Ilene Haddad (aka: IleenieWeenie) began using social media in 2008, and it’s been downhill ever since. Between updating her Facebook status and checking in with friends on Twitter, she runs a busy graphic design business and hosts various community events centered around blogging and social media.
To help alleviate the isolation often experienced by business owners working from home, she started a casual coworking event at a restaurant in central Austin. Each week anywhere from 8-20 people get together for a couple of hours to work, socialize and collaborate in a casual atmosphere.
In the summer of 2010 Ilene presented the first #BlogathonATX. Entrepreneurs, educators, personal bloggers and professionals from some of the areas largest employers rubbed elbows with Austin’s brightest blogging experts and social media enthusiasts. Featuring areas for brainstorming, panel discussions, tech support and open blogging, this popular event reached more than 10,000 people in the social media universe through tweets, blog posts, Livestream and Facebook updates.
She was a 2012 Statesman Social Media Award recipient for her work with #BlogathonATX, and in April of 2012 Ilene was presented with the Anne Durrum Robinson Creative Initiative Award by the Association for Women in Communications, Austin Professional Chapter. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin before electricity was invented and resides in Austin with Dexter T. Poodle, Harry A. Maltese and her husband, Bill, with whom she hopes to someday own a farm for aging bloggers and wayward lapdogs. You can find her alter ego, @IleenieWeenie, wreaking havoc on Twitter, where she is best known for her spilling prowess and lack of domestic skills. (Photo by Korey Howell)
Julie has been an entrepreneur for most of the 25 years she’s lived in Austin. She ran Go Media, a graphic design and development firm, for nine years before selling it to Excite (remember Excite?) in 1996. Go Media started building websites in 1993, launching the first sites for Whole Foods and the City of Austin, among others.
In 1995 she co-founded Austin Free-Net, and served as President of the Board of Directors for 5 years.
Julie and her Austin team created the communities arm of Excite, developing chat, forums, instant messaging, clubs, and personals. She stuck with Excite for 3 years as it grew from 35 employees to 3500 employees. She left in 1999 and took some time off to travel the world. When Excite went bankrupt in 2001 she licensed the popular Virtual Places software and, along with the chief of engineering for Excite, launched VPchat as an ad-free, paid service, which continues running to this day.
In 2007 she put together a team to create LaunchPad Coworking, an ambitious project that sadly never opened. Yes, it’s ok to ask her about it.
Today she’s working independently as Jules Says, doing strategy, marketing, design, and development for select clients. Most notably, she’s doing this for Berkeley Bionics and having a blast promoting the amazing, world-changing, eLEGS exoskeleton.
Julie has traveled solo around the world, gone diving with Great White Sharks, gotten lost on an uninhabited island in Costa Rica, had dinner with Bill Clinton and lunch with Hillary Clinton, and eaten Mopane worms.
In other tidbits about me:
I’ve been a #BlogathonATX volunteer since 2010. I believe in giving back to my community and have been a Meals On Wheels & More delivery volunteer for 8 years. I have and use a library card. I have a little Twitter account called ATXFoodnews and its companion website. I’m not much into health foods. I am into champagne. I have a very understanding husband, Jaime, and a son, Ryder, who is too adorable for his own good. After a successful stint as a litigation paralegal, I’m now a freelance social media project manager.
Principal New Media Strategist
Amanda is a writer, blogger, interfaith activist and technology professional living in Austin, Texas. She currently works full time as the Web & Database Administrator for Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a non-profit organization that addresses the issue of homelessness in the U.S.
Amanda has been involved with Austin’s interfaith community for more than ten years. In 2003 she founded Central Texas Muslimaat, an organization that addresses the unique needs of central Texas Muslim women. Amanda has also had the honor of having representing Austin’s Muslim community as the youngest board member in iACT/AAIM’s 70-year history. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors for Muslims for Peace & Unity.
In May 2011, Amanda launched a smartphone app called 365muslim for which she received national media attention. She also regularly contributes her writing to the online interfaith journals Tikkun Daily (an interfaith blog) and ILLUME (a Muslim news site). Amanda blogs about both religion and politics on her personal blog, muslimahMERICAN.com. She regularly tweets about her love for all things taco on her personal Twitter account, @ImTheQ.
Amanda also has a boutique new media firm BAM POW BIZ, which allows her to work with small, independent business owners as they extend their reach on the social web. As a new media strategist, Amanda is able to advise small businesses to develop a competitive, conscious and cost-effective web presence. She also coordinates and manages the work of independent and freelance contractors who provide her clients with world-class technical and marketing services as they put her clients’ plan into action.
Once again, Amanda is thrilled to be serving as the Official #BlogathonATX Social Media Czar and will be diligently live-Tweeting and live-blogging the event throughout the day for your enjoyment.
Eric (aka @txhoudini) is #BlogathonATX’s resident “Techie in Charge.” His team of techs will be focused on answering attendees’ questions about technology in blogging and social media.
In real life, Eric is a freelance WordPress developer and journalist. He has been designing websites since 1996 as well as writing about technology for such sites as Android And Me and WPCandy as well as LAPTOP Magazine.
Evin is a 2 time attendee of #BlogathonATX, coming back for her 3rd on September 15th. She blogs at Food Good, Laundry Bad, EvinCooper.com and Hey, What’s For Supper. She’s a stay-at-home mom whose entire social life revolves around #BlogathonATX. She’s the Social Media Princess for Blogathon (to Amanda Quirashi’s Social Media Czar) and will be discussing Social Media with Q in a Breakout Session. Wear your flack jackets, the F-Bombs will fly.
Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Japan… Annette Priest has helped teams in these countries and around the world understand customers and focus on the right things to design better interfaces and experiences. Watching and listening as people across the globe struggle to use products, websites and mobile devices has given her a razor sharp focus on what has a real impact on UX, including how global teams work together — or don’t!
Since 1996, Annette’s strategy, research, service and experience designs have made a measurable difference for customers and patients at AT&T, GE, HP, IBM, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is a former social worker with a background in anthropology and a master’s degree in Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Science. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Info World and PC Magazine
Based in Austin, Texas, her consulting practice, Revel Insight focuses on customer research, UX (user experience), usability and design including mobile and touchscreen devices. When she’s not on an international flight, you can reach her on Twitter: @AnnettePriest