The Third Degree
New social networks try to sell potential members in different ways. More privacy than Facebook! More intimacy than Twitter! Less self-promoter-y than LinkedIn! But what they should be selling you on are what they can do for your offline life.
Take for example, New York Tech Meetup managing director Jessica Lawrence. Although privy to every local wantrepreneur trying to solve social networking needs you didn’t even know you cared about (and possibly don’t), Ms. Lawrence focuses her time on just one: Twitter. That’s because within six months, Twitter helped her find a job, a boyfriend, and an apartment to move into with her new love. (Hrrm, maybe we’ve been tweeting wrong?)
New York Tech Meetup has gotten way, way too big for its small, part-time, all-volunteer staff. The group has a hyperactive listserve, thousands of active members and the potential energy of a strung-out Slinky. And yet the organization still doesn’t have the capacity to do much beyond keeping control of the wildly popular monthly event. Is that about to change now that the organization has hired its first full-time employee? Managing director Jessica Lawrence is less than two weeks into the job, but we grilled her anyway.
At Wednesday night’s New York Tech Meetup, Jessica Lawrence took the stage for the first time as the organization’s first employee.
This is a big deal. There will be much talk of the significance of her hire, in particular the fact that, yes, she’s a woman running an organization dominated by men. But it goes deeper than that.
New York Tech Meetup has named recent SoCal transplant Jessica Lawrence as the group’s first managing director, tasked with coordinating day-to-day “behind the scenes stuff” for the massive organization and supporting executive director Nate Westheimer. Ms. Lawrence’s first day was Friday, but the announcement was delayed until today to avoid any April Fool’s Day confusion.