I first became aware of Mark when he checked in to Bright Eyes on foursquare. In fact, as he held down the mayorship for about 6 weeks, I got to know him better and was always interested in his ideas about social media and living in Tampa Bay. I thought he'd make a great subject for the Patient Spotlight! -Dr. Nate
Dr. Nate: Mark, I think of you as a social media marketer, but your background really is as a coder. Can you tell me about what that transition was like?
Mark, That’s right, I grew up writing code on routers and mainframes for IBM and Cisco. As I moved into management I started becoming interested in the marketing side of the equation. So I dabbled in product management and technical marketing. Then one day in 2006 I learned about web analytics, this wonderful sweet spot between the technical and the marketing. From there I’ve grown into online marketing as my fanatical passion. Social media is an integral part of that space.
Your current project "31 Days of Wobtoberfest" is very creative. Tell me about how you came up with the idea.
I’ve read a lot about people during projects like this from Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen to DotComGuy.com to Rolf Pott’s Round the World with No Baggage and dreamed of doing something similar. But I have a job and a family. On September 4th of this year while driving home from a Gator game in Gainesville, the idea literally popped into my head. That night my wife enthusiastically signed on. Now I am blogging daily at www.31wob.com during October from the World of Beer around the corner.
That is great. How it has been received by people online/offline?
80% of the people get it within the 30 seconds. The other 20% will never really understand what it’s about. To them it’s the beer and a waste of time and money. I don’t bother trying to convert them.
What else are you working on?
I try to experiment with everything I read or hear about if it interests me. Next up, I’d like to partner with someone on another short, focused project that doesn’t focus on profits, but rather makes me smarter and allows me to make mistakes with little downside. I have the ideas but it’s really about the time and collaboration with others to make them happen.
Anything else you want to share?
Tampa has such a high quality of life. Yet it’s really hard to find those fanatics like myself here in town. I wish there was some place for us to get together and collaborate without having business cards jammed in your face. I can dream, can’t I?
Thanks for letting me be a part of your Patient Spotlight, Nate! I’m glad we got to know each other.
No problem. It was fun!
If you'd like to join Mark for 31 Days of Wobtoberfest, check out www.31wob.com. The actual Wobtoberfest celebration is this Friday and Saturday October, 22nd and 23rd. PS: My birthday is the 23rd. :)
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.