This is the latest post in our series, TwitterPowerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.
Life is not a destination, it is a non-stop journey. We see the peaks (the high-points we cherish) and the valleys (the low-points we often like to forget). Our lives are impacted by these extremes, and defined by how we deal with them. And the journey of Jessica Northey is a great example. Her story is fantastic by any standard: from her humble beginnings on a dirt racetrack in Tucson to being a major player at the highest levels of digital media.
Northey comes with more than fifteen years in both traditional and new media. As a daily columnist for AllAccess.com, the worlds largest Radio and Music Industry community, contributor to Radio Ink, a trade publication, and Digital Correspondent for a Nationally Syndicated Radio Show, her work often explores the integration of entertainment with social media, and how Country Music Artists like Cowboy Troy and CJaye LeRose or actor Thomas Jane are using popular platforms to promote themselves as brands and create buzz for their projects. This has made her one of the most respected names in the blogosphere and one of the most powerful women on Twitter.
When you talk with Jessica Northey, it's rarely about herself. She discusses influence, and believes it's not just about acquiring more of it it, but about also using it to make a positive, lasting impact. Supporting a charity. Creating awareness for an important issue. Or just simply exemplifying the very best of what humanity is all about. Indeed, as the saying goes, "a good example has twice the value of good advice." Northey lives the example, and has never forgotten the value in the valley. This is why her social media peaks continue to impress.
How has social media in general informed your work?
Social media has provided tools that I can use to expand my network and multiply the numbers of "people reach" for my clients. My company provides strategy, marketing and promotion so social media has given me better outlets to build on the tenets of advertising -- the right message, to the right people, the right number of times.
You provided great insight in the changes and challenges of music artists. How beneficial do you believe social media has been to the music industry?
It is changing the way we promote and deliver music in every aspect. In the past, artists had to go through Terrestrial radio to get discovered. Now they just need and audience with great numbers, and social media platforms allow for a broader, yet more intimate way to build a bigger fan base and to connect with existing supporters. Artists are able to connect directly with their fans. Previously, with traditional methods, they were much farther removed. An artist can, with social media, "talk" directly to an individual fan, who then spreads that conversation throughout their community. This makes the artist more approachable and, ultimately, more human and genuine.
At Jeff Pulver's 140 Conference back in June, you talked about media and the importance of establishing credible sources. That was a great topic.
In the panel "Real Time News In Changing Times" we discussed that as journalists we need to take responsibility for delivering the news in a serious manner, and never at the cost of the truth. It is completely amazing how we are able to deliver and consume news as it is happening! In fact, Web 2.0 is probably the most exciting innovation to ever happen to journalism. However, the pressure for "Real-Time" delivery is no excuse for compromising the very principles that attracted us to covering the news in the first place. Usually, I am generating content from an opinion or entertaining point of view, in an after-it-happened perspective, not necessarily time sensitive material. But in many aspects, I am a "Real-Time" reporter for some, and as a former newswire writer this has taught me to always check my sources.
What's next for you?
I am weighing my options. Offers for TV, Radio, web shows, books, speaking gigs, collaborative efforts and even a Reality TV Show have surfaced. It's crazy. I don't live a very complicated life. I am a simpleton way more than any of you would ever guess (laughs). Except I really like the color pink and my dog Sissy,
has 7000 twitter followers. This always blows me away. What I share about her has cultivated an audience of dog lovers and people who want to be closer to our lives. I embrace that and NEVER take it for granted! At the end of the day, I am just a girl from Tucson, Arizona, who looks at the world with hope and big dreamy eyes.
How would you define yourself in a 140 characters?
"Tell the truth. Make it matter. Never be boring." I live my life on & offline by these principles and I listen to my heart for right answers. They are always there.
To find out more about Jessica Northey and her new projects, follow her on Twitter.
Authors' Note: In case you missed it, here's Part 19 of the series: Sarah Evans on Trends and the Evolution of Media.