Social Media & Prison at 140conf In NYC

The unbearable lightness of being…

Have you ever felt so completely sure of your path while feeling like you’re walking on glass at the same time? This is how I felt working in a prison and how many people feel on social media every day. It’s about community, accepting your fear and just going with it… 

Exploring the State of NowLike many people, I’ve followed Jeff Pulver on Twitter for a long time because his messages of community and connection resonated deep within me. Attending the 140conf in New York City last spring as Jeff’s guest opened up a world of possibilities for my new business – SocialNorth. Listening to story after story of how social media can be used inspired a landslide of ideas to use in my own life and with my clients.

The birth of 140confONT

Julia at #140confNYCTurns out my journey to NYC for the 140conf was the start of an amazing journey. When I returned home, I banded together with a group of Canadians and formed Canada’s first 140conf ~ #140confONT. Just a few months after NYC, Waterloo Region became the site of a new age pilgrimage for those seeking social media enlightenment.

Stepping onto the stage of the 92nd St Y at the 2012 State of Now to share my message – was uplifting in ways that will require another blog post. My first talk was about the very personal lessons I learned while teaching at a federal prison. It’s a story about a woman who doesn’t know who she is, where she is and what she wants and attaches importance to all the wrong things. Throughout her journey she finds out that it’s all about connection, finding friendship and sisterhood and being part of something bigger than herself.

Jeff Pulver and Julia RosienLater that day, I shared the stage again with a group of people who have brought the 140conf experience to their communities – Bringing #140conf to Your Town. Jeff Pulver moderated the panel, which included:

But let’s be honest…

As a writer who’s written for a smorgasbord of national and regional print and radio publications, I know my biggest asset is my willingness to expose my fears, hopes and dreams to the world. Why? Because I know my Inner-Julia is not all that different than everyone else’s inner self.

Chicken Soup for the Working Womans SoulBeing our true selves is why social media works – whether you’re a person or a brand. When I wrote an essay for the Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, I learned that being brutally honest about my mistakes and what I learned from them, breaks down barriers that should never have been there in the first place.

We are all weird (messed up, scared, insert yours here) inside and it’s comforting to know we’re not alone.


220 ElmIn my journey to NYC, I’m very grateful to 220 Elm and Heinz Kattenfeld for seeing the potential of social media enough to sponsor my trip to 140conf in New York City. Heinz and 220Elm understand the value of connected communities and the power of sharing networks. If you’d like to know more about 220 Elm, visit them on Twitter or Facebook. 220 Elm is also a gold sponsor of WithIt, a leadership development organization for women in the home and furnishings industries, of which I am the 2012 president.

Thank-you Heinz for your sponsorship and the beginning of … something special.

If you were at the 140conf12 in New York City, I’d love to hear your take on my presentation. 

Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.

6 Responses to “Social Media & Prison at 140conf In NYC”

  1. Melonie Dodaro says:

    Very heart-warming! Yes, it’s too scary to be exposed. But true authenticity can only really come out of facing our own fears, and learning to create meaningful connections with other people.

  2. John Lusher says:

    #140Conf is lucky to have you Julia!! Love this post and what it highlights: social media works because who we are online is who we are. Period. The transparency within social media is the reason it is successful; there is no veil hiding who we are. We are connecting as real people, with real people. Warts and all as the saying goes! Great job Julia!!

  3. You are an inspiration to so many people (including myself)!

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Karyn, I feel the same way about you and how you approach everything you do with fearlessness. Life is too short to wallow in the what it’s and I’m glad we have each other to remind us of that!

  4. Amazing job Julia – not at all surprised. Congrats on a job well done.


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