Tag Archives: Twitter

There Is No Write But Wrong

tweetIt just came as a shock to me that my personal blog got nominated for a Best of the Best Award. I would say a mini celebration is in order but as you can see from my previous post dates, blogging hasn’t come easily for me lately.

So I felt I should write – not because of the nomination itself but because I’ve realized that I’ve become so incredibly one-track-minded that I haven’t even had time to continue to cultivate what began my career to begin with.

I suppose I shall announce at this point that I’ve landed the best job in the entire known Universe: I’m THE social media coordinator for the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, otherwise known as Visit El Paso. The job landed on my lap as a sheer coincidence in a moment of pure desperation. The story goes like this:

VEPI had bought a car – a shitty one, mind you – from a well known street here known for selling shitty cars. I had it coming to me; the engine blew a gasket, the fuel pump probably melted into Hell and it’s currently growing mold in my boyfriend’s father’s mechanic shop.

It goes without saying that I had (and still don’t have) a vehicle, yet I worked all the way in Santa Teresa, NM. For several months, I relied on the kindheartedness of my fellow work mates and commuted to work this way. Of course at some point you start feeling like a mooch even though I did compensate them for gas money. I started looking for jobs Downtown (where I live) and I ran across several – one of them being the Social Media Coordinator for Visit El Paso.

BOTB-2013logo

I knew this was the job for me. I applied, followed up, showed up, got interviewed and landed the job. Since that point, I stopped my podcast, I stopped writing, I stopped my religious practice and worse yet, I stopped painting.

I get paid well for what I do but I can clearly see that my work has completely overtaken my life.

Is that okay? I mean, it’s truly a job I enjoy. Some days it feels like “work” but other days – when I’m video taping a bike ride, editing photos on Photoshop, Tweeting people, making connections – it’s all VERY fun. I love this job so incredibly much!

Art & Thelema will become a part of my life again. They’re always going to me major elements in my life; I buy art & attend art shows regularly and my life ideologies have been formed around the tenets of Thelema. However, there comes a time when you’ve got to push on the brakes, take a look at your life and see if there’s anything you’ve  left out or anyone you’ve forgotten.

I won’t win the Best of the Best thing. Shit, I didn’t even know I was a nominee. If I get nominated next year, I sure as hell hope my blog isn’t as sparse as it is now.

SO HARDCORE

This is my commitment to myself: I will paint a magnificent piece, unlike anything you’ve seen me do before, perhaps by the time June has come. I intend for it to be a gift to my boyfriend in celebration of our first complete year together. Hold me to it.

Now it’s YOUR turn: Take some time to reflect. Are you missing out on anything in your life right now? What can you do to re-establish that connection again? 

What is ArtSpace and Why You Should Know

as_elpaso_headerA few weeks ago, I went to a community meeting held by representatives of Artspace USA, a national non-profit organization that strives to create sustainable, affordable living spaces for artists and their families.

El Paso has been going through an interesting boom in culture and arts, most likely set in motion through various initiatives sponsored and encouraged by city organizations. Either way, these artists have found their niche and have devoted a large part of their lives to their craft.

Unfortunately, art doesn’t always pay the bills. Despite that, art, music and creativity are mandatory elements in the growth of a city and it’s culture, so as a community, we need to find a way to help encourage these artists to keep creating.

Here is a set of tweets that I broadcast during the meeting. They started out by explaining what the proposed spaces might look like:

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291717407616155648

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291720899894317056

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291717898433617921

Then, after having gotten everyone interested in the spaces, the presenter then went into details regarding eligibility. An ‘artist’ is defined by being a creative of some sort; photography, painting, drawing, music etc.

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291718387481059328

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291719156515102721

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291722571433533440

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291723708463214592

Most exciting of all, at least to me, is how nicely this will fit into the 2015 Downtown Redevelopment plan, which is already well under way.

https://twitter.com/CrystiCouture/status/291728043981025280

If you’re interested in learning more about the upcoming Artspace community in El Paso sign up for their newsletter and show some support. Every little bit counts!

