In each installment of The 4-1-1, we interview a different member of the House Party Team, asking the big questions that are on everyone's minds. This time we're hearing from Brian. You hear from Brian very often as the man behind our Facebook page and a regular blog contributor, but here you'll see him like never before. Where's his favorite travel spot? What apps is he using? Is he a cake or ice cream kinda-guy? Read on as Liz finds out!
So, Brian, you're pretty involved in our social channels so the readers may know you well by now, but just in case, can you summarize your role at House Party?
Here at House Party I'm the Social Media Director, which may sound straightforward, but involves several hats. First, I work with our team to innovate, execute and maintain strategies, processes and policies for social media in our organization and building our community. This is in both a consumer-facing (that's you!) and business-facing capacity. I also work with our Community team to engage our House Party community in a number of different channels (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to name a few) outside of simply our events. Most recently, I've been working to oversee the Community Support component of our business as well as to ensure that we're providing the best service to our members and helping solve any and all issues that might arise for them. It may mean several hats, but I love serving the community, am great friends with my team and enjoy the challenge!
As you shared with us in an earlier engagement post, you're getting married soon! What has been your favorite part about the wedding planning experience?
My favorite part of the wedding planning thus far has been taking mini-road trips to explore the potential venues. Living in NYC, we don't have (or typically need) a car, so we've periodically rented one and done whirlwind weekend excursions to various parts of the tri-state area. It's great to visit the spaces and imagine the amazing day together as we walk around each spot. It's also a perk since we both love to travel and enjoy any excuse for a road trip with tunes pumping and 'car-aoke' in full swing. (Aside: I'll admit planning the honeymoon has been a very close second as well. Let's just say it's not exactly a tough job to imagine sitting on a beach in Bemuda or on a patio overlooking the Aegean Sea in Greece!)
You're also quite the traveler - do you have a favorite place to visit?
I've been to Europe several times and studied there, too. I grew to absolutely love Italy and though the majority of my roots are of the Irish variety, I could never spend too much time exploring my Northern Italian roots and the Mediterranean as a whole. Give me a backpack, some decent shoes, a map and my fiancee and I'm a happy camper...er, traveler.
Speaking of travel, we just got back from SXSW - the 2nd time you and I got to go to this together. What was your favorite part of the experience this year?
This year was a special year for House Party at SXSW. We visited last year, gaining knowledge and dipping our toes into the scene; but, this year we really made a mark with our very own event. The entire SXSW experience and Austin as a whole is a funny combination of cosmopolitan, innovative, carefree and weird, but our event was definitely the highlight for me. The team put in an immense amount of work and seeing us make our mark in Austin was just the perfect icing on the cake!
We did a lot of good eating in Austin, what was your favorite meal?
My favorite meal of Austin was probably a really adventurous dinner at Parkside that we had as a team. Now, we'd had a bunch of great barbeque and tex mex at this point, but this meal was not exactly your typical Texas meal. We had oysters, ceviche and a number of things I'd never tried before, such as sweetbreads, marrow, and lamb pastrami. I was really surprised at how delicious some of the more obscure dishes were to be honest. Variety is the spice of life after all!
I know you're a big fan of the TripIt app to assist with these travels. What other apps do you have and just couldn't live without? Let's stick to your top 3.
Top 3 favorite apps (for right now) are:
Zite: This app is just a great way to get a vast spread of information about certain industries, hobbies or news. It aggregates from selected or preferred news sources and makes a tidy little digital periodical that's incredibly easy to share across your social profiles, too!
Google Maps: Ok, this one isn't very flashy, but ever since Apple switched from Google to Tom Tom as a provider of its mapping technology for its native Maps app, many iPhone users inner compasses have needed a bit more (or, should I say any) accuracy. That's where good ol' Google comes into play. It's especially helpful around NYC, since the destination feature includes the subway lines in the route and the Navigation is great if you're driving in unfamiliar territory with turn-by-turn nav. What can I say? Without a navigation app, I could barely find my way out of a paper bag.
Seesaw: Ever since it's public launch a little over a month ago, Seesaw has been a fun and helpful app that I've gotten into. It's essentially a polling app that you can use with your social profiles that's heavily visual. Not sure which shoes to buy? Snap pics of the options and ask your friends. Trying to determine if something is funny or not? Well, ask! It gives you feedback per question and begins to develop a community in and of itself. Definitely worth a try!
And finally, a few this or that questions so we really get to know you better! (Feel free to elaborate, or just highlight your preference)
Apple or PC? - Apple iPhone or Android? - iPhone...(for now) Aspen or Bora Bora? - Though I am a Coloradoan, I can't lie: Bora Bora, please! New York or San Diego? - I'll take the easy way out on this one, since I live in NYC: San Diego. Cats or Dogs? - Dogs BBQ or Mexican? - Mexican House Specials or Groupon? - House Specials, of course! Chocolate or fruit snacks? - Chocolate everything. Snowboard or ski? - Snowboard Ice cream or cake? - Ice cream (Pistachio gelato, if possible!)
Got any questions for Brian that Liz didn't ask? Post em here and we'll get him to answer them.