Dates: April 2010–May 2011
Every newspaper reader knows the Sylvia comic strip, written by long-time Chicagoan Nicole Hollander. For more than 35 years, Hollander has been writing the smart, political, feminist comic strip, Sylvia, which is distributed by the Tribune Media Services Syndicate.
So why would this successful cartoonist want go online?
In February 2010, Hollander was dropped by the Chicago Tribune. It came as a shock. After all, the Chicago Tribune was her hometown newspaper. Hollander was still syndicated by the Tribune Media Services Syndicate, but she wanted a way to connect with her fans more directly. She knew it was time to start building her online community.
Our brainstorming work began in April 2010. Nicole and I launched BadGirlChats.com from scratch in early November 2010. I was tickled to be working with such a talented writer who had an amazing, feminist legacy. Here’s what my role as the BadGirlChats.com Social Media Consultant/Web Editor consisted of:
Online Community Development: Launched BadGirlChats.com, Nicole Hollander’s online community, where readers can find Sylvia comics both past and present; Sylvia and Nicole chat back and forth (hence the name”badgirlchats”); and readers engage in active comment threads. Collaborated with Nicole Hollander to build out the BadGirlChats Online Store, where readers can find all the Sylvia goods. Coordinated linkage betweenBadGirlChats.com, NicoleHollander.com and Edgycat.com.
Press: Monitored all press clippings, collecting them for BadGirlChats Press/Reviews. Interviewed alongside Nicole Hollander for numerous articles and a TV spot on WTTW Chicago Tinight. The launch of BadGirlChats.com was covered by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, Windy City Times, CJE News.
Metrics: Analytics and site measurement for BadGirlChats.com using Google Analytics and Facebook Insights
Email Marketing: Built out the Nicole Hollander mailing list using MailChimp.com, scheduling RSS feed posts, constructing template.
Social Media Help: Created a customized Facebook Tutorial for Nicole Hollander. Taught Hollander how to use Twitter, and how to create quick posts on WordPress.
Content Development & Web Editing: Edited Hollander’s already blog-y posts, comics and additional content for the web; wrote headlines and ledes for comics posts; image resizing; posted to social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). Coordinated site updates with WordPress website designer, including Google Ads, BadGirlChats subscription box, Facebook and Twitter feeds, internal search bar.
In May 2010, I handed over the position of Web Editor to Deanna Trejo. I continue to be a fan of BadGirlChats.com, and a cheerleader from the sidelines/comments section. And when I spot a sharp, feminist-leaning, politics junkie, I tell them that I know a site they need to visit. . .
Testimonial from Nicole Hollander:
When I think of how I viewed social media when I first met Alicia I am shocked that she was able to bring me around at all. I had a strong adverse reaction to Facebook. I dismissed it as trivial and of course it can be…. and she said “Okay, let me show you someone else’s page.” And finally I got it and I saw how Facebook was a place for an immediate response to something that I found important to share and to move someone else to respond. This is especially important when there’s a political response that has to happen very quickly.
What I particularly value about Alicia’s approach was that she had a larger vision…that she saw the blog as a community that I could both create and be part of. Of course she is adept at the technical aspects of creating a blog. I called her my tech wizard but she also understands what needs to be done to use social media to her client’s best advantage. She understands what should be done to make the project succeed and grow. I think it is her intelligence and creativity that I value the most. Of course I recommend her. How could I not?
WTTW’s Chicago Tonight (TV): http://aliciaeler.com/2010/12/20/sylvia-nicole-hollander-alicia-eler-wttws-chicago-tonight-december-20th-2010/