Preliminary Case Study: El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau

1970-circa-san-jacinto-looking-south-east

This is an unofficial case study that I’m posting on my personal blog for a variety of reasons, however as the readership knows I love my city and I love social media!

Although social media is integral to any marketing plan, it can be difficult to find the right coordinator because social media is a new form of marketing that simply isn’t being taught in the Universities and it takes more than just a background in marketing to understand the playing field.

What’s important to understand is that social media isn’t just about creating an account and updating it once in a while; it’s also about presence and staying connected with the people as well.

The Missions and Purposes of a CAVB or Destination Marketing Organization

  • To fuel the local business climate and broaden the local tax base by attracting visitors as a means of bringing money into the community, generating personal income, jobs, and tax revenue by marketing and ensuring the city as a destination.
  • Generating positive awareness of the city as a pleasurable destination and also providing opportunities for community support and participation.
  • To be a liaison between visitors and facilities, services, events, activities, agencies and organizations.
  • Develop and promote programs and campaigns to enrich tourism, attractions and events.
  • Provide accurate and up-to-date information to visitors to provide everyone a unique, memorable and satisfying experience when visiting the city.

The City

El Paso unique in a multitude of ways; it’s unique in terms of geography, commerce, culture and tourism. Not only does El Paso enjoy a rich cultural history of its own but the city is situated between two other cultural giants: the state of New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Other cities such as Melbourne and New York have created successful city brands that are recognizable around the world and reflect their individual spirit and style. El Paso’s unique appeal and status can easily be capitalized upon – it’s just going to take some careful social media strategies and proper demographic targeting.

Demographics

Age Distribution

In 1990, the population of El Paso was 519,480 people and as of the 2011 Census, that number has risen to approximately 665,568 with a heavy concentration in children and those spanning between the ages of 35 and 44. These metrics suggest high birthrates, falling or stable death rates and the potential for rapid population growth.

Income

In regards to income, El Paso’s average sits between $5 and $24k right now – not a whole lot but with the upcoming opportunities presented by the El Paso Redevelopment Plan, I personally feel that this will all change.

The Future of the City

El Paso has an extremely bright future and is at the genesis of an upward  trend. The Downtown 2015 Plan by the Paso del Norte Group is guaranteed to reinvigorate the city and inspire a catalyst for change.

This, along with the aforementioned Redevelopment Plan, the new AAA Baseball Stadium, new museums and the upcoming change in political climate are worthy of marketing and are sure to spark interest in community involvement and tourist attractions.

The Brand Now

The El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau is managed by SMG and uses ‘Visit El Paso’ as its main identifier and ‘Real Adventure is Still Alive in El Paso’. This marketing campaign has won several awards from various regional entities. Their existing social media lies in the following links:

The CAVB has had success in bringing events to the city such as:

  • Social Media Tourism Symposium
  • Conference US Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament
  • United States Bowling Conference Open Championship

The CAVB also promotes the Performing Arts Centers:

  • Abraham Chavez Theater
  • The Plaza Theater
  • Arts Festival Plaza
  • Oasis Bistro & Lounge
  • McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater

And is partnered / associated with the following events and organizations:

  • El Paso Film Commision
  • Amigo Airsho
  • Chalk the Block
  • Downtown KidsPalooza
  • Downtown Street Festival
  • Hyundai Sun Bowl
  • Neon Desert Music Festval
  • Plaza Classic Film Festival
  • VIVA! El Paso
  • El Paso Museum of Art
  • El Paso Zoo
  • La Vina Winery
  • Lynx Exhibits
  • …dozens more.

