1000 Twitter Followers: How Social Media is Changing the Game

April 17, 2009

Today I hit a major milestone in the life of an avid Twitterfile. I surpassed 1000 followers.  To those that don’t use Twitter this may not seem like many. They may read about such Twitterati celebrities like @aplusk, @BarackObama, @jimmyfallon, @lancearmstrong, @iamdiddy – but let’s get serious, these people were in the public eye to begin with. To hear that they have hundreds of thousands of people following them shouldn’t come as any surprise. They’re intriguing, talented people that are changing the world, entertaining the world, and breaking records.  picture-6

The reason why my 1000 landmark is monumental is because I’ve never been in the public eye.  I’ve never been a guest on a talk show. I’ve never run a country, starred in a movie , cut a rap album, played in an all-star game or crushed the Tour De France.  That’s specifically why Twitter is exploding.  I have a following. Chris Dessi, father of Talia, married to Laura, son to Patricia and Adrian.  I live in a townhouse in a sleepy little town.  I have a good education, from good schools. I’m a good guy, with good values, and a good family.  I’ve never broken a record, let a alone made one.  But for this moment, I have 1000 people that are interested in what I have to say. Now, of course this is in a micro format (only 140 characters), and I fully understand that not all of my Tweets are read by my loyal flock. What I can tell you is that I get a thrill when I find something fascinating online, Tweet it, and see people Re-Tweet it.  WOW – the power of spreading information, and passing on the good.  I even decided to start #feelgoodfriday – where you can pass on stories that make you feel good.  I tweeted it, and saw people pass on a sweet video I found on youtube.com that documented a unique wedding proposal.  This is fascinating. This is powerful. This is also.. ALMOST the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self actualization will come – with the next iteration of Twitter (who knows what that company will be called). Twitter offers us the ability to fulfill this aspect of our needy little personalities. Today I’m happy that I have 1000 people listening to me. After all isn’t that what we all crave in the end? To be recognized? To be acknowledged? I see you, I’ll follow you, I’ll listen to you.  Twitter is a blast, and can be a powerful business tool. The popularity will not wane, only grow. We’re tapping into some very primal human desires in the interim.  Cool.-


A New Beginning

March 18, 2009

Thursday Miva was acquired by AdKnowledge, Inc. This is phenomenal news for the talented folks running Miva Direct.  Robert Roe and Mark Ribaudo have a vision for the Miva Direct team that I’m excited to see come to fruition in the coming weeks.  I won’t be a part of that vision because this Monday I was let go.  This is the best thing to happen for me.  This is an opportunity for growth, learning and expansion.  I worked very hard in the months that I spent at Miva Direct and I hope that the team experiences nothing but success.  They all deserve the best.  Now, I must start the journey to look for my next challenge.  

Today, I’m bursting with ideas, happiness, and a feeling that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve decided that I will take some time to be with my family and decide the best opportunity for us. A hasty decision is dangerous, and I want to ensure that I make a decision to move from a pure place, and not a place that is based in financial concern.  

There is so much opportunity in front of me, and I’m excited that this is an opportunity for me to “practice what I preach”.  I have posted on here before regarding the recession, and our perception of the world around us when we’re in the midst of a recession.   Some responded saying that my outlook was unreasonable and much too positive.  I disagree.  Life is not an enemy.  I don’t want war.  I want peace, love and a non hostile environment.  My relationship with the present moment is not a means to an end.  I see my present moment as the only thing that I have.  Life is inseparable from the now.  Now, life is abundant.

  • Now, I have the love of a phenomenal woman.  
  • Now, I have a daughter that is celebrating her first birthday next month, and brings pure joy to my life.2416575556_74337bb7cf_m1
  • Now, I have a family and friends that have reached out to me with love, support and encouragement.  

How lucky am I?

I see the disfunction in grasping for the future, of reacting to the panick of unemployment.  This will not support a smooth transition into a new role. This will only support decision making that is fear based. This won’t help me find a role that is a fulfilling career move.  I may find a “job”, but not an environment where I can be surrounded by like minded positive people.  Life’s much too short for me to seek only financial success.  I’ve seen the danger of this mentality. My actions today are empowered by my intention to do good, act for the good of the people I encounter in my life, and the refusal to feel bitter, rejected, or down.   Too many of us are unaware that we have an inner wisdom of intuition that guides us.  Today is a day I’ve never lived before, and I’m glad to be alive today.  I give to life what I expect life to give to me. I love life.  

Out of this situation, only good will come.


Top 5 Birthdays (so far)

February 18, 2009

Yesterday was my 34th birthday, and I have to say it was one of my best.  More on that later.  Sunday night I was laying in bed thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great family when I started to think about past great birthdays.  So here’s a fun recap of some of my best, and why:

10 – While it may not seem obvious why becoming 10 is the coolest thing ever – let me share why I was so pumped.  Two words – Double Digits. Plus I received the best gift – a boom box from my parents. I went nuts when I opened the gift, believe it or not I still have it (well my Dad does), he keeps it in his garage.  It was the beginning of my love affair with music – first tape? boom-boxHuey Lewis and the News.  Not the best way to start, but c’mon – I was 10. Good times – Back to the double digits… I remember bounding down the hallway whooping and hollering DOUBLE DIGITS!! I’m not sure I’m really proud of that, nor am I really sure why I was so excited (maybe it’s because Alyssa Milano was 10 and I now felt comfortable enough as a sage young man of 10 to write to her fan club and let her know once and for all “who’s the boss”..) but I digress.

