Today I Take My Next Step, Into Our History With Ancestry.com

I have been looking for a new opportunity for the last couple of weeks, and those that know me, know that I am fairly picky in regards to where I choose to invest my time. I am excited to announce that I have joined Ancestry.com as their Director of Global Social Media and Customer Engagement. The people I will be working with were a big part of the reason I ultimately chose Ancestry.com over other the opportunities I was exploring (more on that to follow).

It also feels like they respect (and encourage) a real work+life balance, which is something I really need to get better at.

One of my goals is to connect the global community of amateur and professional genealogists at Ancestry.com, both internally and externally, and I feel the work I have done growing Social Media Club over the last seven years has provided the perfect experience to be successful here.

In addition to managing Ancestry.com’s engagement strategy and social media channels, I will be working closely with Marketing, Product Management and Support to improve the service and its value for existing customers while helping more people find the joys of history through their personal family trees.

I am, however, more then just a new employee. I started building my family tree years ago and have been an avid user for the past year and a half, which makes this an amazing fit. It’s a service I know very well, and for which I am already an evangelist.

Wells-deVaux

While there are still a few breaks in the lineage, it has been a blast to dig into the records and discover things like the town of Wellsburg, New York was founded by my 5th great grandfather, Abner Wells. It is a tiny little town in Chemung County, but it is our town, and I might just have to pay it a visit one day to stake my rightful claim. 🙂 I also found a long line of French relatives on my mom’s side who settled in New Orleans and probably explains the connection I feel with that city. Or it could have been the Pimm’s Cup, but I would like to believe it was the family history that drew me there.

As the journey begins today, I am looking forward to meeting the members of my new community. If you aren’t already a member, I hope you might consider joining me and the millions of others who are exploring their family histories with me.

Social Media Best Practices: Airlines and Airports



I was invited to speak at the 2011 Marketing and Communications Conference/JumpStart® Air Service Development Program in Cleveland, Ohio on June 21st and dug into Social Media Best Practices for Airports and Airlines.

As an ‘outsider’, it was nice being invited into their community and given the chance to share how I see the interactions between airports and airlines with fellow travelers. Some do exceptionally well – others have a long road ahead of them – but as with anything socially based, it takes practice, it takes dedication, and it takes someone willing to put the time in to help others.

My Presentation was called ‘Social Media Best Practices for the Airline Industry‘ and it can be seen below:




View more presentations from Kristie Wells

Road Trip 2011: Boston, MA

Boston: April 2011
I was invited to speak at the Social Media & Community 2.0 conference in Boston and was lucky enough to have a little free time to walk around the city. I have not been in Boston in a while, but always good to get back.

So much history.

So much good chowdah to eat. 🙂

Took a handful of photos, this time, swayed by the Central Burying Ground and a short walk along the Freedom Trail.

Social Media Club Reaches 150 Cities!

I was putting a presentation together recently on Social Media Club (‘SMC’) and needed a current count of all the cities that had an active chapter, as well as cities we were working with to launch a chapter.

I am pleased (and surprised) to report that as of July 1, 2009 – SMC crossed 150 city mark with chapters in over 15 countries. Wow.

Even more surprising (to me) is the fact that we have reached all these cities through word of mouth activities (only) via friends, attending conferences and personal travel. Crazy. Makes me wonder what we could do if we put some real marketing effort into it!’ 🙂

When Social Media Club launched three years ago (March 2006), neither Heuer or I had any idea how big it would become, or where it would go. We are thankful for the 400+ folks who have supported SMC’s activities through paid memberships and hope to see that continue to grow as we launch new educational programs and an infrastructure to help the global community come together.

Social Media Club Member Kits

SMC continues to be a labor of love project that I volunteer about 30 hours a week to, trying to put light structure in place so we can continue to grow and connect people interested in Social Media around the world. I’ll admit, it is tough some days, and SMC absolutely takes a hit when my client work requires more of me.

To solve for this, we are working to hire an Executive Director and light staff to help push the organizational pieces for SMC forward as it kills me when balls get dropped and emails go unanswered. Getting someone in here to take the reigns is high on the list and will allow Heuer and I to take a step back and focus on the media literacy and chapter related projects we wish to see get off the ground. Focus baby. Focus.

The TO DO/wish list is a mile long and there are a 1000 moving pieces at any given time. With that, I know there are exciting times ahead, and I cannot wait to see where the organization is 12 months from now.

With the new year, comes a new blog…

…design that is.

About this time last year I decided to suck it up and finally make the switch from my original Blogspot account to hosting my own site on WordPress here at KristieWells.com.

I am happy to have made to made the move to WordPress as even though I consider myself a techie noob, I can still do more with the site, but I have questioned my choice of new themes ever since it went live. What at first seemed vibrant and exciting, just seems overdone and ‘crazy’ now. I actually hate looking at it.

There was something inherently beautiful to me in the simplicity of the Blogger template

Kiki's Korner: Before

I think I need to get back to that style. It is much more ‘me’, not this frilly over the top and in your face theme. I also need to upgrade this bad boy as it is on the original version we launched with last year (v2.3.3) which is way out of date and a PITA to manage.

So I am heading back to the drawing board and looking for suggestions on favorite plugins, themes, etc. so I can come back swinging with a blog I love. Ideally, I would take that old Blogger theme and turn it into a three column format as I like the feel and the colors, but thinking that is not possible (and might really piss off Blogger) – so on the hunt for something new.

Making ‘sense’ of my professional life

When I announced I was back on the market last June, there were some questions I had to answer. Mainly, what did I want to do next. Yeah, I know – start with a biggie.

I interviewed with a lot of companies. I was extremely fortunate to have received more than my fair share of offers. There were some really good opportunities presented, but honestly – nothing felt exactly right…until now.

Time to raise the curtain on what I am doing. This morning my company, my6sense, launched at the Under The Radar event in Mountain View, CA.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

It is a small ambitious team, tackling a very big idea (‘information overload’). It is also a product/service I will actually use, which was a key factor in my decision. Best of all, they understand and appreciate the work Chris and I have put into building Social Media Club and they want me to continue with that too. Score!

So I am dusting off my keyboard and getting back to work, albeit part time to start, but I am working. Woot.