Suggested Social Media Presences and Changes

  • Instagram is quickly becoming the photo sharing network of choice for Facebook and Twitter. It’s also much easier to run a marketing campaign on the platform as well, through the use of hashtags and daily photo prompts.
  • The existing Pinterest presence is robust but lacks followers. Might want to consider a Pinterest campaign that could spark interest and increase engagement.
  • Location based marketing such as LivingSocial or Foursquare. The various locations and events that the CAVB is partnered with provide an excellent opportunity to unlock ‘badges’, create coupons, promotions or live broadcasting of events.
  • Revamping the mobile application significantly.
  • Cross-promotion is lacking and social media accounts are not interlinked to each other. Double posting is a big no-no in the social media world but cross promotion is easy to implement with the proper tools.
  • An events calendar exists on the website and is somewhat user friendly in that the default view is in list ‘agenda’ format. This calendar needs to be integrated into the mobile application and could benefit from being embeddable through the use of Google Calendar.
  • The Flickr account needs regular updating – the last upload was in June of 2012. If updates are not going to occur it would be best to delete the channel.
  • El Paso is unique in that it’s facing a very prominent arts and music renaissance. Noted achievements in the city include the Neon Desert Music Festival and Chalk the Block. Based on this, perhaps engaging the creative community through consistent contests, exhibits and promotion through social channels can build a larger loyalty base within the 15-35 year old demographic.
  • Promoting and engaging with locally owned publications through social media channels, which in turn would also empower those publications to promote the CAVB.

That’s all I can say for now. I could get much father in depth with strategies for each social media channel and I very well might post those tips and how-to’s in the future, so stay tuned.

Here’s a few other posts of mine that you might enjoy:

Is Your Picture Worth 1000 Clicks?

How to Plan an Expo and Not Go Insane

 

Love and The Art of Settling

There comes a time in someone’s life where reality hits you over the head with a cast iron skillet.

For me, that time has arrived, albeit perhaps temporarily. Even though I’m 25, I’m realizing that constant dating is full of unrewarding drama and has been nightmarishly disappointing to say the least.

It’s no wonder women and men tend to settle for someone that they think is the ‘best that they can get’. Modern dating has become too complicated…so many strings attached. People aren’t meeting organically anymore, like at a grocery store or church. Nowadays, people are dating other people that they meet on social networks, whether its Twitter, Facebook or Match.com.

Which brings me to the topic at hand: The “Art” of Settling. As a matter of fact, I have settled a couple of times in my past for a number of different reasons. So it comes as no surprise that an acquaintance of mine forwarded an article from the Huffington Post to me entitled:

“Why So Many of Us Marry The Wrong Person”

The author of the article, Jennifer Gauvain, explains the main reasons why people tend to stay in unsavory relationships:

1. We’ve dated for so long I don’t want to waste all the time we have invested in the relationship.
2. I don’t want to be alone.
3. He’ll change after we get married.
4. It is too late, too embarrassing and/or too expensive to call off the wedding
5. He is a really nice guy; I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

I’ll agree with every single reason except #3 and #4 because, well…we never got married even though we were together for 8 freaking years; but that’s a whole other story.

Every time I wanted to leave my ex, I always thought about one thing: ‘My grandmother would have never left her man. She would stick by him through thick and thin, deal with his negative aspects and be resilient. After all, love is unconditional. Gotta stick this through.’

That very thought was what kept me in a flavorless relationship for so long. I always had known I was settling…I could have easily found someone more compatible with me; someone more acclimated to my hobbies, my interests and my tastes. But I was too scared of being alone…of losing everything that we had worked so hard to build together. The house, the car, the jobs.

What made me stop the cycle of settling? Realizing that life is too short to be unhappy with someone. If the person you are with doesn’t fulfill you completely, stop lying to yourself. They are not going to change, you aren’t going to force them to change.

You deserve exactly what you want. I used to think that my standards were too high…but then I wrote my standards down and realized that they weren’t that demanding at all:

  1. Must like kids.
  2. Have an education, be working on a degree or have a major goal in life.
  3. Be agnostic, atheist or be completely accepting of New Age
  4. Be well versed; have knowledge in literature, science, history etc.
  5. Looks aren’t a priority but should be tolerable at least.
  6. High libido.
That’s it. How simple is that? So since I broke up with my ex-husband I swore I wouldn’t settle again, and I haven’t. That’s not to say I don’t want to settle down (which I certainly do) but this time, I’m holding out for Mr. Right.