13 – At 13 I was the same height I am now (which isn’t really saying much) but I was a full head taller than everyone. I’m convinced it’s where I get my confidence.  For some reason when you’re bigger than everyone there’s an odd unspoken reverence for said large person.  I never grew another inch, but that one year – I was a God (at least I thought I was). I was captain of my wrestling team, I shaved for the first time, and my parents threw me a surprise party at my house. It was the coolest.  We had a lip sync contest and the grand finale was a full party rendition of Paradise City by GNR.  There were girls at the party too and that played well into the  serge of hormones coursing through my lanky 5 foot 9 inch body.  That ruled.  On a less exciting note – I spent 3 months of that year grounded whilst dealing with said serge of hormones…..once again….I digress…

21 – I’d already been drinking legally for a few months because I was living in Leuven Belgium for a year long study abroad program.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Leuven, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for most pubs per square meter – a great place to study.  30,000 students from all over the world and lots of Belgian Beer.  That weekend I knew my Mother, brother Mark and cousin Trish were coming to visit. What I didn’t know was that my Father was joining them. I remember waiting at the airport for them to land (they were delayed due to a huge snow storm back home in New York). I was lying down on a row of chairs when I said to my good friend leuvenSteve Rossi “I wonder when they’ll get in”. My Dad answered the question as he stood over me.   I was bewildered, and thrilled at the same time.  Everyone arrived safely and the “kids” decided to hit the bars that first night in Belgium. I’d been bragging to my brother and cousin that I had a great tolerance for Beer now because I’d been drinking legally and that there was no way I’d get sick.  Big mistake.  I remember running to the bathroom after a round of shots. I calmed myself and felt the urge to throw up pass. That’s when Paulo Antonio Ribeiro Montero walked in (I swear that’s the kids name, odd that I remember, but really, could you ever forget a name like that?).  When he came into the bathroom he had a pint glass of soda. I asked him for a sip because I was on the verge of projectile vomiting and I needed to settle my stomach.  He happily obliged me.  I chugged, chugged….then spit out the straight Jack Daniels.  Bummer.  Commence Vomiting.  I ran home screaming “I’m 21” at the top of my lungs.  Not sure I’ll ever brag to my cousin and brother again about much anything let alone being able to drink them under the table.  But man, it was fun.

30 – This was the biggest mind blower of all time.  While at the mall with my wife Laura one evening, we were set to leave and invite my brother and his wife out for dinner with us.  When we called my brother was stand-off ish, and not interested in leaving the house. I tried to persuade him to no avail. I hung up and told my wife Laura (then my girlfriend) that they were in for the night and not interested.  We started to drive a bit when Laura suggested we call him and tell him we’ll visit them and bring over some pizza. I called back and my brother hesitated a bit, but then said fine, just get some pizza and come over.  When we walked into the house it was packed with friends and family.  I was seriously so confused when I walked in. I thought I’d invited myself over, not the other way around. I was played, and had the best surprise ever.  This was one of the many  “she’s a keeper” events that Laura pulled off over the years.

34 Sunday the whole family came over to celebrate, and it was a fantastic time.  My cousins Trish and MK joined in the fun, and the my nieces and daughter made it a total blast.  Thanks guys!fam


An Open Love Letter to My Wife

February 13, 2009

I was 5 when I first met her, 29 when I first kissed her and 30 when she accepted my proposal to be my wife.   At 33 she gave me a perfect baby girl.  I’m blessed.  I have the love of an amazing woman.

I thought I knew about life, Laura taught me how to live.  I thought I knew how to treat people,  she shows me daily how to give more.l1

Laura Jean Guiglotto, or LJ as we used to call her when she was a little girl is the love of my life.  I’d just returned from living in London for a year when we went on our first real date.  I told her I’d marry her two weeks into our new relationship.  I’d never been so sure of anything before in my life.

I always knew she’d be a great mother; I get choked up when I see her holding our daughter Talia.  She makes me laugh, and we laugh together.  We play together. We learn together. We experience life together.funny

When I first started dating her I felt I was well rounded. I had done some traveling and I thought I could show her the world. Instead she opened my eyes to a new world of beauty and understanding that I didn’t think existed.

When we went to Europe together I could actually see her thirst for knowledge about every place we visited.  She approaches new things with child like wonder.

She teaches me how to trust. She shows me how to give love unconditionally.  Did I mention she makes me laugh? I mean REALLY laugh that laugh that makes you lose your breath.  That’s pure. That’s love.  Oh yeah, plus she bakes too.  Her brownies will make your toes curl in ecstasy.  She’s my friend.  She’s got my back.  She laughs at my bad jokes. She tells me how smart she thinks I am, and then makes fun of me and tells me I’m too cocky.  She’s perfect, for me.

