People Pulse: Colleen Burns

Colleen Burns, Orlando Yelp! Community ManagerQ: Before getting started, we always enjoy hearing one fun fact about our “people.” What’s yours?
A: Ahhhh something that always shocks people is that I have been to over 500 live concerts over the years =) It’s a wonder I still have my hearing.

Q: You’re originally from the North. What brought you to Central Florida, and how long have you been a resident?
A: I have been in Central Florida for the past 10 years and I love it. What brought me to this Sunshine State was exactly that, sunshine! I adore the weather; it keeps my energy up and a smile on my face. It’s so hard to frown on a sunny day!

Q: What do you enjoy most about Central Florida?
A: The big city feel in a small community. We are so spread out and have so much to offer all over the Central Florida area but our community is so tightly knit and is truly a driving force.

Q: In terms of growth & development, what would you like to see for Central Florida?
A: I would like to see Downtown continue to flourish. In my 10 years, I have seen this city go from a central street downtown to a true up-and-coming urban city. We still have a long way to go but I have a great feeling about the next couple of years. The addition of the long awaited Amway Center is going to shock people and really bring an energy that our downtown area has been lacking as far as entertainment.

Q: You are the new Community Manager for Yelp!, a site about local businesses that relies heavily on user-submitted content. What does Yelp have to offer Central Florida?
A: Let’s put it this way, I have actively been using Yelp since Sept ’09 and I have uncovered over 100 local establishments, businesses and restaurants that are bookmarked “to try!” That is out of control. What have I been doing these past 10 years?

Yelp allows people to connect on various levels:

  • They can trust their local communities to point them in the direction of great local businesses.
  • They can share their opinions and experiences and allow others to benefit from their opinions.
  • They can connect with locals online as well as offline and extend their personal networks.
  • On the local business side, owners can get out into the community and see what their customers are saying about their business. They can help to improve their business as well as reach out and connect to consumers in order to extend their local reach.

Q: Why should residents Yelp? What incentive do they have?
A: Yelp offers locals so many levels of benefit. Find a great recommendation when searching for a locksmith; you want to trust who is handling the locks on your home, right? Find a great apartment community to live in; you want to hear about the experiences that others have had before you sign a year lease, right? Find a restaurant that allows dogs to their establishments; you don’t want to travel and sit down just to get turned away, right?

Yelp because it’s local. Yelp because it’s easy and trusted. Yelp because you want to read and share relevant information.

Q: How does Yelp connect people?
A: Yelp is a community built on experiences and conversations. It is a lively online community that offers various outlets to turn those connections online into offline connections. There is a section dedicated to local events with the ability to see who is attending so that you can meet up with other local yelpers. You can utilize the Talk section to organize a meet up with other yelpers.

Also, there is the Yelp Elite Squad. Part of my role as the Community Manager is to throw monthly events for my community which is an awesome way for people to connect offline in a meaningful way, as well as meet great local businesses – and of course enjoy a drink or two!

Q: You’re an insane Orlando Magic fan, right? In fact, you started something called the “LadyBallers” – tell us about that.

A: Duh! Yes, I am a HUGE Orlando Magic fan, and have been for the past six seasons. I have always been a huge basketball fan since I started to play in 4th grade years ago.

Last year during the excitement of Twitter, I would tweet about basketball, specifically the Magic and gathered a ton of followers interested in a female who is educated in sports, sometimes we don’t get the benefit of the doubt and often have to “prove” our knowledge of the game. LAME!

I then found out that a ton of my female friends were into basketball as well and they started going to a lot of games with me. Hence, the birth of “LadyBallers” – a social network of women and men alike who all have a common interest: we are passionate about sports!

What started out as a basketball group on Twitter in 2008, has quickly turned into a social network and blog for the love, healthy competition, and excitement of all things sports! Females always get a negative wrap when participating in or discussing sports, so females created this community for women and men who don’t judge women who love to watch, talk about, and participate in sports.

We communicate, celebrate and enjoy every arena of sports as well as one another.

Check it out, big things to come:

Q: Do you think the local Community supports The Magic the way they should?

A: Yes and No. We have a huge, strong, dedicated fan base here in Orlando, but it could be much stronger. We have a team that has passion, dedication and heart… something not ever city is lucky to claim!

Q: Why should more people support the Magic?
A: Our team is one of the most active within their home community and we go above and beyond what an NBA Organization normally does. I don’t think the Magic Organization receives the appreciation they should. Take time to realize the efforts of the men off the court as well as on; you will be surprised.

We should be thankful to have such a strong team representing our amazing city. We need to stand behind them, win or lose, and show them that we believe in them. BE MAGIC!

Q: You just joined board of doterati, a local professional group, as Chair of the Events Committee. What do you feel you can bring in this role?
A: Excitement! I love networking and organizing events. I am on a mission to spread the word about doterati and our various educational, social and networking events. Stay tuned and keep up to date about all the fun things coming up!

Q: What do you do for entertainment in Orlando?
A: The questions is, what don’t I do? Magic games, dancing, eating, dog parks, museums, concerts, etc. Check out all the events I am holding/going to around Central Florida and come say hi!

Q: Are there any “secret treasures” in the Central Florida area that people should be familiar with?
A: TONS! You will have to visit my Yelp profile where I reveal all the fun Central Florida gems!

Q: How about leaving a final thought with our readers?
A: “Be true to your work, your word and your friend” –Thoreau

Big shout-out to Colleen for taking the time to get to know her better! If you want to keep-up with all things Colleen, Follow her on Twitter and friend her on Yelp!

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