Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Listen2Youth Brings Silicon Valley Social Media Tips to CALPA

I am a huge fan of California’s state parks.

It’s like our parks are part of my DNA. My mom worked at Henry Cowell, I served on our local Friends of the Santa Cruz State Parks board.

More importantly, as a resident of Santa Cruz County, I have been spoiled by the accessibility of our state parks. Natural Bridges is probably my favorite because I love those Monarch butterflies. I am frequent visitor at Henry Cowell  - we love splashing in the river during the summer and hunting for Banana Slugs in the winter. And Big Basin is one of our favorites places to camp. [Want to find a park near you? Oh yeah, there's an app for that!]

All of this is within 30 minutes of my home.

So when Juliann Klein, a local designer and dedicated Mountain Parks volunteer suggested I participate in this year’s CALPA Conference to speak about social media, I jumped at the chance. I spend my days working with Silicon Valley companies like Cisco, Animoto and Financial Engines, writing content and helping them with their social media. I spend a lot of my “extra time” doing work for non-profits including the Santa Cruz Human Race.

I can’t wait to share my experience with you - the amazing volunteers who are working hard to preserve our state parks through fundraising and other brilliant strategies to "monetize the user experience."

For CALPA Conference participants, I put together a Pinterest board with tips our panel will be discussing at the event. Joining me on the panel are: Debbie Petruzzelli, Public Relations Manager, Balboa Park Marketing, San Diego, Rich Cherry, former Director, Balboa Park Online Collaborative, San Diego and Alexis Stoxen, Communications Specialist, California State Parks Foundation.

There are also two special offers for CALPA participants:

Animoto is a online video tools that also has a iPhone app. It’s a great way to create short, compelling videos about parks, plants, animals, special events and much more that you can share on social media. 

They have a special program for nonprofit organizations that offers an upgrade to their premium product when you complete an application. Learn more here.

Cisco WebEx offers online meetings which allow people to connect regardless of where they are. They too have a free mobile app for most Smartphones.  

They are offering a free subscription to their beta product to conference attendees. It’s a great way to connect with volunteers who can’t always get together in the same place at the same time. It’s also a terrific tool for recording mini-events and sharing them via social media. Learn more here.

Thank you to all the folks who work so hard for our parks. My family and I are direct beneficiaries of your hard work.

CALPA Members kicking off this week's conference in San Diego.

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