Why I Am Not a Christian

I tend to post a lot of spiritual things on Twitter but what people don’t seem to understand is what I actually believe in. Sometimes, I get asked about my personal beliefs & being vague about them often satisfies their curiosities.

This post is to explain what I was, what I am and what I plan to be.

What I {was} : As a Hispanic, I was born into a Catholic upbringing. Once my mother remarried, I was then exposed to a Baptist household. The catalyst came when I turned 11. I was exposed to Wicca through a middle school friend who had lent me “Wicca 101”.

What I {am} : I am a follower of Thelema. I wasn’t always a Thelemite… but I discovered Thelema long before I made it my personal philosophy through Invisible House.org.

What makes Thelema ideal is that it focuses on the inner god and encourages the person to follow his or her own true ‘Will’. Whether the path is destructive or constructive, through chaos or peace, all paths will and should ultimately lead to the discovery of your True Will.

All of Thelemic thought and philosophy is based on the Kabbalah Tree of Life. ALL things can be categorized within the Tree of Life whether you are a Christian, Buddhist or completely Agnostic. Any follower of any faith can be a follower of Thelema, although I prefer a more puritanical approach and follow Thelema with no other dogmas.

I am not a Christian because:

  • It is based on faith without fact.
  • The Bible, it’s source of followers and textbook for study, is historically incomplete, hypocritical and due to varying cultures and languages, is interpreted differently.
  • Because of said interpretational differences, a majority of the wars in this world have been purported by the differences in this blind faith.
  • It’s main dogma is to believe in an external God, a male God,  the ultimate creator and destroyer of all things.
  • It discourages introspection, as all energy ‘should’ be directed toward the ‘praising and exaltation’ of this one God.

All things in this world should be questioned. All topics are up for debate. True religion is the religion of the ‘Self’ as one would perceive it to be. What right has a man to say that he has a soul if he cannot feel it or that there is a God if he does not see it?

Although my blog is not exclusively one about Kabbalah or Thelema, I’d like to hear your thoughts, questions and retorts on my thoughts. Educated debate and exploration is always welcome here.

December Doodles: Artistic Words

It’s that time again to show you what I have been doing in the artistic realm this past month!

Since it’s the season of giving I thought that one of the best gifts I can give is one that has been created by my own hands. Unfortunately this part of the year happens to find me in a very broke state as well so gifting art makes me feel a little better about not being able to buy fabricated things.

First on the list is a gift I made for my buddy Metafisix. This painting was both a gift and a commission of sorts: I had been hanging out with my buddy on Thanksgiving Day and saw that his room was plastered with art, posters and other miscellany from ceiling to floor. There were a couple of spaces I wanted to fill and had just recently exhibited a little piece of art at the Emerge event in downtown El Paso, so I was inspired to make Metafisix something that he could hang on his wall and remind him of me. This was the end result:

This piece is completely acrylic on an oval canvas. When I was younger, I used to draw graffiti everywhere and at every moment I could muster to do so. Street art is near and dear to me…I am no expert and I don’t have a favorite graf artist but my experience with graf comes from a time in my life where everything was free spirited and everything was tumultuous as well.

My next piece was made for my love interest, Mark, of whom I lovingly mentioned in the Spiels on Wheels podcast. He happens to be a rabid fan of the film ‘The Boondock Saints‘, so I thought I’d pay a little homage to his film by painting my version of a ‘VERITAS AEQUITAS’ anagram I found.

This work is also completely composed of acrylic on canvas and is coated with a polyurethane spray.

Hope you enjoyed this months doodles! If you’re an El Paso local and would like a commissioned piece, feel free to email me on my About Me page or introduce yourself to me on Twitter! I am certainly looking for the practice so just about anything goes!