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Featured on Oct 24, 2011

Alexandra Dao

"This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. - Holstee Manifesto"


I'm the Community Manager at HopStop, and a recent Canadian transplant. I've worked in Community Management for the last 3 years and geek out over tech, startups, internet memes, and my iPhone.

  • Title: Community Manager,
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Spanish Harlem
  • Contact: @alexdao

The job description of Community Manager at a startup seems to be a bit ambiguous from company to company.  What is the job of a Community Manager for a startup like HopStop?

At HopStop I'm doing everything from writing tips on Foursquare and responding to users on Twitter to editing press releases and writing copy for the site and apps. The most important part of my job is listening to our users, engaging with them and acting as the liaison between them and our team so that we can make the best decisions based on what our users are telling us.

The funny side effect of being Community Manager for HopStop is that I now have this wealth of knowledge about the MTA and other big transit agencies in North America. The most fascinating thing I read recently was the IAmA Reddit thread where an MTA subway conductor answered every question imaginable about his job. I now dread hearing the police investigation announcement on the subway.

What made you make the jump from Canada to the US? How did you decide to come to New York?

It's cliche but I'd always wanted to live in New York, I just never thought it would happen. Some good friends of mine had moved here from Canada within the last year for school and work and that got me thinking about how I could make the move myself. And of course with all of the excitement around the tech scene in New York, it felt like the perfect time to be here.

You were one of the founders of the group Montreal Girl Geeks, which aims to to make technology accessible and interesting to all age groups and all people, particularly women.  The Montreal Girl Geeks is an offshoot of the London Girl Geek Dinners.  Have you thought about starting a similar group here in New York?  Are there any events or organizations here in New York that you’d recommend other women check out?

There actually is a chapter of Girl Geek Dinners here in New York, but it looks like it hasn't been active since last October. I can't take credit for founding the Montreal Girl Geeks chapter, but I took over organizing from the founder Tanya McGinnity, with a lot of help from Georgiana Laudi. I really loved being part of that group and while I've thought about getting more involved in the New York tech scene, I made a conscious decision when I got here to take a break from organizing events and just enjoy the city and get my bearings. But I definitely wouldn't rule out getting more involved in the future!

As for events and organizations I'd recommend there's Girl Develop It, which runs classes for women to learn how to code in a supportive, female-friendly environment; Pipeline Fellowship, which trains women to become angel investors; and there's always tons of great classes on Skillshare, plus anyone can sign up to teach a class and share their knowledge. For something more Community Management focused, I'm a big fan of CMmeetup. If anyone knows of any other great events for women in tech that I should know about, let me know!

Social Media, Community Management