The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Coffee talk: Christine Amorose, blogger and brand partnership manager at Vimeo — July 19, 2015

Coffee talk: Christine Amorose, blogger and brand partnership manager at Vimeo

Christine Amorose is one of those rare people who can somehow do it all. When she’s not managing brand partnerships at Vimeo, she teaches yoga and writes for major publications like Condé Nast Traveler in addition to posting regularly on her popular blog, C’est Christine. We were lucky to catch up with Christine in this week’s edition of Coffee Talk, where she shares what she loves about her job, the coolest partnerships she’s working on, and where she hangs out in NYC.

How did you end up where you are today, working on brand partnerships at Vimeo [and blogging at C’est Christine]?

I used to work in marketing and social media for a photography-related brand, and I loved the photo/video space. We also used Vimeo to host our lifestyle/product videos, and I was really impressed by the quality of the site and quirky brand voice. I thought that Vimeo would be a dream next step in the industry. When I started yoga teacher training in early 2014, the girl who sat next to me on the very first night of training introduced herself and said she worked at Vimeo. I immediately thought: I have to be friends with this girl! Well, I befriended her and learned more about the culture at Vimeo and the work she was doing on brand partnerships–and less than six months later, I was working with her. In addition to my full-time job at Vimeo, I also blog about travel and lifestyle at CestChristine.com and contribute to publications like Afar and Condé Nast Traveler.

Which brands have been most memorable to work with? 

We just launched the Connected Series with Samsung, which is such a cool example of the work we do. Samsung and Vimeo teamed up to ask 10 amazing filmmakers to explore the idea of connection, and each piece is so unique and true to the filmmaker’s style and vision. My personal favorite was Elemental by : : kogonada: he basically showed how humans went from rocks to computers, and it’s all so beautifully edited with absolutely perfect sound design. It’s awesome when brands like Samsung are willing to fund projects that push boundaries and spark conversations.

What’s your favorite thing about the Vimeo product?

The videos! Vimeo is home to some of the best videos on the internet, and our Curation team is fantastic at finding the ones that are truly worth watching. I also love how supportive the Vimeo community is: the comments are always so positive, encouraging, inquisitive. There’s a low tolerance for trolling and a real celebration of creativity, which makes watching and sharing good work a very pleasant experience.

Who has had the most influence on your career so far?

To be honest: probably my mom! She has always encouraged me to go meet new people, to travel, to take some career risks. When I was debating quitting my first job out of college to move to France, she told me that there would always be jobs for good people — and that you can always make more money. Those two pieces of advice have been key in how I make career and life choices.

Outside of the office, you’re an adored travel writer and blogger. What made you want to start sharing your stories?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer: I was constantly writing stories as a kid, and I majored in journalism. And then I decided to start traveling, and suddenly life seemed a little more interesting and worth sharing. I’ve been blogging for five years now, and I just don’t know what I would do with all these thoughts and musings and photographs if I didn’t have an outlet for them.

Where do you find inspiration?

So many places! Travel is a go-to source of inspiration: new places, new people, new routines forces me to look at things differently. And I find that I can mimic that type of inspiration just by exploring a new neighborhood in New York City. I love that you can live in this city for years and constantly discover a new street, restaurant, park. I’m also so inspired by my friends who are pushing boundaries, starting businesses, creating a niche for themselves through photography, art, words, and technology. I have a few friends who I love getting coffee with because I always leave the cafe so buoyed with optimism and new ideas.

What do you want to learn next?

How to make videos! I’ve been playing with making iPhone videos using the Cameo app and I watch so many videos working at Vimeo that it’s made me more curious to explore telling stories through video.

Where can we find you in NYC?

Grabbing a coffee at Sweatshop or Happy Bones, biking around Prospect Park, catching up with friends over cocktails at Gallow Green or an ice cream at Oddfellows — or most likely, stuck on the L train.

What are your can’t-miss events in NYC?

Rooftop Films, Travel Massive, outdoor yoga at Bryant Park.

How can we connect with you?

Instagram! Twitter! Email! I’m on all the networks, and I love catching up over coffee when my schedule permits.

Last, how do you like your coffee?

Iced with almond milk in the summer, in latte form in the winter. No added sugar!

Why creative communities work: a look at Vimeo and SoundCloud — February 23, 2014

Why creative communities work: a look at Vimeo and SoundCloud

feather“As creative humans, we tend to always reach beyond our own limits. We want to keep learning and defy past accomplishments. In essence, we want to transcend ourselves. But we are most fulfilled when we push beyond what we can do alone. Whatever our goals, working with others may be the best path to happiness.” ~Scott Belsky (via 99U)

When do you feel most creative? Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, I bet that it’s often either during or right after collaborating amongst your peers. Community is incredibly important to the process of creativity, and often to the livelihood of creative people. Just look at how Quirky has created an opportunity for makers, bringing their creations to life and into the market through the power of community. Or, how creative talent is discovered through communities such as Behance.

