Web Savvy: Carmen Christensen, ASID

This Florida-based designer discusses networking through Twitter and much, much more
By Alice Liao
September 20, 2012

Where are you geographically?
Sarasota, FL.

Where are you professionally?
I am a licensed, registered interior designer and business owner who specializes in custom cabinetry and interior design. With more than 20 years in the kitchen and bath industry and interior design, I am constantly evolving and learning new and exciting things about this industry. I truly love what I do, and my design style is growing and evolving each and every day!

What is your Twitter handle?
Yes, love Twitter. You can find me @time2design.

Are you on Facebook?
Yes, I have a personal page and a business page. My business page is: http://www.facebook.com/time2designsrq.

Whom do you follow on Twitter?
Mostly I follow people in the kitchen/bath and interior design industry. I also have a group of personal friends, people from my church. Recently, I have been following people who juice. I also have a new interest in walking the Appalachian Trail, so I am now following fellow hikers. It really varies from day to day. I consider Twitter my daily conversation with friends across the country, and the conversation is changing all the time. Some days, it is just a quick hello to everyone, and other days, it can be a place to collaborate and get another design professional’s opinion.

Who are some of the industry professionals you follow on Twitter?
This changes and varies from day to day and month to month and sometimes, depending on the time of day. There are those close Twitter friends who are now also my “in real life” friends that I interact with on a regular basis, so a quick shout out to @brendslynn, @carol_stephen, @jenniferduchene, @terriart1, @T2d_—Tweeps who encourage and inspire me. I like to keep up with @EditorAtLarge for all the goings-on, and because I am gearing up to attend High Point Furniture Market in October, I have been closely following @HPMarketNews for all of the latest about what to see and do at Market.

Is there someone you wish would follow you?
Not specifically. I want people to follow me because they want to hear what I have to say and/or they are interested in who I am as a person. It still amazes me the reach that Twitter has and the number of people it allows us to connect to. I have friendships around the country that wouldn’t have been possible without Twitter or Facebook.

How often do you update on Twitter and Facebook?
I don’t really consider Twitter a place that you update. To me, it is more about interacting—a place to engage in conversation on a daily basis. Facebook, however, is more of a place where I can let people know what is going on with me and my business, and I often will post updates from my blog to Facebook to direct traffic to my website. This is something I do almost every day also.

How often are you on Twitter and Facebook?
I am on both daily.

Do you have a blog? What do you write about?
I have a blog, www.time2design.biz, that also serves as my website. I like to talk about projects I am working on, before and after stories, things/events that I am participating in, sometimes recipes. In general, it is about my business.

Kitchens from Christensen’s portfolio

What are three favorite work-related blogs and/or websites you read regularly?
The Cool Hunter, Sarasota History Alive and K+BB online, just to name a few.  It is so difficult for me to narrow down specific websites that I frequent. As with most creative people my brain doesn't move in one direction. My choice or my interest varies so much from day to day. I am often searching for products online and/or doing research for a project online, and that can take me from appliance websites to furniture manufacturers. Each job or project I work on is specific to that particular client, and I tailor my online time to discover specific design inspiration, product selection and specifications to meet the needs of their project.

What are three favorite blogs and/or websites you read for kicks?
I have most recently been spending a lot of time on YouTube watching video posts from Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hikers (hiking the AT is on my bucket list). I have also been reading.

What kind of phone do you have and are you happy with it?
I like my Samsung Droid. I suppose if I had to choose another phone, I might consider an iPhone, but honestly, I really like my Samsung Droid. The screen size is larger than that of an iPhone.

What do you use your phone for?
Phone, calendar, appointment reminder, sync to contacts and calendar, email when away from my computer, texting, searching the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, notes, lists, Skype. That is where I am today…technology changes so quickly, it is hard to say what will be the next best thing.

What apps can you no longer live without?
The calendar & email is the single most important app on my phone. It would be difficult not to have access to those at all times. I use MapQuest to travel to my appointments daily and when I am traveling. I use Instagram to post photos directly to my Facebook and Twitter pages. I use ColorNote to make notes during meetings and/or for lists. I also use Bible app—you always have it with you!—and the Flashlight App (love this)! There are so many amazing apps I use: Gas Buddy; Places (to find a restaurant); Groupon (for great deals); FourSquare for checking in (I do this one for fun); Words with Friends; Draw Something; Pandora; Calorie Counter; WebMD; The Weather Channel (use this a lot); and YouTube. And honestly just simply having the ability to connect to the Internet from my phone is priceless!

Do you have an iPad?
I really want one but haven’t made the move yet. If I stay with the Droid, I would probably consider going with the Samsung tablet. It could be an invaluable tool to use during client meetings for showing examples of my work and my website and for letting clients know what is available to them. It would also be a great tool for Internet searches and is less cumbersome than a laptop.

How much time during a week do you spend on social media?
I would say one to three hours a day maybe if I were to include Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Skype? If I actually counted the hours, I would probably find it is much more than that. Yikes!

Is this problematic?
Yes, it can be. It can suck you in so quickly, and hours go by before you even know it. I am trying to get myself to walk away from it and only allow myself windows of time. Honestly, life is out in the world, not on the Internet, although sometimes it can feel like what is going on in the “Twitterverse” is life. And that has happened for me because of the friendships I have forged via Twitter and Facebook, both online and in real life. And then if you add in all of the websites that cater to my passion for design and all things kitchen…The Internet is a wealth of information!

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