History. HTC’s a great program that encouraged me to follow my passions and to study what interested me, whether it was in the standard course selections or not. (With me, that was generally “not”.) Under the direction of my wonderful adviser, Dr. Judith Grant, I wrote my thesis (“The branding of Harry Potter: how fan fiction is challenging concepts of owner and author”) on the interactions between fans and brands on the Internet and the frictions that can arise as those nexuses. (Depending on the audience, I’ll explain my thesis a lot of different ways – “I wrote about death of the author,” “I wrote about Internet branding,” “I wrote about fanfiction,” “I wrote about Harry Potter porn,” – strangely, all these things are true.) While in college, I ran political campaigns (I think I was the only person to attend College Republicans, College Democrats, and Students for a Democratic Society meetings) and participated in, and then ran, a study abroad program that placed students in internships with the Welsh National Assembly.
After graduating, I spent a few years at Community Legal Aid, a non-profit organization, doing volunteer and website management, communications, development, and outreach work. As I often explain it, you know how in Law & Order they say, “You have a right to an attorney, if you can’t afford one, one will be appointed for you”? (Yes, I know, it’s a Miranda Warning, but I can tie anything to Law & Order.) Well, that’s only for criminal cases. If you’re husband’s abusing you, your landlord’s trying to evict you, or the bank’s foreclosing on your house, if you can’t afford an attorney, too bad. And that’s where Legal Aid comes in. We (even though I don’t work there any more, I still say we), help poor and elderly people with civil legal disputes; we provide community education, pro se (self help) materials, teach classes, and represent clients though traditional attorney-client relationships. Legal Aid was great. It was a job, but it was also a place I grew up. I’d highly encourage people of all political stripes to support the mission. After all, everyone (regardless of their ability to hire an attorney) is (or should be) equal under the law.
Currently, I’m the Practice Growth Coordinator at Rea & Associates, a top 100 CPA. At Rea, I spend a lot of time in Excel. I’m responsible for a lot of our statistical data (nested if functions are enough to make me wish that I had taken symbolic logic in college) and do marketing strategy, content marketing, and market research. I also coach our accountants on effective use of social media (particularly LinkedIn) to build their personal brands and ultimately bring in business. My job is a great balance of writing, math, and art – kind of like a well-rounded day in 5th grade.
Aside from work? I’m a member of the Association for Accounting Marketing where I’m Chair or the Digital Media Committee which seeks to expand the use of digital communications in the industry. (Yes, this means I have meetings about things like social media best practices.) I’m currently pursuing my MBA with a focus in strategic marketing at the University of Akron. It’s an hour drive but the classes are wonderful, and sometimes it’s nice to get out of Amish-ville and return to the world of the present. (And there’s a fantastic restaurant specializing in grilled cheese and beer right next to campus.)
This blog is something that I do in my spare time. I try for every night, but that’s not really happening. You may (okay, you will) see typos and some things that probably don’t make that much sense. (I’m a little lacking on “spare time” right now.) Also, I’m trying out this whole logical punctuation thing, but seem to waffle on it, so you’ll see some inconsistent use of quotation marks. I usually use this blog to talk about things that are new in culture or social media, but sometimes write about things that I just can’t seem to get out of my head. (Have any suggestions that you’d like to see me write about? Comment or shoot me an e-mail.)
So, that’s me – Maggie O’Toole. Or, at least it’s who I am right now. (I’m 27. I’m still in that phase of life when I’m a new person every few months. This “about me” section will probably change fairly often, so check back.) Want to learn more? Find me on Facebook or LinkedIn or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, boost my Klout score (and ego!) by following me on Twitter @Maggie_OToole.