I love to surprise her because she never expects anything from me.  I love to make a fuss over her because nobody every did. I love to rub her feet for her (seriously, I’m not sure why but I actually enjoy rubbing her feet….odd, I know).

She treats her family like gold. She honors her Grandfather with respect that I admire.  She thinks of everyone before she thinks of herself, and I love that we have a child together.

I love that Talia has her gentle big brown eyes. I love that my baby girl has Laura as her role model. I love that my wife has a masters degree. I love that she cries every year on the last day of school (she’s a school teacher).  I love how much she cares about her students.  I love that she decorates the house in accordance to any appropriate holiday she can think of, and that she has place mats to match (actually I don’t love that, I just think it’s funny).  Finally, she’s an amazing kisser and she looks phenomenal in a bikini. 🙂laura1

Happy Valentines Day!


See the Genius in Yourself

February 10, 2009

This evening while listening to a TED Talks Podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert – the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia I was inspired. During her talk, Elizabeth spans hundreds of years speaking about the idea that ancient man didn’t necessarily credit himself for the creative work he would do. Gilbert goes on to even side with this idea – citing that Socrates famously claimed to have a “damon” or spirit that was with him at all times. This magical devine entity would be with him and assist in his creative endeavors. The Romans called this spirit genius.

Elizabeth supports that we as a modern society should shift to thinking this way (perhaps not in a wholly literal sense), but rather in the sense that we should at least acknowledge that this creative force, this light, creativity inside us isn’t wholly of us.

She speaks of the ancient Moors who while dancing would recognize when one of them would dance so elegantly, so perfectly, and with such ease and grace that the would recognize it in the tribe by chanting Allah, Allah, Allah (God, God, God). 2442095861_c6c39926d3_mWhen the Moors later invaded southern Spain you can hear their influence when the Spanish see something done well and chant Oley Oley Oley – a Glimpse of God.

Today – be creative – look for God in yourself. Love yourself enough to keep showing up and see that glimpse of what the Romans called Genius.  See the Genius in yourself.


The Power of a Smile

January 27, 2009

This afternoon I had a great lunch meeting with my good friend and former colleague Alex Baydin.  Al’s the CEO of Performline.  He and his team are having a great start to their year, and we had a great “catch up” lunch.  I was in the best mood after I left our meeting.  It always gets me fired up to see good people doing big things-  kudos to the Performline team.

On my way back downtown to the office, I was feeling energized. I called my wife and then hopped onto the 1 train back down to Houston Street from 23rd.  When I sat down I saw an older, somewhat downtrodden black gentleman sitting directly across from me.  He had slumped shoulders and was looking down at the ground.  I had a smile on my face, and when he picked up his head and made eye contact with me – of course I offered this gentlemen a smile.  He immediately sat up straight, smiled back and pulled out a pad and pencil – and began to sketch me.

A few people sitting around us realized what was happening and started to smile.  I looked at them and said “I guess I should keep smiling”…they laughed and the gentleman continued to sketch.  We stopped at 18th, then 14th, – the person who had been sitting next to me got off and smiled at us both.  A new person got on at 14th and sat next to me – when she realized what was happening she smiled and we both chuckled a bit.  When we got to Christopher street you could see his 

img00034-20090127-1909drawing come together – I was getting off at the next stop so I stood up next to the gentleman and placed my hand on his shoulder .  I held my hand on him, leaned down and said “that looks great”…a woman next to me prepared to get off at the same stop said “is that supposed to be you”?  I said ” I believe so” and with that the man signed the sketch, ripped it off his clipboard and handed it to me over his shoulder with a smile.  I took it, said thank you smiled back – and got off the train.

Behold the power of a Smile.  You gotta love New York City – and you gotta love life.

Check it out:


5 Things I’m grateful for

January 26, 2009

1. My wife Laura – I paid her $50 if she could last 1/2 hour without talking last night (seriously, she won and I was a happy man to pay up)…but I love that woman.  Plus we laugh together….all the time..

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2. My daughter Talia

– Feel the touch of a 9 month olds open hand on your cheek and feel the hand of God.

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3. My home – I worked my buns off to provide a home for my family, and although it’s no palace, it’s a great place, and I feel like I enter the “no stress zone” every time I come home at night.

4. My family – I actually CHOSE to live in the same town as my brother.  Crazy right? Wrong.  He and his gorgeous family rule.  We all dig spending our Sundays together, and we even invite my PARENTS! For my Mother’s 60th Birthday we’re sending my parents to Sciacca, Sicily – the town of origin for my Mother’s family.  Family is EVERYTHING. We surprised her.  Priceless..

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5. My job – I work with some of the smartest people in the online world, and they’re nice to me.  Not sure what I did to deserve that?   

Life is good people.  take a minute to list your top 5…I promise, you’ll feel great afteward!