"Social media has allowed people to rally around ideas and given individuals and groups a voice that can be heard all over the planet."
Rebecca Dykema Quinn '02 (international relations) spends her time across the pond witnessing first-hand the European front of the social media revolution. She is the director of European strategy and operations for Silicon Valley-based Wildfire, a division of Google that works closely with Facebook. While Europeans have been a little slower to embrace social media, she says, they are rapidly catching up. Quinn helped establish the London office of the social media marketing software provider.
"Social media has allowed people to rally around ideas and given individuals and groups a voice that can be heard all over the planet. It has enabled events such as the Arab Spring, and played a huge role in the way that people communicated around the London 2012 Olympics and the U.S. elections, for example."
Culture-bridging connections have fascinated Quinn since her Bucknell days when she participated in the Bucknell en France program, what she calls her "first real adventure."
"My year in France represented a massive shift in the way I saw the world, and myself. That experience was compounded by my international relations classes. I'll never forget my first class with Emek Uçarer. The course was History of the European Community - and she was so passionate about the potential of a unified Europe. It was contagious. I still carry that passion and interest with me now."
Social media is also transforming the way in which brands communicate with their clients. In the past, it was a one-way conversation through TV, print, websites and e-mail. Now the conversation is two-way. With Wildfire, Quinn helps European brands and agencies in countries including the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland improve the conversations they have with customers.
"We're innovating between two of the most influential online media companies of our generation. And yet Wildfire is such a young company. We are still building so much from scratch. There is room in my role to constantly innovate and own parts of the business. These are the things I love most about my job."
When she isn't busy making the world smaller one tweet at a time, Quinn enjoys traveling, yoga and visiting London's restaurants. She can be found on Twitter @rdquinn16.
Posted March 2013
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