Bright Ones: Julia Roy Lives the Digital Lifestyle
I met Julia Roy on Twitter over a year a go. I somehow saw a tweet or two from her and decided she was interesting enough to follow. But that wasn't all that caught my attention. Her Twitter image at the time - in which she is wearing the glasses that, in some respects, have come to define her - was strikingly similar to my own. As a joke, I made a "separated at birth" image of the both of us and posted it to TwitPic for all to see. It was no big thing but Julia noticed and thought it was kind of funny.
Once that initial novelty wore off, I became interested in Julia's work at Undercurrent, an ad agency with its hand completely immersed in the world of social media. The agency's website is the furthest thing you'd expect from ad ad agency. On their site, a sort of Drudge Report-style collection of relevant news items and thoughts from the twittersphere and blogosphere, it's all about social conversation and little to nothing about ego-stroking portfolio's of work, the common denominator of most agency websites.
Undercurrent had its hand deep inside the Mad Men/AMC/Twitter fan fiction movement that saw upwards of 20 Mad Men characters come to life on Twitter. Initially, AMC went legal and did a cease and desist. But all that did was raise the ire of the show's fans, mostly those who work in the ad industry and created the characters on Twitter out of the love for the show.
Julia, who writes a blog about her digital life, went to Simmons college in Boston to study international relations, public policy and political science, It wasn't long though before she realized it wasn't the thing for her.
For a while she worked at Boston's Cone Inc. where she brought life to the Making Change for Katrine fund-raising campaign. At Cone, she dove head first into the world of social media and then met Joan Schneider of Schneider Associates and worked for a while before she ended up in New York where she currently resides and works at Undercurrent.
A few months ago, Julia launched Tweet Week, a weekly recap of news, trends, discoveries and drama found on Twitter including the highlight of the show, Hilarious Tweets. It's like Lonelygirl16...but with a purpose.
In addition to Tweet Week, you can always find Julia in front of her webcam, grinning for all who follow her on Twitter. There, you'll find her blowing bubbles, showing off her new hot boots, modeling her new haircut, showing us her hot dress that's so short she can't bend over while wearing it, highlighting her work on a CNN project, letting us appreciate the cuteness of her hittens, sharing yet another new (ahem, seriously hot looking) dress, sleeping, eating cupcakes, making alternative uses for a tie, showing us her own, ahem, cupcakes, the brief love affair with Second Life, sharing the fact she can cook, her Twitter worshippers and...oh the horror...posing without her glasses on.
During Advertising Week in September, about a year after I had digitally met Julia, I had the pleasure of physically meeting her. I met her at the Undercurrent offices along with her co-worker Yianni Garcia. If you think the 2D digital version of Julia Roy is appealing, wait until you see the goodness of her 3D physical version. And the wit that completes the package.
We had beer. We talked advertising. We talked Mad Men. We talked Boston. We talked New York. We talked Twitter. We made fun of the suit-wearing mid-town crowd that filed the bar at which we met. We had fun.
Digital Elite. Social Media Mover and Shaker. Those terms are horribly trite and overused but Julia knows her shit. Like any good social media expert, she plays in the sandbox and because she does so she knows the rules.
Bright Ones is an ongoing occasional series highlighting interesting people in marketing, advertising, social media and other related practices.