Meet the Maker: Randi Zuckerberg of Dot Complicated
It’s official. We’ve found someone who might love polka dots more than we do here at Brit HQ (and we really love polka dots). Meet Randi Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, as well as the editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated, a modern lifestyle community. As if that wasn’t enough, she also recently published two books, Dot Complicated and Dot. And here’s the kicker: She wore polka dots EVERY day for over 100 days to promote her publications. We’re impressed. We’ve also snagged three signed copies of Dot Complicated for all of you. You can enter for chance to win a copy below. Now, read on for Randi’s story!
We’ve heard you wore polka dots every day for over 100 days. We love polka dots at Brit + Co! Can you tell us why?
Yes! I am STILL wearing polka dots almost every day out on my book tour. I’ve found lots of dresses, tops and scarves with polka dots, as well as a few killer pairs of heels. I’m wearing polka dots because of my new books! Last week, I published two books: Dot Complicated and Dot. Dot Complicated is the story of my own complicated journey with technology. It focuses on how tech is changing all aspects of our lives in this digital age, and helps sort through the clutter to help readers determine how to navigate their own digital lives. Think LinkedIn etiquette, online dating advice, and stories of tweets gone wrong. I also dive into my own anecdotes and insights from the early years at Facebook.
Dot is a children’s picture book about a tech-obsessed little girl named (no surprise!) Dot, who over the course of the story learns to unplug and play outside.
I’ve been wearing polka dots to promote my books, of course, but also as a reminder to us all to simplify and make our lives a little less “dot” complicated. It’s been so fun to have fans show up to my book signings in polka dots, too!
When did you first realize that technology addiction was an issue?
Last year, I was on a speaking tour, talking to executives and brand managers all over the world about trends in tech and social media marketing. But when I got to the Q&A section after each speech, all the questions were about personal digital dilemmas. Parents asked me when they should first buy their child a cell phone or what they could do to get their own phone un-glued from their hand. I realized that all around the world, people are all grappling with the same issues of how much of themselves to reveal online.
I started a website and e-newsletter (also called Dot Complicated) back in January. But I realized I had so much more to say about these issues– and so Dot Complicated the book was born.
Is there anything else we should know about the books? When can we buy them?
Both Dot Complicated and Dot were released just last week, on November 5th. They’re selling at book stores around the world, as well as online at many retailers. We even have an adorable “Dot” doll, available here. I should mention, both the Dot book and doll have been beta-tested by my two-year-old son, and he gives his approval.
You’ve said before that “you don’t have to be a baker to be a maker.” Do you consider yourself a maker, why?
Your craft doesn’t have to be your profession. I think that today’s workforce is increasingly made up of “entre-ployees”: employees who are pursuing their side passions and who have dreams of creating their own companies someday. As for me, I think of the written word as my craft. Anyone can be a maker – just pick something you love and go for it!
What does the making or writing process look like for you?
I find that I can focus on my writing best late at night, after my son is in bed. The process? Minimal brainstorming and outlining, then a word-vomit of all the thoughts and stories I can recall, followed by lots and lots of revisions and editing. Of course, Dot Complicated would be nowhere without my husband and trusted friends and family, who tirelessly read my revisions and provided invaluable feedback.
What are you proudest of with the release of these two books?
It really hit home when I held the first hardcover copies of my books. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but if Dot Complicated and Dot can inspire readers to be more mindful of their tech use and to make a few small changes, I would be incredibly happy. I just want to get the conversation started about how technology is affected our lives and relationships.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
I love to sing with my cover band, Feedbomb, made up of close friends from the early days of Facebook! We often sing at charity events, friends’ birthday parties and weddings. It’s so fun to get together and practice, and I love to be on stage rocking out during the shows.
How do you think the analog world is changing as the digital world continues to boom?
I believe that when technology is used mindfully and meaningfully, it can enhance our experiences in the analog world in so many ways. With a few clicks or swipes of a finger, we can see loved ones halfway around the world, make professional connections that may end up advancing our careers, pursue and share our passions, and track our health in real time. We are so lucky to be living in this digital age. It’s up to us to use technology in ways that improves, instead of hinders, our lives and relationships.
There’s more! We were lucky enough to have Randi join us at Re:Make in October. You can check out my fireside chat about navigating the digital world with Randi above.
Now, what about that giveaway? Submit your email address in the form below and you’ll be entered to win. Submitting your email address also means you’ll be subscribing to the Brit + Co. newsletter. This giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Wednesday, November 20th. As always, the winners will be chosen at random. Full contest terms here.
Have you fallen in love with Randi yet? Then don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Dot Complicated!