Community is also a key aspect to creative production. According to Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net, the No. 2 habit of highly creative people is participation. Leo says, “This can come in many forms, but it requires connecting with others, being inspired by others, reading others, collaborating with others.” The No. 1 habit is solitude, but he makes it clear that the key to creativity is balancing the two.

That’s exactly why creative people gravitate towards communities – for the collaboration, inspiration, and encouragement that they offer among like-minded people who share similar tastes, values, and creative processes. This is also why creative communities formed around an artistic interest (such as music or video) tend to be successful in engaging their members, especially where technology and art intersect.

Beyond the community-driven nature of creative people, the success of creative communities can often be attributed to the design of the community itself, its engagement strategy, and management technique. Two of my favorite examples of creative communities that have been successful, especially in terms of niche growth, are Vimeo and SoundCloud. Here’s why:

Vimeo

Vimeo is a video platform exclusive to people who create their own work, and is designed with community in mind. Unlike other video communities, Vimeo’s content is held to a high standard of quality by the community; the videos submitted to Vimeo are works of art crafted to tell a story. From the site: “Vimeo is perfect for showcasing personal moments, creative projects, professional work, and more.” To get an idea of the quality of Vimeo’s community content, check out the Staff Picks channel or the Like Knows Like channel, which we’re also huge fans of at Loyal.

Vimeo could’ve easily just been a video platform for creators to share their works and for consumers to view them, but they’ve gone beyond that. To foster a sense of community and engage their members, they actively encourage commenting, questions, and conversation. They’ve also created Groups, “communities and conversations around videos and other things people like.” Taking just a brief look at the Groups landing page, you’ll see that some of the most active groups have anywhere between 5k and 30k members with videos seeing up to 2,800+ comments – real, quality comments, not spam!

Vimeo also engages its community with its Video School – a place where members can learn to make better videos through lessons, tutorials, and “sage advice,” as well as participate in community challenges that recognize all participating community members for their work. Vimeo even holds festivals to celebrate their community as a reminder to members that they’re appreciated and to why they’re involved with the community in the first place.

By celebrating its members and offering value beyond a place to host videos, Vimeo is creating a sense of belonging and personal investment in its members — two of the psychological attributes of community membership. Although some people might say their 75.3 million unique visitors (Aug. 2012) can’t compare to YouTube’s 800 million (2012), Vimeo’s “small” niche community of engaged film enthusiasts is high-value for the platform, making it a destination for creatives.

Finally, as any well-designed medium-to-large size community should, Vimeo has implemented simple and clear-cut community guidelines that help set the tone for community conduct and interactions. Basic community guidelines such as these, along with an explanation of what happens if they’re broken, sets the tone of a community and pre-emptively creates an open culture.

SoundCloud

With 40+ million registered users as of August 2013 (growing 700% within 2 years), SoundCloud is another great example of a healthy, viable creative community that puts its members at the center of their work. According to Alexa Global traffic Rank, the site has led all major Internet streaming music services in global web traffic — including Pandora, Spotify, 8tracks, and Songza – with 200 million unique visitors per month. From the site: “The heart of SoundCloud is its deeply engaged community of creators who share the sounds they create with each other and the world. SoundCloud is not only about sharing sounds, but also about sharing common interests, attitudes, goals and connecting with people who share your passion.”

A major part of SoundCloud’s success can be attributed to the fact that their product was clearly designed with its community in mind. When viewing a sound clip or song on SoundCloud, you can easily follow an artist, explore similar content, and read comments made by other community members at any point in the song.

Like Vimeo, SoundCloud also offers Groups for its members to engage with each other (there’s that sense of belonging again), and creates opportunities through unique challenges (and personal investment). They’ve also embarked on some very cool partnerships that allow members to interact with well-known (indie) artists, providing an incentive for being involved.

Among Soundcloud’s greatest community assets are its IRL meetups. By creating an offline component to their community, they’re offering their members an opportunity to build deeper connections and more meaningful relationships face-to-face. Who wouldn’t want to make a new best friend? However, the SoundCloud Meetups and Groups are very difficult to find; you have to really dig within the site to discover them. SoundCloud might consider highlighting these meetups front and center on the homepage, showcasing just how community oriented the company is.

SoundCloud also has clear and concise community guidelines. Take a look at them – overall, they’re reasonable and fair, and they definitely set the tone for the community culture. All of these elements  groups, IRL meetups, blogs, challenges, guidelines – combined with people sharing their work and interacting with each other make for a sustainable community of creatives.

Are you involved with a creative community? Have you noticed specific elements that have contributed to their success?

About our contributor // Sarah Judd Welch is the founder/head of community design + BD at Loyal where she designs communities for startups, brands, and Fortune 100s. Find her on Twitter at @sjw.

Image credit: astylizedhysteria

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