Getting to Know Our Newest Managing Editor: Erin Ollila!

Within the span of her first two responses during our introductory Q&A, which you can read below, Erin Ollila goes from Lizzie Borden to dwarves to Cambodian food to Ducky from The Land Before Time to backyard recreational sports.

That’s not unlike any casual conversation with Erin. It starts with an innocent “Good morning, Erin, how are you?,” pinballs all over the place, and the next thing you know, you can still hear her voice trailing off down the hallway behind you as you walk outside to your car to head home.

When we’re not around, she talks to Napa the Dog. When Napa’s out with us and nobody’s around, she talks to the security camera. She talks in her sleep. She talks to ATM machines and those annoying videos on gas station pumps. She talks to her food. She got married last weekend, and her vows were written on an On the Road-length scroll trailing behind her as she made her way to the altar. They were longer than her train, and their safe passage down the aisle required the assistance of several adorable children who strained under their weight. It reportedly took her a full five and a half hours to read them. This was reported by her, because everyone else had already left for the reception.

read more


Marketing Genius: Startup Customer Service Done Right at HipChat

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

If communication leads to community, then BuzzFarmers has the strongest community known to man. We’re storytellers, so we have a lot to say (some more than others). Good discussion is at the core of the BuzzFarmers culture, and no topic is off limits.

We facilitate that discussion with one of the most popular apps in the BuzzFarmers office: the instant messenger tool HipChat. HipChat is a startup that offers free and paid private chat services for internal communication and collaboration. Unlike AIM, Google Talk, and Skype, HipChat was built for businesses.

read more


Marketing Genius: WhistleGPS Hits 10k Pre-Orders With Cute Dog Photos

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.

Everyone at BuzzFarmers is always on time, because there’s no such thing as sneaking into the office if you’re late. The second you open the door, you’ll receive a friendly – and frenzied – greeting from Napa, the office dog and housecarl (who has his own blog: Napa’s Daily Growl). Although he’s not very good at answering the phones and sleeps through our weekly meetings, his fuzzy face is a reminder that there is a world outside the workload.

As much as we love our co-workers (and I think I speak for everyone), the connection we share with our pets is one of the most important bonds we have in life. Not only do pets reduce stress after – or during – the workday, but they also motivate us to exercise. Our four-legged friends keep us healthy and active, but who’s taking care of them?

read more


Getting to Know the Woman Who Keeps Us Buzzing and Farming: Business Manager Mary Raymond!

Before you meet Mary Raymond, we ask that you first watch this short and SFWeet video as a primer. Come on – we’ll even watch it with you.

OK, thanks. Or, wait a minute, maybe it should be you thanking us! Isn’t your day just a little bit better now? Well, that’s basically what we experience here at the BuzzFarmers office every time Mary walks through the door. Like that classic scene’s trilling birds and woodland creatures, co-workers happily converge on her, wanting to be closer, craving her attention. When she opens her mouth, it’s almost as if no words come out, but rather “A Smile and a Song.” And, much like Snow White, Mary is a brunette who sometimes wears dresses.

Mary is also a master organizer, communicator, and networker, which makes her the ideal business and office manager. She hopscotches around social media with childlike – one might call it infectious – enthusiasm, while keeping everyone entertained and on task. Somehow, she also lends a hand with content and SEO. How BuzzFarmers actually accomplished stuff prior to her association with the company is anyone’s guess.

read more


Our Newest, Wordiest BuzzFarmer: Shawn Badgley!

Shawn Badgley has wanted to work at BuzzFarmers since before it even existed; since he was a small child in the Nineties growing up on a mire in Belarus, the sixteenth of 17 children born to peat gatherers Vsevolod and Varvara Badgley. Every morning, he would load up hardtack rations on a peat wagon, hitch it to his favorite goat, Gleb, and ride out to a secret writing spot nestled near the Bug River.

There, he would research the flora and fauna, practice his interviewing skills on Gleb, and “blog” on the walls of a mushroom cave, since computers – or electricity, for that matter – had not yet been introduced to his village of Merechevschina. Typewriters, too, were scarce. Pens, pencils, and paper, as well.

read more


We’re Hiring (And I Can’t Tell You Anything!)

So, I wrote this really epic post to go along with this cute graphic Sarah made just for it.

In it, I talked about the fact that we’re hiring, plus the order in which we’ll do so (business manager, social media analyst, managing editor, wordpress developer). Then, I even told you when we’re scheduling interviews and common reasons why you might not get an interview (if you don’t).

But then Pat told me I couldn’t say any of those things or somebody might sue us.

So, instead, I’m consolidating and just telling you that we’re hiring and that we’re hiring one position at a time, in the order above, and if you don’t hear from us, I’m sorry, I love you, and we might have future plans for you with different types of clients. And also that I appreciate your putting your hearts and souls into your applications and talking to us on Twitter.

Also, this won’t be the last time we’re hiring for these positions. So.

That’s all I can say before Pat unplugs the Internet and locks me out of the blog.

read more


Why Grammar Nazis Are the Worst

Your angry tweet about a typo was spelled perfectly and had impeccable grammar, but unfortunately you’re an idiot.

I’ve said in the past that blog comments are the quarters in a blogger’s tip jar, but leaving a comment about a typo or grammar is like tipping your waiter with a booger.

Someone who truly cares about grammar, spelling, and human beings in general will email the blogger privately when they spot an error. This is the type of person who wants to help a writer avoid embarrassing themselves, not the type of bully who wants to be the one to do the embarrassing.

read more


Who’s Really Reading Your Blog?

When most people hear that we “blog” for a living, they think of homespun bloggers posting recipes and ranting about our kids and yoga sessions. No, really, somebody actually said that once.

Personal blogs are great, but in today’s digital environment, blogs are used differently, particularly when used by small businesses and professional service providers. Blogs are now some of the most reliable audience development tools for people who understand how to maximize this wonderful platform.

read more


How to Use Twitter to Get a Job (With BuzzFarmers?)

This month, we’re in hiring mode. During the next 30 days, we’ll be interviewing and hiring a new social media manager and a second managing editor.

All the while, our office is being built, and we’re collecting furnishings from around Rhode Island to put in it so that it’s a proper second home. Today, we visited the famous Lorimer Workshop to help design our perfect conference table and can’t wait for it to be done!

Exciting, yes? Frightening? Super yes!

read more