Own Your Audience: Don't Give It AwaySocial media is great. Facebook is great. Teh Twitters is great. The Snippity-snappity is great. It's all great. But somewhere along the line, we came to believe that our audience was everywhere else, and we just needed to go to them. That it didn't matter if they ever came to us. That's wrong. Make no mistake: It is important to find them where they are and talk to them there. But if you don't get them to visit you, they're not your audience. You're their audience. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to belong to a community. It's time to reclaim our communities - nourish, grow, and love them. Amy Vernon is Director of Audience Engagement for the Daily Dot, known as "The hometown paper of the Internet." She spent 20 years working for daily newspapers around the country and was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning staff of the Miami Herald for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. An inaugural inductee of the New Jersey Social Media Hall of Fame, Amy was named the 15th-most influential woman in tech on Twitter by Business Insider and Peer Index. Known in some circles as the Bacon Queen, Amy rose to prominence on the Internet initially through her community activities on the old Digg.com, where she was the top female submitter of all time (and #15 among all submitters). Champion of what she calls #SMEtiquette (social media etiquette), Amy is known for her ability to keep online conversations civil. She has consulted on social media and content for a variety of companies and organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, Verizon and VentureBeat, and has driven millions of pageviews through her work. Amy has been a mentor for Women 2.0, Women Innovate Mobile and Bella Minds, among other organizations, and has spoken at dozens of conferences, including SXSWi, SMX and Mediabistro. Amy is currently a mentor for Legacy Out Loud, a member of the advisory board for Awesome Co., and an adjunct professor at New York University in the graduate Digital Marketing program. A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., she lives with her family in New Jersey and shares ownership of a very photogenic Siberian husky named Lumi with her mother-in-law.